Dear Parents,

This week, I have been working from home and unable to enjoy all the activities that have taken place in School.  However, the wonders of technology have ensured I have not been far away from the exciting learning.  Reading through the newsletter, it is once again, a joy to see how science week has been celebrated with trips to Spinney Abbey Farm, the National Horse Racing Museum and the Jarman Centre.  There are also more activities to take place next week.  Music, drama and sport have continued to offer opportunities for the children.

Today, non-uniform day has helped to raise funds for UNICEF and at the time of writing, the total is an amazing almost £1000! Check out the total here. Earlier in the week the FHPA held a Chinese Cooking evening, which I understand went very well and I look forward to hearing how parents have followed the recipes to recreate the dishes at home.

Reception

The children in Reception have had a wonderful time this week celebrating British Science Week. It has been a super way for the children to demonstrate their thinking and reasoning skills, alongside having the opportunity to independently explore and discover! The scientific challenges have all linked to the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and there has been a different experiment to complete, every day! It was wonderful to be joined by some ‘surprise scientists’ throughout the week and discover more about their very important work. Thank you to them all for their wonderful demonstrations and informative discussions. Ending the week by visiting some real little pigs was a very special treat. Thank you Mr Fuller, everyone had a wonderful time at Spinney Abbey!

Year 1

We celebrated British Science Week this week. On Monday, we visited The Jarman Centre where we took part in a minibeast hunt and learned all about camouflage. Luckily, despite it being quite cold, we found lots of minibeasts, particularly molluscs and arachnids! Next, we became hungry birds on the lookout for coloured woollen worms that had been hidden in the forest. We stuck the worms onto card in the order we found them. It was interesting to see that we had found all the brightly coloured worms first and only found one or two of the brown coloured worms- they were camouflaged amongst the leaves! We also looked at some other types of animals that can camouflage themselves to protect themselves from danger.
On Thursday, we went to The National Horse Racing Museum where we followed a senses trail. We had to use our 5 senses to discover lots of exciting artefacts hidden within the museum. It was so exciting looking around the different exhibitions!

Year 2

Science week has been absolutely amazing! First, we explored the properties of materials and how we can describe and sort them according to attribute. Next, we tested different materials to see how we can change them by bending, squishing, stretching and twisting. There were quite a few materials that surprised us! On Wednesday, we had to create packaging to protect Humpty Dumpty from his great fall. The children chose soft and light materials for our trial. Once Humpty was secure, out the window he went! Sadly, only one Humpty survived – but we learned some important lessons about material choices and packaging! On Friday, we explored the journey trees make from the forest to paper. There was a lot of really interesting discussion about pulp and using technical vocabulary when discussing scientific topics. Next week we will be using paper to create a strong structure… watch this space!

Year 3

It has been a lovely week in Year 3. With it being ‘Science Week’, we continued our forces and magnets unit by investigating the strength of different magnets. With reasoning, we made predictions for the strongest and the weakest magnet. Using the strength of the magnet to form a chain of paperclips, we recorded our results in a table. We presented our data in a bar graph and came to a conclusion. Referring back to our predictions, we discussed why we were correct or incorrect. In maths, we started our new unit of fractions and set out to prove that the higher the denominator, the smaller the fraction. We used equipment to prove this practically and investigated with different combinations of fractions. In history, we found out about our royal family today and discovered lots of information about their lives. In English, we worked together on a shared write to produce a non-chronological report on the blue whale. We worked hard to include the structural and grammatical features and are looking forward to writing our own next week independently…

Year 4

This week in English, Year 4 have been writing a whole class guided time travel story. We decided on our characters and setting, then planned our story using the introduction, build up, climax/conflict and resolution. Using our checklist of features of a setting description, we wrote the introduction. The children carefully considered how they could ‘show not tell’ as they described the five senses, included similes, metaphors, personification, expanded noun phrases and short sentences for impact. We made a dramatic change to the weather, to reflect a change in mood. Throughout the week, the children have recapped their use of paragraphs and direct speech and have developed their skills in creating suspense as their story builds up. Please have a read!

Year 5

Year 5 enjoyed a visit to the National Horseracing Museum this week to complete a Science trail. Specific focus was on comparing a horse’s main organs and muscular structure to that of ours. An additional highlight was a ride on the racing simulator. We have a few jockeys in the making!

Year 6

Recent Year 6 science lessons have focussed on Great British Scientists, including Mary Anning and Charles Darwin. In class discussions, the children answered questions such as ‘What is a paleontologist?’ and ‘How are fossils formed?’ This led to the children creating a section of the UK’s Jurassic Coast in a cardboard box. After covering the box in a bin liner, Year 6 used trowels to place sand, stone and soil in sedimentary layers. Within the layers, they laid bones of dinosaurs that they had drawn and made from clay. A selection of plants and a mirror (representing local vegetation and a pond or lake!) were arranged within the box alongside a number of Playmobil figures to give a sense of scale. The children even added cress seeds which will hopefully germinate into ‘grass’ over the weekend! Next week, the children are going to excavate their terrains using teaspoons and will record their findings in drawings, photos and ‘Dino Dig Diaries’. They will reflect on the impact that their dig will have on the surrounding plants and landscape, taking care to return any spoil carefully. Making the Jurassic terrains took a whole morning but the time flew by and it was lovely to hear the children say how much fun they’d had…it was Science Week after all!

Years 1 & 2 Class Drama

Years 1 & 2 have enjoyed reading through their scripts for our summer production ‘The Not-So-Creepy Crawlies’, a marvellous musical about minibeasts. Lucy Ladybird is a little too adventurous and becomes lost when she flies off on her own, away from her mother. As she sits on a leaf, sad and alone, other creatures pass by: woodlice, a millipede, spiders, a dung beetle, but it’s the stag beetles that look after Lucy all through the night until Mrs Ladybird finds her the next morning, safe and sound.

Years 1 & 2 Class Music

During our class music lessons we have been learning new songs, playing pentatonic scales on various tuned percussion, and using African drums we have layered simple rhythmic patterns.

Years 3-6 Class Drama

This has been another busy week of choreographing songs and blocking scenes. Everyone is working hard and loving every moment.

Years 3-6 Class Music

Over we have memorised over 8 songs in class music in preparation for our summer musical ‘Matilda’. Extra practice is always useful, remember to sing along to the tracks we have uploaded on the Google Classroom.

Mrs Warburton

Fixtures

U9s v Downham Prep School

This week, our U9 football and netball teams headed to Downham Prep School. It’s the first time we have played Downham and it proved to be a good addition to the calendar with two close matches. Our football team was on the end of a 5-1 defeat, but the game was much closer than the score suggests with their goal keeper making some fine saves. The netball team came away with a 9-4 victory, with the girls increasing in confidence over the quarters. Some lovely shooting from Lefkianna and Lola kept the score ticking over whilst Lily kept the ball moving with some powerful passes. Well done to all those that played.

Mr Salt

Year 4 French afternoon

Year 4 will not need to bring in their games kits for Tuesday afternoon next week as they will be taking part in an afternoon of French activities!

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford