To kickstart our theme, we entered the Cracking Ideas competition run by Aardman Studios, famous for their lovable animated characters, Wallace and Gromit. Challenged to make the comic duo’s ill-fated ‘Wrong Trousers’ right, in order to help our planet, the children’s imaginations were let loose. There was a flurry of activity as their initial ideas turned into detailed, annotated designs. Wallace and Gromit would have been impressed! Their crazy contraptions included a ‘Coralistic’, which was a weighted, submersible pair of automated trousers that had hoover-like leg parts that sucked up plastic caught on coral reefs!
Using Apple Clips to create video instructions: How to Make a Straw Rocket, was definitely a highlight of our theme. This activity was inspired by the claymation, ‘Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Day Out’. They were able to take photos, create short video clips, add voice overs and captions, along with including special effects, such as animated emojis and stickers. Of course they were extremely keen to try them out and thankfully… their rockets launched!
The children continued to show their creative, ambitious natures as they were set their next challenge – working collaboratively to produce their own businesses. The brief was that their business ideas had to be sustainable and healthy, in order for them to sell their products at the SJPS Eco Festival. (This exciting event will take place after half term). Year 5 are full of excitement, eager to find out whose business is going to make the biggest profit! Not only are they aiming to make profits for themselves, but as a year group they decided to donate a percentage of their overall profit to Gwent Wildlife Trust, proving they are ethically informed citizens, committed to looking after their local environment.
To ensure each business is able to make their maximum profit, we used a supermarket comparison website to compare the prices of the ingredients they would need. The most nerve wracking part of running a business was yet to come, pitching their ideas and asking for investment from ‘The Dragons’! Having previously seen clips from the popular TV series, Dragons’ Den, they were acutely aware that every part of their business plans would be scrutinised. Their fears were unfounded, however as they expertly presented their pitches like real professionals, confidently answering any question that was batted to them. The Dragons were so impressed by the teams’ entrepreneurship and enthusiasm for their sustainable businesses that they decided to invest in all of them!
To help us when planning our businesses, we looked at how so many food practices are damaging to our health and to the environment. We considered why this is unsustainable in the long run. After exploring the environmental footprint of a variety of dairy and plant milks, pupils received a master class, showing them how they could create their own oat milk. They choose a variety of ways to innovate this milk using bananas, berries and cocoa powder. To avoid food waste the leftover oat pulp was used to make Fruit Medley Pots and again, children were able to experiment, this time with a range of toppings, such as coconut and cinnamon. On the topic of food waste, did you know that a third of the world’s population is malnourished while a third of all food produced globally is wasted? Shocked by these statistics, we decided to undertake an enquiry closer to home: How much food is wasted in SJPS? We discovered that on one particular lunchtime, over 70% of pupils left a portion of their food. This insightful enquiry resulted in infographics being produced that informed children about this pressing issue, along with tips about how individuals can personally reduce their own food waste. These will be displayed in the canteen.
Growing vegetables is touted as being good for our wellbeing and a more sustainable option when grown on our doorstep. Planting radish, lettuce, carrots, spinach, beetroot and spring onions in the school’s polytunnel was such a pleasurable activity. Many children were keen to use these new gardening skills in their own gardens. Let’s cross our forks and trowels for a bumper harvest!
Throughout the theme, children have clearly demonstrated that they are enterprising, creative contributors – we have some budding entrepreneurs on the horizon – watch this space!
Wales Outdoor Learning Week was the perfect opportunity for us to get outside and enjoy what nature has to offer. Did you know it is possible to calculate the age of a tree by measuring 1500mm from its base and from there measuring its circumference? Divide this measurement by 25mm to find its age. We also created art using the abundance of natural materials from our very own Forest School area.
The Coronation of King Charles III was an historical, singular event which we celebrated in lots of fun ways. Virtual draw-alongs of the coronation crown and King Charles himself enthused the children and who knew we had so many talented artists in Year 5! Coronation Bake-Off was definitely a firm favourite. Mrs Hollings was the judge tasked with tasting all of the cakes in the juniors – such a hard job – NOT! Congratulations to Y5BH who won – their cake was deemed to be delicious!
You may use LOL when texting, but did you know there are now LOLLIES (laugh out loud) Book Awards run by the book publisher, Scholastic? Belly laughing was compulsory, as children actively participated in these two virtual events – nonfiction and fiction. They listened to authors who had been shortlisted, talking about their books, reading sections from them, drawing some of the characters in them and even being taught a funny song about the Aztecs! (Ask your child what the Aztecs liked to eat, but we advise you not to do this when you are eating!) They were able to vote for their favourite books in both sections. There were some hilarious contenders, but in the end the books that won their votes were: ‘Unleash Your Creative Monster’ (nonfiction) and ‘Freddie v School’ (fiction). We are looking forward to adding these to Year 5’s ‘read aloud’ collection.
Visiting the theatre is an extra special treat which pupils were delighted to indulge in! They were swept off their feet by the spectacular performance, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The WMC venue, the acting, the CGI, the singing were all a joy to behold and we are sure that this wonderful experience will stay with them for many years to come.
‘Revolting Children’ may be a song you are familiar with if you have ever seen ‘Matilda’. The children were thrilled to learn, as the Year 5 choir, they will be singing songs from this hit musical in this year’s summer concert. Led by the talented Mr Banks, they have started practising and we already know you will be astounded by their singing ability when you see their performance at the end of term.
We have had a cracking start to the Summer Term – somehow managing to pack in a wealth of fantastic activities and having lots of laughs along the way. Enjoy your half term break, now that summer has eventually landed! We look forward to seeing you all again soon.