Welcome back to school, after the disruption of lockdown! This half term our class topic is Farms and Farming. We will be using sources, such as stories, non-fiction texts, photographs, maps and videos, to learn about different aspects of farming. As part of our Science work, we will be learning about the growth of plants and the different farm animals. In History, we will be considering the development of farming tools and machinery over time. In Geography, we will also look at the impact farming has on the landscape. We will also think about the crops that can be grown in Cornwall compared to hot countries like Brazil.
Our visit to Kehelland Chapel
As part of our learning in R.E. we visited Kehelland Methodist Chapel, to find out what Christian worship looks like. We had a short "service" with hymns, prayers to say thank you, to say sorry, or to ask for help, and story readings from the Bible. The children were able to use their learning in the classroom to identify the pews, font, lectern, pulpit and altar. After the service, the children were free to explore. They especially enjoyed sitting at the organ, and passing the collection bag with its double handles. The children were very respectful throughout the visit, recognising that the chapel was a special place of worship for Christians.
R.E. Places of worship
In R.E., we have been studying the special places of worship of different religious groups- Christians, Jews and Muslims. We transformed our classroom to help us understand what Muslim worship in a mosque looks like. The children started by removing their socks and shoes, and washing their hands and feet. They placed prayer mats on the floor, facing east, where Muslims believe Muhammad pbuh was born. The boys were on one side of the classroom and the girls on the other. We then went through the movements that accomplany Islamic prayer. The Qur'an, the holy book of Muslims was respectfully placed high up on a stand. We also knew that Muslims would consider it disrepectful of us to have any images of Muhammad pbuh around the room.
Our beach trip
We had a wonderful day on the beach at Gwithian! The sun shone, but there was a lovely breeze to keep us cool. We started by walking across the Towans, talking about the plants and animals that might live there. On the beach, we had a rotation of three activities- rockpooling, observing the tide/litter picking and digging in the sand. We were lucky to find different types of seaweed (some with floats), small fish, anemones and, on the edge of the sea, jelly fish. When collecting manmade litter, someone found a sock! As we left the beach, the tide was coming in fast, and almost all the sand had disappeared.
From the shallows to the deep
For the second half of this term, our topic is based on the seashore and entitled "From the shallows to the deep". We will be learning about the living things that make the seashore and ocean their habitat. In Geography, we will be looking at how the physical and human features of coastlines are represented on maps. In History, we will learn about seaside holidays and activities in the past. We will also be exploring the seashore creatively through Art, Music and Movement. To start our topic, we enjoyed the story Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson. We created our own rock pool in the sand area.
As part of our Science learning, we have investigated the characteristics of different vertebrate animal groups. This week we thought about fish, and what makes them the same as other animal groups and what makes them different. We used our senses to look closely at small fish. We smelled them, touched them and used a magnifying glass to examine their appearance more closely. Daisy discovered that she could open the fish's mouth, so of course everyone had a go! The children were all very gentle and respectful handling the fish.
We had a wonderful time in Science, investigating seaweed. We found out that it was not a plant or an animal, but an algae. It uses rockpools or the deep ocean as its habitat. In the ocean, it forms "forests of the sea". It can be green, brown or red. We also found out that it has a holdfast, a stipe, blades and floats. We used our senses to investigate the seaweed, touching it, smelling it and using a magnifying glass to look at it.
Fruit and vegetable painting
We have enjoyed using fruit and vegetables in our artwork over the past three weeks. Firstly, we used a variety of vegetables to print attractive patterns. Next, we looked at the paintings of Guiseppe Arcimboldo, and used the same printing technique to create pictures of faces. Finally, we looked at the still life paintings of Paul Cezanne, and tried to create some still life paintings of our own. As a table group, we carefully arranged the fruit and another object (such as a jug, vase or goblet) into an attractive design. We then drew the arrangement before painting it.
We discussed how difficult it was for farmers before the invention of machines to help them. We had a go at weeding the school planting beds, but found it very hard. The soil was too hard and solid for our hand trowels and forks, and we discovered that some plant roots are very long! Luckily, some parents and children helped us out by kindly spending a Sunday forking over the beds and adding rich manure and straw.
Farming role play
With most of the beds now full of rich, weed-free soil, the Pebbles had a wonderful time with the small world toys, pretending to be farming the land. They used hedge strips and walls to create field boundaries, and sorted the different animals into separate fields. They also used the tractors and diggers to plough and move soil. Some beds had not been cleared of weeds, and this imaginatively became a wild area for all our badgers, and also for lots of tiny piglets, who seemed to have escaped from the farm!
In Science, we have learned about the conditions that a seed needs to germinate, namely the presence of air, water and light. We planted cress seeds and broad beans in small pots. We thought that the window sill was the best place for them and realised that we would need to water them regularly. The cress sees germinated very quickly and we were able to take them home, hopefully to eventually eat some in a sandwich or salad. The broad beans took longer to germinate, but now most are showing long roots and green shoots.
UPDATE The broad beans are growing very quickly now! We are enjoying watching them grow and are looking forward to planting them in soil.