Welcome back to a very busy Summer Term!
SATs week took place from Monday 8th May. Although the papers were challenging, I know the children did their very best. That is all we ask for! They worked hard in school and doing extra revision at home, at the Booster Sessions or in the Computer room before school.
Year 5 worked very hard in the mornings during SATs week and I was proud of them for carrying on doing great work in English and Maths.
For more information about what are doing in class, see our newsletter below:
We continue to promote reading through our Author of the Month. May's choice is Michael Lawrence, Author of the very funny Jiggy McCue Books.
In March and for the short month of April, Enid Blyton was our Author of the Month. I challenge anyone not to think The Famous Five, The Magic Faraway Tree and the Secret Seven are not classics!
Happy New Year Neptune Class! Best wishes to all our children and families for 2017.
We hope that everyone had a great Christmas and we are pleased to welcome you back to school. Starting back is a bit hard but after a few days,it'll be like we've never been away! The Spring Term is a short but a busy one and as usual we have lots of activities planned.
Scroll down to find a link to our Spring Curriculum newsletter - just in case it hasn't arrived home.
SATS Maths Booster sessions for Year 6 Thursdays 3.30 to 4.45 from 19th January
We are starting early this year on Thursday 19th January. Please try to come. In previous years, these sessions have really helped the children to do well in SATs. There is no need for the children to feel stressed about SATs. They are a challenge but we want the children to have a positive attitude and achieve the very best that they can.
If children are not able to make it, I will send the work to parents on request and will help with feedback.
Revision Books and Study Books for Maths and English will be on sale soon. We can sell you them at a discount so don't buy in the shops!
The CGP books are great for essential extra practice. The Answers are in the back so you can look together with your children.
I will be happy to help with any any questions that you might be unsure about.
PE is on Mondays and Swimming is on Wednesdays:
Please remember to bring your Swimming kit! Please support school by making the payment as soon as possible.
Safe, suitable footwear is needed as well as PE kits.
PE is a statutory part of the National Curriculum and it is important that your child is fully equipped. The PE kit is black or dark blue shorts, a white T shirt and black pumps. Jogging or tracksuit trousers are recommended when the weather gets colder.
We don't want forgetting PE Kit to be a reason for missing PE this year.
Please bring a spare pair of indoor shoes to avoid children having to sit in wet shoes and to keep mud out of the classroom!
Will be given out on Fridays to be handed in by the following Wednesday. Please try to support your child and ensure that it is handed in. The children will be given Maths worksheets mostly from Busy Ant Maths linked to work they are doing in class or a short reading comprehension or some grammar work. Please do help your children with these tasks.
Developing a positive Reading Culture:
Please encourage your child to read regularly. The children are asked to take home their reading book and their Home School Record Book every night. We have lots of books in our Reading Corner so please check that your child is changing his/her book regularly.
Please sign your child's Home School Record book every week. The children will receive a raffle ticket for each read for our popular Reading Raffle in Friday Big Red Book Celebration Assembly.
Author of the Month:
For January, it is Jim Smith, Author of the very funny, Barry Loser books.
For November and December we had Louise Pichon, the writer of the brilliant Tom Gates books. October's Author of the Month was Anthony Browne, who writes great picture books.
At the end of last term, the children voted to carry on with flagging up a recommended author every month to promote reading. For September there will be a display of books by Roald Dahl. On Roald Dahl Day, September 13th, we'll be watching a live-link up to Puffin Vitually Live to take part in some special activities to celebrate Roald Dahl's 100th Birthday.
Over the year, I'll be displaying books which have been made into films and trying to get the children "hooked on a series " by showing the children great books like the Alex Rider books, Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Percy Jackson, Spy Dog, Gladiator Boy, Jiggy McCue, Darren Shan and more!
We need to revisit learning our tables to be ready for Year 6 and Year 7!
Each child should choose a times table to practise each week. Please help your child learn the ones they find tricky. Not everybody finds tables easy, but please try hard. Remember to use facts you know: e.g. if you know 10 times, then you can halve that to find 5 times and count up or down. Use dot arrays to visualise a tables fact. For each times table focus on 7 lots, 8 lots, or 9 lots if these are the tricky ones for you!
If your child is confident then use facts she or he knows to learn trickier ones. For example: some children are learning the 60, 600, 6000, 0.6 or 0.06 tables facts.
For more information about the work we will be doing, see our new Spring Term Newsletter below.
Neptune Class are having a special World War 2 activity day to link with our Learning Challenge topic this term.
It would be great if the children could be dressed in the style of 1940s children.
Last time we did this topic, one of the children, whose Dad collects wartime memorabilia, came in a uniform. Hint, hint!
If parents have any WW2 uniforms, photographs or objects, it would be fantatic to see them. We promise that we would look after any objects you lend us.
Any photos of wartime Tadcaster would be great to see.
If any grandparents have memories from the war told by their parents or grandparents, it would be great if you could come in one afternoon this term to share them.
Scroll down to see older posts about last year's (2015 -16) Neptune class for a taste of some of the activities we did in school.
2016 SATS have come and gone. All of the staff are proud of our Year 6 children.
You have all worked hard on all of your tests and have done your very best. That's all we can ask of you. Thank you too for the Year 5s in Neptune Class who supported us by working hard alongside us. The results will arrive in July and be shared with you as soon as possible.
Jeremy Strong and Anthony Horowitz were the Authors of the Month for May and June. March and April's Author of the Month was Megan McDonald, Author of the Judy Moody and Stink books.
February's Author of the Month was Eva Ibbotson, author of our class book Journey to the River Sea, which links with our Rainforest topic. January's was James Patterson. Previous authors this year have been Michael Lawrence, writer of the Jiggy McCue books, Enid Blyton and Liz Pichon, the author of the fantastic Tom Gates books. They have flown off the shelves. September's author was Anthony Browne. Please share any ideas for future Authors of the Month.
Sumdog: The children's Sumdog logins are still valid so please remind them to practise their mental maths using this fantastic website.
Neptune class have been investigating light. We have learnt that light travels in straight lines and that opaque materials block light to create shadows. We carried out our investigations to determine the effect on the shadows of changing the distance of the object from the light source or the screen. We found that the nearer the light source to the opaque material the bigger the shadow. As we moved the object further from the screen, the shadow became larger but more blurred. This was because light was travelling from other angles creating new shadows and making the existing shadow less sharp and clear.
We also learnt that light enters the eye through the pupil and is focused onto the retina by the lens. The eye sees the image upside down at this point but a signal is transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve and the image is righted so we can see it correctly.
We learnt about concave and convex lenses and how they are used to correct long and short sightedness.
We also learnt about the light spectrum and actually made our own rainbows!
We know that light is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. We see light as white because when we see all the colours mixed up together they look white to us.
When light waves go through the water the light waves are bent and then they separate. This is called refraction. When this happens we see the bent and separated light waves as the different colours of a rainbow.
Rainbows appear when sunlight travels through water. We see rainbows when it is raining and the sun is shining at the same time.
Poetry Text Map based on It Ain't What You Do, It's What It Does to You by Simon Armitage
We imitated the text of the poem using a text map and actions to help us memorise the words and rhythms. Then we wrote our own versions using expanded noun phrases to add detail and interest.
The poem is about the big things in life that we haven't done and the small things that we have done with our friends and families that are special to us.
Look at the text map, the original poem and some examples of great writing below:
Many thanks to Mrs Hill for organising our Bake-Off on Thursday and demonstrating a wide range of techniques. In our most ambitious baking session yet, under Mrs Hill's expert guidance and with Mrs Churchman and Mrs Rooke's assistance, the children produced both savoury and sweet bakes: Iced, mint cup cakes, pizzas and rocky road. Thanks again to Mrs Hill, Mrs Churchman and Mrs Rooke for giving up their time and supporting us.
See some photos below.
Innovating the Text
This is the second stage of a Talk for Writing unit . The children use the structure and content of the text we have imitated as a model for a new text. Sometimes we include extra details, sometimes we focus on text features or in this case we change the details.
We looked at some photographs of different incidents and roleplayed asking and answering questions in role as Witnesses or Detectives. We used these as the basis for writing our innovated texts.
We aimed to use the following features in our writing:
Formal language, the past progressive and simple past tenses, cohesive conjunctions descriptive language to describe the people involved and relative pronouns.
Next week, we will invent our own Witness Statements based on the mysterious events which happened on Tuesday.
It is very challenging to use formal language in Witness Statements, but they enable us to practise some grammar and work with our Critical Friends devising questions and acting out interviewing witnesses. Using the language in speaking is a great rehearsal for writing.
We text mapped and imitated a fictional Witness Statement based on a real accident which took place around the corner from the school in November 2014.
The accident really happened but the Witness Statement is pure fiction!
SPAG Can be fun!
We're trying to hard to learn punctuation rules including when to use apostrophes. Lots of adults struggle too so we're trying to make it more fun so we can hopefully remember to use SPAG correctly.
Here's a great example of when not to use an apostrophe.
PLEASE SEND US A PHOTO OF ANY SIGNS YOU SEE WITH EXAMPLES OF BAD SPELLING OR PUNCTUATION.
SCIENCE INVESTIGATION: WHICH IS THE BEST SUBSTRATE FOR YEAST?
As part of our Living things topic in Science we planned a fair test to find out which is the best substrate for yeast.
In order to ensure we carried out a fair test we kept all the conditions the same and only changed the substrate. The children chose 3 possible substrates from sugar, salt, flour, crushed, digestive biscuit or milk powder.
Using clean, empty water bottles, we added warm water and equal amounts of substrate and yeast, placed a balloon over each and observed what happened. From our bread-making we knew that yeast becomes active when warm water and a substrate is added and produces carbon dioxide.
Some of us predicted that sugar would be the best substrate. We planned to measure how much the balloon would inflate. We reasoned that the better the substrate, the more active the yeast would be. The balloon that inflated most would be the one with the best substrate. We used string and a ruler to measure the inflated balloons.
Most groups -but not all - found that the sample with sugar produced the most gas, shown by a more inflated balloon.
We learned that we need to repeat tests many times to achieve reliable results. We needed to be careful when measuring quantities to ensure fair testing.
On the 1st December Critical Friends Groups worked together to begin an investigation over time. We wanted to find out which were the conditions needed for moulds to grow.
Moulds are fungi - one of the 5 Kingdoms we have learned about in our Living Things topic.
We had already discovered that moulds reproduce through spores that are all around us in the air.
Thinking about where we have seen moulds growing, in places like shower rooms or bathrooms, we predicted that moulds would grow best in warm, moist conditions.
We placed toasted bread, moist untoasted bread and fruits like orange segments in a warm place near the radiator or in a colder place and made observations over time. Naturally to avoid breathing in spores from mouldy foods, we placed our samples in foil containers and covered them in clingfilm.
Our prediction was proved correct. As you can see from the photo, mould did develop but only on the moist bread and the other moist materials such as the orange segments. No mould grew on the dry toast or on the samples left in cold conditions.
From the different colours and textures of moulds you can see on the photo, we also observed that there are different species of mould.
We learned about useful micro-organisms like yeast, which we know is a type of fungus.
We were lucky enough to see yeast in action in one of our science lessons when we made bread.
A big thank you to Mrs Hill who came in for the afternoon to guide us in the Bread-making process and to Mrs Churchman who helped too. I would like to say a big thank you to Mrs Hill for introducing us to bread heaven in the form of Chocolate bread which she made for us to try!
We are also designing an investigation to find out which is the best substrate for yeast and our bread-making provided a useful clue.
We learned that yeast is a living thing and when warm water and substrate are added, it becomes active. We observed bubbles which made the dough rise. The bubbles were as a result of the gas carbon dioxide produced during respiration.
Biodiversity in the Tadcaster East School Grounds
As part of our Living Things topic we spent 3 lessons investigating organisms and their habitats in our school grounds. Although it wasn't the best time of year, we still found an impressive variety of living things. We found species from 3 of the Five Kingdoms we have been learning about: Animals, Plants and Fungi. We also found a range of habitats including pond, tree, hedgerow, woodland, log pile, managed grassland (the field!) and even a leaf!
We used 25cm x 25cm quadrats to investigate plants growing at 2m intervals, we set humane traps to catch small animals and we used a net and large cardboard sheets to catch falling living things after we shook trees and hedges.
One of our best finds was a newt which was caught in one of our traps and then released unharmed after close observation. We also found beautiful examples of centipedes, millipedes, ladybirds, a caterpillar, snails, spiders, wood lice, a vivid green Katy Did, a Daddy Long Legs, a bee and lots of true worms. We found evidence of mole hills and observed crows who regularly visit the field. We found daisies, dandelions, a sprout plant, a small apple tree with a ripe apple and some wild mushrooms.
Enjoy the images above but please come and see our other photos in our books on Showcase Day on March 22nd.
In the Summer term we plan a similar survey to compare our finds.
The Language of Persuasion: Gaga Fashion Fortnight
In English we are learning about the language of persuasion. We've mapped an advert for clothes from the Gaga Fashion Range and highlighted the features of persuasive language. We've found that effective adverts include the following persuasive features:
Tempting descriptions of benefits.
We've done cloze activities, looked at word clines to find out which adjectives are most persuasive and done roleplays as estate agents selling some desirable and not so desirable properties. For Big Write we are writing persuasive adverts for dresses from the Gaga Fashion Range. Look out for a clip of Neptune class talking the text and for photos of our class at work.
Talk for Writing: Talking the Text
In Talk for Writing, we talk the text. First we imitate the text. This involves learning a short text by heart using the type of language and sentence structures that we want to learn or improve. We draw text maps and create actions to help us to "internalise" the text.
Click on the file below to see Neptune class in action.
How was the game of "pok a tok" played by the Mayans?
After researching the rules of the Mayan game of pok a tok, we played our own version. The Mayans played in larger teams but the object of the game was the same: to get the ball through the hoop without using hands or feet. Knees, elbows and heads were allowed. The children enjoyed the activity and unlike the Mayans we didn't sacrifice the members of the losing team!
On the whole I think we'll go back to benchball and basketball!
Autumn Learning Challenge: Who were the Mayans and what have we learnt from them?
A big thank you to Mrs Hill for her preparation and teaching us about Mayan foods and to Mrs Churchman for her help on the day.
Neptune class experienced baking foods that originated in Central America. In an action-packed afternoon, the children mixed and baked Mayan Chocolate Sparklers that were a celebration biscuit that the Mayans used to celebrate births and weddings. They have little cracks in them that look like a volcano erupting. Inspired by ingredients used by the Mayans we added a pinch of chilli powder to the cocoa and other ingredients.
The children also made tortillas and Mrs Hill modelled how to make Guacamole and Dog Snout Salsa, the world's most colourfully named salsa - xni pec in Mayan. Xni is Mayan for dog, pec for snout. Guacamole is an avocado based dip that was first created in Mexico, the South of which was part of Mesoamerica where the ancient Mayans lived.
The children followed the instructions carefully, showed lots of skills in teamwork and mixing the ingredients and above all really enjoyed the practical tasks.
We also learned about healthy eating. The colour and aroma of the salsa were divine! Mrs Hill introduced some ingredients that were new to some of the children like coriander, chillis and avocado and I was really impressed with how open everyboby was to trying new types of food.
The children so enjoyed their Mayan feast that they didn't complain once about missing afternoon playtime!
We hope you like the photos!
In Neptune class, the children sometimes work in groups of three with their Critical Friends.
Critical friends support each other in a group or pair discussion by sharing ideas, uplevelling each others writing and helping each other to be successful learners.
Being a Critical Friend sometimes involves working with someone who isn't a close friend which means that the children all experience building positive relationships with people who are often very different and have different interests. We think this is an important life skill. This worked really well last year and seems to be working well in our new class.
Text Mapping The Lion and Albert
In English we have been reading different types of poetry including raps and other performance poems which helped develop our skills in speaking and performing. A good performance, we have decided, includes the following features: expression, actions and movement, fast or slow pace, variation in volume, a good rhythm and sometimes even sound effects.
We have done some writing based on the Lion and Albert, learning about dialect, formal and informal language and noun verb agreement. We read a letter of complaint from Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom to Wallace asking for compensation for their distress. We replied in formal language and explained that Albert really wasn't quite the perfect child and probably deserved to be eaten. Also lions don't really have the money to pay compensation!
We have mapped part of the poem and learned it by heart. We are using the structure and style of the poem to write our own modern versions of Albert or Alberta and the ...
Please look at our text map below!