The Summer term has started with much excitement and also some sunshine! It has been wonderful to welcome back the children this term and hear about their learning throughout the day. I have enjoyed visiting each class this week, with themes ranging through various topics. My theme this week has been about seeds and how the smallest seed can grow into the largest tree. Children are very much the same in terms of their knowledge and development; here at Fairstead House, each child is watered with encouragement and guidance to form firm roots. As you see below, the week has been full of fabulous learning and enthusiastic children. There are many events happening over the course of the term, so please make sure you continue to add dates to your diary as they are communicated with you.
It has been a wonderful first week back in Reception and the children have been very excited to begin their new topic, ‘Life Cycles.’
This week, the children have been learning the life cycle from seed to sunflower. They have enjoyed learning new vocabulary and have written their own booklets, detailing the different stages involved. They are now eagerly anticipating who will be able to grow the tallest sunflower! In Maths, the children have shown determination and perseverance in representing numbers beyond ten, using a variety of different resources.
Celebrating ‘Earth Day’ was a wonderful way to end the week. The children discovered why trees are so important to us all and they were excited to learn about recycling. Working in small groups, the children successfully planted one fruit tree for each of their school houses. They are looking forward to watching them grow and promise to update you on their progress in future newsletters! The children were also keen to investigate and report on their school environment. They went on a litter finding mission and were so pleased to find hardly any litter in the school grounds. Well done everyone!
Year 1 have had a super start to their new topic, ‘Heroic Historians’. Not only did they enjoy bringing their favourite toys into class to show their friends, they also got to explore toys from the past that Suffolk Archives had kindly loaned to the class.
The children had great fun exploring and playing with the toys their parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents may have played with. They even made their own traditional toys, including a spinning top and a magnetic fishing game!
Year 2 have come back to Wonderland! We have begun to think about Alice and her journey down the rabbit hole. We have created impressionist gardens in ICT, using Monet’s Waterlilies as our starting point. We used the 2Paint program to create our own magical garden that Alice may have tumbled into when she fell down the rabbit hole. In art, we have created ‘Keyhole Gardens’. When Alice peeked through the keyhole, she was met with a magical sight! Our Science lessons have centred around our understanding of the parts of a plant. We have thought about why the stem and the leaves are important, using celery and colouring to demonstrate how the water travels through the plant. It was a very successful experiment!
We also discovered that the colourful petals are an incredibly important part of a plant, attracting bees and other pollinating insects. We also discovered that bees see more colours than we do – it looks incredible to see through a bee’s eye! In Literacy, we have written about a magic key! Mrs Allen found a basket of very fancy skeleton keys and we all created a descriptive passage about what our key may have been for. The results were fantastic!
Our Maths topic for this half term is Multiplication and Division. We have begun our journey looking at equal groups, manipulating unequal groups, repeated addition and then introduced the multiplication symbol.
This week in year 3 we began our new topic ‘World Sports: Past and Present’. The children were pleased to learn that the first sport we are taking a look at is football! We talked about the importance of rules and we were all shocked to learn that ‘back in the day’ they didn’t have any rules at all. We had a go playing a game of ‘no-rules’ football and decided that football is definitely safer with them. We also explored some football kit from the past and compared it to the present; the children agreed that today’s football boots looked more comfortable (and cooler) than those made for King Henry VIII in 1526.
In science this term we are learning about forces and magnets – to begin with we thought about different sports and activities that involve pushing (kicking a football) and pulling (weeding the garden). The children also had to decide if it was a force that causes an object to stop or start moving.
In maths this week we identified angles; the children spotted lots of acute, right and obtuse angles around the class room and playground – they even used themselves to make some too! We started to think about 90°/quarter, 180°/half, 270°/three-quarter turns clockwise and anticlockwise. I wonder if the children can use the vocabulary we learned this week to give a family member some directions around the house over the weekend?
Year 4 made an enthusiastic start to their new topics this week. In Science, they began their topic, ‘Electricity’, and learned how electricity is generated. They used Venn diagrams to sort a selection of appliances and this raised some interesting debates about whether the items, the lawnmower in particular, are electrical appliances or not. The children then identified safety hazards in the home and how to stay safe around electricity. In Art, Year 4 are designing sports mascots, which links to their Humanities topic, ‘World Sports: Past and Present’. The children were encouraged to consider what their mascot means to them and what message it sends to others about their team. They began by researching existing mascots and choosing elements of the designs that they particularly like. We will be making these from socks. If you do have any unwanted socks at home, please send them in with the children in time for their next Art lesson! Year 4 began their new Humanities topic by looking at how football was played in the past. To demonstrate, we joined Year 3 for a game of ‘no rules’ football. They were allowed to kick or carry the ball, there were no positions and no referee. The children agreed that this could easily become dangerous. In fact, football was banned in 1314 on behalf of the king, due to how violent the original game was!
It was great to start tennis again this week. The ‘bubble’ was down and the weather was warm. More importantly, they showed that they could remember how to hit the ball! From the outset, they focused and took part with enthusiasm. You could see the positioning and strokes becoming more fluid as the lesson progressed.
In science, we have been studying forces since we returned from lockdown, and this week we focused on the forces involved in firing rockets. First we fired rockets in the classroom, before they built their own and turned the Severals into a personal rocket launching site. It was great to see them arc through the sky.
In Maths lessons this week, Year 6 have been learning about pie charts (or ‘pizza charts’ as they have nicknamed them!) and that they represent data in an easy-to-understand way because they are so visual: the bigger the slice, the larger the number that is being represented by that slice (or sector). They applied their understanding of the relationship between the number of degrees in a circle to fractions, decimals and percentages, and found that using Excel to create their pie charts was so much faster than pencil and protractor!
Year 6 collected data from each other about a variety of topics: favourite subject at school, pets, wild animals, DC vs Marvel…even how you like your chips cooked! Watch out Years 3, 4 and 5…if you hear a knock on the classroom door next week, it might be a Year 6 wanting to collect data from you too!
It was also lovely to see Year 5 and 6 return to tennis lessons this week and enjoy the lovely weather on Thursday morning.
Years 1 and 2 had their first Games session outside on the Severals on Thursday and the sun shone brightly. The children developed their rolling and retrieving skills, as well as throwing underarm to hit a set of stumps. It was a fantastic afternoon of sport!
Any children who are enjoying the cricket in Games sessions might like to attend the Newmarket Cricket Coaching Sessions. Information can be found here:
Over the Easter holidays and this week, we wished happy birthday to Finlay, Lara, Evie, Isabella, Michaela, Anna, Benjamin, Abishaun, Darcey, Ella, Melody, Hugo and James.
Wishing you all a lovely weekend with your families,