Thursday, 25 February 2016

3AK - Science - Roots and all!

We were studying root structures and even managed to do so some weeding too!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

3AK Book Look!

We're are so proud of our books we invited our parents and carers in to look at them!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Chinese New Year - Nursery Class, Miss Adams.

In Nursery Class, we enjoyed learning about Chinese New year. 

We explored Chinese culture through active role play; dressing up in traditional Chinese clothes, handing out red envelopes to our friends and decorating our room with red and gold lanterns for good luck and good fortune.  We found China on the globe and discussed how we could travel there. 

We used the musical instruments to join in with Chinese music and took part in Chinese dragon dancing!  We read stories about the animals of the Chinese zodiac and about how children in China celebrate Chinese New Year with their families. 

We were so excited to try Chinese food, talking about the different tastes, smells and textures.  Some of us even tried to use chopsticks!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Netball League 2016

Suttons have played their first few matches in the Primary Netball league 2016.

This is the first time we have entered in many years and it has been excellent to build on what we have been learning our training. Unfortunately we are yet to win however each time the we have played the children have improved considerably. Most of our team are in year 5 so we are lucky to gain these valuable playing experiences ready for next year.

Suttons V Parsonage Farm (away)

Team: Year 6 - Jack, Connor. Year 5 - Lucy, Wumi, Mia, Ruby, Ella, Reece, Henry, Zain.

Player of the match - Connor!


Suttons V La Salette (away)

Team: Year 6 - Jack, Connor. Year 5 - Lucy, Wumi, Mia, Ruby, Ella, Reece, Henry.

Player of the Match - Reece!

Suttons V Hacton (away)

Team: Year 6 - Jack, Connor. Year 5 - Lucy, Wumi, Mia, Ruby, Ella, Reece, Henry.

Player of the match - Ruby

Suttons V Oakfields (home)

Team: Year 6 - Jack, Connor, Odafe, Megan. Year 5 - Lucy, Wumi, Mia, Ruby, Ella, Reece, Henry, Zain.

Player of the match: Odafe

We are so proud of all the children who come to netball! Most have only started playing netball very recently and have made such outstanding progress! Well done!

We are looking forward to playing some more friendly's in the spring and summer term.

Netball is on Thursday after school for year 4,5 and 6! Come and play!  

Miss Staples and Mrs Lacey

Friday, 12 February 2016

Year 4- P.E

In P.E, year 4 have been learning how to dance like Britain’s Got Talent winner’s ‘Diversity’. The children have worked incredibly hard during their P.E lessons in order to master the concept of street dance, especially as they have to learn a new routine every lesson! Year 4 have had a lot of fun and have thoroughly enjoyed learning street dance. Thank you Mr. Mac!

Site Visit to The New School

Last week Mr Gentle, Mr Bailey, Mrs Compton and Mrs Audritt all took a tour of the new school.  Galliford Try have been working hard to install the foundations of our new buildings. The children have enjoyed seeing this site progress. 

If you look really hard, you will be able to make out the outline of the entire building!  Please do take the time to have a look.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Year 4 - New Building Progress

It seems like just yesterday as year 4 stood on the field on week 1 of the building process. However, a few months down the line, the children are very excited and amazed at the progress of the new build. The following pictures show a few weeks of the process starting from week 4. (There is a previous blog on the first 3 weeks).
                                                                   Week 4

                                                                 Week 5

                                                               Week 6

                                                                       Week 7

                                                                     Week 8

                                                                      Week 9

Year 4- Science/D.T

In Science, year 4 have been learning about electricity. An interesting part of the topic was realising how much of our everyday lives depend on electricity. What did people do for entertainment before computers, iPads and the T.V? Year 4 got creative (and cross-curricular!) and as part of their D.T lessons, they invented their own board games! The children also had the opportunity to play their games with year 3DK who seemed very curious by these new inventions! Dragon’s Den next year? 

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Year 3/4 Maths - Measurement

In Maths, year 3/ 4 have been learning to convert between different units of measurement. The children also learned how to accurately measure using a ruler and they put their skills to the test by measuring various items around the classroom.

- Miss Shah

Year 4- What did the Romans introduce to Britain?

As part of their Roman topic, year 4 learned about the many things introduced to Britain by the Romans. We discussed which one of these ideas is the most and least important to our lives today. Do we really need roads? Language? Cats? Year 4 had some interesting discussions as they defended their reasons!  

Year 4- Pop-up books

In Design and Technology, Year 4 made their own pop-up books!
The children based their books on well known nursery rhymes such as 'Incy Wincy Spider', 'Little Miss Muffet' and many more.

The children thoroughly enjoyed making their books and even had the opportunity of presenting and reading their books to the Reception and Nursery children!

Year 1 and Year 2 Why is the iPad tablet more fun than Granddad’s old toys?

During the Spring Term a toy workshop visited Suttons Primary School to give the children in both Year 1 and Year 2 the opportunity to play with and learn about toys from the past. Thank you to our very special visitor for such an informative and interactive workshop!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Maths - Year 2 - Symmetry

Last week in Miss Staples' maths class children learnt all about Symmetry.

We learnt how to make a reflective pattern as well as how to identify one or more lines of symmetry in 2D shapes and objects around us.

At the end of the week on our dress different day we made symmetrical aliens.

Can you identify the line of symmetry?

Big Write of the Month - January

Big Write of the Month - January 2016

Year 1 - Sophie B
Year 2ML - George B
Year 2S - Isabella S
Year 3DK - Leona O
Year 3AK - Ruby F
Year 4 - Ronnie H
Year 5 - Ruby H
Year 6 - Holly S

Congratulations on amazing writing!

Pupil Premium Award 2016: Local Winner

Sutton Primary School has just been informed that we are a Local Winner in Keystage 2 published results for the Pupil Premium Awards 2016.  As a school we have been selected as one of 550 high achieving schools (Primary & Secondary) in the country in terms of the attainment and progress of our disadvantage pupils since 2011.

As a school we will now submit an application to win the regional or national award judged in March 2016.  Fingers crossed!

For Further information on these awards please go to:

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Year 2HM/NL History



In History, we have been making comparisons between old and new toys.  We have completed observational drawings of toys from the past.  We have discussed the similarities and differences between toys from different time periods.   Next week, we will be participating in a workshop focusing on toys from the past.

The Importance of Storytelling

Nick Gibb (MP) explains how storytelling stretches children’s vocabularies, expands their horizons and extends their ability to learn.

People of my generation will remember the late comedian Max Bygraves and his famous catchphrase, “I wanna tell you a story”.

The reception Bygraves’s catchphrase always gained demonstrates the timeless pleasure of being told a good story. This is a pleasure that National Storytelling Week celebrates, and I am delighted to be a part of the events today.

Over the years I have spoken a lot about the importance of initial literacy, and how all the evidence, both in this country and internationally, points to systematic synthetic phonics as the best way to teach young children to decode and read words.

Learning to decode words is the vital first step in becoming a confident reader. It is a necessary condition without which children will spend years struggling with reading, but it is only a first step. Today, I want to talk about the importance of storytelling, of children being read to and told stories, not only in the years before they start school but throughout their education.
A 2003 American study called ‘The early catastrophe’ by Professors Hart and Risley, found that an American child from a professional family will experience 2,153 words an hour by the age of 3. This compares to a child from the most disadvantaged background who will experience only 616 words an hour.

That amounts to a 30-million-word gap between the least and most advantaged 3-year-old.
Similar findings exist in the UK. According to Department for Education data on early years pupils, the widest attainment gap, when comparing pupils eligible for free school meals and all others, is in reading and writing.

Why does this matter? Because conversation and storytelling widen a child’s vocabulary, and a wide vocabulary is decisive in becoming a confident reader. As the cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham has written, it is possible to read a text slightly pitched above your understanding, as the meaning of unfamiliar words can be deduced from the context. However, as the number of unfamiliar words increases, your ability to ‘get the gist’ drops rapidly.

So, the more words a child knows at an early age, the greater their ability to read challenging texts. This in turn increases their ability to learn more words, and so on and so forth, in a positive feedback loop of vocabulary accumulation. The word gap which researchers identify amongst children aged 3, can be a gulf by the time pupils take their GCSEs.

The reading expert Keith Stanovich has dubbed this positive feedback loop ‘the Matthew effect’, after the verse in the Gospel of Mathew telling the parable of the talents: “to those who have, more shall be given, but from those who have not, even what they have shall be taken away.”

As a government, we are dedicated to improving the life chances of young people. All pupils should be given the best start in life by their schooling, irrespective of birth or background. If you believe in social justice then you will want state education to do all that it can to remedy the education gap between those from advantaged, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Nick Gibb at St Andrew's Primary School, Soham, Cambridgeshire
It is difficult to overstate the benefits of instilling a love of reading in a child. According to research by the OECD, reading for pleasure is more important than a family’s socio-economic status in determining a child’s success at school.

This finding is supported by the work of Dr Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown at the Institute of Education. From analysing the educational outcomes of around 6,000 children who participated in the 1970 British Cohort Study, they found that reading for pleasure is more important for a child’s cognitive development between 10 and 16 than their parents’ level of education.

Remarkably, the combined effect of reading books often, going to the library regularly and reading newspapers at 16 was 4 times greater than the advantage children gained from having a parent with a degree. These findings show that given the gift of reading, a child’s life chances need not be limited by their social or economic background. Deprivation need not be destiny.

And let us not forget the immeasurable benefit that stories can have in widening a child’s imagination, transporting them to entirely new and unfamiliar places - geographically, historically and emotionally. Getting lost in a good story can allow you to discover more about the world, more about humankind, and more about yourself.

We are living through something of a golden age of children’s books, with ‘Percy Jackson’ novels transporting young readers to mythology of ancient Greece, and ‘The Hunger Games’ landing them in a dystopian future. It is extremely reassuring that, according to the latest annual survey from the National Literacy Trust, enjoyment and frequency of reading amongst 8- to 18-year-olds are both at their highest levels for 9 years.

Reading independently, being read to, and engaging in conversation are all vitally important for a child’s development. But today I would like to make a particular case for the importance of being read stories.

Research has shown that the vocabulary of general conversation is surprisingly impoverished, compared to the vocabulary we find in written material. This was demonstrated by 2 American reading experts who ranked 86,000 word forms in the English language according to the frequency with which they occurred in written English.

The word ranked first is ‘the’. ‘It’ is ranked 10th. ‘Amplifier’ is ranked 16,000th - you get the drift.
Using this data, the researchers then measured different forms of written and spoken English. In children’s books, the average word is ranked 627th most frequent. The average word used in conversation between university graduates, however, ranks only 496th most frequent.

In other words, even highly educated people use less sophisticated vocabulary when speaking than the words used in a typical children’s book. Which is why it is so important not just to talk to children but to read to them as well. Story time is a crucial part of any primary school’s timetable, as it has such power to build a child’s vocabulary. The type of story or book being read can be more challenging than a book the child chooses to read for him or herself.

Of course, National Storytelling Week celebrates the oral tradition of storytelling: fables, folk tales and fairy lore. As long as human civilisation has existed, we have shared stories. For those looking to communicate a message, encapsulating it in a well told story has long been the most effective method.

Would the teachings of the Bible have been so powerful had Jesus never told the story of the Good Samaritan, but simply instructed his followers to care for all humankind? Would children the world over know that ‘slow and steady wins the race’, had the ancient Greek slave Aesop not parcelled that message in his fable ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’?

Aesop and Jesus were not just good storytellers, they were expert cognitive psychologists. Humans are hard-wired to remember stories, to the point that psychologists have referred to stories as ‘psychologically privileged’ in the human mind.

The best teachers have always based their lessons, knowingly or unknowingly, on this insight. As some psychologists suggest, a good story encourages the listener to be continually making small inferences, working out how the narrative is going to develop and resolve, thus keeping their attention throughout.

For mathematics teachers introducing pupils to the concept of volume, you can do a lot worse than retelling the story of Archimedes in the bath. Few children can forget the image of Archimedes running through the streets of Syracuse naked, exclaiming ‘Eureka!’.

If a history teacher wants pupils to learn about the African-American struggle for civil rights, the stories of Emmet Till and Rosa Parks can capture attention and aid memory like little else. If a science teacher wants pupils to remember the properties of antibiotics, then the story of how Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin is ideal.

I understand that Snail Tales are currently undertaking their own controlled trial looking into the benefits of storytelling for long-term memory, and I look forward to hearing their findings.
But to return to the question of ensuring all pupils become confident readers.

Mastering the mechanics of decoding has to be the first objective - it is the gateway towards being a successful reader. This is best achieved through structured schemes of systematic phonics, with plenty of practice reading books that are consistent with the level of phonic knowledge the child has been taught.

The second objective of the English curriculum is practice - encouraging children to improve the fluency and speed of their reading by reading large numbers of books. The more you read, the more vocabulary you acquire and the easier it becomes to comprehend.

For this reason, I would like to see every pupil in years 3 to 6 of primary school reading at least 1 book a week. ‘A book a week’ should be the mantra for anyone hoping to eliminate illiteracy in this country.

The third objective of the English curriculum is to help pupils read more challenging books. Teachers should set for their classes those books that are slightly more challenging than the ones pupils would elect to read on their own. And that too involves teachers reading to their pupils.

From my own education I remember being read to throughout my time at school: from ‘Stig of the Dump’ at junior school, to Alastair MacLean, Hammond Innes, and L P Hartley’s ‘The Go-Between’ in the third year of secondary school. After the first couple of pages read to us by the teacher, pupils would take it in turns to read aloud the next sections. We did this, I remember, with ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ in the fourth year, ‘Great Expectations’ in the fifth year and even on into the sixth form where we read together as a class D H Lawrence’s ‘The Rainbow’ and Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.

This process gave me the confidence to take on challenging books, that were much more difficult than those I would otherwise have chosen. And it worked - I went on to read many more MacLean, Dickens, Lawrence and Steinbeck books thanks to my teachers.

I do question why, when I am on school visits, I see teachers in the first 3 years of secondary school already using English literature lessons to prepare for GCSE-style questions. Instead of GCSE-style analysis of the text, should those lessons not be used to spread the sheer enjoyment of reading, through introducing pupils to a wide and varied diet of English and world literature? I am sure this would be far better preparation for their eventual examinations than a premature obsession with exam technique.

And this brings me to the fourth and final objective: the canon. It is important that schools introduce pupils to the great works of English literature, that lend pupils an intellectual hinterland to draw upon for the rest of their lives. Of course, the exact make-up of the canon will always be a matter of debate and disagreement, but the existence of the canon should not be.

Through our reforms to the English literature GCSE, children are being encouraged to read more challenging titles in years 10 and 11. Prior to our reforms, around 90% of pupils in the English literature GCSE delivered by one exam board answered questions on a single text: ‘Of Mice and Men’. Now, John Steinbeck is a great author (‘East of Eden’ is my all-time favourite book - it’s the Great American Novel) but even I doubt this short novella was deserving of such overwhelming attention.

Since September, pupils have been studying the reformed English literature GCSE for the first time, including the study of both a 19th century novel and a modern book. Instead of a strict diet of Steinbeck, pupils can read George Orwell and Jane Austen, Kazuo Ishiguro and Charlotte Bronte - and they will be reading the whole novel, not just extracts.

For now, the important point is - as Max Bygraves might have said - children wanna hear a story. If we are to deliver an education that closes the word gap, closes the reading gap, and thus closes the achievement gap, we need to introduce our children to as many stories as we can.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Year 6 - Vikings!


Last term, Year 6 delved into the brutal world of the Vikings.   

We learnt about who lived in Britain before the Vikings invaded and how some Vikings became Christian:

"Anglo Saxons told stories when they needed to heal someone. The leech was a person who used herbs, lucky jewels and chants to heal people. They believed that there were elves shooting people with arrows, this made people ill. They were Pagans before they became Christians!" - Aarav Khanna


We learnt where Vikings came from and why they invaded:
"The Vikings came from Scandinavia; Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They settled in lots of different parts of Britain, like Kent, Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria. Vikings invaded England because they wanted to steal treasures and gold.  But some people believe that the Vikings left their home as there was a lot of overcrowding." - Megan Hardy

Thor, God of Thunder

We learnt about Viking beliefs  and their Gods:
"Vikings believe that when they die they can take weapons with them to the afterlife." - Adil Omar

"The Vikings also believed that when you want to the afterlife you would go to Valhalla and to have a big feast to get you ready for a big fight." - Alisha Issack

"We learnt about what the Vikings ate. The Vikings loved to eat lots of different food such as: wild boar, beef, fish, berries, honey, eggs, soup, chicken and a lot more." - Tye Kennerson


"We made Viking menus with massive meals, like the 4 by 4 burger meal." - Katie James


Thousands of parents benefit from 30 hours' free childcare early

Working parents to receive double the current amount of free childcare for 3- and 4-year-olds.

Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah has today (2 February 2016) announced £13 million, which will allow councils across the country to deliver 30 hours of free childcare for hard working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds - a year ahead of schedule.
As a result, some working parents in Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire will now benefit from the early offer from this September.
The extra hours of childcare will make it easier for these parents to work and is another move designed to meet the government’s commitment to make work pay.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:
For too long, rising childcare costs have been a barrier preventing parents and particularly mothers from working. That’s why I’m delighted that in just a few months’ time, we will see the first families benefiting from the government’s offer of 30 hours’ free childcare for working parents.
We have made a commitment to help working people, and through this extended offer we will help thousands more parents who want to return to work to do so.
The government will also be looking at the issues that make it difficult for parents with particular challenges to access childcare, including special educational needs and disability.
The core group of councils will be supported by 25 others, who will look specifically at innovative ways of making sure childcare is accessible to as many parents as possible.
Their experiences will then be used to support the full rollout in 2017, with the aim of removing significant barriers to parents taking up their entitlement.
Childcare Minister Sam Gyimah said:
I know how important childcare is from my own personal experience, and I couldn’t be more determined to make sure we give children the best start in life, support parents to work, and as a result, allow our country to prosper.
I’m pleased that we are investing in childcare, and I’m looking forward to seeing how working parents benefit from 30 hours’ free childcare, before we roll the offer out to the rest of the country.
All 3- and 4-year-olds are already entitled to 15 hours of free childcare a week, and this is also extended to the most disadvantaged 2-year-olds. Last year, more than 1 million 3- and 4-year-olds, and 157,000 2-year-olds benefited from this offer.
The government is now going further than ever before, and will provide an additional 15 free hours to working parents of 3- and 4-year-olds from September 2017 - delivering on a key manifesto pledge
As part of this government’s commitment to helping hardworking people, we will be investing more than £1 billion extra per year by 2019 to 2020 to fund the extension of the free childcare entitlement.
The Department for Education will also be piloting a new contract with councils, and consulting on a fairer funding formula for the early years, to help ensure that local authorities are passing the money on to providers, and that providers are given a fair rate.

DfE: Press Release

Criminal records over Havering school parking incidents

Parents who flout parking regulations outside six east London primary schools could get a criminal record.  
Motorists will be issued with £100 fines and three warnings before a criminal prosecution is sought, Havering Council, which will implement the scheme, said the current parking situation meant children faced an "imminent threat to life".
One headteacher said a child was recently hospitalised after being hit by a parent doing a three-point turn. Una Connelly, headteacher of Wykeham Primary, said: "There have been a number of serious incidents involving dangerous driving by parents. "There have also been many near misses, and we're acting before there's a fatality."  From the spring, a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will be set up meaning CCTV cameras will be installed and anyone caught flouting the regulations can be prosecuted. She said: "The only way we're going to stop these parents, and it's only a very small minority, is by prosecution. This ...order, for me, is the best idea."

Other methods to improve the parking situation
§  Designated drop-off/pick-up zone within the school ground
§  Close roads around the school at the start and finish of the day

Other management methods include training parents, teachers and resident to issue parking fines.  But Mrs Connelly said she was reluctant to put others at "risk of abuse of any kind".
Robert Benham, from Havering Council, said it was hoped making parking a criminal offence would work as a deterrent to inconsiderate parking.  He said: "Three strikes and they're holed before the magistrates. And I think this behaviour will stop."

Quick-fix 'warning'
Ian Temperton from Road Safety GB said parking could help to regulate traffic by forcing drivers to slow down, and urged the council not to focus on quick-fixes.  He said: "The PSPO sounds like a shot-term solution. There's always the difficulty you're going to move the problem somewhere else."
The schools involved in the scheme are: Gidea Park, Parsonage Farm, Ardleigh Green, Broadford, Wykeham and Engayne.