The Victorians

We’ve started a series of lessons on the Victorians.  We’ll look at lots of different aspects of Victorian England and, by the end, aim to form an opinion on whether we should think of the Victorian era as a golden age for Britain or a dark age.

We started by looking at what seems to be a historical mystery: 

Victorian city

Why did so many people move from the countryside to cities when there was so much poverty, pollution and squalor in these cities and life expectancy was lower? 


Juliette set out her analysis of the reasons like this:


Hetty wrote these interesting reflections:

I think it’s because there were lots of nice houses and better jobs and everyone was moving there.  So I think they wanted to have a fresh start in a better place because everyone said that’s what it was but actually it was really bad and boring and everyone was tired and hated it – only rich people liked it.

Brockwell Park in autumn – poems (1)

The children have written wonderful poems about Brockwell Park.  Enjoy these ones from Kenza, Nyah, Juliette, Alamine, Nate and Sam to start with – the rest to follow in subsequent posts.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Leaves shivering on their branches
Leaves lying on the ground like blotches of paint
Leaves spinning in the air like dancers on ice
Conkers falling from the tree like bombs
Pigeons fighting over breadcrumbs like children diving on sweets from a Pinata

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
I can hear autumn saying “I’m back”
Traffic rumbling on Norwood Road
Leaves crunching like a packet of crisps.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
I can feel the chill in the air
The autumn dew coming through my shoes
The sun beaming through the trees onto my cheeks
Warming me
Like a cup of coffee.

Running through Brockwell Park, what can I see?
Leaves coloured
Golden yellow
Salad green
Rose red
That’s what I see!
Chocolate brown
Yum! That’s my favourite stuff!

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I hear?
The autumn breeze
Whistling past
My ear
Dogs barking
Children playing
Wind blowing
What a chill!
Parakeets singing
Calling me to play
I imagine I’m a parakeet
Flying through the sky

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel?
I feel the autumn breeze
Blowing past my ears
Chilling me.
I pick up a caramel-coloured leaf
I run my finger over the veins
And bumpy edges.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Leaves the colour of chestnut and pumpkin
Diving off the trees
I can see the leaves plumetting down
Making art on the ground.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
I can hear
The wind whispering “autumn’s here”
The parakeets screeching
Up high in the golden trees
The traffic roaring past
Dogs barking
Muffled in the strong breeze.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
The autumn sun
Beaming on my face
The sun sparkling
Through the trees like diamonds
The cold, skiddy grass
Like being on ice

An amber-coloured leaf
Floats to the ground
Like a graceful ballerina landing
I pick up the leaf
Its colourful, leathery, damp surface
Feels like a piece of soft material
Bye, bye summer!

Walking through Brockwell Park what can I see?
Leaves dancing at autumn’s party.
Leaves gliding, twisting and turning like aeroplanes in the sky.
Leaves turning all different colours: gold, brown, orange, yellow and mustard
Pigeons fighting over food like children fighting over toys.

Walking through Brockwell Park what can I hear?
Parakeets calling and screeching.
All the children playing
And running about.
The dogs barking
Chasing squirrels
Playing with their ball.
In the distance, the cars rumbling on Norwood Road

Walking through Brockwell Park, what can I feel
Autumn chill in the sky
The wetness on the grass getting into my shoe.
The sun sparkling on my cheek.
I run and skid
On the wet grass
Slipping and falling and laughing away
Running around
So much fun!

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Leaves tumbling down from trees like circus acrobats
Leaves shaking away at their branches
Crowds of leaves on the ground like people at a football match
Bugs crawling around on the wet grass
Spiders hiding in corners of trees

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
The autumn breeze inviting me to join in
Parakeets singing a smooth melody
Leaves partying like mad
Children screaming and running.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
I feel dampness in my socks and shoes
Wind blowing at me like a speeding car.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I see?
Leaves the colour of toast and marmalade
Shivering on their branches
Waiting for their time to come
To dive down, down, down
Surfing on the autumn breeze
Then muscling for space
Like fans at a football match
Before coming to a rest
And forming a beautiful carpet
Of red, yellow, amber and orange
On the wet muddy ground.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I hear?
The sound of autumn calling me
The crunching of crisp leaves
Like bacon sizzling in a frying pan
The wind whistling a tune to me.
Parakeets screeching
Children playing
Dogs barking
At the foot of the tree
Looking for the squirrel
It was chasing.

Walking through Brockwell Park
What can I feel?
The autumn chill in the air
Dew on the grass
The sun’s beams of light burning on my cheeks
But they don’t warm me.

I pick up a rust red leaf
And I run my finger around
Its serrated edges
Feel the leathery texture
And I drop it back down
To rot in the soil.

I run and skid
On the wet grass
I feel the water
I feel that it’s autumn!

Autumn verse

The children experimented with writing verses with a similar rhythm and rhyming pattern to the poem we looked at yesterday.  The idea today was just to have fun and try out some rhymes. We’ll have a go at writing longer poems tomorrow.

School is starting
What a bummer!
Autumn’s coming
Bye bye summer!

Back to school
Acorns, conkers
Rust red leaves
Let’s go bonkers!

Autumn’s here
What a cheer
Pumpkin spiced lattes are back
But I hope there aren’t mice in my flat!

Summer’s ending
Back to school
Lots of friends
Very cool!

Dog’s barking
Conkers falling
Autumn’s here
How appalling!

Summer is ending
Leaves are falling
Dogs are barking
Autumn is calling.

Back to school
Then hibernation
Autumn’s here
An abomination.

Autumn’s coming
Swallows fly
Down to Italy
Swooping through the sky.

Trick or treat!
Scary costumes
Lots of sweets

Shorter days
Brighter lights
Buying presents
What a delight!

Autumn is colourful
Red, brown and green
Prickly conkers
Under the tree.

Summer is over
Autumn is coming
Leaves are falling
Acorns are cracking.

Back to school
Autumn breeze
Grey skies
Golden trees.

Book reviewers of the week – Juliette, Chyanne and Kia


Here’s Juliette writing about David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape and a picture of the old folk’s home where he’s been “put”:  

So far in the story, Jack has a grandfather who was a pilot in the air force in World War II but when he is put into an old folk’s home it is up to him and Jack to escape from the evil matron.






Chyanne’s reading Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene:  

Nancy Drew is a detective.  She solves tons of mysteries but the only mystery she’s trying to crack at the moment is what to get for her dad’s birthday without making a mess!  Nancy lives in River Heights and is well known for her skills. I am enjoying this book because I would love to solve some mysteries too.





Kia’s reading Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvelous Medicine: 

George has made his marvelous medicine and is now cooking it on the stove.  He’s added a lot of animal pills.