Teacher, Mr Gane with Teaching Assistant, Mrs Hayes.
Well I hope you all survived the weekend OK. Mine was packed full of communications as I heard from May, Oli, Casper, Alicia, Max, Biba, Jackson, Daisy and Ryan, a lot from Ryan 😊 Thanks for sharing your poems, artwork and computing with me, I’m glad you all seem to be getting on with it so well.
Prayer for the Day
God has brought them out of Egypt; He fights for them like a wild ox.
Strange verse you may think, but the Israelites were in slavery to the Pharaoh and Ancient Egyptians and if you know the story of Moses, you know he delivered them from that slavery and made them very strong and powerful… well this virus is our Pharaoh and we WILL be stronger afterwards.
Thank you that you saved your people again and again in the Bible and from all sorts of disasters, evil people and situations. Please continue to give us the strength to get through our Pharaoh and make us stronger afterwards. Stronger in our family life, friendships, our resolve and our relationship with you. Make us as strong as an ox!
…and so to work.
At least two 30 minute sessions please, each and every day (including the weekends).
As you start you second week off school, how are you feeling about it? Have your feelings changed since last week? It’s the Easter ‘holidays’ on Friday, what do you feel about that? Were you going away and have now had to cancel, or were you staying at home anyway? Have you been keeping a tally anything? Write it all down and here’s the Success Criteria again for you.
Well written English, with powerful vocabulary – use SMARPOPS to help
Vary your sentence starters and use complex sentences – relative clauses
Use ‘Punctuation Face’ to ensure you include high-level punctuation
WORLD WAR II PROJECT
Little by little; step by step; day by day; inch by inch; bit by bit – I think you’ve got the message by now. 😊 Just add to what you have done so far, don’t worry too much if one day is just ‘research’ and not any writing or drawing etc, we’ve got plenty of time.
I said that you would need the postal address for a friend – that’s a house/flat number, street name and the postcode too! I should imagine that you’ve guessed that the first English task of the week is to write a letter to a friend and post it to them if possible – no email, no text – old fashioned pen and paper, with an envelope and stamp. This was the only way for evacuee children to stay in touch with family and friends during the war, so the visit of the postman was a highlight of the day, bring joy or disappointment.
Your task is to write a letter to one of your friends, but make sure you have their address. Now, this is where your journal might come in useful, as you can go back and find something interesting to write from that, in your letter. It needs to be one whole A4 page (otherwise they will be disappointed) and try to include things that perhaps they don’t already know, in case you have already been chatting with them on the phone or FaceTime. Make it INTERESTING! Don’t write, “I’m bored,” tell them why you are bored – think about a letter that you would like to receive and keep under your pillow.
Write in the ‘First Person’; so I and We and informally too: so I’m, we’d, luv
Use paragraphs for structure, keeping different ideas, stories and times separate
Vary your sentence starters and use complex sentences – relative clauses
Remember to be kind, if you write something down then it could be there forever. Don’t be rude.
Once you get going, you might want to continue it, you never know.
Same again this week, as you develop your Maths learning on Ratio by Calculating Scale Factors.
Play the lesson video at least once or twice, before then trying the tasks on Activity worksheet. Do all of the Maths during on rough paper (unless you have a spare book) and don’t worry about keeping any of it. When you have had a good go, then view/download the answers to check and then you can even make corrections in green pen.
Don’t forget your 20 Mathletics questions and there’s always LIVE! Mathletics – anyone had a go at that yet?
Continuing our Natural Resources topic, today’s task on Busy Things (MyUSO) is pretty straight forward, focusing on countries that produce and export bananas and pineapples. This might test your geography skills as you need to locate the countries on the map and pin them. See how many countries you can pin in the right place? What more can you find out about the banana trade?
BEETLE BOY: Last time Darkus had been spotted at Towering Heights – find what happens next.
That’s all guys. I’m at home like you tomorrow, but Mr Perry will be in school and greatly looking forward to being asked to perform in one of Mr Schumm and Alistair’s videos! I hope you’ve been enjoying them, showing once again what a wonderful community St Stephen’s is!
That’s all for now, have a great day.
It’s Friday, Friday, Friday, so no school tomorrow, or at least no Home Working from me. However, that doesn’t mean that you stop reading, or working on your WWII project, or developing that talent, or trying that completely new thing. It is very important to keep busy, which obviously includes helping around the house – I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that before, sorry mums. Be in contact too with family and friends, which I’m sure many of you are doing already anyway. That doesn’t mean face to face, but through email, FaceTime or perhaps even writing a letter… Make sure you have the postal address of a friend as you will need this next week! Good to hear from Ryan yesterday, he’s missing me (not) – if you want to drop me a line to let me know how it’s going email email@example.com Did you go out the applaud the NHS workers last night at 8pm?
Prayer for the Day
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
We cannot pretend to understand the events we are going through, but we can trust you. Please help us to keep our eyes on you throughout this time and to trust that you have us in the palm of your hand. Thank you for all your love for us, thank you for our families even if they drive us mad from time to time and thank you for the beautiful sunshine we have experienced these past few days.
…and so to work.
Shall we stick with PE with Joe at 9am next week, or try something else?
Who’s doing more than the minimum two half hours a day? Anyone tried the FREE audiobooks?
One school week at home, so what’s changed? Are you feeling any different now than you were on Monday? Is the weekend going to be any different to the week? Have you missed your friends, school, lessons, clubs? What are you thinking about, next week… and then two weeks of Easter holidays? Compare and contrast – look back at what you wrote previous and comment on that. Remember to write well, using adventurous words, varying sentence starters etc etc.
WORLD WAR II PROJECT
Here’s another idiom for you to ponder… ‘Slowly, slowly catchy monkey’ or sometimes “Softly, softly, catchee monkey”. This is an old English proverb which means that if do not rush or if you avoid being too hasty, then eventually you will achieve your goal – in other words, be patient. So, keeping plugging away on your WWII project, doing a little every day and you’ll get there. Did you make a plan on what and how you are going to make for your 3D model? See ‘Home Working – Day 1’ if you need the download.
Your task today is to write a WWII themed poem and to assist you here’s an example about life at home during a night of the Blitz along with a reminder of some of the poetic writing features that you might use. There are some now ones, so do try those to push your learning. Here’s some general information about the Blitz that might give you some ideas about what the people went through – particularly in the major cities of Britain. You can of course include your poem in your WWII project, killing two birds with one stone, and email to me too, if you want.
The last session of the week, Lesson 5 in the Maths learning on Ratio, is on Using Scale Factors, so scroll down to the end and off you go. Give me some feedback on these mini-sessions what do you think of them?
Twenty more Mathletics questions which means that you should have done 100 this week – be proud! Are the ‘i’ or ‘?’ buttons any help for you? Let me know.
Activity 2: First to A Million – What Happened Next?
Re-open the BIG PowerPoint from yesterday and now watch the ‘Character Films’, which show what Meg, Lucas, Tariq and Aleeya did next.
While you watch, write down the name of all the support services for young people which get mentioned.
After watching, think hard, then write down full answers these questions. When you are done, check what you have written and correct:
1.Which services can remove a nude image or video of an under 18 year old?
2.Where could Tariq get emotional support?
3.How did CEOP help Lucas?
Tell your parent/carer about what you have learned, either straight away or later on.
Optional extension task:
There is no ‘Character Film’ for Jamal. Write your own ending to Jamal’s story, or create a film script or storyboard.
Mr Cookson has kindly found lots of interesting art for you to have a go at while you are working at home. Here’s a link to a very simple optical illusion that you can create. Try it and if you like it, find some more that you could do.
It’s the weekend tomorrow, so there’s no set homework but do keep reading and why not spend some time on your WWII Project. And finally, here’s the end of Chapter 11 in our class book, Beetle Boy.
Have fun, back Monday!
Day Four in the ‘Big Brother (Sister, Mum, Dog, Goldfish & All) House’ – has the novelty worn off yet? Are you missing me? 😊 Don’t worry, just one more day then it’s the weekend… err? On a serious note, I do hope you are OK and keeping yourselves occupied. Did you do that timetable? Is it useful, how’s it going? Let me know, I have heard from Oli & Masha so far email firstname.lastname@example.org. I nearly forgot, how was Duolingo – did you sign up and have a go? What did you think? And finally, any feedback on the White Rose Maths, is the video guy better than me?
Prayer for the Day
“ We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Like a ship in a storm nears an anchor to stop it drifting away so do we need you as an anchor to keep us from distress. Help us to trust that you will keep us safe and secure from the storm and help us to stay calm and peaceful.
…and so to work.
Tell me how you are getting on, are you up for PE with Joe at 9am or do you go for one he did earlier? Did you know that Joe is being watched by children in more than 800,000 houses and flats around the country – and you’re one.
I’m doing a lot more reading atm – I read the Michael Rosen book ‘The Missing’ yesterday which some of you read in class – a very powerful read… Keep up your good work, remember at least two periods of 30 minutes a day. Anyone tried the FREE audiobooks?
After having a lot to write, I should imagine that it might be getting a bit more difficult to find things to write about now. Don’t worry, just jot down a few thoughts or try keeping a tally of how many times you’ve washed your hands or what you had for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Do try to write well though, using adventurous words, varying sentence starters – you know what to do. 😊
WORLD WAR II PROJECT
How can you improve or add to what you did yesterday? Have you found more information sources that will help you? Do you know what your 3D model will be? What do you need? Have you got it? Where will you get it from? Make a plan. See Day 1 if you need the download.
A bit shorter than yesterday’s you’ll be glad to know. I have assigned a determiner sorting activity for you on Busy Things on MyUSO, hopefully you remember what makes a determiner (hint – look for the noun) and to sort them into the different types. Good Luck.
Lesson 4 in the Maths learning on Ratio is all about calculating ratio, so scroll down again and have a go. Play the lesson video at least once or twice, before then trying the tasks on Activity worksheet. Do all of your working on paper and don’t worry about keeping any of it. View/download the answers to check and make corrections in green pen. Keep working hard.
There are 20 more questions on Mathletics for your delight! Remember to use the ‘i’ or ‘?’ buttons which will show you how to do it and remember also that both Mr Perry and I are keeping an eye on how you are doing or not…
Take a look on Busy Things on MyUSO, again for some work on habitats which I thought looked quite interesting. There is an activity on rainforests around the world and their locations – so a bit of geography as well. Once you have done that please write a short description about the rainforests and why they have …well so much rain! Have fun.
Mr Faith has asked that we all look again at Online Safety at Home with the following activity for 11 to 13 year olds – I felt the 8-10s was a bit ‘young’ for our Y6.
Watch First to a Million
Download the Presentation containing First to a million film 11-13s It’s a BIG file so it may take five minutes or more.
Open the PowerPoint and watch the film only. First to a Million is an interactive drama where you choose what happens next.
In the final scene of First to a Million Jamal looks to camera and says, “You were there, what do you think we should do?” Think hard, then write down full answers these questions. When you are done, check what you have written and correct:
1. How has each character been affected by what has happened? (Jamal, Meg, Tariq, Aleeya, Lucas)
2. What do you think each character should do next?
We will do more on this tomorrow so keep the big PowerPoint – don’t look at any more today.
And finally, take a listen to the Beetle Boy, Chapter 11 – Newton.
Keep your knees in front!
So to Day Three, things are moving swiftly – I hope you are able to get out for a walk and some fresh air, it was such a lovely day yesterday. Do let me know what you’re up to and how you’re getting on email email@example.com.
Prayer for the Day
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world there will be trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Dear Lord Jesus,
Today is Your day, and I want Your will to be done. So, whatever happens, hold my hand and let’s face it together.
Your Wednesday ‘to do’ list…
Perhaps you are going for a run each day with mum, dad, brother, sister or somebody else, which would be fabulous, otherwise stick with the 9am PE with Joe or the one he did earlier. It’s so important to keep an active mind and body too.
How’s the reading going? Are you getting really in to it now and doing more than your minimum two periods of 30 minutes a day? Remember to talk about what you have read, perhaps recount the story to someone – a brother or sister if you have one who will listen (and only if the book is appropriate, of course). How did you get on with the Busy Things task on your favourite book yesterday – were you able to access MyUSO? Let me know.
Why not take a look at these FREE audiobooks, but don’t tell Mr Schumm!
Did you write about the Prime Minister’s announcement on TV that we must all stay at home? Who was watching it with you? Did you talk about it? How do you feel? Did you enjoy the sunshine yesterday and see the Spring blossoms? Remember to write well, use all of your senses as well as the ‘Success Criteria’ from Day 1.
WORLD WAR II PROJECT
Keep this ticking over, working on one chapter at a time building on your notes and information. Remember “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” (Who said that?) Think about how you will present your project and you might also begin thinking about what your 3D model will be. See Day 1 if you need the download.
Today I would like you to do a bit of comprehension, so click on this First News link to view/download the articles. Read the text through first at least once and if there are words you are unsure about, try to figure out what they might mean from the context – have a guess – just like we do in class. Then look at the questions and write down your answers in full on paper; PLEASE try your hardest and check your work at the end. Have you actually answered the question being asked? Have you ‘used evidence from the text’ if asked? Once you have had a really good go, check out the answers and mark your work – how did you do?
Go back again to the Maths learning on Ratio and, yes you’ve guessed it, scroll down to Lesson 3 – Introducing the Ratio Symbol. Same instructions again – play the lesson video at least once or twice, before then trying the tasks on Activity worksheet. Do all of your working on paper and don’t worry about keeping any of it. View/download the answers to check and make corrections in green pen. You know what you’re doing by now.
Well done to all of you who completed 20 questions yesterday, here are some more Mathletics -some of my class in Mr Perry’s group need to catch up! Remember to use the ‘i’ or ‘?’ buttons which will show you how to do it.
Duolingo is a great interactive way to learn a language or just to keep practising; I use it every now and then to keep up my Spanish. Ask mum or dad to help you create a FREE account and then chose Spanish and off you go – it’s really good.
Don’t forget, if there’s no tablet available or your ‘screen time’ is up, that you are also creating an ‘All About Me’ presentation in Spanish for Mrs Pereira, so try writing notes (in Spanish) ready for when you come back.
And finally, take a listen to the end of Chapter 10 – Beetle Mountain.
Keep your knees in front!
So to Day Two, I hope yesterday went well and you managed to get some work done. Mr Perry has kindly offered to share with us a prayer and verse from scripture that we will start our days with from now on, so here’s our first…
Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.
In times like this, it can be hard to believe you are in control; help us to have faith in you and have peace. We put our health and welfare in your loving hands. Thank you for all those dedicated people working daily to keep our supermarkets open, to deliver to those shops and especially thanks to the nurses, doctors and NHS staff who are working tirelessly to save lives. Help us to be strong and do what we have to do with a happy heart.
Now to our day ahead!
Keep up the reading for at least two periods of 30 minutes – you know it makes sense. Then have a chat about what you have read; you can comment about this in your Journal. Let me know what books you are reading – email firstname.lastname@example.org. I have also posted a task in ‘Busy Things’ related to your favourite book, so you can try logging on to MyUSO, then go to Resources and find Busy Things. This and the Journal will be your English for Day 2.
I do hope that you have started to keep a record of these extra-ordinary times – Hammersmith & Fulham Council closed all the parks on Sunday. Add to your journal – how did Day One go? What did you do? How did it feel? What are your thoughts for tomorrow, next week, Easter?
Remember to write well and use yesterday’s ‘Success Criteria’.
See what Mr Perry has set for RE. Try using the MyUSO site and finding ‘Busy Things’ in Resources, even though both platforms are really busy right now, just keep trying to log on and hopefully you will get on in the end. You also might need to try different web-browsers if it appears not to be working; most sites seem to work OK using the old Internet Explorer, if Edge, Chrome or Firefox won’t let it work. If you’re using a MAC good luck to you.
GO back to the Maths learning on Ratio from yesterday and find Lesson 2 – Ratio & Fractions. Same instructions again – play the lesson video at least once or twice, before then trying the tasks on Activity worksheet. Do all of the Maths during on rough paper (unless you have a spare book) and don’t worry about keeping any of it ☹. When you have had a good go, then view/download the answers to check and then you can even make corrections in green pen 😊 – if you have yours.
Well done to all of you who completed 20 questions yesterday, here are some more Mathletics, some of my class in Mr Perry’s group need to catch up! Remember to use the ‘i’ or ‘?’ buttons which will show you how to do it.
WORLD WAR II PROJECT
You should have an idea of what your project will focus on by now, so get some Chapter Headings sorted out and start a detailed plan, jotting ideas down about where you want to go with the project and potential content. See Day 1 if you need the download.
So if you made it this far, round off your day by checking out the Maths Raps which you’ll find on MyUSO in Resources. Pick a subject and go for it!
And to finish, our class book, ‘Beetle Boy’ was just getting exciting when we had to stop… click here if you want to hear the next instalment.
…and welcome to your first day of Home Learning. It is going to be strange not coming in to school and seeing your friends and me, for a while, but you know that it is an important thing that we must all do. I strongly recommend that you try to get up, have breakfast and get dressed (maybe not in your uniform) in the mornings as normal during the week so that you get your mindset ready for (some) work. With mum, dad or whoever looks after you, put together a rough timetable for yourself so you have an idea of how your day will go. Mr Perry and I will try to follow our school timetables, so there will be Humanities on Mondays, Computing on Thursdays etc. It is going to be a bit weird, but you will soon get into it.
Finally, as well as the school work we will be setting, why not try to really work hard on one of your talents – if you love drawing, do loads or try different styles; if you’re learning to play an instrument, practice lots so you blow away your teacher when you come back. If there is something that you don’t do right now, but have always secretly wished you could do, try it – now is the ideal time.
Good luck, work hard and “do the right thing!”
Each and every day (including the weekends) I would like you to read for at least two periods of 30 minutes – as you know it is THE most important thing you learn to do at primary school. Then tell someone all about what you have read; get them to ask you questions about it.
Pencils or pens at the ready to start your Journal of your experiences and feelings during this extra-ordinary time. How you do this is up to you; it might be in the form of a diary, a cartoon strip or some other creative manner. Start by recording the story so far… What has led us to the situation we’re in now? What have you been feeling? How does it feel on your first day ‘working from home’?
Well written English, with powerful vocabulary – use SMARPOPS to help
vary your sentence starters and use complex sentences – relative clauses
Use ‘Punctuation Face’ to ensure you include high-level punctuation
Do this work in your green Homework book if you have it, otherwise try finding something similar to keep your thoughts all in one place. If you do it on paper, make sure you number them each day.
Here is a link to this week’s Maths learning on Ratio. Start with Lesson 1 only today (Lesson 2 tomorrow); play the lesson video at least once or twice, before then viewing (or downloading) and trying the tasks on Activity worksheet. Do all of the Maths during this time on rough paper (unless you have a spare book) and don’t worry about keeping any of it ☹. When you have had a good go, then view/download the answers to check and then you can even make corrections in green pen 😊 – if you have yours.
I will also set two activities each day on Mathletics, so that’s just 20 questions for you to complete. Remember all of your previous learning and remember also to use the ‘i’ or ‘?’ buttons which will show you how to do it. Good luck.
Click and download the details for the World War 2 Project – think ‘what went well’ for you on the Greek Project and what might have been ‘Even Better If’. Don’t overdo it – think and plan what you might do today, talk to someone about your ideas so you can start gathering your thoughts and make a plan. That’s your task today.
That’s all for now, have a great day.
Well, what a funny old week – definitely an historic one – with schools closing across the UK for the first time in 80 years. At St Stephen’s we have, of course, tried to keep calm and carry on in a characteristically British manner, sticking with the same time table and structure that gives reassurance to the children, although they were somewhat taken aback when I announced a quick Maths assessment on Area, Perimeter & Volume yesterday and their regular weekly Spelling Test today too!
For the next two weeks, in the run up to the Easter holidays, there is an expectation that Y6 children will continue their learning at home and, to that end, it would be very sensible for you to try to structure their days. I suggest that you do create some kind of timetable, which the children can work to in this period of isolation. While we are still permitted, perhaps a walk (no bus or tube) to a park for a bit of exercise as a family (no friends), would tick the PE box. Mr Perry and I will be setting some Maths and English work to be completed each day, while Mr Schumm would like the children to keep a journal of their experiences and feelings during this extra-ordinary time. How they do this is up to them; it might be in the form of a diary, a cartoon strip or some other creative manner.
In addition to these daily staples, in Y6 we see the return of ‘The Project.’ Mr Perry really was joking when, after The Greek Project, he said the next one would be on World War Two, but in these changed circumstances, this really will now constitute part of the work that we expect the children to do while they are learning at home. Today in class, to kick off this Humanities topic that we had planned to start after Easter, the children watched the classic film, ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ with John Thaw, which follows the, sometimes, harrowing experiences of an evacuee. The children were gently guided through the film and discussed the topic at length afterwards as an introduction to the subject.
We will also be posting work on RE, Science, Computing, Art, Drama, Spanish and anything else that might come along that looks interesting, so please check in on this blog every day. It might sound like a lot, but taken in bite-sized chunks, it will be very do-able, keep them occupied and most importantly continue their all-round education. Obviously the amount of time that they spend in front of a screen should be managed, so work that can be downloaded and printed out might be in dispersed with say Mathletics or work set on the MyUSO platform – I’m sure you are already well on top of this.
So, signing off a tad early for Easter, I wish you all well – do please try to keep yourselves isolated and safe and follow the advice of the healthcare professionals.
See you soon and God bless.
PS Mrs Pereira hopes that the children will grab this opportunity to read lots of books and she would like them to know that she will be doing a weekly topic based story and quiz on the website here in ‘Library Corner’.
Following the Government’s announcement yesterday, from Monday most children will not now be attending school. So, in order to ensure that their learning continues, I will be posting ‘directed work’ that I would like them to complete each day/week. This will begin on Monday 23rd March and continue until the end of the academic year (if needs be), with the usual breaks for holidays.
The work will be set online, and while some will require online access, other work should be completed in the traditional manner with pencil on paper. Obviously, if computing resources at home are limited and more than one child needs access, then putting a timetable in place would make a lot of sense and add structure to the long days ahead.
Pupils in today and tomorrow will be taking their Homework Book, and the various CGP Workbooks home later. If you are still in London, but your children are not attending school at present, their books will be at the office for you to collect if possible.
Do keep a constant check on the school’s website and the class blog page.
Dear Parents / Carers of children who are self-isolating,
If you and your family are self-isolating at this time, here are some links that you can follow to access some educational games and activities related to the work we do at St Stephen’s. We hope you find these useful:
If you would like to do any independent work following up on things we have learnt in class (write a story, make a poster, do some research etc) that is great and you can bring them in to share when you’re back again. These activities are not compulsory and obviously you need not do them if you are feeling ill!
Hopefully things will be back to normal soon, but if we are forced to close the school, we will be posting a more comprehensive educational programme of study on this web page and providing all children with their USO logins so that they can access more specific activities that we will set.
On Friday morning, the classroom was turned in to a newsroom as the ‘hacks’ of Y6 Ayres pounded the laptop keys in an effort to ‘file’ their newspaper reports before their ‘Break Time’ publication deadline – the culmination of this week’s work in English. In addition to honing their journalistic skills, writing concise objective copy using direct as well as reported speech, the children also used Microsoft Publisher for the first time and also an online ‘read out loud’ tool to help their proofreading. Do make sure you ‘read all about it!’ come Parents’ Evening.
And speaking of things techy, yesterday’s Computing lesson extended the children’s learning further on robotics as they got to grips with the sensor function on the mBot. Using the mBlocks software, they programmed the machine to make a continuous noise while there was light hitting the sensor, but when covered (and the sensor could not detect any light) the noise stopped. They were then challenged to make the mBot move, but then stop automatically when it detected an obstacle – more work required next week. With ‘Buddy Reading’ and a massacre at Animal Farm too, Thursday was a busy day.
In Maths this week, my group started with a short assessment on our last topic, Converting Units, before kicking off new learning on Area & Perimeter. It was revision of angles for Mr Perry’s group as the children reviewed how to find missing angles in quadrilaterals and around a point too. See Mathletics for more!
Fittingly, the children worked with the amazing Mark from RAW Drama in a morning session today which was postponed from Arts Week. Dig into their bags tonight and take a look at some of the wonderful art work that they produced last week, and that was just what’s not on display at the Arts Café this afternoon.
Finally, I need to remind you that Mr Schumm has asked all parents and carers to attend a brief meeting at 6.30pm on Monday, so we can share with you issues with a children’s WhatsApp group that have recently come to light. See ParentMail for more details.
Have a great weekend.
Friday 6th March
After an introductory assembly, where Mr Cookson introduced the whole school to this year’s artist and painting, Arts’ Week kicked off for Y6 Ayres with an African drumming session with Miss Rachel. Then, to squeeze in a little bit of English this week, the children read a brief biography of Gustav Klimt before writing comprehensions for their peers to answer.
Then it was down to the serious business of art and their first activity, which was to use the information gathered at the weekend about their families to create an illustrated family tree inspired by Klimt’s 1909 ‘The Tree of Life’ – our Arts’ Week chosen painting. After lunch the whole school squeezed in to the main hall to enjoy a theatre production of Treasure Island, Captain Flint, Jim Hawkins and all.
We all learned the new skill of paper quilling on Tuesday hugely helped by Casper’s mum, Roz – what an involved and intricate process, with satisfyingly spectacular results, which will be on display at the Arts’ Café after school next Friday – don’t miss it!
It was to the Library and Mrs Pereira on Wednesday morning for more spiral themed art which combined creative writing too, before back to the classroom-come-studio for the main event. Wednesday was Sculpture Day and the children quickly set to work using 30cm lengths of malleable modelling wire to create their very own Tree of Life. They dextrously twisted and threaded the first 40 wires into a trunk before adding more, of varying colour, to extend the branches and twigs. Creating embossed metallic leaves, they added these to the tree before finally embedding the wire ’roots’ in to a clay based.
Picking up on their robotics learning from last week, on Thursday the children began by learning how to programme using mBlocks to make their mBots actually move. In the classroom they perfected their skills in programming given ‘inputs’ for their required ‘outputs’ i.e. programming which keyboard actions control on, off, speed and direction – technical stuff. After lunch they began using their new found coding skills in the main hall. With marker pens strapped to the back of their mBots, the children used their programming to ‘draw’ – moving the mBots across paper on the floor, leaving trails of ink as they moved. The finale, and what they will all remember, was the mBot race across the hall, with 14 robots weaving their way to the finish line – for the record Calvin & Basliel won the Grand Prix, Ike & Aochen’s machine was runner-up with May & Daisy coming in bronze medal position.
‘The Tree of Life’ is in fact just the middle section of Klimt’s triptych work and on Friday morning the children’s focus moved to the third section of the painting known as ‘The Embrace’. Using their cuddling images and inspired again by Klimt’s image, the children completed their own ‘The Hug’ collage creation which they thoroughly enjoyed.
After break it was time for a History lesson with Mr Schumm who explained to the children all about perhaps Klimt’s most famous work, the 1907 “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” also known as “Woman in Gold”. The class learned that the painting was commissioned in 1903 by Bloch-Bauer’s wealthy industrialist husband and remained in the family’s possession until it was seized by the Nazis during World War II. After the war it was displayed in the Austrian State Gallery until one of Bloch-Bauer’s nieces, Maria Altmann, made a claim against Austria for its return. It’s a great story, which ties in very well with our activities during Arts’ Week, the children’s next Humanities topic as well as their recent wider learning about ‘Rights’. Many of the children were quite moved seeing the hard facts brought to light which led to a good discussion; a wonderfully moving end to another inspiring week.
Enjoy your weekend – England v Wales.
Back with a bump, albeit a bit of a wet soggy bump, sadly, but that doesn’t put us off our stride here at St Stephen’s – oh no. We were as busy as ever this week with an Ash Wednesday service in church followed by a ‘Health & Wellbeing’ focus, Eastern European Cultures’ Night on Thursday and a visiting robotics maestro too. More of that to follow.
Pronouns, specifically relative pronouns, was the exciting start to English for the children this week, which by now, everyone in the class has a very good understanding of and will undoubtedly be able to identify and underline come May. There was a focus on the 5Ws also this week as the children began a new topic – ‘Journalistic Writing’ – by scrutinising a Coronavirus leader in a newspaper to identify the essential features as well as the major aspects of content. They learned that news articles should be mostly ‘objective’ before writing a very ‘subjective’ recount in character as a witness/participant to a zoo-break, based on a clip from the movie Madagascar, which they loved. Mr Schumm was back in on Thursday as the children moved on to chapter 6 of ‘Animal Farm’ with great insight and excitement.
A short sharp focus on Converting Units of Measure tested my Maths group this week and it will be interesting to see who still knows their gallons from their ounces when we eventually get around to assessing their learning after ‘Arts Week’. Mr Perry’s group were looking finding missing angles in triangles, quadrilaterals as well as on a straight line and around a point. Thrilling stuff indeed.
It’s more geography this half-term in Humanities as the children get their teeth in to the Natural Resources we have here in the UK. Meanwhile in Computing they got their hands on real life robots and using the laptops, learned how to programme using mBlocks software and how to link to the mBots themselves. In this first lesson, they transferred their knowledge of Scratch to help them create sequences on three LED lights, varying frequencies and RGB colour combinations. After learning how to make them move next week, there is a plan to use them to create art…
I gave the children a small activity booklet about Lent on Shrove Tuesday (when we discussed Mardi Gras) in preparation for the start of Lent: Ash Wednesday. Felix and Alicia both read beautifully at the church service which this year I believe was particularly reverential. We are practising ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ now in class. Wednesday also saw our half-termly focus on Health & Wellbeing, as Y6 explored children’s rights from the 18th century to the modern day. They learned about Captain Thomas Coram, who by royal charter, founded one of England’s oldest children’s charities and established the Foundling Hospital in 1739. He was a champion of children and young people’s rights and helped to place their voices at the centre of everything we do. We also explored ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ and each child was given a copy to wave at you in times of need. I did, however, also explain to them that with ‘rights’, come ‘responsibilities….
Finally, sandwiched between our library session with Mrs Pereira, in Art this afternoon, the children have begun thinking about a new competition this time to design a postage stamp. In celebration of the 200 years since the discovery of the Antarctic continent, the British Antarctic Territory have invited children to design a stamp, which they will do here in class. However, I have asked them to find some inspiration which might be found here https://britishantarcticterritory.org.uk/design-a-stamp-competition-discovering-antarctica/
…and speaking of art, next week is ‘Arts Week’ which is always a huge celebration here. There are loads of wonderful activities planned and to ensure things move along smoothly, I have asked each child to bring in a photo (that we will photocopy) or a photocopy of themselves in an embrace / hug with a close friend or relative, which they will use in a piece of work. We will also be using the names of relatives; mums and dads, granddads and grannies, perhaps great grandparents too, aunts and uncles, cousins and even Godparents too in the creation of an illustrated family tree – the more names the merrier.
Have a great weekend.
Happy St Valentine’s Day and happy half term too! Can you believe that this marks the halfway point of the school year, which means… just three more half terms for your babies at St Stephen’s…. gulp!
After some frantic writing then typing then uploading, I can confirm that each and every child in the class has entered this year’s BBC 500 Words competition – with a certificate to prove it too. They have worked very hard in English this week; managing also to squeeze in two grammar lesson on the ‘expanded noun phrase’ and on regularly confused homophones – there, their and they’re.
Mr Perry’s Maths group have toiled on perimeter and area amongst other things, while my group finished off their topic on algebra with a short quiz, in which they all did very well indeed. We also managed to squeeze in an end of half term Maths Quiz, which is always fun… well I think so.
Two Humanities lessons and a quiz polished off our geography work on the UK and a final Science lesson and a quiz saw off our topic on Light – you see where I’m coming from.
Today was DT Day, which saw the children designing and building bridges, and not just any bridges…. suspension bridges no less. It was a complex and fiddly task which after a session in the morning spent designing, left the whole afternoon for construction. Results were amazing and I must say that there certainly are a good number of budding engineers in Y6 Ayres.
So, with Storm Denis having put the kibosh on my first ever trip to Liverpool this weekend, I will have time to reconstruct a new garden fence following Storm Ciara last weekend – weather permitting!
Do enjoy your half-term.
What a wonderful thing technology is when the children can learn and be inspired by the likes of Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon, which they were on Monday morning as they watched the BBC 500 Words Live Lesson. This kicked off our week’s English lessons as the children picked up some great story writing advice and top tips from these hugely popular authors and BBC 500 Words Judges, before they brainstormed their own fantastic story ideas. After planning and drafting their stories, the children then began the (long) process of editing and up-levelling their stories while typing them up. I will ensure that each one is submitted to the completion, then it will be fingers crossed to see if anyone has made it through to the final and presentations in June. Good luck too to Mrs Pereira, who this year is a judge!
Continuing the technology theme, Friday was Coding Day here at St Stephen’s and Y6 Ayres took part in the ‘Hour of Code’ activities as well as learning about algorithms in an ‘unplugged’ lesson; thank you to Mr Faith and Miss Billington for organising everything. The pupils in my Maths group might have liked a bit of technological assistance this week as they learned about function machines, expressions, equations and formulae in the algebra topic – high level thinking all round.
I was reminded during Humanities on Monday of the quite quaint movie, “The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain”, which is the story of an English cartographer informing the residents of a Welsh village that their local “mountain” was only a “hill” because it was a few feet short of the required height. It came to mind as the children learned about various mountain ranges in the UK as they used first atlases then iPads to investigate the ‘elevation’ of the highest peaks in the kingdom. After gathering their data they presented in in the form of bar charts in true cross curricular style, which leads me nicely to Science.
Casting shade – in the most literal sense (not to be confused with the ‘urban dictionary’ definition) – was the order of the day in Science this week 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.
Rugby, on the other hand, has its good days and bad, so with last weekend’s dismal result firmly behind us, let’s see how we deal with the mighty Scots this weekend. (Of course I’ll be wearing my Irish shirt when it comes to the other match of the weekend).
One week to go!
I’m sure the children will be delighted that this week is over as we have been focused very much on the SATs tests, doing a mock run through of all six papers. Actually, on the whole, the children are quite ‘up’ for it and in general tend even to enjoy the challenge of beating their PBs; seeing the fruits of all of their hard work in hard statistical terms. I can’t praise them enough for all of their wonderful efforts and keep reminding them of the lush green pastures of the post SATs era that comes after mid-May.
Science, Humanities, Spanish, Music, PE, Gymnastics and ‘Animal Farm’ with Mr Schumm all continued unencumbered by the on-going assessments and on Friday the children were treated to an additional one-off Drama session, thanks to Miss Kelly’s Y3 being out on a trip! The Choir, including Basliel, Biba, Maggie and Masha, missed this end of the week treat as they were performing at St Paul’s Cathedral accompanied by Miss Rachel, Mr Schumm and Mr Perry.
Finally, I must say a big well done to May, Y6 Ayres’ sole representative in the school team whose masterful display of footballing prowess on Thursday saw them battle to reach the finals and a chance to represent Hammersmith & Fulham at the London Youth Games. They went through all of their matches in heats with clean sheets, which includes a dramatic penalty shootout. Fingers crossed for the finals.
The Six Nations is back – have a great weekend; I will.
With Booster Classes for most children after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it was an even fuller week than normal for Y6 Ayres. These classes are designed to assist individual pupils fulfil their potential in the SATs tests in May, helping them to make it over the ‘working above expectation’ or exceeding mark that the government sets for them. The lessons are very focused on the types of SATs questions that the children already know and ‘love’, and designed literally to boost their confidence so as they are as relaxed and familiar with the tests when they come.
Maths for my group this week saw the children rattle through work on percentages, not only finding percentages of amounts, but also working backwards to find original amounts from a given percentage. For the children in Mr Perry’s class who have already covered this, their focus was on Measure; looking at units of measure and conversion to and from metres to kilometres for example, as well as reading measures from scales.
A modern retelling of the Perseus myth was our starting point in English this week, as the children completed a comprehension on Perce, Danni and King P. Demonstrating further their understanding of the story in its mixed ’traditional’, ‘fantastical’ and ‘realistic’ genres, the children first planned then wrote their own ending to the story in a genre of their choice, which they greatly enjoyed. They are always urged to show off their English writing skills in all of their creative writing, with this week’s focus being on the inclusion of colons and semi-colons, taken from Monday’s lesson on grammar.
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 in a darkened classroom shining torches on to mirrors, testing their predictions. Learning in Humanities focused on county lines (maybe I should say borders) with the children investigating just where County Durham, Surrey and Lincolnshire are in the UK, amongst others. BTW they could all pinpoint Devon and Cornwall for some reason.
RE on Thursday saw the whole of Y6 gather in our church as we continue our learning about the Liturgy of the Church of England. Mr Perry had arranged for Rev Denis, joined by Phil Hoyle (a Pioneer Vicar) and Ruben Hunter (A Free Church Minister) to talk about how the liturgy is interpreted in their services. Using questions prepared in our last RE lesson, the children then bombarded them with a barrage of very well considered questions; recording their responses. It was a super opportunity to get answers to those tricky questions that you have always wanted to ask. Sadly Biba, Basliel, Maggie and Masha missed this as they were rehearsing at St Paul’s Cathedral as part of a special School Choir event that will take place next Friday.
So to Friday, and with the Word Learning (spelling) test, library book day as well as Mr Schumm’s English lesson, there is a lot to remember and to get through. There’s often a sports match of some sort too, and today was no different with Ike, Jackson, Malachi and Ryan, as the backbone of the School Football Team, vying to win selection to represent QPR in the EFL Cup. ….Breaking News… THEY DID IT, beating 20 or so local wannabes, and will represent QPR in the regional finals in Bristol – the last stop before Wembley!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a super last weekend of 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 savvy.
The Indoor Athletics Team, which included May, Ike, Malachi, Ryan & Shaniya, took part in the Hammersmith & Fulham Sportshall Tournament on Tuesday morning tournament, playing against 18 other local primaries. Pushed hard by St John’s in Fulham, they squeaked through by just 4 points, and now go on to represent the borough at the London Youth Games. Well done indeed.
It’s been a big week in Science too with Mrs McGregor back in residence. Your children spent either a morning or afternoon exploring the research opportunities of space – the final frontier. See the website – in due course – for more details, but in the meantime, for the real keen beans, take a look at this amazing competition that you might want to try.
Meanwhile, back in the classroom, those that were here and not out at high school interviews, managed in English to plan, write and edit to up-level their very own sea monster poem based on Stevenson’s ‘The Kraken’, before ending the week this morning with a comprehension based on the 3,182 line, devilishly hard to understand, Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf – they didn’t read it all!
The children working with me in Maths completed their focused work on decimals with all bar a handful of them scoring 95% or 100% in the end of unit assessment, which is truly amazing. Mr Perry’s group continue their work on fractions and percentages of amounts as they continue to hone their SATs busting skills.
We began a new geography unit in Humanities, which will focus on both the physical and political geography of the UK, while in Science we took a closer look at the eye – a cross-section in fact. Then on Thursday, the moment they had all been waiting for, Mr Schumm was back (chalk in hand) explaining the intricacies of George Orwell’s allegorical master piece, ‘Animal Farm’, which he will continue for a few weeks up to Easter.
So that’s it for another busy week at St Stephen’s, I do hope you have a peaceful weekend and, in case you missed my ramblings on social media, it’s repeated below.
Social Media in the News Today
As the children in Y6 turn 11 and right after Christmas, it might not be unusual for them to be the proud new owners of shiny, very inviting smartphones, personally, though admittedly it was a few years ago now, I managed to hold off opening this particular Pandora’s Box for my three children until the September of their respect Y7s – each to their own.
However, it appears that many of your children are already taking their first tentative steps into this mine strewn world, 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 last April 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 (Musical.ly) 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).
Set Ground Rules Early
Forgive me if I’m being too preachy, but I really do think it is worth saying that as a parent, I cannot recommend strongly enough the benefit of setting the strict ground rules for use of web devices now, before it’s too late.
At the age of 10/11, you can, and should, rightly be in full control of your children’s access to the internet. Not allowing, phones/iPads etc in bedrooms is the ideal, but children of this age should certainly not be taking them to bed to be woken by incoming WhatsApp messages at 3am! Believe me, setting an early precedent for devices to be left outside the bedroom at bedtime, will reap huge dividends during teenage years. Also at this age, you should control your child’s password, checking on what they are doing and who they are interacting with.
Finally, I have spoken briefly to my class on this subject and suggest that, if you haven’t already, you sit down and talk with your child about their phone usage, before you lose the upper-hand. Do have a good look at the SaferInternet website first, there is loads of great information and advice.
It was only four days, but felt like five, as we got off to another flying start here. With Alastair on the Kick London annual retreat, I was in the playground (along with Mrs Walsh) to take Tuesday’s PE session, which was a joy; I remember now how much I miss taking PE. With lots of children coming and going all week for 11+ tests, we had just enough for two netball squads and played a rolling game for the best part of an hour in the very light drizzle, which the children enjoyed, after their first Music lesson of the year and Spanish too.
Paul and Fiona were keen to meet up with the class for Gymnastics on Wednesday morning before we really got stuck into Maths, English and Science – our new topic being ‘Seeing the Light’. This should not be confused with Thursdays RE lesson, the first in our focus this half term on the Liturgy of the Church of England. The children tested their knowledge of the various objects used at a typical Sunday service, then examined a couple of ‘Order of Services’ before we discussed as a class the key elements of Sunday Mass, which was most enlightening.
Starting our new English Poetry unit, the children analysed Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s classic, The Kraken (1830) – with the help of a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ clip – familiarising themselves with some of the more obscure vocabulary used. The following day, using their creative writing techniques, they went to town describing the creature in grisly detail, which of course they loved; lots of slime. On Friday they went through a comprehension paper…. They’ll be lots more of that this term!
My Maths group (what there has been of them this week) has worked on Decimals to three places, looking at all four maths operations – see Mathletics for more of the same. Mr Perry’s class have been finding fractions of amounts and well as the inverse; finding the initial whole amount from a given fractional amount i.e. If ½ is 5, what is one whole.
Thanks to all who made it along yesterday evening, I hope the details about the post-SATs trip to Whitby was interesting and the SATs briefing, informative. As discussed, details about your child’s SATs Booster classes will be with you shortly – English on Tuesdays and Maths on Wednesdays (3.30-4.30pm).
That’s it from me for week one, have a great weekend.
It’s always a funny old week at school, the last before Christmas and this year is no exception.
In class the children have been doing lots of ‘finishing off’, which has included their learning about the advertising of Christmas in RE as well as work on circuits in Science. Then there was the inevitable comprehensions in English and a few friendly Maths tests followed by Mr Gane’s End of Term Maths Quiz, so with all the regulars running right up to the wire too, the children enjoyed Computing, Drama, Gym, Spanish and PE as well this week.
It was Music, however, that dominated; with the children enjoying two practice sessions with Miss Rachel, a rehearsal for Miss Bell and then a whole run-through of the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service in the church on Thursday morning and again in the afternoon. So, with so much hard work put in by the children it was wonderful to see so many of you at the church last night – weren’t your children wonderful! Undoubtedly the best in my view…. but it’s not a competition. What better way to start the Christmas break.
God bless and best wishes for a restful Christmas and a peaceful 2020.
The Daunt Books Children’s Short Story Competition.
Further to Mrs Pereira’s email on the matter I would strongly recommend that all children have a shot at this. The children can let their imaginations flow as there are no restrictions on genre, the only proviso is that the story must be all your child’s own work and must be between 300 and 1500 words.
How do I submit?
You should email your story as an attachment to email@example.com by Friday 20th February. Please put your child’s name, age and class as the email title and on the story attached.
E.g.: Mr Gane – class Y6 Ayres (Age 34) Please also make sure that the stories are typed, double-spaced and single sided. A copy of the children’s stories will be kept in a special folder in the Library for all to read and results will be announced in April 2020 and winning stories will be published in during summer term.
Roald Dahl’s Matilda proved to be the ideal inspiration this week as the children planned, wrote and edited a persuasive letter to the Education Secretary in an effort to oust the demon Miss Trunchbull as headteacher at Crunchem Hall. They are getting to be a dab hand now at reeling off letters packed full of very persuasive arguments and counter-arguments delivered with just the right intensity of emotion. Super skills that I can see being put into action for real sooner rather than later.
My Maths group came to the end of their fractions focus with a look at dividing using Bar Models as well as KFC, and finding fractions of amounts – they celebrated with not just one, but two end of unit tests. Oh, and they’ll be some for homework too. Mr Perry’s group meanwhile have been looking at calculating fractions for all four operations; then learning how to simplify answers and how to convert improper fractions in to mixed numbers. It has been a challenging topic for a number of children in the class but Mr Perry reports that they have all worked really hard to get to grips with all the different methods they need to remember.
The run up to Christmas is always a busy time for the School Choir (including Florrie, Masha, Maggie, Basliel, Biba, Felix) which began its seasonal recitals at a well-known local mall, entering the annual Westfield Christmas Carol Competition on Wednesday afternoon. With some angelic solos and tender choral carols, they had a great time performing bringing joy to all around as well as a runners-up cheque as a gift for Mr Schumm! Well done Miss Rachel.
A dark Thursday afternoon was the ideal time for the children to continue their investigation into simple circuits. Itching to get their hands on the assorted wires, batteries and lightbulbs, the children first learned how the power in batteries in 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.
In Computing, the children are getting to grips now with ‘SketchUp’ the 3D design software as they learned about specific features that allowed them to create a house and add a chimney. Next week they will build a new, more refined house as they develop their knowledge and understanding of the tool
I’ll end with ’The Greek Project’ which was truly overwhelming – the sheer amount of effort that everyone has put into them, the authenticity and individuality of each and every one, has blown away all who have visited our classroom gallery today. I recognise that it has been a long journey and one that I appreciate not everyone will have enjoyed. However I hope that you have all gained something from the experience. There is so much to appreciate and as I look around the room I can see a couple of Pandora’s Boxes, a selection of Greek armour, weapons and a shield, a Parthenon or two, an Acropolis, Monasteries of Meteora, a Mount Olympus mosaic, Medusa, a centaur, Icarus’ wings, lots of authentic looking pottery, a Golden Fleece and some beautiful Greek clothing! And this was just my own class! There were equally amazing examples in Mr Perry’s class and prizes will be awarded over the next week or so – although I know that the judges are finding it very difficult to pick the winners. The inter-year group popular vote went to Ryan and Daisy – two standout creations among their peers, well done. Congratulations to all the children and probably to some of you parents too!
Enjoy your project-free weekend.
No weekend homework is set.
See the blog (left) for details on the directed work for Home Learning while the school is closed.