The Eastnor Express
"To Inspire and Achieve"
Edition: Wednesday, 18th March 2020
A Message From Mrs Driscoll
We had all planned for this newsletter to report on a number of exciting events that were expected to take place this week. Sadly, as we are all aware, these unprecedented times mean that nothing is running ‘normally’ in any walk of life.
That being said, many of the children have still had a lovely week in school and have enjoyed their lessons and time with their friends. Whilst I am writing this I can hear the children playing in the playground; for them everything is normal.
Public Health Guidelines are being updated every day and the governors and I will keep you updated regularly. If we have official notification that schools must close, we will send a parent mail but until that time we will all continue to do our best to keep Eastnor open so that working parents, including those who are working tirelessly for the NHS, will still be able to do their job.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all parents for their understanding and support, as always. The chocolates and biscuits have certainly kept us smiling.
UPDATE - ALL SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSING THEIR DOORS FROM THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY ON FRIDAY 20TH MARCH IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LATEST GOVERNMENT DECISIONS. FURTHER DETAILS WILL FOLLOW AS SCHOOLS ARE NOTIFIED OF THEM.
Education of Children Remotely
We recognise that in many households there might be family members who are feeling unwell and that if schools shut then many parents will still have their own commitments to work.
However we have been planning carefully for how we will ensure the education of the Eastnor children is disrupted as little as possible, and we will need all families on board to help us with this.
All children will be bringing home a home learning toolkit bag on Thursday which has been carefully matched to the requirements of their year group. If you have children already off school they can be collected at any point during the school day on Thursday or Friday.
It will include the following things:
- Spring Term Core Text (years 1-6)
- Summer Term Core Text (years R – 6)
- Reading Lists for each year
- Online Learning Links Sheet
- Supplementary reading books
- Key Word Spellings
- Letter formation/Handwriting (Class 1/2)
- Log in to Times Table Rockstars
- CGP Grammar Workbooks (years 3 -6)
- Work books
Promoting good mental health and wellbeing, especially at a time of such anxiety, is essential. As we always say, children learn best when they are happy and are having fun. Therefore we feel that one part of any home education should include exercise and getting some fresh air whenever possible. Of course you need to take into account government guidance about limiting social contact. With this in mind, each child will also come home with a health and wellbeing information sheet with ideas and a bean bag/soft ball or skipping rope.
Interactive Weekly Learning
In addition to the home learning pack, teachers will be continuing to plan work for the children in their class.
Each Monday morning (from Monday 23rd) they will be sending an email to all parents with the following activities for the week:
- 3 phonics/spelling/grammar activities
- 3 writing activities
- 3 maths activities
- One weekly topic project or activity based on a foundation subject such as Science or Art.
We hope that you will have time to help your child complete these activities and that you will have some fun along the way.
Teachers will be able to respond to specific queries about your child’s learning during the hours of the school day.
The email address for each teacher will be as follows.
Newsletter to Celebrate Home Learning!
We are busy working on a slightly different newsletter template for the coming weeks which will be used to celebrate and showcase the children’s home learning and mental health and wellbeing activities.
We ask that parents email their child’s class teacher with photos showing what they have been doing each week.
These will be showcased on our special newsletter each Friday and a link will be sent out to parents as usual.
Greenhouse for the Allotment
A huge thank you to all the parents and children who have been working so hard down at the allotment. We are now the proud owners of a wonderful greenhouse that the children will be able grow seeds in ready to be planted out at the allotment. What a great team dismantling and reconstructing it. Our thanks go to the parents of Harry and Annabel, Eva and Ella, William and Edith , Mabel, Ben, Rosie and Lily, Lewis and Jacob.
We have had a wonderful - and busy - last few weeks in Class 4.
In Maths we have been revising fractions, decimals and percentages. This has involved lots of place value practice and building our confidence solving problems involving these strands of maths in different contexts. We have developed our skills using different methods to answer a variety of questions, and have found practical as well as pictoral resources extremely useful. Year 6 children have also been focussing on work involving ratio and proportion, using practical resources to visualise relationships between values and quantities. This week we have all begun to learn about algebra, considering questions such as 'What is an equation?' and finding ways to help us to solve problems such as finding the value of y if 2y + 7 = 13.
In English last week we reflected on our journey so far in class 4 to help us to compose a piece of writing about our achievements for our annual reports. We also wrote about our inspirational mothers as part of our English work recently. This coincided with celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th, and we enjoyed finding out about the lives of famous mothers such as Marie Curie, J K Rowling, Michelle Obama and Jessica Ennis-Hill. This week we have loved learning about words, phrases and characters in William Shakespeare's plays as part of National Shakespeare week. We have tackled challenging themes and passages from 'Romeo and Juliet' as well as 'The Tempest' this week, alongside our grammar, spelling and handwriting work through our core text, 'The Silver Sword'. We are now less than 50 pages away from the ending of the book and cannot wait to explore the last events and themes together!
In Science lessons recently we have continued our work on 'Materials and their Properties' and investigated which materials insulated the temperature of water most effectively, with children measuring and recording the temperature as it changed. We have also explored electrical conductors and compared materials in relation to their flexibility, malleability and durability. In Geography we have learnt about extreme weather and natural disasters, including tornados (which are formed over land), hurricanes (which are formed over sea) and flooding, which we have related to recent events and climate change. In Art lessons we have continued to learn about the abstract sculptor Constantin Brancusi and produced some fantastic pieces of sculpture using clay. In Music lessons we have studied composition and notation, through our ongoing focus on a track by Adele, using glockenspiels and xylophones. In RE we have completed further work involving the concept of a Messiah, including a reading comprehension as well as examining extracts from the Bible, which we have used as evidence for why Christians believe Jesus was the messiah. In PSHE lessons we have learnt about British values and in PE we have been jumping - and elevating in our jumps - along with improving our fitness to music.
Well done to everyone for their continued enthusiasm for learning in Years 5 and 6, particularly when grappling some very tricky concepts at times. All of the adults who have taught you as a class enjoy teaching you immensely - thank you and keep up the good work!