Etz Chaim Jewish Primary School

Headteacher Blog

23 February 2024
 
As we come to the end of an exciting week, I would like to begin by thanking all my staff for their hard work and dedication this week. Receiving the phone call at 9.30 on Monday morning informing us that Ofsted would be visiting on Tuesday and Wednesday could have sent some schools into a panic. However, we were filled with excitement at showing the inspectors what a fantastic school we are, how wonderful and insightful our children are as well as our commitment as staff to provide our children with a well deserved high level of  education. 
 
It was a pleasure to welcome the following children to me tea party this morning. We had a conversation around the learning that has taken place in school this week as well as some of the exciting things the children did during half term. Congratulations to the following children for showing Educational Excellence in class this week:
Eva Y, Caio F, Milly S, Hannah G, Lola M, Zevi M and Saul B.
 
As always, I have spent a lot of time going in and out of this week and it has been wonderful to see the variety of lessons and activities taking place across the school. 
This week Reception have been learning about Capacity and considering how many cups of water it would take to fill up a variety of containers. 
Year 1 have been learning how to add and subtract numbers using a number line. They have also discussed why it is important to throw rubbish in the bin rather than leaving it on the ground as litter. 
Year 2 have been finding fractions of shapes and numbers. They have also been using the calculators in their heads to work out simple calculations such as 44+22. 
Year 3 have started their History topic on Ancient Egypt. They were given a variety of artefacts to look at and predict how they might relate to the time period. They have also been learning about measuring length and can now convert measurements from centimetres to meters and vice versa. 
Year 4 have continues reading Iron Man and have begun to write a newspaper report on the Space Bat Angel Dragon landing in Australia. 
Year 5 have enjoyed delving deeper into non-chronological reports this week. They have looked at some example reports and then written their own using everything they have learnt in History about he Kingdom of Benin.
Year 6 have finished their unit on ratio. They also looked at the role of women in World War Two and how it their role changed during the war as the men were all off fighting, they even managed to link it to the recent Barbie film!
 
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 
9 February 2024
 
I would like to start this week by thanking all my staff for coming together and helping out across the school where needed. It is always difficult when teachers are unfortunately unwell and unable to come to school, but thanks to the rest of the staff all the children have continued to receive a high level of teaching and learning each day thanks to adaptability of the team. 
 

This week was Children’s Mental Health Week. Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 takes place from 5th-11th February. Place2Be launched the mental health awareness week in 2015 to empower, equip and give a voice to every child in the UK. Every year Children’s Mental Health Week sees hundreds of schools, children, parents and carers taking part. Now in its 10th year, Place2Be hope to encourage more people than ever to help their goal that no child or young person has to face a mental health problem alone.

 

We began the week with a whole school assembly around the theme for this year, My Voice Matters, which was lead by the Barnet Integrated Children's Services (BICS) team. They discussed with the children the importance of looking after our Mental Health and how talking to someone could help, even a small bit, in making someone feel better if they are struggling to feel mentally healthy. This message has been reinforced in all classes across the week in order to help children to understand the important message it is trying to convey.

    

                     This year's theme is 'My Voice Matters'

 

During Children’s Mental Health Week they wanted all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.

  

My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

  

When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. This year, we want children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be empowered to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing.

  

During Children’s Mental Health Week we want all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.

  

If you would like some more information or resources to support your children with their learning about this at home, please follow the link below: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/families/#resources 

 
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week we had an additional focus on online safety as Tuesday was World Internet Safety Day. The Digital Leaders helped me to run an assembly in which we disused how to stay safe on line and the importance of not sharing certain information with people on line. I spoke to Years 4 to 6 about this in more detail to help them understand the importance of not believing everything they see on line and the sad reality that not everyone on line will always be who they say they are. 
 
On Tuesday evening Streetwise ran a fascinating and extremely useful parent session around helping our children to stay safe online, thank you to all those parents that attended. Having attended these sessions annually for around the past 15 years there is always something new to learn and key messages to remember and we are extremely grateful to Streetwise for running the sessions as well as the sessions they ran in school on Wednesday in each class.
 
Congratulations to the following children who were selected by their teacher to attend my tea party today for showing educational excellence in class this week:
Aaron H, Brooke R, Noa H, Robi N, Eva B, Ruby B and Liv A.
  
Thank you so much to everyone who supported our charity collection today in aid of Grief Encounter. Aside from being our neighbours, Grief Encounter are there to support bereaved children and young people to find hope and healing after the death of a family member. They are a charity that none of us want to have to utilise but it is comforting to know that they are there if they were ever needed.
 
Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy and restful half term. 
 
Shabbat shalom,
 
Mrs Martin 

 

 

2 February 2024

 

As we get ever closer to the end of this half term, the learning focus around the school has really impressed me this week. This has been demonstrated in all classes, with some fantastic examples of the independent application of learning in our Best Seat in the House Awards this week.

  

I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to regularly drop into lessons in all year groups, seeing how engaged and proactive everyone is as a learner. This is all due to the hard work of our staff, who are continuously developing engaging and exciting learning opportunities for all of our classes. Thank you to them, and a huge thank you to our children for showing a growth mind set and working hard!

 

This week children in Year 5 and 6 have been lucky enough to take part in Bikeability level 2 training. This involved them leaving the school premises and learning how to safely cycle on the roads around school. They learnt how to navigate the roads and also learnt basic road rules, something that will be useful to them when travelling on foot too.

 

On Tuesday Miss Genn introduced Maths in Art week to all the children. She led an interesting discussion with the children over the value of maths and explained to them how maths is used all the time by everyone. She challenged them to find a job that did not need maths and managed to explain to them how each one suggested would involve the use of maths. The children were amazed to discover that even footballers and Rabbis use maths! Over the week each class have studied pieces by different artist and learnt how they use maths in their creative work to help make their masterpieces. They have then created their own pieces inspired by the artist.

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday we are lucky enough to be visited by a team of actors from Israel to share with us age specific plays as part of the Festival of Spoken Ivrit. The plays kept the children's attention and focus and there were a lot of giggles coming from the hall each day. It was wonderful to see the children enjoying drama and basic comedy as well as realising that Ivrit is very much a live language which they can enjoy on a variety of levels.

 

As always, one of the highlights of my week is welcoming people to my weekly Tea Party for showing academic excellence. A huge well done to the following children for being nominated by their teachers this week: 

Teddy R, Sophia R, Asher C, Jordan H, Lily G, Olivia Y and Leah O.

 

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Mrs Martin

 

 

26 January 2024
 
There have been so many different topics and subjects covered all across the school this week. In Reception they have been continuing to focus on the theme of winter and learning about Antartica. They have also been learning about 'subatising' in maths and creating their own colourful Number Blocks to demonstrate this. Year 1 have looking deeper at the numbers up to 20. They have used part whole models to identify number bonds to 10. Year 2 have been looking at portraits of people and buildings and learning how to create their own inspired by the artist L.S. Lowry. In Geography Year 3 have been learning about counties in England and trying to work out where Mill Hill is - something they learnt which wasn't as easy as they first thought! This week in Computing Year 4 have been looking at putting their Word skills to good use creating a poster about a fictional cake sale. now I know who to turn to when I need help in this area. Year 5 and 6 have enjoyed delving deeper into their English texts this week. Year 5 have taken on the imaginary role of a Guard from the Kingdom of Benin in around the year 1000 communicating with the Chief. Year 6 have created information leaflets about the fictional town of Glockenheim. Some of the leaflets were extremely persuasive and made me wish that the town was real so I could go and visit.
  
Reading is a skill that most of us take for granted, yet is one that is essential for being able to get on in life. As a child grows up, being able to read well not only enables them to discover new facts and to learn at school, but also opens them up to a world of new ideas, stories and opportunities. As research shows, children who read for pleasure will achieve more than those that don’t in later life. All the decisions we make as a school on reading are based on research – we are well informed and up to the minute.  All our staff are committed to ensuring that all children become independent and fluent readers during their time at our school. We want our children to enjoy books as much as we do!
 
Congratulations to the following children for being voted by their class as this terms library monitors:
Reception - Lana and Willow
Year 1 - Cecily and Harrison
Year 2 - Joseph and Summer
Year 3 -  Hannah G and Maya
Year 4 - Tamar and Celine
Year 5 - Felix and Olivia
Year 6 - Milly and Lila
This week we had our termly visit from our School Improvement Partners. They were impressed with the progress made since their last visits in September and November. They commented on the increased independence and confidence towards their leaning they noticed in children as well as the fact that the children are articulating information about their learning more successfully. This was seen in maths through their use of subject specific vocabulary as well as the way in which staff and children are now linking learning to previous lessons and their prior knowledge. They commented on the benefits of the consistency with the structure of teaching seen across the school in order to reduce cognitive load on the children so they can focus on learning the lesson content.  
 
Finally, congratulations to all the children for their fantastic hard work and commitment to learning in school this week. particular congratulations to the following children for showing educational excellence and joining me at my tea party: Nadav R, Mia C, Myla R, Joely T, Freddie J, Joseph R and Sofia C.
 
Shabbat shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 
 

19 January 2024

 

This week we have had a lot of fantastic learning opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. 
 
Year 2 went on a walk of the local area as part of their Science learning. They looked at different materials used to build things around the school and in the park and discussed why those materials had been used.  
 
Year 6 have been out and about twice this week. On Tuesday they went to the Benjamin Franklin House to learn more about Electricity. They had a tour of the house and attended a hair raising workshop during which they conducted some experiments around static electricity. On Wednesday Year 6 went to JFS School to take part in a number of other challenges along side many other schools. The children enjoyed listening to a live band playing all the Jewish classics and came second in the escape room competition - congratulations. 
 
Also this week, Year 5 had a visit from an expert in all things space. They learnt about the first lunar landing as well as rocket launches prior to Apollo 11 and even heard Neil Armstrong talking from the moon on a record player! I am not sure if the concept of the record player or hearing his voice was more surprising to them! 
 
Children in Year 1 and 2 attended a Road Safety Workshop this week in which they learnt more about how to safely cross the road. Although all school staff share crucial messages like this with the children it is always goo0d for them to hear about it from someone else too.
 
We have also had a number of visitors into school this week. On Wednesday a group of teachers from Jewish schools in Belgium came to visit us to see how we tach at Etz Chaim. They got a tour of the school and sat in a number of lessons. They were amazed by the things we offered to our children as well as the facilities we have here. Also on Wednesday I showed round some teachers from a more local Jewish primary school who wanted to look at our approach to teaching and learning and how it compares to what their school offers. All the way round the school they commented on the positive atmosphere within the school and were impressed by the quality of work the children were producing. 
 
On Monday all class teachers went to Rosh Pinah after school to sit together and meet with the Rosh Pinah teachers working in the same year group as them. We took along some of our children's work to share with them and also got to see some of the work their children have produced. It was wonderful to see the similarities between the two schools as well as learn from each other and share ideas and resources. 
 
I had my first meeting this week with our new class ambassadors. We discussed they importance of their role and how they are acting as the voice of their friends in the class so that I am aware of how all the children are thinking and feeling. I am looking forward to meeting with them again in a few weeks time to hear back from the Ambassadors about what helps to make their peers feel happy and supported in school.
 
Congratulations to the following children who attended my tea party today for showing Educational Excellence - Amelia M, Ella I, Zac B, Raffie G, Ava O, Luca DM and Ava M.
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 
12 January 2024
 
Welcome back to our first full week of 2024. I hope that everyone had an enjoyable winter break and found time to recharge their batteries.
 
As always, we have had another busy week in school with each class starting a number of new topics and texts across the curriculum. You can find more details of the topics and units each class is covering this half term on the half termly overview posted on SeeSaw.
 
On Tuesday this week the new Class Ambassadors were announced to the whole school in assembly. Congratulations to the following children for being elected by their class teacher for the role.
Reception - Rafi
Year 1 - Jagger
Year 2 - Asher
Year 3 - Eden
Year 4 - Shulamit
Year 5 - Eden
Year 6 - Daniel S 
This week Year 4 were fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a Bikeability course over two days. The course helped the children to developed cycle handling skills in order to ride their bikes to a competent and consistent level. Despite the cold weather the children went out on their bikes each day with gusto and enthusiasm and learnt how to ride their bikes in a safe and confident manner.  
 
We are constantly thinking of ways to promote our five school values to the children in school. Two things that we do each week which celebrate those that have shown two of our values (independence and educational excellence) are Best Seat in the House and my weekly tea party. If a child is awarded Best Seat in the House for showing independence during the past week they are invited to sit on the 'best seat' in our Tuesday morning assembly and help to lead whole school tefillah. Children who have shown education excellence at some point over the past week are invited to my Friday morning tea party where we enjoy a sweet treat together and celebrate their achievement. 
 
Congratulations to the following children for showing Educational Excellence and joining me for tea this morning; Mila F, Nili W, Lulu B, Illai E, Sarah B, Sopia G, Bella R. We had a lovely tea discussing the hard work they had done in class this week as well as some of things the children did out of school during the Winter break. The conclusion as a group is that we would all recommend the film Wonka which is currently in the cinema!
 
Shabbat shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 

15th December 2023

 

This week has been packed full of events to help us continue to celebrate Chanukah. It has been wonderful to come together every afternoon to like the Chanukiot, sing songs and hear from each other some of the special moments of Chanukah.  It was also wonderful to welcome so many adults in to school to join in with our celebrations. Seeing grandparents, aunts and uncles enjoying the ruach vibrating around the hall and then enjoying tea with their family member has been wonderful too. It has been lovely for me personally to meet so many members of out Etz Chaim extended family and to all enjoy Chanukah together.
 
As well as enjoying the festivities of Chanukah there has been a lot of other learning taking place across the school this week. Reception have been reading the book Owl Babies and thinking about where people and animals live. Year 1 have been learning and practicing their number bonds to 10. In Year 2 they have been thinking about how to live a healthy life, they have talked about good foods to eat and how exercise can help our bodies. Year 3 have finally finished reading the book Ugg: Boy Genius of the Stone Age. The text has given them an insight into the problems with wearing trousers made out of stone. Year 4 have looked at what happens when you change the states of water. They have looked at frozen water and heated water and considered the changes that occurred. In Year 5 have been learning about Search Engines and the use of Search Engine Optimisation to help people find the web pages they are looking for. Year 6 have completed their work on the Shang Dynasty by looking at artefacts form the time and seeing what they can conclude from them about like in Shang times.
 
Congratulations to the following children for showing educational excellence in class this week and being invited to my tea party:
Lana M, Ariel C-E, Libby C-E, Sasha VDB, Gracie C, Mason M and Sadie K.
 
As we come towards the end of term it is a time to look back on everything we have done since September. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my staff for their hard work, commitment and dedication to providing our children with the best opportunities possible. Without them the school would not be the place that it is and we are truly lucky to have so many wonderful adults working here. It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Ms Moshwe who is leaving us at the end of term to take up a new teaching role in a Secondary School. We will miss her around school and have reminded her several times that we are not very far away and hope to see her back for a visit. Finally, I would like to welcome Mrs Cohen to our team, she will be taking over as Year 4 class teacher for the remainder of the academic year.  
 
Wishing you all a wonderful winter break (when we get there) and a restful Shabbat.
 
Mrs Martin
 
 
8 December 2023
 
Preparations for Chanukah started earlier in the week with each class considering what the two miracles of Chanukah were and how these are still remembered today. There have been a lot of ways in school we have been honouring and remembering these miracles which have included making salt dough Chanukiot, making potato latkas/kugel and creating clay dreidels. It has been wonderful to hear the buzz of Chanukah songs filling the corridors and I thoroughly enjoyed our first candle lighting assembly yesterday in which we invited all the wonderful adults who volunteer in school to celebrate with us. I look forward to four more candle lighting assemblies next week with more special visitors as well as my favourite food - doughnuts!
 
We are looking forward to welcoming Pikuach inspectors into school next week to see the wonderful learning opportunities our children are provided with in school. If you have not yet completed the parent survey, please remember to do so by 12pm on Tuesday 12th December.
 
As always the children having being working hard in all lessons each day producing some wonderful pieces of work and continuing to develop themselves as learners.
Reception have been working hard on their phonics and learning new sounds.
Year 1 have been continuing their work on feeding birds as well as attempting to learn their left and right!
In Year 2 the children have been finding out about money and the coins that we use in England. They have even set up a shop in order to practice using correct amounts, some items in the shop are very reasonable!
Year 3 have been recapping the work they did last term on volcanoes, tsunamis, tornadoes and earthquakes. I was given a great description this morning of what happens just before a tsunami hits.
Year 4 have been working hard to find areas of different regular and irregular shapes.
Year 5 have been kept busy this week writing poems and speeches about Odysseus travelling to the land of the dead. It has been wonderful to see the class becoming so engrossed in the text.
Year 6 are coming to the end of the History unit on the Shang Dynasty. The children have researched different area of the Dynasty and I was lucky enough to get shown one on their multiple G-ds.
 
Congratulations to Kiki, Cecily, Ella F, Jonah, Ido, Ella C-E and Gabi for showing educational excellence in class this week.
 
Thank you to everyone that supported Jewish Blueish day today in support of Jewish Child's Day. The money raised will be used to support children in need to help transform the lives of those who need it. 
 
Finally, I would like to remind you all that home learning is set by teachers so that the children can show us what they know and what they may not yet know. If your child is stuck with their work at home please encourage them to let us know what they are finding difficult so that we can help them with it in school.

Wishing you all a wonderful Chanukah, a restful Shabbat and a good weekend.

 

Mrs Martin

 

 

1 December 2023
 
It has been wonderful to see the variety of hair styles and accessories in school today. Thank you to everyone that has supported Chai Cancer Care Mad Hair Day, raising money for an amazing charity that helps people in our community at the darkest times. Chai in Schools supports children affected by a cancer diagnosis of either themselves or someone in their family. It also gives Headteachers, teachers and SENCOs advice and training in how to respond appropriately to the child’s needs as well as those of their classmates.
 
Thursday began with our Year 1 Chagigah HaSuddur. The children in Year 1 showed us all how to use a Siddur and which Tefillot they will be using their Siddur for right from day one. They were so excited to receive the own Siddur and all looked up at their parents with awe and wonder as they were handed their special book. Rabbi Jack from Mill Hill East Synagogue reminded us all how special it is to pray and connect with G-d and how lucky we are as a community to have opportunities to do this each day. Once the adults had gone home the children were treated to a special celebratory kiddish which they all enjoyed together.
 

We were visited by one of our school improvement partners Ben Conway this week, who spent time during his visit focussing on our maths provision. His visit involved speaking with myself and Miss Genn, our maths leader, and visiting lessons to speak to learners, staff and observe our methods of teaching and learning. Ben commented on the high levels of engagement and learning behaviours in all learners, as well as the strength of teaching and learning by staff across the school. In summation, he confirmed that the actions we are taking to further develop fluency across the school are well targeted and appropriate to our needs. A big thank you to Miss Genn for her work on this, and to our learners and staff. Ben also spent time with Miss Roberts and Mrs Bloom finding out about how Art, DT and History are taught across the school. 

 
This week there have been numerous knocks on my office door from children wanting to show me their fantastic work. This week they have taught me about nocturnal animals, why animals hibernate as well as how to trap animals in order to eat them! There is nothing more heart-warming than seeing the children come to me beaming with pride over the work they have produced.
 
As always, my week ended with spending time speaking to the children at my weekly tea party. They always love to tell me about the work they have done in class that week as well as any exciting things they have been doing out of school. This week I learnt more about their boxing, judo and swimming skills. Congratulations this week to Omer, Lyla, Bella, Cameron, Shulamit, Lior and Milly.
 
Over the course of the last few weeks, I have continued to show around many prospective applicants for our Reception cohort for September 2024. They have been incredibly popular and provide families with the opportunity to see and hear about all aspects of our school. If you, or anyone that you know, is thinking of applying for a place with us for next academic year, please contact the school office and book onto our final tour.
 
Finally, please can I remind you to park respectfully when dropping off and collecting your children from school. Please do not block any driveways or entrances or park on the yellow lines. 
 
Hope you have a lovely weekend, Shabbat Shalom.
 
Mrs Martin
 
 
24th November 2023
 
This week has been Road Safety week where we have been thinking about how to cross roads safely and how to travel in the dark as safely as possible. It was wonderful to see so many colourful items of clothing in school today, despite the cold wind, it made my time on playground duty brighter. We have also spoken to some of the children about the value of reflective items of clothing or reflective stickers or patches on dark clothes. It is fantastic that many darker coats now have reflective strips put on them as they are being made.
 
On Wednesday night we held a Prospective Parents Evening for future members of our school community. It was wonderful to meet so many families interested in hearing more about our school. We loved showing them around the building and celebrating what a wonderful and caring school we are. A number of parents commented on the clear commitment to the children and to their well being that we have at Etz Chaim and were amazed at the fantastic facilities and resources we are lucky enough to have. If you know of anyone interested in a Reception place for September 2024 please suggest they get in touch with the School Office as we still have one more day time tour coming up.
 

The Children's Commissioner has started a national campaign The Big Ambition in which they are asking all children in the country to complete a survey so they can share the information with political parties. It is vital that all children have their voice heard through this survey in order to protect and promote the views and interests of children. The Big Ambition provides a much-needed opportunity for the children of England to tell political decision makers what is important to them ahead of the General Election. Their responses will be shared with Government to ensure that children’s voices are heard.

  

Children can complete the survey here: www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/thebigambition 

 

I had another busy tea party today celebrating the hard work of the children who attended. Congratulations to Blake, Annie, Jagger, Joseph, Leon, Celine, Katie and Libby for showing Educational Excellence this week.

 

As always the children have been working hard this week in class.

In Reception some of the children drew pictures of them and their friends.

Year 1 created some fantastic pieces of writing about door mice and bats.

Year 2 have begun learning about The Fire of London and were able to recount how the fire started and why it spread so easily.

Year 3 are continuing to learn about life in the Stone Age considering how it is different to today.

Year 4 have been learning the key features of diary writing and then used their new found knowledge to write their own diary entry.

Year 5 have been learning more about life in Ancient Greece and have looked at the clothing they wore and the food they ate.

Year 6 learnt how using their senses can help them to write the best piece of descriptive writing possible.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, don't forget to wrap up warm! Shabbat Shalom,

 

Mrs Martin

 

17 November 2023
 
As always here at Etz Chaim we have had another busy week of learning and of memorable experiences. We have now come to the end of our three week rolling lunch menu and I am so pleased to say that our lunches have been a roaring success. I have gone into the lunch hall every day to check the quality of the food and find out what the children think about the food and the menu and I am pleased to say that I am yet to receive anything but positive feedback from the children - something I thought would never happen!
 
This week has been anti-bullying week, as a result we have had additional lessons in class around being kind and what to do if someone says or does something that makes you feel unhappy. We were also fortunate to have had Streetwise in on Wednesday to run workshops in each class around anti-bullying and being kind to one another. These workshops are an ideal opportunity for the children to hear from other adults about ways to support themselves if someone is unkind to them.
 
As part of our focus on doing things for others for MItzvah Day the children have all gone to different areas of the park to carry out a litter pick. We talked to the children about the importance of looking after our environment for ourselves and for others and then went to the park to collect litter in order to make it more pleasurable for others. The children in Year 2 that I went out with were amazed at the quantity of litter dropped by people and were extremely excited to find a Prime bottle amongst all the rubbish!
 
On Tuesday we had adult visitors from Kisharon-Langdon come in for the afternoon to work with Year 6 on sorting and bagging up the food we had collected for Food Bank Aid. Our children worked alongside the adults to sort the food in food types and also spent time playing games with them and learning more about each other.
Thursday was a special day for Year 3 as it was finally their turn for their Chagigah HaChumash. This year the whole ceremony took place in Mill Hill shul emphasising the value and importance of this momentous occasion. The children shared some tefillah and songs with the audience and also explained why the Torah is so special to them and what they are looking forward to doing once they have received their Chumash. Rabbi Rose reminded the children how unique a Chumash is and that it is a book that they can learn from time and time again throughout their lives.
 
Also on Thursday Year 5 and Year 6 went to Fairway School to take part in a Diwali celebration. The children from Fairway told us the story of Rama and Sita and how that connects to how and why Hinds's celebrate Diwali today. We were then entertained by a celebratory dance and were lucky enough to get taught the dance too. During the afternoon the children were also able to try their hand at making Rangoli patterns with tissue paper, make dough candle holders for Diwalli Diva lights and learn about some of the traditional sweets eating during the festival. It was wonderful to see our children learning from their peers and getting to meet other local children of the same age.
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 

10 November 2023

 

As always we have had another busy week at Etz Chaim. We began UK Parliament Week with an assembly for Years 3 to 6 with Lord Levy, our school President. Lord Levy spoke to the children about the differences between the House of Commons and the House of Lords as well as how people become eligible to sit in the two houses. He also talked to the children about some of the things he has been fortunate enough to do during his 26 years in the House of Lords.
 
Mrs Bloom lead our assembly on Tuesday morning. She provided us with the opportunity to find out about the variety of things the children had completed in class during Black History Month. Each class shared with the school some of the themes they had discussed as well as sharing some of the work they had completed. Year 3 even lead us in a whole school sing song in celebration of the impact black musicians have had on the music industry.
 
We also welcomed a large group of prospective parents into school on Tuesday morning. Mrs Osborne, Mrs Fraser and I were fortunate enough to be able to show them around the school and let them see how wonderful our school truly is. It was a pleasure to show them around and have the opportunity to share with others how special Etz Chaim is. As I walked around all of the classes I was struck by the commitment of our staff to provide the children with engaging and motivating lessons which captured the enthusiasm of the children to learn more and remember more. 
 
On Wednesday Year 6 welcomed some visitors from the charity Kisharon-Langdon. They spent time in class talking to the children about visible and invisible disabilities and heard how they support adults with disabilities. The children then heard from one of the adults who uses their service about her life and how Kisharon-Langdon support her to live as independent a life as possible. We look forward to welcoming more people that Kisharon-Landgon work with into school next week to work with Year 6 to sort the food collected for Food Bank Aid.
 
Thank you to all the families that have donated items for our Mitzvah Day collection. There is still time to send in food for Food Bank Aid or toys for the Chai Chanukah Gift collection next week.
 
I had a thoroughly enjoyable tea party today celebrating the academic excellence of Zac Z, Shelby, Myla M, Ella D, Sam, Lily, Samson and Alissa. During the tea the children all told me what work they were proud to have completed in class this week.
Reception have made poppy pictures with pencils and other materials.
Year 1 have written sentences for a story poem about hibernating animals.
Year 2 have written sentences using adjectives and onomatopoeia describing things they found inside their magic box.
Year 3 have been learning about the Stone Age.. They learnt that they didn't have oven and had to cook over fire.
Year 4 have been working hard on their handwriting and making sure they form their letters correctly.
Year 5 have been reading a book about the Adventures of Odysseus. They then wrote a letter to the son of the character in the book to try and convince him that everything was ok.
Year 6 have begun to read the book 'How to Live Forever about a young boy called Peter who lives in a library which comes to life as a city at night. They have also been learning how to answer long division questions.  
I hope to see many of you at our Fireworks event, Shabbat Shalom.
 
Mrs Martin 
 
 

3 November 2023

 

I would like to start by offering another welcome to our new Israeli families that have joined our school this week. I can only imagine the upheaval and uncertainty that they have experienced over the past few weeks and am pleased to say that we can offer our new children a safe and welcoming environment in which to learn and grow whilst they are in London.
 
The big excitement of the week has been the reintroduction of hot school lunches once again. The main difference this time is that the lunches are now being cooked on site by our fantastic catering team. As I listened to children unpacking their bags on Monday morning there were a number of conversations around how much they will miss packed lunches, however by the end of day one those feelings had definitely changed. It has been heart warming to see happy, smiling faces in the lunch hall each day. Words such as 'delicious' and 'amazing' have also run out through the lunch hall and I personally have loved spending time in there each week seeing the children thoroughly enjoying our delicious, hot lunches whilst chatting away to their friends and to me. The buzz of happy children fills everyone in the school with a warm feeling, as not only are the children eating fantastic, nutritious lunches but they are also able to concentrate and perform better in afternoon lessons.
As we head into November there are a lot of national days as well as special event we will be marking in school. This week we have started our Mitzvah Day collection, collecting food items for Food Bank Aid which Year 6 are then going to sort, alongside some people from KisharonLangdon, and then deliver to the charity headquarters in Finchley. Next week we will be beginning our annual toy collection for the Camp Simcha Toy Drive. We will be collecting new toys on behalf of Camp Simcha which will then be delivered to children in hospital over the festive season. 
 
 
On Tuesday Ms Moshwe lead an assembly on Remembrance Day and reminded the children why we will be selling Poppies in school from next week and who the charity supports. The Junior Travel Ambassadors (JTA's) also launched their 'Be Bright, Be Seen' poster competition this week. They asked children to design a poster to promote the message 'Be Bright, Be Seen' so that people traveling in the dark hours after school consider how what they wear in the dark can impact on their safety.
 
 
Shabbat Shalom,
 
Mrs Martin
 
 

20 October 2023

 

The week started off quieter than usual within school as we were without our Year 6 class for the first few days. Year 6, Mrs Osborne, Miss Roberts and Miss Zairi had the most amazing time away challenging themselves to complete activities to help build confidence and resilience, strengthen relationships and develop teamwork. 

  

On Tuesday we were delighted to welcome Bridget Phillipson MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Catherine McKinnell MP, Shadow Minister for Schools as well as David Pinto-Duschinsky, Parliamentary Candidate for Hendon as well as Lord Levy in to our school this morning. During their visit they spent time taking part in a Year 2 maths lesson and also spoke to children in Year 5 about what they like about our school and what they would like to see in schools and within education in the future. They ended their visit with a meeting with myself, some of our governors as well as leaders of other Jewish organisations talking about the current situation in Israel and it's impact on our community in Britain as well as how they can help educate others to reduce incidences of anti-sematism. We discussed how the current situation has impacted on the well being of parents, children and staff in schools and the need for us all to come together at a time like this.

  

On Wednesday a team of footballers from Year 5 represented Etz Chaim at the first Maccabi football tournament of the year. Although the children have not spent much time together as a team they played some fantastic football and were managed brilliantly by Mrs G. The children played each match with passion and dedication and worked well as a team to attack and defend against the other schools. Congratulations to Eli, Luca, Jonah, Joseph, Oli, Mason, Sonny and Jordan.

 

Today the staff were all treated to a sneak preview of the delicious hot lunches the children will get to enjoy after half term. Our new chef cooked up some delicious chicken shwarma, falafel and salads for us to taste test on behalf of the children. The feedback was extremely positive and everyone marvelled at how succulent and flavoursome the food was.

 

Congratulations to the following children who were invited to my Tea Party today for showing Educational Excellence in school this week: Ariella, Ethan, Poppy-Rae, Maya, Freddie, Felix and Daniel.

 

We are pleased to announce that for Mitzvah Day, we will be running a collection for Food Bank Aid. Food Bank Aid is a charity which supports over 30 independent food banks across North London (including Gift in Hendon) by collecting, sorting and distributing food, toiletries and household items to over 16,000 people, including 5,200 children.   As you know, the cost of living crisis is affecting more and more families, and the need is growing, especially as many people are having to heat their homes during the Winter and are unable to afford to feed their families. 

  

We are delighted to help support such a worthy cause. We feel strongly as a school community we should help raise awareness of food insecurity and engage particularly with our children about social responsibility, as well as helping families who are really struggling. 

  

The collection will take place from 30th October until 14th November. Please help us support this charity by bringing your donations to school during that time. 

Shabbat Shalom and wishing you all a restful and peaceful half term.

 

Mrs Martin

 

13 October 2023

 

This wasn’t the week we expected it to be when we finished for Shabbat last week. The atrocities of the weekend and the ongoing war in Israel has impacted us all in different ways, but as a school we have felt it also important that we try to continue in as normal a way as possible. Thursday nights evening of solidarity was a poignant way to come together as a school to pay our respects and a reminder of how fortunate we are to have such a strong and supportive school community. I would like to thank you all for your support for our staff, children and parents this week. It is at times like this that we are able to see what a special community we truly are. 
 
I had a thoroughly enjoyable tea party today celebrating the educational excellence that all seven children have demonstrated this week. I loved seeing Reception and Year 1 come to tea in their pyjamas! Congratulations to Abe, Gefen, Jax, Noa, Izac, Ollie B and Koby K for their hard work.
 
As ever, we have been continuing with teaching the children a variety of topics and subject across the week.
Reception have been reading the book Leaf Man. They have drawn story maps to help them remember the text and have made animals as well as the Leaf Man and Leaf Woman out of leaves, acorns and conkers. 
Year 1 have been learning about different types of houses and were lucky enough to have an architect visit their class this week to talk about designing houses.
Year 2 have been learning about space and constellations. This week they even got to draw their own alien.
Year 3 have been working very hard this week on their addition and subtraction skills, practicing adding and subtracting three digit numbers.
Year 4 have been learning how to write reports, making sure they include important features such as relevant facts and direct quotes. They were able to choose the topic for their report based on what interested them the most.
Year 5 have been looking at personification this week. They wrote sentences in which they described a non-human thing using human descriptions in order to give it more impact.
Year 6 have almost finished reading the text Kensuke's Kingdom. They thought about what Kensuke, the old man, would like about the young boy, Michael, in the story. 
 
Also this week we had our first prospective parents tour. It was wonderful to be able to show our brilliant school to new parents and shout about the fabulous things we offer to our children. We have three more prospective parent events over the next few months so please do share the information with any friends you may have who are looking for school places for September 2024.
 
Thank you for all your donations to Magen David Adom this week, together with this weeks PTA challah sale, we have raised over £270 for this amazing charity.

We will be sending children home today with blue Shabbat candles to light in order to keep Israel in our thoughts.

 

Wishing you all a safe, restful and peaceful Shabbat,

 

Mrs Martin

 

 

6th October 2023

 

We have had a fantastic week in school celebrating Sukkot and enjoying so many wonderful Chol HaMoed activities. Every class has been able to visit the Sukkah and enjoy spending time in it - perhaps the biscuits they had whilst they were there helped! Each class has also had an opportunity to enjoy riding their bike or scooter in our playground this week. We are so lucky to have such a vast playground for our children to use and all our two and three wheeled children took advantage of that this week.
 
A number of classes across the school have enjoy having leaders from Tribe come into class and lead Sukkot sessions with them. We hope that those of you that were able to come in for our Seed family workshops enjoyed them too, I certainly loved seeing Year 1 and Year 2 dance around the hall with their Simchat Torah flags. 
 
We welcomed children from Year 4, 5 and 6 at Courtland and Fairway Schools to Etz Chaim on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Our Year 6 children ran sessions for them explaining about Rosh Hashana, Sukkot and Simchat Torah. They skilfully explained the meaning behind having a Sukkah, how to shake a Lulav and Etrog, how to blow and Shofar and what a Sefer Torah looks like. They led the sessions with confidence and a high level of knowledge and really impressed the adults and children from both visiting schools. All of us in our school too were blown away by their passion, knowledge and leadership, congratulation to all of Year 6.
 
On Wednesday a team of footballers from Year 4 represented Etz Chaim at the first Maccabi football tournament of the year. Although the children have not spent much time together as a team they played some fantastic football and managed to qualify for the quarter finals. Although they were knocked out at this stage, they played each match with passion and dedication and worked well as a team to attack and defend against the other schools. Congratulations to Joshua, Freddie, Nathan, Tamar, Ezra, Casey and Louis B.

 

Congratulation to the following children for showing educational excellence this week and for coming to my tea party:

Reception - Celine

Year 1 - Harrison

Year 2 - Daniel

Year 3 - Eden

Year 4 - Chaim

Year 5 - Jonah

Year 6 - Anna

 

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,

 

Mrs Martin

 

29th September 2023
 
I cannot believe how quickly this week has flown by, perhaps it is down to the hard work that all the children in school have been completing this week. 
 
I began the week by announcing our new library monitors and digital leaders in assembly. Together with the Junior Travel Ambassadors and Class Ambassadors we have a wonderful team of pupil leaders in our school and I look forward to working with them all during the school year.
 
On Wednesday our new School Improvement Partner spent the day with us. She enjoyed walking around school and seeing the purposeful learning taking place. She also enjoyed spending time in the Reception indoor and outdoor classrooms and seeing how well our new Reception children have settled into school life.
 
Yesterday Miss Roberts ran a session for parents on how we teach phonics and early reading to our children. We hope the session was informative and useful to those that attended as it definitely wasn't talk like that in my day!
 
It was lovely to see so many parents and children enjoying our MacMillan Coffee Morning this morning. Thank you again to all parents that donated cake and coffee and for those that enjoy the goodies whilst supporting a great cause.
 
Congratulation to Lenny, Sam, Summer, Noa, Amelija, Orli and Saul for showing educational excellence this week and for getting to come to my tea party. It was lovely to spend time talking to the children about their learning and hearing about what they have been up to in class.

 

Finally, we are really looking forward to the variety of activities taking place next week to aid our Sukkot celebrations. Thank you to the parents who so kindly gave up their time this morning to help put up the wonderful Sukkah decorations that so many children have spent time making at home. Every class will get a chance to spend time in the Sukkah as well as numerous other exciting activities. We are also looking forward to welcoming pupils from two local school to spend time in our school Sukkah and learn about the festival as well as about Judaism.

Chag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom,

 

Mrs Martin

 

 

22 September 2023

 

It was wonderful to hold our final three Meet the Teacher sessions this week. Thank you to everyone who has come to them over the past two weeks, it is always good to see so many parents at events like these. If you have any questions after the sessions for your class teams please send an email via the School Office or put a note on SeeSaw.  We aim to answer all communication within 48 working hours.
 
The PTA would like to invite you all to Etz Chaim's Macmillan Coffee Morning on Friday 29th September. Join thousands of people across the UK by participating in Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The money we raise at our Coffee Morning will help many living with cancer to live life as fully as they can. Please join our Parent Volunteers in the Music Hall (accessible from the playground near the steps) from 8.30am for tea, coffee, biscuits and cake to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care. A suggested donation of £1 is asked, but feel free to donate anything you can, this can be done via ParentPay or at the coffee morning.  
 
Congratulation to Rafi M, Alexander, Tilly, Samuel, Tommy, Sonny and Rafi H who got to attend my tea party today. It was wonderful to hear what they had enjoyed about their week this week and all the exciting learning that has taken place around the school. 

Shabbat Shalom and g'mar chatima tovah. Wishing you all well over the fast.

 

Mrs Martin

 

15 September 2023

 

It has been wonderful to see so many parents at our Meet the Techer sessions this week. We hope you have found them helpful and informative and look forward to welcoming parents in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to theirs next week.
 
As always it has been a busy week at Etz Chaim. The Reception children have settled in extremely well and it feels like they have always been with us. 
 
In Year 1 this week Mrs Friedman took the children into the playground to find out about the four compass points, the children enjoyed moving around to find North, South, East and West. 
 
In Year 2 the children have been learning about the different continents of the world. They discussed different countries that can be found in the different continents and how they are different to each other.  
 
Year 3 have been starting to think about creating an edible garden, they had to smell a variety of herbs and try and work out what they thought they were. 
 
Year 4 have set up their first Science experiment of the year this week. The children are looking forward to observing the changes made to egg shell left in a cup of water and another left in Coke. 
 
Year 5 have been immersing themselves into the text Wonder. They have been thinking about how some of the characters were feeling during parts of the story and have drawn self portraits thinking about their own appearance.
 
We are excited to have spent this week teaching Year 6 how to be leaders. They have considered what makes a good leader and how to support younger children. We look forward to seeing them put the theory into action next week when they lead their first Circle meeting and begin to take on the role of Sports Leader.
 
Today I had my first Tea Party for children who have shown academic excellence in class. I welcomed one child from each class to the staffroom for 'tea,' which actually consisted of a biscuit and some squash! It was lovely to talk to the children about their learning this week and hear what they are looking forward to in the new school year. Congratulations to Grayson, Indi, Sylvie, Dylan, Tali, Eden and Amelie.
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Wishing you all Shana Tova, a happy, healthy and sweet new year.

Shana Tova and Shabbat Shalom,

 

Mrs Martin

 

 

8 September 2023

 

I would like to wish a warm welcome to all the new families who have joined our school this week as well as welcoming back to the new school year all the families who are already in our school. The year has started of with such positivity and it has been wonderful to see so many children working hard and moving around school calmly and with purpose. 

 

Even though the children have only been in school for three days this week, they have all been working hard to learn the routines and expectations in their new classes and with their new class staff.

 

It was lovely to see the children in school today in their own colourful summer clothes. Thank you to everyone who brought in food or drink items for the Etz Chaim Get Together next Wednesday evening. If this years is anything like last years it will be a wonderful evening and I look forward to seeing many of you here on the night.

 

Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to the PTA for subsidising the new activity trails on the floor of the playground. We began our whole staff INSET on Monday morning by having a go on them and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the children using them since coming back to school.

 

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom,

 

Mrs Martin