Read Our Stories of Learning at the Alice Smith School

Primary Weekly Highlights: Primary Art Primary Weekly Highlights: Primary Art

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Reading Developments at JB Primary Weekly Highlights: Reading Developments at JB

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: How strong is a piece of spaghetti? Primary Weekly Highlights: How strong is a piece of spaghetti?

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..
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Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at JB Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at JB

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through play in Year 1 Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through play in Year 1

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..

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Retrieval Practice - Making Learning Stick at Alice Smith Retrieval Practice - Making Learning Stick at Alice Smith

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Parents and Play Times Return to JB Primary Weekly Highlights: Parents and Play Times Return to JB

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: World Book Day 2022 Primary Weekly Highlights: World Book Day 2022

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: A Term Full of Learning Primary Weekly Highlights: A Term Full of Learning

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Competition Time at JB!🚩🙌 Primary Weekly Highlights: Competition Time at JB!🚩🙌

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning in MFL at JB Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning in MFL at JB

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights:  PE & Swimming at JB ⛹🏻‍♀️🏊🏼‍♂️ Primary Weekly Highlights:  PE & Swimming at JB ⛹🏻‍♀️🏊🏼‍♂️

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Post Covid - Impact on Learning 📆 Primary Weekly Highlights: Post Covid - Impact on Learning 📆

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

..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through Poetry 📖🎙 Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through Poetry 📖🎙

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Final Week of Term🥳 Primary Weekly Highlights: Final Week of Term🥳

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Music Moments 🎶 Primary Weekly Highlights: Music Moments 🎶

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: The Highwayman Primary Weekly Highlights: The Highwayman

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through Block Play Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning through Block Play

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Planning by Backward Design Primary Weekly Highlights: Planning by Backward Design

Here at JB, 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 be able to do is..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Launch of New and Exciting Units of Learning 📖 Primary Weekly Highlights: Launch of New and Exciting Units of Learning 📖

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Drawing and Early Representation ✏️〰🖼 Primary Weekly Highlights: Drawing and Early Representation ✏️〰🖼

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,..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Teachers Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Teachers

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Student Leadership Primary Weekly Highlights: Student Leadership

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,..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students Return! Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students Return!

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: International Dot Day Primary Weekly Highlights: International Dot Day

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’..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning has begun at JB! Primary Weekly Highlights: Learning has begun at JB!

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.

From..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Students

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Community Primary Weekly Highlights: Community

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Turtles 🐢 Primary Weekly Highlights: Turtles 🐢

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Music Matters!🎼📻🎶 Primary Weekly Highlights: Music Matters!🎼📻🎶

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,..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: The Writing Revolution Primary Weekly Highlights: The Writing Revolution

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Another Fantastic Hook! Primary Weekly Highlights: Another Fantastic Hook!

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Managing Change Primary Weekly Highlights: Managing Change

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,..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Service to the Community Primary Weekly Highlights: Service to the Community

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Curriculum Primary Weekly Highlights: Our Curriculum

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: UNESCO World Book Day Primary Weekly Highlights: UNESCO World Book Day

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..

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Primary Weekly Highlights: Art and Music Primary Weekly Highlights: Art and Music

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.

Art and Music

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Primary Weekly Highlights: ‘Spark’ Story Competition and Principal's message Primary Weekly Highlights: ‘Spark’ Story Competition and Principal's message

The theme for this year’s FOBISIA short story competition was ‘Spark’, which gave the children a broad topic to explore writes Julie Harrison, our Subject Coach for English. As you can imagine, we had a wide range of stories covering a wide range of ideas, from fires and erupting volcanoes to sparks of emotions. We are very proud of all the Key Stage 2 children for their..

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Primary Weekly Highlight: Year 6 New Skill Presentations Primary Weekly Highlight: Year 6 New Skill Presentations

To achieve success one must sometimes fail. To learn one has to often struggle. Failure and struggle can be discouraging for some but not for our Year 6 students. A major highlight this week has been the new skill presentations as part of the Year 6 Challenge Award. As part of this challenge, students must identify a new skill and attempt to develop it. The learning experience..

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