Dear Parents,

This week has been a wonderful example of how varied and exciting learning is at Fairstead House.  To name a few examples, Year 1 visited the forest exploring autumn, and Years 3 and 4 had a Pharaoh visit them to explain about life as an Egyptian.  In addition to the learning in the classroom, sport has been celebrated with U9 fixtures on Friday, and on Thursday four children took part in a cross country tournament, with Elsie finishing fourth.  As you will see below, every day at Fairstead House is one filled with developing a love of learning and creativity!

Film Night

A huge thank you to the Parents’ Association for putting on possibly the largest Film Night in history!  Over 70 children enjoyed a pizza supper before watching Peter Rabbit 2 in the Performing Arts Centre.

Parent Meetings

Parent Meetings are taking place via video software during the week beginning 18th October.  To book slots, you will need to use the url: https://fairsteadhouse.schoolcloud.co.uk/

Please make sure you book a slot before access is disabled on Friday 15th October.

Burwell House Trip

Parents of children in Years 3 and 4, please note the correct date for the Burwell House information evening is Tuesday 12th October at 6.30pm.  Any medical forms must be returned as soon as possible.

Cross Country

A group of four children, Elsie, Ella, Isabella and Julian, took part in the Forest Heath cross country race. It is a long course and not easy, starting with a steep climb. Despite this, they all tried their best and pushed themselves throughout. Not one moment of walking from any of them – just as we expected. Elsie put in a valiant run and took the fourth place which was well deserved. You can see from the photo that they were happy! In addition, it was wonderful to see Darcey from last year’s Year 6 competing in the winning Year 7 team.

Reception

This week in Reception, the children have been amazing ‘Exploradactyls!’ The focus in maths has been on repeating patterns and the children have used a variety of resources indoors and outdoors to create some very imaginative work. The children have also enjoyed having ‘the power’ to be ‘bucket fillers’ and have enjoyed filling their friends’, teachers’, and parents’ invisible buckets! Sharing their new booklets, ‘Special Times with Special People’ has been a great way to find out more about one another and also further enhance speaking and listening skills. Having some amazing reading buddies was also a real treat in Reception this week. A big “thank you” to the Year 6 children who visited for their time and support. Next week, we will be celebrating a very special birthday and also discussing how we know it is autumn. We will be creating a display of objects in our outdoor area. If the children would like to find any natural objects over the weekend to add to the display, then they would be very welcome to bring them in next week.

Year 1

To support our learning on autumn, or fall as it is called in America, we went to The Jarman Centre on Tuesday to look for the first signs of autumn. We went for a walk around the site perimeter and made journey sticks (like the Native Americans did) to help remind us of our journey. Once we were back at the campfire, we used the objects on our journey sticks to recall our walk around the grounds. We then made stick people using some of the signs of autumn we had discovered!

In science this week we have been learning about materials and their properties. We worked together to sort a bag of objects depending on the material they had been made from. We thought carefully about why a particular material was chosen for certain objects and we learned some new scientific words such as opaque, transparent, flexible and rigid.

Year 2

What an exciting week Year 2 have had! We have read a new version of Little Red Riding Hood called ‘Little Red’. It is very different from the original version – Little Red is a mighty girl who is NOT easily fooled! We created a Venn diagram to compare the traditional version and the new version and then voted for our favourites. We also created a book review for ‘Little Red’, focusing on using ‘because’ to give reasons and evidence for our ideas and preferences. In maths we have continued looking at tens and ones using charts, part-part-whole models, dienes and place value counters. We have looked at the ‘commutative law of addition’ (numbers can be added in any order for the same result) and worked out that the equals sign can come at the beginning OR the end of a maths sum. We have continued our look at the ‘Healthy Eating Plate’, using our understanding of the food groups to help make a food journal just a bit more healthy. There was an amazing amount of discussion and our speaking and listening skills are really growing. In art we have created wolf masks! Ask your learner how we made them 3D. They are so amazing! In RE we have looked at Harvest, Harvest Festival and giving thanks. We have made 3D pumpkins and wrote about what we are thankful for on autumnal fruits and vegetables.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Years 3 and 4

The highlight of our week was most definitely our Ancient Egyptian Day… Wow, what a fantastic experience we had with ‘Pharaoh’ from Past Productions. We started the day by looking at Egyptian costumes and jewellery. Did you know that the beaded dresses from the 1920s were inspired by the Egyptian fashions? The children then designed and made their own jewellery. In groups, the children explored different Egyptian events (the mummification process, gods and how pharaohs were chosen) and created short drama pieces to perform to each other. We were particularly impressed with their confidence and use of props. In the afternoon, the children used their problem-solving skills and teamwork to solve riddles, calculations and puzzles. It was brilliant to see the children applying their knowledge with enthusiasm to crack the code! The day ended with the children presenting the stamps they had collected in their passport to prove they were worthy of the afterlife… Luckily, all of the children from Years 3 and 4 made it through. A huge thank you to Robert (also known as Pharaoh) for a thoroughly enjoyable and inspiring day.

Year 5

Another packed week has passed in which we continued our exploration of Malamander, this time finding out about prescriptions from the book dispensary. The other investigation we did was about light. With some simple equipment, we were able to investigate how light reflects from mirrors. We used teamwork and precision as well as protractors to measure angles. Afterwards, we discussed how the investigation could have been improved.

We have finished our work on place value and negative numbers, and today started looking at addition. They have already shown great skills on column addition which means that we can focus on application and problem solving. We will be pushing them from their comfort zone next week, using word problems, but I am confident they will rise to the challenge!

Year 6

Year 6 have been grappling with fractions this week! It is very interesting to learn the many and varied strategies that can be employed when adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing them and that things become a little more challenging when working with improper fractions and mixed numbers! Along the way, they have discussed and used the terms ‘simplify’, ‘equivalent’ and ‘lowest common denominator’ and even strategies such as ‘KFC’ (Keep – Flip – Change) for division problems. The focus in English lessons has been on descriptive writing, and Year 6 have been learning to write a guide for new owners of an imaginary creature called a ‘miptor’. They have come up with some wonderful ideas about its appearance, diet and typical behaviour, as well as important advice about training, cleaning and exercise regimes! They thoroughly enjoyed discussing their miptors (even when sat around the dining table at lunchtime!) and sharing their delightful sketches with each other. It has been another eventful week, especially for Ella and Julian, who were selected for the Forest Heath cross country competition on Thursday. And what a way to end the week – watching Peter Rabbit 2 in the PA with a bag of popcorn in hand!

Music

In our Year 6 class music lesson this week, we listened to Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’. We used a graphic score puzzle to work out the opening sequence and discovered how repetition and parallel intervals were used to create such a dramatic opening fanfare.

School Council

School Council had their first meeting of the academic year on Wednesday lunchtime which was held as a ‘working lunch’. The children were introduced to the format of an agenda and Lottie in Year 5 carefully wrote down the ‘minutes’ of the meeting. A number of ideas were discussed and I was very impressed with how all the children listened carefully to each other and spoke with such enthusiasm when it was their turn to express their thoughts. The children will share their ideas with the rest of the school in Monday morning’s assembly, but please look out for our first fundraising venture which will be detailed in next week’s newsletter.

Mrs Varma

Fixtures

This Friday, Year 3 and 4 boys visited South Lee for a football match. The match was wonderful to see and they demonstrated their skills on the pitch beautifully, as befits the game. Otis scored some wonderful goals before retreating to the goal to continue his sterling work as keeper. However, he returned to the pitch for the last five minutes and went on to score an extra goal, giving a final score of 5-1. Four from Otis and one from Christian. Great teamwork was seen in the team and it promises great things for next term when more football matches will be played. In the meantime, back to hockey training!

After a break in the hockey season to brush up their netball skills, the Year 3 and 4 girls went to South Lee to take on their counterparts. We created three teams of five to face the opposition. The matches were great fun to watch and full of enthusiasm. However, that does not mean that they forgot how to play! As the matches moved on, the skills kept being refined until the passing was direct and the team were moving effectively to space. The third match, in which the blue team played, ended in a score of 3-0. This was in small part thanks to Lola’s great shooting. However, this was supported by a great combination of Matilda and Lilly to ensure the ball could reach her. In addition, we must remember the defence which kept the ball from the hoop. Well done to all the pupils in years 3 and 4 who took part. This bodes well for next season when we start to train.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford