Dear Parents,

This week in assembly, the children watched a video from the Big Garden Bird Watch which took place last year.  It counted down the top ten birds seen in gardens.  This weekend RSPB are encouraging everyone once again to take some time to appreciate and count the bird life around them.  Another flight-related theme that you need to look out for this weekend is the FHPA balloon race!  It is virtual, so all entries and race details can be found by following the links on Classlist.

A huge thank you to the FHPA for hosting a Basic Life Support first aid evening.  It was well attended and parents were very thankful for learning and understanding the vital skills!

Reception

After travelling to the Arctic last week and visiting the polar bears, the children in Reception have been very busy again this week, searching for brown bears! They enjoyed looking closely at similarities and differences between the two species and have discovered some more super facts. Well done to Piper for finding even more at home! In art, the children have designed the most amazing brown bears and spent time exploring and creating different shades of brown to use in their work. They have also become amazing authors and have written their own class book; Reception Class, Reception Class, What do you see? The class were also very lucky to hear another wonderful story from our ‘Surprise Reader’ this week. A big thank you to Mrs Tate for her surprise visit! Participating in a blindfold walk challenge in the forest and creating an Opticians in the classroom was a wonderful way to end the week. The children are now looking forward to spotting lots of birds in their gardens over the weekend. Have fun!

Year 1

In English this week we have been learning the features of fiction and non-fiction texts. We worked hard to sort books into fiction and non-fiction groups and explained our decisions to the rest of the class.

We also grouped sentences into narrative sentences and factual sentences. By the end of this unit, we will have produced our own non-fiction page all about our favourite dinosaurs!

In our topic/ science lessons we have been learning to identify a dinosaur’s diet simply by looking at its teeth. We learned that carnivores needed sharp teeth to rip into the flesh of other animals, but herbivores had flat, peg-like teeth to grind leaves. We enjoyed classifying several different dinosaurs in various ways.

Year 2

Year 2 have been working hard on our snowman activities in literacy. We watched wonderful story called ‘How to Catch a Snowman’. We listened once for pleasure, and a second and third time to help us answer the comprehension questions and record all of the attempted snowman traps from the story. Next we had a go at designing our own snowman trap, complete with a list of materials and labels for our drawings. We have also written a list of detailed instructions for building a snowman using imperative verbs and time connectives. In maths we have been working on sharing equally and applying this understanding to the division symbol. In science and geography we are learning about world habitats and temperature zones. In art we have completed our Ted Harrison watercolour paintings. The paintings are outstanding! Remember to count your birds this weekend for the RSPB Birdwatch, the information is on DB Primary.

Year 3

It has been a full-on week of learning in Year 3 this week. In maths, we have moved onto our new unit of ‘Division’. We have been using place value counters and the partitioning method to divide two digit by one digit numbers efficiently. We have been using our times table and known facts to find near multiples. In English, we have been writing the rags to riches story of Aladdin. Using fronted adverbials, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and expanded noun phrases has made our writing more detailed and interesting for the reader. Our writing has been particularly impressive this week. In science, we have continued our unit on Rocks by studying Mary Anning. We were fascinated by her life story and made information pages to explain her contributions to palaeontology. Amelia also bought in some wonderful rocks and fossils from home and created her own museum in the classroom. It was all very interesting and informative!

Year 4

In science, Year 4 have learned that sounds are made by vibrations, that loud sounds are caused by bigger vibrations with a bigger amplitude and quieter sounds by smaller vibrations with a smaller amplitude. They then moved on to learn how to change pitch and that a sound with a smaller frequency will have a higher pitch and a sound with a larger frequency will have a lower pitch. This week, they investigated how sound travels. By making and using string telephones, Year 4 proved that sound vibrations move more quickly through solids than through liquids and gases, and they physically felt the vibrations through the string as they spoke.
In English, they have begun analysing persuasive letters and will be building up towards writing their own. In preparation for this, the children have brought home a letter from the (fictional) Chief Executive of Onions R Us, who would like to build a pickled onion factory on the school field, for their homework. The letter is directly to the children and next week, they will be responding to persuade him to build his factory elsewhere! The stronger they disagree with the proposal, the more effective their writing will be.

Year 5

This week we continued our science topic by looking at how a hot air balloon floats. We discussed how particles behave when they heat up, linking back to their science in year 4 when they studied particle theory. We started by looking at why objects float or sink in water. From this, we moved onto the idea of floating on air. However, the best way to understand something is to make and see it, and so we then started to make hot air balloons which we flew later that day. Their explanations of why something floats or sinks were wonderful and used the vocabulary and ideas we had discussed in class. Next week, we will continue our study of forces by looking at streamlining and drag. More experiments to come!

Year 6

In English lessons, Year 6 have returned to the topic of ‘contrasting diaries’. The children imagined that they had won a competition and that the first prize was a ride in a hot air balloon! In their first diary entry, they conveyed their excitement – and worries – on the eve of the flight and, in their second diary entry, they summed up their thoughts and feelings about the whole experience, including the reaction of family and friends. Year 6 recalled the key features of diary writing, analysed examples written by other Year 6 children to find ambitious vocabulary that they could include in their own writing and used their drama skills to explore ideas. As you can see from the photos below, they worked in pairs in the PA to improvise the moment that they opened the letter and discovered the exciting news. Mr Peace then took Year 6 to the bark area where they pretended that a corner of the climbing apparatus was the balloon’s basket! In pairs, they rehearsed and performed a scene that captured their feelings and included a description of the view from the balloon. Year 6 said that they loved taking their learning outside the classroom and that the use of drama really helped them with their creative writing. Well done, Year 6! Good luck to everyone sitting this weekend’s entrance exam at St. Mary’s, Cambridge!

Fixtures

Netball

On Wednesday 26th January the Under 11 mixed netball team played Brookes Cambridge. We started with the first centre, and we quickly got passing into the D. Elsie did some fabulous passes. Along with Julian who did some great shots at goal and scored a lot. Bella did some great intercepting with Prince. This allowed us to shoot many more times. Gabi got into space a lot which was amazing because she supported us when we did not have anybody to pass to. Lottie, Ashera and Michaela did some marvellous defending. Giselle made some great passes and got the ball moving quickly between our players. We all made some outstanding shots at goal.

The final score was 22 – 0 to us.

I was voted player of the match.

Well done team keep up the great work.

Ella W., U11 Sports Captain.

Hockey

Our U9 hockey teams set off to Culford on Friday for an exciting afternoon of matches. The girls pitted their hockey skills against a range of different schools and demonstrated some outstanding running and passing. The girls grew in confidence over the afternoon and managed some impressive results. Overall the 3 teams played 11 games, winning 8 of them. They can all be proud of themselves!

Unfortunately our U9’s football match was postponed this afternoon.

Mr Salt

Football

On Wednesday 19th January the Under 11 mixed football team played Brookes Cambridge. They started with the first centre, but we quickly intercepted them. Elsie did some brilliant runs up the wing allowing us to shoot many times. Julian did some excellent tackles along with Prince who did some great passes. Next Giselle and Michaela together did some great runs which allowed many more shots at goal. Ashera did some great saves and passes. Lottie did some amazing defending with Deanna who did some great kicks down the line to attack.

The final score was 10 – 0 to us.

Julian was voted player of the match.

Well done team keep up the good work.

Ella W., U11 Sports Captain.

Music and Drama

Rehearsals for ‘Matilda the Musical’ are well underway. Pupils from Years 3 – 6 have been heard singing ‘Matilda’ songs in the corridors, changing rooms and even on the minibus! In class music we have been focusing on – ‘Miracle’ and ‘School Song’ and in Drama we have been adding actions to the words.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford