During this first summer term, we have been exploring the topic of EXPLORERS in Riley Class, in so many different ways. We have all enjoyed learning about a variety of famous explorers and stories in history and English, plus making some exciting discoveries in science and computing.


We have been reading several stories of icy exploration in our reading lessons. First, we read the story of the Ice Palace by Robert Swindells – a boy’s younger brother is kidnapped by the cruel Starjik in an icy land. In the end, he manages to save his brother and release all the kidnapped children from their icy prison – the power of love for family was the secret ingredient to rescuing everyone.

“This book was scary! I liked the ending because it was happy.” – Sayef

Answering a big question about Ivan in ‘Ice Palace’

We also read the book Ice Trap! which detailed the quest of Ernest Shackleton and his crew on their journey to Antarctica. This text was very exciting, with lots of tension and incredible bravery from the crew. We wrote answers to some big questions about this tale.

Annotating our text from Ice Trap!


In maths, we have focused heavily on fractions – for some children, they had not practiced fractions since year 2! We worked hard on understanding these concepts of creating equal parts of a whole.


For our computing unit this term, we were programming using the Scratch application. Children learned how to interact with sprites through motion, looks and sounds. We planned our coding in our books first (design) before we moved to the coding stage.

When we made errors, we used our debugging skills to fix these errors. All the children really enjoyed creating

Designing our sprites in Scratch and deciding on how they will move


We have been exploring our own bodies in science for the last few weeks. First, we learned all about the teeth in our mouths and what their functions are.

Then we learned about the journey that food goes on when we eat – from our mouth and teeth, all the way through our digestive system. We researched like scientists on what each organ does and we labelled diagrams.

Then we made a model of the digestive system together as a class.


In art we created clay heads showing a variety of different expressions. We worked with Ms. Sellens over video call to learn about scoring the clay, slipping, sticking and smoothing. We really enjoyed this whole process and we can’t wait to do it again.

“We were making faces with clay. I was proud of my face because I made an old person – it’s really hard to show an old person using clay.”


In our history this half term, we learned about some incredible explorers in the past – Alexandra David-Neel and Ibn Battuta. We also learned about Christopher Columbus and his accidental ‘discovery’ of America.

We also discussed how sometimes the past can be represented in different ways – we looked at the British involvement in the slave trade and how some people portrayed this in a positive manner, while others were showing the truth of the sugar plantations which were feeding the UK.

The children really enjoyed this critical look at our history and we developed an understanding that sometimes the past can be told in different ways.

Religious Education

We learnt about Hinduism this half term and we compared it to other religions we knew about. We listened to Hindu followers talking about their gods, and how they practice prayer at home with their families.

We explored the topic of karma – and how that is interpreted in many different religions.

Our Big Question – ‘Why do humans explore?’

On our last day, we answered our big question – Why do humans explore?

Using all the evidence we had gathered, and all the stories and people we learned about, we designed a two page response to this question in our wider curriculum books.

“I put effort into my answer today, and I did my best. I used my Chromebook to search for images relating to my report. During English, I wrote my paragraphs in my neatest handwriting’ – Shafath