Friday, 15 March 2019


Dear all,

I trust that the children are not too tired out from their Danceathon today -they spent an hour in total showing their moves so they have been given plenty of exercise- but it helped to raise awareness of what is a very good cause.

At the risk of repeating myself from earlier blogs, the week has gone as quickly as ever and has flown by. It has been Science week which has given plenty of opportunities for investigative learning, including a superb workshop that we had yesterday linked to this year’s theme of ‘Journeys’. The children had to work collaboratively to be engineers for the afternoon and worked together to create a whole railway project, overcoming many obstacles along the way. The class were very successful in this and they managed to transport some ‘diamonds’ from the top of a mountain to the docklands.

Moving onto next week, on Wednesday it is our visit to the Guardian newspaper where the children will be writing and publishing their own newspaper front pages. Just a reminder, we will be leaving school promptly at 9am in order to get there on time ready to start and we are expected to return to school between 3:30 and 4pm (depending on traffic). The children will need a packed lunch and a water bottle.

In English next week, as well as writing our newspaper reports, we will be writing narratives based around a visual literacy clip.

In maths, we will be revising knowledge of scaling, Roman numerals and time before moving onto interpreting line graphs and pie charts.

In science, the class will be starting a new topic on light. Next week, they will be looking at sources of light and investigating how light travels.

Due to a tweak in the timetable this week, in art the children didn’t get to begin their oracle bone sculptures so will begin this next week.

As we have our visit to the Guardian, history and computing will be covered during the following week.

Homework for this week is another reading comprehension and is another poem, found on pages 22-23 (called ‘If-‘). This is once again due to be returned on Monday.

Have a great weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 8 March 2019


Hi all,

I have to say how good it was to see the creative and varied costumes that the children came in as yesterday for World Book Day. It certainly caused plenty of discussion as they came into class in the morning.

Next week we have Science week and our workshop on Thursday that I trust the class are looking forward to. The children will also be carrying out a challenge next week called ‘Brilliant Birds’ which will see them complete a timed task to create and decorate birds that can fly. At the end of the week, we then have Red Nose Day and the children will be able to wear their own clothes for the day to raise money for this worthy cause and the day will culminate in us taking part in a ‘Danceathon’ along with the whole school.

In English next week we will be writing balanced arguments about keeping animals in captivity before finishing off our unit on Skellig.

In maths, we will be focussing on ratio and proportion and applying known calculations facts.

In science, the class will be investigating materials which conduct electricity in order to make a circuit work.

In art, the children will begin to make their oracle bone sculptures using clay.

As we have our science workshop next Thursday afternoon, history and computing will be covered during the following week.

Homework for this week is a reading comprehension and is found on pages 14-15 (called ‘Poems about Seasons’). This is due to be returned on Monday.

Have a great weekend
Mr Gradwell

Friday, 1 March 2019


Hi all,

The first week back of the half term has shown no signs of slowing down and here we are at Friday again already. I trust everyone enjoyed coming into school in their pyjamas today –I felt like I had to give a reminder in the morning that it wasn’t an excuse to fall asleep, which fortunately nobody did.

Next week we have another day where the children will not be in uniform and that is for World Book Day next Thursday. The children (and adults) will be dressing as their favourite character from a book and I look forward to seeing all of the inventive costumes.

In English next week we will be continuing with Skellig during the first part of the week, focussing on characterisation before we write a persuasive argument at the end of the week based on our World Book Day text (which I have not told the children the title of, just that it is by Anthony Browne).

In maths, we will be focussing on problem solving involving fractions.

In science, the class will be making their own switches to be used in their electrical circuits.

In history, we will be looking at the writing and calendar from the Shang Dynasty period.

Our art and computing will both be linked to our World Book Day text. We will be carrying out observational drawing in art and using research skills in computing –more specifically, looking at the importance of choosing valid and plausible information.

Homework for this week is to consolidate our work on long division in class and can be found on pages 42 and 44 of the CGP maths arithmetic book (with an extension for those who finish quickly to create their own word problems which match the calculations).

Have a great weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 15 February 2019


Dear all,

Here we are at the end of yet another half term. Although I have not been in every day due to this horrible flu thing that has been going around, I am pleased to say that the children have all worked hard in my absence. I am sure that they are all as eager for the break as I am this time and I am pleased to add that we will all be returning to a freshly decorated classroom on our return, which will be nice.

In English after half term, we will be continuing with our Skellig unit by completing another narrative, focussing on characterisation and atmosphere.

In maths, we will be revising some of the aspects which have been identified in the practice tests as areas for further development.

In science, the class will continue their topic on electricity by using recognised symbols when representing simple circuits.

In history, we will continue to explore what ordinary life was like for people during the Shang Dynasty.

In art, we will explore using clay to add the ancient characters that will be used in our final sculptures as we were not able to begin this, this week.

In computing, we will be focussing on the reasons why coding scripts may not work before using trial and error to correct them.

There is a fair bit of homework that the children have brought home for the half term to do. They are going to complete pages 8, 9, 12, 15-16 of the arithmetic book and they are going to need to complete 3-5 topics from the Grammar book that they identified themselves today as areas to work on based on our practice tests. For those who have also brought their Reading and Grammar papers home, I ask that they are brought back to school on the Monday that we return.

Have a great half term break

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 8 February 2019


Dear all,

And so another week goes by without us seeming to take a breath! The children worked hard to complete their practice SATs tests this week and they must all be ready for the weekend. Having said that, some of the children who wanted to (and some who didn’t) have taken home their maths papers to go through over the weekend and this has taken the place of formal homework for this week. Just in case they haven’t brought theirs home though doesn’t mean that they are trying to hide anything –they will have already corrected their work in class and are happy that they have now understood where they went wrong.

For those who have brought their papers home, I ask that they are brought back to school by next Friday at the latest. I would like anyone who hasn’t brought their papers home to have a real push on Mathletics; for those who haven’t been on for a while, the level of difficulty has increased for all in the class so should hopefully be a good level of challenge for all.

In English next week, we will be continuing with our Skellig unit. We will be focussing on non-fiction writing as we discuss and write up debates.

In maths we will continue to explore co-ordinates before moving onto multiplying fractions.

In science, the class will continue their topic on electricity, answering questions about what happens when trying different components in a circuit.

In history, we will continue to explore what ordinary life was like for people during the Shang Dynasty and how the sources of information have been gathered over time.

In art, we will begin to explore using clay to add the ancient characters that will be used in our final sculptures.

In computing, we will be continuing to add more complex aspects to the games but putting a real focus on debugging when things don’t go as planned –this is something which many in the class are currently finding a challenge.

Have a great weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 1 February 2019


Dear all,

What a lovely end to the week with the snow being perfect for making snowmen, snowballs and snow angels! For those who braved it in, a great time was had by all, outside on the field at break time.

In English and maths next week, we will be carrying out practice SATs tests. The tests in English focus on reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and in maths the focus is on arithmetic and reasoning. Feedback from these will be given to the class so the children know what their own individual next steps will be, moving forward.

In science, the class will begin their topic on electricity. They will begin by looking at sources of electricity and what things are powered by electricity before the class construct simple circuits using bulbs, motors and buzzers.

In history, we will be exploring what ordinary life was like for people during the Shang Dynasty and how the sources of information have been gathered over time.

In art, final sketches of the oracle bones will be produced so that the class can begin to make their sculptures in the following weeks.

In computing, we will be continuing to add more complex aspects to the games that the class have created.

I have not set a formal homework task for this week (but for those who were in today I have set them the challenge of finding any use of the passive voice within this blog). I would still like the class to continue to use Mathletics at home though and once again ask that everyone remembers to bring in their completed Mathletics record every day.

Have a great weekend

Mr Gradwell

Friday, 25 January 2019


Dear all,

After the snow flurry on Tuesday night, many of the children in the class got excited about the prospect of a ‘snow day’ and seemed a bit disappointed that it wasn’t to be, but fortunately it has not distracted them from their learning during the rest of the week.

Next week in English, we will be continuing with our unit based around the book Skellig. The children will be looking closely at inference skills needed for reading comprehension and will be writing in role as a key character from the text.

In maths, we will be continuing our work on shape and space by investigating vertically opposite and missing angles before moving onto reflecting and translating across the four quadrants.

In science, it was decided that the class would benefit from one more lesson on healthy living –next week focusing specifically on the effects of alcohol and drugs on the body.

In history, we will be exploring the events surrounding royal burials during the Shang dynasty, looking at the objects that have been found during excavations and the knowledge of the period that was gained from these.

In art, we will be adding characters to the oracle bone designs that the children have already produced. The children will have a choice of whether to use actual ancient Chinese characters or to create their own ones to represent different words.

In computing, we will be planning and designing more complex aspects to the game that we began creating this week.

Homework for this week can be found on pages 29 and 30 of the CGP Geometry, Measures and Statistics book that was given out today. The pages relate to Perimeter and Area and I have asked the children not to continue onto any of the other pages if they complete the task quickly, but instead to write their own questions for a partner to be able to answer when they return their work on Monday. Once again, please also continue to encourage the use of Mathletics at home and remind your child to bring in their completed Mathletics record every day.

Thank you for encouraging the children to come into school at 8:30 each morning –this has allowed for a very productive time each day for morning work to be completed. Moving forward, we will also be able to use this time to fully focus on feedback and next steps, both from in class work and home learning tasks.

Have a great weekend

Mr Gradwell