An Aveley Primary Blog

This half term, as well as our local area, we have been looking at the transport that takes use around our local area and beyond.

We have spent some time comparing transport:

What form of transport would you use to go to Lakeside? Or to London? Or how about Africa?

How are these different?

We also discovered that in the past they didn’t always have the many types of transport that we have today. In fact, one of the first forms of transport was called a ‘Sedan Chair’, which involved two people carrying a chair for someone else to sit on! Wow, how things have changed!

Having explored all of these types of transport, we had a go at creating our own…

We used recycled materials to build the different parts of our vehicles and then added axel and wheels, so that our vehicles actually move!

Have a look at our different vehicles with their whizzing wheels! Can you guess what they are?

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31 postmen? That’s not something you see every day right?!

Confused?.. Don’t worry, we’ll explain all about it!

With the sun coming out, and our topic being focused on our local environment, we had the PERFECT opportunity to take our learning outside of the classroom, and head up the road to the High Street..

Not only did we head off to explore and observe our local area, but we had a very important mission. Having spent some time discussing where we live,  we now know lots more about our personal addresses.

Rather than type them into a ‘Sat Nav’ and visit everyone’s houses, we thought about why else we need addresses… for the postman! So we decided to write ourselves  some special letters that we could post to arrive at our houses in a few days time.

Take a look at us carefully writing our addresses onto our envelopes:


.. and once they were stuffed full of our fantastic writing, with a stamp, ready to post:


  

And off we went…




Once we had observed lots of different things on the High Street (including the bakery making Miss Stephenson extremely hungry!), we posted our all-important letters:

  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

  
  
  
  

Now it’s just time to wait for them to come flying through our letter boxes!

Ahoy there!!

This week we have been investigating map work. This hasn’t been to join Captain Hook and sail the seven seas, but instead to learn some exciting new computing skills. We have become technology pirates!!

Step 1: Instructions (and direction)

In order to make sure we can make the most of maps to locate different things (like treasure!) we have to know how to move around them – and importantly how to direct people towards the right place clearly.

In order to develop our understanding of instructions, we worked in pairs to guide each other around the room, using instructional language. In order to do so we had to be quite bossy (!) and use our bossy (Imperitive) verbs, such as ‘go’ and ‘move’.

In order to make sure that our partners ended up in the right place and didn’t bump into anything on the way, we had to make sure our instructions were really clear. We did this by adding how many steps they needed to go at a time, and in what direction!

Once we’d thought about all of these different features of instructions, we recorded them in special short hand (F1 = Forward 1 step / TR = Turn Right).

Take a look at us at work using our understanding of position and direction to create instructions:

  

Step 2: X Marks the Spot

Having spent some time looking at instructions (and using these to programme beebots!) we have created our very own maps of treasure islands.

In order to do this, we had to think about key map features. Making our maps really clear has been especially important so that we can use our programming and instruction skills to guide beebots around them!!

Take a look at us creating some maps.. Can you spot any keys?

  
  

This half term in 1S, we have taken on a new learning challenge. This has meant doing all sorts of different Geography and Science work in order to answer the question: ‘Where do the Leaves Go in Winter?

  1. Our Class Calendar

We began this by looking at different types of weather, and created our own class weather chart (with our own weather symbols) to track the weather outside.

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As you can see our there are more things than just the weather that we have to update every day on our calendar. Yes – the date is very important! So, we have learnt that the year is broken down into months, which are then broken down into days.

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 2. The Seasons

When we thought back to the summer holidays, we realised that the weather outside had changed. It was much warmer outside then and we didn’t have to worry about wearing our warm woolly hats and coats outside..

We discovered the seasons!

These are 4 times which mark the change in weather through the year. Not only does the weather help us to tell what season we’re in, but so do TREES OUTSIDE!!

       
    

I’m sure you’re all excited to hear about the learning underpinning our interesting display table involving a globe alongside some colourful calendars of Africa… Don’t worry, we won’t make you wait any longer! Here is an insight into our learning challenge that has been driving our topic work…

Our learning challenge question is: ‘Why Can’t Meerkats Live in the North Pole?’



This might seem a rather odd – maybe even slightly random – thing for us to be asking, here at Aveley (where we don’t have any meerkats around us and are based many many miles away from the North Pole!!).

But don’t you worry, despite what it might initially seem, this question is extremely relevant to our learning!

This is because, our new fiction focus is Emily Gravett’s ‘Meerkat Mail’. This gripping story follows the journey of ‘Sunny’ the meerkat, who leaves his home in the Kalahari Desert to discover whether the grass is greener on the other side, by packing his suitcase and exploring a number of other places.

But (spoiler alert!) Sunny realises that there’s no place like home: His home in the Kalahari Desert is the place that suits him best..

This challenge question was therefore something that we are all extremely curious to explore, so that we can discover more about the hot environment that Sunny comes from – and why it is “perfect” for him – but also the contrasting environment of the North Pole and why Sunny might not be able to live there..


In our literacy work, as well as producing some fantastic writing based on the story (which we will share with you later!), we used actions to create a whole-class recall of the story (we didn’t have to look at the book to remind us what happens once!).. While Joanne made a very confident, adventurous Sunny, we all narrated the story together and took turns being different characters that Sunny comes across.

Here we are recalling the story:

  
    
    
    

We also did some hot-seating to help us explore character thoughts and feelings.. Here are some of us being Sunny:

  
    
 While our literacy has been closely following this fictional story, out topic has enabled us to explore some of the FACTS.

We know that Sunny lives in the “Kalahari Desert”, so we began by finding out where this is. Have a guess – where do you think the Kalahari Desert is located? Do you think it is a hot or cold environment?

We discovered that the Kalahari is in South Africa. We even now know that this is a CONTINENT (land which is made up of many different COUNTRIES).

Discovering that this is a HOT environment (even hotter than our summer holidays here!), we have explored this climate as geographers, scientists and artists, by looking at:

1. What clothes we wear in hot environments.

 

2. What animals can be found in hot environments (helped by several sing-alongs to “The Lion King”‘s ‘Circle of Life’!)

3. What colours create a “hot mood”.

We thought about textures and shapes while we made our own ‘hot Africas’ by colouring, painting and collaging:

                                    


 

4. The difference between an African hut and our own homes in England.

5. Where in the world hot places are located.
This has led us to think about what happens as we move away from the EQUATOR and the temperature starts to drop..

Now we know lots about where meerkats do live.. Time to start exploring the North Pole and why they can’t live there…