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

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.

OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL

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.

HOMEWORK

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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Welcome back!

I do hope you all had a lovely half term. Well done to everyone for keeping your learning ticking over, I really enjoyed reading your reviews Year 5 and well done Year 6 for putting in the effort for SATs.

As a result of looking at persuasive writing before half term, it seemed a good link to move onto debates and balanced arguments. Clearly, as our half terms value is ‘justice’ we could make links in our learning. As a class, we of course started by reading some written balanced arguments to familiarise ourselves with what stylistic features are used. Some may ask, ‘what is a balanced argument?’ It provides information on different points of view and does not lean towards one particular opinion. It allows the reader to make up their own mind. With this in mind, we then spent time using our powers, to present information from these non- fiction pieces. Before reading the text examples we had to say what it was about from the rhetorical question. At this point, we also had to say whether we agreed or disagreed with the viewpoint of the text. More and more the children have enjoyed being able to present their work in their own way. We have looked at some very interesting topics? You may even like to discuss these as a family; should children do chores to earn pocket money? Should weekends be three days long? Should children have TV’s in their bedrooms? Yes, the Year 5 children even spent a short session discussing the issues around Brexit, which also brought in our knowledge and made us draw on our British Values. We are looking forward to next week where we shall continue our debating and writing some final balanced arguments.

In Maths, the Year 6 children have had the chance to experience a few practise papers, as we get ready for SATs. I do hope you found the parent appointments useful and I’m sure the children did too. Everyone is working extremely hard. Year 5 have spent time learning to interpret data in the forms of bar-line and line graphs. They have also had the opportunity to draw these as well, with increasing accuracy. The final two days of this week were spent on developing our written reasoning behind some number clues. This proved great fun and even moved to incorporating it in tactical play of the game … chess. As the children articulated their thoughts, they were also encouraged to use more mathematical vocabulary. A great way to end the first week back. Next week we shall be looking at pie charts, algebra, measure and time.

In Science we were a little disappointed with the outcome of our mould experiments. It almost took the entire time being off to see any visible results. However, once the process started the results were great. We have started another new topic, which is ‘animals including humans’. On Thursday I started by getting the children to draw on prior knowledge and present to me in their own way what they could remember about the skeletal, muscular and digestive systems. I must say everyone rose to the challenge, whether through drawing or naming parts. We then moved on and shall be looking further next week to the circulatory system; learning about the functions of the heart, lungs and blood within our bodies.

On Wednesday the children were pleased to see Mrs Pepper, who has very kindly agreed to come back to help us with our sewing and design technology project. Lots of interesting and very creative designers out there. Thank you for helping us Mrs Pepper.

An exciting week to look ahead to with Pancake Day on Tuesday and of course, who cannot forget the wonderful World Book Day, with our author visit and book fair. I can’t wait to see the costumes.

Mrs Stewart

Homework –

Year 6

I have asked for the children to complete (timed if possible please)2 exercises of the reading and maths CPG mini test booklets. I have also suggested that it would be an ideal time to get through some books. The children must also try to keep up with their reading, where we are having a big push on understanding vocabulary.

Year 5

To complete the reading comprehension based on the circulatory system.

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Class 5 - End of a Half Term

It was lovely to see a number of parents on Monday at the Open Session. I do hope you managed to get the chance to look around and in books. I can’t believe a half term has gone already, where is this year going?

In Class 5 we continued to look at persuasive writing. As it was Safer Internet Day this week we decided as a class to use this, as the basis of our work. As a class we of course reminded ourselves of ‘AFOREST’ approach in order to make sure we had everything in our writing.  I was very proud of the children listening to them and they were able to articulate their views on Internet Safety in great detail. We then spent time drafting our ideas and towards the end of the week moved onto a more in-depth look at up levelling our writing, to make it even better.

In Maths, we continued to spend time working on problem solving but through various topics. This week we concentrated on areas such as: volume of cubes and cuboids, surface area, finding the circumference of a circle, vertically opposite angles in shapes and adding positive and negative numbers. By covering these topics we were also able to recap on our knowledge of shapes and other mathematical vocabulary. Year 6 have also had a go at another mental arithmetic quiz, which ended with some happy faces.

In Science we spent time looking at micro-organisms, and have started an investigation into the growth of mould on bread. We are hoping for some interesting results over half term.

On Wednesday the children made a start to creating and cutting out their phone case patterns. Lots of interesting and very creative designers out there. We were also able to use further maths skills on measuring.

We finished off the week by watching a lovely Class 3 assembly and finding out a lot of information about the rainforest.

I do hope you all have a lovely half term and look forward to seeing you all soon. Thank you for working hard and well done to those children who received their pen/fountain pen licenses, they were well deserved.

Half term Homework –

Year 6

Your child should have now received all 3 CGP SAT buster booklets. I have asked to make sure that the children name these and take care of these. Please be aware that the books do come with answers and that I ask parents to cut and remove them, putting them somewhere safe. As you may want to discuss your child’s answers with them.

I have asked for the children to complete (timed if possible please)2 exercises of each of the mini tests, in each booklet. I have also suggested that it would be an ideal time to get through some books. I have asked each child to challenge themselves to reading a full book over the half term. From this they can then try any writing styles based from what they have read. If parents could find some time to question what their child has read that would be brilliant.    

Year 5

I really enjoyed reading the persuasive pieces from the year 5 children. You can all be quite persuasive. It was lovely to see all the techniques and devices in your writing. I have asked each child to challenge themselves to reading a full book over the half term. From this they can then try any writing styles based from what they have read. If parents could find some time to question what their child has read that would be brilliant. You will have also seen from the newsletter that our World Book Day is only around the corner.

Outside School

Well done to all footballers who have represented the school in this season, both those in the A and B teams and to all those showing commitment to after school club sessions. You have all played extremely well. As it was the end of the season and with Class 3 assembly I have posted a match report written by Joseph and Max.

Yesterday , the school football team played against Offley. We won 2-1. Everyone played very well. The two people who scored our goals were Jimmy and Max. Max scored a cracking goal set up by Stanley. Jimmy scored a fantastic goal ensuring us with the winning final score but unfortunately received an injury. It was a tough match. Man of the Match was Joseph.

Mrs Stewart

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Our Address:
St Ippolyts C.E. Primary School
Ashbrook Lane,
St Ippolyts,
Hitchin,
Hertfordshire.
SG4 7PB
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01462 432080
Fax:
01462 438524
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