Date: Friday, 15th May 2020
It has been a busy week for the children in Class 1 with their home schooling as always – parents and children have yet again filled my week with inspiration, love and plenty of smiles. I am pleased to see that spirits are still high amongst the youngest members of our school and, as always, they are embracing new challenges along the way.
We began the week with The Prime Minister’s Sunday announcements in our mind, however, these added some confusion and left many of us with more questions than answers. Mrs Driscoll is working hard every day to keep abreast of new guidance and, as you know, she will have the best interests of everyone at Eastnor in her mind when making any decisions about how and when school we will reopen.
Anyway, let’s start celebrating the successes of the children this week! From what I can gather Oliver Jeffers and his humorous writing style is proving popular with children in Class 1. His stories are fun and amusing yet still offer such a subtle, kind message threaded through them – a perfect tale in my eyes. The children continued with ‘Lost and Found’ this week and were thrilled to eventually make it to the South Pole – not before stopping off at South Africa for a break of course. The children have continued to develop their own flair with writing, with more opportunities for their creativity to shine through. Well done everyone! I am impressed by your reading and phonics efforts too – I can’t wait to share stories with you again as well as hearing how well your sounds are coming on!
In Maths we started some tricky work on number bonds using ladybirds and aliens to help us develop an understanding of the special partners that work together in any order to add up to a bigger number. The children have been practising recognising these pairs and I am sure myself and even Miss Patchett, our Class 2 teacher, would be impressed – great work everyone!
Thank you to Mrs Tart for this week’s subject school challenge – computing! What great activities and challenges she found for you all. I have no doubt that the children, maybe alongside their siblings, enjoyed these fun and creative tasks.
Our assembly was great fun this week with plenty of colours and sparkle – I couldn’t resist asking the children to wear their favourite colours from the rainbow to this week’s Zoom meeting – the screen was as bright and colourful as all the wonderful characters in our class. We were so pleased to welcome the lovely Mrs Young along to our assembly who impressed us all with her French and touched our hearts with her special rainbow poem- thank you Mrs Young! And well done to all the children who, as always, were a delight. It really means the world being able to spend some time with you all, hearing your stories and sharing mine too!
Well done everyone! I am proud of you all as always! I know things still feel strange for now but one day we will look back at the fond memories we made at home - hopefully over a cup of tea and biscuits with friends!
Lots of sunny love to you all!
Last weekend, I saw many pictures on social media of Ledbury families managing to celebrate VE day in a safe socially distanced way. Did you? In our close, four families decorated their houses with red, white and blue bunting and flags and at 4pm we sat outside our houses in family groups and chatted. It was so lovely to be able to do something a little bit different to mark this special occasion.
In these topsy-turvy times, this week has allowed us a little more freedom to go out, enjoy outdoor space and exercise a little more. The weather has been kind to us and we have been able to perhaps sit and ponder a little longer than before. I wonder if this has made any difference to your daily routines and what you have been doing. I took a trip to Forest School to see how much it has grown - the nettles and weeds have certainly enjoyed us not being there and have taken over!! Also, unfortunately the willow archway has snapped and is mostly dead now so we will have to think about how we can restore it – does anyone know a willow expert?
Our assembly this week was about getting on and falling out. Lock down certainly has been testing our abilities to get along with our families and there will have been times in every household when we might have had a falling out with someone in our family – it is only natural when confined in a small space with the same people for so long. Miss Fisher gave us some situations to think about ways to get along with our families and how to be helpful, kind and thoughtful. Did you manage to do any of them – perhaps you made your bed or helped with the cooking?
For your English work this week, I asked you to have a go at lists and list poetry. Did you think of a situation where a list is helpful? Perhaps you have written a shopping list or maybe a list of things you would like for your birthday? I have been writing many lists this week of all the jobs I’ve got to do for school for the time when we are back together which possibly won’t be too long now for some of us.
Some of you have sent me your work for the computing task set by Mrs Tart. They are amazing - Mrs tart and I have been so impressed. One suggestion was a digital dairy. Throughout lock down I have been photographing what we have been doing in our household – baking cakes, home learning at the dining room table, birdwatching, walks etc. I think I might attempt Mrs Tart’s suggestion and put them together to music and with some writing to create a digital diary of this time.
Still no news on the blackbirds in my garden although they have gone much quieter and don’t seem to be leaving the nest quite as much so perhaps they are busy looking after little ones?
Have a good weekend everyone.
Take care and stay safe.
What a very different Bank Holiday we had compared with what we had planned. I watched the virtual Spring Show from Malvern with a tinge of sadness, but also a feeling of optimism for the garden we will produce next year. We certainly have firm roots to grow our design on next year and such a lot of support from all our Eastnor families and the wider community. Your VE Day celebrations looked good fun, with lots of tasty treats and great looking Strawberry Cheesecakes. We have to dig deep and keep going for now and hope that the Science and research allows us to begin to get back to school and start sharing our learning and making more memories.
I really look forward to our weekly assemblies, despite the technical hitches, it’s such a lovely time to share a story and our thoughts. What a lovely story Mrs Farnell read to us this week, we will read the second half very soon. Shakespeare really did write amazing stories that have certainly stood the test of time. Thanks to all of you for making such colourful rainbows to share.
You have worked hard on all your lessons this week, I’m looking forward to seeing lots of the authors at The Virtual Hay Festival, I hope you have all planned which ones you want to see. I have loved seeing all your photos, especially the ones of your daily timetable, some great ideas. Keep checking the time through the day; see if you can convert them to the 24 hour clock. I think we have some budding news reporters in Class 3. You used the picture book and created a dialogue from an eye witness at Pompeii, great use of vocabulary. The computing task this week, has got you all investigating how to make animations, which you have done brilliantly. I really enjoy making these with you in class; I remember class 4 a few years ago, made a great film about escaping library books with Rachel Lambert. I hope we can do something like this in our film training when we are back at school.
Keep those photos and emails coming, it really does make my day seeing that you are all working so hard and being so innovative with your learning. Although I prefer to teach you in school, I am enjoying planning different activities for you to carry out.
Keep smiling, be kind and stay safe.
We have now passed the 100 day mark of this ‘Stay at home’ period and, in light of last Sunday’s broadcast, we probably won’t be reaching a 200 day mark in the weeks to come. Obviously no-one knows for sure, which is what makes the current situation even more challenging. However, I am so pleased that Class 4 parents and children are keeping in touch regularly and it seems that we are all making the best of things.
We have begun a unit of work on money in Mathematics this week, which incorporates many other important skills and strands such as addition, subtraction, problem solving, reasoning, decimals and percentages. I suggested a BBC Bitesize Supermovers video as an introduction, to get the children dancing with a money theme. So hopefully Years 5 and 6 were doing the ‘money jiggle in the disco stew’! Following on from VE Day and our last core text, ‘The Silver Sword’, I set the children some tasks on the Oak National Academy about World War 1. In addition, the children were asked to take part in the whole school computing and animation project – thank you Mrs Tart for setting this!
The children have also continued to explore poetry, using the core text ‘Love That Dog’ as stimulation. I included some moon poems in this week’s work, as it seems many of us have been enjoying the recent supermoons at night, which have dramatically lit up the sky. Last Thursday was the third and final supermoon (or flower moon) and I asked the children to read two poems by American poets Bobbi Katz and Lillian M Fisher, before answering questions and composing their own moon poem. According to Lillian Fisher, “Poetry is a rhythmical piece of writing that leaves the reader feeling that life is a little richer than before, a little more full of wonder, beauty, or just plain delight.” Bobbi Katz once wrote that she composed poems as she wanted to “…delight, sensitize, and give hope to children.” Whilst both quite different poems, the messages of optimism and hope are truly appropriate for us today. I, like children in Class 4, have stood staring at the supermoons, feeling blessed that our world still has many wonders on offer. Some people believe that by gazing at the moon it provides you with a sense of spiritual and self-contemplation, meditation, healing and recharging. In fact, all aspects of nature can achieve this, as we have experienced during so much of our time together at Eastnor School. So stay safe and energised in your gardens and on walks or bicycle rides this weekend everyone. God bless.