Day: December 3, 2021

Year 5: Welcome to Victorian School!

Today, Year 5 experienced what life was like in a Victorian School. They practised their times tables and handwriting, the capital cities of Europe, and completed drill, which was the Victorian equivalent of PE. Not all of the children adjusted quickly to the extremely strict rules and found themselves wearing the Dunce Hat, and one or two even faced the cane. We even had a go at some Victorian playground games.



Here’s what the children thought:

  • The rules were really strict! I’m glad in modern schools the staff can’t hit us!
  • It makes you feel as though you have to concentrate more because if you don’t you’ll get punished really badly.
  • There was a lot of chanting and repeating things we had to learn.
  • It was really hard trying to write with my right hand. It would have made me feel really sad to be treated like that every day just because I am left-handed.
  • It was a really fun way of learning how different life was because we got to do lessons in a different way.
  • I never knew Mrs Reihill and Miss Cleveland were so good at acting mean…
  • I’m really grateful I wasn’t a child in Victorian times.

Year 5: How do architects design buildings to withstand earthquakes?

Year 5 have learned about the devastating effects earthquakes can have, and different design ideas that architects use to try and make buildings in earthquake zones safe. We have used spaghetti and marshmallows, K’nex and Magnetix to see where we could find weaknesses in different structural designs, and how to make the strongest joins. Finally, we used everything we had learned to create replica earthquake proof buildings using art straws, playdoh and masking tape which were tested on our wobble board.


  • I enjoyed learning new ways to join the structures together.
  • I enjoyed using the magnets because it helped me visualise the different shapes in my head.
  • It was really fun and creative to find different ways to strengthen our joins.
  • I enjoyed learning about the different ways architects protect buildings in earthquake zones.
  • It was really challenging on our final design to build with minimal construction tools.
  • It was really frustrating at times but none of us gave up – we all kept trying!


Year 6: How can we build a vehicle for speed?

During design and technology week, we have been building gravity powered soapbox cars to see how far we can get them to travel from a ramp. We have used a wide range of tools and materials, and followed different design techniques to bring our vehicles to life.

  • It has been really fun using different tools and learning how to use the hot glue gun.
  • It has taught us how important it is to work as a team.
  • I’ve enjoyed working like an engineer to design our vehicle.
  • I’ve really liked the independence we’ve had to create our design and can’t wait to race it against the others.
  • We liked experimenting with bigger wheels to see which would be the most stable and the fastest.

Future Designers

As part of D&T Week, Year 1 have been working hard to create fabulous chairs for their teddies.

This week, our classroom has been taken over by teddies of all shapes and sizes, but unfortunately, there were so many teddies that we didn’t have enough chairs! The children decided to solve the problem by researching, designing, creating, and evaluating their very own chairs for their teddies. We had unicorn chairs, gaming chairs and of course pizza chairs! They used junk modelling materials and even learned the skill of papier mache, as well as adding some sparkles to make their chairs extra special.

It was clear to see the teddies were very happy with what the children had created for them. We also think the children were very impressed with their creations too.

Well done, Year 1!

Library: From page to screen: books brought to life!

This week saw the opening of A Boy Called Christmas at the cinema, based on the utterly brilliant book of the same name by Matt Haig. Many children’s books have been adapted over the years, from Roald Dahl to Julia Donaldson, and of course, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, so get yourself some popcorn and plenty of hot chocolate ready for festive reads that all have TV or cinema adaptations you may know.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsberg is a fabulously festive tale of trust, faith and belief. The stunning illustrations bring the children’s adventure to life, and is one of my favourite Christmas films that started life as a picture book.

Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer’s harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.

Bah! Humbug by Michael Rosen, and illustrated by Tony Ross is a raucous retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens which has had numerous outings on screen.  Keeping true to the language and spirit of the original, this modern take shows just how relevant this story still is today in busy modern families.

In a school theatrical production of “A Christmas Carol”, the boy who plays Scrooge is extra nervous because his very busy father is in the audience. However, it’s likely his father won’t stay for the duration, due to business. As always. Will the classic story’s message of Christmas cheer and family love reach his father’s distracted heart?

The Lost Magician by Piers Torday hasn’t been adapted itself, but is an ode to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia which has, and it’s an absolute delight! To take a classic and reimagine it for modern readers is a fearsome task that Piers Torday has excelled in, creating a magical fantasy all of his own. Celebrating the power of reading, this is a story that sang to my soul, whisking me back under a blanket and reading by the light of the calor gas heater in my childhood home.

I was captivated from beginning to end, and revelled in the world of Folio. From the characters, who show the different ways war affects people, to the glorious settings within Folio and the abundance of characters from well loved books, there is much to capture the reader’s imagination and, with subtle messages about the power of imagination as a way to heal, much to think about too.

Having survived the Blitz, Simon, Patricia, Evelyn and Larry are sent to Barfield Hall while their parents find them a new home in London. The mysterious Professor Kelly is working on a top secret project to end human conflict once and for all, which leaves the children plenty of time and freedom to explore. They soon discover another world on the brink of war. It’s up to the children to draw on their experiences and choose which side they are on before the battle begins. But is there a way to prevent the two sides from destroying each other?

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig is the first in a magical series about the real life of Father Christmas, and is for those of you who truly believe that the impossible can happen. With enchanting illustrations by Chris Mould throughout the book, bringing the inhabitants of Elfhelm to life as Nikolas’ adventure unfolds, this will have tears of sadness, joy and laughter flowing freely.

Matt Haig sprinkles wisdom about kindness and goodness throughout Nikolas’s journey to the Far North as he faces adversity after adversity, from the cruelty of his own Aunt, the suspiciousness of the elves and the greed of the person he trusts the most. Imagination and a heavy sprinkling of Christmas magic make this the perfect family read that will thaw the hardest of humbug hearts.

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin . . .

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

Happy reading!