Newsletter 28th September 2018

From the Deputy Head

Throughout the week, Miss Kiely and Mrs Maizels have welcomed children from all year groups to our school Book Fair. I am pleased to announce that we have raised over £1,600 through the sale of the books and stationery which will be used to replenish our school library and classroom libraries with new and exciting books for the children to enjoy. Many thanks for your support, especially Mrs Anderson, Mrs Drozdova, Mrs Hart and Mrs Stoyanova who gave up their time to help the book fair run smoothly!

On Wednesday 26th September, the whole school celebrated European Day of Languages. It was a great opportunity to talk about the wealth of languages and cultures present at St Olave’s, experiment with new languages and discover all sorts of interesting facts. Did you know that there were more than 300 different languages spoken in London? Or that more than 60% of the world population can speak at least two languages? We hope the children went home full of enthusiasm for learning languages.

As part of the school’s celebration of the European Day of Languages, Madame Banfield sent a survey to staff and parents. Some of the results were fascinating and we wanted to share them with you. Many thanks for your responses, we have had over 200 replies so far!

This week was the launch of our Dining Hall Helpers. The children in Years 4, 5 and 6 have been allocated a session to support the children in the EYFS and the Lower School. They were given specific roles as well as aprons and hats to wear for hygiene reasons. All the children were on time, they showed initiative and were fantastic role models. It was a pleasure to watch them nurture, guide and support our youngest children. This is part of our Pupil Partnerships programme, giving every child the opportunity to be a leader in different aspects of school life. You will receive more information regarding this from Mrs O'Sullivan soon. Congratulations to you all!

Kind regards, Mr Turner

Literacy Planet

We have recently signed up to a new web based literacy programme to support the English curriculum. It will be used at school and can also be accessed at home. Home Learning tasks will often be set by teachers for the children to complete. We will be sending home the children’s logins over the next week and a letter with further information will follow.

Year 6

Year 6 have had yet another busy week. We have continued our IPC topic, Being Human, by investigating how our lungs work. We used a plastic bottle and two balloons to replicate a working lung. The bottom balloon represented our diaphragm, which is the muscle that sits at the base of our chest. We found out that it contracts and flattens when you inhale. This creates a vacuum effect that pulls air into the lungs. In science this week, we discussed genetics and looked at the features we might have inherited. We enjoyed looking at each other to see if we had any dimples or even flexible thumbs!

During English this week, we continued to read Shackleton's Journey. Using the original advert from Ernest Shackleton, we thought about the pros and cons of signing up for his expedition to Antarctica. We used a conscience alley to try and solve the dilemma faced by any person wanting to be part of the crew. We were impressed by how they thought about the problem from both points of view. A few people even changed their mind after walking down the alley, despite the prospect of not returning home safely!

In maths, we continued to focus on Place Value for numbers up to 10,000,000. We compared and ordered numbers using our knowledge of the value of each digit. We applied our knowledge to some problems by developing our reasoning skills using mathematical vocabulary. While trying to reason these problems, we found ourselves at the bottom of ‘The Learning Pit’ a few times, but it was great to see how they approached the problems using help from their friends and different strategies.

This week, 6B visited enjoyed a glorious hour in the school allotment with Mr Pradic. They harvested lots of fresh vegetables and berries. It will be 6M’s turn next Wednesday, so please could they have their wellington boots in school along with their PE kits for this (in case of bad weather) - we hope the sunshine stays out until then!

Year 5

We are geologists! In our science IPC lesson on Wednesday we investigated the types of rocks that may be found in space by sorting a variety of rocks into classification groups. Year 5 worked well in teams to identify possible rocks that could be discovered in space. The children have also created some very impressive leaflets about the different types of rock.

During maths lessons this week we have been investigating numbers up to one million. We realised that our recent place value lessons have really helped us to recognising the place value of specific digits. We also discussed how we could round numbers to the nearest 10 000 and 100 000 as well as recapping the greater than and less than symbols. We discovered various ways of remembering what the ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ symbols mean such as, ‘a crocodile eating the bigger number’, ‘the less than symbol looking like a wonky capital ‘L’ for less’ and the ‘lines being a greater distance apart towards the greater number’. This allowed us to see how between us we can find a range of ways to solve mathematical problems. Finally, towards the end of the week we solved problems involving negative numbers. We have enjoyed covering so many topics in maths this week and have been able to make links in our learning.

In English, we have continued to develop our descriptive writing. We have been focusing on fronted adverbials to help engage the reader. We have worked hard at identifying what extra information the fronted adverbial is providing and have been creating our own to help enrich our descriptive writing.

During European Day of Languages, we discovered that between us, we could speak 16 different languages! During the day we learnt how to ask for someone’s name, age and address in German as well as common greetings. We also learnt a few words from a range of languages in Year 5 and hope to spread some of this fantastic language knowledge throughout the year!

MFL Workshop

This week has been a busy week for the Language department at St Olave’s. On Monday, Year 5 girls went to Blackheath High to take part in a Modern Foreign Language workshop. They enjoyed taster sessions in Spanish, German, French and Mandarin and proved how good learning habits or “muscles” developed when studying one language give you an advantage when having to study a new language. The girls were attentive, engaged and prompt to pick up new sounds and sentence structures. Well done girls!

Year 4

Year 4 have been really enjoying getting to grips with our new White Rose maths lessons. Being challenged to think in a different way about maths has lead to some very interesting discussions about what we know, or think we know, about numbers. Our first focus has been place value, giving us an opportunity to both recap and revise what we know already alongside developing our problem solving and reasoning skills. Using language including ‘explain’, ‘justify’ and ‘prove’ has been a big change for some. You can support your child at home by asking them to explain, not only the answer to a question, but how they got there.

Our Active Planet learning has continued with enthusiasm and the children have enjoyed exploring how tectonic plates work and how volcanoes are formed.

Please can we ask that you encourage your children to pack their own bags for school, especially on days when they need to either bring their PE kit or their uniform in a bag. This not only promotes independence but also responsibility and resilience. Please also support them to learn how to tie their shoelaces and do up their ties independently.

Thank you for your support with helping your child to practise his or her spellings in the Spelling Log Book each day. This does make a difference in helping them to progress. The Spelling Quiz is every Monday.

Year 3

It has been another busy week for Year 3 as we continued with our Maths work around place value. The children have been studying number lines and trying to work out what might be at the end. Here is an example: 0-50-100-150- ? We have been trying to get the children to state the reason for the pattern too(in this example it was +50).

In English we have continued to read ‘Ug’ by Raymond Briggs. We hope that the children realise that this is a humorous version of Stone Age life. Ask the children what they understand by the word “anachronism”! Our sentence work is also progressing well as the children begin to become more confident using a variety of punctuation correctly.

On Monday 1st October Year 3 will be travelling to Chiltern Open Air Museum, to link with our IPC topic. Please remember to provide your child with a packed lunch, drink, coat and wellies (as stated in separate letter).

We have continued our IPC work this week for Scavengers and Settlers. We have deepened our understanding about how we know about the past and ‘met’ one of our early ancestors ‘Lucy’ and compared her skeleton to ours. Here are some photographs of the children creating fossils - fortunately ours didn’t take millions of years to make!

Year 2

On Monday, Year 2 visited Howletts Wild Animal Park. The sun was shining and we all had a fantastic day after such a wet weekend! The children visited the gorilla enclosure and learnt all about these endangered animals. They saw the gorillas foraging for food to eat and loved seeing them swinging around in their enclosure. After a welcomed packed lunch, the children had further time to see all of the other wild animals in the park, from tigers to rhinos and elephants, both big and small. Howletts had a two week old baby elephant which some of us saw as it took its first shy steps underneath its mother. Once back in class, the children had a gorilla themed week as part of our IPC learning. They have enjoyed Anthony Browne’s picture book, ‘Gorilla’, written facts about gorillas, thought of verbs to describe how they move and have created pictures of these amazing creatures. Over the weekend, ask your children to tell you all about them!

Year 1

‘Once upon a bicycle, so they say, a Jolly Postman came one day, from over the hills and far away…’ The Jolly Postman by Janet and Alan Ahlberg ‘a children’s classic!’ was introduced to the children during English this week. It will be our Power of Reading text until half term. We first focused on observation skills, by learning to look closely at the very first illustration in the book. Everyone looked carefully and used the evidence they could see to help them predict who The Jolly Postman would visit first. We were impressed by the level of predicting skills and how much a picture ignited their imaginations. Following this, we learnt that he delivered a letter to the three bears. It was an apology letter from Goldilocks. This sparked a great deal of discussion and we asked the children ‘Should Baby Bear forgive Goldilocks?’ The children learnt the basics of a debate and thought about reasons for and against the forgiveness of Goldilocks. They then wrote a letter back to Goldilocks deciding whether to forgive her or not.

In Maths, the children explored and deepened their understanding of the less than, greater than and equals symbols. The children used concrete apparatus to compare different numbers. They chose from counters, numicon, multi-link, base ten, teddy bears and cubes. They loved the alligator/crocodile analogy that he likes to eat the greater number. After the use of concrete apparatus the children developed their knowledge further by exploring the concept using pictures. They loved using dice to create their own number sentences. Some children even used the symbols for 2 digit numbers. To challenge the children further, they explored number sentences with money, first totalling amounts and then choosing the correct symbol to make it correct.

We really enjoyed playing our Ocarina’s in music for the first time this week. Please can you remember to send them into school on Thursdays. Thank you

Miss Beacom


This week we have read the story ‘What the ladybird heard’.

The children have been busy sawing bamboo canes to make ladybird houses. We have programmed our ‘ladybird bot’ to follow a route around the farmyard. After making our own maps to capture the ‘fine prize cow’ we drew wanted posters to try and catch Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len.


We started the week with a visit to the allotment to find some pumpkins for Harvest next week. The children were really excited to look in the pumpkin patch and discover that not all the pumpkins were orange or the same size!

At the library we listened to the story “What the Ladybird Heard”. The children had fun programming BeeBot the ladybird to travel around the farm to visit the different animals from the story.

They also mixed salt dough to create their own ladybird models, then painted them after they had been cooked and gone hard.

Next week we will be reading the story “The Smartest Giant in Town”. The children will also be practising hard in their music sessions with Miss Beacom so that they are ready to sing “Dingle Dangle Scarecrow” at the Harvest celebration at All Saints Church on Friday.

Have a lovely weekend.


Harvest Festival

We are looking forward to celebrating our Harvest Festival next week on Friday 5 October at All Saints Church 13.45. Mrs Farrell will be pleased to receive your donations from Monday at the gate.


We have had two visitors so far; first we met Vader, a 2 year old pug belonging to Freya in Year 5. This week we met Frankie, Miss Ryan’s French Bulldog. Both Vader and Frankie were happy to pose for photographs and let the children stroke them. They were very well-behaved. Thank you to

Ms Presland, Freya and Miss Ryan for bringing their dogs to school.

If you have a pet that would like to visit Pet Club please let me know.

Mrs Farrell

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