In North America class we recognise that good oracy skills - being able to express ourselves well, and having the vocabulary to say what we want to say, and the ability to structure our thoughts so that they make sense to others - are really important. Mrs Hamilton has been championing this in our school and we are already seeing the benefits. As a consequence, our class debate in our history lesson, on whether the Shang peasants should have abandoned the evil Shang King: Di Xin, or stood by him as their leader during the battle with the Zhou tribe, was fantastic! I was so impressed with the children’s increased confidence during the debate; their ability to look at both sides of the argument and the way they could express themselves with increasing fluency and ease. .
It was lovely to end our week of working hard and playing hard with a relaxing yoga lesson on our brand new yoga mats. Well done North America
Friday 19th March 2021
How lovely to get back to our writing this week. That Jack Johnson song- ‘It’s always better when we’re together’ - has been playing in my head as I’ve listened to the children proudly reading out their writing to their classmates and editing and refining, taking on board their friends’ critique. This week, we have focussed on using ‘the rule of three’, and other literal techniques, in our descriptions to guide our reader around a scene, so that they can feel that they are actually ‘in the scene’. I’ve loved the children’s enthusiasm to create really impressive descriptions of their chosen scene. Here are a few to savour:
Gnarly branches grasped their leaves while the illuminating lights from the house reflected in the forest and the dank moss lay scattered across the cobbled path. Erin
Inside it looked like an abandoned ship. Sharp pieces of broken timber were piled on top of the old chairs, the rusty ceiling was cracked and peeling above us and dust hung in the stagnant air. Sophie
As Dylan and I arrived at the quarry, logs were piled neatly against the shed, a rusted mixer glared into the emptiness and rocks lay abandoned all around. Reiley
Roots webbed the path like snakes and I fought to stay on my feet. Before long, we were up at the ramshackle building, panting and laughing triumphantly. I looked at the once-colourful sign, with its paint peeling, and stepped delicately inside. Jessica B
It was also lovely this week to get back outside in the glorious weather to enjoy our PE lessons, focussing on ball handling skills in basketball. Here are a couple of snaps for you.
Friday 12th March 202
It has been so lovely to have all of our children back with us this week, and to talk and share our stories -something the children tell us they have missed the most during lockdown. Our week has mainly about working collaboratively to help us to reignite our friendships and our skills of working together and communicating.
Our history lesson this week took us back to the Shang Dynasty of Ancient China where writing was first invented. Chinese writing uses symbols for whole words, or part of a word, instead of an alphabet. It also runs from top to bottom instead of left to right. We looked at how the words and symbols have evolved and had a go at writing some short stories using some of the symbols we had learnt.
At school we have invested in a new PE resource: Yogabugs. Yogabugs is a bespoke school child development programme that supports children’s mental health and well-being. We had our first lesson this week and we all agreed that we felt remarkably relaxed and ready to learn afterwards.
Friday 18th December 2020
We have had the loveliest final week of term in North America. We finished our science unit on forces by exploring the effect of air resistance using spinners, and designing an experiment which included taking repeat readings then finding the mean value of our data. I’ve included some photos below.
In English, we also finished our poetry unit where we studied the poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. I have been incredibly impressed by the children’s enthusiasm and understanding of the text. Their final pieces have been fantastic, and I was impressed by Kaiden, Erin and Aleisha today when they read a ‘snippet’ of their narratives out in our online assembly.
After all the children’s efforts throughout the week (and the term), it was so good for them to be rewarded with a variety of ‘Christmastastic’ events including: not one, but two, pantomimes streamed to us in class; a fantastic Christmas party which included party games and an excellent quiz; some super nativity / carol performances, which can be found on our website; a Christmas party lunch and, to end the week, a marble jar treat. All were so well deserved as I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of the way the children have not only coped with the current climate at school, but have also shown such kindness and understanding to one another.
Well done my lovely North America class. I hope you all have a super, restful Christmas.
Friday 11th December 2020
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in North America. Most of our lessons this week have had a link to Christmas - some more tenuous than others!
In computing, our children have become fantastic coders. This week they have been using their maths knowledge of all four quadrants on a grid to move the sprite (characters) around the screen to celebrate success in their times table game. The screen has 440 x 440 positions. It’s mind blowing what some of the, now festively adorned, sprites can do if they get a correct answer in the game.
Even our PE had a festive theme to it this week: football was abandoned due to the rain, so we decided to do yoga inside. However, this wasn’t just any ordinary yoga class; we decided to use our science skills to carry out a fair test to see whether yoga really does improve our concentration. Before we began, we studied Christmas scenes and answered questions about what we could remember from the scene. We repeated the quiz (using different scenes) after our yoga class. We found that, before the yoga class, we got an average of 66% of the questions correct, whereas after our yoga, we got 100% correct – the science speaks for itself!
Finally, if after this you are still not feeling ‘Christmassy’, check out the link to our website below to see the children’s heart-melting performance in ‘Teach the Children the Christian Belief of Christmas’.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Friday 4th December 2020
This half term in our coding classes, we have been using a programming language called Scratch to create a times tables quiz. The children began by creating a ‘sprite’ (a character on screen) that would celebrate (using audio and movement) if the user gave a correct answer to a multiplication question, and would show disappointment if the user’s answer was incorrect. In the following lessons, the children built more code using random variables to select two integers to multiply together and a repeat sequence to create a full multiplication quiz. I have been blown away by the coding and de-bugging skills the children have shown. Their creativity really shines through when they are coding – I’m so impressed by how individual each of their projects are. I really feel that the software engineers at ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ need to be worried about the competition for their jobs in the future!
The children’s creativity was also on show when they performed the final part of our dance sequence during PE this afternoon. Fortunately, our lovely Miss Rochester was passing by the hall so they were able to show her how well they have remembered the skills that she has taught them so well over the years.
Well done North America, and thank you for another super week!
Friday 27th November 2020
A super busy week in North America class. In maths, our work on fractions is really paying off and I am thrilled with the progress the children have made when finding common denominators and numerators to help them to compare fractions.
In English, we began our unit on poetry where we have been studying the narrative poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. After studying the first five stanzas, the children have been using their detective skills to predict what might happen to the various characters in the poem.
In geography this week, the children have been using their knowledge of the various biomes they have studied this term to create a board game which includes questions on locations, climates and physical features of a range of biomes, and which would engage children and adults alike. Have a look at the photos of some of the board games; I’m sure that you will agree that they would make a super Christmas present!
On the theme of Christmas, I’ve included a photo of the beautiful stars that the children have made to brighten up our school perimeter fence next week to mark the start of our festive season. Congratulations to Selene whose star was chosen as the winning design from North America.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Friday 20th November 2020
We’ve had a super ‘arty’ week in North America class this week. We began our unit on dance in PE; I had no idea that the children would enjoy it as much as they did, and how quick they would be at mastering the moves.
On Wednesday, we had a streamed lesson with the poet Matt Goodfellow, through Gateshead Library, and learnt some excellent skills that we know will stand us in good stead for a poetry competition, which we are just about to enter. The competition will be run by a close friend of our school: Melanie Cornish (Bringing Words to Life).
On the theme of competitions, we have also been invited by Liz Twist MP to participate in her annual Christmas card competition. The winning design will be printed in her official Christmas card. Congratulations to Ronin whose entry has been chosen from North America class. Here are some pictures of the finished entries.
I appreciate that ‘arty’ folk need their share of ‘R n R’ so I hope you all have a lovely and restful weekend.
Friday 13th November 2020
We have had a really busy week in North America this week, so it was lovely to have a Friday joining in the fun of the various Children in Need events that were planned in school. It was great to start our day taking part in the Joe Wicks’ 24-hour live workout, and we were thrilled that we played a very small part in raising £1.5 million for Children in Need. We also enjoyed our ‘virtual’ assembly where we could see all of our friends in their classrooms dressed in their Pudsey outfits and PJs. We have had some fantastic entries for our ‘Bake Off’ competition – I had no idea that the children had such culinary skills! It was such a difficult task to pick out a winner, but I don’t think that anyone could argue that the concentration on Jessica’s face while she is constructing her fantastic Pudsey cake is award-winning on its own merits. Well done to Jessica and to all our budding bakers. Hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend.
Friday 6th November
What a fantastic start to the new half term we have had in North America Class. The week began with us winning the Timestable Rockstars tournament – well done to everyone for such a tremendous team effort and especially well done to Grace who was our class runner-up and to Dylan, whose sterling performance secured our victory.
In science this week, we began our unit on forces. After some super discussion, we all agreed that forces are either a push or a pull. We considered the difference between mass and weight and looked at the work of Sir Isaac Newton, who named gravity as the force that causes everything to fall towards Earth. We agreed that when we weigh an object, we are actually measuring the force of gravity on it. We looked at a range of Newton metres (named after the great scientist) and used our maths skills to work out interval points on them. With our new skills, we went on to weigh various objects from around our classroom using the Newton meters. We then went on to consider what the weight of our items would be if they were on the moon rather than Earth, and used calculators to convert each of the weights. You can see from the photos below how enthusiastic our young scientists approached their tasks – it was so lovely to see such fantastic inquisitive minds at work.
And finally… look at this beautiful wreath the children made with Mrs Sanderson this week, Miss Armstrong was so impressed that she has asked them to make one for her office door too.
In our Design and Technology lessons, over the last four weeks, North America class have been making war medals / cap badges based on those awarded to the military personnel that served in World War 1. The children studied the badges of the various regiments, which often included animals that played important roles in the Great War. The children have worked incredibly hard to produce quality decoupage, 3D medals using a range of DT skills including measuring, cutting, painting, sticking and stitching. I hope that you will agree that the end results (modelled by their creators) are certainly worth their super efforts.
And finally, for this half term…
A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to North America class, for reaching the amazing milestone of over 1,500,000 words read in our Accelerated Reader challenge. I am absolutely blown away by the children’s enthusiasm for their reading, after all, reading is the key to success!
I hope you all enjoy a restful and safe half term break.
Friday 16th October 2020
We are mindful at Emmaville that it has become even more important in the current climate to ensure that our children are staying safe online. With this in mind, North America class have been reflecting on the characteristics that make a person a good digital citizen. We have explored the potential dangers there are when we are online, and the responsibilities we have as a digital citizen to take care of ourselves, our community and our world. We realised that what we say and do online can be viewed by the world, and concluded that we must be as respectful online as we are in person. We decided to create ‘digital citizen superheroes’ to teach and help online citizens to be safe, respectful and responsible. Once we had created our digital superheroes, we wrote a comic strip in which our superhero conveyed some powerful messages about being safe, responsible and respectful on line. We hope that you will agree that our comic strips really ‘pack a punch’ and convey these really important messages perfectly.
Friday 9th October 2020
This term in geography, we have been enjoying finding out all about biomes. A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. This week we continued our exploration when we looked at tundra biomes. Here are some of the facts that the children researched and would like to share with you.
Friday 2nd October 2020
It’s been another busy week in North America, but we’ve made sure that we took some time to celebrate our successes. I was particularly proud to celebrate our writing this week. The children have been working really hard to craft a piece of suspense writing based on our ‘class reader’ – Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver. I think you will agree that they look fantastic displayed proudly outside our classroom. I am so proud of all of their examples. Thank you to Ronin, Saffah and Jack for sharing theirs with the class today, and to all of North America for being such a warm and enthusiastic audience while they were reading.
Here are some excerpts from today:
It was late when Levi discovered the rainforest. The phosphorescent moon had long gone. Dense vines and gnarled tree branches hung above him. A cacophony of sounds and screams came from the animals that surrounded him. The air was heavy from the stagnant odour of decomposing leaves and dank trees. Razor-sharp brambles surrounded his legs and feet…
Far away, Fox ran between the trees searching for Evan. In the distance, he could hear his furless brother’s lonely call. A short, sad cry like a bird being split off from its group. Fox liked the dark; he could navigate through it unlike his furless brother…
Suddenly, the slimy body of the king cobra uncoiled and revealed itself. Its beady eyes fixed on the target – Jack. Its teeth were ready to land on Jack’s shaking body. Jack knew that death was not far away…
Friday 25th September 2020
In geography this week we studied terrestrial biomes, and found out about the plants, animals, climate and soil-type found in seven different biomes on Earth. We went on to use our newly acquired knowledge to help us to investigate negative numbers in maths. With the help of our lovely new atlases, which include statistics about the Earth’s biomes and average temperatures, we were able to compare different cities around the world, and calculate differences in their average temperatures. We were back on the ‘biome topic’ for English where the children have been writing suspense stories based on our class reader: Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver (I can’t wait to share them on here). The children described the setting of their stories beautifully, confident in the knowledge about the climate and plant life of their chosen location. It came as no surprise then that our fun Kahoot quiz on Biomes, at the end of the week, revealed that they were in fact experts on biomes. Well done North America and thank you for all your hard work.
Friday 18th September 2020
Firstly, it certainly feels great to say a huge WELCOME BACK! I know that I have expressed in my letter to parents how proud I am of the way the children have conducted themselves during what has been a very different start to the new school year. Their maturity and thoughtfulness has meant that that new routines and rules have been received enthusiastically, and the children have quickly returned to enjoying their learning and spending time with their classmates. I have told them how proud I am of them all, and really cannot praise them enough for this.
We have spent a lot of time talking about current issues and experiences and I have been thoroughly impressed by their ability to share experiences with one another, and the kindness they show each other.
The children’s enthusiasm to their learning is fantastic. I was super impressed by how quickly they got to grips with debating how World War 1 started, and predicting what might happen next in our class reader ‘Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver’.
In Maths we have been looking at Number and Place value; they work so well with their work with their learning partners. I’m including a few photos for you.
The children are also really enjoying their work in Science – the properties of materials. Again, you can see our budding scientists on the photos below.
They really are a super bunch and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year with them.