We're alert and adventurous, cool and keen. We explore, create, learn and succeed.
"Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Roald Dahl
Our PE lessons will be on Mondays and Tuesdays. Children will come to school in their PE kits on the days of their lessons.
Please could I ask that children's diaries be signed when home reading books are completed; please also sign these diaries underneath the weekly timetable prior to Friday each week.
Our first Class Book is Matilda by Roald Dahl - all about a young girl settling into her new school!
The children were today visited by award-winning road safety campaigner Lauren Doherty. Lauren gave a moving and powerful presentation, during which she spoke of her own experience of a road traffic accident 12 years ago. Lauren told the children of the way in which her life has changed and emphasised the importance of crossing roads only at designated crossings and when it is completely safe to do so. Lauren also very kindly offered the children the opportunity to ask questions. Thank you to Lauren for the vital message she shared with our pupils; Lauren’s work is so important and makes a huge difference to the young people with whom she shares her story.
‘We love books!’ declared the opening line of many of the Foxes’ acrostic poems - just the first of a variety of fun activities the children completed in celebration of World Book Day 2020!
The Foxes also had the opportunity to create their own bookmarks, featuring images from their favourite stories; to share books brought from home with members of the Tigers class and to write reviews of the works they had chosen to bring to school. The smiles on the Foxes’ faces as they presented and talked about their favourite books certainly suggests their poems were telling the truth! Thank you to all the adults who supported the children in bringing such brilliant books to share!
The Foxes got in touch with their wild sides on Wednesday thanks to Natalie from West End in Schools, who kickstarted our World Book Day celebrations with a dance workshop. After an exciting assembly in which children learnt how we can tell stories using only our movements and expression, the Foxes had the opportunity to choreograph their own retelling of Where the Wild Things Are, the enthralling picture book by Maurice Sendak. The children worked in groups to portray a bedroom full of furniture, a boat and even the ‘wild things’ themselves and created a West End worthy performance. Thank you to Natalie, and to Mrs Wilkinson who organised this fantastic experience for the children; I feel sure that any session that ends with the children reminiscing about “When I was a chair...” is one they will remember for a long time!
The feathers were flying - quite literally - on Monday morning as the Foxes took to the courts at Harrogate Racquets for their first badminton lesson! Did you know that a traditional shuttlecock is made from 16 goose feathers? The Foxes demonstrated that they were brimming, not only with such fantastic facts, but with exceptional control as they quickly mastered such skills as keeping their shuttlecocks balanced on their racquets whilst walking, kneeling and lying down and performing ‘keepy uppies’! After such a skilful start, I can’t wait to see what the next five weeks holds! Thank you to Vanessa and Will from Harrogate Racquets for a wonderful first lesson, and to the adults who so kindly volunteered their time to support our session!
What do a giant, a wizard, an elf and a shark all have in common? They all feature in some of the exciting new games the Foxes learnt on Friday morning from the amazing ‘Active Play’ team from Kings Camps! The children spent a fun forty-five minutes jumping, dancing and chanting their way through a variety of playtime activities, including ‘Mingle Mingle’, a full body variation of rock, paper, scissors called ‘Giants, Wizards and Elves’, and ‘Toilet Tig’; the Foxes were quite flushed (it had to be done!) with the energy they exerted. We even got a chance to use the parachute for a hilarious game of ‘Sharks and Lifeguards’! Thank you so much to our fantastic visitors, and to Mrs King for organising this wonderful session; I’m sure from the enthusiastic response from the children that we will be seeing all these games on the yard in the near future!
The weather outside may be miserable, but the Foxes’ thoughts were full of sunshine and humidity as they delivered weather reports for rainforest regions! Children worked in pairs to write and perform a forecast for locations as far flung as Brazil, Ghana and Guatemala. The terminology the Foxes used in their reports, their fantastic teamwork and the confidence with which they spoke really impressed me; we certainly have some future forecasters in our midst!
Would be villains and ne’er-do-wells beware the cunning Foxes! Although our science learning began with the children investigating a theft committed during a theatre blackout, the Foxes were far from in the dark when it came to suggesting suspects and the ways in which each might have carried out the robbery! The Foxes worked in teams, analysing witness statements and investigating exactly how much light we need in order to be able to see clearly. The logic and ingenuity displayed by the children suggests we certainly have some potential police officers in our class!
A big welcome back to the Foxes who have I hope, along with their adults, had a wonderful half term break!
The children certainly arrived at school on Monday with a spring in their step - a lot more than could be said for the weather which, unfortunately, prevented the Foxes attending their first badminton session at Harrogate Racquets. It is hoped that this will now go ahead on Monday, 2nd March. Our PE lessons for this half term will therefore take place on a Monday and a Tuesday, so please could I ask that the children attend school in their PE kits on these days and their school uniform on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday?
Despite the belated and wintry start to the Foxes’ fourth half term at OJS, the children have thrown themselves into new topics including ‘Light’ in science and ‘The Seal Children’ by Jackie Morris in English. They also put the snow out of their minds to focus on more tropical climes; stay tuned for a glimpse of some of the exciting things our class has been doing in the first week back!
A huge well done to the children who were today awarded the Special Mentions certificates for the first half term of 2020. Both girls have really impressed me with the incredible progress they have made since joining Oatlands Junior School in September. It has been a pleasure to see their confidence increase in all areas; their contributions to our class, both in lessons and our assembly, are consistently fantastic and both children take a real pride in all the work they do. The girls have been working hard on their presentation and even dedicating a great deal of time at home to their learning, reading daily and playing Times Table Rockstars often. You should both be very proud of your achievements!
The Prime Minister will soon be receiving a very special delivery, courtesy of Year 3! As part of our work on rainforests, the Foxes have written in the character of one of the animals from Lynne Cherry’s brilliant book The Great Kapok Tree their own persuasive letters. In these, the children explained the impact that deforestation is having on the wildlife and native peoples of the Amazon Rainforest and used a variety of AFOREST techniques to convince their reader to assist in the preservation of these tropical habitats.
After learning that our Prime Minister has recently been visited by a group of indigenous tribal leaders from South America seeking the same help, we decided to send Mr Johnson our own letters to demonstrate our support for the cause. We hope that our fantastic powers of persuasion will encourage Mr Johnson to consider carefully the UK’s activities in the Amazon!
With the wet weather outside and fabulous forests within, the Foxes’ classroom developed an Amazonian air on Wednesday afternoon! It was, once again, wonderful to see the immense effort children had made with their homework and their enthusiasm for both their own and their friends’ pieces was something of which all Foxes should be very proud!
Amidst the flora and fauna of the miniature rainforests were spotted some mysterious hybrid creatures, including a ‘slothaguar’ and a ‘gorkey’; fantastic examples of everyday fractions - including a full-scale replica of a pizza; sensational stories of children residing in the rainforest, and fascinating fact files detailing Easter traditions around the world. We even had a Foxes First, in the form of a PowerPoint presentation! Did you know, in Bulgaria Easter is celebrated with an egg fight?
I was exceptionally proud of the children for their commitment to their learning and the pride they showed in their work, which was well-deserved! Thank you to the Foxes, and the adults who have supported them, for another spectacular Homework Celebration; as ever, I can’t wait to see what the next one holds!
With the Oscars just gone, what better time to start preparing the next generation of Academy Award winners? In English, we have been reading The Great Kapok Tree, a ‘dilemma story’ in which the central character has a difficult decision to make. Working in groups, the Foxes developed their own dramas involving a mystical tree and a tricky choice; the children then practised their pieces, using intonation, tone and action to bring their tales to life, before delivering their performances to the class. The Foxes showed great creativity, with trees called ‘Martha’, the ‘Fire Tree’ and the ‘Famous Tree’ providing a backdrop for such pickles as whether to live in a beautiful place with no food or an unpleasant location with an abundance of bananas. The Foxes also listened to one another beautifully - well done to all the children!
In maths, we have begun learning about division. Today we played a game in which both our calculation and our drawing speeds were put to the test! The Foxes answered tricky divisions by drawing arrays and then finding and counting the equal groups within these. The children answered the questions more quickly than I was able to photograph their calculations - should you ever need even large quantities grouped equally, look no further than the fantastic Foxes!
13 may be unlucky for some but, as Year 3’s assigned number for NSPCC Number Day, the Foxes found it to be a source of fascinating number facts, the origin of original stories and the inspiration behind imaginative posters promoting this fantastic charity. Our Number Day activities included finding five different ways of making 13 using each mathematical operation; the Foxes had to get creative when it came to multiplication! A mysterious numbered key leading to dimensions filled with sweets, challenges and even prawns formed the basis of our English task; the children also had the opportunity during our PSHCE lesson to learn more about the essential work the NSPCC carries out. As a class, we very nearly matched our number with our donations, raising £12.70 for a very worthy cause!
Friday got off to a flying start - quite literally! - as superheroes bearing ‘Forest Facts’, a cheerleader armed with persuasive techniques and a class full of Kung Fu Punctuation black belts took to the stage for the Foxes’ first Class Assembly. I was incredibly proud of both the enthusiasm the children showed for their assembly - extra lines were being scripted at the eleventh hour! - and the hard work they put into learning and delivering their parts. With their clear voices, expressive delivery and ability to keep going even when minor alterations were made, I can’t help but feel the Foxes could teach some of Sunday’s BAFTA winners a thing or two! Thank you to all the children for, once again, making me very proud to be your teacher, and thank you to all the adults at home and in school who continue to support the Foxes so brilliantly (I’m still awaiting my coffee, however, Mrs McNerney!)
The Foxes have started the New Year by adding another string to their bows - quite literally! - as we enjoyed our first violin lesson with Mrs Dawson. We started by learning some songs that taught us all about musical techniques, including maintaining a rhythm and altering the volume at which we perform a piece. Each of the Foxes was then assigned a violin and discovered the names of its parts and how to handle it. The children even learnt a special way of playing a violin without yet using a bow - pizzicato, which is the term for when the strings are plucked. The Foxes proved to be wonderful and enthusiastic musicians; I am already looking forward to their upcoming recital! Thank you to Mrs Dawson for a lovely and exciting end to our first week back!
Happy New Year and welcome back to the Foxes and their families! I hope you have all had an enjoyable and restful holiday. What an absolute pleasure it was to be greeted on the yard by such happy, smiling faces and the Foxes have made a fabulous start to 2020 and their second term at OJS.
I just wanted to let you know of a change to our timetable. This term, the Foxes will be having their PE lessons on a Tuesday and a Wednesday. Please could I therefore ask that children come to school in their full PE kits on these days? Foxes will need to be in their full school uniforms for classroom teaching on Fridays.
Thank you very much for your continued support! I - and the children - are looking forward to sharing with you all the exciting things that we have planned this term!
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Foxes and their families for a fantastic first term at Oatlands Junior School. The children have settled in beautifully, adapting to the new rules and routines with ease and approaching their learning with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. I am exceptionally proud to be the teacher of such a wonderful class - the children are a credit to our school community and to their adults at home. Thank you also to all the Foxes’ families for the support you have offered the children and our school during the autumn term, and for your very thoughtful and generous Christmas gifts. I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!
Big congratulations to Alfie and Savannah, who were on Friday the recipients of the final ‘Special Mentions’ certificates of 2019. Both children have had a fantastic first term at the Junior School, approaching all their learning with enthusiasm and showing great resilience even when things have become a little more tricky. Alfie and Savannah are exceptionally helpful, kind and compassionate members of our class and are thoroughly deserving of their awards. Both children should be very proud of what they have achieved!
What a disaster! On Thursday, the Foxes learned that Father Christmas was in a bit of a pickle - he hadn’t left himself enough time to prepare properly for Christmas! Fortunately, the children have in maths been developing their skills in counting money and calculating change, measuring accurately and finding perimeter. The Foxes were able to apply their learning to purchase, find the length and height of and weigh gifts suitable to be carried in Santa’s sleigh. The children enjoyed putting their skills to practical use and - even more important - saved Christmas! Thank you, Foxes!
What better way to end our day of celebration than with the Year 3 Christmas party? The Foxes enjoyed an afternoon of dancing and party games with their friends from the Badgers and Owls classes, before restoring their energy supplies with a fabulous feast of festive food! A big thank you to everyone who so generously provided snacks for the event, and to the adults who gave up their time to help with the party. The children definitely deserved an afternoon of fun after all the hard work they have put in during their first term at OJS!
The Foxes continued their day of celebration and festivities on Wednesday with a session spent making Christmas cards. Pictures will follow, as I don’t want to risk finding myself on the Naughty List by spoiling the children’s surprise! I was very proud of the hard work the Foxes put into designing their cards, and the thoughtful messages they wrote inside.
The Foxes’ classroom was transformed into a miniature version of Sutton Hoo on Wednesday, as the children once again filled it with marvellous models! For homework this half term, the Foxes have been building replicas of Anglo-Saxon houses to support our learning in history; writing addition and subtraction word problems; describing their own Christmas traditions and producing poetry about their favourite animals. The standard of work produced was incredibly high, and I was again astounded by the effort the children had put in and the fantastic end results. I would also like to give a special mention to Ben who, despite unfortunately being unwell and unable to join our celebration, sent his homework into school to share with his classmates. Get well soon Ben, and a big thank you to all the children for their dedication to and enthusiasm for their learning! Thank you also to the adults at home who have supported the Foxes so brilliantly! I already can’t wait to see what the children produce for our spring term celebration!
The Foxes turned detective on Tuesday when we went on a treasure hunt to uncover clues about our new topic in English. The children found mysterious tyre tracks, some keys, the top of a carrot, a stick, a scarf, footprints - and even Father Christmas’ hat, which he had kindly donated for the occasion! The children used the inference skills we have been developing in class to generate ideas regarding what the story we will be studying might be about. Thoughts included a story set on a farm and featuring a tractor, a tale about Father Christmas’ life in the North Pole and The Snowman and the Snow Dog. I wonder if any of the children’s adults can do such a fantastic job in working out what the clues meant and what our final book of 2019 is?
The Foxes had the chance to assist Father Christmas with his heavy workload on Friday as they visited the Secret Santa shop to buy gifts for their family and friends. Proceeds from the children’s purchases will go to Horticap and help to support adults with learning difficulties in developing horticulture and craft skills. Thank you to the PTA, Mrs Fretwell and the School Council for organising, promoting and running such a fantastically festive event!
On Wednesday, the Foxes enjoyed a ‘cracking’ Christmas dinner, courtesy of Mrs Pollard, Mrs Sanderson, Mrs Nelson and Taylor Shaw. The food was greeted with great enthusiasm, as were our eco crackers - the riddles inside revealed that it is surprisingly difficult to describe Christmas without using the words ‘December’, ‘presents’ or ‘turkey’! The children - and adults! - all looked fabulously festive in their Christmas jumpers in honour of the event. Thank you to all Foxes for their fantastic behaviour throughout, and to all staff for their support in ensuring the smooth running of our fantastic feast!
The Foxes were up and down with more frequency than the stock market as we began learning about money in maths! As part of the ‘TeachActive’ initiative, we are incorporating activities throughout our curriculum time that allow the children the opportunity to be up on their feet. This not only contributes to a healthy lifestyle, but also enhances learning. I think the photographs prove that our ‘UK or Nay’ game achieved the objective of getting the children moving! The game also revealed that there are definitely some Lord Sugars in the making in the Foxes class!
The Foxes had a ball - or should that be a bauble? - on Monday as they had the opportunity to paint their very own Christmas tree decorations! Fortunately, the artistic abilities of the children far exceeded my joke-telling talents and an abundance of angels appeared before our eyes. What a fantastic way to start our Christmas festivities! Well done to all the Foxes for listening to instructions so beautifully and showing great respect to the visitors who so kindly came to help us decorate our baubles.
What a *mermazing* experience the children in years 3 and 4 had on Wednesday when we were visited by author Stephen Pass. Stephen performed some of his poetry and read excerpts from his first book, Madge the Mermaid - soon everyone was rapping a rousing rendition of 'Alan's song' from the story! Stephen shared with the children his experiences as an author and provided top tips to help them follow in his footsteps; there was certainly a great deal of excited chatter about planned stories echoing around the yard following Stephen's fantastic and inspiring workshop. Thank you to Stephen for introducing us to Madge - the Foxes can't wait to discover how her tale ends! Thank you also to Mrs Wilkinson for organising such an exciting experience for us!
The Foxes got the week off to a roaring start - quite literally! - with our trip to the Jorvik Viking Centre and DIG. The children channelled their inner Viking warriors as they took part in a battle workshop, before discovering that archaeology is fun to practise - if not to say! - as they searched replicas of Roman, Viking, medieval and Victorian sites for treasures from the past. Experiencing first-hand the sights, sounds - and smells! - of Viking England rounded off our visit - and didn’t even put us off our lunches! A very big thank you to all the staff who made the trip possible, the parents who so kindly offered their time to accompany us and of course to the Foxes, who represented our school so brilliantly whilst we were out and about in York.
On Friday the school hall was transformed into Sherwood Forest as Image Theatre dazzled the children with a fantastic performance of Robin Hood. We all had a lovely morning learning songs so that we could participate in the performance - and three Foxes even landed starring roles in the production! Well done to all the children for joining in with such enthusiasm; what a brilliant way to end the week!
On Wednesday the Foxes took part in an Anti-Bullying workshop as part of Anti-Bullying Week 2019. The children wore virtual reality goggles that allowed them to view and interact with a dramatised scenario. The Foxes enjoyed using the headsets to become part of the action and learnt a lot about the impact our actions and words can have on others. The children really impressed me with their kind and empathetic responses to questions they were asked and their thoughtful reflections after the workshop made me very proud to be their teacher. Well done to all the Foxes, and thank you to Mrs Fretwell for organising this experience for us and the PTA for funding it - I know we have all taken many valuable lessons from it.
Friday had a dream-like quality as everybody - both children and staff - turned up to school wearing their pyjamas! Despite looking like they were ready for bed, the Foxes demonstrated that they still had plenty of energy; having thrown themselves enthusiastically into Joe Wicks’ Big Morning Move, the children got creative producing portraits of Pudsey (and Blush) in guises never before seen! As well as having the benefit of allowing everyone the chance to recover from a busy week by clambering straight into bed when they got home, we raised a lot of money for a brilliant cause - BBC Children in Need. Well done and thank you to the Foxes for participating so enthusiastically in, and contributing so generously to, such a fantastic fundraising event!
A very big congratulations to Sofia and Jack, who were today in assembly awarded the first ‘Special Mentions’ certificates this year! It is not easy to change schools and adapt to new routines, surroundings and adults, but Sofia and Jack have both managed this brilliantly, and all the time with beaming smiles on their faces. Well done to both children for a fabulous start at the Junior School!
On Friday morning, the Foxes were thrilled to welcome into our class our adults, who joined us for an art activity, cake and some hot drinks that we are sure were very welcome on such an autumnal day! Fortunately, the wet weather didn’t dampen any spirits as both Foxes and adults designed their ‘dream bicycles’ in honour of the UCI Championships being held in Harrogate. What an interesting array of bikes we created ~ the MacMillan Coffee Morning and promise of imminent cake must have been forefront in the minds of the Foxes, who hope cycles with edible and regenerating pickle seats, pizza wheels and doughnut-inspired designs will exist in the future.
The Foxes ended their morning by presenting their bicycle designs to one another over biscuits and cake. Thank you to all children ~ and adults! ~ for a very enjoyable end to a busy week!
What a busy third week the Foxes have had at OJS! On Monday, we completed our first scientific experiment in the Junior School, using toy cars to investigate how objects move over different surfaces. We made predictions, tested our ideas and came to some conclusions - not least that the Foxes are a class of expert drivers!
We have also been getting into the mindset of Anglo-Saxons, deciding where we would settle if we were arriving in Great Britain for the first time and attempting to 'sell' our chosen location to our classmates. We definitely have some convincing sales people in our class - Miss Allenby was almost persuaded to move into one of the Anglo-Saxon huts we designed!
The Foxes' final day of their first full week at OJS began with some very exciting announcements - the results of our Pupil Voice Group elections were revealed by Mrs Scarth in our celebration assembly!
Children interested in taking on roles from Digital Leader to School Councillor delivered speeches to the class on Friday, 6th September 2019. In keeping with our British Values, we then held a democratic vote in our classroom.
All the children - both candidates and the electorate - should be very proud of themselves for the work they put into preparing their campaigns and the respect they showed one another by listening so beautifully to each speech made; well done Foxes!
Representing the Foxes this year are:
We have held our first pupil voice group elections (presided over by Fish the Fox!) and are excitedly awaiting the results of these. All the children gave super speeches and listened very carefully to one another's reasons for wanting to represent our class in the various committees around school!
What a fantastic first week the Foxes have had at Oatlands Junior School! We have all settled in brilliantly to our new class and routines and have really impressed Miss Allenby with our brilliant use of Mandarin during morning and afternoon registrations! We have been enjoying sharing our summer scrapbooks and hearing about all the lovely things the children have been doing over the holidays - and we've also managed to squeeze in our first piece of year 3 writing, in which we created our own heroic characters!
Thank you to all the Foxes for a great start to what is going to be an amazing year!