We very much look forward to all our children returning on Monday 8th March. It has been a very long challenging winter for so many people and we are very grateful for your support over this period. I know the children cannot wait to see their friends again and start more face to face contact in classrooms.
We will have to continue to work in class bubbles as outlined in my letter until the end of this term; but hope that the Summer term will be more normal for all. Our hope is that if we are cautious and careful we can enjoy nearly four weeks of learning together, without interruption before the start of the Easter holiday.
Spring is coming and I am sure the return of children to their classrooms will help us all feel optimistic about the future and the return to normality.
The children have been very creative during the half term break. A little challenge was set by Mrs Whinney for the children to make their own planet or space rocket model during the holiday. The models were brought in at the beginning of the week and are amazing. I hope you like the photos of the children with their models.
We have also been looking at the planet Saturn. The children have made collages using a variety of resources such as lentils, porridge oats, cheerios, sultanas and quinoa. What a yummy planet we have made Saturn to be! Henry, from year 3 and George’s older brother has been very kind and helpful to our fact finding mission. He sent in many facts and a picture of Saturn and in return he received, via a messenger a special Pre-school certificate and sticker. Thanks Henry!
Aside from the Space topic the children are consolidating upon their knowledge of the set 1 sounds and are now learning to form the letters. They are also sounding out, blending and reading simple text. In numeracy the children continue to learn and work on number bonds up to 10. Adding and subtracting on fingers is also getting much quicker. We have also acted out the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears story and have continued looking at aspects of spring. Hooray the nights are getting lighter!
In Reception it has been a fun week back after the half term break. Once again there has been a lot of great learning both at home and in school. We started off the week writing about the children’s holiday news. The children were keen to tell their friends about all the fresh air and walks that they had been on with their family. They were also very excited to tell the whole class about some of the new puppies that had arrived in many of the households.
On Monday in the Jo Jingles Zoom class with Mr Alkiviades the children had lots of fun, using different parts of their body to balance some bean bags. This was to music as well! I have to say I was very impressed with how they managed to balance some bean bags on their heads, knees, legs and different parts of their bodies successfully.
This week we also talked about the different types of superheroes from the fictional Wonder Woman character to the real heroes of the pandemic. Some of the children dressed up as their real life heroes and said that they enjoyed being doctors and nurses more as they liked to make people better and look after them. What a caring bunch and hopefully our heroes of the future!
The children at school also had a go at the great new xylophone that has been put up in the playground.
Well done everyone, once again I am very proud of all the fabulous learning that you are doing at both school and home.
Another great week of blended learning for Year One
This week, as over the past six weeks, Class One pupils, despite the miles between them, have been working as a team every day on Zoom. However, on Tuesday, the 'Home Team' were challenged to take on the 'School Team' during a virtual Numeracy session . Everyone put in so much effort - counting in sequences, listing months, shapes etc. After some very entertaining, friendly rivalry and a great deal of lively competition, the 'Home Team' snatched victory with a very narrow margin. Activities and tasks set for all of the children have been fun and varied; the children have been finding out important and interesting facts about Mary Seacole, having fun keeping fit with Jo Jingles, taking on Mr Park's skipping challenge and looking closely at the work of Van Gogh.
Alongside these areas of learning everyone has been working hard in Numeracy - telling the time and honing their number bond skills, Literacy - writing stories, completing comprehension, handwriting and spelling tasks, and in Science - learning more about healthy eating, exercise, human bones and the skeleton. Superb effort everyone and we can't wait to be reunited on March 8th. Such good news!
Alongside the morning English and Maths Zoom call, the children in Class Two take part in a slightly more 'lively' afternoon Zoom call. The intention of this was to give children an opportunity to have some fun and improving our Mental Well-being.
On Thursday afternoon, the children took part in a memory based game where they had to view and analyse a number of objects. Following this, I would remove or change the items and see who would notice it. I feel it was a good and enjoyable way of testing their observational skills.
Thank you for everyone's hard work and great attitude to learning online. It is certainly not easy but, like in most instances, children quickly adapt!
Without looking at the second picture... can you tell what Freddie has removed?
Hats off to all the children and parents/families of Class 2.
Class 3 has had a very productive first week back. It began with a wonderful History lesson on Monday. The children and myself joined the zoom live lesson dressed as one of the Greek gods or goddesses. Some of the children had made wonderful accessories specific to their god or goddess. Everyone spoke about their choice telling us who they were, what they were known for and their powers. It was a fantastic way of bringing History to life.
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown was our comprehension focus this week. We read the opening chapters about a little boy who was flattened by a bulletin board falling on him! The children answered questions about the text, in particular looking at the author's choice of vocabulary.
We also had a discussion about the pros and cons of being flat!
In Maths we spent quite a lot of the week solving word problems. Remembering to read the question twice, look for the key information and then suck out the Maths story. We also spoke about the importance of showing all your working out and double checking answers.
During the PSHE lesson we thought about all the things we were proud of. The children were asked to reflect on their many achievements and choose some of them which they were particularly proud of.
Class 4 have been studying the Arctic in Geography, and following on from their last STEAM lesson, they were set a challenge to design a cake that represented the Arctic. Pupils could either draw, model or even bake their cake, and as you can see, many of our pupils could be contenders for 'The Great British Junior Bake Off'.
Lots of skills are needed in baking: from reading a recipe, to measuring, using equipment, and then decorating. Amazing creativity, class 4, it looks like you had lots of fun baking then decorating with fondant icing and icing sugar.
I hope you and your families enjoyed eating your cakes (and I hope you didn't forget to wash up afterwards!)
Class 5 compose their own songs using Chrome Music Lab
This week class 5 have been creating their own music using Chrome Music Lab: Songmaker in STEM. The children were given the task of either creating their own piece of music from scratch or researching how to create real world songs and then putting them into Songmaker.
Please click on the links below to hear some of the finished pieces they came up with.
Here's some completed menu designs that pupils were asked to design, following on from our work on Ice-creams and drawings of crisp packets. Pupils were asked to think of a theme for an American style diner, but could add their own twist to the design, choice of food and style of menu.
Super work by everyone - but these two designs were especially good - Well done to Dexter and Tess.
This Week in Year 6
This week has been full of excitement. We can't wait to get back to school and to see each other face to face.
In History, we have been looking at the challenging subject of slavery and we looked at posters for slave auctions. Some of us were shocked at the thought of people being sold, or let, and that the people were then owned by another person; making them seem like objects. We had interesting conversations about this too.
We continued this idea by looking at human rights in PSHE and considering what the articles mean for us. This sparked an interesting chat about the right to free education!
In English we are working on our own ideas for a creative story linked to our class book Holes by Louis Sachar. We have looked at how to edit and redraft our work and improve and develop the description and vocabulary used. This has been a great chance to meet 1:1 with each child and talk about their work.
STEAM was another thrilling adventure - this time based on a music app called Chrome Music Lab. We joined Class 5 in exploring this fantastic resource where you can not only create your own music, but explore sound waves and patterns.
Drama was a chance to talk about the much-anticipated auditions for the school show: Shakespeare Rocks!! This always causes a hum and buzz of nervous anticipation. However, like everything, this process teaches the children that you have to apply yourself, work hard, try your best; but, you may not get the part that you wanted; and then make the most of the experience anyway. I always share with them honest reflections of my many years of auditioning and I think they understand that I want the best for them all. My job is not an easy one and I don't want to upset anyone.
There have been a number of frustrating technical difficulties this week; but the class are, on the whole, great at communicating and helping each other. We have soldiered on and persevered, buoyed by the news that we will soon be back in the classroom together.
Our top achiever in the 2020 IGCSE’s recounts her experience and shares some advice with future candidates:
“A famous author once wrote “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” That author was Alan Alexander Milne, the creator of the “Bear of Very Little Brain”. A bear who would sit around all day, doing absolutely nothing but he enjoyed every second of it. So, if there was one thing I learned in the 2-year course that is IGCSE, it was that I needed to relax more, to take everything in my stride and to not worry so much about the little things. To take everything step-by-step, day-by-day, and before you know it, you’ll be running.
I remember in Year 9, when the concept of IGCSE was first introduced, everything became overwhelming. I found it tremendously difficult in the beginning. At first, I wasn’t able to grasp most of the concepts for certain subjects and I was very confused most of the time. I’d never say anything though because no-one in my class ever seemed like they were having trouble, so I assumed it was just me struggling. Thankfully I had my friends, parents and teachers to tell me otherwise. My previous idea of studying consisted of working all day at school, then coming home and doing the same thing. It took a lot to make me realise that this wasn’t going to work for me anymore.
So, by Year 10, I changed the way I studied. I stopped studying for long hours on end and began working for shorter periods of time with a little too many breaks. I found that I study better when I’m relaxed and not putting any pressure on myself. I study consistently through the year and study in moderation. In class, I told myself that I was going to start asking as many questions as it took for me to understand because understanding a concept makes remembering it easier. I’d try to make notes for my subjects in a separate book, to make them clear and orderly on paper hoping it would appear that way in head as well. I found the use of different highlighter colours made certain sections of information easier to recall during an exam because it had a colour associated to it. I tried my best in class to understand the concept first before I made notes on it so that when I did, all I had to do was solidify the ideas onto paper. My dad would make fun of my highlighters saying , “At school all I had was a pen, one that wrote if I was lucky.” But I’d like to think that it was the highlighters and the stacks of cue cards with equations that helped me retain the information better. I realised it was also very important to take care of myself first before my schoolwork, through staying healthy and remembering that school is not all there is to focus on. For me , staying relaxed, calm and enjoying my childhood would be my top priority. Getting all A’s was unexpected , my goal is simply to do the best I can.
“The forest through the trees” is something my parents would have me repeat to myself. It reminded me to look at the bigger picture and focus on the important things. Stressing about the small tests and assignments wasn’t going to do anything except burn me out before the race was even over.
My advice to other students would be: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” - Arthur Ashe “ – Rifqah Price, Year 11 Blouberg International School South Africa