Class News Autumn Term 2020
A huge ‘hello’ to you all! I am so pleased to be in Upper Key Stage Two with your children this year. We have spent the last two weeks getting to know each other really well; it has been lovely to spend so much quality time with them and welcoming them back into school life. They have really impressed me with how quickly they have settled and shown me they are ready for a new year of learning.
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 class. 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!
Over the last two weeks, we have 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!
During our first two weeks, we have had the pleasure of exploring our new PSHE curriculum. The curriculum is named SCARF which is a pneumonic for: Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. These sessions have really helped us settle back into school life and make 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.
What a great first two weeks to the school year!
Hawk of the Week for the last two weeks has been awarded to George and Nathan.
Have a fantastic weekend,
What a great two weeks we have had in Hawks class. Your children have continued to impress me with their fantastic behaviour choices, maturity and attitudes to learning. They children have really enjoyed getting into their English and Maths lessons and worked extremely hard last week during our baseline assessments. They should be very proud of themselves.
In Art, we are focussing on developing our sketching skills, with specific attention to tone and texture. We started off our lessons producing a basic drawing of our shoe, before working on the skills needed for sketching in order to develop more detailed sketches. This was a great way to show the progress in our sketching skills. The children are starting to understand the different grades of sketching pencils used to create tone and texture and recognise when these are needed.
As part of our Physical Education (P.E) sessions in the last two weeks, we have started to develop our tennis skills. We have started by breaking down the discrete skills involved in tennis with particular focus on coordination and accuracy, with the aim of developing and improving our overall accuracy and ability in tennis. The development of these discrete skills will also help the evaluation of our performance and how to improve our overall ability in other sports that we will explore later on in the year.
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.
We have used our History topic as a great opportunity to recall some of our knowledge from Lower Key Stage Two. The children were great at recalling lots of facts about the prehistoric dwelling Skara Brae. We further developed our knowledge by thinking about what the remains of Skara Brae can teach us about Stone Age life and how this was a turning point in the way humans lived. The children wrote some fantastic news reports about what was found in the Orkney Islands at the site of Skara Brae; well done on some great recall children.
In English, we have been exploring Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Just So Stories’. The children have really enjoyed being immersed in a range of activities related to these stories, which will eventually build up to a piece of writing. The challenging language in the stories has not put children off; they have very much enjoyed feeling confident with the texts and reading them aloud through echo reading in English lessons.
I just wanted to remind you that 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 whiteboard pen and glue stick in their pencil cases, in order to avoid having to share any resources. Many thanks for your help with this.
Hawk of the week for the last two weeks has been awarded to Darcey C and Emma. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has been awarded to Ayaan, Emily, Elliot and Erin.
Have a lovely weekend.
It was so lovely to be able to speak to so many of you at Learning Review Meetings this week about how well your children have settled back into school. I had so many lovely things to say about each and every one of your children; they really are a delight.
Last week, it was Biology Week in school; we explored this through the theme of 'fungus'! There was an assembly at the start of the week where the children looked at different types of fungi that are all around us. In our science lessons, the children experimented 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, the children applied their knowledge of helpful and harmful fungus to create fungus superheroes and villains that were used as inspiration for comic books! What a great way to apply scientific knowledge and show creativity.
This week started with a special assembly to announce that an unusual door had unexpectedly arrived in the playground at Lark Rise Academy. The children went out in their English groups to investigate, where they discovered that no one could be sure where this mysterious door would lead to! Using their inference skills, the children looked for clues about where this door might have come from and more importantly, where it might lead. After lots of discussion, the children set to work writing descriptions and stories that allowed for lots of imagination. We were so impressed by the quality of this work; the presentation and handwriting were amazing and the ideas of the children were a delight to read. Across the school, two pieces of work from each class have been published on the Pobble website. You will receive an email if your child's work is published with a link that takes you to that piece of work.
Please look out for an email asking your permission for your child's work to be published on the Pobble website. Following the success of previous years, we will continue to use this website to publish pieces of work and celebrate writing throughout the school year. It is a fantastic way of sharing your children's work with you, the school community and on a global platform! It will only be published with your child's first name and age group. If you click on the link in the email it will take you to the website and you can give permission for their work to be shared.
In PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, Education) this week, we thought about being a good friend. The children all took a quiz about friendship and, I am very proud to say, they were extremely honest! Although they are all fantastic friends to each other, some children did reflect on their own behaviour and say that, at times, they may not choose the most sensible option. Some great reflective work there Hawks; well done!
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!
Hawk of the week for the last two weeks has been awarded to Aaryan and Louise. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has been awarded to Oscar, Taylah, Alfie and Sophie C.
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: there were 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.
Hawk of the week this week has been awarded to Darcey F. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has been awarded to Callum and Willow.
Have a fantastic weekend,
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.