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Newsletter 18th January 2019

From the Head

I would like to begin my section of the Newsletter by thanking Miss McNamara and all the staff, for the amazing opportunities they have provided for the children and adults at school this week. We began this academic year with an INSET on Wellbeing, which is one of our school development priorities for this year. I will let the individual classes tell you more about the different activities they have taken part in below.

The entire school community has really embraced the importance of raising the profile of mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding it and this was evident at the inspirational presentation given to parents by Dick Moore on Tuesday evening. The feedback I have received from parents who attended has been incredible and we will certainly be inviting Dick back to St Olave’s so that any parents who missed his talk will have the opportunity to attend. If you could please complete the Google form that was sent to you on ParentPay on Wednesday, I would be really grateful. I have included Dick’s top tips for parents below for your information. Please also set up a Twitter account this weekend and follow us @StOlavesPrep to see more of the incredible opportunities that your children have experienced this week.

My assembly on Monday was based on a short animation from the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families about ‘Talking Mental Health’. The most important thing to teach our children and for ourselves as parents is to talk about their feelings, big or small, and recognise that we all have small feelings every day. These may be happy, sad, nervous, excited, scared etc but they are normal and healthy. If our feelings become big feelings that persist, stop us going about our day to day lives or change our behaviour, it is time to talk and ask for help. I have included the animation below for you to share with your children if you would like to use it as a conversation starter.

I hope you all have a mindful weekend; your child could practise giving you a massage or teach you how to meditate. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you have a lovely time with your families and I look forward to seeing you all next week.

Kind regards, Miss Holloway

Headteacher

Top Tips For Parents From Dick Moore

Visit From Andy Barrow

What an inspirational speech from paralympian Andy Barrow this afternoon. The children asked some excellent questions to find out about his experiences as a wheelchair rugby player. His story gave the children an insight into what it must be like to suffer a life changing event. It gave him the the courage, determination and resilience to follow a different path and to create new experiences that he otherwise would not have had the opportunity to pursue. The three goals he set the children are:

  1. Just say yes and, not yes but . .
  2. Appreciate every moment
  3. Give YOUR 100%

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Week

Thank you to all the staff for making this week one to remember! Here are some highlights of the week.

FRSC NEWS

Match Funding

Many large companies offer match funding benefits to employees - where they match a figure your chosen charity raises - up to £700 per time. We'd love to hear from anyone whose company offers this benefit, as we are a registered charity and could therefore increase the revenue from the events we run enormously. If just a handful of parents stepped forward it would make a massive difference. Your HR department will be able to confirm if your company participates in the scheme - most large banks do, as well as other sectors.

The Giving Machine

Remember, when you are shopping online you can generate a free cash donation for us just by clicking via www.TheGivingMachine.co.uk. You’ll find over 2,200 of the most popular stores, so it’s easy for you to make a difference without it costing you a penny more than the normal purchase price of your item. Your shopping has already raised over £100 for St Olave’s so please remember to shop through this link whenever you are shopping online!

St Olave’s School Trust on TheGivingMachine: https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/causes/st-olaves-school-trust-266085

Year 6

Year 6 have had a fantastic week this week! Each day has been amazing, with a different activity, visitor or workshop to help us learn about the importance of our wellbeing and how we can be mentally healthy. On Monday, we looked at the Rights of the Child. We had an insightful and interesting discussion about what we ‘need’ and what we ‘want’, followed by an energetic games lesson. On Tuesday, we focussed on ‘feelings’ we looked at clips from the film ‘Inside Out’ and discussed what feelings feel like, how we can deal with them and that we should talk about our feelings in order have strategies to cope with feeling overwhelmed. We also had an inspiring workshop with Dick Moore, where he spoke to the children about mental health and how we can work through our bad emotions, and events in our lives in order to ‘weather the storm’. Thank you to the parents who were able to attend Dick’s meaningful talk in the evening. Wednesday brought our ‘self care’ day where we discussed, in Houses with Year 5, how to look after ourselves by exercising, eating healthy, having a healthy self esteem and being able to relax. We were also very lucky to have a workshop about Resilience, Growth and Wellbeing. Thursday was our healthy eating day, this started with a breakfast in class followed by making fruit kebabs, inside out sandwiches and making fruit smoothies on the ‘smoothie bike’! We also were taught about peer massage. Also, thank you to Mrs Kenny for our great Pilates sessions! Finally Friday was our self-esteem day, we worked on our team building skills by working together to play board games and thinking about empathy, how we can show empathy to others, listen to others and not judge. Our amazing week was finished off with a very inspirational talk from Andy Barrow! We hope that the children are able to put into practice all they have learnt during this fantastic week, now and especially in their move to secondary schools in September.

Year 5

Wow! What a reflective group of children Year 5 are! We have had a fantastic and thought provoking week whilst learning about the importance of mental health and wellbeing. We have had a wealth of visitors introduce us to pilates, peer massage, healthy minds and how to further our resilience. We’ve enjoyed working with the children in Year 6 this week, learning about a healthy diet, exercise, self-esteem and relaxation. We even thought more deeply about our emotions and the fact that it is ‘ok not to be ok’. Clips from the film, ‘Inside Out’ also featured in our learning this week as we discussed how people may feel both mentally and physically, learning how certain emotions may feel and how we can cope with them. An inspirational talk by Dick Moore to the Year 5 and 6 children on Tuesday emphasised this. We have been delighted with the way that the children have listened to and supported each other, occasionally through sensitive discussions and this is testament to the caring and friendly environment they create with their peers. Well done Year 5, we are very proud of you!

On Thursday, the children made healthy snacks by chopping and preparing fruit to make fruit kebabs and ‘inside out sandwiches’ with cucumber and a range of fillings. Following this, the children took part in the ‘Urban Bike Smoothie Challenge’, again finding a fun way to include fruit in our diets but in a different way.

A reminder that the meeting for Year 5 parents regarding the Year 5 residential trip takes place next Wednesday 23rd January from 3:55pm. The Year 5 children will be supervised by the Year 6 staff in school during the meeting. Have a super weekend!

Year 4

We have had a wonderful Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health week! The children have surprised us with their self-awareness and open minds towards thinking about things in different ways. It has been wonderful working with them in a different way this week and we really hope they have been talking to you about some of things we have been up to!

We had a great turnout on Wednesday morning to work out with The Body Coach, albeit via youtube, in the hall! Joe Wicks even retweeted our tweet which has since been viewed over 4,500 times! The children were keen to try all the moves and could definitely feel their heart rates going up. Feedback from the children at the end was that they felt “fantastic” and “energised” - maybe we should try it more often!

We have been talking a lot to the children about self-care this week and enjoyed considering the things that ‘stress us out’. The children learnt about the ‘circle of control’: what elements of life are in their control, meaning they can do something about it, and what can they accept is out of their control. They made videos about this on the iPads using iMovie, with some great results.

On Thursday, we had a very relaxing day with a class breakfast, yoga, smoothie making, peer massage and Pilates! We enjoyed the peer massage so much we may even try to incorporate it into our week.

Year 3

This was a very different week for Year 3 as we considered our Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health. There have been so many activities to comment on: massage, pilates, talks from a Paralympian, empathy… to name but a few.

One highlight was a mindfulness session with Ms Mendes, where the children filled water bottles with glitter and sequins, thinking of their feelings as they went. The children then learnt how to meditate and to be still whilst focusing on their glitter bottles. The children have taken the bottles home, so we hope that these help with meditation and calm moments for them and your family.

Perhaps one of the most useful lessons for this week involved the “Circle of Control”. This helped the children to realise that some actions and words are their responsibility, whilst other areas of life are not!

Graphics such as this have helped all Year 3 children to be able to clearly see which areas of their lives are within their control and which are not. As teachers in school, we can refer to this when children make either sensible or unwise choices.

Although this has been a fascinating EWMH week with an amazing variety of activities, next week will see a return to our normal timetable. To assist with the efficient running of our Games lessons on Wednesday afternoons, please could you ensure that your child has the correct kit for the session. This should include shin pads, long green socks and boots. Some children have been forgetting these items and really should be bringing them to Games at this stage of the school year. Thank you for your support.

Year 2

What an incredible week we have had! The children have loved every activity and have taken a special message away from each one about how to look after both themselves and those around them. On Monday, the children had some art therapy and enjoyed painting with cotton buds. They found it very relaxing and were able to take time to reflect and to be calm whilst being creative. The children also undertook an activity to build their self esteem. We have looked at emotions and the circle of control. During these sessions, the children have found ways of coping with their feelings and have been taught to recognise a variety of emotions.

On Tuesday, the children made ‘fifteens’ in class (a cooking activity which didn’t involve an oven). They worked as a team and saw that cooperation and teamwork is the key to happiness, kindness and getting on with those around them. The children very much enjoyed eating these in class and were thrilled to take home a little picnic to share at home. They also enjoyed Pilates with Mrs Kenny.

On Wednesday, the children spoke about the hobbies that they enjoy out of school. It was a privilege to listen to the children speak so confidently in front of their friends. It took both courage and self-confidence for the children to do this at such a young age

Other highlights of the week have included a mindfulness session with Ms Mendes, where the children filled water bottles with glitter and sequins, thinking of their feelings as they went. The children then learnt how to meditate and to be still whilst focusing on their glitter bottles. We hope that these help with meditation and calm moments at home. The children loved the Urban Smoothie bikes, fitness with Joe Wicks, sing-along-songs and class breakfast on Thursday and have finished the week by watching a production of the Ugly Duckling! The children have thought about how special each and everyone of them is and have been taught that by giving compliments, no matter how small, they can lift a person’s day. We hope that the children take all of our lessons forward into all aspects of their day-to-day life. We want them to remember that emotional well-being is at the heart of happiness, and that happy children can learn and embrace all of the lovely (and not so lovely) opportunities that come their way!

Year 1

This week the children have experienced many exciting, relaxing and informative activities to help with their Emotional Well-being and Mental Health. The week begun with great discussions about the Rights of the Child. The children had to decide together which pictures they thought were most important, some chosen were clean air, shelter, food, healthcare, clean water and education.

To develop the children’s ability to work with different people and to make new friendships, we decided to mix the Lower School children into four groups. They moved in a carousel and learnt about the following: art therapy using paint, creating an emotions poster using the pic collage app on an iPad, discussing their strengths and talents and learning about the circle of control, including how to move forward if we find some things are out of our control. The second carousel of activities included: a circle of friendship, building a tower from spaghetti and marshmallows-resilience, listening to a story about a huge bag of worries and discussing our own worries and learning about how our thoughts, feelings and actions are all connected and to remind ourselves to use our inner champion instead of an inner critic. The children enjoyed learning differently with children from other classes and we hope to build on the skills they have learnt as they move up the school.

The Year 1 children have had the opportunity to try Pilates with Mrs Kenny, Mindfulness with Ms Mendes and Peer Massage with Liz. During the pilates lesson, the children were taught about the importance of good posture and ways to stretch and strengthen their muscles whilst breathing deeply. With Ms Mendes, the children each created their own meditation bottle. The bottle represented the mind and they filled it with sequins and glitter to represent their emotions and thoughts. On Thursday, the children loved creating their own healthy smoothies using the Urban Smoothie bikes. They showed great resilience whilst pedalling away and ended the session with a taste of the delicious smoothies they had made!

The week ended with a production of ‘Not Such an Ugly Duckling.’ The performance conveyed the important message that we are all special and unique and that bullying is hurtful and wrong. In the afternoon, we welcomed paralympian Andy Barrow to school to talk to the children about his own experiences and how through resilience and determination he overcame challenges in order to succeed. What an inspiring way to end such a fantastic week!

Reception

Our focus this week has been chefs. We have talked about foods that help keep us healthy and those that are not good for our bodies. At the beginning of the week we coloured in some pictures. We then sorted these into two groups, things that we need and things that we want in order to live. Do you think play is something children need or want? This prompted lots of interesting discussions with the children.

We have also joined in with lots of new experiences as part of St Olave’s Emotional Well-being and Mental Health week. Learning how to stretch our backs in Pilates and give our friends a massage. The children loved taking home their mindfulness bottles to help them focus on the present moment.

This week the children paired up with a friend and asked what toppings they would like on their pizza. They wrote down their friend’s pizza order and on Wednesday they delivered their friend’s pizza for them to enjoy for lunch. They were delicious!

Nursery

Another busy week in Nursery as we experienced many different workshops as part of St Olave’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health week, alongside learning all about being a chef.

We all had an enjoyable experience during our Mindfulness workshop making meditation bottles filled with glitter and sequins. It was very soothing watching the contents spin around the bottle and settle on the bottom.

We all enjoyed climbing aboard the massage train, giving each other a massage as our visitor Liz told us the “Weather Massage Story”. We felt so relaxed afterwards.

We enjoyed our pilates session, learning how to stretch our backs safely in different ways. We pretended to be turtles and stretch forwards, then leant back to look at the birds flying high in the sky.

The children also became pizza chefs this week, working in pairs to create a delicious, healthy pizza for each other. We cooked them in the oven and ate them for our lunch. Yummy!

Our fabulous week ended with a brilliant theatre production of “The Not So Ugly Duckling”.

Next week we will be focusing on the work of doctors, nurses and paramedics. Don't forget to bring in a soft toy on Wednesday when the children will be learning how to apply bandages from one of our parents who is a specialist nurse.

Have a lovely weekend.

Other

Rights Respecting Schools Award

As part of our action plan to become a ‘Silver’ Rights Respecting School, all children, from Nursery to Year 6, have participated in a rights workshop this week. Designed to get the children thinking and asking questions about their rights, we started by considering the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs’, before trying to think about which ‘needs’ are the most important. There was some incredibly interesting discussions about key rights in an attempt to prioritise them over each other - for example is education more important than nutritious food because without an education you cannot get a job in order to buy the food, or is nutritious food more important because, without it, you will not survive through your education to employment. The children across the school provided some very valuable and interesting insights to this, however old they were. We were very proud of their responses to some tricky discussions.

We also introduced the School Charter to the children. These are the 5 key rights (out of 54) that our Year 6 Rights Respecting Ambassadors have chosen to be our focus as the most relevant to our school:

  • Article 2: All children have rights, no matter who they are
  • Article 12: You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously
  • Article 17: You have the right to get information that is important to your well-being, from radio, newspaper, books, computers and other sources. Adults should make sure that the information you are getting is not harmful, and help you find and understand the information you need
  • Article 29: Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you to learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people
  • Article 31: You have the right to play and rest

These will be displayed in all classrooms over the coming weeks to allow for ongoing discussion around what they mean and what we can all do to uphold them around school.

Please take a moment to watch this short video about becoming a Rights Respecting School and why we are doing it:

We would love it if some parents could get involved in our journey to Silver so if you would like to know more about our work to become a Rights Respecting School or would like to help in any way, please contact me.

Mrs O’Sullivan

Pet Club

Our first visitor this year was Mylo, a 2 year old whippet, who belongs to Mrs Bennett, Charlie and Yasmin. Mylo likes to eat anything, licking up the crumbs on the floor in the classroom following their cooking session earlier that day! He eats special dog food at home and has special treats to chew that clean his teeth. Whippets can run very fast - up to 35 miles an hour! Charlie told us that Mylo likes to go for walks in the woods, and enjoys chasing squirrels. Mylo has a very short coat and was very happy to let the children stroke him. Thank you to Mrs Bennett and Charlie for bringing Mylo to visit us.

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