Dear Parents,

It has been a wonderful week in school with Reception children searching for bears both in the forest and around the school grounds.  At the other end of the school, Year 6 had a fantastic day today at the National Horse Racing Museum with an artist in residence.  Their day was full of fascinating activities and began their journey to achieve a national arts award.  As you will see below, the week has been filled with amazing learning and opportunities.

FHPA Event

Wednesday 26th January – 7pm-8.30pm

* Basic Life Support training and refresher evening
* FREE event with option for free childcare on the evening
* Certificate available on request

Members of the FHPA, together with their colleagues, would like to invite you to a free training and refresher session for child and adult basic life support (BLS). Topics will include adult and child CPR, recovery position, plus how to deal with choking in adults and children. There will be a short presentation, followed by a demonstration of the automatic external defibrillators (AED) found in public spaces. We will then split into small groups to practise CPR on both adult and child dummies, recovery position and use of the AED. Each small group will have their own trainer, all of whom have many years experience of resuscitations. We hope this evening will give those who attend the confidence to apply the skills learnt, in the event they should need them.

This invitation is open to any family members or others who may be involved with the care of your children.

Mr Radford has very kindly agreed to supervise the children of any parents who would like to attend, for whom childcare is a problem for the evening. Please book tickets through Classlist and email jaynevfc@gmail.com with the names/year groups of your child/ren.

Please sign-up on Classlist. Numbers are limited to 24 for this evening, but if there is sufficient demand, a further session can be organised. There will be mats out on the PA floor, but for those with delicate knees, you may find an additional cushion/kneeler beneficial!

Covid-19:
To keep this evening covid safe, we ask that you do not attend if you have any covid symptoms or a recent positive test. Please wear a mask and carry out a lateral flow test on the day of the event. The PA will be well ventilated, hand sanitiser will be available and dummies will be sanitised between users.

We hope you enjoy learning these life skills with us!

Reception

What a wonderful start the children have had to their new topic, ‘Animal Antics and Terrific Tales’. ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ has been a story the children have been very happy to share and retell this week. The week has been full of excitement, as the children have eagerly followed maps to find bears around the school. They enjoyed writing where they had found the bears to help others to locate them. The children braved the cold and took their learning outside to go on a ‘forest hunt’ too! I’m sure they will enjoy telling you about all the wonderful things they found on the way. The children were so happy to welcome our first ‘Surprise Reader’ into Reception, this week. Thank you so much for joining us Mrs Ablitt, and for sharing your super story with us all. A big thank you also to the Year 6 superstars who continue to come in and read with Reception every week.

Year 1

In our art and topic lessons we have been palaeontologists learning about dinosaur fossils.

We learned that dinosaurs and humans didn’t co-exist, so all the information we know about dinosaurs has come from studying their fossils. We looked at a number of fossils found around the world, including the recent ichthyosaur fossil found at Rutland Water, and then created our own dinosaur body fossils using art straws. Finally, we made trace fossils by pushing small dinosaurs and dinosaur bones into clay to make an impression.

Year 2

Year 2 have enjoyed our new text ‘Snowmen at Night’. We have been working on our comprehension, prediction and sequencing skills. We have also been learning about comparative and superlative adjectives (adding er and est). We have been learning about using a dictionary to look up words and using our understanding of alphabetical order to quicken our searches. In maths we have introduced our new topic, ‘Multiplication and Division’. This week we are focusing on arrays, repeated addition and counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. In science we have explored what it means to be alive, once alive and never alive. We were stumped with a pine cone, a wooden spoon and an orange off the tree. These things were all once alive! In geography we have been using atlases to find and name the continents and the oceans. In art we have continued our exploration of colour. This time, we have created warm and cool coloured pictures.

Year 3

Year 3 have had a really busy week and have approached all of their new units with such curiosity and enthusiasm! In science, they have been using their observation skills to group different rocks according to their properties. The properties included durability, permeability, density and hardness. They were fascinated by the different rocks and really engaged in the investigation. In maths, they worked hard on the partitioning method to multiply 2-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers. We worked practically, pictorially and used calculation methods to be more efficient. In English, we analysed our model text to identify the key text features and structure. In topic, we started our unit of ‘Riotous Royalty’ by questioning how the Normans came to rule Britain in 1066. We looked at sources from the Bayeux Tapestry and a letter from the Pope to find out more. It was also great to get back in the pool and continue our weekly swimming lessons this term. Well done, Year 3!

Year 4

This week in science, Year 4 learned how sound travels in sound waves. They were introduced to the term, ‘amplitude’ and learned that a louder sound is made by a bigger vibration and a quieter sound is made by a smaller vibration. The size of the vibration is its amplitude. They also learned how the vibrations move particles in the air and we hear the sound as the vibrations reach our ear. Furthermore, Year 4 were introduced to the parts of the middle and inner ear and learned how the hair cells in the cochlea send electrical messages to the brain. To consolidate this, Year 4 were challenged to produce group presentations to demonstrate how sound travels. They showed excellent team work and made effective props to demonstrate the process. Well done!

Year 5

We started this week with an investigation. Having looked at how forces oppose each other, we then investigated two specific forces. Notably, gravity and air resistance. We made and dropped spinners to see how the length of a rotor blade affected the amount of air resistance. I was impressed with their ability to identify the different variables and the accuracy of their timing. In addition, there were some wonderful predictions and conclusions which referred to the scientific terms as well as explaining their reasons. We will continue to study different forces through this term and I look forward to seeing their skills develop. In English, we continued our new book, The Highland Falcon Thief. We have had a busy week writing both a character description and a one page summary of their place of birth. We will be looking at different places around the UK to further our knowledge of different counties and cities.

Year 6

Year 6 will remember today’s trip to the National Horse Racing Museum for many years to come! What an interesting and fun-packed day! The children attended an Arts Award workshop – a national initiative that could result in each member of the class receiving a special certificate on completion of their Arts Award log book. The first half of the day was led by Hannah who reminded Year 6 of the variety of creative arts around us by exploring the museum’s artefacts – including architecture and taxidermy! She introduced Year 6 to the work of Sir Alfred Munnings and they looked at his beautiful paintings in Palace House, exploring his choice of colours through a wool-winding task. They wrote in the style of a war correspondent because Munnings chose to capture front line events of World War 1 and learnt that, in later life, he also enjoyed making sculptures of horses. In the afternoon, Year 6 met a professional artist called Ali who taught them how to sketch horses and make a wonderful wire sculpture of a horse on a wooden plinth. As ever, Year 6’s behaviour and enthusiasm were noted, both by museum staff and the general public. In fact, one of the museum guides commented on the children’s ‘very smart appearance’. Thank you to Mrs Newman who joined Year 6 and Mr Peace on the trip and for the help she will give the children to complete their log books. Well done, Year 6, for a super day and reminding everyone what a wonderful class you are! Mr Peace.

The Arts Award is a fantastic opportunity for Year 6 to participate in and I believe has really raised their appreciation for the arts. Today, they learned that everywhere we look, we are surrounded by items that have been designed and created from logos and patterns on our clothes, to trophies, music, films and photography and buildings. They were surprised by Alfred Munnings’ use of colour in his traditional paintings of horses and were encouraged to identify how many different colours and shades he used in some of his artwork. Simply looking, is a crucial skill in art and today allowed Year 6 to do just that. They also had the opportunity to enlarge a small sketch and developed the skills to scale up their work – this encouraged them to think carefully about scale and proportions and make gestural marks using tape. Finally, they created wire sculptures. This allowed them to consider the form of the horse and the shapes found within, which gave their sculptures such movement. A wonderful day to be part of. Thank you, Year 6.  Mrs Newman.

Good luck to the children sitting entrance exams for The Perse on Saturday, St Faith’s on Monday and King’s Ely next Wednesday!

MFL

It’s been an enthusiastic return to French and Spanish lessons this week – Miss Bryan will have a tough time choosing the stars to hand out next week! As it is a new term we have new musicians to listen to! The French ‘Musicien du trimestre’ is Joe Dassin (one of Miss Bryan’s favourites!) and the Spanish ‘Músico del trimstre’ is Vicente Fernández. If you can show Miss Bryan the names of the songs you have listened to at home, you earn house points and a chance to win the prize at the end of term. So far, Annabelle in Year 4 has started us off with 4 French songs!

Informal Tea Time Concerts

Here are a list of dates for our Informal Tea Time Concerts this term – Tuesdays: January 25th, February 8th, 22nd, March 8th, 15th and 22nd. This term, I am keen to encourage more ensembles to perform as well as soloists. If you would like to perform a duet, trio or even quartet with your children please let me know which concert date you would like and I will add your name to the programme. Do please contact your child’s instrumental or vocal teacher at Fairstead if you would like their help in choosing a piece or song.

Fixtures

U9 boys tag rugby V Barnardiston Hall. The U9’s continued their impressive start to the tag rugby season with two wins at Barnardiston. The boys showed excellent understanding of positional play, supporting the runner, and running hard with the ball to score some excellent tries. The defence was also fantastic, making lots of excellent tags. Everyone worked together and each contributed to the success of the team. Keep up the hard work boys. Mr Salt

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford