Welcome to Red Kite Class!
Here you will find lots of information about our projects. Each term we will add information about what we are learning in class as well as some useful resources for you to use to support with your child at home.
We have had a very busy week this week. We have been steadily packing up the classroom ready to move and yesterday morning Mrs Alexander and a team of 6 members of Red Kites moved all of the furniture into the hall. It will now stay there until the end of August, when it can be moved into our new classroom, which will be very exciting.
This week everyone has been working on a PowerPoint to tell other members of the class what their Future Vision of Earth is. During the week we have given each other feedback on ways to improve the presentational features. By the time you are reading this, Red Kites will all have had the opportunity to stand up and present their work with the rest of the class. I can't wait to see their final work!
As we near the end of term, we are also getting closer to recording the end of term production. The focus this week has been on the songs and making sure we are all singing as loudly and as clearly as we can. The dress rehearsal on Monday will be our final chance to refine our performance before we film it on Tuesday.
By the time you read this we will have reached the end of another busy week...
We have finished off our model Sustainable Settlements and our next step will be to write a hybrid information-advert text to tell other people all about them. Hopefully, by the end of next week these will be ready to share with people at home via Dojo.
Our trip to the zoo on Wednesday fell in the middle of the class's assessed writing and gave us the perfect excuse to visit all the primate enclosures. Although the children had seen a photograph of a white-faced saki on Tuesday, it had not been anywhere near as adorable as many of them decided it was in real life. Other highlights of the trip included the tigers, penguins, meercats and the slightly elusive Santos the sloth. Many of the children decided they would like to adopt an animal as a class and, after explaining that this would not mean we could have the animal in the classroom, a couple of them have started to look into how we could go about doing this in September. The hardest thing will be agreeing which animal to adopt!
On Thursday afternoon, the children took part in the heats for the long-distance run on sports day. I was impressed by the effort put in by all the runners, and I know that some of the finalists surprised themselves.
Finally, we have now reached the stage in our play rehearsals where we are singing the songs without the backing vocals and attempting to perform scenes without a script. The children who have taken on the main parts have done a superb job with learning their lines and I am in awe of the way that the soloists have stood up to sing in front of their peers.
Jonty, Robyn and Oliver for their courage in standing up to sing solos in front of the rest of the class.
Zsombor and Matthew for stepping in to read the parts for absent members of the class.
Summer and Timur for their effort with the writing about the spider monkey.
We have had another busy week this week. In English we have thought about what we would write in a letter to the Earth and have started to draft these. Although most members of the class have opted to write a letter of thanks or an apology, a couple have decided to address their letters to those in power in the hope that we might be able to persuade them to put Climate Change higher on their agenda.
Most of the mornings this week have involved completing assessment tasks, and all of the children have impressed us with their positive attitude towards them. When we have reflected on the experience of completing a timed test it has generally been agreed that it felt like a long time to be sitting working on one's own with nobody to talk to! We have identified working on our stamina as a class target for next year.
On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon Red Kites had their PE lessons and several members of the class showed how much their technique has improved in both cricket and throwing over the last few weeks.
On Friday we will be completing our model towns, which promise to be very impressive from the plans that have been drawn up. We will also have the picnic that we earned as a result of filling our bucket of beads.
Finally, we have read through our script several times and are starting to think about the actions in some scenes. Everyone has been set the challenge of knowing their lines for next week so we can start to rehearse without scripts.
Appreciation Leaves: Leaves this week go to Max B and Lottie for their positive attitude towards the tests this week. I would also like to award a leaf to Mia who has made a visible effort to make good choices this week. I have also noticed some children who have shown particular resilience this week, when faced with a challenge. Oscar in Robins showed resilience, by working independently on creating different words using puzzle letters, and when it didn’t quite go to plan, he took the time to find his mistakes and put them right. I have also been very impressed with Ewan in Owls, who has shown resilience both in and out of class, rising to the science challenges and always doing so with a positive attitude. Finally Max B has been brimming with positivity this week as he demonstrated resilience in the assessments. Well done all of you.
This week we have begun work on our play in earnest. All of the children have been given a role, whether that is a part in the play or as a member of the technical team. We have been working on the songs and are now all singing the same tune!
In Science, we made our own sea-water. In addition to dissolving salt in the water, we also put in other things that we know can end up in the water. Alongside sand, pebbles and shells, we added bits of plants, tissue paper, plastic straws and some broken paper clips to represent the waste that gets washed into the sea. We have planned how to clean the water using a series of sieves and filters and will have the chance to test our plans over the coming days.
Geography this week has also focused on water. We have learned that it is a finite resource and that we need to make share we conserve it. As well as deepening our knowledge of the changing states of matter, we have found out that water is the only substance to naturally occur in all three states on Earth. Working to improve our independence, we have created our own diagrams to show changes in state as water is heated and cooled and to show the water cycle.
Having watched 3 videos on the theme of Climate Change and The Future, we have drawn our own 'Future visions'. Some of these have been a Utopia, some a Dystopia and some an image that contrasts the two. We have picked out the words and phrases used by Magero, Kae Tempest and Benjamin Zephaniah to consider how we can persuade others to change their habits to make sure we have the future we want.
During our maths lessons, we have all been working on rounding to different degrees of accuracy. We have talked about how estimation and rounding are used in everyday life and will continue to work on both skills through to the end of the year.
Finally, we have continued to practice ready for sports day with many members of the class choosing to take part in running races during their break and lunch times. I think the sprint will be particularly close on the day!
Year 6 for being such good company last Friday night. All of the adults had a really good time. We hope you did too!
Eleanor for showing independence in her learning this week.
Jake for working hard in English to challenge himself and avoid distractions.
Denley for making a concerted effort to do the right thing.
This week we have started to plan out own Eco-Towns. The children are working in groups or pairs to plan a sustainable settlement. From a set of photographs, the teams have identified a site for their towns and have drawn a map of the physical features of the area. We talked about what was essential and what was desirable for a settlement and used this to help us to identify what would need to be built. Having identified electricity as a necessity for a town of the future, the children began to collect information about the different ways that we generate power in order to find the best renewable sources that would be appropriate for their chosen location. The maps that have been produced are incredibly detailed and show how carefully everyone has been thinking about how to meet the needs of their residents. Next week we will be thinking about how we can be more sustainable in our water use and investigating ways to clean dirty water.
Carrying on with our science unit investigating materials and their properties, we have this week learned more about how solids, liquids and gasses change state. We have also thought about how solids behave when they are heated or cooled, expanding and contracting. This will help us when it comes to planning the homes in our settlements as we will be able to choose building materials that we know will cope better with changing temperatures.
In PE on Wednesday, we tried out a few more of the athletic events for sports day, including the long-distance run. It was great to see all of the children cheering one another on, as well as their determination in the other events. It promises to be a very competitive event.
On Thursday, we started to write our own stories based on the story 'The Island'. We identified the basic plot and then discussed the elements that could be changed without altering the essence of the story. I am looking forward to reading the finished stories over the weekend.
Max H and Rory for the way that they have encouraged their peers to make good choices and supported them with their learning.
Summer, Maisie and Max B for showing independence in their learning by choosing to make notes during whole class teaching that they can use later on to help themselves.
We have started our new topic, Earth 2050, this week. In English, and Guided Reading, we have looked at two texts that are based on islands. Floodlands by Marcus Sedgewick and The Island by Armin Greder both have central characters that wash up on an island. They are both greeted by an unfamiliar group of people, who decide to take them in. However, neither Zoe (from Floodlands) or The Man (from The Island) appear to be welcome guests.
These two books have prompted much discussion about the reasons that people might leave their country of origin. We have learned the difference between asylum seekers and refugees from an article in the Kid's National Geographic Magazine, as well as discussing what the terms racism, homophobia, xenophobia and prejudice. I have been very impressed by the maturity the children have shown in discussing these issues; questioning and considering the reasons that some people behave in a way that is different to what we consider to be acceptable.
In Geography we have thought about what is most important for a human settlement and have explored the causes of climate change. We have started to find out about some of the ways that human activity has impacted the planet and enjoyed watching the trailer for David Attenborough's A life on Our Planet as well as some clips from his Our Planet series. We will continue to use the resources that the WWF have produced in conjunction with the Our Planet team to support our learning about the changes that we need to make now to ensure the best future for Earth.
This term we are revisiting decimal numbers in the context of measures and the children in Year 4 and 5 have worked hard to help each other to write extended equations (number sentences) that show the many relationships between decimal numbers, mixed fractions and improper fractions. Year 6 have coped admirably with a series of challenging reasoning problems, learning that although the procedure may be uncomplicated, applying it to diverse situations is often harder than it first appears.
Finally, I feel I must tell you what a lovely afternoon we all had on Wednesday. Having completed our Science work, learning about how particles are arranged in solids, liquids and gasses, we then went out for our first cricket lesson. By the end of the afternoon, every group had a pair of batsmen, a bowler a wicket keeper and a very tired fielder! We still need to work on our bowling, but all of the children showed determination to improve their technique when batting. It was so much fun; we didn't realise it was time to head in until Mrs Hooper came out to unlock the gates! Next week we will make sure we take out the timer...
Mason, for his engagement with his learning. In PE, you listened carefully to improve your batting while in both Geography and English you listened carefully and shared your thoughts and ideas respectfully.
Matthew, for taking on board the feedback that he was given and working hard to make a positive contribution during group work.
Rory, for making a determined effort to manage distractions and be the best that he can be.
Zack, for taking on challengers in the tennis tournament and playing fairly and graciously with all of them
Term 5 - Road Trip USA
This week we have all had the opportunity to write a text of our own choice and there has been a wonderful range of publications produced. From non-chronological reports about favourite video games, to news reports about Jewel thieves and stories about a man with a tomato for a head, there have been some wonderfully varied ideas.
We have continued to work on our weaving and are getting closer to finishing our mats. It has taken great resilience and focus to get to this point. I am sure that when you see them you will agree that the effort was worthwhile. Some of the class have also completed a god's eye, made by wrapping wool around a pair of crossed sticks. They look really impressive!
Using Purple Mash, we have put our new learning about the Iroquois to the test by designing a multiple-choice quiz for other members of the class to try. The leaflets made using the Purple Mash publishing programme have also been finished off and are ready to be printed and sent home.
Finally, we have come to the end of our unit of tennis lessons and will therefore be starting a 'Tennis Ladder' competition when we return after the holiday to give everyone who would like to the chance to put their new skills to the test.
The first leaf this week is for someone who can always be relied upon to do their work to the best of their ability, who gets on without a fuss and who really impressed me with their independent editing on Wednesday. Well done Maisie.
I would also like to give a leaf to the whole class for having such a positive day with Mr Verschoyle on Thursday. It made me smile to hear what a lovely time he had had with you all and how well you had behaved.
This week we have all written a draft of our persuasive leaflets to encourage a family to visit one of the states in America and have started to write it up using a publishing tool on purple mash. In History, we have worked in teams to find out about the lives of the Iroquois and have begun to think about how different groups of people have been treated in the past. We continued to talk about this during PSHCE this week when we learned about Martin Luther King Junior and the Civil Rights Movement. When we were thinking about our Life Values, both Timur and Mya decided that appreciating the differences between people was the most important value to have. Alternative ideas included having a good work-life balance, being successful at school and having the opportunity to be creative. There was some debate between the children over the importance of the statement, 'to have lots of money'. It was a privilege to listen to the children debate and challenge one another respectfully.
Maths this week has given lots of us the opportunity to be resilient. From working through a lesson on MyMaths in pairs to working as part of a team to boost our Year group TTRS scores, everyone has been challenging themselves to do a little better than before.
We have also enjoyed some outdoor learning, when the weather has allowed. Everyone's tennis skills are improving and next week we will set up a tennis ladder to run through until the end of next term. On Wednesday, we also had RE outside. We worked in pairs to hunt for the information we needed as it had been hidden in cups around the school grounds.
Ellis, his resilience with his weaving has been noticed.
Timur and Mya for their mature approach and reasoned arguments in PSHCE. I appreciated the way you both supported your thoughts with examples and challenged your peers respectfully.
Abby, for always looking on the bright side of things and bringing a ray of sunshine into the classroom with her every day. You are so kind and caring, we appreciate having your positivity in the classroom.
This week has been all about finding out more facts about life in the USA. In Geography we identified some of the key human features, including how the country is organised into states. We have learned that there are 50 states, and that this is the reason for the 50 stars on the US flag. On Tuesday we went outside in the middle of the afternoon to play ‘Fact Tennis’ to find out who could remember the most…several of us decided we would like to find out a little more before we played again.
In our English lessons we have learned the differences between making notes and writing a summary. We have then applied these skills to our research into one of the American States in order to write our own Travel Brochure to encourage visitors to the state. On Thursday, we began to think about our writing by creating some jigsaw sentences that allowed us to consider the effect of different sentence structures. Once the children wrote up their favourite sentences, it was hard to decide which place I would most like to go to!
This week’s maths has been identifying and generating equivalent fractions. I have been impressed by the determination and resilience shown by many of the children when it came to some of the more challenging problems. Particularly Year 5 when we looked at the proportion tables.
Another occasion that required both determination and resilience this week was our first lesson on weaving. What looked like an easy activity to start with proved to require more focus and patience than some might have expected. Mason, Mia, Ewan and Lottie all stood out as being particularly robust when facing challenges.
Laura and Oliver for being excellent role models to their peers. Both of you can always be relied upon to Be the Best you can Be.
Another leaf is for Denley, who I have noticed doing his best to manage distractions and complete the tasks that he has been set to the best of his ability, independently, before asking for help. Both in Maths and Geography this week you have challenged yourself to more than the day before.
I have also awarded resilience pencils to Leo and Max who were set the challenge to move the remaining soil from the playground on Monday and were determined not to be beaten by it. Well done!
This week has really flown by! The children have done so much...In Science they explored static electricity with Mrs Ambrose and discovered how to use it to move a coke can across a table. In Art they have finished drawing their totem poles. In Computing they have learned how to use coding to make actions repeat. And in Geography they have made posters, power points or information leaflets about the physical geography of the USA.
Having completed our shared writing of a new chapter for The Imagination Box, the children have written their own chapter endings making sure to finish with a cliff hanger. We have decided not to edit our own writing this week, but to leave it until next week so that we have a chance to forget what it is supposed to say. Hopefully this will help us to see what it actually says and fix any mistakes we have made.
In maths, Year 6 have continued with ratio and have begun to think about using ratio to scale up and down. Meanwhile, Year 4 and 5 have looked at addition and subtraction with mixed numbers and improper fractions. We have also ventured into multiplication with fractions after we reminded ourselves that this is just repeated addition.
This week we have enjoyed starting to learn more about the USA. We have used atlases to locate key physical features and attractions as well as beginning to think about how the location of the country affects its climate. In RE we have begun to explore the beliefs around heaven and life after death that people of diverse faiths, and none, have. We were amazed by how many different faiths there are worldwide.
In Ultimate Frisbee, many of the children showed resilience. Trying over and over to improve their back-hand throw so the frisbee could be caught easily by a partner. Year 4 and 5 have also shown resilience in their work on mixed-numbers and improper fractions, while Year 6 have been tackling ratio.
We have continued with our Imagination Box chapter, and I have been very impressed with how imaginative the children have been in deciding what is in the box. They have all risen to the challenge to write more each day, making sure to include the different grammatical features we have discussed.
Our topic this term is Road Trip USA and we have started by working together to create the parts of a class totem pole. We have also begun to think about ways that North America differs from Europe. In English, we are writing our own chapter for our class novel 'The imagination box' and have spent some time collecting vocabulary and writing an engaging opening. On Tuesday afternoon the children had their first coding lesson with Mrs Ambrose using Purple Mash.
We are revisiting some of the fractions work done in Lockdown to make sure we all feel confident with this important area of maths. Keeping up with Times Tables practise will really help with this!
Term 4 - Our Family Tree
This term we have created a learning project which will be planned a fortnight at a time to allow us to respond to the changing national picture. The first two weeks focus on finding out about what life was like for older members of our families when they were growing up. You will find all the information for both week's worth of lessons in the 'mini project' overview.
Any useful resources and ideas are suggested, and if you have children in different year groups you will notice that the expectation increases as they get older. There is a Power-Point to support the Art lessons which can be found in the Year Group files on Teams.
By the end of this project, we hope your child will have a better understanding of the people who are important to them and be able to share these in a whole school display, celebrating our differences and also the strength we gain from our sense of belonging.
English and Maths planning will continue to be updated, and shared, weekly.