“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord: plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Teacher, Mr Gane; Teaching Assistant, Miss Williams & LSA, Miss Alice.

Class Updates

Friday 26th May - Swimming

Back with a bump, after a hugely successful residential school journey to Cadiz, we had quite a subdued bunch of stalwarts in the class at the start of the week which swelled to the full complement by the end.

The prime academic focus was on English & Computing as the children used Microsoft Word to firstly write their entry for the Yearbook, then learned how to use Spellcheck and Thesaurus tools. With the ‘copy’ completed, next it was time to format the text; find, insert and size photographs; add a border and also a watermark too! You’ll see the finished results at the end of the year.

On Wednesday morning they enjoyed their last session of Philosophy with Matilda a student with the Philosophy Foundation which had them in deep thought over whether a clone of themselves would ‘be’ themselves… On Thursday morning there were auditions for Mr Schumm’s end of year production in Music for and today it was the Gymnastics Competition.

Sadly the crammed timetable left no room for PE with Alastair this week, instead he children worked hard at the Y6 Swimming Lessons & Assessments which were held each afternoon. Following a brisk walk to the pool and a quick change, the children were divided in to three ability groups and put through their paces in a tough, hour-long session, which delivered some spectacular results. I have to give a big SHOUT OUT to Ava, Aniyah, Ella, Ethan, Igor, Josiah, Kanece, Lincoln, Louis, Lukas, Maryam, Rehan, Sam, Stephanie and Vova, all of whom attended every session. I also have to give a big mention to Vova, who from zero on Monday, learned how to swim by Wednesday and reached the expected level for a Y6 child after just five hours! His resilience, determination and eagerness to learn is inspiring.

You may well remember seeing a ParentMail regarding the Summer Seed competition run by the London Children’s Flower Society… I gave a small packet of seeds to all of the children this week, so perhaps check their bags before they germinate!

This time of year, I am always busy answering calls and filling in forms for all of the various Secondary school who are keen for the low down on your children in preparation for next year. There will be visits and induction Days for many of you over the next few weeks, which of course you/your children should attend, all I would ask is that you keep me informed by email with a cc to the office. Some schools with a larger contingent of St Stephen’s pupils attending in September, may well come in here to meet the children face to face – Twyford will be here on Thursday 8th for example.

I hope you enjoyed the photos from Spain forwarded on by the Class Reps (many thanks) and if you need a few more, here’s a link to the Spark school page with some new ones https://fotos.sparklanguages.com/ststephens23-1.

Then to the final half term and few weeks of St Stephen’s for your children and many of you. Things are always very hectic what with the performance, lots of visitors, an outing or two and then the Leavers BBQ and Leavers’ Service on the last day, so there will be lots of correspondence and necessity for the children to maintain that daily diary to keep tabs on all of the changes to the regular weekly routine, like PE Kit for the Gymnastics Competition today… They have been set a spot of homework – nothing too arduous – and have a date for when they are due to present it. Daily reading should of course continue.

Do enjoy the half term and don’t forget the INSET Day on the Monday of the week back which will be Arts’ Week!

Many best regards,

Mr Gane

Friday 12th May - SATs Week

Just a few lines this week to say how brilliantly your children handled their SATs tests this week – it was a joy to see how calmly they coped with the daily demands. With the scripts duly despatched, we won’t get to hear the results until July, but I have no doubt whatsoever that all of their hard work, since September and indeed throughout all of their time here at St Stephen’s, will be paid off handsomely. Thanks must go to all who have taught them over the years.

In addition to the six SATs tests, in a very short four day week, your children also managed to squeeze in: a few Maths lessons as well as a brilliant Philosophy session with Matilda with superb discussion on the concept of ‘Free will & Determinism’. They mulled over the options involved in whether to read or not a book which appears to show their life mapped out in front of them. Do they turn the next page? What might the implications be? Are the future chapters already written, or do the change as one lives one’s life?

Sadly, no Spanish this week due to the SATs, but we’ll make up for that next week. On Thursday afternoon, in Music the children started to look at songs for the end of year performance, while PE continued as normal with Alastair. Today, following the final Maths Reasoning paper, it was off to Ravenscourt Park for a spot of RnR with the option of watching the football teams battle it out in the quarter finals of the Mayor’s Cup.

Enjoy your first homework free weekend and I look forward to seeing you at 8am sharp on Monday morning!!!

Mr Gane


Secret Artist Prize Winners

We were incredibly lucky to welcome Jonathan Yeo, one of the UK’s most highly regarded and innovative portrait painters, in to school yesterday afternoon to judge the entries for our Secret Artist Competition – Ella and Erin were there to give the pupil voice too. He was amazed by all the brilliant artwork produced by your children – there there are some wonderful artists in Y6 Ayres!

The winners in our class are Ava and Rehan – many congratulations.

Their artwork will now be framed and displayed alongside the artwork donated by adults in our community at the Secret Artist event on Thursday 18th May. However, all of the artwork produced by the children will be available for purchase on the night so do come along and buy your child’s masterpiece!

Friday 5th May – Coronation Weekend

The first of two hectic four day weeks done and dusted, culminating in another fantastic Grandparents’ Day today.

In preparation for SATs week next week, the children worked hard on final revision in Maths and English. They learned about the subjunctive tense, which uses the verb ‘were’ to establish the hypothetical. Listening to Justin Bieber’s, “If I was your boyfriend” and Beyoncé’s, “If I were a boy,” the children got to grips with this most under-used element of grammar by writing some truly inspired letter to JBiebs.

Following a highly successful assessment on the children’s understanding of Statistics on Tuesday, Maths moved on this week to ‘Properties of Shape’ with a focus on angles in straight line, in triangles and around a point with some fun work on ‘nets of shapes’ that entertained many of the grandparents that passed by this afternoon.

On Wednesday, after plotting the coal, oil and gas fields of Europe on a map in Geography, the children explored the various types of renewable energies – wind, solar, hydro-electric and ‘nuclear’ – before weighing up the pros and cons of solar power. In Science they identified how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of various distinct characteristics and traits, which will lead nicely on to the Darwinian theory of evolution.

Mr Schumm kicked off a very busy day this morning with a Coronation focused Collective Worship for the whole school. He outlined why and how the King’s coronation will take place tomorrow as well as explaining that there are people who are opposed to the constitutional monarchy that we have here in the United Kingdom. Sticking with the theme, the kitchen had cooked up an early Coronation Picnic Lunch for the children to enjoy, so that on a tight logistical schedule, everyone was ready to welcome the grandparents… Nearly 200 grandparents, godparents and a few uncles & aunts, joined the whole school for the grand finale to Grandparents’ Day. With our prayers answered, the sun was shining as Essya and Stephie among others fired some questions at granny of honour, Dame Prue Leigh.

Louis’ grandad, Piers Paul Read, who happened to be passing by today, popped in to the classroom to talk to the children about his life and works as an author. He explained how he came to write his most famous / profitable book, ‘Alive’ about the survival of members of a Uruguayan rugby team, after their plane crashed in the Andes mountains – a unique tale indeed! He spoke about the difficult life of many authors whose works might well be critically acclaimed but until or unless a book grabs the public’s attention, the financial rewards can be very limited.

Unusually, there was a cheer when I set the homework today, I think it was when I mentioned that it would be the last of the regular Reading Comprehensions that the children (and many of you too, I’m sure) have come to love! So with the demise of the Monday Grammar homework too, the post-SATs era will soon be upon us, which means perhaps a bit less work to do at home, but certainly more interesting activities. Enjoy.

Finally, enjoy too the King’s Coronation tomorrow and the new Bank Holiday for my 30th wedding anniversary on Monday 8th May! Please remember also that on Tuesday (and each morning next week) the children should be at school promptly by 8.15am so that they can have breakfast with their friends and be in the right mindset for the day’s test(s).

Best regards,

Mr Gane


SATs Timetable

Prompt 8.15 arrival for breakfast – every day.

Tuesday 9 May – English grammar, punctuation and spelling:

paper 1: questions

paper 2: spelling

Wednesday 10 May – English reading

Thursday 11 May – Mathematics:

paper 1: arithmetic

paper 2: reasoning

Friday 12 May – Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning



Dear Michael,

Both my nephews – Caspar and Alex Edwards – were pupils at St Stephens.

I would like to introduce you to a podcast that I produce. It tells extraordinary true stories for children to listen to (with their parents, teachers or guardians). Each one is about 9 minutes long. Our audience is school children aged 5 to 11 years olds.

We’ve just launched season 4, and the first episode tells the amazing history of the Crown Jewels, and asks how these objects are relevant to us today. You can listen via Spotify Apple Podcast and Google Podcasts

I wondered if it would be a useful teaching aid in the run-up to the Coronation?

Thank you, and best wishes,




City Harvest is delighted to invite parents and staff of St Stephen’s to an open day to learn more about what we do as a food redistribution charity, and how you can get involved by volunteering!  

We will be hosting a dynamic and engaging day at our Acton site in collaboration with The Big Help Out (please find details below).   

Volunteers are the beating heart of City Harvest and we would not be able to do what we do without our thriving community! For each hour you volunteer, City Harvest is able to deliver 530 meals which shows the incredible impact you can make – and we would love for you to join the team.  

For more information please visit: www.cityharvest.org.uk/volunteer  

If you have any questions, please email Miss Hall (f.hall@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk)

Thank you!

Friday 28th April

With the London Diocesan Board of Schools’ inspection on Wednesday, the first part of the week had a bit more of an RE focus than normal. After Mr Schumm had led the Collective Worship on Pentecost, we were straight into our RE lesson, where the children learned about the Bible story from Exodus 20 of the Golden Calf. They watched a film clip, where the Israelites, bored of waiting for Moses to descend Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, broke the ‘rules’ by building then worshipping the idol. Moses was not happy, smashing the two tablets that God had just given him. The children then discussed the issues of rule-making and breaking, before finally creating a version of the 10 Commandments, in words that they more clearly would understand.

The focus on Statistics continued this week in Maths with the children learning to interpret and then construct Pie Charts and this morning finding out the difference between the Mean, Median and Mode in a very interactive way. It was Reading Comprehension in English this week as we make the final preparations for the KS2 SATs starting on 9th May.

Thanks for all the family photos, which are now stuck in to your children’s Science books as part of their first lesson of our new topic, ‘Evolution & Inheritance’. They looked at inherited traits and characteristics and we briefly touched on ‘nature’ / ‘nurture’ – more of that later. They learned about the coal, oil and gas fields of Europe in Geography, while on Wednesday morning in Relationship & Health Education (RHE) the children were asked to think about where they might be and what they might be doing in 5, 10 & 20 years’ time…. What an awful thought! Thankfully, a double session with Mark for Drama, Buddy Reading and then PE with Alastair made Thursday a dream day for many!

Matilda, a student with the Philosophy Foundation, joined the children on Wednesday afternoon in the first of a programme of sessions. The term “philosophy” means, “love of wisdom” and in a broad sense, is what people might do when they seek to understand fundamental truths about themselves, the world in which they live, and their relationships to the world and to each other. From the first session today, it looks like they are going to enjoy it!

All of the children from Reception upwards made a beeline for Y6 this afternoon to view the amazing models made by your children on display at the WWII Project Exhibition. Their three month projects focused on an aspect of WWII of their choosing culminating in some stunning sculptures and models to accompany their written work presentations. On view a few there were street scenes with Anderson shelters, an Enigma machine, a few evacuation suitcases, examples of weekly rations, respirators (gasmasks), a war memorial, various aeroplanes and tanks, and even a wardrobe of fashions of the period as well as propaganda It was wonderful to see so many of you parents too to celebrate all of your children’s hard work.

Enjoy your long weekend and see you next Tuesday.

Best regards,

Mr Gane

Friday 21st April

A week down already – this term goes soooo quickly!

With the first SATs scheduled for 9am on Tuesday 9th May, our focus for the next few weeks is to ensure that your child does the very best they can. Consequently, we have revisited lots of grammar this week in English (doing clauses and phrases to death) as well taking a look at ‘Statistics’ in Maths – interpreting and drawing graphs – in addition to the on-going work of the four mathematical operations (+ – ÷ x). The Booster Programme after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will continue next week, which will be the last one – NO BOOSTERS IN MAY.

New term, new topics. In Geography the children have started to explore the UK’s ‘Natural Resources’; in RE it’s ‘Rules & Responsibilities and their Implications’; in Computing they had great fun coding using J2eCode while in RHE they began the ‘Being My Best’ topic by exploring the ‘five ways to wellbeing’. Next week in Science the children will begin exploring ‘Evolution & Inheritance’, a small part of which will include a gentle look at family traits and characteristics passed on from parents, grandparents etc. I would just like to give you the heads-up on this as one of the activities that we will be covering and also ask for a copy of a family photo that will end up stuck in to your child’s Science book.

Thanks for your help in supplying any additional materials required for your child’s entry in to the FOSS Secret Artist event, they were beavering away on Wednesday with their mythical / fairytale creations, two of which will be selected for display on the night. Igor and Scarlett’s amazing work so far saw them selected to work with artist Nick Deveraux this afternoon who supported them with their Secret Artist entries and hopefully also furthered their knowledge and interest in art. Will theirs be selected for the show, or will it be Rehan or one of the other many talented artists we have in Y6 Ayres? We’ll be doing more work to finish them off next Wednesday too.

Remaining on the creative for a moment, just before Easter, as part of the Design & Technology curriculum, Y6 created their own automata, to fulfil the design brief: to advertise a shop in its own shop window. Take a look their amazing creations… https://youtu.be/_w-aMBAC0uw

And to finish, I would like to talk ‘hygiene’. As the hormones kick in and the weather warms, the classroom can take on quite a distinct aroma, with 30 hot, sweaty bodies crammed in. I have asked the children to make sure that they wash every day. They also need to make sure they wear clean clothes PE Kits on Mondays and Thursdays, with school uniforms – they do not need to wear their hoodies on hot days – on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, unless otherwise advised. Both Miss Williams, Miss Alice and I would be most grateful indeed for all the help you can give!

Have a great weekend,

Mr Gane


PS DON’T MISS the Great Y6 WWII Exhibition – it’s here, next Friday 28th at 3.40pm. See you then, I hope.



It was decided to move Arts’ Week to the summer term to minimise disruption to academic learning earlier in the year and so it will be between the 6th and 9th June (the first week back after half term).

A real highlight of the year, Arts’ Week is a time when we can all indulge our creative impulses and spend a week creating, exploring and experiencing. As usual, all the work completed this week will be inspired by a piece of art and this year we have linked it in to the National Gallery’s Take One Picture event, which this year is Surprised! by Henri Rousseau (for image and more info please follow the link here).

If you feel inspired by this image, perhaps you would be willing to come in and volunteer with your child’s year group during the week? Whether it’s running a whole session, working with small groups or just providing an extra pair of hands for a session or two, we would love to have parents and carers involved.

If this is something you would be interested in, please get in touch with me, Ms Bell: c.bell@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk

I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday 31st March

There was a big focus this week on RE with two timely lessons on ‘Hope at Easter’ and the end of unit assessment too, which meant the children were very well prepared for our wonderful Easter Service with Rev Denis & Mr Perry this morning bringing this second term of the school year to an end. Just one more to go and what a packed few weeks that will be!

We finished the Spring Term with a DT Week, which saw the children making automata, no less. The design brief was to create a mechanical display for the window of a shop to draw customers in, so the children had free reign to let their creative juices flow – there were lots of sports and animal themes. With their plans in mind, they used: hand saws to cut jelutong and dowel to carefully measured lengths using the mantra, measure twice, cut once; a hand drill to bore a couple of holes for an axel and hot glue gun to create a frame. ‘Cams’ and ‘followers’ were created to turn the rotary motion of the cam shaft into the up & down linear motion of the ‘follower’ that animates each of their three characters. The children learn lots about the design process as well as technical vocabulary and fabrication skills too. The results speak for themselves.

Slight deviation from the norm this week in Maths, with Miss Marchant’s group finishing off their learning on ‘Perimeter, Area & Volume’ while the children in my group looked at ‘Ratio & Proportion’, both topped off with the respective end of block assessments.

The Easter Bonnet Parade on Thursday, their last, never fails to disappoint with some fantastical creations on display once again. Big congratulations to Eliza & Lincoln, picked out by our Judges Bouwman and Pereira, as winners for their imaginative re-interpretation of the Easter theme.

It was great to see the work your children have done so far on their WWII Projects, many have obviously being working diligently over the last six weeks and the results so far are amazing. I have asked for both the presentations and the models to be brought in to class during the second week back after Easter, the week commencing 24th April so there’s less than a month to go. Keep chipping away at it, is what I have suggested to all of the children as, in the words of Desmond Tutu, “There is only one way to eat an elephant: one bite at a time.” Then we hope to see you all here for the Grand WWII Project Exhibition from 3.30pm on Friday 28th April.

As promised, the children have their last piece of holiday homework, a final set of SATs practice papers (the Reading Comprehension text is on Google Classroom). Same instructions as normal – also on GC. We’ll all be glad to see the back of SATs which start on Tuesday 9th May, running each day until the end of the week. More details after the break.

Huge thanks to you all for your support and of course to Miss Williams, who I could not do this job without. Have a peaceful, and if possible, restful Easter.

Mr Gane


Do you work in the arts?

As part of our ongoing ‘Cracking Careers’ project, which aims to give the children an awareness of the different careers in our local community and further afield, we want to invite any parents or friends of St Stephen’s to come and tell us about what they do! It could be as short as 15 minutes – we just want to hear about your day-to-day and what inspired you to get there!​

If you, or someone you know, could take part, then please get in touch with Miss Hall – f.hall@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk

Friday 24th March

It was great to catch up with so many of you this week online again for Parents’ Evening to share with you just some of the wonderful achievements of your children. If we missed each other, do drop me an email and we can arrange something for next week. With their final, or maybe penultimate, SATs practice dominating the week, there’s a little less to report than normal, so I will keep this brief, very brief.

The children may have mentioned the manner in which we organised these mock SATs which worked well for all concerned and will be how we run things come May. Results have been outstanding – a wonderful testament to your children’s diligence since September, but it’s not over yet. Things will be back to normal next week – noses to the grindstones and sadly SATs papers for Easter Homework as well as the WWII Project – the end is in sight, I promise.

I do just want to mention that as part of our celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, Christiane Aquino Bonomo, Brazil’s Deputy Consul General in the UK, came in to talk to Y6 and Y5 about the Brazilian initiative that led the UN to launch World Down Syndrome Day in 2012, which we celebrated here on Tuesday.

Want to see more of what’s happening… There is always so much going on at St Stephen’s across all of the year groups and the school’s Twitter feed is a great way for catching up with the latest news. Whether it’s the Mums & Chums Breakfast, Debating Team or sports’ teams news, the London Children’s Flower Society Spring Bulb competition, class visits, TV appearances, FOSS funded activities or our celebration of World Down Syndrome Day… superb for keeping an eye on things.

You don’t need a Twitter account to view it, but if you do, you could ‘like’ or even share the link with friends and family or ReTweet the news. It would be wonderful to see more activity and it’s a great way to keep up to speed.

St Stephen’s Twitter – @StStephensLBHF or https://twitter.com/StStephensLBHF

Have a great weekend,

Mr Gane

Friday 17th March - St Patrick's Day

The children are loving the new English topic that we started on Monday: Journalistic Writing. Based on the hit movie, Madagascar, they have pinpointed the features of reporting news and will be creating their own front page exclusive – read all about it!

In our Maths unit, ‘Perimeter, Area & Volume’, the children recapped on their previous learning, before taking that learning further to understand that rectilinear shapes with the same area, might have a different perimeter and vice versa. They also learned how to calculate the areas of compound rectilinear shapes, the area of triangles as well as parallelograms.

Tuesday was spent in Parliament while on Wednesday it was hard hats and hi-vis to an amazing bridge building STEM workshop at Bute House – see Twitter for more details on both and photos. BTW do ‘follow’ us and give us a ‘like’, thanks.

Continuing the science theme, today the children worked with our fantastic Scientist-in-Residence, Mercedes. As part of the Healthy Bodies topic, they had a deep dive into the digestive system to experience just how it works – they had a lot of fun even though (or perhaps precisely because) it was hugely disgusting.

Next week is Parents’ Evening. Thank you to those that have signed up already, there are still some slots left if you haven’t booked in yet. It will run the same way as it did last November so please log in (see Parent Mail) to the booking system just before your appointment time and I can start the meeting. These run for 10 minutes and will cut off after that time. I look forward to catching up with all of you and if you have any questions, please do email me.

Finally, our final half-termly mock SATs week begins on Monday. The children have been working really hard and we are hoping to see their best results yet, please do email me again if you have any questions.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the rugby – I’ll be wearing the green shirt this weekend.

Mr Gane



Dear Parents/Carers,

This week is British Science Week – a celebration of Science, Engineering, Technology and Maths, co-ordinated by the British Science Association, to spark enthusiasm and raise awareness of all the wonderful STEM work around the UK.

We are encouraging our students, either in class or at home, to enter the British Science Week’s annual, UK-wide poster competition to be in with the chance of winning an array of prizes.

The poster theme is ‘Connections’ – so children should think about what this means to them in the world of science. For example, connections in our bodies, how we connect with other people or countries, connections between and with different planets, how animals are connected through their habitats and food chains and electrical connections. Connections between our actions and the impact on our environment and how internet connection has changed the world. Connections are everywhere!

Posters must be A4 or A3 in size. Children can use pop-up pictures, pull out tabs and materials such as pencils, paints, crayons and paper to create their posters. Work must be original and created by the student(s). Entrants can be as teams or individuals and we are allowed to enter up to 5 entries per school. Posters will be judged on creativity, how well they fit the theme, how well they have been made or drawn and how engaging they are.

Competition winners from last year can be viewed on this link for inspiration – Winners of the 2022 poster competition announced! – British Science Week

Please ensure your child’s class teacher has a copy of their entry by Friday 24th March.

If you would like to find out more about British Science Week then head to their website – Homepage – British Science Week – for information and resources. For more science engagement, take a look at our Science Trips document on the Science section of our website, many of them free – SCIENCE-SCHOOL-TRIPS-Family.pdf (ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk)

And finally, we would love to hear from any family members who work in the STEM field and who would be happy to talk to our students about their line of work – to inspire, enthuse and inform our budding young scientists. Do get in touch with either of us at the email addresses below.

Happy Science Week!

Miss Kelly & Mrs Wordsworth – School Science Co-Ordinators



Friday 10th March

Another busy week has just flown by in 6 Ayres, topped off with a great one-off Drama session today.

In English, we finished off our unit where the children were analysing and comparing two poems: The Fringe of the Sea and Island Man. Once we finished analysing the poems, we looked at PEE (point, evidence, explanation) which is a method for structuring essays. This is a very high-level English unit and the children worked really hard to produce some great essays, analysing the language, structure and punctuation the poets used.

Following our assessment on converting units of measure, we started our new topic based on area and perimeter. To start off, we looked at the difference between the two and then worked out the area and perimeter of squares and rectangles. The children seemed so confident at remembering the process, so we moved on to finding the area of compound shapes – a much trickier concept! They still did very well and were flying through some very hard challenges by the end of it.

RE this week saw us starting to learn about hope at Easter. We started this new unit by thinking about forgiveness and how it is shown in the Easter story. For our activity, we read other extracts from the Bible, including The Prodigal Son and Jesus treating the paralysed man, and linked these stories to forgiveness as well.

WWII in History is still proving popular! This week we learnt all about the Blitz and built our own Anderson and Morrison Shelters using items around the classroom – it was great fun.

A busy week next week with various sporting events and trips, please look at ParentMail for more information.

Mr Gane

Friday 3rd March

It has been somewhat disjointed this week with lots and lots of extra-curricular events including: a visitor from the London Diocesan Board for Schools, who popped in to see our RE lesson on Monday; World Book Day on Thursday; the winning House trip to Kidzania on Friday for the hard working children of Crummell and not one but two visiting authors today – three if you count me!

Mary, from the LDBS dropped in to our final lesson on the Contemporary Anglican Church. Having previously taken a look at the huge variety in the way people engage with the Church of England in the UK, this week the children gained and understanding of the Anglican Churches that exist all over the world and explored the diversity within the Worldwide Anglican Communion. After watching a few clips of congregations worshiping around the world, the children highlighted the 165 countries that have significant Anglican representation, before identifying one country to look at in detail. Mary was very impressed.

Only three lessons in Maths this week, continuing the children’s learning on ‘Converting Measures, but undoubtedly challenging. The children learned about the conversion of units; ‘metric’ initially so cm to m to km and g to kg to tonnes. Then it was on to ‘Imperial’ units. My groups learned that 5 miles is roughly equivalent to 8 kilometres; that an inch is roughly 2.54cm and that there are 16 ounces (oz) to a pound (lb) etc. etc. It was tricky in the olden days, using base 12 & 20 for money (L S D), 16 & 14 for weight –  I told them that ditching these for the base 10 metric system was just one of the benefits of having joined the EU all those years ago!

Two RHE lessons this week, the first on social media (again) but with the twist this time of looking at why many people don’t tell the truth and often post only the good bits about themselves, online. The children’s discussions recognised that people’s lives are much more balanced in real life, with positives as well as negatives and boring bits that are rarely highlighted. Thursday’s lesson with Miss Williams focused on money! The children looked at the value of items, how to save up money and where we can keep our money. First, we looked at different ways to save money, these included: a piggy bank, a savings account or in a junior ISA. We then looked at the pros and cons of each saving method. For example, the positives of a money bank are: you have it with you so you can take out money when you need and it’s easy to put money in, however people other than you can easily access your money and you might be tempted to spend it with it always being there. Whereas in a bank account, your money is safe and you will not be tempted to spend it.  You can also earn interest on it, so when you take it out you may have more than you put in! Finally, we looked at the value of items and imagined we were organising a second-hand sale at school. We had a list of items and decided what we would sell each item for, taking into account the size, the brand, the quality and the target market.

There were two Science lessons too, which looked firstly at the different food groups – carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals & fibre – and why they are important for our bodies. In pairs the children matched food labels to the foods themselves which focused their understanding of what is in the foods they eat. The second lesson explored how the nutrients we eat and oxygen from our lungs are transported through our bodies through our blood. We looked at how the heart works as a pump and the children drew it annotating the major parts.

In Computing this week the children continued their learning on spreadsheets, using the ‘SUM’ function for calculations and the Format menu to display costs in £s with two decimal places.

What a turnout for World Book Day on Thursday, a huge array of amazing characters for fairy tales and myths – a big shout out to Lara and Harly who both caught the judges’ eye. WBD continued today with talks from Xanthe Gresham and HS Norup.

Enjoy your weekend,

Mr Gane


BRING IN YOUR DAFFODILS – A ParentMail from Ms Jeffrey, Miss Kelly and Mrs Wordsworth

The Flower Society are sending an actual live judge to our school on Friday March 10th to judge the displays. Once they have deliberated, they will send us certificates and stickers (bronze, silver or gold) to be given to every entrant with the chance of receiving fabulous prizes for our school including a trophy ceremony at the London Guildhall.

Therefore please could you remind your child(ren) to bring in their daffodil(s) in a labelled pot – name of child and class – by the morning of Friday 10th March. These can be left on the table outside the school hall. If their plant has not grown or is past its best these should still be brought in as each attempted plant – whether it has grown or not – will receive a certificate/sticker and will help towards the chance of an award for our school.

Friday 24th February

As we begin the second half of the school year, things start to get a bit more intense in Y6, with the SATs Booster Programme now up and running, Secondary School places informed shortly and the big WWII Project. The children are working hard.

In English the children began a two week Poetry unit inspired by poets who have left their ‘mother’ country to live in the UK. The first, A. L. Hendriks was born in 1922 (died 1992) in Kingston, Jamaica, to a Jamaican father and a French mother. Hendriks was educated at Jamaica College and briefly at Ottershaw College in Surrey. After joining the family business for a few years he entered broadcasting in 1950. He became Director of Caribbean Broadcasting in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago Television. The children analysed his poem ‘The Fringe of the Sea’ looking first at the evocative vocabulary used and then at the structure of the stanzas noting how the sea itself was ever present. Next up, they started to look at language and imagery of Grace Nichols’ poem, ‘Island Man’ – more on this next week.

In Maths, both groups completed their work on algebra with a short assessment and my group pushed on with two Maths lessons extending their knowledge and understanding of ‘Converting Units of Measure’. It’s been pretty straight forward so far, but the impending ‘Imperial Measures’ will soon test the most able base tenners!

After ‘Mardi Gras’, the whole school assembled in the church on Ash Wednesday for a wonderful service organised by Mr Perry and with Rev Denis, Rev Cheryl and ‘Pastor’ Schumm leading the homily in his own inimitable style ably assisted by Ruth & Archie. There were prayers from our Prayer Group (Nathalie), readings from Eliza, wonderful music (Essya, Ciara & Ruth) and hymns, we left the service thinking about what Rev Cheryl had reminded us all of – the two words, ‘thanks’ and ‘sorry’. The two Revs later visited us in the classroom to administer ashes to those that wanted to display their Christian belief.

We began a new topic (Healthy Bodies) in Science this week by looking at Royal Naval Surgeon, James Lind’s famous clinical trial of 1747 – the world’s first! It was a well-known fact that very many more sailors died from on-board illnesses than were ever killed in battle and it was Lind who decided to find out why. His controlled investigation had all the hallmarks of those that the children do in the classroom to make their experiments a ‘fair test’, so he was very quickly able to establish that the problem on-board was lack of vitamin C in the sailors’ diets. It was just unfortunate that the authorities didn’t act on his findings for 40 years! The children were fascinated by how backward we were in those days and absolutely horrified by the scurvy savaged photos, that a few pieces of fresh fruit could help avoid – watch the fruit bowl!

Today in RHE we started a new topic called ‘Rights & Respect’. Our first lesson covered the topic of bias. The children read two newspaper reports talking about the same fictitious drug scandal except they were written from two very different points of view. Both texts contained the hard facts of the ordeal, however the reporters expressed their differing opinions. They discussed that biased reports can be harmful as they are sometimes quite stereotypical and some parts should be taken with a pinch of salt. When reading biased reports, we must read the facts and then form our own opinions on the matter rather than believing someone’s biased view.

It’s World Book Day next Thursday, which at St Stephen’s means dressing up big time. NO SPORTS SHIRTS at all please this year as the chosen theme is ‘Fairy Tales & Myths’, so brush off the minotaur costume and dust down the Hagrid coat. Then on Friday, Daunt Books are coming to St Stephens with a book sale that will pop up in various locations throughout the day. At morning drop-off the book sale will be located in the Early Years playground for parents to browse. Throughout the day each Key Stage 2 class will visit the sale. If you would like them to purchase a book by one of our visiting myth and fairy tale authors (Xanthe Gresham Knight and HS Norup​) or purchase another book of their choice (there will be many new titles, myths, fairy tales etc..), then please provide them with money on the day. Children will also receive £1 book vouchers for World Book Day which they can use at the sale. The book sale will then reappear at the main entrance of the school at the end of the say for any parents who may wish to purchase a book then. As always Daunt Books have agreed to give 20% of their profits back to the school to help with regular restocking of the Library.

Finally, please do check out the ParentMail sent earlier today regarding the Y6 WWII Project and also note that on Tuesday 14th March, we have planned at trip to the Houses of Parliament when we will meet local MP Andy Slaughter and hopefully for balance, Danny Kruger MP too.

That’s it for this week, enjoy your weekend.

Mr Gane



Both teams were in action in the Mayor’s Cup football this afternoon, playing the Good Shepherd. The Girls’ Team (including Eliza & Stephie) stormed to a magnificent 5-0 win, while a couple of interesting, late reffing decisions, saw the Boys’ Team (inc. Igor) opposition claw back for a 2-2 draw.

Friday 10th February

It was RHE week for Y6 Ayres as the children completed their learning on our topic, Keeping Safe. Amongst the themes that we discussed and debated were: social media, what to share and what not; drugs, legal, illegal, medical and non-medical; the norms of consuming alcohol and the reasons for common misperceptions and well as the age of criminal liability. They were shocked to hear that it was ten! The talk in class was informed and considered and all children learned a huge amount.

Miss Marchant’s group finished their work on percentages before moving on to Algebra in Maths today, with mine a few lessons ahead. “It’s not as hard as I thought,” was one comment that I was pleased to hear as the children learned the difference between expressions and formulae, before first creating equations and then solving them. A gentle introduction with lots of pictorial aids seems to have worked wonders. However, will they remember anything after a week off?

Fake News or ‘what can you believe online’ has been the focus in Computing as the children delightedly explored a few sites scouring them for the obvious errors and a few of the less obvious too. We talked about how it was important not to believe everything you see online and to use other more reliable sources to check any dubious ‘facts’.  This lead nicely in to talk about the children’s World War II Project which will begin after half term – the ‘homework’ is simply to think and talk about what they might do their project on. There is NO written homework for the WWII Project – yet. Take a look of some previous projects to get an idea of what’s coming. https://youtu.be/GucrBd5EuVM

On Tuesday, Mr Gane zoomed in from Tokyo for a Q&A session with the children on Japan. Some had expected me to be there, but actually it was my brother who has lived then now for almost 30 years. He answered questions on many of the cultural differences and told them that children at Japanese school, eat their lunch in their classrooms, have an indoor pair of shoes to change into after play and have to clean the classroom each day too! There followed an end of unit assessment, which was mirrored in Science & RE too.

My Voice, the half termly Art topic culminated in the children creating their own ‘tag’, a graffiti stylised version of their names, which will be proudly put on display. We also recorded the Invictus poem that they learned by heart and were treated to watching the movie of the same name this afternoon – on the eve of the anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990.

Enjoy your half term.

Mr Gane


Red Card to Racism Creative Contest

A reminder that children can make their entries at home and bring them into school to enter into the national competition! The deadline to enter the competition is Monday 20th February. You can find out more about the competition by following this link: ​


Please return all entries, with your child’s name and class on them, to either Mrs Allen (Year 1 McNaughton) or Miss Hall (Year 5 Blackman) on Monday 20th February.

Friday 3rd February

Can I really start by saying… another busy week here in Y6? Every week is a busy week at St Stephen’s!

In English the children drafted a report on their selected sport having done lots of online research way back before last week’s SATs Practice. After writing their introduction (telling the reader what they would read), they then used sub-headings, bullet points, colons, semi-colons and high level conjunctions, to ‘tell the reader’ all about their sport. Finally in the concluding paragraph they told the reader ‘what’ they had just read. It’s a lot bit more interesting than it sounds… To finish the week they reviewed their writing, editing to up-level it, before finally rewriting their most improved paragraph in their very best handwriting. What fun!

Mr Gane’s Supermarket Sweep game was the culmination of the children’s learning on percentages after my group had very swiftly put to bed the end of unit assessment. It gave them real-world examples of percentage price changes that they had to calculate – great preparation for their next trip to Westfield. You’ll be glad to know that all of your children are now fully equipped to calculate percentages of amounts and the reverse, calculating whole amounts from a given percentage.

Casting shade – in the most literal sense (not to be confused with the ‘urban dictionary’ definition) was the order of the day in Science on Tuesday as the children investigated shadows. They devised an investigation to measure how the length of a shadow varied depending on its distance from a light source; lots of torches, glue sticks and scrabbling on the floor. Keeping it a ‘fair test’ was key, so they ensured that there was only one ‘variable’ and gathered some impressively consistent results. I do like Science.

In my absence on Wednesday, Mr Schumm stepped up to the mark with the first of a series of discursive English lessons on ‘Boy Overboard’, an award winning book by Morris Gleitzman.

The protagonist, Jamal loves playing football, which isn’t easy if your goalie only has one leg and you keep having to dodge landmines to get your ball back. Jamal’s stubborn little sister Bibi is even better at football than Jamal. But girls playing football is against the law in Afghanistan. When it is discovered that Jamal’s mother has been secretly running a school, the family must leave their home immediately and begin a long and dangerous journey to Australia. The children survive separation from their parents, hunger, and violent smugglers only to find that Australia isn’t as welcoming as they had thought but, even though they face an uncertain future, Jamal, Bibi and their parents know that as long as they are together, that is all that matters.

For Y6 children the book opens up many themes and Mr Schumm was pleased to guide some very pertinent discussion.

Miss Williams led the Art lesson on Wednesday when the children learned about the drawing technique chiaroscuro – the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. They first discussed the effect of light and dark on an object and considered how they could draw it. Then with charcoal, and using masking tape to create greater contrast, they crafted some wonderful tonal drawings of the Mayan calendar.

Friday was uber busy, kicking off with a Coding Day / NHS Assembly in the main hall led by Mr Faith and Miss Hall. Back in the classroom, Y6 Ayres took part in two ‘unplugged’ binary focused activities; learning about image representation – how images are stored in a computer; as well as drawing algorithms. Check your child’s Homework Folder for the sheets we used that they might like to finish off at home.

After break, Patrick san (max’s dad) delivered a brilliant interactive workshop on Japan as part of the children’s learning in Geography. A competition – always a great idea – between tables of eight children from across Y6, saw them showing the depth of their learning so far before deciphering Japanese characters to find traditional foods and drinks. The final challenge was to guess the various different foods and drinks being described by some ‘lucky’ children as they bravely took part in the blind tasting. 万歳 Banzai!

Matt a leading Rheumatologist made time in his busy day to talk to your children today as part of a focus on the NHS. He explained the work he did at the ‘bone clinic’ and highlighted the need for children and indeed all of us to get our 15 minutes (at least) a day of Vitamin D by being outside in the sun – much more preferable than eating loads of eggs. We had previously viewed a presentation on the huge variety of roles that are available in the NHS as it celebrates its 75th Anniversary later this year. Optional homework has been set on Google Classroom to create a piece of artwork to mark the occasion with great national and regional prizes up for grabs – stop frame animation seemed to be a popular choice of medium with the children.

Six Nations is back – enjoy your weekend!

Mr Gane


Social Media Issue

In case you missed the ParentMail on Wednesday, here again is the text – another reminder about your policing of your children’s access to social media platforms:


Dear Parents and Carers,

There has been a worrying incident this week, involving the use of social media and children from Year 6.  A child playing on Roblox, with others from the year group, became cross with an individual. They then posted on their TikTok account, to a considerable amount of followers, revealing the individual’s online identity. The individual, who had been named on TikTok, rightly told their parent, who then informed us. We have spoken with all parties concerned and the situation has been a very steep learning curve for all involved.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you that parental controls are key at this age to keep your child safe. It is also recommended that you are in sight and earshot when your children are on smart devices.  They should not take them to bed.

Nearly all social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Discord, TikTok and Skype, however, WhatsApp has the age rating 16. Whilst there is no age restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).

Please do read the attached guidance  to once again familiarise yourself with online safety. We would urge all parents to be fully aware of any accounts and apps that their children might have access to on any device.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

Kind regards,

Mr Gane & Miss Marchant

Friday 27th January

Lunar New Year, SATs Practice Week, Debating Competition, Ri Maths Masterclasses, Netball Tournament, St Paul’s Cathedral & Pam Ayres too – what a week!

I’ll begin with our third SATs Practice Week, which is now done and dusted – just two more to go… The children worked their socks off over the course of the six papers with such a huge improvement in the overall standard, they should be super proud of themselves; I certainly am. We will be back to normal next week in Maths and English and after half term the SATs Booster Programme begins; all ‘invited’ to the classes have now received letters – the final push to help your children do the very best they can in May.  If you have not yet returned the slip, these need to be in by the end of next week.

Despite our assessment heavy week, we have managed to continue learning about Japan in Geography, research different elements of the Liturgy in RE and in Science, learnt about how surfaces can reflect light differently. In Art today, inspired by Mayan culture and the work of US muralist, Dan Fenelon, the children combined their chosen Mayan ‘way’ with symbols that represent their own character traits to create a modern piece of abstract art filled with patterns and emblems. To finish the week it was in to the Main Hall as a whole Y6 cohort for some meditative Tai chi, short for Tai chi ch’üan, or “shadowboxing” – the internal Chinese martial art practiced for defence training, health benefits and meditation.

Pam Ayres replied to a Tweet, with a long message to the children of Y6 Ayres, which prompted an in depth exploration of her anthology. Having already learned her most famous work by heart, the children listened to other amusing odes including ‘Clive the Fearless Birdman’, ‘You Should Have Asked My Husband’, ‘The Dog Who Bit A Ball’ as well as one entitles ‘Seagull!’. We looked at the everyday themes she writes about and the children explored the various rhyming patterns and colloquial, idiosyncratic and slang vocabulary that she uses. It was a lot of fun. Then they tried writing their own poem, in her style. Homework: to illustrate it.

As if all of the above was not enough, a few children have been doing some extra-curricular work with: the Y6 Debating Squad winning their way through to the finals of the Cicero Cup; The Netball team winning the borough tournament to now go onto represent Hammersmith & Fulham at the London Youth Games; the House Captains took part in the diocesan ‘Schools Together’ service of celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral and a few top mathematicians attending the first of a series of Ri Maths Masterclasses. It’s been busy – see Twitter for more details.

Finally, thanks to all of you who made it along to our Zoom meeting about SATs yesterday, I hope you found it informative. If you were unable to make it, a message has been sent out on ParentMail which explains what we discussed as well as giving you more information about the upcoming SATs Booster Programme.

Have a great weekend.

Mr Gane

Friday 20th January

The children’s English learning continues as they explored the features of a non-chronological report; analysing the structure, identifying formal writing, factual information and mostly written in the present tense. They looked at who might write these types of reports, how, why and for whom. By the end of the week, the children had begun researching details for their own non-chronological report on their chosen/allocated sport.

Decimals remained the focus in Maths this week specifically how fractions can be converted in to decimals. There was an end of unit assessment this morning, which will help focus their minds on the ‘big one’ next week – the third round of SATs Practice papers.

The children learned more about light in Science this week specifically that the light they see travels in a straight lines. They discussed how light can be reflected using mirrors and, after a bit of theory on the law for reflection (the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection) they had lots of fun ‘investigating’ (in a darkened classroom) shining torches on to mirrors, testing their predictions.

On Tuesday afternoon, we gathered together in our church to speak with our parish priest Rev Denis; Fr Richard, the Anglo-Catholic priest at St Luke’s CE and Jamie Sewell, a Curate in his final year of training for the priesthood. The children asked them all the questions that we had prepared in the last lesson about different things to do with the church’s liturgy, taking notes of their answers. With some ‘stinkers’ such as ‘what is your favourite Liturgy and why?’ our visitors responded well to the grilling. The children really enjoyed this Q&A session and learned loads.

There is a big crossover in RHE & Computing this half term, which means that the children are doing lots of learning about social media and the internet, in particular on how to be critical of what they see on there, what they believe and take on board, as well as what they might share. Remembering the issues that they had covered in previous lessons on body image and pressure on buying products/ following a lifestyle, the children  explored ‘avatars’ that people choose to use when online. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using an avatar, looking at a fake avatar, asking the question, how would you feel using of being fooled by an avatar that doesn’t represent what the person looks like? We talked about the reasons why someone might hide behind an avatar (not always suspicious reasons – they might be shy, or body conscious, or need to hide true identity). Finally, they created their own avatars using the website http://photos-share.com/ – the brief was to produce one that they would be happy to use to represent themselves to teachers and friends at their high schools in September. They were asked to think about the impression that their avatar would give to people who don’t know them. At the end of the lesson we looked at their work and tried to guess who was who!

The new RHE unit is ‘Keeping Safe’ and in today’s lesson the focus was on staying safe online. As I have mentioned before, this is particularly useful at the moment as, when the children move on to secondary school in the autumn, the amount of time they spend online will undoubtedly increase (more homework online, joining social media). We started our lesson by discussing all the different social media platforms we know, before moving on to thinking about the age restrictions some of the sites might have (and why). We decided that some social media websites, for example WhatsApp where you have to be 16 to use it, have these restrictions because some of the content may not be appropriate for younger users and people are able to chat to strangers online.

Next up, the children listened to a story about a small incident that soon this spread around school and, whilst not the worst thing that could have happened, it highlighted just how quickly something can be spread through word of mouth. If shared on any platform, the spreading of it is even faster. They recognised that they should always think carefully about what they post online. Thinking about their safety and whether what they share could hurt or embarrass anyone else. They learned that it is almost impossible to remove something once it is online and something that may seem funny in the moment, might not seem like such a good idea later on. They are encouraged to remember to always, ‘Think before we click’.

That’s it from me, have a super weekend,

Mr Gane


Red Card to Racism Creative Competition

Miss Hall talked to the children about the Red Card to Racism Creative Competition which is happening this month. Y6 children are invited to create a design for a T-shirt design and/or a piece of creative writing. For full details on what to do, the template for the T-shirt designs and how to enter see:  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/574451fe37013bd0515647ac/t/6388d1793e498f0edcead03d/1669910910116/School+COmpetition+2023+Flyer.pdf

Friday 13th January

The children kicked off the week with their very last ‘trip’ on the LifeBus, a wonderful opportunity for honing their life skills, run by Coram Life Education. In preparation for life after the safety here at St Stephen’s the children discussed good decision making in a few hypothetical scenarios that they may be faced with at secondary school. Dare I say that children with older siblings seemed the most ‘streetwise’.

The children had great fun this week working towards writing a prequel to music video ‘Titanium’ that we have be watching in English. Using their knowledge of superheroes, they built a back story for the main character, before planning then writing a simile and metaphor, ‘show, not tell’ packed, final piece of figurative writing. Finally they took a red pen (green actually) to their narratives to edit and up-level them – from what I have read and marked so far, they are very creative writers indeed.

Both Maths groups are working on Decimals to three places, looking at all four maths operations – see the Mathletics homework for more of the same, and not a lot more to say tbh! In Geography the children continued their learning using atlases to scour latitude and longitude co-ordinates to firstly find Japan and then a host of other countries dotted all over the world. It was hugely gratifying to see children linking these man-made lines criss-crossing the globe to their recent learning on Position & Direction (X and Y grids) in Maths.

Meanwhile in Science we took a closer look at the eye – a cross-section in fact – with the children learning the various parts; iris, cornea, optic nerve etc. and drawing it. They learned too we humans only see the ‘visible’ part of the electromagnetic spectrum as our eyes don’t pick up the ultra-violet, infra-red, x-ray and gamma ray wave frequencies.

Yesterday the children dusted off their paint brushes as they began our new topic in Art; Making My Voice Heard. They learned about Mexican artist Diego Rivera – who was more famous than his now uber-famous wife Frida Kahlo during their lives – and how he was inspired by the imagery, pattern and colour of Mayan art. Having collected and sketched ideas in their books, next week they will be creating their own implements to make their own abstract ‘marks’.

In preparation for some guests who will be joining us in the church next week, today in RE in small groups, the children came up with a series of incisive questions that they will put to them. With the premise that Christians believe taking part in the liturgy can bring them closer to God, the questions aim to help our visitors explain the role of the liturgy in the church and how they believe it helps the congregation develop their relationship with God.

In Computing we spoke about social media and how pictures that people post can make us feel sad or inadequate, for example if someone looks ‘flawless’ in a selfie, we might compare that to ourselves. However, we discussed how these photos that look ‘perfect’ can be edited, taken in certain lights to make us look better, are one of about fifty photos taken to try and get the best one. This ‘perfect’ photo is then posted on social media. The children then created a ‘blog’ about a ‘perfect’ car/holiday/look then wrote a script to ‘sell’ how great it is but then also adding what lays behind it… and what the influencer is quietly promoting. To end the lesson, Miss Williams took pictures of the children pulling funny faces and uploaded it straight to our blurb sheet without ‘checking’ what we looked like. The message is: You’re Perfect, Just the Way You Are.

…and on that note, we have continued to learn about online safety in Relationship and Health Education, talking about what we should and should not be sharing online. For example, it is not safe to be sharing our personal information online as you never know where it can end up.

With this in mind, as the children in Y6 turn 11 and it is right after Christmas, it might not be unusual for them to be the proud new owners of shiny, very inviting smartphones especially now so many are walking home alone, so with the help of SaferInternet I thought I would share a few snippets of information, beginning with the age limits set for users by various social media platforms. It wasn’t until I checked the SaferInternet website that I realised that WhatsApp announced a change to their terms and conditions for users based in Europe and that users of its App now need to be over 16.

Nearly all other social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Toc and Skype. Whilst there is no age restriction for watching videos on YouTube, users need to be 13 or older to have their own YouTube account (enabling them to subscribe to other channels, like videos, post comments, share their own content and flag inappropriate content).

So, keep an eye on what they are doing online – you are the adult – so should have total access to their devices at this time. They should not be worried about letting you see or talking with you about what they do online. Get that relationship sorted now, so you are in an ‘easy’ position to talk with them about these things as your children move through their teens. Good luck!

Have a great weekend.

Mr Gane



​As part of enriching our Art learning, we are looking for any parents, carers or even grandparents who are Artists or work in an artistic career, such as architecture, who would be willing to run an Art workshop with the classes. It can be linked to the curriculum or a stand-alone lesson in the year group of your choice. If you would be interested in volunteering your time with us, please get in touch with Mrs Allen (e.allen@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk).



This half term our Relationships and Health Education topic is ‘Keeping Safe’. You will find a breakdown of the upcoming lessons and key vocabulary on our ‘Knowledge Page’ which is saved alongside our Curriculum Map on the blog. This will give you a greater understanding of what conversations we are having with your children and when. If you would like to discuss the content of these lessons further, please get in touch.

Friday 6th January 2023 - Happy New Year

Happy 2023, can you believe it!

It was only three days, but felt like five, as we got off to another flying start here. ‘Titanium’ has proved a big hit in English helping the children to enthusiastically explore the use of: figurative writing through ‘show, not tell’; metaphors and similies; character analysis as well as higher level vocabulary and punctuation. They watched the start of this music video by French DJ and music producer David Guetta that we will be using for this unit of work inferring what might happen next and making predictions, before watching the rest of the video to see whether they were correct. Then, using their honed inference skills, they recorded, on iPads, what they thought the boy would be saying at different parts of the film, to show how he would be feeling. There was also a written comprehension to ensure they are fully au fait with what’s going on, before we take it to the next level, next week.

Their faces were a joy to behold as they belatedly completed the Maths assessment for our last topic on ‘Position & Direction’ translating and mirroring shapes on a four quadrant grid. Most remembered the handy aide memoire – ‘aXross the corridor and (Y)up the stairs’ – for plotting of co-ordinates, which was embedded by a treeeemendous amount of festive work before the break. Today my group kicked off with ‘Decimals’, our next topic for a few weeks.

It’s a big one in RE, as we start finding out about the ‘Liturgy of the Church of England’.  We explored the children’s knowledge of the various objects used at a typical Sunday service, before they then examined a couple of ‘Order of Service’ pamphlets and finally discussed as a class the key elements of Sunday Mass. This is an interesting topic, which will see the whole year group ending up in church later in the month interrogating Rev Denis and friends…

‘Fake News’ led the Computing lesson this week, with the children drilling down into online Adverts for a dubious ‘get-toned-in-three-weeks’ products. After learning ‘You cannot believe everything you see online’ they had a great time creating fake advertisements of their own. No PE sessions this week as Alastair is away training to do what he does, even better, , but Miss Rachel opened up the new Music topic and Mrs Pereira began teaching the children the countries and continents of the world in Spanish.

Science was enlightening with the children identifying sources of light and how shadows are formed in their new topic: ‘Seeing the Light’, which gets a bit more exciting in the coming weeks, with some interesting investigations. On this day of the Epiphany, the last day of Christmas, we were looking to the east in Geography, beginning a new focus on Japan. In this afternoon’s first lesson the children used atlases (no Google Maps here) to locate the country before exploring the various regions within this country of islands.

Finally, letters will be going out next week with details on the SATs Booster Class Programme, which will commence after the Half Term (w/c 20 Feb). As explained previously, the aim of these are two-fold: Firstly we want to ensure that children on the Expected/Not Expected boundary will ‘pass’ well, but also that those at the Expected/Greater Depth border do themselves justice, showing off their strengths. Most children will be involved in this programme which will take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays until the start of May, from 4-5pm. Thanks once again for your support.

Have a great weekend,

Mr Gane


How Maths is Taught – a Workshop for Parents & Carers

9am Friday 20th January – Music Hall

Come and join us for 45 minutes of Maths, what else would you want to do on a Friday morning!?

This very brief workshop aims to give parents & carers an overview of how we teach Maths from Early Years to Year 6. You will see the structured stages of how mathematical concepts are developed year on year in a progressive way that lead your children’s learning in a comprehensive and systematic manner. With much focus on reasoning, we’ll also have learners on hand to help you have a go at some reasoning challenges.

No sign up needed, just come along promptly and enjoy!

Looking forward to seeing you – add it to your diary today.

Mr Gane & Miss Whiting

Friday 16th December - Enjoy your Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… well it’s certainly cold enough, especially in the church as I’m sure all of you who managed to make it along would agree.

The seasonal theme continued as the children began and completed their final – and briefest – unit of English this week based on Charles Dickens’ yuletide favourite, ‘A Christmas Carol’. With the focus on comprehension, to really understand this classic, they revisited learning from Y5, the Victorian era, when it was first serialised, in order to get in to the mindset of the author and his characters. They discovered they knew other of his many famous novels – ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Great Expectations’ – spotting that a key theme is very often the contrast between the lives of the rich and the poor. Inspired by images from various books and movies of the story, the children came up with descriptive words and phrases that they might use if writing, before answering questions based on the text. From the author to the protagonist, so next up for scrutiny was Mr Ebenezer Scrooge himself. The children really enjoyed drilling down in to his character analysing Scrooge through two different versions of the story; one, the original Dickens from 1843; the other a modern interpretation by Tony Mitton – a picture book presented in verse. Their mind maps dissecting his persona precisely.

A super short, new unit in Maths this week too, as the children got to grips with a mini Geometry unit on ‘Position & Direction’ developing their learning on translation and reflection of shapes using coordinates in all four quadrants of a grid – exciting stuff! Computing too, this week, gave the children something very new to ponder, as they took a first look at HTML coding – Oh, yes! Following on from work on how to search the internet, they followed some fairly detailed instructions to programme their very own, simple search engine. They had done nothing like this before and, “It was so much fun!” according to one.

Thursday’s focus was very much on the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service, with the children starting the day brushing up on the finale with Miss Rachael during Hymn Practice in Collective Worship. They remained in the hall as a full rehearsal took place in the church, each class processing in to perform their song in turn by Miss Bell, with the combined voices of Key Stage 2 coming together for the finale. Children were back at school at 5.45pm ready for the 6pm performance to a packed congregation of expectant parents and carers. They sang like angels as I am sure all of you who were able to attend will agree, with some excellent readings too led by our very own Ciara, Harly, Kanece, Lara and Lukas.

It was back into the church this morning for the traditional Christmas Service, with readings from St Luke’s Gospel by Erin and Lilia and then hotfoot to the Main Hall for the annual House Quiz led by the Quizmeister himself, Mr Faith.

Sadly in Y6, as part of their training for secondary school, homework is set over the holiday. As at Half Term, the children have a full set of SATs papers to do. We ask that they are left alone to do them (although you can read the questions to them – except in Reading Comprehension) in the allocated time. Once they have done as much as they can do, please do feel free to go over the assessments with them, but use a differently coloured pen to make any corrections so that they are obvious to us just what work was done independently, or not. We do not use scores from these as a formal assessment, they are just for the children to become more familiar with the work, the standard and the time pressure. You will be informed towards the end of January as to which Booster Classes your child may be ‘invited’ to attend, which will begin after the Spring Half Term.

Many thanks indeed for your on-going support during what is always a very formative year for both pupils and you parents and carers too. I must also put on record the huge part that Miss Williams plays in helping and educating your children, her work is unprecedented, making a massive difference to their learning.

God bless and best wishes for a restful Christmas and a peaceful 2023!

Mr Gane

Friday 9th December

…and relax! What a week, and it ain’t over yet, as we hope to see you all back here tomorrow for the Christmas Fair, doors open at noon. Your children will most definitely want to come along to buy their top-end, hand-crafted, not-so-healthy candy canes a snip at £2 a pop – all proceeds to FOSS. Miss Williams spent all afternoon yesterday sporting her Willy Wonka hat, as she oversaw a veritable production line; plunging candy canes into marshmallows, dipping them into chocolate before rolling them on crushed canes… What a sweet job!

Meanwhile back at the sharp end, in Maths this week the children saw the back of fractions, for a while at least, learning how to find fractions of amounts as well as original amounts from fractions, and how to convert fractions in to decimals too. Today the reviewed and tested their learning over the last few weeks with a wonderful (well two actually) end of unit assessments, which they all loved!

The Polar Express, proved the most suitable text possible – given the current state of the weather – which consequently saw the children giving full immersive descriptive vent in their retelling of the start of the story. Employing SMARPOPS, ISPACED and the ‘Power of Three’ (ask them) they crafted some quite remarkable narratives, bringing the scene to life. They really worked hard planning, writing and editing throughout the week with lots of comings and goings, so well done to each and every one who put in 100% effort.

History this week had a Computing twist, as the children resurrected the old laptops to access Microsoft PowerPoint to devise a quiz all about their learning on the Ancient Greeks. Their  first lesson was more computing focused as they learned how to create ‘hyperlinks’ from clicked answers on a slide that then ‘jumped’ to the corresponding Correct/Incorrect slide – all very complex. With their new learning, in next week’s lesson two, the children will put together their quizzes and trial them against each other in a battle of the quizzes! Who says history is boring!

In between assessments in Spanish and Science, we found time for the children to finish off their waistcoats too and also enjoy two Nativity rehearsals; the all singing, all dancing KS1 spectacular as well as the Reception dress rehearsal starring their Buddy Readers. Hard to say which as the best…. Many of the children took a trip to Westfield on Wednesday lunchtime as they took part in the annual Christmas Carol competition, which meant an early Cookie Christmas lunch!!! How do we fit it all in??

Just one week to go! Enjoy the Christmas Fair tomorrow and the football in the evening. Will we win?

Mr Gane



Mrs Pereira writes: It may make for nice Christmas project? The local story competition run by Daunt Books is back again, with every child who enters getting a £5 book voucher. Most years, we have a winner at St Stephen’s who receive a voucher and the glory of seeing their stories published – so a good success rate. Click on the link https://www.ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk/teaching-and-learning/library-corner/ and check out the info in the sidebar.

Friday 2nd December

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, especially in our two week English unit, where we are using The Polar Express as our inspiration. So far the children have; scoured a text for descriptive features, re-visited the ISPACED mnemonic  aid that helps make sentence starters a bit more funky and tapped into the feelings and emotions of the protagonist, debating whether or not he should get on the train. The magical story has prompted some wonderful oral and written work. I’m looking for fairy dust for next week!

We have finished the class book, “A Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom”, a great tale set in 1980s America by the author Louis Sachar, about a fifth-grade bully named Bradley whose behaviour improves after intervention from a school counsellor. The children hugely enjoyed my reading this to them. Next up as the class reader, after reading other books by the author, Essya suggested “The Boy Who Met a Whale” by the Sri Lankan born writer, Nizrana Farook. After the first few chapters, the children have met Razi and the ship-wrecked Zheng as well as the baddies (can I say that) Marco and Cookie…. No relation (I hope).

In Maths this week both groups have continued to work their way through ‘fractions’ focusing on multiplying and dividing. I find if you think of multiplying as ‘lots of’, then finding half (a lot of) a quarter gives some logic to the equation ½ x ¼ =  The children learnt that the calculation is actually very straight forward and they all did very well when asked to simply ‘Times the Tops’ and then ‘Times the Bottoms’. So in our example it is 1 x 1 = 1, and 2 x 4 = 8 giving us the product ⅛. The children continued learning varying mutations of division too using Bar Models and dividing fractions by other fractions using our KFC method (keep, flip, change – so 1/5 divided by ½ is the same as 1/5 x 2). Whilst the children have seen some of this in Y5, our work in Y6 aims to instil a greater depth of learning, challenging the children with word problems that are aimed at making them use the understanding they have in order to solve more complex problems.

Surprisingly, not all of the children completed their RE homework (part of) which was to watch some Christmas adverts on TV. To much joy, therefore, we were able to watch some in class, which then enabled the children to ‘analyse’ the ads to find their messages. Of course there was lots of generic ‘goodness’, ‘kindness’ and anticipation of gifts, with – after Black Friday and now Cyber Monday too – a big message to buy, but not a lot, or indeed anything at all, about the main man himself: Jesus. We used this to talk about the difference between a secular or consumer/commercial Christmas and a religious one, which we will continue working on over the next two weeks.

With three hours a week of Curriculum PE this half term – Tag Rugby with Alastair; Gymnastics with Fiona and Shannon and Cricket with Jonathan – some have also fitted in Basketball and Tennis Clubs, with others representing the school at the Mayor’s Cup fixture this afternoon as well. For the record, the Boys drew 0-0 while the Girls won 5-0 against Ark Conway. They are all a fit as fiddles…. and speaking of Music, it’s full steam ahead with loads of traditional practice for this time of year in preparataions for the various carol services in school and out.

This afternoon in RHE the children looked at and discussed all of the different types of relationships we can have e.g. with parents, extended family members, with teachers as well as aquaintences although focusing mainly on friendships. It was lots of fun, especially when in groups, the children created a TV advert, ‘Looking for a good friend’. These were performed to the rest of the class and were all… interesting!

Finally, the children ended this week’s Science investigation by building one massive electrical circuit using just one battery and one bulb, but with both connected using lots and lots of wires. They observed the brightness of the bulb in this circuit, comparing it with their first circuit using only one set of wires, concluding that the ‘resistance’ of the longer wires, sapped the energy from the circuit, causing a dulling in the bulb – all good stuff!

For the Christmas Fair next Saturday 10th December, the children will be recycling glass jars to create a festive present to be sold (to themselves) on the day. Would you please therefore look for an old jam jar or similar to bring in by Monday, thank you. As We are looking forward, please also note the all for the children are expected to take part in our ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service in the church on Thursday 15th at 6pm, when the children are required to be back here at 5.30pm prompt, please. They are currently practising their hymn ‘Winter Carol’ with a few children also preparing readings. Do make sure to come along, need I remind you that it will be their last one here at St Stephen’s.

No more international rugby (thank God), but do enjoy the footy on Sunday – getting exciting now.

Mr Gane



Next year, the week after we come back from Spain (w/c 22 May), Y6 Ayres will be swimming each afternoon. A part from being a fantastic form of exercise for the children, being able to swim by the end of primary school is included in the Government’s National Curriculum and why the children are taught to swim in Y3. They will have lots of fun at the Janet Adegoke pool, but they will also be assessed to ensure that they can swim ‘competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres’. So this is the heads up, just in case your child needs a bit of practice, you have the best part of six months, to ensure they are up to speed. Many thanks again.

Friday 25th November

With Ofsted requiring schools to ‘promote British Values at every level including through their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development’ the children were delighted to be able to watch the second half of England’s World Cup opener against Iran on Monday afternoon. After a morning of two SATs practice papers, it was a very well earned treat too.

The SATs Practice continued throughout the week as we continue to prepare the children for what they will face in May. This time around there were a number of smaller groups, which help some children to be less distracted and more focused on the task in hand. On the whole they all did well and absolute progress is very obvious. What can you do to help… reading. The one-hour Reading Comprehension paper is by far the most challenging, with three increasingly taxing texts and nearly 40 questions to answer, the children need to be confident in what they read in the first instance, as well as being able to ‘skim and scan’ the texts for key words and phrases when answering specific questions. The more you can help them with this now, the less of an issue it will be at high school.

Maths and English Booster Classes will begin in the spring term, to which many children will be ‘invited’. The aim of these are two-fold. Firstly we want to ensure that children on the Expected/Not Expected boundary will ‘pass’ well, but also that those at the Expected/Greater Depth border do themselves justice, showing off their strengths. Miss Marchant and I will be writing to you in January to let you know, which, if any, of the classes your child will be invited to, as well as which day and groups they will be in.

In Spanish on Wednesday morning the children designed their dream house – next week they will be describing it in Spanish! It was more Savile Row than sweat shop in the afternoon this week as the children are really getting quite handy, tailoring their waistcoats. We the three fabric panels cut to size and pinned, next week the hand sewing begins… they’ll be completed by Christmas – hopefully!

There was further light relief from their SATs assessments on Thursday when the children took their Reception Reading Buddies on a trip to Shepherds Bush Library. Pairing up at break time, they walked excitedly with their buddies to the library before listening to selecting a book and reading to them; a delightful scene.

After lots a hands on circuit making in Science, this week was a bit more bookish as the children learned to recognise and use conventional symbols for circuits – a mundane but universally important piece of learning that allows scientists around the world to accurately exchange ideas.

To round off the week, in History the children looked at how much our modern-day life has been influenced by the ancient Greeks. They discussed that even after 3,000 years, we are still use their ideas in many aspects of modern-day life, including maths, science, language, art, leisure activities and politics. As a class we then read about each of these aspects before the children wrote a short paragraph covering: how the Ancient Greek Olympics influenced our modern Olympics; how the Greek Alphabet has influenced out writing; the influence of Greek mythology on our modern life today as well as that old favourite, democracy then and now. Finally they were challenged to come up with what they believed was the most important idea or development. Not bad for a Friday afternoon.

Back to normal next week – I hope. Enjoy the England games tonight and tomorrow too!

Mr Gane


Art Competition

Sorry for the very late notice, but the London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS) is on the lookout for budding artists to create the image that will be used on the front of its electronic Christmas card and also used on our website during advent. They would like children to create an A4 landscape or portrait image. The image can be painted, coloured in using felt tips, colour pencils, crayons etc. or can even be a collage. The theme this year is “follow the star”, whether that is the wisemen following or Santa or angels or reindeers is completely up to the artist. Whether they are on camels, sleighs, mopeds, skateboards or roller-skates is also up to the artist.

All of the images will be featured on the LDBS website and they would ideally like to use an image of the winner in a news story on the website. All images should be sent to:

Stuart Webster
36 Causton Street

All images should be with us by Friday 9 December,

Please remember to put the name of the child, year group and the name of the school or church on the back of the image so they can return them to you.

We have two prizes of £20 book tokens as prizes £20 for the winner and £20 for the school.

Any questions please contact stuart.webster@london.anglican.org


Friday 18th November

First thing Monday morning, Miss Hall had the whole of the school join over 1,000,000 students and educators to watch The Big Anti-Bullying Assembly 2022, in recognition of ‘Anti-bullying Week’. The assembly gave the children an opportunity to practise being positive to the child next to them and highlighted the importance of the role played by all, to call out bullying if ever they see it happening. Mrs Bouwman then introduced the ‘Playground Buddies’ – including our very own Ava, Ciara, Erin, Lilia, Louis, Sam & Stephie – to the rest of the children in the school. What great role models they are.

Back in the classroom, ‘The Giant’s Necklace’, Sir Michael Morpurgo’s book, based in St Ives, is the foil around which the children have been honing their English skills this week. Following the protagonist Cherry’s obsession with collecting cowrie shells to make a huge necklace, the learning focus has been on comprehension skills, particularly high level vocabulary and inference skills. The children made their predictions on Monday and were dumbstruck when the story came to a surprising and dramatic conclusion today…

Meanwhile in Maths it was adding and subtracting; fractions, fractions, fractions, fractions, fractions, Improper Fractions, fractions, fractions, Mixed Numbers with Word Problems involving fractions. And there’s more for Homework; set on Mathletics!

The religious theme for the year in Y6 is ‘Hope’, so in preparation for the start of Advent, the children this week learned about the symbolism of the Christmas Wreath and particularly the candles, which are lit in church on each Sunday of Advent and finally on Christmas Day itself. Next week they will be examining TV adverts, so they were overjoyed when I told them that part of their homework was to watch telly, again…

They might also take a look at this episode of the BBC’s ‘Sewing Bee’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000w7rz/the-great-british-sewing-bee-series-7-episode-6 which links perfectly with the children’s DT project this half term – making waistcoats. With their designs already completed, on Wednesday afternoon the classroom was turned in to a veritable sweatshop as the children toiled to, first cut out their patterns, then pin the three pieces to their fabric before finally cutting out their material. A good start. Next week they will be hand-sewing.

In Relationships and Health Education this afternoon the children looked at how we can respect people’s differences, by ‘putting ourselves in their shoes’. They continued the lesson by looking at cultural norms from different countries and how it can appear disrespectful to behave one way in a country, even if this is normal in our own. We then spoke about how we should react to people perhaps displaying behaviour or saying things we do not agree with. Instead of being aggressive towards this person, we can be respectful and speak calmly as we do not know what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes – maybe there is a reason for the way that they are acting.

“You never really understand a person

until you consider things from his point of view . . .

until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

There was, as always, the ever-present Gymnastics, Music and this week two sessions of PE along with Spanish in which they learned prepositions of place, before including them in sentences – such great learning prior to the school journey in May after SATs.

…and speaking of SATs, next week we will be having another practice week, when the children will sit all six of the papers over the five days. 25% additional time will be allocated to those that meet the criteria and very many of the children will be working in smaller groups, or one-to-one, as we make the children more and more accustomed to how things will be next year. Once again, we have reiterated to the children that we simply expect them to do their best, as we have not yet covered the whole Y6 syllabus and they have six months more growing up and learning to do – so the results just give us a guide as to where and on what to focus our resources.

That’s it from me, enjoy the international rugby this weekend and the start of the football world cup too.

Mr Gane

Friday 11th November

Can I really start off the blog with ‘what a busy week it’s been’ again….? Every week is a busy week here! It was great to catch up with so many of you for Parents’ Evening on Wednesday and Thursday, and to share with you all of the super work and efforts of your children. On the whole, we are well on track for another impressive year, which does certainly seem to be picking up.

So to matters in hand. All of the children continued developing their understanding of fractions in Maths this week, as they compared different fraction using the lowest common denominator (LCD), although something new to those in my group, was comparing fractions using the numerator… ask them to explain, before we moved on to adding and subtracting fractions.

In English persuasive writing remained the order of the day with the children preparing to bombard Mr Schumm with their exquisitely crafted letters packed full of well-reasoned ideas on how to improve the school. I bet he can’t wait to receive those! Finally, the Book Reviews continued apace this week with some expert analysis by Ciara, Erin and Lois followed by incisive questioning from their peers.

Honing their historical skills, in History this week the children renewed their learning about Primary and Secondary sources of information, before using both to gain a better understanding about the daily lives of the ancient Greeks; from clothes and entertainment to food and drink. They finished by creating a design for their own ‘ancient’ Greek vessel, in period style.

Part of our RE lesson on Remembrance included the story of Sadako Sasaki – a 12 year old from Hiroshima – and her paper cranes. Her dying wish for peace inspired your children to learn how to make her famous cranes, following the ancient Japanese legend which says that your greatest wish will come true if you fold 1,000 origami cranes. Some of those that the children made went home; some are in their RE books and others have been placed on the RE display board. More exciting perhaps, is that the School Councillors Lilia and Ciara are going to write to the Mayor of Hiroshima enclosing some cranes that we have asked to be added to others from around the world in the famous Peace Park.

Continuing the theme, this morning on Remembrance Day itself, just before 11am we joined the live BBC proceedings at The Cenotaph and around the nation for the two minutes silence as Big Ben began to chime. I must say that the solemnity of the occasion was very well observed by everyone in Y6 Ayres. I mentioned that as part of their homework they might watch some of The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance the annual commemorative event from the Royal Albert Hall at 9pm on BBC1. As an added incentive, our very own Music Teacher, Miss Rachel, will be there singing as part of the Bach Choir.

The darker nights of the autumn term make the Science unit on Electricity more interesting – this week the children trawled their memories from Y4 to recall the learning on circuits before beginning their investigations. Itching to get their hands on the assorted wires, batteries and lightbulbs, half of the children first learned how the power in batteries measured in volts and that by adding more batteries to a circuit, the voltage is increased. They also learned that components such as bulbs are designed to work on certain voltages and will ‘blow’ if supplied with too much power! Armed with this new knowledge, the children carried out a number of investigations recording the circuits they made each time by drawing circuit diagrams in their books. Meanwhile, down in the bowels of the Science Room, the other half of the class were working with Scientist-in-Residence, Miss Mercedes.  Keeping the electrical focus, they were wiring motors to drive cars – very advance. They swapped roles in the afternoon.

Finally, lots of the class – Ciara, Erin, Harly, James, Lara, Natalie, Rehan, Ruth & Sam – were out this morning representing the school at the Hammersmith & Fulham Dodgeball Competition a very friendly vicious game that they love – they had a great time. There a late notice Girls’ Netball competition on Monday, which Miss Marchant will be emailing about.

So that’s it from me this week, have a super weekend.

Mr Gane

Friday 4th November

Back from half term with a Halloween bump on Monday and it’s been a week of starting new topics, which means in Maths we began by reviewing the children’s previous learning of Fractions and in English they began by finding features and techniques used in Persuasive Writing. In RHE this half term, the children will be focused on ‘Valuing Difference’, which they started today by playing a game that highlighted the positives of being different to other people. Before we move on to Advent in a few weeks’ time, we start RE with a timely investigation of Remembrance. The children learned about what it is, why we do it and how it is done. They listened to the poem by John McCrae…


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.


…before then writing one of their own.

For our new Computing topic we are using Scratch for the coding part of the curriculum. To start the children discussed what problem solving was and how it needs to be logical. In terms of coding, problem solving can be used to ‘debug’ programmes and make sure they are working properly. So to begin, the children created a ‘sprite’ and a ‘stage’ and then coded movements controlled by the up, down, left and right arrow keys for a race car game. Some went on to add colour sensing, which forced a restart. They will continue in this vein next week, looking at spotting errors to ‘debug’ a given code.

History is never new, and we are continuing this half term with the Ancient Greeks, starting on Tuesday learning about these two famous city-states. The children discovered that the main differences between Athens and Sparta were their government, economy and society, so everything really. Your children were nonplussed to learn that Spartan children were placed in a military-style education program and that from the age of 7, Spartan boys were removed from their parents’ homes and began the “agoge,” a state-sponsored training regimen designed to mould them into skilled warriors and moral citizens. Your children were slightly more at home when learning about life in Athens – boys going to school to learn to read, write, and memorize the works of philosophers, while girls stayed at home with their mothers and learned what they would need to have a house of their own. Hmmm…

Sports have hit the headlines here this week with lots of your children enjoying representing St Stephen’s  the Sports Hall Athletics competition on Monday; others battling the weather to qualify to represent the borough at Cross Country and victories for the footballers in the Mayor’s Cup this afternoon; 2-0 for the Boys’ Team and a massive 7-0 win for the Girls’ Team!! See Twitter for details.

Our BRILLIANT Teaching Assistant, Miss Williams will have the money out of your pockets in your rush to buy the Y6 Ayres FOSS Christmas Card available in a few weeks. Her concept, based on our Bolivian artist, Mamani Mamani from Hispanic Day which the children worked so hard on all week, is AMAZING. Don’t you think?

Do make sure you have booked up a Parents’ Evening slot for Wednesday or Thursday next week when I look forward to speaking with you all. Enjoy Bonfire Night and be safe.

Mr Gane

Friday 21st October - Half Term

We’ve made it to Half Term, hurrah! The climax of which has to be your children’s outstanding Class Assembly yesterday. I have no need to tell you, but they have been working so hard on it for weeks now, especially the ‘Letter to Self’ poem – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. They did themselves proud, learning their lines, delivering them so well, singing, dancing, learning all the time and having fun. Undoubtedly the highlight of our Black Voices Week celebration. Thanks so much for all of your support at home and to all those able to come and watch the performance too. Finally, a huge shout out to Miss Williams, who just quietly sorts EVERYTHING out in the background so as people don’t even notice…. but we do, and are massively grateful.

The children completed their English topic on poetry by first analysing a brilliantly inspiring poem by Benjamin Zephaniah.  His ‘No Problem’ poem confronts his experiences of racism and how he is now able to not let it affect him in his day to day life. As a result, the children planned and wrote their own poems based on issues that are important to them. Once they were written, the class performed them with some powerful messages hitting home on majors issues including bullying, climate change, equality, sexism and racism – each spoke really passionately about their subject.

The children did their regular weekly spelling test today and I am very glad to say that on the whole, all are doing very well with the ‘letter order’ as well as the much more important learning of the ‘meaning’. There’s now an added dictation at the end just to add to the fun!

Less to write in Maths but just as much learning as both groups continued work on the four mathematical operations by developing learning on factors, multiples and in my group today, prime numbers and prime factors. We will finish this unit of work in the first week back and then….  Fractions.

In RE the children completed their Slide Show Presentations about the different faith communities that they have been researching: St Stephen’s & St Thomas CE Church; Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha); Shepherds Bush Mosque; St Simon’s CE Church, Hare Krishna Temple (Hindu) and the Holy Ghost & St Stephen’s RC Church. In their small groups they then gave their presentations to their classmates who took notes on how the community worships, whether their place of worship has changed over the years, as well as what they say and do about helping those less fortunate within their community and outside. Interestingly, the children noticed that all of these communities were involved in assisting the less fortunate to varying degrees.

Finally, we’ve had a few visits from Y7s who left St Stephen’s in the summer and have started their secondary education at a variety of different schools. It’s always wonderful to welcome back these children again and chat to them about the realities of high school, which I always try to do in front of my current class; it gives them a chance to hear what it’s like from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The children are intrigued to hear what things are like from people they know and will fire lots of questions at them, which the visitors are delighted to answer. One of the shocks is often the sheer amount of homework that is expected to be completed by the Y7s – all subjects, every day – from one local school! Anyway, as part of our preparation in helping the children with a smooth transition to Y7 is to slightly ramp up the homework, so from now until the SATs in May, there will be homework set during the holidays; half terms, Christmas and Easter, which I have told the children – delighted, they were not.. However, the bit that they will remember though is that after the SATs there will be no more written homework!

Enjoy the break, see you back here on Halloween!

Mr Gane



The Boys’ and Girls’ Mayor’s Cup Teams were both in action today playing Old Oak. I am glad to report that while the Girls won 1-0, the Boys managed to slot home 3 with no reply. Well played.

Friday 14th October

Following an initial grammar brush up on identifying the past, present and future progressive (continuous) tenses at the start of each lesson, we continued each day this week in English with a focus on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem ‘The Kraken’. After analysing the Victorian language, the children recited the poem before then planning and writing a detailed description of the legendary creature. Inspired by his grot and polypi, they conjured up their very own sea beastie planned and wrote a poem – we packed it in!

It was Long Division all the way this week in Maths as the children revelled in learning this most traditional of methods. Both classes worked exceedingly well on this traditionally tricky strategy with most of the children now pretty confident in their understanding of the process of what to do, so much so that we moved on to testing their understanding of the concept with word problems – challenging them to put the theory that they have learned, into practice. At this point I should mention that following our first assessments last week, Miss Marchant and I are pleased at the current levels of Maths understanding, although there is never room for complacency. There will be some movement between our two Maths groups next week, in an effort to ensure that every child is receiving the most suitable tuition for their needs and parents have already been contacted where necessary.

On Tuesday afternoon we trooped along to Old Oak Common for the annual KS2 Cross Country, as part of the LBHF Mini Marathon. After the mile and half walk – a marathon in itself – the children then ran through the scrubs tackling the uneven ground and weaving paths – a true cross-country experience, although without the mud and the cold!. Everyone ran very well and demonstrated great sportsmanship and determination, with some pushing themselves far outside their comfort zones. Huge congratulations to each and every one of you!

Friday saw Drama with Mark for the penultimate time this morning and after a quick Class Assembly run-through in the hall, it was the Great St Stephen’s Conker Contest this afternoon. Now talking of the Class Assembly, it’s on Thursday 20th at 9am, so do please make it a date and come along to your child’s last ever assembly here at St Stephen’s…. no pressure…. bring tissues.

That’s all from me for this week, but next Friday, 21st October, the school is holding its annual ‘Red Card to Racism’ day. For those of you unfamiliar, this is an opportunity to show support and raise money for the UK’s largest anti-racism charity. On the day, children can wear their own clothes and we encourage them all to wear something red. If you are able to, we ask that children make a contribution to the charity in the buckets that will be in the playground before school that morning. https://www.theredcard.org/.

Have a super weekend,

Mr Gane



Mathletics is our eco-friendly homework setting system for Maths and children’s weekly work is monitored and assessed in exactly the same manner as traditional written homework.

Homework tasks set on Mathletics are expected to be completed on rough paper, with the final answers then entered in to the device – unless specifically stated, it is NOT mental Maths, so ‘workings out’ are expected/required at home, but not to be handed in. Remember that most questions have an animation that explicitly explains the method, demonstrating each step to solve the problem, if your child needs a reminder of how to complete the task.


We have checked that your child’s login details are correct, if in doubt do ask the teacher to check again. That means that for any other issues, parents/carers should contact the Mathletics helpline, as it will be an issue with your internet set up at home, or iPad setting or browser or any other number of issues – we can’t help there. See the information below that might help.

Mathletics can be accessed by PC/Mac, iOS and Android devices as well as Windows tablets and Chromebooks – on the laptops at school we find that it works best using either the Microsoft Edge or Chrome browsers. See http://www.3plearning.com/tech/mathletics/ for more details and if you experience difficulty in loading the Mathletics website at home please contact Mathletics ‘LIVE Chat Online’ help or email via https://www.mathletics.com/in/contact/

Thank you again for your support.

Friday 7th October

In prelude to Hispanic Day today, yesterday the children were delighted that their old Y5 teacher, Mr McInroy, popped up (via zoom) on screen from his Y1 classroom in Mexico City. We sang ‘La Cucaracha’ together and asked questions in Spanish. ¡Qué bien! So with their metaphorical Mexican hats already on, the children were clapping along to the amazing folk dancers, who performed at Assembly this morning, a little in awe of what might be coming in the workshops in the afternoon perhaps… Next up though, Lara’s mum Chris, joined us in class reading ‘La luz de Lucia’ by Margarita del Mazo & Silvia Alvarez to the class in Spanish – the children’s faces were intent with concentration as they grappled to understand as much as possible. Shout outs to Ciara, Sam and Lara for helping out, translating a few of the tricky words.

The promised Mexican Folk Dance workshop kicked off this afternoon’s activities, as Ariana from the troupe had them flicking and kicking after a head, neck and shoulder rolling warm-up. Huge fun was had by all – book those breaks to Cancún, now. Or perhaps Bolivia, as the children have also learned a lot about this land-locked South American country, primarily through the indigenous Bolivian of Aymara decent, Roberto Mamani Mamani, who is widely regarded as the country’s finest painter. His vibrant and colourful artwork expertly uses Andean symbolism to tell the story of his fascinating indigenous traditions. The children created their own art in his style, telling their own stories. I am hoping that many will soon be displayed around the school. And so to the finale, the Mariachi Band… Words don’t do it justice; you had to be there!!

There were four other school days this week too and as you know, there’s never any rest here at St Stephen’s, so in addition to the various Class Assembly practices this week, the children also managed to experience their first run of practice SATs. There are six papers which they sit over the week: Grammar; Reading Comprehension; Spelling; Maths Paper 1 – Arithmetic; Maths Paper 2 – Reasoning 1 and finally Maths Paper 3 – Reasoning 2. I have been gentle with them – they have sat the tests in the classroom as a class and as I have told the children, the whole idea of these assessments are for them to begin to get an idea of what they will be confronted with come May 2023 and for me to identify which parts of the curriculum I need to focus on moving forward. I will speak with you about these results and how the children have progressed since then, at Parents Evening in November.

Finally, Buddy Reading is always a big highlight of Y6 and it was great to chat to the class of their own memories from Reception about their Buddies long gone, my first class here who are now in the Sixth form!!!  Y6 Ayres have partnered with Mrs Ghoul’s Milne class and each Thursday the children will now get together in the main playground at break time for a run around, before splitting in to two groups with half of the class bringing theirs buddies to Y6 and the other taking theirs to Reception. The excitement was palpable and the joy on all of the children’s faces was a delight to see as your children so kindly, carefully and thoughtfully read to the younger ones.

I am hoping for a more straight forward week next week, but we’ll have to wait and see…

Enjoy your weekend,

Mr Gane

Friday 30th September

It was back to reality with a bump on Monday as the intrepid pupils of Y6 Ayres (well most of them) returned to class fully rested after a hard week’s fun and games at PGL.

In a fully focused week of learning, the children rattled through a unit on narrative writing using Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel, ‘Wolves in the Walls’ as their foil. They analysed the text to identify how the author used lots of different techniques to help to build tension and suspense, before using these to plan their own work. They wrote then edited to up-level their story openings, which included this week’s grammar focus relative clauses, to make their writing more interesting to read and… ‘cohesive’ – that’s for OFSTED.

In Maths, the children have been picking up where they left off on the four mathematical operations, with division recapping on ‘short’ division aka the Bus Stop method as well as how to use factors of the divisor, to breakdown more complicated calculations in to easier chunks. See the Mathletics homework for more. Next up… the much anticipated Long Division. I would also like to add that the children’s Times Table recall is improving from the first rusty week back at the start of the month, which is great news. They should continue to focus on the Tables that are slowing them down when it comes to their two minute Times Table Challenge. Have you seen their papers?

Having started RE by focusing on our Y6 word of HOPE, the theme now until half term is ‘Understanding Faith in our Community’. This week, in a cross-curricula activity, the children used their geographical map reading skills to identify locations of places of worship in the locality, before then tracing their routes to school, annotating any faith centres along the way. There’s a special visitor joining us for the next lesson… Yesterday, it was great to see many of you in the church celebrating Harvest Festival with us; a huge thanks for all of your kind donations, especially welcome in these straitened times.

For Relationships and Health Education (RHE) this afternoon, the children were discussing how friendships can have ups and downs, which are a completely normal thing that can happen. They spoke about the problems that can arise and how they could solve them to make sure our friendships are positive, happy and balanced. They worked through six scenarios that are very common of typical friendship problems and decided how they would deal with them to improve the situation.

In our other subjects, we have looked at classifying animals in Science, how to stay safe online in Computing and created portraits of King Charles III in Art, some of which will be put on display around the school.

Next week the children will have a go at their first ever KS2 SATs papers as we continue their preparation for the real things in May next year. Rest assured that our tried and trusted programme is gentle, with these first assessments being sat mostly in class as a whole and timings somewhat more fluid than they will be on the day. That said, we will be using the results to help to assess where the children stand and there may be some movement, particularly between the two Maths groups – parents will be advised in advance of any changes that might be required. Our aim, as always, is to ensure that the children have the best learning opportunities.

Finally, next Friday is Hispanic Day, when the whole school’s focus will be on Mexico; Mr Schumm is dusting off his sombrero in preparation for the Mariachi Band… I jest not! Here in Y6, the children will also learn about Bolivia, so they’ll need to be wearing red, yellow and green clothes that day taken from the flag.

Hasta la vista,

Mr Gane

Friday 16th September

And so to the end of week two, all of the children are assimilating well in to the pace and expectations of Y6. We have already come to the end of the first, very brief Maths unit on Place Value, an essential understanding of which is key to all, going forward. After an End of Unit Assessment, next up after PGL next week, is a review of the four Maths operations to get everyone fully back up to speed.

‘Life in Trinidad’, the autobiography of Floella Benjamin, whose birthday it is next week (73), was examined further by  the children who investigated unfamiliar words and phrases and identified adverbials, before writing a brief summary of her early childhood. Later in the week they planned, drafted, wrote and then edited their own short autobiography.

Perhaps the highlight of the week though was the much anticipated House Captain presentations, which took place yesterday afternoon with a bumper crop of candidates. Your children really did themselves proud, delivering thoughtful and inspired talks that included some zany fundraising ideas for many personally heart-warming and deserving charities. The votes were counted overnight and Mr Schumm announced the election results just after lunch today. Really well done to everyone who took part – the children of the school voted as follows:

  • Aylward – Annebelle, Hal, Louis & Nicola
  • Crummell – Scarlett K, Lucas S, Alexa & Felix
  • Liddell – Archie, Rose, Stephanie & Thelma
  • Wesley – Essya, Albie, Sophie & Ella

The standard of presentations was very high indeed this year and I must praise again every single person who put themselves forward for what can be a very daunting challenge; win or lose, you all did yourselves proud!

Sports Captains were also selected today based, not only on their love and individual ability in sport, but also on their ability to encourage and motivate other team members, as well as their organisational skills and ability to help Clare and Alastair prepare for events. So give a cheer to: Eliza, Igor, Josiah and Kanece. Well done for shining in PE over the years and enjoy the new sporting calendar as it picks up again from the last few years.

This year’s School Council representatives were also voted in by the class this afternoon, so Lilia & Ciara will be working with Miss Kelly & Mrs Jeffrey on all sorts of children-led projects over the year.

Finally, the first ‘Stars of the Week’ this year are Rehan and Lilia; really well done you guys and keep up your superb start to Y6.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Mr Gane



Please arrive promptly at 6.45am on Tuesday morning, we aim to leave at 7am sharp to arrive at PGL in time for breakfast at 8am. The children’s first activity is at 8:50am.

Friday 9th September

Dear Parents,

The death of HM The Queen yesterday was marked this morning by a church service led by Mr Schumm and Rev Denis, which was attended by the whole school. A celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s long life and reign, the children sang and gave thanks for her dedicated service to our country. Ciara and Ruth were amongst those who read prayers. Back in the classroom we watched BBC Newsround’s report that charted her life that lead to a very interesting discussion. At midday, lots of Y6 children took it in turns to ring the bells of St Stephen’s church, which tolled for an hour in unison with churches up and down the kingdom. There will be more information on how the school will mark this historic event from Mr Schumm in due course.

So with summer now well and truly over and those super summer ‘22 tans now on the wane, a very excited bunch turned in on Monday, ready and raring for the joys and rigours that face them in Y6. We’ve hit the ground running, as ever, with ‘letters to our future selves’ and our ‘Reach for the Stars’ goals for the year already on display. The children have created some impressive portraits and read the first chapter of Floella Benjamin’s ‘Coming to England’ autobiography features of which they will use when writing theirs, next week. In RE, they wrote a prayer of ‘Hope’ the theme for their last year at St Stephen’s, creating beautiful butterflies for the display. Just two days of Maths, focusing on Place Value – lots more next week.

Like the children, I have thoroughly enjoyed being back and getting to know lots of new faces. Y6 is a rigorous year, where the children learn to stand on their own two feet in preparation for this time next year. This leads me on nicely to the Homework Diaries which seem to be a hit (so far) and I would be most grateful for your support in asking to see them each evening and initialling or signing to confirm that work, especially some reading (recommended reading list), has been carried out. Written homework will be set on Google Classroom each Monday and Friday, but then you know that already as they had homework on day one – sorry. Knowing how to manage their work load will also set them in great stead for Y7.

The children have had a very busy week indeed with lots to think about, as in addition to all mentioned above there was Computing, Gymnastics, Spanish, PE, History, RHE and Music as well as special one-off Cricket and Drama sessions too. We have also focused on developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ – ways in which to have a positive approach to even the most dreaded of subjects while also not sitting on ones laurels. There are loads of motivational quotes around the classroom, one of which I have already had thrown back in my face!

Finally, we will be having our House Captain elections next Thursday 15th September.  Each House will elect four Year 6 Captains, who will help lead their Houses in certain events and activities throughout the year. Candidates will make a presentation to their fellow House members from across the year groups in the main school hall, who then vote for their preferred captains. As the election is now less than a week away, for anyone wanting to throw their hat in to the ring, they need to be preparing in earnest now… Whilst a PowerPoint/Google Slides presentation is not necessary, it might help as a prop and prompt for the nervous candidate; these can be submitted to Google Classroom or emailed to me on d.gane@ststephensce.lbhf.sch.uk ideally by end of the day on Tuesday so I can check them on Wednesday.  Below is a job description, which the children have already seen on Google Classroom containing a few ideas that might help.

House Captain’s Job Description

  • Each House will fundraise for a specific charity. In the presentation you should put forward your recommendations for your chosen charity and ideas for fundraising.
  • Lead regular House meetings
  • Help to organise your House for certain school events i.e. Sports Day
  • Representing the school at particular school events i.e. Grandparent’s Day
  • Acting as a role model for your House/ School
  • To meet regularly with the Headteacher
  • To present House Captain Awards at the end of the year.

Any speech or talk they give should be no more than five minutes.

Finally, as it stands, we’ll be off to PGL a week on Monday (19th Sept) so if you haven’t as yet completed the two forms that the children brought home and given them their £5 pocket money to bring in, please do so. A ParentMail will be going out separately with a recommended packing list, which DOES INCLUDE A SLEEPING BAG.

Can you believe that that little child who went fresh faced into Reception only seven years ago is now in Year 6 – how time flies! Thanks for your support and I look forward to the year ahead with you and your lovely children.

Kind regards,

Declan Gane


Homework is now set on the Y6 Ayres Google Classroom on;

  • Mondays due Wednesday
  • Fridays due Monday

Maths Assignments are on Mathletics

Autumn 1 Poem – Letter to Myself

Autumn 2 Poem – Oh, I wish I’d Looked After Me Teeth!

Spring 1 Poem – Invictus

Spring 2 – Answer to a Child’s Question

Summer 1 – El Himno de Real Betis 

See Y6 Ayres Google Classroom Assignment