PUPILS enjoy their schooling at Gilthwaites and their personal development is exemplary.
This was a comment made by Ofsted inspectors in 2002.
We were delighted with these observations as these are things we strive very hard to achieve.
We are very proud of our children who respond enthusiastically to the range of quality learning experiences we offer.
We strive hard to encourage our children to be responsible and to take the initiative. This begins at an early stage when older children volunteer to be `Buddies' to new pupils.
Responsibility and democracy are also exemplified in our School Council.
Members are voted class representatives by their fellow classmates.
Responsibility also extends to care of cloakrooms and behaviour at lunchtimes. Cups are awarded weekly to individuals and to classes.
Each is eagerly sought after and held for a week with pride. Mrs Murphy, our caretaker, and Mrs Marshall, our senior lunchtime supervisor, judge these daily and the results are announced in a weekly assembly.
Alongside children's happiness our staff also strongly encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Our school started the very first `Walking Bus' in Kirklees.
We also hold a `Healthy School Award' which is awarded by Kirklees only when the school can demonstrate it offers a range of healthy activities.
Children are also encouraged to take part in a range of inter-school sports including cross-country running, swimming, football, rounders and dance.
We believe that, a result of our emphasis on happiness and health, the hard work of a team of very committed teachers and other staff and a strong Governing Body, we are a very effective school.
We hold two DFES Achievement Awards recognising our high academic standards. We also hold the Investors In People award, a national award recognising an organisation's commitment to staff development.
In short, we are proud of our school, proud of our achievements and what we stand for, and just as importantly, proud to share some of them with you.
Walking Bus helps keep children healthy
THE Walking Bus was set up in January 2001 for two reasons:
* To keep cars away from the school entrance which can get very congested.
* To promote the idea that walking to school is healthy and fun!
We had seen the publicity about other Walking Buses in other communities in St Albans and West Lothian and saw the potential for a walking bus here in Denby Dale.
We took advice from a Kirklees Road Safety Officer who helped us in doing a risk assessment of the proposed route.
We had a meeting for interested parents and managed to get sufficient volunteers to get it up and `walking' from the Pie Hall to School.
The bus meets in the morning at 6.25am in the Pie Hall car park on the main Wakefield Road.
We rely on parental help to run the bus.
It requires both a "driver" who leads the bus and a "conductor" who keeps an eye on the proceedings from the back.
There are sufficient volunteers to have a rota, but we can always do with extra helpers.
Those children who use the bus find it an enjoyable way of arriving and returning from school.
Ruth Parry, a parent volunteer, who is the regular "bus driver" says: "The benefits are many, the children are not only getting a chance to exercise before concentrating on their classroom work, but are also socialising with their friends and other grown ups as well as saving on bus fares".
The Walking Bus is an example of real team work.
Fruit Stall - By Laura, Aiden, Jessica and Troy, Y5
THE fruit stall is a good way to encourage children to eat their five portions of fruit a day and it makes children of Gilthwaites First School happy and healthy.
Earlier this year we named our fruit stall `Five Alive' and we sell a selection of fruit such as oranges, apples, bananas and raisins, although we do vary the choice throughout the year. Apples are very popular!
We like the responsibility of running the fruit stall and ordering the fruit.
It gives us a lot of experience of running a business and we very much feel part of a team which improves children's lives at Gilthwaites.
Cross Country - By Rachel Taylor and Melissa Glover
THIS half term we have started a new cross country team.
Getting into it was really difficult. We had to run four laps around our school field!
Some of us set off at a very fast pace and had to drop out before the end.
We have been to Flockton, Shepley, Lepton and our home ground of Gilthwaites to race against teams from lots of schools from the local area.
We're really excited before each race as well as nervous. Most of us have been preparing for cross-country by going out running with our families and we need the practise because the courses are very long, but we still get a good place every time.
Classes at work
OUR SCHOOL by Jacob Justice, Y2
OUR school is a peaceful place. Our head teacher is very kind. He makes the school a happy place. The grounds are good They have four snakes, a compass and a road marked out on the playground. There are flowers around our land. Our class is the Terrific Tigers class. We have TT which stands for Terrific Tiger. It is a fantastic class.
OUR HEAD TEACHER by Ellie Jones, Y2
OUR head teacher is funny. I remember when I was in reception he would bring his skeleton out. He used to be funny with his skeleton. He is still funny now. Mr Greenan is always nice to us and he always pulls funny faces at us.
TEAM WORK by Katy Ellis, Y2
AT Gilthwaites each week we have a special award for the `best kept cloakroom'. The whole class has to work as a team to ensure their cloakroom area is left tidy at the end of each school day. This teaches us to be responsible and to take care of our environment. The trophy is given out each Thursday during assembly.
A RECIPE FOR A HAPPY SCHOOL by Year 2 children
TAKE a bunch of cheerful children
Add a handful of caring teachers
And some very patient helpers
Drop in one kind head teacher
Get a bucketful of learning
Pour in a cup of co- operation
Add a jug full of challenges
Stir in a spoonful of responsibilities
Add a pinch of good manners
And a sprinkle of excitement
Mix together gently
Gilthwaites is what you've got.
THE ethos at Gilthwaites First School was very apparent to me from the moment I entered the building for the first time, writes new deputy head teacher Lynn Lawson.
Children are valued, their welfare is central to the school and learning is at its heart. Children, parents, staff and governors have made me feel welcome.