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Middle Department News 9 June 2023 

Year 3

Verulamium Special Edition

The highlight of this week was undoubtedly our trip back in time to Verulamium via the Roman museum in St Albans. Year 3 were extremely excited by the prospect and did us proud – assuming the part of Beechwood ambassadors very well. We spent time in the galleries looking at the artefacts and looking for objects and learning about their lives. We also dressed up and went to a Roman market, where each group had a shopping list of items to buy and explain to the rest of the group. After leaving the museum, we were lucky enough to be taken to the Roman Theatre in Verulamium by Lady Grimston.

We ate our lunch on top of a mound overlooking the remains of Roman workshops and imagined ourselves back in the Roman market. We were also very lucky to be able to see the set of the first play of the season by the Ovo Theatre group. If you are interested, there are a wide variety of plays being put on, many suitable for children. I think they enjoyed seeing the stage and having a ‘sneak peak’ before the crowds arrive later in the week. 

The final activity of our day was courtesy, once again, of Lady Grimston, who threw open a field and the children ran through the long grass – a very simple pleasure, but glorious to watch!  

On our return we asked the children two questions: their favourite part of the day and their favourite fact that they had learnt and these were some of their answers: 

Favourite Facts:

  • You could not make any pudding with chocolate because they didn’t have sugar! Rudr
  • That the beautiful Roman mosaics had heated floors powered by furnaces. Charlie M
  • That the Romans put oil on their skin and scraped it off with a special tool (strigil). Annabel
  • If you were rich a slave would scrape all the oil and dirt off and if you were poor you would do it yourself. Sophia C. 
  • The Romans gave babies necklaces that they wore until they were 14 with a dolphin on it. Amelie B
  • The Roman did not use forks. Ethan 
  • That olive oil was used for so many things like lighting, keeping food good and to wash your body. Sophia U

Favourite Part of the Day:

  • When we were looking at all the skeletons. I found it really interesting. Lucinda
  • Seeing the bodies! Olly.
  • When we did the market and dressed up as Roman citizens. Mya
  • The Romans put a piece of tiny wood in their mouths so that when your hand hurts it stops you from screaming. Louisa
  • Playing all the board games and building a Roman bridge. Oliver
  • Having lunch on the Roman hill in Verulamium. Arthur
  • Playing in the field because the grass was so long! Lela
  • Going into the theatre and sitting in the front row! Owain

Take a look at some of our photos here

Year 3 Trip to Verulamium June 2023

Dates for your diaries

The weeks are scudding past, so here are a few reminders:

  • Thursday 15th June – Year 3 Swimming Gala
  • Thursday 22nd June – Cricket vs Berkhamsted – their final match in Year 3
  • Tuesday 27th June – Sports Day
  • Saturday 1st July – Speech Day (early finish on Friday)
  • Tuesday 4th July – Fun Night

Phew! Such a lot of wonderful activities to fit into the term. 

Thank you, as always, for your support. 

Kind regards,

The Year 3 Team 

Year 4

Forest School

Year 4 had Forest School altogether on Thursday morning in the beautiful sunshine! The children had to work collaboratively in small groups to make a shelter, they were given some rope and a piece of tarpaulin, they then had to use what they could find in the forest to then create their shelter. We had many different types of shelters as you can see from our photos!

Year 4 Forest School

Drawing on the tables!

In English this week, 4B wrote descriptions about what it is like inside a dragon’s mouth! To inspire each other, we wrote all our ideas about what we could see, smell, hear, touch as well as our thoughts and feelings on the tables and then made a collaborative word cloud of all our ideas before getting cracking on the writing!

Year 4 Word Clouds

Viking Day

Don’t forget it is Year 4’s Viking Day next Friday, 16th June. We can’t wait to see the children in all their costumes. Another reminder has been put on Google Classroom today.

Have a lovely sunny weekend!

The Year 4 Team

Year 5

The start of the final half term for this year has been another busy one! Alongside the excited chatter about next week’s Norfolk Lakes residential trip, Year 5 performed their fairy tales raps with guest appearances ranging from a hairy prince, a talking cow, a sneezing ogre, a talking mirror that lost their job, ‘ham, pork & bacon’ as well as plenty of bling on display! We hope you enjoyed watching them – have a look at some of our photos here;

Year 5 Mini Plays June 2023
At the end of last half term, 5C Maths took an outdoor approach to exploring shape and symmetry.  Take a look at some of our photos below:

Year 5 Maths Symmetry

In Science, we were hoping not to get ‘buzzed’ as we created our own ‘wire buzz’ games as we come to the end of our unit of work on electricity.  

Year 5 Science

Minimus Mythology Competition

This year, in the absence of the annual Minimus Mythology Competition,  and inspired by their study of the myth of Perseus and Medusa, Year 5 pupils have thrown themselves into our own Mythology Competition with gusto! Pupils were invited to submit competition entries in a range of genres, including artwork, drama, animations and diary entries.

Congratulations to EVERYONE who entered – there were some exceptionally creative and clever entries, which made judging our winners even more difficult.

A special mention to the following pupils:

  • Clemmie O and Eleanor I for their diary entry and artwork respectively that were awarded JOINT THIRD PRIZE
  • Jovan S and Viola G for their animations, which won them JOINT SECOND PRIZE
  • Aria D, whose exceptional sculpture of Medusa earnt her a well-deserved FIRST PRIZE

Read more about Medusa and Perseus here

Norfolk Lakes Residential

We are now into the final stretch of our Norfolk Lakes countdown and all our plans are going smoothly. You should have received an email yesterday outlining all the final details for our Norfolk Lakes trip next week. Incase you did not receive it, there is a copy in your child’s Google Classroom. 

On Monday, please arrive for a normal school start. Before going to their form rooms, your child will need to go directly to the Great Hall with their luggage where they will be met by Mr Kneller and Miss Burton. 

Just a few reminders. The children will not need to wear school uniform on the day we leave. Also, please can we request that you do not place any special ‘sweet’ treats in your child’s bag. If you need to hand in any last-minute medication, please see Miss Burton on the day we leave. 

Having spoken to a lot of the children, it would seem that many are packed already—great organisational skills Year 5! The weather forecast is looking to be kind to us. It is essential that all the children bring suntan cream, a hat and a water bottle.  

If you have any last-minute queries please do feel free to ask me. All of the information that has been sent out, including a copy of the final details email that was sent out yesterday, can be found in your child’s Google Classroom. 


As there will no Year 5 newsletter next week, just to remind you that the first Monday back after our Norfolk trip, Year 5 will be having their swimming gala so please can all children have their swim kits + towel + swim hats/goggles in school for this day. 

From the Middle Department Library

Cosima Unfortunate Steals a Star by Laura Noakes

To her friends, 12-year-old Cosima is Cos. To the Stains (the unpleasant brother and sister who manage the Home for Unfortunate Girls) she is simply ‘number one’ – she was the first child they took in as a baby. Over the years, she’s been joined there by many other ‘unfortunates’ – disabled children to be hidden away from Victorian society.   Together with her friends, she spends her days practising mini heists involving the theft of cakes, biscuits and other sweet goodies. But when Cos finds out that Lord Francis Fitzroy, the explorer behind the Empire Exhibition, is planning to adopt them, she and her friends plot the biggest heist of their life. Instead of fondant fancies, they’re going to steal Fitzroy’s prized tiara, containing the legendary Star Diamond of India!

Peppered with story-enhancing illustrations, Noakes’ debut is a heart-warming, thought-provoking and fast-paced adventure.




Head’s Commendations

Congratulations to this week’s recipients of Mrs Cussans’ Commendations:

Engage Inspire Nurture
Year 3 Sasha L Naomi G, Barnet S, Charlie H Sophia U
Year 4 Oliver WG, Mariia D, Laila J, Rex K, Amelia K, Matilda PJ, Luke M Olivia C, Emily B, Mile H, Magnus G, Gabriela M, Belle P, Lizzie K, William P -