In the Swan Class

Term 6 Week 2 19/06/21 

Our topic this term is Through My Window, looking at our local area. We are very lucky to have Margaret Davey from the village, who has a lot of local history knowledge, and was able to guide the Swans on a walk around the village yesterday. The children are in the process of putting together a survey which will be coming home soon, to ask parents about how they use the local facilities and how far they travel for work and shopping. In Art we will be creating a collage of our views of the village.

In English, Y3&4 are enjoying reading and writing non-fiction texts relating to world records, starting with a very quirky book, The World’s Laziest Duck and other Amazing Records.  Y5&6 are studying the narrative poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, and have created some atmospheric artwork and play scripts based to this.

For Maths everyone has been looking at time and measures. Y3&4 will go on to shape, while Y5&6 will be looking at data handling.

In Science Y3&4 are studying Electricity and Y5&6 Sports Science. Y6 will also be doing some additional Sex and Relationship Education lessons.Y5&6 have been investigating which type of sports kit dries most quickly and which pattern of studs gives the best grip for football boots.

For PSHE, as part of the No Outsiders scheme, we have been looking at the book Two Monsters to understand how differences arise through a failure of communication and what methods we can use to resolve these. We will go on to think about how we care for our environment and handling money.

In RE we have been enjoying some great discussions around the theme Why do some people believe in God and some don’t? We have some natural philosophers in the class!

Swans’ Trip to the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museum

There was huge excitement in anticipation of the Swans’ first trip as to Oxford to the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museums.  We took part in a workshop handling and examining Mayan artefacts, explored the eclectic display cabinets to identify some additional artefacts and used these as inspiration for designs for Mayan headdresses. In the Natural History Museum the bugs and dinosaurs were a great draw but the beautiful artwork by Angela Palmer  2020: the Sphere that Changed the World, a 3D model of the virus with an eerie and ethereal quality, had a big impact too.

 I think many your children are keen to go back to explore the displays in both museums further.  However, a definite highlight of the trip was lunchtime picnicking on the lawns, where we attracted the attention of a pair of mallard ducks, named by the children as Sneaker and Beaker,  who were very keen to share our lunch. They were truly Southrop School ducks,  showing resilience and determination and causing great hilarity, they managed to outpace Mrs McLellan and Mr Jones and get a crust or two!  Please take a look on our Youtube channel to see their antics!






Term 5 Week 6 28/05/21

Year 3&4 have been enjoying being advertising executives in English, producing some very persuasive end products. Watch out at home in case they start using their persuasive skills on you!

Y5&6 have been thinking deeply about their English unit covering the migration of people, following on from their work on the migration of animals. They produced some beautiful postcards with profound messages which they are exhibiting in the Dawson Room, along with an exhibition brochure they developed. On Thursday they did a very confident presentation to the Year 3&4s explaining what they had learnt.

Over the last two weeks the Swans have been busy getting to grips with their new production ‘The Keymaster’.  There was much excitement as the children found out which part they have been given and we have been enjoying starting to learn the songs and practise our lines.   As well as this we have been practising our recorders, introducing the note ‘g’ to our repertoire and practising moving between notes.

In RE we have been thinking about people whose lives have been inspired by their faith.  We learn about 2 noble peace prize winners, Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa.  After using their research skills , the children created some lovely PowerPoints and posters about their lives.





Y3 have had a wonderful time doing Scooterwise training with Mr Jones and Y4, 5, 6 have been pushing themselves outside of their comfort zone with climbing. 

Term 5 Week 4 14/05/21

It has been a very busy couple of weeks in the Swans' class. Last week we celebrated Number Day with lots of mathematical challenges and problem solving. We even consolidated our knowledge of capacity by measuring out juicy cocktails in our own Southrop Cafe! The year 4’s were in charge of taking the money and giving the correct change. We have had a textiles focus in art this term, learning about Mayan weaving. Using ths as inspiration we have started our own weaving projects using CDs to weave in a circle – there have been a lot of tangles and knots but we are getting there! In recorders we have learnt 2 notes already and have been practising playing to a familiar rhythm.

On Thursday we had lots of excitement as it was the return of the much loved k’nex challenge. This time the challenge was to build a castle with defensive features. The children all worked extremely hard to include a mechanism for their drawbridges. Reuben and Jack’s design won and they will be presenting their castle to the virtual regional final! Millie and Bella and Isaac and Jonty’s designs came a close joint second place. In Science Y3&4 have been looking at how different creatures are adapted to hear well and this fitted in well with the research we have been doing into barn owls for our information texts. Did you know that barn owls have ears buried in their soft feathers and that their distinctive heart shaped disks of their face helps to direct sound waves to these ears? Year 5&6 have been enjoying learning about the heart and circulatory system – though Jonty has not been too keen on some of the footage we have seen of the heart pumping!! This week they drew a heart and circulatory system on the playground and acted out being blood cells collecting oxygen from the lungs, returning to the heart to be pumped to deliver it to the rest of the body. 


Term 5 Week 2 30/04/21

Our topic this term is the Ancient Maya. We are comparing the Maya civilisation to that of the Anglo-Saxons, and the invasion by the Spanish with the Norman invasion of Britain.  We will be immersing ourselves in the culture, particularly the chocolate! But the Kitchen Club will help us to create some healthier Maya dishes as well.  We are also excited to have our first post-lockdown trip arranged, to the Pitt Rivers and Natural History Museums in Oxford.

Maths has a focus on measure and shape, with Yr 3 looking at money, mass and capacity, Yr 4 at money followed by position and shape and Yr 5 and 6 getting to grips with angles and position. English is based around the short novel The Owl Tree by Jenny Nimmo for Yr 3 & 4. They will be writing their own stories and creating some information texts about barn owls. Year 5 & 6s are writing reports and recounts about the migration journeys of various animals and then comparing these to the migrations that many people around the world choose or are forced to make.

Science is sound for Y3&4 and the circulatory system and heart for Y5&6.

You might be able to hear a beautiful melody wafting through the lanes of Southrop as this term the Swans will be learning to play the recorder.  We will begin by learning how to hold our instruments correctly, blowing in a smooth and steady way, and learning to play notes in a familiar rhythm.  Art and DT will have a focus on textiles in this term, thinking about Maya costumes and fabrics.  We will learn how to weave and design a Mayan outfit.  RE is looking at why people of different beliefs try to make the world a better place. 

Term 4 Week 1 26/02/21

This term the Swans will  be doing the topic ‘We Are Britain’, focussing on the culture, values and diversity which make us brilliantly British.  We will make a whirlwind tour of Britain looking into the geographical features and landmarks of each country.  We will make a timeline of British history, exploring the way in which Britain has been ruled and learning about the role of parliament and monarchy in governing our country.

There will be plenty of opportunity for enthusiastic engineers in DT this term.  Taking inspiration from famous British bridges, we will be learning about different bridge structures and designing, building and testing our own bridges.

In music this term we will be learning about British folk music, particularly sea shanties.  We will explore structure, harmony and improvisation within the songs and create our own Southrop shanty!

As we approach Easter, RE this term will consider the events of holy Week, why Jesus’s sacrifice is so important to Christians and how we can be inspired to make sacrifices for others in our own lives.  In PSCHE this term we will be learning how to keep ourselves safe in difficult situations, telling people if we feel uncomfortable and learning when we need to ask for help.

In Maths the Yr 3/4s will be continuing to learn about fractions, including fractions of an amount and adding and subtracting fractions.  We will then move onto tenths and hundreds and learning about decimals.  Yr 5/6 will be finishing their learning about algebra and then moving onto perimeter and area, including the area of triangles.

Term 3 Week 1 08/01/21

We are all enjoying our new topic, Amazing Africa. In school the Swan children participate with the Cygnets on the topic and related music and art work. As well as comparing how life is similar and different to life in the UK, they have been learning about the great changes that came about through the work of Nelson Mandela. They have also been making 3D animal masks out of card and modroc and creating African drumming rhythms. We have spare modroc in school for any home learners who would like some – please let Mrs McLellan know.  For English, Y3&4 have been looking at traditional tales with a modern twist, such as Daft Jack and the Bean Stack, and have moved on to Tinga Tales, which are an African version of the Just So Stories. Y5&6 have been reading and writing fantastical myths and legends. They have now moved on to the unabridged versions of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. In Maths Y3&4 have been working industriously on the mental and then written methods for multiplication. They are now going on to measures. Y5&6 have been getting to grips with fractions, decimals and percentages and have happily found that they are not as tricky as some people make out! For RE we are studying “How festivals and worship show what matters to Muslims”.

Term 2 Week 5 04/12/20

The Y3&4s have done some fabulous explanation writing on the topic of Weather, and explaining some of the weather phenomena is a lot trickier than you might think. They are now enjoying writing letter based around The Jolly Postman and the Father Christmas letters, sent by FC to JRR Tolkien’s children. They have also chosen a favourite author or personality to send a letter to, so we will be looking forward to some replies arriving in the New Year. The Y5&6 have been enjoying The Midnight Fox and it inspired them to carry out a debate on the merits of fox hunting, which they presented to the Y3&4s – the conclusion was that “this house believe fox hunting should not be allowed”.  In Art we have been exploring watercolour techniques and using them in weather pictures in the style of JMW Turner:


Term 2 Week 1 07/11/20

Our topic this term is Weather. The children will be researching different types of weather and carrying out a weather investigation. You might want to take a look at these websites to find out some interesting facts: In English Y3 & 4 are developing explanation texts and will be using these skills to explain various types of weather, as well as some weird and wacky inventions. Y5&6 are learning how to write a balanced argument about a range of topics, such as the value of school uniform and mobile phones. They will then go on to a range of writing based around the book Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars. In Maths Y3&4 are covering multiplication, division, perimeter and area and Y5&6 factors, multiples, square and cube numbers and the order of operations. In RE we are learning about the Holy Trinity. Art will look at the work of Turner and the use of watercolours, plus an exciting project to create a piece of 3D art “A Storm in a Teacup”. For PE we will be doing Hockey.

Term 1 Week 6 09/10/20

The Year 5 and 6s have been working on some very authoritative information texts about mountain ranges.  This week they went on to produce some promotional brochures for their particular range.  Please see Jack and Isaac's examples below. 

Having finished their rocks information texts the Year 3 and 4s have now moved onto newspaper articles and hope to have a newspaper ready to send out to you later this term.

In maths Year 3 and 4 have become very confident with place value and the written method for addition.  THey are just building thier confidence using Roman numerals.  Year 5 and 6 are revising the written method for multiplication adn are starting to multiply 4 digit numbers by 2 digit numbers.  Happily most of them are very confident with their times tables which really helps. 

In PE we have been using backwards rugby passes. We were unable to do our cricket outside last week but enjoyed a video about cricketers who have overcome physical challenges to keep on competing, which was inspiring. 

Everyone has been enjoying the topic work.  On Thursday the Cygnets joined us in the playground to witness some of the volcanoes we made in D&T erupting.  Hopefully the rain will keep off long enough for everyone to get a turn next week. 

Mrs McLellan

Week 2 10/9/20

Our topic this term is The Power of the Earth, learning about volcanoes, mountains and earthquakes. In English we have started off performing, learning and writing poetry and will go on to non-fiction texts and newspaper articles, linked to our study of Pompeii. In Maths we start by looking at place value in numbers and will go on to Roman numerals, rounding and negative numbers. Science for the Year 3&4s is Rocks and Soil and for the Y5&6s Electricity. In RE we consider For Christians, What Kind of King is Jesus? We will be studying the Japanese artist Hokusai focussing on the effect of colour in a picture and how to distinguish between foreground, middle and background in Art. For D&T the children will be creating erupting volcanoes using pneumatic systems!  In Music we will be learning using a piece called Earth by Hans Zimmer, who has composed scores for over 150 films.