An ancient Mayan visits Year 5

On Friday, Year 5 had a visitor from ancient Mayan times, called Big Nose, to tell us about what life was like in those times, including: their beliefs; how they invented maths; the foods they ate from the rainforest; and lots more.

After a learning the Mayan numbers to 10 (complete with a competition of boys against girls, including a teacher round with help from good listeners), we sacrificed 5 children in different Mayan ways to please the gods. This included: decapitation, heart extraction, drowning, buried alive and shot by arrows.

Some children got to dress in Mayan clothes, and to find the most important person for a feathered headdress, we had to find out who could cross their eyes the best – since this was a sign of importance and beauty.

Next, we tried Mayan foods. However, we learned that many of the foods we eat nowadays made up a lot of the Mayan diet, such as avocados, peppers, corn (maize), beans and butternut squash. As well as their greatest export: chocolate. However, it was not chocolate we are used to – no milk. It was 85% cocoa. There were not many fans of the almost pure chocolate bar. 6 lucky (or unlucky) individuals got to try 100% pure cocoa beans – they were not fans either. The teachers also got to try some, but did not get that ‘chocolate fix’ from milk chocolate. It was described as bitter, salty and textured like nuts or sawdust.

After play and lunch, the year group was split to take part in drama sessions. They were split into a further 6 groups, then the children were given different situations to dramatise and deliver to the other groups. Each person needed to have an active role in the performance, no matter how quiet they were. We were told to be as funny and cheesy as possible to deliver the information to the rest of the groups, as we learn more when it’s fun.

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To end our day, we took part in another drama session, this time including the teachers, to learn about the Mayan creation story. The teachers played the parts of the gods (Kuklukan and Hurrucan), where we played the different animals, trees and people that were created by the gods.

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Word Millionaires

We were delighted today to present these three pupils with very prestigious ‘Word Millionaire’ trophies in assembly. Amie, Evie and Ashlee have been such enthusiastic and dedicated readers, both in and out of school that they have read over one million words through our Accelerated Reader program. We are very proud of them and hope to be awarding more Word Millionaires soon.

Beamish Trip Y5W

Year 5 went on a trip to Beamish to learn about life during World War One, in preparation for reading ‘War Horse’ by Micheal Morpurgo. We had the chance to visit shops in the town,  journey into the mine and take part in a workshop based on a real solider from WW1.

 

Poetry with Jac Bottjer

On Friday the 16th of March, Year 5 took part in a workshop with Essex performing poet Jac Bottjer. They each wrote a poem about a troll, with use of various poetic language – including similes, metaphors, expanding metaphors and abstract description.

The final description of the poem likened this giant troll to a problem that each of us face or worry about, such as online trolls or the fear of war.

We ended the session with Jac by performing our poems to the rest of the year group.

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Basketball Tournament

Three Year 5 teams recently took part in a basketball tournament at Temple Park organised by Newcastle Eagles.  All the children really enjoyed taking part and one of the teams was unlucky to lose in the final on a basketball shoot out.

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Harton Puzzlers at the First Lego League 2017

After months of preparation, including: selecting new teammates; talking to water professionals, robot programming and reprogramming when things went wrong; survey taking, poster making and many more tasks, the day was finally upon us. On the 7th of December the Harton Puzzlers took part in the First Lego League’s Hydrodynamics challenge, as South Shields Museum.

We started our day with practises in ‘the Pit’, a room where all the groups were based. Our initial runs proved less successful than they were at school. Our first Robot challenge on the table gave us a score of 45 points. This was then followed by our technical talk – explaining our robot design and strategy for completing our table run.

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After a brief break in the Pit, we had to complete our presentation to the panel of judges. We talked through our idea to help the human water cycle – a water butt for using rain water to flush the toilet. We used bottles to show the amount of water it takes to flush a toilet (7.27L per flush!) and made a model made from Lego (obviously) to show how our design works.

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Next we had a long break until our next robot challenge, so we spent this time with half the group practising and altering the programming, and the other half talking to the other groups and getting them to take part in our Wayne Drop video game. They had to try and get Wayne from the clouds to our water butt, but avoiding leaves and birds flying past. Everybody got very competitive when playing and wanted to make it onto the leader board – including the organisers and Mrs Ratcliffe, when she visited us for support.

Our next robot challenge proved better than the first, with a new score of 50 points (5 were deducted because we had to pick up the robot from a mistake). Straight after this we had our ‘Teamwork’ challenge. We were given a task, to sort out a box of Lego and show how well we can work together as a team. This was followed by our final robot challenge with a higher score of 60 – missing out of 15 points from the tripod not landing in the desired position.

Here is the video of our final robot challenge:

We unfortunately missed out of the semi-finals – coming joint 5th – by only 5 points! We watched the semis and finals – with the Acers coming first!

The final part of our day was the presentations and awards ceremony. We did not win the day, however we did not come home empty handed. For our second year running, we won the Teamwork Trophy! Something we were incredibly pleased to achieve.

Our year 6’s are looking forward to a lunchtime outside, and the year 5’s will be keeping an eye out for the year 4 children they might want to join the team next year.