The Primary Science Teachers Trust have produced this excellent resource for primary classes to develop their scientific talk and questioning skills. https://pstt.org.uk/application/files/4016/1599/1844/Picture_for_Talk_Booklet_FINAL.pdf
It is so fantastic to have the Ebony Horse Club in the heart of our area near Loughborough Junction and many children have been able to take up riding there, during the school day and after school. I really enjoyed watching local rider Khadijah Mellah, on BBC iplayer’s Celebrity Supply Teacher, who learnt her riding at Ebony and went on to be the first Muslim jockey wearing a hijab to ever compete in a professional horse race – and she won! Have a watch as Khadijah gives us more information about equestrian studies.https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000q14t/celebrity-supply-teacher-series-2-15-khadijah-mellah-equestrian-studies
We were delighted to be part of 2 Royal Institution Maths master classes over the last 2 weeks where 22 schools from BLC, Windmill and Oval Learning, including 100 staff and children from year 5 and 6, tackled A level and higher education mathematics looking at Pascal’s triangle. A big thank you to Alison Eves at the Royal Institution for leading these sessions on Googlemeet. Children learnt how the patterns and maths of Pascal’s triangle had real life use now as experts use the principle of binomial numbers in their estimates of Covid 19 numbers. Well done to all the children who took part for their great contributions. We hope to run more of these sessions next term.
We have been very fortunate to have a close working relationship with Oval Learning and Windmill clusters of schools: as groups of schools we share a similar vision for our schools’ communities in our area. Oval Learning led on a joint National Lottery Covid 19 response fund bid with us and Windmill, and we were able to secure funding from Walcot Foundation, our local charity, which has allowed us to offer specialist creative arts therapy services to a number of primary schools since September, working with pupils who have been in desperate need of additional therapeutic support during these turbulent times. The whole process has been an opportunity for us to learn and value what this kind of support can bring to school – not only for the targeted pupils who have been able to access 1 to 1 support over a period of time, using the arts to explore and express their feelings and needs, but also to support parents and staff in the school. We currently have a number of highly qualified, experienced therapists who understand our school contexts and have been adapting to continue their support either remotely using video conferencing, on the phone or in risk assessed socially distanced face to face sessions since January. Many of them are offering sessions to staff as part of their day, checking in on parents, being as flexible as they can.
Our challenge now is to find ways to sustain this service which has proved so valuable to support a whole school approach to good mental health and recovery.
We are very grateful to the funding support from National Lottery and Walcot Foundation, which has enabled this work to happen.
This week teachers across the BLC have come together as a Steering group, as Science Leads and as Year 1 and 2 teachers to share with each other how they are managing this new term under another lockdown. These challenges times have brought to the fore yet again, the amazing work all staff in schools are doing to support children and their families. Live and recorded teaching is happening in every school, not only in Maths and English but in Music, Languages, Science and PE. In addition phases and whole school assemblies are taking place, enrichment activities (such as Masterchef at Evelyn Grace Academy) and staff are in contact with all parents and carers on a regular basis. We are very grateful to School Food Matters Healthy Breakfast boxes being delivered to families via schools again, as part of Guys and St Thomas’ Charity Impact on Urban Health programme. As a cluster we are planning events this term, moving to virtual ways of ensuring children and young people can connect across schools, learning and celebrating their learning together.
Our schools firmly believe that the arts is an essential part of a child’s education, and using the arts as a tool for learning is a valuable skill for teachers to support pupils in their classrooms. Over the last 2 years we have been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Teacher Development Fund ( https://www.phf.org.uk/funds/tdf/) to research and develop Using the Arts to develop Growth Mindset and embedding the arts into the curriculum through our joint programme with Windmill cluster and Pegasus Opera – Confident Creators. The programme has allowed 20 teachers a year to work in partnership with expert arts practitioners in Art, Music and Drama and involved over 1000 children using the arts to access Maths, Science, English, PSHE and cross curricula topics.
Key elements to the Confident Creators approach are a focus on supporting the arts process (rather than the outcome), encouraging children to talk about their learning, question, reflect, try again, and working collaboratively.
Whilst the pandemic meant we had to halt our face to face teacher and classroom sessions, we have been able to resume teacher training online and are now producing a suite of resources that use the rich learning from the project to support any teacher in the future to use the arts in their classroom.
In November, we made the most of digital opportunities to invite Science Magician Dr Matt Pritchard to make a Science Show for us, and host a live streamed Question and Answer session for 9 year 3 classes across the cluster. This project was part of our Ogden Trust Schools Partnership programme supporting Physics teaching and learning across our schools. The 40 minute show Dr Pritchard produced was packed full of curiosity – optical illusions, exploring the sometimes extraordinary way forces work on objects and asking the questions – what is happening? and the next steps – What if? The children had many questions for Dr Pritchard when he joined them live on the their whiteboard screens after the show and were able to see some of the investigations again, with an explanation on what was happening….. whilst one or two he kept for them to keep wondering about! We are delighted to be able to continue working with Dr Pritchard as he designs and tests more resources that he is developing for Ogden Trust over the coming months.
.We are delighted to have built up a brilliant partnership with Fulham Football Foundation, Girls United Football Association, Black Prince Trust and Powerleague over the last year. Sadly plans to organise our girls football league and other fixtures have had to be put on the back burner for a while, but children have been keeping active! Several schools have been taking part in the weekly challenges set by our partners, designed for all ages of primary children to complete and develop their skills over the weeks. Filmed challenges are sent weekly, then staff in schools promote to the children and off they go!
During lockdown, some talented students from St Gabriel’s College and Evelyn Grace Academy, together with students from Trinity Academy, made sure they were making the most of their time outside school curriculum at home. They worked with partners The Brixton Project to produce a fantastic series of podcasts and films about Brixton – its history and their own associations with it.
If you want to find out more about Brixton and its rich cultural heritage – tune into the students’ excellent work.
Thanks to The National Lottery Fund and Lambeth Council for giving this opportunity and to all the staff at school who helped.
A wealth of resources and a new dynamic map of Lambeth can now be found on the updated Lambeth Larder website, allowing users to easily search for and find local assistance related to the pandemic.
This includes where to find emergency food provision, advice and other support services in the borough as well as details of volunteering opportunities and where items can be donated.
To explore the response map visit the updated Lambeth Larder website here