Welcome to the home page for the first half of the spring term 2024. You will find our fortnightly learning blog here which will give you a flavour of our learning.
Our main topic focus for this half term
Over the spring term, our main topic driver will be the study of Ancient Greece through our history project called ‘Groundbreaking Greeks’. We are amazingly lucky to be living in the South of Italy because this area formed a significant part of Magna Grecia (meaning Great Greece).
Magna Grecia refers to the coastal areas of Italy which were colonised by some of the different Greek city-states from the 8th Century BC. Just a short 15 minutes drive from school, there is the archaeological site of Cuma which was the first Greek settlement on mainland Italy.
Over the half term in maths, we will be working on a new unit of learning on fractions. We will be calculating with fractions, converting mixed numbers and improper fractions, as well as solving fraction reasoning problems.
In science across the whole term, we will be exploring properties of materials. We will look at the properties different materials have and then explore through practical investigation, sieving, filtering, evaporation, solubility and dissolvability.
In PE on Tuesdays, we will be using the JFC gym to develop the skills of handball through skills practise and games. On Fridays, we will complete the Gymfit unit which is focused on creating circuits to improve our fitness.
Please see the topic web below for a fuller summary of all of our curriculum areas.
Monday 5th February – Friday 9th February 2024
We had a jam-packed end to this short half-term cumulating in the FoBFS ‘Break the rules day’ on Friday.
At the beginning of the week, we put a lot of effort into completing our epic adventure stories based on The Odyssey. The children worked incredibly hard to include all the features of the genre that we had practised over the course of the unit. The children imaginatively created a whole host of strange beasts, characters and settings through which their protagonist had to negotiate to get home.
In maths we finished off our last lessons on our first fractions block. Year 5 focussed on adding and subtracting fractions, while year 6 completed some reasoning problems.
We had lots of fun in science as we investigated the solubility of different items including bicarbonate of soda, cacao, sugar and salt. The children had to add a certain amount of the solute they were testing and stir it for 1 minute to see if it dissolved or not.
In preparation for the Italian festa of ‘Carnevale’ next week, the children learnt about the tradition in our Italian lessons. Carnevale is on the same day as Pancake Day in the UK, and is the celebration to mark the beginning of lent. The children all made a colourful carnevale mask. They looked fantastic!
Monday 22nd January – Friday 2nd February 2024
Over the last two weeks, we have delved deeper into our subjects and have demonstrated some fantastic learning.
In maths our focus has been on being able to plot fractions on a number line and to compare different fractions. Using our multiplication skills, we have had to convert fractions so that they had the same denominator so that we could compare them easily. Using visual apparatus, such as multi-link, has helped us to visualise the fractions and spot the patterns in sequences. We also have been practising converting fractions from a mixed number into an improper fraction and vice-versa.
We have continued to follow the trials and tribulations of Odysseus, the Greek king in English. As we have read the story, we have written lots of different types of text while practising using different tenses and multi-clause sentences. We have written a diary and soliloquy in role as Odysseus.
As part of National Story Telling week last week, we performed a condensed version of The Odyssey to the rest of the school. The story has been told for thousands of years, so story telling week provided the perfect backdrop for us to perform Homer’s epic tale. We also illustrated a picture to accompany our section of text for the children to enjoy.
In science last week, we had a fun practical investigation into testing thermal insulators. We had to select different materials to insulate different vessels to measure which material kept the drink hottest for the longest. Once we had selected the materials and wrapped our containers, we measured the temperature in the water every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. We practised time keeping and making accurate measurements using a thermometer.
On Monday 29th January, we had a fun trip out to a local Italian school with whom we have a longstanding friendship. We worked with KS2 Italian children to practise our Italian/ English conversation through completing different tasks. We also enjoyed the Italian Carnevale sweet treat ‘chiacchiere’ which is a biscuit with chocolate sauce. It was a fun morning!
Finally, we have continued to enjoy our PE sessions over at the JFC base. We are learning the skills of handball while completing drills and taking part in small games. Here are some of the photos.
Tuesday 8th January – Friday 19th January 2024
Happy New Year! It’s been wonderful to be back together after a relaxing Christmas break. We started learning about our new topic – Groundbreaking Greeks – on the first morning back. We will be learning about the Ancient Greeks over the coming term and started the day with a ideas tray linked to our first English text, The Odyssey by Homer.
Using words and images from the book, along with artefacts, we had to piece together the clues in front of us to predict what the story is about. The children made insightful predictions and were able to infer that the book was set in Greece and involved challenges, monsters, Gods and sea travel!
Over the course of the week, we read the opening chapters of the book and met the main character Odysseus and practised some grammar linked to the events in the story.
In maths we began a new unit of learning of fractions. We spent time thinking about what a fraction actually is and how to represent fractions using Cuisenaire rods. We then used fraction walls and multiplication facts to find equivalent fractions.
In RE, we continued to explore our topic, If God is everywhere, why go to a place of Worship? We investigated the question, What is a Hindu place of worship? What is it for? To do this, we learnt about the features of a Hindu Mandir and watched a video about a girl and her family who don’t go to the Mandir but choose to worship at home. This lead us to compare the similarities and differences between visiting the Mandir and worshipping at home. In our second week of RE, we learnt about the Jewish place of worship, a synagogue. The Padre was visiting from Belgium and this gave us an opportunity to ask him for his thoughts on why Christians choose to go to a place of worship. He told us that church means ‘Assembly’ so when people come together to worship, whether that is at home or in a church, that would create a church. We discovered that they are many similarities between the different religions we are studying and that it is the people that are more important than the place.