In Year 6, we have started the topic ‘Revolution’ which focuses on the Victorian era and all the developments that came as a result of the industrial revolution.
First, we have been looking into the lives of Victorian children. The class has been researching the difference between rich and poor children, their daily lives and how they transitioned into adults in society. So far, the most shocking thing, has been the school life of a Victorian child. If they were lucky enough to go to school, they were not allowed to speak, ask questions or fidget. The punishment was a thrashing with the cane.
During the first week of term we had some lessons in class that were similar to those in the late 19th century. First, all children had to stand when answering questions and address adults as ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’. There was a handwriting lesson in silence but unfortunately one girl ended up in the corner for a fit of giggling (it was very funny – Mrs Hardie and Mr Clarke tried very hard not to laugh). Then we moved onto the separate skills for boys, woodwork, and girls, needlework.
All children enjoyed these activities but several of the girls remarked how long it took to achieve a few stitches. Of course, needlework was intricate and time consuming, but what else would certain young ladies do when they finished school? We are looking forward to seeing the finished result in a few weeks.
The boys enjoyed their woodwork session and will hopefully have some lovely toy boats they can play with towards the end of the term.
We will be studying the Victorians until the Easter holidays, covering the industrial revolution and the Great Exhibition. We will also be looking at Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution for our science topic before we learn about Thomas Edison and the lightbulb.
This week, we started our new topic - ‘Blood Heart’. We started our science learning with a heart dissection. All the children were able to explore a sheep’s heart (closest in anatomy to a human heart), focussing on the structure of the heart. We used scalpels and scissors to carefully cut open the heart so we could have a good look inside. The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity and have learned so much already.
In Forest School, we have been using the topic to inspire forest activities. This week, children made decorations for the Mini Spinney that were inspired by the heart. They had to use natural resources and be able to explain how their decoration linked to the heart. One group made a heart out of berries and stuck them to wood cookie; another group made 18 decorations – one for each member of our class.
The class has been investigating ocarinas - the Mexican musical wind instrument. First they experimented with covering different combinations of holes to discover how the pitch varied.
Using this knowledge they went on to build their own instruments out of recycled materials, testing their effectiveness and amending them as required to make sounds.
This term we are venturing over to the continent of America. We are learning all about Mexico, the Ancient Mayans and modern Mexicans. WE have already enjoyed making masks for the dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. For the MFL link, we have been using Duolingo to learn Spanish. It is a fantastic way to learn phrases and vocabulary very quickly.