In today’s lesson on religion and worldviews, we started to explore the question ‘What is religious faith?’  (The children will look at what faith might mean in other worldviews in Year 5.)  Adam, Alamine and Lynden shared what their religious faith meant to them (confidence, peacefulness, a conversation with yourself they said respectively) and then we listened to some well-known personalities who have religious faith – including famous athletes Usain Bolt and Mo Farah – talk about why and how their faith has been important in their lives.  

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Later in the lesson the children wrote down words and ideas that they connect to the idea of faith and we put them into a word cloud.   We used a structure called “jot thoughts” (pictured above) where the children write down any idea that comes into their head and there is no right or wrong contribution.


For a bit of fun at the end of the lesson, we watched part of the classic episode of The Simpsons in which Bart sells his soul to Milhouse – worth a watch if you like The Simpsons!

Reflections on today’s writing

The children have all written a reflection on their persuasive letters – examples from Sam, Elwood, Juliette and Adam below.  I am keen that they all have an opinion about each piece of writing that they produce and that this is more important to them than anything that I may think about their work.  Experience has shown me that as soon as a young writer cares about his or her words, and develops pride as a writer, they are on a good track.  They are mostly proud of their work today which is really encouraging.

I feel proud of my letter.  I clearly think that it tells Ms Atkins what to do, how to do it and why to do it.  I also included things like “Perhaps even worse” and “not only that” plus facts to back up my argument.  My favourite sentence is: “This is an issue young people care about and we must put a stop to it.” I think it is very persuasive and will catch Ms Atkins’ attention.


I feel proud of my work because I like the facts and I think I can catch Miss Atkins’ attention with my letter.  My favourite part is the bit about the scale of how much plastic is thrown away. I think the facts will shake her.  I learnt lots of new spellings like “banning” and “first”.


I feel proud about my letter because I think it sounds persuasive.  I gave a solution and I think everyone’s letters would persuade Ms Atkins and I hope she will change things.  I think my first paragraph will inform Ms Atkins what the letter is about. I always get the spelling of “which” wrong and always writing it like “wich”, which I need to change, which, which which, which, which!  I’ve used linking phrases like “in particular” and “also this is a problem”. I’ve tried hard on my handwriting and I think I’ve improved. The sentence I like best is the one I worked on with Kia which is “The impact of plastic is a problem for planet Earth and our generation.”


I am proud of my letter.  I think it is very persuasive.  It says what the problem is and how to solve it.  I included linking phrases like “in addition” and “another concern”.  My favourite sentence was, “Let me give you the breakdown” because it’s funny and it’s like me.


Brockwell Park in autumn – poems (2)

Poems by Tom, Annie, Adam, Elwood, Hetty, Chyanne, Kia, Lilah and Macie

Scooting through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
The autumn chill
The sun shining through the trees
The soft, leathery surface of a leaf
A smooth, chocolate brown conker
A squidgy fungus.

Scooting through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Colourful leaves and vibrant trees
Leaves decorating the path with
An emerald, orange and fire coloured carpet.
Leaves playing around on their branches
A leaf slowly fluttering down like a dying butterfly
My breath clouding in front of me.

Scooting through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
The autumn breeze whispering in my ear
Parakeets tweeting crazy tunes
Dogs barking at squirrels
Traffic on the road ahead
Crunching leaves below my feet.


Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Leaves surfing down like a kite floating to the ground
A carpet of amber, gold and cherry red filling the grey path
Squirrels gathering nuts, hibernating hedgehogs
And birds flying far and wide.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
The crunching of leaves
Like burnt bacon
Parakeets screeching
Bursts of lime green in the sky.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
The damp dew on the grass below
The smooth conker shells
Wood brown
Cold breeze on my face
By my foot a silky pigeon feather
As I dropped it, it floated to the damp grass.


Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Leaves shivering on trees like they
Have frostbite
Swaying like a boat on a choppy sea
Waiting for their time to come
Then they let go of the branch
And ride the wind like a
Professional surfer
Before they start pushing for space
On the ground
Like a rugby scrum.

Walking through Brockwell park
What can I hear?
Parakeets screeching
Dogs barking at squirrels
The wind singing to me
People stepping on leaves that
Crunch under their feet like crisp packets.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
The autumn chill in the breeze
Blowing in my face
The smooth surface of a
Conker in my palm
That feels like a sheet of
Laminated paper.
I can feel it’s autumn.


Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Squirrels fighting over acorns
Honey coloured leaves waiting to fall
Chestnuts falling like bombs!
Spiders hiding everywhere you look
Slugs waiting for rain.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
The drone of cars on the road
The beating wings of the parakeets
The almost silent sound of the autumn breeze.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
I feel the autumn breeze on my cheeks
I feel damp, wet, honey gold leaves
The ground is slippery and when you skid
You leave marks like slime.


Walking through Brockwell Park
I can see
Acorns dropping with their friends
And family
Saying its autumn.
I can see
Leaves pushing and shoving
While I walk through the swimming pool of
Candy red, lemony yellow
And salad green leaves.

Walking through Brockwell Park
I can hear
The leaves crunching while children play.
I can hear
Parakeets screaming in the
Autumn air.
I can hear
The trees swishing in the cold
Frosty air.

Walking through Brockwell Park
I can feel
The cold autumn breeze on my face
Making me cold.
I can feel
The wet silky conkers
I can feel
The crispy rust red
Leaves under my feet.


Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Autumn leaves shape-shifting into tornadoes
From jade green to rust red and then crispy gold and brown
Leaves are like vibrant birds migrating through wind
Ready to say bye bye summer and shuffle off trees
As they glide down they make autumn’s carpet
Their time has come to become pieces of the earth.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
The scene of autumn
Exploding conkers
Scurrying squirrel footsteps on dry leaves
The flapping of a parakeet
As it goes higher and higher
Fainter and fainter
Such wonderful times that give a tingle of joy
In your spine
When bursts of children laughing reaches your ears!

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
A slight chill of autumn appearing
Whistling wind on my icy toes
The concrete as uneven as can be
Beneath the conkers and acorns
The soggy grass is my mushroom grotto
I can feel the autumn signal engaging my interest
A time for the sparkling, glittering sun above me.


Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Leaves crunching and crackling like crisps
Lots of leaves scattered around like
The people in the underground
A carpet of leaves over the muddy grass.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
A sound of autumn calling me
To play outside
The wind blowing leaves
Crunching under your feet
Dogs barking to the wind.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
A slight chill of air whipping on my cheeks
A wet, damp, marmalade leaf lying on the earth
The damp pavement like an ice skating rink
I pick up a smooth conker shell
And CRACK it went
And the shiny conker popped out.


Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
A carpet of crunchy brown leaves
Leaves scattered everywhere on
The floor like a really bad crowd
Bugs crawling in the tree
Like people in a village
Conkers falling off the tree like coconuts.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
Parakeets singing to me
Leaves crunching in my ear
Trees rustling like a toy shaker.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
The autumn breeze making my ears sting
My body feels cold through like its
Frozen to ice
I can feel a red leaf so soft that
I can rub it on my ruby cheeks.


Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Lots of twisted trees
Really cool clouds
The leaves dancing.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
Children collecting conkers
Parakeets screeching for food
Dogs running and barking
The autumn song.

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
Wet damp grass that I can skid on
Flat big leaves
With sharp knife edges
Leathery conker shells

Letters to Earth

The children produced their first piece of extended writing on Friday.  They had to imagine that they were the baboon on the moon (see earlier post) and write a letter home to a loved one on Earth.  There’s lots of great writing.  Here are extracts from letters by Kenza, Oscar, Kia, Rufus, Sam and Adam. 

Baboon on the moon

When I was little I would lie on the grass with you and Dad and we would look in the sky and wonder what the moon tasted like.  Kenza

Ever since I was a little baboon I used to stare at the night sky and dream of successfully travelling to the moon.  Turns out my dream care true. I built a rocket and now I’m sitting on a crater staring at Mali. Oscar

I’m liking living on the moon but sometimes I do get bored and gaze at the Earth and think of you and the family and wish I was with you.  Kia.

I never have had a more lonely life but it is fun.  Rufus

I built a rocket out of cardboard (as you do) and I fly back to Earth to get supplies.  Sam

There’s no wifi up here so I can’t watch The Simpsons.  The cheese is very tasty – I’ll send you a chunk. Adam


Why we had a great year…

Today I told the children that I had jumped ahead to the end of the school year and was writing them all an end-of-year report saying what a great year they’d had.  All they had to do in return was to write me a letter to explain why it was that they had had such a good year.

We talked about what makes a good learner and discussed the saying ‘Those who believe they can do something and those who believe they can’t are both right.’  The children wrote some great letters, showing they understood that if we believe in ourselves, work hard, and listen to and help one another, then there are no limits.

Sam:  Every day I believed in myself and I was determined to learn.  No matter how hard it was, I always gave it a try. I was especially proud when I produced a nice piece of art, even though it took a few attempts until I got it right.  When things went wrong I asked my teammates for help. I worked together with my class; they learnt things off me and I learnt things off them.

Azeeza.  I was determined to learn and never gave up, but when I was stuck my team mates helped me.

Oscar:  If I was stuck with something one of my teammates helped me and if they were stuck I would help them.  

Hollie:  I found that when it comes to art I enjoy to help others and coach they if they really need my help.    If any of my friends needed help I would always go over to their table and help them out.  

Adam:  Even when things went wrong, I just put a line through it and started again.

Alamine:  In my team I was a really good teammate because I cooperated with my team really well and when I needed help I would ask a teammate or the teacher.  I would never be afraid to ask for help and whenever my teammates needed help I would coach them. Every day when I go home I would always read. I think in class I worked really hard.  Whenever I do work I always like to do it with pride.