Mrs Dowdall's class.

LAUNCH OF INCREDIBLE INVENTIONS

On Monday 14th January, years 3 and 4 visited the Science Museum in London as the launch

of their new topic ‘Incredible Inventions’. The children were split into three groups and looked at different areas of the museum.

The Basement area houses an exhibition called ‘The Secret Life of the Home’ where different household equipment is on display from the 1800s to the present day. It shows how keeping the home clean, heating and cooking have developed over time. It even has the first flush toilet on display, which caused much amusement for the children. Other things that have changed significantly are televisions-, computer games and radios. They are much smaller today, yet can do so much more. The ‘What is it?’ game was interesting, as children had to guess the use of some very strange looking objects, but by the end they were getting quite good at choosing the right answer.

On the first floor the children saw a sculpture made from hundreds of different materials. They then learned about the uses of those materials. Some designed a t-shirt and learned about the environmental impact of their choices. For example, the fabric and whether it needed ironing, what temperature it needed to be washed at and whether it could be recycled. Some children were quite puzzled by the old dial telephones and couldn’t believe how long they had to wait for the number to register!

In the final area on the ground floor the children saw how transport has developed over time and how mass production changed the world.

The children had an enquiring, but busy day and are looking forward to using what they have learned from their trip in their topic.

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Footsteps Around the World Finale

On Wednesday 5th December, years 3 and 4 were treated to a Didgeridoo Workshop, where they learned about traditional Australian culture, as a finale to our topic ‘Footsteps Around the World’.

The day started with a KS2 assembly where Jonathan Cope, also known as the Didgeridoo man, presented facts about Australia and played the didgeridoo for us. As well as being an instrument, the didgeridoo is used to tell stories and different animal sounds can be identified as the instrument is played. Jonathan told us that whilst he was learning to play the didgeridoo, his fame spread to Northern Australia and he has actually been adopted by an Aboriginal family who have taught him their traditions, which he now shares with children in schools. The children were very impressed with his skills.

After the assembly, the workshop for year 4 started with a review of Aboriginal artefacts. The children learned how a boomerang works, that a tundrum (a wooden stick swung around on a stick) is used to scare away spirits, a whistle on a string attracts birds so they can be caught for food and that message sticks were used to communicate between the tribe. We ended the first session by learning a dance where the children had to identify various animals which had been created on the didgeridoo. As you can see from the photos, they particularly enjoyed this element of the day.

Later on we looked at the different animals they have in Australia, many of which are highly poisonous, but show this by displaying their bright colours as a warning. Interestingly, the first slide was of some camels, which, although not indigenous to Australia, have expanded in numbers. So much so, that the Australians now well them to their traditional homelands of Saudi Arabia and other desert countries!

We ended the morning session by trying to play the didgeridoo, which involves blowing through the lips, which need to vibrate, and learning to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth to keep a continuous sound. Quite difficult, but most of the children managed to create a tune!

In the afternoon we learned some of the traditional aboriginal sign language and looked at their dot paintings. We chose different designs and then painted our own didgeridoo.

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On Wednesday 28th November Year 3 and 4 children were treated to a comedy performance of A Christmas Carol. On a very wet and dull day, we all walked to The Elms library, where we were greeted by the Booster Cushion Theatre, and treated to a master retelling of the story.

During the performance, various children were asked to assist the storyteller, and for the first time, the story had a Bob and a Cratchet! Other helpers were Belle, Fezziwig and Tiny Tim, all ably played by the children. We even had some arithmetic questions thrown at us and the children easily responded with the right answers – well done Years 3 and 4 – see maths is everywhere!

It was a terrific performance which kept the children engaged from start to finish. As you can see from their faces, they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.

We walked back to school, our moods much brightened, despite the weather.

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Indoor Athletics

On Wednesday 7th November, Year 3 and 4 pupils were treated to a visit from a P E Teacher from Dame Alice Owen’s School. In their classes, the children were led through a series of indoor athletic style activities, which were a precursor to a festival taking place at the secondary school next week. For this festival five boys and five girls from each class have been chosen to represent Ladbrooke.

As you can see from the photographs below, the children really enjoyed this additional PE lesson. We look forward to seeing how our Year 3/4 team does at the festival next week.

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As the finale for our topic 'Dig for Victory', year 4 visited Lincolnsfield in Bushey to find out what life was like back in the war years.

Upon arrival at the centre we split into three groups and each group toured around the site looking at the 1940s house, Dig for Victory Garden and the Air Raid Shelter. In the 1940s house the children learned how washing was done, what their toys would have been like, where they would have had a bath, what happened if they needed the toilet at night and what their jobs would have been in the morning. I think it's fair to say they were not too keen on that part! They  also dicsovered that it was possible to protect yourself during a bombing raid, by using a Morrison shelter, which also doubled as the dining table in smaller houses.

In the 1940s garden they saw some of the vegetables that would have been grown and learned how people's lawns and playing fields were transformed into gardens, growing essential foods to help the war effort. Whilst we were there, the children discovered an incendiary bomb on the roof of the house, which they had to put out with a great team effort using a stirrup pump and refilling buckets, saucepans (in fact anything that held water) and forming a human chain. They worked really hard and got into the swing of things. Just as they finished, the air riad siren went off and they had to race into the Andersen Shelter. Afterwards they thought about the things they would have needed to take in with them. No electronic gadgets? - Oh no!

Finally they took a ride in a jeep that had been involved in the Normandy Landings of 1944. It was very shaky, but this all added to the fun. Once at their destination the chidlren saw a bombed out workshop and spent time in the air raid shelter, listening to the sound of the bombers overhead.

Overall the chidlren had a fabulous day, meeting Stan a war hero, and others who had been evacuees, so they were able to get first hand details of what living through the war had been like for children like themselves.

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