From the Head
What a difference the sunshine makes! It has been an extremely busy week at St Olave’s with the children experiencing a wide range of opportunities to enhance their learning experiences as you will see below. And believe it or not, it has also been assessment week; hopefully the children have been so busy enjoying their learning they have not had time to think about assessments! We assess the children throughout the year to measure individual progress and set targets for their next steps. The children should feel very proud of the progress they are making and thank you for supporting your children with their home learning; teachers all gave suggestions on how to support your child at home in the mid year reports so please do read these carefully.
I am very proud of every child at St Olave’s and we are constantly striving to create even more opportunities for our children to shine. We have had huge academic successes for our Year 6 children, our instrumental concerts, Bromley Festival successes in Speech and Music (see below for our most recent success) and many wins on the sports field. Tomorrow will see Abigail travel to Rugby School to represent St Olave’s and London South in the National Cross Country Competition and we are already extremely proud of her. I look forward to sharing her experience with you in next week’s Newsletter and also welcoming you all to our Easter Concert at All Saints’ Church on Thursday evening at 7.00pm for a celebration of this term.
Finally, and I know it is one of the many things that you already know, but please don't feel that I only stand at the gate to 'simply' welcome you and your children into school each day. I am also there to speak with. I hope that you feel able to speak with me about any aspect of school life. We, as a staff, are simply here to give our children the best. If you are unsure about anything please speak with me; it will only ever be taken in the spirit of making St Olave’s even better.
I hope you all have a lovely (hopefully sunny) weekend and look forward to seeing you next week!
Kind regards, Miss Holloway
Congratulations to the children in the School Choir from Years 3-6 who won the Unison Cup at the Bromley Festival last Friday evening.
You sang beautifully, all the actions were in time and the adjudicator commented on how much you enjoyed singing.
We were delighted to be awarded the Unison Choir Cup which will live in our trophy cupboard to be admired by all.
Learning Muscles – Resilience
The children from Nursery to Year 6 are showing a deeper knowledge and understanding of our first Learning Muscle, Resilience. We continue to build opportunities for the children to practise the four tools learnt in class (Managing Distractions, Absorption, Stick ability and Noticing). Our Resilient Penguins remind the children that when learning is challenging, they need to use the four tools to support them in their learning journey to become successful.
At St. Olave’s we use 3 Before T as a way of encouraging our children to find their own solutions to problems and challenges. This approach helps the children to become more independent. When they are stuck, they must use three strategies first before asking for adult support. We are pleased to see the children showing greater levels of independence and we will continue to build on this every day. (A.McNamara)
Year 6 experienced life as a Crime Scene Investigator on Tuesday. The children took part in an all day workshop, delivered by an organisation called Zakon Training Ltd. Our leader for the day was Mr Parkinson, who is a retired police officer with experience of working in Baghdad and Croatia. He not only showed the children what someone in the role does day to day, but he also raised awareness of how many careers the children could do when they are older. Throughout the day, the children took part in many hands-on activities including: taking mouth swabs from each other, printing their fingerprints on a real police form and solving a crime scene investigation. They used skills from a range of curriculum subjects including science, maths and English throughout the day.
On Wednesday, 6B had their class assembly, well done to all of 6B for clear, loud speaking and for remembering all of their lines. The rest of the school enjoyed seeing all of our artwork and particularly enjoyed all of the singing. Thank you to the parents who could attend and share the children’s work with them after the assembly.
On Thursday, we had another wonderful workshop, organised by Miss McNamara. It was led by an organisation called A Life and covered Keeping Healthy - Alcohol and Drugs. The children had a very practical workshop in the afternoon discussing facts regarding the effect of alcohol and drugs and peer pressure connected with these issues. The children got the opportunity to wear goggles that simulated the effect of alcohol and then had to walk a straight line and try to catch a ball and find a set of keys. The results were very interesting.
On Friday, we will have our House singing competition! Good luck to all of the Houses, all of the House Captains and Vice Captains have worked very hard to motivate and lead their Houses, Well done! In between all of these fantastic opportunities we have also managed to fit in a reading assessment and work on co-ordinates by plotting, translating and reflecting shapes in all four quadrants.
During our IPC lessons this week we have had great fun using our product designs to complete our final products. We have used a wide range of materials such as cotton, wood, wool and thread as well as a variety of tools including saws, sewing needles and glue guns. The children have been very involved in their products with many of them creating vouchers and leaflets to distribute to their friends advertising their products. We look forward to making our own adverts using iMovie on the iPads next week and following this, we will share our sales pitches with other children in the school!
In maths this week we finalised our perimeter and area topic with an assessment and went over this together. We then started our new topic recapping multiplication and division strategies. The children looked at ways we could use manipulatives and tables to work out the answer to a 4-digit number multiplied by a 1-digit number. The children then applied these skills to problem solving questions. Following this, the children used base ten to represent the area model of multiplication. We then moved on to representing this more abstractly with place value counters and numbers.
In English this week we have been focusing on non-fiction texts in particular, biographies. We looked at an example biography about Mary Seacole and identified the language and structural features within the piece and the purpose of these. Using this knowledge, we decided on sections for our own biography about Queen Victoria and started our research, sorting information into appropriate paragraphs.
Another busy week in Year 4, from autobiographies to books of the dead, assessments and Easter egg decorating, the children have worked incredibly hard.
We very much enjoyed reading the children’s autobiographies this week. The children wrote with enthusiasm and enjoyment about their lives. We were very impressed to see the children using all the writing skills we have been covering in class.
On Friday, Year 4 had a superb trip to Oxleas Woods. The weather was definitely on our side, we even had the children trying to push their coats into their bags before we’d got off the bus! Our day was filled with outdoor learning focusing on collaboration; developing teamwork skills, listening and communication skills and our key values of perseverance and resilience. All were put to the test in a series of challenges which required the children to listen, support and consider the impact of their actions on others. We managed to unravel the human knot, sit down without our bottoms touching the floor and we even got across the highly radioactive swamp!
We also indulged in a spot of nature inspired art. With a carousel of activities including tree and bark rubbing, Andy Goldsworthy art, nature sketches and creating tree faces, all of the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves!
It’s hard to believe that there’s only one more week until the Easter holiday. But the pace has not lessened in Year 3 as we continue with our busy schedule. This week, the children have dealt with assessments, House Music competitions and Easter egg designs to name but three areas in addition to our regular curriculum.
In IPC, some of the children created “Performance Poetry” based on our Rainforest topic.
The children undertook a lengthy reading comprehension assessment this week. The transformation of how they coped with this and the quality of their written responses is marked compared with September 2018. They have improved so much and it is a credit to their resilience in this difficult area of English.
In maths we have got to grips with division with remainders and put our knowledge of our times tables and division facts to good use to solve problems involving scaling, using language such as twice or three times as long / short to compare towers of cubes.
In IPC we finished looking at plant adaptations and researched which everyday products come from the rainforest. The children were both surprised and excited to learn just how much produce in the supermarket is originally sourced from areas of rainforest. We hope you enjoy this weekend’s homework task, which is based on researching a product in more depth, from ‘forest to fork’ as it were.
Year 2 have continued looking at non-fiction texts and have been creating their very own information pieces. They have enjoyed learning about the lives and achievements of historical figures, such as Grace Darling, Edward Jenner and Neil Armstrong. They were given the task of writing about the person they most admired, which resulted in some very articulate and interesting writing. It was wonderful to see how engaged the children have been during this topic and how much information they have absorbed.
In Maths this week, the children have been delving deeper into their understanding of division and they have applied their previous learning to divide by 2. The children were able to apply their knowledge of the 2 times table in order to identify half of amounts. Later in the week, the children investigated odd and even numbers; they were surprised to discover that they only needed to look at the ‘ones’ column to identify whether a number is odd or even. This is a learning, which the children may want to develop further out of school. On the way home from school, they could identify odd and even busses or door numbers.
Easter is just around the corner and we have started to prepare by decorating eggs, which will be entered into the ISA Arts Easter Egg Competition. Each class has chosen a theme to inspire their egg decoration and they have applied a variety of artistic methods. We have been very impressed with the children’s creativity and are sure you will be too. You can look forward to seeing the children’s artistic creations when they bring them home next week.
On Thursday, the children were lucky enough to take part in a healthy workshop from ‘A-Life’. The children took part in a variety of activities, which included piecing together the human body, what foods make up your 5 a day, looking at the amounts of sugar and salt in foods and drinks and even how to shop on a budget.
All of the children were engaged in the activities and contributed interesting ideas in our discussion. The children demonstrated enthusiasm and were keen to make healthy food and activity choices.
At the beginning of the Summer Term, the children will take part in Art Week and so will need to bring in their school uniform apron each day. If your child does not have an apron please take the opportunity to purchase one at the uniform sale on Monday 1st April.
We hope that all the children and their families have a great weekend and that all the mothers and grandmothers have a wonderful Mothering Sunday.
To celebrate all the learning the children have been doing in both English and in our IPC topic ‘The Magic Toymaker’ they have independently created their own Information text about toys. They were given a success criteria to use which included, using a title, subheadings, correct punctuation and relevant facts. We were delighted that all the children wrote independently and had so much knowledge to share.
To build on the children’s understanding of chronological order and periods of time, we explored the concept of a timeline. They used a timeline to order various toys using the labels, grandparents, parents and me. The children had to look closely at the materials and design of the toys, using the clues to help them place the toys in the correct order. To prepare for the exit point of our topic, the children have been planning and creating their own finger puppets based on well known story characters. Next week, the children will be preparing and rehearsing their puppet shows ready to perform to an audience.
The children have been eggcited this week as they have been using their artistic skills to create their own egg design. Year 1 have chosen the theme of Easter and each child has made either a chick or a bunny. The whole school are entering the ISA Arts Easter Egg Competition and we look forward to finding out if there will be any winners at St Olave’s.
The children have been busy creating Mother’s Day cards ready for Sunday. We have had important discussions about appreciating all that our families do for us. The children have had some great ideas of how they can show their appreciation and are excited to deliver their cards on Sunday! Wishing all the mothers and grandmothers a wonderful weekend!
Our topic of ‘People who help us’ has moved closer to home this week as we have thought about our families and all the things they do for us. We have made cards for Mothers’ Day as well as making a very special flower arrangement for each of our mummies to say ‘thank you’ for looking after us.
In Maths we have been learning about time. We have sequenced some stories and thought about what we did yesterday, what we are doing today and what we will do tomorrow. We have made our own clocks and have set them to different ‘o’clock’ times. Have a look around at home and in the environment to see how many different clocks you can find. Oh and don’t forget to put your clocks forward an hour this weekend!
Our focus this week has been on Spring changes in the local environment and thinking about all the wonderful ways our mothers take care of us and help us.
The children have been very observant on our Monday walk to New Eltham library, identifying the many different wonderful Spring flowers in the neighbouring gardens. We spotted daffodils, tulips, magnolias, bluebells, daisies, dandelions, crocuses, forsythia, camelias, primulas, hyacinths, cherry blossom and wall flowers. Who knew that New Eltham was so colourful?
This sparked an interest in all things horticultural, so we have been role-playing gardeners in the lovely Spring sunshine as well as using our art skills to recreate some of the flowers we saw.
We have read many books about “Mummies” this week, with our favourite being “When Mum Turned into a Monster” by Joanna Harrison. The children particularly loved the humorous illustrations and it sparked a very long discussion about how we can help our mummies at home so they don’t turn into monsters too! The children are really excited to bring home the beautiful Mother’s Day cards and flower arrangements they have made this week to show their Mums how much they love them.
The children can't wait to welcome their Mums to our afternoon tea on Monday, when they will be practicing their waitering skills. We look forward to seeing you all at 2.15pm in the hall.
Next week we'll be learning about Easter as well as recapping on some of the occupations we have learnt about this term.
Have a lovely weekend and we wish all our Mums a very Happy Mother’s Day.
We had a visit from a puppy this week. Lottie belongs to Ms P and Freya and is 4 months old. She was looking very smart in her pink lead and collar. Although she is young, she was very well behaved and let all the children stroke her.
We learnt that for breakfast Lottie has puppy biscuits, and for lunch and dinner she has wet food. Lottie has to work for her breakfast as her biscuits are put in a special toy which she pushes around with her paw. She quickly worked out that if she plays with the toy then food comes out. Lottie demonstrated this as Ms P put some treats in her toy while she was visiting us. Thank you very much Ms P and Freya for bringing Lottie to meet us.