Tonga Class - Autumn Term 1 2023
This half term we have been learning about the Stone Age in history. We have learned all about hunter-gatherers and what threats and assets they may have encountered. We really enjoyed our trip to Stonehenge and had a go at pulling one the stones ourselves! We were very proud of how well Tonga class showed our school values throughout the day and would like to thank our two helpers Mrs Begley and Mr Anghel for coming along with us on the day.
In maths, we have been exploring place value using Base 10, counters and Place Value Charts. We have used this understanding to help us place numbers on number lines up to 1000 and to add 1, 10 and 100 to a given number.
In English we have read the book ‘Traction Man’ by Mini Grey and have explored using verbs to suitably fit the main character’s actions. The children have also written questions to Traction Man and have made their own predictions about what might happen next.
Our science topic this term has been LIGHT and how we see. We have loved exploring torches, hi-vis jackets with fluorescent and retroreflective materials and making shadows. We were amazed to learn how we see things upside down and it is our brain that turns images the right way up! We gasped in wonder as we used mirrors to OBSERVE our own pupils getting bigger and smaller, depending on the level of light. To help us remember facts about light, we even made up our very own song… if you would like to hear it, just ask!
What a busy time we have all had in Tonga class this term.
With the exciting move to our new school, the children have all displayed our Milford values of aspiration, collaboration and resilience. We have been really impressed with how well they have adapted to the new site and settled into their new learning environment. We are extremely fortunate to have such a bright and open space to spend our days working together.
This term we have been immersed in some wonderful topics:
In science, we have been learning all about Forces and Magnets. We explored which surfaces had the most friction and which materials were magnetic. We then moved on to exploring Rocks and Soils. Learning about igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; how fossils are formed along with testing the durability and permeability of different rocks has been great fun.
The children and adults in Tonga class thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Paignton Zoo! We learned so much about the different animals that were there and had a special talk with a zoologist about animals and their habitats. We were so lucky to have seen so many different animals up close. Look at how close we were to the giraffes!
As teachers, we are so proud of the children in Tonga class; they were real Milford ambassadors and truly represented our school values throughout the day. A huge thank you goes to Mrs. Whittington for giving up her time and coming along with us all.
Last week was Science week. We spent two whole days completing Science based activities; a lot of fun was had. One of our experiments was to find out which biscuit was the best ‘dunker’. The humble Rich Tea was our surprising winner! We were shocked to see just how long it took for the biscuit to start to break apart.
We also investigated fingerprints. We had to solve a real-life crime! A biscuit had been stolen from our classroom and eaten. The culprit had left their fingerprints on the whiteboard and biscuit crumbs all over the carpet! It had to have been Mrs. Lovatt or Mrs. Lewis. We looked closely at their fingerprints and found that the biscuit thief was in fact…Mrs. Lovatt! It was really good to see the children applying their scientific knowledge to a real-life problem.
Maths has been really fun this term. We have become quite the experts when it comes to fractions. We have been looking at what numerators and denominators are and how they help us to calculate fractions of amounts. We have counted in fractions, looked at equivalent fractions and have even looked at fractions as decimals!
In English we watched a trailer for the film ‘Brave’ and have written character descriptions of the main character Merida. In contrast, we then created our own evil character, who we wrote about using a collection of adverbs and adjectives to describe their personality and appearance.
We have also learned about the features of a play script and have studied scenes from ‘The Story of Baucis, Philemon, Zeus and Hermes’. We built up to writing our own playscripts which the children rehearsed collaboratively in groups and then performed to the class. We had some very dramatic actors and actresses, which was great fun for us all to watch on video afterwards.
In history we have been looking at the impact of the Roman invasion on Britain in 43AD. We have learned about Queen Boudicca and her reasons for leading an uprising against the Romans, but have also begun to understand some of the positive impacts the Romans had on Britain. We used our theatrical skills once again to perform a Roman play script about Boudicca’s reaction to hearing that her land and property would be seized by the Romans.
This half term we have been learning about the Stone Age. In English we have read the book ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura and created our own narrative pieces based on this story.
In history, we have become archaeologists and explored sources of evidence to help us deduce certain information about the way Stone Age people lived. We have learned about the transition to the Bronze Age and have even explored the Amesbury Archer’s virtual grave!
PE has been really inspiring this half term. Our cricket coach has taught us a variety of skills including how to correctly hold a cricket bat and how to bowl. We braved the elements and great fun in the process!
In maths, we have continued to build on our knowledge and understanding of addition and subtraction using the formal column method. We are looking forward to exploring multiplication and division when we return after the Christmas break.
Tonga Class Update November 2022
After a well-deserved half-term break, it has been lovely to see that the children in Tonga class are happy and excited to begin our Stone Age topic. This half-term, we will be learning all about life in the Stone Ages and comparing how they lived back then to how we live now. We will be finding out about their houses, their clothing, what they ate and how they lived. In Art, there will be opportunities for the children to produce their very own cave paintings and they will use their colour-mixing skills to create Stone Henge silhouette artwork.
As a class, we have been reading a book, based on the Stone Ages, called ‘The Wild Way Home’ by Sophie Kirtley. It is a story about a boy called Charlie whose baby brother is born with a serious heart condition. Upset and afraid, Charlie flees the hospital and makes for the ancient forest on the edge of town. There Charlie finds a boy floating face-down in the stream, injured, but alive. When Charlie sets off to fetch help, it seems the forest has changed. It's become a place as strange and wild as the boy dressed in deerskins. Charlie has unwittingly fled into the Stone Age. How will he get home? Tonga class are gripped already!
In English, we have written instructions on ‘How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth’. We had to learn how to structure our writing to add all of the features we needed including the important imperative verbs. Thankfully, the children remembered to add the essential rubber duck to the bath with the woolly mammoth!
We will then be writing diary entries as if we were a child living in the Stone Ages. We will use all of our knowledge from our history lessons to help make these diary entries as realistic and factual as possible. Before we break up for the Christmas holiday, Tonga class will be writing their very own Stone Age story. We will be using the book ‘The Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura to inspire our writing.
In Maths, we are going to be continuing with our addition and subtraction unit. We will be introducing the column methods for both addition and subtraction and the children will be using exchanging, supported using concrete and visual resources. After a few weeks, we will be moving on to multiplication and division. Here the children will learn all about arrays, sharing and equal groups with the focus being on the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
So far this half-term, the children in Tonga class have really enjoyed a new approach to their maths problem-solving and reasoning. The ‘Goal-Free Problem Solving’ lessons that we have completed have been really successful. In these sessions, the children are given some data/information to look at in small groups. They have to come up with different questions that they could ask about the information they have been given. This discussion encourages the children to think about the types of questions that they come across in their maths curriculum each day. It also instils confidence for when they approach their problem-solving and reasoning (PSR) questions in their independent work.
We are looking forward to another fun-filled half-term together!
In Tonga class this half term we have been exploring 'Place Value' in maths using a variety of resources to find different ways of representing numbers. We are now using our understanding of place value to add and subtract with a variety of methods. We have read the story of Fantastic Mr Fox and have been exploring the use of prepositions, verbs and adjectives, writing character descriptions and we are now enjoying completing our own stories. We really enjoyed the PSHE day where we learned about: the importance of sleep, friendship resolutions, some mindfulness strategies and took part in a Life Education workshop.