We had an amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) week in Term 2 which started with an assembly by Dr Nelson from Kings School who showed us lots of exciting experiments and proved to use that we are in fact all Scientists! The theme for our learning was ‘Our Future’, so we focussed on the environment, climate change and changing technologies.
We are really lucky that two of our parents are STEM ambassadors and they came in and did lots of workshops with us. Mrs Blair gave us an overview of environmental issues, waste and recycling and we made clipboards which we later used when she brought in some thermal cameras for us to investigate the energy efficiency of our school. We also played a game to highlight the injustice of environmental issues and how we are not all effected in the same way. Mr Blair helped us to all become engineers by teaching us how to make our own torches and letting us control a robot with a microbit – very cool!
Once we had made our torches, we designed, created and evaluated covers for them. We had to think about how the cover/case would enable the torch to be used in a practical way. Maybe it protected the torch? Or made it waterproof? Or made it stronger? Or had a handle for carrying the torch around easily?
Some other activities that we did throughout the week included:
Designing a new invention that would be helpful in the future
Learning about Greta Thunberg, the Fridays for Future movement and thinking of our own list of demands
Making clothes out of junk modelling
Solving binary codes
Using time lapse videos to see how the earth has changed in the last 30 years and thinking about why these changes have happened and how we can stop them
The RE Day 18th November 21
The RE day focused on the Story of Rama and Sita and festival Diwali which is important to Hindus and Sikh’s. As a unifying ‘whole school day’ we had an overarching learning objective which appropriately focused on the EXPRESSING stand, within the Kent Agreed Syllabus addressing the question for each key Stage.
Which times are special and why? Little Hedgehogs Pre-School and Ladybirds class
How and why do we celebrate special and sacred times? Butterflies and Dragonflies in Key stage 1
Why are festivals important to religious communities? Squirrels, Otters, Foxes and Badgers in Key Stage 2
LO: To understand how and why Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali.
The RE day developed a wide range of cross-curricular links with a range of subjects including Harmony, English, Mathematics, Design-Technology, History, Geography, Art, ICT, PE and the outdoor environment.
Pre-School shared the story and then got creative making Diva lamps out of recycled materials and developing their fine motor skills as they coloured rangoli patterned pictures. They explored the properties of scented coloured tea lights and developed their mathematical skills by counting them and creating repeating patterns with them. They really enjoyed making coconut ice with Miss Hills moreover they enjoyed eating it. The highlight was when Dr Uppal Amaya’s Mummy came in wearing traditional dress to teach them a fun energetic Sikh dance. The children learnt a Diwali song (to the tune of Head Shoulders, Knees and Toes), which helped them remember all the exciting activities and traditions that surround the festival.
Freddy: Can I take this home to my Mummy?
EYFS: Communication, Literacy, Understanding the World, Creative Development, Physical Dev, Mathematics.
Ladybirds class shared the story of the ‘Best Diwali Ever’ and then joined in some fin Bollywood style dancing. They made some yummy coconut ice and beautiful clay diva lights over a period of a few days. To welcome everyone into their classroom they creatively used chalk in the outside environment to create some amazing rangoli patterns. They had a busy week and had made a colourful display with paper lanterns, firework pictures and pretty paper plate diva lamps as they learnt all about the story and the festival.
EYFS: PSED, Communication, Literacy, Understanding the World, Creative Development, Physical Dev, Mathematics.
Wow! Butterflies had an amazing day, totally immersing themselves in a creative curriculum.
The started off by learning the Bollywood Dance, then shared the story of Rama and Sita. They were very creative making Mendi pattern hands, Rangoli patterns with rice and sand and beautiful clay diva lamps.
In Class 2, their Diwali learning started off with some mathematical work on rangoli patterns. They learnt about how a rangoli pattern is generally symmetrical in design and uses circles to create the basis of each work of art. The children created their own rangoli patterns using circles drawn with a compass to ensure a perfect circumference, they then created additional circles to design some of the extra layers of their rangoli patterns. Some children even used compasses to design petals and artwork on the rangoli pattern itself. They learnt about the story of Rama and Sita and created some excellent comic strips based on the famous Hindu story.
Throughout the day they made some flat bread chapatis with raita as this is a popular staple in lots of Diwali celebration meals. (they especially enjoyed eating these in the afternoon!) They had a go at making some Kandil lanterns in the afternoon too alongside joining in a fantastic Bollywood workshop, where they learnt some key hand gestures such as the ‘lotus flower’.
In Class 3, we started our day with an overview of what Diwali is and learning about some of the ways that it is celebrated. We learnt the story of Rama and Sita and then retold it in a comic book version. Then, we had a go at creating our own Rangoli Patterns. Some of us worked in small groups, making them with sand and rice in a traditional way, and the rest of us tried to use a repeating pattern of circles (drawn using a compass) to create one. This was very tricky! In the afternoon, we learnt some Bollywood style dance moves, including turning our hands into wolves and lotuses. We also made friendship bracelets (and learnt to plait) and designed our own mendhi hands.
Class 4 really enjoyed making Scratch animations retelling the story of Rama and Sita in the I.C.T suite. They loved the Bollywood Dancing and created some very precise and unique Rangoli Patterns. They concentrated as they made plaited friendship bracelets and used coloured modelling dough to create diva lamps complete with scented tea lights.
Class 5 learnt about Hinduism and the history behind the festival. They linked in with elements of Harmony and designed their own Rangoli patterns, learning that mandala meant circle they painted their own stones. They enjoyed Bollywood dancing and making friendship bracelets. Finally, after learning about the story of Rama and Sita, they produced Scratch animations retelling the story in the I.C.T suite.
Class 6 learnt about the Rama and Sita story and in small groups and created wonderful dramatic plays which they presented to the governors in the outdoor living classroom. They enjoyed Bollywood style dancing in the hall, made comic strips and created lanterns out of card.
Engaging in elements inspired by the ‘harmony’ initiative and a series of creative and challenging cross-curricular activities led to deep motivation and understanding, resoundingly the day was a success. Pupils were enthusiastic, they learnt a lot and had fun, credit and thanks must be given to the outstanding teachers and support staff for all of their hard work in making the day such a success. .
A visit from Bishop Rose November 21
On Wednesday 3rd November, we were treated to an amazing visit from the first black female bishop the inspirational Bishop Rose. Although we are not a church school, we were very lucky and grateful to Reverend Peter who liaised with the diocese to have our school included in her busy itinerary.
To make the experience meaningful to all of the children from the youngest to the oldest we did some careful pre-teaching, this included watching the short BBC film ‘What’s On Your Head?'. In the film Bishop Rose discusses her job and describes the ‘Mitre’ she wears. Allied to watching the film Key stage 2 pupils read a biography on her life and wrote down a series of questions to ask her. To avoid repetition A huge piece of paper was passed from class to class so that each class could see which questions had been written previously and different lines of discovery could be developed.
On the day Bishop Rose met Little Hedgehogs and gamely joined in a dance of ‘Ring O Ring O Roses, we’ve met Bishop Roses’ she taught us a lovely new song from when she was a little girl, George was immediately charmed by her presence and greeted her instantly with a huge hug.
Moving on to Ladybirds, Butterflies and Dragonflies Classes Bishop Rose was impressed by the Mitres each child was creating to reflect something unique and special about themselves, she described how the shape of the mitres were originally designed to represent the flames of the ‘Holy Spirit’.
Key Stage 2 met Bishop Rose in the main school hall and asked her a series of uncompromising, questions including: ‘What is it like to be the first black female Bishop?’, ‘Can you forgive people who do unspeakable acts?’ ‘Is it good to dream?’, ‘What do you say to people who don’t believe in God?’ and ‘What is your favourite food?’ Bishop Rose was very kind and made time for every child to share their ideas and have their voice, she answered with honesty, clarity, enthusiasm and joy, she made us laugh and really understand and appreciate her Christian faith and the responsibility she holds as a church leader and black female role model.
Thank you Bishop Rose for visiting us at Sheldwich it truly was a day to remember, and we hope you will come back and visit us soon.
Book week - October 2021
Our theme for this year's Book Week was 'Journey to the Past' whereby all of the books read in every class had to be set in the past. This theme not only allowed every class to explore a rich variety of high quality texts, but also allowed for fantastic History learning opportunities where students found out about the Historical period(s) in which the stories they were reading were set. Texts and historical periods studied ranged from Julia Donaldson's 'The cave Baby' in the stone age in Class R, via the Second World War and Michael Mopurgo's 'Friend or Foe' in Class 5, all the way through to the Witch Hunts of Stuart England in the 1600's with Emma Carroll's 'The Somerset Tsunami' in Class 6. Class teachers planned and delivered a wide range of cross-curricular activities related to their texts and historical periods through the week: Class 4 fenced like the three musketeer's in their P.E lessons, Class 2 wrote in Hieroglyphics, Class 6 performed Stuart era poetry and Class R created their own caves and cave paintings. Class 6 won the 'match the favourite childhood book to the teacher' competition and class 6 the 'guess the weight of the pile of books' contest - each winning a new poetry anthology for the classes. One of the most successful activities of the week was when older children went to read with children in younger classes (many pictures of which can be seen from below). The way the children read to each other with such expression, and listened to the other reading with such focus was a joy to behold and enjoyed by both the children and staff alike. Similarly, the teachers thoroughly enjoyed going to read to 2 different classes through the week (I had a super time reading Michael Rosen's poem 'The Register' to Class Five). Class 6 were lucky enough to have a visit from internationally renowned illustrator and author Christina Balit on Friday, she told us all about her career and her working processes as an illustrator and author. Dressing up day on Friday was as wonderful as always with everyone from Boudicca to Julius Caesar in attendance. I'm looking forward already to next year's book week... now, to think of a theme... (Mr Cork)
Sports Week June 2021
Sports Week 2021 was a celebration of trying new sports, getting active and working together. The theme was the Tokyo Olympics and we had a real focus and drive on instilling the School Games Values across the school. Throughout the week, each class had organised sports coaching sessions and time to engage in some competitive inter-house competitions.
Every class started the week by looking at previous Olympic medals, designing their own and then making them out of clay. Once they had dried, we painted them gold, attached some ribbon and wore them with pride.
The School Games Values of DETERMINATION, HONESTY, TEAMWORK, PASSION, SELF-BELIEF, RESPECT were a central focus throughout the week. Raffle tickets and values stickers were awarded for them and children clearly tried hard to demonstrate them.
We all took part in a range of inter-house competitions in a variety of sports. We competed in handball, hockey, football, rounders and different athletic races. It was a wonderful chance to use some of the skills we had learnt this year.
During the week, we also had sports sessions from a range of coaches including: golf, sitting volleyball, lacrosse, tchoukball, squash and a mini Olympic races for KS1. It was fantastic to have the opportunity to learn new sports, try new skills and learn from some experts. The children liked having the chance to experience sports they had never heard of and were keen to do more of them.
It was fantastic to welcome Gemma from Canterbury Academy to Sheldwich, she conducted a day of cheerleading sessions with each class. This was highly successful and was a real highlight for many. Each class learnt some basic moves, put a routine to music using pompoms and some even got to do some gymnastic moves.
We also held a intra-school tennis competition, where each class had a set amount of time to complete as many volleys or bounces of the ball with the racket and the top three children in every class received certificates. We also conducted a 30 second skipping competition to see how may skips we could complete. Our aim was to improve our personal best scores and use the data to enter the local skipping league. Everyone had a super attempt and lots of improvement was seen.
Alongside the active sports and competitions, each class completed a piece of Olympic/sport related art which is proudly displayed on their class pages. There was a lovely spread of different examples and techniques used, even some chalk art!
After Sports Week had finished, each class teacher asked some of their pupils for their thoughts on the week.
Isla - Little Hedgehogs - 'Look I can run faster than Agnes, but not as fast as Monty.'
Olivia - Little Hedgehogs - '1, 2, 3, 4, 5 rings, I need a pink ribbon.' (Whilst making her Olympic medal).
Dexter - Ladybirds - 'I enjoyed the week . I liked the running and the sack race - I came first!'
Dorothea - Ladybirds - 'I liked doing the running races. I want to do more cheerleading. I couldn't skip but now I can - I am proud of that!'
Aurelia - Ladybirds - ' I love cheerleading - I love the pompoms! I can do three circuits now. The dressing up race was funny.'
Emily - Butterflies - 'I loved Sports Week - it was my favourite week so far! I really loved the parachute games, the games were so fun and I loved Sports Day. I would have liked to take part in more races, I was so proud of myself for doing my best in the egg and spoon race.'
Josh - Butterflies - 'I really enjoyed Sports Week because I designed an Olympic mascot and skipping because I did 6 skips in a row. I was proud of my medal on Sports Day, I was in the winning team and I would have liked to take part in all the races!'
Amelie - Dragonflies - ' I really liked the week because we got to do skipping and I really enjoyed the dodgeball tournaments. I was proud of coming second in the tennis virtual league!'
Abby - Dragonflies - 'Really liked it because I got to try out sports I haven't done before. My favourite sport we tried was tchoukball. I was proud that I competed in the running races!'
Skyla - Squirrels - 'I thought Sports Week was really fun. I liked all the sports we did. I was pleased my team won every game of football. I would like to do more of the sports we don't usually do.'
Theo - Squirrels - 'Sports Week was really fun and entertaining. I enjoyed the team house football the most. I was pleased I got to learn some new games. I would like to do more games that I haven't tried before.'
Zach - Otters - ' I thought Sports Week was great. I was tired everyday when I went home because I'd done lots of sports! I enjoyed the relay the most, I thought I did really well. I enjoyed learning skipping and I would like to do more.'
Olivia - Otters - 'I really liked Sports Week because I like doing sport. I loved making the medals and sports day itself was fun. I am pleased that I got to try some new sports like squash and tchoukball. I'd like to play tchoukball again.'
Amy - Foxes - 'I enjoyed learning about the new disciplines from the sports coaches that came in. I liked the competitive atmosphere and enjoyed tchoukball and cheerleading as the dancing felt fun. I am proud of learning new sports and having a go at them.
Oliver - Foxes - 'I liked the fact it was a whole week so you get the chance to try lots of different sports. I enjoyed our interhouse hockey tournament and the personal challenges because I could improve my own abilities.'
Luca - Badgers - 'It was great - I liked cheering on my team at Sports Day and doing the sprint. I enjoyed the interhouse cricket contest and was proud of my batting.'
Josh - Badgers - 'I found it fun - it got me excited for the whole week - I like all sports. I really enjoyed Sports Day and tchoukball. I'd like to do more football and contact sports.'
ARTS WEEK - MAY 2021
The theme of Arts Week this year was 'The Big Draw' and the aim of this week was to learn and improve on drawing techniques and apply these to our Art work.
Everyone was given a sketchbook to decorate in their own style and use throughout the week. A winner was chosen from each class for their outstanding sketch book design. We think they all looked amazing and showed such creativity!
Chris Targett is a local artist and illustrator who made some videos for us to watch of his artwork and a drawing workshop on drawing portraits. We thought of questions that we would like to ask Chris and he responded to our questions by a video link.
Throughout the week a variety of activities took place around the theme of drawing. In Maths shapes were used to make patterns and pictures. We learnt about famous artists and illustrators and found out how they became an artist, what inspired them and also practised drawing in their style. During the week we built up to a 'wow' piece of work which can be seen on each class page.
Here are some photos of all the activities that took place in each class:
PERFORMING ARTS WEEK - MARCH 2020
HARMONY DAY - NOVEMBER 2019