Successess 2018/2019

Successes of the Year 2018/2019


Sporting Success

  • We were one of 25 schools that entered the West Oxfordshire Cross Country competition at the end of October. One of our Year Six girls won the girls’ race against approximately 150 athletes and one of our Year Six boys won his race. This was a significant achievement. Our team of Upper Junior girls won overall. There were good performances by the Lower Juniors too;

  • Our hockey A team finished third overall in the Witney Schools’ tournament at the end of October;

  • Our football team narrowly lost in the semi-final of the Witney Schools’ League against The Blake School;

  • Our girls, swimming team finished second, by one point in the Witney Schools’ gala at the Windrush Leisure Centre at the beginning of January and progressed through to the West Oxfordshire finals in July where they finished a very creditable 5th, despite coping without the Year Sixes as they were away on residential. The boys’ team finished 4th in the Witney Gala;

  • Our Upper Junior indoor athletics team won the Witney Schools’ Sportshall Athletics event for the fourth year in a row in January;

  • Our Upper Junior Boccia team, including disadvantaged and SEN children, won the West Oxfordshire tournament in Carterton at the end of January. Our Lower Junior team finished fifth in their competition;

  • We entered three teams in the Witney Partnership High-Five Netball tournament at the end of February. Our A team finished as runners up in the main competition. Our second team won the B team final and our third team won the C team competition;

  • Our Infant, Lower Junior and Upper Junior Gymnastics teams took part in the West Oxfordshire tournament in Carterton in March. The Infants finished 6th and the Uppers and Lowers both came 3rd, both qualifying for the County finals;

  • We entered three teams in the Witney Schools’ Rugby competition in March. Our A team were overall winners for the fifth year out of six and proceeded through to the County finals once again. Our B team won the Plate competition and the C team played really well, predominantly against B teams;

  • One of our Year Six boys comfortably won the individual gold medal at the County Cross Country race in Abingdon at the beginning of April. He truly is impressive. Our Upper Junior girls had qualified as a team and our best finisher was Katie who came 5th out of approximately 100 runners;

  • Our Boccia team took part in the County finals at the beginning of April. Having won all four of their group games, they lost in the quarter-final;

  • Our Netball team finished 5th out of 9 teams in the County finals, winning 4 of their 8 matches;

  • Our Indoor Athletics team competed in the County finals of the Sportshall Athletics in Oxford at the beginning of May. There were some impressive individual performances and we finished an excellent 4th in Oxfordshire;

  • Our Netball team, having topped their group in the Witney Schools’ competition, went on to beat The Blake and West Witney in the finals and were crowned champions for the third year in a row;

  • Our Upper and Lower Junior teams took part in the County Gymnastics finals in May at Berinsfield. One of our Lower Juniors won the overall gold medal and the team came second overall. Our Upper Junior team finished 4th out of the 9 teams;  

  • A team of Lower Junior children took part in the Quad Kids competition at Wood Green. Competing in four athletics events, our team finished 4th;

  • Our Lower Junior tennis team took part in the Witney Schools’ tournament in May and accumulated enough points to top their group and qualify for the West Oxfordshire finals;

  • Our Upper Junior athletes took part in the Quad Kids event at Wood Green at the end of May. They dominated the competition, with 7 of our 10 children gaining the Gold standard, resulting in a comfortable 100 point victory. They went on to finish 7th in the County finals;

  • A team of Upper Junior tennis players took part in a competition at Cokethorpe School at the end of May. They qualified for the three-way final and came away as runners up;

  • Our A and B teams took part in the County Rugby finals in Oxford at the end of May. The B team narrowly lost in their final against Coombe. Our A team went a step further by beating John Hampden School, Thame, in their final. We are county champions for the 4th time in 8 years;

  • Our Lower Junior golf team competed at Wood Green in the West Oxfordshire Tri Golf festival. They finished an excellent 4th overall;

  • We entered two teams of Upper Juniors in the West Oxfordshire girls’ cricket tournament at Charlbury. Our A team were knocked out in the semi-final;

  • The school maintained the Sainsbury’s School Games Gold Award we achieved in July 2017, for the third year in a row. We had previously gained the Silver Award and were one of the first schools in West Oxfordshire to achieve the gold status. Dom Baker and Jane Woodage worked so hard this year in leading our sports provision and teams this year. To gain this award, we had to reach a certain number of county finals, enter B and C teams in tournaments, organise intra-school competitions as well as compete in a minimum number of inter-school events and encourage and achieve individual as well as team excellence.

    It has been another successful sporting year in terms of county finals                                 appearances, with 7 teams reaching this stage.  Congratulations to all the                                  children who represented our school teams this year.


          Music and the Arts

  • Our Year Two children took part in the annual Witney Partnership Year Two concert alongside 150 of their peers at Wood Green School in March. They sang really well and were a credit to the school;

  • Our Year Five children joined forces with Year Five children from the other Witney schools to perform in the partnership concert at Wood Green. They also enjoyed the opportunity to watch performances by students from Henry Box and Wood Green;

  • The summer term was dominated by our 8th biennial whole-school musical production. 328 children performed ‘Joseph’ to packed audiences over four performances at The Henry Box School. It was, as always, a wonderful school community event, with so many staff involved in the preparation, rehearsing and managing of this very special occasion;

  • The final assembly of the year included the presentation of Irene Crowther’s trophy for Creativity, introduced in 2016. It was awarded to Immie Fox.



       The Curriculum

  • Our Year Six children created some excellent homework projects based on their World War Two topic during the Autumn term. Parents enjoyed seeing them on display in the hall;

  • Our Year Five children performed Tudor music, dances and short scenes from plays to the parents at the end of the Autumn term. The parents also enjoyed looking at the children’s wonderful Tudor projects;

  • A group of Year Six children benefited from a series of English Masterclasses during the Spring term at Wood Green School;

  • It was great to see the children (and staff!) dressed up as book characters for World Book Day. As always there were some wonderful costumes and a huge variety of characters represented. A group of four children were interviewed on Radio Oxford during the Kat Orman show, talking about World Book Day and the characters they had dressed up as;

  • We had an excellent Science Week in March with visitors in to school every day, including representatives from the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Rutherford Space Centre, the Jenner Institute and Chipping Norton Astronomy Society. The children were really inspired by the week;

  • Our Year Six children took part in a Mental Health workshop delivered by One-Eighty;

  • Year R, 1 and 3 enjoyed an African drumming experience as part of their work on Africa;

  • We had 10 eggs delivered, along with an incubator, in April. All 10 eggs hatched successfully, and the Year One children kept a diary of events. We kept parents and families up to date via the website;

  • Rev’d Toby Wright led discussions with a group of Year Six children on Theology and Ethics during the summer term.


       The School in the Community

  • Harvest Festival took place at the beginning of October. Our theme was ‘Thankfulness’. The food gifts donated by the parents were shared between the Witney Food Bank and the charity Besom;

  • We held an information evening for parents in October, sharing information about how we teach Maths and SPaG. All teachers were available to show resources and discuss the curriculum with parents. I also talked to parents about online safety and gave out information sheets with advice about keeping children safe on the internet. Approximately 40 parents attended;

  • Emma Dunstan, our Reception teacher and Assistant Head supported another ODST school, Grove Primary, this year, advising on their Early Years practice and provision.   Partly as a result of her input and expertise, the school achieved a Good grading from Ofsted in June;

  • We forged strong links with Richmond Village during the year. This included welcoming residents to a tea party, during which the Year Six children asked them about their wartime experiences and provided them with biscuits and cakes made using wartime recipes, Reception and Year Six children visits to Richmond Village, welcoming residents to our May dancing and a tea party in the Reception garden;

  • Our Senior Choir performed a selection of carols at the Corn Exchange in December as part of their Dementia Awareness coffee morning;

  • Over 40 families took part in filling shoe boxes with Christmas gifts for orphans in Eastern Europe. This was organised by High Street Methodist Church;

  • Our Christmas Fayre was very successful, raising over £2,000, and was very popular with all the families;

  • Our Infant Nativity was wonderful as usual with some excellent individual performances, great dancing and super singing;

  • Both choirs sang beautifully at our Carols by Candlelight at St Mary’s Church. It was a lovely collection of carols old and new, interspersed with traditional readings from the Bible;

  • We raised money for World Down’s Syndrome Day in March by wearing odd socks for the day;

  • Our three Infant classes performed a lovely assembly for parents to celebrate Mother’s Day;

  • We welcomed a teacher from Japan to our school in March. She had previously been a student here 30 years ago. She played video recordings of her students asking questions to practise their English, and then we recorded a group of our Year Six children answering their questions. I hope to set up links with her school in Japan in the coming months;

  • We welcomed staff during the year from Wheatley Primary, St Christopher’s Langford, Grove Primary and St Mary’s to observe practice, discuss with colleagues and share good practice;

  • We took part in Prayer Spaces at St Mary’s Church just before Easter. Most classes were able to be there and take part in a variety of thought-provoking activities;

  • As part of forging stronger links with St Mary’s, a group of Year Five children visited the Infant school to read to their Year Two children. They also filmed themselves reading the books here and uploaded the films to QR codes for St Mary’s to use;

  • We decorated the office windows to commemorate Dementia Awareness Week. The children also dressed in blue one of the days and a cake sale raised £347;

  • Our Infant dads were invited into the classrooms during the lead up to Father’s Day in June. Many dads came in and either joined in with the activities or shared their own expertise or interests;

  • Our Year One and groups of Junior children designed our wheelbarrow, based it on a fairy garden for the Council’s Witney Schools in Bloom floral wheelbarrow competition;


    Special Events

  • The whole school was treated to a day of cooking and healthy eating demonstrations by the company Roots to Food. This involved a Ready Steady Cook style of demo for key Stage Two with two teams of children and staff going head to head with a given set of ingredients and a hands-on demonstration for the Infant children in the afternoon, both sessions with a heavy emphasis on healthy eating. The day was paid for by our caterers, The School Lunch Company;

  • We were visited by the adventurer James Ketchell at the end of September. He talked to all the children in three groups about his adventurous trips including rowing across the Atlantic, climbing Everest and cycling around the world. He was truly inspiring for the whole school community;

  • Our school was heavily involved in the commemoration of World War One in October and November. Having created a wonderful mosaic with a local artist last July, we were also given a wooden cut-out soldier which we decorated with decoupage photographs of our children holding photographs of relatives who had fought in the world wars or artefacts. This was then placed, along with similar soldiers from the other schools, between the war memorial and the church in time for Remembrance Sunday. Every child also made a poppy that was added to the town decorations this month;

  • The school occupied the entire ground floor of the Oxford Playhouse for the pantomime in December. Once again it was a considerable feat of organisation to ensure over 400 children and adults were transported successfully and sat in the correct seats;

  • Carols by Candlelight was again a very special occasion, with both the Lower and Upper Junior choirs leading the service so well;

  • Christmas Lunch was great fun, with staff and children wearing festive jumpers. Our cook, Michelle, did a great job cooking over 340 lunches;

  • Our School Council used the Parliamentary Box, a resource on loan from the Houses of Parliament, to talk particularly about democracy and rule of law. They earned the ‘We Made a Difference’ badge and shared their experiences and discussions with their classmates;

  • The Infants looked wonderful wearing their Easter bonnets in our annual parade around the playground. There were some incredible creations, including a couple of edible ones!

  • We held our Easter Service, including Eucharist, at St Mary’s Church at the beginning of April. We linked Easter traditions to the story of Easter and each year group contributed with songs, readings and drama;

  • Our annual May Dancing celebration, alongside St Mary’s School, took place on Church Green. We raised £540 towards our chosen charity, SeeSaw Oxfordshire;

  • One of our Year Five children won the top prize for our region in the Explore Learning story writing competition. She was one of 10 regional winners;

  • We welcomed representatives from Yarnton Garden Centre to a tea party in June. The Young Carers entertained and chatted to them. We have formed a relationship with the company and this has resulted in receiving a cheque for £650 from two of their fundraising events. The group of children were then invited to be the first people to try out their new adventure area at Yarnton later in June;

  • The Year Six children had a great time on their residential trip to Borreatton Park, Shropshire. The children had a great time experiencing activities including, canoeing, zip wire, kayaking and climbing, and were very well looked after by our staff and the instructors from PGL;

  • The Year Five children walked to Minster Lovell and back once again and camped out on the school field;

  • Our annual Leavers’ Service at the end of the year was once again a very special occasion with the Year 6 children leading the service and being presented with their Bibles.


       Educational Visits etc

  • Reception visits included; Batsford Arboretum, St Mary’s Church, Cotswold Wildlife Park and Athletics at Henry Box;

  • Year One visits included; Batsford Arboretum, St Mary’s Church, Crocodiles of the World, African Drumming Workshop and a visit from two owls;

  • Year Two visits included; Batsford Arboretum, Survival Day at Hill End, two visiting artists and sports at Henry Box;

  • Year Three visits included; Godly Play, Stone Age Day at Hill End, Roman Centurions’ visit and Roman Hands On History workshops;

  • Year Four visits included; Godly Play, Egyptian Hands On History workshops and the Cotswold Wildlife Park;

  • Year Five visits included; Sulgrave Manor, Young Shakespeare interactive performance of Twelfth Night, Godly Play, Greek Drama workshops, field-trip to Poole and Swanage, and camp out on the school field;

  • Year Six visits included; Junior Citizen emergency procedures training in Oxford, World War Two experience at Swindon Steam Museum, local residents from Richmond Village being interviewed about the war during their tea party, local history walk, One-Eighty Mental Health workshop, Young Shakespeare interactive performance of Twelfth Night, Injury Minimisation Programme (IMPS) at Witney Hospital (First Aid) and residential trip to Borreatton Park, Shropshire.