Friday 26th June 2020
Oh my golly gosh, this is it! My final blog, my final set of words sent out into the wider world. Perhaps I should try to write something profound, something memorable, something to inspire and educate future generations to be the best they can be...To be honest, I'll probably just ramble on as usual and post a picture of my stupid cat. Not many things in life are more inspiring than that. It is strange though, I do feel that we are coming to the end (or are we at the end?) of something momentous that has been felt by the entire world. From the kings to paupers, there is no-one who has been left unaffected by the events of the last few months and it is something that will remember for our entire lifetimes. That said, I must add that there have been many things that I have actually enjoyed and even loved about lockdown and here are my top 3.
- I have loved spending all this extra time with my wife and child. Normally, life is so hectic and we rush from bathtimes to mealtimes to bedtimes with not enough real time to enjoy and embrace the pleasure of each other's company. Homeschooling Jack has (mostly) been a pleasure and having my wife working downstairs at the same time has allowed us to feel happier and closer as a family than ever before. This time that we've had at home together will never happen again.
- It has been wonderful not having to set my alarm and to get up later than I would during a normal working week. Understandably, I find alarms alarming and not really the nicest way to start the day. Instead, I have been woken by the birds singing or Jack bounding into our bed to show us something that he has made on Minecraft. On some days I have stayed in my pyjamas beyond lunchtime and that has been truly joyous!
- There can be no denying it, I have also been enamoured with not working so hard. Although we teachers have performed many new and unusual services (pizza delivery guys, cold callers etc), I have to say that my workload and my stress levels have not been as high as usual. However, I do love my job and I can't wait to get back to it in some kind of semi-normal capacity next week!
Now of course, I know the last few months have not been easy and I don't want to make light of the momentous events that we have experienced. I merely want to point out that in times of darkness, little diamonds of light can be found if we are prepared to look hard enough. We are all in different boats but have experienced the same storm. Together I hope that this experience can make us better, stronger and more understanding of each other. Yes, sappy and trite as it may seem, it is my hope that this experience can make for a better future. Oh yeah, here are some more pictures of my cat!
For the last time, Peace Out!
Thursday 25th June 2020
So we're nearly there then, the bubbles have been revealed and most of you will be back in school next week. I'm sure that many of you have been WhatsApping like crazy to try and find out who is in your group and what days you are in. I tried to be as kind as possible but there were many things to take into consideration before putting the groups together, not just friendship groups. Anyway, I tried my best and that is all anyone can really do. We had another Zoom staff meeting last night (I don't think I'll ever get used to Zoom meetings) to go through any questions and problems with the grand reopening next week. I won't bore you with all the details but I can reassure you that there will be minimal risk and I will attempt to give maximum fun!
Thus, tomorrow will be my last blog and I'm not totally sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, I have enjoyed expressing my thoughts, feelings and activities during lockdown but I have also occasionally found it hard to think of what to say and how to say it. I hope that I have, on occasions, kept you amused, entertained and informed as we have moved through these strange times together even though it has been rather odd talking to people that aren't actually there and may only read what I have written hours in the future (or not at all!). At least in Zoom meetings I could see you! I think I may indeed print out my blog archive as a memento of these strange times. Let me know if you want a copy!
As I'm here I may as well tell you a little about what I did yesterday. After writing my short blog, we went out to Panshangar Woods to walk Peggy, our borrowed dog, I then came bacxk and Marvellous Me'd the bubble groups. My mum came round for a socially distanced lunch while me and Jack played in the paddling pool while I kept up with emails and other work factors. Anyway, I'm going to sign off now and enjoy my last couple of days home schooling Jack.
Wednesday 24th June 2020
Today is 'Bubble Day', not officially of course but it is what I have decided to call it! If you check Marvellous Me from around 12ish you will find out which group you will be in when you come back to school next week. I will write more then...
OK, I have now sent your groups to you through Marvellous Me. If you haven't received them in the next five minutes, please ring the school office and they will be able to let you know. I'm sorry that I could only let you know which group you are in but I am sure that you will be WhatsApping your friends before long to see who is in with you. I have tried as much as possible to make sure you have a few good friends in your bubble and to accommodate those of you with siblings, I hope it has all worked out well.
I think that's it for today really. I'll leave you to your excitement and continue to fill up our oversized paddling pool. Have a good time in the sun and try to keep cool. See you all soon!
Tuesday 23rd June 2020
There it is guys, your socially distanced classroom with just one thing missing...YOU! It was lovely talking to so many of you and your parents yesterday, only a few more calls to make today. It seems as though most of you (and your parents) are as excited to get back to school as I am. I have to admit, I was honestly worried that I wouldn't be seeing most of you until next school year so this is going to be fantastic. Of course, there will be some bits that will be slightly strange too: Having separate desks, only having up to fifteen of you in the class and all the constant washing and sanitising. But having worked with the Year 6 bubble, I know that these things are only a slight inconvenience when compared with the joy of being back in school with your friends. Plus, you don't have to wear school uniform and there will be many opportunities for fun and games. I may even let you choose some of the things you want to do (within reason) so bring your good ideas along with you too!
Today is also tinged with a bit of sadness too. This will be my last day working with Mrs Eckland and the Monday/Tuesday Year 6 bubble. I have had great fun working with them and you lot will be extremely lucky if you get to work with her before your time at Hollybush comes to an end. At the moment, they are doing their English and Maths (yes there is still learning going on in school and there will be for you too!) and Mrs Eckland has kindly given me this time to write my blog to you and to make the last of my phonecalls. I may be ringing you soon so pick up if you get a call from an unknown number, it might be me. I will miss writing my blog, I may print it out as a reminder of these strange times, but I will be more than compensated by having you lot in class from next week! Remember, there will be no more home learning grids after this weeks but I have put all the resources I was going to upload on the weekly tasks sub-page. There are also links to home learning resources at the top of the class page so there are no excuses to not be working when you are at home. Keep it up everyone, you're doing great!
Sunday 21st June 2020
Well hello there my lovelies, yes I am working on Father's Day and no, I don't feel good about it!Therefore, I will keep this brief and then go back to watching football, playing with Lego and eating takeaway. As you must have heard by now, you are all allowed back to school! YAAAAAYYYY!!!! Of course, it will be slightly different to the school you are used to. Firstly, you will only be in two days a week on either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. Secondly, there will only be a maximum of fifteen of you in a class. Secondly, you will all be at your own separate desks. Thirdly... actually I believe that most of the changes will have been put in the letter that has gone home from school so I won't bore you with them now. Many of you are bound to have questions and I will do y best to answer them when I call you all from Monday. The main thing is; you can come back and get some structure back and, for some of you, to actually do some work!
I promise that when you come back in (do remember that you don't HAVE to come in) I will try to make things as fun and normal as possible. Whilst I do want you to do some learning, more important is the fact that you feel good and positive about school. In class I will be teaching the work that is on the home learning grids. So if you are in school on Thursday and Friday I will expect you to have done the previous three days of Maths and English lessons so that you are up to speed. Likewise, I will expect the children who are in on Monday and Tuesday to carry on the work that they start with me. At the moment I don't have much more to say than that. If you or your parents have any burning questions about the return to school, please email or ring the office rather than me as I don't have all the answers yet. In fact, no-one has all the answers yet but rest assured, we will be working very hard next week to get things ready for your return on the week beginning 29th June. I can't wait to see you all (hopefully) then!
Peace out, I'm going back to being spoiled!
Friday 19th June 2020
Happy Friday everybody! It doesn't matter what the world situation is, Fridays still seem better than the other weekdays and certainly cause for celebration. As I usually say, why not do something nice to treat yourself or someone in your family? Try an activity from the Hollybush kindness calendar or the other one I have attached below and make yourself feel good this Friday. I have attached the answers to the reading comprehensions and the Maths challenges as usual, I hope some of you are attempting these and it is not just an exercise in futility on my part. You don't want to be part of the government's summer catch-up programme do you?! Check out that watch today's Newsround and read this Newsround article for more information.
I had great fun yesterday walking the lovely dog 'Peggy'. We went to Panshanger Park and had a lovely stroll in the rain. Peggy was an absolute dream apart from doing three massive poos that my wife fortunately picked up! Peggy is a German Pointer with a lovely nature and we will hopefully be walking her every Thursday until we eventually get a doggy of our own. It was so nice to be out with a dog again, there is something very cathartic about being in nature with a faithful canine. It really restores your balance and helps you feel more positive about things. Of course, you don't need a dog to do this but they do sometimes give you the push you need to get up and out when you are feeling a bit lazy! As I said, Peggy has a lovely nature and greeted us at the door of hour house with a Croc in her mouth. Apparently she always brings visitors shoes. I can't wait for our walk next week.
Anyway, I hope you guys have a great weekend. We've got another street party for two of our neighbours tomorrow. We wouldn't normally have done anything for them but lockdown has made people a bit more generous with their time and kinder to their neighbours. Everyone will be baking something to bring to the party and many people in the street have become really good bakers. I am particularly looking forward to Mike's homemade sausage rolls! On Sunday I am hoping to be horribly spoilt for Father's Day. Don't forget to sort something for the special person in your life in honour of this day. Below are some links to craft and card ideas in case you hastily need to make something plus some photographs of our walk with Peggy.
15 Father's Day Cards, Ingenious Father's Day Cards, DIY Father's Day Cards
Thursday 18th June 2020
OK, I won't bore you about the football today, particularly as Arsenal lost (my fantasy football team did rather well though). I just wanted to say how nice it was to see so many more of you on the Zoom call yesterday. They seem to be a lot more popular when I don't threaten to do a lesson! How was Lily as host and what did she show you on her shared screen? Maybe I don't want to know, maybe it was something to do with Tik Tok or some other such nonsense. Either way I enjoyed seeing you guys and I hope you enjoyed it too. Just to say, there will not be a Zoom meeting next week as I will be making phone calls every day to see how you are all getting on.
Well, today looks pretty miserable to the untrained eye but remember: 'there is no such things as bad weather only unsuitable clothing'. We are not going to let it stop us today because at lunchtime we are going to be taking a dog, 'Peggy' for a walk. We found out about Peggy from the website 'Borrow My Doggy' where people without dogs are connected with people who need their dogs walking for one reason or another. I love and have always loved dogs having grown up with them. Jack and my wife, Manda, also love them but, as we live in rented accommodation, we are unable to have one of our own. However, we are hoping to buy our own house next year and we will certainly be getting ourselves a pampered pooch to go with it. To fill the void until then, and instruct Jack as to the rigours and responsibilities of dog ownership, we will be walking Peggy most weeks and I can't wait! I will upload some pictures of our perambulation tomorrow but until then, here is a picture of me dressed as Superman with my first dog Wally. Isn't he gorgeous?!
Wednesday 17th June 2020
It's back, the Premier League is back! Sorry if this bores you ladies and gentlemen, but I am very excited about the return of English top flight football today. Particularly as Arsenal are playing (though we will probably lose to Manchester City!) Apparently, the return of elite sport has been encouraged not just because it is safe to do so or because of the huge amounts of money involved but also because it is important to the mental well-being of the nation. People need things to look forward too particularly when we have been locked down for so long. It seems hard to believe that is been over 100 days since the last Premier League game! I am also excited about the return of football not just because I love the game, but also because I have been doing rather well in my Fantasy Football Leagues and I stand to win quite a lot of money if I continue to be successful!
This is all by the by of course, what is important is your home learning! I hope you are enjoying the things that I have set for you and that you continue to exercise your brains as we limp towards the end of this academic year. Perhaps you can give me some feedback at today's Zoom call or when I ring you all next week.
I continue to enjoy my two days in school. Year 6 are great (not as fun as you of course!) and Mrs Eckland is awesome to work with. We are both quite silly and work hard to make sure our classes have fun as well as learn! This week, one of our projects was to make a boat out of natural materials and race them across an artificial sea. This was actually inspired by one of the science lessons we did this year when school was normal. Of course my boat won, racing to the other side in under four seconds! Hilariously, one of the children's boats took almost a minute to cover the same distance. I will not mention any names. Feel free to look at the Year 6 page to see some of our boats and action shots of them racing across the sea. My marvellous boat is pictured below along with another picture of my stupid cat!
Hopefully see you later!
Tuesday 16th June 2020
Hello from school everyone! Such excitement there is in the air at the moment. It really does seem as though things are trying to get back to normal: We can see more people,we can go to the shops, pubs, cinemas and restaurants will be opening soon but most importantly of all...The Premier League is back tomorrow and my beloved Arsenal will be playing again. Sadly, we are playing the mighty Manchester City so I don't hold out a huge amount of hope but at least it will be nice to have the football back. My wife is not as pleased as I am but she might appreciate the time she will now have to watch some of her favourite trash TV shows. I won't embarrass her here by mentioning any of these shows by name! I will just add as a post script; even though things do seem to be getting better, that still does not mean we should be taking any unnecessary risks. Stay alert and look after yourselves and those around you.
As I'm back in school, I thought I would briefly tell you about my day. First, I unlock the gate at 8.45 and wait for our bubble of 12 Year 6s to arrive whilst simultaneously preventing the under 5s from running in. I squirt a dollop of hand sanitiser in each of the children's hands and, while I wait for any stragglers, I practice kicking a football between the posts holding up the message board. At ten past nine I lock the gates and go to class to make a cup of tea and say 'hello' to the children. I then toddle of to the music room/bubble staff room to write this blog and prepare things while Mrs Eckland teaches Maths. After a long and lazy breaktime, I will be teaching the English lesson (formal and informal language) until roughly 12 o'clock. We have our lunch outside, if the weather is nice and this afternoon we will be testing out the boats that we created yesterday. From 2.45pm, I open the gates again and the children get picked up or make their way home. It's mostly like normal school,but a bit more casual. I am dressed in shorts and T-shirt and none of the children have to wear school uniform.
Anyway, that's my day, in case you had forgotten what school is like! Here is a picture of the sign that I practise kicking the ball through, the new Key Stage 2 bike and scooter parking and a strange tree house/platform which will probably be taken down by the time you get back. Have a great day!
Sunday 14th June 2020
Hi guys, it's Sunday blog time! You know what that means, don'y you? Nearly time for another week of home schooling and for me to teach the smelly Year 6s (don't tell them I said that!). Yay!!! Seriously though, I hope you've had a good weekend and enjoyed seeing and feeling the sun again. Make the most of it because I've set you so much work for next week (or this week if you are checking on Monday) that you will not get to see daylight. I am of course joking again and if you are getting at least an hour or two of English and Maths a day and another hour or so on something creative, then that's alright with me. Again on a serious note, we only have five more weeks of this school year (I know, crazy isn't it?!) so we have to make the most of this virtual time we have together and keep that learning going. I know it's hard, but all I'm asking is four more weeks working on the weekly tasks grids and I'll leave lots of fun things for the final week of term. You have all done so amazingly well in these crazy times, I know that you have what it takes to get through this. You Rock!
I've set the usual things this week, with some daily Maths and English Tasks and a raft of other topic based activities. Those few of you who joined me for Friday's Zoom will have the opportunity to create and illustrate a poem based on the work we did and I would love it if you could email me the results so I can share them with everyone. Remember there are plenty of other resources that I have uploaded to the class page as well as your home learning packs if you wish to get on with something different. I will also be scouring the internet for any other online resources and events that could make your week more lively, creative and fun. You can do it.
This weekend has been lovely and lazy. On Saturday I did little more than a quick workout and then sat down and played computer (Final Fantasy VII remake) and watched TV ('Maleficent' on Disney Plus and 'The Last Kingdom' on Netflix). We also got a takeaway from Pizza Gogo which I am also going to heat up and eat for lunch today. Today I plan on finishing my work for you, playing more computer, watching Maleficent 2 and having a barbeque. Have fun with whatever you are doing and I look forward to seeing you/hearing from you next week. Here are some pictures of what I have been doing and playing this weekend and one of my stupid cat.
Friday 12th June 2020
Happy Friday everyone! I hope that you've had another successful week of home learning and are ready for a little bit of a relax this weekend, I know I am! As usual, I am looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at today's Zoom meeting. I have just sent out an Marvellous Me with the details but do feel free to email me if you haven't got it. As I think I mentioned, today I will be leading a poetry workshop inspired by Michael Rosen. It is very accessible and don't worry, I won't be marking spelling or anything like that. Just express yourself. By the way, I have upgraded my Zoom account so we we won't be abruptly cut off unless I want to get rid of you!
As also seems customary on a Friday, I don't really have much to say. My wrestling injury is marginally better and Jack is still apologetic enough that I can get him to do most things without too much argument. I wonder how long I can milk it for? Jack spent some of his pocket money on some new Lego toys yesterday and my wife and I are planning to have a bit of a pamper weekend. Facemasks, massage, wine and chocolates that kind of thing. I can't wait.
I hope you are all doing well. I will be doing another round of phonecalls the week after next and it will be lovely to speak to you guys and see how you are getting on. I have uploaded the answers to the maths challenges and reading comprehensions and I will see you all later. Here are some pictures of Jack's new Lego and 'Cuddlehenge' that he built out of his cuddly toys!
Thursday 11th June 2020
Good morning my lovelies, it's another miserable grey day again I'm afraid. What happened to that glorious weather of a week ago, eh? I don't know about you, but I find that everything seems easier and more pleasurable when the sun is shining. 'But what about your wrestling injury?!' I hear you ask. To put things in a bit of context; Jack and I have recently been having brief wrestling matches on the bed of an evening. The purpose of these matches is manifold: To test his strength and coordination, to tire him out before bed and get rid of some excess energy, to annoy the wife and neighbours (not really!) and of course, to have fun. Unfortunately I may have neglected to lay down any real ground rules for these matches which may have, in part, led to last nights injurious bout. After watching an episode of 'Spongebob', I had cause to explain the 'sleeper hold' to Jack and last night he decided to try it out. As I was lolloping around in a feigned daze, Jack grabbed me around the neck and pulled in what he hoped was an approximation of the aforementioned sleeper hold. It wasn't. He simply strangled me and quite badly bruised my windpipe! Of course, he didn't mean to hurt me and was deeply apologetic (he does love me, you know!) but the damage has been done. It really hurts me to swallow at the moment and my voice is a bit raspy. Before our next match, I think I will make sure to explain to him the rules and the fact that wrestling is totally fake and nobody really gets hurt. Hopefully I will be OK for the Zoom lesson tomorrow, remember it is a poetry workshop that anyone can access. Maybe your parents would like to give it a go too...
We had another Zoom staff meeting last night which was a little bit more interesting than last weeks but not really interesting enough to tell you about. I also sat in the family car for a Hawaiian Zoom party for one of my good friend's 40th birthday party. I feel so lucky that I managed to celebrate my 40th before lockdown. Zoom parties are great in the current situation but they pale in comparison with genuine human contact. By the way, I was in the car for the Zoom party because my voice is so loud and I didn't want to disturb my sleeping son or my wife who was watching some strange hairdressing programme!? That's all from me, here are some pictures of Spongebob wrestling that are partly responsible for my sore throat!
Wednesday 10th June 2020
Happy wet Wednesday Year 5! I'm back home now after my two days with the Year 6s and the classrooms are getting a nice deep clean ready for the next 'bubbles' on Thursday. Even though I'm not with you, I have to admit that I do enjoy being in school and actually teaching again (it is my job after all!). Yesterday, I helped them make some watery stop-motion animations to celebrate World Ocean Day which was really fun. You can see them on the Year 6 class page under stop motion, although some of them were upside down! There is a video how-to guide underneath this blog if you fancy making one of your own. The stop motion app is free so there's no reason not to! Also, it's pretty rainy and miserable out there so you may as well stay in and make a cool animation. Please send them to me if you do, and I will put them up on the website.
I hope you lot are doing well, it already seems a long time since I dropped the pizza ingredients round and had a chat with you on your doorsteps. I'm sure many of you have heard the news that it is very unlikely that any other year groups will be going back to school until September. This means that I am stuck with year 6 while you guys are stuck at home with home learning for another five weeks. Luckily we are strong and resilient and I have been so impressed with how you have all been coping so far and at least we get to see each other on the Zoom chats.
Anyway, that's pretty much it from me today. I will be googling and looking for any interesting work and craft ideas for you while I help Jack with his home learning from Bengeo. Peace out and here's a picture of my cat Marmalade licking her nose!
Tuesday 9th June 2020
Morning everyone, just a quick one today as I am in school. Mrs Eckland is presently working with the Year 6 bubble to kickoff our art project for the day: we are going to be creating stop motion animations based around the sea in honour of World Ocean Day yesterday. With any luck, I will be able to upload some of them to the Year 6 page today and you will be able to have a look yourself. Perhaps you could even download the stop motion studio app (it's free!) and create on of your own. Watch the video below for some tips to help create your own animation.
I hope you are keeping up with the home learning, you are such a clever lot, I wouldn't want you to do yourself a disservice by not working on your talents and flexing your academic muscles. We were doing so well this year, I know you won't let our time go to waste. Don't forget our Zoom lesson on Friday, I am going to do a poetry workshop inspired by Michael Rosen. I hope I see a lot of you there.
Anyway I best get back to work, I'm sure Mrs Ecland desperately needs me to help teach half of her class. There's no way that she could handle that on her own (!!!). Anyway, here are some pictures that reflect how strange school is at the moment, and don't forget to send me your stop motion videos if you make any...
Sunday 7th June 2020
Unbelievable! I am writing this blog in an apoplectic rage (OK, not really but I am a bit miffed). I have just been for an invigorating walk in Great Mole Wood and Waterford Heath with my family. My mum had come down from Cambridge with her lovely dog Molly and Jack was desperately excited to show her the den that we built (I told you about it in a previous blog, I hope you're keeping up!). As we rounded the leafy corner, we expected to see our delightful den come into view but, SHOCK! HORROR! The den is no more! It had been completely flattened and all the delightful accessories that we added had been taken away. Jack was distraught, as was I but we are determined to turn this around. We have scouted out a new location and are going to build a bigger and better den than before. We will keep you posted.
The Mallick family have had a lovely weekend, thanks for asking. On Saturday we took delivery of Jack's new bike (see the pictures below). He loves it and feels very gown up as it has six gears, suspension and brakes that actually work properly. We also took delivery of a waffle/sandwich/panini maker which we have been using almost continuously. I had waffles with crispy bacon and maple syrup for breakfast today and I felt like I'd died and gone to food heaven, if there were such a place. Finally, I've also got some rather flash new astro turf football trainers so that I can practise my skills at the local cricket ground. I feel that I must point out that although this all seems rather indulgent and extravagant or that I have been striving for happiness through material things, it is my time with my family and my Houseparty with my closest friends on Saturday that has brought me the most happiness this weekend.
I hope you have all had a good weekend too but, as I'm sure that the few of you that are reading this are reading it on Monday, it is time to get to work. This week, as it will be until the end of term, I have uploaded documents for daily maths and English lessons and I will be teaching one of them on our Friday Zoom meeting. I hope you can all attend. This week the work will mostly be on poetry and co-ordinates among other things. I have uploaded the usual maths challenges and reading comprehensions and for topic work there is a wide range of activities including Italian, RE as well as some PE and computing activities. I hope you enjoy them and complete them! I think that's all from me, I'm now going to prepare an actual lesson to teach Year 6 tomorrow. Wish me luck and have a great week.
Friday 5th June 2020
Happy Friday everyone! I hope that you've had a good week under the slightly more relaxed lockdown rules, I know I have. Even though I wasn't teaching you guys this week, it still felt good to be back in a classroom and teaching face-to-face. Even if those faces were 2 metres away from me and each other. I really hope that the rules continue to change and that I will get a chance to be in a classroom with you lot before the summer holidays in only six weeks! Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our Zoom meeting today. Don't forget to tell your friends in case they've forgotten and remember to email me for the details if you didn't get them through Marvellous Me.
Today I will be uploading the answers to the reading comprehensions and the maths challenges as well as starting to think about your work for next week. How did you get on with the Maths and English this week? I tried to make them a bit more like normal lessons so that you don't forget what they feel like. Remember to email me if you need any help or let me know in the Zoom meeting if there is anything else you would like to learn. We won't get this time back so let's use it wisely.
This weekend I'm looking forward to seeing my mum for a socially distanced chat in our garden if the weather holds. She will be bringing her dog Molly and we will hopefully take her out for a walk to visit our wonderful den in Great Mole Wood. I will also be having a Houseparty (the app) with my friends on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to this as we didn't have one last week and you really start to get used to these things that only a couple of months seemed so strange. I hope you have some fun plans for this weekend. You may have to think a bit more creatively as I believe the weather is meant to be awful! Take care and I will see some of you later. Here's a picture of a cute pig to brighten your day!
Thursday 4th June 2020
Good morning Homeschoolers! I hope that you all had a restful night's sleep and are ready to attack the day with vim and vigour(!) Sadly, the weather has taken a bit of a turn for the worse but don't let that stop you getting outside. It seems pretty windy so perhaps you could make a kite and test it. I'll put a link/video up in case anyone fancies trying it.
I don't really have much to say today. I hope you are getting on with the work that I set this week and it feels a bit more like school learning, please do let me know if you need any help and I might even try a live lesson for our Zoom call next week! Here's a link for some fun and creative mini-missions from Bodens, if you fancy trying something different. You should also have a look at the Natural History Museum website for loads of online activities including some live events - Join the team on Tuesdays at 12.00 and Fridays at 10.30 for interactive talks featuring topical discussions with our scientists and cutting-edge research.You can ask questions during the live broadcast on YouTube.
We all had a Zoom staff meeting last night and it was the first time I have seen some people's faces in weeks, which was nice. Mrs Noon had a bit of trouble logging on so we spent the first 10 minutes or so just having a chat and commenting on how much our hair had grown! After that, we mostly talked about handwashing and sanitising procedures at school for the Year 6s, 1s and keyworker children. Very boring but quite necessary. My son Jack was with me during the meeting playing with Lego which was much more fun!
Today, I am going to finish my quiz for tomorrow, help Jack with his home learning and meet my dad at Bengeo Cricket Ground for a socially distanced chat and a walk. I hope you have all taken the opportunity to see, if not cuddle, members of your family that you have missed during lockdown. I'll put some more things up on the website today and the answers to the reading comprehensions and maths challenges tomorrow.
Have a good day everyone and here's a picture of the Lego hospital ward that Jack was playing with during last night's staff meeting:
Wednesday 3rd June 2020
Well that was interesting, teaching but not as we know it! So, I've just finished my first two days working with Mrs Eckland to teach A Year 6 'bubble'. The good news...we had fun! Monday felt a little bit strange as myself and Mrs Eckland were both in a new classroom teaching a lot less children than we are used too. It was also very strange for me as I wasn't actually teaching because Mrs Eckland is their teacher and had everything prepared for them. In many ways, my role is more that of a TA although we have decided to share teaching responsibilities over the coming weeks; next week I will be teaching two maths lessons, two English lessons the week after that and so on...
The Year 6s seemed to really enjoy their time back in school and, although they had to remain socially distant, it was clear that they were happy to see their friends and teachers again. We are not allowed anywhere else in the school except our classroom and there is a timetable for outdoor areas so that we don't mix with any other groups and 'burst our bubble'. Despite these rules, we spent a lot of time outside on Monday and I took part in a lot of football challenges with Jardell, Sam, Nicholas and Zak such as a crossbar challenge, scoring from distance and many more. I won, of course! We did some more formal learning on Tuesday with proper Maths and English in the morning and I taught a watercolour lesson in the afternoon. Although the class size is small and there were new rules and restrictions, I think we all appreciated being back in school.
Anyway, I'm now back home ready to homeschool my son Jack and be here for any of your queries and suggestions. I have prepared a 'Horrible Histories' quiz for our Friday Zoom meeting. It will be multiple choice so you can just have a good guess if you don't fancy revising the Aztecs, Tudors, Egyptians and cavemen along with all the other home learning that I have set this week! I promise it will be fun and perhaps a little bit disgusting. I may add some more things to the page today but until then, here is a picture of a cute puppy and kitten. Enjoy!
Tuesday 2nd June 2020
Hello from school everyone! Yes my dears, I am blogging you from the wonderful institution that is Hollybush Primary School, from my own bubble staffroom in fact. I'm having a short break from the Year 6s whilst Mrs Eckland teaches them a bit of English and I thought I'd say a quick 'hello' to you guys. Hello.
My bubble staffroom is the music room and it has been set up to be slightly more comfortable as you can see from these delightful pictures:
Yes, those are my lovely pink trainers and hairy legs. I hope you guys are all getting on OK with the home learning for this week. Don't forget to email me if you have any problems and I'll hopefully see lots of you on Friday's Zoom call.
Monday 1st June 2020
They thought it would never happen, but here we are; schools are reopening. Yes my dears, today I am back in school, back in the classroom and teaching Year 6?! I am working with Mrs Eckland in what is being termed a ‘bubble’. Sadly, this is nowhere near as fun as it sounds. We will not be floating around the sky subject to soft summer breezes before we pop and tumble giggling to the floor, no nothing as whimsical as that. No, this bubble refers to the fact that we can now only interact with the people in our designated bubble, to avoid cross-contamination and suchlike. This means that I will be working with Mrs Eckland and those lucky Year 6s all the way until the end of term. I know, we will not be working together this year. Horrible, isn’t it? However, we all have to make sacrifices and do things that we wouldn’t normally do or even consider doing. What is important is that we help where we can and do what is necessary to prevent the spread of infection.
I will miss you lot terribly but will make sure that we keep up with our weekly Zoom meetings, probably on a Friday and maybe I’ll see some of you from a distance if you eventually get back into school. It was great seeing some of you on your doorsteps on Friday, albeit briefly. I hope you enjoyed making your pizzas, though I bet you were far more excited about receiving your home learning packs! I will continue to be setting you home learning too through the Weekly tasks grid and I will upload all the resources you need to the relevant weekly sub-page below. There will be daily activities for English and Maths as well as some ongoing Topic work. I will occasionally upload other videos and website ideas but I will probably be a lot less active on the class page as I am going to be working in school so much more. Of course, I will keep you updated on my various running/cycling/fitness exploits as I am sure you couldn’t bear to miss out!
Friday 22nd May 2020
Well I never, we only went and did it! We completed a whole half term of home learning! Well done to all of you guys, and your parents and carers, it can't have been easy. I just wanted to say how immensely proud I am of you and the way that you have risen to this new and strange challenge. You have kept positive, worked hard and adapted brilliantly. I always thought that you lot were special, now I know that it's true. Other than to tell you how amazing you all are, I don't really have much else to say today. Try to do something nice for yourself as it's the last day of the half term. Sadly the sun has popped his head in but hopefully it will be back out for the rest of the half term break. I do find that everything is a bit easier to take when the sun is out. I'll upload the answers to the reading comprehensions and the maths challenges in a minute as well as putting a few more photos up, I'm also going to see if I can find some kind of fun/silly activity for you all to do - so watch this space! Also, i f you completed any artwork during the online world record attempt, please send it to me so I can put it up on the class page.
I'm going to be at school a bit more after half term, so I don't think I'll be able to do my blog on Mondays and Tuesdays or add as many new things to the website. I will still be producing a weekly task grid and supporting you as much as I can and I'm sure we'll be able to have a weekly Zoom meeting on Friday. Keep your suggestions coming in for our next quiz/activity! Once again, I am so proud of you Year 5. YOU ROCK!!!
PS - here are the highly anticipated photos and stats from my super-fast bike ride yesterday
Thursday 21st May 2020
Hahahaha! Sorry for that awful Zoom picture, I'll take a better one and get you to pose for it next time. At least Graces's dog looks good. Anyway, I had a lot of fun at yesterday's Zoom meeting, I hope you enjoyed the scavenger hunt and quiz. Now we know why Grace wanted to do a Disney quiz, don't we!? I won't be doing one next week as it's half term and after that I don't know because of the phased reopening of the school. Keep checking the webpage and Marvellous Me and I will keep you updated with any changes and new events. By the way, Ella has already suggested a TV character quiz for our next meeting. Email me with your own suggestions and I'll pick my favourite this time. Sorry, no vote!
Today it is my mum's and my best friend's birthday. My best friend (also called Tom) is turning 40 and I willbe popping out to wave at him from approximately 2m away and deliver him his bespoke present. Amongst other things, I recorded some songs that we wrote in his shed over 20 years ago, I've got them sounding really good and I hope he likes them. I saw my mum for a socially distanced walk yesterday and she even brought her doggy Molly with her. My son Jack was so excited that we finally had a dog in our garden. He can't wait until we get our own, but that sadly won't be until we move house - probably next year if things go to plan (which they don't normally)
I'll also be doing a bike ride again today and will see if I can get faster still. Don't forget to keep pushing yourself with two more days of home learning, it's nearly half term and you can have a well-deserved break (well-deserved for some of you anyway!). Don't forget to try out the world record online art lesson at 4pm and I'll speak to you all again tomorrow.
Wednesday 20th May 2020
Happy Zoom Day everyone! I'm so excited about seeing everyone later, don't forget to have your favourite cuddly toy and baby photo ready too (thanks Amy). The main events will be the indoor scavenger hunt and Disney Quiz, I am sending the meeting details by Marvellous Me right now...done! So, I thought that I'd waffle on a bit about social distancing today and some of the new rules about seeing people outside of your family unit. They're confusing aren't they? It's not just me surely...It appears that you can visit one other person from outside of your household but you must of course stay 2m away from them at all times. But does that mean one person per household or one person each? Can I see one person, my wife see another and Jack see a third? Once chosen, does it have to be that same one person forever? What if they haven't chosen me as their one person? I honestly don't know! To that end, we are cautiously seeing a few people (from a distance of 2m!). Yesterday I saw my dad and we walked around a cricket pitch together. Today, my mum and her dog are coming down from Cambridge. Jack is more excited about seeing the dog, Molly, than his own grandmother, whose birthday it is tomorrow (nice relative clause there, did you spot it?!). Tomorrow I will be standing in the drive of my best friend who turns 40. I don't think we're doing anything wrong by seeing these people, and we will of course 'Stay Alert' and use our common sense in our interactions.
That's pretty much it from me today, below are some pictures of my cycling adventure, my fastest yet. I even did one of the kilometres in under 2 minutes and felt pretty pleased with myself. I look forward to seeing many of you later.
Tuesday 19th May 2020
Good morning chaps and chapesses (not sure if that's a word but I'm using it anyway!), I hope that this fine morning finds you well. I don't know about you, but having the sunlight streaming through my window certainly brings a smile to my face and makes this situation a little easier. Make sure you get outside today for some (now unlimited) exercise or just sit out and soak up the vitamin D in an entirely inert and inactive form. Perhaps taking a book outside would be a lovely option. As we are talking about mental health awareness this wee, I think that reading is a fantastic way to keep you balanced and positive during the 'interesting times' in which we now live. I have been reading a lot during lockdown and, as we can't go to the library at the moment, I have beem agonising over the books I have chosen to order from Amazon. In case you are interested, I have just 'The Broken Earth' trilogy by N.K. Jemisin and am half way through 'The Hyperion Omnibus' by Dan Simmons. Both are highly rated sci-fi/fantasy novels and I am loving them. As I was reading 'Hyperion' before bed last night, I was thinking to myself how reading is even more important to me at the moment. Though we are locked down, through books I can travel anywhere in the world and beyond. I can experience things that I will never see in ten lifetimes through the eyes and minds of people I will never meet. Honestly, words can't express how much I love reading and how important I think it is. Please today, for the sake of your mind, pick up a book. If you don't have the energy to turn the page, why not download a free audiobook from audible, close your eyes to the sun and drift away to somewhere new.
If not, crack on with your home learning, there's loads of stuff to get on with this week as well as our Zoom call tomorrow. I'm doing lots of 'Zooming' this week as it is two of my best friend's and my mum's birthdays this week (yours too Jack!) I've already done one quiz yesterday and had a great laugh with some of my old secondary school friends, whilst also keeping my wife awake with my annoyingly loud and strident voice! I'm looking forward to our Zoom call tomorrow and I'll see you then.
Ta ta for now.
Monday 18th May 2020
Yes my lovelies, as that none-to-subtle banner shows, this week is metal health awareness week. Perhaps now more than ever it is important for us to all take stock of our own, and the mental health of those around us. Never before has the whole nation meant it so much when they ask 'How are you?', 'How's it going?' or 'Are you alright?' We need to be gentle and kind with each other during this current situation because even when people seem alright on the surface, they can be having a really tough time dealing with things. The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness week is kindness. To that end, I have attached some links to the numerous mental health awareness sites where there are many resources and activities for you to complete. I don't mind if some of these take the place of the tasks on the home learning grid. I have also attached Hollybush's own Kindness week calendar, and I strongly urge you to complete activities from it every day.
Mental Health Foundation - loads of activities and resources including the 30 minutes movement challenge
Mind - Videos, links and activities including a Tik Tok challenge
NHS - Tips, ideas and activities including the Mind Plan Quiz
I hope you've all had a good weekend year 5, and are well-rested and ready for the final home-learning push before half term. Don't forget that we've got a Zoom scavenger hunt and Disney quiz on Wednesday, it would be lovely to see as many of your weird and wonderful faces there as possible. Details are at the top of the class page. I've had a fairly low-key weekend myself. I did a my fastest 10k cycle ride yet on Saturday and a sweaty 1000 calorie workout on Sunday. My belly still seems to be expanding though. Perhaps it's the fact that I have about five separate puddings after my evening meal. I just can't resist that sweet goodness! I even had about five different snacks while I was on the Houseparty app with my friends on Saturday night. I must show more restraint... Here are my cycling stats from Saturday's effort and a picture of a dragonfly I took on one of my daily walks. Maths alert - can you interpret the bar chart correctly:
The home learning this week is very much based around the Twinkl website (remember it is free to sign up to access your own resources at the moment). There is a summer writing and a maths revision booklet, some PE, Art, RE and Science activities as well as the usual things that I like to upload. All the resources mentioned in the weekly tasks grid can be found in the 'Additional Resources' sub-page. You can print out the pdf files or simply look at then on screen and complete the activities in your home learning books. Let me know which activities you liked and don't forget to send in any pictures that you would like to share with us. I have also added a new writing competition to the 'Competitions and Challenges' page which gives you the chance to get your work published! It has to be less than 500 words and have added some support materials to the 'Writing Tasks' page. There are also a couple of fun videos below and THIS LINK is a really cool virtual tour of an Egyptian tomb!
Finally, I will be ringing you guys during the course of this week,just to see how you are doing, if you need anything and how you and your family feel about the proposed back to school measures. I look forward to finding out how you are all doing too.
PS thanks to all those he sent in videos for the Hollybush 'A Million Dreams' video. It is going to be awesome
Friday 15th May 2020
Happy Friday year 5, and it's shaping up to be a lovely day after some of that Autumnal weather we've had this week. Hope you are all well in Homeschool land. Let's start with some notifications: Today is the last day to send in your 'A Million Dreams' videos. As stated in the Marvellous Me message that I just sent, there are less from Year 5 than any other year group. I've done mine and put quite a lot of effort into it too. Yours doesn't have to be fancy, it could even just be you holding up a sign with a message. You'll be disappointed when the final video is released and you're not in it. Further details are at the top of the page. The second notification is that I have changed our next Zoom meeting to Wednesday next week. I was originally going to do it on the Friday but I am in school then. Third notification is that the answers to the reading comprehensions and the maths daily challenges are now up on the relevant sub-pages and you can see how you did (if you did them!). I think that's it notification wise.
As it's Friday, why not treat yourself? Give yourself something fun to do as I'm sure you've been working so hard on all the tasks I set you on the weekly task grid (I know that Grace and Violet have). My wife and I are going to treat ourselves to a takeaway this evening after we've been eating so healthily all week, plus I've been doing all my cycling too (stats below). I think you all deserve a little treat for dealing so well with the current situation and hopefully some of you will want to speak to me when I call next week. I'm going to leave it at that, have a great day!
Thursday 14th May 2020
Well hello there, and what a lovely Zoom meeting we had. I feel like I'm beginning to get the hang of the technology now. It was so nice seeing so many of your happy, smiling, silly faces and to see that you are all positive and coping well. I have already set up the next Zoom meeting for next week, the codes are in the Breaking News section at the top of the page. Remember, next time we will be: sharing our favourite cuddly toy and baby photo, playing a scavenger hunt (Eleanor's idea) and a Disney character quiz (Grace's idea), I can't wait! I will also be ringing everyone next week to see how you are all getting on, if there's anything I can do to help and to gauge how you are all feeling about a potential return to school.
On with today, don't forget I showed you how to navigate this website, there are so many resources to use and keep you engaged, you really should check in every day. I'll put on a few more jokes today and tomorrow I will upload the answers to the reading comprehensions and maths challenges so make sure you try them out today. Also, don't forget to try out today's action for happiness from the May calendar below and I've added a link to Lovereading 4 kids poetry prize in the competitions and challenges page, give it a look.
After completing some home schooling with my son Jack, we are going to go to Waterford Heath to visit our den. Since we built it, other children and families have been building their own nearby to create a bit of a village and we want to see if any more has been added. I'm also going to Facetime my mum from there because I really miss her and because Jack wants her to see the den! Last, but obviously not least, I will be going for a bike ride today and will attempt to surpass my stats from the previous attempt. Wish me luck!
Wednesday 13th May 2020
OK, so I've had to stop running for a while. The poor old knee just can't take it yet. However, this does not mean that I will stop exercising and start eating crisps and cakes. As many of you know, I travel to school in a very smug and eco-friendly way; by bike. So while my knee recovers, I will instead be boring you by recounting my adventures by bike. Yesterday I cycled to Ware and back and did a lap of Hartham all under 30 minutes. Sadly, although you travel further and faster by bike, you burn less calories so it will be hard for me to shift my lockdown belly! Also if you cycle along towpaths, as I did, you have to slow down to let pedestrians get out of they way so achieving an accurate personal best will be quite hard. Anyway, here are my stats:
In other news, all the teachers had a Zoom meeting last night to discuss the reopening of schools. To be honest, it will be quite a complicated arrangement if it even happens! As you may know, Year 5 are not one of the year groups that will be starting back on the 1st of June but the aim, apparently is to have all groups back for at least a month before the summer holidays. However this unlikely to be school as you know it. There will staggered arrival and departure times, classes of no more than 15 children, no sharing of resources and lunch in the classrooms along with many other measures designed to keep us all safe. Bear in mind, this could all change but we should know a lot more by next week and the school will keep you informed.
Anyway, on with today: Don't forget the Zoom meeting at 4.30pm, I will be showing showing you around our class page and part of my house, we will also be doing a short quiz and maybe even meeting my cat! It will also be a good chance to chat about how you are getting on and how you feel about going back to school. Don't forget that there are loads of activities and learning ideas on this website to keep you going and below are some links to even more! I look forward to seeing many of you later.
30 days Wild - The Wildlife Trust
Design a National Book Token and win!
Tuesday 12th May 2020
So, I bet you're all dying to know how my run went on Sunday aren't you? It must have been so hard for you to concentrate on your work, wondering if I'd beaten my personal best or if I'd injured my knee again. I should really have updated my blog yesterday to put you out of your misery but I'm afraid I was at school. We were bashing musical instruments, painting African masks and making sytop motion videos yesterday, as well as actually doing some academic work! Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about my run! Sadly I didn't beat my personal best and my knee was still hurting a bit so I'm going to give it a bit more rest and maybe do some cycling instead. Here's how I did anyway:
I hope you guys are all doing well at home and haven't been confused too much by the Prime Minister's statements on Sunday. To be honest, none of us really know what is happening yet about returning to school. The teacher's are all having a Zoom meeting tonight about what this all means and I promise that we'll let you know when we know. if that makes any sense...
Don't forget our Zoom meeting tomorrow at 4.30pm (I shall send the invite out through Marvellous Me in a moment - let me know by e-mail if you still need it). I will be showing you my cat, parts of my house, how the class page works as well as taking your ideas for what I should do with my Youtube channel and perhaps have a little quiz or a game of Bingo or something. Here's the invite information:
Meeting ID: 899 3220 5692
Hopefully the work I have set you on the weekly grid is enough to keep you going, but don't forget that there is plenty more across the sub-pages as well as links to BBC Bitesize and the Oak National Academy lessons to keep you going. Please try to get at least a couple of hours of academic work done each day. It is important to have things to focus on and motivate us at the moment and don't forget to exercise too! My son Jack and I are going to create our own workout today based around Marvel Avengers characters. We may even publish it on YouTube when we're done!
Finally remember to play! Playing is more important than you know, and is something that can keep us happy and sane in the weeks ahead. Why not send me some pictures of yourself playing this week rather than working?
Sunday 10th May 2020
Hello there comrades, hope you are still having a lovely long weekend and enjoyed the scorching weather on Saturday. I'm writing my blog on Sunday this time as I will not have the time to do it tomorrow. Oh no, I am doing the 8am - 1pm shift at school tomorrow. That will involve me getting up before 7, I haven't done that in months. I wonder if it is still possible!? Anyway, I can't complain there are many people who have it far worse during this current crisis and my heart goes out to them. Keep smiling and keep moving on and we'll get through this. Apparently, Boris will be speaking later today about how some of the lockdown procedures are going to be eased. I have a feeling that there will be much national debate tomorrow.
I digress, back to the weekend! I have been fortunate this weekend to take part in a carefully moderated and socially distanced street party in honour of VE day (there's a reading comprehension about it if you still don't know what it is). Everyone baked and made some delicious delectables for each other to enjoy, we set our chairs sensibly apart, a talented young lady sang a wartime classic (We'll meet again) to Bob, our 96-year-old resident who fought inthe war), and some irresponsible adults had a little too much to drink (I will mention no names!) I hope you guys managed to have some fun and celebrations too. Let me know and send me some pictures of what you got up to. ere are some of mine:
OK, on with the weeks work. I have added three more comprehensions to the reading page, a new writing task to the writing tasks page along with several teaching videos to aid the creative process as I would really like you all to write and share a story this week. The maths daily challenges are up and with the worksheets and the Hamilton and Twinkl resources I have uploaded there should be more than enough to keep you going. I will shortly be uploading the weekly tasks grid as well to give you some more 'inspiration' to get you through another week of homeschooling. As an added bonus, below is an activity pack all about Chocolate!
Finally, my knee supports have arrived and I am going to get back to the running. Once I've finished here I will be off around Hartham to keep working towards that sub 25 minute 5K. Wish me luck and why not set yourself a goal to work to?
Thursday 7th May 2020
Horrendous news everyone! Yesterday, I foolishly attempted another jog before my knee was fully recovered and couldn't finish my run. You guessed it, I've now made it worse and have to rest it even longer. This means that I will probably sit around eating sweets and crisps and put back on the weight that I was beginning to lose. Not really, of course. I will probably do some cycling and weight training instead and continue to eat extremely healthily (which I always do unless it is the weekend or after Jack has gone to bed!) Here are some photos of my disappointment, can you spot any poor grammar in the comment? Even I have off days!
Anyway, on with today. You have one more day to record your music videos and less than a week until our next Zoom meeting. Please get these sorted and signed. I have also uploaded answers to the maths daily challenges and the reading comprehension on the relevant sub-pages. Check them out and see how you did, if indeed you did anything at all!
I'm in school today, for a couple of hours at least, and I imagine that I will see Jed and possibly Charlotte. It's always nice to see them and I look forward to the day that I get to see you all in school again. It will happen. Don't forget to find out about Boris' announcement over reopening schools on Sunday. I will be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions at our Zoom chat. Also, shock, horror! I will be finishing 'Fly Me Home' this week! Do I have enough hats? Which cuddly will be next? Will Jack continue to distract me? But most importantly of all, what should I do next? I will probably take a break from recording videos for a week or so, but after that I would like to put up a daily video of something that will amuse or entertain you. Let me know if you have any ideas, either by email or at the Zoom meeting.
Anyway, that's pretty much it from me. Me and Jack are going to have a fairly light day of home learning today and we will be Facetiming my mum at 11 o'clock. Why not send a message to someone you love today and, if you are doing something for VE day tomorrow, don't forget to send some me some photos.
Have a great long weekend.
Wednesday 6th May 2020
Good morning, let's get straight to the point: Please make your 'A Million Dreams' Makaton video and send it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember you only need to sing and/or sign the 'However big, however small...' part. Song words and the video are in the competitions and challenges section. You have until Friday! Also, don't forget to email me for an invite to the next Zoom meeting, where we will have a short quiz and you have a chance to put forward your suggestion for the next book for me to read on YouTube. Yes, 'Fly Me Home' is nearly finished!
OK, that's my demands out of the way, on with the blog. I will be trying a gentle jog today. My knee is still a bit twingy so don't expect me to break any records today, but I am trying to run at least every other day so that I don't come back to school the size of a whale. We'd need double doors for me to get in the classroom. On that note, how about doing some baking today or tomorrow. There are loads of VE day recipes out there and I've put a couple of links below. We're going to make a Union Jack tray bake and I may post some photos of the finished result! My road are going to have a bit of a socially-distanced street party. Are they doing anything where you live? Perhaps you can help to organise it?
I hope these links and ideas give you some inspiration for Friday and you manage to make the day a little bit different to a normal lockdown day off.
Anyway, that's all for today. Short but sweet.
Have a good one!
Tuesday 5th May 2020
Morning chums, I hope you are all doing well and had a restful night's sleep. First things first; my running. Yesterday I went for a 5K run and really pushed myself to see if I could complete it in under 25 minutes (that's 5 minutes per kilometre for those whose maths has got a little shaky). All things were going well until the last kilometre when I hurt my knee and I ended up finishing just over 25 minutes - so close!
Second things second; Zoom meeting. As some of you may have heard, I have worked out why I didn't get gallery view on my computer and I now know how to use the application better on my Macbook. Therefore, I will be hosting another Zoom meeting next week on Wednesday at 4:30pm. Once again, email me at the homelearning address at the top of the page and I will give you the invite. This time I think I will do a quiz and ask you to show me any of the work that you are most proud of so far...
Third things third; I have added a few things to the class page today. An Action for Happiness calendar below to give you the opportunity for some meaningful daily actions during this time of crisis, some more jokes for the jokes page (email me your favourites if you think mine are too lame), the next maths daily challenge and some simple drawing tips for kids. There are lots of art videos on YouTube that show you how to draw anything you want but please don't forget to work on your maths and literacy skills every day too.
Fourth things fourth and final; please,please, please record a video of yourself (and others if you wish) singing and signing to 'A million dreams' and send it to the school at: email@example.com
Our section is the bit that begins 'However big, however small...' Come on, we can't be the only class with no videos.
Anyway, that's it from me, have a great day of home learning.
Monday 4th May 2020
Morning guys, happy Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you- geddit?!) I hope you had a great weekend and managed to do something that made it seem different to the week! We’ve finished watching the MCU films (awesome by the way) and have now moved on to the X-Men movies and watched a couple over the weekend as well as some reimagined classics on the Disney channel. The wife and I also had a lovely chat with our friends on the Houseparty app on Saturday, which reminds me…Did you enjoy our slightly confusing Zoom meeting on Friday? I did, even though the gallery option did not work on my laptop and I could only see you one at a time! I think I’m going to upgrade to the full version and try it on a different computer for the next meeting (probably Friday 15th). I am determined to make it work. I think I will prepare some sort of quiz for the next one.
Remember that this week is a short one, with a Bank Holiday on Friday of all days! This is to coincide with Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, which marks the 75th anniversary of the formal end of World War II, which leads me on to this week’s topic work, which will be a World War II project! Have a look at the weekly tasks grid for more ideas. I have also uploaded some more maths challenges, reading comprehensions and writing tasks with accompanying videos.
Finally, I did a bit of running this weekend and I did actually manage to complete one of my kilometres on Saturday in less than 5 minutes. My aim now, is to complete 5km under 25 minutes. I will keep going and keep boring you with this over the coming days and weeks! Why don’t you guys set yourself a personal/physical goal to work towards over the coming months? You could let me know about it on our next Zoom meeting.
Have a great week!
Friday 1st May 2020
Happy Friday everybody! Or should I say Happy Zoom Day? No, Happy Friday is correct. Either way, I am looking forward to our Zoom chat later. I'm also a bit nervous as I haven't hosted one before. I have no quiz or task for you, I just thought it would be nice to see each others' faces and see how we are getting on. If there is something you wish to show, discuss or do for this or our next Zoom meeting, please bring them with you and remember the Zoom rules:
- make sure you are fully clothed (no pjs)
- make sure your parents know you are ‘Zooming’
- take turns in speaking – I can ‘mute’ you!
- be respectful – be careful with what you say; once you’ve said something you can’t take it back. If you wouldn’t say it to their face don’t say it!
Hopefully, everything will go well and we'll be able to make this a regular thing while we are still in Lockdown. I will not be adding much today (though I did accidentally make my 'Fly Me Home' video private yesterday - it's fixed now) just the answers to the reading comprehensions and the maths daily challenges. I've also added a Zoom video and the Makaton video for 'A Million Dreams' which it would be great if you could learn and record yourself singing for the school.
Have a great day and I'll see some of you later!
Thursday 30th April 2020
Why hello there, fancy seeing you here! Yep, it's another day of the new normal for us, homeschooling for you and me both. Luckily, as always, there are new things every day to keep us challenged, amused and entertained. Firstly, a shout out to Jed and Charlotte, it was lovely seeing you at school yesterday. Jed and I made this lovely banner for Captain Tom's birthday that his mum (Jed's not Tom's) will be putting up in her NHS Covid Crisis Centre:
Secondly, I thought you'd like to be kept informed of my jogging exploits. Yesterday, I downloaded an 'Addidas' running app because I didn't trust my 'Fitbit' and I wanted a more accurate and detailed recording of my exercise endeavours. It turns out that I was right, I had actually been running 7km rather than the 5km my 'Fitbit' was telling me. Suffice to say, the 'Fitbit is being sent back. Here is photographic proof of my running record. I aim to get to around 5 minutes per km:
Thirdly, today is a busy day with all kinds of competitions and challenges. As there are so many now, I have added a new sub-page at the top of this page. There is a writing competition with more details here on Facebook (if your parents have a login). Thank you to Charlotte's mum for letting me know about this. John Lewis is launching a 'Superbear' design competition in support of the NHS. Not to be outdone, we at Hollybush have also come up with a challenge of our own. We are going to create our own 'Makaton' video of 'A million dreams'. We would like you to record a video of yourself singing a section of this to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details of which part we will be singing and a link to the video can be found at the top of this page.
Finally, if you are missing assemblies!!?? The National Oak Academy are doing the first national assembly this morning with the Archbishop of Canterbury giving a message of hope and Gavin Williams will be joining too! Check out the video below from 10am today.
Wow, what a lot of stuff! You'd better get cracking...
Wednesday 29th April 2020
Morning Campers (some of your mums and dads will get that reference)! I hope you are all safe and well in Homeschool world. I'm in school this afternoon, can you remember that place? It's really quite strange being there with so few children, it doesn't really make sense without you guys in it. Still, we've got loads of fun equipment and resources out for the children that need us. I always have a laugh when I'm in.
I'm not putting too much up today, just drawing your attention to two new videos and three new comprehensions on the reading page, a poetry writing task using metaphors on the writing page and a variety of new challenges and worksheets on the maths page. I have also uploaded some files of weekly work from the Hamilton Trust if you fancy trying something new at any time. Don't forget to try the Kid's Creative Corner challenge below either.
I am glad that so many of you have now signed up to the Zoom meeting now. I think we have Violet, Dulcie, Jack, Charlotte, Kaya, Ella, Calvin, Grace and Chloe so far. I have never hosted a Zoom meeting before so please be patient with me! If you need any tips too, please look at the Zoom sub-page and if there is anything you wish to discuss or play please let me know by email.
Have a great day!
Locked down learning has lots of good videos and ideas (it will need a Facebook login though...)
Episode 1 of a children's drama serial
Tuesday 28th April 2020
Hello everybody! I hope you made the most of the sunny weather because the drizzle is here! That doesn't mean we can't go outside of course, we just have to dress appropriately. No excuse for laziness! On that note, I did another 5K jog yesterday around Bengeo fields and this time it took me...40 minutes. A full four minutes faster! Today is a bit of a rest day for me as I am now aching more than a little bit, but I will keep trying to improve my time.
To encourage my son Jack to complete his home learning, I have been giving him tokens towards a Lego set for each piece he completes without fuss and it looks like his going to have enough tokens this week! I have to admit that I am rather excited about this too and may possibly be letting him obtain the tokens more easily than usual. Here is a picture of the set (it arrived yesterday but will not be opened until all the tokens have been obtained):
I've added a few more things to the website recently: Some maths challenges, questions and worksheets and I will also be adding a couple of reading comprehensions later. After that, I will not put too much extra on this week as I am aware that there is a lot out there and I don't want it to be too overwhelming. Good luck with it all and I look forward to seeing your country projects as you complete them. Don't forget to sign up for the Zoom meeting or it's just going to be me and Violet!
Monday 27th April 2020
Morning to all of you lovely people, together in isolation! I hope you had a marvellous weekend and enjoyed some of that delicious weather. I had a couple of nice walks and even got the paddling pool out in the garden. Heads up, because apparently it's going to get a bit drizzly this week so make sure you've got plenty of indoor things to do (not just screens). Try some of these links if you're stuck:
20 things to do indoors with kids when school is closed
Pobble - fun at home activities
Of course, I expect you to do some proper academic home learning too. I'd like you all to do a project about a country of your choice this week. Have a look at the weekly tasks grid for ideas for activities or you can make up your own. Why not Facetime/Whatsapp a friend and work on it together? It would be almost like school without me telling you to stop talking and get on with your work, though I'm sure your parents can help out with that. Don't forget to email me pictures of any work that you complete and would like to share. I love seeing what you've been up to, particularly when I don't have to mark it!
In other news, our family Fitbits have arrived and did a 5K run around Bengeo fields in 44 minutes. I will be aiming to beat this over the coming weeks. I wonder if any of you can? Finally I have set up a Year 5 'Zoom' meeting for Friday at 2pm. Check out the ZOOM sub-page if you are not sure how it all works. Then, download the app or sign up online and email me when it's all done. i will then email you back with a meeting code and we can all meet up for a chat and giggles on Friday. I hope you can all sign up.
Don't forget to check out BBC Bitesize and the Oak National Academy lessons too!
Have a great week.
Friday 24th April 2020
Happy Friday you wonderful people! Well done for getting through another week of homeschooling, make sure you treat yourself in some way! It was really lovely to talk to so many of you yesterday and it was great to hear how well you are coping, even thriving, with learning at home. I have tried to take on board some of the things you have said and to that end, I have added links to the BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy daily lessons to the top of the page, I will also be putting up some more maths 'traffic light' questions and a Youtube video of art tutorials. Later today or over the weekend I will add a sub-page with details for how we can have a Year 5 'Zoom' meeting next Friday. 'Zoom', for those of you who don't know, is a way that we can have an online video conference and all chat together and see each other at the same time!
Anyway, I hope that you have had a good week and that we all get a chance for a break and some sunshine over the weekend. I will be trying to ring some of you that I didn't get through to yesterday and hopefully I get to hear your voices and that you are all OK.
Stay safe, stay happy, stay curious and stay you!
Thursday 23rd April 2020
Hello my lovelies, I hope the day finds you well. I'm in school today from 1 O'clock and I reckon I will have the honour and pleasure of seeing Jed and Martin, possibly even Charlotte too. I can't wait! Remember as well, I will be ringing you guys today for a quick check in - please pick up that phone!
My son Jack and I have been exploring different learning resources this week with particular focus on the National Oak Academy (NOA) and BBC Bitesize websites. Yesterday we tried a Norman conquest lesson from NOA and a Light and Dark lesson from the BBC. I have to say that after those lessons, the BBC is well in the lead. The teacher on the NOA lesson spoke so slowly that we were half asleep after five minutes and she was only reading from a slide that was right there in front of us anyway! The lesson was good but she was not very engaging. The BBC lesson however, had some funny videos and excellent activities. If you haven't tried them already, give them a go today.
I hope you are still enjoying my reading of 'Fly Me Home' and that Jack's performances are not too distracting. He really loves being in front of the camera and is becoming a bit of a show off like his old man! We're about to start our Homeschool day now so I'll have to leave you. I have uploaded another reading comprehension video for you to try and will put up any other resources, ideas and photographs as they come to me.
Have a Happy Homeschool Day!
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Howdy pardners, looks like it's going to be a beautiful day out there so let's make the most of it. Try some crafts or topic work outside if you can or at least get your 60 minutes of allowed exercise. I started the day with my son by exploring England using Google maps. If you use the satellite and street view options, you can explore some of our most famous landmarks. We went inside the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace and tried to hunt down the Queen. We also had a good look around Hertford and where we used to live in Enfield. I think we may use it every day to have a look at least one famous landmark around the world and increase our knowledge of civilisation and the wonderful geography of our planet.
Yesterday, we did some good work using the Oak National Academy website. It was nice to see real teachers actually trying to teach new concepts to children who can't attend school. I thought the lessons were really good and well put together. We will look at some of the Foundation subjects today as well as English and Maths.
We're also trying to keep fit and healthy at the moment. During the first couple of weeks of lockdown we ate and drank far too much and are now having to work hard to rectify the situation. I have been jogging around Hartham as well as doing weights and various exercises. We have recently ordered Fitbits too, so I will be able to bore you with my personal best times and distances. You lucky, lucky children!
How do I Homeschool my children? - BBC News
10 Virtual Holidays to take the kids on
Tuesday 21st April 2020
Hi there Year 5, hope that first day back at homeschool wasn't too painful for you (or your parents). I hope you managed to have a look at the BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy websites yesterday. I thought that they both looked really good, perhaps you can tell me which you prefer when I give you a call on Thursday. Today's Bitesize English lesson is on alliteration and the maths is about addition and subtraction methods. Oak National is looking at settings all week in English and translations in maths. Maybe try a week with one website and a week on the other and see how you get on. I will be trying one of them with Jack today.
It looks like there is some lovely weather this week so make sure that you are getting outside and being active to try and limit your screen time. Print out activities where you can and complete them on paper or your home learning book. Let me know if you need any more resources like this when I call on Thursday. Remember, keep doing something fun for yourself each day. I've been recording music and my wife is heavily getting into her crochet.
Legend David Attenborough will be teaching Geography on BBC Bitesize as part of the BBCs education initiative
Barefoot computing has free computing resources and coding activities
Escape from home has some exciting and challenging panic-room style activities
I'll check in with you tomorrow because now its time for me to ring the metaphorical bell to start Jack's homeschool day.
Keep busy and keep safe
Monday 20th April 2020
Good morning Year 5! Well that was an interesting Easter break wasn’t it?! Not sure I’ll be forgetting that in a hurry. Please send me any photos of work or activities that you did during the break and I'll be sure to upload them here. Hopefully, you are all now a little bored of gorging yourself on chocolate and are ready for a fun and engaging week of home learning activities. I have uploaded a new grid on the relevant sub-page and I will be directing you towards different websites and online learning resources every day as usual.
In a new development, my son Jack has decided that he would like to be in my ‘Fly Me Home’ videos (back to uploading every weekday) where he will be in charge of introducing and manipulating a new cuddly toy for each chapter. As I mentioned in one of my videos, I will also be giving you guys a phone call on Thursday just to check in and see if there is anything I can do for you or help you with. You don’t have to talk to me if you don’t want to!
Finally, I have to draw your attention to three very important new learning resources (there are links to them in the text and the weblinks page):
Oak Academy will provide 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10.
The DfE has a list of high quality resources recently published by the Government, as well as the existing tools and resources schools use to provide remote education.
In addition, the BBC is launching its own education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and some of the best teachers – helping to keep children learning and supporting parents.
Click this link for more information about the government’s home-schooling provision.
I urge you to explore these learning resources either in addition to or in place of the home learning grid.
Each day I will have a look through and point you in the direction of suitable or important resources. Now get cracking!
Friday 3rd April 2020
Good morning Year 5, sorry but I seem to keep getting up later and later at the moment and I'm sure it's only going to get worse in the Easter holidays! Well done everyone for getting through the last two strange weeks, I'm sure we've all earned a bit of a break. That's no excuse to just sit in front of a screen though. Make sure you are still getting your exercise and there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do do that don't involve devices which I have added to the class page. Check back through the blog archive and the weblink sub-pages for ideas.
I am so sorry that I did not record a chapter of 'Fly Me Home' yesterday I didn't get back from school until around six o'clock and I was exhausted and smelly after making this awesome fire:
I promise I will add at least one more chapter today and will keep reading during the Easter holidays (though perhaps not every day). I have added the answers to the reading comprehension today as well as some decimals activities to the maths page. I won't be blogging for the next couple of weeks but please keep emailing me with photos, ideas and updates, I genuinely love reading them.
Below I have added some photos of a great idea for a time capsule. Although it is a horrible time right now, we are going through a major event in world history. It may be interesting to make your own personal record of it.
Don't forget the art challenge, be good to your family and remember:
Stay safe, stay happy, stay curious and stay YOU!
Thursday 2nd April 2020
Why hello there my lovelies, and another chilly grey morning is upon us. I'm hoping that we get some lovely warming Easter sunshine soon, nothing like a bit of Vitamin D to help you feel at peace with the world.
I'm going to be heading into school (remember that place!?) at one o'clock today to help look after and have some fun with our delightful key worker children. Perhaps I'll see Jed, Martin or Charlotte. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll see all three. I hope you are all keeping busy and well out there and following the correct rules and restrictions.
Please keep in contact over Easter and let me know if there are any other activities, ideas or resources that you would like me to put up on the class pages. I'm looking forward to watching 'Avengers: Endgame' this weekend and I've also just invested in the Disney+ channel so I'll be overdosing on 'The Simpsons' and Disney Pixar movies as well as masses of Easter Eggs. I will provide the occasional updates and will keep reading 'Fly Me Home' most days. Today I have uploaded a new reading comprehension to the Reading sub-page (answers up tomorrow). I'll put up a new maths activity tomorrow and here's an idea for an indoor scavenger hunt:
Here is a link to some science experiments you can do at home and this is a video of 10 easy science experiments. Have fun and let me know how you get on.
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Hey you guys, happy Wednesday! Three more home learning days until the Easter holidays and all those chocolate eggs. I'm hoping to get a cheese egg this year, fingers crossed. I don't know about where you live, but my local community has gotten closer during these turbulent times. Our street now has its'own WhatsApp group and we have been helping each other out with the things we need. One neighbour gave us four eggs so we could make a delicious Victoria sponge, while another made us a gorgeous loaf of sourdough bread. Today, we are going to make some homemade shortbread to return the favour. Hopefully people will continue to be this friendly and helpful when it is all over. Why not write down any examples of communities coming together that you have experienced?
Today I have uploaded a video of Michael Rosen reading 'Chocolate Cake', just for giggles and have added a link to Literacy Shed's free reading comprehension resources to the Reading sub-page.
Keep working hard and...
Stay safe, stay happy, stay curious and stay you.
PS Don't forget the 25 day drawing challenge
Tuesday 3rd March 2020
Morning gang, I don't really have a lot to say today apart from let's keep on going. Oh yeah, I borrowed the school Macbook and am using it to record some songs for my best mate's 40th birthday. When we were about 15/16 (I'm old, I forget) we used to go to his shed at the bottom of his garden and play and write songs. I've chosen 3 of the best/most memorable and am 'professionally' recording them using the Garageband app. Maybe I'll let you hear them when they're all finished...if you're interested.
Anyway, I've posted a video of home learning tips that your parents may be interested in, a BBC science clips link to the weblinks page (in case you are missing your science), inspiring indoor ideas from the Scouts and some non-screen activity ideas too! I will add a new writing task tomorrow and a reading comprehension on Thursday. Keep up with your Maths and English but also try to do something fun and different every day. I hope you are still enjoying 'Fly Me Home'. I know I am!
Remember to keep e-mailing me with what you are up to and if there is anything you need help with or would like to see on the website.
Stay safe, stay happy, stay curious and stay you.
PS Don't forget the 25 day drawing challenge
Monday 30th March 2020
Hey there year 5, I hope you had a good weekend, even though they're not much different to the week these days! I downloaded the 'Houseparty' app and spoke to my friends and family in big groups. It was fun but I still miss hugging them. We also watched 'Avengers: Infinity War' and are now very close to the end of the MCU, its sad but I can't wait to see how things turn out in 'Endgame'! Every now and then we feel a bit down, but going out for out daily exercise usually solves that. Make sure you are getting fresh air every day, it really helps.
I've uploaded a new weekly task grid filled with learning ideas for the coming week. I have also added links to videos on the Writing, Maths and Reading sub pages to help you with your tasks. I encourage you to try the White Rose Maths website where there are excellent lessons and resources to continue to support your mathematical learning. There is also a lovely YouTube channel from artist Lillian Gray with loads of free lessons to help you improve your drawing skills. I've added a sample lesson below. If you like animals, check out the Edinburgh Zoo website where you can watch live webcams of a selection of the animals during the day.
Remember to keep e-mailing me with what you are up to and if there is anything you need help with or would like to see on the website.
Stay safe, stay happy, stay curious and stay you.
PS Don't forget the 25 day drawing challenge!
Friday 25th March 2020
Morning homeschoolers! Well done for getting to the end of the first week, I'm sure you've all done brilliantly. I'm not sure what it is, but I seem to find schooling one child even more tiring than thirty. To this end, we will be taking things a bit more lightly and creatively today. Jack will be: checking in with his school's Google Classroom page, drawing a front cover for his own autobiography, writing the next chapter of his story, Facetiming his best friend Isaac and then for Goldentime (yes, Goldentime, why not!?) we will be heading back to the woods to improve and accessorise our den.
Why not take things a bit more easily today, yourselves? Try a bit of mindfulness, draw, make or build something. I've added a picture of a 25 day drawing challenge below if you fancy giving that a try. I will not be adding much more to the sub-pages apart from answers to the reading comprehension, a relative clauses video and some photographs of home learning from yesterday. Also click on this link to find details of a virtual tour of Chester Zoo - gates open at 10am!
If you fancy being taught by a celebrity, why not try the following timetable:
9.00am - PE with Joe Wicks https://youtu.be/6v-a_dpwhro
10.00am - Maths with Carol Vorderman www.themathsfactor.com
11.00am - English with David Walliams https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/
12.00pm - Lunch (cooking with Jamie Oliver) https://www.jamieoliver.com/feat…/category/get-kids-cooking/
1.00pm - Music with Myleene Klass https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQh2wgJ5tOrixYBn6jFXsXQ
1.30pm - Dance with Darcey Bussel https://twitter.com/diversedance…/status/1241098264373592065
2.00pm - History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days) https://tv.historyhit.com/signup/package
4.00pm - Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri) https://www.instagram.com/theocooks
Full list: https://skintdad.co.uk/free-online-classes-for-kids/
Non-daily events include:
Science with Professor Brian Cox, Robin Ince & Guests https://cosmicshambles.com/stayathome/upcoming-schedule
9.30am Wednesday 25 March - Geography with Steve Backshall https://twitter.com/SteveBacksha…/status/124205884694171238
I will continue to read 'Fly Me Home' over the weekend.
Thursday 26th March 2020
Hello everyone in webworld! I've been up since 7 O'clock making some changes to the class page. It was beginning to get a bit cluttered with all the videos and websites that I was adding. I have now deleted the 'Videos' sub-page and have instead put them in the relevant subject sub-pages, so the video for the bus stop method is now on the maths page. Also, instead of seeing the videos as a large YouTube images, they will now be embedded in the text on the page. You will be able to tell which words are links because they will be in green and if you hover over them your cursor will turn into a hand.I hope that this makes the pages more streamlined and easier to navigate.
Anyway, on with today. I will be in school this afternoon with Elliot and Miss White working with the few children of key workers that are still coming to school. Apparently, there were only seven children in yesterday! It's good to see that people are following the government's advice. This morning I will be working with my son on his school work and video calling with my mum and dad. It is important to stay in touch with friends and relatives during these times and video calling is a nice way to feel closer to them even if you are not in the same physical space.
For your work today, I would love you to try some creative writing. There are many ideas and resources on the 'Writing Tasks' sub page as well as a video below giving you some great tips. If you like nature, the 'Iver Environment Centre' are running Facebook Live sessions every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 am. Each session will cover a different topic in nature such as parts of a plant, water nymphs and larvae and seeds. The link is on the green words above. I have also added some maths questions and a video on column addition to the maths page, and a reading comprehension to the reading page. Remember to try to do at least one Maths and English activity per day. There will also be a new hat, cuddly and chapter later on.
Remember to think of at least one thing you are thankful for every day.
Until tomorrow then.
Wednesday 25th March 2020
Good morning you delightful people, I hope you had a restful sleep after all the interesting work you were up to yesterday. It was lovely to receive so many emails and photographs of your learning, I have uploaded them all to the photos sub-page so make sure you have a look. I'm typing this blog as I watch 'Spongebob' with my son (you can't beat a bit of the porous yellow idiot!) and we're looking forward to another day of fun filled home-learning. We're going to be working on our times tables, story writing and heading to Waterford Heath for a nature walk. We will be looking out for interesting rocks to paint (thanks for the idea Lijana) and maybe building a den.
Today is a bit 'Mathsy' and I've uploaded a video on the 'bus stop method' as well as some division questions on the maths sub-page. I've also included a link to 'The Maths Factor' website which is an awesome resource covering every area of maths which is now FREE to register. Go on sign up and become a maths genius! I'm also going to put some pictures to stimulate creative writing, story starters and a planning grid on the 'Writing Tasks' sub-page to guide your writing as well as a reminder of the non-negotiables. I know, I'm too good to you.
Remember to take some time to have some fun and do something for yourself each day as well as looking after your family during these interesting times. Try to do something that helps someone else today and keep living the school values.
PS I think I forgot to save my video of 'Fly Me Home' until quite late yesterday, so check it out today if you missed it. If you want a 'shout out' or for me do do/say anything in particular during the video, please let me know in the comments or via e-mail. You never know, I might do it. Peace out.
PPS COMPETITION!!! If you would like to redesign the 'Welcome to Year 5' text at the top of this page, please email it to me and I'll upload a winner on Monday next week.
Tuesday 24th March 2020
Good morning year 5 and welcome to day 2 of the home learning experience! It's a lovely day outside and I've just come back from Bengeo cricket ground where I have given my son, Jack, a PE lesson. We did frisbee throwing, football and bike riding, not bad eh? Make sure you get out for some exercise and fresh air once a day, particularly while the weather is so nice. Later, I'm going to be planning a story with Jack later about a peanut and a dog that time travel! We will also be doing some handwriting and Maths. Please try to do at least one Maths and English activity a day, don't let those lovely brains turn to mush!
Today, I have uploaded a video about using the skill of inference when reading, you can put this skill to the test when reading a free ebook from 'Oxford Reading Owl' (the link is on the reading sub-page). I have also added a link to the Brain Pop website which has loads of amazing games and activities in all subject areas. I will be adding creative writing ideas to the writing sub-page too, if you fancy using your imagination. Remember, I don't need you to do activities from the Weekly Activities grid as long as you are doing something educational every day.
I'm glad that so many of you were in contact yesterday, whether through e-mail or commenting on my YouTube video, it's nice to know you are there. (Lily, I will not be downloading TikTok, neither will I be doing a 'last to leave the sofa challenge'. I am trying to keep things at least vaguely educational and my only videos will be of 'Fly Me Home'.) I have added some photos that have been e-mailed to me. Keep in touch and keep working hard.
PS - Tomorrow at 9.30am Steve Backshall will be doing an online home school class on his Facebook page. Give it a look.
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Hey guys, I know its Sunday but as I'm in school tomorrow I thought I'd share this with you today. It feels very strange talking to you like this but I hope you're all logging on to see what's happening with me. I've just finished watching 'Black Panther' (me and the family are watching all the Marvel films in order) and am looking forward to watching 'Avengers: Infinity War' next. I've also been helping Jack spoil my wife with breakfast in bed and multiple cups of tea. Perhaps you could let me know what you have done for your mums on Mothers' Day. Above this 'blog' is a sub-page with some learning activities you can try this week and later on I will be filming myself reading the next chapter of 'Fly Me Home' in a stupid hat. Try to do at least a couple of activities a day and stick to a sensible routine. I have also added a video below to help you understand column subtraction; generate some of your own sums and complete them in your home learning book. Also check out the link below to explore 12 museums from around the world. I hope you are all keeping safe and well and I look forward to 'blogging you on Tuesday.
PS The videos and web pages that I put on each day will be deleted the following day and added to the 'Videos' and 'Weblinks' sub-pages above so that you can refer back to them at any time