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Junior Department Notices and Reminders

We have a great reading challenge for you this Easter – Read the Rainbow! Scroll down to the Junior library section to find out more.

Message from Mrs McIntosh

As we come towards the end of the Lent Term and the children (and teachers) are all displaying signs of feeling tired after a term full of learning and excitement, I thought I would take a few moments just to talk about the importance of rest.  

In recent years, I have observed that rest has become synonymous with laziness. Exhaustion seems to be some sort of status symbol. I found this quotation that I think we should all keep somewhere visible to remind ourselves that it is ok and indeed vital to take a break, to have some time to ourselves, maybe even to have a day off!  

‘Rest when you are weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.’ Ralph Marston. 

I recently found out that there are seven types of rest we all need: 

  • Physical Rest: this includes getting enough sleep, stretching to release tension, massage therapy, taking naps when needed and practising breathing exercises;
  • Mental Rest: turning off devices, listening to calming music, scheduling breaks and downtime and spending time in nature;
  • Social Rest: Spending more time with those that nourish and inspire you but less with those who deplete you, taking a break from socialising altogether and spending some time alone;
  • Creative Rest: Reading, listening to and watching inspirational things, walking in nature and creating for fun rather than for a purpose;
  • Sensory Rest: aromatherapy, turning down bright lights or loud sounds, being still and silent at points in the day, shutting your eyes for a few minutes to re-charge, taking time away from devices and social media;
  • Emotional Rest: Having a heart-to-heart with someone you trust, setting boundaries, journaling and getting therapy where needed or wanted;
  • Spiritual Rest: meditating or praying, spending time in spiritual environments, volunteering time to serve others and associating with like-minded people. 

As adults, it is our job to ensure that the children in our care are given time to get all these types of rest too. It takes courage and patience to stay at home and let the children just be (maybe even be bored!) but this is what we all need from time to time.  

If you are interested in the science behind the importance of rest then I recommend this book.  

Mrs McIntosh
Head of Junior Department

TPR in the Junior Department

TPR (Theology, Philosophy and Religion) is a fascinating subject.

Children in the Junior Department show endless enthusiasm for finding out what different faiths believe. The classrooms are filled with curiosity and respect when we investigate some of the core beliefs of different religions as well as finding out about those that are atheist or agnostic.

As in all subjects that the children learn at school, our job is to educate and help children see things from different perspectives and viewpoints from a position of neutrality and balance.  Children learn to understand and value the beliefs and choices of other members of the class, department and community so that they can demonstrate the British Values of tolerance and mutual respect.

An especially popular part of our TPR studies involves investigating and experiencing a range of physical artefacts. The Tibetan singing bowl was a particular favourite (and harder to use than it looks, as Mrs McIntosh will testify!)  


In Reception, one of our areas of learning is Understanding the World. This encompasses People, Culture and Communities which leads onto TPR lessons in Key Stage 1.

We have recently been learning how people celebrate new life. We were very excited to spot the arrival of some eggs in the Science Department last week, especially when they began to hatch! The very cute fluffy chicks came to visit us in our classrooms.

We are thinking about all sorts of new life occurring at this time of the year including tadpoles, lambs and lots of new plant life!

Take a look at a few of our photos below:

Reception - Chicks

Year 1

Year 1 have demonstrated impressive thoughtfulness as we considered the different groups that we all belong to and why these groups are special to us.

This led into thinking about how babies are welcomed when they arrive in families and that some babies are also welcomed into a religion. We did some more detailed learning about how Muslims and Christians welcome new babies into their faiths. This culminated in the great excitement of a trip to the School Chapel in order to act out a christening. Every child played a part in the ceremony (wearing a variety of fabulous costumes) and many members of the school community enjoyed observing parts of our learning through drama. Mrs Allen (at Front Desk) had the enviable experience of hearing three christenings in a row!

Year 1 then carefully explored a variety of interesting artefacts from the Christian and Muslim religions and showed their drawing skills in recording pictures of these.

We are now finishing the term by learning about Spring and Easter. This has involved the delicious treat of a seasonal Hot Cross Bun while learning some key facts about the events in the Easter story. The perfect combination of educational and delicious! 

Year 1 TRP

In other Year 1 News…

Year 1 had the pleasure of meeting our fluffy little chicks this week. They were surprised that they could tell the gender by the colour of the feathers- the boys were yellow and the girls were brown (they are apparently bred this way to help with identification!).

They loved how small and soft they were to hold and some of the children managed to make the chicks feel so relaxed that they fell asleep in their hands!

We talked about the needs of living things and how they sometimes poo because all animals poo!They absolutely loved it and were reluctant to leave at the end.

Year 1 chicks

Year 2

Year 2 started the term by thinking of what they were thankful for in their lives. We then considered ways in which different religions say “Thank you” and studied a wide range of physical artefacts related to prayer. We reviewed the detailed work that we had done on Muslim prayer in the Autumn Term and moved on to consider the Lord’s Prayer in Christianity and the Shema prayer in Judaism. There was much hilarity at our attempts to write in Hebrew as we made a scroll to go inside our own Mezzuzah.

We continued to focus on the Jewish religion as we sipped some delicious grape juice (instead of the more traditional wine!) and learnt about how Jewish people celebrate Shabbat each week. This led into a study of the annual celebration of Passover and the significance of the different foods found on the Seder plate. To finish off our food themed studies we have looked at the different foods that are significant at Easter and what they mean to Christians.

Year 2 displayed an impressive amount of knowledge about different varieties of Easter eggs and seemed willing to carry out more research into this topic over the holidays! 

Year 2 - TPR

As part of their Dance and Drama lessons, Year 2 have been working on a Circus performance. We were treated to tight rope walking, clowns, lion tamers, balance and acrobatics. Well done Year 2!

Year 2 Circus Performance

From the Junior Library

Read the Rainbow – Easter Reading Challenge

We have a great reading challenge for you this Easter – Read the Rainbow!

There are a few rhymes to help you remember the colours of the rainbow; “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” or maybe you know “Rinse Out Your Granny’s Boots In Vinegar”.

It doesn’t matter which one you remember, but to ‘Read the Rainbow’ you simply need to read books with the right coloured covers.

Start with a mainly Red cover, then an Orange, a Yellow, a Green, a Blue, an Indigo and finally a Violet – then you have Read a Rainbow. You can pick any book you like (as long as it’s the right colour in the right order) and you can read on your own or with your family.  Most importantly enjoy your reading challenge.

How many Rainbows can you read?

We really look forward to hearing how you made your Rainbows and which books you picked for each of the colours – Please send us a photo of you with your ‘Book Rainbows’ so that we can display them for everyone to enjoy.

We hope you have a very happy Easter,

Mrs Lott & Mrs Ford

Easter Reading Suggestions

To help you with your Easter reading we have compiled a list of books we think you will enjoy. Click on the link here Easter Holiday Reading List 2023 – Junior to see our suggestions.

Head’s Commendations

Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mrs Cussans’ Commendations:

Nurture Inspire Engage
Year 1 - - Jaxson B, Zoe P, Logan M
Year 2 - - Albie R, Maya E, Sophie LP, Saffi S