Half way through the year with Year 3!

Dear Parents and Carers,

It was lovely to meet with you all at parents’ evenings over the last two weeks and discuss your child’s learning.

They all seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed their learning through the topic of ‘Paris and London’ this half term. Having worked so hard on their narrative skills, the children now have some published stories of a young fox in Paris. We are all so proud of their efforts and the care they have taken with their presentation.

As part of the Year 3 inter-class challenge, the Haka was performed by a group from each class in front of Mr Applegate. They showed great spirit and results from this and their netball skills challenge will be announced after half term.

Our focus of study will be on the human body, ‘Blood, Bones and Body Bits.’ A piece of homework has been set this week and is due back on the 27th February. We hope the children enjoy the freedom to choose their area of study and enhance their creativity skills.

If any child still wants to partake in the NSPCC Maths challenge, it’s not too late as the lady will be back in school on February 22nd to award badges to those who forgot to bring in their forms on the 7th. A huge thank you goes to all families who kindly sponsored their child.

We very much hope you have a safe, happy and healthy half term break; we look forward to seeing all our young learners once more on Monday, February 19th.

The Year 3 Team

Happy half term!

Over the past few weeks the children have been finding out about Athens and Sparta. We have held a debate to decide which city was a better place to live for its citizens. Following this debate, they were ready to decide which city they preferred and wrote some very persuasive pieces of writing.

During our Science topic, the children have been learning about Forces and have enjoyed the practical experiments. They have had lots of fun making paper spinners and experimenting with air resistance and how it affects the speed at which these fall to the ground.

Every afternoon this week, we have had a strong focus on Christianity and how freedom and justice still feature heavily in today’s society. The children have learnt about the story of Moses, The Ten Commandments and how we can use it in everyday life.

Our Art lessons this half term have included the children using tone and shading to create mythical creatures linking with our Greek topic. Once completed, the children used these to add texture using a variety of materials to create a collage.

On a final note, thank you very much for coming to Parents Evening. It has been lovely sharing with your child’s achievements so far. We hope you have an enjoyable half term and we look forward to welcoming the children back for their ‘Road Trip Round Europe’.


Year 5 Team

A fabulous half term!

We have had a really busy half term learning about People Who Help Us in school and the community. We loved having the police car and motorbike in and were really lucky to actually sit in these vehicles and press the sirens and lights. We learnt a lot from PC Blum and PC Sawyer about how they help people. Next came the fire engine where we met Dan Trump and his crew. We were able to sit in the fire engine and spend time looking at all the equipment and how they use this in a variety of different rescue situations. We asked lots of questions to find out more information. On Thursday this week we are having a visit from a paramedic and ambulance to learn more about this service. We are really lucky to have all these visits from these emergency services, and the children have been very been very motivated about this topic. They have created some fabulous paintings, brilliant creative writing and enjoyed lots of role play experiences.

Our outside area plans are developing all the time. Thank you for all the donations of toys, the children are already enjoying using these.

Lots of exciting activities are planned for after half term including learning about Chinese New Year, New life with a visit from Miller’s Ark Farm, and our trip to Sainsbury’s with our buddies. If you think you may like to help on this trip please ask at the office now for a DBS form so we can process this before we are going.

Please ensure your child has a full PE kit all week in school. Your child need shorts for indoor PE and Joggers and jumpers for outside. On occasion we have to change inside for outside due to other year group commitments and the weather, therefore it is essential your child has a fully labelled complete set of PE kit. We do not have enough spares to lend everyone. Thank you!

Thank you for continued support
Year R team

Eco Committee Second Hand Book Sale

Our Eco Committee have been working hard to prepare for a second hand book sale on Friday 2nd February at 3.20 – 4.00.

These old books need a new home, as our library is getting some lovely new books. The old books will cost you just 10p/ 20p.

No donations needed – the books are from our libraries.

Please come and support our Eco Committee who will be selling these books.


Year 1 Update

On Monday, we had the NSPCC lead our worship and the children brought home a sponsor form. We are asking for your support in helping the children to learn their maths facts and raise money in support of the NSPCC. We will be testing the children on Option 1, list 1 on Friday 2nd February and we will send their test scores home with them on this day. Please remember to then return any sponsorship money to school by Wednesday 7th February.

Thank you for helping us with this worthwhile cause.

Year 1 Team

Year 2 Update

We have had a very busy few weeks back in year 2. The children have enjoyed the start of our new topic ‘Our Wonderful World’ and learning about the adventures of Sunny the Meerkat. Sunny lives in Africa but has recently enjoyed a visit to Hatch Warren to see all the sights. From this visit the children wrote super postcards to describe his adventures around our local area.

Supertato has been helping us learn about the importance of healthy eating and exercise. We have looked at the different food groups and from this designed a healthy lunchbox ensuring++ it was a balanced diet. This then linked with our D&T, where we looked at the ingredients needed to make flapjacks and discussed how we could make it more balanced, covering more food groups. We have enjoyed cooking our flapjacks, weighing out the ingredients, chopping up the fruit and will be evaluating these soon.


In the children’s homework books this week you will find their logins for our new exciting Times Tables Rock Stars. By the end of Year 2 children need to know their 2’s, 5’s and 10 times tables and related division facts. We have currently set the 2 times table and will add the others in due course.


We had the NSPCC deliver our worship on Monday and the children brought home a sponsor form. Please support our class and school in raising some money for the NSPCC. We will be testing the children on Option 1 list 2 next Friday (2nd February). Please help Year 2 to raise lots of money.


Year 2 Team

Year 5 update

In English, Year 5 have been having lots of fun reminiscing about a favourite memory of theirs.  They have written a neat copy and we will be displaying these outside 5H in the next week, we know you will be just as impressed as we are with the end result.  Hopefully you’ll get a chance to see Year 5’s great work when you come in for Parents Evening.

As mentioned before, we have had a strong focus on staying safe on the internet this term.  This week Year 5 have been working diligently writing a song, advert or designing a poster to help other children stay safe.  As teachers we have been so impressed with the end results.

On Tuesday we had a representative from the NSPCC to highlight to children who they can talk to if they ever need help. Your child will have come home with a sponsorship form.  We would really appreciate it if your child could learn the maths facts from Option 2 list 3.  If your child could collect as many sponsors as possible, all the money will be going towards the NSPCC, we will then test them on these facts on Thursday 1st February.  Once they have been tested they can collect the sponsorship money.  Please can all sponsorship forms be returned by Wednesday 7th February.

You may have seen on the website all children have been set up with a Times Tables Rockstars login.  This is a fun resource and allows children to practice their times tables in a fun way.  You can download the app on to a tablet or play via their website. Once your child has had a try, we know they will get just as hooked as we are.


Many Thanks,

Year 5 Team

Introducing Rockstars Times Tables to St Mark’s!

A Guide to RockStars

We are very excited to be introducing a new tool which will help children learn their times tables – Rockstars!

Why is learning Times Tables important?

As you know, learning multiplication and division facts are key fundamentals of mathematics and are used and applied to so many other areas of maths; knowing these facts will help children to make progress in their learning. The National Curriculum expectations are that children should know all these facts by the end of Year 4. We appreciate that this is a hard task for some children so Rockstars is yet another tool to help them achieve this.

What is Rockstars?

Rockstars is a website where children take on the role of a Rockstar – their Avatar. They give their Rockstar a name, decide what they are going to look like and of course, choose which instrument they are going to play.

How do the children practise their tables?

Once they log in, there are different ways in which they can practise their times tables. 

Your child’s teacher will have set up specific times tables for them to focus on which will be highlighted when they log in. When they play in the ‘Garage’ or ‘Arena’, they will be solely focusing on the tables set by their teacher. In the ‘Studio’, ‘Festival, and ‘Rock Slams’, they can practise all their times tables. They children can practise independently by trying to improve their speed and accuracy but if they fancy playing competitively, in the ‘Festival’, they compete against other children from around the world and in the ‘Arena’, they can play against other children in their Year Group. In the ‘RockSlam’ area, this is where children can choose another peer in their Year Group to challenge! Additionally, sometimes teachers may set ‘Rock Battles’ where children can compete against other year groups, for example there may be a battle between Year 3 and Year 4 as to who can earn the most points over a week’s period. 

What rewards do they get for playing?

Each time the children practise or compete, they gain credits which are used in leaderboards but they can also use these to buy new accessories for their avatar.

Every few week, teachers will be awarding certificates to children who have the most credits and also to those who make the most progress in learning their times tables. The more they practise of course, the more progress they will make!

How do they know if they are making progress?

There are a number of tools on this platform which allow children, parents and teachers to see how they are progressing. They can view and compare their initial baseline speed to how fast they are now and continue to strive to improve this.

Also, by using colours, it show which tables they are confident with in green and the tables which need more practise will be in red.

How do they log in?

Rockstars is available from Year 2 – Year 6. By the end of this week, all children will have been shown this website by their teachers and all children will have username logins in their Learning Logs. Additionally, we’ll send home a parent letter which explains in more detail how to log on.

Now and again, we will play in school but primarily, this is a resource to be used at home. Rockstars is available through WebBrowser but can also be accessed through the app on a mobile, ipad or tablet.


We are very excited about this fun learning tool and already the children are showing such enthusiasm to learn their Times Tables. If you have any problems, please don’t hesitate to see your child’s class teacher.

Many thanks,

The Maths Team



Happy New Year from Year 1!

What a fantastic start back to the new year. The children are really enjoying our new project, ‘A Toy’s Story’ and are loving exploring old toys and discussing how they have changed. In English, we have retold the story of ‘The Tiger who came to tea’ and the children enjoyed changing the animal in their own versions. Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to be learning about Traditional Tales and learning to write one of our own. We enjoyed having a go at poetry by writing out own ‘Wonderful St Marks’ poems based on the song ‘What a Wonderful World’. Here are a few…

Through our maths, we have been learning more about adding and taking away. Next, we are moving onto multiplication and division, where we will be helping the toys share their money by halving and quartering. We have started to learn about sketching and have been exploring different ways of mark making. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be sketching our own toys from home, ready for presenting them at our very own Toy museum. If your child hasn’t sent in a toy already, there is still time before our museum. Please just send in a small toy in a named carrier bag, which they can keep in school until half-term.


1 2 3 4 10