Let the sun shine!

What a lovely end to an exciting term. I hope this gorgeous weather continues throughout half term week and beyond.

Taking part in the activities at PGL was a real team building experience. As a class, we are now helping and supporting each other much more. It has been lovely to hear the children say to each other ‘you can do this’ and giving each other encouragement and this has come back into the classroom with us.

This week we have been sharing our experiences. The children who did not join us at PGL have had a super time helping around the school and explained their various roles to us whilst we regaled them with tales of our trip. The prize for the funniest story has to go to Joel and his recounting of his experience of the giant swing. I think most of us cried tears of laughter, I know I did!

We have since completed a booklet of our trip or our special week at school and they are a superb record of our experiences. Well done everyone.

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We have completed our work on the poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes and we are looking forward to our next fictional adventure. During this term, we explored Noyes use of language and particularly metaphor to create dramatic effects and imagery. We wrote an in-depth job description for a Highwayman and unleashed our inner thoughts and feelings to write a monologue as Bess. During all of our writing, we reflected on the themes from the poem of love, hatred, betrayal and sacrifice.

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We continued our work on fractions, percentages and decimals and now we can convert our solutions into each format.

In R.E. we completed our topic on the worldwide church and famous christians. We learnt about missionaries and hope to meet a couple who will be visiting us in school in term 6. We also thought about Christian Aid and the fantastic work they do to eradicate poverty around the world. This is Christian Aid month so please ask your child to explain the wonderful work this organisation does.

I hope you have a restful half term and that the sun continues to shine on us.

PGL – Day TWO

Good evening from PGL.

Once again an incredibly busy day for Class 5 here at Marchants Hall, as we completed our full day of PGL activities.

I’m very pleased to say that all of us went to sleep without any major hiccups, only the occasional rabble from other schools disturbing us but that all quietened down soon enough as we were able to get a decent amount of sleep. Some of the rooms claim they were awake long before the arranged 7 o’clock wake up call….however, I beg to differ.

We all attacked breakfast knowing that we needed serious amounts of fuel for our incredibly busy day ahead. Various cooked foods, cereals, fruits, juices, yoghurts and a vast amount of toast were all willingly consumed to bolster our energy supplies. Later in the day we returned for a lunch of jacket potato or rice, meat and vegetarian chilli, vegetables, tuna, cheese, open salad bar and enough bread rolls to feed an army! Our final venture to the Dinner Hall saw us conquering beef stroganoff, chicken nuggets, chips or rice, sweetcorn, carrots and peas, open salad bar and (once again) enough bread rolls to feed an army! If there’s one thing I can assure you about this trip, it’s that your children have eaten incredibly well – especially salad and bread rolls!

Similarly to yesterday, depending on our group numbers slightly altered the activities that we completed. However, as a class today we braved the Giant Swing, bounced manically in Aeroball, abseiled down a wall, hurtled down the zip wire and all transformed in to Robin Hood with our incredible archery skills. Please see our pictures at the end of the blog to witness our impressive skills and truly incredible bravery!

Tomorrow, Mrs.Grimble and my group are to tackle the Trapeze and aim well for Rifle Shooting. Mr Brand’s group are also tackling the trapeze, however, they will finish with exercising of their minds with the Problem Solving.

By lunchtime tomorrow, all children will have had the opportunity to complete the following eight activities:

  • Zip Wire
  • Problem Solving
  • Abseiling
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Giant Swing
  • Aeroball
  • Archery
  • Trapeze

As well as this they have had plenty of time to play with classmates in free time, whether that be in our rooms or running out in the large playing field (most of us punting a football). We’ve also had evening entertainment both nights – tonight is the mysterious “Splash” event of which they are currently partaking. I’m sure they’ll be able to tell you all about it on their return.

Mrs. Grimble, Mr. Brand and I have all commented on how brilliant the staff have been with all the children. Encouraging and motivating, challenging and supporting, they have made your children’s experience so enjoyable and successful that as the groups politely say a huge thank you after every single activity we would like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you too!

Although the biggest thank you must go to the children themselves for representing St. John’s and their families so brilliantly whilst they’ve been away. So many children have conquered so many fears in such a short space of time, however, most pleasing for us to see is the encouraging, supporting nature amongst the groups and class as a whole to help those of our friends who may be having a slight wobble at the scariest moments of challenges. There have been no arguments or squabbles and they have all respected and obeyed the strict safety rules from the PGL activity leaders – all in all we are very impressed Class 5, really well done!

Now that I’ve praised them all, they can only have a good amount of sleep tonight ready for final activities and travels tomorrow….surely?

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OH! I know you’re all desperate to know, Mr. Brand reckons he couldn’t hear me snoring – so he’s either incredibly polite or an impressively heavy sleeper.

PGL – DAY ONE

Hello here from PGL!

Class 5, Mrs. Grimble, Mr. Brand and I have all arrived safely, unpacked in our bedrooms, completed our first two activities, stuffed ourselves with delicious food, had a game of football or quieter games in our rooms and as I sit here and type they are off  for a game of “Ambush” (hide and seek in the woods). So I think you’d agree it’s been a jam-packed first day and we will all certainly be ready for a bed in an hour or so…….we hope.

Depending on the children’s group number, the activities today have been either Zip Wire and Problem Solving, or Abseiling and Rifle Shooting. However, we are all lucky enough to be offered the chance for all the same activities across the week – so those of us desperate to shoot a rifle and those of us desperate to jump from a tree on a zip wire, we will all get our chance.

Everyone’s bravery has been incredible to see – even the adults – and although some of us haven’t quite been able to complete the entire challenge, we’ve definitely given it our best effort. So a huge well done to everyone so far!

Also, all of us had a hearty dinner (after our hearty lunch from mums and dads at home) no complaints of menu choice or fussy eating options at all! To be honest, there’s such a range on the menu and willingness to cater for all needs, that I can’t see any “I don’t like those”  in the slightest. The majority of us even made it to the salad bar without any prompting – fantastic training from parents at home, well done!

All in all, a really successful first day full of fun, laughs and happy children. A good night’s sleep for us all (except Mr.Brand who has to suffer my snoring) and we will be ready for breakfast and round 2 of our PGL adventure.

Tomorrow consists of “Giant Swings”, “Aeroball” and many more exciting adventures.

 

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News Reporting!

What a lovely Easter break we had with some super sunny weather! Thank you very much everyone for undertaking an evaporation experiment which built on our learning for last term. It was wonderful to see all the different ways in which you recorded your experiments. Some people took photographs, some drew diagrams and pictures, some made tables whilst others wrote about their experiences. I really enjoyed looking at everyone’s work.

This term in literacy we will be studying the poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. This is a classic poem that tells a good story with powerful imagery. The story tells of the highwayman’s visit to see the beautiful Bess at the old inn and of the terrible fate they both meet. The mysterious ending of the poem suggests that their spirits still linger on the edge of the heath. So far we have researched different Highwaymen (and women) and looked at their lives and how they were caught. We have read the poem and investigated the ‘old fashioned’ language such as ‘cocked-hat’, ‘doe-skin breeches’ and ‘ostler’.

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Our topic this term in R.E. is the Worldwide Church with a special focus on famous modern Christians. As a class, we researched which famous modern Christians we wanted to learn more about and chose – William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther-King and C.S. Lewis. We thought about how we wanted to present the information that we discovered. We decided to work in six groups with each group looking at a different Christian especially thinking about how God had inspired them and how they have inspired us. As we enjoyed researching, writing and presenting news reports earlier in the year, we decided to present the information as a news report containing an interview with the famous Christian. The class have been busy writing their news reports, making PowerPoints to go with their broadcast and practising their presentation. I am really looking forward to seeing their finished news reports tomorrow in class.

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Just a quick reminder to come along to class 5 on Tuesday morning to hear all the news about PGL.

Happy Easter Everyone.

What a jam-packed term this has been. We have had many fun moments such as ‘Pyjamas for Palmer’ day, ‘mad hair’ day, KS2 inter-house sports afternoon, Mother’s Day Celebrations and the traditional Easter egg hunt whilst discovering all about the meaning of Easter through the Prayer Stations in St John’s Church and our Easter Service.

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STEM week was a fabulous experience. It began with an enthralling and explosive assembly by John Gordon-Reid. We then had the opportunity to take part in a series of interesting experiments with John which tested our current knowledge and made us think ‘outside the box’!  During the week, we all wrote persuasive pitch letters to recommend the production of our own invention. We are hoping for a positive reply.

The Discovery Zone was an array of amazing science led by Year 6 who set up the experiments and explained the science behind them very well. Thank you, Year 6. The Student Teachers brought a mental maths workshop to year 5 where we all took part in 3 or 4 challenging maths games. We all examined and printed our own fingerprints; took part in extra science lessons and were very lucky to be take part in science lesson with Mrs Casewell looking at acids and alkalis. Thank you Mrs Casewell for our superb lesson and a super science week.

 

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We finished our work on the Viewer by Shaun Tan and Gary Crew with a in-depth discussion of the meaning of the book and what had happened to Tristan (the main character). The book raised as many questions as it answered but has given us the basis for some wonderful creative writing.

In maths we have continued looking at fractions and decimals so we will be working towards percentages.

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On Friday 24th March, St John’s was privileged to be invited to the first National Trust’s Children’s Book Festival at Knole House. We set off, with very little knowledge of the author’s we were going to meet but we were delighted with our afternoon spent at Knole House. We were given the opportunity to draw alongside Tony De Saulles, the illustrator of the Horrible Science Books. He often disguised what he was getting us to draw until the last brush stroke when a bug or a plate of fish, chips and peas would emerge on the page! Next, we met M. G. Leonard who has written Beetle Boy and kept us all enraptured with her knowledge of beetles. Ask any Year 5 which was their favourite beetle that she discussed and why!

(pictures to follow)

Have a very happy Easter and see you all in term 5.

 

 

 

Energetic, Enthusiastic and Enterprising Year 5

Last term, we ended our work on Beowulf by writing our own version of the battle between Grendel and Beowulf. Since then, we have been reading the remaining two stories of Beowulf’s challenges with the sea-hag and dragon, and relishing the powerful vocabulary and superb alliteration contained within this ancient tale.

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This term, we have begun looking at a picture book called ‘The Viewer’ by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan. It is a very dark tale which has enabled us to use our intense vocabulary and advanced punctuation to great effect. The book (so far) has made us think about our own opinions and feelings about the world in which we live in!

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In maths, we have all progressed rapidly. All the children have a formal method, which they can use quickly and easily to add, subtract, multiply and divide large numbers. This term, we have been concentrating on fractions and will be soon looking at decimals, fractions and percentages.

Thank you to the children for the amazing holiday homework on mountains they completed. The range of styles of presentation was great to see and the models outstanding. We have been learning about how mountains are formed whilst using our statistical knowledge to draw line and bar graphs of the climates (temperature, precipitation etc) of different mountains.

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R.E. has given us lots to discuss, as last term we thought about those who had faith and believed in Jesus versus those who did not. This term we have been learning about Simon Peter and his relationship to Jesus. Recently, we wrote to Jesus as Simon Peter, apologising for our lack of faith when we failed to pray for Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and denied him three times as he was arrested. Everyone wrote exceptionally insightful letters, using their knowledge of the bible. However, we all agreed that Hannah Bartholomew wrote an amazing letter to Jesus in role as Simon Peter. Well done, Hannah.

Our science lessons are always busy times. As a class, we thoroughly enjoy practical science so during our Earth and Space topic we made orreries to show the location and distance (not to scale) of the planets from the sun and models of the lunar cycle.

 

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This term, we are investigating the properties and changes of materials. We began the topic by creating and investigating our own conductor and insulator questions, in groups. Many of the questions were based around how to keep a cup of tea warmest for longest. This is very important science! The experiments relied upon lots of different temperatures of tea measured using a data-logger and then interpreting results from the table and line graphs we created.

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We are really looking forward to STEM week where we will be able to investigate other areas of science too.

Snow stops play!

Happy New Year and welcome back class 5 and your families.

We began the new term with a whole school science experiment. The penny boat challenge. Mrs Casewell challenged the school to see how many pennies we could get on a floating boat made from silver foil. Additionally, she challenged year 5 to explain the science behind floating and sinking and why our winning boat won. She chose us as we had just completed our science topic on forces.

Quickly, class 5 realised that the winning boat would need to have a large, flat surface area. Well done to the winner of the challenge in our class who was Elekwachi.

In assembly, a team of class 5 scientists reported back to the school that there were two forces acting on this science experiment. The first force was gravity. Gravity was trying to pull the tin foil and pennies downward. The second force was buoyancy or upthrust which was pushing the boat toward the surface. The team explained that the gravitational force was determined by the weight of the tin foil and the weight of the pennies in the boat whereas the force of buoyancy was the weight of the water displaced by the boat (this is the water that moves out of the way when you get into the bath!). We discovered that a boat full of pennies will continue to float as long as the force of buoyancy is greater than the force of gravity and you place the pennies carefully into the boat so it does not tip over or leak .Therefore, we found that the best design for an aluminum foil boat was to try to make it cover as much area as possible.

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This term we are studying the poem Beowulf. We have written invitations to the opening of King Hrothgar’s new mead-hall, Heorot, and with a partner we have written and performed a news report of the slaughter of the Lords sleeping in the mead-hall by the vile monster Grendel. Every news report was written and delivered superbly. Unfortunately, the snow stopped us from voting for the best news report which I was going to video and add to my blog so watch this space to see our amazing news readers!

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Just a quick reminder, class 5 will be swimming every Tuesday (for 4 weeks) from 17th January so please remember your swimming kit. Our P.E. lessons this term are gym on Wednesday and Street Dance on Friday.

Christmas Pudding!

What an amazing term we have had in class 5. We have had a fun-packed term full of laughter and learning. I am very proud of every member of class 5 for working hard towards achieving their best. Well done everyone.

In literacy we studied the book Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick and finally last week we wrote a short story using suspense techniques. We are very able to add suspense to our writing but learning to write a short story that flows and hooks the reader has been more difficult. However, using our knowledge of the story and boxing it up into its component parts, we were all able to write some very good stories.

After all our work on place value, addition and subtraction, we have now moved onto multiplication and division. We regularly reason and problem solve and it is wonderful to see everyone looking for patterns, making predictions or trying ideas to see if they will work. Keep it up!

The last few weeks in RE, we have thought about homelessness in the Christmas story with Mary and Jesus having ‘no room at the Inn’ and being forced to flee to Egypt with baby Jesus and homelessness that we see around us. The class researched the subject and we have had many insightful discussions on the topic.

Finally, the highlights of this week have been the Christmas Pudding cake making and the superb KS2 Christmas carol concert.

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Have a lovely Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

 

Abracademy

What an exciting start to the week! The whole school were treated to a magic assembly by Abracademy and then we (in two groups) were lucky enough to participate in a workshop to learn how to do and finally present a magic trick to an audience. We were astounded to discover how our tricks were performed – the opening matchbox and magic pen – and thoroughly enjoyed learning how to perform them and then presenting them to each other, to others on the playground and hopefully to you at home!

 

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Additionally, in English this week we wrote superb crime reports using formal language and varying our punctuation to include brackets, dashes and hyphens (where appropriate!) We investigated the theft of Zoe’s rowing boat in our book, Floodlands.

Meanwhile, in science we have continued our investigation of gears and this week used this knowledge to help us build a working model of, the popular fairground ride, the Big Wheel.

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If anyone from class 5 is reading this blog can you see where I have used some of the punctuation we have discussed this week?

 

Gears, gears, gears!

It was lovely to see you all again this week at parents evening and share with you the progress of your children. Thank you all for coming.

The children have been very fortunate to have cycling lessons, last term and this term. Several children who could not cycle before have learnt to cycle and this is an amazing achievement and we are so proud of them. Everybody has thoroughly enjoyed these sessions and we would like to say thank you to Ollie for teaching us so many new skills, Mrs Neilson for accompanying us and Mrs Quirk for enabling us to access such an enjoyable sport. Over the past two weeks, we have all had the opportunity to ride the track at Sevenoaks Primary School and next week we are hoping to go to Samsara Bike Park.

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In science, we have been investigating gears and looking at how different sized gear wheels can change speed. Cycling has helped us see this in action!

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