Autumn Term - 2018/19
In the autumn term, we based our writing off our creative curriculum topic ‘Polar Regions’ and created many fantastic pieces of work. We began the term with a research project on one particular polar animal… penguins! We came up with lots of questions we wanted to learn about this animal, carried out research and discovered many remarkable facts. We then used our knowledge of non-fiction texts and their features to create an information page. Later, we turned our focus to people who live in the Polar Regions, such as Inuit people. We learned about their lifestyle and even imagined ourselves in their shoes, writing a diary entry about what a typical day may have been like. Next, we looked at the book ‘Miki’ by Stephen Mackey. In this charming story, Miki is taken deep below the ice to find a shining star to place atop her tree and is taken on a journey with many surprises. Whilst Miki is in the ocean, her dear friends Penguin and Polar Bear worry about her and do their best to help. Based on this story, we made predictions, role played events from the story, ordered events, wrote setting and character descriptions and even had great fun writing our own alternative ending to the story. Everyone had such exciting ideas! In the second half of the autumn term, we learned about Captain Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott who were two very important people in the exploration of Antarctica. We completed activities such as letter writing and recounts. We also produced a report all about the life of Captain Scott using a range of conjunctions to link together factual information. Finally, we ended the term with the story ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers which is the simple tale about a boy and a penguin and their growing friendship. We loved this delightful story and enjoyed using it to develop character descriptions, exclamation sentences, diary entries and an alternative beginning.
During the autumn term, Shackleton loved learning about the Artic and Antarctic. We were able to locate these regions on a map and learned about the difference between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. We learned about weather patterns in these two areas, comparing it to life in the UK and we discovered that a country’s relationship to the equator plays a big part in what the weather will be like in that country. Later, we learned about the ‘Race to the South Pole’ where brave Robert Scott faced Roald Amundsen in a battle to be first to the South Pole. Unfortunately, Captain Scott and his team did not succeed in winning the race and did not survive the horrific journey home. We wrote as newspaper journalists to share the events of what had happened. We also examined artefacts from the past and present and discussed the reliability of photographs. Finally, the children were able to use and develop many art skills throughout the term such as precise cutting, blending and shading to create a range of art pieces. These included snowflakes, polar animal silhouettes and Artic landscape scenes. We even created our own sledges based on a design (using lolly sticks, string and card).
In science, we began the new school year with our ‘Materials’ topic, where we became experts at describing the properties of a range of materials and their uses. Based on our knowledge, we had a go at designing our own school shoe, thinking about appropriate materials. We discovered that a good shoe should be waterproof, flexible, hardwearing, durable and comfortable. We then completed an investigation where we had to test a variety of materials in order to determine the most suitable choice for a marble ramp. We found out that carpet is not a good material for a ramp because it causes friction and slows down the marble, causing it to only go a short distance. During our final lesson, the children had fun designing their own houses. Here, they needed to think about suitable materials for each part of the house and suggest reasons as to why certain materials would be better than others. In the second part of the term, we moved onto our ‘Plants’ topic and carried out several exciting scientific experiments in order to find out what conditions are optimal for plants and what they need in order to survive. By growing kidney bean plants in different conditions (including the fridge, cupboard and classroom), we discovered that plants grow best when they are exposed to sunlight, water and warmth. Surprising, we discovered that plants can grow without soil if they are grown hydroponically. We learned that hydroponics are useful in areas that have insufficient/ poor soil such as places that are too hot or too cold. During these experiments, we were able to record our findings and devise conclusions using scientific vocabulary to explain what we found out.
We have been very busy in maths! We began the term with a focus on place value since it is the foundation of many mathematical concepts. We completed various learning activities that focused on counting and partitioning. We are able to count forwards and backwards in odd and even numbers, can count in 10s from any number and can use our times table knowledge to count. We also learned the value of each digit and how to partition in different ways. We used this knowledge to compare numbers and number sequences to ensure that our place value understanding was secure. Our next unit was addition and subtraction, where we used number lines, partitioning and number bonds to add and subtract numbers. We even tackled challenging word problems, focusing on finding key words that help us to determine the correct operation to use. We really enjoyed maths ‘Octobar’ week where we were able to use bar modelling to help us represent our learning and solve problems. We learned that addition is the inverse of subtraction and that we can use the inverse operation to check our work or solve missing number problems. Later, we concentrated our learning on money. We really enjoyed opening our own shops and restaurants to explore how we pay for things, making amounts in various ways and the importance of checking our change.