Welcome to Hogwarts!

Over the Easter holidays, the children received a letter inviting them to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was pleasing to see the children turn up on Monday morning ready for this new and exciting topic.

The children started by being sorted into houses. Would it be Gryffindor? Ravenclaw? Slytherin? or Hufflepuff?

After discovering their new houses, the first years worked together to create a motto for their house. These will be very useful when we learn how to play Quidditch later on in the term.

They have made wands and have written some excellent diary entries about their arrival at Hogwarts, including their first sight of the school and their nerves/excitement/anticipation at being sorted.

A fantastic start to the topic. Any questions about our upcoming learning, please pop in after school and ask.

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Happy Easter!

We've had a busy few weeks, finishing off all the projects that we've started this half term.

The children completed their shoe box biographies of David Attenborough, wrote an explanation text about the life cycle of a butterfly and have created papier mache minibeasts (these are just having the final touches added to them.)

Everyone wrote a biography about David Attenborough. The table then worked as a team to decide who was going to top copy each paragraph about him. Afterwards, they created a scene to depict Attenborough's life which they put inside their shoe box.

This week, lots of children received their swimming certificates too:

Have a relaxing half term and see you after Easter for our brand new topic: Wizards and Witches!

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Science Week

To coincide with British Science Week, we have spent the week learning about the plastic ocean and ways that we can help reduce this through recycling and reusing different materials.

On Monday, the children were allocated a bag of plastics (thank you for sending these in - they've now been recycled!). Each piece of plastic had a label on it showing where the plastic originated from. We had plastic bottles from Peru, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Canada and the USA. The children worked together to use atlases to research the journey the plastic would have taken to reach the North Pacific gyre. They thought about the animals that their plastic would have passed, as well as the countries and oceans. They then used this research to write about the journey. There was some very impressive writing, with lots of children trying really hard to include expanded noun phrases, fronted adverbials and collective nouns.

We also had representatives for Braintree Council visit us to talk about how recycling and waste works locally. We learnt some very interesting facts, for example there is no limit as to how many times glass can be recycled!

Today, the children spent the morning visiting the different countries and trying some local cuisine. A very exciting week!

In other news, during silent reading last week, William spotted a mistake in the book he was reading. We decided to send a polite letter to the publisher pointing out the error. They replied to William, and one day last week, he came home from school to a huge parcel! They sent him two books as a thank you for spotting the mistake! Well done William - it shows that William is really considering what he is reading and thinking about the story the whole time. 

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Down by the river...

Despite the rainy weather, Hippos braved the walk to the River Blackwater on Tuesday - thank you so much to the parents/grandparents who accompanied us.

We spent Monday afternoon plotting the route to the river. The children used string to estimate the distance and which route would be the shortest. We then decided on a route as a class. 

At the river, it was incredibly muddy! This was a perfect environment in which to find living creatures.

The children each had a plastic bag which we filled with pondweed and other river creatures.

When we got back to school, the children looked at each other's contents. They examined these using a magnify glass and then used sketching pencils and watercolours to create the creatures and objects collected.

The children have been working hard to create persuasive adverts promoting the river. Next week, we will be looking at biographies as we start to look at David Attenborough's work.

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Superhero Day!

What a great day we have had. Thank you for all the effort put into the superhero costumes. Also thanks for all the donations of cakes and biscuits - we're currently in the process of counting up how much money has been raised for Children with Cancer.

It was lovely to see so many of you yesterday for our outcomes afternoon. The children have really enjoyed this topic and the living things/nature theme will continue after half term, starting off with a trip to the river on Tuesday 20th February.

Have a wonderful half term! 

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Erupting volcanoes and mixed up animals...

This week, we have learnt about how volcanoes are formed and how, when pressure builds up, they can erupt. We set up an experiment using fairy liquid, bicarbonate soda, vinegar and water to explore this further.

The children then created volcano artwork using a watercolour wash for a background, and chalk for the erupting lava. These look very effective.

In English, we have planned our own Remarkable Animals book. We have drafted the writing for this and have sketched our mixed-up animals. Next week, we will finish this off so that it can be made into a book.

Also, we finished composing our own Neverbelieve songs and put instruments to these. We even learnt about musical notation.

Don't forget two important dates for the diary next week:

Wednesday 7th February 2.45 - Hippos sharing assembly

Thursday 8th February all day - Superhero Day. The children can dress as their favourite superhero for a donation of £1 to Children with Cancer.

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Norman Messenger visited us!

What a fantastic morning we have had! Norman Messenger came to talk to Year 4 about his discovery of the Land of Neverbelieve. He taught them his song about the island and answered loads of questions. He also explained that the island can change shape as well as location!

 

Afterwards, he came to our class and listened to the children's persuasive writing leaflets. He decided that the Hamlets was the most persuasive! Well done this team!

Dolphins class also got a vote and they unanimously voted for the Magical Lake. This team worked very hard in DT to make an eye-catching final piece - I think the glitter helped too!

The whole class have worked extremely hard to finish their leaflets this week, striving to include effective persuasive language and phrases. These are now displayed around the 3D map of the island.

We would love to invite parents in to see this and to hear each group's pitch for why their area is the best to visit on the Land of Neverbelieve. You will get a vote too! Today the children are coming home with an invitation to a sharing afternoon on Wednesday 7th February at 2.45pm in the Hippos classroom. We hope to see you there!

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3D map complete!

We've had a very busy week, designing and creating a 3D map of the Land of Neverbelieve. The children started by researching their area and creating a mindmap of what should be included, for example animals, trees or houses. We then dedicated two afternoons to create the map. The children worked so well together, considering each other's ideas and supporting one another. This is the final piece:

Can you spot:

  • The magical lake?
  • The spooky dark mountains?
  • The coast?
  • The hamlet?
  • The marsh and stream?
  • The islands?

The children have started to think about how to write a persuasive brochure encouraging people to visit their part of the Land of Neverbelieve. They have looked at persuasive texts and practised writing persuasively. I look forward to these finished pieces next week.

In maths, we have been looking at area and the children have been able to use their times tables knowledge to help with this.

Finally, here is a photograph of the children's finished Henri Rousseau work:

A very artistic class! 

 

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Newspaper articles published!

Hippos have worked very this week to complete their newspaper articles about the discovery of the Land of Neverbelieve. Next week, we will be creating a 3D map of the island - thank you very much for all the recycling you have sent in. The children will be given an area of the island in their table teams. They will then plan, research and make this area. Alongside this, they will be writing a persuasive brochure to convince the Year 1/2 children that their area is the best holiday destination on the island! At the end of this project, the younger children will come and cast their votes.

This week, we have also re-created Henri Rousseau art pieces. The children were each given a square of his artwork. They needed to start by sketching the detail.

They then used watercolours and a lot of colour mixing to finish their completed square.

This evening, I will put all of the squares together to get the final outcomes. I'll post these on the blog next week and they will, of course, be hanging in the classroom too.

Have a good weekend!

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Happy New Year

Welcome back!

Our topic for this term is based on a book called ‘The Land of Neverbelieve’. It is about an explorer called Norman Messenger who discovers a strange wolf-shaped island in the Pacific Ocean. The children have already started to explore the island through Messenger's fantastic book. They have started to write a newspaper report about the discovery and have looked closely at the route Messenger took around the world.

In a few weeks, we will be creating a 3D map of the island. Please could you bring in any clean recycling for this project, e.g. empty toilet rolls, old newspaper, cereal boxes, pizza boxes and yoghurt pots.

We have tried to take on board your views towards homework from the questionnaires completed last term. As such, the format of homework will be changing this term. At the beginning of every half term, the children will be given a range of activities to choose from. It is not expected that you complete all of these, but it would be fantastic to see the English and maths completed as a minimum. We will be checking DB Primary at the end of the half term, and would also like the homework books to come back into school on the last Monday of half term so that we can celebrate the children’s efforts as a class and mark their work.

I hope you are still enjoying the Times Tables Rockstars - I have been very impressed with how quick the children are getting at recalling these.

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Merry Christmas

What a fantastic first term we've had. Hippos have worked hard on becoming even better writers, with a big improvement in handwriting. I've been able to give out some pen licenses and would love to give more out in the new year.

We've been spending lots of time getting quicker at our times tables by practising them daily when playing 'Around the World'. As a school, we have recently purchased an exciting programme called Times Tables Rockstars. The children set up their accounts yesterday by creating an avatar and practising their tables. Their usernames and passwords are stuck into their reading records so that they can continue to play and collect coins at home.

Have a fantastic Christmas and see you all in the new year. 

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Beowulf inference artwork

This week, we finished our West Stow brochures (these have been photocopied and will be coming home this week). Some are also being sent over to West Stow - hopefully we'll hear back shortly.

We looked at the story of Beowulf in a reading skills lesson and focused particularly on inference. We then created our own artwork using charcoal. We used our detective skills to infer what Beowulf may have looked like. Here's our artwork:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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West Stow

It's been a week since our trip to West Stow and the children are still talking about the Anglo Saxon excrement that was found during an archaeological dig! 

It was a fantastic trip where the children learnt a lot about the houses Anglo Saxons lived in, as well as how they made their clothes, what they ate and the crafts they produced.

Since returning from the trip, the children have been hard at work to create a factfile for other school children visiting West Stow. These are now almost finished and will be sent off early next week. I have been very impressed with how much Hippos have remembered and how they have managed to record these facts.

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Published authors and illustrators

It's been a busy 4 day week in the Hippos' classroom. Hard work, determination and perseverance have paid off as the children have now finished their Viking adventure stories and have shared these with Crocodiles. The front covers of these stories are particularly effective as the children were able to experiment with Brusho for the first time. A messy medium, but the end result is beautifully vibrant colours.

Here are some photographs of the children sharing their stories with the Year 1s, who listened so well and loved the stories. 

Sadly, this week brings up to the end of our Viking adventure, however the Anglo-Saxons will prove to be just as exciting, especially as we start next week off with our trip to West Stow. Please remember, the children will need to be in school by 8.15am as the coach will be leaving no later than 8.30am. The children will need to bring a packed lunch (unless you ordered one on the permission slip), as well as a drink. They can wear non-uniform for the day, but their clothing MUST be warm and suitable for wet, cold weather, as the majority of the day will be spent outside. We highly recommend that the children wear wellies and a warm coat. We're very much looking forward to the trip and I'm sure the children will come home on Monday, ready to share lots of stories!

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The authors of the Hippo class

Over the past few weeks, the children have been developing their story writing skills. They have all written an exciting adventure story about Hiccup, and next week will illustrate these and make them into a book. They will then be shared with KS1. Watch this space for photos!

We have also started a new topic in science: states of matter. Hippos learnt about how particles are arranged in solids, liquids and gases. Can you guess which state the children are acting out below? 

 

The children then created Cheerio art to show how these particles are arranged. They have all been photographed and stuck into the Science books to avoid a sticky, mouldy mess later in the year...

Here's Charlie working on his:

We are starting to use DB Primary for lessons within school, as well as for homework. For homework, the children will be set tasks and the feedback will then be sent to me so I can check how they got on with each activity. The children can also message through DB Primary if they are unsure of anything. 

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We've had a brilliant start in Hippos!

Well what a wonderful first 6 weeks at Beckers Green I have had! Although the children didn't have to move classrooms from last year, they've had a new layout and have had to learn where everything lives all over again! 

We've made a great start to our Vikings topic where the children have used websites to find out about the this period of history, we've also created timelines and created some wonderful dragon and longboat art...watch this space for the finished pieces (we'll be adding the final touches before half term).

In Science, we have explored sound and have been carrying out some very thought-provoking investigations. Here are some photographs of Hippos investigating whether ear cones amplify sound.

Breaking news this week...a dragon (perhaps a Deadly Nadder, or maybe a Stormcutter) has been caught on CCTV at the front of the school. The children are in the process of investigating this and have put their journalistic hats on so that they can report this news with you. Please don't panic, the children are very knowledgeable about these species of dragons and we believe there is a dragon tamer employed to prevent any further damage by the dragon.

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