Next week is parents’ evening and we look forward to discussing your children with you then. We have conducted a number of assessments since the children returned and we will be discussing with you honestly where we think the children are after such an extraordinary year. Some children have been in school throughout the time, but the majority have been learning remotely. Those at home have also had very different experiences. Some have had one to one support throughout and others have worked with less support or shared a parent with other siblings. Everyone has tried their very best and we now need to be honest about the next steps.
Some children have made exceptional progress during this time and others less so. We need to concentrate on getting back into a school working routine, focus, listen and always try to do our best.
We are allocating more class time to the reading, writing and mathematics; to enable more support to be given as necessary to those that need it. This current arrangement is working well and we will continue with this class arrangement and separation of bubbles until may half term. However, we would like to see all children returning to school in the Summer term in full school uniform.
We all want our children to be happy, confident, successful and independent learners when they leave us; and I am very grateful to all my colleagues for their continued dedication to ensure we provide the very best education and pastoral care to all our wonderful children.
Congratulations to Mrs Jackson and the Y3 and Y4 Art club . We are all thrilled to achieve a first place in the National ISA Art competition which we entered last Autumn.
Big congratulations to the following pupils in class 3 / 4 art club :
Arya P , Sophia P,
Albert S, Jessica H,
Iris H, Billy P,
Anna P, Connie M,
Serena A, Mya D and
Yara A-M .
Their group work entitled ‘Rainforest Reptiles’, already a winner in the regional ISA Art competition, was entered into the ISA National Competition, where I am delighted to announce achieved FIRST place!
This is an amazing result, given that we had to compete against the very best of art work from the whole of Great Britain!
To view our artwork, and to see the high standard of artwork from the ISA schools 2020 competition – click the following link.
Since arriving at Grantham Prep. School last September 2020, I have been so impressed by the talent and creativity of many of our pupils. I will be on the lookout for entries for the 2021 competition, so keep up the good work in art everybody!
The staff here at Grantham Prep. are now one month into their virtual walk. The aim is to walk to our sister IES schools around the world starting from Grantham Prep. and ending at Boca Prep. in the USA!
At the time of writing this we have walked a total of 1772 miles, having made it to St Johns School in Devon, SEK Budapest in Hungary, and Udine School in Italy. We are now on our way to South Africa!!
Well done everyone, only another 20,000 miles to go!!!!
The children in Pre-school for many weeks have been learning about the days of the week, the months of the year and seasons. This week there has been an emphasis on learning about analogue clocks and telling the ‘o’ clock time. Everyone has started making their own clocks with moveable hands which meant they could decide their own ‘o’ clock time. We also went through our typical school day starting at 9.00am when we may have assembly or singing assembly or even our own keep fit session followed by our literacy work. At 10.00 am we start tidying away in readiness for break and snack time. At 11.00 am we start our next session of the morning in which we usually do numeracy or have P.E. with Mr Park. Lunch time play is at 12.00 noon and at 1.00pm we are back from lunch ready to start our afternoon session. Home time or crèche is at 3.00pm. Next week we are hoping to learn the half past the hour!
On Wednesday the children were introduced to St Patrick’s Day which is celebrated in Ireland. We listened to some Irish music whilst colouring a funny looking man called a Leprechaun!
During our P.E. lesson this week Mr Park had us doing target practise. The children, after warming up, managed to get themselves into two teams. Each with a bucket and 4 different coloured sized balls. The first member of the team had to take the ball that Mr Park described and run up to the target net and ‘shoot’ the ball into the net. On getting it into the net the children were encouraged to do a celebratory jig! Mr Park demonstrated to us as how to do this. Interesting moves Mr Park! Thank you, Mr Park for another excellent fun lesson and thank you Pre-school for being superstars!
This week in Reception the children have enjoyed thinking about spring and the new life that they have seen around in the countryside on their family walks. They have written an acrostic poem about spring and had a go making their own little cute chicks.
The Wednesday singing assembly with Miss Kerby was great fun and this week featured an Easter Bunny song with lots of actions and the infamous Spring Chicken song that the children really enjoy.
The focus this week has been on using our outdoor learning classroom. There is now a dedicated Literacy and Maths area near the Reception classroom. In literacy the children have been writing independently using the new wall of graphemes, which they have referred to when spelling new words! They have also been fishing for alphabet letters to make their own set of different words.
In Science they have been looking at temperature and in Maths counting and writing up to 100 with the new outside 100 square grid for support when needed! We have been revisiting our numbers and have been using dominoes to instantly recognise a number of spots without counting them. Remember you have to ‘think quick’ and say the number. Not so easy when it is speedy.
Well done everyone, once again I am so proud of all the fabulous learning in Reception!
Another week of fun and learning flies by in Class One
This week seems to have passed so quickly...we must have been having too much fun! (Too much fun? Never!) Even so, the children in Year One have been working really hard in all curriculum subjects. Alongside sitting their end of term assessments, everyone has been creating their own stories, adding 100s, joining in with lots of 'action maths' and comparing the life and work of Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole. The children worked in small groups to draw and paint some beautiful portraits of these wonderfully inspiring nurses. During some of the after school activities, the children have been excelling at coding, creating artwork on the iPads and learning the names of colours in French. What a great Class you are and how lucky I am!
Class Two have recently begun their new Art Club and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to 'sketch' an object by following some simple (complicated!!) steps. It is a lovely time to relax and apply yourself in other means. I have quickly discovered that the children are alot more adept at drawing than myself.
Almost everyone has used a gumball machine. You put your coin in the slot, turn the crank, and a gumball rolls down the chute. But... have you tried to draw one? It is easy when you follow 5 simple steps!
What do you think of the end results? We have also drawn a book and a battery!
The children have had lots of fun this week in history exploring Greek Myths.
First of all they explored King Midas and his Golden Touch. After introducing the story the children went on to discuss the King's choice of wish deciding if it was a good or foolish idea. We even thought about it in a modern way imagining if we wished that everything we touched turned to Skittles.(other sweets are available!)
Next we looked at the story of Medusa and how Athena changed her from a beautiful woman to a hideous gorgon banished to the ends of the earth. Athena did this to teach Medusa a lesson about being vain and boastful. Never mess with a Greek god! We also looked at the myth about Perseus, with the help of Hermes, taking on the challenge to kill Medusa. A tough task because of course he had to avoid eye contact with her or run the risk of being turned to stone.
Of course the best way to bring these stories to life is by acting them out, so that's exactly what we did. As you can see from the photos the children really enjoyed this part.
Class 4 were inspired by some lovely Botanical art prints from the Royal Horticultural Society, and used them to help draw and paint their Mother's Day cards. I hope your mums liked their cards, and you remembered to spoil them all day on Sunday! Beautiful Blooms, Class 4!
With Easter in the air and the sun streaming into class 5, this week was a perfect time for some Easter art. The children were tasked with creating spring themed backgrounds before adding an animal foreground before finishing it all off with their own designed border. The results and smiles certainly filled me with more optimism about days ahead!
Last week was, of course, a very special day - Mother's Day. We used our STEAM session to make a whole host of beautiful cards for our mums. I promised them I wouldn't spoil the surprise, but said I would put a picture in this week.
We also completed our work on Holes with the infamous onions lesson. Why onions I ask you cry? Well, ask any of the students in Year 6 and see what they say. We linked the idea and thematic device of the onion to the interwoven tales in the novel, and also the significance of the onion itself to the plot; keeping several of them well and alive!
The children love the tactile nature of this lesson and, if they want to, they get to keep their onion!
The children have really enjoyed the story and the clever way all of the different time periods are linked together. A book I recommend you all pick up - when you get a chance.
In Chemistry this term, we have focused on hands-on, student-centered learning. Chemistry is an interactive subject and what better way to experience science than to “do science”. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”.
In Year 9, students are learning about the structure of atoms and where electrons are found around the nucleus. In order to understand this concept, students played a game with giant-sized atoms and had to correctly place poker chips representing electrons around a nucleus. The game became quite competitive and students very quickly learned their way around the Periodic Table.
In Year 10, students made their own soluble and insoluble salts and filtered and crystallised these to separate them from impurities. Different separation methods are used for different salts and so it is important that students can correctly identify and explain these methods. In the external IGCSE examinations, students write an alternative to practical examination. Hands-on experience in the laboratory is essential for students to understand laboratory techniques and be able to design their own experiments.
The Year 11 students started the AS Chemistry syllabus this term. Students are required to master laboratory techniques as they are assessed on this in an individual practical examination next year. As we cover the necessary theoretical concepts in class, we have done practicals to apply these concepts. Students are becoming more and more confident working individually and are able to obtain accurate experimental results. They have done both titration and gravimetric practicals.
The students in Year 12 had a challenging start to the AS Chemistry course with COVID-19 last year. We were not always able to do a practical experiment at the same time as the theoretical concept was introduced. But students are back in the laboratory this term, and with some extra lessons and hard work, they have been able to complete many practicals already. We have covered all possible laboratory techniques needed in the course and I have seen a marked improvement in the students’ laboratory skills. We are focusing on accurate data presentation and using appropriate data calculations.
This year BIS is also offering A-level Chemistry in Year 13. The syllabus compliments the AS syllabus and students enjoy this course because the added detail explains the trends and concepts covered in Year 11 & 12.
Philippa Goch Chemistry Teacher – IGCSE, AS and A-level – IES Blouberg International School