Dear Parents,

This week has been the most wonderful celebration of events and learning!  The newsletter is packed full with images and articles, and it is just as well we had a full week with everything that has been going on.  Today has been a whole school Art day, with every class actively creating artwork and learning about artists; Wednesday saw Years 3-6 travel to London for a visit to the Cambridge Theatre to see Matilda; Bikeability started the week with children learning to ride safely on the roads and Nursery have been excited to see, via a camera feed, eggs hatch in a bird box situated on the wall outside their classroom.

Ball

I would like to thank the FHPA with all of their efforts and planning for the Unmasked Ball which took place last weekend.  It really was a fantastic night of fun, entertainment, dancing and fundraising.  An email has already been sent to parents to thank those involved, but I would like to mention again the Ball Committee: Claire Thomas, Claire McCarthy and Tamsind Duffety-Fuller for organising such a great event.  I hear they are already starting to plan the next one!

Art Day

Today, the whole school took part in an art day, inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci, a truly remarkable historical figure.

Our Year 6 artists supported children in Reception and Year 1 as they explored da Vinci’s studies of facial expressions. Using tape, our youngest artists created large scale faces, focusing on the shapes of the eyes, noses, mouths and eyebrows.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 learned how to join two clay surfaces by cross hatching and applying water and modelled some wonderfully expressive faces!

Year 2 studied The Last Supper, its symmetry and proportions. They began to identify the foreground, middle ground and background. In groups, they then created superb mixed media dioramas of the painting, working hard to consider proportions.

Years 3 and 4 learned how da Vinci believed that a dark background was necessary, as without light, all is dark. This resulted in his subjects having bright highlights against dark backgrounds in his paintings. Inspired by this, the children produced soft pastel still lifes on black paper, showing strong highlights and shadows.

Year 5 studied the one point perspective of The Last Supper. They identified the vanishing point, horizon line, perspective lines and symmetry and created tunnel books to show the foreground, middle ground and background of the painting.

Inspired by da Vinci’s studies of hands, Years 5 and 6 observed the forms of their own hands and used their clay skills to model them.

Year 6 continued their studies of how our hands work by learning how da Vinci’s detailed drawings informed medicine. They then created articulated hands to demonstrate how our hands work.

Leonardo da Vinci’s use of symmetry was also explored through ICT. The children used their skills and understanding to create symmetrical patterns, some even rotating shapes to create more than one line of symmetry!

Some classes explored the mystery surrounding the Mona Lisa. Is she smiling? Was the painting completed? Why doesn’t she have eyebrows? The children thought about what could be making her smile or not smile and designed their own backgrounds to show their thoughts.

Some KS2 children furthered their knowledge of da Vinci by conducting independent research and were amazed to find out that he invented an armoured vehicle and an inflatable tube to float on in the water!

Additionally, the children learned that Leonardo da Vinci was ambidextrous. However, not only could he use both hands but he wrote with his left hand and drew with his right hand simultaneously! His notes were written from right to left. This made it difficult for others to read and it was originally thought that he had written in code! To celebrate this skill, KS1 children cracked a code to read a special message and KS2 tried mirror writing!

It was a huge pleasure for me to work with each class in developing their art skills and celebrating the works of a genius.
Mrs Newman

Art Day in Music

In class music, various classes used several paintings by Leonardo da Vinci to compose musical pieces.

In Year 6, one such focus was ‘The Battle of Anghiari’. Using all 20 African Djembe drums, agogo bells and blocks, guiros and claves, the children composed a piece of music inspired by the painting. Looking then at the background of the ‘Mona Lisa’ and listening to Edvard Grieg’s ‘Morning’ from his ‘Peer Gynt Suite,’ Year 6 then composed a piece that was in sharp contrast to the battle scene. By using glockenspiels, wind chimes, pan pipes etc, the sounds of the river, the villagers, the church bells and the sun setting were recreated through musical sounds. For the last piece, they chose ‘Benoit Madonna’ to compose music which was in the style of a gentle lullaby.  By making gradual changes in dynamics and tempo and varying the timbre and texture, the children had great fun composing and performing music together inspired by the paintings! Well done Year 6.

Years 1 & 2 had a joint Drama and Music lesson for Art Day. We had several paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and several pieces of music had been chosen to complement the paintings. The pupils carefully matched the music to each painting by identifying the various musical elements including tempo, dynamics, texture and duration. They thought that Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ matched the battle scene, ’The Swan’ from ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Saint Saens matched ‘The Last Supper’ and Brahms’ Wiegenlied Op. 49 number 1 (Lullaby) matched the mother and child painting. Much fun and discussion was had in the group work when pupils recreated the landscape behind the ‘The Mona Lisa’ – hopefully you will be able to recognise a church, a bridge and a horse and cart! The horse and cart, the children felt was import, even if it couldn’t been seen. Finally, we compared Leonardo’s Silver Horse-Head Lyre to a cello and they identified many similarities. Well done Years 1&2 for working so hard today.

Matilda Trip

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 visited the Cambridge Theatre in London on Tuesday to see the musical Matilda.  The show was fantastic and has given the children a huge boost in preparation for their performance in a few weeks’ time!

Nursery

We had planned to rotate around the Nursery rooms for a weekly insight, but it’s been such an exciting week in Ponies 2 that we just had to go back to them again!

This week all our froglets lost their tails and have developed into fully grown frogs, but we then had to say goodbye to them before they hopped out of the tank, with Mrs Young taking them to the river to swim free. Also this week, all 6 of our blue tit eggs have hatched, with the final one emerging today! There are two very busy parents flying back and forth collecting yummy caterpillars to feed them all. We hope that the chicks will be with us for a couple of weeks before they fly away. The children (and adults) have been absolutely enthralled and have delighted in sharing the developments with every visitor to the classroom!

Reception

It has been a joyful week in Reception and the children have had lots of fun exploring their new topic further. A big thank you to Miss Bryan for taking the class on a wonderful trip to Spain on Tuesday. The children were excited to receive their tickets and board a plane to travel to a Spanish school. Once there, they were fascinated to discover how many people speak Spanish around the world. The children then embarked on a train journey to go and practise their best Flamenco moves, before ending their special journey at a traditional Spanish restaurant. Thank you to Chef for preparing a very popular Spanish themed lunch for everyone to try. There was some super child-led learning in the forest too this week, where the children worked in teams to create broomsticks. They then used these to travel to some wonderful places. This led naturally onto discussions about flight. The children discovered how Leonardo Da Vinci was a super ‘Thinkasaurus’, with a passion for flight. This inspired them to invent some super flying machines of their very own. Today, the children continued their learning about Da Vinci and joined the rest of the school for an amazing day of art. Thank you Mrs Newman for organising such a fun and wonderful day! Thank you also to Thomas’ mummy for being such a super surprise reader, this week. I wonder where our tickets will take us next week?

Year 1

We started our ‘Plants’ unit in science this week. We learned about the different parts of a plant and then planted our own seeds. We can’t wait to watch our sunflowers and broad beans grow!

We have been learning about arrays in maths this week. Arrays are an arrangement of objects or pictures in columns and rows which help us understand multiplication. We have been very good at describing arrays and creating our own arrays from a description. We have also been revising our doubles this week, as knowing these facts off by heart will help us learn our two times tables.

Art day was a huge success! We thoroughly enjoyed learning how facial expressions convey emotions and had a go at creating our own out of masking tape. We also studied da Vinci’s Mona Lisa portrait closely and debated whether he painted her smiling or not. It was a straight split in our class! A huge thank you to our Director of Art, Mrs Newman, for organising and resourcing the whole day.

Year 2

Year 2 have been learning all about the beginning of the Great Fire of London – all of the build up to the terrible event. We have been reading Samuel Pepys’ diary and learning about using our senses to add interest and emotion to our writing. In maths we have continued our exploration of 3D shapes, identifying and naming edges, faces and vertices. Friday was an amazing art day! We had a session with Mrs Newman learning all about facial expressions and made amazing faces out of clay. Next, we studied Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’. We looked closely at perspective as well as the facial expressions of the apostles. Many of us noticed that Judas had his purse of silver coins! Once we had learned all we could about the painting, we separated into groups and created outstanding dioramas of the painting. Finally we had a music session that was inspired by some of the famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci.

Have a lovely weekend!

Year 3

This week in Year 3, we have been so busy with our learning and special events. In maths this week, we used bar models to calculate fractions of amounts. In English, we analysed our overcoming the monster narrative and summarised each plot point. On Wednesday, we had a very exciting day going to London to watch Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre. We were so excited to watch the musical with our friends and be inspired for our own performance very soon! On Friday, we loved our activities for a very special art day. We started by learning how da Vinci wrote left-handed but wrote from right to left, with reversed letters too. We thought about why he might do this and tried to write the alphabet in the same way. Using mirrors to check our accuracy, we also wrote our own names and messages. On the computers, we created a symmetrical scene and patterns inspired by da Vinci. To find out more about da Vinci’s life and work, we used the iPads to research and created our own fact files. Our next task was to study the Mona Lisa and decide whether she was smiling or not. Trying to imagine what she was thinking, we designed our own alternative backgrounds. We had lots of fun creating our backgrounds and used thicker pens to outline the foreground and finer pens for the background. Finally, we thought about our colour schemes and brought it to life! We hope you like them… Our final task was led by Mrs Newman and we created a piece of still life art showing light and dark. A big thank you to Mrs Newman for organising such a special day inspired by da Vinci!

Year 5

What a busy week! With rehearsals, theatre trips and an art day, our feet have barely touched the ground. I will let our Director of Art tell you about the Art Day in her own way, the rehearsals will speak for themselves when you see the production and so that leaves me just the theatre trip. From the reaction of the class, it was clear that the trip to London and back was worth it. They were disappointed when they found out it was not a sing-a-long show, but they still enjoyed themselves! They were a credit to the school and showed themselves off to their best in the way they behaved both on the coach and in the theatre. Despite it being a long day, they were still ready for more rehearsals the next day. Hopefully, you have seen the pictures shared on Instagram during the trip. I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy the weather that we have been promised.

Year 6

What a busy week! Year 6 brought their bikes into school on Monday morning and those who took part received their Level 2 Bikeability certificate and badge in Friday’s Celebration Assembly. Congratulations! On Wednesday, it was wonderful to see Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre in London. Year 6 loved watching their roles brought to life by such talented and entertaining actors who truly inspired them ahead of forthcoming dress rehearsals and performances. The week ended with a whole school Art Day and Year 6’s help in Reception and Year 1 was truly appreciated by children and staff alike. You will see from the wonderful collection of photos how much fun was had across the day (Thank you, Mrs Newman!), especially when Year 6 learned about Da Vinci’s fascination with human anatomy and, in turn, made articulated hands out of card, straws and string. Well done, Year 6!

Drama News

A brief note to congratulate all current FHS students on achieving MERITS in their various LAMDA GRADE ACTING EXAMINATIONS.

Amelia, Gabriella, Giselle and Otis all achieved terrific results with a special mention to Gabi and Giselle in Year 6 who achieved a Merit for Grade 5 – a Grade usually attempted by Year 9 or 10. They only have Bronze, Silver and Gold to attain at secondary school. They also achieved the first duologue result for Fairstead where students are marked on scenes they do together.

All pupils worked incredibly hard but more importantly had fun.  Many students are doing exams in July with many more lined up for December including current Reception students.  jonathanwoolfdrama01954@gmail.com

Well done all,
Jonathan

Fixtures

On Tuesday our U9 cricket teams hosted Dame Bradbury’s School for some paired cricket games. With the A team playing just their second game, their improvement was huge. The bowling is becoming more consistent. When we were batting it was great to see some 4’s hit and the running becoming faster. The ‘B’ team were playing their first game of cricket and will make huge progress as their batting and bowling improves. They made some great stops in the field and some good strikes when batting. I look forward to both teams’ continued progress.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford