From the Head
Once again I have seen how amazing our school community is. This week has seen the Teddy Bears' Picnics for our new Nursery and Reception children who will be joining us in September. It was lovely to see them and their parents and our Year 6 children who spoke to them were wonderful ambassadors for the school.
Last night was our annual Evening of Music in aid of the Stephen Jota Centre in Kampala. We were joined by choirs, musicians and of course the children, as well as a rare opportunity to see Shea and the Rockettes - our staff band! I was blown away by the talent of our school community; from parents, staff, friends and Trustees, we were entertained by violinists, pianists, singers and flautists. Two choirs from our local community joined us and wowed us with their repertoires, while the children just get better and better at performing - last night saw a performance from the string ensemble, the school choir, SOS as well as some of our talented Year 6 singers. Thank you to Mrs Farrell, Miss Beacom and all the staff for organising such a special evening and thank you to those of you who attended - we raised an amazing £550 for the Stephen Jota Centre which will help them enormously.
I hope that you enjoy reading this week's newsletter and that you all have a lovely weekend; I look forward to seeing you next week.
This week, 16 Year 6 pupils sat the French Exam DELF Prim at St Olave’s. This diploma is offered by French Institutes all over the world and aims to measure the language level of pupils who have studied French for at least four years at primary school.The DELF Prim is an excellent qualification, recognised internationally, which evaluates the children’s ability to understand and communicate in French. It is also a great opportunity for them to experience what a Modern Foreign Language exam feels like (with all its daunting elements, especially the oral interview!). All our pupils showed great determination and resilience when faced with this new challenge and even surprised themselves by enjoying the experience! We are extremely proud of all the hard work and effort they put into preparing this exam and are sure they will all get excellent results.
This week the Year 6 children have been preparing for the Royal Wedding and the celebratory tea party. The children learnt about the members of the Royal Family and facts about previous royal weddings. We also watched a video clip of the Queen’s Coronation Ceremony and re-enacted this with our own homemade crowns, paint brushes for the sceptres and a candle for an orb! We will wear our crowns for the Royal Wedding tea party next week. We created our own bunting for the occasion as well as flags to wave in celebration. In maths, we completed an investigation on the ‘Royal Ring Robber’ which called upon the children's’ knowledge of converting fractions from improper to mixed number, prime numbers, square numbers, multiples and Roman numerals to crack the code! Many of the Year 6 children also completed their DELF French exams this week. The children have really impressed their teachers, Madame Banfield and the French Assistant, Charlotte, with their preparation towards this. A huge well done to all children involved!
Year 5 came back refreshed after the sunny bank holiday weekend. To start the week in Maths, we learnt how to divide fractions by whole numbers. We used our knowledge of multiplying fractions to help us and made sure that our answer was always in its simplest form. Towards the end of the week, we interpreted line graphs and timetables. We used our 12 and 24-hour clock knowledge to help us work out time differences between television programmes and train times.
In our IPC lessons, we worked in groups to design our own fairground rides. We considered what age group the ride was for, how much it might cost to go on, any safety features and what it will be called. We really enjoyed the opportunity to create our own rides and add in special features. On Thursday, we started to build our models of the ride using cardboard, paper and other resources. Take a look at ‘The Slader’ below - would you dare to go on it?
Year 5 have also been busy preparing for the Royal Tea Party next Tuesday. We have designed our own bunting and flags that will be displayed around the school ready for the Royal celebrations. We will also be making our own crowns to wear on the day as well as wearing the colours: red, white or blue. We look forward to welcoming some of you next Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, we went to the Arethusa Venture Centre to visit for the day. As we got ready to set off, some children felt quite nervous as well as excited. When we arrived at the centre we were given a tour, which set all the children’s minds at rest as they were able to see exactly where they would be sleeping, learning and playing. We even had lunch there to get used to the routines and to have a taste of the food -the butterscotch mousse with cream was particularly appreciated!
The children took part in outdoor team activities and showed some really good encouragement and support towards each other. They also challenged themselves with rock climbing -many children made a great effort and went higher than they thought they could. The centre’s instructors were very welcoming and the children were visibly more relaxed and confident by the end of the day.
We are now counting the days down until our departure next Wednesday for the three-day residential. Just to note that, if the weather forecast does look good again next week, you may wish to pack some shorts for your child as well as the joggers/trousers suggested in the packing list.
It may be a slightly shorter week, but Year 3 have certainly been making up for lost time. In maths, we have been working hard on division and ways of showing information, such as pictograms and bar charts. It has been great to see the children making progress in these areas as the week has continued.
For our Power of Reading sessions in English, we have continued to enjoy the exciting story of Varjak Paw. There has been some impressive writing completed in connection with this story, some of which is through the voice of different characters in the novel. This is a difficult skill which has been well demonstrated by the children.
Last week an attractive display of Year 3 work was created outside Miss McNamara’s classroom. It was themed on “Robot Dance- the 1980s” which formed part of Art Week a short time ago. We thought that you might like to see some of the finished robot masks which the children completed in school.
Finally, we hope that you are looking forward to the Royal Wedding Tea Party on Tuesday 15th May. The children have been told that they may wear red/ white/ blue clothing to link to the theme of the day. On this Tuesday, Year 3 children have carousel activities, which include PE. If your child is wearing “sensible clothes” (no high heels or clothing which would be a problem for PE activities) on Tuesday, then he/she would not need any change of clothing and could wear their tea party outfit all day. Alternatively, if you wish, they could wear PE kit and change into Tea Party clothes later.
Let’s hope the rain stays away!
This week has been a shorter week but the children have recovered from their wonderful trip to Kidzania. They have been finishing off their work on Zeraffa Girraffa, retelling the story. 2P managed to visit the Co-Op to learn about where their food comes from. They were amazed to see the variety of countries on display. All the children have been down to the allotment to plant some seeds of their choice as part of our We are what we Eat topic and then this afternoon they made healthy bars. There was not much left when they had tasted them!
Last Friday, the Lower School children went on a school trip to Kidzania. All the children were encouraged to independently explore the range of exciting real life activities whilst also developing important skills such as critical thinking, entrepreneurship, problem solving, teamwork and more. The most popular activities in Year 1 were the police force, fire rescue, making chocolate, working in a supermarket or a hotel, becoming a pilot, cleaning company, accident and emergency, engineering and air conditioning.
This week the children were delighted to return to see the changes in the seeds planted in the previous week. They were impressed with the cress, grass, broad beans and the sunflower seeds growth and have made impressive observations. In particular, when observing the cress seeds they noticed how the seeds kept in darkness did not grow well but grew sideways as if reaching for the sun. In English, the children have been honing their writing skills further by retelling the story of ‘The Tiny Seed’ by Eric Carle. We are thrilled with the quality of writing from our 5 and 6 year olds. The children are really trying hard to apply the sound knowledge they have learnt, within their own writing. They are all becoming more consistent with their use of basic punctuation and are making more interesting vocabulary choices. In maths, the children have been learning about fractions of shapes. They all enjoyed creating different designs using fractions for the wedding cake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. On this theme, in preparation for our party next week, the children have made bunting, flags and crowns. We are all looking forward to a spiffing day!
Reception are looking forward to our Royal Wedding celebration next week. The children have been busy creating bunting, flags and crowns for the occasion.
This week we have also had Teddy Bears’ picnics to welcome the new Reception and Nursery children. Our current children enjoyed joining each other in their classrooms.
This week the children in Nursery have been reading the story “Tiddler- the story-telling fish” by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. In the story Tiddler is always late for school, but tells imaginative tales as to why. The children have really enjoyed the humour in this book and the repetitive refrains which has enabled them to join in and “read” the story together. They have really enjoyed creating their own versions of the book, making up wild stories as to why Tiddler is late again.
As well as being busy making bunting, flags and crowns for the royal wedding tea party next week, all the children have made a “shoebox aquarium”. We have discussed coral reef habitats and the types of creatures that live there. The children have chosen their favourite sea creatures to create individual coral reef habitat dioramas.
This week saw years 5 and 6 participate in rounders and cricket matches. Both year groups played a round robin tournament against West Lodge and Benedict House and put in a brilliant display of hard work, skill, and positive attitude in every match they played. Year 6 won all of their matches in both sports, whilst year 5 won their cricket match but lost one and drew one in their two rounders matches. A very enjoyable day and a big congratulations to all the children involved!
We Walk for Water
The School Parliament’s first global campaign last week was a huge success! All year groups had the opportunity to discuss what it would be like to not have the luxury of turning on the tap and considered what small actions we could do in order to save water. All year groups took part in a Water Walk around the park with the task of carrying a number of large water bottles with them - halfway round some teachers even took off the lids so the children had to consider how to continue moving without spilling any of the precious water. Although we didn’t walk as far as children across the world do to collect water (the average distance is 3.7 miles), the children began to realise how difficult and time consuming it would be to do this every day or even twice a day. Some comments from the children included, “When the bottles were open we had to move slowly to ensure we didn't spill anything, that means it took even longer” and “ It was tiring enough walking around the park with the sun shining, it would be so much harder in Africa”. Thank you very much for all of your support for our MPs first global campaign. If you would still like to make a donation this can be brought into school on Monday 14th May.
Mrs O’Sullivan and the MPs