Residential Week June 2019

This week 83 year 5 and 6 pupils are spending five days – Monday to Friday – at Gordon Brown Outdoor Education Centre in Hampshire, near Hook.

On Monday they travelled by coach and arrived safely in time for lunch. That afternoon they had a tour of the site, met the animals and hugged Lucky Larry, the Cedar of Lebanon, which is the centre mascot. Then the children pond dipped, finding an endangered great-crested newt; dragonfly nymphs by the net full, as well as assorted worms, larvae etc. They then made lanterns for the evening campfire, where everyone drank hot chocolate and ate digestive biscuits as a nightcap.

On Tuesday they split into groups and spent the morning climbing the high ropes; scaling the low ropes; solving problems in teams; and using their senses to identify and explore the world around them. That was all before lunch!! In the afternoon they built shelters as protection from the elements; learned to make a fire and cook on it; and recreated Roman strategies of self-preservation. The rain had stopped, so they had a dry day.

On  Wednesday, the groups of children rotated so they could have a go at other activities. They had lots of fun racing each other on the trim trail; an activity which required teamwork and co-operation. They had to scale a 2 metre wall, balance on a giant sized seesaw and help each other across a rope swing. The afternoon fire making session was made tricky by the rain, but the group managed to cook enough popcorn for a healthy snack.

On  Thursday, there was lots of activity on the climbing wall and lots of children jumping from a platform 10metres in the air. Other groups built shelters and tried to build fires, but the damp wood that they collected was a real lesson on how difficult conditions can be in the wild. They were all glad to come in for a trip to the tuck shop, a warm supper and then back out to sit and reflect on the week around a roaring campfire. Many happy faces enjoying the trip but looking forward to coming home tomorrow.

After a Thursday evening campfire and lot of thanks yous and shared feelings about the trip, they woke on Friday morning to face the task of packing bags and cleaning tents and dorms. Looking forward to being reunited with family and friends there was an air of efficiency around the centre and even the rain didn’t dent their spirits. A final lunch and a fond farewell to all the Gordon Brown staff, saw everyone file on to the coaches to go home! What a fantastic time everyone had at Gordon Brown, with many fond memories to treasure.

Click here for more photographs.

Science Week 2019

Every year our pupils take part in British Science Week which is always held in March. British Science Week is a national event, run by the British Science Association. It is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths.

This year parents were invited to take part in a science activity with their children. The activities included building the tallest towers using only sticky tape and newspaper; making bubble wands; joining in very vigorous exercises; testing the pitch of different length straws; and planting seeds in Reception. Over 150 parents joined in the fun activities over the week.

During the week all topic lessons were based on science. The teachers ensured that over the week there were many practical activities which supported the development of the pupils’ scientific knowledge and understanding. Having visited many classes during the week it was wonderful to see such a high level of enthusiasm and interest in science. On the Tuesday our governors also visited with a focus on science. They were wowed and impressed by what they saw across the school. For example, in Year 2 they watched as pupils built different paper aircraft models and flew them to test which would go the furthest and in Year 5 they saw pupils building structures out of marshmallows and dry spaghetti!

Open Lessons

Every term we hold Open Lessons in Reception to Year 4, where we invite parents and carers to join in with a lesson. In these Open lessons the class teachers and support staff show parents and carers how an area of the curriculum is taught and give lots of ideas of how children can be supported at home.

During February, Year 1 had an open lesson on writing. There was a fantastic turn out, with just over half of all Year 1 parents attending. The feedback about the lesson was very positive. Having spoken to parents at the end of the session and during consultation evenings, it was clear to see that the session was very informative and helpful. Parents commented on how surprised they were with how much their children could write, as well as how well they write. Many parents also said that their children love to do writing at home. The session focussed on writing sentences for accuracy. Pupils were encouraged to say their sentences; count the words; write the sentence and then to check it for a capital letter, finger spaces, spellings and correct punctuation.

Year 2 and 6 SATs meeting for Parents

Every spring term we hold meetings for parents to tell them about the SATs tests and assessments that are held every year in May for children in year 2 and year 6.

Below are the power points that we use at the meetings for reference.

SATS in Year 2 Presentation
SATS in Year 6 Presentation

Design and Technology Week and Exhibition

During the first few weeks of the summer term 2018, the whole school celebrated Design and Technology week. The theme was the World Cup 2018 and some amazing projects were undertaken throughout the school including: experimenting with mechanisms to make moving football players; building table top football game; and making pennants, pencil cases and badges.

Design and Technology week culminated in the school’s first Design and Technology exhibition which was held on Friday the 22nd of June where every child’s final product was displayed and celebrated. It was great to see so many parents and carers attending and supporting the event. The exhibition was a huge success as the children had worked extremely hard on their World Cup inspired designs.

A selection of work from across the school will also go on display as part of an exhibition at Whitefield school. The children should be very proud of what they have achieved.


Community Links

As a school we build community cohesion by promoting equality of opportunity and inclusion for all the different groups of pupils within our school. We promote shared values and encourage our pupils to actively engage with others from outside our immediate school community so that they understand what they all hold in common. We are committed to equipping our pupils to live and thrive alongside people from many different backgrounds.

We have a programme of curriculum based activities whereby pupils’ understanding of community and diversity is enriched for example, through visits to places of worship, visitors and workshops in school and participation in assemblies. We benefit from a wide range of partnership arrangements, participating in a variety of sports, drama, music and dance activities and festivals. We also have strong links with our local community police officer and school nurse, who come into school to run workshops on a variety of topics such as Stranger Danger, Bullying and Drugs Awareness. Each year we welcome many pupils from local secondary schools and colleges on work experience programmes. Children also learn about the global community through overseas links and staff have visited schools in Beijing, Adelaide and Ibiza, all of which have resulted in much exciting project work.

Special Events

The high quality curriculum offered is enriched by educational visits to a wide range of places and special events and workshops which extend and enliven the children’s learning opportunities. Examples of such events are

Science week, O2, Colindales got Talent, Enterprise Project, Book Week, Poetry Competition

We are also regular participants in events such as the Barnet Dance Festival, the Barnet Music Festival, swimming gala and many other sports events.

A highlight of their primary school years for our Year 6 children is the annual five day residential study trip. This is an invaluable experience for children’s social development and independence, encouraging them to take initiative and accept responsibility.

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