21st September 2020: Tables and Certificates
We're definitely back into the routine now, busy learning our times tables and our spellings. You've been busy practising our tables every morning, and also using Times Tables Rockstars to help out. I'm very keen for you to get your studio games done, because that gives me a clear idea of how well you're improving. If you have chance at home, do log on to TTRockstars and play some studio games.
We're not having our certificate assemblies at the moment, but I'm still on the lookout for hard work and great behaviour. I gave out certificates this week to Barney, Jessica and Jacob for hard work in Writing, Maths and History, and I also gave out an amazing 15 certificates for hard workers in Times Tables. You'll have an email in your Google account if you received a certificate, and five extra team points on your chart!
11th September 2020: Our First Week Back
I hope you've enjoyed your first week back at school, Nightingales. It's been a little bit different, and those important things like handwashing and not sharing our equipment have made it tricky to get on with things, but as the week has progressed we've got quicker and settled into something of a routine. Next week we'll have spellings and tables to get on with, and we'll start our first Literacy topic, which is going to be some reading and writing work based on The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith. No sneaky reading ahead over the weekend—I want us to enjoy the book together!
We also got started with our Science work on Forces and Magnets, and produced some lovely artwork after looking at the strange and surreal pictures of René Magritte. I'm going to get those up on the wall and then I'll pop a picture on here so you can show people at home.
Going home is getting better as well: I think our system of standing well back in a line, waiting for the next grown-up to appear at the top of the path is working rather well!
7th September 2020: Welcome back!
Welcome back to school, Nightingales!
What's going to happen on Monday?
I expect that's the question that's on your mind. I am so looking forward to welcoming you on Monday, but I realise you might be worried. That's fine: it's okay to be worried, and I sometimes get nervous about coming back to school after the summer holidays, as well. I do know, from many years of experience, that's it's never as bad as I thought it would be! If you have any particular questions, there are some quick answers further down the page. I will be here to help you, I will look after you, and we will all do our best to keep safe and keep learning.
Yes, there will be changes, and that can be hard. But even so, most things will be just like normal. You won't be expected to do anything that isn't safe! We will have time to talk through any worries on Monday, and I'm sure you'll find that any fears you have can be tackled.
You'll be arriving a little bit earlier than normal, and I'm aiming to see you on the top playground at 8:40, just outside the Nursery door. It's where the minibus is normally parked, but that's now going to be our special playground. You can meet your friends again, and have a bit of a socially-distanced chat, and then we'll head inside.
We'll wash hands, find our cloakroom pegs and places, then there's an activity all ready for you to get on with. We'll have some settling in time, then we can have a good chat about how everything's going to work.
You do not need to bring anything on Monday other than yourself, your coat and your lunch, water bottle and snacks. Everything else you need will be here in school, including pencils.
See you on Monday!
Autumn Half Term
What will we be learning?
Literacy and Maths
We have some exciting work coming up for Literacy, where we'll be using a 'FANTASTIC' new system to improve our writing. The 'FANTASTIC' is a bit of a clue there, but don't worry, I'll be telling you all about it.
Reading is going to be a little tricky, as we're not going to be able to do guided reading in small groups. Instead, I'm planning to read Dick King-Smith's The Hodgeheg as a whole class, so we'll still be able to practise our reading and comprehension skills. I don't mean that you'll have to read out loud to the whole class, so please don't worry—I'm sure that would be a little bit too much for some of you, and I don't want to put you off! We're likely to read to ourselves, perhaps to a partner, or just follow along whilst I read to you.
I'd like to find out where you are with both Maths and Literacy, so whilst we'll be carrying on with place value and calculations, there will be a little bit of checking up to start with. We need to get going with our times tables, too!
Our overall topic is Vehicles, which includes lots of opportunity for Science work. In fact, Science will be looking at forces, including gravity, friction and magnetism. We'll also look at how vehicles have changed over the years, and what the vehicles of the future might be like.
There are lots of lovely new Chromebooks, so I'm really looking forward to teaching you about the Google Classroom tools. We'll also use some online tools to practise coding and giving instructions. There's a lot to cover here, but I think you'll enjoy it.
I'm really pleased that we're going to be able to learn the ukulele again this year, and there's also a little extra coming up for Year 4. More news to come!
PE and Games
Mrs. Bower will be taking you for PE on Tuesday afternoons, and our other session will be on Friday. I'm planning to start with some aerobic-style keep fit activities, so we can keep relatively distanced whilst we're doing our PE.
Our RE covers why Christians worship Jesus Christ. The Bible has lots of stories about Jesus' life, and by reading these we can find out what it is that makes Jesus so special to Christians.
As ever, there are lots of other bits and pieces to cover. Mrs. Essex will be helping you greet people in French, and practising some counting. We're not focusing on Geography this half term, but we will make sure to cover a little bit: we don't want to forget the continents, countries of Europe, or the names of the capital cities of the UK!
Quick Answers about Coming Back to School:
Assemblies: We won't be having assemblies at the moment, but we will still be collecting team points and giving out class certificates as normal.
Hand sanitiser and hand-washing: Everything needed is in the classroom. We will be washing our hands regularly as a preference to hand sanitiser, but we might do either, depending on the situation. You do not need to bring your own hand sanitiser, because we want to keep home things and school things separate.
Lunch: We are eating in the hall. There are some changes about where we queue and sit, but nothing to worry about. We will go into the hall at 12:00, spaced out after the Inca-Jays, and will go out to play on our own playground area.
Pencil cases: You don't need these, so please don't bring them. I know that doesn't sound much fun, but we want to keep school things in school and home things at home. I've already put pencils and so on in your desk trays.
PE - This will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. At the moment the plan is to change in two separate groups in the hall and the classroom. We will be using outdoors as much as possible for Tuesday PE sessions, and Fridays will start off as an aerobic-style keep fit session, so you'll be spaced apart in the hall.
Playtimes: We are separate from the rest of the school. Our playground is at the top of the school, where the minibus would normally be parked. No-one else will be using that playground.
Reading books: Like pencil cases, we want to keep home things at home and school things at school. To start with, we will be reading all together, but don't worry—I won't be making you read out loud to everyone. By next week, we'll sort you out with a library book that only you have touched. When it comes back to school it will go in a special place for 72 hours and you will take a fresh book. You will read to adults, but will sit side-by-side with a little distance between you.
Seats: You will be sitting in rows, so you won't be facing each other. We won't be working in groups at the moment, but you will be able to work in a pair. Lessons are going to be spent sitting down, and there won't be much chance to move about, but I'll try to keep things fun and interesting.
Snacks: Bring your snacks as normal. We will eat them on our own special area of the playground. There is no change to the rules about snacks, and I will be enjoying my usual diet of apples and way too many carrots! Mrs. Essex, I think, favours the low-calorie cereal bars from B&M Home Bargains.
Team points: We're collecting these just like normal. The only difference is that there won't be an assembly on a Friday, but the scores will still be displayed in the hall so you can check them during PE or lunchtimes. I'm still planning to do three class certificates each week, but they'll be given out in class rather than in a celebration assembly.
Toilets: We will be using the toilets next to the office. They are now unisex, and no-one else will be using them.