Dear Parents,

I am extremely proud of the way that your children, you and all the staff have moved seamlessly onto remote learning.  Your positive comments have meant so much to my colleagues and me; similarly, we thoroughly enjoying seeing all of your photographs of your children hard at work at home, accessing their learning from home with enthusiasm and dilligence.

I was delighted to hear that, this afternoon, our Games teacher, Mr Philip Salt, led an extremely well attended Games lessons with KS2 children.  Do share any photographs of your children taking part in his engaging and active lessons!

Reception

The children in Reception have continued to work very hard from their homes and always with a big smile!
They have enjoyed reading the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears,’ this week.
The story has inspired some wonderful learning, across all curriculum areas.
The children have also enjoyed considering ways to keep their bodies healthy and it has been wonderful to see how many children (and their families) have been joining in with Mrs Toynbee’s super P.E. lessons!  Yoga has definitely been a big hit in Reception.  We were particularly thrilled to see Jacob’s family joining in his lesson!  Many thanks to our KS1 Games teacher, Mrs Toynbee.

 

Year 1

Year 1 have been continuing to work hard at home and are producing some outstanding work. They have been enjoying learning more about dinosaurs this week and wrote expanded noun phrases to describe some of them. The children also designed and made their own hatching dinosaurs which they were proud to show off! In Maths, the children have been exploring 2D and 3D shapes. Look at some of the shape dinosaurs they have created!

 

Year 2

Year 2 have had a great week of home learning! Everyone is getting to grips with the technology and the technique of learning remotely and are doing a wonderful job. In Literacy, we have started our mentor text, ‘Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus’ by Mo Willems. It has proven a huge hit! The text and the drawings are wonderfully expressive and the students have enjoyed reading this persuasive text with different tones and expressions. We have also been learning about the digraphs ‘kn’  ‘gn’  ‘wr’.
In Maths, we have continued to explore money. We have been counting coins and notes and comparing total amounts. We have been using our problem solving skills to apply our understanding to questions like: Sam has three coins. Erin has a 50p coin. Erin said she has the most money.  True or False and why? They are tricky, but the children are really rising to the challenge!
In Science, we have continued our exploration of Materials, sorting objects into Man-Made or Natural materials. We also explored how paper, pottery and glass are made, recording our findings on a chart.
We began our Geography topic by exploring all of the things we knew about London. We found the UK on a map of the world, the four countries of the United Kingdom as well as the capital cities for each. We thought about what makes a city important enough to become a capital city and what some of the key features of London may be.
In Art, we read the book ‘Snowballs’ by Lois Elhert. The illustrations in this book are all mixed media collage. We have been creating our own mixed media snowmen as well!

 

Year 3

This week, Year 3 have enjoyed reading ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ by Roald Dahl.
At the start of the week, we focused on character descriptions and we had a Zoom ‘hot seating’ lesson; the children had the opportunity to become a character from the story and answer questions from the class.
Later in the week, the children searched the story for clues that help us deliver a good performance when reading aloud and had a go creating dialogue.
As part of our Science topic ‘Rocks and Soils’, the children had a think about what rocks they might use when designing a house – they had to explain why they thought the rock they chose would be suitable. For example, slate would be good for a roof because it is waterproof.

 

Year 4

This week, Year 4 have settled well into their remote learning routine. The children are beginning to communicate with Mrs Newman via the stream regarding their work and this shows independent thinking – well done.
In Maths, Year 4 have been busy using different written methods for multiplication and division. Some have been checking their answers using the inverse operation.
In English, the children began identifying the features of explanation texts such as second and third person, definitions and present tense.
In Art, Year 4 have created the next instalment to their volcano project. Please do see the Key Stage 2 Art Gallery on Google classrooms to admire their layering techniques!

In Geography, the children began to explore what lies beneath our feet and learn about the layers inside the Earth.  Elsie presented her work in the form of a poster, showing additional independent research. Informative with a super layout, well done, Elsie!

Other Year 4 children made PowerPoint presentations to show their independent research and we look forward to them sharing these with the class – excellent effort Year 4!

 

Year 5

Our first full week has now drawn to a close. Our new discovery this week has been Jam boards which has been a great addition to our lessons.
We will be developing these next week when we start on our new animated text. The children are continuing to engage well and turn their work in to be marked. I have been impressed with how they are still making the most of the opportunities despite the unusual circumstances. I think that this reflects well on them and means that, when they do return to school, I am confident they will hit the ground running. Another way they are running is by becoming involved in the Games lessons set by Mr. Salt. I look forward to seeing their lap times continue to improve, just as they were before we finished last term.

Year 6

Year 6 have been very independent when it has come to remote learning this week, well done! They have been tackling calculations with decimals, writing a story called ‘A special gift’ with the introduction…Things do not have to cost money for us to treasure them….and, in topic lessons, drawing/creating labelled diagrams to show that they know the difference between the terms ‘precipitation’ and ‘transpiration’. The week’s maths lessons ended with ‘Friday Puzzles’ which included a bit of ‘magic maths’! Try this one…Think of a number > Multiply by 3 > Add 45 > Double > Divide by 6 > Subtract the number you first thought of…The answer should be 15. In fact, it always should be! Can you work out why? Have fun!

Speech & Drama Club

Our Speech & Drama teacher, Mr Jonathan Woolf, is very kindly offering a Drama Club to all Fairstead children on Sunday mornings via Zoom.  The Drama Club will be from 9.30am to 10.30am and will begin this Sunday.  Mr Woolf will read through play scenes with the children and also sing songs together.   There is no charge for your child to attend this Club.

If you would like your child to attend, please e-mail Mr Woolf on jwoolf2019@gmail.com and he will send you a Zoom link.

Our huge thanks to Mr Woolf for such a lovely and generous gesture!

Children’s Lessons via Zoom

Just a reminder that, if you are in the room with your child whilst they are on a Zoom lesson with their class, you can be both seen and heard (unless muted) by the whole class.  Please may I ask you to ensure that you are appropriately dressed and mindful of your language at all times!

Birthdays

This week, we wished a happy birthday to Jimmy, Ernie and Jack in the Nursery and to Octavia in Reception.  Happy birthday, children!

You may have noticed my absence from school this week, as I have unfortunately been required to self-isolate; however, with all the modern technology available to us, I have been constant contact with Michael Radford, Saskia Ouwendijk, Claire Freer and the Governors, and I know that the school has been in the very best of hands.  I can now fully sympathise with those of you who have also had to self-isolate in the past!   I am delighted to say that I have not been unwell and I am very much looking forward to being back in school on Monday.

With my best wishes for a lovely weekend with your children and I am sure the children are hoping for an overnight snowfall!

Lynda Brereton