Dear Parents,

Following Year 5’s rocket science last week, this week has once again seen learning reach new heights!  Reception have been growing their sunflower seeds and producing some wonderful artwork, whilst Year 6, not to be outdone by Year 5, have been firing their own rockets!  In other areas of school I have been very impressed with Year 2’s topic work, where they have used their study of Alice in Wonderland to create ‘glimpses through the keyhole’ of amazing landscapes.  All classes have thoroughly enjoyed their learning and once again, when visiting each class, I have witnessed the enthusiasm and creativity taking place.  As you can see from the smiling faces in the photographs, the children are embracing the new opportunities to develop their knowledge and the merits awarded this week have also highlighted individuals who have made extra effort towards their learning.  Next week we look forward to fixtures resuming for Key Stage 2 and wish all the teams good luck!

Reception

This week in Reception, the children have been keen to continue their learning about ‘Sunflowers.’ Learning all about Vincent Van Gogh and reading a wonderful story about him and his artwork has been a super way to extend everyone’s learning. We certainly have some amazing artists in Reception! In Maths, the children have worked hard to count on, and back, from a given number. They have also enjoyed playing ‘Build a number Bingo!’ The children developed their coordination skills in P.E and their fine motor skills in ICT, whilst also showing enthusiasm in their Music and Language lessons. In ‘Outdoor Learning’, identifying and naming trees was great fun! Did you know that someone in Reception shares their name with a tree? I wonder if you can guess who it is? The children enjoyed closely observing similarities and differences between the leaves and the bark. They are eager to become ‘tree detectives’ at home this weekend too. Have fun!

Year 1

Year 1 have had another exciting week learning about toys from the past. They learned about the toys Victorian children may have played with and then took part in some parlour games that were popular 150 years ago. ‘Squeak Piggy Squeak’ was a firm favourite!

The children’s English work has been linked to their History learning this week. They compared toys from the past and present and used phrases such as, ‘in the past,’ ‘before I was born’, and ‘when my great grandparents were younger,’ in their writing.

Year 2

Year 2 have had another exciting week!

We have completed our keyhole garden art and the results are stunning! We have pretended that we are Alice after having eaten the biscuit, growing to 9 feet tall! We are now peeking through the keyhole in the tiny door at the end of the long corridor into a magical garden. Using pastel colours and Monet’s Waterlilies as inspiration for filling our space with colours, we have put into practice our lesson on horizon lines and vanishing points to create these masterpieces!

We have spent time in Literacy working on our editing skills. We have proofread our magic key writing, looking for missing punctuation and spellings that do not follow the rules that we know, as well as hunting for our non negotiable spelling words. After our corrections we rewrote our work in our very best handwriting. We have also begun close reading of a shorter version of Alice in Wonderland by Emma Chichester Clark. We have compared the beginning chapter to the unabridged Lewis Carroll version and have found so many similarities and quite a few differences as well! We have had a poetry session looking carefully at Isaac Watt’s poem ‘How Doth the Little Busy Bee’. We talked about the parts of a poem and worked in small groups to create a poetry presentation for our class.

In maths, we have continued to explore multiplication. This week we have looked at arrays and how they can help us to group items. We have also worked on showing our multiplication as repeated addition, in a word story, as a picture, and as the multiplication sum.

Our plant exploration this week focused on the needs of plants and humans. We made a venn diagram detailing what plants and people need, and were a bit surprised by the overlap! We then started a fair test experiment to see the effects of removing one of the necessary elements to growing a healthy plant. We have a control plant which is getting sun, heat and water, and three experiment plants. One is not receiving any water, one is in a dark cupboard and one is in the fridge. Watch this space to see how it turns out…

Year 3

This week in Year 3 we have been report writing. We wanted our newspaper report to be about our current topic – football! We organised the class into teams, chose the referee, manager, captain, goalie and played a quick football match. The game was video recorded so the children could later re-watch to make notes for their reports (and it was even used as VAR half way through the match!). The children had the opportunity to interview various players, managers and captains so they could add some quotes too. Click here to see a video of a goal being scored.

In science we continued to explore forces, and investigated friction. The children worked in small groups to test different materials to see which created the most friction. Click here to see a video of our science in action.

For topic work this week we compared the rules of football from 1863 to now; the children were interested to know that back in the day there were no goalkeepers! We also created a time line to show how the football itself has changed over time; unsurprisingly the children decided they would rather play with a football from 2021 than 1550!

Year 4

This week, Year 4 continued with their persuasive letter writing. They have researched the benefits of a range of playground equipment from swings and forts to football pumps, and some have even included costings! Year 4 have been using the acronym, ‘A FOREST’ to remind them of the features of persuasive writing. They will gladly explain these to you if asked.
In Science, Year 4 began to explore complete and incomplete circuits. They predicted which circuits were complete and tested these out using the appropriate components. They then created their own circuits using multiple bulbs and extended their understanding by introducing switches. Much fun was had and it was a shame the lesson had to end!
In History, Year 4 compared the 1863 Football Association rules with those of present day. Several differences were identified. Some Year 4s preferred the idea of having no cross bar on the goal as this would make it easier to score, however, Alexander challenged this idea by suggesting that this would mean the game would require less skill – excellent debating!

Year 5

With our new science topic of ‘animals and their habitats’ looming, we went on a habitat hunt to Ely. Our aim was to see the different habitats that existed and the plants and animals that lived there. We were fortunate to have great weather and this allowed us to see a wide range of life from a heronry, through to a murder of crows and even parasitic mistletoe. We also talked about the effect that humans have had on the environment and whether we have natural habitats or man made habitats. This was most pertinent when we reached the flooded clay pits. We will build on what we saw as the topic progresses.

Year 6

In science lessons, Year 6 have been studying ‘Great British Scientists’, including Mary Anning, Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin. They have recalled and discussed the terms ‘evolution’, ‘extinction’, ‘natural selection’ and ‘survival of the fittest’. They enjoyed sharing their thoughts on visible genetic traits that run in their family and how much they take after their parents and grandparents. Following on from recent lessons on Newton’s third law of motion, Year 6 experimented with film canister rockets, Alka Seltzer tablets and warm water. Much fun was had in the playground, mixing the ingredients to make carbon dioxide gas which built up inside the small canister and ultimately sent it flying 3-5 metres (or more) into the air! Here are some photos of the children at work and the chemical equation.

This week was also special for Jos when he brought into school and shared with classmates some signed merchandise connected to Lewis Hamilton. Hold on to them, Jos; they’ll be worth something one day!

Drama

Such a delight to see and hear children in person this term:
Individual sessions this term have included:
Children finding Shakespearean characters on a map of 16th C London
Becoming a Van Gogh Sunflower
Learning about alliteration and having fun with word games
Being Eliza Dolittle in Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”
Turning into Mme Arcati in Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”
Scenes between mother and troubled teenage daughter.
Preparing for LAMDA Acting and Public Speaking Exams this Saturday
Looking at movement in West Side Story to see how dance tells a story
Working on speeches as potential prime ministers
In Drama Club we had a record thirteen students starting to improvise fairytale characters from Into The Woods.
It is hoped that over the course of the next three terms, a production may be possible and I am talking soon to Mr Radford about potential holiday drama clubs.
Drama is not only acting – it is about confidence building and selling yourself at interviews and making meaningful eye contact and of course the hardest thing for children to learn – the importance of stillness and genuine listening. If you would like your child to start with me in September then it is really important to book your child/children a place this term so I can schedule my timetable. Please do not hesitate to contact me at your earliest opportunity to let me know of your interest. I am most easily contactable on email at jonathanwoolfdrama01954@gmail.com
Best wishes as always
Jonathan

Clubs

A polite reminder that if children are staying for clubs after school, they are allowed to bring in a healthy snack.  Please remember that crisps and chocolate are not allowed, and also that we remain a nut free school.
They will also need to have their PE kits with them if they need to change for clubs such as Multi Sports or Dance.

Birthdays

This week we wished a Happy Birthday to Roan.

Wishing all families an enjoyable long weekend with the Bank Holiday Monday.  We look forward to seeing you all back on Tuesday.

Michael Radford