Welcome to Silver Birch!
For the remainder of Term 4, Silver Birch will be exploring the deepest and darkest depths of our solar system, the planets within it and how it all came to exist! To kick off this experience, we will be having a virtual workshop on the solar system, exploring space from the comfort of our own classroom. Once they have learnt about the solar system, the children will be able to create their very own VR solar system before applying all of their knowledge to writing a non-chronological report on a chosen planet. Alongside all of this mind-blowing space learning, they will be researching failed space missions in English and creating their own newspaper report on a mission of their choice. This term is going to be out of this world!
Check out our knowledge organiser for this Learning Experience
Whilst learning about space, we were also busy writing a newspaper report on a failed space mission! We chose to report on one of the following: The Challenger Disaster, Apollo 1, Apollo 13 or The Columbia Disaster. Here are a couple of examples of our reports:
To understand a little more about the planets, we created some Top Trumps cards with some main facts and figures about each planet!
Now that we knew all about the Earth's movement, we looked closer at our whole solar system. We learnt the order of the planets and made up our own mnemonics to help us remember the order!
Learning about the moon and its phases wouldn't be as fun without oreos! We used oreos to show the eight phases of the moon and then wrote an explanation of these phases.
Next, we learnt that the Earth orbits the sun. This takes 365 (and a bit!) days and is why we have our year. We also learnt how the tilt of the Earth gave us seasons too
We learnt about the rotation of the Earth and how this gives us day and night:
To start our learning, we did some research into how scientists think the universe came to be. Our minds were blown by the Big Bang Theory!
As part of our virtual workshop, we learnt the distances of each planet in relation to the sun!
Here are our final bath bombs! They look great! The classroom smelt so pretty after making all of these!
We had a go at making bath bombs for the first time. We learnt that if we added too much water it wouldn't work!
We tested and evaluated different bath bombs based on their appearance, smell, reaction and how it felt on the skin. We loved the rainbow one!
We carried out a fair test to discover which temperature of water dissolved sugar the quickest...
We predicted which substances would dissolve in water and then tested our predictions to see if we were right!
To kick off our new geography learning experience, the children will have the opportunity explore Nepalese culture (including food!) before starting to explore its vast geographic features. During the experience, we will explore the countries and oceans that surround Nepal and discover how its human and physical features have generated an economy dominated by tourism! We'll also be exploring the town of Lumbini (birth place of Buddha) and comparing life there to life in Maidstone!
Check out our Country Study knowledge organiser!
For our final piece of work, we created a documentary style video on aspects of Nepal, including its location, economy, tourism, geographical features, daily life and climate. We used the app Shadow Puppet to record our documentary. Click on the link below to find it under the Silver Birch Trees section on the video resources centre.
We wanted to learn a little more about a particular area in Nepal and compare it with Maidstone, so we looked at a town in Nepal called Lumbini. We had a look at the town centre map for both towns, added map symbols and a key and then discussed how they compared to each other. We found that Lumbini had a lot of tourist sites as it is the birthplace of Buddha, whereas Maidstone had a lot of shops and restaurants. Then, we thought about the tourism, economy, daily life and climate for both of these towns. We did some research and presented our findings. We even drew some graphs! We discovered that Lumbini relies on tourism to keep their economy stable, whereas Maidstone relies on shops and businesses. We also discovered that not that long ago, Maidstone was home to lots of paper mills and even a sweet factory!
Next, we zoomed in closer and looked closely at two capital cities; London and Kathmandu. We identified human features (features made by man) and physical features (natural features) in both cities and compared them. We also looked at photos of both cities from 100 years ago and identified how these features have changed over time.
Next, we looked at the topographic map for Nepal and compared it to England. We learnt that Nepal is split into three clear topographical areas: Himal-Pahad-Terai, whereas England's topography is not distinct. However, we identified that the North-West has the highest areas of land in England.
We kick-started this learning experience with some map work, identifying the continents and oceans of the world, the countries in Europe, and finally locating Nepal and England on a world map and discussing their climate based on where they were in relation to the equator and the tropics and what the time zones would be.
Our second Learning Experience this term links to our first one as it is still based on the Ancient Egyptians. We will be delving into the world of design and creating our own artefact fit for a Pharaoh's burial chamber! Be it a mummified cat (or person!), a piece of grand furniture, a pot to hold water or even a canopic jar so the Gods can look after the mummies' organs, this Learning Experience explores the treasures found by many a tomb raider of Egypt. Watch this space for some updates on our designs and products!
And finally, here are our final products! They all look fantastic and have met the brief to create a strong and authentic Ancient Egyptian artefact, suitable to be used in schools. Well done everyone!
Once we evaluated our prototype, we created our final designs taking on board any feedback from peers too.
Using our research, testing of materials and designs, we created our prototypes! They all look great! Next, on to evaluating and improving...
After trying out the materials, we created our designs for our prototypes. We thought carefully about the materials we would use, and also what our artefacts would look like based on our research of real ancient artefacts.
Next, we tried out different materials we are going to need to make our artefacts. We tested to see if wire or card was more effective to use for shaping, modroc or paper and glue was more effective as bandages for the mummy, different pieces of wood and different glues to join the wood together, different materials to draw on for seat covers, how to join clay successfully and the benefits of pinch pots and coil pots. We then evaluated the materials and their effectiveness for the design brief.
To start, we looked at Ancient Egyptian artefacts and analysed them. We spoke about their purpose, their designs and what they might be made out of. We also thought what we might make them out of if we were to make them.
Take a look at our Ancient Egypt knowledge organiser!
Settling on the Nile - we learnt why the Ancient Egyptians chose to settle around the River Nile and why it was so important to them.
Alongside learning about mummification, we also learnt about burial chambers and what might be buried with the dead and why. Here are some of our burial chambers with the things we thought an Ancient Egyptian might need in the afterlife.
We had a look at the mummification process and tried to recount the order! We then ordered it and gave detailed descriptions of each stage.
We did some research about the Gods and created a "Wanted" poster for our chosen god!
We've been learning about the chronology of Ancient Egypt!
We had great fun today during our Egyptian workshop! We learnt all about the chronology of Ancient Egypt, we played some of the games they played (including hockey, javelin and tug of war), got to see some Ancient Egyptian artefacts and then went to "The Beautiful House" to watch a mummification!