Dear Parents,

It goes without saying that school is a hive of activity and excitement as we all prepare to welcome your children back to school on Monday. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to you all for supporting your children so well with their online remote learning.  My colleagues and I fully appreciate that it could not have been easy, especially when combined with your own work and family commitments. I am very aware that the online learning provision would not have been the success that it was without your support and time.  Thank you again.

Thank you and your children for all the lovely messages that we have received following the deliveries of delicious biscuits, baked by Mrs Lucie Melen (our Nursery Manager)!  I am sure that your children enjoyed eating them as much as we enjoyed planning the surprise for them.  I am sure that you will all join me in thanking Mrs Melen for her wonderful baking!

Whilst on the subject of baking, I was thrilled that so many children took part in my biscuit baking challenge over half term!  I was delighted to see all your photographs and I was even lucky enough to taste some!  Well done, all.

 

Reception

The story of Jack and the Beanstalk has been very popular in Reception this week. The children have loved planting their own bean seeds and watching closely for signs of germination.
Some amazing ‘beanstalks’ have been created at the ‘Finger Gym’ and during Outdoor Learning this week. Creating beanstalks with repeating patterns was an additional challenge and, as you will see from the photographs, the children certainly rose to it.
In English, the children were very excited to receive their very own delivery of magic beans!  It was so interesting to find out how magical these beans were and the children were keen to write and share their ideas.
Some beans gave the children the power to fly! Some gave them the power of invisibility and some children are now able to talk to and understand animals! How wonderful!  It has been a super week and a great way to end our learning from home.

On Thursday, the children enjoyed dressing up as characters from stories to celebrate ‘World Book Day!’
On Zoom, the children all gave clues for us to try and guess who they were!
In English, they chose a story character and wrote clues for us to guess who they had drawn a picture of!
In Maths, the children enjoyed using positional language to position their story characters and create a story scene. They then challenged their families to see if they could follow their instructions to place the characters onto the scene.
Later that day, the children enjoyed listening to ‘Surprise Readers’ on DB Primary, all of whom are their friends from Reception! They also went on a book themed scavenger hunt and made special bookmarks to celebrate the day!

It will be so wonderful to see all the children back in the classroom from Monday.  Thank you so much for all your support during, ‘Fairstead From Home’; it has been a wonderful team effort! Have a very well deserved, restful weekend.

 

Year 1

Year 1 enjoyed starting their new ‘Minibeasts’ topic this week. They were challenged over the half term holiday to create their own snail which would inspire them when they wrote their own version of Ruth Browne’s ‘Snail Trail’. The children created their own obstacle course for their snails and then wrote stories describing their garden adventures! Year 1 have also been learning about the French artist, Henri Matisse. They worked hard to replicate one of Matisse’s most famous pieces of work, The Snail, and chose music that inspired their work. Highlight of the week was dressing up for World Book Day. The children also thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a book quiz based on the books they have enjoyed in Year 1 so far. The whole class, including Miss Drayton, can’t wait for Monday when they return to school for lots more Minibeast fun!

Year 2

Year 2 have had a wonderful final week of home learning! On Monday, we learned about St David, daffodils and leeks as well as the origin of the dragon on the Welsh flag. We made red dragons and some of us made 3D dragons as well!
Our Maths focus this week has been statistics and data presentation. We have focused on tally graphs and pictograms. The children have been confidently reading charts, comparing information and using their problem solving and reasoning skills to answer some very tricky questions.

World Book Day was an absolute treat! The children were tasked to decorate a mask and then wear it to our Zoom session (hanging the names on screen) for us to guess. The range of masks and characters was amazing! We have been on a scavenger hunt through our book shelves and made a ‘Top 5’ chart of our favourite books, authors, illustrators, lines from the books and characters and even completed a ‘Book Title Emoji Quiz’. What a wonderfully diverse range of books the children have access to – they are incredibly lucky! Our creative task was to recreate a book cover using everyday things from around the house. The end results were fantastic!

This week brings to a close our home learning time and I would like to extend my thanks to both the children and the families for all of their hard work and enthusiasm. Well done to you all! I look forward to welcoming the children back to class on Monday.

Please remember to send your child into school on Monday wearing their PE kit and bring their uniform to change into after PE on Monday morning.  If you took your child’s outside shoes home, please bring them back, ready to wear outside, together with their school coat.   Finally, please can you bring all of your child’s work back into school (preferably in piles of the same subject), as well as the white board, rubber, purple pen etc.  Thank you very much.

Year 3

This week in Year 3, the children investigated different types of soil.  They examined different types of soil and  decided if it comprised mainly of sand, silt or clay.

The children created an earthquake safety kit and a poster explaining what to do if there is an earthquake.

We also studied some Greek myths, including the legend of Pandora’s Box. The children thought of some very interesting reasons as to why they would or would not have opened the box themselves.

 

Year 4

This week, Year 4 were evidently relieved and excited to be coming to the end of their remote learning.
In Art, they conducted independent research to find inspiration for the volcano sculptures that they will begin in school next week.
In Science, the children began their new topic, ‘Animals, including Humans’ and learned about and compared digestive systems. Next lesson, we will learn about the functions of each organ of the digestive system and will be able to conduct a practical in school.  Most exciting!
Year 4 have celebrated World Book Day by dressing up in their favourite book characters. Some children wore a different costume for each zoom lesson and this brought smiles to our faces!
I am looking forward to seeing Year 4 ‘face to face’ in school next week. Have a restful weekend.

Year 5

We have reached our final destination – the end of school closures!  I have been very impressed with how the children have engaged with their learning over this term. I now look forward to Monday when I can see them in person. We will be having a focus on Science over the next four weeks so, hopefully, they will be coming home to tell you about the experiments we do from gyroscopes to rockets with other experiments interspersed. I hope they all have a good weekend away from a screen and come in ready to learn in school. Thank you all for the support you gave your children over this unusual time; I can see it has helped them immeasurably to continue their learning.

Year 6

When a teacher sets a practical and open-ended challenge for their class, it is always interesting to see what ideas the children come up with! Over the recent weeks of home-schooling, Mr Peace was delighted to see Year 6 explain earthquakes and tsunamis via home-made models and videos. You can see that Oliver and Olly had lots of fun building a model volcano in their gardens during the half-term holiday and enjoyed the explosive combination of Coca Cola and Mentos! Following a recent topic on angles, Mr Peace sent Year 6 outside to estimate and record acute, obtuse and reflex angles in nature, using their own devices. When you look closely, there are angles everywhere! Well done, in particular, to Oliver, Finlay, Perdie, Jos and Olly!

 

Breakfast Club, Prep Club and After-school Care

We are delighted to confirm that these Clubs will be running as usual from Monday.  Please may I remind you to book your child into these activities using SchoolBase.

To drop off or collect your child, please call 0752 635 2010 and wait by your car.  A member of staff will come out to collect your child or return them to you.  Thank you.

Parents’ Association Annual Party

We are delighted to let you know that this year’s very popular annual party organised by our Parents’ Association will this year be held on Friday 18th September.  Please do make sure that this date is in your diaries!

Whilst on the subject of Parents’ Association parties, I was delighted to hear of the success of the virtual school disco recently.  This wonderful photograph of Charlotte, clearly having a fabulous time, is indicative of the fun had by all!  My thanks, as always, to the Parents’ Association for arranging such a fun event.

 

Birthdays

This week, we wished a happy birthday to Charlotte, Cosima and Edward in the Nursery.

With my best wishes for a lovely, restful, weekend with your children.  I am sure that they are all extremely excited about returning to school to be with their friends and teachers.  I am convinced that they will settle back quickly into the routine of school and will resume the busy and vibrant life which makes Fairstead such a special place.

It only remains for me to thank all of our teachers for their excellent online learning provision and our teaching assistants for supporting the children in school so well.

Lynda Brereton