10th November 2023

Dear Parents,

The first week back since half term has flown by!  The children have been busy in their learning, including topics covering Bonfire Night, producing beautiful artwork.  In addition, we celebrated in assembly, many achievements and successes, all of which demonstrated the determination and perseverance that children have shown in the classroom.  As you will see below, the children really have enjoyed being back at school.

Remembrance

This morning, all children in Years 1-6 went to the Newmarket War Memorial to observe two minutes silence to pay their respects to past and present service men and women, from the military to the NHS.  A poem was read by the Head of School representatives and a wreath was laid.

Readathon

Reception visited Newmarket library today and were very excited to use the wonderful newly refurbished children’s areaThe creative design really inspired the children to explore the extensive selection of new books that were included with the refurbishment25% of money raised from last year’s Readathon was donated to the library and this donation helped fund the refurbishment. We will again be donating 25% from this year’s Readathon to the library, so if you still have donations to make, please either bring them into the office or pay directly via the FHSPA bank account (details on the Readathon form)Do visit the library yourself to see what a difference your donations make to encouraging a lifelong love of books and reading. 

Reception

It has been an exciting week in Reception!

The children have been busy learning all about why November 5th is a significant date in history. They created some super firework art and enjoyed discovering lots of facts relating to Guy Fawkes and London.

It was great fun celebrating National STEAM Day on Wednesday and linking this to the week’s learning. The children enjoyed singing the rhyme, ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’ and were amazing ‘Learnadactyls’, spending time carefully constructing their own bridges over the river Thames. This learning transferred to the forest, where the children’s next challenge was to work as part of a team to build a bridge using sticks and leaves. What amazing ‘Exploradactyls!’

Making a mini bonfire and reciting firework rhymes and poems, whilst drinking hot chocolate, was a wonderful way to end a fabulous morning of STEAM inspired outdoor learning!

Year 1

We have travelled south to Antarctica this week! We learned the difference between the Arctic and the Antarctic, and we enjoyed learning about, and describing, the different landscape features of Antarctica. After learning about Antarctica’s chilly climate, we had to make hot chocolate to warm us up as just the thought of freezing temperatures made us feel cold! In art, we have been using warm and cool colours to decorate penguins. They look so effective!

Year 2

Welcome Back!

Year 2 have taken a trip back in time to learn about ‘The Gunpowder Plot’. We have been learning all about the group of 12 men who plotted to kill King James I. We have explored what life was like in 1605, what the clothing would have looked like and have thought about what it would be like to live without running water, schools or electricity. We have been learning all about Guy Fawkes (a gunpowder expert) and Robert Catesby and how they were planning to get the gunpowder into the Houses of Parliament. Ask your learner all about how the plot was foiled! We have also been learning about fireworks and have recorded a long list of onomatopoeia words to describe fireworks. In maths we have been adding and subtracting 10 from a given number and using exchange to subtract a one digit from a 2 digit number. On Friday we spent the day learning about Remembrance Day. We have made poppies, created a silhouette painting of a soldier and learned the difference between commemoration and celebration.

Year 3

Year 3 have come back from half term with such enthusiasm and a commitment to do well in all lessons. They have been using apostrophes in contractions and for possession in English. In maths, they have been solving two-step word problems using column addition and subtraction. The children have been representing the exchange using dienes equipment, drawing the exchange pictorially and calculating using the formal written method. This process has embedded their conceptual understanding. The highlight of our week was definitely our Spanish trip out to our local Mexican restaurant, El Guaca. The children ordered their food in Spanish and sampled traditional dishes with glee. Year 3 behaved impeccably and were a real credit to the school out in our community. A special thanks to Miss Bryan for organising such a fantastic trip and to El Guaca for looking after us so well. Take a look at the photos of us in action…

Year 4

It has been great to see the children again after our short break.  I have been pleased with how they have come back ready to work and enthusiastic to learn.  We have hit the ground running looking at area in maths and starting to think about how best to write a letter in English.  In addition, we developed our understanding of food chains into creating food webs.  This also gave them the opportunity to practice their independent research.

We have started this half term with enthusiasm! In history, we are continuing with our topic on Ancient Egyptians. This will link closely to our new ‘Somewhere to Settle’ topic in geography where we will be finding out why Ancient Egyptians settled by the River Nile. In religious studies, the children were very excited to start our topic on ‘Islam’. We are looking forward to a trip to the Cambridge Central Mosque on January 16th next year.

Year 5

Year 5 have started investigating journalistic writing by exploring the features of newspaper articles in depth.  Today, they got the chance to use their journalistic investigative skills to ask questions to characters from our book who claim to have seen the dreadful sea-creature: the Malamander! Children took turns to play the part of the characters and took the hotseat in class to field questions from the rest of the class as our team of journalists.   The children made notes and will then use this information to write their own newspaper articles next week.

Year 6

In PSHE lessons, Year 6 have been thinking about their hopes and dreams for the year ahead. They each designed a pennant for a string of bunting which we have displayed in the classroom. With hopes and dreams in mind, Year 6 also thought about any worries that they currently have such as entrance tests in January or moving to Year 7 in September. The PSHE scheme that supports teaching at Fairstead suggests a fun idea ‘to wash those worries away’! Year 6 each made a paper spiral which they dangled from a tree in the far corner of the school field. On each spiral, they wrote their thoughts in ink so that they will be washed away in the wet, windy, snowy weather ahead! On Thursday, Annabelle shared a beautiful dress from the 1950s, worn by her grandmother. She chose Laila and Jess to join her in a fashion show for their classmates during this week’s History lesson. Thank you, Annabelle! This morning, at the war memorial in Newmarket, Jess and Eliza read aloud ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae. Mina and David were chosen to lay a wreath on behalf of the children, parents and staff.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford