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Florence Melly Community Primary School is top of the class

Teachers, pupils and parents at a Walton School are celebrating this week after being rated top of the class by Ofsted.

FLORENCE Melly Community Primary School, on Bushey Road, has been rated:- "outstanding" in overall effectiveness in its new Ofsted report. The School was previously rated as:- "requires improvement" in 2018 and it has now leapfrogged:- "good" and gone straight to the highest rating. The School is rated as:- "outstanding" in 4 of the report's 5 areas as well as:- "good" for its early years provision that inspectors acknowledge to be run in a nurturing, exciting and stimulating environment.

Headtecher Ken Heaton, who has been at Florence Melly since September 2015, has overseen the School's improvements and has been praised for creating a:- "dynamic leadership team." School leaders were praised for:- "making Florence Melly the best School it can possibly be," and inspectors noticed that relationships between staff and pupils are:- "exemplary."

Whilst children's academic progress by the time they leave the School is:- "outstanding," Florence Melly is also roundly praised for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding the pupils develop thanks to the School's extra curricular activities, including enrichment trips, and its commitment to celebrating diversity. Staff and pupils are also all supported by a mental health and wellbeing pastoral team.

Ken Heaton, Head Teacher at Florence Melly, said:- "We're very happy that we have been rated as outstanding. It gives our pupils, parents, staff and Governors recognition for all of their hard work.  The key to improving a School is to always put the children first. Every child needs to matter and be valued by our staff team. Every member of our staff team also needs to feel valued and continually encouraged to do the very best job that they can for every child. You need to have high expectations and a set of values that everyone believes in. Our values are DREAMS: determination, resilience empowerment, appreciation, motivation and safety. We embed these values in everything we do for our children.  I went to Florence Melly myself as a child so returning to the School as Head Teacher makes it extra special. I know our community and we work closely with our parents and organisations to change lives through learning. It is all about giving our children an engaging and exciting curriculum and the very best learning we can, playing to our children's strengths, and making sure we are challenging ourselves and supporting the children as much as we can.  We've done well, but we now need to continue to raise the bar and do even better. We need to make sure we do everything we can to ensure our pupils are given the best possible chance for success and happiness. Every child matters at Flo Melly."

Cllr Barbara Murray, cabinet member for education, said:- "I am delighted for the whole Florence Melly community and congratulate them on the outcome of their inspection. The report makes for truly impressive reading and to jump from 'requires improvement' to 'outstanding' is an achievement that cannot be praised too highly.  The fact that Mr Heaton believes that they can continue to improve explains why the School has done so well and I have every confidence that the School team will go on to even better things after they return from their well earned summer break."

Sign up to tackle the UK's beach litter in the biggest beach clean ever

The Great British Beach Clean seeks thousands of volunteers for its 26th annual clean up

THE UK's leading marine charity, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), is looking for thousands of volunteers to clean up the nation's beaches during its 2019 Great British Beach Clean, running over 20 September to 23 September 2019. In 2018,15,000 volunteers took part, that was double the number in 2017. They removed an incredible 8,550 kilos of litter from beaches around the UK. 494 beaches around the UK coast were cleaned in 2018 (155 more than in 2017), making 2018's Great British Beach Clean the biggest MCS had ever organised. Thanks to programmes like Blue Planet II, beach cleaning has become a cool thing to do, says MCS.

The Great British Beach Clean is not just a beach cleaning event. Volunteer cleaners become citizen scientists, as they also record the litter they find along a designated 100m stretch of every beach that's cleaned, and it's this aspect that has helped MCS change policy and behaviours over the last 25 years. In 2018 alone, 600 items of litter were found on every 100 metres.

The 5p carrier bag charge, a ban on microbeads in wash off products, consultations on a plastic tax, commitments to deposit return schemes, reduction in the use of plastic straws and the banning of lantern and balloon releases; all have come about following compelling evidence gathered over decades by volunteers at MCS beach cleans. Since 2011, when the 5p single use carrier bag charge was 1st introduced, there's been a decrease of almost 50% in plastic bags found on UK beaches.

Beach cleans take place from Cornwall to Cumbria, Denbighshire to County Down, Hampshire to the Highlands and all places in between. The event incorporates the Great Channel Islands Beach Clean and the Great Northern Irish Beach Clean. In 2019, for the 1st time, the Great British Beach Clean will be sponsored by the Ocado Foundation, the charitable arm of the online supermarket. The Foundation will be sponsoring the event to the tune of ₤300,000, as part of the Environmental Pillar of its:- 'Ocado Way, Corporate Responsibility Strategy.'

Less litter on UK beaches will save the lives of some of our best loved marine wildlife, protect our kids when they're building sand castles and show the world what the great British seaside really looks like beneath its escalating mountain of rubbish, says Lizzie Prior, MCS Beachwatch Officer. "Taking part in the Great British Beach Clean really can make a difference. In previous years when we've highlighted increases in dog poo bags and sewage related debris found on beaches, we've seen drops in numbers subsequently. Due to the massive increase in wet wipes we found between 2013 and 2015, we were able to launch our 'Wet Wipes Turn Nasty' campaign which has resulted in improvements in labelling, removal of plastic from 'flushable' wet wipes in retailers' own brands, and helped introduce the 'Fine to Flush' logo; a water industry standard."

Cleaning and surveying a beach only takes a couple of hours at most. Each beach has a coordinator, who explains how to fill in a simple data form, and then it's just a case of grabbing a litter picker and a bin bag and filling it up with rubbish. And even if the beach looks clean, at 1st glance, you can be sure it really isn't!

"Beach litter is a serious environmental problem," says Lizzie Prior. "But the solution is in our hands. We want the 26th Great British Beach Clean weekend to be the biggest ever. The BBC's Blue Planet II and subsequent programmes have given the UK public a real understanding of the pollution crisis facing our oceans and now people want to make a difference. The more volunteers we have, the better it'll be for our seas."

Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Corporate Affairs, said on behalf of the Ocado Foundation:- "We're delighted to be teaming up with the Marine Conservation Society on the GBBC. As a retailer we take our responsibilities with waste very seriously. We are very proud to be part of the event and the clean up of Britain's beaches it will achieve."

Players of People's Postcode Lottery also support the Marine Conservation Society beach litter programme. Sign up to a clean near you at:- MCSUK.Org and if you can't find an event on your preferred beach, call:- 01989 566017 and find out how you can organise your own.

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