Update from Miss Mills
Over the past couple of weeks our focus in maths has been on time. We have recapped our understanding of o’clock and half past, extending our learning onto both reading and writing the time to signify both quarter past and quarter to the hour. As we move into the next term, our learning will move onto reading time in 5 minute intervals, as well as reading the 24 hour clock. If you would like to practise this with your children at home prior to the final term, please feel free to do so. It is vital that children are given the opportunity to practise reading and telling the time both in school and at home to ensure these skills are embedded within their everyday lives.
This term in English our focus has been on securing our understanding of basic punctuation, including capital letters for names and places and full stops. We have been regularly reading over our work to ensure that we can become punctuation detectives, noticing errors and correcting them within the lesson before moving on. I am so pleased with the improvement the children have made with their handwriting, which has helped them to take more care with both the layout and presentation of their work.
In Science, we have been planning in lots of opportunities for the children to become more hands on with their learning with a focus on scientific enquiry. Our unit for the Summer term is light and as a result of this, our investigations have been focused on investigating reflection and the formation of shadows. The children have enjoyed collecting and recording they results to enhance their understanding of these areas of learning.
In March, our school was invited to participate in The Office of National Statistics Census 2021 Let’s Count! programme. This was a historic learning opportunity at a unique moment in our national history.
Let’s Count! was developed to teach children about the census and make learning fun. The programme has achieved accreditation from Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) and the Geographical Association.
Each year group approached learning about the Census in a distinctive way with some pupils accessing lessons remotely. Reception pupils embraced counting as part of their routine learning opportunities. Year 1 learned about hand hygiene and the role of the NHS. Year 2 considered the future of our local community.
In Year 3 pupils found out about the history of the census whilst Year 4 considered the method and purpose of data collection. Year 5 discovered how the census illustrates incremental changes in our society. Meanwhile Year 6 imagined the Census of 2041.
Our display was created to celebrate something that the pupils have been able to collaborate and participate in together. Being portable, teachers have had the opportunity to share this work with their classes. Details of our lessons along with pictures of our display were also entered into a Let’s Count! competition.
It is very exciting to share that we are the Let’s Count! winners for the East of England region. In addition to this display being shared upon the census.gov.uk webpage, our school will shortly be receiving a prize of £250 to put towards STEM equipment. What wonderful encouragement for our pupils with their learning!
Over the last half term, all children throughout the school have been enjoying wonderful story times. We have been immersing ourselves in narratives involving witches and wizards to alien spores taking over the world.
Reading aloud with children and discussing a text is crucial to encourage reading for pleasure; reading aloud creates a sense of community. It enables children to access rich and challenging texts, offers a model for silent independent reading, prompts the children’s affective engagement and creates a class repertoire of ‘texts in common’ to discuss.
Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance.
Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.
Author Cottrell-Boyce suggests that there is “huge inequality” between “kids who experience a book on their mum’s knee or being read to in bed, and kids whose first encounter with a book is decoding this terrifying puzzle on a desk. It can be extremely hard to get over that hurdle."
You can make a huge difference! Parents are the most important educators in a child’s life – even more important than their teachers – and it’s never too early (or too late!) to start reading together
The Scholars Programme provides pupils aged 8-18 from non-selective state schools the opportunity to work with a PhD researcher to experience university-style learning.
It is structured around seven tutorials, complemented by two trips to highly-selective universities. Twelve pupils are in one placement, taught in two smaller groups of six. Pupils work towards completing a challenging final assignment, which is marked and moderated using university grades.
This week, as part of the Scholars Programme, Year 5 pupils have continued to work hard on completing their final university-style assignments. Soon, many of them will be taking the role of class teachers to share their learning about rights, contracts and the law with their peers.
RB Pupil Blog
This week in Reception we have been reading the story of ‘The Snail and The Whale’ by Julia Donaldson. We have been writing messages as if we are the snail and have come up with some brilliant ideas of what he might say. We worked really hard to use our phonics sounds to help us spell out the words!
Here is some work that we are really proud of:
Miss Beverley asked us what we are really proud of ourselves for this week and these were some of our answers:
2VG Pupil Blog
‘In History we learnt about Samuel Pepys. He was important because he was the one who made a diary about Great Fire of London.’ EMM
‘I learnt about subtraction and addition. We had to answer questions using addition and subtraction. I used a number line, my head, and counting up and back. I like subtraction.’ GL
‘I liked English this week because we have been writing a letter about the Great Fire of London. I wrote to my mum and my cat about what it was like in the Great Fire of London.’ CB
‘I was cutting and sticking pictures about the process of recycling. I liked when they melted the plastic because it looks amazing.’ SC
‘I have enjoyed Science because I want to be a scientist. In Science we have been learning about materials. This week we had to draw pictures about the process of recycling. I liked the shredding part, it shocked me. I was shocked because I didn’t know you had to shred plastic bottles.’ KM