D and T Autumn 2019

Throughout the Autumn term, Year 3 have had several opportunities to cook things in order to practise the skills of following instructions, joining and combining a range of ingredients and working safely and hygienically. During each cooking opportunity, the children worked in groups to measure and weigh food items. Their first opportunity to combine ingredients required no baking – the children make a bruschetta snack as part of their cultural understanding day. They chopped and sliced basil leaves, tomatoes, onion, crushed garlic and poured balsamic vinegar and olive oil before spooning it onto slices of baguette. We discussed different components of a balanced diet and then revisited this as part of a STEM Day challenge; the children had to design, make and evaluate a street food based around a British-grown pepper. We stuffed the peppers with healthy options that would make us feel full. There were lots of fabulous alternative designs and we discussed how well they each contributed to a healthy and varied diet.

Their latest cooking challenge was to bake Egyptian-style flat bread to understand a cultural difference in an everyday food and to see how it was cooked differently using oil. The children were very surprised at its size and taste compared to traditional British bread!

After learning about the key processes of Ancient Egyptian life in History lessons, Year 3 learnt about key artefacts, including the cartouche that recorded a person’s name. As a class, we watched a tutorial on how to shape and mould separate pieces to layer the structure to ensure it looked authentic and how to join the pieces of clay effectively to ensure that, once dry, they would stay stuck together. We discussed and planned, as a class, the tools that may be most effective and useful for each stage of the product and how to be safe whilst using them in the classroom. We trialled and tested the proportions of clay that were needed for the base, the outer edge and the bar to ensure accurate assembling and the children assessed this as they went, remodelling where necessary. Once it was dry, we finished off the product by glazing it using paints to make it look more decorative to suit it’s purpose and seal the clay. The children chose colours that they thought the Egyptians would have had access to and use to show wealth.

Year 4 D and T Autumn

Year 4 have been learning about the design and technology skill of lamination. We designed and made a cake stand in the Roman style, with a roman mosaic on the top.

Children learned that if we layer materials, it makes it sturdy and strong. They were able to discuss what was good about their products and what they could do to make them better.

To finish off, we made some authentic honey cakes to adorn our cake stands. Well done to year four for putting in lots of effort for whisking their eggs in the Roman way!

Year 5 D&T – Autumn 2019

Moving Monsters and pneumatics has been our autumn term topic for D&T. We have looked at different objects that use pneumatics, how they work and how compressed air can be used to move things. We connected tubes to different kinds of pumps to see which were more effective and then began to think about how we could make a pneumatic ‘Moving Monster.’ We are now designing our monsters and will soon be connecting them to a pneumatic system to make them move.

Year 6 D and T Autumn

This term in Year 6 we have been learning about the Ancient Greeks. As part of this topic we have looked at Greek gods and architecture and then used this to plan and make our own version of the Parthenon. The audience for our models was to be another child to help them to understand more about Greek architecture.

First, the children used their computing research skills to find out as much as they could about the architecture, structure and use of temples in order to use a range of information to inform their design. They then did some investigative work to find out: the strongest type of columns; how to create a net for a triangular pyramid (which would be used to make the roof) and making a base with steps which would support our temple.

After discussing the children’s findings, it was then time to plan their temples using their DT skills; considering the culture and society of ancient Greece in their designs. We discussed the need for accurate measuring in order to ensure precision for their final model and the importance of making sure that their product was strong and “fit for purpose”.

Once the model temples were completed, the children used their evaluative skills to:

  • Refine and further improve their product.
  • Identify how it could be improved it,
  • Asked if different resources would have improved their product.
  • Finally, they posed the question “does our product meet all the design criteria?”

The children worked very hard and thoroughly enjoyed the activity, demonstrating great team work and communication too.

PSQM Awards – Toftwood Federation

We’ve received the certificate for being awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark for both the Infants and Juniors. Much hard work has gone in across the Federation into obtaining the Mark, of which we are very proud. The certificates themselves are available to view by the Science subject display boards at each side of the school.  Please come and look at these and the super Science that we have to share!

RE Autumn 2019 – Junior

Year 3

This term year 3 have been learning about Creation and the Fall and asking the question: What do Christians learn from the Creation story? This enabled them to use their RE skills of describing the key aspects of the Christian faith, especially the people, stories, traditions and customs that influence their beliefs and values. They talked about how God would want us to care for the world and created posters to communicate their ideas.

During the second half of the term, the children used their skills of reflecting on and analysing what it means to belong to a faith community. They learnt about the Sikh faith and learnt about why sharing food is an important part of Sikhism.

“We acted out attending a Gurdwara for a Langar meal. The children wanted to cover their hair as well as take off their shoes before acting out washing their hands, taking turns to cook and share food, before sitting together on the floor to show equality!” (Miss Briggs)

Year 4

During the first half of the autumn term year 4 learnt about Hinduism. They described different religious and Humanist approaches to ultimate and ethical questions, such as “is life a journey and does it ever end?” focussing on the skills of using and interpreting information about religions and beliefs from a range of sources.

During the second half of the term they were looking at the birth of Jesus in their RE Lessons. As part of their learning they read the nativity story from the Bible and had a discussion around what they knew. They then used their prior learning in English of writing a newspaper report to structure a report about the birth of Christ.  This linked to the skill of describing the variety of practices and ways of life in religions and worldviews and understanding how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and teachings.

Year 5

 Year 5 started by thinking about the qualities that a good person would have as well as discussing the qualities of a Saviour or Messiah, linking to the question: Was Jesus the Messiah?

They looked at extracts from the old testament that show how people prophesised about a new messiah coming to save them. They have also looked at extracts from the New Testament to see if they thought that Jesus was this new messiah. The children also considered how Jewish people still think the messiah is going to come. Through role-play and hot-seating, they explored what it would be like for Mary and Joseph. How did they feel?  What might this mean? Does anything scare them? Do they feel privileged? Do they think their son was the Messiah? This helped in learning and demonstrating the skills of describing the key aspects of religions and worldviews, focussing on the people and stories that influence their beliefs. They were also able to use specialist vocabulary – such as “Messiah” – in communicating their knowledge and understanding.

Important links were made with British Values when discussing what life might have been like for those living at the time of the Old Testament. It made the children appreciate why we uphold these values.

Year 6

This term year 6 have learnt about aspects of Judaism and Christianity, and then Buddhism.

First we asked the question of how following God could bring fairness and justice?  We learnt about Moses and the giving of the Ten Commandments, and linked it to the New Testament teachings of Jesus about loving others as ourselves. We thought about how following these commands would lead to a fairer and more just world and learnt about the work of Christian Aid as an example of a group of people who try to follow God and bring justice to poorer parts of the world. This helped us to use the skills of investigating the significance of religion and worldviews in local, national and global communities.

In the second half of the term, we learnt about Buddhism, focussing on the skill of describe the variety of practices and ways of life in a worldview and understanding  how these stem from, and are closely connected with, beliefs and  teachings. We thought about the Buddhist response to suffering, the Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. We then did some drama, acting out how we might respond to different situations referring to the Eightfold Path.

Both these topics have enabled us to use the skills of discussing our own and others’ views of religious truth and belief, express our own ideas and beginning to evaluate the views of others.

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”.

Geography Autumn 2 2019

Year 3:

In Year 3, the children consolidated their prior learning about the continents of the world using their atlas skills. They then located the countries that make up the UK and their capital cities using maps and looked at identifying key features of a locality using a map where relevant.

Year three also compared a region in the UK to a region in Europe using geographical language.  Whilst studying Ancient Egypt, the children identified the main landmarks and geographical features of this country using a map.

Year 4:

As part of their study of the Roman era, the children in Year 4 used atlases, maps and globes to identify Italy and its capital, Rome. They also mapped the expansion of the Roman Empire from 800BC to 117AD and had to accurately research and collect information using their skills of geographical enquiry. . They planned a journey using their geographical skills.

Year 5:

In Year 5 the children discovered where the Vikings came from using maps and atlases. They also looked a range of geographical features around the world such as Earthquakes and the geographical features of these. They thought of their own questions about Earthquakes and volcanoes and they used their research skills to find the answers.

Year 6:

As part of their study on Ancient Greece, the children in Year 6 used their atlas skills to locate places in Europe including Greece and its capital, Athens on a map. Using maps and satellite images, they also identified the countries Alexander the Great conquered and the trade routes in Ancient Greece. They looked at using maps and other resources to describe what a locality might be like.

Neatherd Computing

Adam Gibson, Head of Computer Science at Dereham Neatherd High School has been running free and informative CPD workshops based on delivering Computing. These provide learning opportunities’ for pupils and CPD for teachers based around delivery of Computing.  Toftwood Junior School has benefitted from regular Wednesday afternoon sessions for Years 3 to 5.

The focus of certified Schoolhouse workshops, as part of Ukie’s Digital Schoolhouse programme, is to help empower and inform teachers in the delivery of Computing.

Throughout the workshops, we have taken pupils and teachers through various elements of Computing, for example computational thinking and algorithms. We have also incorporated simple play-based learning techniques, which have engaged pupils and helped teachers to deliver complex topics using familiar classroom resources.

Digital Schoolhouse is delivered by the UK games industry trade body, Ukie. It was originally seed funded by the Mayor of London’s Schools Excellence Fund (LSEF) and is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The programme is powered by Nintendo Switch®, sponsored by SEGA, Warwickshire Council and Ubisoft, to offer schools the support and professional development they need without cost. In turn, helping to prepare the next generation with the digital skills they need for their future.

D-Day 75th Anniversary Commemoration at Toftwood Juniors

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.”

Music Autumn Term 2019

This term began with children being introduced to the history of classical music starting with the Baroque period in Year 3, moving through the Classical and Romantic eras in Years 4 and 5 and arriving at the Modern period in Year 6. Children have listened to and reflected on music from a variety of composers from their chosen era both in music lessons and at other times when music can accompany their learning.

Children have continued to develop their singing and playing of glockenspiels and recorders, with Year 5 children learning more about reading stave notation while learning to play Christmas songs.

The Singing Club performed for the first time in public, braving the elements to go carol singing in Dereham (read more about this in the special events section).

This term children across the federation took part in the ‘Get Singing’ event which was part of the national BBC Music Day. In Year 1 and 2 children used advice from a professional singer about how to relax their bodies and warm up their voices before singing as part of the event and sang with children from over 1000 schools across the country via a web event.

The children also experienced a live music event at the Junior School. This was arranged through the Norfolk Music Hub. Please see the update about this event on our Special Events Page.

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.

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.