Artists once more
After our Katie and… Big Topic, we had a bit of a break from art… but it’s back!
We started off using different types of pencils to sketch Tudor houses. We really tried to capture the dark strips of the buildings and their often wonky shapes.
Then we went very abstract! We looked at Jackson Pollock’s Number 8 which was a great contrast to the real-life sketches we’d created. Using all things bubbly, we created our own bubbly backgrounds for our serious Tudor houses. It was great fun and our finished pieces, when we combined the two, will follow.
Thank you to those of you who could make it to class assembly today. We really enjoyed preparing for it and, from my point of view, it was made an easy task because of the children’s concentration and naturally clear voices.
- ‘Lovely assembly – liked the communal story at the end.’
- ‘Great story, loved the fire props and well remembered lines.’
- ‘Really enjoyable as always. The audience participation was a nice touch and the humour that was included.’
- ‘First time at school assembly. Could see the kids enjoy it by the number of children joining in. Well done.’
…and a well done from me too!
Lotherton Hall detectives
With a visitor from Lotherton Hall, we became history detectives again today. We started the lesson by looking at the building and thinking about what it is and when it might have been built.
Then, we each had a box of clues. We began by looking, feeling, touching and talking about what we had. Everyone really enjoyed thinking about what the artefacts were and how they were used.
Gradually we started getting more information by matching uses to the objects helping us to understand what sort of person might have used them.
Finally, the people of the house were revealed and we had to use all of the information have learnt to decide who each set of objects belonged to. There were some great discussions while we tried to explain our reasons and opinions to each other.
We had objects belonging to the Lord and Lady of the house and their maid and cook. There was a real difference between the rich and poor people of the house and (not surprisingly) most of us decided we’d want to be one of the rich people of the house if we’d been alive then.
Time to learn your times tables
Practising times tables at home is really important. Knowing times tables facts really helps your child to feel confident in Maths, and enables them to make progress in areas such as calculating, fractions… even shape work can involve times tables – when we think about angles, for example.
The National Curriculum sets out expectations for times tables knowledge:
- Year 2: recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables, including recognising odd and even numbers
- Year 3: recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables
- Year 4: recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12
If your child is in Year 5 or 6, they need to know all the tables facts so they can start thinking about prime numbers, factors etc. Knowing the tables facts (including division) means having rapid recall – being able to say the answer within about five seconds, not counting through the times tables to work it out.
Each week, your child is asked to learn a particular times table. We might also work on a pair of tables which are related, such as x4s and x8.
Please make sure your child practises as home: in the car, in the bath, on the way to school, straight after school as a matter of routine. Your child needs to know that something like this involves effort and there aren’t any easy solutions!
It’s really helpful to test them two or three times during the week to make sure their ‘score’ improves, and also try to build in some multiplication and division games and references:
- play ‘tables ping-pong‘, where you and your child counts through a times tables forwards and backwards, alternating the counting: 0, 4,8, 12, 16, 20…
- look out for arrays, where you see a grid of something: eggs in a carton is a simple 2 x 3 or 3 x 2 array, and there are arrays on your mobile phone (to log on to mobile phones, you might see a 3 x 3 array – a square number), on buildings (the window panes of a block of flats are useful for larger numbers), tiles in your bathroom, chocolate and other food products…
- download an app to practise on a phone or tablet (there are loads of free ones)
- talk about when you use times tables knowledge
Value of houses – Maths
There’s all sorts of maths to explore through our Time Travel topic. Today, we tackled the big numbers by looking at the cost of houses today. By the end of the lesson, we were all comfortable reading tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and millions numbers. We ordered house from cheapest to most expensive and discussed what it was that affected how much houses are worth.
Encourage your child to keep up this practice by searching on Right Move and estate agent websites and asking how much the houses are. You could also discuss how house prices have changed, not only in the last 2000 years, but the last 20!
It’s been a great couple of days back at school and we’ve been very busy.
Year 1 and 2 spent yesterday working with SPLATS – a drama company who helped us to create a performance about the Romans taking over Britain. We took the roll of prop designers in the morning with the whole class chipping in to make leaves for our chase scene through the forest.
Our afternoon was then spent rehearsing for our two scenes before the big performance at the end of the day.
Everybody tried their best and showed that we have some budding actors and actresses in the making.
Happy half term
The end of another half term has whizzed around and I just wanted to wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing half term. There will be no homework or spellings over the holidays but keep up with reading each day, Mathletics and Lexia.
After half term, we’ll be sending times table practice home and there will be a test each Friday alongside spellings.
As our plants are now thriving, each child will be bringing their herb home to keep and take responsibility for watering it every few days. It’d be great to see how you get on with this – particularly if you end up being able to use it in your cooking!
Enjoy the break and we’ll see you in a week.
The Tin Forest update
Our Tin Forest will be heading home to you on Friday to see who can keep their herbs growing over half term and beyond. Here’s how they’ve grown since we planted them.
Friday 16th January 2015
Friday 30th January 2015
Thursday 12th February 2015
They’ll need plenty of water, warmth and light!
The Great Fire of London
Today, we took on the role of archaeologists and delved deep underground (our tables) to find clues about the past. We found pictures of Tudor buildings on fire; images of people with buckets of water; the date 1666; and a street sign for Pudding Lane. After a few more clues, we guessed what event might have happened in the past and suggested our ideas using the clues we’d found.
We had, of course, uncovered clues to The Great Fire of London, 1666. After watching a short video (another way of understanding what happened in the past) we moved on to maths for more information. We can use data recorded from the past to learn more about what happened.
Look how much you can find out from these…
School council elections
Our current school councillors held their final meeting recently as we prepare to elect our new school council.
Children from every class, including Reception, are encouraged to prepare a speech to present to their class as part of the election process. Our whole school homework before the election date will give children the chance to plan their speech.
Thank you to our existing school council who have been involved with many decisions and discussions throughout the year. Most recently they have selected books for our library and pupil prizes as rewards in class.