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Willow Class Blog 2016

Term 6

This term our topic is " Lots of Water". The children had some great ideas about the things they would like to find out and ideas for activities, as always they lead their own learning.

We began the topic by finding out about where water comes from and studied the water cycle. The children made water cycle paper models and recorded their explanations of how it all worked using a digital microphone.

We learn about how rivers are formed and the children worked in groups to demonstrate their understanding.




We have looked at describing how much water is in containers using everyday language such as empty, half full, 3/4s full. We also looked at measuring water using syringes, measuring cylinders and beakers. We looked at the volume of liquids on a range of everyday containers and found out our water bottles hold 500ml.


We have continued to develop our art skills by looking at various famous paintings of rivers and using a variety of resources to recreate them. We also looked at what fish live in the River Thames and showed off our ever improving drawing skills.

The very hot weather has also been a perfect excuse to have a lot of fun with water!


We had an amazing trip to Shorne Country Park on one of the hottest days of the year. The children were so well behaved and received numerous compliments from staff and members of the public. Thank you so much for all transporting your children and the parents that helped out on the day, without it we couldn't have enjoyed so many trips this year. We were looking at the animals that live on the land and in the water and pond dipping was very popular. There was great excitement when a frog appeared on the grass behind us! We spent part of the morning in the cooler shade and the children had great fun exploring the woods.







After our exciting meeting with the frog back at school we learnt about the life cycle of a frog and wrote a sentence for each stage of the life cycle. We then enjoyed sharing the story of The Frog Prince. We compared films, books and e books and discussed similarities and differences. We then retold the story and the writing was quite amazing. All the children's hard work in phonics is evident in their confidence when writing and attempting new words.


On Friday the whole school came together to raise money for Save the Children by building  dens. The children worked in their classes in the morning, practising and refining their den building skills then in the afternoon they worked in house teams on a challenge to build a den that the whole house including adults could fit into it. The team work and co-operation was amazing and it was great to see children of all ages working together.


Congratulations to the winning house Tolkien! They were awarded 30 house points.








Term 5 weeks 5 & 6.

What a busy end to the term, with so many exciting things!

Well it certainly rained for our walk to Cliffe Marshes but the class had a great time! Thanks to Harrison and Holly's mum for braving the rain and giant puddles.

We walked over 3 miles and nobody complained! I'm sure it wouldn't have been as much fun without the flooded footpath and eating our lunch in the bushes!

We managed to collect some rather soggy flowers and leaves which are pressing with the ones we collected around our school grounds. We will identify and compare them after the holidays.



On Monday we had a visit from the road safety officer to remind us about staying safe on the roads.



Wednesday was Outdoor Classroom day and the weather was much kinder to us! The other classes had been sending there planning for Outdoor classroom day to us the week before for approval as we are the experts! The children took this job very seriously and h ad some great suggestions for the other classes based on their own experiences.The children had decided the theme for the day would be parks and planned a great day which of course had to start off with a trip to the park! We had a 3D shape hunt and took photos of the play equipment for our later work. Of course we had fun in the park too!




Back at school we looked at the pictures of the play equipment and in groups used our bodies to make the shapes of the equipment, the children always have much better ideas than the adults! We also composed a dance based on the activities at the park.

In the afternoon we worked together to make fairy parks in The Glade. It was an action packed exhausting day and the children behaved brilliantly!


Thursday was our sponsored I-walk and brought another very hot day. We walked in the morning instead of the planned afternoon and the children did really well, showing great perseverance. It was lovely to see them walking with their brothers and sisters and they are all excited about the prospect of having I-pads to use so please send in your money asap.

We have been finishing off our topic on growing plants by looking at vegetables. We have learnt all about the benefits of eating them daily and the discussion about fibre was an interesting one! We made courgette and carrot cakes to show the versatility of vegetables and they were very popular!



We used the internet to research art  made from vegetables and had a go ourselves!







Term 5- weeks 3 & 4.


Everybody has been having great fun with our topic this term and we have been busy planting. Our competition potatoes are looking healthy and we planted a whole bed of potatoes in our courtyard area.

We have grown cress and looked at how having no light or water affected its growth. Of course the most popular part was eating the cress in pittas.

We have planted runner beans and broad beans and they will soon be ready to plant outside in our vegetable area.



In PE this term we have been working on athletics. We have learnt how to run a relay race, passing the batons like professionals! We have learnt how to jump hurdles, throw a javelin ( foam ones, don't worry) and practised standing long jumps. We have been lucky with the weather and enjoyed PE on the field. " Proper athletes do it outside" according to one of the class.



We have covered all the sounds in Phase 3 of 'Letters and Sounds' and will begin to look at Phase 4 next week. Phase 4 covers words with adjacent consonants, eg pond, nest.

We continue to revisit the phase 3 sounds daily and the tricky words already learnt.


It has been a busy few weeks preparing for our class assembly and of course our Church inspection, the report will follow in two weeks.

It was great to see so many of you at our class assembly. The children used their own  ideas, made all the props themselves and worked hard rehearsing. They loved singing the songs so much and asked to be filmed singing " I'm a little pinecone" in The Glade Friday, clip to follow....








Term 5- week 2


I have been out of class all this week on Forest School Training. It has been an amazing week and is just the start of a nine month course which will help develop our use of our wonderful outside area for learning in all areas of the curriculum.

This week I have learnt about the tools the children can use outside, how to use fire safely and most importantly how the whole Forest school ethos of a holistic approach to children's learning is possible and a lot more fun when outside!





The children were very excited having Mrs Jarvis and Mrs Kane teach them this week.

They enjoyed using the story of "Jim and the Beanstalk" to practise their measuring skills. They measured each other for new false teeth and wigs just like in the story. We are getting more confident at measuring objects and using 'centimetres'.




Term 5- Trees and Plants and seeds and flowers'

This week we began our new topic by sharing the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

We drew story maps and retold the story using digital voice recorders.

We planted Runner beans and Broad beans after we had found out what plants need to grow using the internet and non-fiction books.

We looked at the parts of a plant and found out what job each part did. The children were very excited to learn a long new word, "Photosynthesis", please ask them if they remember what it means!

We made 3D collage flowers to help us remember the parts and their functions.

Later in the week we compared the story to a more recent version.


I had some of the magic beans that we planted in class. As they were magic beans they needed different things to grow;

Plant them in gems.

Feed them chocolate.

Let them smell Marmite.

Put the pot in a gift bag.


The children had great fun making their instructions, drawing what their magic beanstalk would look like and what magic thing they could do if they ate a magic seed! I must apologise to those children still upset they can't fly. They decided the magic must only work for adults as it made me an amazing juggler, Mrs Fitzpatrick could perform ballerina twirls and Mrs Luscombe sang like an opera singer... Yes that was quite a talent show! Unfortunately the video evidence was mislaid!


We have been continuing to measure in centimetres using tape measure and rulers. This week in The Glade we measured different leaves.

 In PE we have begun to work on 'Mini-athletics' in preparation for Sports Day!

This week we looked at relay races and the hurdles. We have some talented athletes in our class!









Term 4 week 4

 This week we have been learning about money. We have talked about the different coins and notes and found totals of 1ps and 2ps. We have played a range of online games in the ICT suite and using the class interactive whiteboard.



This week we have been finding out about buses. We compared early buses with modern ones, London buses with our own in Kent and had fun looking at record breaking buses and highly decorated ones.

The children worked together in groups to make 3D buses using recycled materials. Its a great opportunity to improve working as a team and speaking and listening skills, as well as a great excuse to make a mess!




Everybody had great fun exploring my campervan!




We shared the story of 'Naughty Bus' which uses photographs and decorated text. The children then made up their own stories of the naughty bus, took photographs and decided what mischief he was up to!




He even hid under the table in Mrs Jarvis's office!


This week was British Science Week and the whole school took part in practical investigations around the themes of Change.

In our class we looked at the changes we have seen in The Glade over the Seasons and made a colour wheel from the leaves.


We looked at the changes that occur with colour when we mix them in some very messy experiments!



It was great to have parents in to help us with the challenge of making balloon powered cars! We also investigated the effect of different surfaced  and height ramps on the speed of cars.

In phonics this week we have learnt the or and ar digraphs and continued to practise reading and writing the tricky words.


We have begun writing in our "Special Things" books and the children have really enjoyed writing about the things they have brought in from home. Please continue to send in things for them to stick in and write about, it could be a photo, a leaflet or ticket from a visit, a picture of a favourite character from TV, a favourite sweet packet, anything that is special ( but not precious) to them.



Term 4- week 3- Creative week

This week the school have been enjoying Creative week. We have been looking at our school values through bible stories. Our class having been looking at Trust and the life of Moses.

On Monday the children in all years were mixed up and worked in mixed age classes on either a tile picture for our new spiritual garden or a banner for the hall representing one of our school Christian values.

For the rest of the week we looked at life of Moses and had great fun working on craft activities.


The burning bush


Parting of the Red Sea



Purple Mash- Mash cams


We learnt a song about Moses and sang it to the school in our sharing assembly.


Tuesday was our much anticipated trip and it really was a great day. We learnt about the history of the Dockyard and ship building . We took part in a workshop based on the story of "Jack and the Flum Flum Tree". It was very exciting exploring the different boats and the highlight for everybody was the submarine!







Term 4- week 2

This has been a busy and exciting week!

We started off the week with a visit from a farmer. She told us all about the different types of farms and products. She commented on how well the children listened and the interesting questions they asked her, well done everybody. She showed us some photographs of the machinery and transport on her farm and this gave us a starting point of working transport for the week.

We shared a story about a tractor ride and watched a sing along version on line.

We had fun learning the sound and writing the sounds made by the tractor in a speech bubble, it was great practise at segmenting and blending sounds.


We compared old and new tractors, drawing an old tractor and painting a new one. The children's drawing and painting skills are showing real improvement!


We continued looking at working vehicles with a very exciting visit from a Police car, thank you very much to Holly's Dad!






We discussed all the information we had learnt about the car and wrote sentences about it and drew pictures showing all the marking and important features on it. We had great fun making up police car chases with the toy cars!


In maths this week we have been continuing to look at telling the time using o'clock and looked at half past.

In the Glade we worked with a partner to make clocks using natural objects, we used clocks we had made in class to tell the time and drew clocks on the playground using chalk.






I was out of class for two days this week on some very exciting training. I spent a day looking at "Making it better for boys" with Ali McClure, a published education consultant with great insight and knowledge of current research into behaviour management of boys in particular. I also spent a day in a London school looking at different ways of teaching and recording Science, a subject I lead in school. It was very exciting to see the ground breaking work the school is involved in and bring some of the ideas back to our school. It's also great for the class to see that even us adults need to and indeed love learning new things!

Term 4- Week 1

This term's new topic is "Off we go!" We will be finding out about different forms of transport and looking at a variety of journeys.

This week we began by looking at cars. We discussed different sources of information including non-fiction books and the internet. We found out about some early cars beginning with a steam car. The children wrote information sentences about the steam car trying to remember finger spaces and a full stop. The children made a pictorial timeline by ordering pictures of different cars and compared them by looking at comfort, safety and speed. 


We have been thinking about road safety and had great fun making our road safety films. Our local PCSO came to visit us, talked about what her job entails, road safety and also how to come to school on our bikes and scooters safely.



In the ICT suite we used Purple Mash to design our own cars and label some features.

This week in Maths we have begun to look at time. We discussed why we need clocks and looked at the features of simple analogue clocks. We have been working on telling the time using o'clock and practise at home would be great.

Everybody enjoyed a clock hunt in the hall, unfortunately storm Doris forced this planned outside activity indoors. The children looked for hidden clocks and recorded the time shown.

It was good to get back outside last week on the milder days. We use our outdoor classroom for adult led teaching and group activities as well as child initiated play based learning. This week the children used an old dismantled louvre blind creatively.





We use The Glade in much the same way with adult led activities and time for the children to explore and choose their own activities using ideas from previous learning. They are showing great team work, much improved use of imagination and problem solving skills.




In Phonics we recapped the phonemes, ch, sh, th and ng and learnt the new sound ee.

We practised all the tricky words covered so fay and learnt 'my' and 'was'.


Next week we are looking at working vehicles and have a visit from a farmer, after which we look at the history of tractors, and a very exciting police car visit!


Term 3- week 6

The last week of term we spent finding out about America. We started off the week having fun as cowboys/girls!



We found out about the food cowboys ate and made our own trail mix.


There were some outlaws on the loose and we made wanted posters to help the sheriff! We posted them all around school and the other classes had great fun recognising the law breaking cowboys!



We made our own flags, practising our cutting skills and counting to 50 for the stars,


It was great to see so many of you join us for our line dancing. We were very impressed with your dancing skills!


We had a very exciting afternoon in The Glade on Friday! We found the fox whose footprints we followed in the snow. It was hiding by the pond and ran across the field exactly in the same path of the tracks we had followed. It caused much excitement and the children have named him Finley the Fox!


Term 3 week 5

This week we have been finding out about Japan. We used atlases and the internet to find out Japan is made up of four main islands and as it is surrounded by sea they eat a lot of fish. The ground is not very good for growing different types of crops like we do but rice grows well.

We had great fun watching an instructional video on YouTube about polite eating in Japan. We learn how to say "Itadakimasu" meaning "I receive this food" and how to use chopsticks!



It was so quiet while they concentrated on using the chopsticks! They then wrote sentences about how they has used the chopsticks, providing an opportunity to practise using the 'ch' digraph we learnt this week in phonics, together with the 'qu' digraph.


We found out that some people in Japan have a different religion to us and looked at a story that Buddhists share, " The Monkey King". The children worked in groups to act out the story and discuss the characters.


We looked and played some traditional Japanese children's games, some similar to our own, hopscotch, rock, paper scissors and a version of what's the time Mr Wolf. They really enjoyed playing a circle game 'Kagome Kagome'- ask your child to tell to all about it.




We watched two versions of a traditional Japanese story, 'Urashimo Taro', discussed the characters and the similarities and differences between the versions. We designed our own sea palace using ideas from the story and made 3D models of the turtle.


The children were fascinated by the traditional Japanese fan dances and had great fun making their own fans and composing their own fan dances.


In Maths we have been consolidating our work on addition with the children choosing their favourite maths counting apparatus to help them. This has formed part of a class display which will act as a learning aid for the children.

In Super speedy maths we have been consolidating our knowledge of numbers to 20 with the children giving facts about a given number, eg. 15- it is one more than 14 and one less than 16. This is something you could practise at home and when out and about in the car.


We hope you enjoyed watching the clips of our dances we have been working on in PE. The children are working on composing their own dance steps and sequencing them. This week we have been working on dances based on the countries we have been finding out about- more videos to follow!


Next week we are off to U.S.A and starting off the week with cowboy/girl day. Yee-Haw!

Term 3- Week 4.

This week we have been in Italy! All the children had found out what the Italian flag looked like for their home learning.


We found out that Rome is the capital city of Italy and about some of the famous buildings in Italy.

We used spaghetti to make pictures of the Leaning Tower of Pisa which was no easy task!

We looked at pictures of Venice and made moving pictures of a Venice scene.


Of course the big event was our Italian restaurant. We found out what foods Italy is famous for and decided on our menu. We remembered all we had learnt last week about the importance of hand-washing before beginning all our cooking. The children were so excited about sharing the day with all the parents and it was great to see so many of you there.





Sorry for the lack of pictures of the delicious food, service got a little hectic and the food didn't last long!

We enjoyed sharing a traditional story from Italy, "Puss in Boots". The children wrote sentences about their favourite part of the story.


In Maths we have been looking at different ways to solve subtraction number sentences (Sums). This week we used counting bricks and wrote our own number sentences.


In all daily "Super Speedy Maths" we have continued to focus on 3D shapes and have learnt about pyramids, triangle based and square based and continued to recall facts about all the 3D shapes we have covered.

In Phonics we have been working on w, x, y, z and zz. We have been blending and segmenting words containing these sounds and using our new tricky words, we, me, be and he in short sentences.

In PE we have begun to look at dance and the children composed a dance based on playground games, ask them for a performance at home!


Next week we are off to Japan!




Term 3- week 3

This week we have been learning about the UK.  We looked at globes and maps to locate the UK and found out which countries it is made up of. We learnt about the flags making up the union jack and made our own.

We began by finding out about England. We looked at famous buildings around the country and talked about the difference between new and old buildings. We used charcoal to draw the Houses of Parliament and worked with our friends to make models using construction. We found out all about the Queen and tried to drink a cup of tea just like her!


When finding out about Scotland we made porridge using a microwave and discussed electrical safety. We looked at a range of tartans and designed our own family tartan.



More cooking and tasting when learning about Wales. We used an electric soup maker to make our own Leek and Potato soup and everyone was great at tasting it despite some reservations!

We have been working on our observational drawing skills and this was shown in our great drawings of leeks.


Term 3 Week 2

We began our topic of " All round the World" by looking at the Polar regions.

We found out about the animals that live in these areas and how they are adapted to the harsh environments.

The children were really interested in finding out about the lives of the Inuit people. We researched about their religious beliefs and produced some original art work for a display in the hall to add to others exploring religions of the world.

The children had great fun making 'Sledging biscuits'- yes they are a real thing, taken on sledging journeys.

They eat the biscuits plain, or buttered or with Marmite- again, yes really!





We wrote about our biscuit making for our " Special Writing"- a folder of their writing kept for assessment and to show progress. Some of the children wrote instructions for making the biscuits.

We enjoyed sharing the story "Lost and Found"

In the ICT suite we used a word processing program on Purple Mash to draw a picture of the penguin and complete a speech bubble for the sad lonely penguin. The children's drawing skills on the computers are showing great improvement and they are beginning to use capital letters and full stops in a simple sentence.

We painted penguin pictures using the story for inspiration.

In Maths this week we have been continuing our work on 2D and 3D shapes and our 'Shape of the Week' was a cuboid. We also looked at measuring pictures of penguins with non standard units and recapped the vocabulary of short, shortest, tall, tallest etc.

In RE this term we are looking at 'Special Stories' and began by looking at the story of Baby Moses. The class made some super models of Moses in the basket. Creative activities provide a great opportunity for talk about the story both between the children and supported by adults.


In phonics this week we have begun work on Phase 3 of 'Letters and Sounds'. We have covered the sounds and cursive formation of 'j' and 'v'. We have begun to learn the new set of 'tricky' words in Phase 3, starting with 'he'. Follow the link below for the details of the different phases and some resources you could use at home.


Of course we had great fun in the little bit of snow that was left on Friday!

We found a trail of foxes foot prints, lots of frozen leaves and sticks and had great fun making our own footprint trails.

We made our own version of sledges!







Term 3- week 1

Happy New Year to you all!

Last term the class decided they wanted to find out about different countries for their new topic. This week a class vote decided the countries we will explore are Italy, Japan, America, UK and The Polar regions. To start off our topic we have been looking at maps, atlases and globes. The children have been very excited with the maps and have been using them to copy their favourite countries in their own learning time. Next week we will begin the topic by finding out about the Arctic and Antarctic.

The children were very excited with the morning frost On Thursday so we wrapped up warm and went to investigate the field and playgrounds.

In our Maths work this week we have begun to find out about subtraction. We began by

looking at it practically then used pictures and Numicon to help us write number sentences.

In PE this term we will be working on Gym and Dance. To start off our Gym we looked at different types of balances.

In The Glade on Friday we used the natural objects to make up our own number stories involving subtraction and write the number sentences.

"There were 5 leaves and a bird flew down and took 2 of them so there were only 3 left. My number sentence is 5 - 2 = 3."