Our visit to Gigg Mill

September 28th, 2016

On 28th September, we visited Gigg Mill in Nailsworth as part of our topic – Industry: work, rest and play in and around Avening. We visited the Black Country Museum last week and it was really interesting to learn about the industry in that area around the Victorian era. However, we wanted to know a bit more about the industry in our local area back then, so a visit to a mill was an obvious choice!

Instead of going by coach, I decided (much to the delight of the Owls!) that it would be really useful to walk to the mill. This allowed us to really get an insight into how it would’ve felt and what it would’ve been like for the adults (and children!) having to walk to work during the Victorian era. We all had coats and wellies to make sure we didn’t get wet or too muddy. This was a bit of a luxury though, as we know that people wouldn’t have had this kind of protective clothing during the Victoria era! Here are a few pictures of our journey:

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When we arrived (and after we’d had a rest!), we were shown into the mill where there was a variety of machinery – both wooden and metal. Robin and Jane, our Stroud Textile Trust volunteers, showed us 2 of the main jobs workers would’ve done in the Victorian era: spinning and weaving.


First we were shown a basic wooden loom and we were allowed to have a go on it. Some children were moving the levers, some were ‘passing the baton’ and one was ‘beating’. The others in the group would shout the numbers needed for the pattern and the children would get to work on the process.

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First we were shown how the wool would have been sheared off in the Victorian era – it wasn’t anywhere near as quick or as easy as the electric clipped we have today! We then looked at how the wool would be brushed to become straight fibres ready to spin. The process is called carding and it was great for getting rid of knots! We then had a go at hand-spinning a piece of wool. Some of us were better than others! Then we moved on to wooden spindles, which would work by sending the spin up through the wool and ended up with the wool being tightly spun. Finally, we all had a go on the spinning wheel, the next development in wool spinning. This was tricky to get the hang of, but much easier and quicker than a spindle.

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Finally, we had a look at some of the developments made in weaving during the industrial revolution. We first looks at a larger wooden loom, this time with a shuttle taking the weft back and forth instead of a person (much cheaper!). Then we looked at the power loom – a huge metal loom! It was about 10 times faster than the previous loom and very noisy! We learnt that the workers would’ve had to lip read and even went deaf due to the noise level! This one was powered by electricity, but we learnt that it would’ve originally been powered by water or steam.

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We had a really interesting trip and learnt lots about our local industry!


The Black Country Living Museum

September 25th, 2016

On September 20th, the Owls visited the Black Country Living Museum to enrich our learning about industry in and around Avening. It was a great opportunity to see how different industry was outside of Avening in the Victorian era.

There were lots of things to see and do – so much so, I don’t think we all managed to see everything! We had an amazing time and everyone really enjoyed their experience (especially the Victorian-style school lesson we had! A few of the girls and I may have been told off for wearing nail varnish…)

Here are just a few snaps of our visit. The whole gallery will be available on the school website soon.

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Forest School 9th May

May 20th, 2016

We have been working our brains even harder than usual in the Owls over the last week as we have been taking our SATs! So when we found out that it was our turn for forest school, we were all delighted!

To begin the session, we looked at a couple of different knots. Some were trickier than others!

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This time, Carrie gave us lots of options and made sure that anyone who hadn’t been able to work with fire in the previous sessions were able to have a go. Some of us made fires, some of us used willow to do some weaving to make lots of creative things, and some of us even made some clay models!

Here are some pictures of our activities:

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We all really enjoyed our session (thank you Carrie!) and were even more delighted when  we realised we also got hot chocolate at the end!

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Mayan Food

May 20th, 2016

Due to the Spring term was coming to an end, it meant an end to possibly our favourite topic this year – Mexico! We really enjoyed learning all about Mexico, especially the Maya culture. To bring our topic to a close, we had a go at making some traditional Mayan food.

In groups, we measured out all of our ingredients to make enough corn tortillas. Some of us were reluctant at first, but we had great fun mixing it all together with our hands!

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Once we were happy that they were flat enough, we took them over to be fried.

Once they were all done, we sat down to eat them (the salsa wasn’t strictly Mayan, but it was yummy!). We also got the chance to try a traditional Mayan hot chocolate. It wasn’t quite what we were expecting – cinnamon and chilli powder were amongst the ingredients! Some of us weren’t so keen on it (including the Teacher and Teaching Assistants!) but everyone enjoyed trying it.

Mayan Day

March 22nd, 2016

On 10th March, we were joined by a lady from Creative History to immerse us in the Maya culture.

We began the day by looking at some different items linked with the Maya and how they used to live. We saw genuine artifacts (1300 years old!), food they will have eaten and lots more.

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Once we had all had a good look, Patricia talked to us about what the different things would’ve been used for and we worked together to split them into a number of different categories, including: household, leisure, commerce and food. It was really interesting to think about the day to day life of the Maya and what they would’ve been doing all those years ago.


Later in the day, we played a settlement game. This involved looking at the different types of building the Maya would have in a village and designing our own little village.

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We then put all of our settlements together to build a big town. We talked about how the different areas of the town would’ve been richer or poorer, depending on the type and amount of land they had. We also put in a number of roads between villages – the more roads to and from the village, the more people would pass through it and spend their money.

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After break time, we learnt to write our names in Maya hieroglyphics. This was really tricky but very interesting!

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Towards the end of the day, we looked in more detail at a number of the objects we had discussed earlier in the day. We analysed thee objects by thinking about what we knew about them, what we may have assumed about them and any links between these ideas. It really got us thinking

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To finish the day, we played a board game all about the life and death of the Maya culture. We also learnt a bit more about why the Maya people died out, which turned out to be a lot about the weather! A severe drought meant farming was impossible – without farming they were unable to survive.

It was a great way to end our brilliant topic and we learnt lots!

Forest School 22nd February

March 6th, 2016

The Owls had another brilliant Forest School session, this time with our new Forest School leader Carrie.

We built on skills learnt when building and creating fires with Piers, and transferred these skills to den building. We were able to use logs and sticks (and anything else we could find in the learning garden!) along with string and groundsheets to build some brilliant dens! We were also able to use knives and saws to cut the sticks in order to improve further on our designs.

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Once we had built our dens, we came together to look at everyone’s different designs. They were all really unique and it was great to share our ideas and actually get in to our dens!

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We had a brilliant time, we all collaborated to create some great den designs and we were all really engaged with our outdoor learning. Thanks Carrie!

Mayan Tiles

February 9th, 2016

Within our topic of Mexico this term, we have been studying the Maya civilisation.

So far we have looked at the overall history of the Mayans, including looking at a variety of pictures and other sources in order to form questions, and filling in a timeline of important events. We looked at their creation story and are linking this to a dance. We’ve also looked at the Gods they used to worship and even created our own versions!

This week, we have been making clay tiles in the style of the Mayans. We thought about patterns and details used by the Mayans in art last week, and applied this learning to engraving our clay tiles this week. Everyone’s design was unique and fantastic!

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Using The Internet Safely

February 4th, 2016

As part of the pupil’s ongoing understanding of internet safety, 2 local police officers visited school to remind everyone of the benefits and dangers of using the internet. They visited every classroom to give age appropriate advice and information which helped the children reflect on their internet use. They made it clear how important their safety online is and some of the dangers that they could meet. More importantly, they reinforced the steps pupils should take if they ever feel uncomfortable which is to tell a grown up that they trust.

They left everyone SID’s Top Tips

  1. People you don’t know are strangers. They are not always who they say they are.
  2. Be nice to people on the computer like you would in the playground.
  3. Keep your personal information private.
  4. If you ever get that ‘uh oh’ feeling, you should tell a grown up you trust.

Don’t forget Safer Internet Day 2016 is on February 9th so keep a look out for resources and information that are available.

Useful Websites

Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk for age appropriate information for the whole family.

An important internet safety website for parents and carers is www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents. It offers a completely refreshed suite of articles and guidance on all aspects of child internet safety.

Families can also use the website to access the CEOP Safety Centre (www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre) where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to CEOP.

Learning how to stay safe online.

Learning how to stay safe online.

Problem Solving

January 26th, 2016

Every maths lesson on a Friday, we do problem solving in the Owls. It’s one of our favourite maths sessions of the week and it really helps us to practice our problem solving skills. We have a different problem to solve each week and use different strategies, depending on which is most suitable. Our strategies are: drawing a picture/diagram; simplifying the problem; making an organised list or table; reasoning logically; working backwards; looking for a pattern; acting out the situation; trial and error/improvement.

Last week we were focusing on the following problem:


The most popular strategy seemed to be acting out the situation, which was a great choice and very successful!

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WW1 Visit

January 26th, 2016

Back in November in the Owls class, we went to visit the Comrades Club in Nailsworth for a practical morning remembering WW1.

We got to handle lots of artifacts from the trenches, and some of the actual weapons and uniform used during the war. (Mrs Amos even got to dress up exactly as a soldier would have!)

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We also wrote some moving poetry and created a beautiful poppy wreath to display on the day.

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We all really enjoyed our day and learnt lots about what life was like for the soldiers during WW1.

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