Dear Primary School Families,
I hope this week has gone well and you have got back into the routines again now. Although as I write that I do realise we mixed it up a little with Earth Day projects on Wednesday! This was a move towards broadening our curriculum and supporting our goal to further develop students as global citizens. I hope this also provided a bit of variety and a different challenge for those year groups involved. It also enabled the opportunity for older students to work together again, something that is not just hugely valuable, particularly for discussion and learning from others, but also fun and motivational. We hope to continue this type of interactive learning in our future online programmes. Students, I look forward to seeing the results of your Earth Day collaborations with your classmates on this topic and will try and drop into some of the presentations planned for next week.
One of the benefits of the quarantine period (and there probably aren’t too many) is cleaner skies, less pollution and wildlife reclaiming cities. As one journalist put it, “mother nature is starting to breath again.” I am heartened by this and I had a go at our poetry competition (about life during lockdown) using that as my theme. I include these not because I think they are good but to inspire you to have a go as well. I know what great writers you are and I hope many of you will have a go and enter. I look forward to seeing your attempts. Here are my attempts:
As I look out over the city
A radiant blue sky
Mountains emerge no longer shy
As I look out over the city
I hear birds sing at dawn
Maybe a new era is born
As I look out over the city
Quiet replaces bustling
Birds not humans’ hustling
Our teachers are working hard to ensure you have appropriate learning opportunities and initial results from our surveys very much suggest we are getting this right in terms of levels of challenge and engagement. Thank you for all those who completed the surveys. We continue to review provision and make adjustments to enhance the online provision we are providing.
A reminder: Wednesday is Specialist Days (MFL, Music and Art Y2-6)
We were off timetable this Wednesday and from now on Wednesdays will be Specialist Day. MFL, Art and Music will post their work in their own Google Classroom (for years 4-6) and monitor student access. These tasks are no longer optional. We proudly offer a broad curriculum at BSM and as we move into possibly a longer period of quarantine, we want this to continue. That breadth of curriculum is important for student development and for variety in the school week. In addition, there are some wonderful activities being posted. Have you seen the animated characters that Ms Chaplin uses to introduce her art activities? Well worth a look. MFL will use videos they have made to support learning for Key Stage 2 and I have dipped into the Charanga music programme and there is some quality material there.
PE will still be set daily and can be found in the usual class teachers Google Classroom. We very much encourage children to be active each day. This follows the World Health Organisation guidelines:
“As WHO recommends : For children and young people, physical activity includes play, games, sports, transportation, chores, recreation, physical education, or planned exercise, in the context of family, school, and community activities.
In order to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, and cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers:
- Children and youth aged 5–17 should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily.“
For PE next week there will be a different emphasis each day (e.g. Movement Monday, Trick shot Tuesday, Ready Steady Wednesday, Thinking Thursday and Finalist Friday).
We will not only be encouraging the children to be active for themselves but also to create some new challenges and games which could have the whole family moving together!
A reminder: Check In Meetings Wednesday 29 April
On Wednesday 29 April we are offering you the opportunity to chat with the class teacher, the purpose of this is:
- to touch base with you to see how the online learning is going,
- to give you the opportunity to discuss your child and their learning at this time and how successful they have been with the tasks set,
- to try and support you with home learning.
A sign up document has been shared with you to make appointments and there are further instructions there. These will be for Year 2 to 6 as our younger years are having regular check ins with mums and dads.
Earth Day hopefully was inspirational and as we move into the weekend here are some ideas similar to some of those I compiled for Easter using virtual tours. The link is to a Guardian article entitled the World Is Your Classroom with some fabulous links including:
- Travel the wonders of the world
- Go on safari
- Become a marine biologist
- Visit US national parks
- Wildlife live cams
- Visit Mars with NASA
As I have said a couple of times now, the key thing to focus on at this time is well-being, both students and your own, and don’t stress too much if it is not going perfectly.
Being physical certainly helps well-being and the feel good factor, as does thinking of others at this time. Students are trying to find ways to be helpful at home and this has been shown to make you and whoever they helped feel well and wonderful.
Once again a huge thank you for your support at this time. We look forward to times when we can get back to normal class based learning with the wonderful social dynamics of a classroom.
BSM is one big family and we look after each other. Stay safe, stay positive we are in this together.