Dragons Today - Spring 2015 - page 10-11

D R A G O N S T O DAY S P R I N G 2 0 1 5
D R A G O N S T O DAY S P R I N G 2 0 1 5
in their home lives too. Every term a pupil
from each class is nominated to be an ‘Eco
Warrior’ and assist in the running of the
Eco-Committee and the implementation
of various projects and schemes. In
the last year alone the children have
been involved in an impressive array of
activities, highlighting the capacity for
conservation. In Eco Week, each year
group investigated a different theme from
‘nature on our doorstep’ to ‘recycling’. In
addition the children use recycled bicycle
tyres to build a tree that was then adorned
with lights at Christmas. The children
also decorated the entrance to the school
with plant pots put together at home.
However, the biggest change has happened
this term with the children beginning to
utilise a polytunnel at the Bardwell Road
site. Gardening is a popular activity in the
school and we have a Year Two Gardening
club running each Tuesday, as well as
allocating curriculum time on a Thursday
to pursuing horticultural activities.
Children are encouraged to plant, grow
and eat the vegetables grown in the tunnel
and are further engaged in the debates
around ecology and climate change to
nurture their understanding of the wider
world around them.
The focus at Lynams is on children’s
engagement and participation in
philanthropic activities, providing
them with the tools, understanding
and underpinning knowledge of how
they can, as individuals or collectively,
contribute to make a positive impact
and difference in our world. Through
practical activities they are made more
aware of wider societal issues, challenged
to think outside the cocoon of the school
environment. Fostering and engendering
this spirit encourages an attitude of
positivity, a sense that despite the scale of
the challenges that others face a difference
can be made.
hile these values have always
been central to The Dragon
School, they have recently
been rebranded with illustrated dragon
characters to make it easier for the
children to talk about where and when
they have implemented them, and how
they can continue to do so in their day to
day life at home and at school.
Children at Lynams are encouraged
to think outside of their immediate
surroundings and consider those most
in need. The news of the devastation
that Typhoon Haiyan caused within the
Philippines united the children to do what
they could in their own way. A number
of children decided to raise money
through donations of their own pocket
money, while many others collected funds
through cake sales and the collection
from the Christmas productions. In
addition, the children recorded their own
personal thoughts and feelings about the
destruction and devastation caused by
the typhoon on individual flags of the
The children are both keen to and
enjoy opportunities to raise money in a
variety of ways for those less fortunate,
encouraged by the school to use their
time and effort to embrace fundraising
opportunities. Money raised by the
children finds itself helping a number of
different causes from sponsored children
through World Vision, ‘Save the Children’
and ‘The Gate House’ to name but a few.
Over the year the children have crafted
beautiful and unusual cakes for the
Harvest cake sale, raised money through
collections at the end of productions, run
sales within their year groups, embraced
The Dragon Sale, created works of art for
Young Art Oxford, run a mile for Sport
Relief, sold food items at a Lynams ‘World
Food market’ and created pieces of work
to sell at the well-received ‘Take One
Picture’ event. The latter raised money for
The Gate House charity which has made a
lasting impression on many of the children
– perhaps because it’s set up to help
people in Oxford who the children may
well pass on their way to and from school
each day. The children are able to relate to
the need for people to have warmth, food
and clothes to wear; but also company and
someone to discuss topics of interest with.
Other events have encouraged the
involvement of outside groups allowing
children to welcome guests and visitors
in to share in celebrations with us, as
well as encouraging the children to see
the world through different perspectives.
Grandparents’ Day is always a huge
success. It is such a delight to see the
children eagerly show off their work,
school and friends to Granny and Grandpa.
Year Three Singing Day brings together
Oxford High School, St Ebbes, St Barnabas,
Windale and Pegasus for a wonderful
day of singing which consistently leaves
staff and parents not only amazed at the
standard of the performances, but also
revelling in the joy of seeing schools across
the area combining in such harmony:
it really is a “goose bump” moment.
In November the children marked
Remembrance Day by coming together on
the school playground for an impeccably
observed minute’s silence. This year we
were fortunate enough to have a visit from
Warrant OfficerTowers-Clark who spoke
profoundly about his own experiences of
war and why it’s important to continue
to remember. The children were able,
and indeed eager, to learn about the wars
and the sacrifice made by others. We are
fortunate to have a range of people who
come to talk to various year groups. Ian
and Bernard visit Year One annually and
talk about what life is like when you
are blind. Both gentlemen share their
experiences and impressive range of
gadgets to assist them with day to day
tasks. The children are invited to write
their name in braille and join in in a game
of football using a ball with a bell inside.
The School is proud of The Green Flag
they were awarded in the summer term
in recognition of the children’s efforts to
make the school a greener place to be, and
to think about how they can reflect that
at Lynams
One needn’t look too far at Lynams to see and feel the
great sense of responsibility and care underpinning the
children’s day to day actions, exercising The Dragon values
Kindness, Courage
whenever they can.
It is such a delight to see
the children eagerly show
off their work, school and
friends to Granny and
As part of their ‘Underground, Overground’ topic last term Reception were
delighted to welcome Nick Spellman, the ‘Animal Man’. The children had a very
exciting afternoon looking at and learning about some amazing creatures including
Dillon the baby armadillo and Tuesday the pancake tortoise. The children learned
about habitats, exoskeletons, eating habits and the difference between venomous
and constrictor snakes. They were able to stroke all the creatures including the
tarantula and the snake, and every child was brave enough to volunteer to touch
at least one. The children were so good throughout the session, staying calm and
quiet for the animals and stroking them very gently. Nick’s presentation was a great
starting point to exploring land living creatures.
Year 1 were certainly fighting fit when they took part in a dance workshop. Bethany
Gorton from the Mini Professionals Dance Academy led the children in a variety of
stretches and dance steps before choreographing moves to the song ‘Happy’. This was
an apt choice judging by the smiles on the children’s faces both during and after.
Year 2 began their ‘Food and Farming’ topic with a trip to Warriner Farm School
in Bloxham. The children learnt about farming through the ages, took turns being
farmers or cart horses, explored a real shepherd’s hut and watched a combine
harvester in action. The litter of Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets and the baby goats
were a real highlight, as was the golden weather. The trip has fed into the children’s
writing, with some evocative descriptions of the sights (and smells) of the farm.
To conclude Year 3’s creative journey through Oxford, the children visited Oxford
Castle to explore the city in its past and present form. They discussed the history
dating back to the Anglo-Saxons through to modern day. The children were
fascinated by the castle crypt, punishment cells and St George’s Tower, focusing on
individual stories and attempting to relate to them.
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