Newsletter 22nd March 2019

From the Head

It was lovely to see so many of you at Parents' Evenings this week and I was pleased to hear so many positive comments about your children's progress.

It was a fantastic start to the week, as on Monday, Year 3 and 4 children took part in their Spring Concert. With over 40 children performing, we were treated to excellent performances on the violin, piano, guitar and beautiful singing. The confidence of the performers was fabulous and every child, regardless of their level of playing, was proud to have performed to the best of their ability. Well done to them all and thank you to our parents and friends who came along to watch.

I am off to the Bromley Festival of Music this evening to see our Upper School choir performing, before attending the second day of the Bromley Festival of Speech tomorrow. Last Saturday, our St Olave's children performed incredibly; winning medals and certificates in most classes against many other independent schools and stiff competition. I am looking forward to another successful day tomorrow and will share all the children's successes in next week's Newsletter.

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

Kind regards, Miss Holloway


On Tuesday, Year 5 entered two teams into a football tournament at Eltham College. All the boys were a credit to the school and worked extremely hard throughout the event. Great teamwork and cohesion was shown through the matches, resulting in us winning, losing and drawing. Here is a last second goal scored by St Olave’s!

On Wednesday, 17 children took part in an ISA Cross Country event at Oakhyrst Grange School. It was an enduring test of stamina and determination for the children who all rose to the challenge. A special congratulations to one of our Year 6 athletes who not only won a gold medal for first place, but has also been selected to represent St Olave's and the London South region in the national event next Saturday. A big well done to all children that took part; a really enjoyable day had by all.


Many congratulations to all the Year 3 and Year 4 pupils who performed so brilliantly in the Instrumental Concert on Monday. We were so impressed with all the lovely performances we heard.

Miss Beacom

Congratulations to Ethan A, Isabelle, David, Ibrahim and Sammy who have all passed their Trinity College piano exams - we are very pleased for you and proud of you.

Year 6

Year 6 began the week with the exciting news of their achievements in the Bromley Festival Speech and Language categories last Saturday! Good luck to the School Choir tonight and the other Speech and Language categories on Saturday.

In English this week, we have continued our Power of Reading story - Varmints, by carefully looking at the illustrations for a Varmint taking a piece of the Wilderness, the children used figurative language to describe the powerful and evocative scene - see our twitter account for a few examples of these. In maths we completed the end of block Fractions assessment by recalling how to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions as well as finding fractions of amounts. We then started our next block - Position and Direction. In IPC we continued our unit ‘They see the World Like This’ by looking at another artist - Kandinsky, the children spent some time researching Kandinsky’s art and history and then had a go at creating their own abstract art by listening to the same music that Kandinsky listened to when he painted. You will be able to see a lot of the children’s art work in 6B’s class assembly on Wednesday, the children have been working hard to learn their lines.

On Friday, we were lucky to be included in the Road Safety workshop, these were led by the road safety officers from Greenwich - John Butcher and Angela Taylor. This workshop promoted the children's independence, especially in their transition to secondary school which would more than likely involve travelling by themselves to and from school - it is important to us to teach the children the skills to do so safely.

Good luck for the children participating in the Bromley Festival tonight and tomorrow, and we hope to see 6B parents at our class assembly next Wednesday.

Year 5

In our IPC lessons, we have been discussing possible products which could help tourists when they are on holiday. Ideas included gloves which could warm your hands when skiing, a robot that can help with cleaning, zip-up clothing where the sleeves can be zipped off a top if it is too warm and many more! This week the children in Year 5 worked with their science partners to create a product design. As part of this, they needed to explain what their product would be used for and who by, what it will do, the materials and equipment required to make it, a recommended retail price and what the design will look like. We looked at examples of recent products, emphasising the importance of adding labels to the design to explain the materials used and reasons for certain features. The children then ‘pitched’ their products to the ‘board’ (the rest of Year 5!) in true ‘Apprentice’ style! We were so impressed with the confidence each group demonstrated when pitching their product. We definitely have a group of budding entrepreneurs! We look forward to now going ahead and making our products!

In maths this week, we have almost come to the end of our ‘Perimeter and Area’ topic. The children applied their skills from last week by working out missing side measurements, then used this to find out the area. We then made sure that we were using the correct units of measurement and that this was a squared measurement. Once we had mastered this skill, we progressed to finding the area of compound shapes. Our next topic will be based on applying our multiplication and division skills.

In English this week the children focused on their comprehension skills. We discussed a piece of text about the Mary Rose and recapped key points in the history of the Tudors. The children worked on improving their answers to questions where an opinion or evidence from the text was required. We discussed that when giving an opinion, there isn’t a right or wrong answer as long as it is justified. Keeping with the historical theme, we were very pleased with the Osborne House fact sheets that the children created as part of their home learning. These will be displayed in our classroom along with their fantastic watercolour paintings of Osborne House and pictures from their residential trip to the Isle of Wight.

Year 4

We were very impressed by all the children in Year 4 at the concert on Monday afternoon. It was noticeable how many children are learning a musical instrument -over two thirds of the year group, which is wonderful! The children who performed had prepared very well; all that practice is really paying off. Those in the audience were so supportive of their friends and listened very attentively. Thank you parents for all of your support.

This week we have enjoyed a new maths topic: area. The children have enjoyed the practical aspect of making different shapes with squares and finding the area of each one. They have also solved a variety of puzzles, which grew evermore challenging.

We have been finding out all about the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in IPC and English this week. It links perfectly with our class novel ‘Secrets of the sun king’. The children have used a reading comprehension text, a film and websites to further their knowledge. Was there a curse on those who opened the tomb? Or were the poisonous spores of plant mould that are found in many Ancient Egyptian tombs responsible? It might be interesting to find out what your child’s opinion about this and their reasons. The children are now writing a biography of Howard Carter in English, using all the information they have gathered.

As you may remember, the year 4 children sang a French song beautifully to the visitors from our twinned school last week. Here is an excerpt:

Year 3

What another fantastic week it has been! On Monday, we were treated to to an afternoon of music as some of our Year 3s took part in their Spring Concert. It was just fabulous to see the youngest children in the Upper School perform so brilliantly and with such confidence. Well done to all and thank you to all the parents who were able to come along and support us.

In IPC and English we have quite literally immersed ourselves in the rainforest! In our classrooms we built a rainforest by first looking at different types of leaves and then using a variety of media to create our own. We also had fun creating tissue paper flowers (although perhaps not quite so authentic looking as our leaves!) for added colour and vibrancy.

Following this, we looked at some of the different plants that grow in the rainforest and discussed how they have adapted to survive the extreme conditions of the rainforest. We discovered why certain plants grow in some unusual places and why some plants have become carnivorous to get the nutrients they need. We also finished creating and fine tuning our rainforest poems and performed them to each other. Listen out for the fantastic imagery, alliteration and onomatopoeia created by our poets!

Year 2

The children have had a very enjoyable week looking at non-fiction texts and learning how to write in an informative style. Having studied so many famous people of the past, the children were full of knowledge and were keen to share their learning through this style of writing.

We have started to learn about division in maths and have done a lot of practical sharing and grouping this week to embed these new skills. This is something that you could do at home as you talk about sharing 12 potatoes equally between 4 plates or offering half of your 16 sweets to a friend. The language of number is so important and practical work aids understanding of new topics.

In IPC, we have enjoyed a week of looking at famous artists of the past. The children have listened to stories of artists and have looked carefully at some of their portraits. They have used the iPads to create a self portrait of their own, changing it using an app called Prisma. The children also learnt about Lowry and have tried to paint in his style.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the children spent time in their working groups to build their Lego launch pads and rockets which they have been designing and learning about during their computer lessons with Mr Pradic. The children are thoroughly enjoying this project and worked very well in their teams. They are excited to find out which group will win the opportunity to take their model to Legoland in May.

We hope that you have all received your letters about the children’s swimming lessons after Easter and will practise independent drying after bath times over the coming weeks so that changing, dressing and drying at the swimming pool is a breeze for your children. We would also like the form that was attached with the letter, regarding your children’s swimming abilities, to be returned to school before Easter. The swimming instructors assess your children on their first session in order to group them. However, the completed form is helpful and acts as an indicator as to what we can expect, especially if we have children who are nervous of water. It’s hard to believe that Easter will soon be upon us and we will be approaching the summer term. Where is this school year going? Have a lovely weekend.

Year 1

In English this week the children have been continuing their learning about information texts. They have been finding out facts about teddy bears and then writing these facts in their own words. The children were excited to find out that Teddy Bears were named after the US President Theodore Roosevelt who after a hunting trip refused to shoot a bear. We discussed how to identify old bears by their long snouts and limbs and harder, firm stuffing. The children thought about well known teddy bears from stories and TV including Winnie the Pooh and Paddington. We would like all the children to bring in their favourite Teddy Bear to share with their friends next week.

In Maths, the children have been consolidating their number bonds to 10 through the introduction of our number bonds quiz. The children are improving their rapid recall and by practising every day at home we are seeing a real difference. The focus this week was on number families and understanding how addition and subtraction facts are related. The children were given three numbers and symbols and asked to make number sentences. For example:

  • 12 + 8 = 20
  • 8 + 12 = 20
  • 20 - 8 = 12
  • 20 - 12 = 8

They also were given a Maths Investigation ‘The Mystery of the Missing Pencil Cases’ that required the children to use a variety of maths skills. They worked in pairs or teams to solve clues to eliminate suspects. Tasks included completing number sequences, completing number bonds to 20, adding coins, reading clues to match the 2D shapes and using tally charts and bar graphs. We were very impressed with their enthusiasm and resilience to try to complete the maths and find out the clues. Some children have already found the culprit!

In our IPC lessons, the children have had focused art lessons with Miss Isaacs to improve their skills. They have been developing their still life drawing skills. They had to draw a compilation of toys from varied angles. They were taught to use observational skills and to look closely at the shapes and sizes of the various objects. They chose which textured paper they wanted to draw on and from a variety of tools such as crayons, pastels, pens or pencils. To showcase the toys they saw at The Museum of Childhood, the children used the iPad app Pic Collage to create a poster.

Today, we had a visit from two Greenwich Road Safety Officers who taught the children the Green Cross Code. It was a very informative and interactive talk and the children loved all the props used to help them remember the important rules when crossing the road. The children will be bringing home a fantastic booklet to share with you and to use at home to remind them about Road Safety. Please see our twitter account for more information.


This week we enjoyed the fruits of our labours. The children tasted the cress that they had grown in cress sandwiches. We used lots of describing words to talk about how it tasted, some saying it was peppery, salty, spicy and like a tomato.

We have also welcomed a few new members to reception, although they arrived in water and we have been watching them grow and change… I wonder what they will be?

This week we focused on postal officers, we found out what happens to our mail when we post it and had a go at writing our own postcards. If you would like to write a postcard when on holiday, the children would love to share these with each other.


This week the children have enjoyed reading the story of The Jolly Postman. They were fascinated by the different types of letters the Jolly Postman delivered to the different story book characters. They enjoyed re-reading the book several times and decided that they wanted to read the traditional tales linked to the characters in the book. We read Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They were able to demonstrate their knowledge of how stories are structured, describe the main characters and settings and use character voices to relay speech. Amazing!

The children have also had a go at writing party invitations, just like Goldilocks in The Jolly Postman story. They have been practising their letter formation and were really proud to be emergent writers.

Outside the children have been exploring capacity in the sand tray. They have been experimenting with different sized containers to find out which held the most sand and which held the least. They had to use their problem solving skills to work out what to do and explain their thinking.

It was lovely to share your children’s progress with you this week at parent’s evening. Thank you for all your continued support. Have a relaxing weekend.


Pet Club

This week Mrs P, Ines, Rafael and their pet cat Mia visited us. Mia is almost 3 years old and was born in France in the countryside. She has her own passport and regularly travels abroad with the family on holiday. Mrs P explained that having a pet can be a lot of work; making sure they have the correct food, exercise and visits to the vet, but they can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Mia eats wet food with gravy and has dry food treats. Her favourite food is chicken. Mia is a hunter, catching mice and frogs amongst other things; she also has many toys to play with.

Mia was very well behaved. The children all got to stroke her and then she sat in her basket watching everyone. Thank you very much Mrs P, Ines and Rafael for bringing Mia to Pet Club.

Red Nose Day

Thank you very much to everyone who donated money, auditioned or took part in the Talent Show last week. We raised £404.45 for Comic Relief to help in their aim to create a just world free from poverty.

Missing and unclaimed Uniform

Several children have lost uniform - please check your child has their own uniform and that it is still clearly named. We have an abundance of lost property without names on - if your child has lost anything please check the lost property box. Thank you.


Quiz Night 29th March - tickets on sale

Second hand uniform Sale 1st April 2.30 - 4.30pm

We will be accepting any donations of secondhand uniform at the gate in the mornings. Please remove name labels. (No shirts or blouses thank you.)

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

Rights Respecting Schools Award

The Rights Respecting Ambassadors have been busy this week planning our next Rights Day, due to take place on Monday 1st April. Our focus will continue to be Article 24 (health and health services) Every child has the right to the best possible health. Governments must provide good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food, and a clean environment and education on health and well-being so that children can stay healthy. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Our activities will focus on access to healthcare, clean water and the responsibility of making healthier choices wherever possible.

Fundraising Concert - “An Evening of Music” 9th May at 7pm

Every year since 2006 we have held an Evening of Music to showcase some of the wonderful talent of our parents and friends of St Olave’s, as well as the children, and to raise money for the Stephen Jota Centre in Uganda. We have sponsored Gloria and Joseph to attend school during this time and they are always very appreciative of the School’s support. The children are now coming to the end of their schooling and we will plan how best to support the Stephen Jota Centre in the future. Last year Mrs Lane visited Guinea with her Djembe drumming group and led an assembly for the children about her visit on her return. This year, we would like to support Mrs Lane in fundraising for a new classroom roof by splitting the proceeds of the concert between the Stephen Jota Centre in Uganda and Fore Forte School in the village of Dubreke.

The concert will be held on Thursday 9th May at 7pm. If you are interested in taking part, or would like more information, please get in touch. We greatly appreciate your involvement in this event; if you know of any performers who may be interested, please do contact me.

Thank you. Mrs Farrell

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