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Newsletter 30th November 2018

From the Head

All the children have brought home a short home learning activity this weekend as we launch our month of Kindness. The power of kindness calendar helps children learn about and carry out kind acts during the month of December. Each day is linked to a short kindness activity that can be used at the start of the day, or as an energiser during the day, with each activity lasting approximately ten minutes. Thank you in advance for your support in discussing kindness with your children over the weekend; they will be sharing their ideas in class on Monday.

By taking part in some of the power of kindness calendar activities, children will: learn about the power of kindness, carry out kind acts, consider how they can be kind to themselves and others learn about humanitarian actions such as coping, helping and welcoming others, which are all central to our St Olave’s ethos.

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Christmas Fayre tomorrow. The FRSC, volunteer parents and staff are busy transforming the school into a Christmas village as we speak and there are many stalls and activities planned for you all to enjoy. Fingers crossed the rain holds off; there are plenty of indoor activities and delicious refreshments to keep you busy if the forecast is poor!

I’m off to help with the preparations, see you all tomorrow!

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.

FRSC NEWS

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

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at the Christmas Fayre - thank you all for your generous support.

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. Your shopping has already raised nearly £100 for St Olave’s so please remember to shop through this link whenever you are shopping online!

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

Year 6

Year 6 have had a very busy and exciting week! On Monday, we visited Dulwich College to see and find out more about the ‘James Caird’. It was in the James Caird, a 23 foot whaler, that Sir Ernest Shackleton and five companions made the epic open boat voyage of 800 miles (1,300 km) from Elephant Island, 500 miles (800 km) south of Cape Horn, to South Georgia during the Antarctic winter of 1916. It was amazing to see history brought to life, thank you to Calista Lucy, the archivist who showed us artefacts from Shackleton’s expedition, and to the parents who accompanied us.

On Tuesday, we had another ‘life saving’ swimming lesson, the children learnt what to do if someone falls into the water who can’t swim. The children will still need their old clothes next week. On Wednesday, some year 6’s represented us at an athletics tournament whilst the rest of the year group had a visit from Gill who taught them how to knead and bake a delicious loaf of bread, they could not wait to eat them and many had been nibbled by the time they greeted their parents! On Thursday, we had a secondary school style science lesson which involved a scientific enquiry regarding wind resistance, and on Friday we finished our book ‘Shackleton’s Journey’ and wrote a newspaper report, in character, reporting what had happening on the perilous expedition. As well as all of these exciting activities, we managed to fit in a few comprehension and maths tests for those children who are preparing for their 11+ entrance exams in January!

Year 5

This week in English we have looked at the structure of formal letters. The children discussed what made a good letter after being shown some examples and annotated the language and structural features of a formal letter. The children then began to construct their own letters to Liam from Cosmic as they were offering him advice about his dilemma as to whether he should admit to not being Florida’s dad or not. During their introduction, the children focused on the use of modal verbs to establish possibility or certainty. The children have also enjoyed continuing their Fridays!

In Maths, we have continued looking at data. We have been learning to read and interpret tables of data to answer some tricky reasoning and problem solving questions. The children then became teachers themselves by setting their own questions based on the data. We looked very carefully at the type of language used when being asked to analyse data.

After a very exciting look at the new Mars Lander, the children started to think about their own ideas into launching a rocket. We had a discussion on air resistance and watched an amazing experiment where a bowling ball and a feather were dropped at the same time in a vacuum.

The children then worked in groups to create their own air powered rockets. They began by designing their shape and deciding what features to give it in order to give it the best chance of lifting off and going high into the air. We will be launching them (weather permitting) next week!

Year 4

Both year 4 classes enjoyed exciting trips to Creekside this week. We walked along the river at low tide wearing waders and had a duck race to find the speed of the river (using toy ducks you’ll be glad to hear). The children then used a net to find living creatures from the river bed, which yielded a surprising amount of life.

We thoroughly enjoyed 4S’s class assembly on Wednesday, recreating ‘The Snow Queen’, with fabulous acting, singing and all lines delivered clearly for all to hear - well done 4S! Thank you parents for the wonderful costumes. Thank you also to Mr Turner and Mr Jake making a very high-quality recording of the assembly. The link is here if you would like to see it:

In maths, we have been learning about length and perimeter, understanding how to convert between m and km and work out the missing lengths on shapes in order to calculate perimeter. The weekend home learning is a problem solving pack for the children to show us how much they understand. We will be discussing answers and how to find them in school next week so there is no need to give your child too much help if he/she is unsure.

Thank you very much for helping your children to create fabulous jars for our Christmas Fair. We hope to see lots of you on Saturday, getting into the festive spirit!

Year 3

It has been another busy week for Year 3 as we head quickly towards December!

In English we have been continuing to retell myths, editing our work to improve the vocabulary and use descriptive sentences. Maths has deepened our understanding of addition and subtraction including the use of bar and part part whole models.

These photos were sent as ‘tweets’ this week. 3 scary dancers were spotted at Footscray on Wednesday whilst some fantastic Christmas jars were showcased on Thursday.

In IPC, we have been ‘fine tuning’ our scientific enquiry and observation skills these past couple of weeks discovering all about sound. We have made plasticine models of ears to show how we hear, investigated how sound travels using the aid of a tube telephone and have experienced measuring sound around the school in decibels using an app on the iPad.

Next week, we will be conducting an investigation to explore pitch so can everyone please bring in an empty 500ml plastic bottle - thank you!

Thank you for helping your child create their jar. We think they look stunning and will be a real show stopper at the Christmas Fayre tomorrow!

Year 2

This week the children have been rehearsing for their Christmas production ‘The Inn-spectors’. They have worked hard on this production and are looking forward to performing to an audience next week. Please continue to practise speaking parts over the weekend so that the children feel extra confident with their lines. On Monday the children are to come into school wearing their costume ready to perform to the whole school for their dress rehearsal.

2R had their turn of baking bread on Monday. They were fantastic bakers and made two delicious loaves which they really enjoyed eating after all their hard work.

On Tuesday we all enjoyed tasting different types of bread and discussing how different ingredients can produce such a wide variety of one type of food. The children discussed how the breads would be best served and what fillings would be tasty with them. Pitta bread and bagels (served hot) were firm favourites so don’t be surprised if the children request these to be added to your weekly shopping lists!

Today we visited Temper Temper Chocolate in Tunbridge Wells which was a real treat! We had an education session where we learnt about the origin of chocolate and the different types of chocolate which are made. The children also took part in a workshop where they made their own tasty treats and were thrilled to leave with a bag full of chocolates to share at home! Both children and adults had a ‘choctastic’ time and loved their experience. We will attach some pictures next week of our exciting day out.

Year 1

This week we have been focusing on the Lower School Christmas Play ‘The Inn-Spectors.’ The children are very much looking forward to performing in front of the school on Monday for the dress rehearsal and then to all their parents in the afternoon. Thank you for sending your child’s costume in this week. Over the weekend, please continue to rehearse the songs at home to boost their confidence.

In our ‘Who am I?’ topic this week, the children have been learning about the World. The children worked in pairs to label a map of the UK using an atlas. They had to find and draw the different flags for each country. We were impressed with the children’s developing knowledge of the capital cities and seas surrounding the British Isles. Following this lesson, we then looked at the seven continents of the world. The children found this concept more challenging but enjoyed colouring the different continents and labelling them. We would advise all of you to purchase an atlas for your child to use at home.

Today, we have been asking the children to complete a survey about our school. They were asked about their learning, safety and personal development. It is important that the children have a voice in our school and the survey gave them all an opportunity to do this.

For home learning this weekend, we would like the children to focus on ‘The Power of Kindness’ campaign created by The Red Cross. Please see a letter from Miss Holloway explaining how we, as a school will be taking part. All that matters is Kindness! We hope you have a happy and kind weekend!

Reception

What a pleasure it was to take Reception on their first trip. They were so well behaved both on the train and at the theatre. The show itself was perfectly pitched for our children and it was a wonderful way to round off our most enjoyable topic.

This has inspired us to become budding thespians! Please keep practising your child’s words at home. You are in for a treat.

Our final forest school session of the season ended with some warming hot chocolate. The children have all enjoyed visiting the library or forest school each week and look forward to continuing this after the Christmas break. We will start the first week back with the library on the 11th January.

Nursery

Christmas has definitely arrived in Nursery this week. We started off meeting Santa on stage at the Orchard Theatre in the fabulous production of Stick Man. The children were all mesmerised by the singing and dancing and enthusiastically joined in with the audience participation. Their behaviour was exemplary, a credit to you and St Olave’s. A family group sitting nearby complimented the children on their excellent behaviour.

The children have been learning about the Nativity story, creating Nativity scenes on their Christmas folders, ready to be filled with all things sparkly. We have read a story about a playgroup rehearsing for their Nativity play only to discover there was “no room” for parents to come and watch. Luckily there will be plenty of room for parents to come and watch our production of “The Innkeeper’s Breakfast” next week. Don’t forget that your children will need to come to school dressed in their costume on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Please bring their school tracksuit, socks and school shoes (if they are wearing different shoes with their costume) in a named carrier bag so we can change them after each performance. Nursery parents are invited to watch Tuesday morning’s performance.

We’ve also been busy making tree decorations out of salt dough. The children have enjoyed measuring and mixing flour, salt and water then choosing a seasonal cookie cutter to create their decoration. After baking in a low oven they have been painted and decorated with an assortment of colours and glitter. Beautiful!

Have a lovely weekend and see you next week at our Christmas production.

Active Travel

Our first Winter Active Travel Challenge has begun! This picture shows Nicholas’ bike, when he managed to cycle to school in the snow a few years ago. That day, the snow was soft rather than icy and made for an exciting ride! There will be much more time to complete the challenge cards this time. To reward those brave and resilient children who make it through the wintry weather and complete the challenge, there will be a hot cooked breakfast in February. Good luck!

On Monday and Tuesday after school, there will be a Be Bright Be Seen stall. The Junior Travel Ambassadors will be selling a variety of items that will help your child be visible when walking and cycling in the dark.

Rights Respecting Schools Award

As you will be aware, St Olave’s is on a journey to become a Rights Respecting School, putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) at our core. We were awarded Bronze accreditation last academic year, and we are now on our journey towards Silver.

This week our Rights Respecting Ambassadors have been considering the (54) rights and trying to narrow down the ones of the utmost importance for us at school for us to focus on in the new year. We will be working to develop our own ‘Rights Charter’ over the coming weeks and are looking forward to rolling out a larger programme early next term.

We would be interested to hear from any parents who might like to support our journey towards SIlver. This will involved attending a couple of steering group meetings and helping to move the school forwards with their action plan. If you would like to know more or maybe interested in getting involved, please contact Mrs O’Sullivan by email on l.o’sullivan@stolaves.org.uk

Thank you.

Pet Club

This week we had two visitors - brother and sister Sybil and Basil. Sybil is a black cat and her brother Basil is a tabby cat. They live with Henry in Year 1 and his family. The Year 2 children met Sybil a few weeks ago, so it was exciting to have her brother visit us too this time. Basil likes to go out and about exploring, and Sybil likes to be stroked a lot. Basil spent a lot of time exploring the classroom before everyone had the chance to stroke them.

Thank you to Ms Ede and Henry for bringing Sybil and Basil to visit us.

Sports News

Year 5 & 6 entered the indoor athletics event host by John Roan school. The children had an amazing time which included a number of different field and track events. A massive congratulations to all the children involved, and a big thank you to Ms Tyler who attended the event with us.

Year 4 travelled to Plumstead Manor who hosted a dodgeball festival, which included 12 schools in total. St Olaves showed tremendous skill and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. A huge well done to the children who took part as we finished 2nd on the day. Thank you to Mrs Fowler Wright who attended the event with us.

J Kendall

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