Dear Parents and girls
2x + 2y = 100
2x + 3y = 128
What is the value of y?
Dos manzanas y dos plátanos cuestan un euro, mientras que dos manzanas y tres plátanos cuestan un euro con veintiocho centavos. ¿Cuánto cuesta un plátano?
If you struggled with either or both of the above, it is probably because you are not completely au fait with the languages of Mathematics or Spanish, or you have not studied them for some time. I expect, though, that if I told you that two apples and two bananas cost £1, whilst two apples and three bananas cost £1.28 and asked you for the price of a banana, you would have little difficulty in telling me that the answer is 28(p). In fact, all of the questions above are identical, but the third was posed in a problem-solving context divorced from the complexities of unfamiliar language and the label of ‘Mathematics’, and therefore it is more accessible.
At the end of last week, our Year 5 girls took part in the Bebras Challenge, a worldwide computational thinking competition that requires students to break down complex tasks into simpler components. The girls really impressed us in their preparation for the challenge and we noticed that – as in my example above – they viewed quite complex mathematical problems in a different way when the label of the subject was removed. It was fascinating to see those that would not ordinarily identify themselves as strong mathematicians working tenaciously and – unwittingly – allowed their true abilities to come to the fore. Bebras isn’t all about Maths, of course, but this is a subject where anxiety and rule-only learning can really hinder progress in the long term. We already place great emphasis on context and problem solving, but computational thinking gives the girls the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a different way and I am therefore pleased to say that Mrs Shaw is keen to develop this across all of KS2 in the coming year.
Continuing with STEM news, we were delighted to welcome almost forty students to our themed day on Saturday 17 November. With a Mathematics, Computing and Science carousel to ride, the girls worked in teams to crack codes, build and programme lego models, make bath bombs and watch experiments conducted by Claudia and Rosie from the Sixth Form. The afternoon ended with a hotly-contested spaghetti and jelly baby tower-building challenge, for which we were joined by parents and siblings. Running parallel to this – albeit in a quieter part of the school – was the Early Years Family Fun Morning, and we were equally delighted to host many families for this. Both events were great fun and enjoyed by all.
On a different note, we were able to celebrate all that we had achieved for Children in Need in an assembly hosted by Mrs Farrar on Monday. For this, we were joined by girls from the Nursery’s Elmer Room and they were as keen as everyone to watch the ‘Duck Race’. With Ducktor Who, Drake-o Malfoy and even David Beakham unable to keep pace, it was James Pond (owned by Mrs Purvey-Tyrer) who came through triumphant. Other winners in the fundraising competitions were Lydia in Year 3 for ‘Guess the number of spots on Pudsey’ and Poppy in Year 5 for ‘Where’s Pudsey?’. At the final count, over £250 had been raised and we are grateful to the Reception girls and teachers for organising these events, and to Mrs McCue and the catering team for adding to this total through the sale of Pudsey treat bags.
Other events this week are almost too numerous to mention, but special thanks must go to Mr Earp and Mr Loveday from Senior School for their engaging assembly on Saving the Rainforests. Special thanks and congratulations, too, to Year 5 for their ‘Hobbies Morning’ displays and speeches. This event is a wonderful opportunity for them to think about and explain to others what it is that they are interested in and what makes them an individual. Hobbies on display included crochet, coding, origami, piano, horse riding and many, many more. Some of the girls were inspired to take these up after visiting Hobbies Morning as younger students and they, in turn, have inspired our younger girls this year. Well done to all!
Finally, it won’t have escaped your notice how cold it has become. With this in mind – and in appreciation of our new open-plan community space inside the main entrance – we are going to trial the dismissal of Year 3 and Year 4 students from that area from Monday 26 November. There will be no change in the way that other students are dismissed.
Wishing you a good weekend.
Interim Head of Junior School
Mrs Petryszak's availability
Mrs Petryszak’s days on site will vary this half-term in order to align with school activities and events:
26 November: Monday/Tuesday/Friday
3 December: Wednesday/Thursday/Friday
10 December: Monday/Tuesday/Friday
She is, however, contactable on email@example.com or via the school office on any day of the working week.
Each week in Friday’s assembly, girls are invited to share their achievements in activities outside of school. They are listed below for this week:
Elizabeth A: 25m & Level 3 Water Skills
Maya A: swimming award
Anna H: swimming award
Pippa L: Duckling Award 1-4
Kyla L: swimming award
Florence L: 25m & Level 3 Water Skills
Shanaya P: swimming award
Rebecca P: swimming award
Avleen S: 10m & Level 1 Water Skills
Artemisia U: various swimming awards
Thornton Trail certificate & medal
Thornton Trail certificate
Evie A: passed Grade 1
Sophia P: tournament
Isla H: came 1st Bars, 1st Floor, 2nd Vault
Maisie S: Pre School Gym Award
Daisy-May S: Blue & Black Belt
Tae Kwan Do
Eloise K: Black Belt
Lily A: 2nd overall
Class Assemblies are held in the Junior School hall at 8.35 am on Wednesdays and parents are most welcome to enjoy refreshments from 8.00 am. Here are the dates for this term:
Year 5N – 28 November
Year 5H – 5 December
Year 1 – 12 December
Monday 26 November – no Year 3 Computer Club
Friday 30 November: FoNHS Christmas Disco
Friday 30 November: Year 5 & Year 6 Multi Sport Weekend at Newcastle High School
Tues, Wed & Thurs 4, 5 & 6 December: EY & KS1 Christmas Production
Thursday 6 December: Year 3 & 6 Think Tank Museum Trip
Friday 7 December: 140th Birthday Gala Concert at All Saints 7 pm
Tuesday 11 December: KS2 Christmas Celebration 7 pm
Friday 14 December: Christmas Jumper Day & Party Afternoon
Friday 14 December: End of term
There is no Year 3 Computer Club on Monday 26 November
Hockey Reports v Winchester House
B Team Hockey
Despite losing to Winchester House on Wednesday we played really well, we defended our goal and prevented many balls going in. The Player of the Match went to Tobi for her great goalie skills.
B Team Captain
C Team Hockey
This week we played against Winchester House. Sadly we lost but I was pleased with the improvements I could see in my team’s play. Tara was awarded Player of the Match and played exceptionally well. Keep up the good work team!
C Team Captain
D Team Hockey Match Report
We played Winchester House on Wednesday. Unfortunately we lost 3 – 1, but despite this we had lots of fun and made some great friends. Moriah was awarded Player of the Match.
D Team Captain
Thornton Trail Cross Country
On Friday 16 November, 8 runners competed in the Thornton Trail Cross Country event. The under 9’s finished 5th out of 12, and the under 11’s came 8th out of 12.
Here are the competitors:
- Charlotte E
- Ella (1st place!)
Well done to everyone who participated!
This week the girls have made hedgehogs using matchsticks for the prickles and triangles using lolly sticks. We have been looking at different shapes and some of the girls have been interested in 3D shapes.
In Gym the girls practiced balancing on different width beams moving forwards and backwards along them. They then used the balancing beams outside to practice some more.
At Forest School some of the girls made crowns, collecting leaves, flowers and twigs to attach to them and they also made homes for the toy animals.
Next week we will be looking at the colours purple and pink, the numbers 7 and 8 and the rectangle shape. We will also be continuing to learn our Christmas concert songs.
Please remember to bring your daughter’s costume for the play in by Wednesday. Any questions regarding it, please ask. Thank you
This week we have been practising threading skills. We have threaded numbers 1,2 and 3 and made weaving looms. Our girls are now beginning to role play more and we have supported this by playing with the doctors kit and the home corner house.
This week the Wednesday girls all practised their throwing, catching and kicking skills in gym and also enjoyed a range of parachute games.
On Tuesday 4 December, from 2 pm until 3 pm, the Kipper Room will be celebrating the start of the festive season and would like to invite parents to join us in decorating ginger bread, making Christmas cards and singing along to Christmas songs.
Preparations for our play ‘A Wriggly Nativity’ are well under way and the girls are very excited at the prospect of singing and dancing on a stage. There is a lot to learn and remember, practising will therefore cause a change in routine to some days.
This week we have been thinking about the number 9, the colour white and the shape diamond or rhombus. We have been looking around the classroom for any light sources and enjoying using some of them in the dark den.
Our letter sounds have been y, z and q. The girls enjoyed using quills to write with and found out that it was quite tricky! We have also been thinking about and using the language ‘one more’ and ‘one less’ than a given number.
This week we have turned our London Cafe into a mini theatre, where we can practise performing to an audience, rehearse the songs for the Nativity and put on all kinds of shows of our very own.
All girls in Year 1 have written and performed poetry this week, learned a dance routine and practised singing skills, alongside learning about subtraction in Maths and weather in Science.
What a week!
We have been learning all about money in Maths this week. We have been recapping the coins we use, describing them and ordering them according to value. We have been adding different amounts and problem solving too. We have very much enjoyed being able to use the replica coins to help us with our work, we’ve even played some games with the coins too!
“I have liked playing the money games with Harriet. Harriet won both times!” Avleen
“I have liked working out the missing coins.” Jessica
“I have enjoyed playing with the money and working out the problems.” Ellie
“I enjoyed painting the water colour in the style of Magali Dincher.” Mollie
“I enjoyed acting out the Indian Tale in Humanities.” Darcy
There is no Computing Club after school on Monday 26 November.
“I enjoyed it when we did gymnastics because we did cartwheels.” Daisy
“My best thing this week was in Maths when we had a wrap and we had to draw fractions on it.” Odelia
“I really liked the topic we are doing in Science which is materials that can keep a drink hot or cold for a long time. So we did an experiment. So we were all in a group and each of us had cups that were made of different materials and we measured the temperature every few minutes and all came to a conclusion.” Shireen
“At Hobbies Morning it was really fun. I liked seeing other people’s hobbies and they were very surprising.” Vheneka
“I really enjoyed our Hobbies Morning because people came to talk to me about my hobby (knitting) and asked me when I started which wasn’t on any of my posters. My favourite bit was when the little children came to see us and I could help them use the needles to knit.” Ahriana
“I enjoyed Hobbies Morning because you got to show your presentation. I was really pleased with my presentation because I told other parents about my inspiration and why I got interested in drawing. I really liked how everyone had their different hobbies, and when people came to my stall I showed them how to draw the characters that were on my board.” Moriah
“My favourite thing about this morning was when people came round and asked me lots of questions about my hobby (netball). I liked watching everybody do my challenge which was how many bounces they could do with the netball. I also liked doing some origami with Sherain when I had a break!” Anna
Year 5 girls really enjoyed their Hobbies Morning and had clearly put a lot of thought and effort into both displays and presentations. We would like to thank all our parents for the support they have given at home and our visitors for coming in to share this wonderful experience.
We look forward to seeing 5N parents on Wednesday 28th November and 5H parents on Wednesday 5th December for our class assemblies (starting at 8:35am).
Year 6 have had an exciting week of learning in lots of subjects. In English we have been learning how to use persuasive techniques, in Maths investigating the relationship between the sum of the angles in a triangle and polygons, in Humanities the importance of beliefs as an individual and a community, in Science the internal workings of our body and much, much more!
Isla and Charlotte L
“I really enjoyed writing a letter to Dr Stringer trying to persuade her to back the idea of building a GDST school on Mars!” Sonya
“In Science we learnt about the major internal organs of our body and where they are located with the help of Barry, our resident skeleton, and Joey our human torso with detachable parts!” Tess
“In dance we had lots of fun working on a number for the Dance Extravaganza taking part later on this year!” Roja
“We have been learning that there is more of a connection between triangles and polygons than just being shapes!” Isla
“It was great fun learning about everyone’s hobbies when we visited Year 5, thank you for inviting us!” Charlotte L
The girls have participated in lots of creative activities this week including icing biscuits, making unicorn masks, lollipop puppets and painting. The older girls have been designing Christmas decorations using recyclable materials.
Two Year 2 girls have shared their highlight of their week in GAP Club:
” I enjoyed making the unicorn masks.” Ellie
” It was great fun dancing and helping the two year olds dress up in the princess costumes.” Zoe