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Getting creative

Another busy week in Year 5 and as always I have been impressed with the children’s attitudes towards their work.  We have enjoyed creating some lovely artwork inspired by the artist Hundertwasser which is now on display along KS2 corridor. Why not pop in to have a look. Over the last few weeks the children in Year 5 have been immersed in stories from different cultures. They have enjoyed reading and a range of short stories, some of which are traditional tales from distant places and others are more contemporary. We have listened to some of the tales from Arabian Nights and discussed the descriptive detail which brings the story setting alive. We have focused on writing our own description, created out own synonym word bank and used these on complex sentences.  We are also using these stories as inspiration and have been creating ideas for our own stories. We will be planning and writing these story over the next week. In science we have been closely watching the various seeds we have planted. We moved the seedlings planted indoors to the edible garden. It has been a nervous week waiting and watching what will happen to the young shoots. We’ve been very diligent and watered regularly. However we did not catered for the hungry snails, who have enjoyed munching away at our cauliflowers and wiped out any growth! Maybe we will have more success with our other vegetables. The children enjoyed working on their D&T project, which was to create a moving toy. They examined and made a simple cam mechanisms, using axels, wheels and snail cams which moved different parts on their toy (creating linear and circular movement.) Some children did find some aspects quite difficult and it was great to see how they helped each other to overcome problems with their designs. Our finished products are on display in the hall and you are welcome to come in and have a look. We have started our next geography enquiry and have been finding out about volcanoes and earthquakes. The children have already shared lots of great facts and information about volcanoes. We mapped out where volcanoes can be found and identified the ‘ring of fire’ which is located around the Pacific Ocean. The children shared interesting facts about earthquake zones and discussed where recent earthquakes have taken place. Over the next few weeks the children will be focusing on the link between decimals, fractions and percentages in maths. They will be identifying fraction and percentage equivalence and using this information to solve simple problems. Why not point out where percentages can be found in real life situations and what they mean. It's only fair to...

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Nurturing creativity

Nurturing creativity

Nurturing and developing children’s creativity is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher. This week has been one of those weeks where children have been given a range of opportunities to be creative through using a range of different mediums such as art, music, drama, play and writing. It is through these different activities that children get an opportunity to make their own decisions and allow their personality to be expressed. As a school we celebrate imagination, innovation and individuality through our daily practice. For us, it is so important that our classrooms and communal spaces are filled with children’s thoughts, ideas and own original pieces of work. Reflecting on the different tasks that Y2 have done this week has been a real pleasure, as every child has shown how creative they can be when given the chance to share how they feel or experiment for themselves. For me, it is so important to provide children with opportunities to shine, to develop their own line of enquiry or make choices that reflect their own ideas. It is so rewarding to step back and reflect on how independent Y2 have started to become and also how imaginative they are when it comes to creating something for themselves. The Aboriginal art work they have developed this week both indoors and outdoors is one of example of how hard the children have worked to produce their personal best. It is so important to put creativity at the centre of a school curriculum. Giving children and adults the space to innovate and be original allows for fresh perspectives, new ideas and a means by which to continually evolve. It also gives a space for expressing feelings and emotions.  The work below highlights how Y2 have expressed themselves this week through colour and imagery.   It's only fair to...

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Working Together

Working Together

Collaboration has always been a huge part of Unsworth, both within and beyond the school. In its purest form collaboration simply means working with someone to produce something and links to words such as cooperation, alliance, partnership or combination. It is so important to view our school as a collaboration of lots of different partners, from teachers and learners to parents and governors, the local community and schools both locally and nationally. Currently, our education system as we know it is changing shape dramatically and often on a daily basis. Change often brings a sense of unease for some people or a feeling that different ways of doing things could change something beyond recognition, but is this really the case? Inevitably change will make a difference and it does often bring about a new way of doing something. However, the important factor to consider is the reasons why change is needed and the bigger picture of what it helps to create. Unsworth is all about embracing change that benefits the education and development of young learners. Over the years we have learnt as a school that through looking closely at our practice and making changes to what we do, we can offer our learners the best possible start  on their learning journey. In essence we aim to develop a love of learning and resilience that allows children to achieve and succeed; something called a “Growth Mind-set”. Working together through collaboration is at the core of this and this is achieved through our continuous two way dialogue as a community of learners. If you watch the short trailer below you will see how we have worked together as a school to create an exciting curriculum that offers learners opportunities to be curious about the world around them. For us though, working together is all about how we work with others to help shape the future of learning. Through our work within other schools across the Local Authority and by sharing our practice through learning walks, courses, visits and coaching sessions, we have built up a culture within school where collaboration is commonplace. It is collaboration and partnerships with the BTSA (Bury Teaching School Alliance) and BPLC (Bury Primary Learning Collaborative) that have helped us to share our approaches to assessment, SMSC and the curriculum, whilst also providing opportunities for staff within school to develop their own practice. In the current educational climate, it is these types of partnerships that will continue to allow us to help shape the way we want to do things for the learners at Unsworth. External support from the Local Authority is disappearing and schools are faced with the prospect of developing stronger links between each other so that together they can support each other to provide the best possible experiences for learners. During the Summer Term , myself and Mrs Reynolds are involved in a new nationwide alliance of educators known as “#LearningFirst”, which is a developing online community who have the aim of making assessment school led. It is these kinds of new collaborations that will shape the future of education and it is exciting to think that Unsworth has an opportunity to play a part and share practice. Unsworth is already accustomed to “working together” with a range of different partners and through the years we have embraced change, using it as a catalyst to rethink the way...

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Building community-then and now

Building community-then and now

There are so many activities across a school week, beyond our lessons, that help to build our children’s experience, confidence and enjoyment. We have done a lot of thinking about this and how a child’s primary school experience needs to be rich, varied and engaging. This week was no exception. At the end of the week, the children engaged in a day of fundraising for Sports Relief by working hard on an obstacle course organised by Mrs McLoughlin. It is her responsibility to organise and promote our sport and PE curriculum and the event on Friday is another part of this. It was great to see how the children pushed themselves but also how much they enjoyed the day. Back in class, the children watched some clips about how the money raised helps children around the world. Some of our children were surprised to learn that some children do not have access to an education. It was good for them to think about this and realise how they might have had some impact on another child’s life by taking part in the event. Events like the Sports Relief obstacle course help our children to develop empathy and a sense of community. This was the subject of Y5’s assembly on Friday morning. In their most recent historical enquiry, Y5 have been researching the history of Unsworth and further developing their mapping skills by looking at maps over time to see the changes in our area. The history of Unsworth was the subject of their assembly. During the assembly, we heard about the origins of the Unsworth area, its legendary dragon and its contribution to the developing Industrial Revolution. We also heard about the greasy Unsworth Pole and the sacrifice made by our community during the two World Wars. The children ‘travelled’ back and forth through time via their time machine. At the end of the assembly, they brought everyone together by leading us in an enthusiastic rendition of our Community Song. It is through events like this, attended by so many parents and carers, that we foster the sense of community and belonging that is so important to children’s lives. On Monday and Tuesday this week we will be welcoming parents and carers into school to meet with class teachers. This is an opportunity to look through the children’s books and to look at the work on display in their classrooms and in our corridors and hall. It is also an opportunity to speak to the class teacher about the progress that has been made over the last two terms. Each class teacher should give a picture of how children are progressing in their basic skills in particular and the things they will be working on over the remainder of the academic year. This is why we have our progress meetings at this point, so that we have time to work on any issues before the year ends. We are very much looking forward to seeing you in school this week. I will be available throughout both sessions (3:30-6:30 Monday and Tuesday) if there are any issues you wish to discuss further. It's only fair to...

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Robinwood in Pictures

Robinwood in Pictures

Recently our Y6 class visited Robinwood for a residential and had a great time. We thought we would share with you some of the photographs from the trip so you could see for yourselves all the different activities that the children got up to.               It's only fair to...

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