Arts Project – Day 7

This morning Y4 collected a bank of emotions, which the children applied to a range of different scenarios. The task provided the foundation for writing later on in the morning when Mrs. Johnston asked the class to redraft the story of The Journey. The children began each sentence of the original text with an adjective to describe emotion. Extra detail was added by writing additional sentences in the form of a thought, a question and another emotion. Sonny, Harley and Susan demonstrated that they are really connecting with the family in the story.

Connections were made today when the different elements of the dance work came together in our rehearsals with Miss Allison.  Lilly Anna worked especially well and showed that she is a great organiser as well as a wonderful dancer.  She took the initiative today when the children were asked to work in groups to create a new part of the dance.  Lilly Anna shared her great ideas, she listened to and valued other contributions, and gave everyone in her group great confidence by making sure that each of them knew their roles and making them feel valued.  Management potential.

We are going to the theatre tomorrow morning to see George’s Marvellous Medicine.  I think that this was the Roald Dahl book that had the strongest influence on me when I was a child. Warning to Y4 – do not copy George!  Obviously I say this with regretful hindsight. My father was never able to successfully paint over the mark left on the side of the house where I’d poured a potion that I had created.  My brother was blamed.  Hope my mum isn’t reading this.

Mr. Moore

Arts Project – Day 6

The first lesson of the day was a game of hangman. The children have become much more adept and canny when playing. They used the strategy of choosing vowels first, then commonly occurring consonants.  However, the challenge was trickier than expected, and we had to rely on Euanson’s knowledge of letter patterns to guess the word ‘migration’.  I asked the children if they knew that the word meant and Olaseni said that he thought it was when people escaped to another country because of war. 10 house points Olaseni.  His answer pleased me because it told me that he is well informed and aware of the problems faced by many people around the world but I was also saddened that he and his classmates are growing up in a world where this is a reason why people migrate.

We explored some of the other reasons why people move to a different country. Sometimes it is to escape the effects of a natural disaster, or often to flee from political oppression. Sometimes people migrate to seek better lives and opportunities, and to be near to their families.

After sharing stories of the journeys and migrations made by our families, I asked the children to imagine that they had to move suddenly to another country. We thought about where we would go, our reasons for leaving and how we would feel as we wrote a postcard to someone special to say goodbye. Ramtin, Hamza, Lubaya, Giselle, Sonny, Fatimah, Liam, Stella, Susan, Arman and Harley have really impressed me so far and I have no doubt that the finished work of many other children will also be very powerful.

This afternoon Mrs. Johnston reminded us of the other meaning of migration – when birds fly to a warmer place when the seasons change.

We began work on creating an art installation. Using a cardboard template, the children created on outline of a bird, which they filled with pattern and their base and complementary colours. 2D became 3D as the pictures were cut out and turned into models.

This impact of this project is extraordinary and our ACE community is incredibly fortunate to have Mrs. Johnston leading us on our journey.

Mr. Moore

Arts Project – Day 5

Today the focus was all about the dance which Y4 will perform to parents and relatives in our Celebration Afternoon a week from today.

Miss Allison is very pleased with the progress made so far. Those children who were absent yesterday learned their parts very quickly and I was really impressed by how well everyone worked together in their groups to create, develop and improve ideas. It was great to see them listening to each other so respectfully as they shared their thoughts.

Learners of the Week are Liam and Jessica. Mrs. Johnston and I are in complete agreement. We cannot ask for more effort than they have given.

Have a great weekend.

Mr. Moore

Arts Project – Day 4

First of all this ….

After a flakey start to the day, Y4 worked with Mrs. Johnston to pack their imaginary suitcase for the journey that they are taking. Lots of useful things were crammed into the task. For example, fast thinking, coordinating actions with speech, accurate sentence construction, precise spelling, writing with subordinating conjunctions and using commas in lists were just some of the skills that Mrs. Johnston managed to fit into another brilliant lesson.

Miss Allison is really pleased with the progress of the dance that Y4 have been preparing. Although several of our most gifted dancers were absent, others in the class showed that they too are very talented. Jessica was totally brilliant in leading the ‘windmill cannon’ and Olaseni also showed excellent leadership skills throughout the session. Lilly Anna, Andrea and Kyron moved wonderful control and grace, and I was really pleased to see Leigha for showing such great trust in her classmates. Miss Allison told me today a secret today. She said that although she loves working with every class in school, my children make her smile the most.

Shh! Don’t tell anyone that I told you this.

Mr. Moore

Arts Project – The Journey

Day 3

When the children see me tomorrow, they will probably notice that I have more grey hairs than yesterday. Though we reached many landmarks, I felt that the journey was more difficult than usual, and that there were too many obstacles in our way. Hopefully we will remember to pack extra focus, our best listening skills and some spare concentration in tomorrow’s suitcase.

We started today by asking the children to share how they were feeling which they did by placing a button on the picture of a face that represented their emotions. It was a challenge for some to explain why they had made their choice. Being able to understand our feelings is really important. It gives us a chance to appreciate, and show thanks, or alternatively, to focus on overcoming difficulties and dealing positively with difficult issues.

Please encourage your children to read an atlas more frequently. One of the reasons that I am so proud to work at ACE is because we have many pupils who have a heritage in countries from all over the world. I was surprised that most of my class found it difficult to locate the continents and to explain how they differed from countries. Sonny did really well in this session. I’m looking forward to receiving postcards from him from all around the world when he goes on his ‘gap’ year before university.

A little more was revealed today about the family in ‘The Journey’ by Francesca Sanna. War and tragedy has engulfed them. Sorrow and chaos is all around them. The children were asked to write what they thought war meant. There were many excellent responses and Mrs. Johnston and I were both really moved by Stella’s heartfelt understanding and empathy.

Tones and tints, lighter and darker shades, and complementary colours filled our afternoon. After deciding which colour they would associate with themselves (mine was purple), the children mixed a myriad of variations on their choice, explored brush style and experimented with line and shape. What started as a task for individuals became collaborative work when the children were asked to exchange their palette with someone who had been using their complementary colour.

My highlight of the day has to be when Mrs. Johnston tipped a box filled with buttons all over the classroom floor in order to illustrate the meaning of the word chaos. Her strategy worked brilliantly as the children were thrown into a state of confusion and uncertainty, plus for a brief moment in time, her classroom looked almost as messy as mine can be.

Mr. Moore

Arts Project – The Journey

Day 2

The day began with a reminder about attitudes to learning and expectations in Y4. No one should be using capital letters in the wrong place and all sentences should be punctuated correctly. I am pleased to say that nearly everyone listened carefully and acted on our advice. Although we only had half a day with Mrs. Johnston, the children showed much more of the potential that they possess.

After a discussion about journeys made by the children, we listened to Mrs. Johnston read a page from Francesca Sanna’s book ‘The Journey’. Thoughts were shared about what might have happened to the family in the story, and then Y4 received the most difficult challenge of the day. Working in groups, the children had to put together a jigsaw which illustrated the page that Mrs. Johnston had read to them. I am pleased that Y4 showed some of their best qualities: teamwork, patience, determination and perseverance.

Euanson, Guzal, Jessica, Abigail, Stella, Harley and Deacon are just a few of the pupils who impressed with their effort and skill in writing when they wrote their responses to comprehension questions about the jigsaw image.

The biggest impact today was probably made during the dance lesson. Within only a few minutes, my class had mastered a dance move that Y6 had found almost impossible to learn. Well done to Harley, Ramtin and Deacon for playing a critical part in the session.

For me, tomorrow can’t come soon enough. It will be another day full of opportunity, creativity, learning and celebration.

Mr. Moore




Arts Project – The Journey

Day 1

Our first day of our fortnight with Mrs. Johnston has been crammed full of learning. We have already been enriched with new vocabulary, we have explored line, texture and tone using mixed media, and we have shared thoughts and ideas through writing and drawing. Although, too many children have had to be reminded about fighting a harder battle with their archenemy (punctuation), I think we made a good impression.

Good isn’t enough; let’s be great.

Mr. M

Friday 2nd March

Hi everyone.

I don’t snow where to begin: perhaps with the weather.

The snow tried its best to disrupt our learning this week but, as usual, there is still a lot to celebrate in Y4DM.

The first thing to do is to say welcome back to Giselle. Everyone is delighted that she has found her way home to ACE. It feels like we have all the pieces of the jigsaw back together again.

We learned a little more about the human digestion system this week when we looked at the functions of parts of the body. I learned that some of my children laugh easily, and can also be made to feel queasy quite easily. If any of my class are going to be the doctor that operates on me one day, then they are going to have to toughen up a bit.

This afternoon I asked the children to draw a Viking longship. Sonny’s work was, as usual, absolutely outstanding. He included a terrific level of detail as well as showing great control over shape and perspective. What pleased me most however, was the amount of progress that Liam made during the lesson. He was very disappointed with his initial drawing but he listened really carefully to feedback, and produced work that he is rightly proud of.

Once again I have chosen Susan as Learner of the Week. I think she’s been picked three times this year but I could select her every week for the same thing. Susan has a very serious attitude to learning and wants to make the most of all the time she spends at school. She avoids distraction, listens carefully and shows resilience when things get difficult. Susan was genuinely disappointed that school was closed on Thursday. It’s incredible but true.

I am forced to choose Benjamin again as my second Learner of the Week. He too has been a recent choice, but how can I ignore 59 units scored on Lexia in just 7 days? His attitude to learning is faultless, and nobody takes homework more seriously than Benjamin.

Homework is as follows: English books (commas in a list), Maths books (perimeter problems), personalised spellings and a Sumdog shape challenge.

We begin our Arts Project with Mrs. Johnston on Monday. I am really looking forward to a fortnight of creative activities that will have a huge impact on the standard of writing and art in Y4DM, as well as igniting belief, confidence and a passion for expressing ideas through art and design. I can’t wait.

Our postponed World Book Day event will take place on Tuesday, so, if possible, children should come dressed as a character from Where’s Wally?

Have a great weekend.

Mr. Moore

Friday 23rd February

Hi everyone.

Spring term 2 has started well. The children seem to be very happy to be back and they have all been working hard.

Everyone has been successful in maths lessons this week and lots of progress has been made in learning how to calculate the area of different shapes using centimetre squares. I am also pleased to report that Euanson and Ramtin scored maximum marks of 15 out of 15 in the mental arithmetic test today.

I used a picture of a Viking warrior as the stimulus for our Big Write this week. It caused excitement, fascination, horror and enthusiasm for writing.

‘An ominous atmosphere is around the callous Viking who has just killed an innocent fisherman; the blood pervades through the dark seashore.’ – Sonny

Our value for this week and next is self-control. Mrs. Potter put my self-control to the test today. She gave me a doughnut but instructed me not to eat it until the end of the day. She also insisted that I should not lick my lips when I did finally eat it. I managed to wait until 4pm but I have to admit that I failed on the second challenge. I will put my class to the test next week.

Evie Rae really impressed me with her programming skills this week. We started to create a racing game using Scratch and Evie showed more confidence and skill than anyone. I think she likes coding because of the creative opportunities but it is also a great way to develop logical thinking and reasoning. Jessica, Fatimah, Ramtin and many others have amazed me with computing skills. Because the children learn so quickly, I sometimes fail to give them the credit that they deserve. To be able to move effortlessly between platforms (iPads, PCs and Chromebooks), and to create and upload documents easily at the age of 8 or 9 is simply incredible.

Learners of the Week are Arman and Guzal. Both of them have been listening really carefully and concentrating hard on their tasks. Their focus and determination has been good, and their constantly positive attitudes make the classroom a happier place, and they make me very proud.

Well done to Abigail, Ronnie, Jessica, Andrea, Benjamin, Rhys and Xavier for gaining lots of units on Lexia this week, and thanks to Naza, Ramtin and Lubaya for using Sumdog during the holiday.

Homework: Maths (Area), English (Homophones). New spellings were uploaded to Google classroom today, and a printed copy will be provided on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Mr. Moore

Friday 9th February

Hello everyone.

Today we reached the halfway point of the school year. I am really pleased with the progress the children have made so far and I am delighted that we still have plenty of time left to make this an exceptional year.

Perhaps the most important lessons this week were based around Safer Internet Day, which we celebrated on Tuesday. The children were reminded about how to make the right choices when online so that they can keep safe and enjoy the internet. They made e-safety posters to advise other children and they created wristbands on which they wrote a pledge to make the internet a better place to visit.

Today we finished our class novel, The Firework Maker’s Daughter. Somehow I managed to avoid bursting into uncontrollable weeping, as Lila and her father Lalchand were finally reconciled. We have loved reading this book and when I read the last sentence today the class spontaneously applauded. Ask your child/children about Lila’s three gifts. I think my pupils have already been given some of them.

I’d like to thank Mrs. Whiteley and Mrs. Johnston for organising the Harry Potter Night this week. All the children who attended told me that they had a truly magical time. Mrs. Stott had great things to say about Ramtin, Mrs. J told me that Leigha was wonderful, and an owl showed Lubaya that she already possesses the three gifts that Lila worked so hard to discover.

Deacon was the hero of today’s guided reading session. Everyone in his group recognised that massive progress that he has made and congratulated him, and I couldn’t help giving him a ‘high5’ for his improved fluency.

Arman has also had a very good week. I am so pleased by how much his vocabulary has improved and by how much effort he is putting in to every lesson.

Benjamin is my first Learner of the Week. He has shown excellent focus and concentration in every task. He has been contributing really well to maths lessons and he gained an amazing 35 units on Lexia this week. As usual, he has behaved brilliantly: he has been completely kind and perfectly polite. Well done Benjamin.

My second Learner of the Week is Elvis. Elvis Husky (not Presley). On Tuesday afternoon he taught three Y3 classes all about wolves, and both Y5 classes about how animals of the Arctic survive in very cold temperatures. His lessons inspired the children and he behaved very well, showing great patience and gentleness. When he got home from school Elvis emailed the Y3 classes to thank them. His spelling was terrible but he tried very hard.

Holiday homework: if you have internet access please make sure that your child works on their Lexia time target, Reading Eggspress lessons and Sumdog challenges. I have also asked the children to complete the pages on rounding decimals from the maths books, as well as the section on tricky spellings in the English books.

Have a wonderful half term holiday.

Mr. Moore