Dear Parents,

This week I have been amazed and delighted with all the fantastic learning that has been taking place.  Year 2 have produced excellent fire engines for their Great Fire of London topic, and were thrilled to explain their designs and materials used.  It has also been wonderful to see children enjoying outdoor learning and Games; both Mr Salt and Mrs Toynbee have arranged end of term House Competitions and the children are abuzz with eagerness and competitive spirit.  In assembly the children learned about teamwork with the help of Year 2 children, and it seems very appropriate to focus on the importance of teamwork with competitions ahead!

Next week we look forward to even more fun-filled learning and please remember that term ends on Thursday 1st April at 4pm, unless children are staying for Prep and After School Care.

Reception

The children in Reception have been working hard on developing their independence this week. In English, imaginative story maps have been created and the children have had great fun considering alternative versions of ‘The Enormous Turnip.’ ‘Gigantic tomatoes,’ ‘enormous aubergines,’ and ‘alien apples’ were just some of the very creative ideas suggested. The characters who offered to help the farmer ranged from family members to Batman! It has been lots of fun. In Maths, the weekly focus has been on subtraction, and popping bubbles was a very popular way for the children to understand this concept. Outside, the children challenged one another to ‘turnip races!’ They also investigated floating and sinking using root vegetables, as well as experimenting with a range of natural resources found on the forest floor. The children will enjoy more ‘growing fun’ next week. Please remember to bring in your Wellington boot on Monday if you haven’t already done so. Many thanks.

Year 1

There has been great excitement in Year 1 this week as their caterpillars have grown quickly and are preparing to form their chrysalides. The children enjoyed observing the caterpillars closely using magnifying glasses before drawing observational pictures of them. In Maths, the children have been exploring place value and used Dienes to represent 2- and 3-digit numbers. In RE, they have been making stained-glass windows which depict the events of Good Friday. The children used collage techniques to create a colourful sunset before adding a silhouette of Golgotha Hill where Jesus died. The stained-glass windows look beautiful when the sunlight streams through them!

Year 2

Year 2 have had a very exciting week! We have explored how we know so much about the past, especially the Great Fire of London. We have discovered that information can come from written texts such as newspapers, official papers, church records and diaries. We have also learned that art (drawings and paintings) and objects (discovered by archaeologists) also offer us a wealth of information, we just need to be detectives to put all of the pieces together. We specifically looked at the diary of Samuel Pepys. He was a prominent diarist and we were fascinated to learn that he wrote the diaries in code! What interested the class most was the lack of urgency in dealing with the fire. Both Samuel and the Lord Mayor went back to bed upon learning of the fire! We have discovered that faster action would have saved so many homes. Year 2 were tickled to learn that Samuel Pepys buried his wine and a wheel of parmesan cheese in his garden, deeming them precious goods!

This week we also explored the differences between fire fighting tools from the past and today. We learned that in 1666 fire engines were made of wood, carried only one barrel of water and needed to be very close to the fire to be of any use! In DT we have compared and contrasted the two, deciding that our modern trucks are far more preferable! We have learned about wheels, axles and chassis and used that information to design and create our own fire engines. The end results were outstanding! Linking to this learning, in ICT, the children designed and created 3D nets of fire engines that we have printed and are building.

On Thursday afternoon, Year 1 and 2 came together to participate in a virtual dance session lead by Forest Heath! We learned dances set to Disney music and had a wonderful time linking with other schools in our district! A huge thank you to Mrs Toynbee for arranging our participation, it was a great afternoon.

Year 3

We’ve had another busy week in Year 3. The children have enjoyed being back out on the Severals, practising new football skills and applying them during friendly matches.
At the beginning of the week the children worked in pairs to perform a poem. They were encouraged to offer each other advice, where appropriate, and give positive feedback too. It was great to see the all the children working so well together.
In science we looked closely at soils from three different locations and compared them. Our Year 3 scientists had to make predictions and carry out an experiment to find out which soil was the best ‘drainer’ (lets water through) and which was the best ‘soaker’ (absorbs the water). We discussed how to make it a fair test and the children also recorded their results.

Year 4

Year 4 have had another busy week! In English, they began writing persuasive texts about saving our planet from the effects of litter. Firstly, they drafted their opening statements, including features such as rhetorical questions, stating their point of view and emotive language. They also conducted some independent research to find evidence and statistics to support their reasons. Some startling figures were found and I am sure they will share these with you. In Science, Year 4 planned an investigation into the effects of sugar and acids on our teeth, using eggs and a selection of liquids. They wrote clear methods and predictions and ensured all variables remained the same apart from one. We will be making daily observations to see if our predictions are correct! In Art, Year 4 added the finishing touches to their volcano sculptures and are very much looking forward to ’erupting’ them next week!

Year 5

On Thursday we experimented with an outdoor classroom. With a warm day, we decided to take our science investigation outside. We studied gravity and how it causes acceleration. The children carefully rolled our science balls down slopes of different heights, ensuring they kept all other variables the same. Interestingly, the results were not as expected which we discussed in class.

After break, the children freeze framed scenes from Carrie’s War and the other pupils had to guess the scene, explain how they knew and identify who each character was. This meant they had to think not just about the action but also how the character would have felt or reacted. There were some wonderful ideas from the children as you can see from the images. It is just a shame that you cannot hear the depth of thought and clarity of explanation.

Year 6

Linked to their work in PSHEE, Year 6 have been focussing on playscripts in English lessons. They have revised key features, such as stage directions for actions and emotions, and have each started to write a script for three characters. As a stimulus for their own writing, they acted out a scene involving ‘Mum’, ‘Dad’ and ‘Joe’; Joe wanted to stay up late on a school night to watch TV and found several ways – including the use of ‘puppy dog’s eyes’ – to plead with his parents! Year 6 have also been given the opportunity to choose their cast and perform their play to the rest of the class. Here are some photos of them on Wednesday morning, script in hand and getting into character!

Music

Year 3

The focus this week in class music has continued on the theme of pulse and combining simple rhythmic patterns. The pupils have enjoyed working together to create their own rhythmic sequences.

Year 4

Using traditional rhymes, the Year 4s have created and performed musical textures using various percussion instruments.

Festival of Dance

On Thursday afternoon all children in KS1 and KS2 had the opportunity to take part in the Forest Heath Sports Partnership Festival of Dance. This was a great opportunity to join 15 other local schools – virtually – for a 45 minute dance session. It was fantastic to see the children getting involved and learning a routine in just 45 minutes. KS1 learnt a routine to “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin and KS2 learnt a fast paced routine to “Footloose” and I’m sure they would love to show you what they learnt!

Well done everyone!

Mrs Toynbee

Pick Up/Drop Off

Please may I remind parents that school opens at 8.20am in the morning.  If you arrive a few minutes earlier by car, please make sure you allow room for Nursery parents to exit via Gate 3.  In addition, please may I also remind parents to turn their engines off whilst they are waiting for their child at the end of the day.

Games

Key Stage 2 have thoroughly enjoyed Games this second half of term, with a target of improving stamina with cross country running, and also developing their football skills.  This will all be very important with House Competitions next week!

Parent Meetings

Next week there is an opportunity for you to speak to Class Teachers and other subject staff using the Parent Meeting system.  To access the website, please click here.

Birthdays

This week we wished happy birthday to Charlotte in the School and Eva and George in the Nursery.

Arrangements

Please may I remind you that term finishes on Thursday 1st April at 4.00pm, with Prep and After School Care continuing until 6.00pm.  Wishing you and your families a lovely weekend.