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Spring 1 - The American Dream

To begin our new adventure, Mr Cooper shared with us some very exciting news that we had formed a partnership with a school in New York City!! We decided to find out a little bit more about our Pen Pal school by looking on their website and reading some information. Then, we wrote some amazing letters which we posted off to America just before the Christmas break. We are hoping to hear back from STAR Academy soon, so keep an eye on this page to see their response!
The teacher at STAR Academy sent Mr Cooper an email to let him know that the letters had arrived and thanked us for the letters. We decide to have a think about this statue and some of the other features of America which Ms Ferrone tells us about and what's the best way to do it? We pack our bags and head off to the airport for our journey to the U S A!
We arrived back at school after the holidays and read Ms Ferrone’s email. We grabbed our passports and boarding passes and headed to the airport to board the flight. We had to pass through security and find our seat on the plane before seeing some amazing views out of the plane windows. 
We then wrote a setting description using expanded noun phrases and powerful adjectives to describe what we saw out of the plane window. In geography, we began to think about 4 and 6 figure grid references and locating different landmarks of America on a map. 
The school in America told us that the skyscraper next to their school was being redeveloped and they needed some help to design a new skyscraper to fit the skyline. We designed these first on paper and thought about what they would be used for - would it be apartments, offices or a hotel? We then used Computer Aided Design to design a 3D model of our skyscraper. On the software, we also explored the nets of the buildings. 
We woke up the next day to breaking news in America - a bear had escaped from Central Park Zoo and was on the return to it's natural habitat - Yellowstone National Park. We decided to visit Yellowstone to find out about the nature and animals there. In writing, we wrote persuasive and informative leaflets to tell people about the different elements of the park including it's history, wildlife and things to see. In Guided Reading, we learnt about the Old Faithful geyser which is the largest in the world!


As part of our art topic, we decided to recreate Yellowstone using natural resources. The snow made some of our designs even more magical. We also studied a photographer called Ansel Adams. His works were mainly of close ups and landscapes and were in black and white. Some of us recreated some of his photographs in the snow too.
In science, we thought about the different types of nutrition and food groups a human needs. We became real scientists and analysed some food diaries looking at the amount of sugar and fruit the client was eating and thinking about some recommendations and suggestions we could make. We also learnt about the life of Charles Darwin and in writing, decided to write a biography all about his life and work. 
We completed a short edit looking at how to improve a biography to help us write our own later in the week.
This week, we have learnt some more about life in America. Some children decided to make American style pancakes whilst others created Native American headdresses. We then wrote some instructions to tell people how to do it. 
In science this week, we learnt about the different bones and muscles and what they were used for. The children investigated bones and muscles and made predictions before completing exercises to see which muscles they were using.
We end the week with a very exciting piece of news - we have received film premiere tickets to an exclusive premiere in Hollywood! The director also sent us a message asking for our help as he wanted to turn his film into a book. We arrived at the cinema with our snacks and watched the world premiere of 'The Wishgranter'. We then wrote some amazing stories including lots of description, fronted adverbials and speech. We combined lots of writing skills together we had learnt throughout the year to create some lovely stories.

The director sent us a message!

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In R.E, we looked at different celebrations with a focus on weddings. The children researched and compared Christian, Islam, Buddhist and Hindu weddings and then chose one to focus on. Some of the children even re-created one of the weddings using things around their home and school.

Islamic wedding explanation

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As we come to the end of this adventure and reflect on everything we have learnt about America, we board the plane ready to return back to sunny Leeds. On the journey home, we think about some of the features and landmarks in both America and the UK. We group them based on whether they are physical features or human features (manmade). This helps us with our final piece of writing for this half term where we write a discussion - would it be better to live in USA or UK?
Just in time for finishing the adventure, we received some replies back from STAR Academy! The children loved receiving our letters and it was so nice to get some responses back from them. Over half term, some children will write letters back to STAR Academy! 
Although our adventure ended up being online, we still all had an excellent time and found out lots of interesting information about North America!