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30th April

Good morning Elm, Strong Blue today I think.

First a big apology to Erin whose birthday it was yesterday - I am so sorry that I missed it Erin. I am sure you will all want to join me in singing a virtual Happy Birthday to Erin for yesterday.

On This Day - George Washington became the first President of the United States of America in 1789. Born on February 22, 1732, at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia, George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and founding father who served as the first president of the United States from April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797.

Also today it is the 100th birthday of Captain Tom Moore. On 6th April he set out to raise £1000 for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 lengths of his 25 metre garden and ended up raising over £30M in donations. It was the largest-ever amount raised by a JustGiving campaign. He has been made an honorary colonel on his 100th birthday, received more than 125,000 birthday cards and will be made an honorary England cricketer by former captain Michael Vaughan. A Great Western Railway intercity express train (No. 800025) is also being named in his honour on his birthday and an RAF flypast took place over his house.

Today's Google Stay At Home and Play doodle looks interesting, it is another musical one. It is a Theremin -  an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist,  named after its inventor, Léon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. It was first posted on 9th March 2016, to celebrate the life of Clara Rockmore, who used a theremin to perform electronic music in the 1930's.

Why not have a go and see what tunes you can play.

I hope you are all making a good start to your USA project and thank-you to Charlie for sending me the first picture of some completed work (see below). Also, well done to those of you who are persevering with or returning to MyMaths tasks, many more of you are now getting 100%. Don't forget, if you are not sure what to do or where you have gone wrong, you can follow the lesson that goes alongside most of the tasks, look at any feedback or email for some help. Aden emailed yesterday including a picture of the screen to show what the difficulty was - this was great as I am not able to see your work, only your scores - I was able to give him some advice and he went on to successfully get 100% for the task.

It still looks a bit wet outside my window at the moment, but the forecast looks better for next week.

Have a good day and don't forget to look after one another.

Charlie has enjoyed finding out the names of all the US States and researching the Stars and Stripes

29th April

Morning Elm Class, today I have chosen Strong Red.

On This Day - Oxford University agreed to admit female students to examinations in 1884. However, woman were not to be awarded degrees! In 1935, just one year after their invention by Percy Shaw of Yorkshire, the first 'cats' eyes' were being inserted into British roads.

Today is also the 9th wedding anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The marriage of Prince William, 2nd in line to the throne, and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in 2011. The day was declared a bank holiday in celebration. Can you remember how these two fit into the Royal Family tree?

Also today Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds have announced the birth of a son. A spokeswoman for the PM and his partner said both mother and baby are "doing very well".

I hope you have all made a start on your USA project, I am looking forward to seeing some pictures of your work so far - I wonder who will be first. Also please make sure that you are persevering with your MyMaths in order to achieve 100% on every task, I know that some of you are doing this, but not all of you yet. If the feedback hints and clues haven't helped and you are stuck, please email me for further advice.

Finally, if you haven't already seen it, today's Stay At Home and Play Google links to the interactive game inspired by the Lumigraph, an musical contraption invented by Oskar Fischinger. Fischinger said that music is not limited to the World of sound so have a go at making your own visual music composition 

Have a good day and stay safe.

28th April

Hi Elm Class, today is a Dark Cyan sort of day, but at least the rain will be "good for the garden!"

On This Day - In 1770, English navigator Captain James Cook and his crew, including the botanist Joseph Banks, finally landed in Australia, at Stingray Bay, which was later named Botany Bay.

Also on this day, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury was born. You will remember finding out about Lord Shaftsbury in the autumn. He was one of the most effective social and industrial reformers in 19th-century England. He introduced the Coal Mines Act in 1842 which prohibited the employment of women and children underground.

Have a look at today's Google. As part of a new series of Stay At Home and Play doodles, today's features throwback is the 2017 Doodle game celebrating cricket. The google is another Gif in which the "e" rolls up a sock and bowls it to "G". If you follow the link, it will take you to an interactive game of cricket - why not give it a go.

I hope that you have all made a start on your new project about the USA. I have already seen some examples of work on other class pages, so let's see if we can get some on out page. It is important that you are making time each day for your school work, although it might be a little easier today as it is a little cooler outside. I look at your MyMaths every day and add feedback to those tasks that have been completed. Please make sure you return to these tasks and check your feedback in place of marking in your books at school. You should then have another go at tasks in order to get 100%.

This morning I have set this weeks new tasks on MyMaths, they will add to the back of your list of homeworks, but don't forget to also complete previous tasks set - you will only have tasks that I have set since we closed the school as I have removed all previous tasks that you hadn't done. Year 5 you already have this week reading task based on the Oxford Owl book "Tales of the Underground". You should by now have completed two book reviews. Aden has reviewed "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" and again has found a good lesson for life - how to stick up for yourself. Year 6, I have posted the answers to "Theseus's Adventure" below. This week you should complete "I Can Jump Puddles" on page 26.

Have a good day and stay safe

Year 6 comprehension answers - Theseus's Adventure

A great book review of Diary of the Wimpey Kid by Aden

27th April

Good Morning Elm, today the colour is Pumpkin - I started with Pumpkin so as this is a new week and the start of a new project, I have chosen to go back to Pumpkin.

On This Day - The London Zoological Gardens officially opened in Regent's Park, London. Lady visitors were politely requested to refrain from poking the beasts through the bars of the cages. The London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. As well as being the first scientific zoo, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) also opened the first Reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853), first insect house (1881) and the first children's zoo (1938).

The foundation stone for the new Palace of Westminster was laid in 1840 by the wife of the architect Sir Charles Barry. The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London. The Old Palace, a medieval building complex destroyed by fire in 1834.

Well, I hope you have all completed your Fantasy Island project and have had a good weekend. It is now time to start our new topic for this term - "We'd like to be in the Americas". This term we were going to have a topic about Greece, ancient and modern including the Olympic Games, however as the Olympic Games has been postponed until next year, it seemed wise to do the same with this topic (I am sorry Nes). As we have swopped our topics around so that we will do next summers topic now instead. Those of you in Year 6 might remember this topic from Year 3, but I am sure you will find that there is so much more to learn as there are two huge continents and many countries in the Americas. For our first project in this topic, which you will complete at home, we will look at one of the bigger countries (but not the only country) of North America - The USA. Each task has a learning objective and some activities, similar to the ones we cover at school, and you should aim to complete two or three each week. I have already emailed the project to your parent but you will find a copy of it below. Each task can be completed on paper or on a computer, but it will need to be handed in when we get back to school, however please send me either documents or pictures of the work you have completed as you do it.

Also below you will find this weeks grammar and spelling. For the spelling, please write a sentence for each word using it correctly. Both of these can be done either on the computer or by copying and completing them on paper, you can print them out as worksheets if you wish, but you don't have to. Again please send them to me when you have finished.

Today is the last day for this weeks MyMaths and I will set more tomorrow. For your reading comprehension, Year 6 you should completer "Theseus's Adventures" today and I will post the answers tomorrow and Year 5 you should complete the review of a book of your choice from last week. New reading comprehension tasks will be posted tomorrow.

Wow that sounds like a lot, but don't forget that some is for a whole week and the project is for four weeks - just make sure that you don't leave it all to the end, you should now be in the good habit of doing some school work every day.

Also below you can see some pictures of Fantasy Island projects by Daisy-Belle and Nes, well done both of you.

Now off you go and make a start! As always take care and be kind to your grown-ups

Lovely pictures of Daisy-Belle's Fantasy Island - Midnight Reef

Ragnarock is definitely a Fantasy Island. What an interesting place, but Nes, I hope the dinosaurs don't actually manage to move to other islands

24th April

Hi Elm, today I have chosen Bright Blue

On This Day - With such lovely spring weather, many people have always thought about taking a lovely walk in the countryside, however it hasn't always been possible. In 1932, a mass trespass by thousands of ramblers, led by Benny Rothman, took place on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. Their aim was to establish public right of access on the moors and mountains that were privately owned for grouse shooting. Since then, the countryside has slowly opened up with the official opening of the Pennine Way on this day in 1965. The Penine Way is a 256 mile path along the Pennine Hills from The Old Nag's Head at Edale in Derbyshire to 'The Border' at Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border.

Tomorrow (25th April) is ANZAC Day. Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".

This year, due to Covid 19, many of the usual activities have been cancelled, however Australians are being encouraged to stand at the end of their driveways, on their balconies or in their lounge rooms at 6am on Saturday to commemorate those who served, those who died and those who are still serving. It will be observed in a similar wat in New Zealand on Monday.

Today is the last day for the first home-learning pack that you took home before Easter. You should now be aiming to finish the activities ready for a new project and other tasks starting next week. I will email the work and also post copies to this page.

I am delighted to say that I have already had two Earth Day Poster competition entries and they are both brilliant (see below). There isn't a closing date so I am looking forward to seeing some more.

Well done to those of you working on this week's MyMaths tasks and catching up with ones that you may have missed on previous weeks. On your Homework tab, the only tasks outstanding are the ones that I have set since we closed - I have removed all previous outstanding tasks. Also it is brilliant to see that some of you are having more attempts at tasks after the first try in order to get 100%. Don't forget that you can look at the lesson to help, read any feedback for hints or email me if you get really stuck.

As always make sure you are being kind to each other at home and look after your grown-ups.

A brilliant Earth Day poster by Aden, full of information telling us about what it actually means - well done Aden

Abbie's beautiful Earth Day poster follows the path of the bee from the google doodle - so important to the survival of our environment

George and family have been busy welcoming some new additions to their ever expanding family.

23rd April

Hello Elm, well today really had to be Strong Red.

Today is St George's Day.

St George is the patron saint of England and he died near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, On This Day in 303. Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George. The most famous story about him tells how he slayed a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. It is therefore likely that the many stories connected with St George's name are fictitious.  The national emblem and flower of England is the rose (usually red). The flower has been adopted as England’s emblem since the time of the Wars of the Roses - civil wars (1455-1485) between the royal house of Lancaster (whose emblem was a red rose) and the royal house of York (whose emblem was a white rose)

It is also an important day for birthdays.

Today is the date officially recognised as William Shakespeare’s birthday. Born in 1564, William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". Also he was very creative with the way he spelt words! Sadly he died on his 52nd birthday in 1616.

More recently, Prince Louis of Cambridge was born in 2018. His full name is Louis Arthur Charles and he is the third and youngest child and second son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. He is fifth in the line of succession to the British throne.

Thank you for all of your pictures of work and other ways you have been using your time. Below you can see what Daisy has been up to and the surprise of three new members of Erin's family.

It would be great to have more pictures of you Fantasy Island project now that it is nearly finished. Yesterday added feedback to all the currently completed MyMaths tasks that I have set since we closed. Please take time to go back to previous tasks to see if you can improve your score - if you are still stuck after reading the feedback, then email me for further help and support.

Also I am looking forward to seeing your Earth Day posters

Have a great day

Daisy's amazing Fantasy Island model

She has also been busy with cooking and "swimming" lessons

Erin's new family came as a bit of a surprise!

22nd April

Good morning Elm, today it is Dark Emerald for Earth Day.

On This Day - In 1945, after learning that Soviet forces had taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admitted defeat in his underground bunker. In 1972, Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax became the first people to row across the Pacific Ocean (the world's largest ocean). They arrived in Australia in their boat Britannia after being at sea for 362 days.

Today Google is celebrating Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries. Earth Day 2020 is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrations planned include activities such as the Great Global Clean-up, Citizen Science, Advocacy, Education, and art.

COVID-19 has changed this! Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network has therefore announced, “At Earth Day Network, the health and safety of volunteers and participants in Earth Day events is our top concern. Amid the recent outbreak, we encourage people to rise up but to do so safely and responsibly — in many cases, that means using our voices to drive action online rather than in person.”

However Earth Day will still aim to educate and mobilize more than one billion people to grow and support the next generation of environmental activists. It's time to reimagine what we can collectively do for our global environment with activities and events.

Have a look at the Google, if your device has the right upgrade you should be able to take the bee on an adventure pollinating the flowers and finding out lots of bee related facts - unfortunately my laptop is too old!

Earth Day Competition

If you are able to you could use it to make an information poster about the importance of bees to the environment. If not you could design a poster to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. I would love to see your posters, I can put pictures here on our class page and perhaps make a display when we are back in school. I will consider prizes for the first, best and any others that I feel worthy.

Ptolemy continues to send different elements of his Fantasy Island project, see below. It would be lovely if more of you could send pictures or documents of the work you have completed so far. Don't forget, you should aim to finish your project this week. Also I have had a couple of book reviews from Year 5 for Varjak Paw. Aden thought that if would be a good book for Shea to read and I think his comment, "If you don't try, it won't work" would be a great new Growth Mindset for our class.

I am now going to have a look at where you have got up to on tour MyMaths - don't forget to email me if you get really stuck.

I love the personification of Ptolemy's Tweedle-berry Tree

A great book review for Varjak Paw by Aden

21st April

Hello Elm, today I have chosen Dark Violet because today is the Queen's birthday and the colour purple has been associated with royalty, power and wealth for centuries.

Queen Elizabeth II was born Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary on April 21, 1926, in London, to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later known as King George VI), and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. At the time of her birth, most people did not realize Elizabeth would someday become the queen of Great Britain. Can you remember what happened to change this? She is married to Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh - why isn't he King? She has four children - who are they and which one will be our next King/Queen?

She became our Queen in February 1952 and on the 23rd January 2015, (following the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz), she became the oldest reining monarch in the world.

This year reports suggest that she will be celebrating her birthday with her family on Zoom.

On This Day - One pound coins replaced notes in England and Wales in 1983. Originally it was round and there have been many different designs on the revers over the years. This round coin stopped being legal tender in October 2017, having been replaced by the two colour, 12 sided coin that we now use.

I have been delighted to get pictures of some of the work and other activities that you have been up to, including a short video of Aden, see below for some examples - including Aden's video if I can beat the technology!.

Today I have given you some new MyMaths tasks. It is important that you work through these, aiming to take as many attempts as needed to achieve 100% as this is part of your work whilst you cannot actually come into school. There are five tasks and it is useful if you go through the lesson first. I will give feedback as you complete them but if you get really stuck, then please email for more help.

Your Fantasy Island project should be completed ready to bring into school when school re-opens, but it is lovely when you send me your work as either documents or pictures, and when you do I will try to send feedback as I can't really mark as usual at the moment.

Year 6, you should be coming to the end of your grammar booklet and arithmetic and again, keep them safe so that you can bring them in later. By now you should have also finished the English comprehension "If - " and I have posted the answers below. This week you should work on Theseus's Adventures on page 24.

Year 5, thank you for the book reviews so far. This week please review your favourite book that you have ever read - or had read to you. This could be a recent read or a favourite from stories when you were younger. You should give your reasons for choosing this book as part of or in addition to your review.

Make sure that you dedicate a piece of time each day to your school work so that it doesn't build up, and so you don't get out of practice for when we all get back to school properly.

Be kind to your family, everybody will find this difficult at different times. Finally I think today's google has something for everyone.

Year 6 comprehension answers - "If - "

Fae's amazing Birthday Cake - I think it looks a little bit like her cam-box design, what do you think?

Aden's amazing keepy uppy skills

Still image for this video

20th April

Good morning Elm, today I am going Strong Blue.

On This Day - BBC Two was launched in 1964. The channel was scheduled to begin at 7:20pm, showing an evening of light entertainment, culminating with a fireworks display. However, at around 6:45pm a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre, and indeed much of west London, to lose all power. BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. At 10:00pm, programming was officially postponed until the following morning. By 11:00am on 21st April, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, therefore Play School was the first programme to be shown officially on the channel. The launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was then successfully shown that evening, albeit with minor changes.

Well what a strange day, you are all at home while I am in school with a very different "class". Please make sure that you look at the outstanding work on your MyMaths as I will be setting new tasks tomorrow. Again, your aim should be to achieve 100% and that you should have as many attempts as you need to get this - please ask if you are completely stuck. Also tomorrow I will post the answers to the English Comprehension "If - " for Year 6 and will hope that Year 5 have completed their book review for Varjak Paw.

This is your last week to complete your Fantasy Island Project, which you should then keep safe so that you have it ready to bring into school once we return. In the meantime, any work or pictures of work that you send me, I will give you feedback via email - it is also lovely to share your work here on our class page. Next week you will be getting your new project.

I hope you are all well and are looking after your grown-ups.

17th April

Hi Elm, today I have gone with Dark Violet which I think is my favourite.

On This Day - At midnight in 1949, 26 Irish counties officially left the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushered in the Republic of Ireland. In 1969, the age at which a person was eligible to vote in Britain was lowered from 21 to 18. Many now believe it should be lowered further to 16, what do you think?

Have you noticed the Google over the last few days as they have continued to recognise and thank groups of key workers?

Can you think of who Google should say thank-you to next?

Today George has sent me some pictures of the amazing model that he has built of his Fantasy Island. There seems to be so much going on although I am not sure whether the crabs are sharing an ice-cream or passing an Olympic style torch? I am looking forward to finding out more about it.

I hope you are all getting on well with some school work as well as enjoying the sunshine. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing more of your pictures.

Stay safe

George's amazing Fantasy Island

16th April

Hello Elm and Happy Birthday Charlie, today I have gone with Pumkin especially for you. This is our second lockdown birthday so I am sure you would all again like to join in with a round of virtual Happy Birthday To You.

On This Day - In 1912, American Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel. She took off from Dover, en route to Calais, France and made the flight in 59 minutes, landing about 25 miles from Calais, on a beach.

Today, Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old war veteran from Bedfordshire, completed his walk of 100 laps of his garden, with the aid of a walking frame, before his 100th birthday on 30th April. As he completed the last of the 25-metre laps on this morning with the Yorkshire Regiment providing a guard of honour, he told BBC Breakfast: 'I'm feeling fine'. His original aim when he started last week, was to raise £1000 for the NHS, however, he smashed his target within days and his Just Giving page currently stands at over £13,000,000.

There have been calls for the veteran to receive a knighthood, and JustGiving said it was the largest amount ever raised on its platform.

I hope you are all keeping well, but are also making time for your school work. Many of you are now making more of an effort to get that 100% for your MyMaths tasks that I have set, in fact I can see that the current record is 13 attempts. Don't forget that you can go back to tasks set in previous weeks through the scores tab. Year 6, you should also be working on your grammar and arithmetic and I will post the answers to the English comprehension "If -" on page 22 next week. Year 5, you should have finished reading Varjak Paw and be completing a book review for it. Also you should be continuing with your Fantasy Island project.

Don't forget to be kind to each other

15th April

Hello Elm and Happy Birthday Fae, today I have gone with Pale Red (isn't that called pink?) especially for you. Having a lockdown birthday is very strange so I am sure you would all like to join in with a round of virtual Happy Birthday To You.

On This Day - Dr Samuel Johnson's dictionary 'A Dictionary of the English Language' was first published, in London, in 1755. It contained explanations and meanings for 40,000 different words and had taken him almost 9 years to compile, although he had claimed he could finish it in three. He was paid the sum of 1,500 guineas, equivalent to about £230,000 in today's money.

Today I have had some lovely pictures - see below - from Scarlett and Ptolemy. Scarlett, I can see that you have worked really hard cooking for your family, I am sure they were really happy with the results. Ptolemy I really enjoyed reading your project so far, now I can see the relevance of the little house clue a few days ago. I am wondering whether your island is close to Mauritius, as previously it has been thought that that was the only place where these birds were ever found.

A few of you have already been on this weeks MyMaths, well done. Don't forget that if you haven't yet scored 100% on previous tasks, you can go back and try again through your scores tab - nobody has yet achieved 100% on all tasks set so far. If you want me to have a look at previous weeks tasks or give you help or hints then please email me - . This is also where you can send me pictures and documents for your Fantasy Island project.

Hope you are all staying safe and are being kind to all of your family

Scarlett has been busy cooking for her family

Gnomeon Island looks and sounds fascinating Ptolemy

14th April

Hi Elm, today I am going Saturated Blue because it looks like it might rain again here.

On This Day - In 1912, just four day after the launch for its maiden (first) voyage, the British built luxury liner Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic shortly before midnight, and sank in the early hours of the next morning. 1500 passengers and crew were killed. The first cordless telephone, capable of operating up to 600 feet from base, was introduced in 1983 - imagine this is before mobile phone and it wasn't that long ago! It was made by Fidelity and British Telecom and sold for £170.

Well done to everyone who is now persevering to get 100% on a MyMaths task - the record number of attempts so far is 11. I have given you three new tasks again this week but of course you can return to previous tasks through the "scores" tab to improve further - no one has yet scored 100% on all tasks set since we closed. Also, if you are finding any question tricky, you can go through the lesson or you can email me.

It would be lovely to see some more pictures of your Treasure Island Project or of other things you have been up to. Scarlett has made some birdfeeders out of milk bottles - great recycling - hopefully she will send us some pictures of bird on them once she has them set up in the garden.

Have a good day and be kind to each other

Scarlett has made some lovely birdfeeders

13th April

Hi Elm, Strong Red today.

On This Day - Richard Trevithick, the Cornish engineer, was born in 1771. The son of a mining captain, he performed poorly in school, but went on to be an early pioneer in steam-powered rail. Trevithick built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive, called the 'Coalbrookdale Locomotive' in 1802. He also built road locomotives including 'the Puffing Devil'. It was one of the world's first steam powered road vehicles to carry passengers.

Today is Easter Monday.Easter Monday is a bank holiday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland. The tradition of having a holiday on the Monday after Easter stems from the medieval festival of Hocktide. This was a two day festival on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter, originating in the eleventh century. For many people, it is a welcome day off to enjoy the spring weather, watch or take part in sport or work on their garden or home improvements. In some places, there are egg rolling competitions, Easter bonnet parades, displays of traditional Morris dancing fairs or special sports matches.

Today is also a good day to make sure that you have completed last weeks MyMaths - remember to complete a task you should score 100% - as I will be setting new tasks tomorrow.

Have a good day.

12th April

Hello Elm, I thought that todays colour should be carrot, for the Easter bunny! I hope you are all enjoying some chocolate today - I certainly am.

On This Day - The Union Flag became the official flag of Britain in 1606. It combined the flags of St. George (England) and St. Andrew (Scotland). As Wales was not a Kingdom but a Principality it could not be included on the flag. In 1801 the cross of St. Patrick (Ireland) was incorporated to create the flag that has been flown ever since. The only time the Union Flag is officially called the Union Jack is when it is being flown at sea. The “jack” part comes from a jack being another name for a national maritime flag flown at the head of a ship.

Today is Easter Sunday. Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary. It is usually celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon following the Vernal or Spring Equinox on March 21st. This can be any Sunday between March 22nd and April 25th. It is the most sacred of all the Christian holidays or celebrations.

Easter Sunday marks Jesus's resurrection. After Jesus was crucified on the Friday his body was taken down from the cross and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance. On Sunday Mary Magdalene and some of Jesus's disciples visited the tomb. They found the stone had been moved and that Jesus's body had gone. Jesus was seen later that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people. His followers realised that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Christians call this the resurrection.

Christians believe that Jesus' resurrection or coming alive shows that death is not the end of everything. Many go to church to thank God for Jesus' life. Church bells are rung and churches are decorated with flowers such as white lilies which are associated with Easter. The colours in the church change to white or gold which are thought to be the best colours.

There are many customs associated with Easter Day which involve eggs. Eggs were always thought to be special even before Jesus was born. It is because they are associated with new life when the chick breaks from the egg. After Jesus had risen from the dead it was easy to think of eggs as a sign of new life. So eggs have always been part of celebrations at Easter.

In many countries children are given hard boiled eggs and it is also a custom for children to decorate these by painting or dyeing them in bright colours. In 1873 J.S. Fry & Sons of England introduced the first chocolate Easter egg in Britain. Manufacturing their first Easter egg in 1875, Cadbury created the modern chocolate Easter egg after developing a pure cocoa butter that could be moulded into smooth shapes. In Western cultures, the giving of chocolate eggs is now commonplace, with 80 million Easter eggs sold in the UK alone.

11th April

Good morning Elm, today is going to be a Dark Violet sort of day.

On This Day - Britain's first pillar boxes were put up in London in 1855,(a pillar box is a type of free-standing post box). There were six of them, but instead of the now usual red, they were all painted green. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II announced that her children and descendents would bear the surname of Windsor. Can you remember why this was perhaps controversial, especially for Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and what it has now changed to?

Google have continued to recognize and honour those on the front lines. Here are two more from yesterday and Thursday.

Have a good day, stay safe and try to keep your hands off the Easter Eggs until tomorrow.

10th April

Hello Elm, today I am sticking with black, I wonder if you can work out why.

On This Day - Bananas went on display in Thomas Johnson's shop window in London in 1633. This was the first time the fruit had been seen in Britain. In 1912, the British built luxury liner Titanic set sail on its maiden and only voyage, from Berth 44, White Star Line dock, Southampton, bound for New York - little did they know what was about to happen.

Today is Good Friday. It is the Christian holiday commemorating the death of Jesus at Calvary; the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

On this day Jesus was arrested and was tried, in a mock trial. He was handed over to the Roman soldiers to be beaten and flogged with whips. A crown of long, sharp thorns was thrust upon his head. Jesus was forced to carry his own cross outside the city to Skull Hill. He was so weak after the beating that a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was pulled from the crowd and forced to carry Jesus' cross the rest of the way. Jesus was nailed to the cross. Two other criminals were crucified with him, their crosses were on either side of him. A sign above Jesus read "The King of the Jews." This is the reason why the cross is an important sign for Christians today.

Good Friday is a sad day and churches never have flowers or decorations on this day. The church is left dark and there is just a simple cross on the altar. But why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such a dark and bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus? It may be known as Good Friday because Christians believe that Jesus gave up his life for the good of everyone - it is 'good' because the barrier of sin was broken. Alternatively the name may be derived from 'God's Friday' in the same way that good-bye is derived from 'God be with ye'.

Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.

Since the early nineteenth century, before the introduction of bank holidays, Good Friday and Christmas Day were the only two days of leisure which were almost universally granted to working people. Good Friday today is still a public holiday in much of the UK. There are many Good Friday traditions. Some Christians fast (go without food) on Good Friday. This helps them remember the sacrifice Jesus made for them on the day of crucifixion. Some Christians take part in a procession of witness, carrying a cross through the streets and then into church.
Many churches hold a special service. This may be a communion service in the evening or a time of prayer during the day, especially around 3 o'clock as that is about the time of day when Jesus died. Other Churches hold services lasting three hours. They may celebrate the Stations of the Cross, or take part in Passion plays and dramatic readings.

It is traditional to eat warm 'hot cross buns' on Good Friday. Hot Cross Buns with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavours have long been an Easter tradition. The pastry cross on top of the buns symbolises and reminds Christians of the cross that Jesus was killed on.

9th April

Hello all, today I am back to Strong Red for Maundy Thursday.

The Thursday before Easter is known as either Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday and the night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Maundy is derived from the Latin word for "command," and refers to Jesus' commandment to the disciples to "Love one another as I have loved you."

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus' last supper with his disciples. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Christians continue to share bread and wine as part of their worship in church.

In the United Kingdom, it is a tradition for the sovereign to give giving alms to the poor on Maundy Thursday. The Queen distributes special Maundy money to local pensioners in a service which commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper; number of pensioners being determined by the Queens age – one man and one woman for each year in recognition for their contribution to community and to the church. The Maundy Service is held at a different cathedral or abbey each year, Norwich in 1996 and St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds in 2007.

Each recipient of Maundy money is given two small leather purses by The Queen, one red and one white. The first contains a small amount of ordinary coinage which symbolises the Sovereign's gift for food and clothing. The second purse contains Maundy coins up to the value of the Sovereign's age. The coins are legal tender but recipients normally prefer to retain them as a keepsake. 

However, with the Queen in isolation at Windsor, the ceremonial red and white leather purses containing today’s consignments of Royal Maundy money have had to be delivered remotely. Instead of handing them out personally, the Queen has sent them by Royal Mail, the Palace confirmed. A spokesman said the Queen had written to all 188 recipients, adding: “The traditional Maundy money, which had been blessed in the Chapel Royal, was enclosed.”

The Maundy coins, like Scottish banknotes, are legal tender in principle but seldom in practice, their rarity making them more valuable to collectors than to shopkeepers.

On This Day - The explorer Captain Cook arrived in Botany Bay, Australia, in 1770. He was the first European to do so. In 2005 The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles were married, in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor. Can you remember who he is, who his relations are and how he fits into the Royal family tree?

Well done to those of you who are now persevering with your MyMaths, I am beginning to see more attempts at tasks in order to achieve that 100% (yes I can see how many attempts that you have had!). Don't forget to send pictures or documents of your Fantasy Island project even if you haven't finished it all yet - I haven't had many yet. Also pictures of what else you have been up to share on our class page would be good.

Have a good day and don't forget to be kind to your grown-ups.

8th April

Hi Elm, I have chosen Vivid Yellow today as it is lovely and sunny outside.

On This Day - In 1838, the day before his 32nd birthday, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 236 ft steamship Great Western sailed from Bristol on her maiden voyage to New York. The journey took 15 days, half the time of the fastest sailing ship. She became the first steamship to make regular Atlantic crossings.

Also today, have you seen the google? It is the third in a series to recognize and honour many of those on the front lines. Today is to say thank-you to emergency service workers. I have posted the series so far but look out for future ones.

Well done to those of you who have had a first attempt at this weeks MyMaths and a special well done to Shekinah for persevering with one of the tasks - she has already had 7 attempts to get 100%.

Have a great day, but if you are outside, don't get sun-burnt!

7th April

Hello Elm, today I have chosen Carrot as it made me think of the Aldi adverts - have you seen them?

On This Day - In 1827, chemist John Walker of  Stockton on Tees sold the world's first box of 'friction matches' that he had invented the previous year. He charged one shilling for a box of 50 matches. Each box was supplied a piece of sandpaper, folded double, through which the match had to be drawn to ignite it. He named the matches 'Congreves' in honour of the inventor and rocket pioneer, Sir William Congreve.

Today I have been looking at the Fantasy Island project that Tom has sent me so far, please scroll down to see it, and I have been looking at your MyMaths. Well done Calum, you are the first person that has gone back to one of the tasks after I had left feedback and have now got 100%. Please remember that 100% is your target and you should keep trying until you have achieved this. For most tasks there is a lesson if you get stuck, I will leave feedback to give you help/clues/advice (if you can't see it all, try reducing the size or ask and I will email it to you) and if you are still stuck, email me what the problem is and I will try to help. This week I have only given you three new tasks. This is because it is Easter week but also because nobody has completed the MyMaths I have given you so far - remember that you should score 100% for me to consider that it is complete.

For your Fantasy Island project, you have two more weeks after this one.

Year 6 I will post the answers to "Queen Victoria's Diary" shortly and you should now have a go at page 22 "If".

Year 5 Please could you write me a short book review for Vajak Paw. I will post my book review template but you can write it in any format that you wish.

Please try to do some school learning each day as well as other games and activities.

I hope you are all staying safe and well.

Year 6 comprehension answers - Queen Victoria's Diary

Tom's Fantasy Island map and amazing inhabitants.

6th April

Good evening Elm, todays colour is Dark Violet as it is already dark outside. I am a little late today as I have been in school and then had the joys of shopping at Tescos.

On This Day - In 2012, a ban on tobacco displays was announced in England, with other parts of the UK planning similar action to drive down smoking rates. Cigarettes and other products are to be kept below the counter in large shops and supermarkets, while small outlets are exempt until 2015. It seems amazing that even though it was well known that smoking was such a health hazard, this ban didn't happen until after you were all born!

Please make sure that you have had a go at last weeks MyMaths - remember you are aiming to 100% - and I will put some new tasks up for you tomorrow. I thought just three this week as it is technically Easter Holidays. Also don't forget to send pictures of your Fantasy Island project. I can see that Tom has emailed me some so I will share those with you tomorrow.

Take care.

5th April

Today is Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1–9), when palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday. It  marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent.

4th April

Today Google says, "Stay Home. Save Lives : Help Stop Coronavirus!"

Everyone must stay at home to help stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading. Wash your hands with soap and water often to reduce the risk of infection.

(If you look at Google on the internet, you will see that it is animated but I can't work out how to do that on our Class page)

Charlie's Island looks interesting, I am looking forward to hearing more about it

Brendan has been keeping busy on the farm

3rd April

Hello Elm, todays colour is Desaturated Blue - it sounded exciting but I think it is grey really.

On This Day - In 1043, Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England in Winchester Cathedral. He was canonised after his death and was regarded as one of the national saints of England until King Edward III adopted Saint George as patron saint in about 1350.

Perhaps more excitingly it is the anniversary of the ice-cream sundae. The first documented sundae was made in 1892, although it probably even older. This google doodle was released on the 119th anniversary in 2011.

MyMaths and the feedback is continuing to be problematic. As I have said before, in order that you try to continue with some learning I am setting different MyMaths tasks for different children. Some tasks you will find straight forward and might get 100% or nearly 100% on the first try. Some are more tricky and will need more than one attempt. My expectation is that you should persevere to get 100% by attempting the more tricky tasks many times. If you get stuck there is the "Try the lesson" option available. This is a step-by-step teaching guide to help you through. Then I have given feedback. Some of this is too long for you to see, and I am trying to find a better way.

Today George has asked whether I could email him his feedback so that he could see it. This is a great idea, and I am happy to do that for everyone - please just send me an email at

Today is the last day of term - a bit strange I know. Over the next two weeks I will continue to set MyMaths and you should continue with the other materials in your work pack. Also, Year 6, you should be working on the next comprehension - page 20, Queen Victoria's Diary - and Year 5, completing your Jalal skill annotated picture.

Your Treasure Island project should be completed by the end of the first week after the "Easter holidays" - Friday 24th April. If we are not back at school by then (probably not), you will get your next project "We like to be in the Americas" which will focus on the history and geography of the USA.

Please keep sending me your work either as documents or pictures and pictures of other activities that you have been up to.

Have a good weekend, apparently it is going to be a bit warmer again and stay well.

Ptolemy has been teasing me over the last few days with little hints about his Fantasy Island. First he sent this -

              The little creatures

             Alive in your garden,

             Have an island out to sea,

             They only have one food source,

             A Tweedleberry tree...

 Then today his picture of "Little houses for little people..."

2nd April

Hello everyone, I thought a lovely pale blue would be good today.

On This Day - In 1962 new style of pedestrian crossing, the Panda crossing, was launched in London by the Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples. It was a type of signal-controlled pedestrian crossing using a layout similar to a traditional zebra crossing but with triangles painted on the road rather than stripes; the traffic signals consisted of two lamps, red and amber, while the pedestrians had a single signal displaying the word "Cross" when appropriate. It caused confusion among both drivers and pedestrians and was replaced, in 1967, by the X-Way crossing – which itself evolved into the Pelican Crossing that we still use today by 1969.

I do hope you have now managed to find your feedback for your MyMaths. If you can't see all of my comments, please email me and I will email them to you so that you can have another go - remember to aim for 100% rather than just having one go and leaving it. Also I have emailed MyMaths to see if there is a better way to give you the feedback, fingers crossed.

It is lovely to see some of you getting on well with the Fantasy Island project, but some more pictures to share would be good as well as pictures of other things you have been up to.

Finally don't forget that exercise is so important, so try to get outside at least once a day to have a run around.

Stay safe and be kind to everyone in your family.

Also in the score section there is the option to have another try at the task or if you were really stuck there is the practice lesson designed to help you.

1st April

Hello Elm, today I am thinking Dark Emerald as a spring colour for the first day of April.

On This Day - Today is All Fool's Day, also known as Aprils Fools' Day. It is a day for practical jokes and hoaxes, but only until 12 noon - so probably too late now for this year! The earliest recorded association between 1st April and foolishness can be found in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1392).

One of the most famous hoaxes was The spaghetti-tree hoax, a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs programme Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting  spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled".

You might like to design your own April fool and tell me about it - although this really isn't the time to actually carry it out!

Also today William Harvey, the English physician who explained the circulation of blood was born in 1578 and the Royal Air Force, incorporating the Royal Flying Corps. and the Royal Naval Air Service, was formed in 1918.

Well done to all of you who have started this weeks MyMaths, I will add feedback later today, also thank you for the emails and pictures of other work and other activities that you have been up to, I will add a selection each day.

Well as always, be kind and stay safe

Aden has been really busy already today

Great grammar by Daisy-Belle

Anthony has riding his bike for his once a day outside exercise.