What a busy first half term it has been! This week we’ve finished off lots of projects. We’ve written some informative, detailed recounts about our trip to Strangers’ Hall and finished our Kett’s Rebellion topic by designing a new memorial to Robert Kett that recognises his importance to the Norfolk region and celebrates his legacy. We spent time at the end of the week finishing our Andy Warhol Pop Art topic. We finished making the block prints and then used our knowledge of complementary colours to make paint and paper selections. Finally, we added some pastel details in to bring them to life, just like in the original Endangered Species series that Warhol created in 1983.
In Celebration Assembly 2 children in Hawthorns received certificates for Reach. Ava was acknowledged for her hard work and excellent progress in maths. Oran’s hard work regarding his handwriting and presentation was rewarded and I’m sure he’ll keep up this great work next half term. Josh and Flynn rose to the challenge of creating a block print of a zebra – the hardest animal of the Warhol series and persevered shading all of those stripes to end up with an impressive set of prints. Excellent Resilience, boys!
Hawthorns have been busy getting out and about this week!
On Tuesday selected children from both year 3 and 4 competed in the annual Framingham Earl cluster Cross Country competition. They had a fantastic time and many who competed did so well that they’ve qualified for the next round that will take place at Langley School after half term. Well done to everyone who took part, and to Louis, Oran Oliver J and Ava for getting through to round 2.
On Friday Hawthorn class went on their first class trip of the year; a history trip to Strangers’ Hall. They spent the day retracing the steps of Robert Kett and others who rebelled against the enclosure of the common land in 1549. We were warned on our entrance to the house that rebels had been known to hide in peoples’ houses to avoid capture and to be on the lookout. The children spent time learning more about Tudor life and found about about clothes, food and houses of the time. They also had a go at weaving, a trade that Norwich was famous for in the past. As it was such a lovely autumn day, we were able to have lunch out in the garden amongst the trees and herbs. In the afternoon, whilst looking at an old map of Norwich we actually came face-to-face with one of the rebels! He told us the story of the Kett’s Rebellion and the reasons why it happened. We have a brilliant time, and are excited to find out about the legacy of Robert Kett in next week’s history lesson.
This week we’ve spent lots of time looking at poetry, specifically ‘Exploring the Abandoned Mansion’ by Wes Magee. We’ve learnt lots of new words including ‘tousled’ and ‘brackish’ and have also become more familiar with the poetic techniques of personification and alliteration. The children were really keen to write a descriptive poem about an abandoned place of their own choosing. Here are some selected verses:
Exploring the Abandoned Museum by Ava Exploring the Abandoned Theme Park by Izaac Exploring the Abandoned Castle by Mannix
In the cafe… On the rides… In the bedroom
Mugs on the floor, Pieces start to crumble from the ferris wheel, Curious ancient paintings stare and glare,
Crisps were once crunchy now soft and wet The rollercoaster slowly moving around and around A mysterious labelled ‘Demon’s Doom’
Scribbles on the wall, The steel pirate ship swings up and down Scorched fragments of a rocking chair
smashed windows fallen on the table. The windows are cracked Strewn across the floor and shadows loom
Dusty, fusty Museum Funless, dangerous theme park Scary, suspicious castle
Untidy Miserable Ungrateful
Abandoned place Abandoned place Abandoned place
In science we’ve been finding out about ultra violet light and how we can protect ourselves from it. In history we’ve learnt about all of the hardships that the people of Norwich endured in 1549 and why it led them to rebel and in PE we’ve been developing teamwork and our school value of respect when playing a team strategy game.
Linked to this learning in PE, in Celebration Assembly this week, our two team captains Oliver J and Flynn awarded certificates to the most respectful members of their teams. Well done to Ava and Finley. Of Ava, Oliver said ‘She listened really well and was sensible That’s why I made her vice captain.’ Flynn noticed that Finley ‘was really easy to work with. He always listened and didn’t interrupt.’ I’m so proud of the respect you showed to your classmates during this activity and a special well done to our team leaders – they took to their roles well and displayed great maturity.
In Hawthorns this week we’ve been busy writing our own portal stories. We’ve had some great ideas and some very interesting worlds visited by a whole host of characters desperate for adventure. Next week we’ll move on to poetry and spend some time in a spooky abandoned mansion!
In maths we’re continuing with place value and addition and subtraction. Year 4 have revisited rounding to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000 and year 3 have been busy adding and subtracting ones and tens from three digit numbers.
In science this week we found out about transparent, translucent and opaque materials. We also spent some time finding out how we see colour and how white light is actually made up of many different colours. Oran came up with a great new mnemonic – Royal Octopuses Shout ‘Gary’s Bum!’ In Venice. A much more fun version of the ol’ Richard of York rhyme.
In history we found out about the Feudal System and why life for many of the people in Norwich in 1549 might not have been an easy one. Next week we’ll find out more about the factors that led up to the Kett’s Rebellion of the same year.
In art we have started to recreate some Andy Warhol inspired art and are using his ‘Endangered Species’ series as inspiration for our own block prints that will use polystyrene to print the image of an endangered animal. We started tracing the outline of our chosen animal this week and next week will transfer this design to the polystyrene to create the print.
In Celebration Assembly both Finley and Oliver were rewarded for showing respect. Finley always listens attentively and treats people kindly and fairly and Oliver always makes sure that our school is a tidy, cared for place to be. Well done to both of you for consistently showing respect.
This week we’ve continued with lots of the learning that we started last week. Our portal stories are progressing well and we are currently using the model text to write a shared version that we’ve altered in a fun way including some pesky elves and a kingdom full of interesting animals! We’re continuing with place value and have spent a lot of time in maths this week learning how to place different 3 and 4 digit numbers on the number line. This week we especially enjoyed PE where we spent time demonstrating and practicing out teamwork skills. Owen, our PE coach, thought of lots of interesting and fun games to play including a version of ‘Stuck In The Mud’ where two people had to work together to ‘unstick’ another member of the class. He also split the class into two teams, with each team taking up the space on a bench. We then had to organise ourselves into height order, making sure that no-one fell off the bench. Let’s just say that both teams had a few occasions when they had to start again from the beginning! In Celebration Assembly Izaac was rewarded for demonstrating this week’s focus school value of Resilience when trying really hard to improve his maths work and not giving up, even when it became tricky. Excellent work Izaac!
Welcome everyone to a new year of learning in Hawthorn Class. It’s great to see the familiar faces of our year 4 children and welcome in our new year 3’s! We’ve had a very productive start to the term and have been getting stuck into learning in lots of different curriculum areas. In English we’ve started our first unit of work; a portal story based on the book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. In maths we’ve been revisiting place value and have found out lots about how 3 and 4 digit numbers are constructed. In our afternoon sessions we’ve learnt about cyberbullying, Pop Art and The Dissolution of the Monasteries – a wide variety of topics! This week we particularly enjoyed the start of our science unit of work on light and investigated which objects are easier to see when the amount of light is reduced. The children peered into different boxes that had a hole in them. They covered the hole to reduce the amount of light and tried to identify the objects. They then uncovered the hole to see if they could see the object any better. They discovered that the objects that were easier to see were those that were shiny as they reflected more light, but darker, duller objects were still difficult to see even when the amount of light in the box had been increased. Next week we’ll look at reflective surfaces in more detail. This week we’ve also been revisiting one of our school values, ‘Reach’, with our new Headteacher Mr Wilson in assembly. In Celebration Assembly Tyler, Oliver L and Ellie were rewarded with certificates as throughout the week they had aimed high, risen to the challenge and tried their best. Well done to you!
This week we’ve been winding down and spending time finishing off some last remaining tasks. There has been some excitement, though! As a reward for filling the class pasta jar, some of the children organised a Trivia Tournament for the whole class to take part in. It worked on a head-to-head knockout system where children had to answer general knowledge style questions, posed by our quizmaster Henry, who came up with the original idea. Either correct or closest answers saw people progress to the next round. The competition was fierce but in the end Ella was our overall champion. Ben came in a close 2nd and Joe took 3rd place. Those who put it together spent a lot of time designing a poster to show all of the rounds, writing questions, making bunting and creating a seating plan. They even decided upon trophies and sweets for the winners. Everyone had a great time so well done Henry, Joe, Harry, Finley and Josh for putting together such a great event.
As we weren’t able to gather together for our Leavers’ Assembly, we watched the video, lovingly put together by Ms Fenning and Mrs Lloyd, and talked about our memories of the year 6 children. We also celebrated Josh, Ella and Finley for their amazing 100% attendance record this year!
In other news, Henry heard back from his hero, David Walliams, who he had written to earlier on in the year. When writing persuasive letters, Henry decided that he wanted to write to David to try and persuade him to come and do a book reading at our school. Your persuasive techniques worked, Henry! Whilst David said that he wasn’t able to visit at the moment due to Covid restrictions, he commended Henry for his enthusiasm. Enclosed with the letter was a signed photo that we all know Henry will cherish. What an exciting final few days of term! All that remains to say is have a wonderful summer and I look forward to another busy and fun-filled year of learning when we return in September!
With the end of the school year approaching things have started to wind down in Hawthorn class. We’ve finished out last poetry unit of the year and the work we had started on Buddhism and its teachings.
We’ve continued with maths revision, this week paying close attention to area of fractions that were proving difficult to master including adding and subtracting fractions and finding fractions of amounts.
This week we’ve also started a unit of work on music and have been focusing on the song ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles. We listened closely to the song and discussed our personal responses to it. We also talked about the tempo and rhythm of the song and what instruments we could identify in the music. We played some warm up games that helped us to understand the song more and have practiced singing it. We’re now having a go a playing some of the tune of ‘Blackbird’ on the glockenspiel.
We’ve also observed Bastille Day this week by taking part in a range of different activities that help us to understand French culture better. We found out about the significance of Bastille Day, learnt the traditional song ‘Frere Jacques’ and painted pointillist landscapes. Tres Bon, Hawthorns!
As we said last week, this week we have spent time making the water cycle more interesting! Our stop-frame animations and drama can be seen on our Facebook page. The children had lots of fun making props, using technology and working with each other to re-interpret the water cycle. This week we have also started some work on Buddhism and are finding out how Buddha helps people live happy lives. We started by listening to ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong and then created collages to depict how we saw the world as a wonderful place. Some of these can be seen below.
In English we have been writing kenning poems. Here’s one that we wrote together as a class. Can you guess what it is?
Vitamin D – supplier
In maths, we’re continuing to revisit some topics missed during lockdown. This week we have been focusing on fractions, including recognising fractions, working with fractions that make more than a whole and adding fractions. We’ll continue with this next week and hopefully we’ll also have some time left to do some fun, problem-solving activities.
In Celebration Assembly, Finley was commended for his continued progress and his increasing independence with learning across the curriculum. Flynn was awarded Linguist of the Week by Mrs Lloyd for his excellent participation in lessons and his use of vocabulary knowledge when working out what new words might mean – a key skill that can be applied when faced with new words in any language. Lola and Flynn awarded this week’s Bookworm Certificate to Harry, who reviewed the Michael Morpurgo book ‘Billy the Kid’, about a boy who becomes a champion striker for Chelsea until the outbreak of WW2 changes his life forever. The other children seemed keen to read this book after Harry’s informative review and possibly due to the recent success of England in the Euros.
W.B. 28.06. 21
This week in Hawthorns we have been busy with lots of different things. In science we have been learning about the water cycle and have been set the challenge of reinterpreting it in an exciting way. Some have decided to use stop frame animation, others drama and one group has decided to use the pop-up skills they learnt in DT earlier on in the year. Hopefully next week we’ll have some interesting versions of the water cycle to share with you.
In English we’ve finished out wishing stories and have kept with a Viking theme to learn more about kenning poems. Over the next few days we’ll be finding out more about this style of poetry and soon will have our own versions of these to share.
In maths we’ve finished Power Maths for the year and have also completed our end of year assessments. We’ll now spend the next few weeks going over some of the trickier topics, and also those covered during lockdown.
In Celebration Assembly, Ethan was rewarded for his enthusiastic approach to his writing and Henry for asking thoughtful questions during our PSHE sessions. Well done both of you for demonstrating our school value of Reach.
This week in Hawthorn class we have started a new unit of science work; states of matter. We started by thinking about what solids, liquids and gases are using a simple observational experiment that involved putting either raisins or peaches in sparkling water. The children thought about where solids, liquids and gases were present in the experiment and described what they observed using the correct scientific vocabulary. We also looked at he particle structure of solids, liquids and gases and had fun recreating these on the playground!
“The solid is the raisins, the liquid is the water and the gas is the carbon dioxide bubbles.” Josh, year 3.
“The raisins float up to the surface because of the carbon dioxide gas and sink down to the bottom when the bubbles pop.” Oliver, year 3.
“The liquid makes the sold peach float. The gas bubbles are on the bottom of the peach.” Ella, year 4.
“The peach is moving because the bubbles on the bottom make it lighter so it spins. When the bubbles are exposed to the air they pop, and this process repeats so the peach spins in the liquid.” Harry, year 4.
In English, we are finishing our wishing tales, and have been writing our own independent stories. Some children have been so keen on the class text ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ that they’ve used ideas from this book to write their own stories. In maths both year 3 and year 4 are coming to the end of the final Power Maths unit. Year 3 have been learning more about capacity, and year 4 have been using coordinates to plot points and find locations on a grid.
In Celebration Assembly Maija and Josh were recognised for their excellent thinking skills during science sessions this week as they considered carefully how to classify different substances as either solid, liquid or gas or in some instances, a combination of all three! Excellent examples of reaching high. Maija was also awarded ‘Linguist of the Week by Mrs Lloyd for her excellent pronunciation in this week’s French session.
This half term has started strong with our unit of history work on the Vikings (however we’ve already learnt that the more appropriate and historically accurate term for these people is Norsemen). We’ve found out about the attack on Lindisfarne using primary sources and wrote diary entries from the point of view of people witnessing the events. We’ve also investigated the use of longships and why they were perfect for the Norsemen. We’re linking this unit of work with English, and are reading ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell and are also using it as our model text for the wishing tale we’re currently learning how to write.
In maths, we’ve spent some time this week exploring shape further. After some lessons about how to construct 3D shapes, year 3 had a go themselves, using plasticine and wooden sticks to make different shapes and identify how many faces, edges and vertices they have. Year 4 conducted an investigation making two cuts through a square and identifying what shapes they can make. They found that the maximum number of sides your new shape could have when making two cuts through the square are 6. Lots of different quadrilaterals were made and the children worked hard to identify which type of triangle they had made by measuring the sides.
In Celebration Assembly, lots of people were recognised for their excellent effort and progress in the core subjects. Ava was rewarded for her resilience in maths as even when the learning becomes tricky, she always continues to try her hardest. Tyler was recognised for reaching high with his confident use of noun and prepositional phrases when writing description and Ellie received her certificate for also reaching high, with both her incredibly neat handwriting and independent work during this week’s reading comprehension session.
This week in Hawthorns we have continued to write our animal poems, based on Tennyson’s ‘The Eagle’. The children have picked a wide variety of animals as their inspiration from snakes and swans to pandas and panthers. All of the children were able to follow an AAA, BBB rhyming scheme and many also included personification, alliteration and wrote in iambic tetrameter. Some performances of these poems can be found on our Facebook page.
In P.E. we’ve taken part in the Norfolk Games Olympic Competition, where children all over Norfolk can compete remotely in sporting activities and submit their scores in the hope of winning. This week we practiced our throwing and coordination skills by playing a variation of 10 pin bowling. In our game, the children set up 10 cones, took 7 steps backwards and had to hit the cones in as few attempts as possible. The children recorded their scores and then on their second attempt tried to beat their first. Many of them improved as they gained more experience and Ella and Oliver were our winners, who were both able to eliminate all 10 cones in just 7 goes. That’s some very accurate throwing!
In maths both year 3 and 4 are learning more about angles and shapes. After half term they will take part in some practical lessons to help embed their understanding of different types of triangle and the properties of 3D shapes.
In Celebration Assembly, Ella was rewarded for displaying all 4 of our school values in her diligent and thoughtful approach to all f her work done in class. A very well done to you Ella for such excellent learning behaviours.
After half term we will be learning about the Vikings in history, States of Matter in science and will spend some time finding out about Frida Kahlo and Jazz music. It will be a very eclectic half term! I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable half term and come back to school rested, refreshed and ready for more exciting learning.
This week, Hawthorns have spent a lot of time constructing their illuminating sign. They spent time designing the picture for the front of the sign, constructing the circuit, making and attaching a homemade toggle (or 2-way toggle) switch and finally constructing the sign using spacers between the front and back pieces so that the circuit can be hidden, but the switch operated freely. When finished the children then evaluated their product against the design brief they wrote at the beginning of the project. Even though it was a complex project, the children all did a fantastic job of applying their scientific understandings to a real world design project.
In English we have finished our discussion texts and have moved on to a classic poetry unit of work. For this we’re using Tennyson’s ‘The Eagle’ which the children are also learning to recite. By the end of next week hopefully we’ll have poems about different animals that rhyme and in some cases, use iambic tetrameter to create a rhythm and pattern.
In maths, both year 3 and 4 have finished their units of work on time. Year 3 have moved on to angles and shapes whilst year 4 are learning more about different types of graph and table.
In Celebration Assembly we spoke about resilience and how important it is to see tasks through to the end, especially when they become tricky. Finley and Ethan were both recognised this week for demonstrating this important value; Finley for finishing his detailed discussion text about the pros and cons of school uniform and Ethan for fault finding on his electrical circuit to get it working. Henry was awarded this week’s certificate in Bookworm Assembly for a lively a clear review of Mr Gum and Tyler was named Linguist of the Week by Mrs Lloyd for his much improved pronunciation. Certificates were also awarded for everyone who walked, cycled or scooted to school at least 3 out of 5 days to mark Walk To School week.
It has been another busy week in Hawthorn class. We’ve applying the knowledge we’ve gained in science to our new DT project: make an illuminated sign. This week we’ve had a closer look at different types of switch and thought about how they work and what types of products they would be best used for. We rated all of the switches we made and decided which would be best for our purpose. We decided on either a toggle or two way toggle switch, as it would allow the light to be left on without having to hold it, but also be turned off easily. Now we’ve researched and designed our signs we can start making them next week!
In English we’ve been continuing with our discussion text and this week have written a shared discussion text; ‘Should tourism in the Arctic be banned?’ and the children have begun to write their own discussions. they range from ‘Should be build a climbing frame on the front playground?’, ‘Should school uniform be banned?’, ‘Should animals be kept in zoos?’ and, in my opinion, a discussion that is really just a one sided argument, ‘Should Mrs Bayliss come to school in a supercar?’ That one’s a no-brainer!
In maths we continue to learn about time. Year 3 have been able to tell the time to 1 minute and are now calculating durations and year 4 are busy converting different units of time.
In Celebration Assembly this week 8 people (half of our class!) were rewarded for their mature and inspiring attitude towards a very important job they were given this week; they formed the pupil panels that took place when we interviewed for our new headteacher. Maisie, Maija, Henry, Harry, Ava, Tyler, Josh and Joe were absolutely amazing. They listened carefully, spoke to the unfamiliar adults with politeness and respect and gave thoughtful feedback on what they had observed. They carried out a very important duty this week and represented our school exceptionally well. I cannot think of a better example of all four of our school values.
We’ve been having a truly ‘electrifying’ time in Hawthorns this week! We’ve finished out unit of science work on electricity and spent time this week applying our understandings of conductors and insulators to make homemade switches. This learning was further enhanced by this week’s brilliant homework in which the children investigated the different types of switch found in their home.
We’ve linked this topic to our new unit of English work on discussion texts, as our model text presents the argument for and against electric cars. Next week we’ll use our class book ‘The Last Bear’ to discuss whether tourism in the Artic should be banned.
Next week we’ll also start a new DT project that will make great use of our electricity knowledge as we research, plan and construct a sign that lights up. In Celebration Assembly this week Finley was acknowledged for the excellent effort he has been putting into his class work recently. Well done Finley, a wonderful example of Reach and Resilience.
It’s been a busy week in Hawthorn class! We’ve started a new unit of science work: Electricity and have been finding out more about how electrical circuits work and what is needed to make a circuit complete. We investigated what types of materials conduct and insulate electricity which helped us to understand why electrical wires are covered in plastic. We also found that instead of wires we could use tin foil to transfer the electrical current around the circuit as metals conduct electricity. Next week we will find out about the role of switches in electrical circuits and have a go at making some homemade switches of our own.
In English we finished our work on our finding stories, and have lots of different independent stories where a wide range of animals and objects are found. Next week, to tie in with our work on electricity, we’ll start a non-fiction discussion text about the advantages and disadvantages of electric cars.
In maths, year 3 continue to learn more about time, and next week will be learning how to tell the time more accurately. Year 4 continue their unit of work on money and next week will apply their understandings to some problem solving situations.
In Celebration Assembly, Ava received bookworm certificate for her compelling review of the new J.K. Rowling book, Ickabog and Lola and Henry were rewarded for their excellent scientific understandings and teamwork in this week’s electricity lessons.
This week we have continued our sustainability work. In geography, we’ve found out more about what types of energy we use in the UK and have represented this information in graphs, so it can easily compared between years. We found out that even within the last five years our reliance on coal has decreased and we’ve increased our use of renewable energy sources. We also looked at sustainable development and found out about what is being done to conserve the lapwing, a bird that lives and nests in open flat land, that has experienced a large amount of habitat loss due to urban development.
In English, we continue to use our class book, ‘The Last Bear’ to write finding stories that see our protagonist find and try to save an animal in danger due to global warming or habitat loss.
In maths, year 3 have concluded their work on fractions and year 4, having finished their work on decimals are now finding out more about money, which links well with the previous unit as they’re learning how to recognise and represent amounts of money using decimal notation.
In Celebration Assembly this week Ben was recognised for his hard work and excellent progress across the curriculum, but especially in maths. A wonderful example of our school value ‘Reach’. In Bookworm Assembly, Ethan was awarded this week’s certificate for a concise and interesting review of David Walliams’ ‘Billionaire Boy.’
Next week we’ll be finding out more about electricity as we begin our new science topic. This links nicely with the unit of geography work we’ve just finished and should deepen the children’s understanding of where electricity comes from and how it works.
After a welcome Easter break, it is back to business as usual in Hawthorns! This half term we’ll be learning a lot about sustainability and the different types of energy that we use. We’ve linked this learning with our English work and have started reading ‘The Last Bear’ by Hannah Gold. We’ve learnt about the Arctic Circle and how scientists studying it are able to find out about the effects of global warming.
In geography, we’ve started to learn about ways to increase sustainability globally, locally and personally. We’ve also considered things we can do to make our school site more sustainable.
In maths, year 3 are continuing their work on fractions and are now able to find equivalent fractions and can compare and order a range of different fractions. Year 4 have spent this week representing, comparing and ordering decimals. Next week we’ll conclude our work in these areas.
In Celebration Assembly both Ella and Ellie were recognised for listening carefully when reading our class text and generating some great ideas during guided reading sessions.
This half term our P.E. days are Wednesday and Friday. Spellings continue to be given out on Monday and homework will be given out and expected back in every Thursday.
It’s been a busy final week of term in Hawthorn class. We have been discussing the importance of worship and church for Christians. We found out about different Christian services that take place in church including Baptism and The Eucharist. We also learnt about Christian symbols that you’ll find in a church including the tabernacle, crucifix, paschal candle and chalice.
In English we have finished writing our own Beowulf stories. Many children decided to take inspiration from the final story in the trilogy and write about his epic victory over the Earth Dragon. In guided reading we used our understanding of the text to write a play script of the scene when Beowulf meets King Hrothgar. We also had a go at recording news bulletins to inform people of the heroic deeds that took place in the Great Hall.
In maths, we have finished the first part of fractions and decimals, which we will continue with after the Easter holidays. We’ve also had some time to revisit some elements of measurement, and have learnt more about perimeter and how it is measured.
In Celebration Assembly this week we spoke about how we know when we’ve made progress. Three certificates were given out. Joe and Ethan received recognition for their hard work in English as they’ve worked hard to make their writing interesting to read. Ellie was also recognised for her hard work in maths as she very accurately measured and calculated perimeter of a range of different 2D shapes.
Finally, I hope you all have a safe and peaceful Easter and have a well deserved rest. Enjoy your holiday.
This week in Hawthorn class we have completed our DT work and have created books that use a range of different pop up techniques to tell the story of Beowulf. There are examples of slides showing Grendel emerging from the swamp to attack the people in the Great Hall, levers to bring the fight scene between Beowulf and Grendel to life and v folds to show the Great Hall, back to its former glory once the monster is defeated.
In English, we’ve continued our work on the story of Beowulf and this week have innovated the model text, writing the sequel in which Grendel’s mother avenges her son’s death and Beowulf has to save the day. Next week the children will finish this unit of work by writing their own story that includes Beowulf as the main character. I wonder what hideous beasts he’ll come up against next week?
In maths, year 3 are finishing their work on fractions whilst year 4 have been getting stuck in to decimals. Over the next week we’ll have time for some problem solving activities and revision of some tricky topics covered during Home Learning.
In Celebration Assembly this morning we discussed an important aspect of learning that we’ve demonstrated this week: collaboration. Everyone in Hawthorn class received a certificate as they showed respect for each other when discussing ideas and distributing tasks, resourcefulness as they made the most of each other’s skills and talents, reach for having high standards and ambitious ideas and resilience for working as a team, motivating each other and problem solving when things became tricky. Well done Hawthorns on a brilliantly fun project that allowed you to develop so many different skills! Finally, in Bookworm Assembly, this week’s certificate went to Ava and Henry who did an excellent review of ‘Shoe Wars’ by Liz Pichon. I was hooked and I’m sure there are a few others in our class who’ll be wanting to read this book soon too.
What a welcome return to school! We’ve had a wonderful week getting reacquainted and settling back in to our usual routines. We’ve been continuing our work on Anglo-Saxons that was started during Home Learning and are now learning the story of Beowulf. We’ve also linked this to our new DT project, which is to make a pop-up book. We spent time this week finding out more about pop-up techniques including different types of fold and lever and made prototypes of each to help us learn how they are constructed. Next week we’ll plan and construct our Beowulf pop-up books with a partner. In Celebration assembly this week, two people returning to school were recognised for their neat handwriting; Ben and Tyler. Josh was awarded a certificate for communicating well with the adults that work with him. Maisie, Ben and Henry in year 4 were also awarded their silver Dojo badges for reaching the 50 point landmark. I’m sure there are more people who’ll reach 50 points very soon!
We’ve begun some new work on a DT project this week. As the festive season is upon us, for this textile project, we’ve decided to make a Christmas tree decoration. So far we’ve spent some time creating a design brief, analysing existing products and finding out how they are constructed. We’ve also spent quite a bit of time learning and practising 4 basic sewing stitches. The children have now decided what Christmas decoration they would like to make and how they would like to change it to make it different from the original. Fabric, decoration and stitch type have been finalised so next week the making can commence! In Celebration Assembly this week, two people were recognised for their exceptional effort in writing. We’re coming to the end of our work on a warning story and both Maisie and Tyler have shown great focus and improvement when writing both their innovated and independent pieces. Well done to both of you, such excellent demonstrations of reach and resilience.
We’ve continued this week with our explorations into the workings of the human body. We found out more about the digestive organs and recreated the functions of the stomach and intestines. The children acted as the teeth to tear (chew) some bread and put it into the freezer bag, which represented the stomach. We then poured tonic water into the bag to represent the bile that helps to break down the food. The children then had great fun squishing the food and water together in the bag to recreate what the stomach and muscles in the stomach do to break down the food further. Next we put the mashed up food into a pair of tights and the children took turns squeezing the liquid out, representing what the large intestines do as the food continues to pass through our bodies. In the end we were left with what our body expels as solid waste when we go to the toilet! On a different note, Flynn was recognised in celebration assembly this week for using feedback and marking to help improve his work further. This shows resilience and reach Flynn so very well done.
Finding out more about the human body has been the focus for a lot of our afternoon sessions this week. Our science topic for this half term involves finding out more about digestion and we’ve started this week by looking at our teeth. We spent time learning about the different types of teeth and their function. We then ate an apple and as we did so, described the teeth that we were using and how they were helping us to eat the fruit. After this we investigated why brushing our teeth is important and experimented with eggshell to represent tooth enamel. We put the eggshell into different liquids and found that those that contain sugar can damage tooth enamel because of the acid that they contain. The eggshells became soft, stained and in some cases almost dissolved completely. With our new understandings about teeth, we are also able to identify from a skull, whether an animal was carnivore, herbivore or omnivore. Maisie was recognised in Celebration Assembly this week for her consistently high standard of presentation across all curriculum areas. An excellent example of ‘reach’, Maisie, well done.
This week we’ve moved on from learning about the Celts to finding out about the Roman invasion in Britain and what life was like in the country following this. We’ve tied this in with English and have written the persuasive text ‘Invade Britain!’ in which we convinced the reader that there were many reasons to conquer including plentiful resources, a high population of people that could be used as slaves and the desire to be seen as powerful and successful. In other news, the Scholastic Book Fair has landed in our class! Over the next few days children will spend time exploring the wide range of texts on offer and put together a wish list which may then be purchased online. In celebration assembly this week Oliver was acknowledged for being able to remain focused on learning, especially since our classroom is also used as an access route for other areas of the school. An excellent learning behaviour, Oliver.
A big welcome back to everyone in Hawthorn class. We’ve started this half term with history and are finding out about life in the Iron Age. This topic is also linked to our English work and this week we have been learning to persuade. On Monday the children got into character and persuaded their partner to come and live in a hillfort. They were very successful and mentioned features such as the steep ramparts which protect the hillfort from attackers, the cosy beds in the roundhouses and the sense of community that comes with living in large groups. Later on in the week the children had a go at trying to sell a Celtic Roundhouse using the persuasive techniques they had learnt. Next week, when we start finding out about the Romans the children will try to persuade others to come with them to invade Britain. Ethan, who joined our class this week, was recognised for settling in so well and working really hard. An excellent example of resilience and reach, Ethan.
This week, amongst lots of other things, we have been taking the time to think about harvest. Whilst we can’t come together as a community and observe this festival in the church, the children did assemble on the playground in their bubbles and at the appropriate distance to perform their harvest class piece. Hawthorns have been learning about sound and were interested to find out more about how people who cannot hear sound communicate. In our video, as well as singing, the children use Makaton to sign the words to ‘Let’s Harvest’. In Celebration Assembly this week Joshua was recognised for the hard work he has put in to making sure his handwriting is neat and legible. Well done Josh.
This week we concluded our work on sound. We found out how sound is measured and used a decibel meter to record sounds. We investigated how to block sounds by covering a sound source in different fabrics. We also learnt about how sound travels through air and why we can’t hear sounds as well when we move further away from the source. We have started learning about explanation texts in English and are using the model text ‘How do volcanoes erupt?’ to help us. As a fun way to start this topic we made our own exploding volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar. In this week’s celebration assembly we focused on things we’ve found challenging. Well done to both Ava and Henry who received certificates for being great learning partners and always working cooperatively.
This week Hawthorns started a new science topic: sound. We spent time exploring how sounds are created and how they travel in group activity stations. The first showed how vibrations are produced when sound is made by putting birdseed on a drum, then hitting it. We found out that sound travels through liquid by striking a tuning fork and putting it in water. This also demonstrated that sound travels in waves. We discovered that sound travels through solid objects by attaching string to a wire coat hanger, wrapping the string around our fingers, placing our fingers in our ears and knocking the coat hanger against the table. We could hear the sound we made really clearly! We also investigated how changing the size and shape of objects changes the pitch of the sound they produce through exploration with a range of different musical instruments. Finally, we experimented with pitch by making our own straw oboe instruments and observed how changing the length of the straw altered the pitch of the sound it produced. We’ve got lots more to find out about sound next week. In this week’s celebration assembly we focused on making progress and how our work shows we’ve improved. Congratulations to Finley who demonstrated reach and resilience across the curriculum by giving all learning opportunities his very best effort.
We’ve had a busy week finishing our earthquakes topic in geography. We compared the damage inflicted on Haiti and Chile when earthquakes hit both countries in 2010 and found out that earthquakes affect poorer countries much more than richer ones. Buildings being built too close together, lack of high quality construction materials and limited healthcare provision all have an enormous impact on the damage that earthquakes cause. We also found out this week that earthquakes and volcanoes are often found in the same locations and tracked the journey of a volcano from start to finish. Our storyboards for this can be seen below. Elsewhere we’ve been carrying on with place value in maths and are currently innovating our conquering the monster stories, adding in effective dialogue for both our monster and hero. In celebration assembly this week we discussed successes we’ve had in our work and reflected on what that looks like and how it feels. Congratulations to Ellie who demonstrated resourcefulness across the curriculum by becoming increasingly independent.
This week in Hawthorns class we have been spending time looking at how speech is used in stories and have had a go at writing and punctuating dialogue that we had written ourselves. In maths we’ve been revisiting place value and have worked confidently with 3 and 4 digit numbers. We’ve also been finding out a lot about earthquakes and have used New Zealand as the focus for this topic. We’ve observed the impact on people that earthquakes can have, how many earthquakes New Zealand has had over the years and why so many earthquakes happen there by looking in depth at the plates and fault lines that make up the Earth’s crust. Next week we’ll find out why it’s not always the biggest earthquakes that cause the most damage. In celebration assembly this week we reflected on the last two weeks of learning and discussed how we approach challenging tasks. A huge well done to Flynn who displayed two of our school values: reach and resilience this week in his maths work.
The long awaited return to school is finally underway and what a lovely week it has been! Well done to all of the children in Hawthorns class for coming back to school with such enthusiasm and positivity. We’ve spent a lot of time this week getting reacquainted and have had fun playing some ‘get to know you’ games. We’ve also enjoyed learning about the modern artist Paul Klee. We’ve found out more about colour theory, spent time mixing and making colours and created tints by adding white paint. We’ve made a large scale class painting, and have explored Klee’s love of animals and nature by recreating his famous ‘Cat and Bird’ painting. All in all, a productive and enjoyable start to the year.
PE – Monday and Friday
Homework (Khan Academy, TT Rockstars and spellings) – Commencing 13th September, due every Monday
Reading – Daily. Reading records are completed in class from Monday to Friday, detailing books read in school and at home.
Willow Class Events – Victorian school trip, 3.11.21
W/C 28th October
We have enjoyed an utterly jam-packed week which started with us working together in groups to make and bake our own bread rolls. We also made butter, from scratch, in mason jars, using double cream and a pinch of salt. We discussed the farming concept of ‘breadbaskets’ and learnt that our very own East Anglia is considered to be the breadbasket of Britain. Finally, we shared our learning in church during harvest festival and shared the bread with our families, at home.
For the rest of the week, we completed several units of work: for science, our work on earth and space culminated in us planning and conducting fair tests to answer the question, ‘How does the earth’s rotation affect the way shadows are formed’. We thought carefully about variables and how to control them as well as how to measure and record our findings. Then, we set up our studies and got to work – popping outside at regular intervals to check for any changes.
In Art, we finished our learning on space art with 3 wonderful pieces of work each using different mediums: oil/chalk pastels, digital media and spray paints. These will all be included on a wall display in the school entrance corridor, which we hope you will stop to look at when visiting us for next term’s parent’s evenings.
In English, we rounded off the term with a nod to how it started, by reading Shakespeare – this time, his sonnets. We analyzed sonnets 18 and 130, discussing their rhyme scheme and meter as well as the effect of ending poems in rhyming couplets. The children did an outstanding job and asked thoughtful questions: ‘Even though he’s saying he likes her just the way she is, why is he only writing about her looks? That’s not what really matters.’ ‘When he says other poets are bad for writing about people like that, is he also saying his poems are bad?’
In celebration assembly, George was acknowledged for reach and resourcefulness in art; his oil pastel work was stunning – meeting the brief by using contrasting colours to make his planet ‘pop’ and for thinking carefully about light and shade and how this could be represented in his work. Furthermore, votes for school council took place this week and congratulations are in order for our new year 5 representative – Joe; to our new vice chair – George and our new chairperson – Elspie. Thanks also go to Noah an Erin for their compelling manifestos. Finally – Ms Fenning and Mrs Lloyd are very impressed with the focus, behaviour and hard work shown by all the children in Willow class this term; we are incredibly proud of you all! Have a restful week off and we look forward to seeing you soon!
W/C 11th October
It was a relatively quiet time in Willow class this week, filled with lots of reading and writing. We all wrote about Earth and Space, which gave us a chance to show what we have learnt in our science topic as well as what we have learnt about the features of non-chronological reports. After writing a first draft, we self-assessed our work. Then, after ‘publishing’ a final report in our science books, we peer assessed each other’s work. Editing is a skill we hope to improve upon during our time in Willow class as we know this is what takes our work from good to outstanding!
In art, work has begun on creating our own space art with some of us choosing chalk pastels and others oil to create various depictions of planets and other celestial bodies. Next week, we will use digital programs and spray paint to create more images before evaluating our work and the techniques we used. In PE, Pro-Coach delivered team working games that required absolute silence from the children. This forced us to find alternative ways to communicate with each other such as clapping codes to one another.
In celebration assembly this week, Noah was acknowledged for reach after pushing himself to achieve his best in a range of curriculum areas. As a result of his focus and determination, there has been a marked improvement in his work in every single subject! Very impressive stuff, Noah! Lastly, thanks is given to those who represented our class and school at the cluster cross country tournament at Framingham Earl High School this week. Alfie, Elspie, Zachary Y, George, William, Joe, Harry and Ethan M did us proud! Congratulations to George and Joe who have qualified for the next round, taking place at Langley school in November.
W/C 4th October
In acknowledgement of National Poetry Day on Thursday, Willow class read, memorised and performed poems for each other. And, in other areas of English, the children used what they have learnt about narrative voice (person), connectives and relative clauses and applied it to their geography work, where they wrote beautifully presented non-chronological reports on all things volcano. We tried to keep our writing in the formal register, but made exceptions for ‘fun facts’ boxes where we could slip into an informal tone. We will practice and improve upon this style of writing, next week, when we write about Earth and Space, in science.
In art, we conducted research on the digital artist Mark Garlick. We learnt about his background in science and looked at examples of his ‘space art’. We then worked with chalk and oil pastels, using different pressures, strokes and blending techniques before evaluating which colours complement and contrast with each other. We also discussed which methods and colours would work best for creating our own space art, next week.
In maths, Y5’s have been getting to grips with column addition whilst Y6’s have been learning different methods of formal division, including ‘chunking’ by multiples. In French, the children were challenged to re-arrange sentences that added negatives to adjectives, in the third person: ‘Il n’est pas timide’ (He is not shy).
In celebration assembly, we spent a second week thinking about the school value of ‘respect’. This week, Ethan F and Zach W were acknowledged for their respectful and helpful approach with some of the younger children, particularly during break times and assemblies; and Harry and Joe were rewarded for their respectful approach to their classmates during an apple juice shortage on ‘tuck Friday’: they offered to share their own drinks with others that would otherwise have gone without. Furthermore, Harry received his silver Dojo badge after earning his 50th Dojo, and Joe was celebrated for his achievements outside of school where he raced to first place in the East Anglian BMX tournament! Well done boys!
W/C 27th September
This week, we made simple scientific models showing what we have learnt about Earth and space. First, we made models from card to show that the moon revolves around the earth at the same time that the earth is rotating on its axis and orbiting the sun. Then, we applied our understanding of the earth’s rotation to explain the existence of night and day. We worked in pairs, using whatever we could find in the classroom, and we evaluated each other’s models to ensure that night and day was depicted by the earth’s rotation, and not by its orbit – which determines the length of a year. Next week, we will consolidate our learning further when we write non-chronological reports about all things earth and space.
In geography, we completed our research on the human and physical features of Iceland and explained which region we would most like to visit and why. We also conducted research on volcanoes: where they are, how they form and their impact on people and places when they erupt. This information will help to answer our geography enquiry question: How do volcanoes affect the lives of people on Heimaey?
In PE, we continued working on our gymnastics skills, practising cartwheels, round offs and hand stands and by using a springboard to complete squat-through and straddle vaults. Next week, we will start to link our movements when working in groups to choreograph and perform our own gymnastics routines.
In celebration assembly, we focused on the school value of respect. Fortunately, we have a class full of incredibly respectful children, so there were many contenders for this week’s certificate. However, William, Erin, Henry and Joe were given special mentions: William for always quietly offering to help his teachers with daily tasks such as fetching, carrying or setting up equipment; Erin for always offering support not only to her teachers but also her classmates during lessons; and Henry and Joe for being such smiley and considerate children; they can always be relied upon to treat people fairly, with kindness and with the utmost respect – no matter the day or occasion. Lola was also acknowledged for gaining the bronze Dojo award for achieving 25 Dojo points! What super values and achievements. Well done!
W/C 20th September
Having previously identified the planets in our solar system and changes in scientific thinking from a heliocentric to a geocentric model, this week we spent time considering the movement of the planets in relation to the sun. We began by looking at digital models before creating our own human model of the solar system. We noticed that planets orbit the sun in an anti-clockwise direction and that those furthest from the sun took longer to complete their orbit: William, ‘Mercury is the quickest to orbit the sun because the path of its orbit is shortest.’
We related this knowledge to the concept of years and were surprised to learn that Neptune’s year is equivalent to approximately 165 Earth years! We also discussed the concept of leap years and used our maths knowledge to explain why they occur (almost) every four years.
George: ‘Earth takes 365 days and a ¼ to orbit the sun, but we don’t have the ¼ in the calendar. After 4 years, the four quarters make 1 day, so we add it on to February, the month with the least days.’
In English, we completed our unit of work on playscripts. Every child devised their own story (we have some very lively imaginations in Willow Class!). We then worked hard to structure the stories into scripts. It was challenging having to depict an entire story using only dialogue and sparing stage directions – but it was excellent practise of ‘show don’t tell’, a skill we try to use in all our story writing.
In computing, we completed a unit of work in which the children used block coding to create and instruct their own characters. We worked to understand what a variable is in programming and how to create programs that respond to if/else commands, including the use of timers to make our characters repeat actions. As well as having fun working together on the laptops, this helped us consolidate our understand of algorithms.
In celebration assembly, the focus for this week was the school value of resourcefulness. Myah was acknowledged for being resourceful not only this week, but every day. She is always keen to help herself and she uses the equipment in her wallet, on the shelves and on the walls to do so. We also celebrated George and Erin for attaining their gold Dojo badges. What great examples to set. Well done you three
W/C 13th September
This week, we have continued to learn about earth and space. We began by naming the planets in our solar system and identifying an interesting fact about each. Next, we illustrated how changes in scientific thinking take place over long periods of time by jumping into role as various historical scientist and philosophers. We enacted a chronological journey through time with each of us explaining our scientist’s discoveries and the scientific evidence upon which their beliefs were formed. We were shocked to hear how Galileo was imprisoned for the discoveries he made with his telescope and began to appreciate the importance and significance of evidence when forming our own, and others’, ideas and opinions.
In Geography, we put our map reading and maths skills to the test. After identifying the island of Iceland from its geographical features, we searched for European capital cities and calculated their distance from Reykjavik. This task helped us hone our map reading skills, including the use of a scale to measure and calculate distance, as well as using the place value knowledge gained in our current maths topic, to order and compare distances.
In English we examined Egeus’ speech from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. First, Ms Fenning acted out the scene so we could hear the tone of the speech, then we had a go ourselves. We worked out what some new words meant based on their context e.g., vexation, bewitched, ancient privilege, dispose… Finally, we worked in small groups to devise tableaus for our newly learnt words, before re-reading the scene in full, complete with actions. We also started planning our own playscripts, which we will begin writing next week.
This week we have been focusing on the school value resilience. Mr Wilson discussed this in his assembly, and, in class, we focused on the success of Emma Radacanu, recognising the resilience and reach she has shown in her career so far. In celebration assembly, Henry was recognised for resilience. Indeed, no task is ever too great for Henry, and he brings a can do approach to everything he is set. Not even a wasp sting could set him back this week, as he persevered with a maths challenge through the pain – and even managed to keep a smile on his face when doing so! Great job, Henry!
W/C 6th September
We have had a wonderfully busy start to the year and all children are settling into their new routines beautifully. Work has begun on a new science topic, ‘Earth and Space’ with the children working scientifically to identify evidence that supports or refutes ideas about the shape of the Earth. Elspie – ‘If the Earth were flat everyone would see the same constellations wherever they were.’ Ella – ‘I think the Earth is spherical because people have flown around the Earth in planes and reported no edge’
In English, we have been identifying the ‘four worlds’ in Shakespeare’s, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. We used drama to explore the feelings and predicaments of the main characters and produced tableaus, using original dialogue, to showcase key scenes from the play. We then discussed the structure and features of plays in preparation for writing our own.
In PE, we participated in a carousel of activities designed to develop our gymnastic jumping skills. Pointed toes and stretched limbs were the aim of game when practising stag jumps and split leaps. We also practised jumps we have learnt before and devised warm up exercises that would target the muscles most used in the jumps.
In celebration assembly, children were recognised for achieving the value we have been focusing on this week: reach. As well adapting to new routines, Lola has strived to maintain accuracy levels and high standards of presentation in all her written work; and Alfie has been pushing himself in maths to remain focused and complete his work to a high standard. Well done Alfie and Lola!
W/C 19th July
This week, we made the most of our time together before bidding farewell to our five year 6s. In place of our usual Leaver’s Assembly, we made and watched a video of our lovely Y6s recounting their memories of Surlingham Primary School (this can be found on the ‘Stream’ app using the children’s ‘Office 365’ school logins, under ‘Y6 Leavers – Willow Class 2021 – Surlingham Primary School’). We ended the week with a party on the school field where we played, ate, danced and signed each other’s shirts; a wonderful, light end to a crazy year!
In celebration assembly, George and William received certificates for 100% attendance; Lola was ‘Linguist of the Week’ for her excellent work in French, and she also received the bookworm certificate for her review of Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Myah received her silver Dojo badge for reaching 50 Dojos; and James was celebrated for his positive attitude during our visit to Go Ape – with a little resilience, he completed the course, feeling very proud of himself! Fantastic work!
Before we sign off for the year, I must thank the Willow Class parents – firstly, for your thoughtful cards and gifts; your generosity is overwhelming and very much appreciated. Secondly, whilst we have encountered many ups and downs in our little school over the last year – we are so grateful for your continued support; the success of home learning and many school events is entirely dependent on your participation, and we are very grateful to have it. Thank you.
Finally – thank you to our very special year sixes for their hard work and positive attitudes over the last 2 years. It has been an utter joy working with you and I look forward to hearing all about your achievements at your respective high schools. Year fives – enjoy the summer break and we will see you all again in September! 😊
W/C 12th July
It has been a busy week in Willow Class! In science we have been learning all about classification. The children worked together to sort animals according to their features and to classify them using the Linnaean system. Then, the children learnt about microorganisms and discovered that some are helpful, and some are harmful. For example, some bacteria are harmful – they can make us ill; whilst the fungus penicillium is helpful as it is used to make antibiotics that can fight harmful bacteria.
On Wednesday, whilst the year 5s continued working hard in science – the year 6s enjoyed their leavers’ trip to Go Ape. All the children behaved impeccably well and threw themselves into the tree top challenge. Everyone completed the course and showed support and encouragement to one another throughout. Well done Y6s – you did us all proud.
We ended the week with an activity day centered around Bastille Day. The children dressed in red, white and blue and decorated the school with their own hand drawn posters. We spent time learning about the storming of the Bastille, and the social situation in France at the time. Then, the children worked in small groups to put their DT skills to the test: they used spaghetti, marshmallows and play doh to recreate the Eiffel Tower! We ended the day by cooking crepes for the whole school, which we served in our alfresco café. The children conversed in French to place their orders and Willows took it in turns to serve their friends. Willows, Vous etes Formidable!
W/C 5th July
This week, we completed our history enquiry, ‘Why did Britain once rule the largest empire the world had ever seen?’; children wrote thoughtful explanations regarding the end of the empire, citing economic and military changes after the world wars, in addition to changing moral perspectives, as the reasons for its demise.
‘I think people finally realised it was immoral to hold entire countries hostage.’ Zach.
The children focused on India’s campaign for independence and were introduced to Gandhi’s approach of non-violent resistance, which arguably changed the face of political protest.
Work is well underway on the Y6 leavers’ video; interviews have been recorded, photoshopping is complete (thank you Mrs. Wilson for your help with this!) and other classes have made their contributions; excitement is mounting to see the finished product! In music, the children have been improvising sections of Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’ on the glockenspiel. Next week, the class will work together in an ensemble performance, which we hope to share with you all.
In celebration assembly, Zachary was our linguist of the week for his enthusiasm and eagerness to contribute during French; Bella was chosen as our bookworm of the week for her review of ‘What Would She Do?’, and Lola was awarded the 4 Rs certificate for respect after offering words of encouragement to her teachers and peers, and for promoting a positive, resilient attitude in the face of some technical difficulties during the making of the Y6 video! Thank you for keeping class spirits high! Great job Willow Class!
W/C 30th June
This week, all of Willow Class undertook formal assessments in Reading, Maths and SPAG. The results from these tests will help to inform the planning of lessons for next year and give the children an opportunity to reflect on their progress in these areas. Whilst we know that testing paints only a limited picture of a child, it does form a part of their lives for the next few years – and every child rose to the occasion and gave it their best shot. Super work, Willows!
In other areas, after a break in poetry lessons, children have now completed their extended metaphor poems, promoting ideas for an ideal world, or for enjoyable literature. Each child worked hard to choose imperative verbs that would fit with their metaphor (a recipe) and also give their reader a feeling about what they had written. In PSHE, the children designed cubes detailing what they are looking forward to about being in Y6/Y7. In small groups, they used the cubes as dice to prompt discussions about how best to go about achieving the things they are looking forward to.
In celebration assembly, Bella was our linguist of the week for pronunciation and participation in French, James was awarded the bookworm certificate for his wonderful review of ‘Comparisons’; and Bella was awarded the 4Rs certificate for resilience, reach and resourcefulness during assessment week. Another fantastic week, Willows!
W/C 21st June
On Tuesday, Willow class took on a new look as the current Y4s joined us for ‘move up morning’. Each child introduced themselves and explained some of their likes and dislikes before integrating with the current Y5s to perform a short drama piece for the rest of the class. Judging by the excitement in the room, I can tell its going to be a fun year next year!
For the rest of the week, Willows have completed their RSE topic of ‘changing me’ by discussing the effects of puberty on the body and the ways in which babies are conceived, including IVF. Work is also firmly underway on our new computing topic where we will create a Y6 leavers video. The children have been filming ‘scenes’ for the video as well as using photo editing software to give us a glimpse of what our Y6s might look like in the future! Will we complete this unit of work by learning how to edit video files, including adding captions and credits. In PE we have continued with Sports Day preparation with the children tackling hurdles, agility ladders and speed bounce challenges.
In celebration assembly, Lola was awarded the bookworm certificate for her review of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea’, and Evy received the 4Rs certificate for showing reach in maths: she has been explaining her reasoning beautifully, with the use of a wide range of mathematical vocabulary. Well done, Willows!
W/C 14th June
This week has been filled with outdoor activities with the whole of Willow class completing a cycling proficiency course with Bikeability. The children learned how to check their cycles for roadworthiness; identify and respond to hazards; negotiate junctions and communicate with other road users. All children earned themselves a certificate and pin badge, which they will receive next week after a 3-day quarantine.
In PE, the children are improving their bowling and batting skills in ‘striking and fielding’, and ProCoach are preparing the children for sports day with ‘strength and stamina’ sessions. In history, we have completed posters detailing the human and physical resources of the old British Empire and we have continued discussions about whether there was any justification for creating an empire to ‘pool’ these resources. Work also began on Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) this week; we began with a focus on female body parts and their functions and will continue next week with a focus on the male anatomy.
In celebration assembly, Myah was our ‘linguist of the week’ for her efforts and increased participation in French; George was awarded the Bookworm Certificate for his review of ‘Rescue’; and George was also awarded the 4Rs certificate for outstanding contributions to history and guided reading sessions – he showed respect for the different cultures being discussed and reach and resourcefulness in his analysis of historical sources. Fab job Willows! Keep up the good work!
W/C 7th June
For their final half term of the year, Willow Class have started a new history enquiry: ‘Why did Britain once rule the largest empire the world had ever seen?’ We began by flexing our map reading skills to identify the countries of the former British Empire before questioning why Britain might have wanted an empire in the first place. The children used their reasoning and inference skills to examine a range of historical sources and decided that a desire for natural resources such as diamonds, gold, food and timber were some of the reasons used to justify colonisation at the time. They also considered whether the taking of Christianity, British laws and education to the colonies justified the violence or slave trade that went into establishing the empire. Some children began to recognise how viewpoints and historical narratives about these issues have changed, and continue to change, over time.
In English, we began reading ‘Windrush Child’ by Benjamin Zephaniah, making links to our history topic as we read about the Windrush Generation and the impact that colonisation, and the global movement of people, has had on individuals, families and different nations around the world. The children also read Zephaniah’s poem, ‘The British (serves 60 Million)’, and have started composing their own extended metaphor poems inspired by the verse.
In maths, Y5s have been learning about position and direction, and have used mirrors to help them identify and draw reflections of shapes from a given mirror line. Y6’s have completed work on identifying and drawing nets of shape and have just started a problem solving unit on Place Value.
In celebration assembly, Bella, William and James were recognised for their hard work on TT Rockstars; Barney was awarded the Bookworm Certificate for his review of ‘That’s Gross!’; and Noah received the 4 Rs certificate for showing reach, resilience and a wonderfully positive attitude toward improving his handwriting. Well done all! What a great start to the half term!
W/C 23rd May
In our final week of half term, we have wrapped up several units of work: Y5s completed their maths lessons on angles – creating card circles to demonstrate the calculation of angles around a point – whilst Y6s considered parts of a circle – drawing and measuring radius, diameters and circumference; in geography, we looked back over all we’d researched and wrote answers to our ‘big’ enquiry question, ‘Who Are Britain’s National Parks for?’; and in English, we wrote and memorised our own limericks. Head on over to the school Facebook page to see us performing our favourite ones!
In PE, we completed our sessions with Pro Coach on ‘Circus Skills’. We have been using skipping ropes, spinning plates, diabolos, stilts, hula hoops and juggling equipment to put our balancing, throwing and catching skills to the test! In outdoor learning we conducted some research on reptiles before creating our own salt dough versions, based on what we had learnt.
In celebration assembly, Zachary and Elspie were selected for their compelling reviews of ‘A Monster Calls’ and ‘Heroes’; Noah was our ‘Linguist of the Week’ for working hard on his pronunciation; TT Rockstars certificates were awarded to Bella, Alfie and George; and the 4Rs certificate was awarded to Elspie for her geometry work, where she displayed Reach and Resourcefulness in her approach to learning. Well done, Willows! Enjoy a well deserved week off!
W/C 17th May
This week, we started a new poetry unit on Limericks. We began by memorising and performing famous limericks in front of the class, before analysing their rhyme scheme and metre: we learnt that limericks always use anapestic metre because it creates an upbeat, ‘bouncy’ rhythm when read aloud. We also finished reading our class book, ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ and will write our review of this next week.
In geography, we worked in pairs to design posters advertising our chosen British national park. We made sure to highlight activities revealing their natural beauty and cultural heritage, as well as sight-seeing activities focused on park specific areas. In ‘singing’ assembly we pitted girls against boys in a mini ‘battle of the bands’ ukulele style! We have learnt the chords Am, C and F as well as working on timing and strumming patterns. Head on over to our Facebook page to see video footage of this.
In celebration assembly, most children received certificates after rejecting the car in honour of ‘walk to school week’; Elspie was ‘Linguist of the Week’ for excellent pronunciation in French; and Owen was awarded the 4 Rs certificate for showing resilience and resourcefulness after breaking his toes and continuing to power through with school-work and finding ways to stay entertained at breaktimes. Great job Willows!
W/C 10th May
Continuing our geography topic on Britain’s national parks, we have been discussing ‘cultural heritage’ this week. To illustrate the concept, several children brought in personal items from home: soft toys that had been gifted by a family member; booklets containing details of their family tree or photos of their ancestors; and items representing their cultural roots, such as a fur trimmed sporran. We then discussed how some items, such as a Swarovski crystal ornament, were kept in a locked display cabinet to protect and preserve them. The children were asked to think about what these items had in common,
‘All these items allow us to access precious memories’; ‘They give us a chance to share parts of our lives with each other.’
and how this might link to the concept of cultural heritage in our national parks,
‘different places have different cultures and national parks help us learn about who we are and what we used to do in that land.’; ‘It is important to preserve the culture of you and your ancestors. National parks often have places that are important in history, so you can learn about the past.’
In maths, we began work on properties of shape with Year 5s learning how to use a protractor to measure in degrees; and year 6s using protractors to draw shapes accurately with given dimensions. The Year 6s have also been busy ‘stretching and extending’ their maths knowledge in their online one-to-one tutoring sessions, where their outstanding mathematical vocabulary and polite manners have done us proud!
In celebration assembly, Bella, James and Myah were celebrated for their Timestables achievements; Zachary received his gold Dojo badge; and Noah was awarded the bookworm certificate for his review of ’The 65 Storey Tree House’ and was also recognised for reach and resilience in maths following his hard work in the multiplying and dividing decimals unit. Well done, Willows!
W/C 3rd May
This week, Willows started a new geography enquiry: ‘Who are Britain’s National Parks for?’ We began by testing out our map reading skills – reading descriptions of the15 British national parks and interpreting 3 different types of map (topographic, thematic and general reference) to help us identify their locations. The children then discussed why national parks are referred to as ‘breathing spaces: ‘because of their tranquil, quiet environment and their unspoilt natural beauty’; ‘because there are no factories, cars or anything else that releases bad fumes. This leads to cleaner air which also helps us relax.’
In English, the children have planned their own ‘marooned tale’ inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’. Our focus has been on characterisation – and we practiced choosing precise details, using ‘show not tell’ and revealing a person’s inner thoughts to describe Cinderella and Argus Filch. Next week, we will apply these techniques when writing our own ‘island characters’. In maths, Y5s have been adding, subtracting and multiplying decimals to solve multi-step word problems and Y6s have been getting to grips with ratio, scale factors and scale drawings. In outdoor learning, the children are applying what they learned in DT to den building: they are creating frame structures on the school field that will provide shelter from the elements.
In celebration assembly, George was acknowledged for consistently using the correct ‘the’ (le, la or les) in French; Erin was awarded the bookworm certificate for her review of ‘The Forever Whale’; and William was recognised in geography for his evaluation of Britian’s national parks as ‘breathing spaces’ and for using a range of complex sentences and relative clauses in his explanation. Great work, Willows!
W/C 25th April
‘Project Week’ in Willow class saw Design and Technology being combined with science and maths as the children completed their model bird hides. After drawing their designs, the children applied their maths knowledge: measuring and using addition to calculate the lengths of wood; using their knowledge of properties of shape to count the edges in their design; and dividing the wood to measure out studs of the correct length and amounts. The children made cubes, rectangular cuboids and rectangular based prisms, so every structure had to be calculated differently.
Then the DT fun began as the children marked out their measurements onto pieces of wood and got to work sawing them as carefully and accurately as they could. Once all the studs had been cut, the children constructed their frames, using triangulation to strengthen and reinforce the joins. Finally, (back to maths!) we looked at nets of 3d shapes, to calculate, measure and cut fabric to cover our hides. Fabrics and materials were carefully selected using scientific knowledge of properties of materials to ensure a waterproof product.
Throughout this project, the expectations placed upon the children were exceptionally high. The maths was challenging and the construction process fiddly and exacting. But, goodness me, the results are fantastic! Every child completed their own unique design whilst also meeting the design brief: to build a waterproof bird hide that would be strong enough for frequent use in the school grounds. Mrs Lloyd and I are incredibly proud of the whole class – and, more importantly, the children are proud of themselves and their hard work.
In celebration assembly, Elspie was acknowledged for her Work in French, Erin was awarded the bookworm certificate for her enthusiastic review of ‘A Girl Called Owl’ and Lola was recognised for reach and resourcefulness for her thoughtful, evaluative work on the bird hide project. Super job, Willows!
W/C 19th April
Work has continued this week on our DT project: frame structures. The children have been tasked with designing and making a bird hide for the school garden. We began by evaluating photos of existing bird hides and researching which materials, shapes and features they tend to share. Then, we spent time learning how to use a bench hook and saw to cut wood safely and accurately. Next week, we will use our newfound wood working skills to make models of our own bird hide designs.
In maths, the Y6s began work on ‘ratio and proportion’, using concrete resources and their knowledge of fractions to solve a range of mathematical problems. The Y5s continued work on ‘adding and subtracting decimals’ – using formal column methods and explaining the place value exchanges between the digits. In English, the children completed their first ‘hot task’ of the summer term: a discussion text about the pros and cons of ‘dropping out’ of school to take an around the world sailing trip. The children used formal register, generalizers and a range of connectives to make their texts objective and cohesive.
In celebration assembly this week, William was awarded linguist of the week for recalling his numbers to thirty (trente!); Bella and Lola were awarded the bookworm certificate for their review of ‘Maps’; Erin, Bella and Owen received TT Rockstar certificates for their times tables work; James received his gold dojo award; and Alfie was awarded the 4 Rs certificate for Resilience and Reach, having shown outstanding work ethic and progress in English and Maths. Phew! Amazing! Well done, Willows!
W/C 12th April
Following a restful Easter break, Willows have returned to a full learning schedule; things are finally beginning to feel like ‘normal’. In English we started reading Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Kensuke’s Kingdom’ which sparked a formal debate about whether Michael’s family should leave their lives in England behind for an around the world sailing trip. Next week, we will echo this debate in the form of a balanced argument text.
In DT, we began researching frame structures. To begin with, we explored the work of architect Zaha Hadid, creating posters that explained a little about her background and evaluating some of her impressive designs. Then, the children were given pieces of paper, books, paper clips, headless matchsticks and blu-tack and were asked to create 2 different frame structures that could support the weight of a school dictionary. We learned that wider bases tend to result in sturdier structures; that rolled paper is stronger than unrolled or folded paper, and that triangle frames are stronger than square frames for standing upright and holding weight.
In celebration assembly this week, Erin was acknowledged for showing resourcefulness and reach during the class formal debate and William was awarded the bookworm certificate for his review of ‘Alex Rider’. Great start to the term, Willows!
W/C 22nd March
This week the children were given a huge range of historical sources and worked in groups to evaluate how Britain achieved victory in the Battle of Britain. They examined photos from the time, including those of aeroplanes, RADAR operators and transmitters, statistical data about the British and German military and they read contemporary newspaper reports. They then wrote double page spreads answering the enquiry question, ‘Why was winning the Battle of Britain in 1940 so significant?’ Their pages were filled with facts, drawings and evaluations of all we have learnt this term.
In guided reading, we completed ‘Friend or Foe’ and compared our experiences of the last year with those who experienced 6 years of upheaval during WWII. We discussed how the most adverse conditions can help us recognise how strong, resilient and adaptable we are: ‘It’s helped me be more flexible and we just keep on adjusting to all the different routines. I have developed so much independence!’
In the spirit of Easter, the children ended the week with an Easter egg hunt on the field, collecting tokens that were exchanged for chocolate treats! Yum! They then completed their music lessons on Martha and the Vandellas’ Dancing in the Street – by singing, harmonising and playing the song together. Finally, Barney was recognised during celebration assembly for his positive attitude and exemplary behaviour in school – as well as receiving the bookworm certificate for his review of ‘Alex Rider, Stormbreaker’. Well done, Barney. You are an inspiration to us all!
Have a lovely Easter break, Willows! Thank you for a great Spring term!
W/C 15th March
This week, Willows have been conducting their own scientific research into the effects of physical exercise on the heart rate. We investigated which types of exercise increase the heart rate most, and whether exercising for longer periods correlates with an increase in beats per minute. The children worked in teams to plan, conduct and evaluate their investigations, working hard to ensure their tests were fair. They then made improvements to their plans before repeating their studies. “Science was difficult, but I found working as part of a team really helpful. We all chipped in and worked together.”
In English, the children have been exploring the contrasting arguments of David and Tucky, from, ‘Friend or Foe’: would you help a German bomber that saved your life? The children wrote diary entries for each child – exploring both sides of this complex argument. They used emotive language and an informal writing style to portray the feelings and frustrations of the characters. Finally, the children peer and self-assessed their writing to edit and improve their work. “I found peer editing really helpful as we worked together, systematically, to find areas to improve.”
In our reflection assembly this week, we discussed any challenges we faced and what steps we took to overcome them. “We made a few errors in science which we overcame by working as a team, not giving up and working hard to smooth out the mistakes.” Lastly, George was awarded the 4Rs certificate for outstanding contributions to maths and English (Reach and Resourcefulness): His reasoning and explanations in maths have been exemplary and his emotive diary entry in English was the talk of the class! Super work, George. Well done!
W/C 8th March
It is such a joy to have a classroom full of children again, and we have wasted no time getting stuck into a range of topics. In our Battle of Britain enquiry, the children used their evaluation skills to review a range of historical sources. They discussed the seriousness of the risk of Nazi invasion in 1940, “The risk of invasion by Nazi Germany was high – they had already invaded and occupied six countries in Western Europe”. They also discussed what Hitler would have needed to do if ‘Operation Sea Lion’ was to succeed. “Because the Luftwaffe was better equipped than the RAF, Hitler’s best chance of success was in the sky.”
As a complement to our history topic, we have been reading ‘Friend or Foe’ by Michael Morpurgo – which has sparked discussions about what makes a ‘normal person’ do bad things, and whether we should dislike an entire group of people, based on the actions of a few. The children also engaged in drama sessions, becoming characters from the book, to explore how it might have felt to be evacuated during WW2.
In RE, we have continued our enquiry into Christianity by looking at the easter story; discussing whether the celebration is still about Jesus, or whether the focus has shifted to something else (more commercial?). The children then decorated stones with pictures from the easter story which the vicar will use to create a trail through the village.
Finally – just before our music lesson rehearsing ‘Dancing in the street’ on the glockenspiels – we squeezed in a celebration assembly in which Alfie received his silver Dojo badge and William, Noah and Elspie became the first Y5s to receive gold Dojo badges! The 4 Rs certificate was awarded to the whole of Willow Class for their enthusiasm and positivity during their first week back in class. They have shown resilience in the face of many changes, resourcefulness throughout their home learning, respect for the new and ever-changing safety rules in school and reach across all school subjects. Well done Willows! It’s so great to have you back! 😊
W/C 30th November
This week marked the start of our final Talk for Writing unit for the year: a conquering the monster tale featuring characters from ‘The Hobbit’. We began with a drama session and some ‘hot seating’ in which the children explored various characters’ movements and speech patterns. Turns out we have some wonderful actors in class and some terrifying Gollums! ‘I am proud of my drama and English because everyone loved my Gollum impressions.’ Noah
In PE, Willow class put together the moves they have learnt so far in an impressive breakdancing ‘battle’. As requested, ALL dance videos have been uploaded for the children to view!! ‘I am proud of my breakdancing because at first I didn’t want to take part in a battle but by the end I wanted to go again and again!’ Erin ‘I am proud of my breakdancing because I have improved my dancing and I have performed in a battle.’ George
In celebration/reflection assembly, Bella, Zachary and Owen were celebrated for their hard work on TT Rockstars; George was acknowledged for consistently reaching high standards in maths and for showing resilience during a particularly tricky perimeter challenge; and Barney and Bella received their gold star badges for reaching 100 Class Dojos! Fantastic work, Willows!
Finally, to acknowledge the start of the Christmas season the children had fun decorating their classroom whilst listening to Christmas songs. Tis the season to be jolly!!
W/C 23rd November 2020
We have continued developing our understanding of evolution and inheritance by publishing our explanation texts on Natural Selection and the peppered moth. The texts were incredibly challenging as the pupils were expected to show off their scientific knowledge as well as their English skills: using a range of conjunctions, relative clauses, parenthesis and the passive voice. The children did an absolutely amazing job, and a selection of their work can be found below.
’My favourite learning activity this week was English because making an explanation text was fun and challenging.’ Zachary
In art, Willows completed their Graffiti projects by creating their own stencil art. The children learnt how to use craft knives safely and accurately, carefully cutting out their stencils before painting in layers to create some very colourful patterns.
‘I am proud of my art this week because we were doing stencils which I found hard, but I managed it in the end.’ Owen
In reflection/celebration assembly the children discussed the week’s learning: ‘I know I am doing well in my timestables because yesterday I almost finished and only had 3 left. I felt very proud of myself.’ Evy; ‘In breakdancing I am working hard to improve my backspins to see if I can go faster.’ Alfie; ‘In maths I am working hard to improve my knowledge of how to compare fractions by finding the lowest common multiples of the denominators.’ James; Excellent reflections! Congratulations were offered to Bella, Noah and Erin for their timestables work, to Elspie for her virtual book review, and to Evy for showing reach, resourcefulness and resilience in her approach to learning this week! Well done to all!
W/C 16th November 2020
This week, in maths, the Y5s have been learning about multiples, factors and prime numbers and have been creating arrays to support their understanding of these concepts. The Y6s have worked hard to understand the order of operations, including the use of brackets and indices, before moving on to mental calculations and reasoning from known facts. ‘I am working hard to improve my mental maths skills, so I can calculate more quickly,’ James. ‘I am improving the way I work, to be more systematic, when finding factors,’ Erin.
In music, Willows are revising their knowledge of rhythm and pulse and have started rehearsing Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer. As well as singing, the children will work together in small groups to write their own compositions to accompany the song – on glockenspiels – very rock and roll! They will also learn to read and write music using standard notation.
In our reflection/celebration assembly this week the children were asked to consider the areas in which they would like to improve. As always, the children were focused and thoughtful with their answers: ‘In guided reading I am working hard to improve my summaries by sticking to key information’; In art I am working hard to improve my stencil designs’; In PE I am working hard to improve my breakdancing routine to make it more entertaining’; In English I am working hard to improve my relative clauses’. What an insight into the hard work and determination of the pupils in Willow class.
Finally this week, congratulations were offered to Bella, William and Erin for their achievements on TT Rockstars; to William for his bookworm review of Amelia Fang; and to Lola, for her resourcefulness in becoming an ever increasingly independent learner and for reaching exceptionally high standards across all subjects, and in French, Music and Guided Reading in particular this week. Well done Willows!
11th November 2020
This week, we combined science with English by beginning explanation texts about Natural Selection. First, we conducted an experiment in which the children pretended to be the finches of the Galapagos Islands. They were given a range of ‘beaks’ and a limited amount of ‘food’: competition for resources was fierce and only a limited number of birds would survive! The ‘finches’ scrambled to eat the wriggly worms (rubber bands), seeds (lentils), nuts (marbles), insects (tooth-picks) and bugs (pasta) and found that certain beaks were more suited to certain foods. By the end of the experiment, the children realised that each island, each with its own different food source, eventually became dominated by one variation of finch: the one with the beak best suited to its environment. What a discovery! And, as one of the children said, ‘Natural selection is easy to understand! And we’re much younger than Charles Darwin was when he found this out!’
In Computing, the children have been learning about the internet and the world wide web. This week, they were tasked with creating a model to show their understanding. Many resources were gathered and arranged on the playground, showing the network of computers that make up the internet – and how the world wide web works within that network. ‘I have learnt that nearly everything online can be accessed via hyperlinks’ Barney
In celebration assembly, congratulations were given to Bella, Alfie and Barney for their work on TT Rockstars; and James was celebrated for consistently showing all 4 Rs in his behaviour and approach to learning. Great job, children!
W/c 2nd November 2020
Work has begun on two new topics: Evolution and inheritance and ancient Maya.
In science we had a visitor from the Water Mills and Marshes project helping us kick start our evolution topic by investigating the adaptations of animals and plants of the Norfolk Broads. As part of the investigations, the children were tasked with adapting things that float, to make them sink; and things that sink, to make them float! ‘My favourite activity this week was learning about adaptation and how the animals are adapted to survive on water.’ Elspie
In history, we spent an afternoon immersed in ancient Mayan culture. We played Pok-a-Tok: a ball game in which only thighs and hips were used to pass the ball. We practised the necessary skills before diving into a game, but we refrained from executing the losing team!! ‘I really enjoyed Pok-a-tok. It was great to see how the ancient Maya played and how they used this as an alternative to war!’ Evy
After Pok-a-Tok, we enjoyed a warm cup of Mayan hot chocolate, complete with cinnamon and chilli powder! ‘My favourite activity this week was drinking the Mayan hot chocolate!’ Myah
We also enjoyed touching and handling a range of Mayan artefacts, discussing what the objects may have been used for, and what they reveal about Mayan culture.
Finally, in celebration assembly, congratulations were given to Evy, William and Bella for their work on TT Rockstars; Myah took home the certificate for bookworm assembly; and Elspie worked super hard, showing great reach in her science work and respect to her classmates by giving a helping hand to a friend in need! A great start to the half term, Willows! Well done!
w/c 12th October 2020
As part of our seasonal celebrations, Willows researched the different ways that harvest is acknowledged around the world. We then took time to give thanks for the food we eat and the people who take it from farm to fork. The children presented their work to the rest of the school in our harvest assembly which they recreated here, on video, to share with you.
Congratulations this week to Bella, Owen and Erin for their hard work on Times Tables Rockstars; to Lola for attaining the gold star for reaching 100 dojos; and to Erin for showing respect and reach in everything she does! Great job Willows!
w/c 5th October 2020
Please be introduced to this year’s chair and vice chair of the school council: Bella and James. Several Y6 children stood for election, giving rousing speeches. Congratulations to them all for their confidence of delivery and for their inspiring words!
This week in Talk for Writing, Willows started learning about discussion texts. To ‘warm up’ the text type, we split into two groups to participate in a formal debate about the pros and cons of eating chocolate for breakfast. Whilst competitiveness was evident between the teams, the children listened well to each other and gave well-researched, informed responses in their counter arguments.
Finally, congratulations to Erin and Owen for attaining a silver star for their Dojos; to Myah, Noah and Bella for their achievements on Times Tables Rockstars; and to Zachary for his enthusiastic and well-reasoned contributions to class discussions across all subjects! Phew! What a fabulous bunch!
w/c 28th September 2020
Having previously planned their science experiments, Willow class were finally let loose to conduct them! The children worked together in small groups to test their predictions about shadows and learnt that a shadow becomes larger when the distance between a light source and an object is increased.
In Talk for Writing, the children completed their first ‘hot task’ writing their own ‘spin off’ inspired by the character of Hatty from ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden‘. Their work is proudly displayed in class for all to enjoy.
In celebration assembly, we focused on the challenges we faced in our work this week and how we might overcome these next time:
‘Something I found challenging this week was completing the science experiment on time. Next time, I will choose equipment that is quicker to set up so I can finish earlier’ – William.
‘I found it difficult to finish my story on time. Next time, I will stop and edit my work after each paragraph, rather than leaving it all to the end, so I can manage my time better.’ – Evy
Finally, congratulations to Bella, Elspie and Alfie for their work on TT Rockstars; to Elspie and Erin for the inspiring book review; and to Myah for reaching so high with her English work! Great job Willows!
w/c 21st September 2020
This week, Willows worked in small groups and planned their own scientific studies to find out how a light source’s distance from an object will affect its shadow. The children considered the principles of fair testing to ensure their research would be reliable, and they discussed the most effective ways to record scientific data. Next week they will conduct their research and find out if their predictions are correct. In Talk for Writing we explored the budding friendship of Tom and Hatty from ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by writing our own version of ‘a day in the life’ of the pair. In PE the children honed their cricket skills in a ‘Striking and Fielding’ session with Pro-Coach, and we continued our journey along the timeline of heavy rock music by watching and evaluating Queen’s performance at Live Aid. In celebration assembly we reflected on our learning in maths and identified what went well and areas that need a little more work. Bella, Evy and Noah set the bench marks and earnt themselves a place in the TT Rockstars Hall of Fame; William was awarded the bookworm certificate for his review of ‘The House With Chicken Legs’ and Bella and William (again!) were awarded certificates for displaying Resourcefulness, Reach, Resilience and Respect this week! Keep up the great work, Willows!
w/c 14th September 2020
It has been a busy week in Willow class and the children have done an exceptional job of keeping up with the fast pace! We worked on expanded noun phrases to make our writing more interesting; tackled the place value of numbers up to 10,000,000; created line graphs on Excel to communicate geographical data; learnt and performed Roald Dahl poems in acknowledgment of Roald Dahl day and listened to Led Zeppelin to kick start our learning about the history of Rock/Metal music! In science, the children used spools of wool to create human light models demonstrating their learning about the way light enables us to see. The children remembered to show the ray of light as one continuous straight line coming from the light source, reflecting off an object and straight into a person’s eyes. Finally, congratulations to Noah and Barney who were celebrated for displaying all 4 of the 4 ‘R’s in class this week! Great job Willows!
w/c 7th September 2020
What a pleasure it is to have a classroom filled with children again! It has been a jammed packed week and I am so impressed with the children’s behaviour and attitudes: they have given EVERYTHING their absolute best shot and have taken to their new routines swimmingly. Well done Willows! This week, in addition to having a good old ‘catch up’ with one another – we immersed ourselves in ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ and enjoyed some friendly online battles on TT Rockstars. In science, we conducted experiments testing the theory that light travels in straight lines: the children switched off the lights and used torches, hose pipes and mirrors to investigate.
This week we have concluded our learning on the weather and finished with looking at a poem called I hear thunder in Talk for Writing. The children learnt the poem, played music to it and acted it out before painting a picture to go with the image created in their mind. They then wrote or told their own poems based on a different type of weather. They have done a fantastic job and we have displayed them in the classroom.
Chestnuts thoroughly enjoyed Harvest Festival, for most of them it would have been their first trip to the church. They did brilliantly walking there and retelling the story of the Little Red Hen. Well done Chestnuts, we are very proud.
We also finished our learning of the Creation Story in Christianity and discussed and sorted pictures about how God would want Christians to behave and look after the Earth. Chestnuts were very knowledgeable about keeping the planet green and all the ways we can help to keep our environment nice for all.
15th October 2021
We have had a fantastic week looking at instructional writing in T4W and have written our own instructions on how to make a fruit kebab. Reception were telling us their instructions and had a go at writing some bossy verbs like cut and chop. We also used our skills of writing instructions in Design Technology where we planned, designed and made our own fruit jellies. The Year 1 and 2’s did a brilliant job on cutting and mashing fruit to go in the bottom of their jellies and then stirred and poured the liquid jelly onto their fruit. We put them in the fridge to set and then enjoyed eating them with some squirty cream and sprinkles. The children then evaluated their jellies and discussed what they liked and didn’t like as well as what they would change next time.
In French this week, Madam Rae taught us different types of weather. This linked in with the geography as we have been learning all about weather. We have been practicing the French for wind, sun, rain, storm, cloud and played different games to help us remember. We look forward to learning more next week.
Our special certificates this week go to Alex for amazing maths work and Edward for his brilliant writing. Well done.
24th September 2021
This week we have continued our learning on the weather and have explored why our weather isn’t the same across the world. We began by looking at maps of hot and cold countries and used the key to work out which were the hottest and coldest. Finally they were able to discover that the countries closest to the equator were warmer than those further away. They investigated reasons behind this by using a torch as the sun and spinning globes.
Reception have been learning all about different feelings, discussing how we might be able to tell how someone is feeling and how they might be acting. We have also learnt to share how we feel in French. We can now ask how someone is and then ask why they are feeling like that. This is something we are going to continue to practice over the coming weeks with all of chestnuts. They are brilliant linguists.
Our special certificates for resourcefulness this week go to all of Reception as they worked so well as a team modifying the pirate ship outside. They decided they needed to get extra resources from the shed and the construction area to improve the boat. They all listened well and worked together. Fantastic Reception. Well done.
17th September 2021
This week Chestnuts have started their new model text for Talk for Writing. We are learning the story of After the Storm with Percy the park keeper. For our hook we have designed our own dream treehouses as in the story the animals all build a fabulous new home with the help of Percy, with slides and swings included! This has linked in beautifully with our geography – all about the weather. We have had fun experiencing different weather this week and playing in the rain. We listened to the noises it made, look closely at rain drops on a range of surfaces and even looked for rainbow colours. We have also now got a weather station in our playground and we have been noting down the weather each day.
Our special certificates this week for resilience go to Hannah and Eli. Well done.
10th September 2021
We have had a fantastic first week back at school and have really enjoyed welcoming lots of new friends to Chestnut class. Reception have all settled extremely well and have loved exploring the classroom and outdoor area and spending time getting to know everyone. Year 1 and 2 have started looking at how Christians believe God created the world. As part of this they made play dough models and we talked about how they felt when they had finished their creation, who would they trust to look after it and how would they feel if it got damaged. This led to some great discussion which we will link into how Christians believe they should take care of the earth.
We have also talked about ourselves and drawn the other half of our faces, looking carefully at our features. We then wrote a sentence about what we like. These have now gone on display in the cloakroom and look fantastic.
16th July 2021
What a busy last full week of school. We have written our own explanation texts about how to grow sunflowers. We all used some fantastic technical vocabulary and mastered the layout of an explanation text. We have finished our Geography topic on Kampong Ayre and the children have really enjoyed learning all about the largest water village and comparing it to where we live. We were suprised to discover that although they live in a village on stilts in the river, many aspects of their lives are exactly the same. We also looked at the surrounding area and touched on what it is like being in a rainforest. They especially liked watching a clip of David Attenborough talking about carnivorous plants.
French Culture day was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We made croissants, French flags, created Monet finger paintings and listened to Madame Rae read us The Hungry Caterpillar in French.
We hope you all have a super summer break and see you back in September.
9th July 2021
This week we have been continuing with learning about explanation texts and have innovated our own about the life cycle of a frog. Next week we shall write our own about how to grow a plant.
In maths Reception have been looking at capacity and making mud pies in cups to illustrate full, nearly full, half full, nearly empty and empty. They have also measured the amount of water in different containers and ordered them from which holds the most liquid to the least. Year 2 have also been looking at capacity and measuring in millimeters and litres. Year 1 have been problem solving using their knowledge of addition and subtraction.
In French, they have had fun playing shops and asking for different items they would like to buy. We also had a go at asking for our tuck in French this week. I am very impressed with them.
Our special certificate goes to Louis for settling in so well and showing a fantastic attitude to learning. Well done.
2nd July 2021
We have had a great week. Chestnuts loved taking part in sports day and being allowed parents to watch. For lots of them it was their first ever sports day. Everyone did so well and lots of fun was had by all.
We have also welcomed a lovely new member of the class this week. It’s good to have you Louis and we hope you enjoy being in our class.
In Talk 4 Writing we have been learning about volcanoes and as our hook we watched how dramatic volcanoes can be and created our own volcano dances. We were all brilliant at this!
This week our special certificate goes to Laurence for his excellent attitude to learning.
18th June 2021
This week Chestnuts have had lots of fun learning the art of paper weaving. They have taken sketches of the natural landscape and are transforming them into abstract block pictures through weaving coloured strips of paper onto a white background.
We have also enjoyed welcoming our new Receptions for their first settling session. Our current Receptions were fantastic at showing our new friends where to go and what to do. We all had a lovely afternoon playing in the sunshine and getting to know them better. We look forward to when they start properly in September.
In Maths this week, we have continued with our learning on measuring in Reception and year 1, looking at weighing using scales and measuring capacity.
11th June 2021
We have had a busy week back after half term. The children have all thrown themselves into the new topics for this term. We have started to look at where we live in more detail and will compare this to Kampong Ayre in later weeks. This week we enjoyed zooming into places we knew on google maps and learning all about the country we live in and our local area. We then begun to make our own passports, putting in lots of information about ourselves. We look forward to getting them stamped from other countries!
Year 1 have been learning about mass and have been weighing different items around the classroom and comparing their weights. We have learnt about estimating first before weighing. It was fun to see how close our estimates were.
Reception have been doing lots of measuring this week and have been drawing lines on the playground with chalks and measuring them with their feet, we also made ramps and put cars down them and measured how far they went. We experimented with the steepness of the ramp to see if it would make the car go further.
Our special certificates this week go to Senan for super sentence work in English and Penny for persevering with her maths. Fantastic attitude to have, well done.
28th May 2021
This week Chestnuts have enjoyed welcoming our first visitor into our class since lockdown. Madame Rae came into school and taught us French. We learnt how to say our names and had lots of fun learning our animals and playing games to help us remember them. Merci Madame Rae. We look forward to welcoming her again soon.
In maths, reception have been busy weighing different items around the classroom. We were estimating and then weighing to see if our predictions were correct. We learnt that the end the scales go down, is the heaviest item and the end that goes up is the lightest item. We also looked at whether all big things are the heaviest or if sometimes big things can weigh less than small things.
Year 1 have been learning about money, recognising and counting money.
Year 2 have been learning different methods of how to solve problems and have been introduced to Sudokus!
Our special certificates this week go to Freya for her fantastic knowledge and listening in French and for Lee for persevering with his writing. He wrote a brilliant creative piece all about a spy and a pigeon.
Have a super half term break and enjoy the sunshine!
21st May 2021
We have enjoyed welcoming Mrs Willcox to our class in the afternoons and have had fun getting to know her.
We have been learning animal riddles in Talk4Writing and have written some fantastic riddles of our own, following the What am I? pattern and thinking carefully about our senses and what certain animals and insects might feel, see, smell, hear and do. We have put these on display in the classroom.
The children have also painted their T-shirts this week. They designed and made a stamp of something linked to nature. They did this by gluing string to card, they then painted their stamps and made patterns on their T-shirts. We are all thrilled with the end results.
Our Special certificate this week goes to Roza for her amazing riddle poem.
7th May 2021
We have started a new model text in Talk 4 Writing. We are looking at persuasion texts and linking this to looking after the environment. We have learnt all about the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling. We have made our own junk models to show how fun and easy it can be to reuse our waste.
In PE we have continued learning circus skills and are mastering plate spinning, baton twirling, hula hooping and stilt walking. It has been lots of fun and even the adults have enjoyed having a go too!
Our special certificates this week go to Ella and Arthur for working brilliantly in maths and mastering telling the time, which is a tricky concept. Well done you two.
30th April 2021
Chestnuts have had a busy week writing their own stories about the Gingerbread Man. We have learnt about using speech in writing, using alternatives for said, incorporating powerful verbs and adjectives. The class enjoyed listening to each other reading out their stories.
We have started learning about time in maths. Year 1 have mastered O’clock times, while year 2 have been looking at telling the time to quarter past and quarter to.
Reception have enjoyed getting involved in the Hungry Caterpillar activities, they have painted their own symmetrical butterflies and made chrysalises. We have also pieced together caterpillar number lines, wrote the days of the week the caterpillars ate what food and cut up pieces of fruit to make kebabs. Next week they will be role playing with trains, following instructions to make duplo creations, doubling numbers using numicon, experimenting with tissue paper and water and creating a feelings wheel.
Our special certificates go to Oscar for fantastic work in phonics, always putting in his all and Toby for super work on telling the time. Well done.
23rd April 2021
This week Chestnuts have continued to learn about plants and how they grow from seeds. They acted out being seeds and slowly shooting and then growing roots before becoming tall and strong. We have also planted sunflowers to find out what plants need to grow. Some are in the cupboard with no light, others with no water and some with water and sunlight. We are looking forward to seeing the results in the coming weeks.
In PE, we have really enjoyed having Owen teach us all about circus skills. We have mastered spinning plates and had a go a juggling with varied results.
Our special certificate goes to Daisy for her fantastic attitude to learning. Well done.
16th April 2021
This week we have welcomed two new members to Chestnuts. They have both settled in really well and have enjoyed making new friends.
We have started our new model text – the Gingerbread man and have had lots of fun making our own gingerbread men. We mixed the ingredients and added spices, then rolled out and cut out the biscuits before putting them in the oven.
This week was also the first week of ukulele club. It was a huge success and we learnt to hold our Ukulele properly, strum in time and play C. We finished by having a go at playing along to fun – some nights. We can’t wait to continue this next week!
Our certificates this week go to our new members who have coped with change so well and made friends brilliantly. Well done Sadie and Lauren.
26th March 2021
Happy Easter! We have enjoyed making Easter cards this week and making our eggs crack open. We have also gone on a Spring treasure hunt, looking for pictures which illustrate the signs of spring. We worked well as a class and helped our friends find the missing parts to their pictures so that we could all win a prize!
Early Years have enjoyed finding out about how sunflowers grow and seeds germinate, they have painted flowers, sewn seeds and went on a Spring walk thinking about their senses.
Our special certificates go to Daisy and Oran for fantastic story writing. Well done!
Have a lovely holiday and we look forward to seeing you after Easter.
12th March 2021
We are so excited and pleased to have everyone in Chestnuts back. We have also gained a new member, Hugo who has fitted in extremely well into our class. So welcome.
We have had a fantastic first week back. Everyone was keen to share their book day costumes and enjoyed taking part in the different activities planned. Chestnuts spent time being able to creatively write their own stories. We also had a go at creating our own African rain dances as part of our hook for our new model text, Lila and the secret of the rain. We had good fun dancing and trying to make the rain come!
As part of our RE, we have been learning about the Easter story and what Christians believe and why. We have decorated rocks with images of the Easter story on them, that will be used as part of an Easter trail around the village.
The special certificate this week goes to Hugo for settling in so well and being such a super star.
4th December 2020
This week has been very busy. We have been practicing for our Christmas surprise and are looking forward to sharing it with you.
We have also started a new model text in Talk for Writing. We have learnt about how to look after our pets and made posters, then linked this to discussing whether animals should be used in war.
On Friday afternoon we started our textiles project where we planned and designed a felt Christmas decoration before starting to making it. Those who weren’t sewing enjoyed making some Christmas bunting and paper chains to add some festive cheer to the classroom.
27th November 2020
In science this week, we have had lots of fun looking at the properties of different materials. We discussed what we thought would be the best materials to build a house from. We watched the story of the 3 little pigs and made our own houses. We talked about what was needed in order for it to be a fair test. Then the wolf (a hair drier) blew on each house to test how strong they were. We recorded how long each house stayed up for and what damage was made. Then we collated the results into a bar graph.
Our special certificates this week go to Daisy for fantastic work in phonics and writing and Mannix for demonstrating an excellent attitude to learning in all areas of the curriculum. Well done.
20th November 2020
This week has been anti bullying week and we have spent time thinking about what makes us different and why that should be celebrated. We discussed why we were wearing odd socks and showed them off! After that we designed our own unique socks to show it’s cool to be different. We then went on to talk about what we should do if we feel sad or we are worried that someone may be bullying us. We discussed what bullying means and looked at different scenarios about what may or may not be bullying. We all agreed that the best thing to do is to tell an adult or a friend if we are feeling upset about anything.
Chestnuts have also been learning their numbers to 20 in French and had lots of fun playing BINGO to practice!
This week Senan has showed great resilience, he has put on a brave face when things haven’t quite gone his way and has earnt himself the special certificate. Well done Senan!
13th November 2020
Chestnuts have started learning about warning tales and have been looking at the story of ‘Stubby’ about a soldier who took a dog he befriended to war even though he was warned against it. As part of our learning we have made war shelters and listened to sounds from a war zone so we could think about what it might have felt like for the soldiers.
We have been making the most of the great weather this week and in outdoor learning we created some natural art, using leaves and twigs to make animals and people.
Our special certificates this week go to Ella and Penny for fantastic work in maths. Year 1 and 2 have been looking at addition and subtraction. Year 1 have used resources to help them work out subtraction calculations and year 2 have begun to learn how to use column method for addition and subtraction of two digit numbers.
6th November 2020
This first week back has been a busy one, the children started their new history topic learning about the war and the importance of animals is in the war. We made wreaths from Autumn leaves and wrote poems about why animals should be remembered too!
Reception have enjoyed Halloween themed learning, making skeletons with shells, rocks and pumpkin seeds as well as painting pumpkins and completing spooky maths.
Our special certificates this week, go to Edward for super phonics and reading and to Alex for persevering with his writing. Well done.
16th October 2020
This week we have celebrated Harvest Festival, although we were unable to be together in church we all still had fun celebrating and are keen to show you what we have done. We talked about what harvest means and linked this to our RE topic of looking at kindness as well as how important our friends are to us. It was lovely to watch a video that the vicar prepared for us all about Harvest afterwards. Thank you for all your donations for Norwich foodbank, we know they will be greatly received.
9th October 2020
We have started a new Talk for Write text. We are looking at instruction writing and started the week by following instructions and making our own sandwiches. We learnt to spread the butter in a sideways motion and measure a spoonful of jam to put onto our sandwich. Finally we cut our sandwiches into halves then quarters before we enjoyed eating them.
We also looked at where our fruit comes from in geography and got to taste 10 different fruits. We then ranked them from our favourite to our least favourite and were able to see which was the most popular. The class studied the world maps and looked carefully for the different countries that our fruit comes from. We then learnt all about how bananas are grown, harvested, packaged and exported for us to enjoy.
Finally, our special certificate this week goes to Oliver S, he has put in an incredible amount of effort with his handwriting and presentation in all areas and we are seeing the results. Well done Oliver.
2nd October 2020
This week Chestnuts have had lots of fun learning about dairy farming and how cheese is made. We then used cheese to make cheese puffs and tasted them and they were delicious.
We have also written our own wishing tale based on Avocado Baby. The children made changes to their story and came up with some wonderful ideas. All the children’s handwriting has improved and we are very proud of them.
The Reception children have been learning all about the rainforest and the animals that live there, they have painted wildlife and made tall trees with different materials.
Our special certificate goes to Oran this week for fantastic work in all subjects and a great attitude to learning! Keep it up, well done Oran.
25th September 2020
This week Chestnuts have continued the Avocado Baby story, they have learnt it and are retelling it with actions. They have changed parts of the build up, problem and resolution to have Avocado baby use his strength in other ways. In science they have been learning about forces and have been making and testing ramps to see who can make a car travel the furthest.
In Reception they have had fun completing challenges linked to the Avocado baby story and particularly enjoyed making an obstacle course to keep the baby fit.
This week our certificate goes to Lee for fantastic work in phonics and writing. Well done!
18th September 2020
This week Chestnut class have had fun starting their new learning about Avocado baby. They kicked off the start of the week by having strong boy/girl competitions, including tug of war, arm wrestling and weight lifting. They then mapped out and leant the story of Avocado baby. Reception have explored how to construct with different materials and have created some fantastic vehicles for travelling in. They thought carefully about what materials would be best for the job, how to make them strong and could they get them to roll.
This week our celebration certificate goes to Toby for fantastic work in maths, when learning about tens and ones.
11th September 2020
Chestnut class have had a lovely relaxed start back to school life, with children exploring their environments and getting to know one another again. We have carried out informal assessments to find out where the children are with their learning, along side some fun creative activities. Much fun was had using the parachute to get to know others likes. We would just like to say thank you to everyone for making it such a successful transition back into school, the children have all been super stars!
During our celebration assembly, reception received certificates for settling into school life so well. We look forward to seeing you all next week. Mrs Barnes, Mrs Spurgeon and Mrs Inwards.