Friday, 14 October 2016

Vikings in the woods

Have you been down to the woods today??
Anyone that was out strolling in Harewood woods yesterday would have been in for a big surprise. A Viking Clan had set up camp in amongst the trees. Class 3 had an excellent day thanks to Beth from Forest Found. Beth created a day of activities linked to our learning on the Vikings in Britain. The children baked bread on the fire, carved weapons, built dens and learnt how to weave. Beth also provided a huge canvas ‘longhouse’ so we could shelter from the worst of the weather.

The class also had chance to be Viking craftsmen – creating their own shoulder sacks which they used to transport their lunch to our clearing in the woods.

Many thanks to Mr.Pinnington and Mrs.Jarvis, who gave up their day to time travel with us; their skills were exploited to the full! The children thoroughly enjoyed the day and it was fantastic to see them putting their Viking knowledge to practical use. It provided a memorable end to our study of the Vikings. 

Vicious Vikings - for a day!

The time travellers of Class 3 had a fantastic day at the Dark Ages Village at Murton Park. The children lived as Vikings for the day, taking part in a range of hands on activities including: weapons practice, farming, pottery and bread making.

As always, the day was crammed full of learning and gave us a great opportunity to put into practice all we had learnt about the Viking way of life.

A special thanks to our 'slaves' for the day who truly entered into the spirit of the event even if that meant they came to rather a soggy end!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Harvest Baking ~ Class 2

This week the children in Class 2 have been making apple tarts for our school Harvest Celebration on Friday which was held in aid of the McMillian Cancer Charity.

We started off by picking apples from the tree in our school garden.

 Everyone took a turn at peeling an apple..

and then we chopped them ready for stewing.

We had to separate eggs for the custard filling..

it was quite a tricky job but we managed it brilliantly.
This was a new skill for many of the children.

We had to use our maths skills to read the scales when measuring out the sugar.

We had to look carefully and check that the measurements were correct.
It was a real team effort.

 We took turns with the mixing.

The children talked about the different ingredients they were using. The vanilla had a very interesting smell!

We spooned the apple mixture carefully into the pastry cases...

and had fun piping the custard onto the top!

I'm sure you will agree that the children have used many skills and worked brilliantly as a team this week. Our apple tarts soon disappeared at the coffee afternoon and they tasted delicious.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Tree hunting and Harewood House (Class 4)

 On Tuesday this week we ventured out into Harewood village on an arboreal mission - to correctly identify as many trees as possible! Using our trusty guides we followed the decision tree although this required a good knowledge of the related terminology (e.g. whether the leaves were pinnate or palmate, simple or compound and so on) which we had covered in class earlier in the week.

 We used the leaves to help us but our guide sheets also had information and images about other aspects such as the stems, branches, fruits, buds and seeds. Can you identify these trees using the picture?

 The children were really engrossed in this learning - it involved very careful reading of the clues and very keen observational skills too. 

 Before returning to school, the groups shared their findings, including providing evidence for disagreements. Only if the group were convinced they could identify the tree correctly were the allowed to return a sample to the classroom....
 We then collated our work.

 The children then had to label the leaves / seeds with as much accurate scientific, technical terminology as possible. Their descriptions aimed to include every feature of the leaf that led them to their conclusion.

 Several children realised that they had so many samples that they needed to use their guides again to carefully check their work was accurate (which it was).
 By Wednesday we had completed our 'working wall' which included an interactive 'name the tree' feature using the left-over samples - here it is in action!
 On Thursday we also left the school site to go and visit Harewood House. In the morning we visited the bird garden.
 There were some incredible species of birds from all over the world....

 A couple even spoke to us!!

 In the spirit of Darwin, we set about drawing the birds which fascinated us the most, making note of the name, distinguishing features and location/habitat.
 While one group sketched, the other received a great tour from the staff at the bird garden, focusing much of their talk on evolutionary adaptations - this was absolutely fascinating and the children had some great questions. One question, for instance, led us to discover that birds such as penguins develop scales and teeth in the embryonic stages which are later 'absorbed' at the creature develops but give us a glimpse into their evolutionary past - cool!

 Here we observed some ladybirds and the children were fascinated to learn that even they can be predators and that their larvae take such a different form.

The children showed some great knowledge at the penguin area, including why penguins sunbathe with their backs to the sun (!) and why they are white on their front but black on their backs. This impressed John!
 The Year 5 group were shown round by Nick who was also very informative - firstly we looked at domesticated breeds and he explained about the process of selective breeding.

 Meanwhile, it was Year 6's turn to create some fantastic observational drawings.

 We didn't ignore the sign - don't worry! This bird (a brown lory) primarily feeds on nectar from flowers, using a very specialised tongue, although the keepers said they had to use supplements as they couldn't keep up with its appetite!

Quick chance to pose with a penguin....

 ...and then it was time for some well-earned lunch. Luckily the sun came out (as we had some heavy downpours in the morning) and we were able to continue with the rest of our day.
After lunch, we went to an enclosed garden area and played a tree finding team game. Each of the three adults were given two sub-teams who were pitted against each other to see who could provide evidence of correctly identified trees. We used our guides once more and played for about half an hour and the reason I didn't catch any photos was because of the enthusiasm and speed at which the children were presenting us with their evidence!

To round off a really fun and successful trip the children were allowed a quick play on the adventure playground which led to my favourite quote of the day ('I'm having too much fun!').

Today we have been extending our understanding of the birds that we studied in the bird garden with further follow-up work - what a fantastic week of scientific discovery it has been!