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Class News Autumn Term 2023

15.9.2023

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to a new academic year! I hope you all had a lovely summer break with your children - they have certainly had lots of lovely stories to tell of their summer adventures. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know your children as they have settled in over the last two weeks. We spent lots of time together last week and this fantastic start has fed well into this week where our English, Maths and foundation learning has truly taken off! It has been an amazing start to the year and has made me extremely excited for what is to come. It has been great to see the children coming into the classrooms well prepared for their learning. We would also appreciate all children having a whiteboard pen, green biro and glue stick to hand for each lesson; if children have run out of any of these basic pieces of equipment, they can be bought from Mrs Francis’ ‘shop’ at very competitive prices!

In Science this half term, the children will be learning about light. We started our topic this week by recapping previous learning and thinking about vocabulary that we already know. The children then moved on to thinking about light as a form of energy made up of particles and the fact that light can only travel in straight lines. This will form the basis of our first investigation next week where the children will build periscopes!

In Geography this half term, children will be looking at what natural resources are and why they are so important. This week, children have looked at different natural resources found in Britain. We researched how these resources are obtained and used with the children providing some excellent ideas during our class discussions. Children then applied this knowledge to complete their own cross section diagrams showing the different types of land use in Britain. They have created some fantastic pieces of work, using diagrams and labels to show a clear understanding of the learning outcomes.

History this half-term will see us exploring the world of the Anglo-Saxons. We began this week by thinking about the terms ‘settlers’ and ‘invaders’ and why our island was so appealing to many tribes from across Europe when the Romans left. Our geography skills came to the fore as we mapped the routes these tribes took and where the settlements were established. Our future learning will allow us to consider what life was like for Anglo-Saxon families, including how crime and punishment was viewed. 

Homework will be set this week – in a change from Lower Key Stage Two, children will be set homework in both English and Mathematics each week (further details will be written in planners so you are aware of the learning platforms children should use for homework).

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Eliza and Finley. Handwriting Hero and Handwriting Heroine have been awarded to Belu and Brooke.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 29.9.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been another great two weeks in Hawks Class. Mrs Lang and Mrs Hartley have been busy visiting lessons around school; to say they have been impressed would be an understatement! They have commented on how well the children are settled into routines and how well they meet the high expectations we have for them. Well done children - let’s keep up the hard work after such a strong start to the year.

In MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), all the children have enthusiastically taken part in our first few lessons of the term. Some great phonics learning has taken place, as well as reviewing our classroom instructions and how to have a little conversation to check in on how we are all feeling. You’ll be pleased to hear that lots of ‘Très bien merci’ could be heard ringing through Eagles classroom. Dictionary skills have also been put to the test and children are learning to be able to name different items of clothing. An excellent start to our year of French learning!

This half term in Art we are studying the work of Antoni Gaudi. We have looked at who Gaudi was and some of his most famous work, before the children conducted independent research to produce an artist study page in their sketchbook- these look great! This week, children have looked at natural forms, something that Gaudi used in his own work and have sketched some examples using shells, dried flowers and pine cones for inspiration. Over the next few weeks, children will be practising the trencadis technique- a mosaic technique used by Gaudi in his own work and commonly found in Barcelona. Children will then use these taught skills to re-design the UKS2 building in the style of Gaudi! We can't wait to see the outcomes! 

In Music this half term, we have been learning the rock song, 'Living on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi. Once the children had recovered from the shock of some of the fashion choices and hairstyles of the era, we moved on to learn to sing the song - and what great rock stars they all are! Over the last two weeks, we have been learning to play the melody of the chorus on the glockenspiels: a tricky piece of music involving tied notes, dotted notes and some tricky rhythms. The children's progress has been amazing and it is lovely to hear a few of them singing or humming the song around the key stage. We have also brought our music assembly learning into the classroom and thought about the timbre of music and our Musical Hero of the half term: Stevie Wonder. 

As always, I wish you all a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing the children again on Monday. Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Sharon.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

13.10.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been lovely to see so many of you this week. Thank you so much for your continued support with your child’s learning by attending the Learning Review Meetings yesterday. It means so much to us that we work together for your children to ensure they remain happy and continue to make progress in school. It is always an enjoyable experience talking to you about how well they have settled in. They really have done you proud this half term! I also very much enjoyed seeing so many of you this morning at our fantastic class assembly. I was blown away at the children’s determination to learn lines and get into the spirit of performance. Needless to say, the final performance was not a disappointment. I hope that you could see what a wonderful class Hawks are and how lucky I am to have such a vibrant and fun group of children to care for each day!

We wanted to say well done to all the children in both Year 5 and Year 6, who undertook some assessments this week in SPaG, Reading and Mathematics. They have shown great determination and resilience, doing their best to show off their learning. These are the first of several assessments the children will take throughout the year and, as teachers, we have emphasised that these are starting points for us to understand areas of strength, as well as areas to work on together in our core learning. 

In History, we have been continuing our exploration of Anglo-Saxons. We have all thoroughly enjoyed learning about crime and punishment in these times, especially finding out about the different ordeals that were offered as a way of proving guilt or innocence. If you mention the cold water, hot water or iron bar ordeal to your child, I’m sure they will be more than happy to fill you in on the gory details! Alongside this learning, we have also been looking at Anglo-Saxon settlements and understanding what life would have looked like in a typical village. To round our learning off, we will be undertaking an ‘interview’ in the guise of an Anglo-Saxon; I’m sure the children will have lots of information to relay in their discussions.

In English next week, we will be completing our final piece of writing for this half term: a non-fiction piece about the apartheid. The children have become extremely passionate about this topic since reading Journey to Jo'Burg and the range of enriching texts that link to the topic so we are extremely excited to see their knowledge showcased through their writing. The children's writing assessment books are their pride and joy; the first two pieces of writing are amazing and really show what a strong start to the year the children have had.

With one week left before half term, I would like to wish you all a fun-filled and relaxing break where you can enjoy some quality time with your amazing children. This half term has whizzed by and the children definitely deserve a rest - time flies when you’re having fun!

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Brooke. Handwriting Hero and Heroine are awarded to Mia and Bradley.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 3.11.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It has been lovely to welcome the children back to school this week. They have all got lovely tales of their half term fun and they are ready to go with another half term of learning. We have wasted no time in picking up where we left off!

In Geography this half term, we are learning about biomes and climate. This week children have looked at what biomes are and have labelled world maps to show where biomes are found across the globe. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring the climate, animal and plant population of each ecosystem.Children will also research how plants and animals adapt to their environment and then learn about how climate change is affecting these world areas. To finalise this topic, children will write a persuasive and informative text about the importance of protecting our biomes. We can’t wait to see these outcomes!

In Science, we will be moving on to a new topic of electricity! This will allow the children to build on their learning from Lower Key Stage Two and also develop their investigation skills. We will begin by looking at how we can test electrical equipment before moving on to the concepts of voltage and current. The children will use practical equipment to investigate a range of electricity concepts and also develop their knowledge of circuit diagrams. By the end of the half term, they should be experts in putting up those Christmas lights!

Our History topic this half-term is ‘The Atlantic Slave Trade’ and we began the topic by listening to some evocative slave songs and then considering the definition of a slave. We thought about the fact that slavery has existed throughout history in many different cultures, looking at primary sources from Ancient Greece and Rome. Children were then presented with a series of pictures taken from the time of the Atlantic Slave Trade and, thinking like historians, we considered what we could see in the pictures, what might be happening and what questions we had arising from the pictures. Children were really engaged in their learning and are very keen to learn more about this important topic.

As part of our activities for Maths Week (13-20th November), we are inviting children to come in dressed as a rockstar on Monday 20th November. Costumes can be as simple as a pair of jeans and a coloured t shirt. Children will then be performing a rocking times table song in our whole-school assembly. 

I hope you have a lovely weekend. Autumn is most definitely here so I hope you manage to wrap up and get outside!

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Bertie. Handwriting Hero and Heroine go to Logan and Isla.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 17.11.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had another exciting two weeks in Hawks Class.

In Design Technology this half-term, children are developing their sewing skills to create an Anglo-Saxon drawstring bag. So far, children have researched and evaluated different types of bags, thinking about how these bags have been constructed, what materials have been used to create them and if they are purposeful. Children have then put their sewing skills into practise by creating running stitches and overstitches. They have been very resilient with threading a needle and improving their stitching. We are excited to see their final designs!

In English this half-term, we have been really enjoying reading our new novel: Skellig. It is one of those fantastic books that makes you smile, wonder, feel your heart strings being tugged and moves the reader from fantasy to reality over the space of one chapter (you can tell this is one of the teachers’ firm favourites!). Children have been very engaged with the book and have produced a fantastic piece of monologue writing based on the thoughts of one of the main characters, Michael.  Our next piece of writing is based on the question: Should children be home schooled?  We look forward to exploring our thoughts about this topic to produce a persuasive text.

In Music, we have started to get into the festive mood! We began the half term by exploring a range of Christmas adverts and thought about how music has been used to help tell the story of the advert. This was a great way to explore the vocabulary that we have been working on this year in music such as pitch, tempo, dynamics and timbre. We have focused on one particular John Lewis advert: The Bear and the Hare. The children haven't watched the advert with the music (so they don't spoil the surprise) but are working in groups to create their own compositions to be part of the advert. The children have really enjoyed exploring a range of the percussion instruments; I look forward to hearing the final products!

Thank you to those parents/carers who were able to join Mrs True and Mrs Francis for the SATs preparation meeting last night. We hope the discussion was helpful and answered any questions that arose – we are always happy to help with any further questions you may have.  In relation to the SATs, children in Year Six have been issued with homework books to help with consolidation of topics learned. Each week, they will be given two pieces of homework, ranging from Reading, SPaG or Mathematics, and these will be reviewed in lessons on Thursday morning.

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Antony. Handwriting Hero and Heroine this week are Bradley and Chloe.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 1.12.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is certainly feeling wintery now the weather has turned! I am pleased to see so many hats, scarves, gloves and coats coming into school to keep the children warm.

In Geography we have continued to study biomes and climate. Children have looked closely at different biomes, thinking about the climate, flora and fauna (plants and animals). They worked together to produce A3 posters, each focusing on a different biome including rainforests, tundras and deserts. We then focused on the three types of forest biome: temperate forest, rainforest and taiga. Children used fact sheets to create an information table, showcasing their learning. This week, we have focused on deserts and tundras. Children have produced travel style brochures focusing on one of these biomes, thinking about how the location of these biomes, their climates and how the flora and fauna have adapted to suit the environment. Over the next couple of weeks children will be producing a persuasive text about the importance of protecting biomes.

The children have continued to explore their new topic of electricity in Science. They had the opportunity to embed their knowledge of the 'fair test' enquiry type last week by figuring out that we could only change one element of a circuit at a time to test whether equipment was working or faulty. The children had great fun exploring a range of equipment. This week, they have extended their learning by considering the relationship between voltage and current within a circuit. The children will extend this knowledge in the coming weeks by exploring the role of resistors within a circuit.

You may have heard the children coming home this week singing or humming some lovely tunes. We have, excitingly, started rehearsals for our Christmas performance this week. The children have all got really stuck in to learning new songs, which we will continue to go through with them next week, ready to be performed in the Key Stage Two performance in a couple of weeks’ time. This is one of my favourite times of the year to be in school; I am sure you are extremely excited to see and hear the final performance.

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Antony. Handwriting Hero and Heroine go to Cody and Brooke.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 15.12.2023

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is certainly feeling very festive in Hawks Class; the children are very excited and definitely ready for their last week of term! There are lots of lovely activities planned for them to enjoy; we are nearly there children!

In Design Technology, we have been designing our Anglo-Saxon bags. Last week, children created a powerpoint pitching their designs. They used different tools such as voice recordings and videos to show effect - we thoroughly enjoyed watching their pitches back! This week, the children have started to make their bags. They have started to use fabric and stitch their bag together, thinking about logistics and ensuring they have added space to feed through their drawstring. The children will continue to finish their bags over the next week and add their own personal touches such as pockets and straps. We cannot wait to see the end results!

In History this half-term, we have been considering the topic of The Atlantic Slave Trade, thinking about the legacy of this in Britain. This is a topic that has really gripped and engaged the children, leading to some great historical questioning and thinking. Children were undoubtedly shocked to find out that over 12 million people were enslaved and transported from Africa to the Americas, with Britain being heavily involved in this trade. Some excellent diary entries – from the viewpoint of a slave – were written, showing real empathy for the plight of the families who were enslaved. Considering the role of the abolitionists (in particular William Wilberforce and Olaudah Equiano) in the abolition of slavery led to great discussions and children were then surprised to learn of the fact that modern slavery still takes place ‘ in plain sight’. We finished off our learning on this important topic by writing a persuasive letter, asking the ‘council’ to remove a slave trader monument – the children were very passionate with their reasons for this and were able to draw on all their learning for the half-term. Although a difficult topic to cover, most definitely a worthwhile and eye-opening one for everyone!

Thank you to all of you who were able to come to watch the children at their fantastic performance on Wednesday evening; it’s such a great venue to showcase all of Key Stage Two and certainly puts us all in the Christmas spirit. The children worked really hard in such a short space of time to put together both their poems and the songs – we felt very proud of them, so well done all!

As this is the last email from me until the new year, I would like to thank you for your continued support with your children’s learning throughout this term - they would not excel as much as they do without it. However you are spending the holidays, I wish you a happy and peaceful time filled with smiles, joy and memories that last a lifetime with your lovely children. See you in 2024!

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Leo. Handwriting Hero and Heroine go to Bradley and Eliza.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon 

Class News Spring Term 2024

12.1.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Happy New Year to you all! It has been wonderful to welcome your lovely children back to school each day since returning for the Spring Term. We’ve certainly started the year off with a bang, with the Year 6 children completing a set of assessments in preparation for their SATs later in May. As always with the children, they have shown determination and resilience, in order to show off their learning to the best of their ability – well done everyone! Children have written their results in their planners for you to be able to see and Mrs Francis and I will be able to discuss these in more detail at the upcoming Learning Review Meetings, which we hope to see all of you at (either on Wednesday 24th January or Thursday 25th January). Year 5 children will, of course, have the opportunity to have their learning discussed as well with Mrs White and Miss Doherty.

Our Geography learning is based around the theme of ‘Investigating Rivers’. To start this off, children have reviewed their knowledge of the water cycle and how rivers contribute to this continual cycle. In this theme, we will also be considering features of a river system, as well as finding out about the causes of river pollution and the effect these have on the environment. Our learning will culminate in the children investigating a river in detail and conducting a geographical enquiry related to it – more details to follow!

In History this half term, we are looking at 'The Changing Role of Women' and answering the key enquiry question: 'How has the role of women in Britain changed since 1800?' We started by looking at the role of women up until the 19th Century; then looked at some extracts from 19th Century literature as a historical source to understand the emerging feeling among many women about their desire to change the role in society. This week, we moved on to looking at the Suffragette movement. As the term progresses, we will look at the role of women during the war and throughout the 20th Century before finishing by looking at women's rights today.

In Art this half term children are exploring famous artwork from Claude Monet and Edvard Munch. This week, children created an artist research page writing down important facts about Munch before sketching their version of Munch's famous Scream painting with a twist. Children were asked to show their best 'Scream' pose which was captured using the ipad and will be printed onto their sketches. These sketches will then be completed using watercolours and oil pastels - materials that Munch liked to use in his artwork. Over the half term, children will continue to practise their sketching skills and will look at 3D effects and reflection. They will then complete their own artwork showcasing these techniques.

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Hugo and Isla. Handwriting Hero and Heroine go to Oscar and Jinuki.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

9.2.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Our Science topic for this half term is Evolution and Inheritance. There has been some excellent Science learning taking place over the last few weeks. Firstly, we looked at inheritance and how we inherit characteristics from our parents. We focused particularly on eye colour and how recessive and dominant genes from our parents determine our eye colour! The children have been very interested in this! We have also studied variation and how species adapt to their environment and change over time. Our focus Scientist this half term is Charles Darwin so we have looked into his Theory of Evolution and even completed an investigation on how the finches on the Galapagos Islands evolved over time. This week we have become palaeontologists, creating our own fossils! We cannot wait to excavate them next week! 

In Geography, we have continued with our ‘Investigating Rivers’ theme, enjoying finding out about the key features of river systems. To do this, we have looked at the journey of a river from its source, high up in the mountains, to the mouth as the river enters the sea – we learned lots of geographical language along the way, including rivulets, tributaries, meander, deposition, erosion and transportation. Children then went on to consider the different uses of a river from being a habitat for many animals to providing leisure-time activities. This week, we have thought about river pollution (and the many causes of this) and the effect this has on wildlife and humans alike. Some fantastic persuasive letters were written to the ‘council’ outlining the problems of river pollution and putting forward some great ideas that could be implemented to save our rivers.

The children have absolutely loved our history unit this half term: The Changing Role of Women. We have focused mainly on the role of women in Britain since 1800, considering their role and expectations of them during the Victorian era. We had a fantastic lesson on suffrage where the children wrote inspiring speeches as a suffragette campaigning for the right to vote, before moving on to look at how the role of women changed throughout the two world wars. We then moved on to look at women during the second half of the 20th century and focused particularly on the strikes at the Ford Dagenham Factory where women campaigned for equal pay. We have also considered more recent changes to laws and legislation, including those around maternity and paternity leave for parents. It has been a great unit and one the children have hugely enjoyed!

I wish you all a fabulous weekend with your wonderful children!

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Alana. Handwriting Hero and Heroine for this week are Bradley and Malin.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 1.3.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

Our Science topic this half term is 'Animals including Humans'. Over the next few weeks children will be learning about the human life cycle and human and animal gestation periods. We will then investigate how diet can impact the human body and  how exercise impacts our heart rate. There will be plenty of exciting investigations taking place this half term! The children will also be learning about our focus Scientist, Marie Daly. This week, we started our learning by looking at the human life cycle. Firstly, children looked at pictures of the UKS2 staff when they were younger and had to guess who was who! The children really enjoyed this, as did the staff! The children then used pictures and time frames to produce a timeline in their books, covering all life stages of a human.

In Geography this half term, we will be looking at the topic of ‘Marvellous Maps’ which will help us explore our mapping skills in various ways. We began the topic by exploring the atlases to ensure we understand how to use them accurately – an ‘atlas race’ added the competitive element into our work this week which is always an extra spur! We look forward to looking at ordnance maps, symbols and using a compass in future lessons.

PSHE this half term will see us exploring the topic of ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ covering a variety of issues. To start us off, this week we considered how news presented to us might be biased or unbiased and the role of facts and opinions. We looked at the same news story but presented in two different ways and the children had to think carefully about the perspective of each of the writer’s point of view. This made for some interesting discussion and an understanding of how news can be presented in very different ways.

This half term in History, the children will be exploring the Shang Dynasty and focusing on the key enquiry question: What can we learn about the Shang Dynasty from one tomb? This week, we looked at the context of where and when the Shang Dynasty and how it relates to other civilisations that the children have previously learned about. As the term progresses, we will look more closely at the tomb of Fu Hao and consider the historical importance of the tomb for historians.

A reminder that World Book Day is next Thursday, 7th March. We would like the children to come into school dressed ready for a bedtime story. Pyjamas, onesies, dressing gowns and slippers are all welcome so that the children can be comfortable during our 'Stop, Drop and Read' sessions! Children are also welcome to bring in a favourite book from home if they have one or this could be one that they are currently reading to share during 'Book Club' in school. The book fair is also running after school on Monday 4th March. 

This year the Reading Ambassadors have made suggestions for running a World Book Day competition. You can either create your own design for a book cover of a favourite story or design a sock puppet of a favourite story character. Entries to be submitted by World Book Day on 7th March when they will be judged by the Reading Ambassadors and prizes awarded. You can choose to either get arty and design your book cover by drawing it or you can use Canva to design your own digital version of a book cover and print it or share it electronically with us; the choice is yours! The Reading Ambassadors are looking forward to judging your entries.

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Bertie. Handwriting Hero and Heroine for this week are Bradley and Brooke.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon 

Class News Summer Term 2024

26.4.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have continued to be impressed with the ongoing focus, hard work and perseverance shown by the Year 6 children as they approach their SATs in May (13th-16th). There is an amazing focus in the morning as they work from 8:30-9:00 which never ceases to impress us all and it’s lovely to see the confidence developing each week. Keep up the great work, Year 6s!

Science has seen us looking at ‘Living Things and their Habitats’ with a focus on classification – children have learned the importance of taxonomists in this field of Biology and how a standardised system of classifying animals is so important. Imagining that Whipsnade Zoo had received a lot of amazing new arrivals, children were then tasked to consider the similarities and differences between the animals and create a way of sorting them (which can be a lot trickier than it first looks!). Moving on, children have learned about Carl Linnaeus who created a classification system and used the chrome books to research different animals and what ‘group’ they belong to. Lots more interesting classification work is to come!

This half term in Geography, we are focusing on Eastern Europe. This unit will be covering both human and physical geography. We began by using atlas skills to identify countries and cities in Eastern European countries. This week, the children have researched a given country in Eastern Europe to develop a fact file. Next week, they will be using this information to work as a group and present on their country to the rest of the class. As the term progresses, we will be looking at the current situation in Ukraine and the events that occurred in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

In History this half term, we are studying the topic ‘crime and punishment’. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at how crime and punishment has changed from the Romans to the 21st century. We started this unit by looking at broad trends of crime from the Roman period to today, seeing if there were any similarities with the types of crime and punishment we see nowadays. This week the children have focused on the Roman period, looking at how crime was dealt with and the strange and harsh punishments given! Over the next few lessons children will be looking at the types of crime and punishment during the Anglo-Saxon, Tudor and Victorian periods. 

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Myles. Handwriting Hero and Heroine for this week are Cody and Chloe.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 10.5.2024

Dear Parents/Carers

The sunshine has been out this week and it has been lovely to see the children running around in the sunshine and having fun together at break times. It has been especially important to have the fresh air to refresh us all as we have completed our final work towards the SATs this coming Monday 13th May through to Thursday 16th May inclusive. Everyone in the Key Stage and beyond are so proud of all the hard work and perseverance shown by the Year 6s as they approach their SATs and we wish them the best of luck for next week.

This half term in Art we have been looking at Zentangles. Zentangles are unplanned, abstract, black and white art made up of beautiful patterns. We started this unit by looking at examples of Zentangles and the meaning behind them. This then allowed the children to use some of the example patterns to create their own Zentangle, all whilst listening to some calming music to get them in the zone! Following on from this, children looked at some tangle techniques and then recreated these in their sketchbooks. Over the next couple of weeks, the children will be sketching the outline of an animal and then filling them in with different tangle techniques. The children have found this topic very calming and have really enjoyed experimenting with different techniques, tones and lines.

In Music, the children have been enjoying a range of different songs from the genre of Motown. Our focus song that we are learning to sing is ‘Dancing in the Street’ by Martha and the Vandellas. This is a new challenge and the children are really getting the hang of singing in harmony with different parts. Our musical hero of the half term is Abba; we have been enjoying learning about Abba in music assemblies with Miss Slough and Miss Spokes and the children always love a sing-a-long session in our class music lessons too.

In RE, we have spent the half term thinking about how faith can enable resilience. Our focus over the last few weeks specifically has been about life after death. The children have explored a range of beliefs from different religions, and non-religious arguments for whether there is life after death. I have to commend all the children for their high levels of maturity and respect during RE lessons. They are amazing at sharing their own beliefs while being respectful to other children in the room who may have other beliefs.

Hawks of the Week has been awarded to Paul. Our handwriting heroes and heroines are: Belu and Alana.

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable weekend with the family.

Kind regards

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 24.5.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

I can’t believe we are at the end of the penultimate half term of the academic year! It has been an amazing year with your children and I know that the second half of Summer Term is filled with so many memory-making opportunities that the children thoroughly deserve after all their hard work this half term and throughout the year. 

Last week, all of the children in the Key Stage sat some assessments. The Year 6 children sat their SATs tests and the Year 5s also sat some Mock tests. All of the staff in the key stage and around the school were absolutely blown away at the children’s maturity, determination and resilience throughout the week; they are a real testament to themselves and you. A huge thank you to all of you who prepared your children at home so well for the tests.

Over the last few weeks in History we have been making our way through different time periods looking at the types of crime and punishment. So far we have looked at the Romans, Anglo-Saxon and Vikings, Tudors and the Victorian era. The children have looked at how crime and punishment has changed over time. They have also been able to find similarities with processes we have nowadays such as courts and juries. This week, children have been thinking about the question ‘How would people have been treated in different periods of time?’. Children started the lesson by getting into small groups and further researching a period of time we have studied. Then, they acted out a trial in front of the class. We saw some excellent acting from the children as they really immersed themselves into the experience!

This half term in Geography, the children have been learning about Eastern Europe. We started by locating countries and cities within Eastern Europe to utilise our atlas skills. The children then focused in more depth on one Eastern European country - they created their own fact files about that country before working together with their peers to create a presentation for the rest of the class. This was a great opportunity for the children to use their oracy skills and 'talk like a geographer'. Last week, we explored the tradition of Faberge Eggs before the children designed and decorated their own. We have also covered some of the issues affecting Eastern Europe from both past and present: the children were extremely engaged and interested when we looked at the war in Ukraine, treating the content with sensitivity and maturity, and they also showed great interest when learning about the Chernobyl disaster. It's been a great half term in Geography - well done children!

Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Ethaniel. Handwriting Hero and Heroine have been awarded to Paul and Mia.

I hope you all enjoy a fantastic half term break with your families and friends. However you choose to spend it, I wish you smiles, happiness and love and I look forward to welcoming the children back to school for the last half term of the year!

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

28.6.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

This week, we have enjoyed our 'Day in the life of a Chromebook user' where the children enjoyed using a variety of apps and programmes to enhance their learning in lessons. This was a hugely positive experience; we had lots of amazing comments from children during their lessons about how much they enjoyed their learning.

You may also have been told about the ending of our English text, 'Holes'. this text has been a firm favourite for both the children and adults for Upper Key Stage Two and it is one that we were sad to finish. Children have described it as the best book they have ever read and were desperate for there to be more! What a lovely way to encourage children to continue to enjoy reading over the summer and a lovely final key text novel for our Year 6 children.

The children were excited to know that their science topic for the half-term was focusing on chemistry and ‘Changing Materials’, with high hopes from many of them of ‘blowing things up’! The reality has not been quite as exciting as that, but exciting it has been nonetheless. You may have been told of the ‘Freaky Hand’ experiment involving bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, a small glass jar and a blue plastic glove – the results are instantaneous and fun to see science in action. Children have been thinking about solids, liquid and gases, as well as irreversible and reversible changes in their lessons. Who would have known that the seemingly simple experiment answering the question: 'How does a sugar cube change as it is put in a glass of water?’ could engender such enthusiasm and ‘what if’ questions. Our third experiment this half-term has seen us considering how to separate salt from a salt-water solution. Red wool comes in very handy when demonstrating this and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing our results over the next week.

Our topic this half term in Design Technology is ‘Moving Animals’. Over the next few lessons children will be working in groups to each make a zoo animal using mechanisms to allow it to move in certain ways, for example wagging its tail or turning its head. So far the children have sketched an instantly recognisable animal of their choice and then swapped books with a partner to see if they can pull out any recognisable features. Next lesson children will begin to plan and build their animal, thinking about what mechanisms they will need in order for it to move. Lots of teamwork and problem solving skills will be needed over the next few lessons. We can’t wait to see the end results!

As always, I wish you a lovely weekend with your children. Hawk of the Week has been awarded to Oscar. Handwriting Hero and Heroine have been awarded to Paul and Malin.

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon

 12.7.2024

Dear Parents and Carers,

I cannot quite believe that this is the final class email of the academic year. What a year it has been! Hopefully, your children have made so many happy memories to take with them of their year in Hawks Class where they have grown with their peers in both their learning and behaviours as young citizens. As their teacher, I am so proud of each and every one of your children individually and as a group. Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of watching your children grow each and every day - the privilege is never taken for granted.

What a week it has been! Firstly, well done to all the Year 6s on their SATs results which they received on Tuesday – we could not be more proud and impressed with them. All that hard work, dedication and perseverance certainly paid off for them and it was wonderful to hear how excited they were with their results.

Of course, a real highlight of the week was the Year 6 trip. What more could you want to start the week off than an outing to Ninja Warrior, a visit to Primark to spend some money with friends and finishing off in Milton Keynes with a wonderful meal at Bella Italia. And all this before we even got to Kingswood in Aston Clinton – there are so many tales to tell and I’m sure these will be shared with you over the weekend and beyond.

Our science learning finished off this term with us looking at the results of our salt water experiment. Yet another simple but effective experiment to show a reversible change was conducted by the children. Two cups were filled with an inch or two of salt water – between them a strand of red wool was threaded. The children watched with fascination over the course of two weeks as salt crystals formed across the red wool bridge – evaporation right in front of their eyes! Some great experiments and scientific thinking have taken place over the course of the year and we look forward to more learning next year.

In music this half term, we have been reflecting on all of our learning this year and enjoying reviewing our past performances and musical heroes. The children have been given the choice over which song they would like to perform in our end of half term showcase in school; they have chosen to perform 'Wonderwall' by Oasis - what a great choice! However, to continue to keep themselves challenged, the children are also learning how to play the bridge and the chorus on glockenspiels to complement their wonderful singing. We also used some of the fantastic music technology software that we have on the Chromebooks during our Technology Day last week; the children absolutely loved creating their own compositions for their digital book reviews. The music technology on our Charanga programme has really helped the children focus on a range of individual elements of music and it was lovely to see them adapting and editing the pitch and dynamics of their music until it was exactly how they wanted it!

Finally, I would like to wish you all a wonderful summer with your amazing children. To those children moving on to pastures new: spread your wings and fly! To those of you who are returning to Lark Rise in September: see you soon!

Mrs True and Mrs Dundon