Years 3, 4 and 5 have been doing Dance in PE lessons this half-term. They have worked incredibly hard. Not only as individuals but in pairs and as groups too! They then had the opportunity to show their excellence! Each class performed for the others. Take a look at the Year 3, 4 and 5 videos below.
This week in Reception we have been thinking about electrical objects, how we know they are electrical and where in our homes we might find them.We used a toaster in our lessons. We thought about how to keep safe, how to make the toaster work, how the bread changed and then enjoyed eating the toast!
Year 1 learn how to present to an audience and film using the green screen in the Computing lesson with Mrs Alderson.
The children created a script with instructions and filmed their partners making a sandwich. The children are using a green screen, which enables them to upload images onto the background of the video through an app.
Mrs Alderson was really impressed with her Year 1s who showed confidence in their speech, remembered their lines really well and the filmers sat very quietly, with lots of focus, making the filming go really well!
The videos will be uploaded for you to watch on YouTube – coming soon…
Music is a key part of our children’s developments here at Snaresbrook Prep, we believe it enables our children not only a necessary creative outlet and a platform to express themselves. It also helps to deepen concentration, focus and passion; is linked to improved cognitive function; increased language development from an early age and positive social interaction – creating a community for our children to grow within. We take a look through the eyes of our guitar teacher, Mr James Horn who started with us March of this year!
So James, where did your musical career begin?
“I started playing guitar cause I got kicked off the football team, when I was in Year 6… I didn’t enjoy football. My cousin played guitar and I thought it was cool, so I gave it a go. I took my Grade 8 at GCSE and went onto London College of Music to study Jazz. I then moved onto composition and teaching!
Other than teaching at schools, I’ve done composition for a TV comp – 3 pieces were accepted for the programme which will be out in new year (sorry name is under wraps!) and I also write for music library companies: orchestral film scores, short films, documentaries (most recent was “The Naked Cowboy” documentary on New York city musicians playing in cowboy boots and his life story) and tv ad briefs. I absolutely love the variety the job gives me and that it’s not just my job but my passion!”
How do you see the music department developing and what changes have you seen since starting with us?
“All credit to Ms Phillips (Head of Music). The opportunities we have for a broad range of instruments including guitar flute, ukulele, violin, recorder, viola are fantastic. Ukulele is a benefit for them, as it’s a nice way to enable them to progress onto guitar. We start them in Year 2 with ukulele and by Year 3 we move them up to guitar.
The kids, on the whole, are massively enthusiastic and open to learning. Throughout the year the children’s attention span has flourished, they have brilliant focus during lessons and their dedication to learning is phenomenal. They’re such nice kids to work with, I’m proud of how much they’ve absorbed this year. I would love to teach every kid here – that’s the aim! Plans going forward are for small guitar ensembles in assemblies, more events outside of school and even collaborating with other schools, which will be fantastic a opportunity.”
What would be your one bit of advice for a beginner?
“Practise and patience; understand mistakes are key to progression. Age doesn’t make a difference, progression depends on work ethic and practise! Tips for teaching beginners, I’d say make it fun!”
What ways do you try to make your lessons fun and engaging?
“It’s key to keep students progressing through grades and introduce them to different genres so they’re able to continually grow. They all enjoy the “Rock School” grades and playing the parts of the film. I had teachers who taught me just classical. Classical piano or flute is great, but when you play guitar you wanna play rock so the Rock School syllabus (electric and acoustic) has been great because it opens them to a selection of different styles of music.”
What events are the children taking part in this year?
“They will be playing at Manor Lodge, in South Woodford, singing and performing some lovely Christmas carols for the residents. And later on in year they will be playing grade at their Summer Concert, so really looking forward to that, it’s always a lovely evening!”
Our talented Reception Class made some beautiful Diwali Cards in celebration of the Festival of Lights this week. The children made jewelled lamps and hand wrote messages sending love and good luck to mum, dad and everyone special in their lives!
Festival of Lights
Diwali is perhaps the most well-known of the Hindu festivals.
The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. Diwali is known as the ‘festival of lights’ because houses, shops and public places are decorated with small earthenware oil lamps called diyas.
For many Indians this five day festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. People start the new business year at Diwali, and some Hindus will say prayers to the goddess for a successful year. Lamps are lit to help Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, find her way into people’s homes. They also celebrate one of the Diwali legends, which tells of the return of Rama and Sita to Rama’s kingdom after fourteen years of exile.
In Britain, as in India, the festival is a time for:
- spring-cleaning the home,
- wearing new clothes
- exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits) and preparing festive meals
- decorating buildings with fancy lights.
- huge firework displays often celebrate Divali.
In India Hindus will leave the windows and doors of their houses open so that Lakshmi can come in. Rangoli are drawn on the floors – rangoli are patterns and the most popular subject is the lotus flower.
The meaning of Diwali
The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India:
- In northern India and elsewhere, Diwali celebrates Rama’s return from fourteen years of exile to Ayodhya after the defeat of Ravana and his subsequent coronation as king;
- In Gujarat, the festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth;
- In Nepal Diwali commemorates the victory of Lord Krishna over the demon king Narakaasura;
- In Bengal, it is associated with the goddess Kali.