Date: Friday, 22nd May 2020
Another week is over and I can’t believe we’ve made it up to what would have been May half term. It’s hard to believe that in normal circumstances we would be heading into our last term of the year!
This week invited a new story into our literacy learning, keeping with the theme of our author Oliver Jeffers – we started looking at the story ‘How to catch a star’. Another wonderful adventure about a little boy seeking out a friend; the story demonstrates perseverance and hope beautifully – characteristics that all the children and families of Eastnor are showing daily during this difficult time. The children continue to show dedication to their phonics and handwriting skills over the week, and although it can feel quite repetitive, it has huge significance and value in children’s learning as they move forwards. The children have worked hard on their comprehension skills this week- thinking carefully about sequencing the story correctly and carefully analysing their favourite part of the story, adding illustrations and commentary too. Some of the children even added themselves into the story – what a great idea!
In our maths learning this week we got very creative with our pattern work. The children of Class 1 are such an artistic and creative bunch that I had no doubt this would be a popular topic for this week. The children have worked hard at recognising, describing and creating their own repeated patterns, starting the week using 2D shapes before moving into making patterns with the most random of objects selected from around their homes and gardens – I loved all the wonderful ideas you shared Reception children – well done!
Thank you to Mrs Dawe for her fabulous Tokyo Olympics challenges this week – it’s such a shame we couldn’t celebrate this at school in our houses – I have no doubt that Obelisk would have taken the trophy home… not that I am biased at all of course! Well done for all getting involved everyone, I’m sure you had lots of fun in your gardens with the different sporting activities. I wonder which one was your favourite, I have a feeling the dance challenge would have been very popular – I’ve seen those super dance moves children!
Wednesday, my new favourite day of the week, again we were able to welcome the children all together for a shared story time with the lovely Mrs Layton. We loved the classic story she chose to share with us, ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’, particularly as so many of us seem to be spotting lots of different minibeasts around at this time. I wonder if anyone has spotted a butterfly yet! I’m still looking! The story also invited the children to begin thinking carefully about seeing change as a positive – as we all know the future is very uncertain and unsettling for us but nurturing our children to adopt the right mind-set towards this, is something so important to me. A special thank you also to all the parents of Class 1 who so kindly put such a lovely effort into making a very special message for myself and Mrs Layton – we really were so touched and believe us when we say it meant the world – we promise we didn’t cry… much!
Another huge and heart felt well done to you all as always – we are all doing so well and it feels like the end might be in sight soon. I am very much looking forward to seeing what new adventures the weeks ahead bring us… no doubt with the positivity, enthusiasm and of course lovely cheekiness of the children of Reception 2020, those adventures are going to be heaps of fun! Keep smiling everyone! Lots of sunny love to you all! Miss Davies
The theme of this week’s assembly was ‘Changes’. There have been many changes in the past few months, the main one for us all being that you have been doing your learning at home. This week, as always, you have all been amazing in finding ways to keep learning and doing all sorts of activities to keep busy.
One of the changes that we expect, and that happens all the time, is the changing of the seasons. This week, I gave you a link to a music activity which is based on a piece of Music called ‘Four Seasons’ by Vivaldi. This piece of music is Vivaldi’s best known work and was composed in 1725, almost 300 years ago!!! As the title suggests the piece of music is split up into four parts: each of the four seasons. I’m hoping some of you managed to listen to the ‘Spring’ part and to do some of the activities linked to it. A performance of all four parts is about 40 minutes long! Maybe one day you might like to listen to all of it and see if you can work out which piece of music is Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter!!
Mrs Dawe reminded us of one of the unfortunate changes of this year - the Tokyo Olympics being cancelled. I love to watch the Olympics and was fortunate enough to watch some of the events at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. However, I wish I could have seen some of the Olympic activities you have been doing at home this week. Luckily the weather has been good so you have been able to do your Olympic activities outside mainly – laps of the garden, long jumps, football and obstacle courses are some of the ones I know you have enjoyed. I wonder if anyone won a gold medal in Class 2?
For English this week, you have been thinking about the many weird and wonderful characters in our class text ‘The Enchanted Wood’ and looked at character description. I asked you to watch a member of your family doing an everyday activity such as cooking or making something and then to describe their body movements and actions. Please send me these to read if you have done it.
Another change that is continuous is growth!! I wonder how you have all changed over the last couple of months? I expect many of you will probably have got taller, lost teeth, have longer hair and might look quite different when we eventually see each other again!
There are many more changes ahead for all of us in the coming weeks and months. In our assembly, we talked about the range of emotions this can cause and that sometimes we feel happy and excited about change but sometimes it can make us feel a bit unsure. At this time, it’s good to remember things are changing for all of us, young and old, and that we feel stronger by facing changes together.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
Another week completed in this very strange world we are living in at the moment. I continue to be so impressed with your resilience, enthusiasm and love of learning. So many of you have watched workshops from The Hay Festival and have been inspired to write your own magical stories this week. I have watched lots and have been planning links we can share when we can all safely return to school. I have enjoyed watching the virtual programmes from Chelsea Flower Show this week; my planning book for next year’s Malvern Show is filling up fast.
I really look forward to our Zoom assembly each week, and hearing your questions, but most of all it really raises our spirits and reunites us when we all share our colourful rainbows. What a great job Mrs Farnell did reading the second half of our story – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Next week in our home learning you will be carrying out activities based on this entertaining play.
I know lots of you are enjoying the live lessons from the BBC, the one that is based on William Shakespeare, and an assortment of his plays, really gives you an insight in to his writing. The science lesson about the energy in food and how to identify taste really made me think about different foods and how they affect our bodies. I hope you all managed to watch the third episode about proof reading your work. It is such an important skill to be able to reflect critically on what we have written and have the confidence to change things to improve it.
You have all enjoyed our class text ‘Survivor’ and have written some fantastic short stories based on ‘Escape from Pompeii’ that brought to life the events on 79 A.D when Mount Vesuvius erupted. You have captured the scale of the devastation caused by the eruption whilst using precise vocabulary. Well done all of you! Your maths work about time has helped you to add different times as well as learning how to tell the time accurately. The Tokyo Olympics may have been postponed, but we have had our very own version. Thank you to Mrs Dawe for planning such fun activities for you to carry out.
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. Look after each other and be kind.
Keep smiling and stay safe.
This week we have continued with our class core text ‘Love That Dog’ by Sharon Creech, focusing on ‘The Tyger’ by William Blake, which features in this book. Jack (our protagonist) doesn’t care much for poetry, whether it be reading or writing it. This is often a view shared by many children, even some of those in Class 4! This is one of the reasons I have chosen Sharon Creech’s award-winning book as our summer term read. It is a marvellous story which has some pretty serious topics carefully and sensitively woven into it, such as loss and trust. With the gentle prodding of his teacher, Jack begins to write poems of his own, about a mysterious blue car and a lovable dog. Slowly, he realises that his brain ‘isn’t empty’ and that he can, indeed, write poems. In fact, the process of writing poems actually helps Jack to heal from a previous traumatic, painful experience in his life.
Our assembly this week focused on someone who is currently still trying to heal from a very real threat to his health - Michael Rosen. The prodigious writer, entertainer and former children’s laureate (a national honorary position appointed by the monarch), Rosen has been very poorly in hospital for many weeks now with Coronavirus. In the assembly on Wednesday, I shared some of his work with Class 4 children, alongside Mrs Young who shared her favourite ‘Rosen’ poems also. We listened to BBC News presenter Sophie Rawson express her gratitude for, and admiration of, NHS staff and she then read Rosen’s poem ‘These are the hands’. I read Rosen’s autobiographical work ‘Sad Book’ to the children as well in our assembly. In this book, Rosen expresses his feelings over the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 18. Rosen describes the grief he feels in many ways: sadness that sneaks up on you mid-stride in the street; sadness that lurks as a backdrop to the happiest of moments; and sadness that wraps around you like a shawl you don’t take off even in the shower. ‘Love That Dog’ explores these exact same feelings, experienced instead through the eyes of a child rather than an adult. Jack is mourning the death of his beloved dog and, with the support of trusted adults around him and through the medium of poetry, he begins slowly to heal.
Love is an extremely powerful emotion. Thinking about love and loving one another is very important during this time when we cannot be with our friends and extended families. The awareness that the heart’s enormous capacity for love is matched with an equal capacity for pain has been clear if you have seen any news coverage of hospitals and NHS staff, working almost to the point of exhaustion and despair during this crisis. We ended our assembly with another prayer thanking NHS and care home workers, who have put themselves in danger for others every single day because of their never-ending ability to love and care for the people they look after.
‘Let all that you do be done in love’ (1 Corinthians 16:14) is utterly true of these amazing, dedicated individuals. I am sure that Michael Rosen would agree.