VE Day 8th May 1945

75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe

It is the 75th Anniversary of VE day this weekend.  We remember it because it was the end of the World War Two in Europe.

Just as we would give an assembly on VE day, we have created a document for you to read (PDF file) and some video clips to give you a better understanding of VE day and why it is so important.

Below, are a list of short video clips that will also give you a better insight into World War Two.

VE Day clips:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-ve-day/z7xtmfr

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/48201749

If you are interested in World War Two and would like to learn more, please take a look at the clips listed below:

Britain declares war on Germany – This short film offers an overview of the events that led to Britain declaring war on Germany in 1939.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-the-outbreak-of-world-war-2/z7d847h

Food rationing in Britain – This short film presents the idea of rationing and food shortages.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-rationing-in-the-uk/zbgby9q

Geography of World War Two – This short film provides insight into the scope of the war and how many countries were involved.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-geography-of-world-war-two/zv99rj6

How propaganda was used in World War Two – This short film explains how people were persuaded to join the war effort, and the importance of motivational campaigns.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-how-propaganda-was-used-during-world-war-two/zr77wty

The Blitz – This short film offers an insight into the blitz and how the British people responded.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-the-blitz/zm22jhv

Machines of the Military –This short film highlights the importance of technology in the war effort and the key roles that tanks, planes and ships played.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-the-machines-of-world-war-two/zv9kcqt

The Battle of Britain and beyond – This short film explains what the Battle of Britain was, who was involved and how radar was used throughout the battle.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-the-battle-of-britain-and-beyond/zrk847h

D-Day –This short film explores the significance of D-Day as well as highlighting what took place that day.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-d-day/zf49rj6

Code-breaking in World War Two – This short film explains how cracking Nazi Germany’s coded messages helped win World War Two.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/class-clips-video/history-ks2-codebreaking-in-world-war-two/zdq2jhv

Infant History Spring 2020

Year one

Year one studied the topic of ‘Our Planet and Beyond.’ The children learnt about the history of space travel including learning about the race to space and the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin. They have been introduced to time lines for the events of space travel.

Year two

During the topic of ‘Air, Land and Sea’ the children have learnt about Lord Admiral Nelson. They found out about important dates in his life and could use prior knowledge of how a timeline works to create their own timeline for Lord Admiral Nelson. Some of the children were able to expand on the information and wrote additional facts for each date.

Infant Geography Spring 2020

Reception children have been learning about the people who help us in our community. They have had visits from the police, ambulance and the fire service. The firefighters gave us a challenge:

1. Can you find the closest water hydrant to your house? Look for the yellow sign with a ‘H’ on it.

2. Do you know your address? If someone from the emergency services asked you where you live, would you know what to tell them?

3. Do you know where your smoke alarm is in your house? Does it work and when was the last time it was tested?

In Year 1 the children have been Weather Watchers and have been learning all about types of weather and climate in different parts of the world. They created their own weather forecast on a map of the UK. They have learnt how a tornado works and listened to a BBC weather forecaster telling them all about his job. Year one explored places using Google maps. The children used their prior learning about maps to create their own maps with a key and symbols.

Year two have been learning to locate places on globes and maps, progressing with their map work skills from year one. They have been naming and locating the world’s seven continents and the oceans. The children shared their knowledge of countries and found out additional information about specific countries, including Africa. They looked at and discussed a selection of objects from around the world and matched these up to the correct continent on a map.

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RE Spring Term 1 2020 – Infant

In Reception the children were learning about Chinese New Year.  This involved reading the story of the animals’ race and learning about Chinese customs, clothes and food.   The children took part in role play and creative table activities, and enjoyed Chinese New Year Lion dancing with a dance visitor.

In Year 1 the children were introduced to Judaism.  They learnt about the Jewish story of Queen Esther who saved her people long ago.  People of the Jewish faith celebrate this during the party festival of Purim.   Children were introduced to Jewish artifacts, and took part in creative and role play activities, including making Hamantashen biscuits and enjoying a big circle dance wearing their party hats in the hall!

Year 2 were also learning about Judaism through Shabbat.  The children were joined by visitors from Norwich Synagogue for a day of learning and role play.  The visitors brought many interesting  artifacts  for the childrento explore so they could understand more about the Jewish faith. Each Year 2 classroom was set out for the celebratory meal of Shabbat. The children were able to bring their RE learning to life by recreating what a Jewish family would do on Friday night and how they finish celebrating on Saturday.

Toftwood Junior Science Day 2020: part of British Science Week

On Friday 13th March, we were lucky to have two scientists from Mad Science (Dr DNA and Scientiffany) deliver an amazing assembly for the whole of KS2. Dr DNA started by discussing the pressing crisis affecting everyone at the moment: the short supply of toilet paper! An experiment involving lift, thrust, gravity and drag was performed using toilet roll. Wren in Year 3 and an industrial hairdryer helped to propel the toilet paper across the hall.

After singing happy birthday – twice – to Willow in Year 6 to emphasise how long to wash our hands for, two Oliver and Ellouise in Year 3 were selected to play ‘Toilet War: Paper vs Wipes.’ This was an experiment to show what we should put down the toilet (the three Ps – pee, poo and toilet paper) and what not to put down it. One side of the hall was encouraging the toilet paper to get through a funnel first and the other side encouraged the wet wipes to get through first. The funnel represented the toilet pipes and both sides made a whirlwind to show the toilet being flushed. Of course, toilet paper won and the wet wipes just got stuck! To show how strong wet wipes are and that they don’t break down easily, Dr DNA used a wet wipe rope to safely pull Harrison from Year 5 along on a trolley.

Then, photos of blockages in sinks and drains were displayed and an experiment was conducted where Dr DNA, Scientiffany and their volunteers tried to unblock a fat-stuffed sink with washing-up liquid and boiling water. The explosion hopefully reminded people not to put fat, oils and other items down the sink. After all, “Fat and oil down your sink creates a massive stink!”

Finally, a Year 3 volunteer – Zayn – was selected to help get an egg (Eggbert, one of the Mad Science crew) into his ‘house,’ which was a glass flask. Using a match to deprive the flask of oxygen, Eggbert was successfully sucked into the flask. He was then pulled out of his house by Dr DNA, who blew into the flask to put the oxygen back into it. Unfortunately, poor Eggbert didn’t survive Zayn pulling him out of his flask-house!

Thank you to Dr. DNA, Scientiffany and all of the volunteers for such a memorable assembly!

Year 3:

Year 3 took on the topic of ‘Diverse Places’ as part of the ‘Our Diverse Planet’ theme for this year. They started by taking part in an activity called ‘Don’t Tip the Ship.’

As cargo ships have been around for thousands of years, transporting goods around the world, the children built boats and investigated how much weight could be added to the boats before they sank. They learned that the best way of loading a ship is to spread the load (the weight) evenly across the ship. If too much is put in one place, the ship will tip!

After that, Year 3 children worked in groups and read about Bransfield’s journey to the Antarctic in 1819-20. The children researched and talked about what equipment they would need to take with them and why. They looked at maps and charts to learn about Antarctica, Bransfield’s journey there and how diverse habitats on our planet are from one another.

Later in the afternoon, Year 3 joined Year 5 to learn and play games that the older children had developed based on the topic of ‘Diverse People.’ The aim of Year 5’s task was to adapt games for people who may be visually or hearing impaired, or who may have some other kind of physical disability. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate and develop their games further.

Year 4:

To celebrate ‘Our Diverse Planet’ Science Day, Year 4 took part in a carousel of activities on the topic of camouflage. We learned about the four types of camouflage: concealing, disruptive, disguise and mimicry. As well as learning about animals that do camouflage themselves to their environment, we also considered animals that do not have any camouflage. Each child then each chose an animal that they thought would like to be camouflaged and decided which way they could camouflage them. The children used their imaginations and created some superb camouflaged animals. For example a deer was given green and brown stripes to blend in with its environment this is called disruptive camouflage. An orang-utan was given tiger stripes so that fewer trees would be cut down as people would be afraid of the orang-utan! This camouflage is called mimicry.

Another of our activities was researching animals that use camouflage and the reason for the camouflage. The children worked in pairs to research their chosen animal and create an information poster. We had a variety of different animals including sidewinder rattlesnakes, artic wolves and leaf insects! They all worked really well together and created some wonderful pieces of work.

Building on this, the children took the opportunity to develop their artistic skills through creating their own watercolours based on camouflage art. Using watercolours can be tricky, but year 4 persevered to make some wonderful art. The children were creative with their approach, thinking about the colouration of animals and the patterns they have that help them when they are out in the wild.

All in all, a fabulous day for year 4.

Year 5:

In Year 5, the children learned about games that had been adapted for ‘Diverse People.’ They watched videos and researched games such as Hugby, which is a form of rugby that has been developed for visually impaired people. Instead of tackling, people hug each other and then the person being hugged calls out their team name so that the person hugging them knows whether they are on the same team or not. The children thought about other games and activities and researched their own ways to develop them.

In the hall, the Year 5 children used equipment to pursue their ideas further. They came up with individual and team games that could be played to include people with a range of disabilities and diverse people. As our focus was on inclusion, the children came up with ideas and played games against each other using such things as blindfolds, sitting on chairs or having one arm held behind their backs to simulate what it is like for those who do not have full use of their senses or limbs. This meant that everyone playing had the same chance of scoring or winning a game.

After lunch, Year 5 children researched their own games to play using laptops and tried out ideas for their adapted games in groups. They came up with rules and instructions for their games so that they could rehearse them ready to show a different year group. Each Year 5 class then teamed up with a Year 3 class to teach the children how to play their adapted games. Year 3 contributed their own ideas to help Year 5 evaluate their games scientifically and to help develop them further.

Year 6:

As part of British Science Week, Year 6 focused on adaptation and diversity in plants and animals to explore the theme of ‘our diverse planet’. This links closely with our current Science unit, evolution and inheritance. We studied the work and research of Charles Darwin and learnt how influential his theories are today. Our first activity involved investigating diversity within plants and exploring how plants have adapted to suit new environments. This gave us the information we needed when choosing our own environments and plants to design. Our plants had to have been adapted in some way to highlight the diverse environments such as: a lack of water, very hot conditions, very shady conditions or bright sunshine.

Our second activity highlighted the theory of ‘survival of the fittest’. To do this, we read an interesting story about peppered moths. The story outlined the effects of the industrial revolution on environments. This had an impact on the environments in which everything lived including people, plants, animals and even insects. Originally, the majority of the moths were white so they could camouflage against the lighter birch trees. As pollution discoloured the air, the birch trees became darker, as did the moths. This meant that the darker moths were able to disguise themselves against the bark which resulted in them living longer and the number white moths falling. Our task was to illustrate the story of the peppered moths in a comic strip style to show how the peppered moths changed colour and camouflaged against the bark. 

‘Our Diverse Planet’- Spring 2 2020

As part of British Science week the children enjoyed a super science day to learn more around the topic ‘Our Diverse Planet’. We started the day with a show hosted by ‘Mad Science’. They have visited many times and always ensure the children are enjoying their science learning. The scientists discussed the importance of good hygiene including effective hand washing. We believe this is particularly relevant based on current health measures in place by the government. The scientists discussed how we need to care for our planet and how part of this is how we dispose of rubbish (either down sinks or toilets). This builds on the children’s previous learning about recycling and reducing waste. The Mad Science team showed the children how some materials, such as wet wipes, are not biodegradable and can cause blockages. The children were shocked to see real pictures of ‘fatbergs’ that had been created by these non-biodegradable materials as well as congealed oils and fats. Discussions such as these help the children be mindful of how they dispose of waste and how they can protect the planet.

In the afternoon year 1 and 2 were visited by teachers and students from Neatherd high school. The teachers completed an enquiry that investigated the adaptation of finches beaks. This builds on the children’s previous learning about animal life. The children learnt that Charles Darwin discovered on the different Galapagos Islands finches had adapted to have different shaped beaks. They made a prediction about which beak they thought would be best for collecting seeds. The children used chopsticks, tweezers and peg to imitate the shapes of the beaks and took turns to attempt picking up seeds. They recorded their findings in a table and shared their results as a class.

Meanwhile, Reception children explored how to make bubbles, making their own bubble wand and being creative using washing up liquid, paint and straw to make some wonderful bubble pictures. This builds on them exploring a variety of media and materials to be imaginative.

Throughout the week the children have completed several science enquiries which have supported their working scientifically skills and encouraged them to ask their own questions. Year 1 enjoyed investigating whether our bodies are all the same, how animals can camouflage to their environment and which materials are the best insulators (imagining they were trying to survive in Antarctica!)

Year 1 and 2 both investigated how much weight can be added to a ship before it begins to sink. This experiment was based on the Cutty Sark which was used to transport tea from China to London. They took turns to make observations and Year 2 extended this investigation further by using different designs for their boats.

It is fantastic to see the children so enthusiastic about science and able to extend their skills through practical hands on learning!

Book Week Spring Term 2020

We focused our federation Book Week on the book ‘Inside the Villains’. This book was a wonderful stimulus to start our week and had the children captivated by the mechanical elements and moving parts! Each year group planned for some amazing activities and learning opportunities based around this book and the final products are brilliant!  

‘It is wonderful to have these opportunities in the school year to inspire children to have a love of reading and encourage children to realise that they can aspire to become authors, poets or illustrators for their future careers!’

Reception

The children in Reception have been reading the Wolf section of the book ‘Inside the Villains.’ We read the story of ‘The Wolf and the seven little Goats’ and talked about what we thought a villain was. We read about the Wolf’s strengths and weaknesses and we enjoyed talking to our learning partners about our own.  We have also been very busy reading wolf themed books and taking part in a variety of crafts. 

Year 1

Year one children enjoyed exploring the villain characters in books this week. Their work was based around the wolf character and they listened to stories with wolves and other villains in. The children had to invent their own villain animal character and looked at words that might be used to describe them and what their qualities might be. The children also enjoyed sharing books with children in Year 4.

Year 2

Year 2 looked closely at the three villains in the book and thought about villains they knew of from other texts. Throughout the week the children worked towards creating a whole class book based on villains they have read about. They researched their villain using the kindles and thought carefully about their strengths, weaknesses and other attributes. Each child had to plan and make the character by thinking about moving parts and how these could be secured. Some children created pockets for implements, like the Giant, some children made tabs to hide things under, like the witch and some children made parts to pull out, like the Wolf’s stomach! By the end of the week the children had created the most marvellous class book and shared this with year 3 on Friday.

Year 3

During book week, Year 3 shared a story with year 2. The children took it in turns to read to each other and ask questions about the stories they were reading. We also created our own villain in DT, based on the villains in the book we focused on for the week. Year three created a wanted poster in English based around their own witch, using adjectives to describe them. In maths, we made a bar chart of our favourite villains in each class. The children collected the data and created a bar chart from this, both in their maths books and on Excel.  

Year 4

During book week, Year 4 shared a story with year 1, children took it in turns to read to each other and ask questions about the stories they were reading. We also created many villainous top trumps cards. Year 4 got creative with story cubes and made some fantastic finger puppets. We also enjoyed using these to create a puppet show! 

Year 5

Year 5 really enjoyed the chosen text, “Inside the Villains” by Clotilde Perrin. We used hot seating and questioning techniques to try to find out more about the characters’ feelings and motives. We studied their fact-files carefully and used that format to introduce the character that they had made up. These were presented very carefully to compile a class book. For DT we explored ways to make flaps, pockets, levers and pop-ups and then we developed these to create our own characters to add to the class books.

Bedtime stories

The children of both schools were able to attend the Federation annual Bedtime stories event. The children and their families came back to school in their pyjamas and with blankets and teddies to share stories, relax and listen to school staff reading and performing some of their favourite texts.

NSPCC Workshop

Year 5 and 6 classes have all taken part in workshops organised by the NSPCC, to build upon what we learnt in our assembly recently, reminding us to “Speak Out and Stay Safe. These talks by visiting speakers, such as Grahame, are an important part of our PSHE curriculum. Grahame showed us the mascot again, Buddy, who is a speech bubble, reminding us to speak out to a trusted adult if we have any worries.

Through a quiz, group discussions and various scenarios, we were reminded of the different categories of abuse. We also debated if secrets are good or not. A lot of our discussions concluded that we can judge situations by how they make us feel – comfortable or uncomfortable.

Image result for nspcc speech bubble

Grahame was very impressed with the emotional vocabulary that we have been taught in our PATHS lessons and so were able to use confidently in our discussions. Words such as distraught, uncomfortable, isolated, misunderstood and neglected helped us to describe the character in the film clips and we used our inference skills to read the situation. He was confident that we listened well and were in a good position to look after ourselves, and to look out for each other.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2020

The week beginning 3rd February 2020 was Children’s Mental Health Week and we recognised this week across the federation in a number of ways.

We started the week with assemblies in both schools, which included discussing what Mental Health is and the theme of the week ‘Find Your Brave.’ We talked about what it means to be brave and how we have been brave in our lives. We shared the idea that being brave means trying new things even if you are afraid and sometimes little steps in the right direction is the most important thing.

On Thursday it was Time to Talk Day so we celebrated this by mixing with other children in our own year group and other year groups to talk about different topics, all to promote the importance of conversation.

Other activities throughout the week included mindfulness colouring, listening to calm music, mindfulness challenge activities, Jumpstart Johnny and yoga to promote the importance of physical activity for mental wellbeing.

This was an important week for the children to ensure they are equipped with the tools to cope with different challenges in life and that they recognise the importance of looking after their mental health as well as their physical health.