Gershwin

Welcome to Gershwin class.  
September 2018 - July 2019

Spring 2 

 

As part of Book Week at the beginning of March, Gershwin Class read Kensuke's Kingdom.  We thought about the view from the island, on which Kensuke lives, and created silhouettes for the characters set before a watercolour view.  We have been using authors' tools such as alliteration, personification, repetition and pathetic fallacy to enrich our adventure stories (which tell the tale of how Kensuke came to be marooned upon the island).

 

In Maths, we have been solving problems involving ratio and proportion.  Some of the challenges have been really puzzling, but we have worked on using bar models to make these problems more straightforward.

 

 

In RE we have considered our views about God and have discussed why some people believe in God and why others might not.  We have also been reflecting upon how we would want others to treat books which we regard as precious, and how Jews, Muslims and Sikhs show respect to their holy books.  We are currently writing guidance for Sikhs of our own age about how to show respect to the Guru Granth Sahib.
Spring 1 2019
 

Gershwin Class really enjoyed the performance of Aladdin on our first day back at school.  We read Philip Pullman's version of Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp and wrote monologues and action scenes inspired by what we had read.

 

We also took part in the Squashed Tomato Challenge as part of our DT work on pulleys.  We began by investigating pulley systems by building KNex models of sailboats, flagpoles and 'block and tackle' units.  This helped us to establish how the pulley systems worked and to identify the input, output and process involved in the systems.  Using this knowledge we then followed our design brief - to create a transport system which would move crops across a river and down a mountainside for farmers in Agrabah.  It had to include at least one pulley.  We designed and made our system using wood or KNex; we were very successful in transporting six cherry tomatoes back and forth across distances of at least one metre!

 

We have started our topic - Rule Britannia.  We have been enjoying using our British Empire classroom, and have starting our enquiry by finding out why it was said that in 1921 the sun never set on the British Empire.  We began by finding out where the colonies of the British Empire were - this helped us to find out the answer to our first question!

Latest news from Gershwin class [Autumn 2]

 

As part of our topic, 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon', Gershwin Class each spent a wonderful day in a Chinese myths and legends workshop.  Not only did we hearing fascinating stories, but we also very much enjoyed learning to perform Chinese ribbon dances.  Using long ribbons, they learnt the basics of ribbon dancing first before working in groups to perform synchronised movements.  We later incorporated these moves, and more, into short performances which told the tale of various different Chinese myths and legends.  By the end of the day, not only had we learnt many stories but we were also experts ribbon dancers!

 

In November we marked the 100 year anniversary of the end of World War 1.  We wrote cinquain poems which have a pattern of syllables on each line - 2, 4, 6, 8 and 2.  Some of our cinquains were based on a picture in the book 'Where the Poppies Now Grow' but some were inspired by John McCrae's poem- In Flanders Fields.

 

In RE we have been thinking about how faith can be expressed through art.  We have been learning about how Buddhists use mandalas as a form of meditation.  We made mandalas in the sand - these took a while, but we wiped them away so we could think about the importance of impermanence to Buddhists.  We are currently designing our own mandalas with a CD in the middle.  They will look stunning when they are finished. 

Autumn 1

 

In Gershwin Class, we have been investigating dragon bones!  As part of our topic, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, we have investigated hieroglyphs found on oracle bones (thought to be dragon bones) and tried to decipher their meaning.  Once we had found out that one of the bones said 'Will it rain today?', we set about generating our own short questions which we might have wanted to ask our ancestors about the future, if we were an Ancient Chinese ruler.  We created our own hieroglyphs to express our questions.  Can you work out what Freddie's question might have been?

 

We have been writing in response to the short film, Wing.  We have used lots of writing tools this half term - pathetic fallacy, emotive language, metaphors, similes, dialogue to build characters etc.  

 

Claudia has used some emotive language to describe the character of Wing:

My very heart dropped.  I could see his weak body trembling.  His beady eyes looked up as the cold-hearted beasts stood there, above him.  A tear dropped down his innocent face as his tormentors smirked, watching him crumble.  This defeated creature had no more faith - I could see his pain and those fingers digging into the soggy mud.  His lip started to quiver; he was paralysed with fear.

 

In Computing, we have been changing website code that has already been written.

 

We used Mozilla xray goggles and HTML editor to rewrite the code and make some changes to pictures and text from a webpage. We replaced some of the code to change font colours as well as photo and text content. Our changes couldn’t be saved or made permanent and we made sure we discussed the fact that hacking is illegal!

 

September
 
This term Gershwin Class are travelling back to Ancient Chinese times.  We are going to solve an ancient Chinese mystery using the messages carved into, what are alleged to be, dragon bones.  We are enjoying using our Chinese pagoda during guided reading, and have spent time finding out about modern day China.  We found a population counter which kept changing as residents of China died, and new residents were born.
 
In Maths we have been developing our understanding of place value in numbers up to 10 million.  We have been playing games of Crooked Rules and Crooked Millionaire to secure our knowledge of the place value columns and their worth.
 
In English we are watching the short film - Wing.  We are using the film to inspire our writing, but it also prompted an interesting discussion about themes such as unity enabling us to achieve shared dreams.
Some of our previous learning

This term Gershwin Class are learning all about the Ancient Greeks in our topic 'Myths, Mortals and Monsters'.  The Greek myths have been our inspiration for poetry and writing in character.  We have been researching the geography of modern day Greece and will be looking at whether the Geography of Ancient Greece is different from this.

 

 

In PSHE we have been thinking about team-work.  We had 15 minutes to create bridges from three art straws and some sellotape.  All of the bridges were able to hold a 1 kilogram weight because we were all so good at working as a team.  We were able to identify the features of good team work, which we thought included trusting your teammates, allowing teammates to take risks, good communication and valuing the contributions of all. 
 
 
We have been developing our cookery skills each week in the Food Technology room - chopping onions, peeling potatoes and preparing moussaka.

 

This term our topic is Every Shining Pine Needle.  We are learning all about the history of Native Americans.  We have written poems inspired by Hiawatha's Canoe and we fashioned trees out of brown paper bags from America.  We also made headdresses to wear whilst we performed the poem.

 

In Art we have been making observational drawings of feathers and we then created zen doodle patterns based on feathers.  Now we are creating collographs which we are going to use to print on fabric.  Our collographs are inspired by Native American patterns.

 

We were visited by American West who taught us all about Native American life past and present.  We learnt songs, played games and handled artefacts.  We really enjoyed watching Native American dances and trying on some clothes! 

Have a look  at our photos!

 
 
During the Autumn Term Gershwin class put themselves in the place of soldiers and civilians in World Wars 1 and 2, in our topic - Through Their Eyes.  We found out about life in the trenches for solidiers fighting on the 'Front Line' in World War 1.  Using our learning, we wrote incredibly moving letters to an unknown soldier which we read to the graves of un-named soldiers at the American War Cemetary in Cambridge.  We learnt about how the civilains of major cities in the UK adapted to life in the Second World War.  We were evacuated to Duxford, where Agnes the ARP Warden taught us to fight fires caused by incendiary bombs and to wear our gas masks properly.  In DT we adapted our own modern day recipes to wartime rations and cooked our own (very tasty) recipes!
In Science we have been learning about physical and chemical reactions. We made foaming monsters! We added bicarbonate of soda to vinegar mixed with food dye and washing-up liquid and witnessed a chemical reaction as foam oozed out of the monster!