Home Page

Year 5&6 - Press Gang

The latest class newsletter is at the bottom of the page...

Hello, and welcome to our pages. We are called Press Gang after the packs of newspaper reporters who chase stories (not the 19th-century bully boys who made you go to sea). That is because our topic for the year is the Media and we started in September with Newspapers and Magazines.


25.5.13 WHO DARES...
Some of the Gang teamed up with the children from Pluckley for a three-day residential trip to the Kingswood adventure centre near Ashford. See the gallery at the bottom of the page for the stills or here for the film. 

21.5.13 BEE DAY
The school was a sea of black and yellow as the children (parents) paid for the privilege of dressing as bees (see below). The money will go towards creating a bee-friendly area at Smarden and helping develop a hive at Pluckley in exchange for their children using the school wood occasionally. It was a great chance to teach the children how important bees are to the  eco-system. 


The Sats are over for Year 6 while Year 5 have taken their internally-marked Sats. One set have been sent away and the other are being marked and put towards Yr 5's grades. We have the Kingswood trip coming up then a well-deserved half-term.


It was back to the drawing board for some of our eggmobiles after the previous heat. Tweaks and redesigns were made in which wheels were replaced and vehicle weights reduced. We then moved indoors to the school hall for the race finals where the course is smoother which, as every member of Press Gang will tell you, reduces friction. We'll write up the data in our books, discuss our hypotheses and add our conclusions. Watch the space for the film...

The sun came out, the asphalt warmed up and the first heat of The Great Egg Race got underway. See below for more details of our KS2 Science project. For a taster of how it went click on the link: Great Egg Race.  

Picture 1
Picture 2
"Cry God for Harry, England and St George!" A merit to Fabian for knowing that the quote was written by William Shakespeare. A merit for Charlotte for knowing that 23rd April is also Shakespeare's birthday.
Another merit for Fabian for knowing that the famous line was written for the play Henry V.

15.4.13 THE RACE IS ON
Goodbye Easter, hello to our new Year 5 classmate Emily.
Meanwhile, the Great Egg Race is still on and the designs have been reassessed, redesigned and built. All they need now is a touch of paint and the first heats will be held.
On the English and Maths front - it will soon be Sats time. We are, therefore, spending lots of time looking at old papers and brushing up on our exam skills.

Press Gang said farewell to our classmate Stanley who is moving to a different part of the country. We gave Stan 'The Man' a Smarden send-off with a huge card, chocolates, a well-earned Learner of the Week and a few jokes from Mr D about his inability to track down a barber for the months he's spent in Kent. We'll miss his humour and his cheeky grin. Goodbye Stan. We'll remember you with a smile. 

Follow the link at the bottom of the page to find the Topic Web for this term, Term 4. It shows how we are taught the curriculum through Film and Television as well as drawing links between subjects to teach them. For example, we will use our skills in Maths, ICT and D&T while learning how to design and build machines in Science. 

In Term 3 we used Film and Television to enhance our learning. We looked at writing recounts (courtesy of Harry Potter), creating atmosphere (Great Expectations) and dialogue (To Kill A Mockingbird). These are all areas that we could be assessed on in the Sats. We also examined silent film to learn drama skills (Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd) and tested our grammar and punctuation writing about scenes from Singin' In The Rain (how does Donald O'Connor walk up walls?).

Creating mood through music was taught to us through film soundtracks such as Love Story (romance), Jaws (tension) and Indiana Jones (adventure). We used ICT to research the Roman Empire. Clips from Gladiator and The Life of Brian (heavily edited and teacher-censored) inspired us to investigate the Roman empire and occupation of Britain. We made Roman arches in clay (Art & Design) and Roman shields (Design & Technology). The shields were put to use during our re-enactment of the Battle of the Medway, 43AD, which sealed the fate of the Celtic Britons and made a huge impact on who we are now. Watch it here:
Maximus Smarden.
Picture 1
Picture 2
We were also inspired by some thrilling video clips of the Space Shuttle launches and newspaper cuttings of the Apollo landings. What else could we do but design and build our own rockets as part of our investigation into Forces? We used Maths, ICT, Science, Music (Space Oddity and Rocket Man) and Design & Technology. Watch our efforts here: Lift Off!In Term 2 we learned about story genres and poetry. Here are some of our efforts: Press Gang stories and poems

We enjoy being the oldest class in the school because with our age comes responsbility: we give out registers; prepare the hall for assembly; look after the play shed; act as dining room monitors. The Head Boy and Head Girl are in our class. They are Year Six pupils Thomas and Charlotte. Other accolades handed out in Press Gang are the Year 6 Ties. These go to children who we feel display the finest qualities that our school promotes. So far there are four holders: Daniel, Chloe, Shaun and James O-S. There may be more...

Learning outside the classrom is very much part of our philosphy at Smarden. So when we get the chance we pull on our wellies and explore the world around us. In Term 2 we helped plant a new wood near Cranbrook as part of the Queen's jubilee. We are also very lucky to have our own piece of woodland attached to the school.

Every week after lessons the Woodland Club spends time in this special place, observing the natural life, learning how to build shelters and caring for the 'wild space'. It is part of a Scandanavian concept called Forest School, which helps some children develop skills they may not nurture in the classroom. 

Have you seen the Kids' Zone? Play games, and visit some cool websites. You can vote for your favourites!

Picture 1
Picture 2