Investigator Class

The Week Ahead

July 10, 2020

The final week of the Victorians and what a lovely way to finish with Beatrix Potter. We had a great artistic week last week as we found out about William Morris; his love of nature, his designs and manufacture of wall papers and fabrics from those designs. This week will allow us to further enjoy looking at nature and the farming world and see how life in the countryside changed during Victorian times. I'm very much looking forwards to seeing the artwork the children create as they look at animals, whether they take on the characteristics of people or whether they remain true to real life and to read their stories of life in the countryside.

In maths this week, Year 4 will be looking at symmetry and positions on a grid, while Year 5 will be revising units of measure including time.

Please do send in your comments on the reports so that we can return the completed written reports to you this week.

The Week Ahead

July 03, 2020

What an amazing week culminating in our wonderful virtual sports day. Congratulations to all the Investigators who took part so enthusiastically (and soggily in some cases) - you made a great contribution to the house results.

We've discovered so much about the Victorians; their technology, their fashions, their schooling and their leisure time.  Another aspect of Victorian life that remains, in some cases unchanged, with us today is their love of art and design. This week we look at a textile designer called William Morris, who had enormous influence at the time, not just on the design and manufacture of textiles but who believed that people should be able to see and appreciate beauty however poor or wealthy they were or wherever they lived. His designs are still used today for wallpapers and fabrics - in fact the blinds in my bathroom were one of his designs and I wouldn't be surprised if you can find something in your house based on a design by him.

In English this week, I'm asking you to look back at the SPAG we've already covered and go over anything you find difficult to remember. We learn a lot of difficult ideas which easily become muddled, but the ability to discuss your writing with the right vocabulary is as important in English as it is in maths. 

Our writing this week is linked to William Morris and nature. Write a poem or story using his ideas and love of nature to inspire you and then present it beautifully, illustrated with designs in his style.

Year 4 maths this week is reviewing and extending our learning about angles and 2D shapes, while Year 5 will be reasoning about 3D shapes.

Not long to go until we break for the holidays so please do keep up the hard work. Keep coming to the one to one, small group and bigger group zooms - we love to see your smiley faces and hear your cheerful voices - and do keep sending in work you'd like to share or just remember from this unusual time. 

Thank you to the parents, as always, for all the support and huge efforts you're making to help the children while working so hard yourselves to try and return to work and a semblance of normality. My Sunday clap will include a huge clap for you too!

The Week Ahead

June 26, 2020

A particularly interesting topic week ahead, as we find out about two women who refused to be constrained by the expectations of their time. We will be learning about Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale; the people they were; their very different lives and their ongoing influence on nursing and health care. I'm certainly looking forward to making our own herbal remedies, although I hope we don't have any cholera to cure!

In English this week, we will be reading about Victorian schools and using our knowledge to write about the experience of school children and teachers. Nettlebed had a school, in fact more than one school, in Victorian times and we will take a look at the history of our school in the Wednesday zoom. If anyone has stories of the school from parents or grandparents, it would be lovely to share them on Wednesday too. Please do email me if you've got a story you'd like to share.

In maths, Year 4 will be looking at graphs of different sorts; drawing them, interpreting them and extracting information from them. Year 5 are working on angles this week and consolidating their learning about angles on a straight line and around a point.

Good luck with the Sports Day events - I'm looking forwards to the photos with you all in Victorian outfits! If you're in school, don't worry - as long as we have the photo from home, it will still count. 

The Week Ahead

June 19, 2020

The theories of evolution and natural selection have exercised the minds of many brilliant scientists and philosophers throughout history but Charles Darwin is of course the name we associate with our development from a single cell, washing about in the sea, to human kind. This week we will find out something about him, how difficult, if not dangerous, it was for him to go against the thinking of his time and we'll have a chance to try a little natural selection and see how well adapted animals are to their environment.

In English this week, we are going to be developing some ideas for writing. The workhouses of Victorian times were harsh, unforgiving places and the children will consider life in those difficult times and develop ideas to write a fictional story about a young boy, possibly with a special talent, who finds himself in this cruel environment.

In maths, Year 4 will be rounding, estimating and problem solving while Year 5 will be interpreting tables and multiplying and dividing decimals by 10, 100 and 1000.

Thank you for continuing to send in the children’s work, whether it’s school work or the fun things that they’ve been enjoying. We do realise that even more of you are now trying to juggle a full day’s work with home schooling and that is such a challenge. Please don’t worry. If they’re reading, talking and dipping into the work when it can be managed and perhaps going independently onto BBC Bitesize  and the websites reached through the school website Learning Links button, they will be learning and ready to learn more when they return.

Thank you as always for all your support and enjoy delving into our evolutionary history.

The Week Ahead

June 11, 2020

Having found out a little about the impact of Victorian engineering on our time (and stove pipe hats!), we move this week to hear a personal story of bravery and heroism in the face of great danger. Grace Darling became a household name when she fought treacherous seas to save the lives of men shipwrecked below her father's lighthouse. A dramatic story with lots of opportunity for creative writing, science and art. I look forward to seeing how the children decide to interpret this topic.

In maths this week, Year 4 look at subtraction; practising written calculations and solving problems. Year 5 start off with a quick look at addition and subtraction before moving on to line graphs. Lots of graphs in the news at the moment and hence plenty of opportunity to discuss them.

SPAG this week focusses on conjunctions and using them to enable our writing to flow logically from one idea to another. You may also see this described as cohesion in writing. Please do encourage the children to use the skills they're learning about in SPAG in their writing. 


The spellings are now all on the buttons above until the end of the year. It is totally up to you whether you work on them weekly as I've grouped them or not. Spellings are picked up very quickly by some and not so quickly by others. If your child does find them difficult, learning 2 new words a day can be more beneficial them trying to cram them all at once.  Also keep practising the ones that have been learnt or they will be quickly forgotten.

Please can you encourage the children to use spellings they have learnt in their work and point out any words they've learnt but misspelt.

Do keep sending me the weekly updates and the children's wonderful work. After admiring it, I'm filing it all away and sending it to Mrs Clark who is kindly putting it all up on the website.

Do email me with any questions and thank you, as always, for all your hard work and the support you are giving the children and the school. We really are most grateful.

Mrs Papworth


The Week Ahead

June 04, 2020

I hope you're enjoying finding out lots about the Victorians and what life was like for people all those years ago. In class, we've been particularly interested in the privy at the bottom of the garden! Most inconvenient on a cold winter's night!

We'll move on to learn about a very influential engineer this week - Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We are living through a time of great technological change but the Victorians lived through a time of great progress in mechanisation and engineering which transformed the way people lived their lives. We'll find out how Brunel influenced these changes and how we still live with his legacy today.

In SPAG we look at the present perfect tense - very relevant when writing about changes in the Victorian age which still impact us today. For example, 'Engineers developed bridge designs to span wide rivers.' is the simple past but 'Engineers have developed bridge designs to span wide rivers which enable us to cross estuaries and even seas.' is the present perfect and implies the action still influences us today.

Both Year 4 and Year 5 maths focus on written addition and subtraction of large numbers with reasoning and problem solving to really extend out understanding.

Please do keep sending in your work - I love to see it, I will save it in your folder and it will be displayed on the website. It is really useful to have a quick weekly update on progress too so that I can see how  the children are doing and make sure the plans are proving useful. Keep sending in any questions to the class email and I will respond as quickly as I can.

The Week Ahead

May 30, 2020

I do hope you have enjoyed the half-term break and had an opportunity to get outside and safely meet family and friends that you haven't seen for a while. 

If you haven't yet done so, you might like to have a look at Mrs Greenwood's video on the welcome page in which you'll have an opportunity to see how school is now looking. Only a few Investigators will be back for the start of term but let's hope we'll all be back before too long - even if not all together.

Our planning is changing for this term to allow children in and out of school to follow the same curriculum. I will continue to post maths and SPAG for each day but they will all be on one document covering the full week.

Our new topic for the term is the Victorians and all other subjects such as writing, history, geography, art and DT will be covered in a weekly plan linked to an aspect of the topic. You will be able to choose one or two aspects that appeal to your child and they will develop their work over the week. 

Both children in and out of school will follow the same plans so that they gain similar learning experiences.

The buttons above will change tomorrow to reflect the new way of working.


As always, these are only there to support you at home; individual families and children will use them in different ways. The new way of working will take a little time to get used to so please don't worry and as always - nobody is expecting you to do all the work. It is there to provide options.

The Week Ahead

May 22, 2020

Thank you for the lovely messages in assembly and have a well earned break this week. 

No homework - although feel free to look back at afternoon activities if you feel like some fun science or music ideas - they're all saved on the previous plans button.

If a few minutes down time is needed next week, Martin Jarvis is reading five Just William stories on Radio 4 (and nobody reads Just William as well as he does) and there is a rather anarchic reading of James and the Giant Peach here with the Australian actor Taika Waititi (but Roald Dahl is about as anarchic as they come so that's very appropriate). 

Enjoy the break and I look forward to seeing you all in June.

The Week Ahead

May 15, 2020

How appropriate that Sunday 17th May is Rogation Sunday, when Christians have traditionally prayed for God’s blessings on the food we grow and the work of those who produce it, as we are focussing on the growth and production of food this week. We will learn about food from different parts of the world, how it can be fairly traded and how our meals might change in the future. Our writing will centre around our research and recipes made from foods grown in different biomes. We continue to try and use all the SPAG skills that we've honed over the year but there is a reminder about pronouns to work on during the week.

In Year 4 maths, we will learn more about fractions; expanding our understanding of equivalent fractions and mixed numbers. Year 5 will also be learning about fractions; adding and subtracting proper fractions and mixed numbers. A reminder that the worksheets to accompany the videos have been sent out in emails and are no longer on the daily plan.

I have received excellent work from the class and it would be wonderful to have photos as they hold up their work in Mrs Coles' video. It just needs to be a snap of your child holding a piece of work, admiring their seedlings, working on their vehicle, playing an instrument, practising their tennis, even taken over their shoulder as they work on the computer. Please do send the photos to the Investigator Class email and I will forward them to her.

We also talked on Friday about our class lesson next Friday (22nd May) and I would love to be able to have a video sharing lesson. We've seen excellent examples of the children's work but how much more exciting would it be to hear them recite their poems or tell their stories! It might be music, rapping, reading a story, singing a song, reading poetry, telling us about their plants or anything that they would like to share. It doesn't have to be their own work, they might have a favourite poem they'd like to read or recite. Do send in videos and we will share them on Friday morning. Do keep on sending in work in the normal way as well please to keep their own folders up to date and to post on the website.

Enjoy the weekned

The Week Ahead

May 07, 2020

I do hope you all have a good weekend and take the opportunity to relax away from home schooling. You all deserve a break!


Drawing can be very relaxing and you will see that we have had some fabulous artwork sent in, which has been posted on the website. Mrs Walsh has an artist friend who has posted these fabulous draw along videos that you might like to have a look at. I'm tempted to have a go myself!

A reminder of the other drawing ideas from Rob Biddulph at and  the one point drawing which you might enjoy. Quentin Blake has lots of tutorials online too - Willie Wonka fans might enjoy this one 

We will be continuing our theme of Mother Earth by looking at trade this week. What is trade? Why do we trade? What do we trade? It would be interesting to have a look at clothes, electrical items, toys and other items around the home and see where they were manufactured. A quick look through food labels might surprise the children too.


Our writing will be linked to this, beginning with reading comprehension and finishing with a story. The SPAG focus will be on dialogue and adverbials of time.

In maths, Year 4 will solve multiplication and division problems before moving on to look at perimeter and area. Year 5 will review area and fractions.

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Nettlebed Community School

High Street


Henley On Thames



Office contact: Mrs Tracy Sedwell

Tel: 01491 641328


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