March Newsletter 2021
Monthly Newsletter – March 2021
There have been so many memorable moments in Maxwell’s Primary Department this month. We celebrated World Book Day, got caught up in Lucky the Leprechaun’s mischief for St. Patrick’s Day, have taken to the kitchen to make a selection of international dishes and have begun to resume trips to take our learning outside the school grounds.
Miss Monica’s Class
A typical day in Reception and Year 1’s learning space is a busy one. The childrens’ well established routines mean that they take advantage of every moment of the day.
In English and Phonics the children have been increasing their awareness and understanding of print, consolidating their learning of the Set 1, 2 and 3 phonemes and graphemes with RWI Phonics, and are continuously expanding their vocabulary through drama, show & tell. Spending time exploring their role-play area, they’ve practiced new vocabulary with eachother, preparing and serving meals in their restaurant!
On World Book Day the children came to school as a host of characters/authors and enjoyed a range of activities inspired by the traditional tales they have been learning about. They baked delicious biscuits for Grandma. Thankfully the wolf didn’t manage to stop Little Red Riding Hood from delivering them!
Hands-on learning is so important in Maths lessons. The children have been expanding their knowledge of number bonds, getting to grips with numbers up to and beyond 50, and exploring capacity throughout March. The latter is very useful when the children are following the healthy recipes Miss Monica shares with them each week. It has been wonderful to see the children taking this passion for cooking home, all the children came to school to explain a delicious recipe they had made at home for their classmates.
Miss Claire’s Class
Our Year 2 and 3 children have been busy bees in more ways than one this month. They have been getting to grips with programming using Bee Bots. It took great patience and lots of trial and error to understand how to debug and reprogram the bots. Now most the children are now able to get them to go exactly where they want them to go!
As we welcomed in the Spring Season, the children left school to visit the local Jardines de Pablo Sorozábal. Despite getting caught in the rain on their first attempt, the children went back a second time determined to see the giant chess pieces and chess board that can be found there. The children put their strategies to the test playing chess in the sun.
Expressing oneself through Art remained a focus for Year 2 and 3’s IPC topic ‘They Made a Difference‘. The children came in dressed up as a musician that inspired them and gave a presentation to introduce their music to their peers. Having studied the life and work of the Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla, they went to visit the Sorolla Museum to see the house and gardens that housed his family and inspired so many of his paintings.
World Book Day got the children excited about reading. The children have been working with the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in English lessons and were excited to roll up their sleeves and make a big chocolate cake for Harry. Each student got to take home a new book as part of our book swap, which for many was the highlight of the day.
Miss Christina’s Class
With St. Patrick’s Day mid-month and an Irish teacher, learning about Ireland and celtic culture is a must. Year 4 and 5 took a virtual tour to see what living in a small village in Co. Mayo Ireland looks like. The children became professional scone bakers following Miss Christina’s family recipe from Granny Babs. With whipped cream and jam to top them they didn’t last long. Singing The Rattlin’ Bog is becoming a tradition at Maxwell on St. Patrick’s Day and the Year 4 and 5 group are almost able to get right to the end without running out of breath!
The children have been learning how to play a range of board games to help them develop cognitive skills including; understanding rules, logical thinking, problem solving, and creating a strategy. One game that has become particularly popular during ‘free choice’ time is Bandit. Knowing that we must win or lose together takes the competitive element out of the game and has enabled the children to focus on the objective: work together to develop a strategy that will stop the bandit escaping from his cell! They have been translating these skills to the games they choose to play on the patio making break-times more fun and inclusive for all members of the group.
During the final week of term the children were busy with their Exit Point for the IPC topic They Made a Difference. Using their learning in English and IPC lessons, their task was to make a selection of non-fiction texts for the Year 2 and 3 children to have in their library. After a week of researching, taking notes, organizing, drafting and redrafting our information on women who made a difference, the children were able to publish their biographies about Frida Kahlo, Mother Theresa, Jane Goodall, Amelia Earheart and Florence Nightingale and deliver a copy to Miss Claire for her class library. It was exciting to see younger students so keen to read our books and use the glossaries we included to help them understand any new vocabulary.
Miss Rebecca’s Class
The oldest children in our Primary Department have continued to develop their presentation skills this term and have moved into the realm of debate. The children have learned how to; respect speaking turns, write a balanced argument and discuss ‘hot’ topics fairly.
Getting in touch with nature is a challenge when living in the city centre, so the children took their art lessons to Parque Berlin to see what natural life they could find there. They spent a lovely afternoon sketching their surroundings and breathing in the fresh air. Later the children recalled their outing and recreated what they saw using pastels on textured card.
Throughout term 2 the children in Year 6 have worked incredibly hard as they consolidate and extend their learning from primary and prepare to move on to secondary in September. A well deserved treat on the last day of term was a day full of eggcitement and eggsperiments, a nod to our whole school Easter fun.
Lengua and Cultura with Miss Maria
Miss Maria tells us what she has been up to with the children in her lessons during the month of March:
Reception and Year 1 have been learning about means of transport. We used Google Earth to learn how to give directions, read stories and played with puppets that Simon brought in! We learned about safety in the streets and made our own traffic signals, learnt about jobs, festivities around the world and all this while dancing to great songs. The kids are great at singing so I suggest you ask them to sing the planets, days of the week, shapes, months and continents songs!
In Cultura we’ve been learning about Goya and Sorolla, we learned about their lives and practiced their painting styles, and we even made some big pictures for our ‘Maxwell Museum‘.
In Year 2/3 we’ve been practicing; theatre and reading comprehensions, capital letters, synonyms and antonyms, and syllables. We also started to learn the different types of determiners, and kept learning about verbs.
We have been practicing to manage our ‘free choice’ time. When we finish our daily activities the children can have some time to develop language skills with a selection of activites that they can choose from. Some children used the time to write amazing books and read them to the class, others read books to try to get more points for their ‘reading rocket’, others played our ‘Lengua Trivial Pursuit’ and others played with our spanish riddles cards.
In Cultura we learned about Goya and Sorolla, we learned about their lives and recreated some of their paintings. We also practiced our painting skills by following instructions to painting “paseo a orillas del mar” using Sorolla’s techniques.
In year 4 in Lengua we have been; practicing our writing and reading comprehension skills, we also wrote our own recipes, practiced suffixes, prefixes, orthographic and grammatical categories.
In Cultura we’ve been learning about some newer Spanish artists such as Goya and Sorolla, we learned about their lives and practiced their painting styles, and we learned much more when we visited Sorolla Museum!
In year Y5/6 in Cultura have continued learning about the different cultures that lived on the Iberian Peninsula. This month we learned about Romans, Visigodos and Al-andalus.
In Lengua, the children continue to participate in our creative writing contest, where every week students have to write their own story on a specific topic. After writing it we read it to the class and our classmates voted anonymously. At the moment all the kids have a very close number of votes, let’s see who wins and takes the prize at the end of the year!
We were also practicing our poetry skills by reading and analyzing various poems from famous poets, we made posters combining our ICT and Lengua skills.
On the last day of school, to celebrate semana santa we cooked some delicious torrijas!
What is going on behind the scenes at the moment?
This month teachers have participated in Dragonfly Training sessions on:
- Miss Claire and Miss Monica attended – Behaviour Management Masterclass Sessions
- Miss Maria and Miss Rebecca attended – Accessibility and Challenge for all: Ensuring High Quality Differentiation in Blended Learning
After Easter staff will share what they learned with each other in staff-meetings. As each other’s greatest resources, at Maxwell we know how important it is to sit down together to share knowledge and plan together, with a fresh pot of tea/coffee and some home baked snacks to give us energy of course!
School Environment Enrichment:
- Miss Belen (our secondary Art teacher) and a talented group of secondary students have begun working on murals for our primary patio. Once they get the base work done, the primary children will join in to make our outdoor space a more colourful and exciting place for break times and outdoor activities.
Parent Information Sessions:
March’s Zoom Reading Session for parents was a success. Several families attended online and the video recording has been made available for those who were unable to attend. In case you missed the link to the video contact our Head of Primary Christina at email@example.com
Following interest from parents, sessions on Maths, The IPC (International Primary Curriculum), PE and several other topics are being prepared.
Living with Covid:
After two full terms living with Covid in school, we have seen that school is a safe environment and with the combined efforts from school leadership, staff, parents and students we have been able to return to ‘normal’ school life in most areas. Trips have begun to resume and more are planned for the future, teachers are being creative to find ways to enable our class bubbles to interact safely and enrich each others learning (something that has always been important at Maxwell School) and now that the weather permits it we are able to rejoin for whole school assemblies on the patio while keeping a safe distance between class ‘bubble’ groups.
What is coming up in April?
Training for staff:
- Miss Melody (our wholeschool Head of Maths) and Miss Christina will be attending The Association of Teachers of Mathematics’ 2021 Annual Conference from Tuesday 6th to Thursday 8th April.
- Miss Christina will be attending a series of Dragonfly Training sessions on Educational Leadership
Events and Enrichment coming up in Term 3:
Across primary, our new IPC topic due to begin after Easter is all about Plants. The children will be turning our upper outdoor terrace into a herb and flower garden.
Parents getting involved:
Several parents signed up to share their interst in getting involved with school life in term 3. Keep an eye on your weekly update emails to see what they have been getting up to with us at school.
- Story Telling Week 26th – 30th April
- May Puente on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th (no school)
- San Isidro on 15th May (will be celebrated in school on Friday 14th)
- World Music Day on June 21st
- Trips to the Natural Science Museum TBC
- Sports Day TBC in May or June
- Final Day of Term Friday 25th June
Enjoy the Easter holidays and see you back in school on Monday 12th April,
Christina and the primary team