Class News Autumn Term 2020
A warm welcome to Falcons Class! I am delighted to be sending you the first class email of the year as the class teacher of Falcons. We have had a brilliant start to the school year over the past fortnight and the children have really impressed all the adults in the key stage with how well they have and are settling into the Upper Key Stage Two routines, especially after having such a long time out of the normal school routine.
We are delighted with the response we have had to the Summer Reading Challenge on the book 'Stig of the Dump'. The children have enthusiastically continued their learning on the book in their classes over the past two weeks and have been excited to receive many house points for the work they completed at home. This has been excellent preparation for their English learning when they move to their groups next week. Seventeen of the children in the key stage completed ALL the activities set over the Summer break - very well done to all of them! Many thanks to all of the parents and carers for purchasing copies of the book and supporting this over the Summer, it is much appreciated by the Upper Key Stage Two team. We have really enjoyed exploring the 'Stig of the Dump' text in our base classes. The children created storyboards of the main events in the story to work on their summarising skills. We explored Stig's cave in great detail, going through the text and retrieving a range of descriptive passages before creating an image of Stig's cave. There were some excellent drawings that were extremely true to the description; well done children for using your visualisation skills! The children took this even further and imagined they were advertising Stig's house by creating promotional leaflets for it. This took a great deal of imagination and 'spin' but it was an activity that the children really got stuck into and it enabled them to explore a different genre of writing. Yesterday, the children had a free choice of the type of text they wanted to create but were given the brief of 'Spend a day with Stig'. We saw some great creative writing skills; well done!
During our first two weeks we have had the pleasure of exploring our new values – SCARF and met Harold the giraffe. S; Safety, C; Caring, A; Attainment, R; resilient and F; friendship. These have really helped us settle back into school life and making sure we are aware of how to look out for ourselves and others. Our main focus this week has been friendship, the children were all able to come up with some great ideas of how to be a good friend. We have also spent time completing work from a beautiful picture book written by Oliver Jeffers called ‘Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth’. The book is very positive and celebrates all the amazing things the world has to offer us as we journey through our lives. The children have responded fantastically to the lessons and it certainly seems to have helped us all to reconnect to each other, to school life and to think about our place in the world. Lessons have included: writing poems inspired by our favourite places, reflecting on important relationships by writing a letter to a special person /pet (many of which were very touching), considering our role in looking after the environment and talking sensitively about justice, equality and dignity in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in recent months. We were all so impressed with the excellent contributions, thoughts and discussions, so well done to everyone!
Thank you to everyone that remembered (after such a long time) to sign the first week’s page in planners, just a gentle reminder that this needs doing every week – important notices and messages are often written in there so this will help to keep you in the loop of what is going on.
I am very pleased to announce this weeks’ Falcon of the week is Darragh and handwriting hero and heroine as Reggie and Shaeeda! Thank you all for your cooperation and patience in working out the new systems in light of COVID, in ensuring the safety of all. You should all be incredibly proud of your children, they have done so well and worked so hard!
Have a lovely weekend,
We have had a busy couple of weeks here at Lark Rise with testing and have now all settled well into the routines of Falcons Class and Upper Key Stage Two. Thank you for your support in ensuring children are all prepared for their learning and in PE kits on their PE days. Just before we move on to consider all the great things we have been learning, children will now need to bring a coat in with them as the weather has changed and it is considerably colder. In terms of their equipment, it would also be helpful if all the children could have a glue stick in their pencil cases, in order to avoid having to share any resources. Many thanks for your help with this.
Over the last two weeks in Science, we have been looking at Forces. The children really enjoyed learning about how Isaac Newton discovered gravity after an apple fell on his head! We talked about how objects are pulled towards the centre of the earth because of its gravitational force. We then investigated force using Newton meters. The children measured the force needed for different classroom objects to be pulled to the ground, which they very much enjoyed. They took great pleasure in trying to find the objects needing the most and least force! This week, we thought about other forces that are acting on us as well as gravity and learned about Newton's laws of motion.
In History, we have begun to complete a series of lessons taking us through the period of history from the Stone Age through to the Iron Age. We began by considering what people in the Stone Age would need for basic survival and thought about how we would prioritise these needs. Creating an advert for the ‘newly invented’ bow and arrow allowed the children to show off their persuasive talents, whilst drawing on their knowledge of the Stone Age. Our second lesson gave us the chance to further explore the amazing discovery of Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands. We looked at lots of photographic and newspaper evidence from the time and then created our own newspaper / television report as if reporting from the time of the second storm. Some fantastic pieces of writing were produced, showing a really good understanding of the historical evidence of Stone Age dwellings that were uncovered; well done everyone!
As part of our Physical Education (PE) sessions in the last weeks, we have started to develop our tennis skills. Breaking down the discrete skills involved in tennis with particular focus on coordination and accuracy, in the aim of developing and improving our overall game and ability in tennis. The development of these discrete skills will also help the evaluation of our performance, how to improve our ability and our overall ability in other sports that we will explore later on in the year.
In Art, we are focussing on developing our sketching skills, with specific attention to tone and texture. We started off our lessons producing a base drawing of our shoe, before the skills needed for sketching, have been taught in greater depth and developed. We have done this to show the progression in our sketching abilities for before and after input. Our first area of focus has been understanding the different graded pencils (hard and soft: 8H-12B) used to create tone and texture. All the children can recognise which graded pencil is appropriate for the tone that is needed.
I am very pleased to announce last weeks’ Falcon of the week was Jessica and the handwriting hero and heroine was Gideon and Isabella. This week’s Falcon of the week is Bella and the handwriting hero and heroine is Owen and Tatenda. Just a gentle reminder to sign planners each week. Thank you again for all your ongoing support and cooperation. As always all your children have been working so well!
Have a lovely weekend,
We have had another very busy but exciting couple of weeks here at Lark Rise. Last week we had an amazing Biology week with the focus of exploring fungus and which are useful and harmful to us as humans, this was incorporated into lots of other areas of their learning too. Before discussing the last two weeks of fantastic learning, can I just give a gentle reminder to ensure all equipment is brought into school every day – including a green pen, a pencil/pen and planners.
Last week, it was Biology Week in school; we explored this through the theme of 'fungus'! We had an introductory assembly at the start of the week where we were shown some examples of different types of fungi that are all around us. In our science lessons, we watched fungus fizz by experimenting with the conditions that yeast needs to grow. We decided that warm water and sugar mixed together was the best condition for yeast to release carbon dioxide. The children showed this through capturing the carbon dioxide inside balloons. We came very close to having some explosions in the classroom but thankfully we didn't have any accidents - it was just a bit smelly! Later in the week, we applied our knowledge of helpful and harmful fungus to create our very own fungus superheroes and villains that were used as inspiration for our own comic books! What a great way for the children to apply their scientific knowledge and show their creativity at the same time.
In Geography we have continued to explore mountains and looked at their features and how they are formed. We have had amazing discussions looking at the makeup of the earth including the inner core, outer core, mantle and crust. All the children had great interest in how tectonic plates work and form our outer layer; the crust, of our earth. We looked at the different directions that tectonic plates move and the impact this has on the crust and also on us as humans living on the surface. Further learning explored how the movement of tectonic plates causes the formation of different types of mountains and how the direction of the plates forms different types of mountains – fold mountains, dome mountains, fault block mountains, volcanic mountains and plateau mountains. All the children have been very invested in this learning and it has been a pleasure to answer and investigate the many questions they have had to do with their learning. It has been amazing to hear and link our previous learning in Science, to do with gravity, to answer questions for how the movement of tectonic plates happens and is possible.
Finally, in our MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) sessions over the last few weeks, the children have really excelled themselves by enthusiastically taking part in their French lessons. We have spent some time recapping greetings, colours and classroom instruction and it has been lovely to see everyone engaging so well and being prepared to just ‘have a go’ at speaking French – I think many have hidden talents in this area and surprise themselves with their beautiful French accents - trȅs bien everyone!
I am very pleased to announce last week’s Falcon of the week was Rocco and the handwriting hero and heroine was Nathan and Lily. This week’s Falcon of the week is Ellie and the handwriting hero and heroine is Reece and Amelia. Just a gentle reminder to sign planners each week. It was lovely to be able to talk to you during our parent review meeting yesterday, discussing the amazing work and settling in of your children. Thank you again for all your ongoing support, all your children have been working so hard!
Have a lovely weekend,
It was lovely to welcome all of your children back into school this week; I hope you all had a lovely half term and enjoyed a rest.
We have been amazed at the children’s resilience this week. In their English and Maths groups, the children have had a variety of revision lessons that have covered all the skills we worked on last half term. The children then completed some English and Maths assessments and they have all done extremely well. A huge ‘well done’ to all the children.
In History, we have started to look at the events that started World War Two. The children listened to an audio recording of Neville Chamberlain informing the British people that war had been declared and thought about how they may have felt if they had heard the recording for themselves. The children then looked at the relationships between countries during the build up to the war and completed a timeline activity to show their new knowledge.
In Science this week, we began our new topic of 'Living Things and Their Habitats'. We began by thinking about different animal classifications and we have compared the life cycles of mammals, amphibians, insects and birds. I was extremely impressed with the vocabulary that the children already had around this topic! They could tell me what 'invertebrate' and 'exoskeleton' meant from their previous learning - what great recall skills.
This half term in PE (Physical Education), we will be working on hockey skills. The children have worked on their techniques for holding a hockey stick and dribbling in and out of targets. The children very much enjoyed racing against each other at the end of their PE lesson to show off the speed of their new dribbling skills.
It was lovely to look at all the fantastic homework that the children completed over half term. I could see that lots of effort was put in by all the children. Some children chose to extend the learning we had done in school about Katherine Johnson; it was lovely to see they were so inspired by her achievements. It was also great to see other famous black people that the children are inspired by: politicians, sports stars and inspirational leaders to list just a few! Just a reminder that weekly English and Maths homework will be set on Literacy Planet and My Maths from this week and that homework is due in the following Wednesday.
Although it certainly is strange times at the moment, I wish you all a happy, safe and enjoyable weekend together. Looking forward to speaking to many of you during the English and Mathematics Learning Review Meetings this coming week.
Mrs Francis (on behalf of Miss Angell)
Dear Parents and Carers,
It feels very strange to be sending the class email at the end of a fortnight when we have all been self isolating! On behalf of the Upper Key Stage Two team, I would like to begin by thanking you all for your support and understanding during this time. We have been so pleased with the work that the children have been producing and are delighted that they have been able to continue their learning in all areas of the curriculum during their time at home. It has been fantastic to continue to interact with the children through Google Classroom and this has, on the whole, worked smoothly. Many thanks, also, to all the parents who we were able to meet with us for the English and Maths Learning Review Meetings last week. It was lovely to meet you (albeit virtually!) and we appreciate your support.
This week it has been Anti-Bullying Week at Lark Rise and the children in Upper Key Stage Two have joined in the work on this through their Odd Socks lesson on Monday and by listening to the lovely story 'Wonder' by R. J. Palacio read by their teachers throughout the week. In English, the children have completed some amazing work on 'The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll and this is perfect preparation for them as we start another classic portal story in English lessons, back in school, next week!
In History, they have learnt about evacuation and rationing during World War Two. The children have looked at 'Life Cycles' as part of their Science learning and have continued designing and making an animal-themed sandwich in Design Technology! A busy time and all in line with the learning that would have taken place in the classroom- very well done everyone! The children have been set homework as usual this week and should complete their set tasks on Literacy Planet, My Maths and Bedrock before Wednesday.
Have a lovely weekend with your families; I know that many of you will be relieved to be able to go back out, if only for a walk, from tomorrow! We cannot wait to see all of your wonderful children in school on Monday.