Keeping our community together Page 2

Time for a fresh page. But don't worry...  we're keeping them all in case you want to look back at ideas and resources.
Here's a message from all of us to all of you!
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Though we have to be apart, physically, at the moment, we're still a school community. We want children and parents to know that Hillcrest is still here! We're all part of the Hillcrest family.
We thought it would be a nice thing to have a community page. If you have something you would like to share - photos, videos, messages, children's art, recipes, suggestions for activities, links, birthday greetings, whatever! - email it to Juliet and we'll post it on here. 
We've started a new page because the first was full. (You can still see everything on the first page though.)
Download the latest Families in Focus Bulletin HERE.
It's packed with information, services and activities from Families in Focus South (based at The Park, Knowle) for families and young people during these difficult times. 
Chatterbox Goes Silent for the NHS!
Maya in Year 2 is doing a sponsored silence for TWELVE WHOLE HOURS on Friday 15th May to raise money for NHS Charities TogetherThis will be a huge challenge for her... her Dad says she loves to talk!

She was inspired when walking along the river behind the Paintworks and Bath Road, where there are some lovely hand-made inspirational messages hung from the trees and fences, including one honouring Captain Tom and his incredible fund-raising feats.

She’d like to raise £1,000 in total and after 24 hours or so is nearly halfway there!

 If you would like to support her, visit her Just Giving page HERE.



I hope everyone from Hillcrest Primary School is keeping well in these uncertain times.

My name is Luke Temple. As a children's author I am passionate about getting children engaged with reading and writing. It is sad that I'm not able to visit schools to do this at the moment. 

To help bring a bit of excitement to children's 'home schooling', I have:

  • Made my most popular book, Mutating Mansion, completely free to download.
  • Created an activity pack for KS2, 'Luke Temple's Writing Toolbox'. This contains lots of the tools I use to help make my books really exciting, fun and scary to read. I hope children can use the tools to have a go at their own writing.
  • There is also a competition in the activity pack to win a signed book and a free author visit to their school (there are 3 of these prizes up for grabs). The closing date for the competition is 31st May.

The book and activity pack can be downloaded from

I hope this will be of some use to Hillcrest Primary School.

Kind regards,

Luke Temple




If you're a fan of Tracy Alexander's Tribe stories (and have been enjoying listening to her reading them on T M Alexander Out Loud on YouTube) you'll know the five main characters - Keener, Copper Pie, Fifty, Bee and Jonno. 

Why don’t you create your own Triber? Make up a nickname and a fact file, and draw a picture of them! You can use the template below.

Then send your Triber to T M Alexander - she would love to see your ideas!

Some of the best Tribers will feature in one of her T M Alexander Out Loud YouTube videos! 



Chartwells have launched their own video cooking channel, Super Yummy Kitchen. They'll be posting a new fun kids' cook-along video each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with their chef Andrew. 

The videos will not only help keep children entertained, but show them how to make delicious, healthy snacks from store cupboard ingredients.

The Super Yummy Kitchen has been designed to support healthier snacking, positive mental wellbeing and the chance to learn new skills, alongside a health and wellbeing challenge (and supporting schools to meet curriculum requirements at home).

Here's a taster.... 

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Thanks to Donna Lyons for telling us about this. We subscribe to The Week Junior at school and children may be missing it.
They are offering their digital magazine free to everyone for four weeks.
It's available on line at 
You can also access it by searching "The Week Junior" in the iOS App Store and downloading the app. (They are developing an Android app but this isn't available yet.)

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail is inviting you all to create your very own window to the forest inspired by the sculpture Cathedral by the artist Kevin Atherton. We know you are all staying home safe at the moment so this is your chance to bring the forest to your homes!

All you need is some simple materials such as a cereal box, glue, scissors and tissue paper or a torn up magazine. Go to our website to download instructions here:

Don't forget to share your Window Forests with us! #windowforests we are on Instagram @theforestofdeansculpturetrail and Twitter @fodsculpture




Click on the link below to find out about Silent Solution - what to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service, but can’t speak safely.
Do you have a young chess enthusiast at home? Alan Tanner, who runs the lunchtime chess club for the older children, has sent us this information
One million ChessKids - Free Online Lessons and Play to July 20!
Chess in Schools & Communities is delighted to announce the launch of their campaign to get one million children playing chess in the UK during lockdown. They have teamed up with ChessKid to offer 1 million free 3-month Gold Memberships* of their online platform.
Every child of primary school age in the UK is eligible. ChessKid is a website and app that gives children access to interactive lessons, instructional videos, thousands of puzzles, and a safe environment in which to play chess online. Click the link for details.
Here's a fun competition for kids from non profit organisation Every Can Counts!
You may have read the Tribe books featuring five friends in Year 6 who get into, and hopefully out of, trouble.
Because reading is so important, and pleasurable, I’ve taken advantage of being locked in to let the Tribers out – so now children can enjoy the stories at home, read out loud to them by me, the author.
My Made for Kids YouTube channel TMAlexanderOutLoud has an introduction and the first seven chapters of The Day The Ear Fell Off, with new chapters arriving every day.
There are four books to look forward to:
  • The Day the Ear Fell Off - Winner of the Hull Children’s Book Award
  •  A Thousand Water Bombs
  • Labradoodle on the Loose - included in the National Libraries Summer Reading Scheme 
  • Monkey Bars and Rubber Ducks
Best wishes from
Tracy Alexander
Harper Collins, the publishers, are giving free access to their ebooks on their website. 
This is for all the reading levels from pink to lime (levels 1-26) and there are several hundred books available!
Click at the top of the page to access free resources and log in as a teacher with :


Password: Parents20! 

Are you struggling to top up your prepayment gas/electric meter due to COVID-19?
The Warmer Homes, Advice & Money (WHAM) project can help!
  • Call your gas/electric supplier first, they may be able to offer short-term support.
  • If you are still struggling to top up or are worried about running out whilst self-isolating, contact Warmer Homes, Advice and Money (WHAM). Call 0800 082 2234 or fill in our contact form at
The WHAM project can also advise you on:
  • Making your home warmer and saving money on your fuel bills
  • Understanding your energy bills, your tariff and reading the meter
  • Grants, discounts and other offers available to maximise your income
  • Making energy saving improvements and repairs to your home
  • Specialist benefits and debt advice
Click on the link to watch a lovely film about a child's eye view of the lockdown, made by a local film-maker and dad.
Here's a fun idea! Making carrot recorders! 
In Lydia and Sofia's family they make a traditional Polish Easter Egg basket. They decorated their boiled eggs and put them in a basket with Polish sausage, bread and butter to be (virtually) blessed on Easter Saturday.  They ate them for breakfast on Easter Sunday.
The girls also made an Easter tree and some delicious Easter treats!
Check out the Easter Art Challenge entries here. They're brilliant!
A message from the Old Vic
I wondered if all the families out there could help me spread the news about this one?... Brook Tate is a children’s theatre maker we work with at Bristol Old Vic- he has a plan for the kids of Bristol to make a herd of Giraffe in time for the next Clap for NHS... imagine a sea of giraffe across the hilltops of Bristol all encouraging us to hold our heads up and be brave!
The how-to make link is below.

Tweet a video of your giraffes flying from your windows to @bristololdvic - We’re going to make it go viral!
Many thanks

Lucy Hunt

Engagement Director, Bristol Old Vic


Have a lovely day Miss Silver!
Have a look at Save the Children's excellent website. It's packed with helpful ideas and some great videos.

"Welcome to the most fun part of the den, full of ideas to help children get creative and fire up their imagination while they’re at home.

It’s been made hand in hand with our early learning experts, who have used their knowledge of what works for children at different ages and stages. We're hoping this means there’s something for everyone, but if you have a suggestion for an activity or a game we should be playing,let us know!"

"For kids as well as adults, coronavirus has brought about a lot of confusing and quite sudden changes to the way we live our lives.  In this corner of the den you’ll find clear, simple tips on how to talk with your children about coronavirus and its impact on their lives, as well as ideas on how to feel close to the people they love, even if they can’t be together. 

It’s also a safe space for children to share their brilliant ideas for other kids to enjoy, and to keep us adults uplifted and inspired when we need it most." 



Many Happy Returns
Mrs Howells!
The Royal Institution has lots of videos about fun science-based kids' activities to do at home, here:

"ExpeRimental is a series of short films that make it fun, easy and cheap to do science at home with children aged 4 to 11. Our films give you lots of ideas for kids’ activities that will help you explore the world around you, question and experiment together. We’ll show you how to do the activity and how to make sure adults and children get the most out of it. 

Each activity is designed to be easy to do using only common household objects. Simply playing, watching closely, and asking questions is enough to light a spark of science learning at home with young children. All the experiments are about encouraging natural curiosity and investigating the wonders of science while you play.

We think doing hands-on activities with children is the best way to get them exploring the world around them and thinking like future scientists and engineers. You won’t  need any existing science knowledge to be able carry out and enjoy ExpeRimental activities. Alongside each film is an info sheet with all the extra information you might need, including a clear explanation of the science at work and some ideas of questions to ask while playing. With badges and certificates to print out, and no limit to how far the activities could extend, we hope these films will be just the starting point for fun adventures in science."

The Potts family egg rolling!
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Here's a link to a great site with ideas for 30 creative activities for children that you can do with minimal resources:
Thanks to Tina for this one!
I just pinched this from FaceBook - a nice activity for little ones.  Juliet
Here's a special Birthday surprise for Noah Thorn in Yr 2 from his friend Isaac!
And a Happy Birthday from all of us Noah!
We've just added a Resources to Support Mental Health page under the Learning at Home tab here.

Released today: a free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler.

Click on this link for information and to download the book!
Tiresome paperwork? Just shred it with Mrs Fleming's patent shredder, Otto!
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Stay home and stay active! (2)

We hope you enjoyed last week's ideas for keeping active while we are all staying at home!  This week we have some ideas for being active indoors.  Exercise first thing in the morning will help to wake up our brains as well as our bodies - so try the Wake and Shake song.  When school work is done, and there's time for play, make an indoor den (or outdoors if you have a garden space at home).  Have fun!

Wake and Shake!
We all know that exercise wakes up our brains as well as our bodies, so try doing some Wake and Shake when you get up in the morning and before you settle down to school work.
Here are some of the benefits of exercise, especially first thing in the morning...
•    Exercise can increase children's concentration and helps them work better
•    Physical activity encourages healthy growth and development
•    Exercise improves our mood as well as reducing anxiety and stress
Try to get a hour of exercise every day 
Make an indoors den!

Ok so it's great fun making a den in the woods, but indoor camping is fab too!  No trees?  Use chairs or clothes dryers, blankets, sheets, coats and cushions. Have you got a torch to light up your den with?  Bring some toys in to keep you company! You can make a den to hide away in, have a party in, go to sleep in, read a book in... !
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Here are links to some lovely meditation videos for children on YouTube, suggested by Miss Wilson:  Kids Sleep Meditation to Let Go of Anxiety | YOUR HAPPY PLACE | Bedtime Story for Children to Sleep - Welcome to Your Happy Place, a sleep meditation for anxiety relief to help all kids, children and young ones of all ages (and yes, including grown ups!) to relax into calm happiness with total inner peace!  Morning Meditation for Kids POSITIVE ENERGY Feel on Top of the World! (Confidence, Focus, Success) - Morning Meditation for Kids POSITIVE ENERGY Feel on Top of the World! - Morning Affirmations for Confidence, Focus and Success Meditation for Kids MORNING MEDITATION for POSITIVE ENERGY is a powerful guided meditation to wake up after sleep, so that children will start the day with awesome feelings of success, confidence and calm self control.  Affirmations for Children ♫♫ Positive Thinking ☆ Self Approval ☆ Confidence ☆ Inner Peace ☆ Courage - Feelgood Uplifting words to encourage children (and adults) to believe in yourself, enhance your feeling self-worth, be more courageous to stand up for yourself and what you believe in, and appreciate yourself for the magnificent being you are. We are all worthy of love. You are awesome!  
There's a new page under the Learning at Home Tab - French activities from Miss Wilson - here.