Friday, 19 April 2013

Issue 27 2012-13

Newsletter Issue 27

Friday 19th April 2013
Dear Parent/Carer,
I hope you are all well rested after the Easter break. I have been asking children all week how many Easter eggs they got and the highest number reported so far is 27- Alex Hopes in Year 1! The children have returned to school this week with a spring in their step, smiles on their faces and raring to go for the Summer Term.
It was my pleasure to see Foundation Stage all dressed up as princesses, knights, kings and all things royal today. They looked amazing and I have to say, it was an honour to share a dance at the ball with the very handsome William Hepworth!

British Sign Language lessons
I am putting out a plea to parents who may be interested in developing some sign language skills. As everybody knows, Aaron, Callum and Reece have been with us for 5 months now and the boys and staff with whom they work so closely, are extremely valued members of our school community. Over time a number of staff and parents have shown an interest in learning how to improve their communication with the boys. Mrs Spear (Aaron and Callum’s Mum) has kindly offered to deliver some lessons to a group of 12 on a first come, first served basis in school. The class would take place between 3:20 p.m and 4:00 p.m on a Wednesday and if possible we would like to start the sessions from Wednesday 1st May. If you are interested, please pledge your interest with Mrs Spear by contacting her on the following email address: Once we know we have enough interest, we can let you know some more details.

Headteacher Blog
I have set up a Headteacher Blog, which I would like to encourage you to visit. I will be shortly adding it to the Blog links on the front page of our website, but in the meantime you can check it out at It will be another way of sharing our good practice with you and showing outcomes or events that have inspired me in and out of school. I would also like it to serve as a way of sharing my thoughts and ideas about educational agendas and ways to take the school forward.

Pupil voice is extremely important to us so after a few approaches from children and concerns in the “worry box” about the enjoyment (or lack of it) at lunchtimes, I decided it was time to take some action. Miss Hinton and Miss Lambert were inspired by the calm and enjoyable lunchtimes seen in the school they visited in Finland in March so as a team we decided to implement some changes. Key Stage 2 children who have packed lunches now eat them in the classroom, meaning that the hall is much less congested and everyone can chat and relax in a better environment during lunchtime. Less children going into the hall means that lunches can be finished quicker, leaving children with more undisturbed time outside with friends at playtime. We now offer age appropriate trays and plates for the children who have a school lunch, meaning that portion sizes are better matched to the child. As a result of happier children, behaviour in the playground has been exemplary and interaction between lunchtime supervisors and the children is much improved. Many children have approached me with their very positive views on the new arrangements.

Breakpoint Dance Academy
We were treated to a fantastic performance in assembly this week by Corey, Elliot, Caison, Millie, Jasmine, Laura, Emily and Eleni. They showcased one of their Streedance performances put together as part of their involvement with Breakpoint Dance Academy. The class runs on a Wednesday after school and costs £4.50 per session. The academy is run by a fantastic specialist dance organization who would be delighted to take more members. If you are interested in your child taking part, please approach Mrs Holland in the office to secure your place or alternatively, approach staff from the academy personally after school on a Wednesday. If I just had a tiny bit more time to spare in my life, I would be donning my trainers and getting involved myself- It looks great!

Over the Easter holidays the committee members have got together to finalise details for our Family Quiz night, sponsored by Wilsons, which will take place on the evening of the 10th May in school- invitations and posters will be issued very shortly. Also kind parents have been contacting various businesses up and down the country requesting donations for our future events and we have had quite a few generous donations, so it just goes to prove if you don't ask you don't get. Just a reminder that the next PTA meeting will be held on Thursday 25 April in the Gardeners Arms at 8pm, if you can make it please do so as all help big and small is very much appreciated.

Everyone, have a super weekend!
Mrs Dale
Nursery newsletter
We have made a fantastic start to our Kings and Queens topic this week. The children were really excited and engaged with our new Royal areas and have been playing using their fabulous imaginations, so our classroom has been filled with beautiful princesses, brave knights and ferocious dragons. The week ended with our grand Cinderella ball which the children really enjoyed and created great excitement around our topic. The children looked fantastic in their royal outfits and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful food you sent in for your child to share with their friends.
We have started off the half term with the wonderful story of Cinderella. The children are becoming so confident at re-telling stories and have produced some fabulous acting this week when re-telling Cinderella. They wrote some fantastic invitations to their friends and are working really hard on their individual literacy targets. All the children looked amazing at our Cinderella balls in the super princess hats and crowns they had made during topic time and there was plenty of bling on display. In numeracy we have been thinking about time. We sequenced the events in Cinderella and then we extended it by telling o’clock times. In phonics we have been blending and segmenting words and learning the sounds s and a.
Next week we are concentrating on non-fiction books about castles and we will be learning facts about castle life.  We will be thinking about the food, drinks, the roles of the servants and why we have castles. We will also be learning about our Royal family and thinking what we would do if we were King or Queen for the day. Our final outcome in literacy will be a collaborative fact file about castle life which each group will produce. We will then publish these so that everyone in nursery can enjoy them. In topic we will be reading the story King Jack and the Dragon and we will be making our own castle outside with anything we can find just like Jack did in the story. In numeracy our starter focus will be writing numbers to 10 with super formation and counting to and back from 20. Our main focus will be naming and talking about the properties of 2D shape and we will be adopting a very practical approach, playing lots of games such as bingo and guess the shape in the feely bag. In phonics we will be continuing with blending and segmenting by playing the games cross the river and which one?  The sound talk toy says the letters in a word e.g. c_a_t and the children have to blend the letters together to work out what word the sound-talk toy is saying - please have a go at this game with your child at home. Our sounds of the week next week are t and p.
·         Please can you make sure your child has their reading book on a Monday/Thursday so that I can make sure that their books are changed at least once a week.
·         Please can you practise writing your child’s first name with them and if they can do this move on to writing their surname with them.
·         Please practice counting to 20 and beyond with your child at any opportunity. Please also practise writing and recognising the numbers 1-10 with them. If your child can do both of these, then please help them go even further.
·         Please look at our foundation stage blog which you can access through the school website and see if you can spot any of your child’s wonderful learning,

We hope you have a lovely weekend.
Mrs Steel, Mrs Chin & Miss Fox
Reception newsletter
We have made a fantastic start to our Kings and Queens topic this week. The children were really excited and engaged with our new Royal areas and have been playing using their fabulous imaginations, so our classroom has been filled with beautiful princesses, brave knights and ferocious dragons. The week ended with our grand Cinderella ball which the children really enjoyed and created great excitement around our topic. The children looked fantastic in their royal outfits and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the wonderful food you sent in for your child to share with their friends. Our main focus this half term is to improve the children’s writing and handwriting. We want to help the children increase their confidence and self-belief around their writing skills. This week we have been really impressed with the children’s writing and it is clear they have been working on their targets that were sent home after parent consultations, so thank you for your support and well done you Superstars!
We have started this half term with the story Cinderella. Our starter focus in literacy this week was to spell key words such as:- the, and, was etc correctly in sentences, the children tackled these tasks with determination and we have seen a real improvement in their confidence. The outcome for literacy this week was for the children to re-tell the story of Cinderella and they were fantastic. The children effectively included time connectives and adjectives in their writing and were really trying hard to meet their individual writing targets. In numeracy we have been learning about telling the time using o’clock and half past and the children have sequenced the story of Cinderella. In topic the children have designed and made some very creative carriages to take Cinderella to the ball.  In phonics we have read the words; water, away, good, want, over and how and learnt to read and write the sounds wh (what) and ph (photo).
Next week we are concentrating on non-fiction books about castles and we will be learning facts about castle life.  We will be thinking about the food, drinks, the roles of the servants and why we have castles and we will also be learning about our Royal family and thinking what we would do if we were King or Queen for the day. Our starter in literacy will be full stops and capital letters and we will be insisting on super finger spaces, so please emphasise where the full stops and capital letters are in books when you are reading with your child. Our final outcome in literacy will be a collaborative fact file about castle life which each group will produce. We will then publish these in our school library so that the whole school can enjoy their fabulous learning. In topic the children will be producing their own portrait of themselves as a King or Queen and will make their own papier-mâché frame for it. In numeracy our starter focus will be counting in 2’s to 20 and our main focus will be naming and talking about the properties of 3D shapes. We will adopt a very practical approach in numeracy and the children will be building their very own castle from 3D shapes. In phonics we will be thinking about the different ways we can write the long a sound e.g. ay in hay and the split diagraph a_e in bake. The words we will be learning to read the words; did, man, going, where, would and or.
·         Please continue to work on your child’s writing target and handwriting with them.
·         We have changed all the children’s books on bug club based on their current book band, so the books on there should now be more challenging for your child.
·         Please continue to engage with our wonderful blog so that you can have a look at what your child has been doing during the week.
We hope you have a lovely weekend.
Miss Pyatt, Miss Lambert and the Reception Team.
Key Stage 1
Home Learning:
This week we have been learning all about weight in numeracy; comparing the weight of objects using words such as heavier and lighter, using non-standard tools such as dominoes and cubes to balance objects, discussing what grams and kilograms are and reading scales. For this week’s home learning please support around this, you might feel the weight of a bag of sugar and then go on a hunt around your house to find objects, estimating whether they are heavier or lighter before checking your prediction on the scales. You might want to bake a cake together, allowing your child to measure out all the ingredients – if you do this, please encourage your child to write an ingredients list in their home learning book citing the correct unit of measurement (g/kg).

Welcome back!
We hope you all had a great Easter together, with some time to relax as well! It was so wonderful to see all the children again on Monday and to be shown some of their incredible home learning all about their favourite bands or musicians. We have had such a wide variety of learning – posters, fact sheets, USB sticks full of information and pictures and we even had a video of a wannabe Michael Jackson dancing to ‘Bad’ (sign in to our YouTube channel to view it; it’s amazing!). Thank you so much for all the time you must have invested in these, it has seen our new topic take off with gusto and enthusiasm and has eliminated any questions around whether One Direction are the children’s favourite band…safe to say yes they are!

Music through the ages:
As we mentioned above, the children have really enjoyed sinking their teeth into our new topic for the half term’s afternoon learning, which is ‘Music through the Ages’. Our curriculum focus for this week and next is science and investigating sound. We have done this by creating a ‘rubbish racket’ (that being our very own Stomp band using plastic bags, boxes, bottles, paper, elastic bands and any other rubbish we could get our hands on) to explore and identify all the different sounds we can make by bashing, rubbing, pinging and hitting them together. From this, we moved on to give the children free-reign over their own scientific experiment, for which we gave them the opening to an investigatory question, “What happens to sound when…” and asked them to complete the question to come up with their own experiment. We had all kinds of interesting ideas, such as what happens to sound when you: go under water, sit under a table, stand in a small or big room, ride your scooter, go outside, blow bubbles in different liquids and so on. Our experiments will begin next week in which we will focus the children’s learning around fair tests and evaluating the results against their predictions, before going into more depth about how sounds reach our ears from the source.

The Big Dance:
Our new PE unit for this half of the summer term is dancing, which is all in preparation for The Big Dance which will take place in May. Some of you may remember The Big Dance performance from last year as being a successful and fun day and let me assure you that this year’s will be no different. The routine has been choreographed by the English National Ballet using the muse of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and pulling on the inspiration, determination and excellence of the Olympic Games to create an incredible 3 minutes worth of dancing. The children are so engaged with it; it’s an awesome and grounding experience to be involved in projects such as these (like the Sign2Sing and Big Draw) where you realise that the world beyond your neighbouring community can come together and share in something special.
To ensure that everyone is prepared and in the right mind frame for PE please remind your child to bring their PE kit on the correct day (Year 1: Tuesday, Year1-2: Wednesday, Year 2: Thursday).

Speedmarks Challenge goodies:
A few children and parents have enquired this week about when the Speedmark’s prizes will be delivered. We were informed by Speedmark that we should take delivery of everything within 1 month of the event to then be able to allocate the correct prizes to each child. So it will be a couple for weeks at least, but rest assured that they are on the way!

Well our Adventure Stories unit of study has got off to a flying start! The children love the freedom and creativity that fictional writing allows them to share so the whole Key Stage is bursting with ideas. Year 1 have drawn their inspiration and point of reference from the book Rainbow Fish, about a vain fish who learns how to share and find happiness. Year 1-2 have been studying the structure and events in the book Hugless Douglas, in which a young bear goes in search of a perfect hug. Finally Year 2 have been unpicking the repetition, verbs and speech within the story Don’t Wake the Beastie; a tale about a group of animals who work together to try and steal the honey from a tree guarded by a beast. Using the structure of each of these stories the children will create their own story concentrating on the characters, settings and word choices.

This half term we are focusing on measurement around weight, length and capacity. This week we have focused on weight, using pan scales and dialled scales to compare weights of things around the classroom concentrating on everyone using the language of weight (heavy, light, balanced) accurately. Once this had been mastered we moved our learning onto grams and kilograms, reading number on the scales and finding the half-way point between marked numbers and identifying the weight. We also had our first Friday session dedicated to mental maths and arithmetic, which we are sure will be very helpful to all the children.

Lower Key Stage 2 Newsletter
We’ve had a lovely first week back in year 3/4, we can’t believe it’s the children’s final term before the end of the year, it has gone so quickly! It was great to see such wonderful home learning across the three classes. From a model of the Taj Mahal, to a fantastic painting of Indian Gods and Henna designs, a lot of children had clearly spent lots of time and effort on their learning at home, which is fantastic!
This half term we are learning about journalistic writing. The children have kicked off this topic by looking at language effects to create catchy headlines as well as how to write the different sections of a newspaper article. They have all written an article which included: a headline, orientation, main text, reorientation, picture and a caption. Why not ask your child to explain what these different words mean? They have also been practicing how to change sentences between the past, present and future tense, see if they can show you at home!
In numeracy this week the children have begun their learning around fractions! They have been finding fractions of numbers using the division methods they learned last half term and have then been practicing how to apply these to word problems. This was tricky as they had to read the questions very carefully, but we were really pleased with their attitude, no one gave up! Next week, we will be learning about time. The children should already be able to tell the time to the nearest hour and half hour so why don’t you ask them this weekend?
The children have been very excited about our new topic of India this half term! This week we have looked at where India is and what the capital city is. We’ve also looked at comparing life in Bangalore with life in Great Britain. The children found it very interesting to look at photographs of different places in India, and see the difference in lifestyle within the country itself. We have lots of exciting activities coming up next week, including some cooking of Indian food!
Spellings to be tested on Monday 29th April (the children already have their spellings for this Monday)
Please support your child in practicing their spellings every day to help them achieve 10/10 in their spelling test every week.
Group One
Group Two

·         Year 4 swimming will restart next week, the 25th April
·         Please ensure your child’s PE kit is kept in school from Monday-Friday every week.
Have a lovely weekend!
Team 3/4
UKS2 News Roundup:
·        This week’s achiever is Josh Driscoll from 5/6M for his fantastic attitude in class. Josh gives 100% in all his learning and shows a great determination to succeed. Well done Josh!  
·        We would like to thank the children for their fantastic efforts towards their home learning over Easter. The creativity and variety of outcome completed is truly fantastic. This fantastic learning will help to make our topic on space even more enjoyable and engaging.  Well done to those year 6 children who have completed their Splat the SATS packs over the Easter break, we recognise your fantastic application to your learning!
·        Dates for your diary:
19th April: This date is the deadline for the payments for our Year 5/6 trip to Jodrell Bank.
24th April: This is the deadline for the payments for the year 6 residential trip.
Please can parents and carers ensure that the final balances for the above trips are cleared by the specified date. If there are any issues regarding these payments, please contact Mrs Smith at the office.
26th April: Please can parents and carers be sure to return the personal information form relating to the year 6 residential by this date.

·        This week, the children have been applying their learning of key concepts and operations to a variety of mathematical words problems and questions. 
·        Next week we will be applying all numerical operations to answer multi-step problems involving algebraic equations with a Britain’s Got Talent theme!

·        This week pupils have been researching the life of Neil Armstrong using a range of different sources. This information is helping them to write a biography about his life. Pupils have started to organise their ideas into the relevant sections of his life and have applied connectives and conjunctions to link and develop their ideas.
·        Next week we will be continuing to write our biographies all about Neil Armstrong and we can’t wait to see the final published pieces! Our sentence level learning will be focussed on the use of subordinate clauses and the use of commas.
·        Spellings. Next week pupils will be tested on a range of words which have the same spelling but different pronunciations. They will include: heather, heat, please, pleasant, woman, women, mean, meant, fried, friend, common, money, senior, region, honour, hourly, crow, crowd. 

Other areas of the curriculum:
·        This week in ICT, the children have been practicing how to use Lego Minestorms software to program robots to perform different procedures, such as movements forwards, backwards and turning. 
·       This week in Spanish, pupils have been learning the solar system planet names in Spanish. 
·        In PE this week pupils have been introduced to the Big Dance routine that will be performed by the whole school. Children have started to learn the opening steps to the year 5/6 section and are now able to perform cannon, unison and levels in their early dance performances.
·       In our Science sessions this week, pupils have been learning about all living things. Throughout the week pupils have completed a variety of learning tasks, including living things classification keys and collecting and analysing their own data to show any relationship between age and hand span width.
·        In Music, 5/6M are continuing to develop their recorder skills. Pupils have recapped on key notes from previous sessions and been introduced to some new notes that will enable them to play Yellow Submarine by the Beatles. 5/6G have been introduced to a new range of percussion instruments; including xylophones, they have been learning how to play scales and chords. Throughout the weeks they will be developing their skills on these instruments to play a composition in class. 5/6B have begun their unit on garage band. Pupils have experimented with loops and sound effects for them to use to create a short audio sequence for a silent movie.

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