Please be aware that all children are expected to have their PE kit in school every Monday ready for the week ahead - we will be checking this so please support your child by helping them organise themselves.
Please see our Spring Term Curriculum Newsletter for details on what we will be learning until the end of the term.
Year 6 Home Learning during the school closure
All children in Year 6 received a home-learning pack before the school closure came into force. The work in these packs can be used to support the children's learning when they - or their parents - choose. There is plenty in those packs to keep everyone from getting bored while they are stuck at home! However, there will also be tasks set each week-day (except for school holidays and bank holidays) on the HOME LEARNING PAGE (under 'Children'). There will be a Maths task, an English task and a Topic/Science task for each day. Obviously, it would be great if all children attempt these but it is more important that their mental wellbeing is prioritised during these difficult weeks so please do not feel under any pressure to make sure all of this suggested work is completed, especially in the early days while we are all getting used to this new way of living day-to-day.
Slo Mo Marble Challenge
This half term Year 6 have been working on ongoing STEM projects in order to take part in the Slo Mo Marble Challenge run by 3M. The challenge was to make a marble run which made a marble complete its journey from start to finish as slowly as possible. There were set dimensions which cannot be exceeded and a minimum of 3 different ways of slowing the marble had to be used. The children have experimented with lots of different ways to apply friction and to slow the effect of gravity on the marble. They worked in teams of between 3 and 5 people, with some teams choosing to work on their models at home as well. It was a fantastic project to be a part of and the children showed great resilience at overcoming set-backs and glue-gun disasters! Some groups even started again from scratch several weeks into the challenge as they wanted to apply their knowledge of all previous mistakes into a better design.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, 3M have had to cancel the competition this year - and with many of the class going into self-isolation in the past week, the models had to be completed by the remaining children in each group. We had an in-class competition to test the marble runs so far, even though they were not completed when the school was forced to close. Amira had the winning model and her absent team mates were Ruby and Ebony - well done girls!
Below are the videos of each model to show the team members who were unable to join us how their team had progressed with their projects. Well done to all teams - their determination and ability to overcome various problems was extremely impressive. I'm sure that with more time, we would have had some real contenders for 3M's prizes!
Experience Easter at St Michael’s Church
Year 6 visited our local church to take part in an interactive exploration of the Easter story. They visited different parts of the Easter story and spent time reflecting on how the events of Holy Week are relevant even now:
1. Palm Sunday - Hopes and Dreams
2. Maundy Thursday - Servant King
3. Maundy Thursday - Remember Me
4. Maundy Thursday- Alone
5. Good Friday - Sharing our Sorrows
6. Easter Day - Resurrection
Girls' Football Tournament
On the Thursday of Science week, the Y5 and Y6 girls Football Team took part in a tournament. They played several games and Mrs Colins and Mr McBride were incredibly proud of them. Jaime played brilliantly in goal and was given the title of Player of the Match. Gladys was our top goal scorer - but all girls played brilliantly and demonstrated excellent attitudes.
To mark the end of our exciting Science Week at Fox Hill, parents were invited into school to see all of the fantastic work the children have completed. Year 6 were tasked with setting up tables in the hall in the style of a 'proper' Science Fair - they prepared resources to show off on their tables and even decorated their 'stalls' to attract visitors. They spoke confidently to all visiting adults about the science they were exhibiting. Thank you to all parents who were able to join us!
Science Week - Birds of Prey
On the Wednesday of Science Week we were really lucky to have Alan Ames ('The Birdman') at Fox Hill. He showed us Cybil the Harris Hawk, Billy Bob the Peregrine Falcon, Alaska the Bald Eagle and also Sparky the Barn Own. Alan knew everything there is to know about these birds and shared all of the information freely. He demonstrated the strength of their talons and beaks and explained how falcons catch their prey He also spoke to us about climate change and sustainability.
Science Week - visit from Reptile World UK
National Science Week (in March) has the official title of 'Our Diverse Planet' this year and at Fox Hill we embraced this fully from day one by looking at some quite diverse creatures which were brought in by Reptile World UK. We met giant millipedes, giant land snails, a red knee tarantula, a red toed tortoise, a royal python and a bearded dragon. We found out about what these creatures eat, their preferred habitat, how they behave as well as information like their life expectancy and how they survive in the wild. Year 6 are researching more information to create explanation tests about these creatures.
When Kathy from RE On Demand visited Fox Hill in February to work with Year 3 and Year 5, she spent her day running Sikh workshops for those year groups. However, so that the rest of the school didn't miss out, she also held a whole-school assembly to share some her of knowledge and amazing resources with all classes. She spoke about Sikhism and in particular, Sikh celebrations. Members of Year 6 joined in with the assembly as you can see below!
Fencing at Fox Hill
On 29th January Little Musketeers visited Fox Hill to give the classes a taster session in the art of fencing. The coach, Andy, taught us the basic moves involved including the correct terms for them - advance, retreat, lunge, en guarde. We covered an awful lot in just 30 minutes and the children had a great time having a go at this skill.
Eagle House Maths Challenge
Year 6 were represented by Josh, Caleb, Alfie and Elliot at this year's Eagle House Challenge. Josh and Elliot kindly wrote this report about the challenge:
"On the 21st January 2020, the Year 6 maths challenge was held at Eagle House School. There were 3 main challenges: Find the Values; Counting Down; The Rig Event. Find the Values is an algebra test. In Counting Down you have seven numbers and an answer - you have to create the answer using the numbers given and any operation. The Big Event is where you're given a card with a question on it and after you've answered the question you run to the marker in your 'island' and they will tell you if it is right or wrong. It it is wrong, the marker will tell you to try again and if it is correct, you get given the next question. In all of these events you have to run around your island before you sit down. It was a really fun and great experience. Fox Hill's teams came 12th and 43rd out of 80 teams from schools all around Berkshire."
Tuesday 14th January was Drastic Plastic day at Fox Hill school. After a week of learning about the problems of plastics in the World's oceans, Year 6 used a vast collection of single use plastics to create an effective mobile showing a wide variety of sea creatures which are all affected by the amount of pollution in their habitats. All of the children designed their own animal or fish and then used a range of plastics (bottles, cartons, tubs etc) to create their design. At the same time, we created a whole-class model of a sea turtle using yet more single-use plastics which we had brought in from our recycling bins at home. Our finished sculpture can be seen below.
Fox Hill Homework Projects
As this is their final year at this school, all Year 6 children were expected to produce a project all about Fox Hill Primary School for their homework at the end of the Autumn term. The children could choose any aspect of Fox Hill School that they wanted to learn more about and research it over the next 6 weeks. The project could take the form of written work and/or art work, it could be a 3D model or perhaps a combination of all of these. Some of the work that was brought in can be seen below - all of the children who returned their projects to school made a good effort and we thank their parents for their support with this. (Everybody's favourite was Elliot's chocolate cake version of Fox Hill School - a delicious edible piece of homework!)
Whole School Carol Service at St Michael's Church
On 11th December all of the school walked to the church for the carol service. Year 6 accompanied Year 1 to ensure we all got there safely and, upon arrival, Fox Hill filled the pews. It was lovely to see so many parents and carers there too. Father Guy introduced the service and then the Year 6 House Captains guided us through the story of the nativity, accompanied by a mixture of traditional and more modern carols. The singing sounded beautiful in the church and all of the children represented our amazing school perfectly.
The Importance of Reading
Below is evidence of how important reading is considered to be at Fox Hill - Mrs Coxell is actually on her knees begging Mikey to share his book with her! It is widely known that children who read regularly find all other aspects of school easier and we all love reading with the children whenever we can - including our Headteacher!
Greek Pots - the finished items
Once our clay pots had dried out, we were able to paint them. We used only orange and black to make them look authentic and we also tried to use traditional Greek patterns so that they looked like genuine Greek artefacts. Unfortunately, not all of the pots survived fully intact but those that did look fantastic!
Chemistry Spectacular at Wellington College
On 28th November, Year 6 were very privileged: we were invited to Wellington College to be part of the audience for their Chemistry Spectacular show. In addition to this fortunate invite, we were also given free transport in the form of three Wellington College minibuses. The show was absolutely brilliant - we were shown what some of the elements of the Periodic Table can do in the form of fireworks, explosions and even an egg cooked in nitrogen! The audience were asked a few questions and Amira answered perfectly - the host even complimented her on her 'perfect answer'! We're very grateful to Wellington College for giving us such a great opportunity and also an exciting introduction to secondary school chemistry.
INTO FILM festival - free cinema visit
21st November was the day that Y4, Y5 and Y6 went to the cinema as part of the INTO FILM festival. This festival gives school children all over the country the chance to see a recent film at their local cinema for free and we were very lucky that Mr Keohane managed to secure us enough tickets to see 'How to Train a Dragon: The Hidden World' this year. An added bonus was that the film was hosted at the new Cineworld in The Lexicon. The 3 year groups walked very sensibly into town and took their seats alongside several other local schools before sitting back and enjoying the film. The children represented their school beautifully and made all staff very proud.
Ancient Greek Vases
As our learning about Ancient Greece is coming to an end, we used our knowledge of Greek artifacts to design our own authentic-looking Greek vases. Some of our designs were very ambitious and once we started using the clay, we had to persevere with determination to try to produce a piece of pottery that we could be proud of. Once they have dried, we shall be painting them with orange and black paint in the style of the Ancient Greeks.
From Monday 11 November to Friday 15 November 2019 it is Anti-Bullying Week in England and 12 November is Odd Socks Day. Anti-Bullying Week aims to raise awareness and provide schools, parents, carers, children and young people with the information and tools they need to try and help stop bullying and bring lasting change to children’s lives. One of the initiatives that forms part of Anti-Bullying Week each year is Odd Socks Day – but what does that mean and why do we wear odd socks for one specific day in November? Why do we wear odd socks during Anti-Bullying week? Designed to be a fun and light-hearted way to encourage people to express themselves, Odd Socks Day is one of the ways that the organisers behind Anti-Bullying Week, the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), hope to raise awareness of bullying. ‘It’s an opportunity to encourage people to express themselves and celebrate their individuality and what makes us all unique,’ the ABA explains on their website.
Ancient Greece Homework Projects
The Year 6s produced some absolutely amazing homework projects on the theme of Ancient Greece this half term. It was really enjoyable to see all of their hard work and nearly everyone presented their work to the class in a confident and knowledgeable manner. Thank you to parents for supporting the children with this homework project.
Our Budding Playwright
Ruby in Year 6 has spent the first half term writing a play, recruiting actors to star in it, directing them during their break times and lunch times and then creating props for the play in her own time. Today (23rd October) Ruby and her cast performed the finished play to the rest of the class and I have to say, I was blown away at the talent and professionalism on display! It was so well-written, learned and choreographed. We have so much talent in our class - I cannot wait for all of the children to be able to demonstrate these skills to a wider audience in the end of year production!
Restart a Heart
16th October is 'National Restart a Heart Day' every year and to mark this occasion, Year 6 were fortunate to have two members of the ambulance service visit us and teach us how to perform hands-only CPR. We were told that it is far better to at least attempt to perform CPR on someone who is unconscious and not breathing than to hold back for fear of breaking a rib. We discovered for ourselves how exhausting it is to continue heart compressions even just for 2 minutes - yet this action could easily save somebody's life. Mrs Filisetti has already booked Morgan or Gladys in Year 6 to perform CPR on her should she ever need it as they were both very effective in their actions!
Roots to Food
The amazing Darren from Roots to Food visited Fox Hill again this October to share with us his culinary mastery. Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 each had a session learning how to prepare and cook a Chicken curry (and a chick pea version for vegetarians). The children worked in groups to cut, dice, steam, fry, simmer, present - and eat - their dish. They all enjoyed the experience and co-operated well in their teams to produce a meal fit for a king - or a head teacher!
World Mental Health Day
Fox Hill school celebrated World Mental Health Day on 10th October and showed solidarity with people suffering from mental health issues by wearing yellow to school - this showed sufferers that we were thinking of them. We talked in assembly and in class about how important our mental health is and what we can do to try to look after it. Some things we can all do to look after ourselves are:
We also need to remember to Talk, Listen and Tell.
On 9th October, the whole of Fox Hill celebrated with an outstanding Harvest Assembly. Reverend David joined us from his church in Binfield and gave an inspiring presentation about us all having a star inside us and how we need to look after ourselves in order to allow that star to shine brightly. The whole school sang several sonds and each class contributed to teh whole assembly with a song, a poem or a rap! We had songs in English, French and also in sign language - what a skilled group of children we have! The Year 6 house captains narrated the whole assembly, ending with the important message: 'We need to live more simply, so that others can simply live.' Many of the children brought in contributions to be shared with others less fortunate than ourselves and these will be distributed accordingly.
11 Year 6 children signed up for Bikeability training in October. After ensuring their bikes were road-worthy and their helmets fitted correctly, the children were taught a number of skills on the playground first. Some found it quite challenging to cycle while looking behind them and to cycle one-handed while indicating to make a turn. Those children who mastered these skills were able to progress onto the road for the next level of training. Unfortunately this was not all of the group which was disappointing for a few children but obviously, their safety is of paramount importance. Congratulations to those who managed their bikes safely and confidently and who completed the course.
Science: Evolution and Inheritance (Sept 2019)
This week in Science, we learned about Charles Darwin and his research on the Galapagos Islands. He spent some time watching hte Galapagos Finches, birds unique to the islands. When bad weather affected plant growth and there were fewer seeds to eat, the offspring had to eat larger seeds that would not normally be part of their diet in order to survive.Only the offspring with large beaks could break open and eat the larger seeds. Therefore, these offspring survived and the other, smaller beaked offspring died. The Galapagos finches with large beaks reproduced and had offspring. More of these offspring inherited large beaks and so Galapagos finch species started to evolve to have longer beaks. This is an example of how animals and plants adapt to their changing environment. This process of adaptation is natural selection.
We investigated how different types of bird beaks are more suited to different types of food. Our 'beaks' were pegs, chopsticks, tweezers and a spoon. The foods we had to try to pick up with our 'beaks' were raisins (berries), pipecleaners (worms), pennies (beetles) and rice (seeds). Ask any of the children in Year 6 to explain what they learned!
Visit to Ufton Court (Sept 2019)
To 'hook' us into our learning about Ancient Greece, Y5 and Y6 visited Ufton Court to take part in several workshops all designed to teach us about the Greeks. When we arrived, we became members of the merchant classes, exploring new regions and the city states. We found out about several city states, including what Gods they worshipped, what goods they had to trade with other states and also what the people who lived there had to do to survive.
We also learned some key skills which would have been needed to survive. The skills enabled the Ancient Greeks to be self-sufficient and also gave them products to trade with.
After a lunch break in the beautiful grounds of Ufton Court, we worked together to create different scenes of two Ancient Greeks myths, telling the story of Theseus and of Perseus.
Martial Arts Trial (Sept 2019)
On 11th September we were fortunate enough to be given a sample martial arts lesson to see if we want to join the after school martial arts club. We had an introduction to the correct stance and also how to do basic punches and kicks. As you can see from our photos, we had lots of fun - especially when we got to punch the pads held by Mrs Filisetti!