Dear Parents,

This week has seen a flourish of colour and costume for World Book Day.  Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have been dressing as different characters from their favourite books, and they have all looked fantastic!  Children in Key Stage 2 brought in an object related to their favourite book, which encouraged much discussion and guessing in classrooms.

Also this week, sporting fixtures have taken place despite some rather damp weather.  One highlight has been the U11 Quicksticks hockey team who finished second in the whole competition.  They played superbly and were a credit to Fairstead.

The Danceathon sponsorship monies have been counted and the tremendous total of £2184 has been raised.  This is an incredible achievement and we are so pleased it will make such a difference to the charity.  Miss Drayton and Year 1 will be presenting the cheque to them next week.  Thank you once again for all your support.

As you will see below, the children have had an amazing week of learning and opportunities to celebrate.  Please enjoy reading below.

Reception

It has been a wonderful week of storytelling in Reception! The week began with the story of ‘The Runaway Pancake.’ The children enjoyed hearing the first few pages of the story and then had fun inventing and writing their own pancake adventures! A big ‘thank you’ to Chef who then helped everyone to make the perfect pancakes, in preparation for Shrove Tuesday. On Wednesday, the children received a letter from ‘Jack’, which included magic beans for everyone, what a wonderful surprise! The children eagerly wrote back to Jack, telling him all about what special powers their beans had. The children have been extremely lucky to have heard so many wonderful stories from some very special surprise readers. Thank you to everyone who has visited Reception this week, and a special mention to Mr Woolf, who took part in the children’s storytelling challenge and told everyone the most fantastic story! Visiting Newmarket Library and dressing up as our favourite story characters was the perfect end to a wonderful week. Well done everyone!

Year 1

We loved celebrating World Book Day this week and particularly enjoyed showing our costumes to each other and sharing our favourite books. Thank you very much to all of the parents for providing such fantastic costumes!

In English, we used both natural and man-made objects found outside to create our story maps for our Snail Trail stories. Using our alliterative snail names, interesting adjectives, and exciting verbs, we practised telling our stories. Finally, we wrote our stories making sure we remembered our writing non-negotiables. We are so impressed with our finished work!

Year 2

What a wonderful week we have had! On Monday Year 2 welcomed Mr Evans in for a drama session centred on Australia. We had a wonderful time playing drama games and putting on a play about Tiddalik, a greedy frog from the aboriginal Dreamtime tales. We above been working on identifying verbs and enhancing our writing using adverbs. Friday was a phenomenal Book Day! Thank you to everyone for the amazing costumes. The children had a great time sharing books and talking about who they were.

Year 3

This week, Year 3 have been very busy in maths where they have been measuring length in metres, centimetres and millimetres. They have been making connections between different units of measure, converting units and adding lengths. In English, we have dug deeper into our text type – non-chronological reports. We have been summarising the structure and looking more closely at the language, layout and features. In science, it was time to investigate friction. The children found out about friction and set up an experiment to find out which surface had the most friction when the car went down the ramp. These surfaces included: wood, rubber, carpet and sandpaper. They made predictions, recorded their results in tables and came to their own conclusions. In history this week, Year 3 found out about Queen Victoria’s life and the British Empire. In pairs, the children researched a country from the British Empire. Chosen countries included: Jamaica, South Africa, Canada and Australia. In RE, we discussed the importance of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper. We shared ideas about how we can put others before ourselves and take care of our friends. Our celebration of World Book Day saw some wonderful props from KS2. The children asked thoughtful questions and had fun taking part in quizzes, puzzles and ‘The Masked Reader’. We are looking forward to our ‘Riotous Royal’ themed day on Wednesday next week… Another fantastic week, Year 3!

Years 3 & 4

Over the last few weeks in art, Years 3 and 4 have chosen the monarch they wish to create a portrait of, used the scale and proportions guide to sketch them, developed line techniques to create texture in their drawings and are now ready to begin learning printing skills. This week, they learned the skills of block printing; how to use a pencil to score the tile, how much ink is needed, how to roll out on the tray, how to ensure an even coverage when rolling out onto the tile using a vertical and horizontal direction, and finally, how to ensure an even print by rolling with a clean roller.
Over the coming weeks, they will be learning how to use a range of printing techniques. Please look out for updates as they progress towards printing their monarch portraits!

Year 5

What an eventful week we have had. It has flown by! Whether it was sport, Spanish, maths, English or science, it has been non-stop this week. They have even talked about the books they loved. Once again, the class has risen to every challenge I have set them. It is great to see this increasing confidence spreading through the class and also their improved problem-solving abilities. I always love this time of the year as the children start to grow and develop their own self confidence and resilience. I have been especially pleased this week with their work on fractions as they convert the denominator to ensure they can add fractions. They have even stopped groaning when I mention how important fractions are.

Once again, we carried out an experiment in science. This week, we were focusing on trends in results and how they can write them. We practised by describing trends that happen as we grow, such as, “as a person grows older, they grow taller”. We also discussed how this trend would not continue for ever. Once again, I have included pictures of the science as they show your children to their best. However, some of you will also see your child in the sports pictures.

Year 6

In English lessons, Year 6 started a new, non-fiction unit on ‘Writing reports’. They were asked to imagine that the owner of a local sports shop wanted them to try out a pair of the latest trainers on the market and to provide feedback for the manufacturer. As a starting point, they used the iPads to take photos of their own indoor and outdoor footwear and commented on positive and negative aspects from their point of view. In fact, for a short while, it felt as if the Year 6 classroom had turned into the design studio of a famous fashion house with some of the children using the video app to capture the best angle of their own (slightly muddy) shoes, trainers and football boots! Following this, Year 6 researched their favourite style and brand of trainers, creating a collage of images to inspire their writing. On Thursday afternoon, 4 members of the class represented Fairstead House at a local hockey tournament – congratulations for making it to the final! See below for more information. For World Book Day, Year 6 brought a range of character props into school. Can you tell from the photos below who they chose to be? It didn’t take long for them to guess Mr Peace’s character from the jar of marmalade on his desk! Marmalade sandwich, anyone?

Art

In art, Year 6 are currently making close studies of Chinese art. They are learning how to change the thickness of brush strokes when using watercolours, by changing the levels of pressure applied and the direction of the stroke. This is a traditional technique used in Chinese art but is also a valuable skill when developing brush control. These watercolour studies began with chrysanthemums, and progressed to orchids this week. I think you will agree that they are stunning!

In art, Year 5 have begun learning about one point perspective and how to include the horizon line, vanishing point and perspective lines in their drawings. They were then introduced to atmospheric perspective, and how items in the distance often appear blue or grey, because they reflect the colour of the sky. This week, they began using watercolours to add atmospheric perspective to their one point perspective street scenes. A super start to using these new skills, Year 5!

MFL

As we have started a new half term, we have new musicians of the term in MFL. As requested by the children, here is a reminder of their names so you can listen to their songs at home to earn house points. Our French ‘musicien’ is Francoise Hardy and our Spanish ‘músico’ is Natalia Jiménez. Well done once again to Annabelle in Year 4 and Prince in Year 6 for listening to so many songs last term and winning the prizes!

Fixtures

This Wednesday’s fixture was five-a-side netball against Dame Bradbury in Saffron Walden. Once again, our teams showed their determination to do well. We have been working on their passing and moving, and there were times in the match when it was obvious they had been listening and were therefore able to quickly pass the ball from one end to the other. As they continue to practice, that skill will grow and this will allow them to continue their developing skills. There were some wonderful shots taken both near the net and from the edge of the D. In addition, it was inspiring to see some of the interceptions in our defence which allowed us to turn over the ball. Well done to all the players in three well fought matches.

Quicksticks

What a wonderful afternoon we all had on Thursday. I was privileged to take six pupils to a Year 5 and 6 Quicksticks competition at Newmarket Academy. There were 15 teams split into two groups. The first two placed teams from each group would go on to play in semi-finals and then finals. It was clear from the outset that our players wanted to win.
The first round was a close fought set of matches in which we only lost one. This guaranteed our place in the semi-finals. This success was a combination of all of the players. Whether it was Gabi’s superb clearances in defence, Prince’s tenacity to pressure the places, Otis and Elsie’s skill in attack with their dribbling and team work, Ella’s consistent push that slowed the opposition down or Giselle’s wonderful tackles, the combination we had was perfect. All players threw everything they had into the matches.

In the semi-finals, we played Exning and it was a stalemate. To find a winner they fist played extra time. Then they played golden goal. Then they took off a boy, then a girl. Finally, when it was two on two, they had to resort to score from anywhere! By this time, it was clear that our players were becoming tired but they still drove themselves on and scored to gain a place in the final. Again, in that final, they met Kettlefields, the only team to have beaten us so far. Despite the children’s best efforts, we were not able to win. However, we took a very well deserved second place and it was clear that the children had loved their time. I was so proud of them, as was our Chef who as also there. It was also clear their parents were proud. The children deserve congratulations all round for demonstrating what makes this school so great!

U9 Hockey Tournament

The U9 girls went to a tournament today where they played three other schools: Old Buckenham Hall, Ipswich High and Barnadiston. We entered three teams of five and they demonstrated their skills admirably. Each team managed to win one match, draw one match and lose one match. All the teams entered into the spirit of the competition and played to their best, ensuring that the games were interesting to watch as well as being played in good spirit. There are too many good points to mention here which hopefully goes to show what wonderful matches they were. Well done to all who took part.

Have a super weekend!

Michael Radford