Monday 23 January 2012

Chinese New Year - Kung Hei Fat Choy!

This morning we waved goodbye to the Rabbit and welcomed the Year of the Dragon! During a whole school assembly, the story behind Chinese New Year was told and then re-created in Red Class.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the Chinese holidays, and is a time of feasting, celebration, fireworks and gift-giving. It is a 15-day holiday, beginning on the first day of a new moon and ending with the full moon on the day of the Lantern Festival.

The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar year, so the date of Chinese New Year changes every year. The Chinese calendar follows a 12-year pattern with each year named after an animal. There are various stories which explain this. The simplest is that Buddha (or the Jade Emperor) invited all of the animals to join him for a New Year celebration, but only 12 animals turned up. To reward the animals that did come, Buddha named a year after each of them in the order that they arrived, starting with the Rat, followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Another version is...

A very long time ago, the Jade Emperor, who ruled the heavens of China, sent a message to all the animals asking them to come together so that he could give each of them a year, which would make it easier for the people of China to keep track of time. The cat and the rat were good friends and decided to travel to meet the Jade Emperor together.

When it came time to leave, however, the cat was taking a nap. The rat, realising that he would have to use all his cunning to be noticed by the Jade Emperor, left his friend sleeping, and set off on his own. This is why there is no year named after the cat, and also why cats have hated rats ever since.

When the rat arrived, the Jade Emperor welcomed him and the other animals and told them that they should all take part in a swimming race. Once again, the rat realised that he would have to be very clever if he wanted to win the race. He found the largest, strongest animal, which was the ox, and pleaded with him to let him ride on its head. The ox was kind and strong, and agreed that they would swim across together. The rat travelled safely across the river on the ox’s back, but, just before they reached the other side, climbed over the ox's head, jumped onto land, and reached the finish line first. The rat had proved its cunning, and the
Jade Emperor named the first year after the rat and the second year after the ox.

Depending on the year you are born, you are believed to have the various character traits of that year's animal. Mr Pearce was born in the Year of the Ox! Can you find out what year you were born in?

Friday 20 January 2012

Romans Go Home!

Yesterday the children in Blue Class set off early to Great Yarmouth where we had a real treat in store for us at the Time and Tide Museum. The children met three historical figures: Lady Livia Fortunata, a Roman woman; her bodyguard and member of the Roman army, Titus Flavius; and a Celtic villager, Ketha. They spent some time with each of the three characters, who talked about their lives and tried to persuade the children to join them.

Lady Livia was encouraging the children to come back to Rome to be her servants where they would learn useful trades and live in a luxurious villa.

Titus Flavius taught them about life in the Roman army, introducing them to some of the weapons and drill.

And Ketha described a more sedate, free life as a Celtic villager, hoping to try and make friends with the marauding Saxons who kept attacking British shores.

At the end of the three sessions the children were given the chance to choose who they would join.

After lunch and a brief look around the museum, we set off to Burgh Castle, the site of the Roman Fort, Garrianonum. The children toured the site, trying to picture what life might have been like for the cavalry unit who were garrisoned there 1700 years ago.

We will be following up our trip back in school by attempting to build our own model of the fort in the coming weeks.

Writer of the Week

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ICT at SRH Primary School, Framlingham

As part of our work with primary schools in the Thomas Mills High School Pyramid, a group of Year 5 children attended the 3rd session out of 6 aimed at extending children's ICT skills.
The session was originally due to have a 'film making' theme, but due to the inclement weather, this was changed to using spreadsheets. The children were able to collect and collate data, using EXCEL, and then create graphs and charts to which they added relevant images.
Many thanks to Mr Brook at SRH Framlingham for both organising this project and hosting it - we were made to feel very welcome. Good work!

Tuesday 17 January 2012

The 'Storyteller' Visits

This morning, all classes were treated to the wonderful story-telling talents of John Row.

Blue Class were treated to some fantastic tales from Ancient Rome, Yellow Class were entertained by marvellous stories from Ancient Greece, whilst Red Class were enthralled by a journey to space. Hopefully, this visit will continue to bring our topics to life...

Friday 13 January 2012

African Drumming Lessons

For the last two Fridays, Blue Class have been having African Drumming Lessons. Mrs Livermore, who works for County Music Service, will be working with us this half-term to learn to play the djembe and dun dun drums, and a range of African hand-percussion.

Our first two sessions have been excellent, and I for one am very impressed at what the children have achieved in such a short space of time. Here are some pictures and a short video to give you a taste of what we got up to in our lessons.

Writer of the Week

Wall of Fame

Sunday 1 January 2012

Spring Term Starts Wednesday 4th January

A very 'Happy New Year' to you all. Hoping that 2012 is a great year for everyone.Just a reminder that the children return to school on Wednesday 4th January.