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Newsletter 26th January 2024

Newsletter 26th January 2024
January 29, 2024 Sandy Pike

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now a quarter of the way through the spring term, with a plethora of activities taking place within classrooms, linked to class projects. I thought it might be useful to share the main projects children are experiencing in class this term.


Class Projects
Oak Sow, Grow and Farm (Geography)

Human Reproduction and Ageing (Science)

Eat the Seasons (DT)

Line, light and shadow (Art and Design)

Natures Art (Art and Design)

Chestnut Rocks, Relics and Rumbles (Geography)

Forces and Magnets (Science)

Making it Move (DT)

Ammonite (Art and Design)

People and Places (Art and Design)

Beech Coastline (Geography)

Uses of Materials (Science)

Plant Survival (Science)

Beech Hut (DT)

Flower Head (Art and Design)

Hazel Bright Lights, Big City (Geography)

Seasonal Changes (Science)

Taxi! (DT)

Rain and Sunrays (Art and Design)


A selection of Year 5 and 6 pupils represented the school in the Gillingham Schools Hockey Tournament on Wednesday at Gillingham School. Mrs Smeeton was very impressed with the comradery of the team and the skills displayed. Thank you to those who helped with transport to this tournament.

We welcomed Karen Parnell (the school’s educational challenge lead), into school yesterday. Karen observed Read Write Inc sessions being taught and discussion through the course of the day focussed on how the school is further progressing and developing.

 Assemblies this week

Our Monday assembly this week focused on ‘being observant’, linking to our learning characteristic of an Observant Otter. Optical illusions and images disguised in painting were shared with children, whilst also discussing how being observant can help us in and around school, as well as in the wider world.


Oak Class Cookery

Oak Class will be cooking a variety of soups on Tuesday. Please would all parents ensure their children have a suitable container for any left overs that children may wish to bring home!

On Thursday we will be welcoming Karen Parnell (our Educational Challenge Lead), back into school for a Team Around the School meeting on Wednesday.



Eco Club

Eco Club started last week, with a number of children eager to be involved. The Club is keen to encourage awareness of environmental issues and has a number of ideas as to the school can improve its green credentials.  We hope to focus on the following key elements in the forthcoming weeks: Reducing litter, improving school recycling, reducing waste, reusing items where appropriate, encouraging wildlife, looking after our environment, gardening, getting out and about and exploring awards we might work towards.

Lego Club

Is a go! Letters with further information will be sent out soon regarding this Club, which will run on a Monday after school.


I am hoping the sickness bug that has been prevalent in some year groups is now subsiding, however please take a look at the advice published by Public Health England, for information regarding how long pupils should remain off school should they experience illness: One of the key ones being children needing to be off school for 48 hours after their last ‘episode’ following any bout of sickness or diarrhoea.



This week, Oak Class has been digging deeper into the world of Statistics. The Year 5s explored ‘two-way tables’ and the Year 6s revised their understanding of percentages in the context of pie charts. In Computing the children expanded their ‘Crumble’ repertoire and included a switch in their circuits. This meant they had to explore writing programs that use an input as a condition. Complicated stuff! The children have been enjoying learning about French food and drink, and this week they learned how to ask for the bill, and say thank you and goodbye in French. Next week they will be role-playing ordering food from a ‘Salon de Thé’ and even tasting some – if they manage to calculate the bill in French correctly!


This week pupils have been continuing their focus on multiplication. 2s, 4s and 8s for Year 3 and different factor pairs for Year 4. Some of our work was quite tricky but we persevered! In Topic and English we have been learning about things we find under the ground. We learnt all about mining in the Victorian times and were shocked to find out that young children were sent to work in the mines even though it was such a dangerous environment. We thought of some great words to describe this environment, magpie-ing great ideas and adding to our word bank throughout the lesson. We’re glad we didn’t live in Victorian times! Our PSHE goal has been to work as a team and we have been planning a garden for an individual of our choice who has some kind of additional need. We have had to think carefully about how different aspects of a garden might suit different people with specific challenges and discuss and plan our gardens together.


This week, Beech class have been finishing off their versions of ‘Building Boy’ and writing them up in best. The children have worked really hard over this English topic and they should all be very proud of the amount of work they have been able to produce. In maths, the children have started to look at multiplication sentences and using arrays to support them.

In Geography, Beech class have been learning about how to stay safe at the coast, where the children were very knowledgeable and keen to show their understanding! The children have been continuing to learn about Losar in RE, producing their own Tibetan Prayer Flags as well as working collaboratively in PSHE creating Dreams and Goals birds which are beautifully decorated.


In Year 1 the children have been planning their own version of the Queen’s Hat story, with ideas hopefully incorporated into their independent writing to be carried out on Monday. We aim to share some of their writing in Praise and Celebrate assembly next week.

EYFS pupils have enjoyed printing their own versions of vehicles using 2D shapes and created a map showing where car elements were lost in the tale of Mrs Armitage Queen of Road.

Both classes have explored the key feature of a London taxi, and created individual design criteria for forthcoming taxi construction!

In PSHE children have work really hard, in pairs, to create identically drawn and decorated wellies, to support learning of how we work together and communicate effectively.

Diary dates  (dates in red have been added this week)


5th Feb All week Internet safety week
8th Feb 09.30 – 11.30 Dance Festival at Mere school.

(Letters of invitation will be sent in due course)

9th Feb 15.20 Half term starts
19th Feb 08.50 Second half of term starts
6th Mar 15.30 – 18.00 Gillingham Schools Y3/4 B football tournament

(Letters of invitation will be sent in due course)

13th Mar 15.30 – 18.00 Gillingham Schools Y3/4 A football tournament

(Letters of invitation will be sent in due course)

20th Mar 07.45 – 20.30 Year 6 London Theatre trip
28th Mar 15.20 End of term
22nd July 2024   INSET DAY
23rd July 2024   INSET DAY


Best wishes,

Ailsa Boardman-Hirst