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Otter Class 2018-2019

Forest School adventures!

River Dipping and Flow Rate Survey at Burnt Hall, Fakenham Magna

On Monday 20th May, Otter Class returned to Burnt Hall in Fakenham Magna to extend their prior learning about local geography and habitats. On the previous occasion, the children completed two surveys: a flow rate survey and a river corridor survey. Today, the children completed another flow rate survey - providing us with some interesting data to compare and contrast with last time - and a river dipping survey - to identify species living in the river and assess the river's biodiversity and overall health. It was an excellent morning's experience, especially the river dipping - everyone was taken aback by the different species living in the river. At two points on the river, the children found a range of species, including Bullhead fish, Crane-fly larvae and Bloodworms, among many others. Sadly, at both sites we also found lots of invasive crayfish - this led to some really interesting conversations about pest-control and habitat conservation and restoration. The behaviour of the children was excellent as always, and it was great to see them involved in more hands-on, real-life learning outside of the classroom on the Euston Estate.

River Dipping the Blackbourne at Fakenham Magna

STEM festival at Thurston Community College.


On Tuesday 12th March, Otter Class went to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) festival at Thurston Community College, as part of National Science Week. The first part of the morning was an exhibition of diverse science, engineering and technology stands, where the children could get hands on with lots of exciting activities and explore new things. From water-bending to programming, chemical reactions to optical illusions, there was something for everybody and the hosts were extremely friendly and knowledgeable: I for one improved my understanding of what electricity is and how it moves through conductors. 

After a break, the class were split into teams of three for a mathematics round-robin competition of 14 mind-expanding and challenging puzzles, with only two and a half minutes to solve each one. I am very proud to say that the competition was won by three members of Otter Class - Olivia Harvey, Harvey Cooper and Josh Gladwell. They must have eaten their Weetabix (other products are available) because some of the puzzles were really tough!

Spring term part two!

Otter class have an exciting six weeks ahead of them in the run up to Easter. This week, the pupils will find out which high schools they will be attending, which is always an exciting moment. Mr King is running mathematics cafes for parents of year 6 pupils on Thursday the 28th February at 15:30 and 17:30 - with a focus on the arithmetic element of key stage 2 mathematics. Monday 5th March sees years 5 and 6 heading to Fakenham for the races, which should be an excellent and exciting day of learning. The following week, Otter class are visiting TCC for the STEM festival on the Tuesday morning (and will need to be in school for an 08:45 departure), will meet our school visitor Will 'Cave Man' Lord on the Wednesday, before heading to Cambridge University on the Thursday! On Thursday 14th at 17:30, Mr King is hosting a meeting about SATs for the parents of pupils in year 6 to discuss the assessments and the format of the test week. It's going to be a busy half-term so plenty of healthy breakfasts and early night required!

Burnt Hall Plantation visit: Monday 11th February


Otter Class had a really enjoyable morning at Burnt Hall Plantation in the February sunshine. Our visit began with a tractor ride across Euston Estate to Fakenham Magna, before being met at the site by Edward Wortley - the archivist for Euston Estate. He proceeded to tell us about the history of the site and surrounding area, including a tale of a gruesome local murder that resulted in the hanging of a father and son.


The children went on to conduct a flow rate survey of the River Blackbourn - as part of their science and geography learning about habitats, landscapes and local geography - and completed a river corridor survey - looking at the river's immediate setting in relation to its floodplain as well as the human features in the landscape. It was fascinating to identify old river channels in the floodplain, as well as develop thoughts and ideas about the medieval fortification and its changing purposes throughout time. 

Christmas is coming! Bah humbug?! This Friday (the 30th) year 6 head to TCC for their annual Christmas celebration and Christmas lunch, which always kicks the festive season off to a cracker-ing start. Before that, on Thursday 29th we leave early (if everyone can be in school at 08:30 for an 08:40 departure) to have a look at what life at high school could be like next year for our year sixes. The year 5 and 6 Christmas play - Bah Humbug! - is on Wednesday the 12th December in the school hall at 14:00 and 18:00 hours respectively. If the children could have their costumes in school from Monday 3rd December that would be excellent. I ho-ho-hope you all have a merry three and half weeks left of this half-term before the school holidays begin. Merry Christmas! Mr King.

Tomorrow is Halloween, but hopefully the next half term shall be more full of fun than fright for Otter Class. We will be focusing on the centenary of the World War 1 Armistice over the next two weeks, before getting stuck into the run-up to Christmas. Year 6 attend the Thurston CC Christmas celebration on Friday the 30th November, which is always a good way to get the festive season off to a start. Watch this space, as information about the Christmas plays will be following shortly! Now the clocks have changed, I want to remind everyone to be extra careful when out and about on the darker evenings - always remembering our green cross code!

Thurston CC Sports Festival. Tuesday 18th September.


Today, year 6 went and participated in the Thurston Community College Sports Festival for local primary schools. It was an excellent (if a little blustery) morning spent out on their sports field, where pairs of children from Otter Class mixed with pairs of other year 6 pupils from the local area to enjoy a range of problem solving and team-building activities. It was a great fun morning and the enthusiasm and behaviour of the Barnham children was excellent. From tug-of-war to blindfolded shepherding, the Barnham pupils showed their strength and problem solving skills to succeed.

TCC Sports Festival. 18th September 2018.

September sees the start of autumn, with longer nights, cooler mornings and the beautiful display of colours  on the trees. As the summer season draws to an end, I am very much looking forward to getting to know my new class of year 6 and sharing all the learning and experiences in the coming months. This year, we are 25 pupils working with Mrs Nicholas and Mr King. PE is on Monday afternoons with Mrs Shepperson and more information about home-learning and reading will follow shortly. The weather is still set fair for the following few weeks, so please don't forget to bring your water bottles, hats and sun-screen. I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 7th for your first day back at school.

MTP Autumn term 2

Medium Term Plan Autumn term 1 Otter Class