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Explorers (Autumn 2)

Outdoor Elements Trip

We had an amazingly wet and wonderful time at Outdoor Elements in Simonstone! We took part in lots of activities including team-building, problem solving and shelter construction. We even toasted our very own bread on an open fire and practised using flint and steel to create sparks. The activities helped us to imagine what it would be like to be an explorer and appreciate the importance of teamwork. We would like to say a big thank you to all the staff at Outdoor Elements that helped to create a valuable and memorable experience for all of us!


Our topic this half-term was Explorers. As an introduction to the topic, we read poetry about different places that people could explore. We used our reading to help us write our own versions. We created music to represent the different places in our shared poem and performed it using the green screen to make a video. Click the link below if you would like to watch it. We hope you like it!

Class 8’s Explorer Poem

Our key text for our story writing unit was The Great Explorer by Chris Judge. We enjoyed reading some of his other books, particularly the different adventures of The Lonely Beast. The link to Chris Judge’s website is below:

Chris Judge Website

We wrote setting descriptions, thinking about what an explorer might see in the Arctic. To increase our vocabulary and make our writing more engaging, we used an online thesaurus to find synonyms before selecting our favourite words to include in our descriptions. 
We used the plot of our key text to help us write our own versions of the story. Can you retell the story using our story map (see photographs below)?


In maths, we learnt about repeated addition, multiplication, statistics, fractions, money, volume and capacity and time. To help us with multiplication, we made arrays and interpreted them as number sentences using the multiplication symbol. In statistics, we looked at how information can be represented and interpreted using tables, block graphs, pictograms and tally charts. In factions, we consolidated our understanding of 1/2 and 1/4. In money, we made a value in different ways using coins and added coins to make a total. In capacity and volume, we have measured using milliliters and practised reading different scales on measuring cylinders, and practised telling the time with half past and quarter hours. 


Our topic in science this half-term was ‘materials.’ We thought about what we remembered from Year 1 by selecting objects in the classroom and discussing their materials, properties and their uses. Follow the link below to watch our ChatterPix videos that we made to show what we already know about materials:

We learnt new scientific words to describe the properties of materials. We thought about the suitability of materials and why they are used for certain objects. We also thought of some silly suggestions for uses of materials.

Steven Lewis Neil came to help us with our learning. He challenged us to create a suitable home for his mice. We tested materials to see which were the most absorbent and changed the shape of paper to build structures for the mice to climb. It was fun to test our constructions and watch the mice as they explored their new homes!

We worked in teams to design and engineer containers to help an Antarctic explorer keep a penguin egg safe. We tested them by dropping them from 2m to see if the egg inside would break.

We also tested which materials would be best to use as a shelter - which would be waterproof? We found out that plastic would be a good material as well as tin foil.


In history this half-term, we learnt about Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his expedition to the South Pole. We began by looking at a photograph of him and his team at the South Pole and saying what we know about it by looking for evidence. Then we asked questions to help us find out more about him. After that, we researched what happened to him in Antarctica by reading a non-fiction text and answering questions. 
We sequenced the main events of his expedition in a timeline and created commemorative plaques to remember him.
How much do you know about Captain Robert Scott?


Our artist this half-term is Ted Harrison. He was an English-Canadian artist who painted lots of landscapes of the Yukon in the Arctic. We looked at the lines that he used to create the features in his paintings and practised drawing our own versions of his artwork before adding colour.

We created Christmas cards based on his paintings and made calendar collages by ripping and sticking poster paper.
Here is the link to Ted Harrison’s website:

Ted Harrison

Design Technology

This half-term, we designed, made and evaluated a sandwich for an explorer. We taste-tested different bread, fillings and salad items and selected our favourites before drawing our designs. We followed our designs to make the sandwiches and then enjoyed eating them! After that, we evaluated our products and thought about how we could make them better.


In geography, we are learning about the continents and oceans of the world. We have used atlases and globes to name and locate them, and to help us remember them, we have learnt these songs (follow the links below).

Continents Song

Oceans Song

We have researched the different continents to find out more about them and thought about which ones you would cross if you travelled to a different part of the world.

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