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You are our shining lights

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Additional Maths Activities - Please feel free to pick and choose the activities to suit

Additional Key Stage 2 Project - Please feel free to pick and choose the activities to suit

11.6.2020

 

Good evening everybody. 

I think that many of you will have heard about the end of year show going ahead, albeit in a very different format. We cannot perform live but thanks to the support of Noah Carson, we will be able to produce The Show That Makes No Sense as a film. To be clear, this has been risk assessed and abides by all current guidance relating to Covid 19, as well as our school safeguarding policies. 

 

I have posted information on Google Classroom regarding scripts and costumes and you can have copies of the script if you need it. I will leave them at the school office. The children who are unable to return to school do not miss out. They can film themselves saying their lines and post them on Classroom or send as emails. Noah will be able to include these. We want to be able to show the film at the end of term to the children and then I will find the most suitable way to give you all copies to keep. 

 

I desperately want you to have lasting memories of something positive and enjoyable because you deserve it. The lovely thing this year is that you don't need to worry about stage fright or anything like that. You cannot really go far wrong and any mishaps can be edited (or kept if they add fun to the film!). So do what you can please. It is important and our chance to do something together as class before you all turn into grumpy, hairy beast children who no longer want to speak to me.

 

I promise it will be a unique and wonderful experience and might be the start of your journey to the Oscars.

 

Thank you.

 

PS. Ask me on Classroom, email or phone if you have any qs! 

6.6.2020

 

Good morning everybody. 

 

What a great day for words like deluge, galoshes, precipitation,  petrichor, wellington, drizzle, cloudburst, ombrometer, pluvioscope, nimbus, bedraggled and thunder-plump. In many ways the weather, which seems to have reached some pretty rare extremes this week, reflects our experience of going back to school. I thought I'd share the range of reactions to our 'new normality', which has also been something that can't easily be summed up or generalised. 

 

The Highs:

It goes without saying that having children and staff back in the building is the best thing to happen to school for a long time. Personally, I was still questioning the rationale for Y6 returning and wondered if the 'transition to Secondary school' argument was well founded. Did you actually need to come back for your sake? As much as I wanted to see you again, I wasn't sure if this was the best thing for you. Now that we are in it, I have seen so much benefit in a week to realise that it s hugely important for many of you to be back at school and not entirely because of the need to refresh your memories, get your brains working or to learn new things. I have been massively impressed by the very obvious learning that has happened at home and I am not necessarily referring to Maths and English. But you do need to share these experiences, talk about them, be amongst your friends, laugh together, play together and learn all sorts of new things together. Yes, there are different types of clouds, Ted. There is such a thing as soufflé, Archie, bubbles can be blown inside bubbles can't they Henrietta and they don't have to pop if the surface tension is lowered and we can talk about Thomas' lovely hair. 'Il a les cheveux ondules' 

The behaviour and respect for social distancing has meant that we have stayed safe and given us a great platform to cooperate and enjoy learning together. This has been true throughout all of the school. 

When there have been moments of uncertainty, you have shown remarkable compassion, almost by instinct it seems, and been warm, kind and patient with others, helping them to get through tricky times. 

There has been quite sincere discussion about feelings on a range of issues including deforestation and global warming, peaceful protest and racial equality, worries and excitement over Y7, how to celebrate the birthdays of those who we have not seen and even how snails reproduce, There have been too many things to recall but the talk has been exceptional. 

You won't know this, but after school yesterday, there was a wonderful moment on a school chat group where your teachers showed appreciation for each other and it was lovely to read. Maybe this was relief, gratitude, respect, fatigue, or whatever the Friday Feeling is but it felt like friendship shape into words. 

Mr Nicholson was clearly thinking of how we get all of our children back to school safely. I could see him working it all out and it is obvious that he is passionate about providing the best place to safely educate all of our children and welcome you back because it is not the same without you. It might take even more courage or exercising common sense or increased communication but the aim to be together as a school community is certainly there. Wouldn't that be wonderful? For us in Y6, there is a need to give you a decent send off and lots of people are trying to make things happen, particularly your parents. This does include the end of year show and you must start learning songs and lines, even if there might not be  live audience. 

So there were many positives to be taken from this week and I am incredibly proud to be part of our wonderful resilient school. 

 

The 'less-than-highs':

I can't deny that there is still some sadness though. As I said before, we can't do many of the things which are supposed to reward you for your efforts and there is no getting around that. 

It doesn't feel the same without everybody and I do worry about you, even if I know you are safe a t home. 

There are members of staff who are not able to come back and they are finding life hard. We are a really close team and those at home are missed tremendously. Ms Baliol-Key said she was happy to be back too but found it strange not seeing everybody, even those in the building but in separate 'bubbles' and she was right. There is huge value in the briefest chat or friendly smile with others sometimes.

Ms Woodrow and I have found splitting our classes very difficult and you won't realise the upset this caused to us. I know exactly how it feels when you are not 'picked' and I don't know how this could have been avoided. You have been so sensible and dealt with that (if it was an issue for you) and those in The Glorious Republic will possibly feel very contented to have Mrs A and Ms B-K instead.  I hope we can be back together at some point but you are doing well, learning so much and looking and sounding very mature and capable. 

I cannot reach out to home schoolers in the same way because there is less opportunity now. I can't phone people up or chat online as regularly. There just isn't enough time unless I use a time machine. I fell asleep in my clothes like Marty McFly last night and I was supposed to be reading with Alfie and Lilia. They took themselves to bed, probably sneaking a few snacks along the way. So, honestly, I am exhausted. I think we all are.

I don't get to mark your books and record your achievements in the same way. I always enjoy doing that.

I don't get to womble around school and appear uninvited into the classes of other children just because I am a nosey wotsit who wants to know what they're all up to. I can't say that I miss being climbed on by Reception kids but I do miss seeing them and enjoying the crazy things they do and say.

In short, there are things that are missing but there are so many moments of triumph. If you hear on the TV that teachers do not want to come back to school, that we have had an extended holiday, that there are protests or moaning about things being unfair, I can tell you that is not how it is for us, nor anyone of my colleagues in other schools. I know a lot of people who work in other schools and they feel just  like me.  

Overall, it is wonderful to be back and for those who can't return, stay safe above all, keep looking at Bitesize, Oak National Academy, the Purple Mash stuff and any other independent means of learning, whatever form that may take. Be patient with your parents who are doing so much for you when they do not know what is going to happen next either. It is a hard time for them right now.  

 

Enjoy the weekend and instead of thinking about the rain as a spoiler of fun, find a great rain word to add to my list. 

Lots of love to everybody who reads this. 

 

Oh, and Happy Birthday Mum.

1.6.2020

 

Good evening all.

 

I wanted to say a thank you to everybody who made it into school today, worked hard, accepted all of the changes and just adapted. What incredible spirt. I heard that the children in Reception were truly amazing at behaving properly, respecting the new rules and looking after each other and I even spoke to Freddie from Y1, who explained that he thought everybody was behaving well because of the corona virus. Whilst I don't necessarily need to try to suggest what he meant in greater detail, it does show that children and the wider community of our school have such intelligent responses to the situation. My class were stunning today, not just because some of you worked next door with Mrs Anderson (respite from me, you jammy dodgers!) but the overall attitude and tolerance of you all was remarkable. Some of the work you did today showed that there has been some excellent learning happening at home. Thank you again. 

 

To everybody who is staying at home, \ want to repeat how I respect the decisions that are being made in your households to keep you safe at home. It is not a decision for anyone else to make, other than your own families and we will be here for you when you are ready to return.

 

Tomorrow, let kindness be the main thing. Don't rush to judge anyone; people are just trying to do their best.

Keep the words you use about others closer to being complimentary than they might expect. Let bees and wasps sting people if they have to; you have the ability to soothe people. Your anxious parents might like that.

Look after your little patch of earth and treasure the goodness of your space. You are borrowing the world during your lifetime and it really belongs to the animals and plants of the future. When it's your turn, give it to them a little better than it came to you.

Finally, be kind to yourself. This is more important than anything because it is the nutrition you need to grow into the inspirational and exceptional human beings that the world needs. 

 

I'll see you soon, Cherubs. 

 

 

29.5.2020

 

Good evening everybody.

 

What a scorcher, eh? I cannot wait to get a nice shirt, tie, smart trousers and shoes outfit back on, starting on Monday. What a treat. 

 

I am writing to you in all seriousness because by now it will be a little bit clearer about what will happen on June 1st and, obviously, it is another story of some sacrifice, patience, resilience and courage on your part. School will not be the same as it was a few months ago and, because of the need to maintain social distancing, our class is being split. We sat together on Wednesday to create two new classes and thought the best way to do this was by thinking about your friendship groups. Having a different teacher to me is something you have to get used to in only a few weeks time so I hope that it is only me who isn't totally happy about that. Even then, it is because I started out in September with a clear job to do, which was to help all of you. Not being able to do this properly has left me feeling disappointed and a bit like a clown tidying up on his own after a bad party. It doesn't feel as if I did what I was supposed to do really. So please understand that for those of you who will be coming back, it is just another part of life's journey and one which we have to get on and cope with. You will be given the best we can give you, whoever is going to be teaching you. If you're at home, I totally respect that and thank your parents for looking after you so well. 

 

Let's not be too sad about it, is my message. You are all stunning kids and I cannot tell you how proud I am of every single one of you. You will cope magnificently well and there will still be opportunities to celebrate your achievements during your time at Long Bennington.  It doesn't always help to remember that we are lucky compared to some people because we want to have a moment of being fed up or angry and then, when those emotions stop being important , we move on don't we. However, truthfully, most of us are lucky aren't we? I've got ideas to get us through the weeks ahead, we will work as a team to plan and teach the same lessons and find ways to have fun and learn. 

 

So let's stride into our immediate future like William of Normandy in 1066, apart from not being French, or having battles with blood and pain, or having the moustache I imagine he had, or the metal trousers and silly helmets. Those things aside, we will begin our recovery from this time in our lives on Monday, with me, without me, at home or in school bubbles and take everything that comes our way like the tough Haighlets we are. 

 

Now, stop looking at school websites and enjoy the sunshine you lovely little nibblers. 

22.5.2020

 

Hello again all of you.

 

Thank you for taking them time to read these daily weblogs and for the kindness you have shown by not telling me about all the typos. I do check these before I click save only to find sneaky errors have crept through like vermicious mud wrigglers, intent on spoiling a ladybird's picnic. I said right at the beginning that I would never make any mistakes, if you remember, and very recently talked about the importance of going wrong sometimes. Which idea do you think is the best? 

 

It is half term next week and this is your last day of home learning for a while. Many of you will be back on June 1st, all being well and so it is unlikely that I will post on here so often. There will be less need for me to impart all of this vital information and share my extensive wisdom on a webpage when I will be with you in the classroom. I am sure these posts have been really helpful and cleared up all your educational questions...haven't they? 

 

Truthfully, this has been fun for me and given me a little structure in my Lockdown day. I need this kind of thing and know it has helped me to stay mentally well. I am wired up to need purpose, as I have indicated lots of times and one thing that would always present me with an emotional struggle would be to find I couldn't go and do my job. Being a teacher is something that seems to be my calling if there is such a thing. I don't really know what else I could do and previous attempts haven't necessarily been successful. I count my blessing s that I have such an occupation, even when it is really demanding or that it makes time shoot by like a runaway train. So when the school had to close, I was worried. I knew it could make me feel low and lonely and frightened and pointless. Writing this has been my daily kickstart. It is one of the ways I have of dealing with what has happened, along with going to school sometimes, displaying your work, Google Classroom, going running, lifting weights,  I am not easy to be with sometimes because I am rubbish at relaxing. I don't feel comfy being still. My own children tolerate my suggestions of going walking or cycling but they are happy doing their thing really. 

 

 I have tried to make anybody who reads this feel easier because that is something I like to do, if I can. You know I don't play for laughs, only frowns and I expect there will have been some head shaking bafflement. 'What is he on about, now?' I sincerely hope so. I have attempted to sprinkle in some occasional thoughtfulness or even something thought provoking but that part is up to you, not me. I worked hard to write using a style and some vocabulary that suits a group of excellent Y6 children; just enough to make you wonder. Like Ellie, I have written daily just to try to get better. That is, of course, a matter of opinion but good practice, makes perfect.

I shared this with you in case it helped but I realise now that wrote it for me because I was scared and wanted something to do and have a way to express my emotions. Thank you for taking the time to read it. 

 

Robin Williams, another hero of mine said 'You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.'  I don't know if the double meaning was intended but I like the literal one. 

 

If you feel like you have any mental or emotional worries, there are loving family members for you to turn to, as well as other adults you trust. There are anonymous services too, including the NSPCC or MIND. These are easily found online. 

 

Childline has the number to call if you want to : 0800 1111

In addition, their website has information about childhood mental health. 

 

God bless. 

 

 

 

 

Cast your eyes over this from Matilda again.

21.5.2020

 

Hello again you lot.

 

Just imagine waking up to find yourself on a reality TV show. Sounds wild and unlikely, I know but this is exactly what has just happened to me. Unusually though, it's one of the celebrity ones and I am on as a last minute substitute for Damon Hill, who is ashamed of his lockdown hair and doesn't want to come out of his house in Malibu. I think they confused me with someone else; I am often mistaken for George Clooney, Tom Hardy, Jonny Depp and Tommy Handsome, so I get that. It has taken me a little while to adjust so far. It was actually a bit frightening to wake up in unfamiliar surroundings but as soon as I realised I was sharing a hammock with Ainsley Harriot, I thought to myself, 'I'm a contestant on a new TV show, aren't I? Typical.' 

 

So I've got myself up and about now, remembered to text Ms Flint to wish her a happy birthday and it is all about sussing out the  next steps. This includes learning about the people who are with me and finding out what it is we are supposed to be doing. We seem to be in a mock up of a tropical beach but it's obvious that we are in a traffic island somewhere on the M25. You can tell because there is the steady hum of traffic, the aroma of petrol and diesel fumes and s big sign that says 'Pretend beach near the M25' I bet that means here. There are cardboard cut outs of hula girls with Bounty Bars, groovy crows with basket balls and Kia Ora drinks and Mr T with a Snickers bar. They add a holiday feel, which is nice and totally believable and nothing to do with advertising revenue at all. There are those little dancing flowers that react to sunlight so that you think they are real apart from the fact they wear sunglasses and Bermuda shorts. Plants don't usually do that so I won't be fooled that way. Alan Titchmarsh is tending to these. I asked him about the programme we are on to get some clues and he said 'Don't know mate, I'm just the gardener.' Literally no help, that Titchmarsh lad. There is a bucket to replicate the ocean with some lolly sticks coloured in to look like surf boards. I'll have go on them later.  

 

I can see Top shoe designer, Marcus Funnel chatting with Roger Brain, the man who has the microphone in Asda. Next to those two hotshots is Gemma Quizzle, the You Tube influencer who has 100 followers now. I recognised her by the  name sticker she was wearing that totally gave it away. Rupert de Floo is here, as is Betty Middle-Name Needed. They were the couple that got together on Come Dine Outside in 2017. Still asleep is anarchic writer and actor Boz, who has three different projects currently waiting to be published. There's a ton of others but they are doing that weird thing where they seem at ease showering next to complete strangers on TV which the cynical and unkind bit of me thinks is for self promotion. 'Ooh. Look at me. I am so good looking and definitely capable of being the face of Curly Wurly chocolate in 2021'. Yeah right, fella.

 

So as you can see, we're all here like a glittering array of incredibly talented, worthy and purposeful stars, all ready to make our vital contribution to society.

 

So what is the point of this illustrious gathering with it's no expense spared set? I am not daft and I quickly work it out, and am disappointed to realise, that it's really nothing new, even if it will be watched by millions. I hate a cliché, as you know and sometimes find myself at the end of my rope hearing them and wonder how to nip them in the bud. We are all together to contend for the Great British Wood Whittling and Pebble Polishing  megastar showdown, live every day on Cable TV Channel Box 20. Pretty cool, eh? I should have known because whittling and pebble presentation  is one of my things, isn't it. So there is the usual thing where everyone pretends to be nice, then they say 'Oh my God, it's amazing' at any old thing, before falling out like two trumpets. We get evicted by a voting system, one at a time and the public gradually become more and more enamoured with whoever it is who forges a fake relationship for TV appearance purposes. The best bit will be the spin off show, Ryan's Mega Whittle Waffle. That will be fun, won't it?  So I'm here for however long and I'm very nervous. 

 

Of course, none of this is even virtually true. You have been questioning this all along, haven't you? You are right. of course. There are no suitable traffic islands anywhere on the North or South Circular and you won't fall for anymore of this made up rubbish. 

 

Don't worry kids; the end is nigh, by which I mean when school returns soon, I'll be able to tell you this stuff directly, sparing you the daily effort of reading it. Hope you're all well and, if you are able to return to school on June the 1st , I promise to be good and teach you stuff really. This is just for fun. 

 

Love you guys. 

20.5.2020

 

Good morning everyone.

 

How are you all today? You haven't even thought about it yet, have you? Who does? Nobody does until they are asked, right? "Ah ha," you reply with a look of triumph because you know that I am wrong, and hardly for the first time. "My nanna thinks about nothing else. I know this because she gives me the full run down on her state of health every time I talk to her, even before I have said 'hello and who is calling' sometimes," you sardonically report. So I have to quickly scrabble about in my mind like a dad looking for a Santa costume in a dusty attic on Christmas eve,  to find a way to weakly argue my point all over again. I do this a lot with children. Make bold statements that I know are inaccurate in order to tease out a more measured response from children. It might be called 'playing devil's advocate' or a form of friendly goading or 'role reversal' but you know it as' Mr Haigh is wrong again'. 

 

I don't mind being wrong about things with you lot and it is a good thing to see adults (so called) erring and then you know you are allowed that too. Learning from mistakes is the key. What will you do to improve? I like to take note of my errors and find a new interesting way to make them all over again, probably just for a cheap laugh. I am not recommending this approach at all. Living your life looking for ways to take the ordinary and moulding them into anecdotes for a tiny number of disinterested people to frown at is maybe not a career ambition you need to have. But do the thing that makes you happy above all else. If 85% of grown ups dislike their jobs, that seems to me to be a grave mistake. Someone said 'The richest man in the world is he who wants for nothing'. I don't think earning massive money but hating it would work for me. I once visited a gift shop in a place called Ardnamurchan Point which is situated on the most westerly point of the UK in Scotland. It took hours to drive there from the village I was staying in on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula .It has a lighthouse on the rocks and the waters are wild and angry and frothy like a school bus driver on Grange Hill. The lady running this isolated and neighbourless emporium of random tea towels, pencils, neck scarves, bird books, landscape prints, note books, hippy music CDs for meditation, essential oils, dolphin coasters, rubbers, bottles of an amber alcohol called mead and drift wood carvings was evidently from New Zealand. I could tell this from her distinct accent. She sounded a  bit like Mrs Weaver but without the offer of tying laces or helping to count numbers to Y2 children. The point here was that New Zealand is a long way from most places. It's a good plane ride from Australia and I'm not sure everyone knows that. This kind shopkeeper had somehow found herself on the opposite side of the world to where she started out. Not only that, she was now in a place that was, itself miles from civilisation and subject to only very rare appearances from unknown holiday makers, many of whom possibly ignore her, pick things up and turn around buying mothing.. I wondered how she might have ended up there. Was this a pin in a map thing? Had she always grown up with a burning ambition to live there?  Had her Sat Nav gone horribly wrong like that Lorry driver looking for Gibraltar only to end up trying to park in a RSPB car park near Skegness? What led her to this place? A mistake? Poor girl? I doubt it. I prefer to think that she is living her best life and doing the very thing that makes her heart sing. Hey, why waste good imagination space by finding out the answer by actually asking her? No thank you. 

She reminds me a lot that it  is better to live your happiest life rather than drag heavy and cumbersome expectations of materialism along life's journey. I am not destined for wealth, fame and great success but I have you. This is what makes me feel purposeful and happiest. No other job has allowed me to stand on furniture and sing spellings badly, repeatedly tell unfunny jokes to my unfortunate captive audience, to see lightbulb moments hover above the brilliant brains of children every day, provide me with belly laughs on a daily basis, to work with some of the most caring, talented and intelligent team mates that I am blessed to call friends, to be inspired by human action which allows me to learn much more than I have ever taught, to be inspired by young people with their courage, like the little lions you are and to do all this in a beautiful setting and our shiny classroom. Do you know something else? Lots of your parents say kind things to me. Just think about that. I get so much already and then that happens. Wow!

 

If I can have this, being a man with an immense capacity to go wrong and make mistakes then it proves that to err is human and never the end of our stories. I think I am just like the gift shop girl only without the airmiles. I hope she does feel like me. 

 

Don't worry about your mistakes. They don't really mean as much as you think they do. 

 

19.5.2020

 

Hello brave, wonderful, intelligent, thoughtful and kind children. Yes, I mean you.

 

I thought you might like to know who some of my heroes are: 

 

Stan Laurel, who didn't think he deserved to be  mentioned in the same sentence as Charlie Chaplin. 

Alfie, my son. I love the bones of this boy

Oliver Jeffers for writing To Catch a Star, Lost and Found, The Heart and the Bottle and drawing some of my favourite illustrations,

Keith Walwyn, who was the most impressive footballer I have ever seen.

Rik Mayall for being so rude and teaching me how to read to children. What a shame his performance as Peeves was never included in the HP films.

Ueli Steck for living fearlessly and courageously.

William Shakespeare for his beautiful lyrical brilliance.

David Attenborough who loves the world and the animals as much as I do.

Bob Dylan for making me open my eyes, ears and heart every time.

Tony Walsh for being an amazing poet.

Joseph Rowntree for making my favourite city smell of chocolate and teaching me the word 'malange'. 

My Dad who was a giant to me.

My Grandad for telling me that my brother was brilliant but I had the gift of making friends.

Michael J Fox for being Marty McFly in the greatest movie there has ever been.

Woody Guthrie, the original American troubadour.

David Almond, Matt Haig, Charles Dickens and JK Rowling. Must  I explain why?

Mark Heap and David Walliams for just having funny bones. 

Elbow, The Proclaimers, Iron Maiden, Madness and Metallica, bands who I am sure would all be on the same bill.

Emily for fixing me when I was broken and giving me superman pants.

Jane Goodall because she is the world's expert on chimpanzees. How? By taking the time to observe and allowing herself to love them all.

My Gran for thinking the mobile phone dialling tone was an ice cream van, that a camouflaged soldier was a tree when she was caught short and for sending me the York City Press Cuttings every week when I was away at university.

Elton John for writing the Billy Elliot Musical.

Walt Disney because he helps us to see truth in humanity and lets our inner child out when we see his films. 

Lilia, who has no idea how funny and important she is and was never the wheelbarrow in Monopoly.

Victor Hugo for being so verbose and writing Les Miserables.

Yungblud for saying 'if you feel like you don't belong, come here because you belong with us'.

Oliver Hardy, who was so perfect, sang beautifully and I just love everything about him. 

My mum for the unconditional love and support that I barely deserve a lot of the time.

Bethany, who is 17 today and gave me the idea for this post. She will never read this. 

 

These are just a sprinkling of them and it's because I am rushing to be ready for school today. They make me want to be a better person. 

 

Who are yours? 

 

 

 

 

 

18.5.2020

 

Good morning everybody.

 

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and feeling are relaxed and ready for the week ahead. I have to be quick on here this morning because there is a man come soon to check the gas supply or something. I don't really know what other adults do in the world of real jobs for grown ups and I find it all a bit mysterious and beyond me when things get technical. The absolute worst bit is if something breaks down in your home or car and you have no idea how to go about fixing it. I think it's an achievement just finding a number to ring so that a professional can sort it out. Then there is the next huge bit of effort to make the call itself. Usually this involves some embarrassment while you try to describe the fault or answer questions involving codes and numbers. Baffling! I have two brothers and they can make things. They can make things out of nothing like Tony Stark in a cave in Afghanistan. Mr Korcz is like that too. They just know engineering, carpentry, plumbing and electrical work, car maintenance and how to build a bike or modify one.  Then there is me. I can read a story out of a book and add a bit of emotion. I have the ability to observe the world around me and think of turning an ordinary event into an anecdote to make you lot frown or groan something like 'Please stop, Mr Haigh!' Yeah that is what you've got kids. 

 

You might be like me and have an artistic temperament. I don't naturally hone in on  precision, careful measuring or exactitude. I don't fill my mind with memorising how things can be fixed, not when there is so much happening to twist and sculpt into the shape of something to make me laugh or sing or cry or any heart string twanging emotion like that. I don't think I'll change either. I'll always be the hopeless brother that isn't able to mend things and save the expense of hiring the professionals. I won't be able to whizz up to my mum's house in Knaresborough and help her if the boiler breaks or she wants an extension building. I can chat to her about folk music  or Narwhals or what you lot do to make me chuckle though. The things is, she might need that too. She already has the sons that can be practical. They've both been to help me too at different times. I suppose this is an example of team work, isn't it?

 

So I want to make an appeal to you. Do not waste a second worrying about the things you are not inclined to master and be successful with. There is no point ever comparing yourself to other people. You are young enough to learn new skills and discover all sorts of talents anyway so who knows what might develop within you. If, like me, you find yourself unable to grasp some things that seem a doddle to your friends and family, that is totally fine. You have abilities that are unique to you and will be appreciated. Never run down your own talents. If all I can do is share a book and make it interesting, if that is the point of me, then that is good enough. I think you have got to know me well enough to know that I often make mistakes, go wrong, louse up and court disaster. Surround yourself with friends like I have who laugh along with you and step in to help you. I am lucky enough to be told nice things about my way with words quite a lot, which is pretty nice. So there, you see...people appreciate and need you for whatever you bring. Do not forget that. 

 

 

 

EDIT: The gas man was called Ben and I used to be his teacher when he was 7. So see how that works: he is now brilliant and can do something I really don't understand at all but he remembered me from twenty years ago, so I must have done something right. 

17.5.2020

 

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

Matthew 5: 13-16

16.5.2020

 

Happy morning. 

 

Isn't it quite something when your day begins in the ordinary fashion with some blinking at the ceiling, a little time passes to allow your brain to readjust and accept reality, your rigid steps and slappy feet give you a penguin-like appearance as you walk from your room to the kitchen, one arm wrestling with your dressing gown and then, if you're lucky, another person in the house who loves you, gives you a hug as if to welcome you home from Neverland. You eat something, listen to the radio, steel yourself for the day ahead, knowing you have a few tasks to complete and nothing remarkable is even threatening to bang on your door. But a song catches you in it's tinkling tendrils and your brain starts to fizz and crackle with memories that are yet to fully form and the adventure starts.

 

I'm watching the crowds of people singing along with joy as a dark haired man in white trousers and vest commands the stage, encouraging the audience to participate, the consummate show man. Other famous people grace the arena and the world is watching. It is a cacophony of bliss and celebration but there is a shadow of something else too. Something fragile and helpless is laying on parched ground as the big stadium fades, transforming to some sweltering madness, like a Dante creation. This unbelievable sight is a child, dark skin and bone thin. Nearby is the awful sight of countless others, desperation and starvation robbing them of dignity. This horror is so vivid and appalling but I feel compelled to look. Then suddenly,  I pop up in a grand Victorian school with two floors and I am in a hall, selling balloons from a stall, whilst all around there are people I remember also working on different stalls to raise money that our teacher, Mrs Hall, invites just two of us to take to a place called Oxfam in York. 

 

Next, there are scenes of jubilation as a prince marries a princess and it's not even Disney, but real life. I have no clue but the grown ups say she is beautiful and shy and stylish and they all love her. I flit to LA and there are the people I want to be, racing around tracks, competing like heroes and moving with immense speed but for some reason more vivid images of a tiny bare foot girl has her moment swallowed up by some other athlete's tumble and subsequent histrionics and a curly haired man on a huge phone, tells his wife in England that he got a bronze. Nearby a child in blue glasses twiddles and twists a brightly coloured cube, matching all the colours, Bobba Fett climbs the trees in my garden, beneath a shuttle that energetically climbs towards space but is abruptly halted in a terrible explosion that stops time dead. There are ties made of strips of leather, laceless shoes and Kenny Dalglish. There is a talking car that cannot be broken and another that can travel through time, yet my dad has a mint metallic Renault, nothing like the ones on screen. 

People were playing out on the field, gathering en masse to kick a ball and everyone was welcome. We all knew where to meet and when and didn't need a device to work this out. There are people you wouldn't know and I don't know why they are passing through my mind now but they just are. This is what they call zeitgeist, I suppose. 

 

Here and now, I have things to do so I'm back, leaving those people, places and events as they are and acknowledging the strange, slightly melancholic emotions do what they have to. It did start out ordinary but it turned out like a weird Jamie Lawson song that was popular a few years ago. 

 

Make a few memories of your own this weekend.

 

Oh, and Happy Birthday Mark Laverack who is 46 today. I haven't seen you since we were 9, nor spoken in fact, but you came to say hello in my mind just now.   

15.4.2020

 

Hello my wonderful children. 

 

As you might have seen on Classroom, I have had a frustrating time posting on here today and this is attempt no. 3. I bet loads of people have been worried about it! I doubt I will be able to capture the essence of what I did earlier but I need to try again to expunge my disappointment from failing earlier. So here goes:

 

Today would have been the first day after your final SATs exam and you would have been celebrating and basking in the glow of achievement like the cast of El Dorado after another highly successful day's filming in the sunshine. You would be relieved and light and want to groove like a break dancing Billy dog and I would let you because you deserve it. There would probably be some nibbly food and Mr Nicholson would be there to shower you with praise and then it would begin to change.

 

The first thing that would go would be the lack of intention to follow any of my instructions and you'd regard my written tasks with disdain and carry on chattering with your friends. That might seem harsh but in some ways it would be for the best because your handwriting would rapidly begin to resemble Maui's tattoos rather than anything you have developed using Pen Pals. You minds would swim with resistance and your veins would flow with hormones, telling you to behave like a disinterested somnambulists or randomly burst forth with out-of-character rebellion and mindlessness. Your spines seem to be made from floppy bananas and your hair will grow wild. . You will stop  wearing shoes and slop about in trainers, knowing I can't do anything when you tell me your feet have grown and Mum isn't buying any more until August. You have never been particularly good at lining up but one time you will do this immaculately, just to prank me. You will want to clear your trays out and this will produce more waste paper than we started with. The classroom will look like there has been an explosion in a bean bag factory and Mr Nicholson will find me rocking in a corner after home time, bringing me consoling cups of tea and empathy. Your ability to articulate will be seriously impaired. Grunting and slurring like a punch drunk heavy weight begins and all boys  are accused of being 'imachore'. (Who knew?) The lads themselves suddenly see girls for the first time but have no idea of any words that might help them. I, of course, hover around, determined to eradicate inappropriate romance, like a tedious kestrel wearing a badge that says 'Sensible Spoilsport'.

   

All of this happens because you would be at this crucial time in your primary school lives. This is the moment when you have to start to untie the strings that tether you to Long Bennington. Finishing SATs is a big string that we take scissors to, ready to let you fly. Realising that destinations differ, teachers transform into new ones and finding that some friendships just do come to an end, is bound to create some reaction. Equally, you've worked so hard, for so long, done your best, adapted, coped, stressed, cried, triumphed and been brave and resilient. It makes perfect sense that you need to blow off steam.

 

I have spent the year making you promises about fun times in the last half term.  

I can't keep these promises. 

It is unfair and I am genuinely sad and sorry. 

 

You deserve more than this, the same as every Y6 child in the country but all I can do is welcome you back, give you lessons, structure, some learning, books, your friends, kept at a safe distance. Hopefully, you have seen the staff tribute to you all at the top of this page and we are all missing you terribly. Secretly, I hope there is a time and reason when I can witness some normal Y6 rambunctious behaviour and have to play the game of scolding you for being gung ho compulsive wackadoodles (as long as it is within reason) because this is part of growing up too. 

 

I don't have a clue what it will all feel like but we will get there together. If you have already untied the last string in your mind, I understand. Come and say goodbye if you can. If you are still bound to us and need help to let go, that's fine too. I will be there for you all, long after the school year has finally finished.   

 

Please load this message. I don't think I have anything left in me, if it fails again. 

 

14.5.2020

 

The spring is sprung, the grass is riz.

I wonder where the boidie is.

They say the boidie’s on the wing.

But that’s absoid. The wing is on the bird.

 

 

I am sat at the laptop this morning thinking about Keziah's chicks, hatched from a hen's eggs and know that Bruce in Year 3 is another person who has experienced this very same joy. I expect there are more of you too. Is there anything more miraculous than new life? Is the perfection of an egg God's most incredible creation. How is something fragile and strong and protective at the same time? How does a tiny helpless bird have the knowhow and ability to break out of there? Imagine the moment of freedom when it finally emerges into a world of daunting danger and surreal surroundings but instinct tells this tiny creature that it has to be this way.  Is there really anything close to that when we are talking about miracles?

 

"It'll take a miracle for Forest to get promoted this year." 

"That catch was miraculous. How did she do it?"

"If I won the lottery, it would be a miracle!"

 

These types of things are examples of how the word miracle is overused and it is now part of mere expressions. They don't come close to the egg, do they? I read something that said there are no miracles really because nothing seems to happen that cannot be explained by science and nature. There are no random events for which Divine Intervention can be the only explanation.  

 

In school though, we see things all the time which might not be miracles but are utterly mind blowing and fantastic, however you choose to look at it.

 

How about these:

 

Making sense of printed squiggles in books until a child knows they are a reader.

Using the senses, including the emotions to look at the world and turn it into writing on a page, so moving that grown ups get teary eyed.

Using amazing dexterity to pluck strings, hit keys, blow into tubes and pipes or change vocal chords, creating music.

Looking at technology and sussing it out in next to no time when most adults are left floundering.

Gingerly walking into a room at four years old and finding another brand new person and sticking with them all the way.

Being scared and still standing up in front of three hundred people and speaking.

Turning your brain into a calculator and working out how many groups you get when they are multiplied by something else.

Perfecting the ability to stay upright on a balance bike, spinning a hoop around your hips without it falling, then adding more, before including a groovy walk at the same time (I'm looking at you Ruby Q)

Throwing a ball with such speed and accuracy that it goes exactly to whoever is on 4th base. 

Being 11 and remembering the tiniest detail of what happened when Mrs Jones or Miss Bowden was your Teacher.

Noticing someone's sadness from the other side of a playground and caring enough to approach them and then find just the right thing to say to make it better.

Teachers being teachers.

Your parents doing more than you will ever know.

and finally...

Children smiling and playing when the world is afraid because nobody says 'Resilience' as well as young people do.

 

These feel like miracles to me a lot of the time and even if they aren't, I'm sure God would be pretty proud of what he sees. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.5.2020

 

Here we go again on another day of home schooling, computer staring, line queuing, head scratching, zoom calling, tik tok whatevering, grandparent missing, hair growing fun.

 

I am back reporting my findings on the world from unexpected locations due to an accident with my imagination and tendency to baffle people with fictitious fibsteroonies. Today, the second I woke up I realised that things were happening because a massive yellow bird made from blocky pixels came swooping down on me, its pecky beak and flappy 2m wings causing no end of distress, I can tell you. Scrabbling for my glasses, I could see what looked like a conveyor belt of hay bales moving vertically through the ceiling and emerging from the floor. The floors were bare and there were ladders leading to different layers. It was a bit bizarre but somehow familiar. Then I noticed large white eggs on the different levels but these were guarded by leggy blue geese. I didn't like it and there was the a distinct feeling that I needed to move quickly. I charged forwards, collecting a few eggs simply by walking through them, avoided the geese and jumped through a door. 

 

Suddenly, I found myself in front of an ancient temple, where a frightening looking warrior was flexing his muscles and throwing out sharp practice punches and kicks, each time leaving a kind of vapour trail with every special move. He looked deadly and he had a power bar near his head which was on full! "What is going on?" I ruminated. Dodging his aggression, I slipped away only to find myself sliding downwards on skis and trying to dodge a series of obstacles, even ending up jumping across a road at one point. It was on one such jump that I veered left and arrived in another setting. 

 

This time, I was in a large football stadium and Fat Boy Slim was singing that song, Rockerfellar Skank. 'Right about now, the funk soul brother, check it out now, the funk soul brother.' There was a huge crowd of blurry faceless people but they were all going wild with joy and I could see why. Famous players were scoring goals from way out and the scoreline was already 7-12. I went in for a sliding tackle but skidded through into yet another place. I was in a beautiful world of bright colours and golden rings lay along the path. I had an urge to curl up in  ball and roll along the path and, as I did so, the rings chimed and disappeared below the bright sunshine. The more I did this, the faster I got and huge numbers on a scoreboard were rocketing up as I progressed. I hit a ramp but just knew that I could fly through the air like a swallow. It was amazing.

 

I landed smoothly but could see it was somewhere else entirely. I couldn't see anything on the plain hard floor but suddenly I realised long, dangerous beams of colour with the power to destroy me were being dropped from above. I had to duck and dive and it was only latterly that I realised I was armed with a weapon of my own. Well, I'm not renowned for my fighting efforts and prefer a peaceful existence so I looked up and saw a giant plug in a wall. For no particular reason I decided to take it out. So, sprinting over and avoiding the danger, that's just what I did.

 

With that, everything around me faded with a sort of slowing down of electricity hum noise, which was  rather soothing and I was back to being here at home. All that before a cup of tea! I need a lie down and an easy day, now. Mind you, I aren't sure that  real life is any less fast paced and frightening at times and I wonder if 'progress' is what we are actually making. I am pretty heartened by the way millions of people are now asking questions about how we have an opportunity to press the refresh button, clean our world up, welcome nature home, show consideration for others, look out for neighbours and love each other a bit more. 

 

Maybe when I don't read about football legend, Ian Wright being racially abused online, BBC reporters in Leicester having to abandon interviews with a doctor due to being threatened by racists or powerful politicians actually listening to climate activists, young enough to be their grandchildren and give them the acknowledgement they deserve, then I reckon we can talk about progress.

 

Remember our school values, follow them with integrity and you can be the difference we need.

 

 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RcVZfJO01NI

 

 

 

 

 

12.5.2020

 

Hello again, Mum. Thanks for reading this. (or at least pretending to when I ask)

 

Wait for this: I am hovering 50ft above the ground right now, attached to my house by a shimmering silver chain that allows me to fly high above the world, somewhat like a flappy jug-eared kite with a fading Yorkshire accent. I can see all sorts from here, as well. There are dog walkers in the park, early morning runners getting their exercise, the  tawny river snaking its way through verdant fields and reflecting the early morning light on its dancing ripples, there are rooftops and chimneys and occasional cars in this promising morning  and the land stretches further like a picnic blanket, the more I look around. 

The chain allows me to fly where I like and soon I find myself heading north, following the A1 and towards the trees of Sherwood, the water ways and lakes on the edge of industrial Doncaster and over the football grounds of Sheffield, Rotherham and Leeds. They are like shoeboxes from up here and I wonder if the groundsmen have to keep the turf pristine whilst nobody goes or will they quickly resemble the old forgotten ground like Seamer Road, Leeds Road, or The Shay,  before they too were obliterated by diggers. Will my ground, my spiritual home of Bootham Crescent, ever see football again? I pass over and pause, taking in it's unique position amongst the terraced streets, near to the hospital where we left my beloved grandad behind 25 years ago, not far from the strange and abandoned Victorian splendour that is the Old Rowntrees Chocolate factory. Very close by is my old Primary school, sat on the edge of my favourite city in the world.

The chain slackens and I'm off again, towards the Dales and  the lovely historic spa town where I became a boy with some schooling, then a shop assistant, a driver, a frequenter of pubs and clubs, a young man and a dreamer and, possibly the place where the thought of teaching began and led me to you. I want to go faster and see more. I spin and swoop and dive across the Pennines and  the glorious sturdiness of castles and hills and stone walls and rugged magnificence and in no time I am circling the highest peak in England, remembering when I decided to drive here and run up and down it on my own. This way, this soaring and gliding, is far, far easier so I plunge down and skim the scree and hear the babbling, tinkling music of the streams and brooks and feel this sunshine warming my back as I fly.  

I want one final visit before I follow my chain to the place I now call home. I'm across the border, into Scotland and take the coastline of Dumfries and Galloway, winging over such splendid sounding towns as Kirkudbright, Castle Douglas, Gatehouse of Fleet and then Newton Stewart, where I saw my first ever otter. There is Wigtown, the small town with a mighty collection of half a million books. (My Mum and I have not found Booktown, the home to a mighty collection of half a million wigs, but it must be out there!) Gradually, I find the place in the forest where we let my Dad's spirit glide away in peace in the brown ale waters of Otter pool, where children play on the boulders, red squirrels scratch and skittle through the branches and no harm ever comes to anything. Peace is here.

I know it is time to return because life is calling me back; my phone is buzzing in the distance and needs checking, there are meetings to prepare for, work to set up, communication with children to be had and all the other things that give me a sense of purpose. I can't stay in this blissful innocence forever. So I pull on this binding chain and it begins to take me home.

 

Have some peace of your own today. Oh, yeah...if you find an sparkling chain at the foot of your bed that says 'hold tight' let your curiosity be your master, not your fear and doubt.      

11.5.2020

 

Happy Monday, dancers!

 

How are you all today. 

 

I am writing this from inside a dog. (don't ask) and it is really lucky that I can just reach the keys on the laptop, otherwise I wouldn't be able to send you one of my educational and worthwhile updates, would I. Tell you what though, it stinks in here. It's all slimy and soggy in this canine belly and I'm here for at least another three hours until the rescue team arrive. 

 

So the good news is that we might be able to return to school in about three weeks, depending on quite a few things. Ultimately, nothing will happen unless it is safe to return and then it will be only some classes. It is important for you lovely lot because we want to make sure you are secondary ready. I don't know what that means exactly because everything has changed but I am not planning on driving learning into you like a runaway Mazzeratti painted with maths problems or hammer you with unwieldy writing tasks until your fingers fall off. The first thing I want to think about is your health and wellbeing. I don't believe how unlucky you have all been with this; you've missed out on so much and I am very sad for  you. You might be feeling disappointed too so it is my job to get you smiling and feeling reassured again. After that, we'll learn some interesting stuff that I have planned and, who knows, we might just end up returning to some kind of calm.  

 

Obviously we will spend a good week and a half sorting all the boy's hair out and I already had clippers for that. I did hear of one of Alfie's mates who plans to grow his hair even longer and cut it just before September, donating his locks to that well known charity that helps other children. What a splendid chap. 

 

I need to stop this now because Joe Wicks is about to start and if the dog moves just a bit, I'll be able to follow the exercise moves by looking through this mutt's slavery mouth. 

Something wonderful from Grace:

10.5.2020

 

 

 

Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me."

 

(Mark 9:36–37, NLT)

9.5.2020

 

Good morning Class Ten.

 

I hope you all have a safe and happy day. Keep social distancing, drink lots of water and have plenty of sun protection. 

 

I'm hoping that nobody is even awake yet to read this and, furthermore, you take a break from school altogether, so don't visit this page at all this weekend. Too much work can frazzle you. 

 

Take care. 

When World War two struck 

Most of us ran out of luck

All the demolition

Happened because of a silly collision.

 

From this we learnt to get along 

And 'We'll meet again ' became our favourite song.

 

We don't want this to happen again

We can't afford to lose any more women and men.

 

Though our country earned more glory 

Each soldier returned with their own sad story. 

 

In conclusion,  this subject is not for laughter

As not every story ends in a happy ever after.

 

Matilda Carson 

8.5.2020

 

Good morning everybody.

 

Just a quick note to say hello and wish you all a lovely day. It is a bank holiday which means the banks, who usually love a day trip to the seaside are at home in their gardens, instead of dealing with customers. That's lockdown for you. Hopefully, you will have  enjoy the VE day celebrations in this glorious sunshine. I remember a similar event when we lived in Colsterworth and the whole village got together and shared in a huge garden party, Bethany won a prize for baking a chocolate cake. I wonder if she remembers.

 

 Alfie told me about a book he has finished about a boy who is starting secondary school and takes a bus on his first day. Somehow, the bus doesn't arrive at the school he expected to go to but takes a journey into space where a different school is and the boy's adventures are all to do with attending a space school instead. He said there were a series of these and he loved it. I wanted to tell him that it sounded far fetched and it would be better all round if he didn't read such made up twaddle. Honestly, what a fantasist that writer must be! What ever happened to reality being cool? 

 

On that note, I have to go and feed the crocodile, practise my tightrope act in preparation for crossing the Grand Canyon later, finish my human cloning experiment, which I started last night for fun, phone Donald Trump to ask if I can cut his hair for him, not that it needs it, turn all the root vegetables in Asda into little musical instruments and train the mice of Grantham to play them like a tiny marching rodent orchestra, design some new high heels for Ru Paul to wear because the producers of the Drag Race left me message, saying the heels have gone on the red ones, normally worn in the opening credits, I've got to take delivery of new lighthouse and there are the creatures in the attic, who need releasing before they miss their curfew. 

 

Keep it real, dudes! 

 

PS My finger nails fell just short of the world record by a mere 3 feet 7 inches, alas, so I'll have to try again next year. 

7.5.2020

 

Good Morning and Happy Birthday, Miss Baliol-Key.

 

I was fortunate to be in school yesterday, as you know and caught up with Mr Nicholson and Miss Baliol-Key, which was nice.  She was in good spirits, not least because of her amazing surprise from Class9, organised by Martha, I believe. Well done kids (if any of you read this page). You can take it from me, Miss B-K was very happy with that. Later, we had a larger virtual staff meeting using mirrors angled so that our reflections all bounced onto one great big screen at school where everybody became visible. It was good but there really should be some kind of technology where people can all see each other on their phones. It is 2020, for Peter's sake!

 

Are any of you doing anything nice to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, tomorrow? Will there be another panic buy at supermarkets where wild haired 30 somethings charge around demanding to know where scone mix is or is there any cream left other than chocolate flavoured squirty? Don't get me started on jam! Let us hope not. We know that there is enough food on the planet but we have to learn to share, don't we? Anyway, if you are having a cul-de-sac celebration, enjoy sitting on your driveways, waving at the neighbours, even though that sort of thing used to raise suspicion, and spare a thought for all servicemen and women across the world and throughout history.

 

I have decided to break a Guinness world record today. I'm giving myself 24 hours to grow the longest finger nails in the world. Pretty cool eh? Nobody has done it before and I crave the fame and adulation of being a record holder. It's all I go on about, quite frankly. Imagine the doors that would open if I were the long nail champion. Think about the exciting opportunities that would definitely   unfold before my very eyes if my nails grew so impressively.  Marvel at the way my life would be changed forever. I'm giving it a go and will update you tomorrow. 

 

You see, you've got to have dreams and aspirations. Yours might be somewhat different to mine. Perhaps yours involve appearing on television, like Miss Copley did once; maybe you want to dance and sing on stage like Miss Mills, Miss Baliol-Key and Ms Flint have; you may want to own the largest collection of gin bottles the world has ever known even though there is certainly not a member of staff at school that this dream could be compared to, no siree; you might want to unicycle like the king of the one wheel and be almost as heroic as Mr Gosling or you could be recognised for your ability to sing songs online, inspired by Mrs White, who, so few of you realise is auditioning for Evita, I think.

 

Good luck with your dreams and, quite honestly, there has never been a better time to let these take shape in your minds. Do plenty of this today and the right amount of school work.

 

Take are, cool kids.  

6.5.2020

 

It's Wednesday, could be Ben's day? 

 

I had a super day in school yesterday, where we had 14 children in during the morning. Vast numbers! I do not know how we coped. I must say that these children need a special mention because they are experiencing a very different Lockdown to lots of you and they still managed to get some work done, cooperating, sharing , playing together and enjoying themselves. Their parents are involved in a range of occupations and services and have somehow maintained a semblance of normality, regardless of the huge uncertainty. So, I am back for more today. 

 

Actually, I should be in a bit later than expected because I am in a bit of a muddle. My body parts are jumbled up. Not sure how it happened, to be quite honest with you but I am a combination of arms and legs, shoulders and feet, hands and ears but none of it is in the correct place. It might have something to do with sleeping in an awkward position last night.  I have an eye on the end my thumb and another on my index finger, which has found the top of the kitchen cupboard  where the dust likes to linger; there are three toes where  my nose goes and I feel embarrassed about showing those; I have my front at the back and my back at the bass, you don't want to see where I now have my face; the hair I once had on the top of my head finds itself on my tummy and sits there instead; I've got knees where wrists go and my glutes have gone south; where once sat an ankle, I now find my mouth. It's going to be tricky to drive in my car, and unless I can reach the pedals I won't get very far but worse than this is the shame it all brings, I'd fly away if I only owned wings.  I've phoned for advice and they said 'sit it out. Things like this can happen, of that have no doubt'. So all I need is patience and I might be late. The children at school will just have to wait. 

 

So I will follow the advice and remember to stay calm, be patient, have faith. I'll remember my pal, Mr G's favourite quote: 'It'll all be ok in the end and if it isn't, it's not the end.'

 

Have patience. Waiting is good.  

5.5.2020

 

Good morning Class 10.

 

It looks like it is going to be a bright and sunny day and I am in school with Mrs Roberts today, so that makes me even happier.

 

I hope you are all well and safe and the work I have left for you this week is going well so far. The maths, as some of you will have seen, is from www.whiterosemaths.comthis week because I wanted you to have an extra challenge. There is nothing to stop you continuing with whichever maths you are doing; however, it is important that you keep working and revising this please. 

 

The school is a strange place without you all, something like a ghost ship, I would imagine. The corridors are quiet and calm and the furniture is unmoved by the change in routine. One of the stools in the computer suite looks a bit sad, doubtlessly wondering why nobody has gone near him for so long. Who knew that stools had feelings? The doors to the classrooms remain closed and are probably desperate for children to fling them open, march through and loudly and proudly declare that they have arrived and want knowledge in their curious brains. The carpet is looking relaxed with less foot traffic to deal with and the windows sparkle and wink at the walls, unsullied by greasy finger marks. Mrs Breckon has stayed on top of the cleaning and tidying because, for those of you who have read 'My name is Mina' dust, which is almost entirely made up of microscopic flakes of human skin and hair loves to come to school, in spite of lockdown. So the place is lovely and smart. We have a book lending library in the foyer for anyone who wants a book and there are bits and pieces of stationery (not stationary which is STILL nothing to do with pens and pencils) are there for you if you need them. Mr Nicholson came up with this idea which we realised was better than my suggestion of having a table of second hand man pants and socks, in case Long Bennington was suffering a shortage. Even I see the folly in that now that it has been explained. 

 

So yes, we look smart at school but, honestly, we would all dearly love things to return to normal because you are the reason we all signed up for this job in the first place. Personally, you give me a huge part of my purpose in life and I miss frowning, shouting and telling you off. I know you will feel the same about my hilarious stories and anecdotes. 

 

Love you lots, pipkins. 

4.4.2020

 

Good morning everybody.

 

I hope you are all well and raring to go on this new Monday. The week is bouncing with possibilities, alive with colour and flavour and you, as a member of the human race, with your human face, are invited to stay and revel in it. In spite of what sacrifices people are continuing to make , we still have an abundance of choice. There is still options ad infinitum. 

"What is he talking about?" the eaves dropping sparrows on the fence chirrup, even though their lives remain largely unaffected by government guidance. It seems a fair question, though but I have a ready answer. It's here in my pocket....hang on... oh, heck! Blinking zip's jammed. Wait a sec. Just need to work it a bit....it's giving in....curse you, zip. Did you think you could defeat me, though I have the dexterity of a creature blessed by evolution and the determination of a person who was once known in his own mind as the World's Cardboard Box Flattening Champion back from the days when his dad had a shop and they had loads of packaging that needed squashing for recycling and sentences were sometimes allowed to go on for ages because the teachers had given up on him and stopped caring. Right, here is my answer...got it now.

 

You have choices from the minute you wake up. Spring out of bed or stay snuggled up? Eat cereal or eat toast? Stay in PJs all day or get dressed? Do Joe Wicks PE or make up your own exercises? Have a shower or stay stinky like a newt? Fall out with your reflection or admire yourself for being the beautiful human being that you are? Say kind things to your siblings or write down all the things that you appreciate about them in a secret diary?  Be considerate to the grown ups in your house or forget to do this and make up for it tomorrow? Contact friends or give yourself a day to enjoy your own company? Think of yourself with positivity or worry that you're not good enough? Forgive someone or walk away and leave them alone? Overcome sadness by choosing a new perspective or at least think you want to do this. 

These are just the obvious things. If you break each choice down further, closely  consider the minutiae , it becomes endless, not unlike these daily updates.  

 

What I am trying to tell you is that you are resilient and strong. The challenges are part of life and you are made to face down tricky times. You've got it in you to be whatever you want. Remember this, today and enjoy yourself. Keep the other values, like love, respect, justice and service in your heart too and you have the chance for joy to float in like a flying carpet. 

 

Catch you all later, Groovers. 

3.5.2020

 

Of course I didn't mean what I said yesterday. 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

 

2.5.2020

 

It's Football Day, except without the football. York's season would have finished this weekend and we were actually looking good for promotion this year, top of the league and winning games. I've been a Yorkie, man and boy and we've had about 5 half decent seasons in all that time and certainly more painful ones. It seems a bit unlucky that we have more than likely lost out on some glory for once and it occurred to me that I might be better off not really caring. Grow up and forget it. Don't suffer the regular torment of supporting a team and wasting time, money and energy on it. 

So, I ordered a robot heart, which arrived by drone last night. It had all this futuristic packaging and came from a company called Care Less Laboratories who promise to ease all your pain and suffering simply by applying their highly sophisticated, yet easy to use technology. Inside the box was a small piece of kit, wrapped up in that white foam stuff you get mobile phones in. There were instructions and, before I knew it, I'd attached the robot heart to my chest using a strap. It is actually quite comfortable and non-abrasive. Incredibly, I could feel the difference almost immediately. It sets itself automatically and picks up the beat of your own heart, replaces that with it's own science rhythms and then stores your own heart beat, effectively switching it off. Not only are you now fully protected from unwelcome, painful feelings, but you also let your heart hibernate. If you want to use it later, it means it has been preserved and your life will continue beyond the time it might have been expected to. It's like cryogenics but without the chilblains and bright lights. What could go wrong? 

My new heart only arrived in the evening so I didn't get to experience much but here are a few things I noticed: 

 

1. I can't be doing with cooking normally because it's not for me but I did the tea no bother. Just threw some frozen things in the oven and dinner was served in 25 minutes. No fuss. No ceremony and we got that job done and dusted.

2. I saved electricity because I didn't bother to put the radio on whilst washing up. I wasn't in need of any music. 

3. Not feeling desperate for a laugh and some fun, I didn't stay up late to watch Friday Night Dinner so I'm nice and fresh this morning. I've got a clear head and some energy too.

4. It has taken me no time to whizz through a few more of your reports. I was spending ages on them before, trying to find just the right words but my new heart tells me that isn't important. Parents just want the facts, right? 

5. I haven't lost time reading 'My name is Mina' to Alfie and Lilia. They are already perfectly capable of reading to themselves so I've saved myself some time there.

6. I've avoided social contact with people in the park because I didn't walk Billy. He's perfectly fine to be left in the garden. He can run about there on his own and smell other dogs from next door. I think I only walked him because I thought he needed it but he's fine.

7. I haven't worried at all about disturbing my friends and family by phoning them or sending messages. I always think they'll be in the middle of something important ,so now I don't think I'll bother calling at all. Miles easier.

 

So my emotions are no longer a big deal. I'm not worrying needlessly about the world during this crisis; my parental guilt is not there anymore and I can leave the kids to occupy themselves; I can function better as a teacher and will probably be much more business like in the classroom and cut out all attempts to amuse anyone; if I have any true friends at all, they will understand why I have changed and approve, I expect and finally, I am now guaranteed to live until I am incredibly old. I'll probably out live you lot! Amazing eh? 

 

If any of you want the details for the robot heart, I can pass them on. You have to meet certain criteria (basically, it cost me my life savings, but it was well worth it)

 

Do you know what? I'm going to get rid of all my old replica York City shirts and other memorabilia.  There's loads of that stuff and  I can't see what supporting them has ever brought to me. I've got the crates that I keep them in out of the garage and I'll bin the lot. I'm feeling lighter already. 

Hang on, I don't remember them playing in grey. They were always red. The colour has faded on this one...and this one...blimey, everything is grey and dull. Oh well. 

 

 

1.5.2020

 

White rabbits!

 

I hope you are all well and heard that our Summer Production 'The Play That Makes No Sense' is now on Classroom for you to read and hopefully get excited about. I'm sure we can make it happen somehow. 

 

Honestly, this morning has been weird already. 'Really?' I hear a voice from the bottom of the bathroom bin call out. 'More weird than any of the other days that you've been telling your reader about?' 

''Well, yeah," I reply because talking to bins is totally fine and you mustn't worry if you do it from time to time, 

"Tell us why," echoes a chorus a chirpy sing song squeaker voices from inside the teapot. 

"What now?" I answer. "You 've got to be kidding! I have a Zoom call with some very important people in a few minutes and I haven't prepared my facial expressions properly."

"We love your face as it is," bellows a proboscis monkey, who is cleaning the windows. "You are just like us only in clothes and glasses." 

I blush and fall for this extraordinary flattery and decide to explain, even though time is charging towards me with an intimidating look on his abstract face. 

So I began to describe how when I woke up I was underwater and there were tropical fish passing by my face, fawning and pouting, as is their wont. I had fins and gills and found breathing was not the problem that my initial panic had assumed it would be. I floated off through the rest of the house only to find it was made of cheese, like that hotel somebody made in Sweden once. The kitchen had caged tigers dressed as clowns and an elephant was sat upon a beach ball in the living room, catching up on what ever Piers Morgan was shouting about. The children were all up and had cartoon faces. 

"I wonder why they haven't been changed by this oddness?" I sang to myself, trying to impersonate cool guy rocker William 'On my'ead' My-son but sounding more like Cliff Richard. 

The ceiling was dripping jelly and music was wafting in and out like the tide does when people push the tide about to show how hard they are. 

I didn't get any of this until I remembered that Magic Ian , who lives in our street, always does a little conjuring on Fridays and he had posted something on Facebook about doing something 'Stupendous, Magnificent and Beyond your wildest dreams' today. 

Good old Ian. Ever the wag. 

 

 

Have a magical weekend, cherubs and get singing your little hearts out. Do it. Do it for the world. 

30.4.2020

 

Greetings Earthlings, 

 

I am writing this to you from Space after over doing it on the trampoline. It's fine though. Got myself a little desk set up on a comet, I've found one of Felix Baumgartner's socks from when he was readying himself for his massive sky dive about 7 years ago, the view is spectacular, of course and all I need to do is be aware of Elon Musk's satellites, which he is catapulting up here in batches of 50. If one of them things hits me it could have my eye out!

 

So, the peace and solitude of being up here is quite relaxing as I look down over the world and wonder about all the people, especially you. What is everybody doing right now? Who is being brave in the face of adversity and who is being brave in the face of angry mums yelling at them for their messy bedrooms? I think about the pollution that is still disappointingly obvious from up here and how it has taken a global disaster for us all to see how clean it could be if greed was parcelled up and dispatched somewhere where it could be recycled and turned into pomegranates. I think we should have a week's lockdown every year to give the world a chance to breathe and no ships, planes or trains on a Sunday. If you want to get somewhere, walk or bike. (Or get a piggy back from me; I'm going that way, anyway.) I think of the thoughtfulness of people who are looking out for family, friends, neighbours and even those they don't know and imagine if their kindness glowed, how the world would dance with patches of brilliant light and God would see it and know he wasn't wrong. I remember the people we won't see again. Bless them

 

I can't stay up here all day. I've got a casserole in the slow cooker. It's well slow because I didn't switch it on. So after this I'm going to breathe out and descend gradually back down because that's how space travel works, I think.

 

Love you guys.  

 

29.4.2020

 

Morning all.

 

Here we are again, ready for education, enlightenment, sophistication and eloquent brilliance. I can see why you have come to me for this, obviously, but having looked at some of those teachers on Oak National, I'm having a confidence crisis. Aren't they brilliant? Some of them are only about 6, by the look of them. Well, I've got truths in my armoury, where they have lessons.

 

Actually, it is a wonder I've made it through the night. There were strange sounds coming from somewhere nearby for most of the dead hours.  Eerie sounds, not cheery sounds, sneery sounds, making me weary sounds. It was an angry hooting, honking and venting cacophony and obviously it made trying sleep a right old pain.   It wasn't long before peculiar exotic animals gathered in the street, presumably looking to see if the jungle was open yet. The thing was it went on all night and now I'm shattered. Looking out of the window, even the trees are sleepy and the clouds have their eyes shut still. I thought to myself, 'I'll get to the bottom of this mystery, you know'. I'm like Scooby Doo when there are things that need straightening up, only without the squeaky voice and hippy best mate. I grabbed my sleuth's flipbook, deer stalker hat and imaginary pipe, which helps me to carry off the rest of the look. I started in the obvious places: the bathroom, in case there was a leaky, drippy pipe; the kid's bedrooms in case it was their devices left on or their own nocturnal gruffling and grunting; the discarded rabbit hutch, where I sometimes go to think, even if it's a bit of a squeeze, before finally looking in the kitchen. This was when I realised what had happened: I'd forgotten to turn the radio off after doing the washing up and it had somehow auto tuned into Radio 1, the one where drum and bass is pumped over the news, the presenters all squeak like a piglet with it's tail caught in a helium balloon string and everything is 'Amazing!'. 

I was proper relieved to find the terrible cause of the upset and quickly found Old Duffer FM instead, which is far more soothing and acceptable. So, as I write this from my easy chair, sucking on a hard toffee and looking forward to Gardener's World, I am feeling the equilibrium return. 

Make sure you find your peace today. 

 

 

28.4.2020

 

Hi everybody. 

 

Why so informal, you ask? Good question, I reply but my answer is simple; I am writing this whilst wearing a pair of corduroy action slacks, a Van Heusen shirt for tall men, sports jacket with elbow patches and polished brogues, You see, I'm all ready for school and when you look this casual, it emanates through the rest of the body like a galvanising force for good. 

 

Thank you to those of you who gave me some time for a chat yesterday and I hope that those of you who I was unable to speak to, at least listened to my voicemail. The punishment for not answering the phone was that I sang a made up song, like Reception children do but pretend they've been working on it for a while. Speaking of songs, William has started a band. I think most of you will have heard him practising in his garage. It is a Heavy Metal band called Blaze Trailers of the Second Element and he is now known as Will 'on me 'ead' My-son'. Pretty cool, eh? He skyped me and showed me his long hair,  motor bike (the iron horse) and tattoos which he drew on with felt tip. He loves a bit of felt tipping, does William. His songs are great , as well. A bit shouty, sure, but that's because he is a devotee of the art of noise. Look out for the release of the first single, ''ead bang in Rotterdam' with 'gotta get out of this place' on the B-side.  

You won't believe it when you see and hear all this. William probably doesn't quite believe this too,

 

  It is fascinating how you have been spending your time, being creative and kind to your families. Amanda Spielman is an important lady who works for Ofsted and she said that it has been unfair for children to miss out on their education and that home learning is no substitute for being in school. In many ways, I think she is right but there seems to have been some incredible feats of endurance and resilience, creativity and skill as well. I am staggered by some of the things you have all been doing and love how you have adapted, rolling your sleeves up and just getting on with it. I know she sees this too. Aren't you clever? 

My point is, that humans need to be creative and solve problems and you are perfecting these skills right now with the help of your parents. 

Now I've got to go and set up for school. Mr Gosling is in too so that will be fun. 

Have a good day.

I've added Tuesday.

27.4.2020

Good morning, tinkers.

 

It's a dull, grey start to our week, the sort of weather that deserves no mention but I want to champion it because I am a fan of the underdog. Besides, if it came to an arm wrestle, the sort that people had in the 1970s to entertain themselves, the wily experience and dark mystery of  insipid weather would be overpowering for the youthful, shiny disposition of sunshine and then we'd all be chanting its name like hyenas at a free ice cream van. I'll be embracing it and revelling in the overcast simplicity of it, whilst staying in, drinking tea and dunking hobnobs and watching back to back episodes of Animal Magic.

 

I found a cupboard in my house that I hadn't noticed before because it was hidden behind an original Renoir oil painting that we use to test if the spaghetti is cooked by throwing it at the glossy surface. I chucked a string of the leggy food at the picture and didn't realise there was a meatball attached to the fatty fronds and disaster struck. The beefy meat knocked the  painting off its hook and it fell to the kitchen floor with a crash, splintering the frame, slicing the canvas but avoiding hitting Billy's new metal food bowl.  My first thought was that I was pleased that nothing valuable had been damaged. Then I noticed the curious doorway. It was tiny really but my perspective of size is rubbish because I am the size of Shrek, aren't I? Plus, I need to get to the optician's at some point. Turns out that it was small but certainly sizeable enough for me to slink through, so long as butter is applied to the shoulder area. Where did this interesting portal lead to, you may ask? What treasures lay beyond this hatch of wonder? Hidden doorways always yield exciting, mystifying artefacts. I booted the Faberge egg out of the way. I don't know why we have to keep this daft paper weight right there on the kitchen side; it probably wants chucking, to be honest. Then I clambered up on to the work surface, nudged the doorway and, to my delight, it gave way easily, like a despondent husband who knows he has to go shopping even though there is football on telly. 

 

Butter applied, I squeezed into the gap and it was dark, I can tell you. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face because my hands were still behind me holding on to the frame. I slithered and slid like an animal I can't think of to complete the simile, before uncoiling like a rope on the other side of the wall. My eyes gradually adjusted to the light and I inched forwards, shuffling my feet and holding my hands out in front and to the side. I must have looked like Rick Astley when he did those slow songs to show his musical integrity and  nearly killed his career until it was resurrected recently due to a lack of imagination and middle-aged mums learning how to download videos. Suddenly, my foot connected with a heavy metal box, something akin to a tool box full of drill bits, nails or other ironmongery. I stooped down to pick it up. It was heavy, oh boy was it? Yes, I've just said that. Perhaps the dark and excitement was playing tricks on my mind and making me ask and answer my own questions. Luckily for me, I'm from Yorkshire, born and bred, strong in t' back and thick in t 'ead, so I had bad generalising poetry on my side. I lifted the box with my mighty northern strength and passed it back through the aperture through which I had previously passed. After I got back through, I couldn't wait to examine the loot. I was full of excitement and anticipation. 

I spread all the bits of rusty, dusty metal on the Persian rug so as not to scratch the laminate flooring. There were bits of spider web on everything, dead bluebottles and woodlice and other indeterminate waxy black things. Amongst this dirty detritus I found an array of allen keys, wood screws, washers, rawl plugs, ten inch nails, broken scissors that only need a bit of tape to fix them, Stanley knife blades and other sharp bits of metal. What a winner!

I closed the lid and felt so lucky. This stuff would definitely come in useful so I shoved the Ming Vase out of the way on the mantelpiece (I've never liked that pot) and put the tin there in its place. I went back to the kitchen and closed the little door, replaced the painting on its hook and ignored the broken frame. It was easy enough to prop it up using the Stradivarius  that I can't be bothered to play anyway. 

What an incredible find, eh? Whilst all the DIY shops are shut, this was a right bonus. 

The moral of this story is to value what you've got, treasure your belongings and look for the good in things. 

26.4.2020

 

God will give you strength... and best friends to remind you of it ...

25.4.2020

 

Salutations!

 

It's nice and early on Saturday morning which means we have the whole day laid out before us like a picnic blanket in a park. (Ooh, wouldn't that be nice?) I wonder what you are going to do with yourselves today. You might take it easy, enjoying a day free of school work and home learning and that would be fine. Or perhaps you might follow the example of Ollie Chappell who started a fundraiser this week. If anyone wants to see what incredible things he is up to, I am sure you can look it up on Ollie's walking challenge and go fund me page. It's another level of amazing and some of you will be astounded by what he has done in only two days. 

 

You might also know about Maisie and Annabel, who have been putting in some serious miles on their bikes with their mum. Annabel is only just turned six and learned to ride only three weeks ago but her achievements are remarkable. Well done to both of you fabulous girls. 

 

Anything is possible if you put your mind to it, it seems. So go and get your thinking caps on and do something you never imagined you could before. You are limited by your imagination and that is all. Think about the inspirational people on your coat pegs. Have fun and post it on Classroom if you want.  You could even 'meet up' on there to discuss an idea involving everybody. That would be interesting. 

 

My main aim for this weekend is to polish the script, ready to send it to you all because I still want to do this somehow. 

 

Loads of love to everybody . 

 

 

24.4.2020

 

Good morning artists, writers, mathematicians and tortoise handlers.

 

How are you today? I hope you are well and looking forward to another day of Bitesize fun. I hope this work has been useful and enjoyable. Again, let me thank you for diving into it with such enthusiasm, like eager octopuses grabbing at a overboard sailor's leg. Did you know it is acceptable to use octopi, as well, depending on your preference? Some people even say octopodes and I laughed when I looked this up. Basically, all forms can be used but whoever wrote the thing I read ended it by saying this form wasn't really right. They finished by saying people using it were being silly and shouldn't use it and 'nor should you!' I loved the grizzly tone of this. It seemed a bit angry or dogmatic and you know what happens when people tell you NOT to do a thing that you hadn't really thought of until they say it....

 

Daisie was telling me about the nature programmes she and her family have been watching and it got me thinking. I want you to imagine David Attenborough, or his next door neighbour, Graham Viveash if David is busy on Roblox, So either one of them, (let's say Graham because it's most likely really) is on the trail of a new, previously undiscovered creature somewhere near the wilds of Fernwood. He's heard rumours of unearthly noises, strange leavings outside on people's driveways and inhuman stenches, reminiscent of ancient life forms, long since departed. Graham, known to his mates as Goof, is walking tentatively along the old railway line noticing evidence: heavy footprints bigger than a large man's; the shredded remains of feathers from the pigeons and crows that usually roll and tumble in the skies of Newark; sulphur smells that penetrate the mind with evil intent and cling to his brand new Rab Jacket. Goof edges gingerly along the path, whispering quietly because he's done nature TV training and that's lesson 3. The tension rises as more and more fresh evidence emerges like twisting and writhing annelids at the Somerset worm charming festival where Mr Haigh likes to take his family for a treat most years but can't this year for obvious reasons. 

Eventually, Goof finds himself on the edge of the estate and bravely continues, examining upturned pebbles, scratchy markings on the curb edges and what seems like discarded satsuma peel but is probably the creature's scaly skin. Goof finds long greasy hairs, too lengthy for a human and suggests our beast is huge. The mid-morning sun disappears as  eerie noises echo along the street and make Graham's ears twitch like a robot. He's hyper now, I can tell you and ready to spring into action and utilise the self taught karate skills he's been working on in his garage. 

"Hi Graham," calls Margaret from number 15.

"I can't stop, Margaret. I'm on the verge of a nature breakthrough and the cameraman needs a wee" he solemnly replies because he secretly likes Margaret and has done since school but never did anything about it. 

He cautiously continues and finds stains on the ground, presumably from this fierce predators lusty feeding frenzies. The acrid smells remain. There is a rumble and Goof knows he's about to fulfil a lifelong dream and take his place in the nature watching halls of fame. Maybe even win a voucher for 1 free ticket to the Tring Natural History museum. (He doesn't need 2 tickets)

He rounds a corner, taking every care not to disturb a thing, softly treading in his sensible Clarke's shoes and holding his breath. The moment has arrived. Getting the camera focussed they zoom in and see it!

 

The trouble is, it's only Jack and he's been falling out with Harry on a bike ride they have just taken for daily exercise. I know, they normally get along a treat like two Emperor Penguins at a disco but Jack didn't like his brother finishing the last of the Coco Pops so he was uncharacteristically mean and probably let his usually cool demeanour slip. Poor Harry has bits of feathers in his hair, orange peel in one sock and a smear of mud on his bike frame that certainly wasn't there before. Jack has a chunk of his lockdown hair missing and Harry is shamefaced and sad. I can't fully explain the smell but it was probably the beet factory belching it's revolting fumes and Goof just forgot. He slinks away like a despondent lizard, knowing his dreams are still beyond his reach. 

 

Anyway, I did say imagine all this,(can't even remember why now) and I know  that Jack and Harry never do anything like this in reality. Jack, thank you for answering the maths question yesterday and I hope you enjoyed this 'prize'. 

 

Be good everyone and look out for other learning suggestions on Classroom. I'll be there at 10. 

 

 

 

 

23.4.2020

 

Hello, hello! 

 

It's another glorious day and almost perfect for following on from Earth Day 2020, which was celebrating its 50 year anniversary. Wow! We really do need to respect our planet and everything in/on it. I love how many simple changes can make a huge difference and the message of how crucial this is must be at the front of all our minds.

 

I was lucky enough to speak to a few more of you yesterday when I connected the tin cans and string telephones to yours at home. Thank you very much for giving me some time as it was lovely to check in with you and hear your voices. Some of your stories made me laugh. You should hear what Olivia was doing! It was tree-mendous. In case anyone is wondering, I have chosen to call you at random ( I should have said this) and please don't worry if I haven't phoned you yet. Equally, I left a couple of messages on the phones of some parents and hope I haven't called and disturbed anyone. It's so important to keep connected and that is why I have been writing on here, appearing on Classroom and calling. 

 

I heard about a boy who is clapping all day for carers and that seems incredible to me. That's a hero, right there. I couldn't do it. I love the clapping nights but, honestly, I start to feel tired after those few minutes or just start wondering when I need to stop compared to everyone else, so this young kid is incredible. He'll get sore hands and might start to feel a bit funny doing it at some points but he said it was so important and has already raised £2000. What a stunning chap. Give him a thought today. Then, like me, you might have heard Tom Moore and Michael Ball's 'You'll never walk alone'. This was played just after the clapping story. Well, I was a mess by the end of it, gibbing like a blackbird watching opera. I used to be a headbanging, moshing, Metallica-loving, nutcase and now I'm blowing my nose like a goose, red-eyed and bawling, listening to Old Person FM. I don't mind this because this is the time to learn about emotions. I know a few of you even looked at my Emotional Literacy tasks and, if nothing else, just make sure you talk about your feelings from time to time. Big fellas cry too, you know.

 

 Have a cracking day. Hopefully chat to a few of you today at 10am or later on the phone. 

 

 

22.4.2020

 

Good morning, Brainiacs.

 

I am delighted with the work you have been 'turning in' (what a peculiar way to say it) lately and want to thank you for that. Let me reiterate that my Classroom tasks are only there for you, should they appeal to you and you do not have to go back over the last few weeks to try to catch up. I do want you to attempt to follow the timetable below. You will see the other activities that Mr Nicholson has found for you and it would be nice to imagine you tackling these and letting him know on our stream, perhaps. 

 

I had the pleasure of speaking to a small number of you yesterday and I hope to catch you all at some point over the coming weeks.  Once again, I will be available between 10 and 11am on Classroom today. Press the update button to see any new comments because it will not show new posts unless you do this. 

 

Keep reading lots of books and talk to grown ups about them. This is so important. 

 

I wrote a song about my football mates recently, based on the survey that I told you about. It was great fun and, as you might guess, all I did was change the words to a song I knew. It took  bit of work but it was fun. If that kind of idea appeals to you, give it a go. There are some activities that we don't appreciate the value of until we participate and this was certainly one for me. The only down side is that I am expecting Simon Cowell to ask me to sign a recording contract for a million squillion pounds now and when he does that will be the end of my teaching, obviously. I will send you  free tickets to my O2 concerts though. I'm not somebody who will change simply because I become rich and famous, don't you worry about that. 

 

So please catch up with me at 10 today and a personal message to Casey: please help JJ and Logan to find Classroom. Google it and use the code 4ypgtr7 and I will be so grateful. You can send me a message too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

21.4.2020

 

Good morning everybody.

 

I have put the timetable of activities from BBC Bitesize for you below and want you to do this, please. I think you will enjoy the tasks and we do need to try to get back into some kind of working routine now. I will be investigating other home learning options but think this looks good and my own children enjoyed it yesterday. 

 

Please know that I understand the issues behind trying to learn this way and it is, of course no substitute to being  at school. Hopefully it won't be too long before we can all bet back in the classroom.  

 

You can decide how to report back to me. You may wish to :

 

 

1. Take photos of any work, download it and send it to the folder I have put in the Classroom work section. 

2. Join in the live chat on stream.Here, we can talk about the tasks. I will be available from 10 -11am today. Of course, I will be checking during the day and you can contact me as before.

3. Just enjoy the tasks and discuss them with people you choose.

 

 

 I will still put ideas on the Classroom page for you to tackle, should they appeal to you. I would like the Self portrait work. Other previous work does not need to be completed because they were suggestions only, so please don't panic about wading through things now. I am happy if you had a bit of a break and have stayed safe and well. 

 

I will try to keep the live sessions the same every day. If it becomes apparent that 10 - 11 is unsuitable for most people, I will re-think it. 

 

Have a go today and we'll take it from there. Hope to speak to you later. 

 

 

This week's learning:

20.4.2020

 

Good morning, Class Ten,

 

I hope you are all well and enjoyed the 'holiday'. You are unlikely to have one like it again. Let's hope not, eh?  

 

I am expecting to see a few more familiar faces on Classroom now that you have had a bit of  a break and, don't forget, it is still a good place just to communicate with friends , even if you don't feel able to try all the tasks. I know you will be doing your own things as well and that is fine. That said, there will be some point when you return to school and I want you to be as prepared as possible for that so come along and give it a go. Rossi was the first to return the most recent  maths challenge, which was great to see. 

 

I wonder if you can remember the part of Skellig where Mina's mum tells Michael about the goddess, Persephone and how Spring is born again when she is freed from her underground imprisonment. There is a wonderful description of the arduous journey that she takes through the ground to reach earth's surface. Her arrival begins the onset of warmer weather and new life. I wonder if any of you would like to describe this event in your own words. Be creative and enjoy looking out of the window at the changes happening right before your eyes.

 

There is another really interesting idea in the book where Michael and Mina consider what a blackbird chick dreams about. Perhaps you could do this for any other innocent young creature. If you manage to do this work and want to record it in some way, I'd love to read it. You can post anything on Classroom and I'll open a folder for any of  your creative writing. I thought it would be interesting to discover what the garden robin dreams about. I imagined it would be about survival, the desperate search for food in harsh weather; the beautiful blue sky and the sensation of flying; the array of bizarre sounds which echo across suburbia and the dread of having to explain that they are not only winter birds, but are also known to appear at other times, like if the Goose fair is on because they love a go on the bumper cars before the crowds gather and Crazy Tony, who runs them, only charges a 20p tiny bird rate. I had a chat with the robin to find out. Turns out his name is Robin, which I should have known. He said I was well wrong and that he dreams about turning up at work in bright green trousers or trying to run but can't, the same as anyone else. Illusion shattered.

 

Have a look at the bitesize home learning today. Share your thoughts on the stream on Classroom.

 

I'll say it quietly...I miss you lot.   

19,4,2020

 

Matthew 7:7-12 New International Version (NIV)

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

18.4.2020

It's Saturday and the ICT team are set to carry out more maintenance work so I am keeping this nice and short, in case it doesn't post anyway. Besides, brevity is the soul of wit, as they say (and I need to learn).

 

Look, it's easy. In the words of my mate, Stormzy, try to be grateful, count all your blessings. 

 

Or try this: 

"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."  Groucho Marx said that. 

 

 

17.4.2020

 

Hello Dearies!

 

'Hello Grandma,' you reply. Then I laugh because I tricked you, albeit gently, into thinking this was a message from a sweet silver-haired lady you might know who talks like that, only to be shocked to find it was only me: your evil governess, Miss Hartle-Brookingdale, ready to check that you are being polite to your elders, scrubbing your nails clean, eating proper vegetables, learning embroidery, saying your prayers and Latin declensions, playing the harpsichord, developing your aptitude for elocution and recording nature in leather bound journals. Again, I chuckle to myself, like somebody with no sense because that is known as a double bluff. It's Mr Haigh after all. You cheer like meercats and I get on with the update. 

 

So we've got three more weeks of lockdown. at least. That's alright. We can do this. You just need to keep some discipline, read books, listen to music, be kind and helpful at home, remember other people and stay safe. I thought about this and tried to think of anything that might take me three weeks to achieve, complete or accomplish. This is what I've thought of so far:

 

Paint the spots on a giraffe's neck. (Standard size 10, of course)

Learn to firewalk.

Put a pair of contact lenses in successfully while the optician reminds me it is easy for most people.

Mark writing at the beginning of the year when everyone has forgotten all the rules of grammar.

Begin to tell anyone who will listen everything I know about York City FC. It would be a fascinating introduction, of course.

Watch and understand a single episode of Dr. Who. 

Calm down after York lose, even though I should be used to that. 

Walk all the way along the Great Wall of China or walk all the way to my car in high heels. 

Angle-grind my big toenails. They are due, actually.

Pick up the glitter from the carpet in Class 6.

Learn how to order stuff online or fill in any kind of form that grown ups get sent through the post. 

Understand and use the basic computer functions that Ms Baliol-Key has tried to teach me lots of times. (Probably more than three week, to be fair)

Perfect any dance move without looking like step ladders falling over.

Grow any sort of recognisable facial hair. I'm 45 and have never got close.

 

So have a think about your own three week possibilities. You can see that I am being productive, so join me, weary travellers as we explore the geography of chance, time and opportunity. 

16.4.2020

 

Good morning, People of courage. 

 

I had a really nice day yesterday at school and Ms Handley and I were lucky to have such beautiful weather. This meant the children were able to enjoy plenty of fresh air and warm sunshine, topping up on vitamin D. In the morning, more incredible things happened during the day for me to report on with only the tiniest embellishments here and there and only then because I need to exercise my imagination, just like you exercise your bodies with Joe. (You should see my brain in its PE kit, now; like a model in the sports pages of Grattan and Littlewoods) I saw one of my favourite people in the whole world, Matthew Jesson, who was out taking exercise with his mum. She was on her bike, whilst Matthew was riding his cat because it has grown big enough to fit a saddle on now. He was as wonderful as ever. I went through my usual story about how he named a horse, Kieran and, from out of nowhere, he asked why people ever fall out, reasoning that there is no need to be mean, especially as there is not enough time to do all the kind things you want to do. I was blinking through my tears as his mum reminded him of his reaction when she ate his Easter egg. Gotta love that boy! 

 

It wasn't all lovely, cute times, although we did see a few of you out and about, also taking exercise with your parents. No -and this bit is totally kosher-on my way home, I found myself embroiled in a grisly tale or murder and devilry. The house near me, by which I mean the large Amityville-style building with broken windows, tattered drapes, loose tiles and the overgrown garden, that I had always assumed was a party venue for ducklings and kittens having their first birthdays, was surrounded by police detectives, crime reporters and black crows, cawing ominously from dead trees and chimney stacks. It made it difficult to park actually because there was a cordon and because, until then, I hadn't noticed that I'd forgotten my car. 

There was the sound of low but urgent discussion from the besuited gathering and I could hear the occasional word: 'broken window', 'pool of blood', 'upturned furniture' and 'half-eaten pickled onion'. This sent a chill up and down my spine. My own blood ran cold. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck did a little shiver and shudder,  as if they'd heard that there was going to be extra homework handed out. It was a proper nasty feeling. I wondered what on earth might have occurred in this unlikeliest of cul-de-sacs in posh suburban Grantham ( Contain yourself, people of Newark)  

Very soon, and much to my dismay,  a van from Bodybags.com drew up. OMINOUS! Somewhere in the distance a  wolf howled like it had trapped its toe in an automatic door. I didn't think I could stand the upset and horror of what I was seeing. You don't expect this kind of thing around here. I trembled. I felt faint and quite nauseous. The sky darkened as the rain clouds formed like unfunny magicians at a children's party.

 

Then, I remembered, that there had been a community whip round to celebrate Bert Scratby's birthday. He is a funny neighbour, in his early 40s and loves nothing more than an escape room or an experience weekend. He had been due to attend a murder mystery event in a lovely gothic hotel on the outskirts of Cambridge. to celebrate. It was all booked and everything! Then, like all things, it was cancelled and he was sad. The pot of cash was enough for a clever engineer to reproduce all of this on a massive projector screen, beamed in from that London.  None of this was real and Bert was enjoying every second from the safety of his living room window.

I am a silly sausage aren't I?

 

Look after yourselves and know that when you feel scared you have the brain capacity to be brave, the loved ones to look after you and that fear will always pass.   

15.4,2020

 

Well I did tell you to write a daily update or face the consequences. So, here I am, back and ready to write an ACCURATE account of my day for you to read. 

 

Thank you to the other authors, who have created these 'ramblings', as Archie calls them, although I don't see my style in them at all. Yours are too funny for a start! 

 

Yesterday was interesting. I had spent some time scrunched up like a leggy paper bag that refuses to sit properly on a chair, in spite of the best advice from its expensive chiropractor. It was the usual thing: computer work for school , which was genuinely interesting and why I had spent too long in that awkward position. However, I did realise that I needed to move before my spine turned into a rusty zip, so I went to look outside to see what was happening there. I took Mina's advice and listened hard too and far off, beyond the sounds of the few car engines, the calling birds and the gentle breeze whispering through the birch tree, I could hear another intriguing sound. It was barely discernible but I focused and heard it again. It was coming from somewhere on the other side of the fence, so I edged nearer. My advance made no difference; it seemed just as far away. I got onto tip toes and cupped one hand around my ear, as if to make it clearer. This is obviously proven to work because loads of people do it, don't they? The point is, in spite of all this extensive investigation, I was unable to locate the source of the noise. That was until, Lilia shouted, "Hey, Daddy! Why have you got a snail in your hair. Look it's eating a leaf," Indeed I had and it's not surprising because my hair has grown too long, like everybody else's. I'm like a budget Radagast from Lord of the Rings, with creatures setting up home, consuming their packed lunches and probably carrying out other unsavoury things too.  

 

I noticed the blossom on the apple tree and went to inspect. I looked really closely inside one of the dainty pink flowers and, to my surprise, there was the face of a little tree person smiling kindly up at me. It was almost as if pareidolia was having a party in my tree but the voice explained that this was too big a word for most people to understand without looking it up and, thereafter, spending all day watching clouds, so  I must stop trying to sound clever and get on with the painful story. 

 

The face explained that she was happy because, being part of the tree meant she was recovering from the long, cold winter and glorifying in the warmth of the Spring season. This was good for her too because she had been known to filament-al strain due to her own rejection issues. She had once been something of a budding actress but had been rejected too often for her rather wooden performances. In fact, she had even noticed some gender inequality where the main roles had always been written for masculine characters with no females playing these parts. The outdated belief was that men should stamen and women should do the same. She was obviously appalled by this and even felt stigmatised  at times. She was happy to leaf the uncertainty of acting behind her, in fact. It seemed a bit of a sad story and made me think of the girls and women in my own family, my female friends and colleagues and you lovely girls in my class. I hope you all realise that  you are unstoppable and magnificent and you wouldn't ever need a feeble attempt at a flower story to illustrate this.

 

I am in school today so have to go shortly. This is a good thing really because otherwise I might tell you the fascinating tale of the scratch on my hand that began to talk to me at bedtime about environmental issues. It is probably worth saving for another day.

 

Have fun and stay safe. Please enjoy any tasks on Classroom, too.  

Also from Tuesday: 

 

How about this for inspiration:

 

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-52278746

 

He started out hoping to raise £1000, which would have been terrific. Just goes to show what people can do and when a single individual can make the most enormous difference. Never forget that. 

14.4.2020

 

 

Thank you, Archie. I really enjoyed this and love how you called it 'Ramblings'. I need some more, people!

 

 

Morning Class 10,

I had a fun and eventful day yesterday took my dog Buddy for a marvellous walk throwing his tennis ball when we spotted a very friendly T-rex and, knowing my dog, he began to chase it. The terrified Dino screamed like a little girl, “Argh! I don’t like doggies I only like Stegelodogololous's

(Luckily they stayed two metres apart at all times so Boris didn’t track us down.)

The frightened T-rex jumped, swiftly; into his lawn-mowing tractor and quickly carried on cutting the grass. Then a little while later, a very sick cloud dropped from the sky and face planted onto the ground. Suddenly a small figure started to emerge from the nauseous fluff ball and we couldn’t hack it so we got back to our house. Hope everyone is ok have a good day J.

13.4.2020

Good morning, children. Hope you are all well. Here is Paloma's daily update, which she wrote last Friday, as you will see:

 

It's Friday today. I'm right aren't I? It is Friday...Good Friday to be exact, just checked and confirmed with the calendar.

 

So the day started with a Joe Wicks workout. He was in a frog costume which got me thinking about a lonely little frog in our pond. Every night he has his big eyes popped out of the water, looking for a friend, so I asked him how he's not cold and he replied with the fact that he's a cold-blooded amphibian, which kind of ended our chat as he disappeared under the water. So that was that; it's not like having a dog. 

Anyway, Spring has arrived and I've got some important things to do (finishing that portrait for a start). Oh, and could I ask you to all check the date at the top of your work. I thought I saw someone had put 10.9.2020. No names, no, Mr H!

 

I definitely won't be ill from eating all my Easter eggs at once, this year. So be careful out there: you never know when a (insert name here)  moment will attack you!

 

Ta-ta for now, Old Beans.

 

Thank you, Paloma. 

 

I hope you don't mind my sensitive editing. Matilda will certainly know who's name was omitted!)

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday 1

If you look on Classroom, I have set the task of you children writing the daily update, writing in my own style. 

 

Ellie has already done one, which I think is superb.  I've posted it today to make up for there being no message tomorrow.

Here it is: 

 

Morning Class 10,

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of the Easter Holidays!

 

So far in lockdown, I’ve travelled into the weird world of the Wii again as I was that bored, and then today, my mum had an encounter of the confused kind. In the Co op, she was in the one-way system when an alien in front of her started coming closer and closer towards her. My mum, being her usual self, started to get anxious and moved backwards. The alien then turned around and said, “I’m not used to this,” and then started browsing through all the sweets, picking up all of them in the process! Some aliens aren’t sticking to the shop rules I hear.

 

Did you clap for Key Workers last night? There were fireworks in some places as well and if you know someone who’s a key worker, then be sure to ring them and say well done or thank you.

 

Now that’s enough of me rabbling on with no cohesion. Be sure to enjoy the Easter weekend and I hope to see all of you again soon (when we’re not as bored).

 

 

 

 

10.9.2020

(10.4.2020) Sorry Paloma. Well spotted. 

 

Good morning Class Ten,

 

I hope you are all well as we go into the Easter weekend. Whilst this is the most important part of the Christian calendar and ordinarily we would have celebrated in Church, things are quite different this year. So no readings, singing, acting and mask wearing fun in front of parents, unfortunately.  I do know that this is the greatest time for you chocolate lovers and even more significant than the much vaunted 'Cream, Bean and Sugar Gloop Festival' in Duluth, Minnesota, Whilst this is also the home town of American Folk hero, Bob Dylan, it is better known for this exciting annual event where they gather everybody outside Wally Gould's Hardware Store and, according to tradition, the people have exactly one hour to create the best chocolate sculpture, with the theme this year being 'abandoned well shafts'. No cheating, mind...sneaking whipped cream in is frowned upon. It might seem a bit niche but the whole event was cancelled anyway, much to Wally's chagrin. Bang goes his bumper pay day; it'll take him ages to shift the extra drill bits he got in special!  The point is, and I don't want to milk this, enjoy Easter and think of reasons to be grateful as you delicately nibble tiny morsels of sweet confectionary before sensibly wrapping it back up and saving some for the next few days or sharing it generously with your siblings.

 

Yeah, right!

 

I won't be able to post anything over the weekend because the site is being taken over by aliens and will be offline until they are done with it. It's either that or the software is being updated by clever engineers with proper grown up jobs that are too smart for my pea-brain. My reader will be sorry, I'm sure. 

 

Finally, and on a serious note, you will have possibly spent more time than usual on PCs, lap tops and devices and some of that has been encouraged by me. Please remember everything you have ever been told about keeping safe online. Do not communicate with anybody you do not know and if you are worried at all, speak to your parents straight away. You have all had lots of lessons on keeping safe online but, sadly, there are dangers out there. You don't need to worry about it, as long as you are sensible. remember that you matter to me very much, more than you realise, in fact. 

 

9.4.2020

 

Good morning Y6.

 

Today is very special for my family; it is Alfie's birthday and he is also a Y6 so you can probably imagine how he feels today. It is pretty exciting having a birthday and he is happy. However, like loads of people he can't celebrate in the way he would like and it made me consider how much of a shame it is for anyone who will spend their birthday locked down and maybe big plans have had to be shelved. 

I keep all of your birth dates in my drawer at school so that I can write 'Happy Birthday' on the board (yes, I know I often mess this up!) but that piece of paper is still there and I am afraid that I simply cannot remember your birthdays without it. I read that I had missed Rebecca's birthday this week because lovely Amelia had sent her birthday felicitations on Classroom. I will miss some more, no doubt and that is a bit rubbish. The thing is, I know you are all coping magnificently during this very confusing, extraordinary time and, in a funny way, this year's birthdays will be the most memorable, if not necessarily for great reasons. Or maybe your fabulous parents will make it fantastic and unique by being creative. This is another test of your growing resilience and maturity, of course and hopefully any celebrations can just be put on hold.

 

Yesterday, the postman delivered the mail and hidden amongst the adverts for Specsavers and Iceland,  the free county magazine,  the postman's sandwich which I don't think he meant to post, a few bills dressed in depressing brown and a card or two for Alfie, there was a shiny silver parcel. It was addressed to me and I was surprised. I wasn't expecting an exciting silver-clad package, not even just a standard letter so I pulled that face that grown ups pull when they are trying to say 'I wonder what this is?' instead of just actually finding out. You know the face, a knitting of the brow, the chin goes back and down towards the chest, the mouth turns down a touch and there can even be a slight hand gesture or raising of the shoulders. This the universal body language of wonder which turns an ordinary mail opening story into an even longer drawn out yarn, where the author himself is even wondering where this is all going as he desperately hopes to establish a point. Now, I pulled that face before deciding to put the delivery down and treat myself by checking out the frozen food bargains first, then pausing further to admire the range of spectacles that are available in Specsavers. It got me wondering about the many stylish frames available at excellent prices in all the other opticians on the high street whose names I am struggling to recall right now. Oh yeah, there's Boots, Vision Express and Smudgy Graham's land of eyes, which is probably the least well known in town.  After that, I drank tea. Have you kids discovered the delights of tea yet? Of course you have, I hear you reply. We know all about tea and how it grows in plantations in India, China, Kenya and Harrogate. It's best with just a splash of milk and no sugar unless you are under 20. Then I went to do more computer work for school. Yes, it really was a great time for ignoring what seemed to be the main subject of this tale and leaving everybody frustrated,

 

Eventually, I picked up the silvery box up and it was heavier than I remembered. I'd wanted to use it as a makeshift fan due to the sun's warmth spreading furtively through the house but it was entirely wrong for that so I just opened it. Unfortunately,  a metal tin fell from my clumsy fumbling fingers and it landed hard on my foot. I stooped to pick it up and it was all dented but not destroyed. It turned out to be a can of meat. 

 

"Oh no!" I muttered to myself like a purple weirdy. "Not more spam mail.'

 

Hey, stop groaning! That's all I've got. I can't just magic up a properly funny story, you know. Do I look like Harry Potter? 

 

Actually, a funny thing really did happen yesterday, not like that ridiculous fib. I was driving down my street and it was blocked by a van making a delivery to somebody. He was taking ages, so I put the radio on and at that very moment Phil Collins was singing, "I've been waitin', waitin' here so long!" Classic. 

 

Have fun today, all of you and remember to laugh at something, even if it isn't this!

 

 

8.4.2020

 

Hello again children . 

 

How are you all? Hopefully, there is a resounding cry of, 'Us, Mr Haigh? Why, do not worry about us. We are the brightest and most courageous guardians of the future, strong in mind, body and deed. Young warriors of virtue, integrity, modesty and righteousness. Spend not a second becoming concerned for us, for we will rise with confidence and strength and make all that is wrong with the world right once more. Now leave us alone. We are scoffing coco pops' Then I will wander away, content that my main job of cleaning out the kitchen cupboards can happen without the unwelcome distraction of fretting over you.

 

I do have an update for you. I had a really fun day in school yesterday and, my goodness, the children who were there were magnificent. The two girls from Class 5 were doing some maths and they were incredible. Class Ten, you have some serious competition with times table challenges. Keep looking at www.whiterosemaths.com/homelearning. It's actually good fun. I saw Mr Nicholson and he was well and keeping very busy. The only thing is, he has grown a really long beard and pony tail and it is so bad that his dad had to tell him off on Skype! This is all true. (apart from the details)

 

On my way home something unexpected happened. I saw a tractor turn into a field. Incredible sorcery.  Only kidding. This is no place for lame humour and tired jokes; we all know that. No, I saw Richard Branson waving from one of his hot air balloons and at first I thought he was just being friendly. Then I thought, hang on! He might be a rich fella but he should be at home staying safe like anybody else. Finally, I told myself that it was just a trick of the mind and it was really just a truck driver that I didn't know and the hot air balloon was just a red lorry  (not a yellow lorry) and a heat mirage making it seem like it was floating. I was wrong though.  It really was Branson but he was testing out a smile system he'd invented where biochemicals radiate from his grin and cleanse the earth, ridding us of this terrible virus. I knew it was real because I could just make out his official badge which explained it all and that he had pinned to that garish Hawaiian shirt he always wears. The snag was, he was working without licence and that explained why there was an old style village 'bobby' like them from Heartbeat chasing him on a black bike. I didn't want to get involved so I drove home, leaving them to it. You won't see this on the news, probably, because I was the only witness and I forgot to phone Dominic and Anne  from East Midlands Today to tell them. Trust me though, I don't just invent this kind of thing. I'm not full of hot air, myself! Ha ha ha ha! I'm grinning at myself now.

 

Brilliant.

 

Have a look at Classroom just to chat to your pals and maybe think about doing a portrait for me. The ones I've got look so good on the report cover.

 

 

 

7.4.2020

 

Morning beasts,

 

You know when you slice open a melon for breakfast? I'm talking honeydew here, not the other sort that are all watery with the name I can't remember. Then, after you have finished dancing in the kitchen to the music on the radio, you look at the miracle of the seeds inside this large yellow fruit and you marvel at the awesome intricacy of this natural delight. Upon closer inspection, you see a particular seed that stands out on its own because it is more like an amethyst crystal and entices you to pick it out. You know that temptation, right? You  understand don't you that it is the kind of enchanting item that could develop into an unlikely story where strange and mystical things happen, rather like they can do in dreams, but you don't want to use that particular trope again because it has been utilised too many times lately. So, you know how when all this stuff occurs and you pop this alluring piece of wonderment in that tiny pocket in a pocket in the front of your jeans? Well, funnily enough, that exact thing happened to me this morning. Coinky-dink, or what?

 

Shortly after, I went for a jog and  took a familiar route through town. Running through the empty streets is quite therapeutic and I enjoy the fact that members of the public don't see me struggling like an asthmatic sloth in a wind tunnel. When I was almost at the bit of Grantham where Next and Home Bargains is, I could see a rat on the path. I've seen him before, which is fortunate because he spoke and you  are not supposed to speak to strangers, are you. He was reading the paper in a small deckchair with his legs crossed like a dandy from 18th century New York. His brightly coloured trousers and pocket watch also illustrated that he was a creature of some esteem.

Like I said, he spoke to me quite amiably and it felt rude not to stop. Runners don't like their rhythm interrupting usually because we worry that we might not be able to start again. On this occasion though I was happy to chat.

"You know," he uttered, "we rats are much-maligned rodents and yet it is not a fair representation at all.  Many of us do lots of good in the community; it is simply that we tend to disguise ourselves as little old ladies, kindly guide dogs or balloon sellers."

"I didn't realise that, " I replied.

"It's true, " he said. "Don't get me wrong, we don't do it for any kind of recognition but it hurts the way we are represented on film and in literature. Look at the rats in Charlotte's web, Fantastic Mr Fox and Selfish Punk rats from the killer Planet of Death. Those chaps were all decent folk underneath."

"Ratty in Wind in the Willows was kindly."

"Ah, there is the exception, I am afraid. We do not speak of him as rule but you have not known duplicity until you have encountered that rogue!"

I could see I had stirred  this fellow and decided to bid him adieu. 

"Nice talking to you," I called and flumped off in my worn our trainers. 

 

He got me thinking though and I recalled a time when I had a pet rat that I eventually gave to a girl called Lauren in Y3 at Harlaxton, whose dad was an excellent cricketer. Why do we make villains out of easy victims? What is there to gain from name calling and small minded insults? Let's not judge each other I thought. I returned home and realised the magic seed had fallen from my pocket which was a right shame because it meant nothing interesting and peculiar was going to happen after all. 

 

So, I'm here in school today with Mrs Roberts waiting to welcome a small group of children. We are going to have a stand up comedy competition today which Mrs Roberts will win because of her renowned Scouse wit, and because I am not funny. 

 

Look after each other, lovely people. 

 

 (I know what you're thinking-nobody runs in jeans. He's inventing  this rubbish for his own entertainment.)

6.4.2020

 

Good morning, Haighlets.

 

 

It's Monday, which is interesting isn't it. I had it down as Wednesday but that just goes to show how wrong you can be. Speaking of going wrong, I took my children for a long walk yesterday to ensure they had some exercise. Lilia spent the  entire time frowning and gruffling because she was too hot, Alfie was incredulous at seeing people having picnics and ,because there 'at least 60 million' people  on the streets (he's a stickler for rules), he was pretty moody, demanding to go home and Emily told me that I am difficult to be with. Bethany hasn't really left her bedroom since 2018 and, when she finally does emerge, I am sure she will be unruffled by the fact there was a global lockdown. Anyway, there is a lesson here: Think VERY carefully about this exercise business, especially if you are a parent. Do kids want to go on walks with their parents? I think I'll just pour slippy oil on the kitchen floor, shout 'biscuits' and watch them come charging in.  Hey presto, I have made a cheap treadmill. Exercise on that , worms. 

 

For any parents who might think I possibly have loads of great ideas to keep my children happy and learning, let me inform you that they regard me as the biggest embarrassment in the world, I know absolutely nothing and I was never, ever a child myself. I have nothing that they are interested in. Oh well. that makes me like every dad, surely? 

 

Before you go and enjoy your day, let me tell you that I do have plans for today. I'll be visiting Classroom to see what you've been up to. Obviously, I will be wearing my sensible teacher clothing,-elbow patches on the sports jacket, corduroy slacks and brogues-, I'll be writing the date on things, laughing at my own jokes, drinking coffee and pinching the small space between my eyebrows whilst shaking my head at some of your work. Hope that is ok. 

 

Keep safe, beautiful children.

 

 

5.4.2020

 

“Bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13

 

4.4.2020

 

Happy Saturday. 

 

Just a quick 'hello', today. I have spent rather too long stooped over the laptop lately and it is not good for me. So before I sank into the abyss, I unplugged yesterday afternoon and I want you to do the same. I want the message to be clear: I have set you work to help you, not to put you under pressure  or lock you to  computer. Know your limits and be responsible for your own screen time. 

 

Just before I go, let me describe the peculiar thing that happened last night.

I was sat with Lilia, watching Madagscar 3 and, like dads do, eventually I fell asleep. Gradually, I started to come round again and, with my eyes still closed, I moved my hand to find where Lilia was. Finding her knee, I gave it a squeeze, just to say 'I'm back!'. I gently patted her leg a couple more times, because she seemed glued to the telly and wasn't responding. Actually, this wasn't surprising because it turned out that it wasn't her at all. Unbeknownst to me, I was actually stroking an old turnip that Nottingham Forest Legend, Armand Traore, must have kicked there, the last time he was round for a game of vegball. Unfortunately for me, I had run my hand over it too many times and there was a rumble like a hungry horse's tummy when it's sugar cube time, the lights all flickered and an ethereal smoke descended. It was as if the rest of the room melted away and before me stood a genie, all dressed in dubious chiffon and sporting some cheap slippers with Bart Simpson's face on the uppers. After the week I've had, nothing was surprising me anymore. The genie spoke in a faux boom and that made me laugh. That is just like me to be visited by a wish granter only to find it was a budget version.   Mind you, what would you expect if his lamp is actually a magic root vegetable? 

Still, the amiable spectre offered the rudimentary 3 wishes and, frustratingly, I wasted the first two because that's normal practice. Then I had the one chance to do something momentous and I thought to myself, 'What would Sue Pollard do at a time like this?' . Sadly, I'll never find out because, all the time this was going on, Billy had taken the turnip in the garden and was chewing it. As soon as he had scoffed the last mouthful, the genie faded like a scene from Back to the Future and that was that.

I think I would have wished for a return to normal as soon as possible with everyone staying safe until we do.

 

Until then, I'll just have to wait and see if any other genies 'turnip' at my house.  

 

Oh no! Someone let Billy out in the garden ! Quickly!

 

3.4.2020

 

 

Good morning DeLoreon Drivers.

 

How are you all feeling today?  If you took part in the applause for key workers last night, well done. I think the mutual respect for people all over the country is quite extraordinary and is a bright spot in our world.

 

I hope you have been eating lots of fruit and vegetables to keep topping up those vits and mins! This is really important, particularly for anyone who wants a future career writing radio jingles in Japanese propounding the health  benefits of sliced aubergine. I realise this is unlikely because it is an area which is already saturated and, what's more, nobody likes working in such a cliched way. The advice is still sound though.

 

I went out to the bins today to see what the sky looked like from there. Turned out to be near enough identical to the sky above my kitchen door. Luckily, I also had a pocket full of potato peeling from last night's tea so it wasn't a wasted 3m walk. You'll never guess what though... somehow, hologram technology was beaming in a life sized image of Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney having an arm wrestle to determine which band, The Rolling Stones or The  Beatles, were the most significant, not only in the 1960s but on a wider musical level. Well, it was a properly strange  old altercation but I think I have rarely seen a more weedy showdown. It was like two butterflies arguing over the last cucumber sandwich at the vicar's garden party. It was so funny though because, out of nowhere,  Lulu walked up and, using her famous Glasgow temperament, she took them both by the ear, sat them down on upturned plant pots and told them that they both mattered but that she was the best anyway. With that, she vanished leaving only the sound of her 'Yeah, Yeah, yeahhhinnng' echoing down the alleyway.  It was quite bizarre (but not the oddest thing that has happened this week).

 

When I turned back, Mick and Paul were playing Uno like old friends and laughing. Chuckling to myself, I went back in to make a brew. Just think, if bin day was on Friday, I would have had nothing to tell you today. Funny, eh? 

 

 

Have a safe weekend, cherubs. 

 

 

Hello there!

I have set up a science google classroom, code  uw2brzg. 

See you there,

Ms Flint 

2.4.2020

 

Hello, hello, Time Travellers,

 

I hope you are all staying well, keeping occupied and looking after everyone in your homes. Whilst the world is struggling in so many frightening ways, it is remarkable to me how many examples there are of nature appearing in unexpected places and pollution levels also appearing to be improving too. I think people are increasingly aware of the importance of their friends, family and loved ones and maybe even themselves, just a little more and that is so important. Make sure you show those precious people of your lives what they mean to you today. Go on. do it now, if you can. 

 

 

Are you back now? Good. 

 

It is exciting to see how creative you are being on Classroom and I am very happy with the way you are using it and the respect you are showing each other. Honestly, I was apprehensive about the pupil survey. Alfie explained that some of you might have reason to find it quite sad so I did worry about this. Without revealing any results just yet, I want to congratulate you on your very thoughtful and kind responses. I always knew you were compassionate and caring people and this work proves it. Well done for demonstrating the right spirit.

 

Billy told me that he was missing a few of his friends because his daily walking routine has changed, so he doesn't necessarily meet with the familiar furry faces and wonderful waggy tails that he is accustomed to. He gets out once a day and, with a world- worn expression on his face, he explained , "I am grateful to be able to take this limited exercise and I appreciate the benefits to my social, as well as cardio-vascular health, but when will the agony of social distancing and other lockdown safety measures begin to abate? Yes, as a citizen of the world, albeit canine, I am acutely aware of the importance of everyone's safety and wellbeing and my thoughts are with those who are suffering in so many ways, but,  (and forgive me for perhaps sounding incredibly egocentric) I simply long for the time when I can run freely in fields and chew happily on tennis balls that I find in the park. Does that make me a selfish dog? I know I sound glum, yet, as Socrates once proclaimed, the unexamined life is not worth living."

 

I obviously reassured him, explaining that it was understandable and that many of us feel just the same. After asking me to speak more clearly and telling me off for my lack of eloquence, he sighed and allowed me to tickle his tummy because it made us both feel connected again. Then he toddled off to chomp on some chicken flavoured dog treats and stare at Bethany's bedroom door for a while , whilst quietly trying to count to ten million before she actually got up! 

 

Billy really got me thinking deeply about everything he said and this is how I want to sum it all up:

 

 

 

 

Aargh!!!!

My dog can talk!!

 

 

Please keep me sane, children by visiting Classroom today.

 

Love you lots, pipkins. 

1.4.2020

 

Good morning Class Ten. 

 

Do you know what I like? When you wake up only to find that you slept walked around Asda and filled a trolley with stuff from the shelves, brought it home, unpacked it (finding the receipt in the bag to prove it was paid for) and you have wandered back to bed and continued to be asleep, completely unaware of your exploits. 

 

Shall I tell you what I don't like? 

 

When you try to sell 1000 jars of honey, some ladies pyjamas, 8 copies of House and Home magazine, a pair of paw patrol slippers, (child size 11), 12 bags of red onions, a cuckoo clock, a 3D metallic sign that says FAMILY, an extension cable, a bucket sized  bottle of mayonnaise, 500 chicken drumsticks and a scuba diving outfit to go with a new paddling pool, and nobody wants to take it off your hands.

 

  The sad thing is I had enough stuff to make sandwiches for a picnic but I was 1 short. 

 

Thank you to everyone who has found their way to Classroom, I laugh every time I see that tasks have been assigned to your parents or other teachers and because they don't do it, a message appears that says they are LATE! 

 

Keep up the good work and don't miss me too much. 

 

What day is it today? I think I put the wrong date up yesterday. 

31.3.2020

 

Morning, Schubert Dips,

 

This morning has been dreadful so far. Allow me to explain:

 

I have another day in school, which is great because I get to leave the house and see human beings. Real ones, mind. Not those fakey ones you see on the telly on Saturday nights. I was in with Mr Gosling yesterday and a small group of children and had a terrific day. So, imagine how my excitement suddenly turned into quite the opposite when, without warning, I shrank to the size of a Lego man. (Are Lego women actually a bit taller. Lilia has a couple of Lego Friends characters and I think they are. You go, lanky plastic girls!) Anyway,  It was unusual being that small. It's never happened before that I can recall. Maybe when I was in Reception? Not sure. Now I know what you're thinking; this is just another tall tale, told at length with a sizeable amount of exaggeration. Well, ahem, you are so wrong my friends.  

 

For a start, I was on my bed and getting down would have been like jumping off a skyscraper. I normally lift a few weights in the morning because I want to enter the World's Strongest Man, next Christmas. That looked impossible. If I could get downstairs at all to eat breakfast, the Weetabix would have been the size of a boat, the milk bottle would have been the same height as Blackpool Tower and the spoon would never have been able to fit in my mouth. (Excuse me...what was that, Paloma?)

 

Just when I was wondering how on Earth I was going to drive up the A1, a pigeon swooped in through an open window and guess what it did on my head? That's right. It sprinkled some magic restorative dust on me and everything was returned to how it should be - a totally normal and unfreaky 6'4".  

 

For a while I was a tiny bit stressed, even a little scared and short of ideas for what to do so, thankfully, everything is tickety-boo again. 

 

So, I'm in school now and ready to rock and roll. 

 

Oh no! I think I left my window open. My house will be full of magic pigeons by tonight. Typical!

 

 

Before I go, I have a task. Mr Gosling has a new nickname. Can you guess what it is? (Normal behaviour terms apply)

30.3.2020

 

 

Good morning, Thinkers.

 

It is a good day for me because I am in school, waiting to welcome a few children who can't be at home. It feels very strange without you and reminds me not to take being a teacher for granted. It's nowhere near as much fun trying to crack jokes to the wall, although the reaction is about the same!

 

 Oliver, I hear, has been developing his own stand up routine in which he plays the character of a clown with a big bright curly wig, platform shoes and a squirty flower. Please ask him about it, everyone because I am sure he will want to share his hilarious slap-stick shenanigans with you.

 

There is a geography quiz for you to tackle on Classroom, which I hope you enjoy. I'll Czech to see if you've had a go later. I've go to Togo and set up in the Hall soon and don't want to go Russian about and I still need to Finnish this update.  

 

Chloe told me that she is desperate to learn ways to help her parents with DIY skills, like fixing plugs, changing light bulbs and putting up shelving. Her mum told her that she knew exactly how she could help and sent her to the garage to find the tartan paint. 

 

In our Topic work next term, we would have been looking at how human activity impacts on the God's beautiful world. You might recall looking at Borneo and the plight of the Orang-utans. I'd like you to do two things: Investigate Brazil. Find out anything you can about it. Then, look for the video where the albatross chicks are blown from their nests. It's a bit sad but I think it is very important.  I bet William will find out loads of facts. Rebecca, I know that this will lead to a day of looking up baby animals, but that is ok.

 

Before I go, I must tell you what happened to me yesterday. I went for a jog in the evening after most people were snug in their houses watching Sunday night TV. All of sudden, a great big hole opened up in front of me and I slid down it. Grantham is not known for sink holes generally so I embraced it, feeling like a subterranean adventurer and pioneer. I was plunged into darkness but used my magnificent ears to find my way, relying on echolocation, rather like a bat does. It wasn't long before I found hidden treasure;of course, Grantham is famous for being a favourite overnight stopping place for pirates on their way to Cleethorpes market. There must have been 1000 gold doubloons down there, rubies, diamonds and jewel encrusted skulls, which was quite scary. But I'm not daft. You think I scooped all that up  so that I could become rich? Not likely. When I was little, my brother told me that one day I'd find treasure at the bottom of a hole and I said, "I'm not falling for that!"

 

 

Have a super day and check out the Classroom page. 

29.3.2020

 

Psalm 31:23-24 Love the LORD, all you faithful followers of his! The LORD protects those who have integrity, but he pays back in full the one who acts arrogantly. Be strong and confident, all you who wait on the LORD!

28.3.2020

 

Good morning all. (I'll whisper it because it is the weekend and I don't want to wake your parents up)

 

Thank you all for joining Classroom and I think our page is looking wonderful. It is excellent connecting with you and for you to be able to keep in touch with each other that way. 

 

I believe that James has been busy researching ways to develop his rare coin collection, although I don't think you'll get Logan to fall for the trick of offering him magic beans in exchange for the ones he has. Nice try.  

 

I will be trying to develop the class questionnaire idea on Classroom. If you are not able to access this site, nothing stops you from thinking of your own way to do this. Jessica, the questions don't necessarily have to be about sport but they can if you like. Is there a sport you don't like or are you the same as Mrs Crowson, who is lost without it. I think she used to compete in that sport where the competitors use a 3-mile bobsleigh course but slide down on their feet. It's before I knew her and she doesn't show off about it, so I could be wrong. You could write a diary entry for the (surprising) day in the life of a teacher that you know, perhaps describing what they would normally do during the holiday. I am trembling at the thought of what Thomas might come up with!

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/52029719

 

Check that link out for an example of a teacher who might surprise you. What an incredible person. 

 

A strange thing happened to me last night: I turned into a cat for 30 minutes, (not including a paws in the space time continuum). It wasn't entirely unexpected because I'd been climbing onto the back of the sofa and sleeping a lot more than usual. Weirdly though, I grew a tail and whiskers, got covered in fur and lost the ability to talk in my human voice. It was scary but it gave me a chance to go out and climb some fences, which is one of my hobbies anyway. I imagined that i would be able to roam about unnoticed and enjoy the freedom of being a cat with nobody even noticing. 

 

What would you do if you could safely leave the house for half an hour? 

 

It all went wrong for me though because I hadn't realised that I was still 6'4" and that gave me away. 

I scared an old lady in the street and, obviously, I'm not feline too good about that. 

 

Have a lovely weekend.   

 

I have to go now. I've got a delicious lactose free milk in a bowl to finish lapping at. 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to reiterate, the code is :

4ypgtr7

 

I know some of you have found it tricky but there are others who have joined within the last hour so i know it's still working. 

 

Good luck. 

27.3.2020

 

Hi New Kids on the Block!

 

Well done to all of you who have found your way to Classroom. It's great to be able to interact with you again and I hope this will be a safe, successful  and happy place to post thoughts, feelings and work. I like how lots of you have personalised your profiles with pictures too. However, I wonder if anyone will ever be able to post a greater set of photos than those of Daisie's mum in her many teaching roles. Genius work!

 

I am very proud of the involvement many of you had with last night's applause for key workers. Did any of you expect that to have been so huge, impressive and emotional. It's wonderful how people can rise up in the face of adversity and remember others with care and compassion. 

 

My plan is to look over the suggested work on here and put it together on Classroom in a more coherent way but only so that you can keep up to date with what learning is open to you. It is a way for you to show me what you've been up to. No, Ben. I don't mean a list of pranks you've performed on Callum! 

 

I saw a very funny and simple thing on Pinterest: It looked like a roll similar to Sellotape and there were two cardboard feet attached opposite each other on lollipop sticks. When rolled, it looks like the feet walk. I wonder if you might like to research moving toys and automaton. There are loads of incredible YouTube clips and, for some of you, the book 'The invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick might just become your new favourite read. It is utterly beautiful and there is even a film, simply called 'Hugo' from 2011.  I can imagine Edward enjoying this and, along with his brother, making a life-like automaton to make breakfast every day.

 

So, who is still practising spelling? The best way is through reading, I'm sure and then writing too. If you post online, it's a good way to practise because, if you don't edit carefully, it takes no time at all before some smarty pants corrects you. It does make you look poperly thogh. Definately the wright thing to do, so their! Keziah has been busy on spelling big words, I hear. She has had her mum's medical dictionary out learning every exotic ailment and developing cures in her secret lab. I'm not making this up, honest. But her brothers don't like the idea of being her guinea pigs at the trial stages, Good luck boys. 

 

I was abducted by aliens last night. (It happens) and I was taken back in time. Romans were in control of Europe and I saw an inscription that said ' XXVII-III-LVI.' What year was it and how far back did I go? Also, if you work this out, was there anything special about that year? Come on, Connie. This is right up your (Ermine) street.  Quick march, now. 'Sinister, Dexter.'

I got home safely, albeit quite tired. Who can suggest a reason why the aliens decided to drop me back? 

 

Righto, dancers. Take care and look for more of my twaddle soon. 

 

Have a nice weekend and look after each other. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello again.

 

I am trying to set up google classroom so that you can communicate with me. Speak to your parents and see of you are able to register. If I managed it, you will be able to. 

 

You need this code: 4ypgtr7

 

Good luck

26.3.2020

 

Good day, sons and daughters of the desert. 

 

How are you all today? 

 

I filled in a fun survey from my football group last night (the questions were about all sorts, including top players, the people who best represent the spirit of the group, the best goal etc). It got me wondering if you could think about your classmates and come up with a questionnaire about Class Ten. I imagine lots of you are starting to really miss your friends now and this could be fun. Ask your parents for help if you want to create a real survey on Survey Monkey and remember that small acts of kindness, like sharing a positive thought about someone, is good for you as well as them. I know Matilda could easily think of lovely things to say about everyone and Grace could keep writing forever about her friends. 

I'll let you know the results of my survey and whether or not I am voted for best OG! 

 

Did you listen to David Walliams yesterday? Grubby Gertrude reminded me of what I was like, growing up in York and never leaving the playing field. I noticed that his website has loads of activities, some of which might be entertaining for you. Have a listen today to see what he is reading; you'll need to be out of that bed though, Vlad! How's your vlog, Vlad? I say 'your vlog'. I know it's really your dad's dog's vlog. Either way, keep it going. Sounds pawsome! Come on...I've only just started. 

 

I wonder if anyone else has tried recording themselves reading their own books. Maybe you could imagine (as I do) that there is a world reading out loud championship with points scored for fluency, expression and style. You could even send these to any relatives who might be desperate to hear from you. I'm sure you have the creativity to find a way to do this. That does not mean shouting out of the window, Jess, and hoping that your relatives in the north can hear you! 

 

We would have been using protractors to measure angles so, if you happen to have one, try drawing some and getting the practice in. Also, a while ago we had a go at using compasses, just to get the hang of it. Again, if you have one, try creating some incredible circle art. Look up how mathematicians understand the parts of a circle and see if you can find a range of measurements to label yours. Daniel, get your mum to make you a lovely chocolate cake and measure the radius of the tins. Tell her it's important maths and your teacher says so, then take the cake to your room and enjoy this excellent learning. 

 

I know Archie has done some really interesting writing about his village, explaining why it is such a wonderful place to live. Brilliant idea, that any of you could do. Henrietta has been expressing her own creative genius with model making and  I was so happy to see her looking well.

 

 

Faye tass, people!  (see what I did there?)

 

25.3.2020

 

 

Morning Underdogs!

 

How are you all coping? I hope you are managing to survive without my terrible stories and attempts to be funny. (I know, Lucas. You are right. I don't play for laughs; I play for frowns.) 

 

I heard that David Walliams is reading from his series 'World's Worst Children' at 11.00  (I think). Go to his website or twitter page and have a listen. I have never read these before because I assume I already know most of the children he is talking about. 

 

So, well done, Perry. You are now in charge of cooking tea in your house, I understand. Bet your mum cannot wait for her chocolate spread and beans tonight. Keep up the good work. Be inspired by Perry's good example, everyone else. Pick up a cook book today. Gino does a good one. He seems to only ever use tomato, mozzarella, basil and lemon but creates a different dish each time. Get in the kitchen today, remembering hygiene rules and help your parents out. You get a great reward at the end and might develop further hidden talents. 

 

After some exercise, have a look outside. Find a quiet place and sit and LOOK and LISTEN. I was enjoying trying to find the robin in the trees yesterday. It was singing and I had to look for ages to find it. Take a picture and go on www.rspb.co.uk to identify any sightings. Use listening skills to identify different calls and songs. Did you know that crows are classed as songbirds?  Keep a sketch book and do this a lot. Think how Jane Goodall became the leading expert in Chimpanzees, simply by learning to observe carefully. 

You see Ryleigh, I am actually encouraging you to stare out of the window! What a transformation. 

 

Obviously, there are loads of ways to develop data handling skills by looking outside. If you can contact each other, agree on a nature watch, gather some data and share it with each other to produce tally charts and graphs. Compare these over several days/weeks and see if there are any changes. I watched a peacock butterfly with Connor at school yesterday and Skye noticed a cabbage white. As the weather warms,  the numbers could change. Try taking the temperature each day and comparing the number of sightings. What might that tell you? Yes Rossi, it means it is a good time for an ice cream. 

 

I know you are being sensible and keeping routines but if any of you are still awake when it gets dark, the night sky is incredible at the moment. Try and name constellations, just for fun. I am dreadful at this but find by knowing a couple of names, it makes you sound dead smart!

'Have you seen Ursa Major tonight, Dave?'

'No. What film is she in, Mick?'

Go on, put me to shame and tell me all about it when I see you next. 

 

Stay safe and happy and I'll send more of these ramblings tomorrow. 

 

 

24.3.2020

 

Hello Superheroes! I understand that some difficulties are being presented (passive form) by internet problems. Don't despair: I have some ideas for you to try and, although it is not ready just yet, we are working hard to bring a new way of home/school learning which will be more interactive so we can communicate regularly. (Hopefully!) 

 

Today, I'd like you to pay tribute to anyone you think is being especially brave at the moment. I'm thinking of those key workers who are taking personal risks to help others and keep the country going. Maybe you even know someone who is going the extra mile, like a determined long distance runner, and they could be in  your thoughts. You could write a figurative piece about them, using your creative vocabulary or do a formal discussion about the importance of recognising their contribution, particularly when we eventually return to a safer time. Write a prayer or a poem, post it online somewhere if you can or just spare a thought. Now Ellie, it's fine to stop before you write 18 pages. Ted, if you must draw a picture of an NHS worker, try to avoid dressing them in a heavy metal T-shirt. That might scare the patients.  

 

I hope you have looked at Joe Wicks at 9.00am and had a go. I can't be the only one in prime condition! Tom, I expect at least a thousand press ups from you today.

 

The maths that we would have looked at next includes the brilliant stuff involving geometry. Coordinates, how to construct different types of triangles, nets of 3D shapes, symmetry, as well as calculations involving metric and imperial measures. There are lots of websites with ideas to work through. Joel! Did you just call me a square?

 

Finally, you might be aware of a vulnerable person living near to you. I am not encouraging you to visit anyone but, when you go for some exercise later, you might post a letter or card through their door reminding them that they are not alone. Kindness and service are very important but please discuss this with your parents and carers first. Were you to leave the house without anyone's knowledge, this could cause unnecessary worry, as well as being ill-advised. 

 

Be safe and look out for further updates. 

 

Paloma. I think it's lovely of you that you keep making cups of tea for everyone. Well done. Keep it up. 

 

 

(Go on: identify as many different language features as you can from today's post and laugh at me if I have made any mistakes.) Their won't be any, of course. 

 

 

 

23.3.2020

 

Morning Class 10. Are you missing me? Pardon, Jack. What was that? 

 

Make sure you are singing every day; you know the tunes we all like.

 

 

Have a look at www.whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/ for some good online resources.

 

 

It's a beautiful day for going outside into the garden and breathing the fresh air, listening to the birds and being inspired to be creative.

 

Now, Olivia. You need to help your Mum with the dishwasher and Dougie; I expect those football boots to be cleaned, not just thrown in the corner, smelling like a rotting turnip,

 

 

Keep reading every day and remember the best words and phrases that you come across to build your word power. Keep it savoury though, Amelia! 

 

 

 

In the event of children staying at home during normal school time I am offering the following advice and guidance to help them to keep working.

 

Please find below a link to Twinkl website as they are offering free activities for parents to access at home: 

 

twinkl.co.uk/offer

 

Once logged on, you should see a link for home education resources that are year group specific.  

 

 

In addition to this the following are also suggested:

1. 'What have we learnt from World War II?'

This is our main question for our topic work this term and the children can do project based work relating to the question.

They can be as creative as they like: make models, do artwork, write a blog using Purple Mash (our current unit of study in ICT), write a story, make a fact book, present a news report in the old Pathe style, try cooking using rationing etc.

They could take pictures of their work and send them to the school email address for me to see. This is intended as a very open task for children to enjoy and be inspired by.

 

2. Read for pleasure. This means there is no expectation to write comprehension questions and answers but children may wish to let me know what they are reading. Again, this can be reported on their Purple Mash Blog.  We have experienced great fun on World Book Day recently and the children can revisit any activities they enjoyed, be that art work, rewriting extracts as play scripts and acting scenes out, reading using expression etc.

 

I have been sharing great poems with the class lately and they might want to find some of their own. In the past, classes have done some excellent creative work from poems such as Tam O' Shanter, The Listeners or If. Get drawing and painting, including all the detail and imagination. 

Equally, children love looking at Michael Rosen performance poetry online. I recommend 'No breathing in Class'. 

 

3. For daily maths practice:

      www.myminimaths.co.uk 

       www.mathsisfun.co.uk

Any of the Y6 units for maths and English on Purple Mash. At this stage, they are all relevant. Some aspects of geometry are yet to be revised and this might be a good place to start with any online studying.

 

I will endeavour to send materials home too. 

 

4. Y5/6 spellings (I'll attach these, although they can easily be found here or any google search for images. 

 

5. Artwork - What a great opportunity to get out in the garden and practise those sketching skills. 

 

I fully understand that this may be problematic for some people and have no wish to add undue worry to my class in relation to that week in May! The children in Y6 are a talented bunch and need stimulation so hopefully this is helpful and appropriate. 

 

Above all, stay safe and well and I will see you all once any kind of normality resumes. 

 

Mr H.

 

World Book Day

Still image for this video

Our Anderon shelters:

Our Anderon shelters: 1
Our Anderon shelters: 2
Our Anderon shelters: 3
Our Anderon shelters: 4
Our Anderon shelters: 5
Our Anderon shelters: 6
Our Anderon shelters: 7
Our Anderon shelters: 8
Our Anderon shelters: 9
Our Anderon shelters: 10
Our Anderon shelters: 11
Picture 1

WW2 Day

Still image for this video

Loving Lincoln Castle

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Lincoln Castle

Still image for this video

Please see the programme of study for this term's PSHE below. This will reinforce our school values and link to school aims.

Investigating Properties of Materials

Investigating Properties of Materials 1
Investigating Properties of Materials 2
Investigating Properties of Materials 3
Investigating Properties of Materials 4
Investigating Properties of Materials 5
Investigating Properties of Materials 6
Investigating Properties of Materials 7
Investigating Properties of Materials 8

Hello Class Ten.

 

I hope you enjoyed the long break and are now ready to return to school to see your friends and to embark upon the final leg of your journey at Long Bennington. I am very excited about seeing you all tomorrow and have lots of interesting things for us to learn about, together.  You will have the opportunity to take on extra responsibilities in school, there will be new people to meet and fun to be had. You will amaze yourselves with your learning and grow into even more fabulous citizens throughout Year 6. All you need to do is be here with your open mind and open hearts.

 

Do not forget to bring PE things in case you need them without prior warning. Be ready for anything because this year will be utterly terrific. 

 

See you soon,

 

Mr H

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