St Wilfrid's Catholic Primary School

St Wilfrid’s
Catholic Primary School

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Spring Term 2020

As part of Ripon Cathedral's Outreach programme the class were invited to a lunchtime concert, an organ recital. It was a great opportunity for the children to hear classical pieces being played on such a grand instrument. 

As part of our Science learning the children have been looking at the properties of rocks. In studying a variety of rocks the children were able to describe the features using words such as smooth, shiny, crumbly and brittle. The children also enjoyed learning the names of the different rocks as some of them are very unusual! 

In Art, the children have been creating 'Under the Sea' creatures and landscapes using collage techniques. Later on in the term they will be focusing on the artist Monet, continuing the theme of water. 

To launch our topic 'Water, Water, Everywhere!' the children went on an exciting educational visit to Ripon Canal. They had the opportunity to operate the locks, go for a ride on a canal boat and walk down the towpath. 

Autumn Term 2019

Last week we had a visit from Hull Scrapstore. They collect unwanted everyday items which can then be reused and recycled, therefore reducing the amount of waste going to landfill sites. Class 2 and Class 3 used the items to make lots of different animals, inspired by the story 'The Kapok Tree' which is all about saving the rainforests. The children had a great day but they also learnt a lot about how they can reduce waste and protect the environment.

Linked to our topic about the Environment we carried out a litter picking search of the local area. It was surprising how much litter the children found and we had some valuable discussions about the items that could be recycled. The wet weather didn't dampen the children's enthusiasm and they did a great job, ably assisted by Sixth Form students from Ripon Grammar School.

Class 3 are having a great time doing Forest School activities. This week they were inspired by the story 'Leaf Man' to create their own characters using natural materials. See if you can spot a butterfly, a cat, a duck and perhaps even Rudolph in the pictures below. The children were also excited to see a real hedgehog and a frog this week!

During Judaism week, the children have been learning about the Jewish festival of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). During Sukkot, Jewish people remember when God freed them from slavery in Egypt. The children have had the opportunity to build Sukkahs (temporary homes made out of dry leaves and branches), sample bread and honey, study symbols linked to Judaism and build their own synagogues. The children have really enjoyed learning about a different religion.


To conclude our Chocolate topic we had a Chocolate Shop. The children prepared all of the chocolate treats themselves, from writing the instructions to making and selling items. The children decorated buns, made chocolate crispies and dipped marshmallows in melted chocolate. The classroom certainly resembled Willy Wonka's chocolate factory! Thank you to all of the families who were able to attend. 


The Year 3 children were invited to attend 'The Great Big Book Hullabaloo' an event organised by the Little Ripon Bookshop. Harry Heape and Nick East (both published authors) were able to provide an insight into the life of an author, from their inspiration for writing, their development of ideas through to the illustrations in their books. The children themselves were able to experience being an illustrator when they were shown how to draw a weasel by Nick East. We have some very talented Year 3s, as the pictures below show.

In English we have started looking at instructional texts. To link it to our 'Choctastic' topic the children had to create a chocolate pizza, considering carefully the different steps involved before ordering a set of instructions. They also had to use features of instructions, including time words, numbered steps and of course tasting the chocolate treat that they had created! 

In our Science lessons we have been learning about Autumn. We went on an Autumn scavenger hunt around the school field to find signs of Autumn. We then grouped the objects that we had collected based on autumnal colours, creating an Autumnal pictogram.

This term the children have been perfecting their football skills, focusing on ball control, keeping possession and being able to stop the ball safely. We have many talented footballers in Class 3 and Mrs Hakes hopes that some of them will end up playing for Newcastle United in the future! :-)

The children have made a super start to the year and they have shown great enthusiasm for this term's topic which is all about chocolate! Today we had our first educational visit looking at the history of chocolate in York. As part of this we visited the York Chocolate Story where we were able to make delicious chocolate treats and taste a variety of chocolates. The children were also taken on a journey through the history of chocolate from the Mexican tribes to the success of Terrys and Rowntrees in York itself. It was a great day and the perfect venue to launch a topic about chocolate, sweetened by the chocolate delights along the way of course!


Summer Term 2019 - Tell Me A Tale!

The children had great fun dressing up as their favourite fairy tale characters. There were witches and wizards, princes and princesses and even Puss in Boots!
In the afternoon the parents joined us for some fairytale crafts. We made wands, swords, catapults and masks. There was also the opportunity to decorate a fairy bun or share a fairytale in our classroom reading area.



To launch our topic 'Tell Me a Tale' we went to Bolton Castle. The children had the opportunity to learn about life in a castle, to try out medieval outfits (including armour and chain mail) and experience being a soldier using spears and bows! We also learnt some facts about Mary Queen of Scots who is an historical figure that we will be focusing on this term. We had an amazing day!


Spring Term 2019 - Oh to be a Victorian!

To conclude our topic for this term we had a Victorian Day. The children experienced life in a Victorian classroom and they had to master writing with chalk, writing with their right hand (as writing with your left hand was not permitted in a Victorian classroom!) and using a Copperplate style of writing. The children were surprised by how strict the teachers were and those who did not try hard in their learning had to wear a Dunce hat, which included some of the parents! There was also the opportunity to try gruel, but surprisingly not one person asked for more!
As part of our Victorian Day the children also enjoyed playing some of the traditional Victorian games. These included Oranges and Lemons, Skipping and Hopscotch.


Continuing our Science topic about plants, we 'branched' out and went to study the different varieties of trees in Spa Gardens. Initially we had to look for evidence which would help us to decide if the trees were deciduous or evergreen before looking more closely at the leaves as we tried to identify the different types of tree. The children were fantastic Science detectives and they found lots of evidence including different types of seeds, flowers and leaves.


In our Science topic this term we will be learning about plants. We launched the topic by looking at the different parts of a plant and discussed the important job that each part has in helping the plant to grow. We then used a range of materials to create our own 'plants' and the children had some fantastic ideas about how the different materials could be used to create the different parts.


In English we have been using the book 'Major Glad, Major Dizzy to inspire us with our writing. The story is about two wooden soldiers who have lots of adventures and can also be quite mischievous! To really understand the characters in the story the children made their own wooden peg doll soldiers and when Mrs Hakes was out of class, they got up to all kinds of mischief! 


In Science we used what we have learnt about shadows to retell the story of Chinese New Year using shadow puppets. The children created their own shadow puppets before retelling the story. Can you recognise any of the animals from their shadows?


In Computing we have been using iPads to take photographs, before using the editing tools to add text and use effects. The children had great fun exploring the different effects and creating their own self portrait galleries. Here are a few examples and there are more displayed in school.


Continuing our Science topic about 'Light and Dark' we explored how the position of a light source can lengthen or shorten an object's shadow. The children made their own models using tin foil before observing the length of the shadows by changing the position of the light source. It was amazing to see how scary the shadows could be when the light was close to an object, making it appear to be much bigger!


In Art we have been studying the work of Georges Seurat. Linked to our learning about Mary Poppins we decided to create our own umbrella art using pointillism (the technique used by Seurat). The children used a variety of tools to help add 'dots' to their pictures, including thin paintbrushes and cotton buds. There was fantastic concentration and we were very happy with the end result.


In Science we have started looking at Light and Shadow. We investigated a range of materials to see if they were transparent, translucent or opaque by designing a Victorian monocle. We used bubble wrap, tissue paper, plastic bags, felt and paper. The children had great fun making their monocle using pipe cleaners and testing the different materials.


To launch our Victorian topic we went to the Ripon Workhouse Museum. We all had a fantastic time and it was interesting to learn about the lives of children during the Victorian era. During our visit we were able to experience life in a Victorian schoolroom and we all agreed that schoolteachers were very strict then! We also had the opportunity to complete everyday chores such as sweeping the floors, polishing the brasses and cleaning the shoes. We also learnt that times weren't always hard and that children were sometimes allowed to play games. We had fun playing 'Hunt the Thimble', 'Oranges and Lemons' and skittles where wooden posts were used and a potato replaced the ball!


Autumn Term 2018

Merry Christmas!

The children have enjoyed all of the Christmas events this week. There was some great dancing at the party and some strong competition in Musical Bumps and Musical Statues. A fun time was had by all!


Thank you for all of your support this term and Merry Christmas!


Chocolatier Visit

We were very fortunate to have a visit from Lee - the owner of the 'Bear and Mouse Chocolate Company'. He was able to demonstrate how chocolate is used to make a variety of different products and he was able to explain the process of how chocolate is made. He also explained the importance of tempering chocolate to make it the right consistency.


After a brief demonstration the children were able to sample some of the mouth watering chocolate before they decorated their own chocolate bars and lollies. The children had an amazing afternoon and there may well be some future chocolatiers in Class 3! We are very grateful to Lee for sharing his time and expertise. 


Library Visit

During our visit to Ripon Library we were able to learn about borrowing books and we also had time to browse the different sections of the library. Louise read a funny story called 'Danny McGee Drinks the Sea' and we also listened to one of Roald Dahl's revolting rhymes. The children also had the opportunity to sit and enjoy reading a variety of books, perhaps texts recommended by their friends or new authors such as Jessica Ennis-Hill. A very informative visit and thank you to Ripon Library for having us.



We continued our learning about the Wright brothers by acting out significant events linked to their invention of the aeroplane. There was some great collaboration and the children really enjoyed playing the different roles. This included spectators, the brothers themselves and aeroplanes! We edited the photos to make it more realistic for the period of history that we are studying. 



As part of our Science learning we have been looking at the properties of different materials and how they can be used. The children had great fun exploring the different ways in which they could stretch, roll, twist, mould and shape the different materials.

The children found that the salt dough was easy to roll and mould into different shapes.

Blu Tac was easy to manipulate aswell and the children were able to make some interesting models with it. Here is Blu Tac Man!

We found that the slime was the hardest material to make shapes with. However, we enjoyed stretching it in many different directions, despite it being very sticky!


Taking Flight!

As part of the history curriculum, the children need to learn about significant events and individuals. The children have started to learn about the Wright Brothers and how they invented the first aeroplane. To introduce this topic we gave the children the opportunity to be inventors themselves. Using only lollipop sticks,pegs, artstraws and card they had to design and make an aeroplane. The children were very creative with their designs and all prototypes were able to fly successfully although some models had to make a crash landing!


Ripon Fire Station Visit

Continuing our topic 'We Could Be Heroes' we went to meet some local heroes by visiting Ripon Fire Station. The children learnt about the different ways in which firefighters help people. They were able to watch a demonstration of how people are rescued from tall buildings and they also learnt more about the equipment involved in water rescues and also how people can be rescued from vehicles involved in traffic collisions. We are very grateful to the firefighters for their time and also for the great service that they provide - they are true heroes and an inspiration to others.

Whilst visiting the fire station the children also had the opportunity to experience being a firefighter for themselves, an activity which they all enjoyed! 


Ripon Cathedral

We took the children to see the unique sculptural piece called 'Fields of Mud, Seeds of Hope' which was commissioned to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One and is currently displayed in Ripon Cathedral. We were fortunate enough to meet Dan Metcalfe, the artist who designed and made the

sculpture. The children listened intently while he described how it was created.

 'Lest We Forget'




This term the children have been developing games skills using 'Attack, Defend and Shoot' techniques. The children have really enjoyed trying to score and they have valued the importance of working as a team to do so. A great way to exercise and also great fun!



Tour of Ripon

This week the children enjoyed a walking tour of Ripon. They were able to see key landmarks such as the Obelisk, the Market Square, the Wakeman's House, Town Hall and Spa Gardens. Whilst we were in the Spa Gardens we also looked for signs of Autumn. The weather was perfect for playing in the leaves! 


People Who Help Us

Mrs O'Cofaigh came into school today to talk to the children about her job. She discussed the important role she has in helping people as a specialist doctor. The children learnt about the skills needed to be a doctor and some of the pupils were able to experience being actual patients! We are very grateful to Mrs O'Cofaigh for giving up her time to come and share her expertise. Thank you from Class 3!



As part of our topic 'We could be Heroes' we invited representatives from the Ripon Hornblowers to talk about the history of the tradition with the children. They learnt about the importance of the horn in warning people of a possible attack and that the tradition started over 1000 years ago. Follow this link to learn more:



Continuing our learning about the senses, the children used their sense of taste to complete a Investigation. Mr. Hakes had accidentally added the wrong ingredient whilst making dinner making the food taste very different! Could the children identify the ingredient using only their sense of taste? They had a variety of items to taste and they had to consider whether they were sweet, spicy, bitter or sour. The children certainly enjoyed sampling the chocolate buttons, but the Marmite and pickled onions proved less popular, especially as many thought that the Marmite looked like chocolate spread on appearance!



As part of our learning about the senses the children had to solve a ‘crime’ using only their sense of smell. Mrs Borchard’s coffee had been stolen from the staff room and all of the teachers were suspects! The evidence was collected from the cups left in the staff room, all of which contained different objects and the children had to decide which teacher had the coffee using only their sense of smell.

The children enjoyed using their sense of smell, although they weren’t keen on the chilli powder smell! The crime was solved and the guilty teacher was...