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All about chocolate

As we look forward to Easter this week has been filled with chocolatey fun!

We began the week by reading a story about where chocolate comes from, Mr Bunny’s Chocolate factory. The story suggested that chickens eat chocolate and then lay chocolate eggs. We didn’t think that this was right so we looked at some non-fiction books and watched videos to help us find out the truth. We learnt that chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are grown all over the world.

We even spotted the Fairtrade logo on the packaging of some chocolate bars and knew that this meant the cocoa bean farmers were being paid a fair wage for their work.

Of course our next job was to sample some chocolate: white, milk and dark. We spoke about the differences between each of these chocolates and thought of some great words to describe the taste and texture.

“I like it because it is super sweet!”

“This is really gooey in my mouth”

“Its soft, its melting!”

Next we voted for our favourite chocolate and the scores were very close, but…white chocolate was voted the best chocolate by Onyx class. Which chocolate do you prefer?

This week we have also seen some amazing entries for the Prince Edward egg decorating competition. These are the entries for Onyx class and our three very proud winners!

Finally we have been enjoying the lovely weather this week and decided to take our Maths learning outdoors. Here we used the tyres, water stands and stones to create a part-whole frame.

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What comes from an egg?

What an egg-citing week!

This week our classroom has been filled with eggs for us to explore. We have been interested in finding out what animals hatch out of eggs. After looking at lots of non-fiction books we wrote a list of animals that hatch out of eggs.

Spiders, bees, turtles, ducks, snakes, crocodiles and fish.

Next we voted for our favourite animal  – Turtles!

We shared facts that we already knew about turtles. Did you know…

They swim underwater.

They live in the ocean.

They lay eggs.

We also thought of some questions that we would like to find out the answers to…

What do they eat?

Why do they have a shell?

Where do they live?

What is a baby turtle called?

We decided that we could find out information about turtles by looking at non-fiction books. These are books that tell us information and facts. Did you know that you can use the contents page to find the information you are looking for? We also used the internet to search for answers and watch videos. Once our brains were filled with turtle facts we worked together to create a poster.

Do you like it? We worked together as a class to segment the sounds in the words and some of our friends wrote the words.

With all this learning about eggs this week and Easter coming very soon, I wonder what to egg-spect in our classroom next week…

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Jack and the Beanstalk

Last week the children in Onyx celebrated the start of Spring. 


A special envelope addressed from Jack was delivered to the children. The parcel included some different sizes, colours and types of beans. We sorted the beans and seeds and discussed what they were and what might grow from them. 


Next we decided to plant the magic beans that Jack gave us to see if we could grow our own beanstalk. 
Here are the instructions: 


1. Put some soil in a pot

2. Put the seed into the pot

3. Cover with more soil 

4. Water the seed and make sure you leave it in sunlight


We worked together to build a greenhouse to grow our plants and over the next few weeks we will observe the plants to see if they grow. We know that we need to keep them warm, give them water and leave them in the sunlight so that they can make food. Did you know that flowers move their heads towards the sunlight? We watched a video of a sunflower wobbling its head to find the sun and thought it looked very funny! 

Building our greenhouse


Here is some more fun learning from our classroom last week: 

Lets vote:  Which plant will grow the tallest? 


Sunflower or Runner bean

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Challenge – International Day of Hapiness

The international Day of Happiness is on 20th March in 2021, although you could always decide to declare ‘Our Home’s Day of Happiness’ or ‘Our School’s Day of Happiness’ on any day you like! This year in particular, the theme is ‘Keep calm, Stay wise, Be kind’. So here’s a challenge which will help you to develop your essential life skill of staying positive, in three ways.

Keep Calm: There are lots of things outside our control, but we need to remember how to manage how these things make us feel. Let’s remember to take some time out, to breathe slowly and deeply and focus on what really matters so that when we’re ready, we can respond in the best way.

Stay Wise: Making wise choices helps everyone. Let’s choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same. That’s wise choices around our behaviour, the food we eat, the activities we do, the way we spend our time.

Be Kind: We’re all in this together, even when we’re not able to be together as much as we’d like. Let’s stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need. By being positive and happy ourselves, it can help others to feel the same way too.

You will need:

  • Paper, ruler, pencil, scissors
  • Colouring pencils, pens, etc.

Step 1: Draw and cut out an equilateral triangle (where all the sides are the same length). Fold one point across the triangle until it touches the middle of the opposite line. Repeat with each of the three points until you have a smaller triangle.

Step 2: Unfold the corners of paper (you should now have a small triangle in the centre, surrounded by three more small triangles). Turn the paper over and on outside corners, write ‘Be kind’, ‘Keep calm’ and ‘Stay wise’ (one on each triangle).

Step 3: Turn your paper back over again. Draw a picture of yourself in the centre triangle (or stick a photo) where you are happy. Maybe it’s when you’re playing sports or dancing? Write ‘A Happy Me’ at the top of your picture.

Step 4: In each of the three blank triangles, think of things that you could do to help you to ‘Be kind’, ‘Keep calm’, and ‘Stay wise’ and write or draw them. Have a look at our examples on the next few pages for some ideas. Then, next time you need to feel a bit happier, grab your happiness triangles and have a go at some of your ideas!

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Home Learning – Fairtrade Fortnight!

Last week we learned all about our food and where it comes from! We discovered that some of our favourite foods travel a very long way to get to us from many different countries all around the world!

We watched a video about Pablo the banana and we thought that the bannana farmers worked very hard to grow the bananas that we all love to eat! But some farmers don’t get a fair wage – this means that they aren’t paid very much money for all of their hard work! That isn’t fair is it? Often the farmers don’t get enough money to buy food or medicine for their families!

Pablo and his banana friends became superheroes, they told everyone about the farmers and now most are paid a fair wage but some still don’t get paid fairly.

Watch the video again here –  https://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/teaching-resources/pablo-the-super-banana/ 

Can you remember what this mark is?

This is the Fairtrade Mark! If you see this on your food, you know the farmers who grew your food where paid a fair wage!

We decided to design and make some superheroes to help Pablo spread the information because we want everyone to be paid a fair wage.

Then we had a look through her kitchen cupboards to see if we could find some food with the fairtrade mark on them!

We have also been thinking about how we can stop wasting food and look after the environment this week! Well done to all of the children who have tried so hard designing their own pictures of their favourite meals that they wouldn’t want to see go to waste!

This week we have also enjoyed learning about shapes. We enjoyed carrying out some investigations with 3D shapes involving a special home made ramp and lots of different shaped items. The children first made a ramp and then predicated and tested which 3D shapes rolled and which ones slid down the ramp! The children came up with some very interesting observations!

What a busy week it has been! Lots of play and learning, and even a very special Birthday Celebration!

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World Book Day!

This year we have been celebrating World Book Day with a difference! The children were invited to dress up as their favourite book character or to come to school or ZOOM sessions in their pyjamas for a special story. Lots of children even brought their favourite teddies to cuddle up for a special cosy story time together.

Even the teachers have been getting involved in the World Book Day fun too! This year we have teamed up to give all of the children a tricky challenge! The teachers each told part of a story – but everyone has got on a disguise! Can you guess the secret identity of the masked readers?

If you get stuck, here are some clues to help you!

Did you work out who the story tellers are? Maybe these clues will help you?

 Clues
1I used to work upstairs but now I work downstairs.
I usually wear my hair in a bun.
I have been to Harry Potter studios many times!
2I’m surrounded by the smallest children.
Making fires is one of my favourite things to do.
I am part of the eco squad.
3I love doughnuts
I work in a class that has a blue gemstone.
My name nearly rhymes with awesome.
4I work upstairs.
I am not married.
I sometimes wear glasses.
5My birthday was the day before World Book Day 2021. 
My hair and eye colour match. 
I have worked in two year groups, both of which are even numbers
6My classroom is near the yellow staircase.
My surname is a synonym of minuscule.
I like Harry Potter.  
7I am not very tall.
I could be teaching anywhere in school.
My first name is Amy.
8I wear glasses
I do not wear lipstick
I can eat a Mr Kipling Bakewell Tart in one bite
9I usually have my hair tied up.
I spend Wednesdays in the studio.
The gem my class is named after is green!
10I work upstairs.
My hair isn’t brown.
My surname rhymes with sale.
11I have a cat called Bella
I support Sheffield United
I work upstairs
12I drive a blue car. 
I like to sing.
Elephants are my favourite animal.
13You can find me in an upstairs classroom. 
My eyes aren’t brown. 
At the moment I look a bit like a beach ball!
14 My last name rhymes with rice.  
I’m one of the newest teachers at our school.
My lanyard is a rainbow
15My class’s name has 3 letters.
I can see everybody coming down the blue stairs from my classroom. 
My surname is the opposite of wrong.
16I work downstairs 
My hair is the same colour as candyfloss 
If my class are observant they will have noticed the wolf in my zooms all week! 
17I work with some of youngest children in school.
I’m not from around here!
My classroom is on the left.
18I have dark hair.
I taught lots of you when you were very small.
My surname starts with a H.
19My classroom is somewhere in the middle of the KS2 corridor.
My surname begins with a vowel.
My hair is not blonde.
20I work downstairs.
I have brown hair.
There are some girls in school with the same name as my classroom.
21I did 2 years teaching downstairs before I moved upstairs
My maiden name rhymes with another word for HUG.
You often see me wearing sandals (even when it is cold and rainy!)
22I teach near to Mrs Ainsley, Miss Hall and Miss French’s offices.
I love children helping me in Take 10.
My hair is not black.
23I wear glasses, I have big feet and I am very tall.
I used to work in Nurture, but now you can find me just about anywhere!
I LOVE singing with children and slip a song into the day wherever I can!
24I have been a teacher at Prince Edward for a really long time. 
My favourite football team is Sheffield United.
I love going for walks in the countryside.
25I used to teach in Topaz class when Y6 were only babies! 
I wear glasses 
My office is next door to Miss French

Note for Parents: 

Please be aware that we have checked all the links on emails that have been sent to check they are suitable for your child’s age range. They may however contain links to other sites that we have not checked. If you don’t have the appropriate controls in place your child may be taken to content which is not suitable if they click on the links.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/parental-controls/

This article explains how to put Parental Controls in place to limit screen time, limit what each family member can see and how to block inappropriate content. We would also advise that all your Privacy settings are in place with your Broadband provider to ensure your children remain safe when online. If you want any more information about this, please contact your Broadband provider or check their website.

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Food Waste Action week – Get Involved!

Did you know that we throw away millions of tonnes of food every year? What a waste!

Lots of this food and other rubbish ends up dumped in landfill sites like this one!

It looks nasty and smelly doesn’t it! Not only that, as the food rots in landfill sites, it makes gasses which are bad for the environment.

Have you ever helped your grown up to cook pasta or rice and you made a bit more than you need by accident? You probably put the leftovers in the bin. Some foods, like fruit and vegetables, are wasted before they even get to us or the shops just because they are a bit of a funny shape or colour! Just like this carrot, or is it a hand??

This year Food Waste Action Week is taking place between Monday 1st March – Sunday 7th March! We need your help to tell people how they can stop wasting so much food to protect the environment!

Competition Time!

This Year IPL is running a special competition for children in schools all across the UK. We would love you to participate in this challenge by drawing your favourite meal that you wouldn’t want to go to waste! 

Want to take part? Please send copies or photographs of your drawings of your favourite meal with your name, age and the name of your school to our class email by Wednesday 3rd March.

On the 5th March, the winner from local schools will be announced! Winners will be posted on their social media platforms, a blog on our website and posted within industry news. In addition, they will donate free food waste recycling caddies, boxes and/or wheeled bins to the winning primary schools across the UK to encourage recycling!

Have fun everyone. We can’t wait to see your drawings!

If you would like any more information or some ideas on how to waste less food have a look at the website below:https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53932811

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Pancake Day Celebrations and Signs of Spring !

This week the children have enjoyed sharing their experiences of pancake day, and you can never eat too many pancakes can you?

We learned all about Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day). It happens on a different day every year to mark the start of the Christian festival of Lent. Lent is a time of sacrifice and often Christian children give things up – like chocolate. Families used to give up things like eggs, flour and sugar, so they would make pancakes the day before lent to use up all of the ingredients in their cupboards!
Now people do all sorts of things to celebrate pancake day: make pancakes, have pancake flipping competitions and even pancake races.

We enjoyed watching a video of the pancake races and the children at school even decided to have their very own pancake race!


After reading the story “Mr Wolfs Pancakes” together we decided to make a shopping list of ingredients. Then lots of the children followed a recipe with their grown ups to make their own pancakes at home!

Which do you think is the best topping? They all look delicious!

It’s been great to get outside in the sun this week and some of the children have even spotted some signs that Spring is on it’s way: new flowers growing, animals and minibeasts around and some lovely sunshine! It’s been lovely to see the fun and learning the children have been doing outside! Some children have been planting flowers and growing seeds, caring for the new buds, minibeast hunting and having fun mark making with big and small brushes outside!

Making a Cress Head monster!

Well done everyone for another fabulous week of learning at home! As always, it is lovely to see you enjoying your learning and sharing your play with us! The children have also been completing some number challenges involving ordering numbers and singing nursery rhymes, getting crafty and working hard on independent skills like getting dressed by themselves. Well done everyone!

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Challenge – It’s Freezing!

We’re in the middle of winter now, so expect some freezing weather, brrrrrrr! This month we should have some weather which is cold enough for you to create some fantastic ice art. You don’t need anything special to create them – just things you can find around your home, in a garden or even a local park. So, here’s a challenge to test your creativity skills – how many different or unusual objects can you include? Can you create a theme in your frozen art? Perhaps the objects could all be the same shape, the same colour, or totally random?

Hang your icy mobile outside in your garden on a tree or near the window and watch as it gradually begins to melt. Once you’ve mastered the technique, try using different shapes and patterns to make a longer icy mobile! Make your icy mobile on a really frosty night to make sure it freezes! You can always use the freezer if it’s not cold enough outside instead!

You will need:

  • Saucers, lids, plastic bowls or pastry cutters
  • A tray or plate
  • String
  • A range of objects

Step 1: Ask an adult to help you choose a few different objects to freeze. They could be items from home or you could collect some natural objects (leaves are great) on a daily walk?

Step 2: Place 3 or 4 jam jar lids, little trays or pastry cutter shapes on a tray or plate. Arrange the shapes into a row on the tray, leaving small gaps in between.

Step 3: Place your chosen items one in the middle of each shape or lid. Take a piece of string and lay it over the shapes to link them together, making sure that the string goes right into the shapes allowing the string to freeze into each one. Carefully fill each shape with water.

Step 4: If it’s below freezing outside, put the tray on a flat surface outdoors and leave overnight if possible (remember you can use the freezer if it’s not chilly enough!).

Step 5: Once your icy mobile has frozen, gently remove the ice from the shapes (you may need to use a little bit of warm water to ease them out – ask an adult to help you as this might be a little tricky!)

Step 6: Why not hang your frozen artwork somewhere, so that you and your family can take a closer look? Outside is perfect, especially on a cold

day so it won’t melt too quickly. Take a close look – what can you see in the ice shapes as well as your object?

Step 7: Why not have another go? You could try adding a drop of paint or food colouring to the water you add to each object. Can you create a rainbow?

Don’t forget to share your photos via tapestry or emial to earn a special certificate and university credits!

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Week 6 of Home Learning

Another week of home learning is finished and all of the Onyx class teachers could not be more proud of the children this lockdown! You have all had such amazing positive attitudes, you’ve tried so hard and you have joined in so enthusiastically with our learning together. Although we miss each other lots, it has been great to see you all on ZOOMS and sharing photos of your play with us!

It has been lovely to see your play and learning happening at home! You are learning so many skills when you choose what to play with and how do things: problems solving, creating, exploring, making, using your imagination and loads more! Have a look at some of the amazing things children have been doing at home and in school this week. Lots of baking, cooking, painting, drawing, exploring outside and playing with cars and playdough! The children have enjoyed some maths games too!

This week we have also been learning about taking care of our planet! On Tuesday we read the story of ‘Messy Magpie’. This story shows us what will happen to our natural local environment if people leave their rubbish outside and don’t put it in the bin! What would happen to the plants? What would happen to the animals? What would it look like? What would it smell like?

We also learned about what happens to our rubbish and the different kinds of materials that can be recycled – do you know what can be recycled? Do you recycle things in your house? How do you recycle?

Then the children worked together as a team to make our very own Onyx class rap to tell people what to do with rubbish!

Put your rubbish in the bin

Because the animals might eat it!

Cus animals might get germs from it,

It’s bad to throw rubbish on the floor, 

Because it’s bad for the environment!

What if a net got stuck on a Whales tale!

If I see someone throwing rubbish on the floor,

I will remind someone and tell them it’s not good!

You can recycle some cardboard,

Some newspaper and some cups what you don’t need,

Plastic, cardboard, paper, cans and one more, metal!

Then you put them in a little box,

A little rubbish box,

In a little truck and it goes somewhere else!

In school, after listening to the story about Morris the magpie picking up people’s rubbish, the children decided to create a poster! They all contributed their ideas on how to look after the Earth and the animals that live on it. First of all we looked at some pictures of animals getting killed by plastic bags and bottles, it made us really sad. We discussed what recycling was and how we can all do it. Miss Morris showed us a pencil case recycled out of an old car tyre and Miss Deakin showed us a bag you can reuse everyday and not throw in the bin!

The children also did a great job recycling rubbish in their own homes! They sorted all of their rubbish into piles of recycling: paper, metal and plastic, some children even took a trip to the recycing centre!

Well done Everyone! We hope that you have a wonderful holiday and have lots of fun with your families!