Year 5 have enjoyed cooking again, in their DT lessons, after careful risk analysis, due to Covid.
Following their studies of the Mayan culture, in their history, the children researched the ingredients that would be readily available to the Mayan. The children had also studied a book called, “The Corn Grows Ripe” by Dorothy Rhoads, as part of their guided reading. They knew the importance of the corn and the gods in their agriculture. They also learnt how the butternut squash was hollowed out to make a water jug.
The children have learnt about healthy eating and food groups as part of their PSHE studies too. We then compiled a list of likely ingredients for our recipe. The children were regularly washing their hands as they shared utensils. They learnt safe ways to chop different shaped vegetables and how to make a “bridge” shape with their hands, in order to chop safely.
We then thought carefully about the presentation of our soup – one lumpy and one smoothed with a blender. We added sprinkles of chilli, pumpkin seeds, sage and a twist of lime to make it look appealing.
Year 5 have been learning about the Norfolk Broads as part of our local area studies. The children were interested in the following quote:
“Human influence created the Broads and human influence is contributing to its destruction.”
The children were able to explain that the Broads were manmade in Medieval times, when they needed to dig peat for fuel, when the population of Norfolk increased. They subsequently flooded when sea levels rose.
They then went on to explore what is meant by “eutrophication” where human activity like farming means that nitrates and phosphates are washed into the Broads. This causes too much algae to grow on the surface, using up oxygen from the water and blocking the sunlight.
The children then shared their experiences of seeing algae build up in their fish tanks and ponds. We decided to explore this further by looking in our school pond.
Whilst we were there, we also practised some of mindfulness techniques, connecting with and enjoying exploring our beautiful surroundings.
Year 3 have been reading a book called, “I am Neil Armstrong” this half term which describes Neil Armstrong’s life in a comic book style biography, written in the style of an autobiography. The children investigated the different features of an autobiography and then wrote their own in first person. In their final task connected to this style of writing, the children were asked to incorporate their wellbeing focus of ‘staying connected’ by contacting a family member or a friend and interviewing them to write a biography about them. The children really enjoyed doing this and found out lots about their adults that they didn’t know before! They were then able to use these interesting facts in a biographical piece of writing.
At the end of term, we investigated persuasive texts and persuasive techniques used in different examples of writing. The children role played different people to consider different viewpoints and practised debating opposing points of view for the first time! They then wrote their own persuasive letters.
Year 3 started the term focusing on statistics in maths and learnt how to use tally charts and connected pictograms to represent data. We also learnt how to interpret given pictograms and bar graphs. We then learnt how to measure objects in mm, cm and m and had great fun comparing the lengths of objects we found at home and in the classroom! We also learnt about perimeter and how to measure the perimeter of shapes. Since then, we have recapped our learning about multiplication using the expanded column method and division using a place value grid using 2 digit numbers by one digit numbers.
Year 3 have been learning about famous scientists and inventors and how they have influenced the world of science today. We learnt about how crop rotation was based on the findings of George Washington- Carver, how Alexander Graham Bell developed his understanding of sound to inspire the telephone and how Marie Curie’s scientific passions impacted her life. We have also looked at the human skeleton and how muscles are used for movement.
This half term we have focussed on our athletic skills and have learnt how to best propel our bodies when changing speed and direction.
Geography and computing
This half term Year 3 have investigated the local area by researching information about Dereham using search engines on the internet. We have also explored symbols used in a key on a map to represent important human and physical features and found such features on a map of our local area. We then presented the information we wished to share about Dereham in a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation created in pairs.
This half term we have studied the author and artist Jeannie Baker and her unique collage representations of landscapes. We particularly focussed on her book, ‘The Window’ as we have spent so much time looking out of our windows at home and then the children created their own collage view ‘from their own window at home’. We discussed rural landscapes and cityscapes and how colour was affected by the change in these areas.
This term, Year 3 have explored the beliefs and practices of Hinduism and have learnt about some of the gods and deities and what they mean to Hindus. We also learnt about some of the Hindu festivals. In the second half of term, our topic has been how Christians worship. We have learnt about the different types of worship in church such as singing, praying and reading the Bible. We have studied Christian baptism and Christian weddings and how these help people feel part of the Christian community. We have learnt about the Salvation Army and how they put their faith into practice in the community and we have discovered how Christians celebrate Easter around the world.
In Year 3 Mr Hardy started doing live lessons (following parental demand!) for the whole year group and we have carried this on back in school.
In Spring 1 children were learning the colours and also found out about Chinese New Year.
This half term children have been learning all about the items in their pencil case and will be making mini-books by the end of the Spring term.
The week beginning 1st February 2021 was Children’s Mental Health Week and we recognised this week in year 5 in a number of ways.
We started the week by discussing the theme ‘Express Yourself.’ We talked about different ways you can express yourself creatively and why it is important to find healthy ways to express yourself.
We had many opportunities throughout the week to express ourselves creatively. One of the activities was to make a Gratitude Tree which involved collecting twigs and decorating them. The children enjoyed writing what they are grateful for on their trees.
The children have worked very hard this half term and we have been so pleased with how well they have settled back in to learning in the classroom. They have worked independently in English and maths and are showing us how much progress they have made over this term of learning from home.
This half term we started our new topic ‘Our Planet and Beyond’. We began by learning about significant people in the space race. We learnt how animals were first sent into space followed by people and how Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon and the children placed these events on a timeline showing the order in which they happened. We looked at how scientists use moon buggies to go to space and find out lots of information about the moon. Then we had a go at designing and making our own moon buggies!
In science, we looked at materials and their properties and linked this to our topic by designing a space suit and choosing materials for their specific properties. We thought about whether a material was waterproof, flexible or kept us warm and discussed how this would affect the way in which the space suit would work. The children had fun thinking about what it would be like if chairs were flexible rather than rigid and how they would wear clothes if they were rigid.
We started Spring 2 with the majority of the year group learning remotely. At the beginning of week three, we were delighted to see all the children back in their classrooms. All the year four classes settled back to the routines of school very quickly.
In maths, we came to the end of a series of lessons all about fractions. The children developed a wide variety of skills including finding equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, finding fractions of a quantity and some problem solving. We then moved on to the new topic of decimals. The children learned about tenths and hundredths and how these decimal numbers could be represented on a place value grid and on a number line. We finished the topic by dividing 1 and 2 digit numbers by 10 and 100.
In whole class reading, we enjoyed a text very different from The Butterfly Lion. Beowulf is an old English story by an anonymous Anglo Saxon poet. The poem tells of a strong and brave warrior (Beowulf) who defeats monsters and goes on to become King.
The children undertook many activities to develop their reading skills. These included using evidence from the text to make predictions about what the monster Grendel would look like, retrieving key details, summarising events from more than one paragraph and comparing the two fights that Beowulf had.
This learning coincided with our History topic about the Anglo Saxons. The children began the topic by learning about why the Anglo Saxons invaded Britain, these reasons were sorted in to push and pull factors.
Then the children studied maps to find evidence of Anglo Saxon settlements in East Anglia and located places that contained part of an Anglo Saxon word.
The children were also given the opportunity to research an aspect of everyday life in Anglo Saxon times, using their tablet and non-fiction books, in order to create a fact-file to present their new knowledge.
In Art, the children learned about Islamic patterns to link with the R.E topic for this half term. During this time, the children designed, made and printed using a print tile. The final task involved evaluating their work by recognising what worked well, what could be improved next time and what they had learned throughout the project.
The big question whilst learning about Islam in R.E was “Is happiness the greatest purpose in life?” This learning built on aspects of Islam that the children had previously experienced. The children studied The Five Pillars and passages from The Qur’an to help them answer the key question.
In Spanish, the children learned new vocabulary for parts of the body and then described aliens using their new vocabulary and a range of adjectives. This pattern was repeated in later lessons, where children first learned the names of a variety of animals then had to translate some descriptions that described them. It was very impressive to see just how quickly the children picked up the new vocabulary and how well their pronunciation was developing.
This half term year 6 have been working hard on a variety of curriculum areas.
We have continued to learn about evolution in science and the impact of human behaviour on other organisms on the planet.
In maths we have learnt how to find the area and perimeter of rectilinear shapes, triangles and parallelograms. We have also made sure that we have revisited anything we were unsure about from our time during home learning, including finding percentages of amounts and converting fractions, decimals and percentages.
We have written a fantasy story in English based around the idea of finding a prehistoric creature, linking to our science theme. We have also written a formal letter based upon the book Holes by Louis Sachar which we have been studying in Guided Reading.
Our geography topic has been based on Fair Trade this half term and the children have been learning about how this organisation is working for fair pay and conditions for farmers who provide our chocolate, bananas and other imported crops. We have linked our art to last half term’s topic of America and are studying the work of North American photographer Ansel Adams.
In PE we have been doing a variety of socially distanced team games.
Our topic for this half term has been ‘animals.’ The first few weeks of the half term were spent learning from home and the children continued to access their learning remotely. During these few weeks, they learnt about farm animals and jungle animals. They learnt what baby animals were called and played a game where they had to match the baby animals to their Mummy’s. The children have also been singing and learning animal songs such as ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ and ‘Walking in the Jungle.’ Many of the children enjoyed taking part in Cosmic Yoga and had a go at some jungle and farm themed yoga sessions as part of PE.
The Reception children have all been very creative and have enjoyed following the animal themed craft tutorials that have been posted on Tapestry. They have been making a variety of animals and also masks and hats which they wear to the Friday Disco!
Despite having to adapt to a new way of learning for the first half of Spring term, the children have worked incredibly hard and shown just how resilient and motivated they can be! In our English lessons, we have covered a range of topics including explanation texts and nonsense poems. The children seemed to particularly enjoy our topic of nonsense poems where they created their own nonsense poem in the style of The Michael Rosen Rap and then performed their creation to the rest of the class! In the last week before the half term holiday, we focused on the life and works of Quentin Blake. Amongst other things, the children created a story based inspired by one of his illustrations and pulled all of their learning together by including fronted adverbials, expanded noun phrases, similes and even some direct speech.
During our whole class reading lessons, we have been reading and discussing The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. The children loved the story and we have had some wonderful discussions about how the main character, Bertie, might have been feeling at certain points in his life. We were all very surprised by the ending and had lots of ideas about it! Once we had finished the book, the children had a go at designing a new front cover for the book, based on their interpretation and their favourite parts of the story
The story of Bertie and his time in Africa linked nicely to our Art lessons, where the children have created an African landscape in silhouette. They started by practising drawing African animals such as elephants, giraffes and antelope. They then built up their final picture by painting or colouring in a sunset background. Silhouettes of African animals and trees were cut out and added to the background. The finished products were amazing!
In Maths, the children began the new year by finishing off our multiplication and division topic. We looked at multiplying and dividing 3 digit numbers by 1 digit. We also developed our ability to find factor pairs of certain numbers. This is a very valuable skill in maths and will continue to help us with all of our maths topics. We have now moved on to looking at fractions. It can be a tricky topic at the best of times and even more so with the children learning from home, but we are so proud of how hard they have been working!
Our Science topic of classification and habitats was enjoyed by all! The children are obviously passionate about animals and knew a lot about them already! This half term, we have focussed on how to classify living things in to groups or kingdoms. We used classification keys to work out what animal was being described and discussed why it is useful to group living things together. We finished our topic by discussing what dangers might face animals in their natural habitats and how we can help protect them. The children had lots of ideas and were eager to put them in to practice!
During our Geography lessons, we discovered some budding geography experts in Year 4! Our focus was all about mountains and mountain ranges in Europe. The children enjoyed finding out about all the different types of mountains and how they were formed. They were amazed by some of the pictures and videos showing the enormity of some mountains and the spectacular scenery that surrounds them.
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