20 October 2023

Cypress celebrates Black History

At Cypress this week we have been celebrating Black History through assemblies and learning in class.  The theme of this year’s UK Black History month is ‘Celebrating Our Sisters’, with the aim of learning about the achievements and accomplishments of Black and Mixed Heritage British women who have shaped history.  Children across all year groups have been learning about some influential Black British women from different industries including sports, politics, music, science and medicine, broadcasting and entertainment, literature and arts.

Lower School

In Reception we have been talking about our families and their heritage.  We watched ‘Jojo and Gran Gran’ when Gran Gran talks about her voyage from St Lucia to England, when she was a child.  We looked at a map of the world and a globe to see where St Lucia is in the world.  Here is a quote from Hugo, “My Daddy came on a little aeroplane and then a big aeroplane from Columbia when he was a child with his parents. I saw, there was a picture.”

Year 1 learnt about Ruby Bridges who was the very first school child to attend school after segregation, and we all found her very brave.  Ruby had to face lots of difficulties, but was very resilient and proud of her education.  Ruby grew up to fight for educational rights as part of her job, and we were all very inspired by this.  We recreated a very famous painting made of her going to school under protection.  We also looked at Mae Jemison and we were very excited to hear that she had been in space – we may have some future astronauts in Year 1!  We all made a picture of Mae Jemison in space.

Children in Year 2 studied the Tudor trumpeter John Blanke, linking in with their thematic curriculum.  We interpreted historical artefacts and listened to the experts’ videos to learn more about this significant figure in Tudor times.  We learned that John Blanke was the earliest named and pictured Black person in the UK.  He was also one of Henry VIIIs favourite trumpeters.  Ruby class have been reading the book ‘Coming to England’ by Floella Benjamin.  It is a true story about Floella and her family during the time of the Windrush.  We have really enjoyed this book and rehearsed a section of the story to perform.

Upper School

Year 3 have been reading the title Young, Gifted and Black and focusing upon the achievements of modern black figures such as the boxer Nicola Adams and also the musician Stevie Wonder.

Year 4 have been studying, Henry’s Freedom Box, tells the story of Henry, a young boy who grows into a man under the harsh conditions of slavery, all the time yearning to be free. It is an inspirational, thought-provoking, and stunningly illustrated story. What makes it all the more magical is that it’s loosely based on the true story of a man who escaped slavery by mailing himself to freedom inside a wooden crate. They will also be learning about serviceman and footballer- Walter Tull, after the half-term break.

Year 5  learned about the Black British soldiers of the First World War, who have often been forgotten. People from across the British Empire signed up eagerly to play their part in the First World War, but black recruits were not given the same opportunities as everyone else. Year 5 discussed the importance of remembering ALL of the soldiers who fought and defended our country. They also read the book Black In Time by Alison Hammond and identified key female figures they thought were inspiring and why.

Year 6 Notting Hill Carnival, making menus and learning about Caribbean culture and foods and reading the book, ‘Black In Time’ by Alison Hammond. They have been finding out about Claudia Jones, the political activist, who founded the carnival and also the West Indies Gazette. They have also been designing headdresses fit for a Cypress carnival!

Thank you to Ms Prideaux, Ms Sterling and Ms Corbett who organised a wonderful daily storytime where childre have enjoyed tales from Carribean and Africa, special thanks also to the wonderful ‘special guest’ storytellers who have regaled us with fantatsic stories this week!

Show Racism the Red Card 

Cypress was a sea of red today to mark ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and thank you so much for all your donations for this amazing cause. This links with our work on Black History Month.

Internet safety

Last week at the Upper School children were learning about staying safe and acting responsibly online.  This week at the Lower School, Miss Rutter led our Internet Safety assembly teaching children what to do if they see something online that upsets them.  We learnt how the Internet is an amazing resource but it’s important that we have help from our adults when we are accessing things online.

Gold Award

This half term our Gold Award theme is ‘resilient learner’.  Two children from each class have been chosen by their teachers for showing resilience in their learning and today we have had special assemblies to celebrate their achievements.  These children will come home with a certificate today and their photos will be displayed on our Gold Award boards for the next half term.  Well done to to following children:

Orange class – Erik and Alexandra Violet class – Joshua and Fiffy Lime- Gilbert and Sincere
Yellow class – Larissa and Benjamin Turquoise class – George and Musawer Sycamore – Harun and Jules
Red class – Saga and Flynn Cedar class – Aleena and Giotto Willow – Zephaniah and Nyiah-Rae
Indigo class – Fuad and Violaine Birch class -Emad and Ellie Hazel Jago and Heela
Blue class – Rayner and Ahmad Holly Class – Daphne and Reuben Beech – Stacie and Ben
Green class – Aarif and Andre Hawthorn  – Justin & Omari Oak – Rosie and Maggie
Ruby class – Isla and Bertie Rowan – Gideon & Donald Larch – Layla and Aslam

School Council and Eco Council at Cypress Lower School

Ms Nardozza met with the newly elected School Council this week to start talking about what they’d like to do to support and improve Cypress Lower School.  They all came up with some great ideas and wrote these down ready to display on the School Council board by the hall.  Watch this space!

This week we revealed the results of our recent Eco Council elections.  The Eco Council will have their first meeting after half term and we’re looking forward to the work they’ll do at Cypress this academic year.  Congratulations to the following children, who are all proudly wearing their new badges!

Blue class – Jason and Kaden Indigo class – Freddie and Eve Violet class – Aisha and Ridwan
Green class – Poppy and Ariella Ruby class – Leon and Louis Turquoise class – Eve and Jamie

Cypress Superstars

In line with our new behaviour policy, each classroom has a ‘recognition board’ where we celebrate children’s successes and achievements.  Each week, we (Mrs Sorensen and Mrs Carpenter) also have children coming to us to share their work and achievements and we love sharing this in our weekly news story.

At the Lower School Year 2 have been writing some incredible diary entries, based on their work ‘A Cloudy Lesson’.  They have written a diary entry from the perspective  of a little boy and how he was feeling when he was trying to blow clouds.  Well done to Harish, Ellie, Harper, Maqdis, Qhari, Rose, Musawer and Harrison for their hard work!  Kaden in Blue class has worked independently to find addition fact families in maths this week.

At the Upper School Axel came to show me a wonderful non-chronological report about dinosaurs. It was well written and included lots if subject-specific vocabulary. Well done, Axel! Flora came to show me her Caribbean menu fit for a carnival! We talked about the many different ways to cook plantain and breadfruit! Pable had been working hard on similes  and hyperbole. He created some very emotive and exaggerated sentences! Well done Pablo. Tabitha, Frank and Ben wrote an empassioned speech calling for women’s rights. They had used rhetorical questions, emotive language and ambitious vocabulary to intensify their writing – well done! Harry, Tom, Bea, Evie and Loresa  came to me with wonderful diagrams detailing the water cycle and could explain the process using scientific vocabulary!

SEND Coffee Morning 

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend our SEND Coffee Morning last week.  Please click here for the news story with resources and save the date of our next Cypress SEND Coffee Morning, with a presentation from the National Autistic Society – Thursday 23rd November, 9am.

Meet the MACs!

Members of the Academy Council (MACs) at Cypress are holding a ‘Meet the MACs’ event on Friday 3rd November at 9am in the Lower School Community Room.  Please come and join them to find out more about their role at Cypress and how they support the leadership of our school.  In the coming weeks, we will be recruiting a new Parent MAC so this is a great opportunity to find out more about the role and how you can support Cypress.  You can also find out more about our MACs here: https://www.pegasusacademytrust.org/cypress-primary-school/information/academy-council-information.
We look forward to meeting you!  Everyone is welcome.


We wish all of our families a safe, restful and happy half term break.  We look forward to welcoming you all back to school on Wednesday 1st November.

Mrs Carpenter, Mrs Sorensen and the Cypress team

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Published on 20th October, 2023

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