English - Meerkat Mail
Our week started with a surprise when a suitcase randomly appeared at our doorway. The children used their prediction and inference skills to work out who the suitcase might belong to based on the random items that were in it. Secretly, it was our hook to introduce our new writing journey - Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett.
Maths - Skip counting in 2's, 5's, and 10's
This week the children have been developing their number skills by exploring the patterns created by counting in 2's, 5's, 10's and 3's on a number square and how the 5 times table can help us to tell the time. The children also sequenced numbers by showing jumps of 2, 5, 10 and even 3 on number lines, through using money, and by using other concrete resources.
PSHE - A helping hand
This week we continued to develop our relationship knowledge by exploring the importance of helping others. We learnt that not only is it a kind and good thing to do, but it also makes us and the person we help feel good. To give the children the opportunity to experience helping another, they took on a trust challenge which first started off by guiding their friend around the playground blindfolded before helping their friends completing an obstacle course blindfolded. The children had a fun time doing this and it was lovely to see how caring of each other they are.
PE - Dance and games
This week the children started their first dance topic which focussed them exploring different positions a cat might make with their bodies and then creating a fluid movement piece by combining the movements in time to a piece of music. In games, the children developed their throwing and catching knowledge by exploring the importance of aim with the whole arm and releasing at the right time to send a beanbag at a target. We then took this further by exploring how we use our legs to do the same when we sent an item with our feet. The children then got the opportunity to use the skills they had learnt to create a scoring game of sending beanbags into different targets.
Science - Can seeds grow out of the ground?
This was our key question that we explored this week. All of the children agreed on the same hypothesis that all seeds could only grow when they were in the ground. The children were then introduced to the term of "hydroponics" where some seeds grow without the need of soil. The children created their own hydroponic environment using a freezer bag, kitchen towel, and water to see if seeds could actually begin to grow without soil. We also decided to explore whether or not the amount of water affected how a seed would develop and whether a seed would begin to grow in the dark by placing Mr Dickenson's seeds in the cupboard.
This week we focussed on the history of why the poppy became the symbol of remembrance. The children looked at and compared photos of WW1 battlefields and poppy field, creating vocabulary walls to describe what they saw. After that the children learnt facts about John McCrae the medical gunner who wrote the poem of Flanders Fields before delving in deep to the poem itself and creating their own pieces of artwork to show the importance of the poem and poppies.
English - Meerkat Mail - alternative homes for Sunny the meerkat.
This week in English, the children were set the challenge of finding a brand new home for Sunny the meerkat. The children had to use their knowledge of the story to think about what Sunny would like and dislike about their chosen locations. We then reminded ourselves of features of an informal letter by identifying and recognising these in examples of letters in preparation of writing our own letters as Sunny next week.
Maths - Arrays
This week was all about developing our knowledge of arrays. At the start of the week, we went out and about the school identifying all of the different arrays we could find around us and even working out some of the answers to how many they showed. The children then went on to use arrays and draw arrays to work out different amounts and help solve problems.
PE - Dance and games - Pouncing and sending and receiving
In dance this week the children used their knowledge of jumping to enhance their dance and movement pieces from last week by adding another element of a count trying to stealthily creep up and pounce on its prey before dejectedly walking back. In games, the children focused on the importance of being light on their feet and moving to get their bodies into position to receive an item sent up into the air. They also remembered very quickly the importance of aiming with the arm and timing the release of object is very important to aid control.
Music - Creating alternating steady beats
This week in music the children built on their knowledge of keeping a steady beat by looking at two festive words - "clip-clop" and "jingle". The children easily identified the different syllable composition of the words and then had the challenge of creating a steady beat using one of the two words. The children split into groups and took it in turns to have a go with both words before selecting instruments for the words - wooden percussion for clip clop, and seeded and metallic for jingle. Finally the children came together as small groups to rehearse and perform their two worded rhythmic beats.
PSHE - Anti-bullying week
This week we joined the nation in raising awareness and making a noise about bullying. The children explored the difference between teasing and bullying and looked closely at which of Drew's tricks could help prevent bullying.
History - Researching the Great fire of London
This week the children became historians by looking at different sources of information to find out as much as they could about what happened during the Great fire of London. The children compared drawings of London now and London back in 1666, to compare what has changed and predict why changes were made. They listened to the story about the Great Fire and then came up with questions that they wanted to know more about. Fortunately, Jim the boatman from 1666 (who looked a lot like Mr Dickenson with a hat on!!!!) just happened to be passing by and was able to answer the children's questions and give them even more information about what actually happened at the time.
English - Writing, editing and publishing an informal letter.
This week saw the children finish their writing journey based on Emily Gravett's Meerkat Mail, by helping Sunny write a letter to his family telling them all about his experience at Catherington School. The children used their knowledge of features of a letter to plan and included superlative and comparative adjectives to make their sentences interesting. The children also used the conjunctions to help explain and give more information. After the children had planned and written their letters, they then used their purple editing pens to check, correct and improve their letters before publishing them using their neatest handwriting.
Maths - Geometry and Fractions
In maths this week we reviewed the children's knowledge on properties of 2D and 3D shapes by getting them to describe and label shapes by their properties using the correct vocabulary of sides, faces, edges, and vertices. The children then developed their knowledge of what a "half" was by completing the challenge of recognising half of shapes and amounts. This led nicely onto exploring lines of symmetry and introducing the concept of "quarters" where the children again showed that they were able to recognise a quarter of different shapes and amounts.
Science - What needs to be present for a seed to grow healthily?
This week the children carried on investigating what seeds actually need to grow and develop healthily. The children observed their mung beans and hypothesised why some beans were thriving and beginning to sprout and why others weren't. This led us the conclusion that too much water can actually stop a seed from growing and if seeds are grouped too closely together then they didn't have enough space/water for all the seeds to develop. The children were shocked when Mr Dickenson took his beans out of the dark cupboard because all the beans had started to sprout. This led to the children hypothesising that seeds/and beans are usually in the dark because they are normally underground so roots and shoots grow to find the sun and water.
The children were then set the challenge of growing cress healthily. The children set up their pots and sowed their seeds and will now be responsible for watering and looking after them and thinking about where the best place would be to help the cress grow to enable it to grow healthily.
Music - tuned percussion
Following on from the last couple of weeks where the children have been exploring steady beats and alternative rhythms, the children were given the opportunity to play xylophones this week. The only problem was that all the wooden bars had been removed!! This meant the children had to work together to learn the notes and work out the correct order they needed to go in so that they could play a scale. After a few trial and errors, all the xylophones had all their wooden bars in the correct order and the children enjoyed exploring the different notes that could be played.
English - Anthony Browne's The Tunnel
The children had a pleasant shock at the start of this week when they came in from playtime to find that a mysterious tunnel had appeared at the entrance of our classroom. The tunnel was dark and there was mysterious noises coming from within - the children showed great courage by going through the tunnel to find out our next writing journey was going to be Anthony Browne's The Tunnel. The children have enjoyed listening to the story and investigating the illustrations to draw out hidden meanings and links to other well know stories. This week the children have also developed their knowledge of noun phrases by sorting adjectives to describe the different main characters, used expanded noun phrases to excite, and used possessive apostrophes to show which possessions belong to which characters.
Maths - Adding and subtracting by 10
This week in maths we have been developing our knowledge of number and place value by working with tens. The week started with the children recapping on using the greater than and less than symbols to help them order random sets of numbers. This led us nicely into exploring and noticing the pattern that happens when adding or subtracting by 10 - only the tens number changes by either increasing or decreasing by 10 whilst the unit/one number stays the same. By the end of the week the children were using this knowledge to help them solve a variety of number problems.
History - What was the main factor for the fire to spread so far?
This was the question the children explored this week. The children were given 4 key factors, spread around the classroom, that helped the fire of London spread so far: 1) The preceding hot weather that had caused a drought and made everything dry? 2) The material of the houses. 3) The closeness of the houses. 4) The use of candles and open fires for light and cooking. The children listened to events and moved around the classroom to show which of these key factors they felt was the main cause of the fire spreading so far.
Art - Lieve Verschuier
In art this week the children looked at the artwork of Lieve Verschuier, who was an artist painting at the time of the Great Fire of London. He painted several pieces based on what he saw and heard of the Great fire and had a very distinct style by using a combination of thin and thick brushes. The children were set the challenge of creating their own interpretations of one of Lieve Verschuier's Great fire of London paintings using a range of thin and thick brushes and using their knowledge of colour mixing.
Music - Playing tuned instruments.
This week in music the children learnt the different cords on their xylophones and practised playing rhythmic pieces by either sliding, stepping, or jumping up and down the scale. The children then learnt a song that taught them specific cords to play which they then performed.
PE - Games - sending and receiving
This week the children continued to develop their knowledge of sending and receiving by looking at how to control a ball with hockey sticks. The children practised moving the ball from side to side and around themselves before moving on to using the correct force to send the ball to their partners who had to receive with control and then send it back.
English - Subordinating conjunctions and planning own portal stories
This week in English the children learnt the difference between coordinating conjunctions which join clauses and subordinating conjunctions which join clause by giving more information. The children practised using these when writing about sections from Anthony Browne's The Tunnel before planning and writing their own portal stories using "The Tunnel" as a scaffold. The children thought about other portal stories they knew, such as, Jack and the Beanstalk, Alice in Wonderland, and The lion, The witch, and the wardrobe. The children had to decide whether or not to keep the main characters or to change them, where the tunnel was going to take them, what was going to happen on the other side, and finally how they were going to get back.
Maths - Bridging
This week the children were developing their number and place value knowledge by investigating adding and subtracting a single digit number with a double digit number. At the start of the week the children focussed staying within the ten and using their single digit knowledge of numbers to work out the answers. The children then focussed on using their number bonds to 10 knowledge to help them work out the answers when a calculation crossed a 10. We also explored different strategies and methods we can use to help us check our calculations.
PE - Games - Sending and receiving with quoits
In PE this week we wrapped up warm and continued to develop our controlled skill of sending and receiving with different equipment. This week we focussed on the different ways we could send and receive a quoit using our bodies to insure it was sent in direction we were aiming for and that we were in position to correctly receive. The children sent through rolling, throwing and tossing and received by cushioning, cradling and catching. The children were then set the challenge of creating their own point scoring games using these skills.
Art - Sketching
In art this week we turned our attention to sketching and how different techniques are used to create whole pieces of artwork. Throughout this term, the children have looked at many different pieces of artwork when investigating the Great Fire of London, so it was a bit of a surprise for them when they were only shown a small section of a piece. The children were set the challenge of looking at the style and techniques they could spot from the section and then expand the artwork by copying the techniques to finish their interpretation of what the whole piece might look like.
Music - Pitch journeys
This week in music the children continued to develop their knowledge of cords, pitch and rhythm by taking it in turns to compose a musical accompaniment to match our "Santa Claus is on his way" song by choosing to play the cords by either climbing up or down, jumping up or down, or sliding up and down on the the xylophone.