The children across the Federation have been working at home with their families to create poppies for a Federation Remembrance Display. Children have been asked to design and make 3D poppies to contribute to the display as part of their work teaching the children about those who gave their lives for their country. The poppies are then being attached to a cargo net between the two schools for all parents and children to see. They are also having special lessons and assemblies to develop their understanding of why we wear poppies and what this signifies. We are really pleased with how many children and families took part, and families sent in photos of the children making their poppies at home.
As part of our remembrance celebrations, we are working together to create poppy installations on our gates. All the children and families in the federation have been invited to make poppies to put on our gates to remember those who have died in the war.
We have asked families to send in photos of them making the poppies as well as the poppies themselves and will share those on the website too when we get them.
Here are some videos showing how to make the poppies and also how to make a poppy wreath. We would love to have some wreaths too.
On Monday 15th October, year 2 enjoyed a medieval day which linked to their Medieval Norwich topic. The children enjoyed taking part in lots of different activities including jousting and jestering. They also took part in archery which was run by Goldcrest Outdoor Activity. The children really enjoyed learning the skill of setting up a bow and arrow and also understanding why people would have used these during medieval times. In the afternoon the children took part in a medieval banquet and dressed up in their own costumes. They enjoyed eating cheese, bread and grapes and each class performed a medieval dance, which they had been working on in PE, to the rest of the year group. It was a great day, enjoyed by all!
On Wednesday 10th October 2018, author, Nicola Davies, visited our school. At about 13:45, Year 6 and Year 5 sat assembled in the main hall, facing the author of many exciting books. At first she introduced herself, and informed us of her successful career so far. She started reading an extract from one of her bestselling books, A lion Stole My Arm. It was about a young, five year old boy who was out hunting fish, before being hunted by a lion. The predator had ripped the boy’s arm clean off; the boy had then escaped. She read it and told us it was a true story. It was a book from one of her fictional series, Heroes of the Wild.
After that, she told all of us about her adventure, when she went out whale searching. She discovered a group of Blue Whales, and recorded their songs, which were louder than anything she had ever heard. She followed them for a little while, but eventually the whales got scared by the starting of a motor. She then didn’t see them for a long time.
Another time, she came across a humpback whale, which was coming up for breath every 2 minutes. It was staying in the same position in the same area, sinking about 100 meters deep. She had taken a photo of it and returned home.
Then, as an activity, Nicola taught us how to create a whale song. She split up 4 parts of the hall, where children were sitting. Each quarter had to make a different sound which would create a hilarious whale song. The first quarter were making low-pitched hums, in a certain pattern. The next quarter did high-pitched squeaks in a different order, varying in tempo. The next, had to blow on their arms or their hands to make a weird sound involving one second of noise. After that, the last row made a tone between a roar and a bark, which they had to do once or twice. Subsequently, Nicola ended her speech with an applause from the audience (us) and let marvel her stand of books where a few people from each class purchased a book with her signature inside. Most children returned to class to finish their lesson, while a few others chatted with the author or got a piece of paper signed or written on.
We held a federation ‘No Pen this week and all children in Key Stage 1 and 2 completed their learning without using anything they could write or draw with. It was a great opportunity to use speaking and listening skills to support our learning in all areas of the curriculum and to get really creative.
Some examples of work completed across the federation are shared below:
In Year 1 children completed a variety of maths problem solving activities and took place in a mindfulness yoga session as well as working with puppets.
In Year 2 children took part in a treasure hunt linked to their literacy sequence of learning. They also demonstrated their maths knowledge.
Year 3 began the day by focusing on group skills as they completed a speaking and listening task involving giving and following directions and observing and feeding back to a team. There was some fantastic listening going on in all three classrooms as the children took on their different roles. Overall, the children decided that being the observer was the most difficult role as it was hard not to intervene during the task. Later in the day, the children took part in some drama activities after listening to an extract from The BFG before making salt dough sculptures of the characters.
In year 4 children completed a science experiment and thought about how they could keep ice cubes and food cold without technology. Some children also worked on perfecting their handwriting formation using paints and syringes.
Year 5 were on the playground during their maths lesson with some fabulous planet props and their calculators, which they were using to practice their rounding skills. This was followed by a spelling bee in the classroom with children clearly relishing the opportunity to take a turn in the spelling hotseat. In the afternoon the children were learning about space and creating the sun, moon and the earth, following instructions very well to create some fantastic work.
We saw Year 6 working on their debating skills during English, debating where it would be better to live – Sparta or Athens – as part of their topic work on Ancient Greece. They were getting ‘hands on’ in maths, creating some tangrams. There were opportunities throughout the day for reading and learning how to use subjunctive connectives with games rather than pens. In the afternoon, the children were using Purple Mash to create music of their own on the laptops and then created some wonderful Greek laurel wreaths.
Feedback from the children was very positive. Here’s some of what the children shared following the day:
“We have done lots of activities that we wouldn’t normally do.”
“We’ve had to use our minds.”
“I really enjoyed the debating. Lots of people had their different opinions about whether they would like to live in Athens or Sparta.”
“I liked it because it was an unexpected change and I like a change once in a while.”
“I have enjoyed the games and cooking. I have made a BFG using a lolly stick because it is no pens day. I think my mum will be really interested in this.”
“My best bit about no pen day is the craft because I would like to be an artist – it is my dream job.”
“It is really cool how you can make music with only small amounts of varied noises.”
“I have enjoyed everything – the maths games and the handwriting with a syringe.”
“I enjoyed handwriting today because we got to use paints and a syringe.”
“We had loads of fun outside.”
The Federation were pleased to be invited by the town council to take part in celebrations to mark World Peace day in September.
Two children from Year 2 were chosen to represent the federation and we went to Dereham for a special ceremony in the market place. The Mayor spoke, as did Rev Sally Theakston, about peace and why we all need to work towards peace in our lives and in the world.
Mr Macdonald from Northgate had made a planter and each school put their plant into the planter, which was then put on the war memorial.
We were very pleased to be part of such an important ceremony.
As a special end of term celebration event, Mr Barnes, one of our MSAs, organised and ran a football tournament. It was open to children in Years 4, 5 and 6, regardless of their footballing ability.
A sign up sheet was circulated and children signed up if they wanted to play. From that, Mr Barnes chose 6 captains form Year 6 to be in charge of a team. Names for the teams were picked form a hat.
The children played a 7 a side tournament, with a squad of 10 players. The rules said that subs had to come on at half time.
We had group stage matches from Monday to Wednesday, a semi-final on Thursday. The semi-finals were both very close games and finished 1-0.
There was great excitement on Friday for the grand final. The winning team won 2-0, with the winning team captain scoring a fantastic goal from near the half way line.
A trophy and medals were presented to the winning team on Friday after the final, with the presentation being made by Mr Barnes and some of the children.
It was a great event, and the children all worked well as part of a team. It was good to see them all working together and supporting each other.
A big thank you to Mr Barnes for all of his hard work with this, and to all of the children for their great sportsmanship. It was a great end to the term.
World cup excitement was felt around the federation on Wednesday 11th July for England’s semi final game against Croatia. The children and staff came into school wearing football and England themed clothing, and took part in various activities including flag making to help celebrate the achievement and success of our country’s football team. During our world cup themed assembly the children enjoyed waving their flags and joining in with a well loved football song!
Toftwood Infant School hosted a pre-school sports morning on Thursday 28th July. Over 70 children aged 3 and 4 years old from Toftwood Infant School, Toftwood Pre-School Nursery, William Cowper Pre-School and Little Owls joined together for traditional races, as well as a circuit of activities. This is the first year that Toftwood Junior School have also been involved with the event. Year 6 children from Toftwood Junior School did an excellent job at demonstrating the activities and gave the younger children support and encouragement. A great morning was had by all.
The second federation family picnic was held on 2nd July 2018, following on from the Infant School Race Day which was held in the morning.
Parents and carers and other family and friends were invited to join their children for a family picnic on the field, giving families time to spend with their children, chatting and relaxing in the sunshine, away from the distractions of everyday life, including electronic devices!
All 650 children were involved, with some bringing a picnic lunch and others buying one from the school kitchens.
All children, except 20, had visitors join them for the event, which was an impressive turn out. For those children who were unable to have a visitor or two, the staff joined them so no one was left out.
The sun shone brightly for us all, and the fields of both schools were awash with deckchairs, picnic blankets and the odd parasol to keep out of the sun.
We think we had possibly around 1300 people enjoying the picnic on the day, basing the turnout on an average of 2 visitors per child, although all children could have up to 4 visitors and many did! We had grandads, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, younger siblings, neighbours and friends, all eating together to enjoy the community atmosphere and the sunshine. One young visitor was there all the way from America! The picnics were impressive, with whole cakes, large plates of sandwiches and a whole range of goodies seen.
One grandparent said “Thank you so much for inviting us, it has been fabulous, we have had such a lovely time.” A parent said “There was an excellent atmosphere and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone I could see.”
We are already planning ahead to our next picnic next summer and looking at ways to make it bigger and better! Thank you to everyone who came along, it was lovely to see so many families enjoying each other’s company and the sunshine too.
The Infant School also had their open afternoon following the picnic, giving further opportunities for parents an carers to join their children and celebrate their learning.