Spreading joy to those less fortunate

We are delighted to say that the wonderful selection of toys and games donated by our children at the annual Toy Service have made their way the almost 1700 miles across to Romania. During her visit this Easter break, Mags Zaharia ensured the safe delivery of several large boxes of gifts which were met with great delight and appreciation. Bianca, a friend of Little John’s House, will arrange for the toys and games to be distributed to several rural kindergartens around Sibiu, Romania. We hope to share some photos of the children receiving the toys soon. Thank you for helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

 

 

Reception Egg Drop

Having read ‘Egg Drop’ by Mini Grey, Classes RH and RM took on the Egg Drop Challenge!

Parents and carers were invited in and the children had a wonderful time working with their grown-ups to design and make something that would protect the egg when it tried to fly off the balcony. Everyone had lots of fun and quite a few of the eggs survived!

Thank you to all the grown ups who were able to come in and be part of this egg-citing activity!

‘Play Phonics’ Parent Workshop

Thank you for all the lovely comments about how useful the ‘Play Phonics’ Letters and Sounds session for parents and carers has been. We are so glad you enjoyed it and the children were very excited to have their ‘grown ups’ stay and learn with them.

Here are some photos from the session to remind you of the games that you can try at home. Pick and choose activities that your child really enjoys and adapt these to their learning needs and use as you wish. Remember your child will learn more and remember more when he/she is engaged and interested so let’s make it as fun for them as we can.

Learning to read and write is very complex as you will have heard at the recent workshops; so let’s keep encouraging them and congratulating them for their effort as they develop in these areas. If you have further questions or would like more support please see your child’s teacher. Thank you again for making the time to attend this event.

 

Chinese New Year – Year of the Pig

The children in Reception have been learning how people celebrate Chinese New Year. They have tried Chinese writing; traditional foods; found out about China; tried using chopsticks; learnt the story about how the animals were ordered for the Chinese Zodiac; and much, much more. They presented all of this to their families in a fantastic assembly which began with two very large and ‘many legged’ dragons entering the hall!

They were all amazed by the information the children had discovered and remembered and thrilled at the respect and joy they showed as they learnt about this colourful and exciting celebration.

If you want to find out more, come and talk to us and look out for those dragons in the lower school library!

Children’s Delight at New Bike for Reception

We would like to thank everyone for their generous contributions after the Reception Christmas Show last December. So generous were the donations, that we have been able to purchase this new larger 2 wheeled bike to add to our collection for outdoor learning. This has been very well received by the children and has presented a real challenge. This area of learning is so important and especially so in the Early Years where muscle development; coordination; stamina; strength and control are part of their necessary physical development. These are also key skills that facilitate writing and the ability to focus in other learning activities.

Here are some of the children’s comments:

“Oh! I love this new bike, but it is so tricky. It’s like a balance bike you have to balance and do the pedals and it’s hard to think about it.”

“I have a bike like this at home, but I’m still learning; I won’t give up.”

“Wow! Where did it come from? I like riding it, thank you!”

Year 1 Visit to Tiverton Castle

This term in Year 1, the children have been learning about Castles and life in the past. They have investigated the history of England in 1066 and explored the Battle of Hastings. Learning has focused on what life looked like in the Medieval times, especially life in the castles. The children were very lucky to bring the learning to life during a visit to Tiverton Castle where they were shown around by Mrs Gordon.

Mrs Gordon was so explicit and flawless with her expert delivery that the children could clearly imagine where the kitchen, the main keep and the secret passages once stood. The children were able to see how the old ‘garderobe’ (toilet) worked and were able to test the old helmets from the armoury; they were very heavy! 

They also had the opportunity to have a wander around Tiverton museum and explore all the unusual objects and artefacts from the past. The children tested some farming equipment, learned about the old ‘mangles’ that were used for washing and even examined an old TV set from 1960s. The weather was brilliant, the children were well behaved and the parent helpers were amazing. Everyone had lots of fun. 

Thank you to everyone who made this experience possible.

Germany Residential Exchange Visit 2019

On 11th March 2019, a group of 26 year 5 pupils and 5 adults embarked on the 4th annual Residential Exchange Visit to Germany.  The group flew from Bristol to Berlin (for some it was their first time on an aeroplane!) and then they travelled by train to Potsdam. They stayed in a youth hostel in the suburb called Babelsberg which is just a short walk to the exchange school, ‘Evanglische Grundschule Babelsberg’ who have been partnered with Bluecoat for four years.

Throughout the week the group worked alongside their German pen pals in the classroom on the theme ‘Building Bridges’. Classroom activities included a team challenge to ensure all pupils safely crossed the bridge across a ‘turbulent river’; building the tallest/longest/most creative bridge using restricted resources; a ‘Peace and Conflict’ role play, as well as a session learning circus skills. All the children in their German classes also visited the Allied Museum in the ‘American Quarter’ of Berlin to learn about post-war Berlin and the segregation.

Bluecoat pupils spent a rainy afternoon seeing some of the sights of Berlin including the famous Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building. Whilst in Berlin, the children enjoyed a trip to the ‘Ampel man’ shop which is now becoming a tradition of the trip. The ‘Ampel man’ is an iconic symbol stemming from the image used on the old traffic lights of East Berlin before the wall came down (during segregation) – in the shop, the image is now used on lots of items like pencil cases, bags and even sweets! They also enjoyed a trip to the centre of Potsdam and explored landmarks like the Church of St. Nickolas and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Park Sanssouci.
The children had many opportunities to sample the German culture, especially the food. Food was sampled from local bakeries, whilst spending an afternoon visit to host families and also during the Global Evening held in the school. German pen pals brought traditional food to share as a buffet which was followed by playing games together. 

The trip was once again a great success with lots of fun and amazing learning opportunities had by all. Although the travellers returned late and and very tired, a fantastic, memorable and educational time was had by everyone!

Meanwhile at Bluecoat…..

Whilst the 26 pupils enjoyed their exchange visit to Germany, the rest of the year 5s got stuck into their enrichment week which mirrored the theme in Germany, ‘Building Bridges’, which focused on developing PSHE skills and learning to work together effectively.

Construction was literally the name of the game as the week began in forest school! Putting communication and problem-solving skills to the test, children worked together to create shelters – with only limited resources supplied. The rain arrived just in time to allow the children to celebrate their success and check just how effective the shelters actually were.

Working with the slogan ‘Build bridges, not walls’, they took the opportunity to delve into the history of the Berlin Wall and the issues facing those who lived on either side. Using art as a means to express themselves as well as invoke change, they then tried their hand at graffiti writing. Armed with their new lettering skills, they worked together in teams to create contemporary slogans and art in their very own graffiti wall, focusing on global and local issues that they would like to change. It was lovely to see lots of groups picking up on the issues of inclusivity as well as sustainability, showing awareness of the wider world too.

Sport is a great unifier, and in addition to PE during the week, children had a fantastic time visiting GTS to take part in the Dance Festival, where they were again able to develop another way of expressing themselves, listening to various songs and trialling some new moves to match. Similarly, Sophie from the Plough visited to help us explore drama with a ‘Play in a Day’, where we recreated some scenes from Tin Tin, Destination Moon.

The week ended with further exploration of German culture. After sampling and reviewing traditional German food, children worked together to create their own menus for a German restaurant (complete with translations for English visitors). This was followed by some traditional German music, which we then recreated on glockenspiels.

Children loved sharing their learning from the week with the rest of our year group when we took part in a quick Skype call to Germany too at the end of the week, showing that a great week was had by all!

Netball Victory for Bluecoat

Members of the Bluecoat Netball Club had their long awaited second league match on 7th March at home against Beaford after having to be cancelled on two previous occasions due to bad weather. The nine-strong team of Year 6, 5 and 4 players were Marnie, Frankie, Maisie S, Raven, Jess, Chloe, Matilda, James P and Calypso.

Sarah Hogan, Netball Team Coach commented “It was a competitive match; work is needed on our footwork, however we secured a clear win (4:0). We are now looking forward to our next league match which is away against Shebbear.”

First Quest Reading Champion of 2019

We have our very first Quest Reading Champion of 2019!

This accolade goes to the very determined Caitlyn in class 6D. She has been extremely dedicated during Year 5 and 6 and read and reviewed 100 books with Librarian, Tina during Quest sessions.

Tina commented “Caitlyn is an inspiration to all readers with her enthusiasm and infectious delight in recalling the 100 titles. She has read school library books and books from home to be the first Quest Reading Champion of 2019. Well done Caitlyn, you truly are an inspiration to others, some of which are already following in your footsteps!”

Caitlyn is not retiring from Quest however; she is continuing to read and review new books daily. She is an excellent ambassador for our school and if you are stuck for a book, she’s the person to ask.

Streetz Dance Festival 2019

The Spring is here and with that also our Dance Festival 2019!

The event is now a firm favourite in the Bluecoat calendar when from Year one, two and three attend GTS to take part in a Streetz Dance Festival. The Festival which took place on Monday 11th March, is organised by the staff and students from GTS and run by our Sports Governor and Owner of Streetz Dance Crew, Amy Avery.

Thank you to all parent volunteers who took part and ensured that our walk in the cold, but sunny weather was without any hazards.

What the children had to say….

“I liked the dancing” – Njay

“I liked clapping” – Archie

“I liked doing the dance and the splits” – Fletcher

“I liked the do-si-do” – Elana

“I liked linking arms with Elana” – Ava

“I liked riding the pony and when you get to swing your arms and go side to side” – Seth

Reaching Out to Romania

In celebration of Epiphany, Bluecoat held their annual Toy Service on 23rd January. The fruit of the Spirit ‘Kindness’ was very much in evidence as the children donated a record amount of toys to be sent to children in various schools and orphanages in Romania.

Mags Zaharia told the children about some of the work she is involved in in Romania and about some of the children who will receive the toys. 

We are all so blessed to be able to share what we have with these children and we hope they will enjoy lots of fun with them.

World Book Day 2019

We were delighted to see the array of costumes worn by children on World Book Day this year. It was a real celebration of reading and an opportunity to share favourite stories. Thanks to everyone for participating.

Year One Wedding Celebrations

Year One have been learning about Christian and Jewish celebrations, and to help secure their understanding, they held a pretend Jewish wedding! They designed the cake, made invitations and learned lots about how a Jewish wedding differs from a Christian celebration.

In 1D, Seth and Megan were married by Alfie, the rabbi. Seth was accompanied by his best man, Travis, and groomsmen Max, Archie and Harper, whilst Megan had her maid of honour, Isabella, and bridesmaids Felicity, Daisy-Mai, Ellie and Elana. Jacoby-George had the important job of looking after the rings, while Hettie and Ava witnessed the signing of the Ketubah, or marriage document. The grandparents of the bride and groom formed part of the processional, along with the bride’s parents: Leo, Renie-Leigh, Bailey-Mai, Rupert, and Ryka. The ushers – Jesse, Cory, Jack and Fletcher, seated the guests – Connor, Effie, Tilia and Njay. Tristen was “chief photographer,” and took some of the photos shown below.

A huge thank you to all parents and carers for helping with the costumes, and to Harper’s mum, who made the cake which Ava designed, Alfie’s mum who provided a bridal bouquet, and Daisy-Mai’s mum who made bouquets for the bridesmaids. A great time was had by all – as you can see from Tristen’s wonderful photos!


In 1M, Harry and Hollie were married by our brilliant rabbi Mitchell. Harry and Hollie were accompanied by Riley the best man and Mickayla the maid of honour and the rest of the bridesmaids Paige, Willow, Chelsea and Tilly and the groomsmen Alfie, Shea and Joshua. Jacob had the important job of looking after the rings, while Lily witnessed the signing of the Ketubah, or marriage document. The grandparents of the bride and groom formed part of the procession, along with the bride’s parents: Amelia, Theo M, Hermione, Theo H, Isabel, Kayden, Alexis and Charlie W. The ushers – Tyler and Kyran seated the guests – Weylin, Ruby, Tadgh, Charlie H. and Charlie A. Freya took some amazing photos and documented the entire wedding celebration. We cannot forget about our remarkable pianist Emma who accompanied the wedding ceremony with her beautiful playing.

A huge thank you to all parents and carers for helping with the costumes and for donating some party food for our wedding lunch. Many thanks to Mrs Knight for making our wonderful, yummy wedding cake and to Mrs Cooper for making everyone wedding favours and lending us some wedding decorations.

Thanks also to our well behaved children; it was an incredible day!

What the pupils had to say:

“My favourite part was when me and Megan were having a photo together, it looked very nice.” – Seth
“The cake was my favourite part! It tasted really nice and I liked the orange bit.” – Isabella
“My favourite part was the cake and dancing because everyone danced and it was so funny.” – Alfie
“I liked doing the conga and eating the food. I liked the chocolate buttons best!” – Leo
“I liked it when everybody was dancing because it was the best part!” – Cory
“I liked the dancing and the cake. I liked the orange bit the most and I liked the chocolate buttons too.” – Jesse

 

Budding Twitchers at Bluecoat!

Report by Rowan Seldon-Green, Class 6DH

On Monday 28th January, representatives from the Pupil Council and Eco Ambassadors took part in the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch. This is a national survey run by the RSPB to find out about the birds and their population and distribution in gardens and local areas. Our survey took place in the school’s Forest School area.

During our survey we spotted lots of different species of birds: robin, blue tit, great tit, carrion crow, black headed gull, and many more. Overall, we had a busy lunchtime spotting birds. Our results have been entered into the RSPB database along with thousands of other results from members of the public. The RSPB will compile a report containing all the results from around the country.

 

Year One Play Maths

During the first half of the spring term, parents and carers of Year 1 pupils were invited to come and watch their child take part in a maths session, and to play some number games together. These were so enjoyed by the children, learning alongside their parents and carers at school. The session demonstrated the types of activities we use at school to develop children’s understanding of number and are good examples of home learning activities that families may wish to try out or adapt.

As a little reminder, or if you were unable to attend, here are some photos from the sessions, along with some of the activities that were introduced. Happy home learning!

Download the Year One Play Maths Activities

Year 5 Get Spaced Out

On Tuesday 5th February, the children in Year 5 had their Planet Earth topic work brought to life with a visit from the Space Lab Planetarium. In the dome, Mr Barber did an ‘Earth and Beyond’ presentation to each Year 5 class where they learnt about the solar system, the sun, the planets and their movements to create day/night and years. They watched the model of how the moon has phases and why, and were then wowed by the stars when the dome went pitch black inside revealing the constellations. Did you know the North Star doesn’t move and is a good navigational tool? 

Year 5 are linking this experience with their science and English work in particular, and will carry on their learning back in the classroom.

Photo courtesy of http://www.spacelab.me.uk/

Photo courtesy of http://www.spacelab.me.uk/

German Gingerbread

Around Christmastime, the Year 5 children researched about the culture and traditions of a German Christmas and made Google slides of their findings about food, Christmas trees, Christmas Eve, stockings and much more! As part of this, the children also made traditional gingerbread that they took home and enjoyed eating. They discussed the German ‘lebkuchen’ spiced biscuits and the different varieties too. The children made links with the science materials topic when they learnt about irreversible changes such as the process of baking ingredients mixed together which then cannot be separated or reversed.

Thor’s Day Thursday!

At the end of their History topic ‘Anglo Saxons and Vikings’ in Autumn term, Year 5 re-enacted their own version of Thor’s Day Thursday. This came from their novel in English ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell in which a group of young Viking boys had to undergo an initiation ceremony to become full members of the Viking Tribe on the island of ‘Berk’. They had to find, collect and train a dragon to then demonstrate particular tasks on ‘Thor’s Day Thursday’ as well as take part in the celebration events on the island. In the Bluecoat Year 5 version, instead of children throwing axes – they did welly wanging! They also were able to enter an art contest to draw the ugliest dragon. Part of the day was spent learning the art of ‘sword fighting’ (with foam pipe lagging) followed by a fun tournament. The children needed to do ‘dragon egg collecting’ in a set time and were awarded prizes for the most collected. Finally, they had to show their skills in understanding and training their dragon by finding out in role play what their dragon ‘likes’ by testing it! A fun Thor’s Day Thursday was had by all the Year 5 pupils who also came dressed for the part. Fortunately it didn’t end in disaster…unlike the book where all the candidates were in line to be exiled!

Build, Construct and Create in Reception

In class RHH they have been thinking about how to ‘build, construct and create’. This has led them to many different activities, experiences and amazing discoveries in their learning. Here are just a few photos of them.

They looked at the work of Paul Klee and ‘built’ tower pictures with oil pastels and brusho ink. This also linked to their key text ‘Tower to the Sun’, set in a future where pollution meant that the sun and blue sky could no longer be seen. They made tool belts in the style of Bob and Wendy the builders and created clay towers from 2D rectangles turning them into 3D cylinders. They have also been practising using real tools and it has taken a lot of concentration, determination and ‘stickability’ to screw the screws into the wood; knock in nails safely with the hammer; sand wood and link nuts and bolts together.

They will be continuing to think about this topic after half term, so please pop down and talk to them about it. What else can they ‘build, construct and create’?

Garden Transformation Nears Completion!

Cast your mind back to when we were awarded the Tesco Bags for Help Grant (remember we were chosen as a project in store and you kindly posted your blue tokens to support the project!)

Well, the funds we were awarded have allowed us to transform the garden area in the middle of the school into a space for spiritual reflection. The photos below chart the project progress and show just what a transformation it is! Just a few plants to put in and the installation of the artwork on the walls and we are good to go. 

Special thanks to Rob Pudner for his superb voluntary efforts and of course to Kelvyn Bond, Andy Johns and everyone else that has contributed. Thanks to Mrs Bastable for coordinating the murals, which will be ready soon, and the children involved in designing and painting them . It really is a great result and the whole school community are delighted.