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Welcome to Blackbirds Class Page

Hello. My name is Bernard the Blackbird, and the class mascot. I look out for all the children in the class to see how they're learning. Sometimes, I like to sit next to children, so that I can also learn.

Term 5 TOPIC: World War 1

Welcome back to school! We hope that you have had a nice, relaxing Easter break, not eaten too many chocolate eggs!

 

This term, we will be learning about World War 1, otherwise known as ‘The Great War’ or ‘The War to End all Wars’. Whatever you want to call it, it will certainly be an action-packed, full-on few weeks of learning.

 

We will be finding out about the events that led to the start of World War 1, and the main characters who influenced it; not something that everyone knows much about!

 

Who knew that Franz Ferdinand was an Austrian Archduke? I thought they were a Scottish rock band!

 

And did you know that the British King at the time - King George V - was a cousin of both the German leader (the enemy), Kaiser Wilhelm II AND Russian Tsar (leader), Nicholas II?

 

Children will be learning about the countries who were first involved, The British Empire and the two alliances who were at loggerheads with each other in the first place. They will also find out what life was like in the trenches – living day after day in appalling conditions with little comfort whilst fighting battle after battle. During the term, we will have a dressing up day.

 

Literacy:

The two main texts we will be focusing on this term will be a narrative (a story) and writing a journal entry. Initially, children will be working towards writing a narrative text based on love and friendship, and then they will put themselves in the position of being in a trench, writing their journal.  

 

Our whole class book - The Silver Donkey, by Sonya Hartnett - is a children's book centred around a WW1 theme, dealing with friendship, hardship and determination.

 

Maths:

Our maths this term will be focused on improving our mathematical fluency and recall skills, focusing on the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Given the unusual year we have had and not being in the classroom for a long period, I would like to use this term to consolidate previous teachings and secure fluency to go forward to KS2. For instance, counting on from any given number, partitioning two digit numbers and adding the tens / ones, combining groups of objects, using a number line / square etc. Please encourage your child to practise by counting (up/down in steps of 2, 3, 5, 10), counting up in tens (from any given number), 2, 3, 5 and 10 times tables, number bonds (to 10, 20, 50, 100). For a more interactive approach, the Topmarks website is a ‘fun’ way of learning maths (https://www.topmarks.co.uk).

 

Forest School - Tuesdays

TBC

 

PE - Fridays

This term, PE will be taught on Friday mornings, outdoors, except during inclement weather. Children should come into school on Fridays wearing full PE kit – including white T-Shirt, shorts and plimsolls or trainers. In the interest of health and safety, children will not be able to take part in PE lessons outside in school shoes only. Please also ensure they always have a water bottle on site.

 

Please see this term's curriculum map - click on the link on this webpage.

 

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

 

Mrs Durman, Mrs Jacobs and Mrs Fletcher 

Curriculum Map Term 5 WW1

Term 5 class reading book: A war story of friendship, hardship and collaboration

This term, Blackbirds will be learning about

This term, in Year 2, we will be learning all about Oxford University - which will form part of our whole school investigation of our local area. Despite only having 3 and half weeks to get our teeth into it, children will be finding out about: 

 

  • Where it is.
  • Who goes there, and what do they learn?
  • The history of Oxford University
  • Who has been there before
  • What life is like, day to day.
  • Age-old traditions
  • Remarkable discoveries from OU

 

Did you know? 

OU is made up of 38 separate colleges and 6 permanent private halls

Some colleges date back nearly 800 years

There is evidence of learning dating back to the 11th century

It is considered one of the  best universities in the world (joint with Harvard)

It is also considered as the second oldest in the world (after Bologna, Italy)

Past students include many UK prime ministers, several heads of states (including US presidents), Olympians, Nobel Prize winners and a huge number of famous scientists, writers, mathematicians and entertainers (including Hermione Granger actor; Emma Watson)

 

How can you help your child?

 

There is plenty of online resources that you can access with your children, including The Ashmolean, Pitt River's and Natural History Museums. The Bodleian Library is one of the largest libraries in the world, containing millions of books. It is a lot on online information. It has a botanical garden, which, in an ideal world, we could get to visit. Help you child find out facts about the buildings, make drawings, find out about ongoing research, look at aerial maps (Google Earth) or find out about famous people who once went there. Many famous stories borne from OU include Alice in Wonderland, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings - the list is endless. 

 

If you have any information yourself, and you would like to share information with me and the class, I would be more than happy to hear from you. 

Weekly timetable

Fruit Tasting: Different fruits and vegetables were introduced to Europe around the times of Christopher Columbus' travels. Today in Blackbirds, the children tried different tropical fruits. Some of us were pleasantly surprised by some. We tried mango, pineapple, passion fruit (which looked like frog spawn!) and pomegranate. Perhaps ask your child what they liked, and what might they like to try in the future.

Christmas Jumper Day!! - Just in case you were wondering, this is what we got up to. We pulled some crackers, ... and told some too!!

Here comes Santa - Ho Ho Ho !

Still image for this video

Father Christmas visited Drayton School. How very exciting for all of us!

Writing

Blackbirds have been learning to write a voyage and return story whereby their character goes on a journey and then returns again. They have been learning the story of Christopher Columbus' first trip to the Americas. Ask them to tell you this story using the pictures.

Whole Class Reading

So far this year, we have read:

 

The Twits (Roald Dahl)

Bill's New Frock (Anne Fine)

The Hodgeheg (Dick King-Smith)

 

       ... and are currently reading: 

 

Zombierella (Joseph Coelho and Freya Hartas)
 

Encourage your child to discuss these at home by asking: 

 - about the plot, settings and characters

 - their opinions about it

 - see if they can find out more about the author / illustrator

 - if it is like any other books or stories that they've heard of

 

We read our class book everyday and spend time discussing what's going, our feelings about the characters and and try and predict what might happen. This is a great opportunity for children to learn new and interesting vocabulary (and perhaps apply to their own writing!).   

 

 

Books we have read, or are reading now. Underneath, is a topic you could discuss with your child related to the book

Term 2 topic - Christopher Columbus

Term 2 - Christopher Columbus

 

Our topic for this term is indeed an interesting one, and hopefully, something for everyone to enjoy. We will be setting sail on a voyage of discovery – to find new lands, learning loads about Christopher Columbus and his crews on the way.

Did you know…?

  • Christopher Columbus discovered The Americas.
  • He thought he was the first from Europe, but The Vikings got there 500 years earlier (unbeknown to him).
  • However, he was in fact trying to find a direct route across the sea to India, but somehow stumbled upon other lands that we now know to be America.
  • Because he thought he had found India, these islands became the West Indies, and the people in them, were to known as Indians.
  • This was not an easy mission though. Many a time, his crew had had enough, and wanted to give up.

We will be studying various aspects of geography, history, culture and civilisation, making comparisons to now. Children will hopefully gain a sense of dates throughout history, geographical locations and an understanding how people lived in the past. They will learn how important these discoveries were in terms of how civilisations are today – and make up their own minds as to whether Christopher Columbus and his contemporaries were right all those years ago.

Maths

 

This term we are focussing on addition and subtraction, whilst still building on our place value knowledge. Everyday, we practice some kind of mental maths in order to build our maths brains. Quick recall knowledge of facts and calculation strategies helps significantly when it comes to solving more complex problems. 

 

Practice the following with your child as much as you can: 

 - Counting up and down in ones, twos, fives and tens

 - Counting up and down in tens from any given number (e.g. 4, 14, 24, 34. 44, ...)

 - Counting up and down in threes

 - adding up / subtracting simple numbers (e.g. shopping list, objects needed etc.)

 - Letting your child have access to educational maths activities (e.g. online) - list of useful sites attached.

 

Please see our maths calculation policy at Drayton Community Primary School for mathematical methods:

 

https://www.drayton-pri.oxon.sch.uk/maths-coverage/

 

 

Some real brain teasers here for all primary aged children

Term 1: Seven Wonders of the World

Welcome back! It’s so good to be back at school after what seems like a life-time away. It has been wonderful to meet all the children that make up the new Blackbirds Class, and of course, the parents too.

 

This term, our topic is all about landmarks, more specifically ‘The Seven Wonders of the World’. A truly interesting start to the beginning of our new year, and a topic that encompasses both history and geography, giving children an insight to the world beyond our (long shut) front doors.

 

See if you can name them all (before peeking at the list below)…

 

  • The Taj Mahal (India)
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Machu Picchu (Peru)
  • Chichen Itza (Mexico)
  • Petra (Jordan)
  • Christ the Redeemer (Brazil), and finally…
  • The Colosseum (Italy)

 

Did you notice? The Great Pyramid of Giza is NOT on the list!

 

The Seven Wonders of the Modern World are a list of landmarks that have long been considered to be the most awe-inspiring structures in the world. Many, made hundreds (even thousands) of years ago, must have taken an unbelievable number of hours to build, not to mention the brainpower of some very clever individuals. Because of this, they each attract millions of tourists every year. The current list replaced the original list that consisted mostly of landmarks that no longer exist. (I have attached a Powerpoint if you are interested in finding out more).

 

Humanities:

We will be studying various aspects of geography, history, culture and civilisation, making comparisons to nowadays. Children will gain a sense of dates throughout history, geographical locations and an understanding how people lived in the past. They will learn why each of these landmarks qualify as ‘Wonders of the World’, are key landmarks and popular tourist attractions today. Hopefully, this will be an interesting topic for all.

 

Writing:

Each term, we aim to teach two writing genres. By this I mean, children will be working towards writing two different pieces of text. By the end of the year, they will have experienced writing for a variety of different purposes (including fiction and non-fiction). This term, we will be writing a narrative (or story/tale) to begin with, followed by a non-chronological report in the last three weeks. For more information about writing genres, please visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zd66fg8

 

Maths:

This term’s focus is place value (counting, ordering, comparing, hundreds/tens/ones, representing numbers using apparatus). Children need to have a solid understanding of ‘number’ before progressing onto other operations (+ - x and ÷). Next term, we will be starting addition and subtraction. You can help you children by visiting some useful websites (see below) and regular counting with them (ones, twos, fives, tens and forwards/backwards from any given number).

 

Topmarks: https://www.topmarks.co.uk/

BBC Bitesize: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zjxhfg8

White Rose: https://whiterosemaths.com/homelearning/

 

Please find attached: our weekly timetable, curriculum map for this term plus other useful information.

 

Best regards,

Mrs Durman and Mrs Jacobs – The Blackbirds Team

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