Mr Bennett on holiday in Ireland at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange, a Neolithic burial mound. The carvings are nearly 5,000 years old and unique among monuments like this in Europe.
Welcome to Year 5 Willow Class.
A word about your child's teacher, Mr. Bennett:
I have a degree in Anthropology and Archaeology and studied Egyptology at the University of London. The first few decades of my working life were spent as an archaeologist, travelling to such wonderful locations as Egypt, Palestine, Mexico, the USA and many sites in the UK. When I finished that career, I decided to become a teacher. I worked as an Archaeological Tutor for the University of Nottingham WEA and then when I moved here, I was a tutor at The University of Oxford and Reading University. I received my PGCE reasonably late in life when I decided I wanted to teach in Primary School and after working at various schools, I found a home at Riverside. I've been here now for several years and really enjoy life at this school. I will be updating you about what we are studying and what projects we will be embarking upon. As always, I urge parents to read with their children at home. I cannot stress the importance of regularly using the English language at home, through TV shows and DVDs, speaking, conversing with siblings in English and most importantly, reading and being read to. There is a proven link between reading and improvement in writing and this is a commitment we have, not only in Year 5, but throughout the school.
Year 5 children proudly showing their work in English. An important skill is being able to find the relevant specific information from a piece of non-fiction text. I didn't notice that Amaan was pulling off such a funny face - but it has captured a moment.
The Mayans were famous for building pyramids, creating the first calendar, developing a hieroglyphic language and sculpting beautiful pieces of art like this - a Mayan King in a purification ritual.
Willow Class Trip to the Pitt-Rivers Museum Oxford
Year 5 enjoyed a great day out at the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford. The children had such a great time, they didn't want to leave (especially since I didn't allow them to go to the gift shop). I really encourage parents to take their children to the museum and enjoy the amazing collections with them. It is easy to get to Oxford. Go to the Park-and-Ride off the M40, take a comfortable bus into the City Centre and walk up to the Natural History Museum. Your child will remember that the Pitt-Rivers Museum is past the dinosaurs and down the stairs in the back. It is well sign-posted. Oxford is a beautiful city for a day out, especially this time of year.
We had an expert presentation on Mayan life through different types of objects - sculptures, woven textiles, artefacts and drawings. I led them personally through the exhibitions after lunch so we could see the incredible diversity of objects from all over the world, including weapons, costumes, masks, ritual objects, shrunken heads, tools and many other categories of artefacts. As you can see from the photos, the children are having an amazing day of learning outside the classroom.
Welcome to Willow Class!
The new year started with a new Literacy Unit in Willow Class. We have studied a beautiful Narrative Poem called The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. The promotional blurb is: 'Love lasts beyond life.' For those of you who don't know, a Highwayman was a masked robber who haunted the roads and highways of 18th century Britain. They robbed from those wealthy people who were caught out on the road, alone and helpless. The most famous was named Dick Turpin and there are legends that associate him with our area. In the poem, a Highwayman loves the daughter of an Inn landlord. A stable boy overhears the Highwayman telling Bess that he is going to return the next evening (after robbing a coach) and take her away. The stable boy tells the King's guard...and you can imagine what is going to happen next. Ask your children about it and I'm sure they will fill in the details. We performed a drama based on the poem, recited the poem in front of the class, drew a Highwayman silhouette painting in Art and the children illustrated their books beautifully. A few examples are below:
The one and only day we had snow in 2019! Obviously the children went crazy and tested out their sculpture skills making a version of Mr. Bennett in the snow.
World Book Day is Thursday 7th March. The day will be filled with fun and exciting activities that promote the love of reading. This is the Willow Class Reading and Relaxing Corner. Children take off their shoes, chill-out and have 20 minutes of quiet reading every morning.
Congratulations to our Young Writers!
The Young Writers Literacy Group has contacted me with the following list of winners in their Spooky Stories competition. I have given parents the letter from the organisation that is going to publish their child's work in a special Berkshire book. The children are:
Ahmad Al Jarah
Ezzah Noor Naeem
Thomos Weeks Hall