News

May 5 2017

Charitable Services Day at Durham High School for Girls »

Photos from the event:

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: School Events

Apr 5 2017

Charitable Services Sports Challenge »

Today all of the children in Reception to Year 5 took part in our Charitable Services themed sports challenge.  This was a sponsored event to raise money for a range of Charitable and Voluntary Services in our local area.  Our PE apprentice, Mr Davison, worked with Mr Handy and Ms Wilson to organise this event and it was a fantastic day that was enjoyed by all who took part.  We hope that it will be a successful fundraising venture!  We will ensure that the total raised is posted after the Easter Holiday.

Click here to view Dunelm Class’ photo-video of the event.

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: School Events

Mar 3 2017

World Book Day »

Thursday 2nd March 2017 was World Book Day.  The staff and children came dressed as some fantastic characters.  We enjoyed a morning of sharing our favourite books and talking about authors.  In the afternoon we changed from our costumes into our PE kits for the Zambia Fun Run!


Elvet Class


Dunelm Class

Some of the staff!

 

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: School Events

Feb 6 2017

Memories of St Oswald's School »

Margaret Adams from the ‘Tuesday Club’ has written this article for the Parish magazine.  It is a delightful recount of St Oswald’s School in the past.

 

For me one of the highlights of Christmas this year was attending the Tuesday Team’s Christmas Coffee Morning in December. Listening to the children from St Oswald’s School who came to sing to us so beautifully, I was transported back to the time when I myself started School in St Oswald’s infants class.

 

It was the middle of a very deep winter and we had just moved into a new council house near the school lane end. It was very cold, and the only means of heating was a coal fire which let most of the heat go up the chimney.

 

Home and school had been challenging till then as one of our family members had serious mobility issues. Mr Wilson was the head teacher then and immediately made provision for us as a family, and this seemed to transform everything in all our lives. He was a very compassionate person who believed in bringing music into children’s lives. He seemed to know that this could be a pathway to healing and wholeness. Mrs Bell was the infant teacher then, a very caring and motherly person.

 

Every morning our assemblies were accompanied with music, piano, and singing of hymns. We were told to stand tall and breathe well, NO SITTING DOWN ON THE FLOOR. If Mr Wilson thought we weren’t up to scratch, then it was back to the hall before hometime to get it right.

 

For me this was great because I have always liked music, and the focus here was not all about tests and written work, even though these happened as well.

 

We had a Mrs Wilson who was the county music adviser for schools and she developed the idea of school orchestras. We had violin and recorder lessons all within school time. If parents could not afford instruments then they could be loaned from the school for those who were interested. It seemed that even the poorest families were not left out.

 

We did country dancing with the boys, who would rather have been  out playing football or getting mud everywhere. This was done with music from a wind-up gramophone. We were taught English folk songs such as ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘Early one morning’ and many more. Although we weren’t aware then of composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams or Cecil Sharpe they had their influence on our lives.

 

We played skipping games at playtime to songs that rhymed to the turning of the rope (boys seemed to prefer marbles), and often the singing would continue en route to the classroom where it had to stop. Mr Wilson often whistled his way round the school so we always knew where he was. If he arrived quietly then we knew it was time to be quiet.

 

In every class we were read to before hometime. One story was Edmond de Amicis, From the Apennines to the Andes, which we enjoyed a chapter a day, and was about an Italian boy whose mother leaves home in search of work to support her family. Not hearing anything for months he sets out from his village to travel to the Andes where she was headed. His journey is fraught with danger and dead ends. He eventually finds his mother who is ill but is overjoyed to see her son.

 

I also remember a student teacher from St Bede’s College who told us about the journeys of St Paul using a lot of maps and diagrams of the Mediterranean.

 

Boys and girls were sometimes taught separately for things like football and needlework and knitting of small things like winter mittens. Back then we were taught to be creative and clothing had to be recycled in families and neighbours as we emerged from the war. All our food was rationed up till 1954. There were hot dinners cooked in the school kitchen and this must have been a lifeline to some of the larger families during the food rationing period. It was comforting to smell food cooking when playtime came around although in my family we were able to go home for our meal. A vegetable garden was made at the side of the playground for children to be involved in.

 

The classrooms were heated individually by large coke-fired stoves which were constantly refuelled by Mr Gleason who seemed to be always carrying two hods of coal around the school to keep all the individual stoves well fuelled and the classrooms warm. Although the classroom stoves were guarded, no-one ever got burnt; we knew not to get too near, as all of us had coal fires at home and this was never an issue. The children’s “loos” were across the schoolyard and had to be heated by oil stoves to prevent them freezing in winter.

 

We were given responsibilities for helping other children who might be finding school life difficult. Older children were given tasks like filling ink wells or ringing the school bell for playtime and hometime. Pencils also had to be sharpened everyday as there were no biros.

When children are given a measured amount of responsibility we are giving them trust and a feeling of self-worth, and that all-important sense of belonging to the place they are in.

 

There were many situations where children who found school life difficult were given opportunities to concentrate on things they were good at. But, yes, we did do academic work also. We were given tests in mental arithmetic every term; we also had to learn tables by heart and some poetry. I can remember a time when home and school seemed like one and the same thing. Mother kept in touch with the teachers. St Oswald’s was the school that she and her brothers and sister had also attended as children.

 

Margaret Adams

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: Newsletter

Jan 21 2017

Swimming Gala Report »

Introduction

The Gala is a swimming competition for primary schools that’s at Freeman’s Quay.  This was on 11th January 2017 on a Wednesday. That Monday Neville Class went swimming and Mr Handy was choosing some people to go to the Gala.  On Wednesday we went to lunch early and we left at twelve.  We caught the Park and Ride bus and got to Freeman’s Quay.  Then we got changed and went to the swimming pool.

Individual Races

First it was the back stroke Year 5 and 6 girls, then the back stroke Year 5 and 6 boys, then Year 3 and 4 girls and Year 3 and 4 boys.  Then it happened again with breast stroke and free style.  We were in lane 5 in heat one for each event.

Relay Races

In the relay races we were still in lane 5 and there would be 4 people in the relay race, 2 people on one side and the other people on the other side.  One person would slide in and when the man blew the whistle all the number ones in the pool would swim free style to the other end.  The person at the other end would slide in and when the person swimming touches the wall the person who has just slid in would swim free style to the other end and it would go on and on until the 4th person has finished the length.  This race was Year 5 and 6 then Year 3 and 4.

Conclusion

At first all of us were nervous but actually after our first race we all weren’t any more.  “It was actually fun!” Grace announced after her first race.  It turned out that out of 17 schools we were joint 6th.  We can’t wait until next year!

 

By Andrew, Ava, Gaby and Tatiana

 

A Note from Mr Handy

I would like to say what a pleasure it was to take these children to the event.  They tried their hardest and, despite their nerves, did extremely well.  Many of the children were third in their races, a few were 2nd and Andrew finished 1st in his race.  Well done to all of you, you were a credit to our school.

The full team for the Gala was:
Y5: Ava, Grace, Tatiana, James, Jonas, Josh, Patrick
Y4: Charlotte B, Gaby, Katie, Andrew, Hector, Tanish.

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: Kingsgate, School Events

Nov 13 2016

Remembrance Day »

All pupils attended a special Remembrance Day assembly and members of Kingsgate Class laid a poppy wreath at the monument.

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: Kingsgate, School Events

Sep 21 2016

Jul 4 2016

School Fair 2016 »

Thank you to all of the Friends of St Oswald’s School and staff for arranging our school fair.  Thank you to EVERYONE who attended.  The total raised is £995.39.

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: Friends, School Events

Jul 4 2016

Message from our neighbourhood policing team »

Durham Neighbourhood Policing Team are carrying out a community engagement exercise (Bear on Tour Roadshow) on Monday 11th July 2016 from 4pm – 5pm with the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band (Durham Brass 2016) assisting us to deliver key safety messages in St Oswald’s School and also the park (we’ll also be using St Oswald’s Institute if the weather not so good).  This is a very exciting and rare educational opportunity so please do come along and enjoy.

 

Please see below link for your perusal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrNcGPj9x-Q

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: School Events

May 27 2016

Bike Day »

We have enjoyed an excellent bike day!

Click here to see Dunelm Class’ Bike Safety Posters

Posted by: Ms Wilson Categories: Dunelm Class, School Events