Dear Parents

I am sure that you will agree with me that this morning’s Nativity play was an absolute joy and a delightful start to our Christmas festivities at Fairstead.  The children looked wonderful and I was amazed at how well they knew their words and all the songs.  Well done!  We were all enchanted by the arrival of Pip the donkey.  Plum, his friend was, however, a victim of stage fright and waited outside!

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Reception

What a wonderful week it has been in Reception and we finished it in true style with a fabulous performance today! Well done to everyone.
Not only have we been superstars on stage, we have also been busy making and writing our Christmas cards. We also enjoyed exploring the iPads, and loved taking photos of one another with them.  We then spent time looking at the photos together and evaluating them.
Father Christmas had paid a visit to the Forest, and had left a special surprise for the children who visited this week. What a great way to begin our festive activities; we cannot wait for more fun next week!

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Year 1

In Year 1 this week, the children have been focusing on writing letters.  The children wrote letters to Father Christmas and, in connection to our topic, the Great Fire of London, to King Charles II.  In Maths, the children have been learning about money and they explored how many different ways there are to make 10p.  In Science, the children investigated how some materials can change their shape using different forces.

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Year 2

This week, Years 1 and 2 had their final swimming lesson of the term.  They enjoyed having a ‘fun swim’ session and playing with a variety of floats.  The children have worked very hard this term and they have all gained in confidence and improved enormously.

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Year 3

Today, Years 3 and 4 went on their final visit to Palace House Museum as part of their Local History topic. They were given a mission; using lots of clues – photographs, replica objects, models and a genuine artefact – to try and put together a story about a particular time in Newmarket’s history.
The children circulated around six tables, looking at newspaper reports and photographs, a piece of Pathe newsreel, maps of Newmarket and an area in Scotland. There was also a piece of metal, taken out of one of the cabinets in the museum.
As part of the war effort, Newmarket, like many other towns, raised money for a Spitfire fund; holding events, running raffles, and even young children donating their pocket money. The plane they bought was called “Blue Peter”, named after the winner of the 1939 Derby who was trained in Newmarket by Jack Jarvis. Unfortunately, the plane crashed in Scotland in 1943 and part of the plane is in the museum’s collection, in addition to the Derby salver.

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Year 4

In Science this week, Year 4 have been exploring magnetic poles. They have looked at the force of magnets and then concluded the topic by making a magnetic game.

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Year 5

Year 5 have been writing, editing, and rewriting non-chronological reports this week about Amazon Animals. They have enjoyed researching and retrieving information, using their Science, Geography and English skills. Here, Colin and Toby are looking at each other’s writing and improving it by using the given success criteria.

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Year 6

In Art, Year 6 have been using a range of tools to create the desired effects on their model planets and their atmospheres.  Some challenged themselves to include Saturn’s rings.  We look forward to displaying the planets and sharing them with you.

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Match Report

The U11 Rugby boys travelled to Old Buckenham Hall to take part in a quadrangular Rugby tournament.  Each match was 12 minutes long and our first opponents were Old Buckenham Hall.  Although the boys played extremely well, Old Buckenham Hall were very quick and were able to win the match 5-2.  After a short team talk, our next match was against Brookes Cambridge (to whom we lost last week).  The boys had extra vigour and enthusiasm this week and played superbly.  They won their match comfortably and were thrilled by their success.  The final match was against St Joseph’s College, Ipswich and our enthusiasm continued with some early tries; however, St Joseph’s fought back strongly and managed to score a last minute try to win the game.  The boys played splendidly; however, and I was very proud of them.  Special thanks to our match photographer, Mrs Adams-McGrath.

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On Wednesday, the U11 girls played hockey against Old Buckenham Hall.  It was a thrilling game and I was very impressed with the team work and vast improvement in stick work and ball control that all the girls displayed.  Due to an injury, on the Old Buckenham team, we had to take our goalies off at half time, which resulted in an unusually high score.  We won 6 -4 and player of the match (awarded by old Buckenham Hall ) was Francesca.  Well done, girls – a great way to end the hockey season.

Informal Tea-time Concert

We had our last Autumn Term Informal Tea Time Concert on Tuesday 5th December in the (now very much smarter) Performing Arts Centre. Ten pupils from Year 1 to Year 4 performed various pieces on piano, recorder and violin. Between fifty to sixty pupils have performed this term and I must congratulate all of them. I have even been asked when is the next Informal Concert next term by a couple of pupils!

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Parents’ Association Christmas Fayre

A huge thank you to the Parents’ Association for making last Friday’s Pop Up Christmas Fayre such an enormous success.  It was greatly enjoyed by parents and children alike. Thanks to their hard work, an incredible £388.20 was raised with money still coming in from online orders.

Carol Singing at Palace House – Sunday 10th December from 2.00pm to 3.00pm

We are looking forward to seeing as many children in Years 3 – 6 as possible at this exciting new event in the Fairstead calendar.  Hopefully, the weather will be kind to us, allowing the children to sing outside in the restored King’s Yard.  However, it looks as if it is going to be very cold, so lots of layers under their uniform please and school hats and scarves.

Christmas Post Box

The Christmas Post Box will be outside the Old Hall from Monday for your children to post cards to their friends in school.  Please ensure that the recipient’s name and class is clearly marked on the envelope to help our Year 6 Posties!

Cross Country at Culford School, Saturday 2nd December

Last Saturday, Chloe, Finlay and Isabella from Year 6 were selected to compete in the second round of the East Anglian Cross Country Championships at Culford School.  Well done to all the children and particular congratulations to Finlay, who qualified to compete in the next round at Woodbridge School.  Good luck, Finlay!

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Film Night

As I write, over forty children are enjoying the performance of Paddington in the Performing Arts Centre.  The showing of the film has been greatly enhanced by our wonderful new 3m wide electronic screen, new sound system and, in particular, the Performing Arts Centre itself has been transformed by the magnificent, plush velvet stage curtains, side door curtains and blinds, generously made for us by Ms Sherine Awadallah, mother of Alexander in Year 4.  Many thanks to the Parents’ Association for making these significant enhancements to our PA.  They are appreciated by us all every day, by all in our Information Tea-time Concerts and events such as the wonderful Nativity this morning.

Racing Welfare Concert at Tattersalls

Refreshments will be served in the Ring from 6.15pm onwards.  All children in Years 3 – 6 should be dropped off, wearing their school uniform, in the ‘Bar Area’ at 7.00pm at the latest, where they will be looked after by staff until the concert begins.  Please keep your younger children with you at all times.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available online here.

After-School Clubs

A reminder that After-School Clubs have now finished for this term and we will send a list of clubs for next term early in the New Year.  Prep Club and After-School Care will, however, run as usual until Thursday 14th December.

School Uniform

As we approach the end of term, please could I ask you to check your children’s school and sports uniform to ensure that your child has not mistakenly picked up another’s child item of clothing.  Thank you.

End of Term – Friday 15th December

All children from Ponies to Year 6 are participating in our end of term Carol Service at St Mary’s Church in Newmarket.  The service will begin at 11am and mulled wine will be served for you to enjoy during the service.  The term will end after the service.

Birthdays

This week, we wish a happy birthday to Cianan and Elliott in the Yearlings, Varoushka in Year 1 and Matilda in Year 3.

With my best wishes for a lovely weekend with your children and looking forward to a festive week ahead,

Lynda Brereton