Welcome to Maple Class
Autumn Term - Civil Rights
Trip to London
On Wednesday, Maple class travelled to London to enjoy the sights and learn more about our current topic, ‘Civil Rights’.
After a very early start and heavy traffic, the children finally arrived in the capital and made their way to the Embankment to catch a river cruise. Everyone got the giggles when they heard protesters singing ‘a Brexit Tragedy’ as a parody to ‘We all live in a yellow submarine.’
Aboard the boat, the children were entertained by a very humorous Captain who kept on making jokes about all the London Landmarks, particularly the pubs. Despite the rain, the children still enjoyed the river cruise and seeing a 1000-year snapshot of London’s, from the Tower of London to the modern Shard sky-scraper.
At lunchtime, Maple had the opportunity to run around the Jubilee Gardens, before entering the Houses of Parliament for a tour. It was very exciting to see a working Parliament. From the Strangers’ Gallery, they watched a House of Commons debate of a proposed amendment to the Clean Energy Bill, and they heard the division bell go off (the signal for MPs to vote by dividing into the ‘ayes’ and ‘noes’). The children had the opportunity to participate in their own Law & Debating workshop where they got to re-enact parliament. This was tremendous fun, with Pixie enjoying pretending to be the Queen, whilst Eden (Speaker of the House), Noah (Prime Minister) and Charlotte (Leader of Opposition) each took their role very seriously, debating whether smoking should be banned.
Before heading home, the children enjoyed a hearty meal and it was wonderful to hear them talking so excitedly about the day… especially a tongue-in-cheek story they were told about how Michael Jackson had once offered the Queen £4 million for her throne, but she responded with: ‘Beat it!’
My personal highlight was listening to the children singing their newly learnt song, ‘London is the place to be!’ on the way home.
What are Civil Rights? Curriculum Overview
Autumn Term Spelling
Civil Rights Homework Project
Year 6 Camp PhotosYear 6s travelled to Beam House, Devon, for Year 6 camp.
The children had many opportunities to overcome personal challenges whilst having great fun. Activities included: trapeze, challenge course, high tower, wave boarding, orienteering, survivor, archery tag, zip line, ambush and much, much more!
Despite the rain, children had a wonderful week away and did not want to come home.
Mrs A commented on how resilient, kind and caring, and supportive the children were; she was impressed with how well-mannered everyone behaved and is looking forward to teaching such a lovely class.
Year 6 Camp 2023
Summer Term - Maya Civilisation
Where have they gone? Curriculum Overview
Spelling Term 3A
Spring Term - Space
Is there Life out there? Curriculum Overview
Term 2 Spelling
Space Wow Day
Close Encounters of the Burrington Kind….
WOW! The whole of Maple class saw the bright light from Burrington’s Parish Hall go whooshing up and disappear into the sky. Was that a UFO? Thankfully the children came prepared, dressed as Astronauts; they were more than ready to boldly go…
When the children entered the hall, they were astonished and amazed and intrigued by the sight they saw. The floor was covered in an eerie mist that was creeping towards them, and there were signs of alien activity everywhere. Strange liquids lay on the ground. Weird pieces of equipment surrounded something resembling a space suit with flashing lights, and there was a trail of strange-looking tubes and piping snaking across the floor and out of an open window. There were strange sounds and also some very non-human looking footprints and Noah spotted what looked like animal fur and, ominously, small pools of blood over in the corner. But was it human or... surely not... could it be from an alien? The children got very excited and their minds were racing with ideas of what might have happened here. Then, Ewan spotted two shocked locals standing nearby; Mrs Luna Walker and Ms Venus Excursion were in a state of shock, pale and rooted to the spot.
Maple squad swung immediately into action; they formed into 3 teams to question both of the eye witnesses and to examine the physical evidence. It didn’t take Luke the budding investigative journalist, long to cross-examine Venus and prove, by her answers, that she was not entirely telling the truth! Meanwhile, Thom was putting his detective skills into action and found a rather unusual letter written in a strange language. What on earth (or perhaps not on earth!) had really been going on? Was this some kind of hoax, or could it be for real? Could the animal fur be linked to a cat that a nearby resident (Mrs Williams) had reported missing just a few hours ago? The children decided they needed hard evidence, as well as the eye-witness testimonies. They carefully sketched the layout of the scene, asked the eye-witnesses yet more questions, and decided it was time to take that ‘blood’ samples to the lab for further analysis. Some of this blood was compared to human blood by chromatography and, oh my, the samples didn’t match.
Back in class, Professor Ed explained the ‘science’ of chromatography and how it might help determine the origin of the ‘crime-scene’ samples. Everyone had fun doing various chromatography experiments. Bella stated: ‘I’ve never liked science before, but now I love it!’
NEWSFLASH: A message was received from the aliens stating they had indeed abducted Mrs Williams’ cat but had crash-landed on Mars (a ‘cat’-astrophe). But Maple, known for their ‘pawsitive cat-titude’, immediately formed into teams to plan a rescue and design a Mars-Lander. Since it was nearly Easter, they each designed a craft to carry an ‘egg-stronaut’ down to the surface without breaking. The amazing and ingenious designs used combinations of parachutes, padding and balloons to soften the landing, and protective cabins. All the craft were tested at the Burrington Space Test Facility (dropping them out of Mrs Joskey’s upper floor office window) and, amazingly, nearly every design was a total success in keeping their egg-stronaut completely safe on landing! Next stop: MARS!
Thanks go to Mrs Attwood and Jane for being the eye-witnesses, and Professor Ed for leading all the fun experiments. P.S. No aliens or cats were harmed in the making of this scene. Charlie summed up the day best: ‘It was comic-static!’
Autumn Term - WW2
Maple Class Keep Calm and Carry On
After the ‘all-clear’ sirens had faded into the dawn light, the children of Maple class reported for duty at school, dressed in their finest World War II clothes, equipped with nametags, gas masks, suitcases and teddy bears. Noah perfectly captured the mood as he entered the classroom, “I am just so excited for today!” He wasn’t the only one.
After registration, the class got a pep talk from Sid Richards, the local ARP warden. Suddenly, the air raid warning siren went off again and everyone moved quickly and orderly, to the shelters Sid had set up. After the ‘all clear’ siren sounded once more, children emerged from the ‘tube station’ and, to show their morale had no even been dented by the sounds of bombs falling, they marched out singing, ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’.
Pixie and Bella had us all laughing our socks off, behaving as naw’ty teenagers. Emily played a very convincing uncaring mother in a sketch with her ‘son’ Elwood who was having wartime nightmares about Vikings. This turned out to be a hoax – instead he was plagued by Eden dressed as a brilliant ‘moo’-cow... Monty Python eat your heart out!
Henry J, Tehya and Rufus opted for a rather literal interpretation of Operation Pied Piper. Henry J played that pipe very enthusiastically and those rats’ ears sure suited Tehya and Rufus who following Henry J around the hall!
Sid, the ARP warden, enjoyed telling off Lewis for not wearing his gas mask; admonishing Henry W, who tried to make flimsy excuses for not taping up the windows in the classroom, and checking whether the boys and girls had cleaned their teeth and fingernails. It was surprising how many evacuees had not washed in a while.
Next, the children tried out a bath, World War II style. Several children took turns to have a bath in the same water as they would have had to have done in the war… Yuck!
Henry and Oakley imagined what it would have been like for children at the end of the war, seeing every day foods for the first time. While Oakley was trying to work out how to peel the banana, Henry J just got stuck in and took a big bite, including the peel... EWWWW!
After difficult goodbyes on the train platform (although not for Henry W who was glad to get away from his ‘Mum and Sister’ ;) they all arrived at a local village hall ready to be billeted. Unfortunately, nobody wanted Rufus or Stan due to their dishevelled state, and poor Stan was treated to a full head shave resulting in laughs at his new ‘bald’ head. What a great morning session with Sid!
After break, the children did a clothes rationing activity where Bella discovered she had the biggest clothes wardrobe in the class. Daniel, however, was in a bit of a panic because he was worried that he had not left himself enough clothes coupons to buy pyjamas... a bit embarrassing, to say the least.
Mrs Alvey and Hatty taught the children about food rationing and using old-fashioned scales to get the children to measure ingredients. All the children prepared delicious biscuits made from carrots that added natural sweetness, and some tasty Leek and Potato soup. What a lovely treat for all!
The highlight of the day was the WW2 Musicial Showcase where the whole school and parents were invited to admire the children’s Anderson Shelters. It was wonderful to listen to the children explaining all the features of their models. Everyone agreed the shelters were GOLD standard!
After the museum, Maple sang several WW2 songs such as Run Rabbit Run, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Underneath the Spreading Chestnut Tree, and the Lambeth walk – all with actions to match. They all did a magnificent job of reciting a poem called ‘When the Tigers Broke Free’ by Roger Waters – it was very moving. Everyone enjoyed watching the various groups perform their own Charleston dance routines. Luke played Jingle Bells on the clarinet to great applause. The finale was ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ sung with Makaton actions.
When I asked the class whether they had enjoyed themselves, it was a resounding YESSSSSSS!
A BIG thank you to the PTA who generously donated funds to ensure the children had an immersive war experience, and to Paula and Hatty for cooking with the class.
We'll meet again! Curriculum Overview
WW2 Topic Homework
Trip to London
Year 6 Camp to Beam House
Spelling Term 1
Summer Term - Earth Matters
Is our Earth in danger? Curriculum Overview
Term 3 Spelling
Spring Term - Ancient Egypt
Who built the pyramids? Curriculum Overview
Electricity WOW Day with Professor
Current activity in Maple – it’s shocking!
On Thursday, Professor Ed visited Maple to help recap on this term’s work on electricity. The class started by discussing what electricity is and took part in demonstrations of how circuits work as well as moving a drink can around with the static electricity ‘magic wand’ (everyone wondered why Prof turned up in such an old baggy jumper until he explained it was made of the perfect material for charging the magic wand with static electricity!)
The children thought about how potential difference drives electrons in circuits, and worked in teams to come up with an experiment using water siphoning to show that the greater the pressure (potential difference), the greater the water flow (electric current). Just before the equipment was packed away, Prof wiped a plastic comb across his magic jumper and showed that a stream of water from the siphon can be bent by static electricity, proving water molecules also have a charge. As many of you will know, Prof has a tendency to slip a few pranks into his visits (usually aimed at me), so I wasn’t surprised to end up getting wet when he was demonstrating how a battery works using a rather large syringe of water! Hmmm.
Next, the children learned how a Van der Graaf generator works and watched some amazing demonstrations. In addition to creating some mini-lightning bolts, they saw St Elmo’s fire being made and were amazed to see a metal star being made to spin, powered only by electrons. The bit everyone loved was the ‘confetti bomb’ where lots of confetti was put on top of the generator so that when it was switched on, all the pieces of paper repelled each other and flew across the classroom (I definitely needed her dustpan and brush afterwards, for that one!)
The best part of Prof Ed’s visits, are the usual ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahhhs’ moments when science really does come to life!
End of Topic Museum
Maple started off an action-packed day with a wonderful performance, in the morning, of the Stations of the Cross for the Easter Service. But later in the day, came their pièce de resistance; their end of topic museum around everything they’ve learned this term on Ancient Egypt, performed in front of parents and the whole school.
After two years of no museums (due to Covid), it was great opportunity for the children to conceive and design their displays and demonstrate all their learning in such a fun and interactive manner… and all the work, preparation and effort they have been putting in over the preceding weeks was obvious for everyone to see! Ancient Egypt is always an exciting topic and the class created so many wow moments for their audiences. What was especially pleasing is how they managed to weave-in so much information learned from an artefact workshop they attended at Bristol Museum and an Egyptian Wow day that was generously funded by the PTA.
The parish hall was filled with evidence of the children’s work in the form of a photo display, digital brochures and newspaper reports, topic books, 3D Egyptian farms, golden sarcophagi and their amazing Ancient Egypt homework projects. In addition to presenting their work, the class wanted to create a fun and educational experience for the ‘littlies’ so they designed a series of their own entertainment stations. These included: Who could build the highest pyramid, who could wrap a mummy the fastest, who could guess the amount of bricks in the Lego pyramid, write your name in hieroglyphics, several quizzes, and ‘match the gods’. It was an utter delight to watch Oak and Cherry/Birch children engaging so excitedly in all the games created especially for them. There was a real buzzing atmosphere and Maple designed an incredibly rich and diverse series of different ways to showcase their knowledge.
At the start of the ‘Egyptian’ Museum, Maple performed two poems and three songs. The first song was from Horrible Histories, the second was the Mummy song which involved lots of actions, and the final (my absolute favourite), was a jazzy number called Treasures of King Tut. The Year 5s, dressed in dark glasses and black ties, stole the show with their funky moves! Everybody loved it.
From the huge applause and crowd cheering after the opening performances, until the very end of the day, the room was filled with laughter, fun and, quite frankly, well-deserved congratulations from parents, fellow teachers, and the rest of the school, who were in awe of just how accomplished and impressive the children of Maple were. We are all incredibly proud!
Trip to Bristol Museum
On Thursday, Maple class visited the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery to look at the Egyptian display and attend an artefact workshop. Everyone was fascinated by the ancient mummies, including mummified cats and crocodiles. The children’s detective skills were called into action to work out the age of some of the relics, and they interacted with the ICT to ‘see through’ a sarcophagus. Theo Baylis was particularly interested in the replica Rosetta Stone and how it was the breakthrough in decoding hieroglyphics. Ewan was amazed that a 1500-year-old tunic had survived, Louis commented how beautiful the stone carvings were, and Ethan was absolutely astonished at the coincidence of seeing exactly the same intricate scarab beetle that he had previously drawn in class. Throughout their tour of the museum, the children were constantly asking probing questions that really impressed Jane and I; it was wonderful to see their enthusiasm and interest growing at every new artefact and piece of information they discovered.
After a tour of the whole museum, Maple participated in an Egyptian workshop led by the museum staff. They learnt about Amelia Edwards, a famous Bristolian woman, born in the Victorian era. Amelia used her inheritance to travel the world, landing up in Egypt in 1832, where she wrote many famous books about the ancient world of Egyptology. Using extracts from Amelia’s Diary, the children had to try to figure out what particular items were used for, decide whether they were real or replicas, and match the artefacts to whereabouts they were discovered. Everyone enjoyed being a super-sleuth and there were lots of discussions as the children worked out their answers. It was funny watching the children test an Egyptian pillow (definitely not the most comfortable variety) and determine how Egyptian’s used an unfamiliar type of a ‘spirit-level’ to construct buildings. Sarah Frears, from the museum, commented that Burrington children were very knowledgeable and it was clear that they were enthused and had thoroughly enjoyed this topic. I was most proud of them!
Egyptian WOW DAY
What did Maple get up to in Ancient Egypt? – Mummy’s the word!
On Thursday morning, a very special Egyptologist visitor called Professor Robert Jones (yes, a pretend relation to Indiana), visited Maple class to tell them of his amazing travels to Ancient Egypt.
All the children climbed into Professor Jones’ time-machine and travelled back in time to the land of pyramids and pharaohs. He illustrated how the Egyptians started off as hunter-gatherers (poor James, Stan and Freddie had to be goats), but quickly settled along the banks of the Nile as farmers due to annual inundation (flood) which fertilised the land with nutrient-rich soil. These farmers exploited the Nile, using it for trade and growing into a powerful civilisation.
Professor Jones explained the hierarchy of Egyptian society by dressing-up the children. Stan loved being clad as a Pharoah – ‘I looked so cool.’ He wasn't wrong about that! Ewan, meanwhile, enjoyed his role of looking after the temples and gods. Theo was desperate to be the Army Commander (I wonder why that is…hehehe!) and poor Louis and Adam were sold off as slaves. They were not happy, and Louis even tried to escape. Once caught, he was sold to the Pharoah for 2 goats and a camel… a bargain!
The highlight of Professor Jones’ visit was definitely the Mummification Story. Poor TutanBella and AmunAdam mysteriously, and very suddenly, passed away and were chosen to be mummified. Adam commented, ‘I loved being wrapped up as a mummy – it was so comfy. The best part was the competition between Bella and I to see who could be mummified quicker.’ Jasper and Louis (prompted from slave to priest) embraced being embalmers trying their best to beat Robyn and Cecily’s team.
Finlay, who was dressed as Anubis, took his role very seriously, ‘I loved ripping out AmunAdam’s lungs, stomach and liver with the special knife.’ While Daniel said, ‘I liked being a professional mourner: crying, tearing my hair out and chanting prayers around the mummies.’ It was all very spiritual.
After the embalmers were finished, Jasper, dressed as the green-faced god, Osiris had to determine whether the mummies were destined for the Afterlife by weighing their hearts against a feather – poor AmunAdam – apparently his ‘heavy heart’ meant he had been a very, very bad boy and could not travel to the next world. Daniel, dressed as the ‘man-eating’ god, Ammit (the half crocodile, with a lion neck and hippo bottom) devoured AmunAdam’s heart and body. It was most gruesome.
It was great way to learn about Ancient Egyptian history. Theo summed up the morning best, ‘I enjoyed it all, not only was it funny but also very interesting.’
After break, Maple became archaeologists and carried out their own Ancient Egyptian artefact investigation, observing and inspecting Professor Jones' relics and treasures. My favourite was the marbled Bastet - a cat-faced Goddess.
After lunch, the children created their very own mummies using foil and tissue paper, and then started to build their mummy a 'bespoke' sarcophagus. This proved really tricky, but it was lovely to observe every child's determination to succeed. Pictures will be posted once they are decorated.
As Ethan said, ‘It’s been a great day, so much better than Maths and English!’
Spelling Term 2A & B
Ancient Egypt Topic Homework
Autumn Term - Extreme Earth
Extreme Earth Curriculum Overview
Maple Class become the Masters of Disasters
Professor Ed visited Burrington on Thursday and Friday to bring the science behind natural disasters to Maple Class. The children learned how the movement of tectonic plates not only cause th formation of natural features such as mountains and rift valleys, but also how the huge amounts of energy are released as earthquakes and tsunamis, and lead to the formation of volcanoes. Daniel was intrigued at how tectonic plates rub together to cause earthquakes, and Bella enjoyed learning about the network of detectors located on sea beds and how these send messages via satellites to warn of impending tsunamis. Robyn said, “It was good to learn the different scientific words about how tectonic plates move, like ‘convergent’, ‘divergent’ and ‘subduction’.
Cecily, Robyn, Bella and Mila, holding hula-hoops, became tectonic plates and crashed into each other, while the rest of the class observed. Everyone then experimented with their own tectonic plates sliding on a bed of magma (broken biscuits on raspberry frosting) to create their own valleys, volcanic ridges and mountains.
The class split into groups to build a seismograph and test it on an earthquake table, while learning how different structures survive or are destroyed, depending on their strength, the earthquake magnitude, and distance from the epicentre. Based on what they had learned, the children then designed their own structures to withstand earthquakes, using Midget Gem sweets and cocktail sticks, and put them to the test against each other on the earthquake table; The Great British Shake Off! There were some wonderfully creative designs, and some outstanding examples of great engineering. This definitely was a highlight.
The children learned how heat from tropical seas, and moist air, drive the formation of hurricanes and they concluded that warmer seas in the future due to climate change, will probably lead to more frequent and more severe hurricanes, and what this might mean for people living in hurricane zones. Theo was especially interested in how the heat from the sun can heat air that rises and pulls in more air below it to create winds. Professor Ed produced an ‘Air-zooka’ to show how wind could destroy structures and everyone laughed as he shot Mrs A to make her hair blow around and they watched her hide behind the whiteboard. Everyone had a turn with the Air-zooka to destroy buildings made of plastic cups, and there was a competition just before break where everyone tried to shoot a paper cup off of a shelf. Congratulations to Robyn and Cecily for winning a prize!
The session on volcanoes started with red lava spewing from a mini-volcano in the classroom. The children had a great knowledge of how different types of lava behave, from fast-flowing rivers of molten rock, to very slow-moving but highly destructive forms. They handled different types of volcanic rocks so they could see and feel the differences, but were amazed when they found out that some of these rocks actually float on water. They were so interested, that there was a short unplanned discussion around mass, volume and density of different objects and there was a ‘will it float or sink?’ competition using different fruits, vegetables… and volcanic rocks. Ewan, Finlay and Adam enjoyed learning about density and how it effects whether objects float, and Jasper said he especially loved understanding how different densities of rocks affected the types of lava produced.
James summed up the two days: ‘That was such fun, I learnt so many things. When is Professor back?