Laira Green Primary School

Tel: 01752 660427 Bramley Rd, Laira, Plymouth, PL3 6BP

Year 5/4 Cherry

Term 5


Listen to ‘I’m still Singing’ with Oak, Cherry and Hazel Class.


Final Week at Forest School

Though this was Cherry class’ last session, it was a quick one in the afternoon (due to the visit from Clive Pig in the morning) and the children were in from lunch early to have a quick change of clothes and get prepared. It was a really swift turnaround and we were out in good time. The weather has been really good for the last few weeks so we were looking forward to a dry afternoon in the woods.

On the way up to the valley we stopped to harvest some sycamore (for marshmallow sticks later in the session). The tree species was quickly identified, one child in particular linking the leaf of the tree to the image on Sycamore Class’ room sign. This was a great opportunity for children to all have another go at using the secateurs safely, incorporating correct handling procedures and that of ‘blood bubble’.

Sticks collected, we proceeded to the valley and had a quick discussion about what the hour and half or so was going to entail. The children were encouraged as much as possible to use the skills they had learnt over the previous sessions to have fun and make a positive contribution to their time in the woods.

While Mrs Nightingale and Mrs Mcgahan did a sterling effort of getting the main fire lit I supported some of the girls in getting a big rope swing raised. There were tribes created, dens made and lots of small, responsible fires lit. This was a huge success because the kindling around on the woodland floor was so dry from the lack of rain and the level of sun we’ve had. Children became really confident quite quickly and it wasn’t long before they realised they didn’t need a massive number of cotton wool balls or a big splodge of Vaseline, they could do it! Well done Cherry class!

Most of the children also had the opportunity to revisit their knife skills and sharpen their marshmallow sticks as well as make items to support their tribe role play. There was a great sense of the safety around using this particular tool and it gives me great confidence as these children go into Years 5 and 6 respectively. Many of them won’t go again until 2018 but hopefully the skills will stay with them.

As per usual the last session saw hot chocolates and marshmallows make a welcome visit to the session! The amount of embers was quite low because of the short time we had had to build up the fire but many of the children still got a good level of toastiness on their Mega Marshmallows.


The term may have only just started but Cherry’s time in the woods has already come to an end. Next week is the turn of Hazel and I look forward to another hard working, enthusiastic group of children enjoying their opportunities in the woods.


Until then,

Egyptian Drama Experience

Clive Pigg came to Laira Green Primary School earlier this week to introduce the Year 4 and 5 classes to the fascinating history surrounding the Ancient Egyptians.  The children were fascinated to hear all the gory details about how the Egyptians mummified their dead, involving washing the body, taking out the organs and storing them in jars, stuffing the corpse with straw, rubbing in essential oils and then hooking the brain out through the nose!!! They also acted out the Egyptian story surrounding a person’s journey to the afterlife.

Our children were amazed and entertained as always by all the information and anecdotes that Clive brought to school and they are very excited about writing factfiles, learning about the Egyptian Gods, writing with hieroglyphics.

Cherries at Forest School in April

What could have potentially been a very wet week turned out not so bad after all. The main shelter was still raised, as well as a few smaller group ones, however we didn’t have the occasion to dive for cover at any point. Lucky!


In amongst the now popular ‘tribes’, we managed to spend the vast majority of the session working with tools. Whilst a small group of children were demonstrating their skills with knives, the rest were off ecologically harvesting suckers from the bases of trees using secateurs. With regard to the knives, the children had correct sheathing and unsheathing modelled to them and repeated it well. We revisited the rule of blood bubble and about how to cut in front of your knees or with both legs together and to your side. Some used loppers to segment larger fallen branches and others had the opportunity to use handsaws on thicker limbs. It was good to get Cherry class using tools again in just their second session back in the woods and we will continue to develop this skill next week.

A major highlight of the session has to have been the removal of a fallen elder tree which was damaging surrounding foliage. The trunk had split and, though it had not fallen across the path and it was not a hazard, we took the opportunity to harvest the natural resource. Next week we will focus on how elder can be used to make beads for woodland ‘bling’! The tree was first trimmed of many of the larger branches with loppers and then severed from its split trunk using a handsaw. Then came the impressive moment. Using timber hitches and a multitude of ropes, some of the children pulled and heaved and hauled with all their might trying to get the tree down the steps to the area where we work. It was such tough going that more children had to be called and with a lot of whooping and hollering the tree came down! Lots of perseverance shown by the Cherries, great job!


Hopefully there will be more of an opportunity to show off their skills next week. I look forward to it!


Term 4

Firebird Canvasses

Cherry class got to complete their Bilibin-inspired canvases. They used a range of small brushes and acrylic paint to create a character and add a border.
They discovered that if you use acrylics and make a mistake, you can leave it to dry and then paint over the top. They were incredibly careful with the brushes and the detail we achieved is astonishing.
The paintings will be displayed at school so not all children will be able to bring them home just yet! Hopefully, we will create a beautiful display in the next week or two.

Well done Cherry artists.

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Bilibin Paintings

Cherry Class have been working really hard on completing our Bilibin inspired acryllic paintings on real canvas.  We will share with you the final pieces (when they are finished).

Here are some photos of the artists in Cherry class working hard.

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Term 3

Retelling Stories – February 2017

We have been using our story maps to retell the Russian folk tale, Ivan and the Firebird.  For this week’s writing task, Cherry class chose to write two paragraphs from the story.  The first is building tension as Prince Ivan approaches the fortress on his way to steal the Firebird from it’s cage and the second is the drama that unfolds as he gets caught.

Please read these four versions and enjoy the wonderful description within….

Ebonies Story

As Prince Ivan approached the towering fortress with cold, old, dilapidated walls, he could smell the wolves scruffy, damp fur and he could feel the cold, wet grass poking at his feet. He  started to climb up the dark gloomy walls of the mysterious fortress. As he got near the top, his hands were in pain for climbing about two feet wall. Then suddenly he heard a weird noise and that sound was coming from all of the snoring guards. Finally, he got to the top of the towering fortress and he saw the glimmering, sparkly golden cage. In the cage lay the miraculous firebird with his feathers glimmering in the moonlight. He took the firebird.T aking the cage, his eyes fell were distracted by the amazing shine of the jewels. He couldn’t resist but to grab the cage . . .

Suddenly, there began a hooting of trumpets and banging of drums. All of the guards were racing towards him with blazing sharp swords. Ivan thought this was the end, he felt all of the hot sweat dripping down his forehead. The guards grabbed. Ivan took a deep breath and he smelt fear!

The guards took him to their Tsar and his name was Tsar Kusman and he was furious. You could hear Ivans panting  heart because he was petrified. Quietly, Ivan got to his knees and told the Tsar why he had come.

By Eboni George

Cody Charlick

As Prince Ivan was trying desperately to climb the fortress wall, with his sweaty, drained and blistered fingers, he could smell the fluorescent scent coming from the meadows, fields and grasslands. Finally, Prince Ivan could see the ledge in sight; he leaped to it and gripped it with one hand, pulling himself up. Suddenly, as Prince Ivan was gasping for air, he broke out into a sweat. There it was: the firebird. This was the moment he was waiting for. He climbed into the attic, grabbed the firebird and the golden cage…

Drums rolled and trumpets blared and stunned Ivan as guards came thundering down the corridor. They took the confused Ivan to Tsar Afron and tried to take him prisoner but Ivan ran away with the firebird tensing at his chest. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his helper the wolf. He lunged onto the wolf who had a jaw that could wipe out any enemy, and they both bolted away.

By Cody Charlick

The Firebird

As prince Ivan silently crept up to the towering fortress walls. His hands were sweating as clouds tumbled over-head. Under the cover of darkness, he crept up to the fortress and started to climb the ice cold fort walls. When he reached the turrets, he could smell the pungent smell of smouldering firebird feathers, he smelt the sweet perfume of the beautiful banquet and he could hear distant music and the muffled sound of guards laughing. As he sprinted up a stone staircase, he found the dim light of the firebird. As he took the firebird, he can’t resist taking the crystal studded cage, but that was a mistake.

At once drums rolled and trumpets blared. Ivan could hear discomposed guards waving spears and axes. The firebird tensed in fear while burning prince Ivan’s chest. Sneakily, Ivan placed a mannequin with a guard outfit on it and the dumb guards left. He climbed over the wall and took a leap of faith and rolled and clambered onto the grey wolf and they escaped…    

By Isaac Bingley-Mewes

The Firebird Story

As Ivan approached, the fortress towered over him. He could see a cold, mossy, brick wall and lots of wilted flowers. Prince Ivan was invincible, he wasn’t afraid. Over the wall he went; his hands were sweaty because of the friction from the wall. On the grounds of the fortress, Ivan could hear the guards muffled snoring, coming from the big hall, where they party every day. As Prince Ivan climbed up the stairs,he smelt the lovely banquet from yesterday’s meal. He went up further and smelt a damp, mossy, pungent smell and cold air. Ivan made it to the sticky attic window. In he went. Clutching the firebird, he couldn’t resist taking the magnificent golden cage; out went his hands and “snatch.’’

Suddenly, drums rolled, and trumpets blared. Ivan could hear his own heartbeat every second. Out of the corner of his eye, guards were stomping with huge feet; they all had weapons with them.The smells of mouldy, damp clothes from the guards made Ivan clutch his nose in disgust. Sneakily, some of the guards caught Prince Ivan and took him away to the Tsar Affron.

By Lexie Ackland

Holocaust Memorial Day

Cherry Class thought very deeply about the reasons we have Holocaust Memorial Day every year.  They remembered everything the had learnt last year and were keen to understand more about what happens to refugees and people who are displaced in their lives.  The theme for this year’s HMD was “How Can Life Go On?” so Cherry class were thinking about all the things people would need as soon as they reach a new country.  They suggested safety, warmth, a house, someone to talk to and some toys for the children.

Here are some posters that Cherry Class designed to help us remember the needs of displaced people all over the world.

The Firebird – Storytelling

The Cherries have been listening to and reading a story called “The Firebird”.

It is a Russian Folktale and has many, many twists and turns and is peppered with both success and tragedy.  There are three sons in the story. The youngest, called Prince Ivan, set out on an adventure to capture the Firebird.  On their way, they meet lots of characters including a wolf, a horse with a golden mane and a princess called Helen.

There are many twists and turns to the plot, which the children have put onto paper in the form of a story map.  They used their maps as prompts to re-tell the stories.  Their enthusiasm and actions and description was fantastic to watch!  Well done, Cherries.

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Haiku Poetry

Cherry Class have been reading and creating Haiku poetry. These special verses have 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second and 5 in the third line. They are very descriptive and should sum up the item chosen as the subject.

Can you guess what object we were writing about?

haiku1 haiku2

Term 2

Celebrating Passover

Following our visitor Judith’s explanation of how Jewish families celebrate Passover, we created a scene in class of a family at this special time.  

We read the words aloud from the script and tried some of the foods that are traditionally eaten when Jewish families gather together at Passover.  Some of the foods were new to lots of us; Matza (unleavened bread) and bitter herbs (we had horseradish sauce) and grape juice (instead of wine). We tried wearing the kippah and we had the candles on the table and we ate from the Seder Plate.  

The Cherry Tree children really enjoyed experiencing this celebration and now understand the symbolism for each food eaten.  

This is a Seder Plate          


At the Allotment 2016 November

Cherry class went to the allotment on Wednesday 23rd November.  We firstly needed to pull up all the old butternut squash plants but we got our gloves on and got to work!! We had to collect lots of rocks and put them in a pile.  Then we went and weeded and raked two beds at the top of the allotment, ready for digging and planting in the sprint.  Jason said we were great workers and that we got a lot done – we don’t hang around in the Cherries -we JUST DO IT!!

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Anti bullying in Cherry Class November 2016

Cherry Class have been thinking about bullying and what we can do to stop it.  

We talked about the types of bullying that might happen and some ideas on what to do if you see it or experience it yourself.  We discussed cyber bullying, leaving people out, name calling and hurting others physically.

To help us learn, we all went on a website called and made posters.  We could choose the background, the characters and their clothes and accessories, the dialogue.  We shared our posters on google drive and had them printed out – they were then displayed around the school in the corridors.

Next, we thought of some logos to help us to remember what to do to stop bullying. These were written onto masks and they were then decorated mainly in blue which is the theme of anti-bullying week 2016.  We hope you like the pictures of the masks and posters.

Anglo Saxon Art – October 2016

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Our RE topic is called “Beliefs and Questions” this term.

During our first RE session this week, we talked about beliefs.  We thought about what “believe” and “belief” means and discussed the various beliefs that we have as individuals.  As part of the task we were concentrating on working together, sharing ideas and valuing the beliefs and opinions of others around us.

Children were encouraged to discuss meaningful beliefs e.g. what religion do you believe in? Do you believe in heaven? What are your thoughts on karma – what goes around comes around? What is your view on following your dreams?

The children really enjoyed discussing, listening, thinking about our beliefs and what influences our beliefs.

Here are some photographs of Cherry Tree Class all working together to put their ideas onto a graffiti wall.

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An Anglo-Saxon at Laira Green

Clive Pig came into school this week to inspire us in our topic work and in our writing.  He told us all about the Anglo-Saxons and retold the story of Beowulf and Grendel.  He is an amazing storyteller and all the children were completely captivated.

We then had a workshop thinking about how the Anglo-Saxons might have felt on their journey to England and what it might have been like when they arrived.

Past Events

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