Monday May 21st
This week is MUSIC WEEK, and we will spend more time than usual listening to music, creating music, and thinking about music. We end the week with our concert for Amethyst class parents in our classroom at 2-30 pm on Friday. We will play a selection of our recorder pieces, share some of our poetry, and show you our country dancing! Don't miss it!
Some of the highlights of this week, apart from our concert, will be hearing a live concert with a quintet including Ms. Carter, learning about the planets, and listening to Holst's 'Planet suite'. We will start a course of learning to play the glockenspiel, and aim to develop our sight reading skills even more. We will compose music for a story, and find ways to write our own scores. We will learn about different musical instruments, and delve into 'a young person's guide to the orchestra'. We will also learn about the sorceror's apprentice, and listen to the music by Paul Ducas.
We should have an exciting week!
We had a fantastic day on Friday, walking from Gyhlls lap to Pooh Sticks Bridge and back. The weather was lovely, and we worked on Pooh related activities along the way. At the bridge Rachel read the story from the book. It's amazing how children can be so happy playing with the sand on the paths, and with sticks and stones they pick up on the way.
I'm very sorry we didn't dance on Saturday's May Fair. I was all set to go, but we somehow missed a slot! We will be inviting you all to our recorder concert before half term, and we will show our country dance skills then. Details coming very soon.
This week we will finish writing our epic three part story 'My Island Adventure' and we'll then return to the intriguing land of Myst. While exploring this strange world we'll be polishing our descriptive writing skills.
In maths we will finish work on grid method and column multiplication, and move onto division again. Our plant topic moves on to ferns and conifers and we'll learn to identify common trees.
This week's spelling list is below.
Wednesday May 9th
During this short week we will be writing our own adventure stories based on 'Nim's Island'. We will be reviewing and developing our multiplication skills using the 'grid method', and we'll learn about ferns and lichen. On Friday we will be going to the forest.
There is no spelling list for this week.
We had a great day! In the morning we learnt about the building of the Eiffel Tower, and built our own. We looked at recipes for 'Croque Monsieur' and followed one to make our own. Along the way we sand french songs, played french games, drew our own masterpieces from the Louvre and learnt a few useful phrases from Tintin. Thank you Mrs Wood for arranging such a great day. "Formidable!"
Monday 30th April
This week in Science we start to look at the children of the plant world, beginning with the mysterious fungi and moving on to look at amazing algae. In literacy we say with Nim on her island, and look at volcanoes. We'll collect information, draw diagrams and try to explain these huge forces of nature. We'll also look at how Jack communicates at sea using signal flags. At the end of the week we'll look at how Nim makes bread on the hissing stones near her volcano, and we'll make our own bread.
In maths we continue with subtraction, trying to partition before attempting to solve number problems. We will then start our next look at multiplication, reviewing tables, and starting to explore some new patterns .
Thursday is our whole school FRENCH DAY!!!!!!! So children will be able to wear red, white and blue instead of school uniform! On the day, thanks to Mrs Wood's hard work in organising it all, we will be taking the register in French, playing snakes and ladders, making Eiffel towers. We'll make some simple french food, learn some songs, and make some French artwork! It should be fun!
Monday April 23rd
Our friday forest trip was hot but very enjoyable. Lisa took us for the day, and because of the hot weather we took things easy and spent a long afternoon playing at the edge of a wood. Never have I seen a group of children playing so well together. Watching the children play brought it home to me so powerfully how important it is to allow them time and space to 'just play'. Interesting conversations were had, problems were solved, trees were swung in, slopes were climbed, 'black diamonds ' and iron were mined. It was a wonderful day. Thankyou to parent helpers who made it go so well....and thankyou Mr Dean for arriving with ice lollies just when they were needed.
This week we continue with place value, addition and subtraction in maths. In literacy we follow Nim's adventures and learn about marine iguanas and whales, satellite and solar technology, and how to write an informative report. Last week we managed to plant potatoes, sunflowers, tomatoes and cress! This week we will look closely at the life cycle of the humble but fascinating dandelion.
Monday April 16th
I hope everyone has had a great Easter break. We begin this summer term in maths with a look again at number and place value, partitioning and addition. In literacy we will be reading the book 'Nim's Island ' by Wendy Orr and using this as a springboard for writing informative reports and our own stories. This week we start by exploring Nim's island, and finding out about sea lions.
Our science topic is plants and I would be very grateful for any donations of plants or seeds we can use at school. This week we start by looking at the parts of a flowering plant, and explore how the plant is connected in such an amazing way between earth and sun. We will plant our first potatoes, and start some experiments using cress seeds.
Please do ensure children come to school with PE kit and replenished pencil cases.
Monday March 26th
Many many thanks for your support and interesting discussions at last week's parent consultations. This week is our last week before Easter holidays. Our last day is Thursday. Please be sure to come to our Easter celebration at St. John's church on Thursday morning. This week we will finish our first explorations of Myst, writing about our findings along the way. In maths we will look at 'inverse operations' , missing number problems and 'balancing' problems.
Monday March 19th
This week in literacy we will continue to polish our descriptive writing skills travelling around the imaginary land of Myst. In maths we will move from measuring mass to looking at how we can measure liquids and capacity. In our science work we will start to look at the human skeleton.
Parent consultations are this week-I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and Thursday after school. We go to the forest on Friday.
The children are very excited with our literacy work-exploring a 'virtual world' of Myst, and using what we discover as a basis for our descriptive writing. Many children ask 'where can I find it?'
Let me first of all describe how I conduct the lesson. We talk a lot about our discoveries. I aim to extend the childrens' language by asking for pairs of careful adjectives. We strive to find powerful similes (The rocks stood like serrated teeth against the horizon). We even try to make use of metaphor ( The desert was a furnace, and little could grow) . After a great deal of talk we walk through another part of Myst. This is an old computer game that came out years ago. I use it because of the intriguing images and subtle sounds that it uses. There is no violence, there are no guns; we just slowly walk around the worlds and explore.
Now there is a conundrum here. As you may know, I am absolutely convinced, after many years of teaching, that children require real experiences. Their brains and bodies are developing so much, and they develop in a healthy way through human interaction, and through interaction with nature. They need to play in the 'real world, and experience it to the full. With today's modern screen obsessed culture, children are generally spending much of what used to be outdoor play time interacting with screens. This is a very passive experience on the one hand, and yet it is highly stimulating on the other. Yet the stimulation is an onslaught of fast moving images and sounds that children cannot easily assimilate. The results from such over stimulation can range from lack of concentration to lack of sleep to a range of physical and mental health problems. There are many many reports that detail the issues and call for much more study of the issues.
So to come back to our using 'Myst' in class...I use it in a controlled way, always with an adult, for very short times, and in total for only a few weeks of our literacy work. To develop language and communication skills it can be very powerful. But would I advocate letting children use it at home on their own?? Absolutely not.
Monday March 12th
This week we continue our study of animals, learning about vertebrates and invertebrates and the five classes of animals. We may also have time to look at lions! In maths we now turn from measuring length to look at measuring weight (mass) using grams and kilograms. We will be estimating, measuring, converting from grams to kilograms and trying to solve problems involving mass. In literacy we leave fables and travel to the imaginary world of Myst where we will focus on note taking and descriptive writing.
Monday March 5th
In literacy this week we continue looking at fables. We will look closely at 'The boy who cried wolf' and try writing our own fables.
In maths we will explore translations and compass directions and then move on to looking at how measurement of length has developed over time. We will measure carefully with a ruler and learn how to convert mm, cm, m and kilometres!
In science we will hear about hedgehogs and eagles.
Monday February 26th
This week in maths we investigate coordinates to plot position, we look at how to 'translate ' a shape, and we explore compass directions. In literacy we look at the fable of 'The boy who cried wolf', and in Science we will learn about harvest mice and deer. Please find spelling list below.
Monday February 19th
In maths this week we continue our exploration of shape and space. We will measure perimeter, investigate the properties of 3D shapes and nets, develop our understanding of angles, and learn abour vertical, horizontal, parallel and perpendicular lines!
In literacy we explore the rich world of fables and delve into the morals of such tales. Children usually love these stories, and we will try our hand at writing our own.
In science we now spend this half term exploring the world of animals, and looking at the human body, in particular but not exclusively, the skeleton. This week we'll learn about cuttlefish and snails!
Spellings for the week are below.
Monday 5th February
This week is Science week, when our usual routine is dropped and science has a bigger role in the week. We will set up an experiment to see what happens to teeth when we drink sugary drinks. We'll look at the different types of teeth we have and learn about how to look after them. We will look at owls, in particular the barn owl, and we will dissect owl pellets and look at the bones we find. We'll try to identify what the owl has been eating!
The class will have a look at how pneumatic brakes and other air powered things work. We'll make our own mini pneumatic systems to make a moving monster. We will then play with magnets and learn about their properties. We'll design and make a magnetic game. In maths we will be learning about 2D shapes,angles and symmetry. Then don't forget that on Friday you can come to school and have a look at what we've all been doing at 2-45 on Friday afternoon.
Monday January 29th
This week in maths we continue with work on graphs and charts. We will look at venn and Carroll diagrams as well as bar graphs.
In literacy and topic lessons we will be learning about the first trains and George Stephenson's Rocket. This Friday we spend the day at Ashdown Forest.
Monday January 22nd
In literacy this week we continue with our work on traditional tales, writing our own versions of well known stories. In maths we now move on from division and begin to look at graphs beginning with tally charts and pictograms and then moving on to bar charts. Our local history topic moves on from the Romans looking for iron to the coming of horses and the work of the blacksmith.
Monday January 15th
The children have made an excellent start. They were fresh and ready for new challenges last week.
This week we continue exploring division in maths, and we will be focussing on learning our tables facts(and division facts). In literacy we continue to hear alternatives to traditional stories, playing around with well known stories and writing our own. In our local history topic last week we heard about early hunters in this area, and learnt about the houses they built. This week we continue with the coming of the Romans, and we look at how their need for iron affected our local area.
Find below the spellings for this week.
Thursday January 4th
Happy New Year to you all!
Thank you so much for all of the cards and Christmas gifts! And thank you for your positive messages and feedback about your children and their learning. In spite of the childrens' obvious tiredness they managed well to get through the last exciting days of concerts, assemblies and parties.
For this new year our work continues, and below you will find a topic grid for the first half of this term. Our routines will continue as normal with homework as last term. I will post spelling lists here each week for children to learn and I also include below a suggested list of homework activities. Some children really worked well with this last term with one child having a go at every activity! The first spelling list will appear on week 2.
The one big change in routine is that children must now have their pencil case at school. If your child does not have one they can be bought at a very reasonable price at the school office. It will be a great idea to put names on everything!
In literacy we begin to look at the wonderful world of traditional tales, reading the well known stories and also looking at alternative versions.
In maths we begin to look at division, and over two weeks we will develop our skills here. We will also look at some aspects of local history through the topic of transport, and in our first week we will learn about the mesolithic hunters who lived in this area a long time ago. We will start to consider how and why the first trackways were created, and how the Romans came to build our first roads.
As always, please do cantact me with any questions.
Monday December 18th
We reach the final week of a very long term! The children are tired now and looking forward to a break to recharge and return in January with fresh enthusiasm for a new term. This week on Monday we are rehearsing in the church in preparation for the carol concert on Tuesday morning. On the Tuesday, Christmas jumpers may be worn. On Wednesday afternoon it's the junior christmas party, and children can bring party clothes in a bag to change into in the afternoon. On Thursday children may bring in games (nothing requiring batteries) .
I would like to thank all of you parents for your support over this term, helping with forest trips, reading, homework, and in lots of other ways. I appreciate your support and feedback. I'd like to wish you all a happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you again next term.
Monday December 11th
In english lessons we will be finding out about clothes and fashion in Ancient Egyptian times. We will research, make notes and finally write a report. In maths we continue with multiplication, using the grid method. In science lessons we will learn about light and shadow. We will be practising our carols to prepare for next week's junior carol concert on Tuesday 19th December.
Monday December 4th
It was lovely to see so many parents at our assembly. I hope you enjoyed having a peek at what we've been up to. This week in english we continue our information writing focus, moving on from Ancient egyptian houses to games and pastimes. In maths we now move on from telling the time to multiplication. We'll start by looking at arrays, then 'square numbers' , and then we will start to learn how to multiply using what we cal the 'grid method'.
As our Egyptian topic comes to an end, we will look at hieroglyphs and scribes.
From now on in music our focus will be on getting ready for our carol concert in the last week of this term.
Monday 27th November
We had a great day at Ashdown Forest on Friday. We followed tracks, examined deer poo, and made our own trackways. We found our own quiet woodland space and sat quietly contemplating Nature. We splashed in mud, got wet feet, and were very tired walking up the final hill. Thank you Mrs Lochhead, Mrs Wood, and Mrs Cogan for helping on the day, and thank you all parents helping with transport.
This week we continue learning to tell the time, moving on to five minute chunks, with 'to' and 'past ' the hour. In english we are starting to learn about Ancient Egyptian houses, and how to write informative reports using titles, subtitles, paragraphs, illustrations and labels.
We are now almost ready for our Assembly on Friday at 9-15 in the school hall. Please do come along!
On Thursday we have our 'Friendship Day' when children are sent off to work together in different classes to make decorations and artwork to make our school building ready for Christmas. Then on Friday after school we look forward to seeing you at our Christmas Fayre!
Monday 20th November
This week we start to look at telling the time. We begin exploring days, months, years, leap years, and then move on to clocks-minutes, seconds and hours. We will begin by using analogue clocks(with a minute and hour hand) . This is the perfect time to think of perhaps a watch from Santa?? In english lessons we have a brief look at playscripts and will read a range of scripts, and have a go at writing our own. In history we look this week at the amazing pyramids, pacing out how huge they are and exploring what's inside. Friday is our next forest day so let's hope for good weather.
Don't forget, our class assembly is on Friday 1st December at 9-15 am.
I STILL HAVE ALL THE BLENDERS FROM FOOD WEEK IN MY CLASSROOM! PLEASE COME AND COLLECT THEM!
BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS
I've been asked by a few parents about book ideas for Christmas! They ask what subjects are coming up later in the year.
Well, in spring term we'll look at .......traditional tales, fables, history of transport, iron age huts, Roman roads, trains, cars and bikes.We'll explore magnets, teeth, owls and owl pellets, the human body. We'll make an exploration of the whole world of animals-including cuttlefish, mice, deer, hedgehogs, eagles, elephants, horses and bears, guide dogs and lions!
Support your local bookshop!!
Monday 13th November
This week we continue with subtraction in maths lessons. We are learning to subtract by partitioning numbers first. We will also be learning how to find change in problems involving money. In english lessons we are using our egyptian theme to plan and write a time travel story. Our egyptian topic leads us to mysterious mummies, and we'll learn about this strange process and why the ancient egyptians felt it was important.
Invitations should have reached you for our assembly on Friday 1st December at 9-15 am in the school hall.We will be practising our singing and recorder playing ready to astound you!
This week the school book fair is open daily after school. Please come along and browse. By selling books at the book fair the school is able to add many more books to its own library stocks.
Monday November 6th
This week we continue to hear and write about the story of Isis and Osiris in our english lessons. In maths we move now to subtraction using partitioning. This will eventually lead to 'column subtraction' but it's so important not to rush things! In History we learn about the gods of Ancient Egypt, and a strange ceremony called 'The weighing of the heart' which always generates lots of interesting discussion. Thursday is 'Numberful 'day when children can (if they wish) dress as a number! On this day number will take a prominent place in our class work.
I still have all of your blenders!!! PLEASE come and collect them soon! The children have now made a start on our Ancient egyptian musical, and we look forward to performing it for you in the school hall at 9-15 am on Friday December 1st.
Monday October 30th
In this second half of the term we continue looking at addition in maths, using partitioning to add 2 and 3 digit numbers. We also look at how we can add amounts of money. Our Ancient Egypt topic begins and in english lessons we'll be learning about punctuation using stories from those ancient times; The creation, Hathor and the lake of blood, and Isis and Osiris! We will learn about the black land and the red land and make maps of the River Nile. We'll also travel along the Nile and see how people lived in those times. This week we will start work on our ancient egyptian musical which we will hope to perform to you later on this year.
Monday 16th October
We had a lovely time last week with our 'food ,fitness and fun' theme. The children were very enthusiastic making apple rings and smoothies and learning about healthy eating. They were really interested in the amounts of sugar in food and drinks, and it was interesting to sit with the children at lunch time in the forest and listen to them discussing the sugar,fat and salt content of their various snacks! We had a fantastic day at Ashdown Forest led by Rachel from the forest team. As well as having a good walk and enjoying the countryside, we learnt about mice, built nests, experimented with insulating properties of leaves and grass and covered ourselves in leaves! We also made works of art using available natural resources. We had a great day.
Thank you for all donations of blenders. They are in my classroom awaiting collection. A big thank you to Mrs Whitehead who donated a huge box of delicious apples to the class. Thank you so much to all parents who came in to help over the week.
We are now almost at half term, and this week on Tuesday we look forward to seeing you at our junior harvest celebration at the Baptist church at 11am. I also look forward to meeting with you at parent consultations on Wednesday and Thursday after school.
This week in class we begin to look in more detail at partitioning numbers (splitting into parts) , and how to use this to add two and three digit numbers. This is the start of a maths journey that will lead some children to more formal methods of addition.
In english we will continue with our 'Tales from the rubbish dump' and learn about how plastic is made, and the difficulties in recycling it. We will also look at how the process of making paper and carry out an experiment to test which tissues are most absorbant. In our geography topic we will visit Ireland and learn about the legends of Saint Patrick.
And then next half term we will begin our adventures in Ancient Egypt!
Monday 9th October
This week we put aside our normal timetable and have a week focussing on healthy living! Each day the class will have a 'mindfulness ' session , developing a quiet space for reflection. We will be doing plenty of exercise, and also have 'Zumba' and Tai Chi sessions along with the whole school. On Monday we'll learn about bread making, and bake our own bread rolls. On Tuesday we'll be visited by the 'smoothie bike' people! They will show us how to make smoothies while riding a bike! On Wednesday we'll sample breads from around the world, and we'll also be using a clever little device to make healthy apple rings. We will design our own smoothies, and make enough for the whole school brunch on Thursday morning. The whole school will come together in the hall for a shared meal made with exciting recipes from each class. Alongside all of this we'll be studying the sugar content of many foods, and looking at healthy alternatives. Friday is our day at Ashdown Forest, so all in all this is a lovely week of healthy exploration.
Thank you for donations of food blenders. Any more would be very welcome. ALSO does anyone have lots of apples, perhaps you have too many from your own apple tree? I'd be grateful for any donations.
Does anyone have an old VHS tape player? I have some resources on VHS tape that I want to use soon, but my tape player has finally broken. Please let me know if you can help.
Monday October 2nd
This week in english lessons we look at the weather. We'll be learning about how forecasters find information, and at the various cloud types. We'll also investigate the Beaufort scale for measuring the wind. We'll learn how to write simple reports using titles, subtitles and paragraphs of information.
In maths we look in more detail at number patterns and times tables and then explore 'magic squares'. Our geography topic takes us now to Scotland where we we learn about the rugged landscape and hear about a mysterious monster....
On the week after this, beginning October 9th we will be learning about food. We will at some point be making fruit smoothies. Do any parents have a decent sized blender I could borrow for that week? Throughout the week I'll be making use of the 'change4life' website which can be found via the link below. It's an interesting and informative place to think about food.
Also I notice in my diary that on the FRIDAY OCTOBER 13th we will have our first trip to Ashdown Forest!
Monday September 25th
This week in literacy we will continue hearing the story of the King of Ireland's son, and we'll be writing stories trying to use careful description.
In maths we will now investigate 'triangle numbers' and explore various ways to write number problems. We'll look at how to halve numbers and begin a focus on number bonds.
Our geography lessons keep us in England, hearing english folk tales and collecting facts about the land and the people.
This week children will receive their recorders and we will make a start on learning how to play them. Recorders will NOT be coming home until the end of the school year!
Of course this is only a brief look at what happens this week. There are many other activities and learning opportunities that I don't usually mention. For example, in this coming week we will also be learning some more new songs and another poem. We will have French on Monday morning as usual, and we will have a games lesson with regular short movement sessions every day. We have a guided reading session most days, and each day there is a quiet reading time after lunch when I usually hear individual children read. We paint most weeks-this week we'll be learning about mixing the colours blue and yellow. We also have PSHCE lessons or 'Personal, social, health and citizenship ' lessons. I often don't see these as discrete lessons, but try to teach them as a part of our topics. For example in our geography work it is very easy to discuss 'citizenship'. Last week our theme was bullying-what it is, what to do if it happens, who to talk to and so on.
A few children still need to bring in painting aprons as soon as possible.
One last thing. Please, please do come to me with any issues or concerns about your child. I do need to know if there are problems and I will do my best to help find a solution.
Monday 18th September
We have had an excellent first couple of works. The children have been enthusiastic in lessons and keen to learn! This week in maths we will continue to look at times tables, number patterns and number squares. As Dex said last week to the class in one of our maths lessons.... " Oh I see! Maths is all about patterns!"
In english we continue to use the story of 'The King of Ireland's Son' as a springboard for our work. We will be telling stories, writing descriptions, using adjectives and even similes, and finally writing our own version of part of the story.
Our geography work moves on to the whole United Kingdom, and we will learn where the four countries are. This week we will focus on England, hearing stories of Saint George and the dragon, the flag of Saint George and we'll hear some traditional english folk tales.
Some of you asked for electronic copies of our weekly spellings. See below for link.
Monday September 11th
We had a great first week! Children are settling into new routines and seem to be enjoying the new challenges!
This week in english we continue with the story of 'The King of Ireland's Son' , and we will look at nouns, adjectives and adverbs. In maths we look at number patterns and begin to examine the times tables in many different ways. Our geography topic leads us to looking at a plan of the whole school building, and then introduce 'Grandmother Britain' and maps of the whole United Kingdom.
Please can you make sure that your child brings a painting apron or old t shirt to school for art lessons.
I look forward to seeing you at our coffee morning on Thursday at 9-15 am.
Monday September 4th
Welcome back to school everyone! I hope you have had a great summer break. I'm looking forward to an exciting new term and to getting to know new parents and children of this year's Amethyst class. This year my Teaching assistants will be Mrs Wood and Mrs Seltzer, two very experienced teaching assistants who I'm very lucky to have.
We start the term looking at the basics of number-counting, place value, and number patterns. It is essential that the children are active in their maths learning, and there will be a lot of movement involved in these lessons.
In english lessons we will use the story of 'The King of Ireland's Son' to stimulate our skills. I told the children the start of the story in July, and we will continue with it now for the next four weeks or so. This week we will focus on handwriting, basic punctuation and having a look at verbs and how to use them.
For much of this first half term we will also have a geographical topic exploring our local environment, drawing plans and maps, extending this to look at the whole United Kingdom. We will be visiting Ashdown Forest again this year-dates will follow soon.
Starting in the second week, children will receive spellings to learn on Monday. On Friday we will have a regular spelling test on these words.
All children at this age should read regularly at home. Please be as active as you can with this, and remember that reading to your child is just as powerful for their learning as them reading themselves! I would say around 15 minutes a day would be a target. Find below a link to a homework grid with suggested activities that children can do at home. These are not compulsory, but many children enjoy doing these tasks.
HOW CAN I BEST SUPPORT MY CHILD WITH SCHOOLWORK?
Our children have a long day at school. Once school is over they need to play, and by play I mean active creative play, not passively looking at a screen. The most important things you can do to help me at school are;
Keep children away from screens.
Let your child play: run, climb trees, paint, help in the garden, cycle, etc....
Read to your child and keep it enjoyable.
See below the suggestion from the National Trust for '50 things your child could do out of school.'
HOW BEST TO CONTACT ME
Please, please do contact me if you have a question. You can e- mail me via this school website, or let the office know, or pop in most days after school. Just before school begins is NOT usually a good time, but I realise that sometimes this is unavoidable.
WHAT CHILDREN NEED TO BRING TO SCHOOL
All children will need a school PE kit, a water bottle, and a bag to carry things to and from school. They will also need a painting apron. An old shirt or T shirt would be fine.
If you would like to contact Mr Pritchard, please use the form below. Please note that the response time to this system of contact is two working days.