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Primary School

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Class 5/6 - Oak

Welcome to Oak Class

In Term 3, we started our new Horrible Histories topic, looking in detail at World War Two. We started reading Goodnight Mr Tom, which has become a firm favourite with Oak Class! We will continue to read it in Term 4, but so far, we have learnt not only about the outbreak of war in 1939 and how it affected so many, but also how a child can be so influenced and affected by their upbringing and childhood experiences. It has been very thought-provoking for all of us. We did some amazing writing, predicting what would happen in Chapter 5, 'Chamberlain Announces', working together to plan our work and then adding our own ideas and writing the chapter in the style of Michelle Magorian. We also looked at poetry written during WW2 and then wrote our own poems about the war - you can read some of them on the Oak Class board near the Office - they're well worth a read, we have some very talented poets!

We were fortunate to all do Forest School this term and after cutting willow and rebuilding a willow fence, we designed and started to build our own versions of an Anderson Shelter. The children not only had to discuss, plan and make their shelter, they also had to incorporate a safe space for a fire so they can do some war time cooking when the shelters are finished!

In Science, we learnt about classifying living things using taxonomy, based on the Linnaeus system. We explored the school grounds, looking for a variety of living things so we could develop our own classification keys.

Our big question in RE was 'How does following God bring freedom and justice?' We looked in detail at the story of Moses, acting it out and seeing how the story of the People of God could help us to answer our question. We also considered the 10 commandments and had some great discussions on whether having rules gives people more freedom and justice - or less.

We're looking forward to continuing our Horrible Histories topic in Term 4 and finding out what happens to Willie and Tom in Goodnight Mr Tom! Please note that for Term 4, PE will be on a Monday and Forest School on a Wednesday -please leave kits in school however as we will need them on other days as well. Thank you for all your support for Oak Class!


In Term 2 we concentrated on Central and South America, looking in particular at the Geography of South America. We read the book 'Journey to the River Sea' by Eva Ibbotson. This captivating adventure story taught us a lot about the Amazon Rainforest, but also helped to think about how we treat and respect others, understanding different cultures and growing up. We investigated deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, looking at the arguments for and against. Following a lively debate, we wrote balanced arguments, taking into account both sides (which we found hard!) and concluding with our personal opinion. We also used the idea from the book that Maia (the main character), felt like and compared herself to Cinderella at times and wrote some amazing twisted fairy tales of our own!

Looking at Central America, we learnt about the Ancient Mayan Civilisation. We considered where the Mayans lived, how they lived, what they believed and what they ate. Maize and cocoa were particularly important and we finished the term by trying Mayan Hot chocolate - just like Hot Chocolate now but with added cinnamon and chilli! 

We thoroughly enjoyed making electrical circuits in Science, ending the term by designing and making a Christmas decoration which had to include a working light, switch and a moving part!

In RE, our big questions was 'Was Jesus the Messiah?' We became investigative journalists to research what was said about the Messiah in the Old Testament; we interviewed a volunteer Mary and Joseph to see what they thought about Jesus and the prophecies from the Old Testament and looked at the birth of Jesus in order to help us to write a newspaper report, answering the question and helping us to reach our own conclusions.

We're looking forward to our new Horrible Histories topic in Terms 3 and 4 and will be looking in particular at the Second World War. Please note that PE will always be on a Thursday and Forest School on a Tuesday - please leave kits in school as we will need them on other days as well. Thank you for all your support for Oak Class!

The Federation of The Downs and Northbourne is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all Governors, staff, volunteers, parents and carers to share this commitment.