News from Primary school

Dear Parents,

I hope you are all well and healthy during the current situation. This week on Wednesday, it was St, Patrick’s Day, the national day of my home country, Ireland, and a day when landmarks around the world are lit up in green to celebrate the day, including Prague’s Petřín Tower.

People often associate Ireland with luck. There is even a phrase, ‘the luck o’ the Irish,’ which you hear associated with Ireland, though you rarely hear it said in Ireland. If you have experienced our weather, you would know why!

People might not feel like life is so lucky at this time. Our students have spent a considerable amount of this school year learning from home. There has been a lot of uncertainty over the last few months in life in general. Many of us have not been able to visit loved ones for some time now. These are not the hallmarks of luck I am sure you would agree.

However, last month marked my seventh anniversary working in Open Gate. The end of 2020 was my tenth anniversary living in the Czech Republic and for both of those things, I feel lucky to have had these experiences. I am sure all the people working in Open Gate Primary School feel lucky to work here and to have the wonderful, versatile and strong students that make up our school. Despite the current challenging times, I am sure we all feel lucky that we have good homes, jobs and support in our lives compared to many less fortunate people in this world.

So as we prepare to welcome spring on Sunday, bringing with it, longer days, better weather, and hopefully a return to normality in the coming months, I think it is important to find some luck in our lives. We are never too old for a bit of homework, so my homework to all the parents, students and staff at the Primary School this weekend is to find a little bit of luck in life, welcome in spring and look forward to better times ahead together.

And speaking of spring, I would like to introduce the…

Spring Cleaning Challenge 2021

Next week sees the beginning of spring, and with it, the annual Spring Cleaning Challenge! Each year, the English department sends a list of household tasks to each class and it is a great opportunity for children to learn valuable skills, and take pride in their home. And of course, to give parents a bit of help! This year, it is especially relevant due to current restrictions and spending so much more time at home.

On Monday 22 March, the English teachers will send the task lists (with guidelines) to parents. Please make sure students are aware of the guidelines, and that they take a safety first approach to the challenge. This project is not obligatory but we do believe it gives our students the opportunity to learn important life skills. And we hope the parents enjoy some extra helping hands at home during this time!

Let’s look at what our classes have been up to this week:

Class 1

This was another fun and busy week for Class 1! This week we reviewed all that we have learned in our new Incredible English book so far. We reviewed our colours, numbers, family members and food with a space ship race. We wore green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day on Wednesday and we are now experts on what words are in the “un” word family. We even learned when to use double z ( like in the word pizza). Class 1 worked very hard this week and got many high fives along the way. (CJ)

Again this week, the first-graders managed distance learning cleanly and clearly. They started writing lowercase letters and they are sensational. They are familiar with different types of clocks and successfully battle with time recognition on the clock hands. In mathematics, they discovered a new environment – Neighbors, and in it they feel like fish in water. (TČ)

Class 2

Class 2 had a fun filled week celebrating St Patrick’s Day. We read the Night before St Patrick’s Day and created our own leprechaun traps to see if we could capture a naughty leprechaun (check out the English Channel in MS Teams to see them). We reviewed our vowel team “ai” and completed a lot of work in our Incredible English book. We closed out the week by playing an Among Us spelling game to help us review all the spelling words we have learned so far. It was an action-packed week for Class 2 and they did an amazing job! (CJ)

Globetrotters set to work after the spring break with gusto and energy. On Monday, they met in front of their monitors with the book they are reading. They compared the main characters with each other. On Tuesday, they struggled with word problems and practiced spelling. A real Irish celebration broke out on Wednesday! Green Day of St. Patrick was introduced to us by our expert on Ireland - Sašenka. She guided them through traditions and did not forget to visit a leprechaun village. On Thursday, the sophomores brushed up their IT skills and practiced the curriculum through the Toglic and Classkick applications. On Friday we started the next year with a mathematical kangaroo. We are looking forward to spring. Saša, Sašenka and Class 2

Class 3

Class 3 started off the week looking at some of the most common symbols associated to St. Patrick’s Day and what they mean. We all tried very best to keep our eyes open in hopes of catching a leprechaun so he would take us to his pot of gold. We also started Unit 6 in Incredible English learning about all the places you can find in a town. Finally, class 3 finished the week talking about the luck of the Irish. We discussed all the things considered lucky and unlucky. Are you superstitious? (JD)

In class 3 this week, we went green on Wednesday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and we learnt about Ireland. It rains a lot, the Irish play some crazy sports and they know how to dance! We also started preparing an article about learning during lockdown, but more about that will be revealed soon! (LR)

Third-Graders Welcome Spring, Saint Patrick, Professor Dusík and Doctor Kyslíková and a kangaroo

After the spring break, we sat in front of our monitors again and the week-long show began! Right on Monday we deciphered the children's faces of the whole pedagogical team, while on Tuesday we flew to Aruba for a jump among flamingos, iguanas and butterflies. On Wednesday we wandered over the rainbow and together with Sašenka we talked about St. Patrick's Day and its celebrations. Thursday was, as always, marked by man and his world - we talked about birds and you wouldn't believe what interesting things our researchers found from the bird kingdom. For example, that a great tit (Parus major) is quite a dangerous creature. If you would like to know more, ask the third-graders. Hokus Pokus experiments with Associate Professor Dusík and Dr. Kyslíková were again a pleasant end to Thursday's classes. So on Friday? We jumped together with the kangaroo world of numbers.

We look forward to the next week and the challenges that will come!

Marie, Andrejka, Martin and their Researchers

Class 4

This week class 4 started off the week learning about the legend of the Blarney stone. Would you kiss the stone from a dizzying height for the gift of gab? We continued our work on news articles by writing a silly short St. Patrick’s Day article and reading it in class on Thursday. Our focus remains the past simple in Incredible English, and we also did work in phonics and PET preparation. (JD)

After the holidays, Class 4 gradually got into the pace of online teaching. They practiced geometric bodies and tried to create them with skewers and models. They didn't forget about music education, learning notes and trying a great rhythm with the help of a cup. At the end of the week, they celebrated World Theater Day for Children and Youth and went to the online theater for the performance, The Little Prince. (TK)

Class 5

What's new with our Class 5 birdies?

It was a busy week in class 5 as we did practice tests for the PET. However, we did find some time to chill out on Thursday in our music lesson. Some of them did country music with Eric and the others, disco music with me. And of course for the week that is in it, we learnt something St. Patrick and Ireland! (LR)

After the spring holidays, the fifth-graders came back rested, full of strength and eagerly set to work. It was interesting to see who was more interested in the film and who preferred the book. In mathematics, we solved word problems, written division by a three-digit divisor, and on Friday the mathematical Kangaroo jumped into our class. The children also commemorated Wednesday’s St. Patrick’s Day and World Sparrow Day, trying to capture the painting of this famous bird. (SČ)

P.S. Did you know that in Chicago every year on the day of St. Patrick's river green?

On behalf of everyone in the primary school, I wish you a peaceful, relaxing and lucky weekend. Enjoy the start of spring and take care.

Kind regards,

Luke Ryan