Newsletter October 2020

A strange term!

In so many ways, school feels exactly like it should do. The children are fully settled into all the new routines and they have been working hard in class. The strangest thing is that a school that is built on the strength of its relationships with the community, has not been able to welcome you in and share the success of the children with you. This is one thing I am very mindful of and one of my priorities next term is to ensure that we can share with you the amazing things the children have been doing in one form or another.

Buildings Update

Over the summer, work was successfully completed on the school hall and Mrs Bearman transformed it into Swallows temporary classroom. The picture does not quite do it justice as it is a fabulous space for children to learn.

As I write this, we are still waiting for formal planning consent for the new classroom building.  The Diocese and I are in regular contact and they are working hard to resolve the final sticking points. As soon as we get any further information I will, of course, share this with you. At this stage, it is fair to say that the new building will not be ready for the January term and our temporary arrangements will need to continue for a little while longer than planned.

School Lunches

For the second time, a provider who was willing to take the school on after the October half term has now informed us that they are unable to provide us with school meals. Due to this, I need to extend the current temporary arrangement into next term and I apologise for any inconvenience this causes. If you wish to order a packed lunch next term, please complete and return your order forms by Friday 23rd October.

Please can I remind you that we are a ‘nut free’ school.

Collection / Drop off

I am delighted with how well these arrangements are going and I wanted to say ‘thank you’ for your continued support and patience. As the weather becomes a bit more changeable, I would like to draw your attention to the ‘wet weather plan’ so that children are not lining up on the playground at the end of the day in awful weather.

  • Pre-school children are collected from their playground door.
  • Puffins and Swallows are collected from the main reception door.
  • Woodpeckers and Golden Eagles are collected from the side door of the Verney building.

When we trialled the arrangements, they worked well and as it becomes colder and darker, we may use this option increasingly frequently to ensure that the children remain warm and dry. In these current times, all we ask is that you continue to social distance from other parents while we get your children to you.

Absences

Please can I remind you to phone the school 01296 712765 or email office@eastclaydon.org.uk if your child is not going to be at school. When these have been reported on Class Dojo the teacher has not always seen the message as they are busy getting ready for the day’s lessons in the morning.

Parents’ Evening

As you will note from the diary dates we are planning to have parents’ evenings for children in Reception to Y6  on Tuesday 3rd & Wednesday 4th November. Current guidelines are that we will need to carry these out ‘virtually’ or by telephone so your child’s classteacher will be in contact with you to book in a time.

Maths – Home Learning

We have been working hard encouraging all our children with their home-learning. All children have been provided with their DoodleMaths logins and the older children have their TTRS rockstar names! Some serious battles have been going on with this, including Samuel O and Julia B who have been rocking out at all hours trying to improve their instant recall! A BIG shout-out to Callum D who successfully completed his DoodleMaths Summer challenge – your badge will be with you very soon!

Sporting Competitions

With Covid, we are unable to compete as we have done over the last few years with our small school partnerships. Most children have loved being able to go to The Buckingham School or Sir Thomas Freemantle to participate in these events. This year – we can still do it, virtually!! The children in Key stage Two competed in a cross-country challenge. We timed our runners and submitted our times to be compared with our local schools. We will also be doing some tennis challenges in our PE lessons. Again, results will be shared with our partnership and hopefully we’ll have some more tennis success, just like our finalists two years ago!

Golden Eagles

Golden Eagles have launched themselves into their USA topic and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the geography of the country and then zooming into New York for some close-up learning, including a virtual tour through the streets of Manhattan! Some beautiful artwork has also been created and makes a wonderful display in our room. As part of the topic, the children have immersed themselves into our class book, Holes. They are totally gripped and can’t wait for each new chapter. The writing being produced has been incredible, including a report on the deadly yellow-spotted lizard! In Maths, we are conquering bigger and bigger numbers! We have worked our way through place value and are happily working on our four operations. There has been so much wonderful learning going on in our classroom – we can’t wait to show it off to you all soon!

Woodpeckers

This term we have kicked off our learning with an amazing topic – Our Restless Earth. I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the children as they have started finding out about volcanoes, rocks, earthquakes and tsunamis around the globe.  As ever, we like to make our learning practical and have consolidated our understanding of what makes up the earth by creating our own models with clay!

We have been reading The Firework Maker’s Daughter to inspire our English sessions. The children are loving the story, have come up with VERY interesting ways to celebrate our learning and written some persuasive letters! In RE we have explored Hindu murtis and had some lovely meditation sessions. All this in addition to our VERY focussed maths and grammar recovery programme. The children have been wonderful to teach, very receptive and hard working. It is lovely to be back!

Swallows

Our first half term in Swallows has been an exciting journey back in time to ‘The Great Fire of London’. We have compared past and present London and even designed a new London of 1666, with separated buildings, stone houses and a new St Paul’s Cathedral. Our ‘mini-me’s’ helped us gain a real perspective of what it may have been like walking through the streets 334 years ago!

We have also been learning about the human body in science, comparing humans to other animals. We were super ‘hooked into’ the story of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’ where we wrote about the character’s adventures, painted scenes from the story and made collage lighthouses. Swallows are currently finishing off the half term looking at the life of a Victorian hero ‘Grace Darling’ and finding out about the RNLI and other emergency services.

Puffins

Puffins have had an exciting start to the term by finding out all about themselves. The children have painted portraits of their faces and created a picture of their face using buttons, making sure they have chosen the right colour buttons to represent their eyes and hair.

As well as finding out about their bodies, the class have explored their senses. They particularly enjoyed making potions using different smelling ingredients! They even played a Guess the smell game!

After finding lots of ways to move their bodies, the children enjoyed making moving people using split pins and even made their own skeletons linked to the Funny Bones story.

In maths the children have measured their height using socks and spent time matching the socks and other objects. They then went on to sort objects including a variety of special buttons linked to the beautiful story The Button Box.

Alongside all of these activities the children have enjoyed a multi-sensory approach to learning their phonics by writing their sounds in sand , herbs, play dough and pipe cleaners. They have also enjoyed using magnetic letters to build simple CVC words.