Autumn 2023


Reception children undertook activities linked to bonfire night at the beginning of November. Activities included discussing experiences of bonfire night, watching videos of the celebration, finding out about firework safety, and creating firework pictures.

During independent learning time, reception children have had the opportunity to find out about dinosaurs and explore the dinosaur bones.

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Whilst playing with the small world play castle, some children were intrigued to learn about real castles.

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Reception children learnt about Remembrance Day. They made their own poppies in class and had a class assembly where they observed a two minute silence. They watched a CBeebies video called ‘poppies’ which is a lovely video showing how the poppies grew in the field after all the grass had turned to mud.

Year 1

Year one children found out about extinct animals and also those that are endangered. They made a timeline to show when the animals became extinct.

Year 2

Norwich’s Past

Year 2 children have learnt about life in Norwich in the past. They studied the cathedral and castle in Norwich. Lessons included looking at artefacts relating to Norwich’s past, comparing old and new landmarks in Norwich, and finding out about castles and how they were defended.

See grid below to show understanding before and after the topic.

The children participated in a History Day- see special events tab for further details.

Year two also looked at the significant person William the Conqueror. They created a timeline for his life.

Night time

As part of our topic Night time the children have learnt about a significant person from the past, Guy Fawkes.  The children wrote about who Guy Fawkes was and why he is an important historical person.

They picked some items that Guy Fawkes might have used in 1605 and described how he would have used them. They then explained the difference between objects that Guy Fawkes could have used, compared with what he might have used today.

Autumn Term Geography


Reception children have been very busy exploring their immediate environment, including talking about animals and plants in their outdoor area, which is known as ‘Ted’s Den’. They have also observed seasonal changes to the weather and the trees.

During independent learning time, Reception children have developed their sense of place by discussing the maps and leaflets in class.

Year one

Year one have been learning about animals and how they adapt to their region. This built on from work in reception when they studied the topic ‘Around the world’.

Year two

Year two children have been locating significant landmarks in Norwich and comparing old and new landmarks. Work included using google maps.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day was marked in an assembly at the Junior School. The children learnt about Armistice Day on the 11th November 1918. At 11 o’clock on that day, nations who were fighting laid down their weapons and this signalled the end of the war (known then as the “Great War”). Today, we know it as the First World War. Armistice is an agreement for peace.

One year later, the first two-minute silence was held. King George V had asked the people of Britain to pause and remember all those who had fought and died in the service of their country.

In in 1920, King George unveiled the nation’s new war memorial called the Cenotaph, where people go to remember the fallen.

The children found out about the Royal British Legion and how it remembers the fallen by launching the Poppy Appeal, where members and volunteers sell millions of red paper poppies. In the weeks leading up to 11th November and on Remembrance Sunday, people are asked to wear a poppy as an act of remembrance.

The children listened respectfully and with interest.

On Wednesday 8th November, key stage one children were extremely lucky to be joined by the Mayor of Dereham. He talked to the children about why we wear poppies, the significance of the poppy and encouraged the children to join in with reciting a special passage to remember the soldiers who fought in the wars.

On the Friday the Infant School participated in class assemblies for Remembrance Day, including a two minute silence. Reception children also had the opportunity to make poppies.

Autumn 2 – Ian Gardner assembly

Ian visited us to talk about the parable of The Good Shepherd. He talked about how different the sheep that he had brought in looked, and asked the children ‘did that matter?’ The children said no! When one of the sheep were lost, it didn’t matter that it was the little one. We would always treat everybody the same and it didn’t matter what they looked like or how they may be different.

Black History Month

Year 3 enjoyed watching a video and researching the life of Mary Seacole, who was born in Jamaica over 200 years ago. She broke social rules and prejudices to travel the world, run businesses and help those in need – even in the most dangerous places. She was best known for her work as a nurse in the Crimean War and is remembered as an incredible woman and inspiring role model. They used their findings to engage in a discussion and debate about her achievements.  In music, the children learned to sing a Ghanan folk song Tue Tue and to play it on the ocarina.

Year 4 have been ‘celebrating our sisters’ in relation to this year’s Black History month theme. We have learnt about Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman and the part which they played in the Civil Rights Movement. We discussed the important of equality throughout our school and what we can do to ensure we treat everyone with respect. Finally, we created some beautiful art work to celebrate our differences. In music, the children learned a Rap celebrating Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

Year 5 have been finding out about Harriet Tubman and her “underground Railway” where she devoted her life to secretly freeing slaves. We designed panels for a patchwork quilt, which has symbols to represent messages like, get your wagon ready or take the mountain path to find a safe house. The symbols were used, partly to remain secretive, but also because the slaves could not read or write.

Year 6

To celebrate and recognise black history month in Year 6, we researched influential women that have contributed to different industries such as sport, science and medicine, politics, entertainment and broadcasting, literature arts and music. We presented the information that we found in a variety of ways such as: posters, storyboards and drawings. We discussed the theme of this year’s black history month and that this is an opportunity to for everyone to learn about significant Black and Mixed Heritage people and their contributions to Britain and worldwide. 

Black History Month

Over the last three weeks we have been celebrating Black History Month. Here are some of the activities that have taken place across the Federation.

Reception – In Reception we have been learning about some amazing people in our history. We enjoyed reading Mo Farah’s “Ready Steady Mo” and learning about his amazing achievements at the Olympics. We looked at some iconic music created by black artists and learned the sign for dancing when listening to Martha & The Vandellas “Dancing in the Streets”. We also had a go at dancing to Bob Marley’s classic hit ‘Three Little Birds’.

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Year 1 and year 2 started learning about Black History Month by discussing the importance of treating everyone equally during an assembly. We looked at our PATHS rule ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated’ and talked about the importance of British Values.

Year 1- We enjoyed dancing to Martha & The Vandellas “Dancing in the Streets” and Nina Simone’s “Young Gifted and Black”. We were inspired by the story of the Olympic athlete Mo Farah and enjoyed watching videos of his races. We also learnt about Daniel Hale Williams who was was an African-American surgeon who founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States in 1891, as well as completing the first successful heart surgery.

Year 2 –In year 2, we have been learning about the lives of Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks as part of our learning in black history month. The children have discussed how black people were treated in the past and how much it has changed thanks to the actions of people like Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks. We also explored some modern day heroes like Mo Farah, Stevie Wonder and Stormzy.

Year 3 School Trip Autumn 1 2023

Autumn 1 2023, Year 3 School Trip

On Wednesday 11th October, Year 3 visited the Norwich Cathedral and participated in their Sacred Science programme of study. We explored different aspects of Science and learnt all about the history of why the cathedral was constructed. We re-capped our geographical learning with compass points and absorbed the magnificence of the cathedral as a historic building.

As part of our current Science unit: Forces, we explored how effective the force of gravity was in the construction of the cathedral during William the Conqueror’s reign. We used the medieval mason’s template to re-create an archway. We worked together beautifully to create our arches, we displayed determination, resilience and perseverance which enabled us to be successful medieval stonemasons.

As part of our upcoming Science unit: Light, we also explored Opaque, Translucent and Transparent materials. We discussed how our bodies block the sun, causing shadows.

We examined the effect of stained glass on light. Exploring the translucent qualities that create the vibrant colours of the cathedral windows. We compared the stained glass windows with the clear glass of the modern section of the cathedral and observed that it was transparent.

We all had the opportunity to create our own stained glass window, with opaque and translucent materials. We explored depth of colour and during the process we explored the effect of light on our own creations. The work was amazing and we are creating a year group display of them.

After learning so much new information, including that the cathedral has its own cat: Budge, we left at the end of the day able to talk about our fabulous experience.

Pupil quotes about the day:

“I loved going to the cathedral because we learned more about Forces which is our Science topic.” Emmy-Mae

“I liked making the stained glass windows because they were really colourful. It showed us how the stained glass is translucent.” Anni and Alice.

“I loved being in such an old building and knowing people still go to pray today.”

“I really liked learning about how the windows tell a story.” Kendra

“I liked learning about gravity because I didn’t know what it was.” Elliott

Science Autumn 1 2023

Year 3

This half term we have been learning about Forces and Magnets. The children started their learning by classifying whether objects were magnetic or non magnetic. Using bar magnets the children observed what happened when the same poles on two magnets were placed together and when different poles were placed together. We learned the vocabulary attract and repel to describe what happened. Using a selection of magnets the children carried out an experiment to see which magnet was the strongest. We made a prediction at the start and after displaying the results on a bar graph we decided whether our predictions were correct.

We then moved on to learning about push and pull forces, the children acted out a force for the class to guess which they were!

Our final experiment saw the children deciding which material had the greatest friction. Discussions were had to decide how to make the experiment a fair test. Our recent trip to Norwich Cathedral was the perfect way to introduce our next topic – Light! 

Year 4

In Science, our topic has been States of Matter, the children have been very enthusiastic about the experiments and particularly enjoyed melting different solids (even if it did make some of them hungry). They have enjoyed demonstrating their understanding of how solids, liquids and gasses move and how they can change state when heated or cooled. We ended the topic by exploring the water cycle and the children loved learning the water cycle rap and even making up their own dance moves!

Year 5

During Autumn 1, Year 5 have been studying the topic of Space.  

We began this topic by working in groups to sort evidence cards into groups. We decided whether then card supported the idea that the Earth was spherical or that the Earth was flat. We then summarised our findings as a class. 

Year 5 then moved on to look at the movement of Earth and other planets in relation to the sun. We conducted our own shadow investigation demonstrating the spinning of the Earth. We carried out an observation over time and made predictions about how we thought our shadow may change over the day. Once an hour over the school day we went out to the playground and observed how our shadows have changed by drawing around them using chalk. We then discussed our findings at the end of the day and linked them to the use of sun dials.  

From our knowledge gained from the shadows experience in the following lesson we could begin to explain day and night. We used globes and torchers to recreate the day and night effect.  

Year 5 have also looked at the movement of the moon and created their own research page using tablets. Finally we found out about Galileo and his work on pendulums before making our own pendulums and writing up our findings. 

Year 6

We started year 6 by learning about animals, including humans. We learnt about the circulatory and digestive systems and carried out an investigation into how exercise affects our heart rate. We found that after 2 minutes continuous exercise our heart rates speeds up to help oxygen reach our organs more quickly. We also learnt about how to live a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise. Over the course of a week, we did regular exercise each morning to see if this helped us to be more alert during our lessons. Most of us found that we did find it easier to concentrate in our morning lessons after five minute jog or continuous exercise.

Autumn 1 2023


The Autumn term has seen the start of a new Federation School Council. Children across the federation volunteered for the positions of class representative. Each class voted for their chosen candidate.

In years 6 and 2 the children took part in a separate School Council hustings process. From year 6 a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary needed to be elected to run the School Council for the coming year, and year 2 took part in voting for a Vice Chairperson.

Each of the candidates were asked to make a speech to their classmates and all the children were given the chance to vote in the election using ballot papers. During this process we discussed the importance of democracy, one of our British Values.

Congratulations to our elected members for their excellent public speaking. Our Chair Person spoke about how he has had lots of help from adults in school during his time here and he now wants to help other students and make it the best it can be. He wants to help others and make sure no one is left out. His qualities include being a good listener and will think things through for the best possible outcome.

During our first meeting the school council discussed the possible name for our new federation reward system. We have asked classes to vote from the shortlist below:

Toftwood Tokens, Excellence Points, Merit Tokens

All of the children were invited to submit ideas for the rewards, which they will get once they have received 10 ‘points’ or they can bank them to work for a 20 points reward. Points will be awarded for the above and beyond behaviours, or overcoming a particularly difficult challenge. Here are the ideas the children came up with:

Rewards for 10 points

  • Basketball at lunchtime with 3 friends
  • Bring your toy or stuffed animal to school
  • Colouring outside or in the hall
  • Football in the Smooga at break with three friends
  • Have a draw with Rob
  • Lunch time with your teddy
  • Maths challenges

Rewards for 20 points

  • Climbing frame with 3 friends
  • Disco with the disco ball
  • Going to Reception for an hour to help
  • Library lunch with friends
  • Lunch on a special table in the hall with 3 friends
  • Lunch with your brother or sister
  • Lunch with your favourite adult

Voting for Infant Lunchtime Clubs 2023-24

During the first half of autumn term the infant school council have been busy discussing lunchtime clubs. The teachers at Infants decided to let the children have the final say into the types of clubs that they would like to have over the coming year. As a council we looked through the list from last year and discussing the practicalities of each club. The children then voted for their preferred choices. Some of the clubs included in the final list were:

  • Lego Club
  • Film Club
  • Dance Club
  • Singing Club
  • Nature Club
  • Treasure Hunt Club
  • Mindfulness Club
  • Summer Sports club
  • Art Club

The teachers will run these throughout the year alongside some of our existing clubs and various sports clubs that coincide with trips and events.

Recycling in our Federation

During the last meeting of Autumn 1 the children in the school council discussed ways to improve recycling within our Federation. The children talked about how our bins can be used properly and raising attention to this through creating new posters to go up around the classroom, along with conducting a special assembly for their peers.

The council took a feedback sheet back to their classes to discuss any other ideas with their class. Some classes have voted in a ‘Litter Monitor’ to check the bins at the end of the day. The council will report back in the first meeting of Autumn 2 on how this is going and whether we can role this idea out in every class.

Year 2 – English Autumn 1

The children have worked very hard in English this half term. We have focused on different texts including Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett.

When we read the Meerkat Mail book as a class, the children were very excited to discover that Sunny the meerkat had visited our classrooms! The children wrote some independent postcards in role as Sunny. They wrote about where they had visited, as Sunny, and what they enjoyed about their trip. The children also wrote missing posters and letters to help find Sunny when he went missing!

We learnt about meerkats using information videos, and then the children used this information to create a two-page spread poster. We included scientific facts and vocabulary as well as a labelled diagram of a meerkat.