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Highcliffe St Mark Primary School

Learning for life, respect for all

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Look at what we have been learning at school...

As we are looking at traditional tales this half-term, we had a wonderful storyteller come in to kick-start our topic. We listened to two stories that were similar to Jack and the beanstalk and Cinderella. We had to use our imaginations and repetition to help the storyteller bring the story to life. Talk to your child about their favourite traditional tales, and what their favourite part of today’s visit was.

Alien day has been out of this world!!! We have had so much fun celebrating the wonderful learning that we have seen over this half-term. Talk to your child about what they have learnt over the past six weeks, and what their favourite thing about Alien day was.

STEM week has been so much fun! This week, we have been using our scientific and engineering brains with a whole variety of challenges. We have built bridges to get over water and followed instructions to create amazing designs. We also took part in a whole-school science experiment - how many times could a rich tea biscuit be dunked in cold or warm water before it broke. We even had a musician come and visit us to demonstrate how our voices could be used to mimic the sound of instruments. It was AMAZING!!

We have been so lucky to have caterpillars in all of our Foundation classrooms! Over the last few weeks, we have seen them eat and eat and eat before crawling to the top and forming a chrysalis. After a week, they emerged as beautiful butterflies. On the last day of this half-term, all the children released the butterflies on our school field, ready to begin their new lives. Talk to your child about the butterfly life cycle. 

Foundation have been so lucky to be able to go to Fresh Air Club over the last month. We have been putting our wellies on and delving into the wildlife area every Friday with Rob from Fresh Air Club. We have been looking for signs of wildlife, building shelters, observing creatures and even got to toast marshmallows on a campfire to celebrate how amazing our exploring skills had been. 

Ask your child what they enjoyed the most, and something that they have learnt...

A very cold, muddy but fun day at Longdown Farm!

The children in Foundation became farmers for the day. Their goal was to feed all the animals before their own lunch just like a real farmer would have to do!

We explored the farm, looked after and learnt all about goats, pigs, cows, chicks, guinea pigs, donkeys, rabbits, alpacas and even horses!! What a busy day!

Ask your child what they learnt about at the farm.

Has anyone seen the children from Foundation?! amazing are all the costumes the children came in to celebrate World Book Day 2024. From mermaids to cat in the hats, we have had such a fun day exploring the wonderful world of books! We have focussed on a particular author, Julia Donaldson. We shared our favourite stories that she has written and even created a class pictogram to find out our favourite character. The children were also set a challenge of sorting their book corners into fiction and non-fiction. 

Ask your child what they enjoyed the most about this special day!

What a fun experience! To celebrate and support our topic of Lunar New Year, West End in Schools came to visit us and teach Foundation a dance, inspired by The Great Race. All the movements represented a different animal. We had to use coordination, balance and speed to combine all the movements together.

This week, we have been learning about how the traditions of Lunar new came about, starting with a race across a river. 12 different animals competed in order to have a year named after them. Talk to your child about what they have enjoyed and learnt this week.

Rebecca and Katy from BCP came to visit the children in Foundation. They are literacy officers who spread the word about what their local libraries have to offer.

We learnt how we can borrow a range of books, including audio books, the importance of looking after them and what it means to ‘borrow’ them. Rebecca and Katy shared one of their favourite stories with us. Together we read The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. 

At the end of the visit, Rebecca and Katy gave us an envelope containing some exciting items, including our very own library card. We can't wait to here about your library adventures. Talk to your child about the stories they are most looking forward to reading.

As part of our PSHE scheme, Harold the giraffe from CORAM came to visit us all. He spoke to us about how to keep our bodies healthy. We looked at different body parts, including why bones are important and what our hearts, alongside food do in order to give us energy! We also helped Harold check his overnight bag and made sure he had packed important items to keep himself clean and healthy. It was so much fun exploring the importance of exercise and sleep so our bodies can keep on growing and getting stronger. Ask your child what their favourite part of Harold's visit was!

Trains, trains and more trains!

Foundation were super lucky to have a visit from a Trainmaster. They brought in so many different train sets which we were able to play and explore with our peers. There was even a sit-on train which sent us flying through our school hall! It was such a fun experience for all the children. Ask them what their favourite train set was and where their train visited.

Thank you F.R.I.E.N.D.S for organising this.

Stop. Look. Listen. Think!

We had the road safety team into school to teach us about the importance of keeping safe around roads. We learnt a special rhyme to help us remember how to cross a road safely. It was very exciting as we then got to role play different characters, including a traffic light, cars, pedestrians and even lollipop person. 

As your child how they will keep safe when crossing the road next time you are out. 

This week, we have had a community police officer come to visit us. We got to try on some really heavy uniform and were given the chance to ask questions. We found out how the police officers work as a team by using walkie-talkies. They even have a helicopter, just like paramedics...Ask your child what they learnt today!

We have met another real-life superhero...A paramedic!

We learnt some first aid skills, including how to put bandages and slings on each other. The paramedic told us that it was important to know the number house we live at so we can tell the person on the phone if we ever need to call 999. Talk to your child about this at home. 

999, it's an EMERGENCY! 

As part of our topic 'Real life Superheroes', we had a very exciting visit from a fire education officer to talk to us about how to stay safe when there is a fire. We learnt the rhymes:


'Matches, lighters, never touch. They can hurt you very much.'


'Sniff, sniff, sniff. Beep, beep, beep. Check your smoke alarm every week.'


We even had a surprise visit from the local fire station who drove a real fire engine (with flashing lights) onto the playground...How lucky are we!




What a fantastic first week we have had exploring our new classrooms and learning gardens! We are so proud of how the children have settled as they begin their new school adventure. Here are some of the things that we have been doing this week...