Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Dr. Rae Sibbitt encourages Year 6 to aim high!

Mrs Saunders, Pudsey Bear, Mrs Labiche and Dr. Rae Sibbitt
Dr. Rae Sibbitt, from The Cabinet Office, visited the School on Friday to speak about her own educational journey.  She'd studied psychology, then computer science, at degree level then went on to do a PhD.  Then she worked for the Government researching why children with dyslexia find it difficult to write.  Dr. Rae was the person in Government who famously said "class size matters" as, she explained, she'd "wanted to make a difference."
She'd also researched why people commit crime and, in doing this, had visited prisons to look at the conditions in which prisoners live.  Dr. Sibbitt then went onto discuss with Yr.6 why they thought people commit crime. Pupils responded in a very mature way.
Q. Why do people commit crime? A. The children's answered that perhaps people are desperately poor, or they just want something without working for it.  Yr.6 also thought they might have had a difficult upbringing or have no manners or respect.
Q. What do you think prisons are like?  A. Some suggested they were dark places, cramped, damp, crowded, lonely with inmates sad to be separated from their family.
Q. How can we stop people from re-offending?  A.  Yr.6 felt we needed to teach them skills to get a job; to give them somewhere to live; or to teach them social skills so that they can become good citizens.
By speaking about her interests and educational journey she was able to connect with Yr.6 by asking them about their future aspirations and intended careers.  She suggested career routes through University study to achieve their goals.  An interesting range of careers were discussed - journalism, filmmaking/directing, politics, campaigning for animal rights, peace-making, and bringing about change through working in Government.
Dr. Sibbitt explained some possible advantages of going to University:
A chance to study a subject you are passionate about
Time to meet like-minded people
An opportunity to engage in the arts and sports and science
Time to grow and mature

At our School we encourage all our pupils to ‘aim high’, to fulfil their potential and to achieve the best they can for themselves, their families and their community.  Dr. Rae Sibbitt’s visit was an inspiration to our pupils as well as being very informative.
Nilgun Bekir

Thursday, 13 November 2014

CAFOD Ebola Assembly

Nana Anto-Awuakye from The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development came to the School this week to explain about the ebola virus in West Africa, how it is spread, and how CAFOD is helping to tackle this devastating epidemic.

Radio stations in Sierra Leone are broadcasting information, and a catchy song has been popularised with advice on how to stop the spread of the virus.  Volunteers from CAFOD have been knocking on doors with advice and hygiene buckets with soap and chlorine for washing hands, which helps stop the spread. 

CAFOD is also working with families that have been quarantined in their homes to reduce the risk of spreading the disease, bringing them food and water.  Schools in Sierra Leone have been closed to protect young people from the virus, and teachers have volunteered to help give out the hygiene buckets and help those in need.  Nana explained that for the most part ebola can be contained simply by avoiding direct person-so-person contact and the careful washing of hands. However without care it is spread easily, and the symptoms are similar to other diseases so it is important to get an early diagnosis to prevent further infection.
At the end children asked questions, some quite challenging, then we thanked Nana for taking the time to come and talk to us.
Nilgun Bekir

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Year 5 Remembrance Assembly

This morning Year 5's assembly gave children an opportunity to reflect again, in Remembrance Week, on the sacrifice of those who have died or were injured in the First World War and subsequent conflicts, including those from other countries who have fought for our country.
All of Year 5 participated, recounting facts about World War One including the scale of the bloodshed and the horrific conditions under which the soldiers had to live and fight.
The short film at the end, recorded as part of the Yr.5 'War Horse' trip to the National Theatre was particularly moving.  It showed, in grainy film, our children dressed as soldiers and re-enacting scenes from the trenches like 'going over the top' and facing enemy gunfire.  I think I can speak for all the adults present in saying that it left quite an impact.
The 12-15 parents and governors attending joined the children singing Vera Lynn's well-known 'We'll Meet Again' and we ended with prayers.
Robert Sheppard 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Year 3 Remembrance Visit to the Tower of London

Year Three visited the Installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London on Tuesday 14 October as part of the whole school project on the First World War. 
Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies have progressively filled the Tower’s famous moat over the last few months.

Year 3 have been thinking about sacrifice and remembrance and the trip was a wonderful experience for the children and helped to stimulate their awareness, discussion and writing.

The children behaved impeccably during the trip and understood the significance of the event.

Martin Bowes

Walk to School Week - 20-24 October

This is an annual event enjoyed by all our children. In order to create a safer environment for our children's journey to School, we encouraged all pupils through an assembly to walk to school, park and stride and to use public transport.  This leads to greater understanding of the health and social benefits of walking to school, as well as the impact on the environment.
Mr. Pinks will be collecting information from each year group and providing the school with some statistical data.  Year Six will also analyse the data to provide a range of graphs and diagrams for the school to view.
Thank you to all staff, pupils, parents and carers for supporting Walk to School Week and making our community a better and a safer place to be.

Nilgun Bekir and Sally Saunders