Dear Parents,

This week celebrated National Storytelling Week and began with an assembly on the joys of telling and sharing stories.  In addition, Chinese New Year was also celebrated with a delicious meal cooked by Chef and her team, as well as various classroom activities creating and decorating tigers, lanterns and writing.  This week has also seen the virtual balloon race reaching its final stages and the winners will be announced on Monday.  As you will see below, children at Fairstead have enjoyed drama, music, sport, outdoor activities and so much learning!

Reception

It has been wonderful celebrating ‘National Storytelling Week’ alongside Chinese New Year in Reception this week. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the story of ‘The Great Race’ and have spent time discussing the behaviour and actions of the different animals. They even took the story into the forest and embarked on their very own races, moving as different animals from the story. Before hearing the end of the story, the children wrote some super story predictions relating to which animal they thought would win the race, and which animal they thought would come last in the race. There were some super ideas!

In Spanish, Miss Bryan also shared a wonderful story linked to a very special mouse, and listening to Isabella’s stories of her adventures in Australia was also very special. Hearing a favourite childhood story from Mr. Beardsworth was a wonderful way to end the week. Thank you for being our surprise reader!

Year 1

In our topic lessons, we have been learning about Mary Anning, an English fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who found two almost complete plesiosaur skeletons, as well as many other fossils! We heard her life story and then created timelines sequencing important events from her life. The highlight of the week though was having Year 3 come into our classroom to tell us more about Mary Anning and her exciting discoveries! It was a wonderful experience taking part in some collaborative learning.

Year 2

Year 2 have had an incredibly busy week! On Tuesday we learned all about Chinese New Year. We read stories about the Buddha and his great race and were data collectors finding out what year in the Chinese zodiac the adults in school were born in and then transferring that into a bar chart. We painted numbers to 10 in Mandarin, had a try writing sentences in Mandarin, made dragons and created beautiful woven lanterns. We thought very hard about the importance of this festival and found that it has many of the same important features as our Christmas celebrations. In maths we are continuing to learn about grouping and division. In literacy we have been focusing on non fiction fact files in preparation for some research and writing next week. In science we have been thinking about the animals of the Arctic and will extend these ideas into adaptations to habitats next week. In art we have created the most beautiful chalk pastel Northern Lights pictures. What a week!

Year 3

Year 3 have been working hard this week across the curriculum. In maths, we continued our division unit by finding remainders. We used place value counters and rods to physically show the remainders. We used triangles when dividing by 3, squares when dividing by 4 and pentagons for dividing by 5 to create a concrete and pictorial representation. Some of us even divided by 6, 7 and 8 using hexagons, heptagons and octagons. In English, we planned our own rags to riches stories. We worked hard to create our characters, setting and five part plot structure. In topic, we started our study of King Henry VIII. We found out about his six wives and had lots of fun reciting, ‘Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived’. We look forward to learning more about King Henry VIII next week… In PSHE, we discussed our dreams and goals. We looked at short term and long term goals. In science, we found out all about soil. We created our own compost bins using layers of rocks, compost, vegetable peelings and shredded paper. We visited Year 1 to share our science learning and to find out what they had been discovering about dinosaurs and fossils. Year 1 listened so beautifully to us and we were impressed with their knowledge too! We loved sharing our discoveries, showing our compost bins and we particularly enjoyed sharing our information pages on Mary Anning. What a wonderful way to share and consolidate our learning!

Year 4

Year 4 have had a busy week. In maths, they have been investigating the area of 2D shapes using non-standard units. In science, they tested materials to find which was the best soundproofer. The results showed that bubble wrap reduced the sound by 20 decibels. Year 4 learned that this is due to sound travelling more slowly through gases, as the particles roam freely, and bubble wrap has pockets of air.
In art, Year 4 continued with their portrait drawing, using the guide for proportions and positions. It has been wonderful to see them adding features such as hair, focusing on the direction of the hairs and developing the roundness of the pupils when drawing eyes.

Year 5

This week, we have started to look at persuasive writing. We started by looking at the structure of a persuasive argument: Point, Evidence, Explain. We will be developing these skills to writing a persuasive letter. The last two reading comprehension homeworks have been persuasive letters which will help and I will continue in that theme next week. In maths, we have started to move onto fractions which is always an interesting topic. This will fill the majority of our maths lessons for the remainder of the term. It is a wonderful topic as it recaps many aspects of maths including multiplying, dividing, addition, subtraction and, not to forget, times tables. Please continue to help your child learn their times tables as this will help all areas of maths including fractions. You can test them or they can use TT Rock Stars and compete in the House ‘Battle of the Bands’!

As you will see below, the promised photos of Monday’s practicals are showing the class working well. It was wonderful to be in the science lab because we needed access to water to investigate streamlining and water resistance. The children made various shapes and timed how long it took for them to fall through a column of water. They seem to have enjoyed it once they conquered their fear of wet playdough! I read some wonderful conclusions and predictions supported by reasons. All of this was in addition to a match against Barnadiston (see the match report), PSHE, Music, Drama, Computing and Spanish. Another busy week at Fairstead House!

Year 6

Year 6 have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the ‘Battle of the Houses’ challenge on Times Tables Rock Stars. This competition can be completed at home, as well as school, with lots of points to be won. The team with the most points by Monday will earn 10 tokens. Good luck Buckenham, Taylor and Wedgwood! In science, Year 6 have had lots of fun demonstrating Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion via a ‘balloon rocket’ experiment and they finally got the chance to share their Arts Award log books and wire horse sculptures with the whole school in assembly. Another busy week!

Fixtures

U11 A team mixed Netball V Barnadiston

On Wednesday 2nd February the Under 11 A team played netball against Barnadiston. We started with the first centre and got passing brilliantly. Elsie managed to get free from the defenders which was incredibly helpful. Julian did amazing shots into the goal and scored. Giselle made some very accurate passes to our shooters. Michaela and Ashera did fabulous intercepting and defending. Bella and Lottie played incredibly well by getting into space and doing quick passes. Gabi did some excellent defending on their goal shooter and put her under a lot of pressure.

The final score was 21 – 7 to them.

Elsie was voted player of the match.

Well done team better luck next time

Ella W., U11 Sports Captain.

U11 B team mixed Netball v Barnadiston

On Wednesday 2nd February the under 11 B team played netball against Barnadiston. The B team quickly got passing, playing confidently. Charlotte did some amazing shots at goal and got a lot of them in. Tabi and Nicole did some great marking along with Prince who did some great attacking. Maryam, Varoushka and Grace made some amazing catches. Isabella and Deanna were persistent in attacking.

The final score was 10 – 5 to Barnadiston.

Well done B team better luck next time.

Ella W., U11 Sports Captain.

Informal concert

This week we had our first Informal Tea Time Concert of the Lent term. All the pupils played confidently and with musical expression. We heard a variety of pieces performed but I must say how much I enjoyed hearing Hässler’s Ecossaise in G, Chee-Hwa Tan’s ‘The Swing’ and Papp’s ‘Szöcske’. Congratulations to all the performers, it really was a wonderful concert. Our next Informal Tea Time Concert is on Tuesday 22nd February and I’m delighted to say that parents of pupils at Fairstead will be performing. The invitation is still open to parents and family members to join our concerts this term. Please do contact me if you would like to join us on either the 22nd February, or 8th, 15th or 22nd March.

Matilda the Musical

The excitement in rehearsals for our KS2 production of ‘Matilda the Musical’ is wonderful. I am impressed and proud of the commitment and enthusiasm of the pupils in all the rehearsals. Details about costumes will be sent out at some point after half term.
Please make a note of the performance dates in your diaries:
1st Performance Tuesday 24th May at 6:30pm,
2nd Performance Thursday 26th May at 6:30pm,
3rd Performance Friday 27th May at 6:30pm.
We plan to have the Dress Rehearsal on Monday 23rd May with a Technical Rehearsal on Friday 20th May.
All pupils in KS2 are expected to attend.

Have a lovely weekend!

Michael Radford