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Otterbourne C.E. Primary School

Excellence for All in Every Way

Year 6 (Giraffes)

News from the Spit - Day 1 - Monday 14th June 2021


REALLY!  It's only day 1?  


If you were part of the drop-off this morning, you will have probably noticed more than just the slightest hint of excitement in the children. Well, it hasn't abated in any way and they have been squealing (loudly) and filling the Sunderland Hangar with the sound of laughter all afternoon.  Headache-inducing: YES! But it's fantastic to hear, and although there isn't a great deal to share with you today, you can rest assured knowing that they have squeezed the very last drop of enjoyment out of their first day at Calshot.


The journey here got off to a bit of a slow start, but thankfully the motorway cleared up and we were here in fantastic time.  The accommodation is spacious, wonderfully clean and most of the rooms look out across to the Isle of Wight.  We have a nice lounge to gather in and the walk to the activities, though a bit wearing in the heat we've had, hasn't been as far as we expected.  On the way back to the accommodation after dinner, we walked along the edge of the water and I think they are all loving being at the coast, even if they've been here before.  There might have been some stone skimming too, but you can hardly go to the shore without giving it a try!


There are a few differences to previous years, due to obvious reasons, but the children have had such a packed afternoon they haven't had time to really think too much about the one-way systems or taped off areas; and people wearing masks is nothing new to them, so I don't think they are letting anything stop the fun.


So, today they all followed the same activity plan, and it was lovely to be able to easily move around the groups checking that they were all ok and getting stuck in...and they were.  We were all inside the main hangar for skiing (which thankfully, due to it's location, gave us a bit of respite from the endless heat whilst gathering equipment), and some of the children had the opportunity to progress quickly due to having experience of skiing under their belts already.  But the biggest delight was seeing those venturing onto the slope (albeit a dry one) for the first time, and getting their first sense of 'challenge by choice'.


Following the skiing, the groups split up around the hangar for either bouldering (traversing a low climbing wall), ringos (donuts that the children sit in and are pulled quickly down the slope) or Lazer Climb (an interactive climbing game).  They threw themselves into every activity with great gusto and the team-spirit that residentials always bring out of the children, was instantly on show.  They were fabulously supportive of each other and it was lovely to see.  


As I write to you now, two things are happening.  The first is not so important, but comes with an apology: technology is not playing ball so I am going to persevere but I can't put any photos online just now (but I still wanted to share some of our news with you).  The second is that the children are in one of the hangars playing all sorts of 'classroom' style games...and also they are playing ball - I'll try and get the tech to do the same very soon.


Soon, they will return to a nice cup of hot chocolate and a chat about the day - probably out on the shingle, because we need to make the most of this fabulous setting.  They are all well, they are all happy, and fingers crossed, they are all absolutely shattered and will fall asleep quickly. I'll write again tomorrow and share some of the children's own words with you....for now, enjoy the peace and quiet in the knowledge that they are all safe and well.


With very best (but hot and tired) wishes from all of us here at Calshot.


Mr G, Mrs Armstrong and Mrs Cook

Monday 19th October Giraffe Class taking part in the Cluedo Sporting Challenge

Children in Giraffe Class (Year 6) gain invaluable experience of working with different teachers, which prepares them for life in secondary school.  During the year, we aim to offer the children a broad range of experiences, both in and out of school, and to develop their independence and sense of responsibility. 


During their time in Year 6, children visit Calshot Activity Centre for a residential trip.  With a 'challenge by choice' approach, the children make their own decisions about how far to push themselves, and through team activities we help to build confidence and develop collaboration skills.  The life skills and personal development they discover at Calshot will stay with the children forever.


The Year 6 teaching team for 2020/21 is:

Mr Geraghty (Class Teacher), Mrs Cook (Class Teacher)

Mrs Simmons (Science Teacher), Mr Bagge (ICT Teacher)

Mrs Tiller (Teaching Assistant)


Homework Rota: This year, children will be provided with homework tasks on a Friday, which will be due back on a Wednesday.  We will also aim to utilise the online learning platform "Google Classroom" for some extra activities and personal learning.  Homework tasks will vary across the class and focus on the individual needs of the children.  This might include targeted spellings, regular handwriting or times-tables, as well as tasks linked to what the children are learning in class.  We keep track of how well children are completing their homework and keeping to the schedule for returning it, as it is important that we play our part in helping the children understand the importance of routine and time-keeping, especially as this is a transition year.  


As we approach the SATs period (normally just after February half-term) Year 6 homework will become far more revision focused, and primarily maths based, and the children will be given a homework folder which can then be used for revision during the approach to the KS2 assessments.


Other homework (including Science and ICT) might be provided to the children on an ad-hoc basis.  Children will be given extra time to allow them to complete this additional homework and we believe that this is -again- good practice for secondary school.  During assessment weeks and holidays children are not given homework to complete but they are encouraged to use the time to improve their recall of multiplication and division facts (times-tables) or use the resources on the class page to support their learning.


Reading: Reading is an essential part of our homework routine, and the quality of a child's reading experience can determine success in all areas of the curriculum.  All children at Otterbourne CE PRimary School have a reading diary in which to log their reading at home.  It is widely proven that reading is essential to a child's education and we read in class regularly, but we also ask that children read at least five times a week at home.  This needs to be evidenced in their reading diary, and I encourage the children to make a note about what they have liked/not liked about the reading they have just completed.  It is also important that an adult signs each page of their diary each week, so that we can all be confident with the quality and variety of reading taking place.  


Library Time : All school books need to be returned (once completed) on a Wednesday.  New library (or class) books will be brought home on a Friday. 


P.E.: Games is Friday afternoon (with me for this and the Summer term, and with R & R in Spring) - children must have a PE kit in school at all times.


If there is any aspect of your child's school experience that you would like to discuss, please contact the school office to arrange a convenient time for a call. 



Easter STEM activities: Science and Outdoor learning



We've had something of a departure from the usual routine this week, with Spring into Fitness (or 'Wellbeing Week') taking over the timetable.  Through the week, the children have been learning more about the importance of looking after themselves through health, hygiene, exercise and relaxation.  They have had a fantastic time working alongside their buddies in a joint PE session and enjoyed (if that is the word) yoga with Mrs Cook.  During the week they also completed a physical exercise activity with a personal trainer; with all that in one week, hopefully, they will sleep well this weekend.


Of course, we can't give up an entire week to non-core activities.  This week's maths focus has been calculating area and perimeter of a range of 2D shapes...which leads on to 'volume' next week.  In English, we completed a free-writing activity today, and earlier in the week we were vocabulary miners looking for words and phrases to bring into our own writing - a task that the children undertook with great energy.


Hopefully there will be better weather next week!


Best wishes


Mr G

SATS information session presentation - February 2020

Week ending 31st January 2020


Giraffe class has had a very emotional week, which started with us learning more about the Holocaust during Holocaust Memorial Day on Monday.  The discussion about what might have been the seed that led to this tragedy was very mature, and although it was very difficult at times, the children were incredibly considerate and respectful of each other's opinions.  At first, I was nervous about what the day would bring, but I am incredibly proud of the entire class.


To balance this, we have been following the Pie Corbett approach of 'text-mapping' to learn and remember one of the Greek myths.  The collaboration skills were tested in some corners of the class, but the results were excellent and the children seemed to really enjoy the learning.  On top on this, we have been learning algebra in maths and the children seem to have enjoyed the challenge.  More details of the afternoon spent in the meadow for our Longitudinal Study are below.  I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend.  Best wishes.  Mr G.




Taking time to design a peace pole for our school - to be installed in the summer.

Working together to learn the myth of Daedalus and Icarus.

29th January 2020 - Year 6 have been brilliant at the pond and Owl today. We have been able to have some great in depth discussions about the quality of our pond dipping results and the predictions we can make based on the patterns we see developing over time. The big question is...will there be more or less phantom midge larvae at the pond next time we go?!

Giraffe class have enjoyed becoming citizen scientist this week down in the Owl. They have completed the Big School Bird Watch, collecting data on birds visiting our meadow. Back in class we will be analysing our data and producing tables and bar charts to test our 'Woprking Scientifically' skills.

Class blog for the week ending 24th January.


The class have started asking a lot of questions about SATs since returning after the Christmas break, and following our first set of practice papers.  All of the questions have been appropriate, and I've tried to answer them all, but if they are bringing concerns home, please do let me know what I can do to help...and if you have questions of your own, I hope to be able to answer them at the SATs information sessions on the 4th of February.  If you can't attend, I'll post presentations and key questions after the event.


Tests aside, the children have had a bit of a mixed week in many ways.  Half of the class attended a basketball competition on Wednesday and it seems that they not only enjoyed it, but did very well. The rest of the class enjoyed some free-writing time using story dice...if you didn't know horses could play football, you do now!  More formally, we have been exploring how inner dialogue can be used to show the thoughts and develop a character within a story, and have been focused on the skills of repetition for effect and question tags.  In maths, we have moved on from percentages of amounts for the moment (it will return during daily maths activities) and we revising how to use a protractor and estimating angles.  


Over the last few weeks, we have been inspired by a Turner Prize winning artists, interpreting her work for use in our own art.  The results can be seen in the slideshow that follows.


With best wishes


Mr Geraghty

Class Blog - Friday 17th January 2020


It's been a difficult week for some this week, as the children have completed their maths and grammar SATs practice tests (for this reason, I'm not providing maths homework but the Maths Organiser is still available below if they want more practice).  They all worked incredibly hard in their tests and showed a great focus, and for a few it was a time to reflect on how they approach their learning...which is no bad thing as we look ahead to secondary school which is a far more independent learning environment.


Of course, primary school is not just about tests and the afternoons have been filled with some incredible art that will appear on these pages very soon.  We are celebrating the 2017 Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid - the oldest recipient of the award in its history.  The children have thoroughly enjoyed recreating their own iconic figure in her style.  


Greek Myths have been the subject of our English lessons as the children have learned the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, using a video clip to help them write a precis and also produce some descriptive writing.  In topic, they have learned more about Ancient Greek architecture and how it has influenced today.


I hope that they are talking excitedly about their home projects.  If these are proving difficult, please do let me know so that we can find an alternative.


Best wishes


Mr G

This week we have danced liked a river, begun to design using Crumble devices in computing and started to learn about the Ancient's been busy but fun!

Year 6 Advent Worship - well done for a fabulously clear and well delivered worship.

What a wonderful morning! Year 6 can be very proud of themselves after learning about climate change and then helping out the planet with a great solution of planting lots of saplings for the Big Climate Fightback for the Woodland Trust. Everyone did a brilliant job of planting and digging and we all felt very proud of ourselves! Thank you to everyone for bringing in wellies and spades from Mrs Simmons x

Please scroll down to see pictures from this week in Giraffe class.

I'm a double yellow have been warned ;-)

Still image for this video

'Drop the mic' for Be Bright Be Seen - November 2019

Giraffe Class - River Art - 21st November

Giraffe Class during Class Worship - 14th November 2019

Calshot - Day 4 - 7th November


Dear Parents


It is fair to say that when we return them to you tomorrow, your children are going to be more accomplished (at what exactly is their story to tell), more confident, more self aware, and more able to recognise the value of taking just one more step to success.  It is fair to say that your children have grasped this residential in both hands and they have ‘done’ Calshot.  It is also fair to say that we are simply done!


They have given every ounce of energy on every activity and in every challenge and we have had a lot of fun doing it.  And don’t let them fool you – they have all kept perfectly tidy bedrooms and clean bathrooms – it’s amazing what the chance of having a cuddly giraffe for a day can do!


There are many little stories I could share but I am sure you will hear all about them after the reunion hugs tomorrow.  And just in case you get the usual reply of ‘nothing’ when you ask what they did at school this week, here are some comments in their own words:


Florence Terry: The initiative course was so much fun.  I loved the massive see-saw as it needed teamwork to get the right balance. 

Jay: We did abseiling and I didn’t do it all but I did go to the top and I’m proud.

Willow: I did abseiling and it was incredible.  I wish I could do it again, but slightly faster. I absolutely loved it.

Lewis: I enjoyed the activities and the giant game of hide and seek.

Bella: On the team swing Eva was really nervous so I went on with her.  She was still a little nervous at the end but she did do it. When Mr G tried to take a photo of us, I smiled but Eva just did a little scowl which was very funny.

Kylan: We did snowboarding.  It was fun but I fell over.  Then we did the velodrome which was so good.  I went really fast.  I also did abseiling.  It was fun but I’ve done it before so I wasn’t scared.

Olivia-May: I managed to go to the top of the ski slope with the instructor.  I’m so proud of myself.  In the snow-boarding I realised that there is no harm in crying and ‘failing’  I picked myself up and went to the top and tried again.  And guess what!  I came down, on my own without falling off.  I am so proud.

Jonny: My favourite initiative activity was the tunnel that is underground and inside it is pitch black.

Lucia: Charlotte, Amy and I had a ski race but we were all so fast that poor Mrs Armstrong was nearly run over.

Austin: I got to the top in climbing (note from Mr G: you also pushed yourself in the abseiling and did it on the second try – well done)

Amy: I had so much fun.  I raced my ski group leader and he won by just 1 second.

Isaac: The food was good.  I have done skiing, snowboarding, shooting and aerotrek. (note from Mr G: you also really impressed Ali with your bouldering skills)

Eva: Today was epic!  I came third in archery!  The velodrome was epic! I loved it to pieces, even going to the blue line.  On the abseil, which was the most scary thing yet, I was not prepared.  I went up with Mr G but I was shaking.  But I went over and when I was going down I hurt my leg.  I don’t know how I should feel about this activity: proud, scared? (note from Mr G: proud…definitely proud!)

Felix: I nearly wet my pants going down the team swing and it gave me a serious wedgie.

Emmy: When the whole of group three (11 of us) joined together on the ringos we all raced down the slope and bumped at the bottom.

Hugh: Today we did team swing.  It was thrilling when it suddenly drops and it’s hilarious watching people scream as they swing down.  The abseiling was really scary at the top of the wall but it was fine once the wall started to go inward.

Sky-Rose: I enjoyed the velodrome, abseiling, skiing and the beach explore.

Zach: We loved falling over on the ski slope – it was so awesome.  In the shooting I got 3 bullseyes.

Livvy: I really enjoyed the snowboarding eventhough I fell over lots of times.  I also enjoyed the swing as me and Florence screamed each time.

Ciara: I have really enjoyed this week with all its ups and downs.

Ben: Today was really fun.  I loved snowboarding and I proud of what I achieved.

Aerin: I liked the week even though some of it was tough.  I liked all of the activities.

Henry: I really liked the snowboarding.

Olivia: I loved quiz night but my favourite part was team swing.

Omar: I enjoyed the snowboarding as it is a hobby of mine which I love.  I especially enjoyed the food but I have loved the whole of Calshot.

Emily: This week has been so good.  The activities have been good and I have enjoyed it so much.  It’s a shame we’re leaving tomorrow.

Jaggs: I enjoyed the AeroTrek, especially when I jumped off the zip line and was nervous about catching the net at the end.  I also enjoyed team swing because when I had to pull the rope I made a very weird face.

Freya: Abseiling was so exciting.  I was really proud of my rifle shooting as at first I couldn’t even shoot but at the end I got a score of 88.

Aalok:  I enjoyed the velodrome because I got to bike on the blue line.  I also did abseiling and I was a little nervous at first but Beth (the instructor) assured me and I was fine when I got down.

Florence Thomas:  In the king swing we had the best thing so far as me and Livvy screamed a lot! Abseiling for me was really scary and I cried the whole way down.  (note from Mr G: but you did took the extra step and you should be really proud.)

Sorry about this one…

Charlotte: After grimacing at the thought of doing this, I tried baked beans, mashed potato and salad cream, and found that it tasted quite nice.  Never say you don’t like something if you haven’t tried it.


It has been a great week.  I am proud of them all.


Best wishes,


Mr G


Calshot - Day 3 - 6th November 2019


Dear parents


I hope that you are enjoying the daily updates and hearing about what your children are up to this week.  It is now the end of what has been one of the best days I have ever had during a residential.  Your children are amazing.  They have such inner strength and even if not everything has been achievable none has given up without putting in a tremendous effort to overcome whatever fear they faced.  It is a privilege to be spending such an incredible time with them and seeing all of the different aspects of their personalities.


I hope also that you won't mind that this is going to be more of a story by pictures tonight.  I am exhausted.  Florence (Terry) was disappointed when I said I wasn't going to have a go at snowboarding (and we can't let that happen so I went for it) and Freya convinced me to walk the high rope course (at one point the challenge was to do it all one-handed).  Hot chocolate and a bedtime story please enjoy the photos.


Best wishes


Mr G



Dear Parents.


Ask yourself…did you sleep well in a home that was more silent than usual last night?  Then think about us for a moment…31 children (the 32nd, Eva, joined us this morning) sharing rooms with one or two of their best friends, away from home for the first night in a long time (in most cases), fueled by lots of food and excited by lots of new activities…it should be a recipe for disaster.  But it really wasn’t…it was delightful.  We all settled down in the foyer of Mitchell House after our last activity of the day, which was team games, and enjoyed a hot chocolate (two in Omar’s case after the first was used to wash his sleeping bag!), a couple of biscuits, a bedtime story (ask them about the mouse, the bird and the sausage when they get home) and a quiet moment of reflection for what they had already achieved after only half a day at Calshot – although some (including Bella and Zach) were already asleep by this point...and the others weren't long to follow once all had settled in to bed.


After a good night’s sleep, the morning started with a very early wake-up call thanks to Mrs Armstrong, but also a fabulous cooked breakfast to get everyone ready for the day ahead.  And what a day it has been.  The velodrome was in use today with the first of our groups trying their hand (or should that be feet – sorry, it’s quite late!) at fixed wheel cycling.  Some of the children were able to show off their already substantial cycling skills but what really shone was how brilliantly they worked together in groups to help and support each other.  A highlight for this activity was Jay, and how he pushed himself to have a go when he hasn’t been cycling for very long.  We are incredibly proud of how he has taken full advantage of all that Calshot has to offer.


Some children have been on the ski slope today, and demonstrated some genuine talent and skill, especially Ben, Amy, Lucia, Felix and Charlotte.  Because of this, some of the children moved on to racing each other (and Amy even raced with the instructor) – all very safely of course!  But the true embodiment of the reason for coming away on a residential was when Olivia-May showed real determination to ski from the top of the slope. 

Although she had an instructor in front of her, she completed the full run over and over again, with a big smile on her face each time.


On the climbing wall many children in Mrs Armstong’s group pushed themselves a little further than the day before but the progress Austin made in just his second session (he touched the top of the tallest wall today after a 20ft climb yesterday) was really incredible and the, rather energetic, high-five told me he was proud of himself.


Calshot’s newest activity, the AeroTrek, which resembles an indoor Go Ape!, was the afternoon destination for my group and it was difficult for some of the children as they navigated the high course on their own.  Resilience was tested, determination was demonstrated and pride was clearly felt by those most challenged by the activity.  I am really proud of how Willow and Kylan pushed through their initial fears on this activity.

Today also included shooting for my group, in which Bella and Willow took the top two spots, but we aren’t going to mention how they had the benefit of a scope.  We aren’t…never again…especially when they pushed me in to third place!


Of course, Calshot isn’t all about the adrenaline fueled excitement and today two of our groups spent some time out on the surrounding beaches, giving them a bit of a tidy up but mostly discovering more about what gets washed up here.   Another of today’s activities, Team swing - an activity that the children were already looking forward to before we got here - saw the children pulling a rope to raise the pair in the chair to a height of their choosing.  At this point one of the passengers has to pull a small release rope, which sends the swing into an arc...downwards…quickly!  The children all worked well as a team to ensure everyone enjoyed the activity to its fullest.


It’s been a fabulous day…enjoy the photographs.


Here’s to another great night’s sleep.


Mr G

Dear Parents


Just a short note from Calshot Activity Centre as the first day of our residential comes to a frantic close with the children running around playing fun games together.  I’m fairly sure that normal home routine would be far less frenetic and much calmer…but how often does that normal home routine involve a sleepover for 32 children?  By the time that the evening session ends around 9pm, the children will be ready for a bedtime story, a cup of hot chocolate and a good long night of sound sleep (well, you can always hope!).


When we arrived here just after 11am, we were welcomed by a full rainbow filling the sky to the North.  It was such a lovely way to start our week as, even at this age, there was a lot of awe and wonder from the children.  They were though, as you would expect, just a little more excited about finding out who they are sharing a room with this week; what their first activity was and, most importantly, what was for lunch and dinner.  As always, the kitchen staff are friendly, generous and very considerate of the needs of our children: this evening the chef made a special vegan dish which was both appreciated and enjoyed.


After lunch, we were quickly into our schedule for the week with one of the groups donning skis for a few runs down Calshot’s dry slope.  There were a couple of small falls but the children clearly remembered a lot from their year 4 residential and many were soon clambering on to the button lift and heading to the top of the ‘slope’.  The other two groups headed to the climbing wall and pushed themselves to go higher than they thought possible.  They also got to try the new controlled descent wall; timing themselves to reach the top.  Our second activity of the day was the initiative course, designed to help build collaboration and communication skills – it was great to see the children work together in a different setting, and all groups completed their challenges (with maybe a little guidance from the fantastic group leaders from the centre).  The final test was the tunnel.  It’s dark! Very dark! Many (but not quite all) of the children pushed themselves to reach the end and were really proud of this achievement.  All in all we have had a very good first day…only three and a half more to go…enjoy the silence!


Best wishes from Calshot.


Mr G

Calshot 2019 - Day 1 (4th November)

Monday 15th October - The children were amazing at Lyme Regis yesterday; showing excellent behaviour and super fossil hunting skills. The Museum guide complimented the year 6's on their impressive knowledge and problem solving skills. It was an excellent chance to support the science national curriculum and help children to understand the importance of fossil evidence in understanding evolution. Well done everyone. Mrs Simmons and Mr Geraghty were really proud of you all.

Also, this week (15.10.19) the children have been producing missing persons posters and working collaboratively on a whole class poem.

11th October. This week we have walked down conscience alley for drama in English, had a talk about Calshot and stretched our maths to double-digit division. Plus:

26th September 2019 - this week we have been balancing in PE and building a playground river.

19th Sept: This week our writing has involved some silly sentences for grammar and narrative writing using 'Journey' by Aaron Becker.

Here is an example of 'Slow Writing' to support homework this week.


Best wishes


Mr Geraghty


After the long hours of torrential rain, the river was fit to burst.  Water was gently sloshing at the banks, threatening to spill over on to the river path. It was worrying!  The path, which snaked alongside the usually calm river was already wet with individual droplets.  The threat was worsening so the council put up a barrier.  It was a sad sight to see something so wonderous hidden from view.

A few photos from our river trip earlier this term...

Rolling Rivers Topic Homework - Autumn 1 2019

Best wishes for your first days at secondary school next week Giraffe Class of 2018/19.

Giraffe Class with wacky hair on Comic Relief Day

Parents SATs Information Session (5th February) Final Presentation

Some examples of the free-choice Christmas homework created by Giraffe Class.




Giraffe Class recently presented an Advent service in St Matthew's Church.  They fully embraced the responsibility they were given and worked collaboratively to bring together various elements into an entertaining and informative service. 



The Rockerbourne Giraffes

These are just a few of the maths websites that we recommend.  Any extra practice that the children can get at home would be really beneficial.


Many thanks


Mr Geraghty


Examples of Remembrance inspired mosaic work in art.



Rain came to Calshot this morning and the children were worried about being cold and wet.  Clearly they hadn’t quite realised that the first activity of the day was raft building and the chances of being cold and wet were already very high before the weather decided to play its part.  It was really nice to finally have all of the children back together and enjoying an activity as a whole class.  They were brilliant listening to the instructions about knots and how to bind the components of each raft together and they were brilliant working as a team during the races.  Some were very vocal when they accidentally slipped a foot into the water (but then it was incredibly cold despite the wetsuits), so it was somewhat surprising that pretty much all of them decided they wanted to jump in at the end.  But they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were fabulous.


Later on in the day, the abseil tower once again threatened to be the end of the positivity as group 3 were challenged to take the metal staircase and descend with the power of gravity.  There were a few tears and some uncertainty but all of the group made the jump (Miss Robinson made it in a super-quick time!) and were incredibly proud of themselves…so much so that they went again for a second attempt and the change in attitude was really warming to see.  Miss Muchmore, Mr Slater and Miss Jones, showed real grit, pushing themselves up a second time despite grave reservations the first time around.


There was more snowboarding again today as well, and it was brilliant that the children were given a second chance to build on the first session earlier in the week.  They all showed that they could remember the basics and were able to take on more of the challenges of the slopes – there are some tired legs this evening!  The final activity for today was the shooting.  After a day of energetic activities, it was interesting to see them try to calm things down and take on a precision skill.  There were some very high scores in the first two rounds and Mr Marwood hit 3 incredible dead centres…then he admitted to having a telescopic sight on his rifle but the victory was still his.


Now, as I write this final daily update, the class are relaxing in front of a movie ahead of the ‘one more sleep’ before heading home.  In front of me is the climbing wall, the abseil tower and the ski-slope – scenes of personal triumph for most, if not all, of your children – behind me are a few days of great memories that I will ensure they remember for as long as they are with me.  They have been brave, supportive, kind, respectful, polite, determined, proud, generous, resilient, hungry, sleepy, homesick, tearful and fun.  They have been giraffes, and they have all helped to make my week away from home much easier to survive.  But now it is time for a bit of The Lego Movie to round off an amazing residential in which ‘everything has been awesome’. *


Best wishes from a very proud teacher and the amazing staff who have been supporting our class today: Mrs Compton, Mrs Armstrong, Mr and Mrs Flatman and Mrs Phillips.


Our week in review (a few more quotes):


I really enjoyed the archery this week, because I really managed to improve – Olivia


I was proud because I was able to get to the top of the rock wall – Faith


I am really proud of myself for going to the top of team swing because I was very nervous – Mia


I really enjoyed the skiing because I went to the highest slope and skied all the way down - Daisy



* Please ask the children if the reference doesn’t quite resonate.

CALSHOT DAY 3 - After a little bit of hot chocolate and a story ;-)


More Calshot Day 4 Photos

The end of raft building video

Still image for this video



Well, day 3 can only be described as a day of ups and downs here at Calshot.  We started the morning watching the sun come up, Mrs Phillips came down for a couple of days, and along with the tide (fact of the day: there are two high tides here!), there were children going higher up the climbing wall than earlier in the week…and then abseiling down; there were snowboarders running up and gliding gracefully down the slope (when I say ‘gracefully’ you know I’m being polite of course!) and there were pairs being pulled up to the roof by their classmates in the team swing - and then swinging VERY QUICKLY to the ground.  The faces of the children coming down the swing were priceless.  If your child was in group 3, just ask for an example of Livvy’s face, Thomas’ face or Mia’s face.  We had great fun and the children worked brilliantly as a team.  Their leader Jacob finished with a little pep talk and had this to say: “That was such a lovely session.  You were all so supportive of each other.” I would have to agree.


In the cycling skills session there were a few small falls but all of the children soon managed to get to grips (pun intended) with the difficult fixed wheel bikes and the cleats.  Again the team work was tremendous as the children helped each to stop the bikes safely.  We were also out and about a lot today as we visited the beach to collect shells, seaweed and other items to once again create incredible artwork.  Some of it really was quite good and the children fully engaged in the simple task of looking around the local shoreline.  They also had the opportunity to see more of the grounds of Calshot as they completed an orienteering activity in pairs.  They followed instructions to seek out the wayfinder signs and collect the letters to prove they had been successful. 


It is clear that the children are fighting back the exhaustion and the adrenaline is also taking its toll on many of them but once again they have been incredible in the way they have taken on their personal challenges and pushed themselves in every activity.  Young Miss Lane was phenomenal on the climbing wall, choosing to go one step further on her first attempt (3 blocks high) and then reaching the very top (some 7 blocks up) on her next.  Her face was a picture of pride.  During the climbing, Mr Essex seemed quite at home resting at one of the highest points of the climbing wall whilst having a good look around the centre.  But, for me, Mr Coutts was my greatest source of pride today as he fought off his nervousness on the team swing and asked me to go on with him.  He went higher than he intended but then wasn’t happy with just the one go…and on the second time up he went even further.  He was brilliant.  But then they all are.


We are having a great week here and your children continue to impress us with their ability to pull together and show support to each other.


Here are today’s quotes from some of your children:

Quiz night was really fun – it like I was on a proper quiz show – Loretta

I found the rock climbing very challenging but then I zoomed up the wall but then when I went down I went upside down - Harry

I got higher [on the team swing] than I thought I would – Livvy

Rock climbing was amazing and I pushed myself - Ralph

People who reached their achievements inspired me to on and never give up – Mariam

Awesome - William

I really enjoyed climbing.  It was hard but fun – Emily

I flew up the climbing wall in 9 seconds on the blue – Toby M

I loved rock climbing as I got all the way to the top and it was a bigger wall to climb – Amy

I really enjoyed the music round in the quiz - James

I have learned to snowboard a little bit (but I fell over) – Emma

I enjoyed the team swing because I got to go very high - Taylor

Today we did snowboarding.  It was easier than it looks but it hurts when you fall over.  We have another session and I hope I will have improved – Ellie

I climbed to the top of the tall climbing wall twice for the first time ever – Charlie

A day of brilliance – Caleb

I really enjoyed today because of the quiz and snowboarding – Samuel

I really enjoyed snowboarding eventhough I fell over – Isaac

Snowboarding was fun eventhough I fell over – Jacob


Amongst everything else, we have seen a great deal of resilience today.

Best but slightly tired wishes from all at Calshot.





A pleasant surprise awaited the adults this morning as all of the children worked hard in order to receive the award for the tidiest accommodation and every room looked well cared for and very homely. The boys’ competition was a close run contest (which may surprise many of the parents back home!) and the girl’s competition could only fairly be given as a draw.  Our classroom mascot now sits proudly in the end window of their corridor…along with a few companion cuddlies.  Almost all of the children started the day with a shower too…so if they complain in the future, just remind them of their week away!          


Today has been a really long day and as I write this half of your children are running around following instructions in the orienteering, and the other half are running up (and sliding down) the ski slope in the ring-o races which include Mrs Simpson, who has given up her time to join the children for some of the day.  It’s fair to say that sleep should come easy for your children tonight.


For most of the children, today included abseiling.  This is generally considered to be the most challenging activity as it starts from a very high platform amongst the rafters of the hanger and ends with the children suspended in mid-air – safely of course – descending at their own pace to the ground below.  Everyone pushed themselves to the edge and most went over, but the important thing is that all of the children recognised that they had gone further than they first thought and once again we are very proud of them.  Young Mr Stockley finished his descent with my personal quote-of-the-day: “I feel really sad but really happy too and I think I just want to cry.”  This was followed by wonderful tears of joy and pride which the whole group embraced.  In Mrs Compton’s group, Mr Mack showed everyone a truly caring side as he helped Mrs Compton to challenge herself to reach the edge of the abseil tower – it’s not just about the children here you know!


During today’s beach-combing the children made a group octopus out of everything they could scavenge.  It was a ‘beautiful octopus’ competition but on this occasion the word ‘beautiful’ should be used subjectively!  The weather has turned bitter today so Mrs Armstrong’s group not only braved the beach but also the outdoor initiative course and once again all of the children pushed themselves through the tunnel…or helped each other to succeed.  The ‘Team Giraffe’ spirit is strong here at Calshot but once again thoughts of home are not far from our minds and I’ve been asked if I can read a story tonight…which I am only too happy to do.


Best wishes from all of us at the seaside.



Here is today’s selection from the daily diaries:


I got a bullseye on the shooting – Livvy


Abseiling is hard but I did it – Emma


I got 74 on the shooting range – Thomas


Orienteering was super-fun - Emily


I was worried about the abseiling but I overcame my fear and did it.  I feel proud - Harry


Abseiling was an exhilarating experience, coming down from an absolutely extreme height – Toby M


We have been here for a day and a half and I have tried everything; I feel really proud of myself - Helena


I enjoyed the ringoing, racing with my friends and spinning round - Taylor


Calshot so far has been amazing - Poppy


I cycled on the velodrome and it was really fun – Charlie


The ringoing was really fun as we got to spin round and have races, which were epic - Samual


When I got to the top of the abseiling I was so scared but I managed to get over my fear of heights.  I felt happy and exhilarated - Loretta


Today was absolutely amazing – Alex


Today's word of the day = Proud


CALSHOT 2018 - DAY 1


There is nothing quite like a residential to make you remember why teaching is such a great profession.  We have only been here half a day and already we have had tears of joy as children have pushed themselves to overcome fears of the dark and of heights…and a few tears from those missing home sadly.  The first activity of the day was the initiative course and the groups soon realised that the only way to complete their challenges successfully was to pull together and work as a team.  Collaboration was the key and the teams worked well to achieve their goals – whether it was to survive in shark infested waters or retrieve lost keys in the rope maze.


During the second session, the climbing wall witnessed many personal achievements and all of the children went further than they set as a target or even reached the top.  The abseiling was somewhat questionable though with quite a few crash landings…but smiles of pride were evident across all of the children’s faces and we couldn’t have been more proud of them all.


The food and lodgings have lived up to all expectations and the children are well fed and watered and already looking forward to day two.  Your children have been great fun to be with and incredibly supportive of each other…and the week has only just started.


During the week, the boys and girls are keeping a daily diary of events at Calshot.  Here are a few of today’s comments:


The initiative course was really fun because we scaled a wall – Ella

We did the initiative course and we learned loads of new skills - Hannah

Everyone tried their best – Niamh

This week is going to be awesome – Ellie

I had a really fun time in archery…it was one of my favourite activities – Enrico

The initiative course was really fun.  We had to go through a dark tunnel with lots of bends – Toby E

The tunnel underground was awesome – Caleb

I LOVED IT – William

Brilliant! – Jacob

I really enjoyed rock climbing.  – Ralph

I am scared of heights but I still went to the top – Isaac


We think that we can confidently say that the word of the day is AWESOME and the children are having fun. But we are sure that they are missing you all.


Mr Geraghty, Mrs Compton and Mrs Armstrong.


CALSHOT 2018 - DAY 1 Pictures

Our Class Topic Newsletter - Autumn 1 2018/2019

Our Class Vision Statement - 2018

Please note that all entries below this section are an archive.  Useful information to support children in their SATs 2019 will be added overtime.  In the meantime, please do let me know if you would like information or further help to support your child at home.

Times Tables - Useful Websites

Year 6 Homework Timetable