'Urban Pioneers' is a project with links to art, science, computing, geography and history. Throughout the term, we will be learning about the history of Boston, as well as locating it and other places of interest on digital maps. In art, we will be researching urban art, such as graffiti and discussing the moral and legal issues involved, as well as looking at some famous examples from the artist known as Banksy.
Our Big Question is 'Does art improve the environment?' To answer this, we will have to consider all forms of art, including architecture and sculptures - not just paintings, photographs and graffiti.
This promises to be an interesting, varied and creative term and we can't wait to get stuck in!
History and Art
After learning all about The Pilgrim Fathers last week, we continued our learning by concentrating on a local landmark, the Boston Stump.
We used the internet to research some interesting facts about the church then in groups we created an information poster.
We then used our sketching techniques we have developed during our art lessons to produce an observational drawing of the magnificent structure. We carried out techniques of cross-hatching, scumbling and stippling using a range of different pencil strengths. We used these sketches on our poster to produce some superb results!
To learn more about the history of the town where we live, Boston, we have been learning about the journey of the Pilgrim Fathers. We found it fascinating that they were able to survive the treacherous journey over to America and amazed that they were imprisoned in the Guildhall in Boston town centre.
We had great fun in groups producing freeze frames in our drama activity. They were so well acted out with brilliant facial expressions, the rest of the class was easily able to identify the parts of the journey the groups were re-enacting.
RE and Reading Comprehension
We have been using our summarising skills this week to produce some information writing about a Gurdwara, a Sikh place of worship.
We combined skills from SPaG and used subheadings to organise our work. This made the paragraphs clear and concise, which is very important when summarising.
We looked at images of the world at night.
Using the patterns of light, we located the brightly lit cities in the United Kingdom on Google Earth.
Is the sun good or bad? We looked at the positives and negatives of the sun. We then delved deeper into the how the sun can cause damage to our skin and to our eyes due to the ultraviolet light it emits.
We searched for our sunglasses and set up an investigation to prove that sunglasses can protect our eyes from the UV light.
Using UV beads, we compared the beads in different conditions. We placed some inside (where there is no UV light), some in the sunshine (high UV light) and some under sunglasses outside (UV light that is blocked by a lens). The beads become brighter in colour the more UV light they are exposed to.
The UV beads that were inside were still white, the ones in the sun were vivid, bright colours and the ones under the lenses were coloured but in a pastel shade. We therefore concluded that sunglasses do protect our eyes to come extend but the glasses that we investigated showed a range of results. Some gave better protection than others and we discussed the importance of choosing a high UV protection when buying sunglasses.
We also chose a shady place to test the UV beads in. They also turned a colour, although only pale, but it showed us that we still need to try to protect our skin and eyes even in the shade or when it is cloudy.
Shadows! How do they change as the light source moves? We had great fun finding out!
After starting our new RE topic with our memorable drama experience in week one, this week we have continued to explore Sikhism.
We have used our inference skills during our reading comprehension lesson to reflect on how the Sikh religion began and how Nanak became God's teacher. We learned about the commandments in which Guru Nanak believed Sikhs should live. Most of us agreed with them but some of us would like to add some extra.
Guru Nanak is the founder of the Sikh religion and believed that all people should be treated equally. We used the story of 'Blood and Milk' which emphasised his thoughts on being respectful to all, no matter where people come from or what they did for a living. Everybody is important and special. We described the main characters and all enjoyed the fact that the Khatri changed his ways and became generous and selfless due to the actions of Guru Nanak.
The Sikh story also displayed a lot of our school's values:
Honesty Compassion Integrity Individuality Respect
We all thought that Guru Nanak would be proud of our values at Gipsey Bridge Academy.
Within our RE lessons this week, it was mentioned about Sikh people believing in the 5Ks when they are baptised into the Sikh religion.
We took this opportunity to extend our learning.
We've been learning all about sources of light and light reflectors. We turned off all of the lights and closed the blinds so it was as dark as it possibly could be then explored different objects. We could see the light sources extremely well in the dark but the light reflectors we couldn't see until we used a light source to reflect off the material.
We all got very excited when we got the glow sticks out and lit up the classroom!
Our geography task over the past two weeks has been to carry out a survey. We wanted to know more about what people at home do for a living. A lot of us asked specific questions at home and as a class we were able to collate this information, making a tally chart. It was necessary to create categories for the different jobs due to there being such a wide range.
We thought about how traffic lights work on our roads; they can't be green at the same time and they can't be red at the same time etc. With this in mind, we thought about how they could be controlled. Does someone stand and do it manually? No. Do all traffic lights monitor if a car is waiting? No. We decided in the end that they must be automatic, or programmed so had a go at doing this ourselves.
It was tricky! We had to learn not only how to control the sprites, but how to create them in the first place! There was a huge amount of resilience on show from every child and we all left knowing we had achieved at least part of a functioning set of lights, which is incredible.
This week, we started learning about 'Banksy', the famous but secret urban artist. We looked at some examples of their work and discussed what we noticed, such as the black and white colour scheme, the sad theme of each piece and the fact that they were all created outside, on public walls. We also wrote about what we liked and disliked about the art work, giving reasons.
To further develop the charcoal skills that we began investigating last week during our launch day, we decided to use charcoal again today to create the black contrast against the brick work we were using. The results are really effective!
Linking this back to our Big Question and considering that graffiti is actually illegal, Mrs Clarke has asked, "Is this art or vandalism?" We are going to explore this in more detail later in the week.
To start our new RE project based on Sikhism, Guru Nanak Gurpurab, we enjoyed a drama activity based on how important it is to treat people equally, which is extremely important within the Sikh religion.
This group memorable drama experience needed to include a performance that incorporated a person not being treated equally then display a resolution. We had great fun performing and reflecting.
In Science, we explored how we need light to be able to see. We discussed different sources of light, both natural and man-made. We also thought about what would it be like if it was dark and we had a power cut. We discussed whether the fact that some councils are turning off street lights between 12am and 5:30am and whether we thought it was a good idea.
We have had a fantastic launch day for our 'Urban Pioneers' project! We spent the whole day looking at different art techniques, perfecting our skills and producing urban landscapes. Together, we looked at watercolour paints, pastels, charcoal and sketching using different grades of pencil. The children then evaluated their work and day, thinking about what they were really proud of themselves for. Some answers included:
"I am proud of how reflective I was because I looked at my work and knew that I needed to go over the top to make the holes go away."
"I am proud of my pastels work because I was resilient in turning black into grey."
The children agreed that they had all improved their skills and left school better at at least one aspect of art than they were when they came this morning.
Perhaps most importantly, we have all had a wonderful day!