STUNNING SOLOS, DAZZLING PERFORMANCES: KEY STAGE 1 NATIVITY THRILLS AUDIENCES
Parents were taken aback by the quality of the Key Stage 1 nativity performance which told the story from the point of view of the animals. The cat was the main narrator of the story, a very clever creature who accurately predicted that a miracle would happen, but didn't wake up until after it had occurred (cats aren't used to being made to wait).
The children in Key Stage 1 are very used to drama because it is a big part of their learning in literacy. Every day they act out different stories to help them remember story structure and to enrich their vocabulary. So it is no surprise that such confidence and poise was evident on the stage from these well rehearsed children. The characterisation of the different creatures was superb.
RECEPTION 'RING OUT THE BELLS' FOR THE NATIVITY
Performance and rehearsal teach children very important life skills, because they are learning about pride, preparation, and most importantly, how to grow in confidence when presenting in front of a group of people. It seems unbelievable that the children in Ants and Spiders have barely had a term to learn these skills, because the joy, enthusiasm and confidence bursting from the stage at their recent production of 'THe Nativity' had the audience wrapt with delight.
'Ring Out The Bells' was a favourite song, performed towards the end as the climax of the play. Mrs Herrero was very sad to have missed the production. She was running a training course for Newly Qualified Teachers from 30 schools in Warwickshire. However, she has seen some of the rehearsal and was duly impressed.
"The children's singing was not only joyous, but harmonious. Children's voices are still developing at this age, but the accuracy in their pitch was really impressive."
Mr Stickley who equally pleased,
"It was absolutely beautiful, one of the best I've seen", he proclaimed!
CONCRETE, VISUAL ABSTRACT: KEY STAGE 1 MATHS WORKSHOPS TO INFORM PARENTS
On 5th December the school hall was packed out with keen parents who enjoyed a dynamic and enlightening maths workshop led by the talented Sarah Davis. Our kinesthetic approach to teaching mathematics has transformed children's understanding of the subject. Consequently, parents have been keen to use the same methods at home as we have been using in the school. Mrs Davis prepared some charming videos of the children who gave clear explanations of how to use various apparatus and representations to help them in their maths. We hope that these will be live on our website next week.
RAISING OUR READING PROFILE WITH PUBLISHED AUTHORS 6/12/18
Over the last fortnight have enjoyed listening to presentations and extracts from Amy Wilson and Jeff Norton. Children who chose to buy the books have had the texts signed by the authors and we have also bought a selection for the school library. We are very lucky to have a close relationship with Warwick Books who organise these free events for us.
We should also remember that our Willows children are also exceptional authors themselves. Some of these pictures show some of the recent work they have completed on the book 'The Lost Words'. This is a book that has been given to every school in Warwickshire by Coventry University. It contains poems about words that have been taken out of the Junior Oxford English Dictionary. Shockingly, these are words like 'acorn', and 'chestnut'. The Lost Words celebrates this wonderful vocabulary and the children have been producing their own descriptive poems and art work.
HANDS ON REAL LIFE LEARNING: A CROSS CURRICULAR THANK YOU!
Since last year, our Year 3 children have taken on the responsibility of offering a special thank you celebration for volunteers who help us in school…and there are a lot of them.
This year, using vegetables and fruit grown in our own grounds (which we link to our science work), the children prepared a delectable three course meal. Year 4 helped out by cooking flavoursome tomato soup. Mrs Musgrove, who with the help of her gardening club is our chief horticulturalist, was very relieved that the tomatoes were being used. She said, “We were desperate to use them up because we had a very good crop this year!” The children made homemade bread for the ploughman’s lunch main course and pudding was apple crumble, which of course contained our delicious apples.
Visitors who attended were wowed by the children’s poise as they waited on tables. One visitor said, “I feel very emotional. The children are just exceptional. They have organised this so professionally. I love the songs they have sung to entertain us as well. The food is delicious”.
Year 3 teachers agreed that it was very hard work and a lot of organisation, but worth it.
“The rich cross curricular opportunities meant children were using their maths skills, science skills, literacy and food technology skills to name but a few”, Mrs Templeton enthused.
Mr Dalton added, “I’ve seen children really grow in confidence through this project and the fact it is so purposeful has meant that children have worked extra hard.”
The school is working towards an award from The Food for Life Initiative.
"Children were moved to tears by this incredible performance!" was Mrs Lane's reaction to this outstanding piece of theatre for schools.
The incredible PLAY HOUSE theatre company performed ‘Lest we Forget’, a really moving piece about a Sikh soldier recovering in a hospital in Birmingham. Some of the writing our Year Sixes have already produced about World War One is incredibly moving, so much so that we are planning to perform readings of it at Holy Trinity Church. We plan to accompany this with music and lighting.
The top quality performance they have experienced from Playhouse will enhance their thinking and also inspire some further ideas about how they might illuminate their readings.