Puffin's News Archive

January Newsletter

Puffins have been transported back to ancient Greece this half term. We have been exploring the physical features of Greece using our map reading skills and exploring the two largest city states of ancient Greece, Athens and Sparta. We identified the similarities and differences between them and learnt about the importance of democracy. Recently we thoroughly enjoyed learning about ancient Greek warfare, particularly the story of the Trojan horse. Puffins then wrote detailed newspaper reports on the event using new topic vocabulary and a range of historical facts. As part of our art, we have been exploring Greek pottery and designing our own ready to sculpt one out of clay in the next week. Thank you as always for your support with homework, we look forward to our ancient Greek museum where the children will be sharing their amazing projects and performing their ancient Greek myth which has been our model text. Be prepared for some fantastic actions and dramatic scenes!

After half term we will be going back further in time to the prehistoric world where we will be looking at the stone age to the iron age and exploring the lives of dinosaurs. In our writing, we will be learning how to write a balanced argument – should scientists bring prehistoric animals back to life? I have a feeling this will prompt some interesting discussions.

Friday 24th January

Puffins have been working hard this week at learning their 'Talk for Writing' text. Thank you for your support with helping your child practise their Greek myth, it has been great to see the children so enthusiastic about their performance. To link with this we have been looking at the importance of punctuation in a text and how this effects how we read. Puffins had an example of a Greek myth but a range of punctuation was missing, the children had to correctly identify the missing punctuation to ensure the text could be read correctly - this was a tricky challenge!

It has been very challenging in maths this week as we have been learning long multiplication. The children have been learning to use the grid method using place value counters to help them understand the method.

In our topic we have been exploring the differences between Sparta and Athens in ancient Greece and learnt about democracy. We have also been continuing to look at ancient Greek pottery, exploring patterns, designs and colours. Puffins have been busy designing their own pot ready to make one out of clay in the coming weeks.

We will be having our ancient Greek museum to display the children’s homework projects and topic work on Monday 3rd February at 2.15 – 2.45pm in the hall - we would love for you to come and visit. The children will also be performing their Talk for Writing text at 2.30pm during the museum. They have been working hard to learn their ancient Greek myth off by heart and have created their own actions to retell the story.

As part of our studies, we are also having an ancient Greek day which will be on Wednesday 12th February. To enhance the authenticity, we would like your child to wear an ancient Greek style costume on the day. Examples of clothing can be found in various books or on the internet. We want the children to be fully transported back to ancient Greek!

Friday 17th January

What a busy week we have had! Puffins have been exploring the ancient Greeks

by learning when in history they lived and identifying some of the key events in

Greek history. We have also been exploring ancient Greek pottery in art, looking

at patterns, colour and shape. The children have been gathering ideas

for their own design.

In English we have been exploring how to use our new vocabulary linked to our

Greek myths and have begun to learn our model text. A copy of this has been

sent home for the children to practise. They have already begun to put actions to

their performance and we will be aiming to perform it to you all at our 'Ancient

Greece Museum' on the 3rd February.

In maths we have been learning methods for written multiplication. The children

have been using place value manipulatives to solve a variety of problems for

multiplying 3 & 4 digits by 1 and 2 digits by 2 digits. This has been quite

challenging as we have been learning two different methods!

Friday 10th January

Welcome back everyone! I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and New

Year. We have had a great first week back introducing our new topic 'The Ancient

Greeks' and learning the meanings of some new vocabulary linked to our

learning. To start our topic we were developing our geography skills by exploring

the physical features of Greece. The children used a range of different maps to

locate rivers, mountain ranges, cities, islands and the surrounding seas.

In maths we have been looking at written methods for multiplication. The

children have been learning the grid method and are understanding the

importance of knowing their times tables really well! Please keep practising these

at home and take advantage of the resources on my 'useful websites' page.

We had a great swimming session this week. As I haven't been able to attend for

a number of weeks, I'm blown away by their progress - well done Puffins! We

have some fantastic swimmers in our class.

Just keeping you all up to date, I will be teaching the class from Monday to

Thursday and Mrs Samuels will be teaching them on Fridays. I have spoken at

length with Mrs Samuels about expectations and the importance of

consistency. We welcome her to our school for this half term.

Friday 20th December

I can't believe how quickly this term has gone! The children have worked

incredibly hard and deserve a good rest. It has been a busy week for

Puffins as they have still been learning and gaining new knowledge on

mountains. This week we looked at food chains and food webs, the

children explored animals that live around the Himalayas and created

food chains showing the transfer of energy and which were producers,

primary and secondary consumers. The children also identified which

animals were herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. In English we

assessed the children's understanding of the new vocabulary we have

learnt this term - I was so impressed with what they have remembered

and how they have used them in thier writing.

After Christmas our topic will be the ancient Greeks, look out for dates

for our museum and dress up day which will take place next half term.

Swimming will continue next half term until the end of January and PE

will be on Tuesdays.

I hope you all have a really lovely Christmas and a happy New Year and I

will see you all again on the 7th January.

Friday 13th December

This week Puffins having been working extremely hard. After spending

the last couple of weeks learning lots of skills and features to use whilst

writing a diary entry, they have applied these to their own piece of

Literacy. They have written the piece in small chunks throughout the

week and I have been impressed with the way each of them have

carefully planned their paragraphs. They have used their own research

and resources in the classroom to make it the best it can be. They then

carefully polished their work with a purple pen to give it an extra

sparkle. In maths we have been exploring perimeter and rectilinear

shapes, it has been great to see the children applying their critical

thinking skills to the tricky maths challenges. Mrs Fisher will be back

next week and we are very excited for her to come back, I want to thank

Puffins for making me feel so welcome and being so helpful in the last

couple of weeks.

Friday 6th December

I have been lucky enough to spend the week with Puffins, whilst Mrs Fisher is off school. I already knew the class very well, as I have been teaching them for a small part of the week since September, but they have still been very welcoming and helpful. They have all worked incredibly hard and showed excellent attitudes to their learning. We have been spending the afternoons looking more closely at our model text of a diary entry. As well as acting the text out in small groups, we have been focusing on the rich vocabulary and fronted adverbials included within it. Puffins have started to create their own story map and explored using a range of our other topic vocabulary, which could be included. We have also spent lots of time experimenting with different types of parenthesis, with the idea in mind we will include this skill in our writing next week. There has also been some assessments carried out for the end of term, however we have still managed to fit in some mastery maths on cubed and prime numbers. Although we are missing Mrs Fisher, I am enjoying my time with Puffins and look forward to another week with them.

Friday 29th November

Well Puffins have worked incredibly hard this week and we started it off with our fantastic 'Marvellous Mountains' museum which, as always, was a huge success. Thank you for all your support with the homework projects, we really wouldn't have a museum if it wasn't for all the hard work the children put in at home.

In topic we have been doing science, computing and art. We started in science by comparing and classifying animals that live on Mount Everest and Ben Nevis. They used Carroll and Venn diagrams to organise them. In computing, the children learnt how to use spreadsheets to create graphs on mountain data. The children had to choose the most appropriate graph that would show the information the clearest and answer questions, analysing the graph in detail.

As part of our art we have begun to explore the artwork of Russian artist Nicholas Roerich, we focused on exploring his use of colour, shading and tone.

Over the next few weeks I will sadly not be in school due to medical reasons. Mrs Saunders will be taking the class for the next 2 weeks and I will be returning on Wednesday 18th December.

Friday 22nd November

As always, it has been a busy week in Puffins. The children had their first swimming lesson this week and they really enjoyed it. I have to say we have some amazing swimmers and those children who are in the beginning stages of learning to swim, were really determined and made amazing progress in their first lesson! Well done.

In English we have been writing our biography on Edmund Hillary. All the research, text mapping and presentations have paid off as the quality of writing was excellent. Our next 'Talk for Writing' text will be a diary entry of a mountaineer. On Monday I will send the text home that we will be learning with some information on how to support your child.

In topic we focused on science this week, we learnt about the type of animals that can be found in the Himalayas and researched the fetaures that make them good at living in this dangerous place.

Don't forget our 'Marvellous Mountains' museum will take place in the hall on Monday 25th November at 2.15pm - I look forward to seeing all your projects.

Friday 8th November

There have been so many activities happening in Puffins. Well done to those children who took part in athletics and the performance of Wind in the Willows at Penryn this week, you did yourselves and the school proud.

In class, we have been learning about different mountain environments researching a variety of information such as how they got their names, how many people have climbed them and the type of mountains they are. As part of our art over the next few weeks we are exploring the artist Albert Bierstadt who painted detailed mountain landscapes. The children have started to have a go at painting a detailed mountain landscape of their own which are inspired by Albert Bierstadt's work.

In English, we have adopted a 'Talk for Writing' approach to how we teach writing. To ensure the children have a good knowledge of Edmund Hillary, the children have been researching and preparing presentations on him ready to perform next week. The idea is that children have gathered enough information to talk about their writing before having a go at writing independently. I look forward to seeing their presentations next week!

Just a reminder that swimming will be starting Thursday 21st November. A letter will be sent out this week giving specific details so please check your child's bookbag.

Friday 1st November

Welcome back! I hope you have all had a lovely half term. We've got straight on to our 'Marvellous Mountains' topic with learning about how mountains are formed and where famous mountain ranges can be found. The children used an atlas to find which continent and countries these mountain ranges can be found in.

In English we have been focusing on vocabulary this week. We have been exploring a range of new words, finding meanings and using them in closed tasks about Edmund Hillary.

Over the next few weeks in maths, we will be focusing on addition and subtraction. We started off the week by adding and subtracting 1, 10, 100 and 1000. The children also worked on developing their knowledge of written addition, creating a step by step poster giving detailed instructions on the method. They then moved on to develop their reasoning skills and applying this method to a variety of problems.

Friday 18th October

Wow! Where has the time gone? I can't believe we've come to the end of our first half term and we've finished it on a high. The highlight of the week was clearly our trip to Cornwall's Regimental Museum, we got to handle World War II artefacts, explore rationing, have a tour of the museum and took part in some military team building activities.

In Maths this week, the children completed a food rationing task that involved multiple steps, estimating answers and using their knowledge of addition and multiplication. The children had various tasks deciding how much food a family of four would need for a week using only the amounts rationed during the war.

Well done to all Puffins for performing our Harvest poem brilliantly, you all spoke clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear!

A reminder that after half term the children will be going swimming from Thursday 21st November - please look out for a letter giving specific details nearer the time.

Our next topic is 'Marvellous Mountains', take a look at our useful websites page for some interesting information on our topic.

I hope you all have a super half term!

Friday 11th October

What a fanatstic week we have had in Puffins. We started off the week with our World War II museum. The children's projects were excellent and their level of knowledge and understanding was exceptional. They really enjoyed sharing their hard work with the rest of the school and their level of enthusiasm on the topic really shone through - well done Puffins!

Our World War II day was a huge success and they all really enjoyed it. We started the day off by exploring what it would be like spending rationing coupons and how to prioritise when deciding what to buy. I'm sure the highlight of the day for most of the children was building a bomb shelter. We used the outdoor learning resources to challenge the children to make an air raid shelter that could fit all their group. This was quite a challenge but with some excellent communication skills and teamwork they all did an excellent job - take a look at the photos below! We also learnt about the importance of Morse Code and had a go at decoding messages and sending them using a Morse Code translator.

Just a reminder that we will be going to the Cornwall Regimental Museum on Tuesday 15th October, please ensure you have signed and returned the permission slip ASAP.

Friday 4th October

Puffins have had to deal with a lot of changes this week as I have been out of class completing a number of tasks related to my other responsibilities in school. I have to say the children have dealt with this brilliantly and I promise that next week will be more settled.

The changes haven’t stopped them from producing some amazing writing this week. Firstly the children wrote an excellent informal letter as an evacuee. They discussed their thoughts and feelings and took into account their history knowledge ensuring they included the positives and negatives of evacuation. They then produced a super diary entry from the view of the character William from ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’. The children used evidence from the text to support their views on how they thought William would have felt meeting Tom for the first time.

In Maths, we have been focusing on negative numbers. The children have been counting forwards and back through zero and have solved a number of problems in context. It has been great to see their times table knowledge improve week after week too, keep it up!

Just a reminder that our World War II museum is on Monday 7th October and our World War II day is on Thursday 10th October.

Parents evenings are on Monday and Tuesday next week, please book an appointment in reception.

Many thanks for your support,

Mrs Fisher

Friday 27th September

It has been a very musical week in Puffins. We have been learning about the importance of music during World War II and how it helped people cope during this difficult period. The children learnt the song 'The White Cliffs of Dover' showing some excellent singing skills. We then turned our musical abilities to composition. The children have started to create a piece of music reflecting the sounds heard during the Blitz, the children will be using simple notation to record their compositions.

We have done some amazing writing in Puffins this week. Using our word banks and topic vocabulary, the children have had the opportunity to compare settings from the story 'Goodnight Mr Tom'. The children have learnt to use a variety of figurative language to create detailed descriptions. I have been impressed by their use of personification, metaphors, simile, alliteration and onomatopoeia to create images in the readers mind.

I have noticed that many children are not receiving their homework sticker due to no reading at home. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading regularly out of school as this has a huge impact on how your child accesses the curriculum. A reminder that the level of book your child brings home is appropriate to the reading age they came out at during their reading assessment at the beginning of the year. We will assess them again at the end of this half term. It is not just about how well your child is reading aloud but the focus is very much on their level of understanding of the text. Please make use of the parent reading guides that were sent home at the beginning of the year. They are also available on our webpage. If you have any further questions about this then please ask.

To keep you updated, PE will be on Wednesdays and Thursdays but please ensure your child’s PE kit is in school at all times. Homework went out on Tuesday this week, it needs to be completed and returned to school for Monday. We will also be having a World War II day on Friday 11th October. Please can your child come to school dressed in a World War II costume on this day – I will send a reminder out nearer the time.

Friday 20th September

Well what a busy week it's been, we have been doing some amazing writing in history this week about the Blitz. After watching a video clip of the effects of the Blitz the children wrote detailed descriptions of the sounds, smells, what they could see and how they would have felt. We have been focusing on expanding vocabulary, finding alternative words to make their writing more interesting paying more attention to the reader.

In maths we have been learning to count in multiples and powers completing a variety of questions using different representations to challenge their thinking. Puffins have also had their first French lesson with Mrs Saunders this week, learning to talk about what they want to do when they grow up. The children have also been continuing to learn how to be responsible and respectful online, learning about what it means to be a good digital citizen.

Friday 13th September

Welcome back everyone, I hope you have all had a lovely summer. It’s great to be back in school again and working with your lovely children – I have missed it so much! We have already got underway with one of my favourite topics ‘Woeful World War II’. This week we have been exploring when, where and how World War II started and locating the Allies and Axis powers on a world map. In English we have started our study of the fantastic book ‘Goodnight Mr Tom’ where we have been inferring meaning on the two main characters in the story and writing detailed descriptions based on what we have been reading. The children also had the opportunity to work with their peers on editing and improving their writing using a checklist.

In Maths this half term we will be heavily focusing on place value and number. We have started off by exploring digit value, finding more or less than a given number and Roman numerals. As always we take the mastery approach to teaching maths, moving from fluency to reasoning and even greater depth problems. The children also completed an arithmetic test and times table challenge to help with developing their mental maths skills. Please ensure you are practising times tables and division facts regularly at home as the children are expected to know them at speed up to 12x12 by the end of year 4. For resources to support you with this, please see our class webpage.

On Monday afternoons and Wednesdays this half term, Puffins will be taught by the wonderful Mrs Saunders while I continue to recover from treatment – consistency is key to your child’s learning so I can assure you that routines and systems will remain the same. The children have already enjoyed their first session of dance with Mrs Saunders, learning the ‘Jitter Bug’ routine that was incredibly popular during World War II.