Willow Class

Class Teachers: Mrs N Marshall and Mrs S Breakwell
Teaching Assistant: Mrs L Sheppard
Summer Term, 2018
This term, we are enjoying our new topic of 'Underground Overground' and our class novel is the children's classic 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
We are looking forward to exploring our own school garden and we will be extending our scientific understanding of living things and their habitats, including their classification according to common observable characteristics.  We will also learn about evolution and inheritance and we'll hope to discover how plants and animals are adapted to suit their environment in different ways - and that adaptation may lead to evolution.
Love your Forest
On Monday 25th June some of the children in Willow and Year 5 had a fun morning learning about the importance of keeping our countryside free of litter. They learned that the enormous total of litter picked up from the Forest of Dean each year weighs 250 tonnes. After doing their own litter pick around school, the children recycled some of our everyday waste to create ‘Litter Critters’ which will be displayed around the Forest to help spread the message.
Cricket Coaching
In our final half term in Willow Class, our PE includes professional cricket coaching every Wednesday afternoon.  The sessions are lots of fun and we are really enjoying honing our skills!
Wedding Fever!

Year 5 pupils from Willow Class have enjoyed researching all aspects of the Royal Wedding.  

Using their research, the children created invitations using excellent formal language. Connor then treated his friends to a super piano performance of ‘Where is Love?’.  His audience were enthralled and we all think that he should play at the Royal Wedding!  

At the end of the day, armed with our formal invites, we enjoyed a celebration together and we shared some delicious treats.  

We are all looking forward to watching the news footage of the real celebrations tomorrow!

A Super Start to SATs!
Today, we feel very proud of ourselves. The sociable breakfast and pre-SATs dancing proved to be very successful in calming our nerves and spreading our smiles! What a great morning!
We have all made a very positive start to the week by tackling both papers with enthusiasm and confidence. Willow’s adults are delighted with our attitudes! Fantastic!
We are very grateful to the whole school community for showing great respect towards us; we couldn't believe how silent the school remained for the entire duration of the papers! Mr Johnson, one of our wonderful governors, very kindly gave up his time to ensure that all guidelines were followed by observing the test procedures - and for this, we are very appreciative.
Tomorrow, our next challenge awaits!
Forest Fun!
As part of Outdoor Classroom Day, the whole of Willow Class enjoyed three jam-packed hours of problem-solving, teamwork and creativity in the forest this afternoon.  Through active play, we strengthened our friendships, tested boundaries, assessed risks and enjoyed being thoroughly imaginative.  What fantastic fun!
Garden Art
Sometimes, it's wonderful to slow down and really notice the beauty that surrounds us!  We are very fortunate to have such beautiful grounds and in our most recent Art session, we enjoyed some quiet, contemplative time outside, observing the details in our wonderful plants and trees (as part of our 'Underground Overground' topic).  We made close observations of the many things that grow in our school grounds before deciding on the focus of our sketches.
We can't wait to spend more time exploring outside and we are looking forward to creating masterpieces using different mediums.
Music trip to St Briavels School
As part of our 'Listening and Appraising' in Music lessons, we visited St Briavels school to enjoy a short concert featuring an incredible string quartet.  The musicians gave an inspirational performance that included many pieces of modern music that we recognised, intertwined with many pieces that were new to us. 
They explained how their instruments were used and answered our many questions about their impressive performance.  The string musicians were extremely talented and they held our attention brilliantly.  They thought that we made a fantastic audience and complimented us on our wonderful behaviour.  Out of the whole audience, they chose Harriet from our class to help with their demonstrations!  Well done, Harriet!
We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to experience such an engaging show and we loved discussing our favourite pieces of music when we returned to school later in the day.
Spring Term, 2018
Sports Relief Week: 19th-23rd March
Unfortunately, due to the snow, we missed our archery session on Monday - but we've certainly made up for it during the rest of this week!  We've enjoyed our regular Daily Mile and on Thursday, we took part in a very enjoyable golf session that was led by a professional golfer.
Today, all classes were delighted to take part in a circus skills session.  Tom, the performer, was very friendly, very funny and extremely talented!  He impressed us with his juggling, plate spinning, diabolo tricks and his unicycle riding!  
Tom encouraged us to develop new skills and we very proudly displayed our new talents for our friends. The adults in Willow Class loved seeing the satisfaction on our faces when we finally got our plates spinning!  Tom loved our enthusiasm and he praised our positive attitudes throughout the session.  It really was the best afternoon ever and we are very pleased that through our donations, lives will be changed!
Number Day
We really enjoyed celebrating Number Day on Friday 2nd February.  We showed excellent teamwork and cooperation skills as we worked together to complete a mathematics challenge.  It was great revision for us and we showed excellent reasoning and problem-solving skills as we worked.
Mothering Sunday
We are a creative bunch and nobody knows our Mums better than we do!  We were encouraged to produce our own designs for our Mother's Day cards, using imaginative methods and ideas.  What outstanding results!
The adults in Willow were extremely impressed with our beautiful, thoughtful creations - and our Mums were absolutely delighted to receive them.
Outdoor Arithmetic
We had a great time combining our orienteering skills with our understanding of arithmetic.  It was great fun hunting for problems to solve around our beautiful school grounds.  Lots of laughter could be heard as we raced from clue to clue - and we were very determined to calculate quickly and accurately.
Our new Geography-based topic for the Spring Term, 'Home and Away', got off to a fantastic start today!  We welcomed a lovely German lady, called Bonnie, along with her husband, into our class.  Bonnie was born - and brought up - in Germany and she lives there were her British husband, Jake.
We discovered that Bonnie teaches English to children in Germany and Jake is a translator for adults.  It was fascinating to hear Bonnie speaking in German.  We were very grateful that Jake could translate everything that she said.
Together, they taught us all about Germany, its environment, its people and its culture and we learnt lots of interesting things that have inspired our interest in our new topic.  Bonnie also helped us to learn simple greetings in German - and by the end of the session, we could all hold a short conversation in German.  We were very proud of ourselves and Jake and Bonnie were really impressed with our superb behaviour and our impressive listening skills.
We were very sad to wave goodbye to our lovely visitors but we are delighted that they have agreed to continue to help us develop our knowledge and understanding of their country with the use of Skype!  How exciting!
Danke, Bonnie and Jake.  Auf wiedersehen (for now)! 
Buddy Time
In Year 6, we take our Buddy responsibilities very seriously.  Each week, we look forward to spending time with our buddies in Oak Class.  We love hearing the children read their reading book and we are even trusted to write a comment in their Reading Record!  When they have finished sharing their reading, they choose a book from their book corner and we read it aloud to them.  The children often choose books from their list of ‘One Hundred Brilliant Books to Read’ so that they can tick it off when we have enjoyed the story.
We have a fantastic time and we can’t believe the progress that they have made with their reading since September.  
We also play with our buddies at playtime and they know that we are always here if they ever need anything.  
Outdoor PE
This term, in outdoor PE, we are refining and developing our throwing, catching, dodging and spatial awareness skills.  We have have had lots of fun so far and we are showing great determination as we develop our skills.  This year’s ‘High 5’ teams will certainly be forces to be reckoned with!  Well done, Willow!
Autumn Term, 2017
Who Were the Forest Folk?
Our topic this term centres around changes in History from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.  So far, we have used our understanding of chronology skills to create timelines of this vast period in history and we have produced informative texts after researching various aspects of the Stone Age.  We then wrote a diary entry from the perspective of a Stone Age child (but of course, we know that nobody could read or write back then).  We have also investigated the fascinating village of Skara Brae, which lay hidden on the largest Of the Orkney Islands (off the North West coast of Scotland) for thousands of years.  We think the village is intriguing and we have a super understanding of its stories.
To begin our Year Six Science topic, we discussed what we already know about electricity.  We are active learners and we loved using our electricity equipment to make working circuits.  We learnt about the importance of ensuring that each circuit is complete.  During our investigative work, we predicted what might happen to the brightness of a bulb if more bulbs were added to a circuit.  We tested our ideas and talked knowledgeably about our findings.  We discovered that if we put too many bulbs in a circuits, they don't light up at all! We used our language skills to think about suitable comparatives to explain what we had observed.  Super work, Year Six! 
Along with the rest of our wonderful school, we celebrated National Poetry Day on Thursday 28th September.  At home, we chose our favourite poem and practised performing it.  In school, we shared our poem with our friends and our readings gave the adults goosebumps! It was a fabulous way to celebrate our love of language and we all enjoyed hearing a vast selection of poetry, written by fantastic poets.  Take a look at the display in our school library to see some of the poems that we shared.  Why don't you try to find your favourite poem? 
Jolly Jars
Congratulations to all of our pupils who entered the Jolly Jar competition.  
Mrs Pendrey and Mrs Gilmour were amazed by our inspired designs!  They thanked all of the children for putting such fantastic efforts into their creations and they said that the judging was extremely difficult.  
Well done to Connor for being the eventual winner in Willow Class.  The judges couldn't believed that he had created three separate entries - and they were all fantastic!
Well done, boys and girls.  You make us so proud with your involvement and engagement - and you have all helped to raise money for our school at the Fayre.  An incredible £1173 was raised on the day!  What an achievement! 
Martial Arts Taster Session
We were enthralled during our recent Bujinkan NinJutsu taster session.  Look at the concentration on our faces! 
The moves were tricky to master but it was great to develop new skills and embark on new experiences.  We showed our developing independence and maturity by choosing the activities that we felt comfortable to attempt. 
Well done to everybody - especially to Alfie, for being a fantastic sport during the 'hold and release' demonstration.  What a positive bunch we are!
Coleford Lantern Festival
Lantern-Making Workshops in Willow Class
The project was developed with partnerships between SOUNDWORK Community Projects; Coleford Town Council; Coleford Area Partnership; The Art of Libraries project; and local schools - including ours!  
We enjoyed a fascinating workshop in our class that was run by local volunteers and artists.  Our pupils had great fun creating impressive lanterns, with the help of a group of wonderful parents and grandparents who very kindly offered their time to support our work in school.  
Our children and their families joined hundreds of other community members in Coleford for a spectacular Lantern Parade on Saturday December 2nd.  The organisers were overwhelmed with our turnout and they praised our children's patience and positivity whilst waiting to begin.  Our lanterns created a sparkling spectacle as we walked through the town centre.  Please view our photographs of the evening on the 'Community Links' page of our website.
Many thanks to Miss Rogers for coordinating our involvement in the project.