We tried very hard to be serious and sensible while making this video, it's really quite hard not to laugh when the camera is pointing at you - we thought you might like to see what happened before the final version above!
Poem of the Day - Tuesday 21st July
We wake to hear the storm come down,
Sudden on roof and pane;
The thunder's loud and the hasty wind
Hurries the beating rain.
The rain slackens, the wind blows gently,
The gust grows gentle and stills,
And the thunder, like a breaking stick,
Stumbles about the hills.
The drops still hang on leaf and thorn,
The downs stand up more green;
The sun comes out again in power
And the sky is washed and clean.
Tuesday 21st July
I cannot wait to see you all!
Packed lunch, water bottle, school uniform (if you can), 12:30 ball park gate - that's all there is to it!
Monday 20th July
Hello again everyone. I hope you've all enjoyed a lovely weekend and are looking forward to our transition session tomorrow afternoon. The session begins with a picnic on the field, so make sure you remember your packed lunch! Please also try and wear school uniform if possible. We do realise that you might have grown in the last few months, so if it really doesn't fit, then just pop something else on instead. Like I said last week, it's you that we want to see and chat to!
Please aim to arrive at school for 12:30 and enter through the ball park. We will sanitise your hands as soon as you enter the school grounds and then we'll gather on the field. I will split you straight away into two groups, but don't worry about this. It just means that each group stays on their own side of a line of cones. We'll still be able to see and hear each other as we catch up on what's been happening!
I can't wait to see you all!!
Friday 17th July
Today's congratulations go to James, Jessica and Vinnie for completing the Mathletics challenges. I'm so proud of all three of you for the way you have worked throughout this remote learning period. You all deserve a huge rest!
Today is a day of mixed emotions in school as we say goodbye to our Year 6s. They have been a credit to themselves and the school during their seven year journey through West Malling and all of us wish them the very best of luck as they take the next step on the journey of life! It will be an unusual day, unlike other last days from previous years. There will be a Leavers' Service, but in the Forest School area sat on logs, rather than the usual church service. However, I know it will be a very special day for all of us that are there.
You will have noticed that there is no Learner of the Week this week. Instead there is a message from some very special people who you will get to know very well over the next twelve months! I know they can't wait to get their hands on you because of all the wonderful things Mrs McConnel and I have been saying about you!
Thursday 16th July
So Ava, Millie and Gideon have now joined the select group of Willow-ites who have completed every Mathletics task set since we started working remotely - a wonderful effort all of you. Equally impressive is Kian, who has emailed through this week's tasks linked to 'The Journey' meaning that he has finished this incredibly powerful book. Well done! As well as emailing through the last tasks I'd love to know what you thought of the book as a whole, so do please let me know.
I know that there are a few of you unable to make it to next Tuesday afternoon's transition event. It would obviously be lovely to see as many of you there as possible. If you are intending to come don't forget:
Mrs McConnel and I can't wait to see you all!
Wednesday 15th July
Huge congratulations to Taliyah and George - the first two children to complete all the Mathletics tasks that have been set since we first started to work remotely! I am so, so impressed with both of you for the effort that you have put into all your work.
I'm really looking forward to catching up with all of you at the Transition event in a week's time, next Tuesday. I'm not sure we're going to have enough time to talk about all the news I'm sure you're going to have! I promise I'm not going to make you do lots of work - it's simply a chance for us all to reconnect and share some time together before school closes for the summer.
Tuesday 14th July
Apologies to anyone that looked at the website yesterday to try and find the answers to Week 6 of the 50 Club - I forgot to add them! They are there now, however, in the usual place below Monday's blog entry.
Today sees the last Mathletics task allocated as we've come to the end of the Problem Solving unit. I will, however, re-allocate any problem solving tasks if your score is below 50% so that you can have another go and try to improve your score!
Poem of the Day - Monday 13th July
A MOTHER'S LOVE
A mother's love protects you
Wherever you might tread.
She loves you from the sunrise
Until you go to bed.
She surrounds you with her love,
Embraces you in her arms.
She comforts when you're scared.
She soothes, she calms.
Through all the tears and heartache
When we're struggling to get through,
You should know that always
Her only thought is you.
Monday 13th July
So here we are - welcome to the final week of remote learning for the year! You have all just about made it to the end of Year 5; comfortably the strangest year any of us have ever experienced in school!
Some of you are finding the remote learning just that bit too much now, and that's absoutely fine. Please don't pile pressure on yourselves if you're really struggling and just need a break. Even if you don't attempt this week's tasks, you might like to take a look at them as you can find out how the story of 'The Journey' ends.
The poem of the day today comes from Elsie. It's the poem she wrote as part of last week's remote learning and both Mrs McConnel and I were blown away by the meaning behind it and how she has managed to control the rhyme. It's a wonderful piece of writing and one we thought deserved to be shared with a wider audience.
Friday 10th July
So here we are at the end of another week. At some point today you will all receive an email from the email@example.com email address with your end of year report attached. While I haven't seen you in person since March, I've still taught you for two-thirds of the school year, so that's what the report is based on. We felt, as a school, that it was important to write a virtually full report, despite the situation we have found ourselves in. Besides, it gives me the chance to say all the great things about your learning that I otherwise wouldn't get the chance to!
I can't promise when in the day I shall send them, but they will definitely arrive at some point. It would be lovely to read any comments you might have if you wish to reply to the email, but please don't feel you have to. Unfortunately there won't be an opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss the report, but if there is anything you would like to talk about in person, then please reply to the email and we can arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone conversation.
Thursday 9th July
When we first went into lockdown I managed to find a bit more time in the evenings to read. I love reading, but I can never find the time, as most evenings I'm working.
It got me thinking about which books you might have read during the time you've had at home. I'd love to know, so perhaps you could drop Mrs McConnel and I an email. If you really enjoyed it, you could write a quick review and email that across too. With Mrs McConnel in charge of the library in school, she might read your review and decide to order the book so others can enjoy it too!
Wednesday 8th July
Every now and then over the next couple of weeks I shall remind you all about the transition session coming up during the afternoon of Tuesday 21st July. The session will run from 12:30 until 3:00. This is a chance for us all to spend some time together, sharing our experiences of the last few months, and saying goodbye, before you then meet Mrs Lyall, Mrs Lofting and Mrs Babadi, who will be teaching you next year in Ash.
The event will be held outside on the field, so the only things you need to bring with you are a packed lunch (as we will start with a socially distanced picnic) and a raincoat. We would like you to come in school uniform, please, as it will help you feel like you are finally back in school!
Thank you to those of you who filled in the survey to say that you would be coming. Please don't worry if you didn't complete it, but we would really like to see you. It would be a great ending to a really strange year if we can manage to get everyone together.
Tuesday 7th July
It's a sure sign that this whole situation has been going on for too long when I run out of things to say! So today I thought I'd share some wisdom with you all - not from me, but from Winnie the Pooh!
"You don't spell it...you feel it."
"Some people care too much. I think it's called love."
"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."
"Love is taking a few steps backward, maybe even more … to give way to the happiness of the person you love."
"They're funny things, accidents. You never have them till you're having them."
"You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."
"A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside."
"The things that make me different are the things that make me."
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Monday 6th July
I hope everyone has had a good weekend. I travelled up to Greenwich to see one of my brothers for the first time in four months - it was so good to see him and catch up on all the news. I suspect that with the easing of lockdown, many of you saw friends and family for the first time as well and I hope that your reunions were as happy as mine.
I am well aware that many of you are finding the demands of remote learning for such a long period of time a real strain. There are two more weeks of work linked to 'The Journey' which will enable us to finish the story and find out what happens to the family. I have dialled the Mathletics right back and will continue what I did last week - just setting one task a day - so that hopefully no-one feels overloaded.
Of course, by now it should go without saying, that you are more than welcome to email Mrs McConnel and myself about anything you think we might be able to help with.
Friday 3rd July
So that's week 5 of term 6 completed and the summer holidays creep ever closer. That feels a very odd sentence to write, as on the one hand we haven't been in 'normal' school for the summer holidays to mean quite the same thing. However, on the other, I know from all your emails that everyone (myself and Mrs McConnel included) is on their last legs now. No matter how much we've kept on going and smiled our way through it, the last four and half months have had an emotional toll on us all. So please don't feel alone if you're struggling or feeling a bit down. The firstname.lastname@example.org email address can be just as much for adults to chat to Mrs McConnel and I as it is for the children!
You will have realised, I'm sure, that yesterday's Mathletics task brought us to the end of the unit on Volume, which the majority of you have completed very successfully. To enable us to start the next (and last!) unit at the beginning of a week there are no new tasks today - except for a few of you, where I have reset a couple of tasks to enable you to have another go and consolidate your understanding. If you have fallen a little behind, then this provides you with a bit of an opportunity to catch up.
I'm looking forward to reading your research into refugees as it comes in as part of this week's work based on 'The Journey'. Again, please don't panic if you haven't quite got it ready to send today - at some point over the weekend is fine!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone and stay safe!
Thursday 2nd July
Today's poem of the day is actually untitled. The word 'haiku' describes the type of poem that it is. I'm sure you will have come across this type of poem in school, but what is it? What makes a poem a haiku? And where do haikus come from?
If you manage to do a bit of research and find out some interesting information then please email me and let me know. Perhaps you could even have a go at writing your own haiku - I'd love to read some!
Wednesday 1st July
So here we are - entering July for the last stretch of the school year. What a very strange year it has been! Let's try and gather all our energies and finish year 5 well. We might not be able to be together in the classroom, but we can still be connected by knowing that we are working on the same things at the same time and seeing what each other have been up to through the website.
A final reminder that today is the deadline for registering for the Kent Test. Please see all the details in the presentation and links at the top of the page. You will not be able to take the 11+ test early next year if you have not registered!
Tuesday 30th June
I meant to say yesterday, that if anyone has any photos or videos that you forgot to send in, linked to the Sports Day Challenge, please do. I can then add them to the gallery below, together with the other clips, as it would be great to see as many of you as possible.
Don't forget that today is the last day you can register for the Kent Test as the closing date for registration is 1st July. If you are even remotely considering a grammar school as a potential secondary school destination then it is essential that you register for the test. All the details that you need are in the presentation at the top of the page. Remember that you can always opt not to sit the test if you change your mind, but the reverse is not the case - if your name's not down, you can't be added later!
Monday 29th June
I hope everyone enjoyed a good weekend and has been uplifted just a little at the thought of being able to come into school at the end of term for a transition event, as mentioned in Mr Clark's letter that was sent on Friday. While we're still working out the exact details, there will certainly be some time for us all to be able to say goodbye to each other before you meet next year's teaching team. Due to the very strange circumstances we've been working under it would be wonderful for as many of you as possible to be able to attend. Please make sure you reply before the deadline to enable us to plan the session safely.
In Mathletics this week I shall only be setting one task per day. This is to enable us to spend the week covering a short unit on the concept of Volume. The work linked to 'The Journey' this week asks you to carry out some research into migration and refugees and present your findings however you choose. You might, therefore, welcome the fact that there is only one maths task per day, and be able to use the extra time for your research. I'm really looking forward to seeing some thoughtfully presented work this week.
Friday 26th June
So we finish another week of remote learning. Well done George and well done all of you for the efforts you're making to maintain the level of work despite these strange conditions going on for so long. George and all of the rest of you - please don't ever change the wonderful individuals that you are. The meaning of 'unique' is that we all possess things that make us who we are - things that make George George, and me me! Don't ever be tempted to change those qualities to try and fit in with the way other people would like you to be. Enjoy being you!!
Our maths work on Converting Units of Measurement finishes today with the end of unit test. Next week we'll stay with measures, but complete a short unit looking at the concept of finding the volume of a 3D shape.
I hope you've all survived the heat of the last couple of days and enjoy the weekend ahead. Stay safe everyone.
Thursday 25th June
I hope you've all been slapping on the sun cream over the past couple of days. It was incredibly hot in school yesterday, and it's expected to be even hotter today. Scorchio!!
At least the warm weather is allowing lots of you the chance to be outside. Don't forget this week's Sports Day challenge. I've received a few videos and photos already so get yours in as well by the end of the week to make sure I can post it onto the website at the weekend.
Wednesday 24th June
I thought I'd use today's post for a couple of reminders:
Tuesday 23rd June
Welcome to Sports Day! This afternoon we should have all been competing on the field, demonstrating both our competitive spirit and also the spirit of teamwork as we all worked to earn points for our Castle Teams. In the absence of the real deal, I thought you might be interested in the two documents I've attached below.
They have been created by PASS and the Youth Sport Trust, linked to National School Sport Week. There are a variety of activities linked to sport for you to have a go at, from planning and organising your own Sports Day at home, to slightly more adventurous activities!
Whatever you get up to, just make sure you don't forget to send in a photo or video for our virtual sporting gallery!!
Monday 22nd June
Welcome back everyone to another week. Please do take a look below at the amazing work that came in linked to 'The Journey' last week. People are really challenging themselves in the way they are responding to the tasks and it is so good to see you all maintaining the quality of your work having been working remotely from home for so long now.
The story continues with five tasks linked to the text this week. Please don't panic when you read that! The tasks are mainly quite short and designed to guide you through the text and get you thinking. The final task is an extended piece of descriptive writing, and this is the one that I'd really like you to treat in the same way as a piece of extended writing in school; producing an initial draft, editing it and then writing it up as a 'best' copy. If the work you've all been doing so far is anything to go by, then I can't wait to read your descriptions at the end of the week.
This week should have seen Sports Day taking place tomorrow, so I have a challenge for you! Please try and send in a photo or video of you doing something sporty at some point this week and we'll see if we can create a Willow gallery of sporting fun on the website! It doesn't have to be serious sport; it can be as fun and creative as you like!
Friday 19th June
Well done to our Learners of the Week this week, and to all of you who have so far sent in this week's tasks linked to 'The Journey'. I'm really pleased with how well the majority of you are engaging with the story. Your work is showing me how much the text and illustrations are causing you to think and reflect - exactly what any good piece of writing should do!
A couple of Friday reminders for you:
Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll be back on Monday!
Thursday 18th June
Yesterday was Noah's 2nd birthday! I can't quite believe that two years have gone past since Mrs Hillsdon and I were teaching most of you in Mulberry class and she shared the news of Noah's birth with you all. My only message for all of you today is to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way - and live life as if every day is your birthday!!
Wednesday 17th June
We begin a new Mathletics topic today - converting between different units of measurement. Over the next week or so we shall be looking into the relationship between units of mass, length and capacity. We shall look into both metric and imperial measures and also look at the way in which the world is split into different time zones. Some of these concepts you will find harder than others, so don't forget to make use of the 'i' icon on each task that provides you with helpful hints and tips.
Another reminder for all you budding singers that the deadline for you to email in your video recordings of yourself singing 'Looking to the Rainbow' for Mrs Cripps is this Friday. Time for a last day of rehearsals before you need to hit that record button! I can't wait to see the finished project once Mrs Cripps has edited it all together.
Tuesday 16th June
I wonder if you can work out which creatures are being described in today's poem of the day? I'm lucky in that I live in quite a rural area with lots of countryside all around me, but something I've noticed while we've been in lockdown is the sounds of nature around me; bird song, cows and sheep which would all usually be lost to the noise of traffic. Some of my favourite walks have been to the local farm shop with Noah to buy some eggs and stopping to look at various things in nature on the way. Perhaps you've spotted things too that you haven't really taken that much notice of before?
Monday 15th June
I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend. The quality of poetry produced last week during your tasks from 'The Journey' was excellent. This week we'll be trying to write in a couple of different genres - a script to provide the voice-over for a video clip and a letter to give advice. Make sure you read carefully the document attached below to find out exactly what you have to do.
We're moving on to a new theme in Mathletics this week as well. It is a very short one, with just a few tasks linked to Postion and Direction. Assuming everyone finds it OK then we may begin another theme towards the end of the week.
Those of you who are planning on recording yourself for Mrs Cripps' amazing choir project, don't forget that the deadline to send through your video clips is this Friday 19th June. If you want more details then have a read of my post from Tuesday 9th June, or look at the 'Choir' information on the 'Music' page on the website.
Friday 12th June
Congratulations to our Learners of the Week - both have done incredibly well for different reasons and I'm so pleased to have been able to choose them. Please don't be disappointed if you are working hard at home and haven't been chosen. It's so hard for Mrs McConnel and myself with so many of you demonstrating all of our school values in these unprecedented times. While I'm not stood at the front of the classroom, I am immensely proud to be your teacher right now and to watch how so many of you are managing to keep your learning going.
The Properties of Shape Test that I set on Mathletics yesterday completed that unit of work so I haven't set any further tasks today. It's a catch-up day for those who have got slightly behind, and we start again next week with a new topic, looking at Position and Direction.
Our friends at PASS, together with Kelly Jarvis, PE teacher at Aylesford School and Well Being Coach, are offering a free five-week Mindfulness, Yoga and Wellbeing Club to all primary-aged children.
The sessions will be run on Zoom every Wednesday afternoon from 17th June to 15th July. If there is enough interest in the course then a second one will run over the summer. Please see the attached document below for more information.
Thursday 11th June
What a horrible day of weather we had yesterday - and as I'm writing this the forecast is saying it's going to rain for most of the day today as well! I suppose after the driest May on record we could do with the rain, but it doesn't feel that way when you're stuck inside staring out of the window at it. Mind you, I finally got round to planting some runner beans, tomatoes, courgettes and sweetcorn in the garden at the weekend, so perhaps I shouldn't complain too much!
I'm really pleased with how well everyone is engaging with our text 'The Journey'. I had some wonderful work last week, and already this week I'm seeing some really thoughtful responses to the tasks. There also seems to have been a sudden rush on Mathletics with lots of people who have got slightly behind working really hard to catch up a little. Well done Willow, and keep up the hard work.
Wednesday 10th June
Mrs Barrett has contacted me with an exciting opportunity that she thought you and your family might be interested in. Kent School Games and the Kent Children's University, in partnership with the School Games Organisers, have developed a fantastic resource for primary aged pupils called the 'My Active Rainbow Challenge.'
Children and families need to complete an activity from each colour of the rainbow, from within the booklet. Once you have completed it, you must colour in that part of the rainbow. Depending on how many complete rainbows/activities you do, you can submit the work and win prizes including Kent School Games Medals - which are lovely medals! Your parents can submit the evidence and the medals get sent directly home.
A video on how the challenges and booklets work can be found here:
The challenge booklet I have attached for you all below. This is such a great resource and it's completely FREE OF CHARGE!!
If you have any questions please contact Kent School Games directly: email@example.com
Tuesday 9th June
Today's post really comes from Mrs Cripps rather than me! She is trying to put together a choir project both for children who are in school and also those working remotely at home. If you would like to take part, there are instructions for you to follow on the Music page of the school website under the 'Choir' link. Anyone can take part - it doesn't just have to be children who attend choir club after school.
If you would like to take part you will need to learn the song 'Looking to the Rainbow'. The backing track and lyrics are both on the Choir page for you to use. You then need to record a video of yourself singing the song using either a smartphone or tablet (portrait way up please!) and email it to me on the firstname.lastname@example.org email address. The deadline for all videos to be sent in is Friday 19th June if you want to be included in the whole school video of the song that Mrs Cripps is trying to create!
The more of you that take part, the better the final project will be!
Monday 8th June
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, despite the slight downturn in the weather. Hopefully the sun will be back before too long.
Although one or two of you were initially a little unsure about the tasks last week connected to our new text, by the end of the weekend I had received some fantastic examples of people's thoughts and feelings about the opening of the book. If you get the chance to have a watch of the slideshow below you'll see and read how different people have reacted to the opening pages of illustrations and text.
The text this week suddenly becomes very emotional. So prepare yourself, and perhaps talk through what you find out, and your reaction to it, with an adult at home. The tasks all use 'Power of Reading' approaches, so you will either have used the techniques before (like strip poetry) or have done something similar (perhaps in the case of the 'double bubble'). I really look forward to receiving and reading your work as we move through the week.
I hope some of you had a go at the new online '50 Club' challenge designed by Mr White. I've posted the answers below for you to mark your own work. There will be another set of questions coming on Friday for you to tackle and see whether you can improve on your score from this week!
Friday 5th June
Here we are then at the end of another week of remote learning and the first week of the wider-opening of school to certain year groups. Thank you to those of you who have emailed to ask how it's been going and to wish us all well - it's very much appreciated.
I've already received quite a few pieces of work from the first tasks linked to our new text - 'The Journey'. Most of you seem intrigued by the first few pages of the book, and particularly the distinctive style of the illustrations. Keep an eye on these illustrations as we go on, as just as much of the story is told through these as it is by the words themselves! And be prepared - it may seem like a very simple text, but the story is a very powerful and emotional one. You have been warned!!
In terms of Mathletics, today is a 'catch-up' day with no further tasks set. Next week we shall move on from looking at angles to working with 3D shapes and investigating their properties. Please try and use today as an opportunity to catch up a bit if you've fallen a bit behind with the Mathletics tasks being set.
However, there is another maths challenge that some of you might like to try! Mr White has been very busy the past couple of weeks creating something exciting for us to practise at home. I know how many of you have been eagerly practising the 30, 60 and 100 club sheets to improve your score ready for our return to school.
We now have something brand new called the 50 club! This is something completely separate from the original 100 club and is something you can get involved with in a regular way to keep your mental maths skills developing. There will be three different levels - Level 1 uses 60 club questions, Level 2 uses 100 club questions and Maths Master uses MM Level 1 questions, so choose the level that fits you best. You should give yourself 10 minutes to complete as many of the questions as you can; the same as the original quiz at school.
The quiz will be posted on our class webpages on a Friday morning for you to have a go at and the answers will be posted on a Monday so you can self-mark. This is non-competitive and there will be no certificates. There will then be a different quiz posted on the following Friday for you to tackle new questions and try to enhance your score. The achievement is you improving and beating your score from the previous week! Of course, we would love to know how you are getting on!
Enormous thanks Mr White - you're a superstar!
Enjoy the weekend and see you next week!
Thursday 4th June
Hopefully you will have seen or heard that I have put together a PowerPoint presentation with information concerning the PESE (or 11+) registration process, attached at the top of this webpage. I have narrated my presentation over the top of the slides and the commentary will start automatically once the presentation is being viewed as a slideshow. You will simply need to click to advance to the next slide when I have finished talking on each one.
Clearly there is a degree of uncertainty over the precise arrangements for PESE, but this presentation will take you through the information as we currently know it. The key point to take away is that if you feel there is a chance that you might be interested in naming a Kent grammar school on your application form, then you MUST register in this registration window which closes on 1st July. Once registered, you do not have to take the test if you change your mind, but the reverse is not true - it is impossible to take the test if you have not initially registered correctly!
Do please email me on the email@example.com email address, or call the school during the day, if you have any questions at all.
Wednesday 3rd June
Apologies again for not being able to set the Mathletics tasks until the morning yesterday - it simply wouldn't let me log in the night before! However, I've been more successful with today's tasks, so they're all there and ready to go. You will, by now, have realised that this unit on shape begins by looking at angles. The tasks set today involve estimating angles and then calculating the missing angle from a complete rotation (360º). I would really recommend using the information ('i') icon and lightbulb icon with the Mathletics concept video to provide you with some background information before attempting the tasks.
Tuesday 2nd June
The first day of the wider opening of school to some year groups seemed to go well yesterday, although it was very strange working in a school with so many empty tables and chairs in each classroom. It will be interesting to see what happens as we move through the term. It would be so nice if we were all able to be back in school for just a couple of weeks at the end of the term to finish the year, but we'll just have to wait and see and until then keep on following the rules to help keep us safe.
Don't forget to please email me if at any point you run out of books on Bug Club. It's very quick for me to allocate you some more, so as soon as you let me know I can fill up another shelf for you!
As I'm writing this post, Mathletics won't let me log into the site, which means I'm currently unable to allocate more tasks for today. With any luck it will be working properly first thing in the morning when I shall try again, but I apologise if you're an early riser and find you have no tasks set!
Monday 1st June
Welcome back to the start of Term 6! I hope you've all had a wonderful half term break and have taken the chance to enjoy some of the amazing weather we've been having - while staying socially distanced of course! It seems incredible to think that it is now June, and the last time we saw each other in the classroom it was March! We're all missing you loads, so do please make sure you stay in touch via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
As I'm sure you will know, today sees some children in other year groups return to school and lots of us have been busy preparing the school building. If you want to have a look and see what it's like, Mr Clark has uploaded a video on the website giving a taste of the changes we've had to make. We've tried really hard to still make it as friendly and welcoming as possible despite the rules that we have to follow. For the rest of Term 6 Miss Walker will be teaching one of the Year 6 groups we have in school and Mrs McConnel will be working alongside Miss Hallett with the children of critical key workers. I shall also be in school every day, but based in my and Mr Clark's office. This may mean that there will be some delays in replies to your emails, but I'll do my very best to get back to you all as quickly as I can!
Not much will change for Willow in terms of the way we have been working. You should still be accessing Bug Club and doing some other daily reading. I shall be setting Mathletics tasks - either one or two per day depending on the tasks themselves - with a new topic this week, looking at the properties of shapes.
There is a slight change in the format of the weekly task. Our theme for this term is 'Migration and Refugees' and we're going to investigate this using 'The Journey' - a Power of Reading text. In her stunning first picture book the author/illustrator Francesca Sanna has drawn on the experiences she heard about from recent refugees from many countries. The text in this book is easy to read in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure and this apparent simplicity combined with the memorable illustrations have great power to move readers of all ages. Each spread features a carefully chosen colour palette, depicting a variety of landscapes, real and emotional, through which a family passes, escaping conflict and seeking sanctuary. The book ends on a hopeful note but makes it clear that most refugees live with continued uncertainty, even when they hope they have reached a place of safety.
In tackling this theme, our averall aims will be:
The tasks each week will guide you all through this beautiful book and enable us to explore these themes. It is exactly what we would have been doing in English if we'd been in school! Please do aim for that same quality of content and presentation as I would expect to see if you were working in your English book. It is a little bit different from researching and answering a single question each week, so have a careful read of the instructions for Week 1 below.
Friday 22nd May
Well done everyone - you've made it to half term! You should all be really proud of the effort you're putting into your school work. While lots of us are longing for a return to some kind of normality, it's so important that we keep doing our bit and at the moment that means maintaining our learning in this way. The longer this goes on, the more important it becomes that you try to find a bit of a routine at home that allows you a bit of time each day to focus on some school work.
I talked about the plan for Mathletics yesterday, so today, having posted one of my favourite poems as the poem of the day, I want to share with you an opportunity that you might like to get involved with over half term, that will hopefully bring a bit of excitement to your home learning!
This is certainly not an activity that you have to do, but one that I thought some of you might like to explore and get involved with over half term. If you do choose to investigate, and even to eventually enter the competition, then do please email us a copy of your competition entry!
Have a fun and relaxing half term everyone, and see you after half term!
Thursday 21st May
So as promised, here is the first of a couple of posts about the half term week coming up.
I shall set the last two tasks on decimals in Mathletics tomorrow and then pause for a week before we start a new topic after half term. Many of you have worked really hard this term on some quite tricky maths concepts linked to fractions and decimals, so really well done. If you have got a bit behind with Mathletics, then do please try and use the half term week to catch up on the activities you have outstanding.
You must make sure you have a break as well, but as this way of working remotely goes on for longer it's really important that you try and stay as up to date as you can with the work that's being set. It's also worth reminding you to try and complete the tasks in order. They do follow on from each other, so some of the later tasks are harder if you haven't completed the ones that come before.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me, Miss Walker and Mrs McConnel on email@example.com if you have any questions.
Wednesday 20th May
I've been in school this week as part of the team caring for the children of key workers and it's been lovely to see and chat to Leon, Myles and Kian. I can't quite believe how long it's been since we were all sat together in Willow class. It genuinely makes me feel really sad, and I know I speak for Mrs McConnel and Miss Walker too. Clearly, we're not going to be back in school for the start of Term 6, but let's all keep our fingers crossed that we might be able to at least spend a bit of time together before the end of the school year.
Over the next couple of days I'll be posting a couple of updates that will let you know about half term itself, and our plans for continuing to work remotely online during Term 6.
Stay safe and keep smiling everyone!
Tuesday 19th May
Today's poem of the day seems rather appropriate for anyone suffering from hayfever at the moment! Mine has just started over the last few days, which I always find so frustrating as I love being outside. If anyone has any good hayfever-remedy tips then please let me know! The thing that I've found works best over the years is a teaspoon of honey from a local hive every day. It sounds a bit strange, but it definitely helps!
The PowerPoint from Miss Walker underneath yesterday's post should help with today's Mathletics tasks as well. We'd really love to know whether you're finding the PowerPoints on the website helpful, so please drop us an email and let us know what you think of them.
Monday 18th May
Hello again everyone. I hope you've all had a good weekend. Here we go with the last week of remote learning for Term 5! This term seems to have absolutely flown by despite working in this virtual way.
We're sticking with decimals this week, but developing our learning by moving on to calculating with them. The work that you did last week will hold you in good stead for this, as to calculate successfully you need a secure understanding of decimal place value and what each digit of a decimal number is worth. Miss Walker has produced another PowerPoint (attached below) which will provide additional support, alongside that within Mathletics itself.
Friday 15th May
We've made it to the end of another week! Well done to our two learners of the week this week! I am so impressed with how hard most of you are working, despite this strange method of remote learning continuing for so much longer than we would like. If anything, the standard of written work in particular that we are receiving is only getting better. It really is difficult to choose learners of the week when there are so many of you that we can see are putting in so much effort. Please keep it up!
I have only added a single task to Mathletics today as it completes the unit of work on understanding decimals. Next week, while still using decimals, the focus will switch to calculating with them - and in particular making sure we are using written methods of calculation correctly when the numbers we are dealing with include decimals.
Enjoy your weekend everyone, and stay safe as always.
Thursday 14th May
We've been receiving so many of your photos, showing what you've been up to, that today I want to draw your attention to an ambitious community project being spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge. The National Portrait Gallery are attempting to create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.
Whilst many people's lives are on hold to help protect our helpers and heroes, there are some that are working harder than ever, and others that are enduring the upheaval of hardship and loss. Hold Still will capture a snapshot of the people of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of our nation which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, human tragedy and hope as we hold still for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.
The Duchess and the National Portrait Gallery invite you to submit your own photographic portrait, taken during these extraordinary times, which responds to one of the following themes:
One hundred shortlisted portraits will feature in a virtual exhibition on the Gallery's website and a selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year.
The project is completely free and open to all ages and abilities. Images must involve people, and can be captured on phones or cameras. Each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise. The closing date for submissions is the 18 June 2020.
Visit https://www.npg.org.uk/hold-still/ for all the details.
Wednesday 13th May
I just wanted to remind you all about our fantastic new subscription with Times Tables Rockstars. Several of you have logged in already and been practising your times tables using the games and challenges and seem to be really enjoying it. It would be great if as many of you as possible could give it a go and see what you think!
If you haven't logged in yet don't worry - we have set up your accounts to have the same login details as your Mathletics accounts. The website is: https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school/student/87520
Tuesday 12th May
Well done those of you who made a start on this week's new maths theme of decimals yesterday. We hope the extra resources that Miss Walker is producing for the website are proving useful. Please do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think of them.
There are two more tasks connected with decimals on Mathletics today, so Miss Walker has produced another PowerPoint to help you which is attached below. She's also found a good video which helps explain how you can convert a number from a decimal to a fraction. We have checked that this video is appropriate for children. Nevertheless, to avoid opening YouTube itself, click on the red play arrow and watch the video staying inside the school website.
Mrs Hillsdon has entered our school into a competition to win £5000 of book tokens! Wouldn't that be a lovely thing to return to school with!
You can help our chances by voting for us on:
So, spread the word and let's get voting!
Monday 11th May
Welcome everyone to another week of remote learning. I hope you've all had an enjoyable weekend and managed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in some way. If you take a look at the photo gallery below you'll see how some people marked the occasion - there's lots of scones, jam and cream on show! If any more of you have photos of your celebrations then please do email them to me and I can add them to the slideshow.
I wonder whether any of you were able to talk to family and friends about any memories of what VE Day itself in 1945 was actually like? My nanna is 98 years old and lives in a care home, so unfortunately I haven't seen her for a while, but on the phone she told me that she spent most of VE Day very angry and in a really bad mood!! She was working in a telegraph office and had to spend the whole day typing out messages of celebration and congratulations for other people that could then be sent as telegrams, without being able to join in any of the celebrations taking place herself! She'd tried to get her shift changed, but her boss had refused. By the time she finished at 11:30pm she was so tired she went straight to bed!
This week's Vikings work asks you to research the role King Alfred the Great played in defending Britain against the Vikings. The writing task requires you to write a speech. This is something we have done previously in class, so I'm really looking forward to reading what you come up with. Perhaps some of you might even like to film yourselves delivering a powerful speech to rouse the nation against the Viking invaders!
We're moving on from fractions to decimals in maths this week and Miss Walker has produced some helpful extra resources for you which I shall add to this page as the week goes on.
I look forward to reading your emails during the week. Stay safe and have fun!
Thursday 7th May
Don't forget tomorrow's celebrations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day. Have a look back at Tuesday's post for some more information and ways to get involved. I really look forward to getting some emails with photos to show what you've been up to.
On Mathletics it's the final day of fractions activities today before we move onto decimals next week. I can hear the enthusiastic cheers from here!! Do have a look back at all the activities we've done so far as you might like to go back and have another go at any you feel you could improve upon.
Enjoy the VE Day celebrations, and remember to come back tomorrow to discover the identity of our Learner of the Week!
Wednesday 6th May
Please don't forget to check out Miss Walker's handy guide to finding fractions of amounts which is attached below Monday's post. It's a really useful PowerPoint which should aid you with the Mathletics that you're currently doing. Drop us an email afterwards and let us know how helpful you found it - I know Miss Walker would appreciate it!
There are a few contenders for Learner of the Week this week as some of you have made a real effort with both Mathletics and your Vikings work. It's not too late to impress us, so keep letting your lights shine!
Tuesday 5th May
I hope everyone enjoyed Star Wars Day and managed to do at least something linked to the films!!
Back on planet Earth, this Friday is a very special day. It is a Bank Holiday to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) - commonly thought of as the end of World War Two - and 75 years of peace in Europe. Lots of communities had all sorts of things planned, which have now had to be cancelled or postponed. However, there are still plenty of things you can get involved with:
In the village where I live everyone is beginning to hang bunting in their windows or on the outside of their home. Perhaps you could have a go at making some of your own.
English Heritage have nine things of importance on their website that we should all know about VE Day: http://tiny.cc/EH9
In fact, the English Heritage site has a great deal of information that you may want to look at: http://tiny.cc/EHVEDay
We'd love to see photos of what you get up to to commemorate this very special day.
Monday 4th May
Happy Star Wars Day everyone! May the Fourth be with you!
I hope you've all enjoyed the weekend and are refreshed and ready to begin another week of remote learning. We continue with our Vikings theme, but Miss Walker and I would like you to think a little more creatively this week. There is less historical research needed, and more of a focus on producing some quality imaginative, descriptive writing. Have a read of the document below, and we look forward to reading your accounts.
We contine with a final week on 'fractions' in maths. I know lots of you have found this topic tough, but there has been some wonderful perseverance. Indeed, I might have to have multiple Learners of the Week this week! People have been going back over the Mathletics tasks several times, using them to help improve their understanding, as well as using the extra resources from both Power Maths and Mathletics that I posted below.
This week Miss Walker has also written a separate PowerPoint presentation, which I have attached below this post, that is well worth a watch before you begin any Mathletics activities. She has tried to offer some help and guidance on how to find a fraction of an amount, and use this to solve problems.
If you fancy some extra maths, or just a break from fractions, why not check out Times Tables Rockstars, a new game-based online programme we've subscribed to. It's completely free. You just need to go to https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school/student/87520 and use your Mathletics username and password to log in. Have fun!!
Friday 1st May
On May Day I would just like to echo Mr Clark's words and also publicly apologise to Millie for not being able to share her amazing PowerPoint presentation with the rest of you! I've already emailed an apology directly to her earlier in the week. Her PowerPoint contained so much information that the website can't cope with it as the file is too large for me to attach in the gallery along with all of your other work! I'm sure she will gladly share it with you once we're back in class - hopefully not too far into the future.
Miss Walker, Mrs McConnel and I are looking forward to being sent your second piece of work about the Vikings, explaining why they chose to invade Britain. The research that lots of you have done and sent us already shows that most of you have understood that there isn't just one reason, but several possibilities that historians have argued over during the years. Don't forget, that the quality of writing and presentation in your work should be exactly the same as if we were working in school.
For anyone wanting to try something new this weekend, why not have a go at a new maths website we've subscribed to. Times Tables Rockstars is a game-based website that will help you learn and practise all your multiplication and division facts. Hop along to https://play.ttrockstars.com/auth/school/student
Your username and password are exactly the same as they are for Mathletics. Have fun and drop us an email to let us know what you think!
Enjoy the weekend everyone. Stay safe, and we'll see you again (virtually) next week!
Thursday 30th April
Thank you to those of you who emailed to say how helpful the extra fractions resources below have been in providing some additional explanations and activities. I've allocated a further fractions task on Mathletics today after pausing for the last couple of days. There's one today and I'll add another one to finish the week tomorrow. As we've been finding fractions tough I just wanted to take the pace down a notch and give you a chance to explore the other resources and consolidate your understanding.
Please don't hesitate to contact Miss Walker, Mrs McConnel or I on email@example.com if we can help at all - or even if you just want to say hi and chat!
Wednesday 29th April
Oh the joys of fractions! Lots of you are finding working with fractions really challenging, so again, I've changed how I'm working with maths today. When starting any Mathletics activity please, please click both the 'i' icon (for a brief explanation of the activity) and the lightbulb icon (for a video teaching about the concepts) before beginning.
Below this post are some additional resources from Power Maths and Mathletics. These contain some worked examples and explanations, together with additional questions and activities that you might find useful. There is absolutely no expectation for anyone to use these. However, several people have emailed and asked for further activities to consolidate and reinforce understanding. The Mathletics booklet also contains work on decimals and percentages - but just use the contents page to navigate your way to the fractions bits you'd like to look at!
I shall be back setting further Mathletics activities tomorrow and Friday! I hope the additional fractions resources are useful.
Tuesday 28th April
Some of you may have realised that no new Mathletics tasks have been set today! That's not because I've forgotten, but for two main reasons:
Although the information section marked 'i' on each activity is there to help you, several of you are still finding it tricky. I want to add something to the class page today which will give you some more guidance and hopefully help you with these concepts. Please don't worry or get stressed if you're finding this a bit difficult. I'm not surprised as we haven't looked at it in class yet, so you're using Mathletics in a different way - to teach you!
Below is the sequence of Power Maths lessons we would have been working our way through. I've posted them in the order we would have tackled them in class. Please note that this is NOT extra work that I expect you to complete! Each 'lesson' starts with a Discover question which then has the answer and explanation alongside it. This explanation should give you some pointers for that topic. Hopefully this will prove helpful to you all!
Monday 27th April
I hope everyone enjoyed the sunshine this weekend and was able to get outside for a bit, either for a walk or in their gardens. We've had a hedgehog hibernating in our shed all winter. I thought it had gone once the weather had warmed up, but I spotted it again on Saturday, which makes me wonder whether there could be some hedgehog babies (called 'hoglets') on the way soon! I'm not too sure how I feel about that really!! If I can manage to get a photo at some point I'll add it to the class page.
Well done for all the Viking work that came in last week. Make sure you have a look below at all the fantastic examples. As we'd expected, lots of you seem enthused by our new topic. Each week we'll be delving deeper into an aspect of this fascinating period of British history, so by the end of the term you should all be Viking experts! This week's question is posted below, along with all the others we've had so far, in case you want to catch up on any you've missed.
Don't forget to keep doing some daily Mathletics and reading. I know you're all reading your own reading books, but do pop onto Bug Club every now and then as well, as the questions the computer asks you are a good way to practise your comprehension skills.
Finally for today, you'll see I've also included some photos as usual to show what other exciting things you've been up to this week!!
Friday 24th April
Well done everyone for completing another week of remote learning away from the normal routine of being at school. Mrs McConnel and I have been in school for three days this week looking after the children of key workers who are still coming in. It's been lovely to see her and be able to catch up, but we've both said how much we miss you all and miss being together as a team in the classroom.
I hope you're as excited as I am that 'Learner of the Week' is happening again via video! We might not be able to meet together for Celebration Worship in the hall, but we have the next best thing! I suspect you've already watched the video before reading this, so will know who this week's winner is. Hopefully it will inspire some of you to work extra hard next week and see if it can be you that Mr Clark reveals!!
Stay safe and enjoy the weekend everyone.
Thursday 23rd April
Happy St. George's Day everyone! Hopefully the patron saint of England will be shining on us today and helping all those people working so hard to find solutions to the situation we find ourselves in. Somehow it feels very appropriate that our national saint day falls on a Thursday when we will all be outside our front doors again tonight at 8:00pm clapping and making lots of noise for everyone working in the NHS and in key roles combating the coronavirus and ensuring our country can keep operating.
For those of you who love stories, you might be interested in something exciting being offered by Audible. The link below is to Audible Stories - a free website where kids of all ages can listen to hundreds of Audible audio titles across six different languages - English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese - for free, so they can keep learning, dreaming and just being kids!
Wednesday 22nd April
First, I wanted to say a big, public "WELL DONE!" to Johnny, Jesse and Jimmy for the efforts they have been making this week with Mathletics. Top stuff boys - please keep it up because I can see how hard you're working at the moment!
Some of you may have seen various pieces of information either online or on the TV regarding the current 'home-schooling' that is taking place across the nation. Here at West Malling, our key aim is not to add to the already stressful situation that exists in many of our households. Our expectations for the children's learning in this time remain the same as when we first moved to the world of online learning. We would strongly encourage anyone wishing extra 'work' to focus on developing life skills and making memories as a family: go on a walk, create some artwork, go on bike rides, learn how to make a cup of tea or how to make your bed, bake a cake, plant some sunflowers, help to make dinner - the list is endless!
However, for those who would like something a little more formal, the attached document below provides some links to free resources being offered by the BBC, the government's new online National Academy and our own PASS PE network.
Tuesday 21st April
Fractions is often an area of maths that causes people some difficulty. While using the 'information' section of Mathletics may help you tackle the set tasks, please don't hesitate to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you're struggling. We can email you back and try to help you out. Even though we can't physically be with you, we're still here to support you with your learning!
For those of you who are looking for extra opportunities for learning while you're at home, make sure you check out the web page tomorrow. There will be a link to some interesting opportunities that you might like to check out!
Monday 20th April
Hello everyone. I hope you've all had a good weekend. I went for a beautiful walk on Sunday morning, exploring local footpaths I've never been down before to see where they went, and discovered some beautiful hidden places! We also had a family 'Zoom' chat for Joshua's 10th birthday. It wasn't quite the same as everyone being together in person, but it was lovely for him to be able to celebrate with all his uncles, aunts and grandparents. My mum had even made a birthday cake with candles, even though it's only her and my dad that will be able to eat it!!
Today marks the return of our weekly enquiry questions - and this term we move to a new theme. We will be learning about the Vikings and their impact on Britain!
Every Monday a new question will be posted on this page. Rather than the links being right at the bottom of the page I've moved them up so that they will always be at the end of Monday's post. Remember, the aim is that you produce a piece of work, with a significant amount of writing, that answers the question each week. All the extra information you need is in the question document itself below.
Miss Walker, Mrs McConnel and I are really looking forward to seeing some amazing work about the Vikings being emailed to us at email@example.com.
Mathletics tasks will continue to be set daily, and we are moving to a focus on fractions for the next couple of weeks. Don't forget to watch the information section for each task (marked with an 'i') before having a go at the activity itself. This will give you a little bit of teaching and should help you be even more successful when you tackle the questions.
Friday 17th April
Underneath this post is a link to an activity pack that you might like to print and have a go at when you have some spare moments. It's a 'lockdown 2020 time capsule'. A time capsule is something that is kept to remember a particular moment in history. The idea behind this pack is that the activities are ones you complete by yourself and with your family, that you can then look back on in the future and remember the strange way we had to live because of the worldwide coronavirus.
Please don't feel that you have to do it. It's just something that some of you might be interested in doing!
Thursday 16th April
Welcome back to school and the start of Term 5! It seems very strange to be saying and writing that when we're not going to be seeing each other in person. I hope you've all had a fun Easter with your families despite the strange way the world is at the moment - and most of all I hope you and those you love are all fit and well.
Mrs McConnel, Miss Walker and I would love to hear what you've been up to during the holiday so please let us know by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be lovely to see some photos as well if you're able to send them. I wonder whether you were as excited as Noah was if you did an Easter Egg hunt? Have a look at the photos below and I think you'll agree that he seems rather pleased with his egg!!
From today we're back in the world of online learning. That means I'll be setting Mathletics tasks daily for you and keeping a log to see how well you're getting on. You should also make sure you're doing some reading each day - either on Bug Club or with a book of your choice that you currently have on the go at home.
The weekly extended learning tasks will begin again on Monday. This term they will be linked to a new area of learning with a history focus. Head back here on Monday and you'll find out what the theme for this term is!
Rather than leave the enquiry questions right at the bottom of the class page I shall move them higher up so that they are all there together with the website entry for Monday each week. If any of you have completed any of the first two questions linked to our work on rivers and not sent them through to me then please take a photo and email it over. We want to be able to celebrate your work on the website slideshows alongside everyone else!
IT'S SPRING TIME
It's spring time, it's getting warmer.
Time to get cooler.
It's spring time, animals are born.
New goats have a new horn.
Animals are cuter,
Time to get off the computer.
Get the pool,
To get cool.
Tuesday 7th April
Hello everyone! I hope you've had a lovely start to the Easter holidays and have been enjoying the recent warmer weather. While we can't go outside and visit friends and family, the sunshine at least makes any walks you are going on outside far nicer. Special thanks to Aidan for his poem which he sent to me last week and I've used as today's poem of the day.
Well done those of you who have emailed in your most recent remote learning which needed you to complete and explain a river cross-section. I've made a slide show of the work that has come in so far. Don't worry if you haven't sent yours in yet - I can always add more pictures to the slideshow! I've also attached some photos that you've emailed to show what else you were all up to in the week before the end of term.
I hope you enjoy seeing what your friends have been up to. Enjoy the Easter sunshine!!
Hopefully by now you've realised that this is a completely silly invention that doesn't exist at all! Have a great Easter break everyone and stay in touch!
Wednesday 1st April
So here we are on the last day of Term 4. I think it's safe to say that this is easily the strangest term I have ever been involved with, from flooding and horrendous winds, to the situation we now find ourselves in with covid-19. I would like to thank all of you that are working together, finding ways of staying in touch with friends and family, and displaying all of our school values in this time of adversity.
During the Easter break I won't be updating the website daily, but I will still add posts every now and then, so please do keep a look out. I have set the last few Mathletics tasks and won't now set any more until Thursday 16th April - the official start of Term 5. Some of you still have quite a few Mathletics tasks outstanding, so please try and use the time over Easter to catch up and get these completed.
The same is true for the remote learning enquiry questions. Two have now been posted at the bottom of this page and it would be wonderful if I could receive photos of the work from everyone before the end of the holiday.
Lots of you have accessed Bug Club too. James and Leon have read so much they have already emailed me and asked for more books! Please don't hesitate to email email@example.com if we can help with anything, or even if you just want to let us know what you're up to.
It would be equally lovely to get photos of any other things that you've been up to. It really is lovely seeing what you've been doing, and hopefully posting some of your pictures onto the website helps make everyone still feel like a class, sharing in each other's experiences.
I hope you are all able to enjoy the Easter period and can take both consolation and inspiration from the story of Christ at this surreal and difficult time.
Tuesday 31st March
It seems very strange to be thinking about moving towards the end of term when we're not actually in school! I know Mr Clark and Reverend Green have been working on a way that you can perhaps take part in a virtual end of term worship tomorrow if you would like to. Below is a little treat from Ava, who thought you might all need some cheering up!
Monday 30th March
This poem is a very special one, as it has been written by Taliyah.
Can't see my family,
Can't see my friends.
Working from home, when will it end.
Nowhere to run,
Nowhere to hide.
Everyone is stuck inside.
The clock is ticking.
Time is passing.
Staying inside is all they're asking.
People rushing to get some food.
Who are they thinking about?
It's not you.
Nowhere to run,
Nowhere to hide.
Everyone is stuck inside.
Monday 30th March
Welcome to Week 2 of our virtual school! I hope you've all had a good weekend. Fingers crossed the weather will warm up a little again as we move through this week so we can manage to get some fresh air in our gardens while we're staying at home.
First, a huge well done to those of you who have been carrying on with your learning. Almost everyone has logged into Mathletics, with only two children not attempting any of the tasks set. Even bigger congratulations to Ava, Jack, James, Vinnie, Taliyah, Millie, Kian, George, Joseph and Rebecca who did everything that was asked of them by completing all the week's work on Mathletics!
I was also really pleased to be sent work from eleven children in response to the first remote learning question, identifying and explaining river features. This meant that Mrs McConnel, Miss Walker and I were able to email back to all of you, giving some feedback and catching up. It would be great if more of you were able to send photos of your completed work to firstname.lastname@example.org over the next few days. Watch the slide show below to see all the work that was sent in. If you have time, have a look at the Ash Class page as well, as they worked on the same question and there was some excellent work from the Ash children. It might inspire you to set your sights even higher this week!
It has been great to receive emails telling us about everything you have been getting up to. Reading them makes it feel like we're not quite so far apart. Everyone has been getting involved in so many amazing things. Taliyah, for example, was inspired to write her own poem after reading the poems of the day I've been posting. I hope you enjoyed reading it this morning as I found it incredibly emotional. The second slideshow below will give you a flavour of some of the other learning your friends have been getting up to.
This week's Mathletics is some revision of work we did earlier this term on perimeter and area. I shall only set tasks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week to take us to what would have been the end of Term 4. We'll then start up again at the beginning of Term 5 on Thursday 16th April. I have also added the Hundred Club sheets to the bottom of the page in case you want to print them off and have a practice and see how much you can do in ten minutes!
Finally, this week's remote learning enquiry question has been added to the bottom of this page. It's slightly different this week, and will need you to read the instructions carefully and then really think and apply your knowledge.
Friday 27th March
As I write this post, I've just come in from standing on the front doorstep, clapping to say thank you to all the men and women of the NHS, along with the rest of the people who live in my village. It was incredibly emotional listening to the applause and shouts ring out across the night sky. My brother lives in a flat in London and sent me a video from his balcony. All you could hear was clapping coming from every direction - a real sense of the country coming together in recognition of those who are caring for us all. I would just like to add my personal thanks to all of you reading this. Whether you are involved with the NHS, whether you are a 'key worker' helping to keep the country running, or whether you are staying home, social-distancing and following the new rules, you are all helping us get through this.
So we come to the end of our first week of remote learning! I'm really looking forward to receiving all your river features work and spending some time looking through it over the weekend. Well done to all of you for your efforts this week. Thank you to those of you who have got in touch via email this week. It's been really nice to have some contact and not feel quite so cut off from the school family of which we are all a part. As well as the learning I am setting, it's been really interesting to see what other things you've been up to, so please do email any photos through to email@example.com, just like Vinnie did!
Thursday 26th March
The first few pieces of rivers work are beginning to come in! Don't forget that this is a writing task. It's great that you are all thinking about how you could present your work in interesting and attractive ways, but the key task is to define and explain river features, not just to label them!
A special mention to Taliyah today, who I spotted had gone back over some of the previous days' activities in Mathletics to further develop her understanding. Well done Taliyah!
Wednesday 25th March
I was really pleased to get an email from James yesterday telling me that he'd enjoyed the poem of the day. Today's poem is a bit different, but I quite like it - the way it is set out so that sometimes there are only one or two words of a sentence on each line. And Noah ALWAYS wants to pick up any feathers he sees when we go out for a walk! Let me know what you think.
Almost everyone has now accessed their learning on Mathletics, so well done. Today's tasks are multiplying and dividing numbers by 10, 100 and 1000. We have looked at this in class previously so this should just be a reminder. Don't forget to think about how the digits move when you multiply and divide. Drawing out a place value chart on a piece of paper next to you might help you visualise what you're doing.
Tuesday 24th March
Now that we're officially in Spring, I'm going to post a poem of the day linked to 'nature' every day on our class page. Perhaps you could send an email to comment on some of the poems that appear.
Well done everyone for making a start yesterday with your remote learning. Over half of you completed the Mathletics tasks that were set and lots of you logged into Bug Club as well.
It seemed as though 'factors' caused a few of you problems yesterday. Perhaps this will help, and then you can have another go today!
A factor is a number that divides into another number exactly, without leaving a remainder. Most numbers have an even number of factors; however, a square number has an odd number of factors. A prime number has only two factors - the number itself and 1.
Make sure you use the information (i) button when you're doing the activity as it will do a bit of teaching on the topic for you.
Monday 23rd March
Miss Walker, Mrs McConnel and I hope you’re all well and staying safe with your families. We’re all having to get used to different ways of doing things at the moment - and school and learning is just one of those. ‘Remote learning’ is something that we can develop and get better at while school remains closed. I’m sure there will be problems along the way, but nothing that we can’t solve together.
A special email address has been set up (firstname.lastname@example.org) that you can contact us on. Miss Walker, Mrs McConnel and I all have access to this. The email will act a bit like a virtual classroom, so it would be lovely to hear from you. Of course you can ask us questions about the work you are doing, and we’ll do our best to help you, but it would be lovely just to hear what you’re up to and how you’re keeping yourselves busy!
There will be three different types of learning that are regularly updated and that we expect you to do. These are:
Tasks will be allocated each day (Monday to Friday) for you to do. These will initially continue with our current focus on multiplication and division. Don’t forget to click on the information icon (i) in the activities if you want some hints, tips and teaching to help you!
I will be keeping an eye on how you’re doing with the tasks. Please email us if you’re finding something particularly tricky and would like some advice.
You have all been allocated new books on Bug Club and should try to spend a little bit of time each day reading and answering the comprehension questions to check your understanding. Please make sure you email us if, after you’ve read a couple of the books, you’re finding them too easy or too difficult.
Of course, this time at home is an absolutely ideal time to get stuck into some books and really lose yourself in some amazing stories!
Every Monday I will post an enquiry question here on our class page, linked to the history or geography theme we are studying. You will need to produce a piece of work to answer the question. This will need you to do some research, either using books or the internet, and then produce a finished piece of work to answer the question. There will always be some writing involved in this task, although you might also choose to do some art work or extra research to go with it and really challenge yourself as a learner.