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'If you believe you can do it, you can and you will!'

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Spring 1 - The American Dream

After writing to our penpals at STAR Academy in New York City before Christmas, our adventure began when Mr Cooper received an email from Ms Lairds, the teacher at STAR Academy. Her email explained that our letters had arrived and their responses were on the way! Ms Lairds mentioned some things in her email which we had heard of before but we weren't 100% sure what they were including skyscrapers, atlases, the Empire State Building and Central Park. Whilst we eagerly await the replies, we begin to investigate some of these things from the email!

In Geography, we did some retrieval practice to remind ourselves of the continents and oceans of the world. We used atlases to locate North America and found out a little bit more about the countries that make up it.


As part of our RSHE topic, we had a workshop with Leeds City Council Pedestrian Team who taught us how to stay safe on the roads.


We zoomed in on New York after finding out about the city and buildings there. This led us into our DT work, thinking about how skyscrapers are built and who designed some of the most recognisable ones.


Whilst visiting New York, we found out some more about the famous attractions there. In writing, we wrote a non-chronological report including fronted adverbials to inform people about New York.


Next up in DT, we thought about the role of designers. We thought carefully about the different things designers need to think about when they are coming up with ideas including the aesthetics, customer and environment. We planned out some ideas which we will use to influence our designs. We based our designs on the work of the Empire State Building.


Continuing with our keeping safe topic, we learnt about what to do in an emergency. We found out about LIONEL and how it is important to remain calm if you have to call the emergency services. We then had a practice at conducting a primary survey.


Writing has been slightly different this week! We had a fantastic opportunity to work with a poet called Chris. We worked with him throughout the week to write and rehearse a performance poem. We then performed this in assembly for the whole school.



Photography by Ian Hodgson (

In RE this term, we are learning about Sikhism. We started by learning about the 10 Gurus and their significance. We went around and found out key facts about each of them.


It's time to move on! We journeyed to the place where dreams are made of today - DisneyWorld Orlando! We looked at where we were on the map. We then imagineered a visit to DisneyWorld thinking about all of the things we could see, hear, smell and reasons people would want to visit. We'll be using this information to write adverts persuading people to visit.


After all of our preparation, it was time to use Computer Aided Design to create our skyscrapers. We first thought about what Computer Aided Design is and why it is used. We then used Tinkercad to create our models. We also annotated our ideas relating back to our design brief.


As we continue to travel around America, we have decided we need to make something to remember our time! We discover a British artist called Peter Blake. We look at some of his work and give our opinions on the pieces.


We visited Hollywood this week and were lucky enough to be treated to a film premiere! We watched 'The Wishgranter', including a message from the director as seen below! We then wrote the story of the film for the director. 


The Wishgranter film

Director Message.mp4

Still image for this video

For our final part of RSHE, we had a visit from the education team at Yorkshire Water. They talked about where in Yorkshire they have open water and how to be safe around it. 


Next in art, we began to experiment with gathering ideas from different media. We made a mood board which helped us to think about what we wanted to do on our collage.


See our music tab for our improvisation skills playing alongside traditional American folk music 

Finally, we practiced the skill of overlapping, as demonstrated in some of Blake’s work. We then put all of our ideas together to create our final “All things America” collage. 


As we come to the end of another adventure, we reflect on everything we have learnt. We were lucky enough to have a video interview with some Americans for our writing hook. We then used this knowledge to help write an explanation about what it means to be an American.