Today we visited the Wild Life Park, together with class 3/4. Our class spent the period before lunch observing the residents and finding out about the adaptations that various animals have made to suit their habitats and lifestyles. We were lucky enough to arrive at the penguin enclosure at feeding time, so most of the children were able to help the keeper with some fish throwing. Some groups also managed to observe snake feeding time too; it was pleasing that some of the more shy animals were very sociable today.
Later on we visited the classroom, where the children were provided with more detailed information about animal adaptation. After the discussion, they were able to stroke assorted charming creatures, such as hissing cockroaches, African land snails, millipedes and a boa constrictor. We also looked at a tarantula that had shed its skin overnight, but that stayed inside its container!
We all had a good day out and hopefully learned a lot in the process. Thanks go to parent helpers for your support - much appreciated.
Attached is a small selection of 'photographs taken on the trip.
This term we have been learning about life cycles in our science lessons, focusing on plant life cycles, but also considering those of animals. We have had some guests living with us in the classroom. Our painted lady caterpillars are resting in their cocoons and due to emerge any day now - Mrs Burton will not be impressed if butterflies do not appear between 9 and 3-30 tomorrow, as the caterpillars were despatched ten days later than she requested!
Our topic this term is the Global Village; the country we are studying in depth is Thailand. So far we've looked at geographical aspects such as climate and the children have researched the various animals that live there and presented their findings to the rest of the class. We've recently started to talk about differences in culture and customs; after half-term, we'll look at specific areas of interest such as Buddhism (and food!) in a little more detail.
SPRING TERM 2011
This term we have started learning about World War II. So far we've considered why, when and where it started, who was involved and how the British people protected themselves against the threats they faced.
The class voted to have an evacuation centre as their role play area and this week have made evacuee labels and gas masks as props for imaginary play.
As a class we are sharing 'Once' by the Australian author, Morris Gleitzman. The story is set in 1942 and written from the perspective of a young Jewish boy; so far the children seem to be thoroughly enjoying it. (By coincidence, Gleitzman's series of three books is available in the latest book club publication).
Another well-written war-based novel(/DVD) some children may be ready to appreciate is John Boyne's "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas'.
On Thursday 20th January every class had a visit from the local branch of the Red Cross. The children spent some time asking questions and learning about the work of the Red Cross and were then lucky enough to go inside an ambulance via its lift, look at the equipment and discuss how it is used. They were particularly impressed by the volume of the vehicle's sirens! The paramedics appreciated the quality of the children's questions and have offered to visit us again.
Year 4 children have enjoyed badminton coaching at the NSC on Mondays, while the year 5 children swim. The whole class is making good progress with netball skills this term. Year 5 and 6 children are able to attend after schools netball coaching on Wednesdays.
Our World War II work this week has focused on writing the diaries of evacuees. Next week the children will enhance their work using 'Pages' (a word processing application) and we will then collate a book of their stories.
We have also made some simple code breaking devices; not quite the Enigma, but nevertheless most of the class were quite skilled at cracking secret messages!
We've recently had a science week, where we studied 'The Earth and Beyond'. The children were really enthusiastic about the topic but some were quite surprised by some of the facts we discussed, such as the phases of the moon and the reason we have leap years. They spent time working in pairs to produce 'keynote" slideshow presentations on space topics of their choice which I've been impressed by.
We've finished reading 'Once' and have moved on to the second story in Gleitzman's series, 'Then'. The children continue to be throughly enjoying hearing about Felix's adventures and have been asking some very sensible questions.
We will continue studying World War II after half term, looking at 'rationing' in more detail, designing and going on a school trip to study 'the Home Front'.
Manx Museum Trip - 30th March 2011
We had a very successful trip to the Manx Museum to study the 'Home Front' today.
The children undertook four different activities in small groups.
The Home Front
This involved the girls being given war time make-up to apply, whilst the boys had their hair re-styled! The children then attended a dance and learned to waltz - my group were pleased I didn't record their performance!
The Rushen Camp
For this activity the children learned about the locations of the internees in the Isle of Man and did some sewing, making leather Identity Card pouches.
Here the children acquired rationed ingredients in order to make 'crunchies'. They followed a war-time recipe using imperial measures, weighed the ingredients using old-fashioned scales and thoroughly enjoyed eating warm biscuits on the way back to school!
The children learned about the ways in which people kept themselves safe and entertained themselves during periods of Black Out. They heard air-raid sirens and the sound of nearby bombs and experienced the confined space of an Anderson Shelter.
We also calculated the number of children that could fit in a more modern shelter on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon!