Spring half term was a busy one and we packed a lot of learning into a short time!
We enjoyed linking our writing to the book we were reading in guided reading: Cogheart. From this, we wrote adventure stories that were set in a similar Victorian setting and with familiar themes that appeared in the book. Our stories contained mechanical creatures and a protagonist. In addition, we had a week learning about the Titanic and the disastrous events that took place in April 1912. Southampton’s SeaCity Museum gave us a virtual workshop all about life on the Titanic and the ship. We were given a boarding pass for person who sailed on the ship and found out which class we were in: first, second, third or even crew. After researching all about our new persona, we wrote diaries both before and after the ship hit the iceberg. Finally, we created cabins out of boxes and thought about what we would (and wouldn’t!) have in our rooms.
This half term was the second part of our Victorian topic and we really got stuck into the question of whether it was a dark age or golden age. We asked ourselves if the building of railways had positive or negative impacts on society, we also researched pioneers of the time, compared schools to now and finally came to our own conclusions as a class. Ask us what what we think at home!
In Maths we enjoyed converting units of measure, as well as investigating area and perimeter. We were able to think practically and used a range of resources to help us solve worded problems. We also looked at ratios and using objects to help us explain trickier questions.
Lastly, we had fun in science lessons where we planned an experiment to test our heart rate. This involved using the field whilst taking part in a range of activities and finding our pulse rates. This helped us find out which exercise raised our heart rate the most. We also learnt about healthy foods and how we get our energy!
Both Kestrels and Owls are looking forward to the Summer term!
Autumn 2 in Kestrels Class
It's been a really exciting half term in Kestrels class! Not only have we done lots of hands on, practical science work but we've also had the opportunity to take part in Bikability and I am so incredibly proud of every single member of our class for how dedicated, enthusiastic and resilient everyone was!
in English we've been focussed on the Hampshire Illustrated Book Award. Within the book award, we study a range of different illustrated books and complete pieces of work based off of the book. The books we've been studying are:
The Day War Came
The Last Tree
A Christmas Carol
Once Upon A Wild Wood
Kestrels have LOVED getting stuck into these books and allowing the content to spark our imagination and write some really interesting pieces of work! One of the highlights was using #Goldilocks to start a debate about internet safety and the dangers of social media. We then used the book and our debate to write our own 'twisted fairytale' to encompass a warning about the use of social media.
Once we'd finished the Hampshire Illustrated Book Award, we moved on to researching some really interesting inventors and using our research to write a biography of them. We learned what relative and embedded clauses were and used these to improve our writing.
In science, we've continued to focus on the properties of materials and have been planning, and then carrying out, some experiments to investigate which properties different materials hold, and therefore their suitability for different purposes. We've been very busy, and have been conducting experiments around how to separate mixtures and how to test which materials are electrical conductors. We then moved on to discussing animals and how to classify them based on their similar and different features. We started off by creating classification keys using different sweets, before moving on to creating our own bug traps and using the bugs we caught to create a classification key about insects. This was definitely a highlight of the half term!
In Maths we've been focussing on fractions (first lesson was not to groan when the word 'fractions' is said!). We can now compare and order a range of different fractions, with same and different denominators, as well as use all 4 operations with fractions! We then moved on to finding fractions of amounts and using this to solve lots of different reasoning and problem solving questions. Once we'd mastered fractions, we moved on to Position and Direction where we BLEW AWAY our teachers with how much we knew and how confident we were with it!!
We've been looking at what the word 'normal' means in PSHE and how this can colour our impression of people before we get to know them. We agreed that the term 'normal' just meant what was usual for us, which helped us to come to the conclusion that everyone must have a different view of what 'normal' is, and so we can't use that word to describe people or events, as it'll mean something different for everyone. We also discussed the difference between equity and equality and came to the conclusion that, in class, we'd like to be treated with equity so that everyone has what they need in order to be successful, even if this looks different for each of us!
Our Guided Reading book this half term was Pigheart Boy by Malorie Blackman. This is a book all about a boy, Cameron, who needs a heart transplant, and after several disappointments with human donors, the family turn to a scientist who offers them a pig heart transplant instead. This has obviously sparked a lot of discussion and debate within our class and has been a really interesting book to read, due to how many opportunities it's given us for discussion and learning to agree and disagree with each other in a respectful way!
Kestrels have also had the pleasure of having Miss Clyde, a student teacher, join us this half term and they continue to wow and amaze me with their polite, respectful and courteous manner towards adults. They continue to make me proud in the way they tackle their work (including practise SATs this half term!) and how they respect adutls around the school. Keep up the hard work Kestrels!
Autumn 1 in Kestrels Class
We've had an incredibly busy half term in Kestrels and we've enjoyed getting back into the routines of school life and getting to know each other.
Our topic this half term has been: Are Earthquakes and Volcanoes random?
The whole class has been really engaged with this topic and have loved learning about natural disasters that have happened in recent history, for example the Nepalese earthquake in 2015. We spent a long time looking at the structure of the Earth and how it's made of layers. To reinforce this learning, we made models of the earth in various ways: we made a model out of paper and a model out of angel delight (which I heard went down a treat at home!) We've definitely enjoyed having the opportunity to get really creative with this topic and made our own volcanoes in pairs; we're looking forward to exploding them soon!
We've encompassed the theme of 'natural disasters' into our English work through our study of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii in 79AD. We used Pliny's eye-witness testimony of this event to inform out descriptive writing, but also our newspaper reports which were beautifully published!
Also in English, we focussed on the Wonder Garden, which is a beautifully presented book, informing the reader about various places on Earth. We used this as a stimulus for designing, creating and then writing about our own worlds. We picked out the features the author of Wonder Garden had used and then created our own word banks of descriptive vocabulary to then use in our own descriptions. We're looking forward to continuing to write these after half term - watch this space!
In science, we've been focussing on the properties of materials and have been planning, and then carrying out, some experiments to investigate which properties different materials hold, and therefore their suitability for different purposes. Our latest experiment was investigating which materials are soluble and insoluble - we found that lots of things we predicted to be soluble actually weren't!
Before half term, we also planned an investigation in to how to separate different mixtures, so we're looking forward to carrying out that experiment after half term!
In Maths we've been consolidating and building upon our understanding of number and place value. I've been blown away by how secure and confident Kestrels are with rounding numbers!! We've managed to finish off our learning of the 4 operations (long division was a struggle but Kestrels showed lots of perseverance and resilience and we got there in the end!) but we will revisit this as the year goes on to consolidate and apply our knowledge of the taught methods.
We've been looking at our dreams and goals within PSHE lessons and have spent some time talking about our aspirations for the future (both short term and long term) and identifying potential barriers and things we could do to overcome these barriers.
Our Guided Reading book this half term was Wonder by RJ Palacio. If you haven't read it before, I'd definitely recommend it as it offers up so many discussion opportunities. We've enjoyed lots of discussions and debates as a class about the topic of inclusion and celebrating our differences, as well as lots of opportunities to practise our inference and deduction skills when answering questions about what we've read.
Kestrels have made an amazing start to Year 6 and I'm so proud of them for how well they've adapted to the changes in school and the resilience they've shown when tackling new challenges!