In English, we are looking at the book 'Into the Forest' by Anthony Browne. Pupils had to write a persuasive note to the boy advising him on whether he should go through the forest or go the long way around. In preparation for their writing, we did a conscience alley where a pupil had to walk through the center, in role as the boy, and the people on the outside had to try and persuade 'the boy' on what he should do.
Pupils have been exploring songs by Elizabeth Cotten, blues and jazz music and train poetry. Today, we were fortunate enough to have professional songwriter, Miranda Cooper, provide a workshop for the year 3 pupils. Miranda was also accompanies by guitarist Nick. Over the coming weeks, pupils will continue to learn to play the ukulele , develop the skills they’ve learnt in music so far and their to write and compose their very own song. Today pupils used the poems they wrote in English to write lyrics in small groups, with the support from professionals.
As part of our annual Laudato Si’ focus, in which Pope Francis calls upon ‘every person living on our planet’ to take environmental action to care for our ‘common home’, our class visited Gunnersbury Triangle, a wonderful nature reserve in the heart of our local area. Gunnersbury Triangle is a green oasis created by intersecting railway lines, close to Chiswick Park Station, saved from development and managed for wildlife and people. The pupils carried out pond dipping using nets and trays to explore our aquatic habitats. They also went mini beast hunting – looking in our woodland habitats to discover the small invertebrates that live within, and became plant detectives.
We also looked at climate change, in particular, diving into the Arctic Region. The Arctic is warming three times as fast as the global average. This is mainly because melting of snow and ice exposes a darker surface and increases the amount of solar energy absorbed in these areas (albedo effect). Pupils explored the effect this has on animal habitats and animal life in the region. Pupils completed a Now Press Play experience on Climate Change and also did their own research projects.
Year 3 are beginning to learn to play the ukulele in their music lessons with Miss Howard. This is going to compliment their English lessons where we have been focusing on the book “Libba” which is a story based on the life events of American folk and blues musician Elizabeth Cotten.
Well done to the year 3 and year 4 pupils taking part in the Skittleball competition at Sacred Heart Secondary School. Year 3 played a total of 6 games. They won 4 and lost 2 of their games. A massive well done to them all. They showed great sportsmanship and got better and better as the tournament progressed. Well done to the year 4 team who finished top of their group. They drew their first game and won the other 3. They then played against the winners of the other group where the game finished in a draw. Both teams did exceptionally well and were fantastic representatives for the Good Shepherd.
Pupils in Year 3 created their very own pnuematic system. Linking back to last half term's science topic of forces, they explored various pnuematic systems and how they worked. They decided that they would make Charlotte's Web farm animals - linking to their Literacy text.
Have a look at some of the Year 3 show and tells.
The pupils in year 3 worked extremely hard with Etain, our cookery teacher to host a Stone Age Feast for the year 3 parents. Pupils prepared the food, created art work and dressed up for the occasion. They made stone bread, oat cakes and much more.
We used Now Press Play to actively engage with our History topic, Ancient Egypt. Each of us wore a set of wireless headphones and we were sent on a journey to explore the topic. In the above lesson, we completed the Stone Age Experience. We followed the journey of a boy becoming a scribe for a dead Pharaoh and his journey to the afterlife. Afterwards, we created a story map of our experience.
Well done to everybody who completed an Ancient Egypt project over the half term. I was so impressed to see such a variety of projects and such creativity. It is wonderful to see such enthusiasm for learning throughout year 3.
We started using block code with the Sphero robots today. Using our block code experience with Scratch we managed to code the robots to drive in a perfect square and some of us even coded matrix animations!
Our Good Shepherd Junior Wildcats A and B teams took part in a borough football competition at Power League, South Africa Rd. Lots of other schools were there to play against.
Both of our teams had their moments: Our B team had a fantastic 2-0 win over Wendell Park during the group stages and our A team managed to reach the quarter-finals where they narrowly lost to St. Johns in extra time.
Mr Davis was very happy with the teamwork and positive attitude both teams showed throughout the tournament.
In the Autumn term, the department for Arts and Culture held a bake sale fundraiser to raise money to improve each classroom's reading corner. The pupils in Year 3 picked out three bean bags, a sea themed rug and a blue book case.
We created cave paintings in preparation for our Stone Age Feast.
Pupils carried out research to support their propaganda writing in English.
Our Power of Reading and Guided Reading text this term is Charlotte's Web. Today pupils worked in group to brainstorm reasons why Mr Zuckerman should not kill Wilbur. This is in preparation for writing a propaganda letter next week.
In art we had to draw different shapes to match those in the original. Then we had to mix appropriate colours to match the colours in the painting.
In Religion, we did a role play of the story of the Lost Sheep.
Today in science, we explored forces and magnets. We used magnets to investigate which items in our classroom will magnets repel or attract.
We really enjoyed our Stone Age drama workshop with One Day Creative. Throughout the day, we participated in various role-play activities, games and quizzes linked to our topic.
We used Now Press Play to actively engage with The Stone Age – Iron Age topic in History and our book ’The Stone Age Boy’ in English. Each of us wore a set of wireless headphones and we were sent on a journey to explore the topic. In the above lesson, we completed the Stone Age Experience. We followed the day of a stone age boy and his family hunting.
The theme for this year's Anti-Bullying week is 'One Kind Word'. In today's circle time, we defined bullying and talked about what the emotional effects of bullying are on a person. We looked looked at different scenario cards and thought about which words we could use in that situation to make a person feel better! We then looked at some scenarios where people showed kindness and discussed the wider impact of showing kindness and respect in this way.
Over the week, we thought about how we can spread kindness using our words and continue this into our everyday lives in the future.
While black history is celebrated year round, Black History Month is marked annually. It recognises and values the inspirational individuals and events that have shaped the black generation. During Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the important people from the past and also those who contribute to and help our society today. As as class we learned about Claudia Jones. Claudia Jones was an equal rights activist and was the founder of Notting Hill Carnival. We decided to host our own carnival, by making our own drums and wearing outfits that were worn in Notting Hill Carnival itself.
In English, we have been looking at instructional writing. Our Power of Reading book is 'Lob' by Linda Newbury. We each wrote a set of instructions on how to plant a broad bean. Afterwards, we swapped instructions with our partners and followed the instructions they wrote. After following the instructions and planting our broad bean, we peer assessed each other's work and gave constructive feedback; What Went Well and Even Better If.
In Science we have been learning about The Human Body. In one of our lessons, we learnt about the Nervous System. We learnt that our brain sends messages around our body through our nerves.
Our Power of Reading book this term is Lob by Linda Newbury. In English pupils worked in groups and created their own 'song of the earth' poem. Pupils had to write down the noises and sounds they heard in the play ground, then Working as a group, the children had to read, select, sequence, and refine the writing on each slip, piecing them together to create their own ‘song of the earth’ poem.
During our first term back to school we are doing OAA in PE. We used our subject knowledge from our Geography lessons to help us complete the team building activities.
The A-life mental health and wellbeing workshop came to visit this term. In the workshop, we learned practical ways to keep fit and healthy and discovered strategies to keep calm using the acronym 'GET CALM'. Can you remember what each letter stood for?
We had another top secret meeting at the end of last term. What do you think they might have been doing?
Keep practising your tables so you can join Club 144 too!
2020 - 2021 ARCHIVE
Year 2 began their coding for this term by using Lightbot 2.0. This app showed us how important it is to use the correct instructions in the correct sequence. We will move on to using Scratch Jr next week.
Both Lightbot 2.0 and Scratch Jr are free to download apps available for use on any Android or Apple tablet.
2019 - 2020 ARCHIVE
Welcome back to a new school year.
A few things to keep in mind for year 1.
Reception 2018 - 2019 archive
"My child definitely reads. It is wonderful to see how the 'magic' happens - the creation of the sounds, one by one. He knows the 'traps' now. He adopts the phonics of the letters, attaches the words. It goes so fast. Yesterday nothing. Tomorrow it will be done. It's happening now and we all really enjoy reading together."
Written by a Reception father in his child's reading record book, 1st May 2019.
Chickens are the closest living relative to the extinct Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Here we are visiting newly-hatched dinosaur relatives in Year 1...
Through books, we learned a little about what the landscape might have looked like before dinosaurs became extinct around 66 million years ago. We heard about rivers, waterfalls and caves, primeval forests and primordial swamps. Our favourite things were giant, erupting volcanoes. We followed a recipe and made a mini one ourselves to play with in our classroom. Here are the photos showing the steps involved:
Namaste - the light in me sees the light in you
As well as our weekly outdoor multi-skills sessions with Adam on Tuesdays, this half term, we have a yoga class with Calista on Wednesday. We are enjoying it. It's non-competitive so it fosters cooperation and compassion. We are beginning to derive great benefit from it in terms of enhancing our strength, coordination and flexibility, improving our concentration and giving us a sense of calmness and well-being.
Karen McLeod, who was our Nursery Teacher before Mrs Moore-Jaunaii and Miss Molloy, is kindly coming in regularly to teach us a very important life-long skill. She is teaching us how to sew. We are improving our hand-eye coordination and fine-motor skills, and learning patience along the way. Karen is helping us to thread our needles, but she is allowing us to follow her lead with very little help and telling us not to worry if we go a bit wonky. We are loving it. Some of us are sitting for two hours at a time, sewing, and even then, don't want to stop for lunch!
Starry, Starry Night
As the nights draw in we are enjoying our Starry, Starry Night topic, and have made some super fact sheets about nocturnal animals and those that hibernate.
As well as non-fiction books, these are some of our favourite stories that we've read:
Photos which showed how the sky changes colour at sunset and how the buildings and trees appear black as they block out the light inspired us to make some stunning skyscapes of our own using paint and collage.
We looked at Van Gogh's painting, Starry, Starry Night, and used crayons to draw a tree, stars and a village like he did.
We tried to capture the movement of the wind like he has done by using lots of lines, swirls and spirals. Using a technique called wax resist, we chose paints to wash over our drawings.
We think our paintings could easily be placed alongside his in MoMA, in New York! What do you think?
To investigate light and shadow, we brought in glass jars from home and filled them with coloured water, glitter and sequins and made Victorian-style 'fitter jars'. Using torches, we cast coloured light from our jars onto a white screen and onto our faces.
Let's Talk About Maths
As a school we are committed to teaching for mastery in maths, using approaches that help children to develop a deep and secure knowledge and understanding of mathematics at each stage of their learning.
Developing mathematical thinking begins in Nursery and Reception, where talk is at the heart of maths learning. Quite simply, most of children's understanding about numbers, shapes and measures comes from talking about them, and exploring them through every day play indoors and outdoors.
It is estimated that for children to be able to access the KS1 maths curriculum fully, they need to be familiar with over 400 mathematical words and phrases.
What do we do to ensure children have opportunities to develop such an extensive expressive vocabulary?
Careful planning which builds on what children know and can do is informed by children's enthusiasms and passions.
We consider very carefully the environment we provide, including ways which we enrich our continuous provision:
Specific activities are planned to support children's understanding of elements of maths.
Vocabulary is introduced and its use modelled, enabling statements and open-ended questions are asked to extend learning and support children's thinking.
Self-registration each morning gives children a practical way to begin to recognise numbers to 30. It also helps them to begin to understand how subtraction works. If three children have not registered because they are absent, children can instantly see how many are in school and can begin to see patterns and learn their number bonds.
Our lovely Year 6 children are always ready and willing to help their younger peers. Each day two or three will spend their lunchtime working one-to-one with our children, using conversation cards and class reading books to encourage them to practise asking and answering clearly and confidently and to go over their phonic sounds to prepare them for reading simple words and sentences. They usually spend some time together at the end on a classroom activity, with the older children, for example, guiding the younger ones to write their names accurately on drywipe boards or role-playing in the home corner.
We love having them to help and they enjoy coming in to help but also to reminisce about their happy, carefree days in reception. The younger children are always delighted to see their buddies and they get so much from their time spent with them.
Do you know what you are? You
are a marvel. You are unique. In
all the years that have passed,
there has never been another
child like you. Your legs,
your arms, your clever fingers,
the way you move.
You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo,
a Beethoven. You have the
capacity for anything.
Yes, you are a marvel. And
when you grow up,
can you then harm another
who is, like you, a marvel?
2017 - 2018 archive