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Science Week was epic! I definitely enjoyed it.
I love school and I loved Science Week! I am so excited to know what our book is called...
I love maths and English. When we had Mr G, Science Week was amazing! I love Year 5!
Science Week was the best! My favourite part was when it was just 5AG with Mr G and we made bouncy balls out of PVA glue and water. It was so much fun!
Science Week was the best week I have ever had! Thank you Mr G!
From Abby (Isaac's mum):
Really impressed with the work the children presented in the hall this afternoon, they were all keen to share ideas and talk lots about the book, they have clearly enjoyed Skellig.
Skellig was amazing! I can't believe how good it was! But the front cover was quite disappointing in my opinion.
I really enjoyed making scrapbook pages.
From Katie P:
This term has been the best ever! My favourite part was the trench-digging when I collected all the worms!
I most certainly enjoyed learning about World War One, as well as training with Sergeant Evans. I also enjoyed signing our special war allegiance sheets. To top all that, I loved trench-digging. It was a BLAST!!!
I loved the book Skellig! I would like to read something like that again.
Writing letters home from the trenches by candlelight was epic. I loved it!
From Katie P:
The school trip to @Bristol was amazing! The best part was when I put my hand in the cornflour goo.
Why should we protect the Amazon Rainforest?
Our new enquiry will provide us with plenty of opportunities to refine our skills as geographers and scientists. We will develop our map-reading skills, research life in the Amazon Rainforest, investigate the rainforest as a vital natural resource and consider the human impact on this diverse, yet vulnerable, environment. Our challenge will be to create a campaign video persuading the public to protect the Amazon Rainforest.
MaKey MaKey madness!
We got creative and put our debugging skills into action with electronic invention kits called MaKey MaKeys. We had lots of fun finding out that we could connect all sorts of materials and make them function as keys, as long as they conducted electricity and we remembered to earth the circuit.
Week 5 was Art Week. Inspired by the wonderful work of Henri Rousseau, we used a variety of colouring techniques and watercolour washes to create vivid rainforest scenes. Next, we modelled animals from clay and created colourful habitats for our creatures. On Wednesday, Elise taught us how to weave with wicker. We wove a magnificent tiger decorated with strips of fabric on which we wrote our hopes for the future of the world's tropical rainforests.
Dean from Whizz-Kidz and Holly from Back Up came to talk to us about living with a spinal cord injury and being a wheelchair user. Some of us were lucky enough to have a go in a wheelchair and be coached by Kaitlyn!
'I didn't realise that being in a wheelchair would be so difficult. I didn't even know how to change direction!' (George)
'I was the first person to have a go in the wheelchair. I learnt how to do a wheelie!' (Becky)
'The hardest part was bending down to pick something up without the wheel getting in the way.' (Jessica)
'I enjoyed being in the wheelchair for a little while but now I understand how difficult it must be for Kaitlyn at times.' (Marshall)
'Teaching other people how to use a wheelchair was really fun. Also, I think that talking about my spinal cord injury will help other people to appreciate how difficult it can be.' (Kaitlyn)
To demonstrate this term's value of responsibility, our green fingers will be put to the test in a house sunflower-growing competition. Take a look at our cultivation plans!
During the first three weeks of our enquiry, we studied a range of maps, located the Amazon Rainforest and investigated its topography, before travelling into the depths of its understory with Google Maps. Next, we immersed ourselves in two tales from the Amazon which helped us to appreciate the importance of this precious ecosystem. Finally, we researched food chains and considered the impact of removing the producer - expertly explained by Jasmine, 5AG's resident biologist. Now, we're exploring life cycles, researching deforestation and refining our persuasive writing skills in preparation for our challenge.
What is the best way for a Sikh to show commitment to God?
How does art enhance storytelling?
Our sensational showcase!
We are proud to present our wonderful work inspired by The Princess' Blankets, by Carol Ann Duffy. We hope that you enjoy looking at it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
Creating texture and movement
After studying Catherine Hyde's atmospheric paintings, we experimented with using oil paints to create texture and movement. Using dabbing combined with smooth strokes, we were able to produce different textures and clever use of smudging allowed us to achieve the illusion of movement. Now, we're ready to apply these techniques to enhance our innovated fairytales with oil-painted depictions of the blankets they feature.
After evaluating a variety of soundtracks, we worked in groups to compose and perform a class soundtrack to accompany the Secret Garden's blanket. We used our knowledge of pitch, tempo, volume and tone to create a positive mood which would enhance our written descriptions.
Determined to earn his reward, the stranger wrapped the Princess in four blankets stolen from nature. Before viewing Catherine Hyde's artistic interpretations, we used the vivid descriptions to create a class version of each blanket.
A stranger arrives...
After countless attempts to cure the Princess, a mysterious stranger arrived at the palace claiming that he knew magic and could stop the Princess suffering from the cold. If successful, as a reward, he planned to carry her back to his own land to be his wife.
We took on the role of royal servants and used the stranger's arrival as an excuse to have a good gossip, as well as an opportunity to develop our dialogue-writing skills.
To launch our new enquiry, 'How does art enhance storytelling?', we were delighted to welcome the dynamic storyteller Martin Maudsley. With nothing but a ukulele and his imagination, he showed us how to bring a story to life. Inspired by Martin's tales, we worked in pairs to create storyboards for our own quest stories.
'Martin got us involved and it was really funny when he did his actions and voices.' (Jasmine)
'I was fascinated by Martin's ukelele and how he was playing it.'' (Emira)
'Martin's storytelling was brilliant and I couldn't believe he didn't have anything to read from!' (Arthur)
'Martin was awesome at telling stories!' (Becky)
'Martin's stories gave us lots of ideas for our own quest stories.' (Molly-Anne)
'I found the workshop very enjoyable because Martin made it interactive by asking us what decisions the characters should make.' (James)
After watching Wing, an animation about a boy who is bullied by a group of crows, we worked collaboratively to create two pieces of art - one to depict the scene when the boy is pushed to the ground by the crows and the other to portray the scene when the boy overcomes his tormentors with the help of his friend.
The animation stimulated some thought-provoking discussions and we went on to agree a definition of bullying, to consider how bullying can be prevented and to decide what to do if you or someone else is the victim of bullying. To summarise our understanding of this serious issue, we challenged ourselves to write haikus:
What is happening?
I think I need help with this
I’m going to tell
When someone is mean
Several times and on purpose
Don’t face it alone
5AG's Science Show
After weeks of tireless preparation, we were finally ready for our challenge - to put on a Science Show for 3CL to demonstrate our understanding of our enquiry question, 'Can change always be reversed?' We delivered a carousel of five interactive activities before thrilling our audience with an explosive film canister rocket launch! We loved entertaining 3CL and sharing our superb scientific knowledge. Now, we're looking forward to finding out what they thought of our show...
To ensure that we know how to stay safe online, we took part in a number of important e-safety activities led by our Digital Leaders, Jasmine and Katie. We reset our school network passwords, we signed an acceptable use policy, we watched a powerful film about the dangers of sharing too much information and we investigated our digital footprints. Now, we're ready to share our top tips for staying safe online...
We are currently refining our persuasive writing skills. In order to internalise the language structures of persuasion, we created a text map and orally rehearsed a model example. Next, we're going to innovate our own.
After using a series of graded sieves to successfully separate a mixture of pasta, rice and flour, we were challenged to clean muddy water using a variety of filters. It was a messy business!
World Book Day
On 5th March, dressed brilliantly as book characters, we celebrated our favourite books and our love of reading. We kicked off with a whole-school storytime when the teachers shared extracts from their favourite books. At 11 o'clock, we visited 3RC to take part in a Big Read and, in the afternoon, we enjoyed designing bookmarks and selecting books from our newly-organised class library. The celebrations were topped off with a costume competition when five lucky winners received book tokens for their fabulous costumes!
Chinese Culture Day
To launch Mandarin at St Stephen's, we immersed ourselves in a variety of exciting activities and learnt more about China's rich and diverse culture. We began by exercising our bodies and minds with a tai chi master class. Next, we played a brain-stretching game of Chinese chess before Mr Hart taught us how to count in Mandarin - we can't wait to learn more! Finally, we spent the afternoon discovering the Chinese art of serving and drinking tea. Yum!
'Chinese Culture Day was about having fun and trying new things.' (Katie P)
'We found out that Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world with over 1,344 million speakers worldwide.' (Harry)
'My favourite part of the day was when we all came together at the end to see what each other had learnt.' (Marshall)
'The Chinese believe that tai chi helps you to stay fit and healthy for life if practised daily.' (Jasmine)
'I thought I was Bruce Lee!' (Marshall)
'My favourite moves were stroking the pony and pulling the peacock.' (Isaac)
Can change always be reversed?
This term, we are launching our first science enquiry. Working scientifically, we will begin by looking at the different properties of materials, including thermal and electrical conductivity, hardness, absorbency and solubility. After classifying materials according to their properties, we will go on to investigate reversible and irreversible changes. On Friday 30th January, we are attending a science workshop at @Bristol before designing and delivering our own workshop back at school as our challenge.
@Bristol - Wow!
We spent an exhilarating day at @Bristol where we completed a science trail, explored the exhibits and attended a science workshop with Eddie and Ruth. Now, we have plenty of ideas for our own workshops and we can't wait to get started on our challenge!
A huge thank you to the volunteers who made the trip possible. We hope that you enjoyed the day as much as we did!
We planned and carried out a fair test to find the most absorbent material. However, after evaluating our methods, we concluded that they weren't as fair as we first thought!
Are Sikh stories important today?
During our first enquiry of the term, we immersed ourselves in a collection of Sikh stories and discussed three key questions:
What is the meaning/theme of this story?
Are these themes important in today’s world?
How is this story relevant today to Sikhs/non-Sikhs?
In order to answer our enquiry question, we will be developing our skills as historians. We will begin by investigating who the Vikings were, how and why they invaded and what impact they had on our land. Next, we will develop our debating skills before adopting the roles of Anglo-Saxons and Vikings in our challenge - to formally debate our enquiry question, 'Were all Vikings brutal plunderers?'
You can carry out some independent research or listen to a Viking saga by following the links below.
The great debate!
After transforming our classroom into the House of Commons, we were finally ready to put our discussion skills to the test and debate our enquiry question, 'Were all Vikings brutal plunderers?'
Lights, camera, action! We used iMovie to create trailer-style films about the Viking raid on Lindisfarne in 793 AD. Now, we're writing historical accounts from the perspectives of a Viking raider and an English monk.
To further develop our understanding of Viking life, we researched the weapons used by Vikings, recording our new knowledge in clever secret panel books.
We're halfway through our tag rugby training with Coaches Dan and Dean from Bristol Rugby Community Foundation and we're loving it! A huge thank you to Robyn, 5AG's official sports photographer, who captured all the action from our third session. Watch this space for an explanation of the offside rule...
'The best bit is sliding and getting muddy. However, if you dive over the try line, it doesn't count as a try.' (Cole & Katie P)
'It's so kind of the coaches to come from Bristol Rugby Club - they're amazing teachers!' (Emira)
To launch our new enquiry, we designed our own Viking shields which we proudly displayed on our classroom door. Don't they look fantastic?!
As soon as the rain stops, we're looking forward to playing Capture the flag - a test of teamwork, strategy, speed and stealth. The object of the game is to enter the enemy's territory, capture the flag and carry it into home territory without being caught.
First World War Week
To mark the centenary of the First World War, St Stephen's set aside three days to investigate life during the Great War. Dressed in a replica standard issue army uniform from 1914, Mr Evans got events underway with a thought-provoking assembly to explain the causes of this global conflict.
Next, we took an Oath of Allegiance and Lance Corporal Evans put us through our paces with a marching lesson. Attention!
'Marching with Lance Corporal Evans was fun because I've never marched before.' (Jacob)
'Marching was fun but it was difficult to keep in line!' (Izzie)
Ask the experts!
Filled with enthusiasm, Year 6, our resident experts on the First World War, planned and delivered nine engaging activities to develop our understanding of the Western Front, the Home Front and naval warfare. They did a fantastic job and we were very impressed by their in-depth knowledge.
'I really enjoyed working with the Year 6 children. I had no idea how fun it would be!' (Isaac)
'I loved learning about the First World War, especially with Year 6.' (Katie H)
'I loved listening to Archie Dobson's War and I enjoyed Year 6 teaching us games.' (Chloe)
We designed our own propaganda posters to encourage people to support the war effort and to persuade men to enlist in the armed forces.
'My message read Step into your place. It was to persuade men to join the army.' (Leah)
'My propaganda poster turned out really well. It featured a sinking boat which looked horrifying. It was to encourage men to fight for their country.' (Katie P)
'I loved making propaganda posters. It was fun but it wasn't easy to draw.' (Molly-Anne)
After researching life on the front line, we went onto the field to dig our own trench. This gave us some idea of how hard the soldiers must have worked.
'I liked the digging because we were pretending to be soldiers. How did they cope?' (Jorja)
'Digging a trench was exhausting but I found some broken pieces of crockery and I thought I found a fossil!' (Morgan)
'Digging our very own trench was muddy work! But it was fun because we had to work as a team.' (Libby & Molly)
By candlelight, we wrote letters home as soldiers fighting on the Western Front.
This term, we have loved joining Michael on his life-changing voyage of discovery. Throughout Week 8, we worked tirelessly to complete our enquiry challenge - to create a scrapbook page for Michael which answered our enquiry question, 'What might Skellig be?'
During Term 1, in an attempt to define Skellig, we developed our knowledge of skeletons, owls and angels. We also practised a number of skills - mind-mapping, creating word clouds, writing kennings, drawing and clay modelling.
Providing just one answer to our enquiry question proved impossible. However, our challenge offered us an exciting opportunity to apply and refine our newly-developed skills and to reflect on our understanding of Skellig's complex nature.
On the final day of term, we invited parents and carers to share our creative endeavours. It was clear to see how much they enjoyed hearing our theories and how impressed they were by our hard work.
'Today was fun, finishing our scrapbook pages. I loved it!' (Jessica)
'Having parents in was extra exciting because we had to work really hard on the scrapbook pages.' (Jorja)
'The things I enjoyed the most were making an owl fact file and writing kennings to describe Skellig.' (Hannah)
Skellig sequel chapters
After finishing Skellig, we planned and wrote sequel chapters which featured Michael's sister, Joy, ten years on. We included vivid setting and character description and we focused carefully on creating suspense to engage the reader. Now, we're going to tweet David Almond. We can't wait to find out what he thinks! Watch this space...
Thursday 23rd October was Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. 5AG celebrated this special festival with an assembly for children and parents. We played traditional Indian music, lit candles, presented key information, showed an animation of Rama and Sita and shared intricate Rangoli patterns.
What might Skellig be?
A week into our class book and Miss Garroch has finally disclosed its title! Skellig, by David Almond. Miss Garroch has also introduced our first enquiry of the year, 'What might Skellig be?' Since meeting Skellig, we have discovered many things about him. However, each new discovery raises more questions...
'The book Skellig was fantastic! My favourite part of the story was when Skellig visited the baby in hospital.' (Morgan)
'Our enquiry question really got me thinking. I couldn't come up with one answer. Skellig could be an angel, an owl or some sort of undiscovered species.' (Isaac)
How to hoot like an owl
Michael teaches Mina how to hoot like an owl and we were determined to learn too. We had great fun recording oral instructions so that you can learn as well! Happy hooting!
'Drawing makes you look at the world more closely. It helps you to see what you're looking at more clearly.'
Inspired by Mina's words and her keen interest in birds, we brushed up on our drawing skills before meeting Mr Carleton's racing pigeons, which he kindly brought in. We observed them closely and we used hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and scumbling to produce different tones and textures. Let us know what you think of our delightful drawings!
What is arthritis?
Skellig suffers from a condition called arthritis so we wanted to find out more. Here's Dr Stevens to explain all...
Is it a bird? Is it a griffin? Is it an angel?
After the mysterious discovery of a feather-filled classroom, we have been speculating about the origins of so many feathers. Following close inspection and thoughtful mind-mapping, we remain undecided. Does the DANGER sign across the door offer any clues?
Science Week with Mr G
Science Week got off to an explosive start with Mr G's Science Show! Later, on Monday afternoon, Mr G set up four activities for us to try. We had great fun making flubber and sherbet, constructing balloon racing cars and investigating a substance called hydrogel.
'I really enjoyed making sherbet but not as much as I enjoyed eating it!' (James)
'The nappy held a lot of water but eventually it exploded!' (Ellie)
'It was amazing! Mr G might even be the best scientist ever!' (Jorja)
Teetering, tottering, tumbling towers!
To top off an exciting Science Week, we were challenged to construct the tallest tower, using only spaghetti and marshmallows. Despite getting very sticky and experiencing several design failures, it was great fun to work with parents and we're really looking forward to the next time! Thank you for joining us.