... Welcome to Otter Class ...
(Below the newsletters/information links, is a weekly blog of our learning experiences.)
CLASS LETTERS (by term)
It's HILLTOP week for most of us! See below for a link to a slideshow of our experiences so far...
SCIENCE - We've completed our Science topic on electrical circuits this week. We've found out that there are many factors that can affect the brightness of a bulb such as the number of components and cells in a circuit but also the length and thickness of the wire. For a challenge, we also investigated a group of materials known as resistors (e.g. pencil lead). This lead to undertaking some exciting experiments which really tested our scientific knowledge and hypothesising skills.
30 DAYS WILD - VISIT TO SEAMERE - On Thursday, our teacher organised for us to visit the wild pond at Seamere (Hingham) to take part in some pond-dipping.
SCIENCE - This week, we have started learning about different electrical components in circuitry; drawing circuits accurately and discovering how the brightness of a bulb can be affected.
MATHS - We're just starting to learn about business enterprise. So far we've discussed words such as budget, profit, product, outlay etc. In teams, we've started to collect data about people's opinions on product/service types that we might sell as part of our 'Fiver Apprentice Challenge'. Our aim is to take our £5 and turn it into profit for our spending money on our Hilltop residential trip in July.
GEOGRAPHY (& ENGLISH/ART) - Our trip around the provinces and territories of Canada has finally ended. Our final week has seen us visiting North Western Territories, where we took part in a watercolour tutorial for painting the Northern Lights and visiting Nunavut, where we made Inuit-style Inukshuks from stone. We've really enjoyed our trip around Canada and have learnt so much about its landscape, people, history and wildlife.
D.T. and P.E.- We are learning about how to keep our bodies healthy. This week, we have learnt about eating a balanced diet and what constitutes this. We made and tested a fruity spiced porridge to demonstrate what a 'healthy and satisfying' breakfast is.
The first week of our 30 days wild in June challenge!
PE & PSHE - We are currently playing striking and fielding games, taking part in water safety sessions, participating in forest school and cycling proficiency. It's all go!
MATHS & D.T. - This week, we concentrated on designing and making our school fete games in teams. We had to incorporate our maths knowledge of money, probability, ratio and profit into our games. We can't wait to find out who will raise the most money on Saturday!
GEOGRAPHY (& ENGLISH) - This week, we went to Saskatchewan and learnt about the vast prairies. As part of our 30 days wild challenge, we watched a live webcam of a bison waterhole. It was soooooo interesting! We visited Alberta and learnt about the grizzly bears that live in the forests. So we all then travelled to British Columbia and learnt about Victoria and Vancouver Island. Our final stop for this week took us to Yukon, where we had a go at panning for gold!
ART - We have started to learn about the aboriginal Canadian artist - Norval Morrisseau and his particular style of painting. We have tried drawing objects in his work which uses thick black outlines, abstract shapes and bright colours.
MATHS/ART - This week we have begun looking at ratio using concrete materials and then used and applied our knowledge to paint mixing of colours used in paintings by Norval Morrisseau.
ENGLISH/GEOGRAPHY - We've continued on our journey through the territories/provinces of Canada. This week we have visited Ontario to learn about Niagara Falls and Manitoba (specifically a place called Churchill which is frequented by hungry polar bears). Our own Canada books are taking shape!
This week we took our SATs test Monday - Thursday. We have spent time practising techniques such as speed reading and holding dictionary challenges to improve our vocabulary knowledge.
On Friday 18th May, we took part in 'Outdoor Classroom Day'. This involved us using the outdoors to participate in a range of activities. Below are the activities we did and a few photos/videos of our day.
ACTIVITY 1 - Clockwork Stick problems.
The children worked in small groups to solve problems that revolved around moving sticks to create correct calculations, shapes, etc. Some of us found this really quite challenging, so our resilience was certainly tested.
ACTIVITY 2 - STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
The children created catapults and flying darts using plastics spoons, lollipop sticks, elastic bands, card and straws. They tested and improved their designs before throwing their flying darts and launching their marshmallow ammunition at a cup-stacking wall built by Miss Carr and Mrs Edwards.
ACTIVITY 3 - Build a Dinosaur.
We watched dinosaurs come alive on an Ipad. We then went to The Hub to find pictures of a dinosaur before embarking on a model challenge. In different groups, we had to work together to create a model using sticks, string and elastic bands.
ACTIVITY 4 - Bubble Tube Wonder
This was really cool. We mixed together washing-up liquid, glycerine and water in a paddling pool. We then put a large string-wrapped hoop into the mixture and created bubble tubes which we got to stand in!
ENGLISH and GEOGRAPHY - We have combined our English and Geography lessons by focusing on a non-fiction book about Canada and then creating our own Canada booklet using specific layout features and vocabulary.
MATHS - Our main focus has been area and perimeter both of quadrilaterals and circles. At the end of the week, we created our own bugs (mostly caterpillars) out of circles; we used formulae to calculate the circumferences and areas of them.
ENGLISH - We are now writing our personification poetry and using this as an opportunity to practise our handwriting. We're currently redesigning our 'Book Nook' in class to reflect our love of books. Watch this space for our READING ROCKS corner! In Otter Class, we love reading new exciting novels. Click the reading list recommendation list below the pictures for ideas of exciting books that the children can read to inspire them as readers and as writers. We've discovered being exposed to a high level of vocabulary really helps us to grow, learn and achieve. Here are some pictures of us in action:
'Eye of the North' 'Cogheart' 'The Eagle in the Snow' 'Running on the Roof of the World'
MATHS - We've used an Excel spreadsheet to work out volumes in a volume investigation. We've begun to create our own conjectures from our findings.
GEOGRAPHY - We are focusing on Canada for the next couple of weeks by learning about the different provinces and territories, their capital cities and human/physical characteristics.
ENGLISH - We've been bringing objects in our dreams to life and personifying them using human action verbs. To help us structure our ideas, we've investigated semi-colons/dashes and ways of opening our sentences. The next step is to use our dioramas to create personification poetry about a particular landscape in America.
MATHS - Our focus has been on volume and measures. We've used concrete resources to investigate volumes of cuboids before trying to solve volume-related problems.
GEOGRAPHY - We have been making dioramas of USA landscapes such as the 'Colorado River - Grand Canyon', 'Death Valley', Miami beach and the mountains of Alaska.
ART - We took a trip to The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at UEA. There, we got to work with a resident artist called Caitlyn Pearson, who took us on a tour of the North American exhibits; told us stories of from the Haida tribe and ran a workshop for us on the theme of the mystical bird - Raven. Look at our final creations of modern abstract ravens:
Our focus this week has been on analysing our reading, SPaG and maths tests.
Together, we have come up with actions to help us achieve further marks.
ENGLISH - We are starting to read and analyse poetry that uses personification.
MATHS - This week, we are learning to estimate and convert metric and imperials measurements so that we can solve worded problems.
GEOGRAPHY - To help us in our poetry ideas for writing, we are investigating the different landscapes of the USA.
ART - We held our Easter Eggshibition where most of us made the most fabulous eggshibits for the rest of the school, our parents and our grandparents to view. Everybody voted so Miss Carr had a lot of votes to count! The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place entries will be announced tomorrow in assembly. Watch this space...
ENGLISH - This week, we participated in a whole school Big Write, where we wrote a campfire tale about one of the MadMurchHare's mischievous moments.
We also held World Book Day this week (as our school was closed due to the heavy snow in March!) Here are some of us in our costumes:
ENGLISH - We are doing tests this week and finishing the writing of our class story called 'The Blazing Star'.
MATHS - This week we are finishing our topic of algebra and completing tests.
GEOGRAPHY - We have visited the country of Guatemala this week and learnt that over 50% of the children suffer from malnutrition. Charities like Christian Aid are helping to show families how to grow kitchen gardens. There is an old legend told by the Indians high in the hills of Guatemala. It teaches that when you have worries, share them with your dolls. Before you go to sleep tell one worry to each doll then, whilst you are sleeping the dolls will take your worries away.
ART - We have made our own bag of worry dolls using thin dowel, wool, thread and scraps of material.
ENGLISH - We have begun to write a story called, 'The Legend of the Blazing Star' and have worked together as a class to come up with a story plan to help us evolve our sentence stacker.
MATHS - Using numicon, we have learnt to balance equations and substitute values for letters.
GEOGRAPHY/ SCIENCE / ART - We have visited Panama and learnt that the women there sew Molas (which are embroidered artwork sew together to create blouses, curtains etc). We made our own using layered paper:
Towards the end of the week, we made a visit to Costa Rica and learnt that the biome there is predominantly jungle. It has a tropical climate all year round and contains over 5% of the World's biodiversity. We investigated the types of sea turtles that live in the oceans either side of the country and were flabbergasted at how big the Leatherback turtle is. It can grow up to 2.2 metres in length! Below is work done by Declan.
ENGLISH - We have been focusing on reading and analysing myths and legends of Native America.
MATHS - We've been finding the missing solutions to algebraic equations and using Cuisenaire to demonstrate our thinking.
PE - Down at Hingham Sports Hall, we have continued to be coached in tennis. It's great fun! We've been practising our backhand and serve.
PPA - Our collaborative work on a tribe of Native America is continuing. So far, we have found and drawn patterns. Now we are researching homes, costumes and traditions of these tribes.
ENGLISH - Our new topic is based around myths and legends. So far, we have learnt to identify the different and similar features of each story type in myths written by indigenous tribes of Native America. Our starting point involved us writing our own myth/legend as a cold task. We can then rewrite it at the end of the unit and see how much progress we have made.
MATHS - So far, we've beginning to look at rules by finding input/output numbers and functions. Using cuisenaire, we are exploring algebraic equations next.
READING - On Monday, we held our termly Book Party and invited our parents. We are reading 'Holes' by Louis Sachar. In the story, Stanley - the main character - goes to stay at Camp Green Lake, Texas where the deadly yellow-spotted lizard lives. This is why we created our own lizards (made from kitchen rolls) and wrote fact files for them. Because we are decorating the Book Nook in our classroom on the theme of 'Holes', our lizards will feel quite at home!
On Monday, our termly 'Book Party' took place. We shared our class novel 'Holes' by Louis Sachar with parents and then engaged in some collaborative Art and Science work, which involved designing lizards that could live in the hot Texas landscape. We made lizards and then wrote fact-files about them.
ENGLISH - This week, we have edited our news articles using E1, E2 and E3. We have compared our cold and hot tasks, commenting on each others' improvements.
MATHS - We are continuing to focus on percentages.
GEOGRAPHY - As a start to our new topic, we have been using atlases to locate the independent countries and dependent countries of the North American continent.
PE - Our first sessions of tennis started this week. On Tuesday, we revisited skills with Mrs Flowers and then on Friday we went to Hingham Sports Hall to be taught by a professional coach with our teacher - Miss Carr and Miss Flowers.
ENGLISH - This week, we have been writing the different elements of our own news articles based on the crimes committed in Oliver Twist. We've learnt how to write both reported and direct speech; use sensational vocabulary and layer the facts of who, when, where, what, how and why the crime happened.
MATHS - The focus has been on calculating percentages of amounts. Initially we explored 100%, 50% and 10% using Cuisenaire and then used these measures to make up other percentage amounts. So for example, 60% is made up of 50% + 10%, 90% is made up of 100% - 10% etc.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION - We completed our RE unit by creating our own piece of work to demonstrate our understanding of humanist values, beliefs and customs. Some of us chose to produce posters whilst others opted for leaflets, Scratch computer programmed conversations and models.
ENGLISH -We've started a new topic all about the news and writing news reports. So far we've learnt about the features of news articles and practised writing orientation paragraphs succinctly.
MATHS - We are now beginning to learn to calculate with decimal fractions and know the place value of digits in decimals. We've used place value grids and created our own number lines using string, paper and pegs.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION - We have been learning about Humanism and comparing it's values to religious faiths. We've learnt that humanists believe in things that can be proved with evidence and believe that as humans we know right from wrong internally by reasoning and showing empathy.
ENGLISH -We've been writing up the final versions of our Sherlock Holmes detective stories. We are very proud of what we have written and achieved.
MATHS - We have been learning about coordinates by plotting and reading them in four quadrant grids. We've then explored missing coordinates problems. Miss Carr sticky taped our desks and the carpet in the middle of the classroom so we could visually see and explore how to find the missing coordinates.
ART - We are now trying our hands at printing using polystyrene tiles and printing ink. It's been a bit messy this week but we have managed to produce some interesting and colourful patterns, taking into account the features of William Morris' art.
ENGLISH - We've been editing our stories using a new E1, E2 and E3 marking system.
MATHS - We've been dividing fractions by whole numbers and solving problems related to fractions and decimals.
ART - We've tried out string, stencil and relief printing in our sketchbooks.
PE - We've begun making up our own Haka dances thinking about the key features needed to intimidate the opposition in rugby.
ENGLISH - The detective stories that we started before the holidays, we are continuing with. We are up to the point where Sherlock and Watson are entering the crime scene to hunt for clues.
MATHS - So far, we have learnt about fraction, decimal and percentage equivalencies in context and been using this knowledge to solve problems.
PE - We've started a dance unit on the World of Sport (specifically the Haka in rugby).
ART - William Morris is the artist/designer that we are studying. So far, we have researched his art background and begun to observe the colour, shape, pattern and form of his designs.
In December, we continued writing our detective stories and learnt calculating with fractions.
Isambard Kingdom-Brunel came into class to judge our bridges. He asked us questions about our models relating to aspects of their strength and aesthetics.
We did lots of Christmas activities such as playing Christmas songs on the ukulele, making calendars, making Victorian decorations and learning about Victorian Christmas traditions.
ENGLISH - Using our new English lesson structure, we have shown what great writers we are this week. We've written fabulous openers that are structured with complex sentences and a variety of interesting vocabulary.
MATHS - This week we have focused on finding the common denominator to order and add fractions.
ART - On Wednesday, our parents spent the morning making a Christmas decoration with us. Our decorations were gingerbread objects made out of sandpaper and decorated with red, white and green craft items. Our finished decorations are now hanging proudly in the school hall!
DT - After our mini-focused tasks, we began working in pairs to design and be the architects of our bridges on the theme of 'Norwich'. Next week, we will become the engineers and begin making our models.
PE - We've been mastering defending and attacking skills/tactics in hockey.
ENGLISH - Our focus is on writing Sherlock Holmes Detective story beginnings. So far we've worked collaboratively. Then we've evaluated the work written by other groups before having a go at writing our own story openings independently. We've then practised recognising the subject, verb and object in a main clause sentence and used this to write in both the active and passive voice.
MATHS - We've started learning about fractions and their relationships with each other. We've been simplifying fractions and exploring statements/problems that allow us to practise our reasoning.
DESIGN TECHNOLOGY - This week, we have made arch bridges using clay; suspension bridges using chairs, card and string and truss bridges using art straws and tape. We've now explored several bridge types so we are ready to become engineers just like Isambard Kingdom-Brunel!
ENGLISH - This week we have started our theme on detective fiction by being introduced to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. We've compared story openings and deconstructed the story of The Speckled Band using the film version of the story.
MATHS - Our focus has continued to be learning how to divide and deal with quotients that have remainders. We've used our knowledge to support our reasoning and problem-solving.
SCIENCE - We completed our Science topic by learning about fossils and evolution. On Wednesday, we became palaeontologists in Utah. We slowly unearthed fossilised skeleton pieces and then used a manual to work out what the creature was and how it may have changed through adaptation today.
DESIGN TECHNOLOGY - We've started a new topic that focuses on bridge structures. So far we have learnt the different types of bridge and have tested a beam bridge using scientific processes.
PE - We're learning hockey skills and using them in small-sided games.
ENGLISH - We've been writing poetry to show our opinions about children working in Victorian times and modern day. Some of our work is going to be displayed in the classroom and in the link below. We also held our 'Street Child' themed book party where several parents came and joined in with making silhouettes of characters, created street cries with tunes and helped to solve a map challenge.
MATHS - We've learnt how to divide using both short and long division methods.
SCIENCE - This week, we have been investigating scientists and their beliefs about how humans have adapted to live on earth. We found out that Charles Darwin was a Victorian and he had a theory of evolution whilst always still believing in the existence of God.
ENGLISH - We've begun the week by visiting Norwich Millennium Library. So many books and so much excitement!
MATHS -We have been learning to multiply using efficient written methods.
HISTORY - On Monday, we visited The Archive Centre in Norwich to use original sources to find out about Hingham in Victorian times. We learnt a bit about the Upcher family and the Elliot family who lived in Hingham in 1901 and where they would have gone to for soap, flour, tools etc. We did this by using census returns, trade directories and an old map dating from 1895.
ENGLISH - We've started to explore our voice in poetry this week and share our thoughts/feeling/opinions about Victorian children at work and modern day child labour.
MATHS - Multiplication using standard written methods is our aim. We're getting there - we just need to work on our accuracy!
PSHE - On Wednesday, we visited Attleborough Academy and took part in three lessons all focused around the tale of Persephone and the Pomegranite Seeds. We learnt about oxygen and its affect on fire in Science. On the computers, we used Scratch to create simple games to catch seeds in a time limit. In drama, we did activities to work both sides of our brains and produced a small presentation of the story (performed to the other cluster schools at the end of the day).
ENGLISH - We've spent this week preparing for our Big Write. On Friday, we wrote autobiographical pieces about our day as a Victorian school child.
MATHS - Multiplication is the focus of our learning this week.
P.E. - We're continuing to practise and refine our rugby skills out on the field.
HISTORY - Our theme this week is about Victorian Schools. We visited Great Cressingham National School where we were Victorian scholars for a day. We played with toys such as hoops; used slates and dip pens ; sang harvest songs and got to either sew or sketch depending on whether we were girls or boys!
ENGLISH - We are completing our Queen Victoria speeches using key features such as the subjunctive mood, formal regal language, facts, feelings and opinions.
MATHS - Our focus has been addition and subtraction. Soon we will be moving onto short and long multiplication.
ART - We learnt that 'Patience is a virtue' as we threaded our needles and start sewing our cross-stitch samplers with Mrs Edwards.
HISTORY - This week, we have been comparing the living conditions of different classes of people in Victorian Society. We're currently creating museum models to demonstrate our learning.
P.E. - We're continuing to practise and refine our rugby skills out on the field.