Our focus for Science this term is on 'States of Matter.' in this unit there are lots of fun practical experiments and activities which the children really enjoy. As a school, we hold strong links with Thomas Gainsborough School and we arranged for their Science teacher, Miss Beer, to team teach a lesson on the water cycle. The children were very excited when we made a water cycle in a jar - with a real cloud!
One morning, we received a visit from Gainsborough's House Art Gallery. The children experienced an introduction to exploring artworks through a pop-up art gallery. They discussed various types of art and captured their own responses, before creating a print inspired by what they had seen.
The children in Owls and Sparrows have been learning to play the cornet. Here is a great example of their talents in the Easter performance:
For a little bit of Easter fun, Owls took part in an 'Escape room' experience. In order to escape the classroom, the children had to work collaboratively to work out a 10-digit code. As a reward for their hard work, the children took part in an Easter egg hunt - eggs were hidden in the library; stashed behind the blinds and even concealed in the piano!
This half-term has seen us study Christianity in RE with a focus on the Eucharist and its great significance to Christians. During the unit we looked at how Buzz Aldrin took Holy Communion on the moon and studied various artists' impressions of 'The Last Supper.' Finally, we visited St Peter and St Paul's Church in the village to view a Holy Communion service in its true form. This was followed by a question and answer session with Reverends Graham and Simon - the children were so inquisitive!
Our outing this half-term was a visit to Thomas Gainsborough School to watch their production, ' The Addams Family.' Owls watched in awe as the actors produced the most amazing show. It was an inspiration to many as they excitedly declared that they intend to get involved when they attend secondary school in the not-so-distant future!
Wow, what a busy month for Owls!
Each Christmas, St Peters and St Gregorys Church in Sudbury hold a Christmas tree festival. Many businesses and institutions in the area each decorate a tree based around a theme. This is the first year that we have taken part in this truly magical experience. We chose to base our tree around the birds of each of our classes. We had ducklings, puffins, sparrows, owls and eagles. I think that you'll agree that our little, fluffy owls are very cute!
Every December, we try to make sure that each child has the opportunity to enjoy a theatre trip to the pantomime. This year, we visited Bury St Edmunds' Theatre Royal and enjoyed Robin Hood. The children were all so very well-behaved and had such fun too!
In our last week of term, we always like to enjoy a Christmas party. This time, we devoured our delicious Christmas dinner before playing 'Pin the nose on the Snowman' and 'Pin the Antlers on the Reindeer.' We also enjoyed a little festive competitiveness with a game of 'Musical Chairs' before polishing off some party food.
We received a visit from the firefighter at Sudbury Fire Station. Interestingly, they told us all about their exciting jobs and the dangers of fire. The children were able to investigate the engine, jumping aboard and studying the equipment. It was especially entertaining when they tried on the massive firefighting outfits:
As part of our Electricity unit in Science, we took a long trip to London's Science Museum. The most exciting part was the very intriguing Wonderlab. Here, the children were able to continue with all things electricity and were keen to try out the electrical circuits. As well as this, children also listened to the explainers talk about space and the relationship between the the orbits of the Sun, Earth and our moon. Of course, as our photos show there were many other things to see and do:
In Owls, we try to get the children learning outside of the classroom as much as we can. This term's Geography unit has been based around 'Journeys and Trade.' As part of this, the children looked at our local area and investigated the availability of locally produced and imported products. As two separate groups, we took a trip to the local butchers and CO-OP and used a questionnaire, designed by the Owls, to compare and contrast the two retailers. The children were able to eloquently discuss the advantages and disadvantages of local and imported products with the managers. Learning in this way has certainly given the children a greater depth of knowledge.
What better way to begin the new academic year with a trip to Kingswood, Norfolk? The children has a wonderful few days of team building and enjoyed many activities, including climbing and caving. One of the most challenging experiences was 'Nightline.' They had to guide one another around an obstacle course... blindfolded. Let's just say that it's harder than it looks!
Here are just a few of our photos:
This term's first trip was to the Suffolk School Farm and Country Fair. We had an enjoyable day petting some adorable farm animals, experiencing a bumpy tractor and trailer ride, learned about the amazing work of the busy bumble bee, concentrating on wool weaving and tasting some delicious fruits, seeds and sausages.
The East Anglian Railway Museum was the location of this term's trip and we weren't disappointed - we had an incredible day learning about all things 'railway.' The day started with a trip on the train from Sudbury Railway Station through to Chappel and Wakes Colne. It was the first trip on a train for three of us!
We spent the rest of the day mesmerised by the mechanics of the steam engines, pulling the levers in the signal boxes and dressing up as Victorians. Porters moved the luggage, children were weighed and 'First Class' was enjoyed! Bridges were crossed, crossings were opened and lunch was devoured. The day was finished off in the engine shed, with a viewing of Toby, Percy and Thomas the Tank Engine!
How do you eat yours? That was the title of our first RE lesson on the Hinduism concept of Moksha. Owls learned about the belief that Hindus must follow a pathway to break the cycle of birth-death-rebirth in order to reunite with God.
They learned: 'There are hundreds of paths up the mountain to God, all leading to the same place, so the pathway you take does not matter. The only person wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain telling everyone his or her path is wrong.'
The children used their eggs as a metaphor - it didn't matter which way they chose to eat it, ultimately, they all had the same goal - to eat it!
Owls put their artistic skills to the test by creating printing blocks and using them to make abstract prints. Firstly, the children drew an observational drawing of a model steam engine. Next, they used a viewfinder to find their favourite sections of their drawings and created templates from these. Then they made a series of block prints from Styrofoam, cardboard and string. Finally, they enjoyed the process of creating block prints on fabric and paper, and monoprints using paper on porcelain tiles. They were most impressed with their fabric prints - we had lots of 'WOW' moments!
As part of our current English unit, 'Float,' Owls brought in their snuggly blankets and enjoyed a blissful hot chocolate with fluffy cream and squidgy marshmallows. They all found a comfy spot and brainstormed descriptive vocabulary for their next sentence stacking session, where a drenched, dishevelled young boy arrives home to find the warmth of a soft, cosy blanket and a sweet hot chocolate.
Our new topic, based on 'The First Railways,' started this afternoon. The children were fascinated by the railwayana, which included a model steam engine, a tail lamp and a shed plate. They went on to learn about the invention of the first steam engines and the infamous 'Rocket.'
Over the last two weeks, Owls have been looking at the properties of materials in their Science unit. Today, we studied irreversible changes and carried out the age-old experiment of immersing Mento mints in a bottle of Coca-Cola. Clearly, the children were very excited about the explosion with many identifying the fact that there was a chemical reaction taking place in front of their very eyes. Most importantly, many of them exclaimed, "This is the best Science lesson I've ever had!"
Effective art pieces take time...
Over the last two weeks, we've been sculpting our Tudor brooches from clay; learning how to roll a slab, to leave impressions and to etch. Patiently, we waited for them to dry until we they were ready to paint in an authentic gold colour. The brooches were lacquered with PVA glue to give them a soft sheen, before the sapphires, rubies, emerald and topaz gems were fixed in place. As you can appreciate, this project was extremely successful. It's like Hatton Garden in our classroom now!
As part of this term's topic, 'Off with her Head,' we have been looking at the jewellery that Tudor's once wore. In the 16th century, royalty favoured gems like sapphires, rubies, emeralds and topaz encased in rich gold.
This week, we carefully drew a range of 16th century brooches, before designing our own Tudor-Style ones. We took care in selecting the most appropriate gems, ensuring they represented the era. Next week, we'll be sculpting our brooches from clay.
Over the next few months, Forest School will become a regular feature in school. Not only is it great for the children to be able to learn outside, it also promotes collaborative work and improves the sense of wellbeing. Recently, they worked together to build dens, with the older children strongly supporting the younger ones in their endeavours. This week, they put their creativity to the test, learning new skills such as tying knots and bows to make woodland art. Here are a few examples of how successful they were:
In Maths, Zoe the zookeeper left her snakes with us to look after for the day. The children gave them alliterative names, such as Sonic Snake and Sydney Snake. As part of their animal husbandry, zoo keepers must regularly measure the snakes to ensure they are growing. Owls class provided Zoe with their measurements in metres, centimetres and in millimetres.
This afternoon, the children have had fun making their very own snowy owls to decorate our classroom. As you can see, some of them got very carried away with the colourful feathers!
The children have settled back in beautifully. They've immersed themselves in our narrative-based unit, The Iron Man. This week, they've created their own Iron Man by etching 2D shapes into clay slabs. Today, they've learned to paint with more control and accuracy.
As World Book Day fell during lockdown, we celebrated today. The children dressed as a word for others to guess. Can you guess each of these?
Throughout lockdown, we have been aware of the amount of time that our children are spending on their screens. To give their eyes and minds a break, we arranged several scavenger hunts and non-screen activities. This week, their activity involved creating an artistic piece using natural materials. Koray created this magnificent masterpiece:
To mark Children's Mental Health Week back in February, we embarked on an English project to write a set of instructions on 'How to Grow a Strong Mind.' It was based around accepting failure as a learning experience and to always keep going. As an independent activity, the children then wrote their own set of instructions on 'How to Keep Your Body Healthy.' I think you'll agree that Alice has included all the ingredients for a perfect set of instructions.
Over the last few weeks, Owls have been learning how to write creatively in poetry. They have studied a poem called 'Autumn is Here' before embarking on writing their own, 'Winter is Here.' Here are examples of their first three verses and some wintry dioramas to accompany them.
Owls have been amazingly engaged with their home learning. They've been studying how the vicious Vikings rudely invaded Britain from AD 793 to 1066. Owls were given the freedom to present their findings in any way they wished. Minnie created this wonderfully informative video:
In our third week of home learning, we have been continuing to learn about the Anglo Saxon invasion. Today we looked at pattern work and the stories intricately woven into them. We tried drawing our own Anglo-Saxon serpents. It took a lot of concentration!
In English, the we have started a new topic based on an autumnal poem with a view to writing their own wintry one. Today, they brainstormed autumnal objects for their word banks and created artistic pieces using a medium of their choice.
As an introduction to their topic on Traders and Raiders, the children have been designing and making boats that can remain buoyant for more than 30 seconds and carry as many 'Anglo-Saxons' (Lego men, Playmobil figures or Barbies) as possible. Jacob made a very effective vessel.
In RE, the children started the RE topic based on Judaism. They learned the story behind who founded the religion. Here, Myla becomes 'Sarah' and is interviewed about her experiences, whilst Lukas retells the story.
As a piece of extra work, Merrie created a collage of her greatest passion - bikes! She does look rather pleased with herself doesn't she?