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‘Let’s approach the Christmas season with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.’ 

As I sit in my office writing this, I can hear singing drifting through the door. Round the corner and down the corridor, I know that children and teachers are busy preparing for our Christmas productions which are fast approaching.  

It made me stop and think that for the first time in more than 20 years I am looking forward to watching and listening to these productions with a sense of anticipation rather than with a tired trepidation about whether the children will pull it out of bag on the day and not having heard the songs more than 300 times! (You may not realise that teachers and TAs across the land often wake up at night during November with the words of Christmas songs going round and round in their head and they then lie awake making mental lists about costumes, staging and scenery.)  

This Sunday is the start of Advent, a season of expectant delight where hope and joy abound but also where there is so much to be done! It is easy to lose sight of the loveliness at this time of year because we are so busy. I like to sit quietly for a few minutes each day and bathe in the soft glow of fairy lights and spend time baking and decorating with the family, which surely makes our hearts feel fuller.

In school we have begun preparing for Christmas not just in our rehearsals but also by putting up the icicle lights in the Junior Courtyard (there was an audible gasp when they came on for the first time on Tuesday), making sure the tree in the hall is up and decorated and in planning Christmas crafts and secret surprises to make sure that the season is full of fun for the children in our care.


I hope that you will feel so proud of your children as they take to the stage in the next couple of weeks and that they will enjoy performing for you. I have no doubt that they will rise to the occasion and even if there is the odd hiccup, I know that those moments will make it all the more memorable.

Whatever happens, for me, there is no place more wonderful than a primary school in the lead up to Christmas. 

Have a lovely weekend. 

Mrs McIntosh 

Mrs McIntosh
Head of Junior Department

Thursday 8 December: Junior children care during Y3/Y4 Christmas performance.

Please sign up via the google form located here for your Junior Department child to be looked after by Mrs McIntosh during the Y3/4 Christmas production (until 1600). Please collect your Junior child from the Junior Hall immediately after the performance and then go to the Great Hall for refreshments.

This Week in Reception

Reception pupils have been enjoying their iPad sessions this week, learning that iPads are used for so many more things than “just” games and watching films! As pupils move through the School, they become more accustomed and increasingly confident with the use of different forms of computing and technology – this is just the start!

So far this term we have learned the basics of using tablets; this has included using a variety of different apps and websites to work complement classroom maths and literacy skills, developing the children’s fine motor co-ordination, and taking photographs – and we had lots of fun too  creating artwork.

Reception iPads - 25 November 2022

Mrs McIntosh has enjoyed the time she has spent with Reception this week, and during these lessons, the children have worked really hard on their rhyming skills  by spotting the odd one out, writing rhyming shopping lists and matching words and pictures that rhyme. Hearing and using rhyme, rhythm and repetition helps children develop early literacy skills. The repetition of words, ideas and skills is important for early brain development, as it creates secure foundations for early learning.

Reception Rhyming Practice with Mrs McIntosh 25 November 2022
Have a lovely weekend

The Reception Team

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Reception Nativity Play on Thursday 1st December

This Week in Year 1

In our TPR lessons over the last half term, Year One have been learning about different festivals and celebrations from around the world. These have included the Christian Harvest Festival, the Jewish Sukkot Festival, Diwali – the festival of light – and the story of Rama and Sita. This week, we have moved onto the Christmas story, ahead of our Nativity performance. We discussed why Christmas is important to Christians and any similarities to other religions.

Year 1, TPR

Year One also had a visit from some Top Form students this week. They talked to us about how the transition from Reception to Year One went, and if there was anything that could help us improve this. The children came up with some great ideas, and they are really looking forward to working with the Top Formers next term.

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Year One Christmas Performance on Tuesday 6 December

This Week in Year 2

This week, Year 2 have dived into the new Science topic of materials with an ‘ignite’ session where we made sensible predictions of what could be inside a range of test tubes and boxes! We loved using our powers of observation to identify as many of the mystery contents as possible! Other activities included a materials hunt and beginning to think about why different materials are suited to their use.

Year 2 Science Nov 2022 - Materials

In Maths, we have been building our mental addition and subtraction skills, enabling us to do both operations crossing a 10s boundary. We used manipulatives such as tens frames with counters to build our confidence. We progressed to using Base 10 equipment to exchange 1 ten for 10 ones. Finally, we practised using the part whole model to partition the number we were adding or subtracting, allowing us to calculate the answers in our head.

Year 2 Maths 25 November

In TPR, Year 2 have really enjoyed our unit of study on Islam. We investigated a range of Islamic artefacts and discussed their meaning and usage. Next, we learnt about the Five Pillars of Islam and some key facts about prayer. Finally, we considered some of the incredible range of beautiful prayer mats and had a go at designing our own. We really impressed ourselves with the level of detail we included and our neat colouring.

Year 2 designing prayer mats in their TPR session s

Now that Christmas is drawing near we are now moving on to learning about Advent wreaths and Christingles. Ask your child if they can remember the meaning of the four parts of a Christingle!

The Year 2 Team

Tickets are now available for your Children’s Christmas Performance

Request your tickets here for the Year Two Christmas Performance on Wednesday 7 December

Head’s Commendations

Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mr Balfour’s Commendations:

Year Group Nurture Engage Inspire
Year 1 Joshua K Zara H, Harper I, Esme W, Haris A -
Year 2 - Oslo B, Ishaan G, Ted R, Harry V-T Cecily D, Millie R

From the Junior Library

The Grumpus and his Dastardly Dreadful Christmas Plan by Alex T Smith

The Grumpus is an intriguing and delightful new Christmas story from favourite author, Alex T. Smith (mastermind of the Claude series and How Winston Delivered Christmas). Inspired by The Krampus and with a hint of The Grinch, The Grumpus is meant to be a grumpy fellow however during his adventures to the North Pole he becomes an unlikely hero. On his travels, he unwittingly and reluctantly makes lots of new friends. Perfect for reading together at bedtime, this colourful chapter book celebrates the true meaning of Christmas.