Chestnut Class are an enthusiastic, cheerful and motivated group of brilliant children! We love learning new skills and knowledge and thrive on the chance to investigate deeper and wider into a project to become experts. Since starting in September, we are already blossoming into a fantastic team who encourage, motivate and support each other with our learning and choices.
Our adults, Mrs Williams (Maternity Cover Teacher), Mrs Ash and Mrs McRobbie, are always on hand if you have any questions or want to find out even more about what we've been up to so please feel free to pop into Chestnut classroom before or after school to find them! We also have lots of useful information on the noticeboards outside our classroom, too.
We have loved investigating more about Van Gogh's bewitching painting, 'Starry Night'. During the project we have developed our art skills, particularly in careful colour mixing to create tints, tones and shades and refining and expanding our range of collaging techniques to recreate the textures, colours and shapes within the painting.
We divided the painting into 6 equal sections and each team of 4 then had to sketch their part of the painting, being careful to match the shapes and scale to ensure it would match back up again when put together. Then, we worked in our teams to explore a range of collaging materials and techniques (including: coiling, scrunching, layering and twisting) and choose those which would match our section of the painting.
Please come into Chestnut to see the finished piece on display!
To help us learn more about the artist behind our painting, we have developed our computing skills of performing careful internet searches to find relevant websites and information. We then learned more about using features of Microsoft Word to present this information for an audience by changing the appearance of fonts, inserting and formatting pictures, inserting borders and creating borders and text boxes. Here are some of our brilliant examples:
We had an amazing day up at Wittenham Clumps developing our teamwork skills through a number of survival challenges including making our own fires using fire steels and constructing a waterproof woodland shelter.
Chestnut are enthralled by Shakespeare's tragic tale of 'Hamlet', a young Danish prince who finds himself in a terrible dilemma after finding out that his father has been killed by his uncle who has now taken the throne! We have enjoyed using our reading skills of inference and deduction (reading between the lines) to make predictions about characters' motives, thoughts and feelings in the story.
We used drama strategies including conscience alley to help us unpick the two sides of Hamlet's difficult decision - should he or shouldn't he avenge his father's murder? We took these ideas further by holding our own class debate - this helped us to practice explaining our ideas out loud and was a great chance to rehearse using linking and explaining words before we took to writing them down.
In Geography, we investigated more about Denmark, where the story of Hamlet takes place. We used our map reading and drawing skills to create detailed maps which showed the places, rivers and coastlines of Denmark. Many of us were surprised to see it was about the same size as the U.K. and we didn't know that it was neighbours with Germany.
After reading the next part of the story, we used our drama skills to reenact the events! We generated our own S2S for dramatising our silent movies, which included:
Our narrators had to use these S2S too:
Here is a collection of some of our fantastic learning, which includes lots of brilliant self-led research projects about Shakespeare!
We enjoyed sharing our fantastic research projects with each other and had lots of fun helping our friends to learn even more about Shakespeare and Hamlet!
Chestnut class worked in teams to create delicious treats to sell at our cake sale. We reflected that through the baking session, we improved our maths skills by:
* accurately weighing and measuring our ingredients as we read the lined markings on the scales
* using our halving skills to scale down a recipe (each ingredient quantity needed to be divided by 2)
-> Our next step was to get better at scaling up a recipe (e.g. using doubling or x by 3)
To launch our Victorian project, year 5 visited 'The Black Country Living Museum' in Tipton to help us learn what life would have been like in the Victorian era for children and adults from a range of different family backgrounds. During the visit, we got better at asking questions to investigate a topic or place in more detail and also improved at using a range of first and second hand sources to help us build a picture of what life was like. These are a few snapshots from the day, which included:
This week, Chestnut have been developing their drama skills to recreate moments from our Victorian story, ‘Street Child’. We have worked hard to use our S2S to help us create the most effective drama pieces we could, which have then helped us to put ourselves into the character’s shoes. This, in turn, has helped us to write in role as those characters because we had a clearer and deeper understanding of their thoughts, feelings and motivations.
These are some of the S2S we came up with as a class for drama:
We enjoyed using our reading between the lines and questioning skills to investigate a family portrait of Queen Victoria, these are some of our fantastic inferences:
In History, we have been learning more about some of the key moments and events that happened during the Victorian Era; we used these to create our own timelines which you can see in our classroom!
In the forest, beside the fire pit, we got better at explaining how fire is useful to people. These were some of our ideas: keeping warm, cooking food, sterilising water, signalling and celebrations and ceremonies. Emma also helped us learn more about keeping safe around the pit by sharing some safety rules with us.
With Emma’s top tips and supervision, we learned how to saw our own wood which could be used as fuel for the fire. For this task, we needed: suede gloves (to protect our hands from splinters), a sharp saw (to cut the wood) and a wood horse (to hold the wood while we cut it). Although it took some time and determination, we didn't give up and cut the logs into small pieces. Later, we used those pieces to make decorations for the craft fayre using holly and candles.
Chestnut had their Victorian sharing afternoon on Thursday 8th December. It was a good opportunity for us to show all the hard work we have been doing at home and in school. We also had such good fun being able to dress up in Victorian clothing, and be in role of Victorian children. Once the museum opened, the 'visitors' were given a briefing from us all, and were then able to wander around the museum to have a look (and even taste) our projects. At half time, a few of members of the class had prepared a short drama based on a scene from 'Street Child.' What a brilliant way to end our Victorian topic.
We are completing a project for the first week back after the Christmas holidays called 'Take One Tune.' We have been given a piece of music called 'Short Ride in a Fast Machine' by John Adams. Firstly, we listened to the song and discussed what we think the tune could be about, who we believe it is composed by and the types of instruments we can hear. Then, we were introduced to some interesting information about the composer John Adams, and created a fact file.
Another activity Chestnut have been completing is expressing ideas and feelings through music. John Adams composed the song based on his feeling of riding in his brothers fast sports car, and we have worked in groups to think of a journey inspiration to make a short rhythmic piece. We must use at least one repeating 'travel' rhythm (Ostinato) and have a clear woodblock pulse. Finally, we performed our pieces to one another and shared feedback.
Chestnut class have been very fortunate to experience the 'Explorer Dome', which took place in the hall. It started with crawling into the dark dome, and we were then greeted by Gemma and Kevin who took us on a 'journey' to experience the solar system. We were able to view different images of the planets (that were projected on the dome), and were introduced to some very interesting facts. This has been a wonderful start to our topic, and Chestnut are now very eager to expand their knowledge about space.
Term 3 - English
We began our English lessons this term by linking our writing with our class topic (Space). Our main objective was to write a descriptive piece describing a setting (our imaginary world). But before writing, we read an example of a descriptive piece and identified the features, which then formed our S2S. Following that lesson, we collected our own ideas using adjectives to describe a picture of a setting. Then, we focused on our 5 senses and used our senses to describe what we can see, smell, hear, taste and touch. We learnt about 'figurative language' and looked at examples of alliteration, metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, personification, hyperbole and idioms. Finally, we wrote our descriptive piece including our 5 senses and figurative language as our main objective. Finally, we edited our writing using the S2S, and were able to write a next step as a way of improving our writing.
So far, Chestnut class have been looking at the differences between autobiographies and biographies. We have been focusing on biographies, and have identified the features. These features then created their S2S ready for us to write a biography about Tim Peake. There was an opportunity for us to research the key information, ready to include this in chronological order in our writing.
Also, Chestnut class have been working in groups to write a play script based on a space theme. Firstly we identified the features in a play script (which then formed our S2S). Then, we worked in a group to plan our play script thinking about the title, scene, characters, punctuation, character/ stage directions. Using our plan to support us, we wrote our play script (including all of the main features), and edited our work by following the S2S as a guide.
Fun in the Forest
On Friday 10th February, Chestnut class went into Fir Tree forest. We were split into two groups. The first group went down to the forest and carefully sat down by the fire. Emma shared the objective that this group were going to make a large live willow arch. However they attract wasps, therefore they changed the objective to making a large dead arc. The first group began by cutting and sawing the old willow arc on the field, and took it in turns to use the pliers and saw. It took quite a lot of strength and energy and the hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows were very much appreciated at the end!
The second group also sat down by the fire and Emma told us all to get in to groups. Some children helped make the arch by sawing the willow branch. Then they tied the branches together to create the shape of an arch. Whilst one group was making the arch, the other groups were weaving the willow sticks to create different shapes and patterns. We were also given some hot chocolate and popcorn to warm ourselves up. Chestnut class certainly had a lot of fun in the forest (despite the bitter cold weather)!
To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, Chestnut class enjoyed their morning walking down to Wallingford's town square to support the year 6 children participating in this years pancake race.
World Book Day
We had a lot of fun coming to school dressed in our favourite character from a book. As you can see, everybody made a big effort, and this effort certainly paid off. Don't Chestnut children look fantastic?!
Chestnut class are a wonderful bunch of smiley, thoughtful and inquisitive Year 6 children who love to learn!
On Changeover Day, we wrote a class chant to the tune of 'Hey Mickey' which we think sums up what we want learning to be like in our class:
In Chestnut, learning's great,
At challenge time we're never late,
We're Chestnut! We're Chestnut!
In Chestnut, we're so kind,
Support each other all the time!
We're Chestnut! We're Chestnut!
If you ever have any questions, please pop in to see Mrs Ash, Mrs McRobbie, Mrs Wright or Ms Parker.
We have a noticeboard outside our classroom which has lots of useful information, too.
June - Brazilian Samba Drumming
To inspire us for the up-coming Olympic Games in Rio, we were visited by an expert in a Brazilian style of drumming called 'Samba'. After our brilliant session, we reflected on what we had learned and got better at:
Chestnut Class learned more about…
We got better at…
May - Flying High Visit to RAF Benson
On the 17th May, Year 6 enjoyed a hugely informative visit to RAF Benson to help us learn about how maths and science are used in real-life contexts. During the day, we visited lots of different parts of the base, such as the aircraft hangers, the officer’s mess and the sports hall and found out how the various jobs work together and help each other. We took part in a range of scientific and maths investigations involving the weather, helicopter blades, rations and real pilot problem solving.
These are some of our learning reflections:
April - Term 5 - Staying Alive!
In this science-based project, we have been learning more about the circulatory system which is made up of the heart and the lungs. We learned the different parts of the heart and what their functions (jobs) were in the process of sending blood around the body. We found out that blood is a way of transporting energy around the body to different muscles and organs and that there are 2 kinds of blood: oxygenated (from the lungs to the body) and de-oxygenated (from the body into the lungs).
We were visited by the Explorer Dome who helped us to develop our understanding of the human digestive system. We learned all about the journey of a piece of food from top to bottom and found out even more about the 6 scientific food groups. We chose to record our learning using different text types: diaries, non-chronological reports and instructions.
Getting into the dome; creating our own digestive stomach through mechanical (physically mixing) and chemical digestion (we added liquid ice to simulate the enzymes!).
Following the journey of food through the digestive system; measuring out the small and large intestines and squeezing the fibre through the large intestine!
STEM NET Ambassador Visit
We were very lucky to be visited by Kirsty - a PhD student - who shared her knowledge with us about cells and DNA. We learned about the different types of cells in our bodies and some of their functions (jobs) - did you know that there are 10 trillion cells in the human body and over 200 different types?
Kirsty explained the special systematic way scientists investigate a problem and we had a go at using the method to think about how we'd investigate the problem of predicting the weather tomorrow.
We learned about Kirsty's research area which is called 'Gene Therapy' - this is where scientists use (harmless) viruses to transport missing or incorrect genes to the DNA part of a cell and replace it, so that the person can get better. These are some of our brilliant reflections:
April - Term 5 - Woodlands Residential Visit
Year 6 enjoyed an incredible week at the Woodlands Outdoor Education Centre in Powys, Wales. During our 5 days, we learned lots of new outdoor skills (such as: canoeing, climbing, caving, orienteering and mountain walking) as well developing our communication, leadership and teamwork skills. We become even more resilient than before and felt proud of ourselves and our peers when we achieved - and even exceeded - the goals we had set for ourselves and our teams. We learned to work with lots of different people and strengthened our independence as we took on a number of responsibilities at the centre including: serving each other at dinner, tidying our rooms, cleaning the centre and looking after our own equipment. We loved sharing our experiences of the visit with our families in an assembly featuring drama and lots of our learning reflections.
March - Term 4 - World Book Day
We enjoyed celebrating World Book Day by dressing up as characters from our favourite books.
During the day, classes joined up for buddy reading and shared their books and costume ideas.
Ms Khan led an SMSC assembly which helped us to reflect on the meaning of reading and how reading books makes us feel and how reading helps us in lots of different ways.
February - Term 4 - IMPS Training
Last week, Chestnut class visited Wallingford Hospital to take part in their IMPS (Injury Minimization Programme for Schools) training. During the morning, we learned about using a code called D.R.S.A.B.C to help order your actions in a First Aid emergency.
We also learned how to give C.P.R (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and how to use an A.E.D (Automatic External Defibrillator) to help when someone’s heart has stopped.
After our training, we visited the Treatment Room at the hospital and learned about the different equipment and procedures the doctors use to diagnose a patient.
We hope that as a result of our amazing training, we can now be confident first responders if someone has had an accident or needs medical help.
This link has even more information about IMPS and their training: http://www.impsweb.co.uk/
February - Term 4 - The Ancient Maya
In English, we got better at storytelling; we used the HEAR MAP STEP SPEAK process of learning to explore an Ancient Mayan story of Creation. These are a couple of extracts from our amazing stories:
We learned about the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and - in Art - we developed our sketching skills as we used chalk and charcoal to draw Mayan buildings and architecture.
We have been learning about Mayan foods and presented our new learning in different ways. After that, we set up our own Mayan Café in order that we could try some of the delicious foods we’d found out about. Have a look in our Mayan project book to see some of our menus.
We learned about Mayan arts and crafts and created lots of amazing artefacts of our own; come into our classroom to see these fantastic creations on display!
This website has some great links to help with extra research or homework: http://www.theschoolrun.com/homework-help/the-mayans
February - Term 3 - Wallingford Pancake Race
Clash of the Pans!
During this morning's enjoyable pancake race, in Wallingford's town square, Year 6 have reflected that we got better at:
* Persevering due to the fact that we kept going, despite our lags aching as a result of the long and bitter cold.
* Showing our value and people smarts by cheering other competitors; hence, giving them the encouragement to achieve their best.
Thank you very much to everyone who cheered us on and to Harry and Jack for choosing the witty title of this report.
Special congratulations to Topaz and Sophia - who won first girls - and Harry - who won first boy - and to Eve who was interviewed on BBC Oxford Radio due to the reporter noticing her amazing panda-cake (a pancake shaped like a panda!)
p.s. We tried to use our explanation causal connectives in this report - can you spot them?
We launched our project with a KWL session – what do we KNOW and what do we WANT to find out?
To help us, we looked at questions and images of Ancient Egypt to prompt our memories and ideas.
We researched Ancient Egyptian artwork to generate the S2S for creating our own; this led to us learning hieroglyphics and learning about the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses.
We enjoyed a hugely informative visit to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford to help us learn even more about life and death in Ancient Egypt. As we walked around the different exhibits, we were able to study a range of evidence and sources to help us deepen our knowledge. During the visit, we walked around a real Ancient Egyptian temple and were even able to touch authentic artifacts (we had the challenge of making inferences about what the piece was and what is was used for!).
We have developed our DT and art skills through a number of art projects, including making Egyptian friezes (complete with hieroglyphics), creating canopic jars from clay and using our paper modelling skills to make death masks in the style of Tutankhamun.
To celebrate how much we'd learned by the end of the project, we invited our families and friends to visit our Chestnut Class Museum where we shared our fantastic research and discoveries.
Through our Science and RE project, we have deepened our understanding of light and the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
In English, we used the 'Hear Map Step Speak' storytelling formula to help us learn to retell the Jewish story of Hanukkah.
We investigated the customs and traditions of the festival using books and the internet. We got better at searching for key phrases and making clear, organised notes.
In DT, we learned to work hygienically to make a range of Jewish foods, traditionally eaten at Hanukkah. Working in teams, We made 'Sufganiyot' (jam filled doughnuts) and 'Latkes' (potato pancakes). We used our maths skills to help us scale up the recipes and read scales accurately. As a class, we used our new knowledge to help us write the instructions as a recipe (see below!). During the day, we also practised our turn-taking while playing the dreidel game with Maisy’s dreidels from New York. Finally, we refined our sketching techniques to draw a Jewish ‘Menorah’. If you’d like to learn about the traditional Jewish festival of Hanukkah, please ask any Chestnuts as we’re now experts!
All of Year 6 were lucky enough to be visited by STEM Ambassador, Simon Cook. As Head of Sales at Lumicom Ltd, Mr Cook was able to help us learn more about real-life applications of light as part of our ‘Shine a Light’ project. We really enjoyed hearing about his company and asked lots of fantastic questions to discover even more about science in the lighting industry.
Later in the project, we learned about the Russian folktale of Babushka; using drama, we got better at reading between the lines, making predictions and stepping into the character's shoes. These drama experiences helps us to write amazing discussions to help Babushka make a challenging choice: should she go with the Kings or not?
In Science, we have been learning more about the properties of light including how it travels, what colours it is made up from and how shadows are formed. We investigated how to change the size of shadows by changing different variables and carefully measuring our results.
Delphine and Ava were inspired by our project to help Chestnut class to learn even more about light through two investigations – one about white light and the other about reflect light using mirrors. Come into our classroom to see our Newton's wheels and mazes!
September and October - Term 1 - Macbeth
We've really enjoyed getting our teeth into Shakespeare's grisly tale of the Scottish General Macbeth! We started off by looking at illustrations of characters in the play and using our inference and deduction skills to read between the lines of the pictures. We made predictions about what we thought the characters could be like by looking for clues in their clothes, facial expressions, body language and names.
As we've been reading the story, we've added to our knowledge of vocabulary and terms linked to the plot, like...
Thane ruthless General prophecy regicide assassination
Ask someone in Chestnut to explain to you what these mean and how they're linked to Macbeth!
We've been learning to sequence the events in a story and have been using drama, such as our 'Conscience Alley' to put ourselves in role to unpick a character's problem: Should Macbeth murder King Duncan? We learned how to use connectives to link our ideas into a discussion - have a look for these fantastic pieces of writing on our display!
September - Term 1 - Macmillan Coffee Morning
To raise money for Macmillan, Upper School hosted a coffee morning and invited parents and friends of the school to enjoy a cup of tea and a yummy treat whilst supporting a fantastic cause. Each Upper School class made a delicious sweet snack. In Chestnut, we baked jam sandwich biscuits. We learned how to scale up a recipe by multiplying the ingredients by 4 and got better at reading accurately from scales to measure our ingredients.
Thank you to everyone who helped make the morning such a success - we'll keep you posted with the total raised once it's been counted!
September - Term 1 - Bible Exhibition Visit
In September, we spent the morning at the Bible Exhibition so that we could learn more about the Christian holy text. During the morning, we listened to the story of how Christians believe the Bible came to be and were able to study a number of artefacts linked to the stories in the Bible. To help us learn even more, we were set a challenge to find the answers to a quiz by reading information and finding facts around the exhibition. Have a look in our RE books to find out some of the interesting facts we discovered.
September - Term 1 - Take One Picture
This term, we launched our learning by investigating a painting by Claude Monet called 'Dusk in Venice'.
We got better at reading in between the lines of paintings by looking at the clues the artist had given us. In small groups, we were given only a small piece of the painting and had to use the colours, textures and shapes to make predictions about what the painting was, where it was, when it was set and who might have painted it. After we'd made our predictions, we put the puzzle pieces together to see how the whole picture compared with our initial ideas.
In Computing, we improved our graphics skills as we learned how to use the Paint program to recreate the colours, textures and shapes of the original painting. We also refined our Word Processing and Internet Searching skills as we researched information about the painting and it's artist and presented this for an audience in an informative poster.
In Art, we worked in teams to recreate a section of the painting using a range of collage techinques we had learned. As we made our sections, we also got better at drawing to scale because we had to increase the size of our picture by 4. This was important because the indvidual pieces needed to fit back together to make the whole painting. Come into Chestnut to see our finished masterpiece in person!
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