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The Sports Crew deliver a superb activity!

Our Sports Crew had a great start with their first taught session based on invasion games. The Sports Crew are a group of 8 children who are in charge of their own activities and decide for themselves which sporting activities they think the younger children across the school would enjoy. They decided to interview me to find out more about Y3’s interests and from there, planned three sessions to deliver to Y3.

Last week they taught Y3 how to warm up their bodies, modelled and played an invasion game which they called ‘Tag the Tail’ followed by stretches to cool down their bodies. Both Y3 and the Sports Crew had a great time! Next week, the Crew will deliver some football skills and set up a mini match. Great teamwork!


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Poetry and mapping!

This week the children have enjoyed looking at acrostic poems. On Monday and Tuesday, we read various poems aimed at children of all ages and had discussions as to which age group we think they could be written for. To further their learning, the children thought hard about the PALL (purpose, audience, language and layout) for each poem, language being the trickiest for children to identify!

After further discussions in pairs and groups on Wednesday, the children were able to identify rhyming couplets, the use of adjectives and exciting adverbs. They also got to grips with the layout of an acrostic poem and how they are written.

On Thursday the children began to craft exciting and humorous sentences to use in their own acrostic poem based on imagination. Mrs Reynolds came into our lesson and was impressed with the children’s independent learning!

We have also started our Geography enquiry this week. We started with a clue hunt in the playground, the children absolutely loved it! They have also worked hard using various maps, beebots and iPad apps to further their understanding of directional language, points on a compass and using a key on a map.  On Friday, I worked with small groups of children to conduct map activities and learning conversations based on 4 figure grid references. Click on the curriculum tab, find the Geography page and follow the link for Year 3 next week to find out more about our exciting learning so far.

I have also reminded the children to keep on practising their 3, 4 and 8 times tables at home. We have been playing multiplication games all week to try to recall the times tables faster. Keep on accessing the abacus maths online homework page via the school website, as I set tasks that are in line with what the children are doing at school.

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Dance, sports crews and clubs!

It has been another eventful and energetic half term for sport at Unsworth! Across each week, every class takes part in 2 x one hour PE sessions. This involves the children taking part in a variety of sporting activities including gymnastics, invasion games and dance.

This half term, the focus has been on our dance curriculum within Y3 and Y5 by working alongside two trained dance coaches from Qfirst Sports to help enhance our teaching and learning. The children worked on a variety of coordination activities, balancing techniques and singular dance moves. Over the weeks, the children were taught how to put the separate moves together into a dance sequence. They practised mirroring, keeping in time and exercised every muscle in their body through stretching and movement. From a teacher’s point of view, it enabled me to visualise teaching dance in a different way, either based on the arrangement of the children or time spent on different aspects of dance. It also created many opportunities for dialogue between myself and the coach which informed my assessments. The purpose of having trained coaches in school is firstly for the enhancement of the curriculum for the children so that they have further sporting opportunities that are engaging, energetic and fun, but also to enable class teachers to reflect on their own practice and create vital assessment opportunities.

For the past six weeks, YR and Y1 have taken part in a dance club on a Wednesday after school. The coach worked on basic balancing techniques, coordination and rhythm. They also practised mirroring different dance movements and were given the opportunity to take part in a dance circle. After watching various sessions, it was clear to see how the children’s confidence grew from week to week. Some children seemed reluctant to take part in certain aspects of dance, mainly performing for a small audience. By the last week, all children could confidently perform their dance sequence for each other. During play times, I also spotted some of the Y1 children practising their sequences for some of the older children. Great moves!

Our Y2 ping pong club, every Thursday with Mrs Darby, has also proved to be a great success! The children have been building the skills needed to play a basic ping pong game such as control and coordination. Mrs Darby will now be inviting Y4 to her ping pong sessions after the half term break.

This year, I have started a sports crew with a group of 8 children from Y5 and Y6. We have had a great start! The idea is that the children initiate their own ideas for a sports club aimed at younger children. We discussed as a group an agenda for the upcoming weeks and how we were going to advertise the club. The children created sports crew posters using pic collage and put them up around school. They have also been busy creating certificates and planning fun activities to deliver. The children have now prepared 3 sessions to deliver to their first group of children. Y3 will be the first group to take part, 10 children have shown a keen interest and will join the sports crew on the first Wednesday back after half term.

The netball team are an absolute credit to the school! They train each Tuesday night and show dedication and enthusiasm week after week. This half term, the focus has been on positioning and playing as many matches as possible. The girls have learnt how to rotate positions so that they become familiar with the rules for each player on the court. It was a shame that their first match was cancelled last week due to bad weather, however the game will now be rearranged for after the half term. They are now ready for their upcoming 5 matches. As always, parents and carers are invited to all home games, letters will be sent out, like last week, to invite you to each game.

Y4 have enjoyed their first few weeks at Total Fitness for their swimming lessons. This year, due to having their sessions closer to school, the children can walk to their lessons. It also means that the children get more time in the pool. After speaking with staff who attend the sessions, they have mentioned how well behaved our children are and how hard they work once they are in the pool. The staff at Total Fitness are also challenging all children, regardless of their swimming abilities. Keep up the great work Y4!

The lunchtime leaders, a group of 8 Y6 children, are now confident at delivering their own sessions to the the younger children at lunchtime, after having support from Connor from QFirst Sports. Miss Costin said the leaders have been getting to know the Y1 and Y2 children and have been trying out some different activities for the children to take part in such as circuits, circle games and ball skills. The leaders were also delighted to receive their purple lunchtime leader caps!

On Wednesday, the whole school took part in a wakey shakey Wednesday workout to raise money for the NSPCC. The children (and staff) really enjoyed taking part in the event and felt alert and ready for the day ahead! Good fun had by all!

Finally, the Y6 children spent the last few days of the term at Robinwood. The children were faced with a variety of sporting opportunities such as canoeing, caving, climbing and archery. The children were challenged to take part in different adventures and teamwork opportunities, what a fantastic experience for our children! Read Mrs Reynolds’ blog to find out more.

So what is happening in the next half term?
Y2 and Y5 will have the curriculum support sessions with the focus being on hockey.
A hockey after school club will also start for certain year groups,  the first week back. Letters have already been sent out for the relevant year groups.
The sports crew will kick start the term with a fast paced invasion game focused session for the Y3 children, sounds exciting!
Football training will recommence with Mr Evans every Friday, and the team will face their first friendly match with Hollins.
The netball team will continue their training each Tuesday and will play their 5 matches as part of the BJSSA league.
The cross country tournament will take place in March at Heaton Park, letters to follow.
We also have a Bury CC Junior Coach coming in to deliver some cricket sessions to the Y4, Y5 and Y6 children, letters to follow the first week back.
The lunchtime leaders will continue to create sporting activities for the younger children, working alongside Miss Costin.
Ping Pong sessions with Mrs Darby will start for the Y4 children, keep a look out for more information in the upcoming letters.
The after school children will also continue to have exciting sporting opportunities every Thursday and Friday, ask Miss Costin for more information.

Is your child interested in a particular sport? Are you looking for an out of school club? Since having our dance sessions in school this term, one child in Y3 has joined a dance club after talking with me about a possible dance club. If you would like any information regarding sports clubs for your child to attend outside of school, please ask me and I can point you in the right direction. We have a variety of links with out of school clubs such as football, cricket, netball, dance and gymnastics clubs within the local area, so please just ask. Mrs McLoughlin.

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A poetic end to the week!

On Thursday, 6 children from Y3 and Y4 were invited to attend an able writers day at a local school. We were joined by a few other schools in the area, alongside Manchester born poet, Tony Walsh.

The day was filled with hands on activities, group discussions and different approaches to teach poetry. The main theme that came through from the day was the importance of children finding their inner creativity and being adventurous with their vocabulary choices. I also enjoyed talking with Tony and the other teachers about their approaches to poetry.

On Friday, I gathered a few of the children who attended with me and asked them to capture the day in their own words;

We met Tony Walsh, also known as long fella. He taught us about kenning poems and acrostic poems. In the kenning poems we had to write a poem about ourselves but each line had to end in words ending ‘er’. He called us professors of poetry and we had to pretend we were masters at poetry. In the afternoon, we were talking about where poems live and we had to write about three things, stillness, beauty and silence. We even got a photo with Tony. The head master was really nice too. I would love to go again. Thank you Mrs McLaughlin for taking us!- Abigail

At the start of the day, Tony asked us to get in height order and birthday order to get our brains working. It was a brilliant day! We met a real poet and he made us think imaginatively! We also learnt about metaphors and how to use them. – Alfie

We went out for an able writers day and met children from other schools. We were there for the whole day writing poems with a man named Tony. We started with kenning poems and then moved onto feeling and places. We had to combine the words with each other and switch them over such as the garden of love and the dentist of doom. Some time after, we looked at acrostic poems and had to use our imagination to write our own. We could write silly things too. At the end we wrote a poem about someone we love, I chose my mum. -Lola

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Enthusiastic learners!

The children in Y3 ,this week, have once again made me feel extremely proud of their hard work and enthusiasm towards their learning! The class is full of enthusiastic and inquisitive learners!

In science the children have been learning about skeletons and this week we focused on endo-skeletons and exo-skeletons. We watched a cartoon clip, predicted what type of skeleton each animal may have and explained why, moved around the room to share our thoughts and sorted different skeleton images. The children were so excited to find out the correct answers for each animal as they cheered if they were standing at the correct answer.

In geography, the children picked a mystery piece of paper which determined what their group were going to research. Themes included agriculture, climate and the culture of the Ghanaian people. Children selected iPads, netbooks, books and atlases to answer their questions. They will use this information next week to create a pic collage to present back to the rest of the class.

Finally, I have been delighted with the fantastic pieces of writing in literacy. The children have been working on mystery stories over the past few weeks and they are now at the stage to write their independent pieces!

Some children have also taken part in learning conversations with me about their stories so far, where we discussed my favourite sentences in their stories and sentences we agreed that could be improved further. Two children this week just needed support moving their sentences around so that their ideas flowed, another child needed support with adding some exciting vocabulary choices to their existing sentences and another child needed prompting on punctuation.

I look forward to reading their completed mystery stories next week.

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Skeleton sketches

Year 3 have made a great start to our two new enquiries! In science the children have been working in small groups to break the clues to help them identify the different bones in their bodies.

They elected one person from each team to be the model whilst the rest of the group drew around their body! Using the clues on their task sheet, they labelled, as best they could, each bone. The femur bone in particular proved to be the trickiest bone to find! Ask a member of Y3 this week to tell you where this bone is in our bodies.

The children are absolutely gripped with our new geography enquiry, what is life like in Ghana? Y3 really enjoy using maps and are becoming more confident at creating their own key.

Whilst the children were busy labelling Ghana and other major countries and cities in Africa, I worked with small groups of children to look at a selection of larger maps. They discussed and pinpointed the different places they had visited in the world. We then started to talk about different climate zones across the world and some children were curious to ask why are some countries hotter than others? This will now lead on to our upcoming lessons.

Finally, a big thank you to all that came to watch our class assembly last Thursday. The children were excited to share their learning with you and enjoyed taking part.

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Story writing, settlements and skeletons

Year 3 have had a wonderful start to the new term! We are continuing to work together to craft both setting and character descriptions and have spent the last week looking at and experimenting with exciting vocabulary to use in our upcoming mystery stories. The children are working confidently and could even tell any visitors who entered our room what it is they have been doing.

In maths we have moved onto fractions! The children have been getting to grips with practical activities and problems to help with their understanding.

Last week, we kick started our new enquiry topics too! In geography, this half term, the children will be learning about life in Ghana. They will get the chance to see what life is like in different settlements and will compare this with their own lives. They will also find out about kente cloth and create their own piece of weaving in a few weeks time.

In science, they are trying to find out the purpose of a skeleton. The children will also identify the different types of skeleton in animals and create their own animal skeleton using straws.

We are all very excited to share our learning of our previous enquiry, Ancient Greece, in our class assembly on Thursday this week. Look forward to seeing you there!

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A sporting success!

What a fantastic sporting term we have had!

As stated on the PE information page, Unsworth have joined together to work alongside QFirst Sports to enhance the sporting opportunities of the children from Early years all the way up to Y6. So far this term, Y1, Y3, Y4 and Y6 have experienced curriculum support sessions for either Invasion Games or Multi skills. After speaking with both colleagues and the children involved, all curriculum support sessions have received positive feedback. A key theme running through all classes seems to be the element of competition, scoring points and playing as part of a team. From lessons that have been observed, it was clear to see that the children were having fun and found the activities engaging and exciting. All sessions were fast paced, moving the children on quickly to another skill or application of skills via a small team game or a selection of activities.  Next half term Y3 and Y5 will receive curriculum support sessions for Street Dance.

Lunchtime leaders has also proved successful this term, especially for the children in Y1, Y2 and Y3. After speaking with Miss Costin, the children have really enjoyed working with Conor or Ryan to learn new skills and games. The main finding seems to be that the children now have a short focus activity that keeps them engaged for a short period of time. Another finding, is that the children are applying the taught skills back in their PE lessons. After the Christmas break, a small group of Y5 and Y6 children have been selected to be Unsworth Lunchtime Leaders.   The children will lead and direct the younger children for short activities based on what they have played with QFirst Sports so far.  Keep posted for more about this after the holidays!

The extra curricular sessions seem to be the greatest success with all children who were interviewed giving positive feedback. The children in Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5 shared that they really look forward to their new clubs and that they enjoy playing games where they can compete with one another. They also expressed that they like to take part in the clubs as they are different sporting activities that they may have never taken part in before. A key theme of the enjoyment of playing outside, wearing coloured bibs to represent your own team and the fact that you get to do a variety of activities came across from most of the children too.  Next half term there will be opportunities for YR and Y1 to take part in a Street Dance club, sounds exciting!

If you would like to find out how we are spending our Government funded sports grant, click on the curriculum tab, PE and scroll down the page for the link.

In addition to the opportunities created by QFirst Sports, we have had other exciting sporting clubs or events happening in school. From October to December the netball team have been working hard to developing key skills needed to take part in a match such as footwork, passing techniques and finding a space. The children are an absolute credit to the school and have now formed an official netball team.  They finished the term by becoming familiar with each position on the netball court, ready for our upcoming competitions in the Spring term. Additionally the football team have had a super first term back and even enjoyed taking part in a competition with other schools in Bury at Bury Grammar. After their fantastic teamwork and enthusiasm they finished second! The cross country team have also been building up their stamina at lunchtimes too with Mrs Ali and Mrs Channon.

Our sponsored scooter event in October was a huge success raising over £1,000 to enhance our PE curriculum. Keep posted next term to see how we will be spending this money.

The Spring term looks even more exciting as the children will have further opportunities to take part in other sporting events. Mrs Darby will be running a ping pong club for Y2 every Thursday, letters to go out the first week back. Some Y6 children have been selected to run our ‘Sports Crew’. The Sports Crew involves the children initiating and leading small activities for the younger children at lunchtimes. Y4 will start their swimming sessions and the after school club children will have further sporting opportunities including a kids fun circuit!

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Singing, investigating and getting creative!

With singing practice, our panto rehearsal and pop up Christmas cards, it most definitely feels like Christmas in Y3!

The junior children have been working hard to learn all the words for their performance of ‘Aladdin trouble’, and Y3 and Y4 have the important job of singing all the songs in between. They have really enjoyed learning each new song and adding their own actions to each one. We look forward to seeing you during our evening performances on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

On Friday the children were shown how to create springs on their Christmas cards to enable their designs to look 3D!
We looked at how to sketch simple 3D shapes including a cube and how to turn it into a present. The children were amazed!

Putting Christmas aside, the children have also been working extremely hard in their science investigation. We started by watching the video of the Greek myth, Icarus and Daedalus. We discussed the concept of flying with feathers and wax and the idea of what actually happened to Icarus. The children had some fantastic opinions about the video which led to our very own wing investigation.

After recording our question- Which wings would be most effective for Icarus?’, discussing our predictions and equipment, we spent a lot of time discussing the term fair test and created a list of factors which we would make sure we kept the same throughout the investigation. We chose to change one factor, the environment where the wings would be placed. We chose the oven, the freezer, in water and in the classroom at room temperature.

The children absolutely loved observing the models they had made and checking to see if their initial predictions were correct. Ask your child about our investigation to find out what happened, if we had any difficulties along the way and most importantly which wings turned out to be the most effective once we had tested them! We will now share our learning in a special science assembly next Thursday.

Finally, a big thank you for sending in the fabulous Aladdin themed costumes for the performances, they all looked fantastic in their dress rehearsal on Friday.

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Communication is key in Year 3!

Over the last half term, Y3 have been focusing on invasion games in PE. Every Tuesday afternoon, Connor from QFirst sports works with the children to practise different skills and techniques that are needed to play different invasion games. So far they have worked in teams to find a space, got to grips with becoming a defender and an attacker and have explored different throwing techniques.

Connor has also been helping the children to decide when and where in a game each throwing technique is appropriate. Today the children played a small group activity in which they had to ensure they were finding a space to keep the ball for their team. The children soon realised that communication was extremely important when working as part of a team.

Well done Y3! A very exciting and fun lesson today!