7th May 2021
Year 5 dissected flowers this week. They used the tools very carefully and looked in detail at the sexual parts of the plants as they have been learning how flowering plants reproduce.
Fruit, Shoot, Leaf or Root?
3E have been classifying foods that are plant parts this week. They were interested to learn that broccoli is a flower, butternut squash is a fruit, an onion is an adapted root and stem, lettuces are leaves and more! They chose various plants to observe and draw, before labelling them. Thanks to Chef Matt for sourcing the plants for us.
30th April 2021
Roots and shoots
3E produced some detailed drawings of a variety of plants this week, annotating them, having observed the main parts of each specimen closely with a magnifying glass. They enjoyed a quiz too (three strikes and you’re out!); one thing they all discovered was that fungi are not plants. Rachel Borrows explained that fungi are quite an ancient living organism, being somewhere ‘magical’ between plants and animals … that snippet gave them something to reflect upon!
Fractions are Fun!
3E have begun to explore equivalent fractions in Maths this week. They discovered that they needed to take time to fold the ‘lemon cake’ carefully so that each part of the whole was equal.
Year 4 visit Cuckmere
Year 4’s New Pets
Year 4 had a delivery through the post – their year group pets, some ants! It was all very exciting and the Queen ant is huge. However, this then caused me a sleepless night because she is so big she got stuck in the ant farm. Mr Smith saved the day and she is now making a little nest with her worker ants beavering around gathering food and looking after the eggs. Fingers crossed that they survive! The children already love just watching them.
On Wednesday before lunch, an excitable 5F were in the ‘yellow zone’ at the start of RS, keenly anticipating playing their first matches after so long. To be ready to listen and learn (in the ‘green zone’), they had to focus on how to make a sound on the singing bowl. This term they are finding out about Buddhism.
23rd April 2021
In Science this week 3E set up an enquiry to test their theories on what plants need to grow and thrive. They will be measuring and recording their observations every Tuesday and Friday for the next few weeks.
We have enjoyed a wonderful week in Year 4. Our Summer Term got off to a great start. In English, we are enjoying Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears and we are learning how to write a recount. In Maths, we continue to learn fractions and have focused on equivalence.
Mr Borrows visited 4B today and they got talking about nets of shapes. He then taught them how to make a net for a cube. It was challenging, but they were real Terry Tortoises and stayed focused and engaged for a long time without giving up. Impressive!
4L had a great time in Learning Journey as we have begun to talk about earthquakes and homes built in earth quake zones. We learnt how earthquakes ripple out vibrations from the epicentre. We built homes and then simulated our own earthquakes!
In French this week, Year 4 revised the vocabulary for different sports and had to express their feelings about them. They all enjoyed playing a French sports board game, where they had to say how they felt about the sport on which they had landed. It was great to see that most sports were popular.
Our new topic this term in Year 5 geography is the UK. We began by looking at the size and population of the UK and interpreted climate graphs. We then made the most of the lovely weather and went outside to make human climate graphs, showing the average rainfall and temperature of the UK. We were a little disappointed by the average temperatures during the summer months!
Bushcraft – Click here for the article
26th March 2021
Africa project in Year 5.
To finish our topic Africa in Year 5 geography, the children selected an African country of their choice to research then completed fact files on their chosen country. They had to find information such as population, exact location, climate and human and physical features. Egypt was a popular choice, which led to us discussing the cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal; whilst other children chose countries including Senegal, Namibia and Ethiopia. 5P could not believe the difference in population sizes: Nigeria has an enormous population of 206,000,000 whilst Zimbabwe only has a population of 15,000,000. What a difference!
Year 3 Science
To begin their last Science lesson of the term 3E played Chain Magnets, a fast-paced team game testing their understanding of how magnets repel and attract each other. Such energy from all!
Year 3 History
Irrigation was very important for the Egyptians in ancient times – 3E learnt why and had a go with their own shaduf in the River Nile (aka the De Beer pond!).
Year 3 Pharaohs
Only when you walk with your head held high and wear luxurious clothing, can you call yourself an Egyptian pharaoh. Year 3 became pharaohs for their Art lessons and produced these sumptuous pieces.
19th March 2021
3E had great fun exploring attraction and repulsion in six different investigations using all sorts of magnets. They worked well like Billy Bee and were probably most interested in the way the compass magnet behaved in water.
Where I live is scorching hot
I grow big once a year
People used to travel on me
I am very important
I am shaped like a snake
What am I?
I’m friends with the moon
I travel the world
Without me there would be no life on earth
What am I?
I will make you laugh
I will make you scream
I am funny
What am I?
And from the whole class:
My skin is rough when you touch me
My arms swing like ropes
My feet trip you up if you are not careful
My hair is thin and green
I dye it red and orange in Autumn
Owls and squirrels are my friends
What am I?
The Fabulous Fours have been working tirelessly alongside Mrs Alderson and Mrs Fulford with their play rehearsals this week. Mrs Barrett and Ms Linney are very impressed with how well the pupils have learnt their lines. Now we are fine tuning and getting ready for a very big week ahead. Comic Relief/World Book Day celebrations brought even more excitement into our classrooms! Don’t the characters … oops, we mean the children (!) look fantastic?
Year 5 have been investigating rust. They set up lots of experiments and left them for a week.
We also made slime as part of our changing materials topic. Great fun, but I’m not sure Mandy our cleaner was very happy!
This week, the Year 5 pupils have worked hard to learn, memorise and perform a poem by the British poet, Joseph Coelho. We have learnt all about expanded noun phrases, had a go at finding them in Coelho’s poems and wrote some of our own. On Thursday we enjoyed the opportunity to practise spellings, our poem or simply read for pleasure. We certainly had a great time celebrating Red Nose Day/World Book Day!
12th March 2021
Scarabs invade the De Beer garden at Vinehall! 3E were fascinated to learn about the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians in their learning Journey lesson this week.
In Science Year 3 have been investigating magnetism. Are all metals magnetic? Are all coins magnetic? It was a lesson full of great discoveries and excitement as they explored on their first day back after lockdown.
Was Tutankhamen killed? Our information posters are finished. 3E should be very proud of their research, clearly written paragraphs and presentation – Mrs E certainly is! The children drew their own conclusions but decided there was still not enough evidence to prove any of their theories.
WELCOME BACK FABULOUS FOURS!
It has been a wonderful week in Year 4! Mrs Barrett and Ms Linney are so happy to have all of their Fabulous Fours back at school. This week we have continued to work on our kenning poetry writing in English, have worked hard to finish publishing our Learning Journey volcano booklets and Mount Etna news. Excitingly this week has been filled with the musical rehearsals. The pupils have worked so hard on their lines at home and Mrs Alderson has been very happy with how much the Year 4s have learnt on the stage this week. We cannot wait to share this amazing play with the parents! Good Copy Tea was a highlight but the ice lollies on the coldest, wettest day of the week brought us indoors for a bit of a dance party!
WELCOME BACK FANTASTIC FIVES!
It has been a very joyful week in Year 5. We are all very happy to be back at school (except Dottie the Cat who must be missing her learning buddy by now). In English we have begun a new unit learning about a British poet called Joseph Coelho. We have read and enjoyed a few of his poems, researched his background on the internet, chose a favourite poem to learn and perform and, lastly, enjoyed some quiet time in the Library. Year 5 have been investigating how rust is formed and on what materials. They used Coca Cola, vinegar and lemonade to explore rusting and a few of them were even blown away in the wind!
5th March 2021
In Science, dressed in their rainbow colours in the sunny De Beer gardens, Year 3 compared the amount of force a toy car needed to move on different surfaces – here is Rosie in the flower bed!
In Maths, 3E have been measuring the volume of various containers, including their water bottles. Mrs E reminded them that a child should try to drink 1.2 litres of water each day!
‘Can we have ‘Drop everything and read’ every day?’ 3E loved World Book Day on Thursday. In Maths Mrs E read the book ‘How much is a million?’ which really started us all thinking about how big a million, a billion and a trillion really are; and in English we read more about Tutankhamen in our class reader. The children enjoyed Mrs Platt’s fun quiz on books and authors too. We love books and reading!
As our term of Remote Learning (with only just a few Year 4s in school) comes to an end, Mrs B and Ms L are left feeling grateful for the wonderful efforts contributed by the pupils. Our Fabulous Fours have been resilient like Terry, have asked meaningful questions like Cassie, have tried a new way of learning like Maisie, have been collaborative learners like Billy and have shown focus and concentration like Ollie. THANK YOU Year 4s and your wonderfully supportive and amazing parents for keeping us motivated and inspired on our sides of the screen. We cannot wait to see ALL of your happy, smiling faces here with us on Monday!
Some of this week’s photos include a fantastic poem from Tristan S, Jack L’s sustainable car and Louis L’s cactus in ‘Show and Tell’, and some great shots from World Book Day (which was great fun!).
The Year 5s have really wowed their teachers through our term of Remote Learning (with a few here in school). The pupils have approached their learning with maturity and patience as, together, we have adapted to a new way of learning remotely. In English, the Year 5s did really well writing instructions, explanations and reports. They had fun in break out rooms during spelling sessions and gave some wonderful presentations. The teachers are very grateful for their dedication and commitment to learning. To the parents of the Fantastic Fives, thank you for your support! We are very eager to see EVERYONE’S happy smiles here with us on Monday.
Some of this week’s photos include: Juniors’ Rainbow Day, World Book Day (which was great fun!), using adverbs of possibility in English, homophones in spellings and more!
26th February 2021
To end a fantastic topic of Rocks and Fossils, Year 3 had great fun creating ‘Igneous Sweets’ at school. Children at home had a choice of making these, ‘Sedimentary Sandwiches’ or ‘Metamorphic Rock Cakes’!
Tangrams for Two!
In our problem-solving lesson this week, the children at school had to make a lion, using two sets of tangrams. They worked so well together that they all received a Billy Bee sticker for fantastic collaboration (and the lions were ROARsome!) Those children at home had to solve the problem of what to do for 20 minutes without a screen, then come into Form time to show and tell us what they had done – well done to all of those children who earned Ollie Owl stickers for being so thoughtful and creative with their time.
Have we got news for you! During the half term break, Mount Etna erupted once more in Sicily. This was very exciting for the Year 4s as we are currently amidst our Learning Journey unit Active Planet. This week, we watched videos of the recent eruption and produced some quality newspaper reports for your viewing!
In English, we have really enjoyed reading list poems and kennings. Our list poems use similes to compare. Kennings (from the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings) are a bit like a riddle. Can you solve these kennings (hint: they are animals)?
‘Funky-Fab-Fridays’ have prevailed in the Juniors! This week, we decided to lift our spirits with a splash of colour as we enjoyed RAINBOW DAY on Friday. We may be apart (not for much longer!) but together we shine like the colours of the rainbow.
The Year 5s have taken a leap into their new non-fiction unit Reports and Journalism in English. We have really enjoyed the book Tuesday by David Wiesner. This book (with hardly any words) has made us consider different ways literature can captivate a wide audience. Who doesn’t love a good picture book! This week we imagined we were police officers, attempting to solve the mystery of the slimy green lily pads left askew in the streets. We wrote interview questions, a brief play script and made an excellent start to a Police Incident Report.
Just before half term, Year 5 learned about conditions in prisons in the 1800s. A visit to a prison then would have been a very harrowing experience, due to the lack of sanitation, disease and general treatment of prisoners. Alex D wrote a diary entry as a 14 year old kept in Shepton Mallet prison.
12th February 2021
Some science can be very messy! As part of their science topic on rocks and fossils, Year 3 learnt about the formation of fossils. Last week’s Fun Friday’s lesson involved making dough and then imprinting objects into it so that it looked like a real fossil. Results included realistic fossilised shells, an ammonite, insects and handprints! Thank you to the parents who let this happen in their kitchens; and to Annabel Newcomb and Denise Lomas for helping the children at school in our cookery room.
‘Mary Anning’ was invited to a Q and A session last Friday with 3E. She was able to look at the children’s lovely fossils and they asked her lots of excellent questions about her life and work collecting and researching fossils in Lyme Regis in the 1800s.
The children have also been exploring equivalent measurements, and also finding out the most efficient way to measure the height of each other. Mrs E is not sure they have found the best way yet!
Show and Tell is still popular with 3E! Harvey P showed us a game he had invented while Charlie C impressed us with his Lego bridge from Problem Solving this week. It is really lovely to see the children all interact so happily, whether they are at home or at school.
As our half term comes to an end, Mrs Barrett and Ms Linney are so impressed and amazed at the adaptability and resilience of the pupils in Year 4. We have been enthralled by How to Train Your Dragon and some brilliant book reviews have been published this week.
In Maths, we enjoyed creating both bar graphs and line graphs and we have become much more independent at interpreting data. Our Learning Journey has exploded with some amazing diagrams of volcanoes. Congratulations Year 4!
We have made it through a new way of learning and you have been so inspiring! Many thanks, once again, for the much appreciated support at home. Happy Half Term!
It has been a week filled with wacky inventions in Year 5 English! From Doggie Umbrellas to Tricycle Lawn-Movers, the Year 5s have wowed us with their presentation skills as we finished our unit Changing Technology (Instruction and Explanation Texts). To culminate the unit, the pupils have written about Future Modes of Transportation. They have thought of some fantastic inventions to get us moving in the future. Great work this half term Year 5s! You have done so well.
Year 5 continue their quest, looking at materials. They investigated in groups virtually and worked really well. I was most impressed. When I popped into Ollie A, Isla M’s and Harrison W’s group they were each busy testing the materials whilst talking to each other about what they had found out. Very focused.
5th February 2021
3E have been designing and decorating masks in their Learning Journey lessons on Ancient Egypt. Here are the first finished masterpieces! We have also been learning about daily life for children in Egypt, many thousands of years ago. The children enjoyed finding out that their packed lunch would have consisted of home baked flat bread, grapes and garlic, as well as seeing some ancient artefacts, including a wooden seat used as a toilet! In English we have begun to research and discover facts about Tutankhamen. Mrs E was very pleased with their opening paragraphs!
Year 4 have learnt about the census which is happening this year. They weren’t born when the last one took place 10 years ago, so this will be the first they are entered in. They created posters to teach a younger child about the census.
Mrs Barrett, Ms Tripp and Ms Linney are still enjoying their daily lunch time walks. Rain or shine. We are very excited about the Sports Department’s fitness challenge. Are you getting outside every day? It can have a wonderful impact on your mental health!
Year 5 are thinking about materials in science. They decided which materials would be good to make a camping mug out of. The children would have tested them in the classroom but instead we worked as a team. The children were surprised by the results. They have decided which materials are good insulators and which are conductors.
The Year 5s really enjoyed their guided relaxation this week. Isn’t it nice to take time to relax, focus on the breath and calm out minds? A parent wrote to Ms Linney this week and said, ‘Our son was completely blown away by the yoga session today – thank you so much! I’ve never seen him looking so relaxed.’ Here are a few photos of play time fun in the De Beer Block. The Year 5s love Mrs Barrett’s giant wheel!
29th January 2021
In Science the Year 3 keyworker children did a survey to investigate the materials (natural and manmade) from which different buildings at Vinehall are made. Here they are by the Children’s Chapel making a note of what they found. The remote learners participated in the survey too and Charlie C produced some detailed and clearly labelled photos from his home! Mrs E was so pleased with everyone’s enthusiasm.
‘The Hodgeheg’ by Dick King-Smith is the story of Max, the hedgehog, who becomes a HODGEHEG and a hero. Year 3 have been composing their own stories based on this book. There have been tales of a butterfly, a woodlouse, a rattlesnake, a guinea pig and many more. Well done Year 3!
Designing and decorating masks in Learning Journey this week showed how creative 3E can be. Later on, in our Problem Solving lesson, the children showed how resilient they could be as they followed instructions and made paper boats to float on The Nile (aka The Pond!).
Fantastic Friday rolled around again (hence the WHACKY hair) and it turns out that Matilda is celebrating her birthday this weekend. So Mrs B had the great idea of making MUG CAKES for Maths. We learnt how to read the recipe and measure carefully. Our cakes were delicious! Thank you, as always, to the parents at home who are incredibly supportive.
‘This has been my best online lesson ever!’ Felix G
The Year 5s have been working very hard at home and at school on their explanation text unit. This week, they have read How Escalators Work and How Alexa Works. They have learnt that adverbs can be used to link ideas (for cause and contrasting purposes). We are sure you will enjoy this Year 5 quality work!
22nd January 2021
Having read about Jane Goodall’s determination to become a primatologist, despite people trying to persuade her to do something ‘more suitable’, 3E thought long and hard about their own Dreams and Goals for the future. What ambitions they all have – Mrs E is proud of every one of them. Their ‘dream flowers’ are now planted, ready to grow …
Mrs E was also proud of the effort 3E made in Science this week. Whether at school or at home they all did their best to produce detailed observational drawings of different rocks.
Having produced some excellent drawings of their rocks, 3E tested them to see if they were permeable, and also how hard they were. The children at home joined in this practical Science lesson very enthusiastically too!
Year 4 found out that when the sap of a frankincense tree dries, the little droplets are called ‘tears’. Isabella and Alara liked the perfume when Mrs E burnt some in their RS lesson. The children at home watched and listened to them describe the scent and said they could imagine it!
In Year 4 we have been learning many different ways to divide. We have learnt how to partition, how to use what we call the ‘partition tree’ and the ‘bus stop method’ (short division). We are really developing our skills and are learning that in order to master a concept, we need to learn how to do our maths in many different ways. We’ve got this!
15th January 2021
3E have been as enthusiastic as ever despite some being at home and some at school. This week in Form Time they have showed us things that are special to them in some way. Good listening was as important in the audience as clear speech in the spotlight! It was lovely to connect this way as a group.
It has been a wonderful week of online and in-class learning in Year 4! In English, we have begun our new Fantasy unit based on the novel How to Train your Dragon. The silly words and exaggerated pictures make us laugh and we are already hooked and cannot wait to read on. We have discussed the setting, the characters and what type of text this is.
In Learning Journey, we have begun our new unit called Active Planet. We enjoyed sharing our ideas as to what this might mean and it led us to finding out that we will learn all about earthquakes and volcanoes. We annotated images and described what we know already about this topic. Some of us have made a creative start to our title pages as well. After a round of 1, 2, 3, DROP! we began to plan and design our disaster relief centre (here at Vinehall School!)
In Maths, the Year 4s have been working diligently at multiplying 3-digit numbers by a 1-digit number. We have learnt how to partition and also how to use the expanded method. We love journaling in maths as we get to be creative and really show our understanding.
The Year 5s clearly worked very hard on their English Prep over the holidays. Have a look at these amazing book reviews!
The Year 5s have been working towards publishing their ‘Big Write’, which they completed last term. The pupils wrote some really well thought out reports on the character Kensuke. Their publishing skills clearly demonstrate that this Year 5 quality writing is ready for the printers!
In English, the Year 5s have demonstrated how hard they are working both at home and in school. We have been very impressed with the quality of the discussions, sharing of ideas and presentation in the English books. This week we began our new non-fiction unit Instructions and Explanations. Have a look at these instructions on how to use an escalator safely.
11th December 2020
3E loved their party food, Christmas film and making their Christingles on Friday. Thank you to Mrs Lomas for making the holes in the oranges and thank you to Chef Matt for providing the party food!
The children took their Christingles down to the Children’s Chapel where Mr Powis then led us in a special service, explaining the story behind this tradition.
The Year 4 pupils have had a wonderful time together celebrating the festive season. Last Friday (after playing in the snow!), we had our celebratory afternoon which included party food, a short film, a bit of a dance and Christmas cheer. Afterwards, we enjoyed our Christingle Service in the Children’s Chapel. This week we visited the kitchen to make Rocky Road – it was delicious!
This term, the Year 4s have embarked on a wonderful Learning Journey. They learnt about the local area and have developed their map skills; they thought about local food and the importance of checking labels for food miles, and they have considered ways that they can reduce their own carbon footprint. This week everything came together as the Fabulous Fours worked like Billy Bee preparing for their Celebration of Learning. They put together very thoughtful presentations and they really enjoyed going to visit the other restaurant teams to ask meaningful questions that linked back to their goals. Congratulations Year 4 – you have done yourselves and your team mates very proud.
In science they are learning the importance of self-reflection at the end of a unit. We looked at the Core Skills and thought about what they meant in terms of our Science learning this half term. Then we highlighted where we thought we were with our learning goals.
This term Year 5 pupils have been enthralled with the tale Kensuke’s Kingdom. Over the past few weeks, they have worked diligently (just like Terry Tortoise) as they completed their ‘Big Write.’ They have written 3-5 paragraphs about Kensuke: his background, his life on the island and also his relationship with the narrator, Michael. After writing, they worked carefully to edit their work and ensure they have met their ‘Success Criteria.’ After weeks of dedication and focus, they have published their well-composed pieces with careful handwriting. The Year 5s should be very pleased with their accomplishments during such a busy and exciting time at school.
Their academic study has been augmented by practical drama sessions to bring the text to life in other physical ways; Mrs Alderson is very proud of their creativity. (They have also enjoyed the odd game of ‘budge’ and ‘splat’ as a reward when they have been particularly focussed and imaginative!)
4th December 2020
Put 120 counters into three groups, then put 120 counters into groups of three. Teamwork and a lot of discussion about this practical, investigative task this week!
Year 3 have been investigating shadow sizes in Science. They discovered that the further away the light source (torch) was from the object (donkey), the smaller the shadow. The Year 1 children had made films of their shadow puppet plays and sent them via Teams for us to watch – thank you, Mrs Bennett and Year 1!
Year 5 have been looking into friction this week. They have used the Newton metres to pull vehicles across different surfaces. Great investigating Year 5.
27th November 2020
Year 3 and Year 2 had a meeting on Teams this week; it was lovely to see each other remotely! 3E told Year 2 about their ‘Just So’ stories. Charlie C, Amelia A and Rosie A read theirs out. Then one of Year 2s read her story to us! Mr Eglington was on hand to help with any technical issues. Thanks Mrs Garwood and all the lovely Year 2s; 3E hope to see you again soon.
For some of Year 3, this week was also their first visit to our Children’s Chapel at Vinehall; they have been learning about the features of a church in Learning Journey. They liked the calm, peaceful atmosphere and were excited to see twinkling lights on the outside, which our lovely groundsmen had just put up while they were inside!
The story of the tax collector, Zacchaeus, was acted out with great emotion by both Year 4 classes this week, in their RS lesson. Zacchaeus (Max P and Freddie F) can be seen up a ‘tree’ (aka Barry!) in Mrs E’s classroom. The crowd in Jericho are truly shocked that Jesus (Archie M and Tom G) has said he is popping round to Zacchaeus’ house!
Year 4 have are investigating what speeds up evaporation. They have some good ideas already.
Year 5 have been exploring Judaism this term and in their last lesson they had a chance to taste some of the foods that would be eaten at a Seder meal, in Passover. There were mixed reactions to the horseradish! Thank you to Chef Matt for preparing the food – we are so lucky to have him at Vinehall!
Year 5 worked on pulleys and levers. They did lots of investigations and there was some really good team work.
20th November 2020
Year 3 have been endeavouring to improve their cutting skills while making their own mini jigsaw of the British Isles. Then some of 3E wanted to use the Maths Dienes blocks to construct a ‘skyscraper’.
O Best Beloved, once upon a time, many, many moons ago when the first shooting star fell, there was a fabulous, fantastic form called 3E who composed their own Just So stories.
‘How the Slug got his Slime’, ‘How the Toucan got his Beak’, ‘How the Peacock got his Feathers’, ‘How the Rainbow Fish got her Colours’
…These are some of the titles Year 3 chose when asked to write in the style of Rudyard Kipling. Repetition, alliteration and humour were all included, and they read them to everybody with great confidence. Mr Kipling would be proud – Mrs E certainly is.
In Year 4, we have been thinking more about supporting local businesses for the fictitious restaurants that we are creating. This resulted in a lesson about carbon footprints. We thought about the things we could try to improve upon and we reflected on the ways in which we already care for our blue planet. We are learning to use the term ‘sustainable’ and thinking about how we can keep our natural world going in a healthy way. Turns out we have some wonderful sustainable practices at home!
We have also begun to focus our learning on the past! We are still working hard on designing and preparing our fictitious restaurants. This week in History, we considered a famous historical person who we might like to invite to our restaurant. We realised that they may not be interested in cheese burgers and pesto pasta, so we researched the time periods of the Romans, Ancient Egyptians and Tudors and then designed a delicious menu that included food from each era. We look forward to having Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Henry Tudor to our restaurants in due course!
This week in science the Year 4 children were exploring what happens when you heat up or cool down a solid, liquid and a gas. We had coloured ice cubes, salted ice cubes and thermometers. I wonder if the children could tell you why I showed them salty ice cubes and what happened?
Year 4 also spent some time thinking about Anti-Bullying week and what it means to be a true friend.
13th November 2020
Mrs E and Mrs Lomas had to lend a helping hand to cut the carrots! Thank you to Chef Matt for supplying us with the biggest carrots ever. 3E discovered there was more than one way of solving a problem, as they listened to each other’s ideas in this Life Skills lesson. Although some groups seemed to gel more easily than others, they all learned a great deal as they designed and created their cars.
3E have continued exploring their Science topic ‘Light’. They predicted which colours would show up more easily in the dark before carrying out an investigation. This involved a ‘dark den’ – very popular! Crawling into another dark den and shining a torch on high visibility materials, mirrors and reflectors showed the children how important it is to wear the correct clothing and gear if they are walking or riding a bike in the dark.
They have also been learning how to play chess in their after school activity.
This week we were investigating gases. The children blew up balloons and weighed them; they tried to crush sealed and unsealed bottles; they played a game to smell Vicks; and they watched air escape from sponges and from rocks. It was great fun and even the children working from home managed to investigate.
Year 4 have been learning about food miles. They have calculated how far some of our food travels to get to us – a long way! We have learnt how to read the packaging of food and used this lesson as an opportunity to think about what we decide to buy. We know that food miles have a great impact on our environment. A close friend of mine runs Mini Mouthfuls, the fudge shop in Battle. Juliet makes the fudge in her shop and buys all the ingredients locally. She gave us some fudge to share so that we could sample some local delights. It was yummy!
Y5 are learning all about Forces. They have several missions to complete, but their first is to design a parachute to allow an egg to fall safely to the ground! The photos are of their prototypes. They are doing lots of testing first in order to create the best parachute with all the knowledge they have learnt before dropping their egg.
6th November 2020
New Science topic for Year 3 – Let there be light!
Mrs E was delighted to be back in school with Year 3 on Monday. The afternoon was spent investigating light; the children worked well like Billy Bee to explore and understand how light travels and how it can refract when shining on certain surfaces. Some comments overheard in the cloakroom after the lesson:
‘The dark den was so cool inside – the CDs went all colourful with the torch’.
‘My bubbles had rainbow colours on them when I shone the torch’.
‘I could spin my whizzy wheel!’
‘That was the best lesson’.
Thanks to Dr Moore for setting up some prisms to show refraction. There were some super diagrams after this!
Year 4 have started their topic on solids, liquids and gases. They explored different materials by touching, mixing and generally making a lot of mess. They had to decide if something was a a solid or a liquid; it wasn’t always as easy as it sounds. The jelly and shaving foam were particularly interesting!
Plus, Frankie F was the first to finish her rug in the Year 4 sewing club.
In Year 4 English, we have moved on to a non-fiction unit: Instructions and Explanations. We have learnt that some verbs can be very bossy; they’re called imperative verbs and they tell us what to do. We have also talked about time connectives that order instructions in a sequential way. This week we enjoyed both following and writing instruction texts.
16th October 2020
We are also thrilled to announce that Carina (and ghost) are happily waving from home and feeling much better.
To conclude our science work on sound, Year 4 have designed and made ear defenders to protect young ears from loud music. They used what they have learnt over this term to help them.
In science for ‘no pens day’ 5F designed and made their own planets from Plasticine and then acted out the planets moving around the sun!
If you look carefully you can see Year 5 eating segments of a chocolate orange. They were learning about time zones and how the earth is split into segments so that midday in every country is when the sun is at its highest.
In Geography this term Year 5 have been learning about farming in the UK, focusing on factors that affect farming. This week we have considered the opinions of farmers and conservationists, debating whether farmers should be allowed to remove hedgerows and whether they should be paid subsidies to protect the land. The pupils quickly got into character and the debate became quite heated at times!
9th October 2020
Harvest Time in Palestine 2000 years ago
In RS Year 3 have been learning about how harvest may have been in Israel at the time of Jesus. Our kind chef, Matt, prepared individual plates of olives, grapes, figs and dates for the children to try. Most were like Maisie Monkey and took a risk by tasting everything; some were not to be encouraged! Charlie C really wanted to finish off the leftovers but ‘Covid rules’ prevented him!
Meanwhile, here are Year 4 playing games to help their mental adding of near mulitiples.
We were doing further investigations into sound, using cones to see if they made hearing better. We also thought about why animals have larger ears that they can move.
2nd October 2020
As part of their topic on Animals including Humans, 3E were learning about muscles. They each collected data by counting swap jumps, then they worked out the number of sport sessions they did per week. Recording all this in a class scattergram, they tried to answer the question ‘Do some people have stronger muscles because they use them more?’ and found out that this is probably true.
3E asked Mrs Chaplin questions in a Zoom call:
As Sally Chaplin was unable to visit and talk to Year 3 due to the ‘Covid rules’ at present, 3E were disappointed. To allow them to ‘meet’ Mrs Chaplin, Mr Eglington kindly helped Mrs E set up a ‘Zoom meeting’ with Sally in the classroom. All the children had previously thought of and written down a question (some had several) they wanted to ask Sally about the history of Vinehall; some related to when Sally herself was the only girl pupil in Form One (c1953); others were more interested to find out about Lord and Lady Ashton living at Vinehall a hundred or so years ago. Paxton were delighted to learn that their house is named after Joseph Paxton who designed Vinehall’s grounds. Rushton discovered that William Rushton Adamson had owned Vinehall before the Ashtons, while Saxton were slightly miffed that their house name was just made up! 3E spoke with great confidence and all earned a ‘Cassie Cat’ sticker for their curiosity. It was a wonderful example of modern technology at its best and we send our thanks to Mrs Chaplin for giving up some of her precious time.
The Fabulous Fours have been working very hard on their story maps in English this week. Using detailed drawings and vivid colouring and by adding descriptive devices, they are certainly well on their way to begin writing their ‘Stories in Familiar Settings’ – Horrid Henry style!
The Fantastic Fives have really enjoyed immersing themselves in our first fiction unit, A Novel Study. While we are only four chapters in to Kensuke’s Kingdom, the pupils have demonstrated their love for rich literature both while reading independently and while listening to the story in class. This week we looked at the powerful descriptive language in which Michael Morpurgo captivates his audience. We have really enjoyed sketching ‘The Island’ based on the beautiful description.
25th September 2020
We won the Junior Form Shield! 3E have had a great week and, despite a few blips along the way (we all make mistakes after all), Mrs E was very impressed with the kind, thoughtful way everyone was sharing and playing together at tea on a rainy Wonderful Wednesday. It turned into a Golden Tea Time!
Year 3 also stepped back in time to the days when Vinehall was not a school, but the country home of Lord and Lady Ashton (1902-1938). The children imagined how hard life might have been for the servants – lighting fires, gardening and polishing the floors (see the photo of them pretending to polish the Front Hall’s wooden floor! They went up to see where Lady Ashton had her bedroom (now Hurricanes, for our boarders) and then descended the grand stairs again, imagining a party and ball about to take place in the Hall. Mrs Lomas was spot on with the sanitiser and cloth, wiping everything as we went. Thank you!
In Science Year 4 explored sound using tuning forks and water, making a string telephone, elastic bands and straws. They are learning how to record their findings and draw diagrams to help explain what they have been doing.
In sewing club the children are making rugs. They have learnt how to make the knots and created their designs. Next week we will start the real thing!
It was such lovely weather one day, Ms Linney put some tables up outside for the children to finish things off. They loved it.
Freddie F’s reading book was telling us all about the size and strength of different animals. We then investigated how tall a giraffe was. Four Year 4 children are the same height as a giraffe and Mrs Barrett is the height of a lion – surprising!
18th September 2020
Year 3 stepped back to the 11th century this week when they designed their own coat of arms for a shield which they then painted. Some chose to adorn them with jewels, others not. Mrs E loves the photos!
In English the children have begun to compose their own story based on ‘I’ll take you to Mrs Cole’ by Michael Foreman. Focus has been on interesting adjectives and correctly formed beautiful cursive script. They know that they need to keep practising, like Terry Tortoise!
Science was spent creating an Eatwell Plate; hopefully this will encourage them to check that they all have colour and variety of food types on their real plate at mealtimes.
Mathematicians make mistakes, and we have had some excellent ones this week! Counting in fifties and comparing numbers has sparked off lots of discussion and we have had several ‘clever days’, where they have come up with more than two ways to solve a problem – great thinking, 3E!
Year 4 thoroughly enjoyed the start to their Learning Journey, ‘What’s on the menu?’ They were welcomed to the Vines Café after break, much to their surprise. The teachers had become waitresses and transformed the classrooms. The children were given menus and had to choose the toppings for their pancakes. They were delightful customers.
11th September 2020
What a super start to the Prep school! In Science Year 3 played a competitive, fun game called ‘Diet, Riot’ in the Sports Hall. This was part of a lesson on ‘Diet and Nutrition’ for animals (including humans). In Maths they have worked both collaboratively, like Billy Bee, and independently, reflecting (like Ollie Owl) on how they can challenge themselves. Oh, and a little singing along the way has helped us too!
(Ollie Owl and Billy Bee are two of our five learning dispositions.)
We have been super busy this week and have done very well getting used to all the new routines. In Maths, we have been counting into thousands and checking we know our place value. Horrid Henry has been running riot in our classrooms and the children have been revising adjectives and learning to extend sentences using prepositions. At the end of the week, they took a trip to the computer lab where they put their research skills into action; they collected facts, learnt about different characters, and some of the children even thought of their own character name. In Science, we have started our topic on Sound with a silent lesson! The teachers thought it was wonderful and the children did really well to work out what to do without speaking. Our Learning Journey began with a trip to the outdoor classroom where we lit fires, toasted bread and made journey sticks. Phew – we have made it, we are learning so much, and the children are wonderful.
15 May 2020
In English this week, Year 1 have been exploring Animal poetry. They have creating rhyming pairs using descriptive language. Throughout topic this week we have been discovering more about plants including using herbs in recipes, looking at plant structure and then making a 3D version. They then used the growth of a seed to create an expressive dance. Many of the children have created Big Cat quizzes after learning more about them, do you know how far lions can jump?
7 May 2020
Year 1 read ‘How to hide a lion at school’ this week and this theme ran through all of our subjects. The children started by playing hide and seek at home to see how difficult it is to hide in each room. They then used their knowledge of the school to write their own version of the story hiding a big cat in different areas, such as hiding a tiger under Mrs Stenton’s desk in the library. In science the children found out about adaptations of different animals to see how they were suited to their environment, this led to them trying to camouflage themselves in the garden! On Thursday we had a giant Live game of Phonics Bingo, this is one of the children’s favourite games at school and was enjoyed by all.
13th March 2020
Mr Brooks was here again on Wednesday. He talked about all the different types of rocks and how they were formed. He had some great photographs and lots of different rocks and fossils that the children could handle. It linked in perfectly with the work we have been doing on Volcanoes. I hope the children have told you all about the Plasticine earths they made?
This week the children have made a switch. They will use it in a circuit, with a buzzer, next week in science when we have a class quiz. They used their knowledge of conductors and insulators to help them. Some were quite ingenious.
What’s inside our planet?
Year 4 followed instructions to make the earth using Plasticine. They had to include all the layers that make up our planet. Once they had finished they cut them in half to reveal all the different levels which they then labelled. Great team work Year 4.
6th March 2020
Bronze Reading Badge
Two Year 4 children have been awarded their Bronze reading star this week which is wonderful. They have read 10 books from the Junior reading list. Once they have read 20 they can get their silver award and 30 books their gold.
Well done Isla McL and Isobel F.
Year 5 have been thinking about how to separate materials. They asked questions and then investigated to help answer their questions. They used a variety of methods including filtration, magnetism and sieving.
Miles F and Kingsley N played their pieces for me that they will perform for the house music race. I can’t wait to hear a few more. Such talented little things they are! We are waiting to see who is through to the next round.
Conductors or Insulators?
Year 4 were investigating which materials were conductors and which were insulators. They also tested a theory that not all metals were conductors. They found out they were wrong, but that some metals were better conductors than others.
The Pharaoh rules in 3E!
Year 3 learnt about hierarchy in Ancient Egypt this week. To understand the ‘social pyramid’, Hannah W’s name was picked out of a pot to play the part of a pharaoh, while the rest of the class took on the role of viziers, nobles, priests, craftsmen, soldiers, farmers and slaves. Thanks to Miss Roberts for holding the pharaoh’s chair and keeping it stable while it was balanced on the table! (see photo!)
3E were petrologists
In Science this week 3E were petrologists; they conducted fair tests to find out whether different rock types were igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. The three tests included finding out if they ‘fizzed’ when acid (vinegar) was dropped on them, seeing if water soaked into them (permeable) and discovering how hard or crumbly the rocks were by scratching them with nails and sandpaper. All great fun and a super lesson, helped by Mrs Lomas and an ‘old’ gapper, Miss McCulloch, who just popped in to say hello! We kidnapped her for the hour in Year 3!
World Book Day in Juniors
Year 3 were so excited about picking a favourite story or book and illustrating it on World Book Day this week. Mrs E was delighted to hear them all chatting in an animated way about the plot and characters in their chosen text. They also enjoyed the poem by Jane Baskwill, ‘Open a book’.
Thank you to Miss Roberts for giving us all the idea of decorating our English room doors like this!