Fitting so much fun in to February
It has been an amazing half term full of exciting experiences for our children (and staff!)
There really is so much happening across our school that it can be hard to encapsulate it in one article. Twitter is highly recommended as a way of staying in touch with our exciting curriculum and wonderful additional opportunities that the children benefit from.
However, just to give you a little taste...
This half term heralded the annual Harry Potter evening - where the children from Y2 upwards enjoyed a magical evening. Following their 'Sorting Ceremony', the children enjoyed the owls (and crows and vultures!) flying over their heads around the school/Hogwarts Great hall. After this - they had a difficult choice because there were so many options to choose from...holding a boa constrictor, scorpion or tarantula; playing Quidditch (this year an indoor and outdoor option); making a wand and casting spells; visiting the Mirror of Erised; pinning the wand on the troll; visiting Honeydukes (perhaps the most popular option); painting their own 'Philosopher's Stone' and even more. A truly magical experience and a gallery can be found on the website.
Y1 also got to meet some owls close up with a special visit from the Owl man and learnt all about the nocturnal creatures. This was a real insight for our children who had already been very busy being interpid explorers this half term - dressing up as characters ranging from Amelia Earhart and Lady Hester Stanhope to Bear Grylls and Christopher Columbus. They also had a special art gallery to show to their grown ups at the end of the event. This was a welcome change - grown ups coming into school to relax - quite different to their recent Fit4Life classes that they've been part of these last few weeks - working out and promoting healthy lifestyles with their children.
Y3 have experienced life in the Stone Age. Walking in one morning to their classroom transformed, they took part in workshops, exploring artefacts and learning what life was like living in the Stone Age. It was Roman times for Y4 however and they sped off to Chester to engage in life in Roman times and take part in the dig - looking at real life archeology and primary sources. A little bit of role play is always good fun as the children donned Roman soldier armour and shield to learn about their battle strategy. This came in handy when they put on a performance in our parent assembly. The theme of the assembly was Should the Roman's take over Garswood School! We learnt that it would be quite a different place!
Year 5 have been learning life-saving skills at the end of their half term of swimming. We've been so impressed with their skills. We've also seen amazing skills in forest school from Reception, Year 2 and Year 3. Identification of trees and fungi alongside crafting and cooking. Y2 took their forest school session to a new level when they re-enacted the 'Great Fire of London'. Using their mathematical skills and DT skills they used nets to make their own Tudor houses. Using the outdoor firepit they then observed how one small spark on one house could suddenly take down the whole row. Learning in this way will be something they certainly won't forget.
Another memorable event this half term was a wonderful performance of Hamlet. Lucky to secure a visit from the Young Shakespeare Company - our junior children experienced an amazing interactive show. Though a complex tale, the children thoroughly understood the whole thing - so much so, it was great to receive Tweets from our parents about how this had inspired children to want to learn more about Shakespeare. We did enjoy a whole week of Shakespeare activities, with even the youngest children exploring 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and enjoying the humour.
Extra activities have abounded this half term with football for Reception, lego club, computing club, book club, judo, singing club and we've even got a our brass band back off the ground. This is just to name a few. We've also been impressed with the GIST (Garswood Internet Safety Team) educating others on the importance of safety online.
Music hasn't just featured in clubs though as the children have continued to enjoy their singing assembly each week. Some songs sang were then a feature in our Y6 Young Voices 2019 event. What a treat - going along to the MEN Arena to perform - sharing a stage (ish) with Tony Hadley too! True! What an amazing and exciting experience leaving them dancing into the half term holiday! Well certainly dancing their way to the following evening in time for the school disco! Harry Potter themed and lots of fun and laughter from all who came along.
Sports have also extended beyond after school clubs with children taking part in competitions and tournaments. Well done to our Y1/2 team for their superb efforts with New Age Kurling, winning 2 of their matches!
Our child Governors also met this half term in their committees. Meeting with the Chair of Governors, Cllr Sue Murphy, the agendas cover important school issues - including - money saving and room use for our Finance and Buildings Committee; the impact of the 100 book challenge and improving maths at the school for our Teaching and Learning Committee and the role of the caretaker and attendance awards for Heath and Safety, Behaviour and Equality Committee. The children not only provided some excellent ideas of how to move forwards - also gave an insight into what they experience at Garswood. Superb meetings that made me very proud.
The final assembly of the half term was also one which filled me with pride. The children were acknowledged by the staff for their Citizenship qualities. Wonderful stories were shared. We also launched our kindness award - a new award in each Friday assembly when children who have performed an especially kind act that week, will be given a badge. This is part of our Year of Kindness which started this September with our Kindness flags - now on display on the junior corridor. Kindness - nothing matters more.
Though there is such a lot here already, I could go on and on. There have been amazing achievements, superb celebrations and fantastic fun but in amongst all of this, the children have been learning and working incredibly hard. We salute them.
I also salute the staff who give up their own time to put their life and soul into their profession. It's an amazing job but it really does take it out of you! Wishing them all - along with our children and families - a lovely half term, to rest and recuperate. Please remember, if you have a question or query - or would just like to say something lovely - we can always be contacted on the school email email@example.com