2021-2022 UKS2: Mr Harvey

Years 5 & 6 have had a superb week crammed full of exciting things to do.  Thanks to all of those who have brought back their ‘Technology Interview’ sheet.  It’s been great to read all about the technology from the past and how adults at home were amazed when they bought their first TV!  

On Wednesday, we met up with other children from our Pele Trust primary schools at the amazing 4G football pitches at the High School.  We have some real talent at Belsay and you should be proud of how hard you worked together.


We have started our new topic this week, Leisure and Entertainment.  We are looking at how our leisure activities have changed over time.  This week we looked at the changes in cinema over the past century.  We looked at some iconic film posters too.

‘I thought it was really interesting to learn about how cinema and screens worked a long time ago and how different they are to today’s modern cinema.’ - Poppy.

‘We have been asked to interview an adult at home on what life was like when they didn’t have modern technology and how it’s changed their lives - not just for the better!’ - Harrison.


We have continued to explore the amazing poem ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes, as part of this half-term’s English curriculum.  The children have been identifying similes and metaphors from the poem and have created some fantastic pieces of art work linked to these.  This one from Poppy is ‘The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees’.  Amazing use of the art pencils to bring depth and emotion into the image. 

We’ve been really excited to begin the creation of our Science ‘Big Book’ and can’t wait to fill the pages!  This is a great way to showcase the wonderful science work that we study in class.


In French this week Madame Mordue was explaining all about the cornflower that is used in France, instead of the poppy.  For 100 years, the cornflower (Bleuet de France) has been the flower of remembrance and solidarity. It started as a means of helping injured veterans of the First World War, but before long had been adopted by the whole French nation as a symbol of gratitude for the sacrifices the soldiers had made to defend their country.

Our Big Question in Science this half-term is ‘Why can we see some things but not others?’.  We will be looking at solids, liquids and gases over the next few lessons and working out why our windows ‘steam up’ in the car or the bathroom.

Model Club has been a great success this week.  It’s tricky going and lots of patience is required but the models are beginning to take shape.


In English this week we have been focussing on our word classes and how to identify them accurately in our work.  We are becoming more confident in self-reviewing our long pieces of writing and looking for ways to improve them.

We had a lot of fun dressing up for Halloween and the children were ever so grateful to the PTA for organising such an amazing day - thank you.


Another great session during Commando Joe’s this week.  The children have successfully escaped from Gladiator School and it took a lot of strength and energy as they outran the Romans!

Without food, they would soon perish as they have a long journey ahead of them to avoid recapturing.  Their mission was to gather vital food supplies from the Romans. 

During Science this week we have been tasked with finding out which material soaks spillages up the best.  We carried out an investigation to test our predictions.  We came up with some interesting results.  One group found that cling film soaked up water and another had more water at the end of the investigation than at the start!  Quote of the week from Olivia, ‘Get a rag’.  It made us all smile.



We have been practising our decimal place skills in maths this week.  We’ve renamed the decimal point, ‘George’ or ‘Harry’ as they don’t move!  All of the other numbers must move around them when we multiply by 10, 100 or even 1000.

Our topic lessons this week have been focussed on countries of the world.  We’ve been locating countries on a world map and we’ve come across some that we’d never heard of before.  We have also created flags for the different continents of the world; we’ve come up with some amazing designs.

This week we have really been getting our teeth into our new story, ‘Friend or Foe’ by Michael Morpurgo, as part of our English curriculum.  The main characters, David and Tucky, have been evacuated from London and have been sent to Devon to stay with Mr & Mrs Reynolds at Hamleigh Farm.

We’ve been exploring different materials in Science and have been asking ourselves, why are frying pans made out of metal and not wood?  We’ve also been looking at the different properties of materials and why they are best suited for the job.  It has also made us question the amount of plastic we use and to carefully think about using alternatives. 

We were thrilled to see Adam Bushnell this week; a long-standing, friendly face and a superb author of course.  He helped to launch our new topic, ‘Continents and Countries’ and had some of the children dressing up in a variety of animal heads!  He brought along his pet turtle, Jet, who was impressed how hard the children worked.  Watch this space for our science experiments over the next few weeks.


We have had a wonderful start to the new school year - well done everyone for working so hard and being prepared for each day.  The highlight of our week has been our new singing lesson and recorder practise with Mrs Hague.  We filled the KS2 area with the sound of harmonious recorder notes!  

We launched our new Science topic, ‘Materials’ this week and had a great discussion about the materials around us.  Over the coming weeks we will be carrying out a variety of experiments, testing our predictions and ideas.


Another busy week in the Year 5/6 classroom.  We’ve continued to develop our amazing writing skills during our study of our poem, The Highwayman.  We’ve particularly enjoyed ‘filling the gaps’ and looking for unique ways to vary our writing styles.  The children have really enjoyed taking ownership of the wall display for this unit of work and the quality of their efforts is exceptional - well done! 

We have spent time in the Invention Shed this week making our own Christmas decorations - they will be coming home to be hung on the tree!

We’ve had another great week in Y5/6. The children  particularly enjoyed their amazing Christmas lunch - thank you  Mrs Hayes. The first turkey of the season! We have spent time  creating an array of Christmas cards, calendars and crackers  and getting into the Christmas spirit; even Mr Harvey wore a  Christmas jumper. Our Christmas performance rehearsals are  coming on great and we’re so looking forward to everyone at  home connecting via Zoom on Monday morning to watch.

This week has been packed with many wonderful activities.  The children had their Christmas performance on Monday morning.  Thanks to all the family and friends for joining us on Zoom - I think you would agree it was superb!  In our religious education lessons, we’ve studied the meaning of Christingle to those of the Christian faith and we made our own, which were taken home earlier in the week.  Lilly made a wonderful clay head of Bess, one of the characters from our poem, The Highwayman - she even has a black eye, as she is known as the ‘Landlord’s black-eyed daughter’ - well done!

We wish all of our families and friends a Merry Christmas and have a well-deserved break.  See you all in January.


January 2022

It has been great to hear all about the exciting things we’ve all been up to over the Christmas break and it’s great to be back into school.  We have so many things to look forward to this term.  During our Commando Joes session this week, we have continued to look at the amazing work of Nancy Wake. Nancy was a nurse and journalist who joined the French Resistance and later the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II.  Her mission was to send coded messages back to Britain whilst trying to keep her identity secret.  We had to create a credible cover story in our teams this week, whilst taking part in circuit activities and answering questions from the Gestapo and avoiding going to jail!

Nancy Wake


January 2022

We’ve had another busy week full of exciting activities.  We launched our new English topic, The Piano and we continue to get some amazing writing from this.  We’ve looked at using our speech marks correctly for dialogue between characters, we’ve used some wonderful vocabulary with the assistance of an online thesaurus and continued to empathise with the characters from the short film.  

In Science we have been considering our Big Question: What would happen to the Earth if humans were no longer around?

We launched our Victorian topic and have been looking at sources of evidence to establish what life must have been like for people living through this period of history.  

Looking at sources of evidence from paintings.

January 2022
During Science we have continued to study the parts of a flower and we’ve constructed some amazing 3-D representations which demonstrate our knowledge.
January 2022

We have started our new book in English, ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty.  This links in to our new topic, Victorians and is based on a true story about a young child called Jim Jarvis.  Jim is a runaway.  When his mother dies, he is all alone in the workhouse and desperate to escape.  But London in the 1860s is a dangerous and lonely place.  Jim faces a constant battle to survive.  This harrowing story is the inspiration for Doctor Barnardo to set up his charity and his amazing legacy remains today.

Otto’s picture is from Chapter 1 - The Shilling Pie, where ma has spent her last shilling on a delicious gravy ‘pudding’.


If you have any old shillings at home, would you please send them into school so we can have a look at them in class - thank you.

February 2022

We have continued to read our new book, Street Child and we’re beginning to understand how awful life was for Jim Jarvis and his family.  Many of the class brought in a selection of old coins for us to look at and Theo had a real Victorian coin from 1844 that our character, Jim, would have been using.  It’s extraordinary to think it is 178 years old!

During our Victorian lesson this week, we have studied the impact the Industrial Revolution had on Britain and its people.  The environment however wasn’t so lucky and we discussed the consequences from this time in our past.

February 2022

This week we have been continuing to read our amazing story, Street Child.  The Jarvis family were forced out of their home for not having enough money to pay their rent.  The sisters ended up working ‘in service’ while Jim and his Ma were sent to the infirmary and workhouse.  The BBC had an amazing Victorians lesson live on Monday morning and we studied some of the differences between modern day classrooms and those from the Victorian era. You can watch it again here:

BBC VICTORIANS   We thought it was probably best that we didn’t use a dunce cap any longer!

February 2022

We launched our Shakespeare project this week with an amazing acting workshop!  Nick Taylor, from Shakespeare Schools Foundation, launched our play, Romeo & Juliet.  Children were given many exciting tasks to take part in, as well as a chance to demonstrate their amazing thespian skills.  Parts have been allocated and the excitement that is building is wonderful.  We will begin the play rehearsals after half-term but for now, enjoy the week and let’s recharge our batteries.

March 2022 

We all came back to school re-energised and ready for the next half-term.  We have continued to study our play, Romeo & Juliet, as part of our English curriculum and we have been making some comparisons to the feuding that is currently going on in Europe at the moment.  The children are very excited about our performance on Wednesday 27th April at Northern Stage.

During Commando Joe’s we have launched our new explorer, Levison Wood.   Levison James Wood is a British Army officer and explorer. He is best known for his extended walking expeditions in Africa, Asia and Central America. Beginning in December 2013, over the course of nine months he undertook the first-ever expedition to walk the entire length of the River Nile from the Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. Our first mission this week was to transfer water from a river source into containers, ready for filtration.

March 2022 

This week we have continued to rehearse for our play, Romeo & Juliet and we’ve been using some Shakespearean insults!  We have had an amazing response from our parents for tickets to the show - it looks like Team Belsay will be filling up most of the seats at Northern Stage!  Thank you for your support.

In our topic lessons this week we have focussed on the awful working conditions that Victorian children faced.  Many of them had to work down the coalmines, in cotton mills, on the fields, up chimneys and inside various factories.  We are thankful that we have the opportunity to have an education now and not face these awful conditions.

March 2022

We have had another amazing week in school.  We continued to work our way through the challenges linked to Levison Wood.  The survival mission this week was proving tricky as food and water supplies were running out. In order to complete the next part of their mission, teams crossed the raging Tawi River. The waters were too treacherous to use stepping stones, building a safe bridge was the only option. 

We’ve been writing some wonderful letters to Parliament asking for the working conditions of Victorian children to be improved; particularly those working in the mines, in factories and in the fields.  Let’s hope our persuasive letters have an impact.

March 2022

All children have worked incredibly hard this week.  It has been Mock SATs week for year 6 pupils and their year 5 friends have been working independently and quietly, while these important tasks were going on - thank you to all pupils for their patience and hard work.

In Commando Joe’s this week, we have been working well in our teams, pretending  to use the trim trail as a raging ravine and transport all of our essential supplies across. 

Well done again team!

Our mothers are certainly in for a treat this weekend with the wonderful artwork that has been happening in class.

April 2022

We have had a number of wonderful things happening in school this week.  We had a visit from an astronomer based at Kielder Observatory who came to talk to the class about space rocks and brought some real examples for us to examine. 

" It was very informative and I learnt a lot."

"It was fun."

"I thought it was cool because she brought rocks in!"

April 2022

This week has been a very busy one again.  Lots of play rehearsals and focussing on our confidence on stage, delivery of our lines to the audience and really feeling in character.  The tickets for the performance will be sent home with the children on the first Monday back after the Easter holidays.  If anyone is wanting to book further tickets for friends or family members, please click on the link below:



May 2022

This week we have been drafting and editing our amazing Chapter 6 stories, linked to our English novel, Grandpa Chatterji.  We have been putting together all of our wonderful literacy skills and producing some of the best writing we have ever written!  

In our art lesson we have been looking at the features of birds and, using our observation skills carefully, we’ve begun to create some amazing pieces of work. 

June 2022

Commando Joe’s was an indoor session due the monsoon weather we had on Wednesday.  This week was all about teamwork.  We had to remember a sequence as part of our complicated mission.  As the mission progressed, the sequences became more difficult.  We had some amazing teamwork throughout all of the groups - well done!

We also launched our new English topic this week, Poets Voices.  In this unit of work, children enjoy and discuss all the poems, giving their own reasons for preferences. They draft whole-class poems, evaluating and editing as they go. Further composition work includes drafting and writing a nonsense-writing poem and a free-verse poem. They also prepare poems to read aloud.  We read some of Charles Causley’s poems and we all agreed he certainly liked to include spooky things in his writing. 

June 2022

We’re enjoying reading through more of Charles Causley’s poetry.  This week we have studied ‘I Saw A Jolly Hunter’.  We counted many uses of the word ‘jolly’ and we decided to write our very own ‘jolly’ poem.  Here are some wonderful examples from members of the class.  We will continue with more Charles Causley poems next week and discover more of his wonderful, creative works.