Check out the SATs Support link above!
Falcons, magic is in the air...
With a flick of a wand and the utterance of unheard words, our topic theme has changed to explore the wonderful world of Harry Potter, which I hope will spark a little magic in your learning and inspire some imaginative writing. You will be drafting a Howler; writing like a film director; producing instructions for surviving life at Hogwarts; writing information about magic beasts; investigating character perspectives and much, much more. In PE we will be learning to play Quidditch - we may even need a broomstick or two! Our Art and Design learning will have us making wands and using the style of Van-Gogh to create a night time image of Hogwarts. But beware, all is not as it seems. Something is wrong at Hogwarts and you are going to be investigating using scientific skills.
So bring along your imaginations, your curious minds and be ready for an exciting new term.
P.S. If you have a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone at home please can you bring it into school.
On Monday, half of the class went off to the O2 to perform with 7,000 other children in the Young Voices concert. A wonderful time was had by everyone and big smiles shone on very tired faces by Tuesday morning!
Those of us that didn't go had a fantastic day too. We investigated the impact of different games on our emotions by playing a range of on-line, board and card games. We compared our skills with our level of frustration, and our enjoyment with our progress. We developed our skills of mental maths, problem solving, strategic planning and anger management along the way. In the afternoon we designed our own games and planned a marketing campaign.
The Falcons are continuing to work hard at preparing for their SATs and are incredibly proud of the progress they can see they are making in arithmetic and reading skills. It's wonderful to see how pleased they are when they grasp something new - especially those tricky 'old GCSE level' fractions - hey, Falcons ;-)
They are also improving in their writing and enjoyed drafting a play script this week. Writing up their edited copy gave them a chance to show off how neatly they can present their work and handwriting.
We ended the week by learning about colour blending with pastels so that we can write our graffiti names. The classroom looked very colourful by the end of the day...
Writing, writing, writing has been the theme of the week and the Falcons rose beautifully to the challenge.
It was fun to take part in the BBC Radio 2, 500 Words, live lesson on Monday which left the children inspired to write a story as impressive as the ones we listened to.
However, they had to wait because on Tuesday we enjoyed a poetry focused day with the talented and highly engaging poet, James Carter. He encouraged the children to be daring with their vocabulary and draw on their imaginations to draft poems about impossible gifts for a loved one. The children's interest continued into Wednesday as they worked on improving their original drafts by editing to include alliteration, personification, metaphors, rhyme, opposite concepts and much more. It was a huge stretch of the children's vocabulary so we explored a lot of new words. Here are a few of our favourite impossible gifts:
The flaming beat of a loving heart
The sweetness of a baby's breath
The first laugh of the sun
The last cry of the moon
A ruby-red poppy from Flanders Fields
Wishes, wild and wicked
The glance of an amber flame rising
The whispers of angels in the heavens
By Thursday, the Falcons were bursting with vocabulary and itching to plan their 500 word stories. They turned plans into words on Friday and wrote in silence for one hour. We wondered if they had every been silent for so long before without an electronic screen!
Well done Falcons, you have certainly proved you have writing stamina this week and you have impressed us with your desire to write - especially those of you that stayed in at lunch to finish and those who took drafts home to complete. Your perseverance becomes you.
A big thank you also to the parents and children that came along to the SATs meeting on Thursday evening. Hopefully you now feel much better prepared to support the children during the lead up to SATs and understand what we have put in place to help them do their very best.
P.S. We've also been multiplying fractions by whole numbers, finding factors and multiples, investigating anger management, learning the Haka and basketball (not together!), zooming through the spelling challenge, investigating active and passive voice and much, much more.
The Falcons have been developing their poetry skills this week by expanding their vocabulary and being inventive in how they use it. We had a brilliant lesson generating nouns, adjectives and sounds from an image in our book - Way Home. We used the words to put together expected pairs (e.g. endless darkness) and unexpected pairs (e.g. bitter shadows) to create atmosphere around a scary, dark alleyway setting.
Then we thought about how home is different to the alleyway, we considered the antonyms for the vocabulary we had created and all the words we could think of that we associate with home.
The result was some fabulous diamante poems. Thanks to Imogen, Madeline and Sinead for sharing yours.
Forbidden, neglected, abandoned
Growling, groaning, clashing, creaking
Endless faint corridors, comfy warm bedroom
Loving, caring, laughing, playing
Loud, hectic, mayhem
Banging, barking, bawling
Negative narrow cracks, sunny smiles
Hugging, helping, healing
Laid back, lovable
Howling, bawling, groaning
Shrieking hinges, encouraging smiles
Warming, hugging, working
We made a lovely start to the New Year with a trip to the pantomime and the creation of our sketch books. We also started our spelling challenge with most of us moving quickly onto Level 2. It's going to be a busy, creative and challenging term but the Falcons are ready to rise up to the challenge.
More information about our learning can be found in the Class Curriculum link above.
(Terms 3 & 4)
Ask yourself – can you change the world with a thought, an idea, a paintbrush? In terms 3 and 4 the Falcons will be exploring the bizarre and eccentric minds of famous and infamous rebels and using science, DT, dance and art to create some weird and wonderful masterpieces of their own.
Watch as our classroom turns into a street gallery.
As the end of our topic draws near, it was wonderful to bring children and families together, to celebrate all the children have learnt, at our Egyptian Museum experience last night.
It's pupil Takeover Day!
Miss Bailey has taken the register and showed the class how to use different materials to make a collage picture. The children are now busy making their pictures whilst our class TAs (Miss Bolton and Miss Johnston) are helping then by busily cutting up the extra materials that are needed. Miss Bailey has been checking which children are struggling to draw pyramids and making notes so that she can run an intervention group to help them improve.
This afternoon, the Falcons are looking forward to a PE with Miss Pryde who has a high impact circuits lesson planned.
Outside of the classroom, our new headteacher, Miss Arnold, is analysing progress data so that she can ensure the teachers are helping the children learn effectively. The new grounds manager, Miss Lally is testing water quality across the school. We even have an extra staff on the playground today as Mr Bennett will be keeping an eye on children at break and lunchtime.
With all these new staff running the school so well Miss Clark and I are feeling rather redundant!
One of the Falcons' favourite parts of the week is buddy reading with our nursery and reception children. Each child has a younger buddy who they read to. This opportunity is wonderful for building the Falcons' confidence with reading aloud and for developing the expression needed to engage a young audience. They help the younger children engage with the pictures, make connections between word and images and encourage them to sound out and read words themselves. The little children love it too. You can see from their faces in the pictures below.
The Falcons have two PE sessions a week. This term they are hockey with Mrs. Knight and circuits with Ms. Parks. In circuits the children work in pairs to complete eight different activities. They time one another for 30 seconds and see how many of the activity they can do. Their results are recorded so we can look for improvements over the 7 week term.
The children give each other advice on how to improve technique as well as providing encouragement.
But remember Falcons - don't get caught sitting down during circuits...otherwise a press-ups exercise is added!
The Falcons have worked incredibly hard this week and made all the staff proud of their efforts. They have had a mock SATs week and have taken all the 2016 SATs papers. The different papers have given all of the children a good idea of the progress they are making and the areas of learning they need to work on (in and out of school) so that they leave primary school academically equipped for the challenges of secondary school learning.
We finished the week with an art and design lesson where we created Egyptian sunset sillhouettes using tiny drops of colour added to white paint. A test of our school value of perseverance and a lot of patience. Their hard work has been turned into a stunning display in the school entrance hall.
It has been a lovely start to Term 2 with the Falcons showing enthusiasm for new challenges in maths and English. We've been using different methods to mentally subtract decimals and applying these skills to finding the change when shopping. Our confidence to decide which mental method is the most appropriate to use is growing. We've also been subtracting large numbers using compact column method and have practiced lots of tricky exchanging.
Today, we went to the wonderful Ashmolean Museum to learn more about Ancient Egypt. During the morning we explored the museum discovering artifacts from all over the world and some from close to home. The Falcons enjoyed trying to work out the purpose of different objects; marvelled at the Alfred Jewel and tiny intricately carved shells; fell into deep discussion about the Samurai Warrior armour and spotted artifacts from Egypt in unexpected places.
In the afternoon we had a workshop led by the museum staff. We were taken on a journey through Ancient Egypt as we developed our archeologist skills. We learnt about food, clothing, hunting, entertainment and farming and handled various objects whilst trying to work out their purpose. We saw how Egyptians used pictures, carvings and hieroglyphics to record their lives and tell stories to their gods. But, most importantly of all, we got to see a real mummy (several in fact!) and some canopic jars which were much larger than we had expected.
The Falcons impressed school and museum staff with their thoughtful observations and questioning and put a big smile on my face with their beautiful singing on the return journey.
Everyone has enjoyed making coiled Egyptian jars this week. We even managed to paint them today. It was pretty frustrating when several of them fell apart but now we know that the blending really was important.
In RE, the Falcons have been learning about people who's faith helped them change the World. We followed up this learning in English with a fascinating guided reading and comprehension about Martin Luther King Jr that had all the children feeling incensed about segregation.
Don't forget that we have our class trip on Friday 3rd November.
A Parent Mail with all the details has been sent out.
Science Week has been a great success with lots of new learning, about the circulation system, for the Falcons. We've learnt about the lungs and watched a fabulously gory video of a dissection. We made our own model lungs which helped us understand how oxygen is taken into the body. The children also made a model heart and showed great enthusiasm for understanding how it works with the lungs to ensure oxygen reaches the the vital organs. They then drew a diagram and wrote an explanation.
We've investigated the impact of exercise on the heart with the children working in pairs to plan, carry-out and report on their experiment. They drew tables and graphs to represent their data and drew conclusions and further predictions from their findings.
Today, we looked at the impact of drugs and alcohol on our bodies and were surprised to find out how our hearts, lungs and brains can be effected. We know the difference between legal and illegal drugs and understand that legal drugs can be dangerous if not taken properly.
In maths, we have been converting measures and today we converted miles to kilometers with some children planning a route for the Tour de France - they were incredibly excited because they were able to write on the table!
Finally, a big thank you to Rodney who led one of our maths warm up sessions this week. He engaged everyone in the learning whilst also managing behaviour using the school's behaviour policy. A future teacher...
The Falcons had a fabulous topic lesson this morning as we were looking at images of monuments. A simple question (why was it made?) set off a chain of analytical, applied and evaluative questions and thoughts across the classroom.
The children then worked in groups and used impressive reasoning (and teamwork) to decide where each monument fits into a global timeline. The only problem is.... we want to visit them all!
Falcons have been practicing their volleyball skills. Although they seem easy in theory, many of us are finding the volley and the dig a bit harder to master than we thought. However, we had a fantastic PE lesson where we worked with our learning partners to pass the ball between us (over the net) and now we are building up to a game.
In English, the children have written their information texts about life around the River Nile. There is so much to discover about Ancient Egypt so it isn't easy to be concise and cohesive but everyone is proud of their achievements and the effort put into editing and improving has been extra impressive.
Next, we will be looking at the Ancient Egyptian civilization in the context of a timeline of history and discovering how the monuments of that society compare to famous monuments of other civilizations around the world and across time.
Today, the Falcons impressed the whole school with their singing of Let it Grow (to the tune of Let it Go) in morning Assembly and again to family and friends in the church at our Harvest Service. We even took videos and photos for an accompanying video. Well done Falcons, you are super stars!
It's been a lovely week in Falcons as everyone properly settled back into learning and school routines.
The children impressed us with the quality of their mummification explanation texts and they were keen to know more about life in Ancient Egypt so we started to explore the question: 'How did Ancient Egypt become such a powerful civilization?'
We've used atlases, maps and satellite images to locate Egypt; the surrounding countries and seas and the River Nile. We've learnt about the features of a river and can now use the technical vocabulary to describe each section (course). We related our findings to the River Nile and discovered that it has more than one source.
Using drawings from the time period, the children uncovered the importance of farming to Ancient Egyptians and now recognise that the Nile was central to success of the nation. Today we saw how the Ancient Egyptians collected water from the Nile for farming irrigation and the Falcons worked in pairs to design and make a shaduf.
In maths, we have been learning about 3-decimal place numbers. It's been tricky but we think we've got it now. We certainly know how to say, write and compare them - however, converting to fractions is our next challenge!
Everyone is enjoying listening to Wonder (our class book). Thinking about the feelings of the main character, and how he can overcome new challenges, is forming the basis of our PSHCE learning.
Keep up the good work Falcons!
Have you ever wanted to see your teacher covered in mud; bounce through puddles on a space-hopper; slide into cold, dirty water or clamber over slippery inflatables? This weekend is your opportunity. Come and watch me and the other teachers taking part in Pretty Muddy in Oxford's South Park on Saturday at 11am. I hope to hear you cheering us on.
You can also help by sponsoring us as all funds we raise will go to Cancer Research UK. Donations can be made at the school office or on-line at https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/muddy-teachers
Imogen's mum and sister are racing too - so best of luck to them as well.
What an exciting start to the new school year the Falcons have had! We were thrilled discovered our new classroom with its fresh, spacious surroundings The perfect classroom for a 'new beginning' at the start of our final year in Primary School.
Our topic is sparking all our imaginations and we are developing our questioning skills as we look at images, videos and Google Earth maps of ancient and modern Egypt.
Today we witnessed a mummification! In the darkness, we watched the shadow of Ramose in the Beautiful House as he prepared a young pharaoh for his journey to the afterlife. We saw him cut open the body and remove the liver and intestines; placing them carefully into canopic jars. We watched in awe as he used a hook to mash up the brain but then observed how gently he wrapped the body in linen strips.
Tomorrow we will write an explanation of the embalming process.
Let’s travel back 5000 years to the dusty realms of ancient Egypt
and enter a world of mysteries and curses, mummies and kings.
We will explore the Nile and discover the fascinating culture of this ancient civilisation
as well as finding out about powerful pharaohs and grandiose gods.
Welcome back Falcons! You are now the oldest children in the school, you have a fabulous new classroom and have a fantastic topic ahead - it's going to be a brilliant year and Mrs Clark and I can't wait to share it with you. Take a look inside the 'class curriculum' link above and you will, "...see wonderful things".
See you on Wednesday 6th September