Yangtze Class Day 8


Wednesday 1st April 2020

Hello everybody,


We have finally received guidance from the Department for Education today about how home-schooling days should be organised. They recommend all children complete five hour-long sessions per day to include handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar, reading comprehension, mental maths, arithmetic, problem solving, creative writing and science. Cookery, physical activity and art and craft projects do not count towards the five-hour total. In addition, the Department of Health recommend all children are given two large bowlfuls of spinach three times a day to improve their immune systems. So, in line with the new guidance, I have made some changes to the timetable and the usual work I set you. Be resilient: don’t give up.

9am: Don’t log on to Joe Wicks – there’s no time for this. Have your first helping of spinach, then it’s Guided Reading. You should still have some of the comprehension tasks I set you.

9.30: Maths – Ratios.

Today you will be learning to use the ratio symbol. Look at the Learning objective, work your way through the powerpoint, and – because of the new government guidelines – there should be plenty of time to do the challenges too. If you have run out of time, cancel breaktime and just work through.

Maths Ratio Day 3 1 April 2020

Ratio Day 3 Powerpoint

10.30: Break. Perhaps a few more spinach leaves. Please note, breaktime has been shortened to five minutes. Perhaps do one of Mr Taylor’s two-minute challenges. Or do two of them.

10.35: Writing


Today’s task is to complete your story. In this part of the story, your character will solve the problem you described in the first paragraph (perhaps they will rescue someone, or escape from something), then they will survive the rest of the storm. At the end of the story, they might describe what the town looks like following the storm and their feelings about this – are they in despair, or are they looking forward with grim determination? It often helps to finish a story if there is a link at the end to something that happened earlier in the story – such as in Alwyn’s when Father Miles is mentioned again.

When you have finished your stories, please send them to me. You can do this by taking a photo of your work and emailing it to me, or – if you have completed it on a computer – just send me the text. I’m really looking forward to reading them.

12.00: Lunchtime. Make sure the two bowls of spinach you have are BIG bowls, or they won’t give your immune system the boost it needs.

1pm: Handwriting. Copy the first chapter of the book you are reading into your purple book in your neatest cursive handwriting. (If you are reading Dork Diaries, Tom Gates, or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, then copy pages 1-50).

2pm: Spelling: Learn the common exception words for Years 5/6 – these can be found online. If you have time left over, translate them into French and learn these words.

3pm: Nearly there. Grammar and Punctuation. Spend the last hour of the day working through the grammar and punctuation tasks set in your home-schooling booklet.

4pm: Now would be a good time to have your last two bowls of spinach.


Thank you once again to everyone who sent me photographs of the things they’ve been up to at home and examples of the work they’ve been doing. If you haven’t sent me anything yet, I would really like to know how you’ve been getting on, so please get back to me.

E. has been planting lettuces, tomatoes, spring onion, cucumber, courgette and peas ready for the growing season. Fantastic, but you better sow a few rows of spinach too, E!

F. used plastic counters to help with the ratios work. This is a really helpful way of making it all make sense. You could use pasta, or coins, or anything else really.

And, I thought you would like to see Percy’s handwashing poster: you have to listen to the Hulk!


Why did the golfer wear two pairs of trousers?

In case he got a hole in one!


April fools!

Yangtze Class Tue 31st March


Hello again one and all,

I hope you managed to get back into the swing of things yesterday. Thank you once again to all of you who shared work with me. I received some amazing opening paragraphs – I have included Eliza’s below. And Alwyn has sent me her completed story, which I really enjoyed reading: it is very well researched, the ending ties in really well to the beginning, and she has used her sentence skills very effectively. Well done, Alwyn!

And, in addition to all the school work, you’ve been busy in other ways too. Here is I–a with the Spitfire she made, and P. with one of her two new bantams next to the home she has made for them.

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And here is E’s cat getting in the way of her science experiment! But it looks as though it worked as it should. Did anyone make a colour wheel spinner? What did you notice when you span it round really quickly?



Today’s task is to write the flashback for your story. This part of the story will let the reader know how your character ended up in the perilous situation you described in the first paragraph. Look at the powerpoint to think about ways in which a flashback is introduced, and ways in which a flashback ends. Remember to continue to use your sentence skills throughout.

Eliza’s introduction

The wind was cutting into my face like a knife. Strangely, all the animals were quiet. Chunks of cliff tumbled into the sea like boulders- only the sea was alive! Tremendous and pelting, huge and strong, the waves dragged the ships into their worst nightmare. Then I saw it. My father coughing and spluttering, swimming to the shore. At that very moment a piece of cliff fell into the sea, so I could not get to him. Should I leave him? Salty spray stung my eyes and the rain drenched me to the bone. Thunder and lightning crashed down and a boat exploded into millions of pieces. I shivered from the cold, but also as I was frightened. My heart pounded in my chest so loudly that I thought that everyone could hear it. The waves took my father in the distance and, in one breath, he disappeared under the clear, glassy surface. People ran trying to save loved ones but it was no good. The roar of the thunder echoed around me as I splashed in the puddles trying to look at the ship wreck. Then it all happened. Clinging on with only one hand, I finally managed to pull myself up on the crumbling cliff. Crying, I ran to my mother who was leaving- trying to survive.

Here is Alwyn’s excellent story. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading it yourself. (You might need to zoom in.)

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Today we continue with our work on ratios. There is another sheet for you to work through with a variety of challenges. As ever, if you can’t print the page out, you can easily work in your books by drawing the sets of objects with colouring pencils.

Today, you will be continuing to write ‘for every ____ there are _____’ sentences, but you will also look at the link between these statements and fractions.


Why are there no painkillers in the jungle?

Because parrots eat ‘em all!

If you have any better ones, send them to me…. pleeeaaase!

Yangtze Class Mon 30th March


Hello everyone

I hope you enjoyed your weekends.

Happy birthday to Zac – we all send you our best wishes for a great day.

Happy Birthday to Keith too: we hope you have a great day. Don’t eat too much cake!

Percy has sent pictures of Daffodil and Biff: he says that they are in good health and that they have eaten nearly all the grass in the garden. Thank you for looking after them Percy.




Today’s task is to write the introduction to the Great Storm recount. Use the powerpoint first to think about the language features that will bring your story to life. Remember, you are starting at the most dramatic point to really engage your reader.

Aim to write a paragraph of – at least – half a page so that you can set the scene and describe the danger your character is in.


In maths this week, we will be doing some work on ratio and I have prepared a sheet for you to work through. If you can’t print the page out, you can easily work in your books by drawing the sets of objects with colouring pencils.

Today, you will be writing ‘For every ___ there are ____’ sentences. Eg: “For every 2 girls in Yangtze Class, there is 1 boy.”


On Friday, I asked you to explore the colour of light. If your experiment didn’t work, here is a link with a way of trying it again. You need a glass of water, a piece of white paper and the light from a mobile phone. https://www.tate.org.uk/kids/make/performance/make-rainbow


In French there are two things to look at. The first is a quick revision game – can you remember the names of the rooms in a house. Match the right name to the right room.

The second thing will need a little research on the internet, or use a French-English dictionary if you have one. Try to match the words for things you would find on the outside of a house to the picture.


Why is Cinderella so bad at football?

Because she always runs away from the ball.

Yangtze Class 27th March


27th March 2020

Wow! I have been inundated today with photos, work samples and messages that show me just how busy you have been all week. Well done all. Here are a few examples of all the things you have been getting up to.

H, G and L have been busy making banana bread. Scrumptious! C:\Users\jeremy.leicester\Downloads\IMG_20200326_092512.jpg

I know that many more of you have been helping with the cooking too – well done!

M has learnt how to use a sewing machine. Here she is modelling the skirt she made:



S has been helping upcycle a table (doesn’t the finished thing look fantastic!) and looking after her hungry chickens.

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F has completed an amazing project on the planets, including a brilliant mnemonic to remember the names. See if you can use it to work out the names of the planets: My Very Excellent Mum Just Sent Us Nachos!



Daniel has done some great paintings – he recommends doing them outside and I’m sure you can see why.

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And I know you’ve all been working hard on your home-schooling booklets and the Dunwich Storm project.

I’m recommending two tasks for today to complement the work you do in your home-school booklet.


Today’s task is to plan your recount in detail using a boxed-up planning template. (If you don’t have access to a printer, just make one of these in your purple book.)

You can use the powerpoint to help you plan your story, of follow these steps (you could use a story map to do this part of the planning):

  1. First of all, think about the order of events in the order they will happen. There should be a bit of an introduction where we get to know the characters. It should be before the storm and it should give us a little picture of what life is like in Dunwich before the storm. Perhaps your character has been given a chore to do such as to go to the harbour to buy fish, or to collect a parcel of silk that has just arrived at the merchant’s house from overseas.
  2. Then think about the storm starting, and how this builds. How will the people of Dunwich react at the beginning? What will they do to prepare?
  3. As the storm builds you need to think about the problem – this is the most dramatic point of the story. Something disastrous happens, or is about to happen.
  4. Now think about the resolution – how does the problem get solved. How does your character escape from the situation they find themselves in?
  5. Then think about how your story will end. Perhaps your character will describe all the changes that the storm has brought.

Once you know what your story is about, use the boxed up plan to order the paragraphs. When you write the story tomorrow, I would like you to start with the most dramatic moment (number 3), then go back to the start using a flashback (numbers 1 and 2), before finishing the story (numbers 4 and 5).

Plan each paragraph in as much detail as you can. You can use the work you did yesterday to help with the description.


For your science, I would like you to investigate light and colour by following the powerpoint instructions and investigations and then by making a colour wheel. You probably won’t have a triangular prism at home, but you can use a glass of water, a piece of white paper and light from the sun to get the same effect. If you have a printer, you can print out the worksheet. If not, copy the bits you need into your book.

I hope you enjoy finding out what colour light is!

Spinning Color Wheel | Activity | Education.com

Yangtze Class Thu 26th March

Day 4

Hello all, and I hope you are all keeping busy and positive. Thank you for the photos of all the things you are up to. Here is E making some delicious flapjacks.

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George has written a song as his entry to the Handwashing Challenge. What we need now is some film of all of you singing it as you wash your hands. Send them to me by email, and we’ll post them too!

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And Zara has been teaching herself how to draw animals – I’m sure you’ll agree they’re pretty cute!

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Thank you too if you have messaged me in any other way – it is nice to hear who is involved and keeping busy.


For your guided reading today, I would like you to read your own book and copy down any examples you find of simile, metaphor or personification. You will be working on this later for your Great Storm writing.

Simile: these compare things to something else using ‘like’ or ‘as ….. as.’

The night was like a dark blanket covering the sky.

Metaphor: these link images by saying one thing is another thing.

The night is a dark blanket covering the sky.

Personification: this technique creates images by giving objects human characteristics

Fear knocked on the door.

The waves greedily bit chunks off the cliff and swallowed whole buildings.


I hope you enjoyed researching your characters and thinking about who your character would be for the Great Storm recount.

Today, I would like you to gather descriptive words and phrases that you can use in your recount. I would like you to use ‘imagery,’ which means using simile, metaphor and personification to create a descriptive image of the storm in your reader’s mind.

Work your way through this powerpoint, gathering your imagery and writing your descriptive phrases and sentences in your books.

Image result for famous paintings of storms

Handy hint: always try to expand on what you have written. For example, don’t be satisfied with writing, “The sea was a cat.” Instead, write “The sea was a hissing, wild cat with claws that snatched at the people huddled on the shore.”


Have you heard that Audible is free for children for as long as schools remain closed! This is a great resource: it has hundreds of books to listen to.


Finally. Each year, children in Yangtze Class raise money to buy all the children in Year 6 a leaver’s hoodie. Normally we do the Grow a Pound challenge and sell things in school, but that won’t be possible this year. If you have any ideas for ways in which we could raise the money needed, please email them back to me and we will see how we can go about doing it. Ideas so far include a sponsored reading challenge, or a sponsored exercise challenge, but I’m sure you’ll have some creative ideas too.


Why couldn’t the pony sing a lullaby?

She was a little hoarse.

Yangtze Class Wed 25th March

Day 3

Hello Yangtze Class

I’ve really enjoyed seeing photos of you busy at home and the work you are doing. I am putting examples onto the Yangtze pages of the website, which you can find here: http://www.fressingfield.suffolk.sch.uk/category/pupil-area/yangtze-class/

This is Percy’s solution to the ‘Fitted’ nrich challenge – well done Percy, move your name up the rocket!

And here is Keith’s excellent handwashing poster.

Did anyone else have a go at the handwashing challenge? Remember to email me your work and we’ll add it to this page.


Over the next few days in English, I would like to work on planning and writing a recount (with a flashback) about the Great Storm of Dunwich in 1286. Over a few days, I would like you to research and create a character, think about how the storm would have affected your character, then write your story (starting with the most dramatic point then flashing back to fill in the gaps).

For your English lesson today, I would like you to use the attached sheet to think about who your character is. If you don’t have a printer, simply copy the headings into your book.

Start by watching this video of Storm Ophelia hitting the towns of Cornwall in 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GfNdL0E5T8 The cliffs in Cornwall are made of rock. Imagine what it would have been like for the people of Dunwich as the storms hit their fragile, sandy cliffs.

In order to plan who your character is, use the websites below to research and think about the kind of people that would have lived and worked in Dunwich at the time of the storm. Your character could be:

  • A boy who helps his fisherman father at the docks – how will they cope if their boat is wrecked or the harbour is blocked by shingle?
  • The daughter of a rich merchant who lives in a house overlooking the market square – she might be proud, but perhaps she will be rescued by someone she would ordinarily look down on.
  • A pilgrim in Dunwich on their way to Jerusalem – perhaps he has had something important stolen from him.
  • A girl who helps her mother run a market stall – perhaps her house will be swept away and she will have to escape.
  • An orphan who is looked after by the monks in one of the monasteries – perhaps one that is too close to the cliff.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, research what medieval life would have been like in Dunwich. This website is aimed at slightly older children, but it has good information to take notes from:https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zm4mn39/revision/1 or the Duckster’s site here:https://www.ducksters.com/history/middle_ages/daily_life_in_the_middle_ages.php

Once you have some ideas, use the sheet to add detail to your character.


Today, you might also want to have a go at this online safety work which has been created by CEOP – the Thinkyouknow website.



Finally. Each year, children in Yangtze Class raise money to buy all the children in Year 6 a leaver’s hoodie. Normally we do the Grow a Pound challenge and sell things in school, but that won’t be possible this year. If you have any ideas for ways in which we could raise the money needed, please email them back to me and we will see how we can go about doing it. Ideas so far include a sponsored reading challenge, or a sponsored exercise challenge, but I’m sure you’ll have some creative ideas too.

Have a good day. 

Send me a picture of your work if you would like me to comment.

Mr Leicester

PS: What did the science book say to the maths book?

Wow – you’ve got problems.

Yangtze Class Tue 24th March


Hello all,

Well done to all of you who settled down to the first day of home schooling. I know it’s not easy to get used to a different routine, so well done.  Thank you Keith for your work – no detention required, all was as it should be. 😉 Well done.

Tomorrow, there is a chance for you to win £500: Medicspot has launched a ‘Hand Wash Challenge’ and they want you to get involved. They’re asking primary school children to share their creative ideas to help encourage frequent hand washing. You could make a poster, film a video, record a song, do a science experiment or write a poem about handwashing. It’s up to you.

The top entry will receive £500 for their primary school and 10 runner-ups will receive £100. For more details, look at the website here www.medicspot.co.uk/handwash 

Please send me copies of your entries – I’d love to see them!

And the other thing – Joe Wicks starts every day at 9am with a half-hour PE lesson which you can join in with here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz0go1pTda8&feature=emb_title Over 1 million children joined in yesterday – you could be the one million and oneth!

Have a good day.

Mr L

I thought you’d like to see this picture of P ready to settle down to work yesterday morning. Love the tidy desk, the timetable posted on the cupboard,  the blank timetable ready to fill in: move up the rocket P!

Yangtze Class Mon 23rd March


Dear children

I hope you had a good weekend and that you were able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. 

I’m dropping you a quick note to wish you a good start tomorrow – the first day of school closure. 

Try to get your day off to a good start: get up, have your brekkie, brush your teeth and get dressed. Then try to follow the timetable. 

For your reading, you could try one of the reading comprehensions as a starter – the FA Cup one looks interesting. 

There are lots of maths tasks in the home learning pack, but, as an alternative, I am attaching two tasks from the nrich website that are linked to the work on area and volume we did last week.

The first is called ‘Fitted’ and is a bit like a puzzle – use squared paper if you have it, or measure your squares carefully. If you aren’t sure how to get going, you could look at how Anna got started, or look at the nrich website here https://nrich.maths.org/1854

The alternative task is more of a challenge and you might need a parent to explain how the grid works. The task is to compare the surface area (the total area of all 6 faces on a cuboid), with the volume and – once you have – to arrange them onto a grid. If you manage to do it, why not send me a picture of the finished grid? Good luck!

For your literacy, try some of the SPAG tasks in the home learning book.

Tomorrow afternoon for French, you could revise the rooms in a house. There is a powerpoint to help you, and a worksheet to complete. If you can’t print it off, you could draw the rooms.

And, finally, have a look at some of the suggested activities in the resource pack and choose something else to do.

I hope you have a good day. I will be checking my emails from time to time tomorrow, and I hope to get these activities on to the website tomorrow too.

All the best. 

Mr Leicester

Hollowford Day 4

Activities days are all about trying new things and challenging yourself to do just a little bit more, and today was certainly a day of challenges. As one of the boys from Laxfield said, “You can’t be brave if you’re not scared.” And today, we have had lots of very brave children.

Scroll through the photos below and you will see Charles overcoming his nerves and climbing to the top of the high wires, then balancing precariously on the top of the wobbly ‘Leap of Faith’ pole. It is no mean feat – up there the ground seems very far away, the wind whistles past your ears, your heart pounds in your chest and your legs feel like jelly. Why we put children through this terrifying ordeal is a bit of a mystery really, but, my goodness they made us feel proud for doing so, and hopefully learnt a small lesson about what they are capable of along the way. Grace, Alyssa, Megan and Jessica (who discovered her inner-guinea-pig the moment she left the ground and squealed her way through all of the challenges) were amongst those who managed the Leap of Faith despite feeling terrified beforehand. Well done them. Others don’t make it to the top of the pole, but nonetheless are able to push themselves to the limit of their comfort zone: step forward Lewis who balanced his way to the very top of the wobbly pole before dangling his way to the bottom. Others still seem to have no fear at all as they climb the ropes: it seems as if Billy, Dylan and Sam were born to it – they’re obviously able to channel their inner apes! However they managed it, we are proud of them all.

This morning, Miss Hunt’s group with Lydia and Rosanna, and Miss Cragoe’s group, with Evie, Kira and Zoe each built a raft. Both teachers were tremendously impressed with their groups’ teamwork and all the children enjoyed the races. Well done Evie, Kira and Zoe who won the dash around the island in the middle and back again. Incredibly, neither team’s boat sank, so neither of them got wet – but, of course, they all celebrated by jumping in.

Evie’s name was also mentioned this afternoon as someone who is fearless – she had been weaselling and attempted every challenge. The bruises on her knees and shins are testament to the amount of crawling and squeezing she had done.

This morning Jessica, Isaac, Jacob and Megan went down Bagshawe Cavern for some squishing and squeezing of their own. I was so impressed with Isaac and Jessica who were not keen, but who battled their nerves and went through every tiny hole and tunnel. Amazing. Whilst down there, we all turned out our lights for about ten minutes and sat in total darkness – an eerie experience. We also took the opportunity to conduct the polo experiment. Did you know that when you snap a polo in two, it emits a tiny flash of light? We do, because with our eyes adjusted to the pitch black, we saw the mini blue flash.

This evening has been the room inspections, and Fressingfield won both the boys and girls prizes for the tidiest rooms – top bananas! Then, the highlight of the whole week –Hollowford’s Got Talent. We had a rich and varied line up this year, with singing, comedy, land-swimming, gymnastics, karate and dance. Well done Megan who came second with her friend Charlie with a lovely gymnastics routine, and well done all who competed including Jacob, Lydia, Rosanna, Kira and Jessica.

It has been a fantastic week, and the activities are just one part of the greater challenge – that of coming so far away from home for so long. We have had quite a few homesick children this week who have battled on and enjoyed themselves despite missing home. This has got much easier as the week has gone on of course, but we are all now looking forward to our own beds, lots of cuddles with mums and dads and a relaxing weekend. I hope when they reflect on their week they will feel proud of all their achievements. Mrs Stansfeld and I certainly are.


Hollowford – Day 3

We have been really lucky with the weather, which seems to be changing – the forecast for wet weather today and storms tomorrow seems to have changed, so today we needed hats and suncream for our walks around Castleton and up Mam Tor.

This morning was spent pottering around the beautiful village of Castleton. We first made our way to the entrance to Peak Cavern to have a look at one of the country’s biggest cave entrances and learnt that it used to be a rope-making factory. Then we walked to Peveril Castle to spend an hour exploring the ruins and admiring the view. The entrance to the castle is spectacular – the path winds up a very steep hill and is an exhausting climb. Once at the top, we took in the keep, the scenery on all sides and relaxed in the sunshine. Those with cameras took photos of the views, and we tried to spot the other pupils who were climbing Mam Tor in the morning. Isaac, Rosanna, Jessica, Evie and Billy enjoyed rolling down the slopes inside the bailey before we set off once again for the most important stop of the week – the souvenir and sweet shops.

I am always impressed by how many gifts can be bought for £10 and I have seen that there are precious stones, magnets, special pencils, fridge magnets and more that will be finding their way back to homes in Suffolk very shortly. Best of all though is the old-fashioned sweet shop, where 100g of bon-bons, rhubarb and custards, liquorice allsorts and other treats can be bought in stripy paper bags. Lovely.

After lunch, we set out on our own epic journey up Mam Tor with our guide, Frag. He was a fount of knowledge about the geology and history of the area and soon all the children were finding and identifying limestone, sandstone and shale. Rosanna found a beautiful piece of quartz too; and some found tiny pieces of coal that must have been dropped by travellers long ago. He was very good at bringing the landscape and scenery to life. We learnt that the path we were taking had been used for thousands of years because it led from the shelter of Peak Cavern, to the hill enclosure on Mam Tor. We had a lovely time: Billy, closely followed by Sam, led us both up and down; Isaac and Jacob acted as ornithologists, pointing out buzzards and other birds of prey; Jessica and Rosanna spotted a heron standing in a stream before it flew away; Zoe found a dung beetle that she stroked before it scuttled off; Megan was in charge of good manners and wished all the other walkers a cheery, “Good afternoon!” as we passed them by; Evie was photographer-in-chief, capturing the landscape in all its glory; Dylan, Grace, Alyssa, Lydia, Lewis and Kira kept me company chatting about everything and anything; and Charles kept on walking determinedly despite a little blister on each heel.

It was very blowy at the top, so we took the opportunity to have a little dance in the breeze before Frag taught us about the burial chamber and fortifications. We took more photos, pulled some funny faces and took even more, then headed back down at record speed, arriving exhausted at the centre just in time for tea.

This evening has been quiz night. Well done to Billy and Dylan, Sam and Jacob whose teams both finished in first place.

Tomorrow it’s back to the activities – caving, high-ropes, weaselling and raft-building, then the (in)famous Hollowford’s Got Talent. Then there’s only one more sleep before we come home – doesn’t it go quickly?