Although it was ‘back to normal’ this week, we definitely didn’t have an ordinary week.
Mrs. Bentley deserves much credit for helping me to make sure that all the tests and assessments for this term were completed and marked. I know that the children are also grateful for her encouragement and support.
Thank you as well to parents and relatives who were able to attend the consultation meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. I was pleased that I was able to report so much amazing academic progress and improvements in attitude and behaviour.
Teeth and their functions is the last Science topic that we will study before the end of term. This week we learned about the names of the different types of teeth and how they are used. Today one of Lubaya’s teeth fell out and I can’t believe that I forgot to ask her what sort of tooth she had lost. Please let me know Lubaya before you hand it over to the Tooth Fairy.
On Thursday, both Y4 classes went to Brodetsky Primary School to continue the Interfaith Project and to renew our friendship with their Y5 pupils. We took a special gift for them; 12 wooden birds made from 12 different types of wood, sat in a nest of willow twigs. Y4 children cut, filed, sanded and polished rare and common sorts of wood to make a present that encapsulated ideas of difference, similarity, belonging, freedom and friendship. We really enjoyed the afternoon at Brodetsky where we learned about what happens in a Passover celebration. Familiar stories and new food was shared, and our children set a perfect example with their behaviour and respect. My favourite part of the day was when I saw Ramtin and Hamza create a special handshake to say goodbye to their good friend Coby. They have different religions but there were no barriers between them.
The homework tasks for this week include writing challenges and My Mini Maths questions to develop fluency in methods of calculation. Please try to make sure that your child completes the Sumdog assessment and twenty minutes of Lexia.
Learners of the Week and my Gold Book choices for this term are Liam and Harley. Both of them have been making a very good impression on me and other teachers for a very long time now, and their excellent test scores are well deserved. Liam has a calm and conscientious attitude and he is a really good influence on other pupils as he can always be relied on to make the right choices. Harley is also someone who is consistently giving as much as possible. Her focus on work and achievement is really paying off. Of course Harley and Liam’s test scores were excellent. Hard work and effort always brings reward.
Have a great weekend
What an amazing journey! Despite many unexpected detours (snow, theatres, injuries and illness), the children have had a wonderful time travelling with Mrs. Johnston and Miss Allison, and they have come so far.
Thank you so much to all the parents, relatives and friends who were able to attend this afternoon’s performance. The dance sequence was both beautiful and incredibly emotive. Tragically, it was also very timely. During their performance, my class were showing what was happening to children in the world right now, and not something that just happens in a story. The image accompanying the headline news on the BBC website at lunchtime showed a family desperately fleeing from war. The mother and children in the photograph looked like they had fallen from the pages of Francesca Sanna’s book into a sad and terrible reality.
Learner of the Week could be everyone but I have chosen Miss Allison. She helped Y4 create a stunningly powerful dance and taught them something special about dedication and commitment. Despite being seriously hurt and hospitalised, Miss Allison came into school this morning to work with the children in order to finish their dance sequence. She told me that she loves my class and didn’t want to let them down.
Our learning journey with Mrs. Johnston has come to an end but she has left a legacy to my class. Memories that will last forever, changed attitudes plus souvenirs of self-belief, aspiration and compassion.
Thank you Mrs. Johnston.
Have a good weekend everyone.
Despite the awful weather, Y4 brought brightness and colour to my day.
Before I say anything else, 20 house points to Euanson, Susan, Singher, Liam, Andrea, Naza and Lubaya for working at home on the first draft of the diary that all the children wrote in school today. Thanks as well to Leigha who also tried to make sure that she was prepared properly for today’s first lesson.
Mrs. Johnston provided wonderful words of wisdom which really helped the children to produce writing which was better than ever. Y4 wrote the journal entries for one of the characters from The Journey. Precise punctuation, deeper description, stronger sentence structure and intense emotion was evident in much of the children’s writing.
During part of the morning and some of the afternoon, the children worked on creating painted cardboard models of birds which incorporated their initial designs that they had explored in previous lessons. Naza worked with superb focus and patience, and once again Lubaya showed some of her finest qualities: amazing artistry as well as resilience.
Tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm our performance to parents, relatives and friends will take place. Please join us if you possibly can to celebrate the very special journey made by Y4 over the past two weeks.
PS. Best wishes to Miss Allison. Y4 wish you a speedy recovery.
Startled and worried, the children were woken abruptly from their sleep in the Arts Studio. They hurriedly packed some precious possessions, and began their flight from war. Despite her fear, mum found the strength and determination to help her children endure a tragic and perilous journey. Using different modes of transport, the family made their way through the orchard, to the MUGA and over to the willow woods where they were nearly captured by a terrifying border guard. It was simply adrenaline, survival instincts and love for each other that enabled them to run fast enough to make their escape.
Tomorrow Y4 will write a diary as though they were one of the family in the story of The Journey. I hope that my class will have a go at writing their first drafts tonight while memories are still fresh.
Sleep well Y4 and don’t dream of that horrid border guard.
This morning Y4 collected a bank of emotions, which the children applied to a range of different scenarios. The task provided the foundation for writing later on in the morning when Mrs. Johnston asked the class to redraft the story of The Journey. The children began each sentence of the original text with an adjective to describe emotion. Extra detail was added by writing additional sentences in the form of a thought, a question and another emotion. Sonny, Harley and Susan demonstrated that they are really connecting with the family in the story.
Connections were made today when the different elements of the dance work came together in our rehearsals with Miss Allison. Lilly Anna worked especially well and showed that she is a great organiser as well as a wonderful dancer. She took the initiative today when the children were asked to work in groups to create a new part of the dance. Lilly Anna shared her great ideas, she listened to and valued other contributions, and gave everyone in her group great confidence by making sure that each of them knew their roles and making them feel valued. Management potential.
We are going to the theatre tomorrow morning to see George’s Marvellous Medicine. I think that this was the Roald Dahl book that had the strongest influence on me when I was a child. Warning to Y4 – do not copy George! Obviously I say this with regretful hindsight. My father was never able to successfully paint over the mark left on the side of the house where I’d poured a potion that I had created. My brother was blamed. Hope my mum isn’t reading this.
The first lesson of the day was a game of hangman. The children have become much more adept and canny when playing. They used the strategy of choosing vowels first, then commonly occurring consonants. However, the challenge was trickier than expected, and we had to rely on Euanson’s knowledge of letter patterns to guess the word ‘migration’. I asked the children if they knew that the word meant and Olaseni said that he thought it was when people escaped to another country because of war. 10 house points Olaseni. His answer pleased me because it told me that he is well informed and aware of the problems faced by many people around the world but I was also saddened that he and his classmates are growing up in a world where this is a reason why people migrate.
We explored some of the other reasons why people move to a different country. Sometimes it is to escape the effects of a natural disaster, or often to flee from political oppression. Sometimes people migrate to seek better lives and opportunities, and to be near to their families.
After sharing stories of the journeys and migrations made by our families, I asked the children to imagine that they had to move suddenly to another country. We thought about where we would go, our reasons for leaving and how we would feel as we wrote a postcard to someone special to say goodbye. Ramtin, Hamza, Lubaya, Giselle, Sonny, Fatimah, Liam, Stella, Susan, Arman and Harley have really impressed me so far and I have no doubt that the finished work of many other children will also be very powerful.
This afternoon Mrs. Johnston reminded us of the other meaning of migration – when birds fly to a warmer place when the seasons change.
We began work on creating an art installation. Using a cardboard template, the children created on outline of a bird, which they filled with pattern and their base and complementary colours. 2D became 3D as the pictures were cut out and turned into models.
This impact of this project is extraordinary and our ACE community is incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Johnston leading us on our journey.
Today the focus was all about the dance which Y4 will perform to parents and relatives in our Celebration Afternoon a week from today.
Miss Allison is very pleased with the progress made so far. Those children who were absent yesterday learned their parts very quickly and I was really impressed by how well everyone worked together in their groups to create, develop and improve ideas. It was great to see them listening to each other so respectfully as they shared their thoughts.
Learners of the Week are Liam and Jessica. Mrs. Johnston and I are in complete agreement. We cannot ask for more effort than they have given.
Have a great weekend.
First of all this ….
After a flakey start to the day, Y4 worked with Mrs. Johnston to pack their imaginary suitcase for the journey that they are taking. Lots of useful things were crammed into the task. For example, fast thinking, coordinating actions with speech, accurate sentence construction, precise spelling, writing with subordinating conjunctions and using commas in lists were just some of the skills that Mrs. Johnston managed to fit into another brilliant lesson.
Miss Allison is really pleased with the progress of the dance that Y4 have been preparing. Although several of our most gifted dancers were absent, others in the class showed that they too are very talented. Jessica was totally brilliant in leading the ‘windmill cannon’ and Olaseni also showed excellent leadership skills throughout the session. Lilly Anna, Andrea and Kyron moved wonderful control and grace, and I was really pleased to see Leigha for showing such great trust in her classmates. Miss Allison told me today a secret today. She said that although she loves working with every class in school, my children make her smile the most.
Shh! Don’t tell anyone that I told you this.
When the children see me tomorrow, they will probably notice that I have more grey hairs than yesterday. Though we reached many landmarks, I felt that the journey was more difficult than usual, and that there were too many obstacles in our way. Hopefully we will remember to pack extra focus, our best listening skills and some spare concentration in tomorrow’s suitcase.
We started today by asking the children to share how they were feeling which they did by placing a button on the picture of a face that represented their emotions. It was a challenge for some to explain why they had made their choice. Being able to understand our feelings is really important. It gives us a chance to appreciate, and show thanks, or alternatively, to focus on overcoming difficulties and dealing positively with difficult issues.
Please encourage your children to read an atlas more frequently. One of the reasons that I am so proud to work at ACE is because we have many pupils who have a heritage in countries from all over the world. I was surprised that most of my class found it difficult to locate the continents and to explain how they differed from countries. Sonny did really well in this session. I’m looking forward to receiving postcards from him from all around the world when he goes on his ‘gap’ year before university.
A little more was revealed today about the family in ‘The Journey’ by Francesca Sanna. War and tragedy has engulfed them. Sorrow and chaos is all around them. The children were asked to write what they thought war meant. There were many excellent responses and Mrs. Johnston and I were both really moved by Stella’s heartfelt understanding and empathy.
Tones and tints, lighter and darker shades, and complementary colours filled our afternoon. After deciding which colour they would associate with themselves (mine was purple), the children mixed a myriad of variations on their choice, explored brush style and experimented with line and shape. What started as a task for individuals became collaborative work when the children were asked to exchange their palette with someone who had been using their complementary colour.
My highlight of the day has to be when Mrs. Johnston tipped a box filled with buttons all over the classroom floor in order to illustrate the meaning of the word chaos. Her strategy worked brilliantly as the children were thrown into a state of confusion and uncertainty, plus for a brief moment in time, her classroom looked almost as messy as mine can be.
The day began with a reminder about attitudes to learning and expectations in Y4. No one should be using capital letters in the wrong place and all sentences should be punctuated correctly. I am pleased to say that nearly everyone listened carefully and acted on our advice. Although we only had half a day with Mrs. Johnston, the children showed much more of the potential that they possess.
After a discussion about journeys made by the children, we listened to Mrs. Johnston read a page from Francesca Sanna’s book ‘The Journey’. Thoughts were shared about what might have happened to the family in the story, and then Y4 received the most difficult challenge of the day. Working in groups, the children had to put together a jigsaw which illustrated the page that Mrs. Johnston had read to them. I am pleased that Y4 showed some of their best qualities: teamwork, patience, determination and perseverance.
Euanson, Guzal, Jessica, Abigail, Stella, Harley and Deacon are just a few of the pupils who impressed with their effort and skill in writing when they wrote their responses to comprehension questions about the jigsaw image.
The biggest impact today was probably made during the dance lesson. Within only a few minutes, my class had mastered a dance move that Y6 had found almost impossible to learn. Well done to Harley, Ramtin and Deacon for playing a critical part in the session.
For me, tomorrow can’t come soon enough. It will be another day full of opportunity, creativity, learning and celebration.