Another great week has passed in Birch Class!
In English, we've been finishing our final drafts of our hotel brochure. The Year 5s in Birch Class have produced extra persuasive and extra spooky brochures. We have also been reading the Nothing to See Here Hotel in class. Ask the students about Nancy the chef and Mrs. V who lives in the conservatory. They should be able to tell you about the nasty goblin prince, Grogbah, and tell you their predictions for the rest of the story!
We have started a new maths topic, recapping different methods for adding and subtracting four digit numbers before finding ot how to do it with more than four digits. They can even solve problems that include both adding and subtracting in the same question!
Since the last blog post, the Year combined Year 5 and 6 class have continued to learn about Richard and John before we moved on to John's grandson, Edward I. Ask them about his invasions of Scotland AND Wales and how he improved parliament as they have been putting together a fact file on his life.
Finally, a big congratulations to the students are their amazing singing at the Harvest Festival this past Wednesday. You were all wonderful! And thank you to everyone who donated!
We've had an exciting first month in Birch Class. Here's some of our highlights of our mornings:
In English, we have been learning about persuasive writing by building up our skills to write a brochure for the Nothing to See Here Hotel, the perfect holiday vacation for monsters. We have investigated other brochures and discovered what makes people want to go to these places. Our word wheel helped us to build up our adjectives and helping to fix parts of Miss Simpson's brochure has helped Birch Class understand the importance of punctuation, questions and professional language in persuasive writing. This past week, we have finished writing and editing our first drafts and learned how to use sentence starters to create different sentences, ready to move on to our second draft.
In maths, the topic is place value. We have learned about numbers up to a million and how to round to the nearest 10, 100 and 1,000 within that. We have explored number sequences in the powers of ten and which numbers change when we do. This past week, we discovered negative numbers and how to mark them on number lines. On Monday, we'll be wrapping up our place value topic by looking at roman numerals including how to write the date and use them in calculations.
In the afternoons, we are joined by the Year 6 students in Maple Class. Here's what we have been learning about in some of our lessons:
Our science topic is separating mixtures. We started off with a recap on solids, liquids and gases and what they look like in their molecules look like. Our very first experiment expored at the ways different mixtures interacted by first predicting what we thought would happen by drawing the molcules in beakers and then mixing them together. The class were most excited about the way oil sat on top of water rather than mixing together. This past week we learned about alloys and how mixing weak metals like copper and tin together can create stronger metals like bronze. Not to mention the most successful alloy being steel, a mixture of carbon and iron.
In history, we have been learning about medieval monarchs. We started in 1066 with an exploration into the three contendors for the throne after Edward the Confessor and a dramatic retelling of the Battle of Hastings which saw William the Conqueror take the throne. The second monarch we looked at was Henry II, who fought with Thomas Becket, the church and even his own sons. This past week, we got to meet two of his sons: Richard Lionheart and King John 'Lackland' and we discussed whether one was truly better than the other. Every new monarch we learn about, we consider what made them a good king and what made them a bad king.
Welcome back for the new year here in Birch Class. We will use this space to tell you what we have been up to and to share pictures of our learning.
I love a maths project where we can use our skills in the real world and pulls together loads of different aspects of our learning throughout the year and that’s exactly what we’ve really got stuck into this week with our bakery project!
We’ve started with a recipe for 6 cupcakes and Birch class have had to adapt the recipe for the number of cupcakes they want to make. Lots of fraction work, multiplying and dividing – fantastic! Now we’re going shopping and trying to figure out which products are the best value for money. We’re learning to compare the prices of different pack sizes (more fractions, converting measures), working out the cost per unit (multiplying and dividing), and considering special offers (percentages) all to make the most of our hard earned cash. Just an FYI parents… they all insisted they shop at Waitrose – we have some very discerning shoppers.
We’ve also been working hard in Science, drawing circuit diagrams for our light decoration to celebrate key workers; we’ve been share-writing in English – there has been some beautiful language being used (resplendent, majestic, treacherous); our Egyptian death masks are coming along really nicely (thank you Mr Dray!) and we’ve had some really interesting discussions about following and supporting one another’s dreams when we looked at a film about a male Finnish Ballet dancer and how he found it difficult to tell his friends about his passion.
I hope you all have a less wet and blustery weekend! Take care, Mr B
May marches on and another happy week passes in Birch Class. We’ve got so much going on! From Tutankhamun Death Masks in Art, Cricket Coaching with Andy, a very exciting cupcake/bakery project in Maths, we’re imagining and bringing to life a whole new island in English, understanding how to use search engines in computing, designing electronic decorations to celebrate key workers in Science/DT, we explored a different way of living in the Amazon Rainforest, and lots, lots more.
Throughout all of this, we’ve been working really hard on promoting good learning behaviours to one another and the rest of the school. As the oldest and wisest, it’s our responsibility to be good role models for the younger children and it sets us up for success as we begin to think about moving on to Secondary school. Here’s a great picture of the class, with clear desks and demonstrating a readiness for learning! Great stuff Birch Class!
Another lovely week whizzes by in Birch Class! We’ve had great fun in Mr Dray’s art lesson where we’re making Ancient Egyptian death mask with papier mache, we’re learning all about the Beatles and singing a few of their greatest hits with Miss Rowe, we found out what was going on up on Dartmoor during the time of Ancient Civilizations, ran a mile and a half as part of an inter-schools OCRA organized event (the daily mile training really paid off for this one!) and we’ve been working scientifically in science as we plan investigations to answer enquiry questions about electrical circuits! All in that in four days as well as a lot of angles work in Maths, cricket coaching from Andy in PE and a fair bit of vocabulary work in English. We do like to keep busy! I hope the sun keeps on shining for the rest of the weekend – have a good rest Birch Class – you deserve it! Mr B
It’s been another very lovely week in Birch class full of angles, electricity, ancient civilizations, papier Mache, Beatles singing and marathon completions! But I what I really want to share with you this week is Luca’s superbly surreal writing about an island he created that had us in stitches when he read it to the class.
‘200 miles off the east coast of California, lies a desolate island with everything Italian except the language the inhabitants speak. They speak Japanese which is very strange. It was first discovered by a custard cream in 1634; Sir Custard Biscuit Boy. Off the east cost of the island lies a leaning tower of pizza that is made entirely from the finest pizzas. The pizzas are cooked by a chef who isn’t actually Italian. He is a German exchange student who died after making this sculpture.’
Have a great bank holiday weekend! Mr B
Welcome to the Summer Term! I hope you all had a fantastic two-week break. We’ve been blessed with the amount of sunshine we’ve had these past few weeks; I’ve spotted a number of queen bumblebees busily collecting the first pollen and nectar of the season as well as the first Orange Tip and Speckled Wood butterflies and there’s just a hint of colour in the hedgerows now – spring is truly here and we can all look forward to brighter and warmer days.
We’ve been connecting with nature a fair amount this week in Birch Class. Whether reading by the big Oak tree and listening to the blackbirds sing and the lambs bouncing around in the field next door or when running our daily mile! Can you believe we’ve now completed mile 23! Only 3.2 miles left and we will have run a marathon together. We've also been dving deep into the wonders of Archipelago - a fantastically illustrated book, full of imaginary islands and in maths we've been getting to know protractors quite well as we measure and draw angles (not angels Charlie).
We’ve also been having some fantastic (and pretty deep) conversations in class. Ember got us all thinking when she proposed that life could be a simulation, Maisie started a passionate debate on the importance of maths and Ottie wondered why my knees look like owls. I’ve missed these brilliant insights!
Have a great weekend, Mr B
How fortunate we are to have yet another week of beautiful, warm weather! We’re blessed with our school grounds here at Chagford and we have made the most of getting out and enjoying the good weather by having our Reading sessions underneath the big, old oak. It’s the perfect setting for a bit of quiet reading, sat amongst the daffodils and occasionally catching a glimpse of the lambs in the field next door. Perfect!
We’ve spent a lot of time this week trying to understand self-confidence, self-esteem and the way in which our minds work. We’ve looked at the process of our actions from trigger to thinking to feeling and the behaving. They made me laugh last week – before we went to assembly, we were reflecting on ‘change’ and how best to cope with it in our lives. They gave some very wise and sage answers before heading out to assembly and then being confronted with the sight of Year 4 and 5 children sitting on benches! That’s a hard-fought, Year 6 privilege at Chagford – there were some strong emotions! It served as the perfect case-study to use the cycle above to unpick how we went from trigger to behaviour and how we could have reacted in a more positive way.
I hope you all have a well-earned break, and the weather is just as kind to us over the next two weeks as it has been recently. Fingers crossed! See you in the Summer Term! Mr B
We have been absolutely blessed with sunshine for most of this week – it has been lovely feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin – Spring is definitely here! We’ve had a very dramatic week in Birch Class, writing, practicing and performing our own versions of ‘Life doesn’t Frighten Me’ – a poem by Maya Angelou. I hope you’ll agree the children’s writing and art work look amazing!
We’ve now completed our 15th consecutive daily mile! We’re over half-way to running a full marathon and earning that illustrious medal – they have all been amazing this week completing their laps and supporting their classmates. One of the loveliest moments of my day is watching those that have finished, run-off and complete even more laps with a classmate who is still going. There’s a really lovely, supportive atmosphere on our daily runs and everyone feels good at the end.
We’ve also been enjoying our class story – The Wizards of Once – it’s a fantastic story full of magic, Warrior and… spoons. Crusher the Giant has just been captured and the main character, Xar, may or may not turn into a Werewolf, a Rogrebreath of a Witch… we’ll have to see!
Mr Finch has popped –in to say ‘Hello’ and delivered an assembly on Wednesday. Birch Class are taking all of the change in their stride and were keen to make Mr Finch feel welcome at our school.
Have a great weekend everyone! Mr B