Our Learning Challenge this term is the topic of slavery. The children will be asked ‘Should the world be ashamed of slavery?’ We will look at how it affects people both past and present. Our art will be linked to the topic; once we have studied the sculptures of artist Henry Moore the children were able to depict their ideas of slavery in clay.
In science we will study the circulatory system. The children will learn about the blood, heart and lungs and considered how they all work together. At the end of this Learning Challenge the children will present their knowledge in groups to the rest of the class.
We will also tackle circuits in science. The children will be able to use symbols within diagrams and state which circuits will work effectively. They will then look more closely at variables and how they can adjust the brightness of the bulb in the circuit.
Fairground Fun – In DT we used our knowledge of circuits to design and create a fairground ride.
We started off by sketching our ideas and working out how the ride would move. We then shared our ideas before planning how we would build it. Once we had our ideas we got to work. Some of us needed to change our ideas slightly to ensure it worked. We presented our finished product to the rest of the class before evaluating our work.
WaterTower – In literacy we are looking at a book called ‘The Watertower’. It is a picture book which gives us the opportunity to draw our own conclusions as to what is happening in the story. The text is simple but the illustrations leave us intrigued and wondering what the author is trying to tell us. It is like solving a puzzle. We have had many in depth discussions about the characters and the plot to help us try and solve the mystery.
Exploring Circuits –
Paul Cookson – Paul Cookson, an author of children’s poetry, visited our school and entertained us with some of his hilarious poems. He also told us some stories and played the ukulele. It was an extremely fun afternoon and all the children left smiling.
Poem Recital –
Music – In our music lessons we have had great fun learning to pay the xylophone.
Heart Rate – In Science we have been looking at the circulatory system. We started off by finding our pulse and measuring our resting heart rate. We then undertook various activities before measuring it again. We noticed that our heart beat gets faster the more active we are.
Lung Capacity –
Class Assembly – After lots of practice it was time to show our parents and guardians what we had been up to since starting back at school. We told them about our topic on slavery and showed them some of our art work. We introduced them to the story we’ve been working on in English ‘Waiting for Anya’ and read some of the writing we had completed. We then finished off by singing ‘I’ll be there’ by Jackson 5 which we have been learning in class.
Magical Science – Professor Brainstorm did an exciting workshop with us to help us with our science. We learned how to do an electrical circuit using people, how to do a ‘trick’ involving water and sodium polyacrylate and how to hammer a nail with a banana!
Converting length – Our Maths lesson this week involved converting centimetres into metres and vice versa. So, armed with various measuring tools, we headed outside to measure different objects in our school grounds.
3 in a Row – We continued doing some outdoor learning in our English lessons when we completed a tasking linked to our class text.
Maths Trail – After two weeks of working hard on Algebra and BODMAS we took our learning outside. Mrs Collings set us a task of designing a maths trail for our classmates to complete. Once we were paired up we went outside to plan our route.
We wrote down either algebraic equations or BODMAS calculations as clues for another pair to solve. After our clues were written, the route planned and checks made we were ready swap clipboards. We worked out the clues and followed the trail until we got to the end point.
Diamond Ranking –As a class we undertook a diamond ranking exercise to look at the qualities of a good friend. This is linked with ‘Waiting for Anya’ as the story focusses a lot on friendship.
Lego Science – Caitlin from Northumbria University visited our class today so we could learn about LEGO Science. We got the chance to build Milo the Robot whose building instructions were on the Ipad. Once he was built we then used the Ipad to control him.
After each group had built Milo, Caitlin started us off with a new challenge. We had to build a seat/trailer for Ellison the Elephant to help him get around. The one that carried Ellison the furthest would be the winner.
Whilst all groups worked really well together and Ellison had many short trips, a huge congratulations to Lucy, John, Matthew, Zak, Maddie & Indy who were our overall winners.
Slave for the afternoon – Today we started the afternoon by receiving our number. We no longer had a name. We were just a number to our slave-masters. We were forced to line up, one behind the other, holding onto a rope. We then had to lumber around the fields chanting “oh, oh, oh, oh, we are slaves, we are slaves!”.
We made it to the adventure forest before being released from the rope. This didn’t mean we were free. No, it just meant we had more hard work ahead of us. We were set the task of filling a bag with pieces of grass. Not just any sized grass. This grass had to be exactly 10cm long! If the measurements were even a fraction out, we would be punished. Some of us were able to avoid the whipping but others were not so lucky.
There were a few of us that got the privilege of being a leader. These were just as bad as the slave-masters. They rubbed it in our faces that they were free and we were not. It was so demoralising. After grafting for what seemed like forever, we were sent back onto the field where we were once again lined up. This time we were require to squat and stay in that position, until we could take no more. This separated the weak from the strong.
Finally, it was time for our one meal of the day. Those that had been given the responsibility of leading were given one whole biscuit each! They were so lucky. The rest of us had to share a crushed biscuit between two. Whilst still hungry, we were demanded to go to church before our slave-masters locked us away for the night. It was tricky to get to sleep because there wasn’t enough room. We were almost on top of each other as the lights were switched off.
It was a horrible time with and we were not treat well at all. We never want to repeat this experience but it did help us get a better understanding of how slaves feel.
The Happy Puzzle Company – A lady from the Happy Puzzle Company came into our school and every class had a problem solving session. In our session we were given various challenges which we completed as a team.
Our first challenge was to balance penguins on an iceberg. It may sound easy but the iceberg was very unsteady. It took some time to work out the best place to put the penguins and in what order. We needed to work as a team and have a steady hand.
We were then given some mats with road marking on. Our aim was to put the pieces together ensuring all road marking matched and join. This was tricky for most of us and required us to think logically as we were joining the pieced.
Those that completed the road challenge where given a bag with multicoloured puzzle pieces. These pieces were double sided and we had to try and put them together to complete a picture. None of us where aware of what the completed puzzle would look like which made it more difficult. We persevered and some of us even beat the puzzle.
The workshop was a lot of fun, really engaging and helped reinforce problem solving skills and team work.
Leadership – On Thursday lunch times, we will be working with Josh whilst he teaches us some leadership skills. The first session started with us looking at the qualities of a good leader.
Throughout the term we will be taught how to plan and lead different activities. Our new skills will then be put into practice when we start working with the younger children of our school.
Human Mannequins – Mr Brentnall has been teaching us how to draw mannequins in Art. Some of us got the chance to be the mannequin and orange dots were added to our bodies to show us where the joints were. We then struck a pose for the rest of the class to draw. Our tables were in a circle with the human mannequin in the middle which meant we all had a different view. The lesson was exciting and everyone tried really hard to ensure their drawing were the best they could be.
Meet the Buddies – The Year 6 children have the great privilege of being buddies for the whole school. We work in groups on different days and are responsibly for helping to look after the younger children.
Newsround – To start our school year off we have been watching Newsround in class. This enables us to keep up with what is happening around the world.
This week we have heard about the devastating effect of hurricane Irma, the announcement of a new royal baby and the opening of the Queensferry bridge.
We have discussed these as a class and investigated further at home. We will be doing this regularly in class.
Meditation – In RE we are looking at why people pray and meditate so we started off by mediating in class whilst listening to a relaxing story. We also tried to sit as if we were meditating but that proved to be too uncomfortable for many of us.