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Kempsey Primary School

To learn with respect and belief; to challenge, create and dream!


Welcome to Sycamore!

A very warm welcome to Sycamore Class from Miss Stone and Mrs Steele

Sycamore is a mixed year 5 and 6 class.

Please check this page regularly to see photos and examples of some of the fantastic work and activities pupils have completed in class.

The link above takes you to a selection of helpful maths videos to provide support with learning at home. 

PSHE this term

This half term, Year 5 & 6 have continued with our topic ‘This is Us’, which has predominantly a PSHE focus. Key questions driving this topic are:

  • What is community?
  • What is a healthy relationship?
  • What are your support networks?

This has built on a sequence of year 5/6 PSHE lessons from the previous term which explored: emotions and feelings and their different effects in the body; tools and strategies to deal with emotions, particularly difficult emotions, as well as the evolutionary reasons for our feelings and emotions.  


PSHE lessons for Year 5 in Spring 1 have explored identifying conflict in different situations and the different strategies (such as negotiation and compromise) that we can use to deal with and resolve conflict and disputes.


More recent lessons for Year 5 have explored Relationships:

28.2.20 and 9.3.20

Pupils started by thinking about how they would define love and the different types of relationships we have such as with parents or carers, pets, friends and siblings. We then discussed which relationships we find the easiest and hardest and the reasons for this. We also agreed a list of when we thought relationships or loving someone might be particularly difficult and why. In groups, pupils were then given a range of scenarios to discuss and shared the advice they would give to someone in that scenario.



We spent a further lesson exploring what makes a healthy relationship. We discussed the statement ‘and they lived happily ever after…’ and whether this is realistic.

Through plenty of discussion we established that relationships (including those with family, friendships and romantic) can be up and down and we might not always feel happy, but we must always feel safe. It was also agreed that whilst no perfect relationship can be perfect, key elements of a healthy relationship for the pupils were:


  • Trust
  • Respect for each other
  • Honesty
  • Accepting yourself and each other
  • Feeling safe and secure
  • Affection and letting each other know you care in different ways



Year 5&6 also spent a lesson this week covering safe touch – shading in an outline of the body to agree where physical contact is acceptable and unacceptable and discussing examples such as visiting a doctor or dentist but how can we can still feel safe in these instances. Pupils also listened to a role play to explore the concept of ‘keeping something confidential or secret’. They used a drama activity ‘conscience alley’ to debate if the character should or should not agree to this and discussed when it is right to ‘break a confidence’ or ‘share a secret’. We also agreed who our trusted adults are and that the NSPCC allows pupils to share their concerns in confidence.

10.03.20- Explosive Food Show at The Hive!

05.03.20 World Book Day in Sycamore - creating characters and sharing stories

05.03.20- Year 5 and 6 trip to the theatre to see 'Holes' at Malvern.

25.2.20 Plastic weaving for Art Day

24.2.20 Sharing our family tree research and plotting dates of birth against key dates in British History

13.02.20 Safer internet week- protecting personal information, reporting concerns and keeping information private

Science enrichment - visit from Mrs. Navabpour and using an augmented reality Tshirt and technology to explore our circulatory system 7.2.20 


Y5 French - learning about La Chandeleur (French Pancake Day and traditions) 6.2.20

Science - exploring healthy eating and the food groups 4.2.20


To activate prior knowledge, pupils were given a range of pictures with different types of food to identify and to sort into categories. Pupils were then asked to arrange the same pictures along a continuum from healthy to unhealthy. This prompted lots of discussion about the importance of a balanced diet and that some foods are ok for us, if eaten if moderation. Pupils were then given a blank plate and asked to think about how they would divide their plate up into parts showing how much of each type of the food they should eat within a balanced diet. During this exercise, pupils used their own groupings and proportions.


New knowledge acquired:

In whole class feedback, pupils looked at the NHS eat well guidelines and identified the food groups as:

  • Fruit and vegetables (at least 5 a day)
  • Protein (including beans and pulses)
  • Dairy and alternatives
  • Carbohydrates (including fibre)
  • Oils and spreads (unsaturated fats in small amounts
  • Foods containing fats and sugar (such as crisps and chocolates) in small amounts

As well as checking how their groupings and proportions matched the NHS guidelines. They applied their knowledge through an independent task – designing a poster for a Y3 pupil with a sample menu that showed different types illustrating a balanced diet.

Science - sorting foods into different groups and exploring healthy eating 4.2.20

Art - commenting on art works and creating original pieces 31.1.20


Pupils looked at a series of different self portraits by Frida Kahlo and discussed how her own experiences in life were communicated through symbolism in her surrealist style paintings. We used these as inspiration to create our own self portraits which incorporated objects meaningful to our lives in the background design. Pupils also applied their knowledge of mixing different tones of watercolours from last term. 

Self portraits in the style of Frida Kahlo, 31.1.20

Y5 Maths - applying our knowledge of converting fractions with different denominators to add them, 29.1.20

Y5 French - expressing opinions by surveying each other about our favourite sports 23.1.20

Reading with our book buddies - Elm (Y1) and Sycamore (Y5&6) 20.1.20

Y5 Computing - researching effectively using key words and fact checking on more than one website 20.1.20

PSHE - discussing strategies which we can use to help ourselves when experiencing difficult feelings


In PSHE this week, we have thought about different strategies we can use when experiencing emotions and feelings such as worry, anxiety, anger and shame. We started our second session with a chocolate meditation exercise and thought about how we could be more mindful in our lives, as well as reminding ourselves that feelings always pass. Pupils then discussed in groups a range of scenarios where they might experience negative emotions and thoughts and what they thought the best strategy was to deal with it (choosing from breathing exercises, acceptance, talking and sharing your worries, distraction, relaxation and exercise). 



Y5 PSHE - what strategies can we use to help ourselves when experiencing difficult feelings? 17.1.20

Multiplicative reasoning (17.1.20)

Active ten this term

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This half term we are challenging ourselves to increase the number of side to side jumps we can do in 30 seconds. We recorded our baseline scores on the first day of term and practice each week during Active 10: here we are practising while playing the game: Land, River, Bridge and Mountain that Y6 learnt while on residential!

Problem solving using BIDMAS (9/1/20)

Fabulous Fractals! 17/12/19

Today, we linked our learning in maths to maths in nature. Fractals are a curve or geometrical figure in which each part of the shape has the same characteristics as the shape as a whole. Examples of fractals include: snowflakes, shells and succulents. 


Fractals are useful in modelling structures (such as snowflakes) in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth and galaxy formation.



Science/ DT - investigating and designing pulley systems 13.12.19


Today, we used knex to design a free standing structure with a pulley system that could lift a 500g weight. Working in small groups, pupils showed great patience and perserverance to achieve this and shared ideas about what made a successful free standing structure. They were even able to draw on previous ideas from designing earthquake proof structures to help them make their structures more stable. See below for some videos of their structures...

Testing our pulley systems

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Testing our pulley systems

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Testing our pulley systems

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Testing our pulley systems

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General election in Sycamore! 12.12.19


Today, we discussed what we already knew about how a general election works and learnt all about the first past the post voting system, how many MPs need to be elected for one party to gain a majority and also read summaries of the manifestos from different political parties. There was much lively debate as to what would encourage us to vote and what issues were most important to us such as education, the environment and keeping the NHS free to access. We even conducted our own class vote using ballot papers and concluded that we wouldn't have a hung parliament in this case! 

Computing - effective web searching 10.12.19


As we near the end of our current topic, pupils have been developing their digital literacy skills by using the laptops to research aspects of the legacy of the Roman Empire in Britain in more depth. We have been applying our knowledge of key word searching and using the boolean operators 'and' & 'or' to widen a search, as well as finding more than one source online to fact check.


PSHE - exploring the origin of our emotions and feelings 9.12.19

Community links and breeding tolerance and understanding- a visit from Worcester New College for the blind..

Science 3.12.19 - working scientifically 


Hypothesis: a gyrocopter will always fall at the same speed 


Children investigated this by applying their knowledge of variables and identifying an independent variable (changing the length of wing or weight) in pairs and testing if this disproved the hypothesis. They discussed their method, including what would it make it a fair test such as dropping the gyrocopter from the same height each time. 


See the slide show below for pictures!


Science 3.12.19

Examples of letters of application to join the Roman Army - writing persuasively and applying knowledge from an information text, November 2019

Science 26.11.19

‘Does the amount of friction increase if the mass of the object (being pulled) increases?’


Pupils made predictions and carried out the investigation in groups, recording their data in a table. They decided to present their findings in the form of a line graph and wrote a conclusion.


New knowledge: 

  • A dependent variable is what stays the same – in this case, the shoe and type of surface
  • The independent variable is what changes – in this case the mass in the shoe each time (100g, 200g weights etc)
  • As mass of an object increases, when pulled, so does the friction acting upon it.


See the slideshow below for pictures!

Science 26.11.19

Bhangra Active dance workshop 22.11.19

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Pupils learnt a range of different bhangra moves and their traditional meaning before putting them into two sequences with traditional and more modern music

More Bhangra Active!

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Applying mathematical reasoning - exploring fractions as division 22.11.19


Pupils worked in pairs to solve this problem. They used their knowledge of comparing and ordering fractions and fractions as division (taught this week) to work out where each member of the class should sit as they came into the classroom. 




21.11.19- Replying to our French pen-pals

Kempsey cafe with a remembrance theme 8.11.19

'What have the Romans done for us?' topic launch - testing catapaults 5.11.19

During our topic launch, we identified what we would like to find out about the Roman Empire in Britain. Pupils are interested to know more about:

  • Battle tactics and how did shields help the army to win?
  • What kinds of animals were special to the Romans?
  • Why did they enjoy blood thirsty sports?
  • Who were the Roman Gods and how many were there?


We learned that the Roman Empire covered most of Europe and North Africa and that the army was well trained and organised with lots of weapons and equipment. We then built simple catapaults using lolly sticks and catapaults and had a whole class competition to test them!

Sharing our natural disasters topic homework and peer feedback session 5.11.19

Design and technology - designing, constructing and testing 'earthquake proof' structures 4.11.19

Testing our earthquake proof structures on a bed of jelly!

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After looking at a range of examples of earthquake proof buildings in Japan and New Zealand and identifying the key features of these, pupils were challenged to design and construct their own earthquake proof structure using only 30 cocktail sticks and 30 marshmallows! Working in small groups, their structures had to be at least two storeys and to be able to withstand shaking on a bed of jelly.

Testing earthquake proof structures

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Testing earthquake proof structures

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Testing earthquake proof structures

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Testing earthquake proof structures

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Testing earthquake proof structures

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Science - investigating the effect of upthrust in water, 21.10.19

Researching and summarising key facts, October 2019

Following our research into the timeline of events during the eruption of Mount Vesuivus that devestated Pompeii in 79AD and our exploration of the location of volcanoes and earthquakes found in the 'Ring of Fire' in physical geography, we have created fact files about other famous volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. During our research using iPads, we also discussed effective web searching using key words and and using Boolean operators to widen and narrow our searches. Below are two examples of fact files about the eruption of Mount St Helens in 1980. 



Science - how do we measure gravity? 11.10.19

Examples of narrative recounts - writing cohesively in the style of a survivor of Pompeii, September 2019

Activating prior knowledge of forces, Science 27.9.19

Real PE (Social & Multi-skills) 26.9.19

Up, Down, Flying Around!

This week in Maths fluency, we have been practising adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers. See the game in action here!



Lowry inspired portraits 11.9.19

Exploring the relationship between colour and mood in painting 

Today we studied LS Lowry. We discussed what he was like as an artist;  how he uses line and colour and described a selection of his artwork. Following a relay observation exercise, we then focused on one of his portraits, thinking carefully about how he shows emotion through his work in order to replicate his style ourselves. 

Geography - researching the reasons for similarities and differences of playgrounds around the world 10.9.19

Playgrounds - grouping, sorting, ordering and justifying 9.9.19

Playgrounds around the World - topic launch

This term we are taking part in a whole-school topic, 'Playground', based on the book by James Mollison. The book contains a collection of photographs of different playgrounds from around the world. 


For our topic launch, we posed the questions:


Why does every school seem to have a playground? What is the purpose?

What is essential for a playground?


Following discussions about answers to the above questions and rating items as most to least essential, we looked at a selection of photographs from the book. Using the photographs, we sorted the playgrounds into different groupings and ordered them by specific criteria.


As the topic progresses, we will investigate the reasons for geographical similarities and differences, as well as linking our work across subjects (such as to Art and English).

Playing Totality 

We have also started the year with a focus on improving our Maths fluency (mental arithmetic skills and rapid recall of key known facts such as number bonds and our times tables). This week we learnt how to play the game Totality. We will be practising our Maths fluency each day for 10 minutes after Active 10


Making careful observations - Art and Design

Inspired by the animation 'The Girl and the Fox' we watched and discussed during our English lesson, pupils in Sycamore thought carefully about what makes a good drawing of an eye and practised their observational and shading skills in their sketch books as well as giving each other focused and meaningful feedback after watching 'Austin's Butterfly'. 


Sycamore from Miss Stone and Mrs Steele

4th September 2019


Today we settled back into our school routines and set resolutions for the new academic year ahead, as well as thinking about what we were proud of having accomplished or had got better at during the summer holidays


Respect - our agreed class value - will be key to everything we do as part of our school life 

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