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Junior Department Notices and Reminders

Easter Hat Competition Monday 27 March

This weekend might be the perfect opportunity to get creative and make your Easter Hat ready for our Junior Department competition that is fast approaching! Hats can be any size or shape but must be based around the theme of Easter or Spring.

Please do not send these in before the week beginning 20 March as we won’t have space to store them all.

Have fun creating!



Message from Mrs McIntosh

“I don’t sing because I am happy. I am happy because I sing!” 

What a fantastic week Year 2 have had! The entire year group enjoyed an amazing trip to Kew Gardens on Wednesday. We explored the Palm House, the Temperate House and the Princess of Wales glasshouse and learnt about a wide range of plants and how they are adapted to their habitats. The children also particularly enjoyed the TreeTop walkway and the Children’s garden. They were all wonderful ambassadors for our school and we were incredibly proud of them. Thank you to Mrs Bloomfield and the Year 2 team for organising such a fascinating trip.

Please scroll down for more photos in the Year 2 section.

The evening before that the Year 2 choir joined our other Beechwood choirs at the annual Choirs’ Concert and even though I may be a little biased,  they seemed to steal the show! Their singing was wonderful, but they also behaved impeccably and represented the Junior Department in a way I was delighted with. Year 2 choir is one of the ASAs we introduced this term and has proved very popular.

As we seek to continue to grow and develop the co-curricular programme for our youngest children I am pleased that next term we will be offering a Gardening Club on a Friday lunchtime for Year 1 and 2 as well as a new ASA called Lucky Dip on a Monday where the children will get to participate in a different activity each week.  

Furthermore, in a bid to help working parents I will also be running an Early Morning Drop Off option from 0800 after Easter. The children will be able to read, draw, colour and chat with their friends in a calm, welcoming environment in the Junior Hall for 15 minutes before the doors open to everyone.

The ASA sign up on SOCs is open so do remember to book your activities and child-care before close of play on Monday 20 March.  


All that remains is for me to wish all of our Junior Department mummies a very special day on Sunday. All the different JD classes have spent time this week helping the children reflect on why mothers are so important and how much they do for us so hopefully they will express their thanks to you in their own ways over the weekend. Today we have recorded a song about our Mums, you can watch it here  

I hope you enjoy your weekend with them! 

Mrs McIntosh
Head of Junior Department

Computing in the Junior Department

‘A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use problem solving and creativity to understand and change the world’.

Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.

How can children in the Junior Department programme and code?

Simply put, coding is the language used to instruct a computer. Through a programme called Scratch, the children are able to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can also modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. It is amazing to see how quickly the children pick up these new concepts. As a teacher, seeing the excitement on their faces when they have solved a problem, fixing a bug in their code or making a character in their game do exactly as they wanted, shows why it is often one of the highlights of their week.

Throughout the year the children will continue to learn the importance of using technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

Mr Outson

Computing in Reception

Reception love their weekly ipad lessons. Since the start of the year they have learnt lots of skills from the basics of waking up the device, finding the home screen and swiping between screens to taking photographs, accepting an invitation via airdrip and navigating around more complicated menus and programs. The sessions support learning across the curriculum particularly maths and literacy. The children also love creating artwork on their pads!

Reception - computing

Computing in Year 1 & 2

Pupils have used Scratch Junior to learn about and understand what algorithms are (a set of step-by-step instructions for carrying out a function), how they are used as programs on digital devices, and that programs work by following these precise instructions.

Year 1 - computing

Other news from the Junior Department

Year 2 school trip to Kew Gardens

We had an amazing adventure this week to Kew Gardens. A very excited Year 2 left early on Wednesday morning full of excitement. The day began with  the coach ride and it has to be said that the journey and the coach often becomes one of the pupils favourite aspects of the day. When we all arrived we visited the enormous glass house to see the giant cacti, enjoyed a walk around the humid rainforest (which on a chilly day was most pleasant) and experienced the Tree Top Walkway which meant being that bit higher up everybody could see a little more of Kew Gardens. 

The day ended with a visit to the children’s playground before they embarked on their journey home. It was a fantastic day enjoyed by all. 


Year 2 sharing their reading books with Year 3

This morning Year 2 were beyond excited as they paid a visit to Year 3. The children from both year groups were buddied up and together they shared their reading books. It was a great opportunity for Year 2 children to meet the Year 3 staff and explore their classrooms, ahead of their transition to Middle Department in September.

Year 2 reading to year 3 (Transitiong)

STOP PRESS – Congratulations Saffi

There were incredible displays of brain power with hundreds of digits of Pi being recalled on Tuesday. We were super impressed with Saffi in year 2 who managed to recite 68 digits of Pi. We are so excited to see what she can do as she progresses through the school. Well done Saffi, incredible work.

You can watch her in action here Video

From the Junior Librarians

Meet the Weather by Caryl Hart

Award-winning Hart’s latest book, Meet the Weather, is vibrant and super engaging.

Presented as an exciting balloon ride, readers are subtly introduced to facts about STEM as the balloon floats through the sky. The rhyming text provides pace and rhythm which is wonderful to read aloud, and equally simple to grasp for emerging readers. 

If the weather’s not your cup of tea, then Hart has also published Meet the Oceans and Meet the Planets – both equally informative and enjoyable.