My colleagues join me in wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year. I hope that you and your families have had a joyous festive time. It has, indeed, been a delight listening to the children share their Christmas stories with us!
This is always a busy term, culminating in the annual school play. Children in Key Stage 2 have now been told that the production will be ‘Wind in the Willows’ and they are eagerly awaiting and practising for the auditions next week.
Supporting our variety of topics across the school, we have a huge number of exciting trips and visits planned. I look forward to sharing these with you.
On Monday, we were delighted to welcome to school Mrs Patrice O’Leary, who has joined us as a Teaching Assistant in Year 1; Miss Katrina White, who has joined us to teach Year 3; Mr Simon Everitt, who has taken up the position of Year 5 teacher and, finally, Mrs Teresa Toynbee, who will be a specialist Girls’ Games teacher in Key Stage 2. I know that you will make them all very welcome.
It has been a great first week back in Reception and the children have been keen to explore their new topic, ‘Tales from Around the World.’ They have also made some super New Year’s resolutions!
A special thank you to Mrs Woolley for being our first ‘Surprise Reader’ of the year. The children had a wonderful time listening to her stories.
In Music, the children thoroughly enjoyed the story of ‘The Nutcracker,’ and had a wonderful time representing different key events through instruments and movement.
Fairstead Fred’s birthday has been a real highlight and the children eagerly worked through the ‘one more than’ and ‘one less than’ challenges to work out how many guests would attend his party! A huge thank you to Mrs Bell for providing a wonderful surprise birthday cake for Fred, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Quite delicious!
Returning to the forest on Tuesday added to the fun of returning to school!
How lovely it was to hear all the children’s exciting news of their holidays.
In our first week back, the children have been getting into character for their new topic of ‘Famous Queens and Castles’. They were introduced to their new mascot, a dragon; as yet they have not agreed on a name so they will keep you posted.
There was a lot of fun in the classroom estimating how much different objects weighed and Mrs Scott was extremely impressed by some of the children’s estimation skills.
Before Christmas, the children suggested to Mrs Scott that she should ask for a mermaid’s tail for Christmas. There were lots of giggles as Mrs Scott shared her Christmas present from Father Christmas, so now at story time every day you will find her reading to the children wearing her tail.
Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed starting their new topic this week; ‘The Great Fire of London.’ The children learned about the famous diarist Samuel Pepys’ role in communicating information about the Great Fire and they practised writing with quills and ink, just as he used. Year 2 were also lucky enough to become bakers, just like Thomas Farriner- the baker accused of starting the fire. They spent this morning making homemade bread with Chef; it was delicious!
Year 3 have started their new Science topic of ‘Rocks and Fossils’. In their first lesson, they became ‘rock detectives’ and had to closely observe and draw a variety of rocks. They then had to decide what the names of the different types of rocks were, based on clues about their characteristics. Next week, they will be finding out more about the properties of rocks by conducting some simple experiments with them.
This week, Year 4 eagerly began this term’s topic, Children in World War II. George shared some World War II artefacts with us, which was a wonderful way to open our first History lesson. The children then took part in a question and answer hunt, which introduced them to the aspects of World War II they will be exploring in our following lessons.
In DT this half term, the children are creating their own gas masks. They began by planning their designs and choosing suitable materials for the breathing apparatus, eyes and straps.
Year 5 have been continuing their study of forces with a focus on friction. Following a discussion about how forces are always working in opposite directions, they then studied how friction is affected by different surfaces. This helped develop the idea of forces being pushes and pulls.
In addition, we started to read our text for the term – ‘The Secret Garden’, which led onto an interesting discussion about how India in the 1940s was different from our current times. Some interesting language was discussed, such as ‘Ayah’ and ‘Mem Sahib’. We also discussed how ‘bungalow’ is an Indian word, as well as ‘pyjamas’. The children were fascinated by this!
In Science, Year 6 have started their study of light this term in Science. They considered the fact that light travels in straight lines and then each group devised a scientific demonstration to illustrate this.
French & Spanish
‘This term we have increased the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) provision for Key Stage 2 to include a second 45-minute lesson on a Friday morning. The children were very enthusiastic for their first Friday morning language lessons and, to help to encourage them build on this, I have launched the first ‘ MFL Musician of the Term’ challenge. If the children listen to the musician for their language at home and can tell me about the song they listened to, they get a house point. The French musician for this term is the singer Zaz, and the Spanish musician is Shakira (for her songs in Spanish, not English!). Finally, to celebrate the successes in language lessons each week, I have created two new awards: ‘Étoile de la Semaine’ and ‘Estrella de la Semana’ (Star of the Week in French and Spanish, respectively). This week the ‘Étoile de la Semaine’ goes to Prince in Year 4 and the ‘Estrella de la Semana’ goes to Zara in Year 6. Well done, children!’
Miss K. Bryan, Teacher of French & Spanish
Music Examinations Success
Congratulations to Eleanor, Dylan, Fleur and Tabitha, who took ABRSM exams (The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) in Singing and Piano last term and passed. Certificates have been received and will be presented in Monday’s Assembly.
Last weekend, Theo, Casper, Dylan, Perdie, Fleur, Finlay, Jos and their friend Leo completed a ‘marathon’ swim of 26.2 miles at the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa. They have raised £1480 and donations are still coming in, £470 of which is from cash donations that Theo and Casper have raised by selling sweets and organising a Champaign raffle. They could not be more happier to have raised so much for the Amazon!
The children behaved impeccably and many members of the public were interested to know what they were doing and offered their support and well wishes during the event.
They have shown resilience and determination and have had a lesson in public speaking, writing persuasive letters, working as a team and organisational skills. We are extremely proud of them all!
Please click here to donate. Thank you.
The topic this term has been looking at being safe and sensible when using any device which connects to the internet. Children have been reminded about using age appropriate apps and speaking to adults before using devices to ensure that they remain safe. Please could you continue to monitor your child’s use of the internet.
Apple Watches or Simillar
Please be aware that an Apple watch or any similar watch which can connect to the internet is not permitted in school. Thank you for your understanding.
This week, Kindness Cups were won by Anna in Year 1 and Alexander in Year 6. Well done, children!
This week, we wish a happy birthday to Jack, Ernest and Octavia in the Nursery.
With my best wishes for a lovely weekend with your children and looking forwards to an exciting term ahead,