Rosh Hashanah

This week we welcomed Rabbi Aaron into school to share details about he and other members of the Jewish community celebrated Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. He shared songs on his guitar, taught us actions and words and played the Shofar. The shofar is a rams horn which is blown to make a loud sound.

We look forward to welcoming more members of our Jewish and other faith communities into school over the year.

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all members of the Jewish Community.

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Y3/4: Kew Gardens Visit

To tie in with our topic, years three and four visited Kew Gardens this week to get as close to a rainforest as we’re likely to get without leaving the country! we felt how the air changed as we moved from the outdoors into the humid environment of the Palm House. We compared air and soil temperature, and measured the humidity and light. Some of us even met a Water Dragon!

We also had time to do a tree-top walk (where we got an excellent view of some parakeets that have made Kew their home) and some of us experienced the hypnotic thrum of ‘The Hive’.

What a fantastic day of learning.

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Pause, wonder, reflect, question…

I stumbled upon these amazing photos on the BBC website, and had to share with you; they stopped me in my tracks and lots of questions popped into my head. What questions pop into your head when you look at these images?

Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Amazing competition photos – CBBC Newsround

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracted over 45,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries. The exhibition goes on display on 19 October at the Natural History Museum in London.

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Learning . . . off and running . . .

Today it was a privilege to spend time in classes and join in the learning. The highlights included :

  • new learning resources in year 1
  • Power of 5 maths
  • describing aspirations and dreams for the future
  • exploring new topics through investigations and team work
  • unwrapping books to celebrate new topics

If you have any personal or professional skills that are linked to our topics please come and speak to us. We always welcome talks, workshops and sharing of artefacts. This term we are learning about World Wars, The Rainforest and Plants.

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2018.19 – Are you ready?

Welcome back to school. Today in assembly, I shared a beautiful book with the children of a collection of untranslatable words from around the world. What a wonderful word by Nicola Edwards and Luisa Uribe

Gokotta – Swedish – to wake up early in the morning so you can go outside to hear the first birds singing

Poronkusema – Finnish – the distance a reindeer can walk before needing the toilet

Nakama – Japanese – friends who are like family

I then explained to the children that there is a special word for us here at school this term. The problem was they were only given one of the letters in assembly. Over the course of the day different classes have been given a different extra letter. Can you work out the word?

_ e _ _ _ _ _

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Spanish Day

On Friday, Years 3, 4 and 5 were treated to a day of Spanish. They took part in five different activities including some Spanish food tasting, salsa dancing, Spanish storytelling, Spanish art and translation. The children participated fully in all learning stepping outside their comfort zones to try new things. It was fantastic to see them learning together in mixed year groups. The children shared some great reflections on their learning.

The Spanish story telling was amazing. It’s not every day you get to learn a traditional tale in Spanish.

Days like this help us learn about cultures we would maybe never visit.

I am surprised in a good way. At first I thought I couldn’t do it but I did.

I feel really proud that we learnt something new and challenging like the salsa.

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Equipping Kids Conference – connected learning

Today Maple Cross hosted an Equipping Kids conference as we welcomed colleagues from schools across Hertfordshire as well as other professionals from around the UK.

Under the theme of connected learning we explored how children engage with learning and the language they use to do so. There were opportunities to see Year 6 leading a practical outdoor activity with Year 3 and 4, visit classrooms and then in the afternoon for the children to present their learning.

It was commented on “what you are doing here is a green beacon on an educational desert”. Good to see Maple Cross on the cutting edge as they lead, share and build networks. It was repeatedly commented upon how well the children articulated their learning as well as their passion and enthusiasm for it.

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No marking feedback

On Friday afternoon a pupil from Year 4 shared a detailed update about how non-marking feedback is changing and supporting their learning development. This insight is just a sneak peak of what is to come! Next week pupils across school will be sharing more of their learning with colleagues at a conference hosted by Equipping Kids.

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The pupil shared their thoughts on learning  . . . . .

“I used to feel confused and frustrated in my writing. I had ideas . . . . they were no good ideas. This time I select my targets in the morning. The target can not be too hard or too easy, it has to be just right.”

“You have to stop, think . . . . reflect back. I took ideas from Michael Morpurgo, our Kaspar book and then started to write short sentences to impact the reader.”

“Writing my targets gave me time to think, I need less distractions, music helps me.”

“I used to worry that I can’t do it, now . . . . . . I don’t worry, I know the teacher is around, being frustrated and confused doesn’t happen any more or if I do worry I’ll ask again.”

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