A WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE LOWER SCHOOL BY MRS BICKERSTETH

Once again this has been a varied week in the Lower School. In particular, there have been the themes of anti -bullying and charitable work this week.  In and out of classrooms this week have been a huge range of creative and valuable lessons being taught, as well as opportunities for parents to come into school and share in the children’s learning.

Year 3 presented a fantastic assembly to children in the Lower School to deliver the message of speaking out against bullying as part of anti-bullying week. The children sang beautifully, had excellent speaking skills and showed great enthusiasm. It was great to be able to share this with parents who came to school to see the assembly. Year 6 created excellent anti-bullying raps which they performed to the Reception children.  Year 6 wore a variety of outfits on this day as part of their fundraising activities, including some spectacular “bad hair”!

On Friday I attended a meeting with members of the Junior and Prep School Council, who met with members of the CHSA with Mrs Smith, who runs meetings with the Junior School Council throughout the year. This was a really positive way to develop communication and understanding of these two important parts of the wider school community. The children thanked the CHSA for all the things that they have provided for children in school. Mrs Smith meets with the Junior School regularly, and in the Prep Department Mrs Young meets with the Prep School Council.

A snapshot of the wonderful teaching and learning that I have seen in and out of classrooms this week includes:  Year 2 having a superb debate on the topic of how far Guy Fawkes was responsible for the crimes of which he was convicted. It was really impressive to see the preparation that had gone onto this debate, with literacy skills being developed, the use of suitable vocabulary and the application of historical knowledge. For a year 2 pupil to be stating with confidence that Robert Catesby was also responsible for the gunpowder plot and to be able to explain how Protestants and Catholics were treated , is a sign of the high expectations at school.  4S were engaged with painting designs onto the clay ancient Greek style pots that they had made in their art lesson and in year 3 the anti-bullying theme was reinforced with a friendship game and thought –provoking activity about how to deliver the message of how important it is to think before saying or doing anything that will hurt someone.

Children in the Prep department have already started to have their costumes prepared for their Nativity play. A trail of glitter has started to weave its way across Prep classrooms as Christmas preparations are under way and the sound of children singing songs from their Nativity play has started to be heard.

Junior School Councillors and Year pupil leaders visited the Palace of Westminster as part of Parliament Week which was a valuable opportunity to further understand the processes of representation and democracy. This most interesting visit will be followed up with the pupils preparing presentations to deliver in school.

This half -term the Junior classes have been supporting the local charity, St Helena Hospice. This week has seen a big focus on fundraising for charity, with Juniors being busy promoting their St Helena Hospice £10 Challenge, which culminated on Friday with stalls and fun activities, all organised by the children working in their form groups. This was most impressive as it was all organised and created by the children themselves, with an element of competition between the forms to see who could raise the most money. This included pop up stalls including: a candy floss stall, ice-cream parlour, Jenga challenge, penalty shoot out and cakes for sale. For the Prep and Early Years children, Children in Need was supported with a spotty non-uniform day on Friday and many flashing Children in Need headbands were seen in school. It will be exciting to see the final results of the charity fundraising from this week.