Whales Class

Marvellous Maths

 

Over the last few weeks we have been thinking a bit deeper with our maths learning and attempting to divide leaving a remainder. Wow! Everyone was really resilient and showed a good knowledge of their know times tables. The sessions started practically with the children using Party Rings to show how they would divide practically. But what to do with the left over party ring? Whilst many of them were quick to say it should be broken and shared again they soon became content with the idea there might be some left over (so their teacher could get 1). The children then worked on their own to solve their own division problems. If you want to work out the answer to the question: There are 5 cars in a carpark, 3 drive in, then 5 leave. How many are left? The obvious way is to get a garage and cars and then show the class what is happening. The children could then share their ideas about the number sentence that showed what was happening. Once they could ‘see the maths’ they could then go on to solve more complex 2 step word problems independently. The children have shown great progression in their maths skills and the resilience they need to problem solve. 

 

 Manor Farm Trip

 

 

Whale class enjoyed a fantastic trip to Manor Farm as the climax of their Through the Door topic. Upon arrival at the farm the children were transported back in time to when Lucy, Peter and Edmund were evacuees during WW2. The children had to stay in character for much of the day as they experienced life on the farm. I was very impressed with their washing skills and rug making capabilities, but plenty to work to do with their potato peeling skills! Mrs Stubb’s school was a shock for many of them, but they rose to the challenge of the strict conditions. Rationing proved to be quite an eye opener with many of the children wondering how they would make the 1 egg they had for the week go around the whole family. A visit to the farm would not be complete without a good look at all the animals- guinea pigs, pigs, chickens, lambs, cows and the ever-noisy donkey. The behaviour during the day was excellent and the whole class is grateful to the parent helpers who gave up their day to support the learning on the day: A study of a local place from a different time in history.

 

Through the Door

 

This half term we have been taking the children on a journey ‘through the door’. We have used the Chronicles of Narnia story as a basis of our thinking about the fantasy that might be behind the door. Whale class have produced some excellent writing thinking about directing people to the wardrobe in Professor Kirke’s house. “First open the big, brown door slowly and creep over the fluffy rug”. All of the class were ‘Enthusiastic Eddies’ about creating a tops-n-tails character book for their own fantasy-land, to mirror the idea of a half goat, half human character. The creative drawings matched the names that the children came up with; such as a Uniseal. The class extended their thinking and designed their own fantasy-land through the door. There were lots of delicious Chocolate islands and fun fairs that were well described in their English books.

 

Easter

The children have heard the Easter story in many different formats during the end of term. These have included ‘open the book’ assemblies where they were able to wave their palm crosses as a sign of celebration. They also enjoyed watching an excellent version of the story, told through song and story by the Year 5s from the Junior school. During our RE sessions we are exploring the happy and sad parts of the story and how Christians prepare for celebration using different traditions. This week the children have been enjoying lots of Easter based activities including helping a bunny to tell the time, making cards and writing property descriptions for the Easter Bunny’s house. Hopefully they will be motivated to use their good cutting and folding skills at the end of the week to make their Easter basket- just in case something is put in it…..

Whale class wish you all a Happy Easter and enjoyable holiday.

 

Science Week

Year 2 especially enjoyed our science week which followed National Science week’s topic of ‘Change’. On Monday we were treated to an action packed demonstration that included lots of bangs and pops by Eddie from Exon Mobil. The children were quite literally blown away by some of the science on offer! They took a trip around the solar system on Tuesday and their recount writing showed how much they had learned from holding the giant planets. During National Demo Day the children took great delight in watching the dry ice that we had won change from a solid to a gas. On Friday we took on a challenge with the junior school during our Year 2 and 5 shuffle morning using the same theme. The children worked collaboratively to design investigations based on height and jump length, to see what happens to skittles in water and how a paper lily changes in water. A big thank you to all of the children, volunteers and staff that helped to make the week such a success.

 

Fire, Fire!

This half term we have all enjoyed learning about the Great Fire of London. The theme has provided lots of cross-curricular work with History, English, Art and Geography, PE and DT all blending together to provide an historical and cultural look at the events in 1666. The children have written pretending they are Thomas Farryner using lots of past tense words and trying to include feeling and emotions. This piece of work started as dramatic freeze frames as the story was being told to add a new dimension to their work. The display in our classroom also shows off their art skills which used paintings by Vincent Van Gough as a stimulus for their work. Everyone has been practising their DT skills to make a replica Tudor house which started life as a cereal box! During the topic we have also been thinking of the geography of London including the importance of the River Thames. The children especially enjoyed making lots of London’s landmarks which we displayed along our own make believe river in our classroom. Each week children have been looking forward to extending their PE fire dance which has now made it onto the apparatus.

 

Year 2 Book Week

The children in Whale class shared their love of books and reading during the week, whilst having fun and raising lots of money in the process. It was great to see so many parents in the classroom helping their children make their book for a younger child. Proving you are never too old to learn something new, parents were enthralled by the demonstration of how to make a book with a large piece of paper and one cut with the scissors. The children really appreciated having extra pairs of hands to hold things whilst they cut, glued and stuck. It was lovely to see so many Enthusiastic Eddies discussing the features of their book with a grown up and what they could do to make it better. Hopefully the books were enjoyed once purchased! Quieter moments in the week came during our sponsored reading times. All of the children took on the challenge and read a lot during the day. World Book Day at the end of the week filled the classroom with some exciting book characters and showed how much children enjoy traditional story books.

Krypto the Super Dog

It has been such a pleasure to read all of the chapter stories that Whale Class have written as part of their English learning this half term. The stories began by thinking about Krypto the Super Dog as a character. The children had some imaginative ideas about what he would and wouldn’t like and then wrote their first chapter using these details and lots of good similes to really create the image in the reader’s mind. They then had to think about the adventure that Krypto would go on, including the problems he encountered on the way. Once their story map was complete they wrote their story over several weeks. Many used Krypto to help save Saints FC, while others saved cruise ships, the gym at Holly Hill and plenty of ‘baddies’ were captured by the end. As their writing skills develop many children were using conjunctions and using some exciting vocabulary for reader interest. Just like any good author the children had a go at editing a small part of their story focussing on challenging themselves to spell correctly and using different word endings. They became their own publishers creating front and back covers with a blurb- enjoy!

 

Clay Pets

The children have all enjoyed using clay techniques to produce their final piece in their extended Design and Technology project. During the unit of work children looked at and experimented with a variety of techniques that they could use for their own pet. Once they had designed their own animal they then used their knowledge to create a unique piece of work. When they were fully dry the children took great pride in applying their paint to help bring their pet to life. Hopefully they all made it home in one piece to take pride of place in their new home. To finish their work the children evaluated their pet comparing it to their original design and how their learning had increased through the project.

 

Assembly Success

 

A huge to congratulations to everyone on a very well presented and informative assembly. All of the children have gained in confidence since the beginning of the year and spoke their lines clearly. Year R looked like that had been well informed about all kinds of animals with Year 2 holding their attention throughout. The children really enjoyed learning their ‘Feeling Waggy’ song and Have You Got a Pet- hopefully they all waved at the correct time! The whole assembly was a real team effort with the children choosing which parts of their learning they wanted to share and how many lines they wanted to say. Should you have not been in attendance you missed: songs, paper plate animals, animals facts, persuasive letters, pets in school photos, caring for a dog information and a doggy assault course!

 

Crew-a-Cise

 

Ahoy- something new is on the timetable! Whale class are enjoying our morning fitness activity on the playground at 11am each morning. We are trying a range of circuits to help get us fit and ready for our 1 mile run in the summer. So far we have thought of lots of different ways to go around the playground including running, walking, galloping and hopping. The new playground markings have been put to good use too with lots of children very carefully following the instructions on the group of the new activities.

 

Pets in School.

 

A highlight of Year 2 is having lots of pets come into school to visit us. To ensure the most learning, children begin the process by writing a persuasive letter to someone who has a pet that they would like to see in school. They used some great language-firstly, surely you can see, furthermore. They thought up some great reasons about why pets should come in to school to help with their science learning and just to show them to their friends! During the week we had some lovely cats, beautiful dogs, friendly guinea pigs, very hardy baby rabbits, a spectacular bearded dragon and even a gold fish taken from its pond. The children used their knowledge of life cycles to think about how the pets changed as they got older. We even talked a bit about reproduction! They related the knowledge they had about what human need to stay healthy to the other mammals that we saw. A big thank you to everyone that brought in pets to share with the class.

Welcome to 2017. Who's ready to Go Wild? It's the half term we love- when pets come into school!

 

Christmas Fun

Whale class enjoyed a range of activities during the countdown to Christmas. Our spiritual seal helped us look at the religious aspects of Christmas including advent. This was followed by a lovely service in St Paul’s where the year group re-told the Christmas Story and sang traditional carols, plus several members of Whale class read verses from the bible. The children also enjoyed watching the Year 4 Junior School Nativity play in St Pauls- thank you to all of the ‘walkers’ that made it possible! Back at school they used their maths and creative skills to make Gingerbread Man decorations to hang on a tree. There was also plenty of paint and glitter sprinkled around the classroom (plus a bit on cards and calendars too) plus fake snow and artic animals.

A Happy Christmas to everyone from Whale Class x

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas

Year 2 continued their traditional tale theme for their Christmas Production this year with a performance of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas that certainly embraced our British Values. A huge thank you to everyone who provided costumes as it really made it a magical performance! The children took on all of the challenges of this performance with enthusiastic singing, confident speaking and acting plus some lovely dancing.

Congratulations and well done to everyone involved!

Run, run as fast as you can…

In literacy this half term Whale class have been looking at traditional tales and have especially enjoyed sharing the Gingerbread Man story. We learnt to tell the story as a whole class using the actions of Pie Corbett and wrote the story as a ‘map’ to help us remember the sequence. The children then enjoyed developing the story to give it a different ending. Having considered a range of endings including, adventurous, funny, romantic they all embraced writing their own ending. Creative as ever, we had the Gingerbread Man going into space, safely crossing the river in a boat and marrying a gingerbread partner. The children had a go at editing their own work to make it even better- look out for the pen in their books. This is a skill we will keep practising to ensure spellings and punctuation are correct, plus they have used the most creative language possible. The children have also enjoyed enhancing their learning with our Gingerbread Man story sack in the classroom plus all of the exciting activities in the roleplay area.

   

A Walk in the Woods

The class all seemed to have some fun looking adventures over the half term in the forest. They produced writing and decorative pieces to record their learning. This week we have been looking at a picture image in a wood and applying our knowledge of our own trip. We all jumped into the picture to give a commentary on the things we might see, hear, smell and feel as if we were actually walking around. The children showed a creative use of language including great adjectives and interesting sentence starters. They have also been developing the skills needed to edit their own work plus using our working walls to check spellings.

 

“It is very scary in the woods because it is spooky.”

“When I walk I can feel colourful leaves crunching under my feet.”

“The blue and red bird is pecking the wood like a hammer.”

 

Light!

Whale class have started the half term off with a spiritual aspect to their SMSC thinking. They have been considering how light is used as a symbol. The class have thought about how candles are used and the meanings associated with different types of candles. They were very quick to suggest the significance as part of a celebration- especially candles on a birthday cake. During the week they also considered how light is used during Diwali celebrations. The class were lucky enough to have a family come and share the different aspects of Diwali. They were shown some real cards and beautiful clothing including lots of jewellery. There were lots of questions about why special clothes are worn for celebrations and the children were keen to compare it to the preparations for Christmas. They all enjoyed creating their own rangoli patterns that had to be completed with bright colours in keeping with a festival of light. Once again the class gained a lot of knowledge from a visiting expert and showed their excellent listening skills.

        

Visitors Enhancing Our Learning:

Last week Whale class welcomed lots of visitors into the school to share their expertise. They started off the week developing their pirate dance skills. They developed their moves from a previous week on pirate movement and even attempted a pirate battle showing action and reaction.

 

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A team from Lloyd’s Bank were keen to get the children thinking about spending and saving money. The children enjoyed the story of the ‘saving crocodile’ and all of them were keen to share what they would like to save up for. They all had a chance to count money (just so they know how much is really going into their piggy bank) and showed off their coin recognition and counting skills very well.

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A visit from the RNLI got them all thinking about safety around water. A great talk showed how quickly children can get into danger around water. They looked at what the flags and safety messages at beaches meant and were told about how to call out the RNLI in an emergency.

 

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We are very grateful to all of the people that share their time with our year group to further the children’s learning.

 

Super Scientists:

Whale class have been helping the pirates on board their leaky pirate ship to discover which material might be the best to cover the ship’s hole. From their previous learning many did not agree with the ship’s captain that net would be the best thing to use. They planned a fair investigation deciding which things needed to be changed and which needed to be kept the same each time they did the experiment. They worked in their topic group to carry out the investigation, measuring the amount of water that each material let through. Once they had recorded all of their results they concluded that, from their choice of materials, metal or plastic would be best. The children enjoyed working scientifically and applying their previous about waterproof materials.

 

Crew Challenges:

Crew challenges are designed to allow children to have an opportunity to apply previous learning independently of the class teacher. In Year 2 they have a choice of at least six activities to allow them the choice over where and when they work and the order in which they complete activities. Whale class are becoming very skilled at looking at the Crew Challenge board in the classroom and looking at the examples of what is expected. In addition to the class based to task they are also encouraged to leave the classroom to use the courtyard, art area, communication and computing area. Demonstrate further independence children need to keep track of how many Challenges they have done, so that by Friday checker time they can demonstrate their extended learning. Excellent work is displayed in the classroom.

 

First Week in Whales:

 

Whale class were set the challenge of being ready to start PE at 9.15am on our first day back. They exceed that and were ready to start their pirate dancing by 9.10am. Their busy week back continued with a long list of maths and writing activities. They have been learning how to organise themselves and work independently with Crew Challenges. Everyone has quickly learned the routine of ‘Early Bird’ followed by 'Harbour Time' reading activities. They have also been good at getting ready with their white boards during ‘Phonics’ and ‘Maths Marines’. This week they have also been ‘wondering’ in science and revisited our SMSC characters. They have all been star CREW members showing great resilience when learning lots of new routines. Salty the Sarisbury Turtle is very impressed.

 

Story Shoe Boxes:

 

This week the children have enjoyed showing off their story shoe boxes. The have shared them with class mates and teachers who have had a fun time guessing the story clues. The children have showed lots of creativity with their ideas and we have enjoyed listening to their enthusiasm for books. Keep up the great work!

 

Paired Reading

The children in Whale Class all have a 'shipmate' who is also their paired reading bubby. During our reading sessions the children have the opportunity to share books together, read to each other read and listen to each other reading. The children have enjoyed hearing parts of stories beyond which they can read themselves, or they have enjoyed reading shipmate using their best skills A questionnaire that they completed about reading showed that nearly everyone in the class thought it was enjoyable and they like to read out of school. It also highlighted that the children mainly read books, so might benefit from reading different types of texts. Our reading area now has magazines, newspapers, leaflets and even menus to show how important our reading skill our in the real world. Whether it is reading a book for fun, or reading something else to find information we all need to keep reading for pleasure. Don’t forget to record the children’s reading in the school diary and sign off their reading challenge card. Colin the Cultural Crab is ready to give out his first stickers!

 

 

Pets in School

This week we have enjoyed welcoming our pets into our classroom. We have had dogs, cats, rabbits and even snakes in to enhance our learning of our ‘Pets’ topic. Children and parents have done a great job in telling the class lots of fact about animal care and needs. The children have asked some great questions which have demonstrated a good understanding of some of the key ideas we have been learning in science. We have discussed the kind of diet that each animal has and what it needs to do in order to keep fit and healthy. The children have used their work on life cycles well to think about which animals might have been able to have a baby and which cannot. We have also thought about the type of environment that the animal likes in live in and the type of habitat it might be suited to. All of the animals have been safely returned at the end of the sessions!

 

Forest Friends Vs World Book Day

The children in Whale’s class had a busy time when World Book Day coincided with our trip to Holly Hill with Forest Friends. Our great character costumes were set aside for the morning and we put on our waterproofs and wellies for a trip to the forest. Whilst we were there the children thought about the impact of environmental changes. What would happen to the animals in the pond if there were a drought? What would happen to the woodland animals if there were a fire? The children also enjoyed using some equipment to detect metal, measure lengths of wood and look at things close up using binoculars. Once back at school our fun character outfits were put on. Needless to say there were plenty of swords and fairy wings as the perfect accessories all around the classroom. The children made bookmarks and wrote book reviews to celebrate their love of books and reading, plus there was plenty of time to enjoy a good book!

 

Whale’s Class Assembly

Whale class invited their families and Years 1 & 2 to their assembly last week, that celebrated all of their learning about the Great Fire of London. The children showed the Tudor houses they have been making over the last few weeks, whilst being led by members of the class in a singing a round of London’s Burning. A few children set out a timeline showing where the Great Fire was set compared to other topics we have looked out including Alice in Wonderland and World War One. Several children read out extracts from their Thomas Farryner re-counts. The rest of the class added a touch of drama providing actions and amazing facial expressions. Lots of children showed off the dancing they had created with a partner during PE showing twirling and twisting flames. The finale of the assembly was some great singing of the 1666 song, which the children had learned really well. The class suggested ideas for what they would like to include in their assembly such as dressing up in red, orange or yellow. It was lovely to see some of the children taking on a leadership role, especially those sorting out the microphone! Thank you to everyone that came to watch- I hope you found it to be an informative and enjoyable assembly. Well done Whale Class!

 

History and Music Focus Week: World War One

During our focus week we looked at what life was like for those on the front line in the trenches. The children were given a ‘hands on’ experience of trench life with real artefacts from the time. We looked at the records of historic events and wrote a diary entry as a serving member of the army. Children also got to think about the similarities and differences in everyday life from the 1916 and the present day. They were not too impressed with the idea of schools from the day but they were also surprised to find that many of the toys still exist today. Food was considered too and they even got to eat a 'war time' lunch. Edith Cavell was a significant historical figure that we studied. The class were able to express their views well as to whether she was a hero or traitor.

We all enjoyed listening to some wartime songs and the children were very enthusiastic about trying to sing a few. They enjoyed a visit from Brookfield musicians to give a rendition of wartime music. A big thank you to everyone in the class that brought in information about serving family members from the 1st World War. Later in the year we will be studying the 2nd World War.

 

Pirates Vs Mermaids

Congratulations to everyone in the class for their fantastic contribution to our Christmas Pantomime- Pirates Vs Mermaids. The very British traditional of a seasonal panto showed off all of our class talents. From the children who acted so confidently, to the clear narrators and sea everyone was very entertaining. The singing was a real treat for the audience after the many weeks of learning words and actions. The children had a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyed getting dressed up and having their faces painted for each performance. The audience certainly seemed to enjoy it too and thoroughly participated. A huge thank you to all of the parents who helped make it a success with everything from supplying costumes to helping children learn lines. 

 

Christmas 2015

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Pantos, parties and plenty of hard work!

 

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Setting Sail

Ahoy Me Hearties- During English Whale’s class have been off on an adventure over the high seas in search of treasure following our own maps. We have been drafting a set of instructions for fellow pirates to follow using correctly ordered time connectives. We all tried to edit our own work (great greens and think pinks) before we wrote it out using our best handwriting!

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All Ready for Take Off

Whales class have been using lots of our skills in our class roleplay area. We have dressed up to be part of the flight crew, checked people in and out at the airport, served in flight refreshments and flown the plane. The airport shoppers have been busy using their maths skills and the passengers have enjoyed using their geography knowledge looking at the aerial views from the aeroplane window. We have plotted our flights paths north, south, east and west of Southampton airport across Europe.

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Dancing in the Rain

During PE we thought about ‘rain’ as part of our Falling from the Sky topic. We worked with our Shipmate to produce a small sequence of dance moves. We mirrored each other or worked in parallel as we put up our umbrellas and splashed through the puddles.

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 Diwali

This week Whales Class have been thinking about Diwali. With the help of Sally the Spiritual Shrimp we learned about some of the traditions of the Hindu festival. The class enjoyed the symmetrical rangoli patterns. Everyone had a go at following a set of instructions to make their own rangoli pattern.

We even used this week’s maths about halving and quartering when we folded the card.

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Learning to Persuade

This week in Whales class we have been thinking about persuasive writing during our English lessons. We were nearly all persuaded that we would like to try a type of cereal as it claimed to be ‘delicious’. We then used persuasive words and snappy sentences to make our own poster adverts.

Today we turned our classroom into our own court with judge, jury and witnesses. We were all persuaded that Alice did not take the tarts but the judge decided that in fact Alice was guilty and put her in prison!

We shall be writing formal letters using persuasive language to the judge that we hope will help get Alice out of prison.

Forest Friends 

We used our CREW skills (Caring, Resilient, Enthusiatstic and Wondering) when we went on our visit to Hollly Hill as part of Forest Friends. We looked at different kinds of leaves and seeds. During the visit we considered the habitat and the animals that live there, including looking under a log at the insect's micro-habitat.

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Super Scientists

We turned our classroom into our own testing laboratory last week. We devised a fair test to see which biscuit would be 'best' to dunk in tea. Measuring jugs, timers and lots of tea with biscuits were all used. 

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We were even keen to record what we had done and what we found out.

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Mad Hatters

We have a great time during our Mad Hatters Tea Party. Lots of food, fun and fabulous hats. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the day.

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 Our topic this half term is Alice in Wonderland.

 

Can you find any facts about whales?