Dear Parents,

This week we have had a tiger in school, who visited Reception for tea!  The EYFS storytelling week across Nursery and Reception has been hugely successful and the children have thoroughly enjoyed listening to new and old stories.  As you read this week’s newsletter, you will see that storytelling week is just one example of the exciting things that go on at Fairstead House.

Assembly

In assembly this week we celebrated how well the Year 6 children provided tours to the guests from last week’s Open Morning.  Following on from this, we discussed all the wonderful learning that takes place in the classrooms and explained that each class teacher was very excited to have their own tour of the school to experience just how much children enjoy their lessons.  I was very lucky to accompany each teacher, who was able to look through children’s work and sit in on a number of lessons.

In celebration assembly, children were congratulated on their effort, kindness, knowledge of dinosaurs, and earning house point badges.

Policies

We would like to remind parents that school policies can be found on our school website and also paper copies can be requested from the School Office.  We have recently updated a number of policies.

Sport

U11 Netball V Downham Hall Prep Wednesday 31st of January

Our ‘A’ team exhibited an outstanding performance, securing a well-deserved victory. Their ball movement showcased fast and dynamic passing, highlighting the progress they’ve made in their attacking tactics. Notably, the team demonstrated a remarkable improvement in defensive marking compared to the weekend matches, a testament to their dedication to continuous development.

The ‘B’ team demonstrated significant strides in their game, marked by fantastic passing and fluid movement on the court. Their commitment to improving defensive skills was evident, with players focusing on following their opponents’ play rather than simply chasing the ball. This strategic approach reflects the team’s dedication to refining their overall game.

Both teams should take pride in their progress. The commitment to refining skills, both in attack and defence, was evident throughout the matches. The positive strides made by the ‘A’ team in defensive marking and the ‘B’ team’s advancements in passing and strategic play are excellent achievements.

U11 Netball festival @ Old Buckenham Hall Saturday 27th January

Recap of our Under 11 netball team’s spirited performance in the recent festival held at Old Buckenham Hall.

Our children showed determination, sportsmanship, resilience and skill throughout the day.  Our team kicked off the tournament with an intense encounter against a formidable Norwich School side. Despite putting up a valiant effort, they faced a strong opposition and suffered a defeat. This initial setback, however, only fuelled their determination to bounce back. In the following match against Finborough School, our young netballers showed great character, securing a credible draw. The game was a testament to the progress they’ve made in their skills and teamwork. The third group game brought a more favourable outcome, as our team comfortably outplayed Rockets, a local netball club. The win not only boosted their confidence but also demonstrated their ability to adapt and be coachable.

Advancing to the playoffs, our team faced a Beeston Hall side in a hard-fought match. Despite signs of tiredness setting in after a challenging day of competition, our players exhibited grit and determination. In the end, they fell just short of victory, finishing the match with heads held high.

Defeat in the play-off meant the day concluded with our team securing a commendable 4th place out of eight participating teams. This accomplishment shows the hard work, dedication, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship our children so often demonstrate.

Thank you to all the parents, and supporters who cheered for our team throughout the afternoon. Your encouragement is appreciated.

U9 girls Netball V Sancton Wood

The girls took to the court with enthusiasm, displaying remarkable progress in their game. The fluidity in their transitions and strategic positioning demonstrated their understanding of the game’s dynamics.  The highlight of the fixture was the increasingly impressive shooting displayed by our players. Their accuracy and confidence in shooting contributed significantly to the team’s success and we look forward to developing this next Friday.

As we celebrate these successful matches, we look forward to building on this momentum. The focus will remain on continued development, teamwork, and enjoying learning in the exciting world of Bee Netball.

Thank you to all who supported and cheered for our U9 Bee Netball Fliers today it was amazing to see so many parents here. Your encouragement is instrumental in fostering a positive environment for our girls to learn in.

Nursery

To celebrate National Storytelling week, the children in Yearlings explored their favourite books through a variety of sensory and physical activities, using their imagination to support this.

Reception

It has been a wonderful week of storytelling in Reception, both in the classroom and in the forest!

The class have enjoyed so many different visitors who have made ‘Storytelling Week’ extra special!

Grandparents reading favourite stories from their childhoods or sharing their current family favourites has been a real treat. A big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to come in and share their super stories!

Year 6 visited the class on Thursday morning and were fantastic at supporting storytelling using storyboards. There were some very exciting and creative adventures. Thank you, Year 6!

Finally, today, the children were joined by a tiger! He received Mrs Sanders’ invite and brought everyone tea! What a wonderful surprise and a super way to end the week. A big thank you to the tiger!

On the theme of thanking people, everyone in Reception would also like to say a very big thank you to the wonderful Parents Association at Fairstead for purchasing a range of different equipment and resources to enable there to be a ‘Listening Station’ in the classroom. What a wonderful gift and just in time for ‘Storytelling Week’ too! It has been a very welcome addition to the classroom learning environment.

Year 1

This week, we used our homework as a starting point for our research about our favourite dinosaurs. We used books, fact sheets and the internet to research our dinosaurs’ diets, bodies, and teeth. We used all our research and knowledge of our dinosaurs to write information sentences about them. Finally, we put all our writing and drawings together to create a non-fiction page for a dinosaur encyclopaedia!

Year 2

Year 2 have reached the end of the Ice Bear story and have made some fantastic predictions about the ending. The children’s thoughtful responses and reasoning have done them proud! We have begun our new model text, ‘Tell Me a Dragon’, again by Jackie Morris. We have spent time this week creating new settings for our dragons, which linked beautifully with our habitats discussions in science. We then created amazing descriptive phrases and turned them into a descriptive paragraph. In maths, we have continued exploring multiplication. This week we have focused on groups, arrays and recording our arrays in the correct way. In science and geography, we have been focusing on habitats and animal adaptations within their habitats. Have a wonderful weekend!

Year 3

This week in Year 3, we continued our unit of division with the introduction of remainders. We used counters to find equal groups and represented the remainders clearly. We concentrated on dividing by three and four by creating triangles and squares so we could clearly see how many were remaining after our multiples. In English, we finished writing our shared ‘rags to riches’ narratives on Aladdin. We concentrated on including our grammar, punctuation and vocabulary objectives in our paragraphs. We’re looking forward to planning and writing our own ‘rags to riches’ narratives independently next week. We were very lucky to have a joint computing lesson from Mr Radford this week. We came together, with Year 4, to do some coding on Purple Mash. Mr Radford set us various challenges to programme and debug. We found it challenging at first but are determined to improve next week!

Year 4

This week, Year 4 have been continuing to calculate perimeters of rectilinear shapes with the added challenge of finding missing sides first.  This has required them to develop their conceptual thoughts and use more than one step to solve a problem.  In addition, they have continued to work on their speeches seeing how bullet points can be developed into a more meaningful and persuasive talk.  This has allowed them to develop their ability to speak around a subject rather than just give a simple answer.

Year 5

This week, Year 5 have been writing one-sided arguments and practising the art of being persuasive and writing formally.

This culminated in entering into their first formal debate today.  It was tricky to understand the format, as this was the first one, but the children worked hard to speak for a sustained period.  Once they got going, there was some good back and forth on whether being vegetarian is better.  There were some strong views on this and rightly so!  Building skills in oracy is so important for future lives, and it is through collaborative activities like this that children build the confidence and skills to stand up and justify their views.

Year 6

Teachers are always pleased when children offer to bring into school items from home linked to a current topic. Year 6 have been studying micro-organisms and science lessons became even more interesting when Fenella brought her own microscope and amazing collection of slides to share with classmates. The children agreed that it is fascinating to discover the world beyond our normal vision, and it would not surprise me to learn that a microscope may appear on a future birthday or Christmas wish list!

It is also lovely to give our oldest children the opportunity to work with our youngest children. On Thursday morning, Year 6 joined Reception for a storytelling session and much fun was had. Well done, Year 6, for earning a class merit certificate from Mrs Sanders for your effort and enthusiasm.

February is the time of year when Year 6 children start to receive offers from independent secondary schools, following their demanding entrance tests. Congratulations to the children who received good news from King’s this week. All eight children who applied have been offered a Year 7 place! Well done, also, to the children who received offers from Culford, Gresham’s and Stephen Perse! You have worked so hard, Year 6, and thoroughly deserved acknowledgement in assembly this morning. Some of you now have two offers and important decisions to make!

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford