Dear Parents

At Fairstead House, the week has shown that learning topics are starting to create very exciting opportunities and experiences.  Reception linked their learning of the Three Little Pigs to a farm visit and Year 4 visited Cambridge Mosque as part of their religious education.  As you will see below, every week is full of a love of learning and I am sure you will enjoy hearing from your children about all they have done.

Assembly

In assembly on Monday we discussed with the children the Fundamental British Values and the House captains will be following up with assemblies and activities in the coming weeks.  Celebration assembly was a wonderful way to start the morning with an array of reasons to congratulate the children.  Well done.

Reception

The highlight of the week in Reception, was being able to visit the wonderful Spinney Abbey! The visit linked to the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ which the children had been thoroughly enjoying in class. Thankfully there were no wolves roaming around, but the children were very lucky to see pigs, alongside a host of other animals. They were even fortunate enough to meet a calf which had been born only hours before their visit. A big thank you to Farmer Jonny for a super visit and tour, and for also providing everyone with some hot sausage rolls from the farm shop! They were delicious and went down a treat with the hot chocolate, on a very cold, yet exciting day!

In class, the children have loved discovering facts about pigs. They have written their own non-fiction book and worked hard to remember all key features when painting their own little piggies! They have also fully embraced their ‘Rainbow Challenges’, which have been an exciting addition to the classroom environment.

Thank you to Mr Radford for being a ‘Surprise Reader’ this week too. What a wonderful week!

Year 1

It has been another busy week in Year 1 with the children continuing to enjoy their new topic, ‘Megabeasts and Minibeasts!’ Below are some of our trace and ammonite fossils from last week. We painted them in metallic paint. Don’t they look fantastic! In maths, we learned about the differences between 2D and 3D shapes and then had a go at labelling and sorting the shapes. We also made our own 2D shape dinosaurs. Can you guess what they are?

Year 2

What an amazing week Year 2 have had! We have learned all about the Northern Lights in a comprehension session, have written poems using similes and have used chalks to create northern lights pictures. In art we have been learning all about colour theory. We have created colour wheels to show primary, secondary and tertiary colours and have discussed warm/cool colours, monochromatic colours and have used a single colour and white to show tone. In science and geography we have been learning about habitats and how the animals that live around the world have adapted to their habitat. We also know that there are bees in every habitat and on every continent except Antarctica.

Year 3

In Year 3 this week, we have been busy investigating the properties of different rocks. We set up experiments to test their density, durability and permeability. We chose six different rocks: marble, chalk, basalt, slate, clay and granite. We identified whether the rocks were metamorphic, igneous or sedimentary before setting up our investigation stations. We worked together as a class and then in groups to test the different properties. We were surprised with some of our results compared to our predictions. Some rocks were surprisingly soft and others surprisingly more hard-wearing. There is definitely a newfound love and appreciation for all things rock related in Year 3!

Year 4

As part of our studies in Religious Education, Year 4 have been learning about Islam. On Tuesday, we went to the Cambridge Central Mosque to explore this beautiful building. The guided tour started outside the mosque where we enjoyed a view of the impressive golden dome in the sunshine. The gardens were spectacular with the octagonal stone fountain at its heart. Inside, the children were in awe of the thoughtful, detailed and eco-friendly nature of the architecture. The defining features of the mosque are its timber structure and the geometric patterns running throughout. We had a wonderful time and it was a privilege to be welcomed by the Islamic community.

In addition, we started looking at our new science topic – Sound.  Using various instruments, some rice, a music box and even straws, we investigated how vibrations cause sounds.  The children loved the different sounds that could be made although they did find the straws hard.  We will continue by looking at how we can vary sounds and how we can protect ourselves from excessive noise.

Year 5

Year 5 have been learning all about balanced arguments. This is the first time Year 5 learn about this type of essay writing, which will form the basis for essays as they get older e.g. GCSE and beyond.

They have been working hard to explain their points fully and link them together using challenging formal connectives e.g. moreover, one the one hand, therefore, conversely, likewise, etc.

Here is a small sample of what they achieved.  Next week, pupils get the chance to write an essay on a balanced argument of their own choice or whether computer games are good for children or not.

Year 6

Year 6 have enjoyed their recent science lessons on micro-organisms. They were surprised to learn that the ‘Kingdom of Bacteria’ is the largest of the five classification kingdoms (animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and protists) and were reminded that microscopic life is all around them – desks, floor, walls, ceilings and in/on themselves! They created two plates of food – sliced bread, cherry tomatoes, carrots and half an apple – then placed one in the fridge and one in front of the classroom window. There has been considerable interest in the process of decay over the past week, accompanied by scientific observations and the occasional ‘Yuk’! Year 6 learned that dried yeast – commonly used in home baking – is a fungus and that, when mixed with warm water and sugar, produces carbon dioxide. The children were very excited to observe the gas being captured in a balloon. They researched the work of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and his discovery of micro-organisms in pond water, which he called his ‘little animals’.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford