We are so impressed with the range and quality of enrichment homework that has come into school based on our whole school topic; ‘Americas’. From presentations and research projects to models and art work the level of engagement and detail is amazing!
We have learned so much about native Americans; from how their feathers were used as symbols, to how they believed dream catchers could catch the bad dreams and send good ones through the feathers to the children sleeping below.
Most of all we have learned how resourceful they were and how much they respected the earth and nature. We have learned that their messages about the earth and the environment are very pertinent today. Look out for our WASUP ‘Walsall Against Single Use Plastic’ sculpture exhibition entry, coming to the celebration blog soon!
We are delighted to have received the following letter from Timothy Littlehales of West Midlands Police regarding his visit to year 6 on Tuesday. Well done year 6, as Tim says you are a credit to our school and we are extremely proud of you!!
“Just a further note from my visit yesterday. What a pleasure it was to deliver the input to year 6 students. The behaviour was impeccable and the two way dialogue between themselves and myself was great. When we were speaking about the importance of community and what makes a good community and what can make a dangerous community they all had their hands up waiting to give me the answer.
We then moved onto knife crime and their knowledge that they had was very good and the awareness of knife crime incidents on the news and media was excellent. Even when I went on to talk about Joint Enterprise they were aware that they could all be in trouble for a particular offence and not just the person who committed the offence.
When I went on to talk about who can help in the community they were all coming out with Teachers/school, parents and family members, police, good neighbours etc but one young man said WHG ( Walsall Housing Group ) who helped his family to get a house, which was great as social housing organisations are also embedded in local communities and offer help and support and a raft of other initiatives.
If the rest of the students in the surrounding schools around Pelsall, Rushall and Aldridge are anything to go by your year 6 students then I do feel those locations will be in safe hands for the future.
Congratulations to Mollie and Harrison who are celebrating word ‘millionaire’ status! It is wonderful to see this enthusiasm and love for reading permeating through our school. Well done Mollie and Harrison, you are inspiring to us all to love reading and keep reading!
This week we have held our annual sports days. Our children have impressed us so much with their perseverance, tenacity and sportsmanship. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of them – Well done everyone!!
For some events points are collected towards our house teams and our trophy winners were announced in assembly this morning. Congratulations to blue team for winning the Key Stage One trophy, and to red team for winning the trophy for Key Stage Two! Our trophies will be displayed by our sports board in the lower corridor.
On Monday we launched the ‘5 minute walk zone’ here at Rushall. This initiative is to encourage families to park 5 minutes walking distance from school to enable their children to walk to school. We were very pleased that so many families participated and supported our efforts with this – thank you!! More of our children than ever are now walking to school resulting in cleaner air and less traffic on our school site.
We are very proud to announce our latest word millionaire; Dominic from year 6! Dominic received his book voucher, special pin badge and certificate in our ‘Star of the Week’ assembly this morning. Well done Dominic, this is a fabulous achievement!
Congratulations to Grace from year 5 who has completed a 5K Mud Run to raise money for cancer research. Grace successfully negotiated obstacles along the course of the race which ended with a mud slide! She has raised a fantastic £130. Well done Grace, we are very proud of you!
Our new ‘Americas’ topic has been brought to life through a wonderful visit from a native American family. The Blackhorse family explained how life was for American Indians before the white settlers arrived and how many customs and traditions are still practised today. They explained that children are encouraged to be very independent, building and rowing their own canoes and learning crafts such as beading at a very young age.
The family brought many artefacts for us to look at and hold including woven apache sashes, shirts, dresses, moccasins, beaded bags and head dresses. We discovered that the feather headdresses were worn by people who were responsible for others in the community such as the police or teachers. Indian chiefs did not wear them as in the event of battle they could be too easily identified.
We learned how native Americans made moccasins by taking animal skin, drawing around their feet and then stitching the skin together. They were then decorated with beads in different patterns depending on which tribe they belonged to. The shoes were then made waterproof by being smoked over a fire.
The family sang traditional songs accompanied by their flute and drums, and demonstrated Lakota sign language. Our Early Years children particularly enjoyed taking part in an ancient rain dance called the ‘snake dance’.
We were very lucky in our assembly this morning to have a visit from Reverend Such! We thought carefully about Spring time and Easter and why this is such a special time of year.
Mr Shorto, (our now retired lollipop man of many years) was on hand to judge and present prizes for our Easter competitions. Early Years and Key Stage One made beautiful bonnets and Key Stage Two decorated eggs. We were very impressed with the effort and creativity of all who entered; well done everyone! We ended our assembly with our favourite Easter song; ‘Spring Chicken’. On behalf of all of the staff we would like to wish you a very Happy Easter!!
We have been extremely impressed with the response to our recent enrichment homework question; ‘How can we stop the ice melting?’ We have been inundated with power point presentations, films, models and posters giving excellent advice and information as to how we can all help.
On Thursday 28th March, we were fortunate enough to meet Professor Gatrad, Consultant Paediatrician at Walsall Manor Hospital. He wasn’t here to talk about keeping children healthy though…. Professor Gatrad founded WASUP – Walsall Against Single Use Plastics. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the problem of single use plastics and how we can all help to combat it. He has already visited many Walsall schools and is hoping to visit them all by the time this school year draws to an end.
Professor Gatrad shared with us images showing why Single Use Plastics are a huge problem. Not only do they make our environment look unsightly but wild animals are suffering terribly as well as humans. Fish are now being found with small pieces of plastic in their stomachs and humans are eating those fish. This is not good and Professor Gatrad is asking all Walsall school children to think about how they and their families can reduce their use of single use plastics.
Examples that we discussed included:
•Take your own shopping bags to the supermarket
•Avoid using straws
•Use reusable cups when ordering drinks
•Use a bamboo toothbrush or electric toothbrush
•Don’t place fruit and vegetables in plastic bags at the supermarket – leave them loose
•When recycling, wash all packaging that you put in the recycling bin; dirty packaging contaminates the waste and it cannot be recycled meaning it ends up in landfill!
Professor Gatrad showed us the WASUP salute which was really simple and a great way to show that we are all thinking about reducing our use of single use plastics. There is also a song coming out very soon that has been written and composed by three Walsall schools. We’re looking forward to learning it!
What’s happening at Rushall? Our kitchen staff have already replaced the single use plastic cups used for our yoghurts and puddings with pretty reusable plastic bowls and we have been using proper cutlery and crockery for a while now too. We will hopefully be getting rid of our sauce sachets soon in favour of bigger pump action bottles that would be refilled less often hence creating less waste.
In the near future, the children of Rushall will be getting involved with local canal and street cleans, working alongside other schools as well as people from Home Serve, McDonalds, Tesco, the Scouts and the Canal and Rivers Trust. We are passionate about helping our environment and doing everything we can to reduce our use of single use plastics. WASUP over and out!
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