Welcome to Swallows
Swallows 2020 - 2021
Please remember our home learning and spellings are always due in on a Thursday and will be sent back out the next day. Spellings are set on a weekly basis but topic work is set on a two weekly basis. For more information please visit our home learning page which can be found under the children tab at the top of this page.
The children change their books on a daily basis. Please ensure they bring a water bottle into school. Our PE day is a Wednesday - please ensure your child comes in PE clothes and a school jumper.
Light and Shadows
Swallows enjoyed reading the 'Owl who was Afraid of the Dark' and linking it to our Science work through the range of light sources. We created character descriptions and retold the story in our owns words with our own new character.
Also during term 1, we read the story of 'The Iron Man' by Ted Hughes and wrote a range of texts, including a diary entry from Hogarth. We investigated how magnets work and completed a Home Learning task to create our own magnetic board games. We shared these with the class during our Friday reflection and even had a chance to play each other's games.
During term 2, we learnt about Roman Britain and the Roman way of life. To better understand our own British history, we also looked at Celtic Britain and the conflict that arose through the Boudicca uprising. We compared Roman Villas and Celtic Roundhouses, created posters about what the Romans brought to Britain and wrote a newspaper report on Boudicca. One of the texts we looked at this half term was 'Escape from Pompeii' and we wrote excellent setting descriptions. We finished off our topic by creating a festive mosaic for those we care about.
During Term 3, Swallows learnt about healthy bodies which included healthy eating and our skeletons. To go alongside our topic, we read the book 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl and created a range of writing to accompany this. The class particularly enjoyed writing their newspaper reports and letters to persuade Mr Wonka to make healthier snacks.
During term 4, Swallows continued focusing on the works of Roald Dahl by reading the exciting story of James and the Giant Peach. This tied in with our topic of plants and we created a range of writing that focused around the story. Swallows' particularly enjoyed writing their own story ending for the great peach escape.
During the term we planted a range of wildflower seeds in one of the school flower beds. The flower bed was split in plots for pairs of children and all had the opportunity to plant their seeds themselves. We have watered these seeds and will continue to monitor how they grow and bloom.
This term was heavily focused on Science and carrying out fair investigations. We tested what seeds need to germinate, what flowers need to survive and how water is transported through flowers and celery. The class enjoyed the wide range of investigations and some even managed to continue growing their own broad beans.
During term 5, Swallows finish studying plants by reflecting on the growth of our wildflowers over the half-term. We then focused on our new topic of location, location! which focused on our local area. During the term, there were many exciting writing opportunities such as writing to the local council asking for improvements to Dartford.
Swallows were fortunate to go on a trip to Horton Kirby, visiting many of the human and physical features we had studied in our Geography lesson. They looked at the main features of the village, including the river, lack of shops and the local public house. The class completed a range of activities, focused on: traffic in the village, compass skills, what future Horton Kirby may look like and much more.
Swallows finished the term with a week focused around well-being, filled with practical activities. Our educational visit formed part of this and relaxed the class with a calm environmental walk. They also experienced mindfulness Yoga and enjoyed cooking as part of Roots to Food. These are some of the things the class had to say about their week:
The music helped me feel calm and to focus on my painting.
The cooking made me feel relaxed.
In yoga, the balloon breathing made me feel calm and relaxed.
I have done extra reading to make me feel calm.
It was relaxing to look at the river Darent and play Pooh Sticks.
Swallows have also been involved their DT project this term linked to our Roman topic where the children have designed and built their own Roman chariots! They have used both materials and tools safely and efficiently.
Swallows have thoroughly enjoyed having their visitor from the past! They have spent a morning re-enacting exciting stories from the Roman period and getting to know what it was like being in the Roman army. They practised marching, listening to instructions and working as a team whilst becoming familiar with various techniques and formations used in the Roman army. It was an unforgettable experience for the children, that has helped inspire and engage them in our history topic this term.
Light and Shadows
Swallows have enjoyed investigating shadows and reflective surfaces. They have worked scientifically to recognise patterns in how shadows change in size and shape. Also they have particularly enjoyed applying their skills and knowledge of opaque and translucent materials to their TASC project where they designed and created shadow puppets for their play based on Rama and Sita (the story of Diwali!) The creative project was a fabulous opportunity to combine their scientific learning with their RE and literacy skills as well as their art/DT skills.
Swallows have thoroughly enjoyed their surprise visitor from the past! They had the opportunity to learn all about what life was like in the Roman army and re-enact Roman stories and scenes! They learned all about the secrets of success of one of the most powerful armies in the history of the world!
Swallows' DT project
Inspired by our Romans topic, Swallows have enjoyed designing and making their own Roman chariots. They explored different types of axles and looked at existing products. After learning how to use the tools safely, Swallows practised measuring the wood they needed to cut, holding it in place using a vice and then cutting the plywood using a coping saw! They will now enjoy decorating their chariots using Roman designs.
In term 1, Swallows have been exploring light and shadows. They have investigated how to change the size and shape of their shadow using fair testing and taking accurate measurements. They have been making careful observations about their shadows and playing shadow games. Swallows have also been learning about sources of light and reflective surfaces, thinking about how to stay safe in the sun and protect their eyes!
Furthermore, Swallows have had the opportunity to apply their scientific knowledge and understanding in their writing where they have written clear explanation texts for other children about how shadows are formed and have written poetry about reflective things they see in their surroundings.
Swallows have been learning about rocks and fossils. The have been finding out about how fossils are formed by creating their own fossils encased in sedimentary rock, using clay and plaster. They then had the opportunity to discover and experience what being a fossil hunter is like when they had the responsibility to carefully excavate and identify each other’s fossils!
St. George’s Parade
To celebrate St. George’s day, Swallows designed and made their own parade item (a portcullis!) for the parade. They then had the opportunity to take part in the Dartford parade where they marched and proudly carried their work as well as their British flags!
As part of our Geography unit with links to our British values, Swallows have had an opportunity to interview the mayor of Dartford when he came to visit us in our class room. This was followed by a special visit to the council chambers. They found out about the role of the council in improving our area and how democracy was practised within the council.
Investigating light and shadow
Last term, we thoroughly enjoyed our Science topics. We have been working scientifically to investigate light and shadows, we particularly enjoyed making our silhouettes and playing shadow games. Furthermore, we investigated how shadows are formed and how they change in size and shape.
We linked our scientific knowledge and understanding to our Literacy topic where we wrote and performed poems about reflective things. We also wrote instructions on how to make shadow puppets.
Diwali - The festival of Light
We have been learning about Hinduism in RE this term, focusing on Diwali the festival of Light. We have been exploring how Hindu's celebrate Diwali and we have learnt that it is a celebration of good vs evil, Hindu people come together and feel a sense of belonging during this time.
We have done a great deal of cross-curricular work, we have designed and made traditional diva lamps, designed rangoli patterns, written information texts about Diwali, we have acted out parts of the story of Rama and Sita and we have considered how we feel that sense of belonging in our lives. We really enjoyed our end of topic celebration of togetherness when we came together as a class and lit our diva lamps in the hall. For more information have a look at our Hinduism display in the corridor.
Life in Roman times has been our focus this term in Year 3. We have learned about houses, clothing, the Roman Army and many other interesting things. It has been fascinating to look back nearly 2000 years at how this great civilisation changed our country forever. Did you know that many of our roads were originally built by the Romans?
We were also lucky enough to visit the remains of a Roman villa at Lullingstone in Kent. This really made our topic work come to life!
St. George's Day Parade
On 23rd April we went to Dartford town centre for the St. George's Day Parade. We made shields before the day and celebrated this special day by carrying our shields as we walked with other schools through the town to the bandstand in the middle of Central Park where we also enjoyed a performance of George and the Dragon by a local drama group.
Alice in Wonderland
This year we have learnt a poem called 'Jabberwocky' by Lewis Carroll. We performed it to the rest of the school as part of our a special book week. We also wrote about the story of Alice's adventures in Wonderland and entered the school writing competition.
Location! Location! Location!
We have had a great time in Geography this year learning about maps, places and the world around us. We had a fun time designing a new town for Kent. We have learnt to read the key on a map and add this to our own work. As part of this project we designed and built our own prototypes of a new clock for our own town of Dartford.
Oui! For the whole of this year we have been lucky enough to learn a lot of French with the help of Monsieur Birchnell from Dartford Grammar School. We played Jacques a dit (Simon says in French!), we learnt a French poem, we have read a French book called Pierre et Monsieur Bonhomme de neige (Peter and the snowman) as well gaining a lot of useful vocabulary. We certainly feel if we ever went to France that we could get by now!
It has been great learning to play the recorder with the help of our new music teacher Miss Neighbour. The first note she taught us was B and from there were have learnt many more so that now we can play songs like Three blind mice and Wind and rain. We feel we have achieved lot with Miss Neighbour and can’t wait to learn more!