Dear Parents,

It has, indeed, been an action packed half term and, without exception, every child in school has thrown themselves wholeheartedly into their learning and we are all extremely proud of them. I am convinced that the changes in our routine required to comply with current Government Covid-19 guidelines have not impacted at all upon the children’s learning and enjoyment.

Many thanks to you all for your very generous gifts to our Harvest Festival collection, which will be donated to our local foodbank, Newmarket Open Door.  As you can see, we have collected a wonderful array of non-perishable items and toiletries.

 

Reception

This week, the children have enjoyed sequencing key events from the story of ‘The Little Red Hen’ and have also enjoyed discussing the behaviour of the different characters in the story. The children identified how important it is to help others; so, when Chef needed some assistance in the kitchen this week, the children jumped at the chance to help her!  What a kind and helpful class. Learning all about harvest has also inspired lots more memorable learning moments.
What a wonderful first half term it has been in Reception. Well done to you all!

 

Year 1

Year 1 have enjoyed decorating their African plates using bright colours and interesting patterns this week. They relished making some of the fruits from ‘Handa’s Surprise’ out of clay to put on their plates. Don’t they look wonderful? In Science, the children have been busy observing the changes that the beautiful oak tree outside the Year 1 classroom is going through now that it is Autumn. They used viewfinders to help them focus on the changes.

 

Year 2

Year 2 have had an incredibly busy week! We have completed and edited our own Dreamtime story about ‘How The Birds Got Their Colours’. All of the children worked very hard and had wonderful ideas to share! We then created a magical feather to accompany our stories using mixed media. We have wrapped up our Australia topic by creating a piece of ‘dot art’ using the warm earthy colours that would be found in the Australian outback for the leaves and surrounding them with cool colours to make the leaf ‘pop’. Mrs Toynbee worked with the children in PE to create a fantastic Crane Dance that was met with huge applause! On Thursday, we had a special visitor to Year 2. Matilda brought in her eight week old Indian Star tortoise! We learned an incredible amount from her talk and discovered why a tortoise can pull its head, arms and legs into its shell. We spent Friday afternoon presenting our research projects to the class and sharing our information posters about a famous Australian landmark. Have a wonderful half term!

Year 3

This week, in English, we have been looking at poems from around the world. The children have been identifying rhyme and homophones in festival poems as well as looking at different poem structures and word types used in the poems studied. We finished off the week by performing poems in small groups on subjects including Harvest, Pancake Day, Easter, Chinese New Year, Hannukah and the Vietnamese Moon Festival.
In Science, the children have been looking at the skeleton and muscles of humans.
We learned that the skeleton has three main functions and we have started to think about the different types of joints in our bodies. We also learned that there are over 600 muscles in our bodies and that these enable our bones to move. The children conducted a short experiment to identify which muscles they used in a range of everyday activities such as running and reading. A surprising number of muscles are used while sitting and reading!
In our topic lesson this week the children learned about what everyday life was like for ordinary Mayan people. They produced some very informative fact files about different aspects of daily life. We also enjoyed a joint topic session with Year 4 this week which followed on from our ‘Mayan Day’ last week. The children took part in a Mayan knowledge quiz and we were impressed with just how much they knew! The scores were very close.

 

Year 4

In RS, to consolidate and conclude their learning about Buddhism, Year 4 used their ICT skills to create PowerPoint quizzes. They demonstrated their understanding of aspects such as festivals, symbols and the holy book through their use of questioning and provision of answers. I was impressed by their confidence and skills at creating PowerPoint presentations and their use of special effects.
In Maths this week, Year 4 have been writing tenths as fractions and decimals. As a class, they have worked hard on this and shown greater understanding and confidence as the week has progressed.

 

Year 5

Rather than tell you what we have done this week, I felt that we should look back over the half term and celebrate!  The children have worked fantastically and put in great effort. Every challenge I introduce, they embrace.
This is a wonderful thing to see and makes my teaching and their learning far more effective. I think the fact that we can use Bunsen burners safely shows their responsible approach. Today, we used them to separate solvents from solutes using evaporation. This then developed into a class investigation to find pure or contaminated substances. In English, they are finishing their persuasive arguments about whether a certain Dam should have been built whilst, in Maths, we have been looking at reading, drawing and interpreting line graphs. In addition, their skills in tag rugby are developing at a great pace. I could mention successes in every subject. Instead, I will just say that, all round, they have had a very successful half term and they deserve a rest. I look forward to seeing them when they return and I hope they have a great holiday – they have worked hard for it.

 

Year 6

This week, in English lessons, Year 6 have been writing their own traditional tale. Starting with exemplar pieces of work written by other children of the same age, we looked at words and phrases that we could incorporate in our own stories as well as ideas from stories written by famous authors, including David Walliams and Roald Dahl. By combining such ideas with those from their own imagination, Year 6 produced unique storylines that they enjoyed reading out to each other.
Well done, Year 6!

Year 6 were recently entertained by Finlay on his banjo! He wasn’t at all fazed by requests for an impromptu performance in the classroom and we were all very impressed with his musical ability. Well done, Finlay!

 

Music

Meet our members of Fiddlesticks!  We rehearse on Tuesdays and enjoy playing fun pieces together. Today we played a piece called ‘Fast Lane’.

In Monday morning’s Assembly, Daisy and Harry performed pieces to all the pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.

 

Parents’ Association Half-term ‘Readathon’

The Fairstead House Parents’ Association are running a Readathon over Half-term and we would love your child to join in!

All you have to do is:

1. Help them choose what to read and how much.  Remember they can read whatever they want: books, e-books, poetry, comics – anything goes! Help them decide whether to take part and what they will read.

Each child can make their own pledge to read either:
a) a certain number of books, or
b) a certain number of pages, or
c) for a certain amount of time each day.

2. Help your child find sponsors among family and friends. Please find a Sponsorship Form here.

Money raised by the PA goes towards activities and items for the children at school.  Thank you for your support and for helping your child to keep reading and raising money for the PA.

The Fairstead House Parents’ Association 

School Uniform

Please note that, after half-term, all children are required to wear their winter uniform and summer dresses or shorts may no longer be worn.  Thank you.

School Carpark

A polite request that, when waiting in your car to drop off or collect your child from school, please do not wait on or block the zebra crossing in the playground.  We are delighted that so many children are now arriving at school on foot and I need to make the carpark as safe and pleasant as possible for them.  Thank you for your understanding.

Kindness Cups

This week, Kindness Cups were won by Catherine in Reception and Alexander in Year 4.  Well done, children!

Birthdays

This week, we wished a happy birthday to Emma and Sophia in the Nursery and Fenella in Year 3.

With my best wishes for a lovely and restful, well-deserved, half-term break with your children,

Lynda Brereton