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Russell Lower School

Autumn 2022

The first half of the autumn term has flown as we have immersed ourselves into life from the beginning of the 20th century.

As we started our theme of Memory Box, the children looked at life on the farm and how animals and fruit would be used. We were able to relate to real life scenarios as we used videos from Wimpole Farm to enhance our understanding of day to day life in the rural environment. We continued using fruit in our science lessons as all three classes set up a comparative test to see which wrapping would keep tomatoes freshest the longest. There is currently a big difference in the results in the three classrooms due to the different temperatures in the building so this is adding to our understanding of a fair test.

We have started reading War Horse by Michael Morpurgo and this has really helped the children understand some of the hardships from life 100 years ago.  The author describes life in the first world war using Joey, the much loved family horse, as a focus. We have found it a sensitive way to learn about the positive and negative side of war. The children have used freeze frames from War Horse to help their writing and we know they understood the emotions of the characters when we saw the grimaces on their faces!

At the start of September we started to study Sikhism in RE. Visiting Queen’s Park in Bedford on 21st September, to experience the Faith Tour, was a very beneficial trip for the children as they learnt more about the Gurdwara and the Guru Granth Sahib and its beginnings, as well as routines associated with the mosque and the church.

In geography we have learnt about towns, rivers and counties of the UK and compared human and physical geography here and in Russia.  We completed a local traffic survey as part of our work on environmental issues  and this is linked to learning about maps, symbols on maps and routes. When we study history after half term, we will learn why World War I started and look at the roles of the women at home as well as life in the trenches. Portals of the Past will come into school in November and we will then be able to handle some of the artefacts we will talk about and increase our knowledge.

It has been great to have 10 sports leaders in place across the year group and these children have enjoyed their first training session with Redborne Sports Partnership. Each class also has 2 school council members and they are very enthusiastic about their roles.

We are looking forward to the second half of the term and as well as our daily lessons we will add to our theme with a historical walk around Ampthill as we learn more about World War I.