Learning At Home
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We have certainly been missing Nursery Bear Cubs and I am sure they have all been missing their friends as well but we have been so happy to receive updates on the learning adventures they have been up to at home. We hope you enjoy this time together as a family and do keep sharing what you do. Encourage children to spend as much time outdoors, especially in this beautiful weather. Evidence shows that children's learning benefits enormously from being in the outside environment. It develops a sense of freedom, builds confidence and the ability to problem solve as well as stimulating creativity and imagination. Most importantly it is known to be very important for children's emotional wellbeing.
Mrs Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery
Reception have taken to learning from home just like the ducklings they reared took to water! English and Maths learning has been taken outdoors as poetry was written next to the pond and Maths towers were built in the sandpit - of course the sand towers were made to look pretty as well as made to measure! Indoors there has been handwriting practice and health and safety poster making was taken very seriously. It is wonderful to see how well this first week has gone, well done to our children and their parents. My tip to keep up the enthusiasm in the coming weeks is to keep the sessions short, keep children active in between and allow plenty of breaks and downtime.
Mrs Jessie Millsom, Reception Class Teacher
Monday morning had a different feel to it, but for some Year 1 children it was the same as any other morning and it began with getting dressed in their school uniform. Although perhaps not completely necessary and possibly just a school jumper would have the same effect, it may help the children remember that even during these unusual and challenging times they are all part of our Highfield and Brookham community, and that they are all working together in their learning and there to support each other. It may also help to focus the mind and remind them that when dressed in school uniform it is learning time. While parents are being asked to facilitate the learning from home it seems that organisation is key, particularly when multiple siblings are in a household. Several Year 1 families have a designated 'work area' for their children where they can all sit down together before heading into the glorious sunshine to work collaboratively on their afternoon challenge. Year 1 children appear to be taking this new way of learning in their stride and are even teaching their parents some new skills!
Mrs Georgie Hunter, Head of Year 1
Finding the right balance for you and your family is key. What works best for you will be different for every family. Do not compare yourselves to friends, relatives and strangers on social media who will be keen to share well meaning advice encouraging everything from a strict timetable to letting children follow their own interests. This week has been a trial, somethings may have worked, others may not have. It is really important to build in some empty space throughout the day. There will be some things that didn't quite get finished or concepts that need a little more practice. Building in catch up slots means this can happen without messing up the rest of your plans. If the half an hour for reading is up, but your child is really enjoying the story, carry on. If you planned to do some maths but your child is tired or wants to finish their painting do that instead. Flexibility really is key. Think of the timetable as an aspiration rather than an obligation that you may come to resent.
Mrs Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
This week has been a brand-new challenge for Year 3 and it has made us all very proud to see how well they have risen to the challenge. They have become poets inspired by the ponds and wildlife in their gardens, they have trained as chefs and written, made and eaten their very own recipes and developed their skills as book critics (up a tree!). Thank you for sharing photos of all your hard work - do keep them coming.
Mr Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 3
Although not in school, Year 4 have still managed to find buddies to learn with - younger sisters, older brothers and their cats and dogs! Romilly even decided that it was a good idea to dress in school uniform to help her engage with her learning from home. And learn they have! Biology lessons took the form of collecting tadpoles from the pond so the lifecycle of a frog can be watched up close and personal, PE involved Pirate Yoga with the whole family and children got creative in the garden for Art leading to a beautiful flower mandala. My top tips for working from home are stick to a routine and try and follow your timetable as much as possible but make it work for you. If you want to have an earlier lunch because you work better in the afternoon, then do it! Think outside the box and use your surroundings to inspire you. If the weather is beautiful and you need a break, take your learning outside. Rather than using the internet to find out about British wildlife, go outside, explore, take photos, draw, make a video and present your findings in a different format to normal. Get the whole family involved in Joe Wicks' PE class or one of Mr Dilworth's workouts! Exercise is a great way to start the day and it will get you all ready and focused for your day ahead.
Mrs Charlie Peerless, Year 4 Class Teacher
It’s been a week where we’ve learned even more than normal! Even from as far as Hong Kong, the children in Year 5 are happily chatting through email and Teams to stay in touch. I’ve loved receiving emails from you all, especially with pictures of you working, or with your pets, or trying to solve the morning puzzles that we’ve set you. Do keep up the communication during this time, relationships are such an important part of our school community.
Miss Vivienne Liddell, Head of Year 5
As a way of keeping in touch and maintaining a sense of being part of a Tutor Group, Year 6 have been sharing interesting facts. Here are two from Ben Bateman:
1. Did you know that there are 336 dimples on a normal golf ball. Golf balls have dimples because they make more friction between the ball and the air which allows the ball to go higher and further and helps the player to better control the curve of the ball.
Mrs Jane Hamilton, Head of Year 6
My advice to Year 7 for this week and the weeks to come:
- It is really important to look after yourself, but do also find some time to look after those who are looking after you (AKA your parents and siblings). Make them a cup of tea, empty the dishwasher, help with making supper etc. They really will appreciate it!
- When starting a piece of schoolwork, read the instructions for the work accurately. This will help ensure that you understand what is required and help keep you on task. But do ask for help if you need it.
- Don't forget to exercise! You can do this inside or outside. There are lots of online PE and workouts to follow that can be done inside, but whilst the sun is shining get out into the garden, dig out that skipping rope, bounce on your trampoline (safely of course) or play a game of catch with your family. Exercise is fantastic for body and soul!
- And please do share some photos of how you are getting on and what you are doing.
Mr James Figgis, Head of Year 7
I have great pleasure in letting you know that Tilly Green has been awarded 2nd place in the King Edward's Witley 2020 Spring Art Competition judged by Caroline Shouksmith, Director of Art, and her team for her 3D head of a Sri Lankan Tea Picker, inspired by Chris Ofili.
Here are some things for you to consider while learning at home:
- Try to get up at a sensible time and enjoy the day.
- Be grateful for all the small things that go well, and your family and those around you.
- Don’t get frustrated when technology plays up or runs slower than usual.
- Try to stick to the timetables you have received. Work your way carefully through what your teachers have set you, and do please ask for help if you need it.
- Keep smiling and take time to enjoy the sunshine.
- Take exercise. Go out into your garden if you can and there are lots of programmes you can follow online. Don’t become cooped up or spend hours playing computer games.
- Read lots!
- We usually live life at full pace - now we have more time. Use this time as a chance to become better at something you already do, or as opportunity to take up something new.
- And remember that when this is all over, you’ll be more grateful for Highfield, your teachers and your friends. You will look at the world in new and different ways.
- Be thankful for everything you do have at this time. For love, joy and everything that is good in this world of ours!
Mr Simon Mason, Head of Year 8