Welcome to Fox Class 2018-19
We have been busy turning our classroom into... a rainforest! Using papier-mâché, paints, tissue paper, feathers and our creativity, we have created vines, trees, flowers and fruit. We have researched the animals of the Amazon Rainforest too, and you can now find a tiger, a caiman, a sloth and an ocelot among the foliage in Fox class. There are even a host of Blue Morpho butterflies and a tarantula - beware... What an amazing world we live in!
In Forest Friday we were using our senses in the environment of our school grounds. We were smelling the fruit blossom, feeling the prickly teasels, listening for the birds, trying to hear the woodpeckers and looking at some amazing fungi growing on a log. We recorded our findings and will compare them with more investigations in the summer.
As part of our topic on how leisure and entertainment changed in the twentieth century, we welcomed Mr Rogan into school to talk to us. He told us all about how football has changed, and brought in lots of artefacts from his years as a football supporter. We looked at football programmes, magazines, books and even Subbuteo (quite different from Fifa!). We then found out about the technology that is central to the modern game, and rounded it all off by going outside to learn some skills from a new app. A great afternoon!
In Maths, we went on an angle hunt in the playground! After refreshing our memories about how to measure angles with a protractor on paper, we went outside to find some 'real life' angles to measure. It took a bit of lateral thinking (and stretching) sometimes, but we found lots, and realised that there are angles everywhere!
Here we are showing off our best moves in the classroom disco! We have been learning about how leisure changed through the twentieth century and today we found out all about 60s dance. We finished by creating a routine using all the authentic 60s moves we had learnt.
As Spring is fast approaching, Fox and Owl Class spent their Forest Friday preparing the allotments. We cleared, weeded and found the longest roots.
We had such a wonderful day with the RAF STEM team. To start off, we learnt how to make sticks out of old newspapers which could then be used to build... well, anything we could imagine. Our projects included goal posts, a house, a star, a book and even a magical staff. We constructed different joints and fastenings and had to think carefully about stability. A great activity!
One of our activities was designing, making and launching our own rockets, and the end results were very impressive. Several of our rockets cleared the playground fence and a couple made it into the trees on the Moors Path! Unfortunately Miss Thawley didn't manage to capture any of the flight paths on film...
We love to share our learning and this morning, we were able to give Squirrel class a guided tour of our Space model projects. For homework, we had made a model to show what we had learned in our Space topic in the first half of this term. Among other things, we used a lot of black paper, many polystyrene balls, material, balloons, glitter, modelling clay, glow in the dark stars, LEGO and even an orange! All the adults were incredibly impressed with the effort that had gone into the projects, so congratulations Fox Class!
We have been learning about how the popularity of the cinema changed throughout the 20th century. We looked at some film posters from the 1930's and analysed them as historical sources, comparing them with modern examples. Having studied these posters, we tried our hand at designing our own, paying particular attention to typography. After many drafts, we produced polished final pieces.
We have started our topic on light in Science, and in our first session we explored some ideas about light sources, how we see, how light travels, colour and shadows. We will be learning more about all these things during the rest of the term. We used torches, prisms, shadow puppets, coloured objects and even a toy lamb hidden in a cardboard box!
Once we had learnt our colours in French, we went outside to practise them. We played a game of 4 corners, (although we had a lot more than 4!) and we took it in turns to call out the colours in French.
In order to explain how night and day happen, we used a torch, a globe and piece of blue tack, of course! We then made videos of ourselves explaining our model, trying our best to use scientific vocabulary, and to rotate the Earth the correct way!
After observing the Moon closely over a few weeks, today we learnt more about why it appears to change shape over a month. We constructed models of the Earth, Moon and Sun, complete with orbits and rotation! We also used our bodies to model the movement of these heavenly bodies, taking it in turns to be the Sun, the Earth rotating and orbiting around it, and the Moon orbiting the Earth. Some of the Moons had to run very fast to keep up with their Earths!
During E-safety week, we have spent a lot of time discussing how to use the Internet safely. We have watched a series of films about a group of friends learning how to make good choices online. Through discussion and role play, we have learnt how our actions online affect others and how to keep ourselves safe. In these pictures we are acting out parts of the story from the films and imagining how the characters might be feeling!
For Forest Friday, we made hedgehogs with clay and teasels, which are really spiky plants that grow in bundles. The teasel is one of the only plants that goldfinches feed on. As well as making these hedgehogs, we also observed and drew these beautiful dried seed heads. It was really fun and we're really happy with how they turned out.
(Written by members of Fox and Owl class)
Last Friday, we started the Chess Challenge, which is where you play people and by winning you get points and move up the Leaderboard. At the end of term, you have a look and whoever is in 1st place will win a trophy. If you get 15 or more points, you get a mascot. If you win your first game, then you get a badge. By winning the chess challeng, you not only get a trophy, you go through to the Megafinal!
(Written by members of Fox and Owl class)
We have been learning the names of the parts of the body in French and after playing some games to help us learn the vocabulary, we even managed to sing, 'Heads, shoulders, knees and toes', in French, at speed!
We had a really good session with the RE inspired team, who helped us understand our feelings when someone dies. We explored loss, grief, remembering loved ones and the afterlife.
In Science, we have been testing our belief that the Earth is spherical! First of all, we went outside to check whether we could see the curvature of the Earth. We couldn't, and back inside, we learnt about why people used to believe it was flat. We also found out how Aristotle worked out the Earth must have been spherical, just by observing departing ships. Finally, we showed off our knowledge of all the evidence we had learnt by making a short film. Unfortunately, Miss Thawley recorded some of the films upside down, as you can probably tell from the photos of us watching them... A learning curve for us all.
We welcomed Rev. Des to our class today to help us explore God's existence - a pretty big topic! It was a great chance for us to think about our own beliefs, as well as others'. The children made very thoughtful points and even held a debate. It was very interesting to discuss how we can reconcile the existence of God with a world where bad things happen and how God can co-exist with belief in evolution and the Big Bang. We'd like to thank Rev. Des for guiding our discussion and helping us to answer some of the questions we had about God and faith.
We launched our topic, Let there be light, with a space day! We all dressed up and when we came into the classroom, we found that it had been transformed. On our desks we found boxes with our mission written on them: to build a flying rocket. All our equipment was in the box and we had great fun designing, building and testing our rockets. During the day we listened to Space music, found out about the life of an astronaut and drew our own space shuttles, full of the equipment we would need for a trip into space. We marvelled at the enormity and beauty of the Universe, and can't wait to start learning about this fascinating subject.
Today we listened to a very dramatic piece of classical music: 'Mars' from the Planet Suite by Holst. As we listened, we drew the images which came to mind in our sketchbooks. It was fascinating to see what everyone imagined. Afterwards, we experimented with watercolour pencils to create swatches. We were trying to layer the colour to create areas of light and shade. The swatches will help us decide what colours and techniques to use for our final pieces.
Today we read poems and then performed them to the class. We practised first, adding drama to our performances. We love sharing our work with an audience!
We had lots of fun solving Christmas Maths mysteries. We used many different Maths skills, code-breaking and plenty of teamwork! It was tricky, but very rewarding when we found the solutions.
Loving our school and sharing God's love....
Today we went out on the allotment to do some clearing up and get the beds ready for winter. We even discovered a few vegetables!
Fox and Owl Class had a wonderful time on our trip today, visiting the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. In the morning, we marvelled at rocks, fossils and an enormous variety of stuffed animals. There was even an inflatable virus hanging from the ceiling! It was amazing to see the beautiful shapes and patterns that occur in nature. We had recently been learning about adaptation and how animals evolve, and all the fascinating displays and exhibits at the museum illustrated these concepts beautifully. How amazing it is that everything is different. We loved it!
In the afternoon we went through to the Pitt Rivers Museum next door to have a guided tour of some of their African exhibits, particularly those from the Kingdom of Benin. We found out all about how rulers in African civilizations showed their power and then went on an artefact hunt through the museum. What a brilliant day!
Christmas has come early to Fox and Owl classes, as we have already started rehearsing for the Thame Christmas Festival of Music. Some of the songs are "rather jazzy", as one year 5 pupil said, and we've really been enjoying them!
The children in Fox and Owl class take it in turns to lead collective worship in class every week. Every group plans a short play which will help the rest of the class reflect on our value for that half term. The children also choose a song to sing and lead the class in prayer. It is a great chance for the children to show their understanding of the value and it is a very special time of the week where we can share God's love. Here is this week's worship, which is set, as they so often are, in the classroom.
We love Maths! It's been all about fractions this week: comparing the size of two different fractions and finding fractions of amounts. We have been working really hard and using fraction wall diagrams to help us (as well as strips of paper with smiley faces!)
We were lucky enough to have tag rugby training this week. Our coach, who is now at Chinnor Rugby club, used to play for Dijon and he even threw in a few French words and phrases! We practised passing, running with the ball and defending, before going into a match. Many tries were scored and we all had a fantastic afternoon! We loved it!
We absolutely loved our basketball WOW day; it was so much fun and we learnt many new skills. Meeting the tallest man in Britain was really inspirational and we are all going to remember to be proud of our own unique talents. He reminded us to take every opportunity to try new things and to stay healthy and active!
In preparation for Remembrance Sunday and the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War One, we have been remembering people who lost their lives in conflict. We have thought particularly about the Blitz and done some powerful creative writing. As well as this, we have decorated poppies for display in St Andrew's church in Chinnor. They look lovely. Please share this love by going to have a look.
In Science, we have continued our learning about materials. We started off by observing that ice cubes placed on slate, wood and plastic do not melt at the same rate and we had lots of great discussion about why that was. Based on this surprising (to most of us!) observation, we planned and carried out our own investigations into how different materials affect the speed at which ice melts. We started to think about conduction and insulation (as well as thoroughly enjoying being outside in the sunshine).
This week we have been exploring shape in Maths and revising the mathematical language we need to talk about them. We explored prisms and pyramids in particular, and Year 4 even built their own shapes using magnetic pieces. We then embedded our knowledge by sorting the shapes into Venn diagrams based on their properties. We also had an interesting discussion about why a pyramid couldn't be a prism, and how a Toblerone box can be a useful memory aid in Maths...
This week, we had a fascinating trip to the John Radcliffe Hospital to learn about First Aid and keeping ourselves safe. In the Accident and Emergency department, we had a look at the equipment they use when someone has hurt themselves. We even had a plaster cast put on our finger! After that, we found out why it is so important to wear our cycle helmets, and some of us even got a certificate for wearing ours all the time. Next we found out what to do in lots of emergency situations, including how to carry out C.P.R. and use a defibrillator. We are really grateful to the fantastic trainers for giving us so much vital information.
As part of our Science topic, we are learning about solids, liquids and gasses. We found out that the tiny particles inside these three states of matter behave differently, so we decided to become particles on the MUGA! When we were part of a solid material we bunched together and moved about on the spot. When we were liquids we could slide past each other, although we were still joined. Our favourite state of matter was when we were gasses though; we got to run around wherever we liked, filling up the whole MUGA!
As part of our launch day, we also looked at some tie dye fabric from Sierra Leone and decide to create our own. We tied up plain fabric tightly with string and dripped dye on it, creating our own design in different colours. We waited fairly patiently for it to dry before admiring the results!
As part of our African Adventure topic launch, we made some traditional bread from East Africa. We started by making our dough, mixing it up and then kneading it. It got pretty messy! After leaving it to rest, we rolled it out into a circle. To create a flaky texture, we then had to do some special shaping: rolling it up into a sausage shape, then coiling it up like a snail shell. After another rest, we then rolled it out into a circle. When they were ready, we took advantage of our wonderful grounds and cooked our flatbreads outside on a skillet, over charcoal. They tasted delicious!
This week we walked down to visit our local church, St Peter and St Paul, in Aston Rowant. Rev. Des told us about the history of the church and we had a look in the churchyard. We found out that some areas of the churchyard are left undisturbed, to encourage wildlife. Inside the church, Des told us about the symbolism of the building and the clothes that he wears. Afterwards, we had a look round and did some sketching and rubbings. Rev. Des even allowed us to try on his vestments!