Friday, 27 February 2009


Year 6 enjoyed the first official day of their new 'Chocolate' topic! Aptly, we set up a fantastic chocolate fountain, courtesy of Miss Beavill, and were able to dip grapes, bananas, apples and marshmellows into the warm, molten chocolate!

We then mind-mapped everything we already knew about chocolate and used our imaginations to write descriptive paragraphs about how the chocolate tasted!

"The sumptious, smooth chocolate, melted like ice cubes on a hot day, in my mouth. An explosion of gorgeous Galaxy covered my tingling tongue and teeth - it was delicious!" Ryan exclaimed!

Well done Ryan for including a simile, a hyphen and alliteration in your sentence!

Year 6 are looking forward to finding out more about chocolate!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Year 6 make yummy curry!

Year 6 enjoyed making a healthy vegetable curry as part of our 'Millions' topic. We learnt lots about food in other counties.

We learnt that in India, one of the staple foods is rice and lots of people are vegetarian. We decided that making a vegetable curry would reflect the diet of many Indian people.

We thought the curry was fantastic and lots of us wanted seconds!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

An Aussie School Bear...

Hi all,

Sorry it's been a while. I have been so busy at my new school.

The weekend before I started school I took part in some Australia Day celebrations. You can see me in the photo waving my Australian flag. I saw some fireworks which were great.

My new school is called Guardian Angels and is located in a suburb called Wynnum which is right on the coast. I can see the sea from my classroom window. This is great because we get a nice breeze off the water which helps cool me down as it feels very hot with my fur and new uniform. I was almost wishing for snow like you had in Southampton a couple of weeks ago!

School in Australia is quite different to Oakwood. To start with you have to wear a hat every day. This is because of the warm sunshine all year round. If you don't have your hat on they don't let you go out to play at break times. The rule says 'no hat, no play'! Lucky my hosts are used to this and remind me every day to put it on.

I have learned about the weather and we do lots of sport.

The school are so excited to have me visit and they have lots of exciting things planned for me to do over the coming weeks. Next month they are taking me to an Aboriginal Education Centre to learn all about the Aboriginal people and life in the bush. I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Until next time,


Walk in My Shoes!!

Something was afoot in Year 3 yesterday!

Children returned from their half term break to find their classrooms full of shoes of all shapes and sizes, colours and patterns. Continuing with our special theme days on the first day back after half term, the children were asked to use their powers of observation, and their creative thinking skills in lots of different activities involving shoes.

These included thinking of different uses for shoes; sketching shoes from different perspectives; designing their own unique shoes for a given client and telling a story from a shoe's point of view.

They also used the internet to research for some impressive facts about shoes. Did you know that the world's most expensive pair of shoes cost $2,000,000 and were made of 565 platinum diamonds!!

All the children worked extremely hard and as you can see the results were pretty impressive!!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

It's no yolk!

Year 4 have had an egg-citing day! What an egg-cellent treat! We are egg-static!

Ok, ok, enough with the egg jokes. Year 4 have 10 visitors in their year group for the next 2 weeks and we have been writing our very own "Chick Diaries" to keep a record of their visit. Here is Day 1 by Hajer in 4MW:

Today we had ten eggs delivered to our classroom. For the eggs to hatch, the temperature needs to be around 35 degrees to 38 degrees Celcius. This is so the eggs don't get too cold or hot, otherwise they will die. Earlier today, the temperature was too cold for the eggs, so we had a replacement incubator delivered. Hopefully the eggs will hatch soon!

Watch out for the next instalment!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Beastly Battles and Brutal Beasts!!

What an exciting and productive term Year 3 have had!

It all started back in January with I'm a Celebrity day. The children proved what a great team they were by working brilliantly together in several different team challenges - including the dreaded feely boxes!!

Our myth work began with a visit to the Southampton City Art Gallery, where we studied the very impressive Perseus paintings by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Inspired by these marvellous pieces of art work the children then used collage to create their own magical myth monsters.

Throughout the term the children read and watched several different quest myths to inspire their own work. In science the children learned all about habitats and adaptation. They then created beautiful scientific fact files for their own mythical creatures. They also consolidated their work on materials, by designing protective clothing for their hero, using their science vocabulary to explain what materials were used and why. In ICT children created games to help Theseus find his way to the centre of the labyrinth. They learnt how to hyperlink slides to create different routes within their shows. BEWARE of choosing the wrong way you might come to a deadly end!!!

Our topic work culminated in the production of MAGICAL MYTH BOXES.

All term children have been writing a complete quest myth of their own. From battling three-headed serpents, crossing over seas of fire and rescuing loved ones from sticky situations, the stories produced were truly terrific. The children presented the best copy of their stories as story cubes which opened to reveal a 3D model. The children worked extremely hard and impressed everyone who visited the exhibition on the last day.

Well Done Year 3!!

Keep up the good work next term!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fire Fairies meet their fate!

Another crisp, dry day and we have all now completed our eggy/watery/mucky activities. We now only have 2 more beads to earn before we come home!

We had a busy afternoon completing the "Minstead Map of Mystery". As well as giving us an opportunity to practise our teamwork skills in order to find the letters to make the mystery phrase, it also gave us yet another chance to get muddy!

After cleaning up, we made some colourful bandanas to wear at our bonfire. We chose some of our favourite activities from the week and made motifs to create a pattern.

This evening, we wrapped up the warmest yet - some of us could count 5 layers! Then, well insulated and carrying our Fire Fairies, we trod through the darkness to our bonfire. We sang some unusual campfire songs - Mamma Mia included! - told some jokes and heard some stories. Finally, we said goodbye to our Fire Fairies and sent them to their flickering fate.

None of us can really believe how quickly this week has passed! A sure sign that a good time has been had by all!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Boggy blog!

It seems every day we're here, we experience different types of weather. This morning we woke to beautiful, crispy white fields of frost, so we all wrapped up very warmly!

We started the day with our watery/eggy/mucky activities and everyone has earned a new bead for their name badge.

After lunch, we ventured back into the wild wood, this time in search of the bogland. We started with a beautiful walk, spotting some special sights on the way. Look at the slideshow; can you spot the 2 headed horse-tree, the deer and the witches butter fungus?

On our journey into the woods we found some natural charcoal and turned ourselves into scary creatures! The peaceful surroundings meant we were able to listen to the trees and hear what they had to tell us. We also made a "circle of safety" out of gorse sticks before learning all about the fragile and enchanted habitat of the bogland. Most of us walked carefully onto the wobbly skin of the bog, and a few of us got a little muddy!

Our evening ended with a very special treat. "Puck's Bottom", a one man puppet show based on A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare. Josh, the puppeteer, not only gave an excellent performance, but he also taught us a "Fire Fairy" song that we learned in preparation for our bonfire tomorrow evening.

After our very exciting day, we've had our hot chocolate cookies and have gone to bed exhausted but happy!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sunshine at last!

After a rain-soaked day yesterday, we were more than a little pleased to wake up to a bright sunny day today.

We split into three groups today. Some of us were "Muckmovers". We learned how to make "horse-poo cake"! Others of us were "Egg-layers". We met the resident chickens (some of us were even quick enough to grab a cuddle!) and did some egg-straordinary egg-speriments which we thought were egg-cellent and egg-citing! The rest of us got wet despite the weather - we were "Aquatic Creatures". We went pond dipping and found some very interesting water creatures.

We met another friend today as well. Apodemus, the woodmouse, had made an appearance in the garage of the grounds, and cute as he was, he needed capturing to be sent back to his rightful habitat. We were lucky enough to get a close-up look at him in a little bag (please do not put your small pets in plastic bags at home like in the picture! He wasn't there for very long and he was released very quickly!)

The lovely weather afforded us a beautiful walk into Minstead Village this afternoon. All the children were very interested in the gravestone of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but more importantly, they were exceptionally well-behaved and respectful in the church and a great credit to the school.

As if the day had not been busy enough, we had an art and craft evening. In 2 hours, we made some very gruesome clay heads, some fluttery fire fairies and some rainbow lanterns in preparation for our bonfire later in the week. Phew!

Another great day!

Water everywhere!

The Year 4 "Oakstead" team went to Beaulieu and did pond dipping and a stream study. We also went to the Countryside Education Centre's new tree house.

It rained all day and we got very wet, but we had a great time! Thanks to all the adults who helped!

Pond Dipping:

First we filled the tray with water from the river and the ice cube tray.
(It had to be water from the river because that's what the creatures live in.)
Next we had to dip the net into the river, move it around in a figure of 8 and then pull it out.
Then we tipped the net upside down on the tray.
After that we had to wait until everything in the water settled.
Finally, we put the creature we found into the ice cube tray, so that we could study it.

We found a water louse, a dragonfly nymph and pond snails!

Stream Study:

We wanted to test how fast the river was flowing and how deep it was. We used two long sticks, one metre stick, a cork, a stopwatch and a tape measure.

To test how deep the river was:
We first put the two long sticks on each side of the river. We then wrapped the tape measure around the sticks. We tested the depth of the water at various points across the stream.

To test how fast the stream was flowing:
We put the cork on the same line as the first stick. We timed how long the cork took to travel 1 metre. The stream was travelling at about 1m every 6 seconds.

by Hajer and Luke

Monday, 9 February 2009

Rain, what rain?

What a start to Year 4's Minstead week! Wet wellies, rushing fords and smiles as wide as the New Forest!

We have braved the great British weather and ventured into the "Wild Wood". We have cocooned ourselves in leaves to become transforming caterpillars, gained new identities as woodland creatures, built dens, found special stones, counted holly leaf prickles and, of course, splashed through the muddiest of muddy puddles!

All the children enjoyed a lovely warming dinner, and nearly every child has tried a new food. For many, apple and blackberry crumble will no doubt be a firm favourite from now on!

We ended the day on a trip to the roundhouse, and heard a story about how Ursa Major, the Great Bear, became a permanent feature of the night sky.

We've all dried out now, and the children are snuggled up ready for dreams full of new experiences. We can't wait till tomorrow!

Arts Week!

It's arts week at Oakwood Infant School. We are learning about famous artists.

Look at the clay sculptures we have made.....

We made portraits in the style of Picasso.................

We have made watercolour pictures in the style of Monet ......

Friday, 6 February 2009

Year 2 Art Gallery trip

Year 2 went on a visit to Southampton Art Gallery. Look at the lovely flowers they made...........

Getting Fit for Life!

It was really impossible to walk past our pupil kitchen this week without being tempted in by the very inviting food being cooked!

But this time, it wasn't pupils, but parents of pupils taking part in the Fit for Life Family Learning Course.

They are learning from each other, sharing experiences of home and family life and are trying out some new recipes...

The Pasta Hot Pot was delicious and filling - and, more importantly, easy and cheap!

(And Mr Taylor liked Pula's Mixed Bean Salad too!)

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Science walkway

What a lot of snow......!

Frozen pond!

Our pond was frozen over.......


Our school got covered in snow...!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Thank you...

Thank you for your support over the last couple of days during the snow.

It was not an easy decision to close the school as we realised we would inconvenience many of you. However, our first duty to your children is their safety. Some of you who phoned on Monday morning were already reporting how dangerous your journey was and several members of staff were unable to come into work because they live long distances away and roads were blocked or dangerous.

We kept our answerphone and website up-to-date with the latest information and we also kept Radio Solent informed.

We decided to stay closed on Tuesday because we suspected the worst about the morning’s weather and we wanted to make sure you had time to make arrangements if necessary. As it happened, the weather during rush hour was worse on Tuesday than it had been on Monday.

All parents we spoke to directly supported our decision.

Apparently, we only get that much snow every 18 years, so that could be the last time your children get to play in the snow as a child! I hope you were able to make the most of it as families!

(And Oscar says “thank you” for all the pictures of snowmen!! See below…!)

School Open 04.02.09

Oakwood Infant school is expected to be open again as of Wednesday 4th February 2009, based on the current weather forecast for tomorrow.

Oscar says: "Snowman Update!"

Here's what's arrived so far...

They look amazing! Keep up the good work! (And stay warm!)


Oscar says: "Build me a snowman!"

Hello All!

Oscar here down in Brisbane, Australia, where it's...

28°C! (Phew!)

But I'm missing the snow you've got back in Southampton!

I've seen some great photos of snowmen on the web...

...and I've got a prize for the best snowman you can build!

You can email a digital photo to me: and I'll put any that I receive on the blog!

(Any SnowBears might win a prize too! - Don't forget to put your name and class in the email!)

Monday, 2 February 2009

School closed 03.02.09

Oakwood Infant School will be closed on Tuesday 3rd February 2009 due to the weather.