Liz Bannister (Pearce) is retiring

News travels fast in the Cotswolds and I expect that many of you areaware that I am retiring at the end of the summer term, having spent 40happy years in the teaching profession, the last 8 of which I have hadthe privilege to be head of, initially the village school in GreatRissington and now The Rissington School. In my letter to the parents,which announced my retirement, I described how fortunate I have beento have thoroughly enjoyed my chosen career and how blessed I am to be ending my long career in such a wonderful part of the country. The Governing Body has nowcompleted the process of recruiting a new headteacher and I am delighted to inform you that MrsSue Dawe has been appointed to the position. Mrs Dawe has been Head Teacher at Finstock CEPrimary School for the past 3 years. During this time she has grown the school population from59 to 92 on roll and has opened an Early Years unit. Prior to that, she was at Wychwood CEPrimary School for 11 years including the last 2 years as Deputy Head. Mrs Dawe will bespending time with us during the Summer Term and we will arrange opportunities for parents tomeet her. As for me, I shall be continuing in post as normal, until the day that I leave on 21st July2017.

And now to the important business of school news. We made an exciting start to the new term.The children in the reception class, Hawk, are finding out about astronauts and rockets in theirtopic, “Space”. The 6 and 7 year olds in Vulcan on the Great Rissington site (GR) and in Spitfireon the Upper Rissington site (UR) are studying modern and traditional tales in “Once Upon aTime”. The children in Phantom (GR) and Hercules (UR) are studying “Famous Inventors” andhave been on a trip to Swindon Steam Museum. Finally our oldest children in Tornado (GR) andHarrier (GR) are learning all about “The Blue Planet” in an environmental project. More detailsabout the curriculum can be found on our website (www.therissingtonschool.webs.com). We mustnot forget our pre-school group “Little Rascal”, which continues to thrive under the guidance ofplay-leaders Sarah Jones and Laura Swales, and Abi Rose, our Reception teacher and EarlyYears leader at the school. We are still working hard to get some purpose-built accommodation forLittle Rascal and continue to liaise with the local authority and councillors on this matter.Understandably, this beautiful area is very popular with young families wanting to move to theCotswolds, so the school itself is now full in some year groups; there is certainly a need for thoseadditional classrooms to be built!

The anniversary of the birth of the poet Robert Burns was celebrated in school on 25th Jan. Thechildren in KS2 learnt some of Burns’ poems as well as some traditional Scottish country dances.The younger children learnt about the Chinese culture in our celebration of the Chinese New Yearof the Rooster. We ate a Chinese-style school lunch and held a lantern parade. Assistantheadteacher, Lisa Loxton, organised a second visit to the NEC for the choir to take part in theYoung Voices concert. It was an amazing experience for the children, who learnt songs whichthey performed with around 5000 other children, to make one mass choir. We have alreadybooked for next year!

Finally, I must mention sport, which continues to thrive in the school through the excellentcoaching skills of Jacqueline Gabriel. Our indoor athletics team are champions of The Cotswolds.Our brilliant gymnasts, young children of just 7 and 8, competed against fierce opposition tobecome North Cotswold Champions. In addition to the gold medals won by the team, Tilly won thegold medal for individual competition and Ava won silver. Your children are stars!

With best wishes from the recently married Liz Pearce (formerly Bannister)