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.
Term 3 Week 3
We have had another busy week this week. In our writing lessons we have continued to develop our understanding of how authors can develop a character through speech and action rather than just description. We have experimented with ways to ‘show not tell’ the reader about four of the key characters in our story. During reading lessons, we have read another version of the story and have compared it to the version we know. This is the third version we have read and it has been interesting to consider how the character of the people in the story varies. Learning to describe the character of a person in one word and support it with evidence from the text has been a key skill for us to develop this week.
Our whole class maths sessions this week have continued to focus on Really Big Numbers (up to 8 places) while Year 6 have been revisiting addition and subtraction of mixed numbers and improper fractions in their focused maths session. I have been impressed by the way the children have approached challenges in both with a positive attitude.
History this term is to find out how we know all about the Ancient Greeks and we had a great lesson on Monday afternoon making predictions and inferences about a partial image from a Greek Vase as it was revealed to us. On Wednesday in Science, we learned about the phases of the moon and created double page spreads to showcase all we now know about the moon. We also looked at the calendar in the classroom to find out when the next New Moon will be.
Term 3 Week 2
The past week has flown by! We have been incredibly busy with our English work, unpicking the features of a flashback story, creating success criteria and investigating how to create cohesion. The story maps that we created last week have been really helpful in remembering all of the story details.
In our foundation subject lessons, we have found that there are lots of links between the different areas of learning. In Science we learned about the Geocentric and Heliocentric models of the Solar System and the children were able to identify that 'geo' was in both 'Geography' and 'Geocentric'. They also recalled that Helios was the Greek god of the Sun. Looking at how the Earth and Moon move in Space they were able to link to their understanding of time zones. Art this week was learning about portraits done by different artists in preparation for creating mixed-media self-portraits.
Term 2 Week 6
This week Red Kites were, amongst other things, creating an A to Z of the UK. Mr Brabin used knowledge of his own village to inspire them and they had great fun coming up with something for every letter. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished articles. On Monday some of the Year 6’s led an assembly on St Nicholas, after who we are named. The children then spent time in their classes thinking of different ways they could show great kindness towards others, just as St Nicholas did, and I have to say I was very impressed with their thoughtful responses, which were then drawn onto wooden baubles for our Christmas tree.
Mrs Mallinson would also like to add in how proud she was of Red Kites with all the positive feedback she has received from all the different people who have worked with them this week. She is also on the hunt for old magazines for next term, so if you have any at home please bring them in.
Term 2 Week 5
Every week seems busier than the last at present! The children have learned about some of the people who journeyed to England from the Caribbean on the Windrush in 1948. Using reminiscences of people who were onboard the ship, they completed a very challenging news report task. Taking information about the past and using it as though they were writing about the present what not easy. Identifying what wouldn’t have been known at the time of their arrival and leaving this out of the reports was also tricky. The reports that the children wrote demonstrate their understanding of both the history and writing objectives we have been working on. They also did a great job of editing my writing, spotting spelling mistakes, punctuation errors and sentences that just repeated themselves. The next step is to make sure they apply these editing skills to their own writing.
This week has been our DT week. Our focus has been on structures, as many of the Caribbean migrants came to help in the physical rebuilding of the country after the Second World War. We started the week by making the strongest bridge we could from one sheet of paper and no other resources. On Tuesday, we learned about 4 types of bridges and made careful sketches of them, considering their advantages and disadvantages. We also explored which shapes made the strongest columns and different ways to reinforce them. Wednesday afternoon was spent building bridges from art straws that would span a 21cm gap. The final stage is to test the strength of the bridges using 100g weights. Both the bridges tested on Wednesday managed to hold 1.1kg before failing due to a lack of support for the weights, rather than the strength of the beam. I can’t wait to see if any of the others manage to beat this....
Term 2 Week 4
We have been finding out about the Second World War this week, taking on the challenge of creating our own Knowledge Organisers from some that have been made by other people. On Wednesday, we had a day focused on teamwork where we worked together to find out about the contributions made to the Second World War by people from across the Commonwealth.
In Science we considered the difference between reversible and irreversible reactions. We found that some were easier to categorise than others.
By the end of this week, we will have written up out newspaper articles based on The Giant’s Necklace and will be ready to plan our independent newspaper reports. Our Whole Class Reading focused on comparing and contrasting a similar moment in two novels, as well as thinking about the differences in visual and We written texts.
Mr Chadwick reported that the children had one of the best Tag Rugby lessons he has done with them this week and I have to add that I was really proud of the way that they all challenged themselves during our maths investigations.
Term 2 Week 3
We have had a busy week this week. We started off a new maths unit on Monday, revisiting multiplication methods and learning new ones for the multiplication of 4-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers. By the end of the week, we had all found a method that we liked and felt confident with to use when answering some complicated multi-step problems.
In English we have been writing newspaper articles about the disappearance of the main character in our book 'The Giant's Necklace' by Michael Morpurgo. Before we could write the article, we had to work out which parts of the story her parents and the coastguard would have known and which they would not. We also discussed what they might think had happened to Cherry. Several of the children tugged at their readers heartstrings by using expanded noun phrases to describe how scared she must have been on the beach all alone.
Project work has remained focused on World War One as we have considered the contribution of soldiers from across the British Empire. We have used a mix of primary and secondary sources to find out about their experiences and have concluded that they were often not treated as well as their British counterparts. For the last few mornings, the children have been designing memorials to commemorate those from across the globe who died during the conflict.
Our geography lessons have been linked to this work as we have learned how to use the grid references in the index of an atlas to locate the Commonwealth countries and mark them on a blank map. We have found that there are member states from every continent bar Antarctica!
Having planned our investigation into evaporation last week, we have set this up this afternoon and it will be interesting to see if there is any change over the weekend....
Finally, in PSHCE this week we have begun to think about the characteristics of healthy relationships and what to do if there is an imbalance of power.
Term 2 Week 2
With Thursday of this week being Remembrance day, it seemed appropriate that we spend some time finding out about the causes of the First World War. In pairs, we read part of a text that told us about the key events in the war. We then summarised our sections and shared them in order to create an overview of what took place. This was used as the basis for a non-chronological report about the First World War, to which we added detail about what life was like for soldiers. Some of the class also chose to include information about Walter Tull, who we will be learning a little more about at the start of next week, and the Footballer's Battalion. The quality of presentation in the books was really high, with many of the class choosing to add illustrations to make their work more eye catching. As it was our sharing assembly this week, the children have shown their work to other members of school and told them some of the facts that we have learned.
We have also continued with our Science work looking at materials and changes. On Wednesday we learned that Smarties and Skittles behave in slightly different ways when added to water. On Thursday, we looked at the beakers that had been left on the side at the end of the lesson last week and found that there was now salt all-round the top of one. Having learned a little about evaporation, we then planned investigations to find out ways to speed this process up. It will be interesting to see which make the most difference!
Next week the children have a Mental Health Champions workshop on Thursday morning and so took part in a launch event this afternoon. I am sure they will be able to tell you all about it.
Term 2 Week 1
This week we have started our new Science topic, which is looking at how we can change different materials. We have talked about the difference between a chemical change and a physical change; when you boil and egg the heat changes the liquid into a solid, whereas when you heat an ice cube the solid melts into a liquid. On Wednesday we investigated which solids would dissolve in water and then on Thursday we dissolved sugar or salt in water to see if the saturation point was the same. It was interesting to listen to the children's thoughts on why stirring the solution helped...we will have to look into this further next week.
Our maths lessons this week have been exploring how we can use adjustment in subtraction calculations to make them easier to complete. While in English, we started Michael Morpurgo's short story The Giant's Necklace which is set in Cornwall and involves a girl hiding in a cave as the tide comes in. We have been learning to use the evidence in the text to justify our ideas about the character of the people in a story (as well as learning that the word 'character' can be used in more than one way).
By the time that you are reading this, we will also have had our first history lesson of this term. We will be creating a timeline for the 20th Century on which we will be able to record key events as we learn about them, starting the First World War next week.
Term 1 Week 7
This week we have been wrapping up the first part of the Maafa topic, learning about the sequence of events which finally led to the abolition of slavery. We have also spent time reflecting on our experience at Kilvrough last week and using these to write letters to the people that we want to thank for helping us to go.
The week away was brilliant and each and every child shone at some point. We all faced personal challenges and as we have discussed the experience in class together it has become apparent that the class have a new appreciation for one another’s strengths. The resilience and compassion the children demonstrated ensured that every member of our group felt that they belonged and were a part of our team.
During assembly on Tuesday, we shared a photograph of something each child in Red Kites had done; I think that there are now many children lower down the school looking forward to their opportunity for a week away.
Term 1 Week 6
What can I say! A few pictures of the brilliant times at our residential trip in Kilvrough they have been sharing with me. What a fantastic week!
Term 1 Week 5
This week I have been impressed by the resilience shown by all of the Year 6 children in tackling the mock SATs papers. They have worked hard every morning to show what they can do, identifying areas they need to work on and reflecting on what it was like to do them. Year 5 have also been hard at work completing a pack of maths activities to help them to revise the key skill of multiplying and dividing whole and decimal numbers by multiples of 10 and 100.
In our Maths lessons we learned that the 'answers' to different types of calculations have special names (sum, difference, product and quotient). We have also looked at how we can use facts that we already know to work out related facts. This helps us to have less to think about when we are working on a problem.
Having read Laurence Dunbar's poem 'Sympathy' last week, we analysed how the poet used images in his work to make his reader feel sorry for the caged bird. The children also talked about the different people who might today be considered to be the 'caged birds' in our society. We then read 'Meeting Midnight' by Carol Ann Duffy and identified the ways that she personified Midnight in order to write our own personification poems. At the time that I am writing this, we have collected our ideas and have written a prose description of a character who is a personification of an abstract noun. Based on the range of ideas and quality of descriptions the final poems promise to be very powerful.
Topic work has focused around what we can learn from primary sources and why we need to be careful of bias. We completed a comparison frame to help us to identify why a plantation owner and an abolitionist might give different reports of the same event. This will help us in the final step of our topic this term; looking at conflicting descriptions of rebellions that took place towards the end of the 18th Century.
Term 1 Week 4
We have all had plenty to be excited about this week. With visits to KAs and FCC, planning for Kilvrough and School Photos, it feels as if there has been little time left for much else. However, the children have also been busy in their Art, History, PE, Music and PSHCE.
In Art the children are working on collages inspired by The Harp by Augusta Savage; in History, they have considered the difference between primary and secondary sources of information; in PE they have continued to develop their Netball skills with Mr Chadwick; while in Music with Miss Cottrill they considered some of the shared features of different African music.
In PSHCE this week we discussed our circles of control, linking those things we had control over to our responsibilities. We also talked about how we manage those things in life that are beyond our control so that we don’t end up worrying unnecessarily about things we cannot control. I was impressed by the respectful way that the children listened to one another, sharing things that have happened in their lives that are beyond their control.
Finally, all the adults in the room were proud of the way that the children showed how much they have already learned this term in English. Identifying parts of sentences and using accurate vocabulary to explain how they knew where to use different types of punctuation.
Term 1 Week 3
The big question this week was: What evidence is there of people’s thoughts about the Slave Trade in the past?
In order to be able to answer this question, we began the week with a quiz to see what we could remember about the origins of the slave trade and why Britain became involved. We then read a Power-Point together that told us why the Triangular Slave Trade was given this name and produced information pages to explain this to other people. Finally, we read some information that helped us to understand the impact of the Slave Trade on the people involved, which included quotes from people who had been enslaved but later freed. At every point, the children engaged reflectively with the subject matter. Discussing how the world has changed, and some of the ways that the impact of the Slave Trade can still be seen to this day. Next week, we will look further into what primary sources exist from the time and what we can infer from them.
In English, we have continued to slow-write a biography of Henry 'Box' Brown; by the time you are reading this, we will have written the penultimate 'chunk' of the biography about how Henry escaped captivity. We have learned that there are some sentence structures that we can choose to use to help our reader to visualise what is happening better, including the '2A' sentence which uses pairs of adjectives to describe each noun. The children are more confident in finding the subject and verb in a sentence and have spent time finding ways to expand a noun phrase. It was very tricky to expand the nouns without using verbs and turning the phrases into sentences!
We have put the work we have been doing recently on bar modeling to good use this week to help us to find missing numbers. The children have understood that the proper name for a 'number sentence' is an equation and are becoming proficient at modeling these as bar models. I have been impressed by the way that they were able to justify their modeling to one another on Wednesday, using the language of parts, wholes and equality (we also talked about why equality, equals and equinox all had the same root).
Term 1 Week 2
This week we have looked more closely at model biography texts in order to be able to write out own about Henry 'Box' Brown. Having collected words and phrases that will help us with our writing, we have worked together to write an opening and some information about his early life. I have been pleased with the effort that the children have put into their writing and the resilience they all showed when editing and re-writing their opening paragraph.
Maths has felt a little unusual as we have been modelling problems, either without numbers or without a question that needs to be answered. Everyone has improved in their ability to explain what the parts and whole are in a range of word problems. This may have been helped by some impromptu modelling using Premiership data on Wednesday morning!
Our topic has led to many deep and thoughtful conversations. We have found out that John Hawkins was the first British slave trader and that he kidnapped many people with Queen Elizabeth I's permission. The numbers of people transported from Africa to the Caribbean shocked us all and led to many questions that we will try to answer over the next few weeks.
Term 1 week 1
It is hard to believe that we have been back for just over a week as so much seems to have happened in the last 6 days.
We have made a start on out new project: Maafa. The name of our project comes from a Swahili word and is one of many new words we have already encountered as we have begun to learn more about how the histories of Africa, The West Indies and Britain are linked. The children have begun to work as historians to uncover the role that the Portugues and Spanish had in establishing a European presence in the New World; next week we will dig deeper into how England became involved in the battle for power and wealth.
In English, we have written a short autobiography as a starting point for out unit on biography writing. We have listened to the story of Henry 'Box' Brown in preparation for writing a formal biography next week. Everyone impressed me with the empathy they demonstrated when we were first learning his story. We have also started to read the book 'Freedom' by Catherine Johnson.
Working as a whole class, we looked at how we can use Cuisenaire rods to model mathematical stories. Maisie, Lottie, Timur, Willow, Mason and Lewis all impressed me with the stories they modelled. While Summer, Tyler, Bertie, Rory and Eleanor were all able to explain how the models could give us more than one piece of information.
The last week has just flown by and I have been blown away by the determination to be the best that they can be that I have seen from so many of the children. The presentation in particular has stood out.