Read Our Stories of Learning at the Alice Smith School
One of the major highlights recently within our reading curriculum has been a core text with a very relatable theme. Our Year 4 students and teachers have been reading the novel ‘The Boy at the Back of the Class’.
The Boy at the Back of the Class is the story of a group of classmates who, through their empathy and bravery, make a massive impact on Ahmet, a boy who has come to..read more
In Year 3, the students have been working hard as scientists this term. The children started the year learning about rocks and more recently have moved on to a biology focus studying animals including humans. The first lesson taught the children that humans are not plants because we cannot make our own food! The children were then fascinated to learn that humans are animals..read more
Learning about poetry has so many benefits. Firstly it widens children’s reading horizons. It also gives them an opportunity to explore vocabulary and language, encourages them to create and can inspire them to write. The creativity gives our students space to experiment with words and performing poetry allows them to learn about voice, pitch and volume.
Recently our Year 4..read more
This term in Years 5 and 6, students have been learning about food and nutrition and have really enjoyed it! They have been exploring nutrition as well as foods and diets from different cultures. They have learned new culinary skills and techniques and whilst applying them have been evaluating, modifying and improving their work.
Year 5 students are currently in the midst of..read more
We had a wonderful final day of half term at JB today as we celebrated Deepavali. Children and staff brought so much vibrancy and colour to our day by wearing their traditional Deepavali outfits.
In class children learned about the history behind Deepavali and were introduced to some Deepavali traditions. Children explored the symbolism of the spiritual victory of light over..read more
Amongst the many joyous happenings at JB, this term has been the return of a full and comprehensive ECA and Sports programme. Not only have we re-established a fantastic programme but we have actually enhanced it to levels beyond where it was pre-pandemic.
Our students are thriving in a wealth of opportunities across a wide range of activities throughout our campus before and..read more
“Having spent 7 years at Alice Smith (JB,) I would like to contribute back to the school community and being a House Leader is one good way to do so.” Nate, Year 6.
We believe that our students need to experience responsibility in order to help them play an active role as good citizens. This term, our Year 6 students had the opportunity to apply for a student leadership..read more
There are seven areas of learning within the Early Years, three of which are called Prime Areas. These are communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development. Here at JB, our commitment to learning through play is very much influenced by how important these prime areas are and the vital role that play has in developing them in each..read more
Diversity is a major strength of our school community and can be seen in so many different ways. One of these is the range of languages spoken by parents, students and staff. At JB we feel fortunate to have so many multilingual members of our community and in particular our aim is to nurture our multilingual students.
Hamish Chalmers, a leading researcher in the field of..read more
We could not have wished for a better start to the new school year. The JB Campus has had the most wonderful atmosphere all week as we welcomed back our staff, parents and students. New families and staff have settled in very well and our students have been incredibly happy.
I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting classrooms this week speaking to students about their..read more
Appreciation and Gratitude at the End of the School Year
Our final weeks at JB for this school year have been so memorable. The students have had a range of exciting events including sports days, house events, day trips, a biathlon, Founders Day and various trips to EP.
This week we had our first in person assemblies for a very long time. Our Year 6 Leavers Assembly involved..read more
We have just completed the most amazing week of PE and Sport activities at our JB campus. This began last Saturday with our Primary School Biathlon. Around 175 students from Years 2-6 competed in a swim/run event with three different distances to choose from. The effort, resilience and sheer determination on show from the children was so impressive. Our parents attended in..read more
It has certainly been a busy year in the KLASS Primary Art Room! You need only walk along the JB Campus where the Diamond Jubilee Art Celebration is currently being exhibited to see the wide range of artistic skills that our talented JB artists have on display.
The students have enjoyed learning a variety of print-making techniques – ranging from monoprints in Year 3 to..read more
Here at JB we are committed to being an evidence informed school. This means that we examine the best available research and evidence, we consider our context including our students and setting and we reflect using our own experience and expertise when making decisions around learning.
We have spent the last 18 months reviewing our curriculum with a view to becoming more..read more
Our Year 6 students have just completed a brilliant Design and Technology unit focused on structures. The aim of this unit was for students to know that;
- Structures can be supported with guy lines and flying buttresses
- The shorter the piece of spaghetti, the stronger it will be
They would be able to:
- Construct a flying buttress to support a tower
- Use appropriate lengths of..
We always encourage our students to learn about important events in history and this week we have dedicated time and focus to the incredible reign of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.
Several events have taken place across the week and today this historic occasion. These have included the most brilliant timeline display dating back to the date of her..read more
Play is an extremely important part of every child’s early development. When children play, they learn. Here at JB, we consider our Year 1 to be an extension of our Early Years. In this week's blog Alexis Farrell, our Year 1 Leader tells us more about how this happens in practice.
Play is an extremely important part of every child’s early development. When children play, they..read more
In this week's Primary blog post our Year 5 Leader, Marym Elagha, talks to us about the work she has been doing this year with the Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) teachers on applying retrieval practice into their classrooms.
"Over the past 12-months, I have worked with the KS2 teachers at our primary campus on applying retrieval practice into their classrooms. This..read more
What an amazing week this has been! For the first time in over two and a half years our students enjoyed playtimes at the JB campus and our parents were permitted to walk onto campus to bring their child to school.
The noise of play times has restored the one major social element of school that has been missing for so long. Children have been engaging in a wide range of play..read more
Friday 22nd April saw great excitement engulf the JB campus, as we prepared to celebrate the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. After so many months of distance learning and various other restrictions, it was truly a joy to come together and celebrate this fabulous event as a school.
The corridors and classrooms were a riot of colour as children and staff showed off their..read more
Term 2 ended today with two wonderful assemblies in which we reflected on the achievements and learning of everyone during these past few months. As an entire community we faced numerous covid related challenges but through incredible perseverance and teamwork we not only overcame them but we achieved and in many ways flourished. Sharing the story of learning highlights with..read more
EDUCATION PERFECT WORLD/FOBISIA CHAMPIONSHIPSFrom the 8th March until the 15th March, our Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students eagerly competed in the Education Perfect World Championships. With the help of KS3 students, they answered 671,940 language questions (the equivalent of 1,016 hours spent competing!) in Mandarin, French, Bahasa, but also Spanish, German, Japanese and other..read more
At Alice Smith, students develop their intercultural understanding as they learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others. In our MFL lessons, we ensure that students engage with diverse cultures, creating connections and cultivating mutual respect. We believe that understanding each other’s cultures is an essential part of living with others in..read more
Physical Education at JB
What a week of learning we have had in PE; kicking off with a brand new unit of work for our Key Stage 2 students using the game of spikeball. This game will challenge the students to deepen their understanding of some key physical education skills, concepts and strategies. Students will be learning transferable movement skills including sending and..read more
This week we began our series of parent workshops. Parents joined us in the session both online and face to face. To have parents back onsite was amazing!The focus of this first session was sharing our observations on trends and patterns we are identifying within our students. Has Covid, lockdown and numerous school closures and disruptions had an impact?
Our general findings
Our students get numerous opportunities to participate in academic events throughout the school year. Here at JB, our teachers often see this as more than a competition or event and will look to plan a unit of learning around the event theme or topic.
Over the last few weeks, our Year 4 and 5 students have been learning about Poetry in connection with an upcoming COBIS Poetry..read more
Final Week of Term
We have had a week full of joy and cheer this week at JB. Our students have been excitedly coming to the end of various units of learning but also engaging in a range of Christmas activities.
JB Virtual Christmas Performance
On Wednesday evening our JB Music Virtual Christmas Performance took place. There were performances involving students from Early..read more
Music Moments has been a much loved staple in the JB Music calendar for a number of years. The event provides an exciting and high profile, yet low stakes performance opportunity, allowing students of all ages and skill levels to experience the joy of performing and share their learning and their progress with their peers and the school community. Performance is vital in the..read more
Over the last three weeks, our Year 6 students have been exploring Alfred Noyes’ classic narrative poem The Highwayman. The poem is about a highwayman - a robber, who steals from travellers and his lover, Bess. The poem focuses on the lives of these two main characters, their love for one another and their deaths. From this work, the children have learned the language features..read more
Play is an important feature of learning here at JB. From Preschool to Year 2, our students' learning is supported by providing opportunities to play. We consider Preschool, Reception and Year 1 to be our kindergarten years and we adopt a very play-based approach to learning.
A significant focus for us in these years is on the personal and physical development of children..read more
Here at the Primary Campus, we use a curriculum planning approach called understanding by design or backward design. This was a concept developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. A ‘traditional’ approach to lesson design involves content being identified, along with a sequence of lessons and finally an assessment. In a backward design approach, what students should know and..read more
Recently the students have begun some new learning units at JB. This is always an exciting time for students as they discover what they will learn about through the steps of learning within their unit and the end goal.
Year 5 teachers have launched a brilliant unit focused on learning all about the Aztec Civilisation. The students had to develop their teamwork skills on..read more
Drawing is a crucial activity during kindergarten years. It is a way for a child to express their understanding of the world around them. Drawing allows children to make meaning and freely express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. Children usually have a natural urge to draw and here at JB, we ensure our learning environments support this.
Across our kindergarten years,..read more
World Teacher Day was celebrated this week and I would like to thank all parents and students for showing their appreciation to their teachers in different ways. This day has made me reflect on how outstanding our teachers are here at JB.Our teachers are some of the most caring and committed people I have ever worked with. I was reminded of this recently, when we came together..read more
As part of our citizenship programme, we encourage the development of student leadership throughout the Primary campus. There are many positions that any child, dependent on age, can aspire to. When in school, at class and year group level, we offer a range of roles from Environmental Officers and Buddies to Break/Lunch Monitors. Each class from Year 2 – 6 also vote termly,..read more
Yesterday was a special day. Our students across the kindergarten years returned and brought our campus back to life. Classrooms were full of happy and joyful children who embraced being back at school and brought smiles to everyone at JB.
I was so impressed with how instantly comfortable and settled our children were as they separated from their parents and strolled into..read more
ART ROOM BLOG
This week in the virtual Art Room, we have been celebrating International DOT Day! Dot Day is based on the book, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds which tells the story of a child called Vashti who resists creating art until her teacher empowers her to discover what a talented artist she really is! It is also a story of how even the youngest of us can ‘Make their Mark’..read more
As I reflect upon the first two weeks of this school year, it is our students who are foremost in my mind. Our students have yet again demonstrated incredible levels of resilience and strength in the face of some major challenges.
They have had to cope with a change of year group including new teachers and classmates while continuing to learn virtually. Speaking with our..
Students have made an amazing start to their year in this first week at JB. Our students in Preschool have shown such enthusiasm for their learning and adapted brilliantly to online learning with their teachers. Across Year 1 and Reception, children have engaged in a range of activities getting to know each other, their teachers and sharing information about themselves.
Our students have been extraordinary this school year. Faced with so much change and challenge, they have continued to amaze me with their resilience and fortitude.
As Principal, I have been shared into countless examples of our students showing kindness and humility throughout the school year. Students have engaged in service to others through awareness raising, charity..read more
As we approach the end of a very challenging school year, I have been reflecting on my experiences as Primary Principal at Alice Smith. One aspect of our school has continually demonstrated its strength and importance; our community. I believe it is our community that has played a significant role in supporting us all through this testing year.
Here at JB we have strived to..read more
Our learning here at JB is always purposeful. We plan and teach units of learning through our cross curricular approach which are a combination of knowledge and skill building aimed at deepening student understanding. Our recent unit on turtles 🐢 in Year 2 was an example of all that is great about our approach.
The unit comprised a brilliant balance of knowledge acquisition..read more
Despite the ongoing challenges we are facing on a global scale, music making has continued to enhance the lives of many, including those within our school community.
The positive impact that music in its many forms has on wellbeing is widely documented. Whether participating or listening, music is associated with improved mood, reduced anxiety, lower levels of depression,..read more
Like any area of learning and teaching, the teaching of writing and how best to approach it, has been a constant area of debate for decades. Some of the most widely used approaches include TalkforWriting by Pie Corbett and The Writing Workshop by Lucy Calkin. Here at JB we have begun exploring an approach stemming from a method called The Writing Revolution based on the..read more
Year 6 has begun yet another exciting unit with a truly inspiring Hook on 'Forces'. We feel that learning at home should be just as fun and accessible as it is in school and that in no way will online learning be a barrier to what we can achieve.
For this Hook, lots of research went into finding experiments that could be accessible to every child with a lot of thought put into..read more
Our approach to the personal, social, health and emotional (PSHE) education of our students is so important to us at JB. Its value has become even more pronounced given the effect that Covid-19 is having on the world.
The principles of positive psychology underpin our approach to PSHE teaching and this week we have focused on managing and coping with change. With our students,..read more
Our Year 6 students were very excited this week as they visited our wonderful EP campus as part of their transition programme to Secondary School (you can read more about their experiences here). I know from speaking to the students that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and that they are really looking forward to their remaining visits. It has been a pleasure getting to..read more
Every week in order to support the happiness and learning of our students and staff, I prioritise as much of my time as possible around visiting lessons. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of being Principal. One feature of learning we focus on here at JB is how we display it within our classrooms.
Learning displays are very important to us in that we recognise how they..read more
Today we celebrated UNESCO World Book Day at Alice Smith. We began the day with a brilliant assembly. Our students were given the message that books are magical and reading is a superpower. We watched an inspirational video from childrens’ laureates across the world who spoke of the importance of books and the role that reading has played in helping us deal with these..read more
It has been the most wonderful first week back here at JB. Our staff and students have returned with renewed enthusiasm and energy for learning. Quite a number of new units of learning have launched this week and I am looking forward to experiencing as much of these units as I can along with the students over the coming weeks and sending you updates periodically.