A Viking Adventure!

Children from year 4 enjoyed an unforgettable school trip this week to the Ancient Technology Centre in Dorset to experience life as a viking! The children took part in a range of immersive educational activities including grinding flour and making bread, picking vegetables and chopping them into a stew, and making their own cheese and butter. And that was just in the morning! In the afternoon children made bricks from chalk, chopped wood, tended the vegetable garden and played viking games. The children lived and slept in a viking long house, enjoyed stories and songs around the fire and thoroughly enjoyed themselves from start to finish. The children will return to school next week full of inspiration and knowledge. Thank you to the children for behaving so well and to the adults who volunteered their time to make the trip possible.

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A Wonderful Celebration of Books

There were Oompa Loompas, Wally, Harry, Winnie, Biggles, a boy in a dress, Henry ( the Horrid one), Hermione, Cats in Hats, Alice and in lots of ways, a bit of a reading “Wonderland’. We had such an inspiring day including lots of reading (sharing big books and little books with children who were in different classes) and talking about our favourite books, ,meeting authors and illustrators and best of all, being authors and illustrators!

We welcomed Andy Stanton and Peter Bailey to our school to help us celebrate books.

Andy Stanton writes the Mr Gum books and as well as being an amazing writer, it turns out that he is a very funny and clever man. He spoke to all the pupils in key stage 2 about writing, books, imagination and being creative. We think he is possibly our favourite speaker ever and we laughed and smiled so much. Thank you Andy for visiting us, signing books and being inspiring!

We were lucky enough to also welcome Peter Bailey. Peter is a truly wonderful illustrator and we have so many of his beautifully illustrated books in our library. Peter was so generous with this gift, drawing pictures with the children and lots of children were so pleased to have a beautiful picture in their art books. Thank you Peter- we have lots of budding illustrators in the school now!

Thank you to Mr Windle and Mrs Jenkins for organising all the super visitors, the ‘big book, little book’ and the art activities that the children enjoyed yesterday.

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The Canterbury Tales – Pickwick Class Assembly


Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open yë,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages):

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Well done to Pickwick class for their assembly introducing the Canterbury Tales Project to the school. We learnt about why Medieval people went on pilgrimages, the life of Thomas Becket, Geoffrey Chaucer and watched an entertaining and age-appropriate version of The Pardoner’s Tale. Well done Pickwick Class

Shakespeare at Westminster Abbey

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Today, five of our pupils had the thrilling experience of performing Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey! As part of the national “Shakespeare week”, we were invited by the organisers of the Shakespeare Schools Festival and Westminster Abbey to share some extracts from previous performances. Before the performance, the children were lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the Abbey, including a special visit to the tomb of Edward the Confessor. The children then took their places in Poets’ corner, in front of the Shakespeare memorial, in order to perform their pieces. We were very proud of all of the pupils, who managed to pull the performance together in record time – well done everyone!

Handwriting Workshop for Parents

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On Wednesday 18th March, we held two workshops for parents all about supporting handwriting at home.  It was great to see such a huge turn out!  If you missed the sessions and would like some support with your child’s handwriting please come and see Ms Sumner who will be happy to answer your questions.  Click here for the resources from the session Handwriting Workshop for Parents

Story Telling

Early years have been treated to some fabulous stories from around the world told by the storyteller Helen Macdonald. Little Dorrit found out about the origin of stories from a  lovely Ghanaian tale about  Anansi spreading the stories around the world. In Gargery the children heard a caribbean tale about Anansi having a party which they all joined in with singing and dancing. Trotwood were also transported to the rainforests in Brazil where they learned some capoeira moves and songs.

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Charles Dickens Book Club – Tom’s Midnight Garden

tom's mignight garden

Last week, the Charles Dickens Book Club held its first meeting to discuss “Tom’s Midnight Garden” by Philippa Pearce. We began by discussing our overall impressions of the book and then thought about the author’s intentions when writing the book and whether or not she had been successful. Our discussion was mature and thoughtful – read on to hear about some the children’s key observations.

Although lots of the group had found the book quite difficult at first and thought it was less thrilling than some of their favourite modern novels, they were pleased that they had stuck with it – as the ending was agreed to be fantastic! We decided that sometimes it’s worth sticking with more “difficult” books as they can end up leaving a longer lasting impression than “easy” reads.

Some of the group were put off by Philippa’s use of description but others felt that they really came to care about the characters of Tom and Hattie. We discussed how Philippa spends a long time on the build up to the high point of the story, with the resolution which concluded quite quickly with the clever twist – perhaps this is something that Year Six could try to copy in their writing!

We also agreed that the novel was a good way to learn about the past – we were able to draw comparisons between the Victorian era, the 1950s and the present day. We also realised that it was possible to compare Tom’s Midnight Garden with Street Child which we read last term – they showed the two extremities of the Victorian period!

The Charles Dickens Book Club will return next half term when we will be comparing Betsey Byars’ “The Eighteenth Emergency” and “The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler” by Gene Kemp.

Two Choirs, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and a whole lot of Ukuleles

You are probably wondering what they all have in common?
The answer is the children of Charles Dickens Primary School this week….

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It starts with the Year 5 and 6 choir who have been performing carols in and around SE1 this week. So far, the choir have raised nearly £100 for Marie Curie Cancer Care following singing at London Bridge Station. On Wednesday, this group of marvellous singers performed at the Dog and The Pot near Southwark Tube station and raised much needed funds for our Musical Tuition Bursary Fund which supports talented keen pupils in learning an instrument.

Thank you to the choir for giving up their lunchtimes to rehearse and perform and also to Ms Rhys Evans for leading them. Next week, the choir is performing at Connect, the charity supporting people who suffer from Aphasia following a stroke.

Staying with the Charles Dickens theme, the Year 3 and 4 choir , alongside the Ukulele club,wrote a song all about Charles Dickens’ early childhood living on Lant Street and visiting his father in Marshalsea Prison. They also performed this rather wonderful song in Shakeapeare’s Globe ( here’s the Shakespeare link) as part of ‘Concert for Winter’, accompanied by the year 3/4 Ukuleles. Special thanks to Mr Oxenham and Ms Gemmell for leading such a rewarding project.

Shakespeare Schools’ Festival

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On Tuesday night, 25 Year 4 and 5 children performed their version of “Macbeth” at the The Albany theatre in Deptford. Their performance was one of over 1000 Shakespeare plays being performed all over the country and it was spectacular! The children have worked with Miss Alcock for several months and also received a specialist introduction from Jack – our acting friend from Misrule Theatre company. The production was a fantastic display of team work and concentration as the children marched, rolled and danced their way through an ensemble performance. We were very proud of everyone who took part and we’re already thinking about next year’s show!

The Mad Hatter’s Reading Day!

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We had a wonderful day on Friday 26th September when we celebrated our love of books with a Mad Hatter’s Reading Party.  Well done to all the children who came in a brilliant selection of costumes including characters from Alice in Wonderland.  We started the day with a book quiz and one of our favourite songs all about reading!  After lunch we then had our Mad Hatter’s reading parties!  The children all brought their favourite book to the tea party and enjoyed drinks and biscuits while they shared their books with their friends.  Each class also received a special gift of a selection of brand new exciting books.  These are our ‘Books of the Moment’ and the children have been very excited to get their hands on them!  If you have any questions about your child’s reading please see your child’s class teacher who can give you advice.