Monday, 27 March 2017

Year 6 'Little Gritters' Challenge Day!

Last week, four of our Year 6 children were nominated to attend a very special challenge day called 'Little Gritters'....The event was organised to help youngsters understand the importance of perseverance and know that success can be achieved with hard work, determination and 'grit'.
Nick Hind in action talking to the Year 6 pupils about perseverance, determination and 'GRIT'.
The day was set up by Nick Hind (Educational Consultant) following a series of Leadership Workshop days with the Headteachers across the Swanley Collaboration. Schools involved alongside Downsview were: Horton Kirby, Horizon, West Kingsdown, Hextable, Crockenhill, St Barts & High Firs.

It was a fantastic event - and very challenging! Pupils had four different tasks to complete that required thinking skills, teamwork and most importantly grit and determination.

Challenge 1 - teams, the children had a tangram problem to solve. Using just six different shaped pieces, the teams had to create as many of the pictures they were given. The winning team managed six! Impressive!

Tangram challenge! Complex and demanding requiring carful thought and perseverance.
Challenge 2 - Languages...pupils were asked to learn some Japanese! Could the children learning to count from one to ten in Japanese in just ten minutes? Answer - YES!

Challenge 3 - Design & Construction...back in their teams, children had to design and build the tallest tower using just two packets of dried spaghetti. How tall could they make the tower? How would they allocate jobs? How well would they communicate?

Building a tower of spaghetti was tricky! It required teamwork and a great deal of determination.
Challenge 4 - the afternoon, the pupils were introduced to Karina - a professional dancer on many of the West End stage shows. Together, they learnt a dance routine to Abba's Mamma Mia. The dance moves were complex and it was pretty fast too. Very challenging indeed!

Karina putting the Year 6 pupils through their paces....5, 6, 7, 8!
Throughout the day, all of the pupils in attendance (not just the Downsview children!) showed high levels of perseverance, determination and grit! Not only was it highly enjoyable, but very though provoking too...perseverance is a key quality to possess and I hope that the children are able to remember this exciting day and the key messages it was trying to deliver.

Much thanks must go to the following people for making the event such a success:
  • The General Manager at the Great Danes Mercure Hotel in Maidstone for hosting the event
  • The Watersports Academy (www.the for their sponsorship
  • Karina Hind - professional dancer
  • Nick Hind - Educational Consultant
If at first you don't succeed, try and try again! Or, as Albert Einstein once said...

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer."

Year 3 & 4 High Quality Writing Workshop

On Friday 24th March, eight of our Year 3 & Year 4 children travelled to Horton Kirby Primary School for a day of high quality writing.

Upon arrival, the children were met by Neal Zetter - one of the UK's leading performance poets. Neal has run many workshops for talented writers over the years and really helped to engage and inspire the writers of the future.

The focus was poetry and the children were asked to consider their language and vocabulary carefully for best impact.
Year 3 pupils ready to get writing...signed books were available too!
Neal performed some of his poetry with the children to share the power and effectiveness of rhythm within a poem.

It was a great day of writing with some impressive results on show. Mr Pring managed to capture some of the writing for us...

These three poems have been written as a Kennings...when an object is described using two word phrases.
Well done and congratulations to everyone who attended the workshop. I hope that they have learnt some useful tips and tricks of the trade from a fantastic author!

Downsview does Comic Relief 2017

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in Comic Relief 2017!

Not only were there silly socks on display throughout the school all day, but the school came together for a very special 'Downsview's Got Talent' in the afternoon.

The stage was set, the microphones were on, the music was ready....Downsview's Got Talent!
The acts included singing, dancing, gymnastics and comedy to name but a few! It was great to see our talented children showing their skills, enjoy their opportunity to 'perform' and entertain the audience. Congratulations to all of the acts that performed! As a finale, we were treated to a fabulous dance routine from The Wrong Direction (school staff!)....just fantastic!

As a result of the silly socks and talent show, the school will be donating £131.50 to the Comic Relief charity. Thank you again to everyone who joined in the fun....I know that the money will be well spent by the charity to help those less fortunate than us.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

World Book Day 2017!

Thursday 2nd March 2017: What a magical day we have had at Downsview celebrating World Book Day!

As the theme was 'magic,' children were asked to dress up as a character from a text which had a magical theme. There were so many amazing costumes. Staff were overwhelmed with wonderful high quality costumes seen across the school.

During our special WBD assembly, each class were given a bag which contained a magical, mysterious character and prop. Using both, children had to come up with a story with a clear beginning, middle and end. These fantastic stories were either written or acted and recorded in our special WBD books which will be kept in our school library.

Every class were given the opportunity to visit the school library and share a book with their class teacher; it was fantastic to observe how engrossed the children were listening to a book being read by their teacher.

It appeared that every child in the school thoroughly enjoyed celebrating WBD! It was lovely to share books, appreciate authors and illustrators, as well as promote reading for pleasure.

Reading is a life skill. It is so important to read EVERY DAY so please ensure your child does so.

Thank you for all your support in promoting the enjoyment of reading.

Winners of the bookmark competition will be announced on Friday 10th March during Golden Assembly. So far, we have had some fantastic entries which will make judging VERY hard.