Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Monster Lab

I had to design a counting game for kindergarten kids as part of my homework.

My game is called 'Monster Lab'. It is a game you need to play with other people.

Everyone gets a magnetic board with a circle drawn on it which represents the body of a monster. The group has a spinner and dice and a containers with the monster's horns, eyes, arms, legs, head and tail.

The spinner has pictures of horns, eyes, arms, legs, head and tail. When it is your turn you roll the dice and spin the spinner. You then pick up the right number of magnets (which are also the right body part) and place the magnets on to your monster. Eg. If you end up with 5 and mouths you place 5 mouths on your monster.

If you spin a part of the body you have already you miss a turn and the next person rolls and spins.

At the end, you can name your monster if you want to!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Archaeology Dig

Last week we visited an archaeological dig. It was on this big patch of land that was soon to be developed into a housing estate.

First we walked into a marquee and she showed us how small ditches around the edges of Celtic houses fill up with silt over time and if you dig down to their level you can see where the ditches were by seeing the differently coloured soil.

Then we went to the dig sites. Firstly, there was a Celtic house and a Roman road. The gutters at each side of the road had filled up in the same way as the Celtic ditches. We could work out they were from different periods as the Roman road was built smack on top of the Celtic house.

Then we walked through the horrid mucky grounds dotted with last seasons potatoes to another dig where they'd found the site of a Victorian rubbish dump. There was lots and lots of Victorian rubbish piled on top of each other. We could see it under the ground through the archaeologists trench. One of the walls was practically made up of rubbish.

It was interesting and I learned a lot!

Anglesey Abbey

Today we visited Anglesey Abbey - a 17th century manor with a Norman Crypt, 20th century parts and beautiful grounds with wildlife trails and even a working water mill!

First, after a stroll throug beautifu gardens we arrived at the watermill. Inside were many cogs and a small grindstone. Becca and Elsie and I earned a classy plastic gold medal for turning it round the amount of years we are old. We saw how the waterwheel turned a stone cog which turned abother cog at right angles to it. Using the strong current the water did a lot of the hardest work! That's really clever!

Next we visited the actual house. Inside were any expensive clocks. Some were pretty like the tower clock with three faces (only one had hands and numbers all the rest had sparkling patterns) and some clocks would have cost a ridiculous amount of money like a gold and silver one wth things carved all over it.

There were modern sections as well such as a marble bathroom. There were also many nude statues. The Normal crypt had distinctive Norman arches and a modern dining table in the middle of the room. At the time I didn't know it was the crypt but I noticed the distinctive arches.

Outside the house, walking back towards the car we saw a beautiful species of pheasant. It had a long trailing tail almost scaly looking black and yellow feathers and was quite a large size for a bird.

I really enjoyed my day and mum says we're going back there some time!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


This week our family drove to Bath. On our way there we saw lots of exciting things.

First, we saw deer. I don't know what type of deer as we only saw a glimpse of them through the window. We saw lots of raptors (birds of prey) one of which might have been a buzzard and another perhaps a marsh harrier!

When we got to Salisbury we visited its beautiful cathedral with the largest spire in the UK! The pillars are under such pressure they are actually slightly bent! It had tombs, a magnificent font and the original Magna Carta. The best preserved copy on earth!

Then we drove to Old Sarum, an old Normal castle built in William the Conquerer's time where an old Iron Age fort used to be! It is a ruin now with the ugly insides of walls everywhere and stairs leading to nowhere. From the hill, you can see for miles. It was great!

Next stop was Stonehenge! It was great! It was way bigger than I thought and really awe inspiring. There was an audio guide that told you about Stonehenge as well - what it is made of, how it was built, why people think it was built and myths about it. One myth is that it was made by Merlin and Uther Pendragon (King Arthur's father) was buried there! Not true, but still interesting!

Then we visited Wilsford a tiny town which some of my ancestors come from. Also, we saw a white horse a bit like the Uffington horse on a hill near the road!

Soon we got to Bath. The next morning we saw the Roman baths. They were AWESOME!!!! They had a museum with Roman stonework, pots and an undergroung place with the bases of pillars, altars and statue stands where a Roman temple courtyard had been. There was also a Roman goddess of wisdom, among other things - Sulis, Minerva. Then we saw the actual baths - hot ones, cold ones, warm ones and ones devoted entirely to healing. The original roof of Bath was massive, very high and beautifully decorated.

Then we saw the pump room. It is in one of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey. I had a delicious hot chocolate and a Bath bun.

Then we met a man with tame pigeons on the street. He let us feed them while they sat on our arms and even Becca's head!

Next we saw the Fashion museum and Assembly rooms. The Assembly room is also in Northanger Abbey and balls were held there. The Fashion museum had dressed from the 1600s to present. One of the dresses belonged to Queen Victoria! It was very interesting.

As we walked around Bath we saw a horse and cart at The Circus (a circular road with curved buildings around it). Then we saw the Jane Austen centre. We listened to a talk about Jane Austen's family and a learned a lot about her.

Finally we visited Bath Abbey and got a free 'God Loves Me' ruler. The Abbey was very beautiful.

The next day we started our return journey to Cambridge. We saw more birds of prey including a couple of red kites. Then we saw some of the Cotswolds. The town we visited was very pretty with blackheaded gulls (some moulting) and a little river.

Next stop was Oxford. We saw C.S.Lewis's home, visited his grave, saw his church and sat on his pew.

Next we saw Tolkien's house and had lemonade at the Eagle and Child where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to meet. Their actual seat has a plaque above it and I deliberately touched the seat on the way out. Then we saw the martyrs' monument.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A flurry of snow

Here is a poem I wrote about a flurry of snow, when it snows heavily for a short amount of time. Yesterday we saw three of these and and my sisters and I wrote poems about them. In my poem, It rhymes until every tenth line when it goes a little out of the rhyme scheme and rhythm, deliberately. I hope you like it!

A flurry of snow

The day is crisp, the day is cold;
The midday sun looks frail and old
Through dark clouds looming overhead.
By Midday shoppers look in dread,
The midday light turns dark as night,
Men walking home look up in fright.
The first flakes speck the rumbling sky;
They tumble round from far on high -
Dancing, dancing, galloping prancing;
Twirling whirling, curling through the frozen air.

Like sugar on a chocolate cake,
A fairyland the snow creates,
The snowflakes are the fairies bright
That fly around through day and night,
As nimble as a dragonfly
and dainty as the stars on high
They tumble down, they tumble round.
They break apart when hitting ground
And melt again into the earth
As food for trees that suck the soil dry.

Like feathers from a bright white bird
That flies round high unseen, unheard,
From brown to white it covers ground,
Seldom making the slightest sound.
The cold wind howls, the cold wind howls;
A frightened black alsatian growls
And barks at unseen enemies.
The snow transforms the ugliest trees
It drains the clouds and turns them white
Fog rolls out of mouths and disappears, like spirits of the dead.

And then it's over, gone and done
Again appears the yellow sun
The day is crisp; the day is cold
What great things does tomorrow hold?
On Saturday we went to a massive house called Wimpole Hall originating from Jacobean times. It was still in use during the 1970s.

The estate was massive with a church, a greenhouse, many gardens and stables bigger than another house!

Also it had a working farm. It was great! First we saw the shetland ponies. When I was in kindergarten, I rode one and I am amazed at how it is possible on such a tiny creature! Next we saw the goats. There was a part of the enclosure fenced off and inside it stood a proud billy who tried to butt heads with another billy through the fence's bars. Also there were the most adorable kids (baby goats!). Then we saw the chicks, proud rooster, pigs (including a massive black hairy boar who kept showing his tusks) and some suckling piglets. We also saw some newborn lambs, one of which was still wet and being licked by its mother, ducks, depressed longbeard donkeys, a highland bull, a bull with big horns, massive powerful shire horses, rabbits and finally some dignified ancient and beady eyed turkeys.


Then we visited Wimpole Hall itself. There were beautiful chandeliers, oil paintings, silk walls, hidden doors, old books and globes and even a room that had been visited by Queen Victoria. I learned a lot and had great fun!

Monday, 4 March 2013

A busy day

On Saturday we had a big day trip. After breakfast we hopped in the car and drove to Framlingham Castle, a massive curtain wall building with 2 ditches and a mere protecting it. The mere would reflect the castle and make it look mighty and imposing.

Inside we learned lots of things about its history. It was built by the dukes of Norfolk in the 12th century. Later in 1215 the owner of the castle grouped up with other members of parliament and helped make the Magna Carta. Because of this King John laid seige to the castle. He won the fight.

Much later in Tudor times, the Howard family owned the castle. They added the ornamental chimneys, most of which didn't even work, to make it look less military and more like it was built for comfort. Also, Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn came from that family. When Edward VI died, Queen Mary and her supporters hid out there until she discovered she was Queen. She rode to London from Framlingham castle to get coronated. 

In Victorian times, a wealthy man bought the castle and made it into a poorhouse.

The castle was great! We walked on the battlements and up and down the ditches.

Sutton Hoo

Next we visited Sutton Hoo, and ancient Anglo-Saxon burial site full of barrows (burial mounds). Firstly we saw the actual mounds. Thet were not very prominent, in fact they looked like ordinary hills. They were thought to be that until recently!

In the early 1930s, Edith Pretty the wealthy owner of that land asked an archaeologist called Basil Brown to dig up the hills because a friend had said she saw ghosts there. They weren't expecting to find much but what they found might be one of the greatest Anglo Saxon sites found! There were skeletons and gold, swords and a horse. The most famous finds were a kings bronze and silver helmet and a massive burial ship.  Also at Sutton Hoo was a museum with some of the finds in it, Edith Pretty's house and a gift shop. It was great!

 In front of the biggest barrow.
 Basil Brown's hut
Rebecca dressed up as an Anglo Saxon warrior!