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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

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St Thomas' CE Primary Academy

Term 1

Welcome to Term 1!

This term we will be gaining so many skills by learning in different ways.


Each subject is taught discretely so that we know what it is like to work in the different subject disciplines. In each subject, we have a key question to consider. We will retrieve what we know at the start of term and then add information after each lesson to help us formulate an answer at the end. This will enable us to draw on all of our learning to give a full answer with explanation. See below for some of the questions and our learning that will help us answer our key questions.


Stone, Bronze and Iron Age

How did life develop over the Ages?

This term we begin to explore what life was like in the past by exploring Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Looking at how life developed through weaponry, tools, farming and how they developed from hunter gatherers into farmers. The development of beliefs will be explored as theories about Stonehenge are looked at.

Beginning with how human beings have developed, we looked at Lucy, the earliest known human ancestor found and how the skeleton is similar to that of humans today but also of the common ape ancestor. We looked at the timeline of Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods and realised humans had been living in Britain for many years.

Lucy the earliest known human ancestor.

 To understand the change from hunter gathering to farming, we explored how people developed from nomadic hunter/gatherers to farming. They had time to develop skills and skilled craftsmen didn’t have time for hunting so division of labour was clear to enable them to be organised. Organisation is a sign of civilisation.



We worked as historians to begin to understand the value of Skara Brae and what it teaches us about life at the time. Tools, crop remains and bones found at Skara Brae show the villagers were hunters, fishermen and farmers. They grew crops such as wheat and barley, and reared sheep, cattle and pigs. Skara Brae is a great example of how Historians know anything at all about the Stone Age, as it was so long ago. From these remains, narratives about how people lived in those days can be woven together.



To understand the concept of development,  we explored tools and the impact of their invention. Looking at the remains of tools found, we were able to see how man used stone tools which later developed into tools made from bronze and then iron. Better tools and weapons lead to more efficient hunting and skilled jobs.



Stonehenge shows developing religious beliefs. People worshipped the sun, moon, and natural elements on which harvest depended. Evidence suggests Stonehenge was a sacred site.  We explored the different theories about Stonehenge, showing that History is contested – opinions depend on which evidence is used.


Learning about the Beaker people and where they came from helped us to identify that people were trading. Looking at the grave of the Amesbury Archer, enabled us to see the significance of the items buried with him. This included beakers believed to have been made by the Beaker people who came from the Mediterranean. It is thought that they came to Britain in search of metals to make bronze. This was a significant development, allowing huge improvements to tools and creativity through producing jewellery.



Can sculpture be made from anything?

Working as sculptors, we looked at the work of the artist Tony Cragg and how he made abstract work, taking an idea, twisting the viewpoints and turning it into basic shapes.

We then looked at three of his artworks, Stack, Ivy and Cumulus, discussing the ideas and meanings behind these pieces of artwork.  We began to think about how the artist represented his ideas through the chosen media – using found objects or making a model out of bronze/stone. 

Going outside, we explored found objects and used them in our own sculptures, similar to the work of Tony Cragg.  We thought about how found objects can be used to make abstract pieces of art. 


 Knowing how space, pattern and texture are used across the artworks, we explored the work of Tony Cragg entitled 'Stack'.  Discussing and analysing the piece of artwork, we looked at how the elements: form, space, texture, colour, line, shape and pattern have been shown. We then made our own artist copy of Stack through drawing in our sketchbooks. 

After exploring abstract art, we then used found objects, cardboard and clay to make our own sculpture based on the title of 'stack'. We were able to use our knowledge of the natural world around us to inspire our work.


Sketching Stack


In English, we began by reading and following sets of instructions. After identifying key features of instructions, we were able to write our own based on How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth. Applying our knowledge of this genre, we then wrote instructions for how to wash an elephant which we could share with the new elephant zoo keeper.

Following Instructions

Practicing our Instruction writing

In English this week, we explored the features of non-chronological reports, identifying them in different reports. We then used our Indian Day experience to write our own non-chronological reports.

Non- Chronological Features


Classroom Instructions

This term we have begun our learning of the French language. To start, we learnt classroom commands that we could use each day, listen, look, stand up, sit down, please and thank you. We have started to play games using these commands and use them orally.

French Instructions

This term, stewards of God are chosen for the different leadership roles within our school. We have put ourselves forward for librarians, eco-warriors, digital leaders and members of the Church School Council. Here you can see us voting for who we want to represent our class after listening to their speeches. 


Using Manipulatives

Using manipulatives, we made two and then three digit numbers as we explored the place value of each digit. After making the number, we drew part whole models to show the different ways numbers can be partitioned.

Addition and Subtraction

Using different methods, we explored addition and subtraction. Making notes of our working, we looked at using number lines, counting on to the nearest ten and using our knowledge of number bonds for ten to add on parts of numbers.

Are keyboard instruments the most important?

In Music we have been listening to music and appraising it. We began by understanding the dynamics of music as being how loud or quiet a piece of music is. We described the dynamics in the James Bond theme and compared it to Elton John's I'm Still Standing. We thought of the effect created by the dynamics in the music and used different words to describe the feeling it created for the listener.

After listening to the pieces of music, we were able to identify some of the instruments heard an dhow they added to the emotion of the music. We named the instruments of the brass family and understood how they were played by blowing into the instrument through a mouthpiece and the vibrations creating the sound. We saw examples of the brass instruments being played in an orchestra and in big bands, including marching bands.

Listening to live performances of 'Feeling Good' and 'I'm still standing', we identified the brass instruments played in each piece and how the difference in pitch, tempo and dynamics was created by the way the instruments were played.

Understanding that instruments are used differently to create a mood, we used ‘My Baby’ by Nina Simone and ‘Love, Love, Love’ by The Beatles to identify the mood and emotions the music creates. We thought about which instruments have the greatest impact on this.  

Listening to different pieces of music, we understood how to keep in time with the pulse of the music by clapping along to it.


What do Hindus believe Brahman is like?

This term, we have been exploring what Hindus believe Brahman is like. We began by identifying the different roles of Brahman as part of the Trimurti. We began to understand the concept of Trimurti as a way of worshiping Brahman (the ultimate reality by worshipping and thinking about Brahma (creator – the beginning of life), Vishnu (preserver – the sustaining of life), Shiva (destroyer – the end of life) – representing the cycle of life.

After listening to the Hindu creation story we began to understand the significance of key symbols the Aum (representing the atman) and the lotus flower. This helped us to understand the purpose of these key symbols in the mandir.



During our Indian experience day, we heard the story of Rama and Sita and how good triumphed over evil. Sunita told us the story which we acted out with her before retrieving it a few weeks later and acting it out in groups.


This term in PE we are building our fitness levels. With a focus on: 

  • speed: how fast we are
  • strength: how strong we are
  • agility: how quickly and easily we can move AND
  • balance: how well we can maintain a steady position, we measured our fitness levels at the beginning and end.  

Wellbeing Wednesday

Every Wednesday, we focus on our wellbeing through a different activity. Here we can see our taking a pencil for a walk examples where we had just one colour and had to create a different pattern in each part.