News Round Up December 2019
Primary academies across Venturers Trust continue to enjoy learning outside, undeterred by the cold damp weather. In Forest School, Bannerman Road pupils have been learning about birds and hedgehogs with Willow class, in particular identifying the different feathers and herbs they find.
Barton Hill’s new outdoor nursery facilities are proving to be a big hit with the children, with an adventure treehouse and large chalk boards fixed to a colourful wilderness-themed mural. This space undoubtedly encourages outdoor curiosity from an early age.
Within the grounds of Fairlawn Primary School a secret hideaway garden has been created. This project was led by parents of the Academy and is a great example of fantastic community engagement that takes place within our Trust academies. This garden will provide a quiet, sensory space for reflection and will promote wellbeing.
Venturers’ Academy has grown in size this academic term, opening a second site in St Anne’s Park. Co-located with The Kingfisher School, students and staff are already benefiting from the collaboration taking place. Trystan Williams, Executive Lead for Venturers Trust, said:
“The Venturers’ Academy pupils are settling in so well and making lots of new friends with children from the mainstream school. This fully inclusive environment allows pupils and staff from both schools to benefit from additional, specialist resources.”
The new school buildings for Merchants’ Academy Primary and Venturers’ Academy in Withywood are really taking shape, following the Turf Cutting Ceremony at the beginning of the academic year. The construction site, which is located at Merchants’ Academy Secondary is proving to be an excellent training ground for students who are studying Construction, as they meet with and observe the construction team onsite, bringing their course to life.
Across Venturers Trust in terms one and two, all academies have been getting involved in supporting charities and celebrating awareness days, both local and national. Students from Merchants’ Academy and Venturers’ Academy have been celebrating Hello Yellow in conjunction with UK Young Minds, helping to remove stigma and encouraging people to talk about mental health and remembering that it is OK not to be OK!
Students from Bannerman Road and Colston’s Girls’ School have been showing racism the red card, standing up to discrimination and supporting those who experience racism.
Black History Month was celebrated in the majority of our academies during the whole month of October, with a fantastic amount of community engagement and external visitors joining the students in classes for various presentations and discussions. Learning about our communities, our city, our country and our world with its many different cultures and religions helps students to become more aware of their roles and responsibilities as global citizens.
Students from Merchants’ Academy have been supporting their local community. The Secondary have donated Christmas hampers to members of the community and the Primary have supported their local food bank, delivering Harvest Festival donations.
Other events celebrated across the Trust have included Global Week, Anti-Bullying Week, No Pens Day and European Day of Languages, to name a few, which involved students from V6 leading interactive Spanish classes to students from The Dolphin School.
Colston’s Girls’ School and V6 were thrilled to receive a visit from Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees, when members of the eco-council spoke with him about their ongoing sustainability and eco-projects. During a Q&A session, students also took the opportunity to express to the Mayor their concerns about climate change specifically relating to transport in the city.
On a political note, the students have also taken part in mock elections, with students representing each party in candidate debates. Continuing the theme of politics, it’s fantastic to hear about Y10 CGS student Heidi, a member of Bristol Youth Parliament, and her recent visit to the Palace of Westminster. Heidi represented the South West in the national Youth Parliament debates, and shared with her peers an update from the annual conference, which focused on getting the vote for 16-year olds.
Many students in Venturers Trust from different academies have been involved in national climate change protests and debates taking place across Bristol. Pupils from The Dolphin School formed a peaceful protest along Cheltenham Road and Fairlawn and Bannerman Road pupils designed placards for the city-wide strike for climate. Also at Fairlawn, Year 4 students considered the environmental impact of more people becoming vegetarian and they studied Greta Thunberg's recent climate speech, looking at how to write and deliver important messages persuasively, subsequently creating their own climate change initiatives.
This term Venturers Trust’s co-sponsor, the Society of Merchant Venturers, donated funds to support a Trust-wide reading scheme. All academies have received a collection of reading materials to support a range of ages which includes both online and printed materials.
An exciting end to 2019, The Kingfisher School welcomed HRH The Princess Royal to officially open their new academy building in St Anne’s Park. It was a special event for everyone involved and the children from both The Kingfisher School and Venturers’ Academy St Anne’s Park, were proud to show Princess Anne their fantastic new school.
With inspiring new initiatives, events and the opening of two new school buildings, there is much to look forward to in 2020.
In the meantime, we hope that everyone across the Venturers Trust family of schools has a peaceful and relaxing Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
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