21 May 2021
Primary High Notes 21st May 2021
It has been wonderful to see more fixtures taking place this week as we see restrictions lifting further. Our Year 5 and 6 rounders and cricket teams went to Old Vicarage School on Wednesday afternoon. Despite the rain earlier in the day they were still able to go and enjoy playing a competitive fixture. It is such a shame that the weather isn’t feeling more summer term like, hopefully things will start to improve soon.
My live assembly this week looked at what these three things have in common – Rembrandt, Elsa from Frozen and a glass of water.
At the beginning of my assembly, Mr Harper had a “tickly cough” and needed some water. Luckily, Miss Shore had a glass of water in her classroom. Connie very kindly offered to hold the glass of water for Mr Harper. I checked that the glass wasn’t too heavy, and Connie said it was ok and she could manage holding it during the assembly.
We then went on to look at The Return of the Prodigal Son, one of Rembrandt’s masterpieces.
The central themes of this painting are love and forgiveness, and their respective beauty. In the painting, the younger son has returned home in a wretched state from travels in which he has wasted his inheritance and fallen into poverty and despair. He kneels before his father in repentance, wishing for forgiveness and a renewed place in the family. At various times in our lives it is easy to identify with one or all of these three characters. The generous father, who has been deeply wronged but wants to forgive. The eldest son, who complains that he has not had proper recognition from the father. We’ve all been the aggrieved elder sibling. But unlike the father, are there times when we’ve preferred to wallow in our grievance and refuse to turn the page and move on? And finally the son who is asking forgiveness - we have also been in the shoes of the penitential son, returning hat in hand, hoping to begin all over again. More often than not, however, many of us prefer to be the older brother. We’ve been good boys and girls throughout life, been well-behaved, worked hard. But why is it that all the wicked people around us seem to prosper? Where is justice in this world?
So we end up with a story in which one person desperately wants forgiveness; a second wants to give it freely; and a third begrudges the easy forgiveness that the undeserving brother gets. But therein is the struggle that goes on daily in our lives.
At this point I went back to Connie asking her if she was ok still with the glass of water. She told us all that the glass was now feeling much heavier. But we hadn’t added any water, there was still the same amount as earlier. So at this point I let Connie put the glass down. She felt much better now she had let go of the heavy weight. As Connie found, if you hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If you hold it for an hour, you'll have an ache in your arm. If you hold it for a day, your arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes.
Finally we looked at how Elsa fitted into all of this. Elsa famously sang “Let it Go” in Frozen, where she is talking about how she feels much better. This particular line in the song is poignant–
“It's funny how some distance, Makes everything seem small, And the fears that once controlled me, Can't get to me at all”.
So the theme that links Rembrandt, Elsa and a glass of water is letting go and forgiving. The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you may feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything. However like Elsa, if you let go you will feel better. It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and resentments and speak to people you trust - parents, teachers and friends.
Cricket and Rounders at Old Vicarage
Wednesday was our first fixture opportunity of the year and so we travelled to Darley Abbey to play cricket against Old Vicarage School in 2 games. The Year 5 and Year 6 teams played really well and rediscovered the excitement for playing competitively and representing Derby High. Whilst both teams lost by narrow margins in their games, by 5 runs and 1 run respectively, the enthusiasm and sportsmanship was excellent. Well done everyone!
Swimming Success at Level X
Since lockdown 1, swimming galas haven’t been able to go ahead until now. Swim England has launched Level X Racing, this allows athletes to complete time-trials in a full programme of events, held at their swimming club pools, with the results then being collated and displayed on leader boards when the series concludes.
Over the last two weeks and concluding this Sunday, George and Alice, Year 5, and Hannah, Year 6, have all been racing with their swim club, City of Derby Swimming Club at Queens Leisure Centre.
They have all raced fantastically and achieved PB’s. Amazing when they have been out of the pool for many weeks. Both George and Alice have achieved Derbyshire ASA county qualifying times too. Good luck to the three of them in their final races this Sunday.
Food Glorious Food
In Reception we are doing our topic ‘Food Glorious Food’ and have been planting lots of vegetables and other seeds. As part of this we made grass seed heads and, after a couple of weeks, they have now gone home with the children for a haircut! We also planted beans in our mini greenhouses and these have been super at growing, many have had to go home to be re-potted.
Reception have also made their very own fruit skewers this week. On Monday, the children decided what fruits they would like on their healthy snack, then on Tuesday they made these, before eating them for an afternoon snack. Yum!
House Rounder and Cricket
As we reach our last week before switching activities in our primary games afternoon, we didn’t let the rain put a dampener on our House Competitions! Although we had to move some of the games inside there was a buzzing atmosphere and it didn’t stop our children working well as a team and trying to score as many runs and rounders as possible!
Sleep is so important to all of us and yet it is something that we are all guilty of neglecting! It’s well-established that sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. But despite its importance, a troubling percentage of people find themselves regularly deprived of quality sleep and are notably sleepy during the day. Here are a couple of useful links to explore with some top tips for getting a good night's sleep and a 10 minute meditation video to try out!
How to Sleep Better - Sleep Foundation
How to get to sleep - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
10-Minute Meditation For Sleep - YouTube
The Happiness Challenge
Edukit have created a fun pack of resources and activities for students to complete called The Happiness Challenge. The challenge runs over 5 days and teaches life-skills and introduces children to the positive benefits of journalling and mindfulness. To download the pack click here.
Activate Camps at Derby High School this Summer