Preparatory School Spring Half Term Newsletter Year 1 Assembly Year 1 led a fantastic class assembly on 23rd January for the Prep School and parents, based on the parable of the Good Samaritan. They acted out the story in the modern context of a little boy being hurt at an Aston Villa vs Birmingham City football game and the unlikely person who came to help him. The whole class remembered their lines, delivering them in beautiful clear voices and with so much confidence! Reception Parents Assembly Reception class performed their very first assembly on 30th January about animals for their parents and the whole of the Prep School. They enjoyed sharing all of the information they had learnt about animals. They painted some wonderful pictures and made some fantastic junk models. The Reception teachers and their parents were very proud of them. Prep Arts Day On the 6th February the whole of Prep School became a hive of artistic activity. Everyone from Poppets through to Year 6 engaged in a full and creative programme. This year's theme was 'Making our Mark' looking at drawing skills. This included working with our Artist in Residence for the day, Ruth Radcliffe, who led a brilliant workshop looking at observational skills and using charcoal as a drawing medium with some amazing results! Ms Charles led a lively and immensely enjoyable music mark-making workshop and Mrs Claughton excelled at sharing her ballet skills with the children making marks using glow sticks as they danced. Mrs Smith was a roving artist collecting postcard pictures drawn by the pupils for a large artwork yet to be unveiled! Poppets and Nursery enjoyed a fun rhythm workshop making marks using their bodies to the sound of music. All Key Stage 2 children now have their own upgraded personal sketchbooks to start collecting ideas and sketching in. There was certainly a creative buzz which looks set to continue! Tennis After school tennis started in September and takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 3:30pm for children in Years 2 and 3. The tennis teaching aims to develop the children's physical skills in agility, balance and co-ordination. Furthermore Mr Wilson and his assistant Mr Lloyd are preparing the children to be able to play in mini tennis matches by the Summer Term. During this term they will be working on improving their technical and tactical abilities in a games based format. Tennis is a game for life, teaching the children competition, fair play and social skills that will serve them into adulthood. KS2 Visit to RSC Stratford Key Stage 2 had the opportunity to visit the Royal Shakespeare Company to watch Wendy and Peter Pan. They were reading J.M. Barrie’s version during English lessons and were very excited to compare Ella Hickson’s stage version. The stage design was incredible, along with the acting, music and lighting, captivating us all from beginning to end. It was a wonderful experience and one that the children were desperate to share with their families. Year 1 Visit to Selly Manor Year 1 visited Selly Manor on Tuesday 4th February as part of their Homes of the Past topic. They enjoyed looking around the house and learning about the old furniture and household objects. Their favourite room of the house was the kitchen where they learnt about the food they ate and how they cooked it. They also couldn’t wait to get dressed up and play with the different toys of the past such as the diablo and cup and ball. Year 1 now know how people lived in the past and how different it is to how we live today. Year 3 Workshop on Saxons On Wednesday 5th February the Year 3 children had a Saxon workshop where they acted out a Saxon burial. Through this ceremony, the children discovered different Saxon artefacts and their importance in everyday life. They discovered how to tell if someone was rich or poor by their clothes, as well as learning about different tools that Saxons would have used for cooking and working. It was a very successful workshop where the children came away enthused. Year 4 Workshop on Tudors Spices and far off lands, diamonds, pearls and sapphires! The Year 4 class had an exciting History workshop learning more about Tudor wealth, exploration and sea travel. They made their own quadrants and used them to measure degrees just like the Tudors would have done when they were on their ships. The children also learned about the pros and cons of differently shaped ships and which ones the Tudors would have used. All this after having sifted through pearls and other types of jewels! What an adventure! Year 6 Workshop on Egyptians On Monday 3rd February, Year 6 had a fantastic History workshop all about the Amazing Egyptians. They learned some gruesome facts about mummification, before testing out their pyramid-building skills, adopting some of the innovations devised by the ancient civilization. The workshop encouraged creative thinking and problem-solving skills as the children had to work together to come up with pre-technology solutions to dilemmas! They learnt that the Egyptians were extremely advanced in terms of their scientific and mathematical understanding and all left the workshop inspired by this amazing culture. Debate What an impressive half-term we have had in Upper Key Stage 2! The children out-shone all expectations. Every single one of them stood up and produced an outstanding argument during the debate focus. The motion debated was, ‘P.E should be taken off the national Curriculum.’ The motion was defeated! Winning houses were able to choose a brand new book to add to their collection. Forest School In Forest School this half term, Year 4 have been doing work linked to traditional tales. Our sessions have begun with storytelling around the base camp area, and the children have then worked in teams on their practical activities, including building a trap to catch the Big Bad Wolf from ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and laying a trail, just like the Grimm brothers’ Hansel and Gretel, to lead a friend to hidden treasure. They have also enjoyed building woodland dens and practising their tree-climbing skills. The children have worked together brilliantly to solve problems and have demonstrated a very good awareness of the safety measures when working with fire and tools. Early Years Baby Poppets - The babies have been busy painting pictures of winter animals such as polar bears and penguins. Our new babies have been making lots of friends and have been getting to know one another. We have enjoyed music and movement sessions. Mini Poppets - The children in mini poppets have been using their imagination and creative skills by completing our Dora the Explorer display board. The children have been exploring different textures by creating flowers using sequins, clouds using cotton wool and finger painting different types of insects. Poppets - During this term we have looked at the topic ‘Living Things’. The children have all enjoyed looking at different animals, talking about the sounds they make and where they live. The children used puppets and were very creative using their imagination. Poppets also enjoyed looking at people from around the world and the different clothes they wear. We added new countries to our globe to complete our ‘around the world’ display board. Poppets have also been learning specific jolly phonic sounds which have been incorporated into their topic such as ‘P’ for parrot. They have also been very busy learning new songs in preparation for their spring concert. Nursery - Nursery has focused on day and night as part of their ‘Opposites’ topic. They have discussed day and nocturnal animals, created a day and night display for their classroom as well as focusing on Jolly Phonics. During Maths the children have been working on more and less than and number recognition. Nursery celebrated Chinese New Year by dancing to Chinese music, getting messy with noodle play and creating lovely paintings using Chinese herbs and spices. We hope you all have a wonderful Half Term and look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 24th February 2014 when we will be holding our Multi Faith Week.