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Nursery Delight In Autumn's Arrival
Learning outside, whatever the weather, is a fundamental part of our school ethos and no more so than in Nursery. At the beginning of the week however, the weather was particularly conducive to spending time outside, and the children enjoyed planting winter flowers and watering the Nursery garden, building in the sandpit and taking the opportunity to run and play barefoot, before colder weather sets in. The glorious autumn sunshine and the colours of the turning leaves made Forest School a magical place to be and the children enjoyed several trips up to the woods. They learnt how to make a fire and watched the smoke curling in the sunlight that poured between the trees. There were plenty of signs of autumn to discover including conkers, berries, acorns and a variety of interesting fungi. Spending time in the woods was the perfect opportunity for the children develop their understanding of the changing seasons, lifecycles, growth and decay and to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the natural world around them.
Mrs Sam Forster, Head of Early Years
Reception Work Together
The wonderful grounds that surround the school are a giant playground for our children; a place to investigate, explore, discover and develop lifelong skills. During our Forest School sessions this week, co-operation was needed when a group of children wanted to build a den. When differing ideas were suggested they had to work together effectively to find a compromise and a solution whilst thinking about appropriate behaviour in the woods. Risks were taken and challenges were set, all within boundaries that the children had set themselves. Learning to tie knots was a tricky task but those learning this new skill persevered and were delighted when they achieved the end goal - attaching a rope to a stick and using this in their den. The words of Henry Ford are very true:
Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.
Mrs Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception and Year 1
Year 1 Get Messy
There was plenty of laughter and enhanced language this week in Year 1 as the children explored a messy play sink. The concept of a setting and its importance was brought to life when the children discovered a sink full of items found in the story of Traction Man. This prompted a lot of discussion as the children used their senses to describe what they could see, feel and smell in the setting. There was everything from ‘slimy, smooth spaghetti’ to ‘cold, squidgy jelly,’ inspiring the children to write some wonderfully descriptive sentences using adjectives. As well as creating an exciting description, the children worked hard on remembering their capital letters, finger spaces and full stops before reading the sentences again to check that they made sense. Some children even challenged themselves to use a comma in their writing when they were using more than one adjective!
Mrs Olivia Shepherd, Year 1 Class Teacher
Year 2 Think About Habitats
Science and technology have been the focus in Year 2 this week. We have been learning that habitats can be large and small and considering what makes creatures perfectly adapted to their habitat. Up at Forest School we created mini habitats for creatures thinking carefully about the type of shelter and food they would need. Back in the classroom we have been developing our rainforest shoebox dioramas as well as using iPads to bring rainforest characters to life. Using speech punctuation is never easy, but the children tried hard to turn speech bubble sentences into carefully punctuated sentences used within a story. As part of European Day of Languages, Hedgehogs celebrated the country Norway and taught the rest of the school the Norwegian word for sausage!
Mrs Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Look At Spanish Geography
Crunching numbers in Spanish took a back seat this week and instead the children turned their attention to Geography - in particular, learning where there are countries who use Spanish as their official language. Year 3 discovered that there are 21 countries, predominantly in South America, and that Equatorial Guinea is the only country in Africa where Spanish is an official language. The children learned that although each country speaks Spanish as their language, it might actually sound very different as they each have their own unique accent. The children were amazed by some South American facts - Chile is the world's longest country, La Paz in Bolivia is the highest capital city on the planet (3640m) but curiously, most knew that Paddington Bear came from Peru! They were also surprised to find out that there are more speakers of Spanish in the USA than there are in Spain.
Mrs Leana Staring, Head of Spanish
Year 4 Go To War
Year 4 are studying WWII this term. The children enjoyed discussing their prior knowledge of the war and shared stories that they had heard from their own relatives who were involved in or had lived through the war. Some children brought in medals and documents from the time and showed these to their classmates. The children listened intently as we explored the most important events leading up to the outbreak of the war and then worked to put the major events in a timeline in their topic books. We moved on to the Battle of Britain and listened to a radio recording of an actual dog fight between 40 German pilots and four British pilots over the English Channel which the Allied Forces won. Model Club kindly loaned us their models of Spitfires, Hurricanes, Stukas, Messersmitts and Lancasters and these helped to fuel the children's imagination as they put themselves in the shoes of an eyewitness and discussed together what it might have been like and what they might have seen. We went on to explore the Battle of Dunkirk and Operation Dynamo. We listened to Winston Churchill’s famous ‘We will fight them on the beaches’ speech which was far more powerful than my own impression of Winston Churchill!
Mrs Louise Doven, Year 4 Teacher
Year 5 Build A Base For Future Maths
Year 5 is making an enthusiastic start to the year in Maths, taught now in their Sets by specialist Maths teachers. Our main focus this term is fluency in all times tables up to 12 x 12. Knowing their times tables is key to the children's confidence and speed in so many areas of Maths. But it is important not to rely on rote memory, so we use patterns and reasoning to enhance understanding. If you know 3 x 7 = 21, then 6 x 7 must be 42 as it's twice as big. 12 x 7 must be 84, so why not go to 24 x 7 = 168? Pupils will also quickly tell you that 43 x 11 = 473 or 72 x 11 = 792 by spotting the pattern. Pupils are given tables tests every lesson, and we work hard to increase both speed and accuracy. Everyone is making very good progress and before long all the children will be attempting 100 questions in four minutes. We are also working to ensure pupils are secure on their basic whole number arithmetic: column addition, subtraction, short multiplication and short division, before we open up to a world of fractions, decimals and broader mathematical topics later in the year.
Mr Patrick Davies, Head of Mathematics
Year 6 Relish The Super Over
The U11 girls have made a great start to Cricket this term. We have covered all the fundamentals of batting technique, including the pull shot and cover drive but just as importantly, how to be intimidating with the bat! They really have made good progress with their bowling and as a result are seeing many more good line and length deliveries, with the result of taking many more wickets. Our four week Cricket season was celebrated in the best way possible - a hotly contested round of House Matches. These were very competitive indeed but were played in great spirit too. The girls really bought into the ‘super over’ where runs counted as double - and there were some very clever tactics on show.
Mr Dan Bather, Director of Sport
Year 7 Show Creativity In Geography
Year 7 are studying Rivers in Geography. This is always an interesting topic, whether it be focused on features such as waterfalls and meanders or looking at the interaction between humans and river systems. There is far more to Geography than just Ox-Bow Lakes… This week children have been engaged in learning about Drainage Basins and their features, before delving further into the course of a river. Across the year group, the children have been creating some fantastic Pop-Up Drainage Basins and really have shown off their creative side as they focus on the quality of their presentation as well as the content of their work. The children have discovered many different ways that they can use their iPads to support their learning. They all learn in different ways and it has been great to teach them to use applications that work for them, such as creating their own flashcards, mind maps and revision notes. We have also taken time to review their learning from the Coasts topic of Year 6, which we covered during ‘Virtual Highfield’ and it has been delightful to see continued enthusiasm for the subject.
Mr James Figgis, Head of Geography
Year 8 Work Their Needles
This term, Year 8 explore Typography in Graphic Design. They are working on a project creating hand-sewn pillows decorated with their name or initials. The children design and create the stencil for their initials on the computer using CAD, laser cut their designs on to grey board, and use ink dye and fabric paint to decorate their cushions. This week they have been practising their sewing skills by sewing a running stitch along a track printed on paper, ahead of sewing their fabric. This topic develops computer based technical skills as the children explore CAD tools in greater depth, and sewing techniques as they sew their pillows together using a running stitch to join the fabric together, followed by decorative blanket stitch and cross stitch edges. These skills will be invaluable as the children progress to Senior School and beyond.
Mr Jamie Dew, Head of DT
Highfield House Points
Good Marks (Years 4, 5 & 6)
Sabina Tracey 27 • Elliot Burke 13 • Felix Cunningham 12 • Oliver Glasgow 10 • Jack Heaver 9 • Wilfred Walters 8 • Archie Fairweather 8 • Isabel Curry 8
Trafalgar 9.8 • Agincourt 8.9 • Waterloo 8.2
Plus Marks (Year 4, 5 & 6)
Wilfred Hargreaves 28 • Oscar Bloxam 26 • Rory Lett 26 • Aimee Horn 18 • Oscar Jackson 16 • Edward Kessell 15
Trafalgar 20 • Agincourt 18.8 • Waterloo 15.8
Merit Marks (Years 7 and 8)
Oliver Hendricks 21 • Fergus Turvill 18 • Isabella Hendricks 16
Agincourt 3.8 • Trafalgar 3.4 • Waterloo 3.3
Brookham House Points
Ash 509 • Oak 473 • Willow 454