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Letter from the Head of Infants

13 March 2015

Dear Parents,

The Infant children are buzzing with excitement about their learning at the moment.  From excavating dinosaurs in Reception to taking part in the inaugural Dover Court Radio broadcast, the children are throwing themselves into every opportunity – and there are lots to be had!

Outside my office an igloo is being constructed. Strange, you may think, in this climate.  However this is made not from ice but from recycled milk cartons. The children in Year 1 came up with the idea of building an igloo they could actually fit into, as part of their Project Based Learning on Polar Regions.  It has been wonderful to hear them talking to each other and their parents as they pass by. “Everyone is so excited!”, “We can’t wait to go inside” and “We thought of that!” are just some of the comments I have heard. 

In Year 2 the children were asked as part of their homework to find out ten interesting facts about Sir Stamford Raffles. Popping into one classroom I was accosted by a very animated little girl who asked “Did you know that Raffles had a pet Sun Bear and he gave it wine and mangoes every day?”  Now that’s what I call an interesting fact!  The children selected their favourite facts, shared information with each other and chose areas they wanted to research further. 

It isn’t just our older children who are excited about directing their own learning. If you have been into school recently you may have seen some very focussed 3 and 4 year olds walking about with clipboards. They are taking responsibility for their own learning journeys by choosing activities and ticking off their “tasks” as they complete them.  Not only that but they are busy offering constructive criticism to their peers and deciding how they can improve their own work. The developing independence in Nursery and Reception is just amazing.

Your children’s learning has extended beyond the classroom too. Year 2 had a trip to the Botanic Gardens and Year 1 to Garden Asia Kids, to support learning about habitats and growing plants. The Singapore Animal charity ACRES visited Reception to talk about animal welfare and we are lucky enough to have artist-led workshops running over the coming weeks for all children from Reception upwards. 

The school is awash with new initiatives at the moment.  The announcement of Nord Anglia’s collaboration with the Julliard School, and Dover Court’s prime part in that, must be one of the most exciting. We are looking forward to expanding our Performing Arts curriculum even further and access to this will start right from the beginning in Nursery.  The children in our Infant Department are already proficient presenters and confident performers - we will take them even further. And on that note, congratulations to the children from Year 2 who took part in the Spring Soiree last week.  Their poise as they took their places at the Grand Piano in front of a packed audience was quite remarkable.

We are all thrilled to see the Radio Station up and running. The UK’s leading School Radio practitioner came to train an elite squad of producers and presenters who are now able in turn to train their peers.  Four of our Year 2 children were selected for this honour and did a fantastic job.  We will be ensuring that children in the Infant Department get into the studio and make the most of this exciting and empowering opportunity – hearing themselves broadcast around the school or over the internet to friends and family far away. You can listen to the very first show via the school website.  Watch out for those Dover Court Radio jingles – they are very catchy!

Coming up in the remaining few weeks of term we have the Swimming Galas (the children are practising hard and honing their skills to perfection!), Parent Teacher conferences and our final Easter Assembly on April 1st.  We hope to see every child wearing a beautiful (or maybe inventive or humorous) Easter bonnet or hat that morning.  Please help your child design and make something amazing and then come and enjoy the spectacle!

Finally, please do keep an eye on your child’s Class Blog which can be accessed by clicking here.  The teachers and children are having great fun sharing their learning on this new platform.  You can also see what your child will be learning the following week, homework, spelling, tips on e-safety and other useful information.  Please return the permission slip indicating whether you are happy for your child to appear on the blog, as soon as possible.

Once again, thank you to all of you for your tremendous support both in school and from home.  We are so lucky to have your enquiring, curious, inventive, creative and exuberant children learning with us every day.

Clare Vincent

Acting Head of Infants