Once again the children in Class 3 have been incredibly busy since coming back to school in January! We have focussed on Geography this half term, under the theme ‘On Our Travels’. After receiving a postcard from a boy called Oliver, we quickly realised it was the same boy in our class story, ‘Oliver and the Seawigs’. He asked us to help him find out as much as we can about mountains to help him in his exploration of the world. We have loved reading this book and we have learned so many interesting things about mountains, including how different types of mountains are formed. We worked in groups to explore mountain formation using a range of resources, such as blowing a balloon through a hole in fabric to represent dome mountains being formed!
In Science, we have learned all about ‘Sound’. We now know the structure of the human ear and how sound travels as waves when vibrations happen. We carried out lots of investigations this half term, including making our own instruments, ear defenders (after learning about insulating materials) and creating sounds to explore vibrations.
In RE, we have studied Judaism and have compared this to other faiths we are familiar with, including Christianity. Some of lessons involved learning the features of a synagogue and creating fact cards about them and creating our own scrolls of facts based on the Jewish holy text, the Torah!
We have also continued our French lessons this half term. We have made sure to practice what we now know – greeting one another and stating our names. We then explored how to say different colours and how to count to 30! Look at our wonderful scrapbook!
In other areas of school life, we have learned about our feelings and emotions in PSHE/RSE and how to manage them in different situations. We have also been working with charcoal in Art, exploring the work of Henry Moore through ‘bodies’. We will continue this after half term, where we will work with clay to create sculptures and draw comparisons between our pieces. Finally, we recently marked ‘Safer Internet Day 2023’ and the theme this year was ‘connections’. Miss Clemett (a beginning teacher in her final placement), lead this activity with Class 3 and decided it would be important to explore social media with the children. While the internet and social media is wonderful and fantastic at connecting us to the wider world, we need to use it safely, responsibly and carefully as we grow and begin to use it more often and independently. The children explored social media sites they already know of and were shocked at what personal information such sites can use, sell and keep, when they highlighted the terms and conditions of WhatsApp, Instagram and Snap Chat!
The second half of the spring term went by incredibly quickly, probably because we were so very busy!
History and Tutbury Castle
This half term, Class 3 learned all about the Tudors, focussing on the impact they had in our local area and the changes to castles during this period. We spent time exploring the Tudor family tree, key dates and used pictures and photographs of castles to look at the evolution of castles’ form and function during the Tudor reign. To top it all off, we visited Tutbury Castle just down the road to see for ourselves the impact the Tudors had in our local area. This was a whole school visit, as Early Years and Key Stage 1 have been exploring what castles are and their key features. We were made to feel very welcome by the staff there and we all had an amazing day. The children were awesome and shared lots of their learning with our tour guide, Sue, who said she was “blown away by their knowledge”!
Science and Science Week
In Science, we have learned all about Light. This linked well to our previous unit on Sound, as we could compare sound waves and light travelling in straight lines. We were able to explore that light travels faster and this is why you see the lightning flash before hearing the thunder rumble! We will continue after half term to look at shadows and objects being opaque, transparent or translucent. We learned about natural and artificial light, as well as some objects being reflective rather than a source of light, such as the moon. We also designed our own sun safety booklets!
During Science week, we transformed each classroom into a different laboratory: one for Biology, one for Physics and one for Chemistry. The children worked in mixed aged groups all days to explore each lab in turn. In Class 3’s Biology lab, we revisited the Human Digestive System and got very dirty, creating a model of the digestive organs at work. We used tights, mushed up banana and biscuits and a lot of squeezing to pass the food from the ‘mouth’ to the ‘anus’. The children were thrilled to see the ‘poo’ at the end!
Art and Our Art Gallery
This half term in Art and Design we have explored ‘Bodies’ using charcoal and 3D models. The artists we explored were Henry Moore and Julian Opie. It was fascinating to compare their work and techniques when representing bodies. We used charcoal and clay as our media to create our pieces.
During Arts Week, we held an Art Gallery in school to show our loved ones what we had been up. We also focussed on one more artist, Frida Kahlo, who we learned was a feminist and felt strongly about women’s rights. She also portrayed herself as strong and powerful in her self-portraits with big, bold background patterns. We used this as inspiration for our own self-portraits. The Art Gallery was an amazing opportunity to share our new learning and skills!
World Book Day and West End In Schools
During World Book Day this year, we all came to school dressed as our favourite book characters. The children and staff all made such a great effort and it makes all the difference when celebrating the wonderful world of books! All of the children in school received a World Book Day book token, which they could redeem for either £1 off a new book or a free book if it was on the World Book Day list!
We had originally planned for a company called West End In Schools to visit us the week after World Book Day to continue to our celebration of books through drama and performance. However, due to the weather, we had to rearrange the day. Although, the new date perfectly fit with our Arts week! The children across the whole school had the chance to spend some time with Vicky, a trained West End actress who visited our school for an afternoon. She explored Little Red Riding Hood with Early Years and Key Stage 1, as they have been learning about traditional tales this half term. With the older children, she explored The Boy At The Back Of The Class, a book we looked at before Christmas. It was fantastic to revisit these stories through a different lens and give all children the opportunity to shine through drama and the performing arts. Vicky was blown away by the children’s “recall of the stories” and their “engagement and respect for her and for each other”. It was a fabulous way to conclude our Arts Week and the photographs were played on a loop during our Art Gallery for all to see!
Letters to Friends
We have also been busy sending letters this half term! We have set up pen pals with the Year 3 and 4 children at the other schools in The Saints Federation. We absolutely loved receiving a letter from a new friend and spent time writing our replies. We hope to continue this lovely link and we may hopefully meet our new friends in Year 4, when the children visit Whitemoor Lakes. In comparison to an informal pen pal letter, we also had the opportunity to write formally to Kate Kniveton MP, to raise awareness of the declining hedgehog numbers across the Britian. The children hoped that by contacting their local MP, it might help make a difference at a local and national level using her voice and position.
This idea began when we held an event at school focussing on hoglets and wildlife conservation. The children were shocked by some of the statistics they heard and knew they wanted to ask the adults helping to run the country what was being done about it. By sending Kate the letters, I was hoping to show the children that even their small actions can make a difference in the world. St. Augustine’s wishes to nurture courageous advocates, wanting to make better the world in which they live.
And just a few weeks later… a reply! Kate was amazed by the children’s knowledge and care for hedgehogs and explained that she didn’t know how endangered they are becoming. She promised to make her colleagues in Westminster aware, post about it on her social media pages and has even arranged a visit to come and see us in the summer term!
Wow – what a half term!