The Fascinating Learning Journey of Key Stage 2
As we return to school and throughout this challenging year, the children’s health and emotional well-being is our priority. That is why in Year 3 we have two sessions per week dedicated to PSHE, or Personal, Social, Health and Economic education. These sessions give the children the opportunity to know themselves and their colleagues, to discover and share their strengths, and to process their experiences in what has been for all of us an unusual year with unique challenges. The children have learned strategies for coping with stress, including mindfulness and breathing techniques. They have had the chance to set goals for themselves and to share abilities and experiences they are proud of. They have explored the importance of relational connections, and how we can maintain these even while at a distance from friends or family. Periodically, our PSHE sessions are joined by the school psychologist, Maria Calapod-Tomescu, who is known and loved by all the children. PSHE provides the Year 3 children with meaningful learning opportunities, the chance to find strategies to cope with emotions, to relax and connect to and with peers and colleagues.
In Year 4 the children have been learning a lot about the Earth, including climate change, and examples of natural disasters. They learned that some natural disasters have been happening for millions of years, whilst others are becoming more common due to changes in global temperatures. In Art we have been focusing on one point perspective drawings but also on some famous artists. One was Henri Matisse. We discovered his interesting life and technique. Also, we enjoyed using our own painting style and following his motto: “I don’t paint things. I only painted the difference in the things” and was reflected in our different interpretation of “La Blouse Romaine” and “The Cat with Red Fish“. Children started sketching portraits, then used mixed media to create their replicas of these masterpieces. Also, in connection with our book study, “I was a Rat or the Scarlett Slippers” by Phillip Pullman we’ve thought of designing realistic shoes or slippers that fit us. We had very innovative ideas that also looked at comfort, softness and resistance. Don’t they look great?
This term in Year 5, we’ve started our journey around the world. In this Geographical topic, the children are learning about different countries around the world as they describe and understand aspects of physical and human geography from around the world.
The journey started in Ethiopia in Africa as the children compared physical features of different countries around Africa. They learned about the structure of volcanoes as they located different types of volcanoes around Africa. We focused on the National park in central Africa, as we identified various species of animals and plants that live around that area. In Literacy, we read some traditional stories from Ethiopia as “The best beekeeper of Lalibela”, a story about an ambitious girl, who overcame various obstacles to accomplish her dream. We used reported and direct speech to retell the story from a different perspective.
Then, we carried on our journey to North America, specifically, Mexico and the United States of America. We identified some major cities and biomes of Mexico. The children enjoyed painting a Mexican landscape with a focus on various shades of colour. We explored some Mexican fiestas as we learned about traditional dances and performances from different states around Mexico. The children were thrilled as we learned about the Grand Canyon and how it formed throughout the years. They enjoyed creating a piece of 2D art that represents the Grand Canyon.
We travelled to the Amazon Basin and experienced it as an environment from maps, satellite images and film. We became environmental scientists and analyzed physical and human geography statistics, and presented them in graphical form. The children were excited as we created our 3D map of Brazil representing mountains, the Amazon River, major cities and the rain forest. Later on, we explored trade and natural resources in the Amazon Basin. The children learned about deforestation and the impact of it on our planet. They understood the dangers of deforestation to both animals and plants, as they designed their posters to raise awareness for deforestation. We are enjoying a fantastic journey!