75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe
It is the 75th Anniversary of VE day this weekend. We remember it because it was the end of the World War Two in Europe.
Just as we would give an assembly on VE day, we have created a document for you to read (PDF file) and some video clips to give you a better understanding of VE day and why it is so important.
Below, are a list of short video clips that will also give you a better insight into World War Two.
VE Day clips:
If you are interested in World War Two and would like to learn more, please take a look at the clips listed below:
Britain declares war on Germany – This short film offers an overview of the events that led to Britain declaring war on Germany in 1939.
Food rationing in Britain – This short film presents the idea of rationing and food shortages.
Geography of World War Two – This short film provides insight into the scope of the war and how many countries were involved.
How propaganda was used in World War Two – This short film explains how people were persuaded to join the war effort, and the importance of motivational campaigns.
The Blitz – This short film offers an insight into the blitz and how the British people responded.
Machines of the Military –This short film highlights the importance of technology in the war effort and the key roles that tanks, planes and ships played.
The Battle of Britain and beyond – This short film explains what the Battle of Britain was, who was involved and how radar was used throughout the battle.
D-Day –This short film explores the significance of D-Day as well as highlighting what took place that day.
Code-breaking in World War Two – This short film explains how cracking Nazi Germany’s coded messages helped win World War Two.
On Friday 13th March, we were lucky to have two scientists from Mad Science (Dr DNA and Scientiffany) deliver an amazing assembly for the whole of KS2. Dr DNA started by discussing the pressing crisis affecting everyone at the moment: the short supply of toilet paper! An experiment involving lift, thrust, gravity and drag was performed using toilet roll. Wren in Year 3 and an industrial hairdryer helped to propel the toilet paper across the hall.
After singing happy birthday – twice – to Willow in Year 6 to emphasise how long to wash our hands for, two Oliver and Ellouise in Year 3 were selected to play ‘Toilet War: Paper vs Wipes.’ This was an experiment to show what we should put down the toilet (the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper) and what not to put down it. One side of the hall was encouraging the toilet paper to get through a funnel first and the other side encouraged the wet wipes to get through first. The funnel represented the toilet pipes and both sides made a whirlwind to show the toilet being flushed. Of course, toilet paper won and the wet wipes just got stuck! To show how strong wet wipes are and that they don’t break down easily, Dr DNA used a wet wipe rope to safely pull Harrison from Year 5 along on a trolley.
Then, photos of blockages in sinks and drains were displayed and an experiment was conducted where Dr DNA, Scientiffany and their volunteers tried to unblock a fat-stuffed sink with washing-up liquid and boiling water. The explosion hopefully reminded people not to put fat, oils and other items down the sink. After all, “Fat and oil down your sink creates a massive stink!”
Finally, a Year 3 volunteer – Zayn – was selected to help get an egg (Eggbert, one of the Mad Science crew) into his ‘house,’ which was a glass flask. Using a match to deprive the flask of oxygen, Eggbert was successfully sucked into the flask. He was then pulled out of his house by Dr DNA, who blew into the flask to put the oxygen back into it. Unfortunately, poor Eggbert didn’t survive Zayn pulling him out of his flask-house!
Thank you to Dr. DNA, Scientiffany and all of the volunteers for such a memorable assembly!
Year 3 took on the topic of ‘Diverse Places’ as part of the ‘Our Diverse Planet’ theme for this year. They started by taking part in an activity called ‘Don’t Tip the Ship.’
As cargo ships have been around for thousands of years, transporting goods around the world, the children built boats and investigated how much weight could be added to the boats before they sank. They learned that the best way of loading a ship is to spread the load (the weight) evenly across the ship. If too much is put in one place, the ship will tip!
After that, Year 3 children worked in groups and read about Bransfield’s journey to the Antarctic in 1819-20. The children researched and talked about what equipment they would need to take with them and why. They looked at maps and charts to learn about Antarctica, Bransfield’s journey there and how diverse habitats on our planet are from one another.
Later in the afternoon, Year 3 joined Year 5 to learn and play games that the older children had developed based on the topic of ‘Diverse People.’ The aim of Year 5’s task was to adapt games for people who may be visually or hearing impaired, or who may have some other kind of physical disability. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate and develop their games further.
To celebrate ‘Our Diverse Planet’ Science Day, Year 4 took part in a carousel of activities on the topic of camouflage. We learned about the four types of camouflage: concealing, disruptive, disguise and mimicry. As well as learning about animals that do camouflage themselves to their environment, we also considered animals that do not have any camouflage. Each child then each chose an animal that they thought would like to be camouflaged and decided which way they could camouflage them. The children used their imaginations and created some superb camouflaged animals. For example a deer was given green and brown stripes to blend in with its environment this is called disruptive camouflage. An orang-utan was given tiger stripes so that fewer trees would be cut down as people would be afraid of the orang-utan! This camouflage is called mimicry.
Another of our activities was researching animals that use camouflage and the reason for the camouflage. The children worked in pairs to research their chosen animal and create an information poster. We had a variety of different animals including sidewinder rattlesnakes, artic wolves and leaf insects! They all worked really well together and created some wonderful pieces of work.
Building on this, the children took the opportunity to develop their artistic skills through creating their own watercolours based on camouflage art. Using watercolours can be tricky, but year 4 persevered to make some wonderful art. The children were creative with their approach, thinking about the colouration of animals and the patterns they have that help them when they are out in the wild.
All in all, a fabulous day for year 4.
In Year 5, the children learned about games that had been adapted for ‘Diverse People.’ They watched videos and researched games such as Hugby, which is a form of rugby that has been developed for visually impaired people. Instead of tackling, people hug each other and then the person being hugged calls out their team name so that the person hugging them knows whether they are on the same team or not. The children thought about other games and activities and researched their own ways to develop them.
In the hall, the Year 5 children used equipment to pursue their ideas further. They came up with individual and team games that could be played to include people with a range of disabilities and diverse people. As our focus was on inclusion, the children came up with ideas and played games against each other using such things as blindfolds, sitting on chairs or having one arm held behind their backs to simulate what it is like for those who do not have full use of their senses or limbs. This meant that everyone playing had the same chance of scoring or winning a game.
After lunch, Year 5 children researched their own games to play using laptops and tried out ideas for their adapted games in groups. They came up with rules and instructions for their games so that they could rehearse them ready to show a different year group. Each Year 5 class then teamed up with a Year 3 class to teach the children how to play their adapted games. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate their games scientifically and to help develop them further.
As part of British Science Week, Year 6 focused on adaptation and diversity in plants and animals to explore the theme of ‘our diverse planet’. This links closely with our current Science unit, evolution and inheritance. We studied the work and research of Charles Darwin and learnt how influential his theories are today. Our first activity involved investigating diversity within plants and exploring how plants have adapted to suit new environments. This gave us the information we needed when choosing our own environments and plants to design. Our plants had to have been adapted in some way to highlight the diverse environments such as: a lack of water, very hot conditions, very shady conditions or bright sunshine.
Our second activity highlighted the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’. To do this, we read an interesting story about peppered moths. The story outlined the effects of the industrial revolution on environments. This had an impact on the environments in which everything lived including people, plants, animals and even insects. Originally, the majority of the moths were white so they could camouflage against the lighter birch trees. As pollution discoloured the air, the birch trees became darker, as did the moths. This meant that the darker moths were able to disguise themselves against the bark which resulted in them living longer and the number white moths falling. Our task was to illustrate the story of the peppered moths in a comic strip style to show how the peppered moths changed colour and camouflaged against the bark.
Throughout the Autumn term, Year 3 have had several opportunities to cook things in order to practise the skills of following instructions, joining and combining a range of ingredients and working safely and hygienically. During each cooking opportunity, the children worked in groups to measure and weigh food items. Their first opportunity to combine ingredients required no baking – the children make a bruschetta snack as part of their cultural understanding day. They chopped and sliced basil leaves, tomatoes, onion, crushed garlic and poured balsamic vinegar and olive oil before spooning it onto slices of baguette. We discussed different components of a balanced diet and then revisited this as part of a STEM Day challenge; the children had to design, make and evaluate a street food based around a British-grown pepper. We stuffed the peppers with healthy options that would make us feel full. There were lots of fabulous alternative designs and we discussed how well they each contributed to a healthy and varied diet.
Their latest cooking challenge was to bake Egyptian-style flat bread to understand a cultural difference in an everyday food and to see how it was cooked differently using oil. The children were very surprised at its size and taste compared to traditional British bread!
After learning about the key processes of Ancient Egyptian life in History lessons, Year 3 learnt about key artefacts, including the cartouche that recorded a person’s name. As a class, we watched a tutorial on how to shape and mould separate pieces to layer the structure to ensure it looked authentic and how to join the pieces of clay effectively to ensure that, once dry, they would stay stuck together. We discussed and planned, as a class, the tools that may be most effective and useful for each stage of the product and how to be safe whilst using them in the classroom. We trialled and tested the proportions of clay that were needed for the base, the outer edge and the bar to ensure accurate assembling and the children assessed this as they went, remodelling where necessary. Once it was dry, we finished off the product by glazing it using paints to make it look more decorative to suit it’s purpose and seal the clay. The children chose colours that they thought the Egyptians would have had access to and use to show wealth.
Year 4 D and T Autumn
Year 4 have been learning about the design and technology skill of lamination. We designed and made a cake stand in the Roman style, with a roman mosaic on the top.
Children learned that if we layer materials, it makes it sturdy and strong. They were able to discuss what was good about their products and what they could do to make them better.
To finish off, we made some authentic honey cakes to adorn our cake stands. Well done to year four for putting in lots of effort for whisking their eggs in the Roman way!
Year 5 D&T – Autumn 2019
Moving Monsters and pneumatics has been our autumn term topic for D&T. We have looked at different objects that use pneumatics, how they work and how compressed air can be used to move things. We connected tubes to different kinds of pumps to see which were more effective and then began to think about how we could make a pneumatic ‘Moving Monster.’ We are now designing our monsters and will soon be connecting them to a pneumatic system to make them move.
Year 6 D and T Autumn
This term in Year 6 we have been learning about the Ancient Greeks. As part of this topic we have looked at Greek gods and architecture and then used this to plan and make our own version of the Parthenon. The audience for our models was to be another child to help them to understand more about Greek architecture.
First, the children used their computing research skills to find out as much as they could about the architecture, structure and use of temples in order to use a range of information to inform their design. They then did some investigative work to find out: the strongest type of columns; how to create a net for a triangular pyramid (which would be used to make the roof) and making a base with steps which would support our temple.
After discussing the children’s findings, it was then time to plan their temples using their DT skills; considering the culture and society of ancient Greece in their designs. We discussed the need for accurate measuring in order to ensure precision for their final model and the importance of making sure that their product was strong and “fit for purpose”.
Once the model temples were completed, the children used their evaluative skills to:
- Refine and further improve their product.
- Identify how it could be improved it,
- Asked if different resources would have improved their product.
- Finally, they posed the question “does our product meet all the design criteria?”
The children worked very hard and thoroughly enjoyed the activity, demonstrating great team work and communication too.
We’ve received the certificate for being awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark for both the Infants and Juniors. Much hard work has gone in across the Federation into obtaining the Mark, of which we are very proud. The certificates themselves are available to view by the Science subject display boards at each side of the school. Please come and look at these and the super Science that we have to share!
This term year 3 have been learning about Creation and the Fall and asking the question: What do Christians learn from the Creation story? This enabled them to use their RE skills of describing the key aspects of the Christian faith, especially the people, stories, traditions and customs that influence their beliefs and values. They talked about how God would want us to care for the world and created posters to communicate their ideas.
During the second half of the term, the children used their skills of reflecting on and analysing what it means to belong to a faith community. They learnt about the Sikh faith and learnt about why sharing food is an important part of Sikhism.
“We acted out attending a Gurdwara for a Langar meal. The children wanted to cover their hair as well as take off their shoes before acting out washing their hands, taking turns to cook and share food, before sitting together on the floor to show equality!” (Miss Briggs)
During the first half of the autumn term year 4 learnt about Hinduism. They described different religious and Humanist approaches to ultimate and ethical questions, such as “is life a journey and does it ever end?” focussing on the skills of using and interpreting information about religions and beliefs from a range of sources.
During the second half of the term they were looking at the birth of Jesus in their RE Lessons. As part of their learning they read the nativity story from the Bible and had a discussion around what they knew. They then used their prior learning in English of writing a newspaper report to structure a report about the birth of Christ. This linked to the skill of describing the variety of practices and ways of life in religions and worldviews and understanding how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and teachings.
Year 5 started by thinking about the qualities that a good person would have as well as discussing the qualities of a Saviour or Messiah, linking to the question: Was Jesus the Messiah?
They looked at extracts from the old testament that show how people prophesised about a new messiah coming to save them. They have also looked at extracts from the New Testament to see if they thought that Jesus was this new messiah. The children also considered how Jewish people still think the messiah is going to come. Through role-play and hot-seating, they explored what it would be like for Mary and Joseph. How did they feel? What might this mean? Does anything scare them? Do they feel privileged? Do they think their son was the Messiah? This helped in learning and demonstrating the skills of describing the key aspects of religions and worldviews, focussing on the people and stories that influence their beliefs. They were also able to use specialist vocabulary – such as “Messiah” – in communicating their knowledge and understanding.
Important links were made with British Values when discussing what life might have been like for those living at the time of the Old Testament. It made the children appreciate why we uphold these values.
This term year 6 have learnt about aspects of Judaism and Christianity, and then Buddhism.
First we asked the question of how following God could bring fairness and justice? We learnt about Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments, and linked it to the New Testament teachings of Jesus about loving others as ourselves. We thought about how following these commands would lead to a fairer and more just world and learnt about the work of Christian Aid as an example of a group of people who try to follow God and bring justice to poorer parts of the world. This helped us to use the skills of investigating the significance of religion and worldviews in local, national and global communities.
In the second half of the term, we learnt about Buddhism, focussing on the skill of describe the variety of practices and ways of life in a worldview and understanding how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and teachings. We thought about the Buddhist response to suffering, the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. We then did some drama, acting out how we might respond to different situations referring to the Eightfold Path.
Both these topics have enabled us to use the skills of discussing our own and others’ views of religious truth and belief, express our own ideas and beginning to evaluate the views of others.
On Wednesday 11th December, Year 3 had a visitor from Portals to the Past to consolidate our learning about the Ancient Egyptians and the remarkable events in their history. The visitor brought lots of resources with him which enabled us to visualise and use some of the objects in the same way as the Egyptians! The children dressed as they wished in relation to the Ancient Egyptians. We had many Egyptologists, Pharaohs, servants and even some mummies and a god! The children were able to talk about their costume amulets, such as the eye of Horus for good luck and golden jewellery to signify wealth.
Firstly, we began the day by talking about the geography of Egypt and the changes over time to it’s parts and it’s rulers. We had learnt how to identify key features of a locality by using a map and discussed famous landmarks in Egypt, but our visitor taught us about the reasons for their appearance and introduction due to some of the ideas from Pharaohs over time, like the Pyramids and the Valley of the kings. The children showed off some of their learning by describing the place and events that they had already learnt about using geographical language.
We applied the skill of researching from the given information boards and learnt some facts about many things, including why Gods and Goddesses were so important but are no longer worshipped in the same way. Use of our previous internet searches for information, the things we found out on the information boards and from our visitor helped the children to come to the conclusion that Cleopatra’s love stories played a large part in the demise of the Egyptian rule. It was interesting for the children to consider how invasions from other cultures, such as the Persians and the Greeks, had an influence on their faith and that once the land became Roman led, the land became Christian, then later Muslim and Egyptians ceased to worship their old gods and goddesses. We also learnt about the influence of some of these invasions on the language used, such as the word “pyramis” which translates to “wheat cake” as the pyramids reminded them of the shape of their wheat cakes with a pointed top.
We were shown lots of objects and applied the skill of deducing and answering questions about the purpose of the artefacts and the photographs; the children were able to give plausible explanations about what they thought the objects were for by considering the clues given e.g. A small pot used to hold kohl, an earring stud and versions of alabaster pottery.
We knew that Ancient Egyptians played board games and so it was exciting to play a game that would have been played by children in Ancient Egypt called ‘Jackals’. The children were able to apply their historical understanding skills to discuss similarities to games developed and played today, like snakes and ladders! We were told that some of the games had markings for which the instruction was unknown so some of the children were able to suggest inventive game rules to do with these markings.
In the afternoon, we took part in and watched a role-played version of the life and death of a pharaoh, including his mummification! We watched the process that we had learnt and discussed the job roles of different people that would have been employed in the process. In class we had already carried this out on a tomato before the day, but watching this on a life size dummy allowed us to really visualise the process and consider the significance of this event in their culture on history.
Finally, we played a game of hounds versus jackals. The objective of which was to aim for the animals that would have been present in Ancient Egypt. Each animal had different points for their temperaments and importance in Ancient Egyptian life.
Quotes from the children about the day –
Leo “I liked it because I like watching and listening to all the things we have learnt about the past”.
Bailey “I like Egyptian day because it’s very fun as we get to dress up and play real life board games like the Egyptians”.
Lexi “I enjoyed being able to research extra information about Tutankhamun”.
In Year 3, the children consolidated their prior learning about the continents of the world using their atlas skills. They then located the countries that make up the UK and their capital cities using maps and looked at identifying key features of a locality using a map where relevant.
Year three also compared a region in the UK to a region in Europe using geographical language. Whilst studying Ancient Egypt, the children identified the main landmarks and geographical features of this country using a map.
As part of their study of the Roman era, the children in Year 4 used atlases, maps and globes to identify Italy and its capital, Rome. They also mapped the expansion of the Roman Empire from 800BC to 117AD and had to accurately research and collect information using their skills of geographical enquiry. . They planned a journey using their geographical skills.
In Year 5 the children discovered where the Vikings came from using maps and atlases. They also looked a range of geographical features around the world such as Earthquakes and the geographical features of these. They thought of their own questions about Earthquakes and volcanoes and they used their research skills to find the answers.
As part of their study on Ancient Greece, the children in Year 6 used their atlas skills to locate places in Europe including Greece and its capital, Athens on a map. Using maps and satellite images, they also identified the countries Alexander the Great conquered and the trade routes in Ancient Greece. They looked at using maps and other resources to describe what a locality might be like.
Adam Gibson, Head of Computer Science at Dereham Neatherd High School has been running free and informative CPD workshops based on delivering Computing. These provide learning opportunities’ for pupils and CPD for teachers based around delivery of Computing. Toftwood Junior School has benefitted from regular Wednesday afternoon sessions for Years 3 to 5.
The focus of certified Schoolhouse workshops, as part of Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse programme, is to help empower and inform teachers in the delivery of Computing.
Throughout the workshops, we have taken pupils and teachers through various elements of Computing, for example computational thinking and algorithms. We have also incorporated simple play-based learning techniques, which have engaged pupils and helped teachers to deliver complex topics using familiar classroom resources.
Digital Schoolhouse is delivered by the UK games industry trade body, Ukie. It was originally seed funded by the Mayor of London’s Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) and is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The programme is powered by Nintendo Switch®, sponsored by SEGA, Warwickshire Council and Ubisoft, to offer schools the support and professional development they need without cost. In turn, helping to prepare the next generation with the digital skills they need for their future.
As part of our Enrichment Week, we took the time to celebrate and commemorate the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 “the beginning of the end of the war.” Today, the children of Toftwood Juniors were humbled when they learnt about the great sacrifice of those who took part in WW2.
“We don’t always get to reflect on how they risked their lives for us. We should be grateful for what they did.” William Year 5
All the children were shown images and a presentation of the Normandy landings on D-Day and each class discussed how significant the event was for future generations. They were shocked to learn about the brutality that had engulfed most of Europe during the Nazi reign of terror and found it difficult to understand how a person could be persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion. Children from all year groups, commented how silly it was to dislike someone for this reason. One child said “It is not a good way to behave.”
The children’s comments were all about the importance of standing together and being resilient in the face of adversity. They reflected on how important working as a team is and how closely the Allies worked together in order to be victorious and end the war.
“There would have been more casualties and destruction without the help of our allies.” George Year 6
“If we didn’t have our allies then the operations would have failed. We would have been outnumbered as they had better weapons than us.” Blake Year 6
The final comment has to go to Martha, Year 5
“I appreciate what they did for us. They are heroic, brave and extremely selfless – no matter how big or small their job was – they are all heroes.”