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HEADTEACHER'S Blog

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This blog is designed to keep you up to date with what's happening in our Academy.  Just as in every week, the past one has been a busy one so here are some of the highlights.

By sla13, Jun 9 2019 01:52PM

Last week proved to be an Arts-Fest with dancing, singing, painting, sculpting, crafting and writing filling the classrooms. I had the pleasure of working with a group of Y6 children creating Mardis Gras Masks on the theme of 'Behind Every Mask is a Face and Behind Every Face is a Story.

This work culminated in the RET Arts Week Exhibition at Torre Abbey. Sadly the weather did not allow us to share all the performances but the art work was on display in The Spanish Barn and was enjoyed by all the Year 5s and 6s, who travelled down to view it. We hope that many parents managed to visit the exhibiition on Saturday and enjoyed the result of such creativity.


LAST WEEK'S NEWS FROM THE TEAMS


LOWER SCHOOL TEAM:


Last week in Foundation Stage, the children enjoyed Arts Week by continuing their Journey of an Artist theme. The boys and girls were motivated by Monet's pictures to create their own musical sounds. In Nursery, the children thought carefully about the sounds they might hear if they were near a pond and they used the musical instruments to reflect this. The Reception children made some fantastic rainmakers to explore different water sounds, inspired by Monet's work.


Together, the Foundation Stage children participated in parachute games in the hall; it was very exciting to learn new songs and activities! The children listened very carefully to instructions and worked collaboratively to perform the actions. They especially loved twirling and swirling underneath the parachute as it was lifted up into the air!


The boys and girls showed great aspiration with their mark-making. In Reception, they had a go at writing descriptive sentences using the story 'The Frog Prince' as inspiration. This enthused the children to take part in lots of reading activities; they loved the frog hop blending game and they challenged themselves to read as many words as they could in 1 minute. The children in Nursery enjoyed mark-making in the role play area, where they displayed great interest in pirates! The children designed their own treasure maps and were eager to ensure that 'x' marks the spot! The boys and girls worked together to paint a flag for their very own pirate ship!


In Maths, the Nursery children worked hard on their shape recognition skills. The boys and girls were very enthusiastic when playing the 'shape reveal' game; they had great fun in predicting which shape it could be! In paired work, the children used some fantastic maths words to describe shapes for their partner to guess which one they were thinking of. Using 2D shapes, the children made fabulous pictures and arrangements. The Reception children practised counting in 2s and 10s, ordering numbers on a track and solving addition word problems. The children were encouraged to use Numicon, dominoes and the number line to support their calculations.


Year One were ‘Minibeast Explorers’ last week and enjoyed finding a variety of creepy crawlers around our grounds, particularly in the woodland area. They carefully searched under logs, around the bug hotel and around the trees to successfully find woodlice, worms and beetles to name a few. They completed a chart to tick off what they had spotted and took photos, in preparation for drawing what they had discovered. The children looked closely at insect bodies to find out how they were similar and different to one another. They looked to see how many legs they had, checked to see if they had wings or not and compared the habitats of each one. The boys and girls then used what they had found out to write non-fiction fact booklets in the style of ‘What Am I?’ They wrote facts about the physical appearance of the creatures they had found, the habitats in which they live and what they eat and they used their Contribution and Aspiration Core Values to complete the task successfully. The children focused on including carefully chosen exciting adjectives to describe their creatures. They also created extended sentences using 'and', 'so' and 'because' to make their writing more cohesive and enjoyable for the reader.


In Maths, the children worked on developing their place value and number pattern understanding by investigating number patterns using 100 number squares. They explored adding and subtracting ten, identifying how numbers increase by ten as they look down the columns of the number square. They also identified the inverse (subtracting 10) and how the numbers become 10 less each time they counted up the column. The children practised identifying 10 more and 10 less using their own practical number squares and by using an interactive number square on the iPads. This was extended to what would happen if they counted on 20 more or less by searching for patterns using the knowledge they had already found out.


MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM:


The children in Year 2 were very busy last week. They started their week continuing to explore Tinga Tales in their English learning. They used the iPads to research the habitats of African animals, used a story mountain to plan their own Tinga Tales and labelled African animals. All of the children worked incredibly hard to use their Emerald Learning Power to improve their handwriting.


On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, the boys and girls shared their Home Learning project where they were asked to create something to present to the rest of their class during the half term holiday. Each child was very brave and stood up in front of their friends and talked about their project. Some children made paper maché, some made leaflets, some made presentations and some even made costumes. What a great variety!


The children in Avocet and Heron continued their Journey of an Artist by designing and creating African masks. they thought about what they would include on their mask based on their values and beliefs just as the tribes of Africa would. They then worked incredibly hard to select appropriate materials to make the different aspects of their mask.


In Year 3, the children celebrated Arts Week. They were creating animations using the Beasties that they made before half term. In groups, they made a background and designed a story for their Beasties. Then, using the iPads, they created and animation telling the story in the background.

In Science, they started their new learning about plants. They had to draw and label everything they knew about plants then research fun plant facts. Linking Science with Arts Week, the children took close up pictures of some plants found in the school grounds and did some detailed still life pictures.

In English, the children started their persuasive writing and wrote a letter about what they would like to put and see in their local park.

In Maths, the children began to learn about right angles, as well as obtuse and acute angles.

What a busy week!


Because last week was Arts Week at Shiphay Learning Academy, as in most classrooms, the children in Year 4 were busy researching, creating and improving their own Venetian 'Beastie' masks. There was lots of sticking, gluing, cutting and sparkling in Skylark and Woodpecker. Most children were able to complete making a mask of there beastie character and accompanied it with a written beastie story.

Year 4 have begun a focus on time in Maths. They were telling time on an analogue clock, recalling information about the days of the week and months of the year, including how many days are in each month. They then applied this knowledge to word problems involving time. They are now all fired up to begin reading digital time next week.

The children in Year 4 have had another strong focus on their Social, Emotional and Mental Health learning and have been completing a range of physical and mental strategies that help to calm their minds and ready them for their learning and play. They were particularly fond of mindful breathing and a game known as 'Sit down if...'. I wonder if they can teach them to you at home?





UPPER SCHOOL TEAM:


Last week, Year 5 wrote descriptive poems about Spain using similes and metaphors. They combined their computing skills with their literacy learning to create a poetry book using the app Book Creator on the iPad. During Maths, Year 5 revised perimeter and area for shapes with missing measurements. They also explored lines of symmetry in 2D shapes and used mirrors to develop their understanding of reflecting shapes on a grid. In R.E, Year 5 created freeze frames to retell the main events from ‘The story of the Buddha’.


Inspired by the opening sequence to the film,‘The Greatest Showman’, every pupil in Year 6 wrote a poem exploring how Art transcends all boundaries and unites us all. A group of Year 6s then edited all the poems together and wrote one poem to be performed as part of the RET Arts festival at Torre Abbey. After the poem was written, Year 6 worked together in small groups to choreograph snapshots of traditional dances and music from around the world. The dances were then performed while the poem was delivered, celebrating difference and diversity in a global circus ring. Throughout the week, Year 6 completed a series of maths challenges, including a very complex Sudoku puzzle. Furthermore, Year 6 had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different style of art or artist each day including the line painting of Spanish artist Jon Miro, Bralizian carnival costume design and the Japanese art form of origami.


As part of Upper School's celebration of Arts Week, pupils had the opportunity to participate in an exciting range of workshops and events. On Tuesday, all pupils in Upper School learnt how to create music with an environmental message using pieces of junk in a workshop led by the phenomenal 'Junkman', Donald Knaack. By the end of the workshop, each class had formed their very on Junk band. On Wednesday, some pupils had the opportunity to attend a Taiko drumming workshop at Oldway to learn all about the ancient Japanese form of percussion using large drums. In addition to this, some pupils participated in a radio workshop at Shiphay with Ocean Community Radio. During the workshop, pupils learnt the essential skills needed to conduct a successful interview, including how to speak into a microphone correctly. They then put this to the test as they interviewed pupils and staff around the school about their experiences during Arts Week. On Thursday, pupils, who had performed as part of Young Voices, and a number of keen dancers travelled to Roselands to participate in a series of street dance workshops led by the dance company, Urban Strides. Unfortunately, the wet weather dampened the celebrations on Friday as the final performance event at Torre Abbey was cancelled. However, pupils still had the opportunity to look at all the amazing artwork on display in the Spanish Barn. Furthermore, pupils were able to have a sneaky peek at the BFG exhibition before it opened to the public. It was very exciting to see original drawings of the BFG which were not featured in the book.



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