During the Autumn term, Blackman class read an Anglo-Saxon tale – The story of Grendel and Beowulf. It was full of blood and gore, but good won over evil in the end! Using this story, we wrote persuasive letters from the character Hrothgar to Beowulf, using descriptive techniques such as expanded noun phrases. We also read ‘The Littlest Viking’ written by Sandi Toksvig. It was a story about a young Viking girl who is saved by three children when she washed up on the shore of Pegwell Bay in England. She then helped the three young children to save their back garden from being converted into a supermarket! From this story, we wrote persuasive arguments and our own ‘voyage and return’ stories.
In maths, our focus was on number and place value. The children in Blackman class can use their knowledge to round to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000, also they can order and compare numbers beyond 1000. They have been looking at different methods to solve word problems and securing their knowledge, these included partitioning for subtraction and multiplication and chunking for division. In Mental Maths, we have enjoyed finding similarities and differences, converting from digital to analogue time and using operations and numbers to find a given total.
In Science, the children in Blackman have been looking at sound and animals in their habitats. We looked at how sound is created and how it travels through vibrations. With this knowledge, we could plan our own investigations which included reasons how we made our experiments fair. When looking at animals in their habitats we looked at how to identify different animals using flow charts and then created their own. We also went on an amazing minibeast hunt around our outdoor areas!
In Creative Curriculum Blackman class have been studying Anglo-Saxons and The Vikings. We have been looking at who the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings were and where they were from. While studying we looked at artefacts from that time period and the different Gods that they believed in. We also learnt how to write in Viking runes and how life in the Viking period is different to life today.
During the Spring Term we wrote some puzzling riddles using descriptive techniques, including expanded noun phrases and similes. We then looked at non-fiction texts, researching and writing our own information texts linked to our work on the Tudors. We also read a book called ‘My Friend Walter’, about a girl who met the ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh. Using this for ideas, we wrote our own historical stories about the ghost of Henry VIII who our character meets at Hever Castle and they get into all sorts of mischief! In our writing, we have been focusing on using co-ordinating and subordinating conjunctions and fronted adverbials to improve our sentences. Following our amazing trip to Hever Castle, we wrote recounts describing our day using time adverbials and paragraphs. The final week of the Spring term was Book Week. This included a fun week of activities based on the Roald Dahl book ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.
During the Spring term, we have been developing our fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills in order to deepen and challenge our maths learning. We have looked at using different methods to multiply and divide larger numbers and decided on which was the most efficient method. We have studied the topic of fractions, learning about equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator and from one whole. We have also learnt to find the area of shapes by counting squares or using multiplication. Our times table knowledge is improving but lots of practise is always needed!
For the first half of the term, we studied the three states of matter – solid, liquid and gas. We learnt about how particles behave differently in each and how they change when we increase or decrease the temperature. During Science Week, we enjoyed exploring and discovering the effect of yeast by trying to blow up balloons. We used lots of science investigative skills, planning, carrying out, recording and forming conclusions about our Science investigations and impressed people with our accurate scientific vocabulary. During the second half of the term, we found out about and created electrical circuits. We investigated insulators and conductors and decided which material would make the best switch. We even made our own switches – and they all worked!!
Terrible Tudors, was our topic for the Spring term. We started by looking at the start of the Tudor reign and ordering events on a timeline. After, we found out what life would be like in Tudor times and the different social classes. Divorced, beheaded, survived… Henry VIII was a fascinating person to learn about and we even had a visit from the man himself during our class assembly! We finished off the term with an informative and fun day at Hever Castle where we toured the castle and experienced games that the Tudors would play.
Throughout the Summer Term, our texts have been linked to our Creative Curriculum topic, ‘Tour de France’. The story, ‘The Bicycle Spy’ took us back in time to World War 2, when France was occupied by Germany. Marcel and his parents were members of the French Resistance, and worked tirelessly to ensure his Jewish friend Delphine and her family could escape safely from the clutches of the Gestapo. In our writing, we were able to include details which would show the reader, rather than tell them, how the characters in the story were feeling, through the way they behaved, reacted and spoke. We practised our prediction skills by writing the next chapter of the story from a given point. We also based our poetry writing on what Marcel could see, hear, smell, taste and touch at a certain point in the text. We also looked at the short story, ‘Raoul Tabourin Keeps a Secret’, where a French bicycle mechanic faces a dilemma – he cannot actually ride a bike!! We wrote a newspaper report about the public’s discovery of his embarrassing secret!
Our learning in Maths this term has focused on decimals – being able to multiply and divide them and securing our place value. We have also learned about decimal and fraction equivalents. In the second half of the Summer Term we have been learning about Shape: looking at angles and identifying acute, obtuse and reflex angles; investigating and identifying different types of triangles and quadrilaterals; angles within shapes and symmetry. We have found links between the amount of sides of a regular polygon and the amount of lines of symmetry and drawn our own symmetrical patterns.
This term, we have revisited our ‘Living Things and their Habitats’ unit. We have identified common features of living things and have gone into our local area to identify plants and trees and have produced information posters and factfiles about living things and plants. To consolidate our learning, we have been investigating what happens when an environment changes due to natural and man-made disasters and how this has an impact on the habitats of the plants and animals that live there. This will link nicely into the Natural Disasters unit we will complete in Year 5.
Vive la France!! Our Creative Curriculum ‘Tour de France’ has taken us across the English Channel to learn not just about the famous cycling event, but about all aspects of French culture. We enjoyed looking at the works of Paul Cezanne and how he used his local environment to inspire his paintings. We used pastels to recreate some of his well-known works. We learned about French café culture and thoroughly enjoyed making our French crepes! We investigated the human and physical features of the country and brushed up our co-ordinates and map reading skills when mapping the route of the 2018 Tour de France. Towards the end of term, we have become Tour de France experts, learning about cycling teams, riders routines and designing and making our own cycling jerseys!