Newsletter - Lent Term, 18.01.18
Cottesmore School
Cottesmore News

Newsletter - Lent Term, 18.01.18

Crisp and cold January days outdoors and high levels of energy and application indoors mark the start of this new term as we look forward to all that’s ahead. Our staff INSET training before term began was highly successful and everyone is raring to go. 

 
Academic News
Staff training
INSET training took place for all staff at the beginning of the term prior to the arrival of the children. Led by acting SENCO Emma Fields, staff learned about neuro diversity and meta-cognition. 
 
The training included aspects of neuro diversity and the range of talents available at Cottesmore. This meant looking at the children who need support with their learning, as well as those who are in the gifted and talented category, and need extension with their learning to reach the highest targets of which Cottesmore is so proud. 
 
Meta-cognition involves the children thinking about their own thinking, or more importantly, reflecting on their own learning, as well as the process of learning: how they control it and own it.  This is very much a part of the build up to life at public school for which we prepare Cottesmorians and has been embedded at Cottesmore for many years. In the less structured environment at public school pupils are expected to cope and organise themselves. Cottesmore is strategically placed to help, for example with semi-supervised morning preps and encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their own resources. This is developed as Cottesmorians move upwards through the school, so that the 5th and 6th form pupils have this active responsibility as they prepare for the next stage of their education. 
 
It has been delightful to note this term that several of the ‘short dated’ scholars (those whose scholarship exams fall this term), already have in-school revision programmes, in addition to those instigated by their tutors and by Elevate Education, who visited school last term. 
 
On another INSET session, Britannica Learning gave a presentation to the staff on the day before term began. This is the digital arm of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, (an old copy of which is still in the hall). The digital edition is the learning portal for the school. This means that when Cottesmorians go online they will go through Britannica Learning, rather than through search engines which are unsupported;  the websites they will access via Britannica have been vetted for their use, for example www.languagesonline.org.uk, which is used extensively by the French department.
 
The aim is two-fold: firstly to ensure that there is a solid, safe-guarded ring around the children when they use the internet, so that they do not stray into material that is inappropriate, or be contacted by outsiders. Secondly, this provides a common base for learning within the school, with an extensive range of Britannica’s resources for both staff and pupils. Our staff members were put through their paces by Britannica’s representatives, ensuring that they were aware of the wide range of resources that Britannica offers. 
 
Britannica has been available at Cottesmore since the start of the school year, but has moved into full use after this training, coupled with the advent of our new higher-powered servers. 
 
Sports Round Up
Netball
2nd team v Ashdown House: won 11-6
A good start to the season with Amour awarded Girl of the Game
 
U10 v Ashdown House: lost 18-9
Miss Flower was very pleased with the greater confidence and speed shown by the girls in this opening match of the season against one of the strongest schools in the county. The scorers were Julia and Layla, with Girl of the Game awarded to Nancy.
 
Pre-prep news
The Pre-prep pupils are busy as ever and looking forward to an exciting term, packed full of interesting activities. They have really settled in well to the new term and their topics are:
 
Reception Fairy Tales and Dinosaurs 
 Year 1 Materials and Under the Sea
Year 2 Fire and Ice, properties of materials
Year 3 The Snowman, Rainforests
 
Here’s the latest news from each class:

Reception
The Reception class are focusing on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. They will be role playing the story, writing speech bubbles for the characters, size ordering in maths, building a new chair for baby bear and writing a wanted poster for Goldilocks. They are also going to make porridge following a recipe and practise subtracting using porridge bowls. We will also decorate the bear chairs later in the week and they will be tested for stability with the children’s teddies! 
 
Year 1
This week in Creative writing Year 1 will be writing stories about a sea adventure as part of their Under the Sea topic. In Maths the children are working on number bonds to 10 and then to 20 and more they will also be working on their numbers up to 100 and more /less of 2 numbers. They will be talking about the creatures that live under the sea and getting familiar with their habitat. In Art the children will be painting cold pictures and mixing cold colours, as well as painting some sea creatures for a display.
 
Year 2
In English this week Year 2 will be using the text ‘Maisie’s Dragon’ and this will help the children to understand prefixes and add common prefixes to words. They will formulate questions as part of a group, write the questions and punctuate the questions correctly. They will also start to use alliteration. In Maths they will start to  use ordinal numbers; understand that 2-digit numbers are made from some 10s and some 1s; understand place value using 10p and 1p coins; find and record all possible amounts using 10p and 1p coins and find 10p more and 10p less. In Science they will explore the properties of different kitchen paper and disposable cloths and make predictions about which would be best at mopping up a spillage of water.
 
Year 3 
The year 3 children have settled back into school life very quickly and are enjoying the new responsibilities being given to them with our new ‘monitor system’. Their English focus for the next few weeks will be ‘The Snowman’. This week they will first look at story structure and will complete a story mountain. They will then practise writing direct speech, focusing in particular on punctuation. In Maths Year 3 will first use their place value knowledge to add and subtract. They will then learn to add larger numbers using the written column method. 
 
The Geography topic for this term is rainforests, starting with locating rain forests on a world atlas. During their Science session Year 3 will identify the different parts of rainforest plants and their uses. In RS the children begin their focus on the Old Testament by reading the creation story.  Finally in Art they will finish their parrots.
 
Sunday Fundays
On the first Sunday ‘in’ of the term, Mr & Mrs Revill took a group to Laser Quest in Horsham. The pupils had great fun ‘shooting’ each other with their lasers within an underground arena with some funky fluorescent lighting. 
 
Other News
Our new ‘gappers’ 
Four new gap students have arrived at Cottesmore: Miss Hanna, Miss Naomi, Mr Galvin and Mr Max have settled in wonderfully, building great relationships with the children and running the largest and noisiest game of dodgeball ever seen at Cottesmore! 
 
Looking Forward
Trip to Iceland, March 2018
Anticipation grows for an exciting and action-packed trip to Iceland, which will be led by Mr Revill immediately after the end of term. A very full four days sees our group based at a hostel in Selfoss and enjoying an extensive programme of excursions. Cottesmorians will see some of the breathtaking features of Iceland’s extraordinary landscape, learn about the geological forces at work and also gain an insight into the island’s history and folklore. 
 
Waterfalls, lagoons, black basalt beaches, geysirs, farms, a glacier walk, a visit to a high tech, interactive Lava Centre and whale watching are some of the memorable excursions that our pupils will take and we are already looking forward to their feedback!
 
 
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