Monday, 30 January 2012

Espresso News

Don't forget that Espresso News is available every week, and can be found by following the This Week's News from Espresso link on the left!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

January in Mexico City

Hello Everyone!

Although it now January 2012, I need to take you back a few weeks to catch up on what we've been doing.

December was busy for us as we had an International team, mainly from the USA, who came to work with us and the charity we are working with for a week. Lucy had the week off school to work with us too.

The Americans came from Buffalo, New York; Fairfield, Ohio; Dalla, Texas; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Spencer, Iowa and Rochester, Michigan. They all arrived on the Saturday and we spent the day collecting them from the airport and taking them to the hotel.

OSI (the charity we work with) have used this hotel for many years and get a special rate. We went to the hotel for the week too, because we move all our office equipment there so that we can do admin in the evening after we have been out in the daytime with the team.

On the Sunday we show the team a bit of Mexico City and they have a chance to go the market to buy gifts. In the afternoon we talk with them about what they will do during the week ahead. They will either work in the optical, dental, medical, children's or hair and beauty area. Some of them have certain skills that make it obvious where they will work (i.e. a nurse) but others have no particular skills and so we gave them a short lesson showing them what they need to know.

Sometimes the team brings supplies with them that we can use - toothbrushes, toothpaste, eye glasses, medicines, toys etc. We sort these into bags to take with us during the week.

This year we worked with three different churches on the outskirts of Mexico City. The people in the church advertise that we are coming so that the poor people in their area can come and receive free medical care. Of course, because it was near Christmas, we also took Christmas gifts with us that we had sorted into different age groups and genders,and wrapped. We also took bags of groceries with us to give away.

It was a very exciting week and they were so thankful to be given presents.

In one church that we were in was a lady who had a growth on the roof of her mouth. It was about the same size as her tongue. She had been to several Mexican doctors who weren't sure what to do about it and wanted her to go into hospital to have it removed. She couldn't do this as she had no money to pay for it. One of the Americans on our team was a dentist - not just an ordinary dentist but one who had specialized in surgery and reconstruction. He actually came from Ghana originally, trained in the UK and now lives in the USA. When he saw her, he told her he would be able to remove it and that it wouldn't cost her anything. He performed the surgery and she was amazed! Her family teased her because her speech had been affected and they said she was now talking in a posh voice!! It was a good day!!

We saw over 800 people while the team was here - it was a very good week!

For Christmas we were lucky enough to be invited, by some friends, to spend the time with them in North Carolina. We had a really good time. They have lived in the States for 11 years but used to live in Lordswood where the eldest two children, Bethany and Abigail, were pupils at Oakwood Infant and Junior School! This is the first time we have spent Christmas with them since they moved. The area they live in is called Cary and is very much like Lordswood - lots of trees and walks, although the houses are much bigger and there is a lot more space!

Christmas in Mexico is not so much about the things that you get but more about the Christmas story. The children don't actually get presents until January 6th, which they call 'The Day of the Kings'. This is the day they remember the kings bringing presents to baby Jesus. They also have a special cake called 'Rosca de Reyes', that they eat on this day. Hidden inside the cake are little figures of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Everyone cuts their own piece of cake and, if they find one of the hidden figures, there is a big celebration. Those people then have to bring the figure back to the person who brought the cake on February 2nd for another party - a fiesta! This is to mark the day that Jesus was presented at the temple. The Mexicans eat food called 'tamales' and drink 'atole' on this day. Most of their celebrations are based around the catholic calendar because it is a catholic country and they also enjoy getting together as families and friends.

We are enjoying the Mexican winter with temperatures during the day between 70 - 75 degrees fahrenheit!

That's it for now, we will write again soon,

Hilary and Lucy

Monday, 23 January 2012

Off by Heart! The Green Cross Code

The Junior Road Safety Officers have been working hard in their committee!

Mrs DiMaiolo will be helping in our committee and she organised a special visit for us.

Jan Parkin, who is the Road Safety officer for Southampton City Council, came to see us and we learned about the new Road Safety Website (which is especially for Junior Road Safety Officers). One of our PCSOs, Tracey Cullen, will also be helping us.

Jan talked to us about a some of the crossings we use and how important it is we know how they work. We found this really old video from when they first had Pelican Crossings - but they still work in the same way today!

We also recorded a new version of our school video which helps everyone learn the Green Cross Code.
Everyone who knows the Green Cross Code off by heart will earn a special Walk to School Strider Badge, so use the video below to help you learn it!

Thanks to Ellie who edited the video - including putting the titles and music on!

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Year 3 have had a 'toothastic' day learning all about their teeth and how to look after them.

Our day involved brushing our teeth, designing leaflets about how to look after your teeth and then setting up an 'eggsperiment' to see the effects of coke and water on our teeth.

Well done Year 3!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sleeping Beauty

M&M Productions once again made our first day after the Christmas break a really good day - they entertained us royally with a brilliant show.

In fine panto tradition, Sleeping Beauty did fall asleep and there was no Handsome Prince to wake her from her slumber! What to do?!

Just in the nick of time, the King knighted our hero and, as a new Prince, he fell in love and woke the Princess with a kiss.

And they all lived happily ever after!
(Apart from the evil old crone who cast the spell in the first place, of course!)

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Angels Day

We've only been back for seven days, but Year 3 have been very busy.

We have delved into the world of mythical creatures in our new topic Brutal Beasts and Beastly Battles, creating funky 'carousel' books in English and exploring strange islands using co-ordinates in Maths.

And just yesterday, the team from Southampton City Mission came in for our Angels Day. We were astonished by their magic illustrations and fun games. Over the course of the day, we made angel wings helicopters and built a cherubim from mixed materials.