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 after Easter will once more be on Mondays and Fridays. 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 Class Book is Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - the classic tale of how a little girl's love, determination and ingenuity alters the destiny of Wilbur the pig!
Our first Class Book is Matilda by Roald Dahl - all about a young girl settling into her new school!
This half term in RE, we have been learning all about the Easter story and the events that Christians remember and celebrate at this time of year. During our final lesson of this topic, the Foxes wrote some poems from the point of view of Jesus’ mother, Mary, considering the different emotions she might have experienced on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The Foxes really impressed me with their insightful ideas and thoughtful explanations of these, which I couldn’t resist sharing!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge ‘well done’ to all the Foxes for the fabulous return to school that they have made! I have been absolutely delighted to have everyone back in the classroom and, despite nearly three months of remote learning from home or a bubble, the children have all settled back into our daily routines with ease and enthusiasm; I am incredibly proud to be their teacher!
Thank you to the Foxes for your hard work and fantastic attitudes to your learning, both at home and in school, and to all the adults who have supported you so brilliantly with this! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and look forward to welcoming the children back for the summer term in two weeks!
Congratulations to Brogan, Oscar and Ruby, who won the Oatlands Points award for the second half of the spring term! The children have worked hard and with enthusiasm throughout remote learning and since returning to the classroom and were rewarded with an Aquila magazine and some delicious sweets to enjoy whilst reading it! Very well done to you all!
Congratulations to Ruby, whose eggcellent recreation of Shaun the Sheep saw her named the winner of the decorated egg competition for the Foxes’ class!
Very well done to Abbey and Freddie, who today received the Foxes’ Special Mentions certificates for the second half of the spring term! Both children are an absolute pleasure to have in class, with their enthusiasm for their learning and beaming smiles brightening every day! Abbey and Freddie embody every one of our school and class values and have demonstrated consistently determination and perseverance in the effort they put into all their activities both in school and during our remote learning. They take real pride in the presentation of their work, share thoughtful ideas in class discussions and can always be relied upon to respect their friends, adults and our classroom alike! Congratulations, Abbey and Fred - you should be very proud of yourselves for your well-deserved awards!
Wednesday, 24th March was an eggstremely eggciting day as the Foxes’ classroom was filled with foxes, fish, and even foxes called Fish in honour of our decorated egg competition! I was very impressed with the eggcellent creativity the children showed with their designs, as well as the huge amount of effort they put into these, both of which far eggceded my ability to tell jokes! We displayed our eggs in the hall for all the children in school to see and can’t wait to find out the exults of our competition on Friday! Well done to all the Foxes, and happy Easter to you all!
The Foxes are always superheroes in my eyes and on Friday, 19th March we got to display our true colours ~ quite literally! ~ as we dressed in a range of red and cartoon-inspired costumes in celebration of Comic Relief 2021! We began our day with some Red Nose Day activities, including designing our own superheroes, and compared our noses with Fish! Well done to all the children for the enthusiasm and effort they put into their fantastic outfits and thank you to the Foxes and their adults for your generous donations in support of this important cause!
This week's winners are Henry R and Lexie!
Henry R and Lexie have both really impressed me with the incredible attitudes they show, not only to their learning but to all aspects of school life. Both children can always be relied upon to set a great example to their friends, listening carefully to and following instructions, showing respect and compassion for adults and children in school and approaching all activities with enthusiasm. This week, I have absolutely loved reading their ‘rainforest dilemmas’, in which they have used carefully chosen vocabulary and the techniques we have been learning in class to create interesting and detailed stories. I hope that you are both very proud of yourselves - well done Henry and Lexie!
This week's winners are Bella and Brogan!
Bella and Brogan have both really impressed me this week with their exceptional attitudes to all aspects of school! Both children have been setting a fantastic example to their friends, sitting smartly, listening to and following instructions and approaching every activity with enthusiasm. I have been blown away by the wonderful writing both children have produced and the thoughtful ideas they have shared. You should both be very proud of yourselves - very well done!
I was absolutely delighted this morning to have the classroom filled once more with a class full of beaming Foxes! I’m not sure who was the more excited about our return to school ~ the children or I! We started our day by reflecting on the things to which we are most looking forward now that we are back together and shared our hopes for the future on our new ‘wall of wishes’. I was incredibly impressed with the way in which the children settled back in to life in the classroom and am looking forward to what promises to be a lovely end to our time together in Year 3! Welcome back, Foxes!
This week's winners are Freddie W, Arthur F, Sophie N, Ewan M, Evie K and Zac S!
Freddie W has impressed me repeatedly over the last eight weeks with his determined attitude towards his home learning. Freddie is always prepared to have a go at all his activities and has responded to feedback I have given to make any small changes I might have suggested. I have been especially delighted with the presentation of Freddie’s learning; he is putting a huge amount of effort into his handwriting and is taking real pride in all the activities he is sharing. I absolutely loved and was incredibly impressed with the determination you showed towards achieving your goals in our Jigsaw activity as well. I hope that you are very proud of yourself – very well done!
Arthur F has been a fantastic and enthusiastic member of the Fowls bubble who has put a maximum amount of effort into all our activities! Arthur has really impressed me with the way in which he has listened to the learning and responded to my feedback; I was delighted to see you answer questions in full sentences in English, explaining your responses using one of my favourite words ‘because’ and checking your writing for full stops and capital letters. I hope that you are very proud of yourself – very well done!
Sophie N is an extremely conscientious learner who tries her very best with all the work she completes, from reading instructions carefully to answering questions in detail. Work is always presented carefully and clearly. I was especially impressed with your RE assignment this week, Sophie. You have explained the significance of four days in Holy Week and explained why you think Christians refer to the day on which Jesus was crucified as Good Friday. Well done, Sophie!
Ewan M has been a fantastic member of the Growls bubble, bringing an energy to class that always brightens our day! We have been especially impressed with the enthusiastic attitude that Ewan shows for all his learning and the effort he puts into every activity. Great work, Ewan – very well done!
Evie K has really impressed us with her online work over the last few weeks. She always tries her best and presents her learning in bright, colourful ways, which demonstrates the pride she takes in her work. I especially liked your rainforest ‘Top Trump’ cards this week – they were very detailed and beautifully presented! Well done Evie!
Zac S has been a pleasure to have in the Bow(e)ls bubble over the last 8 weeks. He is always polite, and helpful and quick to get on with his learning. He has produced some lovely writing, some high quality theme work and has been a real trooper for his class in the TTRS Battle of the Bands, putting in some real graft! Your BFG outfit was superb for World Book Day too. Thank you for always being such a star!
Thursday, 4th March was World Book Day and Year 3 have been celebrating both at home and in school. It was wonderful during our class check-ins to see the children dressed as their favourite fictional characters and to hear them talk so passionately about the books that they enjoy reading! Everyone had the opportunity to have a go at creating new covers for a story of their choosing ~ although we are not supposed to judge them by their covers, I would certainly be tempted to buy books based solely on the children’s brilliant designs!
As reading is our superpower, it seemed only fitting to kick off the afternoon’s celebrations with a story time led by mysterious masked readers! Children listened as disguised adults from school told their favourite tales, then tried to guess with whom they had been sharing a story!
Well done and thank you to Year 3 and their adults for the enthusiasm they showed for and hard work they put into celebrating World Book Day 2021!
This week's winners are Abbey P, Polly M, Izzy H, Ella S, Ameen and Millie B!
Abbey P has impressed me repeatedly over the last seven weeks with her attitude towards her home learning. Abbey is always prepared to have a go at all her activities and puts a huge amount of effort and thought into each of these. I have this week been particularly impressed with the impassioned speech against deforestation that Abbey gave as part of our learning about rainforests – the scientific language that she included and confidence with which she spoke were super! I have absolutely loved reading your detailed ideas about the mysterious Kapok tree in English too, Abbey – very well done for everything you are achieving!
Polly M has been a delight to have in the ‘Fowls’ bubble over the last seven weeks! She has been incredibly enthusiastic about all our activities and even our register language – we have learnt a lot of German words thanks to Polly’s asking very sensible questions about this! This week, I have been especially impressed with Polly’s learning in English; I have loved the adjectives that you have thought of to describe the plant and animal life in the rainforest, Polly, and especially the alliteration you have included to make your writing even more effective. Very well done!
Izzy H always presents her work to the highest standard! She reads instructions carefully, ensuring that the task or activity is completed fully and with 100% effort. Despite not being in school, I have appreciated and enjoyed seeing Izzy’s smiling face and hearing her contributions in our class check-ins. This week, I have been especially impressed with your detailed responses to our new story. Well done, Izzy!
Ella S has been a wonderful member of the ‘Growls’ bubble over the last few weeks. She has really impressed us with the enthusiasm that she has shown for all our activities and the hard work that she puts into these. Well done, Ella!
Ameen N has really risen to the challenge of home learning and has impressed us with his enthusiasm for completing his work. He’s asked questions when he’s not sure, resulting in some excellent pieces of work being produced. His model of an Amazon creature is a real sight to behold! We are very proud of all your efforts, Ameen!
Millie B is a quiet, polite member of the Bowls bubble who always gets on sensibly with her work. However, it is her English work that has really stood out over the last few weeks and we’ve been impressed with the massive improvement in the quality of her writing. Well done Millie!
Wow! May has created a fabric toy model of her fantasy animal. It is a fantastic piece of textiles complete with facial details. I hope he will be happy in his new habitat. Well done, May, an absolutely fantastic wow work project.
Lucy has created a great piece of shadow art this week. She has used vibrant colours and overlapping shadows which creates depth.
On Friday, Year 3 enjoyed the first of our ‘Feel Good Fridays’ with a ‘crafternoon’ dedicated to making Valentine’s Day cards! This year more than ever we want to show our love and gratitude for the people in our lives; the children in the ‘Fowls’, ‘Growls’ and Badgers bubbles really impressed us with the care they took designing and making their cards and the thoughtful words they wrote inside. Well done, Year 3 ~ you should be very proud of the beautiful and meaningful cards you created!
Huge congratulations to Arun and Joseph, who have both been awarded Blue Peter badges! Arun was awarded the music badge, designed by Ed Sheeran, in recognition of the hard work he is putting into learning to play the piano. To achieve this coveted prize, Arun had to describe how he enjoys making music; explain his choice of three favourite songs and report an adult’s musical memories, as well as sharing a photograph of his practising. Well done for showing such enthusiasm and determination, Arun, and good luck with your upcoming Grade 1 exam!
Congratulations to our 3 highest Oatlands Points earners this half-term:
Charlotte, Freddie & Sophia!
Congratulations to our two Special Mentions this half term:
Andrew & Joseph!
Wow! Faye has created an amazing 3D model of the Owlicorn that she designed. She has now brought her animal to life and it is incredible! Such a beautiful creature too, if only it was real. Well done, Faye.
With wintry weather still prevailing, what better than to snuggle up in the warm and write poems inspired by snowy scenes? As part of our English learning, the Foxes have been discovering the many different forms poetry can take, from acrostic poems to haikus! The children have even had a go at creating their very own kennings, a poetic form dating back to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, in which two-word phrases are used to describe a single noun! The noun that the Foxes were asked to describe was ‘winter’ and, as you can see, the children proved they were incredible idea-generators, wonderful word-writers and perfect poetry-producers! I was very impressed with the carefully considered and original kennings the children produced ~ super work, Foxes!
Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 is taking place between 1st and 7th February. Now more than ever it is vital that we are taking time to look after our mental health and children are this year being encouraged to share creatively the feelings they are experiencing, through art, drama, poetry, dance and song. Both at home and in school, the Foxes have been considering what happiness means to them and how we can develop, show and share this emotion. Today, we filled a human outline with all the things that bring us joy ~ for Jishnu, this means sports, maths, his friendships and food! Well done to all the children for the thoughtful ideas they have shared so beautifully this week!
This week's winners are: Charlotte C, Molly G, Violet S, Ted K, Rory M-B, Jess J!
Charlotte C has been working incredibly hard on all our home learning activities. I have been particularly impressed with the fantastic videos Charlotte has been sharing, in which she has demonstrated and explained clearly and confidently acute, obtuse and right angles; delivered an accurate and enthusiastic weather forecast; created and completed mazes and even perfected her agility in PE! This week I loved reading and seeing your expressive performance of your fabulous poem about your dad, Charlotte and thought your line about his making you ‘very proud’ was lovely! Very well done!
Molly G answered questions about different types of poetry accurately, showing a very good understanding of the layout and features of each type. I especially enjoyed reading Molly’s acrostic poem about ‘Storytimes’. My favourite line is the last one which reads ‘Sleepy girls off to dream, “Good night, love you,” she said.’ Well done, Molly!
Ted K has been working incredibly hard in the Owls bubble and has really impressed us this week with his fantastic work on different types of poetry. Ted created a super kenning, describing perfectly the ‘ice slipper, school stopper’ and ‘brain freezer’ that is winter! Ted even thought of his own, original ending to his kenning and illustrated his work beautifully too. Well done, Ted!
Violet S has settled well into the ‘Fowls’ bubble and has very much impressed me over the last couple of weeks with her grown up attitude, as well as her enthusiasm for and fantastic memory of all our learning! I absolutely loved the kenning that Violet wrote describing winter beautifully as a ‘sun hater’ and ‘sloppy snower’! You worked very hard on your poem, Violet, and decorated it brilliantly with a careful illustration. Very well done!
Rory M-B has proved this week that he is indeed the ‘Poetry Prince’, crafting both kennings and haiku that any published poet would be proud of! He’s been really engaged with all of his learning in school and we have been really impressed with his enthusiasm for answering questions and completing his work. Great stuff, Rory!
Jess J always completes her home learning tasks with the same diligence and high quality work that we had come to expect in school. We’ve enjoyed her presentations, videos and this week a really wonderful poem about winter. It’s such a pleasure to mark her work.
Ayda K has designed a new species of animal this week that lives in the rainforest. Her 'spiked head long body' is fantastic! She has thought about lots of features that her animal has including fire breath! Amazing imagination, Ayda. Well done.
Hunter, your artwork is always spectacular and this week is no exception. The detailed, intricate set of 4 minibeast drawings that you have produced this week are phenomenal. What a talented artist you are, Hunter! Well done!
This week's winners are Oscar R, Reuben B, Jessica S, Noah J, Sam F and Sofia B!
Jessica S has put 100% effort into all her remote learning activities, often accompanying her work with a home-made movie! I was especially impressed with your rainforest diorama, Jessica - I hope you are proud of all the super work you are completing too! Well done!
Oscar R has really impressed me with both his enthusiasm for his home learning and the effort he has been putting into this. He has really been going the ‘extra mile’, sharing photographs of himself demonstrating synonyms for the word ‘eat’ and words ending with the suffix ‘-ation’ in action and delivering a super weather forecast! Alongside all his hard work on Teams, Oscar has even found time for some independent learning activities; I absolutely loved your Yayoi Kusama-inspired ‘infinity room’, Oscar! Very well done for all your amazing learning!
Reuben B is a fantastic member of the ‘Fowls’ bubble who is enthusiastic about every activity we do! Reuben has used his time out of school to learn more about our language for this half term, German; we were all very impressed with and learnt a lot from your fabulous PowerPoint presentation teaching us the German words for different types of weather, Reuben! I also loved the silly sentences you created in English this week – especially the idea of your driving a bin! Fantastische Arbeit, Reuben – very well done!
Noah J has really impressed the teachers in the Owls bubble with his hard work on and enthusiasm for his activities. This week, we particularly enjoyed reading the super ‘silly sentences’ you wrote in English. We won’t be trying to ‘walk on a pencil’ any time soon! Great work and very well done, Noah!
Sam F has been an absolute star, not just this week, but since bubble learning began. He’s got an amazingly positive attitude, is always keen to challenge himself and is the most polite, kind and thoughtful boy! Sam is everyone’s friend, a really lovely trait to have.
Sofia B ‘arrived’ in the Badgers class at the start of this term and despite not yet being able to meet her new classmates or teachers in person, has managed to get off to a flying start! She is making a superb effort with all of her home learning and has even been keen to wear her new school uniform! Well done for all of your hard work, Sofia!
This week's winners are Ava P, Andrew, Roxanne, May, Oscar P and Faye!
Ava is a fantastic member of the ‘Fowls’ bubble and sets a great example to everyone around her. She is incredibly enthusiastic about all her learning and has even asked for extra activities to complete at break times! She puts a smile on our faces every day with her cheerful attitude and the effort she puts into everything she does; I was incredibly impressed this week with your detailed and carefully thought out answers to questions we asked about The Incredible Book Eating Boy, Ava - well done!
Andrew has shown amazing enthusiasm for every activity we have set and has put a huge amount of effort into his home learning. The vocabulary he used to describe the feelings of the Incredible Book-Eating Boy was amazing – I loved the word ‘pensive’! Andrew has also been working very hard on his handwriting and, as you can see from his beautiful presentation, it’s paying off. On top of all this, Andrew found time to perfect a dance to Moana, record a super song for French and complete a thoughtful Jigsaw activity – well done, Andrew!
Roxanne has made a super start in the Owls bubble! We were particularly impressed this week with the lovely poem she wrote in RE entitled ‘Who am I?’ You presented your thoughtful ideas beautifully, Roxy, and we loved your last line - ‘Most importantly I am me’! Well done!
May has really impressed us this week with her excellent comprehension work on The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Not only did you offer a detailed and accurate answer to each question, demonstrating fantastic understanding of each of the reading skills we have been learning, but the presentation of your work was exceptional too. Well done, May!
Oscar has had a brilliant week in the Badger bubble; we have been impressed with his work rate, his polite manner and his enthusiasm for taking on a challenge. We especially enjoyed his weather forecast about Queensland, Australia. Well done Oscar!
Faye has approached every activity she has been set so far online with the same great enthusiasm and high standards we have become used to seeing in class. She has found many creative ways to demonstrate her learning and we have enjoyed looking (watching and listening!) to it all. Her maze to show off her directional skills were particular highlights.
This week, the art award for year 3 goes to Chloe Westmoreland. She has captured her chosen animal's pose perfectly. With one paw lifted, the back shoulder raised, and the head lowered it looks like this beautiful big cat is ready to pounce! It's fantastic, well done Chloe. Mrs Alderson.
This week's winners are Lucy, Arian, Eva, George and Hunter!
Lucy has put a huge amount of effort into and shown incredible enthusiasm for all our remote learning, even completing some activities twice to perfect her activities! I have been very impressed with the time and care Lucy has taken to make sure that her learning is accurate and her work presented neatly. I loved listening to your description of your 'eatwell' plate in science, Lucy - very well done for all your hard work!
Arian has been polite, hard-working and a pleasure to have in the Badger bubble! We thought his sketch of a poison dart frog was outstanding - such attention to detail.
Eva has made a fabulous start in the new ‘Fowls’ bubble – a bubble formed by children from the Foxes and Owls classes! She has put a great deal of effort into every activity and her learning is presented beautifully. I was incredibly impressed with your careful and accurate drawing in art, Eva – I almost mistook it for a photograph! Very well done for a fantastic first two weeks back in school!
George's fact file about Brazil, a country with a rainforest, absolutely bowled us over! High quality drawings and super facts make it a joy to behold - you can see for yourselves above!
Hunter has impressed us with his commitment to home learning; his work has been of a consistent high quality and carefully presented. We especially loved the video presentation about Australia!
Welcome back to your second term in Year 3, Foxes! It's a New Year, and a new way of learning for the time being. I miss you all and am very much looking forward to when we can be back in class together, with Fish too! However, I am incredibly impressed with and extremely proud of the way you have adapted to learning from home. You are putting a huge amount of effort into each activity and showing great enthusiasm for these! I love looking at your assignments, watching your videos and seeing the photographs you have been sharing of all that you have been doing whilst we are not in school. Keep an eye on our class page where I will be sharing some of your fabulous pieces every Friday - and a huge well done again, Foxes! You're amazing!
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the Foxes and their families for a fantastic first term at Oatlands Junior School. It has been a very unusual year and we were unable to offer our usual transition activities, which makes me all the more impressed with the way in which the children have settled into their new environment. They have adapted to the new rules and routines with ease and approached their learning with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. I am exceptionally proud to be the teacher of such a wonderful class - the children are an absolute credit to our school community and to their adults at home and have sent me into the Christmas holidays with a huge smile on my face! 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 gift. I would like to wish you all a very merry and safe Christmas, and look forward to seeing you again in the New Year!
A huge congratulations to Ava and Ruby, who were today awarded the final Special Mentions certificates of 2020! Both girls have had an absolutely outstanding first term at OJS, settling beautifully into the new routines and showing great enthusiasm for all aspects of school life. I have been delighted to see them grow in confidence, challenging themselves with their learning and making thoughtful contributions to our class discussions - all the while wearing these beaming smiles that brighten our classroom! Well done, Ava and Ruby - you should be very proud of all that you have achieved!
What a busy first term the Foxes have had at the Junior School! The children have learnt about and practised using exaggeration, similes and even anachronisms in English; investigated push, pull and twisting forces, the different properties and classes of rocks and the formation of fossils in science, and asked sensational questions about the Stone Age during our history lessons! You might say the Foxes are formidable with the knowledge they have acquired; they certainly prioritise their learning and are each the epitome of our school values! They even sit patiently through my monologues...and have amazed me with the way in which they have remembered the definition of each new word they have learnt! Well done to all the Foxes for all that you have achieved in the last 14 weeks - you make me incredibly proud to be your teacher!
What better way to start the final week of term than with the Year 3 Christmas party? The Foxes enjoyed an afternoon of quizzes, bingo, charades and pass the parcel before restoring their energy supplies with some much needed party food! The children made me so proud with their ginormous general knowledge, exceptional enthusiasm and incredible demonstrations of Christmas spirit as they worked together to earn and share prizes in the games. The Foxes definitely deserved an afternoon of fun after all the hard work they have put into a fabulous first term at OJS!
Each week in December the Foxes have had the opportunity to try a variety of Christmas crafts, from creating cards and calendars to making tree decorations and painting festive tea light holders. The children thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to get creative (and, occasionally, rather messy!) and have really impressed me with the care they took over and thought they put into each activity. Keep your eyes peeled for some fabulous fir trees, perfect puddings and superb snowman popping up on and around your Christmas trees!
On Friday the Foxes arrived at school decked out in their festive finery in honour of Christmas Jumper Day 2020. The children jingled, shimmered and sparkled their way through the day in support of Save the Children’s annual campaign. Thank you to all the children for brightening the classroom and my day with your Christmas clothing, as well as the generous support you gave to this worthwhile cause!
Just when I think the Foxes can impress me no more, they astound…no, wow…in fact, dazzle me further! In English, we have been practising writing persuasive sentences suitable for a holiday brochure, and our job on was to collect adjectives to describe what a visit to the Orkney settlement of Skara Brae might be like. I asked the children to suggest as many as they could think of – and it quickly became clear that my whiteboard was in no way large enough to house the humongous vocabulary of the children! I was delighted with the number and variety of the words of which they thought – we certainly have an abundance of future authors in our midst! Well done, Foxes!
As part of our learning about the Stone Age we have been reading Ug, a graphic novel by Raymond Briggs that tells the tale of a young boy struggling with life in the period. Ug has many problems, from the discomfort of his sandstone trousers to stone balls spoiling sports - and although Ug has a number of ideas for improving his situation, he finds it difficult to persuade his parents to give these a try.
The Foxes wanted to help Ug and so spent time thinking of solutions for the difficulties he encounters. I was incredibly impressed with the empathy the children showed and the ideas they shared - remedies included a cave door that locks to keep Ug and his family safe and a football made from mammoth skin to protect Ug’s feet when playing football. The Foxes even wrote persuasive speeches using the seven 'AFOREST' techniques we had talked about in class, in the hopes that these might convince Ug's mum and dad to to take their suggestions seriously. I was certainly convinced by the powerful pieces the children produced!
We so enjoyed our work on Ug that we decided to write a letter to Mr Briggs asking if he might consider creating a sequel to this exciting story. All the Foxes signed the letter - and we even included copies of our speeches! We hope our ideas might help Ug to enjoy a better life.
On Wednesday the Foxes classroom was filled with sparkles, glitter and Christmas cheer as the children wore their festive finery and tucked into an early Christmas dinner. Crackers were pulled, jokes were shared and tummies were filled with roast dinners, vegetable casseroles, jelly and ice cream! The Foxes then continued the celebrations 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 children put into designing their cards, and the thoughtful messages they wrote inside. An early Merry Christmas from the Foxes class!
This week in school we are thinking about perseverance and how we might encourage ourselves and our friends to keep going, even if we are finding something tricky. Having hope when faced with a difficult or unusual situation is something that has been particularly important this year and the hard work and dedication of our key workers, our families and our friends has helped us all to remain positive. To thank and celebrate the people who continue to persevere on our behalf, children's author Katherine Rundell has compiled and edited 'The Book of Hopes', a collection of short stories, poems, essays and pictures guaranteed to put a smile on everyone's face! In our assembly on Monday morning, Mrs Scarth read to us Greg James' and Chris Smith's tale of the Hope-o-potamus, a brave creature whose resilience keeps him going even when others tell him to stop.
The children and I very much enjoyed this rhyming story and the message of hope that it shares and can't wait to explore some more of the stories in this inspiring collection! 'The Book of Hopes' is free to read online: https://literacytrust.org.uk/family-zone/9-12/book-hopes/
On Thursday, 26th November the Foxes found a very exciting visitor awaiting them in the yard: Harry Gator, the Harrogate Town FC mascot, arrived to deliver bounty of which Captain Hook would be proud – the goodie bags won by the children as a result of their sensational success in the club’s October Active Challenge! The Foxes posed for photographs with Harry, before snapping up their prizes of Frisbees, balls, colouring sheets and a Harrogate Town scarf for the classroom! Fortunately, the children’s team spirit and sporting efforts far exceed my joke-telling abilities, and their prizes were very well-deserved after the hard work they put into winning the competition. Very well done, Foxes – I am proud of your success and even more proud of the way in which you worked together to achieve this!
Monday 16th to Friday 20th November 2020 was Anti-Bullying Week, with the theme this year being 'United Against Bullying'. We began our learning with a virtual assembly in which we watched LOU, a short film by Pixar which explores how bullying might look, the impact it can have and approaches to preventing its occurrence. As the movie played, the children considered questions including 'who is the bully in the film?' and 'how does the bully make amends?' The Foxes really impressed me with the thoughtful and empathetic ideas they shared about the video!
We also spent some time in PSHCE thinking about the ways in which we might counteract bullying. The Foxes completed interlocking jigsaw pieces which represented the children, their friends and their teachers working as a team to ensure that school is the happy and safe place we all want it to be. The children again shared some super suggestions about the part we can all play in being 'United Against Bullying'. Well done, Foxes!
Friday had a dream-like quality as everybody - both children and staff - turned up to school wearing their pyjamas! I wasn't surprised to see that the children looked ready for bed after a busy week filled with 'Five to Thrive' activities: from back-to-back Joe Wicks workouts on Monday to mindful colouring and celebrating one another's amazing attributes, the Foxes have been working hard on developing their physical and mental wellbeing! As well as having the benefit of allowing everyone the chance to recover from five fun-filled days 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!
In RE this week, we have been learning about Remembrance Day, its significance and the ways in which we commemorate those who have served their countries in times of need. The Foxes shared some thoughtful ideas about the people who help us to live a safe and peaceful life, from the armed forces to medics and our friends and adults at home. The children then used their ideas to write and illustrate some beautiful Remembrance Day prayers. Well done, Foxes, for the empathy and maturity you showed when discussing this important day and the wonderful work you produced!
I am delighted to announce that today the Foxes have been declared the winners of the 'October Active Challenge' run by Harrogate Town AFC. This was a competition open to all primary schools in Harrogate; children were asked to record the number of minutes of moderate activity they completed each day, both in school and at home, and submit the scores every Thursday throughout October. The Foxes showed the incredible team spirit, determination and enthusiasm that embody our school values and recorded a grand total of 162,081 minutes of activity - a staggering average of 5,589 minutes per child! I am incredibly proud, not only of the fact that the Foxes have won, but of the effort and creativity each one of them put into making this the case. The children have received a personal video message from Harrogate Town player George Thompson and will be receiving some goodie bags from the team as well.
A huge well done to all the children and a big thank you to their adults who have supported and encouraged them so brilliantly throughout!
Bonfire Night might have felt a little different this year, but one thing that remained the same was the importance of following the Firework Code. The Foxes discussed and shared some fabulous ideas for how we can enjoy the celebrations whilst making sure that we keep ourselves and others safe before putting pencil to paper to create informative posters more colourful and eye-catching than the fireworks themselves! Well done to the children for their super suggestions and beautiful designs; I hope you all got the chance to put your ideas into practice and celebrate this year!
A very big congratulations to Arun and Heidi, who were today in our Teams assembly awarded the first ‘Special Mentions’ certificates this year! It is not easy to change schools and adapt to new routines, surroundings and adults, especially without being able to visit first and after a long time away from the classroom. However, Arun and Heidi have both managed this brilliantly, and all the time with beaming smiles on their faces. Well done to both children for a fabulous start to life at the Junior School!
This year more than ever it is very important that we are taking care of our mental health and wellbeing. Saturday, 10th October was World Mental Health Day and, in celebration of this and of the first of our school values, the Foxes have been thinking about the qualities that make them special. The children came up with some thoughtful ideas and excellent examples of the attributes that make each one of them amazing friends, family members, team players and citizens - and I couldn't agree more with the ideas they shared! Well done, Foxes!
In history we have been exploring the Stone Age, which began in Britain 3.4 million years ago! We have created timelines, which are a bit like a 'path through history', and learnt that Stone Age people were nomads who only sometimes lived in caves as we imagine. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been looking at cave paintings, which historians think might have been created to celebrate a successful hunt, to share a message or to generate luck for future expeditions. We learned that Stone Age people used their fingers, twigs or brushes made from animal hair to apply paint created from ground rocks, twigs, bones, water and animal fat to the walls of their caves - before having a go ourselves (fortunately using more modern materials!) I am incredibly impressed with the amazing artwork the Foxes produced!
This half term we have, in science, been learning all about forces and the effects they can have. This week, we began exploring a force that requires no contact between two objects - magnetism. We used iron filings (and a human magnet) to demonstrate a magnet's field and used our knowledge of like and unlike poles to move toy cars without touching them! We then discovered one of the important real-life applications of magnets when we made and used our very own compasses using bowls of water and floating bar magnets! Did you know that Father Christmas' home at the North Pole actually sits close to an area that acts like the south pole of a bar magnet and it is for this reason that a compass always points north?! We took our homemade compasses onto the yard and running track to see if we could 'beat' the Earth's magnetic field by causing the magnets to spin, but each one was insistent on pointing only one way!
Today I sent the Foxes home with an instruction opposed to that I usually give: do not have a nice evening! I am glad to say that, thanks to our hard work on synonyms in English, the children knew that I wasn't being unkind; I wanted them to have a super, fantastic or even stupendous end to Monday!
We are currently reading Ug, the tale of a Stone Age genius whose mum does not like the word 'nice' - and we decided that we agreed! This, along with 'big', 'bad', 'good' and 'little', is a describing word banned from our classroom for being too boring. Fortunately, the fabulous Foxes were able to come up with plenty of alternatives for each abominable adjective - so there is no excuse for any of them to have a 'nice' evening again!
This week in RE we have been learning all about the Harvest Festival, discovering how and why it is celebrated. The children impressed me greatly with their fantastic knowledge of harvest traditions, as well as the gratitude they expressed for the food we are lucky enough to have and the people who work tirelessly to produce this for us. The Foxes then used their learning to create some incredibly thoughtful and beautifully presented acrostic poems; I hope that they are each very proud of the fabulous results of their hard work!
Every morning, the Foxes arrive in school to find that Fish (our fox friend) has a maths- or English-based riddle that needs solving. Fortunately, the children have repeatedly proven themselves to be more than up to the challenge! This week, both Fish and I were particularly impressed with the accurate, imaginative and varied number sentences the Foxes found to make the 3-digit number 121. What marvellous mathematicians you are!
The Foxes have been adding another string to their bows - quite literally! - as they enjoyed their first violin lesson with Miss Jowett and Miss Barrett. The children began by learning how to hold the violins correctly and discovered the notes played by each string. The Foxes proved to be wonderful and enthusiastic musicians; thank you to Miss Jowett and Miss Barrett for a lovely and exciting end to our first week at the Juniors!
What a fantastic first week the Foxes have had at Oatlands Junior School! They have settled brilliantly into a new school and routines; it's hard to believe they have only been with us for 7 days, and especially when many of the children have been away from school for several months.
We have had a lovely start to the term, getting to know one another and our new surroundings - as well as our Jigsaw piece, Jino, who has been helping us settle back into school life. The children looked very smart on Friday in their new PE kits, which they wore for their first lacrosse lesson with Mrs King, and have impressed me every day with their positive attitudes and enthusiasm for school life!
Thank you and a big well done to all the Foxes for a great start to what is going to be an amazing year!