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Check out what we have been learning about this term!
Term 2 – Christmas is Here
Gosh! This term has been so exciting; it’s difficult to write about where to start!
I know… We’ll start with our amazing trip out of school to Peterborough.
First stop - The Bharat Hindu Samaj Temple to link with our Hindu studies in Religious Education. This was an opportune time for children to learn about another faith in a structured and educational way, discussing the philosophies, mythologies and ritual practises that made for a deep understanding of the Hindu culture. Children really took this opportunity well by asking so many fascinating questions – it was wonderful to see.
Second stop – The Peterborough Library to support our school’s love of reading. Children were taken back by books, discovering how accessible a quality text really is. We read, played games and had a great time exploring. With Long Sutton library only a stone’s throw away, children ignited their passion to take out a book (or 30!) and even, maybe, possibly, definitely put a book on their Christmas list too!
In our English lessons, we continued to use our Viking theme by creating an incredibly detailed holiday brochure on why tourists should visit Jorvik (an imaginary Viking village in Norway). Children were able to combine both their emotive and directive language to persuade audiences to bask – and venture - in the beauty of this wonderful place. Also studied in English were: the use of fronted adverbials; how to apply inverted commas; placing of a semi-colon; and the study of similes, metaphors and personification in a descriptive text. It was a good thing it was a long term!
In our Maths lessons, we began the first few weeks of the term by looking at both multiplication and division using the formal written methods. Children reacted well to problematic questions, drawing on their knowledge of place value to solve them. Next, was statistics, where children were using information presented in line graphs and tables (including timetables) to solve tricky problems in an everyday context. And lastly, measurement concluded maths for the term where children looked at how to solve perimeter, area and volume of a given shape to the correct measurement. Is it cm? Is it cm2? Is it cm3? Who knows?
Another term? Another song? I’ll start to get a name for myself I think. But with Christingle falling beautifully in the middle of this term, another song was called for to explain the true meaning of this magically event. And the children once again raised the bar in terms of commitment and energy levels. The roof was rocking during rehearsals, with the children even putting together their own actions to the song – it just comes naturally to them!
It has been a wonderful term where children continue to amaze me with their passion for learning. I do hope you have a Merry Christmas and a super new year! Children will update you throughout the year as to how their new adopted class animals are doing. They’re making the world a better place!
Term 1 - Let the Battle Commence
Wow, what a start to the new term we’ve had!
We were gifted with the incredible opportunity to study the Vikings and boy did we take it well! It has been at the forefront of everything we have studied and the children have learnt greatly because of it. We were educated in just how relentless these Viking warriors were on Britain when they invaded from the Norse lands, raiding from coast to coast, killing and looting everything in their path. It’s safe to say that British history had the children hooked from lesson one. It was brutal!
In our guided reading lessons, we learnt of Beowulf, a Geatish warrior who lived during the time of the Vikings. It is here where children learnt of Beowulf’s supreme power to defeat any enemy that came his way.
Our guided reading sessions fuelled our English sessions where we decided to write from the viewpoint of one of Beowulf’s enemies named Grendel. This fierce and ferocious beast had the children looking at backstory and questioning the difference between right and wrong. The writing which the children produced from this unit was of high quality, setting a wonderful first impression for what lies ahead for the new year. It even had us outside under the conker tree presenting what we had written to boost our speaking and listening skills. Even the rain didn’t dampen our spirits!
In our Maths lessons, we have been trying every trick in the book to get our times tables cemented in our brains. If this meant chanting them, we did. If this meant singing them, we did. If this meant getting up and dancing to them, oh yes, we did that too. For a closer look, watch this space for the link on how our times tables were being learnt.
What first term would be complete without a good Harvest festival sing-song ey? This year’s song was named, ‘Let It Grow’ which was a spin off from Disney’s Frozen ‘Let it Go’. Stuck in every child’s, mum’s and dad’s head from six years ago, it was time to bring it back and stick the melody back in their heads. The children performed this to absolute perfection and is something they should all be very proud of - their class teacher certainly was. The bar has been set, bring on Christingle!
Term 6 – It’s Showtime!
The end to a beautiful school year… celebrated in style!
First week back, time to go on a residential. Yes, Kingswood awaits! The children were extremely lucky to spend a few days getting the very best outdoor learning experience they ever could imagined. This wonderful place equipped the children from Herons with skills that they can use for the future, and opened their eyes to the opportunities available to them. They worked on their own, they worked in a team, they discovered things about themselves which they never thought they could achieve… All because they believed. Mission accomplished!
With many nerving faces, the big school production was drawing near. Lines were learnt, the stage was up and lights were ordered. All that was left was to put on a showstopper performance. And what a performance it was! With not a single spare audience seat going free in the school hall, the children from Herons, supported by Owls, put on the show of their lives. We all laughed, we all cried, this was certainly a night that these wonderful children will not forget in a hurry.
With the school performance now over, and children still buzzed with energy, it was time to switch our attention into putting on a great leaver’s assembly for our year sixes. The message was clear; what final words did they want to share of their Primary School experience? The children took the driving force with this by sharing fond memories, singing beautiful songs and reminiscing on the plain old funny times had at school.
What a beautiful school year it has been, I wish all the children heading to Secondary School the very best.
In a world full of darkness… Be the light!
Term 5 - The Final Countdown
Another term over, only one more to go!
Even though last term was a very short one, it still contained a very busy educational schedule for the children to utilise every learning opportunity. In our literacy lessons, we decided to put our focus on writing on hold due to the Year 6s upcoming SATs. Instead, we took the chance to revise everything that was learnt across KS2. It was incredible to see how much knowledge both the Y5s and Y6s had retained. Everything from ‘prepositions’ to the way ‘subject and verbs’ must agree were covered, including how easy it is to find the difference between a ‘coordinating and subordinating conjunction’. All areas the children now know just as much as their favourite Fortnite dance move!
With areas of geometry still yet to cover in our numeracy lessons, the class were unable to solely just focus on revision - instead they had to do both! This was greeted with a real maturity from each child, giving maximum effort to find solutions to very tricky mathematical problems. They had to compare and classify geometric shapes based on their properties. From this discovery, children were then able to use this newly learnt knowledge to find unknown angles in triangles, quadrilaterals and regular polygons. Not easy by anyone’s standards but by keeping a growth mind-set, children soon managed to get their heads around it.
In our history lessons, children started to uncover the history of the Maya Civilisation. With this Empire arising many years ago in Central America, it was wonderful to see the children’s faces as they explored how different this culture truly was in comparison to ours. With dark secrets containing gruesome rituals and disturbing sacrifices, it appeared that not everything was how it seemed. This will be resumed and completed in our final term.
With SATs now out the way, it was time for reward – bring on the end of the year school production! Having spent a while choosing the right play to showcase all of the children’s talents, I finally settled on the perfect play. This play has everything: laughter, music and a beautiful message! If only casting it was a simple job as many children could have slotted into a number of roles. With that being said, the play was eventually cast and even though some children did not get their dream role, they were still respectful of the children who did and dealt with this very sensibly. I can tell already that they will be great to work with – the show is going to be the biggest show the school has even seen! Look out for more information.
Term 4 - 'Monkeying Around'
A whole lot of fun was had last term with the children picking up many new strategies that they’ll be able to use both inside and outside of school.
In numeracy, we moved on from fractions, and into decimals and percentages to see how they all linked. The children did brilliantly! This tricky concept was certainly not easy to learn, but with great perseverance and determination, they soon got their head around it and developed their mathematical skills beautifully. Next, was to beat algebra… This by no means was going to be straight forward! I mean, who wants to work out what 6a x 3 + (7b – c) is anyway?! Well, Herons class certainly did, and they did very well too! We were able to substitute numbers for letters/ shapes until the correct answer was found. A wonderful achievement and a very proud teacher!
Our literacy lessons saw a huge focus in writing for a specific purpose. Firstly, and after discovering that Justin Bieber was unable to use the subjunctive form correctly in one of his smash-hit songs, we felt the need to write to him detailing the negative impact he is having on the youth of today. Our writing was formal and demanded that change needs to happen. ‘Be more like Beyoncé (a singer who uses the subjunctive form correctly)’ were the children’s cries! Not finished there, the children decided to take their formal letter writing one step further by complaining to Albus Dumbledore about one of his pupils, Harry Potter. Hero or villain? Well, after reading the children’s letters, let’s just say I will never look at Mr Potter in the same way again.
Taking a break from the realms of numeracy and literacy, it was important to get the children moving. Nothing did this quite like our highly-infectious ‘arts movement’ lessons where the children chose an animal to explore and recreated it in the form of music and dance. Our chosen animal, an orang-utan. So without ‘monkeying around’, we took what we had learnt from this angelic creature, to the school hall to experiment with its movement and habitat. We were even lucky enough to rehearse our piece at the South Holland Centre in Spalding with lead professionals, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Lastly, the children’s creative side burst into life with the exploration of the famous artist, Vincent van Gogh. We learnt about this extremely talented artist’s background and how he came to be known globally (and no, not because of the situation he had with his ear)! Children were inspired to create their own paintings similar to the Vase with Twelve Sunflowers and The Starry Night.
Term 3 - To Infinity and Beyond
Last term was kicked off with our new overarching theme on Space! This galactic subject became the children’s influential stimulus and driving force behind each of our Literacy units. We firstly chose to base our opening piece of writing around the film clip, It’s not our planet, it’s our home. It is here where the children produced incredibly detailed character descriptions of an astronaut in Space. Once complete, and not wanting our fictional stories to end, we decided to continue our descriptions with a stronger emphasis on environment setting for reader effect.
In our Numeracy lessons last term, it was all about the fractions. Ordering them, comparing them, adding them, subtracting them, multiplying them, dividing them and simplifying them. You name it with fractions, we did it! This tricky little concept was soon picked up by the children, who by the end of the term were fraction gurus!
No term would be complete without having to learn about our new overarching theme, and this term was no different, bring on Space. The children’s key target was to learn all about Earth, the Sun and the Moon. It is here where they were able to describe the movement of the Earth in relation to the Sun in our solar system, and the movement of the Moon in relation to the Earth. We went on to describe the Sun, Earth and Moon as approximately spherical bodies, before discovering the Earth’s rotation to explain day and night. It's amazing what our planet can do!
Finally, for our History topic, the children looked at the history of Space travel and how technology has advanced since the early invention of the telescope. The children discovered which countries were the driving force behind technological Space advancements which led to the first man stepping foot on the moon. This subject pushed every child’s curiosity button, becoming an astronaut is much better than playing video games anyway!
Term 2 - We'll Meet Again
Seeing as last term was an incredible hit studying historical events of WWII, we decided to continue our literacy writing around this. We started by studying Aiden Gibbons’, The Piano which tugged at every single heart string going. The children produced one of their best literacy writing pieces to date, with a pupil from the class sharing their work to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of WWI. This was followed up with a film stimulus named ‘Beyond the Lines’ and Siegfried Sassoon’s famous poem, ‘How to Die’. The children have taken a considerable amount of knowledge away from this topic, using beautifully crafted figurative writing techniques in their own writing.
In our numeracy lessons, children have built on their knowledge of ‘number’ from the previous term by learning about short and long multiplication/division. They have since taken this understanding into their statistics lessons, and further into their measurement lessons, where they have been learning all about perimeter, area and volume.
Design and technology will certainly take some beating! Children were tasked to construct an Anderson shelter out of everyday household materials. This was then supported with the use of paper mache before actually being put through a rigorous testing system. Please ask your child what this testing system was as writing it in words does not do it any justice at all. As you can see from the pictures, we certainly had a lot of fun!
The term was pleasantly finished off with a trip to Freiston to visit the ever-so popular, We’ll Meet Again Museum. Each child enjoyed this incredible opportunity by fully immersing themselves in everything the museum had to offer. From WWII, children were able to hold and wear equipment, taste popular sweets, injure a unique Blitz experience, and many more. This is something they will not be forgetting in a hurry!
Term 1 - Fantastically Fun Learning
This term has been heavily influenced by the historical events of WWII. The children have learnt a lot of information including: what life would have been like as an evacuee, how rationing was introduced and sustained, how important women’s roles were, as well as what caused WWII to both start and finish. From the very first lesson, each child was gripped by this extraordinary time, showing a genuine interest in each fact that was discovered.
Science has been entirely about the world of electricity. As you can see from the picture, the children have had a fantastic time making circuits and experimenting with different investigations. Using a cell (battery), the children have been leading tests with electrical conductors and insulators. They have been using wires to transfer power to a range of lightbulbs, motors and buzzers. Plenty of hands-on practical work!
The children have been working incredibly hard in both numeracy and literacy lessons. They have learnt many news skills and techniques they’ll take with them into next term. In our literacy lessons, there has been a strong focus on sentence structure and how this can be varied to produce creative writing. The stimulus for this writing has been heavily influenced by the book ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ which follows the story of an evacuee - a boy named Lenny – being taken in by Lady De Vass. In our numeracy lessons, place value has been our overarching theme. Before children get stuck into the world of fractions, co-ordinates and shape, they need to build a concrete understanding on the value of a digit in a given number; something which they’ve done beautifully.
We have had a considerable amount of fun learning our times tables on a Friday. It’s amazing how a little ‘song n dance’ during lesson time can have a significant impact on our children’s recall of times tables.
During music lessons this term, we have been creating our very own music which represents the world we live in.
We were extremely lucky to visit Tim Peake’s spacecraft at Peterborough Cathedral. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was an amazing chance to learn all sorts of incredible information about this amazing man’s expedition.
Whilst in Peterborough, we were able to take full advantage of our time there by visiting an Islamic Mosque. It is here where the children learnt about Islamic culture and their different way of life.