Monthly Archives: April 2016

Stocks Farm trip


On Wednesday, Kestrels enjoyed a fantastic trip to Stocks Farm, as the start to the Science topics this term. We were shown around the beautiful farm by Ali Capper, who did a brilliant job engaging the children in learning about all aspects of the growing process for apples and hops. The children bubbled with enthusiasm throughout the day and were full of excellent questions. Battling through bursts of hail, the class were a real credit to Bell’s Farm and made a very bright start to our Summer Term.

Always talk about your problems

On Friday, Kestrels discussed aspects of our class reader, ‘Boy in the Tower’. During the story something bad happens to the main character’s mother. He decided not to talk about it to anyone, in the hope that it would feel less real and would ‘wash away’.

The class discussed whether this is a good solution, contributions including:


By the end, the class were all convinced that the main character should have told someone or talked about the problem.

Each child then spent time thinking of a few specific people they would choose to go to if ever there was something they needed help with.

Sam summed it up brilliantly by saying, “Everything isn’t like a river where things flow away and disappear. When there are problems you have to work through them.”

Looking at the bible

Today Year 5 discussed a number of bible extracts which looked at how Christians have been taught to respond to things that hurt or make them angry.

It made everyone think about the life of Jesus as a behavioural model for the life of Christians.

Amongst others we looked at Matthew 5 : 38-48

This extract refers to turning the other cheek. A very powerful message on how to behave. Also how Jesus did not respond when he was being accused of many things- even though it meant he would not be freed.

The class made some interesting observations and comments on how their behaviours could have been different if they exercised a little more self-discipline in certain situations.


BBC concert orchestra



Today Year 5 enjoyed a trip to Birmingham Symphony Hall. They watched (and heard!) a fantastic performance by the BBC concert orchestra who performed ten pieces of classical music. “Ten Pieces Primary” is for 7 to 11-year-olds and aims to open up the world of classical music to children and inspire them. Besides listening to various classical arrangements, the children were also impressed with the lighting and sheer size of the building! The event was hosted by Naomi Robinson from CBBC and Mr Switch, who is a world champion DJ, also performed in the concert.

Debating topic

Year 5 enjoyed a heated debate during their Guided Reading session on Friday.

Having voted to structure the debate as Boys v Girls, they then created very sensible rules to follow:


The children did brilliantly debating the topic ‘The first two chapters of “Boy in the Tower” are the best ever opening chapters of a book’.

All children listened attentively and focussed hard on responding directly to the other group’s arguments. As the debate progressed points were supported more fully with facts and direct quotes from the text. With confidence growing, points of view were made more forcefully and passionately, while all the time respecting the rules of the debate. Maisy commented afterwards, “I’m still shaking with excitement!”

It was impossible to separate the groups and it certainly promises for many more lively debates this term.

Behaviours and reactions


Kestrels were totally “shocked, dismayed and astounded” this after afternoon when Mrs Sabir announced that 5 brand new books had been ripped in half and the class were responsible. The children were very mature and questioned Mrs Sabir about the evidence and what had happened…

They helped write down all their thoughts (unjust/bewildered) and feelings (confused/ heartbroken) about the situation and then discussed why those thoughts and feelings were just.

When Mrs Sabir revealed that the situation was just a scenario (that was “made up”), the children were clearly relieved that the books were untouched and nobody was in the wrong.

The class then went on to discuss how behaviours and reactions change in different situations and what influences behaviours. It was interesting that they thought their own reactions would be different depending on how others reacted and who was involved.

A very mature discussion about behaviours and reactions continued when the class wrote down situations and then talked about what they would do in those circumstances.