Botswana Class Year 5

Botswana Blog Autumn 1

What a wonderful start to Year 5 in Botswana class! All of the children have begun the year with such positive attitudes and we are really proud of how hard they have been working. The transition to Upper school can sometimes feel like a big step but the children in Botswana have showed real resilience and aspiration – proving that they are more than ready to take on the challenge.

Our main topic this term has been focused on ‘The Iron Man’ by Ted Hughes.  

In English, we have written letters; created dramatic freeze-frames; written setting and character descriptions and we have ended our unit by writing alternative resolutions and endings to The Iron Man story.

Here are some examples of our wonderful writing so far:

‘The Iron Man’ has also been our inspiration for our art topic. We have spent some time studying the work of the most recent ‘The Iron Man’ illustrator, Chris Mold. We are just finishing our final pieces ensuring we use all of the skills that we have been learning about in sketching, proportion, watercolour and oil pastels.

Here are photographs of our artwork so far:

We love Maths in Botswana! The children have spent time revisiting their place value knowledge and we have now moved on to learning about decimals. We have been learning about the value of tenths, hundredths and thousandths; rounding decimals and ordering decimal numbers. Goal-free problem solving activites have helped us to apply our mathematics reasoning skills and we have enjoyed lessons in basic arithmetic too.


This week, we were so fortunate to meet Hannah Gold, the author of The Last Bear, The Lost Whale and Finding Bear. We were able to be part of an Upper school assembly where Hannah talked about how she became a writer and where she gets her book ideas from. Three of the children from Botswana were chosen to help her in her presentation!

In music, for the Autumn and Spring term, the children in Botswana are learning to play the flute! We have been so impressed with how well they have all got to grips with making a sound. After only a few weeks of learning, we are already able to read music notes and play some simple tunes; a really promising start to our flute lessons!


This year, we are having two PE sessions on a Tuesday. Botswana class are really enjoying the indoor PE as we are building our skills each week and challenging ourselves. The outdoor multiskills PE sessions are going really well with Mr Stevens. Botswana class are showing that they are brilliant at collaborating and being resilient when they are learning a new skill or team game.


I am really proud of every child in Botswana. They demonstrate our school values every day and they are wonderfully supportive of one another. I can’t wait to see what next term brings!

Spring 2 2023

Botswana Class have had wonderful half-term. In maths, we thoroughly enjoyed working on fractions followed by data analysis. In English, we studied the poem -The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. As groups, we had great fun reading stanzas of the poem in front of the class. We wrote character descriptions for the main characters: Bess, The Highwayman and Tim the Ostler. Finally, we wrote our own ending for the poem – many of the class chose a happier ending! We also celebrated National Science Week this half-term, the children loved investigating what biscuits are best for dunking and learning about several types of scientists. As a class, we are extremely excited to be learning all the Ancient Greeks and Greek mythology.

Spring 1 2023

Botswana have had a fantastic half term settling into our wonderful new classroom. Our class have been swimming on Tuesdays, it has been a delight to see our children gaining their confidence in the water and all are making great progress.

In Maths, we have been learning about fractions; we have successfully discovered how important our multiplication skills are, in order to solve equations. In English, we have written a non-chronological report about natural disasters. We our currently publishing them with lots of detailed diagrams.

Science has been hands-on this half term - with three science experiments! We have been investigating ‘Properties and Changes of Materials’. Firstly, we learnt about different materials and their properties - solid, gas, and liquid. Then we investigated dissolving, separating mixtures and what irreversible changes occurred. It was lovely to hear at parents’ evening how many eager scientists from Botswana Class had gone home and continued to investigate properties and changes of materials!

December 2022

Botswana class have had a really busy half-term. We have been working hard on improving presentation and have demonstrated our school value of aspiration in doing so. You can see how well we are doing with our presentation in the photographs of our most recent writing wall work. We are very proud of everyone.

In English, we have been studying newspapers and learning how to effectively write a newspaper report. As a whole class, we wrote a report based on the Wizard of Oz at the moment that the cyclone came towards Dorothy's home. We then used our new skills to write our own newspaper report about Milford Junior school being closed. We used role-play and hot-seating to interview pupils, teachers and pretend members of the public. We turned these interview notes into eyewitness quotes for our reports. There are definitely some budding news reporters in our class!


This half-term in maths, we have been looking at factors and products, square numbers, multiplication and division. We have had an extra focus on improvement in layout and presentation and we have completed some goal-free maths. Here we are working collaboratively during our goal-free lesson. The school was chilly so we kept our coats on but it didn’t prevent us from working hard!

In the lead up to Armistice day on the 11th November, we completed some Remembrance Day artwork. The Flander's Fields poem by John McCrae was our inspiration.

We also finished our final piece of Iron man art. We really do have such talented artists in Botswana- just look at the quality of our artwork!

For the children in Botswana who went to Mill on the Brue, they all had an incredible time. They really made us proud as they displayed our school values of aspiration, collaboration and resilience whilst they were away. Many of the children overcame fears and learned to be more independent in their organisational skills. Some of the activities included the zip wire, canoeing, assault course, the Leap of Faith, tunnelling and a night walk. I'm sure the amount of mud that they brought home was evidence enough that they had a great time! 

During the time that the Mill on the Brue trip was happening, the children that stayed at school had a fun week completing art projects; designing a new front cover for the Wizard of Oz book; making their own Top Trump cards and playing games collaboratively.


Thank you to everyone for participating in Children in Need and Christmas Jumper day. The children all looked fantastic and the donation to a worthwhile cause is much appreciated too.


As a class, we are all looking forward to heading back to the Milford Junior school site in January; we are very excited to see our new Botswana classroom. However, before that, we are very much looking forward to a really well-deserved and wonderful Christmas break


Botswana class have been reading The Iron Man - Ted Hughes. From reading the story as a class, we were able to create our own story based on similar events.


 In art, we have begun to compare and contrast the two different illustrations of the Iron Man book. We carefully sketched each illustration; we are going to be painting them soon. 


In science, we have been learning about our solar system - we had great fun in the playground learning all about how shadows occur and change throughout the day.


We also had a great day of PHSE, we even learnt some relaxing breathing techniques to help us relax. 

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