Newsletter 23rd November 2018

From the Head

Last Friday night, many staff and I joined the FRSC and parents for their annual quiz night; what a brilliant evening! Thank you so much to all those parents who planned and organised the evening, and to those who attended. Who knew that a recorder had ten finger holes? Or that the collective noun for a group of crocodiles is a bask? Thankfully, I could still remember how to play Frere Jacques on the recorder and tested out all ten finger holes successfully…!

It was lovely (if a little chilly!) to see so many of you at Parents’ Evenings this week. Thank you for your feedback and appreciation of refreshments, as well as the positive comments to the teachers and myself. As you know, we all work to ensure that each child reaches their full potential and appreciate the open conversations we can have; this partnership between home and school is the most valuable and important one we can have.

Thank you for your generosity in donating for the Christmas Fayre, we are busy preparing for the big day and look forward to seeing you all on 1st December for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend; stay warm and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Kind regards, Miss Holloway

Wellbeing Award

At St Olave’s Prep School, we care about the wellbeing of both our pupils and staff and we are always looking for ways that we can help support our school family. This year, as you know, we are working incredibly hard to achieve the Wellbeing Award for Schools administered by Award Place, in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau.

This whole-school award focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils.

The award has a focus on changing the long-term culture of a school, and embedding an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.

With this award, schools can:

  • Show their commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life
  • Improve the emotional wellbeing of their staff and pupils
  • Ensure mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided
  • Offer provision and interventions that matches the needs of its pupils and staff
  • Engage the whole-school community in the importance of mental health awareness
  • Capture the views of parents, pupils and teachers on mental health

We are well on our journey to achieving this award and hope to have it in place this academic year. Thank you to the huge number of parents that completed the survey last term; our change team are busy analysing the parent, child and staff survey responses and writing a wellbeing strategy which will be shared with you when it is complete. If you would like any further information regarding the award, please contact the School Office and a member of the change team will be in touch.


Christmas Fayre - Saturday 1st December 11am - 2pm

Thank you for your generous donations on the gate this morning, our parents volunteers are busy sorting and organising ready for the big day next Saturday! If you haven’t had time to grab your donations, there is still time; we will collect donations on the gate every morning until Friday 30th November. If you are able to provide homemade cakes for the cake stall, please bring them to school on Friday morning, not before please. Don’t forget your raffle tickets too - we have some amazing raffle prizes on offer this year. Thank you all for making this event so successful.

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.

Volunteers Needed!

We would love to have some committee members from Nursery and Year 6; please see any member of the FRSC or Mrs Farrell on the gate if you would like to find out more. Anyone willing to offer help, services or donations, please see Mrs Farrell for further information.

The Giving Machine

Remember, when you are buying Christmas presents 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 nearly £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

It has been another busy week for Year 6. Their resilience was put to the test on Monday with a wintry games lesson. The weather has certainly turned colder but despite this, the children persevered with all of the activities. On Tuesday, they experienced what it would be like to swim in rough waters. Using floats to create small waves, the children were challenged to swim a width of the pool. It certainly demonstrated them how much harder it is to swim in this situation. Please note that the children will require their old clothes and a plastic bag again next week to carry on their life saving skills.

Following on from our Barvember win last week, the children have continued to tackle the daily problems. White Rose Maths sent us some prizes including mugs and a voucher, which we will put to good use. To celebrate the children’s achievements, they received a ‘Barvember’ chocolate bar. This week, they have succeeded with some of the challenges and it has wonderful to see the children working collaboratively on these tasks. Alongside this, we have also been preparing the children who still have upcoming 11+ tests.

In English this week, the children have focused on what relative clauses are. They learnt that they are also known as subordinating clauses because they add extra information to a sentence. They found out that relative clauses normally start with a relative pronoun such as who, which, that, whose or whom. We have continued to read Shackleton’s Journey and spent Thursday imagining we were Shackleton’s conscience. The dilemma that Shackleton was faced with was if he should continue to South Georgia leaving half his crew behind or stay behind on Elephant Island and continue the journey. The children wrote some persuasive notes to Shackleton explaining their opinions and reasons.

It is our school trip to Dulwich College next Monday, where we will be visiting the James Caird boat. Please can your child bring a packed lunch with them, as we will be eating it on our return, many thanks.

Year 5

This week we have been exploring statistic in Maths and creating our line graphs based on at least one set of data. Children have been identifying the key features of a line graph and ensuring that use these when constructing their own. Next week, we will move on to exploring greater sets of data and analysing results.

In English, we have been exploring the key features of emails, focusing on the structural and language features that are used depending on the purpose of the email. The children planned and wrote their own emails on iPads in the role of Liam from ‘Cosmic’. They focused on persuasive techniques and the language features they would use in a informal email to a friend.

During Science, the children tested Newton’s Third Law. Their challenge was to pass a straw along a piece of string using just a balloon and some sellotape. Through trial and error some groups were successful in doing this and then demonstrated their methods to the class, helping to lead the other children’s learning. Following the experiment, the children recorded their findings in a way in which they would be expected to in Year 7, including an equipment list, method, results and conclusion.

The children in Year 5 were fantastic during a discussion about racism in our Jigsaw PSHEE lesson on Tuesday. We discussed what racism is and what can be done to prevent it. The children raised excellent points about celebrating the range of cultures in the world, learning about cultures and beliefs and being understanding of others. As part of this, we created our own anti-racism ribbons and discussed the reasons for our choice of colours and phrases surrounding them. One Year 5 pupil commented that:

‘I made my ribbon colourful and like a jigsaw because everyone is a different colour and everyone can be friendly with people of different skin tones, so that we’re not mindless robots’.

Year 4

Wow! We were over the moon when Philip Pullman watched our drama activity on Twitter and gave his seal of approval. We are getting very excited about Philip Pullman in Year 4. We have been looking at the other books he has written and finding out about the trilogy ‘His Dark Materials’. This theatre production of his Grimm Tales at the Unicorn Theatre over the Christmas holidays looks exciting and might be of interest to you and your family: https://www.unicorntheatre.com/GrimmTales.

After our role play as ‘Bob and Joan’ we considered the key events from each chapter and created ‘freeze frames’ as a snapshot of what was going on. We then thought about what each character would be thinking at that very moment. We have had so much fun getting into character this week, it has really deepened our understanding of the story so far.

We are looking forward to the class visits to Creekside Discovery Centre next week. If the weather is cold, it is fine for the children to wear base layers and an extra jumper or fleece with their PE kit. Please also remember a pair of thick socks, hat and gloves.

Year 3

There has been some ‘sound’ work going on in Year 3 this week, as we launched our new IPC topic “Turn it up” with a spectacular Sound Workshop. Dan Mayfield introduced the children to a wide array of sounds and effects. The children were particularly captivated by Foley or adding sound effects to a piece of film. It was a very enjoyable educational event!

Also, we have begun to “Celebrate Differences” as part of our PSHEE work. It has been a very positive experience for all of us to be reminded that we all have varying abilities and interests. It is to the credit of your children that they understand that others may have different needs to their own.

Next week we will continue our English work on myths and legends as well as focussing on the correct use of apostrophes.

Thank you for attending the Parent Meetings as the conversations are invaluable in helping your child to make further progress and feel happy and safe at school.

Year 2

On Monday morning 2DS was like a real bakers as the smell of freshly baked bread wafted through the school from the classroom. The children enjoyed following a recipe to make a normal loaf of bread and a banana loaf to share. Thankfully, with a gentle reminder from Mr Pradic, the children remembered to double check that they had followed the recipe carefully before baking. They soon realised that the key ingredient of flour had somehow got missed out. Miss Dean decided that she wouldn’t be entering The Great British Bake Off anytime soon!

On Wednesday Miss Ryan’s class delivered a lovely assembly about their learning this half term. The children showcased their wonderful polar bears and gorillas as they spoke about a variety of animals that they had learnt about during topic work. They also shared their writing about the Lonely Beast and remembered how important friends are to everyone. Next week, with their assembly over, it will be 2R’s turn to cook bread in class. Watch out for some tweets from more of our star bakers in Year 2!

With the Christmas play fast approaching, we would like all of the children to focus on learning their lines and songs over the next few days. Please encourage your children to use loud, clear voices as they practise.

In IPC, the children have looked at a variety of foods which are grown from a seed along with the different countries around Europe which provide us with our food. On Thursday, we took a trip to the local Co-op to have a look at food labels to see from where many of our fruits and vegetables are sourced. With this in mind, when unpacking the food shopping this weekend, we would like the children to look carefully at the labels on food packaging and list their country of origin! You could well have a bit of France, Spain or even Greece on your plate if you look carefully!!

On Friday of next week, Year 2 will be visiting Temper Temper Chocolate in Tonbridge to make chocolate items of their own and to see how chocolate starts off as a cocoa bean in the rainforest. Look out next week for some news about our dream trip!! Have a great weekend.

The INN-Spectors: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BoFZrxJ685r7-G5liPsxlAd77r1VGnS4?usp=sharing

Year 1

This week the children in the Lower School have been rehearsing for their version of the christmas story ‘The Innspectors’. They have been learning how to project their voices, speak with clarity and most of the children have even learnt a dance as a group. Please support your children at home, allowing them to practise their dances and help them to learn the words for the songs. You can access the songs via https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1BoFZrxJ685r7-G5liPsxlAd77r1VGnS4?usp=sharing

This week, the children have been given opportunities to use their ‘purple polish’ to make changes and corrections to their work. After we have looked at their learning, we give the children oral feedback on a one to one and then the children independently use a purple pencil to improve their work. This is an excellent way for us to monitor their progress and to reinforce individual targets set for the children.

In English, the children have had some focused handwriting practice and they are all working hard to perfect their letter formations and the cursive script. It is vital that the children follow the correct letter formation at this stage of their writing, as it will impact their speed of writing as they move up the school. If you would like to practise their handwriting at home, please follow our St.Olave’s Prep handwriting guidelines. This will be sent home with the children. Every week, the children have a focused lesson to develop their comprehension skills. The children are taught to read the text first, then they have to read questions. All the children are developing the skill to retrieve the answers from the text. They are practising using a coloured pencil (highlighter) to find where the answers are in the text first. This is a mature learning tool that will support with comprehension activities all the way through the school.

In our RE lesson this week, the children learnt about the festival of ‘Thanksgiving’. They listened carefully to the story of the pilgrims and learnt how it is celebrated in America today. They loved sharing their ideas about everything we are thankful for. The children are thankful for: their parents, water, toys, food, clothes school and many more.

Today it was our last visit to Forest School before Christmas! The children enjoyed the freedom of using the mud kitchen, jumping in muddles, collecting leaves and creating a skeleton out of sticks. The children have had such a busy week that it ended with a well deserved treat of hot chocolate at base camp. Thank you to Miss S-J for supporting the children with their outdoor learning this term!


Another busy week in Reception. We have continued our learning using part part whole models from addition and transferred this to using bar models exploring subtraction.

We are sad to say we have finished our Julia Donaldson topic. The children have enjoyed the final book ‘Stickman’ and are looking forward to going to the theatre next week to watch the live show. Don’t forget there are many other Julia Donaldson stories, maybe you could find some in the library?

Reception have been trying really hard learning their lines for our Christmas production ‘The Innkeepers Breakfast’. They have enjoyed learning the songs and actions and are excited to show you in a few weeks.


Nursery have enjoyed exploring the last of our Julia Donaldson books this week “ Stick Man”. We’ve had great fun making a Nursery Stick family using the sticks collected by the children. We’ve also created the Stick Man family tree from our handprints!

The children have been exploring their own families and talking about parents, grandparents and siblings. They have drawn their own family trees and discussed the similarities and differences between them all. We are really looking forward to our trip to see Stick Man at the theatre next week.

Christmas is quickly creeping up on us and we have started rehearsals for our upcoming production “The Innkeeper’s Breakfast”. The rehearsals are going well, the children have quickly picked up all the songs and actions.

We’ve started to think about the season of Winter this week and the weather has certainly been cold enough. The children have been exploring “snow” and arctic animals in the outside area. They’ve really enjoyed making snowmen out of (smelly!) socks and rice and developing their origami skills to make glittering snowflakes.

Next week we will switch our topic to Christmas and focus on the Nativity story.

Have a lovely weekend.

Active Travel Award

Thank you for all your support with promoting Active Travel to our school community. As more children, families and staff are walking and cycling it is a win-win. We are improving our health and well-being, reducing traffic locally and working towards cleaner air in London. The Junior Travel Ambassadors collected our Bronze Award at the Oval cricket ground on Tuesday, on behalf of the whole school. Well done, everybody!

Winter Coats

We still have a few missing winter coats - please can you check your child has their own coat, and it has their name in. It is very important that children wear a coat to school every day now the weather is much colder.

Thank you for your help. Mrs Farrell

Children in Need

We raised a “spotacular” £758.65 - thank you very much for your generosity and amazing donations of cakes.

Pet Club

This week we were visited by Parper, a 7 year old Golden Retriever. We found out that he enjoys eating pasta and apple cores, as well as dog treats. Parper lives with a cat and they are the best of friends, often curling up together to sleep. Parper was very well behaved, and sat perfectly still while the children stroked him, even shaking paws with some of the children.

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