MESSAGE FROM YOUR TEACHER :-)
Friday 17th July 2020
It was fantastic to gather virtually with so many of you for our Leavers’ Worship on Monday. It felt like a really special occasion, didn’t it? I was delighted to see lots of you smartly wearing your school uniforms, with pride, for one last time. I hope you also felt a sense of pride when you heard about all the special qualities that your classmates and teachers value in you.
We celebrated you as people and as learners: the multiple intelligences you show, the values you bring to your learning, how you face challenges and how you are a friend to others.
You are about to embark on a brand new learning adventure, which may seem pretty daunting at the moment. You might feel unprepared, because you have missed time in school during lockdown, or you might just feel not quite ready for the step up to secondary school. One of the Y6s in school this week commented on how they wished that Pilgrims’ Cross had a Year 7 class they could move up to!
So I want to end my last message to you by saying that you can all go forward to the next stage with confidence. Everything you need is inside of you – the Resilient Rhino, the Team Tiger, LOVE, COURAGE and TRUST. Keep showing these values in all you say and do…and keep being you!
I couldn't have wished for a nicer group of 'up for it' learners for my first year at Pilgrims' Cross - thankyou. You leave us as amazing ambassadors for the school – we are proud of you. We know that you will continue to make a positive different in God’s World.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful summer break and all the very best for September.
Mrs Cocks and Mrs Straughan
Friday 10th July 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
Friday 3rd July 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
Since returning to school, the Year 6s have had quite a few PSHE lessons where we have focused on the topic of transition. I know you all like a dictionary definition, so here goes…
transition (noun) passage or change from one place, state, condition, style etc. to another
All of you, whether you have been learning at home or have returned to school, will be thinking about your transition to secondary school and this will bring about a mixture of emotions. In school, the children have talked about their feelings of fear and excitement over what’s to come. I remember the very same mixture of emotions when I was preparing to leave primary school (many moons ago!) and they have been felt by countless Year 6s since then.
However, your situation is a bit different. Mixed in with that fear and excitement is a sense of sadness and loss because you have had your last few months of primary school snatched away. This means that you have missed out on many ‘rites of passage’ – like residential trips, summer learning adventures and (dare I say it) even SATs week! In school, we’ve acknowledged that this unique set of circumstances has meant that you have missed certain things and that’s a bit rubbish and feels quite unfair.
But we have tried to flip this on its head by celebrating what we have GAINED from lockdown: time with our families, time outdoors and time to follow our own interests have been up there! But also many children have spoken of how lockdown has helped them to value their friends, and time in school, a lot more.
As you will know, here at Pilgrims’ Cross, we are making sure that this year’s Year 6s (the “originals,” some of whom started in Year R, and are the first class to go all the way through the school!) will still get an awesome send off!
It’s a good job I love pizza and ice cream because I will be hosting four picnics for you all next week!! I am so looking forward to celebrating the end of your time here and especially looking forward to seeing those of you who haven’t been in school since March.
I hope you can all join the leaver’s Zoom worship on Monday 13th July at 3:45pm. I have asked the groups in school this week for their input on ideas for Leaver’s Awards for one another. It would be great if those of you at home could contribute your ideas as well…all you need to do is email me email@example.com about some or all of your classmates. I would like to know how each person has shown the school values of love, courage and trust but also what makes them special and unique! You need to get these to me by Tuesday 7th July at the very latest as each certificate will be sent out next week for you to keep in its envelope until I ‘present’ you with it in the Zoom worship!
Lots to celebrate and lots to look forward to, Year 6.
Friday 26th June 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I hope you have stayed safe and had fun in the sun this week. I really enjoyed seeing lots of you in our Zoom meeting on Thursday J It was great to hear about some of the things you have been up to in lockdown AND how many Zoom calls feature two cats and a snake?!?!
The ‘Food, Glorious Food’ challenge I set you in the Zoom meeting is explained in full by clicking the link at the top of our class page. Even if you weren’t in the meeting please have a go and send your photos/ writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, the Year 6s in school have been working on the rationing tasks from the latest home learning pack. Here is a selection of the information posters or leaflets they created about rationing in WW2.
Have you tried the maths rationing activity? It involves working out how many coupons you would have needed to buy all the clothes you own if you were living during World War Two (when clothing was rationed). You will need to estimate, multiply and add. The children in school enjoyed working it out and were surprised by the results; some people’s wardrobes would have required 6 years’ worth of coupons!
Friday 19th June 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I hope you are all safe, well and keeping yourselves busy. Have you had a look at the new home learning pack? In school this week we have made a start on some of the activities…
We did some reading about D-Day – we were amazed to find out that the allies used inflatable tanks and dummy parachutists as a deception plan to draw the Germans away from Normandy and make the invading army look bigger than it actually was. You can read about it here (scroll to the bottom of the page):
When we watched ‘Beyond the Lines’ - one of the English tasks in your pack - we could see that it was based on the Normandy Landings. See if you can find any clues (especially at the start of the video) to suggest this. The children in school produced some great writing – some chose to describe the story as it happens in the video, gradually revealing that the young boys weren’t there for real, while others chose to imagine what one of the letters in the video might have said. Great stuff!
As well as ‘ticket’ (see last week’s message), another thing we have done every day in school is to watch and discuss Newsround. The children have been particularly interested in the Black Lives Matter protests and the events which sparked them. I have been blown away by the maturity shown by the Year 6s in school and their ability to make links between this story, and others, to our school values of love, courage and trust. Even better is the fact that they ask questions and want find out more (like all adults, I definitely don’t have all the answers but talking and questioning is good).
We have found that there are uplifting and happy stories in the news but others can make us feel sad, worried, angry or even helpless. However just by talking about news events, and differing ideas and opinions about them, it can help us to better understand. This, in turn, helps us to make a positive difference in God’s world now and in the future.
Friday 12th June 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I hope you are all safe and well. It has been great to work with some of you back at school for a second week. We are all missing and thinking of those of you who we can’t see at the moment.
Each ‘bubble’ in school has been allocated their own sports equipment to play with. This is just one of the ways we are keeping each other safe – it means that we don’t have lots of children in different groups handling the same equipment when playing outside.
Using the assortment of equipment we had been given, a new game was invented on day one of Year 6 being back in school. It has become known as ‘Ticket’ (thankyou Tegan for the genius name!) and it’s basically cricket but with a tennis racket. This hybrid game has now become a firm favourite and - so far - has been played every afternoon by both of the small groups of Years 6s.
Ticket has reminded all of us that exercising, being outdoors and playing a team game is great for our mental and physical well-being. But for me, the great game of ticket has come to represent a lot more. For starters, ticket has brought us together as a group - everyone has got involved and really wants to play. Even when the Y6s have a short amount of vision time, ticket is often the activity of choice. It was even being played in the rain today! Moreover, it has reminded me of what a loving and trustworthy group Aspen Class are: without prompting from the adults, they have supported and praised each other while playing and noticed when someone in the group might need that extra bit of encouragement. They have developed rules and played fairly even if that means being caught out on your first go! Ticket also represents courage: it proves just how resilient and adaptable you are. Instead of complaining about equipment we didn’t have, you set about inventing a new game to make the best use of what we did have.
I end the week again as a very proud teacher, saying well done for living out our school vision through ticket!
I’m looking forward to finding out what other new games might be born before the end of term!
Friday 2nd June 2020
We welcomed some of you back to school this week.
It’s certainly a different version of school: the classroom is quite bare with the tables spaced out, we eat our lunch in the classroom or outside and have our own designated area of the field to play on. However, our usual school values have been on show in abundance – every Year 6 who has come back to school has shown love, courage and trust by keeping each other safe (with social distancing and by using lots of soap and hand gel throughout the day), by being eager to engage in learning and by giving support and encouragement to each other. I have seen just how much it has meant to everyone to see, play and talk with their friends (from a distance) again and to be back learning in the classroom. For these reasons, I am ending this week as one very proud teacher!
However, we have really missed being a complete class of 31 and we are all thinking of those of you who we can’t see at the moment.
Have you had a look at the new home learning pack on the website? In school, we used some of our time to work on the Operation Dynamo/ Dunkirk learning. We also enjoyed working on the ‘Some Secret Codes’ maths task. Here are some secret messages written by a few members of Aspen Class. Can you decipher them? Some children have used the same code as the main task but others developed their own code. The dashes are used to separate words.
k h o o r - z r u o g - z d u - w z r
l w ‘ v – j r r g – w r – e h – e h – d w – v f k r r o
k d y h - d j u h d w - g d b
9 – 12 9 11 5 – 20 8 9 19 – 3 15 4 5 – 2 18 5 1 11 9 1 4 7
I have included a couple of photos of one of the groups in school this week. As you will see they are nailing socially distant football!
Take care and remember to keep in touch using the class email!
Friday 29th May 2020
Dear Year 6s,
I hope you are all safe and well. Did you have some fun in the sun over the bank holiday weekend? I made the most of the glorious weather by doing some gardening and going out on more bike rides. However, I did need to show a bit of courage when I fell off my bike a few days ago! Luckily I only sustained a couple of scratches but I was definitely glad I had my helmet on!
This week, I have also been busy preparing your learning for next half term. Our new Learning Adventure is based on World War Two.
Plans and preparations are well underway to welcome some of you back to school next week if we get the final ok from the government and Mr LeFevre. I am looking forward to working with those children for part of the week but I haven’t forgotten about those of you who are staying at home. The learning that we will be doing in class will be based on the same activities that are in the new home learning pack coming out next week. You can still use the class email to keep me updated on what you’ve been doing and show me any learning you have done. You can let me know in the email if you would like me to share your update/ work with the children in school so that we can all feel a little more connected. From next week onwards, I will use the weekly message to give you a taste of what the children in school have worked on and enjoyed.
At school or at home you are still part of that very special group of Year 6s – the first class at Pilgrim’s Cross who have been all the way through the school! I remember meeting you all for the first time about a year ago, and you were so proud to tell me that fact!
Keep busy, keep learning and keep showing love, courage and trust in all you say and do.
Friday 22nd May 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I hope you are all ok and enjoying having the lovely sunshine back for a while!
Now that we are allowed to exercise outside more than once a day, I decided this week to get out on my bike. I love cycling but never usually have much time to dedicate to it. Infact, my bike had been sitting in the garage for a little while so the tyres needed some air and the chain needed a touch of oil before I could set off.
It got me thinking about how much time I spent on my bike growing up. I was lucky enough to have a whole farm to explore and I can think of so many lovely memories I have involving brothers, cousins or friends, an adventure AND a bike. Even as a grown-up some of my favourite memories from holidays come from exploring a new place on two wheels.
Our Learning Adventure for this term has been all about exploring your local area. It has been great to hear from some of you, via the class email, about the local walks and bike rides you have been doing. Some of you have told me how much you’ve enjoyed having the time to explore the lovely places that are right outside your door.
We have all had to adjust to a ‘new normal’ and I am proud of the love, courage and trust you all continue to show away from school. I hope that, when you look back on that strange time in 2020, you will have some good memories that include your loved ones, exploring the outdoors…and maybe a bike.
P.S Here is a picture of me thoroughly enjoying exploring my local area by bike this week!
Friday 15th May 2020
Hi Year 6,
I hope you are all safe and well. Have you used any time in lockdown to work on your hobbies or learn a new skill?
One of my hobbies is running. But without an event to train for or parkrun to attend, I have found that I’ve lacked my usual motivation. Having decided I needed to show a bit more resilience, I laced up my trainers this morning and went out for a run and I was glad I did! The conditions were perfect (it was sunny yet cool) and I felt so much better for being outdoors and getting some exercise.
Every Saturday morning for the last few weeks I get together, on a video chat, with three friends and we each work on a watercolour painting by following the same tutorial on YouTube. Over the weeks, we’ve learnt new techniques and our confidence has increased a lot. I hadn’t done any painting since I was at school so I remember feeling quite nervous when I first put brush to paper in week one. This was a good reminder for me of how some of you might feel when you start a story or try a new method in maths – it can be scary!
I soon found that just giving it a go and experimenting was the best way to learn. If it ended up looking different to the example on the video (which it always does) it didn’t really matter. There would always be at least one part of the painting I was really proud of and at least one thing I’d learnt for next time.
There is a competitive element to our weekly watercolour: another friend gets sent anonymous photos of all the paintings and he has to choose his favourite! Two Saturdays ago, I won for the first time It’s definitely the taking part that counts but it was nice to have the bragging rights for one week!!
I would love to know about the hobbies or new skills you’ve been working on during lockdown. Do keep in touch using the class email.
Stay safe everyone,
Friday 8th May 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
This Friday (8th May) marks 75 years since Victory in Europe (VE) Day, when World War Two fighting ended in Europe.
On 8 May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio at 3pm that the war in Europe had come to an end, following Germany's surrender the day before. Big celebrations and street parties followed. Even the Queen got involved (who was a princess at the time and part of the war effort as a driver and mechanic); she and her sister were allowed to leave Buckingham Palace and secretly celebrate with the crowds who had gathered outside. She described it as one of the most memorable nights of her life.
You might have seen in the latest pack of home learning that there are some activities you can do to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Some people are adding VE Day bunting and posters to the rainbows in their windows. There are some templates here if you would like to do the same. https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/toolkit/
I find it fascinating and humbling to listen to the stories of WW2 veterans who showed such courage, love and trust when they volunteered to serve their country. You can watch and read some here https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/veterans_stories/
Your resilience and courage has taken you through 7 weeks of lockdown already. Hang in there
As always you can keep in touch and let me know what you have been learning via the class email.
Thinking of you all,
Friday 1st May 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I have been thinking of you all lots and I hope you are all safe and well.
This week has brought some much needed rain to our gardens but it does mean you might have been spending more time indoors. Major Tom isn’t keen on the rain so I’ve had to drag him out for his walkies this week!
With more time indoors, it’s all too easy to end up spending loads of time on phones, tablets and games consoles. I’ve been trying to limit my screen-time by reading and doing some baking with my dwindling supply of flour! Have you done any cooking or baking during lockdown? So far, I’ve baked a fruitcake, cheese scones, chocolate biscuits and (best of all) some pasties – delicious! I’d love to hear about any baking you’ve done at home and if you can tell me about the maths skills you used while doing so, even better!
It has been so lovely to receive your emails telling me about the learning you have done at home. I am busy putting together a new pack of home learning, which will be on the school website on Monday.
Keep being resilient and showing love, courage and trust in all you say and do.
Friday 24th april 2020
Hello Year 6,
This week I’m sure you’ve all come across the inspiring story of World War II veteran, Captain Tom Moore. Approaching his 100th birthday, Captain Tom set himself the challenge of walking 100 lengths of his garden. His aim was to raise £1000 for the NHS by asking his friends and family for donations. As I write this, more than one million people have donated and the total money raised stands at over 28 million pounds! After completing his 100th lap a few days ago, he pledged to keep on walking as long as people were still donating.
At a time when there is so much sad news, Captain Tom’s spirit and determination has spread joy and hope to many people. Speaking on the news he said, ‘The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.’ And his motto is: ‘Tomorrow will be a good day.’ What do his words mean to you?
Captain Tom embodies our school values of love, courage and trust. He’s a shining example of a resilient rhino! On Thursday at 8pm I will save a few of my claps and cheers for Captain Tom. Have a look at Mr Osmond’s loving challenge for this week if you would like to work on something to honour Captain Tom’s achievement.
I hope you are all well and keeping busy. Have you tried any of the home learning linked to our new adventure yet? Do keep in touch using the class email address; it makes me smile to see what you have been working on.
Friday 17th April 2020
I hope that you all enjoyed the sunny Easter weekend with your families.
You may have seen in the news that one positive effect of lockdown is that levels of air pollution have drastically reduced in many parts of the world as huge numbers of people have stayed at home and therefore stopped using cars and public transport to get about. Also, wildlife has been finding its way into places which are normally bustling with people – like these animals taking over cities during self-isolation
Luckily, I haven’t seen any alligators or pumas on my daily walks but I have certainly been noticing wildlife a lot more, especially birds. I was really excited to spot a red kite hovering near my house the other day and I have just set up a couple of bird feeders in my garden and I’m eagerly awaiting the first visitors! With less traffic noise, I can really hear the birds singing too – I’ve set myself the challenge of learning how to identify a few birds just from their song. How have you been connecting with nature? The Woodland Trust website has some lovely ideas of things you can do in your gardens or on your daily walk Perhaps you could give some of them a try as connecting with nature is proven to be really good for our wellbeing
Keep your emails coming – I’d love to see/ hear about any wildlife you’ve spotted as well as any home learning you’ve been working on.
Sending you a smile and best wishes,
Friday 10th April 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful sunshine as we approach the Easter weekend. On my dog walk this morning, I spotted 17 rainbows in people’s windows! Have you made a rainbow for your window? Have you seen the BIG rainbow some of the children made at school? Why do you think a rainbow is such a special symbol at this time?
Making a rainbow for your window is one way of showing love to the people who walk past your house. Some of you might have been out on your doorsteps at 8pm on the last few Thursdays showing love by clapping the NHS and care workers who are looking after the most ill and vulnerable people. Just by staying at home (even though we may have had other awesome plans for our Easter holidays), we are showing love to others by helping to protect them and the NHS.
Hopefully some of you will be enjoying some chocolate over the next few days as a special Easter treat. Have a think about the loving Easter gifts you could give to your family at this time through simple actions: perhaps you could help out with jobs at home or in the garden, you could be grateful and loving with your words, maybe you could get in contact with family and friends you can’t see at the moment or you could try making something (like a card or a picture) for someone you love.
Thankyou to those of you who have sent me examples of the learning you have been doing at home – in all its forms – via the class email! It’s great to see that we can trust in you to show effort, independence and resilience away from school Keep it up.
Wishing you all a very HAPPY EASTER…enjoy the sunshine and time with your families and remember to keep showing love, courage and trust in all you say and do.
Friday 3rd April 2020
I hope you are all safe and well and settling in to a new routine. I know you will be showing lots of courage whilst you adjust to a different way of learning.
With all the time you now have to spend at home it is worth remembering that learning takes place in all sorts of ways. Whilst the home learning you have been set is one part of this, reading, playing board games or card games, completing chores, cooking, being creative with craft or art (the list is endless) are all ways to learn! I hope you have been making the most of your gardens and one exercise outing a day to enjoy some activity and fresh air. I have certainly appreciated the brighter weather and have been busy gardening and taking in all the lovely signs of spring when I’m out walking my dog, Major Tom.
You now have an Aspen Class email address; you can use this to share with me any of the home learning you have been working on. I will be checking the inbox every few days and would love to see what you have been getting up to!
Take care and keep smiling,
Friday 27th March 2020
Dear Aspen Class,
Firstly we would like to say how proud we are of you for showing such COURAGE last week in school. The LOVE you showed for each other in the face of change and uncertainty was clear to see. You might be in your own homes but you are still very much part of Pilgrims Cross and of Apsen Class. We have complete TRUST in you to live out our school values at home. We hope you are all making the most of the new adventure you are on. In the coming weeks, use this opportunity to explore your own interests, talents and hobbies (as well as working hard on your set learning, of course ).
We are thinking of you – take care.
Spring 1 - No class is an Island
In Spring 1, Aspen Class’s learning adventure started with an exciting launch day which involved a treasure hunt. Clues led us to different locations around the school where facts, about the Isle of Wight and St Lucia, were hidden. We also did some fun fossil activities (including excavating and moulding our own fossils and looking at some real specimens under a microscope).
We continued this geography-based adventure with map work and by comparing the physical and human characteristics of each island. As well as presenting our learning in our Learning Adventure books (this great work is now on display in the corridor), we also had to find a memorable way to present facts about each island. Some of of us wrote songs which we performed to parents in the celebration event at the end of term.
In English we learnt to incorporate figurative language (such as simile, metaphor and personification) into narrative writing inspired by a picture book called Flotsam. This learning kicked off when we explored some hidden flotsam in trays of sand and tried to guess who the objects might have belonged to.
As part of this adventure we read a book called Floodland; it is set in an imaginary future where sea levels have risen and most of the UK is covered in water. The main character lives on the island of Norwich before escaping with a boat she found. We read some non-fiction about global warming to find out if this really could happen in the future and we went on to write powerful poems based on environmental issues.
In art (with Mr Richie) we designed maps with a difference: they were based on ourselves! In science we learnt about evolution and inheritance. We started by learning about life which inhabited the earth millions of years ago by learning about fossils found all over the world, including the Isle of Wight.