A Friday Night Round Up and a Video of Mr Schumm making Dumplings!
Yesterday, I spent a fun filled day with Year 4 at Woodrow House. They had a brilliant time, if slightly damp but that wasn’t spoiling the fun! They have enjoyed high ropes, archery, nightline and so much more! On the last night there was the disco and the outfits were spectacular. What I really love is seeing them working together and encouraging each other – superb St Stephen’s collaboration!
The whole school assembled in the church on Wednesday for our Ash Wednesday service, a week ahead of schedule due to the half term break. Rev Denis led the service giving a ‘sweet’ homily, and despite his absence, Mr Perry’s hallmark of organisation was evident to see, and hear – thank you. There were prayers from our Prayer Group (including Filip), readings from Aiden and wonderful music from the string ensemble (including Nina & Lily) as well as some great hymns.
Thank you to all those parents who completed our homework questionnaire (please see enclosed sheet). We are also working on some other suggestions from parents.
A massive thank you to our Parents Prayer Group who joined with our Pupil Prayer Group this morning, to pray for our school (and enjoy some rather delicious muffins)! A special shout out to our Parent Prayer Group who meet every Friday come rain or shine outside the school and pray for our whole school community. We should all now feel refreshed and ready for half term!
A Lunar New Year from Assembly Year 2
Year 2 dazzled us with their superb assembly on Thursday filled with amazing dancing, singing, acting and lots of facts on Lunar New Year. I watched the assembly on Wednesday afternoon (as I was at Woodrow House on Thursday) and what particularly impressed me was their superb expression as they said their lines. Mrs Bouwman adored the Tai Chi finale.
Netball – The London Youth Games here we come!
Our two netball teams competed in the H&F primary netball competition, kindly hosted and organised by Godolphin and Latymer. They all played brilliantly, but the A Team, having been defeated by Good Shepherd in the group stage, overcame their nemesis in the final to win 4-1! We are now through to the London Youth Games! Amazing!
Four of the best mathematicians in Y5 joined 100+ more from schools across London this morning at the Christ’s Hospital Y5 Maths Challenge, held in the Guildhall. Neither the weather, the imposing setting, the number of huge maths brains in the room, nor the challenging questions, put off the two pairings – they were spurred on by the thoughts of the refreshments at the end. The competition was carousel based, which meant that after each round the teams moved to the next set of questions, with their Christ’s Hospital ‘marker’ – a Sixth Form student. It was our first outing, so lessons have been learned, along with the fun that was had. A very big thank you to everyone involved in making it such a great occasion. For the record, out of 67 teams (150+ children), our two brilliant teams came 5th and 29th. Top marks!
Year 6 Learning All About Japan
To further their learning of Japan in Geography, Y6 have recently heard from two nipponophiles; Caroline, a mum who lived and worked there for a decade and Mr Gane (a close relative of our very own), an expat who has clocked up 30+ years in Tokyo. On Friday, Caroline brought in a box of Japanese objects from Kimonos and lanterns to games and magazines, which the children were delighted to get their hands on. As well as a quiz, she taught them how to write their names and sent them off with a traditional snack. This morning – 9 hours later in Tokyo – the children fired questions over Zoom at Mr Gane, who spoke about his experiences of earthquakes, sumo wrestling, travelling within Japan as well as day to day life speaking and thinking in Japanese 24-7. The children have loved this topic, with many now wanting to visit and experience the land of the rising sun for themselves.
The Great St Stephen’s Car Boot Sale!
Booking is now available for a pitch at our FOSS Car Boot sale, taking place in the playground on Saturday 23rd March, 12- 4pm. Please see enclosed ‘explainer video’ – https://youtu.be/xsXH59g1X-4
Children’s Mental Health Week
This week, St Stephen’s celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week. The children completed an activity in class and then as a school, we came together in assembly to discuss this year’s theme, ‘My Voice Matters’. We discussed how Article 12 from The Convention on Rights for Children outlines: You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously. We talked about how we can use our voice to make St Stephen’s an even better school and to raise any worries we might have.
Today, we also took part in ‘Wear Your Scarf to School Day’ to support Children’s Mental Health Week. The children came in wearing a scarf of their choice. The children used their voice to share how their scarf says something special about them. Check out St Stephen’s Instagram to see pictures of this.
Always ahead of the curve, St Stephen’s has already instituted a ban on smartphones for children in school and is strongly promoting collective action by parents to not give their primary aged children smartphones at all. There is now a strong and growing movement to persuade the government to take the issue of smartphone addiction and the mental health damage it can cause children more seriously – have a listen to this very powerful, short radio discussion from earlier in the week.
Let your Class Rep know that you will join the No Smartphones Moratorium, if you haven’t already.
Royal Opera House Zoom
For the first time ever, dancers from the Royal Opera House zoomed in to the Y6 classrooms, as part of their ‘Meet the Artists’ programme. Focusing on three well-loved ballets; The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet and Alice in Wonderland, the movements of the dancers were broken down and examined, with the presenter explaining how the story was interpreted through dance. A brilliant interactive session, the children were on their feet being drilled in moves, which included a balletic sword fight from Romeo & Juliet. In a final Q&A, the children learned about ‘spotting’ (how to avoid dizziness when spinning) as well as the fact that many sports professions include, or have included, dance in their training because it greatly benefits their strength, athleticism and timings.
Emma Kruger has been training the Year 6’s in lively groups during assembly time each morning. Last Friday afternoon, we hosted a heat of a National debating competition ‘The Cicero Cup’, where 4 other schools attended (one team came all the way from Liverpool!). There were 8 teams in total and lots of debates. 12 excellent St Stephen’s students each debated very well and one of our teams won and has gone forward to the semi-finals, which takes place in 2 weeks’ time! We also took a team to Queensgate Juniors annual debating competition this Thursday evening and won several debates!
Lunar New Year
There are lots of exciting activities planned for our children to celebrate Lunar New Year on Friday, 23rd February. We have craft activities, delicious food, a rather special assembly, followed by class workshops and we would love the children to dress in red and gold. Did I mention the food? Well here is a little sample of what’s cooking in the kitchen https://youtu.be/lif_wOvxifY
We would love some help to decorate the school after drop-off on Monday 19th February for a couple of hours. Anyone interested in helping should contact Wing Kei on mob: 07767 684168 or just turn up ready for duty! Thank you.
The first day of Lunar New Year is actually Saturday 10th Feb. So I would like to wish everyone a happy Lunar New Year – Gong Xi Fa Cai!
May this year bring you happiness in the next.
Have a wonderful half term.