Fairstead House


An independent day school and nursery for boys and girls
from three months to eleven years

Dear Parents

Christmas festivities are in full in swing at Fairstead!  Yesterday, we enjoyed Reception’s Nativity play and, this afternoon, all of the Nursery came together for their own Nativity presentation.  The children all looked delightful in their wonderful costumes and, apart from a little stage fright from some, all thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I am sure that you will all agree with me that these performances are special Christmas memories that will be treasured forever. I am extremely grateful to and in awe of my colleagues for making these events possible.

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Reception

It has been a fantastic week in Reception as the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun.
The children have enjoyed making their own unique Christmas tree decorations whilst sharing how they celebrate this special time of year. In Mandarin, the children learnt how to say, ‘Happy Christmas,’ and have begun to decorate Christmas trees using Chinese numerals.
The fun continued in the forest, where some very creative crowns were made and decorated using natural resources.  Aria was very keen to take a photograph of her friends and impressed me with her iPad skills.
The children wowed their audiences this week with a wonderful performance of ‘The Grumpy Sheep.’ They should be very proud of themselves, and it was a super way to put everyone in the festive spirit. Thank you to all parents for providing such super costumes!
A polite request; please could all Parents’ Views for the Michaelmas term be returned to Mrs Sanders before the end of term. Many thanks.

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Year 1

Year 1 have finished all their work on healthy eating and ‘Goldilocks Eat Your Greens’  We were all treated to four groups acting out the story and Mrs Scott was so proud that they had all remembered the healthy food message. There were some BAFTA winning performances!

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Year 2

Year 2 couldn’t wait to send their beautifully handwritten letters to Father Christmas! They thoroughly enjoyed stepping just outside the school gates to post their letters; lots of the children even made an additional Christmas wish as they posted their letters. The children are now keeping their fingers crossed that they get a reply from the man himself!

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Year 3

Year 3 have been investigating skeletons in Science this week. The children have sorted animals according to their skeleton type and then written pros and cons for each type of skeleton. Year 3 have enjoyed practically exploring how flexible their endoskeletons are compared to the hydrostatic skeletons of invertebrates, like snails and worms, which they saw plenty of outside in the rain, when practising their flexibility!

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Year 4

In Religious Studies this week, Year 4 have explored how religious events can be portrayed through Art and Music.  They then began creating collages of their own to represent how they believe the scene of the Three Wise Men would have looked as they travelled to Bethlehem.

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Year 5

This week, Year 5 had a wonderful visit to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford. The children thoroughly enjoyed visiting the exhibits on display; bringing to life events during the World War II period. The children did not miss out on any opportunities to enjoy the interactive displays, handle artefacts, as well as asking many questions to the guides in the hangars. Highlights of the day included a ‘trip’ on Concorde and seeing the wonderful B52 bomber plane!

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Year 6

This week, Year 6 finished their Science topic on electricity with some exciting challenges. Working with a partner and using their knowledge of electricity, they had to create different switches for different scenarios. The children have also been developing their self confidence and poise in their PHSE lessons. They have been using the stage in a range of activities, designed to promote eye contact and composure in front of an audience.

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Years 3 and 4 Visit to Soham Lodge Care Centre

On Monday, Years 3 and 4 visited Soham Lodge Care Centre where they sang their hearts out to the residents.  I was very touched to receive these words from Luca’s (Year 3) Mummy, who had introduced us to the Care Centre.

“It was such a pleasure and a privilege to watch the children performing this morning at Soham Lodge Nursing Home. They all sang with such joy and passion, and were wonderful representatives for the school.

Looking around the room, I saw residents brought to tears by the singing and the children’s presence, I saw toe tapping and singing, and residents with severe dementia humming along.

Speaking to the carers afterwards, they commented on the pleasure that was also brought to those residents that are bed bound, and that the children might not have seen, but who were able to enjoy their singing nonetheless.

They were, everyone of them, a credit to the school, their teachers, and although I’m a little biased, to their parents too.

Thank you to the school for allowing them out to perform, and to Mrs Warburton, for her tireless work with the children.”

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Drama at Fairstead House

It is coming up to a year now since I first arrived at Fairstead House to teach LAMDA and Drama and it seems a perfect opportunity to sum up my thoughts.
As I am writing I am sitting in Cambridge watching many of my students take exams in LAMDA which are the formal exams in Acting, Performance, Shakespeare,  and Communication. Yesterday I watched the first two students from Fairstead, under my tutelage to take their first exams in drama. To see how much they have achieved in this first year has been so rewarding. I care far more for the students’ enjoyment and pleasure in the subject as well as their growing self confidence and communication skills than in whether they attain Passes, Merits or Distinctions. I have had Year 3 students playing Helena from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as well as Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet”. We have looked at children’s classics and acted out Roald Dahl in both Willy Wonka and Matilda. We are looking at the Drama Club on Tuesday evenings at Sondheim’s classic “Into The Woods” and children have been introduced to playwrights such as Alan Ayckbourn, writers such as Geoffrey Chaucer and one of the highlights from last week was watching two boys perform a twenty minute version of Jack and the Beanstalk complete with swords, hens and even golden eggs.
I have also been able to work with the Year 1 and 2 children developing further their understanding of circus and last week every child who wished to, became a ringmaster, introduced themselves to the audience and described what they were going to see in their circus.
I am so lucky to work with the children at Fairstead House – drama can help with interview technique, both in body language and voice projection and I look forward to working with your children (and hopefully some new ones) in 2019
If you are at all interested in getting your child to have individual lessons with me, then I have a few slots available for the Spring Term 2019.  My e mail address is jwoolf2019@gmail.com

Jonathan Woolf

Clubs for Next Week

With the exception of Drama Club, there are no clubs after school next week.  Prep Club will continue; however, due to the success of this supervised club, we now require you to book your child in for a place as there are a finite number of children whom we can accommodate.

Children’s Christmas Cards

Our festive post-box is available for children to post their friends’ cards outside the dining room from Monday.  Please can you help our post girls and boys by ensuring that the recipient’s name and class are clearly written on the envelope.

Next Week

Next week, we are looking forward to:

Monday:  Years 1 and 2 are performing their Carol Service at St Agnes’ Church, Bury Road, Newmarket at 2.00pm.

Tuesday:  Chef Charlie and her team are busy preparing for our Christmas Lunch on Tuesday.  We are looking forward to a festive feast of roast turkey and all the traditional trimmings.

Wednesday:  Year 2 are off to the circus for the grand finale of this term’s topic.  The children will be travelling to Great Yarmouth in the school minibus and will be back for normal pick up time.

Also on Wednesday, all the children in Years 3-6 are performing at the annual Racing Welfare Tattersalls Concert.  Please may you bring your child to the ‘Bar Area’ of Tattersalls at 6.45pm.  I believe that festive headgear such as antlers may be worn for one of the carols!

Thursday:  All the children are very excited about the House Christmas Parties on Thursday afternoon.  Please may your child bring their ‘party outift’ into school in the morning in a named bag.

Friday:  Please join us for our end of term Carol Service at St Mary’s Church, Newmarket, at 11.00am.   Term will finish after this service.  All children from Reception to Year 6 are taking part in this service.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Kindness Cups

This week, Kindness Cups were won by Jessica in Year 1 and Lyla in Year 6.  Well done, girls!

Birthdays

This week, we wish a  happy birthday to Jacob, Cianan and Elliott in the Nursery and Matilda in Year 4.  Happy birthday, children!

With my best wishes for a lovely weekend with your children,

Lynda Brereton