Friday, 8 February 2013

Issue 20 2012-13

Newsletter Issue 20

Friday 8th February 2013

Dear Parent/Carer,
How on earth did it get to Friday already?! This week has flown and with only one week to go until the end of this half term, I cannot believe how quickly we have managed to get to half way through the academic year. What a lot of excitement and amazing learning has taken place.

Year 5/6 coffee afternoon
Thank you to all of the parents and carers who joined us on Tuesday for the charity coffee afternoon in aid of the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and helped us raise an amazing £395. The quality of the products was incredible and it was amazing to see the pride on the faces of the children who had made them. The children have taken real ownership over their learning in this unit and to see the learning come to life and present opportunities to be enterprising is very exciting. I sampled the cupcakes (for quality control purposes, you understand) and they tasted incredible. I am also now the proud owner of a heart shaped sign and a funky key ring. Of course these events would not be possible at all without the support of yourselves so from all of the Year 5/6 team, we thank you wholeheartedly.

The children congregated in the hall on Wednesday afternoon for the Sign2Sing event. This was a national event organised in aid of “Sign Health”, whose mission is to improve healthcare and achieve equal access for deaf people. The children signed along to two songs (simultaneously alongside thousands of other schools in the country) in a bid to break the world record for the most people signing at the same time. We hope to receive our “World Record Breakers” certificate in the next few weeks.  Since we welcomed Callum, Reese and Aaron into our school, we have strived to raise awareness of deafness and have learnt to recognise and respect that deaf culture is important. The children are benefitting hugely from this. Thanks (again) to everyone for their kind donations which amounted to £211.70.

Friends from Finland
I mentioned last week that we would be welcoming 10 Finnish visitors to school as part of the project “Developing outstanding schools”, funded by the British Council. The group had an incredibly brilliant afternoon with us, observing how we use technology as an embedded feature of our whole curriculum. They observed our youngest learners in Nursery and Reception using iPads, Beebots and computer software to enhance their learning. They also saw Year 3/4 using Kar2ouche as a way of showcasing stories around their learning about the Ancient Egyptians. Year 5/6 showed the visitors how to use Prezi, a highly sophisticated presentation tool on the Apple Macs. My thanks to Miss Darroch, Miss Gascoigne, Miss Thackeray, Miss Lambert and Mrs Steel for welcoming the visitors to our school and into their classrooms to see such world class practice.

I would like to encourage you as parents to complete the Parentview survey at As a school we pride ourselves on working together in partnership with parents and putting the wellbeing of the children as the very first thought in everything we do. We would really value some feedback as to how you feel we support you and your child. Thanks.

Well I shall be celebrating with family and friends this week end as it is Evan’s 5th birthday and I’m sure like all of you at these times, I feel a little emotional about where the years went. Childhood is an amazing time and watching our little ones grow before our eyes is unbelievably brilliant!

Have a really great weekend!

Mrs Dale
Nursery newsletter
This week our classroom has been transformed into outer space! All our activities and learning have been focused around the story ‘Whatever Next’ and the children have produced some amazing outcomes including space buggies and some very inventive role play in our planetarium area. The amazing planets the children made for home learning have been displayed in our trendy space café.
On Monday we travelled to the moon just like Baby Bear did. When we arrived we enjoyed a picnic and then we flew back and got ready for our baths! We had in-depth conversations with the children about what they would take to the moon and what they would like for their picnic. In topic Mrs Chin and the children have been getting creative and designing their own transport into space. They look amazing so well done Nursery children! The children have amazed us with their creativity and their excitement for this topic is wonderful. In phonics we have been playing exciting alliteration games and encouraging the children to think about the initial sounds of words within the setting. In maths we have been thinking about what we do during the daytime and what we do at night-time.
Next week we will be continuing with our topic of space and our activities and learning will be focused around the story To Catch a Star. We have lots of exciting activities planned, including baking star biscuits and we will be writing our very own wishes which we will hang around our lovely classroom. In numeracy we will be going on shape hunts for different 2D shapes. In phonics we will be continuing with alliteration so please encourage the children to tune into first sounds in everyday words e.g. d for dinner, c for cat etc.
·        Please listen to your child’s fabulous reading once a day and comment in their reading record. Please feel free to drop in and change their books when you pick them up.
·        Please practice counting to 10 and beyond with your child at any opportunity. Please also practise writing and recognising the numbers 1-6 with them. If your child can do both of these, then please help them go even further.
·        Please practise writing the first letter of your child’s name and if they can do this try going even further with them.
We hope you have a lovely and relaxing weekend.
Mrs Steel and the Nursery team
Reception newsletter
This week our classroom has been transformed into outer space. All our activities and learning have been focussed around the story Whatever Next and the children have produced some amazing outcomes including space buggies, papier-mâché planets and some very inventive role play in our planetarium area. The children are continuing to impress us with their fantastic phonics knowledge and many children achieved their words and sounds of the week certificates last week. 
On Monday we travelled to the moon just like Baby Bear did in the story Whatever Next! When we arrived we enjoyed a picnic and then we flew back and cleaned ourselves up. We wrote lists of what we would take to the moon and we designed our very own packed lunch to take with us. In topic Mrs Friar and the children have been getting very messy making papier-mâché planets, so now we have our very own hanging solar system above our space café. They have also designed and made their own transport to space. The children have amazed us with their creativity and their excitement about this topic is a pleasure to see. In phonics we have been learning the sounds air (hair), ure (pure) and er (dinner) and we have been learning to write the tricky words; you, they, all, are, my and her. In maths we have been thinking about what we do during the daytime and what we do at night-time, this built up to the children sequencing events during their day.
Next week we will be continuing with our topic of space and our activities and learning will be focussed around the story ‘To Catch a Star’. We have lots of exciting activities including baking star biscuits and making our very own salt dough stars which we will then attach our wishes to. We will hang our beautiful salt dough stars around our classroom to remind us of the things that we have wished for. In numeracy we will be going on shape adventures hunting for different 2D and 3D shapes. Next week is the last week of this half term so we will be assessing the children on all the sounds and words they have learnt this half term. Please see the home learning sheet for a list of the sounds and words they need to know.

·        Please remember that it is P.E. on Friday and the children need to have their P.E. kits with them. Please feel free to leave the children’s P.E. kits in their lockers.
·        Please make sure that your child has their reading book and reading record in their bag every day.
·        Please read with your child as often as possible and comment in their reading record to let us know how they are doing at home.
·        Please support your child in accessing the ‘Bugclub’ website and ‘I am learning’.
Have a lovely weekend.
Miss Lambert, Miss Pyatt and the Reception Team
Key Stage 1

Home Learning:
Following on from some of the great portraits we received over the past week we are sticking with the artistic theme for this week’s home learning and asking that the children follow the template enclosed in their books for drawing different animals (or a gruesome looking pirate, depending on which picture they get!). These templates have proven to be really powerful and helpful to the children as they layer up the details in their illustrations to make a finished piece. Once they have followed the picture diagram please encourage them to create a background scene that suits their illustration and colour the whole thing in ensuring, you got it, one direction pencil strokes!
PTA Valentines Disco:
Last week we reported the upcoming disco to celebrate love being in the air, but Cupid’s bow didn’t quite hit the target and we reported the wrong date. So, the children need to get their sequined trousers and dancing shoes on Tuesday 12th of February between 16:30-17:30. Please send your reply slip plus £1 in to school, which will also get your child a drink on the night.

Bug Club and I am Learning:
We are continuing to use Bug Club and I am Learning within our literacy and guided reading sessions in school, much to the delight of the children! They are so engaged and motivated by both that many are choosing to continue to access them within their independent learning times. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to log on to either of these amazing learning resources with your child then please do. There are a number of children who struggle to either remember or input their usernames and passwords so your support around this would be much appreciated!

Sign to Sing:
This Wednesday the whole school gathered to participate in the Sign2Sing world record attempt. Whether we get into the Guinness Book of Records or not, nothing can be taken away from how powerful and moving seeing so many children signing was. A reporter from the Wakefield Express was on hand taking pictures to document our fame, but make sure you sign on to the Robin Hood TV site on YouTube through our website to watch the video live. We hope to hear if we’ve broken the record sometime next half term, once every child throughout the participating schools in the UK have been counted.

Ocean Explorers:
This week we have been getting sticky throughout KS1 as we followed our plans and took the first creative steps to creating our own 3D papier mache boats. Decoration and sea-worthiness checks will take place next week with the addition of sails and masts. There are Lego men aplenty eager to climb aboard!

The Big Recycle
Does our PTA ever sleep?! No I think is the answer! They have come up with another initiative to gather some pennies together for the school through O2’s Big Recycle for schools. Please send in any old phones, cameras, tablets, sat navs that we can send off for recycling in return for some cash to spend on the school. You’ll also of course be supporting our learning around global warning, so double winner!

Well, the air is clearing between Miss Hinton and Miss Mees as they put their differences behind them after the BIG Fall Out. This unit ended today with another successful and positive Star Write by the children. We have been looking in more depth at the kinds of choices we make within our writing – specifically around verbs and adverbs, nouns and adjectives, and how the right choice isn’t always the first one you come to, but can make your writing more exciting and lively. For instance, instead of saying “Mrs Dale came in” we would play verbal ping pong with this sentence until we built it up to, “Mrs Dale thundered into the room furiously”. Next week sees the end to our unit on recounts, which has been the stimulus to some truly great developments and progress throughout all classes in the Key Stage. The format of recounts (living the event you’re reporting on before writing begins and the writing style) lends itself perfectly to the consolidation of the core, fundamental skills of writing, like the use of connectives, meaning that when we tackle another fictional writing unit the children should/will be more equipped to develop their thoughts and ideas.

This week has seen the end to our unit on shape, space and fractions, with our focus being on investigating how to halve and quarter shapes and numbers. We have even gone in to fractions like 1/3s, 1/5s and 1/10s! The children have been enabled by teaching them various methods to carry out these processes, for instance by drawing a circle underneath the whole number, splitting it in half and dividing the number equally between each half in dots (or Malteser packets for two digit numbers) before counting up one half’s total. This method was also used when we challenged the children to shade in half of any given shape made up of X amount of boxes. Almost all children could shade in a block of colour to denote one half but when shown a square made up of 16 boxes with 8 randomly selected boxes shaded in they couldn’t explain why half of the whole square was still shaded. And so the learning began! As with all topics within numeracy, it is so important the children’s knowledge and understanding is tested further than simply accepting the correct answer.

Lower Key Stage 2 Newsletter
What another busy week we have had in year 3/4! The children participated in our Sign2Sing record breaking attempt on Wednesday along with the rest of the school and thoroughly enjoyed it! We’ve also been very impressed with the children’s attitude to their learning this week!
Home Learning
Thank you for your continued support at home with the children’s reading, writing and numeracy. Ensuring they have this support really does help them to make even more progress in school, as it supplements and reinforces what they are learning in class. As our literacy unit is story writing, we would like the children to show off all of their skills learned in class by writing an adventure story in their star write challenge books. We have not been copying their writing to send home this half term as they have been producing a guided paragraph a day, instead of writing it all in one session. However, it would be good to see if they can put all their skills into a story at home and will be good practice for them ahead of next week’s assessed write.
This week, as part of our narrative unit, we have been continuing to write mystery stories. The children have been learning about conjunctions and how to use them to create effective compound sentences. As well as this, they have learned more about complex sentences. Why not ask your child what a subordinate clause and a main clause are in a sentence? See if they can give you an example! We have been really encouraging them to not just go with the first sentence they think of, but to then try and improve it with adverbs, adjectives and powerful verbs and we have been blown away with some of the beautiful prose they have come up with!
In numeracy this week we have been learning about capacity. The children have found out how to convert litres to millilitres and read different scales on measuring jugs. They’ve then had to apply this to word problems to find the difference (subtract) or add the extra amount. This has involved a lot of sophisticated skills and we have been impressed with their willingness to learn and tenacity they have shown when tackling such problems.
The children are continuing to enjoy our Ancient Egypt topic and this week has seen them all begin to create their own Pharaoh mask using papier mache. Next week, they will be carefully decorating them according to the designs they created in their books last week. In addition to this, they have also produced a great fact file about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb as well as a Kar2ouche animation on the computer to re-tell the story of this great discovery.

Spellings to be tested on Monday 25TH February (the children already have their spellings for this Monday)
Group One
Group Two
·    All year 4 boys need to ensure that their swimming shorts are above the knee and girls need to take their earrings out for swimming. If they have been recently pierced their ears must be covered up with a swimming hat.
·    Next week’s PE session will be outside so please ensure all children bring a warm tracksuit and trainers.
Have a lovely weekend!
Team 3/4
UKS2 News Roundup:

·    We must first of all begin our newsletter by congratulating each and every child in Year 5/6 for their amazing effort and dedication towards our coffee afternoon, which we held on Tuesday, in order to raise money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Everyone put their heart and soul into making either: delicious cupcakes, bespoke shabby chic signs, rustic plant pots and stylish key rings, mobile phone covers and cushions. We are very proud to announce that we have raised a whopping £395! A big thank you to all who attended and contributed and we cannot wait to present Sandra, Anne and Baz the dog, with a cheque on behalf of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, on Friday 15th of February in our Celebration Assembly.
·    This week, our achievers are Louie, Josh L, Kian and Kavan for their attention to detail and ability to help others whilst making their professionally made signs for our coffee afternoon. Well done boys, you were excellent role models and a great help towards the success of our coffee afternoon!


·    This week, the children have been handling data by using a calculator to crunch numbers and organise into tables, they have also been carrying out their own investigation to find out the mode, median, mean and range of shoe sizes in their class.
·    In mental maths we have been focussing on a random selection of times tables. If you would like any further practise, visit and click on Numeracy. There is a link to Hit the Button which is being used to practise all times tables. There are also lots of free iPad apps to help with times tables – Multiple Wipeout is a particular favourite of ours.
·    Times Table Challenge will be held next week, so get practising!
·    Next week we will be applying our knowledge of all 4 operations, to some investigative multi-step problems by finding the area of compound shapes to form the plans for an Alton Towers theme park! The children will also be creating their very own theme park by creating their own compound shapes, before finding the area and perimeter of their own designs!


·    In Literacy, the children have been writing their own reviews for a holiday and for the iPad. The children have been trying to write a balanced review containing both positive and negative opinions and have been applying their knowledge of conjunctions in order to support them with the development of their sentences. The outcomes produced have been amazing– well done!
·    If you would like to enhance your learning on connectives, conjunction and clauses even further, visit the iamlearning website where you have been allocated some games in the ‘My Room’ section if you click the calendar picture.
·    Next week, we will be continuing to apply our knowledge and understanding of connectives and conjunctions to write balanced reviews for a variety of books, films and products. 
·     SPELLINGS - this week’s spellings are focussed on prefixes of non, mis and dis: non-fiction, non-slip, nonsense, nondescript, mismanage, mistrust, misunderstood, disappear, discovery, disbelief.

Other areas of the curriculum:

·    In Topic, we have finished our cupcakes, signs, plant pots and key rings. We have all been so proud of the outcomes each and every child has produced and they were worth every penny that they were bought for in the coffee afternoon – well done 5/6!
·    In ICT, the children have continued to use ‘Prezi’ to create a presentation about a retro superhero. The children really impressed our visitors from Finland when they came into class to look at our excellent ICT learning – we can’t wait to see the finished outcomes!
·    This week in Spanish, we have developed our conversational skills around discussing how we travel to school and what we see on the way.
·    In Music, 5/6B have been exploring what a dotted minim is and have been playing recorder pieces containing these sorts of notes.  5/6G have been continuing with their Garageband compositions and are nearly ready to add the finishing touches! 5/6M have been by combining rhythm, tempo and dynamics to a samba composition using percussion.
·    In PE pupils have been learning the key points involved when pivoting in Basketball to improve their movement and protection of the ball.

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