Although we know that many pupils tell their parents all about what they having been studying and doing at school, not every child is so forthcoming. Therefore so that you all know what your child has been up to in the last term and what plans there are for next term, you can now visit this new page providing the latest news from the Lower Secondary Class. The page will be regularly updated.
If you have any specific queries concerning this class or your child please speak to or email the class leader Alison.
English Language is split between technical sessions looking at ‘rules’ in word building which can help with spelling accuracy, development of functional skills in writing and work with narrative and descriptive writing.
It was an absolute pleasure studying Animal Farm by George Orwell with the Lower Secondary class. Every pupil became fully engaged in the story and the key themes, which led to many sophisticated class discussions. The class were then required to produce their first major essay – 1,000 words! The exceptionally high levels produced by every single pupil was quite remarkable. In what has been a fairly depressing last few months for the world, this class has fully restored my faith in humanity.
For the remainder of the term we will studying The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.
It was good to see the students return to school with enthusiasm in their lessons. We launched into division, using monopoly money and our own choice of banknotes. Then we spent several weeks studying statistics – ways of presenting information and how to analyse data. We did a traffic survey on the colours of the cars passing school, and we learnt a song about the different types of averages. Students enjoyed using the individual whiteboards to answer questions during class discussions – everyone was able to contribute answers.
We looked at reflection, rotation and translation of shapes, and have finished the term using function machines to solve equations. The final week has involved a Christmas flavour to our work.
Coming up next – tessellations and using compasses and a protractor.
In the Autumn term we completed the heart and circulation. We studied light and sound. We looked at metals and reactions. Our studies included many practicals.
In the Spring term we will study diet, and human biology.
History, this term, sees us exploring more Roman technologies in the specific context of ‘The Romans in Britain’…particularly concerning engineering and building.
Last term we carried on with our topic of Settlement looking at everything from shanty towns, to urban poverty in rich countries and the richest city of earth – Dubai.
We have now moved on to look at the issue of Shopping, how it has changed in recent years and the “Death of the High Street”. After half term we are looking forward to conducting some fieldwork in Lyndhurst High Street which will ask whether Lyndhurst has the unique quality of not being a ‘clone town’.
Before the half term we completed our amazing films and the film scores – special thanks to Caspar, Angus and Mabelle for editing duties. We also learnt loads of multi-part songs including Dona Nobis Pacem (give us peace) for International Day of Peace. After Half term we also started thinking about how to analyse the structure of a piece of music. Another big project was writing and performing our own Graphic Scores – and we had some great ones. And of course learning our pieces for the Christmas Concert. These included the pop song mash-up (and leading the audience in this at the concert) as well as a beautiful new lullaby.
We have embarked on a big new project about orchestras and orchestral instruments. This involves learning about and researching the instruments, thinking about and listening to our favourite orchestral pieces as well as ultimately writing our own pieces for some orchestral instruments – violin, flute, trombone, harp and piano – which will be played by professional musicians.
Last term we first briefly looked into an introduction to dates: numbers, the days of the week, months and seasons. Then we looked into describing ourselves: what we are wearing (clothes) and what we look like, (hair, eyes, skin…) Together with these we get an idea of how festive days such as Summer solstice (Solsticio de Verano), ‘La noche de San Juan’ (St. John’s bonfire night), Haloween (‘The Day Of All Saints’) and Christmas are celebrated in Spanish cultures. We like to briefly acknowledge their historic origin and the way they are celebrated today.
This term we are exading our sense of talking about ourselves by learning how to describe ourselves and others: our family, our pets or favourite animals, Nationalities and what languages we speak. We are still keeping it up with dates, our birthdays and special festive days such as El carnaval o San Valentín. We are developing our listening skills through Spanish Language audio activities and our and conversational skills through role play and stretching socialization in pairs and/or groups. This makes us pay more attention to the conjugation of verbs we use according to person: I, you, he/she/it. (Yo, tu, el/ella/ello)
Moving on from our study of Vincent Van Gogh, we will be spending the first half of this term making ‘Winter’ inspired artwork. We will be using the materials of watercolours, inks and mixed media to explore the techniques of resist, masking and silhouettes.
After half term we will be starting an exciting new project looking at the theme of ‘Trees’. This project will give the students an opportunity to experiment with mark making, marbling, printing, collage, and clay. We will also be studying the artist Gustav Klimt’s painting the ‘Tree of Life’.
This term we will be focussing on Biology. We start each session with meditation, then lessons on Human Biology, this first half of term we have studied the skull and jaw.
In R.E we are considering world religions and their histories.
I am particularly keen to consolidate the children’s excellent learning around functional skills in English.Consequently, there will be a lot of practise around the use of sentence variety, more complex use of punctuation and an emphasis on ‘proof reading’ as a positive skill to be valued rather than feared! There will an emphasis on speaking and listening skills involving discussion/debate/and ‘one minute’ speeches!
We studied ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ this summer term. Next term Nicholas will be taking over English Literature and will be studying George Orwell’s Animal Farm with the class.
Over the Summer Term the class looked at turning and angles – learning how to measure and draw angles accurately with a protractor. Shape topics continued with types of triangles and quadrilaterals, and number topics included rounding, BIDMAS and methods for multiplication. We will start next year looking at division and statistics.
Last term we studied Cells and Body Systems including specialised cells and breathing. We will study the heart and circulation, and then go on to study Light and Sound, and Metals and Non Metals including metal reactions.
This term sees us coming to the end of The Iron Age classification period as we enter the high point of The Roman Empire in Europe and parts of Britain. Our particular focus will again consider the impact of Roman technology on the development and continuation of their Empire over hundreds of years.
Last term we started a unit on Settlement which made use of our new map skills. We have continued this term looking at Land Use in towns and cities. We went on a local field trip to Queens Road where we were ‘house detectives’ using clues to date the houses. We are currently looking at the issues of Shanty Towns which has been a real eye-opener for some! We will finish the unit by studying one of the richest cities on earth, Dubai and the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa.
Design & Technology
Our Summer of DT involved more building work on the climbing frame, as well as being busy working on our Elephant Art projects.
On nearing completion of the climbing frame, the children have decided to add more, so this will continue into the autumn term along with our other outdoor projects. These being the Guinea pig enclosure, bird watching hide, go kart, quiet area and possibly some tyre seating.
Other indoor based projects will evolve through our class planning meetings.
Along side those jobs, we will be working on more Elephant related project work ready for the march in September and exhibition in October.
Moving on from last terms ‘Space’ themed work to something completely different. Our project for the Autumn is to look at the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. We will be studying his use of colour, painting techniques and subject matter including his most famous works the Sunflowers and Starry Night. We will be producing a number of Van Gogh inspired activities including a case study, observational sketching, painting, mixed media collage, pop up pictures and clay work.
We will be continuing with our Save the Elephants theme in time for our march (23rd Sept) and the Exhibition (30/31st Oct), followed by Internet/cyber awareness studies.
We will be considering the gods and myths of The Romans and their links with the gods of both The Ancient Greeks and The Celts.
Last term we started our DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read – not Relax, as one pupil suggested!) Reading independently, and also aloud, has proved not only incredibly valuable individually but also to the group as a whole, bringing literacy naturally into every day discussion.
This term we are approaching “spellings” in a more holistic/cooperative way, engaging students together and using words applicable across the whole school curriculum, hopefully avoiding any unhelpful comparisons.
In addition to this we are focussing this term on “Speaking and Listening”. Adapting our language for different purposes. Listening carefully and responsively to others viewpoints and giving our own opinions clearly. We shall be encouraging standard English vocabulary and grammar.
We have finished ‘Goodnight Mister Tom’ and the class completed some SUPERB work looking at characterisation and their feelings about the characters and storyline. We will start ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ this term ( another Tom!).
Since Christmas, the class has been writing and using formulae to plan a birthday party and a picnic. They have started to understand the abstract concept of using letters in place of numbers. We looked at the design of mazes and hopefully no one will be lost in one now that we know the secret of how to get out. Their own designs for mazes were very creative. Students have also spent time looking at fractions. They have seen life is so much easier when they know their times tables, as fractions is a topic that is always using that knowledge. Before breaking up for Easter we became detectives, using our mathematical skills to solve clues and crack codes in order to solve a murder mystery. When we return to school we shall be looking at angles.
Science – Theoretical
We have been continuing are epic exploration of Evolution and how profoundly it changes our world. We completed our evolutionary timeline and have been watching and discussing in detail David Attenborough’s beautiful ‘Rise of the Mammals’ series, which shows all the major evolutionary steps leading to the advent humans. Throughout our study of evolution comes the understanding that every single life form on this planet is connected and shares common ancestors. We have also discovered that this evolution does not just happen over immense periods of time but also occurs in our lifetime. For instance the early foetal stage of a human is looks almost exactly the same as any other animal!
Science – Practical
We completed the Particles topic. The students carried out practicals comparing the solubility of salts, and to look at physical and chemical changes. We looked at the expansion of substances, and the students completed a Particles Test.
We will study Cells and Body Systems, including animal and plant cells, specialised cells, tissues, organs, organ systems. We will look at processes in the body including breathing, gas exchange, respiration, digestion, excretion.
Maggie Smith will be running the Rocket Science project. This looks at the effect of radiation in space on the germination and growth of rocket seedlings. It will run during the first half of the summer term. This is a national project originating from the UK and European Space Agencies and the Royal Horticultural Society.
In History we are coming up to The Romans in Britain and The Roman Empire generally, but as always, with an emphasis on the use an application of technologies and how this has shaped societies.
Last term we completed our very important Map Skills unit. All pupils should now be competent in the use of grid references, scale, map symbols and showing height on a map. We had great fun being detectives and using all our map skills to help find the fugitive hiding in the forest using clues and OS maps of the New Forest.
This term we are looking at Settlement – the functions of places, settlement patterns and settlement hierarchy. We will be going on a local field trip during a lesson to look at the age and type of housing on Queens Rd. We will end the term by looking at the topic of Shopping – the nations favourite pastime apparently and an area of the economy that is experiencing enormous change.
This term we are continuing with our Space project. Exploring a range of fun activities including design an alien, moon making, marbled planets and rocket design! We will also be learning a few space facts along the way.
Design & Technology
Upper primary have been taking a break from Forest walks on Friday afternoon whilst the ground is waterlogged, and have been doing DT instead.
They have been working hard on the climbing frame are are becoming increasingly more confident with tool use. As part of their den/settlement building in the forest, we have been making simple ‘early man’ type tools using foraged sticks etc and string.
They have also been very busy helping us to collect the Guinea pig house from our neighbour as well as the other materials that were given to us. This included digging up and moving a wheelbarrow full of bricks with a little help from Rob. They were rewarded with Oreos and juice I believe!
The work on the guinea pig house has been going well and the children got it clean and ready after bringing it round as well as making the basic first repairs so the ladies could move in right away.
The class have designed an enclosure for the Guinea pigs as part of our work for the ongoing ‘Roots and Shoots’ work and will be bringing those design to fruition next term.
All together I think it is safe to say we have all been highly industrious! Looking forward to the next term of DT.
In light of the sad news of David Bowie’s death I decided to work on studying him and his music.
I gave a general introduction to him and showed various videos of his songs and of others singing them, most notably Commander Chris Hadfield singing Space Oddity onboard the International Space Station.
I then asked the class to start researching a favourite song to bring in to present to the class and also 5 unusual or interesting facts about him. Alongside the research (the fruits of which are on display in the class room) we learned Heroes in two parts and sang Space Oddity – Poppy’s favourite.
A delightful request from Alison to learn Wonderful World for the London trip to take with them was also accomplished. A video of this is on the school FaceBook page.
The second half of the term saw us continuing with various songs including a beautiful two part arrangement of Pure Imagination – from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory film. Considering I only see Upper Primary once a week they are doing well working on all that singing in harmony entails.
We have explored different materials and created realistic settings. We have learnt the vocabulary which may be used on a daily basis if we visited a Spanish speaking country, such as food and clothes… and also learnt some basic questions used in everyday life activity, such as shopping. We have also revised the basics of the language through play, colours through character description or numbers through small mathematical challenges. Cultural or traditional highlights have been and will still be mentioned.
This term we’re promoting conversation: ‘Let’s talk about ourselves’. (in Spanish!).
During Spring term we learnt about the PANTS rule, Speaking Up and Staying Safe, including a visit from the NSPCC. We also helped get our school display ready for the Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Award (display is set up in the studio for time being, take a look!). Next term we will be having a visit from a lady who is helping elephants and also meeting a couple who help lions.
Creative Movement / Dance
Having worked with story telling last term, exploring literal representation and characterisation, this term we will be exploring abstract creation and individual interpretation. The world of art has many forms and mediums, all commonly inspiring each other. This term we will look at the collaboration between visual art and dance, towards performance.
We all moved upstairs this term, which feels very grown up!
We now have 4 lessons a day, but they are still fun and we are all doing well!
By popular request we now have Maggie back for DT classes and have been building a platform/treehouse in the garden and planning a bird hide.
We have enjoyed discovering poetic language and literary techniques, including how to write effectively and for different purposes.
In the spring term we shall be progressing and perfecting our skills within grammar, structure and extracting information from a variety of texts.
Upper Primary have enjoyed using Mymaths to see new ideas explained, or to complete homework. The class has seen new ways to calculate sums, such as multiplication and subtraction. My invention for subtraction, made from a toilet roll holder avoids the need ‘to borrow’ digits when subtracting, so has made life easier for several members of the class, and caused great amusement to some. We are using skills we learn to help us in other areas, such as negative number skills in algebra, or multiplying and dividing by powers of 10 to convert between units of measure. We are finishing the term by investigating and making a number trick, to be used at home in the Christmas holidays.
Next term the class will be working on fractions and algebra.
Science – Theoretical
We spent the first half of the term marvelling at the structure of atoms and the fact that they are mostly composed of empty space! We then compared the relative sizes of objects from atoms to galaxies, which show that the physical world exists on some many different levels. This was followed by considering the ingredients of the Universe – the elements! We considered some of the main elements and how they form compounds as basic as water and as complex as human beings. We also looked at the Electro-Magnetic Spectrum and how we use its different constituents from light to radio waves.
In the 2nd half of the term we have been looking at the evolution of life on Earth from the Earth’s creation from pieces of dust 4.6 billion years ago up until the appearance of dinosaurs. We also looked at how the continents have moved so much over time and will continue to do so. Throughout the term we have had some amazing discussions on the remarkable nature of life and existence.
Next half term we will be continuing with our timeline of the evolution of life on Planet Earth, building evolutionary ancestral trees and looking into greater detail at some of the many wonderful and weird life forms that have walked our Earth.
Science – Practical
We began with the topic of Particles. This included changes of state, separating mixtures by chromatography, dissolving and filtration, recrystallisation, and solubility. The students learnt various practical skills, including the safe use of Bunsen burners, safe handling of hot equipment, and accurate measurement of volume and temperature. For homework they have researched and expressed the definitions of various scientific terms, and written an experimental method.
Next term we will compare the solubilities of two chemicals practically. We will study distillation, physical and chemical changes, and the expansion of solids, liquids and gases. We will begin looking at Biological Systems, including cells and organs of the body and plant systems.
Students in Upper Primary have worked so hard this term! We spent our first weeks looking Easter Island and the lessons that we can learn from what happened to the environment there. We have then embarked on a really important topic of Mapskills and are currently practicing our 6 figure grid references.
Next term we will continue learning other Mapskills such as compass directions and scale.
This term we have been looking at Ancient Egypt. Researching lifestyle, pharaohs, writing, artwork and gods. Practical activities included sketchbook making, clay scarabs, 3D pyramids, mummy & sarcophagus, sand pictures and a figurative painting.
Next term we will be finishing the Egyptian project with a mask making activity and starting a new project about ‘Space Exploration’.
Term 1 (September – October)
We focussed on learning to sing in 4 part harmony using Gospel Music and Spirituals.
Some great research presentations on various Gospel choirs and tunes were given and we worked hard on our arrangements of various Gospel tunes; splitting into 4 groups for an elaborate music canon. We also learned the classic Wade in the Water. Singing in harmony involves many different complex learning areas and Upper Primary acquitted themselves very well.
Term 2 (November – December). As this term leads to the Christmas extravaganza we started by listening to presentations on everyone’s favourite Christmas tunes. Then came the hard work of learning and practising the pieces we were working with. Upper Primary are fantastic at learning song words and songs – and I think the whole class did extremely well, especially in the new piece Winter Solstice.
Our first contact with the Spanish language has been promising, and the students feel very motivated and challenged as to learn it. We know how to greet, how to say our names, colours, numbers up to 20. We have done some Christmas in Spanish, singing a Villancico (Xmas Carol) and we have worked some parts of the body.
For the next months, we will try to express what we like or dislike in Spanish, express what we do everyday and even talk about plans in the future. We will learn how to say the names of the family, more parts of the body, and some food and drinks in this language. Always with a communicative approach, as the students are already talking in Spanish in the classroom.