Throughout the week, each class studied an inspiring text that recognised the struggle that refugees and asylum seekers face. We carefully selected the books, for this week, to represent bravery and resilience. We want to help our children to challenge assumptions about migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Linked to our learning values too, we helped them to develop mutual respect, empathy and understanding.
Below is a snapshot of what each class has been up to:
Monarchs have had a fantastic book week! The children have explored a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, related to our refugee focus, including 'The Island', 'The Arrival', and 'UNICEF - In Search of Safety'. We held sensitive and mature discussions about the treatment of refugees, and showed empathy when imagining what it must feel like to have to flee from your home. The focus of our writing this week has been on forming a discussion text. This involves ensuring our writing is unbiased and reflects two sides of an argument equally. We look forward to continuing this next week. Other book week activities have included writing book recommendations that will be on display in Waterstones book shop in St Albans next week. We have also enjoyed pairing up with Firetips and sharing stories, designing book covers, completing quizzes and, of course, dressing up on Book Day itself! What a brilliant week it has been.
Cardinals have based their writing on the book 'Azzi in Between' by Sarah Garland. This inspirational book follows the story of a young girl and her family, as they are forced to move to a new country due to the dangers of war. The book explores how she adapts to her new life and the difficulties she faces.
The children have also read their sharing books to their friends in Year 2 and will be sharing their writing on Friday. They hope to learn a little about the book that Year 2 have been studying too. Cardinals had a surprise visitor on Wednesday. Mr Cunningham came into class and read his two favourite books to the children. On world book day Cardinals Cafe was open for business. The children experienced a book tasting while enjoying a light snack.
Emperors have been looking at the beautiful and moving book, King of the Sky by Nicola Davies. It tells the story of a young Italian boy who has moved to the Welsh hills. At first feels isolated and unhappy; a stranger in a strange land. But when he makes an unlikely friend, an old man who lets him fly one of his pigeons in a race, he learns how he can belong. We spent some time exploring the story, appreciating the illustrations and making the comparison between the boy's early opinions of Italy and Wales. We then looked more into the pigeon, thinking of adjectives and verbs to describe how it moves and sounds it makes. This led to some beautifully written calligram poems written through the eyes of the racing pigeon finding its way home. Along side this great work, we have taken part in a book swap, started vocabulary bookmarks, shared our reading and work with Cardinals Class, and made some 'WANTED' and 'MISSING' posters of our favourite book characters which will be displayed in the local library.
In Admirals Class, we have been studying the incredible, thought-provoking story, ‘Journey’ by Francesca Sanna. A beautifully illustrated book, which focussing on the idea of moving to a new home because yours in unsafe. The touching story has really gripped the class and we have had some thoughtful discussions about how it must feel to have to be forced to flee from your home. We have shared stories in our classroom about times we may have experienced a change or even a situation similar to that of the story. Throughout the week we have used our learning power of respect for others when sharing ideas and discussed how these families would need to be resilient to remain hopeful and in some cases to even survive. Additionally, we have spent time with Hummingbirds Class this week sharing our favourite stories with each other. Admirals listened to the younger children read, helping them on any tricky words and then shared their own favourites with them. We have also written book reviews ready to swap with Garden Fields. It will be great to receive their favourites too and add them to our library.
Hummingbirds have been studying 'The Day War Came', a poem by Nicola Davies, about a little girl who becomes a refugee after war breaks out. She has to flee from her home and travel to a new country. She initially finds she is not welcomed by her new school but this changes at the end of the poem when a boy brings her a chair to sit on so she can go to school. We have used drama to explore the story, acting out different parts to understand how the little girl might have felt. We have written diary entries as though we were a child trying to attend a new school in a different country and we have designed our own chairs for other children, thinking about how we might make them feel welcome and safe. We have also enjoyed sharing recommendations for our favourite books, designing bookmarks and sharing stories with year 5.
In Firetips, we have been looking at the wonderful story of Paddington. The children have had great fun creating postcards, written facts about what being a refugee means, explored Peru, created our own favourite books and sent them to Verulam Care Home residents to read and create a display with and made our own Paddington bears. What a packed week!