Happy New Year to you all! We are delighted to be back at LJS after a restful Christmas break. We had great excitement in Tuesday morning when we arrived in our classrooms to find that the old grey carpets have been replaced with new blue ones and that we have brand new tables and chairs too! The tables tops are a light grey colour and the chairs are a smart purple colour – we love them! We think that the new chairs are much more comfortable and we all like the shapes of the tables too – rectangles and semi-circles. We asked if Father Christmas had delivered them on Christmas Eve but Mrs W explained that he would have been far too busy so they had been delivered the week before!
Our new topic is Kenya. We will be making comparisons between Kenya and England as we learn. On Tuesday we received a takeaway menu full of ‘Unhomework’ ideas. We were very excited to see all of the different tasks. We can complete each one in any way we wish. Mrs W and Mrs H told us that last year’s Unhomework included video clips, audio recordings, collages, booklets, posters, Prezi presentations, cooking, pictures, fact cards and even Minecraft! Our teachers can’t wait to see our Unhomework start to come in.
On Thursday we were a bit confused when we retuned from morning break and were given boarding passes! 2W had been transformed into an aeroplane with the classroom chairs being set out like an aircraft cabin. We sat down quietly and fastened our imaginary seat belts before watching a flight safety brief. We then took off from Heathrow and landed only minutes later in Nairobi, Kenya! The eight hour flight seemed to go by in a flash… Once ‘there’ we found out some information about the location of Kenya and the continent of Africa. We also discovered a little bit about the food and schools. The school room that we saw looked very different to our bright, colourful classroom. We noticed that Heathrow looked very different to Nairobi airport. There were lots of small aeroplanes at Nairobi airport and some were even on the grass – they were much bigger at Heathrow! Once we had found out some information we ‘flew’ back to Oundle in time for lunch!
On Friday morning, it happened! ‘It’ being SNOW! There was a definite air of excitement around the school and we have never put our coats on more quickly than when we were told that we could go outside in it! It’s a good job we went out before 9am – just as the weather forecasters had predicted, it had all gone by 10am!
Today we showed the children a walk through game which is available online, courtesy of the Geffrye Museum in London. It takes them through a Victorian house in 1870 and allows them to find out a little more about living in Victorian times. Lots of the children loved it and were keen to have a go. I promised them I would blog the link, so here it is!
If you’re heading to London during the half term break, there are a couple of places that are worth visiting in relation to our Victorian topic and also relating to the Great Fire of London.
The Great Fire Monument is free to look at and, for a small fee, you can climb the steps to the top and admire the view. Be warned though – it’s a long way to the top, although you do get a certificate if you manage it! You can find information by clicking here.
The Museum of London has a special exhibition running at the moment until April 2017, commemorating the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. I’m told that it’s well worth a visit. Click here for more information. There is a small charge for entry to the exhibition but the museum itself is free to visit.
After half term we will be exploring the life and work of Florence Nightingale. There is a wonderful museum dedicated to her life which is a treasure trove and contains many original artefacts and lots of her own belongings. It is located in St Thomas’ Hospital, close to Westminister Bridge. You can find out more by clicking here. If you’re travelling by train you can download a voucher here for 2 for 1 entry to the museum too!
These are not compulsory visits or activities but we just wanted to share some ideas with you!
On Thursday 6th October we stepped back in time and arrived at school dressed in Victorian-style clothing rather than our usual uniforms. We were all very excited to be heading to Wisbech Castle for the day and boarded the minibuses quickly.
On arrival we discovered that it is not a castle at all but actually a Regency villa, named Wisbech Castle by the Victorians as it is on the site of a long gone castle. Richard from CEES met us and took us in through the front door before explaining the day ahead. We were to go into the back garden and knock politely on the back door where we would be met by the butler, Mr Grafton.
Mr Grafton lined us up in the downstairs hallway and explained that he was delighted to see that we were applying for the posts of scullery maid (in the case of the girls) and boot boy. He then set us to task. We had four tasks to complete, two of them marked by the senior servants (aka our teachers) out of 20. The applicants with the highest score out of 40 would be offered the jobs!
We loved making a pie crust using real pastry and decorated them with great care. Setting the table for a ‘light four course lunch’ was a bit more challenging as there were so many items of cutlery and crockery to put int the right places and facing the right way – not only that but there were different sizes! The most challenging part of the table setting was the napkin folding. Some of us managed to end up with something that looked like the crown that Mr Grafton had demonstrated but others ended up with a heap of white linen napkin!
We also got to use a posser, dolly and washboard to wash some rags. The highlight of this was the dangerous task of using the mangle. No fingers were squashed because we had listened carefully and were very careful!
After we had eaten our packed lunches, we got the opportunity to play in the garden with some Victorian toys. The stilts proved to be very popular, as did the hoops and sticks which took some concentration and perseverance. We also had a go at skipping with a long rope. Millie held the record of the highest number of skips; she jumped for so long that we lost count!
Our final task was to try to work out what different objects in the parlour were used for. There was a very old looking pump-action vacuum cleaner as well as an object that lots of us recognised from an Oxford Reading Tree book called ‘The Whatsit’ – it was a real-life ‘whatsit’ which was actually a wool winder!
We had a fabulous day and Mr Grafton chose Anna to be the scullery maid and Harrison was to be the boot boy. Both were slightly concerned at the thought of returning on Monday morning at 5.30am to start work. The wages of £13 per year for the scullery maid and £9 per year for the boot boy didn’t sound very generous for such hard work and the hours of 5.30am to 10.30pm daily sounded tiring. Luckily Mr Grafton changed back to being Richard and he told us that we were back in 2016 so there was no need to come back on Monday!
We had a fabulous day and didn’t even fall asleep on the way home because we were still so excited! We were sad to learn that Wisbech Castle is being sold by the county council and that it’s future for education purposes is uncertain. We were the last booked school group and did LJS proud by behaving beautifully throughout.
Year Two had great fun creating natural collages in the Woodland Garden last week. We were inspired by the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy who uses the environment and natural materials in his creations. We worked on our own to create individual pictures or abstract designs and everyone photographed their own work using the iPad. We then worked in our class groups to create large pictures of the Great Fire of London. We used the colours of the objects we found for the different elements such as fire and wood. It was great fun and we ended the session by putting everything we had used back where we had found it. You can find out more about Andy Goldsworthy by clicking here.
The summer holidays flashed past in a blur of sunshine and fun but we’re delighted to be welcoming our new Year 2 pupils and parents.
Our topic for the next few weeks is The Great Fire of London and we have already been learning lots of interesting facts.
Our first spelling pattern has been introduced and we hope that the children have shared this with you at home. Some children have come in this morning feeling very proud that they were able to teach someone at home what a phoneme is. Don’t worry if you don’t know some of the terms the children are using – you can learn with us!
Year 2 have been coding over the last few weeks. We have been using Espresso coding to write code and have created our own apps. Click on the link below to see some of the work we’ve done.
J from 2W brought in a tasty treat this morning in the form of Kenyan donuts.
They looked delicious and the smell was wonderful! We all tried one and they were just as delicious as they looked! Thank you, J!
Year Two’s Kenyan ‘Unhomework’ continues to delight us! We commented last time that we were wondering what would come in next… Well, over the weekend we were amazed to see ‘Dessert number 1’ being completed in a brilliantly imaginative and unique way – it has been created using Minecraft! M from 2H has used his Minecraft skills to produce this wonderful depiction of the Kenyan flag. Not only that but he has been busy making Kenyan chapatis – and eating them of course!
Also emailed over the weekend was another ‘Safari in a Shoebox’ which used a younger sibling’s toy animals.
More wordsearches, a map and a selection of ‘starters’ and ‘desserts’ have also been sent in this morning – Year 2 have obviously been busy over the weekend… Later on we shall be trying some Kenyan donuts which have been made by J in 2W. We shall report back later with photographic proof and our verdicts!
Last week Year Two’s new takeaway ‘unhomework’ menu was launched. The children were very excited to receive their menu. It includes many different choices – starters, main courses and desserts. The ‘unhomework’ tasks can be completed in any way you like! So far we have got loads of different and exciting projects on display and there are lots more to come!
As you can see, we have been very busy and are enjoying being able to choose what we are learning and how we are presenting our learning. We have jewellery, a Maasai mud hut, word searches, a LEGO model of a National Park designed by the builder, some Kenyan flags, some African drums, information about the big five and a map; not to mention several ‘safaris in a shoebox’! Mrs H, Mrs W, Mrs L and Mrs B are wondering what will come in next…
This morning Year Two were excited and surprised when they returned from break to be given boarding passes…to Nairobi in Kenya! Having found our seats aboard the classroom aircraft we then viewed the LJS airways safety briefing. We watched in amazement as we took off from Heathrow; white board technology had allowed us to view this on screen from the cockpit. The 8 1/2 hour flight passed in a flash and in no time at all we were landing with a wonderful view of Nairobi!
We wanted to find out about Kenya but first shared our existing knowledge. Then we discussed what we would like to find out next. Mrs W and Mrs H were most impressed by the ideas and questions posed.
Having written down our questions we settled in for more discussion based around a presentation relating to the location of Kenya. We found it most interesting to compare Kenya with England and are looking forward to finding out more as the weeks go on.
Our time in Kenya was over all too quickly and before we knew it, we were landing back at Heathrow.