Autumn Term - 2018/19
Victoria Class began this year by reading an adaptation of the classic text ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stephenson. We were really surprised to discover the two very different characters were actually one and the same person! We acted in role as the doctor and his alter-ego to show the transformation from one character to the other and compared them in different diary entries showing off our use of descriptive language techniques.
We continued our link to our topic of Victorians by reading the emotive story ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. In this book we followed the story of Jim Jarvis and found ourselves captivated by his harrowing story which we later found was loosely based on the child who inspired Dr Barnardo to carry out his amazing work. We explored what life was like in the workhouse and wrote our own persuasive adverts.
In addition, we studied the book ‘Boy’ by Roald Dahl. This fascinating autobiography written in 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 including: writing in an anecdotal style; using direct speech to introduce characters; and creating cohesion within and across paragraphs. This led us to writing our very own autobiographies and we thoroughly enjoyed reminding ourselves of key events in our lives and sharing our funny anecdotes.
This term we have been very busy working on being amazing mathematicians. We began by looking at using and applying place value in different ways including comparing and ordering numbers to a million and rounding to the nearest 10, 100 and 1,000. We then looked at addition and subtraction and built up to answering complex multi-step problems. We also looked at how we could use the inverse operation to check our answers.
Danson also 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’. We began by looking at a whole bar of chocolate and exploring how it could be split into parts but that those parts would still combine back to make to whole. Yes, you guessed it, this culminated in us having to eat the chocolate afterwards. Well it would have been rude not to we thought! We then showed this in the form of part-whole diagrams and saw how these can represent addition and subtraction number sentences. We then moved on to putting the numbers into part-whole bar models and, 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 stars and practised our multiplication and division facts in order to buy coins to change our avatars combining both Maths and Computing. How cool is that?
Following Math’s week we moved onto learning about factors, multiples, prime numbers, square numbers and cube numbers. We then spent some time making sure we were totally confident with multiplying and dividing by 10, 100 and 1,000 and applied this knowledge to problems involving conversions of units of measure, for example millimetres to centimetres and litres to millilitres. Somehow we even managed to find the time to study and solve problems involving line graphs and squeezed in finding the area and perimeter of rectilinear shapes.
Our first topic in Science was Earth and Space. We learnt a very catchy tune which helped us learn the names of the planets in order. We also had great fun creating craters in flour and cocoa powder and measuring their diameter. We then learnt all about all the different phases of the moon and used Oreo cookies to represent each of the phases. We discovered that, even though it appears to move across the sky as the day moves on, the sun is actually static and it is Earth itself that is moving and creating the illusion that the sun is moving. Not only does the Earth spin around its own axis it also orbits around the sun taking 365.25 days to make one complete rotation. To top it off, we found out that Earth is actually tilted on its axis which is why we get the seasons. It’s a wonder we aren’t all permanently dizzy with all this rotating, tilting and spinning going on!
Our second amazing Science topic 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! The experiments didn’t stop there. We even made a type of plastic called casein plastic using just milk and vinegar!
The 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. Victoria 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 to have a Victorian job as lots of children worked as chimney sweeps, in factories or on farms. The Victorians topic came into all our learning, including our reading. We read the Horrible Histories ‘Vile Victorians’ text in guided reading 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? During Black History week we focussed on the country of St Lucia. We acted out a St Lucian myth about a rabbit called Compere Lapin and learnt that wisdom cannot be bought or given and that being wise involves thinking, planning and reflecting. We also compared both the physical and human similarities and differences between the UK and St Lucia.