In our first history lesson, we looked at the extent of the British Empire at its peak in 1921 and investigated what it meant to be a colony. We then used atlases to name the independent countries (or modern day equivalents) that were part of the empire at that time.
We had our first playleader training session today trying out a few games that they will use at lunchtimes on Mondays and Wednesdays from next week.
In DT, we looked at how simple bridges are constructed using beams, pillars or piers. We then enjoyed making and testing our own bridge designs using wooden pillars, paper beams, tape and a selection of weights. We were surprised how much weight some of our paper bridges could hold!
We had the perfect weather today for a walk from Devon to Cornwall! We learnt so much about the Tamar and Royal Albert Bridges and in small groups, measured the Tamar Bridge from one end to the other. A few surprising facts were that the weight of the Tamar Bridge (not including the towers) is about the same weight as a type 45 destroyer and a simple water butt filled with water helps to dampen the sound of the vibrating cables so it doesn't annoy the local residents. At The Box in the afternoon, we learnt all about the Plymouth Breakwater which started construction in 1811 and wasn't completed until 1841 - you can understand why it took so long when you realise that they used nearly as many stones as the Egyptians used to build the pyramids.
Computing systems and networks - Please follow this link to have a look at all the learning we are doing in computing this term.
In science this week, we continued our work on reproduction focussing on plants. We looked at the advantages and disadvantages of both types of reproduction before taking cuttings from our class spider plant 'Tom' to record the root growth over the coming weeks.
We creative this week designing our own superhero costumes after being introduced to our English text. We had to consider things like colour, material, defensive capabilities, the logo and other practical things like GPS systems and how we would carry all our tools.
Our prototype bridges are complete! We worked hard to create the strongest bridges we could with the limited materials and time we had. We then tested and evaluated our designs. All would be wide enough for two cars to cross, most were tall enough for boats to pass underneath and some could support a surprising amount of weight! Super effort everyone.
The first task for arts week was to investigate the life and work of the British textile designer William Morris whose designs will be used as inspiration for our lino printing later in the week. We looked at examples of his work and analysed the shapes, colours, patterns, movement and symmetry before comparing his work to Irish designer Orla Kiely.
Incredibly proud of Oak Class today - not only did they play the best tag rugby of the term so far with great teamwork, some fancy footwork and tenacious tagging skills, but they were also noticed for displaying great sportsmanship. I think the smiles show that they also had a great time! Well done everyone and many thanks to Mr Tanner for organising the event.
We continued our printing topic for arts week by simplifying our still life sketches from earlier in the week to use as a motif for printing. After having a go at mark marking with linocut tools, we learnt about the reduction linocut method and carved the first layer of our motif onto the lino blocks before printing with the first colour. Can't wait to see the end result!
Today we explored the musical concept of theme and variations in music inspired by artwork from the Pop Art era. We discovered how rhythms can 'translate’ onto different objects from around the classroom including body percussion.
In our first geography lesson of the term, we learnt about the Silk Road and the very precious commodity that was transported by merchants 2000 years ago. We then investigated the modern-day countries that the Silk Road passed through.
Oak Class spent the morning with Cultural Champion Sandhya Dave who shared fascinating Hindu artefacts and talked about her faith, beliefs and culture. The children learnt to count to five in Hindi, developed their understanding of Hindu symbolism and explored geographical features of India.
In recognition of anti-bullying week, in PSHE, Oak Class designed a snakes and ladders game based on different scenarios with a bullying focus. They then thought about things that would make the situation worse or make it continue represented by the snakes on their board and also the things that would help to solve the situation or make it better which were the ladders.
Geography: Fairtrade. Please follow this link to look at all the learning we have been doing this half term.
Music: Themes and Variations. Please follow this link to look at all the learning we have been doing this half term.
Computing unit: Web page creation - Please follow this link to have a look at all the learning we have been doing this term in computing.
Our first forest school of the year
A breezy but sunny day up at Forest School today for KS2. Our first task was to light the fire which, thanks to Miss Cannon huffing and puffing, managed to stay lit long enough to cook our flatbreads and boil the water for hot chocolate! We then played games, made bird feeders from plastic milk cartons, owls from tree branches and dens which were supposed to be weatherproof enough to spend the night - not sure some of them would have survived!
Finding the words
We created some amazing blackout poetry this week using the introduction from our class book The Lost Words. Blackout poetry is based around found poetry which is the art form of picking and choosing words that resonate with the artist’s vision and focuses on what can be created from a single page of text.
The only way is ... down!
Today in science, we were learning about the difference between weight and mass and investigating whether or not there is a link between the two.
I am ...
Using the poem The Raven as inspiration, we worked in pairs to come up with our own poems based on a different bird's personality and characteristics, echoing the patterning from the original text.
In art, we have been drawing Dartmoor landscapes from photographs and trying a variety of watercolour paints and pencils to mix the right colours and explore different tones to match the photographs. The landscapes are beginning to take shape now and we will add the final details next week.
Computing: Please follow this link to play the games that we created in our computing unit this term.
In science this week, we were investigating water resistance as part of our forces topic. Our modelling skills came into play as we tried to create the most streamlined 3D clay shapes to drop into a tube of water to see which one would drop the fastest.
We took part in a Children's Mental Health Week live lesson today to explore the theme of connections. We met violinist Izandra from Brazil who aims to make classical music accessible to everyone. We had the opportunity to share our thoughts and questions during the lesson and wrapped up the session by explaining to all the schools online why being part of our school community was important to us.
Dartmoor military history - please follow this link to look at presentations we did to showcase our learning for this unit.
We continued our work on forces today learning about friction. We investigated which material would make the best brake pad for the scooters from Birch Class and had a go at the floating bottle experiment.
Computing - Spreadsheets: Please follow this link to look at all the learning we have been doing this half term.
Music - Composition to represent the festival of colour: Please follow this link to look at all the learning we have been doing this half term.
In maths, we have started our unit on financial literacy and this week was all about investment and risk. The children had £20 to invest in two different projects and whether they made a profit or loss was all down the the roll of a dice. It was a tense half hour with results ranging from a £2 loss to a £208 profit - I know who I would trust my money with!
This term's art topic is gargoyles and the children have learnt about the history, the processes and techniques to make them and also practised sketching using cross-hatching, shading, and thick/thin lines to show the quality of tone. This week they sculpted their own grotesque gargoyles by applying a range of techniques to join, combine and shape the clay. They started with a pinch pot shape before adding the exaggerated features to bring the faces to life.
In our financial literacy lesson this week, the children were putting together a monthly budget and deciding which items were a priority - some were quite disappointed that they couldn't afford all the nice treats after paying the bills!
In our final financial literacy session, we looked at how spending choices can affect our environment and how to be an ethical consumer. We also played a game of Pictionary to help us understand how the government choose to spend the money they get from taxes.
In our English lesson today, we were writing quizzes using pages from our new book - Everything you need to know about snakes and other scaly reptiles. I'm sure some of the random facts will make their way into the conversation tonight at the dinner table!