Brentry Primary School

Learn Together - SHARE Success

Year 5 – Simmonds Class

Welcome to Simmonds Class and Year 5

Week ending 14th May 2021


Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the week was our Tree Champions workshop on Thursday, delivered by the brilliant Jenny Stewart from Speaker Trust. The day was jam packed full of games, activities and speaking tasks, all designed to help develop self confidence, communication skills and the ability to speak in public. The children worked steadily throughout the day to put their ideas about trees and nature into a speech, which they then delivered to the rest of the class. As you can see from the selection of photos below, Jenny captured their interest and passions fantastically and the children's final performances genuinely brought a tear to the eyes of those adults watching. Up to 5 of the children will be invited to deliver their speech again, alongside children from other schools around the UK, as part of a competition.

Results will be given at the beginning of next week. 


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We have also been busy with more science experiments, investigating ways of hearing sound over distance. We had great fun making and testing out our string telephones to understand how sound travels. 

On Friday, we continued our art topic on Plants and Flowers and began our own examples of decoupage. This technique is the art of decorating an object by gluing coloured paper cut-outs onto it in a series of layers. Each layer is sealed with glue until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like a painting. Here are a few photos of the work in progress. We hope to complete the finished product on Monday.  

Homework this week is to practise learning the Talk for Writing story map to help recite our persuasive letter. The letter itself has been added to the homework section but the story map is pictured below.

Finally, congratulations once again to Blue Team who gained the most team points this week.

I look forward to speaking to those of you who have booked an appointment for next week's parents evenings. If you have not done so yet, please check your emails for all the instructions or get in touch with me so that I can help find you an available slot. Enjoy your weekend. 


Week ending 7th May 2021

The weather has been kind to us this week and we were able to enjoy a fabulous art lesson on Hapa Zome hammer printing, a Japanese technique for releasing the natural dye from flowers onto fabrics and other materials. Take a look at the slideshow below to see the process we went through to create our finished products: foraging, designing, arranging and hammering. 

Further examples of our artwork are displayed in the gallery section. They show some additional pencil sketches and some coloured flowers, inspired by the works of Henri Rousseau, using chalks and pastels.


We have also learned how to change the pitch of a sound in science; use modal verbs and adverbs to support our persuasive writing and find fractions of amounts. The homework provides an opportunity to consolidate this maths work and a reminder example is given on the homework task sheet.

Please ensure this has been completed by Wednesday.


Week ending 30th April 2021


We have had another productive and enjoyable week in Simmonds Class to end the month off and have completed our revision of all things multiplication and division related. We have introduced the key features of persuasive language and delivered some passionate and motivational speeches from past history. In science, we have built on our initial understanding of how sounds are made to learning about how sound travels. Below are a selection of photos that demonstrate how vibrations can impact how sugar bounces of a drum skin...

We also had fun practising putting each other in the recovery position. This was as part of the PSHE curriculum, learning how to keep calm when making important decisions and the confidence that comes with knowing what to do in an emergency situation. Take a look at the photos and video below to help you learn this procedure yourself: you never know when you might need it!

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Finally, having completed our first full fortnight this year of working hard in school, blue team were able to celebrate earning the most amount of team points with a grand total of 96 points between them. Here they are proudly holding the trophy aloft, behind captain Elliott.


Week ending 23rd April 2021


We have completed our first full teaching week since December (!) and it has been an absolute pleasure. We have begun our new art topic, "Plants and Flowers" and created the fantastic first set of sketches of the flowers shown below. As you can see, the children observed the details closely and used light/shade to great effect. 

We also finished our class display on Eastern Europe. 

We also revised the formal written methods for long multiplication and division. The homework this week is related to this and the sheets can be found on the homework link above. Please ensure that this is completed and sent to me by the end of Wednesday. Thank you and enjoy a sunny weekend. 


End of term April 2021


I hope everyone has had an enjoyable break over the last two weeks and you are all ready to return to school on Monday 19th April, for as "normal" a term as possible. There are plenty of exciting lessons and activities planned for term 5, kicking off with our new art topic, "Plants and Flowers." Here we can take advantage of the spring blooms, the good weather and build on our sketching techniques developed through our work on landscapes last term. We will then move on to learn from the work of various artists and create prints, models and sculptures of our own.

Our literacy unit will focus on the features of persuasive writing, alongside regular revision of the grammar and punctuation rules we have covered so far. In numeracy, we will consolidate methods for multiplication and division before moving on to discover how decimals and percentages are related to fractions, using the knowledge of fractions we learned last term. We will look at what sound is through our science sessions, following the unit plans from last year, and participate in plenty of investigations involving musical instruments and good vibrations. laugh PSHE looks at relationships, giving us a number of opportunities to discuss and share our ideas about managing feelings and identifying how relationships can change over time. I am particularly looking forward to utilising the great outdoors as the weather becomes kinder: we can monitor our bird boxes and deliver the PE lessons outside, including cricket, rounders and a spot of orienteering. Lots to look forward to, then, so I hope you are all fully recharged and as excited as I am.

To finish, I wanted to show this lovely sketch from Elizabeth, which she sent me through the holiday. It demonstrates the sketching techniques we practised through our landscape artwork, particularly the shading necessary for light and dark comparisons. Hopefully this will inspire you for our forthcoming work on sketching plants and flowers. Other photos (of your landscape paintings in progress and your project presentations) can be found in the gallery above. 




Week ending 26th March 2021


I feel congratulations, once again, are due to Simmonds Class as they have survived their first full week back in school since mid December AND completed their assessments to boot! They fully deserved their little run around this afternoon (some still drying out from this morning's sudden downpour!) in the great outdoors. smiley

We have also continued to develop our use of figurative language; our understanding of how to multiply fractions; considered the importance of forgiveness and taken part in some role play of real life scenarios.

Homework this weekend is to complete the project on Eastern Europe, but an additional activity has been provided for those children who have already submitted their presentations IF they would like. 

Enjoy a relaxing, hopefully dry weekend, and remember we end term 4 with a 4 day week: the last day of term is Thursday 1st April. 



Week ending 19th March 2021


At last, we have been able to meet up altogether in school again and complete a full day as Simmonds Year 5. What a day to return, too, with plenty of fun, laughter and bright red noses for Comic Relief Day. Many, many thanks for your support with this: the wearing of red, purchasing of noses and entering the competitions across the school led to a fantastic donation of almost £600. Congratulations to you all. heart

Huge thanks, also, to the class for their sterling perseverance and attitude to another 10 days of home learning. The work so many of you produced was fantastic and I never ceased to be amazed and delighted at the commitment and innovativeness from so many of you in your responses to the tasks set. I was doubly delighted, therefore, despite the excitement of seeing your friends again and telling a steady stream of jokes all day, you managed to complete some work in class today as well. laughWe searched for suitable places we could hang our bird boxes; we listened to and responded to "A poem to be spoken silently," and practised sketching landscapes to include perspective, shading and lighting effects. All topped off with a joke telling session and a whole class photo of Simmonds In Red.

A selection of these activities are in the slideshow below. For examples of the work completed this last week in isolation, check out the gallery section above. You will find inventive interpretations of 9 o'clock doodles; responses to the importance of Love; some great illustrations of how to feel good about yourself; some working sundials made from everyday materials .....and Harry's bearded dragon getting in on the act when learning how the earth's rotation impacts night and day!

Enjoy a restful weekend and I look forward to seeing the children next week. 


Week ending 12th March 2021


Our welcomed return to school did not last long and we find ourselves, once again, completing the joys of home learning as we all isolate for the required ten days and keep everyone as safe as possible. 

A huge THANKYOU to you all, though, for staying so positive in spirit and camaraderie, as well as producing some fantastic pieces of work with such immediacy. A selection of the bird boxes we made at the beginning of the week are shown below, and plenty of science experiments were trialled this afternoon, as you can see with the splashes of colour throughout the slideshow beneath. Enjoy your weekend and I shall see you bright and breezy at 9:30 Monday morning for our live literacy lesson.  

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Make a colour spinner

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Week ending 5th March 2021


Well, congratulations are due once again for you have all made it through to the end of another lockdown. I am really looking forward to seeing you on Monday 8th March as we return to school and fingers crossed, we can settle in at a steady and comfortable pace. It will no doubt be a shock to the system, working through a full school week, but the activities we have planned should keep you entertained, awake and reinvigorate your love of learning. Most importantly, they will involve opportunities to work and play alongside your friends and classmates, and to discuss your responses to the events of the past 3 months. 

Enjoy a well deserved, work free weekend and in the meantime, take a look through the photos sent through from World Book Day on Thursday.

Don't forget, it's not too late to send your Masked Reader competition entries off to Mrs Ochiltree. The video and answer sheet have been attached below as well as in the home learning section. 


Week ending 26th February 2021


The countdown for our return to school begins! laugh

The final week of lockdown has been planned and the timetable has been displayed, as always, under the home learning icon above. It coincides with our annual English week, which includes World Book Day on Thursday 4th March, meaning there will be lots of opportunities for reading, dressing up as book characters and fun competitions, so plenty to look forward to. 

Below, I have displayed some of the work sent this week related to our new science topic, Earth and Space. As you can see, there are some lovely information posters, outlining the key features of the planets in our solar system, and some great pieces of artwork showing the different sizes, shapes, colours and positions of those planets. I especially enjoyed the various mnemonics you made up to help remember the order of the planets.

 The set of photos is finished off with Milo's inventive rocket and alien models as well as his play day out on the climbing frames with his sister. Great to see the arm splint is off and he's back to his energetic self!

Really looking forward to seeing you all in a week's time but enjoy the final week at home with your families.


Week ending 12th February 2021


Big congratulations all round to Simmonds Class: we have made it through to the end of term 3, and what a week is has been to end on, too. Your work has been outstanding and the Banksy art examples have been an absolute joy to receive. I was particularly impressed with those of you who chose to create your own designs and which promoted messages important to you. I am sure Banksy himself would be very proud. laugh

Your work on different tenses, grid references and fractions also demonstrated your continued hard work and I have no hesitation in wishing you a very restful and well deserved half term. 

Take good care of yourselves and your families. I will look forward to seeing you all back in action on the 22nd. 

Below are a few of the samples of work sent to me this week, while extras can be found in the gallery above. 


Week ending 5th February 2021


As the countdown to the half term break begins, I am delighted to see that the children continue to work just as hard as ever and are producing some fantastic work. I had some interesting moments, seeing how differently you all interpreted the 9 o'clock "doodles" and completed the pictures; some thought provoking moments as I read through your balanced arguments, ranging from environmental and nature issues to whether or not children should be allowed to eat chocolate or be set homework! Fantastic reads, one and all. I have also displayed evidence of your friction science experiments which were great to see  and looked fun to do. Keep up the great work ethic everyone and I shall look forward to our first live lesson at 11 on Monday. Make sure you have the maths sheets or some paper at the ready. laugh

As always, keep these photos coming in, even, as in the case of Milo and Bella, they show activities completed over and above what has been set on the timetable. It is lovely to see what else you are all getting up to. 

Look after yourselves and have a great weekend with your families. 


Week ending 29th January 2021


The end of January is upon us and almost a full month of lockdown home learning is complete. Yet again, I have received a wealth of work from you over the week (spot the alliteration wink) and I have been delighted with the results. It shows me you continue to work hard and are really committed to doing your very best in these frustrating times. Thank you and, as ever, keep it going. 

Below, I have added some of the photos from the science investigation you undertook this week: fortunately, I have had no injuries reported, as a result of you all dropping heavy objects from a great height, and you learned more about the effects of gravity. Do also take a peek at the gallery for some great examples of work completed this week. It is always nice to share and celebrate the efforts that you are putting in and so many of your tales and photos of what you're getting up to keep me smiling. laugh

Top Tip for next week: Do be aware that the literacy task I want handed in is your COMPLETED balanced argument. I have asked you to write a paragraph or so at a time on three of the sessions next week, but I would like the entire finished piece handed in by the end of the week, please. yes

Enjoy a restful weekend in preparation and I look forward to seeing you all at the Zoom calls.

REMINDER: Feel free to send recommendations for the next class book as we will be concluding the BFG.

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Week ending 22nd January 2021


Hello everyone laugh

It's been another busy week and I have been delighted with the array of Coats of Arms I have received, alongside the key lesson tasks that I asked for. It seems the vast majority of you are finding the workload manageable and are settling more independently into the discipline of home learning. Well done to you all.

As before, my highlight of the week was our class Zoom call. It really is a tonic to see your smiling faces, catch up with your news and generally be able to reassure each other that we are doing ok. yes 

Obviously, a big shout out to poor old Milo who managed to break his arm while out scootering. (Did you spot my relative clause there?! wink) I am sure you will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. Soldier that he is, he has continued to work hard and even found time to help his younger sisters with their school work too! Photos of his exploits, and other great photos from some of your class mates, are shown below, as is a selection of the outstanding examples of work you produced this week. Keep this up, Simmonds Class. 

(For future weeks, if you don't see your work/photos here, they might be displayed in the gallery section above, as I often receive too many photos to show on this one page.)


Week ending 15th January 2021


Congratulations, Simmonds Class, on your first full week of home learning: you did not disappoint. laugh

I received a wealth of work from so many of you. I particularly enjoyed seeing your portraits of Great Britons and your culinary delights of traditional British cake making. I have displayed a selection of some of the photos sent to me below: you may notice a few additional delicacies creeping in but no less delicious, and see if you recognise the famous characters in the drawings.

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I would like to finish off with a big thank you for all the other work you have completed this week: pictured, written and mathematically calculated: WELL DONE yes

It has been truly difficult to choose which examples to show you here but I have selected those which I hope will support your future work and inspire you to continue such commitment to home learning. There are pieces of work beautifully set out and presented; some innovative pieces of writing, using the stimulus of 9 o'clock tasks; ways of "screen shotting" your work so you can avoid writing it all out by hand...and I've finished off with some lovely photos of Marla's birthday present hunt: a great idea. It was so lucky we held our Zoom meeting on her special day so we could sing "Happy Birthday" to her. 

I look forward to our next call, same time on Wednesday 20th. Until then, enjoy your weekend, keep up the hard work and I'll be posting the next chapter of The BFG for our story time session soon. Keep a look out!


Friday 8th January 2021

The first week has been and gone but it has been a delight to receive some emails and collages from you to keep me up to date with your news and work. Thank you, too, to those children who sent me some of their numeracy and literacy tasks as well: a fantastic effort which put a real smile on my face. laugh

I, myself, had a thoroughly enjoyable day today, working in school with a few of the KS2 children. We managed to fit in a winter animal "paper plate" art activity in the afternoon and I have added a few examples of their work alongside your own. Please do keep your photos, messages and work samples coming, throughout the weeks ahead: together with our story times and Zoom meetings, they will be much welcomed opportunities to keep in touch with each other, share our good ideas and practices and most importantly, keep us smiling.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Wednesday's catch up session.


Week beginning 4th January 2021


The traditional “Happy New Year” greeting seems somewhat out of place following the recent lockdown announcement from the government but I hope that you are all well and that you have enjoyed some family togetherness over the past two weeks. With another period of school closure now required, home and online learning will be the order of the day so I will be organising a weekly timetable of lessons and activities which you can access from this class page. Please bear with me while I set this up but for those of you who are keen to get going, take a look at the homework and home learning sections above. Here you will find a list of activities, ranging from a collage of “all things British," an activity to help launch our new geography topic, Modern Britain, through to revision video clips, power points and worksheets for literacy and numeracy. All related sheets are attached, in a format you can edit rather than having to print anything off if required. (For some ideas on the collage task, scroll further down this page and look at some of the examples completed by last year's class.) Have fun – and don’t forget to take a photo and email any work to me at

A reminder: At this point, it is not an expectation to do these tasks. I am sure this new lockdown will need time to acclimatise to and the last thing we all need is more pressure! Activities are there if needed. laugh

Please do not hesitate to use my email address for any other queries or news. Keep well, stay safe and a big hello to all your wonderful children. 



Week ending 18th December 2020


We have celebrated making it through to the end of another tough old term with a whole range of singing, performing and artwork activities, not to mention an afternoon's reward of Nerf Gun battles and electronic games. laugh The link above takes you to our Christmas treat, sharing a couple of songs with you and a "reading aloud" of a poem we composed ourselves in our chosen groups. I have no doubt you will enjoy the video and be suitably proud of your children - some definite child stars in the making! (I have also added the clip to our class gallery). Below are some photos of the Christmas stars/snowflakes, snowmen garlands and holly wreaths which we managed to make between rehearsals and, of course, some action shots of the Nerf Gun Battle which was a deserved finale to earning a class reward of 30 gold stars. Great fun was had by all - though I may be seeking revenge on one or two particularly predatory snipers at some point! wink


Nerf Gun War

We did also managed to complete our history topic on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This resulted in a thought-provoking debate about whether or not the statue of Edward Colston should have been taken down and an insight into the legacy of the slave trade today. Below is the final display, showing the children's work and some of the key points of our learning. 

Display on the Transatlantic Slave Trade

To end with, I would like to finish with a heartfelt message of gratitude to the whole class for working so hard throughout their first two terms in year 5, indeed, right up to this last day when they were frantically completing the finishing touches to their artwork. yes They all truly deserve a restful and enjoyable two week break and I shall look forward to seeing them all again, fully re-charged and refreshed, in 2021

Have a very Merry Christmas yourselves - and stay safe. 


Week ending 11th December 2020


Hooray! Those end of term assessments have been completed and we are now all looking forward to an enjoyable final week of term with some fun and exciting activities to indulge in. Today the children voted for their class reward and it was a split decision between the two top favourites. Please make sure you check the details of how this will operate: these have been outlined in the letter that will be sent home tomorrow.

Below are a selection of advice posters which were produced as a result of our RE lesson on "Where do you get your guidance from?" Some thoughtful suggestions, I'm sure you'll agree laugh

Also, check out the photo gallery above: there are some great examples of the work we have been doing in PE as well as some science experiments conducted today as part of our learning on irreversible changes

Our Christmas Jumper Day


I have given the children a short punctuation task for homework this week and that needs to be handed in by next Wednesday, please. Spellings for this weekend and over the Christmas break will be their chosen selection of words from the year 5/6 list, found in the spelling section above. I have given the class the target of knowing at least 50 by the end of the academic year so it would be great if they know around 20 by the time we return in term 3 to keep on track with that expectation. yes


Week ending 4th December 2020


Congratulations, Simmonds Class, on achieving the 30 gold stars required for your class reward - we'll take a democratic vote next week to decide what that reward will look like. laugh By the looks of these photos, you feel jolly pleased with yourselves - and deservedly so: it's been a strange old time but you have worked hard throughout and matured hugely in your attitude towards school and each other. Keep this going. yes

The homework this week relates to the work we have covered on written multiplication methods so I have sent some squared paper home with each child so the layout of calculations should be easier. Finished work should be handed in by Wednesday of next week, please, either in the books provided or through emailing me a photo of the workings out. I have asked the children to revise the spelling patterns learned so far this year as the secondary task: that includes -ible/-able words; -ough/-augh words; the -igh phoneme (e.g. i-e; -y and -igh); contractions and homophones.

The term seems to be racing by but we are hoping to finish our newspaper article; our maths work on perimeter and area; to continue our work on the transatlantic slave trade; the importance of the Qur'an for Muslims and to end our science unit on materials with an experiment on irreversible changes. We will also need  to some complete some end-of-term assessments - but once that's all done, we can begin enjoying the countdown to the Christmas break with some music, art and craft activities. Watch this space!  



Week ending 27th November 2020


What a busy week this has been! Simmonds class have absolutely surpassed themselves. They have taken many new concepts on board and covered a huge amount of work this week, the only downside of which has been the endless amount of marking I have had to keep up with laugh

In numeracy, we have learned how to multiply and divide numbers by 10, 100 & 1000 while in literacy we have practised writing with direct and reported speech (quite tricky - so the homework task is related to this to help consolidate the key points). We also developed our understanding of what bullying involves, following on from last week's anti-bullying week and looked at the story of Muhammad in RE to discover the origins of the Qur'an. In history, we looked at the somewhat harrowing conditions of life in the middle passage as part of our history topic on the transatlantic slave trade. The children found it almost impossible to believe that other human beings could be treated in such a way but I was thoroughly impressed with their insightful questions and clear levels of empathy for the Africans enslaved in this manner. You deserve to be very proud parents. yes

The photos below show a selection of the sieving and filtering experiments we conducted in our bid to discover different processes for separating mixtures. Once again I was delighted with the children's efforts, not least because they contained the flour and sand to their desk tops and not the classroom carpet!

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to email me with homework or any queries: 


Week ending 20th November 2020


Anti-bullying week 2020 has given us the opportunity in Simmonds Class to review what bullying is; why bullying happens and what we can do to try to stop it altogether. We listened to Andy and the Odd Socks' new song which uses this year's theme of United Against Bullying and discussed how we all have a part to play in this process. We then used our ideas to create a Snakes and Ladders game, reminding us of ways that can make bullying situations better or worse. A selection of photos are below, alongside pictures of the crazy sock pairings that allowed us all to celebrate how unique and different we all are. Many thanks to those who donated towards the Odd Socks Day - all monies will go directly to the anti-bullying alliance.  

We moved on in our history topic to learn about African heritage and culture, identifying the many skills, ideas and materials that Africa was prosperous in at the time of slavery, many of which continue today.We looked in more detail at traditional African masks, one of the elements of African art that have most widely influenced European and Western art, and made examples of our own. I think you'll agree from the photos below that the children picked up on the decorative, bold colouring needed for their designs. 

We have also continued to work hard in literacy and numeracy this week, completing our talk for writing newspaper article and learning all about different types of number, such as factors, multiples, square and cube numbers right through to prime numbers, the latter of which we will be investigating in more detail next week. The homework task is related to factors and multiples - and I have promised the children that I would clarify that the key task is to complete Sheet 1 attached above. ONLY IF the children would like to have a go and they have time, then they may also work through Sheet 2. More homophones have been given for the spellings homework task and I will be setting a test on these next Friday.

Finally, the children took part in another session of Forest School on Wednesday afternoon which I know they thoroughly enjoyed as usual. Many thanks to the organisers, as always, in providing this great opportunity. 


Week ending 13th November 2020


This week has seen the launching of our new history topic: The Transatlantic Slave Trade, including Bristol's own role. We were introduced to a string of related vocabulary and learned about how ships travelled across the Atlantic to West Africa and traded guns and other goods for people, who were then sold in the Americas for items such as sugar, tobacco and cotton. We discussed what we already knew about slavery and raised a lot of interesting questions: we aim to find the answers to these questions over the course of the topic. yes

This discussion led onto our PSHE lesson and an examination of the possible effects of cultural differences. Once again, the children participated with many thoughtful suggestions and we had a lot of fun with some role play, demonstrating how we could turn potential conflict and argument into a learning moment.

Here are a few snapshots of the budding actors in Simmonds Class. laugh

We also began a new literacy unit this week: understanding how to write a newspaper article. We have already examined the features used for this genre and completed a VIPERS lesson to consolidate and now look forward to structuring our own versions using the Talk for Writing technique. 

In numeracy, we built on our previous bar chart work and interpreted data on a variety of line graphs. We have moved onto reading information on tables and will become familiar with two way tables and time tables throughout next week. The homework task, apostrophe and contractions, is due in by next Wednesday, alongside the spelling list of homophones

A few parents have yet to sign up for their 10 mins consultation phone call next week. If there is any problem with booking an appointment for this, please let me know on Monday and I can find an available slot for you.

I look forward to speaking with you then and enjoy your weekend. 

Don't forget this!


Week ending 6th November 2020


The first week of term 2 has flown past and it seems that the week's break has well and truly re-charged the batteries of children in Simmonds Class. We have tied up the final touches of our history topic on Life in Ancient Greece with a retelling of the battle of Marathon and a discussion about how true the battle of Troy is. Check out the gallery above for our models of the Trojan Horse. The slideshow below shows a selection of the home projects submitted. As you can see, the children were very busy over half term so many thanks for your efforts and commitment. We now look forward to beginning our new topic, learning about the transatlantic slave trade, particularly the role Bristol played in it. 


We have started a new area of maths: statistics covers all types of data collection and interpretation, such as tables, pictograms, bar charts, line graphs and timetables. The homework task provides an opportunity to consolidate the work we have covered so far on bar chart revision. 

In literacy, we have built on our prediction skills; learned how to use the apostrophe for contractions and reminded ourselves about the different tenses: past, present and future. We have also found time to get the apparatus out in PE to compose a sequence of jumps, balances and rolls. We have revisited British Values and suggested examples where we use them in everyday life - and in RE we have also begun to look at the skills and qualities that can help us work through the (unpredictable) journey of life

Enjoy your weekend everybody - and look out for the messages about our parent consultation evenings in the week beginning Monday 16th November.



Week ending 16th October 2020


The weather has been much kinder to us this week and we have been able to get out in the sunshine far more during our break and lunchtimes smiley This has definitely had a positive impact on the children's learning for they have completed some fantastic play scripts on Theseus on the Minotaur; followed the story of Pandora's Box effectively in order to answer some prediction and summarising questions - and managed to write pages of notes on the film, "Jason and the Argonauts," in preparation for our adventure writing next week. 

The numeracy tasks proved quite testing this week, covering the concepts of estimation and approximation as well as the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. The class worked extremely hard through the activities given - and we are nearly there - but some further consolidation will be needed for this to be totally secure. I have not set homework today but if any of the children would like to remind themselves of what we have covered so far, I have added the pyramid sheet we looked at in school for them to have a go at (homework section).

The RE lesson was eye-opening this week as we looked at how people view the world from different angles. The children were fascinated by these pictures that can be interpreted in different ways to highlight this point. What do YOU see in each one? 

We also continued our science topic on materials with an investigation on which materials dissolve in water to make solutions. There was quite a bit of scientific language involved but we determined a number of materials that were soluble and some that were insoluble by the end. I was particularly delighted, too, that the experiments were completed with only one small spillage of water! Congratulation Simmonds Class. yes Next week, we will be conducting a test to see what happens when certain liquids are mixed with water - and will investigate what factors, if any, aid the process of dissolving. Here are a few photos of the scientists at work. 

Finally, many thanks for all the Christmas Card orders you handed in - some really great designs were sent off and I know they will make your friends and family members smile when they are received. For further art work completed by Simmonds Class this week, take a look at the photo gallery above: we used scaled grids to help draw a whole range of mythical beasts, Gods and creatures in accurate proportions. Most authentic, I think you'll agree. 

Have an enjoyable weekend everyone. 


Week ending 9th October 2020


This has been a really enjoyable week and topped off with our fantastic #HelloYellowDay today. The children made a great display of dressing up in colour and brought a whole heap of joy and happiness into the class as a result. Just take a look at the photo booth below. laugh

We have made a good start on our new unit about play scripts and had a first go at converting story text into this genre. Having learned about the Greek myth "Theseus and the Minotaur," we will be developing one section of the story and writing that up as a script next week. In addition, we have revised the column method for addition and subtraction of larger numbers and have applied this to solving word problems. We will continue with this unit next week, covering the inverse relationship between + and - and then progress to multi-step problems. 

You will see that the homework task this week introduces the first home project of the year and is linked to our history work on the Ancient Greeks. As is usual, the children have been given three choices, one of which is a model artefact. We have been working hard at school to minimise the amount of items going to and fro from home - but we did not want to stop the opportunity of letting those children that would like, to showcase their artistic and creative talents. laugh Therefore, in the event that your child makes a model artefact, please leave it "quarantined" for 48hrs before bringing it in to school and we will then display it proudly - and separately to our everyday resources.

Many thanks for your support with this and I look forward to seeing the finished products.

There are a few more photos below, detailing our science investigation today into what material makes the best thermal insulator. Worth a look, if only for the fun of seeing how much like a swimming pool Simmonds Class looked after the ice cubes had melted!

Also, take a browse through our Christmas Card competition entries, found in the class gallery. Please remember that orders need to be returned to school by the deadline next week.

Have a great weekend everyone. 


Week ending 2nd October 2020


Another week has zoomed by and the class are really showing signs of settling in to the expectations of year 5 and motivating themselves to achieve them. laugh We have consolidated some basic punctuation rules; refreshed our VIPERS comprehension strategies; completed sequences using different powers of 10; solved problems involving negative numbers and converted Roman numerals into recognisable numbers - phew! On top of all of that, we have also created posters to advertise the Olympic Games; designed and painted vases in the style of Ancient Greece; identified electrical conductors and insulators and considered what type of God Christians believe in. Some of the work produced has been displayed below. 


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.