This week’s newsletter for Rossall Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School.
The weather has finally taken a cold turn just as we hit December. The swap of wind and rain for frost is one that I very much appreciate, especially with beautiful blue skies over Rossall. A bite in the air first thing in the morning always reminds me of ski trips and I am mindful that the Prep ski trip is less than four months away… it seems like no time since the last one! I know that the children are very excited! A reminder please for the children to ensure they have their Rossall coats to wear in school during this cold snap!
The downside to the plummeting temperatures is the near certain cancellation or postponement of fixtures that often occurs. This week it was unfortunate that we lost the Giggleswick rugby tournament to frozen pitches. However, the saviour of astroturf still allowed our U11 footballers to continue with their winning streak. They travelled to Liverpool on Wednesday and for a qualifying tournament for the AJIS Cup, winning all three games to take their unbeaten run to 10! Congratulations to all the boys who once again displayed excellence as well as some super sportsmanship.
Although it has been a busy week of sport, there has still been a lot of learning going on in the classroom. Year 1 have been stitching monsters, Year 6 have been busy honing their English and Maths skills for their upcoming entrance exam, Year 5 making parachutes for Science, and Years 3 and 4 have written their 100 word stories for a national competition. Of course, Pre-Prep children have also been rehearsing for the nativity and the Prep pupils are readying themselves for their Christmas at the Movies concert. It never ceases to amaze me just how much the children and staff fit into each and every moment of a school day at Rossall.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Mr M Turner
Headmaster of Preparatory School & Nursery
Rossall Footballers Winning Streak Continues!
Congratulations to the U11 Football team for winning the AJIS Qualifying tournament at St Mary’s Crosby this week. This was a tournament with three other schools, vying for a place in the finals in February.
Rossall were victorious in all three matches against our hosts, St Mary’s, Westholme and Abbey Gate and now advance through to the Premier League Finals.
Well done Rossall Rhinos for an outstanding season so far!
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly, ’tis the season to be jolly!”
The excitement is mounting in the Preparatory School. We have decked the halls and have begun to prepare for our Christmas Concert this week. We have enjoyed singing carols and practising our Christmas movie songs, a super way to begin our festivities.
We have also been working incredibly hard. The children continue to be fascinated and on occasion outraged by our book, “Can You Save the Tiger?” The title is a little misleading, the book explains how many animals are facing extinction. The common cause, man. We have had some fabulous discussions about conservation and extinction and these have led to some brilliant extended pieces of writing.
Our Topic on Biomes continues to inspire the children to produce excellent collaborative work and has allowed them to showcase their presentation skills.
In Mathematics we are honing our knowledge of fractions and have been grappling with simplifying, comparing and ordering fractions. It has reminded the children just how important rapid recap of times tables facts is. We have also introduced calculators to Year 6 for the first time. The children have been learning the skills of how to calculate percentages, fractions and square roots, to name but a few, using their new tools.
During Art, the children have enjoyed studying and then sketching animals’ eyes. The detail in the work is incredible and we are all looking forward to seeing the finished results.
Mary Poppins rehearsals are now well underway with songs, dialogue and dances being learned.
Last week’s Christmas Carols certainly put Year 5 in the festive mood, and with our Christmas Concert, ‘Christmas at the Movies’, just over a week away, the class have been scripting a short sketch and rehearsing a couple of songs to perform on the night that will hopefully be entertaining for all the family.
We really are enjoying all elements of the curriculum, one of the highlights of the week was our Science investigation on Forces, focusing on wind resistance by creating homemade parachutes. The children loved designing and creating their canopies and adjusting the lengths of their lines to achieve the perfect glide. Their projects linked Physics with Design and Technology, and Maths, plus a little Geography to make sure the Rossall wind was blowing in the right direction to aid our investigation. There were some wonderful creations and impressive flights that even the Montgolfier Brothers would have been proud of!
Our Geography lesson has focused on Scandinavia, studying the landscape, culture and climate. After creating line graphs on temperature and rainfall, we realised Fleetwood is not as cold and wet as we thought. We concluded: we don’t blame the Vikings for wanting to live in England!
This week saw us listening to various music and researching musical artists from different decades as part of our Topic lessons. We were enthusiastic to carry out our own research on artists and musical pieces from the Victorian Era. We came across ABBA, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Wham! and David Bowie to name a few. We also spoke about different dance styles like the Charleston and explored fashion and interesting haircuts! During our history of toys lesson, interestingly, gender stereotyping was the hot topic of conversation in our discussion about toys through the ages. The children learnt how toys in Victorian times and during the Wars were gender specific, with tea sets and dolls for girls, and trains and soldiers for boys. They compared the similarities and differences to toys of the modern day and also moved on to creating their very own toy.
In English, the children have been expanding their approach to writing in the first person. This is a very effective technique to encourage the children to analyse the character they are portraying in depth. The story we based our diary entry around was from the Wizard of Oz film (2013). We wrote in the first person, in the role of the main character from the trailer, to create imaginative recounts describing a terrible storm, a magical land and unknown pixie creatures. In addition to using the correct first person pronouns, we have paid particular attention to using Standard English and wow adjectives, nouns and verbs within our writing.
In Maths, we have moved on to Multiplication and Division – looking closely at the relationship between them both. We started off exploring the 3 and 6 times tables and their connection with each other. We investigated a ‘cheat’ way to work out if a number is a multiple of 3 regardless of its size and also looked at the fact families for the 6 times table.
We have continued to show fantastic efforts during our Christmas Concert rehearsals this week. We have brilliant speakers and singers and are looking forward to performing in the show!
We are starting to feel super Christmassy in Year 3! Not only this week were we lucky enough to watch the amazing Pre-Prep Nativity, but we have also been rehearsing hard for the Christmas Concert! We are all certainly excited for the Christmas events which will be starting in earnest next week.
In our English this week we revisited speech marks in order to write dialogue for ‘Winter’s Child’. We will be writing our final piece of the half-term next week, a fantasy story! For this, we created fantasy characters inspired by ‘Winter’s Child’. As well as this, we also wrote ‘Crazy Creatures’ stories to enter into a national competition!
In Maths we have been ploughing confidently through our learning about multiplication and division, we have focussed on groups of 3s, 4s and now starting on our 8s. The children are all doing really well with this, and everyone is challenging themselves which is fantastic.
In Science, we have started our final project for the Forces and Magnets unit – our Magnet Games! We are working in pairs to design and create a game that uses magnets – it has been wonderful to see all the creativity and imagination that has gone into the designs!
Almost at the end of our Riotous Royals topic, this week focussed on Queen Victoria. We learnt about how she was queen during the Industrial Revolution and is associated with the true start of the British Empire. We picked individual countries of the British Empire and used iPads to research facts about them, a great way to build our research skills.
An absolutely wonderful week and it’s hard to believe we are reaching the end of term so quickly!
It has been a week of baa baa grump, but please rest assured this has not been because of any ‘bah humbugging’ from teachers, but rather because we have been getting into the Christmas spirit. We have been incredibly busy with our Nativity rehearsals and I have been very impressed with the children; they have all memorised their lines and know all of the songs. Thursday’s dress rehearsal was a real success, the children shone and they now cannot wait to perform for parents.
We have also been busy in the classroom, our Maths work on shapes is now well underway and the children can identify an array of 2-D and 3-D shapes. We will be moving on to counting vertices and lines of symmetry. In English, we have been using our book “The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark” to complete some fabulous descriptive writing.
We have reached the time of year when the Christmas crafts begin, Mrs Payne came down on Wednesday for Art and the children thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make their own reindeer. They will be making their way home soon. With less than two weeks left of school and Christmas around the corner, the fun is just getting underway!
On Thursday, the Pre-Prep children performed their Nativity for their first live audience in the dress rehearsal. If they perform as well for parents as they did for Years 3 and 4, you are in for a real treat.
Linking to the Nativity and our Topic and RS lessons this week, we have been listening to the Christmas story and sequencing it. As we have been thinking about stories, we discussed why we still tell the Christmas Story, why it is important and how it has been passed down over time.
In Science this week, we have been hunting the school grounds for different materials and thinking about what properties the material has that make it suitable for its purpose.
In English, Nibbles has been eating his way through even more stories. This time it was the turn of Jack and the Beanstalk. We have been busy writing Nibbles’ diary using adjectives to describe the giant he met. We have also been learning about turning singular nouns into plurals by adding -s or -es.
With the chill of winter settling in, it is timely to discuss the importance of outdoor play. During the cooler months, it is common for children to be more restricted to indoor play and permitted to play outdoors more when it is warm and sunny.
We sometimes fear that our children will not “like” being outside in the cold, or that they will get sick from being outside in the cold fresh air. For this reason, it is particularly important that young children enjoy outdoor activities in their early childhood education.
Playing outside in autumn, winter, and early spring, each presents its own unique opportunities for exploration and learning. Therefore, outdoor play should be embraced in all types of weather, as it is crucial for children’s ongoing development.
During the spring and summer, children become familiar with bright green foliage, flowers in bloom, and a warm climate. As the seasons change, they come to see different characteristics in their environment, such as brown grass, fallen leaves, and ice.
These developments provide children with new experiences and opportunities, such as learning about the seasons, and the life cycles of plants. Through outdoor play in the winter, children also learn to see their environment through a different lens, and progress from being unconscious to conscious observers of their environment.
With this in mind, please ensure your child has their school coat, navy hat, scarf and gloves in school every day as we can’t wait for some snow!
“One of the greatest gifts adults can give is to read to children” – Carl Segan
This week in the Nursery we have focused on Literacy.
This week, The Sanderlings have been on some lovely winter walks around the Rossall grounds in a search to count how many Christmas trees they could find. This weather has been great to talk to the babies about what they may see with the change of season, such as the frost, how cold it is and what they might need to wear when we go on our walks. To promote self-help and independence, the older babies have been encouraged to collect their own belongings and to try and take them on and off with support.
With the focus of the week being literacy, Miss Schofield, Mrs Beddis and Miss Heatley have made sure The Sanderlings have had lots of opportunities to practise mark-making and look at a variety of books on their own and with an adult. The babies have taken part in yoga and Tumble Tots this week, which is a great opportunity for the babies to learn positional language.
The sensory room has been a big hit this week. The sensory lights have allowed the children to explore and learn about cause and effect and pattern recognition as the babies were able to turn the lights on and off with just a touch.
The Sandpiper team have introduced a new book of the month to the children called “The Jolly Postman”. The children have been engaged in the story and are excited to take part in activities around the characters.
The children have taken part in writing a letter to Santa using their new “Elf station”. The Sandpipers really enjoyed this and told their teachers what they would like from Santa this Christmas; there has been a fantastic improvement in writing skills and grip when holding a pencil.
The children have looked at all of the different varieties of Christmas stories in our library and took an interest in the traditional Nativity story. The Sandpipers then built their own Nativity with all of the animals, Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph and used their imagination to role-play the Nativity story with the doll babies in the home corner. Keeping with the festivities, the children have been learning Christmas songs and jingles at circle time; the children have really gotten into the Christmas spirit.
Finally, the children have brought back their home learning, which was to make a planet of their choice, and we have seen some fantastic work! Well done Sandpipers.
This week, the Pre-School children have loved their challenge in the classroom with Miss Ward and Mrs Gaynor; this week’s challenge has been “rhyming pairs”. The children were shown 3 words, there were two rhyming words and a word that didn’t fit in with the rhyme. The children worked together as a team to work out which word didn’t belong in the rhyming pile; they did fantastic. Throughout the week, the children have been recognising their own names and copying it on the interactive whiteboard. Using their gross and fine motor skills on a vertical board, everyone did a superb job. As the Nativity is next week, the children have done so well practising their words and the songs ready to showcase it to all of the families. We even visited the Performing Arts Studio at the beginning of the week and did our first rehearsal on the stage to prepare for our show.
This week, our certificates were awarded to Caitlin for a consistent effort in all of her learning and challenging herself to improve in all areas; Arabella for her engagement and enthusiasm in English, sharing ideas and promoting excellent discussion; Rio for excellent perseverance and resilience in Mathematics and Mia for excellent effort and engagement in English.
This week, our awards go to Harry for outstanding effort on our Home Learning tasks, and Ralph for outstanding resilience and excellent standard of achievement.
This week in Year 4, our certificate winners are Sophie for her amazing research and poster creation for the Rossall Rotation beach session and Sophia for consistently challenging herself in Maths to complete difficult questions.
In Year 3 this week our certificates go to Sam for showing brilliant perseverance and to Harry for wonderful work in English.
This week, our certificates go to Tommy for his fabulous knowledge of shapes and Yuha for his contributions to classroom discussion.
This week’s awards are for Xander and Isabelle, both for fantastic singing and good leadership skills during the Nativity.
This week’s certificates of achievement go to Dotty and Henry. Both children have demonstrated sensible behaviour in Nativity rehearsals this week and have fully participated in all songs.
We would like to invite you to a Parent lunch which will take place in the Lent term. We pride ourselves on our relationships and hosting a lunch gives us a great opportunity to meet new members of our community, welcome back existing parents and provide an opportunity for conversation, interaction and friendship. Members of the Prep School and Nursery Leadership team will be in attendance, alongside class teachers.
Places are limited, therefore please kindly RSVP to confirm your attendance and any dietary requirements using this form. If you have more than one child across different year groups, please complete a separate form for each lunch attending.
End of Term Buses
The Grumpy Sheep
Rossall Prep School invites you to attend The Grumpy Sheep in the Performing Arts Studio at 9.30am.
Our Nativity this year takes place across 2 days with Pre-Prep on Monday and Nursery on Tuesday.
Family Carol Service
Join us on Sunday 10th December for our Family Carol Service. Rossall School’s Family Carol Service is open to all – Old Rossallians, pupils, parents, friends, the local community/general public. (Called Visitors’ Carol Service previously) Find out more and book your (free) tickets here.