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 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 first Class Book is Matilda by Roald Dahl - all about a young girl settling into her new school!
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!
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 - COMING SOON FOR ALL TO SEE!
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!
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!