Lower Years News

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Year 1 welcome Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau

During the most recent lockdown, Year 1 had a guest speaker in their English lessons, Celine Cousteau, the granddaughter of Jacques Cousteau, inventor of SCUBA diving equipment.

Earlier in the term, our lower years English teacher, Jacqui read The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino... to the children and, as a result, one of our lovely Year 1 parents, organised the meeting for us as she knows Celine.

Céline S. Cousteau is a socio-environmental advocate and public figure. She is known for her work as a documentary film director, producer, explorer, artist, public speaker, brand ambassador and designer, and is a frequent panelist at the United Nations in New York.

During the lesson, Celine talked about her family and their work and told the children about her expeditions and film making in the Amazon. The children were able to ask her questions and see some of her photographs and video clips. Celine explained to the children that Indigenous tribes around the world make up just 5% of the world’s human population but are the guardians of 80% of the world’s biodiversity. It was a privilege to meet her and we await the release of her film ‘Tribes on the Edge’ in the UK with great excitement.

 

 

 

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Year 3 Poetry Recital

Before the Christmas holiday, Year 3 were given a special New Year poetry challenge: to practise and, if possible, learn by heart a New Year poem, to be read or recited in our first week back. Undeterred by lockdown, we held the recital over Zoom, and the children rose to the occasion magnificently! We... heard beautiful, sensitive readings of Tennyson’s magnificent “Ring Out, Wild Bells”, and several children even learned Matt Goodfellow’s lovely “Poem for a New Year” by heart – a real undertaking! Their recitations were sensitive and moving, and all the more impressive considering they were done from memory. Well done, Year 3 – and Happy New Year! The photograph shows the Head of English on a Zoom lesson with Year 3.

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Year 4 write letters in French to residents of a Canadian care home

The Year 4 pupils wrote a letter in French to be sent to an older person in a care home in Quebec, Canada. The children were very happy to have an opportunity to bring some joy to the older people who may feel a little lonely or isolate this Christmas and to use their French skills to write beautiful... letters. If your child would like to take part in this project, please see this link for more information:

https://semerlebonheur.org/

Joyeux Noël from all of Year 4!

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Year 4 pupils create their own paper peepshows

In recent weeks Year 4 have been studying the text ‘Journey to the River Sea’, by Eva Ibbotson. The adventure story, set primarily in Brazil, has provided the inspiration for their latest project in their art lessons too. The students have learned about the development of the ‘paper peepshow’... – a form of book developed in the Victorian era to create tiny, portable scenes. The students chose a description from the text to inspire their design, and made several ‘slides’ to place into their concertinaed book.

Showcasing their excellent drawing skills and wonderful imaginations, whilst learning about perspective and paper folding, the students have created some truly beautiful books.

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Year 2 hand puppet animals project

Year 2 have been busy making their own animal hand puppets in their activities lesson. This half term Year 2 have been learning how to follow origami instructions and today they had to follow instructions to fold their paper properly and then use their scissors to decorate their newly created animals.... They could either draw on it or cut ears/nose/tongue out of coloured paper. The children were delighted to discover they can put their hand in the puppet to open the mouth and make them move and talk!

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Year 4 meet popular children’s writer Andy Cope

On Thursday, Year 4 had the opportunity to talk with Andy Cope, a writer of children’s books, including the popular Spy Dog and Spy Pups series. Earlier in the term Eleanor in Y4 had written to Andy, asking him if we could meet him and his dog Lara, the inspiration behind the Spy Dog books. Happily... he agreed and so we learned about Andy’s route into writing, via dreams of being a professional footballer and time spent as a teacher. He explained how his rescue dog, Lara, came to be the heroine of his books. One day he was staring at her sleeping whilst watching a James Bond film. One of her ears was typically sticking up while the other one lay flat and he started to wonder about what she was listening out for. Could she be receiving secret information? The idea grew from that and Lara is now famous. She even made a brief appearance on our screen during the chat! After answering lots of questions and listening to Mia’s poem about Lara, Andy challenged Year 4 students to do a piece of creative writing, to be judged later in the term. Watch this space!

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Observing Remembrance Day at school

This week our community has been taking part in Remembrance Day activities.
Pupils in Year 2 listened to stories in their English lessons about different heroes who fought or contributed to the war effort. Children in Daycare and Pre-Nursery learned about Remembrance Day and why we all wear poppies on... this special day to help us remember the heroes that fought in wars. The children have been creating poppies by painting egg cup boxes using red paint which was quite tricky and fiddly. The children were encouraged to use a paintbrush to paint inside the egg cup shape and outside too. Once dried, the children all took turns gluing the poppy shaped egg cups onto a large round piece of card to form a beautiful wreath.

At 11 am on 11th November the school community observed a two minute silence to remember those who lost their lives in war and conflict.
The children in the early years also watched a short animation clip from CBeebies which is a 2 minute alternative for our silence about about a rabbit, and it’s family on Flanders field.

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