St Nicholas’ Newsletter 4. 05/03/2021

It’s been a real delight writing these newsletters since the start of term - they of course provided an opportunity to celebrate the hard work going on both at school and at home, but also keep open communication and the sense of community during lockdown. That said, they also do however serve a more, dare we say selfish purpose, as they are a great way for us to blow the trumpet for all the wonderful things we achieve at St Nicholas’, despite the sordidity of shamelessly celebrating the many incredible things going on!

So, these newsletters provide us with a chance to shout about successful events, or particular pieces of work, or our community coming together. Sometimes however, we have a chance to celebrate something even more significant, and this is one of those such occasions.

Year 6 have been working incredibly hard throughout this academic year, and it is hard to state the volume of work they complete, and the accompanying pressure of senior school examinations and interviews. We are now receiving results and offer letters, and we are absolutely delighted with the news we have received. Outlined below is an overview of the offers children have received in recent weeks...

So, it’s important to offer thanks to Mr Hamilton-Turner for the amazing job he does in preparing children, and to families at home for the support in completing work over holidays, weekends and evenings.

But of course, most importantly, we should offer huge congratulations to our Year 6 cohort. Whatever school they move onto to, they can be very very proud of the effort they have put in and the progress they have made. They’ve set a brilliant example to the all the children in the school, and deserve a huge amount of praise for the maturity and determination they have shown, and we’re delighted that they will be representing what it is to be a pupil from St Nicholas’ at some wonderful schools in September.

Well done guys!!! #NOFILTER!!!!

Mr Donaldson

The Core Values iSpy Box

We use the Core Values as a great way of demonstrating what it is to be a pupil at St Nicholas’. We see a lot of examples every day, but recently we’ve been looking out for children who have been particularly AMBITIOUS in their learning.

Elisa was ambitious by inventing a new ending the the story of the Three Little Pigs! Brilliant!! 3HP for Pine!!!
Soraia was ambitious when Year 5 were looking at volume this week, working out the volume of rooms around the school. 3HP to Maple!!!

For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking out for children who have been COLLABORATIVE. We’ve chosen this on purpose to celebrate everyone coming back to school next week, so look forward to sharing examples with you next time. That said, although we’re back to school, as always, we’d love examples from home too, so please send Mr D a quick message on Zoom or via email if your child is being Collaborative at home!

As part of Reception’s STEM activities, we have carried out a very colourful Skittles Experiment. Children have added cold and warm water and observed changes, including how each has a different reaction. We have discussed the science behind this tasty experiment and of course, enjoyed tasting the Skittles after completing the experiment!

As part of our PSED - Personal, Social, Emotional Development - children are encouraged to share their knowledge and offer help when needed. Ismaeel and Albert demonstrated this valuable skill in their Pass the Word activity, working together and supporting each other to complete the task.

As part of our work on Knowledge and Understanding of the World, we have been learning about Buddhism. Children have learned the origin of the religion, listened to the story about Siddhartha Gautama and looked at various symbols of Buddhism. We have gathered number of items and whilst working in groups, made beautiful mandalas

Finally, as part of promoting children's imagination, creativity and interest and critical thinking we use different construction materials. Hanouf has made her construction based on a fairy tale.

Since learning about Wassily Kandinsky as an artist, including his life and his works, Year 6 have tried to recreate one of his abstract paintings. Each child chose one abstract painting of Kandinsky’s that they particularly liked and which appealed to them. They did a couple of versions of their own work after receiving initial feedback from their peers. Next, the children then used his methodologies to create their own piece of abstract art by listening to music and trying to paint the music and expressing an emotion. Each child chose a different emotion that they wanted to express and focused on bright colours and vivid shapes. They all did an exceptional job and posted all the versions and edits they did onto Seesaw, so that their journeys could be shared.

Viyenna did a great job exploring a triangular-based series...
Nida explored circles in her work...

As part of our comparative study of different world religions, each member of Class 6 put together a presentation about one religion, to start with. The religions that we are looking at are Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism. We are looking at a wide range of aspects about each religion, such as places of worship, festivals and celebrations, clothing and gods and goddesses. Each child researched a religion that was different from their own faith and then presented their work, using Spark Page, to the rest of the class. We discussed the many similarities and differences between the religions, such as Lent for Christians and Ramadan for Muslims. The children uploaded their presentations to Seesaw, which also allowed the children to peer assess and comment on each other’s work.

Click the link below to check out Roomi’s presentation on Buddhism

With Spring approaching fast, Year 3 & 4 have focussed on the evolution of the famous English gardens through times. The children made their own English gardens in a box, with spectacular results. Every child chose a different style, and their efforts show how a good understanding of main features of a garden, as well as the natural beauty of how a variety of plants can create a little corner of heaven.

Elias designed an incredible modern English Garden...
...and Leila incorporated beautiful yellow pansies into her garden.

Then in Adventure School, we focussed our learning on recognising shapes made by water spills. This fun activity enhanced the children spatial awareness, as well as their animal vocabulary, as some found marine creatures (jellyfish) and others found exotic birds (the emu). It was great seeing the children's surprised faces as they recognised more interesting shapes and some even try to look at the same shape from a different angle, which is good for understanding reasoning and perspective.

Kyrah spotted an elephant and an emu in her splashes...
Zane spotted a jellyfish...

In STEM, children are becoming more confident in their understanding of electrical circuits, and have focussed their learning onto electrical safety, and conductors and insulators. Drawing upon their previous knowledge of properties of different materials, the children have created posters about conductors and insulators, which will displayed around the classroom to remind us to stay safe when using electricity.

Sandra created a detailed cross-section diagram of a wire with labels for each component

Olympus Challenge - February Half Term

What an amazing challenge in Half Term - helped by a glorious first weekend where people could get out and explore, we covered a huge distance as a community.

We combined with Park Hill to tackle this challenge, with the initial aim being to reach Mount Olympus in Greece, where the ancient olympics were first held. This meant we were aiming for 2,860km...

After a LOT of walking, cycling, scooting and running, we are delighted to announce that we successfully SMASHED the target, covering a total of 3,586km. St Nicholas’ families covered 1,180 km of this amount, a third of the total, which when considering that Park Hill are about twice our size, highlights what a brilliant team effort this was across all families in both schools.

We almost made it all the way to Canada!!!!
3,586km takes us all the way past Cairo to see the Pyramids!!!

There were a lot of highlights from the week on an individual level; the competitiveness between Mrs Doyle and Mrs Godar over who won the staff contest! Sandra committing to doing a little bit every day which is a great way to build stamina, but there were two stand out performances which deserve special mention.

Hadi, Zane, Elias and Elisa all covered huge distances over the week, clocking up enormous walks in the first weekend, and then other long walks through the week. Zane and Hadi each covered 85.5km, and Elias and Elisa both covered 65km.

Elias and Elisa both clocked up 65km each!!!
Hadi and Zane each walked 85.5km! Incredible!!

Lecture Series

The Lecture Series has been a great success for the past two weeks - following on from comments above, these supplemental events and interests make a huge difference in senior school applications, but moreover help us to develop that essential inquisitive nature in our pupils.

We’ve enjoyed some brilliant sessions over the past fortnight - a super discussion on the Olympics, some great information on New Zealand, inspiration answers for an emoji quiz on Tube stations. It’s been lots of fun!

Because of the success, we are looking forward to this being a regular feature of our calendar in the future. We haven’t yet worked out how and when it will run, but it brings a number of positives for the children in broadening their interests and building the ability to listen and respond to information.

The Gnelf Adventures

The Quest for the Conifer Crown

This week saw the exciting news that Mr Hamilton-Turner has had his book published and available on Amazon. This is a wonderful achievement and all the congratulations are richly deserved, as well as setting a brilliant example to the children of hard work paying off, as well as the power writing has to take us off to other worlds.

In offering a little more information on the book, our famous author explained...

I started the book a couple of years ago, but lockdown helped me get it finished! The two main characters are named after my nephews, Leo and Matthew, and it was important that the book was finished before they got too old to enjoy it. The book is inspired by all my childhood memories growing up on the Isle of Man and is aimed at children aged 7-10 who want to read a story of magic and adventure.”

I think we can all agree that the obvious implication to draw from this quote, parallel to the content of the book, is that the Isle of Man is riddled with magic creatures called Gnelves. We’re yet to have that confirmed... It’s a brilliant achievement for Mr H-T - Well Done Sir! And now he’s a famous celebrity, he’s sure to sign any copies for anyone that wants some reading for the Easter holidays!

Return to School

We are very excited to be welcoming children back next week. Whilst it has been brilliant to again have a chance to demonstrate their independence and resilience whilst working from home, as well as continuing to develop a really excellent online provision, it’s definitely not the same.

A letter was sent out previously providing information on the measures we have in place. Please be assured that the system we had in place in the Autumn Term was very successful, but with increased testing, there does remain a risk of closure, and so we appreciate your support and consideration in helping us to implement the measures in place.

To achieve this, please can I emphasise the need for distancing during pick up, and for parents to wear masks at this time so that any risk is reduced. Children are welcome to wear masks, and as mentioned, it is perhaps recommended that they wear their sports fleece on chilly days as we will be keeping windows and doors ajar to maintain a steady flow of fresh air.

As always, if you have any questions that arise from the letter, please do contact the school for further clarification.


World Book Day Dress Up: Friday 12th March - Just a very quick reminder that next week will be our rescheduled World Book Day celebration. We’re discussing options in lessons, but to mention it again, we’ve combined this event with International Women’s Day, and so children should please come school on Friday 12th dressed as characters from books written by female authors.

House Poetry Competition: Tuesday 23rd March - We’re looking forward to our rescheduled House Poetry Competition, which we’ve moved to the last week of term. There will be time allocated to poetry recital techniques in class, but children are free to chose the poem they want to perform, and so it’s a good time to start thinking about the options they’d like, and begin working on memorising the text.

We’ll be holding heats in the morning, and then the final competition in the afternoon, and we’re aware of the effort that goes into these recitals at home as well as at school, so we appreciate the support in practicing the poems in the car and around the supper table!

From Mrs Almeida...

School Uniform

For anyone requiring uniform items please note that The Outfitters are still closed and expect to remain so until Monday 12th April. Should you need to visit the shop please book an appointment via https://theoutfitters.appointedd.com/bookable/5eb51b022044562c6e601275

Unfortunately, due to the size of the shop they will not be allowing any walk-ins so you must ensure you have a confirmed appointment before heading over. Alternatively, they are offering a ‘click and collect’ service starting this Saturday. The shop will be manned from 10.30am - 3.30pm for collection of orders, returns, telephone orders (020 8422 1045) and advice on sizing should you require it.

Hot School lunches

For those that were already ordering hot lunches through The Pantry please know that their ordering portal has now gone live and, if they haven't already done so, they will email to confirm that they are taking orders to deliver from Monday 8th - Thursday 25th March 2021. Please feel free to avail yourself of this service.

Don’t forget that as well as this newsletter, we’re often posting other examples of the children’s work on our social media pages, so follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more.