Monday, 30 April 2012

The Great Bed of Ware - revisited

Today McKee class made a return visit to Ware Museum. This time to see the Great Bed, re-assembled and in situ.

With the bed

After a short introduction about the bed, we broke into three groups and participated in three different workshops. We were able to look all around the bed and Luca thought it was really colourful. Zachary was surprised how big it was and Mika liked the pretty patterns on the bed. We were not allowed to touch the real bed, but were able to touch a replica wooden bed post and try our hand at stencilling a design typical of the era. Grace enjoyed the stencilling.

We also looked at the layers of the bed and contrasted these with a bed of today. Rebecca thought it was very funny when she pushed so hard on the mattress springs that she fell over! Jessica loved the flowers and patterns on the wood.

Feeling the wooden carvings

Touching the smooth wood
Using the specially commissioned stencil

The stencil design

The second workshop involved learning about night clothes. We found out that the people who slept in the bed, when it was first made, did not wear night clothes! The men just slept in their shirts and the women in their underdress. In the morning they just put their clothes back on top of these! Eloise enjoyed dressing up in these but did not think she would like to do this in real life.
We got the chance to try on some reproductions of night clothes from this era, the Victorian era and some our grandparents might have worn. Jessica loved her lilac silk nightie and Rimini thought the bows and frills on the Victorian nightdress were very pretty, as well as the buttons.

Buttons and bows

We were able to feel the texture of the different fabrics and compare them with each other. The oldest ones were thick and rough and the newest soft and smooth. 

Old and new night clothes
Our third workshop, again encouraged us to use our senses and to ask questions. We were able to touch, feel and even smell several objects and sort them into two sets - NOW and PAST. We knew what most of the items were but the bed warming pan and the leather tankard were a bit of a mystery. Archie, Hollie and Daniel enjoyed sorting these items.

Smelling the leather tankard.

Sorting items from the past and present.
We finished off our visit by singing "There were ten in the bed" which some say is said to have been written about the Great bed of Ware.

The children all said they would like to go again. They will soon be given a "loyalty card" and need to collect four stamps. McKee class will get one for seeing the bed arrive, a second for today, a third at the end of the month when the museum visit school for an assembly and if they then return to the museum with their family they can claim a fourth stamp and a bookmark or a badge.

Compass Braille Assembly

Last week, on Wednesday, Compass Braille came into school and showed us some braille.

They told told us about Louis Braille. When he was 3 years old he was using his dad's tools and he slipped and it went into his eye. It got an infection and this spread to his other eye and he was blind. He invented braille so he could read.

They played a game with us. Six children had a blindfold on and were told an animal name. Six other children had to make those animal noises. They did it lots of times and the blindfold children had to get to where they were and find their partner. It was very noisy and funny to watch. They said it was fun to do.

We saw a picture of the Bible in braille, there are so many books, you can't fit it in your pocket. It can be read at home though. If we learnt to read braille we would be able to read in the dark in bed, just like some blind children do!

I was amazed that the children can do exciting such as ride bicycles and run in races. Their teachers help them and the children learn to measure distances in their head.

We were given a Compass Braille bookmark and some braille questions for us to read and answer.

It was a good assembly.

by Emily (year 2)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Buggy Buddies

Last term McKee class drew pictures of Breeze, Webster, Poncho, Pipo, Luna and Baxter. These are the Hertfordshire buggy buddies.

We posted our competition entries to the county council and today we received our very exciting reward pack.

We did not win, but we now have a set of new classroom friends who will visit us at home from time to time.

I wonder who we will visit first?

Gambian Assembly

On Tuesday, Mr Walkerdine came to school tell us about his trip to The Gambia. He showed us lots of photos and told us about Batman the goat, the scouts he met and the children. in the village.

E - I learnt that the Gambia does not have much food.
R - I liked the pictures.
H - Gambia is hot and dry.

We liked hearing about his trip and seeing his photographs and we enjoyed it.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

McKee Easter reading challenge

Well done to the following children who accepted and completed Mrs Matthews' Easter challenge. All read 5 books over the two week holiday and rated them out of ten.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lamps for The Gambia

The Flag shows the National Flag of The Gambia. Red represents the sun, Blue represents the River Gambia, White stands for peace and unity and Green for agriculture.

On Friday 27th April we are holding a non uniform day to raise money for Chessay Ma Jaw School. Children are invited to come to school wearing the colours of the Gambian flag and in exchange for a minimum donation of £1.

The money will be used to buy lamps for the 350 pupils of the Gambian school, starting with their  75 nursery children.

Margaret Meeks of HELPING, the charity who facilitate this partnership, sent these two photographs which were taken at the school, during the last trip the charity took to The Gambia.

Children at Chessay Ma Jaw nursery having their lunch

Classrooms painted and a new roof.
She told us about the refurbishment of the school and the plans to buy new blackboards but also said "There has been some bad fires with candles being knocked over so we are trying to give every child a lamp and batteries at the cost of £2-50 per lamp and batteries. The batteries would last them about 2 months and would cost about the same as candles but safer."
Each lamp (and first set of batteries) costs just £2.50
Here at Christ Church we intend to make that happen! The lamps will go to the most vulnerable children first, those who live in straw homes. Once these homes catch fire there is little chance of escape. Sadly this happened whilst HELPING were there and a father and 4 children died. 

Each of our classes have also pledged to raise an additional £25 each to be able to purchase 10 lamps. Look out for their fund raising events.

At the end of term any money we have raised will be sent out to The Gambia and the lamps will be purchased there, this saves on shipping costs, ensures they are suitable and helps the local shopkeepers.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Red Riding Hood in Fairyland

Before Easter Key Stage 1 children performed their pantomime of Red Riding Hood in Fairyland.  All of the children have said how much they enjoyed taking part.
Here are some of their comments:

  • I really enjoyed singing all of the songs.
  • It was fun doing the dance.
  • Taking part as one of the main characters was hard work and fun.
  • We enjoyed singing and listening to the solos.
  • The actors did a brilliant job.
The children have now mentioned how much they are looking forward to their next production.


On the 23rd March, four year 5 children went to Chauncy to do a "Mathalon" - The people who went were Abigail Samantha, Joshua and Robbie. When they got there they had 30 minutes to do five "My maths" tasks on the computer. Once they had done them they got a biscuit and a drink  and then went into the hall to do a team quiz.

There were four rounds - shape, number, data and algebra. Each team got a question and if they did not get it right the other teams would get the points.

In the end Christ Church came third out of eleven teams and got a bronze medal

By Joshua and Robbie.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Rain, rain....

Mckee class decided that if the start of the summer term brings you rain, rain and more rain, then why not indulge in a spot of splashing through puddles. They followed this by creating rain music (soft for the rain drops on an umbrella, loud for the thunder) and singing some weather songs. All agreed it was great fun.

They also learnt that when it gets wet, mud/soil changes from a solid into a "slushy liquid", that rain drops look like "hands" "splats" and "flowers" when they land onto a dry surface and that rain drops can be lots of different sizes.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Easter Garden homework

During the Easter holiday McKee class were set the task of creating an Easter garden. Here are some of the final results. Well done.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Chessy Ma Jaw

Here at Christ Church we are twinned with the Chessy Ma Jaw school in The Gambia. This partnership is made posible by HELPING  a charity in Stanstead Abbotts.

Staff and pupils outside the school

Since this partnership began we have raised money to send out to buy essential items, have sent out some of our outgrown uniforms, have provided school supplies such as pencils cases and paper, and have written letters and drawn pictures.

We received a hand drawn booklet from them telling us about their typical day and what the village is like, have had some photographs and Chris and Margaret Meeks have been into school to tell us about their visits to The Gambia.

Inside a classroom 2011
Last year, when Margaret and Chris returned from The Gambia, they brought us a beautiful banner, which now hangs in the school hall. This was made as a thank you by the school and village especially for us. Originally every family had given a handful of peanuts from their own crop which was placed in a sack to send back for us to share. The Meeks had to decline this extremely generous gift on our behalf and explain why.

The charity has recently returned from their yearly visit and will soon update us with recent news from the school and provide some new photographs along with suggestions of how we can help this time.

We do know, that whilst there they refurbished and painted inside and out all the school, except one double classroom, and are now raising money to put a new roof on the last block and provide new blackboards in all the classes.

Please look out for updated news and do pass on any fund raising ideas you may have either via the school office or as a comment on here.

Friday, 6 April 2012

In the news

The children from McKee and Carle have been in the news recently. This week they have been glimpsed on the BBC news (click underlined words to view the report) and featured in The Mercury newspaper dated 5/4/12 (see below). Alfie, Rebecca, Evie, Archie and Emily are even quoted. 

In case you are on holiday and have missed this, on returning to school, Mrs Matthews will put the article in McKee's window (alongside the "First Class" one with the reception class photographs in). Do come and have a look. 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Easter in Mckee class

Fairtrade Easter nests

New life Easter cards

More Fairtrade chocolate in our baskets

Rainbow eggs

Holy week mobile

Paper Egg hunt - our own designs

The start of our Easter Garden

Hot Cross Buns
Just a few snapshots of some of the things we did in Mckee class this Easter.

Don't forget your homework is to make an Easter garden and photograph (or draw) it and to complete the reading challenge.

Happy Easter.

Easter Service

On Friday we ended this term with our Easter service. The foundation stage showed off some of their bonnets and sang "I love the sun", KS1 performed a dance from their recent production and KS2 provided the reading and prayer and a superb rendition of "The Servant King".