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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.

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.