31.1.2021 - Goodbye and Welcome Mr Hare!
WOW! What an eventful 5 months of school/lockdown/remote learning we've had! And now, it is time to say goodbye from me and welcome to Mr Hare, who will be covering my maternity leave.
First of all, I want to say, I am so excited to see the children's future work and progress and all the amazing things Mr Hare will do with them; he had previously taught in Year 5 in a different school, so I know he will have a lot of fantastic ideas and lessons awaiting. The past week, we have worked alongside each other and had daily meetings to ensure continuity, progression and allowing Mr Hare to get to know the class. I have also filled Mr Hare in on the children's progress, shared data from Autumn with him and all the things that are in place to support each individual child's progress and wellbeing. We discussed at length how the inputs and work on Seesaw are structured and they way children access these; this does not mean that I have managed to include absolutely everything, so please keep the communications lines open on Seesaw/through emails and do not hesitate to contact Mr Hare.
The children were very welcoming and definitely not shy when asking Mr Hare questions during our daily Teams inputs - they have found out a lot and I do hope they shared all their new knowledge with you! We have had a lot of laugh already and I am sort of jealous I will miss out on all the fun the children will have with him (I am sure I will be busy with other things though!)
I would like to thank you, parents and carers for your continuous support, your kind words and all you do for your children in these unprecedented times. You have played a vital part in adjustments to any curve balls this pandemic has thrown at us, and is great knowing what a fantastic team all the children, parents, guardians, teachers, teaching assistants and everyone else in Year 5 make and that we are all a part of Cronton family!
For the future, I wish for all of you to stay safe, ability to find joy in the little moments of every single day and be assured, I will miss 'my' children, however, once my little baby girl is here, I might 'pop in' to one of the Teams inputs! I will also share some photos with you, I am sure of it!
For the last time as Year 5 class teacher, have a great rest of the weekend/beginning of the week and stay safe!
All the best,
LOCKDOWN BLOG - First 4 weeks!
Wow. Cannot believe it has been a month since our last blog - and a lot of things have happened since then!
I have to say - the speed at which the children got in grips with remote learning amazed everyone I think, and I can now say that I feel like I have caught up too - just in time for my maternity!
After a few technical problems, glitches and power cuts, we have managed to establish consistency in our Teams meetings as a class and I would not be lying saying we all look forward to those! Not only the children (and parents and teachers) get longer to stay in bed in the morning, but we also, like one of the pupils said, 'get to see our friends from school as well as spend time with our family at the same time'. I just love the positivity of the children - and how important it is to focus on the positives.
I have been impressed with the children's level of engagement on Seesaw; we have had many children who completed 100% of all the assignments on Seesaw and attended ALL of the Teams meetings either at home or in school. I know many families have had to share technology, parents had to support their children while carrying on with their jobs while looking after younger siblings, and the overall engagement with English, Maths and Reading tasks stayed very high each week.
I have to take a moment to highlight and praise the children. Not just for their work, but also for the readiness to learn, their humour, with which they tolerate my not-so-funny jokes, their resilience when the connection is not good and they can't hear/see me or the shared screen, their manners, with which they thank me for my recorded Seesaw explanations of common mistakes, and their willingness to share with me what they had for lunch each day (especially the desserts!). Not only all of this; they have taken real responsible attitude to their work and by recognising and highlighting in their work what they have struggled with, I have been able to respond each day individually and as a whole-class afternoon input feedback to ensure their understanding and mastering of new skills. (Not to mention the sense of humour with which they arranged chocolate bars and bonbons around their work before taking a photo to share with me on Seesaw!)
My thanks also goes to you, parents and carers; you have stayed in touch with me and kept communication lines open, you encouraged your children to ask me, their teacher, for help, and guided them towards independence and maturity. Thanks to your feedback, I have been able to respond swiftly to common queries, clarify some things and expectations and ensure that both you and your children felt, hopefully, as supported as possible while maintaining as much structure and normality in terms of learning for the pupils.
This week, I have had meetings every day with Mr Hare and he also joined every Team input and zoom into school; the children had an opportunity to get to know him a bit more and create a relationship with him, so that the transition is as smooth as possible. I know that they will have a lot of fun while keeping the high standard of their work and will continue to amaze him as they have been amazing me this year with their successes. Also, Mr Hare is as passionate about cheesecake and chocolate as I am, which I take as a very good indicator.
So, what have we been doing the past 4 weeks? Have a look below!
In Science, we have been investigating the Earth and Space and learning about our Solar System! I have been impressed with the children's ability to ask very inquiring questions and some of the scientific vocabulary used in their work wowed me!
In Art, the children have linked their learning from History and have set off on an exploratory journey in the lands of collage!
First, they had a quick introduction into the parts of Viking longships and they sketched theirs, thinking about the different materials to use to depict all of the features.
This week, the pupils both in school and at home tried to find different materials around their homes and school, to investigate what kind of patterns can be created through waxing, tracing and painting. I cannot wait to see their final collages in the next two weeks - the research they have done looks so promising!
During the past 4 weeks, we have looked at the Vikings and their raids on the British Isles, their way of life and why were they so feared!
We began by creating a timeline in the shape of a Viking longboat; I had a brilliant template prepared but due to lockdown, I had no way of distributing it to the pupils. In the end, turns out they did not even need it - look at that fabulous display of chronology!
Week ending 18.12.2020
Our last class blog in the mad year 2020! What a year it has been! Firstly, let's have a look at this week's learning and extra-curricular activities that have been taking place!
On Monday, we concluded our learning about the Geology of the Earth by Working Scientifically lesson. This is an important part of the children's primary education and allows us and the children to recognise if and how they can conduct experiments, if they know what to measure, whether they can improve their accuracy by repeating readings and how they record the data in their books; definitely great to see the children in year 5 applying all their learning of place value, statistics, units of measurement and conversion between those from Maths!
Finally, I want to say great thank you for this term to all the parents and guardians; your support, communication with you and trust that you put into me means a lot and the children would not have had such a successful term without you!
I hope you all have a great break, filled with peace, joy from little miracles and health and you and your families will start the year with a lot of energy, determination and positivity!
All the best,
Week ending 11.12.
I cannot believe we only have one week to go before Christmas!
First of all, I want to say how proud I am of the children; they have truly embraced this new way of teaching and found new independence - I am so pleased. This week, we have really got into the swing of how to do things so that they are the most effective and I am so grateful that I can still play this major part in your children's lives; taking them on their learning journeys and supporting and encouraging them while still finding opportunities to have a laugh! (I found bonus filters on zoom that allow me to suddenly grow a moustache:D).
On Monday, the children showed great comprehension skills and their ambitious nature when they conducted research on volcanoes. Look at some of the examples of their fantastic double-page spreads!
This week in Geography, we researched some of the Texas' cities and compared them to our life in the UK! Specifically, the children focus don El Paso - why don't you ask them about what have they found it has in common with Liverpool and what is completely different?
For independent write, I had a bit of a special task; to write the Christmas story from the point of view of the sheep that were sleeping in the fields while the angels told the shepherds the joyful news, as described in Luke's gospel. I am sort of excited for marking these, not only for the different take on the traditional nativity story but also because the children are now really getting good at using the success criteria well to improve their writing, uplevel their sentences and develop themselves as writers! Their work is a joy to read!
On Friday, we have had a lot of excitement; first, the raffle winners were announced, then, we had our Daily mile Santa Dash (and it is rumoured that Mrs Thomson was to be seen around the school with a hat and VERY fancy glasses and nose!) and finally, we got to spend the half the afternoon discussing how are the Christmas story and the beliefs reflected in the way we celebrate Christmas. The other half saw the children editing and finishing their vlog, using iMovie - it was great to see how helpful they were as some of them already had experience using the app and some did not!
There was also a lot of Star badge and Ninja readers certificates! Don't forget, the children can now also read on MyOn as their weekend treat (alongside their books, not instead it), and it is their homework this week - so get reading! (Find more information here or ask your children - I went through it with them).
We also found out who had won the competition for a design of a Road Safety reflective back pack - here he is, one happy elf!
Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Let it be a weekend full of anticipation and joy from little happy moments!
Week ending 4.12.2020
If I thought in July when we broke up for summer holidays that that was the most unusual academic year of my teaching done, this week has really shown me how wrong I was! Welcome to distant teaching and learning!
Throughout the week, we have had a lot of work and adjusting to do; I think the children realised that now is really time to take real ownership of their work (like I have been telling them since September) and show everyone that they are ready to be members of the Upper Key Stage 2 Club! As we get more and more used to this, I am sure we will smoothen out all the little things; I am already seeing children become more independent and make decisions on their own rather than relying on me all the time, while I can still support them and they are quite happy to come close to the camera and chat to me!
We kicked off the week by celebrating St Andrew's Day - look how fantastic our blue team looked!
On Monday, we had continued looking at the geography of our Earth and the anatomy of earthquakes; it is wonderful to see how the children are synthesising all their learning and knowledge and are able to build on top of what they already know! I could not call myself a Geography champion though without using this as an opportunity to research a case study of the earthquake in Italy in 2016 and discuss why the time of the year and day made difference!
On Wednesday, we discussed and merged our recovery lesson of biomes from Year 4 with our current topic: Texas and by looking at a range of maps, the children were able to say what makes Texas so unique and diverse! Using Google Earth, they were able to begin compiling their own research and I am so excited to see the final product!
This term, we are continuing PE with Miss Morris and the children were able to develop their High Fives skills further; it is so lovely to see from the photos how much enjoyment and team spirit is present in the lessons and I could not be prouder!
Finally, look at our amazing STAR badge winners that I could not have done without this week and I am sure the children would agree! Mrs Allison and Mrs Jackson have been absolutely fantastic in supporting the children in classroom, preparing resources and communicating with me about the progress and learning taking place in the class- so from me and the children: thank you!
Also, big congratulations to our Ninja readers and a STAR reader with the most words read this week! Despite Year 6 completely wiping us out when it comes to the total number, I am so proud to announce that every child in Year 5 is not on the ninja reading belts and progressing further. Keep it up - it really shows in reading and spelling tests and when we get to Year 6 SATs, the children will be grateful for all the book they will have read and the vocabulary they will have collected along the way!
Have a fabulous second advent Sunday and weekend and stay safe and warm!
Week ending 27.11.2020
What can I say. VERY emotional week as this was my last week teaching physically in the classroom! From Monday, I will have to teach via zoom, which we have tried and tested and the children have been fantastic. The camera at the top of our screen allows me to see and hear all the children while I can share my presentations on the Smartboard as I would usually do - how fantastic that we have all this technology available!
First of all on Monday, we have continued learning about the structure and layers of our planet; if you have never heard of Alfred Wegener, make sure you ask your children to explain which evidence he used to back up his theory of continental drift and Pangea!
When we were doing Geography on Wednesday, it was great that the children noticed the tectonic plates fault lines in the atlas!
If you would like to watch a video we shared in the class about Pangea, here it is on Youtube:
In Geography, we continued to explore the continent of North America and the region of Texas. The pupils compared the size of the UK and Texas and discussed what they already know - some noticed that Texas nearly borders Kansas, which is where Dorothy from Wizard of Oz was from! Don't you just love when the children make links between their previous knowledge in different subjects and what they are learning!
Also, as the photocopier refused to work for me, we decided to try our hand at drawing the map of Texas. I am not going to lie, I was a bit apprehensive, but the children really proved me wrong and their maps were fantastic! This also helped them with the next task, as they noticed some of the borders were in straight lines, whereas some followed the natural shape of rivers!
Friday was the Day D, when I knew I would be spending my last day physically in the school. I could not believe all the surprises the children prepared for me, beautiful cards, presents for me and the baby and Richard and generosity of you, parents, and the children alike in your gifts and wishes. It really does touch my heart and when I got home on Friday evening and was reading the cards again to Richard, I would be lying if I said that my eyes stayed dry!
I would like to thank all of you, parents and carers, for your support in this new arrangement, but also I would like to thank all the children - the way the understand how this is to keep me and the baby safe is touching and when we trialled the teaching via zoom, even Mrs Thomson, who came to observe, was extremely impressed with the children's work ethic and behaviour and she shared that with me afterwards.
I feel very confident about the system we have in place, and I can promise you, I will do everything in my power to continue enabling your children to access their full learning potential and support them on their learning journeys alongside the fantastic Mrs Allison and Mrs Jackson. I think it will be a learning curve for everyone, but then again, where else to learn than in school!
As usual, if you have any concerns, questions or messages, please, do not hesitate to contact the school, and we will make sure that we will get back to you!
Happy first advent Sunday,
Week ending 20.11.2020
Finally! The week of the world premiere of our class worship on humility!
First of all, I have to say how proud I am of them - the dedication and good sense of humour they have shown were great; it was so lovely to see them get excited about our little project in the midst of all the learning (and hand washing) and I think it has definitely brought us all together as a team!
Also, big thank you to all of you who helped the children research quotes, write and rehearse their rap and provide costumes and jackets - we all really appreciated and the children were so excited to tell me what you all thought! Thank you for the lovely comments on Twitter and emails, too - I have shared them with the children and they were very excited by all of them! Plus, Mrs Thomson liked it so much, that she awarded the children with an extra play time! Whoop whoop!
In addition, it was really nice to see that there was a positive side to having a worship during lockdown - we were able to make a video which reached friends and families far away, as some of you shared with us, and that is something I have not even thought of - so thank you for highlighting that and finding the positives!
If you have still not seen it, go to our Announcements page and watch it on there!
This week was special for another reason - we celebrated Antibullying Week and we had a lot of great discussions, which tie in with out computing topic about being a youtuber and its possible negative sides and our PSHE topic 'Celebrating Differences'.
This week in English, we have continued looking at myths and legends and the children worked collaboratively to write, rehearse and then orally share their legend with the rest of the class! The audience then asked additional questions, which really helped to address some possible gaps in the story (how could the hero live under a volcano without getting burnt? Where did the magical stone come from? How could a dragon fit in a small castle? Are there even castles in Brazil?). Then, the children started to write their own legends, focusing on adding cohesion and some beautiful vocabulary to illustrate their story and enhance the imagery.
Finally, on Friday, we had our Christmas jumper day - which I obviously forgot to take pictures of! Oh well!
I am so so proud of all the children and their hard work; it is so nice to see how much they have matured even since September and rose to the challenge of Upper Key Stage 2!
As a little treat, this week's homework is to have a great weekend. If your children want to share evidence of that on Seesaw, I am sure it will bring a smile to my face!
Week ending 13.11.2020
Despite the unlucky Friday the 13th, we managed to complete learning-packed week successfully and without any major injuries and catastrophes!
On Monday, we kicked off our Science topic Geology of the Earth in big style - the children wrote down questions for our Cronton Curious Crow. Using the modelling mode of scientific enquiry, they created models of the layers of the Earth (out of playdough).Mrs Green visited our lesson too and was so impressed with the children's use of scientific vocabulary and the correct terminology when creating their models; they discussed how much of the playdough to use in order to represent the thickness of each layer as accurately as possible, what is each of those layers made out of.
Have a look for yourself!
Wednesday saw us researching the landscape of North America, using a range of maps and a fantastic website to discuss man-made and natural landmarks! The children are so confident using the atlases and I am seeing more and more geographical vocabulary being used when they discuss the maps in partners!
In PSHE, we have started looking at Celebrating Our Differences and the children enjoyed it as much as I did - it was interesting to create their own Culture wheels and then compare those with their partners; this allowed them to acknowledge that we are all different. Next, we looked at potential conflicts created by these differences and how to avoid those and instead open up a dialogue; once again, the children made me feel moved by their answers and empathy with which they approached this task. It is so important to allow for them to have a safe space to talk about things and ask questions!
On Friday, we compared Bible quotes with quotes from Hindu holy texts and with it being Diwali this Saturday, we looked at the story of Ramayana and one of the pupils shared their knowledge of all the different traditions and meanings linked to Diwali - the children could not stop asking questions and were so amazed by the celebrations and story.
Congratulations to this week's Star Badge winners and our ninja readers - you make me proud plus we have won the Accelerated Reading Cup this week and beat Year 6! Let's keep it up!
Throughout this week, we have been recording our class worship on the Christian value we live this half term: Humility. I would like to say thank you to the parents for reminding their children to wear the correct outfit on their day, help with props and even assisting when composing rap!
I will be spending my weekend editing the video and it will be released next week! So watch this space!
Have a relaxing weekend and good start of the new week,
Week ending 6.11.2020
It is like we have never been back, right?!
The children have welcomed the new half term with enthusiasm and maturity. This half term is super-important for our class (if you want to find out why, keep reading!)
On Monday, we have updated our class display on Christian value that we live this term: Humility. It got inspired by a Chinese proverb and make sure you check out class blog next week to see the picture (I forgot to take it today!).
This week, we have started looking at myths and legends and I have to say, I was impressed with some of the children's knowledge of legends. Disney does help, however, I did have to make it clear to the pupils that Robin Hood definitely was NOT a fox! It was brilliant to see the children revisit their learning from Year 4 about Ancient Greece and linking some of the characters and myths learned then to their learning in English. Specifically, we have identified some of the themes, objects of power, heroes and villains and this has allowed us to differentiate between legends and myths. Ask your children to tell you more about it!
To help us write our own legend, we have began looking at a modern twist on Greek myths and legends; in our Whole Class Shared reading, we are now reading Who Let the Gods Out book, which is absolutely hilarious and full of effective vocabulary! (do you think Cyclops should be entitled to half-price care? Is the nickname 'Goldilocks' suitable for the zodiac sign of Leo?) Children who have been self-isolating or working from home have also been able to access this and keep up with the book through Seesaw, which is fabulous because when they come back to school, they can just 'jump' straight in and know what is happening in the book!
This half term, I could not contain my excitement - we are finally moving onto Geography! Through our recovery lesson on Biomes and climate zones, we started discussing how the Earth is sort of split into 'strips' with similar plants, animals and climate, which led us nicely into our topic Mapping the World: Longitude and Latitude. The children used atlases to search by coordinates and we have also discussed who has ever visited Southern and Northern Hemisphere and where is Tanzania, which I visited in February, in relations to the Equator.
We will also be studying a region of North America, Texas, later on this half term - how nicely this tied in with the elections in the USA!
Finally, this week, we have started preparations for something big... important...amazing!
OUR CLASS WORSHIP!
It will be something different, fabulous and funny! We have already started rehearsing and can I just say, the enthusiasm with which the children embraced my ideas and added their own is fantastic - what a great little project to have and focus on! Here is a sneak peek:
Have a brilliant weekend and I will see you next week!
Week ending 22.10.2020 - Half term!
Wow! What an amazing, busy half term we have had! I cannot believe how fast it has flown and here we are, ready for the long-awaited break.
I don't know how about you, but I know the children and I have found this half term extremely tiring and full-on. It might be the extra alertness, being mindful of the new rules we have to follow to keep everyone as safe as possible or just the 'back-to-work' feeling after nearly 6 months away from school, either way, we have given it our best and I could not be happier as a teacher with their progress, independence and resilience they have shown.
This week, the children were finally able to take their canopic jars home and having talked to all the parents on our parents evening phone calls, I know they were very impressed with the results!
Tuesday saw us talking about Black History Month and celebrating our differences; we discussed why it is still very important to talk about equality and different ways to battle racism and we studied the life of Nelson Mandela. It was interesting to see the children realise that not everything is as straightforward as it is in films or fairy tales, and they were able have sensible discussions about if means such as violence are ok to be used to achieve an honourable aim. Below, see some examples of fabulous double page spreads!