31 January 2014
For all children in Year 1 – Year 6, the homework this week is creative and is due in on Wednesday 05 February.
I know what makes a good school councillor.
It’s time for children to consider if they would like to stand for election for our new school council. With two representatives from each class, chosen democratically by their peers, all children at Moortown Primary are encouraged to take an active part in pupil voice.
Elections for our new school council will take place next Friday 07 February with our polling station and ballot boxes at the ready. Candidates will have the opportunity to give their election speech to their class on Wednesday 05 February or Thursday 06 February.
What makes a good school councillor has been considered by our current school council and in each class this week. Suggestions have included:
- ‘Communicating with others – pupils and adults.’
- ‘Having good listening skills to know what to contribute in meetings.’
- ‘Thinking of realistic ideas to suggest in meetings.’
We invite children to respond to the sentence above in a creative way – they might choose to use this time to prepare an election speech or otherwise consider this statement and present it as a character description, pictures, an interview with a current school councillor or other ideas of your own. For either option you should include the importance of voting.
Hints for your speech include:
- What skills and abilities would a good school councillor have?
- What are you particularly good at that would help you to be a great school councillor?
- What do you think would make the school better? What could you do that people would really like?
- Think of things that are realistic, maybe that you could do yourself, rather than having to ask other people to do?
Thank you to our current school councillors for all their ideas and contributions over the last year. We hope you have enjoyed this role and responsibility and you are welcome to stand again for election.
Good luck to all children who decide to stand in the elections. Results will be announced in our assembly on Friday 07 February.
24 January 2014
This week, our class have one of three different homeworks, depending on their individual needs. They’re all Practice Makes Perfect.
I can calculate using fractions – children have been taught how to multiply and divide fractions. They must prove their learning this week!
I can measure and draw angles – this is a repeat of learning in class. Children have been given protractors to measure with and have been asked to draw and measure 15 angles, some acute, some obtuse and some reflex.
I can convert measures – again, this has been learnt in class, so this is an oportunity for children to consolidate their learning. In addition to these conversions, children need to learn half, quarter and three quarters of a metre, litre and kilogram. These are key pieces of knowledge that need to be pretty much instantly recalled, not calculated.
If there are any questions, as always, please come and find me before Wednesday 29 January, when it’s due in.
17 January 2013
For all children in Year 1 to Year 6, the homework this week is Talk Time:
Which two charities should we support at school and why?
It’s time for children to think about our school charities. Currently, we support Dogs Trust and Water Aid. A previous School Council selected these because they wanted to help animals and people, and wanted to help nationally and internationally. These charities were chosen because pupils passed on to School Councillors very clear and strong arguments to choose them eg Dogs Trust help us by visiting, so we have the chance to re-pay this, and everyone has a basic human right to water.
We’ve helped these charities for two years now, so it’s time for a change. We need you to have a discussion at home about which charities would be best for us to support. Each class will then discuss this and then the councillors will bring the views and ideas together to decide on the charities.
Once your child has decided on a charity, make sure they have clear, powerful reasons to support their views.
You might want to discuss whether we support…
- a local charity
- a children’s charity
- a charity which helps a vulnerable group in our community – this would link back to vulnerable groups we thought about in last summer’s Community Week
- should we ensure the new charities are very different to the current ones or previous ones?
- should we need to have charities at all?
- if your child was to set up a new charity, what would (s)he choose, and (as always) why?
10 January 2014
This week’s homework is practice makes perfect.
I can draw a portrait and describe the character using SPAM.
This is effectively two homeworks in one… sorry! We really thought that children could do with more time on both of these things and they tie together nicely – they need only take 45 minutes.
As part of our ‘Snowbound’ topic, we’re imagining that we’re stuck in school due to terrible snow. No-one can get to us, so we need to fend for ourselves in an increasingly difficult situation. We take part in this story, but there are other characters in it too, and it’s one of these characters that children are doing their homework on.
Children need to draw the character’s portrait (we took about 20 minutes in class) and then describe him or her (again, taking about 20 minutes).
Portraits could be of a family member or even self-portraits, but children should imagine that these are the faces of characters in their Snowbound story.
- First, draw an oval for the outline of the face
- Then draw a vertical ‘construction line’, lightly, down the centre of the face to help with symmetry
- A light, horizontal construction line half way down the head is where the eyes go
- Next, a construction line half way between eyes and chin shows where the bottom of the nose goes
- Just above half way between nose and chin is where your mouth construction line goes
- Now draw in your eyes, nose, mouth and ears (about eye height)
- After you’ve drawn your features, give the character hair
- Rub out the construction lines
- Add details, like freckles, glasses and shading (best done under chin, a little under eyes and cheek bones and on one side of the face only)
Children have SPAM grids to fill in: Speech, Personality, Appearance and Movement. These are all aspects of a character that, when described, help build up an image for readers. Children have done this in class, so know what to do.
We’re looking for adjectives and phrases in the descriptions, not full sentences. We’ll work on changing these ideas into full character descriptions in class next week.
Any questions, just give us a shout!
06 December 2013
This week’s homework is Talk Time and we’ll be discussing it on Wednesday 11 December.
Is it ever acceptable to steal medicine?
Each class in school has been given a moral homework this week. Ours relates to our current Science topic – micro-organisms. The important thing to remember with discussions about moral dilemmas is that there isn’t necessarily a ‘correct’ answer. This means that you’ll find you’ve got lots to talk about at home. Please make sure that your child discusses this dilemma with at least one adult before Wednesday – it’s useful for them to find out different people’s opinions.
29 November 2013
The homework this week is creative. The children are invited to respond to something from either a cultural or spiritual perspective.
I can respond to a book I’ve recently read.
We’d like children to present their responses about a recent book they’ve read. We’re interested to hear your child’s opinions and any connections they might have made between the book and their own life. This book review might include pictures, an interview (you could write a fictional script between an interviewer and a character), a letter (eg to or from a character, or perhaps even the author) – anything which might include your child’s responses!
However, your child might prefer to do the following:
I can show what Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas or another festival means to me and my community.
Before half-term, some children in school will have celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid. A couple of weeks ago, some children in school celebrated the Sikh and Hindu festival Diwali, and more recently, children of Jewish faith might have celebrated Hanukkah. Finally, in a few weeks, Christians (and many non-Christians) will be celebrating Christmas. We invite children to respond to the sentence above – they might include a recount (like a diary entry), pictures, an interview (perhaps in a script).
22 November 2013
This week’s homework is Talk Time and is due in on Wednesday 27 November 2013.
I know what bullying means and how to stop it.
At the start of this week we had anti-bullying day with classes having the chance to talk about what is bullying, what are the different types of bullying and how can we stop it.
As part of your discussion you may find our school definition of bullying useful, as agreed by our School Councillors:
Bullying is when you hurt someone, physically or emotionally, more than once and on purpose.
Alongside this definition we have used the following prompts for the children to remember:
The purpose of Talk Time homework is to encourage a conversation around current learning. Any notes made in their homework book should be there to aid them as a prompt when it is discussed in class the following week. For this reason, teachers tend to give verbal feedback during their homework feedback session in class.
14 November 2013
This week’s homework is creative…
I can create a business idea.
We’re having an Enterprise and Money themed week from Tuesday 19 to Friday 22 November. As part of the theme, we’re holding a competition to see which children can come up with the best business ideas. These ideas should be realistic if possible – a business making aeroplanes wouldn’t be realistic for a child, but selling their car cleaning skills would be.
In their homework books, children must communicate what their idea is and how it would make money.
They should also think about some of the following:
- Where would they sell it?
- How much would they charge?
- What might their costs be?
- Who might buy their product / service?
- How or will they advertise / promote their business?
Previous strong business ideas also included a prototype or even references from existing customers!
On Wednesday, children will be asked to share their idea with their class and then they’ll vote for one to represent them in Friday’s ‘Dragons Den’ assembly, where an overall school winner will be crowned.
I can’t wait to hear what the ideas are!
08 November 2013
This week’s homework is Talk Time.
I can discuss how to work cooperatively.
Children should talk to adults about what cooperation is and how best to achieve it. We expect children to make notes in their homework book in preparation for a class discussion on Wednesday 13 November.
Top tips for Talk Time homework:
- Switch the TV and radio off
- Get a few adults involved
- Adults start the discussion, showing children how to express their opinions
- Practise disagreeing politely
- Record something in their books
…so no specific homework, spellings or tables this week. It’s a good time to relax and enjoy some time with your children – have you visited the free exhibition of Anthony Browne pictures at Leeds City Museum, for example?