Junior School Concert followed by TLAS Festive Community Celebration
Parents of Junior School children* welcome to attend our magical Junior School Singing Concert led by Merton Music Foundation in the Hall.
All of our community welcome to join us for mulled drinks and mince pies afterwards to celebrate the end of term and festive season (approx. time 3:15pm)
*Kinde children will be watching the concert on Wednesday morning. Kinde siblings may attend with parents on Thursday afternoon (afterschool clubs will be running as per normal). We do have limited capacity in the Hall so we appreciate your cooperation and welcome everybody for festive nibbles afterwards.
Friday 15th December
No after school clubs
End of Term
From all of us here at The London Acorn School, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful festive season.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year on Tuesday 9th January.
Welcome from our Headteacher
Dear school community,
As we draw near to the end of term, and reviewing our weekly editions of Nutshell since September, I realise that there are some very important areas of school life on which we do not often share what’s happening.
These are the transition times between lessons and breaktimes when the children go outside to play, visit the toilets and walk through the school on their way to activities.
It is my profound belief that these times are absolutely vital to the culture of any school, and they affect the quality of each child’s daily school life. I am really proud that we do not regulate the life of children at our school with whistles and bells, instead we keep it human and stress kindness and consideration for others, for school staff, the school environment and ourselves and our equipment. Here at Morden Cottage it is normal to see children helping each other find outdoor items and tidying their classrooms after activities and that is a testament to the hard work of our staff, who make a point of gently training children to take turns, take muddy boots off on the mat and create a relaxed atmosphere in the cloakrooms. Qualified visitors from other educational settings often remark on the positive behaviour culture that they observe in our pupils.
In the vibrant and dynamic environment of the school playground it is important to celebrate the diverse ways in which children express themselves. Each child brings a unique set of experiences, personalities and behaviour to play, as well as impulses appropriate to their age and stage. Younger juniors often just like to run around and be boisterous, older children like to chat. Usually we have two teachers on duty, one to oversee the play overall, another who acts as play coach for those who prefer a fun teacher led game, or those who need some support in negotiating play with others respectfully. Complex jumping , stepping or skipping games can help regulate the nervous system and build self esteem through mastery of skills and so these are encouraged. Sometimes we run some additional craft or construction play options indoors, so that those who are finding it hard to regulate, or just need a quiet spot can find focus and balance in lego or drawing.
Encouraging a spirit of inclusivity fosters a positive atmosphere on the playground, where every child feels accepted and belonging. We have spent most assemblies this term in group discussion about the value of laws and mutual respect. Ask your child in juniors if they can show you different areas where these values exist in British life and in our school life, using their thumb and fingers as a memory aid. This week we are focussing on being a positive bystander in our community.
However, as our pupils are human children and not Christmas angels, acts of unkindness can still happen. If we witness anything like this we are swift to apply immediate consequences and follow up. This might look like a reminder, a change to a different environment, a requirement to stay close and listen to a play coach, or even a chat with the head teacher. If a distinct negative pattern is emerging we may break it by asking for a child to remain at home for a short period, in line with our behaviour policy. Staff regularly liaise on bespoke strategies to swiftly adjust any patterns of behaviour that are not positive. If you have any concerns or observations, please feel free to reach out to our dedicated staff who are here to support both you and your child.
We kindly ask for your understanding and tolerance for the variety of behaviours exhibited by children who are not your own, through rubbing along together in good nature, strong boundaries and mutual understanding of expectations, we create an environment that promotes kindness, acceptance and diversity.
Thank you for your cooperation as we draw close to a harmonious end of term.
Warm wishes to you all for the coming season,
Announcements, Reminders and Important Information
We would like to wish the Hawkshaw-Burn family a heartfelt goodbye as they take their next educational steps.
Thank you for all your generous IT and marketing support to the school over the years; it has been hugely appreciated.
We wish Pippa, Mya and Ellie the best of luck for the future. Please come back and see us!
PLEASE TAKE HOME ALL BELONGINGS BY END OF TERM:
In order for the school to be deep cleaned over the holiday period, please can all belongings be taken home, including waterproofs and wellie boots, to be washed and/or cleaned at home before the new term begins. Please make sure your child returns to school on Tuesday 9th January with their full set of waterproofs, boots and spare clothes, clearly labelled. Thank you, much appreciated.
SPRING TERM CALENDAR 2024:
Please find attached at the end of this newsletter our Spring Calendar 2024.
We will be sharing more details about upcoming events in our weekly newsletter from January onwards, so keep reading to keep abreast with all the exciting and important things going on at The London Acorn School.
TERM DATES 2024-25:
Please take a look at our Term Dates webpage for newly released 2024-25 term dates.
Winter really has arrived. We extended the length of our daily walk, exploring different parts of the park. Walking warmed up our bodies. We visited many trees which included a big fallen tree that was covered by brambles, a tree wearing a green ivy jumper, a graceful pine, a ginkgo tree surrounded by its own smelly fruit and groups of smaller trees that we hugged to keep them warm. We really enjoyed the exploration and loved our tree friends!
It had been a busy and fun-filled week! On St. Nicholas’ Day, children came in puzzling about where their slippers were and surprised to find them in the classroom with sweet and juicy mandarins inside. Storyteller, Chris, visited us on Wednesday, sharing with us two fun and educational stories. It was amazing to see how children were able to read the underlying feelings expressed by Chris’s rich facial expressions and to concentrate for 45 minutes!
We carried on working with our Christmas crafts. From this week, older kinde children started to work in a group on their projects for 30 minutes daily. This will strengthen their team spirit, enhance their ability to focus, and prepare them for the transitional phonics and maths club in the new year.
Junior School News
We had a terrific time at the Polka Theatre watching The Snow Queen last week. It was wonderful to see the experience embed into the children’s work and play over the next few days. We’ve already heard children requesting that their parents take them again!
Willow Class made beautiful Christmas wreaths last week, using willow as the base for their weaving, and adorning these wreaths with ivy, ribbons and felt angels. We hope that they have survived the journey home and can be enjoyed by all the family over the festive season.
Birch Class have been testing the strength of different magnets, learning about attracting and repelling, as they took on the Scrapyard Challenge last week (ask Birch how many paperclips they were able to pick up!).
Chestnut Class have been learning to use more technical mathematical equipment, protractors and compasses, as they learn to measure angles and draw circles, discovering the concept of degrees.
Oak Class have been practising their persuasive writing skills as they advertise Norse holidays to Valhalla – a once in a lifetime experience!
Woodland Craft News
We played the Ants and Aphids game, and students assiduously collected the ‘golden leaves’ to represent the aphid’s honey-dew, and enjoyed role-playing gentle farmer ants and generous honey-dew-providing aphids. The role of the predatory spider was popular, too!
As flag printing has been a wish for a long time, four children got going with apple blocks, a broccoli stalk star shape, and some leaves. We ended with lighting fairy fires, with lots of good sparks, and in between all this, the children played imaginatively throughout the woodland. As usual, they helped carry the boards bag and the two rucksacks back to and from school, and are steadily growing with great energy and enthusiasm into a good Woodland Crafts team.
Instead of re-capping mutualism in Ants and Aphids (Birch loves this game too), the campfire became our main focus. Most of the children helped to set, light and nurture the fire, and after a warming tea sitting round it, the class gravitated to one of three groups. Lily and a few others looked under stones and flowerpots to see the garden inhabitants up close. Their observations were knowledgeable: ‘a beautiful giant leopard slug!’ or ‘ jumping spider’ or ‘infestation of woodlice’, bug eggs, worm poop, centipedes, a newt! Another group played the Scaredy Cat game, dodging around the polytunnel and greenhouse, and the third group did crafts. Handy with needles and thread, they made a string of beads to hang from the Christmas tree, and a small willow hoop,which was kindly gifted to the wreath that is on the school’s front door.
Chestnut and Oak Classes
The long-overdue honing of our rusty fire skills was much enjoyed, and students appreciated the different setting on this occasion. With great fairness and efficiency they cut and distributed the apple slices, toasted and ate them, managed the fire, and then either relaxed or did some expressive beading or felting. The plan for considering polar climates was postponed as the campfire alone felt like the perfect treat to follow the morning’s wonderful theatre visit.