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A free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler

Submitted by headteacher on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 22:03

Axel Scheffler has illustrated a digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. Published by Nosy Crow, and written by staff within the company, the book has had expert input: Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine acted as a consultant, and the company also had advice from two head teachers and a child psychologist.

The book answers key questions in simple language appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds:

• What is the coronavirus? • How do you catch the coronavirus? • What happens if you catch the coronavirus? • Why are people worried about catching the coronavirus? • Is there a cure for the coronavirus? • Why are some places we normally go to closed? • What can I do to help? • What’s going to happen next?

They want to make sure that this book is accessible to every child and family and so the book is offered totally free of charge to anyone who wants to read it. However, they have suggested, at the back of the book, that families might make a donation to help our health service if they find the book useful:

Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow, said:

“We were very aware that many parents and carers are struggling to explain the current extraordinary situation to children, many of whom are frightened and confused. We thought that the best thing we could do would be to use our skills to produce a free book to explain and, where possible, reassure children. We asked Axel, whose work is so familiar and so loved, to illustrate it. He was happy to do it, and did it extraordinarily quickly. Meanwhile, having heard Professor Medley interviewed by the BBC, we looked him up and wrote to him, and despite his huge workload, he reviewed the book over a weekend, and we were able to incorporate his suggestions, together with those of two head teachers and a child psychologist, into the final version of the book. We hope it helps answer difficult questions in difficult times.”

Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, said:

“I asked myself what I could do as an children’s illustrator to inform, as well as entertain, my readers here and abroad. So I was glad when my publisher, Nosy Crow, asked me to illustrate this question-and-answer book about the coronavirus. I think it is extremely important for children and families to have access to good and reliable information in this unprecedented crisis, and I hope that the popularity of the books I’ve done with Julia Donaldson will ensure that this digital book will reach many children who are now slightly older, but might still remember our picture books.”

Professor Graham Medley, Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

“This pandemic is changing children’s lives across the globe and will have a lasting impact on us all. Helping children understand what is going on is an important step in helping them cope and making them part of the story – this is something that we are all going through, not something being done to them. This book puts children IN the picture rather just watching it happen, and in a way that makes the scary parts easier to cope with.”

You can download a copy of the book here (or, if you have trouble with that link, here) –

Childrens Mental Health Week

Submitted by headteacher on Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 21:30

It is Childrens Mental health Week this week and we lots going on in school:

Parent Support-Drop in

Would you like the opportunity to chat about emotional support, behaviour guidance, boundaries and establishing routines at home?

Pop in for a coffee with Mrs Donoghue and volunteers from the support group, Parents Supporting Parents

Date:           Tuesday 4th February 2020

Time:           8.45am (after drop off)

Location:     Sunshine room

Tea, Coffee and biscuits will be provided!

Inside Out Day: Thursday 6th February 2020

Year 6's final session in the woods

Submitted by tawnyowl on Monday, July 1, 2019 - 19:22

Year 6 chose to have a whole day in the woods today.

Wren provided a shuttle to run the children to the wood in 2 groups. 

It was not a usual Forest School session because there were 28 children to support.

They began with a game of Beetle Tag, after a small group had chosen an area to play. The children played with enthusiasm and good humour (although Tawny Owl began to feel that she was being caught an awful lot, however, she quite enjoyed lying on the ground with her arms and legs waving in the air)!

After this game, the children separated into groups to carry out activities. As there were so many children Tawny Owl requested that all the children needed to participate in 2 of the activities. Sadly, some of the group decided that this instruction didn't apply to them; not good team work.

However, many children enjoyed the activities on offer: cooking (menu below), making fire sticks, cutting and splitting wood, carrying out a bioblitz (results in the photos), finishing off obstacle course activities.

Today's Menu:

Pizza Calzone

Vegetable kebabs

Nettle Crisps

Trout cooked in newspaper

Chocolate dipped fruit

The day was over before we knew it! There was a lot of equipment to carry, but we managed to get everything back to the minibus/cars in good time.


Tawny Owl would especailly like to thank Mouse who gives up her valuable time volutarily. Thank you Mouse.

Thank you Mr Price for some of the trout!

Thank you also to Wren who works so hard to support Tawny Owl with her hare-brained ideas!

Thank you everyone! Remember all you have learned year 6, and good luck in your new schools.

Have a look at the main set of photos on the class gallery.


A Week of Outdoor Learning

Submitted by class1 on Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 20:43

Year one took advantage of the lovely weather this week to enjoy a variety of Outdoor Learning opportunities.

It began on Tuesday morning following some very heavy overnight rain, and an enormous puddle in the playground.

Mrs Stanford allowed her ‘inner child’ to take control (remembering a favourite childhood activity), and we all went out onto the playground. Everyone removed their shoes and socks (and left them in a beautifully neat line – a future Maths activity?)

The children were then reminded about Fox Walking which we had tried last year in the woods – each foot is placed gently into the ground to check for dangers before placing the whole weight of the foot; avoiding sure feet.

We then thoroughly enjoyed paddling in the puddle!

The learning opportunities were grasped with both hands (or feet):

  • Science – feeling the difference in temperature in different parts of the puddle (due to depth, shadow, warmth from the warm playground), realising that the water felt warm on our feet because our feet were slightly chilly, but the same water feeling cold on our hands which were warm. Drying our feet on the warm playground. Floating and sinking
  • Maths – depth measurement, why it was deeper in some parts and shallow in other parts
  • Geography – silt/mud and how it affects the cloudiness of the water, and what happened after we stopped disturbing it.
  • PSHE – we discussed self-regulation and controlling the urge to splash.
  • Repetition of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Splishy Splashy

We then went on to continue our Maths on measurement – investigating the statement Tall Trees Have Bigger Leaves.

Our Science later in the day involved investigating separating materials which we did on the playground.

Forest School

Our learning in the woods involved making jam (‘Bella Campfire Jam’), toasting muffins, and of course eating our muffins with ‘Bella Campfire Jam’. Playing with friends on a mud slide, making shelters, using tools, bug hunting. We also enjoyed a game of Palm Tag.

Phew! No wonder everyone was tired after all this BIG brain work and fresh air!

Have a look at the video to see the learning being achieved.


Year 2 Mudlarks

Submitted by tawnyowl on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 18:56

What a wet morning! There were no organised activities on offer in the woods today as everything was very wet!

However, as you will see from the photos and video below, most children entered into the spirit of things - even if they just enjoyed the spectacle of some very muddy friends!

They learned about wearing the correct clothing for the weather, some learned how it feels to wear the wrong clothing. They also learned that it is OK to have fun, and get messy without adults becoming upset. They learned how to manage themselves in getting out of wet and muddy clothing. Independence is key in Forest School and as an important skill in growing up.

Another advantage today was that children learned how to manage their feelings when they were really uncomfortable; nobody forced them to get onto the mudslide!

Alder Group were more fortunate with the weather - they enjoyed making swings, running around and sitting chatting with friends.


Comic Relief

Submitted by headteacher on Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 16:31

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who donated to Comic Relief today.  An amazing £197.44 has been received so far and as you can see from the photos everyone, including the staff really entered into the spirit of things. A huge thank you to Mrs Mileham for organising the Danceathon-she will definitely sleep well tonight! Click on the link to see more photos

A Snowy Day

Submitted by tawnyowl on Friday, February 1, 2019 - 16:13

Year R arrived well prepared for the winter conditions this week. We were blessed with a bright, sunny start even though it was very chilly.

Wren had kindly arrived in the woods early to set everything  up and when we arrived the fire was alight and the kettle was on.

The children were very respectful of the fire circle and kept themselves safe from the fire. They settled quickly to their learning and enjoyed bird watching, tree climbing, running around, playing with the snow, snowballs (after agreement about what would make a good game, and what might spoil it) building camps and even a dinosaur! The wood pile was popular again with some children.

One of the games they played involved catching snowflakes on their tongues, which was introduced by Mayfly.

Oak Group enjoyed the story of Beegu at the start of their session; the children were encouraged to think about how Beegu was feeling at different points in the story - encouraging empathy.

Beech Group began their afternoon in good spirits - they sang our Forest School Song with great gusto in the minibus on the way down to the woods, and some of them also sang it on the way back. They were very creative with their composition of lyrics.


The adults noticed this week that the children are becoming more independent, and they are becoming better at listening to and following instructions. There remain a few who still need more practise in doing up their own seat belts, but there are more children each week available to help others, which is fantastic.


Have a look at the video and photos to see the fun we had with our learning. 

Kelly Kettles and Camps

Submitted by tawnyowl on Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 17:25

Year 5 enjoyed a very busy day in the woods today. The weather was the coldest so far this year, but most were wrapped up warmly and really didn’t notice the cold.

The first task involved co-operation, patience, perseverance and communication. One group helped Wren light the main fire while the rest organised themselves to light Kelly kettles. Between them, they recalled the advice and instructions from last week: gathering and organising fuel, setting up the fire site and filling the kettles. However, before filling the kettles, the group had to solve the problem of the frozen water tap.

Each group worked really hard to light their Kelly kettle. They persisted with the task...and Mayfly also had a go. One group was finally successful; boiling a kettle full of water. Two other groups transferred their kettles to the first fire bowl so we ended up with plenty of hot water.

Meanwhile a small but determined team cleared the pile of brash from behind the kitchen area and added it to the deadwood hedge.

The children were rewarded with hot chocolate and a biscuit for their efforts.

Birch group also enjoyed hot drinks while they spent time making camps at opposite ends of the woods.

The children are becoming noticeably more independent and adventurous and are rapidly developing their risk assessment skills; they are also more able to make the correct behaviour choices and becoming better at self-regulation.

Tawny Owl is encouraging all groups to become increasingly independent in their choice of activity and in the running of their sessions; we are therefore moving away from set times for refreshment and the children are deciding for themselves when they stop for drinks. When/if they do, they are managing this with little adult help (there is always adult supervision for the handling of boiling water/kettles).


We're Going On a Worm Hunt

Submitted by tawnyowl on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 19:02

Hippos enjoyed a wonderful day in the woods again today. The weather was chilly but everyone wrapped up warmly and as a result everyone had fun.

We began with a story, then went on a a wormhunt, climbed, ran, jumped and laughed.

Have a look at the photos and video to see what they have been learning.


A Windy Day

Submitted by tawnyowl on Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 18:31

Year 3 were unable to visit the woods today as it was so windy. However, they had a busy time, tidying up the creative play resources, playing a game (Seeker) and gardening.

They enjoyed a great time at lunch break creating and playing on a  mud slide as they were almost the only children in school who had the correct clothing to play on the grass area. Each group were really helpful in the activities; Field Maple tidied, while Willow group helped create a 'fence' around the really muddy area to allow the grass to recover.

At the end of the afternoon, Willow group harvested some of the vegetables and enjoyed trying new flavours.


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