Star of the Week

Friday 26th March 2021

This week our stars are….

In Ash class Millie for doing some super writing and working really hard even when finding work tricky.

In Oak class Adelaide for a fantastic piece of literacy work and always being kind and helpful.

In Chestnut class Ivy for engaging extremely well during our home learning week. Thank you for participating in every zoom, asking questions when you are unsure, correcting all your mistakes and putting in 100% effort. 

In Birch class Joshua E for working really hard with all of his home learning and completing it to a very high standard. Well done Joshua! 

In Beech class Isla-Rose for the creative and brilliant ideas she provides in class and her amazing attitude to all of school life.

In Willow class Finley D for your outstanding recount of Road’s End. Your vocabulary and your sentence structure blew me away.

In Rowan class Ashton for being hard working all of the time. You are a star!

In Lime class Mackenzie for being such a bright and cheerful member of the class who always gives everything a go.

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Star of the Week

Friday 19th March 2021

This week our stars are….

In Ash class Ava A for super attitude and being helpful to others.

In Oak class Ava W for being kind and caring and totally awesome!

In Willow class Isla for making huge improvements and effort in all of school life.

In Beech class Harry H for his outstanding attitude and effort in all of school life.

In Rowan class Matthew C for fantastic effort in Literacy.

In Lime class Aimee for your exceptional effort across all subjects this week, as well as being a kind and caring member of Lime Class.

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Star of the Week

Friday 12 March 2021

This week our stars are….

In Ash class Blake for trying really hard with his handwriting and a great attitude towards his work.

In Oak class Harley for having a fantastic attitude to learning all week and working incredibly hard in every lesson – keep it up Harley we are proud of you!

In Chestnut class Jake for getting involved in classroom discussions, completing your work in the given time and working incredibly hard to improve your reading skills! Keep up the great work J

In Birch class Joshua E for having a fantastic first week back and trying really hard with all of his learning, particularly our perimeter problems.

In Willow class Eve–Frances for being kind, caring and helpful. You are an amazing role model!

In Beech class the whole of Beech class for an amazing first week back.

In Rowan class Charlie F for a fantastic start to the new term and putting in lots of effort in every lesson.

In Lime class Tyreece for returning to school with an enthusiastic and positive mindset.

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Ash Class Wave 👋

Together in Ash class we are sending out a wave to our friends, community and anyone else during these difficult times as a way of spreading positivity and to let everyone know that we are thinking of them!

Stay happy and remember how amazing you are, everything is better with a smile on our face!

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Marathon Madness!

I am ecstatic to announce that a member of Chestnut class has ran a marathon in 25 days. Seb set himself a challenge at the beginning of January to run a 20 miles, but has exceeded his challenge and has managed to run a marathon, which is 26.2 miles, in 25 days. He smashed his first challenge, and has set himself another challenge – 50k in February. He said “I am so pleased I went beyond my original target of 20 miles and managed a marathon. I am now ready for my next challenge.” A huge well done from all of Chestnut class, and best of luck with your next challenge! 😄💪

If you have taken up a new hobby during lockdown, post a picture to seesaw and let your teacher know so they can celebrate your big wins! 😁👏

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Welcome to potions school🔮

Today was a little bit different as we were celebrating Writing Day!✍🏼 We began the morning decoding a message which revealed the message “welcome to potions school.” We then looked at ingredients we could put in our magical potions such as 5 roasted eyeballs, the claw of a dragon, a sprinkle of unicorn fur and even 3 frogs tongues! Soon after we made our magical potions and wrote up a recipe and a set of instructions for our potions. Then, after lunch we created packaging for our own potions. So keep your eyes peeled, you never know if they might be coming to a store near you!👀🍵

Mr Hall

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Spring has sprung!

We spent Friday afternoon looking for evidence that spring is springing all around us. We found buds, early flowers, evidence of birds building nests and lots more.

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Archeological digging

Maya, Billy, Ben, Luke, Rio and Dylan have been hard at work investigating the school grounds. Look at all the strange objects they have unearthed. They are wondering what connections these objects have with Stanton Ironworks and the old hospital that used to be just next door to or site. What do you think? 

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Part 3 Victorian era

The Victorian head teacher at Hallam Fields in the 1880s faced very different challenges to today. Despite the school being such an integral part of the Stanton community, the headmaster, Mr Pullen, was often unaware of things that today would be easy to notice.  For example, after the Christmas holidays in January of 1881 the headmaster recorded ‘small attendance.’  There were also ‘many applications received daily for leaving school at 11:30,’ but it is unclear from the school logs who it was making the applications.

In order to improve things the managers of the school advised the head to ‘revise the time table and give Religious Instruction’ between 11:30 and 12:00.  Again it is unclear why this would have improved attendance!  There were severe snow storms at the time and he complains about the cold and there being ‘only one fire in the room,’ which may well have affected attendance. Yet it was only after four weeks of low attendance and bad weather that the head finally ventured out and discovered that ‘measles and whooping cough is very prevalent in the neighbourhood.’  How did he not know that?


This particular head teacher had tended his resignation by May 25th 1881 and a new head, James Siggens arrived.  He makes notes in the logs about poor attendance and the ‘wretched state’ of some of the classes and set about making improvements.  However, by October 28th he was again lacking in local knowledge and discovered that very low attendance was due to the Ilkeston Fair!  Happily he recommended that ‘for the future it will be advisable to give a holiday’ when Ilkeston Fair came.  (Somehow along the way we seem to have lost that one!)


The school does not appear to have been easy to manage.  Low attendance, illness and the poor state of the buildings due to the closeness to the Ironworks all took their toll.  The School Board visited regularly and took lists of absentees.  The Reverend G Oliver made regular visits and would check up on various subjects not just Religious Scripture.  Even Mr George Crompton Esq or Mr James Crompton Esq would visit from time to time to see how their school was doing.*


James William Siggens continued as head teacher alongside Ada Cooper who was mistress of the Infant School, Mary Norbury the Assistant Mistress and three pupil teachers, Emily Mitchell, Gertrude Pounder and Joseph Frost. A small staff for a school with an average attendance of by now over 135 pupils.  This was not uncommon in Victorian schools.  In fact they were over-crowded, drab, regimented and run by very strict characters.


The pay was poor so the job was usually taken by unmarried women as they were not allowed to work once they wed, so we can assume that Ada Cooper and Mary Norbury were known as ‘Miss’.  This is probably why we still get called ‘Miss’ today, wedding ring or not!  The pupil teachers at the school were bright students who stayed on to learn as kind of apprentices.  The head taught them something the day before and they would teach the class the following day.  However, according to the logs it would seem that Joseph found ‘the correct method for teaching verbs’ a bit beyond him!

Emily Mitchell was allowed to stay on as a pupil teacher by her father, but when her brother George had previously tried his father had stepped in with ‘his characteristic intolerance’ and insisted that ‘the boy has gone to work’ in a local shop to earn money for the family.   This probably tells us quite a lot about the local opinion of this new thing called Education in Victorian Stanton.

* George and James Crompton were the sons of Samuel Crompton; they owned the Stanton Ironworks. The Crompton’s are often mentioned in the logs, but whether it was their duty to visit or whether they had a genuine interest in the school is uncertain.

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Part 2 The Early Days

Hallam Fields school was purpose built and opened on May 30th 1879.  By July 11th 1879 there were already 124 children enrolled at the school.  It was called the Stanton Ironworks Company’s School.  The first head teacher was called Fred H Fisher and this is his first entry:


By November the 8th in 1879, the head-teacher Mr Fisher became ill and charge of the school eventually fell to a Mr Pullen. By April 30th 1880, the elder boys had begun their own cricket club.  The day to day running  of the school was very different from today.  The clergy from St Bartholomew’s church regularly visited the school to examine scriptures lessons.    The daily timetable included scripture, drill, needlework,  geography, vocal music, reading and maths.  Life outside school was still hard and closely connected to the Stanton Ironworks.  When a young student called Pearson was hit on his way to school by a ‘working youth,’ the matter was handed over to the school managers who were also part of the Ironworks.  The school registers were regularly inspected and percentage for attendance worked out by ‘George Oliver, correspondent.’  Attendance was poor and sadly children were often absent due to illness such as scarlet fever and mumps.


The school’s first ever inspection (see above) tells us that the discipline and order was fair but that the children were ‘backwards,’ especially in arithmetic. It goes on to raise concerns about the girls and boys toilets being too close together and suggested that they should be approached separately!  The report also talks of overcrowding in the classrooms and recommended immediate building work.  Worse, it then threatened to pull future funding or grants for the school, if building work  did not happen.


So in 1880 a new separate building  was built and opened on the same site.  The infant children moved into it and it was managed by a Miss Cooper.  Sadly there were still issues with illness and absences and many regular inspections.

Next time – The end of the Victorian era.

All excerpts taken from original school logs.

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