This half term, we have been learning all about continents!
We started the topic by looking at Google Earth and searching for places that we were familiar with. We zoomed in on our school and enjoyed seeing the playground and field from up above! We learnt that there are 7 continents and 5 oceans.
The first continent we looked at was Oceania, sometimes called Australasia. We looked at the Great Barrier Reef and talked about how we could look after the ocean and the planet. We learnt the names of some sea creatures that live there, and found out some facts about them. The children had a go at some bubble paintings and experimented with blowing bubbles in watery paint to create a sea effect picture. We also did a Science experiment where we tested various objects to see if they would float on water with no salt, a bit of salt and a lot of salt!
Our next continent was Antarctica! We found out that no humans live there, they only go for a short while to do scientific research. We learnt about how cold Antarctica is through exploring ice in the tuff spot and looked at animals that live there and how they survive in the cold. We also found out some facts using non-fiction books.
We then learnt about the continent of Europe. We looked at some of the landmarks around Europe, such as the Eiffel Tower, London Bridge and Loch Ness. We also looked at the United Kingdom and the countries that make up the UK. We have also been talking about the football and the Euro 2021 Championships! The children have been playing a small world football game, looking at flags from the different countries and had a go at making their own to take home and wave!
Year 5 enjoyed a visit from Janet at the end of term, to consolidate our learning about South America, Central America and the Mayans, during the year. We built on our guided reading lessons, where we learnt about the significance of the corn gods and rain gods in Mayan culture. We replicated these traditions in our dance. Our knowledge of the hierarchy in Mayan society was excitingly challenged; we watched our friends and gave feedback, saying who we thought they were representing in society, looking carefully at their body movements and gestures. Finally, our knowledge of rainforest life and animal habitats in the various rainforest layers, helped us to explore new movements in our animal dance. We also had an enjoyable carousel of activities, writing leaf poems, making masks and dancing.
Year 5 have been learning about recycling this half term. We used the opportunity to convey the plight of plastics in the oceans, through our DT sewing lessons.
Having seen several images of plastic in the ocean, we carefully designed our work, thinking of the materials we would need and for what purpose.
To frame our work and avoid fraying, we made a cross stitch border. Long running stitches represented the water and waves. French knots and beads were used to attach our fish and other creatures. We used stem stitch and chain stitch to create plant stems and felt for coral and rocks.
Every piece of work incorporated an element of plastic in their design. Satsuma nets, trapping fish or plastic bags and bubble wrap entwining the creatures.
We gave each other some constructive feedback, as we evaluated and reflected on our finished pieces.
This half term in year 3, we studied Stone Age themed books in Guided reading to support our assessed piece of writing. First, we looked at an informative picture book called, “The Pebble in my pocket” which followed the life cycle of a rock. Then we read, “Stone Age Bone Age” which as another picture book that combined elements of non-fiction writing in a narrative style. Finally, we read, “A Rock is Lively” and admired the beautiful illustrations! We finished off the term by completing some modelled writing on, “Stone Age Boy” before writing our own imaginative recount in the day of a life of a Stone age child. We then completed a film review of “The Croods” and compared the content to our knowledge of what we know about the Stone age and how the media exaggerates things for the audience.
This half term we investigated fractions of shapes and of amounts and connected this learning to our work on bar models in division. We explored equivalence using fraction cubes and compared/ordered fractions using our fraction walls. We moved onto addition and subtraction of fractions with the same denominator.
We investigated different types of rocks and fossils, handling the examples that we have in school to categorise them based on their physical features. We learnt how they are formed, how they change over time and how humans use them in everyday life. We also created our own replica fossil whilst learning about the process of fossilisation. We learnt all about Mary Anning and her contribution to palaeontology.
We started our learning about The Stone Age by mapping the timeline of the era before meeting our virtual visitor who showed us artefacts stored at the Leeds Discovery Centre. We discussed the evidence used that aids our understanding of what happened in this time period and analysed cave paintings before creating our own. Each class used different materials to see the different effects. We also learnt about evidence of settlements by looking at Skara Brae and inferring what kind of lifestyle they had at the settlement. We finished the term by creating our own model round houses with authentic decoration. We also learnt how, later in the stone age, humans used weaving and sewing for clothes and bags. We designed our own “gathering bag” and learned how to do the basic ‘running’ and ‘over’-stitches. We also thoroughly enjoyed our return to the cooking room this half term and baked, and then tested, rock cakes.
This half term we investigated the beliefs of Islam. We focussed heavily on the five pillars of Islam and the commitment Muslims make to prayer each day and their pilgrimage.
In computing, the children enjoyed learning how to add data onto a given spreadsheet and then created their own, utilising the count function.
In PE, Year 3 learnt the basic skills of tennis including forehand, backhand, controlling the racquet and were set the challenge of maintaining a rally. For our core Real PE, the children worked together on their social skills to create sequences of jumping. The children were also supported to coach their peers and offer positive feedback.
MFL – Spanish
In Spanish we learnt various different food names, including fruits and vegetables and how to express our preferences.
In music we have continued to learn how to play Ukuleles, beginning to move between 2 chords, Am and F.
Year 2 have been focusing on their topic ‘Art around the World.’ The children have been creating a range of different artwork, including their own Aboriginal dreaming, and an African clay hand. The children designed their artwork before creating these wonderful masterpieces. This meant they were able to evaluate their finished design and they are very excited to take these home and share them with their families.
The children have also been learning about Islam in RE. They talked about who is part of their own community, and wrote their own rules that they thought would make the world a better place. The children drew on knowledge from previous RE teaching, our PATHs rules and also discussions around environmental issues.
As part of our current history topic, Year 6 took part in a World War Two themed day on Wednesday 9th June 2021. Our day was enhanced by a visitor who spoke to the children about what life was like during WW2. We started our day with some handwriting practise and code breaking. The children were impressed by the handwriting standard expected of the children during that time. Our day then consisted of various activities including playground games involving skipping, blitz artwork, spitfire plane modelling and a session with our visitor. The children showed great skill when painting and paid careful attention to their colour mixing and blending. The addition of the silhouettes really brought the scene to life. The children enjoyed the skipping games and learning WW2 rhymes that went with the games. Our visitor played the character of a woman living during WW2 and told us about her husband at war and son who had been evacuated to the countryside. The children really enjoyed listening to her stories and joining in with some historical dance routines.
Some of the children shared their thoughts about the day:
‘I enjoyed the stories from Mrs Ethel Brown they were interesting.’
‘I found the skipping fun. We all joined in together and we got to teach others how to do it.’
‘I really liked the code breaking but I found the style of the handwriting challenging, especially the capital letters’.
‘I enjoyed creating the Blitz art. It looked really effective when we stuck the silhouettes on top of the painting.’
The children have demonstrated an excellent attitude to learning this half term. In English they created some fantastic non-chronological reports about London. They researched to find facts about Buckingham Palace and the underground before putting their ideas into clear detailed sentences. In Maths the children challenged themselves by learning how to tell the time to half past the hour, how to solve fractions using the pizza method (in preparation for year 2) and to identify and name the 3D shapes. We also took time to revisit skills from the rest of the year, as we know how important retrieval is.
This half term we concluded our topic ‘Our Planet and Beyond’. We thought about all the facts we had learnt over the two half terms. Many of the children said this was their favourite topic this year! They particularly enjoyed learning about the astronauts and animals that had travelled to space over the years. The children said they liked naming the different continents and learning more about planet Earth.
In Science, we had so much fun learning about different plants and trees. The children explored the school grounds making observations and naming common plants. The children sketched the plants they observed and learnt to label the different parts of plants. We learnt about what plants need to grow and experimented with planting different seeds. The children cared for them over time and observed how they grew differently.
For the basis of English, Geography, Art and Computing, we have focussed on Africa this term.
In English we have been studying the text ‘Journey to Jo-burg’ by Beverley Naidoo. We have used this text to explore Apartheid and Africa whilst also consolidating Year Four skills and techniques. We have created an informal letter, a diary entry and a persuasive letter which we wrote to President F W de Klerk (the last South African leader preside over an Apartheid country) to persuade him to abolish apartheid.
With our Maths units, we have covered Decimals, Money, Time and Statistics. We have worked incredibly hard on these areas and continue to revisit them in our daily Maths warm up. We are also focussing on the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) in our daily Mini maths sessions in the afternoons.
In Geography this term, we have gained an understanding of longitude and latitude and have been able to use co-ordinates to find a country and city on a map. We have also been researching an African country, finding out its human and physical features as well as interesting facts and presenting this on a PowerPoint presentation as part of our Computing sessions.
We have had a very busy term in Design and Technology, we have designed, created and evaluated hand puppets, we have learnt sewing techniques and have used a hot glue gun to add features to our puppets. We have also made pasta from scratch and churned cream into butter – which took much longer than we thought!
In PE we have learnt the skills needed to play a hockey match and have focussed on ball skills and dribbling. WE have also been focussing on agility and our reaction and response. We have worked on continuous relays, ball and beanbag skills as well as movement.
With our R.E. lessons we have looked at Hinduism and have been really fortunate to experience Hindi dancing as part of a workshop this term. It was really interesting and really helped bring Hinduism to life.
The topic in Spanish this half term was Family. We began by learning the vocabulary for different family members. We learnt how to say which family members live with us, what our family members are called and how old they are. We developed our skills as language detectives and tried to translate words and phrases containing the new vocabulary we had learnt. We finished the half term with a challenging word search, in which the words to find were in English however the words within the word search were in Spanish!
This half term in year 6 we have thoroughly enjoyed being back in class and having the opportunities to work as a whole class. We have been busy with visitors, having had weekly life coach lessons for all classes from Paddy Venner. He has been teaching the children about resilience, positive attitude and making the correct choices. We have also had staff in from one of the high schools where the children had many opportunities to ask questions. This made them feel more reassured and excited about the year ahead for them.
In class we have been busy with our science work on light. We have learnt about how light travels, can be bent, refracted and split. The children enjoyed the practical lessons involving experiments.
In History, Reading and English we have been learning about World War 2. We have been reading Carries War for our reading and English lessons. The children have written letters and short stories from the perspective of an evacuee. They have enjoyed this and have shown how their own reading is coming through into their writing.
Year 4 had a very exciting last day of the half term. During our Hindu day, the children had some creative fun. One activity was to design their own Mandala. The children drew very detailed decorations and thought carefully about the colours they chose.
The children also had the opportunity to make a collage which incorporated a Mendhi hand print with a diva lamp, which Hindus light to celebrate Diwali. The children created these independently without using any templates. The end result was a lovely variety of colours and shapes.
Throughout the day, each class got to participate in Hindu style dancing with our wonderful visitor. All of the children threw themselves into the activity and were able to be very expressive with their movements. We learnt all about how Hindus tell stories through their dancing and how their movements need to be very exaggerated so it is clear what action they are demonstrating. It was fantastic to see the children so enthusiastic and joyful. One child from BL4 said “It was better than a ‘fun’ day and the best day of Year 4.” Another child said that “I found dancing with the scarves interesting as you could represent water or an animal with them.” A wonderful day all round!
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