This term has been full of curriculum developments that have showcased what our children learn. As a school, we are currently working on designing our curriculum to further match the needs of our children.
Our recent Saturday INSET looked at how we teach the National Curriculum and the reasoning behind the strategies and programmes that we use. We also looked at the 'hidden curriculum' and the other skills children learn that we want them to carry with them into later life.
EYFS Outdoor Success!
We are delighted that with our Tesco Bags of Help Grant we have been able to transform the Nursery outdoor area. With your support last year, we managed to secure the £4000 grant and school have matched the £4000 to enable us to also develop the Reception outdoor area.
Our EYFS children now have a high quality outdoor area to match our indoor learning environment. They can develop a range of new skills and embed learning in different ways. Nursery is already completely transformed and we are just awaiting the final delivery of equipment for Reception. Look out for our tweets when it is finished after Easter.
Thank you to our school community who have helped resource our outdoor kitchens e.g. with pots, pans, utensils and baking trays, provided road signs, traffic cones, barriers, crates and piping for our large construction areas and blankets, carpet, and cushions to make cozy places to sit. We would still welcome any more donations and will be seeking some volunteers to help paint out new equipment in the summer term. Keep your eyes on twitter!
Also, Mrs George has just submitted another Tesco Bags of Help bid to develop the KS1 and KS2 playgrounds. Fingers crossed that our bid makes it into store for voting!
Our final open night this year is on Wednesday 15thMay, 4.00-5.00pm. Please share this information with anyone who may be interested in a Nursery or Reception place and if you can share / display some of our open night flyers, please pop into the office and request some – thanks!
Places and Wrap Around Provision
We have already allocated Nursery places for September 2019, but we do have more places available. It you have or know of a child who turns 3 years old on or before 31stAugust 2019 they need to apply now, as they are entitled to 15 hours of Nursery free. We offer AM and PM sessions and with Kids In Bloom (a private provider on site) we can provide wrap around child care from 7.30am until 5.50pm. This provision can be paid for, or if you are a working parent/family you may qualify for the Extended Childcare Offer, which is an additional 15 free hours. From September these hours can be used TERM TIME only or as a STRETCHED OFFER across the year i.e. through the school holidays.
Get in touch with Mrs George for more information.
Prescot loves to talk.
Thursday 21st March saw the launch of Prescot Loves to Talk. This is a campaign to encourage everyone in Prescot to talk to each other, and reaches out to all ages and members of our local community.
A group of children from Year 5 were invited along to perform on Eccleston Street in the town centre. The children performed a poem called ‘Sights and Sounds’ by Benjamin Zephaniah and added British Sign Language to their performance. Members of the audience commented on their confidence and expression. Benjamin Zephaniah even replied to our post on Twitter.
The children also spread the word at our Key Stage 2 assembly on Tuesday.
As it was also World Poetry Day, the children were lucky to meet local poet Curtis Watt in Prescot library. Curtis was very entertaining and shared some of his poems with us. The children thought he was inspirational.
Look out for the Prescot Loves to Talk stickers in shop windows or find out more at #PrescotLovesToTalk. There will also be weekly talking points posted on Twitter if you want to join in at home.
This half term sees lots of activity in school as each year group prepares to share their current learning with their families. Yi shared their work on 'Dinosaurs', Y2 on 'Castles', Y3 presented life in the Stone Age and Y5 shared their work on 'Pharoahs'.
The children enjoy welcoming their families into school and having an audience which adds weight to their learning journeys. We recognise how many other skills and attitudes are fostered when children present to others, including clear communication skills and supporting others.
We are looking forward to Reception and Year 6 assemblies during the summer term.
Since launching the Accelerated Reader strategy in school just over a year ago, we have seen reading habits change in a very positive way!
Children are now much more in control of what they choose to read; they are much more informed as to the type of book they select and how well it suits their current stage. We know that the children are much more likely to recommend books to their friends now and also try new releases. It is great to hear children coming to ask if we can buy specific books that may be missing from our library collection. The children are driving our approach to reading for pleasure - which is perfect!
Never before have we been able to say how many words a child has read, or how many minutes per day on average they spend with their nose in a book. We now have those analytics at our finger tips and were so pleased to recognise our first ever 'Word Millionaires'. A huge well done to Alissah Banks, Charlotte Rusk and Phoebe Stanton.
From looking at the data we now have on reading in our school, we can definitely say that those children who read more, make greater progress in reading, writing - and quite often in maths too! Reading more leads to a greater wealth and understanding of vocabulary which impacts greatly on the ability to comprehend the wider curriculum.
Please take time out to read with your children.
Click here to read more about how Accelerated Reader works:
This term Y5 have been looking at the Egyptians. We have been learning all about mummification and to help the children to really understand how it worked, we decided to give it a go ourselves. We followed the mummification procedure using tomatoes. We gutted the insides to replicate taking out the organs and weighed the tomato. Then we created our own 'natron' using salt and bicarbonate of soda and packed the tomato like the Egyptians would have done. We left the tomatoes for 2 weeks to see what happened to the tomato.
After two weeks, we dug up the tomatoes and wiped all the natron off. We noticed that the skin of the tomato had gone all bumpy and hard! We weighed it again and noticed that most tomatoes had lost almost half their weight due to the salt drying out the water.
Nursery and Reception had a very memorable, first hand experience when they had the pitter-patter of tiny duckling and chick feet in class this term. All of the children (and school) fell in love with them and learnt so much about this magical life cycle. It is definitely an event that we will continue to repeat for our children each year and it was only possible with your contribution, so thanks for your support.
There has definitely been a build up of excitement in Y4 over the past term.
4D have thoroughly enjoyed working in collaboration with The Heath, to perform Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' as part of the Shakespeare Festival at The Prescot School. The children fully immersed themselves into creating this wonderful performance, even making music with broomsticks and water-phones!
Y4D have been attending numerous workshops with Kate and Chris from The Heath and this was the first time they had ever worked alongside year 4 pupils. Kate and Chris were amazed at how quickly younger children could learn new skills - what an achievement! However, it did present a few challenges: it was a struggle at first talking in old English whilst still getting expression across! But Y4D rose to the occasion and really did excel themselves.
We were amazed and thoroughly entertained watching this comedy performance. Every child will remember this experience for a long time - it was definitely a memorable one!
Huge thanks to Kate and Chris from The Heath for working with us and organising the event. Your expertise was really valued.
Our DfE Phonics Showcase.
We were recently very proud to be recognised by the Department for Education as a school who has an established and successful strategy for the teaching of phonics.
We were asked to host a DfE Phonics Showcase which was very well attended by teaching colleagues from across the borough. Visitors spent the morning rotating around our Read, Write Inc groups as they were taught how to read by an experienced team. This team is lead by Jenny Ewing, our RWI Lead, who is driving the scheme forward and striving to ensure that every child can read by the time they reach six.
Our RWI Leads were complimented on their skill in delivering the scheme and on their high expectations for our children. Consistent high quality teaching across EYFS and KS1 is resulting in high pupil confidence and a year-on-year increase in children passing the national Phonics Screening Check at the end of Y1.
We are very proud of the response and feedback we received - the staff and children were outstanding.
The Great PCP Bake-off 2019
This year's theme of 'British Wildlife' has started the children off thinking about our native species and will lead into our Summer Conservation Project, 'Wildlife Connections'.
It is always wonderful to see how eager the children are to particlpate in the competition and how supportive they are of each other.
This year, we had some special additions to the judging panel, as we welcomed Nina and Ellie from The Albion Bakehouse in Prescot. It was great to have some local experts in the room!
Thank you to everyone who baked or bought. We raised £323.53, which will go towards buying packs of books for each year group.
Well done to our winners: Amelia Rooke, Harrison Fraser, Harrison Kelly and Ryan Macklin.
As you all know, we love welcoming visitors into school, it gives our children lots of opportunities to talk through explaining what we do or through formulating exciting questions to find out more.
Recently, we welcomed Matt and Tony, from the Anwyl Construction site at Carr's Rise in Prescot. They led a 'question and answer' session in assembly where the children could find out more about careers in the construction industry. Questions ranged from "How long have you worked on a building site?' to 'How much do you get paid?' The children really are eager to find out more about future opportunities!
For the last month, Y4 have been lucky enough to work with a German teaching trainee called Jana. Jana came to us from Cologne University through our partnership with Liverpool Hope University. She worked hard to get to know the children and was eager to develop her spoken English. It was great for the children to work alongside Jana, as they were conscious of their own pronunciation and the importance of being clear. Jana has now returned to Cologne but will never forget her time with Y4.
This week, we hosted an event for Liverpool University as they showed some visiting Chinese teachers around local primary and secondary schools. Nine teachers from China spent the morning working with classes in English and Maths. The visitors were amazed by how independent our children are in managing their learning behaviours.
One of the proudest moments for us was when the Chinese teachers watched a snippet of Y4's Shakespeare production - the children were so impressive! Their mastery of language and their enthusiasm to perform sent shivers down the spine!
Let's hope the news about our lovely school reaches all the way to China!
As usual, the PE Team have been on the go, organising clubs and events for our children to get involved in. Here are just a few...
Our Y3/4 Gymnastic Team have recently done extremely well! They won the Knowsley Championships in great style which gave them the opportunity to represent Knowsley at the Merseyside Youth Games. The team did well and eventually came 9th out of 15 teams.
Rugby sessions at West Park have started - every Wed at 6.30 - 8pm for any child from 4+. Seven of our children already go and their Ambassador is one of our eager pupils, Libby Smith.
Running club continues to be popular and is a great start to the day! Wed and Fri at 8am. Well done to all the 'runners of the week'.
We will be holding our third annual Careers Showcase on Thursday 23rd May, from 1 - 4pm.
This event has previously been a huge success and gives our children the motivation to get curious about careers and the possibilities that are open to them both locally and nationally. In the past we have welcomed the emergency services, lecturers, pilots, jewellery designers, nurses, dentists, plumbers and many more.
Letters have already gone home asking for your help with the event. Please get in touch if you - or someone you know would like a stall at our showcase. It would be great to have a diverse range of careers on display. And we always love to see people who have visited before! Thanks in advance.
Let's get aspirational!
SATs week is an important week in the Y6 calendar. First and foremost, good attendance is essential. If your child is really unwell, please contact school as soon as possible so that we can make necessary arrangements.
We are obviously doing a lot of preparation in school and this will continue after Easter. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents who are supporting their children at home with extra practice. During the Easter holidays we will be providing the children with maths and grammar tasks. The maths is called “10 for 10” and the idea is to spend around ten minutes per day on the weekdays of the holiday doing short activities to keep brains ticking over! The grammar will also be short tasks. Reading every day should also still be encouraged. Other than that, we would encourage the children to get lots of fresh air and keep active over the holidays.
During SATs week, a free breakfast club is on offer to the children (details to follow). Attending the breakfast club allows children to spend time with their friends and line their stomachs before the tests! We have always had a calm approach to the tests and the children will take them in classrooms and quiet learning spaces around the school.
We are always very proud of the way in which our children demonstrate positive attitudes towards the tests and we are certain that this year will be the same.
Y5 have produced pieces of art work to enter the Liverpool Dot-Art project. The final 3 entries have now been chosen and need votes to help us to win. The artwork was inspired by their work on Tutankhamun and the great artist, Andy Warhol.
The final 3 winning entries are from:
Please log on here and vote for one of our children. The most votes wins huge prizes for the children and they’ve worked really hard. The one with the highest vote also gets their art work framed and displayed in an art exhibition.
Our children will never forget the emotion and intensity of last year's summer conservation project: 'Sing for Songbirds'. They became so obsessed with the plight of the songbirds and they were driven to raise awareness in the school community and beyond.
This year's summer project is themed around British native species. It is once again supported by Chester Zoo and is called 'Wildlife Connections'. The whole school will be immersed in the theme and will hopefully act to change their local area.
We must once again politely remind parents and carers that the only dogs allowed on the school grounds are guide dogs or other assistance dogs.
For safeguarding reasons, this restriction includes small dogs and puppies. We would advise you to leave any dogs at home, or with another adult at the gate when you pick up your child.
Mrs Higgs or any other staff member cannot take responsibility for any dog.
As you can appreciate, our office is a busy place with some periods being exceptionally busy - between 8.30 and 10am and between 2.30 and 3.30pm.
If your query is of a non-urgent matter, please call or pop in between the above times.
Unfortunately, teachers cannot take calls during lesson times and may also be on duty throughout the day. If you would like to have a chat with a teacher, please call to make an appointment or see a teacher on the door at the end of the day.
As we reach another holiday, we feel it important to encourage everyone to check school uniform and ensure that children are ready for the summer term.
- Label every item of clothing. Our lost property is over-flowing with unidentifiable items.
- Black school shoes should be worn. Trainers can be worn during PE or breaks. If there is an issue, contact school and replace as soon as possible. Expensive trainers are not recommended.
- Keep hair off the face (boys or girls). This prevents the spread of headlice and also helps your child to see everything that goes on in class.
- Hair accessories must be simple. Over-sized bows or fussy headbands can distract from learning.
- A full school PE kit is essential. Please check that footwear for PE still fits and is comfortable.
We very much appreciate your support in this matter.
The British Heart Foundation
Our lovely contact from The British Heart Foundation - 'Jolly Julie' has been in touch to ask our community to have a de-clutter over Easter.
If you are able to donate any good quality clothes or bric-a-brac, please bag it and drop it into the BHF bin in our main office. Julie would be glad to collect them from school.
Just a note - Red Nose Day raised £266.47. Thank you!
We hope you all have a wonderful two week break! Tweet your springtime activities or start to look for British wildlife as it wakes from it's sleep!