Author Archives: timothyraven

Working together – both challenging and fun!

The last week or two in Grade 5 has often required children to work in pairs or groups, flexing and stretching their collaborative skills.

Afrikaans orals involved working in pairs to plan the script of a conversation about the holidays, using a variety of question words to evoke appropriate answers. English language games in small groups got the children to brainstorm vocabulary and synonyms linked to verbs.




Measuring their partners and then drawing each other to scale, 10 times smaller in their SS Books, was also great fun.

Reading each others’ blogposts and posting positive and polite comments was another way to encourage constructive interaction and the sharing of ideas. Please be sure to read your child’s blog and to also add your encouraging comment!

On a larger scale, during Drama, the Grade 5 classes have been practicing synchronised movement in time to music, which has been beautiful to watch!

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On Wednesday we begin our ILT where group work is integral to successful learning and presentation of the finished product. 

Categories: Afrikaans, Blogging, Drama, English, ILT, Social Sciences, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creatures that live in the soil

The Grade 5’s spent a busy and productive 3 days during their Integrated Learning Task this week. Working in pairs, they presented the research they had done last week, firstly as a visual poster and secondly in the form of an oral presentation.img_6117img_6109Summarising information and putting it into their own words, is a skill they are still developing. They were encouraged to avoid plagiarism and to acknowledge their sources. Some very attractive and interesting posters were produced, while sticking to the deadlines set.                                                                                                                              img_6115Well done Grade 5’s! I think we all learnt a lot from each other!img_6129img_6125img_6131img_6120img_6122img_6113

Categories: English, ILT, Natural Science | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Fantasy to Reality


The Gr Fives enjoyed researching some unusual characters from African fantasy last week. They followed this up by creating their own fantasy people – writing and speaking about them. They certainly produced some very unusual ideas!

Back to reality meant punctuating sentences correctly and reading texts carefully for information. Language and comprehension skills are the foundations on which we can share and communicate our creative ideas!

In Afrikaans we are trying to get our communication skills off to a good start by practising basic greetings in small groups and pairs. Keep practising those ‘Vraagwoorde’!

On the Maths front, gathering real data and presenting it in graphs can be fun! Tallying and comparing different coloured cars travelling along a busy road nearby our school produced some interesting results. It was another opportunity to extend learning beyond the confines of the classroom.


Categories: Afrikaans, English, Mathematics | Leave a comment

Kirstenbosch Magic!

Camphor trees, enchanted forests, dinosaurs and tadpoles – just some of the attractions that intrigued the Grade 5’s on their outing to the beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens last week. Apart from stunning views of Nursery Buttress from the swaying Boomslang Bridge and a close-up look at the grand golden web of an imposing orb spider, there was so much to learn about the threatened members of our fynbos kingdom.

And the highlight?…. scrambling up trees and exploring the stream of course! Perhaps our children are normal after all!IMG_7502IMG_7505IMG_7514IMG_7510IMG_7512IMG_7498IMG_7524IMG_7522IMG_7535IMG_7532IMG_7527


Categories: Outings | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Grade 5’s Research African Fantasy

Reading is a vital research skill. It can be challenging and fun at the same time. Information about several different characters of African folklore had to be researched and summarised in tabular format under specific categories. Some of the children used the iPad app, ‘Notability’ to highlight key information needed in their summaries. Working together in small groups added to the fun.

Discovering the diversity and imaginative ideas in our colourful African cultures will hopefully stimulate creative ideas in our Gr 5’s own creative writing next week,  as they try to invent some fantasy characters of their own!

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Categories: English | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment


On Wednesday the Grade 5’sy put themselves in the shoes of an ancient Egyptian child, farmer or embalmer, or of the great archaeologist, Howard Carter, and tried to write down some of their experiences in the form of a diary. This creative writing was based on thorough research done in class last week on their iPads.


Later, in the IT Centre, the children presented their research on Egyptian pyramids in the form of creative and informative PowerPoint slides. This was completed within strict time limits. Working under pressure is a serious challenge.

Thursday was the great day of pyramid construction! Reading and following instructions were key skills. The teams that worked together the best, produced the best results! Building a pyramid out of cardboard, was a daunting test of our mathematical and measuring skills! Trying to paint the pyramids without painting each other was equally difficult!

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On Friday our archaeological teams followed the steps they had been shown and set about excavating their sites. Artifacts were carefully recorded and packaged according to the site grid the team had made. Deductions were made about the purpose some of these artifacts had served in Ancient Egypt. A fascinating and very sandy experience was had by all!

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Team Work

some make it look easy!

Some make it look easy!

Teamwork can be great fun!

For some it’s a challenge!

‘Teamwork’ was the motto of the Grade 5’s this week as they prepared for 3 days of ILT. During Life Orientation we took a good look at how to be successful and helpful members of a small group. Taking turns, listening to each other, doing my share, taking responsibility and encouraging each other are just some of the skills we discussed.

Working as part of a team can be great fun, but certainly has its challenges! So, just to break the ice and to get uncomfortably close to their ILT team for this term, the Gr 5’s played the “Ha ha” game! It was hilarious! Enjoy the photos!

Some of us are very comfortable working with others.

Some of us are very comfortable working with others.

Categories: ILT | Tags: | 1 Comment

Science Expo – Waiting for the Judge!

Waiting for the judge on the day of the Science Expo is pretty nerve wracking for most grade 5’s! Often experiments don’t work the way they are supposed to on the day. However, we can be really proud of the effort and hard work put in by each child. Much was learnt not only about science, but about planning, organisation, collaboration and presentation – great skills for someone who is only 11!

Feeling confident!

Feeling confident!

All done with smoke and mirrors!

In case you never noticed, I'm wearing really cool shades!

In case you never noticed, I’m wearing really cool shades!

Dylan producing energy.

Dylan producing energy.

Ask me anything - I'm so organised!

Ask me anything – I’m so organised!

I am so ready!

I am so ready!

Tam's devastating tsunami.

Tam’s devastating tsunami.

I even have sweets of the judge!

I even have sweets of the judge!

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Louries explore Ancient Egypt

Dividing the site into a grid

Dividing the site into a grid

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Working in a group for three days, using mathematical, language, IT, technical and artistic skills is a great challenge for any Grade 5 scholar.  Learning to work collaboratively – listening, sharing, negotiating and compromising – our Grade 5’s are developing life-skills which most adults still struggle to attain!

One of the favourite ILT activities was the archaeological dig. Each group was allocated their own mini-site to excavate, following the correct archaeological procedure. Every artifact was carefully dug up, cleaned, bagged and recorded.


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Louries and Rainbirds enjoy Kirstenbosch magic.

Indigenous fynbos, ghost frogs, orb spiders, montane forests and Xhosa huts – all investigated under the majestic presence of Nursery Buttress – a natural learning environment in which our children can be children! To top it all, there was a maze of tree trunks in the forest to explore and climb, and frogs and crabs in the streams to catch and examine.

This outing is always a favourite, and at the end of a frenetic term, is just what the doctor ordered  for pupils and teachers alike!

Categories: Natural Science, Outings | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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