We're the Grizzly Bears!
Welcome to our class
We’re proud and independent, sensitive and strong.
We work hard, try our best and have lots of fun!
“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Our new class story is 'Kensuke's Kingdom' by Michael Morpurgo.
Please note that our PE lessons will take place on Monday and Thursday this term. Mondays will be Swimming for Year 4s and Real PE with Miss Barrett and Miss Hind for Year 3s.
Our library slot will be every other Wednesday.
The first of our summer term Special Mentions were awarded to Maisie and Tom. Maisie received her Special Mention for being kind, considerate and consistently hard-working and Tom received his for showing enthusiasm for all aspects Of the curriculum and always finding the fun in learning.
This week, Oatlands celebrated French Week with all sorts of exciting French-themed activities. We enjoyed an Open hour recreating paintings by Vincent Van Gogh using a range of different materials, including pastels, paints and oil pastels. We learned about French geography and popular cities and attractions and then wrote postcards to friends and family, imagining that we were visiting these destinations. We also built our own versions of famous French buildings and monuments using junk modelling materials. To top the week off, we visited a French Café run by the Year 6 children and enjoyed croissants, pain au chocolats and jus d’orange!
Our Special Mentions for the Spring term second half went to Annabel and Ella for being all-round brilliant members of the class. The girls are kind-hearted and hard-working and set an excellent examples for the rest of the class. Very well done to you both!
Decorated Egg Winner
Our class winner of the decorated egg competition was George with his replica of Mrs Scarth’s recent wedding!
Decorated Egg Competition
With Easter fast approaching, we held our annual Decorated Egg Competition in school this week and this year's entries did not disappoint! The Grizzly Bears have clearly been hard at work at home designing and decorating their eggs. We had all manner of creations from Theresa May to Adam and Eve and even an egg incarnation of the new Mr and Mrs Scarth. Well done Grizzly Bears!
The Big Brain Bounce
Today all of the children took part in the 'Big Brain Bounce' to raise money for Wellspring, which is a Harrogate-based mental health charity. Each of the children donated £1 to take part in the big bounce which saw each class spend 20 minutes racing around inside and outside on spacehoppers. In the Grizzly Bears, we worked in teams doing relay races across the hall. The children thoroughly enjoyed the bounce and showed some excellent hopping skills!
Red Nose Day
To raise money for Red Nose Day, we all paid a pound and wore red to mark the big day. Our very own Evelyn also did some of her own fundraising at home too! Evelyn decided to create some beautiful pictures to sell to her friends and family in order to raise some extra cash for a great cause. An incredibly generous and thoughtful gesture - brilliant work Evelyn!
World Book Day
On Thursday, we celebrated World Book Day at Oatlands with a range of reading-based activities. The children re-designed the front covers of their favourite books for a display in our class reading corner. They added a short review to their designs to explain to other members of the class why they would recommend the book and what they might like about it.
We also had the opportunity to visit different themed reading rooms around the school to share our favourite books with other children and hear about books of a particular genre that we might enjoy. Finally, in the afternoon, we were thrilled to welcome some of our adults into the classroom to share their favourite books with us and to help us with some of our World Book Day activities.
Thank you to all of the parents who came in to support us - the children had a very busy but thoroughly enjoyable day!
Special Mentions - Spring Term
Our Special Mentions for the first half of Spring term we’re awarded to Rocco and Ella. Both children received their very well-deserved certificates for their fantastic attitude to learning, consistently hard work and for always setting a brilliant example to others. Well done Ella and Rocco!
Arts Week - Esref Armagan
Our art work this week has been inspired by Turkish artist Esref Armagan. Esref is a painter who was born blind and paints entirely from touch. The children had a go at sketching mystery objects without seeing them, sketching with their eyes closed and even sketching using their feet and mouths! To celebrate Esref’s work, the children have created some beautiful canvas paintings of landscapes in the Yorkshire Dales. Like Esref, they used their fingers to create the landscapes, layering different colours to create texture.
Arts Week - North Yorkshire School of Contemporary Dance
As part of our Arts Week celebrations, we took part in a dance workshop with the North Yorkshire School of Contemporary Dance. Thinking about our theme of diversity and people in the arts with physical or cognitive difficulties, we learnt about expressing ourselves without using words. First, we learnt how to introduce ourselves using Makaton and then we worked in pairs to create a short dance sequence using shapes and actions to tell a story. The children really enjoyed performing their routines for one another and trying to guess what story each group was trying to tell.
Arts Week - Mercer Art Gallery
As part of our Arts Week, the year 3 and 4 children paid a visit to the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate town centre. The gallery organised different activities for the children, allowing them to practise talking about artworks and even create some art of their own too!
Our first activity focused on the local artist Nerys Johnson, who suffered from childhood arthritis. Nerys created beautiful, vivid paintings of flowers and we used her as our inspiration when creating our own pastel pictures of tulips and daffodils at the gallery. We looked at different techniques such as layering and blending colours to create bright and beautiful pictures of our own.
Our second activity involved looking at and describing different pieces of art from around the gallery. The staff challenged us to think about artworks in slightly different ways; for example, we had to describe a painting as though it was a particular flavour of ice cream, a piece of music or a scene from a film. We had lots of fun thinking about different combinations of flavours and imagining the stories behind the pieces of art!
This week, we’ve been celebrating Health Week with lots of exciting activities based around keeping our minds and bodies healthy. On Monday, we had a brilliant Zumba session and on Tuesday, we had a lovely calming Yoga taster session. We’ve also been completing a daily Food Diary and Activity Log to keep track of the kinds of foods we’ve been eating and how much activity we’re doing.
We’re looking forward to learning more about how to keep our bodies healthy in our next Science topic ‘Living Things Including Humans’.
Safer Internet Day
On Tuesday 5th February, we celebrated Safer Internet Day. This year’s theme was all about understanding consent in a digital world. We had a special E-Safety workshop with expert Tim Pinto who taught us about the importance of reading and understanding the terms and conditions when signing up for new games, apps and programmes to ensure that we know exactly what we are agreeing to and what information we are sharing. We also talked about PEGI ratings on video games, what the ratings and symbols mean and how important it is to speak to our parents before playing a game with an age restriction.
Tim gave us lots of information about how to protect ourselves online and we used this to create posters and leaflets to be displayed around school and shared with our adults at home.
National Number Day
On Friday, we celebrated National Number Day at Oatlands. Each class was given a number and completed different Maths and English activities based around it. In the Grizzly Bears, our Number was 101.
In Maths, we worked in groups to tackle problems and challenges based around the number 101. For example, we found different ways of partitioning 101, we calculated what day it will be in 101 days and we used the map-reading skills that we’ve been learning in geography to find places on a map that are exactly 101 miles from our school.
In English, we chose from a selection of tasks to create some fantastic pieces of creative writing. Some of us told the story of strange happenings at house number 101, some of us wrote diary entries describing day 101 of being stranded on a desert island and some of us described a difficult day in the life of a police officer - PC101.
Finally, in our Weekly Review we each chose one thing that we’d like to put in Room 101 and explained why. The children’s also brought in donations of silver coins to try to fill our class number and we raised £17.50 in silver for the NSPCC. We had a fantastic day and really enjoyed completing our themed activities while raising money for a good cause.
Maisie's very exciting letter
Our very own Maisie brought in an exciting letter to share with the class this week. She received the letter on Monday and couldn't wait to bring it in to show us all!
During the Autumn term, Maisie sent a fantastic poem and a letter to the lovely people at Blue Peter. She explained to them that she was writing the letter as one of her homework projects and told them all about herself and her interests, in particular her love of Brownies, and about some of the arts and crafts that she had been doing with her Brownie group. This week she got a lovely response from the Blue Peter team as well as a much-coveted Blue Peter badge. Maisie was so thrilled that they had read and enjoyed her letter and we're all really proud of her and her amazing achievement!
DT - Felt Decorations
Over the past few weeks, the Grizzly Bears have been hard at work designing beautiful Christmas decorations in DT. The children evaluated existing products to get an idea of different designs, fabrics and styles before designing their own product. They then looked at embellishments and sewing techniques to decide how they would construct their final piece of work.
Today, we’ve done a fantastic job of creating our final designs using felt, beading, sequins and different stitching techniques. The children thoroughly enjoyed the project and are really proud of their final designs!
Year 4 Christmas Party
On Monday, our lovely Year 4s enjoyed their annual Christmas’s party. There was dancing, party games and lots of sweet and savoury nibbles throughout the afternoon. The children enjoyed a very serious game of Musical Statues, Christmas Corners and a Pass the Parcel that seemed to have a never-ending number of layers! The children had a fantastic afternoon and the Year 3s can’t wait to enjoy their Christmas party on Wednesday too!
Christmas in the Grizzly Bears
The Grizzly Bears have been hard at work getting ready for Christmas over the last week or so. We've created a beautiful Christmas display based around an important part of the nativity story and we've made some lovely Christmas cards to take home for our families too!
This year's Christmas displays were all based around the Nativity story and were inspired by a mindfulness colouring book. Each class had a different part of the story to tell - ours was the story of the Angel Gabriel visiting Mary to tell her she would have a baby. We each decorated a flower and a feather with patterns inspired by mindfulness colouring and we took turns decorating the Angel Gabriel in a rainbow of colours and Mary using collage. We were thrilled with the result and can't wait to see what other children contribute by colouring in the gaps!
On Friday, we were thrilled to invite our families into school to watch us perform a short violin concert and showcase what we’ve been learning with Mrs Dawson this term.
We really enjoyed showing them how we’ve been learning to recognise rhythm, read different musical notes, understand musical vocabulary such as ‘pizzicato’, forte’ and ‘piano’ and how we’ve applied all of this to our violin playing.
It was a fantastic performance and we’ve loved working with Mrs Dawson each week. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Owls class get on in their performance at the end of the Spring term!
This week we held our very first book auction to decide what our next class story will be. We made a very long list of all of our recommendations and voted in order to whittle the list down to our top 4. A few very brave children then prepared a short presentation explaining why we should choose their stories. The options were as follows:
Ella M suggested ‘My Wicked Stepmother’ by Karen Langtree
Edie suggested ‘The Accidental Secret Agent’ by Tom McLaughlin
George suggested ‘The Ice Monster’ by David Walliams
Annabel and Ava suggested ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams
All of The children made fantastic presentations and did a brilliant job of selling their books to us but our winner this time was ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams!
Image Theatre - The Selfish Giant
Today, we enjoyed our annual visit from The Image Theatre and their fantastic performance of ‘A Selfish Giant’. The production told the story of a very selfish giant who was unkind and unfriendly towards the people in the nearby village and who built a big wall to keep children away from his home and out of his beautiful garden. Until, one day, Jack Frost pays him a visit and plunges his castle and all of its grounds into an everlasting Winter!
It was a very exciting story about how the selfish giant comes to realise the error of his ways and finally opens his heart to the villagers. We all played the part of the chorus in the show and did a fantastic job of helping with the signing. Some lucky children even got to try their hand at drama and take part in the show itself! All in all, a brilliant Friday afternoon and we can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year’s performance!
Children in Need
We had some very interesting outfits and faces in the Grizzly Bears class today! Much to Miss Houseman’s alarm, lots of children appeared to have sprouted ears and developed some very colourful spots all over there faces overnight! We’re pleased to report that it was all in aid of Children in Need. Not only did we spend our day sporting spotty clothes and faces but we also found out about why Children in Need is so important and how all of our very generous donations help children across the UK live a happy, safe and secure childhood. It was a fantastic day, which was enjoyed by all. We can’t wait to find out how much we’ve raised!
Eleanor McKone Visit
This week, our class was lucky enough to receive a very exciting visit from the author of Piper’s Passport, Eleanor McKone. Eleanor read us her fantastic first book all about Piper’s first adventure in Australia. We learned lots of things about famous landmarks and attractions in Australia as Piper and her family swam in the Great Barrier Reef, climbed Sydney Harbour Bridge and visited Australia Zoo. Eleanor also told us about lots of the wildlife and creepy crawlies that live in Australia; we learned about dingoes, possums, koala bears and redback spiders to name just a few!
We had a brilliant morning hearing about Piper’s travels and really enjoyed sharing our own ideas with Eleanor about where Piper should visit next!
The Power of One
On Thursday we watched the anti-bullying show ‘The Power of One’. We really enjoyed it! It talked about physical, cyber and verbal bullying. It was interesting to see that even people who seem fine on the surface could be going through bullying. Now we know that if we are ever in a situation where we are being bullied, we have people on our side. The message behind the show was that if we stand up for others rather than standing by when bullying takes place, then we all have the power to overcome bullying.
By Edie and Ella M
This week, we had our Autumn term Open Time and welcomed our adults into school to watch us take part in PE with Mrs King. We really enjoyed our Gymnastics-based Real PE lesson and, as always, we loved having our adults in school to share and support us with our learning.
This term’s Special Mentions were awarded to Olivia and Finlay. Olivia was chosen because she has been a fantastic role model to others throughout the term and always demonstrates kindness and consideration to others, making sure that everyone feels included. Finlay earned his Special Mention for his fantastic attitudes and commitment to his learning. He has made a brilliant start to Year 3 and has taken the new challenges in his stride.
Well done one to both of you!
Karate Taster Session
This week we were very lucky to have a Karate taster session with Mr Saunderson (a martial arts expert). He taught us to do the 'set stance' to show our respect to our instructors and we did the 'lock it up' position to show him that we were listening and ready to learn. We learnt to do a side kick while making sure that we had our guard up and our fiercest warrior faces on! When we'd had lots of practise side-kicking using a practise pad, we all had a go at breaking a wooden board. Thanks to our speed, strength and confidence, we were all successful in breaking the board with our brilliant side-kicks - even Miss Houseman managed it!
Violins - Autumn Term
This term, we are very lucky to have Mrs Dawson joining us from the Grammar School every Friday to teach us how to play the violin. We’re really enjoying learning to play a musical instrument as well as learning a little bit about reading music and lots of new musical vocabulary. We can’t wait to demonstrate our new skills in a violin recital for our families and friends at the end of the term!
This morning, we had the pleasure of welcoming some of our adults into the classroom to work with us during our weekly Reading Hour. We really enjoyed working together to build a character and story based on a picture that we'd chosen and then present our story in a text of our choice. We'd like to say a big thank you to all of the adults that were able to join us work with us in the classroom.
Badminton - Harrogate Racquets Club
This half term, we are very lucky to have been invited up to the Harrogate Racquets Club for weekly badminton lessons. We’ve really enjoyed our first couple of sessions; we’ve just about mastered a serve, tried to beat our personal bests in the 30 second rally challenge and some of us even got to practise returning high shots with Miss Houseman!
It’s been a brilliant first two weeks and we can’t wait to see how much we’ve improved by October half term.
Our New-and-Improved Book Corner
On Monday we arrived into school to find that a mysterious tree had grown in the corner of our Reading Area! On closer inspection, we discovered that each of its leaves are covered with the names of all of our favourite books. With all off the reading we’ve been doing, we imagine it will have grown even bigger by the end of the year. Watch this space!
Pupil Voice Groups
During our first week in class, we had the very important task of deciding who we wanted to represent our class in the various Pupil Voice Groups that we have at Oatlands Junior School. In keeping with our British Values, we staged a democratic vote in the classroom. The elected children for each group are as follows:
Our First Week
The Grizzly Bears have had a super start to the year here at Oatlands Junior School. There have been lots of new rules and routines for our Year 3s to learn but the our lovely Year 4s have been fantastic role models and we've all settled in brilliantly.
So far, we’ve been enjoying getting to know one another and practising working as part of a team both inside the classroom and during P.E. We've had class elections to decide on who we would like to represent our class in our Pupil Voice Groups, we've started our Daily Mile challenge which we will be running throughout the year and we've enjoyed starting our first English topic, looking at the picturebook 'Gorilla'.
We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the first term holds!