A particular highlight of the week for me was watching the Reception children and sensing their palpable excitement in anticipation of their first trip to the forest. It was clearly a huge success, judging by their joyous faces and exuberant return to school. I am sure you will enjoy the photographs below!
It has been a very ‘sparkly and twinkly’ week in Reception!
The children have loved discovering lots of facts about stars and have enjoyed writing simple sentences about the sun. Their art work was inspired by Van Gogh and, after practising their bold brushstrokes and swirls, they created their own stunning stars inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ landscape.
Visiting the forest for the first time was a real joy and the children loved exploring! It was wonderful to be able to revisit work on different shapes in such a fun, practical way and in such a wonderful setting!
A gentle reminder: Please could children bring their named school uniform hats, scarves, and gloves into school in a separate bag to leave in the cloakroom. All these items may be purchased from our uniform shop, Mr Cricket. Many thanks.
This week, Year 1 have travelled to China as part of their study of Asia. In Art, the children made beautiful Chinese fans. They decorated their fans using positive words, such as hope, love and loyalty, in Chinese symbols. They also practised writing their names in Chinese, using quills! The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity. Emily said that using a quill made her feel like Harry Potter!
Year 2 have begun exploring the Polar Regions this week. In English, we have started our own ‘Ice Bear’ story. We have identified all of the story elements for the portion we have read. Next week, we will write our own ending to the story as Mrs Allen has kept the ending a secret for the time being! There has been a wonderful discussion and sharing of ideas and thoughts throughout this outstanding story. We have also been learning about similes. In Maths, we have been focusing on subtracting a one digit number from a two digit number. This has been a tricky task as the questions have bridged the 10s, but we are really gaining confidence.
In our topic, we have learned a little about the Antarctic and have touched on the expeditions by Scott and Shackleton. We have thought about how they felt, the types of foods they would have had and the difficulty of planning for an expedition to a continent that had only just been discovered! In Art, we have begun exploring the Arctic with the Canadian artist, Ted Harrison. We have learned a little about his life and looked at some of his most famous works. We discussed the colours, the shapes and the wonderful sky lines he portrayed.
We also learned about an ‘Inukshuk’. This is a man-made rock or snow structure, built by the Inuit people, that take the form of a person. They are used as a signpost in the often barren land. An Inukshuk can mark a good fishing or hunting spot or can point the direction of a village or shelter to a traveller. We began our rough copy of a picture in the style of Ted Harrison. Next week, we will do our ‘best copy’ with a choice of pastels or paint.
This week, Year 3 have become more familiar with how to use a dictionary. They have become much speedier at looking up definitions of words related to our English topic, ‘Poems from Around the World’.
We have undertaken some joint activities with Year 4 this week. One of these was a drama session based on our topic-linked class reader, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. The children’s collaborative drama skills are really developing and we had some great performances of various scenes from the story. We also got together with Year 4 to do some more drama, linked to our PSHE topic, ‘Me and My Relationships: Family and Friends’. The children acted out some friendship problem scenarios and we discussed strategies for managing these. Again, the children worked brilliantly together and really enjoyed the opportunity to do some collaborative drama work.
In Science, we have begun to look at shadows as part of our topic, ‘Light and Dark’. The children have learned how shadows are created and have examined the different shadows cast by a range of objects in preparation for a more in-depth investigation next week.
In our topic lesson this week, we have been learning about the different types of food eaten by the Ancient Maya, with a particular focus on the sacred foods of corn and cacao. The children have produced some wonderful illustrations of Mayan food sources.
In Science this week, Year 4 used independent research skills to find out about aspects of Alexander Graham Bell’s life and inventions. They were impressed to learn that he created his first invention, a device with rotating paddles that removed husks from wheat grain, at the age of twelve!
In English, Year 4 have begun a unit of poetry. Firstly, they wrote descriptive animal poems, then moved on to using noun phrases and descriptive sentences to describe chocolate, in preparation for next week’s poetry writing.
We also joined Year 3 for a drama lesson, inspired by our class reader, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In groups, the children created mini scenes from the story. We were very impressed by their loud, clear voices and their effective and convincing portrayal of the characters. Super work!
This week, we continued our studies of Ancient Egypt by looking at the process of mummification. As you can see, our willing volunteer was happy to be ‘mummified’! We then went on to write what a canopic jar would have seen if it was on the shelf watching the embalmer at work!
Some great writing was created with every child having a different way of reporting it and focusing on different parts of the process. This supported our reading this week, where we have been looking at the story of Osiris and how he came to be a caring ruler of the underworld.
In Science lessons, Year 6 carried out an experiment involving yeast. By mixing one sachet of yeast with one teaspoonful of sugar and 200ml of water in a plastic bottle, they produced carbon dioxide gas which was captured inside a balloon. Year 6 thought about controlled variables (e.g. the same amount of yeast per experiment)and the independent variable (the temperature of the water in each bottle). They were delighted to observe that pouring warm water on to the yeast-sugar mixture resulted in the balloon inflating almost immediately. However, when the cold water had warmed up to room temperature an hour or so later, the right conditions were created for the yeast in that bottle to also start producing gas. Mr Peace left Year 6 with a question: how could we measure the amount of gas produced by each experiment? Have you got any ideas? Do let us know!
French & Spanish
The children at Fairstead came back into their Modern Foreign Languages learning with lots of enthusiasm after the half term break. Apologies for the missing ‘Stars’ from last week’s newsletter! These were: Charlotte from Year 3 and Pearl from Year 4 for Spanish; and in French: Prince from Year 5 and Darcey from Year 6. This week’s Spanish Estrellas are Jessica in Year 3 and Alexander in Year 4 while the French Étoiles are Sophie from Year 5 and Oliver from Year 6. Congratulations to all our stars on their hard work!
Miss Kathryn Bryan
This week, we have used our class music lessons as a performance platform for several class concerts. Pupils from Years 1 to Year 5 have performed songs and pieces, on stage, to their class, in our wonderful Performing Arts Centre. We have missed our much loved Informal Teatime Concerts but great enjoyment was had by all our instrumentalists and singers. More opportunities to perform in class will continue for one more week (Monday 23rd to Friday 27th November).
Mrs Karina Warburton
Parents’ Association Film Night – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Determined that lockdown won’t stop us enjoying a film night, the Parents’ Association will be hosting a Christmas film night on Friday 27 November at 6.00pm via Netflix Party. The film needs to be accessed via a laptop using Chrome. This year we will be viewing ‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’.
If you would like to join the film (which we will all be watching at the same time), please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a link to join the party will be sent to you.
The Parents’ Association
We have been made aware that we have a case of head lice in school. Please do check your child’s hair and treat accordingly if needed. Thank you.
This week, Kindness Cups were won by Aadam in Year 1 and Pearl in Year 4. Well done, children!
This week, we wished a happy birthday to Charlotte in the Nursery and Jessica H. in Year 2.
Further to my comments last week regarding Christmas at Fairstead, plans are afoot for our ‘Carols by Candlelight’, a (sadly) ‘behind closed doors’ Christmas celebration at Fairstead. This will take place on Thursday 10th December, with more details to follow; however, please note that school will finish for all children from Reception to Year 6 at 4.45pm, to enable this exciting celebration to take place in the dark. A seasonal visitor is bound to make an entrance and hot drinks will be served to keep everyone warm and cosy! We would welcome any fire pits or outdoor Christmas decorations which you would be happy to lend us for this one evening to help make the occasion as special and magical for the children as possible!
With my best wishes for a lovely weekend with your children,