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Welcome to Willow class - Y6!

with Mrs Asker and Miss Sage.

Miss Sutton (PE) and Mr Walter (Thursday morning).

This week has been spent finishing off pieces of work - including our fabulous book published only two days ago - as well as enjoying a 'congrats on your SATs' breakfast treat, 'pick and mix maths', designing animals adapted to specific habitats, continuing our learning on what Muslims believe about different types of Jihad and, of course, reading First News.

The photo slideshow features the collages Mrs Asker has put together so we can look back on the busy and brilliant year we’ve had in Y6. We each have these as the cover for our portfolio folders which are filled with artwork, the books we've published, our Viking peg dolls, the worry monsters we made during Mental Health Awareness Week, our natural materials weaving, the Change Sings inspired poems we wrote and the accompanying street art style pieces, the observational drawings of trumpets, and even our NASA ID badges! Our gruesome gargoyles didn't fit in the folders so most of us have carried them home carefully (O created a protective structure for his and even ensured it was clipped in with the seatbelt for the journey home!), the rest of us have asked Mrs Asker to look after them until September.


Year 6 has finished their primary school journey and are moving on to a number of different secondary schools. Although we will miss them, we are proud of everything they have achieved during their time at Waterside and hope they stay in touch to let us know how they are getting on.

It’s our penultimate week of primary school and sports day was its main event! The sun shone and we spent the day taking part in challenges and races organised by Miss Sutton. Parents were invited to join us for the day and Willow Class felt very lucky to have parents who not only cheered all of us on but also joined in, happily helped coach, or competed with, children other than their own - thank you! It was a super day, complete with a lovely picnic lunch organised by Mrs Grant and a visit from the ice cream van that Mr Collard had arranged. 

Thank you to everyone who helped run the events, took photos, joined in, supported us and to the governors who presented our medals.

It’s been an extremely busy week this week for Y6! As well as getting stuck into algebra, starting to write our own versions of The Unforgotten Coat, continuing our learning about inheritance and evolution in science and about the Muslim belief in Akhirah in RE, we have also prepared for sports day in PE and most of us have spent a day at our secondary schools! As if that wasn’t busy enough, we have had a visitor from TfL who held a workshop for us about how to travel safely and the school nurse came in to talk to Y5 and Y6 about puberty. 

Amazingly, Mrs Asker managed to squeeze in all of these things and still found time in the timetable to take us to Danson Watersports for a sailing lesson. We’ve been asking to go sailing since we saw the boats on our raft-building trip back in September so we were excited it was finally happening. Whilst we were there, Q said, “it's good you are a teacher who keeps your word… you said you'd try to get us in a boat before we finish Y6 and you have!”. Today's sailing was the highlight of the week for us all; the weather was glorious and there was just enough wind to make the boats move. 

What a fabulously creative week we have had over the past four days! The whole school has been inspired by the book, Where the Wild Things Are, and enjoyed a drama workshop, wild thing mask-making, creating fruit boats and painting with vegetables as well as a wonderful drumming and dance workshop with wonderful Kinetika Bloco who we met for the first time last year. They helped us to prepare our wild rumpus celebration which involved the whole school in the playground. Our class also made wild thing gargoyles out of clay and we're feeling pretty proud of how gruesome they look. One of them has a worm creeping out of its eye and another is eating a baby! 

We finished reading The Unforgotten Coat this week in English and were all quite shocked by what happened to Chingis and Nergui - we'd realised they were afraid but hadn't guessed quite how topical their 'demon' was. We have talked quite a lot about the parallels in this story, The Island, The Boy at the Back of the Class and Windrush Child. 


Having started research into Mongolia's geography and history last week, we had been surprised that so many of the photographs in Chingis's coat pocket had been of lush, green fields or forests. We know now why that was the case and on Tuesday, set out to take some mysterious photos of our own and to see if a train journey would take us to a yurt. Although some of us were disappointed to learn Liverpool Street station was as close as we were going to get to Liverpool, we found the City of London was the ideal location for deceptive photography... and we found a yurt!

Summer 2, week 2

This week has been another with lots going on. Some of us have visited our secondary schools or had meetings with Y7 tutors as part of our transition work whilst still having music therapy, Silver Readers and other opportunities during the week.


We have started our new science unit now evolution and enjoyed an in-depth discussion about inherited characteristics. As part of this work we have started making dog Top Trump cards as a way of exploring and comparing characteristics within a species.


As you can see from the photographs, maths has been spent learning about fractions and decimal fractions. Some of us are continuing to practise these skills but others of us have started to look at fractions of amounts.

We can’t believe we only have a few weeks left before we move to our secondary schools! 

When we got back to school on Monday, we were rather surprised to see a very warm, fur-lined coat hanging on the pegs! It’s very warm in class at the moment so it seemed strange that any of us would bring in such a thick coat. After rummaging through the pockets, we found some old photographs so took the opportunity to have a good look at them. Interestingly, these same photos later appeared in the book, The Unforgotten Coat, which Mrs Asker has started reading with us.


Science this week has been to recreate the propulsion experiment carried out by Julie, Shocky and their classmates in The Unforgotten Coat. Have a look at Twitter to see a video of what happened when we modified the experiment. Also inspired by the book, we tried following written instructions to make dough boys. Once baked, we placed them outside the classroom door to act as a decoy for the demon. Luckily, they have been successful so far and no-one in Y6 has been eaten… yet!


In maths this week we have made a start on our ‘shopping lists' of maths topics we want to learn about before we go to Y7. Calculating area and perimeter was this week's topic and we’ve all improved our skills as a result. Some of us are also able to calculate area and perimeter of compound shapes.


The photos of our worry monsters are left over from Mental Health Week before half-term. We have now finished them by adding hair, outfits and other accessories.

Way back in September, Mrs Asker booked a pizza-making trip for us. On Wednesday we finally got to go on that trip - it was well worth the wait! We travelled to Pizza Express in Eltham where we were met by Giuseppe and treated like VIPs. After putting on hats and washing our hands, we were taken behind the scenes to see the food storage and other facilities. Giuseppe even tested our maths by getting us to calculate the amount of washing up that would be generated by a certain number of customers. Having checked out the temperature of the huge fridge, we put on aprons in preparation for being taught how to knead and stretch the dough without it getting too thin. Some of us were brave enough to try tossing it in the air as demonstrated by the pizzaiolo.


The 90 minutes we were there felt like like no time at all and we couldn’t believe it was time to leave. Carrying our pizzas very carefully, we boarded the minibus and headed back to school in time to watch Newsround… and eat pizza! Thank you to Miss Copeland for driving us and to Mrs Wilson for coming with us on her day off.

Summer 1, week 5

We started this week by being presented with personalised hoodies in assembly. We are very proud of how smart we look in them and are looking forward to wearing them on next week's trip.


Now that the Y6 tests are over, we have spent some time creating learning shopping lists so Mrs Asker knows what we would like to learn about before we go to Y7. The maths topics we all want to learn about include 3D shapes, angles and coordinates so we’ve got stuck in by investigating how to make nets of 3D shapes. In English we are looking at the Guardian's open news advert, The Three Little Pigs, which is helping us to learn about bias in journalistic writing.

For most of this year we have enjoyed reading First News when we arrive in school. Until recently, the comprehension activities we have worked on throughout the week have helped us take part in the weekly Kahoot quiz about that issue. Unfortunately, First News has stopped creating these quizzes so we are now writing our own. This week was the first of the Willow Class quizzes. Each of us wrote a couple of questions inspired by the stories we'd read in the paper and Miss Bingham turned them into a Kahoot which we tried out on Friday.

Summer 1, week 4

Speak to any of us and we will tell you we've worked extremely hard this week on the national end of KS2 tests. Just like Y6 children in England's mainstream schools, we have completed tests in spelling, grammar and punctuation, reading comprehension, arithmetic and mathematical reasoning. Sitting in silence and having to try to demonstrate our skills in timed conditions has felt really stressful for most of us so we're relieved it's over.


As a thank you for completing the Easter challenge we were set we travelled to the Nandos in Crayford on Tuesday where we had lunch! Natasha and her team looked after us brilliantly and  we returned to school full of chicken wings, peri peri salted chips, coleslaw and other delicious food. Throughout this week Mr Collard has kept us stocked up with brain food so we have enjoyed  eating pineapple, mango, blueberries, melon, croissants, pain au chocolate and other goodies washed down with fruit juice!

This week has been exciting for all sorts of reasons; a Bank Holiday, King's coronation breakfast and personalised Y6 t-shirts!


Having a short week has meant we're all a bit confused as to which day we're on! We are continuing with our usual routines including reading First News and completing the topical crossword or similar comprehension activity first thing each morning. On Wednesday we were delighted when Mr Collard popped into our classroom to present each of us with personalised leavers t-shirts. We are not leaving just yet but for the rest of the time we are in Y6, we are able to wear our smart, dark blue t-shirts instead of the pale blue or white shirts the younger children wear. The t-shirts have our initials embroidered on the front and have a big 23 on the back as that's the year we will leave Waterside. We think we look very smart and sophisticated in them.

Summer 1, week 2

This week was the last five day week we're going to have for a while as there are Bank Holidays on the next two Mondays! We have started to think about what the end of KS2 test week will look like for us so we feel calm and confident when it arrives. Using highlighters to find key information in reading comprehension activities is one of the strategies we use, as is putting a circle around the question number of any question we are going to save for later.


During the afternoons we have continued to be inspired by Change Sings and have explored some of the themes and styles popular in graffiti and street art. Each of us has produced a graffiti version of our own name using different techniques such as shadowing, blending and creating 3D letters.

We did it!
The challenge set for us by Mr Collard over Easter was to practise some of our maths and English skills in the workbooks we'd chosen and to bring them back to school this week. Mrs Asker gave us each a personalised calendar so we could tick off each day that we’d completed our target pages. We rose to the challenge and everyone in Willow Class completed their pages and remembered to return their workbooks! As a result, we have qualified for the thank you visit we negotiated as an incentive. We haven’t chosen where we’d like to go yet.


Our Change Sings artwork and poems have been published on canvases but we've collected the trumpets and cornets from the other classes to use for observational drawing. Using 4B pencils we chose to draw a cornet or trumpet. We tried doing this freehand and agreed the hardest but to draw accurately was the bell (where the sound comes out). Mrs Asker taught us about the grid technique for drawing 3D objects the next day. Some of us liked this approach and found easier than the freehand one but others of us preferred freehand. 

Look at the photos of our two attempts. What do you notice about the shape of the bell from one attempt to the next?

Spring 2, week 6

Once again, this half-term has sped by and we're now more than halfway through Y6! As you can see from the photos, we have worked hard this week to complete our Change Sings inspired poems and canvases. Most of us have chosen to write about homelessness but a couple of us chose the themes of plastic pollution and the importance of trees for our poems. Learning that poems do not have to rhyme but are about provoking a response definitely helped with our writing. We have included a range of features including the use of rhetorical questions, repetition, near rhyme and alliteration in our poetry. Some of us have thought about how we might perform Change Sings and worked with Miss Bingham to put together a sequence of sounds and movement to illustrate some of the ideas in Amanda Gorman’s poem. Hopefully we will be able to polish our performance and share it some time…


Over the Easter holiday, we are taking part in a challenge set by Mr Collard. We have chosen workbooks that give us an opportunity to practise some of the things we want to get better at. Everyone who completes their individual challenge pages is guaranteed a prize but if the whole class completes the challenge, the prize will involve an outing! 

Spring 2, week 5

Our class has expanded this week; we're very happy Zac has joined us so we're now a class of seven! In English we have continued to explore performance poetry and the language used in campaign posters. We are now working on writing our own poetry on themes such as homelessness, pollution of the oceans or the importance of saving trees. When we are ready to publish these, we will mount them onto the canvases we have painted in art, in the style of the mural in Amanda Gorman's book, Change Sings. On Tuesday, we learned more about grid references and spent our Geography lesson using six-figure grid references to follow a treasure hunt on an Ordnance Survey map of central London.


Mrs Asker has included a few photos from last Friday’s Comic Relief cake stall. We were very pleased to have sold almost all the cakes we decorated - any leftover were taken next door to the Emmaus shop for them to enjoy.

It's British Science Week this week and Mrs Scarbrow put together a fantastic week of workshops and investigations for us to take part in. We started the week learning about DNA in a fascinating forensics workshop with Scott before conducting our own hair-raising investigation in class. Tuesday saw the whole school taking part in a series of science activities and challenges in the hall and on Wednesday, Vicky, Sarah and Matt from the Institute of Acoustics taught us about sound waves and vibrations and showed us how an acoustic camera tracks sound sources. We even had the opportunity to explore frequencies and dB(A) levels of the pBuzz and trumpet we have in class. To see all our BSW photos, please click here.

It's been a busy week as our parents/carers have all met with Mrs Asker to discuss our progress and talk about what we are working on. We enjoyed showing off the work we have produced so far in Y6, especially the books we have published and will be bringing home at the end of the year.



The highlight of this week was Mars Day 2023 which we spent at King's Oak School, building robots and learning about the Mars Rover. It was the perfect opportunity for us to put our science knowledge about space and about electrical circuits into use. We worked in pairs to build a Mio robot and then used a variety of methods to make Mio move. Provided we'd wired everything up correctly, Mio could respond to clapping, onto obstacles, to the programming controls on its back or an app. In the afternoon, we tested Mio's abilities to move on astroturf... that was tricky because it starting snowing so we don’t know if it was the astroturf or the temperature Mio objected to!


At the end of our music lesson this week, Matthew suggested we try reading our own versions of Amanda Gorman's poem, Change Sings, over a backing track. Click here to listen to our recordings.

On Monday, Mr Macey's assembly was interrupted by a delivery of large cases and bags. Each one had the name of a class on it so we opened them to see what was inside. Some of us thought there was a saxophone or trombone in the cases but it turned out they were all trumpets or cornets! There was also a guitar case delivered and we were certain it contained a guitar but it didn’t! It had square-shaped packages wrapped in fabric for each class so we took them back to our classrooms to investigate. We had a closer look at the trumpet and came up with ideas and questions about it. Later in the week, in music, Mrs Asker brought some mouthpieces in and taught us how to use them to buzz before letting us see if we could make the trumpet play - all of us managed to!


Our Geography topic this half-term is still OS maps. We are working on using grid references to find locations as well as continuing to use the symbols we learned about last half-term. In science, we have started revising what we know about electrical circuits by creating and testing simple circuits. 

We've returned from half-term and got straight back in to making books for all our Hidden Figures writing to go in. Using a needle and thread, we stitched sheets of card together to create a book and have enjoyed compiling our written work and illustrations. Whilst doing this, we watched the film, Hidden Figures, and realised how much we'd learned from the book but also discussed scenes that seemed a bit unlikely. Quite a few of us noticed the moment when Dorothy was first called Mrs Vaughan and commented on how the names and titles of different people at NASA were used to show respect (or not!).


Shrove Tuesday coincided with our RE lesson this week and as we are learning about the Christian teaching about salvation, making pancakes ties in well. 

This half-term has gone very quickly! We have enjoyed learning about Earth and space in science and now understand that the solar system is heliocentric. We have each made an orrery to illustrate this - come and have a look in our classroom where they are on display. The pastel solar system we created in art has been admired by everyone who sees it so we are planning to keep it up for a while.


Whilst some of us have been practising multi-step word problems in maths, the rest of us have been investigating prime numbers. We have used counters to work out which numbers can only be divided by itself or by one. Included in this week's slideshow are photos of us publishing our newspaper opinion pieces explaining why we think the African American women of Hidden Figures should be remembered and celebrated. A few of the finished articles have been shared so you can read what we think.

We have been exploring factors and multiples in maths this week, using cubes and other manipulatives to support our learning. As you will see from the photographs, our English working wall contains examples of some of our writing outcomes. As we have discovered more about the struggles of the inspirational women in Hidden Figures, we have written short pieces in role as each of them. So far, we have been Mary Jackson, writing a formal letter to the judge to ask to attend the all-white high school, Katherine Johnson giving advice to her three daughters in an informal letter and have written a diary entry as one of the women on Dorothy Vaughan’s team.


Have a look at the close-ups of our working wall. What do you think of our writing?

Spring 1, week 4

As you will be able to tell from the photos, there's been quite a lot of cutting out in Y6 this week. In science, each of us used a pair of compasses to draw the orbits of each planet relative to the sun. From this, we are each creating an orrery so will produce planets to complete them in our next science lesson.


In geography we have looked again at OS maps and learned about contour lines. It was hard to match up diagrams of hills with contour markings on the maps so we constructed some hills from maps to help us understand the diagrams. Next week we are hoping to take part in a workshop about the hidden maps in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College.

Spring 1, week 3

Our English book for this half-term has been revealed as... Hidden Figures by Margot Lee-Shetterly. It is the true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's aeronautical development in WW2 and in the space race afterwards. We have created recruitment adverts for NASA and have spent time in role as mathematician Mary Jackson who had to go to court and persuade a judge that being black shouldn't stop her from attending an advanced maths course at an all-white high school. 


Although we haven't been using our own maths skills to calculate distance to the moon or the speed in wind tunnels, we have been developing our ability to work with fractions and are now confident at adding or subtracting fractions with the same denominator. This half-term we have started looking at Ordnance Survey (OS) maps in Geography and have been amazed at how many different symbols and codes there are in the maps. Click here to see an OS map - what can you find at the location of the dropped pin?


Our science and art units are linked this term so we have been busy creating our own solar system using pastels to represent the appearance of the different planets. Using books to research interesting facts about each of the planets, we have added these facts to our solar system display.


Spring 1, week 2

The book we will be studying in English has yet to be revealed but we think it may be related to our science topic, Earth and Space because we have been given images of NACA and NASA to investigate. So far, we have generated questions about these pictures as well as thought about what we can definitely work out from them. Some of us are keen to find out why astronauts put their country's flag on the moon whilst others want to know what the old-fashioned looking machines in some of the photos do.


In Wednesday's PE lesson with Mr Thomas we are improving our ball-control skills by taking part in tennis drills... we've still got quite a bit of improving to do!

We returned after the Christmas break and got straight into our new science topic; Earth and space by spending some time discussing what we already know about the solar system, completing puzzles and creating an inflatable display of the planets. Whilst listening to the music The Planets by Gustav Holst, in art we used paper mache to produce an astronaut helmet for each of us. Mr Collard brought in his latest Lego model - NASA's space shuttle, Discovery - which he'd built over the holiday. We enjoyed asking lots of questions about how long it had taken him to build and were very pleased to discover the Hubble telescope inside!


In maths, we are revising our existing knowledge of fractions and will be learning how to use fractions, decimals and percentages in calculations. Since our return, we have all been wearing the watches gifted to us by Easy Read Time Teacher and are getting very good at telling the time.

Autumn 2, week 7

Our final week of the half-term started with a lot of snow… and not very many children in school because transport was cancelled. There were two of us in Y6 to keep Mrs Asker and Miss Bingham company and although we worked hard on publishing and illustrating our biographies of Philippe Petit, there was plenty of time for curling up on beanbags with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate!


When the rest of us returned, the remainder of our biographies were published, some of us shared our music performances of ‘Last Christmas’ which we'd been practising on the glockenspiel over the weekend, we continued reviewing our Maths No Problem learning and we created place mats for the Waterside Christmas lunch. It's been a busy week for the end of term! 

On Friday, to celebrate the publication of our biographies we watched The Walk (2015) which tells the story of Petit's Twin Towers stunt. We enjoyed the jazzy soundtrack and were pleased to see many of the events in our biographies also featured in the film. Mrs Asker presented us with a class Christmas present which we were keen to open but took it in turns to feel the box before getting started. After removing the wrapping paper we read the instructions on the box lid and agreed to follow them before OR handed out the items inside… a fabulous watch for each of us! RR was especially pleased with the red strap on his watch and HC was delighted to have green (his favourite colour). We put our watches on immediately and spent the rest of the day using them to tell the time. The watches will stay at school until we finish Y6 so we can wear them every day and improve our time-telling even more.

Autumn 2, week 6

Still image for this video

We have been busy with our regular learning but this week we wanted to share the music performance that some of the class have put together. So far this term we have had three music lessons on glockenspiels and have impressed Mrs Asker with our musicality. Although we had only learned five notes before last week’s lesson, she felt we were ready to try something more ambitious, with the aim of sharing it with the rest of the school in assembly this week. She was right! We not only rose to the challenge of playing over an octave (eight notes) but also mastered playing sharps and flats. Mrs Asker and Miss Bingham are very proud of us, and especially of the enthusiasm we have shown for borrowing glockenspiels and practising at home.

The backing track you can hear in our video was created by Christian Fortner.

As hoped at the end of last week, two of our newsreaders recorded their bulletins reporting on the events of 7th August 1974. If you would like to watch them, scan the QR codes in the photo gallery and you should be taken to the tweets containing them. We are continuing our work on Philippe Petit and have started writing biographies about him and have found some interesting facts whilst researching. Did you know he was excluded from five schools as a child?!


Last week's science lesson was postponed because we all chose to watch the England v Iran World Cup match so we had some catching up to do. This week we each tested more of our parachutes and have recorded the results in tables. At the moment, it's hard to tell which material makes the most effective parachute as they are all reaching the ground within 1-2 seconds. In music this week we are continuing with learning to play glockenspiels but instead of jazz on Charanga, we have learned to play one of the theme tunes from the film, The Polar Express and are hoping to share our performance in Monday's Christmas Tree assembly. In history we researched Viking clothing then made peg dolls wearing some of the garments we found out about.

Autumn 2, week 4

In English this week we have been improving our journalism skills. We interviewed eye witnesses and Police officers involved in the Philippe Petite stunt in New York before transcribing the information from recordings. The transcripts were then used in our formal news bulletin reports which we hope to record next week - keep an eye on Twitter for them!

Autumn 2, week 3

Still image for this video

One of the highlights of this week was the first practical stage of our science investigation. We are trying to work out which material will make the most effective parachute so have gathered a range of materials, cut them to the same size, used the same length strings on each and will be fixing each of them to our action figures in the same way. We know it's important to only change one variable at a time otherwise we won't know what is making a difference. Our short movie will give you an idea of how the investigation is going...

We have discovered that last week's mystery bag belongs to Philippe Petit, a French high wire artist who walked between the towers of Notre Dame and Sydney Harbour Bridge. To get a feel for just how tricky that would have been, we visited AirCraft Circus Academy and learned how to use the static trapeze, aerial silks and to walk on a tight wire! It was a lot of fun and we all demonstrated some pretty impressive resilience, especially on the tight wire. 


Last half-term we all enjoyed listening to Mrs Asker read Onjali Rauf's book, The Boy at the Back of the Class. As some of us were keen to have our own copies of the book, Mrs Asker replied to Big Green Bookshop's 'buy a stranger a book' tweet and was lucky enough to be sent a book for each of us. Paired up with snazzy bookmarks sent to us by author Justyn Edwards so we don't lose our page, we have been eager to sneak some extra reading in during the school day. Our current class book is Rooftopppers by Katherine Rundell. I wonder if you can work out why Mrs Asker has chosen it...

When we returned to school on Monday we were delighted to be announced as the winners of the Y5/6 TTRockstars tournament! This was thanks to the efforts of M and Q who both gained lots of points by logging in and completing challenges during their week off school. Our prize was a class breakfast of our choice so we opted for a McDonald's breakfast with orange juice. 

This week we have started our new science topic; forces and magnets, and on Friday our English lesson was disrupted when we found a bag had been left in the classroom. Although we took it around the school to find out who it belonged to, no one claimed it. Instead of English, we enjoyed rummaging through the contents of the bag to try to work out who the owner is. By the time it was playtime, we had found out some interesting - and some quite worrying - things!


We are doing music on Friday afternoons so had our first lesson this week. Watch the video to see how well we managed to improvise over a three-note bossa nova sequence.

Classroom Jazz 1

Still image for this video

This week is flying by and none of us can quite believe it's half-term next week! We're busy writing our sequels to The Island so now know Rafty's real name and his fate as he washes up on a second island. In maths we have moved on from rounding and have started looking at methods for addition. After watching a video about Viking trade in History we had a go at role-playing the Vikings trading with Anglo-Saxons. It seems as though Anglo-Saxon King M is something of a scam artist - we recommend you count your sheep and corn very carefully when trading produce with him! On Friday, whilst some of us were editing our stories, others of us completed our final art project; weaving using cardboard looms and a range of fabrics. 


Mrs Scarbrow has announced a TTRockstars battle for the whole school! We are challenging Cedar Class and would really like to win so are hoping everyone in Willow will be allowed to spend 10-15 minutes each day practising multiplication facts at home.

Autumn 1, week 6

In science we are continuing to explore the suitability of materials for different purposes. This week we investigated the absorbency of a range of cloths. Before we started, we spent time discussing which properties were most important in a cloth and decided that colour and pattern definitely didn’t make the list! Absorbency was very important as was being hard-wearing. It was hard to decide how important it might be to have a cloth that was reusable rather than disposable and we all had lots of opinions on this.


Having identified the variables we would keep the same so our practical test was fair, we predicted that the j-cloth would absorb the most water and the white tissue, the least. Have a look at our photos - can you work out if our predictions are correct?

This week in maths we are exploring number patterns and have enjoyed working with partners to continue patterns involving addition or subtraction. Having produced newspaper articles about the situation on The Island, in art we have created illustrations of the hostile islanders in the same style as Armin Greder (although we used pastels, not charcoal). We have discussed what might happen to Rafty and the fisherman after the end of the story and had a go at using our computing skills to devise a sequel using Stop Motion. Have a look at the school Twitter account to see some of scene 1.

In our class story - The Boy at the Back of the Class - we have reached the bit where the narrator goes all around her town in search of a pomegranate to give to Ahmet. On Tuesday morning, Mrs Asker brought in some pomegranate seeds for us to enjoy at breakfast.

The fisherman in our English book, The Island, is having a rather worrying time so we've been exploring some of the reasons behind that this week. In a discussion about his character, some of us felt he was a hypocrite because he wanted the islanders to take care of 'Rafty' but he's not prepared to change anything about his life to help! The fisherman has written to his union to seek advice and in role as advisors for the Deep Sea Fishermans Union, we have written letters full of suggestions. When we saw the newspaper headline, 'FOREIGNER SPREADS FEAR IN TOWN!', it led to a conversation about responsible and fair journalism. We identified lots of examples of Rafty being blamed for things without any evidence, even by the island police. Pretending we were journalists who were also islanders, we each wrote a very biased newspaper front page.


This week's science investigation was to look at which materials made the best insulators and conductors. We found it hard to take simultaneous temperature measurements across five materials using a single thermometer! We now know how to improve the fairness of this particular test.

Rafts have been the theme of lots of our learning this week. Having discussed how hard it must have been for the main character in The Island to travel across the sea by raft, we had a go at building our own. In science, we built miniature rafts using drinks cans, bamboo and string. The first two attempts weren’t very secure and fell apart as soon as they were moved so we modified our designs. Even then, on one of the rafts, two out of the three passengers ended up under water! 

Today, we went to Chipstead Sailing Club to build a raft that was big enough for us to travel on. As soon as we arrived and saw the lake, EM said, “this is so beautiful!” We put on our buoyancy aids and unloaded the minibus before meeting Jenny - one of the sailing members who had kindly volunteered to drive a safety boat to help keep us safe on the lake. We had lots of different ideas about what our raft should look like but all agreed it should have somewhere for the six of us to sit. With some help from the adults, we managed to create a raft we were happy with.


Have a look at the photos to see whether or not it floated…


Thank you to Miss Copeland from Outreach for driving the minibus, to Chipstead Sailing Club for letting us use the lake and raft equipment, and to Jenny for her safety boat driving and knot-tying. We've had a wonderful day!

Autumn 1, week 2

In Willow Class this week we have settled into our morning routine of eating breakfast together and doing reading activities including reading the paper. In English, we have been discussing hostility and hospitality, and have shared our ideas of how to make a newcomer feel welcome. We were unimpressed by the hostility the islanders displayed towards ‘Raft Man’ in Armin Greder's book, The Island, and felt it was unfair of them to be so hostile before they got to know him. Greder's illustrations show some very unfriendly expressions so we came up with statements that matched before turning them into rhetorical questions. 

This term's science is related to the properties of materials - it's something Raft Man will have had to be aware of too! We conducted an investigation to find out which material would be most suitable as a food preparation surface. Spoiler alert; it's not chocolate!


It has been lovely to welcome back our new Y6 class who have all got straight to work, showing their focus and enthusiasm for learning. This week we have explored different styles of self-portrait in art and talked about what makes us who we are. Some of our self-portraits show off our hobbies and interests but others e.g. those inspired by Howard Finster, celebrate our names and personalities. Our History topic this half-term in The Vikings so we’ve started looking at weaving techniques and are in the process of making woven bowls and coasters in art lessons. We have enjoyed our first PE lesson with Mr Thomas and were very glad it was on Wednesday when the sun was shining!