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St Alban's Catholic Academy

St Alban's

Catholic Academy

First Avenue, Harlow, Essex, CM20 2NP

Through God’s love we learn together, grow together and achieve together.


Eric Joyner ~ Nicole's MuseuM

Magnificent Machines - Forces, Magnets and Electricity.

So far we have delved into the distant past as our topics have taken us from walking with dinosaurs to ancient Rome! Now we are taking ourselves onto an action packed journey into the future where we will be learning about some of the amazing machines that have been invented and the wonderful inventors, engineers and scientists that helped design and create them. We will be using our scientific skills to explore forces and how objects move by working scientifically, doing experiments and recording our findings. So lets make a start into the future!  


This term we will be covering these areas:

Analysing Data:

  • Draw and interpret bar charts and pictograms where one square/symbol represents two units.
  • Draw and interpret bar charts/tally charts where one square represents one hundred unit  


  • Compare and measure weights in multiples of 100g
  • Know how many grams are in a kilogram; estimate and weigh objects to the nearest 100g 
  • Identify, name and draw horizontal, vertical, perpendicular, parallel and diagonal lines, angles and symmetry in 2D shapes. 
  • Measure the perimeter of 2D shapes by counting and measuring with a ruler.
  • Tell the time on analogue and digital clocks to the minute. 
  • Begin to tell the time 5, 10, 20 minutes later.
  • Recognise am and pm and 24-hour clock times.


  • Multiply numbers between 10 and 25 by 1-digit numbers using column method. 
  • Divide multiples of 10 by 1-digit numbers using our known tables facts
  • See the relation between multiplication and division
  • Begin to using chunking as as method to divide numbers with remainders. 


  • Add 3-digit and 2-digit numbers using mental strategies.
  • Add two 3-digit numbers using mental strategies or by using column addition.
  • Use reasoning, trial and improvement to solve problems involving more complex addition 


In our writing time we will be exploring a variety of genres. We start the half-term looking at balanced writing, and the features needed to write our own balanced arguments looking at the question: Should teachers be replaced by robots? We then move onto Traditional tale stories using the book 'The Firemakers Daughter' in which we will explore the events surrounding the story and the journey in which our main character Lila takes in order to get fire from Razvani the Fire-Fiend. This is where our imagination and descriptive writing will help bring these events to life and excite our reader so we will use all of our MAPSO features we have learnt so far: alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile as we add in a chapter for Lila and her friends to venture through as she makes her way to the Fire-Fiend. Our next writing genre will centre around explanation texts, in which the children will learn about the machine called The Teacher Pleaser. Once the children have understood this machine and how it works, they will then use this knowledge to write a detailed explanation of the machine for another person to use.  We will continue using our MAPSO skills to devise and write our own poems surrounding our topic using robots as our inspiration. In our final writing piece we will build onto our story writing skills as we create an adventure story using our Guided Reading book - The Wild Robot. In this writing we will think about how we can excite the reader as they continue the journey with Roz as she leaves the island. The children will have the opportunity to plan what happens to Roz and what dangers might be ahead for her to overcome. This will provide the opportunity for the children to develop themselves as writers and consider how to entice their readers using all the writing skills we have been working on throughout the year.     


In science, we will be exploring forces and motions by understanding how magnetic forces work by attracting or repelling. We will take part in a variety of experiments to understand what is attracted to magnetic force and what is repelled, through hypothesis, observations and recording our conclusions as what we have discovered. We will also have the opportunity to explore the different forces that are part of our world and what the effects of these forces are as well as how friction can effect the force given to an object. We will also be exploring the power source of electricity and how it works, the children will have the opportunity to look at a variety of power sources and note what element of electricity the source is used for. The children explore different power sources and be able to build their own circuits. This work will also include detailed and labelled drawings which will assist them in their DT projects to work as a team to design and build their own Junkbots. For this they will explore how the Junkbot works and the different parts needed to create this product. They will then have the opportunity to build their own working Junkbots and evaluate how well it works and if there would be anything they would change for the future. 


During our art sessions, we will explore 3D sculptures with a variety of textures and materials. We will create our own sculptures taking our inspiration from Eric Joyner paintings in which he shows robots engaging in everyday or imaginative activities.    


Our next focus will be Energy in which we understand the events after Jesus resurrection and what happened next with the disciples. We will look into biblical scripture to understand the next events and Jesus Great Commission before he ascended into Heaven. This will build up to understanding the events of Pentecost, the birth of the Church and why this events was not the end of the story for Christians around the world. Our next RE focus will be Choices in which we prepare ourselves to understand the Sacrament of Reconciliation and why this is an important development in our Catholic faith as we prepare to take our first Holy Communion. We will also explore the world religion of Hinduism in which we will explore what a Mandir is and why it is an important place for Hindus to worship and pray. Through this understanding we will build connections between others and our own faith and why a place of worship is central to faith. This will help to lead onto our last topic which is called Special Places. This is a CAFOD led topic, in which we will explore the special places of Jesus, our community and the world. Through this topic the children will understand how we all have a special place in the world and that we are called by God to help care and build this world for the future.