Mr Stevenson - Teaching and Learning
This is first of, what I hope to be, little insights into some of the activities that your children take part in around the school during the week and some of the more hidden elements of the school week - an opportunity to highlight, not just great pupil work, but teachers too who teach some truly great lessons. There has been so much happening around the school each week, it is always hard to keep track of, but I will attempt to do my best to show a few pieces of work around the school that have inspired me and demonstrate just how exceptional our children really are.
The pupils have now settled in and it has been brilliant to see what the teachers have been up to with their classes. From Mrs Kilb's Money work in Year 2, to Mr Bond teaching French to Reception, the work never stops at Park Hill and I’m constantly reminded of how creative and innovative our teachers are and how they bring these topics to life in class.
While this is not an exhaustive list, some pieces of work that come to mind that exentuate this are things like Mrs Gardner’s and Mrs Gibbon's cardboard hedgehogs in Woodland school, reusing packaging material from our resources, and teaching them creative skills. Year 5’s work on The brain proved a hit as they came up with simple tests to challenge the areas of their brain in different ways, from memory to colour recognition. Bringing music to life using GarageBand and layering different instruments with Miss Menon, some brilliant superhero story writing in Year 3 with Mrs Bond, and, as mentioned earlier, Mr Sims' war cabinet run by the children in Year 5, inspiring new ideas for writing. Finally, I finish on Mr Papps’ work with animation and gifs using green screen, something much loved by Year 6 I’ve been repeatedly told.
Our new subject of STEAM also provided some brilliant problem solving, as they were challenged to create their own paper village, requiring the use of nets, colour, slotting, and mapping.
Let us not forget our nursery which always has a myriad of exciting activities set up, with playdough, painting, small worlds, building and construction, water play, and many more. Miss Vari, Mrs Guniz, Miss Finch, and Mrs Mousi always have a brilliant selection of things for the children to do. Miss Adamadou joins them to teach physical activity as well and they thoroughly enjoy their lessons practising their physical skills.
Year 6 have had a busy week in English, analysing and then planning and information text page. We have been looking at the book, ‘A World of Information’ have all picked different topics to study. Interestingly, we had 4 space themed topics and one of which I know absolutely nothing, so we are looking forward to learning about this. In preparation, we have analysed formal and informal writing and developed our own comparison kit using vocabulary and text language.
Our topics are:
The Hebrew Alphabet
The History of Horses
The History of Cars
The History of the Liverpool Football team
Earthquakes and their effects
The History of Cheerleading
I think you will agree that these are interesting and varied topics and that our information text promises to quite unique.
While our non fiction book is coming along, we have been studying angles, measuring them, comparing them, and coming up with rules to help us estimate them. We then created riddles to test our angle knowledge.
One example was from Luce who came up with: I am a letter of the alphabet. I have one right angle and one reflex angle that is three times the right angles size. What letter am I?
Science has led us to designing a machine, and Year 6 are hard at work both designing what it will look like on the outside, as well as what the circuitry will look like on the inside. Year 6 have introduced variable resistors to allow them to either speed up or slow down their machine. Our shields are also up in class and Roman letters are being created to explain their purpose.
At school we have redeveloped part of the school grounds as a small allotment area, this will be looked after by the Year 5 children throughout this academic year. This week we had our first session to start preparing the ground for growing and will put some bulbs in over the next few weeks. Once the bulbs have had their time to shine we will move on to have a go at growing some fruits and vegetables. Taking on the allotment for growing veg in the spring time will link nicely with what will then be our Humanities project where we will be looking at Britain since 1945 when managing allotments were encouraged due to post-war rationing. We will make good use of the days where the children are in PE kit to spend time on the allotment. If you have any child appropriate gardening tools or accessories at home that may help us and you wouldn’t mind them being used in school, please do send them in.
With the Treaty of Versailles in tatters, the children have been learning about ‘blitzkrieg‘ and how the Axis soldiers stormed across Europe right through to the commencement of the Battle of Britain. To support their studies the children have been designing their own WW2 fictional characters and planning to tell different parts of the war through the eyes of their character.
Amongst the gnarled iPad wires in the centre of Badgers classroom, Year Four have had to endure a week filled with classroom disputes. This left some of us bemused and in disarray with some becoming impudent in their behaviour towards learning some of their awkward spellings. The pressure did seem to mount with the overexposure of spellings.
I must reassure you that this has been a week to treasure within our class enclosure. Year Four have been learning and understanding their spellings (week 3), that will insure great progress with measured descriptive writing skills.
With this focussed emphasis on vocabulary and expanding our descriptive skills (with some composure), pupils have been caught writing their ‘Just So Stories’, incorporating their available key grammar skills in direct speech, powerful verbs and week 3 spellings to describe the action. We are preparing to publish our stories too, as we started to design a front cover using effective drawing techniques using keynote on the iPads.
Using place value charts to great effect we have been multiplying and dividing two or more digits be 10 100 1000. Using the place value chart we learnt how we move the digits along the chart to the left for multiplication, and to the right for dividing. Building on those skills we explored how we could multiply one digit by three or more digits using partition of the numbers.
In our Art lesson children have taken their beautiful photographs to transform them in to paintings. We employed an effective method to trace our lines by rubbing chalk pastel on the reverse of the photo, placing upon the plain paper and then pressing over the lines with a pencil. The results were impressive and we look forward to beginning our paintings next week.
Further investigation in to the respiratory system and planning an experiment to compare male and female lungs informed Mr Stevenson’s Science lessons. Some enjoyable and informative moments from the week has been watching the pupils presentations on how the Heart and Lungs work. An interesting note on these showings was how we learnt something new with each child’s presentation which were displayed in various formats: keynote, spoken presentation, video, computer gif’s and Minecraft.
Keeping safe is always important, particularly online. Mr Sims’ Computing lesson on e-Safety, had children viewing cartoons to address various scenarios relating to e-safety in order to seek effective countermeasures to avoid negative experiences. The main theme was to: ensure pupils looked at being positive and nice when communicating online; deciding whether to share content privately or publicly; and that they have permission to use pictures and other documents.
Just your average week in Year Four, and I assure you it will be business as usual next week. It has been a pleasure to teach you, so for now I must bring closure on your school week and enjoy your leisure time.
Another busy week in Year 3, from continuing our work on formal addition to writing character descriptions in English.
We started the week in Adventure School with a lovely walk in Richmond Park and some team building activities. Tuesday was the last of the sunshine for this week and Ditton Field was glorious, no need for football boots there!
In Science we are investigating Rocks and Soils with an exciting time using augmented reality to help with our studies. Art consisted of transferring our ‘viewpoint’ photos to paper using chalk pastels. We are looking forward to using watercolours to finish them next week.
This week the children have been finishing their imaginative stories. They have been working hard to describe the settings and the characters and some children even started to put some dialog into their paragraphs. We ended the week by reading our stories to our friends and getting their compliments on what bits they liked the best and why.
We had great fun in Adventure school this week building shelters in teams. Each group had to work together to create the best shelter to make sure our park hill bear could sleep outside without getting wet from the rain. At the end of the lesson we had lots of fun testing our shelters to see if any of them leaked getting our poor bear all wet.
In Science we have been exploring food chains. We looked at what produces, consumers and even what an apex predator was!
Next week we are really looking forward to starting some poetry with the children. We are going to be getting creative by making our own poems and then we might even using keynote to bring to life an animated version of our poems.
Enjoy your weekend.
“I love this lesson” Rasim
“I want to carry on learning.” Sinoe
These were a few of the phrases spoken this week in Year 1.
Mid week we spent a fascinating afternoon exploring the plants and animal species in our school grounds. After collecting a few good specimens we began to order and package them, designing innovative labels and writing the names of each item.
In literacy this week we have been exploring non fiction writing. Writing information about puppets and adding labels to our glove puppet designs.
In maths we move from number to measure and have been exploring money and time. Year 1 impressed me greatly with their ability to add 1 or 2 more to coins ranging from 2p to 50p. We even looked at how many different ways there were to make 4p, 5p and even in some cases 20p using different combinations of coins.
We recapped o’clock and sequenced key events with great success and enthusiasm. Our game of What’s the time Mr Wolf ? was so popular that other classes asked to play and we were able to apply our skills by teaching others.
Our learning theme this week was The Colour Monster book by Anna Llenas. It is a stunning pop-out adventure which explores colours and feelings in a fun and gentle way. Linked to this, we discussed the emotions we have felt in the past and the emotions we feel now. We were able to use feelings such as: fear, calm, happy, sad, angry, scared and worried and suggest examples and scenarios of when they felt that way. In literacy the children drew pictures and wrote words to describe what and how they were feeling. Some examples: “I felt scared when I had a bad dream about a fox,” Sophia. I feel calm when I do yoga at school, it helps my mind relax,” Amber.
In Maths we used the monster number line to rearrange and order numbers to 20. We learnt what one more and one less than a given number. In phonics we are continuing to secure our phase 2 phonemes to consolidate our reading skills.
We have also been focusing on our working memory and each morning the children have had the opportunity to play board games such as pairs, snap and name games which is good to recall information and solve problems.
Well done to Sophia and Thiyara for being awarded certificates this week. Have a great weekend!
Another busy week in Second Steps.
The children had so much fun this week. We read the story ‘The Listening Walk’ by Paul Showers, then we went on our own listening walk around the school wearing our listening ears so we could hear everything. We toured the indoor and outdoor areas to see how many different sounds we could hear. Using our tick lists we crossed them off. One of the sounds they heard the most was the wind blowing through the trees.
We have been making good use of our Early Years library, sharing books with our friend and telling stories to each other. The favourite book has been ‘Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy’.
We got very creative painting our self portraits and using the wood work toys to create hedgehogs using tubes, nails and lolly sticks. The children showed great hand eye coordination skills in both activities.
The children have enjoyed the outdoor play with the dinosaurs in the water, digging and building in the sand and making a cherry picker with the Mobilo.
Good work Second Steps.
Miss Finch & Miss Vari
First Steps children have been very busy learning a new song ‘5 Little Monkeys Swinging on a Tree’. We are hoping that you have already heard the melody or snapping hand actions at home.
The children dive in the story ‘Goldilocks and Three Bears’, retold the story using puppets and oats in messy tray. Having a picnic with our hand made bear masks at our garden was another great activity for children to bring up the story alive. We will carry out reading the same story upcoming week as well.
Sorting bears helped children to practise their counting and colour recognition. Some children found challenging to use the tweezers to transfer the bears as always practise made it perfect.
We are also practising saying “please” and “thank you” as part of daily life. The children show good progress on this, especially at snack time.
‘No Biting’ was another story we focused this week. The children had a chance to think what they could bite and what they could not. Apple and chocolate were popular answers for biting and friends & mummies for not biting.
The children were really enthusiastic to go to library this week where they had a chance to listen a story and chose a book and read it with their friends.
Well done First Steps for a fantastic week!
Have a nice weekend!