Children in Congo Class have been looking at the work of a living textile artist, Michael Brennand-Wood. This artist work involves taking photographs of natural objects like flowers, then recreating them in textiles, often using geometric patterns. He sometimes makes 2-d backgrounds too, to enhance his work. Children have been working in a similar way, using different dyeing techniques for backgrounds, then working with textiles on a willow frame. They then embellished their work with a range of decorative ribbons and fitments.
Tuesday 26th February 2019
There were horned helmets, plaited hair, axes and thick fur coats on display on Tuesday as the children celebrated Viking Day across Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) and took part in a series of hands-on workshops linked to our topic.
There were six workshops in total: longships, runes, jewellery, bread-making, felting and music.
The music workshop was run by Joe Carr, the curator and education director of the Red House in Aldeburgh. The children first explored some genuine historical artefacts, such as a 1000 year old comb, before playing traditional instruments. They created their own music using percussion, panpipe and a lyre – instruments the Vikings would have used themselves.
The longship workshop was an exercise in teamwork and perseverance that resulted in three marvellous models that now decorate the atrium. Each is complete with oars, a sail, Viking shields along both sides and, of course, a dragon on each prow.
In the runes workshop the children learnt about the futhark – the Norse alphabet, then created their own tablets with their own names written using runes.
The Vikings in the jewellery workshop created some beautiful brooches, and pairs of brooches linked with beads that they used to adorn their cloaks and proudly wore for the rest of the day, showing just how wealthy and prestigious they were compared to lesser Vikings!
The bread-making Vikings, led by Mrs Tooley, cooked traditional flat breads using oats rather than wheat flour. The porridge-like flavour of the bread was improved with the addition of lashings of honey and dried fruit pushed into the top of each loaf. We learned that loaves like these would have been carried by Vikings on their incredible exploratory trips across the oceans.
Mrs Stansfeld and Mrs Waring led the felting workshops. The children, starting with the basic raw material of unspun wool, first learnt to card it, then layer it and then bind it using a secret Viking combination of ingredients and techniques. The resulting felt was used to make money pouches or wrist warmers that real Vikings would have been more than familiar with.
Children always learn best when they are completely immersed in what they are doing, so dressing up, while also being great fun, is a fantastic learning experience. This became particularly apparent at the end of the day during the assembly to share all of our achievements with the school; representatives from each group were able to talk eloquently and at length about what they had learned during each workshop –such as that Viking runes were discovered by the god Odin as he hung on Yggdrasil – the world tree – for nine days.
So we offer huge thanks to all the teachers and support staff who prepared these workshops for us – and in particular to Mr Carr – and say a big well done to the children for all that they achieved.
Well done everybody! Think we raised around £72 from our Toy Sale. Many thanks for everyone’s support, and to Congo Class for being such superstars on the day!
Many thanks to our fantastic parent, Adriana, who came in to talk to Congo Class, and tell us all about her home country, Brazil. She told us many amazing facts, from her favourite Brazilian food to the size of some of Brazil’s biggest cities. We are now all raring to go with our topic booklets on Brazil. And many thanks to her little helper, Lily, who showed us all her family’s Brazilian belongings – a football, a huge hammock, a beautiful book and some toys from the Amazonian Rainforest.
Children in Congo Class had a fantastic time at the Suffolk Schools Farm show recently. Right from the start, when we saw the Air Ambulance landing, we knew it was going to be exciting. We found out loads about the way machinery, animals and crops play their part in farming in Suffolk. And, even better, this visit ties in perfectly with our topic of Global Gardens.
Ever heard of a Wheagle? Or a Zebbit? Or even a Cowpig? Congo Class has been creating ‘mashed up’ or mixed-up animals, to enhance their understanding of their science topic on Animals. What amazing models, posters and creative inventions. And thank you to everyone at home, who helped make us all so proud.
Congo Class has been thinking about how a penguin could possibly keep an egg warm in the freezing temperatures of Antarctica. The challenge was to build a structure to keep an egg well off the ground. Well done for great teamwork!