Your class teacher is Mrs Parks-Connolly* and our TA is Mrs Denton
*The children call me Mrs Parks still
Our topic this term is the Stone Age to the Iron Age!
We have a very special visitor to the classroom, Malcom. He keeps a watchful eye on the comings and goings and is super excited to meet the children. He's quite shy, but the children have written some absolutely lovely letters back to the letter he wrote them during the summer.
To reduce the movement of books to and from home, we are asking that spelling journals are left at home all week, to practise spelling in. If a child is ready to move on to a new spelling list, I will email the new spelling lists on Fridays, after school.
Please confirm your preferred email address by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful things to know
Please do not send your child into school in their PE kit, as we are encouraging the children to practise good hygiene and organisation skills.
We are encouraging children to take responsibility for their own organisation and learning behaviour through metacognition.
Class story: Stig of the Dump - Clive King
To start our Autumn term, we're working around "Here We Are" by Oliver Jeffers, a wonderful book for exploring our connection to the environment and other people in the world.
So far the children have created information pamphlets for how to sustain the positive impacts lockdown had on our environment, their own lyrics for Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World' and made cards to a special person in their lives.
Here is a reminder of the expectations, when learning multiplication tables:
By the end of year 2, they should know their 2x, 5x and 10x table.
By the end of year 3, they should know their 3x, 4x, 6x and 11x table
By the end of year 4, they should know their 7x, 8x, 9x, and 12x table.
Please, please help your child to learn their times tables. Knowing these by heart and being able to recall them quickly is invaluable to their learning. It helps them to progress more quickly with problem solving and multiplying and dividing larger numbers.
In 2020 a national times tables test will be introduced to year 4, to ensure that these expectations are being met.
Knowing their times tables means being able to answer an out-of-order multiplication question without thinking very long, such as: 5 x 5 = 25. 9 x 10 = 90. If your child is only able to count up in jumps of 2 or 10, make sure that they begin to apply each jump to a finger, and that they are aware that they are counting multiples.
It also means that they are able to solve the inverse, such as: 90 divided by 10 is 9. There are five 5s in twenty-five.
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September: We are starting the year with work on place value and mental strategies. Year 3 have demonstrated skill in ordering, comparing and placing 3-digit numbers on a numberline and year 4 with 4-digit numbers. They have transferred these skills to adding and subtracting money mentally.
Ask your child to round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. Ask them how they know whether to round up or down. Practice number bonds to 10 and 100. Discuss the patterns. Discuss the value of digits within 4 and 5 digit numbers. Ask them to add/subtract multiples of 10, 100 and 1000. A little bit every day will help to consolidate their learning.
Friday 17th July
It is such a weird feeling today; normally we'd have done a play by now and we'd have done a Sports Day together and we'd be having our final celebration assembly. I'd be creating a big quiz of the year for you all to do on Monday and we'd be deciding what we'd be doing in the afternoon as a treat.
I've really missed you all this term and I am sorry that for the year 4s, their time in Kestrels has come to such a strange end. I look forward to seeing you all again in September, even if it's only from a distance.
I've put together a choice of activities for Maths on Monday, all of which are art based, too. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. There are some motor skills to practice for two of them, as they can be a bit fiddly!
For English, I've asked you to write a letter to your new teacher, as we'd have normally done that as well. It's a great way to think about what we've learned and how we've grown over the year and what we'd like to do next year to continue to be the best we can be.
School is closed to students on Tuesday, for a Training Day, so I have no set work for Tuesday.
I wish you all the best summer holiday and I look forward to seeing you all in September. I'm sure the time will whiz by!!
Click your year group's star to find your work!
Sunday 5th July
Oh my goodness, we're in July. We have two whole weeks left - this week and next week. Then that random Monday. (WHAT were the government thinking when those dates were decided?)
I have little to say other than the usual well done. I've had some really lovely work in this week. It's great to see so many of you using rulers or straight edges to help you in your maths! I like to think all my nagging between September and March paid off
My friend just caught her dog, Cleo, watching this on television and I love it and hadn't seen it and I know you will all love it too:
It's a great rap about Tutankhamun's treasures by Horrible Histories.
I also recommend the Cleopatra song if you can find it on their website or youtube.
I can tell you I've already been half singing/rapping/humming it around the house all day
Have a great week!
We made it through the hottest week of the year so far! Well done everybody. It was really hard to want to do anything but sit in a paddling pool! The lure of a nice bowl of cold water for my feet, a good book and an ice lolly was very strong on Thursday and Friday!
Now it's raining...which is fine, I suppose, because Mr Parks didn't water my plants as I asked yesterday. Hopefully this will cut the humidity levels next week.
My bubble used Monday afternoon's sunshine to do some Jackson Pollock artwork outside under the trees. I'm not sure that I can honestly say that most of the paint went on the paper instead of each other's legs! Still it was very effective, even with the wind blowing parts of the paper in half. Then on Wednesday we stayed out of the sun indoors and created animals and shapes on our Pollock paper which we've decorated the main classroom window with. They're very pleased with their results.
Lots of you had a creative week. I've been sent sports day pictures, book-based food project photos and of course lots of great work in Maths and English. Well done for carrying on with the English and Maths, even if it was hot and sticky and you didn't feel much like doing it!
I hope you all manage to catch up on sleep missed during the hot nights over the weekend!
Friday 19th June
How weird was the weather this week? I've not know what to wear! One day I had my umbrella but needed sunglasses. The next was the opposite. I've been cold, I've been warm. Utter disaster.
Wasn't that storm on Wednesday fantastic!? We downed tools to watch when the sky suddenly opened and poured what seemed to be all the rain we should have got last year in the space of 40 minutes! It was facinating and horrifying all at once to see all those poor parents get drenched through as they waited for their children to come out of their Bubbles.
The school lobby smells awful now, because the rain made its way through the door frame and the carpet became a sodden mess.
It was also amazing to see how quickly all the puddles and flooding on the playground and paths drained away. By the time I went home you'd never have guessed it was an inch or more of standing water.
There's been a lot of great writing again this week, and some lovely creative afternoons going on. One or two of you took part in your older brothers' Activities Week at home and have had a different style of learning. Some of the year 4s adapted their online mini olympics activities to suit the weather through arts or research. It's been a great week for learning!
Well done to everybody that has continued to try to get something done each day. You've all been fantastic and I'm so proud of you!
Sunday 7th June
It's been a funny old week in school. All the teachers are back, but we're not really seeing each other much. And some of the year groups are back, but not many of you! Only the two or three of you in my bubble. I'm back in my classroom, which is great for me, but it's not the same without you lot! My bubble is lovely of course, but it's not the same. You know me, Kestrels, I'm adaptable but I still don't like big changes.
Still, we've been thinking about you all, and those of you who've not been coming to school should have received a little something in the post!
For parents that may have missed the email, I am now working full-time with a bubble in my classroom until the foreseeable future. To allow for workload, I will now be responding to emails between 2pm and 4pm on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
If you'd like to include both Monday and Tuesday's work in one email and Wedneday and Thursday's work in another email, that is absolutely fine. I will still have my email open while I'm working so if there is any help needed, I will try to reply on the day. Just please be aware that I will not provide feedback to work sent on a Monday until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday's work until Thursday afternoon.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Odes that year 4 have written to their favourite food this week! Some of them have been fantastically hyperbolic and descriptive. One or two made me hungry!
Year 3 have had a great week working with the brilliant childhood works of Robert Louis Stevenson and creating their own fantastical playground experiences through imagery.
I look forward to hearing from you all next week
Summer Term part 2
Welcome back everybody! I hope you all had a restful half term and got a healthy dose of Vitamin D. That sun was strong this half term wasn't it? It was really testing the capabilities of my really high factor suncream.
On your year group's subpages, you'll find the week's maths and English for you, along with this half term's afternoon menu.
I have added a new unit to your Charanga Music classes and I've removed the lesson resources from the OneDrive for last half term's menu and uploaded new ones for this half term's, so that there's no confusion.
We have just a month and a half-ish left of this roller-coaster-ride of an academic year and I'm really proud of all the work we've been able to do together - both in person and at home.
I look forward to getting hearing from you all!
P.S: Isn't it satisfying that June is starting on a Monday?
We did it Kestrel class! We have done 5 whole weeks of Home learning. We have reached half term. We should be pretty proud of ourselves, I think! Give each other a pat on the back.
Well done to everybody who's managed to complete something every day, even during the height of Wednesday's heat! You've all been keeping me up to date with your at-home exploits. Paddling pools; hammock reading; Mayfly photography; art; ever-growing ecosystems. It's been lovely to hear your opinions on the poetry this week, too. The poem about the mother who doesn't like dogs was NOT a favourite! I guess we're all dog-lovers in our class.
A lot of year 3 really enjoyed working around Harry Potter and some of you have begun to read the books as well. I thought I'd also find free online audiobooks as well, for those who don't have spotify or have run out of free audible trials. You can listen to each chapter at a time, read by the inimitable Stephen Fry, here.
Just below, I've attached an optional set of activities to do, if you get bored.
I hope you all have a wonderful half term,
Just a little note to say...
It is getting hotter and brighter outside, as I'm sure you've noticed. Make the most of the weather but please remember to Slip on a t-shirt, Slap on a hat and SLOP on that suncream - drink more water, too! You'll find yourselves getting dehyrdrated more quickly than normal, even if you're in the cooler indoors or the shade. I was caught out this Saturday when it was "cloudy". I didn't stay alert to those pesky UV rays that come through.
It's a really tricky week in our summer term; the days are noticeably shorter and the nights are getting warmer too. I'm sure we've all found ourselves waking up multiple times at night feeling too hot and a bit fidgety. The children will be tired, not just physically, but mentally too. We've been working for 5 solid weeks and there's still what feels like an eternity until the freedom of the summer holiays. Couple that with our current affairs, and it's a perfect storm for some low motivation and a few tears.
Be kind to yourselves. You're all doing a marvellous job. Pick your battles, as Mrs Stevens says, and count what you CAN get done as an achievement.
Missing you all terribly,
Mrs Parks-Connolly (Pink-faced but still recognisable!)
Friday 15th May
We are half way through MAY already! Where has that time gone? It was only April last week. I guess this is just us getting in our stride and getting good at what we're doing.
I want to say another big thank you and well done to everybody who's been completing and sending in work and keeping in touch. It's so lovely to see the work you're doing but also hearing about all the other extra curricular acitivities you've been doing! Some of you have been doing extra online work, flower pressing, looking at things under a microscope, writing and publishing books, making up dance routines, learning new recipes and generally having as much fun as you can where you are. You are all fantastic and you all - and your parents - should be very proud of everything you achieve while at home - make sure you give the people who've been supporting you at home a big hug and a 'thank you' this evening.
While at home, we've got through a novel and a half, by finishing off Heidi and then reading Emil and the Detectives.
Today's offering is what I would class as in the 'comic drama' genre, called The Wolves in the Walls. It's a great picture book and I'm sure lots of you will enjoy it.
I've put the link at the top of our pages, but you can also click the picture of the cover here:
I'll keep finding different stories - some of them might be short adventures from The Moomins, some might be more picture books, or fairytales you've not necessarily heard - to keep us going.
I saw this being shared by the Metropolitan Police online today and thought of my prankster mathematicians!
I wonder if anybody can explain what the joke is, and what's happening, mathematically?
Year 4, we've talked about this at least twice since you joined Kestrels, and DEFINITELY in Spring term this year (which feels a long time ago, I know!)
A little grammatical humour for you all - tis true! I miss you nouns!
Summer term week 2
This week, we are continuing with the White Rose maths from before Easter, as they will provide important ground work for the summer term maths, especially for year 4.
While I have made .pdfs, I do ask that, where possible, you watch the videos available each day (year 3 here and year 4 here, in case you haven't spotted it on our work pages) - the modelled thinking aloud and matching visual effects are really useful. The videos could be watched through first, then the pdfs used as a support aid later, if you have limited screen time per child at home.
When you go to the website to use the resources, please remember to click "week 2", not continue with "Summer term week 2" which the drop down opens on automatically.
English will continue to work the way it did last week - I can see from the written work and the feedback from some of you that it's working well at the moment.
Please continue to choose an activity from the menu each afternoon, or let me know what other extra-curricular activities you've chosen to do. You're more than welcome to do some activities (scratch, the scavenger hunt, cooking) more than once however try to do a variety of things like the history and geography as well.
You will see that at the top of the page, I have added a link to some science activities lead by a teacher/scientist in Whittlesford. Some of the activities may require a discussion with your child, as they may require some resources or "ingredients" for various experiments, or an outdoor space, but otherwise they're designed to be as hands off as possible.
Any further information is available on your year group subpages.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Fabulous learning this week
I'd like to say a big well done to everybody. I'm sure more than one of you found it tricky to get back into the swing of things after having a break from learning.
Lots of you have fed back that you're enjoying or preferring the new White Rose maths learning packs, which is great. I've found them quite useful myself, seeing different ways of teaching concepts.
Year 3 and 4 have had separate English work and it's been really good to see each year group come up different pieces of work. We've had some fun short stories in the style of Fantastic Mr Fox and some poems about creepy crawlies.
I've also enjoyed getting a variety of afternoon activities to look at! It's been very interesting to see which activities you've gone for to start with. We've had scavenger hunts, jewellery making, roast dinner cooking, scratch programming, factfile making... All sorts! It's been lovely to hear from you all.
Do keep in touch.
We're onto chapter 5 of Emil and the Detectives. I've had some emails saying that you've been enjoying the book so far. I can only promise it gets better from here! It's a nice read, too, because each chapter is quite short but something happens in each one.
Have a lovely weekend and stay safe. Mrs Denton, Mrs Cox, Mrs Wilkinson and I are missing you all!
Home learning, after Easter
Dear parents and carers and Kestrels!
I hope you all have a safe, happy Easter break and that you managed to have some relaxing downtime.
I ended up not doing many of the poems for A Poem A Day because when it came down to it, the ones during the second week of Easter holiday were really depressing and tricky to read (Chaucer being one of them)!
I thought I'd save you all the sadness of the poems, (and me fumbling my way through Middle English) awaiting the more lively, interesting ones from April 21st!
I shall also begin reading our new class book, 'Emil and the Detectives' by Erich Kästner, whose work you'll mostly recognise in 'The Parent Trap'!
Now that term is starting, we've decided as a school to change how we approach home learning this half term.
I shall be using the White Rose online learning resources, which include videos for the children to watch before attempting the tasks. In case you can't access the video, I'll recreate the videos as pdfs and upload them with the worksheets each day in advance.
Some schools have used the online learning already and therefore are on Summer term week 1, however I'd like to use the opportunity to consolidate and allow year 4 to visually go over fractions as decimals, which will help with the summer term work.
We are going to be working from week 1, not "Summer term week 1"
I will let you know each week which homelearning week each year group is working from.
All the answers are provided to the work, which should help with any troubleshooting - I am available, as always, via email@example.com to help as well.
For English, I'm using a unit for each year group from the Hamilton Trust homelearning resources - this provides the text and work around the text. This covers reading comprehension, grammar and writing.
I will try to upload the week in advance. A lot of the powerpoints have audio embedded in them. These do not work on the pdf format, I'm afraid.
In the afternoons, we'd like to give you as much flexibility as possible. I have created an activity menu for the half term.
You should all have received an email either from me, or via the office, with details of your child's login for Charanga Music. This will allow the children to continue their music lessons from home - there's a 6-lesson unit assigned to each year group.
I've provided links or suggested videos to follow for PE and I've provided you with activities for other areas of the curriculum. I've uploaded some pdf files for specific activities onto my onedrive and shared it with you - you can access it through the link on the menu.
The idea is to allow you to choose with your children which activity you will do that afternoon and to give you flexibility. You get to choose what you can or want to do. If you find something else to do that is extra-curricular, that is fine too.
One or two of the activities you could do more than once or spend longer on, thus filling the afternoon with just one task.
Please continue sending me copies of your work - just ask your parents to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need paper copies, please contact me or the office so that we can arrange that for you.
Do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
Dear parents and Kestrels,
We've completed two weeks of home learning - it has been challenging for a lot of us in different ways. I'm sure that we all understand more than ever the feeling of wanting what we can't have!
I'd like to thank all the parents and carers at home who've been supporting Kestrels class with their learning, even if it's ensuring that the work's been emailed to email@example.com or the office. I've really enjoyed seeing what the children have got up to and how they've interpreted some of the tasks! I appreciate how difficult it is to juggle being a bread-winner, a parent AND a teacher in one day and I am so grateful to all of you for trying your best.
Thank you also for the feedback from both adults and children, letting me know how they've got on with a task, if they found it tricky - and in particular, whether they've enjoyed doing it. It's been lovely to receive so many kind messages. I've also enjoyed getting emails from the children themselves (via their parents' email address) to let me know what they've been getting up to.
For many of us, Easter is going to feel a bit different this year - I'm sure I'm not the only one with plans that have been cancelled - and the idea of spending two weeks not quite knowing what to do might be daunting for many.
Miss Snelling has devised some optional activities for you to fall back on over the next two weeks, I've uploaded them below. The aim is to complete a row or a column of the activities - but doing more is definitely ok! For many of you, it's not a real "holiday", so don't feel any pressure to get them done.
I've finished recording our class book, Heidi, and will start the next one after Easter. Over Easter, I will try continue to do a Poem A Day and to read some picture books for those looking for something a bit different. Just check our class playlist for new videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLb0pFDI7KBtIBmxNRfmZlURe25Zf-HN01
Stay safe, look after each other and keep smiling!
I have really enjoyed some of the creative writing you've done around your chosen Zoo animal this week! Some of them have been so entertainingly written, so thank you for that!
I'll upload a selection of the work so we can see all the ideas you've had of what it must be like in a day in the life of a tiger/penguin/koala/panda.
My SD reader has arrived! So Heidi chapters are being edited and uploaded today to catch us up - I might even throw in some bonus ones so that we finish by Monday.
"Production" will slow down slightly over the holidays as I'll be helping those of you who are still coming into school next week.
Tomorrow I'll be uploading some optional activities for you to do over the Easter holidays - two bingo boards. There'll be more information on that with them tomorrow.
At Home Learning
Dear Parents and Kestrels,
We've come to the end of our first week of at-home learning and I have been amazed by the quality of your work and resilience.
I'd like to say a big thank you to all the adults at home who have been supporting the children with their work - even while juggling your own jobs! I know how hard it has been.
I shall try upload some of the great stories you wrote on Thursday over the weekend (I'll transcribe some of them as the photos are hard to read) - I was so pleased to see so many of you try to include all the grammatical elements we've been practising since Christmas.
Please do not hesitate to email me if you need help with any of the tasks - it can be so difficult to get ideas across without being there in person! I will try to upload videos and audio files as necessary to help.
Kestrels, please please keep reading!
Send me reviews of books you've particularly enjoyed at home and I will publish them on the website to inspire other readers. I will keep reading books to you as well, as you've asked! I have already decided which adventure we will go on once we're finished with Heidi.
Kestrel Class's playlist is mainly viewable by clicking this link:
So far we have:
*These are picture books which I think you'll all enjoy.
To come will also be some more picture books I think you'll like and when we've finished Heidi, I'll begin the next class book! (but you'll have to watch to find out what it is!)
To view other class's playlists, you'll need to visit their class page.
Stay safe and healthy, Kestrels! Please keep in touch. I look forward to us all being together again - I'll miss you all very much!
*Today's chapter of Heidi has been filmed but my SD card reader is kaput! I've another on its way so until then, I apologise!*
Our class book is currently The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
Kestrels have had a fantastic start in their writing this half term - it's the best half term because suddenly you can see how much progress children have made since September. Comparing their diary writing from September to this half term's shows how much more varied the vocabulary and sentence structures are now.
We have so far enjoyed discussing the style and descriptions of The Iron Man and role-playing a Farmers' Committee to discuss what to do about the problem. A lot of children were pleased to learn that their ideas were similar to what happened in the book. We have thought about Hogarth's emotions and how his feelings have moved from "proud" to "devastated" within one scene, linking the discussion to our PSHE topic around feelings.
Today the children have used the imaginative expanded noun phrases they came up with about scrapyards to create a poem which includes a repeated phrase and a sense of rhythm. A lot of the class got out thesauruses and helped to edit the poem and suggest alternative syntax choices to help keep the rhythm regular.
They will use this shared writing experience to write their own poems about the Iron Man itself.
I hope to record the children performing "Scrumptious Scrapyard" orally, so that we can share the poem to its full effect online.
On Thursdays the children will be working with Premier Sport. On Wednesday, they will be doing PE with me.
Please ensure your child's PE kits are in school every day. Sometimes time tables change or need to be moved around and your children need to be prepared for any eventuality!
Spring 2: Insects
Moving on from classifying animals we are looking more indepth at insects: what makes a "mini beast" an insect; the metamorphic and incomplete metamorphic life cycles and whether they are pests or helpers in both the human and natural world.
Spring 1: Classifying Animals and Plants
The children have been learning about the 7 life processes (MRS NERG) that all living things do and how scientists have grouped living things into The Plant Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. So far we have been exploring groups of invertebrates and are beginning to work out how to classify vertebrate animals into fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals.
They are getting rather good at using classification keys now and are able to describe the differences and similarities between fish and amphibians.
Autumn 2: The children are going to begin their investigations into 'light'. They will conduct experiments to discover in ways light travels, what light is, which surfaces are reflective and how shadows work. Thank you very much for all the box donations! We shall have a lot of fun with it!
The children have so far discovered that: "Darkness is the absence of light"; light travels in straight lines; with just enough light, one can begin to make out bright colours as these reflect light well while dark colours do not; that some materials, such as glitter or even clear glass, can reflect light.
All this while aiding DI Harris with a low-profile jewellry heist at The Grand Theatre in Harrowgate - during a dress rehearsal, no less! The children are coming up with loads of theories as to how and 'who dunnit' and have been communicating these with DI Harris, though me.
Autumn 1: The children are focusing on "Cycles" in nature; weather cycles, seasonal cycles, life cycles and the water cycle. So far we have discussed how nature is affected by the seasons, how seasons are caused and why the equator does not have seasons in the same way we do; the life cycle of a plant from seed to seed and the life cycle of a chicken with a focus on the development of the chick inside of an egg. The children ended the cycles unit with the life cycle of a frog - looking into how exactly a tadpole morphs into a froglet, then a frog - and the water cycle.
Don't worry, parents, we have established that the eggs bought in shops are unfertilized!
Art and Design & Technology
The children will have an opportunity to improve their already amazing sculpting skills. They will be using the terracotta army of the first Emperor of China as their stimulus, creating our own mini army of figurines out of clay.
There will also be an opportunity to design, prepare and make a Chinese style soup.
This term, Kestrels have been studying the work and style of Georgia O'Keeffe, focusing in particular on her macro paintings of flowers. We discussed the bold colours she used and how she focused one a small detail of the plant and then painted it "blown up" so that it was huge, making viewers consider flowers differently.
We have tried using pencils, pastels and watercolours - which was a bit tricky to get right as we had to consider how much was "too much" water! Today the children had their first go at both sketching and painting their own "blown up" flowers. They were given a viewing window to help them focus on a small section of a flower and then drew larger rectangles in their books to help them size up proportionately. It's a very tricky thing to do, especially when your impulse to draw small details is to draw tiny intricate details!
They have done very well with their first attempt - I've taken some photographs of some of the work as it stands. I hope to graduate them onto some lovely thick watercolour paper, where they can do a series of smaller, but no less bold and beautiful, pictures.
Past English Work
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The children have adored studying this book, so far. We have been reading one to three chapters at a time and responding to the story through discussion, writing in-role, poetry and lyric writing. I highly recommend buying this book for children to revisit (and you parents to enjoy!) at home - but please wait until we have finished the unit, so that the story is not spoiled for them!
I strongly suspect that this book will be heavily featured in our class assembly.
Edward - and the children - has now experienced love and loss! He is a changed rabbit. As the story reaches its conclusion, the children have written 1st Person Narratives from the perspective of one of those that loved Edward and they have explored the concept of imagery and symbolism in Edward's first-ever dream. They have produced their own impression of the dream, using colour to convey mixed feelings of freedom, despair and heartbreak in the dream.
I have been very impressed by how well the children have not only engaged with this complex book but also the way they have managed to keep track of everything that has happened including small details that are tricky to recall without pictures.
Kestrels and I will feel quite bereft when we finish this book!
The children have explored the first two pages. They have responded to the initial image, making connections and predictions based on what they know of other stories. I've photographed their thoughts for you to see. They then heard the narrative that matched to the picture.
They have also responded to the second page by painting their own pictures and then annotating them with gold / silver pens, in the style of the illustrations in the books. We have discussed how the author has chosen to write a paragraph full of descriptions, using similes and metaphor to build a picture of Jub's world in the readers' heads.
The children have written poetry and discussed the common settings of fairytales and why woodlands are so prevalent.
This week they have broadened their subject knowledge about two woodland nocturnal creatures that seep into pop culture and literature: owls and bats before exploring traditional non-fiction writing styles and the child-friendly 'narrative non-fiction' as expertly used by author Nicola Davies.
The children were extremely excited to find out the title of our book! After some very good suggestions as to what the title could be - "Jub and the Happy Endings", "Jub's Adventure" - they were none-the-less enthusiastic and in agreement with Carol-Ann Duffy over "The Lost Happy Endings".
This came after having read a page describing a new character in great detail, focusing on her physical traits as well as outlining her despicable behaviour. The children explored the idea of tropes and "Goodies" and "Baddies" in books. They then had a go at creating what they imagined the "old woman" looked like using clay. I was so very impressed by their focus, imagination and modelling skills. It's hard to know whether to let the children paint them or to simply glaze them!
The children have written diamante poems, diary entries and their own version of a fairy tale, with an Unhappy ending! It was lovely to hear the children's ideas as to what could happen that not result in a Happily Ever After. Some were simple and effective, others were creative in circumventing the otherwise happy ending - including the Evil Queen infiltrating Snow and Charming's castle and replacing the fruit in the fruitbowl with poisoned apples!
Kestrels have been working with 'Fly, Eagle, Fly!' an African tale with a powerful message. This book has wonderful descriptions of the countryside in Africa and is the story of an eagle that has been raised as a chicken by a farmer. A friend of the farmer tries to prove the bird is an eagle by encouraging it to fly with his mantra: "You belong not to the earth but to the sky".
We have written letters as the friend, to his wife, explaining how we feel about keeping the "King of birds" being kept as a lowly chicken. This week, as a our last piece of work with the book the children have retold the story from the point of view of the friend.
Come into the classroom to see our eagle wing display. Everybody wrote what they thought the message of the story was on a feather and then, responding to Desmond Tutu's foreward in the book, what they'd like to do when they're older to "reach sublime heights".
Kestrels have read and explored the themes around 'Storm', a ghost story set in a place similar to the fenlands. We have thought about everyone's point of view - including the ghost!
Come and read their accounts of travelling through the stormy night, delivering Annie to the doctor's in the village.