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Mrs Shackel's Blog

Phase 1 - Back to School

Monday 8th June 2020

So we survived the first week back with firstly 36 Year 6 children in school and then 20 Reception children. Only two Year 1s returned which was a bit of a shame but I’m sure a few more will want to return in a couple of weeks. That may not sound like many children but Year 6 had to be spread across 4 classrooms with 4 Bubble Leaders, 4 different playground areas and 4 Orchard play areas. Keyworker children also had to have their own areas and separate staff too. We purchased and installed 3 outside trough sinks, wall gel and soap dispensers, wall towel holders, extra digital thermometers, at least 4 gazebos for shade and a marquee as an outside classroom.  

Resources and soft furnishings have been moved out and into other classrooms. We certainly can’t fit more than 50 people in the dining room at once with social distancing. This is also tricky with movement required to collect food, scrape plates etc. We decided a packed lunch would be best so as to give flexibility with where they want to eat - outdoors preferably!  With all the fabulous weather this would be perfect.  

Drama, Music and PE lessons took place in the afternoons, socially distancing of course, and let’s not forget there were still children at home in those year groups expecting an education as well as all the other year groups doing remote learning too. Not to worry, Miss Varcoe, who had to fly back to New Zealand has continued to teach remotely from quarantine in NZ. How modern we are!  Mrs Williams, from Reception, is at home making video lessons whilst the other teachers are in school teaching and therefore aren’t able to prepare for the remote days. Part time staff, furloughed staff, those self isolating or shielding - all very complicated to keep in the mix.  I have realised I quite like a challenge and I like problem solving more than I knew.  After a slightly unsure but excited start for the children, they all relaxed into the new routines and left the school happy and looking forward to the next time they are in - phew!!

Phase 1 may seem a cautious approach but it has been planned with Phase 2 already in mind, so it all fits together. Let’s wait and see what the government says next for the other year groups and at some point we can start the planning for September as well. 

For now we are just loving having the children back to breathe life back into the school!

Green Fingers

Wednesday 20th May 2020

For me gardening is a double edged sword. On the one hand it is a big pressure always in the background with things needing doing, and on the other hand I get a great deal of satisfaction when I have a beautiful garden full of greenery and flowers.  It's also a way to escape the ‘screens’ that I currently feel addicted to. For most of the time I have a laptop or computer, 2 iPads and 2 phones within arms reach.  If I venture into the garden to tackle the lawn or flower beds, suddenly several hours have passed and I’ve put the world to rights in my head (or come up with a plan for the children returning to school safely!)

The opening of the garden centres was very exciting!  I woke up, jumped out of bed, got dressed and drove straight to the local garden centre for opening time of 9am.  There were already 20 people queuing ahead of me but once I got in, I was like a kid in a sweet shop.  I had been making a mental list of all the things I needed but as always there was too much choice, so many colours and smells, that I ended up with more than I planned.  

Now all my tubs and baskets are done - only problem is that I have to make sure they don’t die!!  If you’re thinking it all looks lovely, don’t worry there are still places that look like a bomb site!

 

Creativity and the Community

Monday 18th May 2020

A walk this morning by myself with my headphones on and I discovered a new path into the woods. What was particularly nice is that all along the route there were little surprises. Children had made creative hanging displays and hung them up at different points along the path. There were painted stones, sticks and twine made into stick men, mobiles etc. People who have walked that route had written little notes to Rocco, a little 3 year old who had made some of the posters and displays. Lovely comments were written to him about how much people liked looking at what he’d done and he had replied too. I thought this was a lovely idea. 

Later on my walk, as I passed one of the smaller lakes, I came across a swan sitting on its huge nest and on the same lake a heron standing as still as a statue. 

I finished on a high as I passed near Tesco Express and there wasn't a queue for once, so of course I had to go in and get some essentials - chocolate and crisps!

Neighbours

Thursday 14th May 2020

Many of us are probably realising right now just how important our neighbours are.

Where I live, 2 people I don’t know have dropped cards through the door offering their help to go and get shopping or medication for me and my family. They obviously dropped these through every door just to check who needs the help. I am so humbled that people can be so kind. I feel pretty rubbish in comparison!

However, before this lockdown happened, I already knew what fabulous neighbours I have. This is one of the reasons I have lived in the same house for 16 years. I have had the same neighbours either side of me since I moved in - and we get along just fine!

Tom, in his 80s, has to get a mention. He puts my bins out on Thursday nights and brings them back in on Friday morning. I’ve never asked him to do this - he just does. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this.  It’s a small act of kindness from him but means so much to me. Another thing Tom likes is gardening and the two of us have had many a conversation over the garden fence. He’s Italian and seems to have a secret stash of red wine in his garage. It has not been unknown for him to pass a sneaky glass of red wine through the fence in the middle of the day. He’s even handed bottles of wine over (shh don’t tell my children).  He also loves a bit of cooking and cooks at all times of day and night. There is often the smell of garlic emanating from next door - the benefits of that is he makes a mean bolognese and delicious pizza - again these are passed over the fence.  

Tom has recently been bereaved, so during lockdown he’s gone to live in the Isle of Wight with his daughter and I miss him (not just because of the bins!) It's very quiet round here.

Seriously though, I don’t think he has any idea what his kindness means. My point here is - any little thing you can do for someone may have a much bigger impact than you realise. If you have been helping your neighbours during lockdown, consider whether you can keep any of it going.  

Come back Tom, my bin is missing you...

Socially distanced socialising

Tuesday 12th May 2020

Friday night is my night in with friends. We grab a glass of wine and Zoom.... I’m sure many of you do something like this, perhaps quizzing or Houseparty or distanced exercising together.

Well this week our Zoom seemed to go on for well over an hour, which meant we had more than just one glass of wine!  By the end of our weekly ‘party;’ I seem to have agreed to organise a video which all of us would be part of.  

That meant Saturday I was glammed up in the middle of the day with a sequinned jacket and sparkly makeup, which certainly raised an eyebrow from the delivery man who knocked on our door.  

Whilst being videoed. the plan was to pour a glass of Prosecco, take a drink, say cheers and pass the bottle off to one side or up or down. The next person would video themselves doing something similar and then we link it all together to make it look like we are passing the bottle around. My daughter and I opened a bottle of Prosecco and got started. We made lots of mistakes, getting confused about which way to pass or receive the bottle.

All I’ll conclude with is...if you are planning to give this a go, DON’T actually drink the wine with each take. I had a great afternoon which ended up with me dancing around my kitchen, but what a headache!

Impact on a student studying GCSE

Monday 11th May 2020

I’m having a day off, so I’ve invited our Marketing Manager, Michelle, to give an insight into her life under lockdown.

I would like to reflect upon the impact on my daughter who’s been studying to sit her GCSE exams at Lingfield over the past few years.

As parts of Europe began closing schools, she couldn’t quite believe it would be potentially happening in the UK, let alone exams being cancelled. Questions needed to be answered. ‘I’ve been working towards this for quite a few years and now it isn’t happening?' 'What about the final ‘muck-up’ day and what about the Prom?’

In the great scheme of things during these troubling times, these may be perceived as quite trivial, but in the mind of a 15 year old, some important milestones now won’t be hit. As the School sought guidance from the various exams boards about marking schemes, some questions couldn’t be answered, especially by Mum! Easter at home was pleasant, mainly due to the weather, and as a family, we all started becoming a lot more relaxed about timings. We were waking late, dinner time was pushed back and bedtime became a late night affair.

However, this lackadaisical lifestyle was short lived once the summer term started. My daughter and her brother (Year 9) diligently set alarms for 8am to register online at 8.30am with their tutors which they’ve both done daily since. The return to some normality was very welcomed by them both. My son has attended a full timetable of online lessons set by his teachers over the past three weeks. I’ve occasionally interrupted him in his man-cave and I’ve been met with a fairly incredulous, ‘Mum, I’m in Maths at the moment’. It’s also been quite amusing that they’ve both emerged at 10.30 from their various study places announcing it is ‘break’.

My daughter has embraced and has loved catching up with her teachers and classmates in virtual lessons. She engages with her friends socially but has really enjoyed being with her Music classmates and Miss Brack online three times a week. She’s been with them for the last two years, so it’s comforting and slightly normal as they all replicate the Music classroom using Microsoft Teams.

She has now ironically been on official study leave over the past week and she has started her assessments today.

If we hadn’t been faced with this situation, all our lives would have been very different over the past few months. As it is, my only advice to my now sixteen year old: if anyone asks you about your GCSE results in the future, you just have to mention, ‘I was meant to sit them in 2020’

#endof #staysafe #stayhome #Lingfieldremote

Born to Shop, Forced to work

Thursday 7th May 2020

Another way I like to relax is to stroll round my local market town on the weekend, coffee shops, shoes and clothes - a meet up with friends.  I’m very good at shopping, in fact I’ve often spent far too much before even getting out of bed (I really must stop looking at my iPad when in bed).  It’s so easy to go down a rabbit hole of purchases.  I start with one thing I’m interested in and then one thing leads to another and I’ve bought yet another dress I don’t need (but I’m sure will be ‘the one’), a set of saucepans and a garden bench.  

I started the year saying I’m going to try and buy no new clothes; I don’t need any more.  Well..... that didn’t last long as I sort of forgot about it.  The truth is, I get a bit of a buzz out of it.  

Recently with lock down the closest I’ve come to a ‘good’ shopping session is a trip to Sainsbury’s.  I don’t know about anyone else but my food bill has at least tripled.  I did manage to take a sneaky look around the clothes section and surprise surprise managed to come out with a new denim jacket!

Aside from that, my other shopping outlet is online.  Sitting down for a cup of tea at home can be costly if I get that iPad out.  At the moment though there is a bit of a wait.......  At least someone will be home to receive deliveries.

There are a couple of issues - as I haven’t tried things on I have to return a lot of items; there’s no yeast to make bread and a shortage of eggs (we get through lots in my house).

I’m fine for toilet rolls though!

Home Schooling

Wednesday 6th May 2020

Whilst I don’t have school age children myself anymore, I do know that my children would not have taken any teaching direction from me during a lockdown period such as this. They always think they know better!   I have kept boxes of teaching resources, books and lesson plans from when I used to teach English and P.E. in the Senior School. This was just in case they would be useful to my children if the studied these subjects at GCSE or A Level. They did both A level P.E. and English, but wouldn’t look at a single one of my resources nor take any advice. I kept notes on Shakespeare plays, acquisition of language, A Level P.E., etc. but whenever I offered to help, they just didn’t believe I actually knew anything. They would only listen to their teacher!  I was just mum to them, not a teacher! Familiar to anyone?

In some ways that has been good because they have just got on and been very independent with learning. Quite handy when you’re a working mum.

So on the first day after the Easter holidays I was quite excited to get the keyworker children online and learning with their teachers.  How naive I was!  8 children from 2yrs to 11yrs all doing different things,  some not knowing their logins, some not knowing how to navigate Firefly or Teams, loose sheets of paper all in a muddle, a nursery child just needing to play, a variety of resources required that I hadn’t got ready.  I forgot to mention that the decent, nearby printer and photocopier had died and the outside phone line wasn’t working.  

Despite there being 3 experienced staff we still struggled, so to all you parents out there, I take my hat off to you!  You are doing an amazing job!

My New Best Friend

Monday 4th May 2020

Lately I have spent more time at a computer than I am used to and I’m not getting to my usual gym class or pilates so now I have developed an achy neck, shoulders and back.  What I need is a good massage.....

Obviously I can’t have one of those at the moment due to social distancing so I bought myself something called an InvoSpa.  This is a kneading massager that heats up.  It looks like a scarf and you hang it round your neck and it massages your shoulders and neck.  I’ve also massaged my feet.  Absolutely brilliant!  

Of course no sooner had I tried it out than it was hijacked by my son - he used it on his back and legs so it’s proving useful.  I can even use it when driving as it plugs into the car too.  I highly recommend! (that isn't me in the picture!)

 

What is a Superhero?

Friday 1st May 2020

What is a superhero - Batman, Super Woman, Spiderman?

Definition:  A superhero is a heroic stock character, typically possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and battling super-villains. ... 

Captain Tom Moore has been an inspiration to all of us.  

At 99 he set himself a challenge to do 100 laps of his garden before his hundredth birthday, which is 30th April.  He completed it early on 16th April, but he’s kept on going.  He also set out to raise £1000 and instead made a staggering £27 million which is going to medics fighting on the Coronavirus frontline.

Scoring a number one single with ‘You’ll never walk alone’, sung with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir was something he wasn’t expecting.   He is the oldest person to claim a number one single.  He has broken 2 world records (can you find out what they are?). He has been added to the honours shortlist! Wow how amazing is that? He has achieved so much in his 99th year; it just goes to show that it’s never too late to challenge yourself.

 

Cycle Challenge

Thursday 30th April 2020

During the Easter holiday, one sunny afternoon I thought I would get my bike out, dust it down and go for a cycle ride with my daughter.  Unfortunately her bike had a flat tyre  so I made a radical decision, that it was time to buy myself a new bike.  Hers was a second hand boy’s bike and mine was a heavy 20 year old mountain bike which my son had ridden into the ground, therefore I felt it was justified.

Halfords was doing Teacher discounts, so within no time at all I had a Click and collect order of a hybrid bike from Halfords. A few days later I collected it and spent the next 3 evenings out cycling through the woods and round the local lakes.  I have 4 lakes near me and wetlands full of birds, perfect to watch stunning views of beautiful sunsets.

Unfortunately on day three I acquired a puncture!  I then also discovered that all 4 of my bike pumps didn’t fit the tyre valve.  Who knew there are different tyre valves - Presta and Shrader? Perhaps you could have a look and see what the difference is.  A new bike pump and repair kit was then ordered for Click and Collect.  I think they are getting to know me at Halfords.  

My main aim on the weekend was to take the tyre off my bike and repair the puncture.  I checked out how to do it on YouTube and all looked quite easy.  How wrong I was?

It took about an hour just to get the tyre off.  I hadn’t realised I needed a couple of special levers.  I discovered I had only one, so a spoon had to help.  Fixing the puncture wasn’t too tricky but getting the tyre on was impossible and despite wrestling with it for about an hour I just couldn’t get the last 6 inches of the tyre tucked into the wheel.  I was so determined to do it myself but I finally had to admit defeat.  I had now been at this for about 2.5 hours and was close to tears with frustration, but I was so determined to see it through.  I popped to a cycling neighbour and he said he would sort it out.  He did, but nearly bent his tools and he did say it was tough.  After that I tackled the other bike with a flat tyre and had absolutely no trouble getting the tyre off and fixing it. That took about 20 minutes  - what a difference!  Too tired to go out for a ride now so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Walk and Talk

Wednesday 29th April 2020

One of the things I am missing most is my weekly (if not more) walk and talk with my friend.  Of course I’ve been out walking with my family as part of my daily quota and I love that too but there’s nothing quite like a good old natter with your mate where you put the world to rights.  Someone who knows you really well inside and out. 

We have supported each other through ups and downs, encouraged and celebrated each other’s successes and commiserated when things don’t go well.  It doesn’t really matter where we walk just as long as we go together.  We have done walking challenges over night and over long distances and last year we went walking in Italy.  We have wondered at the beauty of the landscape, envied some of the stunning houses we’ve passed, even peeking in at the interiors when passing (couldn’t help it) and we have stopped at many a watering whole to taste the wares - usually a flat white and a piece of cake.  All that exercise means it’s necessary!

I am lucky to live near beautiful countryside. Here is a photo from my walk this evening.  A walk in the fresh air is so important to me but better still is sharing experiences with my special friend.  For now we can just plan our future jaunts..

The Hair Salon

Tuesday 28th April 2020

Well there are some interesting haircuts appearing at the moment (or lack of them)! 

The usual routine is for teachers to get their hair cut in the school holidays (along with dentist, eye tests etc), however this time around this has not been possible.  I for one have not set foot in the hair dressers since February 14th and this was starting to become a bit of problem.  You may not know it, but I am not naturally blond!

Anyway in the current vein of trying new things and having a 'do it yourself' attitude, my daughter and I decided to buy some hair dye (when doing our essential shop in Sainsburys) and learn how to highlight our hair on YouTube.  I must say I am becoming a fan of a professional Youtuber of around my age called Angie.  She has got lots of tips and tricks for women of a certain age.  

Well we got into our old t-shirts, went into the bathroom and set about mixing up the potion to put on our hair.   Mine was a bit more complicated as I started with brown dye at the roots and then once that was washed out and dried, we then put blond highlights through.  I have to say my daughter did a pretty good job and the overall effect isn't too bad (as long as you don't lift the fringe up!!)  This could save me a lot of money in the future.  

I notice a few men sporting some new mustaches and beards and I’ve heard that Mr Bool has let his children loose on his hair with an electric razor!  It's a good job nobody is really seeing us at the moment and very handy that we can turn the video off when on Teams conference calls.  

It's going to be a big shock when we come back to school.  I will be rushing off to the hairdressers for a bit of pampering (and perhaps to sort that bit out underneath my fringe!)

Question for you - why do barber shops often have a sign outside with red and white strips on it?

Back to Basics

Monday 27th April 2020

Will spent hours working on an Air Fix model at the dining room table, whilst I rediscovered my Whimsie collection, which I found when clearing out a cupboard (something I imagine we are all doing a lot of at the moment!)  There's been a lot of 'sorting' lately!

I later found a 1000 piece jigsaw - haven't done one of those as a family since staying in a remote cottage in Scotland where there was no WiFi.  Once the Air Fix model is off the table, this is going down!

In the evening we decided to play a board game - Logo.  This was a very risky suggestion as we are all very competitive and the chance of a row was very high!  With the TV off and ignoring the familiar vibrations and pings from phones, we got started.  However, much to all our surprise there were no arguments and in fact the only tears were from laughing.

A walk with my daughter and a good chat whilst my son went out for a run.  Now that we are being told we can go out only one a day for some exercise, I have managed to get her off her bottom.  Funny how the idea of not being able to do something makes us suddenly want to do it. 


Oti Mabuse's Dance Class

Friday 24th April 2020

Mrs Shackel wrote this during the holidays...

Well it’s supposedly the Easter holidays so I decided to try the kid’s Oti Mabuse Dance Class - all in the name of research you’ll understand! I heard some of you children have been doing it so thought I should see what it’s like.  

To be honest it was all relatively easy and straightforward so not too many issues and in fact it was a lot of fun.  Not many of you will know this but my first teaching job was as a dance teacher teaching GCSE dance!   I did video it but that’s not something for general viewing I’m afraid.  Not one to take myself too seriously, I did video myself doing the routine wearing an Afro wig and sent it to a friend to cheer her up.  It did the trick! Hopefully I have to trust that video never makes it onto social media or my children will never speak to me again!

If you haven’t tried it out yet it’s on YouTube live at 11.30 each morning.  Why don’t you give it a go!

Here’s a still from the video, just to give you a flavour (without the wig!)

My Fridge Door

Thursday 23rd April 2020

I think a fridge door can say a lot about a person.

At the moment I have drawn up a rota for the adults in the house so that everyone pulls their weight whilst we are all cooped up.  To be fair so far it is working as I had dinner cooked for me all week - BBQ, fajitas, sausage and mash!! My children are doing well!  

I particularly like the magnet in the middle - Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a Gift. In fact I may use that in my assembly as I think it’s quite inspirational.

I’ve got some magnets from holidays in the past few years. 

A cactus from Lanzarote, a moped from Italy, a tile from Rhodes and a fan from Salou in Spain. My little leprechaun is from Ireland as that is where most of my family are from. 

I have a nice postcard of school grounds from Mr Bool (us teachers get praise too!)

A photo of me at a friend's birthday party and most importantly a reminder to relax, which a staff member gave to me during Mental Health Awareness Week.

I won’t comment on the card in the middle but it was a birthday card I liked.  

So to sum up, there are organisational reminders, treasured cards and reminders of fabulous holidays as well as inspirational quotes.

What does your fridge say about your family?

 

Collections

Wednesday 22 April 2020

When I was a child I used to save up my pocket money to by Whimsies. These are porcelain figurines.  Let’s just say the ones in the photos are over 40 years old.  I have grouped them in different ways for the photos. Can you work out how I have categorised them?

The first one I bought was the field mouse hanging onto an ear of corn.  

My favourite has always been the bush baby!  What’s your favourite?

I can’t remember how much they cost but you can get them on EBay now and a collection like mine looks like it could cost just under £100.

I also have an even older collection of glass figurines which were my grandad’s. I think they are Murano lampwork glass. They must be about 80 years old.  

They are so delicate that a few have got broken over the years and I can’t fix them.  My favourite are the little daschunds. One of them is so tiny it’s only 2cm long!

 

In School By Myself

Tuesday 21 April 2020

In the spirit of trying to learn to do new things with technology, I thought I would try to learn how to do an iMovie like Year 5's do.  The only problem was that the other 'stars' in my film suddenly came down ill or had to self-isolate, therefore it was left to me and..... a bunch of teddies!!  I did have the help of Mr Rodway though as he was in doing some work.  He became my camera man.

The one thing you are learning about me, is that I am not afraid to make a fool of myself!  Teachers are basically actors most of the time, so we get used to it.  if you have seen the video and you are of a certain age, then you will know that there is one bit which could be boomeranged like the shot in Bridget Jones where she slides down the fireman's pole!  

Before anyone wonders if i have any work to do, it was during the holidays and this was all in the name of education and research.  Oh and also.... I thought it would give you all a good laugh!

 

Birthday in Isolation

Sunday 19 April 2020

Let’s all spare a thought for those people who have had a birthday during this lockdown period.  Imagine no birthday party, no friends or family visiting, no trip out to a restaurant for a nice meal. Instead it’s all a bit flat at the moment.  

Recently it was my son’s birthday and as he was meant to be on rugby tour I bought him a Colin the Caterpillar cake to share with his team mates. Unfortunately it all got cancelled so he ended up back home with Colin untouched. We tried to make the best of things at home but to be honest I think he is going to have to celebrate properly later in the year.  It did get me thinking though back to his first birthday. He was having a joint party with his little girlfriend, Tabby, but unfortunately he got chickenpox and had to stay home in isolation. Now at 22 he is in isolation again - poor lad!  Funny thing is he had a Colin the Caterpillar cake back then too.

 

 

 

Easter Greeting

Normally this is a big family gathering in my family but this year we are improvising.  

I started by getting up early and making a bit more effort with breakfast - an early morning walk round the garden with some scissors and fresh flowers were on the table. 

The traditional tin eggs were filled with little chicks, chocolate eggs and wooden decorations, then laid at each table place.  Bacon sandwiches, fresh coffee and fresh juice ready and just one more thing to do...

The adult children said they wanted a scavenger hunt - so I wrote out clues and hid them around the garden and house with chocolate eggs at each stop.  The only problem was.. it was quite sunny and warm so the clock was ticking until they melted or got whisked off into the air by some eagle eyed bird wanting a bit of sparkly stuff to treasure in its nest! Unfortunately said children were still in bed so I then set about dragging them out of bed to take their Easter bucket and work together on the task.  Not popular at first, age 22 and 19, but actually they did secretly enjoy it, especially as they ended up with 12 small eggs each and a big one to finish. You’re never too old for a quiz resulting in chocolate I discovered!

Next a roast dinner and a yoga class whilst it was cooking.  Adrienne on YouTube does a 30 day programme and I’m on day 2.  So far so good.

FaceTime with the family proved tricky with the older family, who don’t seem to be able to work the iPad and just left it propped up in the kitchen and went about their business with us just watching on - not very interesting!

Anyway it was a beautiful day so a little sunbathing on the sun lounger and a cycle ride at dusk with my daughter - what could be better.  A fantastic family day in isolation.  I hope you have all had a lovely Easter everyone. X


Special Cake number 2

Friday 27th March 2020

I promised you another cake.

My daughter wanted a Louis Vuitton handbag for her 18th birthday!

Unfortunately teacher's salaries don't quite run to that so I came up with an alternative solution. See below the cake I made that I hoped would make up for any disappointment. I've tried to show the steps of making it so you can see it wasn't really as hard as it looked!

She was very happy! I got her a Michael Kors handbag for real instead!

 

 


Special Cake

Thursday 26th March 2020 21.53

Today I thought I would show you a cake I made recently for my dad's 80th birthday. We had a little party the weekend before lockdown so just in time for us all to get together to celebrate.

I tried to show you some of the steps when making the cake. My dad likes rugby and supports Wimbledon AFC so I added a little rugby ball under his foot and a scarf in the AFC colours. He has two spaniel dogs called Bruno and Charlie so I added them too. Sorry about the heads being on sticks but when the figures went onto the cake the sticks got pushed into the cake to hold the heads on.

You might notice that my dad also likes to wear socks and sandals!!!

Hopefully you will get a chance to do a bit of baking whilst at home - if you have enough eggs, flour and butter of course or perhaps you could get some playdough and cocktail sticks or kebab sticks and make some figures like I did. That figure actually looks like my dad!

Tomorrow I will show you the cake I made for my daughter's 18th birthday.


Joe Wicks

Wednesday 25 Mar 2020 19:22
This morning I thought I would give the Joe Wicks Body Coach workout a go as I am spending a lot of time sitting at a computer at the moment.   Also I thought I should experience what you are doing.

My favourite exercise was the one with the little bunny hops.  I have got some bunny ears in the loft and I would have put them on if I had known there was that exercise.  

My least favourite exercise was the one with the Spider Man lunges!

Phew it was quite a workout for the adults too I think, however I must admit it was fun!

I hope you are all enjoying the exercise - keep going everyone!


First Day working from home!

Tuesday 24 Mar 2020 19:19
Well today I decided I would try working from home.  The Key worker children were all planned for - activities, staff rotas, catering etc. so I thought I would give it a go.  

It didn't start well....

Firstly I have two adult children back from university who are trying to write dissertations and do exams online.  Fighting for desk space, with everyone wanting the dining room table is not easy.  I've heard this is a common argument in homes everywhere at the moment.  Also my stock of food supplies is going down fast, maybe I will lose a few pounds after all!

Next,  my lovely neighbours thought this was a good day to start felling trees, grinding and shredding the wood, starting up carpentry tasks, drilling, and cutting up paving slabs with loud electric saws, not to mention the mowing and hedge cutting.  Some of this started before 9am!  I thought I would take a walk to find out who was making all this noise but they were in the next road and I didn't want to use up my one piece of exercise a day quota.  I then decided to put out a plea on social media appealing to my community to be considerate of teachers trying to teach from home, children trying to learn, parents trying to get to grips with teaching their children, students trying to do exams online and listen to lectures - oh and some people are a bit ill.  Amazingly it must of worked because the noise stopped!! Thank goodness for that!!

At 10am I did a Zoom meeting with Mr Walton just to try it out.  He thought it was funny to be holding a chainsaw!  At 11am I had a Zoom meeting with the Senior Management Team.  We are all finding working remotely quite tricky, especially getting used to the technology and not being able to speak to each other very easily.  By using the video conferencing we are also getting to see what the inside of each other's houses are like!  

Grappling with spreadsheets and tables on my laptop has not been easy, especially when the cat likes to lie on top of my laptop whilst I'm working.  Eventually at 6pm I gave up and came into my office as the virtual platform was frustrating me too much and it is much easier to work at my desk.  It's nice and quiet here and I'm the only one here so it is very safe. 

I am sure you have all had challenging days getting used to this new way of working and learning but hopefully it will settle down soon and we will all get used to it.  

To end on a positive, at least the sun is shining and I hung my washing out for the first time this year and cleaned my downstairs windows so I can look at my lovely garden with the daffodils out whilst sitting at the Dining Room table (as long as anyone else doesn't nab it before I do).

If you get bored perhaps you could write a story about some of the funny things that have happened in your day.

Take Care


My Cat - Lexi

Saturday 21 Mar 2020 17:42
This is my beautiful cat Lexi.  She is half British Blue and half Persian.  She loves to sleep in the bathroom sink.  Why do you think that is?  She also likes to collect hair bands and put them in her water bowl.  Does anyone else’s cat do that?

She had kittens - both white, one very fluffy, one smooth.  My friend has them both and she named them Kiwi and Coconut.  She has another cat called Banana!

If you get bored perhaps you could take some nice photos of your pet and make a collage. 


How to cope when you can't go to school because of coronavirus

Thursday 19 Mar 2020 17:52
https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51656718