“Writing Cafe is better than Golden Time” (Class 8, November 2014)

We reached the end of yet another full on and busy week in Class 8, with all the children asking constantly,

“Will we be doing the Writing Cafe again on Friday, Mr Bradley?”

This time the children came back from (yet another wet) lunch time to find tables positioned in small groups of 4, with napkins (for the ‘messy’ writers) and brand new pencils (cutlery) in their places. Again, it was a buzzing and excited atmosphere in the class – what more could a teacher ask for? Already eager, they went straight to their places and had a look at the menu choices for today.

I had decided on a theme of discovery that ran through the menu, this time with a combination of narrative and non-fiction writing to whet the children’s appetites.

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Enthusiastic to get going, the children made their choices quickly and off they went…

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As always in writing cafe, there was the opportunity during the session for the children to have a break and a biscuit! Custard creams were on the menu today – along with some fab writing! The ‘control’ the children showed when the biscuits were served was brilliant. Again they challenged each other to write a little more before they were allowed a taste!

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We had music playing in the background and a fun and relaxed atmosphere in the class this afternoon which all led to some lovely writing from the children. Who knew George Ezra could have such and effect!

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The afternoon flew by and it was soon time to get ourselves ready to go home. This was met with groans and moans amongst the children who didn’t want the cafe to end. All very good to hear!

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Let’s hope the next time is met with the same fantastic response! Well done Class 8! 🙂

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Gorging on Cheddar

After an early and wet start to the day – 8:15am – we were on our way to Cheddar Gorge with some very excited children! The coaches pulled away and about an hour and a half later we arrived at Gogh’s Cave ready for our tour!

Class 8 were the first to head in to the cave, with class 7 heading to the museum and class 9 making their way through Cheddar down to Cox’s Cave.

Our guide, Christine, really brought the cave to life when she led us in to the darkness….

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Walking our way through the cave, we met Cheddar Man – a replica of the actual skeleton found in the cave. The skeleton is kept in the same place as the original, but the bones have been removed and replaced by plastic as the cave is still prone to flooding. The children enjoyed the fact that during times of flooding, Cheddar Man’s head could be found bobbing around the cave!

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Cheddar Man lying in the same place he was found many years ago!

The children were very knowledgeable about the cave formation and were able to explain that water causes special features such as stalactites and stalagmites, columns, curtains and ‘pigs ears’!

Take a look at some of our pictures below…

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Once out of the cave, we travelled down to Cox’s Cave and then headed over to the museum where we met a real life caveman! Honest!!

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He explained to the children what it would have been like to live in the Gorge during prehistoric times. He talked about how the tribes would have kept themselves warm, found shelter in the caves, build shelters, hunted for animals and made weapons. The children listened extremely well and were able to try out the caveman lifestyle for themselves – becoming fashionable members of the tribe along the way!

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We headed back to school very late and arrived back at around 4:45pm – exhausted! The teaching staff were ready to put their feet up! Thank you to all that came along with us – I am sure the children appreciate it.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to the parents who volunteered to come along with us – days like this couldn’t happen as easily without your support – so THANK YOU!

All in all, it was a super day!

A cheesy cave exploration!

Did someone say cheese?

 

The cheese from Cheddar is kept in Gogh’s cave and is matured over a year at 11 degrees! The victorians realised that the cheese was being nibbled by rats and mice, and so it is now contained in a wire cage – and even we can’t have any!!

This is what we thought about our day…

Annabel: In Gogh’s cave it was quite drippy and you could fit a whole tribe of cavemen inside it!

Brooke: In the cave there were these parts that looked like chocolate falling down.

Bella: At the very back of the cave you could see a cat, a man, Buddha, a mermaid, a witch, an alien, Tom and Jerry made in the rock. It was cool!

Joseph: Yes Mr Bradley, the minerals in the water made the chocolate fountains…it was really clever!

Megan: But don’t forget the cannibals! They lived in the caves and Cheddar Man was the first whole skeleton to be found in the UK.

Harry: When it flooded, Mr Bradley, Cheddar Man’s head used to float around the cave – it needed chasing! They replaced the skeleton with a plastic replica.

Juliet: It is in the exact place that Cheddar Man was found…

Dylan: Cox’s Cave was next, Mr Bradley. it was a little more narrow and squashed inside.

Tamsin: There were lots of little pools of water that you could dip your fingers in. They were very cold.

Libby: From the low ceiling there were ‘pigs ears’ hanging down – they were formed because all the water was dripping to make them grow.

Mr Bradley: I can remember how long it took for the ‘pigs ears’ to grow…It took 1000 years for it to grow to the same size as a sugar cube!

Henry: I wanted to go in to the crystal quest but ‘angry’ Mr Bradley said no!

Jasmine: He said no, Henry, because some people may not like it … And he wasn’t angry! 

Moses: In both of the caves, there were stalactites and stalagmites with curtains in Gogh’s cave too.

Erik: Errr…. I liked the part with the caveman because he taught us how to hold fire and transport it around the gorge in a safe way…

Tamsin: He took a mushroom from the Ash tree that stayed warm for up to an hour and when you blew on it it would glow red and create a fire.

Esther: The museum was AWESOME!!!!! You could see the past and the future all at the same time because you saw the tribes people bury Cheddar Man, and then Gogh’s children find him.

Jasmine: Mr Bradley said he is going to put some pictures on later – so look out for them!

Love Class 8 x

Remembrance…

Our Remembrance week is going well and today class 8 blew me away with their maturity and innocence all in one go.

We produced some excellent poems, thinking about war and trying to empathise with those that have been directly affected… In particular those in world war 1. We will share with you our finished articles later in the week.. Something to look out for!

We also completed our wreath of poppies ready for the assembly on Thursday. The children wanted to add messages which can be found amongst the petals… Take a look… IMG_3888.JPGIMG_3891.JPG

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The children have asked some excellent questions this week too.

“Why did the war have to happen?”
“Couldn’t someone just stop it?”

Looking forward to sharing our learning on Thursday. Well done class 8!

Anyone for dessert?

On Friday, the children in Class 8 spent the afternoon enjoying their first experience of our new Writing Cafe!

After lunch, the children came back in to a transformed classroom and were already excited about what the afternoon had in store for them. With the tables set out differently, bright table cloths on the tables and music playing quietly in the background, already the whispers amongst them had started…

“What are we doing?”, “Why are the tables covered?”, “What are those plates on the table for?”

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Once settled, we discussed what our first Writing Cafe was all about…

The excitement level rose at the prospect of spending a Friday afternoon writing about something that the children chose themselves off the menu – and with the added incentive of biscuits – the children were already buzzing with ideas!

The children had the choice of either a starter, main course or dessert for their writing. They simple chose from the menu what they wanted to write about and then off they went! There were some very sensible converstaions at the tables with the children discussing with each other whether they were going to choose the starter, or go straight for the main… of course, there were a few that went straight for dessert (who can blame them!)

To give the writing cafe something special, Mrs Davis and Mr Bradley (serving staff for the afternoon) came round with biscuits! Again, the children spoke very sensibly about this new addition to their writing…

“I say we wait until we have written at least half a page before we have a biscuit…”

“Why don’t we have half a biscuit to celebrate writing a full page?”

The final outcome was some super writing… and a huge thumbs up from the children for the Writing Cafe! They all wanted to do it again!

 

Take a look at the images below… They say more that I can about our afternoon!

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