Welcome to Owls
Murder Mystery – Death at the Spag Bol
The Spag Bol restaurant had for several years been recognised as the top Italian restaurant in London. However, the local Health Inspector had paid a surprise visit and had been shocked to find, not only some moist mouse droppings in the Bolognese sauce, but the plaster from a chef’s finger embedded in a bowl of lasagne. A visit to the kitchen revealed a couple of cockroaches scuttling about between the pans.
By the time the inspector ordered his dessert, it was clear that his report was going to be dreadful. His report was never published or even typed as he was found dead in his bed. The post mortem revealed that the dessert, a delicious Tiramisu gateau, had been laced with poison.
The 32 people who worked at the Spag Bol became immediate suspects. 5 clues in code were discovered. Each clue eliminates half the suspects.
Can you use your SPaG skills to solve the Murder at the Spag Bol?
Forces can be measured using a force meter. Force meters contain a spring connected to a metal hook. The spring stretches when a force is applied to the hook. The bigger theforce applied, the longer the spring stretches and the bigger the reading. We used force meters as part of our forces topic whilst working scientifically.
An exoplanet is a planet outside of our solar system that orbits a star. As of 8th November 2017, there are 3,693 planets in 2,768 systems, with 620 systems having more than one planet.
Currently, astronomers can investigate Earth-sized exoplanets using only indirect methods such as detecting the changes in starlight as a planet passes in front of its star. The starshade (also known as an external occulter) is a spacecraft that will enable telescopes in space to take pictures of planets orbiting faraway stars. The starshade is designed to fly in front of a telescope and block the immense glare from a star’s light before it enters the telescope, allowing the planet’s reflected light to pass through and be collected.
We designed our own starshades (also known as star shields), considering how these will be beneficial to space science.
During the Autumn Terms, we will be learning about the English Civil War, which was a series of armed conflicts between Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and Royalists (Cavaliers) over, principally, the manner of England's government.
We will become 'Historical Detectives', learning in detail about this aspect of history, including the causes and consequences of such conflicts. Our study will explore the impact of the Civil War on England, specifically focusing in on the local area.
Class Guide Dog
As part of our PSHE unit, we have been learning about the work of 'Dogs for Good', a charity which supports adults with a range of disabilities, giving them practical support which enables greater independence. Our learning has been related specifically to a puppy from the local area, Olive, who is currently being trained to become an Assistance Dog. Olive (and her owner) will be coming to visit us in Owls, and we will be following her progress throughout the year.
As a class, over the course of a few terms, we are going to write our own novel. How exciting! We will each have the opportunity to write our own chapter, of no more than 3 pages.
The theme for our book is ‘Space’. A new chapter will be written every week. The novel will be given out on a Friday, and should be returned, like normal homework, by Wednesday. If it is your turn to write, then for that week, you will NOT be expected to do your English homework (unless of course you want to).
We have been learning our Prime Numbers up to 100!
Every day, we spend time on a problem solving challenge. This week, our favourite challenge asked...
'Can you find the four consecutive prime numbers that add up to 220?'
As marvellous mathematicians, we solve problems like these:
- Can you find four consecutive prime numbers that add up to 220?
- Using only addition, how can you add eight 8’s to get the number 1000?
- What are 3 positive numbers give the same result when multiplied and added together?
- I add five to nine and get two. The answer is correct, but how?
We are learning to interpret and analyse poems beyond the ostensible. We will then be writing our own poems to enter into the national Rhymecraft Young Writers poetry competition!
This term, we have become Historical Detectives. A historical detective is somebody who looks at the events of the past.
The word History comes from the Greek word ‘historia’, meaning to learn by inquiry. To search for the truth, history requires a close investigation of a matter in search for the true information.
We started our topic by looking at the key events around the English Civil War, including key causes and consequences. As historical detectives, we then analysed and considered these facts, choosing the most important causes. We identified that the main causes of the Civil War were Religion, Power and Money.
In 1642, a Civil War broke out in England between Charles I and Parliament. It ended up with Charles losing his head in January 1649.Charles came to the throne in 1625. Relations between Charles I and Parliament gradually got worse. There were clashes about foreign policy and many Puritan Protestants disliked Charles's religious policy. Charles revived old laws and taxes without the agreement of Parliament. When Parliament complained in 1629, he dismissed them. Until 1640, Charles ruled without a Parliament – the 'Eleven Years' Tyranny'.
War with Scotland forced Charles to recall Parliament. Instead of granting Charles money, Parliament sent him the Grand Remonstrance (1641). This was a list of 204 complaints about the way he was running the country. After Charles had tried and failed to arrest the five leaders of the Parliament, a Civil War broke out.
Parliament had the support of the south-east of England, merchants, London and the navy. Charles's forces were gradually worn down. After Oliver Cromwell set up the New Model Army, Parliament won decisive victories at Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645). Charles surrendered in 1646. He failed a second time to defeat Parliament during the the Second Civil War in 1648. Parliament put him on trial for treason and he was executed in 1649.
The Civil War divided the country and families.'Cavaliers', the gentry of the northern and western areas, were Royalists and supported the king. At the start of the war Charles had better horsemen. Charles also used soldiers from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Most of the Royalists were conservative Protestants or Catholic.'Roundheads', the merchants and traders of the south-east and London, supported Parliament. This gave Parliament much more money than the king. Parliament also controlled the navy. Many of the supporters were also Puritan.
School Year 2016 - 2017
This term, we are learning about the Saxons. So far, we have learnt about Saxon kingdoms, settlements and invasions. We have been 'Historical Detectives' and archaeologists, exploring the Sutton Hoo burial site where many treasures were discovered.
Over the course of this term, we will be learning much more about the Saxon way of life, their beliefs and the impact of these factors on modern life.
Matilda - KS2 Performance
Bridge Building Challenge
In Owls, our focus for the Key Stage 2 performance will be on 'Matilda' by Roald Dahl, with some Revolting Rhymes also included.
Published in 1988, the story of young genius, Matilda Wormwood and her horrible parents, ogrish headmistress and kindly class teacher, has been delighting audiences ever since.
How much do you know about everyone's favourite child prodigy and reading enthusiast? We think you might be surprised by a few of these facts...
1. Matilda Wormwood started out as a "wicked" child
Roald Dahl wrote at least one draft of Matilda that was very, very different to the one we now know. In that early version, Matilda was a wicked child who plagued her poor, kind parents and caused havoc at school, ultimately redeeming herself through helping her teacher - an early version of Miss Honey - get out of financial difficulty by fixing a horse race...
2. Upon finishing his first Matilda draft, Roald Dahl thought he "got it wrong"
In a rare interview, recorded in 1988 - the year Matilda was published - Roald Dahl talked about how, in creating this "wicked" child, he knew he'd got the story "wrong," saying:
I hadn't bothered to go back and rewrite [that] for several chapters...
After finishing the draft and reflecting on it, Roald went back and rewrote a great deal of the story, creating the villainous Wormwoods and turning Matilda into the thoughtful child we now know.
In Storyteller, Roald Dahl's biographer Donald Sturrock tells us that Matilda's father, the devious Mr Wormwood, was based on a man called Ginger Henderson. Ginger owned the filling station in Roald's hometown of Great Missenden and was thus also the inspiration for a character called Gordon Hawes, who appears in some of Roald's short stories.
Actor Bertie Carvel originated the character of Miss Trunchbull onstage in the RSC's multi-award winning Matilda The Musical - first in Stratford-upon-Avon, then in London, and later on Broadway.
Although he wrote several shorter stories and poems in the last few years of his life - including Rhyme Stew, Esio Trot and The Minpins - Matilda was the last long children's story Roald Dahl wrote before his death in November 1990. It was also one of the few of his stories to win an award in the UK within his lifetime, scooping the Federation of Children's Book Groups Award when it was published in 1988.
Useful website for Year 5 and 6:
Saxon Shield Art
Just four days before Christmas 1900, three lighthouse keepers seemingly vanished into thin air on the remote Flannan Isles. Not a single shred of evidence was ever found to point to what might have happened.
We have been making our own inferences about what happened to the men, ensuring that these related to the evidence that actually existed, for example, the fact that they had no boat. We have also been reading and undertaking work on the Ballad of Flannan Isle by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson - see below if you would like to read it!
HOUGH three men dwell on Flannan Isle
To keep the lamp alight,
As we steer'd under the lee, we caught
No glimmer through the night!
A passing ship at dawn had brought
The news; and quickly we set sail,
To find out what strange thing might all
The keepers of the deep-sea light.
The winter day broke blue and bright,
With glancing sun and glancing spray,
As o'er the swell our boat made way,
As gallant as a gull in flight.
But, as we near'd the lonely Isle;
And look'd up at the height;
And saw the lighthouse towering white,
With blinded lantern, that all night
Had never shot a spark
Of comfort through the dark,
So ghastly in the cold sunlight
It seem'd, that we were struck the while
With wonder all too dread for words.
And, as into the tiny creek
We stole beneath the hanging crag,
We saw three blackbirds--
Too big, by far, in my belief,
Upon a half-tide reef:
But, as we near'd, they plunged from sight,
Without a sound, or spurt of white.
And still too mazed to speak,
We landed; and made fast the boat;
And climb'd the track in single file,
Each wishing he was safe afloat,
On any sea, however far,
So it be far from Flannan Isle:
And still we seem'd to climb, and climb,
As though we'd lost all count of time,
And so must climb for evermore.
Yet, all too soon, we reached the door--
The black, sun-blister'd lighthouse door,
That gaped for us ajar.
As, on the threshold, for a spell,
We paused, we seem'd to breathe the smell
Of limewash and of tar,
Familiar as our daily breath,
As though 'twere some strange scent of death:
And so, yet wondering, side by side,
We stood a moment, still tongue-tied:
And each with black foreboding eyed
The door, ere we should fling it wide,
To leave the sunlight for the gloom:
Till, plucking courage up, at last,
Hard on each other's heels we pass'd
Into the living-room.
Yet, as we crowded through the door,
We only saw a table, spread
For dinner, meat and cheese and bread;
But all untouch'd; and no one there:
As though, when they sat down to eat,
Ere they could even taste,
Alarm had come; and they in haste
Had risen and left the bread and meat:
For on the table-head a chair
Lay tumbled on the floor.
We listen'd; but we only heard
The feeble cheeping of a bird
That starved upon its perch:
And, listening still, without a word,
We set about our hopeless search.
We hunted high, we hunted low,
And soon ransack'd the empty house;
Then o'er the Island, to and fro,
We ranged, to listen and to look
In every cranny, cleft or nook
That might have hid a bird or mouse:
But, though we searched from shore to shore,
We found no sign in any place:
And soon again stood face to face
Before the gaping door:
And stole into the room once more
As frighten'd children steal.
Aye: though we hunted high and low,
And hunted everywhere,
Of the three men's fate we found no trace
Of any kind in any place,
But a door ajar, and an untouch'd meal,
And an overtoppled chair.
And, as we listen'd in the gloom
Of that forsaken living-room--
O chill clutch on our breath--
We thought how ill-chance came to all
Who kept the Flannan Light:
And how the rock had been the death
Of many a likely lad:
How six had come to a sudden end
And three had gone stark mad:
And one whom we'd all known as friend
Had leapt from the lantern one still night,
And fallen dead by the lighthouse wall:
And long we thought
On the three we sought,
And of what might yet befall.
Like curs a glance has brought to heel,
We listen'd, flinching there:
And look'd, and look'd, on the untouch'd meal
And the overtoppled chair.
We seem'd to stand for an endless while,
Though still no word was said,
Three men alive on Flannan Isle,
Who thought on three men dead.
Railway Theme Week
Year 5 Artists painting in watercolour
'A view from a Railway Carriage'
This week, whilst Year 6 are on their Residential, Year 5 will be at school undertaking a Railway themed topic week.
The first railways in Britain were simple systems operated in mining towns. The expansion of the railway network was delayed by different problems and there were several objections to the construction of the railways. We will be exploring these factors in detail. Our topic will also incorporate an exploration of popular railway themed literature, including 'The Railway Children' by E. Nesbit, and 'From a Railway Carriage' by Robert Louis Stevenson.
We will also be finding out about railway engineers. Here are some interesting facts about two particularly famous engineers:
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The Railway Children
By E Nesbit
This is a story of three children, Roberta, Phyllis, and Peter, who live in a respectable suburban villa with a wonderful mother and father and a cook and servants, until one day great disgrace and poverty befalls them. Father is taken away to prison (but they do not know this at first), and they have to move to a poor cottage in the country near a railway line. Mother writes stories to earn what little they live on and they get used to being poor and have to learn not to steal coal from the railway station, even if they have so little to keep warm by. Sometimes they argue and have crises, as one does, but in time they make many new friends, and amusing adventures aplenty happen near the railway and the canal. They develop the habit of waving to the train as it goes past and sometimes the people in the coaches wave back. Their friendly habits makes them one special friend in particular, who although he mostly just goes by in the train, eventually gets to know them, and helps them out in various ways. And somehow all the good things that they do add up together and end up coming back to them, and there is happy ending to it all.
Our Art Exhibition