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Summer 1st topic - Castles

Castles Newsletter - Summer Term (1st half)

Week beginning 22nd April 2019

After a sunny Easter weekend, we were straight back to work on our new topic. We have started learning about castles and began by learning the story of 'The Battle of Hastings'. After looking at pictures of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, we found out that this was a real battle which happened in 1066 and the victorious William of Normandy became the new king of England. William brought the first castles to England which were called 'motte and bailey' castles. We have started creating our own information books about castles and have written facts about the Battle of Hastings and drawn pictures of the battle in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry and drawn motte and bailey castles. 

Next week, we will be exploring the first stone castles.


In Maths, we have revisited our work on 2D and 3D shapes and have been trying to remember the different shape names and describe them. 

In Literacy, we learnt how to write a set of instructions.

A very busy 4 days!

Week beginning 6th May

This week we have been learning about how motte and bailey castles were eventually replaced by stone castles. We learnt about some of the features of a stone cacollagesstle such as crenellations, battlements, arrow loops, drawbridge and portcullis. We created our own artwork of stone castles which look great displayed in our classroom!

In Literacy, we have been writing instructions. We wrote instructions on 'How to trap a dragon' for a castle in an imaginary land plagued by dragons. Later in the week we were in role as reporters and dragons interviewing a naughty dragon from the story 'George and the Dragon' by Chris Wormell and came up with some great questions to ask him and some very creative answers for our questions.

Castle artwork

Week beginning 13th May

This week we enjoyed finding out about how castles were attacked and how they defended themselves. We wrote some information about the different types of weapons for our information books that we are creating and made our own catapults from lolly sticks and elastic bands and had fun firing small objects at each other!


Fun with catapults!

Becoming a knight!

We found out about what it took to become a knight in the past. Only boys were allowed to become knights and, at the age of seven, would be sent away from home to go and work in a Lord's castle as a page. A page would do all kinds of jobs which included cleaning around the castle, serving meals and learning how to fight with wooden swords. He would also learn how to ride a horse with no hands whilst carrying a wooden lance! By the age of 15, boys would then progress to becoming a squire working as a servant for a knight. A squire would look after a knight's horses, keep his armour and weapons clean and accompany a knight into battle. Many of us decided that the life of a knight maybe wasn't for us after all!

Some of our writing about dragons...

Week beginning 20th May - Healthy Me!

We have taken a break from our castles topic this week to focus on keeping ourselves healthy - a theme which the whole school have been working on. In years 1 and 2, we focused more on keeping our minds healthy by looking at our mindset. We talked about the 'learning pit' and how often learning can be a bit of a struggle and that this is perfectly normal! With a 'growth mindset' we can encourage ourselves to keep on going and pull ourselves out of the pit to find success after a challenge.

We thought of different positive affirmations that we can say to ourselves and to each other to help us to think in a positive way and we now have a daily affirmation displayed on the board in our classroom to remind us to keep working on having a positive, growth mindset.

Week beginning 3rd June

Despite it being a short week, we have crammed in lots of things! On Wednesday we took a trip to Clitheroe Castle. After walking up a steep hill, the children explored the keep and listened to a talk about the history of the castle. Throughout the day they took part in lots of different activities including making motte and bailey castles out of sand and lolly sticks, learning about the different types of shields and why they had different designs on them and a lesson on sword fighting! The children were taught lots of different ways to hold their swords including the 'joker guard', the 'lady guard', the unicorn guard' and the 'hog guard'. They also listened to a fictional story about dragons which was inspired by the large holes in the castle's keep.

The next day we wrote a recount of the trip in our English books and then on Friday we spent the whole day making models of castles.

Making castles!