Stanford Junior and Infant School
Living together - Learning together
On this page you can see updates over the term of our activities and learning.
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Year 4 have been working really hard on practising times tables, in preparation for the multiplication checks this year. We have been learning through songs, chants, daily quizzes, problem solving activities and interactive games. Keep practising at home as well, as we're making great progress!
Willow class enjoyed an immersive Victorian experience day for their hook event this term.
We learned all about how Victorian schools differed to modern schools, using a range of approaches. We had a lot of discussion about how lessons were different to what we experience during our school day. This included taking part in a traditional Victorian exercise "drill", as well as practising the skill of "deportment" to improve our posture (by balancing books on heads). We also learned about the range of Victorian school rules and punishments. We researched what playtime games Victorians would've been likely to play - we particularly enjoyed tiddlywinks. In the afternoon we researched the art of William Morris and started creating our own wallpaper designs based on floral patterns.
Willow and Barley classes had a wonderful day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park last week! The day was spent exploring the park, focusing on the animal's habitats and characteristics. We have been learning about how different animals are classified and what makes something a mammal or an amphibian, etc. In addition to this, we have been doing lots of learning about the rainforest as a habitat. As we went around the park, we used our retrieval skills to recall what words like 'endangered' and 'deforestation' mean. It was fascinating to see some of the animals that we'd been researching.
It was a fantastic day, made even better by the glorious weather.
Year 4 have enjoyed having some very practical science investigations this week as part of Science Week. This year's theme was 'growth'.
During one investigation we followed a line of enquiry linked to our rainforest topic and work on deforestation. We were introduced to the conservationist Gerald Durrell and looked at his work linked to Madagascar. We then explored the impact of soil erosion on nutrients as part of the impact of deforestation. We set up a comparative investigation to find out what would happen if the soil also had bark or plants growing from it.
Another practical observation we made was linked to whale call and how they appear to be getting lower in frequency. Scientists speculate that this is linked to a growth in numbers and not having to communicate over long distances. We made observations of how a tuning fork's vibration creates ripples within water. This will link to our work in science on 'sound' next term. The tuning fork was such a low frequency that we had to listen very carefully and closely to hear it.
Willow class had a lovely World Book Day. We used a text called the 'World's Worst Class', about another fictional Year 4 class. After listening to some extracts from the authors, we used drama to help us create a character for a new teacher. We looked at how we would describe the character using a range of language skills. We also wrote some reviews about our most/least favourite books and linked our PE dance unit into some fictional works about animals as well.
Recently, Willow class explored the school grounds in search of invertebrates. After being briefed on how to respectfully handle small creatures, we put on our coats and headed down to the nature area. We used our retrieval skills to remind ourselves how animals can be classified as invertebrates and predicted what we might find. We worked in small groups and used "bug viewers" to explore the invertebrates in greater detail. We found even more than we expected and had a really fun afternoon.
A God's eye (in Spanish, Ojo de Dios) is an object made by weaving a design out of yarn upon a wooden cross. We had a go at making them ourselves. It was tricky at first but once they got the hang of it they were really quick at it!
The children had lots of fun making friendship bracelets. They used a cardboard wheel to weave the threads, it was quite tricky but they got the hang of it.
It was a great time for them to relax and socialise with each other whilst making something lovely.
This hook day we got off to an exciting start for our Rainforest topic. As part of our history this term, we are learning about the Ancient Mayan civilisation. We had an art-focused hook day where we learned about how the Maya used masks for different rituals. We used mosaic techniques to create some masks and some of these are already helping make part of our dazzling corridor display.
Willow class had a fantastic experience with Sunita as she visited the school this week. We had a special lesson where we learned all about creating Rangoli patterns. Our main focus was to ensure that the artwork was symmetrical and colourful. We worked really well in teams to make sure that we communicated the symmetrical patterns across our group.
The children have been working hard to create some wonderful reindeer decorations, with present boxes beneath. These have been cut from wood and will make a delightful wintery decoration. The children have then personalised the design using paints, acrylic pens and a dash of glitter. The children have also designed and assembled the present boxes that hang from the reindeer.
In addition to this, the children are making some gonk decorations that could be hung on Christmas trees. The children are choosing their own designs for the fabric hats and assembling the decorations themselves.
Wooden Reindeers - £3.50
Gonk Baubles - £1.50
We were really lucky today as Sunita came to our school to teach us about how Hindus live their life, pray and celebrate, The morning started with an assembly where she told us about the story of Rama & Sita. The children loved listening to this story and taking part with actions & sound effects.
In Willow class we have been following the story from a wonderful book, called 'The Boy at the Back of the Class', by the author Onjali Q. Rauf. The book tells the story of a young boy called Ahmet, who has travelled as a refugee from Syria to the United Kingdom. We have also compared this story to the book 'The Journey' by Francesca Sanna, which is also a tale about refugees.
From these books, we have produced a lot of purposeful and creative writing. This has included writing letters to politicians to ask for more help to be provided for refugees in crisis. We have also used lots of strategies to add description to our writing, including exploring some exotic fruits (based on some fabulous description of pomegranates in the book).
In addition to this we have completed some comparison work about the UK and Syria in our geography lessons. Learning about refugees through these stories has taught us important skills of empathy and understanding other people.
During Transgender Awareness Week, Willow class had a fantastic discussion about gender stereotypes and how these impact our hobbies and habits. We looked at some adverts and how they were tailored to appeal to stereotypical ideas of boys/girls.
We then watched this video, called 'Redraw the Balance', which really opened our eyes about how ideas about job roles can be unfairly represented from a young age:
We talked about our favourite books and stories that contain characters that don't fit into stereotypical roles and then completed a task based on the film 'Inside Out'. In this task, we drew and wrote about our different "personality islands". As well as being a fun task, it showed that our interests and hobbies are not defined by our gender. In the words of Dr Seuss, "Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is youer than you."
"Boys should feel it is okay to cry - it is not a weakness"
"Girls or boys can have pink rooms and clothes. It's just a colour"
"Girls and boys should be able to play on sports teams together"
"We should all feel free to be who we want to be"
We had some special visitors this week, including the PCSO, who spoke to us about the importance of being careful with knives and other objects. Some great discussion was had and we learned some important messages about safety and respect from watching some powerful stories.
Children really enjoyed engaging with the wealth of RE resources that we have in school, displaying a range of religions and allowing children to learn about faiths in a practical and exciting way.
"I learned a lot from the Jewish display"
"The Christian display was so colourful"
"I was shocked at how long the Jewish scroll is"
"Hinduism is a much more colourful religion than I knew"
"The Muslim resources were really interesting - particularly the Qur'an"
In our RE learning, we have started to focus on some of the key beliefs of Islam. We learned about the Muslim idea of a straight path to God (Allah). To help us internalise the idea we tried walking a path but adding more obstacles and barriers. As more obstacles were introduced, more guidance was required. This helped us to understand the concept of working together in harmony, as well as how Muslims take guidance from the Qur'an.
Willow class had a great time learning some archery skills with Premier Sport. We learned how to play safely, how to aim for a target and how to work well in a team. We also got to practise our maths skills by combining our scores at the end.
The children really enjoyed the Halloween activities provided. There were biscuits to decorate, lots of craft activities for them to try and most of all a dancefloor where they could party away and show their spooky dance moves. To end the session there were scrummy hot dogs... yum, yum!!!!
Another fantastic tournament with our Year 4 and 5 football team. The team were amazing, played with skill and dedication - could not be more proud. Thanks for the support. Great evening!
Recently, some of our Juniper and Willow pupils have participated in an exciting new project at Stanford! They have begun their Anti-Bullying Ambassador training - a marvellous project delivered by The Diana Award. They spent the day with Clio, a representative from The Diana Award, who worked with the children to help them understand how they can spread the message of helping and supporting one another, abolishing bullying and feeling safe and happy at school and online.
Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors will help to train other children and each month will be working with Mrs Jones, Learning Mentor, to continue embedding their training across the school.
For more information, please visit diana-award.org.uk/anti-bullying
Keep checking our class and SMSC blogs for upcoming exciting events with this project!
Year 4 asked: Can you pour a liquid?
We had lots of great discussion during our investigation into the differences between solid and liquid states of matter. We started by consolidating our learning about how particles behave within solids, liquids and gases.
We then looked at some materials and sorted them into what we thought were solids and liquids.
H: Honey is a thick liquid. We know it is a liquid because it flows together.
L: Honey is a liquid but it has some similar features to a solid.
We tried pouring different materials and noticed that you can pour oats like you would liquid, however we agreed that individual oats are a solid.
H: Oats are solid because you can hold them in your hand.
L: You can pour oats in a group, but they are still a solid
M: When you pour them they bounce and there are gaps between the different oats. This shows they are a solid.
L: When they are poured, they form into a shape or a mound. A liquid would fill the space and lay flat.
The final part of our investigation involved making a mixture using cornflour and water. We found that this reacted differently, depending on whether it was moving or still.
L: When I moved my fingers slowly through it, it reacted like a liquid.
I: When I moved quickly, I could pick it up like a solid. If I kept moving it, it would stay solid. If I relaxed my grip, it would drip like a liquid.
L: If I punch or hit the surface it feels like a solid against my hand.
I: If we apply more force, it reacts like a solid. If we apply less force, it reacts like a liquid.
We have lots to learn about the Anglo-Saxons in our history lessons this term. We only scratched the surface during our hook day, where we had great fun making crafts based on discoveries at the Sutton Hoo burial site.
We are excited to be welcoming everyone back to school. Looking forward to our hook day on Wednesday - optional fancy dress (Anglo-Saxon theme).
During our transition week in Willow class, we looked at a fantastic book called 'Dragonology', which works like an encyclopaedia for these mythical creatures. Inspired by this, we drew some dazzling designs for our very own dragon eyes and then crafted them out of clay. We also wrote some brief descriptions for the dragons that we had designed, using some fantastic vocabulary.