Many, many people use the start of the New Year to try to make changes in their lives which will help them to live better or do better: these are called New Year’s Resolutions. Some people give things up and some people try to do things – the most obvious thing that people often do is resolve to take more exercise – so many people join gyms in January or start running. Grown ups often resolve not to drink any alcohol during January to give their livers a rest and maybe even to recover a bit after the Christmas holiday. For myself, I have resolved to drink nothing but water in January – this is because I think I drink too much coffee and need a break from it. I have also resolved not to eat any sweets, biscuits, cakes and so on until February 5th as I definitely have eaten too much rubbish over Christmas! What do you think you would decide for a New Year Resolution – let us know, and let us know if you are actually succeeding with your resolution…
Jeopardise is a great word – looking at the spelling, it reminds me of leopard: a very unusual spelling pattern is being used here. It means putting someone or something into a position of danger, loss, harm or failure. So I would jeopardise my job if I broke the law – and a child would jeopardise their chances of having a playtime if they cheeked their teacher. Miscellaneous is a word that just feels great when you say it – and you feel clever if you can spell it! It means various or varied – and often is used about gathering together a set of different items; so you could say, ‘he had a bunch of miscellaneous coins in his pocket’ or ‘some miscellaneous crayons in his pencil case’.
Quaint from the Y6 class means picturesque, charming or sweet – when I am driving through the country and I come across a beautiful little village, I might say ‘how quaint‘. I also like the word gravity because it has different meanings. Obviously, gravity is that force that pulls an object down, but it also means something that is serious – so I might speak to a parent with gravity if I were excluding their child from school. I know that Y4 are looking at a text about the sun at the moment because two classes have chosen sun-related words: Miss Moseley’s have used photosphere which is the sun’s outer shell from which light is radiated. Finally, the word countenance means a person’s facial expression: Mr Brian wore a grave countenance when he excluded the naughty child. See if you can learn to spell these words and to use them in your writing…
By a strange coincidence, two separate classes came up with the word, ‘seize’. One class said it meant to ‘grab something/someone suddenly or firmly’ and the other said ‘to take hold of something.’ Seize has any number of meanings – but there is always something about it being sudden behind its meaning. It comes from a variety of sources:Middle English: from Old French, from Medieval Latin and from old German. I think that it is quite a difficult word to spell…
I love ostentatious from Mrs Noble’s class. It means something that is very showy-offy, or pretentious, flamboyant or obtrusive – all difficult words, but we know what that means when we say showy-off (even though that is not a proper word…) Distinguishable (another tricky word to spell) means where something can be clearly differentiated from something else. I really love the word bask as well, it means to lie in the sun for relaxation or pleasure – which I guess is what the basking shark (the second largest living shark) must do. And the last word that I have got is futile, which means pointless or useless.
Why not try to use these words in conversation – or just explain them to someone at home. Certainly, write a few sentences for the blog using one or more of these please.
I fell in love with ‘tetchy’ as Word of the Week because its first known use in the English Language was in Romeo and Juliet – by Shakespeare. Tetchy means irritable and bad-tempered, a sort of grumbling anger. I guess we can all be a bit tetchy sometimes (I can be if I’m tired…) No one is really sure of its origin, but it probably comes from old Scottish or French.
Skulk, is a great word and it means lurking, or loitering – as if keeping half-hidden but there nevertheless. It was probably a Danish or Swedish word originally. Conquer is more of a Latin word – meaning to defeat or overcome. William the Conqueror beat the English king, Harald, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and became King of England. Authentic is a super word to be able to use: I paid £10 for a Ralph Lauren shirt the other day, and I am hoping it is authentic as it will have saved me a lot of money: authentic means genuine or real… Impervious means that no liquid can pass through, but more obviously, it means that you are not affected by something. Finally, condemn means to express disapproval of something – if you think something is bad you can condemn it – but it has other meanings: if a building isn’t fit to live in, in can be condemned so it has to be torn down…
Why not blog a sentence or two using one or some of these words? Remember, the better vocabulary you have, the better chance you have of doing well in life.
Obstinate (L) is our word of the week for this week: and what a great word it is! I think we all know someone who is obstinate, which means that they rigidly stick to their viewpoint and cannot be changed even by reasoned argument. People who behave like that can be very frustrating – I can remember when I was about ten or eleven, when my mum asked me and my brother to meet her at the cinema and she would treat us to a film. I knew the cinema, but my brother obstinately refused to listen to me and he literally dragged me (he was older and bigger) to the WRONG cinema – so we missed our treat 🙁 . Obstinate is from the Latin and Middle English.
Vague (L) is a great word – and it describes something ( or someone ) who isn’t clear about things. I showed what vague was in assembly today when I asked a child to fetch something but I wasn’t very precise so they didn’t know what to fetch me… I love acquiesce (L) (such a difficult word to spell with the letter ‘c’ used twice in unusual ways!) it means to accept something – my brother wouldn’t acquiesce when I asked him to listen to my advice about the cinema: he wasn’t acquiescent…Frivolous(L) is another lovely word, and again from Latin – meaning silly or trifling (in Latin) – and it means something that isn’t very serious – or even the opposite of serious! Finally, we have indistinguishable (L) (that’s a mouthful!). The base word is distinguish, which means that you can tell the difference between things – but by using the prefix ‘in’ it makes the word the opposite of that, which means you cannot tell the difference between two or more things – one is indistinguishable from the other.
Letters went home today about the changes to the school week that are to come into effect from September. The same details are also on the front page of the homework. Already, I have had positive comments and some negative comments about the changes so I thought it might be an idea to have a public forum to get all those ideas available in one place – which is why we have the blog in the first place…
I have to apologise if the timing of the change seems hasty but we have been taking our time as a staff to consider this carefully since we saw the state of the budget in April – and we have spoken to schools where this happens (indeed, it is increasingly happening around the whole country.) We needed to talk to governors first (and the majority of our governors are parents) and we shared it with the whole school community as soon as we had done that.
Every parent knows that the staff and governors at this school share the aim of providing excellence at the school – making the school a safe place where children enjoy their schooling, make fantastic progress and attain highly. We do that very successfully because all the teachers work selflessly for the children (five of us are away on residential this weekend with the Y6 and we have given up our weekends because it brings down the price and makes it more affordable.) But there are a hundred ways in which we give everything for your children…
We believe we will provide a better education for your children by changing the school week. Teachers will work longer hours and children will get the same amount of schooling – but the quality of that schooling will improve because the teacher and LSA (learning support assistant) will be in front of the class for the whole of the week rather than trying to cover each other and thus diluting what we can offer. We know that parents understand what we are trying to do because so many people from Conisbrough and beyond go out of their way to get their children into Ivanhoe because of its outstanding reputation.
We have chosen Wednesday as the shorter day because every member of staff works on a Wednesday and therefore the shared planning will be more successful; we also wanted to avoid the idea of the week tailing away, which would have happened had we chosen Friday.
The only negative comment I have received so far by email has asked how I think that other schools cope: and in my view, that’s what other schools do – they cope: they manage to run a five day week, but they don’t provide anything like our education, which is why we have been the top performing school in Doncaster for the past two years.
I understand that some parents are concerned about the cost of wrap-around care on the Wednesday afternoon. I would welcome ideas especially on that – we would not be able to offer a free service, as providing the wrap-around is expensive, but we could perhaps reduce the price to £2.50 an hour if that made it easier and then have a sliding scale such as two children costing £4 an hour and so on.
Please use this blog as a public forum so that all views can be expressed (just remembering that it is a public forum accessible by children…) I will be back in school on Monday morning and very happy to meet anyone face-to-face, but it would be great if the school community used the blog so that all ideas could be accessed by everyone.
If you are an optimist – if you have an optimistic view on life and if you are full of optimism, you see the best in the world. the word derives from the Latin ‘optimus’ which means the best – and it’s lovely to want and to be the best. I hope that all Ivanhoe children have an optimistic outlook because positive thinking can do wonders…
Our other words this week are as follows: pharmaceutical (G), which means relating to medicinal drugs or their preparation – so you go to a pharmacy or a chemist to get your medicines; supersede (L), which means when one thing is replaced by another – it has been superseded; isthmus (G), which is a strip of land between two bodies of water; apprehensive (L) – which means you are a bit nervous of something; and acquisition (L) – which means you have got something.
Try and use one or more of these words in your writing this week…
We are going back to having a word of the week – both at KS1 and KS2 and the word of the week for KS2 is innocuous. This word comes from the Latin innocuus: in meaning ‘not’ and nocuus meaning ‘injurious or harmful’ so innocuous means – not harmful, like safe or harmless. The antonym of innocuous is ‘harmful’. You could use it like this: ‘don’t take it to heart, it was an innocuous remark’ or ‘that wasn’t a penalty, it was an innocuous clash.’
We also were given the word, phosphorescent which means glowing without heat, inquisitive, which means curious or showing an interest. In addition, we had stooping which means with your head and shoulders forwards and downwards, and impertinent, which means rude, or not showing the proper respect.
Why not try to blog a sentence using one of these words (or several sentences using them all…)
Teachers have been thinking a lot recently about how we can make sure that children go on some amazing and wonderful trips while they are at this school. We want to know what parents, children and teachers think are things that ALL CHILDREN should experience by the time they leave primary school. Some things that teachers have said include a theatre trip, a zoo trip, a visit to a stately home, looking for fossils in Whitby, a foreign residential, a trip to a lighthouse and so on. Mr Brian thinks that all children should visit a Cathedral…
I would like to know what children have done that they thought was wonderful and that they would like other children to experience or what they would like to do – but bear in mind that it mustn’t be too far away. Please blog them and you never know, it might be an idea that we use so that ALL CHILDREN enjoy it.
We are definitely coming up to Christmas – we now have less than three weeks to the end of term. I am looking forward to Christmas Jumper day and Christmas dinner on the 14th December and the Nativity, the church service, the Christmas parties – and maybe even a visit from Father Christmas :-).
My favourite part of Christmas is seeing how excited my children are. Jude was incredibly excited just at the thought of opening his advent calendar on Saturday – he was jumping up and down with the excitement! Last year, on Christmas Eve, we actually went to see Santa in Wentworth and Jude was completely enthralled by the experience. My favourite thing leading up to Christmas, is putting on the radio and hearing Christmas pop songs from the past – I love them. I also love standing in St Peter’s Church and imagining all the people that have stood in that church in the past 1000+ years as I look at all of KS2 sitting there. I love Christmas – what do you love about it – let us all know.