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Weekly Blog

Each week, I will add a short update about what we have been learning. Click the link below to access this year's weekly blog and find out what we have been up to.

Trip to Dunster Beach - 15/7/22

Here are some photos from our whole-school trip to Dunster Beach! We had a lot of fun!

Half term highlights!

Unfortunately, I've not been able to post weekly updates this half term, so instead I've compiled them into one post to share what we have been up to recently!


Our topic this term (and next) has been about exploring how Oake, Bradford and Nynehead has changed over time through the Industrial Revolution, Georgian and Victorian Eras.


Our school trip to Coldharbour Mill! 

Before half term, we visited Coldharbour Mill to fins out what life would have been like for many local children at the time. There, the children explored the hardships they would have faced working in factories at the time.  

Afterwards, we wrote some excellent persuasive adverts to go to Coldharbour Mill which the children thoroughly excelled in. I will have to send a few off to the staff of Coldharbour Mill to read!


Elsewhere, we have been using records to explore how Oake developed between the 1851 and 1901 census and why this may be the case.

The children found out lots about Oake at the time, including how many people in the village were involved with agriculture during the Victorian Era. This meant that when Mr and Mrs Hunt brought in two of their lambs, we were able to think about what people may have done in the village over time.

We were also lucky to win a visit from Josh Davey - a cricketer who plays for Somerset and Scotland. He answered many of the children's questions and also completed some activities with us!

We have also been learning about a variety of different things, including: poetry, Judaism, classifying animals and much more. I hope the summer term will be even more exciting!

Week 20 (7/2/22-11/2/22)

We have had an interesting week this week in Kestrel Class!


In English, we have been exploring 'rags to riches' tales based on the story of Oliver Twist. We have written a story in the modern day which has helped us to understand what 'rags to riches' tales generally include and now, we have started to write our own version of Oliver Twist. 


In maths, we have moved onto decimals - which the children have been able to link to their learning of fractions. The children have done very well with their understanding of place value of fractions this week and it is something we will continue with next week. 


In science, we have enjoyed exploring how nutrients are absorbed and travel through the body. To do this, we first explored diffusion where the nutrients are dispersed into the water. We did this by completing the 'Skittles Experiment', which the children very much enjoyed. 

We then explored how the nutrients are absorbed by the body through osmosis. We did this by leaving gummy sweets in water overnight. We discovered that they got bigger as they absorbed water through their semi-permeable membrane. 

We then discovered that the nutrients are then absorbed into the blood. Using our understanding of the parts of blood, we were able to deduce that they are absorbed into the plasma and can then travel around the body to where needed.

In history, the children have enjoyed exploring local sources from the Victorian era. We linked this to our geography by exploring different types of migration. This week, we explored the 1851 census to find out who was living in Oake, where they were born and what jobs they had. We were also able to find out that of all the people born in Oake listed on the whole of the 1851 census for the UK, only half were living in Oake in 1851. We will soon be exploring later sources to find out if these trends continued over the Victorian era. Here we are exploring the records!

In PE, this half term, we have been learning how to play lacrosse!

Notes and Reminders this week:

  • SCHOOL TRIP - As I am sure you are aware, we will be visiting Coldharbour Mill on Wednesday 16th February. The children will be in the role of poor Victorian children looking for work in the mill (we do some work on this prior to visiting). As the children are in the role of poor Victorian children they will need to come dressed to do so - there are clothing ideas on the letter. Wearing normal school uniform is not advised as they will get grubby/stained from the machinery at the mill. I would also advise warm underlayers as it may get cold.

Weeks 14 and 15 (5/1/22-14/1/22)

It's been a long time since I last shared what we have been up to. Here's what we have been up to over the past couple of weeks!


Last Friday, we experienced a phenomenon that hasn't happened in a while... It snowed! Here are some pictures of us enjoying the snow!

In English, we have been exploring the story of Oliver Twist, following the original story through it's text, a graphic novel (comic book) and the famous musical version. The children have enjoyed looking into Oliver's life and have been positioning themselves as Oliver to understand his perspective by writing diary entries and making reasoned predictions. The children have been so focused whilst in English that you could have probably heard a pin drop whilst they've been working. We should finish the story next week by exploring the ending and seeing how Oliver's problems get resolved. It should be noted that the original story does differ to the famous musical version that you may have seen and that we are exploring the original story. Over the next couple of weeks, we will explore how we can write our own 'rags to riches' tale before writing one independently.


In science, we started our learning about the body by exploring the components of blood! We started off by exploring the 4 major parts (plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets) and their jobs. Once we knew all of this, we could get our hands stuck in and make some blood! We used Cheerios (dyed red) to represent the red blood cells, yellow-dyed water to represent plasma, mini marshmallows to represent white blood cells and mini chocolate pearls to represent the platelets. The children very much enjoyed it! We do have some left over to do it again with those who weren't in on Thursday afternoon this week.

Elsewhere, we have made a cracking start to our history this term. We will be exploring the advancements from the Industrial Revolution and the Victorians. To start, we explored what life was like in Britain before the Industrial Revolution started in the 1760s. We found out that many people lived in the countryside rather than cities, so from that we explored who have lived in Oake at that time. To do this, we explored the parish records for the years around 1760 for Oake and looked at part of an old map to see where many people lived. The children were then able to explore what these records had to offer.

We have also been busy in maths by looking at division and fractions; geography by looking at the key parts of the UK; art by creating a sweet collage (incorporating some Victorian designs); exploring the Kodaly method of notation in music; lacrosse in PE; incarnation and the prophecies about the Messiah in RE and staying safe online in PSHE/Computing. Overall a busy couple of weeks!


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • I will not be in tomorrow (Monday) as I am on a KS2 assessment course. There will be a supply teacher in, but I'm not sure who at the moment. Mrs Hayes will be in as normal and I should be back on Tuesday as usual.
  • Regarding SATs, these will take place for year 6 children on the 9th-12th May. These aren't something the children need to worry about and I will hopefully be able to pass more information onto you soon. If your children are worried about the SATs do let me know, so I can also reassure them about them in school.

Week 10 (15/11/21-19/11/21) - Tank Museum Special!

It has been a very busy week in Kestrel Class - including our school trip to the Tank Museum!


We had better start with our trip to the Tank Museum on Wednesday! I am sure you have already heard about this from your children, but the general consensus from the children is that they found it amazing! The day started with a long coach ride to Bovington, Dorset and on the final stretch of road we were (accidentally) escorted by some tanks on the road; however, in reality, the Tank Regiment were training drivers (the tanks even had L plates on them). Once we got there, the children were split into 2 groups and were briefed by the staff from the Tank Museum before being taken to the school area where we left our bags and coats. 


The morning activities were 'The Funny Tanks of D-Day' and 'Britain in the Second World War'. In the 'Funny Tanks of D-Day' workshop, the children explored what D-Day was (we haven't covered it yet in school) before exploring some of the alterations they made to tanks, so they could be used in the invasion. There were 2 activities as part of this workshop: experimenting with making tanks float (they can) in front of a real 'Sherman Duplex Drive Swimming Tank' and looking at models of other interesting additions to tanks. There was the 'Bobbin Carpet Layer' which was an addition that would lay a long strip of carpet on the beach to stop the tanks from sinking in the sand. The Sherman 'Crab' that would detonate anti-tank mines before they could damage the tank itself. This was made of chains that would spin round on a rotating device a bit like the bobbin. 'The Bridge Layer' did what its name suggests - it would carry a 30-foot bridge that could be used to bridge gaps or scale a wall. Finally we saw how a tank with a fascine attached could be used as a makeshift bridge to drive over trenches. If we had a bit of time, we saw the Churchill Crocodile Tank which was nearby; this tank had a flame-thrower attached to it! The children also had the opportunity to ask it well-thought-out questions. More information about these tanks (and some other funny tanks) can be found on the Imperial War Museum Website.

The other morning activity involved finding out about life in Britain during the war. The children were taken to a classroom with mystery objects hidden by tablecloths on the tables. The children also had a chance to share their understanding through answering questions - which they did very well! After being introduced, the first 2 tables' items were revealed and the children could try them on. On the first 2 tables there were ARP warden uniforms and items (a lamp and a first aid kit). The ARP wardens were then able to test their voices by shouting to tell us to, "Put that light out now!" After the ARP wardens had a go, we saw a Women's Land Army uniform and explored their role during the war. The next table had a fire-chief's helmet and an incendiary bomb. At this point we also got to hear a real-life air-raid siren go off (which was very loud). We were also told about and heard the gas rattle and were able to try on replica gas masks; unfortunately, real ones contain asbestos - so it's probably a good thing the Germans did not use gas bombs in World War 2! The final table had a Home Guard Squad Commander's uniform. At this point the rest of the children put on Home Guard uniforms and were taught how to march! This activity is not open to the public for those wanting to go back, but there is plenty more for the children to see and do at the museum.

Dad's Army!

Still image for this video

The final guided session took place in the afternoon - when children could explore the 1940s shop and home. The children got to share their knowledge of rationing and find out more about how much food people could buy before exploring household gadgets at the time, such as the wireless, which we used to hear Neville Chamberlain's speech, and cleaning gadgets like the floor sweeper. The children could then explore the contents of an evacuee's suitcase - which they linked to their reading of Letters from the Lighthouse and When we were Warriors. Nearer the end, an air raid siren went off, so the children had to go into the Anderson Shelter! A very busy session indeed...

The children's 4th session was exploring the gift shop for goodies and then being able to explore another part of the Tank Museum. At this point, my group found a section on the Desert Rats, so I told the children a story about my great-grandfather (Alfred Clarke) who was a Desert Rat during World War 2. The story goes that whilst in the desert, Alfred and his crewmates came across a much larger German camp, so they pretended to be a decoy by lying under their tanks and trucks with their legs sticking out. The Germans became aware of them and kept a close eye on them from a distance. They even shelled them! As the legs didn't move, they believed the decoy and left them alone - in fear of being blown up! However, that did mean that Alfred and his crew had to go without food and water in the desert for a few days. They only water coming at night from the condensation forming on the bottom of the tank. A few of the children had a go at this with the nearby tank - which interested a staff member, so I had to go over the story with him!  

Overall, the education staff and everyone from the school were very impressed with the children's behaviour and knowledge of World War 2. So much so, that when they were asked who the prime minister was at the start of WW2, they all knew it was Neville Chamberlain - a fact that usually only a few children, when asked, know. I was also impressed with the links they made to our class reads, picking up minute details to discuss in the house, shop and the dressing up activities in the classroom. Overall a great trip!

Notes and Reminders this week:

  • It is individual and sibling photo day on Monday (tomorrow). Therefore, the children will need to come into school in school uniform. They can get changed for PE in the afternoon.

Week 9 (8/11/21-12/11/21)

It has been an interesting week in Kestrel Class which involved many exciting activities to explore what life was like as a child in WW2. 


In English, we have been continuing our learning of diary entries by exploring how to generate an atmosphere and adding effect to our writing by the use of semi-colons and conjunctive adverbs - which we continue next week. The children also had an experience of an air raid in the middle of their English lesson on Wednesday, so had to climb into their Morrison Shelters (under the table). Fortunately, they could work on writing a diary entry about their experiences.

In maths, the children have continued their learning of multiplication strategies by exploring multiplying by 2-digit numbers. We started the week by exploring the grid method, before moving onto the expanded version of long multiplication. The children have taken to this really well and next week we will explore the compact version of long multiplication - which you were probably taught at school!


Continuing with our learning quest, the children have been exploring what life was like during the Blitz. We explored the key information before moving on to looking at what the bombings may cause. Although (surprisingly), Taunton was not actually bombed during World War 2 (other than the odd stray bomb in the surrounding areas), many evacuees from the Stepney part of London who came to the villages of Oake, Bradford and Nynehead during the war may have experienced air raids before the second wave of evacuations. This allowed the children to consider the danger of living in cities during World War 2.


We also explored what food was eaten during World War 2. To do this, we made: potato scones, the national loaf, Lord Woolton pie and cheese and tomato mash potato pie - learning how to use different cooking apparatus. The following day, we were able to try and review these dishes. Some children would fair better than others living on World War 2 food!

The children have also enjoyed making Christmas cards for the Marmalade Trust this week. This was arranged by Miss McCulloch to build a connection between the school and the charity. The Marmalade Trust supports people who struggle with loneliness. By sending a Christmas card to people the charity supports, it may make someone's Christmas. The children created excellent, imaginative and thoughtful cards.


In art, the children have been designing their own Hundertwasser House with Mrs Barnes. The children had a photo of a house to design in the Hundertwasser-style using oil pastels. There are some excellent results!

Notes and Reminders this week:

  • All being well, we will be going on our school trip to the Tank Museum on Wednesday. The letter sent out has asked for the children to come dressed as evacuees to make the experience more life-like. You do not have to spend lots of money on an outfit; shorts/skirt, shirt/blouse (possibly a jumper or overall) and long socks will do the job! The children will be wearing school high-vis jackets in the public areas of the museum. They will be able to take them off in their classroom and possibly for a photo opportunity. 
  • The children will need to bring in spare uniform (including socks) to change into after PE. During the autumn and winter months there is a chance that the children could get wet and muddy (as many did on Thursday). I would suggest having it kept in a bag that they can put wet/muddy clothes in afterwards. This could come in on Thursdays or be available on their peg until needed. 
  • Due to illness, Mrs Lewis has been unable to come in this week and is unlikely to come in next week. She is recovering well and I am sure that everybody is wishing her a full recovery. Mrs Wollastone (usually in Wren Class) has been covering for her and will likely continue to next week on Thursday and Friday.

Weeks 7 and 8 (18/10/21-21/10/21 and 1/11/21-5/11/51)

We have been back a week after our half-term holiday and the children have settled back extremely well. 


Before half term, the Somerset Heritage Centre paid us a visit and together we explored what life was like during the war. I was very impressed with the knowledge that the children had picked up so far during the topic as we explored rationing, evacuation and putting out an incendiary bomb with a stirrup pump.

In English, the children were super-focused on their stories before half term and with great results. Many children were able to use speech amazingly by punctuating it correctly and using it to bring the story along. This week (after half term), we moved our focus onto writing recounts (this time diary entries). We have looked at features of diary entries, using national and local issues and recapped using relative clauses. We will continue to develop this next week.


In maths, the children have been strengthen their understanding of multiplication and the short multiplication strategy. Short multiplication is multiplying a number  by a 1-digit number. By taking our time on this, the children have picked up great skills and understanding of what multiplication is and why short multiplication works. By the end of the week, I could see that all children had grasped either expanded or compact short multiplication - with many grasping both. Next week, we will move onto multiplying by 2 or more digits.


In science, the children have continued exploring light. Before half term, we looked at the parts of the eye in guided reading and after we experimented with how changing a variable effects the length of a shadow. We will explore this in further detail next week.

Elsewhere, we have been busy exploring the Hundertwasser House in art by designing our own version. The Battle of Britain in history, the landscape of Germany in geography and exploring the White Cliffs of Dover in music. We have also been busy making Christmas cards for those part of The Marmalade Trust - a charity that supports loneliness. This will hopefully brighten up many peoples' Christmas.


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • Thank you to all of those who came to the fireworks on Saturday. It was lovely seeing so many of you!
  • Our school trip to the Tank Museum will take place on Wednesday 17th November. This is reliant on the current COVID situation, but it is currently set to go ahead. A letter will go out shortly.

Week 6 (11/10/21-15/10/21)

I can't believe we have almost made it to half term. With one more week to go, the children have been as busy as always.


Last week, in English, the children have been looking at writing sentences that include parenthesis and relative clauses as well as recapping how to write spoken sentences with interjections. On Friday, the children started writing their narrative based on Letters from the Lighthouse, but with the group of evacuees being sent to a farm instead. This allows us to use our understanding of evacuation, the previous class read and CBBC's Evacuation TV series to give us motive for writing. They started writing using a slow write (where they are told what to include in the sentence) to get them going and thinking about different grammatical techniques. They will continue writing next week. We also read the book, 'FArTHER' in guided reading.


In maths, we looked at subtraction this week. Completing column subtraction problems before moving onto addition and subtraction multi-step problems. A problem-solving focus to addition and subtraction is something we will move onto next week.


In PSHE, we have been looking at acting appropriately by discussing a range of scenarios and what to do if someone is acting inappropriately. This started by looking at appropriate and inappropriate touch before moving onto what we say later on in the week. The children were thoughtful throughout these sessions.


In PE, the children had their final cricket session on Friday. The children played a range of games and were given some information about a training session at Wellington Cricket Club early next year - I will be provided with more information about how to join nearer the time. The children also played football on Thursday and continued with their team-building games on Monday. As this was our last cricket session (a prize from coming 2nd in Somerset County Cricket Club's 'Cricket Olympics'), we will not be having PE on Fridays after half term, so normal school uniform will be required on Fridays.

In art, we used our cardboard boxes (thank you for sending them in) to create our monoprints. Previously, the children had sketched one of the houses on the opposite side of the road. They then chose a part of the sketch to redraw onto a piece of paper. By putting ink onto a rectangular portion of a cereal box (or dog biscuit box - that worked just as well) and placing their recreated sketch of a portion of the house on top, the children could draw over their lines and create their monoprints on the cardboard. These were then put outside to dry. We then discussed what we liked about everyone's work. Some children also decided to try using 2 different colour inks to good effect.

In music, the children used their understanding of the song, 'The White Cliffs of Dover' to explore the meaning of pitch. We completed some singing exercises looking at Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti before exploring the changing pitch in the famous Vera Lynn song. 

Notes and Reminders this week:

  • Half term starts on Friday, so our final day in school will be Thursday. It has been a busy and tiring half term, so I am sure the children will appreciate a time to relax.
  • The school fireworks at Oake Manor Golf Club will take place on Saturday 6th November (after half term). The event is ran by the PTA and it would be great to see you there.
  • Thank you for sending in boxes on Thursday - there were plenty for us to complete the art!

Weeks 4 and 5 (27/9/21-8/10/21)

What a busy 2 weeks it has been in Kestrel Class! 


In English, we have been focusing on performing the Pied Piper of Hamelin (last week) and also developing our understanding of using speech in writing (this week). The children enjoyed using their understanding of the poem to create actions and pinpoint words to emphasise. A video of their performance will be available soon. More recently, we have been looking at how to punctuate speech and how to show interjections within our writing. This will help us to write our own short story including about evacuees. 


This week, we also finished our class read of Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll. The children thoroughly enjoyed it - coming up with plenty of theories. They also enjoyed meeting Emma Carroll virtually earlier in the year. This gave us only one option for our next class read... When we were Warriors by Emma Carroll. This is a book comprised of 3 short stories (1 of which includes the characters from Letters from the Lighthouse). 

In maths, the children have moved on from place value and are now looking at addition and subtraction. We have explored the relationship between the two through bar models and part-part-whole models. The children then impressed me with how quickly they built upon their previous learning of addition and used column addition to solve a range of problems. We will move onto subtraction next week.


In science, we have been exploring reflections. The children played a game in teams to try and shine a light off 1 (then 2) mirrors onto a target. The children used their understanding about how light travels in straight lines to help them solve this!

In history, we have been looking at sources from World War 2. We also looked at using the 1939 Register to help identify some of the evacuees who came to the villages of Hillcommon, Hillfarrance, Oake, Bradford-on-Tone and Nynehead. With 1 group of children, we then had a look to see where they came from originally - the Stepney area of London. This week, we looked at rationing. We explored why rationing was important and how much rations people could have in a week. The children were a little shocked at the sweet ration for the week...

We have been exploring WW2 songs in music. This week we learnt the words to Vera Lynn's 'The White Cliff's of Dover'. The children sang this beautifully and will build this up over the next couple of weeks by adding a melody part.


In PE, the children have enjoyed taking part in team-building games and playing cricket on a Friday.

Elsewhere, we have been busy exploring positive relationships with each other in PSHE, Harvest in RE, tourism in Geography and much more!


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • Thank you to those who brought in donations for the Harvest festival. They will go to Open Door and I am sure will be much appreciated. 
  • It is our school fireworks night on Saturday 6th November. This will take place at Oake Manor Golf Course and is usually a very popular event on the school calendar.
  • Can the children bring in a cereal box for art on Thursday. We will need around 14 for the class as we will use one rectangular face to create a monoprint on, so don't worry too much if you can't bring one in!

Week 3 (20/9/21-24/9/21)

We have had an exciting week in Kestrel Class this week...


To kick the week off, we spent the morning with sessions from our ‘Author of the Term’, Emma Carroll. The children enjoyed finding out more about her, such as meeting her dogs (Bert and Olive), finding out she was born and grew up in and around Taunton and even went horse riding in Bradford-on-Tone! Then, she read the next chapter of Letters from the Lighthouse for us; before our question and answer session with her. The class had lots of questions which even took us into playtime! After playtime, we then had our writing session with Emma, which included finding out how she plans and writes stories. Overall, the children had a lovely morning and we are thankful to the PTA for funding this and Emma Carroll for taking time out of her busy schedule for us. The children are thoroughly enjoying our class read and have come up with plenty of theories too!

Elsewhere, in English, the children have been looking at The Pied Piper of Hamelin in more depth and are looking at how to perform it now with tips from Michael Rosen. The children have been given a part of the poem to perform in pairs and have looked at which words to emphasise and have gestures and actions for. We will hopefully be able to record a performance of it this week.


In maths, the children have been looking at rounding this week, by rounding a range of numbers, including decimals. They are doing well with this and are applying their understanding to solve problems and reason.


In science, we have been exploring how light travels in straight lines and how we see objects. They were then tasked to explain this in a TV documentary style...

The children have also explored different sources and interpretations of information regarding evacuation. The children had to compare different objects and decide whether it was a source (from the time) or an interpretation (someone’s conclusion from afterwards) and then explain what they learnt from the object. We also found out that the government called the evacuation plan ‘Operation Pied Piper’ and we then discussed the similarities and differences between the tale and evacuation.

In PE, the children have been exploring a range of skills involving teamwork and trust.

We have also been focusing on our handwriting (they seem to really enjoy this), different ways the /i/ sound is spelled, sketching houses, exploring what Christians believe about God being fair, looking at how we can be fair to our friends and exploring the life of Albert Einstein through the book, ‘On a Beam of Light’. Overall, it has been a busy and enjoyable week!


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • PE days are still Monday, Thursday and Friday this term. The children will need to come in wearing PE uniform on those days. They should also bring in a full set of school uniform (including socks etc.) on Thursdays and Fridays in case they get wet and/or muddy. If the children are doing netball or football, they can get changed at the end of the day. Do note: footballers need shin pads to play.

Week 2 (13/9/21-17/9/21)


We have had an action-packed week this week in Kestrel Class - taking part in many activities...


In English, we have continued looking at the story and poem of ‘The Pied Piper’. We have compared versions of the ancient tale and used these to write a stanza to continue on from Robert Browning’s version where the Pied Piper stepped into the street. The children used their understanding of similes, adjectives and rhyme to expand their version. We will soon be looking at performing the poem to you. Elsewhere, the children have focused on their handwriting these first few weeks and are picking up their phonics knowledge for spelling. 


In maths, we have been recapping and building upon our understanding of place value, including decimals. The children have taken to this well and have used place value charts, place value counters and Gattegno charts to help them build up to completing more abstract problems.


In PE this week, the children have been busy learning a range of skills. Here are some photos from cricket on Friday:

As part of our learning quest, we have looked at WW2 propaganda in history, comparing WW1 and WW2 songs in music, and Europe in geography. The children completed a range of activities in these lessons and are starting to get a good understanding of WW2 now. This is helpful when we are talking about our class read, Letters from the Lighthouse, as a class. The children have been really enthused by it and have had a go at cracking a code and making links within the story. This should impress Emma Carroll on Monday when we have our sessions with her (with thanks to the PTA for funding this). Year 6 have also set up a fleece to protect our lettuces as part of our Dig for Victory DT project.


In RE, we have looked at what Christians believe God is like by finding evidence from Psalms 19 and 103 to show God is almighty, omniscient, omnipresent and holy. The children came up with good questions too as we explored The Big Bang Theory being First thought up by a priest and who wrote the Bible. 


In art, the children have been looking at architecture with Mrs Barnes by drawing some of the houses across the road. They will build upon this over the coming weeks.


In science, the children looked at different light sources and explored whether they are natural or man-made sources of light. We also explored that we see things when light from a source bounces off something and into our eyes. We will build on this in the coming weeks.


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • There is a family church service at 3PM on Sunday (today) at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Oake. Reverend Clarissa would very much like to meet you.
  • On Monday 20th September, we will have our Zoom sessions with Emma Carroll. She will talk us through a lot and will be a great experience to hear from a local author. If your child is at home on Monday, let me know, so I can send you the links. The sessions have been kindly funded by the PTA.
  • We are finalising details for a school trip on Wednesday 17th November. Details should come to you soon. It is likely that we will have to arrive back to school later than usual that day (around 5PM), so we can have a full experience there. Our sharing assembly is 2 days later, so we can share our experiences with you then!

Week 1 (7/9/21-10/9/21)

Hello parents of Kestrel Class!


Year 6 parents (and year 5 parents who have other children that I've taught) will know that I will often write a blog about what we have been up to during the week. Due to a range of circumstances, these can't always be weekly posts, but quite often they are. This week, I'm including extra information that would otherwise be sent out in a class letter. I will share the links to each new blog post through Class Dojo when there are new blog posts, so you won't miss out!


This week has been a fantastic week in Kestrel Class and, at the end of the day on Friday, I told them how proud I was of them this week - they have truly been amazing in terms of their attitude, behaviour and effort. I can see that we have a bright year ahead.


In English this week, we have been starting to look at the poem 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin' by Robert Browning. So far, we have read the first 4 stanzas, looked at the poetic features included within the poem and some of the more obscure vocabulary. Elsewhere, we have been looking at joining our handwriting and using pens - the children have very much enjoyed this and we will continue this over the half term. Hopefully, by Christmas you will have noticed an improvement in their handwriting! We have also had a look at spelling, but I didn't feel it was fair to have a test on Friday as we're still getting into the routine of our new spelling lessons (see our spelling page for more information). 


In maths, we have looked at Roman numerals and partitioning numbers (up to 10 thousand - year 5, and up to 10 million - year 6). The children have done well with this, but we will be constantly revisiting this throughout the year to master this week's skills for those that need more support. We will expand on this next week by going up to 1 million for year 5 and including some decimals.


Our learning quest this half term is 'We'll Meet Again', which focuses on World War 2. This week, we kicked it off by looking at how World War 2 started and started our 'victory garden' in DT by planting lettuce seeds and the chive plants last year's Kestrel Class grew in terrariums. Later this term, we will be able to do some WW2-themed cooking with some of our ingredients. We will be planting vegetables throughout the year to look at seasonality within DT.

In PE on Thursday, we played 2 games with Miss Ward. The first was capture-the-flag. The children were very good defensively and after a quite a while some children were able to get to the other team's flag. They then had to think tactically as to how they were going to get the flag back to their side of the playground. The second game we played built on this, but instead of reaching a flag - they had to get their whole team across without getting tagged. If tagged, they had to return to their own side of the playground.


PE days this half term will be Monday, Thursday and Friday. Friday's lesson is the second half of our prize for coming second in the Somerset Cricket Olympics earlier this year, so this will stop after half term. However, we will still have our Monday and Thursday lessons thereafter.


The children should come into school in their PE uniform (a plain white shirt, school jumper, black or blue shorts and trainers or daps) on these days and bring in a set of spare clothes (school uniform) in case they get wet, muddy or sweaty. On Thursday, it rained during our PE lesson (and the children got very wet), so the children had to get changed; for this, a divider was set up in the classroom to separate the boys and girls and provide them privacy. I would suggest also packing a spare carrier bag to put wet clothes into. You can either pack spare clothes to stay on their pegs and used when needed, or pack spare clothes on PE days. Any anti-perspirants should be roll-on to support those with asthma.


If your child does a sports club (football and/or netball) they can get changed at the end of the day for the club.

In science, we started our topic by looking at what we know about light and what questions we have about light. Over the term, we will hopefully be able to answer a range of these questions in different ways (through research, observation and experimentation). George (amongst others) came up with super questions such as: "How do we measure light?" and "What would happen if there was no light?"


Overall, we have had a busy week, getting back into our routines and learning some new skills and knowledge. Over the year, I am really looking forward to teaching and developing the children and I know Mrs Hayes and Mrs Lewis are looking forward to the year ahead too!


Notes and Reminders this week:

  • Our class sharing assembly will be on Friday 19th November. Come along if you can make it!
  • It has been great to see some photos of the children with Emma Carroll - our 'Author of the Term' - she's told me she has met at least 4 of you! We will be having 2 sessions with her on Monday 20th September. 
  • Our class read is currently Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll. After 2 chapters, the children had a good discussion about who a mysterious man was and came up with 12 theories about him and Sukie (the main character's sister). It was a lovely conversation to witness.