Heywood Prep March 2018


World Book Day, Vets Visit Heywood and fun at Corsham Court

The Nursery started the second half of the term with a very colourful Chinese New Year celebration morning, during which the children learnt more about this traditional Chinese celebration and enjoyed doing a dragon dance to Chinese music and a number of related creative activities.

The second half of the term has also seen the children sharing their favourite books with us and acting out some of the traditional favourites such as "Room on the Broom" and " We're Going on a Bear Hunt".

We had a very interesting and enjoyable visit from two of our Nursery mums who are vets; they came in to talk to the children about the very valuable job they do. The children particularly enjoyed feeding the baby lamb that Mrs Sharples brought in. Thank you to both Mrs Herbert and Mrs Sharples for taking the time to come into nursery and speak to the children.

All the children have been busy recently making cards for Mother's Day and taking part in creative Easter activities.

This term has flown past and we can't believe we are now over half way through the academic year, with only one term left before the children in the older classes move on to Reception...goodness time flies when you're having fun at Heywood Prep Nursery!


Reception at Swimming, Scrapstore - alien creations and potions on World Book Day.

The children came back this term full of enthusiasm about exploring space and the solar system. They imagined that they were astronauts zooming to the moon as if they were Neil Armstrong, walking and bouncing as if they were on the moon themselves. Throughout the term the children travelled through space finding out about planets, stars and life as an astronaut. The children’s own knowledge astounded all the staff in the classrooms. Our creative talents were put to the test at the Scrapstore when the children created aliens, rockets and planets out of scrap items. Just as we began our adventure in space, a weather adventure of our own arrived with snowflakes swirling around us whilst we were dressed up for World Book Day. Once again a variety of stories about space and aliens have captured the children’s imaginations enhancing their learning and excitement about the theme. The children’s swimming skills have gone from strength to strength in the pool with children growing in confidence when swimming on their fronts and backs. There are always lots of smiling faces as they jump and splash in the pool!



'We the Curious' Trip to Bristol and the colourful dance display bringing a taste of India to Heywood.

Year 1's Global Explorers topic has taken them around the world and across oceans with explorers from the past. They enjoyed making models of Amelia Earhart’s plane and visiting the Space Station with Tim Peake, where they discovered what jobs he had to do and what Earth looked like from space. 1J taught us about the explorer Ibn Battuta and demonstrated a dance from India in an informative and colourful assembly. Their topic culminated in an exciting trip to ‘We The Curious’ in Bristol where they experienced space on a virtual rocket adventure and became explorers for the day.

In STEM lessons they have been busy working on their construction skills turning their plans for scientific research vessels into models and taking part in lego building challenges.

Shortbread biscuit baking and a trip to the Bristol Aquarium

Year 2 have worked hard throughout the second part of the term. World Book Day was enormous fun and the children had great fun visiting Mrs Hill to learn how to read tea leaves! In Topic lessons the children have continued to learn about Oceans and Seas with lots of work about the Titanic and learning about pirates. Topic highlights this term were the visit to Bristol Aquarium, where we met Tom who guided us around the different tanks with unusual facts including that some fish poo from their chins! Our other highlight happened whilst some of the year group visited Warminster School for a football festival, the rest of the children participated in a pirate themed morning with lots of fun activities. The children made shortbread biscuits, after deciding that hard tack biscuits probably wouldn't taste very nice, and made pirate hats and treasure maps. Much fun was had by all!


Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits

In Maths, Year 3 have been reinforcing their understanding of written methods for multiplication and division and also learning about fractions involving various practical activities. In English, the classes have looked at the features of explanation texts and enjoyed writing their own versions of the myth of Daedalus and Icarus which also linked to their work on the Romans in Humanities. In STEM lessons this half term, Year 3 have continued to develop their renewable energy ideas realising their ideas in a variety of ways including Lego, computer design and junk materials. In Science, the children have enjoyed investigating forces and magnets, developing their skills in writing up their investigations with their own hypotheses and conclusions. Year 3 thoroughly enjoyed learning the songs and dances for ‘Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits’. They looked wonderful in their colourful costumes, supporting Year 4 with their rousing rendition of the songs.

This half term Year 4 brought all of their recent rehearsals, singing, drama and music knowledge together to complete their performance of ‘Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits’. All of our pupils took the responsibility in their stride, recalling each other’s lines and cues flawlessly on the night. Even the backdrop, hand-painted by the children, danced with colour under the stage lights. Throughout the term, Year 4 have been studying play-scripts in detail, practising and applying their reading skills through comprehension of their Ali Baba play-scripts. They understand the story of Ali Baba so well they have been adapting it, taking the traditional tale of a hero, villain and magical character to new settings, inspired by 'Interstellar Cinderella'. In Maths, Year 4 have been continuing to practise and hone their arithmetic skills, looking at angle classification and estimation, getting to grips with protractors and improving their accuracy. They have also tackled fractions, considering how to find fractions of quantities by applying their division and multiplication skills. In Science, Y4 have completed learning on states of matter, considering the water cycle and observing changes of state with gallium and rates of evaporation with water. They have moved onto living things, classification and identification and are considering the features of 'life'.

This term Year 4E have been working hard in the STEM lessons considering their Global Goals - tackling global inequalities. They were curious as to whether the gender pay gap affected them, following their research that suggested it could start as early as childhood. They have generated a survey into children's pocket money, and will be sharing their interesting findings in the first assembly back in the Summer term - find out if we all suffer from a bit of gender bias in our day to day life.


Year 5 and 6 Science Fair - Question: Do you know why it's so hard to swat a fly?

Science Fair

Year 5 have enjoyed a term learning about the details of the sinking of the Titanic. This included learning about the different class of passengers, what human rights they had and who was actually at fault for the tragedy that occurred. The children turned into investigative journalists, recreating newspaper articles and questioning survivors of the Titanic to see what they remembered. Within STEAM, the children have been trying to create a way to alleviate the issue of dirty water in third world countries. Many solutions were posited, however it was decided that providing clear signage is a cheap and viable way of warning communities that water may not be safe to drink.

It has been a busy term in Year 6 as they have embraced the challenges of the Wishford Enterprise scheme. The year group were split into 3 teams. Each were given £50 and had to develop their own business plan and assign roles and responsibilities within their own company dynamic. They will be selling t shirts, fruit kebabs and holding a move night. This will culminate on the 15th June at the Year 6 Wishford Weekend, when the Wishford schools will come together to celebrate each other’s success and choose a winner.


Visit to The Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Children in the Prep Dept have enjoyed studying a variety of topics in their Humanities lessons this half term. Year 3 have continued learning about life in Roman Britain. They have found out about the different buildings you might find in a Roman town and what a visit to the baths would be like. They also learnt about some of the fine Roman villas that were built, creating ‘For Sale’ posters, describing the different features of a villa. They particularly enjoyed learning about the different gods and goddesses the Romans worshipped.

Year 4 produced a wonderful, interesting display of their research on the Mayan civilisation which they studied during the last half term. The focus of their lessons this half term was North America. The children learnt about the different countries in the continent and some of the amazing natural features to be found there such as the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

Year 5 visited the Holburne Museum in Bath this half term to complete their study of the legacy of Ancient Greece. They enjoyed looking at the various exhibits in the museum inspired by classical art and also saw how Ancient Greek architecture had influenced the appearance of the museum building itself. Their focus then moved to South America and learning about features such as the Andes mountain range, the Atacama Desert and the Amazon Rainforest. They also considered life in a favela and the contrast between rich and poor in cities like Rio de Janeiro.

Year 6 very much enjoyed their topic for the half term, ‘Extreme Earth’, learning about extreme weather conditions around the world such as hurricanes and tornadoes and also earth quakes and how they are measured using the Richter scale.


Music and Drama Evening - Year 5 and 6

Year 5 & 6 Music and Drama Evening

On Monday 5th March Year 5 and 6 pupils treated us to an evening full to the brim of fantastic Music and Drama entertainment! As always, the children impressed us hugely with their confidence and talent. George kick-started the event with a lively, rhythmic performance of West Coast Rolling on the drums and from there on we were amazed by the children’s drama, voice, clarinet, flute and guitar performances. We were lucky to see a number of pieces which gained our pupils Music or Drama scholarships at their future schools and the evening concluded with a rousing performance from the Heywood Rockers Year 6 Band playing ‘Don’t Stop’, featuring piano, drums, ukulele, percussion and vocals. An enormous thanks to our fantastic team of peripatetic music and drama teachers and of course to our very talented pupils. We now can’t wait for the Year 3 and 4 event next term!


The Spring term saw an exciting and innovative addition to the curriculum at Heywood with STEAM lessons for all students in Prep and Year 1 (Year 2 were at Forest School and Reception were swimming this term). These project-based lessons include application of: science, technology, engineering, art and maths knowledge as well as essential 21st century learning skills such as problem solving, team work, research, creativity and perseverance. This term, the theme for all year groups involved was the UN Global Goals, 17 ambitious targets set out by the United Nations to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Using these real-life problems as a vehicle for the children’s learning led to memorable and high-quality learning experiences.

Following Heywood’s own design and engineering process (illustrated in the diagram above), the children in Year 4 have learnt about gender inequalities in different parts of the world and created an action plan to inform and educate people of this injustice. Year 1 were horrified to learn of the plastic waste in our oceans and created prototypes of underwater clean-up vehicles using recycled materials. The children are already excited about the different themes organised for next term, which include: ‘Dinner on board the ISS’; ‘Lost in Space’; and ‘Ground Control to Major Tom’. We can’t wait to see where the children's ideas will take them with this intergalactic learning experience!


Catering Team
'World Book Day' - Harry Potter themed lunch!

It's been a fantastic Spring Term in the Catering Department, with the catering team providing great lunches, tasty suppers and wonderful hospitality, day after day! Don't forget to check the Heywood Prep Twitter feed to see the regular pictures and updates of what's on the menu... We have had some fun with the children this term, making soup with Reception who made their favourite, tomato & basil, which the whole school got to enjoy the following day! To help celebrate 'World Book Day' we presented a culinary fest based on Harry Potter which saw a themed lunch with Hogwarts roast beef, Hagrid's shrunken carrots, sorting hat cupcakes and worm jellies, to name but a few... Finally, to end the term, Year One made bread, with the help of the Head Chef, to help them learn the process, then making and shaping their own to enjoy later with their lunch. For the Summer term, we are planning to promote a 'Healthy Eating Week', enjoy a Teddy Bears' Picnic (when hopefully the sun decides to shine), as well as a smoothie & juice bike demonstration with one lucky year group!


Learning touch typing with NESSYFingers

The Spring Term has proved another exciting term in the development of the Learning Enhancement Department. Early in the term, we held a Learning Enhancement Evening where I was thrilled to present how we identify additional needs at Heywood Prep. I was able to show how we use our assessment data to ensure interventions to support both our pupils with specific learning differences or those who are gifted, able or talented in subjects across the curriculum. We showcased our extensive resources and detailed how we incorporate these to benefit the different learning styles and needs of ALL our pupils. If you were unable to attend the event, but wish to find out more, the presentation can be accessed from our website [click here]

This term has seen further investment in resources, particularly assistive technologies that can support our learners with additional needs in the classroom. I believe that ALL pupils should be given the opportunity to succeed and as such, we have invested in new apps that enable pupils to record in alternative ways. The new ClickerDocs app enables a pupil to type in their written work, accessing word banks that can be linked directly to topic words. Their work can be read back to them, so that they can track their writing. We also have the DragonEverywhere app, which enables pupils to dictate their writing on to the screen. For those pupils who need support to organise their ideas, such as Dyspraxic and Dyslexic pupils, we now have the wonderful Popplet app which allows pupils to create mindmaps and flowcharts. This also helps pupils on the Autistic Spectrum to plan and follow their school day, which reduces anxiety. To further support our Dyspraxic pupils and pupils who may have challenges with fine motor skills, we also have invested in the Dexteria app, which allows pupils to develop their co-ordination in a fun, interactive way. However, our most notable investment and one that I am so pleased to introduce to ALL pupils at Heywood Prep, is the NESSYFingers touch typing programme. There is significant evidence that learning to touch type can benefit pupils, particularly when as pupils enter secondary school, more than 70% of their work is word processed. Pupils can gain an advantage because their cognitive energy can be focused on more important, high-order thinking tasks that ultimately improve academic performance. The British Dyslexia Association agrees:

“Teaching touch typing skills and allowing pupils to use a computer for written work can allow more concentration to be focussed on the content of the piece. At secondary level, this may give significant improvement in exam grades”

From after the Easter break, all pupils at Heywood Prep will be able to access the NESSYFingers touch typing program at home. We will celebrate pupils’ successes and progress in Celebration Assemblies and look forward to pupils’ touch typing skills enhancing their school work at Heywood Prep and beyond. To further support pupils with additional needs, there will be both a Pre-Prep and Prep Individualised Learning session each week, for pupils who have been recommended this intervention. If you would like to read more about this program, please follow this link: https://www.nessy.com/uk/product/nessy-fingers/

Future events: In the Summer Term, I am planning two further events for parents:

Resilience workshop – a workshop for parents and teachers, led by a leading Clinical Psychologist that looks at resilience and how we can support our pupils to be more resilient in both their learning and daily lives. This will be open to all parents and pupils. Date and time to be confirmed.

Dyslexia workshop – a workshop for parents of Dyslexic pupils, led a leading expert in Dyslexia, Katrina Cochrane from Positive Dyslexia. This workshop aims to provide further information and advice at how parents can support their children through school life and beyond. Provisional date of Thursday 17th May from 5:30 – 7pm. Please save the date! Invitations will be sent out shortly.

Wishing you a lovey Easter Holiday!

Our thanks to Mrs Palmer for sending us this wonderful picture of one of the Corsham Court peacocks taking in the snow at Heywood!

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