This year, we extended our WBD celebrations by have a whole-school focus on the text ‘Wonder’. Children in KS1 looked at the picture book called ‘We’re all Wonders’, based on R.J. Palacio’s original story, which we spent the week looking at in Year 6. We used hot seating and drama games to explore different character’s perspectives. Towards the end of the week, we also wrote diary entries and chapters from different viewpoints in the text.
Today we completed our silent read! The children did fantastically well remaining silent for 2 whole hours! We broke it up and did some in the morning and the rest in the afternoon. It was lovely to see children bringing in lots of different texts from home – even if it did mean that I was subject to some awful jokes today courtesy of several joke books!
Today was the day of reckoning!
We spent the day preparing for our Titanic court hearing. The children were assigned to either prosecution and defence teams and set to work preparing their witness statements, lines of argument and closing speeches.
We also assigned the roles of clerks, usher and the members of the jury. We were lucky enough to be joined by our special guest judge, Miss Hodgkinson!
The court hearing commenced and the lawyers battled it out for each of their clients. We heard some compelling evidence from each team and then listened to accounts from several different witnesses. The jury then retired to consider their verdict…
They found the following:
Mr Bruce Ismay was guilty of gross negligence and misconduct and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and a hefty fine!
Joseph Bell, a representative from Harland and Wolff, was guilty of gross negligence and misconduct and was ordered to pay a fine. They have also been banned from building future passenger ships.
Captain Edward Smith and Thomas Andrews were cleared of all charges!
This week the children have been put through their paces with another round of practice SATs papers. They have done so well to remain so focused on every paper and have really demonstrated how much they have learnt this year already.
In our English lessons, we have been drafting our Titanic newspaper reports. The children have been working hard to select vocabulary and grammatical structures that are appropriate to form. We have concentrated on using the passive voice, relative clauses and adverbial phrases for cohesion.
In our afternoons, we have also been planning and conducting our own science investigations. The children devised their own electricity questions to explore and test out. They worked in groups to carry out their experiments and then record their results, finishing it with a formal written conclusion.
This week we have been celebrating National Storytelling Week! Year 6 children have been going down to other classes to share stories at the end of each day. I have been really impressed with how maturely the children have done this. I managed to go and visit lots of classes in action and was really pleased with their use of expression and voice to engage children in the story. I know lots of the younger children thoroughly enjoyed this time with the Year 6s and they certainly look up to them as role models.
In English this week, we have been looking at newspaper reports, in preparation for writing our own next week on the sinking of the Titanic. We have been thinking in more detail about some of the grammar skills applicable to report writing (e.g. the passive voice, relative clauses, fronted adverbials and conjunctions).
This week in our English lessons, the children have been continuing on with their flashbacks. They have worked hard to listen and respond to feedback, in order to improve the quality of their writing. Our main focuses have been the use of effective speech and description. Next week we will be moving on to look at newspaper reports in preparation for writing our own about the sinking of Titanic.
In our experience lessons we have been refreshing our understanding of electrical circuits. We have recapped the range of electrical symbols and discussed the difference between a battery and a cell. Today, we also talked about what a conductor was and we made circuits using different objects to conduct electricity and replace the wires in our circuits.
Today the children took on the role of ‘Sport Leaders’ as Flitch Green hosted a Multi-sport tournament for KS1, including children from Stebbing and Felsted Primary. I was very proud of how every child handled themselves, modelling and demonstrating our Flitch Green values expertly. I was especially pleased to be approached by members of staff from the other schools to say how impressed they have been with our Year 6 students. They were calm, patient and very encouraging to all of the younger pupils – although, I imagine they are now completely exhausted! Who knew teaching and coaching children could be such hard work?!
In our English lessons, the children have been working incredibly hard on writing their Titanic flashbacks. They have produced some fantastic narratives so far, focusing sharply on their use of speech to convey character and their description of setting and atmosphere. I look forward to reading the completed versions next week!
This week we boarded the magnificent Titanic!
On Monday morning we were each given our boarding passes, which told us a little bit of information about the passengers that travelled on that ill-fated ship. Some of the class were much aggrieved to discover they were travelling in 3rd class, whilst others were pleasantly surprised by the luxuries that awaited them in their 1st class suites!
Over the course of this week, we have learnt a little bit more about the strict class structures that were in place in society at this time. We have explored the Titanic’s journey and put the events of its sinking in chronological order.
In English, we have been developing our use of speech. Although we are now confident with using a full range of speech punctuation, we now need to convey character and move the plot forward through our use of dialogue. This is not an easy skill and one which has required a lot of hard work!
It is lovely to see everyone after the Christmas holidays! We have been eased in this week with our annual Poetry Slam! This has meant that every class has spent the last four days exploring and learning a piece of classic poetry. Comet were tasked with the poem ‘The Raven’ by Edgar Allan Poe. We spent the first few lessons getting to grips with the narrative of the poem and unpicking lots of the complex language. We used drama and created comic strips to help us retell the poem.
All our hard work in rehearsals then culminated this afternoon; with much excitement, the whole school gathered together to watch everyone’s performance in our poetry slam. Every class made a fantastic effort and pulled out all of the stops! As always, Comet did us proud and presented a haunting rendition of ‘The Raven’ which impressed everyone, staff and children alike! Despite our valiant effort, this year the winner was Mars class with their version of ‘The Jabberwocky’. Well done to everyone who was involved!
Next week we will be launching our new experience!
Throughout our literacy lessons this week, we have been drafting our persuasive leaflets to advertise our new sustainable cities. The children have worked hard to edit and improve their work so that it will be ready to be written up in best next week. The rest of our sessions have been spent sitting practice SATs papers, which the children have approached with gusto and maturity.
On Tuesday we ventured to Chelmsford to watch Peter Pan the pantomime with the rest of KS2. The children had a great time singing and showing off their dodgy dance moves!
At the end of our afternoons, we have also been practising our very best version of Shakin’ Stevens for the Christmas carol concert on Tuesday. The children have worked hard to pick up the lyrics in a short space of time and start to build harmonies in. We look forward to sharing it with you next week!
This week we have been working hard to secure some grammar skills and apply these to our persuasive writing. We have been thinking about using the passive voice, correct tense and formal language.
This afternoon we teamed up with Sun and began discussing our ideas for building our own sustainable city on St Lucia. The children had to consider what resources would be readily available to them, taking into account the geographical features of the island. They were provided with a list of non-negotiables that they had to include in the design of their new city including housing, a transport system, an energy system, retail units, leisure facilities, an education system, a healthcare system and a waste disposal system. Within this, the children had the freedom to create innovative solutions to living in an entirely sustainable city. We saw lots of fantastic ideas such as electric monorails, treehouse schools, underground recycling chutes and large compostable sites.
Using these designs, we will be planning and writing our own persuasive leaflet to encourage people to relocate to the island of St Lucia!
This week we have been using our scientific knowledge to create our own creature that has adapted to live in the St Lucian rainforest. We had to think about what they would need to cope with the climate, what their diet would be and how they would raise their young. We wrote non-chronological reports about our wonderful creations focusing on our use of scientific vocabulary and conjunctions for cohesion.
In our experience lessons, we have been looking at the geography of St Lucia. Today we were using atlases to collect and analyse statistics about the island, among other Caribbean countries. We used this information to draw conclusions about different locations.
This week marked the launch of our exciting new experience! I have been eager to tell the children for a while now that we have entered into a Raspberry Pi competition hosted by STEM. This year the brief is ‘to create a positive human future by designing the sustainable city of tomorrow’. We will be exploring this in more detail, using the island of St Lucia and its volcano as a base for our new sustainable community.
On Monday, we were lucky enough to speak to a scientist, Dr Ben Poulter, who works for NASA in the USA and does a lot of work with monitoring and analysing the impact of climate change. He FaceTimed us in the afternoon and told us lots of amazing things that NASA are working on in relation to this. He also gave us a few things to consider when we start thinking about designing our own sustainable city!
In our experience lessons this week, we have found out a little bit more about where St Lucia is and its location within the tropical belt. We have also explored some of the wildlife that lives in St Lucia and begun to think about how we could classify this.
Wow! It’s all over!
This week we reached the end of our WW2 experience and the children have done an amazing job, showcasing their learning to the rest of the school and their families.
The children worked incredibly hard this week to put together a class assembly in just four short days! The assembly they produced was a fantastic demonstration of the amount of learning that has been happening in Comet and the level of engagement from all pupils. From evacuation to WW2 politics in history and periscopes in Science, the children have covered a lot in the last seven weeks and enjoyed sharing all of this with the rest of the school.
It was also lovely to see so many people at our VE Day tea party this afternoon to celebrate the end of the war. The children have been busy with Mrs Grenville rustling up some culinary delights in the kitchen and against all odds (leaking cake tins, egg shortages and tricky oven timings!) the honey cakes went down a storm!
Now onwards to the next experience….!
Well that half-term has flown by! We hope you have a lovely holiday and look forward to seeing you all refreshed after the two weeks, ready to start class assembly rehearsals!
A few from our trip to Duxford this week…
This week in our English lessons, we have been focussing on some specific grammar skills to help make our writing more cohesive. We have been developing our writing so that we are using a better range of conjunctions and pronouns to avoid repetition. We have also worked on how to link sentences and paragraphs through the use of fronted adverbials. Next week, we will begin to apply these skills to our biographical work on Anne Frank.
In our history lessons, we have been looking at the role of propaganda in WW2. We have been analysing a range of WW2 slogans and posters to explore what the British government were trying to persuade people to do and who they were trying to target with their messages. We also discussed the effectiveness of this method and whether we thought the British government succeeded with their appeals!
We have also been continuing with our remembrance compositions in art. The children have been working really hard on their pencil skills and this week have added the finishing touches to their pictures. I think you’ll agree, they are fantastic…
This week we have been learning more about Anne Frank and her experiences of being Jewish during WW2. We have been orchestrating our own research on the Franks and recording our findings, learning how to make connections between ideas. Next week, we will be looking at some specific grammar skills relevant to the genre of biographies, in preparation for writing our own.
In Science this week, we consolidated our understanding of how light travels in straight lines and learnt about how periscopes use this principle to help us in in the army. The children created their own periscope and drew their own diagrams to show how they worked.
This week in English, we have been been drafting our hot tasks. The children have worked really hard to embed the skills that we have been learning over the last couple of weeks. They have been focussing on using consistent tense and switching from the present to the past. Next week we will start to look at Anne Frank’s experiences of WW2 and write our own biographies based on her.
In our experience lessons, we have been learning more about the evacuation process of children. We were lucky enough to hear from Fin’s granny about her experiences of being evacuated from her home in London after it was bombed. We discussed what life would have been like during WW2 in Dunmow, hosting evacuees from London. The children wrote some excellent diary entries, imagining their family had been asked to take in an evacuee.
This week has been another busy one in Comet. In English we have been looking at how we can develop our descriptive writing. We have been encouraged to take more risks with our language and to be precise with our use of vocabulary to create as detailed description as possible. The children have blown me away with their already extensive vocabulary and it is great to see them picking up some effective words/phrases from their reading and applying them to their writing. Towards the end of this week, we explored how we can use speech effectively to convey character and to advance the plot. This is a hard skill to master and the children did a great job at making their speech seem as natural and purposeful as possible. Next week we will start to draft our final pieces for our narrative unit using the skills we have learnt.
In History this week, we explored Churchill’s character in more detail. We used a clip from ‘The Darkest Hour’ to support our understanding of Churchill’s personality and to consider the reasons why Churchill was offered the role of Prime Minister. We found him to be a very amusing and determined character, if a little short-tempered!
In our Science lessons, we have begun work on our unit on light. At the start of the week we explored the fact that light travels in straight lines. To test this, we made our own light mazes using shoeboxes and mirrors to reflect the light from one corner of the box to the other. Today, we took this further and used string to help us represent how light travels from a light source, to an object and then into our eyes. We also had a very interesting conversation about what life would be like if there was no colour!
This week we have been looking at the Battle of Britain in more detail. We have examined a range of historical sources and discussed what life would have been like for the fighter pilots during 1940. The children wrote diary entries from either the perspective of the RAF or the Luftwaffe.
In our art lessons, we have been looking at the symbolism of the poppy. The children began by collecting their ideas and creating moodboards with images, sketches and collage materials.
In our English sessions, we have been focussing on developing our grammar skills. We have looked at punctuation, tense and fronted adverbials. The children have done some beautiful writing this week and I have been very impressed by their vocabulary. Next week we will be looking at developing setting description and speech.
Welcome to Comet!
This week saw an exciting start to the year with the launch of our WW2 experience. No sooner had we arrived in Comet class, were we being evacuated to the hall by Mr Lowe! We were told it was September 1939 and we were on the brink of war! Our final experience outcome will be a VE Day street party, where we will be celebrating the end of the war by using some of our rations to create some wartime culinary delights!
In English, we have begun to explore the fantastic story ‘Fireweed’, learning all about two teenager’s (Bill and Julie) adventures and trials in wartime London. We have hot seated the characters and explored their relationships with each other. Next week, we will start to focus on some more grammar specific skills to support our narrative writing.
Stay tuned to our blog for regular updates!