The week from 19th –23rd of June was Refugee Week at Colindale Primary School. This is an important focus for us because we know many of our families have either moved from their country of origin through choice or have been forced to move for their own safety. It is also important to highlight how we at Colindale welcome and support refugee families considering negative coverage in the national press.
Through a range of classroom-based activities, assemblies and some parents who were kind enough to volunteer, the children explored what a refugee is, some of their experiences and how we can make them feel welcome.
A big thank you to Mrs. Azim for coming in to talk about her work as a lawyer working with and representing those seeking asylum in the UK. It was a sobering insight into the challenges people face when they seek refuge in this country, but also interesting to hear more about the processes that take place in becoming a refugee.
Thank you also to Mrs Nebi and Mr Musinovic. Mrs Nebi spoke to us about leaving her home country when she was a 7-year-old girl. She told us about coming to school in the UK with no English, an experience that many of our children share. She explained how through the kindness of others, especially her first teacher, and her own hard work, she was able to learn English and feel more at home here. Mr Musinovic left Bosnia when he was 17. He described leaving with his injured father on horseback, travelling through mountains to reach safety. His story really opened our eyes to the difficult life refugees face, travelling in unknown countries, with nothing except the clothes they were wearing. Even having to tie the detached soles of his shoes back on with wire. For both Mrs Nebi and Mr Musinovic it was clear that the UK was home to them now and that they were made to feel safe and welcome by the communities they entered. I’d like to think all our school community would do the same, in fact we see the children do it whenever we have new arrivals. Refugee week is about celebrating and maintaining that.
National Numeracy Day 2023 – Wednesday 17th May
Science Week – March 2023
(Article 28: Every child has the right to a good education)
Science Week, held in fact over two weeks, was a great success! We had over 300 parents and family members come and join us for our fun workshops.
In the Nursery, parents joined in with activities which focused on the theme of ‘Connections’. Children thought about how wood comes from trees and went on a hunt around their classroom to find things that were made of wood. They also carried out an investigation on the effect of washing up liquid on milk; where once the washing up liquid is poured onto the milk it separates. Another activity included looking at seeds and trying to guess what they might grow into. This linked to the story of The Little Red Hen, which the Nursery children had been learning about that week.
Art Week and Exhibition – January and February 2023
In January 2023 during Art Week children across the school were introduced to new artists:
Nursery: Ruba Salameh
Reception: Etel Adnan
Year 1: Yayoi Kusama
Year 2: Lubaina Himid
Year 3: Faith Ringgold
Year 4: Albrecht Dürer
Year 5: Sonia Delaunay
Year 6: Frank Bowling
Each year group then used their focus artist to inspire them to make their own creations appropriate to their age. A range of media were used by the children, including acrylic paint, oil pastels, sketching pencils and collage.
The Art Exhibition, which marked the completion of Art Week, took place on the 22nd February and displayed the brilliant art work created across the school.
Parents and carers were invited to attend the exhibition with their children after school and we had a great turn out! It was fantastic to see so many people strolling through the exhibition and supporting the event. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive which made the event even more special. Children were proud to see their art being displayed in various places around the school and were eager to show it to their parents.
So many of the parents and staff commented that our school looked like an art gallery. Maybe the new generation of artists is being educated at the moment at Colindale and we might see in the future, some of our pupils having their own exhibition at the Tate gallery! Well done everybody!!
Music Events – December 2022
Barnet Music Festival
This year the Barnet Infant Music Festival was held at Colindale Primary School. Infant choirs from two local schools – The Hyde School and Brooklands Primary School – came to Colindale to sing with us.
All the children in Year 2 were part of the Colindale Infant Choir. During the morning they joined in with songs all schools had learnt; sung in ‘a round’; practiced body percussion and performed their choice of song ‘Teddy Bear Rock’. The children were fantastic and made us all very proud.
In December, close to the end of term, the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Alison Moore, invited our wonderful and talented school choir to sing at an event outside the Barnet Council Offices. They harmoniously sang a range of Christmas carols and seasonal songs beautifully, led by Mrs. Hurn and Ms. Marshall. Well done!
Year 3 Carol Concert
In the final week of term, we were treated to festive sounds of the Year 3 Carol Concert.
The children in year 3 had worked extremely hard learning the words to all the songs and treated us to a highly festive concert in the hall. The children sang confidently and even had to sing acapella for the first two songs as we experienced end of term technical difficulties.
Very well-done Year 3 and thank you so much for a beautiful concert to end the term.
Interfaith Week – November 2022
The 14th-20th November 2022 was our annual Interfaith Week.
From across the school, children brought in objects that were very important to their religion or that represented a non-religious belief they have. They showed their special object to their class and explained why it is important. It was great to listen to the pupils share their beliefs with each other.
From Nursery to Year 6, the children listened to stories from different religions and thought about what they might teach people. Year 2 learnt about the stories of Hanukkah and Diwali. Josiah in 2T said “They are both about good and bad, and good winning in the end.” And Alyssa noticed “Light helps the people in both of the stories.”
Year 3 were visited by Rabbi Jackie Tabick. She showed the children how some Jewish people dress and told them some of the routines and rituals Jewish people might carry out. We also found out that in her group of Judaism there are female Rabbis and that she was the first female Rabbi in Britain.
Year 4 were visited by Father Matthew Duckett. He told the children about some of the symbols and features of a Church and how they are used in ceremonies such as Baptisms, Holy Communions and Sunday services. He also showed us a sacred oil that will be used to anoint the new king.
The week was great fun and the children enjoyed sharing their religions and beliefs.
Black History Month – October 2022
During October, we celebrated Black History Month with storytelling sessions and workshops delivered by Big Foot Arts Education.
The children in Reception and KS1 took part in a story telling session where they learnt about the experiences of a child from the Windrush Generation who came to live in Britain. They listened to a story told from the viewpoint of a friend of Floella Benjamin, a Trinidadian-British actress, singer, presenter, author, businesswoman and politician. The children explored issues of identity, difference and acceptance.
The children in KS2 took part in a Black & British workshop where they learnt about influential black British people, such as Malorie Blackman, Lenny Henry and Maggie Aderin-Pocock. The children enjoyed creating role play scenarios, raps and quizzes to present important information about these individuals.
As well as these workshops, the children also took part in other learning opportunities during this month:
Year 1 learnt about Ruby Bridges, tasted exotic fruits and played the Djembe drums.
Year 2 tasted Afro-Caribbean food and created collages based on the artwork of Marisa Hylton.
Year 3 learnt about the Windrush Generation.
Year 6 learnt about the role of the Commonwealth during the Second World War.
Our Black History Month celebrations ended with a spectacular carnival where Years 3 and 4 made costumes and performed carnival dances for the other children to enjoy. A group of talented Year 6 children also performed the Charleston. It was an enjoyable afternoon for all and a wonderful way to end out month of
Black History Month celebrations;
Switch Off Day – October 2022
On 11th October 2022 we celebrated our annual Switch Off Day as part of the national energy campaign, Switch Off Fortnight, which is organised by The Pod in partnership with the Energy Saving Trust Foundation.
Switch Off day is a day that we save as much electricity as possible by switching off lights and not using computers, laptops or smart boards. We also learn new ways to tackle climate change, raise awareness and help our planet.
Although our school has LED lights and the swimming pool wasn’t working on that day, we managed to save 14% of electricity! Well done, Colindale!
This year, the children also took part in a competition by writing poems or songs and making posters of how we can save energy and help the environment. Here are some of the entries:
Sports Week – July 2022
What a fantastic week of sport and physical activity! It was great to have a ‘normal’ sports day and have everyone together again after the past few years. All the children were well prepared, enthusiastic and were able to show off their physical skills. There were sack races, egg and spoon races, tyre flipping, space hoppers, football dribbling and a water obstacle! The children encouraged each other and had a brilliant time!
The winners of the infant and junior sports day were………………
|Year 1 & 2||Northern|
|Year 3 & 4||Northern|
|Year 5 & 6||Circle|
Thank you to all the staff for being enthusiastic and making it so enjoyable for the children. A big thank you to all the parents who were able to come along to support their children and celebrate with everyone.
Everyone had a thoroughly good time!!
We arrived at the education department of The Houses of Parliament where we watched a presentation about its history.
The first room we visited in the Houses of Parliament was a room with Queen Victoria’s throne and her picture hanging on the wall. There was also a copy of the Magna Carta which was a law passed by high knights to prevent the king from passing laws without the House of Lords and Commons allowing it.
Afterwards, we walked below Victoria Tower, where all the signed laws were kept, before entering The House of Lords. All of the seats were red and there was a throne which the monarch uses every year to open Parliament. Then we passed a hall that had pictures of the last monarchs to live in Parliament.
We walked to The House of Commons. All of the seats became green and I saw the opposition and government seats. Then we ended the tour at Westminster Hall where our guide told us that the tiles in the hall were over 1000 years old! Some parts were 400 years old.
Vedant (Year 6 School Council member)
Performing Arts Week – May 2022
Performing Arts week took place on the week beginning 23rd May and was a real success. Every child had the opportunity to either sing, dance, act, or play music in front of an audience. Nursery and Year 2 started off the performances, with the Nursery children confidently singing some familiar Nursery Rhymes. Year 2 sang and signed the ‘Friendship Song’ along with a fantastic glockenspiel accompaniment. Their performance was a musical masterpiece!
The following day, we were treated to more performances. The KS2 choir sang some of the songs they had been rehearsing for the Barnet Schools Music Festival with beautiful, tuneful voices. Year 6 put on a poetry performance with some great rapping skills. This was followed by a butterfly dance, where the children danced to the tune Comptine d’Un Autre Été, expertly played by our staff members, Mrs Sokhi on piano and Mrs Marshall on violin. The butterflies displayed were part of the Year 6 art project.
In the afternoon, the whole school came to the hall to watch performances by parents and the staff. The children were extremely excited when the staff choir sang a medley of Disney songs.
The next day, there were even more performances from Reception and Year 3. Reception performed a number of songs and dances, and a lovely bell ringing performance to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The whole of Year 3 performed a fantastic medley of musical theatre songs, including Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You and It’s a Hard Knock Life (Annie). It sounded amazing!
On the final day, it was the turn of Year 1, Year 4 and Year 5 to perform. Year 1 showed excellent drama skills, acting out familiar stories about bears. Year 4 impressed us with their dance moves as they performed a variety of superhero dances.
The final performance of the week was Year 5 100 years celebration dance. This was a real highlight, as the children danced to tunes from the 1920s Charleston to the 2010s Gangnam Style, finishing off with one of our school’s favourite songs from the 2020s, Give it All You’ve Got.
It was an absolute joy to see children and staff having so much fun, especially after the restrictions put in place during Covid times. The governors who came to watch were very complimentary of the children’s performances, “It was fabulous. Showcasing the amazing work that the students had been preparing. It was lovely to see the younger students so engaged and supportive. Clearly a talented staff – the individual pieces and the choir were brilliant, the students loved it. I have been singing Disney songs all afternoon – great for the wellbeing!”
“..it was such a breath of fresh air! I truly enjoyed every part of it! The kids looked like they had so much fun and honestly at certain parts I think I was having more fun that they were.”
Overall, it was an unforgettable event. It was amazing to see how many talented children we have in our school!
Nutrition Workshops – April & May 2022
Year 5 enjoyed taking part in school-based Nutrition Education Workshops in April and May.
The children were surprised to learn how much sugar is in some snacks and foods, and they learnt how to look up the nutritional information of various foods by looking at their labels. They learnt about the adverse health effects of excess sugar in the diet, including hyperactivity, poor concentration, tooth decay, increased blood sugar levels and weight gain that can lead to diabetes. They also learnt about different food groups and healthy eating by looking at the Eatwell Guide. They discussed healthier snacks and healthy snack swaps.
The children went on to learn about the importance of a healthy breakfast and how this can help concentration in school and enjoyed designing a poster stating the benefits of reducing sugar in diets and making responsible food choices.
Their favourite part of the workshops was making a healthy dish that they could later bake at home and making a fruit salad in the design of a rainbow.
“I have learnt that we should check how much sugar is in food by looking at the nutritional labels.” Musa
“It is important to eat a healthy breakfast to improve our concentration in school.” Daria
“We can be healthier by eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables because different fruits and vegetables have different vitamins.” Abilesh
“I enjoyed estimating the amount of sugar in food and drink and making a fruit salad shaped as a rainbow.” Avi
” My favourite part was making an oat bar by using fresh ingredients.” Natasha
” During the workshop, I learnt that in a small pack of chocolate buttons have five teaspoons of sugar!” Destiny
” I really enjoyed the contents of the goodie bag that we got to take home!” Robert N
Science Week – March 2022
Science Week was an enormous success this year! We had around 300 parents and family members come and join us for our fun workshops!
Parents of Nursery children joined in with a variety of activities during science week. We made ‘seed pods’ by adding different seeds to a mixture of flour and water. This VERY sticky mixture was put into a small cardboard pot. The children took these home to plant in their garden or in a pot of soil…who knows what will grow? Hope it is not a beanstalk! We also did a ‘floating flowers’ investigation, to find out which paper made the best flower, floating on top of the water.
During the week Reception were visited by the farm! They couldn’t wait to see the animals and as they walked towards the outside classroom, they could hear all kinds of noises…baa, oink, woof!! When they arrived, they were happy to see a variety of animals and two farmers. The first animal they met was a donkey called ‘Dash’. They learned that donkeys sleep standing up. Then they met a sheep and her lambs. They learned that sheep like to eat grass, but as the lambs were only a week old, they had to drink milk. They met a pig called ‘Twiglet’ who was only one years old. They discovered that ‘Twiglet’ loves to roll around in the mud. They also met brother and sister goats and learned that the goats had horns on their head to protect themselves. They loved stroking the two fluffy rabbits and feeding them carrots and kale. There was also a very friendly farm dog that enjoyed all the attention he was getting from the children. The children asked lots of interesting questions and found out so many facts about the farm animals. It was a wonderful experience that the children won’t forget for a long time to come.
The workshop with parents for Reception was not in the same week but happened at another time. The children began their spring planting, getting the garden bed in the outdoor area ready. They planted potatoes, cress seeds and sunflowers. We can’t wait to see them grow and flourish.
In Year 1 the pupils made bubble wands with their families to find out if the shape of the bubble wand changed the shape of the bubble. Some of the pupils were fantastic at blowing bubbles and everyone had so much fun. We found out it doesn’t matter what the shape of a bubble wand is, the bubble will always be a sphere!
Year 2 held their annual ‘Make the tallest tower’ competition. As in past years, this year was a nail-biting competition. The pupils and families were given newspaper, recycled paper and tape to construct a tower which would hold a cube up. Miss Parmar had to remind the families to let the pupils do some of the work as well! From very excited pupils to families standing on tables to make sure their tower got taller and taller, everyone had a fabulous time. Fantastic teamwork could be seen across the year group with pupils helping each other and adults working together with them. Even some very small family members got involved! The tallest towers did manage to touch the ceiling with one group in 2C creating their own Burj Khalifa!
Year 3 had so many family members that they took their science learning outside. They learnt how to take their pulse and about the effects of exercise on their bodies. The pupils and their families were carrying out star jumps, running up and down the field and checking to see how fast their heart was beating and their pulse was going! Everyone was exhausted by the end of that session.
In Year 4 pupils and families worked through several different experiments. They made water walk; created rain in a cup and growing a rainbow. The children discussed each experiment and predicted what they thought would happen. The pupils really enjoyed the growing a rainbow and rain in a cup experiment. This could be seen by the expression on their faces and the sound of excitement coming out of every classroom!
Year 5 couldn’t believe their luck when their teachers showed them, they were creating marshmallow catapults! Working in small groups with their families they used wooden skewers; blue tack; lolly sticks; rubber bands and of course marshmallows. There were small bits of marshmallow being flung in all directions and the pupils thought carefully about how the catapult would need to work. They had a contest to see who could create a catapult that would throw the marshmallow the furthest distance. Some were fantastic and managed to catapult the marshmallows as far as 3m. We also found a few parents who excelled at making the catapults!
In Year 6 the pupils and families were making slime! The pupils used flour, baking powder, PVA glue and contact lens solution. Though it was difficult they were determined to make it work with some pupils coming very close to making slime. As they were making the slime the teachers realised that they needed a different type of contact lens solution, however this did not deter the children. Like true scientists they thought about what the consistency of slime should be like and added ingredients which would help achieve that. Some pupils added shaving foam as this would make the smile foamy; they added flour in order to thicken the mixture and they added more contact lens solution as they knew this was the activator. The pupils loved just having fun with something messy and creating their own versions of slime!
100 Years of Colindale Mini-Forest Planting – March 2022
On Friday 25th March (Red Nose Day) Ms Rodgers, Mrs Grigoriadou and the Eco Committee planted 15 saplings which had been donated to the school by the Woodland trust. There were 5 Rowan trees, 5 Crab Apple trees and 5 Maple trees.
The saplings were very small, so we planted them in the school garden, in a special ‘nursery’ where they will be safely looked after until they are strong and big enough to be planted in the main grounds of the school.
We all had great fun, planting the saplings, watering them and ensuring they were safely covered with a special sleeve to protect them from any animals.
Over the next few years, we look forward to seeing them grow into mature trees.
Year 1 – Trip to RAF Museum – February 2022
Year 2 Trip to London
Starting Out in Early Years