We had a fantastic start to the Summer term yesterday where we launched the new topic, Out and About, with a WOW day. The children worked in mixed age groups and completed four different activities. All the activities used the environment and built our skills through outdoor learning. With Mrs Matthews the children wrote group poems based on the clouds. With Mrs Hardwick they made patterns and pictures using natural materials, based on flowers and plants. With Mr Banton the children used the I-pads to build poems by finding QR codes around the school and with Mrs Langton they completed a scavenger hunt. All the children had great fun!
The recent balmy weather makes us feel like Summer is still here, even though we are well into the throes of a new school year now. I have been extremely impressed by the industrious and caring approach of everybody working at Berkley and your children are very welcoming and only too keen to show me their good work.
I regularly pop into lessons and this week, it was a sight to behold: I arrived unannounced, to find one- to-one tuition going on in reception class, year 2 TAs were linking the pupils’ writing to their individual targets, year 3 were speaking French and Year 4 pupils were working in pairs, creating their own food webs. The challenge and the creativity were clearly embedded.
My first task has been to complete the School Development Plan, which drives our striving for even further success this year. You should be able to access this on the school website now. This has been a collaborative process, involving feedback from the pupils, parents, staff and governors.
The main headlines are:
- Under Leadership and Management: to improve communication with parents and amongst staff; seeking Dyslexia-Friendly re-accreditation; undergoing a mock Ofsted inspection in the Spring and further developing collaborative work with other schools.
- Under the Quality of Learning, Teaching and Assessment: to agree the ingredients of an outstanding lesson; to implement more strategies to stretch the more able; to review the homework policy and to further develop our teaching of literacy and numeracy
- Under Personal Development: to introduce a buddy system for reception pupils; to ensure the school’s behaviour system is clearly explained to parents; to include personal statements in reports and to further develop pupil presentational skills
- Under Outcomes for all: to show evidence of ‘deeper learning’ in books, to case study key pupils and to further develop global understanding.Please see the website for more details.Open DayWe are holding an Open Day on Tuesday 18 October for prospective parents whose children are due to start school in September 2017. If you know of anybody who may be interested in attending, please pass on this information to them. I will make a 20 minute presentation at 9.30 a.m. and again at 1.30 p.m. Parents will be able to tour the school and then ask any questions. Thank you for your support.Spare books
As staff we are very keen to pass on our love of reading to each child. We are always on the look-out for books, to add to our collection in the classrooms and in the library. If you are able to donate a book to the school, please can you hand them in to the school office. Again, thank you in anticipation of your donations.
As you will be well aware, this is an on-going problem for us, but we appreciate your patience and your efforts to help minimise the hold-ups. I know some of you car-share and the staggered start to the school day has helped, with some of you dropping off at 7.45, 8.15 and then from 8.45 a.m.
May I take this opportunity to say how privileged and proud I feel to be your new head teacher. I am really looking forward to working so closely with your children, the staff, governors and of course you, the parents, so that we can all work together to make Berkley a wonderful experience for all concerned.
I trust that you have had an enjoyable summer holiday and that your children are looking forward to the new school year with everything that this entails, such as making new friends, learning new skills and making great progress.
Just to re-iterate one or two points I made when I met many of you last term: I want Berkley to be a school where the pupils enjoy attending, the staff enjoy working and the parents feel proud of their child’s achievements. The expression ‘Each child is my child’ encapsulates my philosophy. I want each child to feel valued and safe, to be happy, supported, stretched, listened to and cared for as we would wish for our own offspring.
My eldest grandson has just started school, so I am only too aware of the excitement of starting school and also the anxieties that any child may harbour.
One new strategy we have introduced straightaway is a ‘buddy’ system whereby Year 4 pupils will each buddy up with a reception child and with two new pupils in Year 3. Hopefully this system will help the new Berkley pupils settle in as quickly as possible.
Last week we started with two inset days, with staff and governors working together most productively to formulate the School Development Plan. During the school holidays I assimilated all the comments from pupils, parents, staff and governors, all of which has been shared at the inset day and has helped to shape the key issues that will form this important document. All the replies are now available for you to view on the school website.
We will share the SDP with you when it is completed.
I have also included the table of parental replies to the 12 Ofsted questions, so that you can see the overall picture for yourselves. We will share the School Development Plan shortly when it is completed.
As promised last term, I would like to continue with the Berkley tradition of holding a ‘surgery’ with parents, and I would like to make you aware of the first such meeting: I shall be available on Thursday 29th September from 2.00 p.m. onwards, including after school if you would prefer to meet then.
Of course, if you have a particular need to speak to staff about anything at all, please contact the school.
I am employed for two days a week, there needs to be some flexibility but Rest assured that, on the days when I am not in school, there will be a senior member of staff in charge.
For the first week of term I am attending Berkley on the Monday, as this is the pupils’ first day of the term and on the Wednesday, so that I can collaborate with Mrs Matthews on the SDP.
For the second week of term I shall be at school on the Wednesday and Thursday.
Of course, working most effectively for the good of each child is about a partnership between the home and the school. An analogy I use is the plate-spinning circus act, which intrigued me as a child: Without the hectic nature of this act, we are all working together to keep each child spinning in the right direction, ensuring that no child falls off! We each have a hand on the stick, keeping the plate spinning.
I look forward to getting to know your child, their individual personalities, their strengths and indeed their needs.
Owls class have been looking at the works of Shakespeare with MrStone. They acted out ‘The witches’ spell: Macbeth, Act Four, Scene 1’. They then constructed their own individual witches spells. As a class we then put these together to make the ‘Owls Witches Spell’. Please watch our videos at the end of our spells.
Owl Class Witches Spell
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Round about the cauldron go
In the poisoned entrails throw
Round and squishy blue bird’s eye
Dad’s red and black spotty tie
For a charm of powerful trouble
Like a hell broth boil and bubble
Ancient homework wrapped in foil
Teacher’s glasses in brown soil
Half a cup of water cold
Teeth of a shark really old
Rainbow rays and dark green dye
Tied together with dads tie
Light green dye rains from the sky
When I see it I will cry
A thousand volts from a bolt
Eye-ball of shark, wing of lark
Head of squid with piece of bread
Slimy snout from pig, quite dead
Slimy broken metal brain
In goes a bubbly quick train
Green blobs ear wax in goes two
Stinky smelly cheese, snakes poo
Put in a cheeky smile
You get it from the Nile
Pull a chest hair from a clown
Fry it till it’s nice and brown
Get some belly button fluff
After play some Blind Man’s Bluff
In the cauldron pour rat juice
White and fluffy wings of goose
Purple bones from a toy shop
Sticky pink sweets that go pop
Hulks shoulders, great big boulders
Mrs Langton’s huge folders
Hanging on some smelly pegs
Messis left foot, Neuers arm
In the cauldron on the farm
In goes brain with fur balls too,
In an hour it will be two
Stir chicken with smelly socks
Pour it in a big fat box
Chopped off finger and a ball
And a shark tooth on a stool
Cows tongue Steven Halkin’s brain,
Hair from a mum, toothache pain.
Broken glass a baby’s heart,
Witches wild treat eyeball tart.
Lovely scrumptious pig, black dye,
Cup of rotten tea, weird pie.
A pigs eye a tail of rat,
A bat goes in with a hat
A bull’s horn and octopus
A cat and Stegosaurus
Roony’s boots, a football lace
Both together in a case
Ronaldo’s boots in a waste
West ham crushed to make a paste
Shiny duster cruel bee’s sting
Cobra venom black flies wing,
Creepy slimy owlet’s eye
Next in goes a rotten pie
Giant gun and two long belts
Electric wires and green paint felts
One piece of nice chocolate cake
In the cauldron boil and bake
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell broth boil and bubble
Double, double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Does anyone have any spare childrens books just lying around? Also any comics/annuals/plays/childrens magazines that you are no longer using? We would love you to bring these items in as these would be of interest to the children at Berkley. Thank you for all of your support. Greg Banton.
Hope Owls class have a great residential trip!
We are thinking of you all, Eloise is gutted to be missing it, but is looking forward to seeing you all next Monday & sharing all your exciting stories!
A big smiley hello from Australia!
I hope everyone is having a great Easter holidays?!
We are in Australia! We had a very long flight here & we were all very tired, but we’ve been here for 8 days & we have settled in very well!
We have done lots of wonderful things, been to lots of lovely places including beaches, parks & costal walks! I have seen my sister, brother-in-law & my little nephew, which is so exciting, as they have moved here & I haven’t seen them for a while!
The weather has been very good too, lots of very warm sunny days, perfect for barbecues & watching some amazing sunsets!
See you all school soon!
Mrs Rushton xx
William and Freya’s Mum and Dad have a brilliant way of supporting reading.
Make the room as dark as possible, crawl under the covers and light up a light sabre (or a torch!). Get reading! What a fun way to read a book!
I wonder what other fun ways of reading we can think of? Post and let us know.
My children can’t wait to be a Jedi reader!
A huge thank you to Mrs Scovell who came in today to read the children a story in Czech. We loved it and the children even learnt how to say some simple words in Czech. We also learnt about Easter celebrations in different parts of the world.
A fantastic Easter service today!
A massive well done to all the children. Year 4 you led the service brilliantly!
I hope everyone is having a great half term?!
We have done some lovely things, we have been to Center Parcs, which was great fun, but very tiring!
We have also been to town this morning & had hot chocolates in the River House Cafe, yummy!
We are off to Sea Scallop at the Farm Shop later for tea! I have never been there before, so I am really looking forward to it!
It has also been really nice to have some chill out time & get lots of boring jobs done!
Can’t wait to read what everyone has been up to!
Hope you all have a peaceful and very merry Christmas!
Mrs Matthews x
A massive, massive congratulations to Mrs Burgess who won the Radio 3 carol writing competition this year. Her entry is just beautiful and really deserved to win! You can listen to it if you search the radio 3 website.
A huge well done Ann, we are really proud of you at Berkley school and exceedingly lucky to have you playing the organ for us every week!
Merry Christmas Berkley! Hope everyone has a fantastic time! See you all in January!
I had such a great day at work today! We had a fantastic whole school Christmas lunch, where there were lots of happy faces! I loved the chocolate cake we had for pudding…..delicious!
The Christmas entertainer was also great fun, we heard lots of noise in the office! We managed to watch from the office window, we wanted to join in with the conga! That looked such a good fun!
It was also really good to see Santa! He gave out lots of lovely presents!
It was so lovely to be part of such a good day at Berkley!
Hope you are all having a lovely Summer holiday!
I am in northern Spain. We have stayed in two different houses. The first one was in a town and was very nice. It was opposite a farm. The next house we have stayed in is in the mountains so it is much colder but we have seen eagles and there is a small pool so my children have had fun in that – it is very cold in the pool! We have been to the beach, to a great safari park, to some towns and we went to a music festival yesterday.
I hope you are all having a wonderful Easter. I have been enjoying a good break and had a lovely trip to New York.
Here is a picture of the skyline, myself in the M and Ms store and Central Park!!
PS Badgers I’ve got a picture of myself reading in a random place! Hope you’ve got yours sorted!
Wow all your poems are fantastic!! I hope you have all had a lovely christmas and Father Christmas has brought you lots of presents! I have had a very relaxing christmas and have eaten so much chocolate I feel like I am going to burst! Enjoy the rest of the holidays 🙂
Well done to everyone who has entered so far. I am so proud of you! The standard is really high and they have made my Christmas really special reading them!
There is still time to enter so please give it a go – you can have help!
Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and Father Christmas brought you all the toys and gifts you asked for.
I had a lovely Christmas with all my family, playing games, opening presents and eating chocolates!
Have a relaxing rest of the holiday!
Mrs Matthews xx
We have been learning the poem, ‘The 12 days of Christmas’. We have written our own versions in groups.
1 Christmas tree flashing
2 Snowmen digging
3 Presents under the tree
4 Bells jingling
5 Reindeers flying
6 Snowflakes falling
7 Father Christmas sleighing
8 Elves making toys
9 Candy canes hanging
10 Stars sparkling
11 Ho! Ho! Ho’s!
12 Mince pies munching
1 Reindeer on a log
2 Santa’s laughing
3 Snowmen flying
4 Turkeys tweeting
5 Silver stars
6 Elves wrapping
7 Presents rattling
8 Dinners steaming
9 Angels fluttering
10 Bells jingling
11 Crackers popping
12 Christmas puddings to eat
Well done!!! They are amazing!
What a super term it has been! The black and white topic has proved to be a very exciting one with lots of focus on history with Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King which the children have thoroughly enjoyed. The art work has been really inspirational with the input given by our puppeteer John on one of our WOW days. The masks that the children made at the end of the topic were fabulous too! Going round the classes and seeing the range of Black and White art and the progression in skills has been really exciting. Our two new teachers, Miss Pickford and Miss Pennington have settled in very well and become part of our hard working and super team. The singing in the Christmas Plays this year reached new levels and our visit to St Catherine’s care home was very much appreciated by staff and residents, we were able to bring a lovely feeling of Christmas into the home. Having a new classroom and the use of a hall has been “the icing on the cake.”
May I take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
We have been learning how to keep safe on Bonfire Night.
Stand well back to watch the fireworks.
When you use sparklers keep it away from your body.
When they are finished and sparklers go out don’t touch them.
Put gloves on when you use sparklers.
Put sparklers in a bucket of water when they go out.
Stand back from a bonfire.
If you want to find out more look at the Welephant website, there is a great story that you can read together.
Nov 5th 2013
We had a great time. We went away with lots of Maisy and Fred’s friends to a big house in Devon. We went on a very boggy walk and jumped in muddy puddles. We made broomsticks from silver birch trees and went on a story walk. We counted spiders at Knightshayes Court and we went on the cliff railway at Lynton. I am really looking forward to hearing all the exciting things that you have done.
What a fantastic Harvest Festival service. The church looked so colourful with all the children’s art work and Owls class had decorated it so beautifully. The children sang joyfully and the words were very clear. The poems were performed expertly by all the classes. Having the church so close to the school gives the children a wonderful opportunity to perform to a real audience. The prayers that the Squirrels wrote about Autumn were lovely. Watch out for photographs on the website. Well done children and staff – another WOW event!! Thank you very much to our parent community for supporting this event we hope you had an enjoyable time.
I have had a lovely Summer Holiday with my family. We went to stay in a caravan in France and had a fantastic time. The weather was sunny every day and my daughter Maisy and I did lots of body boarding. Fred made lots of sand castles. We went to a brilliant place called the Puy de Fou. It has lots of different shows about things that have happened in the past. We watched a Roman show in a huge ampitheatre, a viking show, a bird of prey show with 700 birds flying all at the same time which was amazing, dancing horses, and we had ice cream! FANTASTIC!
I went to Oxford with Maisy and Fred and my husband Adam to see his family. We had a lovely time. We went to a museum of Natural History in Tring which was full of stuffed animals. Fred particularly liked the polar bear. Then we went to the SS Great Britain and @Bristol where we had great fun. Maisy made a bubble go right over her head!
What glorious weather we were blessed with this afternoon for our Sports’ Day. As always it was brilliantly organised by Mrs Langton with her team of Year 4 helpers. The FBS with extra parents helpers put on another fabulous cream tea and the event was well attended by the parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles.
The children were very sporting and enthusiastic and it was great seeing the winners receive their medals on the podium.
The only cloud for me was that it was my very last Sports’ Day at Berkley !
I have just got home from the school disco! Mrs Langton and I had a lovely evening. Everyone was really well behaved which meant we had a really great time!
I got to dance with lots of children, Malachi shared his mini donuts with me and I even got a giraffe tattoo! Evie said I was a good sport!
Mr Carver was the DJ and loads of parents helped to make it a terrific evening.
Thank you everybody!
PS good luck with the London Marathon Jo Blackburn
We had a wonderful day in Portsmouth. It was fantastic to see everything first hand that we have been thinking about in our topic.
My group knew so much and I was really proud of them.
It was also really interesting to see that there were over 300 articulated lorries on the road that day!( in joke- you had to be there) !!
I have just finished looking at the photos of some Squirrels out in the forest. It looks as if they were having a terrific time. I would love to go but sadly I haven’t had the chance.
Maybe one day I’ll disguise myself as a Squirrel and sneak onto the minibus! I bet no-one would notice!!! What do you think?
This week everybody will be travelling to Portsmouth on an educational visit to The HMS Victory. This is part of our creative curriculum topic on ‘The Fighting Temeraire’.
In KS2 we have been learning all about what it might have been like to have been a sailor aboard one of the ships in Nelson’s navy. Perhaps the Temeraire or the Tenacious or even the Victory herself. So, hopefully, everyone will have a good idea about life in those times and will get the most out of the visit.
I am really looking forward to the trip! I expect there will be lots of blogs about it next week!
Is anyone else excited?
Mrs Perry and I have both been watching the James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ and it was really funny because at one point 007 goes to the National Gallery and he sits right in front of the Fighting Temeraire while he is waiting to talk to another spy.
I have been to see the painting recently and it was in a different place In the gallery. I think they must have moved it for the film?
The school was visited by the world famous Carducci string quartet. We listened to them play some wonderful pieces of music. The children listened so attentively and were enthralled for 45 minutes. I know lots of children didn’t want the performance to end. They explained what instruments they played, how they played them, different techniques they used to make the sounds. They also talked about different pitch and tempo. It was truly fascinating and I know the children got a lot out of it. There was a lovely question and answer session at the end and then the quartet worked with a group of children from Badgers class. What a WOW afternoon!!!
E-safety day [February 5th 2013] began at Berkley School with an assembly where Mrs Matthews talked to us all about the theme of ‘Connect with Respect’. We spent the day in each of the classes considering this. You may like to look at the link to the clip of the Rabbits singing their E-Safety song!
In Badgers we have been designing our own E-Safety posters. We have also thought in depth about how we might develop an E-Safety charter for our class. We have nearly completed this and we will share it with you once we have finalised it!
Today the Badgers thought about keeping safe in general – not just E-Safety- and we all played a board game, called ‘I Know That’ , this morning. It was fun and made us think about lots of areas of our lives where we need to be be safe!
Robot Mania visited Berkley School again on Monday. What a fantastic day was had by children and staff. Lots of fantastic robot models are displayed around our classes. Thank you so much for all your fantastic support with making the costumes. Particularly as some of you did it twice because of the weather. The children absolutely love dressing up and it certainly makes for a super WOW day. It has been an exciting topic to teach and I know the children have become thoroughly immersed in robots!!!
What an exciting start to the term with a topic about Robots. Can hardly wait for Wednesday when we become a robot school. Children have been busy writing character descriptions, writing stories about robots. They have been developing mapping skills in order to give their robots instructions. We even had a snow robot built on Friday when we couldn’t get to school!!! Watch out for those lovely robot photographs.
On friday we went to Lyme Regis it took us an hour.When we got there we had to get our ticket.Then we walked down the cobbly bit and we saw lots of boats.On the way back we jumped down and up.Then we got to the sea we didn’t go in the sea we played tag. it was really fun then we got some fish and chips I had a super duper long sausage.Then we got an ice cream I had a choclate ice cream with choclate sauce and extra sauce.
Exciting news! Next half term our creative curriculum topic will be Robots! When I told my class this they all cheered really LOUDLY and I can understand why! It is going to be such great fun! And I can hardly wait!!!!
It was hectic at the end of term. Following the two Christmas productions we all met together as a school to listen to the two choirs sing and share some of the production songs again.
We had our Christmas Party – this was a full Christmas lunch, followed by a really good entertainer and then, finally, because we had all been so good, Santa made a surprise appearance carrying 3 sacks of presents for everybody.
It was a lovely end to a busy and fulfilling term.
Have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas everyone.
On Monday Badgers class took part in a workshop linked to a Frome Community Project. A new book, ‘Working Memories’ which contains information about industries and companies that have traded in Frome is currently being printed. We were asked to help out by producing marbled paper, titles and pictures to make covers for special books which will be presented to the contributors to the book.
The children learned about some of the Frome companies from the past and enjoyed taking part in the workshop. We are now looking forward to seeing the completed books.
I can’t believe we are at the end of another year and what a super year it has been!
It is a time to say thank you to so many people. A big thank you to all the parents who organise the fund raising events which are so successful and to all the other parents who support these events. Thank you for giving up your time so generously and willingly.
Another thank you must go to all our parents who come into school and help in the classrooms, your help is so invaluable. An additional thank you to all our parents who have come into class to support our topic work, your skill and expertise have been really welcomed and valued.
The range of activities, trips, themed weeks and WOW days have engaged and motivated the children to achieve at the highest level and there has been such a wonderful buzz in the classrooms!
I will miss our year 4’s and the contribution they have made through their journey at Berkley but wish them well for their future.
Lastly to everyone – have a happy and relaxing summer holidays and let us live in hope for some much needed sunshine.
Today the Year 4 Leavers, Mrs Perry and I travelled to Warminster School for a special day of science, PE and music. First of all we travelled into the world of CSI as we tried to solve a crime that had been committed. We took finger prints and matched them to ones found at ‘the scene of the crime’. We went on to identify the perpetrator of the crime by investigating a range of inks taken from different pens. It was such fun!
Then, after a short break, the children had a tennis lesson. This was also very enjoyable although it rained very hard and we had to come in early.
Finally we had a drumming lesson. This was absolutely terrific! The teacher was ‘outstanding’ in my view and the children had a brilliant time playing the djembe African drums.
Finally the school treated us to lunch and this was delicious.
Then we returned to school
It was a really enjoyable day and we are very grateful to the staff of Warminster School for the invitation and for the welcome received to day.
The last day of school before the half term break was centred around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. The whole school dressed in red, white and blue! Ladies from the Mothers’ Union came into school to help the children to decorate special jubilee biscuits which were then eaten at lunchtime! Yum. The MU ladies were so complementary about the way the children had behaved which was great to hear. Everyone made a ‘crown’ to wear during the picnic, we all made bunting ready for the ‘Berkley Olympics’, and in Badgers’ class we began to draw portraits of the Queen – which we will finish next half term.
It had not been the best of weather so the field was wet. We decided to have our picnic on the playground which worked out quite well. Chloe and Max’s mum with the help of Christopher’s mum had made 100 small cakes which were beautifully presented on cake stands. And they were delicious – so a huge thank you to them for their thoughtfulness.
After the lunch Mrs Langton organised everyone for a country dancing session which was fun and then Mrs White led a very loud three cheers for the Queen – which we have been told she heard in London!!!
After that we all went back to our own rooms before starting an extra long Golden Time [ Diamond Time?] when children from the different classes mixed together.
We took lots of wonderful photos which will appear on the website once we return to school.
The weather was perfect for the supporting crowd this afternoon, although perhaps a little warm for the players who looked a bit pink by the end of their final match. It was great to see them working so well as a team and to see a good mix of boys and girls again. All three school teams played in a very sportsmanlike way and it was a pleasure to be part of such a lovely afternoon. Go to Mr James’ blog for a detailed match report!
On Tuesday we were lucky enough to travel to the Merlin Theatre to watch the dress rehearsal of Selwood Academy’s production of Oliver! It was great for us because as you know we studied the Victorians in the Autumn term and had learned some of the songs from the musical.
We loved it and it was great to see lots of past Berkley school pupils in the cast!! It was so great to see such a lot of talent and it was evident that a huge amount of hard work had gone into the production.
When the cast sang ‘ Consider Yourself’ in the finale I’m afraid that Berkley School broke out into song along with them!!! and we carried on singing in the foyer afterwards whilst waiting for the parents!!!
It was so good that I’m going again on Friday!!! I promise not to sing that time though!!!
Mrs Langton and I were so proud of the football team on Thursday evening. The team played Bishop Henderson school at Coleford and, if you have read Mr James’ blog you will see that , they won convincingly 6 -1. How fantastic!!!
Winning is always great but the thing that made Mrs Langton and me so pleased was the way in which the team played. They were terrific sports – they supported one another well and were really encouraging. They shared the ball around and you can see this was a good strategy from the goal scoring results. I watched them talking and passing and running and really thinking about what they were doing. It was brilliant to see and I stood them all up in Good Work Assembly on Friday and we gave them a clap. Mrs B was on a course but I’m sure she won’t mind that I’ve promised them all one of her special ‘Head Teacher Award’ stickers!!
I can’t wait until the next match!!! A special thank you to Mr James too.
Today the Year 4 children were pilgrims on a journey to Wells Cathedral. We travelled on the coach with Beckington school which was nice and we were lovely and early so we got the front seats on either side of the cathedral.
There was a welcoming service and then we split off into groups. First of all we had a tour of the cathedral and saw some of the interesting sites. The children dressed up in cloaks and carried staffs around just as the early pilgrims did – although they were able to keep their shoes on – early pilgrims often walked hundreds of miles without their shoes!!!
Then we made pilgrim boxes before setting off to our next workshops. One group ,with Mrs White and Mrs Jeffery, went to a craft session where we made shell bookmarks and the other group, with Mrs Wheeler, went to a drumming workshop. We all had great fun.
Then it was time for lunch followed by a Mime Workshop which was hilariously funny and also communicated thoughtful ideas.
Finally we returned to the cathedral for the closing Act of Worship. Abi and Sam carried the banner, Kieran and Rob and Mrs Jeffery collected the lighted candle and Izzy read our pilgrim prayer from the pulpit.
It was a smashing day and all the children were really great ambassadors for Berkley School.
On Monday we had a world renowned wildlife photographer Iain Green in to work with the children. He started off with a brilliant assembly to the whole school where he showed photographs on the interactive whiteboard of some of the animals that he has studied. He is particularly famous for his work with tigers and showed the children some amazing shots. He has also written several books about tigers and wildlife in London and been involved with the BBC on various programmes such as springwatch. After the assembly he then worked with each class in turn. They went out on the school field and some groups of children went in the church yard as well. He worked with the children on developing their observational skills, as he encouraged them to look really closely at things around the school and observe in detail using the camera. He explained that often we don’t appreciate or see what is right under our noses. The children were using their observational skills to notice things such as texture, colour, pattern and shape. We are hoping to invite him back as a stimulus for creative writing. Another super WOW day!!
Children in Badgers’ class have been enjoying a photography club. It has been so interesting, they have learnt a great deal and this afternoon they set up an exhibition of their work in Juraj’s studio. Parents and other members of the families came, and after enjoying refreshments, toured the studio to enjoy the children’s work. They then had the opportunity to purchase the photographs and Juraj kindly offered to donate all profits to Berkley School!
As you know the children have been learning all about different types of weather which they have found to be very exciting and interesting! They have written some brilliant poems and pieces of descriptive writing inspired by the different weather we have had. There has also been some super art work going on. What a way to end this half term with some snow – the children were able to go outside and both rabbits and squirrels played in the snow. Badgers also went up to experience the effect of snow on our environment. This practical approach really does enhance their learning and gives them meaningful experiences which in turn enrichs their vocabulary and the quality of their work. Have a happy and safe half term.