Week beginning 24th January
UKS2 have been busy creating some excellent work in their English lessons this week, in addition to enjoying the new playground equipment and starting to interactively learn about the circulatory system (please look out for an exciting cross-curricular approach towards this next week!). Topaz are also proud to show you their super start to learning a glockenspiel accompaniment in music, which you can see below! Finally, please see the highlight of the week for some of our Year 6s…a phenomenal indoor athletics performance!
Year 6 Indoor Athletics competition winners! - Friday 28th January
Eighteen of our most talented Year 6 sport stars (and Miss Kropman) travelled to Stanborough School today to take part in the Welwyn and Hatfield Sports Partnership’s indoor athletics competition. Each child participated in a minimum of two field and two track events throughout the afternoon. These included races such as the up and under, obstacle and 1x, 2x, 4x and 6x relays. Meanwhile, the standing long jump, vertical jump, triple jump, chest push, speed bounce and javelin were also taking place. This resulted in a very busy time for our Year 6s, who were exceptional in their execution of a number of brand new events.
As the afternoon progressed, Miss Kropman began to sense that something special was happening. Top scores in the javelin, long jump and speed bounce, and second place in a number of the relays meant that the points were mounting. In the final race of the day, our boys 4x relay team of Charlie H, Jamie, Lewis and Rocco stormed to victory, much to the delight of their teammates and teacher. Star performers of the day were then awarded to two of our team. Firstly, Charlie H was rewarded for his excellent sprints in the relay and winning javelin throw. Tegan EK was also given a certificate for her awesome first place speed bounce and wonderful sporting attitude. Just as we thought it was time to go home, we were given the incredible news that we had won the pool of small schools who had taken part in the competition, amassing the highest point score from throughout the whole week. This meant that we had qualified for the district finals! These will take place next Thursday (2nd February) and, quite frankly, this reporter and the brilliant Year 6 team cannot wait!
Thank you very much, Year 6, for a great afternoon. Miss Kropman is so proud of you all! We would also like to thank Mr Paine for attending to help with the scoring and supporting the event.
Topaz continuing with their excellent writing in English as they created tension today - Wednesday 26th January
Harry stormed out of the house, rage running through his veins. Engulfed in the darkness of the night, Harry heard a big creak. The swing was swinging, the seesaw was crashing. He was all alone, or was he? The lights were flickering as he heard an ominous bark radiating through the air.
Anger running through his veins, Harry stormed out of the house without looking back. Engulfed in blinding darkness, not knowing where to go, Harry was intimidated by the silence. Dull, flickering streetlamps enticed him to venture into the unknown. Harry was suddenly startled by a piercing sound, making him turn around. Rustling bushes…
Rage enveloping his veins, Harry stormed out into the bitter night. Engulfed in the blinding darkness, he heaved his trunk along the pavement, an ominous light guiding him along. Harry’s pace slowed and his legs buckled. He gave into the exhaustion and took refuge on the pavement. An ear-piercing wail forced Harry to turn around. Squeeeeak. The seesaw crashed down, the roundabout screamed, the wind picked up. He was alone…wasn’t he?
Dhilan's excellent gripping story opener in Topaz's English lesson - Tuesday 25th January
Inspired by David Almond's 'My Name is Mina', here is Dhilan's awesome extract:
My name is Ikarus and I love the rain. Anything seems possible when it is raining and everyone is inside, waiting for it to end. As the water pounds on my head, I feel refreshed like never before, and I never want it to end. Anything is possible when water cascades from the sky and crashes onto my head. Splash, splash, splash. The thought of rain makes me smile because, at that moment, that second when I step outside, I can clear my head and let happy thoughts flood in, just like the rain floods the city.
Some people say that if you stare up into the sky, the rain will make you go nuts.
I look up and laugh.
Make me nuts, I whisper. Go on, make Ikarus nuts.
I laugh again.
Some people think he is already mad, I think.
Week beginning 17th January
UKS2 have enjoyed the champions' final of the House Geography Competition this week and begun some excellent work in their new English units. We hope you like looking at our work!
Topaz writing in English - Wednesday 19th January
After yesterday's excellent vocabulary work, here are some super examples of Topaz's writing inspired by the opening of Pig Heart Boy:
I am drowning in this roaring silence. I am going to die. High above me, I can see where the light changes. The surface. But it’s metres, kilometres away. The chlorine stings. My lungs. My lungs are on fire. Just one breath. Just one. I have no choice but to breathe. If I don’t, I just might burst! If I do take a breath, I’ll drown. Some choice, no choice. As I shut my eyes, I pray hard and kick, kick, kick. A tiny part of me laughs. Tiny. As the realisation hits me, I stop. I am going to drown.
By Emilia M
I am dying. I am dying. There’s no sound, none at all. I can just hear my body screaming. I tell my legs to kick, yet they remain paralysed like a statue. Will I survive?
By Brody C
I am drowning in the blazing light. I am drowning. My head is throbbing and fear pervades through every nerve. I look down and all I see is clear white water, yet there is nothing else there but a blur. My eyes are roaring and my lungs are on fire. Every breath I take makes me cry with pain. Then I realise. I think I might die…
By Freddie F
Topaz exploring the use of powerful vocabulary in Pig Heart Boy during English - Tuesday 18th January
Topaz began a new narrative unit this week by having a lesson specifically dedicated to vocabulary building. We began by playing a vocabulary bingo and trying to work out the meanings of unfamiliar words by seeing them written in context. After this, we had to sort vocabulary from the opening of Malorie Blackman's Pig Heart Boy into groups according to similar themes. We were surprised to then read the extract and see if we were right! We ended the lesson by taking the text for a walk, reading it aloud and selecting the most powerful vocabulary to engage us as readers.
The Invictus Concert at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, featuring members of Brookmans Park School Choir - Saturday 15th January
On Saturday, eight of our most talented singers from Years 5&6 sang with the Capital Arts Choir in a concert at the iconic St Paul's Church in Covent Garden. Featuring professional musicians and elite West End performers, the concert showcased musical theatre classics. The choir members sang fun hits such as 'The Ants Go Marching In' and 'Knick Knack Paddy Whack', whilst joining the professionals for 'You Raise Me Up' and 'Go The Distance'. Most exciting, however, was the premiere of the anthem for this summer's Invictus Games, in which our choir performers excelled. Miss Kropman is immensely proud of all eight of our children and greatly enjoyed the concert. Well done, superstar singers!
Week beginning 10th January
This has been our 'Adventure Week', featuring a visit from a real-life explorer and many lessons which have linked to challenging ourselves and reaching our goals. Well done to all of UKS2, who have been excellent throughout the week.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING UKS2 CHILDREN, WHO SCORED FULL MARKS IN THE HOUSE FLAG COMPETITION TODAY! - FRIDAY 14TH JANUARY
NB The children highlighted have been randomly selected to go through to Monday's Champion of Champions final!
Air - Amy, Andrew, Louis, Giacomo, Daniel G
Earth - Freddie L, Finlay, Elsie, Charlie H
Fire - Ryan, Ellie, Luke, Lexi, Rocco, Maeve
Water - George C, Ben, Serafina, Gabby, Harry M
UKS2 Computing - Thursday 13th January
UKS2 combined geography and computing this week in a fun activity designed to develop map work and coding skills! Using atlases and the Chrome books, they worked in groups of 4 to create an adventure journeys across the UK, Europe and the world. Next, Mr Neiman used his expertise to teach how to use the spheros, which are amazing, codable moving balls! The children were tasked with coding the spheros to demonstrate their journey across a large map, which they did brilliantly! Miss Kropman could only watch on in amazement as Year 6 completed this task; they are definitely better coders than she is! We hope you enjoy looking at the photographs of this lesson.
UKS2 combined forces this afternoon to become explorers! Working in groups of 3, they set adventures for other groups, hiding multiple flags around the school. They then created clues for the other explorers to follow! This was inspired by both James Ketchell and our House flag competition taking place this week, and was enjoyed by everyone despite the heavy rain!
Congratulations to our star pair, Elina and Charlie H, who found the highest amount of flags and were deemed to also have set one of the best courses!
‘It was fun to hide the flags. The other group only found one out of ours!’ – Ertem
‘I liked reading the clues and trying to solve them as I really enjoy puzzles.’ – Agnes
‘It was fun to be active but learn at the same time.’ – Tegan EK
‘It was so fun to watch the other group try to find our flags!’ - Jamie
Meeting a real-life hero adventurer! - Monday 10th January
UKS2 kickstarted their explorer week with a fantastic assembly led by explorer James Ketchell. James talked to us about his major achievements, which include rowing across the Atlantic (three times!), climbing Mount Everest and flying around the world in a gyrocopter. He has also cycled around the world and had to be rescued from the middle of the Indian Ocean! James was very inspiring and taught us the importance of believing in ourselves and knowing that we have the ability to achieve anything, so long as we work hard and want it enough. We had a fantastic morning and would like to thank James very much!
Week beginning 3rd January
Welcome back to school for the Spring Term! We have had a lovely start to the term, making no-sew sock snowmen (quite apt, given the freezing weather conditions!), getting to grips with challenging core learning and completing our boxing unit...and that's all only been in two days back!
Year 6 Maths - Thursday 6th and Friday 7th January
Year 6 were faced with the tricky task of becoming teachers this week...with Mrs Gray and Miss Kropman their struggling pupils! Topaz and Turquoise were given arithmetic questions which had already been completed, but were littered with a vast amount of mistakes! Working in pairs, the children first had to work out which questions had been answered incorrectly and then had to identify the misconceptions that had led to these. Finally, they worked incredibly hard to explain what the most effective strategy would have been to get the correct solution to each calculation. Well done, Year 6!
Year 6 Rivers of Reading - Thursday 7th January
Both Year 6 classes kickstarted the term in English by once again sharing our love of reading. With new books being started by individuals and as classes (how will we ever cope with the tension in 'Crater Lake', Topaz?!), we decided to think back to books that we had enjoyed as young children, then books we loved as infants and juniors right up until the present day! We painted a river using watercolours and then used the Chromebooks to find images of our favourite books' front covers, demonstrating our ever-flowing journey as readers. These are now proudly being displayed in our classrooms!
Week beginning 13th December
The (unexpected) end of term is now tomorrow (Friday) and, looking back at this blog, I hope you can see just what incredible learners your children are! The sheer amount of effort, engagement and enjoyment witnessed across UKS2 this term has made me so proud to be their phase leader. I truly hope you all have a lovely, relaxing break and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Thursday 6th January.
Miss Kropman and the UKS2 Team x
RE in Topaz - Tuesday 14th December
In our RE lessons today and last week, we have been looking at what different presentations of the Christmas story can teach us about Christian beliefs. We began by looking at a piece of modern art (The Male Madonna by Antonia Rolls) and explored what this interesting depiction of a male figure holding the baby Jesus might mean by asking some deep questions about this. Next, we moved onto looking at Christmas carols and searching for Christian beliefs which are shared within these. Some of us even had a go at writing a new verse! After looking at art and music, we looked at how meaning can be shared through words. We were tasked with selecting the key moments from the nativity and then recreating these as text messages between the main figures. Finally, we held a formal discussion about whether we feel only Christians should celebrate Christmas. Miss Kropman was delighted to see Topaz use their language of debate sentence starters from English to such good effect during this part of the lesson and was impressed with the maturity shown today. Well done, Topaz - your RE work has been fantastic this term!
Following on from Sapphire's pizza experience on no technology day, the other classes took their turn this week! During the first lesson of the day, we worked in pairs to create our dough, carefully following the recipe to mix our bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water. This linked perfectly to our learning in science, where we had learnt about yeast being a microorganism (specifically a fungi) which is a living thing. Knowing that yeast would respire and produce carbon dioxide, we ensured that the dough mixture was mixed thoroughly and kneaded well in order to speed up this process. We then left it to rise!
In the afternoon, we carefully spread out our dough (splitting this so that we now had an individual pizza base) and then added our toppings. These had been designed in science using the Eat Well plate to ensure that we had a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and vegetables with just a small amount of sugar (in the tomato sauce). Finally, it was time to take our pizzas home to be cooked! We hope you are impressed with our final designs and that you enjoyed tasting your child's work!
Week beginning 6th December
Another fun-filled week in UKS2 this week, with plenty of opportunities for active learning! We hope you enjoy looking at some examples.
Year 6 Maths Scavenger Hunt - Tuesday 7th December
Year 6 combined forces this morning to take part in an arithmetic scavenger hunt. In pairs, Topaz and Turquoise were tasked with solving an initial maths problem and then finding the answer, which could be found displayed somewhere in either of the classrooms or the annex area. The answer to this calculation would be accompanied by a letter and also the next question to be solved. Upon solving the whole cycle, our brave participants would be able to create a sentence. Great fun was had by all in this active way to practise arithmetic calculations and the enthusiasm and effort was incredible! Congratulations to Daniel G and Nate, who were the first pair to return the sentence to Mrs Gray and Miss Kropman and could accurately declare, 'GREAT WORK - YOU ARE AN ARITHMETIC GENIUS!'.
Week beginning 29th November
After our occasional day on Monday, the children came back to school with great enthusiasm for the week! For Pupil Parliament's 'No Technology Day' on Friday 3rd December, we are not able to share the fun, love of learning activities taking place across the school due to the lack of cameras and being banned from using this platform for the day...please, therefore, ask your children what they have been up to at the end of the day tomorrow (Friday)!
Topaz's PSHE - Tuesday 30th November
In PSHE today, we linked our maths learning to use a 3D net of a cuboid to create a box. We wrote compliments about each member of our class and handed these out for their owners to put in their box. We have taken our compliment boxes home and will use these to help regulate our mood if we are feeling in the blue zone outside of school. Well done for writing such thoughtful, meaningful compliments, Topaz! Here are a few lovely examples:
'Zac is a very kind and funny person.'
'Ellie is incredibly brave and is an amazing role model.'
'Tegan is a caring friend.'
'Jamie is always willing to help everyone.'
Year 6 English - Tuesday 30th November
Year 6 have hit the ground running after their long weekend by writing a fantastic character description of Gollum, based on our literacy heritage unit inspired by The Hobbit.
Here is Jasmine's awesome example:
Deep down in the black soul crushing waters, resided an ancient creature, a Gollum: frail and vile. His slim, bony body curved round in flexible hoops for his ability to crawl endlessly. He lurked through the shadows, his torch-like eyes bulging through the darkness. The gruesome demon dressed in wretched clothes, pale as his face could ever be. He had a wooden boat, scratched and damaged almost like his ruthless claws had been in a fight. His skeletal legs hung at the side of the boat, ready to pounce like a bloodthirsty leopard. Staring, my heart began to pulsate in fear…
Week beginning 22nd November
We have had yet another busy week in school in UKS2! Please see below the highlights of our learning.
Science in Year 6 - Thursday 25th November
Year 6 worked collaboratively this afternoon to discuss the findings of our mould bread investigation! After having explored factors which might affect the rate at which bread turns mouldy, we studied our results and then used Chromebooks to help us research the reasons why temperature and water had the greatest impact. In order to share findings with each other, each group submitted their work as Google Slides presentations, and submitted these to Mrs Gray and Miss Kropman to share with the year group. The level of scientific vocabulary and understanding used was exceptionally high. Well done, Year 6!
Excellent English examples - Wednesday 24th November
Year 6 have been using The Hobbit to inspire descriptive writing for settings and to create tension. Miss Kropman was delighted with her class' excellent work this week and would love to share Maya and Tegan EK's examples with you:
The silvery moon smiled sweetly upon her lively forest, bringing hope to the bitter souls of the once bare trees. Whispering spirits graciously danced between the trees, making light wherever they went. Meanwhile, the green leaves swayed beautifully in the breeze. Flowers stood silently in thought. Fireflies would fly around you and make little buzzing noises, but you could only hear them if you were silent. They were tiny little lights trying to tell you something, something important...
After checking his surroundings, Gollum slithered forward, dragging his scaly frame across the gnarled ground. Gollum’s abominable body wound translucently around Bilbo, yet created no shadow. Like a patch of midnight that had never been cleared away, Bilbo dreaded the darkness. Bilbo, paralysed with fear, had only one thought going through his head – RUN!
By Tegan EK
History - Tuesday 23rd November
This week, we have been using our historical enquiry skills to evaluate what we feel to have been the greatest achievements of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. We began by exploring nation and international impacts and discussing historical events which we feel to have had the most significance upon the world. We then used the Chromebooks to research Anglo-Saxon and Viking legacies before creating a Diamond 9, where we personally ranked these in the order of importance. Finally, we justified these in reflective conclusions.
Week beginning 15th November
Well done, UKS2, for another week of excellent learning in school. We have been celebrating Children In Need today (Friday) by wearing clothes which make us happy for a £1 contribution and also donating any old clothes to a local refuge. Thank you to our Pupil Parliament members for organising this for us!
This week is national anti-bullying week in the United Kingdom. To celebrate this, we began the week by watching a virtual assembly produced by Andy and the Odd Socks and the Anti-bullying Alliance. Our own wearing of odd socks helped us to remember the importance of celebrating difference and the things that make us unique! We have also completed a range of different activities such as designing a superhero cape for a friend and also creating a message of kindness for our phase. Each class also looked at two, seemingly identical, apples. Whilst one apple was treated kindly with many compliments given and handled with care, the other was both physically and verbally abused. From the outside, though, we still could not tell the difference. When we cut them open, however, we could see the damage that had been done to one of the apples, symbolic of the bullying that had been inflicted. This reminded us of the importance of not judging someone from their outer shell and of only saying kind things and behaving towards others in a way in which we would like to be treated ourselves.
Week beginning 8th November
This has been another fun-filled week in UKS2! Thank you to all of your children for their incredible effort across the curriculum.
Year 6 Science Day - Thursday 11th November
Around our Remembrance Day outdoor assembly, Year 6 spent the morning and some of the afternoon completing some science investigations. Our day started by exploring another way to prove that yeast is a living thing...using dough! We created dough mixtures with flour and water. In one cup, we added yeast, whilst the other remained without this. We measured the growth of the dough every five minutes and were excited to see how much the dough with yeast rose! This proved that it was respiring (releasing carbon dioxide) as it reacted with the flour to produce natural sugars. After break, we created a line graph of our results! In the afternoon, we set up our next exciting experiment, looking at what would happen to bread over the course of a week. Working in small groups, we set up variables such as changing the type of bread and placing the same bread in different temperature locations. We are observing changes to the bread over the course of the week and look forward to sharing our findings next lesson!
UKS2 History Secret Agents - Tuesday 9th November
In our history lesson this week, we took on the role of becoming secret agents working for St Augustine in 597AD. Tasked with the role of converting the Anglo-Saxon King Ethlebert to Christianity, we researched the reasons why he was eventually persuaded and then role-played this in small groups. Finally, we wrote a mission report to explain how this was successful, and reflected on the impact that this had upon Britain.
Remembrance Day activities - week beginning 8th November
UKS2 have been commemorating Remembrance Day with a number of activities this week. In class, each child has made a poppy with an individualised centre piece. We have then combined these to create a phase wreath to be displayed in the hall. In addition to a Remembrance Day assembly, Year 6 have also been spending time exploring war poetry. Topaz created some blackout examples of famous poems and also created their own examples.
Fear, dread, screams, cry,
Injured bodies they groan, they lie.
Mouth open, I begin to yelp, I sigh,
I ask again: who will survive?
Bombs, gun, shoot, fire,
I must say I’m beginning to tire,
My legs ache day after day,
The sky, oh the sky, it is so grey.
By Izzy M
Lives made of paper,
The book of life so frail,
Words littering the ground,
Turning from dark to pale.
Flesh now broken,
Protecting our country?
The enemy has spoken.
The ending of lives,
Beyond our battle lines,
Who is it who survives?
By Topaz Class
Week beginning 1st November
Welcome back for the second half of term!
Boxing - Friday 5th November
Today saw the first of UKS2's boxing lessons! We had a fantastic session, learning about the physical and mental demands of boxing. We were taught how to hold our stance and shadow box, before taking part in a carousel of fitness, agility, partner tagging and using the gloves to jab. This was a fast-paced, highly enjoyable lesson and we look forward to our weekly boxing sessions for the remainder of the term!
Science - Thursday 4th November
Our science lesson this week involved an investigation where we explored the respiration of yeast. After discussing the different possible variables, we decided upon changing the amount of sugar that we added to the yeast and water in order to see how this affected the rate of carbon dioxide being released. We then observed what happened over the course of an hour and into the following day. Have a look at Topaz's pictures to see what we discovered!
Topaz's music lesson - Wednesday 3rd November
Topaz completed their Motown/Soul unit today with a brilliant composition session. Using their knowledge of the 'Happy' riff, they changed both pitch order and note length to create a different accompaniment for the chorus. They then used the computer software to notate their work. Here is one super example!
Week beginning 18th October
It has been an excellent half term for UKS2 and we hope you enjoy looking at our busy final week. It is now time for a well-deserved break for all of the children; we hope you all have a lovely time with your families and look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Tuesday 2nd November.
The UKS2 Team x
Year 5&6 Boys' Football Fixtures Evening - Wednesday 20th October
The Boys' A team travelled to Monk's Walk School this afternoon to compete against three other schools within the Welywn and Hatfield SSP. Mr Fennell reported back that the boys played the best football of the evening, with an incredible three wins out of three! Having also not conceded any goals, the boys should all be very proud of themselves.
Year 6 Netball Fixtures Evening - Wednesday 20th October
Our Year 6 netball team travelled to Stanborough School today to take part in a fixtures evening against three other schools within the Welwyn and Hatfield SSP. They played brilliantly to win one, draw one and lose one game. Most importantly, Mrs Zerny reported how they smiled throughout their matches! Well done, girls!
PSHE - Tuesday 19th October
We have been celebrating Black History Month this week by focusing on key black, British inspirational figures who have contributed towards life in our country. Year 6 have enjoyed learning about Marcus Rashford, John Kent and Benjamin Zephaniah in particular, and spent today's PSHE lesson exploring the importance of speaking out against racism and discrimination. For our final activity of the afternoon, we created our own visions for the future, imagining the sort of world that we would like to live within.
UKS2 Viking Day – Monday 18th (Year 6) and Tuesday 19th (Year 5) October
Report by Maya B, Topaz Class:
Yesterday, Year 6 took part in a Viking workshop with History Off The Page. This taught us what life was like during the Viking times. After a quick photoshoot, we all went down to the hall and met our Viking Lord, David. He told us that he was the chief of a former Anglo-Saxon village and showed us around his settlement.
During the morning, we did many activities, which were set up as stations around the hall. These included exploring rune making, pottery, weaving, candle making and my favourite – visiting the wise woman! At that table, we got to become doctors, creating a potion of medicines to cure a sick patient.
Before lunch, David came back to the classroom with us and showed us some real Viking artefacts, including some armour and arrows used in battle. Another artefact looked like a shower, but turned out to be a watering can!
In the afternoon, we became archaeologists! We had to use a brush to dig through trays of dirt and were amazed by the artefacts we found. Whilst some were from the modern day, others were from the Dark Ages. In my tray, my favourite find was a bright blue bead.
Last of all, David showed us how Vikings would melt iron and steel. This could be very dangerous, so instead he melted pewter which froze at 0 degrees Celsius and melted at 200 degrees! David created moulds and poured the melted pewter once cooled to make Viking game pieces. He even let us keep one for our classroom!
I thoroughly enjoyed our Viking day and would love to do this again.
Week beginning 11th October
This week has seen a number of fun activities in the phase, with the highlights being our Thursday afternoon pursuits!
PLEASE REMEMBER TO COME TO SCHOOL DRESSED AS VIKINGS FOR OUR HISTORY OFF THE PAGE DAYS NEXT WEEK! YEAR 6 - MONDAY, YEAR 5 - TUESDAY
UKS2 Orienteering afternoon - Thursday 14th October
Whilst ten of our Year 6s were busy playing tag rugby, the remainder of the phase gathered in the hall for an exciting challenge! Mrs Zerny had spent lunchtime placing a number of laminated letters around the school, which, she explained, were the answers to a set of clues. This was becoming quite mysterious! We were asked to get ourselves into pairs (which could be from across the class groups) and then tasked with creating a grid for an aerial map of our school grounds. Once this was completed, Mrs Zerny gave each pair a clue from a pot, which we were not allowed to open until we were outside. The answer to this clue would be a location, where we would then find one of the letters! When we had successfully run to the location and noted down the letter, we then had to show this to one of the teachers, along with the correct grid reference of the location. We were then given our next clue. If we managed to solve all 12 clues, then we could de-scramble the letters to form an important message. Well done to Daniel and Louis, who were the first to find it was 'WORK TOGETHER'!
'This was such a fun afternoon!' - Luca
'I loved exercising so much by running to all of the locations, whilst also having fun with my partner.' - Freddie
'I had to work hard, run and develop a friendship all at the same time!' - Maya
'This really encouraged us to work collaboratively!' - Max
Thank you to Mrs Zerny for organising such a great afternoon!
Year 6 Tag Rugby competition - Thursday 14th October
On Thursday afternoon, a team of ten super Year 6 tag rugby players ventured to Welwyn Rugby Club to take part in an inter-school competition. Mr Fennell reported that the team played brilliantly and that they were a credit to the school as they recorded the most tries scored out of every school there! Overall, we were placed second in the competition, which is an amazing achievement. Well done to all of them!
In our music lessons this term, we have been exploring 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams, which is a pop song with soul elements similar to those found in the 1960s Motown style. In addition to analysing the style and structure of the song, we have also used the glockenspiels to play some of the riffs. This week, we began to use some of these as call and response phrases and then started to improvise using the notes G, A and B.
Week beginning 4th October
We have had an extremely busy week in UKS2 with plenty of sporting and academic opportunities to keep us engaged and having fun in school! Well done to all of our phase for creating such brilliant outcomes; you very much deserve a rest this weekend!
NB: This week, Miss Kropman's class created video tutorials to demonstrate their new method for solving long division. Izzy and Jazz would love to share theirs with you! This, along with Topaz and Turquoise's performance poetry from this week, will be available on the video library section of this website (as they are too long to put on our blog!).
The week kicked off with the UKS2 House Cross Country event on Monday afternoon. With separate boys and girls races for both Year 5 and Year 6, the competition was fierce! All of the children ran with determination, resilience and excellent sportsmanship and should be congratulated on completing the race and bringing in points for their houses! Overall, the winners this year were..............FIRE! Congratulations to them. Well done to the medalists for each race, too, who were:
Year 5 Boys - 1st Luke, 2nd Stanley, 3rd Harry
Year 5 Girls - 1st Mila, 2nd Evie, 3rd Jasmine
Year 6 Boys - 1st Rocco, 2nd Zac, 3rd Lewis
Year 6 Girls - 1st Izzy, 2nd Gabby, 3rd Elina
Next up in this week was our skateboarding workshops, which took place on Tuesday morning. Led by professional skateboarder Alex, we learnt the basics of how to control and direct a skateboard before learning how to safely jump on. Our favourite part of the morning was arguably learning the pancake flip, which was expertly executed by almost all of the phase! Well done to Frazer in Year 5, who skateboards outside of school and used his knowledge and skills to support his classmates. This was an excellent workshop and we would all like to thank Mrs Zerny for organising this for us!
Led by Hertfordshire Library Service, UKS2 took part in a fun virtual workshop with poet Simon Mole on Thursday afternoon. We worked hard to create many different poetic descriptive lines about an imaginary dream day, including many of the features that we have been learning about in our lessons this term. This was a super way to spend the afternoon on World Poetry Day!
Congratulations to the Year 5 children who went to the indoor athletics competition this morning at Stanborough School in Welwyn Garden City. Competing against other schools in our Sports Partnership, the team took part in multiple events including the relay, javelin, long jump and high jump. After an incredibly close contest, we were delighted to learn that the girls had come 2nd overall and the boys...wait for it...came...FIRST! Well done to everyone and thank you to Mrs Pollington for taking the team to the event.
Week beginning 27th September
Well done to UKS2 for another super week of learning. We have especially enjoyed our RE, history and science lessons (as detailed below), but have also been working extremely hard in our morning sessions for maths and English, whilst learning new skills in Tag Rugby for PE. We are now very much looking forward to our House Cross-Country Competition on Monday afternoon!
We had a fantastic morning of House Captain hustings today (Friday 1st October), with children from Year 6 giving superb speeches to the phase and their teachers about why they should be selected. Every single child who nominated themselves should be so proud of their wonderful presentations, where they demonstrated self-confidence, eloquence and brilliant passion for the school. All of Years 5 and 6 children and staff were given a vote for a male and female captain for their house and, after a tight contest, we are pleased to congratulate the following:
Air - Andrew and Amy
Earth - Sam and Emmie
Fire - Rocco and Lexi
Water - Jamie and Gabby
In our RE lesson this week, we interactively explored the Buddhist Eightfold Path. This path includes the eight elements that Buddhists believe must be followed to lead a good life and, ultimately, will result in achieving enlightenment. To start with, Miss Kropman displayed six statements about herself, with five being false and only one being true. The task - the Buddhist concept of seeking the truth! Please do ask your children which were the false statements - and thank some of them for believing that I once starred in a shampoo advert! Secondly, we learnt about resisting evil and clearing your mind from evil (the second and third parts of the path). To test this concept, sweets had been placed around the classroom whist the children were outside for lunch. They weren't given any explanation for this, and the challenge was to have resisted the temptation of eating them! Once studied, however, they were, of course, allowed to eat them as part of the learning experience (ahem).
The fourth section of the path is the Buddhist belief of not saying anything that would hurt others. Topaz were truly brilliant at the 'compliment ball' activity of saying lovely things about each other with each pass. For the fifth part of the path, we explored respecting life through the incredible work that charities such as the RSPCA do for protecting animals. The sixth part was also studied with great interest as we looked at the concept of only working in careers that would not hurt others. A soldier, for example, would not be an acceptable job for many Buddhists.
Finally, we learnt about the seventh and eight parts of the path, which are practising concentration and being in control of your thoughts. For this, we discussed our experiences of a previous meditation lesson and then looked at some optical illusions in an attempt to take full power over our thoughts. Have a browse at one of the examples of this below. Do you see an old lady or a young woman? Can you control your mind to see both?
Thank you to all the children for such a super effort in today's RE lesson. I hope they enjoyed it as much as their teacher did!
Week beginning 20th September
Well done to all the children for another fantastic week of learning in UKS2!
In PSHE this week, we explored how families can be made up of different people. We began by using consensus grids. This involved groups of four dividing a piece of paper into quarters and writing down what they thought a family needed. In the centre of the circle, they had to form a consensus of ideas that they all agreed on. After this, we played a diversity game, where we drew a family member with only their name given as a clue, and then had to match their relatives according to the information given. Within the families were a variety of different set-ups. This enabled us to see that, despite differences, families can come in all forms. Our final challenge was to create a Tweet # to demonstrate our learning. Miss Kropman particularly rated Charlie BS' example of #differentfamiliessamelove - different families, same love.
Our history lesson this week took us outside as we explored reasons why the Anglo-Saxons came to Britain. This involved us firstly learning about the Picts and the Scots (who, confusingly, came from Ireland and not Scotland as some of us first thought) and their invasion of Britain. The Britons later suffered the Jutes, Angles and Saxons arriving on our shores, and this was acted out magnificently on the field by our Year 6 warriors! Despite the blockade of Hadrian's Walls, the tribes managed to successfully claim the land and come together as what we now know to have been the Anglo-Saxons. Back inside, we debated the many luring factors for the Anglo-Saxons and argued for what we believed to be the strongest reason that they came to Britain. Well done to all of our phase, who combined geography, drama and enquiry skills to demonstrate excellent historical understanding!
Week beginning 13th September
UKS2 have worked hard this week to complete their poetry unit (see examples below) and to explore mental maths strategies in maths. We have started our RE unit exploring Buddhism and have also enjoyed practically learning about when the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings were in Britain. Each class has learnt about the exciting Pupil Parliament which is going to be helping to make major decisions in school and application forms have gone in Mrs Davies' inbox from children hoping to be members of this! The teachers are looking forward to speaking with parents at our virtual 'Meet the Teacher' meetings on Monday. Please bring with you and questions that you might have about this year.
This is the opening of Daniel W's poem 'Lemon Sherbet'. Miss Kropman loved his use of metaphors and strong imagery, plus his awesome use of ambitious vocabulary!
A shimmering golden teardrop of joy,
Infiltrates my senses.
A vibrant daffodil dancing in a field,
Happiness fills my heart.
Here is a cleverly written rhyming extract from Jasmine P's poem, entitled 'Sherbet Lemon':
A beaming drop of sunlight,
A dazzling daffodil,
It's clementine in colour,
Opening it is my will.
On Monday, Topaz experienced a meditation session, accompanied by calming music, candles and some Buddhist symbolic items placed around the room. Miss Kropman also had a singing bowl in order to alert everyone's senses to the vibrations. Topaz enjoyed relaxing on the floor and, afterwards, were asked to paint their responses to the question: Why do Buddhists meditate? We will explore this in more detail and look at different Buddhist responses in our next RE lesson.
Week beginning 6th September
UKS2 have had a fantastic first full week back at school! They have enjoyed getting to know each other in their new classes and have taken part in a number of fun lessons, as documented below!
We kickstarted our English in Year 6 with the opportunity to write a short narrative extract based on interesting pictorial stimuli. Mrs Gray and Miss Kropman were so impressed with the children's use of ambitious vocabulary and accurate punctuation choices! Later in the week, we got the opportunity to EAT SWEETS in a lesson in order to create figurative language and scintillating adjectives covering each of the five senses. Our excellent mind mapping will be used to support writing poems about sherbet lemons next week.
Some interesting large elasticated objects infiltrated the UKS2 classrooms this week (a kind donation from Hertfordshire Sports Partnership), which filled our children with wonder and intrigue. What could these be used for? Daniel and Harry in Topaz asked if they were bungee ropes, whilst Izzy thought they were strengthening cords. Could they create new games, Turquoise questioned? In Topaz, Miss Kropman taught the children the old French Skipping game: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Inside, Outside, Inside, Rails! They then had time to practise this and create their own skipping games. We hope you enjoy watching us having so much fun with this brilliantly simple invention!