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On behalf of all the staff at GEMS Didcot Primary, have a lovey summer holiday.

Term 5 - Dinosaur Planet

Week beginning 21st May


This week has started with a surprise visitor for the children in year 1...

Last term we were upset to hear that Nicola and Kimber, her Guide Dog, were unable to visit as planned. Today, we were very excited to welcome them to Year 1 to hear what it is like to have a real-life hero to help you every day. The children remembered lots of their learning from last term about Guide Dogs, and asked Nicola some sensible questions - did you know that when a Kimber goes into the shop he will take Nicola to the counter for help from an assistant? Everyone was really lucky to be able to stroke Kimber, or even give him a little hug. 

What a great way to start the week!


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In our maths lessons this week, we have moved on from multiplication to division. We have looked at sharing a total number of items between different numbers of groups, and everyone can spot when the groups are not equal. We have been using this knowledge to help us investigate numbers - for example:


I am thinking of a number between 20 and 30.

I can only make equal groups of 5 with it.

What must my number be?


We have been able to prove our answers using counters and cubes.


In topic, we have looked at the theories surrounding the dinosaur extinction event with the children illustrating the theory that they found most credible. We have also been listening to different music, both the Sorcerer's Apprentice, and the Walking with Dinosaurs soundtrack. We then tried to make our own dinosaur music, making sure we changed volume to indicate more dinosaurs, changed the speed we were playing, and included beats that sounded like dinosaur footprints. Everyone really enjoyed exploring the instruments and played some fantastic compositions.


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Week beginning 14th May 

This week in Maths we have been thinking about making arrays- making equal groups and building them into columns and rows. We have then thought about the repeated addition linked to these groups too. We have explored doubling a given number as well. 

An example below

An example below  1

In Science this week we investigated animal waste. We became Scientists and explored the animal waste to see if we thought the animal was a carnivore or herbivore depending on what we found in its waste. 


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This week in PE we have learnt a Street Dance and performed lots of our own moves too!


We are continuing our ICT topic and we are researching and locating information about reptiles using the ipads and laptops. 

Week Beginning 7th May 2018


This week we have been enjoying the wonderful weather, making the most of the field and playground while the sun shines!


We've also had our class photo's taken.


In topic we have been learning about Mary Anning, who was only 12 years old when she found the fossil of an Icthyosaur. In science, we have looked at animals teeth to find out how they can help us to work out if they are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores. We've also had a go at making herbivore and carnivore teeth from clay.


In maths, we have been continuing to learn more about multiplication. Using lots of resources to help us, we have concentrated on our 2, 5- and 10-times tables. We can confidently count in 2s, 5s and 10s to help us work out how may items we have altogether. We have been thinking about the number of groups and the number of items in a group, and using this information to write a repeated addition calculation - but this has been tricky!


There are examples here to show you:



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Making Dinosaur teeth from clay - is it a herbivore or a carnivore?

Making Dinosaur teeth from clay  - is it a herbivore or a carnivore? 1
Making Dinosaur teeth from clay  - is it a herbivore or a carnivore? 2
Making Dinosaur teeth from clay  - is it a herbivore or a carnivore? 3

Week beginning 30th April

This week in Maths we have been counting in multiples of 2, 5 and 10. We have learnt counting songs and also counted objects in different groups of 2, 5 and 10 too. 


In Science we thought further about different groups of animals and classified a variety of named animals into either birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, fish and amphibians. We then thought carefully about reptiles and why certain animals are reptiles. For example- they have scaly skin. We did an observational drawing and wrote down facts we had learnt. 


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In topic we met some real live reptiles and even got to hold them if we wanted too! We learnt we had to stay still, quiet and calm so we did not scare the reptiles. It was great fun and Jonathan from 'Jonathan's Jungle Road Show' was fantastic at teaching us how to care for them and where they come from. 

We then wrote about our visit thinking about creating an extended piece of writing. 

Week beginning 23rd April


This week we have enjoyed learning about capacity and volume. We have used rice and water to find out how much different containers hold, and compared them, ordered them and recorded our measurements in non-standard units.


In science, we have thought about the different groups of animals; mammals, amphibians, fish, birds, insects and reptiles. Then we used the iPads to research some different reptiles, thinking about the things they have in common with dinosaurs.


We have also been thinking about what the Earth would have looked like when the dinosaurs were alive - Beech class asked some great questions about the movement of continents, so we talked about Pangea, volcanoes and earthquakes as well! We thought carefully about the landscape that the dinosaurs would have moved through, and then had a go at creating our own collages. We really enjoyed this, and produced some great landscapes.


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Week 16th April

This week in Maths we have been learning about the weight and mass of an object. We have been thinking about the terms heavier and lighter. We have then moved onto weighing objects with a non-standard unit of measurement (for example cubes) and comparing the weight of two different objects. 

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In Science we have looked in depth at the signs of Spring and how day length varies. We have also learnt the months of the year that make up Spring. 


In topic we have really delved into learning lots about dinosaurs to start the topic off. We have looked at information books and discovered lots of interesting facts, explored our special box of dinosaur fossils as well as learning lots of new language. 


In our PSHE lesson we are thinking this term about relationships and our family and the fact we are all important. 

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This term we will be learning all about dinosaurs - we will be using real fossils to help us understand how we know so much about the dinosaurs and finding out about Mary Anning, one of the first fossil hunters. We will be thinking about what a dinosaur ate for dinner, and how we can tell this from its teeth and maybe even its poo! 


In science, we will be linking all we know about dinosaurs to their closest living relatives - reptiles. We will also be learning about different groups of animals such as mammals, birds and amphibians and how we know what group an animal belongs to.


We will also be having a visit from  Jonathon's Jungle Roadshow so that we can meet some reptiles up close.


In maths, we will be beginning with mass and capacity, before moving on to multiplication, division and fractions.


We're really looking forward to another busy and exciting term!


If you would like to learn more about the history of fossil hunting and dinosaurs in Oxfordshire, the Oxford Natural History Museum and the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock are both fantastic places to visit... and best of all, the are free!