Checkendon CE (A) Primary School

Checkendon CE (A) Primary School

Respect, integrity, courage, compassion and hope

Willow Class Blog


Term 6 Week 6

This week we have been so busy with our production, Cinderella Rockerfella.  We were so proud of all the children who gave it their all and put on a great show.  We hope you enjoyed it!  We have also been busy planning our animal adaptation reports in English.  Everyone chose to research the adaptations of either a fennec fox, polar bear or Emperor penguin. We will be writing our reports next week as our final Big Write of this academic year.  We have learnt lots of new vocabulary in maths this week.  Firstly, exploring angles (acute, right and obtuse), then triangles (equilateral, isosceles and scalene) and finally looking at parallel and perpendicular lines.  Ask your children if they can remember what they mean!  In science, we worked in pairs to identify living things in different habitats by creating branching tree diagrams.

We are looking forward to a busy and fun final week before we break up for the summer holidays!

Term 6 Week 5

We all had a fabulous Sports Day on Wednesday.  Everyone took part with great enthusiasm and a lot of fun was had by all.  We were so lucky with the weather too!   Thank you Mrs Thomas for all your hard work.  In Science this week, our focus turned to studying invertebrates and we went on a hunt for invertebrates around the school grounds.  I was amazed at how many the children found and how expert they were at identifying them.  We also found a few amphibians- some sleepy toads-  that we quietly observed  because we did not want to disturb them.  

Thank you to everyone for organising such fantastic costumes and props for the play.  You all look amazing. We did lots of practising this week and look forward to performing for everyone next week.  

Term 6 Week 4

We finished  writing our leaflets all about Checkendon Wood by editing and publishing them this week.  They look great and we look forward to sharing them with Mrs Bradley, our Forest School teacher.  We also started our final writing unit this term - an animal adaptation report.  We continued our work on telling the time in maths.  We learnt digital times including learning about the 24 hour clock.   In PE this week we practised for the Sports Day relay races.  The dressing up relay was great fun!  We also stepped up our rehearsals for the KS2 play.  Costumes in on Monday please!

Term 6 Week 3

In maths this week we have been telling the time to the minute on an analogue clock and we also started reading and writing digital times too!  Please practise this at home when you can! We started to write informative and persuasive leaflets about protecting our local woodland in English.  We look forward to publishing them next week.  We revised the 5 ways we can group vertebrates in science: mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish.  We then  created our own branching tree diagrams to sort vertebrates.  We did some more rehearsing for our KS2 production too - remember no lines next week!


Thank you to everyone who sent in an entry to the reading in unusual places competition.  They were all fantastic!  

Term 6 Week 2

This week, we continued our work on ' The Tin Forest' in English, creating expanded noun phrases using 'with.'  There were so many wonderful ideas, such as 'a fierce tin tiger with wonky, wire whiskers' and 'metallic flowers with aluminium petals.'  We also wrote  postcards to the old man with suggestions of how he could help to cheer himself up.  In maths, we continued our work on data handling by drawing and interpreting line graphs.  The year 4 children completed the government times table test.  We are so proud of their hard work and achievement.

On Wednesday afternoon, we had our first Computing lesson using the new laptops. We loved using them and played lots of games to begin to learn to touch type.  We also had our first production rehearsal.  Well done to the children who have already learnt the song words and any lines they might have been given.  Some children got the chance to go and work with Mrs Lovegrove and Mr and Mrs Basso to begin to make props for the production too.  Everyone will get the opportunity over the coming weeks.

Term 6 Week 1

It has been a short but busy week back at school.  As part of our STEM glider work, we had a very interesting and informative talk with Flt.  Lt. Richard Stokes from RAF Benson. He told us all about his job, showed us the equipment he used and answered our many, many questions! We also enjoyed an online afternoon Q&A session with pilots and engineers.  In our afternoon art session with Mrs Lovegrove the children used watercolours to continue their comic strips -see a selection of fantasic completed pieces below.  Using the book ' The Tin Forest' by Helen Ward as our inspiration, we started our work on persuasive writing by encouraging people to turn a useless household item into something useful and attractive!  In maths, we have been creating and analysing pictograms and bar charts as well as lots of times table work!  

Please see the Term 6 curriculum overview in Willow Class Information page for more information about the learning this half term.

Which backdrop do you prefer? We like the contrast between natural grass and the shiny robots, but the green really makes them pop!

Week 2 to 6

We've been super busy on our Robots project. In English we've written character descriptions using the short film clip 'The Girl and the Robot' and looked carefully at the character's facial clues to see what they are thinking. 

Our Robots project has been enhanced with the work in art we have completed with Mrs Lovegrove. Our small bits of broken toys were joined and used to construct our very own robots. Then after being sprayed and painted they achieved a character all of their own - you can see the progress we've made. 

Term 5 Week 1

Welcome back to term 5! While in the forest on Monday, we used the Kelly Kettle for the first time to make hot chocolate, it was great fun! We also made good use of the mud kitchen.

In maths, we are learning how to convert fractions to decimals and our writing topic is 'The Robot and the Girl'  we are using the film clip for our focus. Following our work with robots, we are focusing our science on forces and magnets - which we thoroughly enjoyed investigating.

We are continuing our judo, as well as learning cricket skills and starting to rehearse for country dancing.

Wow what a busy week!

Term 4 Week 6

Last week of the term - we've had our music lesson today as we finish early on Friday. Mrs Davies recorded our singing and playing a three-note ostinato pattern on our ukuleles, it's called I've been to Harlem. 


Term 4 Week 5

What a busy week, Willow Class have shown me all their knowledge in their end of term assessments. We have also finished our Esio Trot unit in writing. Roald Dahl would be proud of their efforts. 

Term 4 Week 4

We had a great trip to Pizza Express Henley as part of our science learning about health and nutrition.  We learnt about the restaurant, looked in the 'walk-in' fridge and made our own pizzas which we thoroughly enjoyed back at school!

Term 4 Week 3 

In English, we started a new unit of narrative writing with Roald Dahl's book 'Esio Trot' as our inspiration.  We thought about the main characters in the story and what they might be thinking and feeling at different points in the story.  In maths, we continued our fractions work adding and subtracting fractions. 

On Tuesday we took part in live STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) workshop run by the RAF.  In teams, we designed our own gliders thinking about different wing and tail shapes.  We had great fun testing them out and adapting them to try to make them fly further and stay in the air longer.

Forest School

We had another fabulous forest school session.  We used a saw to cut tree cookies and then we used a palm drill to make a hole in them before adding string to hang them up!

Beale Park Trip

We had a lovely whole school trip to Beale Park on Tuesday.  We observed lots of different animals: otters, zebras, meerkats and ring-tailed lemurs to name a few.  We had a really informative workshop on endangered animals and enjoyed a train ride around the park!  

Term 4 Week 1

In the run up to World Book Day, we have been lucky enough to welcome many dads and grandads into Willow Class this week to read a favourite story.  The children were so engaged and loved all the stories chosen so a really big thank you so everyone who volunteered.  This week in English we have been exploring Aesop's fables.  The children read lots of different fables in pairs and discussed the moral of each tale.  Our Writing Week kicked off on Friday with a visit from a storyteller.  She kept everyone captivated for a whole hour with tales from around the world, including the Aesop's fable, 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf.'  We picked up lots of ideas for keep audiences engaged with our own stories too.  In maths, we learnt to calculate area and created some of our own area animals.

Next week our Writing Week continues with a whole school trip to Beale Park on Tuesday and dressing-up for World Book Day on Thursday.  Parents are invited into school to read some of the writing created after school on Friday.

A little treat ... Willow Class playing the Doot Doot song on their ukuleles...

Term 3 Week 6

This week we learnt about why the Romans left Britain and the impact they left behind.  We researched all the legacies left behind before ordering them from the ones that have had the biggest impact on our lives to the least impact.  We then had to argue and explain our reasoning.  We also wrote a report explaining our findings; this was our second Big Write of the term.  We learnt about perimeter in maths and had great fun using the squares in our book to draw our initials and then work out the perimeter.  Lots of careful counting was needed!

Wishing everyone a happy half term!

Term 3  Week 4

In English this week we wrote kenning poems.  First we wrote kennings about ourselves and then had great fun guessing who they were about.  We then used the laptops to research about Roman soldiers before turning our knowledge and research into poems.  Maths this week was all about division.  We learned to partition larger numbers to help us divide them and looked at dividing numbers where there is a remainder.  Year 4 took it one step further by using the short division, or Bus Shelter method, to divide 3-digit numbers.  We learnt how Britain became part of the Roman Empire in history and enjoyed practising the Roman tortoise formation with our shields.  We enjoyed extra play for 100% attendance last week.  Go Willow Class!

Term 3 Week 3

We finished writing our newspaper reports this week by writing a lead paragraph using the 5Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and the body of the report.  We then spent time editing them before putting all the elements together in the final draft, which we will put on display.  In maths we learnt to multiply 2-digit and 3-digit numbers by a 1-digit number.  We learnt the partitioning method, column method and year 4 also used the grid method!  Knowing our times tables been very important this week!

In our history lessons we completed our Romans shields.  They look fab!  We also thought about what Britain was like before the Romans invaded.  In science, we explored gases by planning and conducting a fair test to discover which drink was the fizziest.  

Pupil voice

I enjoyed our science experiment.

I now know where the Romans first invaded Britain.

I now know some of the British Iron Age tribes.

Term 3 Week 1 and 2

Happy New Year!

We have made a busy start to the year in Willow Class.  In English we are working towards writing a newspaper report based on the wordless book, 'Tuesday' by David Wiesner. We have learnt to write open questions before interviewing the two witnesses to the strange events of one Tuesday night!  We then learnt to write, and correctly punctuate direct quotes from the witnesses.  We also had a lot of fun writing catchy headlines using puns, alliteration and rhyme.  In maths, we have been using our times table knowledge to find factors of numbers- please see our colourful factor flowers below.  

We began our new history learning project about The Romans in Britain by assessing what the children already know.  We have learnt about when, where and how Rome was founded and how the Roman army helped expand the Roman Empire.  We designed Roman shields and have started to make life size models! 

On Monday afternoon Willow Class had their first Forest School lesson.  It was clear everyone had a great time exploring the forest, climbing the trees and making dream catchers.

Please see the Willow Class page on the website for our curriculum newsletter outlining our learning for this term.

Term 2 Week 7 and 8

It's been a busy last couple of weeks of term!  We wrote a story opening Big Write based on the short film, 'The Lighthouse' and focused on coordinates in maths.  We did lots of fun Christmas crafts and had a great Christmas party. 

We said thank-you and farewell to our wonderful Mrs Griffin.  We will really miss her but look forward to all her updates about life on her farm in Suffolk.

Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas. 

Term 2  Week 6 

On Monday we completed our explanation texts by writing them out neatly and adding the the final features of a glossary, diagrams and 'did you know' facts.  They are all now proudly displayed on our classroom wall.  We then began  a new unit of writing using a short film called 'The Lighthouse' as our inspiration.  We enjoyed inviting Willow Class parents into our classroom on Wednesday and we demonstrated lot of different games to help us become more fluent in our times tables.  (The PowerPoint is now on the class page of the website).  In the afternoons we continued our sewing project by planning, cutting out and sewing our Christmas stockings.  We just have a few details to add before they are finished.  We were lucky to have a crisp but sunny winter's day on Thursday to learn about shadows and play shadow games.  We learnt the that the closer to the light source, the bigger our shadow will be.

Term 2 Week 5 

We finished writing our explanation texts this week and we look forward to editing and publishing them next week.  It was also assessment week. Everyone concentrated brilliantly and tried their very best. Well done Willow Class! We started our new D.T project- sewing Christmas stockings and learnt three different sewing stitches.

We look forward to welcoming parents to our times table workshop on Wednesday next week at 2.45pm.

Term 2 Week 4

We did lots of research about volcanoes in preparation for writing our explanation text next week.  We used books and a great website and found out lots of amazing facts.  On Friday, we wrote our introduction and made sure to include a rhetorical question, interesting fact and expanded noun phrase to grab the reader's attention!  We continued our work on 'Extreme Earth' in geography by learning about earthquakes and we ordered statements from the Mercalli Scale in order of strength from least to most powerful.  In Science, we sorted materials into the categories transparent, translucent and opaque.  We then used all our science work about light and materials to design a bookbag.

We were treated to a fantastic drumming workshop earlier in the week - photos to follow!

Term 2 Week 3

This week was national Anti-Bullying Week and the theme was 'Reach Out'. We thought about people we trust who we could reach out to.   We completed our third 'Big Write' of the year, writing diary entries as if we were Livia and Tranio escaping from Pompeii as Mount Vesuvius erupted.  The children  concentrated so well and there was some fantastic writing produced.  We then began our next unit of English writing - writing an explanation text.  We created glossaries of technical terms and thought about the conjunctions used when writing an explanation. We continue to work hard learning our times tables in maths.  Year 3 focused on multiplication and division facts related to the 3 times table and year 4 focused on the 6 times table. 

Term 2 Week 2

In English this week we learnt how to correctly punctuate direct speech by learning about the 'speech sandwich'.  Ask someone in Willow Class what the bread, butter, filling and plate represent! We completed our addition and subtraction unit in maths by using the inverse to check our calculations.  Our new unit is multiplication and division and the children continue to work really hard learning their times tables.

In our science lesson, we tested materials  to discover which were reflective before thinking about the properties of reflective materials.  We learnt how volcanoes are formed in geography and used atlases to locate volcanoes around the world.  

Pupil voice

I know how to use inverted commas.

I now know where some volcanoes are in the world.

I now know how to use the inverse to check my calculations.

I enjoyed gymnastics in P.E

Term 2 Week 1

Willow Class made a great start to the new term.  Our overarching theme this term is 'Extreme Earth' and we began the topic by thinking about what is underneath our feet.  We learnt about the different layers of Earth by making playdough models.  Thank you Mrs Griffin for making all the colourful playdough for us! 

We started a new topic in science learning all about light and shadows.  We began by sorting images into those that are light sources and those that are not not light sources, discussing all the tricky ones like the moon and a mirror.  In English, we started our work on the book, 'Escape from Pompeii'.  We used a thesaurus to generate lots of powerful verbs and wrote our own performance poems.  

A big well done to all the children for working so hard learning their times tables over half term! 

Pupil voice

I enjoyed looking up synonyms in a thesaurus.

I enjoyed making the model Earth.

I learnt about the eruption of the volcano in Pompeii.

I learnt volcanic soil is really good for plants.

Term 1 Week 6

We continued learning about Stonehenge by constructing a model from biscuits.  We use different sized biscuits for the different stones and looked carefully at a plan to see how and where to place each stone.  Demolishing it at the end was quite fun too!  

In English, we continued our work on 'How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth'.  We brainstormed lots of different imperative verbs such as scrub, cleanse, deodorise and wrote precise commands using prepositions.  On Wednesday, we read and followed a set of instructions to make our own woolly mammoth model.  

In science, we started to learn about soil formation and we made our own mini compost bin, complete with worms.  Over the next week, we will be watching what happens before releasing the worms safely back outside.

Pupil voice

I enjoyed making Yummy Henge.

I learnt how bronze is made.

I now know how to use the column addition method.

I learnt the different things that make up soil.

Term 1 Week 5

This week we finished writing and editing our epic Stone Age stories.  Everyone worked really hard and they were full of Stone Age adventures!  We also learnt lots of woolly mammoth facts in preparation for our new unit of instruction writing based on the book, 'How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth'.  We have been rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and (for year 4) 1000 in maths as well as looking at negative numbers.

In history we started to learn about the mysteries of Stonehenge and we look forward to making our own Stonehenge model next week.

Pupil voice

I learnt that the longest mammoth tusk discovered is four metres long!

I now know how a fossil is formed.

I learnt that some of the rocks used in Stonehenge came from Wales.

I can now say 'my name is' and 'what's your name?' in French.


Term 1 Week 4

It's been another busy week in Willow Class!  On Thursday afternoon, we all went to a cross country running competition at Stoke Row Primary.  Although the course was long and with uneven terrain, everyone ran brilliantly, showed excellent team spirit and were fantastic representatives of the school.  Well done Willow Class!

Despite all the trips out, we found time for English and maths learning too!  We planned and began to write our own Stone Age adventure story, using adverbials to add detail and move the story along.  In maths we ordered numbers and learnt about rounding numbers to the nearest 10.

Term 1 Week 4 Trip to the Earth Trust

On Wednesday, we had a fantastic trip to The Earth Trust where we spent the whole day outside learning about the Stone Age.  We looked at woolly mammoth bones, a Stone Age flint axe, and a bison vertebrae from the Stone Age.  We stormed an Iron Age hill fort, lit fires in the woods and worked in teams to make shelters.  A good day was had by all!

Term 1 Week 3

We have continued our science work by sorting rocks according to their properties.  We carried out experiments on different rocks to discover whether they are permeable or impermeable, whether they are durable and whether they have a high density (and sunk) or low density (and floated).  We then sorted them and looked for patterns.  We also continued our work on place value in maths by finding 1, 10 or 100 more or less.  Year 4 extended their knowledge by looking at thousands.  We thought about arguments for and against the question, 'Would you like to be a child living in the Stone Age?' After, we held a class debate with many good points and counter-arguments made.

Next week, we are looking forward to our trip to the Earth Trust and our cross-country competition at Stoke Row.

Pupil voice

I learnt what the words durable, permeable and impermeable mean

I know what a dugout boat was

I learnt how to say 'au revoir'

I learnt the A minor chord on the ukulele

Term 1 Week 2

This was our first full week back after the summer break and it was a busy one!

We continued our work on 'Stone Age Boy' looking at adverbials to describe time and place  such as 'as evening fell' and 'inside the dark cave'. We wrote postcards home as if we were the boy.  We also used drama to explore how the boy felt as he entered the cave.  We learnt more about cave paintings in history and recreated our own in art.  In science, we started learning about the three different different types of rock: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.  Everyone agreed our first swimming lesson was great fun!

Pupil voice

I can now count in 50s.

I learnt how to do a cave painting.

I learnt about the different parts of the brain.

I have started to learn the butterfly stroke.


Term 1 Week 1

It has been wonderful to welcome everyone back to school this week and into Willow Class!  The children have come back to school full of energy and enthusiasm for the new term.

As well as settling into the class and welcoming new class members, we really got stuck into our new topic, 'The Sensational Stone Age'.  We started our work on 'Stone Age Boy' in English, and  in history we ordered key events in chronological order and started to think about the threats and assets the Stone Age people found in their natural habitat.  We also had our first ukulele lesson of the term with Mrs Davies.

Next week, we look forward to our first swimming lesson on Thursday.