Dear Parents

Another very busy week has flown by at school. We are racing through this Michaelmas Term and I am sure that I am not alone in being amazed that we are already one week away from Half Term.  This week, the children have been on trips, matches, tournaments and taken part in a Strings Festival in a nearby school.  We have lots of exciting activities planned for the week ahead and I look forward to seeing many of you on Wednesday for our Harvest Celebration.

Reception

The children have thoroughly enjoyed their story this week, all about ‘Bumps in the Night.’ The main characters in the story are skeletons and the children have loved spending time creating their own using paper straws.
In P.E., they continued using the story for their inspiration and had to travel around the hall in different ways, making sure they didn’t bump into anybody or anything. This was extended further by then moving around in different ways and balancing a beanbag at the same time. Very tricky!
The children sang songs about our bones and different parts of our bodies in small groups and added actions and instruments too!  They also explored a night scene and loved trying to spot and name all of the nocturnal animals. They even managed to write labels using their expanding phonic knowledge.
In Maths, the children have used their problem solving skills to see how many different ways they could make 5 and even got to explore using the Numicon outside!
It has been a wonderful week in Reception.
Polite reminder: Please could children only bring in one item for our ‘Show and Tell’ session every week.  Many thanks.

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 Year 1

This week, Year 1 have been exploring items to see if they are magnetic.  The children have been testing materials around the classroom and found out that scissors and paperclips were the most magnetic.  They then tested a variety of materials around school with some surprising results.
Our Maths work this week has been based on improving our knowledge of place value.  They were able to use mathematical apparatus to show the tens and units from a given number.  They were then able to demonstrate their understanding by adding a 1 digit number to a 2 digit number.  Well done, everyone! The children also wrote thank you letters to Ely Museum for our visit and have been sequencing the story of Dogger.

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Year 2

This week, Year 2 have thoroughly enjoyed showing off their very impressive ‘Underwater Shoebox Habitats’ to the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 4. They carefully explained the materials that they used, how they made them and shared some interesting facts about the animals that they chose to include.  They are now in display in the Science Lab for all to admire.

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Year 3

In Maths this week Year 3 have been looking at shape. The children have been learning about the properties that can be used to describe 3D shapes and sorting shapes according to different criteria.

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Year 4

Year 4 have been learning how to measure accurately in their Maths lessons. They very much enjoyed applying their knowledge to the practical activities around school!

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Years 5 & 6

This week, Year 5 and Year 6 classes visited Warner Brothers’ Studio Tour for English and were excited with a relevant ‘outside the classroom’ learning experience, taught in a fun and interactive way. They all enjoyed role-playing the many different contributors to making a film. Set within an age-appropriate state of the art classroom, the English workshop taught by Abi, a fully qualified and award winning teacher, was a thoroughly engaging English lesson with unique teaching resources.  Luc and Chloe assessed the size of Hagrid’s trousers and all the children mapped the different sources and genres that inspire film makers. On the studio tour, Year 5 and 6 were particularly inspired by the pumpkins in The Great Hall, the spiders of The Forbidden Forest and duelling with Death Eaters on The Covered Bridge!

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Sports Matches

‘On Wednesday the 11th of October the U9 girls netball team played Finborough.  In our first game we played against their A team. It was a tough game but we all played well. Unfortunately, we lost five two but we learnt a lot from it. In the second game we played against their B team, even though we were very tired we kept fighting for the ball. There was some great defending from everyone and some even better shooting. We won 11-2. Isabella was the Most Improved Player (awarded by Miss Price) and Ava was Player of the Match (awarded by the other team). Well done, team.   Keep up the good work!”   Izzy M., Team Captain

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The U11 boys rugby team played against Glebe House.  Training this term has paid off with a superb enthusiastic tackling effort from our boys, resulting a early try and some strong defence.  We passed the ball well and managed to find gaps on the wing but, despite our tries scored, Glebe House were equally effective and it was a close match.  M. Radford, Deputy Head

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Cross Country

On Thursday, six of our U11 children represented both their school and Forest Heath in the Suffolk Cross Country Area Trials at Royal Hospital School, Ipswich. The girls had to run 2,200m and the boys ran 2,900m. The ‘Minor’ category that our children ran in, was a race for U12 children, which meant that they were competing against some much bigger and older children.  The children tried incredibly hard and I am really proud of them all.

Special congratulations to Chloe, Finlay and Isabella who all came within the top 50 and have made it through to the next stage of the county races which will be held at Culford School on Saturday 2nd December. Good Luck!

Many thanks to our parents who came to support the children.  Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

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Informal Tea Time Concert Tuesday 10th October

On Tuesday 10th October, we enjoyed our second Informal Tea Time Concert in the Performing Arts Centre. Seven pupils performed a variety of pieces on piano, violin, clarinet and ukulele to a delighted audience. Our next Informal Tea Time Concert this term is on Tuesday 17th October at 4pm and tea, coffee and cakes will be served by our Music Prefects, Georgina and Katie.

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Culford School String Festival Thursday 12th October

Year 3-6 Violinists from our Chamber Orchestra participated in Culford School’s String Festival on Thursday 12th October. The day consisted of intensive rehearsals in Culford’s Theatre Studio and finished with a wonderful performance of three contrasting pieces. We were very proud to see our string players perform confidently in a large String Orchestra. Well done, Fairstead violinists and many thanks to our parents for supporting.

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Technology Club

Yesterday we had quite a variety of activities with our usual exploration into Virtual Reality but this week we used Google Cardboard, an initiative by Google to make VR more accessible to all. The children particular enjoyed flying a Cessna 152 by simply looking at where they wanted to fly to. We continue to build our own Robot Explorer, more pictures to come as this takes shape.  We have created a ‘Guess the Number’ game in Python with the hardest level of difficulty requiring the player to guess the computer’s number, between 1 and 1000, in one guess!

A number of the children have asked about Google Cardboard.  It is designed to work with the majority of Smartphones (search in Google Play or the App Store) for Google Cardboard. You’ll need a headset to hold the phone, the original ones were actually made of Cardboard (hence the name) but now plastic ones are available. We used a Hotweild Cardboard. Just make sure you check the headset you have is suitable for your phone! The flight game we had was called VR Flight. If you do have any questions please do feel free to e-mail me on matt.stannard@4psmarketing.com.  I would be very happy to help.

Mr Matt Stannard, 4PS Marketing

Textiles Club

In Textiles club, after a couple of weeks using their fingers to weave braids, the camera shy girls in textiles club have used paper to replicate kente fabric. This is brightly fabric made from woven strips of cotton or silk. The patterns are very geometric and striking.  Do admire them – they are on display in Year 3.

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Years 5 & 6 Trip to RSPB Minsmere – Friday 20th October

To conclude our studies in Science this half term, Years 5 and 6 are headed to RSPB Minsmere on Friday 20th October. The children will have the opportunity to reinforce and consolidate their learning of ‘living things and life processes’, through investigating both woodland and pond habitats. We will be leaving school at 08.40 promptly and we will be back by the end of the school day. Please can the children arrive at school wearing their games uniform. Tracksuit bottoms and waterproof jackets should be included. Comfortable and sturdy outdoor footwear is also essential. Please could you provide your child with their school water bottle. We will take these with us and have our morning snack when we arrive. School will be providing packed lunches and snacks. Spending money or electronic devices should not be taken.

Questionnaire

With my apologies for adding to your workloads, next week we will be sending out a questionnaire from one of our Governors and fellow Prep School Head, Mrs Amanda Childs.  The purpose of this is to assist in feeding into the school’s strategic plan for the future.  Mrs Childs and I would be very grateful if you could spare the time to complete and return this questionnaire.  Thank you.

Parents’ Association Autumn Glow – Saturday 18th November, 5pm – 7pm

An exciting addition to the Calendar (to the delight of the children) is that the Parents’ Association have managed to recruit sufficient helpers to enable them to run the very popular Autumn Glow. As ever, as many parent helpers as possible would be greatly appreciated.  Tickets will be available after Half Term and on the gate on the night.  This year, highlights include face painting, fire pits with marshmallows to toast, sparklers and outdoor screening of a film. Refreshments will be served.

Date for your diary – Back by popular demand is the Fairstead House May Ball.  This will be held at the Bedford Lodge Hotel on Friday 11th May.  More details to follow.

Harvest Festival – Wednesday 18th October

All children from the Ponies Room to Year 6 will be taking part in our annual celebration of the Harvest.  Please join us in the P.A. on Wednesday.  Refreshments will be served in the foyer from 8.45am.  Please could your child bring in a non-perishable donation for Newmarket’s Open Door by the end of Tuesday.  Thank you.

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

Lynda Brereton