I hope that you have been able to settle into a new routine this week and that the children are able to access our online learning and remain positive in such difficult times. It is not easy for anyone, but the children always make us feel more optimistic about the future when we talk to them everyday, whether that is at school or online. I hope they continue to do that for you too.
Last week I talked to the children about the character "Pollyanna" in books I enjoyed as a child. She played the "glad game" and always tried to think positive thoughts even in very challenging circumstances.
This week I have been thinking about who has made me feel grateful for what I have in life and how lucky I have been. My first thought was my mother, no longer with us but she taught me a great deal about life and always made me laugh a lot with her stories about the past. She studied Chemistry at Cardiff University from 17, but at the time was not allowed to sit on the front bench with the boys, but had to sit at the back of the room! My daughter found this story outrageous and I am pleased to say my mother saw my daughter study chemistry two generations later, with no such constraints.
We are all living through a pandemic which does not seem fair or just in so many ways, but it has allowed us all to reflect a little on what is important and what we can be grateful for.
I will talk to the children about Emmeline Pankhurst tomorrow. Back in the late 1890's England, along with many places around the world was not a fair society. Only men were allowed to vote and thanks to women like Emmeline Pankhurst, who had the courage and determination to try to change society, we now live in a much fairer world. There are more opportunities for our children today irrespective of their background, gender, race or religion. The world is not perfect but hopefully we can continue to move in the right direction, treating everyone with fairness. I will always be grateful for the lives of Emmeline Pankhurst and other women who fought for fairness and equality with so much courage, so that the lives of our children are so much better today.
I am hoping that Covid-19 tests will be made available to us, for testing staff in school on a weekly basis. This will help us all feel more confident that those in school are not asymptomatic; and of course any staff with a positive result will have to isolate. At this stage my understanding is that primary children will not be tested. I will receive more information in due course.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way and enjoy the weekend. Thank you for your hard work and the support you are giving your children.
Pupils have been enjoying taking part in various PE challenges, be it Mr Park's skipping challenge or keeping fit with Joe Wicks!
New Members of Class 5
Class 5 welcomed Buster and Charlie to one of their zoom lessons the other day. It looks like they were quite the model pupils too!!
Emily was doing a little research on the Snowy Owl for her Year 1 school work when the class zoom call started......she noticed Mrs Bells blouse looked similar to the picture of the snowy owl in the background!
Laptops open, heads down, books open and ready to start the day.
George "Rockets" through the week!
George has been busy practising the letters m,d,s,a.
He has also made a 3D rocket model, a jet pack and painted a picture of Mars!
Hands on learning
Learning doesn't have to be sat at a computer. Sophia enjoys an icy walk and helps mum cook pizza! Sophia that pizza looks delicious!
Tom carries out his Science Experiment ably assisted by his sister Alice.
Thank you for all your snowy photos. The children have enjoyed making the most of the snow, making snowmen, creating snow angels, creating ice tree decorations and going sledging! Lots of meteorological, scientific and geographical learning!
Connie shows off her fantastic STEAM pirate treasure map made and designed in a STEAM session.
Emily enjoyed her first ever flute lesson on Monday with Ms Kerby. Emily learnt how to put the flute together and after a bit of practice was able to make a sound by blowing across the hole in the mouthpiece. Well done Emily!
We have been very busy again in Pre-school. Following on with our Exploration topic, which we have based on Space, the children have been busy. They have made their own rockets from junk modelling materials, and in numeracy have learnt to count backwards from 10. The children have also learnt some facts about the planet Venus. The children decided as it is the hottest planet, it would be too hot for our summer holidays!
At this point I would like to say a big thank you to Henry D, George’s big brother for making each child a Space fact sheet and activity booklet to do. What a kind and thoughtful gesture!
The children (and Mrs Whinney) have been embarking on getting our brains and bodies fitter and ready for our learning. This week we all joined in with Mr Jo Jingles via zoom and every morning we have done 20 minutes with Joe Wickes via his You-tube channel. We certainly are an active bunch!
Fun Creative Learning in Reception
The weather has been a bit of a mixture this week but the children have had another fun week in Reception. The children have started their learning about The Rainbow Fish. They have been retelling the story to their friends on Zoom and sequencing the pictures of the story, both at home and at school. We have also linked some creative artwork of the Rainbow Fish with Maths too. The children have made their own Rainbow Fish cutting out different shapes using their knowledge of 2-D shapes to help them complete this fun activity. They have even had a go at making some extremely funny 3-D fish! What great shape work Reception!
All the children, at both home and school, also had a fun and energetic movement session with Mr Jo Jingles himself also known as Mr Alkiviades on Zoom. They copied lots of actions to songs and made sure they were definitely in time to the beat. Well done Reception – what a bunch of great movers!!
The children in Reception have completed their fantastic polar bear projects. It is lovely to see such creative and individual work that they have completed at home. It has also been great to see some of the super family team work that has taken place! What creative stars we have in Reception!
Bar Charts, Cursive Handwriting, Zoom and Doubling!
It has been a busy week for all members of Class One, whether they have been working from home on the Edmodo platform, or coming into school. Throughout the week it has been lovely to all come together at the daily Zoom meetings. Along with allowing live Mental Maths, Spellings, Phonics, Show and Tell and Comprehension sessions to take place, these meetings provide the opportunity for all of us to share news, fun anecdotes and to simply be 'the Class One Team!' The topics covered in this week's lessons have included doubling and the two times tables, creating bar charts; with physical resources and with tables of data, ordering and sequencing numbers and revising our Spanish numbers and colours. I am so impressed by the efforts made by each and every one of the children and I am indebted to our lovely parents for being the 'golden bridge' between home and school. Superb work and grateful thanks.
Everyday on Zoom the children of Class Two undergo a different mission. Today's task: Look at these different pictures of elephants, can you determine how they are feeling?
Following that, they had to show the emotion, as best as they could, via Zoom. Some of the faces were very amusing as you can tell!
Elma the Elephant
For an English project, Class Two have, and will be, reading Elmer the elephant stories and completing associated writing activities.
Elmer the Elephant is a fantastic book created around the theme of diversity and how it is good to be different. Elmer is an elephant whose skin is a variety of colors, in the book they described it as patchwork. Elmer is an extremely funny character and all elephants in the herd found Elmer hilarious.
We have had a tremendous time completing the different tasks and it was really important to reflect on what a world would be like without colour and diversity: a very boring place indeed! I am very pleased to say that all the children have engaged well with the stories and are producing some wonderfully thoughtful pieces of work.
Elmer is a little mischievous though, a little bit like some of the children!
Thank you to all the children and PARENTS for all your hard work this week. It is most certainly not easy.
Class 3 have been busy again this week, online and in the classroom. We began the week looking at an extract from the opening passage of The Witches by Roald Dahl. In the text the author brilliantly describes REAL witches, suggesting that they are just ordinary women. By the end of the live lesson most of the children were convinced that I was one of the REAL witches! ( I will let you decide). The children completed a comprehension about the passage, paying particular attention to inference questions.
We have also begun our new History topic this week about the Ancient Greeks, tackled word problems and angles in Maths and took part in a virtual drum session in Music. In STEAM the children were introduced to the artist John Dyer and his trip to meet the Yawanawa tribe in the Amazon rainforest. The children then had a go at recreating some of the tribal art ( maiti) on the face of one of the tribe members.
Another great week.
Here's some good work completed by class 6 - observational drawing from modern day packaging (mainly crisp packets).
Class 6 showed amazing focus by working solidly throughout the Zoom lesson, and I tried my best to complete my drawing too!
Well done Class 6!
A Busy week in Year 6
In class 6, it's been another busy week on zoom. We have finished our work on Dickens' A Christmas Carol, looking at detailed answers with quotes from the text. Class 6 have worked really hard on tackling a complex, though entertaining and accessible, Victorian text. We've moved on to working on Holes by Louis Sachar - a modern classic that I recommend you take a look at, if you haven't read it.
In PSHE, we were discussing and considering what makes a healthy relationship, and therefore what would make it negative and unhealthy. This is a tricky thing to do virtually, but the children offered some fantastic responses and put together a range of comparison tables and mind maps.
In STEAM this Wednesday, we continued looking at Origami, mainly because it doesn't require too many resources, and made a simple and a complex flower.
Please do continue to send in pictures of your children working from home. It's great to see what they have been up to.
For a while now the outdoor spaces at SEK International School Guatemala have been incorporated as part of the learning process for various reasons in the different departments.
Before the outbreak of COVID-19 we saw that childhood was being spent indoors and that screens were occupying their leisure time. Due to this, play and outdoor learning had been reduced to only concrete moments. One of the most effective sanitary measures to avoid contracting Covid-19 is ventilation in closed spaces and outdoor activities. At SEK International School Guatemala outdoor methodology is already our reality and one of the strengths of our school, which has a spacious building and many green areas.
Every approach needs to be balanced. In the same way that technology in the school has a pedagogical use in ways such as gamification, flipped classrooms or programming this pedagogy applies when you go outside to give your classes. It doesn't mean that you replicate the same situation in the classroom outdoors, you take advantage of the interactions that happen between the students and the natural environment. For this reason there is special attention paid to the planning of these activities. This methodological approach is completely compatible with academic excellence.
The past 2020 has been a year that we can consider to be like a big social experiment. One where we are made conscious of the importance of physical and social contact between people and the effects of confinement on children and adults. Before, we understood that a classroom was more than just four walls because we observed the benefits of being outdoors with our students both in parameters of health and academic performance. However, maybe this situation has offered a historic opportunity to claim the playground as another space for learning.