We are just two weeks into term 4 as I write this article and already we have hosted two information sessions for our parents. The first was an opportunity to become more conversant with issues related to online behaviour. Simon Aston, the e-safety advisor from Northamptonshire County Council, shared ways to embrace technology whilst maintaining personal safety. His message emphasised the importance of parents having discussions with their children about the software and online sites they are using, getting the children to show how to use these technologies whilst emphasising key safety messages. This really equates to how, not that long ago, parents would give ‘stranger danger’ messages to their children when they were going to play at the park by themselves. Following Simon’s talk parents went into classes to see our curriculum e-safety learning in practise. Just two days later parents of our year 6 children were able to attend a meeting to find out about the forthcoming end of key stage 2 statutory tests. A third parent session is scheduled for this term so that we can share the approaches we use to teach the important aspects of phonics and handwriting, the latter being done through Kinetic Letters. It is hoped that parents will then feel they are able to use the same strategies to support their children with homework.
Exciting opportunities have been taking place for the children too over the last two weeks in order to hook them into, and enhance their learning. For year 5 this was a visit to the ‘Big Bang’ STEM exhibition at Silverstone. This event was organised by the University of Northampton to excite students about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) via workshops, an exhibition space and the chance to talk to real-life scientists and engineers. Our children had a fantastic day, despite the cold weather. A highlight was definitely their time spent watching a show entitled ‘Dr Emily’s Weird and Wonderful Science Facts’. In this fun and interactive science quiz show, Emily explained some of the world’s weirdest science facts which gave the answers to such questions as:
Did you know that you can block a tickle? Or that we share 50% of our DNA with a banana? Would it surprise you to discover that snakes can bite you even when they’re dead? That cows with names produce more milk? Or that there’s a planet on which a day lasts longer than a year? And could it be possible that there’s an animal that does square poos? Is it true that we make better decisions when we need a wee?!
Meanwhile our foundation stage children have been totally enrapt and ‘eggcited’ as the kept watch on the incubator containing ten eggs that soon began wobbling and cracking signaling that they were about to hatch. Sure enough, the very next morning six chicks were cheeping loudly as the children entered school. The hatching continued and now all the fluffy chicks are doing well in their brooding box. The children were fascinated as they learnt that yellow fluffy chicks are males and that female chicks are actually brown. Not surprisingly most children favoured holding a male chick for their learning journey photo!
As the Beast from the East brought the snow on 1st March we just managed to celebrate ‘World Book Day’, at least until lunchtime when we took the decision to close the school due to the worsening weather. Children and staff dressed as characters from a book, which they also brought into school in order to share them with each other across the classes. Fantastic Mr. Fox chatted with Mr. Twit and Hermione Grainger and Mr Bump could be seen laughing with Donald Trump. The variety of costumes was immense and we wish to thank all parents for their efforts in sourcing them. We had a fabulous morning focusing on the love of books and I’m sure the children will enjoy using their World Book Day tokens (nearly as much as they will have enjoyed their unexpected snow day)!