Thursday, 13 March 2014

Issue 24 2013-14

Newsletter Issue 24

Thursday 13th March 2014

Dear Parent/Carer,

Spring has sprung at last and I am sure everyone is enjoying the brighter, warmer weather and lighter evenings as much as I am. The crocuses are in bloom around the grounds and the winter is starting to feel somewhere in the past.

Miss Thackeray and Miss Lambert had a wonderful time last week researching and observing good practice in Finnish schools as part of the Developing Outstanding Schools (Devos) project. They were particularly enthusiastic about the quality of provision seen in the second biggest Primary School in Helsinki. Rich professional dialogue was shared between the ladies and other leaders from four outstanding schools in Leeds and I look forward to the continued links with all involved.

Outstanding PE
As a Leeds Active School, we have had many opportunities this year to raise the profile and quality of teaching and learning in P.E, successfully led by Miss Mees. Miss Mees completed Module 2 of the P.E leader course this week and we also enjoyed a staff meeting delivered by Jill Wilkinson, who helped staff to recognise and strengthen aspects of outstanding practice in P.E. I feel very proud of what we are all achieving together.

Home School agreement
May I send out a gentle reminder to return Home School Agreements as soon as you can, please. Thank you to everyone who has returned them so far. I feel this is a great way to strengthen partnerships with parents and show everyone’s commitment to working together.

New Smart boards are coming!
There is some excitement in the air as we await the delivery of 11 new LCD interactive screens, which will be delivered and installed in almost every classroom during the Easter holidays. We believe that the current Smart boards are inferior in quality and that our pupils deserve the most up to date and effective daily resources around them in order to achieve their potential.

We were so impressed with the mature responses and sensible attitudes of our Year 5/6 pupils this week, who received a visit from Childline representatives as part of their PSHCE curriculum. The children were taught about the service and when it may be appropriate to access it. The session and feedback was very positive from the children.

Reminder of training day
Please be reminded that tomorrow (14th March) is a staff training day so school will be closed to the children.

PTA News

A huge thank you to everyone who brought their "Bags to School" on Tuesday morning.  I will let you know what we managed to raise when we have heard from them.   Kay at the moment is sourcing some sports bibs for our children to wear on sports day which will take away the headache of trying the find the elusive "yellow" t-shirt in the summer.  We are trying to arrange a meeting to discuss future fund raising ideas and are aware that many of you have been unable to make previous meetings due to work and childcare commitments.  Therefore if anyone would like to attend a meeting to help us with some ideas please could you contact us at and let us know what time would be best for you. We will then go with the majority.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Mrs Dale

Don’t forget! Next Coffee Morning

The next Coffee Morning will take place on Monday 17th March at 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. The agendas for discussion will be:

·          How could we improve our school environment?

·          What could make playtimes better/more enjoyable?

·          How well are the children looked after in school?

I look forward to hearing both parent and pupil views on this one.

If you are unable to attend but would like your views to be known, as usual you may email me:
Nursery newsletter
Again we have received some super home learning and it is clear that you have enjoyed sharing the stories at home as the children are becoming much more confident at retelling them. We have set up a puppet theatre inside and have had lots of entertaining retells starring the nursery children. Don’t forget to check on our blog to see what we have been doing in Nursery and Reception this week!
We are sharing the story of Goldilocks and The Three Bears and encouraging the children to develop their sequencing and storytelling language using puppets, props, books and audio CDs. In fact two children completely retold the story word for word and it was fantastic to see how proud they were of their super storytelling abilities. In numeracy we have been thinking about the different sizes in the story and sorting the bear’s bed, bowls, chairs into size order as well as having lots of races outside to reinforce our learning about ordinal numbers.
Next week we will be sharing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. There is a story on Cbeebies if you would like to watch it with your child at:  In our literacy sessions we will be using Pie Corbett actions to retell the story and discussing the opening and closing of the story as well as the characters and the settings. We will be converting the home corner into a castle kitchen so for home learning this week can you watch/read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and make us a large scale prop to use in the home corner for our storytelling e.g. a giant harp, a golden egg, giant gold coins or character masks.
PLEASE NOTE the following diary dates: Nursery will be CLOSED on Wednesday 2nd July 2014
·    Keep reading for 5 minutes every day if you possibly can.
·    Keep practising writing the first letter in your child’s name and beyond as soon as they are ready (some children are now writing their first name independently – which is amazing!)
·    Please complete the home learning task with your child (see above) and bring it in on their first day back.
The children will be taking part in Sports Relief on Friday (21st March). Please send your child to school in their PE kit with a red top on that day.
Just a quick reminder that our next Nursery class assemblies are on Wednesday 2nd April at 11.00 am and Friday 4th April at 2.30pm in the school hall. Thank you for your continued support and enjoy the extended weekend!
Mrs Steel, Mrs Chin, Miss Fox and Mrs Beckwith.
Reception newsletter
On Monday we came back into our classroom to discover that we had had an intruder in our classroom. Our home corner was a tip! It turned out that we had had a visit from Goldilocks. We immediately called the police and they assured us that they had caught her. Don’t forget to check on our blog to see what we have been doing in Nursery and Reception this week!
We are sharing the story of Goldilocks and the three bears and the children have taken on the role of police officers collecting information about what that cheeky Goldilocks had done. We had a folder full of evidence which we passed on to the police. The children even made some wanted posters to display around the school in case anyone else had any other information on Goldilocks. We are really impressed with the improvement in the children’s writing and their confidence so please keep encouraging them to write as much as possible it really does make all the difference. In Numeracy we have been learning how to describe the size of an object, put objects in size order and measure the size of objects using rulers. The children were amazing at counting in 5’s! In phonics we will learnt to read the sounds; or (corn), ur (turn), ow (cow), oi (coin) and to read the words; here, saw, very and put.
Next week we will be sharing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and continuing to develop our storytelling skills; using the correct phrasing for the opening and closing of the story, talking about characters and settings and developing our acting skills. In particular we will be concentrating on time connectives to move the story on e.g. first, then, next, after and finally. We will be using the time connectives when we write the story in our star write challenge on Thursday. In numeracy we will recap the names and properties of 2d shapes and we will then move on to learning the names of 3d shapes and describing their properties. Our mental starter will be counting in 10’s next week. In topic we will be planting our magic beans to see if they grow into beanstalks. We will first sequence the process of planting and the children will think about the conditions that the bean will need to grow. At the end of the week the children will follow their instructions and plant the beans. Some of our children will even be visiting nursery to help the nursery children plant their magic beans by reading out the instructions in the correct order. In phonics we will be learning to read the sounds; ear (hear), ure (pure), air (hair), er (ladder) and we will be learning read the tricky words; oh, their, people, Mr and Mrs.
The Reception children will be taking part in Sports Relief on Friday (21st March). Please send your child to school in their PE kit with a red top on Friday.
Just a quick reminder that our next class assembly will be on Friday 28th March at 2.30pm in the hall. Thank you for your continued support and enjoy you’re the extended weekend!
Miss Lambert, Miss Pyatt and the rest of the Reception team.
Key Stage 1
Home Learning:
Please continue to support your child in reading, learning their spellings and rote counting. After having dedicated our home learning focus to these three things there was a definite rise in scores on the Monday morning spelling test. Spending that extra time to learn the spellings was evident not only in their scores but also their eagerness to succeed and their pride in their learning. Their rote counting in 2s, 5, 10s, 3s and 4s is being used on a daily basis. Challenge your child: how fast can they recite these multiples for you?!
Sports Relief Day:
As you may already be aware, next Friday the 21st of March, we are holding our first ever inter-form competition which will see the culmination of our dodge ball lessons in the form of a class and Key Stage competition in aid of the charity The British Heart Foundation! The children are really enjoying these lessons and, alongside our multi-skills outdoor lessons, are honing and developing their skills of throwing, catching and moving with agility and balance. We ask that each child bring with them a £1 donation and that they wear red on the day. It’s sure to be an exciting and competitive day for all…I wonder which team will win the medals and have their team names displayed in school?
This week we have been learning all about London landmarks in our afternoon sessions on Geography. The children are so engaged with the history and current projects in London (everyone found The Gherkin highly amusing!). We have been looking at bridges, palaces, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – you name it! The children have also revisited their numeracy learning on coordinates to navigate maps and London to find points of interest for tourists. What a fab week of discovery about our capital!
Wall of Fame!
We have created a Wall of Fame in our Key Stage mall which will feature an example of some amazing learning from each class every week. Congratulations to: Bethany A in Year 1 and Noah K in Year 2 for outstanding effort and achievement in their writing of a diary extract from the Great Fire of London and Kate S in Year 1-2 for producing an amazing and comprehensive poster all about hand washing.
We’re sure that your child has told you all about our morbid learning about the plague from our history and science lessons over the last two weeks! The children have moved onto a new unit in literacy: writing a diary recount from your death bed! Cries of dying victims and dodging of sneezes have lingered around the classroom during the input (we even had to deposit one body out into the mall for the corpse bearers). This is such a juicy and stimulating topic for the children to develop their imagination and skills around purposeful verbs paired with exciting adverbs, similes that paint the deadly and terrifying picture of the scene in London alongside some incredible adjectives which we are listing with commas in between. The level of writing is truly amazing and a pleasure to read every lesson…however, in and amongst these high level features we are still keeping a tight focus on the basics: capital letters, one idea, one conjunction and then end it with a full stop!
Our learning has moved on from division and we are now looking at the inverse: multiplication! The rote counting and grouping has really helped the children. We began this journey looking at multiplication as repeated addition (2+2+2+2+2=2X5). We did this using counters and objects and pictures as a visual representation. We then moved onto using array (Maltesers inside a circle signifying 1 group) with units and tens/units before applying these skills into worded problems. Next week we will continue this learning and also look at the relationship between multiplication and division and how we can manipulate three numbers within a sum.
Lower Key Stage 2 Newsletter
Wow we have had another fabulous, fun and jam packed week in LKS2, full of exciting new learning. Next Friday the 21st March is Sports Relief day and we are all very excited to be spending the day playing our first inter-form dodge ball competition across school. We would like all the children to wear a red top with their PE kit for the day and are asking if everyone could kindly bring a £1 donation that will go towards helping the British Heart Foundation. There will also be wrist bands on sale for an additional £1 that again will go toward supporting the British Heart Foundation.
Home Learning
All the children received their new exciting home learning logs this week, which is for the children to complete with their independent home learning as they wish. We are very excited to see how the children choose to present this learning and will be showcasing all of it on our phase blog. We would also like the children to continue to read daily and ensure they are recoding this in their reading records so we can reward them for all of their reading at home with stickers! We also would like the children to be learning their Times Tables. The times table we will be testing next week is the 11 Times Table. We are really impressed with the children’s continued effort with learning their times tables and all the children who are getting 12 out of 12 are celebrated on our  blog ‘Wall of Fame’ on a weekly basis.
This week the children have been using the bus stop method to solve different division problems involving two, three and four digit numbers with remainders. It’s been fantastic to see the children using their times table facts to also help them when solving division problems. Next week we are investigating fractions and finding fractions of shapes and numbers.
This week in literacy, we have been continuing our journalistic writing ensuring we are incorporating facts and quotes into our News articles about Mrs Dale’s mystery UFO sighting on the school field. The children have worked super hard to ensure they are also making their writing interesting by using adverbs, adjectives and extending their ideas into both compound and complex sentences. Next week we are writing a news article all about someone’s encounter in the Bermuda Triangle.
These Spellings will be tested on Monday 17th March.
Group 1: rushed, skipped, kissed, showed, played, tried, cried, waited, hoped, giggle.
Group 2: kindly, friendly, weekly, homely, lonely, nearly, freely, quickly, quietly, loudly.  
This week we have been uncovering the mystery phenomenon of UFO’s and have investigated different eyewitness accounts. We also had a great time designing our own aliens and created our own Top Trumps cards that we can play as a class. Next week we are researching the Bermuda Triangle and strange disappearances of ships and planes in this area.
This week we continued with our investigation into changing the factors in order for plants to grow. We will be continuing to monitor our investigation over the next few weeks to see which conditions are best for plant growth. We will also be studying how water is transported around plants.
This week we have been continuing to learn all about the Easter story and created images to help retell the story. We will be sharing these during our Easter service on Friday 4th April at 10:00 a.m. at Lofthouse church, which Year 3/4 will be hosting. We look forward to seeing you there.
·    There will be no swimming this Friday due to the training day or on the 21st of March due to Sports Relief day. Our last swimming for the half term will be on Friday the 28th March.
·    Year 3/4 will be hosting this year’s Easter service on Friday 4th April at 10:00 a.m. at Lofthouse church therefore there will be no showcase assembly this half term.
·    Please ensure your child has an art shirt in school at all times.
·    The current weather is very changeable and so we ask that your child brings a suitable coat to school every day.
·    Please ensure all of your child’s belongings (especially PE kits, hats and gloves and school jumpers) are clearly labelled with your child’s full name.
·    Remember the children have two PE units a week now, one indoor and one outdoor so please ensure they are bringing the correct kit each week.
Don’t forget to check out our blog where you will find lots more information about this week’s learning as well as important reminders and dates for forthcoming events.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Team 3/4
UKS2 Newsletter
News Roundup:
Rodillian is open for Year 6 pupils from Monday 14th – Tuesday 22nd July. Year 6 pupils leave us on Friday 11th July. Details of leavers assembly will follow at a later date.
Friday Celebration Assemblies:
A date for your diary, our next phase assembly will on Friday 25th April.  We look forward to seeing you there to show off the amazing learning from this half term.
Year 6 Numeracy Book
We would like to congratulate several pupils for their hard work and commitment to the Numeracy study guides and we have already handed out several Headteacher stickers!   In particular, Billy G in Mr Malley's class, who has been for a Headteacher sticker three times this week....that means 15 extra challenges completed at home.  Well done Billy!  Miss Hinton and Mrs Dale are ready with their box of stickers…
If pupils would like to recap on this week’s learning in Numeracy, the pages they require in the Numeracy Study Guides are: 2D and 3D shapes (p37), nets (p38) and reading scales (p45).
Child Line
Year 5/6 will be having another visit from ‘The Child Line Team’ on Wednesday 19th March during the afternoon. Your child has received a letter home regarding this, if you have any concerns regarding this; please contact either Mrs Wathen or Mrs Cookson.
Core Subjects:
This week in Numeracy we have been learning about shape and measures. We have looked at metric and imperial units of measures including length, mass and capacity; the children needed to read scales accurately to find out the value of each interval before reading or recording measurements on various scales.
Next week we will be learning about time, involving converting analogue to digital time, reading timetables and finding the difference between times. We encourage children to practice telling the time as much as possible at home, using both analogue and digital formats.
This week pupils have continued to write their letters of thanks. Pupils have grouped their ideas into paragraphs which focused on their favourite activities during the trip. We have been really proud of the standard and tone in the letters. The range of formal language and vocabulary is truly impressive!
Next week in literacy the children will be completing an assessed write.  The children will be provided with a stimulus and then be asked to write a story using the stimulus.  They will be given 20 minutes to plan their writing and will then have an hour to complete their story which must also fit on one side of A4 paper.  This is to try and encourage the children to think about their word choices and how to describe the setting without over describing. 
The children could also write a story at home using a limit of 500 words or even trying to complete one with only a hundred words....the word choices really do need to be specific!
SPELLINGS: This week, the spellings are: person - people, goose - geese, tooth - teeth, analysis - analyses, foot - feet, ox - oxen, child - children, woman - women, aircraft - aircraft, crossroad - crossroads. Your child has received a copy of these spellings and will be tested on Friday 21st March.
ICT: This week, the children have been using the software ‘Puppet Pals’ on the iPad to begin to create their own animation to retell a Japanese traditional children’s story.
The children have been very creative this week and creating some fabulous Japanese art outcomes! 5/6G have been creating koinobori flags, which are carp shaped flags which are symbolic of Children’s Day. 5/6M have been decorating plates in the style of Hokusai, which illustrate the beautiful landscapes of Japan and 5/6H have been decorating kimonos with traditional Japanese flowers. We cannot wait to see how they all turn out over the next few weeks!



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