The Gruffalo Blog
Oak and Willow classes have made a brilliant start to school life! We have seen lots of smiles coming through the door every morning and lots of positive feedback about school! They have been learning the rules and routines of the classroom and have become familiar with the other areas they use regularly in the school. This includes their own outdoor learning environment, the playground, the dinner hall and the library. Both classes have become more independent and are able to put their belongings away independently, self-register for dinners and settle to their morning activities.
In those first few weeks we started our first Learning Adventure about Ourselves. We talked about our hobbies and interests, our favourite healthy fruit, our families, as well as looking at our reflections in the mirror to paint our self portraits. Following this we have been reading and completing activities based on one of our favourite stories ‘The Gruffalo’. The children have loved this Learning Adventure and we have seen some wonderful examples of learning, such as making and counting purple prickles, learning to retell part of the story with our own actions and making Gruffalo masks; we’ve even had some Gruffalos appearing in our role play area! In PE we have been exploring ways of how to move like the characters in the Gruffalo story and enjoying different parachute games.
Oak and Willow classes have learnt lots of new sounds in phonics and are really enjoying learning a mnemonic to help them remember how to write it correctly. Our favourite is for d, ‘around the dinosaurs’ bottom up his tall neck and down to his feet!’ They are learning to blend these new sounds together to make a word using ‘Fred Talk.’ Another aspect of their learning that has been fun is mental maths, which children love learning. Using lots of interactive games children are now becoming more confident recognising, counting and matching to their value.
Year 1- King of the Castle
What a short but fun packed half term. On the first day an eagle flew past year One and dropped a rather important letter from a young King called King Pilgrim. He asked us for help in protecting his castle from some nasty knights who were trying to invade.
Throughout our Adventure, the children fully immersed themselves into their learning so that they could protect the King’s castle. They learnt about where castles were built and why and they even learnt how to find castles on maps. Later, we went on to discover who else lived in a castle and the roles they had. The children then learnt about castle defences and had great fun learning how they protected the castle.
The children become brilliant artists this half term. The children learnt that many Kings and Queens have a portrait of themselves in their castle. The children then looked at drawing their own self-portraits really concentrating on the shape of their face, eyes and nose. The children then collaged themselves to turn themselves into royalty.
In English, the children did some fantastic writing. They enjoyed writing their own fairy tales with a twist to entertain King Pilgrim at his banquet. They also wrote some brilliant information booklets about castle defences so that King Pilgrims’ castle would finally be safe.
In Maths the children had a challenge of helping King Pilgrim order his Knights ready for battle. They had to group the knights in 2, 5 and 10 and make sure they counted the correct amount on knights in each group.
We had a brilliant time on our school trip to Portchester Castle where the children were able to explore a real life castle. All children were given the opportunity to dress up as Kings, Queens or servants and even tried some medieval dancing.
In RE, the children have been learning about God. They made some brilliant success criteria for what God had to be like and they really showed a good understanding of what Christians believe are his qualities. We learnt about the story of the Prodigal son and how the father in this story represented God. From this the children adapted their original ideas to include that God needed to be forgiving. Later, the children discussed the importance of forgiveness and what this did to them as well as the person they forgave.
We really loved sharing our work with you at our Celebration Banquet and we are grateful for your continued support.
Spring 1 Iceberg Right Ahead
The adventurers of Year 2 arrived back at school, straight from the Christmas holidays, ready for their incredible Titanic adventure!
We were lucky enough to have our learning adventure bought to life by visiting the SeaCity Museum in Southampton. During our visit, we got to take part in a practical Science experiment, look at the clothes of different classes on board the Titanic and find out more interesting facts about this key, historical event!
In English, we read all about a character called Samson (a baby mouse in search for a little life in America) and his exciting, yet horrifying Titanic Journey! From this, we drafted and edited our narratives and shared them with one another. Also within our Titanic writing adventures, we investigated the features of Non-Fiction texts and used this knowledge to create our own fact files about the first, second and third classes on board the Titanic. Finally, Year 2 got to explore a range of poems linked to their adventure and then in groups they created their own poems to perform to one another and their adults at the end of term celebration event!
In Maths, our trekking, investigating and exploring skills were put to the test by solving a range of fraction, money and multiplication problems. Within our multiplication challenges, for example, we have been learning to answer one question in multiple ways (using concrete resources, pictures, writing a repeated addition number sentence and drawing an array!) Year 2 showed great resilience and perseverance throughout this adventure, making myself and Miss Plaw incredibly proud teachers!
Finally, within our Science adventures, we have been practically exploring which shape boats would hold the most passengers before sinking and how we could make an ‘unsinkable’ ship for Captain Smith. These investigations involved discussing our ideas in small groups and then leading our own experiments from this!
Our next adventure begins in Spring 2…
Miss Longley and Miss Plaw J
This half term Year 3’s adventure was Sporting Heroes! We kicked off our brand new adventure with a mini sports day with lots of fun activities outside. We talked about what makes a great ‘sporting hero’, and then our teachers looked for the best sportsmen and sportswomen as we took part in all of the activities!
Our first English mini-adventure was to write a biography all about Mo Farah. We watched bits of his film, ‘No Easy Mile’, to help us learn all about him and his races. Next, we wrote instructions for making a healthy smoothie. Our teachers demonstrated making a delicious banana and blueberry smoothie, and we all had a taste! After we’d written our instructions, we were able to make our own smoothies on our military fitness day (more on that later!). Finally, we wrote a short free verse poem about the atmosphere in a football stadium during a match, and we used a video to help us with our ideas.
In maths this half term we have been doing lots of addition, subtraction and multiplication. Our first mini-adventure was all about addition – we did lots of practice so that we could add up the distances of our javelin throws at the end of the mini-adventure. Next was subtraction – we practised using the column method for taking away amounts of money that we spent at Sports Direct. Finally, we helped the teachers prepare for sports day with our brand new method for multiplication – partitioning!
In science, we learnt all about healthy foods and a balanced diet, and about how our skeletons and muscles provide us with support, protection and movement. We learnt this so that we could have our very exciting military fitness day at the end of the half term. We had a special visitor who came in to school to tell us all about what it’s like to be in the army, and then we completed an obstacle course. Later in the day we made our lovely smoothies – it was a great day!
In RE we explored the concept of things and places being ‘sacred’. In French, we re-capped all that we’ve learnt so far and we also learnt the names of the months of the year, and the names of our family members! In PE we have been practising our footwork skills – skipping, hopping, galloping, side-stepping, hop-scotching and more! We’ve also been playing racket games like tennis and badminton.
Thank you for your continued support of the children’s exciting learning adventures. See you after half term for our final adventure of Year 3 – we can’t wait!
Miss Tulié, Mrs Carter and Ms Hutchison
Made in the Movies
The children have loved our Made in the Movies adventure this half term, enjoying every mini adventure they undertook. We started it all off with a day looking at the history of movies. The children couldn’t believe how basic the first ever film made was and were fascinated by the thought that it had once been seen as interesting, amazing and even scary! They really enjoyed creating their own black and white films of every day events which looked amazing.
They were challenged in maths when budgeting their movies and had to ensure that their methods for addition and subtraction were accurate to make sure their movie came in under budget! No sooner had they got their expense report into the accountant than they had to start casting! They needed to use their multiplication methods to help the casting agency know how many extras to send in for each scene but we managed it!.
Another highlight of the half term was science where we looked at electricity on film sets. Luckily, there were no electric shocks when the children got hands on building circuits and testing different conductors and insulators before designing their own movie lights for their film sets.
Computing lead us into the world of coding and scratch. Through exploration and a fair but of debugging along the way, the children produced some exceptional mini games ensuring that the user had to take part by answering questions with the push of a button.
Finally, the English journey this half term has produced some fantastic results. Linked in with our reading of Matilda the children re-wrote a chapter of the famous book imitating the style of Roald Dahl. Their imaginations ran wild as they thought up ways that Matilda could seek revenge on her awful Father and Mrs Stock and Miss Gilbert enjoyed reading their wicked narratives filled with mischief!
We are the future
After our ‘Pole to Pole’ adventure Year 5 went forward in time…to the future! Year 5 have been amazing and thoroughly enjoyed this adventure.
In English the children used pictures and information from their home learning to write some outstanding autobiographies, all of which were beautifully presented. Then, we used our experience with coding to write detailed instructions for our parents to animate a character!
In Maths we have been focusing on fractions as well as continued place value and the four operations in a mini-adventure that looked into the ‘Future of Work’. The pupils worked extremely well to process all the data drop information for a cryptocurrency company. So well in fact, they graduated from trainees to become employees!
Through our adventure learning, Year 5 have tackled the issue of cyberbullying and learned how to get help if they need it. Before tackiling coding the pupils worked on their instruction skills by solving a number of challenges. The children then learnt how to use Scratch animation, coding and debugged their own animations and games.
Our ‘When I Grow Up Day’ was a highlight! The children dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up. Throughout the day they took part in preparation, job interviews and work experience in different areas of the school. The children can all be proud of the feedback they received from staff.
In RE, our pupils have worked incredibly well on the theme of ‘community’ and have compared our own ideas to ideas within the Islamic religion.
This whole adventure has been great to share with the pupils- next time we stay at home in our ‘Pine Class in the UK’ adventure.
Thank you for your continued support with homework and reading, it is greatly appreciated by us all.
Berlin Wall Blog
We had a fantastic first half term in Hawthorn Class. Our Berlin Wall topic was an amazing journey delving into post war Germany. We explored putting a Wall up and the restrictions it caused. Some of us became guards to keep order in the classroom. We even had a few children working for the Gestappo!
Our adventurous maths topics have covered some great challenges, we have explored recombining numbers to help with our calculations and some fantastic multiplying including very large numbers and very small decimals!
Some of us managed to crack Mr Osmond’s year six reasoning challenge on the Berlin Wall showcasing our formal methods of arithmetic.
In English, we wrote some emotive diary entries and imagined what it was like to plan an escape from East Berlin to the West. We took notes from our research and created power point presentations to show the importance of some of the meetings between the allies and how they divided Europe.
Our Art and Music featured Pink Floyd who sang the famous ‘another brick in the wall’ and of course in art we looked at some graffiti. Mr Richie, our Art teacher, was very brave and allowed the children to Graffiti on their early morning work books, Miss Clayton found out about it on the Monday morning! Apparently not knowing the art is going to suddenly appear is half the fun!!