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Welcome to Falcons.

We are a Year 5&6 class who pride ourselves in being curious, resilient, hardworking learners. 

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4th October

What a fantastic start to the year the Falcons have had! We have been so busy that we haven't even had time to update our class webpage - these are just some of the things we've been up to (see the photos below): We started the year getting used to being a Falcon. We all know that the younger children in the school look up to us and so we have to set a good example in our learning and our behaviour. As a class, we worked out what makes us a good learner, a great classmate, a classroom of learners and what makes Ms. Parks and Mrs. Crump terrific teachers.

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We also thought about how we need to have the right attitude to take responsibility for our own learning and concluded that we need a growth mindset so that we want to try hard, learn from our mistakes and persevere when learning is tricky. We made a Wonder style image of ourselves and wrote personalised words that reflect our own growth mindset characteristics in the hair. 
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Before we went to PGL we had a week of science where we learnt all about evolution and inheritance. We investigated fossils and worked out the important role they have in teaching us about how living things have changed over millions of years. We also had a go at making our own fossils but, like the real thing, some of us discovered they can be very fragile!

We looked at the evidence fossils give us about the features of different animals and wondered how they might have helped animals live in different habitats. Then, we studied animals that are alive today and thought about the adaptive traits they have to help them survive today. We even had a go at designing our own animal suitable for a specific river habitat. Using apples we learnt how bears have influenced the evolution of this type of fruit - we got to eat the apples too!

Lots of children brought in photos of their families and we had a lot of fun identifing inherited features.

Everyone is enjoying our class read - Wonder by RJ Palacio. We have been studying the different characters, developing our understanding of how the author develops personality and identity. We have made connections between Via's experience in Wonder and a picture book (Perfect by Nicola Davies) where a child is waiting for their sibling to be born only to discover the sibling has special needs. Using a sentence stacking technique we are learning to write our own version of Perfect telling Via's story of when Auggie was born. You can see how our vocabulary and sentence structures are developing in the photos below.

The Falcons have also started to study Kenya in our geography lessons. We have used Google Earth, a globe and atlases to locate Kenya and the bordering countries. We know where Kenya is in relation to the Equator and the atlases have helped us to make comparisons between the topography, population, climate and land use of Kenya and the UK. 

In maths, we have been investigating number and place value. The children have been getting used to numbers up to seven digits long as well as decimals as small and hundreths. We have been rounding numbers to the nearest whole or decimal number and have been multipling/dividing by 10, 100 and 1000.

Our links with Didcot Girls School and St. Birinus are really benefitting the Falcons. Last week, Year 5 started their drama lessons with Mrs. Robertson. They clearly had a lot of fun as they came out hoarse and hot! We have all enjoyed our Mandarin lessons with Mrs. Wicks and realised that we have retained lots of our learning from last year so can confidently meet and greet in Chinese. We also have a group of seven Year 5/6 children who are working with Mrs Ralph and Mrs Lloyd to deepen their confidence with problem solving and reasoning in maths and how they explain their thinking and processes in verbal and written forms. We will be using their learning to develop the rest of the class later in the year.

On the 24th September the BBC came in to film the Falcons discussing parliament, the Government and Brexit. Everyone was incredibly impressed with how confident, clear and articulate the children were and we were super proud of their five-minute piece on the Sunday Politics Show. We also enjoyed learning how television reports are made. Take a look at the video about the BBC's visit here: 

We have also been studying: pulse, rhythm and pitch in music and are learning to sing Dancing in the Street; developing our understanding of Harvest Festival and the use of Food Banks in modern Britian in our RE lessons; investigating our emotions and the impact of these on ourselves and other people in PSHCE though the use of zones of regulation; developing our fitness and team play in PE as well as the skills and rules of volleyball and, of course, we have been getting to know Cessy (our school dog) who spends every morning with us.

And finally... some of our class have been representing the school in an interschool maths challenge day and cross-country race. All of the children did incredibly well in both competitions.

So, as you can see, it has been a hectic start to the year but one we are all feeling pleased with. Well done Falcons - keep up the great teamwork and effort!

PGL Thursday

We've had yet another fantastic day in the glorious sunshine. Today pushed our bravery to the limits as we had the trapeeze. We had to climb a tall, narrow pole on to a teeny, tiny platform and then jump whilst trying to hit a ball. Our teachers were incredibly proud of how brave we were. We also went sailing, searched for treasure on the beach, survived a plane crash in the mountains and went street surfing. Quite a day!

PGL Wednesday

What a jam-packed day we have had today! We've hardly had a minute to breathe. This morning was archery and zip wire for all the groups. We had some pretty impressive bulls-eyes in archery and quite a few arrows that flew right over the top of the target into the field!

The zip wire looked low from the ground but once we were up at the top of the steps it was quite a different experience. Ms Parks was terrified and screamed most of the way down!


This afternoon, two of the groups went sailing (the third group is sailing in the morning) whilst the other group learnt some survival skills, including lighting fires, and tried orienteering. We hope you like the photos.

PGL Tuesday afternoon

The Falcons have been soaring through the air this afternoon on the giant swing. It take a lot of bravery (and effort from our friends) to be pulled over 10 metres into the air and then to tug a tiny string that makes us drop at breathtaking speed. The look on some of our faces says it all.

It was a gorgeous afternoon for orienteering and the children thoroughly enjoyed having the freedom to explore the site even though they were stuck in groups of three or four where everyone had to hold onto a hoolahoop!

One of our groups had Street Surfing. It was much trickier than we thought it would be however the photos show you that we managed to get the hang of it. Now everyone can't wait for their turn.

This evening, it was the campfire and we've sung and danced until our throats hurt (photos of the campfire will be posted tomorrow) and now we are settling down for a long sleep #fingerscrossed. Good night from star lit PGL x

PGL Tuesday morning

We woke (rather too early for the teachers' liking!) to glorious blue skies and the sun shimmering off the sea. After breakfast, we all went on a hike through some stunning scenery and a forest full of 'drop spiders' that we heard would drop on our heads if we made a noise or didn't cover up. #plgstaffthinktheyarefunny #someofusstillbelieve

We walked over the cliff tops, through fields of cows, stopped for a few cames and then arrived at a ice-cream parlour. It's a good job Ms Parks packed the money.


PGL Monday

We arrived safe and sound at PGL with huge whoops of excitement as everyone spotted the site and the sea. We unpacked our rooms (which have views of the bay!) and explored the site then into dinner where everyone was amazed by the choice and especially loved the doughnuts. In the evening, we played Ambush as the night drew in. This was great fun and a little scary which added to the excitement. Then our teachers had the challenging job of settling us down to sleep.

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Term One

The Falcons have an exciting and challenging term ahead. We have an inspiring curriculum that sets high expectations for our learning and a jam-packed residential that will stretch our social and emotional experiences.

We will be using the wonderful novel, Wonder by RJ Palacio, as the stimulus for our learning in English, Science (evolution and inheritance) and PSHCE with a particular focus on developing a kind and respectful class environment. 

In Geography we will be exploring Kenya, developing our map skills whilst investigating the human and physical characteristics of the country. Our art work will be inspired by the people and cultures of the country.

Watch this space to find out more about the term ahead and to see photos of our learning journeys.