Monday, 27 June 2016

Coming up this week...

 We have another busy week ahead of us!

On Wednesday, we will attend a special mass in school to celebrate the feast of SS. Peter and Paul.

Source: sspeterandpaulorthodox
On Friday, we will be visiting Dulwich Picture Gallery in the morning and then we will have our One World Football Tournament in the afternoon! If any of your parents or carers would like to accompany us to the gallery, please let me or Mrs Cook know ASAP. Parents and carers are also welcome to come and watch the tournament over at the field behind St. Thomas More on Friday afternoon.
Source: fotosearch

This week we will also be completing our Manga stories, finishing our Yu-Gi-Oh writing project, learning about Samurai and finding out about the impact of WW2 on Japan.

St. Anthony's Day!

 A little late, but here is our report on St. Anthony's Day!

Two weeks ago, we celebrated St. Anthony's Day at school with a special day to reflect on our faith. In Upper School, we had the whole day off-timetable. We spent one hour in each classroom with a different teacher.

In each class, we learned about a different parable of mercy. This year is the Year of Mercy, so we combined our celebration of St. Anthony's Day with our celebrations for the Year of Mercy.

With Miss Bower, we learned the Parable of the Lost Sheep- and made some very cute clay sheep!

With Ms Doyle, we learned the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. We created some fantastic story maps.

With Miss Checker, we learned the Parable of the Yeast. We drew some beautiful and imaginative seed pictures, with the seeds growing into marvellous and creative new things. Each class in the school contributed to each picture, so by the end of the day the pictures had been created by four children from the different classes in Year 5 and 6.

With me, you learned the Parable of the Lost Coin. We discussed the story, then made some beautiful Mexican coins. One side of each coin was made by a child in Year 5 and the other side by a child in Year 6. You can see them all hanging in the window above the stairs to Upper School now.
It was a wonderful day, completed by a special reflection service in the afternoon. Some children read prayers and led our reflection, as a child from each class offered a piece of art/work that had been completed during the day.

Well done, everyone!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Very Special Visitor!

 On Friday, we were very lucky to have a special visitor in St. Clare's Class. Kyoko came to visit us from the Japan Foundation and we had a wonderful morning together!

Kyoko is from Japan and teaches Japanese to children and adults in London. We were very fortunate that she could come and help us to learn some Japanese too!

We began the morning by learning how to greet one another in Japanese and how to introduce ourselves. We learned how to say 'hello', 'good morning', 'thank you', 'my name is...', 'I am 9/10 years old' and 'it's nice to meet you'. Kyoko also taught us the importance of bowing and how to bow appropriately. Before the end of this session, we were able to have a short conversation with a partner and sing a song to the tune of 'Row Row Row Your Boat' with all of the new phrases we had learned.

Excitingly, Kyoko told us that a very special Japanese festival is coming up soon, on 7th July. She told us the story of Tanabata (see the video below):

It's a beautiful story and it was very interesting to hear how Tanabata is celebrated in Japan. Kyoko told us that on this day, people write their wishes on colourful strips of paper called 'tanzaku'.

 Source: thejapanguy
 Source: nihonsun

She kindly brought some along for us, so that we could write some wishes of our own! We wrote our wishes in English, but Kyoko helped us to write some of the key words in Japanese too. Once we had written and decorated our wishes on the tanzaku, we had a moment of quiet reflection as we placed them onto the branches of our special 'tree'.

After play, we learned how to say and write numbers in Japanese, using the kanji characters. We loved reciting the numbers and learning the actions to go with them! Once we had a good understanding of the numbers, Kyoko thought we were ready to learn how to write dates. We were fascinated to learn how the months are written in kanji and we were all trying to say our birthday dates at lunchtime and in the afternoon!
We learned more greetings too and Kyoko helped us to say 'My favourite thing is...' and worked with each of us, one at a time, to tell us how to say our favourite things! We learned how to say 'skateboarding', 'art', 'science', 'football' and all sorts of other hobbies in Japanese!

What a wonderful opportunity- arigato gozaimasu, Kyoko!

One World!

We have been so busy in St. Clare's in the last few weeks! It has been a very fun time- with lots of special activities. With our 'One World' theme at school, we have had many celebratory events- we enjoyed our 'Walk for Africa' in Dulwich Park, which has raised £2555 in sponsorship money so far for the children's home in Zambia that we support each year. If you haven't brought in your sponsorship money yet, please do so as soon as possible!

We also had a fabulous dance workshop. We learned some yoga and some Indian dance- along with lots of exciting stories! We sang most of the music ourselves, so learned some new words and sounds too.

Last Friday was a very exciting day for us- we saw our French penpals again! The children and teachers from St. Vaast arrived at 9:15am and once they had settled in, we all had a very British breakfast in the hall, with scones (with cream and jam!), fruit and juice.

After breakfast, we headed out to show our penpals our local area. We walked to Dulwich Park, through the park and then through the gardens of Dulwich Picture Gallery. Our penpals were excited to see the red London telephone box and were interested to hear how the design of its roof came about!
Source: dulwichonview

We visited the courtyard at Christ's Chapel of God's Gift and saw the war memorial and statue of Edward Alleyn.
Then we walked through Dulwich Village and showed them the post office, restaurants and bakery.

On returning to school we played some games in the playground, including a hotly-contested football match! The children from St. Vaast were very excited by our Action Station and Trim Trail.

After some playtime, we had a lovely British lunch of fish and chips. We helped our penpals to ask the kitchen staff for their lunch in English and say 'please' and 'thank you'. They did brilliantly!

After lunch, the weather had turned very British... it was pouring with rain! Our penpals joined us in our classrooms for wet play and enjoyed drawing pictures and playing board games with their English friends.

Next, we all went to the Small Hall, where our penpals presented us with some beautiful gifts that they had made us. At 2:30, we joined the whole school for a special 'One World' assembly. Every class performed or showed something they had made from the country they have been studying. We performed our Japanese Yosakoi dance and St. John's sang a beautiful Indian song.

To end the assembly, Year 5 from St. Anthony's and their penpals from St. Vaast all stood up together to sing a popular current French song which is raising money for UNICEF- 'On ecrit sur les murs'. It was a moving and wonderful performance and a lovely way to end our day together.

We will post some pictures from our day together next week.

Also, we would like to invite you all, with your parents, carers and families to a special presentation of photographs from our trip to France on Thursday 7th July at 8:30am in the hall.

For homework this week, you are writing your final letter to your French penpal. Remember to decorate it and make it look wonderful- this is your last chance to write to them this year, as they are near to their summer holidays now!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Our Visit to the Embassy!

Source: wikipedia

On Thursday, we had the honour of visiting the Embassy of Japan in London's Piccadilly.

We had a wonderful afternoon learning about Japan and meeting some of the members of staff from the Embassy.

Firstly, we looked at the manga exhibition on display at the Embassy, as we will be beginning our own manga projects soon.
Then we were taken through to the spectacular ballroom, where we met Miss Soni. Miss Soni taught us lots of interesting facts about Japan.
After the presentation, we split into two groups. Each group took part in two activities: Japanese calligraphy and Yosakoi dance.

The calligraphy class was fascinating and we had to follow very strict rules. It was important to sit with the correct posture and hold the brush in the correct way. We learned a number of Japanese characters, including those for river, mountain and life.

Our teacher from the Embassy was very impressed by our efforts and said that we were the best behaved class they had had at the Embassy- well done, everyone!

The Yosakoi dance workshop was led by Miss Soni, who had performed in the Japanese national Yosakoi finals with her team in Japan.

We each wore a special 'happi' coat and held two 'naruko' (wooden clappers).
It was great fun to learn all of the moves and poses! It certainly helped us to learn our Japanese numbers, too!

Welcome to Japan!

 Kon'nichiwa! Welcome to Japan!

St. Clare's Classroom has become Japanese for the next half term; we look forward to welcoming our visitors next week during One World Week!
 This week, we began learning about Japan and we have created some beautiful work. After finding out about where Japan is and looking closely at the map of Japan in our 'Map from Memory' game, we began the topic with some artwork.
We learned about koinoburi, Japanese fish kites, which are flown across Japan every year for Children's Day. After finding out about the history of kites in Japan, we worked in groups to make some koinoburi of our own. Aren't they beautiful?

On Wednesday afternoon, we spent some time learning about traditional clothing in Japan. We then combined our learning about Japanese clothing with a famous Japanese artform: origami. Each of us made a lady or gentleman in a kimono from paper. Here they are, looking very smart indeed:
On Thursday, we had a wonderful trip to the Embassy of Japan in Central London. Keep your eyes peeled for a special blog post to follow soon...