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St Nicholas’ Newsletter 2. 29/01/2021

It seems that each time I write to parents, I repeat my thanks for your support in helping us to implement our remote learning provision, and so I hope the frequency doesn’t trivialise the sentiment. It’s wonderful to be Head of a community where we have all put in a huge amount of work, and that is reflected in the number of schools, both within ILG and externally, whom have sought our advice in how to embed effective home learning strategies.

We have of course been very fortunate in developing this provision, having invested in technology long before lockdown, and so the infrastructure and skill set of the children was embedded before school closures. Our efforts to develop an innovative curriculum took us in that direction, and iPads are an essential element of a modern education.

That said, we are aware that technology is not the only solution to home learning. Next week’s No Screen Day is important to help children to enjoy some time away from their devices, and shows their adaptability as learners. The teachers will still be available as normal on zoom, so please indulge the irony of a No Screen Day delivered via video call. We believe it will be a super way to celebrate the willingness and adaptability of the children to tackle new challenges, as well as enjoy some time reminding them that there is a world beyond the iPad! As with any event undertaken as a community, I’m again faced with the need to offer my thanks to you for supporting this addition to the calendar, and we hope some of the activities create some interesting discussions at home.

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 RESILIENT in their learning. We’ve all needed it a lot during lockdown, so well done to the pupils below, who earn a bonus 3 house points for their Resilience...

Ismaeel has been resilient all week, taking on lots of new activities, even though some of them have been super tricky! Well done! 3HP to Maple!!
Amana showed excellent focus and determination in her work in Inquiry Project this week when researching a timeline on British Prime Ministers. 3HP to Oak!!!
Aryan worked really hard on adding three digit numbers this week, and all that resilience also helped his mental maths too! 3HP to Pine!!!

For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking out for children who have been RESPONSIBLE. We see a handful of examples on Zoom, but we’re sure parents see plenty of evidence at home. Please send Mr D a quick message on Zoom or via email if your child is being Responsible at home!

The pupils in Year 3 and 4 have been working on their IP project of British Government by looking into the question ‘How does the Government influence our lives?’

They began by understanding how the British Government is formed, who leads it and what kind of work they do. Last week, the children explored the majestic Palace of Westminster, the office of the British government. After locating that on the map of London, the children identified other landmarks of our capital city and predicted how long will the journey from our school to Westminster will take. Their activity was centred on being a good tourist guide for a friend from abroad who would like to find out interesting facts about the Houses of Parliament.

Hadi found some impressive facts and created a great Spark Pages presentation, using beautiful images of the Houses of Parliament. Elias’ work is below, and focused on what the Parliament day to day job is and how that impacts the lives of many. The project continues with a closer look at all the prime ministers since 1937 to nowadays and their contribution and legacy to politics and society.

Super research Elias - great fact about colour coded rooms!

In STEM lessons, Reception children were learning how to use the Google Earth app to support their learning. We have been looking at different parts of the world and where their parents and grandparents are from. Children learned how to navigate in their search for the location by typing the name of the chosen country. Albert searched for Romania and found the neighbourhood and his house. Dua was fascinated with Paris and located one of the most famous points of interest, Eiffel Tower.

The Eiffel Tower, and Albert’s home in Romania...

As part of our Inquiry Project and Superheroes, we were reading a story about Supertato. We talked about the importance of compassion and helping other. Children were discussing superpowers and which one they would have if they could be a superhero. Their task was to make their own Supertato and take photo of him helping with the house chores.

Supertato helping with chores at Dua’s house!!!

The children in Year 6 have been continuing their studies about The Second World War this term, in their Inquiry Project lessons. They have focused their studies on what life was like for those left behind in Britain during the war, and in particular they have looked at rationing and the role of women in The Second World War. They looked at why women were drafted in to help out in so many professions, and the different kinds of work they had to do. They researched at the conditions and responsibilities of various jobs, as well as what they got paid and the discrepancies between men and women’s pay.

Pupils each researched a different type of job, from munition workers to being a Land Girl, and made posters to share with their classmates. They had to write job descriptions as well. Finally, they had to reply to a letter they had received from ‘Aunt Nancy’, explaining their new job, what it entailed and how they felt about it.

Here you can see Roomi’s poster about being a munition worker...
...and Tiana’s reply to Aunt Nancy’s letter.

Notices...

Monday 1st February: No Screen Day, where children get a chance to unplug and explore learning opportunities that don’t require their iPad.

Tuesday 9th February: History Day. There are some exciting activities being lined up on the Underground, the Tower of London, and on post war London. We’re looking forward to sharing the work with parents soon!

Thursday 11th February: Well-being Afternoon. We’ll take some time to explore different activities and develop new strategies that allow children to relax and switch off from their work.

Support Snippet Series

We are beginning to develop a library of videos to help support children at home as they tackle new material and prepare for their senior school examinations. These will be applicable long after lockdown ends, and hopefully will give children a little help on specific topics in English and Maths when doing revision at home.

We’ve already made two videos - one exploring the similarities on page 1 of the 11+ paper and another on factors. You can view the individual videos below, but there’s also a link to the Support Snippets Channel.

From Mrs Almeida...

SIMS Pay

We have, over the last two terms, been actively encouraging parents to activate their SIMS Pay account and now ask that those who have not done so please do as soon as possible. Our expectation is that every St Nicholas' child will have an active SIMS Pay account by the February half term allowing parents to give permissions and pay for Aftercare, Clubs and School trips.

For auditing purposes bank transfers, card and cash payments for these items will no longer be accepted by the school after the February half term. If you have any questions relating to activating your account, please email admin@stnicholasschool.org.uk and Mrs Almeida will contact you to resolve any issues.

Please note that without an active account we cannot guarantee any provision that requires booking through SIMS Pay, even if the activity is free. It is therefore in your child's best interest to ensure the account is active as soon as possible.

Wraparound Care

From the Summer Term all wraparound care will need to be booked and paid for in advance through SIMS Pay. We will continue to provide care for children whose parents aren't able to collect on time, but any charges incurred will be uploaded onto SIMS Pay for payment. Details on how to do this will be forwarded after the February half term.

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.