The last few weeks of our 9 month building project are upon us. I can't quite believe where the time has gone. The building is now in the final stages - the plastering, the electrical wiring, the painting and the fitting of the carpet. The week commencing the 9th June will be the moving in date for our Year 6 classes. On the Thursday and Friday of that week, the temporary hut will be gradually taken apart and on Saturday 14th June, it will be craned out. The following 2 weeks will be the outdoor classroom going back in, the car park being rebuilt, the containers being removed and the landscaping to be completed.
We are holding a Sites and Resources evening on Thursday 19th June, 5.30-6.30pm, where there will be a chance for parents to come and have a look at our new building. Please let the office know if you are able to attend.
If you are visiting Devon County Show next weekend, look out for 2 competition entries by our allotment groups. One group has made a t-shirt out of recycled materials, the design based on a 'chocolate sunflower' (a real type of sunflower!). They have thought of everything with it - seeds for the middle inside a plastic casing, recycled shopping bags, a tape measure for the straps, old chocolate wrappers. The final product is truly amazing. The second entry is a model scarecrow, all made out of recycled materials. It has a painted pine cone base with bugs made out of seeds on it, the scarecrow is made of wood, plastic, seeds and material - all materials that have been recycled. Well done to the allotment group for their creativity.
Last night, the Atmospheric in Starcross held a pub quiz to raise money for our school allotment. Many of our staff attended in support of the quiz. Apart from having a lot of fun, the quiz and raffle raised an enormous £176 for our school allotment. Our huge thanks to Jane at the Atmospheric and we are busy swotting up for next year. The money will be spent on tools and equipment.
Mrs Whalley's blog
The allotment group kindly invited me to accompany them to our school allotment this week. Simon set me a challenge of planting the broad beans following his step by step instructions. The group all made a mini greenhouse for their seeds to help them grow and protect them whilst they are germinating and a small seedling. They planted carrot seeds, measured the shallots, weeded and gave me a guided tour of the allotment showing me what they had planted so far this year. The group are entering a competition for Devon County Show, designing a gardener's T-shirt.
This is what the group said about their visits to the allotment:
Charlie: "I like when you get all the weeds out and out the seeds in."
Sophie: "I like it when we all work together and we work as one big team. The best bit about it is when you plant stuff and you get to be with your friends."
Simon: "I like getting a chance to plant."
Jamie: "I like planting."
Josh: "I like to be out of school for a bit! I like growing stuff as well."
Thank you to the allotment group for my kind invitation and to Mrs Sills and Mrs Dickson for all their hard work. I am looking forward to going back soon to see all their seeds growing.
Thank you for all your support last week for Devon Waste Free Lunch Week. We managed to decrease the amount of food waste, the number of pieces of waste per pupil, and the amount of different pieces of waste e.g. crisp packets, drink cartons etc.
We now need all your support to continue to make the school a more eco-friendly place, and to carry on decreasing the amount of waste we produce that is sent to landfill.
Please take a look at the graphs below to see how much our packed lunch waste decreased by.
Next week is Devon Waste Free Lunch Week – Mr Wilsher and the Eco-Council did a packed lunch waste audit recently and found that a lot of the rubbish in the lunch boxes could be reduced so there is less rubbish going to landfill. They have put up posters around the school and been campaigning to ask for parents' support to decrease the amount of waste. A packed lunch waste audit will be carried out on Tuesday 11th March to see if we have reduced the amount of packed lunch waste.
The most successful school in Devon will win £250, so fingers crossed!
Check this week's newsletter or pop in to see Mr Wilsher if you need any more details.
Mrs Whalley's blog
I was honoured this week to be asked to help launch the next Year 6 project. They have spent half a term learning about natural disasters. We have seen some amazing home learning projects where children have been presented with an open-ended task and produced so many different amazing projects. The children have presented weekly in our 'together time' celebration assembly their wide ranging learning week by week. Now they have a new challenge. On Monday I became Sir Alana Sugar, Mr Moore was Nick and Mr Hardee was an excellent Karen. The children were filed into the hall and given a number which related to a table number. Once the children had found their allocated spaces, in came Mr Moore, Mr Hardee and myself (aka: Nick, Karen and Alana... Sir Alana). We presented their task. Year 6 are working in teams across the classes. They have to set up a charity drawing on the successes from the charities that are already founded. They will be designing a logo, creating promotional art work and any slogans associated with the charity. They will provide a mission statement which shows the thinking behind the charity. They will be designing and writing leaflets and promotional information as well as setting up a website. They will invent an item to help people in the natural disaster, design the survival pack and budget plan. At the end of their allocated 6 weeks, they will be presenting their pitches to their peers, their teachers and their parents. The focus is on the leadership qualities they show, their team work and their work ethic.
Good luck Year 6 - you have a lot to do and little time. I am looking forward to the pitches.
Mrs Whalley's blog
I was just looking at the class blogs and found the homelearning on the recent Year 6 class blog. Please go and have a look. Jamie has produced an amazing information video of our local area and highlighted the HFA (Highly Flooded Areas) from aerial views and maps. He has researched the science behind flooding and thought about the advantages and disadvantages of it. I love the subtle music in the background: Take That 'The Flood' and the final 'Thank You' song. Great work Jamie!
Robert has produced a short film about a fictional tornado approaching our area. Robert's calm response shows him packing his bag of essential items and getting to the safest place in his house, Harry Potter style, under the stairs! He then demonstrated the destruction of different strength tornados, with lego. Genius work Robert well done!
Year 3 have promised to give me a guided tour of their home learning after half term. There is such an amazing effort being put into home learning in all year groups with such a range of projects.
Mrs Whalley's blog
In the morning the children stayed in their classes and had discussions about Drugs Education. Each year group took a letter home at the end of the day to give parents an overview of what discussions were held so that parents could be aware and follow it up at home.
In the afternoon, children had a choice of activity across Rec-Y2, Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6. Walking round the day before, I had heard some very persuasive pitches from the adults, trying to encourage the children to their activity. Here's an overview of what the children did:
Years 3 and 4 Children choose from 2 different activities. One activity was making a paper mache goal. Children discussed what their goals were - these could be short term or long term goals. Each goal had to be challenging for the individual but achievable. Children thought about how they would strive to reach their goals in small steps. Another activity was to make a cube from a net. Inside the net, children wrote their goals. They then decorated the net and wrote a date on the outside. The date had to be the date they could open their box and see if they had met their challenging goal. Jessica's goal: to swim 2000m by the end of Year 4. Josh's goal: to do 50 circles on the pummel. Children wrote goals that were home or school related. "I liked having a place to put my goal and I can check if I have met it," commented Josh. "I enjoyed decorating mine," reported Jessica.
Years 3 and 4
Children choose from 2 different activities. One activity was making a paper mache goal. Children discussed what their goals were - these could be short term or long term goals. Each goal had to be challenging for the individual but achievable. Children thought about how they would strive to reach their goals in small steps. Another activity was to make a cube from a net. Inside the net, children wrote their goals. They then decorated the net and wrote a date on the outside. The date had to be the date they could open their box and see if they had met their challenging goal. Jessica's goal: to swim 2000m by the end of Year 4. Josh's goal: to do 50 circles on the pummel. Children wrote goals that were home or school related. "I liked having a place to put my goal and I can check if I have met it," commented Josh. "I enjoyed decorating mine," reported Jessica.
Mrs Whalley's blog
There's never a quiet week at Exminster Community Primary School! This week has been Poetry and Arts week with a focus on performance poetry and linking it with art and drama. It has been exciting going around our school, seeing all our visitors, watching the children being so engaged in their learning and admiring the amazing outcomes. A huge thank you to all our visitors for their input this week. Thank you also to Mrs Miller, Mrs Badcott and Mrs Stapleton for organising the week and a very successful exhibition. The celebration was really topped off with the performance from the jazz band from DCC, our thanks to them. We enjoyed welcoming Roger and Annie Kirk, founders of the Helen Foundation and Cheri from DAISI. Here's an overview of each year group:
Becky Mason came into Year 6 and led a highly energetic dance workshop based on 'Tornados' to tie in with the Year 6 topic on natural disasters. She was so impressed with how much they learnt in a short space of time. Their final performance was powerful. They have also been creating individual art work, using a Japanse artist's work as their base. They used the photos, cut out part of them then drew in the missing sections. The results are outstanding.
Mr Norman, a local artist was so flattered that Year 5 were studying his art work, he came to talk to them about how he developed his pastel paintings. He explained that he completed 80% of his painting within 2 hours. He would then hang it on his shelves and come back to it afew days later. He would ask his wife for her opinion and look at it in the mirror to work out how to finish it off and change aspects of it. Year 5 created their own seascapes based on his art work. They also used pastels.
Ali Roscoe, from DAISI, came in to work with Year 4. This workshop was kindly donated by Roger and Annie Kirk through the Helen Foundation. Year 4 used Indian marbling inks to create a silhouette and paper mache frame painted in metallic paint. The art work was based on a Roman myth. They also produced a collaborative piece of art work using the marbled paper, cut out hearts and a beautiful frame. They have enjoyed performing poetry to one another and having a panel of judges to critique their performances.
This has been a very exciting week with a whole school focus on geography. I thoroughly enjoyed my learning walk throughout school with Libby, our link geography governor. We heard about what all the children have been doing this week. You can find out more on the class blogs but here is an overview:
·Reception started their week with a focus on 'A Walk in London' by Salvatore Rubbine. This is a story book but has lots of facts in it about landmarks in London. They then went on their own walk of their locality in Exminster and looked at all the landmarks. The children have been doing junk modelling of different landmarks in London and in Exminster, involved in clock activities and constructing the landmarks out of lego. Pop into Reception and have a look at their display.
·Year 1 were busy looking at places they had been to in the world, either visited or lived and placed them on a giant map. They looked at ways of travelling to places around the world. They particularly enjoyed their treasure hunt around the school, following clues which eventually led to a golden treasure box full of gold (chocolate) coins. They have been making town scenes out of lego and junk modelling, taking a picture from above and seeing the 'bird's eye view'. They have then been looking at maps and atlases.
·Year 2 have enjoyed orienteering and using compass directions. They have designed their own maps of their journey from school to home. They have been using 'digimaps' to study maps. They did a locality walk, plotted it on a map and looked at the difference between human and physical features.
·Year 3 have been doing compass work. They have been thinking about the human impact that a typhoon would have and writing letters in role. They have been doing direction problem solving activities and their home learning project this half term is to focus on their local area.
·Year 4 were given a budget and had to plan a 2-centre holiday using tools such as the train line and the national express. They considered accommodation and transport and presented their findings clearly. Children visited locations such as London, Cardiff, Exmouth and Dawlish.
·Year 5 have been doing lots of map work, looking at how the coastline has changed over time. They have also been researching the causes and effects of climate change. They wrote an explanation text about erosion and the human and physical impact of it.
·Year 6 are looking at the big question of 'How do natural disasters impact on us?' The children decided on the smaller questions that they needed to answer in order to address the big question. The maths is related to natural disasters and data collection and analysis, their literacy is explanation texts and their ICT has been creating an erupting volcano on 'SCRATCH'. Each group has a display area within the classroom and they are also creating individual flat books.
As well as all of this, our assemblies have been on aspects of geography. Children enjoyed a class link at the end of the day where they were able to show any 'geography/travel' related items and talk about them with a different age group. It's been an exciting and exhausting week! Thanks to Mrs Nowell for the organisation of this and to all the staff and children for their enthusiasm and engagement.
This week we have been concentrating on Geography and Together time was full of map madness!
There were lots of different things to share like planning particular holidays, zooming in on maps of the world, taking pictures of our very own Exminster on a field trip, maths showing our geography findings, and accurate tracings of maps from the past. Also, unlike the other class’s show-and-tell, Year 6 showed us a brilliant video revealing how the water sinks into the ground when it floods. The Year 2's asked them a scientific question and they had they had to answer it for that specific question. Natalie and Evie took on the roles of the crazy Hob- Nob and Dickendorf and demonstrated the answer brilliantly. The whole video will be on the website shortly for you to watch.
Geography week was fully enjoyed by all the children in Exminster Primary and it is all for us to say thank you to Mrs Nowell for all her hard work.
Thank you to Mr Moore and Mr Hardee for a fun maths games workshop on Wednesday evening enjoyed by about 50 people in total. Parents and adults enjoyed playing games to practise basic number skills, strategy problem solving, finding all possibilities and shape and space games. The main aspect though was having fun! Mr Moore has produced a booklet with all the games from the evening plus lots of extra games to play. There is an additional booklet available for games practising number skills with a pack of cards. Mrs Whalley remains the undefeated champion at the bricks game. Keep thinking Sam!
On the 20th of January, author of the amazing Bradley Baker series, David Lawrence Jones, travelled to Exminster School! He recounted the fantastic story of how he became a writer and how the ideas of the classic Bradley Baker books originated!
Come and enjoy an evening of maths games as a family. The evening will provide ideas of games you can be playing at home to support your child’s understanding and just as importantly, enjoyment of mathematics.
If you would like to attend, please provide the office with:
- Your name
- Your child’s/children’s name
- Their class
- Number attending
I look forward to seeing you at what will be a fun evening for all!
Mr Moore (Maths Subject Leader)
We are very fortunate to have a visitor coming to our school on Monday 20th January and to present to our year 5 and 6 children.
David Lawrence Jones is a well-respected local children’s author and has written a series of books about the amazing adventures of “Bradley Baker”. Should you wish to find out more about the author and his books you can look at the official website: www.bradley-baker.com
Today, we had a panto as an end of term treat. The monies raised from our productions went towards funding 2 pantos, one for FS and KS1 and one for KS2.
The pantomime was based around Christmas traditions with a comedy twist – decorating the tree, singing Christmas songs, pulling crackers, eating Christmassy food, going to see Santa and writing Christmas lists. The children got to enjoy singing, lots of comedy rhyming poems, and got to find out lots of things about Christmas past that they didn't know. It made Miss Madge laugh and Mr Wilsher understood some of the jokes! The pantomimers used Makaton – correctly! - and did a bit of spelling! Miss Jacobs liked the fact that they played Bob Marley and Mrs Norman learnt something she didn't know about why candy canes are put on our Christmas trees. Mrs Glover enjoyed the children's delight in watching, and Mrs Gilronan loved the hanky mouse who sang about custard! Thanks to Sam, Rob, Sophie and Dexter for such a captivating and educational performance!
Here's what the children thought:
"Loved it" (Callum)
"Very dancey" (Finn)
"Amazing and exciting" (Scarlett)
"Fantastically funny" (Millie)
"Absolutely brilliant" ( Emily)
Well done to all the children, in Key Stage 2, that worked hard to battle Drakes East Middle School in America to capture their trophy on the maths website Mangahigh.
Lately a new Maths programme has been introduced to our school and it is making a big impact. The programme is named Manga High and the children have to complete Maths tasks set by their teacher and earn medals as they go along. Recentley we have been competing in a Fai-To challenge aginst Drake East Middle School in America. A Fai-To challenge is where the tasks set by your teacher are recorded and the points you win in you Maths games count up and become your score against the opponent. The Fai-To tournament lasts for a couple of weeks and at the end whoever has the most points wins. So far we are winning and we are aiming for the top spot. We will keep you updated on our score and future Fai-To tournaments.
In Year 4 this week we made a video of us singing to bury on the school field. We hope that it is found in 100's of years time, so children can see what it was like at Exminster School in 2013.
Congraulations to Mrs Kay. Her baby boy, Killian, arrived on Thursday 14th November at 7.35am, weighing 7lb 6oz and only 14 days late! Both Maeve and Killian are doing very well.
Children in Need Day 2013
School council members and Mrs Goode (our school cook) judged the staff bake off!!
There were a prizes for decoration and taste.
Mrs Whalley won for the best decoration prize and Mrs Norman won the best taste, well done to both!!!
Thank you to all the staff for entering and the children for their fancy dress and donations to Children in Need!
Please look at our consultation documents in the 'Parent Zone' section.
Congratulations to Mrs Fuller, recovery is needed after her exciting trip to London! Mrs Fuller received an award this week for the 'Reading Recovery Teacher of the Year' for the South West. Dawn was a runner up and presented with a certificate and an award at the prestigious ceremony in London on Friday. She beat hundreds of entries for the South West for her hard work and dedication towards Reading Recovery. Not only has Dawn gone the extra mile with the children she supports of a daily basis, she has also acted as an exemplary practitioner for members of staff, sharing her expertise and knowledge of developing children's reading. She always shows such passion and commitment, suggesting ways in which we can develop reading further for children's enjoyment and progression. Recently, Dawn has started a reading club, letting children come and enjoy their books, read to them and with them and even compose poetry. Dawn is so committed to ensuring that children believe that they themselves are a good reader, raising confidence levels and attainment. We are so proud of the work that Dawn and done, and the hard work that all the children and families have done as a consequence of Mrs Fuller's work. Well done and thank you.