Year 6 Residential – Hilltop Day 2

The children slept soundly despite the rain last night and woke up not unreasonably early. By 8am they were ready for the first of three huge cooked meals – no-one here ever goes hungry!  

A quick game of pool and table football was squeezed in by some before the first activity of the day, which, for Group 1 was the Air Jump. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there to observe it, but I do know that the children (Ella, Jayden, Thomas, Imogen, Calum and Ethan) did brilliantly (photos of this will follow tomorrow). Ella, despite claiming she is terrified of heights, jumped from the very highest level – 8 metres – as did Kieran. Others overcame their nerves to push themselves higher and higher. When I saw them all again at lunchtime, they were buzzing.  

Meanwhile, Group 2 set out to learn about survival in the wild with a lesson on Bushcraft Skills. The first task was to gather kindling, one-finger sticks and two-finger sticks as fuel for our fires. The children learnt that the best wood to collect to get the fire started is silver birch as it is full of oils. A flint and steel was used to get the fire started and, once it was burning well, everyone was given marshmallows to toast. Kettles of water were heated up next as we kept adding more and more sticks to feed the flames. Once the water was boiling, we had cups of hot chocolate. Next we learnt how to make a lean-to shelter using two Y-sticks and lots of other poles. Great armfuls of fallen pine needles were used to make the shelter cosy and waterproof – although not entirely so, as Ivy found to her cost when a bucket of water was thrown onto it to simulate a storm. Her spot didn’t seem to be very waterproof at all.  

The afternoon saw the start of two new adventures, which for Group 1 was an epic hike called The Journey. The route took them into Sheringham (where they stopped for an ice-cream at a shop with an enormous range of flavours), along the beach, up the hill to the clifftop and back to the centre. The walk took almost the entire three hours allotted to it, with very few breaks for breathers. For some, this was a real challenge, and they arrived back at the centre dusty, exhausted – as if they had just trekked across the Himalayas – but ultimately satisfied and proud of themselves. For others, it was really just a walk in the park – literally. 

Group 2’s afternoon was spent climbing, balancing, wobbling, jumping and dangling – lots of dangling – many metres in the air. The High Ropes are fantastic at Hilltop and the leaders were amazing – kind, supportive, encouraging and brilliant at helping the children meet and then exceed the targets they set themselves. The photos speak for themselves, but special mention must go to Aniek, Ivy and Autumn who completed the lean-back challenge on the top of the wobbly telegraph pole, to Ruby who conquered both the catwalk and the wobbly log, to Lexi, Bailey and Shawn who started with the incredibly high acrobat’s leap onto the trapeze bar and Lily, who also completed the wobbly lean-back trust challenge on the top of a high pole with two children from Laxfield whom she had only met the day before. So, that’s the whole group who need special mention really. 

This evening we enjoyed a swim in the pool for half an hour and a quick game of rounders, before the highlight of the day – the Room Inspections. Somewhat predictably, the standard of tidiness was somewhat different between the girls and the boys – and I don’t think I need to say who’s was the best… the girls, obviously. However, both groups of boys had made efforts and neither of their rooms was actually squalid. The girls though, were at a different level: bunches of flowers had been picked to decorate the windowsills, a little shrine of teddies had been arranged, everyone’s things were beautifully ordered and organised, and a welcoming committee were on hand to welcome the Room Inspectors in. So well done Fressingfield girls for coming in a very creditable third place. 

And now they are all in bed asleep and I’ve been really pleased with the way they have settled themselves.  

I’m afraid I wasn’t able to get photos of Group 1’s activities today, so will need to upload those tomorrow. I’m sorry if you can’t see your child, but please rest assured they are enjoying themselves immensely.  

Mr L 

Year 6 Residential Hilltop Day 1 – 18th May 2022

We have been blessed with gorgeous weather and a stunning location in which to enjoy it. As I write, the sounds of Jayden’s piano playing fill the room – we’ve had Never Gonna Give You Up, and the theme from Incanto – and a group of boys have been standing around him singing along! Earlier Lily regaled us, before moving over to the table football to play Thomas, Calum and Ella. Imogen and Ruby have been playing jenga and Ethan is calmly colouring. It’s all good fun – if a little loud for this time in the evening. It’s supposed to be ‘calm down’ time. At least they are all showered and the temperature is cooling down a little. Soon it will be time for teeth brushing and settling down to bed at the end of a very busy day.

And it’s been great. The Hilltop motto is Challenge By Choice and I think every child has felt challenged today and is proud of their achievements. For Ella and Imogen is was on the high ropes – and when you’re not a fan of being high up, they present a real challenge. Given three goes, they each pushed themselves to get further and further up the sloping beam. Similarly, Ethan says his proudest moment of the day was getting to the top of the sloping beam and coming back six steps along the beam above. Calum went even further, making it to the end of the second beam before going back to the middle so he could leap back off. For Thomas, Jayden and Kieran, who – it turns out – are absolutely fearless, the challenge was walking across the high wires holding onto the dangly ropes. Thomas even managed the leap of faith. At the end of the session, Jayden and Thomas climbed the ladder to the top, then the hand and foot holds on the side of the telegraph pole to the tiny platform at the top. Once there, they held onto each other’s hands and leaned back, trusting each other not to let go. Then, on the count of three, they let go, fell backwards and dangled in their harnesses back to the ground.

Meanwhile, Group 2 were learning about the Air Jump – a 4 meter high bag of air they had to launch themselves onto from various heights. All managed the first jump to the encouraging shouts from their friends and then kept returning for more and more attempts. If they wanted to, and if the instructor was happy with their technique (leap out, then land bum first with hands crossed across the chest like an Egyptian mummy), they were able to progress onto the higher levels. Ruby progressed to the 5m jump, and Aniek, Autumn, Lily, Shawn and Ivy onto the 7m jump and, at the end of the session, Bailey even managed the 8m jump. Well done all. Group 2’s afternoon ended with the assault course; a mad dash through tunnels, under cargo nets, over and under hurdles, through tyre racks and, finally, across the crocodile infested swamp. All survived without losing any fingers or toes and Shawn managed it, despite having grazed both knees and one elbow within 20 minutes of arriving here.

This evening, before the piano playing, the children enjoyed a big game of Mad Hatters – a giant game of manhunt with silly hats. Lexi, in a pause in the game, entertained Mrs Tooley and me with some of her favourite jokes, which I thought you might want to hear:

Why was the party on the Moon so awful?

Because there was no atmosphere.

How does the Moon cut his hair?

Eclipse it!


Why is dark spelt with a k not a c?

Because you can’t c in the dark!

So, I’ve just done my rounds and everyone is settled. After everything we’ve squeezed into the day, it’s no surprise they’re all ready for bed. But this is a Year 6 Residential first – for the first year ever, the children all took themselves off to bed before we announced it was bedtime! So, I think I’ll do the same.

Ruby Attends Children’s Parliament As Part Of COP26

We offer our congratulations to Ruby who was nominated to participate in the Children’s Parliament as part of the lead up to COP26 on Friday 28th October. Ruby is keenly interested in politics and, as a passionate environmental campaigner, is also a member of our Eco Committee. She was nominated to sit as the member for North Ipswich and Mid Suffolk (the seat currently held by Dr Daniel Poulter MP). The event was due to be hosted by Sir David Ames MP, so started with a tribute to his work helping establish the Children’s Parliament. An introduction was also made by both Prime Minister Johnson, and the Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle. The formal debate was wide-ranging and the contributions made by the members (who ranged in age from 7 to 13) were extremely informed, passionate and impressive. A vote was taken on which issues were the most pressing for young people and the Parliament voted that the need to reduce the use of carbon was their prime concern – this will now be relayed to representatives attending the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow at COP26. 

If you would like to watch the debate in full, it can be accessed here: 

Well done Ruby. 

Football Tournament

Well done to the 12 Year 5 and 6 children who took part in the Football Tournament in Hartismere. The whole team really enjoyed themselves and showed admirable resilience, commitment and sportsmanship despite finishing ‘second’ in each of their games! As we kept on telling ourselves—it’s the taking part that counts!

Cross-Country Success at Mellis

Well done Nancy, Sonny and Liam who came second, fourth and fifth in their year groups. The three will now proceed to the Cross-Country County Finals which takes place in the Spring. Indeed, well done to all the children who raced around the (very) long course on Mellis Common last Friday. All the children in Yangtze and Congo classes took part and great resilience and determination was shown by all. Some opted to take part in the fun run (which was also over a long-distance) and others took part in the competitive course, which was slightly longer again.

In a galaxy far, far away…… Star Warts!

The Key Stage 2 Summer Production was back with an explosion of song, dancing and some very dubious jokes called: Star Warts – The Umpire Strikes Back! The play told the story of a group of intrepid, albeit slightly hapless, space travellers; Luke Warmwater, Princess Nebula, Zak Solo, Toby Wonky Nosebleed, Daft Ada and the droids Qwerty and RU12, and their battles against the evil Umpire and his side-kick Spocky McSpock. Needless to say, it featured a cast of every TV sci-fi hero or villain from the last fifty years expertly played by the children of Yangtze Class.  

As a result of the Covid bubbles, the play didn’t include the whole of KS2 this year, just the children in Yangtze Class. But they rose to the challenge admirably, taking on individual solos, learning pages of lines and – in more than one case – taking on extra roles so we could cover the cast list. In fact, the children were responsible for putting on all aspects of this play: each dance was expertly choreographed by Annie Rose, Ruby, Ivy, Imogen, Saffron, Ella and Lily who then went on to teach each dance to the rest of the class; the scenery and props were created as part of our art lessons; and even the publicity materials were created by the class.  

We are extremely grateful to Mrs Foster for playing the piano with us once again. She makes such a huge contribution of her time and efforts to help us learn, practise and perfect the songs and we really couldn’t do it without her. Thank you also to our parents for the wonderful costumes and for laughing along with our jokes.  

Well done Yangtze Class,  you were out-of-this-world!

YANGTZE CLASS Monday 20th July – Wednesday 22nd July 2020



Well done mums, dads and carers for your fantastic efforts during the 70 school days of lockdown. You have done a wonderful job in very difficult circumstances. I have really enjoyed following you and your children’s progress over the last few months and receiving your children’s work. The range of fun activities you have shared and your support, dedication, determination and inventiveness has been inspiring and a pleasure to follow. Your children have continued to make progress despite not being in school and seem to have enjoyed themselves too. Well done, and thank you for doing my job for me!


The Star of the Week is Alwyn – once again. You have worked really hard throughout the lock-down, and kept up the effort right to the end of term. I was really pleased with your book review this week for Swallows and Amazons which is one of my favourite books. And you also completed all the other tasks set. You seem to have really enjoyed the history unit this term, but you have produced good quality work in all subjects. Well done.


On Monday it is the Year 6s last day in school. There will be a special assembly in the afternoon with all the usual silly gifts, certificates and other treats. The assembly is for all the children in Year 6 and one parent from each family. We are hoping to meet on the school field and for the other children in school to join us for a socially distant, spread-out leavers’ do. We might even sing, One more step along the world I go…

As I am not able to be there, I would just like to use this opportunity to wish all the Year 6s the best of luck for the future. It has been the most unusual final year in primary school, but they have all coped magnificently with the challenges of lock-down, home-learning and – for many – the return to school. I think that, if they can cope with lockdown, they will be able to cope with anything. It has been a great pleasure to be their teacher and I will miss them. As I have said in their reports, I look forward to hearing how they are doing from time to time.


We have had a wonderful two weeks with the children who will be in Yangtze Class from September; it was great to be able to welcome you back to school and see you having so much fun with your friends. I’m looking forward to being your teacher in September and getting together as a whole class at last.

If you are in Year 5 but weren’t able to come into school over the last two weeks, it would be lovely if you were able to complete the hand-print task (see below) as this will form a display in our new classroom in September.


As you know, it’s the end of term on Wednesday (Whoop! Whoop!), and things are always a little different during the final few days in school. So, I have made some suggestions which you are free to follow.


The children in school really enjoyed making these ‘All about me’ handprints this week. Simply use a pencil to draw around your hand and fill it with patterns. Then, use colouring felt tips to colour in your patterns. Once you have finished, use a black felt tip to go back over the lines to (as Lily said), “Make the colours pop.” Do the same with your border. Lastly, fill the empty white space with as much information about yourself as you can think of. You can include pets, favourite foods, targets for next year, things you want to do as an adult, places you have been or want to visit, friends, family, pet hates, etc. etc. etc. Bring it in on the first day in September and we’ll add it to our display. We used A4 paper.


As we weren’t able to hold a sports day this year, why not run your own? Set up an obstacle course, hold a dressing-up race, run a three-legged race, an egg-and-spoon race, a hopping race, a two-legged jumping race, a wheelbarrow race. You could do some sprints, a long-distance race and you could even try a relay.

How many different sports can you compete in over the course of a day?

I’m sending out a Fitness Bingo game to get you started.


The end of year is always an emotional time, with partings and good-byes, and people heading off in different directions. It’s often difficult to say everything you wanted to say to your friends because of the hustle and bustle of the last day. On top of all this, there are many of your classmates you won’t have seen in a great while, and some whom you might not see again. Why not write an open letter to them all to share your thoughts (an open letter is a letter that anyone can read). You could remind them of a favourite memory, share your thoughts about this strange year, and wish them luck for the future. Send me your letters and we’ll publish them on the school website.


Everyone should know how to cook five favourite meals (at least). These should be the family favourites that everyone enjoys. What would the list be like in your house: spaghetti bolognaise, chicken curry, vegetarian kebabs, pasta splodge? Now would be the perfect time to learn how. Talk to your parents and work out which meal to cook, ensure them that you are responsible enough to be entrusted with the secret family recipe, and get going. Post pictures to me and put them on your blog.


There are millions and billions of crafty websites online, for those who like to make. You can pick up ideas from Pintrest, Youtube and a zillion other places. Why not make something using some of the clothes you’ve grown out of during the lock-down? For example, watch this video for ideas about things you can do with an old pair of jeans


Remember, there’s always the Rube Goldberg competition to take part in. The idea is to make a cracking contraption that can water a plant. In class we talked about watering cans on zip wires, but what ideas do you have?  See last week’s science slides for the competition details.


The local library service are, once again, running the Summer Reading Challenge which I recommend everyone takes part in. This year it is running online – you can find out more here: There are prizes, certificates and great books to read. And frankly, what could be better than sitting in the sun with a good book to read? So, join the Silly Squad and keep your brain active during the long, hot days of summer.


I wish you all a fantastic summer holiday full of rest, fun, activities, family, sunny weather, walks, rides, swims, books, games, play, friends and ice cream. I look forward to seeing some of you in September and I wish the rest of you: “Farewell!”


Why do bananas use suncream?

Because they peel!

What do you get when you mix an elephant and a fish?

Swimming trunks!

Why don’t oysters share their pearls?

Because they’re shellfish!

YANGTZE CLASS Monday 13th July – Friday 17th July 2020



The star of the week is Isla. You have been incredibly busy this week Isla: you baked a German flatbread; solved the mystery of the 52 dead bodies found at Maiden Castle (and found a great photo of Sir Mortimer Wheeler); did some super maths; conducted a fantastic investigation into friction; had another live French lesson with Nanny Cleverley in France (which is a very useful resource to have!); and – on top of all that – you’ve been writing thank you letters for all your birthday presents. Well done Isla – you are our star!



In September, we will be launching an interactive Book Wall where we can post reviews of books we enjoyed, and comment on each other’s choices. To get us started, I would like you to complete a detailed book review. These will be the first to go on the wall. Use the two powerpoints to find out how to write a good book review, and read some good examples on Spaghetti Book Club.


This week there is a mystery to solve on Monday and Tuesday, then a Summer Maths Booklet for the remainder of the term (and the Summer Holidays if you choose!).

This week you’ll be learning about mechanisms that can change the direction of forces, or make a force bigger. I then want you to design a Cracking Contraption. If you like, you can also enter the Rube Goldberg Summer Video Challenge. Read the ppt to find out more.


It’s the end of the unit, so finish your animations and send them in. We’ll find a way to share them all in an online gallery.


It’s the end of the Iron Age and the Romans are thinking about invading Britain. If you were the Emperor Julius Caesar standing on the shores of Kent in AD55, what would you have done?


It’s the Fressingfield Bready Bake Off! It’s time to bake the delicious designs from last week. Remember to take lots of photos and send them into me. You’ll also need to ask your family to review your efforts – they can even dress up as Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood if they like! I hope we don’t have any soggy bottoms!


This week, you’ll be learning how to talk about things you know and things you don’t know how to do. 

Je sais dancer et patiner, mais je ne sais pas jouer du violon.


Why do bananas use suncream?

Because they peel!

What do you get when you mix an elephant and a fish?

Swimming trunks!

Why don’t oysters share their pearls?

Because they’re shellfish!

YANGTZE CLASS Monday 6th July – Friday 10th July 2020 HOMESCHOOLING DAYS 58-62


I think a great many of you would have been extremely hungry if you had to make paper bags for a living. I’m sure it gets faster given practice, but it’s still a fiendishly difficult way to make a living. I was impressed by the children’s answers to the final question in class: How did it make you feel to play this game? They talked about the stress of trying to work quickly, the minimum reward for efforts, how unfair it all seemed, and how lucky they felt not to have to earn their living in this way.

I was very impressed with Eva’s thoughtful, detailed balanced argument that came in last weekend, so I am posting it on the website for you to see. It’s a wonderful piece of writing. Well done Eva.



There is a choice of activity for this week’s literacy. You can either choose to follow the Oak National Academy plans – I have recommended a unit for both Year 5 and Year 6 in the weekly overview, or you can work through your purple workbooks. I will leave it to your parents to decide what a reasonable amount of work is in these.


This week I have planned work using the workbooks. These are different for Year 5 and Year 6, so read the overview for your year before you start. The overview also includes links to videos that can help you. I have also included an extension task for each day if you are either keen, in need of a greater challenge, or both. Friday’s maths is to solve the mystery of the Festival Camping Chaos.

This week you will be investigating friction using a bicycle (or scooter or tricycle) wheel. Please be careful not to hurt your fingers. Your task is to find the best material to make a new set of brakes.   


Over the next two weeks, I would like you to work on your animations using your storyboard to guide you. I hope you have come up with a short story that can be retold using the character you invented a couple of weeks ago. The finished animations should be about a minute long, if you can manage it.


There’s an iron age mystery to solve this week. When archaeologists dug up the hillfort at Maiden Hill in Dorset, they discovered 52 bodies. Your task is to use the evidence to establish what happened to them. I would like a written crime report to be sent to me that describes what the evidence proves.  


This week you will be planning your final loaf. Use the ideas you have researched over the previous few weeks to design a bread for a special occasion. Draw it, label it, write the recipe and gather the resources. Next week will be the Great Fressingfield Bake Off, so you need to be prepared!


En francais, you have two short reading comprehensions to complete, focusing on hobbies.


What do you call a fish without eyes?

A fsh.

Why did the scarecrow win an award?

Because he was outstanding in his field.

Two muffins are baking in an oven. One muffin turns to the other and says, “Phew, is it me or is it getting hot in here?”

The other muffin says, “Aaaaaaghhhh! A talking muffin!”

What did the policeman say to his bellybutton?

You’re under a vest!

Should children be required to attend school through the summer holidays this year?

This is Eva’s fantastic balanced argument that address the issue of whether children should be required to catch up with all the learning lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. She explores the arguments in a balanced, thoughtful and interesting way, elaborating each point and asking questions of her own. Will you agree with her final conclusions? Read to find out.