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Winterbourne EarlsChurch of England Primary School

‘As each one does their part, we grow in love’

Autumn Term 2018

Curriculum Letter Autumn 2018

Week ending 21 December

The last fortnight has whizzed by! We had a class treat for collecting 10 marbles in the jar (thanks to lots more children daily reading). This was football based in the hall as the weather wasn't great.

We enjoyed the Nativity play performed the KS1 children with lots of enthusiasm. As part of our RE work we composed a song on The Trinity and hope to share it with the rest of the school in Praise Worship. We wrote the words and Mrs Carter played the chords on her guitar. Rev Peter kindly invited the whole class down to the church to observe mid-week communion. We sang a song in a round based on our Trinity work (Father we love you) and all the adults from the service joined in. Matthew was invited to help Roger with the communion jug of water and we all watched when the adults took bread and wine. Rev Peter had to dash off to run worship in another school and we stayed to ask the adults about their views on The Trinity.

We always have tests at the end of term to assess our learning but the highlight of the last week was the Christmas Lunch and Christmas Party. All went smoothly! We finished with blinds down, floor cushions and The Nativity, which is Mrs Carter's favourite Christmas film.

Week ending 7 December

In our Maths we have been focusing on cracking column addition and we have all grasped this even up to two 3-digit numbers! We will then be looking at solving problems connected with this area of learning.

We have been learning about The Trinity in RE and have created our own closing prayer which  uses everyone's ideas. We now need to learn it! In Art we are making Christmas story boxes for the St Thomas' Tree Festival. We have covered all sizes of boxes and decorated them like books.

We enjoyed our last swimming session and have learnt the basic rules of rugby so we can play small 4v4 games.

Our focus in literacy this last fortnight has been the book 'Stone Age Boy'. We spent time predicting what may happen from the cover, the pictures and the first few pages and realised that the boy time travels to the Stone Age. We learnt what sort of things he would have done in this time period and then we have challenged ourselves to write a story based on this only the girl time travels into our time. We've had to think hard about what she would have been amazed by- the man made things like cars, buildings, computers, books- all this would have been really strange for her. We examined how both the boy and the girl felt in different time zones and how they may have reacted.

The highlight of the fortnight has been the trip to Stonehenge on Thursday 29 November- a day when violent storms were predicted. year 4 got a bit wet but we were inside doing our workshop in the morning during the rain and we had glimpses of sunshine during our tour of the stones. Our workshop helped us understand how the stone may have been moved. We also dressed up in Bronze Age clothes, examined maps and built Stonehenge as it would have looked orginally with the circles complete. We then dimmed the lights and were shown what the scene would have been like when the sun rises at the Summer Solstice. See the photos on the gallery area of this page.

Week ending 23 November

It has been really hectic since half term with lots of activities for us all to get involved in!

We spent a week exploring World War I mainly through the Michael Foreman book War Game in which he describes the events of The Christmas Truce of 2014 when the two sides sang carols, met each other in No Man's Land and then played a game of football.We made some lovely poppies from painted plastic bottles which Mrs McEwan and a group of kind parents from FOWES laced onto a large wire cross. This was then taken down to the church as part of the 100th anniversary commemorations. We told the story through drama and then wrote about it.

We were lucky enough to have Emily's grandma (who is a volunteer at Stonehenge) in to talk about music making in the Stone Age. We had a play at making music by blowing though snails' shells, hazelnut kernels and wooden whistles which was great fun!

Our main story writing text for our topic/English work is Stone Age Boy. We spent time together predicting from what we know and the front cover and then Mrs Johnson came into class to use this text for our story telling and most of our predictions were right! We are learning how to use the Thesaurus to help us up-level our words and will be building up to writing our own version of the story. 

We are learning more grammar, focusing on better adjectives and prepositions. Our storytelling in front of the whole school on Tuesday went very well, with both Mrs Carter and Mrs Johnson proud of how clearly we spoke.

Maths has been focused on embedding mental addition- single digits, tens and hundreds. We are now extending our work and have successfully grasped column addition. 

We all contributed to the Children in Need collection and had a visit from Pudsey himself.

Swimming is going really well with all pupils swimming in the main pool and making great progress. 

Next week on 29 November we will be visiting Stonehenge. Our Discovery Session is on Neolithic life so we should learn even more about how our ancestors lived in The Stone Age.  

Final Week of Half Term

Our term finished with our Stone Age Day which was a great success. Mrs Carter has sent this report and a group photo to The Salisbury Journal:

Stone Age Hunters Invade!

On the last day of term Year 3 pupils at Winterbourne Earls Primary dressed up in their warmest leather and fur garments, donned their bone necklaces, sharpened their flint spears and axes and arrived at school as hunters from the Palaeolithic era.

Apples and blackberries that had been gathered from local hedgerows were prepared. Whole wheat flatbreads were shaped ready for cooking and the fire was lit to keep wild animals away and provide much-needed warmth. Young warriors learnt how to work together as a group to trap megafauna like woolly mammoths and make portable shelters by lashing poles together and using deer skin-like tarpaulins.

Each child learnt how to sew and made a leather pouch in which to store their flint arrowheads. Adults were on hand to show children how to take sheep’s fleece, card it finely and then spin it into wool using drop spindles. This was then available for weaving on simple looms devised to show how early cloth was made.

In the afternoon children gathered round the fire to enjoy what they had cooked on the embers- apple and blackberry puree on toasted flat bread with honey which was ‘quite delicious’, according to one child. ‘I wish we had Stone Age Day every day,’ was a comment overheard by the teacher, who was reassured that the children considered it a worthwhile memorable event.

Week Beginning 22 October

Our Monday began with a surprise landing of a rocket ship in the school grounds. All the teaching staff were out greeting parents and children, warning them to walk quickly by the crash-landed space vehicle until it had been deemed safe by the Police.We were ushered into the hall first thing to be told that an alien had escaped and he/she/it was at large in the school grounds. Even the Salisbury Journal had an article on the front page. The presentation was led by Mrs Baker and Mrs Johnson. The alien had discovered five planets wand was hoping that each class to find another planet.

We returned to the classroom and thought how we could discover another planet. Mrs Carter showed a video of a man in the moon who is discovered by a young girl with a powerful telescope. She tries really hard to contact him- she fires arrows, sends airplanes and she finally gets to him at Christmas by sending a present attached to a huge number of balloons.He unwraps his present and finds a telescope. The man in the moon is thrilled that he can now look at his new friend.

We thought that we could launch a rescue mission to bring back the man in the moon so he could be reunited with his friend, but we needed to find and meet the alien pilot.Our stories have been full of detail about our aliens,space travel and repair of complex space travel machinery. We will be displaying them with our rocket pictures and our model moon this coming week. On Monday we will be presenting our stories to the Y1 children.

In Maths we are still consolidating work on adding 3-digit and 1-digit numbers. Please ensure children know all the 1-digit adding facts as it is very hard to calculate using bigger numbers when basic facts aren't fully embedded.

We shall be  returning to our Prehistory study on Tuesday when we will be holding our Stone Age Day. Please remember to bring logs for the fire. The plan is to cook a realistic meal on the open fire, learn how to lash wooden poles together for our camp, make a full size shelter, try spinning and weaving and making leather pouches. We are trusting the good weather will hold. Don't forget your costumes!

Week Beginning 15 October

The Mini Museum Project this week proved to be very successful across the whole school. The Wow! factor as we entered the hall to visit all the exhibits was palpable as the hall was transformed with black display backgrounds and perspex stands for greater impact. Our portable shelters looked very professional and we are grateful to Ian and Catherine who came to our class to help with lashing, weaving and sticking our tipis. Feedback from parents was also really positive. Please see the photos of the whole Mini Museum on the gallery.


Our focus this week in Literacy has been on editing our fact files. We have also been reviewing basic sentence structure, ensuring that all pupils know  how to construct basic sentences. Those who find writing a challenge needed this input in order to move their learning on. In Maths we have been looking at adding and taking single digits onto/from 3-digit numbers. This has highlighted those children who have not passed Mad Minute adding and who need to really work on single digit adding to move their learning on.


Unfortunately our Stone Age Day did have to be postponed with the stormy weather forecast arriving in the morning. We will re-schedule it hopefully before half term. Some children painted their salt dough jewellery and some had an extra PE session with our Games Coach on Friday. 


This week is our Literacy Week and we will be looking at aliens, planets and spaceships. This will include making planets and writing a space adventure which will be exciting! Homework this week is on designing an alien but needs to be completed by Monday so we can use it to support our writing. If we can embed single digit addition with everyone, then we will be focusing on written column addition in Maths.

Week Beginning 8 October

We enjoyed a busy week focusing on all our Stone Age learning. We are now collating all the information gleaned on Stone Age life into a fact file written on A3 paper with lots of diagrams and labelled pictures of our learning. These will be reduced  in size and displayed in the class for all to see as our first main piece of writing for Year 3.

In Maths we have been finishing off our work on place value, with most pupils happy with 3-digit numbers- ordering them, representing them and explaining what number is 100 more or less or 10 more or less. Lots are passing the Mad Minute adding sheets with some moving onto 2-digit and 1-digit additions and subtractions.


On Monday we had the last session with The Bridge with the leaders reporting that all four children responded well to the 5-week journey on 'Bearing Good Fruit' investigating the values of fruitfulness through a multi-media approach.


We finished the week making salt dough teeth and bones that will be used as jewellery on Stone Age Day. 

This week coming we will be working with The Salisbury Museum on a 'Mini Museum Project' where we will be making model Stone Age Shelters. Ours will be based around a portable tipi shape with a wooden frame covered with deerskin (offcuts of leather from The Scrapstore.)


On Friday (weather permitting) we will be holding our Stone Age Day where we will be wearing our very best fur and leather clothes with accessories we are making for homework.If the weather forecast does not improve there is a chance we may have to postpone the themed day.


Week beginning 1 October

Last week Mrs Carter was with the Year 6 children at Braeside so Miss Swan covered every day except our swimming session as Mrs Carter is needed to teach her group. Through our topic and English work, we learnt more about flintknapping and how precious fire was to the Stone Age people. We found out how they worked together to hunt large megafauna like woolly mammoths.Miss Swan has been linking her science work on rocks with our Stone Age topic and we have been learning to use the new Chrome Books to carry out important research.


Our art this week has focused on copying the cave paintings using sugar paper and chalk. We have displayed them on the topic wall and they look very effective.


Week beginning 24 September

On Monday it was lovely to see the majority of parents at the parents' presentation.(This is attached to this class page for those who couldn't come.) Hopefully all the parents were reassured that their children have settled well into the new class. 

Swimming also started on Tuesday and, apart from those children who have more than 100m distance badges (who went straight into the deep end top group), all the other children were assessed by the teachers and placed either in the learner pool or in the shallow end of the main pool. Mrs Carter explained to some parents who expressed concerns that if the children think they are in the wrong group then they need to swim well, keep their feet off the bottom of the pool and impress their teachers! There is usually some movement of children between the three groups in the first few weeks. 


Thursday we had an amazing day at the Salisbury Museum focusing on our topic of Stone Age. We learnt about the animals that were hunted in this period and actually touched a mammoth tooth which was very heavy and a whopping 30 cm long! Owain, the Education Officer, told us it was very old and very rare but we were allowed to touch it because it was broken; a perfect example was behind glass in the main Wessex Gallery. On our tables we then carefully examined, measured and drew Stone Age artefacts and reported back to the other groups what we were studying. We were able to study hand axes, flint knives, scrapers, arrowheads and other flint artefacts. After that we dressed up in costume and played a 'Could You Survive the Stone Age' game which involved making cards which instructed you to move backwards or forwards on a life-sized board and we rolled dice to see if we could follow the path and get to the end. The photos may help explain it better! 


In the afternoon we were introduced to the Wessex Gallery which had drawers and cupboards to open so everyone could explore. We then focused on the displays to do with the period we are studying. We were fascinated by the Stonehenge Archer who was found with no feet and The Amesbury Archer who was discovered when they were excavating the area at Archer's Gate ready for building houses. He was the earliest skeleton to be found buried with lots of pots and gold hair ornaments, which meant he must have been very important. Ian told us that by examining the skeleton they discovered that he originally came from near The Alps and, with a damaged knee must have walked all the way from Europe to Amesbury!


On Friday we performed our song 'I'll do My Best' which told everyone that we are focusing on growing in our learning by doing our best in everything. We had lots of rehearsals, with some of us checking out the video on YouTube.

Next week Mrs Carter will be at Braeside so Miss Swan will be covering. 


Week Beginning 17 September

We have now had nearly a fortnight in Year 3 and all children have settled well, following daily routines and becoming more confident with things like Mad Minute. We answer 30 questions on single digit addition in 1 min 30 sec and this will help us with answering addition questions with bigger numbers later on in the year.

Most children are starting to get into the routine of daily reading. Mrs Carter has now listened to everyone read individually and guided reading will start next week. 


We have been learning a lot about how we can take more ownership of our own learning- choosing work that will challenge us, listening carefully and having a 'Growth Mindset'. The video of Austin's butterfly showed us how, with lots of positive encouragement, Austin redrafted his butterfly drawing 5 times until it was so accurate that it matched the original picture. We all learnt how we can persevere and make our work better.

We have introduced our Stone Age topic and looked at what food the people ate. We also learnt how to use a key on the website  to identify trees, so that we discovered which tree in the school grounds is the Rowan tree.


We are sorting out the progression of tag words and hope to have parents help out with this key assessment. At present we have two lovely helpers from the community- Mr Mac on a Wednesday and Mrs Coldridge on a Tuesday.

Parent Presentation will take part in Rowan Classroom at 1430 for all parents/carers. Please come and find out about the new routines and expectations!


Swimming starts on Tuesday 17 September, so please encourage parents to volunteer. We only have two mums on the rota at present.