Friday, 22nd June 2012
Summer Term Newsletter No. 9
YEAR 6 CHAMONIX EXPEDITION
Below is a short excerpt from the latest blog on the website. It seems that this trip has been incredible and both children and staff have gained a great deal from it. Please have a read of the blog, which is accessible from the website, to get a flavour of the surroundings and experiences that our Year 6 have encountered. I’m sure that they will return as very different little people, enriched by the opportunity to think about and consider the world in which we live. ‘The weather this morning was beautiful as we sat in our outdoor classroom and thought about what global well-being means and how we can live in harmony with our world. We thought about what we would do as Mayor of Chamonix to make the valley more sustainable in five key areas; energy, water, food, waste and transport. Everyone sat overlooking the valley and reflected on these areas before sharing their ideas in groups.’ The group returns to Heathrow today at 4pm. I’m sure that the parents, in particular, will be excited to seeing their children again after 5 days away.
HEDGEHOG CLASS ASSEMBLY
What a wonderful performance from Hedgehog class as they shared their experiences and learning all about mini beasts. We met hedgehogs, bees, very hungry caterpillars, very busy spiders and even a bad-tempered ladybird. Mrs Rich (looking very blooming in her pregnancy) and Mrs Putman ran a very organised and attentive class from the stage (well they were really Jessica and Imogen in disguise). A group of children very clearly explained what happens to the trees as the seasons change. The way the children spoke so loud and clearly and learnt all their lines was very impressive indeed – well done Hedgehog class and a big thank you to your teachers too.
RECEPTION YEAR BOAT TRIP
Reception children are off on their trip, along the river, aboard the Walton Jester today. We are crossing our fingers that the weather doesn’t spoil it for them. However, in true British spirit they will enjoy and make the most of the day I’m sure. They will still picnic, though in the classroom rather than in the park.
FOA SUMMER FETE
The FOA Summer Fete is this Saturday between 12 and 3. Please come along and join in with the excitement. The summer fetes are always such good fun and the organisers put a great deal of hard work into ensuring that the day goes swimmingly (cross fingers for a sunny day though). The FOA would really like to thank everyone in the school community for all their hard work and support. In assembly today the children were very excited about seeing a REAL Olympic torch! A child from each class, picked out of a hat, has been photographed today holding the torch. These children will be taking part in a torch relay tomorrow. They are: Max Fernandes and Lucy Hart (Year R), Theo Giannini and Lois Collett (Year 1), Katie Barlow and Holly Jenkins (Year 2), Philip Burns and George Hart (Year 3), Jack Bates and Zac Tarver (Year 4), Lara Jenkins (Year 5) and Cicely Day (Year 6). Anyone wishing to have, a once in a lifetime, photograph taken with the real torch can do so at the fete tomorrow for a nominal charge.
INSET DAY ON MONDAY
Please be aware that Monday will be an INSET day for all our teaching staff so school will be closed for children. In the morning we will be having ICT training and then we will be spending the afternoon at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts in London. The fundamental principle of the school is that tradition is continued renewal. Experiencing the traditional arts as living skills students participate in their vibrancy and regeneration. Both our Year 5 class and Year 4 classes have already worked alongside students and teachers from the school. I’m sure that the experience of learning more about the traditional arts in the school’s own environment will ultimately help us to enhance and enrich the provision at Ashley for the children.
CLASS PHOTOS NEXT WEDNESDAY
A reminder that next Wednesday 27th June class photographs will be taken. Please make sure that your child has the correct uniform on and is looking presentable (as all the children always are). Orders for photographs need to be back in school by 9th July at the latest and you should receive your orders by 18th July. There is also an on-line service for ordering.
FEELING GOOD WEEK
Our annual ‘Feeling Good Week’ is during the week beginning 2nd July. The week will have an Olympic theme and, among other things, the children will be involved in making Olympic torches. There will be a ‘Torch Bearer’s Got Talent’ competition. As it’s Wimbledon week children will be having tennis lessons and Guga Fit will teach aerobics, talking to the children about how to be healthy. There will also be yoga classes and a (private) netball match between staff and Year 6. Phew! I feel exhausted writing about it.
YEAR 5 LEARN ABOUT BIODIVERSITY IN BUSHY PARK
On Monday Owl class spent the day in Bushy Park discovering more about the meaning of biodiversity and the impact on animals and wildlife. The children were involved in three different activities: pond dipping, meadow sweeping and bird watching. They were able to use keys to identify the species they found and consider why and how their environment enabled them to reproduce and survive. The bird hide was particularly impressive – especially when a beautifully coloured Woodpecker came up close; there were also Blue tits and Greenfinches. After pond dipping the children were able to take specimens back to the classroom to observe closely through a special microscope. A minute snail, smaller than the tip of a finger, called a Ramhorn, can be found in the bottom of ponds – through the microscope a little beating heart could be seen. There were also tadpoles and frogs at all stages of their development, including a newt tadpole which had gills that looked like flaps of lace attached to its side. This was a day full of learning and hands-on investigation. Many thanks to all the Royal Park educational staff, the volunteers and parents who make these visits possible.
YEAR 5 VISIT THE NEW WALTON BRIDGE BUILDING SITE
Last Tuesday year 5 spent the morning looking
around the site where the new Walton Bridge is being built. The site manager and some of his colleagues took great care over showing a slide presentation and then walking the children safely around the site. The children learnt so much about the local area from the visit. They were told that not only had the 20,000 trees that had to be cut down been replaced, but 1 kingfisher box, 7 Owl boxes and more than 40 Bat boxes had also been installed. They saw how the big metal structures for keeping the new bridge in place were put into position, and how some of the great machines and lorries on site worked. All the children were issued with a high visibility hat and jacket. The staff from Costain were great and were able to answer many questions, they even let the children us eat their lunch in their conference room. Natasha, Tayla, Timmy and Asher led the assembly on Thursday morning to talk to the rest of the Juniors all about this visit.
YEAR 4 WALK AROUND WALTON
On Wednesday, Year 4 spent a beautiful morning walking around Walton as part of their topic; ‘What is the town and community of Walton like?’ They spread out around the town, in groups, and looked at how Walton has changed, or stayed the same, over the past 100 years. They could not believe how some things have hardly changed at all and other places are now unrecognisable. Many thanks to the parent helpers who made this walk possible.
YEAR 3 TRIP TO WISLEY
Year 3 went to Wisley last Friday to get their Rainforest Adventure off to a great start. The weather was appropriate with downpours and hot sun in equal measure. Wisley has a huge glasshouse that houses 4 different environments including a rainforest. Inside were towering plants with gigantic leaves and huge stems which dwarfed everyone there. The children’s senses were awakened to the rainforest and it has given them a foundation for all their learning this half-term. Thanks to all the parents who helped on the day and to Wisley who provided free entry in their efforts to teach the younger generation about plants.
ASHLEY FLOWER SHOW
A reminder that the fourth Ashley Flower Show takes place on Monday 9th July. A letter has gone out with the children explaining the details. In previous years this opportunity to show and display artistic talents of all kinds has been incredible, so this year we are looking for even greater contributions – if possible! We have given the show a sporting theme; though please don’t let this deter your creativity. All parents will be invited into school from 2.30 to view all the exhibits.
REQUEST FOR SUPPORT WITH A PHD STUDY
I have been approached by a PhD student from King’s College London about a research project looking into how children of different ages and abilities understand and develop figurative language. Figurative language is a language that doesn’t mean exactly what it says e.g. ‘Can you pull in your chair?’ The project has received ethnical approval from the Social Sciences, Humanities and Law ethics committee at King’s College London. For the study they would like about 30 children, who are typically developing, from across the school. If you are interested in your child taking part in this study, a pack explaining it in more detail is available from the office. Yani Malai, who is conducting the research, will hold a parents meeting in July, should she have enough response, before she starts the project.
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