1st December 2023

Dear Parents,

This week has indeed been a cold spell; please ensure the children have their coats, hats and gloves with them in such frosty weather.  Despite the freezing temperatures, the children have been very busy both in and out of the classrooms.  Year 1 and Year 3 had fantastic trips, which you will be able to read about below.  And in class a whole host of activities have taken place, ranging from van Gogh inspired art to balloon powered cars!  Please enjoy reading.

Celebration Assembly

In assembly this morning, I was delighted to award certificates for a range of reasons including excellent behaviour and enthusiasm on recent class trips, independent writing and greater confidence in maths.  In addition, Mrs Varma awarded wellbeing badges to children that she has been working with and they were very pleased to share with the school, some of the activities they have been doing to receive such special awards.

Post Box

The Christmas Post Box will be in School from Monday 4th December for children to bring in their own cards for delivery to their friends in school.  The box is emptied each day and is situated in the hallway near the main front door.  Please remember to include the year group as well as the name of the recipient to avoid postal sorting confusion.

Informal Teatime Concert

We had our final Informal Teatime Concert of the Michaelmas term on Tuesday 28th November 2023. Pupils from Years 1 to Year 6 performed a variety of pieces of varying levels from beginners in Year 1 to our more advanced musicians in Year 6. Well done to everyone that took part and in particular to our String Ensemble who performed a magical piece called ‘Poem’ which used harmonics throughout. Many thanks to the parents for their support and to our Music Prefects for helping with refreshments and setting up.

School Council

The School Council have decided to host a toy day and wear a Christmas Jumper Day on Wednesday 13th December 2023.

Electronics and/or video games will not be allowed.  Please remember that we cannot be held responsible for accidental damage, so please choose your toy carefully.  If possible, we recommend that toys are labelled to avoid them being misplaced.

Christmas jumpers can be worn on the same day and we look forward to seeing the festive designs!

In exchange, we would like children to make a donation to the Save the Children Emergency appeal, via our Justgiving page click here.

Thank you for your support.

Nursery

The babies have been exploring technology in their own ways this week, with buttons and sounds for the youngest ones, and role play for the older children. Anything can be a telephone if you imagine it to be!

Reception

The week started in Reception with a very special celebration. It was Fairstead Fred’s 5th birthday! The children ensured he had a wonderful day and they made him some very special cards and pictures. A big thank you to Chef Alleyne for making him such a delicious cake which was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. This linked wonderfully to this week’s maths learning where the focus has been on number 5. Stars have also been a theme in Reception this week and the children loved hearing the story of ‘Katie and the Starry Night’ before discovering more about Vincent van Gogh and his work. The children have created their own super representations of ‘A Starry Night’ and have enjoyed using a variety of different media to do this, both indoors and outdoors! Using ‘Mini Mash’ alongside Mr Salt to create some super images and replicate van Gogh’s unique style was a particular favourite.

Year 1

Year One had a wonderful time visiting The Aerozone at Stansted Airport this week. It was a fantastic climax to their ‘Around the World’ topic. They had great fun trying on lots of different airport workers’ outfits, testing the legroom in real aeroplane seats, exploring various STEM activities and interviewing some airport workers, including several firefighters and a police dog handler with his dog, George! The most exciting part of the day though was standing on a special viewing platform and watching lots of aeroplanes take off and land. The children were so beautifully behaved and used impeccable manners throughout the day. They are a real credit to the school. Well done, Year One!

Year 2

Year 2 have been amazing writers this week! We have written our own version of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ called ‘The Run Away Apple’. The children used their preplanned story mountain to create a story that mirrored the structure of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and included a wonderful array of vocabulary, time connectives, conjunctions and even tried some speech marks! We have continued our exploration of the Nativity story in RE. This week we brought the two separate versions of the Nativity we learned about last week into one story. We focused on ‘Christmas’ by Jan Pienkowski which has the most amazing illustrations. They reminded us of stained glass and we used the story as inspiration for our own stained glass artworks. Watch this space for the final product! In maths we have been exploring 2D shape and symmetry and have used a variety of practical materials to make and draw shape. In topic, we have created huge Venn diagrams to compare different versions of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ stories we have been reading.

Stay warm this weekend!

Year 3

This week, Year 3 had a very exciting visit to the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. The purpose was to enhance our topic of the ancient Maya and give a real-life context with the exploration of original artefacts. Our visit started with an expert-led session with a focus on a special monument from the World Heritage site of Quiriguá. We were also taught how to read a Maya monument. Exploring the museum was so interesting and the museum trail gave us so much information. Many questions were asked as we discovered more and more. What objects did they use to show their power? What can archaeology tell us about Maya life? These were just a few of the questions we can now answer. We were able to explore objects from Central and South America in a multisensory handling session. These included objects such as obsidian and jade. We also completed the museum trail and answered many questions along the way. As you can see from the photos below, we had an a-maya-zing day!

 

 

Year 4

This week we used a new way to share ideas in the class: a conscience alley.  While looking at advantages and disadvantages of living in different places, the class had so many wonderful ideas that we needed a different way to share them.  They each had a few moments to share their thoughts.  This both allowed them all to speak and also meant they needed to learn to express their ideas clearly.  They were wonderful at it!

Also this week, we continued our study of electricity.  This time, we looked at what a circuit is in more detail and the difference between a complete and incomplete circuit.  The pupils were excellent at creating the circuits and then explaining why they did or did not work.

Fife Project in Year 4

In our class music lessons this term, we have started a Fife Project to give pupils in Year 4 the opportunity to have some introductory lessons, over four weeks. On Thursday 30th November, the fife players performed some pieces to the rest of the pupils in Years 3 & 4 demonstrating the musical skills they have developed. Well done to our fife players and we look forward to hearing the last two groups perform next term.

Year 5

It’s been a busy week in Year 5.  As part of our celebrating differences topic in PSHE, pupils were considering how to identify behaviours and how to help each other in times of difficulty with bullying.  They created a snakes and ladders game to represent bullying situations (snakes) and how to help ourselves and others (ladders).  We will continue to explore this next week as well.

Year 5 have also been continuing their work on databases and created one for the class from which to sort and arrange, based on fields such as number of siblings, hair colour, eye-colour and interests and hobbies.  Their avatars for this are …well let’s just say interesting, though not necessarily a true depiction of each child in question (see examples from below).  I’ll leave you to guess who these three are.

In maths, pupils have been working on fractions – which can be tricky.  As it’s the 1st December today, Year 5 were allowed to decorate the tree – but only if they got a fiendish maths question involving fractions correct!  I’m pleased to say all pupils managed to put one on the tree.

Year 6

This week, in science lessons, Year 6 learned how to use keys to classify organisms. To help them practise the skill of asking closed questions with Yes/No answers, they sorted 8 Haribo sweets according to their appearance – then ate them! After this, they sorted a range of flowering and non-flowering plants and learned the terms ‘vascular’ and ‘non-vascular’. In maths lessons, Year 6 revised the topic of fraction/percentage of amounts. The children worked very hard and Mr Peace was so impressed that Year 6 received a class merit certificate for their effort and success. Well done! In DT lessons, Year 6 made balloon-powered model cars and tried them out in the dining hall – a very exciting end to another busy week!

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford