W/E 8th March 2019
Year 8 go to court!
This week, Year 8 have had the challenging job of putting King John on trial. Judge Brinder took control of the court room and Melisa A, Oliver S, Betty M, Charlie P, Henry L and Dima A acted as barristers, prosecuting and defending King John and trying to determine whether or not he deserves his poor reputation. After a number of witnesses and some tricky jury discussions, both groups agree that John was, in fact, a terrible king!
Well done Year 8!
Year 5 play with doh!
Miss Bridges is trying to bring some multi-sensory learning into the History classroom and Year 5 were the first to use playdoh to try and help them remember key vocabulary and events in history. 5G worked in pairs to create the United Kingdom, war scenes and even the telephone, as invented by Alexander Graham Bell. A rather fun time was had by all!
Year 7 show off their artistic capabilities!
Year 7 have been looking at the Norman Conquest and this week they focused on the creation and development of castles. Their first activity was to split themselves into groups. Team members took it in turns to stand outside the classroom with Miss Bridges and to memorise as much as they could from a picture of a motte and bailey castle. As you can see, they were very proud of the drawings that they created … though some were not very accurate!!
Healthy talks are still continuing in lesson times, with Year 5 now looking at the harmful effects of alcohol on the body. Fear not, I haven’t told the children that glasses of wine/Prosecco/beer are all bad but I have explained that excessive amounts can cause long-term damage. The children might also mention about drink/driving limits and anti-social behaviour! Apologies for those who are told about what a hangover is and questioned on how many units they drink in a week!
This week Year 8 have been looking at probability, and in the process have become very well acquainted with dice and playing cards. So if any member of 8B or 8C invites you to the craps table or a card school this weekend don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Year 6 have been looking at series and parallel circuits, and the relationship between resistance and current.
Year 7 have studied chemical reactions, oxidation and thermal decomposition.
Year 8 are looking at sound or the principle of moments, machines as force multipliers.
Year 1 visit to Year 3 for Magical Magnetic Fun
As part of their topic on Forces in Science, Year 3 have worked well in groups to invent new games using magnets. They had to explain how to play their game to the children in Year 1 when they visited us in the De Beer block this week. They also made sure that the younger children had discovered something new; for example, magnets can work through a solid and also through water and not all coins (metals) are magnetic.
Thank you to Mrs Bennett for bringing her class over to the Pre-Prep! We all loved it!
In Classics Club this week Nathan L scored a whopping 80% in his first attempt at a Latin Level 2 exam paper. Ok, he was just having a look and it was the familiar story of Hector mistakenly killing Patroclus and then Achilles deliberately killing Hector from the Iliad; but Nathan only started learning the subject in September!
Ludo G, the master of quiet contemplation, continued to make strides in his campaign to master Greek CE.
Alistair Mc ended up pursuing an almost Socratic line of enquiry about the nature of Justice and other qualities, as well as discussing augury in Rome and how it was used and abused – really by Julius Caesar to show the particular result he wanted and achieved had been given divine validation!
Throughout the week 8V have continued to read The Odyssey in Latin, incorporating various Subordinate Clauses. 7PB have begun their reading of The Iliad in Latin – how one of the most famous wars in history was started by a piece of fruit.
Mrs Newcomb was delighted to receive a beautiful letter from one of Vinehall’s former EAL students. It really means a lot to hear how our children are doing after they leave Vinehall, and of course to see that their English goes from strength to strength.
In French we have been looking at “Mardi Gras”, the origins and celebrations associated with it around the world, as well as how to make “crepes” and “ce que j’aime manger sur mes crepes”, continuing our theme of food and drink in most of the year groups. This worked well, with the children practising how to understand a recipe in French, quantities and how to say “some” – “des oeufs, du sel, 250 grammes de farine, du chocolat, du lait et de la confiture”. We have been honing our listening skills in lessons and really trying to improve pronunciation as well. Bon appetit!
In English the Year 5s have been impressing me with their use of semi-colons and colons in a desert island piece of descriptive writing; Year 6 are learning and writing new forms of poetry, such as: sonnets, odes, ballads, haikus and free verse; Year 7 have completed and are reviewing their BBC 500 words and Year 8 are moving on to write their own persuasive speech using the techniques that we studied from the top four most famous speeches.
Shadufs in the ‘Ancient Egyptian’ pond!
Year 3 all constructed their own shaduf, a tool for irrigation invented by the Ancient Egyptians. They were excited to be able to test them in the ‘Nile’ pond in the De Beer garden! In their Learning Journey they are finding out how important the River Nile was (and is) for the Egyptians.
W/E 1st March 2019
Year 5: Identification of famous buildings in major cities eg. Shard in London, Eifel Tower in Paris
Year 6: Effect of the jet stream on our recent warm spell of weather – how long will it last?
Year 7: Continuing study of farming in GB
Year 8: The debate over HS2 and whether it is worth the money.
The Year 8s in my class have been studying the top four most famous persuasive speeches in history, as well as attempting to improvise their own speech when studying Sojourna Truth’s transcript of an unplanned speech campaigning for women’s rights in 1851.
Year 5s and 6s have been giving feedback on each others’ BBC 500 words and Year 7 are completing their 500 words next week.
EAL students from 7S have been over to the Pre-Prep to help Ms De Vine explain how to play “Trugs” (teaching/reading/using games) to Pre-Prep staff. This helps our EAL students to learn imperatives so they can give clear, concise instructions. This was so well received by both parties that a further date is in the pipeline.
In conjunction with Mrs Everist’s history lessons and shield-building activities, Year 4 marched outside for a spot of fun-in-the-sun drill. Real legionaries did that in all weathers – because they had to. They had a go at basic tactics and weapons, too. They were seen marching and following commands such as: ‘Equaliter ambula’, ‘Testudo’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Sinister’ and ‘Claudio’! Mrs E particularly liked ‘Silentium!’
Years 6, 7 and 8 are in the aftermath of exam feedback. No, I couldn’t believe you wrote that, either! But then, that is why they are called ‘Mocks’, I suppose.
Various forms had a go at Patricians to Plebs, a mobile Vocabulary and Grammar game in which pupils are promoted or demoted according to how much they can remember. This is quite important!
Year 8 have been planning their court cases as they are going to be putting King John on trial next week. King John, played by Will S in one group, made a few dubious decisions in the past and we are going to decide if he deserves the reputation that Disney and others have given him! Photos and the trial results to follow next week!
Year 8 have been practising analytical chemistry by standardising solutions. Year 6 have started to cover series and parallel circuits and Year 7 have moved on to studying the law of conservation of mass in chemistry.
On Wednesday Year 3 were keen to discuss which position in the social pyramid in Ancient Egypt they would have wanted to hold and great excitement followed when they picked randomly from ‘Carter’s pith helmet’! Orlando G held the top spot of Pharaoh, helped by his vizier, priest and scribe. Others decided they preferred being a soldier, farmer or craftsman anyway. Only the slaves were unhappy!
The theme of Ancient Egypt has also continued in English lessons this week, as the children plan their writing for an ‘explanation text’ poster, which will present facts and opinions (including their own!), posing the question: Was Tutankhamun killed?
On Tuesday, the children were lucky enough to be visited by Mr Ken Brooks, a local historian and geologist, with a particular interest in Ancient Egypt. He brought some artefacts with him and Mrs E was once again impressed with the curiosity and attentiveness of this year group.
W/E 15th February 2019
Year 8 have been looking at speed distance and time as well as quadratic sequences. Years 7 and 6 have taken their exams this week and applied themselves well.
Year 7 have been studying the Norman Conquest and 1066. In particular, the Feudal system that William the Conqueror introduced. In order to fully understand the structure of the system they have been creating their very own mobiles.
Year 3 absolutely loved making their own Ancient Egyptian Snake Game in Learning Journey this week. It was good practice at being collaborative (Billy Bee) and a real accomplishment (theme of the week!)
Year 4 were young Legionaries in Learning Journey this week. Mrs Barrett was in command! The children followed her commands in Latin, marching around with the magnificent shield they had designed and created earlier.
Children have been taking their exams and then reviewing the results of their exams! The senior children have been looking at the plu perfect passive, subjunctive and subordinate clauses. Year 4 are working studiously to come to the end of minimus and Year 5 are enjoying exploring myths and legends.
To celebrate Year 8 finishing their exams the children took a fun quiz based on French general knowledge. The Juniors have been describing (and drawing) their pets, with Year 6 spending time creating menus for their restaurants. These make “fantastique” wall displays. The Pre-Prep continue to enjoy their singing and absorbing all things French.
The children are writing up their BBC 500 Words, creative writing pieces. This is an opportunity to concentrate to imaginative content and has become a wonderful tradition at Vinehall.
Year 7 have been studying the use of the death penalty and have used that knowledge to write a discursive essay, with many children becoming very engaged with the reasoning! Year 8 debated animal testing recently. They tackled the subject with enthusiasm and produced well-researched arguments. At the end of the piece of work most children were (perhaps surprisingly) in favour of it!
Year 5 continue to enjoy playing the singing bowls in RS, as part of the topic on Buddhism.
Are all coins magnetic? This was the question that Year 3 set out to answer in their Science investigation. All the children made predictions and then discovered that there seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to which were magnetic and which were not. After a lot of discussion they suggested it might be to do with how old the coins were. This proved to be correct!
Before 1992, 2p and 1p coins were made from non-magnetic bronze, but since then they have been made from steel coated in copper which is magnetic. An Internet search revealed that a similar situation exists with 5p and 10p coins, which were made of a non-magnetic alloy before 2011. Since 2011, the Royal Mint began using steel in the manufacture of 5p and 10p coins so newer coins are magnetic.
The Juniors are also looking into how sound travels and what we can use to block the sound waves; cue some rather loud cymbals being crashed in the De Beer block on Friday afternoon!
W/E 18th January 2019
English – Year 4 have been having fun drawing dragon pictures and thinking up alliterative names inspired by our reading of “How to Train your Dragon” by Cressida Cowell. My favourite dragon name so far is one created by Sophia D: “Fiona the Furious”!
Science – This week in science Year 8 have been studying the displacement reactions of metals and the reactivity series. Year 7 have been consolidating work on the particulate theory of matter and its consequences for the behaviour of materials. Year 6 have been extending their study of forces by considering the phenomenon of floating and sinking.
Year 3 set up a fair test in science, to try to find out how different surfaces affected the amount of force a toy vehicle needed to move. They had some interesting predictions and results.
Year 6 Explorers!
Year 6 will be studying the theme of ‘Exploration’ in History lessons this term and they had the opportunity to explore the school grounds this week whilst taking part in an orienteering activity. It didn’t take long for the children to recognise quite how big our school grounds are, with one learner calling ‘I didn’t know we had so many hills here’ as they ran to find their next flag. Once a checkpoint was found, teams had to stamp their card, run back up the hill and answer a historical question in order to receive the next checkpoint location. Overall, a thoroughly good time was had by all, with lots of exercise, fresh air and exploration on a beautifully crisp winter’s day!
Year 7 decide who has the X Factor
Year 7 have just started looking at the Norman Conquest and they are analysing which person had the best claim to the throne in 1066. Learners acted as judges and had to represent their contestants at a live studio final, and 7CB’s Dermot O’Leary was played by Arty L who had a blast presenting the show! All three Year 7 classes decided on a different winner, though they soon found out that Harold Godwinson won the real thing. Year 7 fully embraced this activity and I am excited to explore what happened next over the coming weeks!
Year 5 have begun to learn about Buddhism in RS and Mrs Everist brought in her Himalayan singing bowl to play them. Clearing the mind is challenging!
W/E 11th January 2019
Bonne Année 2019!
French Department updates for the first week back at school
In Pre-Prep we began the year by tasting some “galette des Rois”, a sweet flaky pastry filled with “pommes” to celebrate the visit of the Three Kings at Epiphany. Pupils in each class learned how to say “Je voudrais de la galette, s’il vous plaît”, “merci” and “mmmm, c’est bon!” They took it in turns to wear the “couronne” (crown) and eagerly looked out for the “fève” (charm).
We were able to share another galette in the Prep School, this time filled with “frangipane”, and this linked well with the Year 6 topic this term of “Au Restaurant” and food and drink.
Year 8 are focusing on “chez le médecin” and “les maladies” and we have started with revision of “le corps”. Year 7 will be learning how to describe where they live, their families, homes and towns/villages. Year 5 are extending their ability to describe themselves using different adjectives and Year 4 are revising parts of the body through songs before learning clothes
For previous academic news click here