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As usual we have been busy in Base 5 over the past two weeks.

We have started a new topic in our science lessons that the children are thoroughly enjoying: the heart and circulatory system. So far they have conducted an investigation on heart rate and learnt how to write up an experiment and found out all about blood and what it contains. Mrs Clarke helped the class to really appreciate the make-up of our blood by making 'smoothies' using strawberries for the red blood cells, marshmallows for the white blood cells and sprinkles for the platelets — gory, but hugely successful! Thanks to Mrs King (Aoife's mum), we were then able to go a step further and dissect real hearts to get a real understanding of their structure. A fantastic opportunity and great introduction to what high school science might be like.

We have also been talking about Internet safety and the children had the opportunity to talk to PC Amy Fletcher and ask any questions that they might have. PC Fletcher was very knowledgeable and emphasised all the wonderful things about the Internet, whilst highlighting the potential dangers and giving sound advice on how to stay safe. I know some of the parents were able to attend the afternoon and evening sessions with PC Fletcher and found these useful.

On Monday afternoons, we have been starting to sew a patchwork quilt with the help of Mrs Mansfield (Thank you!). We are using fabric that we dyed ourselves before the half term holidays and hope to create a small quilt to represent the Scottish landscape that the ospreys flew over in our class book 'Sky Hawk' by Gill Lewis.

Our booster club is going well and a large proportion of the class are attending. We are focusing on reading comprehension at the moment. In particular, we have been working on understanding the meaning of words in context and drawing inferences. I have asked the children to bring their 'reading stamina' records in each week so that they can be added to their reading exercise book. This is an important aspect of SATs preparation so please do encourage them to read at home.

In maths, we have been doing algebra — writing formulas to describe sequences and finding pairs of values to complete equations. The class have loved doing this and have done extremely well!

In literacy, we are learning about 'the lost boys of Sudan' and we are writing diary entries from the perspective of a boy called Salva: the main character in our current book — A Long Walk to Water. We will be cooking some Sudanese dishes soon as well as writing newspaper articles about Africa, the water crisis, refugees and civil war.

Thank you for your ongoing support with Early Bird — it really is useful. Let me know if you have any questions or queries about SATs or any other aspect of school.

Best Regards

Mrs Francis

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