This half term our topic has been ‘People Who Help Us’. We have been very lucky and have had lots of visitors coming into school to help us learn more about the different jobs that people do to help us. We met paramedics, fire fighters and police officers. We all had a great time looking at the emergency vehicles, and going inside the police car, fire engine and ambulance. We talked a lot about what we would like to be when we grow up, and we learned about the jobs that people in our families do.
After much anticipation and a delayed start for some Year 6 we have all returned from our residential with lots of memories and achievements. The children had a wonderful time, with a wide variety of activities, such as rock climbing, zip wire, high wire course, tree climbing, archery, caving, and many more. The children were exemplary in their behaviour, respect to each other and the staff, as well as the way the support each other. The children have written letters to the centre which can be found here.
I would like to say a huge thank you to the staff who made this all possible and gave up time with their own families for it to happen.
In Year 1 the children have been introduced to Judaism as part of their RE studies. Children had the opportunity to examine and handle Jewish artifacts, such as the Torah, a kippur, and a menorah. They also learnt about the Jewish story of Queen Esther who saved her people long ago. People of the Jewish faith celebrate this event during the party festival of Purim.
The children were encouraged to ask questions about this faith and the festival and then take part in some creative activities such as making Purim crowns and cards.
Everyone had a try at making the distinctive 3 cornered hamantashen biscuits and talked about the significance of eating them within the festival. We joined together in classes at the end of the day to wear our crowns, listen to Jewish music and eat our biscuits!
This half term our topic has been ‘Fantasy’. We enjoyed starting the topic with a dressing up day where we all came to school dressed as our favourite character. We have been busy reading lots of stories, and have had visits from fairies, aliens and pirates! We have explored potion mixing and making treasure maps, and we have been using our imaginations to write many of our own stories.
As part of our RE learning this half term, Year 2 have been learning about the Jewish celebration of Shabbat. The children were very lucky to have visitors from the Norwich Synagogue come into school and share information about Shabbat and demonstrate what it is like to be part of the celebration. A 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. Ann Reeve, RE KS1 subject leader said, ‘Having visitors to enhance the Religious Education lessons really enables children to be immersed in the cultures and beliefs of others.’
The children were able to retain this information by having direct experience and wrote a recount of this Jewish celebration during their literacy lesson.
On Friday 17th February, Year 5 enjoyed a range of activities to learn about some of the countries in South America. When learning about Peru, the children found out about the Inti Raymi, the “Festival of the Sun” which they illustrated, Aztec style, with pastels.
They also learned about a big party in Brazil, CARNIVAL! The biggest celebration is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, although there are celebrations all over the world. The children enjoyed creating their own carnival dance while listening to samba music.
They also planned a holiday to Argentina which was quite a tricky skill to learn. They researched places they wanted to visit and then chose flights using SkyScanner. Next, they thought about clothes to pack and worked out the best time to call home, thinking carefully about the time difference.
The afternoon was packed full of art activities. When learning about Peru, the children enjoyed doing some yarn weaving to create The Ojo de Dios (Eye of God in Spanish) which is spiritual object. It is woven with yarn and wood, often with several colours. It is a ritual tool, magical object, and cultural symbol. The children also found out about the Brazilian artist Romero Britto and created their own piece of art in his style.
Have a look at our class blog to see more photos and videos.
As a start to the year 1 topic ‘Weather Experts’ the children had a visitor, Dr Dee Enay, from Mad Science. She started with a whole school assembly focussing on how electricity travels. Dr Dee Enay explained how there were tendrils of electricity trying to get to the Earth as quickly as possible and that materials are either conductors or insulators. This built on the children’s learning from last term (everyday materials) and provided them opportunities to ask questions to further their understanding. She explained how the electricity could travel through a human circuit and demonstrated with several children from Reception and KS1.
“The electricity went through 6 people”.
“Dr Dee Enay made a dimmer switch with the children she said dim dim dim off and it turned off”.
Afterwards Dr Dee Enay worked with each year 1 class to explore rainbows and how light bends. She started by discussing the children’s previous science learning, how they had been observing the changes in the seasons, and provided children opportunities to share their own experiences. The children discussed what they knew about the sun and light and Dr Dee Enay extended their learning by providing fun facts such as:
- The sun is 93 million miles away
- The light from the sun is called white light
- If you bend the light you can see the colours of the rainbow
The children were able to wear special light bending glasses to observe all the colours in white light. They also discussed how white light and laser light are different. Finally the children witnessed how the lightning in the Vander graph could create static electricity. The children learnt that static electricity is caused by friction and that it could be transferred to others.
These sessions extended the children’s current science skills and knowledge and prepared them for the learning that will be taking place this half term. The children are now enthusiastic to learn more and become Weather Experts!! Each class will be completing an enquiry where they observe changes over time. The children will create weather diaries recording what they could see and hear. After each recording the children will discuss the similarities, differences, patterns and changes between the weather we have. We are looking forward to some exciting science this term!
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.
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 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!