End of term already!!
I think that everyone is ready for a rest after one of the busiest and most unusual terms that I can remember!
We had a great week wrapping up all of our topic work and enjoying some Easter themed learning. We have now come to the conclusion that the Equator and the Poles are extremely different - the weather, the temperature, the surrounding environment, the plants and the animals that live there - and this has allowed us to answer our question 'Why don't penguins live at the Equator?'
We have produced some amazing artwork by mixing cold colours using powder paint and drawing a penguin using pastels. Photos to follow once work is on display...
One of the skills we have been working on in Maths is to use what we already know to lead to new knowledge. I have included some examples of this so that parents can see the sorts of links that we are making.
We also came to the end of our English work on Pattan's Pumpkin which we have all loved. We created a whole class story map and retelling of the story which I have made into a video which can be seen at https://youtu.be/buNHfDa56HY.
Week ending Friday 19th March
It has been really lovely having all of the children back in school for the last two weeks. Everyone has returned with a positive attitude to their learning and have been so pleased to see each other. It has been quite strange for those of us who have been in school all term - the classroom is busier, noisier and everything takes just a little bit longer!
We started a new book in English on the first day back and we are gradually reading a little more each day. So far we have found out that the book has a pumpkin in, it is set in India, its main character is a man called Pattan and a huge storm is about to cause a flood. The latest information that we found out is that Pattan has cut a hole in the top of his gigantic pumpkin and dived in!
We have described pumpkins, looked at photos of where the story is set, written notes of advice to Pattan and written a letter back in the role of Pattan.
In Maths we continued with multiplication and division work last week and have been looking at 2D shapes and symmetry this week. The children are starting to recall multiplication facts by heart and are using the knowledge that 2 x 9 is the same as 9 x 2 to help them to answer multiplication questions quickly.
In Geography we have revised where meerkats live and have come to the conclusion that meerkats don't live at the North Pole for a number of reasons including: it's too cold, it's too wet, there isn't any sand, there isn't the right sort of food and half the year it's night time! Next we will consider why penguins don't live at the Equator - but I think that we already have quite a good idea!
In Science we are thinking about electricity. We have found out about what electricity is and where it comes from, and have thought about how to keep safe from its dangers.
Owls had a great time finding new ice each morning in the week before half term.
Each day, they carefully lifted out the slabs of ice from the top of the water trough, laid them out and predicted how long they would take to melt. But it was so cold they didn't melt and new slabs formed overnight!
Mrs Parks-Connolly took these photos to show the amazing shapes that formed.
The Weather song
Copy and paste this link to hear Mrs Cooke sing the song:
Autumn Term 2020
This year our PE days will be Monday and Thursday. The children will keep their PE kits in school for the whole half-term unless there is a particular reason that it needs to be cleaned. We will be outside as much as possible for PE (to avoid confined spaces) so please make sure that your child has plimsoles or trainers that they can fasten themselves. They will also need jogging bottoms as the weather starts to cool.
Thank you for making sure that your child has a water bottle in school each day - this is particularly important as we eat lunch in the classroom so use their water bottles as their main drink source.
Please continue to send in Reading Records on a Friday so that new books can be sent home on Monday. Spelling checks will also be on Friday.
As ever, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by email via the school office.
Week ending Friday 27th November
Another fabulous week of poetry performance and writing! We have worked in small groups to perform two new poems and have written our own versions of them too. On Wednesday we had great fun experimenting with the different sounds that water can make - then writing words and phrases to describe our discoveries. This then fed in to our work around the poem 'Voices of Water'.
In Maths we have worked on Time. Year 1 have learned to read o'clock and half past times as well as ordering the months of the year. Year 2 have had more of a challenge, learning quarter past and quarter to then finding how to read time to the nearest 5 minutes on both analogue and digital clocks. This is something that they could easily continue to practise at home too.
History this week felt a little like an episode of Horrible Histories as we found out about how bathrooms have changed since Victorian times. From sharing a toilet with other people in their street, to the introduction of sewers and flushing toilets, to houses with one or more toilets indoors and from to bathing in front of the fire in a tin bath to baths with hot water tanks to baths with running hot water, this was a subject which fascinated the children. It provoked many questions, discussions and revelations - mostly accompanied with an air of disgust and disbelief!
We have also learned about Victorian artist William Morris and how he revolutionised home decoration. We designed our own section of William Morris inspired wallpaper ready to create string print blocks next week.
The children are starting to get excited about our Nativity and have enjoyed learning the songs. Parts have now been allocated and you should have received a note about costumes too. Practice starts in earnest nexk week...
Week ending Friday 20th November
This week we said goodbye to Beegu and started a unit on poetry in English. We have read lots of different poems, heard some poets perform their own work and had a go at performing some out loud individually and in groups. We have also used the structure of the poem 'The Rhythm of Life' by Michael Rosen to write our own amazing poems.
In Maths we continued work on addition and subtraction. Year 2 have been working on strategies to add with bigger numbers including 'bridging ten'. Year 1 have started to look at numbers to 100, thinking about how we know what is one more or one less than numbers beyond 20.
Our topic work has had a History focus this week. Last week we asked questions about the past and considered ways in which we might answer these questions. We looked at photographs and drawings to find out how Victorian homes differ from our modern homes, focusing on the kitchen in particular. In the coming week we will look at how the kitchen was used for much more than cooking in Victorian times and we will also find out when and how homes changed during the 20th century.
Thank you to those of you who have already sent in some photographs of the children's own families, some of which go back 120 years! I am really looking forward to sharing these with the whole class.
We finished off the week by creating drawings and paintings for an exciting art competition which the whole school is going to enter.
Week ending Friday 6th November
The children have come back from the half-term holiday refreshed and ready to work hard again. Our school value this half-term is 'Challenge' and Owl Class is full of children who love a challenge, especially when it helps them to learn!
Before half-term we continued with Beegu in English. We made alien friends for her and wrote a story about a playdate between the two of them. This week we had fun 'Hot Seating', where we took turns to be Beegu answering questions from the rest of the class. We ended the week by writing a whole class poem showing Beegu's feelings throughout the story so far (see below). Next week we will find out if Beegu's fortunes change...
In Maths we have worked on length, measuring and problem solving using a variety of uniform non-standard units such as bead strings and cubes (Year 1) and metres and centimetres (Year 2)
We are having lots of fun with our Music unit on rap, working on pulse and rhythm. Ask your child about 'Hey you' and see if they can impress you.
We finished our Science work on classifying animals by sorting herbivores, carnivores and omnivores on a Venn diagram.
Week ending 9th October
This week we started a new book for English. It is a story called Beegu and is about an alien who's spaceship has crashed on Earth. Part of the way we work in English is to reveal the book a little at a time to create anticipation and promote prediction skills - some children have said that they have this book at home or have read it before which is fine, but if they express an interest in the book please hold off reading it with them until our unit is complete! On Thursday we pretended to be Beegu when she first wakes up on Earth and tries to talk to trees, rabbits and leaves. We then used the photos of their 'freeze frames' to write thought and speech bubbles, thinking about the way that speech is different from thought.
In phonics Year 1 learned the 'ay' grapheme and practised reading both real and nonsense words using this grapheme. Year 2 looked at how singular nouns can be made plural by adding s or es.
In Maths we have moved on to addition and subtraction, focusing this week on number bonds to 10 and 20 (eg 6+4= 10 and 16+4= 20). I have been really impressed with the children's quick recall of these bonds as this will help when adding and subtracting with larger numbers. Please do keep practising number bonds at home thinking about the subtraction sentences as well as addition (eg 3+7= 10 and 10-7=3)
This week's topic work had a Science focus. We thought about animals that live in and around Hauxton and how these can be grouped. We classified animals into mammals, birds, amphibians, fish and minibeasts - can your child explain what each of these is?
We again finished the week with Art. The children took exactly the same photo from last week and produced another drawing, learning from what they had done last week and also this time using colour.
The weather stopped us from using the outdoor area quite so much this week, but during the short sessions we have had the children have impressed me with the ways in which they have used their time creatively. The photo below shows Stephen's use of wooden blocks to create number sentences. Millie and Alice also used the time to develop their tennis skills, spending at least fifteen minutes trying to improve their accuracy when hitting the ball to each other.
Week ending Friday 2nd October
For the last two weeks we have been working on geographical skills and knowledge during our topic sessions. We have looked at Hauxton and its features using Google Earth. The children particularly enjoyed looking for their houses on a virtual walk around the village. The children then learned how symbols can be used on a map, with a key to explain the symbols. We then zoomed in even further to our school grounds and the inside of our school. We had a super outdoor session looking closely at specific features of our grounds and labeled a plan view of the school.
In English we have at last reached the end of Here We Are. This book has really captured the children's interest and imagination and they have produced some fantastic art work and writing. Some of the children's endangered animals posters are now on display in the school library (photo to come soon) and they have really shown their learning through their work. We finished the unit by writing a note about planet Earth - information or advice that they would like to pass on to someone in the future. I am going to collect these into one document and send them home for you to display - some of the ideas show very mature ideas and thoughts.
In Maths we have continued work on place value. We have placed numbers on a number line, found one more and one less than a given number (ten more/ten less for Year 2) and have compared the size of numbers (using < and > for Year 2).
We finished this week with an Art session working on observational drawing skills. The weather scuppered the plan to sit outdoors and draw features of our grounds, but instead we worked from photographs away from the wind and rain! The children again amazed me with their focus and produced some super pencil drawings. I will add them here once they are completely finished.
Week ending Friday 18th September
It's been another super week of learning in Owls - the Year 1 children are doing really well adapting to the need to work more independently and to have a go without checking with an adult first. Year 2 are doing themselves proud too - it's hard to believe they were just starting with me in Reception two years ago!
Our English work has continued to centre around 'Here we are'. We had a fantastic morning on Wednesday using the Owl outdoor area and wild area to really appreciate being outside. The children made collections of natural objects, looked carefully at plants and animals through magnifying glasses and used silky scarves and large pieces of fabric to feel the wind and for dressing up. They then responded to their experience through writing or drawing. I was very pleased to see two of the children spontaneously choosing to write poems about being outside, which led to them being rewarded with the first Headteacher's awards of the year. The photos below capture our time outside.
We then used our experiences to write poems using a simple structure based on the poem 'Out and About' by Shirley Hughes. The children found this trickier than they expected as the structure needed them to be disciplined in their use of language.
Flo created a particularly effective poem which used the structure accurately:
blowing in the wind.
blooming in the hot sun.
Cute little ants
Stripy black spiders
Nice green trees
blowing in the breeze.
Two baby blackbirds
snuggling up in their nest.
It's so much fun.
In Maths we have worked on place value - thinking about numbers up to 20 for Year 1 and to 100 (and beyond) for Year 2. We have practised estimating and counting sets of objects and have thought about how to represent numbers using a number line.
Our PSHE work continued with the ideas of taking time to consider the reasons why people act in certain ways, being a good listener, working together to find solutions to problems and how to control ourselves (both physically and mentally) when we are upset, angry or annoyed by a situation involving others. The program of work concluded with the introduction of a traffic light system and the acronym SUMO. This stands for Stop (take time to consider what has happened), Understand (think about and accept the feelings involved and why the situation took place), Move On (once the problem is dealt with try not to allow it to affect relationships and activities in the future). There will be some homework to consolidate the work that we have done in school.