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Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School Newsletter – Michaelmas Term 2021 – Week 6

This week’s newsletter for Rossall Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School.

Message from the Preparatory School Headmaster

Dear Parents,

It has been a brilliant yet tough half term that we can reflect upon as being hugely successful in so many ways. We have made it over the finish line, although I am not certain we were sprinting by the end! The children have been brilliant and have adapted superbly well to the additional measures we put in place.

I am, as always, immensely proud of them all. Last week we launched our ‘Lunch with the Stars’, a new initiative where the Prep Leadership Team are lucky enough to dine on the top table with our assembly award winners (Stars of the Week). What a lovely treat for Mr Condon, Miss Finney, and myself. Great to see so many clean plates too!

Having parents in school for our Parents’ Evenings was a delight; it is so much easier to talk in person and I know from speaking to many of you, that you enjoyed coming into School and meeting with the teachers. Effort grades were also released for all pupils on Tuesday. It has certainly been a busy week in terms of communicating with you! 

It is so important to remind ourselves what it is like to be a child. The world is so much simpler. The younger they are, the less society has impacted their views and there is only right and wrong with few shades of grey in between. Taking a moment to look at a ladybug on the finger of a child, as they are fascinated by the number of spots; listening to an account of how a goal was scored at break time; taking a moment to talk about favourite music artists (I was impressed by Neil Diamond and Elton John at Year 5), are just as important as the things that we as adults have going on in our hectic lives.

One of my favourite moments of this week was when I arrived at our assembly on Thursday morning. The Reception children were lining up and I was asked by one girl, “Did you miss us, Mr Turner?” I had only seen the children the previous evening at collection time – but, “Yes, of course I missed you!”  

We have an incredibly busy term to look forward to in the lead up to Christmas. The six weeks will absolutely fly by as we fit in sports fixtures galore, end of term assessments, a poetry competition, the Christmas tree light switch on, reports, bikeability, the Elf Run, our House events, carol services, the Nativity performances and the pantomime. Phew – and that list does not even mention all the new topics to learn about. There is nothing dull about the most magical term in a thriving Prep School! 

Have a wonderful and well-deserved half term break,

Mr M Turner

Headmaster of Preparatory School & Nursery


Year 6

The final week of the first half term was not really what we expected, unfortunately there have been a number of children from Year 6 out of school due to unforeseen circumstances, and this has meant we have been learning in a hybrid manner.

There have been those in school as normal and others on the other end of a screen during lessons. Regardless of the challenges, all the children have been fully engaged in their learning, be it Maths, English, where we have completed our end of unit assessment, or specialist lessons such as Art and Drama.

Amongst the Year 6 positions of responsibility there have been two young ladies that have really impressed this week. One of the most enjoyable parts of the day is getting out on the playground at lunch, and our playground monitors have been working hard, ensuring the younger children are happy and engaged in activities and completing an audit of the available equipment in preparation for the upcoming order, well done girls!


Year 5

What a busy week, we are all ready for some rest and recuperation over half term.

The children have shown incredible resilience, kindness and a true Rossallian spirit to make the last week a good one.

Annie has finally gone over the falls……and triumphed! She was not dashed to a thousand tiny pieces on the menacing rocks below but rather she climbed out of the barrel a little shaken but not stirred ( I haven’t seen the new Bond yet!) A collective sigh of relief went round the room when the children realised that she had survived.

We watched a video clip about an incredible group of ladies from Bolivia, The Cholita Climbers. The children were amazed that this group of ‘older’ ladies chose to climb mountains in their dresses, hats and earrings! Words like, amazing, incredible and adventurous were used to describe them. Doing something that challenges us is so important. It does not need to be a great, daredevil feat, it can just be a small thing that takes us out of our comfort zone.

The children at school are a super example of this. Over the last few years they have faced constant challenges which they have met head on with great heart and fortitude. As Winston Churchill said, “Courage is built every single day with the little things you do. It’s not one giant event.

Courage is believing in yourself and choosing to take action toward your goals and vision for your future. It’s getting out of your comfort zone. It’s speaking up when you have an idea.

Courage is a muscle. Use it every single day to start creating belief in yourself and your abilities.” Year 5 have courage in bucket loads!

Well done, have a magnificent half term break!!


Year 4

This was our final week delving into the lives of Anglo-Saxons and learning about the key moments in our history when excavations at Sutton Hoo revealed a remarkable set of elaborate artefacts which revolutionised our understanding of the Anglo-Saxon period. In addition to learning about village life, the children also studied how crime was dealt with and re-enacted scenes of law enforcement by roleplay. Sadly, I have to let you know that some of the class were found guilty and may have lost the odd arm, leg or ear as punishment! Fortunately, they all grew back their severed limbs by the end of the final lesson.

When asked what the children would miss most if they had to live in Anglo Saxon times; a large proportion of the class said they would miss their computers, iPads, phones and video games. Also high on the list of missed treats were cakes, pizzas and McDonald’s! Luckily for the children, they avoided a practical lesson in the art of building Anglo Saxon houses from wattle and daub. I’m not sure how many children would have been excited mixing manure and mud to create the ‘daub’.

I’m sure by now you are all well acquainted with the key character in our English lessons – a gorilla. This week we sadly had to say goodbye as he needed to return to the zoo. However, before he left the children wrote their own version of events in the story and let their imagination fly by adding characters and animals of their own choosing. Certainly the book gave the children lots to think about and act as inspiration for their own adventures. Long may they continue to enjoy the magic of storytelling.

Have a wonderful half term.


Year 3

What a fantastic end to this half-term! Year 3 have a wonderful start to their Prep school careers; their enthusiasm and energy for school and learning has shone through every day.

This week we finished off our unit on Seal Surfer by writing our very own letters to Grandad, showing off our skills with prepositions, paragraphs, and interesting verbs/adjectives.

In Math we have been extending our addition and subtraction skills through column method. To top off our Science we presented our own Personal Trainer adverts showing off what we know about keeping healthy.

In Topic we summed up Our Coasts by researching and creating British Coast posters. We also enjoyed learning about Dia de los Muertos in Spanish! A fabulous end to the week with our final trip to the beach for Rossall Rotation. Well done for a brilliant first half term Year 3!


Year 2

What a superb half term Year 2 have had! On Tuesday we had our best Maths lesson this year! The children were all amazing at using a number square to find number bonds to 100 and they enjoyed teaching each other how to use the method on the board.

In our Writing sessions we have finished our book ‘Troll Swap’ and have written our own stories with a similar plot. I have loved reading about the different characters the children have described and why they needed to swap lives.

In Topic, we enjoyed our last session on Nurturing Nurses. We applied all the knowledge that Mrs Turner had taught us last week to diagnose our own patients. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon where the children were able to consolidate their learning.

I hope you all have a lovely half term and enjoy a relaxing break.


Year 1

Well, what a busy first term we have had in Year 1. It has flown by. This week we have finished our class story and have written our own versions of ‘Lost and Found’. We have planned our stories but changed our character and setting. The children have worked really hard this week (and term) to write in sentences and remember our punctuation too!

In Maths we have continued using part-whole models to find fact families and number bonds within 10. We have identified patterns that we have found with the numbers, and some of us used a systematic approach to find all the different variations. True mathematicians!

In Topic we have learnt about the polar explorers and the expeditions they undertook. We have learnt about Ernest Shackleton, and the less well-known polar explorers, Matthew Henson and Felicity Aston. They have helped us to understand the importance of perseverance, which we have been thinking about since our Pre-Prep assembly last week.


Reception

It’s a typical but frustrating scenario for parents – you take your bathed and neatly dressed child to school and return with one who is grubby. Their hands, clothes, and sometimes their hair, tell a story of their fun day at school – mud under their fingernails, thick paint on their top and glitter in their hair.

Rest assured, we don’t deliberately make your washing machine work overtime, but we do want to enable your child to explore a wide range of textures and materials. This form of play is called ‘messy’ – or ‘sensory’ – play.

The main feature of messy play is giving your child the freedom to investigate materials. This can include playing with sand and water, digging in mud or investigating porridge oats, shaving foam or ‘gloop’ (cornflour and water mixed together resulting in a fascinating substance).

We will try to keep your child protected by providing aprons, overalls and opportunities to wash their hands, but it is impossible to keep young children totally clean without inhibiting their important investigations. ‘Messy play’ seem to lack a particular focus as there is often not an end product, but the benefits of getting hands-on through messy play include:

  • Development of co-ordination and body control as children practise hand-eye co-ordination and develop their motor skills. You may have noticed blue playdough under fingernails over the past few weeks as we have rolled, pinched, splatted, cut and squeezed the playdough into various shapes. Next term we introduce ‘Dough Disco’!
  • Building curiosity and concentration as they have the freedom to experiment with different substances and investigate cause and effect. The sand and the water are definitely popular areas of the classroom and the children love nothing better than mixing the sand and water together to get the correct consistency for the perfect sandcastle.
  • Developing prediction skills as they start to learn that their model needs a firm base, or putting too much liquid into a bucket will make it overflow. Cardboard boxes are a great resource as they have been turned into buses and Buckingham Palace recently but the children have now realised that cardboard is not as strong when wet and muddy!
  • Nurturing early writing skills by encouraging mark-making, such as using their fingers to make patterns in shaving foam or dragging a piece of chalk across the playground. The large blackboards in the playground are decorated daily with a variety of patterns, colours, letters and numbers.
  • Nurturing early numeracy skills by introducing them to concepts such as bigger and smaller, heavier and lighter, along with sequencing, patterns and problem-solving. The children love using our indoor or outdoor balances whether it’s with playdough or natural resources.
  • Encouraging social interaction such as turn-taking, negotiation and conversation skills as children work together. The children loved working together to make hedgehog homes with mud, leaves and sticks last week in our woodland area.

Nursery

It’s been another week of learning, adventure and most of all fun for our youngest Rossallians.

Our Sanderlings have enjoyed exploring squashes, pumpkins and natural resources in their room, which inspired their large scale painting activities. The children used various seasonal items to make prints on paper (and on themselves) leaving us with orange fingers and toes aplenty. The babies have also experienced lots of windy walks around the grounds, where they delighted in throwing fallen leaves and seeing the wind carry them along.

In the Sandpipers room the children have also explored seasonal produce by preparing their own mini pizzas. Each child mastered the art of spreading sauce on the base before adding their chosen toppings, they were so excited to take them home to cook with their families. The children have also collected natural autumnal resources as part of their outdoor experiences, which they have used to create beautiful hanging decorations. These activities have allowed the children opportunity to develop their fine motor skills and explore their creativity.

Sparrows and Preschool spent their weekly Spanish session, celebrating the National Day of Spain. The children made Spanish flags, learnt the art of Flamenco dancing, enjoyed a delicious vegetable paella for lunch and practiced their Spanish phrases and songs. On Wellbeing Wednesday the children learnt all about how healthy food helps take care of our bodies and enjoyed making their own fruit kebabs for afternoon snack. Miss Emsley lead the children’s first Beach School session this week, following her recent training which will now be introduced into our curriculum alongside our Forest School offering.


Award Winners

Year 6

Our certificates this week go to:

Harry- Outstanding leadership on the rugby pitch and in school.
Aran – Outstanding effort and standard of work.
Aliyah – Outstanding effort in Mathematics
Bailey – Outstanding enthusiasm in all activities.

Year 5

Our awards go to both Freddie and Jack for amazing effort in Mathematics 

Year 4

Our awards this week go to Caitlin and Jasper for outstanding enthusiasm in History.

Year 3

The certificates this week go to Alfie and Lara for their fantastic use of vocabulary in our writing.

Year 2

Our awards go to Abrianna – for being so brave during swimming and Wyatt – for super consolidation of Topic learning

Year 1

This week’ s awards are awarded to Harry and Beau for excellent effort in their writing. Well done to you both!

Reception

This week’s certificate of achievement awards go to Khalid and Anand.

Khaled takes his time with his activities and colours carefully and Anand has made fantastic progress with his reading.


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