Christmas has come to the Year 3’s!

During RE, the children have focused on the key skills of:

  • Can they reflect on and begin to analyse what it means to belong to a faith community, communicating their own and others’ responses?
  • Can they describe the key aspects of religions and worldviews, especially the people, stories, traditions and customs that influence their beliefs and values?

With these key skills in mind and Advent in process, the children celebrated Christmas with a party! The children played various party games for example, musical statues and the ‘over and under’ game. The children were able to show an awareness of their opponents and team mates during these games, they showed good awareness of space and the actions of others and recognise good performances in themselves and others and use what they have learned improve their own work. All of these are key PE skills they have learnt throughout PE this half term.

Children will be looking at how people from other countries celebrate Christmas and comparing it to other English traditions.

Year 3 Explore Ancient Egypt – Autumn 2 2019

On Wednesday 11th December, Year 3 had a visitor from Portals to the Past to consolidate our learning about the Ancient Egyptians and the remarkable events in their history. The visitor brought lots of resources with him which enabled us to visualise and use some of the objects in the same way as the Egyptians! The children dressed as they wished in relation to the Ancient Egyptians. We had many Egyptologists, Pharaohs, servants and even some mummies and a god! The children were able to talk about their costume amulets, such as the eye of Horus for good luck and golden jewellery to signify wealth.

Firstly, we began the day by talking about the geography of Egypt and the changes over time to it’s parts and it’s rulers. We had learnt how to identify key features of a locality by using a map and discussed famous landmarks in Egypt, but our visitor taught us about the reasons for their appearance and introduction due to some of the ideas from Pharaohs over time, like the Pyramids and the Valley of the kings. The children showed off some of their learning by describing the place and events that they had already learnt about using geographical language.

We applied the skill of researching from the given information boards and learnt some facts about many things, including why Gods and Goddesses were so important but are no longer worshipped in the same way.  Use of our previous internet searches for information, the things we found out on the information boards and from our visitor helped the children to come to the conclusion that Cleopatra’s love stories played a large part in the demise of the Egyptian rule. It was interesting for the children to consider how invasions from other cultures, such as the Persians and the Greeks, had an influence on their faith and that once the land became Roman led, the land became Christian, then later Muslim and Egyptians ceased to worship their old gods and goddesses. We also learnt about the influence of some of these invasions on the language used, such as the word “pyramis” which translates to “wheat cake” as the pyramids reminded them of the shape of their wheat cakes with a pointed top.

We were shown lots of objects and applied the skill of deducing and answering questions about the purpose of the artefacts and the photographs; the children were able to give plausible explanations about what they thought the objects were for by considering the clues given e.g. A small pot used to hold kohl, an earring stud and versions of alabaster pottery.

We knew that Ancient Egyptians played board games and so it was exciting to play a game that would have been played by children in Ancient Egypt called ‘Jackals’. The children were able to apply their historical understanding skills to discuss similarities to games developed and played today, like snakes and ladders! We were told that some of the games had markings for which the instruction was unknown so some of the children were able to suggest inventive game rules to do with these markings.

In the afternoon, we took part in and watched a role-played version of the life and death of a pharaoh, including his mummification! We watched the process that we had learnt and discussed the job roles of different people that would have been employed in the process. In class we had already carried this out on a tomato before the day, but watching this on a life size dummy allowed us to really visualise the process and consider the significance of this event in their culture on history.

Finally, we played a game of hounds versus jackals. The objective of which was to aim for the animals that would have been present in Ancient Egypt. Each animal had different points for their temperaments and importance in Ancient Egyptian life.

Quotes from the children about the day –

Leo “I liked it because I like watching and listening to all the things we have learnt about the past”.

Bailey “I like Egyptian day because it’s very fun as we get to dress up and play real life board games like the Egyptians”.

Lexi “I enjoyed being able to research extra information about Tutankhamun”.

Year 4 Literacy Autumn 2 2019

Year 4 have been working on persuasive writing. The children watched the Aldi advert about Calvin the Carrot and had to write about him. They then created their own very persuasive  advert selling Christmas Food. Have a look and see if you would buy from them! 

Year 1 and 2 children perform the pantomime ‘Aladdin Trouble’

Year 1 and 2 children have worked extremely hard this half term to produce the pantomime of Aladdin Trouble and have performed this to Reception, Year 3 children, parents and members of the community.

All children were given a role to play in the pantomime and made everyone who was part of the production very proud! The children learnt songs and lines as well as being very professional on stage. They all enjoyed being part of the show and worked really well as a team.

The teachers and TAs worked incredibly hard too, to put the show together and make all of the props that brought the tale to life.

The finished show was fantastic and was enjoyed by every audience that came to see it. One member of the community said “I enjoyed watching the performance so much, the children try very hard and it is lovely to see them having so much fun on stage!”

Some of the main characters from the show: Genie, Aladdin, Jasmine, Widow Twankey and Abanazar

In Literacy, the Year 2 children became Theatre Critics and wrote reviews of their pantomime. Here are a couple of examples:

Year 3 Light Sources

This half term, Year Three have investigated light sources and the need for light to be able to see. We investigated materials which best reflected light and the purpose for which we might need reflective materials, for example, to be safe when walking home. We also investigated the reasons why we need to protect ourselves when out in the sun and looked for patterns in the way that the size of shadows change when we move the light source in relation to an opaque object. Fair testing was a big focus in these investigations to ensure that we were manipulating the variables. 

To finish off the term, we combined our learning in history about mummification with an investigation over time on drying out tomatoes. The children chose between rice, flour and salt to absorb the liquid from the tomatoes and then left them for over a week to see the effect. It was very interesting to see the results that each choice had on the tomatoes!

Reception December 2019 – A Special Letter

The children in Reception have been really busy in their first term at school, learning all of their single sounds, some digraphs and even a couple of tricky words.

They have been working really hard to apply all this new knowledge and have all written a letter to Father Christmas! They practised hearing initial sounds and sounding out words as well as their letter formation. The children have thought carefully about how we ask nicely for something and discussed with each other what they would like for Christmas.

Once the letters were finished, the children helped to stick a stamp on and seal the envelope. The letters were ready for posting so the children all went for a morning walk to the nearest post box to post them.

On returning to school the children learnt about the journey of a letter and they saw how the letters are sorted and get ready for delivery.

They have now got to wait patiently to see if they a reply from Father Christmas! 

Autumn 2 2019 KM3 and the Digital Schoolhouse with Neatherd High School

KM3 were very lucky to have Mr Gibson and two children from Neatherd High School, part of the Digital School House, complete an exciting and interesting computing lesson.

The children learnt how to become computational thinkers, using algorithms (clear, precise instructions) to direct a computer. During our usual computing sessions in class previously, the children have been using 2Code on Purple Mash to create a programme and this session moved the children on from this.

The children focussed on listening to instructions, working in pairs to be the ‘computer’ and the ‘programmer’ providing directing each other to create a picture using playdough as the stimulus. We learnt that if our instructions were not clear enough, the ‘computer’ could not create the model.

Following this, after learning that it is important to be clear with our instructions and directions, we learn how to create an algorithm for the dance the ‘Hokey Cokey’.  Step by step instructions were written and edited by the children and tested on each other.

We learnt that we had to use accurate measurements, for example 360 degrees and move forwards 30cm to ensure that the computer knew exactly what they were supposed to do.

Our next step is to apply this knowledge and our algorithms to a programme called ‘Scratch’ to make a character move and dance to the Hokey Cokey.

The children said:

“It was really fun, I especially enjoyed doing the play dough work!” (Emma)

“It was amazing! I learnt that I need to make instructions really clear.” (Olivia)

“I really enjoyed doing the Hokey Cokey and making clear and precise instructions for this.” (Millie)

Mr Gibson is due to come back in to work with CP3 and FB3 in the Spring term.

Autumn 2 Year 5 – RE and British Values

Year 5 have been reflecting on British Values in their lessons, realising their relevance across different continents and at different points in history.

In Re the children have been considering the people of the Old Testament and their prophecy of a Messiah. When examining extracts of the Old Testament, Ben commented that “they wanted strict rules and laws”. Paloma added, “the people of Israel were wishing for a saviour to stop all the attacking.” (Isiah 9 6-7: power and peace will be his kingdom.) We then reflected on what a society would be like if it did not share our British values. We were interested to realise that people in the past, wished for such values, whereas perhaps we take them for granted.

We also found an extract in the Old testament that made reference to equality, where the people of Israel were wanting a Messiah who would treat the poor fairly. (Isiah 11 1-5 He will judge the poor honestly.)

Previously in RE we had been looking at the impact of Nelson Mandela and reflected on what life would be like in the midst of apartheid. Ben said that, “there was no equality in apartheid”.

Year 4 Autumn 2 2019 Computer Science: Computational Thinking and Conditional Formatting

In Year 4, thirty children were delighted with the opportunity to have the Head of Computer Science from Neatherd: Mr Gibson, introduce us to Computational Thinking.

Week 1

We started off the session by playing bingo.  Mr Gibson gave each child a different grid with 0’s in different cells.  As he read the co-ordinates out to us we had to mark them off on the sheets.  The first child to win the game was delighted as Mr Gibson was reading the co-ordinates very fast and we all had to keep up!

The children were keen to demonstrate their skills and were able to complete the second activity with aplomb!  They were tasked to create a drawing on a grid and then write the co-ordinates of each cell.  Mr Gibson then told them to pass their instructions but not their drawing to someone the other side of the room.  They all then attempted to follow each other’s instructions to duplicate each other’s drawings, some were very accurate, some discovered the instructions needed tweaking and others had not followed the instructions implicitly.  Lots of hilarity ensued when the instructions and drawings were displayed.

Week 2

This week Mr Gibson brought two very professional and able Year 10 students to assist with the topic of Conditional Formatting.  The children were delighted to welcome Mr Gibson back for a second week and were keen to get started on the new lesson.

Mr Gibson gave the children a warm up exercise in which they had to colour a grid following the co-ordinates on the paper, they had to remember that each comma meant they had to leave a cell blank.  It was very impressive to see the concentration and focus from all the children – well done Year 4’s.

The main activity required intense concentration from the children as .listened intently to the instructions on how to change the colour of a cell (pixel) using conditional formatting.    One child was so competent with his new found skill that he created an image of a dog on the grass with a brilliant blue sky.

Yet another fantastic learning experience! Year Four would like to extend a huge than you to Mr Gibson and his assistants.

Year 5 Viking Experience – Autumn 2 2019

On Friday the 15th of November, year 5 enjoyed a fantastically vicious Viking visit. Our learning truly came to life with the help of Thorul Hammerson, our visiting Viking. By dressing up in fantastic costumes, the children felt that they had been transported back in time. We learnt that his trousers that were made of plentiful material, were to demonstrate his wealth, as was his silver-tipped leather belt and bag.

We had studied the significance of artefacts; how they can indicate how far and wide the Vikings had travelled and traded with places as far away as North Africa and Constantinople. Being able to hold them meant that we could appreciate what Viking life was like, with several families all living in a long-house alongside the animals. Through Thor’s clever questioning, we were able to piece together the facts that we had already learnt and apply this knowledge. Eg. where did the horn come for to make the drinking horn?

We were also surprised that many of the Viking words for cutlery and kitchenware are very similar to words we use today eg “ketill”

We were also interested to learn other words with Viking origin eg “Ransack”
from the old Norse “rannsaka” which means to search a house. Also, “window” which literally translated means  “a wind-eye”.

We knew, from our study of artefacts that chess pieces and dice had been found, made from walrus tusk or reindeer antler. Therefore it was great to have the chance to play a fun game of ‘Fox and Geese’ which tested our tactical moves; one fox tries to eat the 13 geese and the geese win if they manage to block in the fox.

In the afternoon, the children watched as he made some coins which would have been worth £25. If you wanted to spend less, you chopped the coin in half or even quarters, known as a “four-thing” (farthing). Who knew a blunt axe could split a watermelon in half as well as split your money into pieces?

The following quotes show how much this visit added to our learning……

Autumn – “It’s been a fun day and it gives you a lot of education.”

Jasmin – “It’s interesting to learn about the Vikings. The day has helped us to learn how they lived.”

Paloma – “A super experience.”

Amelia – “We had a slashing time.”