This time of the year is lovely. We celebrate the beginning of winter, the first snowfall and the end of the calendar year. So it is exciting that our topic this term is Celebrations. This week the children discussed their ideas of what a celebration is and what celebrations are important to them and their families. In Maths, there has been a real buzz in Year 3 as the children have fun with their Maths learning. Some groups have been looking at different strategies to solve multiplication problems, while others have been using tens frames to help solve addition and subtraction problems. Everyone has made excellent progress when explaining their Maths thinking, or sharing how they solved their Maths problems. ‘Storm’ has been super exciting this week. Children have been making many predictions as the story unfolds. They have learned many new words and have also shown courage by using some of them when answering questions and using them in their writing. Well done everyone!
This week, we enjoyed spending time reading about our Science unit, ‘Living Things and Their Habitats’ and our Topic unit, ‘Festivals of India’. We researched an animal, using non-fiction books, to find information about our chosen animal’s habitat, breathing, body temperature and covering, and breeding habits. We also read ‘The Story of Diwali’, which helped us understand that this Hindu festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. This story has given us a clear understanding of the features of a good story: character, setting, the development of a plot, encountering a problem and the solving of the problem.
Every morning, in Maths, we spent fifteen minutes practising our bonds and tables to improve our mental arithmetic. Accuracy and speed are important here! We practised interpreting information given in bar graphs. We were introduced to the vocabulary of graphs: data, horizontal and vertical axes, and scale. We also enjoyed drawing our own bar graphs, using data that we collected.
In Science, we used a table to separate vertebrates into five broad groups by looking at their characteristics. It was very interesting comparing the characteristics of mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and fish. We discovered that only mammals and birds are warm-blooded, and that some mammals live in water.
In our Topic lesson, we focussed on the symbols of Diwali: oil lamps (diyas), the swastika and Rangoli patters. We discovered that the word ‘Diwali’ means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. We were very surprised to learn that the swastika, an ancient and meaningful symbol in many cultures for thousands of years, was used by the Nazis to represent racial hatred and evil.
Last week, in our PSHE lesson, we learnt about the incredible power of ‘yet’. This week, we designed eye-catching posters to promote this important principle. Using our artistic talents, we created colourful posters, featuring a slogan and advice on how to unlock the power of ‘yet’.
This week Year 5 became engineers during Science lessons. They learned about the different types of bridges there are and how forces play a vital role in these designs. The children were then given their own challenge; to build a sturdy bridge using only two sheets of paper. The children worked well in pairs to think scientifically and improve their designs through different versions. Some of the results were impressive!
In English, the children have been reading a book about animal migration, discussing the key question: "Which animal has the toughest migration?" The children conducted their own research into this question and also considered the difference between facts and opinions when reading information texts. In Maths, we have focused on short division. We have practised this written method and then applied it to problem solving situations.
In Topic, the children have been learning about the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, which is coming up soon. The children researched the festival and created their own PowerPoint presentations explaining the key features of it. We were also luck that somebody brought in a real Hanukkiah from home and was able to explain the significance of it to us all.