Year 2 have really got into their historical enquiry and as you can see from the picture to the left, their working wall is being added to on a daily basis. This week the children focussed on uncovering more information about Mary Seacole and also spent time comparing the two women. This is a real important historical skill for children to develop, as it allows them to think about the actions people have taken and the effects that these actions had.
I was really impressed with some of the similarities and differences that the children found and it was great to see how collaboratively the children worked. The children are going to use all of their historical research and findings to write their final report, as they have been building up to this during our English lessons over the past three weeks.
In our art lessons, the children have been exploring Aboriginal art and this week they spent time with Mrs Rhodes creating Aboriginal inspired patterns, whilst also developing their understanding of what printing is through creating their own printing blocks. The children looked into how the Aborigines used symbols to tell stories known as Dream Stories. Their next step after looking at the symbols was to create their own stories and then choose one symbol to turn into a printing block. They then used their printing block to add to the whole class art work.
During maths this week, the children have been developing their reasoning and mental arithmetic skills. The children are really starting to unpick problems and puzzles, whilst also developing their ability to explain their thinking. Have a look at the gallery below to see our week in pictures!
This week we have been reading Jack and the Beanstalk a traditional tale loved by all! Children have made character puppets and have enjoyed retelling the story and writing about the main character Jack. It would be helpful if you could discuss the story with your child asking them to discuss what they know. One of our key questions in class at the moment is Who are the characters and what are they like? Next we are going to plant seeds and record their growth.
Children have enjoyed looking at each others ‘then and now’ photographs and discussing how they have grown and what changes have taken place. We are all looking forward to seeing the display on the wall – please pop in to take a look.
It’s been a busy few weeks in Year 5. The children returned to school fresh after the Easter break and raring to go.
We made an active start to our Science enquiry, where we will be looking at how plants grow. We had fun clearing out the overgrown Edible Garden and preparing the ground. It was interesting to hear the children share their own gardening stories and the types of things they have previously planted with various family members. We chatted about the different mini beasts we found and different types of weeds pulled out.
We planted a number of seeds indoors too, and will transfer them outdoors once they have grown. The children are enjoying watering and caring for the seedlings that have now sprouted. The gardens are now all planted; we have onions, carrots, beans, tomatoes, spinach, pumpkins, cauliflowers and much more! Fingers crossed for some good weather over the next few weeks.
In literacy, the children have been busy reading a number of stories from different cultures. We watched a few short films too which really helped us understand the detail we need to include when writing our own stories. The children were able to identify that they needed to include detail about the “human and physical geography” to really capture the culture of another country. It’s great to see that children are making links between different curriculum areas and transferring understanding.
We ended the week with recaping our enquiry work in History and how Unsworth has changed over the last 100 years. We then discussed and predicted what changes might take place over the next 50-100 years. The children had some amusing ideas about how life might change and the types of facilities that might become available. They then redesigned buildings, created some of their own and began remodelling the map of the local area.
On Monday last week we welcomed two assessors into school to spend the day with us in order to evaluate our work for the basic skills Quality Mark. This is our fourth renewal of the Quality Mark which is assessed every three years.
The basic skills Quality Mark is an award that celebrates and supports continuous improvement in literacy and numeracy. It is awarded to a setting or school to recognise their provision, practice and performance in literacy and numeracy, and is valid for three years.
A school or setting must demonstrate a whole school approach to improving standards in literacy and numeracy, with evidence of the impact of its approaches. It should provide a framework for self-evaluation and continuous improvement of the basic skills of all pupils in a school, including those who underachieve and those who underattain.
To renew the award, a school must demonstrate that:
there have been developments in basic skills that have had a positive impact on standards
there continues to be a whole school commitment to improving basic skills.
This year, we have also applied for the Early Years Quality Mark. This assesses whether a school provides a framework for self-evaluation and continuous improvement of the skills, particularly in communication, language and mathematical development, of young children through activities suitable for the stage of development they have reached.
At the end of the day we were delighted to achieve both Quality Mark awards. The assessors reported that they had been overwhelmed by the quality of our pupils’ work and their ability to talk about their learning. They were also impressed with the structures we have in place to ensure progress for every child. When we have the final written reports we will share them with parents and carers via our website.
We are rightly proud of our children and their efforts. The support and involvement of parents and carers is invaluable in their success as learners. The third element in this success is the commitment and sheer hard work of our staff. Without these three elements we would not achieve what we do for our children.
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 we do things and make our approaches school owned. None of our changes would have happened without some form of collaboration. Crucially, we have worked together as a community to create a school that puts teaching and learning first, which clearly emphasises the fact that we are “stronger together” through our partnerships and alliances with others.
All of the children have had a great day in Easter club. We have played outside in Reception’s garden and the boys played badminton. In the afternoon we all had lunch together and setted down to watch a film. The children loved eating popcorn and sweets. Tomorrow we hope to go to the park if the weather stays fine, so lets keep our fingers crossed over night! Also on Wednesday we plan to walk to the bakery, so if your child/children are in, could they please bring in 50p for an ice-finger? Thank you
What a great end to a busy term. The children in Y5 have impressed me with their hard work and effort right up to the very last week.
In Science, the children have been thinking about the human life cycle. We talked about what happens as we grow old. The children shared stories about their own grandparents and the things they enjoy doing together. The children had some amusing ideas about the changes that we go through as we grow old and what it means to “slow down”. Ideas included old people shrinking, losing their imagination and becoming sad! The future is not looking bright for any of us according to Year 5!
We then looked at data for boys and girls, comparing growth. The children made generalised statements about growth patterns. We also enjoyed looking at our photo timelines, which we had created for homework. The children were quick to spot where they could see family resemblances and features common to their parents.
The children have enjoyed working in the outdoors over the last few weeks. Cycling proficiency, Sports Relief circuit training and gardening, just a few of the activities that we have been involved in.
On Wednesday I went out with the cyclists and watched as they learnt to make safe turns on the roads. The instructors were impressed with the way our children listened and followed the instructions, ensuring they could all manoeuvre safely. The children could confidently talk about the road safety rules they needed to follow as cyclists. All our Y5 cyclists passed the cycling proficiency at level 1 & 2 – Well Done everyone! 🚲.
We ended the term with our annual egg decorating extravaganza! As always, the children rise to the challenge with such excitement. We had busy hands creating, cutting, painting and sticking. I’m always impressed with the creativity and this year was no exception. Many children worked together on a joint group design. I was impressed with how well they cooperated, shared out the jobs and supported one another. The final creations were amazing, each one unique and in my view, everyone a winning design.🏆
With the weather on our side, we ventured into the edible garden and began preparing the ground ready for planting. During the next half term the children will begin looking at plants, charting the growth and changes they see. So any keen gardeners/parents/grandparents out there, who would like to help Y5 with getting this gardening project going, are very welcome to get involved. 🌻
I hope everyone enjoys a well deserved rest over the Easter break and returns to school full of energy and enthusiasm for another fun filled term!
Sports relief – Helping and thinking of others. We had a number of Y6 children, who helped Mrs McLoughlin to run this effort. By all accounts they did a great job. Thank you: Ryan, Caitlin, Keira, Phoebe, Matthew, Joe, Rio and Evie.
Year Six always love making the most of every minute we have in school and the last couple of weeks has been no different. A number of the class have been on our bike safety course; we have had various tests in maths and reading; created our own treasure trails; spent more time on understanding percentages, took part in Sports relief activities; focused on perspective in art as well as continuing with our work on being persuasive and we have had a new selection of books added to our class library.
We have come to the end of our Viking enquiry topic and the children have created some fantastic historical letters. The children wrote in role as different historical figures about decisions they made to establish peace between the Vikings and Anglo- Saxons. They look very authentic and look great on our wall in class.
The children thoroughly enjoyed working together to create their own treasure trails. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and a total contrast to the previous Friday afternoon where it had been snowing!
As a class we have completed 3 maths tests papers and one reading test over the last two weeks. We have reviewed some or parts of these papers in small groups and on a one to one basis. Working carefully and accurately are important skills that we need throughout our learning and as a class we have found out they can really help when completing tests too. We will be looking at more test questions over the next few weeks as we prepare the children so they feel confident that they can show off some of their abilities in the May tests.
As always year 2 came back after their weekend break to lots of new learning tasks! As well as planning and writing a story to finish off their fantasy story text type, the children have been developing their creative skills. Last week year 2 shared their contemporary paintings and this week thy have been working with Miss Hackett to look at the work of Vincent Van Gogh. The children explored who he was and focussed on his work “Starry Night”. Through exploring the techniques behind the painting, the children worked in steps with Miss Hackett to create a draft oil painting. The aim next week is to turn their draft into a mini canvas to show case in our very own Van Gogh exhibition.
Also, the children have spent time developing their programming skills on the ipads, by using the Beebot app and Daisy Dino. The children were challenged to plan sequences and test them out. Have a look at the gallery below to see the children in action.
How fabulous was this morning’s assembly?! I was so impressed at all my scary pirates and their fabulous singing! They have worked so hard at making all their own props and learning lots and lots of words. A huge thank you to all who attended and many thanks for all your kind wishes , cards and gifts. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with such a fabulous set of children and I am sure they will continue to flourish throughout the year.
I’ll come back and visit soon
Love Miss Ashton 😊
Have a look at our pirate video by clicking the link below: