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Sycamore Year 5

Welcome to Sycamore class 2020-2021


Welcome to Sycamore class. Our teacher is Ms Lloyd, and our teaching assistant is Mrs Stockley.

Over the year we will use this page to capture snapshots of our learning, progress and experience.

Please feel free to get in touch  if you have any queries. 

Keep checking our page to see all the exciting things we do in school!


Update -Term 5  our PE days for this term will be on Tuesday and on Friday 

Please can children come to school in their PE kits for these days (please see our Parent Information Document for further details on PE kit)

Gardening sessions take place on Thursday afternoons and Forest School sessions are on Friday mornings

Children will be informed when the class has a slot for gardening, and an email from the office will be sent to parents notifying the day of the Forest School and information about wet weather clothing.

If the event of self-isolating or further lockdown

In the event of your child needing to self isolate, please use the homework links above that your child can access for a range of subjects. In the event of our class bubble isolating or a school closure lockdown, we will be using Teams online. Your child will need their username and password to access Teams

Reading Information and Book Ideas

Contact Us

Recognition of Achievement

Term 5 - This term our project is Extreme Earth

Term 4 - This term our project is Ancient Greece

Sycamore are excited to start learning about a new topic : The Ancient Greeks

We started by looking at our current knowledge and then created questions to explore and to deepen our understanding of this amazing civilisation.

We focused on the 5 W'S to create exciting questions. Here are some of our examples:-


  • Where are on a timeline do they fit into world history?
  • Where in Greece did they live? is that place still there today?
  • What are the Greeks most famous for?
  • What interesting things did the Greeks invent?
  • What did they eat and how did they cook?
  • Did they have any wars?
  • Who were their enemies?
  • How long did their civilisation last for?


We then sequenced events chronologically on a world timeline to see where the Ancient Greeks fitted in .

We knew that dates before Jesus was born use BC which means Before Christ. Dates after his birth use AD meaning In the year of our Lord.




One of the areas of Ancient Greece that has captured our imaginations the most has been their storytelling and mythology. We have been entranced diving into adventurous tales of valiant heroes, monstrous beasts and the gods and goddesses (who both help and hinder along the way) and one myth we have explored in great depth has been the haunting tale of ‘Theseus and the Minotaur’.


During our exploration of the myth, we have applied our:

  • Retrieve and sequencing skills to help us clarify our knowledge of the 5ws and how of the story
  • Inference skills to help us deepen our insights into the motivations, thoughts and feelings of the characters involved
  • Vocabulary skills to help us explore the word choices of the author and the effect they create on us as the reader (we applied these to our own re-tellings of the myth, too)
  • Summarising skills to condense the story into it’s most important events (this helped with our comic strips as we couldn't fit all of the events in!)


We then applied our deep knowledge of the myth to help us create our own re-tellings in the form of a comic strip, complete with carefully constructed captions (using adverbial phrases), speech bubbles, thought bubbles and detailed illustrations.

We loved learning about Theseus and the Minotaur so much, that we were keen to read other Greek myths and legends


We listened to the story of Demeter and Persephone

Demeter was the Goddess of corn . Her daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades , the King of the Underworld.

Only being allowed to return the Earth for half the year, Demeter was so sad that she stopped all the crops growing, This caused Autumn and Winter.

Delighted when her daughter was allowed to return, she then allowed the crops to grow, thus causing Spring and Summer


We chose to present our learning in the form of Drama freeze frames

As a highly Picture Smart bunch, we have enjoyed investigating Ancient Greek Art and design. As well as investigating Ancient Greek architecture and buildings, with a particular focus on Ancient Greek homes (we were particularly shocked to discover the separate nature of rooms in Greek homes for the men and women of the house), we have explored how the Greeks used mosaics as a way to decorate the floors of their buildings whilst reminding them of significant mythological stories or figures. 


We applied the S2S for mosaics by creating our own designs to depict a key moment from 'Theseus and the Minotaur'. 

Using our research and retrieval skills,  we were eager to find out what it might have been like to grow up in Ancient Greece.,

We explored the toys they used to play with, the games they played and we compared the education of a child in Sparta and a child growing up in Athens.

We then wanted to present our learning as a non - chronological report.

Before writing this, we identified the S2S that would enable us to present our knowledge in an expert way


S2S - Non - Chronological Report

  • Title
  • Introductory paragraph
  • Questions to hook the reader in
  • Paragraphs
  • Sub headings
  • Fact boxes
  • Punctuation
  • Written in the 3rd person (CL,! ? .......... , .)
  • Pictures and illustrations with captions
  • Technical language
  • Past tense (historical report)
  • Fronted adverbials
  • Formal tone
  • Summarising sentences

Science - Living Things and Their Habitat

Our topic this term looks at living things and the environment in which they live. We will learn about :-

  • How to describe the differences in the life cycles of mammals, amphibians and insects
  • describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals


In our first lesson, we consolidated our own previous learning in Year 3/4 about parts of a flower. We learnt some new parts to label and that they all play a very important role in the scientific process of Pollination



Here are some of our reflections :-

It was amazing to see what was actually inside a flower

I could see the ovary that contains all the ovules

The stigma has to be a bit sticky so that the pollen sticks to it

The pollen rubs on to the bumble bee and then it's transferred to another flower

We then investigated mammals and the 4 qualities that they all share:


  • They all feed off mother's milk
  • They give birth to live offspring
  • They are warm blooded
  • They have hair or fur


We were surprised to learn that there were 3 types of mammals :-





We then represented the life cycle of a mammal by sequencing the events in order








We have then focused on investigating the features of  mammals, insects and amphibians and in particular the process of metamorphosis

Having chosen to explore the life cycle of a frog, we were overjoyed to discover that we had frogspawn in our school pond. 

It was bulging with tadpoles about to hatch and in fact some already had. 

'we found out that a tadpole develops into a froglet before becoming a fully formed frog' (Bella)

'I know that frogs grow their back legs before their front legs' (Jasper)

'it takes up to 25 days for the tadpole to hatch' (Toby Smith) 


On Tuesday 16th February, it was Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday. This is a day when traditionally Christians use up all their rich fatty foods such as butter, eggs and milk and make pancakes. This is in preparation for Lent that begins the next day on Ash Wednesday. 


We explored how Pancake day is celebrated around the 4 countries in the UK as well as some other countries in the world.

Here are some of our reflections:-

  • I learnt the story of the woman who lived in Olney. As she was late for church, she ran there, still wearing her apron and bringing her frying pan with her.
  • I remember watching the annual pancake race in Wallingford and now I understand why people toss a pancake whilst running along
  • I learnt that Scottish people have a slightly different pancake to ours, called Drop pancakes


We learnt that Lent lasts for 40 days and represents the time that Jesus was alone in the desert. Whilst he was there, he was tempted by the devil 3 times. During Lent, Christians give up something that is important to them to remind them of the sacrifices that Jesus made.

Lent leads up to Easter and finishes on Easter Sunday.


In our group online sessions, we brainstormed ideas of what Christians may decide to give up for Lent. Here are some of our ideas:-


  • electronics
  • mobile phone
  • sugar
  • games
  • play station
  • chocolate
  • unhealthy snacks
  • plastic packaging
  • you tube
  • fizzy drinks
  • coffee
  • television
  • lego
  • the internet
  • meat


We discussed that during Lent, Christians practiced three very important elements in their lives :- Fasting    Giving   Praying

We understood that Lent is a time when we can think about acts of kindness.

We discussed in our online groups and thought of the following ways we can be kind to others :-


  • giving to a charity
  • being supportive with a friend
  • sorting out friendship issues
  • asking 'how are you?' and 'how was your day?'
  • being helpful around the house
  • respecting other people's choices
  • opening doors for people
  • cheering someone up by paying a compliment
  • being polite
  • giving someone a hug
  • putting others before ourselves
  • lend someone something
  • spend time with someone
  • helping my parents go shopping





Lottie's Power Point about Lent

World Book Day

On Thursday 4th March 2021, it was World Book Day.


Despite still doing online learning at home, Sycamore class were still very excited to celebrate World Book Day


To celebrate World Book Day this year, we have used our fantastic imaginations to recreate book characters using the humble potato. We hope you enjoy seeing our designs; in order to create these wonderful models, we used our DT skills to plan, apply and adapt appropriate materials and methods.

During the day, we reflected on our reading habits, likes/dislikes and shared recommendations of books with each other. We considered why reading is so important, how it helps us and how it can make use feel.

We set ourselves a reading challenge for the next part of the year - from reading more often, to reading more newspapers, to discovering a new author.



International Women's Day

On Monday 8th March 2021, we celebrated International Women's Day.

This is an event that celebrates amazing things done by women.

It is a way to show how women have, and continue to influence the world because they are outstanding at what they do.

Sycamore used their research and retrieval skills to investigate different women who have achieved great things, even when faced with big challenges


PE - Cricket

In our first week back after online learning, we were lucky enough to have a super PE lesson led by  Chance to Shine Cricket

We practiced our team game skills to play in a game, developing our batting and fielding skills.

We are looking forward to extending our experience after Easter when Chance to Shine will return to deliver more lessons .

Our PE days this term are Mondays and Wednesdays

Our online learning in Term 3 during lockdown


Take One Tune

Our Take One Tune is 'Storm' by Benjamin Britten, who was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a very well known 20th century figure in English music and as well as opera, he was also famous for his vocal music and his orchestral and chamber pieces.


Storm is a musical piece taken from the opera Peter Grimes. The opera is about a local fisherman called Peter Grimes, and the community in which he lived. The music is reminiscent of Britten's life in Aldeburgh, the small town in Suffolk, where he spent most of his life. He loved the sea and walked along the beach every day. A lot of his music was inspired by the sea, how it looked and how it sounded.


Firstly the children listened to the piece and thought about:

how it made them feel

what the music might be about and the story behind it.


 They were asked to apply their musical skills in identifying the different types of instruments they could hear playing in the piece, as well as exploring the musical features. in particular they focused on:

Tempo : the speed of the piece

Pitch -  how high and low the music was and whether it remained the same or changed throughout the piece.

Dynamics : the volume of the piece and how it changed.


Secondly the children were curious and wanted to find out more about Benjamin Britten. They applied their Steps to Success in using the internet to research and deepen their knowledge and understanding of this famous composer



During our Reading session, the children enjoyed reading a poem called Storm at Sea by Alexander Rakic.


This poem was packed with figurative language. Identifying examples of these language features enabled them to consolidate their knowledge and understanding . Here are some of their favourite within the poem:


Similie ; it is as loud as a firing gun at the start of a race

Metaphor : it is an enormous earthquake

Onomatopoeia : whoosh, bang, crash

Personification : the thunder is furious at the world


Using a template of Rakic's poem, the children recreated their own version of the poem. 

To complete their Take One Tune work, the children listened to the musical piece again, and whilst doing so, they created a piece of art work inspired by the image the music evoked in their minds. They used different mediums, including paint, pencils and crayons.

Our Ancient Maya Learning

We loved investigating the Ancient Maya civilisation this term. 

We have strengthened our historical enquiry skills by using a wide range of resources (from videos, images, myths, online sources and written texts)

 and have applied  our reading retrieval skills to locate  and understand relevant information.

We have also challenged ourselves to record, and consolidate our new knowledge in a host of ways, as you can see below


We were fascinated to learn about the Ancient Maya Number and Letter System. 

We explored how they worked, tried them out ourselves and made comparisons between our own systems and theirs. 

These are some of our reflections about them:-


  • the ancient Maya were really clever as they were one of the first civilisations to use a 0 in their number system
  • they used everyday objects , like shells, sticks and pebbles , as symbols for their numbers
  • I was amazed that they only had 3 numbers in  their system - 0 , 1 and 5
  • I found it tricky at first to use but then I understood how they used counting in tens for larger numbers
  • I loved exploring how to write my name using Maya glyphs
  • my artwork is a stone tablet. I used clay to make it. Mayans would have used stone chisels and mallets made of wood to carve it

We focused on the 5 W's to research amazing information and facts about :-

  • where the Maya's built their civilisation
  • who were the Maya people
  • why did the Maya settle where they did 
  • how did they survive
  • when they lived
  • what the Maya were famous for

Lila and Lottie's Power points of Amazing Maya Facts

Toby's Maya Facts

Still image for this video

We investigated Ancient Maya Fashion and  ideas of beauty. 

After researching more about their use of masks , we designed and created our own, using our S2S and could choose our own media to make them from


Here are some reflections about our learning


  • I know that there were 3 types of masks that the Maya wore ; death, battle and celebration
  • I chose to make a celebration one as there were brightly coloured and might have been covered with feathers
  • I used clay to design my mask and tried to make it 3D by making the nose and eyes stand out.
  • Some of their masks would have looked like animals such as a jaguar
  • I used paper mache to make my mask and then I used a light green colour that the Maya might have used
  • Some of the masks were terrifying to look at so they would scare the enemy in battle

We learned about the Ancient Maya farming techniques. 

We found these really interesting as it showed us what good problem solvers the Maya people were and how resilient they were . They had to overcome many challenges when trying to grow their crops in the rainforest.


Here are some of our reflections about our learning;-


  • I found out that the Maya used 3 different techniques to prepare their land for growing crops ; terraces, raised beds and slash and burn
  • They used this technique called 'slash and burn' where they would clear the land and then set fire to it. The ash was a really good nutrient to help their crops grow
  • they must have worked really hard to dig up the soil from under the water. 
  • I think the Mayas never gave up especially when they had to farm on big slopes
  • Maize was the most important crop that they grew - in fact 80% of their diet was maize. It was really important to keep the maize god happy so that each year they had a successful harvest.

Jessica and Lottie's Power points about Maya Farming Techniques

Toby's Maya Farming Game

At the same time as deepening our knowledge of farming techniques, we also investigated the foods and dishes that the Maya would have eaten.

We explored some of the meanings  and importance  of certain foods like maize and cacao. We also thought about what they may have stored their food in and the pots they may have used

We presented our learning using our Picture Smart skills.


  • I used wool to practice weaving skills -  like the Maya would have used to make baskets to store and carry their food
  • I used water colours to make my pumpkins look realistic
  • It helped to use a normal pencil as I could use it for different techniques for shading


Some of us chose to use our design and technology skills using clay to make to recreate a pot similar to the ones Maya people might have used.


  • Today I decided to make a sculpture. I made it out of salt dough. I then engraved my name in Maya writing. I baked it  then painted it with yellow, red and orange to make it look old and authentic
  • The Maya would have decorated their pottery with patterns and glyphs



We were very excited to learn that the Maya worshipped many Gods.

We used our S2S for researching about the different names of the Gods, what the meaning of their name was and what they were the God of.

We learnt how it important it was to the Maya people to keep their Gods happy


Here are some facts and reflections about what we discovered:-


  • If the Maya people didn't keep the rain god happy, he might not send rain and then the crops would die
  • I would not like to have been a priest because I would be have to be in charge the sacrifices.
  • The Maya priests would dance and sing and make offerings of blood to show loyalty and respect to the Gods.

Lila's Power point - Maya Beliefs and Rituals

We investigated the famous Ancient Maya ball game called Pok - A - Tok. 

We chose to record our learning in different ways -  some of us created our own information leaflets to teach a beginner how to play. Some of us used power points to showcase our learning and others enjoyed using their design and technology skills to recreate the Pok - A - Tok court using clay and lego. 


We really enjoyed learning about the strange rules of this game and reflected on what we had found out:-

  • I am glad I don't have to play Pok - A - Tok today as it looked so dangerous even wearing protective clothing
  • I can't believe the Maya  couldn't use their hands and feet -  fancy having to only be able to use your hips, wrists, elbows and knees
  • I think it was impossible to score the ball through the hoop. It was as tall as a giraffe  -  no wonder matches could last days
  • I don't think either team won -  if you were on the losing team you might be killed and if you were the captain of the winning team, you might have to sacrifice yourself

We explored the myth about The Hero Twins which was linked to game of Pok -A -  Tok.

After listening to the story, we used our summarising and sequencing skills to order the main events and then retold them in our own ways (eg: a comic strip, story map, video)

At the end of our project , we have enjoyed exploring Maya Architecture.

The Maya built many amazing buildings, in particular pyramids. 

We used our Art skills to draw the famous pyramid at Chichen Itza and took care to shade to create texture 


After creating our pyramids, we reflected on our learning:-


  • The Maya built their pyramids in a very clever way so as the sun was setting it looked like a serpent was creeping down the steps
  • I changed the pressure on my pencil to create light and dark shades
  • I really want to visit Chichen Itza as it's still standing today and is a great example of a Maya civilisation.
  • Maya buildings were covered in carvings to honour their Gods

Ms Khan's Assembly -  'Express Yourself'

The week of 8th - 12th February 2021 was Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.

Ms Khan joined each class online to talk about this year's message 'Express Yourself'


We learnt that is it important to look after ourselves both mentally as well as physically


We were asked to think of all the different ways we can express ourselves which will enable us to take care of our mental wellbeing


The children came up with a huge variety of ideas such :

  • reading
  • cooking
  • being with  pet
  • painting
  • playing a sport
  • singing and dancing


Some of us wanted to share the things we have been doing during lockdown to express ourselves.

Jessica's Baking

Jessica loves to bake and has set up her own little business baking for friends and family. All profit she makes is donated to charity.

She has already made a very impressive £100!

She also loves to express herself by painting and especially enjoys using paints on canvas.​

Amanda's Baking

Amanda loves to cook, especially with her family. She says it helps her to express herself and stay positive, as well as spending time with her family

  • Today, me and my dad made some bread and put bacon bits in it - then we shaped the dough and put it in the oven. It was delicious!

PSHE -  Resilience

As a class, we talked about how our Growth Mind Set has been a very special tool to use during lockdown. 

We reminded ourselves of how we can turn a negative feeling into a positive one.


  • when I feel like giving up, I know there is always another way to look at things and to keep trying
  • Although I may not be able to get things right straight away, I know that I can use my resilience skills to help me keep me trying.
  • I know I can share my thoughts and ask for help -  a problem shared is better than holding it inside.


Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday 9th February 2021, it was Safer Internet Day

As a class, we talked about to stay safe on our phones and laptops

  • If you're not sure about something, always tell an adult
  • I would never give away my personal details to someone on the internet as I don't know who they are -  always check with an adult
  • I didn't realise that bullying could take place over the internet -  I would be very upset if that happened to me. 
  • I think it's always important to talk to an adult, parent or teacher -  they can check for you to make sure it's a safe and reliable website to use.


Our Science this term has been to investigate The Human Life Cycle.

We have used our sequencing skills to make a human timeline and then used our research skills find out facts about the changes that occur during the different stage of development.




Next, we researched and recorded what happens in old age and how our bodies change .

Jessica's Old Age Power point

Our learning in Term 2


Christmas Lunch

On Tuesday 15th December , our talented chef Siva cooked us a delicious Christmas lunch. This year was different to others as we had to eat in our own classrooms. This did not deter Sycamore class as they decorated the classroom with self made garlands and listened to their favourite festive songs.

Jingle Jog

On Tuesday 8th December 2020, Sycamore class took part in the Jingle Jog to run 3km around the Trim Trail, This was to raise money for the Sue Ryder and Style Acre charities. After an all important warm up, the children set off, all wearing something festive. The children were expert body smarties and persevered until the distance had been covered, with some children even wanting to complete a few more extra laps.

Well done Sycamore - I am so proud of you all.

Christmas Art Competition

All the children in the school have been busy taking part in an Art Competition to design an imaginary world with a festive twist.

The children in Sycamore started by firstly designing their model in their sketch books and compiling a list of resources they would need.

We then a Art/DT day where they immersed themselves in creating their design. Using class generated Steps to Success, they overcame any challenges and adaptations that were needed and produced the most wonderful results.

Forest School

On Friday 4th December, Sycamore had another session in the Forest, As the weather was cold and windy, the children took shelter around a camp fire. As they listened to the story of 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas', they drank warming hot chocolate. They listened to the sound of popcorn popping before excitedly gobbling it up. 

Home Learning - beginning 12th November


Hi Sycamore! I hope you’re well – there will be work here for Thursday and Friday to help you continue your learning at home and your online learning will begin on Monday using Teams.


Each day we will have a Maths, English and Project challenge; if you have any questions please get in touch through the box above and I can get back to you! If you would like to share your learning with me, please send it into the office and they will forward it on. If you have your Homework book at home, please record all of your learning in there but if you haven't, you can use a book from home or record on paper. 

Friday 13th November


Happy Friday, Sycamore! I hope you enjoyed your learning yesterday and found out lots of new, fascinating things about the planets in our Solar System that you didn't know before. 


Today's Maths Learning is to apply your knowledge of Factors you explored yesterday to solve problems. Just to recap, here is a great video which sums up what factors are and how to find them:


A great explanation of what factors are and how to find them.

Factors are the whole numbers which are multiplied together to make a number (we call this number a multiple). 

Here's an example:


These are all the different FACTORS of 12 = 3, 4, 6, 2, 12 and 1 


3 x 4 = 12           3 and 4 are FACTORS of 12

6 x 2 = 12           6 and 2 are FACTORS of 12

12 x 1 = 12         12 and 1 are FACTORS of 12


Q: How many different factors of 20 can you find?

Q: Is 3 a factor of 16? True or False?


Now, try to apply your knowledge to the challenges below (you can work from Beginner upwards or you can start on the challenge level that fits you best). 

Your English project today is to investigate the contributions of a space figure called 'Mae Jemison'. Find out as much as you can about her and create either:


1) A mind map with lots of facts (and maybe images if you'd like)

2) An information poster or leaflet 

3) A 'This is Your Life' style video


Use your retrieve skills to gather as much information as you can from the information below - a video and the website link - and then apply your summarising skills to record your 5ws and how facts.


These questions can help you to guide your research:

  • What is Mae Jemison famous for?
  • What was her childhood like?
  • What was her education like?
  • What career did she have before her space interests?
  • What happened during her NASA career?
  • How did Jemison spend her time after she retired?

Mae Jemison: I Wanted To Go Into Space

Mae Jemison describes her journey from space-loving girl in Chicago to astronaut looking down on Chicago and thinking about her younger self.

Mae C. Jemison - Astronaut | Mini Bio | BIO

Mae C. Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American astronaut and physician who, on June 4, 1987, became the first African-American woman to be admitted into NASA

Your project task today is to apply your picture smart skills to create an image of one of the planets (or the Sun or Moon) using a media of your choice.


For example, you could use collage to create the red, rocky surface of Mars, pencils to sketch the firey Venus or use watercolours to paint the bluey tones of Neptune.


Think carefully about:

  • Colour matching 
  • Blending to create tones and shades
  • Using mark making to recreate textures





Thursday 12th November


Morning Sycamore Class!


Your Maths challenge today is linking to our learning this week about multiples. This is a quick recap:


3 x 4 = 12                    12 is a multiple of 3 because it is in the 3 times table


10 x 5 = 50                  50 is a multiple of 10 because it is in the 10 times table.


Today, we are going to be looking at the inverse to a multiple, which is called a 'factor'. Watch this video on BBC Bitesize to help you understand what factors are and then apply your knowledge to the challenges below; you can choose to work from Beginner to Competent to Proficient or you can go to the challenge level that suits you best. You can use the times table grid to help you, if you need it.

Your English Challenge today is to deepen your confidence at spelling words with silent letters.


1) Write each word from the silent letter words poster into your book 3 times, checking you have written it correctly (especially the silent letter!)


2) To help you learn how to use these words in your writing, choose 6 of these words and write either sentences, silly stories or a rap.


3) For an extra challenge, use a dictionary (a book or an online dictionary like ) to help you find additional words with these same silent letters. See how many you can find!



Your project task for today is to learn all about the planets of our solar system.


1) Watch the video clip to help you deepen your knowledge of the planets; you can make notes if this will help you!


2) Record the order of the planets with a fun mnemonic to help you remember (e.g. My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets)


3) Using your new knowledge from the video along with the information sheet above, create a set of Top Trump style cards. Each card needs:

* A drawing of the planet

* A range of information, including: Distance from the Sun, Named after, Days in a year, Temperature

* Outstanding presentation 

Exploring Our Solar System - Planets Video

Here is an in-depth introduction to the Solar System and the planets that are in it. From the sun to why poor Pluto is no longer considered a planet, come along for a ride across the Solar System and learn lots of cool facts about Solar System!

Wecome to Sycamore Class

Our learning in Term 1

Sycamore have settled back to school in a fabulous manner, showing a keenness and a positive growth mind set towards their learning and behaviour.


Take One Picture

Sycamore class have had a super week enjoying their Take One Picture Project based on Claude Monet's painting 'Dusk in Venice'


Popping with lots of questions, they used expert research skills to explore facts about his life, his inspiration for his art work and the techniques he used. Lots of interesting facts were discovered including ; he had lots of  famous friends  such as Degas, Manet and Renoir, and that he mainly painted outside. Using light, he often created the same picture in different colours depending on the time of day as well as the Seasons. For this reason, he often had to work quickly. 


Having found out amazing facts about Claude Monet, the children were keen to experiment with different art techniques in their sketch books, including stippling, scrumbling and hatching. Feeling confident, they couldn't wait to apply their skills to their own recreation of the painting.


The children were fascinated to learn that Monet and his friends created an art movement known as Impressionism, and that all the artists used the same criteria for their work. These included:


- They never used black

- They used different light 

- They mainly worked outdoors

- They worked against time

- They would used layer of paints


To compliment their beautiful art work, the children rounded off their project by writing poems. By including powerful verbs, exciting adjectives and interesting adverbs, they were able to visualise what it would feel like to be painting in Venice. Using their 5 senses, they captured the atmosphere in a creative and imaginative way.


Finally, they enjoyed finding out about his other famous paintings, that were often painted at his beautiful home in France and included water lilies.


Tudor Roses

During Art lessons, Sycamore class have explored the symbolism of the Tudor Rose which originates from the Elizabethan period during which Shakespeare lived. 


"The red part of the Tudor rose represents Lancaster and the white rose represents York. There is more red than white because Lancaster won the fight" (Amy)


"The Tudor rose was formed by 2 places joining together called York and Lancaster. York was white and Lancaster was red. They had a big battle but some of Richard's men weren't sure which side to be on and in the end they chose to be on the red side. After a while Richard was killed so Henry became king. He joined the roses together making the Tudor rose"


Clay Roses


The children have really excelled themselves whilst studying this term's project of Hamlet.

By reading the play as a class and by using their inferences skills, they have explored the character of Hamlet and  investigated the question as to whether Hamlet should or shouldn't avenge the death of his father. 

During their English lessons they have been learning how to use contrasting and agreeing conjunctions to offer different points view when writing their discussion texts.

Below are some examples of introductions to these discussion texts.

The children worked collaboratively to create S2S and used these as a framework for writing their discussion texts.

These steps included:

  • Title
  • Introduction -  to explain what the discussion is about
  • Paragraphs to show each side of the discussion
  • Conclusion to summarise and make a decision
  • 5 W sentence openers
  • Written in the 1st person
  • Punctuation including capital letters . , ?! ()
  • Sequencing conjunctions such as firstly, conclusion
  • Agreeing conjunctions (eg: in contrast , on the other hand)
  • Disagreeing conjunctions (eg: furthermore, on the other hand)
  • Written in the present tense


Discussion Text

Hamlet Storyboards

Following on from the question of whether Hamlet would avenge the death of his father, the children were eager to see what course of action he would take next and were keen to read more of the story.

They discovered that as well as Hamlet having a plan, King Claudius, his evil uncle also had a plan of his own.

The children then decided to plan the next part of their writing by mapping out the events using the storyboard method

To strengthen their plans, they wove in ideas for powerful verbs, fronted adverbials and time connectives to be used later in their writing.

Hamlet Display

Sycamore Class have also been focusing on the country Denmark in which Hamlet is set.

By using technology, globes and maps, the children identified the location, capital city, neighbouring countries and seas, as well as exploring the geographical features.

'All about Denmark' Posters

As well as exploring the geographical features, the children also researched facts about the people and culture in order to create an information poster all about Denmark



Forest School

On Friday 9th October, Sycamore class excitedly walked down to the recently revamped Forest School, which includes a mud kitchen and a wonderful outdoor television! This delighted the budding thespians amongst the class who pretended to be actors  presenting their own version of  'Fir Tree's Got Talent' show, much to the amusement of the other children. Others worked diligently on creating woodland creatures from clay and natural resources, whilst some built a bug hotel and went bug hunting. 




In class RE lessons, each term is  centred around a 'big question'

This term Sycamore class have been pondering over the question; 'Do Muslims need the Qur'an?'

In the very first lesson, the enthusiasm was magical in the room as the children were bursting with so many questions that they wanted to investigate . They decided that these would form the direction and structure of their future lessons.

The long list that they compiled is used each week to assess what they have learnt and what they would like to learn next.

Have a read of all the fabulous questions they generated together.



Despite Covid restrictions, the children at Fir Tree were still able to enjoy a Harvest assembly thanks to  Reverend Rice who kindly compiled a video clip. Following on from this, Sycamore studied a poem and identified the rhyme, repetition and rhythm. This inspired them to explore rhyme in their own poems


This term's science is all about Forces. The children have found out that forces are either a pushing or a pulling action. They discovered that there were many different ones including:

  • air resistance
  • gravity
  • water resistance
  • buoyancy
  • friction
  • reaction force

They were excited to hear about Isaac Newton's law of gravity and that force is measured in Newtons. Excitedly they investigated the weight of objects using a newton meter, understanding the difference between weight and mass

They came up with these definitions:

Weight: a measure of the strength of gravity on an object. It is measured in Newtons

Mass : The amount of 'stuff' inside an object. It is measured in g, kg, lb etc  It always stays the same even if the pull of gravity changes



The children then wanted to investigate the effects of air resistance. The question that they focused on was:-

Will the length of the helicopter blade change how long it takes to fall to the ground?

They predicted what may happen and were careful to make it a fair test by ensuring the variables stayed the same. They had great fun testing their helicopters and watching how their fall was affected by cutting a cm of the blades each time they launched it. 

They concluded that the surface area affects air resistance and that the shorter the blade the quicker the helicopter falls.