Dear Parents,

The term ended with the most wonderful carol service at St Mary’s Church.  The children all sang and read beautifully; it was a special way to end what has been an amazing term with so many highlights that have been shared in weekly newsletters.  Please enjoy reading all about the final week in this bumper edition of the newsletter.

Reports

End of term reports for Reception to Year 6 are available through My School Portal.  If you log in at King’s Ely (myschoolportal.co.uk) and then select your child, you should see the Michaelmas Term Reports as an option to view or download.

Music

Christmas with the Aliens (Reception & Yrs 1 & 2)

Pupils from Reception and Years 1 & 2 performed a spectacular show to parents – ‘Christmas with the Aliens.’ The story begins with some alien visitors who find themselves stranded on Earth with their broken spaceship. A group of children discover the aliens and tell them about the Christmas story and decide to invite them to watch their school nativity. We had a fantastic cast of young actors playing aliens, angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, the 3 Kings and even ‘Mrs Warburton’ as well as a group of amazing narrators. Eight magical songs were sung, and every pupil danced the choreographed movements with lively enthusiasm however a special mention should be given to the Star of Bethlehem that sung her solo so beautifully whilst the rest of the pupils signed Makaton silently. Thank you to the parents for the colourful costumes and Mr Rix and Mrs Freestone for creating an impressive light flashing spaceship. We also enjoyed the twinkling starry night projected on the ceiling and the fog machine purchased by the Fairstead House Parents’ Association. Well done to everyone for helping make this a wonderful show.

Nursery Nativity (Yearlings & Ponies 1 & 2)

It has become a tradition at this time of year for all the pupils from Yearlings, Ponies 1 & 2 to perform a nativity. This year we chose the enchanting story ‘Mary’s Knitting’. Mary’s baby is nearly due and she hasn’t anything to keep her baby warm so she starts knitting a blanket on the way to Bethlehem. She’s uncomfortable and hungry but with the help of some nearby shepherds, some bright stars and 3 Kings, her knitting needles manage their ‘clickety-click’ all the way. We had over 70 pupils as young as 2 years on stage, singing in costume and signing Makaton to 11 songs. What a fantastic achievement, well done.

School Carol Service (Reception -Yr6)

At the end of the Michaelmas term, the school celebrates together at St Mary’s Church in Newmarket. The Order of Service included 6 Readings, read by staff and pupils, 4 congregational hymns with descant parts and our three choirs singing various Christmas songs. This is such a special tradition and an occasion we all enjoy. Well done to all our pupils and staff, and thank you to Mr Nick Longford for stepping in for the vicar, and to Mr Brown the organist. We wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Sport

End of term sports review

The Under 11 hockey team showcased remarkable growth throughout the season. Despite a challenging start with three consecutive losses, the team demonstrated resilience and progression by winning two games and securing four draws. As the season unfolded, a notable improvement in confidence, passing, and positioning became evident. The players’ dedication and progress bode well for their future successes.

The U11 ‘B’ team had an outstanding season, experiencing only one loss in their nine games. Their impressive record includes five wins and three draws.  The season was marked by players transitioning to the ‘A’ team and making a substantial impact on their games. This progression not only speaks of individual development but also demonstrates the overall strength and depth of the school’s hockey teams.

I am delighted to share a positive end-of-season review for our U9 boys’ football and hockey teams. The hockey team demonstrated impressive potential, showcasing well-developed passing skills and a commendable increase in teamwork. Their participation in the festival at Framlingham Prep was a great success, providing them with valuable experience and enjoyable moments.

On the football front, our teams exhibited outstanding play characterised by fluidity and maturity in passing. I am genuinely excited about the prospects of our football teams and look forward to witnessing their continued growth and success in future matches.

Overall, both teams have displayed commendable dedication and skill throughout the season, setting a promising foundation for their future endeavours. Congratulations to all players for their hard work and achievements this season.

Our U9 girls’ netball team has had an exceptional season, playing fliers netball with a 4-a-side format across the court. This approach has provided them with ample opportunities to enhance their skills, ensuring that each player gets numerous touches on the ball, contributing to their skill development.

Participating in matches and festivals against local prep schools has not only been a source of enjoyment but also a platform for valuable learning experiences. I’m thrilled to note the consistent improvement in their shooting and passing abilities week by week, showcasing their dedication and hard work.

The girls have demonstrated both enthusiasm and progress, making this season a success. Well done to the team for their commitment and achievements on the netball court. Looking forward to seeing their continued growth in the seasons to come.

Great news! The fixtures for the upcoming season have been added to the www.kingselysport.org and are now available on the school calendar. Make sure to check the schedule for exciting matches and events. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to email Mr. Salt.

House Hockey

In an exhilarating house hockey festival on Wednesday, our mixed U11 and U9 teams showcased their skills in a spirited competition. The three houses—Wedgewood (red), Buckingham (blue), and Taylor (green)—added a burst of colour to the hockey field.

The ‘A’ team tournament kicked off with Wedgewood facing Taylor. Despite Taylor being the pre-festival favourites, they drew their first game, setting the stage for an open and competitive event. Buckingham, characterised by precise passing and unwavering determination, secured a notable victory against Taylor with a 2-1 scoreline.

As tensions rose in the deciding game, Buckingham faced off against Wedgewood, emerging victorious 3-0 and remaining undefeated. The final scoreline left Wedgewood with one draw  and one defeat from their two matches, a record matched by Taylor leaving Buckingham with two wins to take the crown.

In an exciting addition to the festival, each House fielded a ‘B’ team, adding another layer of competition to the event. The ‘B’ teams faced off, showcasing the  progress made by the players. Taylor’s ‘B’ team emerged as the victors with two wins from two games, while Buckenham’s ‘B’ team secured a win against Wedgwood, securing the second position in this segment of the festival.

The rain may have fallen, but it couldn’t dampen the spirits of the players who showcased incredible hockey skills throughout the tournament.

Congratulations to all participating teams for their outstanding efforts and sportsmanship. The house hockey festival proved to be a memorable and competitive event, reflecting the talent and dedication of our young hockey players.

Disco

A huge thank you to the FHPA, for organising an end of term disco, which was great fun.

Nursery

Although the majority of the nursery still have a few more days to go until we break up for Christmas (Friday 22nd December at 6pm!), we have been fully immersed in the Christmas spirit this week. We loved performing our Nativity to the school on Monday, and to the parents on Tuesday and Thursday, and wearing our Christmas Jumpers on Wednesday. A cheeky elf even came to visit Ponies 1!

The Nursery is open as normal all of next week, and then closes until 7:30am on Tuesday 2nd January.

Reception

It has been a wonderfully festive final week of term, in Reception.

The focus in class has been on how Christmas is celebrated around the world, alongside sequencing key events from the Nativity and using puppets to retell the story.

All specialist lessons have had a Christmas theme and the children particularly enjoyed Spanish themed, ‘pass-the parcel’ this week. Thank you, Miss Bryan!

The children were excited to attend their first whole school Christmas lunch on Wednesday and had great fun making reindeer hats to wear to this special event. They then enjoyed sharing their toys from home and danced the afternoon away at the Reception Christmas Party.

The week ended with festive fun in the forest. The children were very excited to find a letter from the North Pole when arriving and then had great fun exploring to find delicious treats which had been specially delivered. Singing Christmas songs around the campfire and drinking hot chocolate was a perfect way to end a wonderful visit!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas holiday and thank you for a fabulous first term in Reception!

Year 1

We have had the most fabulous end to the Michaelmas term. This week has been full of Christmassy fun including Christmas crafts, a delicious Christmas dinner, writing letters to Santa and, of course, a fabulous festive party! We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Year 2

Year 2 have had a wonderful final week of term! We finished off our Traditional Tales unit with a STEM and DT Gingerbread day. The children decorated gingerbread men with lovely sweets and read another version of the gingerbread man called ‘The Gingerbread Baby’. We also learned how to make gingerbread puppets with felt and discovered the hardest bit of sewing is threading the needle!! We also challenged our problem solving brain to create a bridge out of gummy sweets and lolly sticks for a gingerbread cookie to cross.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Year 3

Year 3 have had a very busy week full of many events in this last week before Christmas. On Monday, we made Christmas cards to take home for family and friends. On Tuesday, we were busy making biscuits. On Wednesday, we had our KS2 hockey and netball House tournaments at King’s Ely. It was also our Year 3/4 Christmas event, combined with Christmas jumpers, Christmas dinner and toys too! Thursday was swimming and the disco. We ended the week on Friday with our end of term service. Well done to Octavia and Mathilde for your beautiful, brave readings in the church. On top of this, we had our class work too! In English, we ended our non-fiction unit by writing our own instructions independently. Of course, we had to make the recipe first to test it out. We loved making our own snowmen biscuits. In maths, we started to multiply two digit by 1 digit numbers. We did this practically using dienes, pictorially and using the part-whole model. Christmas Jumper Day was definitely a highlight – look how fun our Christmas jumpers were! Well done for working so hard this term, Year 3! Wishing you all a wonderful and restful festive period with friends and family.

Year 4

What a wonderful term this has been.  Looking back through the newsletters, I am reminded of the different activities we have done.  Museum trips, electrical circuits and being rock stars day to name but a few.  And we have even more planned for next term, including the residential and the Lion King.  However, none of that has stopped us working to the end this week.  On Thursday, they focused wonderfully on writing persuasive paragraphs and then, after a rehearsal for the end of term service, we looked at multiplying by 10.

Before that, on Wednesday, we had the excitement of house hockey, Christmas jumper day, bring a toy in day and film afternoon.  That was a day to remember.  To top it off, they were able to open their mummified oranges with Mrs, Meyer and see how the salt had dried out the skins.  Slightly different from how the Egyptians may have done it, but still effective.

All that is left to say is that I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and they come back ready to again rise to the challenge.  I have loved my first term with your children and, whilst not wishing my holiday away, can’t wait to see them in January.

Year 5

Year 5 had a fantastic last week of Michaelmas Term.  Whether it was the school Christmas dinner, to the special Christmas film with popcorn and chocolate or Christmas-themed events, or the fabulous Fairstead Disco, they got into the festive spirit.

Year 6

What a final week! Wednesday was particularly exciting when the children wore their Christmas jumpers, brought a toy into school (many thanks for your generous donations to charity), had a delicious Christmas lunch and watched ‘Christmas Chronicles 2’ in the afternoon. Mr Cater and Mr Peace were glad that you enjoyed the popcorn and chocolate coins! Year 6 have been busy sorting the Christmas postbox every day for the past fortnight, making sure that all letters were safely delivered. We enjoyed the remaining presentations of this half-term’s independent research topics: Coins (Mina), Football (Charlie), Minecraft Lifesteal SMP (Bert) and George Ezra (Mia). On Thursday morning, everyone had a rehearsal in the church for Friday’s Christmas service and couldn’t wait for the end of term disco after school. Mr Peace thanks you all for the lovely presents that he received this week and wishes you all a restful holiday! Although entrance tests are on the horizon, make sure that you have a well-earned break! Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Michael Radford