Participating in a 'Zoom' Discussion with Oxford University Academics
As part of Year 5's persuasive writing topic, pupils explore Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar'. This involves many exciting oracy opportunities to support pupils when interpreting the main characters. Following a post on Twitter about this work, an academic from Oxford University was impressed and made contact with our school.
A highly enriching experience was able to occur due to the relationship built with Oxford Classics. Via 'Zoom', a discussion about Brutus and Caesar took place. Along with this, pupils were informed about some of the persuasive devices that were used by the Romans. Impressively, our pupils had already been making use of some of these in their English books!
This highly enriching experience is now going to take place yearly for all Year 5 children. What a privilege!
"When my class took part in this discussion, I got to answer a question from one of the people from Oxford University. To answer it, I decided to use a sentence opener to follow on from an earlier point made by Lily. I felt proud when the response from the people was that our class has excellent oracy skills!" Hollie
Exploring the Relevancy of Shakespeare's Work
William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' has enriched Year 5's persuasive writing abilities through its vocabulary and themes. It enabled the motives of a key character to be analysed from two different perspectives. Was Brutus acting selflessly for the good of Rome or enviously for his own personal gains?
After exploring one of Shakespeare's plays, this encouraged Year 5 to consider whether studying Shakespeare is still relevant in schools today or not. A wide range of proposition and opposition points were devised, and personal opinions were ultimately cast aside as group debates took place.
"I loved learning about Shakespeare! I think it is really important that children continue to learn about him because he was influential throughout the world. He even created phrases and new words that we use in our everyday language." Dafne
Celebrating the Legacy of the Suffragettes
Year 5 enjoy writing newspaper reports to recount how the Suffragettes stormed Parliament Square (following the King's speech once again ignoring their pleas for equality between men and women). This involves the pupils using drama and their oracy skills to develop suitable eyewitness quotations.
"It felt a bit emotional when we were singing along to the song sung by the Suffragettes. I tried to imagine how the women marching would have felt as they were heading towards Parliament Square. I also liked learning the golden nugget fact about John Brown." Lottie
Bringing a Wordless Picture Book to Life
As part of a recount (diary entry) writing topic, Year 5 explore the completely wordless picture book 'Small Things' by Mel Tregonning. The children make their own inferences about the boy's mental health as he seems to be having a hard time in school.
To build empathy for the little boy, this involves many oracy opportunities and drama too. Despite the book having no words in it whatsoever, our pupils are able to build on this enriching experience to use very ambitious vocabulary in their final diary entries.
"This book hooked me in right from looking at the front book cover. I really enjoyed getting to freeze frame parts of the boy's experiences and then bringing them to life by describing in role to his sister what he was going through. This helped me to write my diary entry." Frankie
'World Book Day' Celebrations: The Power of Words!
To continue Year 5's exploration of the completely wordless picture book 'Small Things', pupils were challenged to use poetry to bring the main character's emotions to life.
Also, pupils researched the author of their current Story Sessions book 'Journey to the River Sea' and wrote biographies about her (Eva Ibbotson).
"I was very proud of my poem because I was able to use lots of figurative language. Also, I loved finding out golden nuggets about Eva Ibbotson to include in her biography. Did you know that Eva used to have a governess when she was a child like how Maia has one in 'Journey to the River Sea'?" Amelia
In the lead up to our World Book Day Celebrations, every child in the school writes their own 100 word (Lower School) or 200 word (Upper School) story about a topic of their choice. The pupils choose their own style of narrative: sci-fi, adventure, mystery, fantasy: the list goes on... and compose their own narrative being mindful of how to tell a full story in a precise way. After polishing and a few tweaks, these stories are collated and published into a school book, which each child receives on World Book Day. More recently, pupils have been challenged to write their own poems for the latest editions!
You can find our books in our school library as well as our local one too: Spellow Library. At Spellow Library, we are the featured authors on display and have performed our stories for the local community to celebrate our fantastic writing.