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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, Feb 11 2018 04:00PM


Lower School was awash with onesies, jimjams, teddies and hot chocolate on Tuesday when Lower School had its Bedtime Stories Evening; and that was just the staff! It is always such a lovely occasion to share stories together and celebrate the art and importance of reading stories to children young and old.

Lower School also had an Open Afternoon, welcoming friends and families to share their learning, as did Middle School. Everyone had such a good time sharing their learning in school.

News from The Teams

Lower School: - During the final week of their History Detectives theme, the children in Lower School further explored a range of seaside-related activities. They ended their week by show-casing all of their hard work to their families during the Open Classroom afternoon. They performed Victorian Music Hall songs, dances and they showed the films they had made as part of the theme.

The Nursery children focused on matching numbers to quantity as part of their Maths learning. They worked together to put the correct amount of shells on to the corresponding number; it was a tricky challenge! The children were very artistic and created their own detailed pencil drawings of beautiful shells; the boys and girls looked carefully at the shapes of the shells - some were 'spiky' or 'wavy', 'smooth' and 'rough'. It took a lot of concentration and the children were so proud of the final results. During group times, the girls and boys were fascinated by photos of Victorian seaside holidays. They identified that Victorians travelled to the beach by train and they worked as a team to build ramps of different heights to see how fast the toy trains could get to the seaside!

In Reception, the children compared their experiences of the seaside to those that the Victorians experienced when they took seaside holidays. The boys and girls produced some fantastic writing; they wrote their own fabulous poems about their senses, writing about what they could see, hear, smell, feel and taste at the seaside. In Maths, the children really enjoyed exploring capacity; they had great fun with the sand and water, as they got to grips with comparing different capacities. They also looked at the book 'A Squash and a Squeeze' by Julia Donaldson. The boys and girls had to find out how many objects they could squash and squeeze into different containers!

The children in Year 1 worked hard in their Phonics sessions and were introduced to the 'wh', and' 'ph' sounds. The children wrote some very interesting factual sentences about the Victorian era and the differences between the rich and poor children. During Maths, the girls and boys applied their multiplicative and division reasoning skills to solve a variety of problems, ranging from sorting an unlucky farmer’s sheep into fields to the number of aliens’ antenna on a UFO! The children also practised drawing arrays, so that they have a visual tool to help them solve such problems. They had the chance to get creative when they designed and built the houses of rich and poor Victorians out of large construction blocks. The Victorian theme continued with the children drawing and painting their own beach paintings in the style of the great impressionists Walter Sickert, Charles Conder and Philip Wilson Steer. They also made a range of props for the Open Classroom performance. Ladybird listened to the first chapter in their new class book, 'The Ghost of Grania 'O'Mally ' by Michael Morpurgo, whilst Dragonfly continued to enjoy some of Aesop's Fables.

Middle School: - Last week Middle School colleagues and pupils enjoyed the opportunity to welcome you to their classrooms to share their learning from the "History Detectives" theme. It was lovely to see so many of you supporting the events and we hope you learnt lots of interesting facts from our junior historians.

In Year 2, the children were very excited to share all of their Victorian learning with their visitors and enjoyed the chance to collaborate creatively whilst making a Victorian doll. In Maths, the children have been getting active and joining in with a range of 'Supermover' Maths activities that allow them to practise their multiplication knowledge and develop a more fluent knowledge of the multiplication tables. They also challenged themselves to beat the clock on 'Hit the Button' and are very eager to share this game at home. The children also continued to apply their addition and subtraction knowledge and used their skills in the context of money. In English, the adults have been very impressed with the children's enthusiasm to write their own stories and it has been wonderful to see them sharing their creative ideas with their peers. As part of their story writing, the children have continued to explore different sentence types, practised spelling patterns and recorded dictated sentences. Year 2 have continued to enjoy opportunities to read and share books and have been focusing on prediction and comprehension. In PE, the children took part in a range of Multi-Skills activities which allowed them to develop their hand-eye co-ordination, as well as their tennis and throwing skills.

The highlight of the week in Year 3 was the children performing their Egyptian songs to their families. They sang beautifully, sharing their actions and clearly enjoying the opportunity to perform. The children then welcomed their visitors into their classes and shared Egyptian activities including puzzles, challenges and. The children were also very proud to present the electronic books they had made about Howard Carter.

In Maths the children started to use their additive reasoning to add a ones or tens number to a two or three digit number and looked at different mental methods to do this. They were asked to use this number knowledge in their home learning over the half term.

In English they used their vast knowledge of Howard Carter, along with their five senses, to imagine what it would have felt like to discover the tomb of Tutankhamen. They worked hard on a piece of extended writing, writing a postcard as Howard Carter to his family. They have also continued to progress with Accelerated Reader and are keen to improve their word count each week. Now I hey each have their log on details, the children have been using Accelerated Reader successfully at home and this has further fuelled their interest.

The children also celebrated Valentines Day and enjoyed some craft activities linked to this learning.

In Year 4 the children also had the pleasure of working with their parents during the open classroom afternoon designed to celebrate their thematic learning about Howard Carter and his discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. The afternoon was started off with a bang with a performance of "The Mummy Rag" and " Rootin Tootin Khamun", two songs that had helped the children learn more about The Egyptians. Following the performance, the children acted as guides, welcoming their visitors to the classrooms and sharing their learning. It was a pleasure to see the interaction and quality of learning.

During literacy, the children continued to unpick the story of Jack and The Dreamsack. In addition to this, they have been using the text to identify examples of adverbial phrases and explored creating some of their own. This will stand them in good stead for writing their own stories after half term.

In Maths, Year 4 were making use of the bar modelling tool to help them to represent addition and subtraction of 4 digit numbers. Now that they have a sound knowledge of the written methods and of the structure of addition and subtraction, the children were applying the bar tool to support them in solving 2 step word problems.

Upper School: - Last week, Year 5 acted out and filmed, their King Henry VIII play scripts. They also began to analyse how settings are described and looked at how directors create atmosphere and emotion in films. Miss Bancroft’s maths group were finding fractions and percentages of amounts. Mrs Kennedy’s maths group were practising two-step word problems. In Science, Year 5 analysed their results and drew conclusions from their investigation into materials as insulators.

Year 6 researched Henry VIII's petition to Pope Clement VII to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. As part of literacy, Year 6 analysed the key language and text features of persuasive writing before they wrote their own petition to Pope Clement VII as if they were Henry VIII. Both Mrs Gorman's and Mrs Lee's maths group continued their exploration of fractions. Mrs Lee's maths group were developing their understanding of dividing with fractions while Mrs Gorman's maths group were subtracting mixed number fractions and simplifying fractions. On Monday, Year 6 worked with sports students from Torquay Boys Grammar School to learn the skills necessary to play handball. Tuesday was 'Safer Internet Day'. During the afternoon, Year 6 worked with Miss Ward and explored how to keep themselves safe online. As part of French, Year 6 edited the final draft of their letter to their French penfriend. In RE, Year 6 continued to learn the story of Moses.

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