Darwin class have had an incredibly successful Autumn term! Our work was themed around Islands, which took us to places far and wide. We investigated and used methods of paper folding to create our own islands, using the various techniques to make different landscape features, including jungles, waterfalls, sea shores and even island animals. We thought about using the natural environment to create ephemeral artwork and, inspired by the work of environmental artist, Andy Goldsworthy, created our own masterpieces using natural materials found on the school field. The results were stunning!
We started our English work looking at the acclaimed novel Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo; in it, a young boy, Michael, finds himself stranded on an island after the boat he was traveling on with his parents hits a terrible storm. On the island, he eventually meets a mysterious man named Kensuke and the pair strike up an unusual friendship. We engaged with the novel by: writing persuasive arguments describing the reasons for or against taking a child out of school to sail around the world; using expanded noun phrases and fronted adverbials to write Michel’s diary as he discovered the island and creating a character profile of the wise Kensuke using our deduction skills.
Our second text was Floodland by Marcus Sedgewick, in which a young girl, Zoe, finds herself escaping from an island that is slowly being submerged by water only to find herself on the controlling island of the ‘Pigs’. We follow Zoe as she again attempts escape in order to reunite with her lost parents. We used the text to write newspaper reports of Zoe’s trials and explored the themes to create our own stories.
Our focus on maths term has been on number and place value. This has been lots of revision on methods and concepts that we have previously learned making sure, we are secure and using the most efficient methods to answer any questions.
Science was fantastic this term! We started by classifying living things based on their features and then created classification keys to help us sort this data. In the second half of the term we investigated the topic of light which allowed us to investigate how light travels and the ways in which shadows are created. We even got to think about the best place to put our beach brolly to get maximum shade the whole day!
Over the term we studied the life and works of William Shakespeare. We wrote biographies of the Bard, discovering many interesting facts about this world famous playwright and the influence he has had on our culture and language. Did you know that when you use phrases such as ‘fair play’ or ‘wild goose chase’ or even tell a ‘knock knock’ joke, you are quoting Shakespeare? We studied in depth the play ‘Macbeth’, using role play and hot-seating to immerse ourselves in the plot. Linked to this tale of witchcraft and deception we wrote persuasive letters, newspaper articles and court room speeches describing who was most to blame for the tragic events. We also looked at The Tempest and created our own monologue speeches for the main characters.
During Book Week we read Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny, Champion of the World’ and, linked to this story, used our design and technology skills to work collaboratively creating new pheasant-catching tricks and making posters to present our ideas. We also took part in the whole school choral speak, working with Hawking Class on our section of a narrative poem by Roald Dahl.
In maths we have continued to work on applying skills and knowledge to problem solving and SATs style questions. We have studied measures and how to convert between different units and also read scales. We have used co-ordinate grids to reflect, rotate and translate shapes and explored 2-D shapes and angles. We have worked on our mental arithmetic skills, learning how to use all four operations with fractions and the order of operations in calculations [BIDMAS].
Our Science topic was Evolution and Inheritance. We learnt about the life of Charles Darwin [although, of course, we already knew a lot about him as he gives his name to our class!]. We looked at his work studying finches on the Galapagos Islands and how this helped him to develop his theories. A highlight of this topic was a visit from Jules Howard [the fossil man] who brought in real fossils and bones to handle and gave us an opportunity to put questions to an expert in this field. In Science Week we investigated fruit batteries and were amazed to discover that we could create electricity and light up LEDs using lemons, limes, grapefruit and even pears as batteries. We also applied our scientific knowledge and understanding to a fun cooking activity during Book Week where we learnt about reversible and irreversible changes and the properties of yeast and gluten when we baked ‘pheasant eggs’ [dough balls with a surprise ingredient hidden inside]. We definitely enjoyed eating the finished results!