A NOTE FROM EMMA AND WILLIAM
The Great Outdoors
What are the benefits of nature? How does nature improve children’s health and well-being? These are two of many questions addressed by researchers in recent years. The answers provide important insights for families and schools.
There are many scientific studies that underscore the benefits of nature, including stress relief, improved short-term memory, increased mental energy, improved concentration, creativity, and improved mental health. For families, the great outdoors is a natural playground that contributes to a child’s positive development.
From our own experience, not just as teachers and parents, but as children who simply loved being outdoors, we recall being in awe of nature's mysteries, whether it was being fascinated for hours watching armies of ants move breadcrumbs from one anthill to another or sitting in a cherry tree, wondering why the birds liked to eat cherries before they were ripe. A childhood connection to nature is an exceptional source of inspiration and creativity.
Why Is Playing Outside Important?
Children require exercise to develop physically and mentally. They need to explore, take risks, question, experiment, discover, sing, dance, and imagine. These activities abound in the outdoors and are some of the many benefits that the great outdoors can bring.
Children of all ages need to learn to push their physical limits and explore emotional boundaries. How high can I climb? Do I dare jump further than I ever have before? What happens when I skip a rock in the pond? The benefits of nature create a beautiful backdrop for exploring oneself.
Not only is outdoor education critical for child development, researchers suggest it is also important for the future of the planet. We know that when children and adults connect with nature, they are more apt to become environmentally conscious citizens.
Activities That Bring the Benefits of Nature to Children
So now, after many weeks of lockdown, the great outdoors is more important than ever. It is amazing how many activities are available in our own gardens! Here are some ideas that have been put forward by the children.
• Make a bird bath or a bird feeder.
• Encourage children to camp in the backyard.
• Build a garden weather station.
• Make a “green hour” a new family tradition, giving children time for unstructured play in the natural world.
• Invent a nature game on a hike in the country
• Build a tree house or den
• Plant a garden
• Raise butterflies
In addition to the individual benefits gained by being connected to nature, there is a collective benefit shared by all of us. Children all over the world play outside, creating a unity of shared experiences. Our children are future stewards of the earth. In order to raise adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The only way to enable children to grow comfortable in nature is to open the door and let them out to explore the wonder and awe of the natural world.
Enjoy the weekend.
Emma and William
Friday Golden Tree and Celebration Assembly
Well done to all our Pre-Prep children for their Golden Tree awards this week.
Jack C: Jack arrives each day with a cheerful smile. Thank you Jack for making us all feel happy!
Benjamin F: for being such a happy and kind little boy. He likes to compliment his friends when they do clever things.
Ben C: for being an all-round superstar. He models excellent behaviour to his friends, is a kind friend to others and shows an inspiring love for learning.
Florence B: Florence is always a kind and helpful friend and has been joining in with other’s play beautifully and inviting friends to play with her.
Jannah H: for her excellent addition work this week.
Essa K: for using his phonics very well when writing his story about the Hungry Caterpillar.
Aadi R: for his clever sequencing of the Hungry Caterpillar story in the style of the butterfly lifecycle.
Aidan M: for embracing being back at school and working so hard, producing beautiful neat work.
William F: for playing lovely, imaginative, socially distanced games at playtime.
Dylan W and Jonathan E: for some fantastic money work in maths, using 1p and 2p coins.
Holly G: for being so kind and thoughtful towards other children and for putting in that extra effort in class this week.
Henry P: for trying really hard in maths and for a beautifully written description of his brother.
Ludo O: for excellent understanding about money in maths and for a lovely piece of writing about his friend.
Bertie H: for wonderful enthusiasm in all subjects on remote learning and for sharing his interest in nature
Noah D: for writing a detailed letter to Mrs Grinling after reading The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch.
Ella DC: for showing enthusiasm in all areas of her work and completing tasks thoroughly.
Jennifer H: for a wonderful act of kindness raising money for Thames Hospice. Brilliant commitment to her work too.
Henry T: for making great progress in maths and reading questions through carefully and accurately.
Savannah for her enthusiasm and hard work in Maths.
Josie for working hard on her letter formation and joined handwriting.
Humphrey for his enthusiasm and working well across all curriculum subjects.
Daisy for her enthusiasm and hard work across all curriculum subjects.
Elizabeth for her great ideas and good work designing a sandwich for Mr Grinling in the Lighthouse Keeper’s lunch.
Zaki B: for his non chronological report about dinosaurs.
Freya S: for her work on fractions in maths.
Ava S: for good commitment to online learning last week and submitting some pleasing work.
Ben C: for some imaginative English work and taking great care with spelling sentences.
Toby D: for a great start to his STG Diary for the Pioneer Award.
Tom J: for working hard in all subjects and sending in work of a good standard regularly.
Albie S: for an excellent PowerPoint presentation in French.
Head Master's Commendations
We congratulate the following Prep School pupils for the awards they received for good work this week.
George H: for a super photography project for the STG Pioneer Award
Sarrinah B: for a great Yoga photo presentation
Charlie W: for a video presentation fact file on his cat
Harry M: for his super Kindness poster
Jamila M: for a great newspaper article about the Iron Man's reappearance
Tom V: for a great newspaper article about the Iron Man's reappearance
George H, Alma S, Jamila M, Paul R, Ekam R and Jessica G: for researching and creating their own Google slide presentations on India over the last five weeks, which are now completed.
Raphael K: for history work on Lindisfarne (diary of a monk at the time of Viking invasion)
Millie W: for creating a fantastic poster in science classifying organisms
Keiran E: for completing the Environmental Stewardship section of the St George’s Award, producing a compelling presentation.
Reya M: for a very professional presentation in geography where she displayed a very distinct and interesting map of Belle-Île, but even more impressively presented her information without reading from the slides.
Barney W: for producing a wonderful 3D panoramic drawing of what he could see in each of the cardinal and inter-cardinal compass points and indeed the full 360 degrees of his garden.
Daniel P: for a huge improvement in his online organisation and for his cheerful nature in live sessions.
Sam P: for digging a life-size bunker as part of his WW2 project complete with a step and working fire pit.
Leo M: for consistent online work and for creating an exciting mocktail and presentation in Maths.
Cedric R: for an excellent presentation on his habitat observation in Science which captured the audience and was very informative and entertaining.
We would like to commend our Year 8s who have come to the end of their Common Entrance Exam week, with their papers sat at home. This is the culmination of 2 years of hard work from them and their teachers. The pupils are heading off to a variety of leading schools...
The Windsor Boys' School
Luckley House School
... and can be immensely proud of their achievements. Well done to them all.
Bike Week 2020 will be online from 6 to 14 June
Many STG families have already discovered the pleasures of bike riding and know that it is great for fitness and mental well-being. Cycling UK are organsing a series of fun Bike Week events online during June including a #7daysofcycling challenge and a whole range of activities for cycling families. There are free resources for primary-aged children and prizes to be won. Visit their website for more information.
Congratulations to George and Jennifer H who finished their bike ride challenge on Monday. George has cycled the equivalent distance from Windsor to Trevone in Cornwall (240 miles) and Jennifer has cycled the distance from Windsor to Exeter (154 miles), raising £600 for the Thames Hospice in the process! We are very proud of them!
Explorer Challenge Supporting the World Wildlife Fund
As part of their STG Award, Years 5 and 6 wanted to raise money for a global charity. As they are currently looking at environmental awareness, they decided on the WWF as the charity of their choice. The fundraiser will be taking place next Wednesday 17 June between 2 and 3 pm.
To start with there will be a Google Meet sponsored silence for 20 minutes during which all 40 children will be silent and some will be blindfolded. Mr Wilson will be overseeing this. The children then have to do 30 minutes of continuous exercise in a wide variety of wacky ways, such a scootering, trampolining and dancing. The final task will be to complete three chores for their parents to underpin the awards key theme of kindness. Hopefully 40 children will be participating and there will be lots of photographs as the children have to send emails and pictures as evidence.
If you would like to support this event, a GoFundMe page is now live.
Learning back at school
It's great to see our Pre-Prep children who are back in school feeling happy and safe. They have really missed seeing their friends and the routine of school life.
Learning at home carries on
Year 2 have continued with the seaside theme based on Mr Grinling and his lighthouse. They've painted some colourful pictures of lighthouses. In science they have been studying electrical safety and have produced some excellent posters.
Year 3 have had fun in maths making mocktails, choosing their ingredients, measuring them exactly and drinking the result! They've also produced some more amazing Aztec masks.
In science Year 5 have been doing work on the classification of organisms, which fits very nicely in with our Natural World theme this week.
A lot of time and effort has clearly gone into posters and models from all the year groups this week.
This week Mrs Onions is highlighting one of the earlier activities which looks great fun to do, either as an individual or as a team. The 'Tower of Babel' task has scope to be done with small objects on a table top, as well as a with much larger objects. It's a great one to do to get those brains whirring!
Just a reminder that this June, join thousands of people are taking part in The Wildlife Trusts' annual nature challenge, 30 Days Wild! The challenge is to do one wild random act of wildness a day throughout the whole month, for your health, well-being and for the planet. Visit their website for ideas and downloadable goodies.
This Week's Podcast
This week's guest speakers are leadership experts and motivational speakers: Mr Drew Povey and Mr Paul McGee. Drew is a leadership expert and ex headteacher, whilst Paul is an internationally renowned keynote speaker and Sunday Times best selling author. In the podcast they speak to Mr Wilson about education, leadership and well-being, and share their expert advice in these troubling times.
Solutions to last week's quiz: artichoke, aubergine, bok choy, fennel, kohlrabi, okra, spring onions, tromboncino squash.
Can you identify these royal residences? The first one looks familiar...