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Owls Class

The Owls are a class of Year 5 & Year 6 with their teacher Mrs Alannah Palmer and TAs Miss Emily Martin and Mrs Jade Jones. 

See the Spring Term's home learning tree here

See an overview of the Spring term's project here

Click here to get parents' advice on helping with punctuation. This site gives useful information on helping with other subjects too. Here is a useful glossary of terms your child needs to know.

Distance Learning:

Distant Learning

posted 24 Mar 2020, 06:15 by Alannah Palmer

Hello Owls,

It has been strange not seeing you and working with you in our usual way. However, I have enjoyed seeing some of your tapestry posts and people have already shared some work with me on google classroom. Keep up with this and if you have any questions, please message me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

My aim to get more creative with google classroom as time goes on so watch this space! Oh and be patient as I am learning!

I've been looking at the problems by Gareth Metcalfe. We use these problems in lessons and have really helped to develop pattern spotting and other reasoning skills.
A new video is posted once a day. Feel free to access this and share your ideas with him or me.

Stay home. Stay safe. Stay positive.

Mrs Palmer

A very busy week

posted 7 Mar 2020, 00:11 by Alannah Palmer

This week we went on a trip to MorwellhamQuay. We went on a mine train through George and Charlotte mine. All of us found it very interesting. The miners used long metal pipes and hammered in into the walls of the mine since they didn’t have drills. Afterwards, they would fill it with gunpowder and blow it up. Surprisingly, only one miner died in this particular mine, due to the explosions, falling rocks and flying dust. It was amazing how dark it was, once we were in the mines.

We also got to be students in a Victorian school. The teacher went from nice to mean and Alexis and Ned got caned (whipped with a thin stick). We all had to write ‘Good handwriting is essential’ on a slate board with a slate pencil. We were heavily judged, whether we had good handwriting or not. We had to write right-handed which was really hard for some people. They got really told off by Miss Towns.

Because they couldn’t go in the mines, women and girls went to work on the ragging floor. On the ragging floor, they would break rocks down into dust so that the copper would be left and all the sulpur and the iron would be gone.

We also got taken to the Assayers Sylon. The assayer melted the copper to separate it. He got £200 a year which was A LOT of money back then. The Assayers Sylon was connected to his cottage. We couldn’t go in there though. An Assayer had to be a boy. It couldn’t be a girl because they would be busy working on the ragging floor. You had to be well educated and know how to do your work well. If you didn’t, you’d be sacked.

 This week we learnt about greater and lesser horseshoe bats and how the population has decreased nonetheless there are still  ways to help like planting some flowers so the bugs and other animals are attracted to the pollen. Bats will be able to catch them easier for food. Another way to help is don't let your cat stay out late at night because they are one of the main predators of bats. 

A fair amount of bats live in the uk. The bat we were learning specifically about was the greater horseshoe bat. The name comes from their shape of nose. Instead of using their mouth to echolocate, they use their nose. It is specially designed to do this. Because of this, their nose is shaped like a horseshoe. That’s how they got their name.

Thank you to Lavinia and Alana for this very detailed and informative blog

Where is Spring?

posted 28 Feb 2020, 10:31 by Alannah Palmer

This week in topic, we were doing things on the industrial revolution. For example, cutting out special cards that had Victorian inventions on (e.g the xray made by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen.) We did games using these cards like ‘What am I?’ and Find the missing card: we would ask questions like was it between 1850-1860? 

In forest school we had pancakes with honey on. Some of the activities we did were making rattles with bottle tops and wire and painting leaves. All of us had to saw pieces of wood because it is a skill. The most ‘wet’ activity was a Victorian game where you would get a hoop and a stick and try and move the hoop with the stick, most of our hoops got blown away. The last activity was to make dream catchers with willow or make fishes. 

Year 5 went to Plympton Academy. We made romen flatbread. To make it you need butter, flour, water, salt and baking soda. Then add all of the ingredients but put little drops of water at a time. We dry fried it in a pan. We then got our flatbread and popped our ingredients in it. The ingredients were Ham, cheese and salad. Then we eat It.

Thank you Greta, Mekhi and Harry            

A bittersweet Friday

posted 15 Feb 2020, 03:43 by Alannah Palmer   [ updated 15 Feb 2020, 03:44 ]

At forest school we didn’t go into the woods because it was meant to get quite windy so we just stayed at school. We had a choice of what we could do with the materials we had. People used their imagination and creativity especially with kites and cooperated with the kites too. We did whittling sticks, weaving willow, paper kites, sandpapering wood cookies with grade 60, 80 and 100 paper, friendship bracelets and made bottle top rattles. Also, sadly, it's Grace’s last day, we will all miss her greatly.

Thank you to Toby for our blog and Keira for the photos.

Try new things and be your own brave

posted 8 Feb 2020, 00:31 by Alannah Palmer   [ updated 8 Feb 2020, 00:35 ]

This Thursday owls class went to Plympton Academy to watch ‘School of Rock’, a member of our class was even in it! It was a good play, we even got cookies for a snack. We also got a box of apple or orange juice.

On Tuesday the year sixes went for a 5k walk to practise for Ten Tors. While the year sixes were out, the year fives and fours played a game called Taboo. Taboo is where one person has their back to the board when the other person describes the word on the board without using certain word. After that, the year fours and fives did P.E.

In maths, we did division and remainders. In PSHE, we made bravery posters with a brave character from books or film. E.g Superman because he fights villains and that must take a lot of guts.

On Monday, we learnt about poor and rich victorians. We used a thing called L.A.C.E to analyse the sources. We made documents describing the paintings and making our assumptions. We soon learned how brutal their lives really were!

By Mason and Lizzie

An extra special post

posted 1 Feb 2020, 08:17 by Alannah Palmer

Thank you Bethany and friends for your special Tea Report. A great example of real life maths.

                       Cups of tea

Did you Know that every year the Sparkwell school teachers - Mrs Palmer, Miss Lovick, Miss Sparkes and Mrs Hyams - drink 2380 cups of tea a year?! Two teachers drinks 600 cups a year, another drinks 980 while the other drinks 200. Two of the teachers have sugar, one teaspoon. Over the year, they have 2.4kg, that's nearly three bags and 800g of sugar.The teacher who has 2.4kg of sugar has the equivalent of 27 sharing packs of Haribo Starmix whereas the other has 9. The teachers go through 30 packs of tea bags which costs them £63 per year.

Do you prefer division or muddy puddles?

posted 1 Feb 2020, 08:09 by Alannah Palmer

This week we started our division which is our new maths focus. Miss Palmer set us some challenges and gave us counters for helping out with. We learned how to separate the big number and divide it by the smaller number. Some people did the bus stop method but it wasn't your usual bus stop! We also had to separate the big number with long division.

It was also the ending week of JanuRead. It's where another teacher comes in and tells us a story. Every week the type of text is different. First it was non-fiction then it was fiction and finally poems.      

This Friday at forest schools we had a welly walk and went down to the golf course site. We had some free play and then came back to school to try  some new games that we could do down in the forest.

One game is called truth, truth, lie. It is where you tell two truths in any order and one lie. For example: if I said I have read all of the books in my room, I have a pet cat  and I like reading, someone would guess which is the lie and whoever gets it right gets to have their turn. 

Another game we played was Catch the Dragon's Tail. It is were ten or more people get into a line and the person at the front is the dragon's head and the person at the back is the dragon's tail. The dragon's head has to catch the tail without breaking the line. The other eight players are used  to create the body of the dragon.

Thank you to Daniel and Alana for this week’s blog.


Chinese New Year and collaboration

posted 25 Jan 2020, 01:20 by Alannah Palmer

This week in forest school we all have made art for chinese new year. We have written the chinese symbol for rat and we made some fortune cookie which we gave to the class. For snack, we had some noodles and veg. The veg was carrots and onion.                      

  This week in topic we have looked at events that have happened to Queen Victoria like the time someone tried to shoot QV or the time QV married her husband, Prince Albert.

  We had a music lesson and performed a jazz piece called ‘Three Tone Bossa’ which included our own improvisations using notes GBA.

 In PE, our focus in ‘Social’ in which we have to develop our listening skills, cooperation skills and how we give advice and feedback sensitively. We played Crossing the River asa context to practice these skills.

Thank you to Oliver C and Mekhi for helping with the blog this week.

Making our planet better

posted 17 Jan 2020, 10:51 by Alannah Palmer


This week a scientist called Dr. Jackson came in to talk to us about what's happening to the oceans because of climate change. We learned how quickly the ice melts because of greenhouse gasses and fossil fuels. We also learned about solar power, wind power and tidal power all generate power instead of mains electricity and how you can switch from mains electricity to getting natural power from solar stations.

As well as that, in the workshop we got to experiment what places generated more electricity by holding a mini solar panel up and measured the vaults with an ammeter.


In math we did timesing double digits by double digits. Some of us learned the compact method but some of us did the partitioning method. Some people did a few two digit by three digits.

E.g. 23x54=1242


In english we made up a teacher. We thought about their appearance, how they moved and spoke and their personality. Most people did mean teachers but some did nice ones. Also, most people drew their teacher but some did not if you didn't you would have to explain what they looked like. Lots of them had very mean punishments. We thought about how we could use similes, metaphors and noun phrases to make our descriptions better.


In topic we have been learning about The Victorians and the timeline of key events.

Thank you Maisie and Adair for your detailed blog.

Light it up

posted 15 Jan 2020, 00:18 by Alannah Palmer

This week we were doing things with circuits and electricity. On one of the activities we were seeing what happened if we added more batteries to our circuits (wires connected with with two batteries and a light bulb.) The conclusion was that either the bulb blew or got very bright. The other activity was to see what happened when we added more light bulbs, that conclusion was the bulbs went very dim. One of the activities was to label some of circuits and draw a circuit with the right symbols. The last activity was to use the hot wires which conducted electricity to make lights go on and there was a burglar alarm, a lie detector and an FM radio (none of this worked because we didn’t have a fuse!)    

We also did music. Using the glockenspiels we were playing G A B notes to the jazz music.     

On Thursday, some people went to the Sparkwell Parish Hall to do some singing for the Sparkwell over 60s club. We did 6/7 songs most of which were songs that they knew. The songs were: This old man, She’ll be coming round the mountain, You’ve got a friend in me, The bear necessities and Yellow submarine.

By Greta and Toby.

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