West Stow Saxon Village

On Wednesday year 1, 2 and 3 visited West Stow Saxon Village for the day. This linked in to our KS1 topic of homes and houses and our KS2 topic of Anglo-Saxons. We had a brilliant day in the museum looking at genuine historical artefacts and in the village looking at Anglo-Saxon houses. We even got to meet an Anglo-Saxon man who explained to us about what it was like to live in an Anglo-Saxon home.

The Cross Home Learning

Great home learning from Congo and Yangtze classes; they have represented The Cross in so many different ways. We have been thinking, ‘Is The Cross a symbol of love or sacrifice?’  Many thanks to parents and carers who have helped the children with their inspiring work.

School Councillors

Congratulations to the new School Councillors you have voted for!  They are Reuben, Jasmine, Maisie, Finn, Martha, Callum, Thomas, Ruby, Oscar, Matilda, Lillie-Mae and Hugh. We heard all sorts of great ideas from you, to make our school even better. It’s going to be very exciting, working with you all this year!

Inter-House Maths Challenge

Fantastic News!

We now have winners of our inaugural (first) Inter-House Maths Challenge!  It is Cygnus (Blue) House!

With 206 points, they beat Apus House (Red), who had 160 points, followed closely by Aquila (Green) with 148 and Columba (Yellow) with 141.

Four children from each class went through to the Grand Final, each representing their House. Each contestant had a round of mental maths, then a timed round, to write as many answers as they could!  The whole school was in the hall to support them, so no pressure!

Daisy, one of the finalists said, ‘I felt a little bit nervous at the start. Then I was happy.

Korbyn, another finalist said, ‘The best bit was when we were actually doing the maths!

Fressingfield Primary School Viking Day

Tuesday 26th February 2019

There were horned helmets, plaited hair, axes and thick fur coats on display on Tuesday as the children celebrated Viking Day across Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) and took part in a series of hands-on workshops linked to our topic.

There were six workshops in total: longships, runes, jewellery, bread-making, felting and music.

The music workshop was run by Joe Carr, the curator and education director of the Red House in Aldeburgh. The children first explored some genuine historical artefacts, such as a 1000 year old comb, before playing traditional instruments. They created their own music using percussion, panpipe and a lyre – instruments the Vikings would have used themselves.

The longship workshop was an exercise in teamwork and perseverance that resulted in three marvellous models that now decorate the atrium. Each is complete with oars, a sail, Viking shields along both sides and, of course, a dragon on each prow.

In the runes workshop the children learnt about the futhark – the Norse alphabet, then created their own tablets with their own names written using runes.

The Vikings in the jewellery workshop created some beautiful brooches, and pairs of brooches linked with beads that they used to adorn their cloaks and proudly wore for the rest of the day, showing just how wealthy and prestigious they were compared to lesser Vikings!

The bread-making Vikings, led by Mrs Tooley, cooked traditional flat breads using oats rather than wheat flour. The porridge-like flavour of the bread was improved with the addition of lashings of honey and dried fruit pushed into the top of each loaf. We learned that loaves like these would have been carried by Vikings on their incredible exploratory trips across the oceans.

Mrs Stansfeld and Mrs Waring led the felting workshops. The children, starting with the basic raw material of unspun wool, first learnt to card it, then layer it and then bind it using a secret Viking combination of ingredients and techniques. The resulting felt was used to make money pouches or wrist warmers that real Vikings would have been more than familiar with.

Children always learn best when they are completely immersed in what they are doing, so dressing up, while also being great fun, is a fantastic learning experience. This became particularly apparent at the end of the day during the assembly to share all of our achievements with the school; representatives from each group were able to talk eloquently and at length about what they had learned during each workshop –such as that Viking runes were discovered by the god Odin as he hung on Yggdrasil – the world tree – for nine days.

So we offer huge thanks to all the teachers and support staff who prepared these workshops for us – and in particular to Mr Carr – and say a big well done to the children for all that they achieved.

Share Healthy Living Session

Many thanks to all children and adults who attended our after-school workshop on healthier lifestyles.  We had some very positive comments from many people, and children all said they enjoyed themselves.  From sampling vegan food, and challenging each other in a fitness circuit, to guessing how much sugar in drinks and chatting with a local author about her book on positive attitudes, everybody had a great time.  You now have no excuse to get more active and enjoy life more!

Commemorating the Centenary of the Armistice: children pay tribute to the fallen from World War 1

Children at Fressingfield Primary School have been learning about the First World War this term to coincide with the centenary of the signing of the armistice at 11am on the 11th November 1918. This culminated on 8th November in their participation in the ‘Remembering War, Praying for Peace’ commemoration, a Suffolk-wide event, organised by the Royal British Legion to remember all the servicemen killed during the war and buried in Suffolk churchyards.

There are three soldiers buried at St Peter and St Paul’s Church – Pte Herbert Vincent, Pte James Rumsby and Deckhand John White. The children learnt about each of them and laid poppy wreathes at their graves. Three children – Jacob, Sam and Jessica – also read about how members of their own families had been affected by the war, following research conducted as part of their homework. Jessica explained that her great, great uncle Charles Mayhew died of TB contracted whilst serving on the Western Front as a driver for the Royal Artillery.

As part of the service, every child in Key Stage 2 laid a hand-sewn felt heart on the altar of the church, similar to those sewn by injured servicemen to send to their loved-ones at home. For this project – called 100 Hearts for 100 Years – the children were supported by Mrs Lindsey and other members of the Fressingfield Craft Club, who also created hearts of their own and which now decorate the pulpit in a beautiful tribute to those who sacrificed their lives.

At school, the children have been learning about the First World War throughout the term. They wrote newspaper reports about the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event which catapulted Europe into war, and are now writing diary entries about life in the trenches. They were also visited by Mr B Stephenson who kindly brought in his collection of WW1 memorabilia, including a machine gun.

The children also retold the story of ‘The Great War’ by creating a quilt in the style of Harriet Powers, a African-American artist who was born a slave in the 19th Century and who used her quilts to tell Bible Stories and stories of slavery. This project, which was linked to Black History Month, has created a powerful and moving tribute to the fallen and is on display in the school atrium.

It has been an honour to participate in the village’s commemoration events this term; the children have found the topic interesting and inspiring and have been deeply moved by the sacrifice made by people in this village to safeguard their futures.

Black History Month

As part of Black History Month, Key Stage 2 children have been finding out about the life of Harriet Powers, who was an African American textile artist from Georgia.

Hollowford 2018 Day 4

Hollowford’s Got Talent!

It was great to wake up fresh and breezy this morning, to banish any lingering sense of disappointment and to get things back on track with the business of just having a really good time.

It was another activities day, so Kyle and Brajan, Grace and Pheobe built two impressive looking rafts that actually stayed in one piece long enough to compete in the races against each other, despite being massively overloaded with 12 people – well done!

In the afternoon Brajan and Kyle went weaselling up on Higger Tor with Amelia, Rebecca, Stanley and George’s group, squeezing and twisting themselves through tiny gaps and climbing over jumbles of rocks. Stanley put it best when sharing one of his moments of the week in the evening: “I was really impressed with Amelia, because even though she had been really worried in the cave and had decided to come out, she was one of the best at weaselling and she did absolutely everything.” Well done Amelia.

Tom, Henry, Maisy, Gaia and Jade went off to Bagshaw Cavern this morning with Captain Dave – one of the most highly qualified cave instructors in the country. He was so impressed with the group (his favourite), that he led them into ‘the Glory Hole’ – a difficult descent, slither and climb that he only visits with children he can trust completely – and, needless-to-say, they tackled it incredibly well. Go Team 4!

In the afternoon, they were on the high ropes, where nerves and adrenalin created a kind of manic hilarity with Gaia, Maisy and Tom. We learnt that when they get nervous, Tom kind of barks, Gaia squeaks and Maisy whinnies like a horse. Despite this farmyard of noises, they all managed to climb to the top of the post for the ‘lean of faith!’

This evening was the long-anticipated talent show and it didn’t disappoint; the standard was incredibly high this year, with singing, comedy routines, magic tricks, a trumpet recital of James Bond and Star Wars, some strange water drinking antics and a song about trifle that brought the house down (you had to be there). Well done to Grace and Phoebe who came second (out of 15) with a beautifully sung and danced version of ‘Right Where I Belong.’ Enjoy the sweets girls!

Well done all – it really has been a fantastic week and Mrs Sheldrake and I have enjoyed every minute. Thank you.

Hollowford 2018 Day 3

The crushing sense of disappointment – an unusual feeling to experience at Hollowford – but one that, thanks to the football, the children all went to bed feeling! Still, I suppose it’s all just a part of learning to be English!

Thankfully, the day had been balanced with lots of the other: the uplifting joy of success and victory! Today was the day we walked up Mam Tor, the large hill (not a mountain, we’ve been told) that looms over the town of Castleton. It’s a long way up and a very steep walk in places, but we set off this afternoon with enthusiasm and gusto, carrying extra water and taking extra rests to combat the heat. At least it clouded over during our walk – the morning group had contended with blazing sunshine too. The views from the top were stunning and we were able to watch a pair of paragliders taking off from the top too. The world-record-breaking paraglider – Carter (who is famous for having paraglided over 200 miles from Castleton to the Thames estuary) – was above us, and waved when we cheered his name.

George’s nose unfortunately started leaking once again as we set off back to base, so he was medevacked back to the centre. He was disappointed that the rescue vehicle was a minibus rather than a helicopter. He is all patched up again now. Other injuries today included a grazed knee for Rebecca and a sore ankle for Grace, but they are bearing all with good humour and it certainly didn’t stop them from shouting at the football for 120 minutes along with everyone else!

This morning we went for a walk around Hollowford, where we visited Peveril Castle and spent our £10: it’s amazing just quite how many presents can be bought for £10 (and quite how many sweets). When we got back to the centre we were met by signs put up by the centre staff who were so delighted with the clean and tidy state of our rooms they awarded us with certificates – so well done especially Kyle, Jaydan, Finlay and Brajan who won the tidiest room on their corridor: bet you weren’t expecting that, mums and dads!

Tomorrow, hopefully, we can put this evening’s game behind us, remember that football’s only a game (sorry!) and start having fun again. We have another day of activities, followed by Hollowford’s Got Talent!

[Sorry there are no photos today – I have had a technical issue with my memory stick, so can’t download all the lovely pictures of the children in the castle and on the top of Mam Tor. Perhaps someone will be able to sort it out for me when I get back to school. I will use the other SD card tomorrow.]