Brilliant Beginnings

Each topic within our curriculum starts with a Brilliant Beginning. This is a hook into the topic and aims to capture children’s enthusiasm and generate excitement. These are often active and creative experiences to enhance the children’s learning. 

Summer 1 – 2023 – Brilliant Beginnings 

Year 1 – Sun, Sea and Sand

The children started their new topic, Sun, Sea and Sand, with an exciting safari around the school to look for animals that might live in the Savannah. The children prepared themselves by getting their binoculars in place and making sure they were quiet as they travelled around the school field. It wasn’t long before they spotted their first of many animals hiding in bushes, trees, and even near the adventure playground.  

Year 2 – Into the Rainforest

Year 2 began their new topic using their sense of sound as we listened to the sounds of the rainforest. We thought carefully about what we could hear and what the area would look like. We learnt that the rainforest had 4 different layers to it and that LOTS of animals lived in the rainforest. The children were given the task of turning a section of their classroom into a rainforest which they enjoyed enormously. We are looking forward to adding to our displays as the topic goes on! 

Year 3 – Illuminating learning

Year 3 spent part of a morning with no light in their guided reading session to kick start their new topic. They then explored why light is important in their science lesson. 

Year 4 – Norse Invaders

Year 4’s new topic began with an investigation into who the Vikings were through a series of different activities including drama, looking at different sources of information and deciphering Viking runes.  The children really enjoyed getting into role as the Vikings. 

Year 5 – Who did it better? The Maya vs. The Anglo Saxons

Coming soon…

Year 6 – Get to the Heart of it

To begin their heart-stopping topic on the circulatory system, Year 6 made their own blood! Using marshmallows, food colouring, salt and sprinkles, they discussed the different components of blood and the importance of them.  

Spring 2 – 2023 – Brilliant Beginnings

Year 1 – Cold Kingdoms 

Year 1 received a mysterious letter and package. The letter was written from a very friendly polar bear, Leaf, who had travelled many miles and arrived at Woodlands to join the children for this half terms topic, Cold Kingdoms. The children wrote their very own letters to Leaf to introduce themselves and ask him questions to find out more about where he lives, what he eats and where his family are. The children thought of many different questions and as part of our science and geography sessions have researched what polar bears eat, how they are able to live in cold environments and identified what continent they live on.  

Year 2 – Here and there

Year 2 spent the day being detectives! They explored a variety of images and artefacts and had to work out where they could be from. They made lots of great predictions before they worked out that they were all from Africa! The children are looking forward to comparing our nearest city, Norwich to the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi in their new topic this term. 

Year 3 – Rampaging Romans

As part of their brilliant beginning Year 3 looked at amazing things about ancient Rome. They researched how the ancient romans did their washing, accepted a newborn baby into the home and pets around the home. They looked at ferrets catching mice, babies taken into slavery and some very smelly laundry. 

Year 4 – Journey into the unknown

Year 4, started their new topic of the Anglo-Saxons, by considering the question ‘What was life like for the Anglo-Saxons?’ The children looked at what food was available to Anglo-Saxons and used ingredients that were available to them to make honey shortbread. The children then decorated their shortbread with Anglo-Saxon runes. 

Year 5 – The Maya

In Year 5, when introducing their new History topic of the Mayans, the children were encouraged to imagine themselves discovering a Mayan civilisation. Answering some key questions using a collage of varying photos to really immerse themselves in the spirit of the culture. The children were then given some delicious treats, chocolate! What the children very quickly learnt was the cocoa content reflected that of the way the Maya used it – the chocolate was very rich and was somewhat of an acquired taste! 

Year 6 – ‘A Ground-Breaking Experience’ – Physical Processes

Year 6 went to investigate a mystery box that had been found in the woodland area. The children spent some time searching for the box, and once they found it they discussed what was inside. The children found sketches and diary entries written by Charles Darwin! The children were already able to recognise fossils and pictures of the famous finches. They are looking forward to learning more about Darwin’s amazing discoveries.  

Spring 1 – 2023 – Brilliant Beginnings

Year 1 – Marvellous Materials

As the introduction lesson to instruction writing, the teachers pretended to be robots and the children had to give clear instructions to create a jam sandwich. The children soon realised they needed to use bossy words and be very clear – at one point the robot put the jam jar and butter tub in the bread! This then led to children writing their own instructions for creating a jam sandwich.  

Year 2 – Let’s Grow

Year 2 have received an unexpected letter from the main character in their story, The Secret Sky Garden.  In her letter, Funni told them all about her beautiful sky garden that she created in the car park of an airport.  

The children used Funni’s letter and her description of her sky garden as inspiration for them to design their own gardens. They used vibrant oil pastels and water colours to create beautiful artwork depicting their very own sky gardens. The children are looking forward to writing their own reply letters back to Funni. 

Year 3 – UK Study

Year 3 have started learning all about the United Kingdom. As part of this, they have studied the flags of the countries which make up the UK and created their own versions. Keep an eye out for the Welsh dragon, it’s not an easy flag to draw! 

Year 4 – Rise of the Robots

As part of their rivers revisited learning, Year 4 used materials from the classroom to create the different parts and some of the features of rivers including the upper, middle and lower course.  They worked in small groups and showed great teamwork skills as well as an understanding of rivers. 

Year 5 – Out of this World

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in space? Do you ever look up at the night sky and just stare in amazement? To begin their space learning, Year 5 students dived deep into outer space as they entered the captivating StarDome. They explored all of the planets as well at looking at many of the well-known star constellations. They then applied their learning by making their own paper-mache planets. Watch this ‘space’ for future learning!  

Year 6 – Sandbags and Sirens

Year 6 have launched their topic with a day of air raid sirens! They would have to stop their work and take cover under their tables to see what it may have been like for children during WW2. They are studying how WW2 had an impact on East Anglia – in particular the American influence and the location of airbases. 

Autumn 2 – 2022 – Brilliant Beginnings

Year 1 – Seasonal Changes

For their brilliant beginning, Year 1 went for a walk through our beautiful woodland area as an introduction to their new topic ‘Seasonal Changes’. They used their senses to describe what they could see in preparation to write their own poem.  

Year 2 – What’s outside your window?

The children kicked off their new topic by learning about CBeebies presenter & zoologist Hamza Yassin as part of Black History Month. The classes went on a nature walk in the woods just as Ranger Hamza does on his show & took some amazing photos on the iPads. They had a great time finding Autumn leaves, seeds & fruits.

Year 3 – Rockin’ through the Ages (part 2)

This half term, Year 3 are continuing their look into the past and studying the Iron Age. To kick things off, the children researched some amazing Iron Age facts and created enticing leaflets to make sure the whole class were eager to find out more… 

Year 4 – Amazing Ancient Egypt 

To begin their new topic, Year 4 took a virtual visit to Norwich Castle Museum and explored their Egyptian gallery which contains a range of artefacts that date from around 2,500 – 4,500 years old.  The artefacts included a mummy of Ankh Hor, an important priest who worked in the temple of Amun in Karnak around 3000 years ago.  They were able to navigate round the museum via google maps on their own chrome books.   

Year 5 – The World Around Us!

Imagine suddenly crashing a plane into a biome that you are unfamiliar with. An ecosystem that you know nothing about. How would you survive? What would you need? Year 5 began their learning by reading the opening to The Explorer by Katherine Rundell before setting off on survival mode in our wonderful woodlands. Throughout the unit, the children will be exploring the biomes from around the world while they discover the amazing wildlife that call them home.  

Year 6 – All aboard the Empire Windrush

This half term, Year 6 are studying Windrush. For their brilliant beginning, they studied Claudia Jones, who is known as the ‘Mother’ of the Notting Hill Carnival. She worked to bring unity across the streets of London. The children made their own costumes for the Notting Hill Carnival and researched the importance of the carnival to the Windrush generation.  

Autumn 1 – 2022 – Brilliant Beginnings

 Year 1 – Adventures around the world

The children in Year 1 arrived at school to find a rather large sticky trail had been left in the classroom. The children thought that the snail and the whale may have visited the classroom and set about looking for clues. They wrote letters and notes asking the snail and the whale what they wanted and where they were going on their next adventure. The children are still waiting for them to reply and can’t wait to hear what they say. 

Year 2 – Panic on Puddling Lane

Year 2 have been introduced to their new topic ‘Panic on Pudding Lane.’ They started by closing their eyes and listening to some fire sounds, where the children had to predict based on the sounds alone what their new topic would be. They created fantastic drawings from this and added to them as they then heard a dramatic retelling of a poem all about The Great Fire of London. The children then worked together to perform parts of this poem and they then performed it as a year group.  

Year 3 – Rockin’ through the Ages

Year 3 created cave paintings using teabags to age some paper and chalks to draw in the style of early humans. They looked at examples of original cave paintings to influence their work. 

Year 4 – Where in the world?

This half term, Year 4 are exploring different geographical features of the world including lines of longitude and latitude and the Prime Meridian.  To start getting a feel for different places around the world, children planned an ‘80 days around the world’ trip in groups.  They considered how they would travel from place to place and some of the significant sights they might see.   

Year 5 – Who let the Gods out? 

Year 5’s learning journey takes them right back to 800BCE to the time of the Ancient Greeks. Students ignited their learning by exploring the eye-catching and detailed work of Ancient Greek pottery. They explored different designs, before the students had a chance to create their own Ancient Greek pottery design.  

Year 6 – Say Watt!

Year 6 had the task of working out their topic for this half term. They were given three different bundles of clues from which they could work out that we are doing a geographical comparison study between The Lake District (UK), Poland and Jamaica. They located these places on a world map and generated questions they would like answered throughout the half term.  

Summer 2 – 2022 – Brilliant Beginnings

Year 1 – We Have Blast Off!

Year 1 had a great start to their new topic ‘We Have Blast Off!’ A rocket and planet mysteriously appeared in the Year 1 corridor. The children spent a whole afternoon investigating space. They designed their space suits and aliens; they painted planets, built constellations and read lots of space books. They are very excited to begin building their own space museum for the end of the half term. 

Year 2 – Once Upon a Time

Year 2 started their first day back at school as traditional fairy-tale characters. They read some traditional stories, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, and learnt lots about what makes a story a traditional tale. 

Year 3 – Lighting up the World

Year 3 had an interactive Science afternoon to introduce their new topic, Lighting up the World. They were visited by the amazing Dr DNA! The children learnt lots of facts about light and participated in a number of experiments. This included human light bulbs, bending light and even burning bogies.  

In the classroom, the children enjoyed making their own paper lanterns, which they lit up with LED candles.  

Year 4 – Norse Invaders

A strange, old scroll was delivered to year 4 and using Viking rune symbols the children were able to decipher the message and begin to ask questions about who the Vikings were. Some of the children created their own Viking names and messages. 

Year 5 – Deforestation!

I am writing to inform you that as of September 2022, Creative Education Trust have proposed the sale of the majority of the woodland area that belongs to your school’ Not the welcome back to school Year 5 had in plan. After receiving a letter from the trust informing us on the potential destruction of our Woodland area, the students went straight to work exploring our Wonderful Woodland Area. Stay tuned for our response to the letter.  

Year 6 – Settle Down!

Year 6 are exploring the topic of settlements and migration this half term. They were given the opportunity to explore the thought process behind creating a settlement. They imagined they had landed on an uninhabited island and needed to set up their own settlement. They came up with shelters and ways of finding food and collecting water. There were some very creative and clever designs! 

Summer 1 – 2022Brilliant Beginnings

Year 1 – Amazing Animals 

Year 1 investigated the mysterious footprints that appeared in sand and snow. They became animal researchers; they children thought that some elephants, penguins and other animals from hot and cold places had left them footprints to look at. 

Year 2 – Into the Rainforest  

Year 2 have created their own ‘rainforest in a jar.’ They went onto the field to collect stones to use as a base in the jar and then added compost on top. The children put some seeds inside and then put grass on the top. To add humidity, they sprayed lots of water inside. Now, they are going to watch them grow!


Year 3 – Revolutionary Romans 

Year 3 have learnt about the Roman army; they learnt about how successful the army were and the strategies they used to invade other countries. The children designed and then painted their own life-sized shield. After that, they marched outside as if they were in the Roman Army. 


Year 4 – Journey into the Unknown 

Year 4 explored the question ‘What was life like for the Anglo-Saxons?’ The children looked at their houses and what food was available to them. Using the ingredients that they had access to, the children made their own Anglo-Saxon biscuits.  

Year 5 – The Maya and Anglo Saxons 

Year 5 have continued their topic from Spring into Summer Term 1. 

However, they have kick-started their unit on ‘Properties and Changes of Materials’ by becoming SCIENTISTS and conducting a range of experiments.  
They have explored scientific vocabulary including solvent & solute, and understand when combined, this creates a solution. The children have designed and conducted fair tests to discover which substances dissolve, and which are insoluble, as well as trying to separate them again.  

Year 6 – Monarchs Through Time 

Year 6 have learnt a song all about Henry VIII’s wives and choreographed they’re own actions. 

They have also kicked off their Science topic this half term by making a mixture to represent the different components of blood. They mixed all the ingredients together and observed them separating over a period of time.