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Whitkirk News! 12th November 2021

A message from Mr. Dawson

Our second week back has been extremely busy with lots of excellent learning happening right across the school. On Wednesday, we were able to welcome our chair of governors, Ian Foy, into school. He was very positive about the learning behaviours the children were demonstrating and during our tour, he was able to see each class in action.

We also had a visit from Helen Stout, during the week, who carried out a learning walk with Miss Odor across Year 3 and Year 4. She was pleased with the progress the children are making and again, the positive learning behaviours were noticed.

This week, some of the Y5/6 pupils took part in our first post-pandemic football competition across the Red Kite Learning Trust at Temple Learning Academy. Well done to all of those children – they really showcased our Whitkirk values – and thank you to the parents who helped with transport.

Reading

We've been working incredibly hard over the last 18 months to develop reading at Whitkirk: we've introduced Read, Write, Inc as our phonics scheme, we read regularly with children at school on a 1:1 basis, we've spent a large amount of money on new resources (home reading books, class texts, non-fiction texts related to our themes), and we've refurbished our school library (Whitkirk Waterstones) and our class libraries. We are incredibly proud of the strong partnership we have with parents and are always grateful for your support and dedication to your child's education. We believe that the most impactful thing that you can do to support your child with their learning is to read regularly with them - reading aloud to children, enjoying stories together, and listening to your child read. As shared in our phase welcome meetings at the beginning of the year, we shared that we expect pupils to read aloud to an adult at home at least three times per week, and we ask that an adult records this in their Reading Records. Our teaching team will be tracking reading each week and will send reminders to encourage reading to take place at home to support children to become confident readers.

Unless pupils can read, they cannot access learning to the full. Fluent readers can learn more simply because they can read and gain more knowledge for themselves.

Christmas Events

It may only be November, but our Christmas celebrations are well underway. We are delighted that we will be able to invite our families back into school again to enjoy these. We will confirm the timings of these events early next week, but please find the dates for your diary below:

  • Saturday 27th November (11am - 2pm) - PTA Christmas Fair
  • Tuesday 14th December - Reception's Nativity (timings TBC)
  • Wednesday 15th December - KS1's Nativity (timings TBC)
  • Thursday 16th December - KS2's Christmas Service at St. Mary's Church
  • Friday 17th December - Christmas Jumper Day

School Council

Hello from Whitkirk's School Council 2021! We had our first meeting this week with Mrs Martin. We were so excited to receive our badges, making our important role visible to all. Wasting no time getting started with some actions, we spoke about climate change linking to the current COP 26 events in Glasgow at the moment. Following our meeting, we will be speaking to our classes about what changes we can make in school to help the environment and make the world a better place for our futures. Please let a school councillor know if you have any ideas: we would love to hear them!

Attendance

This week, our whole-school attendance is 94.4%. It's slightly below where we would like it to be, but definitely an improvement on the last half term so well done everybody! This week, in first place is Y2KDO with 98.2%. Followed by Y6JC with 97.4%, and just behind them is Y1JL with 97.3% attendance. Well done everybody, and a huge well done to all those children across school, who have attended 100% of the time this week!

Let's see what our classes have been up to this week:

Reception:

This week in Reception, the children have read the story, 'The Selfish Crocodile'. They have acted out the story with excellent expression, retold the story using story maps, and labelled images from the text in their writing. Children have also created crocodiles in the craft area using a variety of materials. Alongside this, the children have also partaken in an autumn walk. They had a bag to collect autumnal items and a checklist to mark off their findings. The children worked brilliantly, listening and sharing with their partners. Well done, Reception!

In maths this week, the children have identified and described 2D shapes. We were very impressed with their shape hunts outside, using mathematical language to describe the 2D shapes that they found!

On Thursday the children created poppies using collage and 'pop art' techniques. They then took part in the national two-minute silence to commemorate the end of the war. All adults within EYFS were extremely impressed with the children's behaviour and understanding during this time.

KS1:

Year 1 need to be renamed ‘The Superb Mathematicians’ this week! They have absolutely amazed Miss Lynch, Miss Walker and Miss Cook with their wonderful work on measurement. They have worked incredibly hard to use vocabulary to compare lengths and heights, such as longer and shortest. Throughout the week, they have used non-standard units of measure such as cubes before progressing to using rulers to measure objects in centimetres. What a fantastic week!

It has been a super-busy week for Year 2! In maths, we have been measuring in centimetres, ensuring we use our rulers accurately. In science, we have completed a materials hunt around school - we identified different objects and named the materials from which they are made. We have been thinking about what makes a good friend and created our own recipes for how to be a good friend to others. As writers, we have learned how to use adverbs and added these to our Jack and the Beanstalk stories.

LKS2:

In Year 3, we have loved diving further into our new topic this week about the Stone Age. We have been learning all about how the first humans who came to Britain lived. We pretended that we were Homo Neanderthals and looked at a range of items, deciding if they would be a threat or an asset to us during this time. This information was then used to help us write our first non-chronological reports all about the Stone Age. The final non-chronological reports will be written next week and will be published in our school library. What a fantastic week it has been in Year 3!

This week in Year 4, we have become Roman experts! We have continued our research and have discovered facts about gladiators, Roman Gods and Julius Caeser. We have worked so hard to make sure that we have included all our features of non-chronological reports and have produced some pieces of writing to be really proud of! In maths, we have been looking at different ways to measure and what equipment and units we can use. In science, we have been looking at what is needed to make a sound and trying to spot vibrations in different objects. An amazing week Year 4, keep it up!

UKS2:

Our Year 5 classes have had a fantastic week, we are quite literally buzzing with information about the Vikings particularly the gory and grim facts. We have learnt about the ultimate punishments for viking misdoings - ask your children for more gory details! As writers, we have used our knowledge from history to craft highly engaging introductions to our non-chronological reports. Well done Year 5!

It has been another fun filled week for Year 6, kickstarting our History topic ‘What was life really like during World War Two?”. The children have been enthralled by the devastating facts and fascinating stories surrounding the Blitz, evacuees and rationing, applying all of their knowledge within our English writing. Creating their own non-chronological reports on WWII, the children were responsible for conducting their own research and documenting it under each subheading, before including it in their work. Keeping within the same theme of World War Two, the children have begun their drawings of St Pauls Cathedral during the Blitz, paying close attention to detail as they draw. Their hard work and perseverance has been admirable and we are so proud of the outcomes they have produced – well done Year 6!

Stars of the Week:

Have a fantastic weekend!

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