Middle School Half-Term News

What a wonderful opportunity to dive into what our Middle School pupils have been learning about!

We hope you enjoy hearing more about their learning – at this amazing stage of enquiry and thirst for knowledge in their lives. From poetry to the pool and from Forest School to football, our Middle School pupils have had an incredibly busy few weeks!

Our creative Bellarmine boys followed in the footsteps of ‘Big Friendly Giants’ on their trip to the Roald Dahl museum in January. In guided workshops, they discovered how Dahl’s childhood and early life inspired his stories – from sweet shops to crashing aeroplanes! The class were amazed to learn how the titles of the books and characters changed through proofreading and editing – a skill they have been honing in class. Much of their creative writing has been inspired by these classic books, with even more pen licenses earned and trips to Mr Snell’s office to proudly share their work than ever before.

In the final week of half term, Year 3 also performed superbly in the Bellarmine poetry recital, choosing ambitious and original poems to entertain the Middle School and their parents. Mr Gibbons was so impressed by the rhythm and memory shown in learning poignant and humorous poems, he has invited the winners to enter the whole school Verse Speaking Competition next term.

The humanities subjects have inspired Year 4 this term. They have opened the door to a new topic on the curriculum, one of the most incredible periods in history – World War 2! They have enjoyed studying primary sources that tell them more about some of Britain’s darkest and finest hours. They have taken this resilience on to the sports pitches, turning some tricky early season football results into an amazing set of victories this week! One thing worth seeing is their stunning Amazon dioramas as part of their Geography topic.

Similarly, Year 5 have had an environmental theme this term. Whilst some families were worrying about the rising flood waters of the River Thames, our boys were in the warm and dry studying the causes and effects of flooding, ready to observe this on their journey home. Most recently, they have been debating for and against keeping animals in zoos as they learnt about the risks posed to endangered species.

Children’s Mental Health week was the perfect way to end the term, with great credit going to Miss Churchouse for the pop-up wellbeing events around school this week. The perfect complement to enquiry based lessons is active listening skills, so each class has been practising this skill and learning how to have a coaching conversation with a peer. Every pupil at St John’s has the chance to be heard, by teachers and their classmates alike.