Head Teacher's Blog
There has been a lot of excitement at school over the last 24 hours and visitors to Churchill Class have reached record numbers!
The reason? There is something wonderful happening!
12 brown eggs were sitting in an incubator on Tuesday afternoon and within 24 hours we said ‘Hello’ to a small grey/brown friend who has since become a fluffy yellow chick! There are now 7 chicks occupying the incubator and lots and lots of cheeping!
The children have been inspired and have painted pictures of our visitors, are writing information texts about how to take care of them and are talking about where they have come from and where they are going next. Churchill Class have managed to continue with their letters and sounds lessons and have had to ‘be like dog’ and manage this brilliant distraction. Well done them!
Come back to the blog next week and we will update you on what has been happening.
In preparation for the new menus (to start after Easter) the School Council met with Mr Jones from Herts Catering Limited on Monday morning. Mr Jones came to school to find out what the children most enjoyed eating at lunch time and what their least favourite menu items are.
As always our School Council spoke clearly and confidently about their ideas. There were some differences in opinion with one child saying “My favourite day is sausage day” while another said “Sausages are my worst!” The same was true with the cheese roll; one child’s favourite and another child’s least favourite.
Other favoured items from the menu included: pizza, fish, burgers, macaroni cheese, hot dogs and bolognaise.
Least favourite items included: baked beans, ratatouille, garlic bread, sweetcorn and tuna rolls.
During our discussion we realised we are very lucky to have a choice each day and every member of the School Council said there was something they enjoyed on the menu. Mr Jones asked what could be even better about lunchtimes and the children struggled to think of anything. They had talked about how much they liked to eat fruit at lunchtimes so Mr Jones asked if there were any other fruits they would like to choose for lunchtimes. He has gone to find out if he can add pineapple and passion fruit to our selection!
Watch the newsletter for more information about menus.
A very BIG congratulations to our Year 2 Maths Quiz Champions – The Ryder Stars!
It was a tense afternoon as the Ryder Stars, the Alban Mathematicians and the Morpurgo Marauders made their way into the hall. With the lights down low our teams sat under the spotlight. The audience held their breath as the teams worked their way through the challenges… question by question they solved problems, debated and experienced both joy and disappointment.
The Ryder Stars stole the crown with a massive 12 points and were pleased to hear some very loud cheers from their supporters!
We were very proud of all of our teams as they tried something new, took on a challenge, worked together and didn’t give up. We’re already looking forward to our next year group quiz.
Maths and Learning Heroes Week has officially begun!
This morning every child spent time working with children from a different year group. The children were learning how to be like our Learning Heroes – working together on tricky tasks, listening and sharing ideas and remembering to keep on going.
Take a look…
Y1 and FS2 working together to build 2D shapes using pasta and marshmallows.
FS2 and Year 2 working together to build a strong, stable bridge.
FS2 and Year 2 giving directions – “Forwards 3 steps, turn around…”
In our meeting this morning we talked about how important it is to talk as positively about maths as we do about reading and writing. In our country it is often seen as socially acceptable to talk negatively about maths and declare yourself ‘no good at it’. The people behind Family Maths Toolkit are trying hard to change our language around maths and have devised a National Numeracy Challenge for adults.
How confident do you feel about maths? The National Numeracy Challenge will help you identify your strengths as well as the areas you need to develop. You then work through the resources and test yourself to see how far you’ve come. Perhaps the start of 2017 is a good time to give yourself a new goal to reach?!
If you want to know anymore about the challenge or you have taken it and are happy to share how you are getting on, please come and talk to us.
Keep checking back for lots of updates on Maths Week.
There was a very exciting atmosphere at this year’s Christmas lunch. The children came into the hall wearing hand made party crowns, covered in glitter, and their party clothes. Rather than lining up to collect their lunch like usual, they sat at their tables while their teachers, teaching assistants and midday supervisors served them their lunch – what a treat.
Adults joined the children for lunch and encouraged children to try a sprout or two; lots of children discovered they quite liked them!
Big thanks go to the HCL kitchen team who worked really hard to make such an enjoyable lunch, including the reindeer biscuits – iced to perfection as you can see from the photo below.
If you would like to have a go at making your own reindeer biscuit in the holidays:
You will need:
350g plain flour
175g granulated sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
Pre heat oven to GM4/350f/180c
Place all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix well.
Add remaining ingredients, mix until the dough comes together.
Roll out the dough and use a gingerbread man cutter to cut the shapes.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Allow to cool before icing.
Turn the gingerbread man upside down and ice antlers, eyes, ears and add a red cherry for a nose.
I am proud to be the Head Teacher at Bernards Heath on a day to day basis but on Saturday I felt even prouder than ever!
To work amongst staff and parents who so willingly give up their time to provide amazing activities for the children who come to school here is fantastic. The fair was an absolute extravaganza! I thought last year couldn’t be beaten but I was wrong.
The buzz of excitement from the children last week was brilliant, so many children saying ‘are you going to the fair?’ they were so excited. In the lunch hall, on the playground and in classrooms children were talking about the money they had saved up and what they were going to spend it on. When Saturday morning finally arrived, what a choice they had! The games room with Olaf’s nose and hook a Christmas duck; the craft room with sparkly Christmas trees and glittering robins; the jam jars (with wildly varied contents!); craft stall with so many beautiful handmade gifts for Christmas; the wooden games, face paints, story tent, photo booth and secret present wrapping room! The adults weren’t disappointed either, the food stalls, BBQ and mulled wine kept them very happy.
On first count I was advised the total raised was an incredible £8,500… this is not the final total and I hope to publish this in Friday’s newsletter. We are currently in the process of updating our curriculum server and wireless capacity. Once this is completed we are planning to use the money you have raised to purchase new hardware to replace some of our older laptops. The children will really benefit from this new equipment and it will certainly impact positively on their learning at school.
A big thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered, created, baked, counted, painted, organised, cooked, helped set up and clear away.
Your efforts are appreciated.
Verulamium park was such an exciting place to be on Sunday 12th June as lots of us got ready for the St Albans Fun Run! We were overwhelmed by the crowd of red t-shirts from Bernards Heath Infant and Junior School families. We met by our school flag and even duck came along to help us remember to keep going and not give up! After we had finished the Fun Run we got some exciting news that our school had won the Primary School Challenge for the largest number of runners!
In assembly Councillor Annie Brewster came to present us with our trophy and congratulate those who ran this year and ask who would like to run next year. We feel so proud of children and adults who tried their best and ran in the fun run, it’s great to be part of such a big team!
On a very sunny Wednesday last half term, we created an Outdoor Learning Day as lots of classes spent some time on the field with myself, Miss Freeman and Mrs Williams. We started by talking in assembly about how we would need to focus on our team work skills; sharing ideas and listening to each other. We looked at a big pile of sticks, logs and branches and thought about how these could help us with our learning outside. The children came up with lots of ideas for den building and were very keen to get started!
Here are just some of the ways the children worked together:
The creations included campsites, a spitfire, dens, a zip-wire and a double bed big enough for a sleepover in a tent! What a fantastic day of Outdoor Learning.