Rothley Church of England Academy Newsletter Autumn 2 2023

What a fantastic (and long!) term we have had here at Rothley! It is just amazing what the children have been doing over the past half term.

We have had our annual residential trips in years 4 and 5 to Duke's Barn and Hilltop. The children (and staff) faced their fears and fueled by adrenaline took part in all of the outdoor activities that each trip had to offer. A massive thank you once more to all the staff for giving up their own time to take the children on this amazing opportunity experience - one I am sure they will never forget.

It was great to have all the parents in school on the 9th November for our Remembrance Day Parent's Craft afternoon. It was just amazing to see so many parents come in and support the children with their activities. We are looking to host some other events similar to this in 2024.

Last week was full of Christmas performances from our youngest children in the school. Seven shows from Little Bunnies, 3 Foundation Shows shows, a Year 1 sing-a-long and the Year 2 nativity 'Don't be Afraid' - it was great to see over 600 parents and family members over the 7 shows see their children perform wonderfully.

It has been great to offer a number of after school clubs across the school this term. We've had chess, construction, multi-sport which have all been well attended. There will also be a number of new clubs available in the new year to book on. These new clubs were all chosen by the children across the school and can be booked now.

Alongside all of the above the children have also had their annual Anti-Bullying week in December, their Diwali Day with dance workshops as well as children from year 1 to 6 attend the Peter Pan pantomime in Loughborough amongst a whole host of other activities you will see throughout the newsletter.

This has been only the 2nd time in my teaching career we have had a 9-week half term, so all the children and staff deserve a well-earned Christmas break. So, with that said, from everyone here at school, we wish you a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year and we will see you all on the 8th January.

Mr Richards

Foundation Stage

We have had another busy half term!

The children have thoroughly enjoyed our People Who Help Us topic. They have learnt about different jobs and how these people can help us. They have had great fun accessing our Dentist, Hospital and Vet role play opportunities and dressing up in the areas.

We were lucky to have visits from PC Sam Pilbeam and James the Paramedic. The children enjoyed finding out about their jobs and asked them lots of interesting questions.

In Maths we have continued to learn about numbers to 5 and develop a deep understanding of these numbers and how we can represent them. We have begun to learn about simple addition to 5.

The children are thoroughly enjoying our phonics lessons and are engaging well in their reading sessions each week.

It was lovely to see so many of you at our poppy craft afternoon. The children were so excited to share our craft activities with you and have loved talking about the afternoon for weeks afterwards!

We will be thinking about special celebrations throughout the year and the children thoroughly enjoyed learning about Diwali and created some amazing diva lamps. Our anti-bullying activities included, wearing and designing odd socks.

The Foundation Stage team were so proud of the nativity performances and it was fantastic to be able to invite parents and grown-ups into school, we hope you enjoyed the Christmas biscuits!

Our trip on the Santa Train was a wonderful experience, all of the children behaved so well and the staff on the train commented on how well-mannered they all were. The visit from Santa was a big hit and caused a great deal of excitement.

The children have been getting busy with Christmas craft during the last two weeks of term, we are looking forward to sending these home.

The Foundation Stage team would like to thank you all for your support this term, it certainly has been a busy one. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas.

Opening of the 'Burton' Building

The Bishop of Loughborough visited us earlier this term to officially open and name the new school building that is occupied by Key Stage One.

In honour of Reverend William Acworth and subsequently Reverend Richard Burton, who were both instrumental in the development of formal educational settings in the village, the main school building is now known as the Acworth building and the new one as the Burton building.

Year 1

continued to try their best in everything they do and produced some fabulous pieces of work. We have of course had lots of fun and even sprinkled in some Christmas activities in the last week.

This half term in literacy, we have learnt all about different insects including; butterflies, bees and snails. We have explored different non-fictions texts and learnt about the different features, including labels, headers and captions.

We have used new knowledge to practice our excellent writing skills using nouns, verbs and adjectives in our independent narrative writing. We have also continued to work hard on remembering to use our finger spaces, capital letters and full stops, as well as applying our phonics sounds. Most recently we have done some brilliant writing all on our own, re-telling the story of the snowman.

In maths this half term we have been learning all about addition and subtraction within 10. We explored our number bonds within 10, looking at how using a systematic approach can help us efficiently find all of our number bonds. We also learnt about fact families, this was hard but we didn’t give up! We found all eight number sentences for just one part whole model and explored the meaning of commutative. Along the way we discovered how concrete manipulatives can support our learning and help us to work independently. This not only helps us to solve number calculations but also develops our reasoning skills.

This half term in science we have learnt all about the changes that happen as summer turns to autumn and then autumn turns to winter. We discovered the different signs that we can use to spot autumn and used this knowledge when we went out for our autumn walk. We have most recently been learning about how some animals hibernate during winter and why they do this. We have learnt about the change in temperature and the length of days in the winter.

Geography – In geography we have been looking at the world around us and focusing on where we live. We explored our local area looking at the different things Rothley has to offer, including economic and residential buildings. We also learnt about the four nations that make up the United Kingdom and found out where our local area is within the United Kingdom. We have also explored human and physical geography and understood how to identify the differences between them.

In D&T this half term we have made our very own moving picture books based on ‘The Three Little Pigs’. We first learnt the skills that we needed in order to make different moveable parts such as a slider, lever and flap. Then we were able to design our very own book that we can share with our target audience. Then came the tricky bit, making the book, but of course we all did a fantastic job. We’ve had so much fun re-telling the stories with our books. Once we had finished with our books we had some time to reflect on our favourite parts and things we would change next time to make our end product even more enjoyable!

This half term in ICT we have had the very exciting arrival of Bee-Bots in our classroom. These have helped us learn all the ins and outs of programming. We can now program our Bee-Bots to follow precise instructions helping us to explore a treasure map and even re-tell a story. We were so good at using the Bee-Bots we even filmed videos that teach others how to use them!

From everyone in the year 1 team: have a great Christmas and New Year.

Year 2

Year 2 have been very busy with all their learning and preparation for the Christmas nativity. We are very proud of the positive attitude that the children have towards their lessons and the dedication that they have shown towards their Christmas production.

In maths the children have completed a unit of work on addition and subtraction of two-digit numbers and they have worked hard when applying different ways of calculating these sums. They have also re-capped learning their shapes and have revisited the properties of 2D and 3D shapes.

In Literacy this term the children have been given lots of opportunities to complete reading comprehensions and answer questions involving the five reading domains of prediction, vocabulary, retrieval, sequence and inference. In creative writing the children listened to the story of ‘The Boy and the Rainbow’ and they wrote their own version of this story describing the different coloured rooms that he entered.

They also enjoyed completing a factual piece of writing about Rothley School, incorporating the different elements required to produce a non-chronological report such as a title, labels and captions. Their Christmas story was a recount based on the John Lewis advert of ‘The Snowman’s Journey’ and they were encouraged to use lots of adjectives based on a Christmas theme which they thoroughly enjoyed.

The Year 2 science topic for this term is ‘Living Things and Their habitats’. The children have learned the difference between things that are living, dead or never been alive and identified that living things live in a particular habitat suited to their needs. They had great fun putting on their wellies and going out in the school grounds to discover which habitats are local to us and which creatures live there.

In their computing lessons with Miss Young, Year 2 have been learning how to use ’Scratch Jr’, which has taught them about programming. They have changed backgrounds, created characters and made them move, speak and sing.

We were lucky enough to have a Diwali themed day at school, which included a Bollywood dance workshop! The children enjoyed dancing and learning the routines. In the same week, we also acknowledged anti-bullying week with our odd sock day and we thought about the ways in which we can be kind to one another. The story of ‘The Pig of Happiness’ showed us that one kind act leads to another.

We hope that you all enjoyed our nativity ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. The children loved going to church, dressing up in their costumes and acting out their roles. The singing was wonderful too. We are really pleased with all the effort that the children gave to this performance and the support and enthusiasm that they showed to each other.

Thank you to everyone who was able to come in and support with the poppy craft for Remembrance Day. It was great to have you all in the school working with the children.

We wish you and your families a very safe and Happy Christmas and we look forward to welcoming the children back into school in the new year. Thank you for all your continued support with the learning at home.

Music @ Rothley

Music In The Curriculum

Wow, what a busy term it has been! This term, EYFS have dazzled in their very first school nativity, singing beautifully. What stars they are! Year 3 have channelled their inner rap-stars and have been learning to rap with expression and dynamics.

They have also been consolidating their learning on crotchets and paired quavers and used this knowledge to compose rhythmic ostinatos to accompany our song ‘Chilled Out Clap-Rap’, which they then transferred onto tuned percussion. Year 4 have begun learning the ukulele and have made a brilliant start. Every week, they are so enthusiastic and are a real joy to teach! Year 5 have been learning about spiritual and gospel music which has led to some very interesting discussions about slavery and the historical context of these genres of music.

We finished the unit by learning ‘Praise You’ by Mary Mary, which is very uplifting song to sing! In Year 6, we looked at music composed by Ethel Smyth, who was a suffragette, and in house groups, they then composed their own protest chants on a topic of their choosing. These rhythms were then used to compose simple protest melodies, which we used to compose a class protest song.

My goodness, there are some passionate children in Year 6 who can protest very loudly! We all loved this topic! They have also done a Samba drumming workshop with Beats For Feet which was lots of fun (and again- very loud!)

Musician of the Month

November’s ‘Musician of the Month’ was Gustav Holst. We listened to several songs from his ‘Planets Suite’ and compared them to each other. Overall, I think the definite favourite was Mars: Bringer of War. You can’t help but love it! We also learnt about how his music has been used with other people’s poetry to create well-known music: I Vow To Thee My Country and In The Bleak Midwinter.

In December, we have been listening to a very different style of music- Fishermen’s Friends! In a lucky coincidence, they released their first Christmas single a couple of weeks ago, I Saw Three Ships, which was perfect timing. Everyone loved listening to this! We have also been listening to traditional sea shanties performed by Fishermen’s Friends and learning about their origins.

Extra-Curricular Music

December is always a busy month for music with nativities and concerts! December was kicked off wonderfully with the Rothley Lights Switch-On, where a huge number of our KS2 pupils dazzled the people of Rothley with their magnificent singing!

On Friday 8th December, our Year 1, 2 and 3 drummers performed to the rest of their year groups and parents/carers. Some of these children have only been learning for a few weeks and performed wonderfully. It is very brave performing in front of other people!

On Saturday 9th December, Miss Godfrey and I took 18 children from the Year 3/4 Choir to perform in a charity concert at Rothley Parish Church in aid of The Joe Humphries Memorial Trust and Vista. I know we are biased (because of course we think they are wonderful!), but they really do shine whenever they perform. Many people spoke to us afterwards to comment on how beautifully they sang and how confident they are. We are incredibly proud of them. Isabelle (Year 4) also sang a solo at the concert and she was amazing!

On Friday 15th December, we had our ‘Cracking Christmas Concert’, which is always one of the highlights of the year. We had the biggest variety of instruments we’ve ever had: piano, voice, violin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, clarinet, trumpet and tabla. Wow! Everyone, including our Year 3/4 Choir, performed brilliantly and with such confidence- an ENORMOUS well done to you all!

We raised nearly £430, which will go towards a very exciting event we have planned in March. All will be revealed! Thank you to the PTFA with their support on the night.

SHOUT-OUT time! This month, Isabelle Clarke has done her very first music exam, her Grade 1 Musical Theatre Examination and Phoebe Blow has done her Grade 2 Musical Theatre Examination. Both girls did incredibly, achieving a distinction each. A huge well done to you both- you should be very proud of yourselves!

Message from the Lunchtime Staff

We would like to wish all the children at Rothley School and their families a wonderful Christmas and a very happy new year. We look forward to seeing you again in 2024."

Year 3

In Maths we’ve been learning all about multiplication and division. We have been working with arrays and using different methods, such as sharing and grouping, to show our understanding. We have been applying our knowledge of these methods when recapping the 2, 5 and 10 times tables and learning the 3, 4 and 8 times tables.

In Literacy, we have been reading The Great Kapok Tree and writing a guided class letter from the point of view of the animals to Senhor about why the rainforest should be saved. We used this knowledge to then write our own letters about saving the ocean. Before Christmas, we watched ‘The Hare and The Bear’. We wrote a diary entry from the point of view of the Hare, thinking about features of a diary such as writing in first person and using informal language. We then used this structure to write another diary entry from the point of view of the Bear.

In History, we have been learning about the Stone Age, Bronze Age and the Iron Age. We had a fantastic Stone Age Day where we experienced archery, making tools, had a look at bones and tried to identify what animals they were from. We learnt about the achievements of people throughout the periods, the development of houses, how societies were formed, how people gathered food and what they did for entertainment.

In Science, we have been learning about light. We have learnt what light sources are, how shadows are formed, all about which materials are the best reflectors and the differences between transparent, translucent and opaque.

In DT, we have had a wonderful time creating our pneumatic mechanical systems. First, we looked at some different pumps and how they worked. We figured out how we could use syringes and tubing to create a mechanical system. We designed and then made our own pneumatic monsters. We had some time to evaluate our projects and think about what we liked about them and what we would do differently.

From everyone in year 3 - have a great Christmas holiday!

Year 3 Writing Competition

A couple of months ago several of our children had their work published in "The Incredible Diary of...." after entering a creative writing competition at the end of Year 3. We are thrilled to let you know that as well as this fantastic achievement, Reuben's work has been chosen as one of the top 10 entries out of all 7,800 entries sent in from around the country!! We are incredibly proud of you Reuben! He has been awarded a wonderful bag of prizes sent from the Young Writers company, and hope that Reuben will continue to be inspired to keep on writing in the future!

Year 4

What an amazing half-term we have had, I cannot believe that it all began with Duke’s Barn week which feels like a million years ago. The children continue to impress and amaze us with their fantastic attitudes to learning and we hope they are looking forward to a well-earned Christmas break – hope they have all made onto the nice list!

In Literacy, we started back with our Duke’s Barn diary recount where the children wrote a recount of some of the fun and adventures (and some of the mischief!!!!) that they got up to while on their residential.

We then moved on to writing a character description linked in to our R.E. unit where we have been studying Hinduism. Collectively, we wrote a character description of the Hindu God Vishnu before inviting the children to write their own independent description of the Hindu God Shiva.

Finally, we have just started writing a fictional narrative based on the ‘Christmas Truce’, where German and British soldiers agreed to a ceasefire during World War I.

We have made our own narrative (based on the 2014 Sainsbury’s Christmas advert) where we imagined we were one of the soldiers on the battlefield and what might have actually took place on that memorable day. We cannot wait to see what the children come up with.

In Maths, we have continued to work our way through the Maths curriculum with some fantastic units and some great results from the end of unit assessments in all our units.

The children, as I write this, our preparing themselves for their Autumn assessments but we are really confident that they will be able to show how well they have done this term. We started by studying Area, looking at calculating areas of regular and irregular shapes. Before moving on to our double Multiplication and Division units, initially focussing on times tables facts in readiness for the MTC (Multiplication Tables Check) that the children will do at the end of Year 4 before moving on to looking at multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1000 and their multiples. Busy, busy, busy!

In Geography, we have been looking at our local area. Massive thank you to everyone that helped the children with the half-term homework, the children came equipped with some lovely presentations and ideas about Rothley through the ages which set them up beautifully for the unit, which culminated in last week’s lesson where we were looking at satellite imagery and how this can be used to monitor our local areas (we joked that we had moved from looking closely at Rothley to outer space by the end of the unit and pretty much everything in between).

We went to the Christmas panto yesterday (from when I’m writing this) and we also got to visit an amazing Hindu Temple earlier on in the half-term so, as you can probably tell, we have been BUSY!!!!! but we have loved every second of it and now are looking forward to all the amazing Christmas-y things next week and the Christmas holidays to recharge our batteries, ready to go again in 2024! We cannot wait!

Year 5

It has been an action-packed term for our Year 5 children! The biggest highlight of this term has to be our residential visit to Hilltop Outdoor Centre. The children loved it and have made lifelong memories! They have experienced the unique thrill of the petrifying Power Fan, faced their fears on the towering Treetop Trail and felt their stomach drop on the sensational Super Swing!

To commemorate Remembrance Day this year, we invited parents into the classroom to help us with various arts and crafts activities that were related to the poppy and Remembrance. Take a look at our art pieces below.

We have also had special guests in this year who performed a Diwali dance workshop for the whole school! Here are some of the photos of Year 5 dancing.

In English, we have been busy writing this term. We have written a poem based on one of our Christian values – peace, creativity or forgiveness. Our second piece of writing was inspired by our visit to Hilltop: we have written a persuasive advert on a place of interest in UK. We chose to write about Warner Bros. Studios Tour or Yorkshire Wildlife Park and used all the persuasive language devices our teachers showed us when they modelled writing Hilltop as a persuasive piece. Take a look at the photos below.

In science we have had the opportunity to think like scientists, putting on our white lab coats and deepening our understanding of gravity and friction in the topic Forces this term. Take at our practical investigation where we investigated, ‘Which type of shoe creates the largest force of friction when sliding over a surface.’ Take a look at the photos of us in action!

In Computing this term we have been using Scratch to help us create a soundtrack for our very own movies. We also had a battle of the bands this Thursday! The children have thoroughly enjoyed using scratch and creating their own movies and rifts!

We are looking forward to welcoming Miss Sutton to the year 5 team in January! Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Year 6

Wow what another fantastic term we have had! The year sixes have shown how determined they are to succeed in all areas of the curriculum and their fervour for learning is infectious. It has been another extremely busy term from trips, class assemblies to writing narratives and learning how to convert decimals, fractions and percentages. We are very proud of every child and we hope you enjoy a well-deserved break over the Christmas holiday.

We began the term with a trip to the Warning Zone which enabled us to discover how to be safe in and around our local environment. Everyone really enjoyed trying out the different scenarios from understanding the dangers of electricity on building sites to road, fire and water safety. The session about e-safety reiterated the importance of keeping safe on line and making sensible choices about the websites we visit and games we play.

In Geography we have been learning about the impact of climate change across the world. Throughout out lessons we have debated the damage and destruction that climate change is having due to increased temperatures which has led to floods, drought and bushfires. During our lessons we debated how we can help to reduce the impact of climate change leading to some choices in our own lives.

Throughout our art lessons this term we have created a 3D sculpture from 2D drawing, working on our knowledge of scaling to create A3 size images of The Lost Word poems we penned in English. Over the course of the term we learnt how to sketch and use collage to create a visual impact to our audience. It was really interesting using a range of tools to cut out cardboard of various thickness to create our final pieces.

‘Once’, our class reading book, has left a lasting impression on many children across the year group.

Pushing many to research other historical characters from the Second World War and learn about their experiences during this time. As part of our research we explored the Anne Frank Museum’s online tour of her house, imagining how she could have survived in such a small space for such a vast amount of time.

We loved having parents and grandparents into school for the Remembrance Day art afternoon and 6AT enjoyed singing and performing at the church for their ‘Trust’ assembly. Thank you as always for all of the support you give at home towards your child’s learning.

Another fantastic half term Year 6, we have loved every day and cannot wait for more challenges in the New Year. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year.

Soar Valley Food Project

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the Soar Valley Food Project and their Christmas collection. Once more your generosity exceeds all expectations and this will make a big difference to a number of local families over Christmas.

Little Bunnies

The Little Bunnies have had a wonderful term filled with lots of fun learning opportunities both indoors and outdoors.

These have included our topic ‘People Who Help Us’ where we met a Police Officer and a Paramedic. The children engaged in imaginative play in the Doctor’s Surgery role-play and took excellent care of their patients.

We have observed how the seasons change and particularly enjoyed going on Autumnal walks around the school grounds.

The Little Bunnies celebrated Diwali by learning about the traditions and celebrations that take place during this time. We made clay Diva lamps to take home and created beautiful Rangoli patterns using different materials. The children enjoyed listening and dancing to traditional music and enjoyed learning new songs too.

We have enjoyed celebrating Christmas in Little Bunnies. We have read and acted out the Nativity story and created lots of lovely Christmas crafts for the children to take home. We enjoyed welcoming family and friends into school for our Christmas Sing-a-long where we performed all of the Christmas songs we have learnt.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2024!

Sport @ Rothley

Well what an exciting second Autumn Term we’ve had with Team Rothley!

This term, Team Rothley has continued to compete in a number of exciting sporting tournaments. Children have been evermore enthusiastic about signing up for tournaments and it has meant that over the whole Autumn Term, we have had so many children in competitions! This is something we are working hard to ensure across the year, so it’s great to see.

Football League

Through Mr Palmer’s FCS Sports, some children in Year 5 and 6 have been competing in a Football League in which they have played in 3 more cups nights. Below are the standings.

Results this term:

It’s been great to see so much competitive inter-school football this term! Year 5 and 6, you have done Rothley proud!

FCS Inclusive Sports

Through Mr Palmer's FCS Sports, even more children have had the opportunity to partake in sporting events at varying levels.

On the 23th October, some Year 3 children took part in a football tournament. On 6th November, some Year 5 and 6 children took part in a Hockey tournament. Finally, on the 20th November, some year 4 children took part in a different Hockey Tournament!

It was great to see such enthusiastic children on the field, they showed great team work and passion. Great work representing Team Rothley, guys!

Next term, we have a huge amount of Sports Tournaments on offer, here are some of the tournaments you can expect to hear about

Rice Bowl

Team Rothley started off their Rice Bowl campaign with a bye in the first round, which meant we were pitched up against a strong Croft Primary School side in the 2nd Round.

The game was very close, but the team came back with a 4-2 win with goals from Freddie, Ronnie, Leo A and an own goal.

The team will now play Sketchley Hill in the 3rd round on January 23rd at Wreake Valley. The school that knocked us out in the quarter finals 2 years ago.

Upcoming Tournaments Spring 1 Term:

  • Year 5 and 6 Rugby @ Rawlins - 29th January
  • Year 6 Football League @ Wreak Valley - numerous dates in February

Out of school Achievements!

We have a super talented artist among our ranks here at Rothley.

Ava in year 4's picture of Wednesday was entered into a competition recently at the New Walk Museum.

Ava won the top prize in her age category (5-10), the Attenborough Award and £200. Ava's picture was shown one Friday evening at the Open People’s Gallery at the New Walk Museum.

I think we can all agree that this is such a fantastic achievement - we are all so very proud of you Ava!

Here are our 'Cubs in the Community!

As part of their community work, they attended Mountview Nursing home this month.

They sang carols, gave out mince pies, biscuits, spoke with and played games with the elderly people who live there.

As always, The students conducted themselves in a mature manner and were a credit to their parents and the school community.

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