Our final weekly assembly & shine a light blog

Nominate a special teacher who has gone the extra mile during lockdown learning!

Welcome to our final weekly assembly & shine a light blog. After many months of engaging with parents and children grappling with the challenges of lockdown and home schooling, as restrictions ease and schools start to reopen, we felt it was time to start a new chapter.

We have loved your support and engagement with our weekly assemblies. But we are now turning our attention to something new: to all the amazing teachers in Wales who support and inspire their pupils every day – and all through lockdown.

Child of Wales is asking you to honour a special teacher who has gone the extra mile in lockdown learning. A teacher who has supported you and made learning easier. Teachers change and shape lives and we would like to say a huge thank you to all teachers who do an incredible job.

You can nominate them by sending in a short video, picture or letter explaining why you feel your hero teacher should be recognised. Send your nomination to shughes@bluestonewales.com

Teachers change and shape lives and we would like to say a huge thank you to all teachers.

You do an incredible job.

While we will not be doing the weekly assembly anymore, keep following us for future updates including, of course, to see teachers you have nominated recognised for all their hard work.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement.

Mrs Hart

Advisor to Child of Wales

Stay true to yourself

In September 2020 all Primary Schools in England must teach their pupils that different types of families exist. I think this is a fantastic step forward and long overdue. There are new regulations for teaching Relationships Education within English schools (RSE). This will mean that pupils will be taught that some families have two mums or two dads.

Thankfully, support will also be offered to pupils who may have experienced bullying or anxiety-related issues. In many ways, it is hard to believe that this has taken until 2020 for this to formally be put in place. It is important that all members of our society are reflected in the school curriculum.

It is ground-breaking for schools in England and hopefully, it will mean that Primary Schools will be taking steps in ensuring that this is no longer a taboo topic for some. Children should feel proud of who they are and the families they belong to. It is important to teach others to love, not hate.

Stonewall: Acceptance without Exception – Stonewall.org.uk

This is an LGBT rights charity and its founders include Sir Ian McKellan and Lord Cashman CBE. This is a magnificent charity that empowers LGBT people and allies to make a change.  Stonewall site includes training courses, Children and Young People Services and best practice, toolkits and resources.

‘No Outsiders: Everyone different, Everyone Welcome’ by Andrew Moffat MBE

This resource provides strong support for teachers with lesson plans for every age range from Early Years to Year Six. It recommends powerful storybooks and lesson plans.  I like this because there is also a section on engaging parents.

Pink News – 11 LGBT inclusive Children’s books!

Great recommendations of books to share with your little ones including ‘And Tango Makes Three’ by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. This beautiful book is based on a true story of two male penguins looking after an egg. The list of books also includes ‘Mommy, Mama and Me’ by Leslea Newman depicting a lesbian couple and their little one. Leslea is the author of over fifty books, including ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’.

In our assembly today we celebrate a leader who has stayed true to himself and did not want to keep pretending to be someone he was not. Gareth Thomas, former Captain of Wales Rugby Union, is a legend for so many more reasons other than his magnificent sporting talent. I believe Gareth Thomas is a role model for so many people, young and old. As a child, he had a dream.

‘I am very proud of my rugby playing career but more proud of the fact that Wales supported me to play rugby for being Gareth Thomas. Being the person that I am, 100%.’

We should be free to love who we want and not be judged. We should love, not hate. As we have explored in so many of our assemblies, it is important to be true to yourself and be proud of who you are. The people who really matter will be the people who love you no matter what.

When you know you are not being completely honest, it can make the dream seem worthless.  While on your journey to achieving your dreams, it is important that you are honest with people, most importantly, with yourself.

Some people step on others to get to where they need to be. Others lift people up. Gareth Thomas has lifted people up and given so many others hope. When you are proud of your actions then you can really say that you are living the dream.

We can all have dreams and ambitions. It is important to stay true to ourselves on our journey. We need people who dream of making change and have true courage to stand up and make a difference when they see unfairness. In doing so, you can bring about change for others.

Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.

Follow your dreams

The great Martin Luther King had a dream. He wanted to make change in the world happen. He wanted fairness and equality for all people, regardless of the colour of their skin. He was a peaceful man and a powerful speaker.

I have often said to children I have had the privilege to teach that in a different time, in a different place, we would not have been allowed to play together because of the colour of our skin.

I have always said that dreams and ambitions really can come true. If you dream of being the next Prime Minister or if you dream of driving a bus, we all have our roles to play and no one is more important than anyone else.

Now, more than at any other time, many have realised that nurses, shop assistants, rubbish collectors and transport workers are equally as important. Our skills may be different, but we all need each other. We are all valuable in helping to make our world a better place.

Whatever you dream of being, the saying ‘be the best that you can be’ is very true.

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’  Martin Luther King Jnr.

Mrs Hart’s Dream believers!

There are many people who have had a dream and been brave enough to make their dream come true. Explore and research these people and their lives. There are listed websites to help you.

  • kidskonnect.com – Malala Yousafzai. Why is this brave young girl so inspirational and why did she receive the Nobel peace prize? Lots of facts and worksheets for children to research. What is the one thing you would stand up for no matter what?

 

  • activityvillage.co.uk – Helen Keller. How frustrating must it be to not be able to see?  Play some blindfold games and explore your senses. This includes designing an award for Helen Keller and newspaper writing. Write some ‘Senses’ poems on what we appreciate more in lockdown.

 

  • Natgeokids.com – Mary Seacole. We all learned about Florence Nightingale a few weeks ago and discovered how she was determined to make her dreams come true.  She pursued her ambition and became known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’. Why was Mary known as Mother Seacole and why was she was one of a kind?!

 

  • ‘Salt in His Shoes – Michael Jordan, in Pursuit of a Dream’. By Deloris Jordan. Learn about the making of a Champ. A must read for any family wanting to make a child’s dreams come true.

 

  • ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ – When someone tells you can’t do something, this book will teach them to say ‘I can’t…YET!’ A fabulous book! Do you laugh at people if they can’t do something? Find out as many facts about giraffes and even perform a funny dance of your own?! If the family can learn a dance together why not put it on Tik Tok?!

 

  • ‘Amazing Grace’ – A good old favourite, you can be anything you want to be, just follow your dreams! A beautiful book that teaches children about believing in themselves. There are a series of books by Mary Hoffman. Enjoy others including ‘Boundless Grace’, ‘Grace and Family’ and ‘Princess Grace’.

 

  • Unstoppable Me! – By Dr Wayne W. Dyer. A fantastic book for children with a positive message on striving to attain their dreams.  It deals with anxiety, stress and learning to live in the moment.

 

  • ‘This is Your Life!’ – Interview a member of your family! Mum/Dad/Grandparents. What were/are their dreams, ambitions, jobs and experiences? Make a presentation to them in a ‘This is Your Life’ style evening including photographs and music! Make the presentation into a keepsake book to enjoy for years to come.

‘Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.’  Martin Luther King Jnr.

We celebrate Martin Luther King today and every day.  Never stop believing in your dreams, you really can do anything if you want to! Encourage others to pursue their dreams. The best dreams are the ones that create change not just for you but for others too.

‘If you can dream it, you can do it.’  Walt Disney.

Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.

We know that many of you have been thoroughly enjoying our weekly #Shinealight blog painstaking put together by our very own special adviser Mrs Hart.

As it is half term this week, we thought we would give both our teacher and followers a break and instead pull together a compilation of your favourite bits of her previous blogs – in the video attached and in a summary of the many websites she has recommended as learning resources, which we have pulled together below.

Mrs Hart’s Magnificent Seven

Websites, programmes and challenges recommended by Mrs Hart to keep us occupied and stimulated during isolation.

  1. TikTok This is a social media video sharing app. Many are using this to create short dances, lip sync, comedy clips or videos.
  2. BBC Bitesize is publishing daily online lessons for ALL ages, including Secondary aged children.
  1. artofbrilliance.co.uk – Andy Cope is the national Happiness Doctor! He will lift your day bringing sunshine and hope. Truly inspirational and motivating. Being a ‘moodhoover’ is not an option!
  1. Classroomsecrets.co.uk This is a Department for Education recommended website and has a home learning timetable for children in early years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. There are also interactive games and activities.
  1. whiterosemaths.com Check out daily Maths lessons building children’s confidence and competence in the subject.
  1. Freesciencelessons – This is a site where you can view Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons. The short video clips support and build confidence in the Sciences.
  1. Markjermin.co.uk Visit this incredible Performing Arts school website and watch their latest heart-warming performance of ‘It Must Be Love’ thanking the NHS workers on the coronavirus frontline.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9olBR8vLCg

Mrs Hart’s ‘High 5’ challenges in isolation

Inspired by National Stephen Lawrence Day #BecauseOfStephen. Here are some of the things Stephen is remembered for.

  1. #BecauseOfStephen ‘He was a great walker. And what a runner! Can you walk around your garden or house for the same time? Can you plan a 4.5-mile walk that you can do with a friend once we are out of lockdown?
  1. #BecauseOfStephen One of Stephen’s many skills was still life drawing and he was also good at maths. Write a letter or a poem all about how a special friend helps you titled ‘My friend, I miss you because…’
  1. #BecauseOfStephen Stephen and his friend Elvin painted faces of bands and famous people on t-shirts and had many requests for their fantastic works of art. Create a picture with a special sign or symbol that can be put onto a t-shirt for a special friend of yours.
  1. #BecauseOfStephen Stephen wanted to be an architect. Build a tower out of anything you can find in the house and see how tall you can make it. You can use cardboard boxes, lego, bottles, cups, be as creative as you like!
  1. #BecauseOfStephen Stephen liked helping people. In isolation make a ‘Stephen promise’ and offer to do some jobs around the house like cleaning, cooking or washing up! Your family will be your friends for life!

Mrs Hart’s Top 8 Garden Greats –for National Gardening Week

  1. darrellwakelam.co.uk – An awesome site! He makes the most extraordinary models from sticking together bits of paper and cardboard!
  1. www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children – Scent trails, building a wormery and even keeping a pet dandelion! Lots of fun and interesting learning.
  1. www.thespruce.com – Easy activities such as grow your own celery, pot your own garlic and grow ornamental sweet potatoes. There are plenty of mini projects that involve small containers and can be done indoors, well worth a look.
  1. woodlandtrust.org.uk – Messy mud kitchens to cook up a classic mud pie and happy nature faces! The ‘nature’ birthday cards are special and can be made and sent with love to people you miss. Children can make their own special garden fairy doors from lolly sticks and dot around the garden or house.
  1. kidsgardening.org – One of the most simple and creative activities that many children will enjoy on this website, soil art! All ages can produce works of wonder. So many simple activities with clear instructions for the whole family to enjoy.
  1. nationaltrust.org.uk – ‘50 Activities to do in your back garden’. Be a Queen and wear a ‘handmade’ wild crown or even a wild bracelet! Create ‘wild art’ displays with twigs and leaves. See if you can complete all 50 activities in isolation.
  1. wonderadventures.co.uk – Fun and free garden adventures including painting stones and ice cube fun!
  1. www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning – Pressed flower picture frames, butterfly crop protector, scarecrows and simple animal leaf pictures. Really easy to find the materials and have a go!

National Pet Month: 5 picks from Mrs Hart

1. 3D animals on Google!

Type the animal of your choice into google and click the ‘view in 3D’ button. You can see pandas, lions, tigers and even cheetahs!

2. Virtual Zoos

Chester Zoo are inviting you to the zoo for the day! Live streaming with their brilliant zookeepers is simply incredible! ‘

3. National Geographic for Kids

Take a trip to the icy Antarctic and learn all about Emperor Penguins. This site also gives top tips on conservation and lots of fascinating animals.

4. boredpanda.com/animals/

This popular website has a section dedicated to animals, which will make you smile! Discover pictures of the thirty happiest animals in the world and learn a little more about ‘Smiley’ the Golden Retriever dog, born without any eyes who becomes a therapy dog to help others.

5. CBBC Newsround –

Fancy a video call with a llama?!  Or even a camel? Find out how one man made this possible. BBC’s Newsround helps you to discover the latest news on animals from around the world. Funny videos, photos, facts and quizzes on many different species of animals.

Mrs Hart’s Rainbow rays of sunshine!

Gratitude for rainbow heroes everywhere

  1. theimaginationtree.com – ‘40 Fantastic Rainbow activities for kids!’ Rainbow rice, rainbow gloop and even rainbow ice! From rainbow pasta necklaces to making a rainbow cake, this site really will keep the whole family colour happy for days!
  1. beautifulbairns.com – A tasty rainbow healthy fruit snack, rainbow rocks and pebbles to explore.
  1. learning-centre.homesciencetools.com – Rainbow Science projects creating real rainbows, prisms and discovering what makes a rainbow. Fascinating ‘moonbows’ and mirage facts to learn about.
  1. www.easypeasyandfun.com – Construction and rainbow paper craft, I particularly like the rainbow arch and button ideas!

Mrs Hart’s ‘Hooray for books hot picks!’

booktrust.org.uk The 100 best children’s books! Includes the ultimate booklist to read before you’re 14. There is also a list of the nation’s Top 10 books in rank order.

Worldbookday.com – Books can often provide a valuable vehicle for children to open up, discuss and share what is on their mind. It is important now more than ever to reassure and keep children calm about what they might be hearing and seeing.  This site recommends some super books.

wizardingworld.com – A real treat for fans of Harry Potter! Stars including Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Fry are among those reading all seventeen chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone!

The British Library – We are fascinated with mini books! There is a beautiful story of the Bronte children who made miniature books for their toy soldiers to read. They carefully used embroidery thread to hand stitch brown paper, wallpaper and even leaves to make these adorable and creative tiny books nearly two hundred years ago.

 

Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.

We can all make a difference!

 

‘If you judge a book by its cover, you might miss out on an amazing story!’

I have chosen one of my favourites from ‘Aesop’s Fables’ for today’s assembly, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’. We are never too small to help or make a difference.

Sometimes judging people by how they look can affect relationships and even lose us friendships. Think about the hours you may have spent looking at the latest fashions, trends and ‘must haves!’. During the last few weeks of our assemblies we have had time to look at what really matters. What really matters is what is on the inside. We can try hard to change how we look on the outside but really, we should concentrate on qualities like kindness and helping others.

Beauty comes from within. The ‘Lion and The Mouse’ teaches us that the best things really do come in the smallest packages. In troubled times it might be the friends who you least expect that show you the greatest kindness.

When I needed a neighbour were you there?

 

Mrs Hart’s ‘Hooray for books hot picks!’

 

booktrust.org.uk

The 100 best children’s books! Includes the ultimate booklist to read before you’re 14. There is also a list of the nation’s Top 10 books in rank order. The BookTrust is the UK’s largest reading charity reaching 3.9 million children each year with books and resources to develop and support a lifelong love of reading. Their ‘HomeTime’ hub lets the whole family enjoy storytime with a free online sharing of stories and themed quizzes. You can even join the ‘Pyjamarama festival’ in the comfort of your favourite pyjamas! This is a really great site!

 

Worldbookday.com

This week is ‘Mental Health Awareness’ week. Books can often provide a valuable vehicle for children to open up, discuss and share what is on their mind. It is important now more than ever to reassure and keep children calm about what they might be hearing and seeing.  This site recommends some super books such as:

  • ‘The Worrysaurus’ by Rachel Bright. This is a beautiful book to help with overanxious moments that children may have in everyday situations. It is beautifully told.
  • ‘My Monster and Me’ by the brilliant Nadiya Hussain looks at how children who may experience panic attacks can try to escape their worries.
  • ‘The Big Steps: I’m Not Sleepy’ in the Campbell Books series. Nighttime can be when a lot of people, young and old have some of their greatest worries. This is a great recommendation for both children and parents and offers tips, through story, for those who struggle with worrying at bedtime.

 

wizardingworld.com

A real treat for fans of Harry Potter! Stars including Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, Eddie Redmayne and Stephen Fry are among those reading all seventeen chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone! A fantastic time to revisit or introduce the world of Potter and the topical themes of family, friendship and courage. You can download and watch the book being read or you can listen to the audio version on Spotify/Spotify Kids.  Wizarding World is a fantastic website with a whole cauldron of bubbling and exciting activities for all ages to enjoy!

 

The British Library

We are fascinated with mini books! There is a beautiful story of the Bronte children who made miniature books for their toy soldiers to read. They carefully used embroidery thread to hand stitch brown paper, wallpaper and even leaves to make these adorable and creative tiny books nearly two hundred years ago.

This week the British library is calling on children to write their own ‘miniature books’ in lockdown. Children can share their homemade miniature books @BL_Learning using #DiscoveringChildrensBooks or email learning@bl.uk with their mini creations!   This project is backed by authors and illustrators including Jacqueline Wilson and Axel Scheffler who have created their own miniature books. bbc.co.uk/newsround/52637122 have written a great step by step guide on making your own miniature book the size of a postage stamp!

Give it a go and your books could be displayed online in the ‘National Library of Miniature Books for the toy world’.

The British Library also offers services to help with specific resources and research giving specialist advice, the reference team provide an online ‘Quick Chat’ service for short research on areas such as ‘Rare books’, ‘Science’ ‘Music’ and ‘Humanities’.

 

‘The Nightingales’ Song.’

Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson, Joe Root England Cricket skipper and West Ham star, Jack Wilshere are amongst a host of sports stars to support a new e-book to raise funds for ‘NHS Charities Together’. This is a beautifully illustrated book about a team of underdog birds turning their hand to football, cricket and rugby! This hopeful tale demonstrates to children that we really can get through anything if we work together as a team. The message is beautiful. The e-book can be purchased on Amazon £3.19 with all proceeds going to help the NHS.

 

We love the pictures of children reading that have been sent into Child of Wales! I am a great believer in the saying ‘a good reader makes a good writer’. The more children read, the more they are exposed to a rich and wide vocabulary. This assists in fictional writing such as stories and poems and non-fictional writing such as recipes and instructions.

I encourage you to read to your children. There is no age limit on when you should stop. A favourite, that all children who were taught by me in Year Six enjoyed is ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ by Michelle Magorian.

This gripping and powerful story explores the life of an evacuee, William Beech in World War Two. There is an obvious thread of learning through History in this text. The life of an evacuee, air raid shelters and blackouts cannot be missed but there are deeper discussions and learning to be gained from this captivating story. Children can write diaries, compare life in the city to that of the country through descriptive settings and explore the unlikely friendship of both Mr Tom and William. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is a definite fit for Mr Tom.

 

Mrs Hart’s Recipe for Friendship

Ingredients: People of all different shapes, sizes and colour!

Method: Mix in a good handful of love,

Stir in some patience,

Sieve in lots of laughter,

Sprinkle in some kindness,

Bake in a warm heart forever.

 

‘I may only be one person, but I can be one person who makes a difference!’

Child of Wales celebrates ‘Random Acts of Kindness in our ‘Hello Monday’ assembly today. These kind-hearted souls have actively gone out and made a difference to others in the world. You do not have to be a famous celebrity to make a difference. Often, those who do good things, do them quietly. Being kind makes a difference to others and kindness spreads.

Being kind can also bring lots of happiness back to you, like a boomerang! A dear friend of mine, Becki McArthur is someone who makes a difference to everyone she meets. She has all of the qualities we have talked about. Becki shows great kindness, tolerance, patience, calmness and loyalty.

These are just a few qualities that make her a good and deeply kind person to be around. It is through Becki we were fortunate enough to help and support ‘The FAST’ Charity in Brasov, Romania. Taking children from Years five and six, including my own two children, was a life changing experience for us all.

Here we discovered new friends who live a completely different life to ours. The Roma community in Secele live with much discrimination and poverty. Visiting schools and soup kitchens, offering kindness and support through this charity gave us hope. You can have nothing in life but if you have happiness, you have everything. From those trips to help our friends in the Roma community, we all learnt valuable life lessons.

 

‘Never judge someone by the way he looks or a book by the way it’s covered; for inside those tattered pages, there’s a lot to be discovered.’

 

Mrs Hart, Adviser to Child of Wales.