Since being a very young child all I ever wanted to be was a teacher. Rightly or wrongly, my mind was made up, and I never considered the possibility of any other profession. Thankfully, I can say it worked out well for me.
At the end of these last 2 weeks, many of you have stated quite clearly that you would never ever want to be teachers!
Thank you for all the humorous messages and stories that you have shared with me reflecting your experience of taking a greater part in the teaching of your children over the last fortnight. I think that parents’ appreciation of all my teaching staff has grown during this time.
Once again, I have to congratulate you all for juggling work, cooking, cleaning, online shopping while helping your child focus, concentrate, complete then submit their work on time. I have seen some amazing pieces of creative work – castles, rockets, pom poms – enthusiastically made out of anything you can find in the house. I have read some wonderful poems, diaries and stories that your children have produced, and the teachers thank you too for your full support in this.
It was heartening to see that there are still young people out there who want to be teachers. Enjoy this video of Kadir (Year 2) who, while smartly dressed, delivers a Spanish lesson to his younger siblings. They seem like a good class!
I also loved seeing Carys (Year 1) having her lesson in a makeshift cowshed! Well done, Carys!
On a more serious note, my heart went out to our Year 11 and Year 13 pupils this week as it was announced that the IGCSE, International A-level and IB public examinations were to be cancelled. At what is already a stressful time for these pupils and their parents, they now await the news of how they are going to be assessed. The school is waiting for direct instructions from the exam boards on how their work is going to be graded. It is important that their learning continues with the same effort as before. The school will do everything to support these pupils, particularly those who are hoping to enter the universities of their choice. We will keep you updated on news about this. Please keep these families in your thoughts.
Social Media and Permissions
Since the appointment of our new Communications Officer we are steadily increasing our presence on social media. You will now be able to find regular updates of news, messages, your children’s work, posted in these channels:
If you have not yet signed up to these platforms, please do. If you have any difficulties doing so, please contact our Communications department on email@example.com and they will assist you.
If we want to continue improving in this area we need you to submit your Consent for the use of images and videos to enable us to post photos or short videos of your children on these platforms. Only half our parents have completed this so far. As we follow a strict Data Protection policy we cannot publish photos without your permission. This makes it very difficult when we have a lovely group photo but perhaps one parent hasn’t sent their authorisation, so we are unable to publish. Please support us on this matter – it is very positive for the Aloha community to see what our members are doing in their online learning.
This is a means of communication that you the parents set up yourselves and of course you are well within your rights to do so. Once again, can I please remind you that this is not an official platform for submitting complaints. I continue to receive emails from worried parents who are upset by some of the messages of negativity and criticism of the school posted in these groups. On behalf of those parents, can I ask that we keep the spirit of our wonderful school as positive as we can, especially at this difficult time. I remind you all that if you have concerns, worries or complaints, there is a correct school procedure to follow for these. I thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Congratulations to Juan, our concierge, whose daughter Ana, (an ex-pupil of Aloha) gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl, Daniela, this week. ¡Enhorabuena, abuelo!
Lastly, as I enjoy today (Saturday) away from my computer and phone, I am sitting dreaming about the first thing I will do when all this is over: I shall physically cuddle my precious grandchildren instead of sending these daily virtual hugs.
Don’t forget to give your lovely children a hug today.
Let’s finish with a beautiful message from Kenzo (Year 2), who is asking his dad – a well-known rocket engineer – to send a rocket with a magical product to save lives! Thank you, Kenzo.
Stay safe and happy with your families.
I hope that you are all safe and well. I know many of you are missing school and the impact upon you and your families is different in every household. During these challenging times the key most important thing is to determine what works for you and your family.
Since the school closed we have received some truly outstanding home learning and many, many photos and videos of children enjoying the experience of learning at home. Google Classroom has become a real hit even though it has meant lots of new skills-learning for many, children and adults! The children adapted much faster! I’m missing the children helping me learn my new technology skills!
Many congratulations to our STARS of the week:
NSCCU Hunter Anderson, NSERI Luca Sirejacob
RCEMA Amaro Gutiérrez Pérez, RCJST Elias Vilenskiy
1KED Emma Robb, 1MTI Alejandro Fernández González, 1LHO Arnold Verweij Cruz
2LT Lia Rincón Tian, 2ARS Oscar Höglund, 2FFO Lucas Hernández González
3EK Andrés Fay Pérez, 3JCH Arseniy Dishdishyan, 3ESE Grace Osborne
4ITA Junior Voicu, 4ES Daniel O’Hayon Karlov, 4SJD Morgane Matter
5MAS Angela Bahut Quevedo, 5BWA Elin Höglund, 5ASH Keira Griffiths
6PSM Anatoly Praslov, 6WA Chloe Herráez Alonso, 6CST Savannah Rodoni
Spanish Stars: NSCCU Hunter Anderson, NSERI Manuel Méndez Torres, RCJST Matisse Eghamian Daemi, RCEMA Francesca Tye, 1KED Sienna Kafourous, 1MTI Theo Brunner-Duhon, 1LHO Mina Tobal Agier, 2FFO Lucas Hernández González, 2FFO Dmitrii Pavlenko, 2ARS Néstor Angulo de Oliveira, 2ARS Leo Apaydin, 3ESE Lola Ortiz Rodríguez, 3ESE Grace Osborne, 3EK Aitor Cordón López, 3JCH Arseniy Dishdishyan, 4ES Annie Herráez Alonso, 4ITA Andrey Junior Voicu, 4SJD Elena Lalovic, 4SJD Artemii Belov, 5ASH Brianna Giles, 5BWA Isabelle Gruber, 5BWA Iker Ortigosa Maldonado, 6WA Aleksandr Sergeev, 6CST Tarah Wandoren, 6CST Etienne Star
Mrs Salmon’s Special Distance Learning Awards
Year 6: Freddy Sharp for going above and beyond creating a video to demonstrate his persuasive writing and Savannah Rodoni for her superb digital learning demonstration video.
Year 5: Kai Santegoeds for his outstanding English work.
Year 3: Lily Holden for her thoughtful pictures to cheer up hospital staff and James Robb for his inspirational fitness video.
Year 2: Kadir Galatyali for demonstrating his skills as a teacher to his younger brother and sister.
Your children’s teachers are missing the normality of school life as much as you are. I know many of you enjoyed their videos and it was lovely to see those sent in return by children of all ages. Pupils in Upper Key Stage 2 have been revelling in the online sessions via Google Meet this week and from Monday Y1-Y6 children will have the opportunity to ‘meet’ with their teacher and friends online. Yes, this will give the children the opportunity to ask questions about their learning but most importantly enable them to interact with their teachers and each other. You will receive a guide with instructions on how to connect. Foundation Stage children will not be having Google Meet sessions next week. Instead they will be having a short video posted to their Google Classroom stream each morning.
Some of the most touching feedback in the last week is from the children who are sending letters and pictures to people confined to hospital at this time and to the brave medical teams caring for them. This one from Lily Holden 3EK was the first of many and congratulations to the Spanish Y5 Lengua groups for your very kind letters to patients in the hospitals.
Importantly children need the reassurance to know this is not forever and life will return to normal but during this time of uncertainty it is also necessary for the children to have some fun with their families.
As it is the weekend, I hope that you find some fun and laughter together wherever you are.
Take care and be safe
Aloha Value – EFFORT
Personal Goal – COOPERATION
I hope this communication finds you, your children and families well. Students have been busy engaging with their teachers throughout the last two weeks.
All students are loving chatting with their tutors each morning in their Tutor Hangouts, although some were surprised to find Mrs Brice, Mr Roth, Ms McGirl and Ms Verinder chipping in as well. They have been discussing the newsletter, supporting each other and their tutors during these difficult times.
Teachers have been impressed with the creativity and resilience students have shown in the class assignments. There have been commendations for poignant writing in drama and imaginative writing in English, French, German and Spanish. Students have had access to the UNESCO Digital World Library which contains books, films, maps and videos in seven different languages.
In Mathematics, Ms Barrio has received pages and pages of simultaneous equations from Bibi Flo and Mr Welsh has received mountains of linear equations involving rational terms from Carlota Ranea, both students in Year 9.
Even though students are stuck in their houses, they have been able to demonstrate their practical skills through the Get Stuck in Your House Challenge and through Science lessons, where they have been studying and drawing the phases of the moon and solar eclipses.
The feedback from our KS3 Online Questionnaire for students has also been really insightful. Here is one lovely comment from Lucy Whitelaw and her friends in Year 8:
“Lockdown has been such a drastic change to our normal life style and difficult for teachers to cope with teaching like this, so me and my friends were talking about this and wanted to let all teachers, staff etc… know, thank you, without you we would have no education during this whole lockdown. So thank you from me and my friends”
Get Stuck in your House Project: Anya Zavery 8JME
“I made three bracelet and earring sets out of multicoloured beads, memory wire and earring wire. I decided to make this because my mom used to work at a jewellery shop and she still makes amazing jewellery, so I wanted to do some as well. Nowadays we spend so much time on the internet when you also need to learn to go out and do other things like cooking, exercising,etc… The original design was the purple-gold one, which I made a few days ago. Later on, I found out about this competition, so I decided to make matching earrings for it. I also made two other ones: one with a mix of blues, and one made with sparkly yellow gems”.
Anya earned two Pupil Profile Awards for her creativity and resilience.
Get Stuck in your House Challenge: Phoebe Wain 7HHA
“This is a small city that I made for my brother. We -me and my brother because he wanted to do some too- painted lots of cardboard boxes, then we drew/or stuck the windows on. We also drew the grass and the roads onto a big piece of paper. It was very fun! This is what it looks like:
The positive exchanges between tutor and student in the morning Hangout registration period reinforces the connection between our students and their tutors. It is consoling to know that despite our physical distance we can remain emotionally and socially close.
Matteo Vernuccio in Year 12 summed it pretty well, saying that:
“Is useful because it reminds me to wake up at that time and start my day from there, moreover the tutor quite often gives us information”.
Ivan Lozano in Year 13 also acknowledges the routine well saying:
“We get informed on what’s going on and it gives us a feeling that we are in a routine and still working”.
When all of this is over, I am going to miss Caio Simon’s (12MI) daily shout out :
“Good morning Vietnam” written in such a way to suggest that the whole wide world could hear it!
Everybody has made herculean efforts to get to grips with online teaching and learning. Naturally our concern and priority is to maintain the same high quality of delivery and student experience. Feedback from KS5 students has been hugely positive and reassuring. Some example feedback includes:
“It’s good to get to discuss things with the teacher and ask direct questions to which I may struggle to understand the answer when it’s only in written form. I like also having other students say what they’re struggling with because it makes me question to see if I understood it myself. It is also a nice break to the independent studying we do all the time” – Evelina Stanikova in Y12.
Plenty of interactive and independent learning continues to take place. The following is just a glimpse of what has been happening in our virtual teaching worlds; Ms Sweeting has challenged her IB Maths class to compete in an online international puzzle competition for schools. Answers are published weekly on Mondays, so watch this space!
Ms McGirl’s Y13 IB Biology has given thoughtful reflection on world events and epidemiology by engaging in a Ted Talk on Coronavirus. Please see an insightful reflection by Emilio below. Miss Longdon’s students in Music continue to work on developing their musical links project while in Art, we can see from the image below that students continue to work in pieces of inspirational work. Mr Kemp is setting activities to develop students’ thinking and communication skills in a task comparing views on the Rhineland, for example.
In addition to all the wonderful learning taking place, students have been invited to join a live and online immersive careers work experience! If students or staff are feeling stiff from too much screen time, Miss Dry has provided us with a high energy HIT workout on our Google classroom noticeboard. A sure way to keep us up and moving! Ms Perez and some of her tutees have enjoyed some Headspace meditations sessions.
“By watching the talk, I realised that this pandemic isn’t as much about people, the nature of the virus (because these will remain the same), but about the system which means that a virus is more likely to spread. For example, what can really contain the spread of the virus isn’t as much about preventing viruses altogether but having a range of responses: more doctors, more supply of healthcare materials, better hospitals, and better recognition of the disease and the symptoms. Sadly, this isn’t always the case in poorer countries. I would like to learn more about the speed of transmission of the coronavirus in comparison to other zoonotic diseases in greater detail”.Emilio Hadjisotiriou in Year 13.
Pastoral Team update
The Pastoral team hopes that you and your families are looking after yourselves during this challenging and unsettling time. We want you to know that we are continuing to provide excellent levels of care for our students and we are in contact with them on a day to day basis. We know that working remotely is a challenge but it is important that you know we are here to support you and your children, should you need us.
As part of the PSHE programme we have asked our students to reflect on this unique experience. We would love for you, our Aloha family, to get involved in some way or another. If you could take pictures/videos that your children could share in a presentation of some description when we resume normality and return to school, that would be wonderful!
We do not expect our students to be sitting behind the screen all day, that is not our vision for online learning. As we all know, education is so much more than the classroom and now is the time for them to try something new. So if you are model making, baking, reading, playing instruments, colouring, working out, or even knitting a scarf for the first time, please take some photos and get your children to share them with us.
I would like to share with you all the musical composition that Yumi Star in Year 8 has created.
Please click here to listen to it.
Remember to look after yourself and your well being. Take care.
I hope you have a nice weekend