Newsletter 7th September 2018

From the Head

The warmest welcome back to St Olave’s at the start of this most exciting academic year. Our building work next door started in earnest over the summer. Work started at the end of July to clear the space and the temporary playground surface was laid. New hoarding was erected and the children have loved looking through the viewing panels to see what progress is being made.

We will update you on the progress that is being made over the coming weeks.

A special welcome must be extended to our new boys and girls, and to their parents, who started on Wednesday - some children attending their very first day of school and others moving into the area and joining the school in the older years. All of the children have settled in beautifully. We have also welcomed several new members of staff; Mrs Mann (Reception), Miss Ryan (Year 2) and our teaching assistants, Miss Dixon (Year 6), Ms Tyler (Year 5), Mrs Bennett (Year 3) and Mrs Allcott (Nursery). We also welcome Miss Lapham to the kitchen team and Mr Butterworth as our new piano teacher.

Thank you for the overwhelming support and positive comments we have had for the new snacks and breakfasts that the kitchen staff are trialling. The children have been excellent, trying new foods and are really excited about the changes. The main reason for introducing this initiative is to allow me to ensure that the school is completely safe for our many children with serious food allergies. I know you will all appreciate how difficult it is to monitor the ingredients in every child’s snack when brought from home and providing all food ‘in house’ eliminates the risk of any cross contamination. There is a wide choice of food for all the children, including fresh fruit and plain biscuits if they do not like that day’s offering. Thank you all for your support in this matter.

This academic year has started as we mean to go on, with each year group from Years 1-6 learning about their brain and how they learn through a Brainwaves unit. You will be able to read a little about the fantastic learning in each classroom later on in the Newsletter. There are lots of exciting changes that are happening throughout the school as we continue to improve to enable our children to receive every opportunity available to them. Thank you for supporting Mr Turner and Mr Schaller with the new clubs signup; we will continue to use ParentPay and Google Forms to communicate with parents so please do check your inbox regularly to ensure you do not miss any important information.

Parents of children in the Upper School, please check your emails regarding the changes to Upper School Games lessons which start on Monday and Wednesday next week. Children will need full PE kit including tracksuit and football boots and shin pads with school green and white football socks. Please ensure that all items are clearly named, and please provide your child with a named water bottle. Don’t forget to complete the Google Form to let us know where you will be collecting your child from.

It is that time of year when our Year 6 children start their secondary school examinations. This year, the children have not been back at school even a week before their first exam which tomorrow is for Kent grammar schools. This is followed by the Bexley 11+ exam next Wednesday, so it is so important that the children are completely ready before the start of Year 6. Many of our children attended ETAP sessions, held here at school, in the summer holidays for 2 weeks of intensive tuition before their exams and they are an absolute credit to the school and their families with their hardworking, positive attitudes. One exam on one day can never be a true measure of success. However, every one of our Year 6 children have been exemplary in their attitude to learning and could not have worked any harder to prepare for their first exams. We are so proud of them all!

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

Kind regards, Miss Holloway

Year 6

Year 6 have settled into their new school year fantastically, they have worked hard over the summer, as mentioned by Miss Holloway, and have come back to school ready to work. All of the children were extremely excited to be in their new classrooms and are looking forward to the new responsibilities and challenges in the year ahead. We have already worked independently and collaboratively on a variety of question types, and we know the children are ready do their best. We wish them the very best of luck for the Kent 11+ tomorrow and the Bexley 11+ next week, remember to get a good night’s sleep the night before!

Year 5

Welcome back to our new Year 5s! We have had brilliant week starting our Brainwave topic where the children have been finding out more about how we learn and how we can improve our learning. By gaining a better understanding of this, the children will be better equipped for meeting the many challenges ahead of them as they develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. After discussing techniques of how we help ourselves remember things, we have had the opportunity to test our memories in our ‘Magic Memory’ game where the children had to work in teams to remember items in a box and then select a team leader to recall them later. The children then transferred these skills to help learn to count to five in Japanese, with some even stretching themselves to 10! On Friday, the children became teachers and taught each other their skills. They worked incredibly hard, thinking carefully about how to explain the new skill to their partners, the language they needed to use and the power of a positive mindset.

This week we have also welcomed Miss Tyler to our year. All of the children have enjoyed getting to know Miss Tyler and have the chance to choose some exciting new books with her.

We have seen some fantastic examples of teamwork, resilience and enthusiasm this week. We look forward to the next busy two years with your children. Miss Beacom would love the children to bring their recorders along to their music lesson next Thursday, please could you ensure that the recorder and case are named. Thank you.

Year 4

Welcome back to the start of a brilliant year 4. We have very much enjoyed seeing all of the children again and spending time getting to know our new classes. They have all had a very positive start! Thank you for the effort that everyone put into completing Summer Holiday Home Learning, we have been very impressed at the quality and variety of tasks undertaken. The children have clearly learnt so much over the holidays by cooking, visiting museums, travelling, writing and creating art.

This week we have considered how to ensure everyone is included and valued in our classes. We have considered the importance of working together and the qualities that make up a good team. We have also been discussing how to look after our brains to ensure we are effective learners and have considered the importance of drinking water, sleep and exercise.

We introduced the children to the ‘Daily Mile’, a quick trip to the park to see how far we can run or jog in a set amount of time - everyone put in a great deal of effort and we were very proud of their first attempt. We will be aiming to do the ‘Daily Mile’ every Thursday and Friday (weather permitting) so if your child would like to bring in a pair of trainers to change into on those days, they are more than welcome to and we will give them time to change their footwear before we go.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Parents Information Meeting next week where we can let you know some of the exciting things we have planned for the year ahead.

Year 3

Welcome to the Upper School!

The children have shown few signs of nerves as they started to work positively with their teachers and teaching assistants. There have been many smiling faces and keen students!

We have looked at and talked about the Golden Rules which help us all whilst in school. Also, we have been considering how our brains work and learning is achieved. “The Learning Pit” is a phrase which your children will come to be very familiar with as we progress through the year.

Please feel free to communicate any messages through your child’s new School Planner. The children may write down any important messages concerning the following day’s activities (such as “Wear PE kit into school tomorrow”) so do consult it regularly to check for such updates. We are looking forward to seeing Year 3 parents at the information meeting on Tuesday 11th September at 6pm.

Year 2

It was great to see Year 2 all congregate on the playground on Wednesday morning, ready to start the new school year. We have had a good few days together learning about how to grow our brains and met a character called Ned the Neuron who taught us “Never give up, Encourage others, Do your best!” We have identified things that we are good at and activities that we find more of a challenge at this stage. All children agreed that it's best to try and try again rather than to give up on our learning. The children were challenged to exercise their brains whilst completing jigsaws without any pictures to help them. They worked in teams and it was great to see them encouraging each other as they tried to solve their puzzles. The children have also shared their holiday news and have made posters showing what the brain needs to keep healthy. One thing is sleep and we are sure that, after out first three days, the children will appreciate a relaxing weekend! We look forward to seeing you all on Monday.

(Please can we have any New Eltham library books returned to school from our visits in Year 1. There are many missing. We would appreciate your help with this. Miss McNamara)

Year 1

Welcome to the Lower School! Thank you for spending time over the summer holidays helping your child to create a ‘Who am I?’ box. We have been impressed with all the imaginative ideas. The children have loved sharing all their special photographs, keepsakes, flags, memorabilia and toys with each other. These boxes have sparked a great deal of discussion in class and the children have been developing their speaking and listening skills. They have also written a recount of their favourite activity over the summer and we were thrilled with their sounding out and willingness to try.

This week, we have been focusing on a ‘Brainwave’ topic. The children have been exploring the art of learning. They were given laboratory glasses to wear to take part in an important operation. The pink, soft, squishy brain was placed in front of the children and then we sliced into the brain to find out how it works. By understanding how the brain works and what we can do to make it work even better, we can improve the way that we learn. There was so much excitement as everyone touched the brain! Please ask your children what they have found out. We look forward to sharing our curriculum with you on Monday.


What a GREAT start to the year! The children have settled in to their new routines beautifully. Thank you for encouraging your children to enter the classroom independently, we have been impressed with how many have been able to take off coats and put their book bags away all by themselves.

The children have enjoyed trying different fruits and snacks during our playtimes and have tucked into lunch with great enthusiasm, with lots of empty plates.

We look forward to seeing you all at our information evening next week.


The Nursery children have had a great start to their life at St Olave’s and are already starting to make new friends. They have enjoyed exploring the toys in Nursery and discovering some of the play equipment in the outdoor learning environment. The children have even completed their first display. What a busy few days they have had!

This term our topic is all about Julia Donaldson books and we will be focussing on “The Gruffalo” story next week.

We look forward to seeing you all at the EYFS information evening next Wednesday 12th September at 6 o’clock.


Peripatetic music lessons all re-start next week.

  • Monday Singing lessons with Miss Unwin
  • Tuesday Singing lessons with Miss Unwin and Violin lessons with Mrs Evans
  • Wednesday Piano lessons with Dr Lopez and Guitar lessons with Mr Black
  • Thursday Piano lessons with Dr Lopez
  • Friday Piano lessons with Mr Butterworth and Guitar lessons with Mr Black

Please look out for an e-mail with times and days of the lessons for your child. Due to the 11+ on Wednesday there are some day changes for Piano and Guitar but they will only be for next week and will be highlighted in yellow. The timetable for the term will be e mailed to you once all the school trips have been finalised.

Pet Club

I will be running Pet Club on Tuesday lunchtimes. If you have a child-friendly pet that you would like to visit Pet Club this term, please contact the School Office or let me know on the gate in the mornings.

Mrs Farrell


Unfortunately we have already had a case of a missing blazer this week. Please can you take a few minutes to check your child has the correct blazer, that all uniform is named, and that it has the correct name - especially if it has belonged to another child/sibling previously. Thank you.

The Fundraising and Social Committee (FRSC) will be holding a Second-hand Uniform Sale in school on 8th October.


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