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Autumn 1

Classifying Vertebrates


This afternoon, we've completed the first part of a larger body of work on classifying animals. We discussed how some animals have a spine (vertebrates) and some don't (invertebrates).


I gave the children a series of classification questions that we can use to determine whether an animal is an invertebrate or a  vertebrate (and how we could then determine whether the animal was a mammal, bird, amphibian, fish or reptile). The children had to work out the best order for the questions and then use the branching diagram that they had created to sort some vertebrates into the correct group.


Hopefully, we've learned some really useful questions for when we play 20 Questions!

A Deep Dive into Ancient Greece


This week, we've imagined that we have been transported back in time to ancient Athens. We learned more about how Athens was set out and how an ancient Greek home was used. We also engaged in some drama as children were given a role to perform. Each role was a person who might have come to an ancient agora. The children then had to go about their business in the agora and try to work out who the other children were playing.


We've also been learning about the life of Alexander the Great and how he took the Kingdom of Macedonia to new heights.

Forest School


This week, we've been able to get out into our school's forest area to enjoy a few activities surrounded by nature.


First, we thought about how we could encourage more birds to visit our school. We decided that the birds should have nesting place and be offered some more food. On Thursday, we collected some twigs which we will use to make some bird houses once they have had a chance to dry out. Then, we used pipe cleaners to create some bird feeders with apple, raisins and generic-brand breakfast hoops.


On Friday, the children were given maps and the co-ordinates of some hidden bits of information. Once the scavenger hunt was complete, the children read out some information that they had found about ancient Greek theatres. They then used natural objects to make some artistic representations of Greek theatre masks.

Conrad Burdekin


We were very lucky this afternoon to be able to virtually attend a talk by a local poet, Conrad Burdekin.


During the talk, we were able to learn a poem about bananas (with actions), be disgusted about what goes on in the teachers' staff room, have a go at a tongue twister and find out what fun spoonerisms can be.


Have a go at saying the tongue-twister and time yourself to see how fast you can say it three times:

"Henrietta's feeling better with a bowl of Viennetta. Viennetta made her better. Good for Henrietta."


After the talk finished, we had a play with spoonerisms and how they could make a very simple poem much more fun.


Bister Mutler tidied up,

Frinking drom a coffee cup.

The hishes de did put away,

Fready ror another day.




The Q&A from the live chat can be read here.


Find out more about Conrad Burdekin's work on his website.

Theseus and the Minotaur


For the last fortnight, we've been exploring the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur in which the brave hero Theseus sails to Knossos on Crete to put an end to the sacrifice of his people to the vicious beast known as the minotaur. As he arrives at Knossos, Theseus is greeted by the daughter of King Minos, princess Ariadne. Late one night, she helps him to sneak into the monster's lair in vast, winding labyrinth beneath the palace.


Below are some examples of the children's retelling of the story, presented as a diary entry from the point-of-view of Theseus.

Athenian Coins


Whilst a few coins don't buy much today, in the past a few coins could make someone truly rich. Before the invention of paper money, precious metals like gold or silver were used to make currency.


Some of the earliest coins in human history come from ancient Greece, which influenced the development of coins and money for centuries to come.


This silver coin of Athens carries a number of symbols for the city. On the main side of the coin is the head of Athena, a goddess of Athens. She wears a necklace and earrings and a richly decorated helmet with three olive leaves.


The reverse of the coin shows an owl and a sprig of olive, the bird and tree associated with Athena, especially at Athens. On the right of the owl are the first three letters in Greek of the name of Athena and short for Athens.


Have a look at the video below to find out how historians have used experimental archaeology to find out how ancient coins were made.


Then look at the photos of the ones that we made in class below that!

Art and Design

We used our research into Ancient Greek pottery to design our own pots.  We practised some designs in our sketch books using example images as our inspiration.  To make our final pieces, we sketched the outline, coloured them in using different shades of red and orange wax crayons, carefully painted the whole pot in black paint and then delicately scratched out the patterns and pictures.  Well done Charlies, you've done such brilliant design work - they're going to look fabulous on our display!

Understanding Chronology

Today, we have been discussing how time is measured in years, including the differences between BC and AD, and how they bother relate to BCE/CE. We have also been exploring our knowledge of when events happened and how different eras relate to each other by putting together a timeline.

Ancient Greece

Amazing work from Charlies this afternoon! They worked as historians and used examples of pottery to find out what life was like in Ancient Greece.