Shakespeare Week April 2019

Shakespeare Week – 18th to 22nd March 2019

Shakespeare Week is a national event week run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon.  As part of their celebrations of The Bard and all things Shakespearean they select 152 schools across the country to receive a free book by Marcia Williams which is then set “free” for others to find and pass on.  This year we were sent “Bravo Mr William Shakespeare”.

Infant School had a Shakespeare Club during the week for some childen from Year 1 and Year 2.  They had the opportunity to look at the book and learn who William Shakespeare was, and then they tried out writing with a goose feather quill pen.  They were surprised at how easy it was to write, but found it a little bit messy!  They also made Tudor ruffs, and looked at pictures of Shakespeare.

They delivered the book to classes so that the other children could look at it and talk about the stories.  “Anthony and Cleopatra” was a favourite!  The race was on to see if the book could travel to as many classes as possible during Shakespeare Week!  It managed to visit all 6 Year 1 and 2 classes during the week and then was delivered to the Junior school site to begin its journey round Years 3 to 6.

Year 6 Activ8 Sessions with Paddy Venner 2019

In the Spring and Summer term, Year 6 have been working weekly with a life coach, Paddy Venner, to help them prepare for their transition, to understand their difficulties and to help them develop effective working and personal relationships, in and out of school.

This is the programme Paddy generally follows:

The ACTIV8© Course in detail

Session 1 : The Parachute Debate – The Power of Words

Aim of session: to encourage children to understand the power of words and be able to stand their ground non-violently.

Children love this session as it is very different to anything they usually do in class and it sets the tone for the course.

Outcome:  children learn teamwork.  It also reveals the leaders, public speakers, the quiet ones, the strong communicators and the creative thinkers.

Session 2 : Who Are You Really?

Aim of session: Challenging children to be themselves, and to examine whether they have to become someone else just to fit in.

Outcome:  children discuss the importance of fitting in and how to avoid peer pressure. Many battle to come up with a word to describe themselves and sometimes emotional. They are affirmed by Paddy who tells each child what positives he sees in them. Teachers have said what an eye-opener this session can be.

Session 3 : Attitude sets Altitude

Aim of Session: to realise that our aspirations can cause us to rise above what people have said that has hurt us.

A discussion session – children are encouraged to express their experiences of bullying and maltreatment, and how they have overcome.

Outcome:  it evokes many good responses, especially when we look at the attitude to bullies, being bullied or even being a bully.  Children often see this as one of their favourite sessions due to the tools given them to overcome, and adopt a positive attitude.

Session 4 : Advice – a test of scruples

Aim of Session:  this is a test of their scruples and ability to analyse a situation and react accordingly. This session  lets them see that a kind word or a piece of gentle advice, can make a huge difference in another child’s life.

Outcome:  they learn to discuss and think collaboratively.

Session 5 : Advertise Yourself

Aim of Session: to get children to speak well of themselves.

Outcome:  Children work alone, and are encouraged to get in touch with their positive attributes and to be able to communicate these appropriately. This builds self esteem and peer-group affirmation and has been a genuine turning point for some children.

Session 6 : If you don’t like the Consequence, Change the Choice

Aim and outcome of session:  to teach children to stop blaming everyone else when they get into trouble and to take ownership of their own outcomes ie: weigh up actions and their consequences.

Session 7 : Overcoming Obstacles

Aim of session: To understand that hardships and obstacles in life are necessary and not there to discourage you but to strengthen you.

Outcome:  that anything can be achieved or overcome through hard work and determination.

Session 8 : Letters to God and Dealing with Failure

Aim of the session: for children to put in writing what is really going on in their lives – a very eye-opening session, which ends with a discussion on bouncing back from failure.  They are taught “If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything”

Outcome:  the children work alone on a ‘letter to God’, where they have carte blanche to express themselves.  This session yields much insight. Paddy reads them on site and any ones which have flagged concerns are reported to the teacher in charge.

This is the feedback the children have given about their sessions with Paddy half way through the programme:

Paddy is very unique man the way he speaks to us is incredible. When he talks to us it’s like he gets inside your head he always expresses the way he talks. Also, he’s an awesome guy he’s really funny I feel like Paddy will help us a lot and already I have a lot more confidence.

Thank you for spending the money on helping us


Paddy is incredible! I really felt like he already knew everything about me! He said that I had kind eyes… with the story he told us put me in tears! I’m truly inspired by him and I really hope he can come back soon! He is just so funny! He says such sweet things about all of us!


Paddy is amazing he helps us get ready for high-school and is so funny. He said I could be more confident in myself he thinks I’m Smart. I would love him to come more often.

Paddy is the best visitor we have ever in the whole of our federation. He teaches us life lessons. COOL AWESOME THE BEST


I really liked Paddy. He helps me and everyone else out. I thank Paddy for coming in to speak to us because he is very humorous. As humorous as he can be, he also can be quite serious. I appreciate he’s took time off to come speak to us. I enjoy every lesson I have with him, because he is so easy to speak to. When I do speak to him, Paddy only focusses on me. It makes me feel welcome, and it makes me feel wanted. He teaches us about life and tells us stories. He once said, “fists don’t talk for you”. I love Paddy. Coming: I can’t wait for him to come next week!


I found this session very helpful because he talked about who we were, we were also giving one word to describe ourselves and he made inference about us from what we told him. He explained why doing bad things doesn’t make us popular and to be ourselves not letting  people control you.

Paddy brightens up my day, I always feel lonely but he makes me feel confident and unique in my own way.

Paddy really helps me believe who I can really be, he’s really fun and amazing. He’s positive, awesome, determined and different

Paddy has helped me express how I feel and made me feel more confident not just in myself but who I am, every time he leaves I feel relaxed and happy and can’t wait for Thursdays when he comes, Paddy motivates me and helps me to not make bad choices in life, I feel safe when we all talk and he’s super funny I feel so ready for high school and more confident when I talk aloud and alone “PADDY ROCKS”. He says kind things about me and he’s a real inspiration.


When Paddy comes I feel I can be myself and he really makes me think about who I really am and who I could be. He also makes a big impact on my social awareness, Paddy makes me see that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and that to really enjoy life but Paddy is a very funny person. I want to thank Paddy and say a much we THANK YOU, because (I speak for everyone) he makes a big difference and has helped us to make the right choice


Paddy told us about what would happen if you end up with wrong people. He started by making us guess what celebrities were on the board. He also told us a story about a kid named Billy who was once an innocent person but ended up with the wrong person.


Paddy’s a very humorous and fascinating man, we all love him coming to our school. He reaches really cool stuff ( like be who you really are).


Paddy is epic! Paddy is great at teaching life lessons.


Paddy is really cool he is really good at telling stories and tells us life lessons like fists are not a language and one day I want to be just like him.


Paddy’s sessions are always exciting and make me curious about the next week to come. He makes us feel like we can just be ourselves!


Paddy is really funny yet still portrays the things we’re supposed to learn in a way children listen and learn. He is a motivating speaker and lifts up peoples spirits. He can almost read minds the way he can read our emotions and what we are like. At some points when he told a story he would make me cry, other times he would make me laugh out loud. We welcome him and he welcomes us!


Paddy is very kind and extremely funny. He tells many jokes and stories. He teaches us many things. Lots of people are excited for him to come. It is really fun. He sets up the class in a very cool way. I learn a lot of stuff and he teaches us lessons.


Paddy was very helpful he told us to be who we truly are and not to change to be cool, and he was very funny doing so and he told us true stories and I can’t wait for him to come next Thursday.


Paddy is a very funny and supportive, he seems to take notice of all of us as though we were his greatest friends. Since Paddy come I’m sure everyone has been a lot more caring about eachother and have a lot more spirit in themselves and one another, I hope Paddy keeps coming even after S.A.T.S. THANK YOU PADDY and I’m sure everyone else thinks you are awesome and rock.


Paddy (I think I speak for everyone when I say this) makes us feel happy without selves without us having to do work. So he lets us have fin, learn, chears us up and does many more great things. He says good things to is and tells us great REAL stories about people he works with. He makes me feel happy and awares me to not kame the wrong choice.


I found this lesson interesting because we got to explain what we think about ourselves like if we are kind, sporty or friendly and told him why we thought that.

Paddie is a amazing human. He can probably help anyone who is sad or scared or is try to be popular.


I felt very inspired from our last session with Paddy. He asked us, “ who we really are?” and went into further detail about this, he told us we are unique and have a special purpose in life. He really engaged us too with his humour which really helps us understand. The whole thing was about how we should act like how we are, not how it makes it easier to fit in. My favourite part was when he told us to say one word that describes us. He was extremely motivational and expanded on our words, saying our traits and how we can excel.


British Science Week in Key Stage 2

What a wonderful British Science Week we all enjoyed this year! The theme for the week was “Journeys” and, since agriculture is so important to our region, we chose to look at journeys involving food including where it comes from, how it is processed and the journeys it makes through our bodies.

As part of the week, all the children did some cooking using fresh ingredients to create some wonderful results; they made scones, vegetable samosas, baked bread and even made their own fresh pasta for a tasty lasagne! We definitely spotted some great chefs in the making!

As well as cooking, the children also carried out their own research to find out where in the world some of their ingredients might have come from; from oat milk to chocolate and peppercorns to carrots, we learned how far some of our tasty food travels for us to enjoy and thought about the good and bad things effects this travel could have.

Throughout the week, all of the children in Key Stage 2 had the opportunity to work with and learn from some really interesting visiting scientists. We were lucky to have staff from both Northgate and Neatherd High Schools come to work with the children different aspects of the digestion of our food. We even had a visit from a local dental health team to examine our teeth.

We were also fortunate to be visited by scientists form Norwich Research Park who talked to the children about their work and how they had become scientists. Dr Phil Smith (MBE) spoke to the children about how plants and not just animals can become sick and what symptoms we can look out for to identify “poorly” plants. The children also really enjoyed their work with the UEA’s Dr Simone Payne, a bacteriologist, who showed the children the sort of bacteria that live on their bodies – they were all really shocked to see what had grown on agar plates after they were touched with “clean” hands!!

The children found out about lots of the fascinating science happening in their local area and around school. They always tell us how much they enjoy science and know how important it is in their lives. In British Science Week 2019, the children in Key Stage 2 have enjoyed lots of hands-on work inspiring many of them to think about following a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). Who knows what our super young scientists will go on to achieve in Norfolk and beyond!

Book Week – Spring 2019

The children had the opportunity to take part in a Federation wide Book Week. The theme for the week was ‘Awesome Authors and Performing Poets’.

The children were able to take part in some very exciting activities and lessons based around a variety of fiction books and poems.

The children were able to take part in shared story sessions, where older children read with the younger children between both schools. The children at the Infant School really enjoyed having the older children share these books with them.

In year 1 and 2 the children and parents/carers shared ‘Lost and Found’ by Oliver Jeffers. They were able to make predictions from the text and then made their very own penguin from the book.

The Junior school shared the book Tuesday by David Weisner. Every class looked at the book, talk about the book by answering questions on it and made frogs.

The children of both schools were able to attend the Federation annual Bedtime stories event. The children and their families came back to school in their pyjamas and with blankets and teddies to share stories, relax and listen to school staff reading and performing some of their favourite texts.

In Year 2 the children had written their own stories and made them into their own books during Book Week. The children absolutely loved this and really understood the pride of writing their very own book! One child, Logan, loved his character so much that he dressed up as ‘Mini Joe’ for the dressing up competition at the end of the week!

At the end of the week, the children took part in a Poetry Slam! Each class at the Infant School were able to share the poem they had written as a class to the whole school. All classes from Nursery to Year 2 were involved and it was a wonderful celebration of poetry.

  • Nursery children performed a dinosaur poem
  • Reception children shared their shape poems about animals,
  • Year 1 shared their alphabet poems about the winter weather
  • Year 2 children shared their alliteration poems.
  • Year three did Haikus
  • Year four Tanka’s
  • Year 5 ballads
  • Year 6 sonnets

Some of the class poems from the Junior school have been shared below!

To finish the amazing Book Week we had this year the children took part in a dressing up day based on their favourite character. Prizes were given out in assembly for our performing poetry competition and best costume of their favourite character. Even the staff had fun too!

–      ‘It is wonderful to have these opportunities in the school year to inspire children to have a love of reading and encourage children to realise that they can aspire to become authors, poets or illustrators for their future careers!’  – Kelsey Thompson and Anne Williams – Literacy and English leads.

thumbnail of Scholastic Certificate

Year 4 seatbelt safety January 2019

Year 4 Seatbelt Safety Presentation by Rozalind Symonds

Year 4 have taken part in a seat belt safety presentation this term.  We all learned how important it was to wear seatbelts – no matter how short the distance we travel is.

Ms Symonds demonstrated the effects of a car crash using a specially designed ramp and a large model car with bean bag people. The ramp was designed to show the effects of a car crash at 30mph. The model car was equipped with seatbelts and there was also a bean-bag family.

Ms Symonds first asked, and then showed us what the effect of not wearing seatbelt would be on the beanbag family. The mother went through the car window, the father was crumpled under the steering wheel and the child travelled from their seat in the back to land crumpled up in the front of the car with their head on the gear box. We discussed the possible extent of each family injuries and agreed they were most likely to be fatal.

Ms Symonds then demonstrated the same crash but this time the family were wearing seatbelts. We found the family remained in their seats and the probable outcome of the crash would have been no more than whiplash.

We then discussed when children should be able to sit in adult seats without boosters.  Ms Symonds told us that although the height of a child by law is 135cm before they can sit in an adult seat in the U.K. it was advisable that all children remained in a booster seat until they were 150cm tall due to the nature of the adult seatbelts.

Children in Need 2018

On Friday 16th November children across the federation supported Children in Need through a non-uniform ‘Show Your Spots’ day. Children from the School Council created posters, collection pots and envelopes, and collected the donations in each class. The children enjoyed a range of activities throughout the day including mask making and counting Pudsey spots!

Thank you to everyone for their generous donations. The Federation raised a total of £750. Well done everyone!

Year 3/4 School Games Sportshall Athletics

On Monday 19th November 2018, a total of 17 boys and girls attended the year 3/4 School Games Sportshall Athletics at the UEA Sportspark, where around 200 children took part. 12 teams competed in a total of 12 field and track events. These included the obstacle relay, relay, under/over relay and field events including chest push, standing long jump, vertical jump and soft javelin.

The afternoon was a very noisy affair where the children had a wonderful time competing and cheering on their team mates. Toftwood Junior were the very proud winners of the WNDSSP Team of the Day. They were chosen by the other schools for showing great sportsmanship.  Well done Toftwood!

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