St Lawrence Primary School

Judy Parfitt to celebrate 150 years of Hurst school

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By Mike Thatcher

Hurstpierpoint Society patron, star of Call the Midwife and village resident, Judy Parfiit was recently joined by Year 6 House Captains and other residents in planting a new tree outside St Lawrence School.

Twenty years after opening the school fete with her husband she returned to take part in this ceremony organised by the Hurstpierpoint Society to mark the 150th Anniversary of St Lawrence School. “It is a delight to continue to be involved in village matters, especially here at the school which is so central to our vibrant community, and working with Hurstpierpoint Society to create a new village heritage landmark,” Judy said.

After a short blessing by Rev Will Kemp, Judy took up the spade and completed the planting job at the junction of Cuckfield and Trinity Road. 116 trees have been planted in the village by the Society over the last ten years, including most recently, two in Chestnut Grove, one in Lynton Close, one in Weald Close and one in St Lawrence Way.

Cllr Colin Trumble, Vice Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “I am sure, along with everybody in the village, that we wish our excellent St Lawrence School a very happy 150th birthday. It will be great to see once more a tree growing next to the school, replacing the much loved horse chestnut that we lost a few years ago. This is a welcome example of the continuing success of Hurstpierpoint Society’s Tree Scheme.”

The ceremony was preceded by a robust Q&A session with Judy and the Year 6 pupils. Any fears that there would be no questions were soon dispelled as a sea of hands appeared and remained in the air all through the session. Judy gave them tips for acting, lessons for life and told them many stories from her varied career. Where mentions of Olivier, O’Toole and Hopkins were met with quiet respect, being told her favourite singers were Rag’n’Bone Man, Adele and Robbie Williams were greeted with gasps of approval.

The questions ranged from either her involvement in Call the Midwife and acting to questions starting ‘What is your favourite…?’ or to the somewhat leftfield. ‘Who is your least favourite cameraman?’. She finished with some welcome tips for those who had solo parts in the upcoming Robin Hood production, which were appreciated by her young audience.

Membership forms for The Hurstpierpoint Society can be collected from Columbines in the High Street or email: hurstsociety @gmail.com.

St Lawrence School youngsters compete with Lego

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By George Harry-Berry, Year 6

On Friday 11th January a group of Year 6 pupils from St Lawrence Primary School took part in an FLL Lego Competition held at Sofitel Hotel, Gatwick Airport. FLL stands for First Lego League, and this year’s theme was hydrodynamics. 

Members of Lego Club, Bruno Benjamin, Archie Smith, Joshua Berman, George Harry-Berry, Hugo Stillwell, Oscar Harman, Leo Harris and Bea West, took part in a variety of missions where they programmed their robot to move in different directions and take part in a variety of missions.

The robot took weeks to build, and during the competition the pupils learnt more about programming and team work, and had a fascinating insight into the world of engineerring.

West Sussex County Council changes to school place applications

West Sussex County Council are urging parents to make sure they’ve done their homework when submitting school place applications.

Recent changes mean that schools will no longer send out reminder letters and so it falls to parents to ensure that applications are submitted on time.

If your child’s date of birth is between 1st September 2012 and 31st August 2013, it’s now time to apply for a school place. This can be done online at the website www.westsussex.gov.uk/admissions. If access to the internet is a problem, free access to apply is available at all West Sussex libraries and Children Family Centres.

This is the preferred method as the website provides the required information for completing an application, including details of all schools in West Sussex, the criteria for each and the relevant catchment area. Alternatively, a paper application form can be obtained by calling 03330 142 903.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 15th January 2017 and if received on time will take priority over those that are late. Online applications can be made from 3rd October. Contact should be made to schools directly for prospectuses and details of open events. 

School expansion complete - St Lawrence Primary School

In response to the increase in numbers of young children in Hurstpierpoint, the decision was taken to increase the annual intake of pupils from 60 to 90 from September 2012 onwards. Temporary changes were made to accommodation to take the enlarged cohorts in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Finally, in June this year, the building development to enable St Lawrence to increase to 630 pupils was completed.
     On 4th June, the Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner, in company with Nick Herbert MP, officially opened the new buildings. The school now has six new classrooms, a library and a second hall as well as a new entrance and office space. The playing field and play areas have not only been preserved but have seen the addition of an all-weather pitch.
     Head Teacher Paul Dyer said: “This has been a huge and complex project but the outcome for the children and families of Hurstpierpoint is outstanding.” Mr Dyer expressed his thanks to the community, especially new neighbours, for their understanding during almost two years of contractors‘ traffic in and out of the school. “Hurstpierpoint has wonderful children who daily display a love of learning and care for each other. They have the facilities they deserve,” he added. 
     The school is now seeking to raise funds to cover its swimming pool to enable pupils to swim all the year round.

See full article and all pictures on pages 10/11.