Rosendale’s bamboo fence – iPad art

To finish our series of lessons on sketching and painting on an iPad, the children had a go at painting the bamboo hedge in the Daley Thompson playground.  They needed more time and we’ll try to come back to this after half term – but here are some works in progress by Macie, Alamine, Sam, Reuben and Oscar.

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Times Tables Masters

Over the next few months, I would like to be able to award everyone in 4TBM the title of Times Tables Master and we will work hard as a class towards this goal.  To become a Times Tables Master, the children have to be able to answer any and all times tables questions up to 12 x 12 within 5 seconds.   Even when a member of the class thinks that they know their times tables, it can sometimes be another step to be able to show this to their teacher under a bit of pressure – but that’s when they really know them, in my opinion!

We got started today.  Congratulations to the first four Times Tables Masters: Alamine, Niccolo, Sam and Rafi.

Times Tables master


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.


Science results

Five days after immersing our eggs in vinegar, orange juice, coca cola, tea and water, we examined the results and drew conclusions.

Egg immersed in vinegar

Here are some of Sam, Hollie and Tom’s detailed observations and conclusions.

  • The liquids had different effects on the eggs most of the time.
  • The vinegar dissolved the egg shell the most because it is an acid.
  • In the orange juice, the egg shell only half dissolved because orange juice is less acidic than vinegar
  • The egg shell in the cola only dissolved a bit.   Even though it contains sugar, it isn’t a strong acid.  The sugar damages your teeth when it mixes with bacteria in your mouth.
  • Water did not damage the egg shell and would be the best to drink for your teeth and health.  Water did not change anything because it is neutral.
  • The tea stained the egg but did not dissolve it.  (Whenever you spill tea at home it makes a stain.)
  • Order of strongest acids:
    •  vinegar
    • orange juice
    • coca cola
    • tea and water are not acids
  • Toothpaste helped to protect the eggs from acid and tea staining.



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!

Dusting the planet Mars

The children started planning their own stories today.  The idea was to use The Baboon on the Moon (whose job is to light up the moon each evening) as inspiration, but to change planet, character and job.  Here’s a selection of the children’s great ideas for the job that their character will be doing in the stories they write starting with Thanh’s character’s endless task of sweeping up all the red dust on Mars!  Do ask your children about their story ideas if you get the chance this evening.

Dusting on Mars – Thanh

Reporting alien activity – Lynden

Photographing Jupiter’s giant red spot – Niccolo

Recording the violent storms on Neptune – Juliette

Making Venus safe from asteroids – Kenza

Directing the orbits of the planets – Harry

Bus driver on Saturn – Tom

Mountaineer climbing the massive volcanoes on Mars – Reuben

Researcher collecting samples of rocks and minerals on Uranus – Azeeza

A dragon keeping the storms raging on Jupiter – Abdi

Searching for dinosaurs on Saturn – Jake

Making sure Mars spins in the correct direction – Annie

Polishing the rings of Saturn – Sam

Ice racing on Saturn’s rings – Rufus

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.