Dear Parents,

What an extraordinary and unusual half term we have had!  Children and teachers alike have never worked so hard and all are very deserving of their half-term break.  I am sure that everyone is delighted that they are able to have two weeks to relax and recuperate.

Just to confirm that we, like you, are eagerly awaiting further announcements from our Prime Minster as to when we may welcome your children back to school.  Unfortunately, as we have said before, we are not privy to any prior knowledge as to when this will be but, rest assured, that we are ready and waiting to re-open without needing any notice at all!

Reception

Happy Chinese New Year!
This week, the children in Reception have been learning all about this special festival which is celebrated all over the world. Today, the children wore the lucky colour red to ‘school’, answered the register in Mandarin and took part in ‘Chinese New Year Phonics Bingo’. Tonight, they will be using chopsticks to eat their evening meal! The class have had lots of practise using their chopsticks already at the ‘Finger Gym’ this week, where they have been learning about measuring time. They have enjoyed participating in many different ‘time challenges’ using a variety of objects. Keeping the balloons up in the air for one minute was a particular favourite!
In English, the children have made their own passports and written lists of what to pack, all ready for when they are able to visit China one day. They have also enjoyed discovering that years in China are named after different animals. They have had fun finding out the year in which they were born and have created their own magnificent animals to represent this. Making lucky red envelopes and writing wishes for the wishing tree have been two Chinese New Year traditions the children have particularly enjoyed participating in. Many of the wishes were focused on coming back to school soon to see their teachers and friends.
I very much hope these wishes are able to come true very soon for you all.
Have a wonderful holiday and thank you for a super half term!

 

Year 1

To finish the Dinosaur strand of their ‘Megabeasts and Minibeasts’ topic, Year 1 were challenged to create a dinosaur using a medium of their choice. The children were encouraged to think imaginatively, and they did just that!  A range of dinosaurs were produced- some of them were good enough to eat!

In English, the children have been studying poetry. During Friday’s Zoom meeting, all of the children presented some dinosaur performance poetry. It was wonderful watching the children bringing their chosen poems to life and speaking with such enthusiasm and confidence. Very well done, Year 1!

 

Year 2

Year 2 have had a lovely final week of half-term! We explored coordinating and subordinating clauses as well as how to use commas in a list. We used Little Red Riding Hood’s basket as a shopping list and played a wonderful game of ‘In my Granny’s Attic I found…’, testing our recall skills and how to construct a sentence with commas. We wrapped up our position and direction learning in Maths with some fun mazes and challenge questions. We are now masters of clockwise and anticlockwise!  In Geography, we have planned a trip to London, detailing all of the wonderful sights we will take in and even included some of the shops and restaurants we would like to go to! Our families will have a great time touring through London when we are able to do so. Be sure to look on DB Primary for our non-chronological reports about London Landmarks- I am sure you will be impressed!
Have a wonderful half term holiday!

 

Year 3

This week, the detectives in Year 3 had to solve some maths mysteries; they had to find the answers to lots of puzzles to reveal various clues.

They also created some maths questions for their friends that Miss Kenworthy accumulated to create their own Year 3 Maths quiz – this involved a variety of maths topics we have looked at this term, including fractions and finding the perimeter of a shape.

We explored different styles of poems and the children created an array of wonderful riddles, limericks, acrostic and cinquain poems. The children also completed their final rock evaluations and were able to identify many of their collection of rocks and minerals.

Year 4

In Maths this week, Year 4 have further developed their understanding of fractions. They have used common factors to simplify and convert improper fractions to mixed numbers. This is where times tables knowledge and quick recall really supports calculations, enabling the children to see the relationships between numbers with efficiency. The children were challenged to look for fractions in ‘real life’ and they sent back some creative examples of fractions that they had simplified too! Well done! We finished the week with a Maths scavenger hunt. Year 4 were given a list of ‘mathematical’ items to search for such as perpendicular lines and an item that weighs 300g, each with an allocated number of points. The more obscure items received more points and creative ideas were rewarded with bonus points!
In Art this week, Year 4 used their digital art skills to create some wonderful paintings of volcanoes. They creatively experimented with a range of tools, colours and textures. I think you will agree, they did a marvellous job!

I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of how Year 4 have engaged with remote learning this half term. They have persevered, maintained communication with me throughout, in order to achieve their best and remained positive. I hope we will be back in the classroom very soon. Have a wonderful half term.

 

Year 5

The first half of the Lent term has drawn to a close. I was greatly impressed by how the children kept working up to the very end. They showed a determination to do well and took responsibility for their learning. I have especially noticed how they are asking for help if they are unsure of a task. They have asked and responded to feedback and responses with aplomb.

This week, I have been trialling a new way of giving feedback – by recorded messages. I have enjoyed giving feedback this way as I can fully vocalise the well deserved credit and praise. Hopefully, this has helped the children realise how proud I am of the work they have produced.

On Thursday, I was able to see their documentaries, which demonstrated their thought about how to present information on the Indus Valley civilisation as well as the independent research they did. These presentations were not just showing and reading a PowerPoint. They were presented in a number of ways and it is this variety and determination to complete a task to their best that has stood out for me this term.

After all of their hard work this term, we ended on Friday by playing maths games before they finished their travel brochures to Pandora. The final act was to have a scavenger hunt. I hope that all of the items that were borrowed have found their way back – especially the car keys!

They all deserve this break and I hope they enjoy it. They have done themselves proud this term.

Year 6

Over the past six weeks, Year 6 have impressed me with their general knowledge of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and the wide range of weather phenomena that humans experience on our planet. So, it was very pleasing to see the children take up the challenge of making videos about the topics that we have covered. If you are going to demonstrate a mini-tsunami whilst home-schooling, of course it’s a good idea to use the bath! Well done, Finlay and Perdie! Why not recreate the structure of the Earth with spray cream (mantle), crackers (crust) and bread (mountains)? Fantastic idea, Jos! And a whiteboard and pointer are always helpful when explaining detailed diagrams! Thank you for your very interesting lesson, Professor Oliver!

 

Modern Foreign Languages

The hard work from this half term paid off with the children producing excellent written work and we even managed to finish the term with some dancing to French and Spanish music. Our French Étoiles were Isabella in Year 3 and Alexander in Year 4. Our Spanish Estrellas were Prince in Year 5 and Perdie in Year 6. Well done to all of our Stars!

Kathryn Bryan, Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages

Pentathlon Results

The children in Reception and KS1 have been busy taking part in an ‘at home Pentathlon’ over the last couple of weeks. They were given a set of five challenges to complete and asked to record their scores against the clock. There were some fantastic scores achieved, so a big well done to everyone who took part.

Third place – Wedgwood
Second place – Buckenham
First place – Taylor

The scores were very close but the overall winning House was Taylor, well done, all!

House point tokens will be added when we return to school.

Have a lovely half term.

Mrs Teresa Toynbee, Head of KS1 Games

 

Speech & Drama

Drama continues to develop at Fairstead House and I just want to share what is happening right now.

Individual private lessons continue either working towards LAMDA Exams or building conversation confidence and self expression.
A free Drama club during the pandemic continues each Sunday morning at 9.30am for an hour – a chance for children to work together and have fun – we have been looking at The Sound of Music, the life of PT Barnum and characters in fairy tales who all meet in “The Woods”
Some students via Zoom have been dressing up as pirates and ringmasters.
Some have been making videos of themselves as Macbeth or witches.
Some have been making up stories about a lego world in Antarctica.
Reception children have been having fun with alliteration.
Some sessions are continuing through half term.
Many children who have left Fairstead House are continuing with me.
I cannot express how important subjects such as drama and music are currently.

I am happy to see new pupils at any age – it is amazing what they are capable of – and have some slots available after half term

Lessons are currently £16 per 20 minutes

Just send me an e mail to jwoolf2019@gmail.com if any of the above is of interest to you

Have a wonderful half term everyone!

Mr Jonathan Woolf
jwoolf2019@gmail.com

 

Fairstead House Virtual School Disco

Many thanks to our Parents’ Association for organising a virtual school disco, beginning at 6.30pm on Friday 19th February.  I am sure that this will prove to be a wonderfully fun evening and, most importantly, an opportunity for the children to ‘see’ their friends.  A link with joining details will be sent next week.

Birthdays

This week, we wished a happy birthday to Harry in Year 1, William in Year 3, Nicole in Year 4, Julian in Year 5 and Olly in Year 6.

 

This afternoon in Assembly, I set all the children a baking challenge for the half-term holiday.   I have given them a task to produce a plate of biscuits of their choice. The biscuits may be sweet or savoury, crisp or chewy, iced or plain, round or any shape which your child imagines!  I look forward to seeing photographs of your children’s baking skills and also, ideally, of the biscuits’ preparation!

Finally, my very best wishes for a much deserved, healthy and enjoyable half-term holiday with your children and I look forward to welcoming you and your children back to school on 1st March, either remotely or, hopefully, in person!

Lynda Brereton