Home Learning Suggestions (School Closure)
Please remember that school is only partially open and any remote learning choices made by you should be interesting (and hopefully fun) and should not be placed above your own family's well-being. We are all currently living in unprecedented times and need to remember to not ask too much of ourselves. As teachers, we are still working and will catch up your child's learning when we reopen, so for now please be reassured that we know you are doing what you can as parents and we do not expect you to be running English classes at home for your children. We are providing a range of activities here that you can choose to dip into, or opt out of if you prefer. We are trying to be helpful, but it is certainly not our intention to add to your load at home. Please do only select activities that might relieve boredom and be of interest to you and your child. Please don't succumb to any perceived pressure to do more than you feel comfortable doing. There is no right or wrong when deciding which activities to try. You do not need to only access activities from your child's own year group, but can choose any activity from any key stage depending on your child's learning needs. We hope you might enjoy some of these and if you would like to share any outcomes with us, please E-mail the school office. Children learn when they play, bake, build a den, tell each other a story, sing, dance, complete a jigsaw puzzle, build a Lego machine, explore the garden, care for a pet - as parents, you will know best how long this list is and we fully support all of it! Best wishes, the English team.
With schools partially closed nationwide, there are numerous companies offering free on-line subscriptions to their E-learning web-pages. Celebrities and authors are also offering to help engage children when reading and learning at home. In addition to advice and sites already shared on the English page, we have now also attached sites here that look interesting and so might be of help to you at home. Resources shared here are optional and should be free to access from home. Cross-curricular links included could also act as a stimulus for associated writing and/or spoken language activities e.g. conversation topics; instructions on how to exercise; how to prepare a meal, or science investigation; delivery of a speech or jingle to advertise/review a product, or about the need to follow advice; poetry-writing and/or recital; research opportunities; letter-writing, or messaging friends and family; and illustrated animal fact-files etc. Encouraging your child to keep a journal, or scrapbook, at home to help record this unusual period in all of our lives and/or asking them to research a topic of interest to them can help keep learning fun and open-ended which can help to keep active minds engaged over longer periods. Any vocabulary-building and spelling activities you can do at home will also be really helpful. Reading is central to children's learning, so please keep doing this often at home, and please also remember that any interaction you have with your child, however mundane, is a learning opportunity and a chance for them to acquire new vocabulary and skills that fall both within and outside a regular classroom curriculum.
First News (a resource listed in Reading Recommendations) is currently offering free digital access to parents and children for the duration of school closures.
Remember to look on our English 'Competitions, Challenges and Events' section for competitions and challenges your child might like to enter whilst stuck at home.
Reading Planet: our brand new E-library with a vast range of colour-banded books that are out of this world!!
Welcome to our new Elibrary where you will have access to Ebooks from EYFS up to year 6. It follows the same colour book band scheme as in school but with a vast range within each colour band and with a good mix of fiction and non-fiction texts. There are lots of interactive elements as well as notes for parents on how to help and what questions to ask. You will also find there is a quiz to complete after each book too! During school closure as teachers do not have an up to date reading level for you child we recommend that your child selects (with your help) an appropriate level for them based on their current reading ability. They may wish to read easier texts to younger siblings or have a harder text read to them using the 'read to me' tool. Below is a document that explains the colour band system if you are not familiar with it and will help you to decide where to start.
(ignore the centre ID part)
For further explanation about how to access the Elibrary check out the pupil user guide once you have logged in.
How do I know which book band to pick?
Whole School Theme: Nature
Children are really enjoying exploring their topic and discovering new facts about the world around them. Some Year 6 pupils in school have taken advantage of the wonderfully hot weather to create pavement art that shares how they view their world. So many patterns exist in the world around us (animals and plants) that can be turned into art projects. If you have any to share, send them in and they can form part of a gallery for others to share and be inspired by. Some children are also debating as part of this topic. If there is an issue you feel strongly about, we would love to hear from you. Some Year 6 children in school have been considering the ethics of animal vs. human rights. It's a complex issue. Look out for their views and performances here, or in our Spoken Language section (where there is already a poetry performance about racism). 'Little People Big Dreams' is a great resource to teach children about key figures from history. This series shares the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists and innovative thinkers who changed the world. These stories can be found online as well, so you can listen to these picture books instead if you don't have access to a copy. They are suitable for all primary aged children. David Attenborough and Jane Goodall below are a good starting point, as they link with our current nature topic.
Art Inspired by Nature: Katie in Year 5
Whole School Theme: Walt Disney
'Inside Out' Film Reviews: Y5/6
Inside Out: Emotions Metaphor Poems
I’m a thunder cloud tearing through the sky,
I’m a volcano spewing out lava,
I’m a raging inferno destroying everything in my wake,
I’m a snarling bull tearing down a corridor,
I’m as red as blood streaming out of a wound,
I’m as furious as a honey badger,
Who am I?
By Ryan McGowan Year 5
I’m as confused as someone with the wrong directions,
As confused as someone learning politics and elections.
I’m scared as a rabbit being hunted,
As scared as a criminal being confronted.
I’m a sad as someone with a ruined reputation,
I'm sad as a charity without a single donation.
I’m as happy as a kid on Christmas Day.
As happy as someone hungry at a huge buffet.
I’m as angry as a volcano boiling over,
As angry as an artist paid in exposure.
I’m just disgusted as someone eating a slug.
As disgusted as someone covered in slime giving hugs.
By Eilidh Year 5
Anger: by Jamie in Year 6
Rainstorm-Inspired Poetry: metaphors, personification and mood
Using similes, metaphors and personification to describe the storm: Ryan in Year 5
Shadowy clouds cram the sky as thunder rumbles, rushing rain gushes down from the dull dark clouds. Lightning strikes illuminating the night sky while powerful winds stretch the trees to their absolute limit. The rain soaks the soil as holes load up to make massive well-like puddles and leaves rush being driven by the wind.
Whole School Theme: Traditional Tales
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman
This seems to be the perfect time for children (and adults!) of any age to read and share a range of fairy-tales. We have attached links below to help with FREE access to three of the most famous authors of these tales and to Aesop's fables (short stories with a moral message). It might be interesting to explore some of the lesser known tales and even to write and illustrate your own! You could also consider acting out or retelling a favourite tale for others. If you were to record it, we could even share it...Whatever your age, we don't think it's possible not to enjoy a fairy-tale; some can even be quite scary! We hope you enjoy this whole school theme, but once you start to read these we think it might be more than two weeks before you can stop! If that is the case, then don't - just keep reading!
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
― Albert Einstein
We have also had a request from Emily (Y6) to include more art-based projects for children to complete during their afternoons, 'once English activities have been completed' she says. We will add links here as we find them. If anyone has ideas they'd like us to investigate and share, please E-mail the school office. It would be fabulous if we could create a gallery to showcase any fairy-tale art done at home.
To kick off Emily's request, the following link teaches how to use thumb-prints to create fairy-tale characters:
The link below suggests arts and craft activities (with instructions) for any age. Older children might use some of these ideas to generate their own versions. The egg box Frog Prince is a particular favourite of ours!
Can you create a fairy-tale character?
You might be surprised at how creative you can be using recycled materials that can be found at home. If not a character-doll, perhaps you could create a collage of a fairy-tale scene e.g. forest, castle, dragon's lair, pond where the Frog Prince might live, bed in which the Princess could not sleep because of the pea, or the witch's cottage in Hansel and Gretel. There are sooooo many more ideas to choose from. Using mixed media (more than one material) in a collage can be very effective. Lego is great for building castles too!
Can you create an animal from a traditional tale or fable?
Pick an animal (e.g. pig, wolf, frog, dragon, crocodile, dog, fox) from a tale or fable and use the letters of its name to create it. Simple designs with bold contrasting colors will work best, as will using soft pencil lines to sketch outlines first. Soft and curved, or sharp and more angular lines can really help to convey your animal's character as well as its outline appearance.
Use the British Library link below to explore children's books, traditional tales and suggested art projects:
Can you guess in which book Katie's (Y5) character might appear?
Learning at home with Lego: Louie (Y5)
Plastic Pollution: Katie (Y5)
Daily phonics lessons for EYFS and Y1 (launching 27th April 2020)
Fancy a simple writing challenge? Based around one picture each day, 365 days a year! Under the picture is a list of activities for you to do. Pick the ones that interest you!
Here is the link: