Reflections

Bringing up children is an art, not a science – Adam Gopnik

If you have a spare 10 minutes, listen to this excellent “Point of View” from Adam Gopnik....
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Reading to the gerbils

Yuina (let us call her that) is busy making a book. There are (literally) hundreds of different activities in the classroom that could be taking up her time, her concentration, her dexterity, and her skill, but, this morning, it is book-making. She is making a book for a particular purpose: to read to the class gerbils. She takes several sheets ...
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Getting maths right first time

Parents who read our handbook, and we strongly recommend that they do, will come across this: We cannot stress this strongly enough: please do not do the alphabet with your child unless they are showing an interest and are keen to do it. Doing so with a disinterested child is likely to delay their progress and may lead to a ...
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Tweeting

To encourage bird life in our Forest School, the children make food for the birds. This week, the delicacy was created by mixing seeds, mashing a banana, and combining those ingredients into a paste that can be hung on one of the trees. Needless to say, the first bird to tuck in was the resident robin. People think robins are ...
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Popularity of first names

This list displays the number of children, bearing a particular first name, who have registered with us since 1991. Alexander is king! In fact, the top five names are boys’ names. Only when Olivia arrives at number six, do girls begin to feature. Out of 1375 names, 901 only occur once....
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Festivals

Because we do not select children, educating all who come our way, we fairly represent those who live nearby. We have a vast wall-display which indicates this, with national flags appearing next to children’s names. At the time of writing there are 24 different nationalities in our school community. Within this mix are different cultures, foods, religious festivals, modes of ...
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Treats

It is true that we have a puritanical approach to what children are allowed to eat and drink when at school, restricting them to fruit and water. Even worse, we make them cut up their own fruit and pour their own water; of course, help is available for the younger ones but it is still the children who complete the ...
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To train or not to train?

Whatever sparks imagination in children, they (the children) are not usually short of it. One morning, two boys arrived at the junk-modelling table. The possibilities of junk-modelling are unrestricted! We have seen boats with multi-function turrets (some to catch pirates, some to make biscuits!), castles, rockets (galore) and even space booster packs, strapped on with metres of tape. In this ...
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Sugar

The summer term is (often) the term when we teach the children about the continents. Amongst many other activities, they make their own map of each continent and position on it items that represent features that can be found there eg Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, or the Eiffel Tower in Europe. For the South American map, sugar is one of ...
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Party

Miss Susanna’s lunch bunch is nothing if not fun. This week she made an attempt at a mini-project on spring. With the London temperature close to zero, the children were less than impressed and decided to put the popcorn they had made (to represent blossom) to better use. One sought out reels of coloured ribbon, and the rest laid the table ...
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