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Part 2: Faith through Art week

Looking back on Faith in Art week, it was amazing to see the children reflect, explore and question what they believe.

Another activity my class did was that they were given a picture of the journey of life and had to discuss:
– what they thought the picture was
– what each part represent or symbolised and why
– which shop they would go in and why (dreams, hope, joy, wealth)
– what advice would they give others about life
– which direction they would want to go round the map

This was interesting to see how the children would interpret this map as well as reflect on their life and open up to each other.

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During the week each class had to decorate two wooden crosses based on the ‘I AM’ statements in the bible, which would later be hung in each classroom:
– John 6:51:”I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;”
– John 8:23: And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
– John 8:12: Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
– John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
– John 10:9: “I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
– John 10:11: “I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
– John 10:36: “do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
– John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
– John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
– John 15:1: “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
– John 19:2: Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”
– Acts 7:32: Stephen speaking of Moses’ encounter at the burning bush “saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers– the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look.”
– Acts 9:5: And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

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Year 5 – I am from above

Sports day

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It is one of those days which is the highlight of the year according to most children. Today was that day. The funny thing was, that on the radio this morning, I heard how most schools would have sports day either this week or next. They were announcing for children, parents and teachers to get in contact with them so that there breakfast team could get involved. Slightly too late for my school.

As the children were galloping into the classroom with their different coloured t-shirts, I could see the excitement and impatience on their faces. Trying to settle them down was a difficult task to master this morning. When the time was ready, the children, table by table collected their water bottles and lined up in their house. We arrived on the freshly cut field, with the rest of the school in their groups, getting ready to parade and cheer to the other side, where sports day was going to commence.

I, (without my yellow top as I don’t own anything yellow) was part of the yellow team, supervising (not that they needed it as they were so well behaved) and reminding children of their events.

On your marks… Get set… Go…

The first race had started. The World Cup football challenge race. Cheering, screaming children encouraging their houses while the parents watched on the other side of the track. Time flying by as quick as a flash, completing each race in turn:
– tug of war
– sprint
– long distance
– obstacle course
– triathlon
– vortex throwing
– long jump
– class relay

Of course at the end, there was a parent and child race, and an under 3s. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a teachers race, which was slightly disappointing. (However, during the practice, the teachers raced each other doing the triathlon).

Results time. Silence. Everyone in anticipation. Crossed fingered amongst the children.

4th place … 3rd place… Yellow team were still in… 2nd place… Red team.

Yellow team had won!

Arms in the air, jumping all around, screams at the top of their voices. I think they were happy.

Such a fun, lovely morning with well behaved, sensible, encouraging children. I feel so proud of them.

Voices at Brighton dome

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A couple of weeks ago, my year 5’s were involved with the ‘Voices’ concert at Brighton Dome. This was a fantastic opportunity for year 5 and 6 to be part of a singing concert with 4 other Primary school and a large secondary school. A music coach from the high school came into our school to practice the songs that were being done on the performance day. Some of the songs included:
– Reet Petit
– The greatest day
– les miserable medley (one of my favourite musicals)
– Aquarius

On the night, our school was sitting at the side of the stage with the children singing their hearts out. I was so proud of them. My class have always been the loudest singers but they always sing in tune.

Watching all the other performances, I was amazed by the amount of talented singer. There were several female vocalist, singing a variety of different, completely in tune and hitting those really difficult notes.

What a great evening! Times like these, I’m really glad that I’m a teacher.

Parents of school children

One of the things that come with teaching is parents: good and bad.

From my experience, I have found that parents can be a massive pain in the backside or amazing, lovely and encouraging. I thought I would share some of my experiences with parents, which you may resonate with or at least encourage you to know that every class has those sort of parents.

At my old school, I discovered that the parents didn’t care that much about their children’s education, mainly because they came from a working class area. This was easy to see when only half the class turned up for parent evening and wasn’t concerned when I explained that their kid was disruptive and didn’t show respect (I also saw that they didn’t respect their parents).

Controversely, my current school is in a middle class area, where, as some may say, too interested in their child’s education. I have all the parents wanting see me at parents evening to discuss their child’s progress; wanting to know why their child is not in the top group and how they felt shame that their child would even think about talking in class. However, there were still many different variety of parents.

Thinking back to last year, I had a parent who thought the best way to handle a situation was to threat me. ‘I’m going to get my husband on you!’ were some of the words she used. After being confronted, I was a little shaken up as this was my first conflict with a parent, and didn’t expect her reaction.

At the beginning of the school year, within the first few days, I had another parent explain that they had never seen their child upset at the start of the year. I was to blame for this. I clearly, purposefully encouraged the two children to argue and ignored it. Their child is the perfect child that does no wrong. I forgot. It wasn’t a good start to the year and was dreading the year ahead. Please leave me alone and let me do my job.

I have the classic ‘I’m a teacher, you know.’ At parents evening, I had one of these, where they sent their child out the classroom, to discuss that they knew I had a difficult class, which was a little harsh as I was an NQT. Then went on to say: how they could help and support me, and make sure I do this and make sure I do that. Thank you for your advice, I know your a teacher too but I don’t feel it’s professional to discuss it with you, a parent. At first, this parent use to stomp in, rushing around want to interrupt every teacher. However, as she has a full time job, she doesn’t (but does leave her children waiting for ages as she’s running late… Again).

I have a similar one, who tells me she’s a teacher, that clearly dislikes me. The background on this parent is that she has several kids in the school; she is involved in the school; she has loads of money behind her and she doesn’t let her children be kids. When I see her in the playground, she never seems happy, she is always telling her kids off and she doesn’t interact positively with them. I kinda feel sorry for them. She follows the motto: kids should be seen and not heard. Anyway, after having a rude, long letter, I have since scheduled many meetings (not of my choice). She believes that her child is being bullied (didn’t know anything about this, also, not the case), her child is missing the basics in maths (however, is still above average) and that the child is not bothered or happy at school (they are getting older, their attitude changes). Even though I don’t normally take things to heart, she has upset me several times. She has told me, I’m not a good teacher; that I don’t have high expectations; that I can’t managed the class; I don’t care about her child; plus some others, on a number of occasions. As a person of influence at the school, she has said some disgraceful things, ‘If my child doesn’t get the grades at the end of year 6, it’s not because of us parent but because of the school,’ ‘the reason they don’t talk to you is because they don’t trust the staff.’ How can she say this? She should believe in the school.

On a school trip recently, before any teachers had arrived, a parent took it upon theirselves to try and control my class (Good luck). However, apparently two children were play fighting so this parent decided to shout at them and made one of them cry hysterically. What right does a parent have to shout at children that are not theirs? As we were in the concert, I got asked by the same parent ‘Can I manage and speak to the children if they misbehave?’ What am I to say to this? The whole evening, she was turning her nose down on me and the class, tutting and shaking her head because the were chatting to each other. The children are 9 years old, you can’t expect them to sit in silence for 3 hours, looking forward (even as adults, we would struggle to do this).

On the other hand, I have some of the loveliest parents in my class, who always volunteer for school trips; are extremely thankful and do their part as a parent.

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