I am sure that many of you, just like the staff at Rosedale House, our pupils and I, are welcoming the arrival of a half term break. It has been mentally tiring adhering to our safety standards and ensuring that our high levels of hygiene have remained a key focus during the last seven weeks. I would like to praise the maturity and respect that our pupils have shown one another and our wider school community. These are definitely unusual and uncertain times but Rosedale House continues to be a hub of curiosity and engagement. Whilst limitations are in place governing curriculum opportunities, you will read that we have not abandoned our strong educational ethos of providing inspiring opportunities for our young learners.
I have mentioned our Inspire me project previously and now more than ever do we need to tap into our parental expertise. With external visits on hold we are very keen to bring further opportunity into our classrooms. This half term we have included a number of events delivered by external speakers and these events have been a significant highlight for our pupils.
We would love to hear from you, should you feel that you could spend some time with us. Linking to your child’s class/year group or whole school via a Google Meet or Zoom can provide an invaluable opportunity for our pupils to listen and see modern industry and workplace. Please do get in contact with Mr West firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to help facilitate the meeting.
The learning habit responsibility has been this half term’s focus and I was pleased to be able to award a number of certificates for responsibility during my Friday assembly this week (these will be arriving in your inboxes over the next few days). The beginning of this term also saw our Year 6 pupils produce and prepare videos and posters in preparation for their campaign to be voted in as House Captain or Sports Captain for the year ahead. The energy that this group of pupils applied to the process was impressive and highlights their desire to take on roles of leadership. I was very pleased to congratulate the following pupils on their new positions of responsibility:
Imogen and Arsalan
Amy and Radha
Poppy and Lara
Elisabeth and Joshua
Hebe and Kuzey
Natalie and Niketh
Nadia and Louis
In addition to these roles there are further opportunities for our pupils to develop their skills of responsibility; by being a part of our eco-committee, school council or by being a form leader for example. These roles handover during the year and should be something that our pupils consider taking part in at some point.
I am also pleased that our new house point initiative is well underway. We are awarding pupils certificates for reaching particular milestones during the year. A number of pupils have already achieved their bronze award for collecting 25 house points and are well on their way to their silver award (50). I am hopeful that some will achieve the gold standard of 100 house points by September.
We have moved many areas of our school life onto a digital platform to ensure as much normality can be upheld as possible. Assemblies used to be a moment of whole school togetherness and, although this is currently not a physical possibility, we have kept up an engaging assemblies programme to help promote a school community. I was very pleased to welcome the Be Internet Legends team to a recent assembly. In collaboration with Google and Parent Zone our pupils enjoyed a very entertaining assembly that delivered key messaging on Internet safety.
Another element of our curriculum that saw a move towards a virtual platform was through the recent completion of our CATs assessment (cognitive ability tests). All pupils in Year 4, 5 and 6 completed these assessments online. The process was a huge success, perhaps one that would not have been considered pre-lockdown? Online access ensured that any pupil isolating at home was able to complete the tests and the rapid turnaround of results has allowed our teachers to put in swift interventions and amend any planning as necessary.
Our Year 6 pupils from across the Foundation also enjoyed a virtual visit from Beverley Naidoo, author of the book Journey to Jo’ burg. Year 6 joined via Google Meet to chat with Beverley about the book. Beverley wrote the book back in the mid 80’s after she was exiled from South Africa. It was a time of apartheid, with many dangers and injustice for those with dark skin. Beverley talked about her book and the characters within it. She answered challenging questions from children in all the classes about what she witnessed and how she felt about what she saw.
We have continued with our collaboration days that we have enjoyed running for the last number of years. Technology has again helped us to stay connected with our friends from Dame Bradbury’s during these integrated learning days.
Excitement levels were high on Tuesday 29 September as the Year 3 pupils from both Rosedale House and Dame Bradbury’s ‘embarked’ on a tropical trip to the Amazon Rainforest. A series of activities followed which were designed to encourage the pupils to use their critical and creative thinking skills.
A trading challenge was launched as our future engineers designed, made and tested a model system that could transport melons across the Amazon River. This solution-based task got the children thinking about how their ideas could end poverty and improve the living conditions of the people living in this unique environment. When the time came to test out whether the melons could be securely transported, or not, a mixture of sighs and squeals of delight could be heard as the goods either safely arrived or were snapped up by the caiman in the waters below.
After exporting tropical fruits, we had a go at creating our very own Jungle Juice, complete with branding. Our adorable Kawaii characters are sure to stand out on the supermarket shelves!
The Pringle Post Challenge took place in the afternoon. We worked in small groups to create sustainable packaging for our product. Each group was given a single Pringle crisp to package and put through the school internal post! Our packages were put through stress tests at school, to see if the packaging would be robust enough to survive the drop test and the side impact test!
Whatever the result there was no doubt that the children had experienced a wonderful day, full of activities to think through problems and form new remote-friendships.
Year 5 pupils enjoyed meeting with their counterparts from Dame Bradbury's on Thursday afternoon. With 22 Google Meets taking place simultaneously, the school was buzzing with chat and problem solving. Pupils produced promotional posters of countries, encouraging immigrants to live and work in their appointed country. Following this, groups had to work out the best way to migrate to the given country within a strict budget. There was much discussion, a good deal of Maths and some illegal passports being purchased! At the end of the session pupils felt they had learnt a great deal about migration, as summed up by Mohan, Tolga and Freddie, who learnt “how hard it is to budget and decide what to get with your money”. A hard lesson was also learnt by those with fake passports, who were turned away at the border! An enthusiastic and impressive effort made by Year 5s!
Another change to protocol has seen our Year 4 pupils working towards their performance of George and The Dragon in preparation for filming and sending their showcase home. New opportunities and experiences are being enjoyed by our Year 4s. Not being able to invite parents into school to enjoy Year 4’s performance has led to the development of extending their performance skills to ensure that the subtle nuances of stage setting, lighting and positioning translate into a screened recording. We look forward to sending this film home once it has been edited by our in-house production team.
Our Year 1 and 2 pupils have enjoyed some rather rainy forest school sessions of late. Well equipped in their waterproofs the pupil’s experiences, whilst at forest school, are wide ranging, often linked to their curriculum.
Whilst in the classroom Year 1 and 2 have been working very hard on their topics. There are some excellent insights and examples of work on our school Twitter page, if not already please follow us @SPFRosedaleHse.
Having both classes under the same roof has certainly added to developing the KS1 dynamic of Rosedale House. We look forward to the time when we can burst the class bubbles and further integrate these groups of children.
I wish everybody an excellent half term. It is not clear what the next half term will bring presently, but I have confidence in my team of staff; our pupils resolve and the support that they receive at home from our parents. We are in a good position to continue to thrive during these difficult times.
Head of Rosedale House
Technology Acceptable Use Policy
The Foundation has moved to a combined Technology Acceptable Use Policy for all pupils aged 3 and above. There are otherwise no significant changes to the policy. The policy can be accessed through our website.