Benjamin Zephaniah Poetry


As part of our new topic, Black History Month, Year Six have been studying the poems of the world famous author Benjamin Zephaniah.

Brilliant, witty, funny – Benjamin’s poems could not be more different to the very serious, emotive poems from The Great War, which we were previously looking at. His poems, although based on serious topics, are full of humour and laughter, silliness and comedy: that’s why we like them so much!

Have you ever heard of a poem called Talking Turkeys? Neither had we until we watched this video. Take a look and see what you think about Benjamin and his poems:


After spending time, at the end of last week, studying and rehearsing one of Benjamin Zephaniah’s poems, currently we’re performing our poems for the rest of class. Keep checking back for pictures and videos!


What wonderful performances of some of Benjamin’s poems! Here we are during some of our performances:


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World War Two Poetry


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime. . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
Thought to have been written between 8 October 1917  and March, 1918

Have you ever heard a poem from The Great War before? Or even World War Two? Neither had Year Six before this week. Passionate and moving, emotional and poignant, many of the poems that we’ve been looking at in Literacy this week are really affecting and made us feel lots of different emotions. Some of the poems were sad and about death; others remembered the sacrifices of the soldiers and celebrated their lives.

Our task was to study a selection of War Poetry and, as a pair/small group, choose one of the poems to perform for the rest of the class. We had the option of performing the poem like a drama or simply reading the poem with the appropriate emotion.

Here we are performing some of our favourites:

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Electricity is a wonderful thing #1

What is electricity? Why is it important? How was it invented? How is it made?

These are just a few questions that Year Six are investigating in their science work today. Did you know that electricity can be measured in both volts and amps? Some people already know a lot about electricity; others have quite a bit to learn.

Task #1: ‘Sticky Fingers’

Our first task of the day was to take part in a ‘Sticky Fingers’ activity. We had to read different facts all about electricity, which were positioned throughout our classrooms. Then, we had to learn our favourite fact and pass that fact on to out ‘sticky finger’ partner.

Task #2: Circuits & Symbols

Secondly, we were each given a pack with different photos, descriptions and symbols of components that are found in a basic electrical circuit. Our job was to match each symbol with correct picture and description. Sound easy? It’s not! Frustratingly, many of the symbols are so similar that it was difficult to tell which symbol belonged to which circuit component.

Task #3: Circuit Challenge

The final task of the day was to collect a challenge card and build the circuit described on the card. Some circuits included bulbs and the aim was to create light; others had buzzers or motors which needed to be switched on. We had lots of fun experimenting with different size batteries and different amounts of wires etc…

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Year Six can’t wait for the next Science Day!



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World War Two by Ellis

Intriguing, exciting, fun – we learnt about Winston Churchill’s secret auxiliary units. We pretended we were the people risking their lives in WW2. The game we played was when we had 5 plates and crawled through the classroom with them. After, we placed the plates on a tank but the guard (Andy – our teacher) was there and every so often he turned his powerful torch on to check on the tanks. After a minute, BOOM!!! The tanks exploded and our mission was complete.


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Andy Messer Workshop

What an AMAZING day Year Six had yesterday! Andy Messer, the fantastic author and story teller, spent the whole day running a workshop with Year Six all about WWII.

Fascinating and clever, fun and exciting, Andy made learning about WWII really interesting by making us feel as though we were actually there.

Firstly, we pretended that we were children being evacuated from the city to the countryside. We were all given a number and a shape (which turned out to not mean anything) and asked to partner up. Next, we had to discussed with our partners how we would feel if we were actually being evacuated.

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After break, we came back upstairs to classrooms and talked about the different sounds you could hear during the war. We talked about the different planes and tanks that the Germans and the British had and whether or not it was easy to identify which was which by just listening. Actually, it’s really really difficult. Just listen to the videos below and see if you can tell which is which…

Later on in the day, we were given a secret mission by Andy. Our job was to help protect the British Army by destroying some of the German tanks and other supplies.

We had ‘paper plate’ bombs which had a 1 minute time delay, so it was really important that we got in and out as quickly as possible. However, our mission wasn’t as simple as it seems because there was a German soldier on lookout with his torch. If his torch was shining on you, you had to be as silent and as still as possible so he didn’t shoot you! If was really exciting, if a little difficult.

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One of our last tasks for the day was to look at two pictures of a countryside scene and a city scene during the Second World War. We had to discuss the main differences between the two images which sparked a heated discussion about whether it was better to be evacuated to the countryside or stay in the city.

We had such a brilliant day – thanks Andy!IMG_1770

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World War Two Workshop Day

Our new topic in Year Six is World War Two.

Some of us already know quite a few facts about WWII; others didn’t know much at all. Therefore, we all took part in a World War Two workshop to teach us all about this topic.

We even got a chance to listen to the air raid siren.

There were several stations to travel around including:

  1. iPad Station – where you could learn facts about WWII.
  2. Laptop Station – where you could listen to radio broadcasts from that time.
  3. Primary Sources – where we looked at original WWII artefacts.
  4. Propaganda Station – where we learned what propaganda is.
  5. The Bomb Shelter – where we got a glimpse into what it could have been like to have to hide from a bombing raid.

Exciting, interesting, factual – this workshop was a great way for us to learn all about WWII.

Keep checking on the blog for more updates on our WWII learning…

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Charles Darwin D&T Project

Over the past few weeks, while the other Year 6s have been on transition to their new secondary schools, we have been undertaking a new, exciting project: Charles Darwin and his famous journey on The Beagle. We have created a whole collection of work all about Darwin and The Beagle including: a journal entry by Darwin himself while on his expedition; an ‘aged’ map of the world showing the route he travelled all those years ago; a wooden moving toy designed around Darwin’s explorations and a leaflet advertising our toys and how you could buy them.

“During this project, I learnt that Charles Darwin was a great explorer: he found many new species in the Galapagos Islands. I also enjoyed making the toy boxes because it was exciting using the saws. Making the leaflets was awesome because we got to used the laptops to help us design and create them.” – Nahom.

“I have enjoyed the Charles Darwin Project because we got to design and make Darwin toys and we also made a map of where Darwin went.” – Coben.



“Over the past 3 weeks, we have been learning about Charles Darwin’s voyage and the Galapagos Islands. We did lots of work related to this. We did: maps, leaflets, customised animals and a toy. My favourite part about this project was making the wooden toy box. Although it was fiddly, it was still really fun. Another of my favourite parts was making the map. It was quite easy to copy the map but it still took me a few attempts.” – Cody.

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The Pillowcase Project

About The Pillowcase Project

It is estimated that natural disasters have affected approximately 250 million people worldwide every year in the last decade. More than half of those affected have been children (IFRC 2010).

The Pillowcase Project is an emergency preparedness education programme, initiated by the American Red Cross and funded by The Walt Disney Company. It is now happening in six other countries including the UK.

The project helps children aged 7–11 develop understanding, and the skills to cope with and respond to any weather-related emergency they may face. As part of the programme, children decorate an emergency ‘grab bag’ pillowcase with the items they would want to have with them in an emergency and take this home with them to share their learning with their family. This project has strong curriculum links; and many of the skills children learn as part of this project can be transferred to other areas of their learning and their lives; including skills such as: communication, coping and listening, problem solving and creative and critical thinking.

The Red Cross – 2017 (

What we’ve learned through The Pillowcase Project

As many of the Year Sixes are currently undertaking their three weeks of Early Risers, the remaining members of Quartz and Opal class have been kept busy undertaking The Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project.

We’ve learned all about what kinds of emergencies there are across the globe, including those which are more likely to affect us in the UK such as storms and flooding.

Lucky, fortunate, advantaged – we’ve come to realise how many challenges and natural disasters other nations have to live through and how lucky we actually are living in this country.

As well as this, we’ve discussed and evaluated what we might need to do in an emergency and what equipment/items we might need to help us cope in an emergency.

What did we have to do?

The first step in the process was to design our pillowcases. Careful and thorough, practical and important, we had to think about all the vital items we would need in any kind of emergency, such as:

  • water
  • clothes
  • food
  • a torch (and batteries)
  • medicine
  • a toy (for comfort)

After this, we made a start on the designing process…


Once we’d completed our designs on paper, we then had to be extra careful and transfer our designs onto our pillowcases.

We were really pleased with the finished result and here they are…


What we thought about The Pillowcase Project

“I really enjoyed The Pillowcase Project because we could let our imagination run wild and I learnt that floods are more likely to happen in the UK than any other natural disasters.” M – Opal Class.

“In The Pillowcase Project, I have learned that I must listen to news updates if there’s a chance of flooding. Also, ten years ago, there was major flooding in Sheffield which caused lots of damage.” – N, Quartz Class.

“I really liked doing The Pillowcase Project because we could design and create our own pillowcase. As well as this, I learned how to stay safe if flooding actually happened.” – O, Opal Class.

“What I liked the most about the project was that we learned many different events that bad, or even dangerous, weather can cause. At first, I didn’t have a clue what The Pillowcase Project was but now I know and I really enjoyed the project.” – S, Quartz Class.

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Year 6 mentoring is amazing: you get put into a group with a Sixth Former (Y12) and, as well as learning all you can about secondary school from your mentor, you can play games, eat new foods and visit different places (such as Jump inc. and secondary schools) but my favorite part was when we had afternoon tea at 5 o’clock and there was loads of yummy food – I especially liked the brownies.

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Bugsy Malone by Lucy and Kelsie.

Awesome, fun, enjoyable – we have loved practicing for Bugsy Malone. It has been amazing experience, and we can’t thank the teachers enough for their hard work. The rehearsals have gone really well, but the dresses were really itchy. Overall, it has been fantastic – we can’t wait for our final performance.

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