STEM Day – Autumn Term


Nursery children had the opportunity to participate in a selection of activities, including making magic potions, boats that float to fit a dinosaur, and building the tallest tower they could before it fell down.


Reception enjoyed taking part in the whole school STEM day (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
We experimented with circuits and learnt how to make a bulb light up by connecting wires to a battery and the bulb.
We explored Cuisenaire rods and made shapes, patterns and built towers with them.
We also learnt how to make paper lanterns by using scissors to cut lines into the paper and then use tape to join it together and create a handle.

Year 1

Year 1 explored different methods of transport for STEM day. They made paper rockets using drinking straws and tested how far they could fly. They made boats out of tin foil and counted how many pennies their boats could hold in the water. They also made bridges for a train out of different types of pasta and play dough and tested their strength with a toy train.

Year 2

Year 2 enjoyed taking part in a variety of different stem activities. One activity involved making towers out of newspaper. The children had to work in groups and discuss how to make their tower stable. The towers were tested by seeing how many books the towers would hold, one tower held 50 books!

We also did a science experiment to test the absorbency of biscuits. We heard the story of the gingerbread man and talked about what would have happened if the events in the story were to change We tested 3 different biscuits; gingerbread, digestives and rich tea and tested them by timing how long each biscuit would stay in warm water for before falling apart. All 3 classes found that the rich tea biscuit lasted the longest before breaking.

For our final activity we made our own marble mazes using a paper plate and different materials including, straws, lolly sticks and string. The children had to design their marble maze and think about the most suitable equipment to use before making it. Once the children had made their marble runs they were able to test them out and use each other’s. At the end the children had to decide if they would change their design as some of them had made their designs too complicated whereas some children’s were too easy!

Year 3

Year 3 had loads of fun taking part in our STEM day!

First, we made some rocket mice! We each made our own mouse and investigated different ways to make it fly like a rocket using different sized bottles. We learned about forces. We found out that the bigger the force the further the mouse went. Some of us thought the large milk carton worked the best because it was bigger and had more air in it. Some of us thought the small water bottles were better because the plastic that was thinner. The rest of us thought that the large coke bottles were the best because they had more air in and their shape made the air come out in a different way!

After break, we challenged ourselves to move an object without touching it using force. We came up with lots of ideas like blowing an object, sliding it and using gravity. We realised that we could use the force of a magnet to move an object without touching it. We then tested some different materials to make magnetic mazes. For our base, we decided that something strong and smooth would be best to move our objects around. We decided as a class that a piece of card, a paper plate, tables, trays or a white board were the best things to use!

In the afternoon, we turned into explorers and used a design specification to plan and build a boat. We needed to make a boat that could cross our ocean without us touching it but we were only allowed to use a bottle, some straws, card, tape, scissors, paperclips and a magnet! We used our knowledge of magnets and forces to make it move!

Year 4

Year 4 had a fantastic, thought provoking and exciting day introducing them to their new topic, sound, and allowing them to revisit some of their previous learning about states of matter.

The children took part in three different activities which allowed them to practice a range of skills:

Mr Hardy lead the children in converting a liquid (milk) into a solid as hard as concrete. The children needed to measure their materials accurately, work cooperatively with a partner and carefully follow a set of instructions to make their “rocks”. They were absolutely fascinated to see the change of state they produced.

With Dr Francis, the children’s focus was on making predictions and then testing their ideas. The children were shown three balloons which each made a different sound and, using their skills of observation and background knowledge, they made predictions about what was inside each balloon. Following on, they made predictions about the volume of sound other objects would make then tested their ideas using dataloggers to measure the volume of sound they produced.

With Mrs Bowes-Mulligan, the Year 4s became budding engineers as they constructed machines to show how sound waves travel. They worked really hard, using their maths skills to measure accurately to position the different parts of the machine correctly and were so proud of themselves when they could see how well their devices worked.

What a great learning day we had and everyone is already looking forward to the next one!

Year 5

Year 5 took part enjoyed several science investigations including:
1. What happens when you dissolve skittles in water?
2. Can you make flubber out of flour and lotion?
3. Can you create a lava lamp out of kitchen ingredients?
4. What combinations of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar do you need to make the biggest volcanic explosion?

This developed our understanding of materials and their properties. We made predictions by thinking scientifically about the ingredients involved. We discussed key terms and explored new vocabulary to enhance our learning.

‘My favourite was making flubber. Solid + liquid = a new type of solid with elasticity (today was the best!)’ George VH5.

Year 6

On Friday 10th November, Year 6 enjoyed an exciting afternoon of STEM activities.

The children rotated around the three classrooms and enjoyed stretching their scientific skills!

Mrs Smith’s class explored the power of air and the groups built balloon rockets. The children were given baskets of equipment from which they had to work as team to use a basic diagram to build their rockets. There was lots of scientific discussion about the best way to attach the balloons. Once the teams had built their rockets, their challenge was to investigate how they could get their rockets to travel the furthest. There was lots of discussion and lots of trial and error!

Mrs Williams’ class investigated chromatography. The class learnt about how chromatography is used in industry and forensic science. The children then they carried out their own investigations where they separated out the colours of felt tip pens. The class learned that one colour can be made up of many different dyes.

Miss Connors’ class investigated density using oil and ice cubes. Children made predictions based on their knowledge of the properties of materials and observed an oil and ice mixture change over time as the materials responded to one another. Each class discussed variants of the experiments, such as beaker shape or size, amount of oil or ice and children’s ‘enthusiasm’ when stirring the mixtures.

Mathematics Autumn Term 2017

This term in maths, the children have been working hard in lots of different areas of maths.


The children have been counting objects around the classroom including baubles! They have also been sorting objects, looking at sizes and colours.


The children have been learning to write numbers and using them in number sentences. They have also been using Numicon to add two numbers together.

Year 1

In Year 1, the children have been using Numicon to order numbers and add two numbers together. They have been identifying shapes by looking at each shape’s properties, and beginning to weigh different objects and use the language ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter.’

Year 2

In Year 2, the children have been working on calculation. They have been using a number line to add, and some children have been challenging themselves by trying to jump in 10s by using their place value knowledge. They have also completed some work on 2D and 3D shape including discussing similarities and differences between the shapes.

Music in Autumn 2 2017

The children in Nursery have been exploring how the CD player works and listening to different music and stories on there. They have also been playing the instruments in the outdoor area.

The children in Reception have been learning about ‘Celebrations’ this half term. When they were learning about fireworks, they spent some time listening to music about fireworks and using instruments to make their own music.  They watched an orchestra playing a classical piece called ‘The Firebird’ and talked about the different instruments they could see being played and the role of the conductor.  They talked about the music and how it changed from quiet to loud, and from slow to fast.

The children then had the opportunity to explore the instruments. They talked about what the instruments were all called and everyone was given an instrument to play.  They explored playing the instruments at different volumes, and playing a slow beat and a fast beat.  After they had finished working together many of the children continued to play and explore the instruments and how they could be used to make different types of sounds.

The children in Key Stage 1 have been busy rehearsing and performing their Christmas play and pantomime. Year One teamed up with the Reception children to perform ‘Baubles’ and the Year Two children have been putting together a pantomime, ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ All the children have worked incredibly hard to learn lots of new songs, actions and lines to perform to the rest of the school and their grown-ups.

Science Autumn 2017

Early scientific learning starts with exploring and expanding our knowledge about the world around us.


We have been learning about colours. We explored making new colours by colour mixing with our hands.

We looked at the book called “The Rainbow Fish”. We printed our own fish using celery for the scales.

We have enjoyed exploring our outdoor environment.


The Reception children have been exploring the world around them using different equipment such as magnets, binoculars, magnifying glasses and the digital microscopes.

They have been asking questions and testing their ideas as well.

They have also been working together, sharing ideas and solving problems.

Year 1

Year 1 have been learning about Animal Life. They visited the Sealife Centre in Great Yarmouth to learn about sea creatures including starfish, rays and sharks. They learnt what these animals eat, where they live in the sea and how they survive.

They had a visit from Zootastic which included meeting and learning about lots of different animals, including a snake, a tarantula and two owls!


They have grouped animals, observed different animals closely and learnt about the parts of the human body and their senses.

They have also been carrying out experiments in the classroom. One experiment was to find out which material was the best to stop ice melting and another explored why penguins have oily feathers!

Year 2

Year 2 have been learning all about materials. They have looked at different types of material and thought about describing them using their properties.

They have also considered the materials used for building a castle and why these materials would have been used in Medieval times.

They used what they had learnt to build a throne for a Lord and a bridge for a castle.

They had to consider the best materials for the job. Then they tested and evaluated their bridges.



Autumn Term Geography 2017

During their play activities the Reception children have been finding out about animals.  Teachers help them to use globes, maps and ipads to research their favourite animals and learn more about them and the places they come from.

“I showed her on a map where the UK was and where Africa and India were. We talked about how it was a long way, and she suggested that she could fly there to see the elephants”.

In another class the children were playing with polar small world toys and one child was fascinated by Arctic wolves.  He was helped to find out more about them and the environment they live in.  He also found out that Arctic wolves’ favourite food was Arctic hare, lemmings, seals, and birds.

Elsewhere some children were playing under the canopy and one child was wearing a workman’s waistcoat.   He said that he was going to work on a plane so he talked with the teacher about the job of a pilot and looked on the iPad at different passenger planes. He made a plane and invited some friends to fly with him.  They looked at the globe, the UK’s location and different places that they could fly to, then decided that they would fly over the sea to America.

In Year 1 the children learned about Harvest and were visited by a local farmer and his tractor.  They were able to ask the farmer about his job, and practice their tractor driving skills!  They went on to learn about some of the foods harvested in other parts of the world.

Year 1 have also been learning about animals that live in different parts of the world.  As part of their Topic studies they have used maps, globes, atlases and the internet to discover features of different countries and environments and learn about how the animals that live there have adapted.  As part of their Winter Wonderland Topic they learnt about the animals of the polar regions, and in particular about the Inuit people and how their lives might be similar or different to our own in the UK.

Year 2 have been learning about Medieval Norwich this term, and were able to visit Norwich Castle to find out about how people lived long ago.

They also learned about the features of Castles and how and where they were built.   This helped them to develop their geographical vocablulary, for example: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour, river, moat, hill.  They were able use aerial photographs to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features and they learnt about castles in other parts of the United Kingdom. They looked on maps and on Google Earth to find the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, Norwich Castle, Warwick Castle and Windsor Castle.

Computing in the Autumn Term


Nursery have created their own designs for a Christmas tree. They used Purple Mash to draw decorations on a template of a Christmas tree. The children then printed their designs and went to collect them from the photocopier. The children were so excited to see that their design was waiting for them!


Children in reception have been using a range of technology to help develop their mouse and keyboard skills. They have been using and too!

Year One

Year 1 have been following and writing algorithms (clear, precise instructions for a computer). They have used the beebot maps and app on the ipads to help with their learning of this. They had to give the beebots clear instructions to move it around from a starting point to an end point.

The children have also linked computing and outdoor learning through the use of ipads. They took pictures of signs of Autumn so that they could share what they had found and talk about how the seasons change.

Year Two

Year two have also being learning about algorithms. They used the beebot maps to create instructions for the beebot and used direction cards to record the algorithm they had made. They developed their knowledge further through using logical reasoning to give the beebot the whole instruction instead of giving it lots of smaller instructions to get to the desired location.

Indoor Athletics Competition

On Monday 4th December, 18 children from year 5 and 6 visited the UEA to compete against other schools in the area at a range of athletic events. Each member of the team completed two track (running) and two field (throwing or jumping) events. The track events included long and short distance races and two obstacle races with hurdles to go over and under.

The field events which the children took part in included: standing long jump and triple jump, vertical jump, chest push, speed bounce and javelin. By competing in each of their events each competitor won points for the school.

All of our children tried extremely hard during the day, several of our children scored maximum points after gaining the highest scores against the other children in their group.  The whole team were proud of their efforts.

Year 3 Spanish Day!

On the 7th December 2017, Year 3 spent a day exploring Spanish traditions and language! We also spent some time looking at the way Spanish people celebrate Christmas!

In one of our lessons, we researched Christmas traditions around the world, finishing with Spain. We also found out more about this in our Year 3 assembly where a visitor came from Neatherd High School to share lots of information about the Spanish Christmas traditions!

Another of our sessions gave us the opportunity to read the book ‘Brown Bear’ in Spanish. We learnt about different colours and animals and then used Ipads and dictionaries to research our own animals and colours to write our own page for a class book!

In our final session, we had an enormous amount of fun making our own delicious paella. We chopped, cooked and took our yummy food home to show our parents and carers!

History Autumn Term 2017

Early Years

The children have been encouraged to talk about any significant past events in their or other people’s lives.  Their interactions with other children and adults have been observed and noted on Tapestry (the online and interactive Learning Story used in Early Years).  Some of the observations are shown below:

‘Alice also told me how she went to the dentist and they counted her teeth.’ an observation made by Beckie Herring in Nursery.

Year 1

Winter Wonderland

During the topic Winter Wonderland the children have learnt about a significant person from the past, Robert Falcon Scott.  They talked about why Robert Falcon Scott is significant, why he went to the Antarctic and they thought of reasons for and against Robert Falcon Scott going to the Antarctic.

Year 2

Medieval Norwich

During this term the children have been learning about Medieval Norwich.  They have completed a variety of activities across the curriculum.

They followed instructions to make their own helmet mask.

They have enjoyed creating their own castles by working as a team.

Castle Museum Trip

Year 2 have been on a trip to the Castle Museum in Norwich.  They learnt about the history of the castle, the objects which were found in the castle, the daily life of the people and about the clothes the knights wore in battle.

Visiting real places that are historical really helps bring the learning to life for the children. They found out lots of things from their visit.

Medieval Day

We have been learning about life in medieval times.  We had the opportunity to practise lots of different skills which were used in a castle.  Staff from Goldcrest came into our school to work with all the Year 2 children and to teach them how to be an archer.  We practised lots of archery skills.  We learnt how to stand strong, how to hold the bow and how to shoot an arrow. We found it extremely interesting and exciting.

We also had the chance to be a jester.  We entertained each other by balancing on stilts, and playing lots of games.  We then became knights and took part in a jousting tournament.

In the afternoon our school hall was turned into a banquet hall.  A lord and lady from each class sat on the top table and we ate bread, cheese and grapes together. Each class performed a medieval class dance for the other guests.

Night time

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

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

Whole School Remembrance Day Assesmbly

As part of our learning about History and British Values we invited the Dereham Branch of the Royal British Legion to come and talk to us about why we have Remembrance Day and why we wear a poppy.  David and Helen spoke to the children about the history of the British Legion and what conditions were like for people in the war.  They also spoke about how the Royal British Legion still helps people today who have been injured or affected by war.  It was important for the children to understand why they buy poppies and how their money helps other people.

Getting Arty in Autumn at Toftwood Infant School

In reception the children have been exploring colour and mixed materials to create lots of beautiful artwork.

The children drew self-portraits when learning about themselves and through learning about celebrations have had the chance to create lots of different pieces of art.

Year 1 learnt about animals and painted pictures of their favourite animals.

Year 1 have also been learning about winter and created some beautiful snow globes!

In year 2, they created some fantastic medieval shields for their medieval Norwich topic. The children needed to design their shield then paint them, to match their design. They look great!

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