Head Teacher's Blog

National Numeracy Challenge

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.

Miss Woolfson.

Christmas Lunch

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.

reindeer-biscuits

If you would like to have a go at making your own reindeer biscuit in the holidays:

You will need:

350g plain flour

100g margarine

175g granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground ginger

Method:

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.

 

The School Fair

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.

Mrs Rimmer

St Albans Fun Run 2016

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!

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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!

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The Sun is Shining!

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:

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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.

Miss Woolfson

Mud Kitchens and Meadow Turf!

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The sun was shining and an army of volunteers came to school on Saturday morning. Parents, staff, children and their families were digging, raking and planting all morning. Sally led the meadow turf laying; we are hoping this will attract the wildlife! Jane, our garden designer, directed the planting and Josie organised crafts, refreshments and the stumpery!

The garden is really taking shape thanks to everyone’s hard work; the Willow Dome, sponsored by Louise Saunders Estate Agents, has begun to sprout and the children have decorated some rocks to add a splash of colour! Some children got busy in the mud kitchen and produced mud burgers and mud rice pudding.

There was an amazing atmosphere as the team worked hard to complete the work and we are really looking forward to learning about our world down in the Wild Garden! Next time you are at school go down and take a look.

A huge thanks to all involved!

Mrs Rimmer

The Big Pedal

Thanks to all those who have taken part in the Big Pedal so far! We have been impressed with the number of families choosing to scoot or ride their bikes to school instead of bringing the car. Mr Desborough has made additional scooter parks on the main playground and at the back of the school, near to Mitchell and Spencer Class. Ms Dixon is coordinating the counting… we will let you know a grand total at the end of the week!

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A big well done to all the children remembering to push their scooters in the playground before and after school.

Miss Passey’s trip to LIV village, South Africa

Over the Easter break, Miss Passey (Clarence Class Teacher) will be spending two weeks in an orphanage called LIV village. LIV village houses over 130 children in Kwazulu Natal, Durban and is situated between the mountains and the seaside.
South Africa is a beautiful place and is also a place where many of the world’s poorest people live. There are over 5 million orphaned and vulnerable children, mostly due to HIV/AIDS and poverty, with 12,000 added to this number each month.
LIV exists to raise the next generation of leaders in South Africa. They place orphaned and vulnerable children into a family environment with a trained foster mother to love them. They also provide a school to educate them and meet their physical needs. LIV’s vision is to ‘Rescue a child, Restore a life, Raise a leader, and Release a star’.
Miss Passey first went to South Africa two years ago when she visited LIV village and was so moved that she decided to continue going back each year to teach, give donations and contribute towards the wonderful work they are doing. Her hope is that Bernards Heath and LIV village can develop strong links and help each other to become places where children understand and celebrate each other’s cultural differences and make new friends on the other side of the world.
Since September the children at Bernards Heath have been learning about LIV village in assembly and from an interactive display in the hall. By the end of the summer each year group will have learnt a bit more about life in LIV village and will have reflected on similarities and differences between our two schools. When she gets to South Africa Miss Passey will be sharing letters and drawings from children here at Bernards Heath and will introduce the LIV village children to our Learning Heroes – Dog, Duck, Monkey and Bear!
Please feel free to ask Miss Passey about her visit after the holiday or come and see the display in the hall next time you are at school.
In July this year  we are excited that the LIV village choir will be performing at Bernards Heath – keep a eye on the school newsletter for more information.
To find out more about LIV village, please visit: http://www.liv-village.com

Maths Week – Bernards Heath Business School!

It was Maths Week in school and the children learnt all about shops, coins, buying and selling.

A visit to Londis for Verulam class helped them with their market research.  What types of ice lollies do they sell? How much do they cost?  What should we put into our ice lollies?  The grown-ups were invited in to buy their lollies and visit their class shop.

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Heartwood Class worked in teams to create their own biscuit designs ready to sell to their customers, whilst Clarence Class were busy designing, making and selling jewellery!  What a successful week jam packed with learning.  Thank you for your donations; altogether Maths Week raised over £130 to spend on maths resources.

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Miss Woolfson

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