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Collaboration with Farnham and Rickling

April 2024 Collaboration Update

Three small schools working together to enhance the provision for our children.

It doesn’t seem possible that already we are well into the second year of our collaboration with the Federation of Farnham and Rickling Primary Schools.  We have had many highlights - some of which have been captured in this update ...     

Expand each section below to find out more.

  • Pupils

    Having experimented with live class collaborating sessions via Zoom, it was decided that as a result of technical hitches, that we move to sharing class updates with each other via recorded videos.  These have been great to watch and a wonderful showcase of what children across the collaboration are learning.  It is hoped that not only will these videos support in helping the children to get to know each other, they will also spark interests in areas of learning that children might not have touched on and enrich what they already know. 

    Another highlight last year, was our trip to the Houses of Parliament with the Courageous Advocates from all three schools and our Chair of Governors.  This was a lovely opportunity for the children to get to know each other.      

    On another occasion, later in the year, the Advocates got together for an afternoon workshop at Rickling Primary School.  Throughout this time, children brainstormed ideas about how they could organise and lead different community events. These will be further explored this year.

    In the Summer Term, Richard, a governor at Farnham and Rickling and one of the organisers of Run Fest visited all three schools and along with talking about the event, asked children at each school to design the 1K, 5K and 10K medals.  It was very special for Chrishall, for the first time to be involved with the race and it is hoped that for this year’s Run Fest, we will be able to get even more children from the three schools racing.  Some members of the PTA (FOCS) at Chrishall went along to the event and met with some of the team from Rickling’s PTA to find out more about how to host a Run Fest. 

    Over the last two terms, children from Rickling and Farnham have joined with Chrishall for hockey training at JFAN every Friday.  Training sessions have been led by Andy and Judy (parents and hockey coaches from Chrishall) and supported by JFAN students. Throughout last term, children had matches against other schools. 

    In the Autumn Term, our year three and four girls from Chrishall and Rickling joined forces for the girls’ football tournament. In between training, the children had a chance to chat and find out about each other.  

    At our recent Easter Services, it was lovely to have Courageous Advocates from the other schools attend to do readings and prayers.  Reception and Key Stage One children from all three schools loved coming together for the Rickling dance festival last term.    

  • Staff

    For our senior leadership team, we have met every Monday evening since the start of the collaboration and have worked collaboratively on our School Development Plan and have been able to magpie activities/initiatives from each other schools, as well as share and develop ideas.

    Mrs Thurgood Buss, our office manager at Chrishall meets regularly with the admin staff at Farnham and Rickling and together they discuss and share practice and procedures.  With some office staff being new to their office roles, it has been really useful for them to draw on Mrs Thurgood Buss's  experience and expertise.

    Mrs Dyer, our SIAMS and RE lead at Chrishall has been working with Mrs Snelling, the lead at Farnham and Rickling and it has been useful for them to share what each school does, especially in relation to the Courageous Advocacy and Christian Aid work.                               

    Mrs Stratton, our SENCO at Chrishall and Ms Woods, the SENCO at Farnham and Rickling have also worked together to share practice, policies, procedures and resources and just last week I joined them for a SEND meeting with the Local Authority at which we discussed and planned collaborative training sessions for all three schools.  This academic year, all three schools have been taking part in the subject lead programme through the Uttlesford Partnership and will have been attending the writing moderations hosted at Elsenham.  Mrs Stratton has also been leading regular training sessions with Teaching Assistants from all three schools.                   

    We have termly collaborative staff meetings at which we share and celebrate teaching successes.  At a recent meeting, we built on our metacognitive work in the classroom. In addition to the termly meetings, staff often come together for virtual staff meetings throughout the term.

  • Governors

    Whilst the Chair of Governors from Chrishall and the Federation meet regularly with the Executive Headteacher and termly with the Senior Leadership Team to review Collaboration Action Plan, governors also meet and are currently exploring ways that they can work together.  At the Federation's last Full Governing Body Meeting, Joanna one of our Co-Chair of Governors came along to share her experience of an Ofsted Inspection from a governor's perspective.

  • Summer Term

    At all three schools, we are passionate about our outdoor learning and we are looking forward to coming together at the end of the Summer Term on our Inset Day for some 'Muddy Puddle' outdoor learning.  Before this, year five and six children will be going on their residential trip together.

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