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Sycamore 5

Welcome to Sycamore 5!
2022 - 2023
Miss Purdy/Miss Wise - Class Teachers
Mrs Shaw/Mrs Williams - Teaching Assistants
Summer 2
Ancient Egypt
To introduce our new theme of ‘Ancient Egypt’, Sycamore 5 became Ancient Egyptian embalmers. After researching the process of mummification, we completed the process on the dearly departed ‘Barbiefiti’ and ‘Tomatokhamun’.
Summer 1
Materials and their Properties
Take One Author - Kwame Alexander
Here are some of our finished designs from our Design and Technology project - Moving Vehicles.
'I really enjoyed this project. I’ve learnt so many new skills.' Gracie.
'I didn’t think I’d be able to do this so am really proud with the results. It has inspired me to think about engineering as a job in the future,' Frankie.
'This was a really fun project. Some of it was tricky but I’m glad I persevered as I loved my car at the end,' Freya.
This half term, Mrs Smith took us out into the wild to teach us some outdoor skills. We learned to use the respect position when approaching an open fire and then created the ‘waffle’ position of wood pieces before using flint and steel to light a fire.  We also used very sharp sheaf knives to whittle sticks and finally rewarded ourselves by toasting marshmallows over the fire. 
To begin our theme of ‘Take One Author’, we wrote and performed these amazing raps (performance poetry) inspired by the American author and poet Kwame Alexander.
Scan the QR code to watch our performances.
Spring 2
Inventions and Industry
To finish off their theme this half term, Sycamore 5 travelled back in time to the Black Country Living Museum to see what life was like for the workers and miners of Victorian Staffordshire and Warwickshire.  They learned how items were cast using different metals and even created their own souvenirs using molten pewter.  They also learned about the hardships and dangers endured by the miners and experienced life ‘down the pit’.  Finally, they explored the streets of a Victorian pit village and saw how people lived in the 1800s where they observed chains being forged in an authentic Victorian blacksmith’s workshop and even visited a Victorian school.
We have enjoyed looking at the work of artist William Morris and then experimenting with block/ relief printing techniques to create our own versions of his famous wallpaper designs using a range of repeated patterns.
To begin our new theme of 'Inventions and Industry', we explored a range of historical evidence and primary sources to make judgements about what Victorian life may have been like. 
Spring 1
Plague and Pestilence
As part of this year’s Number Day, we read the mathematical story ‘Spaghetti Meatballs for All!’ by Marylin Burns and decided to help Mrs Comfort with her seating plan by working collaboratively to investigate area and perimeter.
Number day also consisted of us combining our measuring and mathematical skills with cookery techniques to create some delicious tomato and basil bread.
Sycamore 5 enjoyed mixing science with maths as they investigated the properties of materials by classifying them within Venn diagrams.

'I loved investigating all the different materials and matching them up with their properties,' George.
'It was interesting to see how many ways we could group and classify all the different materials,' Gracie.
To begin our theme of ‘The Black Death’, we were visited by Richard from the History Squad where we learned all about the plague and the Medieval world. Scan the QR code to see more.
We were visited by Dogs Trust who talked to us about dogs and their senses.
We learned:
How dogs use their senses and how we should behave around them.
When it is best to leave dogs alone and give them space.
Knowing safe and kind ways to show dogs that we love and care for them.
Autumn 2
The Solar System
We finished off our ‘Solar System’ theme by creating artwork inspired by the abstract artist Peter Thorpe. We used a range of media including chalk pastels, oil pastels and paint and practised techniques such as splattering, stippling dry brushing and blending. 
There were lots of excited children in Sycamore 5 as they opened up their winter book surprises. Thank you to Team Birchwood for your support with the funding of the books. We will certainly have fun reading them.
Year 5 were lucky to be visited by and experience ‘The Wonderdome’ - an indoor planetarium. Upon entering the spherical construction, they were able to fly through galaxies and visit planets, learning about their unique features and how they orbited around the Sun. They also looked at life on board a space station, how the night and day cycle is created and how humans have explored the moon and launched missions into outer space.
Sycamore 5 took their audience on a journey through space as they delivered their assembly on the theme of the Solar System. The knowledge packed show included facts about the planets and significant historical events and figures. It included rock songs, poetry and lots of Green Screen videos. Well done on a brilliant performance!
Sycamore 5 perfected balances during their Gymnastics lesson.
'Some of the balances were really tricky. I had to trust my partner to support.' George.
Year 5 linked their maths to their topic of ‘The Solar System’ where they worked to calculate the scale of the Solar System and then used this information to ‘scale it down’. They then created their own ‘Solar System’ using toilet paper to represent the distances between the Sun and the planets, and a range of different-sized spherical shapes to show the sizes of the planets.
Last week, Year 5 brought their ‘Space’ topic to life through the use of augmented reality.  They worked alongside Mr Bailey from Animate2Educate who showed them a range of augmented reality apps and resources to investigate the Solar System.  

Please scan the QR code below to see a short video clip with images of the children using these fun apps.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Blast off! This half term, year 5 are taking a journey through space. We will navigate the Solar System to investigate the eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. We will take a look at our Moon and learn about the high-stakes race to be the first to reach it and work scientifically to investigate gravity, and what happens when there is none.
Autumn 1
Marvellous Mechanisms
To finish our theme of Marvellous Mechanisms’, we visited Drayton Manor Park and took part in a scientific workshop where we explored the different forces that affected the rides and conducted experiments about friction, gravity and air resistance using K’Nex. We then took our knowledge into the park where we experienced these forces for real.
'This was the best trip ever!' Seth
'I’ve never been on rides like these before.' D’Vante
'I’m really proud that I tried going on some of the scary rollercoasters.' Frankie
To celebrate ‘National Poetry Day’, we worked with the poet Ash Dickinson and dressed up as our favourite descriptive words. Can you guess what we are?
We have had lots of fun conducting some scientific enquiries to investigate different types of forces including friction, gravity and air resistance.
To kick-start our new theme, we took the plunge into the wild world of rollercoasters! We looked at the forces that make these marvellous machines work including demonstrating centripetal forces. Luckily we all managed to stay dry!
Welcome to Redwood 4!
2021 - 2022
Miss Parkes - Class Teacher
Mrs Williams - Teaching Assistant
Summer 2
Living things and their Habitats
We have been practising our athletics skills in PE in preparation for our sports day! This week we practised passing the baton quickly to our teammates ready for our relay races.

On Monday 6th June, Year 4 took part in an art workshop with Darrell. We have made a start to a project that will be continued by other year groups across school. We can’t wait to see the finished product!

Summer 1
Vikings and Anglo Saxons
In Design and Technology we created some moving pages for our theme about Vikings.  We made lots of different mechanisms after we had predicted and investigated what each one would do.  Then we planned our page, chose the mechanism we wanted to use and then once our pages were finished, we showed year 2 and year 5.  They were impressed!
Arianne, Ava and Max

We had a go at making Leek and Potato soup. We learnt many skills while cooking including: washing and preparing vegetables, the bridge and claw knife techniques and safely using a blender. Most of us liked the taste of the soup and would like to try to make it again. Some children thought they might try making soup with different vegetables.

In Art, we have been exploring Anglo-Saxon brooches and comparing them with more contemporary styles including work from Japanese artist Yayoi Kasuma – known as the ‘princess of polka dots’!

We tried to replicate similar patterns and colours to those we had seen on the Anglo-Saxon brooches. How did we do?

Spring 2
Burps, Bottoms and Bile 
Take One Author - Michael Morpurgo

Three children were selected to visit Atherstone library to share a poem they had written about one of their favourite books, Varjak Paw. They performed with confidence and we were very proud of them.

This half term we have been looking at teeth and digestion in our Science lessons. We have been exploring the different types of teeth we have in our mouths and how we can look after them. We enjoyed trying the disclosing tablet to see which parts of our teeth we had missed when brushing. We ended up with very blue tongues!

Spring 1
Misty Mountain, Winding River
Pine and Redwood class had a wonderful time at Carsington Water on Wednesday. The children learned all about water filtration and carried out their own experiments.    We waded into the river to investigate whether it was a suitable habitat for a vole. The children carried out experiments to calculate the rate of water flow and they also measured the depth and width of the river. The centre staff were really impressed with how knowledgeable our children were about the water cycle and commented on their excellent behaviour. 

At the start of term, Year 4 found Ashley’s backpack on the school field containing lots of things such as photographs, interesting drawings and maps of China and Japan. We used our detective and inference skills to think about why Ashley might have these things in his bag.

A few weeks in, we are now on an adventure through the snowy Himalayas with Ashley and his new friends - a group of yetis!

Autumn 2
Heroes and Villains

Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg, Varjak Paw? Someone from your family or the local firefighters? There are many heroes and heroines, but who do you admire the most?

In autumn 2, we have learnt, sang songs and created dances about infamous villains and heroes. How does it feel to do good and bad things? Which feels best and why? Can you do a good deed that changes the world? These are questions that we have discussed and debated throughout the weeks, and we have explored a range of non-fiction texts about real life heroes, with some taken from the Little People, Big Dreams series. We have also explored fictional heroes and villains in well-known stories such as Varjak Paw by SF Said.

We also had a visit from a theatre group for our Christmas pantomime, where we saw some typical heroes and villains in real life!

Well done Redwood class - you have worked really hard this half term! 

Autumn 1
Emperors and Empires
Welcome to Maple 3!
2020 - 2021
Mr Bright - Class Teacher
Mrs Calloway - Teaching Assistant
Summer 2

We all had a golden ticket delivered to our doors from Mr Willy Wonka to take a journey around his world famous chocolate factory. We have followed the journey of Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Jo as they ventured through the factory. After finding out about all the trouble the other children got into, we wrote our own chapter for the story. Mr Willy Wonka asked for our help after Augustus Gloop got stuck up the pipe. After a lot of research, we decided he should turn his factory into a smoothie factory to ensure he was helping keep the children healthy. We even made and tasted our own smoothies.


Summer 1
Rocks, Relics and Rumbles

In Rocks, Relics and Rumbles, the children learnt about the different layers of the Earth, including plate tectonics and their potential effects on the Earth's surface. They investigated different types of rocks to learn about their uses and properties. They also investigated soil and fossils, including learning about the work of Mary Anning. They had the opportunity to use atlases to learn about the lines of latitude and longitude when locating the ring of fire. They learnt about volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and the long and short-term consequences that these can have.


Spring 2
Gods and Mortals
Discover a fantastical world full of mythical creatures and legendary heroes. Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis and Zeus reign almighty from Mount Olympus, watching mere mortals on dusty Athenian streets. Meet Theseus, the hero, and Helen of Troy, the beautiful face that launched a thousand ships. Explore the terrains of Greece, where in pure blue skies, the Sun scorches waxen wings and melts the fortunes of Icarus and Daedalus. Then decide your own fate when a mysterious box is found and stirs your curious mind.
Spring 1
Mighty Metals

Hogarth and The Iron Man from our key text ‘The Iron Man’ are our guides through our Mighty Metals topic, as we learn all about different metals and how they are used. We look at magnetism and how this works, along with focusing our scientific investigations on different forces on Earth.

Below we have a range of photos from our theme and our lock down learning.



Autumn 2
Through the Ages
We go back, way back, 2.5 million years back in time, reading what life was like for people of the Stone Age with the help of author Terry Deary and his range of books “Stone Age Tales”. We learn about exciting discoveries, particularly during the Neolithic period, about changes in diet, tools, art and housing as we venture through to the Bronze Age and Iron Age, making comparisons to how we live today.
Autumn 1
Road Trip to the USA

We join Larry on his adventures as he gets lost within the USA. We locate North America on the Atlas and identify where the places are that Larry visits throughout the topic. We get to explore San Francisco and its sights. With help off Snow White in New York, we even create our own Snow White story based in Texas. We learn about the Native America tribes, iconic buildings, places to visit, food, Presidents and culture of the USA. Even a walk along the iconic Hollywood walk of fame, it is quite a journey!

PE is dance on a Monday and Outside Adventures on a Tuesday. Please ensure all kits are in school on these days as we are unable to lend any kits at this time.


Welcome to Larch 2!
2019 - 2020
Mrs Clarke - Class Teacher
Mrs Short - Teaching Assistant
Spring 1
Ahoy, Me Hearties!
Ahoy There! It’s time to set sail with Captain Redblood himself and join his pirate crew. Do you have what it takes to become one of his shipmates? Join Sam Silver to travel back in time to explore what life as a pirate on the open sea was really like and discover more about these famous pirate’s and their Caribbean home.
'We have to help Captain Redblood,' Jenson.
'Captain Coleman is the captain of the Birchwood's ship. That is why we found the Captain's hat outside his office,' Ryan.
'Are pirates still alive today?' Isabelle.
'I would hate to eat Hard Tack!' Chloe.
'There was a note in Juniper class from Captain Redblood,' Elsie.
'Captain Redblood asked us to find his treasure.  We knew it was covered in ice because one of the clues told us,' Arianne.
'Some of us made suggestions about where to find the treasure.  It took us about half an hour to find it.  It was in the cooking room in the freezer,' Abbey.
'My group tried to melt the ice with salt.  Other group's tried smashing it, pouring hot water on it, covering it with sand and holding a candle next to the ice,' name withheld.
'Smashing the ice worked best!' Teddy.
Autumn 2
A Twist in the Tale
Year 2 have loved the theme ‘A Twist in the Tale’ during Autumn 2.
They arrived after half term to a recorded message and a copy of ‘The Wolf’s Story’. The Wolf desperately needed Year 2’s help. Little Red had been telling lies about him so he had been banished to Fairy Tale Jail. It was our job to investigate and help find out whether the Wolf was guilty or innocent.
Along the way we have read other ‘twists’ to familiar fairy tales and ‘Inside the Villains’ to see whether the Wolf was misunderstood and to see if the Fairy Tales reveal the whole truth.  

'I think the wolf is innocent because Little Red Riding Hood was telling lies. I hope we can convince the judge to set him free,' Max.


'I enjoyed making the Wolf’s vegetarian cuisine because I got to try new vegetables and it tasted really nice. We also learned about cutting them safely with a knife,' Ayla.


'I was curious to find out more about the character of Jub,' Gracie.


'I enjoyed helping Jub to make the wish catchers because we got to decorate them with beads and feathers,' Frankie.


The Year 2 Infant Agility Team took part in North Warwickshire Finals alongside Warton, Shustoke and St Edwards. Birchwood were fantastic! They won the Final and all received a gold medal. Birchwood have now progressed through to the next stage of the competition competing against schools from Nuneaton and Bedworth. Year 2 cannot wait for the next competition.


We were able to take 30 Year 2 children to the NWPSSA Infant Agility Competition. All the children were brilliant and a credit to Birchwood. They used their agility, balance and co-ordination skills as well as showing they can work well as a team, encouraging and supporting each other. Birchwood won the Heat and have secured a place in the Finals towards the end of the month! We cannot wait to compete in the Finals and look forward to letting you know how we get on!
So you think you know the story of the Big Bad Wolf but what if you have got it wrong? Have you ever heard the wolf’s version of events or taken the time to hear how he feels about what happened? Perhaps Little Red Riding Hood wasn’t so innocent after all. What about the other Fairytale villains, has anyone asked them for their side of the story? Is there a twist to be found in the traditional tales?
Autumn 1
Under the Canopy
Larch 2 have loved learning about tropical rainforests in their theme 'Under the Canopy'. We finished the theme by making our own rainforest animal masks to raise awareness of the endangered animals that live there. We can't wait to find out what our theme is next half term!
Year 2 had a brilliant time yesterday at Twycross Zoo. We learnt lots about food chains and habitats and enjoyed meeting the creatures and animals from the rainforest.
As part of our science Year 2 have been investigating micro habitats around school. We found all kinds of mini beasts in the woodland area, playground & orchard. We were also surprised to find a small frog had made a home in one of the sinks in the kitchen garden!
An orangutan and her babies have travelled all the way from a rainforest because they need our help as their home is being destroyed! In order to help them we need to investigate tropical rainforests. We will discover where they are found, what the climate is like there and learn all about the animals and plants that live there.