Home Page

Finchampstead C of E (Aided) Primary School

An enriching education in a welcoming Christian environment


Summer 2020 - our final message for the Summer Term: 


Happy Holiday Birthday wishes go to Lily, Amelia, Jude and Finley! laugh


We hope you all enjoy your summer break and come back to school refreshed and re-energised in September. As some of you have asked for some guidance on resources to keep things ticking over through the summer, we have posted some resources to  help.  These are completely optional.  You can also continue to log on to Purple Mash, Education City, TTRS and Read Theory if you wish to. 


Take care and enjoy the break. xx

Chaffinch Home Learning 13.07.20


Dear Chaffinches


this is our last week of learning for this year and I have a special message for you:


We're so very proud of you  

And we just want you to know

That although our year was cut short

It was wonderful watching you grow


We've loved being your teachers

And we've missed your smiling face

But the memories we have made this year 

Will never be erased


Wading along the chalk bed river

Celebrating Harvest at Wellington

Learning our spellings and times tables

Has all been so much fun!  


The most important lesson though

To last your whole life through

Is to know that you are special

Just because you are you!  heart


We will see you all in September.  Some of you will be in Chaffinch, and some in Goldfinch, but which ever class you're in remember to work hard, try your best and be kind.  We're  sending each of you a great big hug!

with love, Mrs Dodds, Mrs Gan, Mrs Coulson and Mrs Farrell xxx

Homelearning focus: Wellbeing Why not try to select an activity from each colum each day? What will you try today?

Please remember to return your HOW TO TRAIN A DRAGON BOOK this week when you come into school.

Chaffinch Home Learning for week commencing 06.07.20 


Hello Cheerful Chaffinches - we hope you are well and ready for your penultimate week of home learning. 


Let's start by  wishing Jessica a very Happy Birthday for this week - another summer birthday to celebrate!  We hope you have a fabulous day Jess!


Mrs Gan and Mrs Coulson have welcomed many of you back to school over the last couple of weeks and have told me that you've listened well, worked hard and really enjoyed your time in school.  That's fantastic news and we all hope you continue to enjoy your learning as we approach the end of term.  This week there is less directed work on the website: 

  • A whole school focus on healthy eating with a project on picnic planning  - incorporating Maths and English.
  • Finishing off our Rocks, Fossils and Soil planning
  • Maths - please keep practicing your times tables
  • English - spelling (see last week's summary of the key stages) and reading regularly


As always try your best and do what you can.  Keep smiling. wink



Plan the Perfect Picnic - try some of these activities to plan a picnic. How healthy will you make it?

Chaffinch Home Learning 29 June 2020


Hello everyone and welcome to this week's home learning...we have some great ideas planned for you this week.  smiley  Let's start by wishing three gorgeous Chaffinches a very Happy Birthday: Ethan Hu, James and Bethany.  We hope you each have a very special day!


As Mrs Vanstone's newsletter mentioned, many parents are finding this time difficult, especially as lockdown lengthens.  The most important thing is our health and wellbeing so we can hopefully  return in September ready, energised and determined.  This week we have planned learning as listed below but know many of you are enhancing this with your self initiated learning and / or only completing some of the work.  This is absolutely fine and we really enjoy hearing what you've focused on.  Please share your learning with us.  Here's a summary of our planned work:

  • Maths - the last unit of our booklets can be completed this week.  The teaching slides will help you make the most of the exercises in the workbook.  As always, please practice times tables.
  • English - no set work this week other than a summary of the year's spellings and the reading/comprehension in the rock topic slides.
  • Science - focus on soils, worms and mud!
  • Music - singing for wellbeing
  • PE - Friday would have been Sports day so instead we will be competing virtually this year.  There is also a short exercise on the Olympic Values - Not the winning but the taking part. 


Enjoy the week and may the best team win sports day!  


Chaffinch Gallery 29.06.20 - Lots of art, measuring of mass, fantastic writing and photos to show lines of symmetry

Chaffinch Learning 22.06.20


Hello again cheerful Chaffinches - how are you all?  This week includes Midsummer Day or St John's Day on 24th  June 2020.  It's hard to believe we're in the middle of summer because the view from my window as I write this is grey, gloomy and wet.  I'm imagining all your smiling faces to brighten up my day.  


I hope you're ready for some more interesting learning...this week we're finishing off our Talk for Writing booklets, our maths topics on mass or shape and our spelling programme.   Keep practicing your times tables and reading regulary too please.  We  are also continuing with our Rock topic and I know from your emails, photographs and telephone conversations that you're enjoying this creative topic.  Some of you are even extending your own learning in this area and linking it to our other topics -  such as rivers, or healthy eating or famous artists - which is just lovely to see -  so resourceful!  It's also been great to see you inspire your siblings or other family members to join you in your learning.  There are some great photos in our gallery this week where brothers or sisters are working alongside you, or family members are taking you on shape or rock hunts around your area - there's even a rock collection from outside Winchester Cathedral!


We have no birthdays to celebrate this week but I wanted to end this message with a very thoughtful prayer,  celebrating our  wonderful world, written in response to the RE learning on the creation story this week:


Dear God our Father,

We are very thankful for everything you have made in our world. 

We are thankful for the amazing forests, the jungles, the deciduous trees and the tiny plants. 

The rocky mountains are high and the oceans are vast. 

How did you create all these beautiful things?  

Please help us to look after our environment and care for all your animals – big and small. 

Make us strong enough to do it all.

You are truly amazing!



Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.  Enjoy your learning and please keep in touch. xx



A treasure hunt by Jude 15.06.2020

Home learning - week commencing Monday 15th June 2020

Hello again Chaffinches,

We hope you're all well and looking forward to your learning.  Thank you for all your emails and messages - we have even managed to talk to some of you, or your parents, on the phone this week .  It was great to hear how you're all being positive and responsible learners - learning lots of new life skills too such as pet care, baking or gardening.  Well done Chaffinches!  It sounds like you're enjoying our Rocks, Fossils and Soils topic; so make sure to share this week's learning via the parent email so we can put it in the gallery.   


Jack has sent some new jokes:

What  do you call a rock that never goes to school?

A skipping stone.


What do rocks eat?



What did the boy volcano say to the girl volcano?

I really lava you!


After that, I think we should get on with our learning - all listed below as usual - but remember you also have purple mash and education city (your choice of activities)  Read Theory and Timetables Rockstars.   We haven't sent any links or ideas for PE this week but would love to see some photos of you keeping fit.  What exercise did you enjoy the most?  What unusual things did you do?  What made you the happiest or the most tired? Please send your responses to


Have fun, be kind, be resourceful


Chaffinch Gallery

Monday 8th June 2020 - Chaffinch home learning


Hello again cheerful Chaffinch children.  How are you?  I hope you're well and enjoying our new Stone topic.  We have more interesting activities planned for you on Rocks, Soils and Fossils as well as your usual maths and english learning. 


Thank you for the great photographs and work you've sent through the parent email.  It's always great to see what you're working on - some are displayed in our gallery so you can see your friends too.   Keep on sending them in!


I'm delighted to say we have four more birthdays to celebrate this week.  Please join me in wishing a great BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mrs Farrell,  Elyssa, Ethan Ha and Isla H.  We hope you have a great day celebrating with your families.  smiley


To finish, I thought I'd share one of my 'rock' jokes.  It might be more for your parents really but here goes:  What's a geologists favourite band?   -   The Rolling Stones.     Urghhhhhh.   I hope you have a funnier rock joke.  If so, please email it to me on the parents email.  


Be happy, be kind and be safe - we miss you all!



Monday 1st June 2020 - 'Rockin Rocks'


Hello lovely Chaffinch children, we hope you are all well and have had a great half term.  Welcome back to your home learning for this week.  


Let's start with a wishing Jake and Rebecca a very very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  We hope you have a fun time celebrating with your families smiley


This term's learning is very exciting and our foundation subjects are based on our Science topic of Rocks,Fossils and Soils.  Each week, as well as your usual maths and English activities, we will give you a title for the week and suggested activities.  You can complete the  suggested learning and / or others of your own choice related to the topic. Please feel free to take photos, do any extra activities that you enjoy and put your work together in a booklet or folder. You will then be able to look back on this folder in future years and enjoy all the amazing learning you did. 


As always, we would love to see photos of you having fun and enjoying the different activities so we can share them with your classmates.  


We hope you enjoy the topic and remember … be kind and have fun!




Home learning photos 1st June 2020

Chaffinch - Monday 18th May 2020 - Mental Health Awareness Week - Kindness Matters

Hello again Chaffinches.  This is our last week before half term and I think it's going to be a warm one.  can you find some creative ways to keep cool?  It's also Mental Health Awareness week, with a focus on being kind to ourselves and others.  Lots of our activities this week relate to this theme and I'd love to hear your feedback on how the activities made you feel.


Maths is a final week on 'time' for both year groups.  I know this is difficult and would like to encourage you to stick with it. I've added extra games onto the todo's on the purplemash site and put suggestions on an extra sheet too.  If the workbooks are too difficult then please try these instead.  It's one of those areas that takes a lot of over-learning, especially now there are much fewer analogue clocks in the world.  


English is a continuation from last week - please try to follow the daily suggestions.  You can also add your own ideas for 'free writing' if you'd like to eg writing letters from a  troll or an alien or writing a diary entry.  


Are you ready for the riddle answers?  Last week Elyssa asked, "What question can you never answer 'yes' to?" and the answer is..."Are you asleep?"   This week Isla wants to know, "I'm a light as a feather but the strongest thing in the world.  What am I?" 


As always, enjoy your learning, try your best and be kind. I hope you all have a good week and I'll be back with your next set of home learning in June.  

Here are your friends with some of last week's home learning

Chaffinch Class:  Monday 11th May 2020

UPDATEPlease do not click the link to listen to the T4W audio on either the alien or troll booklets as the content is not available and other tracks uploaded on the site are not age appropriate.  Thank you.


Hello Chaffinches!  I hope you had a happy bank holiday weekend and enjoyed some VE Day celebrations at home.  We have a lovely prayer for VE Remembrance in our photos this week, and some great examples of home learning and relaxing too.  

There are no special Chaffinch birthdays left for May but we have 7 June celebrations watch this space.  Are you ready for the riddle answers?  Last week Beatrice asked, “What has T at the start, T in the middle and T at the end?” and the answer is a tea pot!   Isla asked, “What comes down but never goes up?”  Yes, the answer is 'rain'.  What did you guess?  This week, Elyssa asks, "What question can you never answer 'yes' to?"

As always, enjoy your learning, try your best and be kind. I hope you all have a good week.  



Some extra photos to enjoy...

Chaffinch home learning - wc 4.5.2020

Chaffinch Class: Monday 4th May 2020

Hello again Chaffinch Class.  How are you all?  I’m OK thanks but a bit ‘fed up’ with these April showers – it’s stopping my bike rides and I’ve pegged the same washing out three times today, in between showers.  Has no one told the weather it’s May now and the sun should be shining?   

It’s OK to feel sad now and again.  Just like it’s OK to feel happy.  It’s really good for us all to stop every so often and just think about how we’re feeling; and it’s good to try to name our feelings.  If we can name our feelings, it makes it easier to try to manage difficult feelings.  I’m going to try to manage my sad feelings about the weather by thinking of all the important things we need rain and water for in our lives and I’m going to manage being ‘fed up’ about my damp washing by putting the tumble drier on.  I’m feeding the white wolf that we talk about in class.  Thinking more positive thoughts can help us improve our mood.

Birthday celebrations are positive things and this week we’re lucky enough to have two Chaffinch birthdays to celebrate.  Let’s all wish Freya and Danny a Happy Birthday!   

Vevaan’s puzzle was tricky wasn’t it?  “What goes up but never comes back down?”  The answer was ‘your age’.  This week Beatrice has asked “What has T at the start, T in the middle and T at the end?”  and Isla has asked “What comes down but never goes up?” Please email me if you have a riddle for next week…

This week I’ve planned lessons for 4 days with some optional work on VE Day too.  As always, please just do what fits into your family timetable and situation.  I know we’re all in this together but we’re not all in the same boat so please don’t worry if you don’t get everything done, or if you want to take all the optional learning we’re offering, or even take the learning in your own direction.  Enjoy learning.  

Resources to support your VE day learning

Chaffinch Home Learning wc 27.4.20

Chaffinch Class:  Monday 27 April 2020


Hello chaffinches!  How are you all? Thank you for your lovely emails and photographs.  I've added some below this message so you can see what each other have been up to.


First things first, the answer to my riddle was an egg.  Well done if you guessed that correctly - you were eggsalent!   Here's this week's riddle from Vevaan, "What goes up but never comes back down?"


This week you have your usual maths and english activities for each day (with x tables and spelling practice please)  and your other sessions on science, french, PE etc but I have also added an optional geography project on Europe to work on over the whole summer term.  Look through the short presentation then make your own project on a European country of your choice.  This is something you can do a little on then come back to often.  You can do more than one country if you want to do more research.  


I don't think we have any birthdays to celebrate this week.  Please keep sending me updates on your learning, your ideas for riddles and photos on the parents email.  mail  Keep smiling and doing your best.  smiley

Chaffinch at home April 2020

Chaffinch Class : Monday 20th April 2020


Welcome back to our online classroom Chaffinch!  I'm still missing your cheerful faces but have enjoyed seeing some of the learning you've been doing through the online apps and from photographs in  the parents email.  


Here's a riddle for you: What has to be broken before you can use it?  (I'll give you the answer next week so keep thinking)  If anyone has a better riddle, please send it to me via the parents email. mail


This week we should give a Big Birthday Shout Out to Olivia and Elinor who had birthdays over the Easter Holidays and to Alfie who celebrates his birthday later this week.  Also, a special mention for Finley (and his brothers Oscar and Theo) as his new baby brother Reuben has joined the family.  We hope you all had/ will have a special day. 


Please enjoy your learning - keep trying your best but please don't worry about any of it - just do what you can and let me know what you're enjoying.  Take care of each other and remember to be kind chaffinches! 



Easter Holidays - Monday 6th April to  Friday 17th April 2020

We wish you all a peaceful Easter Break.  Please try to read every day (see the email for more reading scheme book choices) and keep your times tables and addition and subtraction skills ticking over.  

Here are some fun ideas you can try at home.  Please email us photos via the parents email so we can see your great creations.  

Chaffinch Home Learning - Week Beginning 30.3.2020


Hello my lovely Chaffinches!  I'm missing all your smiling faces and kind interactions. 


Here are your weekly activities to keep you smiling until we all get together again...Don't forget to practice your times tables, sing, play outside if you can and read read read (see the links in our first week's learning ideas) 


Just try your best with this learning and be resilient.  That's all you can do. wink


Also, let's all sing a very loud "Happy Birthday" to Lex and to Vevaan who celebrate their birthdays this week.  laugh


our home learning wc 23.03.2020

We made our own stick charterers to start of our writing instructions work - now we're catching dragons! Why don't you share your ideas about the best trap to make?

VIKING STORY TELLING - we each retold our own versions of Odin's Eye around our modern day campfire. can you remember your story?

5.2.2020  Mental health focus - Wear something inside out - it's good to talk about what's on the inside!


Today we thought about our feelings and words or images that made us feel calm, happy, loved and well.  We wrote a short poem based on any abstract noun that made us feel good.  Each of us wrote a super, thoughtful and open poem and worked hard to get the word choices just right.  I thought I'd share this poem on HOPE by Laurie:


Hope is orange like a candle burning warm and bright,

Hope smells like bacon, caramel truffles and newly cooked bread,

Hope feels like being tucked up in bed with your favourite soft toy,

hope feels like smelling your favourite food coming from the kitchen with promises of breakfast in bed,

Hope sounds like a twittering bird song on a misty dawn after a night of cozy sleep.


We all felt calm and happy after writing, reading and listening to these poems and hope you enjoyed Laurie's poem too.  


28.01.2020 Cross Curricular Maths - in history today we studied trade between Anglo Saxons and Vikings. This supported our maths work on money and multiplication as well as building team skills and resilience.

We have been working with Mrs Wearing, who teaches dance at a local secondary school, to develop a dance sequence related to the Viking invasions at Lindisfarne. The children danced to Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights and had great focus, movement, drama and dynamism.


                Christmas Truffle making  

  1. Wash hands and equipment / surfaces!
  2. Weigh equal amounts of cake and chocolate (sponge or ginger cake is equally tasty – we used sponge)
  3. Using a microwave, carefully melt chocolate in 30 second blasts.
  4. Crumble cake into a bowl.
  5. Combine with the chocolate and mix well (this is the point to add extra ingredients to taste eg vanilla, raisins, cranberry or brandy! – we left ours plain.)
  6. Carefully, share truffles into a round ball.
  7. Decorate the top and place gently into the box.
  8. Seal with a loving kiss. 




Light as a Symbol of Hope

Christmas and Hannukah


We have been discussing and comparing Christmas celebrations with the Hannukah Story from the Jewish Faith.   We found many similarities and some differences between each festival of light.  



Both stories feature refugees - Jesus' family and the Macabbees

Both stories feature occupation by another civilisation - Romans and Greeks

Both are about HOPE

Both celebrate light and the presence of God

Both are in winter time - December and early January

Both faiths are global faiths

Jesus and his family were Jewish


they happen at different times in history

they feature different people

the lights were different


Chaffinch December Homework

As December is such a busy time of year, homework will be different this month.  Please can you try to support your child to:

  • Read regularly, every day if possible, for a short time followed by a brief discussion of the text.
  • Practice times tables little and often – try the maths frame website, singing, random questions, writing out in order and mixed up, card games etc
  • Practice personalised spellings little and often – see the different ways listed in the spelling folder.

Weekly spelling and times tables checkups will stop for now and start again week commencing 13th January.  Many thanks, Mrs Dodds.

Christmas Play - The InnSpectors . What should I wear?

Life in a river basin in Paua New Guinea 12.11.2019. We enjoyed learning all about living with water all around us. It was fascinating! What can you remember?

Does Prayer Change Things?  (November 2019)

Chaffinch have been considering the question very thoughtfully through studies of both Christian and Hindu prayer.  We have been fascinated by Christian Stories of the power of prayer - such as Jonah and the Whale - and by learning more about Puja (Hindu Prayer).  It's been a real pleasure to listen to such interesting and confident discussions on individual beliefs and experiences and on the value of prayer.  

Wellington College Harvest Celebration 22.10.19

River Pang Field Study 16 October 2019. The staff at Rushall Farm were impressed by our children's knowledge of rivers and their enthusiastic, confident and kind learning behaviours. Well done everyone.

We created a river in the playground! Can your children show you: mouth, source, delta, estuary, meander, oxbow lake, transportation, deposits and erosion?

Our first class assembly for 2019 was about Anger and how to help ourselves calm down when we feel this emotion.

maths games from around the world - some of our games are over a thousand years old! Once we'd played these multicultural games, we invented our own versions. We decided these would be good games for the summer holiday too...

If you have any food magazines you no longer need, we'd be very thankful for them on Monday morning (8.7.19)

Information for next week (WC 8th July) Sandwich Making and class picnic

Moor Green Lake Field Trip - June 2019

Shake Up Your Wake Up - visit from Newbury Showground Education Team. 23.01.2019

We have all brought home recipe and information books, as well as a pot with grain to grow.  Here are some of our key learning points from today:


Riley: Breakfast is ‘breaking your fast’ so you need more food to get yourself going again.

Katherine: Breakfast helps us to be resilient.

Connor: There are lots of interesting ingredients for a smoothie.

Freddie and Jake: Lots of people have chocolate cereal for breakfast but I only have it as a treat because it has lots of sugar which isn’t so healthy.

Isabella and Ethan: Not eating your breakfast is bad for you because you won’t be able to focus well or have energy

Times tables Mountain Challenge


Every Tuesday we check our x tables knowledge.  Here are some tips to help us improve:

Harry: listen to Percy Parker on Planet Sherston web site.

Isla: draw Pictures of your x tables because I am a visual learner.

Jasper: Practice when you have a spare five minutes - every day, sometimes for longer.

Lilly: Play games on the computer like the times table race track app. (DK)

Anna: Try the six second challenge on the school website.

Ava :Get your dad to test you.  He can say "What's 5 x 7?" when you're in the car. 

Connor: Count the words in one sentence and multiply by the number of words in another sentence.

We wish you all a joyful and restful Christmas season.  Thank you for all the kind wishes and gifts you've given.  We're looking forward to Spring term and our exciting new topics.  Many thanks, Mrs Dodds, Miss Parish, Mrs Farrell, Miss Grey and Mrs Martinez. x

Thank you for coming to our 'brass lesson with a difference!' Your children are a real credit to you and showcased their fantastic confidence and learning behaviours. (18.12.18)

Chaffinch Christmas cooking! Look what we made... (Dec.17th)

Class Assembly 12.12.18 - we had a 'mysterious' treat today as the children lead our worship on the theme of...kindness. Well done everyone for showing just how kind Chaffinch can be.

Tuesday 18th December 2.30pm

We are delighted to invite you to our final tenor horn lesson where you can see how we’ve progressed in our learning and we will be playing a festive tune!

Today we were sharing our Roman Reports with children in Bullfinch. (5.12.18) This gives us a real audiance for our work, feedback for making it even better and helps the younger children to aspire to writing in this way when in KS2.

Please have a look in the Parent Information tab for important information and resources for X tables. 

Roman Art November 2018

Music from Tenor Horn Lessons

We split into Tribes to research Celt v Roman facts. Once we had done our research, we shared our knowledge and published information leaflets.

Class Assembly on bravery

10.10.18 In English we are learning how to develop characters for our own wish story based on King Midas.  There are some very creative characters and character traits being invented!  For example, we have a scientist whose imagination has made everything turn to ice, a greedy queen who turns everything to chocolate cake and even an artist who changes the colour of all he touches.


We are also practicing the art of story telling.  If you have the opportunity, listen to your child's retelling of King Midas - I think you'll love it.  It would be great if you could send in a little note to give feedback on their retelling by 15.10.18   Thank you.

We had a great second tenor horn lesson today (10.10.18) We were learning how to vary the rythm and pitch by changing our mouth shape slightly.

Roman Time line. We made a timeline in the playground. Every time we took a giant stride, we went back in time 100 years.

We sorted each period onto the line.

Information Evening 5th September 2018 - presentation of class information:

4th September 2018 - First Day back

25 June 2018 was our India Day - what a wonderful world!

Maths Day - 18 June 2018. We all worked on our own age related challenges in mixed age groups. It showed us that maths is everywhere!

We all enjoyed our important lesson on personal survival and practiced both shallow water and deep water self rescue. Well done Chaffinch!

Artwork inspired by our India topic and Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)

India Day Monday 25th June 2018


We will be dedicating a whole day to our exciting topic of Incredible India. We will be learning across the curriculum in a variety of ways with the whole focus on India – clothing, food, dance, stories, music, wildlife and religion. Children will have the opportunity to dress-up in traditional Indian clothing (if you have anything suitable) or wear plain brightly coloured or white clothing with no logos please.

Family Members are invited into school to learn alongside us from 2-3pm. Please let us know if you will be attending then we can plan accordingly.

Swimming lesson on Tuesday 12th June

Don't forget to come into school in your uniform as usual and bring your swimming clothes (not PJs) in a spare plastic bag. sad


We have been learning about water safety in English lessons too.  Can you design a symbol / sign about keeping safe by water? 

We had a fun outdoor maths lesson today, multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100. (5.6.18)

Allotment Visit - we had an amazing day. The children have planted, measured, recycled and learned so much! They were a credit to the school and their families. Well done Chaffinch. Also, a big thanks to the wonderful people of the Finchampstead Allotments Society who hosted us so well.

and a few more ....

Times Tables Tips


Barnaby - Purple Mash games

Katherine - go on Education City and play games to help you

Amelie - play Hit the Button (website or app)

Anna - sing along to Percy Parker times tables or other songs

Oscar - try to beat Alexa or  Siri or Google voice

Georgia - sing along then test you in 2.30

Amy - make some x tables flash cards and test yourself

Emily - think of little rhymes like wakey wakey rise and shine 7x7=49

Oliver - write them out lots of times...


Swimming at Harmanswater pool - after our lessons we get five minutes free time to play together.

Ascension Day 10 May 2018 - peaceful walk up the hill to church then writing prayers together and singing.

Summer Term Overview - our main theme is India. Please send in any photographs, books, artifacts etc you feel may help the children to know more about this fascinating country.

Optional Viking Homework for the Easter Holidays

Whole school bake off competition. CONGRATULATIONS to Chaffinch for your creativity and enthusiasm.

The monsters have been made with either a syringe or bottle mechanism to make a simple pneumatic system. We needed lots of reslience (21.3.18)

We enjoyed keeping fit by dancing for Sports Relief today - 21.3.18

Another lovely afternoon at Warren Logdge (19.3.2018)

Exploring Simple Pneumatic Systems

Balloons That Move...

We have all seen an inflated balloon whizz off through the air, if you let go after inflating it, and before you have tied a knot in the neck.These balloons all use that principle, but take it a stage further. This is how we have explored a simple pneumatic system in DT today. Can you explain the input, the process and the output?

Design Technology - wc 19.03.2018

Next Week Chaffinch Class will be designing and making our own moving monsters based on Viking myths and monsters. The Vikings told many tales of monsters, such as trolls, dragons, sea serpents, and the fierce wolf Fenrir (which the gods tried to keep chained up). Odin rode a magical horse named Sleipnir, which had eight legs.

We would  be very grateful for any balloons, clean squeezy plastic bottles (washing up bottles etc.), cardboard shoe or cereal boxes, ribbons, eyes etc that you think may help the children construct a Viking monster. Look out for our pneumatic masterpieces soon…

Celebrating Springtime at Warren Lodge

As our inspiration to write instructional text we all made clay creatures. They were so creative and individual. Well done Chaffinch (12.3.18)

Help Please! (7.3.18)

we are learning about instructions in English.  If you come across any simple, well written instructions in the next few day, please can you send them into school.

many thanks smiley

Animal Poems - 6th March 2018

Still image for this video
We have been studying the classic poem Tyger Tyger by William Blake (ask your child to recite a verse for you). It has inspired us to write our own animal poems where we ask questions, use similes and alliteration. They have been very creative!

Maths - making tenths

some children had a tile showing fractions
some had tiles showing decimals
we placed them in order on a 0-1 number line
did we get it right?

Warren Lodge Visit - 5 March 2018

Our children had a lovely time at Warren Lodge on Monday. They talked confidently to the residents about all sorts of things such as football teams (Chelsea!) handwriting, holidays, the weather and even showed them new maths methods when they were calculating the difference in their ages. Next week eight different children will visit and the focus will be on signs of spring. We felt really proud of our children and grateful that they’d had an opportunity to meet such interesting members of our community. Well done everyone.

Storytelling competition  20 February 2018

What a wonderful day we have had in Chaffinch Class, listening to all our great story tellers.  The children  used expression, controlled volume and lots of detail to engage the audience in their story.  Every single entry was fantastic and the amount of detail given showed just how effective our talk for writing approach has been to giving children both the structure and the words to tell stories.  WELL DONE EVERYONE!  The chocolate trophy will be awarded the meantime check out the video posted on the latest video page. 


X Tables


we have some extra practice sheets (times tables circles and challenge sheets) for this week.  please don't feel you have to do them all.  They are just optional examples that may help the children to learn their target x tables.  smiley

Chaffinch Storytelling

We have been learning about the art of storytelling and have practiced a little in school. As well as just being good plain fun, it’s a great way to build rich and detailed descriptions, and to develop sequencing skills. Just give us a character, a setting and a problem and see how creative we can be!

Because we’ve had so much fun, the children would like to have a storytelling competition after half term.

This is completely optional. If your child would like to take part, the story we’re retelling is Anansi and the Tiger. Anansi tricks the tiger into giving away all his stories. They have a copy of the story or you can find one on line.

Storytelling 29 January 2018


We listened with great concentration to a wonderful story of creation, then we inspired Bob Hartman with characters, setting and a problem which he put together into a great new story.  Can you tell it to your family?   Finally, we sang about being kind to ourselves, and to others...with a now famous pigmy shrew!

Image result for pygmy shrew

Grid method maths

Can you explain how we used tall people as tens and curled up people as ones to solve 4 x 33 = 132?

Please remember we all need our winter PE kits with jogging bottoms and top.   Brrrzzzz

Curriculum Letter Spring 2018


Dear Parents and Carers,


As we approach the end of the Autumn term with your sons/daughters, we would like to tell you how pleased we have been with them. Each and every one of them has engaged eagerly with their learning and settled into the new Chaffinch Class really well. We know new class routines and high curriculum expectations are not always easy, but they have all done brilliantly throughout the Autumn. Now they are all very excited about the coming Christmas holidays and spending more time with family and friends. We hope this letter will help with the return to school in January so your children know what to look forward to as they welcome Miss Parish to Chaffinch Class.

Focus Topic


Our main theme for the Spring Term is Vikings. We will be learning about who they were, where they came from and how they lived their daily lives in Britain. If you have books, artifacts, photos of visits etc. that link to our topic, we would love to borrow them for our display. As we did last term with rivers, we will be planning our Foundation subjects to link to this focus topic wherever possible.






Our English units will continue to follow the successful 'talk for writing approach' and will also be linked with our Viking topic. They will include character sketches, own experiences linked to a story, instructions and poems in a range of forms.

The children will once again be able to share their writing through our 'Spotlight' sessions where they read their writing to children from other classes. This is both enjoyable and useful as it gives a real audience to show case their work and receive feedback on their next steps. We will also continue with our focus on spelling, grammar and reading comprehension.

Homework activities for the spelling patterns covered by the National Curriculum will be sent home each Thursday and should be returned by the following Wednesday.




We read regularly in class: in whole class reading sessions, smaller group reading and individually. Reading, interpreting and understating text is a part of almost every lesson. As you know, the more children read, the faster they progress with their spelling, writing and word knowledge. It also helps them with their imagination and creativity. Regular reading both in class and at home is therefore incredibly beneficial for all children. We have introduced Leading Reading for some children to read daily with year 6 children and, whilst not all children read individually to adults when in Chaffinch Class, all children have their own Reading Records. Reading Record books are used to record children’s reading, for them to comment on the book and for parents to also comment or initial these. These books will be collected and checked on a regular basis and children will be rewarded for reading three or more times each week.


This term we will cover multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. Starting with basic calculations and fluency in maths we will progress through reasoning to application and problem solving. The application of the calculation to solve problems can be a more challenging part of maths and the children will have to dig deep to find their resourcefulness and resilience.


Maths homework will still be set on a Wednesday and will be due in the following Monday. Some pieces / activities may benefit from parental support. Homework should be a revision of class based topics and is also a useful way of keeping you informed of what areas we are covering in Maths each week. Please let us know if your child is finding the activity too challenging. Don’t forget the X tables mountain challenge each week too.



The two Science topics we will be covering this term are materials and teeth. Children will be learning about the different properties of materials and their uses as well as understanding more about types of teeth and how to look after them.



We will be composing a Viking story with music and sound effects as well as learning more about graphic and standard notation. The BBC ten pieces will also form part of our learning this term.



Our two Computing Topics are editing and writing HTML and finding and correcting bugs in programs.



This term we will be exploring ‘going for goals’ which is all about personal targets, why set them and how to check our progress against goals. We will also look at diversity and why it’s good to be unique and to just be yourself. as well as thinking about E safety - staying safe on line.



We will have 2 P.E. lessons each week. One unit is gymnastics for our indoor P.E. and our outdoor PE will be outdoor adventure. We also try to run around the field each morning so please ensure that children have P.E. kits in school ALL week including a pair of trainers. It really helps if all items are named.



We will continue to follow ‘The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, Pan – Berkshire. For this term we will be considering the big question, “Is religion the most important influence in peoples lives’ and learning more about the Easter story.


As you can see, your sons and daughters will be enjoying a varied and busy timetable in 2018. We will be continuing to help them develop strong learning behaviours in including responsibility, resilience, reflection, resourcefulness and readiness. Please help us encourage the children to do more tasks independently and be ready to learn with all the correct equipment each day: a simple, small pencil case with several HB pencils, a sharpener and small ruler; a glue stick for fixing learning objectives into books; PE kit in school every day (shorts, t shirt and trainers, tracksuit bottoms etc.); an art apron or old shirt as a cover-up and if possible a purple pen for editing and improving their own work. Please don’t let them bring in small toys, ‘novelty’ rubbers etc. as they are very distracting during lessons and upsetting when lost.


Finally, we would like to thank you all for your extremely thoughtful Christmas messages and gifts. They really are appreciated. Enjoy the Festive Season and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school in the New Year.

Mrs Dodds and Mrs Farrell.

Christmas table decorations (XVIII December 2017)


Today we have been working very hard to make super table decorations.  We used evergreen leaves (to represent the everlasting love of God) we used candy canes (to represent how sweet life can be) and we used oasis to hold it all together (representing our families).  We hope you like them...

Autumn Term Design Technology (December 2017)


We are making our own wooden photograph frames in DT this week.  Please can you send in examples so we can investigate the features before designing our own.  We will be looking at materials, style, decorations, how the photo is secured, stands, clips, covers, etc.  The more varied the better, but we are a very busy classroom so please don't send in precious frames!




Best Christmas Song Ever?

What do you think?  Chaffinch loved it (well, most of us)!

Follow this link...

Please can we have all Chrsitmas Play costumes in school by Wednesday 6th December.  Many thanks

X table - Mountain Challenge!  November 2017


We are pleased to be starting our ‘times table mountain’ challenge.


The challenge has 12 stages and gets progressively harder.

We are all starting with the 2,5,10 x table. Even though some of us ‘know’ these tables, we do not yet have sufficient fluency when using them in calculations and problem solving. Practice will help build this fluency. There will be a check-up each week and when you get all 32 correct in the time allowed (2.5 minutes) you will move on to the next stage. (There are 12 stages in all)





Superstar!  - our Christmas Production (update 13.11.17)


Year 4 have started rehearsals for the music for our production.  It's all coming along very nicely!  They will wear dark trousers and a bright, primary coloured t-shirt for performances (no logos or pictures please).  WASMA t-shirts will be good.


Year 3 now have their parts to learn.  Please help them to learn these at home - with expression!  Their costumes are 'villagers' or innkeepers etc.  Natural colours, long skirts, trousers, headdresses etc. Some also need bags or blankets wrapped around a jumper etc so show they are travelling.   Thank you in advance for your help in putting these together. 




Home learning - ongoing


We should all:

  • get our maths homework on Wednesday and hand in Monday
  • get our spelling homework on Thursday and hand in Thursday
  • read at least 3 times a week and record our thoughts / page number in our diaries
  • practice our times tables


Well done if you're a responsible learner and remember to do all this.  You will get your raffle ticket if you hand in your reading record on Fridays!  Be resilient and always try your best at home as well as

Visit to the River Pang at Rushall Farm.  6 November 2017


We have all had a wonderful day in the autumn sunshine, enjoying learning more about rivers. 

After a very exciting tractor ride, we waded into the river to explore the creatures who live there and to measure the width, depth and velocity of the river.  Even with our waterproof waders , and many layers, some of us did get a little damp!  So, it was then back to the heated barn for lunch before a gentle stroll down to the river confluence and meander.  The children really impressed the teachers at Rushall Farm with all their river knowledge and I'm sure everyone learned a little bit more.  For example, I didn't know about the American Crayfish in our chalk bedded rivers.  What did your child learn?

tractor ride to the river

Thank you for all your help and support in getting them ready for the trip.  Mrs Dodds.


Love your neighbour and love God.    30.10.17

In RE we are thinking about the Jesus' commandments.  We all thought of a small act of kindness that could show these commandments, no matter what our own personal belief may be.  The children have written and swapped ideas.  There are some lovely ideas such as, ' pick an autumn bouquet for a neighbour, offer to wash the dishes/unload the dishwasher or bake a cake for someone' etc.   Please can you sign the back of their idea, if and when they carry it out.  They can, of course, do extra acts of kindness that we'd love to hear about.  There is also the Heart of the Community Award, linked to these commandmnets, for those who go the extra mile.  Click on the link for more ideas... Have fun being kind Chaffinch!  




Half Term Reading


Please remember to read over the Autumn Half term and record your reading in your reading record.  Our target is to read at lest three times a week, give your views on what you're reading and read a wide variety of text.  Good Luck Chaffinchsmiley

Wellington College Visit.  18.10.17


Chaffinch children, and adults, had a fantastic day on our trip to Wellington College to celebrate the autumn harvest. The day was organised by the Newbury Showground Education team and we’ve thanked them profusely for inviting us to this well organised and enjoyable free event.

We started the day with an autumn colour walk where we collected tiny snippets of leaves, flowers, seeds etc and attached them to card to make a unique piece of autumn art. Then followed the apple bobbing. It was a ‘marmite’ challenge with some loving and some hating the experience! After that we moved on to a cookery demonstration to learn how fruit and vegetables (apples and beetroot) can be incorporated into sweet treats. The tasting was very popular. The true story of Johnny Appleseed fascinated everyone, as did the beautifully illustrated pictures showing life in the 1800’s USA. Finally we tasted several varieties of apples (Cox’s Orange Pippin, Charles Ross and Russet) as well as learning about many different types of squashes.   The day ended with a smile as some of the children got extremely excited by a sign that read 'strictly minibus parking only', as they thought Strictly Come Dancing must be being filmed there! 

All in all it was a really busy and informative day. Thank you for supporting us in transporting the children to and from the College. Hopefully their smiles and stories have been entertaining you since.

Mrs Dodds

Autumn Harvest Day