Summer 1 in Reception 2024

This half term our topic has been ‘Once Upon a Time.’ We have been reading lots of traditional tales such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We have also read some not so traditional versions of these stories such as ‘Blow your nose, Big Bad Wolf’ and ‘The Great Fairy tale Disaster.’

Little Red Riding Hood

We had a go at acting out the story with props. We made a wanted poster for the wolf from the story and discussed his features and characteristics. We also had the opportunity to retell the story with puppets in the tuff tray.

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The Three Little Pigs

We shared the story as a class and have also read different versions such as ‘The three little wolves and the big bad pig.’ As a class we discussed the sequence of the story. We then created a story map to show what happened at the beginning, middle and end. We tried to make our own houses from bricks, straw and sticks like the pigs did!

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Jack and the Beanstalk.

Using our cutting skills, we cut out a spiral pattern to make our own beanstalks. Some of us made ‘Jack’ to put on the beanstalk and added leaves. At the end of the week, we planted our own magic bean! We are waiting patiently to see if they will grow.

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Goldilocks and the 3 bears

In class, we had a go at making and trying porridge like Goldilocks. Some of us had raisins or honey with our porridge and we decided it was ‘just right!’

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Year 6 Greek Day Summer 1

On Thursday 23rd May, Year 6 were transported back to Ancient Greece through our Greek themed day. We are currently studying Ancient Greece as part of our history topic this term. We started the day by being introduced to our Greek visitor who told us a story about Athens, Sparta and Persia. We volunteered to play different characters so that we could really understand what it was like for people living at the time. Our Greek visitor helped us to play a Greek game known as ‘Petia’. We played in pairs with the aim of the game being to block and take your opponent’s counters. Another activity in the morning was solving a puzzle named ‘Stomachion’. There were lots of different shapes that we had to fit together to create a square. There are many ways to do this and many other shapes that you could make. Some people used a prompt sheet to help them whereas some groups enjoyed the challenge of solving it themselves. In the afternoon we took part in our own Olympic games! We competed in two teams, through traditional sporting challenges. We had great fun encouraging and supporting our team mates. We also looked at traditional Greek weaponry and learned how these tools helped the Ancient Greeks in battle. Our Greek day helped us with our learning as it allowed us to visualise the different people of that time and understand their thoughts and feelings.

Year 2 – Summer 1 – Perfect

The year 2 Reading Gladiators have really enjoyed reading, sharing and discussing the book ‘Perfect’ by Nicola Davies.

The first session asked the children about what they thought the term ‘Perfect’ meant to them. We created a definition and then checked our definition with a dictionary.

The children said that they thought that ‘perfect meant it could not get any better’.

During the next session the children were thinking about emotions of the main character at different points in the text and how the boy was affected by different situations that were occurring.

Each child was able to connect the symbolism of the swift fledglings with the arrival of the main character’s baby sister. They looked closely at the illustrations to draw on more knowledge of this and related the language of soaring, racing, chasing and screaming with the movements of the swifts.

Wellbeing Session – Summer 1 2024 

Elise came to talk to year 5 today about 2 more aspects of well-being: giving and taking notice.

We thought about all the things we could give for free and how that makes other people feel. We listed, time, love, hugs, respect, praise, compliments, support, kindness, hope, friendship and courage. We reflected on how we felt when we had received any of these things.

We also considered how we feel when we give these things and they are not received kindly and how someone may need space to reflect and then reach out for our support later.

We also reflected on how observant we are and the kinds of things we notice around us; we have learnt to take notice of small details, not just the big things. Are our friends feeling or behaving differently today? Why might that be? What could we do to support them?

Our challenge is to put these skills into practice at home and at school and see the positive impact it has on people in our lives.

Summer 1 – Year 2

This half term the children have concluded their topic Art Around the World. We have created lots of wonderful pieces of art ready to display in our Toftwood Tate. The children have enjoyed practising the different areas of art such as printing, drawing and painting. They have even sculpted some clay into African masks. Mia said that she liked “being precise with her dots” for the dot art.

In Computing the children have been taking photographs and have learnt what makes a good photo such as lighting, focus and whether a photo should be captured in portrait or landscape.

We have also enjoyed continuing with Cricket this half term in one of our PE lessons. We have been learning how to catch, field and bat. Phoebe said “my favourite part is the batting because it is fun.”

Year 1 – Summer 1- Rockets and Planets Workshop

On Tuesday 23rd April, Dr Mandy Hartley from The Little Story Telling Company came to visit year 1 to deliver an exciting workshop about rockets and planets. She started by showing the children a size comparison of all the planets and stars in our galaxy. The children were amazed to learn it would take 1100 years to travel once round the biggest star in the galaxy!

Next, the children split into planet teams to complete a series of tasks. They made a playdough planet to the size of the picture given to them by Dr Hartley, found how many moons each planet had and identified the time it took to orbit the sun. Some teams even had time to learn how many hours were in the day on their planet. Did you know? Jupiter has 67 moons!

We learnt new facts about the planets including the heat of each planet, if they are gas planets and if we can see planets from Earth! Have a look and see if you can spot Jupiter this evening!

We played Top Trumps with the planet facts, which linked beautifully to our English lessons last week where the children created their own Top Trumps about the planets in our solar system.

The children shared some facts they knew about the different planets:

“Mars is red” Stephen

“It is 365 days or 1 year to go round the sun on Earth” Rafe

The children used reasoning skills to work out which planets would be the quickest or slowest to orbit the sun.

“The smallest planet has less weight so will be the quickest to orbit the sun” Auralia.

“Neptune will take the longest as it is the furthest away” Renelle.

We finished the workshop with some rocket experiments outside. We used water and alka-seltzer tablets in a film canister to create a mini rocket launch. Dr Hartley explained that the rockets were using the force of thrust to go through the air.

“I enjoyed when the rockets went flying up in the sky” Harrison.

Year 3 Spring 2 2024

English

Despite a shorter half-term, Year 3 have fit in so much learning! First, we learned about Recounts. This tasked the children with accurately identifying the features of a recount, leading them to plan and write their very own recounts. While most children wrote a recount of our Autumn 1 visit to Norwich Cathedral, covering their activities such as making their own stained glass windows and eating lunch in the cloisters, several others who joined us later in the year wrote a recount of an exciting cooking session they had! Following this unit, Year 3 moved onto biographies, linking to our Science topic of Mary Anning by writing a biography of who Mary Anning was and what she achieved. We have finished the half-term by writing a poem on World Poetry Day!

Maths

Year 3 began the term by learning about the formal methods for multiplication, trying hard to place one number in each box to help ensure our calculations were accurate. Following this, we learnt how to divide using place value counters; this involved exchanging tens for ones to make sure we could divide the numbers equally. Our main topic for Spring 2 was fractions. We learnt lots of new vocabulary connected to the topic; our daily retrieval meant the children could practice giving definitions for these words. Our lessons included comparing fractions, finding fractions on a scale and number line, adding and subtracting fractions and finally to find fractions of amounts.

Guided Reading

This half-term, we began with our two-week unit around the non-fiction text ‘A Rock is Lively’. The children enjoyed utilising their passion for gemstones and different types of rocks to answer many retrieval and inference questions, as well as improving their understanding with a vast variety of information from this text! Following this, linked to our Science Week activities with a focus on ‘time’, Year 3 then read a very similar text called ‘A Seed is Sleepy’. Written by the same author, the children had many opportunities to improve their understanding of seeds and their growth processes, standing them in good stead as they move through the school. Finally, we have just started our new fiction book ‘The Water Horse’, which we will continue after half-term.

Additionally, to find out how Year 3 celebrated a love of reading on World Book Day earlier this month, please click onto ‘special events’ or our very own Year 3 tab, in order to see some of the children’s marvellous double-page spreads.

Art & DT

In Art, we have been looking at our focus artist Georgia O’ Keeffe, a 20th century artist who experimented with bold colours and different techniques when creating her beautiful pieces. In particular, we have carefully studied O’ Keeffe’s close-up paintings of flowers. The children have worked hard to emulate O’ Keeffe’s techniques by first creating a viewfinder which they used to pick a section of their flower to sketch, and then sketching two of these into their books. After evaluating which one they liked best and why, the children then sketched the outline of their flower at a larger scale, ready to be completed using our chosen medium of oil pastels. Once they had explored a number of techniques, such as sgraffito and dry blending, Year 3 then meticulously filled in their sketch using oil pastels to replicate the shades and tints of their flowers. As part of DT, the children finished the half-term by stitching their very own bookmarks! First, they sketched a design of what they would like to see on their bookmark; then, they practised the three different techniques of the running stitch, overcast stitch, and backstitch onto pieces of paper. Finally, the children threaded their needles and began sewing their design onto strips of Binca. Whilst this was a tricky task, the children worked hard and produced many beautiful bookmarks!

RE

In RE, Year 3 have been learning about Islam and what Muslims believe about God. This has been a very interesting and detailed unit in which the children have discussed who the Islamic god Allah is, how Muslims show their dedication and belief to Him, and why prayer is an important part of their religion (see the pictures of the children trying out the Islamic position for praying). It has been excellent to see the children enquiring about the similarities and differences between Islam and religions they have previously learned about, such as Christianity and Hinduism. Please find details of our previous March visit from Janet Marshall, in which she discussed many aspects of Islam and developed the children’s interest in exploring a new faith, under our Year 3 tab.

Computing 

In Computing, Year 3 have continued to consolidate their prior knowledge of Scratch and how it is used, and further developing this. This has involved adding more than one character to their game and including a variety of motions, operated by a number of keys on the laptop rather than by just a click as practised in Spring 1, in order to have more than one character at once. The children have greatly enjoyed their learning in Scratch, and have learned a range of skills which will benefit them as they move into their next year group.

Music

Children have continued to have great fun learning the ukulele! They have learned a variety of picking patterns and are beginning to create rhythm in their strumming with up and down strokes. Pupils are practising songs using the C chord and now introducing Am.

MFL

Year 3 started the term learning about Spanish colours, this led to asking our learning partners if they liked certain colours and being able to reply with yes or no. The children had great fun designing their own Little Miss or Mr Men characters, which were named using Spanish names and of course colours! Our second topic was about equipment found in the classroom. We played Bingo! to practice this new vocabulary and using our retrieval skills the children decorated pictures of equipment using their knowledge of colour vocabulary.

Science

This half-term, Year 3 have been enjoying their exciting topic on Mary Anning! As we are sure the children will tell you, Mary Anning was an underappreciated fossil hunter of her time, and made many significant discoveries which helped scientists and researchers to develop our knowledge to be as extensive as it is today. Our lessons have included producing a timeline of Mary Anning’s life and taking part in a fossil excavation with our visitor. We have also explored Mary Anning further, in links to our Science topic, with our biography in English, before finishing the half-term by producing some beautiful double-page spreads about Mary Anning and her accomplishments. Please find details of our previous March visit from Janet Marshall, for which she portrayed Mary and explored her history and her achievements with the children, under our Year 3 tab. Additionally, our dinosaur-centred activities during Science Week and Year 3’s wonderful contributions to the science fair can also be found under our Year 3 tab.

PE 

In PE this half-term, we have been practising our sending and receiving skills. The children have enjoyed lessons where each week they have developed their balancing skills individually and in pairs, which has not been easy when they have also be incorporating equipment into this! Additionally, Year 3 and 4 have been very fortunate to have some excellent sixth-form students from DESA visiting as part of a 10-week placement; this has involved teaching the children many skills and engaging in a variety of activities with a focus on co-ordination, teamwork and communication. This will continue into the summer term, which the children are very keen to explore further!

Geography

For our Geography unit this half-term, Year 3 have been studying land use. First, we explored what urban and rural areas are across the UK, and what defining characteristics these areas had; the children were then able to create a mind map of how land is used across the country, and what the features of urban and rural areas are. In our next lesson, the children developed their understanding of which areas in England are most suitable for growing wheat, and breeding pigs and sheep. Finally, the children really enjoyed creating a sketch map of Toftwood as the concluding lesson of our unit, focusing on their knowledge of the local area and how to present this on a map using OS symbols.

Spring 2 2024

In English this half term, we have been focusing on the topic of Myths and Legends. We have compared the two and found that legends are more based in truth and myths have more magical and mystical elements to them! Throughout the half term, we have been developing our story writing techniques and have been particularly focusing on creating settings for our very own myths. The children enjoyed using similes and effective adjectives to describe their own imagined lands! We have also been looking at using speech to add interest and move the story forward. The children have loved this topic as they can really let their imagination run wild!

In guided reading lessons, we have been reading Beowulf, which is an Anglo Saxon mythical story. The text contains some archaic language which can be tricky to understand but the children have enjoyed trying to decipher what it means and have even been inspired to use it in their own writing! The story of Beowulf is quite different to anything else we have read in Year 4! A lot of the children have enjoyed the change of pace and have been so engaged with the story and predicting what might happen next.

This term in Year 4, we have been learning about multiplication and division, length and perimeter, shape and fractions. The children have been building on their prior knowledge by implementing what they already know about fractions and applying it into their Year 4 work. The children were able to extend their mathematical vocabulary by explaining what improper, mixed and proper fractions are. We have looked at how to add and subtract fractions using the same denominator. Also, the children were able to use a fraction wall and a number line to find equivalent fractions. This can be very difficult but the children showed amazing determination and resilience.

The children particularly enjoyed learning about lines of symmetry in our shapes topic. They used a mirror to work out if a shape had a line of symmetry or not. As an extension activity, we challenged the children to find shapes around the classroom that had any lines of symmetry.  

This term in Year 4, the children have been learning about what a sacrifice is. This children have learnt about a variety of sacrifices such as giving up time and money in order to help someone else. All children were able to identify what different sacrifices have in common which helped them to answer our big question. The children particularly enjoyed their role play activity where they decided how they would sacrifice their money to give it to organisations that need it most. All children were able to explain why they thought their organisation needed the money and how they would spend it to help others.

Year 4 have had a fabulous time cooking fish cakes; learning the D&T cooking skills of peeling and coating. We started by peeling and cutting potatoes into chunks, before boiling them and mashing them. We added this to tuna and grated lemon peel, finally flavouring it with parsley. We then scooped a handful of this mixture to press into a fish cake. We then practiced the skill of coating these fish cakes in breadcrumbs to learn to how to create a coating. The fish cakes went in to the oven for 20 minutes and we were able to take them home to taste them. They were delicious!

This term in year 4 we have been learning how to edit pictures. The children have been writing Myth and Legend stories in English and have designed front covers for their stories by using their newly learnt picture editing skills. They have really enjoyed learning how to layer pictured on top of each other and learning how to use filters to change the mood of their picture.

Spring 1 2024

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 poem in the style of The Michael Rosen Rap and then had the opportunity to perform their creation to the rest of the class! They were also excited to research their favourite animals in order to write their own explanation text! They loved explaining where their chosen animal lived and what they eat. They were able to include a lot of the grammatical features that we have learnt about, including fronted adverbials, cause and effect conjunctions, expanded noun phrases and separated all of their writing into paragraphs with headings!

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 all created a book review explaining what the book was about (without revealing any spoilers) and what their favourite part was.

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 then moved on to looking at length and perimeter and found that the children could recall a lot from their learning in Year 3 – which is fantastic!

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 also loved using Google Maps to explore different locations and then mark them on their own maps.

In Art, the children learned about Islamic patterns. The children researched different elements of Islamic art such as calligraphy, geometric patterns, vegetal (relating to plants) and repetition of patterns. They particularly enjoyed discovering that most Islamic art will have a small deliberate mistake to show that nobody is perfect! After creating their final design, the children then made a printing tile out of string, card and other found items and used it to print a repeating pattern into their books. We have all enjoyed this topic as we have been able to use a range of different mediums such as pencil, string, cardboard and paint! 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.

In Science, the children have loved learning all about electricity and creating simple circuits out of bulbs, wires and cells. We even tested which switch works best in order to switch our light bulb on the quickest! The children are looking forward to applying their new found skills to creating electric boar d games next half term!

Spring 2 in Reception 2024

This half term our topic has been ‘People Who Help Us’. We have been very lucky and have had some visitors come into school to help us learn more about the different jobs that people do to help us.

To introduce our topic, KonectBus in Dereham, kindly sent a bus to pick us up from school and took us for a drive around Dereham Town. We saw many familiar places in our local environment such as the Library, Toftwood Pond Park and Costa!

Before we went, we came up with some questions to ask the bus driver to find out about his job. When our journey had finished, we all went to the top of the bus and asked the driver some questions.

We also had a visit from the firefighters from Dereham. They told us about their job, some basic fire safety and explained that they don’t just put out fires, they rescue people and even animals too. They showed us their uniform and we learnt that they only have 1 minute to put it on. We also go to look at a thermal camera and used it to look at our friends. We then went outside and got to look at the fire engine, we were shown all the equipment, tools where they sit and learnt how they get water from the truck to put out fires with the hose. We all had a turn at spraying the hose, which was very fun!

Cayley and Bethan visited us from the new Veterinary Surgery, just outside of Toftwood. They introduced us to a tortoise named Rossi. We were able to touch Rossi and find out where she lived and what she likes to eat. We found out how to bandage the animals and the children had a go at this. We learned that vets help animals that are ill or injured and can look after lots of different animals not just cats and dogs. We enjoyed asking lots of questions to find out more! We also role played vets in our classrooms.

We also met a police officer! We learnt that they keep us safe and if there is an emergency to call 999! We also learnt that dogs and horses work for the police force too. PC Charlotte brought in her police car and talked about the equipment that she carries. She also answered any questions that we had about being a police officer. During the week, we listened to police stories and dressed up as police officers in our role play.

Thank you so much to all of the visitors that were able to make this topic so exciting for the children!