Newsletter 16th November 2018

From the Head

It has been another busy week at St Olave’s. If you do not yet follow our various Twitter feeds, I would encourage you to do so; every year group has their own profile and the children just love being able to share their learning with you. They also love it when a really famous author replies to one of their tweets; more on that later in the Newsletter!

On Wednesday, Mrs Pons and I attended the annual Mental Health and Wellbeing conference at The Oval cricket ground. We heard from some inspirational keynote speakers and attended various workshop sessions. At St Olave’s Prep School, we believe that mental health and wellbeing is the basis for a happy and successful life at school and beyond. Wellbeing plays a key role in our school ethos, and shapes our policies and procedures implicitly and explicitly. We strive to improve the wellbeing of our students and staff in everything we do, seeking to build resilience, identify and monitor concerns, and support students and families who face challenges. We are planning a Wellbeing week to take place in January to further explore some of the key messages from the conference.

We have a roof! Today was my first ‘on-site’ visit to our new building and I was very excited to stand in the shell of the building. I was even allowed to sit on the digger and the children found this hilarious when they spotted me through the viewing panels…! It is amazing how quickly the building has now progressed and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a mild and dry winter to enable this progress to continue.

The Children in Need Spotacular has been supported in style today and I would like to thank Mrs Farrell, Mrs Marsh and Mrs O’Sullivan, along with our members of the School Parliament for organising such an excellent fundraiser and to all of you for your generosity in providing cakes and donations today.

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend and I look forward to seeing you at Parents’ Evenings next week.

Kind regards, Miss Holloway

Wellbeing Award

At St Olave’s Prep School, we care about the wellbeing of both our pupils and staff and we are always looking for ways that we can help support our school family. This year, as you know, we are working incredibly hard to achieve the Wellbeing Award for Schools administered by Award Place, in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau.

This whole-school award focuses on ensuring effective practice and provision is in place that promotes the emotional wellbeing and mental health of both staff and pupils.

The award has a focus on changing the long-term culture of a school, and embedding an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.

With this award, schools can:

  • Show their commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life
  • Improve the emotional wellbeing of their staff and pupils
  • Ensure mental health problems are identified early and appropriate support provided
  • Offer provision and interventions that matches the needs of its pupils and staff
  • Engage the whole-school community in the importance of mental health awareness
  • Capture the views of parents, pupils and teachers on mental health

We are well on our journey to achieving this award and hope to have it in place this academic year. Thank you to the huge number of parents that completed the survey last term; our change team are busy analysing the parent, child and staff survey responses and writing a wellbeing strategy which will be shared with you when it is complete. If you would like any further information regarding the award, please contact the School Office and a member of the change team will be in touch.


Christmas Fayre - Saturday 1st December 11am - 2pm

Next Friday we are holding a Christmas Fayre donations day! Children can come in wearing their own clothes in exchange for bringing donations for the Christmas Fayre. Parent volunteers will be on the gate in the morning and after school to collect donations of bottles, new, good-quality gifts for the secret room, Christmas jumpers, chocolate and toys. Thank you for your support in making this the best Christmas Fayre ever!

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.

Volunteers Needed!

We would love to have some committee members from Nursery and Year 6; please see any member of the FRSC or Mrs Farrell on the gate if you would like to find out more. Anyone willing to offer help, services or donations, please see Mrs Farrell for further information.

The Giving Machine

Remember, when you are buying Christmas presents 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.

St Olave’s School Trust on TheGivingMachine: https://www.thegivingmachine.co.uk/causes/st-olaves-school-trust-266085

Year 6

After our Barvember win on Twitter at the weekend the children came back to school with a renewed vigour towards mathematics this week. We have been looking at various methods to solve long division problems, even though the formal method still is the favourite, the chunking method provided some WOW moments and children were beaming with from ear to ear after challenging themselves and making their way through the learning pit. In English this week we continued our Shackleton’s Journey by writing a setting description for a blizzard at sea using our senses to generate vocabulary. In our IPC lessons we continued our Drugs topic by looking at the effects of different drugs and discussing if substances such as caffeine are actually drugs.

In swimming this week the children were learning skills about life saving. They all put on their old T-shirts and trousers and got into the pool, everyone commented on how heavy they now felt with ‘normal’ clothes on. They will be continuing this next week, so please make sure they bring their swimming kit plus their old clothes in a plastic bag.

Year 5

As part of our Space Scientists IPC unit this half term, the children learnt about the Great Space Race. During this science lesson, the children found out that it became rather competitive between Russia and the USA when sending the first astronauts into space! In pairs, the children read about the various achievements that the USA and Russia had regarding their space missions and used this information to create a tally of achievements. We also watched a video clip based on this, using this extra information to create an informative piece of writing about what the Great Space Race was, how long it lasted and who has achieved the most in space between the USA and Russia!

In maths this week, we learnt about line graphs as part of our new topic, ‘Statistics’. We studied the key features of a line graph such as title, x and y axis and plotting of the data as well as looking at the graphs as a whole and understanding what they are telling us. On Wednesday, some of the children became weather forecasters and gave excellent descriptions of the snowfall in New York over the course of a year, using just the information given on a line graph. We have also created our own stories based on a range of line graph problems. We are looking forward to drawing our own line graphs next week.

In English this week we discussed what an email is, why we may communicate via email and what the key features of an email are. We compared two emails, one formal and one informal in order to identify the key structural and language features. We will use our understanding of these key to help us when we come to write an email to a character from ‘Cosmic’. We have been thoroughly enjoying our Free Writing Friday sessions and were thrilled that the author of ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, Cressida Cowell, liked our Tweet and sent us the following advice when we asked her if she could offer us any tips for our writing; ‘Write what you would love to read yourself - make yourself laugh, cry or think...enjoy it! This is YOUR writing’.

Year 4

This week the children have been forging ahead with the written calculation methods for addition and subtraction in maths. Using practical equipment, such as place value counters, has helped them to understand what ‘exchanging’ actually means. At the weekend your child has a review of the topic to complete at home. He or she has been taught the written methods below at school -which might be similar to the method you learnt at school yourself all those years ago!

We have been enjoying reading the novel by Philip Pullman ‘I was a rat!’ and the children have noticed that the mysterious boy with no name does appear to have some ‘ratty’ characteristics. He ‘tore up his bed sheets to make a nest’, ‘jealously guards his food’ and ‘loves to gnaw at wood, especially pencils’. The children showed great description when retelling the story as the boy (subsequently named Roger). Here is an excerpt - well done Maija!

Year 3

Year 3 bade a fond farewell to ‘Scavengers and Settlers’ this week as both classes created a presentation and assembly to create a fitting exit point for this exciting topic.

3S presented and discussed their work with Year 2 on Tuesday afternoon. The children loved being able to confidently talk to the younger children and explain how they made their papier mache caves and scary fossils!

The following day, 3A presented their whole school assembly. They ‘rocked’ the hall with their Stone Age song and the toilet roll came out again as they demonstrated to the whole school and their parents just how long the Stone Age lasted (and how it accounts for 99% of all human history!) Well done 3A you performed brilliantly and enthusiastically showed just how much we have learnt. We are all incredibly proud of you!

In maths we are currently exploring Addition and Subtraction. Please look at the Children in Need code puzzle which your child will bring home for their weekend homework as it is exactly the kind of exercise which we are doing at the moment (3 digit number add/ subtract single digit plus some more challenging examples). Most of the children should be able to complete the task independently.

Next week we shall begin our new IPC unit ‘Turn it Up’, which focuses on sound and light. We have the School of Noise visiting us with a sound workshop on Monday, which should be an excellent starting point for what promises to be an exciting new topic!

Year 2

It has been a very busy week for Year Two. Miss Ryan’s class have been preparing for their assembly and are excited to be sharing their learning with the school and their parents next Wednesday. The children have also found out their parts for the Christmas play and are busy learning the songs for this performance. Next week rehearsals will start in earnest so please take the time to learn any lines that are sent home with your children!

On Tuesday we were invited to listen to Mrs Evans play her violin for us and to hear about how we could learn the violin at school if we wished to have lessons. We were also very lucky to be invited into Mr Shea’s class where Year Three had prepared a mini presentation for us all about their learning of the Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age. They showed us their written work and their art work and the children listened very carefully because the Year Three children were such engaging teachers!

In maths, the children have been taught how to add and subtract numbers using the Dienes Rods. They have used the equipment to understand how to exchange ‘cubes’ for a ‘ten stick’ when adding and subtracting. This is a very grown up concept which we will continue to practise next week in our lessons. Once the children understand this concept, they will be invited to apply their skills to some problem solving activities.

We have continued with our new IPC topic, “We Are What We Eat”, and have learned about a balanced diet along with the various sources from which our foods come. We have looked at foods from underground, arable farms, dairy farms and other animals. Thank you for completing your food diaries last weekend. These were very helpful to use in our lessons. Next week we are going to be looking at the various countries around Europe that grow foods for us to buy in our local shops and supermarkets. Feel free to look at a globe or atlas with your children as they tell you about their learning and always remember that it’s best to buy British when our foods are in season!

Year 1

Have you ever wondered if your crayons could talk? Well, in our English lessons this week we have been exploring the story ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt. The children read the first part of the story finding out that Duncan (a young boy) went to take out his crayons from his box and surprisingly found a stack of letters instead. The letters were from his crayons, they all had decided to quit. The children were amused by the letters from the crayons and their first task was to summarise the reasons the crayons decided to quit developing their recall and understanding of the story. Following this, the children had to take on the role of Duncan by responding to one of his crayons in a letter. The children learnt the structure of a letter and how to write in the first person. We were very impressed with their independence and their developing writing skills. They loved drawing the crayons and adding speech bubbles and placards describing how the crayons were feeling.

In maths, the children have been developing their understanding of the addition symbol and addition families. We first gave the children concrete materials such as cubes and numicon to use to ensure the children are secure in their understanding of addition. Then the children used pictures to help support the concept of addition when writing number sentences. Many of the children have progressed to recording the abstract of number in number sentences. The children are trying very hard to ensure their numbers are correctly formed and written the right way round. They have had some experience of writing number sentences in a systematic way and in particular they have developed their understanding of the symbols in different positions in the number sentence. E.g.

10 = 6 + 4

4 + 6=10

4 + __ = 10

10 = 4 + 6

6 + 4 = 10

__ + 6 = 10

The children have continued their science learning in our IPC topic ‘Who am I?’ This week the children have continued to learn about the body focusing on the functions of the heart and lungs. They have also begun to explore The Eatwell Guide https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/the-eatwell-guide/ thinking carefully about a balanced diet and learning about the various food groups. We will revisit ‘Healthy Eating’ in the Spring Term during our Jigsaw PSHEE lessons.

During Computing with Mr Pradic, the children enjoyed using the green screen. They will be creating their own booklets about the Human Body. We love the results so far!


The Gruffalo has been back in Reception Class this week, this time with his child!

The children have sequenced pictures from the story and have really impressed us with their use of phonics when writing about the pictures. We have continued using part, part, whole models this week leading up to introducing number sentences and number bonds to 10 (and beyond). In our outdoor learning sessions the children have excitedly watched as our new early years block starts to take shape, with the walls and roof being added. We have explored light and dark, making shadows in our dark den and when the sun has decided to shine on the walls.


We’ve had an extremely busy week in Nursery learning all about the Gruffalo’s Child as well as learning about Children in Need.

We’ve had great fun making shadow puppets of the characters from the Gruffalo’s Child and exploring how to make the shadows bigger and smaller. Well done to all the Nursery children who explained how to do this to their parents at home!

We talked about how the Gruffalo’s Child didn’t have many toys to play with, and linked this to Children in Need. The children decided it would be kind to make her some toys so she wouldn’t feel so sad. They were very thoughtful in their choices of toys to make, including dolls, unicorns, vehicles, dinosaurs and a magic wand.

On Friday we supported the BBC’s Children in Need Spotacular through participating in the spotty cake sale. They were delicious!

Next week we will be reading “Stick Man”, our last Julia Donaldson book from our topic. Don’t forget to bring in a few small sticks or twigs on Monday so we can create or own amazing stick people.

Have a lovely weekend.

Missing Uniform

Several children have lost items of uniform which is named, including winter coats. Please could you check your child has their own uniform, and it has their name in. We have several items of uniform which is not named and therefore cannot be returned to the owner.

Thank you for your help.

Mrs Farrell

Saturday Gardening Club

The next Saturday gardening at the allotment will be on the 24th of November (weather permitting) from 10am until 12pm. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Many thanks, Mr Pradic

Pet Club

This week we had two visitors - tortoises, Tallulah and Ayla. They belong to Freya in Year 5 and her family. They are sisters and are 6 years old. We learnt that tortoises are cold-blooded, are more active during the day, and that they hibernate and sleep for a long time in the cold weather. They can live to be over 100 years old! They are herbivores and eat grass, leaves, flowers and fruit. Thank you Freya and Ms Presland for bringing Tallulah and Ayah to meet us before they hibernate for the winter.


Since the beginning of the year, St Olave’s pupils have enjoyed using the language app Linguascope to learn vocabulary and develop listening, reading and writing skills. It is fun and child-friendly and pupils can use it both at school and at home to reinforce their learning. Many pupils have already completed Unit 1 of the course, earning a certificate and a little prize for their effort. Here are the pupils who completed a whole unit this week. Well done!

Children in Need “Spotacular” Friday 16th November

We are very proud to be supporting Children In Need’s “The Big Spotacular” event this year. The children all looked very colourful and “spotacular” in school today. They had a visit from our Members of Parliament who came to tell everyone about Children in Need and the work they do across the country. During the afternoon, the children came to the cake sale and chose a ‘Spotacular’ themed cake or biscuit. Thank you very much for your generous donations of cakes and biscuits and for helping us to support this very worthwhile cause. Photos and an update on the grand total will be in next week's newsletter.

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