Year 6 – Royal Observatory Greenwich

Monday morning,  Year 6 ventured into London excited for their visit to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. They explored the Weller Galleries, taking notes and writing questions they wanted to explore in more detail back at school.  Year 6 were blown away by the Planetarium experience and the enthusiasm and dedication of the speaker.

Year 6 –

  • When and how could you use the learning from the trip for future learning in the classroom?
  • What was your favourite scientific fact from the trip?
  • How do you think the trip linked to our science topic of forces?



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Maple Cross Philosophy and Education Symposium – Exploring Possibility…

Maple Cross JMI and Nursery School is a leading school in educational research and development – I wonder if you knew that?

Following the principle that Everyone is a Learner we have all been working hard to learn to be the most effective we can be and this means learning with and from others. On Friday we welcomed a range of educational academics and practitioners to share their expertise and learn from the expertise of others.

Professor Angie Hobbs

Professor Angie Hobbs: Professor of the Public Understanding of

Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.

Dr Cathy Gower

Dr. Cathy Gower: Cathy is Head of the Department of Education, Brunel


Duncan Roberts

Duncan Roberts: Headteacher of Maple Cross JMI and Nursery School.

Part time PhD in Possibility in the classroom

Dr Gwen Ineson

Dr Gwen Inseon: Senior Lecturer in Primary Education, Brunel University

Professor Jan Derry

Professor Jan Derry: Professor of the Philosophy of Education

Professor Judith Suissa

Professor Judith Suissa: Professor of Philosophy of Education, IOE, UCL

Sunita Babbar

Sunita Babbar, Director of ITE, Brunel University

Alexis Shea

Alexis Roberts, Head of Psychology, Westonbirt School. Leader in Project

Based Learning


One of the aims of the symposium (From the Ancient Greek: a conference or meeting to discuss a particular subject.) was to identify our common values from our range of disciplines…

Community, Collegiality, Care, Democracy as a way of life, Learning as a continual process, Learning as a Community, The acceptance of risk as a part of the educational experience.

We also discussed the power of a learning community to impact on the world as well as the power of the world to impact on a learning community. We will take some time to reflect on all the incredibly rich ideas we discussed and debated and we all plan to hold a second discussion next year to see what impact our first meeting has had…watch this space!

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Debating Club Taking Opportunities

Debating Club recently entered the Chorleywood Young Film Maker’s Competition with a film about the importance of taking risks and having a go. I was delighted to see one of the film makers, Madison, collect a certificate and some wonderfully positive praise. (Picture pending.) We were also lucky enough to be inspired by the film-maker David Yates. David Yates has directed the last four Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and is currently working on Fantastic Beasts 2. His most common piece of advice was, ‘have a go and don’t give up!’ That’s what he learned when he couldn’t get a job out of film school…and look where he ended up!

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HS2 Taking Opportunities…

With HS2 works happening close to school, we have been able to access some fantastic learning opportunities and Community Development Possibilities. This has included being the pilot school for a Brunel inspired production teaching about the positives of engineering which I picture below.

We are also working closely with HS2 to develop safer local roads as well as some other possibilities being explored…watch this space…


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Alien Vote

Year 5 invented their own aliens designing them to perfectly suit a particular planet. They then wrote about their first encounter with their alien.  They should be so proud of the writing they have produced. They have used beautiful language and worked hard to include the cohesive elements we have focussed on.

To finish off their piece of alien writing, Year 5 voted on their favourite alien and piece of writing. The winning alien will feature in our next piece of writing.

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KS1 Science: Food Chains & Habitats

Food Chains

KS1 will be extending their learning about habitats and food chains this half term. BBC Bitesize have put these excellent resources together to help us learn about those habitats that are a little further away. Which habitats below could we easily  explore for ourselves?

We’ll be using these resources over the next few weeks – feel free to look at them at home too. Read on…


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LARGE SCALE mark making!

Last Friday Nursery had an opportunity to explore mark making on a large scale (a very large scale!). Often we talk about size as an abstract concept and it is vital young children explore the differences for real. The children could run up and down as they made marks or choice to focus on a smaller area.

The hall floor was covered in very long strips of paper. The paper was different colours and textures and the children had to decide whether to use crayons, pens and florescent pencils.

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Small worlds

Over the past half term Nursery have been fascinated by blocks, bricks and boards. Block play enables children to develop their problem solving skills and persist in finding solutions – for example balancing different shapes in a structure or finding the right block to place next.

There has been significant language development as the children consult with their peers about what to position and where. There has also been opportunities for pupils to create costumes and outfits for the small people and include items from the transient art to add details. By consultation and decision of the pupils we also added some mirrored blocks earlier this half term.

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