St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

Together as one family

Skiddaw - Key Stage Two

Focus on other cultures: Christmas in Scandinavia

For Christmas week, Skiddaw learnt about the beliefs, traditions and mythology surrounding Christmas in Scandinavia. We learnt about the five Nordic countries and their geological features, as well as trolls, Father Tomte, elves and the Yule Cat! We also learnt about the Sami Reindeer people, the Dala Horses of Sweden, Father Christmas and Lapland and the sled-dogs of Greenland. Mr Barnes created a Scandinavian themed grotto in the small playground which we used as a reading den where he read a Moomins story to us. Back in class we learnt more about the Moomins and author Tove Jansson. We learnt about the different Moomins stories and characters before completing craft and art activities to do with them. 

English & Topic: How to Catch a Woolly Mammoth

In History we have been studying Stone Age to the Iron Age and as a crossover project in English we wrote explanation texts on How to Catch a Woolly Mammoth. We used the Talk for Writing method to internalise the information we needed to write our texts, using different activities such as picture paths and talk tennis to embed the knowledge before finally writing up our texts.

RE: Judaism

Alongside our weekly learning on Catholicism, we have also been looking at Judaism this year. In Skiddaw we have learnt about The Torah, Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs. We took part in a classroom word hunt activity to find hidden extracts from the Torah. When we had found them all we split into groups and performed different stories from each of the five books of the Torah. We also designed Bar and Bat Mitzvah greetings cards.

English & Drama: The Boy of a Thousand Faces

We produced our own comic books and letters based around Brian Selznick's The Boy of a Thousand Faces as part of our Spooky Writing topic. We acted out freeze frames and performed a play of the story too!

Black History Month & French: Josephine Baker

Skiddaw loved learning about the naturalised French dancer, Josephine Baker! We learnt so much about her fascinating and inspirational life. Josephine fought against racism in the segregated USA before moving to Paris where she lived for the rest of her life. She became a huge celebrity as a singer and dancer before acting as a spy during WW2 as part of the French Resistance. After the war she was a civil rights activist and spoke at the march for jobs in Washington alongside Martin Luther King. We also love the fact she owned a pet cheetah who would perform onstage with her! We learnt lots of French adjectives to describe her personality, had a lesson on her identity, and translated coded secrets in invisible ink written in French.

Maths: Time

Recently we have been looking at time. We looked at half-past, quarter past and quarter to as well as 5-minute intervals. We solved reasoning and problem solving questions on time, and looked at the 24hr clock, daily timetables and other real-life examples of where we use time on analogue and digital clocks. We made out own clocks to help us with this subject.

Science: Light

In Science our recent Topic has been Light. We learnt about transparent, translucent and opaque objects, as well as rainbows and the Northern Lights. Mr Barnes taught us about night and day using a globe, a dark room and model sun. We conducted an investigation using mirrors and torches, which produced a jellyfish-shaped rainbow on the wall. Mr Barnes set up a camera obscura in Bassenthwaite room, which is a natural optical illusion where the outside world is projected inside the darkened room. He also showed us how to make light paintings using long-exposures on a camera.

Keeping fit

Skiddaw love taking part in daily Joe Wicks fitness sessions. It really gets everyone energised first thing in the morning (especially on a Monday!) and ready to work. As well as this, we have a range of sports coaches who visit the school including Jordan's Little Changes fitness scheme and PE teachers from Cockermouth School, We swim once a week at Cockermouth Leisure Centre and have a 1hr Yoga session with Bryony on Fridays which helps us look after our mental health.

Art: Jean-Michel Basquiat

In art this year Skiddaw have studied the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Basquiat was a multi-disciplinary and mixed-media artist who worked made paintings and street art. The children loved having a go at making their own artworks in his style, including common motifs such as crowns, dinosaurs and arrows. As well as working in our books, we also made chalk drawings on the playground walls, and wrote poems inspired by Basquiat. 

Talk for Writing

We use Pie Corbett's innovative Talk for Writing scheme to help our children learn in English. Here we looked at the story of Willy the Wimp by Anthony Browne. We had lots of fun re-enacting the story through drama and story tennis.

Maths Mastery

At St. Joseph's we use a Maths mastery approach to build the children's skills and confidence. We examine topics from a variety of angles using a range of resources in order to gain a deeper understanding of the subject. We draw from a variety of physical, text and online resources to reinforce the children's learning, including White Rose Maths, Target Maths, Doodle Maths and Times Table Rockstars.


This year we have looked at number of cultural icons including the Beatles, Mohammed Ali and other black icons from the Civil Rights Movement in America. For our Science topic of sound, Mr Barnes brought in his record player and LPs. In Art we learnt about Peter Blake, and drew portraits of Mohammed Ali, using a Growth Mindset approach to edit, re-draw and hone our portraits over time. In History we learnt about Elizabeth Eckford, Maya Angelou, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Barack Obama.

Care in the Community

At St. Joseph's we have close ties with the local community. Skiddaw class visit Kirklands residential home on a regular basis to read books, sing Christmas carols and spread joy to the residents. We are sad to have to postpone our visits due to the coronavirus, but we are sending messages of support to our special neighbours.

Boggy Jog Fundraiser for Australian bushfire animals (2020)

Skiddaw Class raised an incredible £1,012 at our Boggy Jog fundraiser for the animals harmed in the Australian Bushfires. The event was a huge success and included a muddy fun run, bake sale, guess the name of the koala, colouring competition and a raffle. The event gained lots of publicity and Robbie, Ben and Marcey were interviewed by the BBC, and we also had articles published in the Times and Star and Cumbria Crack! Well done to all the children and parents who made the event such a success.

Lego League: Innovation Project Winners (2020)

This year, Skiddaw class took part in the FIRST LEGO League regional tournament in Workington, and won the Innovation Project Award Trophy! Our presentation talked about Greta Thunberg and various types of pollution which impact urban areas. We are so glad that all our hard work paid off and we had a fantastic day.

Our new Premier League All-Stars sports kit!

The Premier League Primary Stars Kit Scheme offered primary schools access to a free Nike football kit. 

Premier League Primary Stars aims to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills and the Kit and Equipment Scheme, run in partnership with Nike, gave teachers the opportunity to get their hands on free resources to aid their pupils’ learning. We love our new kit! 

Reading for Pleasure: Our favourite books!