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Various blogs from St Ippolyts C.E. Primary School.

Jars needed, please.

Class 5 have been busy putting their cooking skills to the test. By now most of you may have had the chance to taste our Victoria Sponge, which I have to say looked delicious. Our next project in the kitchen is Lemon Curd, next week. If you have any finished(unwanted) jam jars at home we would love to recycle them, by filling them with lovely lemon curd.

Also as a reminder it is non- uniform day tomorrow for Fair in the Square, which is on Saturday. Non -uniform can be worn in exchange for a filled tombola cup, which a few of you have already kindly brought in. This weeks newsletter also explained that jeans could be worn but we asked them not to be ripped or torn.

See you all tomorrow!

Mrs Stewart


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Welcome back to the final term

First of all I hope everyone had a very happy Easter, a restful break and enjoyed spending time together.

The first week has gone so quickly, but everyone seems to be ready for the busy and fun term that lies ahead. I have been really pleased with the effort that children have put in this week and have seen so many learning powers being used.

The new value for this half term is ’Service’. It was launched on Tuesday and hope you found the leaflet attached to this week’s newsletter interesting. It was lovely seeing the children being awarded the first values badges and who could forget the tidy cup and golden chairs. Quite a packed curriculum leaflet was also sent out. I do hope the section regarding SATs has been useful for year 6 parents.

In English we have focused our attention on grammar, punctuation and spelling within text extracts, reading comprehension and poetry. As you already are aware we are looking at the Victorians in history so what better way than to look at some Victorian poetry. This week we have used images of what it would be like as a Victorian child. In small groups the children were given time to discuss and prepare word banks of relevant vocabulary that could be included when writing our drafts. We also took time to look at the use of figurative language. Within reading comprehension sessions, we have been identifying certain features, such as personification, alliteration, oxymoron’s and hyperboles. Next week we shall be continuing with analysing and writing poetry.

In Maths, year 6 have been working on their reasoning skills with a range of topics. Alongside this continuing to build our speed and efficiency in mental arithmetic. Year 5 have concentrated on working with decimals (multiplication and division), prime numbers, factors and multiples. Next week we shall be recapping on fractions, decimals, percentages and word problems involving measure.

Our felt phone cases are almost complete and I have to say they look amazing. Everyone has really tried to persevere and master a range of sewing techniques. The children are now busy on evaluating their final product.

In History, Mrs Archer started our topic about the Victorians. The children learnt about what it was like for children at work. Looking at photographs and evidence, it was clear that it certainly was not an easy time for children then compared to what it is like today.

We have also managed to look at RE. We took a picture by Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337) and concentrated on discussing our thoughts and ideas of the imagery of Pentacost that we could see. The children were given the opportunity to research and find out their own lines of enquiry about this Christian event; to see if they could apply their learning powers. It is always interesting seeing the number of different ways in which the children present their learning when given the chance to be creative. By the end of the lesson it was clear that they had found out a great deal.

As you will have seen from the diary dates that our sport’s day will be just around the corner. At the field today Mr Jefferies and I were astounded at the progress made, in just one lesson so far, with the standing jump. Every child showed great determination. It was then followed off with a chance to show their skills in a relay race. Looking at the standards, I’m sure it will be a close competition between all teams for this year’s cup.


I can certainly see that the children took the advice of ensuring that they kept their learning ticking over the Easter holidays, as I have a mountain of marking. I do value the amount that each child has managed to achieve and will therefore be handing out the CPG books for Year 6 and maths work for year 5 on Monday.

We discussed as a class that our learning never stops, so would have plenty activities at home to carry on with. Therefore I would like the children to do a few of the following:

  • reading (daily )

  • spellings (these can be completed verbally, things such as prefixes, )

  • times tables

  • SAM Learning (Year 6 )

Of course the children can even produce something that has interested them from any of the lessons covered this week.


  • Named water bottles.

  • SATs breakfast letters

  • Class 2 cake day next Friday

I do hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Mrs Stewart

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Put a Nose on It

A lovely way to end another busy week. The school councillors spent the day helping collect and count your kind donations for this years Comic Relief. At break time and after school, red nose biscuits were on sale, which were kindly made by Mrs Harringtion – Smith. For those children keeping their Lenten promises we had fruit to offer. A sea of red filled the hall and finished the day by singing the Red Nose song – “Put a Nose on It. “ Keep an eye out for the final amount raised.

In English we continued to focus our attentions on writing in the narrative style. As the week started we looked at characterisation. There is quite a difference seeing a character but to then bring this character to life in writing can be quite challenging. The tendency of course, is to heavily write on the characters appearance; hair colour, clothing, etc, but as the children become older the expectations increase. With higher expectations also comes more mature vocabulary. Some of our early morning work has focused on this with; anagrams and then using words in sentences with subordinating conjunctions, synonym and antonym compasses then creating sentences with question tags. Parents, who attended parents evening on Thursday, will have seen the increased content requirements from the writing mats that were handed out. Those parents attending appointments on Monday will also receive these support guides. To show how powerful language can be, we compared the book to watching some clips and parts of the ‘Railway Children’ on screen. It was interesting to see that one small snippet of film could be at least two to three pages long and this is without dialogue. Next week we will move to settings, dialogue and writing in different styles such as: letter or diary writing. It is lovely to see a few of the children with their copies of the book and many of the children enjoyed watching the extracts and seeing the historical context of this novel.

In Maths our ‘Problem of the Day’ is proving quite useful. These quick fire scenarios are helping us draw on previous learning. The week started with understanding the relationship and solving problems involving ratio and proportion. This drew on some real life problem solving as we looked at recipes and brought in additional learning linked with measure. We then moved onto constructing triangles using protractors, which children grasped more quickly. During class discussions it appeared that a number of us wished to return to long division. By the end of the week, with Year 5 and Year 6, I would need to type a long list of all the mathematical concepts we were covering in class. Small little workshops with adults were in full swing.

In Science we were looking closely at the digestive system. We were exploring how water and nutrients are transported around this complex part of our bodies and researching how the different organs function. As you may gather there were quite a few questions and some strange facial expressions. When tackling this particular area, we took the time to revisit the different nutrients that we put into our body. As I explained, that as the children are getting older they need to understand how to look after their bodies, in order to remain healthy.

With the remaining time left in the week the children continued to find their Geography topic of the local area extremely interesting. This week a cross curricular theme was further embedded in their learning. Mrs Archer was asking the children to locate features by reading a map and giving the co-ordinates. This is of course a skill which is slowly dying out due to the powers of technology, with Sat Nav’s and Siri.

Some parents may have also seen their child’s sewing skills in action, as their felt phone cases may have been placed in their drawers at parent’s appointments. I have been amazed by the patience and effort that the children have shown over the weeks.

I am sure everyone has enjoyed watching the chick cam. The love of this project never fades even as the children get older. Our preparations for our Easter Service are also underway and we do hope you will be able to join us next week.

Please can I remind the children to bring their correct PE kits to school. I know I asked them to take them home to be washed more regularly but I also explained that they needed to be responsible in bringing them back. The majority have managed but it would be lovely to have them all.


Firstly I would like to congratulate the Year 5 footballers on their efforts at the tournament on Thursday afternoon. I hear that you all represented the school brilliantly. The detailed match reports from years 4 and 5, at the celebration assembly on Friday, gave us an indication of the effort that our teams give at matches.

As I type this blog I sit wondering how the year 6 children are doing at their football rally. I am sure they are playing just as well and representing our school in a similar fashion. I look forward to hearing about it.

HOMEWORK – Year 5 and 6

Homework was discussed in class and it was lovely to see some children taking responsibility in writing down what they had to do, without being reminded.

Again, this week I set a generic piece for both year groups and then set various tasks from this that the children could choose or work from.

English - Crossword.

Crosswords are a great and fun way to embed vocabulary. Having seen last week’s homework I thought of continuing with this. I would like the children to solve the puzzle (based on adjectives). I have asked if they could take time to create some across and down clues in order to produce a puzzle themselves. The puzzle could be themed on another single word class, or a mixture of word classes. By doing this it will also help the children’s understanding of GPS terminology.

Maths – Mental Arithmetic

As you will know we carry out Turbo tables within school twice a week. This quick fire method of learning has proved beneficial for improving the pace of mental recall of facts. With this in mind I have given the children a similar style but using different maths concepts that they are required to know.

The way that this homework can be carried out varies.

  1. Set a given time of 2 – 3 mins and see how far the children can achieve.

  2. Complete the strip and see how long they take to do it. With the next time they try can the beat their time.

I would suggest that they take breaks in between the completion of these strips.

I do hope you all have a lovely weekend and Happy Mothering Sunday.

Mrs Stewart

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Thank You for the Music

After a week of assessments, the week was filled with music. Everyone from Class 4 and 5 enjoyed Monday afternoon. We were invited by The Priory School to see the matinee performance of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. It was a wonderful production and the cast and school orchestra/band were brilliant. Live music and performances really let the children see how music can also help with so many other curriculum subjects. We would like to thank The Priory for the warm welcome that we received.

On Wednesday, the children from the rest of the school were a super audience for all the children who were participating in the Music Evening this year. I love to hear all the musical talent that takes place both in and out of school. Thank you to all those parents who supported the evening. I was very proud of all the children.

Following on from the visit by the author, Alexander Martin, the older children worked hard all week writing and editing and have now completed their entries for the writing competition. Hopefully, we will be able to impress him with our writing skills, as we have taken on board the advice that Alexander explained to us, when he visited. Following on from this narrative style, we have moved onto reading the ‘Railway Children’ as a whole class book. On Friday we started reading, analysing and discussing the stylistic features we could see that the author had used. We then put our skills of inference to the test by trying to explore what the authors’ intentions were. From reading together, we were able to gather quite a lot of ideas and then show how the text helped us to derive to those conclusions. E. Nesbitt’s use of vocabulary also gave us a good indication of what the children and adults were like. We shall be continuing with this text and narrative writing into next week.

In Maths we were focusing on areas which we were still finding quite challenging or needed to improve our understanding. We started by introducing a ‘Problem of the Day’. The children got their teeth straight into reasoning and solving. This was then followed up by discussing and checking our solutions. A lot of our learning through the week bounced around from topic to topic, but when stripped down, the children were using their powers and seeing the links to the core basics learnt in previous years. It is lovely to see how the children have grown in confidence and how they can verbalise their answers more; rather than just giving an answer. It is also important that they understand why answers are incorrect and why they are incorrect. Learning from errors can just be as powerful. Next week we shall be looking at: understanding the relationship and solving problems involving ratio and proportion, multi-step word problems, constructing triangles using protractors and also continuing to polish our accuracy in mental arithmetic.

With the remaining time left in the week the children also had the opportunity to learn about: geography, PE, RE and music.

I shall be of course discussing your child’s progress, strengths and areas to develop at the parent appointments. Some of the children will have received appointment times. If you have not yet been allocated a day and time these will be sent home tomorrow.

What a lovely way to finish the week by seeing Class 2’s assembly.

HOMEWORK – Year 5 and 6

Homework was discussed and the children were asked to write down what they needed to do. Here is a reminder.

This week I set a generic piece for both year groups and then set various tasks from this that the children could choose or work from.

Maths – Maths crossword.

Crosswords are a great and fun way to embed vocabulary. A few children were unsure of how to tackle a crossword but this was explained in class. I would like the children to solve the puzzle. I then asked if they could take time to create some across and down clues in order to produce a puzzle themselves next week. The puzzle could be themed or random, single or multi –stepped.

Some children were keen to even go to the stage of making the whole thing, which is their choice. I have just asked for the clues. The overall aim for this is to make a book. Displaying and using the children’s work in class, around the school and on the working wall.

English – Editing /handwriting. (Creating a summary/fact finding)

As we have heavily been editing and improving our writing last week I chose an activity to match this. It is a skill that is required in every year group. I did mention to the children that I would be looking at handwriting style as well.

As we had started to read the ‘Railway Children’ in class, I asked the children to try and write a short summary of what we had read in Chapter 1, (we did not finish the entire chapter). As some children were concerned about not remembering, I suggested that they could just focus on writing about the children: Roberta, Peter and Phyllis, or find out some interesting information about the author E. Nesbitt. They may even choose to do something that interests them, which lets the children draw on their learning powers.

If children have a copy of the ‘Railway Children’ at home they can bring it in if they wish. I have not asked the children to purchase a copy.

I hope you have had a lovely weekend and see you all tomorrow.

Mrs Stewart

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Effort All Round

An exhausting week of assessments but I am extremely proud of the way that Class 5 have taken everything in their stride. It was a very difficult task choosing who to award the effort badge to and selecting the class candidate for the golden chair in assembly. Well done everyone!

This week, you can imagine, has been filled full of assessments mainly. I shall be of course discussing your child’s progress, strengths and areas to develop at the parent appointments at the end of the term. Thank you to all those parents who have already handed in their slips. Please see your newsletters for further information.

Following on from the visit by the author, Alexander Martin, the older children have been working on their skills of narrative writing and getting entries ready for the writing competition. Today, Miss Ingle, received an email from Alexander. We found out the lucky winners from each class for the colouring competition. It would have been a winner from each class but he was so impressed by the St Ippolyts standards that we had a few from each class. Well done to all the children across the school. Hopefully, the older children will be able to impress him with their writing skills as well.

In Science we spent time trying to devise our own experiments linked to pulse; as we are focusing our learning about the cardiovascular system at the moment. Lots of good ideas and lines of enquiry being discussed. We have started to write up our experiments and shall be ready to gather the results and make conclusions next week.

We also had time to think about the RE big question for this term – ‘Where can we find God?’

These questions always bring a range of deep and meaningful discussions amongst the older children in school. Also it has been lovely to see the range of interpretations to this. It helps to reinforce so many of the learning powers that we now know.

On Wednesday, the children had a busy creative afternoon; sewing and music evening rehearsals. Our phone cases are definitely coming along nicely, as well as our music performances. I look forward to seeing all the musical talent that takes place both in and out of school. I am sure the children in class 4 and 5 are also looking forward to Monday afternoon seeing ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, which is being performed by the children at The Priory.

The children have also been getting more familiar with the different genres in music. Each week, Mrs Archer has been selecting some brilliant pieces of music and the children have been learning to articulate their ideas and discuss more about the musical content. Another way to get in new vocabulary.

Alongside music they have also been studying geography of the local area. This week involved looking at pictures of past and present areas in Hitchin town and trying to understand why changes have taken place.

Outside School

Well done to all the netballers who represented the school in the rally this week. You all played extremely well and congratulations in coming third overall.


There is no homework this weekend as the children need to recharge after the amount of assessments. Of course, that does not mean we completely shut off. You can still read for enjoyment and I am sure some children will still keep going.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and see you all for another week of fun learning on Monday.

Mrs Stewart

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Our Address:
St Ippolyts C.E. Primary School
Ashbrook Lane,
St Ippolyts,
01462 432080
01462 438524
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foodbank Hitchin Food Bank
Collection point for donations in main entrance
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chosen Guide Dogs as our charity this year

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