Join our Headteacher for a Walk and Talk through Morden Hall Park to ask questions, share ideas and find out more about education in Birch Class.
Friday 6th October
Parent Workshop: The Importance of Imaginative and Creative Play
This workshop will be hosted by our Headteacher, Sarah Thorne, and Little Acorns Leader, Jo Pearce. Both have been involved in facilitating and observing children’s play for decades and both are passionate about the need for children’s play. Here is a brief overview of the areas we will be covering:
Child development theories and play – a ‘101’ brief walk through
What play is; play at different ages; the history of play; the differences between structured and unstructured play and how to balance them; what are toys; what are play resources; outdoor freedoms.
Play at school
Cues for complex and challenging play; cues to tinker; free play sessions and how we run them.
Play at home
Fostering play through toys and resources; fostering play through the home environment.
Play and inclusion
How we support inclusive play at school; the continuous goal of belonging.
Dens and home spaces
The comfort and freedom of a roof over your head. Why we have ‘den day’ at The London Acorn School.
Wednesday 11th October
(7:15 pm – 8:15 pm)
Community Zoom: Our School and its Ethos
Sarah Thorne and Zoe Everett will be hosting this webinar.
More information and zoom invitations coming soon.
Friday 13th October
Chestnut Walk and Talk
Join our Headteacher for a Walk and Talk through Morden Hall Park to ask questions, share ideas and find out more about education in Chestnut Class.
Welcome from our Headteacher
This is the week when we can truly say that the business of autumn term is whirring and the groups are gelling. Walking around school today and popping into lessons, I see Willow coming to grips with their number formation and feeling so proud of working hard; Birch absolutely flying as a group as they lay the foundations of understanding narrative; whilst Chestnut/Oak students demonstrate complete engagement as they work together to invent a board game based on Viking trading routes. Teamwork is everywhere and so is concentration and self-management. Just from the feel of the school, it feels like a great year of attainment is building.
And the source of all of this is play, the children’s work and the true central business of childhood. Through cooperative play they rehearse for the teamwork that will be so necessary later in life. Through unstructured, independent play they acquire the self management skills and creative problem solving that make for independent learners and leaders. Through physical play they hone the gross and fine motor skills they will need to play football, touch type or even perform surgery in future. Please join me on Friday morning after drop off if you can. We will workshop how to support play through every age group through to adulthood when it doesn’t disappear but becomes bright, engaging creative dialogue both spoken and written, delight in physical skill and creative making whilst also morphing into a host of other valuable skills and pursuits.
The capabilities to learn and play fully rest on the twin supports of sleep and nutrition and so, having consulted all stakeholders, from families to children to teaching staff, tomorrow we are changing the schedule we run with no change to our existing school drop off and pickup times. This is to enable a full hour for eating lunch and playing in the middle of the day, whilst retaining half an hour mid-morning play break. The only change we ask from home for tomorrow is to ensure that snacks for mid morning break are fully portable and can be easily eaten anywhere. Thank you for your contributions to this consultation.
Please also note our change to school calendar due to an INSET day.
Announcements, Reminders and Important Information
Updated Summer Term Dates:
Please note that children will now return on Tuesday 16th April for Summer Term 2024 in line with Hall School Wimbledon Term Dates. Please find all our term dates here: Term Dates 2023-24
TLAS Postcard Competition:
Do your children love arts and craft? Enjoy painting or drawing at home? Well, we are launching this year’s TLAS Postcard Competition.
We are seeking colourful, original children’s designs of our beautiful school and surroundings to turn into our very own postcards. We’d love to see your creations. Everyone is welcome to enter from Little Acorns, Kindergarten and the Junior School.
Please hand your design into the School Office (A6 size is ideal, but can be scaled down if need be).
The closing date is Friday 20th October. Let’s get creative!
Long Hair Reminder:
Please can all children come to school with their hair tied-up if they have shoulder length or longer hair. This is to ensure a hygienic and safe working environment for all. Thank you for your cooperation.
Growing and Outdoor Spaces:
The school has a number of growing spaces that we would like to use for class projects throughout the school, from Kindergarten to our oldest classes Chestnut and Oak. We are also exploring how we can optimise our back garden outdoor space for more play activities.
To make the most of these spaces we will need help from across the community, from weeding parties and woodchip path laying in our Grow Space by the NT overflow carpark, to building items for outdoor play in the back garden.
We are trying to get some community groups together. If you feel that you have anything to contribute (plants/resources/time/expertise) to our Growing and Outdoor Spaces please let Sarah know firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coach Jody’s Half-Term Sports Camp:
Book your spot for our half-term camp 23 Oct – 3 Nov.
It is Michaelmas. A time to celebrate the harvest from our work in previous seasons and a time to take on new tasks. In Kindergarten, after the initial warming up period, children’s play themes are growing more varied, as well as narratives and new vocabulary from stories and circle time being incorporated into their play.
Older Kindergarten children are keen to work on maths, weaving, woodwork and skipping; younger ones are enthusiastic about every activity that is on offer. Last week, we used colourful leaves collected from the park to create leafy bearded gnomes. Some children made conkers into necklaces while some are visiting sleeping snails in the bushes. In mid week, the whole Kindergarten said, “Happy Birthday!” To dear Sebastian. We were so excited to help shaping dragon eggs on the day of Harvest Festival and shared a really joyful time with the families!
Junior School News
Willow Class have enjoyed retelling the story of Aladdin as they blend phonics practice with storytelling in Literacy. In Maths, students have been focusing on their number bonds to 10, which will act as a foundation for more advanced addition and subtraction calculations.
In Maths, Birch Class have been creating calendars to help with their understanding of time and counting on practice. Birch Class have also completed their instructional writing on how to use a bow drill to make a fire.
Chestnut Class have been carrying our air resistance experiments in Science, looking at ideas of surface area and streamlining in creating different parachutes for an egg. This has led to a temporary class mascot of a hard-boiled egg called Eggy! Chestnut Class have also started reading Tony Bradman’s Viking Boy, and we are excited to join Gunnar on his adventure.
Oak Class are currently studying World War 1 as a theme in Literacy and are looking at personal family experiences of WW1 with a view to writing a biography. As the 105th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the war will be in November, this feels like a good time to be exploring this theme, which will be done in a sensitive manner, with an emphasis on daily life in the trenches, and acknowledging the high mortality rates of this conflict as we do so.
Woodland Craft News
The children all helped to make a beautiful and ephemeral Leaf Dragon Spiral to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. There was enthusiastic mud play, making ‘soup’ and other tasty morsels from the soil. We also began acting out The Apple Tree Man story, which the children approached with gusto! More of that this week.
Back in the woods with sunny weather, we prepared our hedgerow fruits for jam-making, and used stones to grind four different colours of paint: charcoal black, chalk white, ochre yellow and ochre red. These last two sourced from the riverbeds in northern Australia, gifted by knowledgeable Aboriginal children. We will use these to make paintings using ancient styles and methods.
Chestnut and Oak Class
We celebrated the Equinox with autumn treasures round the lantern, a small feast with apple pieces and thoughts of gratitude.
Following on our work on animals, we considered what they might symbolise and mean to us. Looking at the sacred First Nation tradition of the Spirit Shield, students designed their own spirit shields using the elements, animals, birds, and plants. Some whittling and stream-wading was also enjoyed.