Our Summer mid-term newsletter is a fantastic summary of some of the huge range of rich opportunities for SMSC development across Halterworth over the last five weeks or so. From outdoor learning and residential/environmental visits, road safety, enterprise/financial projects, sports updates and intergenerational lunch events, it shows how SMSC development sits inside and beyond the taught curriculum.
We were visited by Peter Cooper today in school to learn more, through the Green team, about wildlife in and beyond our school environment. He had previously set some mammal traps and then met the Green Team at 8:00 to show them and check the outcomes. Although none were found this morning, the team learned massively about where small mammals would live and why, as well as some fascinating facts including how shrews would need to eat 2 or 3 times their bodyweight per day!
Peter then came back for an assembly for the whole school in the afternoon to talk about wildlife in the local area, including plans to introduce white tip eagles to the Isle of Wight, the otters at Fishlake meadows and even the benefits of beavers in the ecosystem. His passion was incredible and the children left with some amazing information.
This visit means even more as Peter is an ex Halterworth pupil and we could see the children looking at him and wondering what they might achieve in the next 14 years or so when they are his age.
At the start of the Summer term, our wonderful choir visited the Open Gate Stroke Club to share a repertoire of songs they have been working on. The pictures, showing the children chatting to their audience afterwards speak for themselves!
The choir received such positive feedback and we are very proud of the way they performed, conducted themselves and spoke with the members of the stroke club afterwards. To sing as part of a choir is a fantastic and hugely valuable experience. To sing for others and hold discussions with them afterwards are incredibly important experiences which takes courage and can develop empathy and respect.
This week saw the start of a series of weekly sessions with our Year 3 and Year 5 classes based on Dr Steve Peters’ book My Hidden Chimp. With the aims of helping children understand why they do the things they do sometimes (even if they think they shouldn’t), to help them develop 10 helpful habits to understand their emotions, feelings and behaviour and to be able to live a happy and healthy life, the first lessons were really positively received with some amazing interactions and honest reflections by the children. We are looking forward to seeing how these develop with the aim of more children working on these themes in 2019/20.
Our fantastic HSA team organised a bake off competition for the children over the Easter holidays. On the first day of the Summer term, children from Year R to Year 6 brought in home made creations with recipes and ingredients lists around an Easter theme. The standard of baking and creativity was simply stunning but also hugely rewarding was the sense of pride and excitement from the children. Many parents told us that their children were so excited to come back to school because they were able to bring in something that they were so proud of.
A team of judges were faced with the difficult task of selecting 3 bakes from each year group over the course of the day, and in the following week’s assembly, we will celebrate all of the efforts and achievements, as well as presenting some star baker awards.
It was great to see such a positive response to an activity which promoted home cooking, creativity, respect, interaction at home and all of the skills that go with following recipes. Equally pleasing was the positive pupils’ reactions to seeing the many varied creations of their peers.
In the Spring term, our two Year 3 classes spent a morning at Romsey library to encourage their awareness of the wide range of reading available, even looking beyond our fantastic school library. They walked into the town centre,where there were greeted by Annabel who told them about how the library works and how the books are sorted on the shelves.
After listening to a story together, the children then chose their own books to take home. They were assisted in scanning them and they all had a slip with the return dates on them. Children who were not currently library members were helped to join the library.