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End of Term Message From Mrs King

Dear Parents

 

As we move into the Easter holidays I would like to thank you for your support and your kind and encouraging messages.

 

The staff are working very hard and I know the students are too. We started off the remote working programme this week by trying to keep things simple as everyone got up to speed. Now that we are more used to it, teachers will be diversifying the techniques used for learning so that there is a range of activities and increased interactivity. Firefly will remain the way that pupils can access their learning at the start of each lesson but they may be directed on from a specific lesson task to another platform (such as MSTeams and Webex) or to a tool within Firefly such as Forums, or to apps like Kerboodle or Quizlet. We are making instruction pages that we will save in Firefly for all pupils (and parents) to access for each of the main platforms so that pupils can start using them after the holidays.

 

I will be asking you for your feedback on the remote learning experience after the start of next term, so please do let me know what is working well and what could be improved.

 

Wishing you all well for in the current difficult circumstances. May St Jeanne continue to watch over us.

​  

Anna King                                             

End of Term Message From Mrs Morgan

Dear Parents

As we approach the end of our first week of remote learning, I would first of all like to thank you for the many messages of support you have sent me and the staff this week and for the constructive feedback we have received on how we can continue to improve our home learning provision.

As a working mother of three children, I am very aware and fully understand the pressures parents are facing in all aspects of our lives as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times. I know that home schooling has proved challenging at times, especially as Firefly was not working for long periods of time on Monday and Tuesday.

Our aim this week was to provide access to as much of the work that was due to be covered in school this week as we could, using the resources available to us. A huge amount of time and effort was put into preparing the Firefly resources and teachers have worked extremely hard to communicate with parents and provide constructive feedback to pupils throughout the week.

I am very aware that this initial provision can not be sustained by parents, staff or pupils so I have spent this week investigating the best way forward. A number of parents have contacted me to ask if we can skype lessons or use zoom. It is extremely important that we safeguard our pupils and teaching staff by using the correct, safest and most efficient platform for live teaching.

I am delighted that we have now been able to set up a school account with Cisco Webex which will allow us to livestream our teaching to the children after Easter and provide interactive lessons. Pupils can access this teaching on a computer, iPad or phone with a camera. All lessons are recorded which protects pupils and staff and also means that if a child does not have access to a device at the time of the lesson, they can watch the recording of the lesson at a later time. Alongside the live webinars,  we will set work on Firefly that does not always rely on screens and can be self selected by the pupil throughout the week and submitted for marking when completed. Teachers will mark and assess work completed both in and out of the lessons and track the pupils’ progress.

We are currently running tests with our IT support and will provide detailed information in due course on how to access the webinars. I have been assured that they are extremely easy to access and use! The staff will now use the Easter break to familiarise themselves with this new, but temporary style of teaching.

It has been a long and mentally exhausting week for us all. I will be asking my staff to put on their 'out of office' messages on their emails on Friday at 4:00pm because they need need time to recharge their batteries and spend time with their families. Please do contact me if you have a query or concern.

Thank you again for your continued support. Please do stop your home learning on Friday afternoon and spend time with your lovely families. Just keep up the reading!

I wish you and your families a Happy Easter and good health and happiness.

Warm wishes

Amelie Morgan

Chaplain's Corner March 27th

Last week feels like a very long time ago.  Looking back to last week, though, I was privileged to spend some time one morning with the pupils from both our Year 3 classes.  With their teachers we visited the school’s Prayer Garden, and then went into the chapel.  It was a special time for a number of reasons. 

Year 3 Visit The Prayer Garden

First, it was special because of the natural reverence with which the girls treated the Prayer Garden.  It was wonderful to observe the respect that they showed, the interest they showed in the different features of the garden, and the way in which they used the garden for the purpose for which it is intended.  The teachers and I stood back and watched.  We did not need to lead the pupils – what the pupils did was natural, and a reflection on the way they have been brought up and on what they have learned at school.

Another reason it was special was because of the pupils’ thoughtful responses while, in the chapel, the teachers and I were talking about The Sorrowful Mysteries – events in Jesus’ life which they are learning about in the lead-up to Easter and which are the focus for prayer when using the rosary, particularly during Lent.

One of the realisations that we discussed was that Jesus knew what it was like to suffer.

This is tremendously helpful for us to know.  This is an extremely difficult and unprecedented time; a time of uncertainty, anxiety, challenge, and for some illness.  All of our lives have changed dramatically in a very short space of time.  We have all been given crosses to bear.

Jesus suffered the pain of isolation which so many are feeling today through his 40 days in the desert.  He suffered the humiliation of being mocked on his way to Calvary.  The cross he carried was so heavy he fell three times under its weight.  He endured the pain of being put onto the cross and being left to die.

Jesus is not an abstract God.  By living in human flesh and blood, subject to the same pains and anxieties of human life as us, he knows and he understands. 

God is with us.

In this last Chaplain’s Corner before Easter let us never forget that although Jesus suffered enormously he was ultimately triumphant, and in 16 days’ time we will celebrate the greatest of feasts, the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.  This is the greatest reminder of all that in times of great difficulty, anxiety and sorrow, there is hope – the hope that comes from the love and the empathy of God.

Wishing all our students and all our families peace and health and with assurance of prayers,

Mr George, Chaplain

We Are All In This Together

We were delighted to see such a wonderful response to our Rainbow artwork display!

In this time of uncertainty, it is important we all come together and offer each other support, hope and most of all, love.

Across the world we are beginning to see a trail of beautiful, bright rainbow pictures popping up in the windows of many homes. This is to spread hope and courage across the world and boost much needed morale and community spirit.

#WeAreInThisTogether

Rainbows 1
Rainbows
Rainbows

 

Online Learning/Home Learning Week 1

We have received photos and examples of some wonderful home-learning and online learning this week! Huge congratulations to you all for embracing this new learning environment! Please do keep the photos coming!

Here are just a few examples:

Reception

Literacy Skills

Reception Literacy Skills

Year 2

Class Chat

Year 2 Class Chat

Year 3 TASK

In researching South America, Aoife printed out a blank map of South America and coloured in all the countries. She enjoyed doing it and is learning lots. 

Aoife - South America Map

Year 5 Trashion Show

Khushi decorated this top as part of the ‘trashion’ topic

Khushi decorated this top as part of the ‘trashion’ topic

STEM

Leah's STEM Challenge

Leah STEM Challenge

Photos of General Home Learning Activities

Home Learning Week 1

Caught Reading

Prep Caught Reading

Senior Photos

Senor Home Learning Collage Week 1

 

Senior Remote Learning Digital House Points Champions League

You might be working remotely from home but rest assured your tenacity, resilience, hard-work and determination in challenging circumstances has not gone unnoticed by your teachers. They have been continuing all week to reward you with house points and will continue to.

 

Yes, the competition is still going strong and is fiercer than ever. So, since school closed one week ago… drum roll please… the Remote Learning Digital House Points Champions League* totals are…

House Point Totals March 2020

and if you want to spice the competition up further by year group then…

House Points by Year Groups - March 2020

 

Well done to each and everyone of you. Keep safe and well! The competition will resume after Easter. * If someone can come up with a shorter name, I would be grateful.  ​

Mr Lawley

How To Keep Children Safe Online During Home Learning
How To Keep Children Safe Online During Home Learning

Some Really Useful Tips From OpenView Education who spent a day last term with our Prep Girls:

With the schools now closed to the majority of children, activities online are set to increase, with us becoming more reliant on online resources to access home learning. Internet Safety in the home is now increasingly more important.

 

Here are our top five easy steps for keeping children safe online:

 

1. Set Up Parental Controls.

Check up on your Parental Control Settings on all apps and devices in the home. Each app and device often needs the Parental Controls to be applied individually. Whilst not 100% foolproof, Parental Controls do go some way to allow for a greater sense of security in the home.

Check out Internet Matters and download their step by step parental control guides for popular games, apps and even specific devices.

 

2. Supervise Online Activities.

Try and ensure online activities are supervised and take place in a public space in the house. E.G - Living Room, Kitchen, Dining Room, and not in a private space.

Visit Thinkuknow for more tips on supervising online activities in the home.

 

3. Set Clear Expectations.

During times like these, technology is considered a friend and screen time limits may be more relaxed and lenient. So set clear expectations on online behaviour and conduct, including how and when devices will be used. A great way of including the whole family in Internet Safety is by creating a family agreement. Get everyone on board with creating rules for using the internet in the best possible way at home.

If you are concerned or looking for advice on screen time limits, make sure you take a look at these key findings on screen time and the impact it has on children and young people.

 

4. Talk About It.

There is a lot of content online about the Coronavirus, and children may see something they find upsetting or worrying. Let children and young people know that no matter what the worry, concern or issue, you will be there to talk about it. Have this conversation regularly, and if they do come to you, listen in a non-judgemental, supportive way. Encourage them to talk about their online experiences as much as possible.

 

5. Go Online Together.

Young people may be used to talking with their friends at school about their favourite apps and games. With social distancing becoming more prevalent, see if you can join in with their favourite app and game at home, talk about what they like and enjoy, have a game together and share their experiences. AskAboutGames have extensive guidance on online games, including how to play online games safely and as a family. Check out their guides here and kick start your knowledge.

 

Have you tried these strategies? Let us know how you are doing in the comments below.

 

OpenView Education is a training and education company, specialising in Anti-Bullying Workshops and Internet Safety Workshops for schools. If you would like advice on keeping your children or young people safe online during this global crisis, contact us here and we will be happy to help.

 

Keep well and safe.

FoND

Sports Board

The ND Virtual Sports Board March 27th

It has been an absolute joy to see all of your wonderful images and videos of your online sportiness! We love seeing what you are up to and hope you continue to be active during the Easter break! We look forward to seeing you all again soon and please do keep sending through your sporty activities!

Home Learning Sports Week 1

Keep Well and Keep Fit!

ND PE Staff (#TeamND)

Performing Arts

Prep Music Board March 27th

Week 1 of The Online Music Curriculum!

What a fantastic week it has been! I have been so impressed with the way in which the girls have embraced this new online music learning environment!

Here are  few examples of the work the girls have been submitting!

 

Year 5 Cantata:

Ana Louisa didn't just send me her Year 5 Cantata song verse, she videoed herself practising it and clapping along to make sure it fitted the metre.  Click on the image to see the video on Firefly:

Ana Louisa - Year 5 Cantata

 

Tilly R has leapt ahead and begun composing her Tudor Dance before receiving instructions on how! Click on the image to hear her composition!

Tilly R Composition

Music Tech:

Rachel G has produced the following Garageband track on her iPad.  This was spontaneous and not work that I set. Thanks for sharing Rachel - you have clearly been enjoying your online music tech lessons!

To listen to it please Click Here

 

Online Music Lessons

Individual Music lessons have taken a different approach this week! The girls have been busy learning via their iPads/laptops using live lesson links with their music teachers!

Online Music Lessons

Exam Success for Poppy

Congratulations to Poppy S who was thrilled to receive a merit in her Ukulele Grade 2,   with 82/100 marks.   

Poppy - Ukulele Grade 2 Success

 

School Music News - Maternity Cover

Introducing Miss Louise Fuller, maternity cover for Holly Hawkes

I am so excited to introduce you to Miss Louise Fuller, who will be covering me while I'm on maternity leave for two terms, I will be back in January 2021.

 

Louise has made a video for you and your daughter to watch together before their first lesson next term introducing herself and talking about how her lessons will be structured. I will be there at the start of their first lesson to introduce and hand over to Miss Fuller. Currently it looks like the first few lessons will be conducted over Skype and so far Skype lessons have gone very well. Please can you make sure I have your Skype address in advance.

 

Please find below a private YouTube link for you to click on to watch her Introductory video:

Holly Hawkes

Library

Prep Library News March 27th

Free resources

 

In the wake of recent events, and school children continuing their learning at home, many authors, illustrators and education companies are making lots of their resources freely available. These websites are worth visiting regularly for updates connected to free resources, as I’m sure they will be updated as time progresses:

https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/135609/list-of-education-companies-offering-free-subscriptions/

 

Also, if you are on Facebook, there is a growing group called Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas which looks useful.

 

Books for Topics: Books about germs featured in this link suitable for young children, which you may wish to buy, plus vast booklists for all primary key stages, which will be updated:

https://www.booksfortopics.com/so/a5N3JoajO?cid=ae2f1ad0-ca42-4693-a2dd-0e82f09435b0#/main

 

Audible Stories | Audible.com:
https://stories.audible.com/start-listen - free stories for children of all ages. Audible Stories is a free website where children of all ages can listen to hundreds of Audible audio titles across six different languages—English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Italian. Although it is free initially, there may be charges in 30 days time so please be aware.

 

Oxford Owl:

https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/ - free e-books are available from the Oxford Owl collection, suitable for children aged from 3 to 11 years old.

 

 

Authors

While children are at home, it is most important that they keep up their reading as much as possible. In these difficult times, authors and illustrators are adding plenty of activities and resources to their websites to help keep children engaged with books.

 

Supervised, you could suggest that your child searches online for their favourite author e.g.

 

· Harry Potter: https://harrypotter.bloomsbury.com/uk/ and https://www.wizardingworld.com/      

 

· Roald Dahl: https://www.roalddahl.com/create-and-learn

 

· Sarah McIntyre: free drawing and craft-based resources for all her picture books on her website: https://www.jabberworks.co.uk/

 

 

· Rainbow Magic:  https://orchardseriesbooks.co.uk/rainbow-magic/activities-downloads/

 

· World of David Walliams School Zone: https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/schoolzone/

                                                      

David Walliams has revealed that his latest book, featuring black and white illustrations by Tony Ross, is to be called Slime, and is a “fantastically funny tale” for readers aged 7 and over. It will be published on April 2nd in hardback, e-book and audio.

 

David Walliams - Slime

 

· Wimpy Kid Club: Play games, enter competitions, watch awesome trailers, learn how to draw cartoons, download quizzes, puzzling crosswords and loads of other cool stuff! https://www.wimpykidclub.co.uk/

 

· Dav Pilkey: https://pilkey.com/fun-stuff

 

 

· Horrid Henry: https://www.horridhenry.co.uk/activities/

 

· Beast Quest: https://beast-quest.com/

 

· Tintin: http://en.tintin.com/

 

· Jacqueline Wilson: https://www.jacquelinewilson.co.uk/index.php

 

· Michael Morpurgo: https://www.michaelmorpurgo.com/resources/?_sort=date_desc

 

· Tom Gates: http://lizpichon.com/assets/resources/35-0.Scholastic_TG%20MEGA%20activities_V5-RGB.pdf

 

· Lego based fun games: https://www.lego.com/en-us/kids

 

· Beano: https://www.beano.com/

 

· Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: https://www.ripleys.com/

 

· Guinness World Records: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/

 

 

This is not an exhaustive list, just based on the most popular books that are currently borrowed, but do please encourage children to explore other authors. For book recommendations, Book Trust is very good: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/our-recommendations/

 

 

Cast of Thousands – a new book recommendation website

 

How can you find the titles that work for you and your children, from the thousands of children’s books published each year? This website https://www.castofthousands.co.uk/ aims to hand pick those books that are worth exploring further. Each book is presented in the same easy-to-follow format, with a range of ‘talking points’ and activities linked to each. There are also recommendations in Meet the Books, a Blog featuring interviews with authors and illustrators, themed book collections and many other insights into the world of children’s book publishing.

(Source - School Librarian Vol 68(1), Spring 2020)

 

I will continue to update the Prep Library/ Free Resources folder on Firefly.

 

Have a restful Easter Holiday and keep well.

Easter Bunny

Mrs Hughes

 

 

Senior Library News March 27th

Free Online Resources

 

Authors, illustrators and Library organizations are creating a diverse range of resources, which students, teachers and families can access from home. These include videos, live broadcasts and printed activities.

 

Authors

 

Many authors have their own sites with activities and links to explore, such as:

 

 

 

 

·          #FreeBookResources – Authors, illustrators and comics are posting activities and ideas. If you do not use twitter – by using the hashtag, all the posts will be in the same place and if you click ‘latest’, you can see new posts as they are tweeted.

Roald Dahl
The BFG
Trivia Challenge

Sarah Crossan, author of the award winning Apple and Rain and One is planning daily scheduled live instagramming with workshops and opportunities to chat about books. She has recently tweeted about free poetry resources (below).

 

 https://www.instagram.com/sarahcrossanwriter/?hl=en

Free Poetry Resources

Poetry

Students from Year 7 have recently started their Library Poetry Projects. These resources will be included on Firefly (Year 7 Poetry Project).

 

  • CLPE Poetryline An extensive bank of poems for children as well as videos of poet performances and interviews.                                                                                                                                              
  • The Poetry Society
  • Writing Poetry - Simon Mole's YouTube Channel - he also has resources developed with NLT
  • Fun Poetry Prompts list https://thinkwritten.com/poetry-prompts/

 

 

Books

        Hachette Schools   - Free resources for new and well-loved books

Film/Audio

 

  • Film Space Free moving image, curriculum linked teaching resources where you can search for specific books on film.
  • Literacy ShedHome to a variety of short films and animations.

 

  • A list of free reading and audio books has been saved on Firefly under Senior Library/Free Resources. Includes Little Women and Frankenstein.

 

Time for Netflix? The best TV shows and movies based on children's books | BookTrust

Time for Netflix? The best TV shows and movies based on children's books. Published on: 29 July 2019 Author: Anna McKerrow Not sure what to watch on Netflix? We pick out some of our favourite TV shows and movies based on children's books...

www.booktrust.org.uk

Book Trust

Creative/Writing

 

 

·         Puffin Schools

·         Scholastic Learn From home -   Every day there are four separate learning experiences, “each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video”.

·         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrT-C9Ht66w – Students can join authors to create their own inventive stories.

·         https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/writing-tips/ideas-everywhere/

·         https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/writing-tips/writing-tips-from-authors/

·         https://www.bl.uk/childrens-books/activities/write-an-animal-tale - British Library, Write an Animal Tale

 

News

·         Year 7 students can access First News iHub from home.

Many of these free resources were flagged by, the very helpful, LIPSSEE (Librarians in Independent Prep Schools in South East England) who also have many useful resources on their site https://preplibs.wordpress.com/

 

This includes: 

  • Birdwatching and Pond Dipping, local species diversity in nature

https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/pond-dipping/
https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/feeding-and-attracting-birds/

Pond Dipping - Wild Challenge

 

We will continue to update the Senior Library/Free Resources folder on Firefly.

 

Easter Bunnies Reading

Mrs Finch

Alumnae

Heart Hands

At this very difficult time for all of us, I just wanted to say that I hope you and your families are all coping with the new restrictions and staying safe.

Careers Fair 2017

Can you help inspire our girls? From medicine to marketing, whatever career path you chose after leaving Notre Dame, your experiences are very valuable in helping our girls make important career choices for the future.