Christmas Truffle making
Christmas and Hannukah
We have been discussing and comparing Christmas celebrations with the Hannukah Story from the Jewish Faith. We found many similarities and some differences between each festival of light.
Both stories feature refugees - Jesus' family and the Macabbees
Both stories feature occupation by another civilisation - Romans and Greeks
Both are about HOPE
Both celebrate light and the presence of God
Both are in winter time - December and early January
Both faiths are global faiths
Jesus and his family were Jewish
they happen at different times in history
they feature different people
the lights were different
Chaffinch December Homework
As December is such a busy time of year, homework will be different this month. Please can you try to support your child to:
Weekly spelling and times tables checkups will stop for now and start again week commencing 13th January. Many thanks, Mrs Dodds.
Does Prayer Change Things? (November 2019)
Chaffinch have been considering the question very thoughtfully through studies of both Christian and Hindu prayer. We have been fascinated by Christian Stories of the power of prayer - such as Jonah and the Whale - and by learning more about Puja (Hindu Prayer). It's been a real pleasure to listen to such interesting and confident discussions on individual beliefs and experiences and on the value of prayer.
We have all brought home recipe and information books, as well as a pot with grain to grow. Here are some of our key learning points from today:
Riley: Breakfast is ‘breaking your fast’ so you need more food to get yourself going again.
Katherine: Breakfast helps us to be resilient.
Connor: There are lots of interesting ingredients for a smoothie.
Freddie and Jake: Lots of people have chocolate cereal for breakfast but I only have it as a treat because it has lots of sugar which isn’t so healthy.
Isabella and Ethan: Not eating your breakfast is bad for you because you won’t be able to focus well or have energy
Times tables Mountain Challenge
Every Tuesday we check our x tables knowledge. Here are some tips to help us improve:
Harry: listen to Percy Parker on Planet Sherston web site.
Isla: draw Pictures of your x tables because I am a visual learner.
Jasper: Practice when you have a spare five minutes - every day, sometimes for longer.
Lilly: Play games on the computer like the times table race track app. (DK)
Anna: Try the six second challenge on the school website.
Ava :Get your dad to test you. He can say "What's 5 x 7?" when you're in the car.
Connor: Count the words in one sentence and multiply by the number of words in another sentence.
Tuesday 18th December 2.30pm
We are delighted to invite you to our final tenor horn lesson where you can see how we’ve progressed in our learning and we will be playing a festive tune!
10.10.18 In English we are learning how to develop characters for our own wish story based on King Midas. There are some very creative characters and character traits being invented! For example, we have a scientist whose imagination has made everything turn to ice, a greedy queen who turns everything to chocolate cake and even an artist who changes the colour of all he touches.
We are also practicing the art of story telling. If you have the opportunity, listen to your child's retelling of King Midas - I think you'll love it. It would be great if you could send in a little note to give feedback on their retelling by 15.10.18 Thank you.
India Day Monday 25th June 2018
We will be dedicating a whole day to our exciting topic of Incredible India. We will be learning across the curriculum in a variety of ways with the whole focus on India – clothing, food, dance, stories, music, wildlife and religion. Children will have the opportunity to dress-up in traditional Indian clothing (if you have anything suitable) or wear plain brightly coloured or white clothing with no logos please.
Family Members are invited into school to learn alongside us from 2-3pm. Please let us know if you will be attending then we can plan accordingly.
Swimming lesson on Tuesday 12th June
Don't forget to come into school in your uniform as usual and bring your swimming clothes (not PJs) in a spare plastic bag.
We have been learning about water safety in English lessons too. Can you design a symbol / sign about keeping safe by water?
We had a fun outdoor maths lesson today, multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. (5.6.18)
Times Tables Tips
Barnaby - Purple Mash games
Katherine - go on Education City and play games to help you
Amelie - play Hit the Button (website or app)
Anna - sing along to Percy Parker times tables or other songs
Oscar - try to beat Alexa or Siri or Google voice
Georgia - sing along then test you in 2.30
Amy - make some x tables flash cards and test yourself
Emily - think of little rhymes like wakey wakey rise and shine 7x7=49
Oliver - write them out lots of times...
Design Technology - wc 19.03.2018
Next Week Chaffinch Class will be designing and making our own moving monsters based on Viking myths and monsters. The Vikings told many tales of monsters, such as trolls, dragons, sea serpents, and the fierce wolf Fenrir (which the gods tried to keep chained up). Odin rode a magical horse named Sleipnir, which had eight legs.
We would be very grateful for any balloons, clean squeezy plastic bottles (washing up bottles etc.), cardboard shoe or cereal boxes, ribbons, eyes etc that you think may help the children construct a Viking monster. Look out for our pneumatic masterpieces soon…
Help Please! (7.3.18)
we are learning about instructions in English. If you come across any simple, well written instructions in the next few day, please can you send them into school.
Our children had a lovely time at Warren Lodge on Monday. They talked confidently to the residents about all sorts of things such as football teams (Chelsea!) handwriting, holidays, the weather and even showed them new maths methods when they were calculating the difference in their ages. Next week eight different children will visit and the focus will be on signs of spring. We felt really proud of our children and grateful that they’d had an opportunity to meet such interesting members of our community. Well done everyone.
Storytelling competition 20 February 2018
What a wonderful day we have had in Chaffinch Class, listening to all our great story tellers. The children used expression, controlled volume and lots of detail to engage the audience in their story. Every single entry was fantastic and the amount of detail given showed just how effective our talk for writing approach has been to giving children both the structure and the words to tell stories. WELL DONE EVERYONE! The chocolate trophy will be awarded tomorrow...in the meantime check out the video posted on the latest video page.
we have some extra practice sheets (times tables circles and challenge sheets) for this week. please don't feel you have to do them all. They are just optional examples that may help the children to learn their target x tables.
We have been learning about the art of storytelling and have practiced a little in school. As well as just being good plain fun, it’s a great way to build rich and detailed descriptions, and to develop sequencing skills. Just give us a character, a setting and a problem and see how creative we can be!
Because we’ve had so much fun, the children would like to have a storytelling competition after half term.
This is completely optional. If your child would like to take part, the story we’re retelling is Anansi and the Tiger. Anansi tricks the tiger into giving away all his stories. They have a copy of the story or you can find one on line.
Storytelling 29 January 2018
We listened with great concentration to a wonderful story of creation, then we inspired Bob Hartman with characters, setting and a problem which he put together into a great new story. Can you tell it to your family? Finally, we sang about being kind to ourselves, and to others...with a now famous pigmy shrew!
Grid method maths
Can you explain how we used tall people as tens and curled up people as ones to solve 4 x 33 = 132?
Curriculum Letter Spring 2018
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we approach the end of the Autumn term with your sons/daughters, we would like to tell you how pleased we have been with them. Each and every one of them has engaged eagerly with their learning and settled into the new Chaffinch Class really well. We know new class routines and high curriculum expectations are not always easy, but they have all done brilliantly throughout the Autumn. Now they are all very excited about the coming Christmas holidays and spending more time with family and friends. We hope this letter will help with the return to school in January so your children know what to look forward to as they welcome Miss Parish to Chaffinch Class.
Our main theme for the Spring Term is Vikings. We will be learning about who they were, where they came from and how they lived their daily lives in Britain. If you have books, artifacts, photos of visits etc. that link to our topic, we would love to borrow them for our display. As we did last term with rivers, we will be planning our Foundation subjects to link to this focus topic wherever possible.
Our English units will continue to follow the successful 'talk for writing approach' and will also be linked with our Viking topic. They will include character sketches, own experiences linked to a story, instructions and poems in a range of forms.
The children will once again be able to share their writing through our 'Spotlight' sessions where they read their writing to children from other classes. This is both enjoyable and useful as it gives a real audience to show case their work and receive feedback on their next steps. We will also continue with our focus on spelling, grammar and reading comprehension.
Homework activities for the spelling patterns covered by the National Curriculum will be sent home each Thursday and should be returned by the following Wednesday.
We read regularly in class: in whole class reading sessions, smaller group reading and individually. Reading, interpreting and understating text is a part of almost every lesson. As you know, the more children read, the faster they progress with their spelling, writing and word knowledge. It also helps them with their imagination and creativity. Regular reading both in class and at home is therefore incredibly beneficial for all children. We have introduced Leading Reading for some children to read daily with year 6 children and, whilst not all children read individually to adults when in Chaffinch Class, all children have their own Reading Records. Reading Record books are used to record children’s reading, for them to comment on the book and for parents to also comment or initial these. These books will be collected and checked on a regular basis and children will be rewarded for reading three or more times each week.
This term we will cover multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. Starting with basic calculations and fluency in maths we will progress through reasoning to application and problem solving. The application of the calculation to solve problems can be a more challenging part of maths and the children will have to dig deep to find their resourcefulness and resilience.
Maths homework will still be set on a Wednesday and will be due in the following Monday. Some pieces / activities may benefit from parental support. Homework should be a revision of class based topics and is also a useful way of keeping you informed of what areas we are covering in Maths each week. Please let us know if your child is finding the activity too challenging. Don’t forget the X tables mountain challenge each week too.
The two Science topics we will be covering this term are materials and teeth. Children will be learning about the different properties of materials and their uses as well as understanding more about types of teeth and how to look after them.
We will be composing a Viking story with music and sound effects as well as learning more about graphic and standard notation. The BBC ten pieces will also form part of our learning this term.
Our two Computing Topics are editing and writing HTML and finding and correcting bugs in programs.
This term we will be exploring ‘going for goals’ which is all about personal targets, why set them and how to check our progress against goals. We will also look at diversity and why it’s good to be unique and to just be yourself. as well as thinking about E safety - staying safe on line.
We will have 2 P.E. lessons each week. One unit is gymnastics for our indoor P.E. and our outdoor PE will be outdoor adventure. We also try to run around the field each morning so please ensure that children have P.E. kits in school ALL week including a pair of trainers. It really helps if all items are named.
We will continue to follow ‘The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, Pan – Berkshire. For this term we will be considering the big question, “Is religion the most important influence in peoples lives’ and learning more about the Easter story.
As you can see, your sons and daughters will be enjoying a varied and busy timetable in 2018. We will be continuing to help them develop strong learning behaviours in including responsibility, resilience, reflection, resourcefulness and readiness. Please help us encourage the children to do more tasks independently and be ready to learn with all the correct equipment each day: a simple, small pencil case with several HB pencils, a sharpener and small ruler; a glue stick for fixing learning objectives into books; PE kit in school every day (shorts, t shirt and trainers, tracksuit bottoms etc.); an art apron or old shirt as a cover-up and if possible a purple pen for editing and improving their own work. Please don’t let them bring in small toys, ‘novelty’ rubbers etc. as they are very distracting during lessons and upsetting when lost.
Finally, we would like to thank you all for your extremely thoughtful Christmas messages and gifts. They really are appreciated. Enjoy the Festive Season and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school in the New Year.
Mrs Dodds and Mrs Farrell.
Christmas table decorations (XVIII December 2017)
Today we have been working very hard to make super table decorations. We used evergreen leaves (to represent the everlasting love of God) we used candy canes (to represent how sweet life can be) and we used oasis to hold it all together (representing our families). We hope you like them...
Autumn Term Design Technology (December 2017)
We are making our own wooden photograph frames in DT this week. Please can you send in examples so we can investigate the features before designing our own. We will be looking at materials, style, decorations, how the photo is secured, stands, clips, covers, etc. The more varied the better, but we are a very busy classroom so please don't send in precious frames!
Best Christmas Song Ever?
What do you think? Chaffinch loved it (well, most of us)!
Follow this link...
X table - Mountain Challenge! November 2017
We are pleased to be starting our ‘times table mountain’ challenge.
The challenge has 12 stages and gets progressively harder.
We are all starting with the 2,5,10 x table. Even though some of us ‘know’ these tables, we do not yet have sufficient fluency when using them in calculations and problem solving. Practice will help build this fluency. There will be a check-up each week and when you get all 32 correct in the time allowed (2.5 minutes) you will move on to the next stage. (There are 12 stages in all)
Superstar! - our Christmas Production (update 13.11.17)
Year 4 have started rehearsals for the music for our production. It's all coming along very nicely! They will wear dark trousers and a bright, primary coloured t-shirt for performances (no logos or pictures please). WASMA t-shirts will be good.
Year 3 now have their parts to learn. Please help them to learn these at home - with expression! Their costumes are 'villagers' or innkeepers etc. Natural colours, long skirts, trousers, headdresses etc. Some also need bags or blankets wrapped around a jumper etc so show they are travelling. Thank you in advance for your help in putting these together.
Home learning - ongoing
We should all:
Well done if you're a responsible learner and remember to do all this. You will get your raffle ticket if you hand in your reading record on Fridays! Be resilient and always try your best at home as well as school.
Visit to the River Pang at Rushall Farm. 6 November 2017
We have all had a wonderful day in the autumn sunshine, enjoying learning more about rivers.
After a very exciting tractor ride, we waded into the river to explore the creatures who live there and to measure the width, depth and velocity of the river. Even with our waterproof waders , and many layers, some of us did get a little damp! So, it was then back to the heated barn for lunch before a gentle stroll down to the river confluence and meander. The children really impressed the teachers at Rushall Farm with all their river knowledge and I'm sure everyone learned a little bit more. For example, I didn't know about the American Crayfish in our chalk bedded rivers. What did your child learn?
Thank you for all your help and support in getting them ready for the trip. Mrs Dodds.
Love your neighbour and love God. 30.10.17
In RE we are thinking about the Jesus' commandments. We all thought of a small act of kindness that could show these commandments, no matter what our own personal belief may be. The children have written and swapped ideas. There are some lovely ideas such as, ' pick an autumn bouquet for a neighbour, offer to wash the dishes/unload the dishwasher or bake a cake for someone' etc. Please can you sign the back of their idea, if and when they carry it out. They can, of course, do extra acts of kindness that we'd love to hear about. There is also the Heart of the Community Award, linked to these commandmnets, for those who go the extra mile. Click on the link for more ideas... Have fun being kind Chaffinch!
Half Term Reading
Please remember to read over the Autumn Half term and record your reading in your reading record. Our target is to read at lest three times a week, give your views on what you're reading and read a wide variety of text. Good Luck Chaffinch
Wellington College Visit. 18.10.17
Chaffinch children, and adults, had a fantastic day on our trip to Wellington College to celebrate the autumn harvest. The day was organised by the Newbury Showground Education team and we’ve thanked them profusely for inviting us to this well organised and enjoyable free event.
We started the day with an autumn colour walk where we collected tiny snippets of leaves, flowers, seeds etc and attached them to card to make a unique piece of autumn art. Then followed the apple bobbing. It was a ‘marmite’ challenge with some loving and some hating the experience! After that we moved on to a cookery demonstration to learn how fruit and vegetables (apples and beetroot) can be incorporated into sweet treats. The tasting was very popular. The true story of Johnny Appleseed fascinated everyone, as did the beautifully illustrated pictures showing life in the 1800’s USA. Finally we tasted several varieties of apples (Cox’s Orange Pippin, Charles Ross and Russet) as well as learning about many different types of squashes. The day ended with a smile as some of the children got extremely excited by a sign that read 'strictly minibus parking only', as they thought Strictly Come Dancing must be being filmed there!
All in all it was a really busy and informative day. Thank you for supporting us in transporting the children to and from the College. Hopefully their smiles and stories have been entertaining you since.