KISU Primary Newsletter

Number 510................................ 5th February 2022

Director's Message

You will notice that for the first time in a long while we have split our newsletter into separate Primary and Secondary newsletters. This is a reflection of the huge steps we have made in getting back to the vibrant and holistic school KISU was before the introductions of COVID restrictions

Here is a conversation I had in the car park this week:

Young Primary student "I know you, you're the principal. You are very important"

Me "I'm not important, if I didn't come to school, school would still continue. If the children don't not come to school we would have no school"

Mom "Yes I suppose without the children we just have buildings and trees"

This very short conversation reflects all of our feelings about having students back on campus. A school is not a school without children - no matter how good the online learning is.

We didn't just miss children, we also missed interacting with parents. We are currently organising a number of events that will bring our parents and teachers together. The first of these will be a 'meet the teacher' coffee afternoon on Thursday 10th February. This will simply be an opportunity to meet teachers and get to know the people who are teaching your children. Discussions on pupils' progress will follow soon after half term.

It was brought to my attention this week that a parent had made the comment that they had not been able to see me since October. The fact that a parent felt this way was quite upsetting. I am happy to see parents at any time. I would prefer parents to make an appointment but if they just drop in that is fine as long as I am not teaching or in another meeting. You will find me in reception every morning and most evenings. Please do not feel that I don't want to listen to your opinions. I particularly welcome the parent who popped in just to say how happy their child was - that really makes my day!

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What's happening in Primary

This week we bring back separate KISU Newsletters for the first time in a long time! It is great to have so much to showcase to parents these days. We hope that our newsletters give you a good insight into what is happening around our busy and beautiful campus throughout the week.

It’s well proven that the physical school environment maximizes learning potential for all children. Their social development, as in socialization with peers and teachers, is so important and gained through interaction and this is so natural in the classroom unlike online –where most children were on their own, in isolated boxes on the screen albeit in the same Google Classroom or meeting!

Thank you parents for your support whist we delivered our curriculum online and thank you for helping to make the transition back to physical in-school learning smooth.

A key focus across the school is to build in communication and language skills through promoting speaking and listening across all aspects of the curriculum. The shift back to practical, hands on learning, investigative tasks and a collaborative approach to learning has been immediately planned for by teachers and is proving so exciting, fun and beneficial to all.

With face-to-face interaction being proven to enhance learning for every child, children are working in groups, with partners and in teams again to get the most out of their learning.

Gosh That's Gory!

The Year 6 students have been studying the circulatory system as part of their 'Gosh That's Gory' topic. Students have learned about the flow of blood from the heart into the body through arteries, and the return of the deoxygenated blood back to the lungs and heart through veins. The pictures show diagrams that the Year 6 students completed; a demonstration of the functions of our heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries. The students had great fun creating these collages with glue, string and other art resources and had a gloopy gory time!
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Reception children are so busy!

Let's Celebrate!

Year 1 children have fully embraced their new topic this term under the theme, 'Let's Celebrate'. In Art and Design the children have discussed different events and some well known festivals. Through producing 'firework artwork' and 'lovely lanterns' the children have explored the concepts of colour, pattern, line and shape so far and have gained transferable skills and developed social and emotional aspects of learning across the curriculum. I love the concentration on all of the children's faces as they thread tiny beads onto their wire handles for their tin lanterns. The room was so silent, you could hear a pin, I mean 'bead', drop! The children can't wait to write their wishes and hope messages for someone special next week and assemble their lanterns, then light them to send the wishes on their way.
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Year 2 Map Makers

This week in topic, Year 2 have been working on their map skills and shape knowledge at the same time. Students have been studying aerial photographs of fascinating places around the world, then they made a giant aerial map of the classroom together and finally created their own mini classroom aerial maps. Next they plan to work on adding a key to help you know what each shape is showing.

Please Mr Garbett...

The Year 4 students have been working hard this week on writing persuasive letters to Mr. Garbett about including some new clubs at KISU. They have come up with some convincing arguments to open up clubs such as DJ club, comic club, cheerleading club, art club, nature club, Minecraft club and many more! We hope our letters will be convincing and the primary students will be able to choose from a variety of new clubs in the upcoming terms. What do you think, Mr. Garbett?

Don't Let the Pigeon...'

Year one loved presenting their Don’t Let the Pigeon ……. non-fiction texts which included rules and commands with extended sentences. The pupil's writing was inspired by Mo Willen’s ‘Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus’ and ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late’. What amazing extended sentences!

It is so lovely to see the remnants of a successful day of learning around the campus each day!

· fresh paintings on the drying racks,

· topic information posters stuck on the walls,

· sand pies in the early years mud kitchen role play area,

· and lost property left lying all over the place! – never again will I complain about scooping up so many abandoned drink bottles and hats at the end of each day!

This Weeks Primary Super Learners

Critical Thinking:

Its so easy to give an answer to a question whether it be an academic question such as a mathematical calculation or a scientific question such as how does a beanstalk grow! However, if we then consider 'why' this is the answer or 'how and why' a process occurs, then we begin to think much deeper and critically evaluate and analyze. These higher order thinking skills are what we promote here at KISU to help all children develop understanding and reasoning, from KG2 all the way up to Year 6. Some of our teacher's favourite phrases are...

"How do you know that?"

"Can you explain to me how you got that answer?"

"Can you tell a friend why your answer is different to theirs"

"Is there another way to solve this, how many other ways?"

"Could this still work if...?"

Important: First answers are not always right! Critical thinking can help children to self correct their mistakes. Mistakes can be one of the most powerful ways of learning once they are realized and put right!

Critical Thinking Certificates are awarded to:

KG2: Shloka Reddy

KG3: Nylah Ndagire

Reception: Rayan Fazeli

Year 1: Vivaan Modi.

Year 2: Francella Wijaya

Year 3: Michimasa Usui.

Year 4:Poorna Sen and Ahmet Efe Eryilmaz

Year 5: Gabriella Latigo and Samwiri Karugire

Year 6: Bashir Adan

Well done all, for explicitly demonstrating such powerful thinking!

Some important reminders...

School Photographs, Uniform and Snacks.

As you are aware, school photographs are planned in for next week on Monday and Tuesday. Please can I remind all parents that children are expected to wear their green polo shirts and kaki shorts for their class, individual and sibling pictures. If your child is timetabled to have PE, then they can still come in their PE kit but will need to pack their green top and khaki shorts, so, no coloured house tops next week as we usually allow on the first Monday of each month - sorry!

An observation brought to attention by students themselves, is snacks. Although we are a nut-free school, we are also a healthy school. Teachers and staff all help KISU students to make good choices and beneficial healthy choices everyday. Snacks are creeping into school from full English breakfasts to chocolate bars and doughnuts! Although we all need some sugars and fats as a small part of a healthy diet, the rubbish bins are speaking for themselves! Thank you to the children who raised this.

Lastly, although we are all amazing at KISU for remembering to wear our masks continuously and stick to SOPs, our spare mask supply is depleting quickly! Please remember to bring your mask every day, in fact pack a spare one just in case you lose it or it breaks; this is much appreciated and thank you!

In considering the health and mental wellbeing of the whole KISU family – the new back to school daily routine for children, staff and parents, is an important factor and a positive knock onto many things…

The busy and eventful days help both children and adults to have well needed quality sleep, days are full of non-stop activity again and the week is demandingly tiring – improved sleep obviously helps children to focus and concentrate and is essential for general wellbeing and emotional stability and security

Children are so excited to be back with their friends and to be meeting new friends, they are motivated, enthusiastic and somewhat zealous! (Outdoor sessions such as PE and playtimes are fun-filled, full of energy and loud (in a good way) and classrooms are buzzing again. Teachers have created inviting learning spaces for their children and the school is vibrant in terms of the learning that is happening.

Every nook and cranny

Not all children choose to join in with the energetic, physical games on the playing field and it makes me smile when I turn around a corner to find a child or group of children enjoying self initiated quiet tasks in pockets and corners around the campus at snack times, break times and lunch times.

Coming up...

Parent Conferences

Parent - Teacher Meetings are essential to bridging home and school and we all know that children who are supported at home 'do better'! Teachers will hold 15 minute appointments with parents to discuss their child's attainment, their child's progress, where they are performing in terms of the 'expected level of performance' for this stage in the year and any learning gaps that may have occurred due to online learning or any other reason. It is also an opportunity to share successes and for parents to ask any questions and raise any points that they wish to, following our successful transition back to physical learning.

Parent Conferences in Primary will take place on the first Tuesday and Thursday back after half term (Tuesday 22nd February and Thursday 24th February) at the end of the school day. Once again, details will be sent next week with clarity of times and how book appointments.

Phonics Workshop - A Guide for Parents

KISU Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are planning to invite parents of KG3, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children to a parent workshop on Phonics and Early Reading & Writing. The objectives of the workshop are as follows:

• To share how phonics is taught at KISU;

• To share examples of phonics activities and resources;

• To begin to understand the different stages in phonics development & progression;

• To share/understand systematic phonics instruction and phonics terminology;

• To be aware of what children should know and by when;

• To see how phonics is assessed;

• To develop understanding and confidence in helping children with phonics and early reading and writing.

This will happen after half term during the first week back and we will send further information next week once we have confirmed the date, time.

We hope to see you there to help you know how to best support your child at home to embed the fundamentals of reading and writing to be built upon in Key Stage 2.

Have a restful weekend!

Mrs Wise