Author Archives: Mr. Gaffney

Week 15 update

We have been getting  festive here in Year 4/5/6/ as we move towards the winter break. The class have been getting crafty as they make decorations to sell at the winter show. We have been putting the finishing touches on our class performances as well. They are looking great so I think you’re in for a treat on Monday. As a school,  we also took some time to run some extra rehearsals of the winter show play. Please make sure your children go over their lines to hone their performances.

In English this week, we have been writing our biographies. The children are becoming much more adept at adjusting their writing to suit different genres. In maths, we revisited area and perimeter before finishing with some work on reading timetables.

Our scratch games are coming on nicely. We are almost ready for our showcase of our games at our final assembly of the year.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!




Week 14 update

We’re coming to the end of the first term here in HFS but we haven’t taken our foot off the pedal in  the Year 4/5/6 class. We’ve been kept busy this week with our ongoing Scratch projects and our preparations for the winter show. We have completed two games in Scratch and now that we are feeling confident with coding, we are going to begin developing our own games. To begin this task, the children first developed a ‘pitch’ for their game so they could sell their idea to their classmates. Together the children were able to provide suggestions to each other on how to improve their game. I was very impressed to see that the children were already thinking of ways of coding in the various aspects of their games. Their pitches were full of coding and game development language.

In English, we have moved on to a non-fiction unit on biographies. The children developed their reading comprehension skills while learning about the different features of different types of biographies. They have also begun to create fact files on famous people in preparation for writing their own biographies next week.

In maths, we have worked on solving word problems related to measurement and we have developed our mental maths calculations involving decimal notation. We also had a look at reading bus and train timetables, an essential life skill.

Throughout this week, the children have been developing their musical skills while getting into the festive spirit as we practise our planned performances for the winter show.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!

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Shark Attack 5000

Ashleigh’s Shark Attack game





Week 13 update

I hope everyone is doing well as the weather starts to change. Here in Year 4/5/6 Dublin class we’ve had a busy week.

We began with our assembly showcasing our recent work on settlements in IPC. The children’s presentation skills are continuously improving and this was plain to see as the assembly ran very smoothly. The rest of the school were very impressed with our eco-village model and they loved getting involved in the challenge we set for them. Well done again to Year 7/8/9 for building the tallest spaghetti tower!

In our new IPC topic, Digital Gamers, we have been making great headway with our coding. The children learned how to write scripts that: changed their character’s costume, changed its orientation, changed how it interacted with the background and changed what sounds it makes and when. They even coded their characters to move using XY coordinates revising what they have learned in maths. With all these skills consolidated, the children were able to move on to writing code for games. We have started with creating a script for a Pacman style game to develop our skills and later we will move on to developing our own ideas for games. If your children would like extra practice with Scratch it can be used online freely and you also have the option to download the offline version.

World Children’s day fell on Tuesday this week. We used this as an opportunity to learn more about children’s rights and to reflect on he importance of these  universal rights.

In English, we completed a reading comprehension task related to World Children’s Day before writing our own stories using suspense. I was very impressed to see the children using a range of writing techniques independently which produced some engaging stories.

In maths, we worked on word problems related to length, weight and capacity. We revised telling the time and converting between different units of time and we worked on our mental maths skills in relation to measurement.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend!






pacman screenshot

A screenshot of Dhanya’s Pacman game.



Week 12 update

I hope you all had a good week. Here in Year 4/5/6 Dublin class we have been getting stuck into some new topics. In IPC, we have now moved on to our next unit, Digital Gamers’.

In this unit, the class will learn how to code their own video games using the program ‘Scratch’ developed by MIT. We will also learn about online safety as well as how to promote our games.

We are now on to our next topic in maths, measurement. This week, the children learned how to convert metric measures and how to read scales. We revised some of our calculation methods before tackling word problems related to measurement. In English, we began the week with a grammar focus of modal verbs before moving on to our writing focus, a suspenseful diary entry. We rounded the week of with some reading comprehension on Remembrance day.

In P.E, we are continuing our work on fielding games with a new sport, softball. The children’s catching and batting skills have improved considerably since the beginning of this unit and they are now employing strategy more effectively in their games. On top of this, the class have kept busy beavering away at their preparation for the upcoming assembly in which they will present their recent IPC work to the school.

That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!


The class getting familiar with various measuring tools.


Some practical work on reading scales.





The class getting familiar with Scratch.



Week 11 update

I hope everyone had a good week. We have been as busy as ever here in the Year 4/5/6 Dublin class.

Our model village is complete with the children now putting the finishing touches to their presentations on the village. They will show off what they have learned in an assembly in a week’s time.


In maths, we have continued our work on geometry. The children were introduced to another maths tool, the compass. They handled these very well as they constructed  and labelled circles The children also worked successfully with co-ordinates allowing them to carry out reflections on four quadrant grids. The children finished the week by developing their motor and visualisation skills through the making of nets of 3D shapes.




The class even had time to investigate Pi (π) using string and the circles they drew.


In English, the class created spooky stories full of suspense. Their writing is becoming more varied and they now take greater consideration of how their writing will impact their reader.

We finished the week with some more rhythm activities and a few runs around some student designed obstacle courses as part of HFS fitness.



Have a great weekend everyone!



Week 10 update

We had a busy one this week with both a school event and a school trip taking place.

The children worked really well together to get our scavenger hunt up and running. The visitors to our class room seemed to really enjoy it even if they were a bit grossed out at times!


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In maths, we worked on reflecting and translating shapes.


In IPC, we worked on our drafting ability by creating detailed drawings of our eco-house designs. The children then began creating models of their designs. We may have some architects in the making!




We finished off the week with our trip to  the UNESCO site, Yangdong Village. The children reinforced what they have been learning about settlements in IPC as well

as some extra lessons on Korean history, potato harvesting and sweet making! Overall, it was a very rewarding and memorable trip.









Have a great weekend!

Week 9 update

We’ve just come to the end of another busy week in Y4/5/6 Dublin class.


We began this week with our assembly on having a growth mindset. The children shared this important message with the rest of the school using drama.

They got their message across and had fun while doing so. Well done everyone!

This week also saw us taking the GL assessment tests for maths, science and English. The results of these tests will help highlight areas that the children need to work on. They will also show any gaps in their knowledge that need to be addressed.

In IPC this week, we continued our work on settlements by designing our own eco-villages. The children were able to practise their drafting skills while reflecting on what materials and practices are most environmentally friendly.


In music, we looked at harmony before trying our hand at composing melodies.

We continued our work on geometry in maths. We began by getting hands on with an area and perimeter investigation before attempting more difficult work involving compound shapes.

The children continued their work on shape by drawing shapes to exact specifications using rulers and protractors. They also learned the correct mathematical vocabulary for describing 3D shapes.



To finish the week, we worked together to create our spooky scavenger hunt for our scary dress up day.


Have a great weekend!




Week 8 update

Hello all!

We have just come to the end of another successful week of learning here in the Year 4/5/6 Dublin class.

We have moved on to geometry in maths with all the children taking to this change with ease.

We began the week by recapping our knowledge on polygons while at the same time exploring deeper into the properties of shapes.



We later moved on to finding missing angles using our knowledge of the properties of a straight line, angles around a point and triangles. This then took us onto using

protractors to measure and draw angles. By the end of the week, the children were showing real proficiency using this important maths tool.



In English, we have begun a new topic on writing narratives using suspense. After practicing their reading comprehension skills, the children got to flex their creative writing muscles by creating their own stories inspired by the tale of King Midas. I am looking forward to hearing the finished products being told next week.

Following on from our exploration of photographs as sources of historical information, we have moved on to another important primary source: interviews.

As a class, we conducted an interview with Ms. Esther and Mr. Kim on what changes they have seen in Ulsan and South Korea. This proved to be very insightful for the children.


Further to our work on settlements in IPC, we went on a tour of our school building to investigate what materials are used in modern constructions. We plan to design and construct our

own architectural models of eco-dwellings so we used this tour as an opportunity to gather potential construction materials from nature.


These were then categorised by the children and stored for later use.

We ended our week by practicing for our assembly and Monday before taking part in a very enjoyable HFS fitness session.


Have a great weekend!




Week 7 update

We had a short but busy week  here at HFS with plenty of learning and discovery taking place.

In maths, we got to grips with fractions. The class took to this very well and by the end of the week everyone was comparing fractions, adding fractions, subtracting fractions and finding equivalent fractions with ease.



In English, we learned how to use the passive voice which we later put to use in our non-chronological reports. The children also got an opportunity to develop their word processing and design skills as they typed up their reports.


In IPC, we continued our new topic, ‘Building a Village’. We learned about why settlements were created in certain locations and we compared different sized settlements with each other.

We also took on the role of historians, using primary sources to explore the history of Ulsan.


In P.E, we started our unit on fielding games beginning with cricket while in music we moved from our work on rhythm to composing our own music using only our hands as instruments.


Finally, we were sad in Year 4/5/6 this week to see our classmate and friend, Dhanya, leave the school. We wish Dhanya a safe trip home and all the best in her new school. You will be greatly missed.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Welcome back!

I hope you all enjoyed the break over Chuseok. In year 4/5/6, the children dived straight back into their learning.

It was great to see the children share the research on the human body they completed over the break. Well done again and thanks for the wonderful presentations.

In maths this week, we worked on various number puzzles such as magic squares and arithmagons. These puzzles proved to be a challenge to the children’s mental maths and calculation skills.




In English, we revised the features of non-chronological reports while developing our ability to read for comprehension.

In music, we continued our study of rhythm by playing some clapping games.


Finally, we have started a new topic in IPC, ‘Building a Village’. We will be looking at settlements and why they have developed where they have. This topic will focus on geography, history,

science and technology. We began with a knowledge harvest to see what the children know already.


Have a great weekend and stay out of the weather!