Newsletter 4th May 2018

Year 6

After a fabulous week in France, Year 6 returned to school on Monday with lots to talk about! We reminisced about our adventures of abseiling, paddle boarding, canoeing and rock climbing. In our English lesson we wrote a recount of our time in Rue so that we can look back on our memories of this when we are older. We had a fantastic time and the children received many compliments on their behaviour during their stay. On Wednesday, Year 6 started their new RE topic, Sikhism, with a visit to the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend. During our tour, the children had the opportunity to see the main hall where the Guru Granth Sahib was being read out, sample food in the langar (gurdwara kitchen) and ask our tour guide lots of questions about the religion. The children asked excellent questions and showed great respect during our tour of the gurdwara.

‘I was amazed that the gurdwara took fifteen years to build!’ - Eva

‘I enjoyed learning more about the 5 K’s and asking our tour guide questions about them.’ - Darcey

Our artwork from Art Week has also started to appear on display. Our theme for the week was ‘70’s Disco’. We created ink marbled backgrounds for our silhouette sketches of the 70’s musician we studied during the week, created our own album covers, disco balls, tie dye t-shirts and wrote fact files about the specific musician we each studied from the 70’s during Art Week. We then ended the week with a 70’s disco in the classroom, complete with disco lights and glow sticks!

Year 5

In Maths this week, Year 5 have been revising how to find percentages of amounts and their fraction equivalents. We were really impressed by their prior knowledge in this area and how they used their fraction knowledge to help them as well. Then they applied the skills they had learnt to some percentage word problems. Towards the end of the week, we learnt about ratio and proportion, including simplifying ratios The children have continued to practise their times tables on Times Tables Rock Stars to build up their speed and recall of their tables. We have been really impressed by their improvements over the last few weeks.

In IPC, we have continued to explore the science behind theme park rides. To start the lesson, we did a ‘High Five’ activity where we took it in turns to ask each other questions about forces. If we got the question, we swapped questions and then moved onto a new person. Mr Schaller then introduced Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion to Year 5 and we tested our a few of his laws using Hot Wheel cars and a bucket of water. Harry took on the challenge of swinging a bucket of water in a circle around his head. Due to the centripetal force, the water stayed in the bucket and did not end up on Harry’s head!

Year 4

Year 4 have had a scientific week with a visit from the Royal Institution on Tuesday. They thoroughly enjoyed learning all about acidic, alkaline and neutral substances by conducting an investigation using a chemical indicator made out of cabbage water! And yes, 4O’s classroom did smell like a laboratory for the rest of the day! It was interesting to test substances that we all know, including lemon, water and vinegar to see which category they would fall into. We then thoroughly enjoyed the science show with the rest of upper school looking at how our body uses and digests food!

In maths, we have explored decimal numbers and looked at counting in tenths, hundredths and even thousandths! We have rounded, compared, ordered and even multiplied and divided decimals!

In English, we ventured into poetry and performed a variety of poems for our classmates. We used volume, pitch, tempo and expression to make our poems as entertaining as possible.

Year 3

This week, Year 3 were excited to start our new Power of Reading text, ‘Varjak Paw’ by S.F Said. Before we even turned to the first page, we looked at the text and pictures on the front cover and used our detective skills to make predictions and infer what the story might be about. We spotted more subtle clues (‘I think the story involves a journey as on one side is the countryside and on the other, the city’), along with some of the more glaringly obvious ones (‘It’s probably about a cat called Varjak Paw’).

Inside, the opening chapters proved to be full of mystery and intrigue as we discovered more about the title character and his feeling of isolation within his family and his sense of ‘being different’. We discussed and ‘freezed framed’ his family members’ attitudes towards him and wrote diary entries from Varjak’s point of view.

In IPC, the children have been making good use of all their from our recent trip to Horton Kirby, as we start to write our own explanation texts about plants. We are all incredibly impressed with the amount of knowledge they have retained - including some very technical language!

This week we were also informed about the need to save water and create our own personal water saving goals. Ask your child what they have decided to do! On Friday, we went on a Walk for Water to experience what it is like for many children in different parts of the world who do not have the easy access to water that we do.

Year 2

The children have started our new topic ‘We are what we Eat’ this week, learning where food comes from and what types of food there are. There were some very interesting answers! 2DS went to the Co-op to look at the different foods available and which countries they are from. 2P will go at a later date as we are at Kidzania on Friday. We will be cooking different food this term and 2P were the first to try cinnamon swirls with Mrs Dourmoush, rolling out the pastry, melting the butter and cinnamon and cutting them up before cooking. All the children agreed they were delicious! 2DS will be doing this in two weeks time. They are all very excited for their trip tomorrow. Have a lovely long weekend as the weather is meant to be sunny.

Year 1

This week in science the children continued their learning about plants. They have been designing their own investigations to enquire about what plants need in order to grow. They decided to grow cress in a tray, covering half the tray in darkness. They also have planted grass seeds, watering half a tray and leaving half dry. Over the week, the children have been using their observational skills to notice the changes in the seeds growth. They were all excited to plant their own sunflower seed and their own broad bean. They will nurture their plants over the summer term and will be observing their results. In maths, the children have been learning how to use arrays to support their understanding of multiplication. We are continuing to practise counting forwards and backwards in 2’s, 5’s and 10’s so that it becomes instinctive. Using the Read, Write Inc framework in English, the children have had shared reading sessions to develop their decoding skills and to improve their reading fluency and pace. The children have learnt new terminology such as syllables and suffixes and are learning how to retrieve answers to comprehension questions within the text. The Year 1 children had a visit from the school parliament to teach them about their Water Campaign. Then we all went on a water walk to give the children an opportunity to understand the difficulty of carrying water long distances. The water walk gave them a chance to reflect and appreciate all they have.

Please enjoy our video of The Great Fire of London workshop from last Friday.


Preparations for the royal wedding have been started in earnest this week with invitations written and decorated by the children winging their way to you, not for the actual wedding you understand but for our celebration tea party.

We have been learning about shapes, space and measures and have been describing 3D shapes and using nets to make some cubes, cuboids, cones and pyramids linked to our ‘space’ theme. We have also been estimating and weighing classroom resources including scissors and rulers. The children have been using the words ‘heavy’, ‘light’, ‘ ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter’. Their expressions on their faces were interesting when their estimates were way below the actual plastic cube weight of the items used!

We had visits from upper school MPs to share a story called ‘The Water Princess’. The MPs discussed the difference between the accessibility of water in Africa compared to what we are used to here. Our children re-enacted part of the story outside as you can see from the photograph.


This week the Nursery children have been reading “ The Rainbow Fish”, by Marcus Pfister. They have been painting their own Rainbow Fish using water colours and we have used them to create our own Rainbow Fish underwater display complete with the wise octopus.

The children have also been introduced to an App on the IPad called Puppet Pals where they have worked in small groups to retell the Rainbow Fish story. They have thought about what their character wants to say and made up their own script to record their version of the story. They were all amazed when they watched their stories back, some of them hearing their recorded voices for the very first time.

The Junior Travel Ambassadors visited us again this week, and the children learnt that pedestrians walk on the pavement and traffic travels on the road. They listened carefully as the JTAs explained that young children must always hold an adult’s hand when crossing the road.

School Parliament

We have had a wonderful week focusing on our global campaign ‘We Walk for Water’. The MPs visited most classes to explore what it means to not have access to clean water each time we turn on the tap and the children were all very shocked to learn some water facts, for example, did you know that a 5 minute shower uses approximately 100 litres of water and that every 21 seconds a child dies from a water related illness? We also explored ways to save water and the children enjoyed setting themselves goals including turning the tap off when brushing their teeth, only putting as much water in a glass that you want to drink and using a watering can instead of a hose when watering the garden. All of the children showed real compassion when thinking about the plight of so many people around the world who are not as fortunate as us.

Thank you all very much for your support.

Mrs O’Sullivan

The Royal Institution

The Upper School was lucky enough to watch the fantastic Science Show on Tuesday by a gentleman from the Royal Institution. They witnessed burning jelly babies, exploding flour and the ins and outs of our digestive system! Some willing volunteers got to taste different things, and were able to demonstrate how much our sense of smell affects our taste.

The Royal Institution offers courses for children aged 7 and above in the summer holidays. They include topics such as how to extract your own DNA, coding and spectacular colour chemistry. Some courses are selling out already so do book quickly if you are interested: http://www.rigb.org/families/summer-schools

Sports News

This week, 8 St Olaves children from years 5 and 6 competed in a quadkids event which was hosted at Erith Leisure Centre. The event saw 16 other schools compete in four main events within athletics; 65m sprint, vortex throw, 600m run, and standing long jump. The children did the school proud and finished in a very respectable 5th position out of 16 schools. A really enjoyable day for the children and even the weather decided to be kind and let us have some sunshine! Well done to all the children involved!

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