Safer Internet Day 2021

Safer Internet day is taking place on 9th February 2021. The theme for this year is: An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world

This year in the UK, Safer Internet Day is focusing on the reliability of the internet. When you go online you can visit and find an amazing range of information and opportunities online, but how do we know what is fact and what is fiction.

Use the link to explore the resources that the Safer Internet Website has to offer, even a certificate that you can print off and share with your class teacher to say that support Safer Internet Day.

With all of the children accessing their learning online, it has never been more important to discuss being safe on the internet.

Events across Toftwood Federation – Autumn Term 2020

This term, the children have taken part in a competition to design a poster all about protecting the environment and the different pollution that the planet faces. This was for global Pollution Prevention Week, which also coincided with U.K. Recycling Week. The children watched an assembly with videos and shared their ideas about the effects of pollution and how to recycle. They were then given the task to design a poster with an oak tree as the ‘prize’ for doing so. Almost 40 children across Infants and Juniors submitted amazing posters – have a look at Olivia from CP3’s poster and Katherine from RL5 with her tree! Those children who entered received an oak tree for their garden! The posters were thoughtful, imaginative and well presented, as you can see, and they really show what an amazing bunch of thoughtful and environmentally-conscious children we have across the Toftwood Federation. Planting trees is a major way we can tackle pollution and climate change and the children who received one made a promise to look after it, with instructions on how to care for their tree.

On Friday 11th December, Year 1 and Year 5 classes joined a virtual presentation from Libby Jackson, who is part of British Astronaut Tim Peake’s team. It was all about life at Christmas on the International Space Station (ISS). We learned about Christmas traditions – and why Christmas Day is in fact Celebrated twice – and how Santa delivers presents out in space! At the end of the presentation, which included videos of life on the ISS and how Libby works in Mission Control – schools who had joined from across the country got to submit questions via the ‘chat’ link in the video. One of our questions, ‘What do you like about your job?’ was even seen and answered by Libby Jackson herself!

It has been a different kind of term without visitors and the usual science events in school, so it was really nice to be able to be a part of something as engaging and interactive as the Libby Jackson talk and to be able to do something for the environment by giving away oak trees. We look forward to more exciting events next term!

Anti-Bullying Week 11th-15th Nov 2020

The federation supported Anti Bullying week this year by taking part in the ‘Odd Sock’ assembly created online by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Throughout the week the children took part in discussions within their bubbles about friendship and the importance of kindness to others. Lots of children came in with their odd socks on at the beginning of the week to celebrate their uniqueness and chatted about their individual talents and strengths. We discussed with the children what to do if they felt someone was being unkind to them, and recapped the importance of our Golden Rules, PATHS rule and speaking to a trusted adult.

Children In Need 2020

To support ‘Children in Need’ this year the children were invited to send in photographs via Dojo and Tapestry of themselves dressed up in spots, Pudsey outfits and as key workers. We had so many fantastic photos to look through.  Well done to everybody for supporting such a great cause. As well as a special assembly to discuss the day, the school council voted on a wellbeing theme for the afternoon. Year groups took part in mindfulness colouring, yoga and relaxation activities. A fun time was had by all! Thank you to everyone who sent in donations to the Children In Need charity.

Autumn Term 2020 – Remembrance

Remembrance Day was marked within the federation this year with the selling of poppies and individual class assemblies. In each class the children also took part in a silence at 11am. The children discussed with their classes the importance of the day. They learnt a little bit about the history of selling poppies, looked at photographs related to Remembrance day, and discussed why we come together every year to mark this event. The Reception children spent time during the day creating and making their own poppies to take home. During the infant assemblies, the children were shown a short animation designed to explain Remembrance Day to younger children.

Sign2Sing 2020

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.)

Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomime 2020

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, prepare yourselves for lots of fun!

What 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.

The 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…)

The enthusiasm 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.

Julia Edwards Author Visit January 2020

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.

Julia introduced 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.

The children 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.

You can check out her website at  Her books are available from her or from Amazon 

December 2019 – Art at Dereham Windmill

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 charge!

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.

Autumn 2 2019 – Community Carol Singing

“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.