News from the Primary School

Wow! What an amazingly busy term we have had already; our Year 6 pupils have been particularly busy with their residential. In November, the Year 6 pupils went on a fantastic adventure to France and Belgium. There were many highlights of this trip, the chocolate factory and theme park being just some of them.

On Sunday 4th November we were honoured to be invited to the commemoration of Major General Dudley Johnson VC, at the Sambre Canal. We arrived at the village of Rejet-de-Beaaulieu early in the morning and were greeted by many members of the friendly community. After croissants and juice, we joined a procession made up of people from France, England, Australia and New Zealand to follow in the footsteps of Major Dudley Johnson’s battalion (exactly 100 years to the day). We walked.We walked to the Sambre Canal and took part in a small ceremony in which we sang the national anthem and met local dignitaries. It was a beautiful day and an even more beautiful place. The children were then invited to show their respect to fallen soldiers at the graveyard in Rejet-de-Beaulieu. Each pupil joined hands with a pupil from the local primary and they placed crosses and poppy- painted stones on the graves of the 53 soldiers.

Our children’s behaviour was absolutely exceptional and was commented on by many of the congregation. We then went on to walk back to the village and sang a beautiful version of, ‘Where have all the flowers gone’, directed by our music teacher, Mrs Cartwright. The children sang phenomenally and brought a tear to many eyes. We are so eternally proud of each and every pupil; they were a credit to us, their parents and our community.

Following on from this, it was lovely to see many familiar faces at the special commemoration event held on Saturday 10th November in the village. Thank you to all of the parents and children who showed up to show their respect. What a wonderful community we belong to.

Miss Salmon

Senior Citizens Christmas Party

The Cotswold School

Everything was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! It was three evenings of excellent singing, costumes and acting! Well done to all of the cast and staff of this year’s Mary Poppins, who put on a fantastic show and to the PTA who organised the bar and the raffle.

It’s now December! These last few weeks of the winter term are always so busy and filled with cheer and good tidings! We have plenty to celebrate:

  • The School Choir has been integral to the daily life of pupils from when the School first opened its doors back in 1988 as The Cotswold School. Year 7 to Year 13 perform in the School Choir and rehearse every Monday and Thursday with a busy schedule of concerts and performances running. They sang beautifully in the annual Carol Service at Gloucester Cathedral on 27th November, (in aid of Muscular Dystrophy). This event is the pinnacle of the Choir calendar and cements a longstanding relationship with the charity and the Cathedral
  • We welcome our Spanish and French students to school with lots of day trips and in-school activities
  • The annual Carol Concert is on Thursday 13th December to be held this year at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Northleach
  • Calling all Senior Citizens! Year 11s are hosting a party on Monday 17th December, 12.30 to 2.30 with afternoon tea, entertainment and raffle! Please call 01451 860 554 or email if you would like to come along!
  • Year 7 will be heading to the pantomime to see Peter Pan
  • Year 7 and Year 8 will take part in the Cheltenham Science Christmas Lectures
  • The School participated in the Christmas Shoebox scheme, and there were many festive boxes sent off to those less fortunate than ourselves, to arrive in time for Christmas Day
  • The Sixth Form will enjoy the annual Winter Ball organised by the Student Head team

Thanking and wishing all the students, staff, parents, PTA, Governors, and our community all the very best of the season and onwards to 2019!

Merry Christmas

Will Morgan, Principal

For more information, please visit

Help Nature This Christmas

Untrimmed Hedgerows a Vital Source of Winter Food

As we wake up to the season’s first frosts and start the count down to Christmas, there’s no doubt that winter is fast upon us.

Animals that hibernate, such as the hedgehog have hopefully found themselves a snug winter home, which leaves our overwintering species of birds and mammals, as well as millions of birds that seek refuge here from overseas, to tough it out in our countryside and gardens.

As some sources of food get harder to find, birds and other creatures turn to the seeds and berries of our trees and hedgerows to help them through.

Where hedges are left untrimmed, they provide a vital source of food to help sustain our wildlife through the tough, leaner months ahead.

Those farmers, landowners and homeowners who leave at least some of their non-road-facing hedges untrimmed until well after Xmas (February) – when the birds and small mammals would have had the benefit of the berries they produce, are giving nature the very best possible Xmas present – a source of food.

We can also all do our bit to help in our gardens, as many kind people already do, by putting out supplementary food in bird feeders.

One of the best all round foods is sunflower hearts or sunflower chips, many types of bird species enjoy the seeds (goldfinches, greenfinches, great tits, blue tits etc) and they provide a great source of high value nutrition.

Another helpful food to put out in feeders is high quality suet fat balls (best without nets so no beaks or legs get caught in them). As the name suggests, the ‘fat’ in the fat balls provide an important source of ‘quick’ energy for birds in the colder months. Plus, they are loved by many species such as great tit, blue tit and, if you’re lucky you may also get nuthatches and woodpecker.

In really hard weather we may also see larger, farmland birds come closer to our gardens. Redwing (looks like a small Thrush) and Fieldfare (about the size of a wood pigeon) both love apple chopped into small rings – and in conditions like last year’s snows, putting out food like this can be a life saver.

For more information on best supplementary foods for birds or wildlife friendly hedgerows, try the RSPB links below:


Our first evening of professional storytelling in the roundhouse was a great success, with visitors of all ages enthralled by the tales told. On 14 December and 18 January, Bryony Holden from Tinkerscuss will lead evenings of music and stories, performing tales of folklore and mythology. People of all ages are very welcome, as well as children from the age of 7 years. At these cosy sessions, the roundhouse fire will be lit and luxurious hot chocolate will be served.

Shy wildlife spotted

We’re lucky to have a trail camera at the nature reserve at Greystones which allows us to view some of our more secretive wildlife. In the past week, the camera has recorded otters, water voles and stoats, while we also have barn owls nesting here. At this time of year you’re very likely to see bullfinches, redwings, snipe, greylag geese and fieldfares.

Nature Tots
Our events for children will be continuing in the winter, encouraging them to love being outdoors and to learn about the wildlife around them. Our Nature Tots sessions for pre-school children are very popular, so do book your place in advance via our website The next one takes place on 14 December.

Warm up in the café
The café is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am until 4pm and provides a peaceful retreat close to the village centre. We are serving freshly made snacks along with good-quality tea, coffee and hot chocolate. As well as a classic cream tea we also offer savoury afternoon teas: two scones, ham, local cheese and a drink for £5.

How to find us
We are at the end of Greystones Lane – there is a large sign on Station Road and a smaller sign on the lane, less than a 10 minute walk from the village centre. Please note that there is no public parking at Greystones, but if you are a Blue Badge holder do contact us on 01452 383333 and we will reserve a space for you.

We look forward to welcoming you soon.

Continuing Success for Bourton Gymnasts

After a recent bout of success, gymnasts from The Gym Centre/Cheltenham School of Gymnastics and its local satellite club, run by Kerwen and Martin Collett, held at The Cotswold School, have achieved yet more uplifting results over the last few months.

On 16th September 2018 gymnasts attended the Gloucestershire Level 5 and above competition at Fromeside Gymnastics club.  The gymnasts achieved some positive and encouraging results. 

Level 5 – 9 years

Sophie Havill – 2nd vault, 3rd bars – Third Place Overall

Jessica Havill – 2nd vault – Fifth Place Overall

Level 5 – 11 years

Hannah Rowe – 3rd beam  – Sixth Place Overall

Level 4 – 13+ years

Emily Franks – 1st vault, 1st floor, 2nd bars, 3rd beam – Second Place Overall

Emily Rowe – 2nd vault 3rd bars, 3rd floor – Fourth Place Overall

On 7th October 2018 girls from the Bourton classes also competed in Round 2 of the West Country League alongside their teammates. Hannah Rowe competed with her team who placed 6th in Division 4. Jessica Havill competed with her team placing a fantastic fourth place within Division 2.

Most recently, Katie Rowe took part in the Gloucestershire Level 6 competition on the 14th October. Katie came 1st on bars and placed overall in Fourth Position.

The gymnast’s hard work and support from their coaches has led to their continuing development and success.  We would like to invite anyone who would be interested in joining a club with a positive nurturing approach to get in contact via 01451 820015 or 07870624180.

Christmas Cards for Charity

Bourton-on-the-water is an exquisitely beautiful village and the enormous Christmas tree displayed in the river must surely be one of the loveliest Christmas displays in the country, especially when we are treated to a magical dusting of snow which we have been lucky enough to enjoy several times in the last few years. This year I decided to commission local artist Hannah Shaw to create a family Christmas card featuring the village Christmas and we are all rather pleased with the result. As such I asked Hannah whether she could create some general Christmas cards for the village so that we can sell them to raise funds for local causes and charities. Some of these cards feature typical Christmas scenes and other feature the characters that make up the town and country life in Bourton-on-the-water. These will include choirs singing and children playing on the green, ducks, spotty horses, wildlife, and vintage cars etc. If we have missed any obvious local characters please let me know.

The cards will be printed in A5 with red envelopes. As well as using a Cotswold artist to design these cards, we will be using a small family printers in Stroud to print them. The cards will cost approximately £1 to print and we hope to retail them at £2 each with all profits going to charity. My husband and I are paying for the artwork personally so the only thing we hope to recoup is the cost of the printing. We will however donate the first 150 cards to any local fundraising organisations who would like to sell them (the 150 free cards will be allocated between whoever has asked for them by the end of next week). The cards will be ready for collection from about 1 December 2018.
We need to print the cards in runs of 100 so we are initially releasing the 100 wildlife cars and and 100 snow scenes Christmas cards as shown below. All of the birds and animals on the wildlife Christmas cards have been seen on Marshmouth Lane this November.  I have such fond memories of playing in snow in the village as a child so I really wanted to do a village snow scene so I really wanted to launch a card encapsulating that enormous sense of fun.
I am therefore looking for the following:
– anyone who would personally like to buy the cards at £2 each,
– anyone who might like to help sell the cards,
– any local fundraising organisation who would like to sell the cards on behalf of their charities; and
– any local retailers who might be interested in stocking the cards.
If you have any interest in any of the above please contact me at
Hannah Shaw won the Waterstone’s prize for her illustrations in The Hamster Massacre series, Cambridgeshire children’s book award for her first picture book and her stories have been long and shortlisted for many other awards. Her illustrations in The Disgusting Sandwich were selected for Booktrust Scotland’s Book bag scheme and for the Duchess’s Bookshelves list. When she is not doodling in her studio or running school workshops, she likes to grow inedible marrows on her allotment. She studied at the University of Brighton and now lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire with her husband, smelly dog and two young children who steal her favourite drawing pens but provide great inspiration.

Pretty Simple Songs Presents

Set in the idyllic grounds of Bourton Vale Cricket Club, in the heart of the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is finally on the music map! Having lived here for three years, it came to light that there is very little live music here, compared to a lot of the surrounding villages. So, I decided to host a monthly music night called PrettySimpleSongs Presents… providing a great platform for singers, songwriters and musicians to showcase their talent. Renowned musicians from around the country have travelled to perform at PrettySimpleSongs Presents… music nights. The evenings are held at the beautiful new pavilion at Bourton Vale Cricket Club and take place on the 1st Friday of each month. December sees PrettySimpleSongs Presents… heading towards its fourth month and has quickly developed some very dedicated followers of musicians and music fans alike. We have heard an array of performers from all genres and ages, making it a welcoming, family friendly evening of live music. There is always some good old fashioned sing alongs and plenty of space for a bit of a dance too. The stage is open to everyone, so bring your guitar, sax, backing tracks etc. Come along and be a part of this unique, fun night. The bar serves a selection of ales, ciders, beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks. There is no entry fee and each evening is put together and run by volunteers who all believe in music and community. On Friday December 7th, 8pm, we will be hosting a magical night of music with food and a few Christmas songs thrown into the mix to coincide with the famous Christmas late night shopping. For more info please contact Silvi on 07504068262 or visit
Hope to see you all there.
From all at PrettySimpleSongs Presents… and Bourton Vale Cricket Club


Bourton Roadrunners News

Saturday 13th October, which was a very blustery day, saw the first round of the Gloucestershire cross country league series, held at Old Down Country Park near Thornbury.  Bourton Roadrunners were represented by 8 runners in the senior categories, together with a further 24 members in the junior categories.

The ladies race was a 2 loop course – 4.2 miles – and there were 133 finishers representing various age categories.  The first Bourton Roadrunner home was Emily Field (LU17) finishing in a brilliant time of 33:59. She was followed by Jenni Glass (3rd LV50) in an impressive 36:27.

Next home for the club was Gabby Jones (LU20) in 39:40, with Steph Holton (LV50) running strongly to finish in 40:52.  Gill Carrick (LV55) has returned after injury and had a fine race finishing in 41:38.

The men’s race, which followed 3 loops – 6.2 miles – comprised 208 finishers.  By the time this race had started it was threatening rain and strong winds had whipped-up, making the running conditions very difficult.  Martin Cook (MV40) led the Bourton team home in a time of 47:08. He was followed by Ben Montilla (MV40) in 51:36.  Gary Holton (MV55) endured the difficult conditions to finish strongly in 62:57.  For Gary, this was his first cross country race.  Hopefully the conditions haven’t deterred him from future races.

Stroud Half Marathon – 21st October 2018

Four Bourton Roadrunners headed-off for an early start on a bright but crisp morning at Stroud for the annual Half Marathon, which forms part of this year’s Gloucestershire AAA Road Race Series.  The Bourton team was supported by keen team of supporters, which tried to see the runners at as many safe points as possible, with Ian Shoemark on his bike overseeing two family members among the four.

24 year-old Conor Shoemark, fresh from recent successes at Swindon Half Marathon (77 minutes) and Chester Marathon (2 hours 46 minutes), was looking to achieve a new PB of 75 minutes.  Conor, a jump-jockey by profession, paced himself sensibly and tucked-in with a small group similar ability runners.  He was rewarded for his effort and strategy with a brilliant 1:15:55 and 13th overall in the race with over 1700 finishers.

Darren Long, also experiencing a return to his true-form, having completed the Bournemouth Marathon in 2:59:52 two weeks ago, fought-off his peer-group competition and finished in a creditable 1:24:48.

Niamh Shoemark, mother of Conor, continues to improve her performances in virtually all events.  She maintained a strong pace throughout the race and maintained a relaxed exterior, finishing 1st LV50 (15th lady overall) in a brilliant time of 1:33:03.

The fourth member of Bourton’s team was “Mr Consistent” Andy Peaston, who like Ian Shoemark, is a retained firefighter, sometimes finding it difficult to fit-in the training. However, Andy to a strong and consistent runner and was rewarded with a great time of 1:39:03 for MV50.

Bournemouth Marathon – 7th October 2018

Darren headed-off to Bournemouth, with Norm Lane in support, to take on the Bournemouth marathon.  The race starts in Kings Park before making its way down onto the seafront, taking in the beautiful coastal views, together with Hengistbury Head, Boscombe, Sandbanks and Poole Harbour.

All very nice; however, Darren didn’t have too much time to enjoy the sites as he was planning to finish in under 3 hours for the first time in four yours.

Darren successfully navigated the pedestrians aimlessly leaving the beaches and the odd heartbreak hill thrown-in for good measure in the closing miles, working hard throughout, to maintain his pace to near-perfection, to complete in a brilliant time of 2 hours 59 minutes and 52 seconds.  Additionally, Darren was 4th MV45, and he was able to claim his 3rd sub-3 hour marathon finish.

Tewkesbury 5 miles – Sunday 4th November

For some, the Tewkesbury Guy Fawkes 5 mile road race was their second race of the weekend. The race, which was the last event for this year’s Gloucestershire AAA County road race series, was extremely well organised and well marshalled.

The first Bourton Roadrunner to finish and running well after completing the Bournemouth marathon in under 3 hours, was Darren Long – 2nd MV45 in 30:28 and 19th position overall.  Margaret Hollamby had another fine run – 1st LV60 in 38:12 and Liz Hulcup joined the prize winners – 1st LV65 in 40:47.

Graham Lane had another strong race in 39:05 and Nick Harper, in his first 5 mile race, ran a creditable 40:03.   Lynn Hudson paced Allie Quinn as she knocked a minute off her PB, both 47:08 and Shirley Creed came out of “retirement” following a long injury, running 49:36.  Ellen Montilla in her first race at the distance ran with Donna Harper, with the pair battling in a sprint-finish, achieving 54:36 and 54:37 respectively.  Jeanette Brew, in her first race, ran with Coral Feenan-Hill to complete the race in 65:18 and 65:17.

New York City Marathon – Sunday 4th November

Susan Hunt and Linda Edwards joined over 50,000 other runners in the one the world’s hotly-contested events; the New York City Marathon, which passes through the five boroughs, starting at Staten Island and finishing in Central Park, Manhattan.  Both veteran runners, with Susan having previously represented England at marathon distance. Susan had been planning this race for some time in memory and celebration of her late mother’s own participation in the early days of this blue-ribbon event, when few women ran a full marathon. Both Susan and Linda certainly acquitted themselves with both providing fine performances, and should feel proud of their times – Susan 4:23:12 and Linda 4:51:24.

Gloucestershire Cross-country – Malmesbury – Saturday 3rd November

The second round of the Gloucestershire XC series was held at Charlton Park near Malmesbury.  Although a slightly warmer day than the past few days, it was still difficult running conditions in the blustery wind.  In the ladies race Emily Field had another fine run in a time of 28:53 – 3rd LU17, 25th position out of a field of 171 finishers.  Following close behind was Diana Dee 4th LV50 – 48th in 30:45.  Unsure whether to run due to an injury Jenni Glass did well to finish in 32:34.  Gabby Jones LU17 was next in 34:28, and completing the team was Margaret Hollamby, 37:34.

In the highly-competitive men’s race Cal Winwood finished 42nd from a field of 249 finishers, in a superb time of 35:46; his first race of the series.  David Quli, having watched his son put in a brilliant performance in the earlier boys under-13 race, ran a very strong 40:48 to finish 131st.  Chasing David was the ever-improving Martin Cook (having watched his son Jonathon racing too) achieved a respectable 41:37 over a very challenging course. Completing the men’s team was Ben Montilla, who ran a strong race in 46:13.

Gloucester City 10k Sunday 28th October

After an extra hour in bed on Saturday night (the clocks went back), three members of  Bourton Roadrunners gathered at a chilly start line in Quedgeley, Gloucester on 28th October for the Gloucester 10K.  The field was 791 runners.  A largely flat course, of a single anti-clockwise, traffic free loop took runners out into the countryside before returning to the finish line in industrial estate where it started.

With the extra hour’s sleep under their belts, Ian Tolfts achieved a PB of 50:34 (sub-50 must be next!) (285/795, 35th M50) whilst Mary Worker ran 1:07:56 (697/791, 45th F50) – a great time for her with some splits faster than she imagined!  Linda Edwards, in her last longish run (with no plan for a fast time) before the New York Marathon the following weekend, finished in 53:43 (363/791, 8th F50).  All told, a good event, well run and a good course for setting a PB.

Exmore Half Marathon – Saturday 27th October

Saturday 27th October saw one of Bourton Roadrunners’ husband and wife teams take part in the challenging off-road Exmoor “Half Marathon”. The course consisted of bogs, boulders, rivers and moors, to steep coastal paths and sheer drops!  The course should have been 15 miles, but someone in their wisdom decided to move some signs, sending runners ‘all over the place’.  Steph and Gary Holton ran 16.7 miles in 3:35:29, with an elevation gain of 2,988 feet.  Surprisingly enjoying it and would do it again.

NEW Over 55’s Dance for Fitness Class

NEW Over 55’s Dance for Fitness Class

Every Thursday 12-1pm at The Cotswold Clubhouse, Bourton-on-the-Water.  This class is designed for participants aged 55 and over. Explore dance with Maria by improving coordination, strength and body alignment. Maria aims to help participants develop their technique and musicality at an appropriate pace and level.  Dance is for everyone so come along and give it a go!   Classes are PAYG so no need to book just pop in!

“I have just been to may first Dance for Fitness class at the Cotswold Clubhouse and I loved it! I was a bit apprehensive before going but Maria quickly put me at my ease with her very warm, welcoming personality. Not only does she have impressive credentials as a professional dancer and choreographer but she is an excellent teacher able to tailor what she does to those in the class and clearly loves doing it. A great way to get the body moving!” Wendy

These classes are taught by Maria who is a teacher, choreographer, dance artist and performer. Maria trained at London Studio Centre and London Contemporary Dance School and founded her dance company Pasgetti in 2002. In September 2013 she gained an MSc in Dance Science with Distinction from The University of Wolverhampton. Maria has taught all over the country and travelled all over the world to become the best teacher she can be. With over 18 years experience Maria leads a fun, informative class.

Venue: at The Cotswold Clubhouse, Unit 20b Bourton Industrial Park, Bourton-On-The-Water, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2HQ Contact Maria on 07732754431 if you have any questions.


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