Emmaville Primary School

South America Yr 5 & 6

Welcome to the South America Year 5 & 6 Class Page.  Here, you can find out about everything that we've been doing this year.
Friday 20th March
Well - that was the longest week, wasn't it?  It's difficult to know what to write, but what has become very apparent, is how amazingly wonderful the children of South America class (and, indeed, the whole of Emmaville School) have been in their approach to the current situation.  Many questions have been asked, and not all of them could be answered, but the maturity that has been shown over the last few days has been inspirational.  
We tried to carry on as normal, working as hard as usual and just been our lovely selves, but I think you'd agree that these paintings were a great way to finish the week with.  They followed on from our work on colour tonal scales, and have been inspired by the Cubist work of Pablo Picasso, who liked to fragment his pictures into lots of shapes.  Just in case you thought the images were traced or pre-printed, they weren't; the first part of the lesson was to re-create images of aquatic marine biome animals (sea creatures, to the uninitiated) using free-hand sketching.  Even the ruler lines were not entirely random - we thought about the sizes of the shapes (not too big, not too small) and were careful not to use any parallel or perpendicular lines.  The end results are very effective, don't you agree?  
Obviously, this is the last post on our class page for a while, so until we return to normal, please take care and look after one another, and keep checking in on the Year 5 or 6 Home Learning pages.
Friday 13th March
There's been a lot of talent floating around this week, as some of our class have been performing at two prestigious events: on Thursday evening, Lillie and Harry, in their role of school councillors, helped to compere the amazing 'Emmaville's Got Talent' show.  There were a host of fantastic and diverse acts, including our own Matilda, who sang beautifully with North America's Hope.  The event was opened by our Year 5 choir, who sang 'When I Grow Up', from the musical Matilda - a powerful performance that wowed the audience.  This was an excellent omen, as the choir went on to perform superbly today at the Ryton Music Festival, held at St. Anne's R.C. Church in Winlaton.  Well done to all our singers, we're very proud of you. 
Friday 6th March
Regular readers of this column may remember that, back in September, Conan qualified for the Northumberland and County Championships swimming event in Sunderland.  This event happened during the recent half-term break over two weekends, and of course, our man was there.  He was also joined at the event by none other than our own Jamie (together with his sister Niamh from Oceania Class).  Niamh went through to the finals in four events, taking silver in the 50m and 100m backstroke, while Jamie swam in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke and freestyle, taking silver in the 200, backstroke.  Meanwhile, Conan qualified to compete in all his finals and took silver in the 200m freestyle and gold in the 50m backstroke.  My goodness, what amazing talent!
It was the turn of the other half of our class to visit the Hindu temple this week, and it has to be said that the quality of questions and answers that they provided during the afternoon was excellent.  Kirtida, the priest, took us on a real journey of discovery, as she clearly explained the main philosophies of the Hindu religion; she was very impressed with our listening skills and by the time we left, many of us not only had learnt a great deal, but had greatly enjoyed the chance to consider how important our actions are to others as we go about our lives.
Just room for a few photos of some of our World Book Day outfits.  Our 50-Book Reading Challenge is still very much active, and we often discuss which texts we are reading, so it was nice to see a range of characters from the pages of our favourite stories
Friday 28th February
The Year 5s spent a very serene couple of hours this week, at the ISKCON Hindu Temple in Newcastle.  There, we were met by Kirtida,  who showed us around the temple and reinforced our learning about the Hindu religion.  She was very impressed with our questions, told us some traditional tales and showed us a full puja ceremony.  We even got to dress up and try out some drumming activities while we were there, but the overall consensus was that we felt very calm by the end of the afternoon!
Maths this week in Year 6 has been all about measures - converting between different units (of capacity, mass and distance), estimating them and calculating equivalences.  Of the three types of measure, it seems to be capacity that proves the trickiest to estimate, but we found it useful to think about everyday liquid containers that we use, like drink cans and milk bottles.  Something else that helped, was the old lung capacity experiment, in which volunteers blew their hardest down a tube into a bottle full of water.  After only one or two attempts, we were able to estimate how much water had been dispersed pretty accurately, to within 100ml in some cases.  The average Year 6 child appears to have a lung capacity of between around 2.5 and 3.5 litres!
Friday 14th February
Our science unit about the heart and lungs came to a breathless culmination, as we investigated the effects of exercise on our bodies.  We made predictions about how our pulse rates would change after a minute's intense activity and then worked with a partner to take pulse readings every two minutes.  A little maths followed, as we then used our results to plot graphs, which helped us to see how quickly our pulse rates returned to normal.  
Friday 7th February
In the Autumn Term, 6 children from each of the three Year 5 & 6 classes attended Code Club after school for a few weeks.  During this time, they learnt how to use the coding programme Scratch to work on several project, including making a rock band, sending a rocket back to Earth, making a ghost-busting game and creating a 'chatbot'. This term, their skills have been put to good use, as our current computing unit is all about Scratch coding.  The Code Club veterans have been working as a team within their own classes to introduce, teach and assist their fellow classmates in the same activities that they experienced before Christmas. 
The photos show the Coding Educators from South America working with their peers.  Not only did they have to work in pairs to practise and prepare presentations for each step of the activities, they had to learn how to get the attention of the class (and keep it!), ask pertinent questions and be able to de-bug code effectively when things didn't quite go plan for their classmates.
"It’s teaching me to teach – we have to ask the class to be quiet to listen to instructions and the first thing I always ask is 'Have you all managed to do the last part?'" - Jamie
"Normally I’m quite nervous of being in front of a crowd, but teaching coding to my class has helped me overcome my stage fright." – Natalie
"I feel more confident when I speak in front of people." – Eva
"It’s improving my social skills with other students." – Eleanor
"Being in Code Club helped me to talk to people that I don’t normally talk to." – Sophie
"At first, I was pretty nervous, but now, since I’ve been teaching people, I feel more confident." - Max
Friday 31st January
In some of our English lessons this week, speaking and listening has been a focus; the Year 5 children have been studying the classic poem 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' by William Wordsworth, and were set the challenge to learn the four stanzas for homework.  We then worked on our performance skills to develop expression, intonation, movement, emotions and pace.  The week's lessons came to a conclusion with some performance poetry, where each student presented one of the stanzas.  What was impressive, was the way in which many of us who are not natural extroverts stepped out of our comfort zones in front of an audience.  Special mention to Jasmine, who volunteered to be the first up to the 'stage' -  even though she acknowledged her nerves, she was willing to work on something that she is not normally confident with.  Indeed, it turned out that Jasmine is quite the performer...!
Our Year 6 children, on the other hand, have been putting on their journalists' hats and finding out about a terrible incident that happened nearly 80 years ago in North Shields.  A single bomb, dropped during the Second World War, destroyed a basement air raid shelter underneath Wilkinson's Lemonade factory, killing 107 people.  We studied journalistic techniques and then wrote articles about the event, some of which you can see below.  Writing a decent newspaper article is more difficult than it first seems, but after working hard on modal verbs, relative clauses, reported speech and direct quotes (ask us what these are, if you're not sure!), we produced some superb pieces of writing, worthy of any newspaper.
Friday 24th January
Our Geography lessons have focused on the Aquatic Biomes of the world, and this week, we began our exploration of the marine environment - specifically the oceans.  It made for a hugely interesting lesson, as once we'd established the names and positions of the five Oceans with our atlases, we conducted some research on some of the major marine 'landmarks'.  Did you know, for instance, that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a range of underwater mountains that stretches for over 10,000 miles? Or that the Great Barrier reef off the eastern coast of Australia is the world's biggest structure made by living organisms?  We were challenged to write a paragraph on our chosen subject in exactly 100 words, which really tested our ability to select information and summarise texts.  
Speaking of writing, congratulations to Max W for achieving Student of the Week, for his efforts in writing.  Max has worked incredibly hard to improve his sentence skills over the last term, and the quality of his work certainly proves that a growth mindset will be rewarded with success.  In the first of a series of Creative Writing Club workshops (run by Miss Brewster) this week, Max showed that his poetry is as effective as his prose;  here's a piece he wrote in response to one of the greatest foods ever invented - chocolate:
It melts in your mouth,
Into its minimal size,
I savour every bit,
Until I can't take it;
I chew and chew it until it is no more.
I love chocolate so much - it's scrumdiddlyumptious.
This is my favourite,
Friday 17th January
After learning about how the River Nile supports life in several African countries, the children have been keen to keep abreast with news of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam this week, as government ministers from Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt met in Washington DC to sign an agreement about how the dam will be filled.  The three nations agreed on Wednesday that the dam should be filled in stages during the rainy season, even though Ethiopia is desperate to generate electricity as soon as possible.  This will hopefully prevent the flow of the mighty Nile from being slowed so much that it affects the people and animals of Sudan and Egypt.  
Back in the classroom, we have been honing our explanation skills in science; annotating diagrams can be an effective way of explaining a complex process or system, so after learning about the human heart and how it works, we used diagrams to show our understanding.  Some of us annotated pre-printed diagrams, but many of us had a go at drawing our own.  We all know that the human heart can be a complicated thing, but I think you would certainly agree that our diagrams do a fantastic job.  
Friday 10th January

Speaking and listening, particularly in public, is a skill that can, and should, be developed, for when we use our language well, we can achieve so much in life.  Before Christmas, we practised our ability to voice our ideas in English, with role-play and discussion about blame and fault in our Highwayman poetry unit; this week, as part of our Geography topic about freshwater biomes, we considered a very real dilemma that is currently being fiercely debated in Africa – the building of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the River Nile by the Ethiopian government.  It is a controversial enterprise that will almost certainly affect the countries of Sudan and Egypt that lie downstream of the dam, and has even involved the U.S. president Donald Trump in negotiations. In the classroom, we used role-play to consider the pros and cons of the dam, dividing into groups to represent the Egyptian, Sudanese and Ethiopian governments, their farmers and people.  What followed was a lively and well-thought-out debate, in which opposing ideas were volleyed back and forth across the classroom.  The final decision, incidentally, was against building the dam, but whichever way the vote went, the speaking was confident and the listening was considered.

Friday 20th December
A creative end to the term, saw us busy with the paints, decorating boxes for the baubles that we made earlier.  Our cutting skills and brushwork have certainly developed well, and some of the designs for our boxes were beautiful.  
It's been a tremendously successful term in so many ways, both inside the classroom and out; stories, poems, tricky calculations, dances, gymnastics, singing, and so much more have all been embraced with enthusiasm and joy.  It's definitely time for us to put up our feet for a couple of weeks and re-charge, ready for an equally amazing Spring Term.  
Friday 13th December
Our week ended on a fantastic note, with South America's Class Assembly.  We worked hard to learn lines, practise drumming beats, perfect dance moves and co-ordinate all the different elements of our performance; and it was a performance, with two djembe drumming songs, a beautiful rendition of 'I Dreamed a Dream' from Les Miserables and some fun with human electrical circuits, no less!
It was brilliant assembly, and it can safely be said that everyone watching was super-impressed, and there were some very proud parents (and teachers!).
Friday 6th December

In English lessons, our Year 6s have been working on the classic narrative poem ‘The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes.  This week, we focused on a very dramatic point in the story, in which Bess, the landlord’s daughter has been used as the bait in a trap by King George’s men.  The stable boy, Tim, who has been driven mad by his jealousy of Bess’s love for the robber, realises that he has made a terrible mistake in calling the soldiers;  the only way the poor girl can warn her love, is to sacrifice her own life. 

A good way to explore characters’ emotions is by writing ‘internal monologues’, which are essentially the thoughts of someone as events unfold in ‘real time’.  What a fantastic band of writers we have!

Bess: The road lays bare in front of me; the clock is ticking behind me and the toll of midnight chimes; he must come soon,  A voice repeats in my head, “Look for me by moonlight, watch for me by moonlight, I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way.”  (Emma)

King George’s Men: This great night has been fun; we are sitting in a bar, drinking free ale, waiting to kill the idiotic highwayman.  We’ve tied Bess up to her bed, so she can see the road the highwayman will die on.  We also tied a gun to her; that was my idea – I thought it would cause a bit more drama. (Joshua)

Bess: I can smell their rasping breath; the smell of alcohol after they left.  My heart’s pounding with fear.  The tip of my finger just reaches the trigger.  Now I hear the horse’s hooves racing.  (Hanna)

Tim: All I can think about is the sound of the musket, the sound that made me smirk and grin, the sound that made my eyes grow wide, yet the sound that still echoes through my head in sorrow and guilt (Daniel)

The Highwayman: I spur back like a madman, with images in my mind.  Oh why did I leave her behind? A river of tears streams down my cheeks….   …Chalk dust clouds behind me, as I ride across the purple moor.  I see a person in the distance, but before I can raise my pistol, he holds up a musket.  As I take my last breath, I hear that awful gunshot and know that I am a dead man. (Olivia)

On a much lighter note, everyone had great fun this week, creating our own decorations in a Christmas bauble workshop.  The ceramic blanks were first painted with a base coat of acrylic paint, and then the finer details were added using a variety of brushes and sponges.  All we need to do now, is decorate the boxes to put them in, and then we can take them home and add them to our trees!
Friday 29th November
It's been a rather tuneful week, what with Music Workshops and a big day out at the Sage Gateshead to perform at the Angels of the North concert. 
On Wednesday, we were treated to a 'Voices of Africa' music workshop from Gateshead Music Service - this was an interactive singing and drumming session, which really got our pulses going.  We were taught how to create bass and tone notes on djembe drums by hitting the centre or slapping the edge of the skin, and then some of us kept the rhythms to accompany African songs.  The session was a lot of fun - if you want to see how much fun, have a look at the videos in the News section of the website.
The day of the concert that our Year 6 children have been preparing so hard for finally arrived.  We started bright and early at the Sage on Thursday, for a full day of rehearsals with over 300 other children from schools from around the North East.  Bearing in mind the individual choirs had never met before, the sound we all produced together was amazing, and by the evening performance, everyone had perfected  a variety of dance moves as well as the songs. 
Everyone who was there on the evening agreed that it was a fantastic show - they were very proud of us.  
Friday 22nd November
We've been getting our heads around fractions of late, and it has to be said that our understanding of how to  compare, order, add and subtract fractions has developed wonderfully.  This week, however, we moved onto multiplication and division of fractions, which sounds tricky, but it's simple when you know how.  It always helps to go back to simple shapes at the beginning of any concept that involves fractions, so when we were investigating how to divide fractions by whole numbers, the coloured paper came out and we got folding.  This helped us to understand the mathematics behind the process, and once we'd done that, we could use the 'rules' to divide any fractions.  If you've been wondering why your child has been muttering 'KCF' to themselves, it's nothing to do with The Colonel and his chicken - another cheesy tune will help to explain...
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Friday was also non-uniform day, in aid of the charity Just One Tree. We live in an age where we have become acutely aware of how our actions affect our planet.  Although it can seem hopeless when we see news of fires burning in rainforests across the world, we can actually do something to help combat the damage.  Just One Tree works to re-forest land in Madagascar, Haiti, Kenya and Mozambique, and each of our one pound contributions helps plant a tree.  After some discussion and fact-finding, we felt strongly enough to produce some posters about the issue.
Friday 15th November
This week, we continued our learning about circuits and electricity in Science.  We explored switches and made some simple ones of our own, which we then used to make circuits with different numbers of components in.  A bit of prediction and some testing revealed that no matter how many cells or switches in a simple series circuit, all switches must be closed ('on') in order for the energy to flow.  Electricity, or rather energy, can only flow around a complete circuit without any breaks.  1.5v cells and wires with crocodile clips on are not the most reliable pieces of equipment to work with, but there was some great perseverance and crafty 'de-bugging' going on during the lesson - skills that come in useful elsewhere in the curriculum, particularly when we are computer programming.  
Friday 8th November
There have been some exciting developments on the music front this week - our Year 6 children have recently been practising very hard for their forthcoming singing festival at the Sage, the Angels of the North concert.  They have been learning numerous songs, which they will be performing with other primary schools from Gateshead as a massed choir.  In addition, a few brave souls auditioned for soloist parts a few days ago, and the audio recordings were sent off, to join the hopeful entries from other schools.  This week, we received some letters of congratulations, and amongst them was South America's own Matilda.  As you can see from the letter, Matilda's audition proves that she has the X-factor, and we are all very proud of her.
Also on the musical theme, the Year 5 children have been developing their listening skills and technical vocabulary by studying some classical music.  Whilst listening to Gustav Holst's 'Mars', from the Planets Suite, we considered the different elements that make up a piece of music, including pulse (the beat), crescendo (increase in volume), ostinato (a repeated musical phrase), motif (a small musical idea) and coda (an ending).  'Mars' is a very famous piece, often used in films for battle scenes, and contains some instantly recognisable motifs, a strong pulse and a very dramatic coda, all of which inspired some interesting responses on paper: certain colours, shapes and lines seemed to fit the music very well.  See what you think...
Friday 1st November 2019

This week, our Year 5 and 6 children were given the opportunity to take part in a new Home Office approved project. It is being led by Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuiness, and Northumbria Police in partnership with Barnardo’s and Operation Encompass. The project, named Operation Encompass: The Next Steps, aims to educate children and young people about healthy relationships.

The children spent the afternoon learning about friendships, relationships, emotions and empathy, and rules and expectations, so that they can live and work together safely.

The sessions were led by our School Safeguarding Liaison Officer: PC Nicola Joicey, who also held a drop-in session after school for parents.  

We were so impressed by the children’s maturity during the sessions and their ability to articulate what respectful relationships and caring friendships look and feel like.  We feel so fortunate to have such kind, caring and respectful children here in our school community.

Friday 18th October
Our recently acquired new class name of South America was a fantastic inspiration for our  Enrichment Week; we learnt so much about the human and physical Geography of one of the World's most interesting continents, which stretches from above the equator to within touching distance of the Antarctic circle.  We found out that it has the biggest rainforest, the longest mountain range and the driest desert, and by learning how to read latitude and longitude coordinates, we were able to pin-point all thirteen capital cities in our atlases. 
We couldn't pass up the opportunity for some Amazon-based art, and produced some stunning close-up studies of animal colours and textures.  We had to use our computing skills to copy images from an internet search, paste them into a Word document and then crop them to focus on just a small area.  These images were then used to create vivid paintings.  I think you'd agree that they look stunning together, and will soon be decorating the entrance to our classroom.
During the week, we were also treated to a visit from our old friend and ace story-teller, Adam Bushnell.  He was very keen to work with our class, as South America has one of the richest cultures of traditional folk tales.  He told us all about two particularly heinous characters - el chupacabra and the ahuizotl - both creatures with a taste for unsuspecting travellers, and also introduced us to the legendary kapok tree, which is claimed to have the power to help a person in need to shape-shift.  Adam then left us with the challenge of putting all these elements together in a short story.  As it happens, it hasn't been long since we finished a Primary Writing unit that helped us to place characters firmly within settings, so Adam's was a challenge that we could sink our teeth into.  Here are some excerpts from our writing, taken from different stages in our stories and in rough chronological order, so you still get the flow of the tale:
 As I walked through the rain forest, beads of sweat dripped down my neck. I could hear birds chattering in the distance.  Heat and humidity seemed to throb around me and I could smell the fresh green leaves on the broken branches.        Nicole
Descending further into the rainforest, fiery, yellow eyes peer through the branches and into my own soul.  The pungent smell of stagnant water seeps into my nose. Before I can think, I hear the slosh of water and instantly there is an explosion of piercing bird cries that echo through the forest.
As I wander towards a stagnant lake, a dripping, glass-like hand breaks the surface of the water and slowly, a contorted creature slinks up the bank.       Eleanor
It came closer.  Something was in there, something bloodthirsty.  A grotesque creature emerged from the ferns, scarlet blood dripping from its razor-sharp teeth.  Its prey was draped from its jaws as it crawled up the muddy bank.  Could it be the Ahuitzotl?       Evie
I ran and ran, but I couldn't run fast enough.  It eyed me up ,then I fell over a root metres long and metres high.  I climbed over the root, waiting , hoping it would dash, then I saw an opening.  I screamed.  I had finally found the Kapok Tree!    Natalie
As soon as her hand touched the elderly bark, she felt the power surge through her body.  Then her hair disappeared, her feet were gone, at once her fingers fell off, her skin turned reddish-purple, her arms turned into ash, her eyes burnt, her nose squashed, her legs came up into her body and her body filled up with seeds.      Joshua
I was left as a mango!  The Ahuitzotl sniffed at me in pure disgust and turned and ran.  I sighed with relief (if mangoes can sigh) and thought suddenly, 'How can I turn back into myself again?'  I started to panic and shake (if mangoes can do that).  To passers by, I just looked like a normal, juicy mango.       Eva
Friday 11th October
On Wednesday, the Year 5 children spent a morning sprinting, catching and throwing, and playing games at Fitness Festival held at Thorp Academy.  The children rotated around twelve activities, devised and run by the Year 12 and 13 student Sports Leaders, which were designed to improve a range of qualities, including speed, agility, balance and collaboration.  Although the activities were non-competitive, the children were all encouraged to develop resilience and determination, with a target to beat their personal best in each event.  As you can see, it was great fun, and there were some fantastic examples of teamwork during the morning. 
Friday 4th October
Special mention, first of all, to Conan, our resident swimming champion.  He trains so hard at the pool during the week and has shown such commitment to the sport.  Last weekend, he attended the Richmond Dales Back to Pool Meet in Middlesborough, with the Whickham Amateur Swimming Club.  Over two days, he competed in seven events, (Butterfly, Backstroke and Freestyle) over distances from 50m to 200m, where he amassed an incredible six gold medals and one silver.  As if that wasn't enough, Conan achieved six personal best times and six Durham county level swimming times, which means that he will be able to compete at Sunderland in February against others of his own age and ability, with potential progression to Regional and National championships.  Adam Peaty had better watch out...
Back in the classroom, some of us (the Year 6s) have been really exercising our brains this week, with an introduction to long division.  Some real growth mindset has had to be demonstrated, as it's not the easiest of concepts to grasp, with even the more confident mathematicians amongst us experiencing moments of confusion; nevertheless, there's been great progress along the way. 
We do find, though, that a cheesy song helps...
Friday 27th September
This week brought our first Primary Writing unit to a close, with a piece of independent work that showcased our skills learnt from exploring how authors develop their settings and the characters within them.  We started at the beginning of the term by learning and analysing an extract from the wonderful 'Holes' by Louis Sachar, and then moved on to pulling ideas, words and phrases from other authors including J K Rowling and Philip Pullman.  We focused on placing a character firmly within a setting, and this week, we used everything that we had gleaned to craft our own scenes.  It must be said that, without exception, every one of us made vast improvements over the three weeks, and there were some great pieces of writing.
Here's a particularly effective example from Eva B's writing, who, incidentally reads, reads and reads; the only way to become a great writer, is to be a great reader...
She opened the door with a creak. 'This must be the master bedroom', she thought.  Everything had an inch of dust on it and the window had a crack like a spider's web in it, yet it showed signs of former grandeur.  The four-poster bed had faded maroon sheets and there was a broken chest of drawers.  Piper turned and shut the door behind her.   
Friday 20th September
Continuing the development of our geographical skills and knowledge, we visited Pow Hill at Derwent Reservoir.  There, we explored the beautiful woodland as we geocached, and also developed our field observation skills while walking around the edge of the reservoir itself. 
In the woods, we hunted down eight small boxes (the 'caches') using GPS units.  Once each cache had been located, we opened them to find different challenges and quizzes that our friend Kieron Young had set and carefully hidden earlier.  Everyone had a turn at leading their small group, following directions and using compass points confidently.  
A walk around the edge of the reservoir took us up to the dam, and on the way, we used our fieldwork skills to identify different plants and animals.  We also had a go at doing some field sketching to show some of the features of the land and its use. 
The day was very tiring, but great fun was had by all!
Friday 13th September
It's only been two weeks since we started the new school year, but we seem to have packed in an awful lot.  It didn't take long at all for us to settle into life in our brand new classroom, and get to know our new classmates.  There have been many acts of kindness between us already, which can only mean that we are embarking on what will surely be a fantastic year.  In one of our PSHE lessons, we considered what we appreciate about Emmaville, and there were some lovely ideas and thoughts, which we pasted onto a 'wall of appreciation'. 
Here are a few of the comments:
What I love about this school is that when I am lonely, I always have friends to talk to and the teachers are so kind. I have so much fun in Emmaville.  Maddie M
I really appreciate being able to go on fantastic school trips and having great experiences.  Evie B
What I love about this school is the help and support.  Aliyah A

Our topic this half term is 'Marvellous Maps', and we began last week with the brain-aching challenge of mapping out our school with only a pencil, ruler and the power of observation.  It became obvious very quickly that this was indeed a tricky challenge.  Nevertheless, teamwork and determination helped many of us to create some pretty good maps in the end.  This week, we went on to look at real maps and learnt how to navigate our way around Ordnance Survey maps.  We looked at map symbols, land use, compass directions and our friend Keiron Young helped us to understand how to use 6-figure grid references to pin-point single features on small-scale maps.  Fieldwork skills and GPS geocaching are next on the agenda, when we visit Derwent Reservoir next week.