Thursday, 29 November 2018

Mrs Pyne's trip to Shanghai

Yesterday was a special day for England-China relations as 86 primary and secondary maths teachers (including me) were officially welcomed into Shanghai as part of a maths teacher exchange programme.

I was also very privileged to attend a lecture given by Professor Gu (a famous mathematics educationalist who developed a theory called variation). Sadly, I didn’t have time to ask him any questions! I also met the Chinese teachers who are coming to Windhill21 in January. The teacher who will be in Y4 Moore class is called Jennifer (I will check out what her teacher name is though!). She teaches in an International school in Shanghai so her English is brilliant. Today, I will be going to the school for the first time.

In the evening, I went to a rooftop restaurant on a street called the Bund. It has a great view across the river.

Mrs Pyne

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Year 2 Reading Certificates

We just wanted to let all year 2 parents know that after feedback from some parents, we will be starting up the reading certificate scheme the children were completing in year 1. We agree that it will be a great way to motivate children to read more at home and help them to make more progress with their reading. If your child is on the accelerated reader scheme, they will still get certificates, you just need to write in each time they read. We are starting by giving certificates for 50 reads and some children who have already reached this goal will receive their certificates next week. Please make sure your child is bringing in their reading diary daily. Thanks for your support!

Money, money, money!

We took a break from show rehearsals today and focused on totalling amounts of coins in Maths. We had different amounts of coins and had to use what we knew to add them up in our heads. 

Year 4 patchwork quilt

As usual Year 4 have had a crazy week with lots of different activities going on. This includes sewing together a patchwork quilt which we have all contributed one piece to. We had great fun designing our own squares to reflect our interests and individualities before having a go at sewing them all together.

Mrs Layer helped us to use the sewing machine. Judging by the picture we don’t think she was worried at all! 

Singing festival prep!

In Year 4 we have been busy practising for our singing festival next week. We have had performed our class songs to each other, given feedback and really tried hard to act like a professional choir!

It has been great fun to see how we have all been improving with each practise

"We've read that one!"

Story Club in Reception

Having shared some favourite stories during previous sessions, Miss Lawrence picks up another favourite... before she even utters the title, the children call out: "We've read that one!"

Now, the importance of revisiting favourite stories does indeed help children with a number of crucial skills, including listening and attention, understanding of the world and expressive arts and design. However, the children were convinced of one thing; "We can make up our own stories instead!"

So, equipped with this confidence and motivation, the children have decided that story club should be about their own stories! 

This week, Nico took to the stage as our Storyteller, reciting his own story all about a bear:

"The Bear"
By Nico
Illustrated by Leo

Once upon a time, there was a big bear! He lived in a big cave. He had a little baby. Suddenly, there was a noise. It was a doggy. The bear ate him up! The end.

After the recital, the children re-enacted the story 'on stage', playing the part of each character, including the cave, noises and even the poor dog!

We cannot wait to hear a brand new story next week!

Monday, 26 November 2018

Gruffalo Crumble!

This week, the children in Reception are reading 
The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson.

Image result for gruffalo

After reading the story, the children thought about whether they would rather eat scrambled snake, owl ice cream, roasted fox or Gruffalo crumble! The children decided that Gruffalo crumble might taste the nicest as "it might taste a bit like apple crumble!"

Using our Gruffalo cook book, we found a recipe to help us make it. Nico counted out the ingredients - "you only need three!" - whilst Ava spotted that "we need to do six things to make it!". Unfortunately, the pictures in our book didn't come with written instructions... that's where we came in! The children worked together in their house groups to write the instructions for their crumble.

The children are really soaring with their writing. They are starting to respond to feedback given, growing their brains with the help of 'Gordon Green'. 

Equipped with their instructions (and nice clean hands!), the children followed them carefully in order to make their delicious Gruffalo Crumble!

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Fire Fire!

Over the past few weeks the children have been practising their production of 'Fire Fire!' They have worked so hard and can't wait to perform it this week to an audience. It has tied together all of the learning on the Great Fire of London and their performance skills have really improved. It's going to be a very exciting week in year 2!

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Gruesome Aztec Sacrifice

In topic, we have been learning about the Aztec human sacrifice as part of our learning journey around whether the Aztecs were violent savages.

Here we acted out the process in groups adding some humour for the audience!

Understanding Addition Through Oracy

We had a fantastic session in maths based around our understanding of the column method of addition. We were posed with a range of calculations which all had errors in. We worked in pairs, tables and as a class to talk through the problems. We had so many light bulb moments as we worked as a team to move our learning and understanding on.
The mistakes were all misconceptions that appear commonly and by working together we could share those.

Pupil Voice

'Oh I can see it now, the numbers are not in the correct place value position' Felix.

'Where the dots are should be zeros' Lexie
'But those dots are decimals? Declan
'So they are decimal numbers but they are not in the correct place' Lexie

'They haven't carried the tens over (shakes her head). Maggie.

Following Instructions

We have been learning about the features of instructions and what better to think about than selcting and packing Christmas trees at this time of year.
We first identified the most important features of instructions and made sure we would focus on these when performing the instructions.
We considered how we would use our voices to engage the audience.
We are now looking forward to using our learning in our upcoming 'Human Sacrifice' instructions.

A Bit Of A Mix

In science, we were presented with a large mixture that needed to be separated as efficiently as possible. We first discussed different ways common materials are separated such as using magnets and sieves.
In our challenge, we had to think about these and then separate the mixture using paper plates, foil and magnets but sieves were not allowed.

The mixture included

  • Coffee
  • sand
  • paperclips
  • sugar
  • salt
  • rice

Many groups decided to try making equipment that resembled a sieve. There were fantastic conversations about ideas. They did this by piercing holes in the paper plate
The lesson ended with the question 'How can we separate sugar, salt and water?'

Friday, 23 November 2018

Year 1 Science

This week, we began our new science topic - Senses!

We began by looking at different body parts and the functions of these, such as the knee - it helps us to bend our leg and walk (have you ever tried walking without bending your knee!).  To help us we drew around an outline of one of our classmates and labeled the different parts.

We compared the labeled drawings and discussed if our ideas about what each body parts function was similar, addressing any misconception along the way.

We also talked to each other about what senses were and the parts of the body that we 'sense' the world around us.  Over the coming weeks we will investigate how some of the senses help us to understand some of the basic fundamentals of life such as taste, touch and sight that we often don't think about.

Year 3 Update

Year 3 kick started their week with a Natural Disasters workshop focusing on drama and use of language to describe the effect and impact they can have on people. We have also been learning about Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Versuvius in 79 AD in topic lessons. It has given us a real insight into the impact a volcanic eruption can have and from this we will be writing our own diary entries next week. The children have worked really hard on the maths quizzes throughout the week and we have also been learning about the positives and negatives of the sun and how to keep safe in the sun.

Equaliteam Meeting 21.11.18

This week the Equaliteam met on Wednesday with brand new members!

We took the time to introduce ourselves and Miss Clarke and Miss Lawrence explained what the Equaliteam is all about.

The children shared ideas for making the school equal and fair for everyone. Our first job was to update our Child Friendly Anti-Bullying Policy, as the children felt that bullying was an important issue to raise to ensure everyone is aware of the school's stance on bullying. Below is a copy of the policy.

During our next meeting we are going to discuss these ideas further and see what positive changes we can make to equality throughout Windhill21

It's OK to be different!

In Reception this week, the children have been sharing stories about different kinds of families. We wondered whether it was better to be the same as other people or to be different. 

"I think it's nice to be the same because your 

friends will like the same game as you"

"I think it's nice to be different because you can 

be good at different things"

 Although we had different thoughts about it being better to be the same or different to our loved ones, we all agreed that it was OK to be different and that differences should be respected and celebrated!

We made some equality posters and read books about different families during CIP.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Nursery rhyme challenge week

This week the nursery children are taking part in a Nursery Rhyme Challenge Week. Each day we have been learning a new nursery rhyme and complete challenges to do with each rhyme.
We started on Tuesday with Humpty Dumpty. After sharing this rhyme with the children we looked at the different materials in our construction area to see what we could build a wall out of. Once the walls had been built children could be heard retelling the rhyme using small world characters provided too!

On Wednesday we learnt " A sailor went to sea." It was really hard to clap  and tap in rhythm to the beat but after a few goes the children began to pick it.  Our challenge today was to use the under water sponges to create sea scenes of all the things a sailor might have seen at sea.
Today, we learnt "I'm a little teapot" and explored how many  scoops of water we needed to fill the big teapot on the water trolley and practiced singing the words whilst playing with the teapots and cups.
Tomorrow we will be learning our final rhyme of the week   "Round and round the garden".
Words to the songs are available for anyone who would like them on the parent table ( next to the sharing book) in the Nursery.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Race for is on its way!

Please check out the videos that have been posted to the website to help with learning and practising the 3 times table and 6 times table for Stages 3 and 4 of Race for Recall.  More resources to follow soon!

Stage 3

Stage 4

The Maths Team

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Subtraction Stories!

This week Year 1 are learning about subtraction by telling stories. We are using our counting bears and acting out the story before having a go at writing the calculation on a whiteboard.

Here is our speaking frame:

"At first there were ... "
"Then ... "
"Now there are ... "

"At first there were 9 teddies in the bath.
Then 4 jumped out!
Now there are 5 teddies in the bath."

Array time in Year 6!

Some of the Year 6 children have been investigating numbers in maths this week. Using counters, the children have been building arrays to work out which numbers are square and prime numbers. They have also found the factor pairs of numbers and worked systematically to solve the problem. 

Monday, 19 November 2018

Science Day in Year 5

On Science Day, Year 5 began by exploring and investigating how different objects react in sparkling and still water.  We certainly had a lot of fun discovering the reaction that ‘mentos’ and ‘skittles’ had with the sparkling water!  We also looked at surface tension by being challenged to make a paper-clip float on water when it would normally sink.  Can you work out how we did this?

Thinking back to the first investigation we thought about why some objects float and why some objects sink in water.  This lead to a discussion about ‘density’ and the density of liquids and materials. 

To explore this further, we created a ‘density tower’ with honey, maple syrup, milk, washing up liquid, oil, coloured water and acetone.  We found that different liquids have different density’s which makes them seem to float on top of each other.  We then wanted to know if this has any effect on different objects and where they might sink through water they may float in liquids with different density’s.  The photographs below show our results.

RWI meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended the RWI meeting with Mrs Price and Miss Lawrence this morning. As promised, we have included some useful resources for you in this blog.

This video helps to ensure sounds are pronounced 'purely' 

These videos contain catchy Tricky Words songs we are listening to in school!

Tricky words that your Reception aged child will be reading by the end of the year:


Sunday, 18 November 2018

Science Day

Wednesday saw the whole school dive into the deep for our  'Water Water Everywhere' themed science day. The morning began with The Royal Institute delivering an awe inspiring assembly full of fun, facts and explosions.
Throughout the day, each class completed two science investigations based around water. The children were excited to share with their parents and carers all of the wonderful things they had learnt during the day.
The fun did not end there though. In front of a packed and sold out hall, another fantastic show full of science wowed parents and children alike.

 A great day for everyone.

Friday, 16 November 2018

The human life cycle

In science this week we have been learning about the human life cycle. Check out Laura and Daisy’s work where they described what happens at each stage of the human life cycle.

Would you rather...

Here are some of our ‘would you rather’ maths questions in year 2 for World Philosophy Day. What would you rather do?

Year 6 - P4C in maths

The children in Year 6 have been ‘philosophising’ about numbers with special starters in our maths lessons this week.  This led to a great deal of discussion, especially when the children were asked to explain their thinking and prove it.