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Early Years is full of little victory moments as children grasp new skills that will last them a life time. These victories spur children on to persevere further and dream bigger. Parents and teachers have the most wonderful opportunity to witness these moments everyday and we have certainly enjoyed celebrating these moments remotely with you all. Over the last six weeks, we've had children learning to ride their bikes without stabilisers for the first time, children growing and cooking their own fruit and vegetables and have seen incredible team work as families have engaged in creative projects together. Family relationships have been nurtured by the luxury of having more time just to be and this has highlighted a real sense of team spirit as older siblings have supported their younger brothers and sisters with their learning. Children have challenged themselves to overcome problems that they initially perceived to be 'too tricky' as well as respond to feedback, to stretch their understanding. Even the reality of learning to learn and communicate remotely, and do so successfully has been a huge achievement. The resilience shown by some of the youngest members of community has been outstanding and certainly something to celebrate.
Mrs Olivia Shepherd, Reception Class Teacher
Reviewing the class posts on our virtual learning platform is one of the highlights of my day. Short of being with the children in our usual learning environment, seeing their hard work, fabulous creations and photos of what they have been up to, fills me with a sense of triumph knowing that this huge hurdle has become only a small obstacle to their continued learning. In particular, the children have notably worked hard on improving their handwriting with some beautiful letter formations. The diligence, enthusiasm and dedication of the parents to enable their children to achieve this has been paramount and it has been wonderful to see how well families have adapted to their new routines. As the weeks go on, it is becoming evident that the children are more comfortable with their learning platform, which is fostering greater independence. What a victory!
Mrs Henrietta Platt, Year 1 Class Teacher
Year 2 have exceeded all of their teachers' expectations as they become increasingly confident with learning from home. It is no small victory to turn the spare room into a home learning space and to focus on lessons when other members of the household are outside playing in the sunshine; or to be patient when someone else needs the iPad, but you really want to get on. Some of my favourite moments this week have been small triumphs that the children have shared. Learning spellings can be dull unless you write them onto flash cards and make stories with them, or write them in rainbow colours or cut them from magazines...The list of creative ideas that the children and their parents are finding to conquer the day’s challenges goes on and on. The amazing creativity that is being uploaded and shared every day is beyond our expectations – as the children emerge victorious with their beanstalks, Giant masks, dens, musical harps and bean recipes. Perhaps the biggest victory of all is that we are doing all this, keeping safe and still smiling.
Mrs Stephanie Turner, Year 2 Class Teacher
During the Summer Term the children begin to set their sights towards beginning Highfield in September. However, transition does not begin in the Summer Term. During Year 3, the children take on responsibilities such as becoming House Captains, work with increasing independence, act as role models for the younger year groups and develop an increasingly mature attitude towards being accountable for their own actions. It is therefore with great pride that we have witnessed these skills being applied in kitchens, dining room, studies in every home. It is not easy to adapt to an abrupt change in circumstances, but the Year 3 children are demonstrating themselves to be mature and responsible learners. Maths a bit tricky? These children are determined and resilient, so they do not give up and take great pride when they succeed. Their technological skills are impressive too! Downloading, uploading, recording audio or video, making animations and presentations both related to their current areas of learning and as they challenge themselves to learn new lockdown skills. You are doing yourselves proud!
Miss Sophie Delcombe, Year 3 Class Teacher
Experiments are such an exciting and well looked forward to part of Science for Year 4. At the end of the Spring Term, as part of our Water Topic, we completed an experiment to filter muddy water using conical flasks, filter paper and funnels. We didn't want the children to miss out on this engaging part of the curriculum this term. So, during the first week back, we gave the children the task of creating their own water filter. Experiments can be challenging enough in the labs, where we have to put together the correct apparatus, but this time Year 4 even had to find and come up with their own apparatus in order to create their filters, and their filters were outstanding! It was such a joy to watch them so involved in what they were doing and problem solving what resources they could use. It really was a true victory managing to recreate your own science lab at home.
Mrs Charlie Peerless, Year 4 Class Teacher
Year 5 are thoroughly enjoying reading Harry Potter even though for many of them it is not the first time. Their creative work, which is being produced in response to what they are reading, is a triumph! The new shops they have designed for Diagon Alley is a testament to their creativity and imagination. Some particularly victorious designs include: ‘Petcessorize’ by Poppy Ouvaroff, ‘ Bazza’s Racing Brooms’ by George Barraclough and ‘Bateman’s Brooms -for brooms you can trust’ by Tallulah Bateman. Marking this work is bringing a smile to my face!
Miss Vivienne Liddell, Head of Year 5
Using technology to support the children's learning from home has lead to some small victories in enhancing distance learning. The visualiser camera has created a more classroom-like atmosphere during our live online lessons. I can demonstrate calculations live to the children which deepens their understanding of the maths methods they are studying and when they need something clarifying I can answer their queries just as I would in the classroom.
Mr Peter Hesselmann, Teacher of Science and Maths
My little victory is having so many of my class in attendance during the 'live' part of our lesson and sharing their beautiful pieces of artwork. I not only felt like I was visiting an art gallery but also like I was being transported to far off places. Selina Hunter's cherry blossoms reminded me of when I lived in Osaka, Japan teaching English. When it was Sakura season we would enjoy picnics under the cherry blossoms and admire their beauty. Archie Read's beautiful scene of nature made me think I was standing and admiring the stunning view at Temple of the Winds and Johnny Messer's mesmerising sun glowed through the screen. Year 7 have worked hard on understanding the concept of Negative and Positive Space and have enjoyed playing with this concept to enhance their beautiful and effective scenes.
Mrs Olga Houghton, Head of Art
I wanted to share with you an extraordinary piece of descriptive writing, written by Rina in my 8:2 English class and I promise it was not copied from a book! If this isn't a big victory and something to celebrate I am not sure what is! My whole class were in awe, as was I! It is remarkable that any child can produce this quality of writing at this age, but that Rina has managed to do this in her third language and after such a short amount of time at the school is real testament to her hard work and the quality of teaching she has received. You can read the full piece here.
Mrs Jane Hamilton, Teacher of English