Monday 8th June, 2020
Just to let you know that some of our classes have started back already. The Government has told us that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can start back.
At our school these classes started last week. Each class is split into 2 groups, a morning group and an afternoon group. Groups and their teachers have to stay together through the day.
It is very strange because the school feels very empty. However, I feel safe here and I think the teachers do too, we have tried to keep things as low key and informal as we can, but there are some things- like blue spots to remind us about staying away from others and yellow buckets for us to wash our hands in- that are new and different to help keep us safe and healthy. A few parents told me last week that their children are very happy to be back at school and have been enjoying their classes- certainly Year 6 were having a good dance around.
The morning classes start between 8:45 and 9am and finish at 11:45am and the afternoon classes start between 12:45pm and 1pm and finish at 3:45pm. The changes to the day start and finish times mean that each session is the same length of time. Teachers have planned a short break in that time when children have had a play, used the football pitch and make use of all the playground areas and some sports equipment and activities. Year 6 were a bit lost on the first day, with about 10 of them and the whole school playground to play in.
I am really looking forward to seeing you all again soon. The plan we have put in place means that we can all start back without any other big changes for everyone and quite quickly once we have the go ahead. However, we need to wait for some instruction from the Government or Camden.
At the moment all we know is that the Government hopes you will return about a month before the end of the school year. That is in about 2 weeks’ time.
I am sorry I cannot be more specific about this for you. In the meantime make the most of the opportunities you have now, keep your smiles up the right way, and know that we are thinking about you all.
See you soon.
Wednesday 20th May, 2020
https://youtu.be/ApPOfwUwWfQ From our new Curate, Emily.
Wednesday, 6th May, 2020
Service from St Mary's with Emily. Click here.
If you go back to Monday, through Tuesday (not the one with the quote) can you see a pattern in the order of the flowers? which ones might come next?
What is colouring in the landscape? Good design or just a very happy/lucky accident?
What do you think?
Tuesday 5th May, 2020
I am very sorry, but this day was a chance to have a quiet thought in your own home day.
The quote from the book read:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
I wonder why this quote made me think of this flower?
Is that true of you? How do you learn best? What has been your motivation to learn over the past month or so? Where does that motivation come from?
I hope you had a really good day.
Monday, 4th May, 2020
Oh no.... bad joke... May the 4th be with you... (ask Mum or Dad about Star Wars the movie. There is a phrase they use. May the force be with you.... can you see the joke... I'll stop trying to explain.
Giving makes living more loving.
If there was ever a time when we needed to be creative about how or what we might give then now is it.
I don't know if you remember me talking about our school value of compassion? But when I have spoken about it I have said there are 2 parts to compassion- thinking about what we can do and then doing something with those thoughts- turning the thoughts into action.
Compassion is creative because we have to think about what we can do, about what a person needs from us and then to action it, do it.
But compassion is not expensive, in fact most often the most effective demonstrations of compassion are free or cheap and involve nothing more than a hug, a cuddle or a bit of time, at a time when someone you know really needs it.
Maybe Mum needs a break to get on with her work, or Dad needs some help around the house to try and keep things tidy.
Today and every day...
Have a think.
What can you do?
30th April, 2020.
Today the book has gone on holiday.
I have my own message I wanted to share... and quite simply it is to 'hang on in there'.
I have been hearing that you have been doing a fantastic job while we have been away from school. I have seen some of the work you have done and am talking often with the teachers about your work and about how things are going and for you and your families.
We hope you are all OK.
But I know that the hardest part of the work is not being able to be together, to have playtime and lunchtime and to be in each others company.
That distance from each other is the very thing that is keeping us safe and is the biggest part of all our work. Keep it up, you are doing amazingly well.
If you have been following the collective worship dates, you will see that this week I have used clowns as my image. Maybe that is a bit odd. But in history nobody really wanted to be known as the clown, and there are a few of them around, because the clown is a fool and something to make fun of.
But one thing that the clown can teach us, because the clown that we know today often tries to make us laugh or to be funny, is that the clown does this because the clown wants to make the best of a bad situation.
Right now we are asked to make the best of a horrible situation, I am not suggesting we all act like clowns, but I am thinking that we all need to hang on in there and be the best and make the best of what we can do in this time.
Be patient. This will end and you will have helped do an amazing job for everyone in our school, community and country.
Hang on in there.
See you soon.
Wednesday, 29th April, 2020.
Friends and laughter equals lots of joy.
This is something we are all missing, but it is a really good time for us to think about who we are missing most and why.
Who are our really good friends? Who are the people we like to kick about with? Who, of those friends will you confide in, or share a secret with, if you really need to?
Our really good friends are still there, maybe it is just a bit harder to connect with them because we can not see them every day. But we can communicate.
Our Year 6 children will soon be going off to their new secondary schools. What they will learn, and we are all learning now, is that those friends that are truly good friends will still be there, just the same, whether we see them every day or whether we just catch up every once in a while.
But it is hard to look at a group of friends and not want to smile and to find joy in their friendship.
Tuesday, 28th April, 2020
Following on and thinking about yesterday... Laugh with others and not at others.
Rules and limits let me know how far I can go.
Where do the rules and limits come from?
1. There are those thing in our head which make us know if we should or should not do something.
2. Then there are those things that our parents tell us that are rules or limits.
3. There are the things our teachers tell us.
4. Our Headteacher.
5. The police.
6. Our religious leaders.
7. The Government.
8. Our God, gods, or beliefs.
What order would you put them in? Why would you chose that order? Why do you think there are rules and limits set for us?
How is it that we somehow know what is right and wrong and will therefore set our own limits because of that?
I wonder if this picture of a sad clown could help us think about where the rules and limits come from?
Sorry I missed this yesterday. I hope you had a good day.
Monday, 27th April, 2020
We hope you have been enjoying our sharing assemblies. Find the link at the bottom of this webpage.
Laugh with others not at others.
I have to admit I spent a fair amount of time in the last few weeks laughing at myself for silly things- where did I put? what day is it? when is...
mostly because time seems to be working in a strange way and every day feels a bit the same as the other.
But that is OK, if I didn't laugh at myself I would probably cry. I am in control of how much I want to make fun of my own silly things.
It is a different story when it is others laughing at me.
But I do want to ask you the question... Is there ever a time when it is OK to laugh at others?
Of course there is.
In fact there are some people who want us to laugh at them...
- Who are they?
- Do you know anyone in your class who might try make us laugh at them or what they do?
- What does a clown or a comedian want us to do?
- Have you ever wondered why they do it?
- What did that wondering make you think?
Normally of course, I would be saying you should never laugh at anyone else, it is not nice, or it encourages them to do silly things.
But right now I want you to think about what making others laugh does for how everyone is feeling?
Most of the time..... I reckon it probably cheers them up and makes them feel happy.
Is that a bad thing?
Thursday, 23rd April, 2020
I have realised I have been doing this all back to front... and should be working on the premise of most recent first, not last. I have fixed this for this term. It took some thinking to realise.
Don't get all strung out on stress.
Easier said than done sometimes....but what is stress?
Do you think it is that moment when we have just had enough? Is it when we get a bit tired and just can't do it? Is it when we flip our lid and are angry?
We actually no it is not stress.
Those things are bored, tired and angry.
Those negative emotions are trying to tell you something about your physical or emotional state of mind.
You need to do something else, go to bed or stop looking at the TV or computer, deep breathing, ask for help or leave it for a moment.
If we don't listen to what they are saying, if we ignore them or pretend they are not there then guess what they become...
Stress becomes a lot more complex because it might not look or feel like being bored, tired or angry, it can often have a physical symptom or sickness.
And so, if we take care of those other things while we can- tired, bored, angry, annoyed, busy, overloaded etc.
Then actually....there is no need to get strung out by stress, because the littler things will have helped stop it happening.
If you ever think you have stress, or there are things that continually play on your mind you really need to tell an adult who can help.
Wednesday, 22nd April, 2020
People know you for what you've done, not for what you plan to do.
I hope you will allow me to laugh at how this thought struck me today. I have had a really busy day, and one thing I am learning about my job is that there are many times the day is punctuated (not with a capital letter or fullstop) but something happening around the place, bell time, assembly, lunchtime, visiting classes, people visiting me.
Today, as with most other days, I have been working from home. Just like you. I have had a really busy day, but of course I have not had the interruptions.
I know, as I am sure you do, that sometimes we need to take a break and it is important to do so... to move, to look outside, to look away from a screen, get some exercise.
One thing is for certain with this home working and learning, it all feels more intense and squashed in, focused and concentrated, partly because there is only us or a small number of us about, partly because there are not others interrupting our thinking and work.
Who are you missing?
You might well ask...what is so funny about that?
I have spent my day making up all sorts of plans for school, teachers, governors and you.
We will see if they are memorable!!
'People know you for what you've done, not for what you plan to do.'
Tuesday, 21st April, 2020. Summer Term.
Failures are a part of life.
Hmmm... I read this and thought I can't use this for the first day back at term, I know, I thought to myself, I'll use one of the days from the holidays that I like....
However, then I got the point of the thought.
If I don't like it and chose another date, I am cheating, I am admitting I can't do it, I am possibly failing at my task.
But I guess it all depends on what we think failure is.
- What does the word failure mean to you?
- Why do we fail?
- When have you failed?
In my experience to fail at something is a really bad thing, but is it really?
I think we need to think about the reasons we might fail...
- because it is too hard for us
- we do not know enough information
- we are just not that committed to the idea
- we don't want to do it in the first place
and then we need to think about what we do about the failure.
- give up
- try harder
- learn more about the idea/work/thing
- understand what is in our control and what is not
- wait for a bit until it is time, because maybe we just were not ready for it.
The creator of failure is the challenge in the first place, we would never question if challenge is a good or a bad thing. If we can't meet the challenge we fail. If we do meet a challenge we succeed.
But I wonder where we learn more about the challenge in the first place and about ourselves and our response- through success or through trying and failing and trying again, and sometimes again and again and again.
I'm now thinking failure isn't such a bad thing, what do you think?
Thursday 26th March. Clive Hale
I will accept the things I can't change and change the things I can.
Many, many years ago my sister gave me this little book. I didn't know how handy it would become.
Today as we settle into our new routines I am minded of our school value of endurance and tackling what it is we have some control over.
It maybe some time before we get back to what we knew, and secretly right now, I think some things, will never be the same. For example I think there is now a whole new respect for what we will get our computers to help us with and do, that we are all experimenting with, and I know that your teachers are enjoying having to think on.
Over the next few days and weeks it is likely we are going to be annoyed, be angry, find frustration, to be scared or worried with our situation.
Today's thought asks us to accept that we can't change our situation, it is as it is, and we are all in it together.
But maybe we do have control over how we approach our feelings, thoughts, frustrations and anger.
Spend a few moments thinking about what you can control. Have a thought about how your thinking might be able to help you. What does today's thought make you think about? Remember that everyone in your house is having to manage the same thoughts and worries as you. How can you help them?
Be strong and enjoy the opportunities this time will give you.
Friday, 27th March. Clive Hale
I am at school today. I put the little book out to remember to bring it with me, however, it is at home on the bench in the kitchen.
If I remember correctly today's thought goes something like this:
'The only time you fail is when you stop trying.'
In your homes at the moment there are bound to be Mum's and Dad's working very hard to be your teachers and doing their best to help you to continue to learn. But it may be that you have to persevere more with your new learning to understand it, maybe it is not as easy to listen to Mum or Dad, and maybe you just want to show Mum or Dad that you can do it all without them.
One way or another this is about getting things wrong, but accepting something as being wrong and then setting about to getting it right.
- How do you react when you get things wrong?
- Do you give up?
- Do you carry on trying?
- Do you get angry and annoyed then come back to it later?
- Do you just leave it for someone else to fix up?
This might not be just about maths or spelling, full stops and capital letters. In the past week Schools and Governments have been having to make decisions about all sorts of things we didn't think we needed to think about quite so urgently and sometimes some of the decisions might not have been quite right (they could have been wrong).
But the point is the thinking and the working can't just stop, it has to keep going in order to try and get it right. We all need that opportunity.
When we stop trying then we do really give up and fail on what we wanted to do.
Practice patience, with yourself and with others.
Have a few moments to think about when you have had to be patient and why.
Was there an outcome that helped you carry on and succeed?
Can you think of times that have not been about school learning? -riding a bike, managing a new baby or sister, getting a friendship right, making up after a fight.
Was it worth continuing to try to make it/get it right?
Which of our school values is this best about?
Sunday, 29th March. Emily Kolltveit. The new Curate at St Mary's.
A song with a simple message for us all. Click here.
Monday, 30th March. Clive Hale.
Loving someone means you’re willing to listen to them.
Most immediately I thought well it is obvious isn’t it.
Of course, if you love someone you will be willing to listen to them.
But what about those times when people have something to say that we are not so happy to hear. Things that might be true about how we are being, things that may be true about what we are doing.
We don’t always want to listen to those things, especially maybe when we are angry with someone, annoyed with life, frustrated, even in a really happy mood, or when we think we’ve just done a really good job. Leave me in my bubble, I’m happy here.
Who in anger has ever said ‘I’m not listening to you!!!’ Knowing that you said it wanting to hurt the person trying to speak to you… but also knowing that secretly you were listening and processing, but just not admitting it.
I think the ‘loving’ could just as easily be ‘trusting’.
When we trust someone, we know they don’t mean or want to hurt us and so we should listen to what they have to say. Maybe it will make us a better person.
Think about what you might have said to others to help them:
- Were they willing to listen?
- Did it make a difference?
- Why did you feel you needed to tell them?
- Have you ever said anything to an adult wanting them to listen to what you want to say to them for their own benefit?
- How did they react?
Tuesday, 31st March. Clive Hale
Use your special abilities to help other people.
My goodness, how many examples of this are we seeing at the moment. Our Doctors and Nurses are certainly sharing all they can of what they know to help keep us as safe as we can be. Your teachers are all being very creative in thinking how they can best help you with your learning in different ways.
But daily on the news we are seeing people sharing abilities of all kinds. Musicians opening doors and windows and sharing their talents, artists and writers creating special blogs or web readings to help us bide our time, postmen dressing up as superheroes to deliver the post and physical trainers setting up physical activities like the ones you do at 9am.
What talents/special abilities have you shared?
- A small ukulele concert for your neighbours through the walls or windows
- A picture of a rainbow placed facing the street to cheer passers by.
- Your sense of humour brightening up the faces of people in your homes.
- Some clever people are making class blogs or you tube videos.
Have a think about what you can do to share your special abilities, and remember each of you is amazing.
Who plays the drums? :)
Wednesday, 1st April. Clive Hale
It is important for people to know what you stand for.
As you grow up through the school you will develop more of your own mind. The things that make up your character become more evident, and you start to give reasons for why you like or do the things you do,
My observation is that this development of character, which is always with us, starts to become more evident about the time you are leaving year three and certainly through year four.
Right now we have to be asking some big questions about how we live life and what we are doing, maybe what we will change or what we will do differently, what we do like and what we don't like, what we miss.
Whether that is within our families, for ourselves or for others, whether it is about the planet or how we look after our environment and each other it does not really matter.
What matters is that you share your point of view, let others know what you think and feel.
What thoughts are bubbling to the surface for you?
Thursday, 2nd April. Clive Hale.
I will relax and just be me.
Already you will be, and are, someone or something. A son, a daughter, an older brother or sister, a mum or dad, a teacher, a nana or grandad...
Being that someone, or something, brings with it expectations of how you should behave and what you should do.
- That's not a nice way to speak to...
- What sort of example are you setting your....
- You're old enough now to know better than...
- xxxx wouldn't do that.
- That' just what I would expect...
Forget all that expectation for the moment and think about who or what you want to be. Relax, with the idea and enjoy who you are without the expectation of others.