Dear Parents,

What a week! The children have had an amazingly exciting and fun week, with every class taking part in events, trips and competitions. On Monday I was thrilled to see the Year 3 and 4 children complete the ‘Tour de Severals’ which was so exciting that it will have to become an annual event.  It was also wonderful to see the Parents’ Association offer a fun-filled fun fair for the whole school.  I am sorry that parents were not allowed on site, but could see many of you eagerly wanting to take part!  An a-BUN-dance of cakes were entered into the Great Fairstead Cake-Off, with every class represented, and the willing judges enjoyed sampling a cake from every single entry!  There are some very skilful bakers and Chef was very impressed with the presentation, taste and decoration.

One final highlight is the fact that every child in Key Stage 2 has represented the school in a sports fixture this week!  It is lovely to see sport being enjoyed so much, and the vast improvement in cricket over the term.  Parents will be pleased to know that they have the opportunity to take part in a running relay and throwing event at the sports afternoon.  All details are on Classlist and you should have received an email invitation to join, where you can then sign up to represent your House.

Reception

The children in Reception have enjoyed building on their previous learning, and have thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the life cycle of the spider. Discovering facts about spiders and their webs caused much excitement. The children loved working as part of a team to create their own spider webs using marshmallows and matchsticks! It was great fun!

In literacy, the children ‘wowed’ Mr Radford with their super independent writing! The children were asked to design their very own pet spiders and write descriptions of them.
Spinderella was a very popular story this week and the children were intrigued by the ‘Hairy Godmother!’ So much so, they all wrote a message to her, asking for her help to learn new things! In maths, money has been the focus and the children have loved visiting the sports shop to help Spinderella buy some objects for her football match!

Having the fair come to visit and eating ice lollies made ‘Wonderful Wednesday’ even more wonderful, and a return visit for mini-beast hunting at Kingfishers Bridge was a fantastic way to end the week.

Year 1

Year One started their new ‘Position and Direction’ unit in maths this week. They practised making quarter, half and three- quarter turns and then went on to represent these turns pictorially. The children learned their left from their right as well as the difference between clockwise and anti-clockwise. They thoroughly enjoyed becoming soldiers when they went outside to practise their turns!

In science Year One have been learning about deciduous and evergreen trees. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the autumn time, but evergreen trees keep their leaves all year round. The children went on a hunt around the school grounds for deciduous and evergreen trees and were thrilled to find examples of both.

Finally, a big thank you to our wonderful PA for organising such a special afternoon on Wednesday for the whole school. Year One enjoyed lots of fairground games and activities but the most popular by far was the inflatable helter-skelter!

Year 2

Year 2 have been working hard and having fun this week! We have started looking at time in maths, reviewing ‘o’clock’ and half past, and learning about quarter past and quarter to. We have also been learning that the right side of the clock is ‘past’ and the left side of the clock is ‘to’. A tricky one, but the children have worked incredibly hard! In literacy, we have discovered that the Knave of Hearts probably did steal the tarts… but the trial was a bit nonsense! We have looked at the meaning of a trial and why the questions were irrelevant in the story. In our comprehension session we thought of much better questions to ask and came up with fantastic titles for the chapter. Ask your learner what they chose! We have been working so hard on our Alice performance in our creative sessions, singing up, using our stage voices and trying to remember to speak to the audience. We cannot wait to share their wonderful work with you next week! On Wednesday we took a well earned break and joined in with the ‘Fairstead Fun Fair!’. What an amazing way to spend an afternoon. Ice lollies, hook a duck, a coconut shy and inflatable fun all around! Thank you so much to the PA for arranging such a treat.

Year 3

Year 3 had a lovely morning at Lidgate Farm picking deliciously ripe strawberries, and Farmer John told us a little bit about how they grow and care for them. The children learned that the seeds are often named after the seed producer’s children – we spotted a variety called ‘Fennella’ and we all found it very amusing that one of the seed varieties was called ‘Marshmallow’! In the afternoon we learnt about the history of Wimbledon; the children ate their strawberries with cream and meringue (made fresh at the farm) and they enjoyed participating in a Wimbledon quiz.

Please click here to see the fun we had!

Year 4

In science this week, Year 4 explored pitch. Firstly, they made panpipes from straws and played these to show a change in pitch – I am sure they shared these with you at home! They then explored how woodwind, string and percussion instruments produce higher and lower notes. Year 4 learned that the higher the pitch, the shorter the bar, string or pipe and the quicker the vibrations. Also, the lower the pitch, the longer the bar, string or pipe and the slower the vibrations.

In English, Year 4 have been furthering their creative writing skills by describing settings. They began describing aspects of the British summer by using their senses and describing the weather to create specific moods. Year 4 then drafted creative descriptions of our ‘Tour de Severals’ including metaphors, similes and personification. An absolute delight to read! Super work!

 

Year 5

With the performance of Joseph drawing closer, we had the opportunity this week of rehearsing at Rothschild Yard. It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise the size of the area they would be performing in and, later in the week, they showed that they had taken on board the requirements when their singing increased a notch. In fact, on the way to cricket, I was serenaded with the entire repertoire from start to end. It helped the journey pass and showed they know their lyrics.

As we are nearing the end of term, we are also progressing with our class book. The children have now decided which ceremony is the most important in the book and wrote a persuasive piece to share their views. We have also found out why the book is called ‘The Giver’. As always, I have been impressed by the engagement the children have shown with the book. Even more impressive is the ideas they express and the empathy they have for the characters. As we move towards the end of the story, it will be interesting to see whether their views change.

Year 6

This week, Year 6 started their final science project. They have been given the challenge of building a hovercraft, powered by two AAA batteries. All the resources that they need – including a polystyrene base, card for skirt and funnel, motor and wires – came in a kit with instructions for them to follow. They have begun to apply their DT skills, understanding of electrical circuits and knowledge of hovercrafts from class discussions in recent history lessons about the 1950’s and 60’s. A special well done to Dylan who was given the kit to build a prototype, wrote a report about the kit and is now advising his classmates of any tricky steps in the building process. The photos below show the children decorating the polystyrene body, measuring and cutting the skirt and funnel and experimenting with the electrical components.

Each team of builders was particularly excited when they figured out how to make the propeller turn! The motor and propeller will be fixed to two pieces of 33mm wood and attached to the inside of the card funnel. Hopefully, it will not be long before the hovercrafts are zooming across the science lab desks!

The ‘Tour de Severals’

Our ‘Tour de Severals’ was a resounding success and very much enjoyed by all. The event was a huge team effort and as always, the children all tried their best. They proudly wore their ‘yellow jerseys’, displaying their own super logo designs. Over the course of two afternoons, Years 3 and 4 cycled five different stages which consisted of control, slalom and time trials. There was a vast range of skills and abilities, but everyone challenged themselves and made visible progress throughout the event. We were exceptionally proud of those children that supported their team mates, demonstrating team spirit. This was truly an event to remember. Well done Years 3 and 4!

Please do watch a video of the children’s cycling here.

Parents’ Association ‘Cake-off’ Competition

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Parents’ Association Themed Cake-off Competition this week!  All children from Reception to Year 6 were invited to bake and decorate six buns, fairy cakes or cupcakes and bring them to school for judging. We had the most amazing array of buns and cakes and our judges had some very hard decisions to make!

The final winners were Lilly for KS2 (with Elsie and Annabelle as runners-up) and Roan in KS1 (with Ethan and Sienna as runners-up). Many congratulations, children! Many thanks to everyone who took part and especially to the Parents’ Association for organising this event.

Parents’ Association Summer Afternoon Funfair

How excited the children were to see the funfair arrive at school on Wednesday!  The children had a wide array of traditional funfair rides and stalls to enjoy, such as a coconut shy and an inflatable helter-skelter, which proved particularly popular!  Huge thanks as always to our Parents’ Association for organising such a wonderful event for the children.

Years 3 – 6 Visit to Old Hunstanton on Thursday 8th July

We’re off to the seaside! We’ll be travelling to Old Hunstanton, by coach, on Thursday 8th July, leaving school at 9.00 a.m. and returning at about 4.30 p.m. – Please ensure that children arrive at school promptly that morning.

Please add to the excitement of the day by providing snacks and a picnic lunch (nut-free and containing no sweets or chocolate please) in a clearly named back pack. The children will not require any pocket money! There are no amusements at Old Hunstanton and the children will spend the day amongst the sand dunes and on the beach, playing games and making sandcastles.

Casual clothes should be worn, suitable for the weather, plus a sweater and light waterproof jacket. Although swimming is not allowed, the children will need a complete change of beach clothes, together with a towel and, most importantly, a sun hat.

We are hoping the weather will be warm and sunny and it is vital for you to apply sun block cream to ensure your child is adequately protected.

Homework Planners Front Cover Design Competition

I am delighted to announce the winners of our competition to design the front cover for next year’s Homework Planners.  The KS1 cover winner is Amelia in Year 2 and the KS2 winner is Elsie in Year 4.  Well done, children!

End of Term Arrangements

Further details for end of term arrangements will be sent out on Monday. Please do read this carefully as we have lots of exciting events planned!

Alice in Wonderland Collection Arrangements

All children whose parents are not attending the performance each day will be returned to school afterwards, and should therefore be collected at 4pm (unless they are attending clubs).  After each Alice in Wonderland performance, all children will go home in costume but will need to make sure they bring their costumes back into school the following morning.

Birthdays

This week, we wished a happy birthday to Athena and Daisy in Year 1.

Have a great weekend!

Michael Radford