An Aveley Primary Blog

1S transformed into a whole host of different characters this week, as we joined lots of other schools around the country in celebrating World Book Day.

Have a look at us in our costumes. How many characters can you recognise?!

  
    
   

  

Not only did we take on our favourite characters for the day, and share some our favourite stories, but we also had a very special visit from 5H!

Coming over from KS2 was just the first part of 5H’s journey.. When they arrived, we took them on a reading adventure and together we transported ourselves to the sunny Kalahari.

The Kalahari desert? Sound familiar?.. That’s right – we told 5H the story of ‘Meerkat Mail’, sharing with them Sunny the meerkat’s adventure.

Once we had told the Year 5s the story, we thought about Sunny’s home. As I’m sure you remember, Sunny decides that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ and ‘there’s no place like home’. Thinking about this message, led us to discuss the setting of the story.

Looking at lots of African landscapes helped us to think about how we could work with our partner to create a painting of Sunny’s home. Take a look at us working together:

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Having sung our way through ‘The Lion King”s ‘The Circle of Life’ in our exploration of African animals, our singing in topic has now taken a much more frosty turn…

Before you ask, our learning hasn’t stopped in favour of sitting back and watching ‘Frozen’ all week (although we have found time for a little sing of everyone’s favourite ‘Let It Go’ of course!)… Instead, voices in 1S could this week be heard singing ‘The North Pole – that’s Arctic… The South Pole – Antarctic…’ If you don’t think that sounds catchy, check out the song we’ve been singing to begin our learning here:

This catchy tune has has helped us to begin our exploration of the cold environment we have turned our attention to (contrasting the hot Kalahari Desert): the North Pole (or Arctic).

So, as the temperature outside rapidly dropped as we welcome Autumn (something we will be thinking about in next half term’s topic), we turned to look at this new environment to help us to answer our learning challenge question.

Here are some of the things we have done as scientists, geographers and artists to explore the North Pole:

  1. Where in the world are cold places are located?

You might remember our brief mention of the EQUATOR (that invisible line around the center of the earth) when looking at hot environments. Well, to start our Polar adventure, we returned to our globe and located the North Pole and Africa in relation to the equator.

In doing so we created our very own globes:

IMG_3103.JPG  

IMG_3108.JPG 

Can you point out the equator, North Pole, and Africa on our work?

This map work helped us to realise that as you move further away from the equator (towards the Poles and away from Africa and the sunny Kalahari) the temperature drops..

2. What are cold colours?

In order to fully emerse ourselves into this new section of our topic work, it was important for us to have a clear picture in our heads of the environment we were learning about. We therefore looked at, and created, our very own Arctic landscapes.

We discovered that an Arcitc scene looks very different from the African Kalahari Desert and has a number of different features that make it unique. Here are a few:

  1. It FLOATS (on the ocean)! – This makes it different from the Antarctic (South Pole) which is on land.
  2. There are large chunks of ice in the sea called ICEBERGS.
  3. The plant life is sparse (there’s not much and its quite twiggy!).

Who would have thought you could have a floating environment!?

Anyway, having created our Arctic scenes, we put on our artist hats and turned to think about colours. As well as looking at the colours we could see, this involved thinking about and discussing what other colours create a cold mood (and make us feel cold when we look at them).

We then used our (fantastic!) collaging skills to create our own ‘COLD COLLAGED ICEBERGS‘. All 31 were fantastic. The collages helped us to create textured icebergs with a range of cold colours which made Miss Stephenson shiver!

Here are a few (but put on your warmest coat before the colours make you feel cold too!): 

IMG_3110.JPG

IMG_3102.JPG

IMG_3106.JPG

 

IMG_3099.JPG

IMG_3109.JPG

 
 

1S got an unexpected surprise in their literacy lesson today..

All the way from the sunny Kalahari, we discovered a MEERKAT (or three!) cheekily nestling in our book corner!

Following our hard work in both literacy and topic, looking at Sunny’s world:

SUNNY HAD COME (WITH HIS FRIENDS) TO EXPLORE OURS!

Here’s Bailey investigating:

   

We have read a whole range of different postcards that Sunny sent back home from the places he visited in ‘Meerkat Mail’ – telling his family all about his adventures.

Having looked at these in some detail, we decided that Sunny would probably need to write his family a postcard from Aveley (which we’re going to help him out with!).

But first, we thought it would be a good idea to give him a tour of our world..

This meant that (with our help, using adjectives and full sentences to describe the places we showed him) he could take a proper look at our school and see the different areas where we learn (and play!) to write home about..

First, we lined up (smart as soldiers, silent as mice!) ready to venture out into the school to show Sunny and his friends our world:

  

Then, we showed him the BIG, YELLOW bin:

  

After that, we showed them the HARD, WOODEN table:

  

  

Then, we let the meerkats jump along the trim trail (what fun!):

  

Next, we headed off towards KS2, to show our meerkat friends the LONG, GREEN grass in the field:

 


Of course no tour of Aveley would be complete without a trip to the BIG (SMELLY!) dinner hall!:


Finally, we headed back to the classroom, to have a proper look around, and show Sunny our coat pegs and learning walls:
 
  
 
  
  

 
 

 

 

  

Wow – what an adventure! Lucky meerkats (and 1S of course: for their visit and to have such a great school to be able to show them)!
 
Did you spot the TIME CONNECTIVES creating this RECOUNT of Sunny’s tour?

How many ADJECTIVAL STRINGS did you spot?

Now that we’ve showed Sunny our learning world, we’re going to help him with some writing!

Don’t you worry, we will keep you updated!

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…