17th November 2023

Dear Parents

This week has celebrated Maths Week England! As you will see below, the children at Fairstead House have been super busy applying their problem solving skills and times tables knowledge to gain house points.  Well done to all!

Photographs

The photographs are now available to view, and order, online and the children will be bringing home a slip with your personal QR code in their book bags today.

FHPA Uniform Sale

The Parents Association will be selling ‘pre-loved’ school uniform at drop off and pick up on Monday 20th November under the covered gazebo area outside the Reception Class.

Autumn Glow

Please can I remind all parents that the Autumn Glow takes place on Saturday 25th November from 4-6pm.  Tickets are available through the Class List app; tickets will also be available on the gate for anyone who does not have access to the app.

Celebration Assembly

Maths Week 2023 

This week, we have been celebrating ‘Maths Week England’ across the school. The week started with excitement as the children and staff fully embraced the theme by dressing up as rockstars and sparkly stars for our special assembly. We were so impressed by everyone’s efforts and enthusiasm. A big thank you to parents your creativity and for supporting us with amazing costumes. Year 6 helped Miss Hunt launch the week by becoming our ‘House Band’, leading our rock songs and strutting their stuff down our rock star runway.  

The children took part in competitions this week. Firstly, there was our House competition where the children were determined to earn as many coins as possible. It became very competitive and the scores were close in the end. Congratulations to Taylor House for your victory! We then took part ‘England Rocks’ on TTRockStars – a national competition. Well done to everyone for contributing to Fairstead House’s points on the leaderboard. KS1 also worked hard on NumBots to earn as many coins as possible. Well done, everyone, for taking part! The children regularly use TTRockStars and NumBots to develop their number fluency, accuracy and confidence so please continue to work hard on these virtual platforms. 

Across the school, the children have been completing daily maths challenges and activities. These have included fluency, reasoning and problem-solving tasks. Some tasks foster independence and others encourage discussion, teamwork and collaboration. It has been fantastic to feel such a buzz of excitement and energy as the children work hard to crack codes, follow clues, solve mysteries and apply their mathematical knowledge. 

The fun didn’t stop inside the school as the children took part in maths trails and challenges outside at break and lunchtime. These activities had a problem-solving and reasoning focus and encouraged the children to explain their thinking and prove their solutions. We also had a photo booth set up outside. The rain this week didn’t even manage to stop the mathematical fun! 

Everyone has worked so hard this week to make Maths Week such a success. Each child received a special certificate in their maths book. It has been brilliant to see many children earning wristbands and coming to me to collect their tokens. A huge thank you to the staff and parents for your support. Please check out our school social media for more coverage. Have a wonderful weekend and keep earning those tokens! 

 Miss Hunt, Maths Lead 

Nursery

In EYFS this week we have also been celebrating, but our focus was on World Nursery Rhyme Week. Across the nursery we have enjoyed a range of activities related to different rhymes. On Friday the Foals 2 children took a trip with the staff to the minibus. Mr Ward and Mr Rix were very kind to let them explore hearing the beeping of the horn and watching the window wipers go! We spent time singing ‘The wheels on the bus’ which they all loved and joined in with.

Reception

It has been the most wonderful week in Reception! 

Miss Hunt kickstarted the week by introducing the whole school to Maths Week. The children in Reception loved dressing up in their super star outfits and treating the whole school to a rendition of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ during assembly. 

The children have thoroughly enjoyed using twinkling stars to support their maths learning too. They have used them to find ‘one more than’ and ‘one less than’ a given number, as well as using triangles to make their own special stars! 

Combining Maths Week with World Nursery Rhyme Week was great fun. The children loved sharing nursery rhymes which incorporated addition, subtraction and counting. I am sure they will enjoy teaching you some at home too! 

On Monday, it was World Kindness Day, and the children were keen to visit the children in Nursery to share their nursery rhymes, and star stickers with everybody. What a lovely kind class they are! 

They have also enjoyed celebrating Diwali and have learnt a range of different rhymes celebrating ‘The Festival of Light’, based on the tunes of traditional nursery rhymes. Creating Rangoli patterns using a range of different resources linked perfectly to Maths Week too! 

In the forest, the children enjoyed a nursery rhyme all about falling leaves. They enjoyed hunting for leaves of varied sizes and shapes to print with. They have made some super camouflaged t-shirts for their next session in the forest. 

Well done everyone, what Superstars you have been this week!  

Year 1

We have had an amazing time celebrating Maths Week this week! Our rock’n’roll start on Monday was a great way to begin the week. Thank you for providing such wonderful rock star costumes for the children- they looked so cool! We had great fun dancing to rock tunes and posing with all kinds of rock star props. More important was our commitment and perseverance when trying to solve the daily maths problems that were sent to us throughout the week. Each problem solved gave us a clue as to who stole Blub the alien’s spacesuit. The children were overjoyed to finally discover who the culprit was! Huge thanks to Miss Hunt for organising such a fun learning experience for the children.

We had a very special guest in our topic lesson this week! Ellen came to talk to us about her work with The British Antarctic Survey and her visit to Antarctica. We loved learning about the different animals in Antarctica and trying on the special clothes Ellen wore to keep herself warm!

Year 2

What an amazing ‘Maths Week’ we have had in Year 2! The children looked outstanding on Monday- it really set the tone for the rocking week ahead. We have been participating in daily maths challenges to really get our brains thinking. We have been focusing on open ended problem solving questions that have more than one answer- this was a great level of challenge! An example question would be __3 + __4= 77. What could the possible questions be? We have also been working on adding and subtracting two 2-digit numbers both within ten and crossing the ten. The children also completed a ‘Marshmallow Munching Maths Mystery’! We had to answer a series of questions to whittle down the ‘culprit list’ to find out who munched on all of the marshmallows before bonfire night! It was so much fun working as a team to help each other, follow complex instructions and discover the ‘muncher’!

We have also been writing a recount of the events from ‘The Gunpowder Plot’. It is truly amazing how much information the children have been able to recall! In PSHE we have started our ‘Celebrating Differences’ unit. We have been speaking about stereotypes and why children do not need to be defined by pink and blue. We have also looked at people who have made tremendous impact in their chosen field who are ‘differently abled’. We had an amazing discussion about Stephen Hawking!

Have a lovely weekend.

Year 3

As it has been ‘Maths Week’ this week, we have had a focus on the theme – ‘Three is a Magic Number’. This made Year 3 feel particularly special! Daily maths challenges involved triangles, multiples of three, mazes and patterns. The children used their problem-solving and reasoning skills to discuss and justify their solutions. Tensions have been high as the points change in our House Competition. Thank you for working so hard to earn points for your team. We have also had a focus on multiplication. Here, we have been investigating the commutativity of multiplication calculations practically using arrays. Making a conjecture and then trying to prove it with practical equipment was challenging but the children persevered! We also investigated the patterns in various times tables. Dressing up as rock stars was definitely a highlight and we had a brilliant week celebrating all things maths!

Year 4

What a week of dressing up we have had.  On Monday, the children arrived as rock stars and then spent the week’s maths lessons investigating the maths behind the number 3.  They worked on using their problem-solving skills to complete a range of maths problems.  After that, on Friday, they came in wearing spots for Children in Need.  This was followed by donning their winter accessories for the Newmarket Christmas Lights turn on.  The selection of hats and head bands brought a real festive feel as they sang on the stage.  Earlier in the week, they had been practising some of the songs in class before Mrs. Warburton and Mrs. Cocks added the final polish.  As you can see, they loved singing Christmas songs even though we are still in November.

Year 5

During our Maths week, pupils engaged in a variety of extra-Maths sessions, working on a variety of brain-teasers in the morning, using the magic number 3!, as well as competing in TT Rockstars challenges for their houses.  Moreover, today they explored nets of cubes (and tetrahedrons) and drew conclusions by noticing patterns and rules for spotting them. This will help support both Maths and Non-VR work in the future.

Also, the pupils did astonishingly well in writing their newspaper reports on the Malamander.  Although there is a little finishing off to do, there was some real quality journalistic writing here, so I am looking forward to parents reading them.

Year 6

It would be fair to say that this week started with a bang or should I say a deafening riff on a rock guitar with the volume turned up to eleven! Well done, Year 6, for helping Miss Hunt with her assembly to launch Maths Week. Your costumes were fantastic and certainly got you in the mood for the Times Table Rockstars house competition! Thank you, Jess, for bringing your guitar into school and entertaining us with a song that you had practised at home. In Maths lessons, we tackled fun challenges alongside our current topic on fractions, decimals and percentages in preparation for forthcoming entrance tests. It was lovely to see the children become confident in their understanding of addition, subtraction and multiplication of proper and improper fractions and demonstrate their ability to simplify to the lowest term.

In our weekly Year 5-6 Humanities lesson, we started a new topic on The Caribbean. I have asked the children to speak to anyone they know who have visited this region of the world in the hope that we might see some photos or artefacts. Adult visitors are always welcome to join us at the end of our Thursday lesson. Last year, we had some wonderful 15-minute presentations from members of Year 6’s extended families. Thank you, Amelia, for bringing into school a very interesting coin commemorating Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.

Well done, Year 3-4, for your effort in this week’s Design & Technology lesson. We discussed the terms ‘chassis’, ‘axle’ and ‘prototype’ and you made some attractive cars out of Techcard, wood and straws for your Playmobil characters!

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford