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Year 5 – Simmonds Class

Welcome to Simmonds Class and Year 5

Week ending 25th September 2020


The class have produced some fantastic writing these past two weeks as part of our unit on biographies and I have been delighted with their efforts. The same can be said for their work in numeracy too, where they have covered place value in numbers up to a million; compared and ordered numbers and this week, begun to round numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. The homework task is related to this work and has been attached to the link above, alongside the required spellings for our first test next Friday. 

Science, RE, history and enrichment activities have completed the timetable and a selection of photos have been added below so that you can take a peek at what we have been up to. 

As you can see,  we have had great fun as would-be scientists, completing our own electrical circuits and trying to find the best electrical conductor. We then spent Wednesday afternoon exploring the great outdoors under the direction of Adam from Shine: he led us through our first session of Forest School where we took part in a whole range of activities centred around teamwork and investigation. Many thanks to Adam for his time and energy - not to mention his vast knowledge of all those creepy crawlies! laugh

Finally, we would like to wish Mia a speedy recovery: there are a few coughs and colds going around at the moment but Mia has succumbed to a nasty chest infection so the children in Simmonds Class thought it would be nice to send her a Get Well Soon card with some heartfelt messages inside to let her know how much we are missing her. heart


Week ending 11th September 2020

The first week seems to have flown by much quicker (and more smoothly!) than anticipated and it has been great getting to know some of the characters in my new class. The children have settled in quickly and completed a number of the activities outlined in the Recovery Curriculum to help ease their way back into the school day and manage its routines and structures. Other than a few splotches of mis-directed hand sanitiser on the carpet, the new systems have been adhered to well and I have been really pleased at how the children have coped with the slightly shortened lunchtimes. Keep it up, Simmonds Class! yes

We did investigate who Ellie Simmonds is and what she has been able to achieve. We will be building on this next week as we learn more about her life and begin our first writing piece: a biography. The photos below show part of the "Colour scavenger hunt" we were able to complete, courtesy of a very sunny afternoon, and some examples of the "Classroom Character" art work will shortly be displayed in the gallery section above. 

Alongside our first (gentle) maths lessons on place value and an introduction to some science based around materials, next week promises to be equally as enjoyable. laugh


Hello Simmonds Class and Welcome to Year 5





It has been a long old time since school was open for you as a whole class so I hope you are looking forward to seeing each other again and excited about what the new term and the new "normal" will bring as Brentry's "now-year-fives." I am sure there will be a great mix of emotions on return, ranging from delight and joyous anticipation to some more restrained feelings, wondering how things may have changed and how you are going to cope with it all. You will be pleased to know that we teachers have spent a lot of time considering this and putting together plenty of opportunities for you to ease back into the school routine gently, to ask lots of questions and to have the time to share all your different experiences of the past 6 months. 

For myself, I am really looking forward to having you in, getting to know you and letting you know about all the exciting things we cover and do in year 5 - so, enjoy the long weekend, make sure you get some early nights now in preparation for the 8:50 arrival and I will see you bright and breezy on Monday morning. 

Tell your parents, by the way, if they want to see an overview of some of the expectations and content for the class, they can take a look at the information I have attached in the letters and curriculum sections above. yes 

Simmonds Class Update 

16th July 2020


Hello everyone laugh


Huge congratulations to you all – we have made it to the end of term and the end of year 5.

I want, once again, to thank you for all the hard work and commitment so many of you have shown during these past months and for all the support you have given to both the school and your children. It has been a testing time but it has been so rewarding to see how well you have all coped and, in some cases, excelled. A very big well done from me. yes

I have, on request, popped a few revision ideas under the rainbow icon, in the event that you would like some to help pass the time, but these are absolutely not a requirement.  I think we can all agree, you have earned your right to a break but they are there if you need. 

For the summer break, I hope the sunshine returns a bit more permanently than of late – and that you enjoy a restful few weeks now with your friends and families. I look forward to seeing all the new year 6s in September, fresh and excited in their red fleeces, no doubt all looking very grown up! Take care everyone. heart


School re-opens on 1st September but children will return on the 4th September following three Inset days. 

Simmonds Class Update

10th July 2020


Unbelievable though it may seem, we have reached the final week of term - and the last week of year 5. It has been a strange and uncertain time but also a time when we have seen the very best of people and their support for each other. heart I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, children and parents, for the fantastic way you have dealt with this lock-down period. The work has been brilliant; the commitment to keeping your spirits up has been wonderful, often putting a smile on my face and providing some laugh-out-loud moments; your thoughts, ideas and care for each other has been evident, time and time again - and best of all, for me, were the constant stream of photos. laugh


Below are this week's pictures. As you can see, the in-school bubbles made some delicious baguette pizzas - and the home-learning activities produced some great examples of Romero Britto artwork; information posters on yourselves - and bees; and some thoughtful descriptions of where Leon went on the next part of his journey. Sabrina also conducted a lemon juice experiment to clean up her pound coins - just look at the difference between the before and after results!  yes


Simmonds Class Update

2nd July 2020


Hello everybody laugh

With only two more weeks to go until the end of term, it has been fantastic to receive the stream of work still being completed - and at such a high level. The art work continues to amaze me: this week, Andy Warhol would be extremely impressed with your offerings, as I was, and the PSHE letters of advice were utterly reassuring - I see there are a number of potential teachers out there for the future!! A selection of your work has been displayed in the slideshow below. I look forward to being back in school next week to see the two bubbles but will, of course, continue with the home-learning timetable as usual. 

Enjoy your weekend - and let's hope the sunshine returns. 

Simmonds Class Update

26th June 2020


Hello everyone. laugh

What a fantastic week this has been - not just because of the glorious sunshine, but also for the successful Zoom calls I was able to have with the two Y5 bubbles in school: it was an absolute delight to see your smiling faces and gain a picture of what life in the Brentry classroom looks like right now! A huge thank you to Mrs Collins for sorting out all the techie side of that - not my strongest point, as Wednesday's bubble discovered - and a big thank you, too, for Mrs Price who averted mutiny by allowing a later play-time after I talked for too  long: no surprises there, eh?!   

The work that has been completed this week continues to showcase the excellent art that you are all producing throughout our Pop Art topic: there are plenty of examples of your Lichtenstein portrait versions in the slideshow below so see who you can recognise in there: a few Year 5 children have been mixed in amongst the celebrities...

I have also added some examples of your maths, writing, science, ICT and PSHE tasks as they are all worthy of mention and display - finishing off with a few great photos of Leila and Tayler at the Wild Place and Lexie exploring the woodlands as well as whizzing along on her new Segway.

Thank you so much, all of you, for your continued hard work and efforts to make the very best of these strange times. 


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Simmonds Class Update

18th June 2020


Hello everyone. laugh

The weather seems to have turned quite considerably this week but it has certainly not stopped you producing your usual fantastic work. I have been delighted with the efforts you have put into your celebrity Pop Art portraits, Lichtenstein-style; your maths work; the science tasks on Changes; the PSHE statements on true friendship (some tear-jerking thoughts there) and the continued commitment you are giving to your writing and grammar rules: I have received some truly exceptional pieces this week. yes

Do please keep this going. It makes my day - every day - when I see the hard work you are putting into each of these tasks.

The slideshow below your work examples give you a glimpse into some of the additional activities some of you have been entertaining yourselves with: Sarah looks as if she has been in the wars (hope you've healed up now); Jack has been busy gardening and cooking (and I happen to know he has just purchased a new motor-cross bike too); Archie is keeping fit with a spot of cycling and some accomplished fishing; Humaira has experimented with some crayons and a hair-drier to make some alternative art pieces; Ellie has been enjoying the great outdoors with some walking, swimming and fab back-garden sliding; and Lexie is fully back in the saddle with her horse-riding and jumping. I hope you love seeing these photos as much as I do - send your own in to me for there is always room for more!

My email address is:


Lexie's now allowed to jump!

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What a wonderful way to escape lock-down - Lexie is back in her element

Simmonds Class Update

11th June 2020


Hello everyone laugh

The first week of "back-to-school" days has already whizzed by for some children  and I hear that it has been a great success, getting back into the school environment, seeing some classmates and creating some inventive lunch-time games such as socially-distancing tag!  Those of you at home have continued to send me some fantastic work and I have been really impressed, as ever, with the results. A sample of some of your Pop Art creations, ICT databases, PSHE thoughts and scientific stages of human development are shown below, as are the wonderful adverts on Secret Agent Grandpa's Devastator 9000.

If only they were real - I'd invest in one right now so I could could come and see you all!

Finally, I couldn't resist topping your photos off with a selection that Ami sent in, of ways to keep busy at home. She has built forts, cooked over a hot garden stove, looked after her rabbits, tidied the garden and played the guitar: something there to inspire each one of you.

Keep well, keep working and keep smiling everyone. heart

Ami plays the guitar

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Simmonds Class Update

4th June 2020


Hello everyone laugh

June is now upon us and, for many of you, being back in school is only a few days away now. I can feel the excitement from here! I hope you have all enjoyed a thoroughly refreshing half term and been able to spend some time with your families  in the great outdoors - fingers crossed, the sunshine will stay with us and you will be able to utilise it with plenty more outdoor activities, whether in school or from your own back garden.

In the meanwhile, here are a few examples of the lovely work you have been completing over the last couple of weeks. As you can see, the level of commitment and achievement has not waned one bit and I have been delighted with the results. You will see some 3D artwork to finish off our topic on Flowers and Plants; some thought-provoking 9 o'clock work; some great science on life cycles and Mrs Jack will no doubt be delighted with the informative posters on strong passwords and internet safety, as much as I am pleased to see these great displays of a healthy lunchboxes  yes I have particularly loved reading your fantastic and heart-felt descriptions of your wonderful Golden Oldiesheart Keep this up angel

Simmonds Class Update

22nd May 2020


The weather forecast suggests that next week will be full of sunshine so let's hope we can all enjoy a well-deserved half term and a spot of R & R in the great outdoors. 

Just in case you were missing the latest photos of your classmates, here's a chance to see what they have been up to, which may inspire you to send your own photos in to add to the mix. Please note the fantastic cookery skills being developed through this lock-down; the stunning artwork that is being produced; the amount of exercise being taken; the beauty of hidden nature reserves; the innovative ways communities have come together (including owl rescues!) - and the social distancing measures being observed even when we meet up with our besties! laugh 

Have an enjoyable and happy half term with your families and I look forward to hearing all about it. Take care everyone heart

Simmonds Class Update

15th May 2020


Hello laugh

I hope this message finds you all well and that you are managing to keep busy and entertained through this continued lock-down. The work that I have received would indicate that you are: below are just a few examples of some of the RE and literacy work on persuasive writing that you have sent in. Also, if you haven't had a chance to do so yet, do take a look at the hammer printing designs you achieved on the Purple Mash blog: they are absolutely stunning. I had a go myself with the children in school and it was great fun!

I have also added a few photos of some additional activities many of you have undertaken, following your own interests and showing the success of your endeavours. On show this week are some gardening results; some natural artwork; some VE day celebrations (including the roping in of your parents!) Lexie's horse-riding and Leah's tapathon for charity. Well done to those involved - and I look forward to seeing what else you all come up with during the week ahead. Keep safe everyone - and stay in touch. yes


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Leah tapathon (1).mp4

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Simmonds Class Update 

7th May 2020


Hello everyone laugh

Another week seems to have flown by, despite the somewhat slower pace that we have been used to up until recent times. Tomorrow is a bank holiday and I gather many of you will be taking part in "Stay-at-Home" street parties to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day

Have a fabulous time if you are involved in one of these and do feel free to send on any photos so that we can all share in the festivities. 

On that note, I am really excited to post the photos in the slideshow below. Your tasks this week included observational pencil sketching of flowers and some Iain Green style photography of back garden flowers and nature. You - and he, no doubt - will be utterly impressed with the results sent in this week. Well done to all those who contributed. yes

Simmonds Class Update

29th April 2020


Hello everyone laugh

I couldn't resist sharing some of the photos that have been sent to me during this week. It truly does bring a huge smile to my face seeing how you are all coping with the lock-down and knowing that so many of you are taking this opportunity to learn and practise a whole range of new skills. We have some DIY experts emerging, some budding chefs, gardeners, artists and genuinely fun-loving entertainers - I trust this selection will put a smile on your faces, too - they're infectious!  I have also uploaded some of the additional work that has been on offer - some absolutely fabulous examples of vociferous reading, creative writing and wonderful shaded artwork, all of which continue to make me so proud to be your teacher. A very big well done to you all - and keep it up!  

As ever, do keep logging on to Purple Mash and the weekly timetable from the class web page. These activities are designed to keep your brains switched on and ticking over so do dip into them as much as you feel able. It will be a help, I'm sure, once we all (eventually) return to school. Keep in touch through the blog or my email: 

and continue to look after yourselves and each other. heart

Simmonds Class Update

22nd April 2020


Hello everyone laugh


I know it's only been a couple of days since the launch of our more structured timetable but I wanted to send a class-wide thank you and well done for making it such a promising start. The blog on Purple Mash seems to have been a hit and many of you have used it to say hi, to share your news or work and (thankfully!) give instructions on how to do some of the more technically tricky bits while we're all getting our heads around this new way of working.

One top tip I really do want you all to know is how to edit PDFs for a number of the on-line tasks (Serial Mash comprehension and spelling questions/White Rose maths sheets) come in this format - and I don't want you all taking up your printing paper and ink supplies at home!


So, with much appreciation to Lexie and her mum, here are the useful steps:


  • open up the PDF and download it to your computer
  • once closed, you can right click and re-open with the option "open with adobe acrobat reader"
  • this gives you the facility to edit, using the "fill and sign" option where a pen or other icons, depending on what you want to do (e.g. add text, circle a particular answer...) are at the top bar
  • once you have completed the sheet, save it and upload straight into your Purple Mash folder using the upload tab 
  • if you prefer to use the marker pen, rather than the text box tool, then follow the instructions I have added in the attachment below: "PDF Editing"


I must re-iterate that this work is provided as an opportunity for you to keep your learning going and your brains active. I am loving the efforts so many of you are putting in to make this happen but I do know there are many who are preferring other methods to keep happy and healthy. Whatever you are choosing to do, please keep in touch anyway, either through the class blog or my email address for it would be lovely to hear from you and keep connected. As ever though, stay safe and look after each other.


To finish, I have added a few examples of the work you have been sending through. FABULOUS!

Simmonds Class Update

April 16th 2020


Hello again everybody. laugh

I trust you are all keeping well and busy, whatever you are doing. I have popped into school a couple of times since my last post and remembered to take photos of the lovely space posters many of you completed during our last week at school - and also of some of the projects that were handed in. Take a look through some of the examples below - and don't feel it's too late to submit either if you're wondering how to fill your time!

I have also been sent some photos of activities you have been getting up to at home. In this set, Bert and Archie have celebrated their birthdays in style; Tayler has been helping with the house chores and keeping fit with some rollerskating; Sarah worked hard to complete her project; Ellie's been having a fun time with her brother in the back garden and in the kitchen, working and playing and Evan has been busy getting creative with some artwork, some cooking, some Cosmic yoga and also worked through the home learning pack. Fab! yes 

It's a lovely way of keeping in touch and staying connected so do keep these photos coming in. For those of you logging on to Purple Mash, I have started up a blog and Siyaam kicks us off with some fine football skills. Take a look in the "sharing" tab you have been alerted to and have a go at his routine. laugh


April 5th 2020


Hello everybody laugh


Having had two weeks away from school and whole class lessons, I am hoping you have taken the opportunity to still keep your brains active and work through your home learning pack.

You will have received by now an additional letter, informing you of the Purple Mash set up and how to access the White Rose resources for future activities. 

I am keeping busy by making myself familiar with how these programmes operate for best practice for year 5 and am excitedly preparing your first structured timetable, ready for the week beginning Monday April 20th. It shouldn't take me too long as you know how proficient I am at all things ICT-related! 


In the meantime, I have added a few suggestions in the "school closure home learning" section above (rainbow icon) which may keep you occupied until then, if you wish.


I really do hope you are all keeping well and looking after each other. Although a strange time, it has allowed many of us, I think, to take up those hobbies we've always intended to get around to and develop one or two skills a little more. My flapjacks need more syrup and my fitness levels have some way to go (thank you Joe Wicks for making this so obvious!) but I've been proud of my organisation, cookery of some new recipes and garden tidying in readiness for some strawberry planting. Good luck with yours - and a happy, safe Easter break to you all. yes


Closure at Brentry Primary School

March 2020

Simmonds Class


As you are aware, schools have now closed to most children and as a result, Simmonds Class have had their last day together for the foreseeable future. It has been a fantastic year so far, with so much progress evident, alongside plenty of laughs and a range of activities beyond the classroom alone. I wanted to let you know what a great bunch of children you have and how much, genuinely, I have enjoyed teaching them this year. Let's hope we can all work together to beat this situation soon and the school day can resume once again before too long. In the meantime, home learning ideas and activities have been updated in the section above and packs have been provided for your child today to take home with them. Further tasks may well be added as we gain more certainty of the situation and other links will be updated as necessary.

My work email is: if you have any questions about the activities set.

A few photos of the last week's lessons and artwork are displayed below - our PSHE session focused on the recovery position and keeping a calm head; our geography lesson on landscapes of Eastern Europe resulted in some stunning water-colours and I will try to get their science posters uploaded where the children recorded information about the movement of the planets in our solar system. A great way to finish the week.

In the meantime, please do take care of yourselves and stay safe. smiley

Finally, a very big thank you to the children for their kind messages on the last day. I shall treasure this photo and wish you all the very best over the next few weeks and months.

Welcome to Year 5 and Simmonds Class

Week ending 13th March 2020


It has been a much quieter week this week but one which has allowed us all to catch our breath and settle back down to the on-going topics. We have made a lot of headway with our work on fractions and will be moving on to multiplying fractions and mixed numbers by integers as soon as the last few activities on subtracting with mixed numbers and improper fractions is complete. We have also been busy writing with poetic devices such as similes, metaphors and personification: it has been a delight to read such innovative descriptions and see the children's understanding of the impact of such techniques. 

Exploring Eastern Europe has also been an interesting topic so far and we were able to use the school iPads to research and compare the different landscapes around this region. 

On Friday, we were treated to a fantastic display of guitar playing when the guitarists from Brentry performed for us and their parents. Congratulations to our year 5 musicians -

Miss Ransom caught you on camera!



Please do look out for a letter coming home this week regarding our forthcoming parents evening. For Simmonds Class, this will be taking place on Mon 23rd and Tues 24th March. As usual, there will be a sign up sheet in the school playground for you to choose a convenient time but please ask your child to sign up in your absence if you are unable to come in yourself. I look forward to seeing you then.


Week ending 6th March 2020


It has been a thoroughly enjoyable English Week this week, as we have indulged in a whole variety of activities and events related to all-things-bookish. We had the annual spelling bee competition; returned to school after-hours in our PJs for bedtime stories; enjoyed the ever-brilliant World Book Day where we dressed up as book characters; held an open family read afternoon, a book swap organised by Miss Ransom and took part in a VIPERS lesson where parents came in to re-live their youth and joined us in the classroom for the session! Below are just a few photos of the fun we had...

We also managed to fit in time for the other subjects too laugh

The children have worked really hard to consolidate their recent maths unit on fractions. We have been focusing on comparing and ordering improper fractions and mixed numbers and the homework task this week is related to this. The first sheet attached in the homework section above is for all children to attempt and many will get on to the extra questions at the bottom of the sheet within the half hour allocated. There is also a second sheet attached for those who enjoy an additional challenge. Alongside this, the children should continue researching and collating information for their home project

We also began our new science topic on Earth and Space and created some amusing mnemonics to help us remember the order of the planets in our solar system. 


Week ending 28th February 2020


After their half term break, the children seem very refreshed and ready to learn once again. We have already fitted in a range of exciting activities, including a fascinating trip to Shah Jalal Jame mosque in Easton. Aumairah presented an informative and engaging talk on Islam and we were able to gain a few ideas about the importance of some of the key features around the building. A few photos are below.



We completed our final science investigation on Forces, this time examining the effects of friction on a moving (toy!) car. It was interesting to put our predictions to the test and discover some quite different results. This always allows for plenty of questions and evaluation afterwards - true scientific processes for the would-be scientist. laugh

We are all really looking forward to English week and are eagerly putting the finishing touches to our costumes for World Book Day next Thursday. You should have received a letter outlining all the exciting activities we have planned so do please sign up if you would like to attend any of the in-schoool events we are holding or if your child would like to come to our annual bedtime story evening on the Wednesday

Homework this week sets out the requirements for the second home project of the year. The children have been given a few weeks to research and complete a presentation related to one area of Eastern Europe - I look forward to seeing the finished products.


Week ending 14th February 2020


We have had a full on week to end off term 3 here in Simmonds Class. Monday kicked off with a brisk walk to Blaise High School to watch their fantastic production of "We Will Rock You." A big well done to all the performers  and it was good to see how many budding stars we have here in year 5, just waiting to be spotted. We had a good old singsong on the way home, much to the pleasure of the passers by!

Christopher Edge, the author, visited us on Wednesday and delivered a completely inspiring talk on his books and how he gets his ideas for writing. Evidence of the impact of his presentation was clearly seen when the children in Simmonds Class wrote at length (in ten minutes) on all things space and fictional. Many thanks to Christopher for his time and energy. We look forward to reading even more of your books.

We have also been busily finishing off our science and geography units in preparation for next term's new ones. The knowledge organisers for term 4's topics have been attached to the above links but we have had great fun completing this term's science experiments related to forces.

Here are a few photos of our tests on streamlined boats and perfect parachutes.

The homework task for the half term has a literacy focus and invites the children to upgrade a set of sentences with some of the techniques they have practised this term. I have also asked them to have another look at the year 5/6 spelling list so they can add a few more to their knowledge before the end of half term. smiley

Reminder: We have our visit to the mosque on the first Wednesday back after the break so do please make sure you have returned your permission slips and paid the £2 on the school gateway. Many thanks and have an enjoyable half term with your families.


Week ending 7th February 2020


It has been another great week in terms of workload coverage and the children have now completed their balanced arguments. They really were a joy to read and very rewarding to see such a range of debatable issues. Well done Simmonds Class - a few more gold stars have found their way onto the chart. laugh

We have also finished our unit on multiplication and division.The class applied their knowledge of calculation methods to a set of tricky word problems, including those where remainders had to be interpreted to fit the context of the question. We are now looking forward to beginning the lengthy task of understanding fractions in all their glory...

Our PSHE theme of Dreams and Goals involved us looking at the lives of young children from other cultures and discussing what their dreams and aspirations might be. Once again, the children showed that they have great empathy for the plight of others and were able to recognise the similarities and differences between their own lives and those of others.  

We have also been learning about the Pillars of Islam in greater depth, for our topic on "What does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain today?" This week, Fatima's dad came in to demonstrate some of the prayer positions (Salah) and talk more about the impact and reasons behind Muslim prayer. Many thanks go to him for his time - and patience with all of our questions! Here are a few photos of him performing some positions of rak'ah.

The homework task this week relates to the division work we have completed and gives the children a chance to consolidate the method known as the "bus stop" method. Please ensure this is finished and handed in by Wednesday of next week. 

And finally....a reminder that we have two exciting events happening next week.

On Monday afternoon we will be walking to Blaise High to watch their school's production of "We Will Rock You." Thank you for returning all your permission slips so promptly: we will endeavour to get the children back to Brentry School by 4 o'clock.

Also, on Wednesday morning, the author Christopher Edge will be taking an extended assembly for years 5 and 6. He will be talking about his stories, a real mix of scientific knowledge and literary imagination, no doubt inspiring many of our own would-be writers. Have a restful weekend as it looks like it's going to be another busy week...



Week ending 31st January 2020


As term 3 continues to fly by, there are a number of exciting events coming up for which letters will be sent out, giving further information about each one, so do please keep a look out in the bottom of your child's bag for scrumpled up pieces of paper. smiley 

Currently, I am collecting permission slips for attendance to Blaise High's performance of

"We Will Rock You," to be held on Monday 10th February.

Please ensure your child has returned this slip to enable him/her to join us.


Our science unit on Forces continues with a number of practical tests and investigations. This week, we examined the relationship between mass (kg) and weight (N) as a result of learning about gravity. Plenty of fun was had!

I have been absolutely delighted with the efforts the whole class has put in to our recent work on multiplication and division problems. They really have worked thoroughly through some tricky challenges and have demonstrated a solid grasping of the inverse relationship between the two operations. Deservedly, another gold star has been added to the chart.

In literacy, the children have also shown an aptitude - and enthusiasm - for argument. Some well-reasoned ideas were suggested for all sorts of statements (e.g. children should choose their own bedtimes; junk food should be banned; animals should not be kept in zoos...) and I look forward to seeing their final presentations in the coming weeks. 

The homework task this week relates to our work on balanced argument - enjoy! 


Week ending 24th January 2020


Our highlight of the week was undoubtedly our Australia Day Sale held on Thursday 23rd January, set up in order to raise funds for the millions of animals affected by the devastating fires in Australia. Born out of the children's response to an idea suggested by Ellie and Caitlin, Simmonds Class have excelled themselves in organising and delivering a sale from all your kind donations. Our original target of £150 was completely and utterly smashed as the attendance from the whole school community was excellent - and resulted in a grand total of £400. The children would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you and now look forward to sending that money to the WWF to help in their tireless work in caring for the surviving animals. 

We have continued to work hard in the classroom too and ploughed our way through the short division method for dividing up to four-digit numbers by a single digit. We have begun our unit on balanced argument and examined the key features required. The science lesson proved quite hazardous as we investigated how simple levers work - but fortunately we all survived the flying missiles to determine how the positioning of the fulcrum and load can make a significant difference to the amount of force needed! Photos of some of these activities have been loaded onto the gallery section above.

The PSHE lesson this week generated some interesting discussion about the contribution different professions make - we discovered that the jobs we considered most important were invariably the jobs that came with the lowest salaries. In contrast, those jobs that were rated least important came with a considerably larger salary. Don't be surprised if some of your children come home now, eagerly pursuing a professional footballing career!

Ranking how important particular jobs are

Homework this week includes spellings for those rare GPCs, to build on the work we have already put in on "silent letter" words and I have also asked the children to become familiar with the times table Rock Stars programme. We reviewed it in class this week and it is proving to be an exciting, innovative way to learning these multiplication facts. Good luck! 


Week ending 17th January 2020


It has been another great week in Simmonds Class and the gold stars for hard work and good behaviour are already stacking up. The homework this week is related to the compact method for long multiplication which the children seem to have really enjoyed - and accomplished. The task set is due in for Wednesday, please.

We have also begun our next science unit on Forces where we had fun finding out the effects of forces - by arm wrestling each other!

Plenty of grammar revision has gone on in literacy to prepare us for the next unit on writing, including different types of conjunctions, adverbials and a range of opening clauses. We are looking forward to applying these elements to our work on balanced arguments which begins next week.

Many thanks go to the children for their fantastic - and inventive - collages of "all-things-British." A sample of what they have produced is shown below and I think you'll agree that they have captured the essence of the task. 



Don't forget: Year 5 are holding their "Sale for Australia" this Thursday, 23rd January, at 3:30 to 4 in the school hall. Please, please do make an effort to come along and support this worthy cause. The children are desperate to raise any funds they can in order to send to the WWF in their fight to help and care for the thousands of animals affected by the fires in Australia. We are also still taking donations to sell, so have a rummage through the backs of cupboards and wardrobes to find anything else you have left that would be suitable for selling. We look forward to seeing you there. THANK YOUsmiley


Week ending 10th January 2020


A very happy New Year to you all and I trust you all had an enjoyable break. Simmonds Class have certainly hit the ground running in this first week back and have already demonstrated a fantastic work ethic which I am sure is a sign of great things to come laugh

On Friday, we welcomed Will to the class for we said a sad goodbye to Freya last term.  We extended a big well done to Will for settling in so seamlessly.

We were also treated to the news of Leah's participation in the Beauty and the Beast production, held at the Redgrave Theatre over the Christmas period. It was an amazing experience and has inspired many of the children to look into performing arts.

Can you spot her in the photo below?

In terms of topics this term, year 5 have begun learning the formal written method for long multiplication and have got off to a roaring start! I was really impressed with how many of the children persevered through the challenge activities - and succeeded. We will begin looking at writing a balanced argument over the next couple of weeks in literacy and will be taking on Forces in the science lesson. Our geography unit on Modern Britain has already been introduced, which will involve mapping skills as well as learning about the nature of what makes up Great Britain. Our homework task this week is related to thinking about what things are associated with Britain....I look forward to receiving the collages next week. Finally, please be on the look out for a letter home regarding our forthcoming Sale for Australia. This was sent out Friday but can also be found in the letters section above if it has not reached you.  Year 5 will be holding a sale in order to raise funds for the WWF's fantastic work to help the animals, injured and made homeless from the catastrophic fires in Australia. Anything you can find at home, in saleable condition, would be great to have. Please send in to Simmonds Class as soon as possible in preparation for our sale - in the school hall, 3:30 - 4:00p.m, on Thursday 23rd January. 

THANK YOU! smiley


Week ending 20th December 2019


The end of term is now upon us and a much-deserved and welcomed two week break begins. Simmonds Class finished in style with a morning of science experiments investigating irreversible changes. We mixed vinegar with milk and then with bicarbonate of soda to observe what changes happened. New substances were created - and we had a lot of fun throughout as the photos below demonstrate!  


The kitchen staff delighted us with a delicious Christmas Dinner on Wednesday and it proved to be a really lovely occasion. The teaching staff waited on the children and the whole dining room took on a vibrant and colourful feel as Christmas jumpers galore lit up the hall. Very best wishes to you all for a wonderful time with your families; many thanks for the kind gifts received and we look forward to seeing you all again, ready for 2020 laugh


Week ending 13th December 2019


It has been another fun-filled week in Simmonds Class as we continue the countdown to the end-of-term break. The KS1 nativity play kicked the week off on Monday and the year 5 children all agreed that the performance and the singing this year was outstanding.

It is always so lovely for them to reminisce and remind themselves of what they did at the same time so many years ago. Well done to all the infants and teachers who put together such an enjoyable event.

We also held our virtual museum afternoon and it was great to have a number of parents join us to look through the children's work. Many thanks for your support - I know the children appreciate it - and your positive comments about their work.

Here are a sample of photos from the afternoon. 

On Wednesday afternoon, Simmonds Class had their reward session and brought in their electronic games. Many commented how much fun it was - and how quickly the afternoon went! It was a pleasure to watch the children interacting so well and they fully deserved this treat for the efforts and hard work they have put in so far this year.

Thursday, of course, was Polling Day so the children were well-rested for the Friday activities when half of the children set off for their French adventure and we were therefore joined by the remainder of year 6. It was another enjoyable day with a range of maths puzzles and problems being solved, a spot of "Call My Bluff," using unfamiliar words from the dictionary - and a good deal of bluffing! We have some convincing actors among us, I can assure you! Monday will see the year 6 pupils join us again as the French travellers begin their journey back to Brentry - and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible next Wednesday evening for the much-anticipated Carols by Candlelight performance. 


Week ending 6th December 2019


Each Friday seems to be upon us before we realise it at the moment but, as the old saying goes, time flies when you're enjoying yourself! Simmonds Class have had a tremendous week and have completed a truly fantastic set of adventure stories. Based on the film, "Jason and the Argonauts," and  using plenty of the features we have been learning about in class, their writing was an absolute joy to read. We have practised using ambitious vocabulary; language to create the effect of excitement, suspense and tension and been working hard to extend our sentences with a range of adverbs and conjunctions to add detail. Some examples will shortly be displayed in the gallery section above.

We have also completed our unit on Perimeter and Area in numeracy which has resulted in some great problem-solving and tricky multi-step calculations. Well done.

Next Monday afternoon, 2:30pm onwards, is your chance to come and see some of this work, including the artwork we have managed to finish, based around Greek pottery, Gods and Goddesses and mythical creatures. We will also be displaying the wonderful home projects that the children have submitted so you will have the chance to add your comments and observations to their handiwork. Here is a sneak preview to start you off. smiley


As a heads-up, the final two weeks of term will fly by and the timetable will be a lot more flexible than usual. Some of the exciting events that will be happening include:


Week beginning 9th December:


  • Monday morning 9:30 - dress rehearsal for KS1 play
  • Monday afternoon 1:15 - 2:15 - last yoga session
  • Monday afternoon 2:30 - 3:00 - history virtual museum
  • Wednesday afternoon - class reward (for winning 30 gold stars)
  • Thursday - school closed for Polling Day
  • Friday - Christmas jumper day and Year 5/6 trip to France


Week beginning 16th December:


  • Monday - Year 5/6 return from France
  • Tuesday afternoon - pantomime treat from POMS
  • Wednesday - Christmas dinner and Shine activities
  • Thursday - last day of term for children



Week ending 29th November 2019


The end of November has arrived and that can mean only one thing: that we roll into December next week and the countdown to the holiday break begins. laugh

We have been keeping busy - and entertained - in school with this build up, enjoying a host of performances from the year 4 harmonicas, the KS2 violinists (big congratulations to Leila, Sarah and Tayler - you were fab!) and our own singing rehearsals in preparation for the much loved Carols by Candlelight evening: as a reminder, this will be taking place on Wednesday 18th December.


In class, we have begun to look at adventure story writing and have used the old favourite, "Jason and the Argonauts," as a stimulus for planning our own versions of mythical quests. Within numeracy, the children have worked extremely hard through their sessions on perimeter, including those where some of the lengths are missing - an early introduction to basic algebra, so well done to them all. 

We have also been researching some of the beliefs of the Ancient Greeks and creating fact files on the key Olympian Gods and Goddesses. We are now in the process of drawing some scaled pictures of them to display on our classroom board - a tricky task indeed but one where the practice sessions have shown great promise. yes

Our Christmas Fair is happening this Thursday, 5th December, and we are in the process of getting ready for our class stall. Many thanks to the children who have volunteered to help on the stall and/or take part in the choir performance with Mrs Price. All these things, together, help support our school aims and provide an enjoyable experience for the whole school community. We look forward to seeing you there.  


Week ending 22nd November 2019


We have now finished our work on play scripts and completed some fantastic examples of scenes from the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. The children have earned 3 more gold stars for their efforts and hard work -  together with the delight of their teacher!

I have been truly impressed with their end products. Well done to them all.

As we work through the new maths unit on multiplication and division, we have identified what happens to a number when multiplied and divided by 10, 100 and 1000 and have also begun to investigate methods for multiplying multiples of 10. A new term the children have been introduced to is commutative law - test your child this weekend to see if s/he remembers what it means and can give you an example. laugh


We had a thoughtful and engaging RE lesson on what we need to support us through our life journeys. It was really lovely to hear how many memorable events the children have already experienced in their journeys so far - not always happy ones, but all experiences that we can learn from and take us forward. The children demonstrated a great deal of maturity, respect and empathy during this lesson, skills which they should rightly be proud of. 


Our history topic on the Ancient Greeks involved a museum follow-up lesson this week: we have been observing examples of pottery and using the designs to create our own, depicting different aspects of the Greek lifestyle. Photos will be displayed when the paint has dried on our creations. In the meantime, the weekend's homework is to continue with the project - please do let me know if anyone is having difficulty with meeting the deadline for this. 


On a final note, with regard to homework, a number of children have been keen to practise their hundred club at home. I have therefore attached the 3 different certificate levels in the relevant section above. Enjoy!



Week ending 15th November 2019


This has been a particularly busy week - but definitely, also an enjoyable one.

The anti-bullying theme, "Change starts with us," was a key point on the agenda  and we participated in a number of debates and activities on the back of discussing some well-known video clips. We have almost completed the work on this issue and will display our finished pieces in the gallery above shortly. 

Odd Socks Day took place on the Tuesday and celebrated the art of being different.

Photos of our "odd pairings" are shown below.

Many thanks to all the adults who nobly helped out with our trip to the museum on Wednesday. It was fascinating to handle such ancient pieces of pottery and use the clues to discover more about the Ancient Greek way of life. We enjoyed, also, the chance to wander around the museum as a whole and take in the other exhibitions. The display on how humans and climate are impacting the survival of some of our world's animals was one most worthy of note and generated a lot of heartfelt discussion from the children.

Roast Dinner Day on the Thursday was a great success and it was a real delight to see so many parents and family members join us for the delicious meal - prepared, cooked and served up by our wonderful team of catering staff. The cookies and crumble went down a treat too! This event will go a long way to supporting our application for the Food for Life Bronze award and show our school's commitment to healthy eating. Many thanks to all involved - and for the support given by the Soil Association representatives (Cat and Victoria) and our Chair of Governers, Chris Pullin with wife Carol. 

Somehow, amid all these events, we managed to squeeze in some time to learn about properties of numbers and the conventions of writing a play script. We will continue this work next week and hope to complete a scene from Theseus and the Minotaur with what we have learned.  

Please encourage the children to carry on working on their home projects over the weekend if possible. . I am looking forward to seeing their finished products in December. 

A final thank you to all those parents who attended Parents evenings. It is always a great opportunity to share your child's work and progress with you. 

Enjoy a restful weekend. 


Week ending 8th November 2019


Term 2 has begun at pace and a number of whole school events have been announced to keep us busy and excited, alongside the new subject topics in class. 

Next Tuesday we will be holding an Odd Socks Day, as part of national anti-bullying week and we will be addressing this year's theme of "Change starts with us" through lessons in the classroom. Our trip to the museum takes place on Wednesday and we look forward to learning about the Ancient Greek lifestyle by observing a selection of authentic artefacts. Many thanks to the parents that have kindly offered to support with this. 

Roast Dinner Day is happening on the Thursday, celebrating all the hard work our catering team does towards encouraging healthy food options - and a great opportunity to simply enjoy the dining experience as a family.

In class, we completed our maths unit on interpreting tables, including time tables, and enjoyed an "icy" science lesson where we tested the best insulating material for keeping an ice cube cold the longest. Photos of our investigation are below.


Investigate the best insulating material for an ice cube

Hopefully, you have all had the chance to sign up for parents evening next week and I look forward to meeting you then. 


Week ending 25th October 2019


Well, what a fantastic week it has been to cap off term 1 of year 5. Simmonds Class have ended on a huge positive with some wonderfully completed newspaper articles, a celebration of the poet Benjamin Zephaniah as part of Black History Month, a visit from Humanist Lucy Luke and an assembly from local councillor Mark Weston, who informed us of the exciting plans for improving our play space around Brentry.

Below are the photos from our follow up lesson from what Lucy had to say about humanism. We used a  single piece of string, representing our one life, to create something that brought us happiness. Take a look to see what we were thinking of.

We were very proud of our finished newspaper articles, using the TfW model, and thoroughly enjoyed the outings some of the children had as roving reporters. Here are a few examples of the children's initiation into journalism, "hot seating" eye witnesses together with a few samples of their first edition reports.

Another topic also came to an end this week and that was our history unit on the Vikings. Groups presented the research they had completed on one particular aspect of the Viking way of life, be that the clothes that they wore, the homes they lived in, the food they ate or the weapons they used when raiding and attacking. Great collaboration skills were witnessed throughout the task and some great presenting from the children.

In PSHE this week we learned about why Black History Month is held each October and focused on the poet Benjamin Zephaniah to help focus on the achievements of black people, from history and today. We watched him performing his version of "Talking Turkeys" and discussed the message he was putting across - and how performance poetry engages the audience so well. Some children also went on to read "The British" and identified how this poem highlights the theme of equality for all.

To end the term, I have given out the first project of the year, based on our upcoming history topic, The Ancient Greeks and a copy of the instructions has been attached to the homework link above. You should also have received a letter regarding a planned trip to Bristol museum on Wednesday 13th November. Please return the permission slip and make your payment on the School Gateway by the first week back in term 2.

Finally, another letter has been sent regarding the Roast Dinner Day on Thursday 14th November. This has proved to be a very popular event and places have now been filled. I look forward to seeing you for a great dining experience on the 14th.

Enjoy a restful half term break.


Week ending 18th October 2019


This week, we had a fantastic cooking experience with Aspens when they came in to our class session and invited us to make some bread in our new cookery room. It was great fun - and the best bit came when we got to take our end product home and eat it!

The Big Breakfast event was also enjoyed by a number of children in the class when they attended breakfast club on Thursday. It was hard to resist going back for second helpings when you saw the delicious smoothies on offer. laugh

In class, we have consolidated our work on newspaper features and are now looking forward to finalising our own examples next week. In maths, having completed our unit on addition and subtraction, we have begun to look at line graphs and interpreting their data.

Homework gives the children an opportunity to consolidate their +/- knowledge with a set of multi-step problems. Please ensure this is completed and handed in by Wednesday.

Below are a few photos of our on-going group posters, relating to different aspects of Viking life. I have been really impressed with the collaborative skills and the ability to delegate roles appropriately that the children have shown throughout this activity.

Keep it up, Simmonds Class: I'm looking forward to your presentations.



Week ending 11th October 2019


It has been miserable outside the classroom this week, with the seemingly relentless rain but Simmonds Class have continued to work hard and deservedly been in receipt of a couple more gold stars towards the whole class reward.

Some brilliant newspaper reports were produced through using the "Talk for Writing" technique and our numeracy lessons have been full of addition and subtraction calculations, including some tricky challenges which required the inverse operation to be used. We have also revised the use of bar modelling to help solve word problems.

In history, we had an interesting look at Viking artefacts and discussed what they tell us about the Viking way of life. Miss Ransom tells me we have some budding historical detectives in the class - well done!

Both our PE focus on cognitive skills and our science topic on materials have been developed this week too and some of the photos of these lessons are shown below.

Separation by filtering

Sequences of jumps, balances and rolls

On Thursday we had a whole school assembly to raise awareness for Mental Health Day which this year was on the 10th October. It gave children the opportunity to understand a little bit more about what struggles and upsets young people can go through - and how to let them know they are not alone. The key message of the assembly was that it is good to talk to someone - and Brentry has a lot of us that will listen. smiley

Homework this week relates to the literacy work we have been covering in class on punctuating speech. As usual, completed tasks are due in next Wednesday.

Enjoy a (hopefully dry) weekend.


Week ending 4th October 2019


After such an eventful fortnight, it has been a welcome relief to stay put inside the classroom this week and begin our new literacy and numeracy units: newspaper writing and addition and subtraction with larger numbers, respectively. We have also continued with our science work on materials, investigating different processes of separation. We began with a mixture of pasta, paper clips, plastic counters, flour and rice - and were challenged to separate each material, using a selection of apparatus. Below are some photos of that challenge - which was surprisingly UNmessy this time!

Our history topic on the Vikings continues apace and this week we learned all about the greatness of Alfred, the king who brought peace to Britain and encouraged everyone to have an education.

Our PE lessons have been thoroughly enjoyable too and I have to confess how pleased I am with the class's enthusiasm and ability here. The gymnastic sequences of jumping, landing and balance were both innovative and impressive while the hockey skills have uncovered some skillful (and competitive) players. In order for the class to get the most out of each lesson, please do remember that our PE sessions are on the Monday and Thursday of each week so the correct kit is required on these days. Thank you. 

Homework has been attached to the appropriate section above, including the spelling pattern for next week. The task requires the children to apply their understanding of the column method for addition and subtraction.


Week ending 27th September 2019


It has been a busy fortnight but definitely an enjoyable and productive one. The class have excelled themselves in producing some fantastic biographies on Ellie Simmonds in which they demonstrated a good understanding of all the key features and wrote chronologically with a range of different time adverbials. This is also the focus of their literacy homework this week so they should be able to complete it with confidence laugh

Some of the information we researched about our paralympic swimmer has been displayed outside our classroom.

We have also had fun with our first practical science lesson, finding out which materials dissolve in water. There were a few spillages and messy moments but I was once again impressed with the children's learning for much of the related scientific vocabulary was digested and explained. You can test your children at home and see if they remember what a solution is; what dissolving means and what the difference between soluble and insoluble is. We definitely have the makings of some future top scientists here...

The highlight came on Friday when we joined Year 3 on a trip to Bath for the day. Our main focus was to attend the Children's Literature Festival where Cressida Cowell, author (and recently announced UK children's Laureate) of How to Train your Dragon and the Wizards of Once books, was speaking about her journey as a reader, illustrator and writer. She was incredibly engaging and inspiring, providing the children with a wealth of ideas to further their love and learning of all-things-literacy. 

The excitement begins with Cressida...

We also had time to visit Bath Abbey which proved to be a beautiful building and one which the children treated with due respect and calm. It was particularly rewarding when staff members and other visitors commented on the good behaviour and overall conduct of our pupils. It was a helpful and thought-provoking visit and will support the work we are doing in class related to general beliefs in God.

We wish the abbey continued good wishes for their current Footprint Project and thank them for their help in accommodating us at such short notice.

A few pictures from the abbey

Enjoying lunch in the square and the sunshine

Spot the celebrity as we ventured around Bath!

Many thanks to the parents who came along and helped with supervision - you were utterly invaluable (despite the more unflattering photos you took of the teacher!)

Thanks, too, go to all of you for you truly have got children to be proud of: they were a credit to you and the school. They deserved their treat of a homework-free weekend (courtesy of our late arrival home) so the task will be handed out on Monday instead, due in for next Friday. (It can be found  in the homework section above though if there are any keen children who would like to get a head startsmiley)


Week ending 13th September 2019


Well, what a fantastic first week this has turned out to be for Simmonds Class. Already the children have been awarded 20 mins extra free time as a result of being the best behaved in assembly this week and the class with the highest attendance of 99.3%.

Many well-deserved congratulations go to them - and keep up the good work!


You may have heard about the surprise Viking Raid that occurred in class last Wednesday. Just as we were learning about the nature of Viking warriors in our history lesson, the door burst open and poor Sammy was wrestled from his desk by a fierce and blood-thirsty, axe-wielding Viking! Fortunately we were able to recover our shaken class-mate and then generate some thoughtful discussion about what life must have been like to be at the receiving end of one of these attacks.

We also continued our work on valuing and rounding larger numbers; revising basic punctuation rules; introducing Jigsaw Jez as our PSHE "talking" character and beginning our PE units on gymnastics and hockey.

For those of you who were able to attend the back-to-school meeting on Thursday, you will know that the first homework task has been set for this weekend. A copy can be found in the homework link above (although it has been put into the children's homework books) and focuses on some research about Ellie Simmonds. This information will support the class work we will be doing next week on biographies. 

Also, a letter was sent home regarding our forthcoming trip to Bath and the Children's Literacy Festival. Please do look at the bottom of bags for this so that permission slips can be collected as soon as possible for confirmation.

Many thanks - and let's look forward to another productive week in year 5. smiley


Week ending 6th September 2019


The first week has proved that we have hit the ground running as we have quickly acclimatised  to the new-look school and already produced some great display work for the new Simmonds classroom. (Photos to be uploaded shortly.)

While there were plenty of questions from the children about what the year ahead will involve, we did learn some key facts about our paralympian figurehead in the spaces between - and began to understand what makes Ellie Simmonds such an inspirational person. We will make her the focus of our literacy unit on biographies over the coming weeks, alongside the revision of basic grammar rules on which to build.

We will also start some numeracy work on place value; begin our science and history topics (on Materials and Vikings respectively) and generate discussion on why some people believe God exists as a starting point for our RE unit - so there is plenty to do and look forward to.

A more detailed outline of the areas to be covered and an early introductory letter to year 5 have been sent home with the children today but if you did not receive them, both have been uploaded to the appropriate curriculum and letters sections above.

I look forward to meeting you all over the course of the year and hope many of you are able to attend the back-to-school meeting this coming Thursday.