Welcome back to the Autumn Term!
It was lovely to welcome our pupils to school after the summer holiday. They have all settled into their new classes so well and have been ready to learn. We are especially proud of our youngest pupils who have explored their wonderful classrooms and playground, been swimming and managed a whole days as well as school dinners for the first time!
Dear Parents and Carers,
As our school year ends I have to say I am so proud of how much progress our pupils have made this year in so many different ways. Individual targets have been achieved, pupils have become more independent and our children have shown great care and kindness towards each other.
We ended the year with our Celebration Assemblies. As always we celebrated our children’s achievements. Some of our youngest pupils celebrated completing their first year, whilst older pupils as they moved up the school from Primary to Secondary and Secondary to the 14-19 Phase received their ‘Records of Achievement’.
We are very proud of the physical activities we offer our children. The school gained for the first time the ‘School Games’ Bronze Award for 2017-18 and all of the many activities our children take part in was recognised. We were delighted that so many parents came to see their children swim and also enjoy their rebound sessions. Next year we are aiming for Silver! We were also awarded the Quality mark in July 2018 for our work in developing Maths, English and Science across the school.
Our school prom for our leavers and older students was wonderful. We were so proud of our ‘Class of 2018’ who looked fantastic in their ball gowns and suits! They enjoyed a buffet and disco.
At the end of this term we said goodbye to: Daniel Jones, Jonathan Ward, Kasim Khan, Ammar Tahir-Kayani ,Joseph Aspy and Connor Horton. We are very sad to see these young people leave us but extremely proud of their achievements. We will miss them all so much and we wish them the very best for the future.
The Lettice Holt Award is awarded annually by the FE staff to a student who has been outstanding or courageous during their time with us. This year the award was given to two pupils, Kasim Khan and Daniel Jones. Very well done to both students!
The Child of Courage Award is given in remembrance of Hazel Thomas who worked at the school and passed away in 2005 whilst still in service. Her family wished the school to nominate a child of courage each year. We have many such children and it was a difficult decision, but this year we agreed that Zak Macefield should receive the award. Zak has had a difficult year with much time spent in hospital. He is a fighter and met these difficulties with great courage. Well done Zak!
Our amazing children performed ‘Pride Rock’ on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th July. The whole school took part and special thanks must go to Amy Whitehouse and Kim Ameson who wrote and produced our show. Thank you for coming to watch our production and see our confident and happy children.
We said goodbye to a number of school staff at the end of the Summer Term. Clare Warrington, a teacher at the school since 1999, has left us to work with pupils who have a visual impairment. Class teacher Martin Shieber has also left the school. Teaching Assistant Sean Carbery has left the school to train to become a paramedic. We wish all of these staff the very best for the future.
We say hello and welcome to our new school staff! Elizabeth Addy is teaching in Bumblebee- a newly formed EYFS class. Laura Phelan- Leeds is the new teacher in Giraffe class and James Shore is joining us to teach in Post 16 Class 3. Nat Babb has taken maternity leave and her class is being taught by Caroline Stevens.
We also welcome some new Teaching assistants. Emma Smith to Butterfly, Lauren Amos to Bumblebee, Kelly Beresford to Giraffe, Suzzi Burrell to Bear, Cody Talbot to Bear, Glenn Evans to Lion, Alice Cornhill to Owl and Emily Southorn to Post 16 2.
We thank all our wonderful volunteers for supporting the school. It is amazing that so many are willing to give their time to help us in the classrooms, swimming pool, and as part of FOOPS. We also thank our Governors who meet throughout the year and who are passionate in making sure this school continues to be ‘outstanding’.
A big thank-you goes out to parents and carers for their continued support and also to the staff for their hard work this year. We hope you all have a very happy summer holiday and look forward to welcoming our children back for the new school year in September!
Yours sincerely Mrs G. Cartwright
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are almost at the end of the Summer Term and we have some important events happening during this last week.
On Monday 16th July you will be receiving the school report for your child and will find out which class your child will be in next year. On Monday the children will spend some time in their new classes meeting the staff and becoming familiar with their new surroundings.
Tuesday 17th July after school from 3.30 pm in the main school hall you will have an opportunity to 'meet the teacher and the team' for the class where your child will be next year.
During our last week we are holding a number of assemblies.
On Wednesday 18th July at 9.30 am we are holding an assembly for the Primary School (Lower and Middle Phases) We will be celebrating the achievements and progress of our children in Reception as they move to Year 1 in September.
Some children are moving up the school and will be joining the Upper Phase and we will be celebrating their achievements.
On Thursday 19th July at 9.30 am we are holding an assembly for the Secondary School (Upper and 14-19 Phase) We have a number of children moving up the school to the 14-19 phase and their achievements will be celebrated.
On Friday 20th July at 9.45 am we are holding a special assembly for our leavers. We are saying a sad goodbye to 5 students this year as well as Mrs Warrington, a teacher at the school for many years and Sean Carberry, a Teaching Assistant.
Please call the school if you want to find out more about these events.
School prom 2018
We are so proud of our oldest students who are leaving us this year. We held our 'Class of 2018' Prom on Friday 6th July and it was a privilege to be there and appreciate what fine young people are leaving our school.
Well done to you all and we wish you the very best for the future.
We are very excited to let you know that on Wednesday 11th and Tuesday 12th July the school will be performing a production called 'Pride Rock' based on the story of 'The Lion King' with a few changes!
All the children will have a part to play in our whole school performance.
Performances will take place on both days at 10am and finish around 11.30 am.
Tickets are selling out quite quickly. Any unsold tickets can be reserved by contacting the school office.
Sports day postponed
Due to the extreme temperatures forecast this week we have made the decision, for health and safety reasons,
to postpone sports day until the Autumn Term when the weather is cooler.
Thank you for your understanding.
Swimming Gala Event 18th -22nd June 2018
Last week we held our swimming gala, when all parents and carers were invited into school to see their child swim during their weekly lesson. 58 parents and carers attended the gala and it was an overwhelming success.
Many thanks for your feedback which will help us ensure how we can make improvements in the future. Some of this feedback we have detailed below.
"Watching the children was enjoyable and they all were marvellous and had lots of fun"
"Lovely to see my child swim. I would love to come into school and see more lessons and classes"
"Excellent experience. I am glad that you organised and invited us. I am very impressed with my son's swimming skills. Thank you."
"Most pleased with my child's confidence in the water and how he followed instructions"
May 2018 news
On 1st May we enjoyed another beautiful day and a great turnout for our annual sponsored walk. Thanks to FOOPS for arranging this and to all families and friends who took part. As well as having great fun on a beautiful sunny day we have raised an amazing so far £1,222.00 for our school fund. This will help us purchase additional resources and activities for the children.
Another busy half term with some fantastic lessons and learning taking place. We are also proud of our lunchtime enrichment activities which run every lunchtime across the school. The Royal Wedding was the focus of lots of learning and excitement across the school last week.
This week our 14-19 aged students have enjoyed ‘Choices Week’ with pupils deciding which activities they would like to take part in. It has been wonderful to see the pupils mixed into interest groups taking part in art, drama, cooking, cinema and park visits as well as beauty and health care.
Pupils of the month for April were Naayaab Amin and Simoon Alimahomed and for May the Award was given to Elijah Mc Knight. Well done!
Dates for Your Diary
Half Term: Monday 28th May- Friday 1stJune
Monday 4th June- Staff INSET day
Week beginning Monday 18th June- Swimming Gala week.
This is an opportunity for you to come into school and see your child swim (details to follow)
Tuesday 26th June - Lower Sports
Wednesday 27th June- Middle sports
Thursday 28th June- Secondary/ 14-19 Sports
Friday 6th July: Sixth Form Prom and Buffet
Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th July- School performance of The Lion King (details to follow)
Tuesday 17th July- Meet the teacher- in the Hall
Wednesday 18th July- EYFS/ Primary ‘Moving up’ assembly
Thursday 19th July- Secondary/ 14-19 ‘Moving up’ assembly
Friday 20th July- Leavers / End of Term assembly whole school
Friday 20th July: End of Term for students
Wishing you all an enjoyable half term holiday!
We are holding our annual School Fayre in the Autumn Term this year.
FOOPS would like bottles for the tombola to be sent in on Friday 18th May. Your child can wear clothes of their own choice on Friday.
To celebrate the Royal Wedding they could wear red white and blue!
Our annual Sponsored Walk, organised by FOOPS and one of our major fundraising events, takes place on Tuesday 1st May.
Looking forward to the World Cup later this year, pupils are invited to dress in sports wear or football strips if they wish.
We will be walking laps around the school grounds between 10am and 11am and parents/ carers and are warmly welcomed to accompany us with their children along the way!
Refreshments are provided for all parents, family friends and carers after the event.
FOOPS and Kids Orchard Centre invite you to attend a Parent/ Carer support coffee morning on Tuesday 24th April at Old Park School from 10.00- 11.30.
We hope this will provide an opportunity for you to find out what services are available in Dudley to support children and young people with Special needs. Refreshments will be available.
We look forward to seeing you!
March 2018 news
It was good to see so many parents at Parents Evening. This year we held our Post 19 Options Evening at the same time which gave parents across the school a chance to drop in and see the wide range of options available for our leavers. It was very well attended with lots of positive comments about how useful it was.
Well done to our Makaton Choir who took centre stage at the Vivo Concert at Dudley Town Hall on Friday 9th March! Our children were a credit to the school and a delight to see.
Our Dance Club took part in an Easter Celebration of Dance at the Stourbridge Town Hall along with many other Dudley schools. Their performance was breathtaking and we are very proud of how well they dance.
The annual Astley Burf residential was a great success! The pupils were amazing, willing to try new things and for some it was their first away from home. Thanks to the staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make sure the children had the best possible experience.
We hope you all enjoyed our Easter Assembly. This assembly, hugely well attended, is a favourite with the children brightly dressed as flowers, chicks, rabbits and much more. Thanks to our older students for telling and acting out the Easter Story so well.
Student of the month for February was awarded to Samuel Deeming who is making great progress in all areas of the curriculum. We are very proud of you!
The Summer term starts on Monday 16th April.
Tuesday 1st May Sponsored walk
Monday 7th May- May Day holiday
28th May- 1st June: Whitsun half term holiday
Monday 4th June: INSET day
Mrs G Cartwright
The Easter Bunny is in school this week! FOOPS have arranged for all our children to have an Easter surprise!! Thanks to the Burnt Tree island Tesco for donating the eggs.
Thanks also to our close neighbours and friends from Eaton Power, who have kindly donated a chocolate egg or soft cuddly toy for each of our children
Please come and join us for our Easter Assemblies!
The Secondary Easter Assembly (Upper and 14-19 phases) is on Wednesday 28th March starting at 9.30.
The Primary Easter Assembly (Lower and Middle phases) is on Thursday 29th March.
All classes are taking part with singing, dancing and telling the Easter Story.
We will be having an Easter Bonnet Parade
The annual Astley Burf residential was a great success! The pupils were amazing, willing to try new things and for some enjoying being away from home for the first time. Thanks also to the staff who worked tirelessly to make sure the children had the best possible experience.
Very well done to our school choir who took part in the Vivo 8 Concert at Dudley Town Hall on Friday! We were all so proud. Our children sang and signed 3 songs and received huge applause from a packed town hall.
Reminder to all parents and carers
The postponed Parents Evening and the Post 19 Options Event will now take place on Tuesday 6th March. The timings of meetings with staff will remain the same.
We look forward to seeing you and encourage all parents with pupils from Year 9 upwards to visit the school hall and see the large amount of opportunities that are available for your child when they leave us.
World Book Day, Thursday 1st March 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
Old Park School will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 1st March 2018. World Book Day celebrates the joy, value of books and reading, especially for children. It is a fun day for everyone involved and also helps us raise money for less privileged children.
We are asking children to dress up as their favourite character for a donation of £1 with all money raised going to Book Aid. For every £2 we raise in school Book Aid can send a new children’s book to a school or library in Africa.
Snow White, Peter Pan and one of The Three Little Pigs will be visiting school on World Book Day. It would be wonderful if your child could come dressed as a character. Dressing up ideas are available on www.worldbookday.com/dressing-up/.
To help get them started on their reading journey, every child will receive a £1 World Book Day Book Token that can either be exchanged for one of TEN special £1 World Book Day books or used to get £1 off any book or audio book costing £2.99 or more.
Your child’s token will be issued on World Book Day. Please help your child to use their voucher between 26th February – 25th March 2018 by visiting your local bookseller. To find out more about the books and where you can redeem your voucher please visit worldbookday.com/books.
February news 2018
It has been another busy half term that has flown by! As always the school is a hive of activity with so much happening.
I am very pleased to let you know that we are having more physiotherapy provision across the school and we also now have an occupational therapist at school for two days a week. There is also additional Speech and Language therapy provision. All this means that as well as a full curriculum our pupils therapy needs are being better met.
We hope the bad weather that has caused us so much concern will improve for the rest of the term. We really do urge you to sign up to ‘Parentmail’ so that we can send you a text message for important information such as closure because of snow! If you have not already done so please call the school office for details. Also information is always posted on our school website under ‘Emergency School Closure’. Information will also be given to local radio stations: Free Radio FM 97.2 FM Heart FM 100.7 FM
Pupil of the month for January was Joseph Aspey for his mature attitude to his work and becoming more independent. Well done Joseph! We also have introduced monthly sports awards. Well done to Chloe Turton, our swimmer of the month for January.
We say a very sad goodbye this month to Mary Edwards who has been a wonderful lunchtime supervisor at the school for over thirty years. She has supported and cared for generations of our children and we will all miss her greatly.
On Monday 29th January many of our children were treated to another fantastic production by the Bamboozle Theatre Company. The story they told was delivered during the day to small groups of children who actively participated and interacted with amazing multi-sensory resources. A second performance day is scheduled for more pupils in March.
Reminders, events and dates for your diary
Tuesday 27th February, Parents Evening combined with a Post 19 Options Evening.
There is a chance to talk to staff from colleges and local providers about what is available for our young people when they leave school. All welcome, no matter what age your child is.
Wednesday 28th April: Easter Assembly for Upper and 14-19 phase pupils
Thursday 29th April: Easter Assembly for Lower and Middle phase pupils
Thursday 29th April- Last day of term
The Easter holiday is from Friday 30th March to Friday 13th April 2018
School opens for pupils on Monday 16th April
We do hope you all have an enjoyable half term.
Thanks to those who joined us at the new parent carer coffee morning run by parent carers for parent carers. We are holding another similar event shortly.
If you are a parent carer of a child with a disability of additional needs do come along and meet other parent carers, share experience, gain information, find out whats happening and get involved.
The next coffee morning will take place on Thursday 10th May
at Old Park School
Come along and join us for a coffee and a chat!
For more information visit the parent carer forum website at www.dudleyparentcarerforum.com
or contact Donna on 01384 573381
Dates for your diary for the Spring Term 2018
Tuesday 2nd January- First day of Spring term for pupils
Monday 15th January- INSET day - pupils not in school
Monday 22nd January- Coffee morning (Parents forum)
Tuesday 23rd January- Makaton for parents starts
Monday 19th to Friday 23rd February- Half term
Tuesday 27th February- Parents evening
Tuesday 27th February- A ' drop in' Post 19 Options event will be taking place in the school hall
Wednesday 28th March- Easter Assembly (Upper and 14-19 Phases)
Thursday 29th March- Easter Assembly (Lower and Middle Phases)
Thursday 29th March- Last day of Spring term
An exciting time of year with so much happening! We were very disappointed that we needed to close the school for four days due to the snow and ice. Our site managers did an amazing job moving snow and gritting the car park but despite our best efforts it was not safe.
What a festive time we have had...our Post 16 pupils have been busy making Christmas decorations, cakes, biscuits and much more to sell at our Christmas Fayre for their ‘Team Enterprise’ work.
Pupils have had a wonderful time visiting Santa in various locations and their end of term treats have been to places such as the Sycamore Centre, Lunch on the Run, the cinema and Safari Park. Sadly some trips were cancelled due to the terrible weather.
On the last day of term to our youngest children performing the Nativity whilst we all enjoyed singing Christmas songs together.
Our Christmas dinner as always was a real treat. Thanks to June and the kitchen team who were in school at 5am to make sure it was a wonderful day for the children. We have enjoyed parties and an exciting visit from Santa who gave every child a present. Thanks to FOOPS for these!
Thanks to all of you who came to our Festive Family Evening! We had a wonderful night and FOOPS raised over £1,000 with match funding from Barclays Bank!
Well done to all our pupils for working so hard this term. Parents evening was very well attended again this year and you all had the opportunity to see the great work and the progress your children are making.
We were very sad to be saying goodbye to Maureen Smith at the end of this term. Maureen is retiring at almost 80 years of age after 50 years working at Old Park School. For 25 years she was the caretaker, working for Mr Howkins the old Headmaster, and then myself when I became Head in 2002. When she decided her time as caretaker was finished she worked with the children during the lunchtimes and volunteered in our swimming pool on most days of the week. An amazing lady who was much loved by us all.
From all the staff at Old Park we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year.
We look forward to welcoming the children back to school on Tuesday 2nd January.
Reminder- our INSET day is Monday 15th January.
Dates to note week commencing 11th December
Class Christmas trips taking place during the next 2 weeks
Friday 15th December- Upper and 14-19 Christmas Party
Friday 15th December- Christmas Jumper Day- wear your Christmas Jumper and donate money to 'Save the Children'.
Monday 18th December- Lower and Middle Christmas parties
Tuesday 19th December - Christmas Dinner
Wednesday 20th December Christmas Assembly and Nativity
Wednesday 20th December- end of term
New Term starts on Tuesday 2nd January 2018
Thanks to all of you who came to our Festive Family Evening!
We had a wonderful night and FOOPS raised over £1,000 with match funding from Barclays Bank!
Harvest Festival – Thank you to everyone who came to school our special Harvest Festival assemblies. It was wonderful to see all the children taking part with singing, dancing, acting and reading. Our youngest pupils were amazing and we were all so proud of them. Once again, many thanks to everyone for the generous donations of produce. This was taken by Post 16 Class 3 to a local food distribution centre for the needy in our community.
Student of the month – Well done to Olivia Webster, pupils of the month for September! She is working so hard and her teachers and parents are very proud of her.
Well done also to all of our youngest new pupils who have settled so well in our reception classes.
We held an Awards Evening in October when our leavers with their families returned to receive their ASDAN and OCR certificates. It was a joy to see them again and hear how well they have all been doing since leaving us.
We held our first Memorial Service in October for pupils who we have sadly lost over recent years. We shared happy memories about all of these very special children, released balloons with messages, and lit candles on our wonderful memorial tree. Parents loved the copper leaves engraved with their own special messages and were very appreciative of the opportunity to come together.
Parents Evening is on Tuesday 7th November between 5.00 p.m. - 8.00 p.m. We look forward to seeing you on this important evening where you can discuss your child’s progress and meet the class team.
Education Health and Care Plans- these important meetings continue to take place.
Over the next couple of years Inspectors from Ofsted and CQC (Care Quality Commission) will be inspecting the Borough Council and Health services in Dudley to see how well they identify children's special educational needs and/or disabilities, how well they meet those needs and how effectively they improve outcomes for those children and young people.
Our children love school and we encourage them to attend as much as they can. If pupils are not in school it is the parents’ or carers responsibility to inform the school on the first day of absence. If a pupil is absent, and no message has been received, the school will try to contact parents or carers on the first day to discover the reason. If the school receives no explanation for absence when the child returns to school, either by telephone or in writing, an unauthorised absence letter will be sent and a meeting arranged at the school.
Dates for your diary:
Monday 23rd - Friday 27th October- Half term
Monday 6th November- INSET day
Tuesday 7th November- Parents evening
Friday 24th November- Christmas Fayre with Santa! - 6- 8.30 pm
December 11th- Party week (details to follow nearer the time!)
Wednesday 13th December- Christmas lunch for the children
Wednesday 20th December- Christmas Nativity Assembly
We wish you an enjoyable half term break!
Thank you all for your continued support.
Come and join us celebrate with singing, dance and drama, at our Harvest Assemblies!
Lower and Middle Phases are performing on
Thursday 5th October from 9.30am
Upper and 14-19 Phases are performing on
Friday 6th October from 9.30am
Any kind donations of tinned or dried food will be gratefully received and distributed locally.
Welcome back to all of our pupils and families to the new school year. I hope you all had a restful summer holiday. We warmly welcome all our new reception children who have settled in extremely well.
We started the new school year off with a 'welcome back' assembly and it was good to see how happy and excited the children were to be back with their friends and teachers.
We look forward to a busy year ahead!
Our amazing children performed
Beauty and The Beast on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th July.
Thank you for coming to watch our production and your feedback.
Here are just some of your comments!
'I loved the show, every child had a part to play and you could really tell they enjoyed doing it. This is such a rewarding experience for the children and parents/ carers alike. The amount of effort everyone puts into making it possible for our children to shine is unbelievable and very much appreciated'
'What an amazing performance! All of the children seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely performing for the parents and carers in the audience. The costumes , scenery and props were spectacular, as was the music and lighting- very professional! The performance was both entertaining and uplifting- proof once again that our children with any type of disability are more than able to put on a memorable show!'
' This years play was the best yet! It was fantastic from start to finish. All of the children were calm and really enjoyed performing. You could see so much hard work had gone into the production through the music, the scenery and the creative way all of the children were involved. It was wonderful to see my son so happy. Well done!'
'Once again Old Park never fail to amaze us. The whole of the school were involved in the play Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't stop smiling and clapping all the way through it. The children, every single one of them, put their hearts and soul into the parts they played. All the teachers were fabulous. I can't wait to see what Old Park have planned for next year.'
'My thoughts are for the children and their effort which was amazing and wonderful and truly touched my heart. Children, you made this performance. Bless all of you, the hard work, the smiling faces, the laughter, you made this happen.'