Newsletter W/C 13th November 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
Coffee Morning - 'We Love Reading!'
Due to 'operator error' we didn't hold the planned coffee morning this week. Following a brief consultation with some parents at the door, it seems that it will suit families better if we offer this session on reading as an evening slot via Zoom. We suggest Tuesday 21st November at 8.30pm for 1 hour. Please let us know if you are interested in attending and, if so, if the date/time suit.
Inset Day - Friday 17th November - School Closed
Another reminder that the school will be closed on Friday 17th November so that staff can attend training in London. We are hearing about some exciting plans which some children have made for their unusual 'day off'!
With the onset of late Autumn and Winter well on its way it's worth making sure that your children are bringing suitable clothing and extra layers for when they play in the garden. We encourage the children to wear waterproof trousers (provided by us) in the garden which is now very wet and muddy! However, we have noticed that some children are not bringing a warm/waterproof coat. Some children might benefit from having gloves as the temperature drops - especially for Elementary when scooting!
LAST WEEK IN SCHOOL
We are studying the work of the artist Henri Matisse and the children have been enjoying making collage artwork. Some of the older children have made quite intricate designs whilst the younger children have been exploring colour, shape and practising how to apply glue carefully.
In yoga, Miss Hayley began the session by reminding the children that it’s not good for our bodies to sit with ‘W’ legs - if you notice your child doing this invite them to point their toes backwards rather than to either side or to cross their legs instead. This will protect their delicate knee joints. She took the children through the story of ‘The Witch who loved to make Children Cry’. We had cackling witches, a technique to release anger; shake it to break it (which works very well), sandwiches and a train - all good fun with a happy ending.
During a group singing the birthday song to a friend(the Earth goes round the sun), one of the older children told us “it takes a year for the earth to go round the sun”. It also led to a lively conversation about different time zones, and why the sun is in different countries at different times. “It’s tomorrow in Australia now” and “my Uncle Paul lives in a different country, I don’t know how old he is”.
In ballet, the older group have been practising ‘Port de bras’ (carriage of the arms)- the foundation of the use of the arms in ballet. All the children looked most skillful in this difficult part of a dance. The younger group were miming ‘on the beach’, being reminded that miming means not making a sound, a small challenge for some!
Some children chose to ‘work’ outside this week and we observed some lovely collaboration on leaf raking. Concentration and turn taking was evident in this chosen activity.
In cooking we made lemon and poppy seed biscuits decorated with red icing with a sprinkle of poppy seeds to make the centre of the biscuit. We talked about poppy seeds deriving from the poppy flower. When the children were asked the meaning of wearing poppies during November, one child immediately said “we remember people in the wars”. Whilst juicing the lemon, the children remarked on how refreshing the aroma was, “but they are sour to eat”. The finished results looked most impressive and the children were all proud of their bakes.
In Elementary we have had enjoyed a number of presentations of completed work, with some of the older children demonstrating much improvement in the clarity and confidence of their presentations. As ever, research topics vary but we were treated to four complementary pieces of research arising from the Timeline of Life,, focusing on life on Earth long before the evolution of humans. We heard about the Carboniferous, Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods and about some of the flora and fauna which typified each period, as well as some interesting facts like mass extinctions, or major changes in the Earth's land masses and atmosphere.
We had another visit to the Tiltwood care home where one child was excited to teach a resident how to play chess. The resident was equally delighted as nobody on the staff knew how to play the game let alone teach it! For the children these visits seem like just a great hour out of the classroom to play games; however, we see these visits as far more enriching than that. The children are exposed to unknown, and often people who are different from anyone else in the child's life. The children must meet the residents at their level, often repeating questions or moving the counters in a game which the resident is physically or cognitively unable to participate fully in. This is a great opportunity to develop empathy and understanding and respect for different life experiences.
In Yoga Miss Hayley took the children through an eye meditation using candles to provide focus.
Jess returned this week and the school joined together to learn some new songs for the Christmas show (is it too early to mention Christmas???). The children quickly picked up a new tune and have already started learning the words.
Sports was football again and the children spent a long time practising their attack and defence skills, manoeuvring all over the pitch, running and changing direction.
We too discussed the symbol of the poppy to mark Remembrance Day, focussing on our gratitude to all the humans who have served succeeding generations through their own sacrifice. All of the children showed great restraint and respect during our two minute silence.
We hope you all have a lovely week.
Friday 3rd & Saturday 4th November Parent Meetings
Wednesday 8th November Coffee Morning - We Love Reading!
Friday 17th November INSET Training day - school will be closed
Saturday 25th November (postponed from 7th October) Autumn Open Morning for Prospective Families
Wednesday 13th December TBC – Christmas Party for the children
Thursday 14th December TBC – Late Morning – Christmas Show - all families invited
Thursday 14th December TBC – Afternoon – Christmas Crafts for Children and their Families
Friday 15th December End of Autumn Term - close at 12.15pm
Tuesday 2nd & Wednesday 3rd January Inset Days
Thursday 4th January Start of Spring Term
Friday 19th January Coffee Morning – Subject TBC
Saturday 3rd February Spring Open Morning for Prospective Parents
Monday 12th - Friday 16th February Half Term
Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd March Parent Meetings
Tuesday 5th March Coffee Morning - Subject TBC
Thursday 28th March - End of Spring Term close at 12.15
Monday 15th April Inset Day
Tuesday 16th April Start of Summer Term
Friday 3rd May Coffee Morning Subject TBC
Monday 6th May Spring Bank Holiday
Saturday 11th May Summer Open Morning for Prospective Parents
Monday 27th - Friday 31st May Half Term
Tuesday 11th June Coffee Morning - Subject TBC
Friday 5th & Saturday 6th July Parent Meetings
Wednesday 10th July Ballet Show
Wednesday 17th July Sports Day and Picnic
Thursday 18th July End of Summer Term close at 12.15