Dear Parents,

This week has celebrated two key events, both of which have been shared in assembly.  Tuesday 8th February was Safer Internet Day, with a focus on ‘All fun and games?’ which explored relationships and respect online.  There are a number of very good resources that parents can access using the following link: click here.

This week has also celebrated ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ with a theme of ‘growing together’.  The children learnt about the support network around them and how they rely on family members and trusted adults to grow as a person and try new challenges in order to aim high.  Once again, there are a wealth of resources that parents can access using the link: click here.

The FHPA Balloon Race results were announced in assembly and it was wonderful to see so many staff, children and parents support the virtual event, with over 80 balloons purchased.  The top three winners were all from Year 3: 3rd Amelia, 2nd Joseph and 1st Matilda!  Thank you to the FHPA for arranging the event and for the support from parents too.

World Book Day

Fairstead House will be celebrating World Book Day on Friday 4th March.  Children in Reception to Year 2 will be encouraged to dress up as a book character and bring their book with them.  Children in Key Stage 2 are encouraged to bring with them an accessory/item or prop, related to the book they bring in.  This will then create opportunities for discussion and some detective work to decipher the book.

Children have also been given a book token which they can exchange for one of the special World Book Day books, or as £1 off any other book in participating shops. Find more information about that here: World Book Day website

Reception

Every day this week, the children in Reception have been joined by a special visitor (or two) for tea! It has been a week of making memories, learning more about the important occupations of some of the children’s family members, and having great fun! The children loved the story of ‘The Tiger who came to Tea’ and they thought it would be nice to write invitations, asking him to come and visit. Never did they expect to be eating a delicious lunch with him in the forest! A huge thank you to everyone who has helped to make this week in Reception one the children will always remember! Wishing you all a wonderful half-term holiday.

Year 1

To conclude the ‘Dinosaurs’ strand of our ‘Megabeasts and Minibeasts’ topic, we have been exploring performance poetry. We worked in small groups to choose a dinosaur poem, memorise it and then perform it using actions. We thought carefully about how we could convey the tone of our poems using our voices and movements.

We celebrated ‘Internet Safety Day’ on Tuesday by learning how we can stay safe when we are online. We then created posters which clearly explained the online safety rules we had learned. They are now proudly on display in the ICT room.

Year 2

What an amazing half term we have had! Year 2 have wrapped up learning about multiplication and division this week. We have been working on grouping and trying to answer word problems that involve grouping and sharing. Keep up the fantastic TT Rockstars, it has been making a tremendous difference to the speed of recall! We have linked science and literacy this week, writing amazing Arctic animal fact files and researching information about a chosen habitat. We have used non fiction texts and iPads to find facts and pictures. In PSHE we have linked with ICT to think about how to stay safe online. We have helped fairytale characters to work out how to respond safely and how to avoid dangerous situations on line. The children designed posters to help us remember the SMART rules. Ask your learner if they can remember what the word SMART stands for. Have a wonderful half term!

Year 3

This final week of half term has been a particularly busy one in Year 3. We have been working extremely hard on our rags to riches narratives in English. We have created our own characters, setting, and plot, and edited to improve our punctuation and grammar. Our stories are very original and fit the rags to riches plot point structure brilliantly. In maths, we have been using our addition and subtraction strategies to calculate efficiently and give the correct change. We have really enjoyed using our formal methods to work out calculations efficiently and systematically. In science, we had our final lesson on rocks and soils. We investigated the permeability of different soils by filtering and using our observation skills. In topic, we created magazine adverts for Henry VIII’s new wife. Here, we thought about the qualities Henry would look for in a wife and how she would fit in with the monarchy. We also found out about St Valentine and the origins of this special day. Have a wonderful week and we look forward to seeing you next half term.

Year 4

This week in English, Year 4 wrote incredibly persuasive letters to (the fictional) Mr Boggington, to convince him not to build his pickled onion factory on the school field. They gave reasons such as the importance of fresh air and exercise for children’s health, the value of outside play and learning and the conservation of our local habitats. All their reasons were supported with evidence that they had researched independently. They also included exaggeration and emotive language to pull on Mr Boggington’s heart strings. I am sure that once the letters have been read, the field will be saved!

Year 4 completed their science topic on sound by using simple materials to create woodwind, percussion or string instruments that can change pitch and volume. They demonstrated good understanding of pitch and volume, including how thinner and tighter strings produce a higher pitch, and thicker and looser strings produce a lower pitch. Also how a tighter drum skin produces a higher pitch and how a looser drum skin produces a lower pitch. They played their ‘instruments’ to the class and explained how they work, using scientific vocabulary.
Have an enjoyable and restful half term, Year 4.

Year 5

This week, we continued looking at fractions. To help with adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator, we practised exchanging between wholes and fractions. This also allowed the pupils to understand and explain the link between the denominator and numerator. By using these skills, the pupils were able to count down from a starting number using a repeating rule. In addition, they found it easier to convert between improper fractions and mixed numbers.

Our science experiments continued – this week we were looking at friction. They practised their accurate measuring using newton meters and, after making their predictions, they were able to interpret and explain their results in clear conclusions. They became so engaged that when we looked at it briefly on Thursday as a recap, we came up with a follow-on experiment for after half term. Hooke’s law will have to wait! I have been very pleased with how Year 5 have worked this term and wish them a relaxing break before we start again.

Year 6

The final week of this half term has seen Year 6 complete their English unit on playscripts. They had lots of fun acting out a scene entitled ‘The Lost Coin’ and writing their own version, including stage directions. Year 6’s work on ‘Great British Scientists’ continued with a ‘spinning disc’ experiment to demonstrate Newton’s discovery that ‘white’ light is made from the seven colours of the rainbow. Some of the children wanted to share with classmates a video of their interests outside school: traditional Indian dancing (Ashera) and horse riding (Gabi). This was followed by Ella’s request for Mum to bring into school two Christmas-born puppies. Lots of fun was had holding them and playing games on the classroom floor! Year 6 have worked very hard this term and deserve the break ahead. Half of their final year at Fairstead has passed but there are lots of events to look forward to including the forthcoming Danceathon, Bikeability, summer performances of Matilda, and the residential trip!

Fixtures

What a busy half term of sport we have had! This half term Key Stage 2 competed in 36 different sports matches.  The matches had everything from nail-biting draws, convincing wins and some convincing defeats.  The children aim to make each match a learning experience, either developing their skills or learning the etiquette of match days.  I have been very proud of how the children have conducted themselves when on fixtures and I am delighted by the progress they are making. Matches will continue to come thick and fast after the half term break, and fixtures are available to view on the school website calendar. 

Many thanks to those that have attended fixtures and for continuing to support your child’s progress.

Mr Salt.

Hockey

On Tuesday, our Year 3 and 4 boys brushed off their hockey sticks to play the Year 4 boys at Dame Bradbury’s School. I was impressed with how they could remember so much after we have been focusing on netball this term. They all joined in and showed an enthusiasm that was wonderful to see. It showed the spirit that typifies Fairstead House. It was a small five a side match with no goalies and so the players needed to show both their versatility and energy as they covered attack and defence. Wonderful tackling and strong breaks summarised the exciting match.

Netball

Our U9 Netball teams travelled to Dame Bradbury’s School for a series of netball matches. From 3 matches played we came away with a win for team 2, a strong draw for team 3 and a defeat for team 1. The girls all grew in confidence as the matches went on and began to show the same standards of passing and shooting that they do in lessons. I look forward to their continued progress next half term.

 

 

Drama

As half term approaches – an update!

Firstly congratulations to Michaela Tran and Isabella Tate who passed their Grade 2 and 3 LAMDA Exams successfully – they are now in proud possession of their certificates. I have never been busier and it is a testament to Fairstead that I have no break between 7.30am and 5pm but Fairstead brings out the best in their happy pupils and it is a delight to hear of so many of my students being successful too in their exams and interviews for renowned schools. I am particularly proud of those who came to me quite shy and inhibited and who appear to have blossomed in confidence over the months and years.

Finally it is a delight to see so many Reception children joining – Jack, Penelope and Zakariyya are all playing games that stretch their imagination and wordplay, and many more are welcome. As Year 6 students leave, places will be available soon in person and via Zoom, so feel free to email me if you wish speech and drama lessons, public speaking sessions, interview technique – all of which have exams if you wish your child to formally acknowledge their work.

Simply email me on jonathanwoolfdrama01954@gmail.com

Have a lovely half term

Jonathan

Matilda the Musical

In class music, we have been learning songs for our school musical ‘Matilda’ and in class drama choreographed movements have been added. Please feel free to watch the video of all the pupils singing ‘Revolting Children’ (click here) together for the first time, unaccompanied by piano or a backing track! I have also put together a slide show of the drama rehearsals. I am so pleased with the enthusiasm and concentration pupils have given in all our lessons this term. They can now access the rehearsal backing tracks in Google classroom to continue practising the songs over half term and beyond.

Please check the school Google Calendar for a change of date for the final performance of Matilda next term.

Informal Tea Time Concert

Our next concert is on Tuesday 22nd February. Parents of pupils taking part will have received an email with details. We still have 3 more concerts planned for this term – Tuesdays 8th, 15th & 22nd March. If parents or family members wish to perform, please email me kwarburton@fairsteadhouseschool.co.uk

Karina Warburton Director of Music and Performing Arts

Have a super half term!

Michael Radford