Children from the Federation came together for a second year
running, to join in with national Sign2Sing day. Over the last few weeks
children have been learning the words and signs for a specially written song (‘Get
Up and Sign!’), and on Thursday 6th Feb the whole federation filled
the halls to perform.
The event, which was organised at Toftwood by Reception
Teacher and KS1 Music coordinator, Hannah Tataryn, is to raise awareness of
deaf health and promote sign language. It is the only mass participation
signing event in the UK with thousands of children in schools across the
country taking part.
There are several children at our school who are deaf or
have hearing impairment and many others who have deaf friends or relatives.
This was an amazing opportunity to celebrate the beauty of sign language and
the importance of being able to communicate with everyone in our community to
learn about one another.
(SignHealth was founded in 1986 as the Anastasia Trust, and relaunched as Sign in 1991. In 2005, the charity was renamed SignHealth, and offers a range of services, projects and support to improve the health and wellbeing of Deaf people.)
Fi, Fo, Fum, prepare yourselves for lots of fun!
an entertaining start to the Federation New Year thanks to the amazingly
talented actors of M&M Theatrical Productions. The children had been
waiting in anticipation for this exciting day to arrive and they were certainly
not left disappointed with the colourful pantomime which was packed full of
fun, adventure and age appropriate humour.
children were thoroughly engaged by the hilarious antics from the characters:
Jack, Jill, Jack’s Mum, Buttercup the Cow, The Scary Giant, Squire Bogey (Booo…)
and not forgetting the Giant’s 7 foot baby! Their adventures took them to the
dizzy heights of Nursery Rhyme Land where they met even more interesting
characters along the way, including the infamous Humpty Dumpty. The climb was well
worth the effort as they found a sparkling, golden egg which paid off their
rent debt to the dastardly Squire Bogey (Booo…)
from the audience was a wonderful sight to see, the broad smiles on the
children’s faces were contagious as they laughed, booed, cheered and clapped
along. They especially loved singing and reciting their multiplication
knowledge to the times tables song!
Jack and the Beanstalk was a great hit with its wonderful costumes, superb scenery and magical special effects all combined to deliver an electric atmosphere and guarantee our young audience a truly imaginative, enthralling journey into the world that is Pantomime. Every year group engaged well with this live theatrical performance.
As part of promoting a love of reading and extending our reading experiences, we were lucky to have a return visit from the author Julia Edwards. Julia writes time travelling novels for different periods in History, many of which we have studied. She has written three new books since she came last time!
Julia spent the
morning with all of the year 6 children. She introduced to them her new book
The Ring from the Ruins, which is the last book in the series of The Scar
Gather. The book is set in WW2 Liverpool. The children learnt all about the
main events leading up to the start of WW2 and were introduced to the main
character Joe Hopkins, who is a time traveller. This was a very exciting
session for Year 6, as they will be learning about this in more depth later in
the year. They really benefited from her workshop and we could see what the
children knew already and what we will focus on when we study it in History.
The children were
able to read the first chapter of the book and talk to Julia about the events
of the story.
In the afternoon
she spoke to all the children in the school. Julia told them about her
inspiration for her first book with Joe Hopkins and about him travelling back
in time to Roman Times. She read from The Golden Cage her first book, she shared
facts and events from her book about Joe and the Romans.
the other books in the series they cover the Vikings, Tudors, Great Fire of
London, Georgian and Victorians. She
told the children that each time Joe time travels, he meets Lucy, he remembers
her but she does not recognise him.
really enjoyed recalling the facts they already knew about the different
periods in history, showing that they have remembered what they had been
learning and they enjoyed hearing about how Joe dealt with all the differences
of each time period.
The children were
able to buy her books at the end of the day, this was very popular. There was a
huge queue to meet her and have eight books of each title in our Junior library
so that everyone can enjoy them.
Year 1 and 2
children have worked extremely hard this half term to produce the pantomime of Aladdin
Trouble and have performed this to Reception, Year 3 children, parents and
members of the community.
All children were
given a role to play in the pantomime and made everyone who was part of the
production very proud! The children learnt songs and lines as well as being
very professional on stage. They all enjoyed being part of the show and worked
really well as a team.
The teachers and
TAs worked incredibly hard too, to put the show together and make all of the
props that brought the tale to life.
The finished show
was fantastic and was enjoyed by every audience that came to see it. One member
of the community said “I enjoyed watching the performance so
much, the children try very hard and it is lovely to see them having so much
fun on stage!”
Some of the main characters from the show: Genie, Aladdin, Jasmine, Widow
Twankey and Abanazar
In Literacy, the Year 2 children became Theatre Critics and wrote reviews
of their pantomime. Here are a couple of examples:
All through the month of December artwork from every year group in the federation will be on display at the Dereham Windmill. The gallery opens on the 6th of December 2019!
The theme of the
gallery is Christmas, and every year group worked on applying the skills they
have been learning and revisiting in their art lessons to create the art. There
are 5 pieces from every class across the federation on display and if your child’s
artwork has been selected they are able to go and visit the windmill free of
We think the
gallery looks amazing and are so proud of everyone! We hope you love it too.
Please visit the
Dereham Windmill’s website for more information.
“Sing we joyous altogether! Fa la la la la la la la la!
Heedless of the wind and weather, Fa la la la la la la la la!”
On Thursday 28th November, Toftwood Junior School Singing Club helped celebrate the switching on of the Christmas Lights at Dereham’s Dencora Shopping Centre by performing a selection of traditional Christmas carols.
I think we had all imagined a Christmas card scene of crisp glistening frost and perhaps the first wispy flakes of snow. Instead, as we arrived on the evening we were met with driving rain and gusty winds which turned umbrellas inside out and sent song sheets tumbling through puddles.
Undaunted, and with the kind cooperation of the manager of QD who allowed us to shelter in the shop’s doorway, the children gathered together and performed to a hardy and appreciative audience.
This was the children’s first time taking singing out into the local community and they did a fabulous job. It was a joy to hear the group performing carols like ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘We Three Kings’ that are so much part of our national heritage, and to know that these are being kept alive by a new generation.
We would like to say a massive ‘Well done!’ to all of the children who took part and our heartfelt thanks to the family members who stayed, ‘heedless of the wind and weather’, to show their support.
What better way to end a week than being entertained by talented and engaging musicians?
On Friday 15th November, the children of Toftwood Infant and Junior Federation were treated to an amazing performance of music from the movies played by musicians from Norfolk Music Service to celebrate Live Music Week.
Over the whole afternoon, our visitors gave two concerts (first for the Infant pupils and then for the Juniors) which were not only entertaining but also educational. By blowing through a straw and cutting bits off the end, the children could hear how the length affected the pitch. Brass instruments were stripped down to their most basic form of mouthpiece, tube (hosepipe), and bell (plastic funnel) and then this was used to play the theme tune to Superman! A violin bow was opened up to show the horse hair and reeds removed from oboes and saxophones to bring home that all sound comes from vibration.
The music itself was amazing and the children were thrilled to recognise the themes from James Bond, Frozen, Star Wars and many more. For year 5 children it was doubly exciting as they had been having Viking Day, and the musicians even played some Viking music with bells, drones and the oboe demonstrating circular breathing (a technique where you can breathe in through your nose while still blowing out through your mouth, so creating a continuous tone).
Here is what some of the children said:
“I like when they are playing the instruments. I like Wallace and Gromit.”
“I like the sounds because I wondered what sounds they made, cause all together they made one sound.”
“I like it because it made me laugh because it was so much fun.”
(from Junior School)
“It looks like it takes a lot of practice to play an instrument.”
“It was brilliant! They made the instruments vibrate to make the noises!”
“It was fabulous! The instruments were loud and perfectly in tune!”
“Film music – it was really nice – we could sing along!”
“I wish we could see musicians every Friday.”
“I liked the different instruments of the orchestra.”
“It was inspiring! Now we could do what they do!”
We would like to say a massive thankyou to the Norfolk Music Hub for offering us this fantastic opportunity.
If your children are feeling inspired why not have a go at making your own instrument from recycled materials? With ideas from simple shakers to a copper glockenspiel, here are 27 projects you can try at home.
On Monday 18th November children across the federation supported Children in Need through a non-uniform day. This year the School Council chose the theme of ‘Sporty or Spotty’ clothing and organised for the federation to take part in the Children in Need – ‘Big Morning Move’ workout. This workout was hosted by fitness coach Joe Wicks and lasted just under 20 minutes. Children across the Federation took part alongside other children around the country in order to raise awareness of the importance of keeping fit and healthy, whilst raising money for children who need extra care and support.
Our School Council created posters to advertise the event and collected the donations from each class.
A fun time was had by all and the workout was definitely a good way to start our day!
Thank you to everyone for the generous donations. The Federation raised an amazing total of £586.45!
This year within the Federation we marked Remembrance Day with the selling of poppies, and a whole school assembly at both the Infants and Juniors with a 1 minute silence at 11am. The Junior children discussed the first world war and thought about places in the world where people are still suffering from war today. The children at the Infant school gathered together to discuss the importance of the day. They learnt a little bit about the history of selling poppies, what they represent and why we come together every year to mark this event. The Reception children showed the school the poppies they had created in class. During the assembly the children were shown a short animation designed to explain Remembrance Day to young children. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04p4zsl/poppies
The Federation were also very lucky to receive a visit from the British Legion in the lead up to Remembrance Day.
Dereham Neatherd High School invited a group of children across the federation to enjoy a roast dinner at their school! The children loved visiting the high school!
The children were wonderful hosts to the residents of Eckling Grange residential home, who were also invited to this event. Each child went and asked the residents what they would like for their dinner, collected their plate of food from the kitchen and then served the residents their wonderful roast. The children were amazing at this and listened really carefully to them.
The food was very tasty and the children had gammon, mash and a variety of vegetables. We were all very excited to have dessert which was lemon sponge and custard!
The children were all so well behaved and were an asset to our federation!
Thank you to Neatherd for inviting us – we had a great time.