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

The week started with the fantastic news that the Junior pupils raised £505.06 in the St. Helena Hospice £10 challenge last week.  All the forms were successful in raising money, but Mrs.Hazell’s form, 5H, deserves a mention as the form that raised the most, with an astonishing  £175.80  raised on their “Adopt an animal” stall. What a great way for old toys to be rehomed! The grand total raised for Children In Need across Seniors, Early Years and Prep department was £479.92, another wonderful charitable endeavour.

On Tuesday morning straight after registration I joined the News Team with Mrs Clarke, who had organised a visit from Mr Brindley who works at ITN and kindly came to school to give a fascinating insight into life behind the scenes of news programming. I look forward to reading the News Team’s report about Mr Brindley’s presentation.

The Nursery has been holding Key Worker meetings this week with parents and continuing to prepare their Christmas songs – it will be lovely to see them perform at the Nativity next week.

This week my lesson drop-ins have evidenced the excellent teaching and learning that has been taking place in school this week and the enthusiasm of the children. In one lesson the Reception children were practising their handwriting and using “fun fingers” as a strategy to help them work out how to spell words, as part of their Read Write Inc phonics lessons. Later in the week, the children then enjoyed reading the RWI story, including some acting out as animals in fun hats!  The progression that has been made in the children’s work since the start of September was clear to see. Miss Hunte has been busy using her artistic talents to make costumes for the Nativity and helping the Reception children with the lovely Christmas arts and crafts that they have been involved with, the evidence of which is all around the Reception classroom. In Year 2 the enthusiasm shown by the children was amazing as they explained to me, using descriptive details, their alternative fairy tales. I am sure that you can work out from which fairy tales these Year 2 story characters and story lines have been adapted: “Goldilocks and the three hippos”; “Evil Hansel and Gretal” and “Three Polar bears go over an icy bridge so they can eat the seals”. I shall look forward to seeing the wooden spoon puppets that the children will be making based on the characters that they have been writing about. In another lesson drop, Year 5 were learning numbers in Spanish, applying this confidently in a bingo game. The Maths scheme that is used in Years 1 to Year 6 had a focus on measure for many year groups and maths lessons had lots of practical activities taking place. I was impressed with Mrs Davis’ Year 3 Maths class as they had a carousel of differentiated activities, including estimating and measuring liquids – no spillages were seen – demonstrating excellent team work and focus! In Year 4 Mrs Smith’s maths lessons included learning about measure by weighing potatoes and fruit and then in a follow on lesson, cake-making took place to apply the maths skills to a practical real life task. Mrs Rogojan-Rush’s Maths class were using and applying their understanding of measure by calculating the ingredients for some gruesome potions. In a year 6 Maths lesson with Mr Jamieson, the focus was on using and applying division to solve real life problems. 4S also had an impressive lesson on Athenian democracy, in which they presented their views really clearly. Each week when I take my Junior Debating Skills club after school I am impressed with the increasing confidence that the children show.

Year 6 children- and teachers were all dressed as Tudors on Wednesday in readiness for their day trip to Layer Marney Tower as part of their history studies. This meant that when I went into Year 1 and 2 first thing on Wednesday morning, the usual reading buddy session had some rather interesting characters hearing year 1 and 2 read.  Please click here for Tudor Day photos.

Break times have been enhanced by the addition of play leaders in the Lower School. The older pupils who have volunteered to take on these roles were out in force at lunch break this week, setting up parachute games for the younger children in Juniors on the Lower Playground.

As I write this I am looking forward to seeing the final of the Rotary Club’s singing competition for school choirs this evening, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Best wishes for the weekend