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:
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.
Food rationing in Britain – This short film presents the idea of rationing and food shortages.
Geography of World War Two – This short film provides insight into the scope of the war and how many countries were involved.
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.
The Blitz – This short film offers an insight into the blitz and how the British people responded.
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.
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.
D-Day –This short film explores the significance of D-Day as well as highlighting what took place that day.
Code-breaking in World War Two – This short film explains how cracking Nazi Germany’s coded messages helped win World War Two.
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.
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.
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”.
As part of our Enrichment Week, we took the time to celebrate and commemorate the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 “the beginning of the end of the war.” Today, the children of Toftwood Juniors were humbled when they learnt about the great sacrifice of those who took part in WW2.
“We don’t always get to reflect on how they risked their lives for us. We should be grateful for what they did.” William Year 5
All the children were shown images and a presentation of the Normandy landings on D-Day and each class discussed how significant the event was for future generations. They were shocked to learn about the brutality that had engulfed most of Europe during the Nazi reign of terror and found it difficult to understand how a person could be persecuted because of their ethnicity or religion. Children from all year groups, commented how silly it was to dislike someone for this reason. One child said “It is not a good way to behave.”
The children’s comments were all about the importance of standing together and being resilient in the face of adversity. They reflected on how important working as a team is and how closely the Allies worked together in order to be victorious and end the war.
“There would have been more casualties and destruction without the help of our allies.” George Year 6
“If we didn’t have our allies then the operations would have failed. We would have been outnumbered as they had better weapons than us.” Blake Year 6
The final comment has to go to Martha, Year 5
“I appreciate what they did for us. They are heroic, brave and extremely selfless – no matter how big or small their job was – they are all heroes.”
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.”
This year within the Federation we marked Remembrance Day with the selling of poppies, and a whole school assembly at both the Infants and Juniors with a 1 minute silence at 11am. The Junior children discussed the first world war and thought about places in the world where people are still suffering from war today. The children at the Infant school gathered together to discuss the importance of the day. They learnt a little bit about the history of selling poppies, what they represent and why we come together every year to mark this event. The Reception children showed the school the poppies they had created in class. During the assembly the children were shown a short animation designed to explain Remembrance Day to young children. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04p4zsl/poppies
The Federation were also very lucky to receive a visit from the British Legion in the lead up to Remembrance Day.
The Reception children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their or other people’s lives. Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years). The children were involved with Remembrance Day proceedings, including making their own poppies.
During the topic ‘Winter Wonderland’ the children learnt about a significant person from the past, Robert Falcon Scott. They talked about why Robert Falcon Scott is significant, why he went to the Antarctic and thought of reasons for and against Robert Falcon Scott going to the Antarctic.
As part of our topic Night time the children have learnt about a siginificant person from the past, Guy Fawkes. The children wrote about who Guy Fawkes was and why he is an important historical person.
They picked some items that Guy Fawkes might have used in 1605 and described how he would have used them. They then explained the difference between objects that Guy Fawkes could have used, compared with what he might have used today.
Year 2 children have learnt about life in medieval times. Lessons included looking at artefacts relating to Norwich’s past, comparing old and new landmarks in Norwich, and finding out about castles and how they were defended.
Children participated in a medieval day. They had the opportunity to practise lots of different skills which were used in a castle, including archery and jousting. They also got to make and taste a special stew.
In the afternoon our school hall was turned into a banquet hall. The children dressed up as a member of the castle community. A lord and lady from each class sat on the top table and we ate bread, cheese and grapes together. Each class performed a medieval class dance for the other guests.
On Monday 23rd September 2019, Year 6 were transported back to Ancient Greece through our Greek themed day. We are currently studying Ancient Greece as part of our history topic this term. We started the day by being introduced to our Greek visitor who told us a story about Athens, Sparta and Persia. We volunteered to play different characters so that we could really understand what it was like for people living at the time. Our Greek visitor helped us to play a Greek game known as ‘Petia’. We played in pairs with the aim of the game being to block and take your opponents counters. Another activity in the morning was solving a puzzle named ‘Stomachion’. There were lots of different shapes that we had to fit together to create a square. There are many ways to do this and many other shapes that you could make. Some people used a prompt sheet to help them whereas some groups enjoyed the challenge of solving it themselves. In the afternoon we took part in our own Olympic games! We competed in two teams, through traditional sporting challenges. We had great fun encouraging and supporting our team mates. Our Greek day helped us with our learning as it inspired us to write our own Greek myths using the stories we have studied in class as well as the stories told to us by our visitor. It allowed us to visualise the different people of that time and understand their thoughts and feelings.
The children in Year 4 had a very special visitor to kick start their history topic: The Romans. On this day, the pupils were immersed in all things Roman.
The children learnt about key historical figures, significant places, weapons, battle techniques and important dates relating to Roman Britain. After splitting into the three classes, each group participated in themed activities. These included playing a Roman board game called ‘Delta’ which involved sliding counters and scoring points using Roman numerals; learning about and handling real Roman artefacts; and finding out lots of facts as part of a Roman quiz. In the afternoon, the children were immersed in a Gladiatorial fight in our very own Toftwood Arena with our Toftwood Emperor!