Maths and English Enrichment Day

Reception

In Reception we explored different types of patterns.  We created our own class versions of the popular stories ‘ That’s not my…’. Each child chose a sea creature and thought about the different patterns or texture it could have. We then wrote our own sentences and enjoyed decorating our sea creatures with using pens, glitter, tissue paper, sequins and even bubble wrap, making sure we had created lots of patterns!

Year 1

The children had such a lovely day learning about English and maths. They enjoyed reading books that had stories to do with maths and were able to spot where the maths was incorporated such as with counting, adding and patterns. The children loved being able to create their own maths book and sharing it with the whole school!

Year 2

We started the day by looking at a variety of Maths themed picture books. We tried to spot the different areas of maths in each one.

In Year 2 we had the theme ‘addition’ for the Maths and English enrichment day.
Each class focused on a different habitat, which linked to our Science learning too.
We thought of different animals that lived in these habitats and then thought of a range of verbs to describe how they move.
We then retrieved the different time adverbials that we’ve learnt to sequence our sentences. The children worked in partners to write two sentences which we collated together to make a class book.

We worked as a class and used our maths skills to add up the animals after each new sentence, to reach the final total at the end of the story!

We really enjoyed making our books and particularly enjoyed sharing these with the rest of the infant school children in assembly.

Year 3

Year 3 focussed on subtraction. First of all the children found lots of interesting ways to make 100, here are some of their ideas:

They used many resources around the classroom including coloured pencils, pens and white board squares as well as the maths resources they have available to them (Numicon, multi-link, rulers, metre rules, string, scales, money). Lots of fun learning ensued as they worked through various ways to create 100.

Next, we read ‘Centipede’s 100 Shoes’ by Tony Ross. The children were fascinated by the book and the idea of a subtraction story which inspired them to create their own subtraction comic strip. They planned it carefully on scrap paper and then used some fabulous comic strip designs to create their story of subtracting from 100. Some used money, some weight, some even focused on an African animal losing spots every year on its birthday! It was a very enjoyable and focussed day. The children enjoyed it and continued to talk about ways to make 100 when they came in the following day!

Year 4

For our Maths and English Enrichment day, Year 4 read Alison Hubble by Allan Ahlberg. It is all about Alison Hubble who went to bed single and woke up double! The children loved reading the story and showing off their times table skills by predicting how many Alison’s there would be when she doubled again! We then discussed some ideas for the children to create their own stories and they planned their ideas using a story board. The final books were fantastic! The children put so much effort into them and loved creating a front cover and even a blurb! 

Year 5

Year 5 started their enrichment day with the story A Mathematician Just Like Me by Shini Somara. The story tells us about two cousins, Aliyah and Robin, who plan a camping trip. The story takes us on a journey with the children as they plan and prepare for their trip. Along the way, they incorporate lots of Maths, such as 3D shapes, fractions, length, the four operations, angles and time. This book also included many interesting facts about famous people and their connection to Maths, for example Florence Nightingale and Blaise Pascal.

“I liked that the illustrations had a Maths theme, such as a dice for a pillow.” -Harrison

Megan- “I liked that Robin taught Maths to Aliyah”.

“I enjoyed learning lots of facts, including those about Florence Nightingale.” – Morgan

After being inspired by the story the children in Year 5 began to plan the characters for their own story, where the characters would go and which aspects of Maths they would include. After planning, the children started to write and illustrate their stories in their own books.

“My story was called The Stealing Story it involves dividing up pizza into slices”. Alicia

The children across the year group really enjoyed writing their own stories; they created a wide range of books that included many areas of Maths.

Year 6

Year 6 focussed on ‘big numbers’ as part of their enrichment day. We explored what the term ‘big numbers’ means and how and when we use them in real life. The children’s ideas became very creative! We explored the story of ‘Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?’ by Robert E Wells. We read that a blue whale is big; it’s the biggest animal alive but it isn’t the biggest thing there is. We discovered some big things, some bigger things, and the thing beyond measure–what can truly be called the biggest thing there is!’. The children enjoyed seeing how the numbers were increasing on each page.

The children then created their own mathematical story based on big numbers. Themes ranged from animals to aliens! All of the children enjoyed exploring numbers within stories and seeing the link between maths and English.

Family Picnic 2022

We were delighted to be able to invite our families to a Federation picnic on June 28th. We had around 1000 adults joining us for the event, the first since before COVID.

Our families brought blankets and a picnic lunch and sat with their children on the fields of the two schools. It was lovely to see so many people and many commented how much they had enjoyed it. It was an opportunity for the children to share a lunch break with their families and spend some quality time with them, away from devices, screens and the every day challenges of family life.

We also had a pre loved uniform sale, which not only raised over £200 but also gave families the chance to buy quality uniform at a very reasonable price, saving money on those bought new.

We thank everyone for coming and also everyone who generously donated uniform for the sale.

Year 2 Toftwood Tate – July 2022

On Wednesday 29th July, the Year 2 children were able to share their amazing art work with children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 3, as part of ‘Toftwood Tate.’

Throughout Year 2, the children have produced art work inspired by artists including Van Gogh, Monet and Kandinsky as part of their foundation subject learning.

In the afternoon, the children were able to share their art with family members, and it was lovely to welcome parents and other adults into our school again. They were able to share some art activities with their adults, and share a blueberry muffin that they had made in school with their adults too.

The children were so proud to share their art work with so many people, and we are very proud of them too!

Michael Rosen Webinar – 17th June 2022

Year 5 and 6 were lucky enough to join a webinar with Michael Rosen to celebrate A Day of Welcome. This was a celebration of solidarity and learning, which aims to build a culture and understanding for refugees and asylum seekers.

Michael shared various poems from his book ‘On the Move’, where he outlined what the word ‘migrate’, ‘migrant’ and ‘migration’ meant. He spoke about his personal experience of being Jewish and briefly referred to the children about the Holocaust. Michael explained that his poems are written from first-hand experiences or those of family members, which were powerful to listen too. The children enjoyed listening to Michael’s poetry and although the poems were educating children about refugees and asylum seekers, he presented this in a child-friendly way. At the end of the webinar, Rosen answered some questions. He explained that one of his favourite poems from his book is called ‘Ship’, which the children enjoyed listening too.

At the end of the webinar, Michael gave some advice to children when writing poetry. He explained that the starting point is to explore your five senses, followed by reading other people’s poetry.

Year 3 and 4 Virtual Author Visit

The children were very fortunate to take part in a virtual author visit today, along with 125 other schools around Norfolk.

The renowned author Miriam Halahmy discussed and read some of her book ‘Saving Hanno: The story of a refugee boy and his dog’.

The story is set in the Second World War and she gave the children a brief history of the German Jewish children’s exodus from Nazi Germany as well as the trials and tribulations that they faced.

The main character: Rudi, has a pet dog called ‘Hanno’ that he loves very much but cannot bring with him on the Kindertransport. However, he manages to find a way to get the dog to London and then discovers Hanno is still in danger. . .

After listening to some of the exciting story, the children were asked to write a poem about being a refugee and were told to think about how strange everything would seem to a refugee child coming to England from another country.

As Rudi the (hero of the book) is re-united with his dog – after a six month quarantine period – he has to face the difficulties that being in a country at war with a pet dog bring.

Miriam explained to the children what had happened to pets at the outbreak of World War 2 which they found very surprising. Below are some of her comments:

  • Three quarters of a million pets were put down at the start of the war in England.
  • All poisonous pets in zoos were put down.
  • No pets were allowed in air raid shelters.

In the final part of the virtual visit, the children were shown a very small suitcase that the Jewish children were allowed to take with them on the Kindertransport. They were then asked to write one word that the suitcase evoked.

We are really looking forward to reading the poems and sharing them.

At the end of the visit, Miriam spoke to the children about one of the hardest things for a new child to accomplish. “Open the door to your friendship group and allow new children to enter, you always have room for one more.” Miriam Malahmy.

Millie, a child from Year 3 said ”It is very interesting to learn about some of the event of the war and interesting to consider a refugees point of view.”

The Federation Platinum Jubilee Celebrations – 26th & 27th May

What better way to finish a busy half term than to have a celebration fit for a queen!

The Federation came together for two days of themed lunches and activities to help celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. To mark this important occasion, each year group was given a decade from the last 70 years to research. The children found out about popular music, dances, fashion, toys and TV from that era. The children compared the technology and transport to that of today and looked at important inventions from the period. It was a surprise to many of the children, when looking at the timelines they had created, how long the Queen has actually been on the throne.

Over the course of two days the children took part in lots of fun activities including crown making, an outside treasure hunt, writing to the Queen, a school council design competition, cake making and even a 90’s themed disco for Yr 2! On the Friday all the children were invited to come to school in a red, white and blue theme. We were so impressed with their efforts, we loved the wonderful homemade t-shirts and hair accessories!

Both days included a special jubilee themed lunch which we were lucky enough to have outside and all together. A Jubilee picnic on the Thursday and a huge playground ‘street party’ on the Friday. Seeing the children outside laughing, playing and enjoying their time together was a wonderful sight, after so many months of separate class and year group bubbles.

After the street party we gathered together to plant a very special Platinum Jubilee tree to remember the event. The white flowering cherry tree was planted between the two school buildings and as it grows will hopefully be a lovely peaceful place for children to sit and enjoy together. Next to the tree we also buried our school time capsule. We created this together during our history day last term and have added to it over the last few months. The capsule includes photographs, a school jumper, school badges and lots of pandemic memories. Maybe in years to come the children will be able to return to dig it up with their own families and sit under our fully grown Jubilee tree, to meet up with their old school friends.

What a wonderful two days we have had celebrating such an important historical event and special time for our country. Hopefully very memorable for all the children and staff. A big thank you goes out to our wonderful lunchtime and kitchen staff for their hard work and a special mention to the Yr 6 children who helped to set up and serve at our street party.

Letters to the Queen

Across the Federation, we decided that it would be a good opportunity to write letters of congratulations to Her Majesty the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee. A chance for the children to show off their writing skills for a real purpose.  From reception through to the junior school, children wrote individual or class letters expressing their congratulations and explaining what we have doing in school to celebrate the Jubilee.  Many of the children had questions that they also wanted to ask the Queen, not just about her Jubilee celebrations but also about her life too. The letters will be posted and sent to her majesty, and the children will wait in anticipation for a reply!

Shakespeare Day 2022

Shakespeare Day takes place on 23rd April each year, and the federation celebrated this day on Friday 22nd April in School. Each year group from Reception to Year 6 marked the day with something dedicated to William Shakespeare. For some of the children it enabled them to retrieve prior about Shakespeare and build on what they already knew, for others it was an introduction to the importance of the famous playwright.

Some of the activities taking place were;

At the infant school, Reception and Year 2 watched the Cbeebies version of Midsummer’s Nights Dream and Year 1 enjoyed watching Cbeebies Romeo and Juliet alongside learning some of the well known phrases that have originated from Shakespeare’s plays such as ‘Good Riddance’ and ‘not slept a wink’.

The children in year 3 were very interested to learn all about William Shakespeare’s life.  The children were not impressed that he had a salary of approximately £60 a year from renting out his properties – until we worked out that in today’s money that would have made him a very wealthy man indeed! Finally, we looked at a cartoon version of Macbeth and then some of us looked at an extract of the original play script and attempted to say it as well as decipher what it meant!  The children all agreed they found the modern version much easier to understand

In year 6, the children looked at the life and legacy of William Shakespeare and the plays that he had written. The children then practised and performed the Witches Song from Macbeth. 

Children’s Mental Health Week 2022

The week beginning 7th February was Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme this year was ‘Growing Together.’ We started the week with an assembly thinking about growing emotionally and the children explored this theme in their classes throughout the week too.

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Reception

During wellbeing week, Reception enjoyed being involved in the whole school Mandala, having to draw pictures of themselves and think of a word that expressed who they are, such as being kind, friendly, happy etc. Reception were first to start the Mandala pattern and each child carefully thought of where to place their heart drawings. We also read the book “The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight” and the children discussed what it takes to be a kind friend and how we can take care of each other. We also read other stories that focused on our wellbeing such as “Have you filled a bucket today?”, “Ruby’s Worry” and “The Invisible String.”

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Year 1

For Children’s Mental Health Week, the children focused on ‘Be Active’ and ‘Connect’ from the 5 ways to Wellbeing. We played some team games outside and played some games with the parachute.

The children also loved contributing to the federation mandala and having some quiet time to do some mindfulness colouring.

Year 2

During Children’s Mental Health Week, Year 2 enjoyed several activities including mindfulness colouring and breathing exercises. In our PATHs assembly, we talked about our feelings and discussed how we learn to manage uncomfortable emotions, as we get older. In classes, we talked about goals and the children wrote about the ways in which they would like to learn to manage their emotions.

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The children who attended our creative club during that week also made worry monsters to take home to help manage their worries!

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Year 3

During Wellbeing week, Year 3 considered what the theme ‘growth’ could refer to; we discussed the physical growth of people and plants and our emotional growth. The children reflected on how they have grown emotionally since starting at Toftwood Federation.
They then spent some time considering how they are unique as a result of their own growth and decorated a yellow heart which was then transferred to the Federation mandala.
We also continued with our focus on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing with an emphasis on ‘taking notice’, particularly by taking notice of how our bodies feel during different activities and parts of the day.

Year 4

During Children’s Mental Health week, pupils in Year 4 talked about their emotions in a PATHs lesson. During the day, we took the time to be mindful and notice our emotions and how they might affect our actions. In our year group assembly time we learned to sing the song ‘It’s ok (please just say)’ which teaches us to accept our emotions and helps us to deal with them appropriately. Year 4s had a lot of fun talking about this year’s theme of ‘Growing Together’ and talking about what makes us special when we coloured in a heart for each pupil to add to the Federation Mandala.

Year 5

In Year 5, we used one lesson to enjoy taking the time to write up our diary entry in neat, including presentation and illustrations.

We also dipped into Go Noodle dance and Cosmic Yoga.

Year 6

Year 6 children enjoyed thinking about how we have grown together since the beginning of the year. They spent some time personalising a purple heart, which then contributed to the Federation mandala. The children also continued with their half term focus on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing with an emphasis on ‘taking notice’.  

At the end of the week, every year group helped to create a federation mandala. Each child wrote words or a sentence on a heart explaining why they are unique. Each year group had a colour, which the children used to decorate their heart. Every child was able to place their heart themselves, building up from Reception to Year 6. The finished mandala looked amazing and demonstrated that all the children are unique individuals who are part of a bigger school community.

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