W/E 17th May 2019
As part of their revision, some Year 7s played Plebs to Patricians – the summer version. This involves being promoted or demoted up and down the stairs next to the old swimming pool. And Latin oral. Yes, indeed, translating sentences into English, which the pupils then wrote down back in the classroom.
Lessons continue; revision sharpens. Semper eadem.
All years are revising hard for their exams.
On Tuesday Year 3 became ‘Soil Detectives’ as they learnt that soil comes from rock – three investigations took place to discover more. Mrs E was, as often is the case, amused and delighted that soil can be so exciting when you are allowed to: spoon it onto paper, list what is in it, shake it up with water in a tightly closed jar and allow to settle and find which soils are the best ‘soakers’ and ‘drainers’! Forget technology … all a Year 3 child needs to be happy is soil and water!
In science this week Year 5 were deciding what would be the best material to use to make a cup for a hot drink. They thought of all sorts of things and tested a few of their ideas using thermometers.
Year 5 and year 8 have been writing beautiful summer poetry to enter a national competition and the deadline was today. They sat outside in the glorious sun this week, reflecting, listening to the sounds of summer, creating metaphors, caesura and imagery for effect. There were some fantastic pieces created.
Year 7 Conquer Battle!
On Thursday, Year 7 went to visit Pevensey Castle and Battle Abbey. The sun shone down gloriously and learners had a chance to visit the first castle that William of Normandy established when he landed in Sussex in September 1066. Following this, they went across to Battle Abbey where they could really put into perspective the sheer size of the battlefield and what it must have been like on 14th October 1066. A fantastic trip in preparation for the upcoming exams!
Lots of practice and revision has been taking place in the Maths classrooms this week and it has been lovely to have discussions about ‘how do we divide’, or the pupils reminding each other of what equivalent fractions are, what they mean and how to do them.
Year 7 and 8 have been using Mathswatchvle at home for revision as, with the readily available short video and instantly marked interactive questions, they can see easily whether they have understood any topic of their choosing such as solving equations, simplifying expressions or decimals, percentages and fractions. Additionally there is a worksheet with CE type questions to help them with their exam papers.
In Maths Year 3 have been wrestling with the idea that division is all about ‘grouping’ and ‘sharing’, and that sometimes there are ‘remainders’. Their brains were working well this week and hopefully this concept is beginning to become a little clearer.
We have tackled the big subject of Evolution in Learning Journey – Creationists v Darwin and the Tree of Life. Mrs E loves this mind-blowing topic, and Year 3’s interest was captured by it too. They produced some interesting and creative posters after watching a couple of clips (one by Sir David Attenborough) showing that mankind’s history is very short compared to the history of the earth.
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
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