Class 4A are taught by Mrs Allmark and Miss Hinton with Mrs Smith and Miss James.
So far this year we have loved reading Varjak Paw and The Outlaw Varjak Paw by S F Said; The Last Firefox by Lee Newberry, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown and now The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown. We love a sequel! We hope to read The Legend of Podkin One Ear by Kieran Larwood soon...
Did you know that in Ethiopia most children do not have easy access to clean water or toilets? We were shocked to learn this when we were finding out about the water cycle and wanted to do something to help. So, with Mr Kieran's blessing, we made and sold World Water Day badges over two days and raised £147 for Water Aid!
Autumn 2022 - Animal Rehabilitation Care Team
We started by reading "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. It is full of nonsense words! We became illustrators when we combined our pictures with Lewis Carroll's words to make books.
In Mantle, we take injured or orphaned wild animals to our centre and aim to rehabilitate them back into their habitats. Whilst working as if we are this responsible team, we will be learning lots of science and geography.
Our team was called out to reports of an animal in a car park in the village. It turned out to be a fallow deer. We monitored it, but it didn’t make any attempt to move so we took it to our centre to monitor further.
Meanwhile, one of our team witnessed an accident on the way to work where a white deer ran out into the car in front. Unfortunately, it didn’t survive. It seems that something might be happening in the woods as the number of deer in the area is decreasing quite rapidly.
We decided to take a closer look at the woods, but it was private property. We couldn’t even work out the name on the sign, but there was a phone number. The owners said we should not enter Tulgey woods and should leave well alone because of what is said to have happened there in the past. We recognised the name of the woods and wondered if it had anything to do with the Jabberwocky!
The owners, The Bander Trust, contacted us to say that they were concerned with the decrease in the deer population, so they would agree to us making some observations in Tulgey woods if we did so from some temporary shelters - for our own safety. We set about sending them some designs. Unfortunately, they were not clear enough and so we began working on some small models.
In the meantime, we looked through the fencing as much as we could and sent our drones up to look through the canopy. Some of what we saw concerned us - strange eyes seemed to be watching us - and we wanted to get into the woods as soon as we could.
Of course, we still had work to do back at the centre. We have done lots of science looking at animal classification and food chains to make sure we have animals in the correct treatment rooms.
There appears to be a problem in the hedgehog enclosure though - they don’t seem to be recovering. One hypothesis is that the plants they feed on are being eaten by something else so the hedgehogs are hungry. We think it may be an insect and are trying to find out more.
The shelter designs were accepted and Julianne Cooper arranged for them to be built in the woods. We met with her and she agreed to let us in to the woods if we stayed on the paths and stayed in the shelters. She would lock the gates to the woods and wait for us in the nearby car park. We agreed.
Once we had found the location of our shelters, we went in to make our observations. We couldn’t see much, but we heard some very strange noises. There were a few changes outside the shelters and interestingly a huge footprint outside the cave.
Julianne Cooper called us out of the woodland. She had received photographs from her building team of something they had moved when they built one of the shelters. It was a skull. Could it be a deer skull? How might it have died? We wanted to explore further.
We caught different glimpses of a creature in the dark. We used our poem of the day “Fox” and changed it to write about the creature in Tulgey Woods.
Out of the story, a group of us researched the skeleton of a fallow deer and represented the other bones. We had ideas about how we could include them in our story…
We wondered whether we could use drama to communicate with the strange creature. Obviously it can’t speak, but maybe we could find a way…
We decided to gain the creature’s trust by luring it to the mouth of the cave with some meat and telling it not to be afraid - we wouldn’t hurt it.
We designed a set of buttons - yes, no and maybe and made notes of questions to ask. We discovered it might have babies and maybe it would show them to us.
We tried to contact Julianne Cooper, but she was away in Chester in England on museum business. It was thought that the remains of Boudicca had been found, but it was not her. We left a telephone message and she replied asking us to email our findings and she would meet us at the museum on Monday. (We spent some time out of the story thinking about the different areas of the museum and what would be exhibited. Of course, Caerwent was a Roman town so there would be a lot of Roman information and things…)
When we met with Julianne, she said she really needed our help. The Jabberwocky story is told to protect Tulgey Woods and the creature within them - the Bander family have always protected the creature as it was not actually killed! This must be the creature we saw glimpses of, but Juliet said that the Jabberwocky has always lived in harmony with the woods - hunting only the deer it needs. She was worried about another story - one her grandmother had told her and her brother as children. The story of the sleeping dragons.
It is said that a dragon sleeps in Caerwent. Perhaps it has been awoken! We went back to the woods to find out more…
It seems the dragon has woken up and is hunting deer in Tulgey Woods. Our photographs show the two creatures competing for the deer. One of them has to go!
The woods was on fire. People said that they saw a dragon and it was breathing fire. The story spreads on the news. We needed to help get the dragon to safety and check on the animals in the woods.
When checking the leaves and soil in the area of the woods burned by the fire, we discover bones, a sword, a bracelet and two bottles or containers. It looked like there was the name Boudicca on the sword!
At the museum we learned about Boudicca. If this was her remains, it would be an amazing find…
We phoned Julianne Cooper and she asked us to cover and protect the bones until she could get to the Woods to examine them.
She also gave us the key and directions to Caldecott Woods - owned by the Bander Trust- and asked if we would be willing to move the dragon for its own safety as well as the safety of everything in Tulgey Woods. She was impressed by our plan on how to do this and we successfully moved the dragon temporarily - until a castle could be found.
Finding the dragon and checking for injuries.
Luring it on to a train lorry using meat laced with sleeping medication.
Securing the dragon on the train lorry with a net.
Leaving Caerwent without being seen.
Tying the dragon’s wings together and waking it gently by tickling its nose with a feather.
Leading the drowsy dragon into the woods with a fresh meat bait.
Observing the dragon closely and keeping it sleepy temporarily.
Meanwhile, some of the team concentrated on Tulgey Woods - finding, moving and treating any animals injured in the fire.
We met Julianne Cooper at Tulgey Woods and she was amazed at what we had uncovered. She hurried us out of the woods saying we must have lots of work to do! She took the key to the gates of the woods from us and locked it. We thought this was very strange after all we had been doing to help the animals of the woods. She didn’t contact us or answer our calls. What was going on?
Meanwhile, we noticed an increase in the number of birds in Tulgey Woods. This must have been linked to the decrease in the deer population. Fewer deers mean more berries and fruits left on the trees for birds to eat and so the woods was becoming a good habitat for more birds.
We worked with Miss Cole and Mr Kieran to represent the nests following an Access Art unit of work outside of our Mantle story.
Everyone loved the end results!
There was huge excitement at the Caerwent Museum as the forensic scientist confirmed that the remains were in fact Roman and that all the evidence pointed to it being Boudicca! One of the workers couldn’t help but take some sneaky pictures which ended up being shared on Facebook! We stepped out of our mantle to create the posts. Oh no! The secret was out!
We also learned more about Roman life - the army, the invasion of Britain, the homes and the legacy they left behind.
We changed team for a short while to become news reporters - we had been learning about how to write a news report linked to a strange creature washed up on a beach. A member of the Caerwent Animal Rehabilitation Care team and the forensic scientist from the museum gave their accounts of the discovery of Boudicca. We made notes and then created our written news report.
Back as the Animal Rehabilitation team we were desperate to speak to Julianne Cooper to explain to her why she shouldn’t destroy Tulgey Woods. We had learned about the effects of deforestation and wanted her to consider these.
Julianne finally wanted to meet with us. A team of architects had seen the news reports about the fire in the woods and the dragon. They had already been asked to build a tower for their client and he was keen for it to be home for a dragon. She asked us to evaluate the designs and help her to decide if the dragon could move there and sleep peacefully and safely. We asked for a few adaptations to be made and then the dragon was moved. Success! The Jabberwocky would be safe now. Or would it…
(We were so excited that the designs came from Year 2 and were rolled on to us. Our mantles were joined and we were thrilled by this!)
We tried to use the meeting as an opportunity to ask Julianne about her plans for the remains of Boudicca. She was still sold on the idea of building a spectacular new museum on the site. After all this was an Iceni Queen and famous throughout the world. What an amazing find for Caerwent!
She was sure the animals and Jabberwocky could be moved just as easily as the dragon and she didn’t seem to care about soil erosion or climate change.
However, when we mentioned her family she did seem to waiver a little…
We tried a conscience alley - a drama technique. We decided on a member of Julianne’s family and as she walked down through the alley it was as if she was hearing the thoughts and words from them.
“Save the woods”
“Think of the Jabberwocky”
”It’s the animals’ home”
“You’ll regret it if you build the museum”
To finish the mantle, we imagined a photograph of Tulgey Woods taken a year later. Were the trees, the deer and the Jabberwocky still there? Was there an impressive museum there? Where was Boudicca? We shared some of our ideas and were happy that our story had an ending we had decided on ( and that one ending might be different to another).