Yr 6 performance of Joseph













Sports Day KS1















Year 4 Camp



5am footy practice!!
















Swindon School Games

Lots of KS2 children were invited to take part in the Swindon School games at LPA.  There were lots of sports including fencing, athletics and tennis.  Our Change for Life Group were invited as well and had a go at boxing.  This was all about improving their co-ordination and all the children thoroughly enjoyed it
















We were also really lucky to meet Danielle Waterman who was part of the Women's Rugby World Cup winning squad.  She brought her gold medal with her!  Although we were only allowed to do it if we had introduced ourselves to someone we didn't know!  We all accepted the challenge and got a chance to hold the gold medal.





Summer Fete

A big thank you to all who came and supported the summer fete this year and especially to those people who helped run stall or helped to set up and put things away.  The rain held off, right until the end and although it wasn't sunny it was warm.  The money raised will go towards the new playground equipment that has been ordered for the top playground.

Well done to the competition winners:

Bake of competition winner: Sam and Gavin - The Dream Team

Fancy Dress Winner:  Ellie as Cat in the Hat

Book cover/ Picture competition: Rucha

A total of £873.76 was raised at the Fete, a fantastic result.

As always Mr Carter, Mrs Cowell and Miss Jeffery were good sports and took part in soak the teacher!













Violin Recital and Question and Answer session

We were really lucky to have in Anahita Falaki to play the Violin to us.  She's been playing the violin since she was 4 years old!  First of all she gave our current violin players a master class in playing the violin and they then had the chance to ask her some questions as well as listen to her play.  After this she played her violin for Year 1 and they then had the opportunity to ask her some questions.







Early Years Music Festival

On Friday 20th March, 19 children and 4 members of the Early Years staff took part in the Early Years Music Festival at “The Platform” in Swindon. 

This year the theme was animals so the children and staff all arrived at the venue dressed in wonderful animal costumes.

They were joined on the stage by several other local schools and pre-schools and all enthusiastically performed the 14 songs that they had learned in class.

We all had a wonderful time and the show was rounded off with all the children have a dance with their parents to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.


French Music Festival

Monday 16th March, 30 Year 3 children, Mrs Whately-Smith, Miss Gheorghe and our wonderful parent helpers struggled through the drizzling rain to LPA. When we arrived we found our way to the drama studio and were soon joined by lots of other children from the other schools in our West Swindon cluster. We met children from Oliver Tompkins, Tregoze, Lydiard Millicent and even some Year 8 language students from LPA.

We began singing two songs all together, Bonjour Bonjour Comment Ca va By Monsieur X and Savez –Vous Plantez les choux? Then it was time to share the songs we had all learned separately and prepared for the day, First we listened to the LPA language students sing a French song about getting ready to go out. Next it was time for the Year 5 children from Oliver Tomkins. They sang Tête, épaules, genoux, pieds, also known as Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. We loved their performance and the children were kind enough to teach everyone else the song too! We’d had a bit of a head start as we’d already learned the song as part of our work on Le Petit Chaperon Rouge/Little Red Riding Hood in Year 3 before Christmas.

Suddenly it was our turn. We were feeling really nervous but we stood up and performed our song, also called Bonjour bonjour, like professionals! Mrs Whately-Smith couldn’t stop smiling because she felt so proud!

Finally we joined together once more and sang our favourite song Alouette. It’s a really funny song about a lark having its feathers plucked out!

Before we knew it, it was time to walk back to school. It was still raining but even the weather couldn’t dampen our spirits! Let’s start getting ready for next year’s festival!



Year 1 Family Seal Assembly

The Family Seal Assembly saw the launch of Family SEAL for our Year 1 pupils.  Today Year One pupils from Pine and Ash class performed for their parents. Our assembly was all about a little boy called Sam who was very scared. Sam didn't have the confidence to stand up for himself without his best friend....his teddy called Ben.  Gradually Sam learned how to speak up and be heard. He made lots of friends and slowly realised that he didn't need Ben quite as much

Through our family seal programme children have the opportunity to spend some quality time with a parent of carer, engaged in activities to encourage teamwork, self esteem and self confidence. The programme lasts for five weeks and is led by Mrs Edwards and Mrs Dudman.


F2 Music Workshop

 Today Virginia Rowe visited with her instruments to show us how to make music. She brought along her uphoniam, her cello and a violin. we found out about the sounds the instruments make. we sang and danced to the music.






Some songs were happy jolly songs - we marched fast up the hill with the Grand old Duke of York!


Other songs were slower and calmer - we pretended to go to sleep with a lullaby.


We had loads of fun and everyone joined in. Some of us said......


"I like singing songs"      

"Incey Wincey was my best one"

" The sound came when she blowed into the top"

"it went fast and slow


KS1 Christmas Play

Maths Cluster Quiz

On Thurdsay 20th November Mrs Archer organised a maths quiz for more able Y5/6 mathematicians from our local cluster of schools. Teams came from Westlea, Oliver Tomkins, Tregoze, Brookfield, Millbrook, Peatmoor and of course Shaw Ridge. Pupils applied their maths knowledge to a range of cross curricular problems during an exciting afternoon.  One pupil said..

‘It’s fun to work in a team and meet up with children from other schools’


Lydiard Walled Garden

On Friday 7th November, Mrs Edwards took 2 children from school to plant  crosses in the Garden of Remembrance at Lydiard Park. Each cross bore messages from each of the year groups throughout the school. We know it is important that the young do not forget the sacrifices made by so many in not only the 2 World Wars but also in present day conflicts. We spent some time looking at messages on some of the thousands of crosses. A year 2 boy then commented: 'I am interested in finding out about the wars, my great granddad fought in the First World War but he didn't die, he came home'. We felt very proud of his genuine interest and the respect he showed.




KS1 Cluster Maths Games

A big well done to those children who took part in the KS1 cluster maths games on Friday 3rd October.

Year 1: Ethan, Catrin, Holly, Shivi, Tanish

Year 2: Lewis, Kieran, Zac, Lizzie, Daniel, Grace

The children played maths games that we have been practicing in class against other schools in our West Swindon Cluster.  They played 2 games, one called Make 10, which encourages children to rember the pairs of numbers when added together that make 10.  They also played another game called Odd and Even where they have to work out if the number they have rolled was odd or even and mark it on the digit board.  A great time was had by all.  Year 1 came in 4th place out of 5 and Year 2 came in 2nd places out of 5.



A big thank you to everyone who donated food on Wednesday for the Swindon Foodbank.

We were really lucky again this year to have people from the Swindon Foodbank come in and talk to us about how the food we have donated helps people in Swindon.











KS2 Sports Day
















KS1 Sports Day






































Holi Day

On the 21st of March 2014 the whole school celebrated the Indian festival of Holi in a burst of colour. Holi is a Hindu festival, mainly celebrated in India, which marks the start of spring. Some of our parents and other members of the Swindon Indian Association came in to help us celebrate. The Swindon Advertiser heard about our exciting Holi day and wrote an article about it.

At the start of the day we learnt the story of Holika and Prahlad, which helped us understand why the festival of Holi is celebrated. Then some of us went to a Bollywood dance workshop and dressing-up session, complete with saris and nose-rings. During the dressing up session we got to try on some of the clothes and accessories. We even got to dress up our teachers! The rest of us were taught how to make gol gappa and a coconut sweet called laddu, both traditional Indian foods. We even got to eat the food we had made at the end of the session. In the afternoon we made our own Holi cards to take home!

 Here are some pictures from the day!













Now in its fourth year, sign2sing has become a national fundraising initiative involving over 300, 000 primary school children and adults in over 1000 schools in the UK and abroad. SignHealth, the healthcare charity for vulnerable deaf children and adults, is aiming to inspire future generations of doctors, nurses, lawyers, healthcare workers and others, to learn sign language.

We all thoroughly enjoyed learning the song 'Get up and Sign' and after several weeks of learning it most of us knew the song and signs off by heart!

Have a look at pur photo in the Swindon Advertiser


Wheelchair Basketball

We were very lucky to have a visit from the Swindon Shock wheelchair basketball coaches and players. This was a great opportunity for children to learn about disability sports and have a go themselves. Swindon shock started the day with an assembly, explaining how the game works and showing the children the special types of wheelchair. Classes from year 3, 4, 5 and 6 were then given the opportunity to have a coaching session, playing some basketball games and learn how to manoeuvre around in the wheelchair. The children really enjoyed themselves and benefitted from the expert coaching from the Swindon shock team!


Hockey Tournament



Pupils from Year 5 and 6 represented Shaw Ridge in an Inter School Hockey Tournament on the astro-turf pitches at LPA.

Teams from 10 Swindon schools were involved. In the first round we were unlucky to lose 1:0 to eventual tournament winners Robert Le Kyng which turned out to be our only loss in the tournament.

We then went on to draw our next match against a strong Peatmoor side. The 3 matches after that was when we really started to find our form with impressive 2-0, 3-0 and then 4-0 wins.

We showed great teamwork and individual skills and ended up finishing as the top West Swindon School and 3rd overall after coming second in our group. Well done to Mya, Mia, Amber, Ben, Jack, Dan, Morgan, Poppy, Mahiro and Kai!!



We ran an exciting inter-house Dodgeball tournament. We had over 80 children take part in tournaments for year 3, 4, 5 and 6. The children had been learning all about Dodgeball in PE and had been taught all the rules, tips and tricks.

There was some brilliant team-work on show and some excellent throwing and catching skills. It was also very impressive to see every team showing such good sportsmanship at the end of the games.

Year 6 children were also chosen as Sport’s Leader’s and helped to set up and referee the games.

The winning teams received a trophy and winning players each received a medal for their efforts.


Inter-school Maths Competition

Well done to all the children who took part in the Maths Competition at Lydiard Park Academy.  The time spent learning the maths games paid off.  Year 1 and 2 came 3rd, Year 3 and 4 came 3rd and Year 5 and 6 came 4th.  A fantastic result and lots of fun had by all.

Here is a link to us in the local Swindon Link Magazine

Click here to see us in the Swindon Advertiser


Maths Week

This week we have had a whole school focus on all things mathematical......

The school has been alive to the sound of dice as each class has taken part in a series of maths game challenges. Congratulations to our winners from each year group who will be representing us at an inter school version of this competition at Lydiard Park Academy next Friday:


Y1: Edward York and Lizzie Cogzell

Y2:Taniya Kuber and Eliott Miles

Y3: Samuel Pelko and Madi Mather-Pearce

Y4: Luke White and Billie Basson

Y5: Daley Walsh and Charlotte Vincent

Y6: Laura Dani and Seby Stobbs


Year 3 and 4 investigated shape and space as they worked in teams to build iconic buildings our of dried spaghetti and marshmallows. In doing so they used mathematical vocabulary such as verticies, edges, modes, trapezium, pyramids and other 3D shaped. 


Year 1 have been have been learning all about height.  They ordered their teddies in their groups from tallest and shortest and then ordered them as a whole class.  They also used non standard measures such as cubes to measure the height of different chimneys and answer questions about them..



Year 6 were challenged to come up with packaging boxes to hold exactly 15 maltesers....not 14 or 16!!  This precision required for this task added on an extra dimension to the problem and demanded accurate measurements!


In F2 their polar bear had a problem, he wanted to hibernate but didn't have a house!  Children were challenged to build an igloo out of sugar cubes.  Well done to Neil who did a terrific job!



In Year 5 they made square and traingular based pyramids out of BBQ skewers and Jelly Babies.  They learned and performed some maths songs and had to solve a mathematical murder mystery.  The children were given maths based clues to try and find out who the murderer was.


In Year 2 they continued their 'Castles' topic theme by making our own symmetrical shields, playing castle drive ( a different spin on the traditional beetle drive game) and creating their own 'Knight themed' shop.

Hot Off The Press!!

I'm sure your children will come home buzzing tonight about our special celebration event that took part today to herald the end of Maths week. 

Our staff performed a Pantomime set in Numberland telling the story of the search for god parents for Calcula, the daughter of the King and Queen of Numberland.

The play written by Mrs Archer included examples of many areas of maths, averages, fractions, doubling, halving, column addition, prime numbers, multiples, shape and problem solving.  Characters included Cinderella, The Grand Old Duke of York, Snow White and 2 very ugly sisters.  Have a look at our photos which tell the whole story!!


A Right Royal Miscalaculation - Maths Pantomime

































KS1 Christmas Production - A Midwife Crisis





























Since September, 30 children have been meeting once a week on Wednesdays to learn the basics of First Aid with Mrs Archer. We have been following a special course of sessions devised by St. John Ambulance and can now deal with bleeding and bruising, asthma, scalds, fainting and shock. We are also able to deal with keeping ourselves and others safe in a danger zone and know how to get help from the emergency services and from an adult nearby.

Most of the children enjoyed the week we did bandaging and dressings best and with a mixture of knowledge and assertiveness, all were able to take good control of the situation and direct others to help without panicking.

As this club was so popular and oversubscribed we hope to run this again soon for more children. Parents were also impressed with the knowledge their children had acquired in what is an important life skill. All the children gained a certificate for the skills they had acquired.


Harvest Assembly - 25th September 2013

To celebrate harvest, we brought tins and items of food to school, to donate to those in need in our local community. Representatives from 'Swindon Food Bank' came and explained their role within Swindon, and collected our donations.







Rugby - Autumn 2013

Several coaches from Swindon Rugby Club came back to give each class another taster of Tag Rugby.  Everybody really got stuck in...including some of the teachers and there are now several children who have joined Swindon Rugby Club.  If you think you might be interested have a look at their website.

Swindon Rugby Club
























We have been busy playing and learning over the past few months.

During our ‘Around the World’ topic we visited many countries starting off with our departure to Australia.  We made passports and had our own boarding passes for our imaginary flight on Shaw Ridge Airlines. We even had an on flight safety briefing, entertainment and refreshments!




During our visit to Africa we made African masks and learnt how to play the African drums with Year 5.  We have been doing lots of work on learning and retelling stories. We have made story maps of ‘Handa’s Surprise’ and acted it out using puppets.






Recently we have been working on a writing project with Year 1. We learnt and adapted a story in small groups and recorded our stories individually. Once we had practiced our stories in our classes we came together to retell it.



This term we have also visited the fire station and learnt about how to stay safe. We had great fun watching a mummy being rescued from the tower!



Finally we have been ‘Down the bottom of the garden’ planting seeds and patiently waiting for them to grow. We have all entered our sunflower seed competition and are busy measuring our plants!



Along with a football and tag rugby session, cooking cakes and sports day and our up and coming trip it has been a very very busy term!



Last term Holly and Oak classes were invaded by aliens.  We arrived early one Monday morning to find parts of a space ship lying around our rooms. We thought of ways to repair the rocket and about who the rocket belonged to. Mrs Ray found a very strange letter in her printer from somebody!  However this was not the end of the story! We then discovered two alien eggs in school.  We talked about what might be inside the eggs and designed our own aliens. We then made them out of plasticine but still the eggs did not hatch.





We had a visit from “The Explorer Dome” too, which was very exciting. We found out lots of interesting facts about space and the planets and stars.






We made our own rockets and constellation telescopes out of junk and made up our own stories about flying to the moon. Our topic ended with the eggs hatching and the baby aliens escaping. Using a map of the school we went exploring to find out where they had gone.  We all had great fun.





In Holly and Oak classes we have been enjoying lots of traditional stories.

We read Goldilocks and the Three Bears and have had fun acting out the story in our role play area. We made porridge. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t too cold, it was just right! We found out about different kinds of bears using the Internet and non fiction books. We wrote a fact about bears.

We moved on to read the story of The Little Red Hen and retold it using actions. We made our own story map to help us show the sequence of events. We made bread and tasted breads from around the world. We made a graph to show our favourite bread which was baguette.



We read The Enormous Turnip and talked about healthy foods and how they help our bodies. We made some delicious vegetable soup which we all enjoyed in our snack. We went outside to use the parachute as a team.



We have also explored autumn and we all performed our Say it out loud poem in the Harvest assembly.

We have had a very busy

Year 1

Family SEAL
The Family SEAL programme for Year 1 started again in February. We had 9 families who took part in the first workshop and I think it is fair to say we had some fun. All those who came felt it was worthwhile and it gave them an opportunity to have some quality 1-1 time with their son or daughter.


Our term started off learning all about dinosaurs, a topic we had been promising the year 1 children all year, especially as we had quite a few dinosaur enthusiasts amongst us!!


We had made pseudo birds earlier in the year and the children were quite keen to make a pseudo dinosaur.  So that's where we started,, we designed our pseudo dinosaur first of all and then used plastecine to make them.  We even gave them a made up dinosaur name!  We has a Furbyosaurus, a Greenyasuarus and a Daddyosaurus to name but a few!

In Literacy we used our mound of information books at our disposal to research different dinosaurs.  We used sub-headings to separate our writing into different parts and once we had written our research up in our books, we then used 2publish to create a factsheet about our dinosaur on the computer.  We even inserted a picture to add a different dimension to our fact sheet.


We decided the classroom wasn't the best habitat for the dinosaurs and talked about what the best habitat would be for them!!  We then made habitats for our pseudo dinosaurs to live in.  We painted a background and then went out into the school grounds to find some rocks and grass.  We used our dinosaur lands as inspiration for our writing and wrote a story all about their pseudo dinosaur and an adventure that they had their.


We have also had quite a sporty few terms with a Tag Rugby taster session which was loved by all, with some children desperate to join Swindon Rugby Club!  Throughout the session we practiced chasing after each to remove the tags from our tag belts as well as running with the ball.


It was also Sports Day, and a first for us due to the wet weather cancelling our first sports day last year.  The weather thankfully held out for us and we we able to compete in all our races, we especially liked watching our mums and dads compete, a definite highlight for a lot of us!







In Year 1 we became inventors for the day.  This was a great way to start off our work on inventions.  Some of us made rocket boosters that you put on your feet to blast you into space, whilst others made something that would send us back in time.






We learnt all about famous inventors such as James Dyson, George De Mestral and John Logie Baird.  They invented things that we use everyday things like the Dyson hoover, velcro and the television.


We did a mini topic for a few weeks on birds.  We became bird spotters and went out into our playground to see how many birds we could spot.  We worked in our groups to create a tally chart, we spotted lots of Magpies!


We made food for the birds to eat and then wrote instructions for our friend, so they then knew how to make super speedy bird food.  It was important that we remembered to include time connectives and bossy words in our instructions.








In year one we have been having an exciting time on our Voyage of Discovery. We have been to Lea wood  and made our very own pirate ships and pirate dens. We certainly built our muscles in the process !!  Whilst we were there we went on a treasure hunt and found pieces of silver each.



We have been exploring the school grounds in geography. Captain Blackbeards treasure had been stolen and we used our mapping skills to discover where it was hidden. We then made our own treasure maps.  In Literacy we read the story ‘Pirate Pie’ and retold the story using story maps.  We then used our story maps to help us re-write the story.  Some of these are up on the wall in our classroom. 


In DT we worked in a Galley on a pirate ship for the week.  Pirate Blackbeard set us a challege to make some fruit kebabs because he was fed up of eating fish!! e tasted different fruits first to see which ones we liked and didn't like and then we designed our fruit kebab.  Whilst we were doing all this we discovered lots of different healthy fruits that we hadn't eaten before and practised our cutting skills.  In Numeracy we graphed our favourite fruits using 2graph on the computer. 




We had a day where we all dressed up as Pirates and Princesses and took part in different activities.  We also got to taste our fruit kebabs that we had made.  They were yummy!





Our topic this term has been ‘Anchors Away’, which has involved learning about the history of boats.  We went on an exciting trip to Bristol to visit the ss Great Britain.  We participated in a workshop, which taught us what life would have been like on board the ship.  We were able to explore the different areas of the ship, including underneath the ship which is kept in a dry dock.  Both classes had a fantastic time!  Did you know the ship was built by Brunel?


Back in class, we wrote a non-chronological report about the SSGreat Britain. Our reports were about the different decks on the ship and the rooms on each deck.

Also as part of our topic, we looked at seaside paintings. We discussed and identified perspective in the paintings and then created some seascapes of our own using water colours.


We have also done some other exciting things this term.  Ian the owl man visited our school again. He brought a barn owl and tawny owl with him to show us. The barn owl even flew over our heads across the hall! Ian showed us some owl pellets, feathers and video clips. We really enjoyed learning about owls.



We went to West Swindon library to see Neil Griffiths. He is a local author who has written many children’s books, including ‘Esme’s egg’ and ‘The journey’. He told us a few stories using props and actions. It was great fun listening to the stories. A few of us bought one of his books and he signed them for us.


What a green term we've had in year 2! Our Spring term topic was eco themed. We did lots of exciting things in our classrooms.

Firstly, we discovered someone had been living in the small hall during the holidays.


We investigated their home and asked many questions. Our visitor was Stig of the dump! We then discussed what materials are dumped and what can be recycled or reused.


In geography, we sorted some rubbish into the correct recycling boxes and bags. It was decided that we should recycle and reuse in our classrooms. This involved making pots out of newspaper, making wallets out of juice cartons, planting broad bean seeds and weaving through old bike wheels and with plastic bags.




In literacy, after planting our broad been seeds, we wrote instructions. We went on a litter walk along the Ridge and identified problem areas which had lots of rubbish and marked these areas on a map. 


We visited Shaw Forest and discovered how land has been reused. Did you know it used to be a dump? Whilst we were there, we made forest faces using clay and items from the forest floor. When we returned to school, we mapped our journey around the forest.




Autumn Term

This term in year 2, we have been learning about the Great fire of London. We had a special day where we dressed up as children from that time and experienced being apprentices. We tried weaving, embroidery, making ink, being a barber surgeon, being a metal worker and making bread. We looked at maps and artefacts to find out more about what happened during the fire. In literacy, we have written a diary, just like Samuel Pepys. In art, we have used hot colours to create fiery pictures with black silhouettes.





During the summer terms, we have learnt all about Lydiard Park. At the start of the term we had a trip to Lydiard Park. Lady Bolingbroke gave us a tour of Lydiard house and told us all about how life was different in Lydiard house years ago. Take a look at some of our pictures to get an insight into our experience! On this trip we also explored the grounds in small groups and labelled key areas we found on a map of the park. This was really interesting as we learnt more about the Old Chinese Bridge and the walled garden! We were particularly intrigued by the Ice House, which we were lucky enough to explore and go inside! It was very dark and cold in there!








As the term progressed and we learnt more about Lydiard Park, our curiosity grew and grew. We were desperate to find out more about the lives of the Bollingbroke family who lived in the house years ago! Luckily, we had a visit from Daisy the maid (now called Simpkins) and Lord Bolingbroke who came in and told us all about their lives in Lydiard house. We were fascinated to meet two people from the past and we found out lots of information about their lives! Did you know Vernon, Lord Bollingbroke’s son, had wild parties in the house when his father was away in London?!




We have been very cross-curricular in our learning this term too. In DT we designed and made a sculpture for Lydiard Park out of junk modelling materials. Over the half term, we were asked to research and explore the park in order to find inspiration for our designs! When we got back to school, we were put into small groups to combine our ideas and begin the design process! Our end results ranged from dogs to hot air balloons and a wishing chair!!


We have had a fantastic two terms and now feel differently towards Lydiard Park and our local area. We are proud of our local surroundings!



During the spring terms, we learnt all about Pakistan in lots of fun and interesting ways. At the start of the term we found out where Pakistan was using atlases and Google Earth, which allowed us to view what we would see out of the window of a plane if we were to fly to Pakistan.


By sending and receiving emails with a year 3 class in Lahore, Pakistan we were able to learn lots about the children who live there. We particularly enjoyed our contact with them via Skype, where we were able to see the children and ask them lots of questions. We even sang them the song we wrote about Pakistan called ‘Go East’!


Throughout the term we were very cross-curricular with our learning. In PE, we learnt a Bollywood dance and in RE we found out about the 5 pillars of Islam. In Art and DT, we made our own colourful Rangoli prints and detailed henna designs.  Our work in DT also involved Mrs Manocha and Mrs Choudry bringing in Pakistani food for us to taste and even helping us to make our own. It was very tasty, but a bit too spicy for some of us!


We were able to show what we had learnt about Pakistan in lots of different ways. In ICT, we made and presented power point presentations about Pakistan and in Literacy we wrote information texts about the country and shape poems reflecting the diverse weather. Most recently we were very proud to be able to share everything we had learnt with the school and our parents in our class assembly.  n!









Autumn Term

During the Autumn Terms, we have been learning all about World War Two in Year 3. We have found out lots of interesting facts and have worked very hard to improve our skills as budding historians!

At the start of the school year, we began our topic with an Air Raid Experience in our classrooms. We pretended to be in a wartime classroom and Mrs Mackay was our Air Raid Warden! Mrs Mackay took us into the shelter when the Air Raid siren sounded! It was quite scary!



Towards the end of the first Autumn Term we had a very special visitor. Joy 14 years old when war broke out and she had some fascinating memories to share with us! It was amazing to hear about her experiences from a first had source!

Here is a picture of Joy when she visited us.







Most recently we went on our trip to the Swindon STEAM Museum to explore the museum and take part in an evacuation experience. We had a brilliant day and learned a lot. The lady who ran the experience was very impressed with how much we all knew about World War Two! Our favourite part was pretending to be an evacuee. Here are some pictures of us on our trip




In Year 4 during the summer terms, we had a very exciting time studying the Ancient Greeks, through a range of different activities and learning experiences. This included us finding about where in the world Greece is situated,, as well as discovering exactly where the ancient Greeks actually ruled as it was quite different to how it can be found today! This entailed us using our Geographical skills of searching an atlas and reading maps. We also studied the people, their daily life and what it was like to be a child during this period of history. 


To enhance our appreciation of these times we were lucky enough to hold a Greek day within school. We all dressed up, including Miss Jefferies and Mrs Godwin, in either a Greek Chiton or as a Hoplite soldier from the Greek army. We all made a fantastic effort and looked amazing! As a cohort of Year 4 children we welcomed ‘Portals from the Past’ into school, Stuart came and organised a great day of fun activities and quizzes that we all participated in. Some examples of these were the re-enactment of an Ancient Greek battle, telling the story of Theseus and the Minotaur through drama, Greek puzzles and the history of the Olympic Games.

We then went onto create Hoplite shields of our own as well as an Amphora which we created from clay, left to dry and then decorated. Did you know that the Ancient Greeks used them to store olive oil, wine and water?


 When we were learning about trade in Ancient Greek times we made a Trireme which is a type of Greek boat from around the Ancient Greek period. They would have used them to pedal their wares around from port to port as travelling by sea was by far the easiest way to travel in those days, as the land was mountainous and rocky. 


We thoroughly enjoyed making and tasting Greek salad – we were even allowed to use sharp knives! It tasted really delicious and we were allowed to take the recipe home so that we could make it for our parents!


In Literacy we wrote our own myths, we used drama, story maps, storytelling actions and a range of other activities to help us to get to our goal. Our teachers read a range of myths to us and the more blood thirsty the better agreed the boys! We wrote some fantastic myths of our own, which we were very proud of!

We have thoroughly enjoyed our topic and are able to talk much more confidently about this very interesting period of history.



Under the Canopy!

In Year 4 during the Spring terms, we had a very exciting time studying the Rainforests of the


This included us finding about where the worlds rainforests are situated using our Geographical skills. We also studied the people, plants and animals which are native to these different rainforests.  To enhance our appreciation of some of the animals of the rainforest we were very lucky to welcome Jonathan’s Jungle road show back to school. He brought a great selection of animals with him including many of our favourites - tarantulas, snakes, geckos and millipedes to name a few.




















We looked at Brazil in particular, especially the Amazon rainforest and its culture. It was fun to try out the Samba Dance in PE and make Samba masks in Art and DT


We made catapults in DT as we wanted to find a way that we could lift ourselves over the top of the rainforest so that we could see canopy and emergent layers of a rainforest. We had to work with wood and use various tools to measure, saw, mitre and glue our designs. Once we had made them we then tested them to see if they worked.


We also studied deforestation a subject that we became very passionate about. We did not realise how much of the rainforest is disappearing every day, which means that there are both plants and animals that are at risk of becoming extinct, which is shocking.  As a way of bringing our topic ‘Under the Canopy’ to a close, we held a very heated debate about deforestation. We took on different roles so that we could look at the topic from different points of views, even if we did not agree with those views.


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We used our skills in Literacy to help us after the debate as we had to write a newspaper report about the debate. We learnt to ensure that we started by informing our reader of the 5 w’s – the who, what, where, when and why? We then had to set out our arguments for and against the motion, which we laid out in paragraphs ensuring that we linked our paragraphs with time connectives to help the flow of our writing. 



Autumn Term

This term we have got off to a flying start.  We have loved getting to grips with our topic ‘The Tudors’ and already we have discovered so much about this very famous and eventful period in history. Having also encountered history ‘first hand’ on our trip to the Tower of London, we were able to present our findings to the parents in our superb class assembly. Our explorations within our topic continue to enthuse and inspire us in many other curriculum areas such as art, where the children have been studying portraits , and DT in which the children are about to embark on a Tudor house construction project.

Tower of London visit


In other areas of the curriculum, we have been looking at graphics in ICT, investigating how to edit and alter images using a range of tools, and in French, we are beginning a new unit of work on pocket money.


Finally in our PE, we have all loved learning tag rugby and the icing on the cake was having the chance for some children to play during the half time interval of a Bath Rugby match at the Rec. We also took at team to a rugby festival at Swindon Rugby Club, where the team were undefeated.








During this term, year 5 have become environmentalist in their SHAW topic to discover ways in which we can Save Habitats Around Wiltshire. During this topic we have been investigating the ways in which some animals are endangered and have been examining the cause of Greenhouse Gases, as well as their effects on our planet. After researching this, we have investigated ways in which we can reduce our ‘Carbon Footprint’ and so help to save the planet! Next time you see one of the year 5’s, why don’t you ask how you can do your bit to save the planet as well?


We have been very cross curricular with our topic this term; creating graphs comparing endangered animals using Excel in ICT lessons, discovering the changes that have taken place in our local area using an Ordinate Survey map, and creating our own booklets in Art, depicting the changes that have occurred at Shaw Forest Park over the past 10 years, based on the book ‘Belonging’ by Jeannie Baker. Did you know that Shaw Forest Park used to be a local tip for all our rubbish?

We also became keen gardeners and ‘surrogate parents’ when our new additions arrived into our classrooms...!


Earlier in the term our classrooms became home to 5 tiny caterpillars each in Birch and Elder class. We watched the caterpillar eat and grow, (and boy, did they grow!) until they curled themselves up and turned into chrysalides after just 2 weeks as caterpillars. We were very excited to come into school one Monday morning (just over a week after they had turned into chrysalides) to find 5 beautiful, Painted Lady butterflies happily flying around their net! After watching them for just a few days and helping them become strong, they were ready to be released. We had spent an afternoon the previous week planting two very special habitats in our school garden, which we had designed just for the butterflies, and one sunny afternoon, we all congregated in the gardens with mixed emotions and released the butterflies into their natural habitat.







The movement of the butterflies and the other various animals we had studied during this topic, also inspired us in our DT topic this term. Using a ‘cams mechanism’, we designed and created our very own moving animal toys! It was a great experience for us to sharpen our evaluation skills, as many of us had to re-think our initial ideas when we actually tried to construct our toys...! With a bit of trial and error, however, we all created pieces of work to be proud of!










Spring Term

Last term, year 5 became crime scene detectives when an ancient Egyptian mummy was found ruthlessly discarded in the small hall! We learnt about chromatography, fingerprinting and even extracted DNA from a banana to help the homeless mummy, who needed to be returned to one of three empty tombs in Egypt! This scenario was engineered for us to take part in the year 5 science festival hosted at Ridgeway Secondary School in the last week of term. We all worked extremely hard to put together an all-singing, all-dancing (literally!) performance to demonstrate everything we had learnt during this time. 10 children from the year group represented us to present all our hard work on the day, where we also took part in activities linked to the three main science subjects – chemistry, biology and physics. It was a fascinating day, which was made even better when Shaw Ridge were declared the winners of the festival!






Our science festival entry was inspired by our spring topic – The Elaborate Egyptians. During this topic we made Egyptian bread, designed our own Egyptian gods, used the internet to carry out research into Ancient Egypt, and even sang some Egyptian songs! Our topic culminated in a visit from Stuart Davies (who has been on Horrible Histories!) who spent the day as an Egyptologist, taking us back in time to discover how the Ancient Egyptians lived their lives and also how they dealt with death . . . We mummified a ‘dead Pharaoh’ and put his body into a sarcophagus! We later became hunters, competing with each other for the best ‘kill’. 




Autumn Term

So far this year, Year 5 have been learning about aviation. We particularly enjoyed visiting the Science museum in London where we watched a live demonstration about explosions and forces, and then experienced the Science Launchpad.




We then explored the aviation gallery called “The Dream of Flight” where we saw lots of planes and artefacts and how they have developed over time. We especially enjoyed seeing Amy Johnson’s plane, called Jason.



We have been very cross curricular with our learning so far this term; not only have we learnt about aviation in our Topic and Science lessons, but we have also mapped flying routes in Geography, drawn planes in Art using perspective, written aviation poems in Literacy and followed instructions to make paper aeroplanes, made posters in ICT to advertise “The Dream of Flight,” sung songs about flying... the list goes on! You will be able to hear our songs in our year group assembly on 27th November, where we will be telling the story of aviation through drama and music. Watch this space for an update later in the year!


We all survived our SATs and had a great party at the end of the week. Everyone had worked so hard it was great to ‘let our hair down’ and spend some time having fun!


We have really enjoyed our term so far. Our topic is ‘Trading Places’ and we spent the first half term learning all about places where trading has taken place – like ports, markets and shopping centres. We all enjoyed a trip to London where we visited The CuttySark – a tea clipper ship designed to speed its way back to England with it’s load of tea to get the best prices for the tea merchants. We also had a trip down the River Thames and learned about the history of England as a sea-faring nation.








Later, we also went to the maritime museum where we saw some of the items found on board the Titanic. Fascinating!



Over half term we all made model shops and market stalls. They look fantastic in the corridor!

We all took part in Junior Good Citizen 2013. This took place at The Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) Community Hall. In groups we had to act out scenarios that taught us how to be safe from food poisoning, abduction, burning buildings, and railway lines. We also learned some first aid and experienced how alcohol affects the brain and judgement.

We had a great time learning Tag Rugby skills. One of the coaches plays for The England Women’s Team!



We are now learning about ‘Trading Places’ as in ‘marketing locations.’ The focus for this is Loch Ness. Look out everyone for our forthcoming musical production ‘The Last Monster In Scotland.’ What with Secondary School induction days, sports events and our Prom it’s going to be ‘busy, busy’ right to the end!


Spring Term

We welcomed our Comenius visitors to our classes and were keen to share our project books with them and ask questions about the individual countries we had studied. We were particularly impressed with the fact that all our visitors spoke really good English and they understood everything we said and we were able to have a conversation with them.







Beech and Yew class embarked on a forensics quest to @Bristol, a science museum in Bristol. It was full of educational and fun exhibits about illusions, the body, physics, and many more. The main reason we went to @Bristol was to experience their real life forensic science course. We examined DNA from our saliva, we took our fingerprints, and examined hair… And then we solved a crime! There had been a murder in ‘the leaning lounge’, a room sloping in one direction. We had to photograph evidence and put it in an evidence bag. We then had to analyse ink, DNA, and hairs to determine who committed the crime. All in all, it was great! 


We were even lucky to get a mention on the radio as Louisa had phoned Chris Evans on his show that morning to tell him that she was ‘doing something for the first time’ part of a regular feature in his morning show. Louisa then had to feed back details of what we did live on his show the next day.






East Dene

Wednesday 17th October 9.30pm

What a full - on day today of Woodland experiences!  The children have all taken part in a wide range of activities to help them survive in the woodland environment. Now it’s just the staff you have to worry about!  First, after a gigantic breakfast of cereal, porridge, sausages, baked beans and toast we ventured out into the woods where the children were taught how to collect sticks of varying width in preparation for making a camp fire. They learned to use a ‘sparker’; a metal version of rubbing two sticks together and they lit cotton wool with it. They then had to make a fireplace and assemble what they would need in groups. They then had to light and develop their fires with varying degrees of success. (You may want to hide all matches before we get home.)  Luckily no lions were around as some fires burned for only about two minutes. On a big campfire, they then made bread and cooked it in a pan over it- delicious....if a little smoky with mud toppings!

Camp Fire

They then had to use clay dug from the ground to make a small animal they might find in the wood. One group all seemed to make large worms or snakes and when displayed in their natural habitat, it looked like a large dog paid regular ‘visits’ to the area!!  Nice!

After our picnic lunch of chicken, egg or cheese rolls, crisps, fruit and biscuits we set off once more into the woods.  We explored making jungle percussion music using recycled materials such as large water machine canisters, biscuit tins, shakers, old vacuum cleaner tubes and metal rods. If there were any lions in our jungle they would definitely be on their way now!

We then had a session on mini-beasts and caught and identified many woodlice, millipedes, worms and other poor unsuspecting  wildlife. No animals were harmed in the process and the children learned a lot from our guides who were all environmental scientists. We then moved onto trees and identified six different species using bark and leaf shape. It was great for the children to study the trees our classes are named after in school.

After this, it was archery and after some tips on stance and aim and a few practice shots, they competed to burst balloons tied in the middle of the targets. The children enjoyed using real bows and steel arrows and learning about safety and etiquette in this sport. Quite a few achieved a ‘balloon blow’ too. We didn’t manage to kill any van drivers travelling along the road behind the targets.


The children enjoyed their meal of Shepherd’s Pie or Macaroni Cheese, followed by chocolate cake and chocolate custard. Then tonight we have been out by starlight, again round a campfire in the woods, singing silly songs and telling jokes. The highlight of this was an unexpected performance of “There’s a hole in my bucket” by Mrs MacKay and Mrs Dudman in hats and wigs. Be prepared to have all these shared with you, no doubt over the weekend.

Tuesday 16th October, 10pm

After a stormy night, the day dawned bright and sunny. Boys up nice and early (6.20am) but girls slower to wake! The day started well with a breakfast of cereal, yogurt, bacon/ scrambled eggs and toast enjoyed by all. Then, with a few changes of clothing to something suited to a day outside rather than a Caribbean getaway, we were off exploring the village and local church to find evidence of living history and investigate what is meant by the term ‘community’. Nature-lovers amongst us spotted a red squirrel in the church yard, a Merlin flying overhead, and a Grey Heron fishing in the local pond.


An alfresco lunch of rolls, crisps, biscuits and fruit was enjoyed in the sunshine, after which a happy afternoon ensued involving themed team games, and a map work challenge incorporating much running up and down of hills.

Following an afternoon snack of squash and children’s cakes/biscuits, some well earned ‘free time’ was spent playing football, building dens and relaxing in dorms. Tea was eagerly anticipated, and an evening meal of chicken curry and rice or spaghetti bolognaise was well received. Then it was back upstairs to prepare for an evening of ‘sensory experiences’ in the grounds.

All in bed and lights out by 9.30. Dreaming of another exciting day tomorrow!

Watch this space


Monday evening  9.50pm.

Had a very smooth journey over here. The children were great on the ferry gaining approval from many old ladies on Turkey and Tinsel coach trips!  We got on an earlier crossing than planned so we arrived at East Dene at about one o’clock.

After much heaving and grunting as they dragged their suitcases up the stairs the children were glad to discover their dorms but only some managed to wrestle their duvets into the covers without disappearing into them themselves.

The staff here were keen to do a fire drill almost immediately which caused some amusement as the children had to find their way out of a large house when they had not really got to know it yet, via different routes and fire escapes for each area of the house!

Soon afterwards they had a complete orientation tour of the house and grounds and after a short burst of torrential rain which had them all running inside for cover, we went down to the beach to do rock-pooling  as low tide is late in the day this week. Some amazing finds – red eyed crabs and lots of shrimps and fish too. Only two got completely wet by testing out the rock pools with their bottoms but all came back smiling and ready for their dinner having eaten lunch at about eleven!


At dinner they all tucked in well with many having seconds  and one or two had thirds! We had to abandon our outside game this evening as it hailed and rained but we’ve had a good laugh playing a variety of funny team games involving plastic spoons, tinfoil and mint imperials.

The fresh sea air and hot chocolate has not so far knocked them out..... hoping not to see tomorrow before the staff get to bed!


KS1 Sports Day 2013























KS2 Sports Day








Rugby Taster Day

















Comenius Visitors

We were really lucky at Shaw Ridge as it was our turn to host visitors from our Comenius partner countries.  We had visitors from Spain, France, Wales, Belgium and Italy.


We played host to various different activities in and out of school and took them to see the sights in and around Swindon. 


Their 5 day stay started off with a welcome assembly where our visitors were guest of honour along with The Mayor and Mayoress of Swindon.  The Mayor of Swindon spoke and gave our visitors a brief overview of of the history of Swindon and welcomed them to Swindon and to Shaw Ridge.

We sang our school song 'Believe' and 'Sing' the song composed for the Queens Jubilee.  I think it's fair to say that they were very impressed with our singing!


Our visitors were given the opportunity to walk around the school and visit different classes at work to see how our curriculum and school differed from theirs.


They also accompanied our Eco-club on a walk to Lydiard park before then having a walk around Lydiard House.


Lots more was packed into their 5 day stay and it's safe to say they were all very tired when they left to go home!  They all seemed to enjoy their stay here with us in England and had lots of ideas and information to take back to their schools.


























Open Evening 2013






















KS1 Christmas Play
















KS1 Disco









Keyboard Assembly - December 2012

Those children that learn to play keyboard in school got a chance to showcase their talent in an assembly for the rest of the school and their parents. Most of the songs were seasonal so everyone got to join in with the songs they knew!





Christmas Dinners











Rugby Club play at Bath Rugby

On Saturday 10th December 8 children from our Rugby Club were lucky enough to be able to go to the Bath vs Calvisano game at The Rec in Bath and were given the opportunity to play Tag Rugby against Haydonleigh school.  Bath won the game 67-11 and Shaw Ridge also beat Haydonleigh, although there is some disagreement over the final score!






Children in Need 2012

Friday 16th November was Children in Need Day.  To help raise money we all came to school in our Pyjamas for the day and brought our teddies with us.  During playtime children were able to buy hot chocolate and cakes and biscuits made especially for Children in Need by our kitchen staff.


During the evening of Friday 16th November the BBC wests annual fundraising evening came from STEAM museum.  A choir of almost 200 children performed and we were lucky enough to be able to send three children to join the choir.  The children joined others from across the UK to perform a simultaneous rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, led by Aled Jones, from BBC Television Centre in London.  Pupils from Lydiard Park Academy were joined by schools from Bristol, Fairford and Frome as well as seven local primary schools.


Click below to see the video of the children singing 'Bridge over Troubled Water'.

Children in Need Video