15th September 2023

Dear Parents,

The second week of term has seen superheroes in Reception and fairy-tale characters in Year 2.  We have also enjoyed House meetings, where children in Years 5 and 6 have received votes for their leadership speeches, aiming to win the role of House Captain in order to lead their House to victory with the most house points by the end of the year.  It really has been a wonderful week of learning and exciting activities, as you will see below.

We also enjoyed a celebration assembly with numerous merits awarded as well as two girls who shared a very special trophy from a visit to Spain.

Clubs

I am pleased that access to clubs and activities is now in full working order.  Please continue to use this system to add your child to after school care as, and when, required.

Calendar

The school calendar is not yet linking to the parental log in for clubs and activities.  However, access to the Fairstead House calendar can be gained here.

We are hoping to update the calendar area of our website soon, and this will be the same format as the link above.

Tech Camp

We are excited to announce that due to popular demand the Tech and STEM themed holiday camp is back at Fairstead House this October half term click here.

Art

Mrs Newman is offering art club on Wednesday and Friday for children throughout the school.  There are still places available, so please use the booking system if you would like your child to attend.  In addition, you can see what the children have been doing by following @keytoyourart.

Nursery

We have celebrated the 20th anniversary of ‘The Dot’ by Peter H Reynolds, by observing this year’s Dot Day. The children have created their own dot pictures by printing using circular objects and paint. Once dry, the children practised their fine motor control by drawing around the dots. They have helped to create our dotty boarder by adding coloured dot stickers to the line.

Reception

Supergirl, Batman, Iron Man and Wonder Woman were just a few of the faces we have been fortunate enough to see flying around Reception this week! 

This week, the children have been exploring what makes them special, unique, and of course, super! Visiting Mr Radford to get their first House Point tokens of the year, demonstrated just how ‘super’ they are!  

The children were keen to hear the story, ‘Super Duper You’ and were excited to paint self-portraits whilst discussing their similarities and differences. They have also created portraits of themselves using the interactive whiteboard, alongside sharing their likes and dislikes with their friends and teachers.  

One of the children suggested dressing up as superheroes and so that is exactly what happened! It was a wonderful idea and inspired all the funky finger activities for the week too, such as creating superhero masks and saving the superheroes from a very tangled web! 

Not only have there been some amazing superheroes in Reception, this week, but also some terrific ‘Tryceratops’. The children have very quickly learnt how to use their ‘robot arms’ and ‘blending hands’ in their first phonics lessons of the year. They are very much looking forward to sharing all their super learning with you, this weekend. 

Have fun! 

Year 1

We have had a fantastic week learning all about South America, particularly the Amazon Rainforest! In our topic lessons, we learned all about the different layers, or strata, of a rainforest and the animals that are likely to live in each layer. We made monkey masks and colourful snakes to hang from our ceiling too! In art, we have been exploring the artwork of Paul Klee. We examined two of his paintings carefully and tried to replicate his style by using similar shapes and colours. We then thought about what we liked and disliked about each painting. Which painting do you like best?

Year 2

Year 2 have had the most outstanding Fairy-tale Week! The children looked wonderful on Wednesday dressed as their favourite fairy-tale character. We shared our stories, talked about costumes and props and had a photo shoot in the summerhouse too. Our day was centred on solving problems for fairy-tale characters. We built a chair for Little Bear, built a new tower for Rapunzel, created a safe mathematical path for Little Red Riding Hood through a forest, made paper bridges for the Three Billy Goats Gruff, designed stained glass windows for the Beasts castle, made parachutes for Jack to escape the giant, painted matrices to help The Princess get a good nights sleep- but the pea was so lumpy- and we wrote about what we think we would find at the top of the beanstalk. What a wonderful week!

Year 3

It has been a busy second week of Year 3 with lots of exciting lessons. In history and geography, Year 3 discovered where in the world the ancient Maya lived. They used atlases to explore Central America. On their own maps, they labelled each country and were challenged to find some ancient Maya cities. They used a key, labels and different colours to make their maps as detailed and clear as possible. In PSHE, we were introduced to our jigsaw piece, ‘Jino’. We created our own class charter and set our goals for the year ahead. In maths, we have been representing numbers in different ways, identifying the value of each digit and calculating 100, 10 and 1 more and less than a number. In science, we explored the different food groups, gave examples of foods in each group and found out why our bodies need each food group. Well done, Year 3!

Year 4

Once again, I was given the chance to teach music.  It was good to be able to introduce the children to the terms beat and rhythm as well as start them on their journey to performing together.  We started by using our body as the instrument rather than use percussion instruments that they had not used before as this is a simple starting point.  We played see, hear, copy with me setting the rhythm and them following it.  I was impressed with how, by the end of the lesson they could follow changes in the rhythm and adapt as I sped up or slowed down.  We also had a chance for them to do some composition of their own.  While they were unsure to start with, they gained confidence and created some wonderful routines of body percussion themselves and introduced us to many different sounds that could be created.  An excellent end to the day.

The children have really engaged with our topics at the start of this term. In history, the children are wonderfully curious and have enjoyed learning about life in Ancient Egypt. In geography, the children are learning about water and the water cycle. They were in awe of the fact that the water on the planet is a continuous recycling of water from millions of years ago!

Creative Art and Design

As part of a new creative Art and Design initiative, the children will be part of a carousel throughout the year covering design and technology, textiles and art. This week our art group enjoyed observing colour in nature by taking a walk outdoors, sketching and painting what they discovered.

Year 5

Year 5 continued with their exploration of forces.

They investigated the effect of air resistance on different shaped vehicles-a car and a lorry.

The pupils considered keeping variables the same to make the test fairer, how to take averages from data sets and drew conclusions about the effect of air resistance on the vehicles.  They used a fan to replicate wind and saw how this increased the effect of air resistance in their results.

Year 6

Year 6 have thoroughly enjoyed their DT lessons so far this term. The focus is on designing and making marble runs and the children have risen to the range of challenges that have been set so far! This week, Year 6 added towers made of card (instead of blocks from the Reception’s outdoor area!) to support their chutes and they added tunnels and cups to extend their chutes and capture their runaway marbles. Year 6 have also been experimenting with a toy marble run, working as a team to join the various sections. A special thank you to Annabelle who brought in her battery-operated marble run!

In English lessons, Year 6 have been reading a text set in South Africa about a young girl who rides a wild white giraffe at dawn across the Sawubona Game Reserve. The children enjoyed using their chromebooks to find out more about go-away birds, egrets and warthogs. In Science lessons, Year 6 started a unit of work on classifying organisms and researched the differences between a range of animal groups. We also reminded ourselves of the scientific terms: vertebrate, invertebrate and exoskeleton. Can you name an echinoderm, annelid or mollusc? A myriapod, arachnid or crustacean?

Thank you, Year 6, for making some very interesting presentations about your hobbies and interests. You shared some entertaining facts…and you loved being the teacher for 10 minutes!

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford