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Learning Blog

19/7/2013

 

Highlights of the week:
 

  • This week we have written our own stories and made picture books in the style of Anthony Browne. We have tried hard to include clues in our pictures to help the reader think more deeply about the story that is being read.
  • The children made their picture books independently. They designed and made their own front cover, wrote their own story, and completed their own illustrations.
  • We watched the Year 6 play this week, and enjoyed their adaptation of Treasure Island.
  • On Tuesday we made models based on a piece of imaginative writing that the children completed with our supply teacher.
     

 

Over the summer, it would be beneficial if the children continued to practise certain skills to prepare them for September.

As well as looking at your child’s next steps from this year’s school report, you could also..

 

Continue to hear your child read a wide range of texts.

Read to your child and discuss what you have read.

Visit ‘Interactive resources’ and play the maths games regularly.

Practise instant recall of times tables.

Visit the school website for links to other educational websites/activities.

 

Other ideas:

You could make a holiday scrapbook to show your new teacher. Include pictures, diary entries and anything else interesting.

Visit the CBBC Newsround website to keep up to date with current events.

As I am sure you all know by now, at the end of this term I am leaving Dussindale Primary School to move to Jersey to be closer to family. It has been a real privilege to get to know and work with your children over the last couple of years, and I leave with many happy memories of my time here at Dussindale.

 

Mr Lumley

 

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5/7/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  • This week in literacy we have been learning to retell stories. We have tried hard to include expression, extra detail, and a rich vocabulary. We talked about the importance of building up characters and a setting to help the listener picture the story better.
  • We re-wrote a short story that we learnt, and made it our own. Some children continued the story on as it had been left on a cliff-hanger!
  • We made ‘marker-pen portraits’. Children were not allowed to take the pen off the paper as they drew each other, or made up a character of their choice. Although a challenge, there were some really effective results.
  • We thought about materials and their properties by making a contraption that was able to catch and hold a tennis ball that was dropped from a height. Children had to think through the design of this carefully, and use the given materials to come up with a device that met the design criteria.   

 

 

Talk about:

Retell the story that you learnt this week. – ‘Boo’ or ‘Ghosteses’

 

Talk about how you retold and rewrote the story. How did you make it your own? How did you continue the story on?

 

Talk about your tennis ball catching invention. Did it work? How could you improve it next

 

 

Other ideas:

 

Research Wimbledon and find out information about the famous tennis tournament! Watch a tennis match this weekend, perhaps you could write a match report or a news article about the game?

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7/6/2013

 

Highlights of the week:

  •  This week we have started a new story in Literacy, based on events 500 years ago in a Japanese village called Nabune. We have learnt that this community used drums to signal different events, and have written poems entitled, ‘We play the drums’.
  • We have spent time researching Japan, and finding out lots of information about the country. We used netbooks, library books, and information sheets to create a factfile for the country.
  • We drew a detailed map of Japan and the surrounding area, including nearby countries and different oceans and seas.
  • We used powder paints to finish our paintings of a rainforest setting to accompany the rainforest stories we wrote before half term.

Talk About:

  •  Can you remember your poem? When do the village play the drums?
  • Talk about what you have found out about Japan. What facts did you include in your factfile?
  • What countries neighbour Japan? Which seas surround the island?

 

Other ideas:

Can you find out how to write your name in Japanese?

 

Check out the National Geographic Kids website for more info about Japan!

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Week 6/5/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  •  In literacy this week we have written letters of recommendation from other towns and cities that the Pied Piper had visited. We thought carefully about the language we used, and tried to use adjectives to help describe what happened.
  • We continued to learn about using powder paints, and made different shades of blue to paint a sky. We used different paint brush techniques to help with this.
  • We learnt about some of the different body and face paints that people in different rainforest tribes used. We learnt about some of the different meanings these marking have. We then used the netbooks to design our own tribal face paints and what they might mean. For example, green dots around the eye symbolise strength.
  • Students from Thorpe St Andrew High School ran a multi-skills session for us this week where we were able to take part in various physical activities.

Talk about:

We learnt about how we learn by working out what ‘learning style’ we have; Auditory, Visual, or Kinaesthetic. Talk about how you learn best, what sort of activities help you learn. How many of the 11 items can you still remember?

 

Talk about the tribal patterns that you designed. What do the different designs you came up with represent?

 

 

 

Other ideas:

 

Visit the BBC Human Planet website for lots more information about the Jungle. There are photos, video clips, and articles to help support the learning we are doing in class about the rainforest.

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Week 29/4/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  •  We continued to use the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin this week. We used our knowledge of persuasive language to write a letter to the Mayor to persuade him to choose a particular rat catching invention.
  • We used drama to role play the arrival of the Piper in Hamelin, and wrote first person accounts of what we saw. We came up with questions for the Piper and interviewed him to find out whether he was the right man for the job. We then wrote a recommendation to the Mayor to help him decide what to do.
  • In art children learnt how to make and mix colours using powder paint. They made different shades of green and experimented with changing the shade by adding different amounts of powder. The children divided up an A3 piece of paper into abstract shapes and filled each shape with a different shade of green that they made.
  • We began to think about the people who live in rainforests around the world. We started to think about the culture, rituals, and beliefs that different people have, and how they might compare to their own.

Talk about:

  • Should the Mayor of Hamelin employ the Piper to take away all the rats?
  • What were some of the pros and cons of giving the Piper this job?
  • Talk about the way people live in the rainforest. What are some of the similarities and differences between people who live in the rainforest and us?

 

Other ideas:

 

What can you find out about people who live in the rainforest? Research a tribe that live in a rainforest, perhaps the Yanomami Tribe of Brazil who live in the Amazon rainforest.

 

Espresso are holding a competition to see who can grow the tallest sunflower. Plant sunflower seeds over the weekend and see how tall your sunflower will grow. Remember what a plant needs to grow well! You could take photos of your plant’s growth to send into Espresso.

 

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Week 22/4/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  • In literacy this week the children heard that Mayor of Hamelin was in search of Rat Catchers to sort out the problem in the town.
  • In small groups children invented rat catching machines which could be used in the town to get rid of the rats. From this, we have learnt how to write instructions for using the machine. We have also developed our speaking and listening skills be making ‘Dragon Den’ style pitches to sell the contraption to the Mayor. Children had to make their pitch in 1 minute, so lots of thought went into what was said. This was a good chance to revise persuasive language from last term.
  • We finished our mindmaps about green plants this week using the netbooks and the programme Inspiration. We were able to add lots of information to them having completed our observations and science investigation into the impact of humidity on plant growth. I am so impressed with what the children came up with, and Mrs Worsdale has asked for these to put up on display around the school.
  • FYI - On Friday afternoons, for the rest of term, the children are spending time with Mrs Miles-Bagshaw learning Spanish, and then going with Mrs Black to practise handwriting.

Talk about:

The different parts of a plant – what does each part do to help a plant grow?

Talk about your finished mindmap and what you included on it.
 

Talk about your rat catching invention. How does the machine help to catch rats? Was it difficult to pitch the idea to the Mayor in just 1 minute?

How did your group persuade the Mayor to use your invention?

Other ideas:

Perhaps you could come up with an invention of your own to solve a problem. Perhaps it could be to get rid of wasps in the summer? I think I would invent something to get rid of glitter.

Could you come up with a pitch to persuade someone your invention is a good solution to the problem?

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Week 15/4/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  • We have hit the ground running in this first week of the summer term, and I have been pleased with how hard the children have worked.
  • In literacy we have been learning about speech punctuation through using drama. We have learnt how to use inverted commas, and have thought carefully about how using speech can impact a piece of writing. We discussed the importance of not including too much speech in a piece of writing, as it can lose focus and be difficult to read.
  • We have done lots of science and ICT this week. We set up an investigation into how green plants grow, and the impact humidity has on their growth. This links in with our learning about the rainforest, as well as children learning how to set up a fair test. We have made observations each day, and will continue so in to next week.
  • We have used the netbooks to research green plants. To help record our findings children have learnt how to use the ICT programme ‘Inspiration’, a useful mind-mapping programme. Children have learnt how to use this software to create mindmaps, and are now constructing mindmaps to record what they find out about in this science topic of green plants.

Talk about:

What are the pros and cons of using speech in your writing?

The observations you have made this week on the growth of your plant. What do you expect to happen over the weekend, and the week to come?

What makes a fair test? Why is it important to ensure a test is fair when conducting a science investigation.

What have you found out about green plants? Has ‘Inspiration’ been a useful way of displaying your findings out?

Other ideas:

Watch the webcam at Norwich Cathedral to see if the Peregrine Falcon eggs hatch!

http://upp.hawkandowl.org/norwich-peregrines/live-peregrine-web-cam-2013/

  • Or Google ‘Norwich Cathedral Peregrine Falcon webcam 2013’

 

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Week 18/3/2013

 

Highlights of the week:

  • In literacy we have continued to learn about persuasive writing – we have looked at letters that argue a point of view, and have identified the persuasive language that was used. We have made a text map of a letter that is aimed at persuading people to save electricity and take care of the environment.
  • We have had end of term assessments in literacy and maths this week.
  • In the rainforest, people often hollow out trees to make dugout canoes. We found out about how boats, and other objects, are able to float. We had a go at making boats out of plasticene to explore this further.
  •   In our story, we thought about our first impressions of the rainforest. We made footprints, and wrote how we felt as we imagined stepping into the rainforest for the first time. The language that was used in these descriptions was fantastic!

Talk about:

  • Talk about first impressions. Maybe about a place you have visited, people you have met, or a book that you have read.
     
  • How did you describe being in the rainforest for the first time?
     
  • Think about the letter we made a text map of in literacy. What were the reasons given for saving electricity at school? What symbols did you chose for the different words that were in the letter?

Other ideas:

 

Explore more about floating and sinking by finding out whether different objects float or sink. Fruit and vegetables often have surprising results, who would have thought a grape sinks but an apple floats?!

Can you make a potato float?

 

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Week 11/3/13

Highlights of the week:

  • This week we looked at how to write in a persuasive way. We thought carefully about how to word our arguments to make them more persuasive. One way in which we did this was to think about backing up our points of view with facts. We also looked at using persuasive sentence openers like I strongly believe that…. and You can clearly see that….
  • We stepped into our story this week and began to prepare for a research expedition to the rainforest of Borneo. We thought about the equipment we would need to take, but came up with a problem. We couldn’t decide whether we should use products that came from the rainforest or whether this would be insensitive to the people that live there. We also spoke about whether it would be appropriate to use the resources of the rainforest to help us stay there, as this could damage the rainforest and jeopardise our position of being researchers who don’t interfere, but observe. This lead to some fantastic discussion around this ethical dilemma, and we drew upon lots of aspects of our Successful Learners Web.
  •  In our story, we thought back to previous expeditions where we encountered some significant problems team work to resolve some tricky situations. We remembered our trip to Antarctica, and the dangers of leaving the group and going off into the unknown alone. We made storyboards to document our fictional memories.

Talk about:

Try and use some of the ‘persuasive openers’ that we came up with to add strength to putting across your point of view. Perhaps you could come up with some arguments for this statement:

The school day should be made 2 hours longer.

Or…

Running on the playground at break and lunch time should be banned.

Talk about the dilemma we faced when preparing for the rainforest. Should we use the rainforest and its resources to help us make our stay easier? Can you think of ways we can do this without damaging the rainforest?

 

 

Other ideas:

Can you find out whether anything that is in your house is made from materials that originally came from the rainforest? Perhaps you could record your findings in a table.

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Week 25/2/13

 

Highlights of the week:

  •  We have been learning about adaptation this week. We have looked at different plants and animals and how the features they have help them to survive in the environment in which they live.
  • We created our own ‘wildself’ by choosing different physical features that would be needed for different natural habitats. We then wrote explanation texts to explain why the ‘animal’ was the way it was.
  • We used the school library to research animals and find out how their features help them to survive.
  • In literacy, we have started to look at discussion texts and forming balanced arguments.

Talk about:

 

What features might animals who live in the rainforest have? Why? Can you think of another environment and what animals and plants might need for survival. E.g. The Arctic.

 

What physical features did your ‘wildself’ have to survive in its natural environment?

 

Talk about the pros and cons of building a skate ramp in the school playground. Can you use any of the connectives that we have learnt?

 

Other ideas:

 

Explore the First News website at www.firstnews.co.uk

 

Invent an animal that would have the features needed to live on the school grounds – explain why it would need the different physical features it had, for example: long legs to help it run quickly across the playground.

 

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