Upcoming Diary Dates

This week Event Details
Wednesday 7th February

10am

Little Acorns Open Day An opportunity to hear from our Parent and Toddler Lead, Jo Pearce, more about our stay and play Little Acorns group. Please book on by emailing jo@thelondonacornschool.co.uk 
Friday 9th February Break up for Half Term End of Half Term (after school clubs running as usual).

We look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 19th February.

Enjoy celebrating Lunar New Year this weekend (10th February, see ideas below)

First week back after Half Term Holidays

Event

Details

Monday 19th February Staff and Children back to school We look forward to welcoming you back to Spring Term 2.

Tuesday 20th February

Pancake Day It’s baking time in Morden Cottage! Such a treat as soon as we come back. TLAS will be providing pancakes for all children.

If your child has food intolerances, please provide your child with their own pancakes.

The school will be providing delicious maple syrup as a special topping. Please provide your child with the fruit topping of their choice to bring into school.

Welcome from our Headteacher

Welcome dear friends,
The end of Spring first half term is always a special time as it lies exactly halfway through the academic year and presents the opportunity to reflect and look forward to the future. This year I note how much interest we have had shown in our school, through Open Days, the Independent Schools Show, and general enquiries, especially in Kindergarten.

On Wednesday morning (7th February) we are holding a special event for families attending Little Acorns and considering the next step into Kindergarten, this is the unique opportunity to experience Kindergarten activities, from bread making to circle time. If you have a friend considering Kindergarten, this is a really useful way of finding out what exactly happens there, and how our activities are delivered. We have just a couple of spots left for Wednesday but will also be running a similar ‘Window into Kindergarten’ workshop on 13th March.

So that we can serve our new families best, we would like to reflect on what brought you to The London Acorn School and how we are fulfilling your expectations, so look out for a parent survey coming your way very soon.

Meanwhile, our older children are taking first steps towards their next destination, with most children in Chestnut and Oak now established in their next choices. We are running a transition day to Hall School Wimbledon on Wednesday and, although this is the most popular destination, there are other amazing destinations in this group. What we particularly enjoy in the faculty is to hear how well children are doing in their schools once they leave our doors, and sometimes we hear from the schools themselves asking for ‘more like this’. The sort of feedback we receive is often about independent thinking but also the sense of self-reliance and drive to learn which they see in children from our school. Three more half terms to go, and we are thinking of further ways in which we can build in those essential qualities for the century ahead. Watch this space!

Best wishes,

Sarah

Announcements, Reminders and Important Information

HELLO AND GOODBYE:

Kindergarten were delighted to welcome Xiomara last week into Bluebell Kindergarten. We hope you have had a very happy start to school.

As we welcome new faces, we must also bid farewell to some.

We wish Audrey and her family all the best as they move to Spain and start their new life there. We wish you all the best; please do stay in touch because you will be deeply missed by children and staff. Buen viaje!

HOW NOT TO BE BORED IN THE HOLIDAYS:

How not to be bored in the holidays
This morning in assembly Martin talked to the children about three things to try at home over half term.
  • Dodgeball – using soft balls or sponges if there is a group of children
  • Redesign an existing board game. There are infinite possibilities here but doubling dice or using dice with more than six sides are good options. Please share your solution with Martin if you have a great one when you return from half term.
  • Make a Lunar New Year Dragon design. This could be made out of anything, from seashells to cardboard to a drawing. If your image is bigger than a sheet of paper take a photograph. We will be displaying your Lunar New Year dragons when we get back to school on 19th February.

READY STEADY READ FOR WORLD BOOK DAY!

Letters will be sent to parents this week about our sponsored read after half term.

World book day will be celebrated at our school on Monday 11th March. So many children love dressing up for it, we also have activities for children who prefer to celebrate in other ways.
Kindergarten: Our kindergarten groups are working with Sibylle von Olfers‘s The Story of the Root Children. If your child wishes to, they may dress up as a flower or plant. Homemade costumes only please.
Junior School: Your child may dress as any character from a book. We will have the opportunity to make a small presentation in school so please can they bring the book with them that features their character. If their costume has a headpiece, please can they enter school with the headpiece off, to avoid reactions from younger children who might find some headpieces a bit of a shock to see!  Homemade costumes only please.

GROW SPACES – COMMUNITY CLEAR UP:

We will be running a community clear up of our allotment grow spaces on the morning of Friday 13th March, for an hour and a half after drop off. If you fancy joining in, please bring along your boots and a spade or trowel. We are aiming to get the little paths woodbarked and the edges of the beds painted.

BIRCH TO TAKE PART IN FRENCH PILOT – LES PUCES:

In our drive to maximise learning engagement, modern foreign languages are not forgotten. Spanish Club is proving a big hit and we are now starting an initiative in French. This is the innovative, friendly and engaging Les Puces programme. Howard, our French specialist, will be delivering this programme initially to Birch next half term, and we will carefully monitor, with a view to rolling out with other groups. Birch parents will be contacted with full details on this well resourced programme.

SNACKS FOR JUNIORS:

Dear Parents, please provide your child with adequate breaktime snacks to satisfy them until lunchtime. Suggestions include: fruit, healthy snack bars, vegetable samosas, sandwiches, healthy muffins, breadsticks and oatcakes.

EASTER HOLIDAY CAMP WITH COACH JODY:

Kindergarten News

It felt very eventful in Kindergarten this week. As well as the usual veg chopping, baking and painting activities, we laid small pieces of petals, herbs and leaves in ice cube trays and carefully pour in water to make ice cubes for the Imbolc celebration; shaped beeswax or clay to make stands for our colourful beeswax candles; and glued the eyes, eyelashes and beard of the dragon to finish the dragon heads!

Ideas were flourishing during free play time: there were divers gathering rubbish in polluted sea; sea creatures moving about looking for food; travellers boarding aeroplanes; good friends celebrating birthdays; sailors sailing on a big boat; engineers testing the cars on different structures…etc. Children were really enthusiastic in re-enacting the “Mother Holle” story. Some of them could remember their lines very well without any reminders!

At outdoor time, we visited the shy spring messengers – snow drops – and sang a little song for them. With warmth-filled hearts, we happily admired the many beautiful ice sculptures on the branches at the festival. Some children challenged themselves climbing trees or skipping with a big rope and showed us their proud smiles under the warm winter sun. What a wonderful week!

And most wonderful of all, we welcomed Xiomara into our Kindergarten!

Junior School News

Willow Class have worked really hard on being a cohesive class this half term. They are now super quick at responding to instructions, helping others and listening carefully. They’ve made great strides in their academic work and engage with all their creative lessons with wonderful curiosity and energy. You all deserve a good rest over the holidays!

Birch Class continue to explore Scotland. We have made it to the Shetland Isles and the land of the Wulver, writing postcards back home about our experiences.

Chestnut and Oak Class have been working on geometry and the anatomy of circles in Maths. In English, they have been using a Story Mountain to plan adventure stories. They have also been working with a model with clay, earth and sand of the water table.

Woodland Craft News

Willow Class

Students gathered the contents for their ice sculptures, learning as they went:  lichen on twigs, alder cones, a half-green, half-brown ivy leaf, yew twigs, skeleton leaves, or maybe just a single twig! They were delighted to discover a clutch of translucent little eggs in a hollowed out part of a log, as they experimented with percussive sounds on deadwood. These were probably snail or slug eggs, which we carefully covered up again.

We tackled sail boats and got more to grips with the problems of keeping them upright in water. They played rock, paper, scissors, peeled sticks and made magic wands. Some practised their knotting. We returned via the meadow, visiting last week’s mini Truffula wood. It was a bit blown away but we quickly restored it.

Birch Class

The shoulder straps / tool belts project got started by a small group, while others practised knotting, whittling, creature – making using natural materials, and weaving skills. One made a ‘woodland stick which heals the woodlands’ while another made a magic wand that helps plants grow. A new birch-brash cushion passed the quality control:  ‘It’s very comfortable!’ Together we played ‘what animal or bird am I?’ a form of 20 questions, and Coo-whit. We learned the bluetit’s song, and, most amazingly, heard calls from a real bluetit that seemed to be responding to our recorded bird book one!

Oak and Chestnut Class

A brief gleam of sunshine lit the ice-sculptures suspended near the Kinde tree, while the enactment of the Story of Brigid was done with commitment and flourish by Oak and Chestnut students. They helped tidy the site too and were generally superstars. We paused to play Bat and Moth under the vast horse chestnut tree on our way  along the river path. Once at the woodland, we relaxed, played games, and decided on a plan for next week, the last before half-term. A makers’ observation:  we found blue latex gloves very tricky to peel away when used for an ice sculpture:  the thicker yellow rubber gloves are easier, and re-usable afterwards too.

Imbolc Festival Gallery

Poetry Corner

The Explosions of Life by Damien Hurwitz

The explosions of life…

2kg of liquid nitrogen.

5kg of laughing gas.

10kg of results.

0.00kg of nothing.

9kg of pipettes.

The explosions of me…

50kg of thought.

90kg of Africa.

100kg of atoms.

2kg of technology.

9kg of courage.

Spring Calendar 2024

In a Nutshell Newsletter 29th January: Imbolc Celebration