Van Gogh class
Van Gogh had a visit this afternoon from Mr Geoff Watts, who is a local magistrate. Mr Watts has been a magistrate since 1992. This is a voluntary role, which he combines with many other interests and commitments. Before his retirement he was Deputy head teacher of Ernulf and for many years and head of Sixth form.
Mr Watts spoke to the class about his role as a magistrate and what the courtroom is like. 95% of all crimes are dealt with in the magistrates court, all other crimes are referred to the crown court where a jury helps make the decision about guilt.
The children thought about the process of law and how as one of our British Values all people have the right to a fair hearing about their guilt. Mr Watts explained how as a magistrate he has to decide what the best punishment or support is required for the person who is in court.
Oliwier asked, "What was your inspiration to become a magistrate?"
"Well my friend kept encouraging me to do it and I knew I had a lot of work, then my colleague at school said that the school would support me, so I went for it."
Anisha asked. "What is the biggest problem you've faced?"
"The great thing is that because we work in groups of three we use that to help us make the right decision. Sometimes it is hard because we do not all agree. I have had people swear at me from the court, I have been verbally abused and accused of being unfair."
Jack asked, "What's the worst crime you've had to deal with?"
"At the moment it is knife crime, people traveling from London into St Neots in order to sell or buy drugs. I saw a young man who was abusive towards other people. You get to see some very unpleasant things."
Do you know how many laws there are?
I have a legal advisor to help me, but I think that there are hundreds just linked to cars if not thousands.
What age do you have to be to go to prison.
At the age of 16-17 you can be sent to a juvenile detention for a maximum of 24 months. A 10 year old could be sent to a secure care facility.
Malwina asked, "How long have you been a magistrate?"
27 years, I was 40 when I started to be a magistrate.
How many crimes do you deal with a day?
Sometimes one crime may last two days, you have to listen to the prosecution and defence. Sometimes if it is related to traffic, we could have 40 or 50 a day.
The children asked many interesting questions, which Mr Watts was more than happy to answer. The court in Huntingdon is the main youth court for the whole of Cambridgeshire most of the youth cases they deal with are linked around assaults, loss of temper and criminal damage. The number has reduced due to the diversion of police and local social workers.
If you want to find out more about the role of a magistrate then follow this link:
Van Gogh class will be leading the first class Collective worship this week. As a school we will be focusing on our value - WISDOM.
The children will be sharing why it is important to have a greater knowledge of how other children live around the world. Van Gogh class decided that they would be visiting Fiji a small group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.
The research the children will be conducting links with our current topic about how Earth is one large island.
Eamonn Riley visited our school yesterday, he spoke to us about what it was like to be an author of children's books. Throughout the assembly he spoke about his inspirations, which mainly came from his time a a school teacher. Many of the children had thought of questions to ask and the answers were very interesting. Here are some of the answers we received:
What type of music do you enjoy?
I really enjoy folk music, jazz and blues. I played in a band for many years and have played at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
How long did it take to write your first book?
The first one took about seven years, you have to keep going with your writing.
Eamonn will be signing books for those children who have purchased them.
Visit by Mrs Williams
We were pleased to welcome Mrs Williams to Van Gogh class on Friday afternoon. The children listened to Mrs Williams' recounts about a school, called The Solid Foundation', in Rwanda, Africa. Having visited the school on a number of occasions she was able to share photos and first hand accounts of the way the education and life differs from that at St Mary's.
The children asked some really powerful questions about the history of Rwanda and there was a real sense of compassion and thankfulness in the class. There were many aetefacts for us to look at which showed the way in which the people in Rwanda are supporting their own economy.
We will be making links with the children and staff at The Solid Foundation School in the next few weeks and aim to communicate with them via email and post.
The children were all keen to learn more and even suggested a school trip!!
A big thank you to Mrs Williams for given her time to share her wonderful knowledge with us.
A very warm welcome back to all the children and families of Van Gogh. As a class we have already been busy with our learning. The children started the term by investigating what happens to our brains when we are challenged with a problem. The results were somewhat surprising. However, it has allowed s to look at challenges in a positive light. We are focusing on having a 'GROWTH MINDSET@ in all our learning opportunities this year.
Please support your child with this by focusing on the perseverance they show and giving them time to work things out.
Year five children all attended the annual Safety Zone visit at St Neots fire station last week. Throughout the afternoon the children worked together in two teams, to answer questions and solve problems. Some children faced up to fears and worries, others showed support and encouragement.
One particular highlight was seeing the children deal with emergency situations in a mature manner. Dialing 999 and asking for the appropriate service can be a scary situation, however they rose to the challenge.
I was particularly impressed with the amount of knowledge the children already had, something that the adults leading the event commented on. The children also showed faultless behaviour and were fantastic ambassadors for St Mary's.
Well done everyone.
Topic sharing afternoon
It was fantastic to see so many parents, grand parents and other family and friends during this terms topic sharing afternoon. The children were so enthusiastic in sharing their learning across all subjects. We were blessed by the weather which meant that kite flying was a clear winner with the children.
Flutes on Friday
Third space learning
Year 6 have taken a large step forward in raising their resilience and learning potential this morning. They are using an online learning classroom, which offers 1:1 tuition for 45 minutes. Each child has been set learning specific to their needs in maths.
An exciting time for everyone. A big well done to all the children for taking a risk in their learning.
Watch this space for their comments...
The children started their investigation into the forces of science. They used a tug of war competition to think about push, pull and friction. Year 2 children joined in and successfully pulled the year 5 and 6's over. How I hear you ask? It was all about friction...
Look out for the Topic letter at the end of the week explaining more about this terms learning.
The children have been enjoying their Reading Buddy sessions this year. They have been selecting a text from the library to share with their buddy in Kandinsky class. I have been very impressed with how well they have been using their own comprehension and inference skills to think of challenging questions for their buddies, whilst supporting them with developing their reading skills.
Well, we made it through the first term and I was delighted that Van Gogh managed to retain the attendance cup this week. Well done to everyone who is making sure they are in school everyday.
A huge thank you to both children and parents for the fantastic gifts and kind words that both myself and Mrs Grogan received.
I'm sure you will all join me in saying congratulations to the children following their performance on Friday. It was a nervous time for everyone, however they stepped up to the challenge and proved how much they had learnt in such a short space of time.
Watch this space for video and photos.
I hope you all have an enjoyable Christmas and a peaceful new year. I look forward to see everyone returning to school on Thursday 4th January refreshed and ready to learn. :)
Van Gogh have had an extremely busy half term. As a fitting ending to our topic 'Bake it' the children took part in a 'Great Van Gogh Bake Off' Which saw eighteen different bakes being taste tested by Mr Hodson and Ms Tucker-Vincent.
The winner, Poppy, received her very own baking apron and wooden spoon so that she can continue with other amazing creations. The runners up were Jasmine, who baked olive bread rolls and Caitlin, who wowed the judges with a heavenly chocolate cake.
At the end of each topic the children complete 'Pupil Voice' where they have the opportunity to share what they have learnt and enjoyed.
'This experience mad me try new skills, I didn't know what raising agents were before I started this topic. I now know that they make cakes rise and when making bread the yeast creates carbon dioxide which makes pockets of space to create rise.'
'I think it was a great experience, it has shown me skills I might need in the future. I liked making bread because I could see the bread rise from the yeast.'
'I really enjoyed learning about what happens to yeast. I was amazed when the dried yeast exploded the balloon because of the amount of carbon dioxide and froth that was created. The sugar and warm water activated the yeast for this to happen.'
100% attendance for Van Gogh.
Van Gogh started their new topic with a Pizza Party at Frankie and Benny's. The children came back to class and discussed what ingredients are required to make bread and what reactions take place.
Over the nest few week the children will be using scientific investigations to find out how yeast works and how molecules react to heat and cold.
The children have also requested a Great St Mary's Bake Off competition, so watch this space for more details.
A new school year is upon us-welcome back
I would like to welcome back all the children and families to a new school year.
We have a busy term ahead of us and are going to be looking at some interesting subjects such as: how our brain helps us to learn, the science of bread and The Myan empire.
As last year we will have PE twice a week, on a Wednesday with Premier sport and on a Friday with myself. School PE kit is essential for all children on these days, however it is advisable that kit is in school everyday.
Either myself or Mrs Grogan will be available on the playground every morning for quick messages. If you need to see me for a longer chat then let me know and this can be arranged.
Here is looking forward to a positive year.
'A Great attitude becomes a great mood.
Which becomes a great day.
Which becomes a great year.
Which becomes a great life.'
Thursday 25th May 2017
Van Gogh class have been working hard this week at improving their cookery skills. Mrs. Capper and Mrs. Compson held a 'Great Polish Bake Off!' with the Year 6s. Mr. Hodson was invited to taste all of the food and help choose a winner. Unfortunately, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry were not on hand to help!