Author Archives: ospreys2015

About ospreys2015

Hello from all of the children in the Ospreys class of 2014/15 at Gastrells Primary School. Please enjoy browsing through our work and some of the activities that we get up to during our time in school. It’s a great class to be a part of.

Art: River Journey Illustrations


In Literacy this term, Ospreys have been reading stories set near the sea or rivers. We are currently writing a recount of the journey of a river, following its course from the source in the mountains, to the river mouth as it opens out to the sea. We have been reading a rhyming story, called ‘The Journey’, by Neil Griffiths and Scott Mann, to help us plan our recount writing. We used the illustrations from the book, drawn by Judith Blake, to give us ideas for our own illustrations of a scene from our river recounts. We thought about how to create perspective in our pictures, and looked at the use of tone and shade, before beginning careful sketches. We then finished our illustrations with watercolour paints. Please come and see all our finished paintings outside Ospreys classroom!


Science: Investigating soil


What is soil? Where does it come from? What is it made of?

As part of our science studies of plants and also rocks and Soils, Ospreys have been learning about soil. We took soil samples from different areas all around the school grounds, mixed them with water in a glass jar, and then left them to settle into different layers of materials over the course of a couple of weeks. We also had samples from one pupil’s garden, and even a soil sample from Mr. Payne’s garden, to see if the soil from different places would contain different materials. Pupils observed their soil samples closely through a magnifying glass. They then drew a diagram, labelling the different layers they could see. The observed materials were then sorted into two categories: things that used to be alive, and things that had never been alive.

Who would have thought that dirt could be so interesting?

Maths Passport Mover!


Friday 29th July

It may be approaching the end of the Summer Term for Ospreys but there is still time left for learning and progress. Well done to another pupil who, after months of practice and hard work, this Friday completed all targets in Australasia within the time limit of the Maths Passport test, and is now able to move on up to Antarctica. Fantastic work!

Architecture: visit to Ebley Mill and Ebley House


Tuesday 26th June

Ospreys set off from school on a very hot and sunny morning, to walk to Ebley Mill, where we met Steven from Stroud Museum in the Park. We learned about the history of Ebley Mill as a purpose built, water powered factory for processing Stroud Scarlett cloth to be sold all around the world. We found out how the Mill was developed by the Marling family, and how a fire damaged the chimney. After a picnic lunch and playtime at Victory Park, we walked to nearby Ebley House, previously the mill owner’s mansion. Ebley House is a great example of Victorian gothic revival architecture, with gruesome gargoyles and decorative features, similar to what we recently saw at Woodchester Mansion. We investigated the rooms at Ebley House and noted the highly decorative style, painted ceilings and stained glass windows. Thankyou to everyone at Novalis Trust for welcoming us to Ebley, and thanks also to Steven from the museum for a fascinating talk about the Mill.

Artistic Science: Scientific Art


Friday 21st June

Ospreys returned after lunch to find different plants stuck up around the classroom. Pupils studied the plants closely, looking at the root systems, stems and leaves, which we have been learning about in Science, noting patterns and colours, before making careful and detailed sketches of the plants. We looked at some scientific illustrations of plants, before starting our observational drawings. We used water colour and coloured pencils to apply gentle colour to our sketches.



Friday 21st June

While some of the class were out at the Spartan Event, some of Ospreys were busy in the kitchen making welshcakes. Our current Literacy book, The Sandman and the Turtles, by Michael Morpurgo, is set by the sea in Wales, and welshcakes are mentioned as a tea time treat throughout the story. We have also looked at the recipe in SPAG as an example of an instruction text. We mixed flour, butter, sugar, an egg and sultanas to a paste, which was gently rolled out. We cut out 10 cm radius discs and then cooked these in a hot pan for about 5 minutes on each side. We managed to make sixty welshcakes by the time the Spartans returned: enough for two each for everyone.

Literacy: Stories of the sea by Michael Morpurgo


After reading ‘Dolphin Boy’, Ospreys have this week finished reading ‘The Sandman and the Turtles’, another story by Michael Morpurgo set near the sea, which tells the story of two children, Michael and Polly. Our writing task is to create an alternative ending for the story, with a focus on using dialogue, with speech correctly punctuated. In our SPAG activities we looked at a recipe for welshcakes, which are mentioned in the story, and noted how verbs usually begin an instruction sentence. We have also been revising speech punctuation, and looked at how to use adverbs to convey characters’ motives and emotions.

Science: Investigating Soil


What is soil made of? Why do plants need soil?

These are some of the questions that Ospreys will be dealing with in science this term, and today we took jam jars outside to collect samples of soil. Our investigation is to observe what we can see in different samples of soil, by mixing the soil with water, shaking it up, and then letting the contents settle over the course of a few weeks. We took soil samples from all around the school grounds to see if there will be any variation in what is in the soil. Pupils then labelled their jars and have placed them on the balcony outside our classroom, where we will observe layers of different materials forming over the next few weeks.