Weekly Learning

 Weekly learning December 10th -14th     

 

The end of term is approaching rapidly but we are still working hard! In English, we finished reading ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ by Michael Morpurgo.  We are now working on a short story, The Bear and the Hare, which is based on a well-known Christmas advert from 2013. The advert apparently sent sales of alarm clocks soaring! We are using the descriptive writing skills we learnt when writing about the storm in The Wreck of the Zanzibar. However, this time our writing is about a winter wonderland scene. Bear is rudely awoken by a gift from his friend, Hare – but Bear doesn’t know what has woken him. All he knows is that he should be in hibernation until spring. When he leaves his cave, he finds that snow has blanketed the ground; the beauty of the scenery enthrals him. Our descriptions focused on using a variety of sentence openers to engage the reader and on using vivid imagery including similes and metaphors to help the reader to picture the setting.

 

In Maths this week, we have completed our unit on perimeter and area. We have begun to investigate lines of symmetry in shapes. We have investigated lines of symmetry in some of the letter of the alphabet and begun to identify lines of symmetry in a variety of different shapes.

 

In Science, we found out about thermal insulators. We set up an investigation to see which materials would keep water warm for longest. We predicted that aluminium foil would be a good insulator but our results showed that cotton fabric and cotton wool worked best. We used our research to write a conclusion about the best materials for thermal insulation.

 

Our Christmas lunch was held on Wednesday. It was great to see all the colourful Christmas jumpers and to see everyone enjoying a meal together. We also enjoyed our house assemblies, with Christmas-themed games, on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Just a reminder that our Christmas concert will be held at Fairford Leys Church at 7pm on Tuesday 18th December, with refreshments afterwards. If you are able to donate mince pies or biscuits, this would be greatly appreciated – items should be given to your child’s class teacher as soon as possible. Children should arrive at the church at 6:45pm in full school uniform.

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

Weekly learning December 3rd – 7th    

 

In English, we have continued reading ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ by Michael Morpurgo.  We have completed two pieces of writing this week: the first was a letter from Billy, explaining to his twin sister Laura why he feels compelled to leave his home on Bryher. He has run away to become a cabin boy on board a ship. Our second task was to write a description of a storm that destroyed practically everything on Bryher. Next week we will find out what happens to the Perryman family after the storm.

 

In Maths this week, we have been learning about perimeter and area. We have learnt how to calculate the perimeter and area of composite shapes. We found out that shapes with the same area can have different perimeters when we investigated composite shapes made up of two squares.

 

We have continued our Ancient Greek vases in Art. This week, we have begun to etch or designs onto our vase outlines, which were first covered by a layer of paint (with PVA glue and washing up liquid added). Our designs feature classical Greek patterns and scenes that represent modern life. So far, they are looking great!

 

We enjoyed watching Early Years in their dress rehearsal for their Christmas play and the KS1 entertained and impressed us with their performance of the Nativity story yesterday. We are working hard in rehearsals for our own Christmas concert. We have a special guest organist coming to accompany us on the night and we hope that you will be able to join us. The concert will be held at Fairford Leys Church at 7pm on Tuesday 18th December, with refreshments afterwards. If you are able to donate mince pies or biscuits, this would be greatly appreciated – items can be given to your child’s class teacher.

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Weekly learning November 26th – 30th   

 

In English, we have begun reading ‘The Wreck of the Zanzibar’ by Michael Morpurgo.  We have found out that the story is set in the Scilly Isles in 1907.  The story is told in the form of a diary written by Laura Perryman, who has a twin brother named Billy.  Billy is planning to run away from his isolated home on the Isles because, in his words, ‘It’s a big world out there and I’m going to see it.’ Our first piece of writing will be a letter from Billy to his sister, explaining his reasons for leaving.

 

In Maths this week, we have been learning about perimeter and area. We have learnt how to calculate perimeter and area of rectangles and squares. We have also practised finding missing lengths or widths when we know the perimeter or area.  

 

In Science, we learnt about irreversible changes in materials. We found out that chemical changes mean that a new material is created and that the changes cannot be reversed. For example, when we bake a cake, the ingredients are changed by the process or mixing and heating – these changes can’t be undone. We observed this by mixing warm milk and vinegar to create casein – an early type of plastic.  

 

We have continued our Ancient Greek vases in Art. This week, we used oil pastels to colour our vase outlines. These will then be covered in a layer of paint before we etch our designs, revealing the pastels underneath.

 

On Thursday, we were entertained by a group of drama students from Tring Park School, who gave an entertaining performance all about Science. We learnt about the solar system, the effects of gravity, energy and forces.

 

In Music, we are practising for our Christmas concert. This will be held in Fairford Leys Church on Tuesday 18th December and will begin at 7pm.  You are invited to join us for refreshments after the concert. Donations of mince pies or biscuits would be greatly appreciated.

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Weekly learning November 19th – 23rd

  

In Maths this week, we have been taking our assessment tests. We have also continued our work on decimals. Our focus this week has been on solving word problems and we have been finding out how drawing a bar model to help us visualise the problem can be very helpful.

 

In English, we wrote newspaper reports about a teenage hero who rescued a family from their burning home. As a result, he was nominated for a bravery award. We practised writing quotations and punctuating them correctly and on using relative clauses to add detail to our sentences.

 

Our History focus this week has been on Alexander the Great. We found out what the requirements were to fight in his army and why he was considered the greatest military leader of his time by his peers, despite his youth. We wrote adverts aimed at persuading men to join his army and were surprised to learn that, in Alexander’s day, soldiers had to provide all their own weapons and armour.  

 

In Science, we made ‘alien soup.’ We then realised that we had added far too much salt! We designed experiments to try to separate out all of the different ingredients, which included sand, rice, salt, water and paperclips.  We found that removing the paperclips was straightforward with the help of a magnet but removing the salt required more time.

 

In Music, we have begun practising for our Christmas concert. This will be held in Fairford Leys Church on Tuesday 18th December and will begin at 7pm. We have some exciting things planned so please make sure you are free on this evening.

 

Have a good weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

 Weekly learning November 12th – 16th  

 

In English, we finished writing our version of the ending to the story, ‘Bling!’ from the point of view of the main character, Billy Midas. We are now leaning about recount writing and will be writing newspaper reports next week.

 

In Maths, we have continued our work on decimals. This week we have continued to work on division. We have been learning how to round to the nearest whole number or to the nearest tenth. We have practised doing this in all four operations. On Thursday (as we were all a little tired!), we worked on a practical problem – creating a cube with nine different colours on each face – none of the colours could be repeated. Some of you were so determined to solve the puzzle that you continued to work on it at break and lunchtime until you were successful!

 

We have also found time this week to begin our Art topic, which is linked to Ancient Greece. We have discussed how Ancient Greek pottery depicted scenes from everyday life, enabling historians to learn a great deal about the past. Our artwork will feature patterns and motifs from Ancient Greece combined with scenes that represent life in 2018.

 

In Science, we had a great afternoon investigating how a variety of materials could be used to clean some extremely dirty water. We created filters, which removed the particles of soil and debris from the water. Our aim was to make the water as clear as possible. Our experiments were very successful!

 

Energize

Of course, the highlight of our week was Energize. It was wonderful to see you all so full of excitement as you finally got to perform on stage at the Waterside. We are so proud of all of you. You worked so hard to learn a challenging combination of songs, speaking roles and dance moves. We know from the many lovely comments we have had from parents that they were amazed and impressed too. A huge well done to all of you!  Many thanks also to parents, for providing costumes, getting your children to the theatre on time and ready to perform and for all your support. Now we will begin work on our Christmas concert!

 

Have a good weekend – time for a well-deserved rest!

 

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Weekly learning November 5th – 9th  

  

In English, we have continued our work on the story of Billy Midas, who, like King Midas in the Ancient Greek myth, was granted the power to turn objects into gold. Unfortunately for Billy, his beautiful cat, Goji, decided to take a nap on the cushion that has the magical power to turn anything into gleaming gold. Billy is faced with a dilemma – should he ask for his beloved pet to be returned to life? The problem is that, if he does this, all of the other items that have been transformed to gold will also return to their former state. Billy has become popular at school, as he has changed many items belonging to the other children into pure gold. Our stories, which we have planned and will be writing next week, will be based on Billy’s decision and the consequences of the choice he makes.

 

In Maths, we have continued our work on decimals. This week we have continued to work on division. We have been learning how to divide decimals.

 

In Science, we have been investigating the properties of materials. This week, we learnt that a solution is made by dissolving a solute in a solvent. We investigated a variety of materials to test whether or not they dissolved in water. We then investigated the most effective way to dissolve sugar in water by varying the temperature of the water and timing how long it took for the sugar to dissolve.

 

Our topic this half term is Ancient Greece. This week we have compared democracy in ancient Athens to modern democracy in the UK. We also found out that Ancient Greece was made up of a number of city-states, each with its own laws, money system and ruler. We focused on the differences between Athens and Sparta.

 

In RE this half term, our topic is about the Christmas story. We have thought about how the same event can often be reported differently by different people, depending on their viewpoint.

 

Energize

We are very excited at the prospect of performing at the Waterside next week. We have continued to practise our songs and dances ready for our performance next Wednesday. Thank you all for bringing your costumes in promptly.

On Wednesday, we will have a dress rehearsal at the Waterside Theatre in the morning. As we will not be back in school until around 12:45-1pm, we will have lunch slightly later than usual on that day so all children will need to bring a packed lunch. On Wednesday, children need to arrive at the theatre by 6:30pm. We will be waiting to meet them in the loading bay next to the stage door. As we will not be allowed into the theatre until all of the children have arrived, please be on time. Children will need to arrive in costume so we will send these home on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Next week, due to Energize, our PE days will be Monday and Tuesday, so please have PE kits in school on these days.

 

As it is now often cold, rainy or both, please make sure that you have a suitable coat in school so that you can go outside at break times. 

 

Have a good weekend – don’t forget to keep learning your song lyrics and lines, if you have a speaking role!

 

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Here are the songs we are learning for Energize so that you can listen and practise at home. 
If the track doesn't open, check your downloads folder. You may need to right click on the track and select 'open with.' The track should play in windows media player.  Please ask Mrs Bailey or Mrs Richards if you have any questions.
 
We have also attached the lyrics.

 Weekly learning October 29th – November 2nd   

 

Our English unit for the next few weeks is based on a short story called Bling! This week, we have familiarised ourselves with the story. The theme is ‘stories with dilemmas.’ We have discussed other stories we know that also feature a dilemma. Bling! features a boy called Billy Midas. When Billy saves the life of a magical being named Chimichanga, he is granted a wish. Billy chooses the power to turn things into gold. This makes the once-lonely Billy very popular at school. However, it eventually presents him with a dilemma when his beloved cat, Goji, is turned to gold too. How will Billy resolve his dilemma? You’ll have to wait and see! 

 

In Maths, we have continued our work on decimals. This week we have been concentrating on division. We have also been working on the 8 times table as this will be the focus of our multiplication work for the next few weeks.

 

Our topic this half term is Ancient Greece. This week we have been creating timelines of some of the key events we will be learning about. We have also looked at examples of Ancient Greek pottery and have been discussing what we can learn about life in Ancient Greece from these artefacts.

 

Energize

On Tuesday, we went to Aylesbury High School for the final combined schools rehearsal for Energize. Next time we all rehearse together will be on November 14th – the day of the show! We still have some work to do on learning the song words and our dance steps so we will be practising in school over the next week.

We would like you to bring your costumes in by Tuesday 6th November so that we can check that you have everything you need. Please make sure that all items are named and in a plastic bag, which also needs to be named.

 

Please see the attached poster for details of how to purchase your tickets for our performance - please note we are performing in the Wednesday 14th November show only.  Last time St Mary's took part in Energize, tickets sold out and some parents were disappointed to miss out. 

 

Just a reminder that our PE days are Wednesday and Thursday. All children must have a suitable PE kit in school on these days.

 

Have a good weekend – don’t forget to keep learning your song lyrics!

 

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Weekly learning October 15th – 19th October  

 

In Maths, we have continued our work on decimals. This week we began by solving word problems involving addition and subtraction of decimals. Here is an example of the type of questions we have been tackling.

Tai’s mum drove from school to her house, which was 8.7km away. After driving 3.75km, she stopped at the supermarket along the way. How much further did she have to drive before she reached her house?

We then moved on to learn how to multiply decimals.

 

In English, we have been learning about the Suffragettes and the campaign for ‘Votes for Women.’  This week, we have been planning and writing diary entries in character as Lady Constance, who was imprisoned several times for protesting outside the Houses of Parliament. For our first diary entry, we imagined what it would have been like to be in the crowd at a protest march; our second diary extract described Lady Constance’s arrest and imprisonment in a harsh Edwardian jail.

 

We have completed our Geography topic on climate zones by looking at the causes of global warming and the potential effects of this. We wrote explanation texts and suggested ways that we can all help to prevent global warming.  

 

5B had their third dance lesson with the dance teacher from Energize. Both classes have (almost!) mastered some complicated choreography and, with a little more practice, will be ready to impress our audience on November 14th.  It is very important that everyone knows all of the words by the time we rehearse at Aylesbury High School again on October 30th.

 

We enjoyed reading and hearing the poems you found for homework last week. There was a huge variety, from poems with serious themes to some very funny ones! Well done to all of you.

 

Other important information

We have sent home details of the costumes each class will need for Energize. Our next rehearsal is on Tuesday 30th October at Aylesbury High School. As before, you will need a packed lunch (preferably in a disposable bag) and a water bottle. The coach will be leaving school at 9am so you will need to be in school at 8:30am on that day.

 

Have a lovely half-term break. We look forward to seeing you refreshed and ready to learn on Monday 29th October.

 

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

Weekly learning October 8th – 12th October   

 

In Maths, we have continued our learning about decimals. This week we have been learning to subtract decimals with up to two decimal places.

 

In English, we finished writing our biographies of Brunel (5B) or Nelson (5R). We then spent some time editing these. For the remainder of this half term our focus will be diary entries. We will be finding out about the campaigns that led to women winning the right to vote. This topic is relevant not only because the Suffragettes feature in our Energize performance but also because 2018 marks the centenary of this landmark event.

 

In Geography, we learnt that deserts are not always hot and that they are not always made up of sand. We also found out about tropical climates as we compared the average annual rainfall on the Caribbean island of Grenada to that of Aylesbury. We drew graphs to illustrate this.

 

On Tuesday, we visited Aylesbury High School for our first joint rehearsal with the other schools taking part in Energize. It was an exciting (and tiring!) day as we practised all of the songs as well as learning actions to these. It was interesting to see how all of the different parts of the songs worked together in harmony. We now need to focus on learning the words to all of the songs before the next rehearsal at AHS on October 30th.  

 

On Thursday, elections were held for the Junior Leadership Team. It was great to see how many of you wanted to represent your class and to hear your speeches. Well done to everyone who took part.  

 

Other important information

Thank you all for your kind donations for our recent Harvest Festival.

 

As cold and/or wet weather is more likely now, please make sure that you have a coat with you every day.

 

If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to ask us. 

Enjoy the weekend,

 

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

Weekly learning October 1st - 5th    

 

In Maths, we have begun a new unit about decimals. This week we have been adding and subtracting decimals to two decimal places.

 

In English, we have been learning about the key features of biographies. We are researching and planning biographies based on two of the historical figures who feature in our Energize performance. 5B are writing about Isambard Kingdom Brunel and 5R are basing their texts on the life of Admiral Horatio Nelson. We are focussing on using interesting sentence openers, writing about events in chronological order and on including interesting facts to entertain and engage the reader.

 

In our Science topic on the properties of materials, we found out just how useful some materials can be. We learnt what happens to waste water once it leaves our homes. We followed the journey it takes through the sewers to water treatment plants and the processes it undergoes to make it clean and safe again.  

 

In Geography, we learnt that although the Arctic and Antarctic are both Polar climates, they are very different. We also found out about Mountain climates and used our research homework to create fact files of some famous mountains.

 

Both classes had an Energize dance lesson with the dance teacher this week. 5B are working on some complex choreography based on the life and works of Brunel while 5R are celebrating the famous victories of Nelson in their dance.

 

Other important information

On Tuesday (October 9th), we will be travelling to Aylesbury High School to rehearse for Energize with the other schools who are taking part. The coach will leave at 9am and we will not be able to wait for you if you are late. We will open the classroom doors at 8:30am so that you can come straight in – you don’t need to wait for the whistle to be blown. Please bring a packed lunch and a water bottle. Ideally, your lunch should be in a disposable bag with your name on. The organisers have asked that you do NOT bring coats, as there will be nowhere to store them during the day. You will be indoors so you won’t need them.

 

If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to ask us. 

 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 

Weekly learning September 24th – 28th   

In English, we have planned and written our own episodes of ‘This is NOT a fairy tale.’ In our new episode, we used dialogue and attempted jokes in the style of Jeremy Strong. Ramona left her castle and set off down the mountain. We wrote about the creatures she met along the way and tried to include a twist in the tale at the end – after all, this is NOT a fairy tale, so our characters did not ‘live happily ever after.’

In Maths, we have been using our knowledge to find missing angles and missing lengths in shapes made up of squares and rectangles. We have also continued to practise the 7 times table.

In our Science topic on the properties of materials, we investigated how some materials can change their state. We found out that water can be a liquid, gas or solid and we carried out a test to see how quickly ice melts in different conditions.

In Geography, we learnt about the Polar climate zone. We began by finding out how life in the Arctic compares to life here in the UK. We then used our research homework on Captain Scott to plan a letter from Scott to his son. There were some fantastic pieces of homework – well done to all of you!

5R had their second Energize dance lesson with the dance teacher. 5B will have their lesson a later date. We have sent out a letter about our first rehearsal with the other schools who are taking part. This rehearsal is on October 9th.  The songs and the lyrics are now on the blog so that you can listen and practise at home.

Other important information

As the weather is becoming more autumnal, children should have a coat in school in case break times are cold or rainy.

If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to ask us. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

Weekly learning September 17th – 21st  

 

In English, we have continued our learning based on ‘This is NOT a fairy tale,’ a short story by Jeremy Strong. This week we have edited and improved our dialogue texts and we have explored how Ramona is not a typical fairy-tale princess. Next week we will be writing our own episode – will Ramona make it to the bottom of the mountain in time? We shall see…

 

In Maths, we have been finding out about the properties of squares and rectangles. We have used our learning about parallel lines to label these. We also used our knowledge of the properties of squares and rectangles to calculate missing measurements.

 

In our Science topic on the properties of materials, we investigated how we could prove that air is all around us even though we can’t see it. We weighed balloons before and after blowing them up and found that the inflated balloons weighed more. 

 

Energize update

Thank you all for returning your Energize permission slips. This week we had our session with our dance teacher and we have begun to put moves to our songs.  It’s all very exciting! As soon as we hear that tickets are going on sale, we will let you know.

 

Other important information

Next week there is a change to our PE days as Game On will be on Monday. Our PE lesson will be on Thursday as usual.

As the weather is becoming more autumnal, children should have a coat in school in case break times are cold or rainy.

 

If there is anything we can help you with, please do not hesitate to ask us. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

 Weekly learning September 10th – 14th

Our first full week back has been a very busy one!

In English, we have read ‘This is NOT a fairy tale,’ a short story by Jeremy Strong. We have been exploring the use of humour in the opening paragraphs of several other stories by Jeremy Strong and we have been practising using parentheses and dialogue in preparation for writing our own episode of the story next week.

In Maths, we have been finding out about perpendicular and parallel lines. We have practised drawing them accurately.  We are also making sure that we know our multiplication tables well so that we can recall these quickly.

Our Science topic this term is the properties of materials. This week we went outside to learn how the particles in solids, liquids and gases move.

Our topic focus this half term is Geography. We are learning about climate zones. So far, we have found out that there are six main climate zones; we have located countries on a map and decided which climate zone they are in.

Energize

We have begun rehearsals for Energize, which will take place at the Waterside Theatre on November 14th.  We have quite a few songs to learn! The children have been given words to all of the songs and they are encouraged to take these home to learn – please remember to bring them into school every day though.

If you have not yet returned the permission forms for Energize, it is very important that these are brought into school no later than Tuesday next week, as we need to give details to the organisers by the end of the week.

Other important information

Our PE days are Wednesday (Game On) and Thursday.

Children must have a water bottle in school every day.

Homework (Maths and English) will be sent home on Friday and is due in by the following Wednesday.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mrs Bailey and Mrs Richards

We have not set homework this week.
 
However you do need to learn the words to all of the songs we will be singing in our concert on Tuesday evening. 
 
If you can, please listen to O Little Town of Bethlehem and O Come All Ye Faithful, particularly the descant part in the final verse. Google 'Carols from Kings' to hear the choir at King's College, Cambridge, singing this. 
 
Please also remember to bring in mince pies or biscuits on Monday if possible.