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Primary school plans for St Michael’s School, Aylsham, approved

St Michael’s School in Aylsham has had its plans to take pupils until the age of 11 approved.
The transition to admit pupils from four up to the age of 11 years, will start from September 1, 2018, to become an all-through primary school. The first year’s admission number will be 20 pupils in Year 3, with a reduced intake in reception. The nursery provision will remain unchanged.
Head Catherine McMahon said: “At last our dream of being an all-through primary school has become a reality. In September 2018 we will take in our first Year 3s and begin the transformation of this wonderful school. The future looks bright for both the school and for Aylsham parents and children who deserve real educational choice.”
The decision was made by the executive director of children’s services on December 12.
Catherine added: “We are simply delighted and would like to extend our huge thanks to all who helped make this possible.”
The aim is that the school will grow gradually to give everyone time to get used to the changes. The new class will initially be housed in a temporary classroom while a new classbase is built and modifications are made to the dining hall and kitchen.
A traffic strategy is being put in place to encourage people to park in the town car parks when dropping off and walking their children to the school.
Office manager Fiona Tibbitt said the school was redoubling its efforts to encourage parents to walk their children to school, and pointed out that at present, many people feel they have to drive because they are rushing between two schools. The school day will also be extended when a breakfast and tea club are established and this should relieve congestion at busy times.
The school is currently advertising for an experienced and Key Stage 2 teacher. It currently takes up to 108 pupils, which will go up to 140 over the next four years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pupils making laterns for Christmas

 

Sickness bug strikes Aylsham school

Last Friday (December 1) 50 of John of Gaunt’s 120 pupils were off sick with the bug and the school’s Christmas fair was cancelled, according to head teacher Clare Toplis (pictured).
A cleaning team from Aylsham High School had given John of Gaunt “an extra clean” and the school was running normally, according to Mrs Toplis.
She said the school had remained open throughout. The fair has been rescheduled for next Friday, December 15, from 3pm-5pm.

 

 

National Trust says thank you to National Lottery players

The National Trust is opening its gardens at Blickling Estate for free to National Lottery players on Wednesday, December 13, as a thank you to people who have raised money for its conservation work by buying a Lottery ticket.

National Trust places throughout the East of England have benefited from support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, meaning vital conservation projects and work to improve how we tell the stories of these special places can be completed.

Jo Bosch, marketing and visitor manager at Blickling. said: “Without grant support like this, we wouldn’t have been able to undertake some of our most important and innovative conservation work. Grant income, as well as help from members, supporters and volunteers allows us to look after special places for ever, for everyone. This is a small gesture of our thanks to National Lottery players.

Ros Kerslake, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “December is a wonderful time to experience the UK’s rich, diverse and exciting heritage, which has been transformed by more than £7bn National Lottery funding since 1994.  This is a small gesture of thanks and a way of giving something back to the people who buy tickets.”

Any visitor who presents a National Lottery ticket or scratch card on December 13 will be admitted for free to participating National Trust places. Full terms and conditions, including the sites participating, can be found on the National Trust website.

This offer is part of a National Lottery celebration where a host of organisations which have benefited from Heritage Lottery funding offer free access, special offers or activities to say thank you.

 

 

Aylsham is ready to light up

Aylsham is gearing up for its festive lights switch on this Friday.

The fun starts at 5.30pm when a procession will leave leave St Michael’s School and choral group Vocalites will perform in the Market Place. The main event is at 6pm, when the lights will add sparkle to the town centre, followed by a performance at 6.05pm by Sutton School of Dance. Santa will be in Eclipse hair studio from around 6.15pm and the Bure Valley School Choir will be performing in the Market Place at 6.20pm, followed by a second show by Sutton School of Dance. There’s then the chance to hear local band Agent Orange from 7pm.

There will be the Christmas Tree Festival in the church with the Town Band playing and stalls plus refreshments by the WI and a children’s workshop in the Town Hall. There will also be stalls plus the Salvation Army Band in Red Lion Street, plus the shops will be open late. The Market Place will also have fairground rides and stalls.

There’s food in the Market Place including Coxfords barbecue, Broadside Pizza, The Almond Kitchen, Raj from the Farmers Market with Indian food, Whites barbecue, hot chocolate/coffee and the Black Boys and the Unicorn will be open, as will Piggy’s and the Old Tea Rooms.

All timings are approximate.

Lions and Tigers aboard RNLI Sheringham Lifeboat

British Lions, England and Leicester Tigers brothers Tom and Ben Youngs have been made honorary members of RNLI Sheringham’s Lifeboat Crew.

Branch chairman Phil Hawes explains: ‘Tom and Ben grew up in North Norfolk and spent their summers on the beach at Sheringham. They’ve grown into exceptional men who through their sport display brilliantly all the qualities we look for in our lifeboat crew – dedicated, hard-working team players who daily strive to be the very best in a physically and mentally tough environment. However it is not only their skills and achievements that impress, it is their humility, honesty and integrity; the way they carry themselves, deal with life’s challenges and treat others. Tom and Ben are tremendous role models and we want to recognise that.”

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Sheringham RNLI. Phil said: “We are an incredibly proud community and have been celebrating our heritage and those who have gone before us. Never before has anyone been offered honorary membership of the Sheringham Lifeboat Crew. We are delighted both Tom and Ben have accepted.”

The RNLI exists to save lives from drowning. Not only are the Sheringham crew, and station on alert every day of the year to launch the lifeboat but in the last year, through visits, the organisation has educated more than 1,000 young people on how to stay safe by the sea and in the water.

The autumn is a busy time for the Youngs boys. Tom is captain of Leicester Tigers leading them in the RFU Premiership and European competitions and Ben, in addition to these, is in the England squad for the autumn internationals.

Travel agents launch fifth annual gift appeal in aid of Break charity

Hays Travel, in Aylsham and Sheringham, has launched its fifth annual Santa’s Sleigh appeal to spread cheer and change the lives of vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.

The team is asking people to pop into either branch and donate new, unwrapped items such as toys, gift sets, toiletries, household goods, stationery items or books in aid of the children and families that Norfolk-based charity Break supports throughout East Anglia.

Break supports young people in care, children with disabilities and families who need support, helping them through difficult times and securing a brighter future.

Branch manager of Hays Travel Aylsham (former CAS Travel) and initiator of the appeal Jo Dobbie said: “I like to be involved with the local community and there is nothing better than supporting a local charity especially in the festive season. I absolutely love Break’s ethos and this is a great opportunity for us to show support.

“I initially started Santa’s Sleigh at the Aylsham branch, and then got Sheringham on board with it too. It created bigger awareness for ourselves and for the appeal and we’re pleased to say they will be joining us again this year.”

Danielle Gravestock, senior fundraising officer for Break, said: “We can’t thank Hays Travel enough for the support they give us each year by organising their Santa’s Sleigh appeal.  We are very grateful to all their staff for organising the appeal and everyone who is contributing goods to support it. These gifts really do make a difference to the children and young people we support.”

Santa’s Sleigh started on Saturday and will run for four consecutive weeks until December 9.

Pictured are branch manager Jo Dobbie, Sam Antoniades-Cork, Mark Heffer and Karen Ashford.

 

One-off chance to cycle un-opened NDR

For one day only, cyclists are being invited to explore the westernmost sections of the A1270 Norwich Northern Distributor Road before they are opened to traffic.

The new dual carriageway is nearing completion between the A1067 Fakenham Road and the Drayton Lane roundabout, and these stretches will be open to cyclists from 10am to 4pm on Sunday  October 29 as part of the Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival. These sections of road, and Drayton Lane to A140 Cromer Road, are expected to be opened to traffic in November, provided good progress is maintained on the major A1270/A140 junction.

Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said: “We are very pleased to give local people a chance to see the road before it’s open to general traffic, and to explore the new cycle-ways and links to Marriott’s Way and communities such as Horsford and Thorpe Marriott.

“This will be a one-off opportunity to ride on a traffic-free main carriageway, but maintaining and improving permanent cycle links is an essential part of the project. Once the whole NDR is finished, it will still be possible to use new and existing paths and quiet lanes to get from Fakenham Road to Postwick without setting foot or bicycle wheel on the road itself.”

Volunteers from main contractor Balfour Beatty, and from Norfolk County Council’s NDR and  ‘Pushing Ahead’  teams will be joined by others to provide supervision at key locations, including the Fir Covert Road and Reepham Road roundabouts, where cyclists will have to crossing live traffic.

John Birchall, NDR public liaison officer, said there had been many requests to run or cycle on the main carriageway before it opens to vehicles. “The 29th is primarily a family cycling event, and explorers will be able to decide for themselves how much of the three miles of dual carriageway or connected paths they ride. We are aiming to focus on runners when the last sections of the route, north of Postwick, are nearing completion next spring.”

Access on and off the NDR itself will be at the Fakenham Road, Fir Covert Road, Reepham Road and Drayton Lane roundabouts, but people coming from further afield will be able to park at the site compound off New Drayton Lane (NR10 3AN). Marriott’s Way also connects to the new cycle paths along the NDR, but is less suitable for road bikes. A leaflet and plan can be downloaded from the Pushing Ahead website.

 Photo: Pashley

 

Youngsters take on new show for latest performance

Talented youngsters will be taking on a new show when Norfolk Youth Music Theatre stages its latest production.
Director Adrian ConnelI was recently tipped off about a show, The Battle of the Boat, that had just been written and was yet unpublished. It had some performances by the National YMT at the Rose Theatre in London to trial it.
He said: “After contacting Ethan Maltby, the composer, to discuss performing the show I realised we had both gone to the same school and Ethan grew up three miles from where I did. It also turned out that I had been his chaperone in Edinburgh in the 1980s when he was a 16-year-old percussionist in the National YMT playing for Whistle Down the Wind. I knew his mother and a trombonist who regularly plays for the Norfolk YMT had played for the Rose Theatre production of The Battle of Boat.”
(The cast includes Aylsham High student Eleanor Diss, from Briggate, Isobel Holroyd, from Aldborough, Megan Howlett, from North Walsham and Mabel White, Aylsham.)
The Battle of Boat is a courageous tale of a group of children trying to find their place in a world at war in 1916. Frustrated by their inability to join the soldiers in battle, the children decide to do whatever it takes to help in the war effort.
However, they soon have to tackle their own conflict in the form of a local gang of bullies who will stop at nothing to see every plan they form fail.
Adrian said: “It’s heartwarming, funny, emotional and exciting and a true celebration of the steadfast British spirit that shone through during WW1.”
The script uses the language and emotions that young children use, particularly from the wartime era. It’s deliberately simple and littered with the nonsense youngsters get up to. Despite its innocence the music is extremely difficult.
Maltby and co-writer Jenna Donnelly began their writing partnership in 2010 with a commissioned piece for the opening of the Kent Youth Games. They went on to write the percussion-musical DrumChasers in 2011, narrated by Stephen Fry.
The show will run November 1-4 at the Maddermarket Theatre, Norwich, 7.30pm nightly, with a 2.30pm matinee on the Saturday. Tickets are £12, concessions available.
Norfolk YMT is taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018.