I hope you are all well and thank you for your continued support, helping your children access our online learning.
This week as we listen to the distressing Covid-19 updates I have also been reflecting on Holocaust Memorial Day which is marked on the 27th January and commemorates those who died in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. It has been a sombre week of thought and reflection for everyone. Many of you will have travelled to Auschwitz at some point in your lives, as I have; and I always light a candle on the day to remember. This year with all we are suffering with the pandemic, and the theme for this years memorial "Be the Light in the Darkness" seems a particularly poignant choice this year. Many people will light a candle, rather than gather together, to stand against prejudice and hatred in the world today, and remember.
When I think about Auschwitz, I always think about Anne Frank and her family and the millions like her. Her diary is the light in the darkness. She lived in hiding for 25 months in 75 sqm, with another family. They had to remain silent all day long which must have been an extraordinary challenge for a 13 year old girl. She was frightened and hungry some days. Arguments broke out in the tiny space and yet the families remained undiscovered for so long.
Despite the difficulties she faced she still wrote positive thoughts in her diary:
"In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart"
"Think of the beauty around you and be happy"
"Who ever is happy will make others happy too"
We know life is difficult for you and so many around the world now but when I think about Anne Frank and her family living in such a small space for so long; I know we can all endure a few more weeks of lock-down and remain positive.
We will soon be moving from the darkness into the light. The days are already noticeably getting longer, which is a good start.
Thank you to all the children for your amazing contributions this week. Keep going!
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you in anyway.
Every Monday afternoon the children in Pre-School, Reception and Year One, both at home and school, enjoy a very lively fun Zoom session with Mr Jo Jingles himself. They love singing the fun songs with so many great actions and even have lots of instruments to accompany the singing and dancing. It is super to watch and join in! Well done Mr Alkiviades, what a lot of great movers, keep up the great work!
All the Infant and EYFS children thoroughly enjoyed a virtual session from the animal charity Blue Cross, which took place on Wednesday morning this week. The Zoom session was called 'What Pets Need'. The organiser mentioned the names of all the children’s pets, which of course everyone was really impressed with. The assembly was lively, interactive and most important of all it gave the children lots of advice about how to look after and care for their pets. Unfortunately, Paul the organiser requested that their pets did NOT attend!!
The beginning of the week brought snow which for some might have caused problems but for all in Pre-school it proved to be an added bonus. Lots of fun was had playing in the winter wonderland under blue cloudless skies. The children made various tracks in the snow, a bit like the Gruffalo’s child and made their own fun by sledging on their bottoms from the top of the little ‘hill’ on the field! The children also found a new creative way of name writing in the snow using a gloved finger or a stick.
Carrying on with our Space theme, the children made some super collage rockets. Aren’t they colourful? Tabitha drew her own Space picture of Mrs Whinney and a baby (!) standing next to her rocket and one passenger which of course was Tabitha! Ned drew lots of moons and Aneira drew her own rocket carrying passengers, smiling through the windows! Super chalk drawings everyone! Talking of Space did anyone notice the ‘Wolf moon’ on Thursday evening? It was the first full moon of this year.
George has been busy writing numbers 1- 10 in our sand tray. Aneira has made a super Mars model which she did at home and brought in to show everyone. Vivienne, Ona and Alice have enjoyed making lots of models out of foam shapes. Maybe we have some architects, or town planners and explorers in our midst? Well done Pre-school for an excellent week!
It has been another fun week of learning for both the children at home and in school. We started off the week with the famous traditional story ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and the children enjoyed sequencing the main events in the story. They then went on to write a sentence about the story as well as made some amusing puppets and role play masks. They also had some additional challenges to build a new bridge for the three goats to get across and to build a raft for them to cross the river if the bridge didn’t work!! There were some great designs that the children came up with.
The children have also been learning about the different animals that live in the Arctic Circle and in Antarctica. They looked at the very different habitats. They have also had a go at building their own igloos as part of a creative activity and even researched how they would live in one!
Well done everyone, once again I am very proud of all the fabulous learning that you are doing at both school and home.
This week, just like all others, has been a busy week of learning and fun for the members of Class One; whether working at home or in school. During our morning Zoom sessions, the children (as a team) have created their own story called 'The Fairy and the Unicorn.' We began with Emmeline's input, then, one by one, it was fascinating to hear each child build on to the story by adding their ideas for subsequent sentences. There's more than one twist in this tale! Alongside this as part of our Literacy work; the children are now working as illustrators to complete the publication! The children have been lucky enough to join Jo Jingles for some lively action songs and were enthralled by the interactive presentation given by the Blue Cross Animal Charity. In Numeracy, the children were challenged to formulate their own maths stories (equations) to end with a given answer. They used their understanding of the concepts of addition, subtraction and multiplication to do just that. There was lots of lovely calculation and conversation buzzing around the room as the answers were being checked. Not content with becoming authors, Class One have been trying their hands at making individual interpretations of the work of Vincent Van Gogh. The level of creativity and observation during the task was lovely to see and the resulting art work is tremendous. Well done, everyone. I am so proud of you all - at home and at school. Mrs Bell
The Blue Period (Spanish: Período Azul) is a term used to define the works produced by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso between 1901 and 1904 when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These sombre works, inspired by Spain and painted in Barcelona and Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.
Class Two are currently studying some of Picasso's famous works. We have really tried to capture feeling through colour. Can you guess how the children are feeling in the picture? We had to follow a step by step guide and, I think you will agree, the results are spectacular!
Many budding artists in Class Two!
Position and Direction Videos.
To conclude our topic about Geometry we had a really fun and slightly bizarre lesson where the children had to design their own Country Dance to the tune of 'Cotton Eye Joe' (I am sure you have heard it before!). The Dance had to follow a strict criteria of including directions such as: forwards, quarter turn clockwise, half turn anti clockwise etc.
I was so impressed that the children had the confidence to perform these and some people even sent their completed version to me!
I fancy trying some of these dances myself but I apologise for anyone watching!
It has been another very busy and varied week in Class 3.
Our comprehension focus this week was the opening extract from The Twits by Roald Dahl. A very funny book that got us talking about just how disgusting Mr Twit was eating leftover food from his beard. Although one or two children said that this might be handy but I won't tell you who it was! We also had a lively and fun filled lesson about similes later on in the week. However, when asked to complete ' As pretty as .......' almost all the children refused to put Miss Linehan! So naturally I had to take away house points.
In our Maths lessons we spent some time on data handling. Collecting data, recording it into bar charts and interpreting the information. We also spent a lesson exploring Venn diagrams and continued with our daily times table tests.
During History we began to research some of the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses. We focused on Zeus, Poseidon, Hades and Hera. We looked at their characteristics, their roles and their symbols. This of course led to the children discussing which one they would have liked to have been and why.
For STEAM Class 3 continued their topic of THE SPIRIT OF THE RAINFOREST with artist John Dyer as inspiration.This week the focus was rainforest animal adaptations. The children completed a fact sheet about some of the animals and had a go at painting and drawing them too.
'Life on Repeat' - pupils in class 4 were asked to complete a creative story based on this image.
There were some fantastic pieces of writing from Serena, Jessica and Anna - well done girls!
Here's Anna's story (and illustration) for you to read - interesting that she chose the name 'Hugo' to be the main character! Anna is currently attending a creative writing course, and it certainly shines through in her writing - Very well done, Anna!
Fair-Isle Knitwear Designs
Pupils have been studying knitwear design, completing striped jumper designs, and then looking at the beautiful patterns in Fair-Isle knitwear.
Pupils had to follow a design brief where they were only allowed two colours in any one line, but could use up to six in total for the main graph. The graphing process plans out the design, so that knitters can follow the pattern needed. We looked at traditional Fair-Isle patterns, and realised that many of the patterns repeat using a different number of blocks - hence using mathematical skills in art proved to be very useful.
These Fair-Isle patterns were completed by Serena, Billy, Connie and Anna. The striped jumpers were completed by Billy and Fraser.
Super design work, we even got to see some amazingly intricate hand-knitted Fair-Isle work - kindly shown to us in our zoom lesson by Mrs. Prince - thank you!
This week class 5 took part in the Winterwatch BBC live lesson learning about all the birds you may find in the UK. They were then asked to have a go at drawing a bird. This will form part of their English work in the weeks to come so watch this space.
Years 5 & 6 were treated to a careers talk by one of our parents, Mrs Calveley. She works for Amazon Web Services and would normally visit schools to talk about the sorts of jobs in technology, that are available. She gave us an insight into companies that use AWS, including Fortnite and Netflix and also talked about the large involvement, through History, of women in technology. Interestingly, Mrs Calveley studied Modern Languages at University, and she added that companies like AWS look for a diverse workforce; meaning you could learn the skills for these jobs at any time - you do not have to have an ICT or technology degree. She also emphasised that it's important to keep learning. Technology is advancing at such a great speed; there is always something new in development.
The children asked some great questions and shared some great ideas for problem solving apps, such as one that enables you to pay to plant trees.
It was an interesting session and a break from our morning lessons.
Creating Board Games
This week Year 6 created their own games to have some time away from the screens. In STEAM, we talked about the basic structure of a game, with a start and finish, and as you roll the die and move along the 'path' there are obstacles, such as miss a turn or move back or forward a number of squares. A basic idea that works with any design that they want to add. The one shared from my childhood in the 1980s was the Postman Pat Race Game!!. We also used a net to create our own die, or pair of dice, as needed.