Making that ‘special’ effort…

I went to Norfolk during the half-term holidays for a few days in a caravan in Hunstanton. It was lovely to be away with the boys, though it could get pretty cold at times – and one morning, the electricity switched off and we had to wait a while until someone came to fix it while we sat under duvets, shivering.

One of the things Jude really loves about being in Hunstanton, is going on the 2p slots at the arcades. He spent ages trying to win a large, pink ‘gem’ from one machine – he was so determined to win it and wouldn’t stop until he had achieved his aim. I really quite admired his ‘stickability’ – he was not giving up until he had succeeded. In the same manner, when I taught my Y4/5 class this morning, we started with handwriting – and I could see some children with the same determination as Jude, really putting everything into the task – and they were the ones that succeeded :-).

What is it that you are going to try hard with this term? What are you going to keep woking at until you succeed. Jude ‘won’ a big, glass gem – but you will be winning something better as it will help you get the best education that you can. Tell us about it – and you might even win an extra play…

Where did the holidays go?

The first day back in September is such a special day for teachers and children alike – it is a day when we can look back to the freedom of the holidays and look forward to a brilliant year ahead: I was greeted with ‘Happy New Year’ by a member of staff this morning, and I know what they meant.

I had a fabulous holiday in Norfolk with my boys; the weather was great and we were on the beach every day, almost up to sunset. We also went camping…when it rained all night, and I went to London with Stella to see a play in the Globe Theatre.

What did you get up to? What was the best part of the holidays for you…holidays can never be as much fun as school, but they give us some happy memories – please share them.


Four Week Transition…

Well – we are on day1 of a transition period that takes us up to the end of term – so congratulations all you Y2 children who are now juniors and the Y4 and Y5 children who are now Y5/6 and choosing their own uniform colour :-).

I would like to know what you all think of this experience. There are hardly any schools in the whole country that do this – but we want to be better than most schools, which is why we have tried this. It should mean that when we begin school in September, you already know your teacher and they know very well how to make lessons a success for you.

Please blog and let us all know how you are enjoying this… I included the picture below because that’s when our new Y6 were in Nursery: that is how quickly time passes…

Achieving something difficult…

At the moment of writing, the Just Giving page at school has raised £3,251 of the £4,000 that we hoped to achieve. Last Friday, just one person donated £1,000 – which is amazing!!!

Getting to the £4,000 mark is not easy, and we are all working hard to achieve it because it is really important to try to succeed when you have set yourself something difficult to do. This weekend, I tried to change an area of garden into a paved area at my house and it was VERY DIFFICULT INDEED :-(. My problem was that the paving stones I was using were massive and very heavy – so moving them was extremely hard, but then getting them into position was very hard as well. By the end of four hours work I had got myself sweaty, tired and covered in dirt but only managed three paving stones (three more to do.) When have you been faced with something difficult and how did you manage to beat it? Let us know and we can encourage others to keep going and not to give up…

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100,000,000 (one hundred million) minutes…

Our 100 Million Minutes reading challenge began last Thursday, and whilst the snowy weather meant it was slightly delayed, I am confident that when we put our reading minutes on the leader board this Friday, we will have made an excellent start.
There are lots of prizes on offer both nationally and at Ivanhoe. The school with the highest average reading minutes per child will win £5,000 worth of books. In school, children have the chance to win a tub of Haribo and 28 reading stickers for each of the 4 weeks they read every day and a giant Easter egg and 50 reading stickers (a free teddy bear!) if they read every day for the entire month.
But this challenge isn’t just about winning prizes. Research has shown that just ten minutes reading per day can make a massive difference to a child’s progress. Reading helps children in so many different ways including: enhancing their communication skills and imaginations and exposing children to a wider variety of vocabulary – which in turn will make their spelling knowledge and writing better.
Please blog and tell us how many minutes you have read so far and what you have been reading!
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Sugar Free February…

Last year, the school supported Cancer Research UK by some children and some members of staff giving up sugar in February.This year, the staff are not going to do it in the same organised way, but I certainly will be going sugar free, and I would like to encourage children to do the same. February starts on Thursday of this week!

The first benefit from eating less sugar is that sugar is bad for your teeth! Having just had a tooth out last week, I know how important it is to look after them – your teeth will have to last you a lifetime. When I give up sugar I give up cakes, biscuits, sweets, ice cream, fizzy drinks, pudding and all those things that are obviously bursting with sugar which means that I tend to eat more foods that are healthy – so instead of a cake, I might have a satsuma so that I might get natural sugars instead of refined sugar. There are all sorts of health benefits associated with giving up (or cutting down on) refined sugar – and it makes you think about your diet, which is something we all should do.

So, do you think you will be joining me? What do you think will be hard to give up? How determined do you think you will be to stick it out.

New Year’s Resolution 2018

A lot of people think about making resolutions at this time of year – a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” and it comes from the idea of resolution meaning, “the quality of being determined or resolute.” You don’t have to be determined to make a resolution, but you do have to be determined to keep one! Determination is the key – and determination is one of our top learning behaviours…

I think that this is a good time to make a resolution as we all get a bit lazy over Christmas – we sleep longer, eat more, do less activity… My New Year Resolution is to drink only water in January and then to have a sugar free February: I do this because I drink coffee all the time so not being allowed to have one for January is just something that is hard work… and we all eat too much sugar, so a month without cake, sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, biscuits and so on would probably do us all some good…

What is your resolution – what are you determined to do or not to do this year? Are you going to read more at home, work harder in class or become better at your hobby? Share your New Year’s Resolution and then see if you can stick to it :-).


Poor old Mr Brian…when we had the Spelling Bee last Friday I made a stupid, stupid mistake with ‘questionnaire’ (which is definitely a word I usually spell correctly) but then I really started to concentrate as I went through the rest of the spellings. However, I got into trouble with the word ‘minuscule’ because I spelled it ‘miniscule‘. I was CERTAIN I was right – but I was wrong and so I got a pie in my face because 20/22 wasn’t good enough for first place (curses Miss Cartwright who got 21/22 and won the chocolates)

But I have been thinking a lot about the word ever since: I found out that if you take all the times that the word is used in print, more people misspell it ( miniscule) than get it right ( minuscule) how funny is that – but it is still the WRONG spelling. I think my problem was that although I may say ‘miniscule’ in conversation, I am not sure if I have ever written it: but I do know that I will never make that spelling mistake again.

What word (s) do you think you have trouble spelling – if you write them in the blog, they will probably stay in your mind and you will never make that mistake again :-).

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Poppy Day – Remembrance Sunday – Armistice Day…

Every year at this time, we talk about Poppy Day and the reason why this time of year is a special time for remembering all the people who have made sacrifices in the armed services of our country. Armistice Day (see word of the week) is always the 11th November and there is two minutes’ silence at 11.00am as it was at 11.00am on 11th November 1918 that the First World War came officially to an end. Remembrance Sunday is the nearest Sunday to Armistice Day when the Queen and the Prime Minister lay wreaths in Whitehall at the Cenotaph.

At school, we have different items from the British Legion that can be bought in support of the Poppy Appeal: we have poppies, snap bands, reflectors ( a poppy attached to a clip to put on your outdoor coat) friendship bracelets and wristbands. The suggested donation for a poppy is anything you like, but the wristbands and reflectors are 50p and the friendship bracelets and snap bands £1. (But don’t forget, we are not allowed to wear wristbands or bracelets in school…)

I would like children to ask parents and grandparents if there have been people in their family in the armed services. My dad was in the army although he was in the Royal Signals and didn’t see action. However, my Granddad was in WW1 (I am very old!) and he joined up when he was 15!!! He got sent home from the front line after being wounded and after they found out his real age.

Let us know if anyone in your family has served in the forces – and make sure you buy something to support the British Legion Poppy Appeal.

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Ivanhoe Learning Behaviours…

We have now been talking about Learning Behaviour at Ivanhoe for six weeks, since the beginning of this term. Most children know that we are replacing ‘Star of the Day’ post cards with ‘Learner of the Day’ and ‘Star of the Week’ with ‘Learner of the Week’. The artwork has been almost completed on the new designs and we should be getting them soon. The six behaviours we are celebrating are:

  • Determination
  • Independence
  • Respect
  • Resilience
  • Curiosity
  • Pride

I wonder what children think of this new direction for the school. One of the exciting things for me is that we are changing our Knight logo for some of these cards so that in some the knight is a man and in some the knight is a woman. Tell us what you think of these exciting changes – and tell us about your learning behaviours…