Christian value: Peace and reflection
This half-term, our Christian Value is peace. In our classroom we have a dedicated reflection area where the children can choose to go to when they need to. They may choose to go here when they feel angry or upset or simply just to have a moment of peace.
It’s been really great to see how the children have contributed to developing this area with a prayer tree, fiddly objects, peace doves and their own hand-written prayers.
To add to our work on peace, we also learnt about the story of Jelly Babies and how they were originally called ‘Peace Babies’ when they were first produced to celebrate the end of World War One. We considered how they chose babies to represent a new start and new beginnings after the end of the war.
Our new mini-topic is ‘Power’ and – you guessed it – our main focus will be the subject of electricity and all its uses and dangers. We began our topic by getting very hands-on. Not only did we look at objects that used electricity, we also got to take them apart – safely, of course- to look at their inner workings.
We especially enjoyed looking at the inside of a plug and using screwdrivers – again safely, of course – to get inside them.
As the topic continues, we’ll build circuits containing various components, investigate electrical conductors and insulators and always bear in mind how to stay safe around electricity at home, outdoors and at school.
Snow and skipping
After a slightly disrupted few weeks, we’re now back on track with learning and thankfully warming up again.
We did manage to enjoy the snow by getting out for a mass snowman building contest and snowball fight.
We’ve also begun practising for our skipping competition, which will be taking place next term. The competition will see us demonstrating skills like the butterfly, the pretzel and the speed bounce. As well as this, we will be performing a high-energy skip dance routine.
Watch this space for updates!
A Bug’s Life
This week, we met some rather interesting creatures when we had a visit from the ‘Bug Lady’. The visit formed part of our learning about life forces and we were particularly interested in the life cycles of the bugs.
During our workshop we met; hissing cockroaches, stick insects and snails. We met different species of each one and all at different stages of life and development – from eggs to nymphs and fully grown adults.
We even got a chance to hold some of them, or should we say they crawled, slithered, jumped and even had a snooze on us.
The last couple of weeks have been very active indeed. We’ve launched our 30:30 challenge. This involves getting 30 minutes of physical activity at school, which is then carried on with 3o minutes at home on as many days as possible. It’s great to see that so many children are already well on with the challenge with ten full days of activity recorded.
To go with this big push on physical activity, we had a judo workshop where children experienced this interesting and technical sport first hand.
We also got physical with our Life Forces topic. After deciding how we could help wildlife around school, we hung up bird feeders and made bug hotels in the hope of being able to study some creatures close up.
We’ve now started our new big topic of ‘Life Forces‘, which will see us studying various plant and animals. Last week, we started by classifying various plants by using a Venn diagram. Later on in the topic, we’ll use other types of sorting and classification methods for animals.
During this topic, we’ll read ‘The Adventures of Akimbo’, written by Alexander McCall-Smith. This brilliant book is full of wonderful stories about Akimbo’s adventures on his reserve. In addition, it is quite thought provoking on topic such as animal poaching.
If you or your child wish to find out more, then the BBC Blue Planet website has great resources and video taken from the award-winning series. As well as this, the National Geographic Kids channel on YouTube has a great series of short videos entitled Amazing Animals which are fun and interesting to watch.
There be dragons
For the last few weeks to lead us into out ‘Life Force’ topic, we’ve been studying that most magnificent and magical of creatures – the dragon.
We started by looking at a report on various types of dragon and analysing how it used conjunctions to extend sentences and what pieces of vocabulary were used to add more impact.
We discussed how to construct a report and group pieces of information appropriately with catchy headings and sub-headings. Following this, we wrote a short report as a group on Toothless the dragon – ensuring we used suitable conjunctions.
This week, we have progressed onto writing our own report on Windshear, the razorwhip, a most dangerous and fearsome beast. We even measured out a scale model of him in the hall so we could appreciate just how large he is.
Who do you think you are?
Last week was a very busy week in Year 3/4. With a big focus on our identity, we began the week discussing and thinking about all the different things that make us who we are.
As well as identity, we thought about what the word community means and what different communities we belong to – local, nationally and internationally.
On Wednesday, we spent the afternoon at Sandringham Park – an important place for our local community. There we made bug hotels and learnt about the importance of looking after and valuing this and other parks and green spaces.
On Friday, we considered how diverse communities can be and how we should celebrate diversity in different communities. Children had the opportunity to become part of the para-athletic community and experience how different sport could be for those people with a physical limitation.
Watch us while we work
This week, many of you came to ‘Watch us while we work’. This was a visit to school to get a flavour of what Reading, Writing and Maths teaching and learning is like in school, and hopefully to help you understand more about your child’s progress and how you can support at home.
The children loved having people watch them learn and were exceptionally keen to show off their books under the visualiser during the lesson, demonstrating just how much pride they take in their presentation and handwriting. It’s wonderful to see how much this has improved so much in such a short space of time.
Elsewhere in the week, we’ve been building up to writing a setting description using the third and final book in Aaron Becker’s Journey series – Return.
Our penultimate stop for our ‘explorers’ topic was a dense jungle. We created some artwork in the style of Rousseau, trying to re-create the scene you see below.
A snap-happy visitor
Just before the holidays, as part of our ‘Explorers’ topic, we had a very special visit from Dr David Ian Higgins, who has a serious passion for wildlife and wilderness and is a perfect example of a 21st century explorer.
David is a world class photographer and brought in some examples of his excellent photography work. However, the children were even more amazed by his camera equipment that he uses to capture such wonderful images.
Emily, described the visit: “My most favourite part was the pictures and story about the lion traffic jam because I thought it was funny that a lion was blocking the road. I was amazed how he went swimming with a whale shark and surprised how they have tiny teeth and couldn’t swallow us”.
Alfie said, “Dr Higgins made me want to swim with whale sharks and see the dolphins with phosphorescence.
Rodi added,“He inspired me to be a photographer when I grow up and travel around the world to see unusual creatures.”
We still have a few weeks remaining on our topic. Who knows where our ship could end up next.