27 Oct

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We made it! End of a very long first half term back and we have seen so many exciting things in the classrooms. We have had 5 new pupils already and have another 3 due to join us after the holidays. I’m sure all the children will make them feel very welcome – they certainly do when they come for a look around! Whilst showing around a young man who will be joining us soon, one of our pupils told him, “You will like it here. It doesn’t just help you if you feel angry, but you will actually become a better person.” How wonderful that even at such a young age, our children can be so aware of what it is they need us to help them with. It was really lovely to witness.

We will start this week with Class 3 who have been very artistic this week. The artist they have been studying this term is Vincent Van Gogh and they have made their own versions of his famous work featuring Sunflowers. They have also been looking at portraits and had a go themselves with some self-portraits. They’ve done a good job!

Kaiden was keen to invite me into class to play a memory game with the words he has been learning this week. He is doing so well with his reading and his confidence is growing quickly – although I’m not so keen on the fact that he beat me in every game!

Class 2 have been continuing their work on Great Expectations, a story which the boys are really enjoying. Mr Cruz had a very special painting to use as a stimulus for their writing by a Shropshire artist called Kevin France which he obtained in quite unusual circumstances..

Having seen the painting, which is on an enamel square, Mr Cruz decided that at £70 it was beyond his price range. He was chatting to the artist saying that he would have liked to have used it in class to get the children to imagine who was lying at the foot of the trees – why were they there, how had they got there, what were they thinking etc… Mr France announced that teachers do a fantastic job and gifted the painting to Mr Cruz who promised to share the children’s writing with him in the future. What a fabulous, generous gesture! Class 2 have sent their monologues to Mr France and were delighted to receive this reply from him this week..

From Kevin France – Enamel Artist (you can visit his website here)

Hi Daniel.
Wow, I’ve been thinking how to reply but I think your pupils are far more eloquent than I. Who would have thought a piece of work and your guidance would have brought out so much.
Thank you for sharing with me, keep up the good work.
Best regards, Kevin.

You may recall that Class 2 went to Blackstone Edge last week as part of their learning in Geography. It was too late to put their photos on the blog but here they are for you now – it was foggy, wasn’t it!

Class 1 have been busy in Design Technology designing their own fairground rides and here is a short video of Kyle explaining the process he has had to follow..

On Friday, they drove back to Victorian Times on a trip to Larkhill Place – a Victorian Street with smells, sounds and memories from times gone by. It’s based in the Salford University Campus and is a great (free!) place to visit. The children were able to dress up and get a feel for what it would have been like to live in the 1800s..

I was lucky enough to go swimming with the children on Thursday afternoon, it’s been months since I last went. Schools receive some additional funding to be used for PE activities and increase the amount of physical activity that children engage in, so we use part of this to allow all of Key Stage 2 to go swimming weekly throughout the year, rather than just one class for a term. We believe it’s a critical skill for the children to learn to allow them to be safe. Many arrive here as non-swimmers and due to the encouragement of our staff who join them in the pool, all leave as confident swimmers. I was able to take some photos as we had the pool to ourselves, so here you can see Ethan, Emily and Kaiden..

..and Kian doing backstroke from the deep-end, massive progress from his starting point in the shallow end..

I couldn’t believe how confident Christopher was who couldn’t wait to show me how he could now swim under water – I remember how terrified he was when we first started, literally trembling on the pool side. Caitlin was thrilled to do a full width on her back with no floats too. So wonderful to see them all.

We finished the week on Friday with our half-termly Good Work Assembly where lots of families join us to celebrate their children’s learning. Class 1 talked about their Art topic learning about William Morris and how they have been inspired to create their own printing blocks..

They told everyone about their trip to the Science and Industry Museum and made us all extremely thankful that we weren’t a child in Victorian times!

Class 6 have shared their Van Gogh inspired sketches..

..and we were treated to some Alphabet singing and a Counting in Two’s song by Class 4..

Here is a short burst of their musical talents!

Class 4 also showed us what they had made whilst learning about the stories of The 3 Little Pigs and The Gingerbread Man..

Two trophies were awarded to each class – one a peer award where each child has a vote for whoever they think has done particularly well and a progress award, where the teacher chooses one pupil who has made significant progress either academically or with their social and emotional skills..

It’s so tough to choose just one sometimes. Mrs Makin’s class (4) all received a medal as it was impossible to choose!

As you might have gathered, we also had a lot of fun with our Halloween preparations..

I hope you all have a rest over the holidays and I look forward to seeing you all on your return,

Miss Thomason
Head of School

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