Month: December 2021

Donation

Many thanks to Richard and his family for their fantastic charity work, which has led to the school receiving a donation of £1000 from Staples. What amazing news!

Library: Books to help with grief

It’s National Grief Awareness Week and this is something that we will all face and have to come to terms with in life.  There are some beautiful books that can help us with strategies to work through our grief together as families. Who Will Love Me When You’re Gone? by Anna Friend, illustrated by Jake Biggin  is a moving yet reassuring journey through a child’s feelings of grief. With his mum very poorly, Jack is worried about what will happen when she’s gone… Will Mummy take her love as well?

“My love for you can never leave, 

It’s like the sun, the air you breathe…”

With mindfulness activities for families to do together to combat feelings of sadness, Who Will Love Me When You’re Gone is beautifully illustrated and simply written, and allows the reader to understand how a child might be feeling and gives a voice to those thoughts that are pinging around a child’s head making them feel wobbly and upset. It can be shared with younger children or read independently. It’s honesty and simple language is designed to start conversations and provide comfort. Written by clinical psychologist, executive coach and founder of childhood bereavement charity Winston’s Wish, Julie Stokes OBE, You Will Be Okay is a toolbox for children navigating grief. It is a kind and compassionate, straight talking look at the whole host of emotions we can go through when someone important in our life dies, whether it’s a family member, friend or someone else in our lives. With real-life examples, Julie takes us through different ways we might react, and what we can do to help get ourselves back on track, so that we can move on without that person, while holding them close. Each chapter guides us through different strategies we can employ to help us be kinder to ourselves while we come to terms with the loss we feel. I particularly liked the use of “grief muscles” that can help give us the strength to carry on without storing up grief, and the use of a simple sentence that allows us to explain what has happened in a way that feels right for us. The death of a parent, sibling or friend is one of the most traumatic experiences for a child and it can be hard to know how to talk to them about it. In this honest, comforting and strength-building guide, children will be able to look toward the future with hope. Miss Cleveland also has a number of picture books that can also be used to help discuss the death of a loved one including:
  • Badger’s Parting Gift by Susan Varley
  • Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers
  • The Sad Book by Michael Rosen. illustrated by Tony Ross
  • Maia And What Matters by Tine Mortier & Kaatje Vermeire
For older children, The Dream House by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Gwen Millward is a short story that packs an emotional punch. Heart breaking and hopeful, The Dream House is a gentle exploration of bereavement, grief, growing up and the healing power of tea. We are drawn swiftly into the new world that Rex finds himself in, lost in grief and in need of time and space to come to terms with the death of his father. His godfather, Sparky, is a gentle soul who allows Rex to feel and do what comes naturally as he navigates the fear he faces as memories surface. Switching between prose, poetry, playscript style speech and a letter, Laura’s description immerses you in The Dream House. You can hear the branches rustle, smell the leaves rotting and feel the softness of the sofa and warmth of the mug of tea. Gwen’s sketches and illustrations adorn the pages of this special little book perfect for Year 6 and up.   If you would like to borrow any of these books to help support your whole family, please contact us through the Wellbeing email.

Year 5: Welcome to Victorian School!

Today, Year 5 experienced what life was like in a Victorian School. They practised their times tables and handwriting, the capital cities of Europe, and completed drill, which was the Victorian equivalent of PE. Not all of the children adjusted quickly to the extremely strict rules and found themselves wearing the Dunce Hat, and one or two even faced the cane. We even had a go at some Victorian playground games.

 

 

Here’s what the children thought:

  • The rules were really strict! I’m glad in modern schools the staff can’t hit us!
  • It makes you feel as though you have to concentrate more because if you don’t you’ll get punished really badly.
  • There was a lot of chanting and repeating things we had to learn.
  • It was really hard trying to write with my right hand. It would have made me feel really sad to be treated like that every day just because I am left-handed.
  • It was a really fun way of learning how different life was because we got to do lessons in a different way.
  • I never knew Mrs Reihill and Miss Cleveland were so good at acting mean…
  • I’m really grateful I wasn’t a child in Victorian times.

Year 5: How do architects design buildings to withstand earthquakes?

Year 5 have learned about the devastating effects earthquakes can have, and different design ideas that architects use to try and make buildings in earthquake zones safe. We have used spaghetti and marshmallows, K’nex and Magnetix to see where we could find weaknesses in different structural designs, and how to make the strongest joins. Finally, we used everything we had learned to create replica earthquake proof buildings using art straws, playdoh and masking tape which were tested on our wobble board.

 

  • I enjoyed learning new ways to join the structures together.
  • I enjoyed using the magnets because it helped me visualise the different shapes in my head.
  • It was really fun and creative to find different ways to strengthen our joins.
  • I enjoyed learning about the different ways architects protect buildings in earthquake zones.
  • It was really challenging on our final design to build with minimal construction tools.
  • It was really frustrating at times but none of us gave up – we all kept trying!

 

Year 6: How can we build a vehicle for speed?

During design and technology week, we have been building gravity powered soapbox cars to see how far we can get them to travel from a ramp. We have used a wide range of tools and materials, and followed different design techniques to bring our vehicles to life.

  • It has been really fun using different tools and learning how to use the hot glue gun.
  • It has taught us how important it is to work as a team.
  • I’ve enjoyed working like an engineer to design our vehicle.
  • I’ve really liked the independence we’ve had to create our design and can’t wait to race it against the others.
  • We liked experimenting with bigger wheels to see which would be the most stable and the fastest.

Future Designers

As part of D&T Week, Year 1 have been working hard to create fabulous chairs for their teddies.

This week, our classroom has been taken over by teddies of all shapes and sizes, but unfortunately, there were so many teddies that we didn’t have enough chairs! The children decided to solve the problem by researching, designing, creating, and evaluating their very own chairs for their teddies. We had unicorn chairs, gaming chairs and of course pizza chairs! They used junk modelling materials and even learned the skill of papier mache, as well as adding some sparkles to make their chairs extra special.

It was clear to see the teddies were very happy with what the children had created for them. We also think the children were very impressed with their creations too.

Well done, Year 1!