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St Nicholas’ Newsletter 3. 12/02/2021

Whilst this section comes with the promise of brevity, I have this time cheated somewhat, but feel the occasion calls for it. If you haven’t yet spotted it on our social media pages (link to follow us are below!) we were last week featured in the most recent ISA Journal, in their issue on Innovative Learning.

Starting on page 24, the article outlines our motivation in developing our new curriculum, as well as why we believe this style of education gives children the best preparation for life in the modern world.

In addition to this article, our new curriculum has also been featured in the Mensa Education Magazine, exploring how we are rethinking how children access and use information. Both publications provide significant recognition; Mensa being the largest high IQ society in the world, and the ISA representing over 550 Independent Schools around the country, so for us to be featured on this platform is a wonderful achievement.

This recognition is combined with our online provision being used as a case study to other schools for how to maintain effective learning from home, and so it’s wonderful for us to have an increasingly high profile in the sector. As I often say, I’m exceptionally proud of the efforts that have gone into the new curriculum; the team here have drastically adapted from traditional teaching methods, and the children of course have embraced the new style of learning. Moreover, as a school we are very grateful for the support we receive from families - we are delighted to be increasingly at the forefront of our work, and this is due to the trust you place in us. We’ll of course continue to explore new ventures; the upcoming Lecture Series is a super example of this (see below!), but for now, I hope you enjoy the article, and read it with as much pride in our community as we have.

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 RESPONSIBLE in their learning.

Sandra has been excellent at being responsible - she always makes sure her work is submitted on time. Plus, she is doing a great job of showing all of her working in Maths, which is a great way to be responsible for her learning. 3HP to Oak!!!
Kyron has been setting a brilliant example as a role model to the younger key worker children in school at the moment. Fantastic! 3HP to Pine!!!
Beatrice has been being responsible by helping to make her lunch when working from home, making sure it’s healthy. Yummy work - 3HP to Oak!!!

For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking out for children who have been AMBITIOUS. There’s a brilliant opportunity for this with our Olympic Series starting over Half Term. As always, whilst we’re learning from home, please send Mr D a quick message on Zoom or via email if your child is being Ambitious at home!

It has been a very busy couple of weeks for Year 5, but they have worked very hard. The class have created some fantastic pieces of work. Check it out!

In STEM the students have been using Scratch to complete different projects to help them develop their understanding of coding. Each of the different projects focuses on the different types of code as they make their way through the different projects. The projects build on what they have learned and they become more challenging.

The students have also been looking into natural and man-made materials in STEM. They been learning about the makeup of these materials and the unique properties that different materials have.

Poetry has been a focus this Term in literacy. The class have been learning about the different genres of poetry such as limerick, tanka and narrative. They have all produced really creative and interesting poems that reflect themselves. Poetry has developed their understanding of the different poetic devices and how it can link and strengthen their writing.

Beatrice produced two lovely poems whilst looking at the rhyming patterns for limericks.

In CIPS, the students have been challenged to develop a business plan and to then pitch it Dragon’s Den style to the rest of the class. They have to develop a healthy biscuit and analyse the cost from the retail price to the breakdown of individual ingredients cost. They also have to be creative because they need to develop three types of advertisements – radio jingle, television and a poster. They also need to bake and present their product in their pitch. We are all looking forward to their presentations!

As well as designing and baking, everyone had to prepare a presentation to share....
The teachers took on the difficult job of taste testing - we’re happy to confirm that they were absolutely delicious!!

Finally, have a look at more examples of the brilliant work the children have produced recently in this video...

In Year 1 & 2 during CIPS, we have been exploring National Parks which began with discussing local parks and parks in London. We then took a closer look at Cairngorms National Park, Snowdonia and The Lake District. We located them on a map of Great Britain, we discovered that National Parks are protected and funds raised from entry fees will go towards their upkeep, we looked at why people go there and what they can do whilst there. We also carried out some independent research about the wildlife in these areas and we found these National Parks on Google Earth.

Ellie wrote a great piece on her visit to the Cairngorms...
... and Madison looked at the positives and negatives that might affect the Lake District!

They also completed an Inquiry Project on money. Work focused on coins and notes from Great Britain, Australia and Singapore, and children talked about the identity of the people and buildings on each currency. As a great piece of independent work, Aryan then made this video factfile on Singapore!

Finally, the children also learned about Nelson Mandela and his message to try to inspire others and take action...

Zahra made an amazing acrostic poem inspired by Nelson Mandela

No Screen Day - 1st February

Children enjoyed a terrific day unplugging from their devices, with some brilliant examples of work. There are far too many things to list here, but take a look at the pictures below for some great examples, and there are plenty more on social media. It was so successful that we’ll be scheduling another similar event soon even after remote learning has ended.

Beatrice made a beautiful collage landscape...
...and Soraia planned a food diary for the week.
Reception took part in a Tower Challenge... and Noura wrote a piece about the jungle!

London History Day - 9th February

Squeezing over 2,000 years of history into one day isn’t easy, but we had a really good go at it! Each year group took a different time period or event fro London history and focussed on it for the day. From the Roman settlement all the way through to work exploring London’s post war cultural movement, it was lots of fun to focus in on historic skills exploring chronology, reliability of sources, and cause and effect.

Roomi did a great job researching equality in the 1990s...
...Reception found out about evacuees during the Second World War...
And Ellie did a super comparison of London past and present.

There are a lot more examples found on the video below, where we created a timeline of London history...

Wellbeing Afternoon - 11th February

We’re glad that long before the pandemic hit, we were talking to the children about mindfulness and mental wellbeing. It therefore wasn’t a surprise to see some of the incredible emotional maturity shown by the pupils during our Wellbeing afternoon

We wanted to focus on the difficult concept of acknowledging negative emotions such as sadness and fear as well as positive feelings - it’s something that even adults often struggle with, and so we discussed it very carefully. However, it is important that children recognise that these emotions exist, and that they shouldn’t be afraid of discussing them with family members or teachers.

Roomi and Amana shared things that made them scared...
Tia coloured her image in beautifully on Adobe Sketch

Again, we were very proud of how the children handled this activity - they produced some wonderful work, but it’s also comforting to know that they are building a strong sense of emotional understanding.

Notices...

Throughout Half Term: Trek to Olympus - The first of our Olympic Series of challenges, where as a community we try to travel the distance from Trafalgar Square to Mount Olympus, over 2,800km. We’re including walking, running, cycling or scooting, and parental contributions count too! Please post pictures of fitbits or apple watches to the Olympus Challenge folder on Seesaw, and we’ll keep you updated over the course of the week.

Starting Monday 22nd February: St Nicholas’ School Lecture Series - we know that we can’t quite run our normal extra-curricular provision, but actually, we’re incredibly excited by this addition to the calendar. The Lecture Series will hopefully provide children with conversations and information on a huge breadth of topics. Please see Mr Donaldson’s letter fro earlier this week with details on how to sign up, but this is an exciting opportunity for children to experience new ideas and challenges, and we hope this will be a regular feature of our calendar in the future.

Monday 22nd February: Parents’ Meetings Week - Full curriculum provision means we are looking forward to taking time to speak with parents the first week back after Half Term. These Parents Meetings give us a chance to talk through each child’s targets for the remainder of the year as well as discussing progress.

Friday 12th March: World Book Day - We’re crossing our fingers with this one! World Book Day is officially the week before, at which time we’re still likely to be closed. Hopeful of an announcement allowing everyone back on Monday 8th March, we’ll be celebrating the end of the first week back by inviting children to dress up!

However, this year, as we can’t hold another International Women’s Day event like last year, we’re giving World Book Day a theme. We’ll give a few more ideas closer to the time, but this year, we’re asking children to come in dressed as characters from books written by female authors. We all know of JK Rowling, but this will be a super opportunity to explore other successful female authors such as Jacqueline Wilson, Suzanne Collins, Anne Fine, Beatrix Potter or Julia Donaldson. We could go on - there are so many options (And it doesn’t have to be from children’s literature) - so feel free to start researching!

From Mrs Almeida...

SIMS Pay

There is a small number of parents that have yet to activate their child's SIMS Pay account. Can I please remind those parents that without this account you will not be able to book afterschool clubs, wrap-a-round care or give permission and pay for school trips. I will re-issue the invitation codes to those families today and ask that you look for correspondence from SIMS Pay in your emails. I will available on Tuesday 16th February to assist with any SIMS Pay issues and ask that you call on 020 8205 7153.

Online Attendance

Should your child not able to participate in our online provision please email admin@stnicholasschool.org.uk as soon as possible stating the reason for absence so that we can record it accurately.

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.