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Rothley Church of England Academy Newsletter Autumn 1 2023

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the first newsletter of the year. It has been a great start here at Rothley and we hope you can see that looking through the newsletter the school really is a fantastic place to be! From taco making and dissecting hearts in year 6 to Roman days in year 4 - Rothley school really does offer a fabulous experience for the children! All the children have been following our famous Bee Code and it really has been a great start to the year

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the new foundation stage children to our school. It has been wonderful going into your classrooms and seeing how well you have all settled into your new full-time routines! Mrs Meadows, Mrs Harmer and Mrs Hughes have all said how amazing you have been from your very first day! One highlight has been your visit from Mr Dooley when he introduced our Bee Code to you all for the first time.

Another massive well done to our year 1 and 2 children! You have been simply superb with all your new routines in the new building and coming into school and up the path to your wonderful state of the art modern building with smiles on your faces. I think you all deserve a house point or two for your great start to your new year 1 and 2 classes.

Some year 6 pupils put together their house captain videos for the whole school to vote who they would like to represent their house. The results were as follows:

Beaumanor:

  • House Captain: Sofia H
  • Vice House Captain: Dylan T
  • Sports Captain: Jude R
  • Vice Sports Captain: Seb Se

Beacon:

  • House Captain: George H
  • Vice House Captain: Imogen H
  • Sports Captain: Freddie L
  • Vice Sports Captain: Esme E

Bradgate:

  • House Captain: Lucia A
  • Vice House Captain: Anaya J
  • Sports Captain: Millie M
  • Vice Sports Captain: Kaelan P

Swithland:

  • House Captain: Ruth B
  • Vice House Captain: Ava B-P
  • Sports Captain: Stanley B
  • Vice Sports Captain: Aura W

Well done to the children above and to all the children who submitted video speeches - there were some very creative movies! House Captain badges will arrive after half-term.

Year 4 will be off to Dukes Barn on the first week back after half-term for their residential trip, followed closely by the Year 5 residential trip to Hilltop late November.

This week it has been great to welcome you, as parents and carers, into the school for those all-important parents' evenings. We hope you found the time you had with your class teacher valuable and look forward to welcoming some of you after half-term and foundation stage parents in November

You would have received a letter yesterday with regards to our Remembrance Day Art afternoon. This will take place on Thursday 9th November 2:00 - 2:50. We look forward to welcoming many of you in for this event and hope to plan more opportunities as the year progresses.

We hope you all have a great half-term and look forward to welcoming the children back on Monday 23rd October.

Thank you for your continued support of the school

Mr Richards

Foundation Stage

The Foundation Stage team are so proud of how well our new children have settled into school. They have been so busy learning our daily routines, settling in and making lots of new friends.

Our topic this half term has been all about Nursery Rhymes, we have had great fun reciting and acting out new and familiar rhymes. Some of our activities have included: creating their own Humpty Dumpty’s and acting out The Grand Old Duke of York.

As well as these activities the children have been, building models in the construction kits, exploring letters and numbers, using their imagination in the role play areas and most importantly making friends and having fun!

We have begun our Phonics and Maths Mastery sessions which the children are thoroughly enjoying. They have explored pattern and have been learning about the numbers 1 to 3 and how we can represent them in different ways.

They have had a great time in our outdoor learning area, the water wall, climbing frame and slide have been a great hit!

In our weekly Collective Worship assemblies they have met our puppet ‘Jack’ who helps us to learn about different stories from the Bible.

Mr Dooley led a special assembly where he introduced our whole school ‘Bee Code’ he even brought a special visitor to help him! The children all have their bee badges and are so excited and proud to wear them.

We are looking forward to another fun packed and busy half term after the break!

Collective Worship:

We have had a fabulous start to Collective Worship this term and have been delving into different stories from the bible, considering our school values and reflecting upon Jesus’ teachings for us all.

Throughout the week, we take part in a range of collective worship sessions, all of which are detailed below:

Roots and Fruits:

Every Monday morning the children meet in their phases (Foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2) for Collective Worship to start the week. This is led by a class teacher, using the ‘Roots and Fruits’ assemblies and the focus is on Christian character and distinctiveness.

This term we have focused on the following:

Picture News:

Every fortnight, we have continued to delve deeper into current issues and topics that we might hear about on the news. In Picture News sessions, we consider important questions that give our voices meaning and purpose. The questions encourage children to discuss, debate and form opinions. This allows schools opportunities to teach children respect, tolerance and to celebrate differences. Each Picture News topic also has a meaningful and relevant link to our British Values.

Some of the topics that have been discussed in class are shared below:

Picture News is a brilliant tool from which to develop children’s understanding of global citizenship at an age appropriate level.

Christian Values:

As our school has transitioned into a 'split school' with two separate buildings, Key Stage 2 now gathers for a unified value assembly, while KS1, along with Foundation Stage, have their own dedicated value assembly. Both assemblies are led by the same member of staff.

This half-term, Miss Pick and Mrs Asquith-Wilson delivered assemblies to both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 1 (and Foundation Stage) on the Christian Value of ‘Forgiveness’.

Throughout these assemblies, the children reflected on the following ideas: ‘saying sorry and being forgiven’, ‘being forgiven and starting again’ and ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’.

During the 4th assembly in our ‘Forgiveness’ sequence, 4AP journeyed down to the church and welcomed parents (and the rest of their year group) to enjoy a class-led Collective Worship. Miss Pick’s class did an absolutely fantastic job – so much so that she is now our ‘go to person’ for advice on class assemblies! Led by Miss Pick, the class explained their thoughts on Forgiveness and how this links to God’s teachings and messages.

The children who received the pinkish-purple Christian Value star for Forgiveness were:

Recently, Mrs Brewis delivered her first few value assembly on ‘Peace’. So far, we have considered what it means to be a ‘peacemaker’ and what ‘peaceful and non-peaceful actions’ look like. We look forward to learning more about this value when we return back next term.

It will be Mrs Brewis’ class who will be delivering a collective worship assembly at Rothley Church for Peace on Thursday 2nd November – time to be confirmed.

Year 1

The children have had a fantastic first half term in year 1 and have settled into their new classes and routines beautifully. We have been so impressed with their attitude to learning and we know they are going to have a fabulous time in year 1.

This half term we have been focused on helping the children to transition from an EYFS to Year 1. Our continuous provision has provided the children with lots of opportunities to learn through play and to continue to develop their gross and fine motor skills. The children have been building their independence this half term completing set tasks throughout the week whilst having adult led group work in writing and maths.

In our first half term in literacy we focus on ‘woodlands fairy tales’. We have recalled familiar fairy tales and stories, including; Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and The Bean Stalk.

We have been working on our sentence structure and making sure we use our finger spaces, capital letters and full stops. We have also been learning all about adjectives and how we can use them in our sentences to make them more interesting.

In maths this half term we have been working on place value to 10. We have looked at representing and counting numbers within 10 using our numicon and 10 frames.

We have also looked at comparing and ordering numbers using the inequality symbols and the equal to symbol (>, <, =). We have used a range of concrete manipulatives to support our maths work and we have started to build on our reasoning skills as a class e.g. ‘I know 8 is greater than 2 because it has two more’.

We have been exploring everyday materials this half term and looking at 5 key materials including glass, metal, wood, plastic and fabric.

We have conducted a range of experiments to test if our materials are; waterproof, absorbent, opaque, transparent, and translucent. We have been working scientifically when identifying and classifying these objects and materials and discussing where we might see these outside of the classroom.

This half term in history we have been comparing our childhood to those of our grandparents. We have been learning all about different toys and games that they used to have and how they have changed over time.

We have been very lucky to have visits from our grandparents to talk to us about their childhood! We got to play with old toys and games and hear stories about what school was like in the past.

The children have thoroughly enjoyed our art topic this half term. We have been exploring spirals inspired by the artist Molly Haslund. The children have been able to explore their creative side using a range of mediums and techniques. We have used graphite sticks, oil pastels, chalk, water and pencils to create circle and spiral shapes. We have also explored how to blend colours and apply different pressure to create different textures in our work.

We hope you all have a great half-term break and we look forward to welcoming the children back on the 23rd October.

Year 2

The children in Year 2 have had an AMAZING start to the new school year. They have all settled into their new classes in our lovely new building really quickly and have been working hard this term.

In Maths the children have been developing their understanding of place value in tens and units. They have used a range of equipment such as base ten and Numicon to help them understand the concept.

They have then used this knowledge to identify where 2-digit numbers are placed on a number line and they have then ordered numbers from smallest to largest.

In Literacy this term the children have listened to lots of stories about bears, including ‘Whatever Next’, ‘The Bear Under the Stairs’ and ‘Where’s My Teddy?’. We have used these stories to create our own bear adventures and the children have developed their vocabulary by including lots of interesting adjectives and time words to sequence events.

As well as reinforcing learning from Year 1 regarding capital letters and full stops, we have also introduced how to use commas in a list within writing.

The Year 2 science topic for this term is ‘Animals including Humans’. The children have learnt about how different animal babies are born, develop and grow into adults. They can now identify the basic needs to ensure survival and have also learnt about how to keep healthy by understanding the importance of exercise, a balanced diet and being hygienic.

They really enjoyed our scientific experiment to find out the best method to remove germs from their hands. They made predictions, carried out a fair test and recorded their results.

In Design and Technology the children have absolutely loved their unit of work on Food. The children have tasted and prepared a range of different types of fruit, whilst learning about the importance of healthy eating. They have developed their practical skills of food preparation. This has included chopping, peeling and grating.

The children really enjoyed the opportunity to plan their own fruit kebab or fruit salad. It was a real end of term treat to finally make their design. They were all very happy with their end product and enjoyed eating it during our afternoon picnic.

The Year Two team would like to thank you all for your continued support with the homework each week. It is invaluable to help your child at home with reading, learning spellings and the new maths tasks and we really do appreciate it. Have a relaxing and enjoyable half term.

Music @ Rothley

EYFS and Key Stage 1

EYFS have made a great start to their musical learning! They have been thinking about emotions and feelings using a song called ‘I’ve Got A Grumpy Face’ and have experimented with timbre using their voices and instruments. They have also been listening to The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas, thinking about how music is able to tell a story.

In Key Stage 1, we have been enjoying settling into our new learning environment by exploring lots of fantastic music! The year 1s have been learning about steady beats, copy-cat rhythms and pitch through our 'menu song'. Its catchy, it's wordy but also has a great walking bass so we can add lots of actions to it too.

In year 2 we have been learning a song called Tony Chestnut. Using this song as a prompt it has helped us to gain a deeper understanding of pitch. We have used glockenspiels to work out the melody and play it too!

We have been learning a whole host of new collective worships songs in our weekly singing assemblies with Mrs Warburton and our teachers said we were FANTASTIC at singing all of our Harvest song in church on the 6th October.

Key Stage 2

We have made a great start to the year in Key Stage 2 and had lots of fun! In Year 3, we have been learning a traditional song called ‘I’ve been to Harlem’ which we have practised singing a cappella and in a round. We have used tuned percussion to add a pentatonic accompaniment to it. We also learnt ‘the cup song’ routine as an accompaniment which challenged us all- grown ups included!

In Year 4, our learning has been focussed around a very fun song called ‘My Fantasy Football Team’ which includes many skilful animals like a hairy caterpillar who plays for Aston Villa! It was a very long song to learn with lots of actions but we have really enjoyed it. As well as singing, we have been learning about standard notation using paired quavers, crotchets and minims to write our own football rhythms, using football team names as inspiration for our group compositions. These are all going to be put together to create a class composition in our first lesson back after half term.

In Year 5, we have been learning about the history of sea shanties. We decided on a class arrangement of ‘What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor’ which we have been perfecting over the half term, focussing on pitching accurately and singing with expression.

We have accompanied this in various ways, using body percussion and cup rhythms (this tested our brains a lot!) and we have just started learning about triads as an accompaniment too.

Year 6 have travelled back in time to learn about the emergence of swing music in 1930s America. We have been learning a song called ‘Hey, Mr Miller’ which is based on the wonderful swing genius, Glenn Miller.

It is a really fun song which is sung in a 3 part round so we have had to work hard learning to maintain our own part and not get confused with other parts!

Musician of the Month

We started the year with a brilliant musician in September- Kate Bush! In week one, we listened to Wuthering Heights which certainly entertained many of the children, especially when we tried to recreate the dance! Many of the children knew Running Up That Hill but lots didn’t know it was originally an 80s song so we have learnt a little about 80s music and how synthesisers became increasingly popular during this time to create the obviously synthesised sounds as heard in Running Up That Hill.

October is Black History Month. Our main focus this month is Babatunde Olatunji, a Nigerian percussionist who was known as ‘The Father of African Drumming’. He was also a social activist who petitioned for peace and equality alongside Martin Luther King so we have had discussions about why this was necessary in America at this time.

Year 3

What a wonderful start we have had to the year! The children have settled in incredibly to Year 3 and we are very proud of everything they have achieved so far!

In Maths we’ve been learning all about place value and representing numbers from 100 to 1000. We have used different resources including base 10 and place value counters to show that we understand how many hundreds, tens and ones make a 3 digit number. We are now learning how to solve addition and subtraction. Problems. We have been using our knowledge with column addition and subtraction and applying this to different reasoning and problem solving questions.

In Literacy, we have been reading the story of the Rainbow Crow on his adventure to the sun to help his friends survive the winter cold. We have used this structure to create our own pieces of writing based on this fascinating story. We are also in the process of writing a descriptive piece of writing based on the ‘Volcano’.

In Science, we have enjoyed our topic about forces and magnets, and have been learning all about what a magnetic field is, how magnets work and how friction can stop objects moving by using a toy car on different surfaces.

In Geography, we have produced some fantastic work with our earthquake topic. We have learnt about how the most powerful earthquake doesn’t always cause the most damage. We have also looked at where earthquakes occur around the world and compared this to volcanos, as well as learning about tsunamis and the damage this can cause.

In Art we have had a fantastic time working with charcoal to create different marks and textures. We have produced some amazing caves using charcoal to create the ‘stone walls’ and the cave drawings.

Year 4

What a fantastic start to the year we have had in Year 4, Mr. Dooley and Miss Pick have been so pleased with how quickly the children have settled and adapted to their new classes and those amazing big classrooms!

They are both really looking forward to parents evenings this week where they can discuss the challenges that the children have in front of them but how wonderfully well the children have settled in.

In Literacy, we are just about to complete our second piece of extended writing this year. One, a city description based on the wordless picture book ‘The Flower Man’ in which the children showcased their incredible vocabulary and ability to create a vivid image in the reader’s head. The second, a poem, based on the poem ‘The River’ by Valerie Bloom.

The children are creating their own poems based on a natural occurrence (The Ocean, The Desert, The Jungle, The Volcano or The Mountain). Poetry, especially rhyming poetry, can be a particularly hard thing to get to grips with, but all the children are working really hard and we are looking forward to seeing some fantastic finished products.

In Maths, we have covered Place Value and Addition and Subtraction. We are just about to complete our second end of unit assessment on addition and subtraction where the children have practiced and perfected written methods such as column addition and column subtraction and we hope the scores are somewhere near as good as they were in the Place Value units!

In DT, we have been putting our sandwich making skills to the test. In this topic, we learnt about the nutritional value of various sandwich fillings and how we could make conscious choices when it comes to sandwich fillings to ensure we are choosing the healthiest options. We were then given a design brief to make a sandwich that was both healthy and delicious which we got to evaluate at the end, that means eat it! Yum!

In Science, we have been exploring Teeth – Mrs. Asquith has been back with us and has planned some awful and disgusting Science experiments.

To start with: dying all the children’s teeth purple examining how plaque and tooth decay works, the Egg-Speriment where egg shell represented the teeth and showed the effects different drinks have on our teeth and, as I speak, the children are doing some awful experiment with Weetabix where the children explore the part that teeth play in the digestive system! Yuk!

However, the best day in Year 4 so far has got to have been our Roman Day! Not a day dedicated to Roman in 4DD but a celebration of all things from Ancient Rome that we have been studying in History. The children dressed up as Romans, both fierce and elegant.

On this day, we tackled Roman Numeral Code Breakers, learnt about Archaeology and conducted our own archaeological dig, made mosaics and even got to try a Roman desert: Cheesecake! Yummy!

At the end of Year 3 the children were tasked with writing a diary entry for a writing competition! We were incredibly pleased with the effort the children put into this and we have just found out that these children have been chosen to have their work published in a book! Out of the thousands of entries submitted for the competition we are so proud that so many of our children have been chosen to have their work published!

All in all, a fantastic start to Year 4! We are so very proud of the way the children have tackled the challenges thrown at them so far and we can’t wait to see them after half term, ready and raring to go to Dukes Barn!

Year 5

The first half-term of the new academic year has soared past in Year 5. The children have been superb and have greatly enjoyed getting stuck into a plethora of subjects and topics.

In English, we started off by writing a setting description based on a countryside. For our class write, we looked at a dark, dinghy and chaotic city and the children then had to flip this narrative to describe a luscious countryside setting. The children produced phenomenal results and their use of figurative language shone through beautifully.

They are now experts in similes, metaphors and personification! More recently, we have drafted our own non-chronological reports on a mountain of our choosing. This threw the children in at the deep end as they had to think about their formality and register to ensure they were achieving a factual, non-fiction based piece. We will be getting these written up after half-term and we are going to be getting creative with our presentation so…watch this space.

Our art topic this half-term was Typography and Maps. The children – and staff – loved experimenting with fonts and letters, and how their design can be used to communicate meaning.

The children were able to take ownership over their work and develop their own sense of style through the use of different lettering and graphics. For their final pieces, they worked in pairs to create treasure maps which demonstrated their understanding of the need for shape and font to work in unison (in order to achieve effective typography). For this, we looked at ‘The Marauders’ Map’ (from Harry Potter) as an example and we also used the work of Grayson Perry (his Map of Days) to inspire our learning.

We have been studying living things in Year 5 in science this term and deepening our understanding of life cycles and plant reproduction.

As part of the plant reproductive life cycle, plants produce seeds once they have been pollinated by insects and will disperse their seeds in a variety of ways depending on the species of plant. Year 5 went on a nature walk and looked at the different plants around their school and how each one dispersed their seeds.

What can I say about geography so far this year? The children have absolutely engulfed themselves in it! We studied volcanoes through the lens of Hiemaey, which is situated within an archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. We paid close attention to how the physical landscape there has a profound effect on humans.

We also considered the difference between the mountain ranges of the United Kingdom and those found in other places around the world. We have developed our map reading skills, we have displayed evidence using a range of graphs and we have learnt an awful lot of subject specific vocabulary. Tectonic plates, fault lines, summit, crinoids…you name it…we know it!

In computing, we have started with a unit on E-Safety in which we have considered the importance of our ‘Digital Footprint’ and how we need to think about our actions online so that we are creating a positive online reputation. The children already had a superb knowledge of this and have been keeping staff well-informed of the latest online platforms and their uses. Mrs Brewis is now an expert in all things Fortnite and Minecraft…!

After such a fabulous start to the year, we are looking forward to returning after half-term, ready and raring to learn more!!

Year 6

Wow what an incredible start to a new school year! Already the children have shown their wonderful enthusiasm for learning and a determination to try their hardest in every task set to them. Well done to the most fantastic start to the year, we are extremely excited to see what the rest of Year 6 holds for us all.

Science has been the most jampacked subject this term from dissecting hearts to making blood smoothies and bottle lungs! The children have shown a great understanding of how the human body works, explaining in detail the links between the circulatory system and respiratory systems.

Using a wide range of vocabulary to make connections across their learning, they have asked extremely poignant questions about how they can keep their own bodies healthy.

In our DT lessons we have learnt about a range of British and Mexican chefs including Jamie Oliver, Nadia Hussain to Atul Kochhar, looking in detail about how they use seasonality in their cooking. After our research we were inspired to design and make Tacos and evaluated our own cooking to decide if the flavours we had chosen worked well together.

During our visit to Ratcliffe College the children were a credit to school and to you all as their behaviour and manners were impeccable. We enjoyed a fantastic day of Art and Science at Ratcliffe College and were really pleased with the amazing Harry Potter themed artwork we created: a book of monsters and a mandrake made of clay. The children who completed the Science aspect really enjoyed the marble experiments and blasting their homemade rockets into space! We learnt lots of new skills in a wonderful setting.

In other areas of our learning, we have become obsessed with ‘Ghost’ our guided reading book, a story in which a young boy finds his calling in running with his new track club.

We can’t wait to find out whether his own past will catch up with him.

You have all tackled the first round of mock SATs extremely maturely and this has given us a great starting point to continue your learning throughout the rest of the year. Well done to a fantastic half term, you all deserve a well-earnt rest

Little Bunnies

The Little Bunnies have had a fantastic first term. They have settled in really well and have been busy exploring their new environment and making new friends.

Our activities have been focused around our topic ‘All About Me’. We have explored our feelings and emotions through music, craft and circle time.

The Little Bunnies celebrated Harvest with lots of activities including weighing harvest vegetables and making their very own Dingle Dangle Scarecrows. We also sang lots of Harvest songs too!

The children have enjoyed exploring our outdoor area. The sand and water play has been very popular alongside the climbing frame and stepping stones.

We are looking forward to more fun and learning next term!

Sport @ Rothley

As always, we have had a number of sporting competition so far this term and the children have represented the school with pride!

Football:

The Rothley football team have experienced a wealth of success already this academic year. Currently in the league games, which takes place at Quorn Football Club, the team sit top and have a very high win ratio.

The children were also very unlucky in September when they took part in a football tournament at Rawlins and came 2nd on goal difference! Well done to Rowan M-F, George H, Ollie H, Luca S, Spencer B, Seb S and Layla S for competing so well and representing the school with pride.

The school will play their first Rice Bowl football match after half term against Croft in the 2nd round after being handed a bye in the first round.

A special mention to our year 5 and 6 girls football team who entered a tournament last week at Rawlins and came joint 3rd! Well done to Daisy L, Ellie C, Elizabeth B, Isabelle L, Khaleesi W, Aggie P, Maya P and Georgia H-H.

Y1/2 Multi Skills:

Children from years 1 and 2 took part in a multi sport tournament at the beginning of October.

The children travelled to Woodbrook Vale and did a range of mixed skilled events including: dribble and shooting; hockey skills; hurdles and relay.

And... we won the tournament! Well done Rothley and all the children that took part: Ellie N, William D, Hudson B, Vinnie C, Otis, Mac H and Jackson S

Thanks to all the brilliant work that goes on in the Rothley community, the school is blessed with many talented sportspeople.

Mr Patel and Mr Rowell have been impressed with the teamwork and leadership shown in not just tournaments, but PE lessons, too.

These are two hugely important skills that need constant development – even as adults. To see such exceptional communication and courage already harbours great achievements for the future.

Upcoming Tournaments/Events Autumn 2 Term:

  • 23rd Oct - Year 3/4 Football Tournament @Rawlins
  • 24th Oct & 7th Nov - Year 5/6 Football League @Quorn FC
  • 6th Nov - Year 5/6 Hockey @Rawlins
  • 20th Nov - Year 3/4 Hockey @Rawlins
  • 4th Dec - Year 1/2 Boccia @Woodbrook Vale

Out of school Achievements!

Clara W in year 1 recently gained her Silver Blue Peter badge. The Silver badge celebrates children doing something for others and kindness in the community

Clara wrote to Blue Peter to explain that she likes to litter pick in the local area to help keep the parks and surrounding areas clean. Clara also wrote about her fundraising efforts with the school and in particular Samuels Promise, she drew a picture of the sponsored run the school did and explained what the charity was for.

Clara already has her green Blue Peter Badge for caring for the environment and has recently just applied for the special Book badge for writing her own story – it was 30 pages! Well done Clara, we are all very proud of you at Rothley!

We also have another fundasring family at the school! In August Lucy N year 3 and her sister and Ellie N year 1, took part in Cancer Research's 'Wheel 100 challenge' where they cycled, scooted and roller skated a total of 100 miles to raise over £250 for this worthwhile cause.

That is amazing! Well done girls!

If you would like to share your child's out of school achievements please email the school office on admin@rothley.leics.sch.uk for the attention of Mr Richards

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