Autumn Term - 2018/19
Henry Class began this year by reading an adaptation of the classic text ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. We were really engaged by the transformation from one character to the other and compared them in different diary entries. We acted in role as the doctor and his alter-ego to try to interpret the characters further. Exploring description, we wrote first person accounts of how Jekyll changed into Hyde focusing on the five senses and figurative language.
In addition, we studied the book ‘Boy’ by Roald Dahl. Dahl’s famous narrative style was put under scrutiny by our class and we identified key features of his work. We practised using these skills ourselves. They included: writing in an anecdotal style; using direct speech to introduce characters; and creating cohesion within and across paragraphs. Excitingly, we wrote our own versions of certain chapters and predicted the endings for them.
Danson celebrated Maths Week during the Autumn term and we had lots of fun relating our learning to the part-whole bar model with ‘Octo-bar Maths Week’. Initially we learnt about part-whole diagrams and how these can represent addition and subtraction. Then we put the numbers into part-whole bar models. For subtraction, we also looked at the comparative bar model which really helped us to understand the difference between two or more numbers. We even turned our desks into bars using masking tape and whiteboards! The week ended with a fantastic launch day of our new learning tool – Timestable Rockstars! We dressed up as rock and rollers and practised our multiplication and division facts in order to buy coins to change our avatars. Maths and Computing – brilliant!
To develop our number skills, over the term, we practised using and applying place value in different ways. For example, we rounded numbers to any power of ten up to one million; we multiplied four digit numbers by one digit using short multiplication; we practised dividing with short division and we counted forwards and backwards in powers of ten. We practised the infamous ‘60s test’ (sixty times table questions to complete in ten minutes or less) to improve our speed and accuracy with mental calculations. Each week, we tried to beat our score and reduce our time allowance – some children got down to as low as four minutes!
Our first topic in Science was Properties of Materials. This chemistry-based unit of work was interesting, and we learnt many skills about how to work scientifically. Firstly, we thought about what properties would make successful objects and categorised them based on their properties. For example, glass is hard, strong, non-permeable and transparent. In this topic, we also had to plan an investigation to find which material would keep teachers’ tea and coffee warmest for longest. We tested the temperature of water in different materials for cups such as metal, polystyrene, ceramic, plastic and glass. We found out that polystyrene was the best insulator, but it is not the safest type of cup to use in a classroom due to its other properties!
Our second amazing Science topic was Earth and Space. We had great fun creating craters in flour and cocoa powder and measuring their diameter. Also, we used Oreo cookies to show the different phases of the moon! Did you know that the moon does not get covered by clouds? It changes shape based on the position of the Earth and the shadow formed on the moon by the sun. Fascinatingly, we discovered how our Solar System works and that we are a tiny planet compared to some of the others!
Vile Victorians was the focus topic for our learning in the Autumn term. We had great fun finding out about key events such as the industrial revolution and how the British Empire grew during Queen Victoria’s reign. We practised our sketching skills by sketching a portrait of the monarch and used shading to make her face look realistic. Henry Class discovered what life was like for a poor Victorian child and compared this to the life of a rich one. We studied their daily routines and even found similarities between them and us! We wrote in role, pretending of have a Victorian job as lots of children worked as chimney sweeps, in factories or on farms. In the second half term, we had our class assembly where we told our grown-ups lots about our fun topic. We acted out a school scene where a naughty pupil had to wear a dunces’ hat! The Victorians topic came into all our learning, including our reading. We read the Horrible Histories ‘Vile Victorians’ text and found out lots of interesting facts. Did you know that Victorian villain Sweeney Todd isn’t based on real life despite many people believing it is?