We are delighted with our new radio station which is being used to develop communication, literacy and team-working skills, build confidence and to give pupils a voice.

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The children at Pakeman Primary are involved in writing, recording and producing our shows. Click on the links below to listen to the broadcasts we have made.

Chatterbooks Discussion 2017 – April 2017

Singer Julian Stocker (Minerva Scientifica) – February 2017

Christmas Adventure Play – November 2016

Composer Judith Weir composer (Minerva Scientifica) – November 2016

Clin Psychologist Prof Elizabeth Kuipers (Minerva Scientifica)– July 2016

Artistic Director Frances M Lynch & Herbie Clarke- (Minerva Scientifica) – July 2016

Composer Cheryl Frances – Hoad – (Minerva Scientifica) – July 2016

Composer Shirley J Thompson – (Minerva Scientifica) – July 2016

Prof Ellen Solomon Dr Claire Sharpe – June 2016

Prof Brian Sutton/Dr Gillian Sales (Minerva Scientifica) – June 2016

Antarctica George Hart – June 2016

Jungle Book – June 2016

ChatterBooks – March 2016

Pupil Interviewing Simon Chandler – December 2015

Poetry Club Compilation – December 2015

Pupil Interviewing Vicki On Ballroom Dancing – July 2015

Pupil Interviewing Opera Singer Danae Eleni – July 2015

Year 6 Advert Competition – Done Team Advert – June 2015

Year 6 Advert Competition – Elite Squad Advert – June 2015

Year 6 Advert Competition – Light Bulb Advert – June 2015

Year 6 Advert Competition – Empire Stars Advert – June 2015

Year 6 Advert Competition – Sparks Advert – June 2015

Year 1 and 2 Hector and the Big Bad Knight – June 2015

Pupil Interviewing Amy Smith about Journalism – June 2015

Pupil Interviewing Sophy Crosby about Geology – May 2015

Year 5 and 6 Spooky Hill Radio Play

Good Read Double Act

Poet of the Year Interview

Good Read Pupil Interview

Interview with Norwegian Visitors to Pakeman School

Interview with Jon Buck about the Lodge



We are looking forward to our new topic for Autumn 2….FESTIVALS & CELEBRATIONS!

There are so many different and interesting things celebrated at this time of year so it is the perfect time to look at, talk about and make comparisons between the different festivals we all celebrate…the children always find this topic very exciting!

We will be looking at and talking about the following festivals with the children:

  • Diwali
  • Halloween
  • Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night
  • Eid
  • Christmas

If you celebrate any of these festivals and would like to come in and carry out an activity in class (e.g. cooking, art, music, story telling) then we would love your help! Please see your child’s teacher to make arrangements 🙂

Here is a list of some of the books we will be focussing on in Autumn 2 in case you would like to read them at home too:

  • Room on the Broom (Julia Donaldson)
  • Peace At Last (Jill Murphy)
  • Whatever Next (Jill Murphy)
  • Owl Babies (Martin Waddell)
  • The Gruffalo’s Child (Julia Donaldson)
  • Stickman (Julia Donaldson)

If you would like some activity ideas linked to the topic, please check our EYFS ‘Home Learning’ section!

EAL Course for EAL coordinators/practitioners & class teachers

Do you need some practical solutions for supporting children new to the English language or improving their proficiency? If so, we can help ….

Click here for information about our EAL course.   There are two dates available for this one-day course, on Monday 15th January 2018 and Friday 2nd March 2018. Alternatively, please contact Layla Rafferty by telephone on 020 7607 2575 or by email at courses@pakeman.islington.sch.uk

Murder Most Foul!

This week Liz from the Young Shakespeare Company came and did another superb workshop introducing our Year 5 and 6 classes to another classic play, Hamlet.

Fitting perfectly with the mystery and crime genre we have been studying, the children learnt the plot – and some of the lines – of perhaps the most well-known play in the English language.

The workshops are immersive and so engaging, with everyone playing a part and having a lot of fun at the same time. They are also essential in preparing the children for the production of Hamlet we will see performed by the Young Shakespeare Company at the Millfield Theatre in November.


Pupil Premium Courses, Reviews, Consultancy & INSET

Do you need independent help/advice with your Pupil Premium funding and provision? If so, we can help ….

Click here for information about:

Pupil Premium Course – places are available on Tuesday 21st February 2017

Pupil Premium Reviews

Pupil Premium Consultancy and INSET Training

Alternatively, please contact Layla Rafferty by telephone on 020 7607 2575 or by email at courses@pakeman.islington.sch.uk

Half-term Playschemes in Islington

For information about all the Summer holiday playschemes in Islington, please click here.

Tasty Science

This term KS1 have focused their learning around Paddington Bear and Sensational London. We have talked about our 5 senses and how we experience our great city through seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting. We imagined what Paddington Bear would have experienced as he arrived at Paddington Station for the first time. To link our topic with science we investigated our sense of taste. We wanted to find out which of the four tastes – sweet, salty, bitter or sour Paddington’s favourite snack, marmalade fit into to. We tried mystery mixtures, sorted them into the correct tastes and then tried the marmalade. We decided that marmalade is a bit sweet and a bit sour. As a special treat, we then got to try a range of snacks: salty pretzels, bitter dark chocolate, sour lemon drops and sweeties.

Bringing books to life

To bring our new book to life and really get into character, Years 5 and 6 have been doing some role play in Literacy classes.

Using their acting skills, pupils have been imagining scenes, situations and coming up with spontaneous dialogue to bring the book – The London Eye Mystery – to life.

We have been learning all about the ‘mystery’ genre, including probably its most famous proponent, Sherlock Holmes, and his sidekick Dr Watson.

Reception reminders

Reception reminders

1.           Book bags – Please remember to bring your child’s book bag in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If we have not purchased a book bag they can be bought at the school office for £4.00.  Please remember to read daily with your child.

2.         Homework – Please remember homework is due on Wednesday each week. New homework will be given out on Friday.

3.         Spare clothes – Please remember to bring a spare change of clothes to leave on your child’s peg. We do not have a stock of spare clothes to change your child if they get wet or dirty.

4.         P.E. Kit – Please remember to bring a white t-shirt, black jogging bottoms or leggings and a pair of trainers for P.E lessons on Thursday.

5.         Cooking money – We collect £2 donation per half term for cooking and play resources from each parent or carer. Please give this to a member of staff in your child’s class.

Please see a member of staff if you have any questions.

Thank you,

The Reception team

Reception Autumn 1 topic… LONDON!

Welcome to all our parents and carers. We are very excited about the new term and the children have settled in brilliantly.

Our topic for this term is London. So far we have looked key landmarks and types of transport in the city. Please see our topic mat Autumn 1 Curriulum leaflet London for more information regarding our curriculum for the half-term.

Please see a member of staff if you have any questions or would further information.

No Limits Little Hamilton Performance

This year, a group of over 100 children from Years 1 to Year 6 took part in a group called ‘No Limits’ with our music teacher Lisa, meeting every Friday afternoon to rehearse Little Hamilton. Last week, they took the show to Granary Square in King’s Cross where they wowed workers at lunchtime with their performance. They did a second performance for their parents/carers at school and then performed for the whole school. Each time they were rewarded with rapturous applause. Thank you to Lisa, Vicky, Maria, Angela, Kathy and all the other staff involved and well done to the children – they were amazing!

Little Hamilton

Year 5/6 Prom

Year 5/6 Prom

A wonderful night was had by all at our annual Year 5/6 Prom. It was fantastic to see the children all dressed up and enjoying the occasion. They danced, ate tasty food, sang along to the music and had a fantastic time with their friends. The weather was lovely, which meant they were able to go out and enjoy the open air in the Reception playground, as well as the party scene in the hall. Thank you to Emma for organising the event, the Year 6 staff and to everyone else who helped set up and clear away afterwards. Big thanks too to Francis and Errol for DJing at the party and keeping the children entertained.

Sports Day

There was so much excitement last Wednesday as the whole school from Nursery to Year 6 set out for the Market Road football pitches for our eagerly anticipated Sports Day. Our 2-year-olds also had sports day, in the football pitch at school. There were lots of outstanding performances—too many to mention individually. What was very obvious is that the children had a really great day—enjoying their own activities and cheering on their peers and then the finalists in the different events. Well done to all the children for their enthusiasm and keen sportsmanship. Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to Tay and Emma for organising the event and to all the staff and parents who helped out on the day.

Peace Walk

Our Peace Walk on Monday was a tremendous success, with children, parents/carers and staff setting off at 10.30am to walk to Finsbury Park under the banner of peace, love, happiness and unity, to raise awareness of the theme of togetherness in the face of events intended to cause divisions. A big peace banner made in school was carried by children at the front of the walk, while lots of the children displayed posters that they made. They blew whistles and rang bells and we generated fantastic interest in the local community, with many people showing us great support by beeping their horns, clapping and giving encouraging feedback as we went by and paused at the junction of Seven Sisters Road and Tollington Road. On our return walk to school we were absolutely delighted to be joined by Jeremy Corbyn, our local MP and Leader of the Opposition.

Making robots

This week, children in Year 5 and 6 have begun building amazing fully programmable robots using a Raspberry Pi (a credit card sized computer), a couple of tiny motors, and a varied assortment of cardboard, plastic bottles, old boxes and a few margarine tubs!

The children have designed their very own custom robot creations ready for us to start programming in Scratch next week. We will undertake a series of fantastic coding challenges. We will program our robots to be remote controlled using another computer’s keyboard, and then pre-program them to navigate a tricky obstacle course, and finally, have our own little robot wars where the object will be to burst each other’s balloon!

Building and coding are all about making mistakes and learning from them, improving things as you go along, until everything is just how you want it. This is an incredible, engaging opportunity for years 5 and 6 to make all manner of mistakes, learning and growing as they proceed. We will be celebrating failures (FAIL = First Adventures In Learning) and successes as we build our teeny tiny robot army.

Papier mache ladybirds

As part of our minibeasts topic, Key stage 1 children used papier mache to create their very own ladybirds. We first used PVA glue and newspapers to sculpt the body over a balloon, then painted our ladybirds and added all the details.

Butterfly release

This term, Key Stage 1 have been learning about minibeasts. When Nursery heard about our topic, they kindly invited us to join them in the release of their butterflies. The children from Nursery sang us a song about caterpillars and explained to us how the life cycle of the butterfly works.

Year 6 blitz Thorpe Park

As a treat for all their hard work this term in completing their SATS, we took the Year 6 children to Thorpe Park for an incredible day of exhilarating rides.

Once we arrived on the island, we split into groups and made our way around the island – the bravest taking on such epic rollercoasters as Saw, Swarm, Stealth and Nemesis Inferno. The highlight, though, was the whole group getting soaked on Tidal Wave – about four times, for many people!

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2+ Centre Places Available

We have morning and afternoon places available in our fun, exciting and nurturing 2+ centre for children born between:
1st Sept and 31st Dec 2014
1st Jan and 31st March 2015
1st Apr and 31st Aug 2015
These places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you would like to apply for one of these places for your child, then please firstly check your eligibility on the Islington Council website under Admissions. Once you have a letter confirming your eligibility, then please contact Ann in the school office on 020 7607 2575 or email her at adwyer@pakeman.islington.sch.uk


School Journey

42 children from Years 5 & 6 spent last week in Swanage taking part in all sorts of exciting activities! They did orienteering, abseiling, tunnelling, swimming in the sea, listened to smugglers tales at night, and visited Brownsea Island and Corfe Castle, amongst other things. Whilst learning about the history and geography of the area the children also developed their skills in keeping their bedrooms tidy, looking after themselves and keeping an eye out for others . Staff at the centre and members of the public commented every day on their exemplary behaviour and manners. It was a fabulous experience for everyone and we are very proud of the children!

Thank you to all the staff who made this incredible school journey possible – Marta, Ann and Estelle for organising it,  and Marta, Emma B, Emma S, Harry and Rebecca for accompanying the children on the trip.

Kenwood House Visit

Year 3 and 4 pupils had a fantastic time at Kenwood House this Wednesday, looking at and discussing the paintings we have been studying as part of our Literacy through Art project. Micheal Walsh, the organiser of the project, wrote a special email to say how wonderful the pupils were during their visit. He commented that the children were thoughtful, considerate and charming throughout and a credit to the school. The staff and general public were full of praise.


*New topic* MOVEMENT

This half-term the children in reception will be looking at the topic of ‘Movement’ in a variety of ways.

We will be looking at:

  • vehicles
  • sports & exercise
  • ‘moving’ up to year 1!

Some of the books we will be looking at include: Duck in a Truck by Jez Aborough, The Train Ride by June Crebbin, Naughty Bus by Jan Oke and a variety of information books linked to sport and exercise.

If you would like some ideas on activities and days out you could try to support learning within this topic, please take a look at our ‘Home Learning’ section.

Art Crew Project

This year’s art crew project was based around the Tower of London and the story of Father John Gerard who escaped from the Salt Tower. The children split into 4 groups and decided on their own projects. Some made crowns using symmetry and repeated patterns inspired by the Crown Jewels and others made dresses and collages inspired by the gallery at the Tower of London. The other groups focused on the escape story, so they made models of the White Tower and boats like the one Father John Gerard used to escape. We look forward to hearing our feedback from the judges at Time Explorers.



Heart to heart

This week Year 5 and 6 had the exciting opportunity to dissect real sheep hearts in our science lab.

Having already learnt about the function of the heart and circulatory system, it was time to get hands-on. Wearing lab coats and rubber gloves, the children got to handle the hearts (once they had got used to the smell) and – after a demonstration by Chris, Pakeman’s Scientist-in-Residence – they used scalpels to make incisions, and find out what the inside of the organ really looks like.

All the children showed an extremely mature approach, and were so inspired by such an interesting and unusual task.

These kinds of activities and opportunities are exactly why the science lab has become such a hit at Pakeman, and continues to enrich the science curriculum.




London Zoo Visit

Pink, Purple and Orange Classes had a very special day out on Wednesday—they visited London Zoo! It was such a beautiful day that all the animals were out and the children saw giraffes, tigers, parrots and hippos to name but a few.

The children also took part in a Rainforest Workshop where they learnt all about the things you might find in a rainforest.

A visit from Gunnersaurus

On Tuesday Arsenal’s mascot Gunnersaurus came to visit to mark the official opening of our astroturf pitch. The pitch was funded by Altodigital and by money raised from an Arsenal Legends match. We have had great use out of it for PE lessons, playtime and after-school clubs and we are very grateful to all who made this project possible.


French food tasting

For the past few weeks, year 3 and 4 children have been learning about Paris and typical French food. As part of our learning on French culture, the children participated in a food tasting lesson on Friday. They tried camembert with baguette bread, croissants with Bonne Maman jam and pains au chocolat. The children all agreed that the food was delicious!


As part of our new topic on minibeasts, year 1 and 2 children have been writing instructions on how to make mud cakes.

They each made a mud cake and wrote a clear set of instructions. They used time connectives, explained the equipment needed and described the steps to making a delicious mud cake. Look at our mud cakes below!


Changes are happening…!

Some of our caterpillars have now formed a chrysalis around themselves! The others will soon do the same and then in 7-14 days they will emerge as butterflies! All the children are being very patient waiting for them to transform and we are being very careful not to disturb them as they are very sensitive and delicate. If you’d like to have a look, please pop down and speak to a member of EYFS staff. We’ll keep you updated on the next stage of the butterfly life-cycle!

Nursery: Summer 1 topic planner

Our topic for this half-term is ‘The amazing world of Eric Carle’. We will be using his story books to learn about mini beasts! Please click here: Summer 1 ‘The amazing world of Eric Carle’ for our topic mat for ideas about getting involved with your child’s development at home. Paper copies will also be available in the Nursery, please ask a member of staff if you would like an additional copy!

For more information about who Eric Carle is visit his website here: http://eric-carle.com/home.html



We have caterpillars!

We now have visitors in each EYFS class….little baby caterpillars! We will be carefully looking after them and watching them grow…I wonder what will happen next…watch this space!

EYFS class email addresses now up and running…send us your photos!

We would love to add more photos and news from home to your child’s profile book. To help with this we have introduced email addresses for each of the Early Years classes.

Please send photos of exciting events or days out (and a little description if possible). We can then print the photos at school to add to your child’s profile book and they can share them with their friends during news time.

Email addresses have been sent to you via text and can also be found below:

2Plus Centre:




Crimson class:


Silver class:


Pakeman Primary School wins award for exceptional 2016 results

Pakeman has been nationally recognised for its exceptional 2016 performance by SSAT (the Schools, Students and Teachers network). Educational Outcomes data analysis from SSAT shows that the school enabled children to make progress in Reading, Writing and Maths that is significantly higher than the national average at Key Stage 2, and is among the top 20% across all schools nationally.

Sue Williamson, Chief Executive of SSAT said:

‘It’s my great pleasure to commend Pakeman Primary School on their excellent 2016 performance, and to have the opportunity to highlight and share their great work at an SSAT Educational Outcomes celebration event. We know how hard teachers work to ensure the success of every child. SSAT’s Educational Outcomes award recognises the professionalism, commitment and hard work of the leaders, teachers and students at Pakeman Primary School. A big thank you and well done to the pupils, staff and governors.’

Success 2

Erasmus visit to Spain

Gill, Lorna, Marta, Eunice and Will spent the week from 27th February to 3rd March in Madrid. During the trip we wanted to learn about the Spanish curriculum and how it is implemented. In particular, we were looking at how Spanish schools challenge more able pupils, as well as the provision for lower achieving children. As part of this visit, we had the opportunity to visit a range of schools, including two bilingual primary schools, a 6th form college and a teacher training establishment.


On our first day we visited IES San Mateo, a secondary school where we were warmly welcomed by Horatio Silvestre Landrobe, the head teacher, along with Grace, Will and Victoria (other member of staff in the language department) who showed us around the school, which is based in the centre of Madrid. As a highly subscribed and sought-after ‘centre for excellence’, we learned that pupil engagement and attainment are of an excellent standard. Their high-tech facilities (including computers hidden in the desks) mean that children are able to make great progress in their chosen subjects.

That afternoon we visited the suburb of Palomeras, where Dolores Villalba Mansilla, a head teacher who had worked at her bilingual school Doctor Tolosa Latour for 27 years, not only opened her school to us, but showed us around her local neighbourhood, the park, the market and a local café where we were well looked after. Gema and Patricia, who are members of the leadership team, talked us through the bilingual programme, the assessment stages and life in the school generally.

According to the Head, the school is located in a privileged environment next to an extensive green park in a quiet and pleasant area far from the hustle and bustle of the city, although the district has historically been a welcome place for immigrant populations. The population of Puente de Vallecas is composed almost entirely of working families, sometimes with a shortage of resources, and economic and labour instability. As such, one of the most important concerns for its population is unemployment, followed by the scarcity of resources and school failure.

We had the chance to meet the very excited children from Infantil (EYFS) to Primario (KS1&2) as well as a mixed SEN class. The classes are slightly smaller than ours, but without teaching assistants. A centralised curriculum, which allows for regional differences, is implemented and teachers use programmes of work to deliver the curriculum. Our in-depth discussion with Dolores and her staff highlighted the differences in teaching practices between the two countries. The head teacher shared her frustrations at not being able to choose her teachers, as this is done by the authority (Comunidad de Madrid), which limits her scope for advancing projects.

She also shared her vision of an open future for children with two languages, who might have otherwise been limited by their economic backgrounds. We were bowled over by their welcome and noticed how sociable the staff were with each other, sharing lunch at a leisurely pace and having daily quality time with each other. Lunchtime for children lasts 2 hours!

In all the schools we visited, we also noticed that lesson changes were marked by musical interludes, rather than a school bell, which made for a nice change! We also remarked upon a lack of whole school assemblies – the reason given for this being lack of space.


We visited another bilingual primary school called CEIP Eugenio Maria De Hostos in Valdebarnes, a suburb of Madrid. CEIP stands for Colegio de Educación Infantil y Primaria (Early Childhood and Primary Education School). The school has been a bilingual school for 11 years. The head teacher, Florentina Ramos Vicente, welcomed us with her deputy, Anna, and her two enthusiastic teachers, David and Sergio. We had a short meeting before experiencing a lesson with Sergio and David and having a tour of the school. The children were confident speaking English and engaging with us. The school has 30 staff and 475 pupils from mainly middle-class families. There are no teaching assistants, but they have a special needs teacher and a language teacher.

Science, English, Arts and Crafts are taught in English and the remaining subjects are taught in Spanish. The main concern of teachers is the children’s understanding of science in Spanish, as all key terms are taught in English.

The teachers explained how they are all given textbooks, lesson plans and whiteboard resources to follow. However, they try to inject their own personality and ideas to go ‘off piste’ in their lessons.
David was proud of his project-based learning approach, incorporating wider aspects of the children’s lives into their work. We were told that there are very few behavioural problems or attendance problems in the school. Like all the schools we visited, we saw that they employed English-speaking staff to enrich the English curriculum.


On Wednesday we visited the CRIF (Centro Regional de Innovacion y Formacion) ‘Las Acacias’ – a training centre in an impressive complex that was once a girls’ orphanage – where we were given a presentation on the Spanish Education system by Luisa and Jose.

We found out that Spain has an older teacher population and in general children enter education earlier, despite it being compulsory a year later than in UK. Also maternity leave is limited to 4 months, so parents have to return to work sooner than in the UK.

We discussed work-life balance with the teachers and most felt they had a good balance. There was more focus on the preparation of lessons than marking and observations of lessons and there was no scrutiny of books.

We were fortunate to meet two teachers from Tres Olivos, a partly parent-funded school that offers provision for deaf as well as hearing students. Their message was clear, that the whole school benefited from the inclusion of deaf students since the strategies and methodologies employed by these committed teachers helped all children regardless of their ability and hearing level.


In addition to the school and institute visits we were also fortunate to enjoy some cultural activities in this beautiful city. These included:
• A GoCar tour around the streets to see the sights of Madrid
• Visits to Del Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza art galleries
• An evening of Flamenco dancing
• A visit to the Natural Sciences Museum
• A visit to La Latina district where we experienced the El Rastro open-air market
• A visit to the ancient city of Toledo

We enjoyed our trip enormously and learned much from comparing and contrasting the two countries’ education systems and seeing how teachers apply their curriculum. It was invaluable time out of the classroom for reflection on our practice as well as a chance to get to know our colleagues in a context outside of work. Our key learning points were:
• The benefits of bilingualism were clear and showed us how strategies for supporting our children with EAL or who are less able, will reinforce learning for more able students
• The importance of a good work/life balance
• Staff sharing quality time together and the collaborative, community spirit in the schools we visited, which we will appreciate more in our own working environment.

Thank you to Erasmus+ for funding our European project.  We would not hesitate to undertake another similar visit to see what else we can learn and experience.

Space trip for 5/6

Last week all three Year 5/6 classes visited an amazing ‘Across the Universe’ open day at University College London, where the children got to speak to researchers and scientists working on incredible projects.

The children attended workshops on various aspects of astronomy, watched videos on the solar system, and had the opportunity to question students on the different cutting-edge projects they were involved in (including work on the incredible Large Hadron Collider, which smashes atoms together to try to find new types of particles).

They even got to programme powerful real-life telescopes in Arizona, USA, to take photographs of the moon just for us! These were then emailed to the classes the next day.

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Science Crew Lemon Investigation

On Thursday 16th March, the Pakeman Science Crew took on a new challenge. Their task was to balance a 1p coin on top of a floating lemon. It was an impossible task! We discussed how to create a centre of gravity for the lemon and found that the only way to make our 1p coin balance was to cut a slit in the bottom of the lemon and push a larger coin into this. Putting a coin on top moves the lemon’s centre of gravity to the top, which means it rolls around. If you put something heavy enough at the bottom of it, it won’t move the centre of gravity and the smaller coin will balance on top. Try it out!

Maths Games Fun

We all know that children of all ages love to play games that are fun and motivating. Games give pupils opportunities to explore very important number concepts, such as counting on and back, place value, times tables, number sequences and problem solving. At Pakeman, we have decided to provide repeated opportunities for pupils to play maths games. Look at year 1 children playing the Race Horse game which develops children fluency when adding.

Castle and Sun Art

As part of our topic on ‘Knights and Castles’, Year 1 and 2 children have been discussing Paul Klee’s abstract art. Castle and Sun is an oil on canvas art piece which combines geometric shapes with various shades of colour. Above you can see some of the beautiful art work our children created, inspired by Paul Klee.

Nursery… Dates for your diary!

We have some ‘Stay and play’ sessions coming up, all parents and carers are invited to explore the Nursery and join in a story session with their child. The dates are:

Friday 10th March 9.00-10.00am
Friday 24th March 9.00-10.00am

We would also like to invite parents and carers to a ‘Book look’ session to have a look at their child’s profile book and photo observation file. This will be on:

Thursday 16th March 3.40- 4.15pm

Please bring any work or photos from home that you would like to share with the Nursery staff and stick in your child’s profile book.

We look forward to seeing you all there!


World Book Day

veryone had a fantastic World Book Day here at Pakeman School, with the Lodge transformed by Steve, Valerie and Maria into an enchanted forest of fairy tale scenes. With children and staff dressed up as characters from fairy tales the classes were treated in turn to exciting fairy tales and activities in the forest. In the afternoon each class in KS1 teamed up with a class in KS2 for an afternoon in which they exchanged learning based on the morning’s activities.

International Food Evening

The Middle and Bottom Halls were buzzing with excitement on Wednesday afternoon during our annual International Food Evening! All our Pakeman families were invited to join us to share traditional hot and cold savoury and sweet dishes from around the world cooked by our wonderful parents/carers. There was a fantastic array of food and all the Pakeman families who joined us for the event thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. Thank you warmly to everyone who cooked, brought in food and attended International Food Evening, and to Emma and the fantastic members of the PTA who helped set up the two halls and cleared up after everything was finished!







Magic beans!

Last week the children in reception were reading the story, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

On Friday we decided to have beans on toast for ‘golden time.’ As you can see, the children really enjoyed making and eating the beans!

It’s a shame our baked beans weren’t magic enough to grow into a beanstalk!

If you’re interested in finding out more about different growing activities you can try at home, take a look at our ‘Home Learning’ section.


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Learning about decimals

In Year 3/4 children have been learning about decimals. In this lesson the children had to identify the place value of different decimal numbers. We played a game called, ‘Decimal Place Value with Cards’. The children were separated into groups of 4 children. Each group was given a deck of cards. Each child had to turn over a card and then the groups had to come up with the highest decimal number they could make with their four cards. They wrote the numbers on their score sheet and as a group decided on what the highest number was. Whichever group had the highest number won the round. Each round was played differently, for example having one number after the decimal, having two numbers after the decimal, etc. The children were able to identify the different sections of the place value chart for decimal numbers. Try and play this game at home. All you need is a deck of cards and a decimal place value chart!


Fairytales in Key Stage 1

Throughout the morning today, years 1 and 2 have been discussing and reading fairytales. They got the privilege to spend some time in our Pakeman enchanted forest. Around the forest were pictures and reminders of lots of fairy tales such as: The three little pigs, Jack and the beanstalk, Three billy goats gruff and lots of others.

When visiting the fairytale forest, the classes focused on the fairytale Hansel and Gretel. Click here to watch a video of the story.



Welcome to Knight School!

As part of our new topic on knights and castles, Year 1 and 2 children spent their day in ‘Knight School’ on Monday 27th February.

Their training included:

– showing excellent equestrian skills

– practising archery

– learning sword skills

It was difficult and required great concentration, but the children did very well and became ladies or sirs by the end of the day!


Learning about the Weather

The 2+ centre children have been exploring weather conditions through spontaneous play and learning.  We often hear about bad weather, but in reality, no weather is bad. It is all delightful in different ways. Following Storm Doris we have made our own kites and watched them flying in the wind and been singing ’Let’s go fly a kite’. We have also been exploring the rain through our senses. We have enjoyed listening to the sound the rain makes on the skylight in the book corner and watching the raindrops fall on the windows and on our skin. The children said “We have been kissed by the rain”.

We have also been learning about similarities and differences in the way we look and behave. The children are beginning to understand that we are all different and like different things, but that we are important in our own special way and we all care for each other.

Maths in Year 3/4

This week Orange class have been looking at measuring capacity and the units of measurement used for this purpose. They have also been learning how to convert between litres and millilitres and to write measurements of capacity in decimals too. Well done to all the children, who have worked hard on this topic.


Erasmus+ Staff Mobility School Visits in Madrid, Spain


Next week, Gill, Lorna, Will, Marta and Eunice will be in Madrid, Spain, undertaking the fourth and final stage of our really exciting research project funded by Erasmus+ . Our Pakeman team will be investigating how the education system works in Spain and particularly the ways that they support their more able children. This will benefit our school and the children in several ways. As well as developing a greater awareness of another European education system, the team will be looking for new and exciting ideas for our classroom practice, so that we can use a more varied range of strategies to support our pupils. We intend to share our findings within the school and more widely and also to create opportunities for Pakeman children to communicate with Spanish children through collaborative projects, pen pals, Skype, etwinning etc.

Once again we would like to thank the European Erasmus+ programme and the British Council for making this project possible.

Gruffalo Party!

This afternoon the children in Reception had so much funny celebrating the end of the half-term at a special Gruffalo party!

On Monday the children received a mystery invitation from Julia Donaldson inviting them to a Gruffalo party as long as they completed 3 challenges:

  • Write a list for the party
  • Write a reply to Julia Donaldson
  • Design and make a party hat

As you can see, the children had a great time and looked amazing in their hats!

Erasmus Trip to Portugal

Last week Lynne, Erin, Emma, Rob and Laura travelled to Lisbon in Portugal to take part in the third stage of our mobility education research project funded by Erasmus+.

The trip was a brilliant experience and so much was gained from the visit.

We travelled to Lisbon and during the week we visited a range of educational institutions across the spectrum of provision, from a kindergarten, to a primary school, middle and secondary school and a higher education teacher training college. We were also welcomed into the Ministry of Education and had the opportunity to see an INSET for school teachers.

We were particularly looking at the way in which the Portuguese Education system is similar to or different from ours and how they support more able children.

1. Ministry of Education

  • We were greeted by the Director of the Curriculum Development Unit, Ana Cristina Xavier, who gave us a presentation outlining how the Portuguese education system works, how schools are structured into different cycles and how the assessment system works. We also discussed faith-based schools and personalised learning for more able children (streaming). They also explained that children have to stay behind a year if they fail to pass the test at the end of each year. This can happen up to three times in their school life. We were very impressed by a presentation on using technology in Portuguese schools (eg: European School Net, Co-Lab, Erte and E-Twinning).
  • In Portugal, although pre-school is optional from age three to six, most children do actually start school at the age of three. The big difference for Portuguese parents is that pre-school is funded by the state.
  • It is mandatory for children to start school at the age of six and to stay in school until the age of eighteen.

2. Cataventos da Paz

  • We were warmly welcomed by Ana Isabel Torres (Headteacher) who took us on a tour, beginning in kindergarten. The teacher explained that in pre-school no planning takes place. The children arrive in the morning to share their ideas for the day and the learning is built around their ideas. For example, one of the children, Fernando, wanted to learn about planets that morning, so the teacher developed a project on this topic and the children created their own solar system artwork, and by the end of the afternoon they were able to name the planets in the solar system.
  • An unusual approach adopted by one teacher in the school was to teach every lesson through song. The children shared a number of songs about phonics, vowels and their Portuguese values with us.
  • We were very impressed by the quantity and quality of artwork in the school. We were lucky enough to see an excellent lesson around carnival masks and symmetry.
  • We were also impressed by the children’s ability to speak English fluently at such a young age.

3. Almada Forma

  • Adelaide, the director of Almada Forma was the perfect hostess. In addition to welcoming us to Portugal, she introduced us to her very skilled team of staff.
  • Our visit to Almada Forma helped us to understand how training was implemented for teachers after they graduated. They offer a wide range of courses and professional development (face to face and online) for teachers at all stages of their career. A big aspect of this was in ICT, including making use of mobile phones in the classroom, online safety, and using QR codes.

4. Elis Garcia Escola (Second Cycle)

  • We met Francisca Soares (Vice Headmistress) who took us on a tour of the school. The staff told us how they work with the community, welcoming senior citizens into the schools. Once again, we were very impressed by the quantity and quality of artwork in the school, from all children, including SEN and more able. We were lucky enough to see a stimulating art lesson based around close observation drawing.
  • We were impressed by the inclusion of special needs children and the way in which they were included in and outside the classroom.
  • The staff explained to us that there are no supply teachers when teachers are absent. Instead, children go to the study room to complete independent work.
  • We were also struck by the use of textbooks to support each subject (for example, technology and art).

5. ESE Lisbon – Higher Education Institute

  • We visited an amazing building where teacher training is done. We were given an overview of the way teacher training is structured by Margarida, Antonio and Conceicao. It takes over five years to become a teacher in Portugal, compared with four years in the UK. They very generously answered all our questions about teaching practices, the diversity of schools and teaching standards.

6. Elis Garcia Escola INSET

  • We were warmly welcomed to an Inset being run from six to nine in the evening about the pedagogical choreographies and the art of teaching in inclusive contexts.

7. Fernao Mendes Pinto Secundario Escola (Third Cycle and Secondary School)

  • The project coordinator, Lurdes Cruz, welcomed us and gave us a presentation on how the school promotes the use of projects to improve the school and its results.
  • Apart from having a tour of the school, we joined in with an English lesson all about first impressions and applying for a job.
  • The highlights of the visit were a fantastic presentation from students about the Azores, Fado and the Serra De Estrela Mountains. They had prepared it in advance and taught us about these topics and Portuguese culture. It was excellent. We were really impressed with the students’ professional presentation and delivery.
  • We were also highly impressed with the peer-counselling scheme at the school, which has been set up to encourage more students to stay in education. Older students talked to us about many of the complex issues they have dealt with and how they work in conjunction with the educational psychologist to provide the right kind of support. In addition, they spoke to us about how they learn modern language through theatre and drama, and how they provide voluntary work in the community. We all came away highly impressed not only with the maturity of the students, but also their humanity and good citizenship.

We learned so many things during our visit to the above educational establishments, but the main points that we feel will impact on our own practice are:

  1. The importance of community and the way the community can contribute positively to school life and the quality of education children receive, and how the school can contribute to the community (eg. intergenerational projects and peer counsellors)
  2. That so many people speak English fluently. The English curriculum is extremely well structured and sets clear learning objectives and expectations for the end of every stage. This is something we feel we need to establish when teaching a second language here, eg. French
  3. The role of art in supporting children’s well-being and self-confidence, and identifying new talents. A good deal of time is spent building children’s artistic skills and teaching the elements of art. We would benefit from having a more structured and progressive curriculum in art.
  4. The way the schools use projects to support cross-curricular teaching. This could be used to extend more able children.


As well as visiting educational institutions, we had the opportunity to visit some amazing cultural sites in Lisboa and the surrounding area that are used to support schools’ curricula. Some highlights of these were:

  • Visiting a Fado house and learning about the roots of Fado and the history of the revolution in Portugal.
  • A tour of the city by Go Car
  • A visit to the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belem
  • A circular tour of the city on Tram 28
  • A trip to the magical town of Sintra with a visit to the Pena and Monserrat Palaces
  • A visit to the Medieval village of Obidos
  • A visit to Mafra Palace and Batalha Monastery
  • A trip to the fishing village of Nazare where we saw women in traditional clothing
  • A visit to the coastal towns of Estoril and Cascais
  • An introduction to the world of Portuguese football at Benfica
  • A wonderful performance of Portuguese song by Paula Duque

We would like to thank everybody at the above institutions and schools who welcomed us and showed us true Portuguese generosity of spirit and kindness. A big thank you to our new friends, Adelaide and Jose, who accompanied us and looked after us so beautifully. We were really struck by the warmth of the welcome everywhere we went and are delighted to have made so many new Portuguese friends, who we hope will visit us soon! Also, a big thank you to Eramus+ for funding this amazing educational trip from which we have all gained so much professionally.

We will be sharing what we learnt with the children in an assembly, with Pakeman staff at a staff meeting this term and will share the findings of our trip with schools in the Futurezone cluster of which we are part.

We hope you will enjoy looking at the photographs below that give you a flavour of the amazing experience that we had on our amazing trip to Portugal.

INSET DAY – Monday 20th February 2017

There is an INSET day on Monday 20th February 2017. This means that the children will return to school after the half-term holiday on Tuesday 21st February 2017 at 9am (with Breakfast Club starting at 8am).


Film Club Create a Film about Pakeman School

The children in film club have spent three afternoons working with Lee, and Justin from IntoFilm, to create a short film about Pakeman Primary School. During the first stage of the project the children wrote the script for their film. They then used a range of equipment, including a video camera, boom pole and microphones, taking turns to work on both the filming and the sound in various locations around the school. Finally, they used a laptop to do the editing.

The film will soon be uploaded to the website for all to see.

Debate Competition Begins!

The first round of the Urban Debate Mate League was held at William Tyndale Primary School, with 13 Year Five and Six Pakeman pupils participating. Having taken part in the weekly debating club, working on their skills in speaking, giving opinions – backing them up with evidence – and challenging others’ ideas, they were ready to put their skills to the ultimate test.

All the pupils who took part performed really well and put forward strong arguments for both the opposition and the proposition. The two motions (subjects) of the debates were: ‘Should picking up litter become a punishment for children who misbehave?’ and ‘Should pets be banned?’
All the children thoroughly enjoyed the chance to compete and are already looking forward to the next round, which will be held in March. And, yes, Pakeman B team won their second debate, having run the first team very close!


Erasmus+ visit to Portugal


Next week, Lynne, Emma, Rob, Laura and Erin will be travelling to Lisbon, in Portugal, to undertake the third stage of our really exciting research project funded by Erasmus+ . Our Pakeman team will be investigating how the education system works in Portugal and particularly the ways that they support their more able children. This will benefit our school and the children in several ways. As well as developing a greater awareness of another European education system, the team will be looking for new and exciting ideas for our classroom practice, so that we can use a more varied range of strategies to support our pupils. We intend to share our findings within the school and more widely and also to create opportunities for Pakeman children to communicate with Portuguese children through collaborative projects, pen pals, Skype, etwinning etc.

There will be one final trip to Spain as part of this project.

Once again we would like to thank the European Erasmus+ programme and the British Council for making this project possible.

Spring half-term sports activities in Islington

For information about all the sports activities in Islington during the Spring half-term holiday, please click here.

Playcentre Activities

Playcentre has an exciting and varied programme of activities every week:
Monday: arts and crafts, outdoor games
Tuesday: peer reading in the library, iPad time, fitness
Wednesday: tennis, football, arts and crafts
Thursday: yoga, cooking, runouts, hide and seek
Friday: movie night with popcorn and treats, outdoor games
If you would like your child to join in the fun, please see Vicky, our playcentre coordinator, or anyone in the school office.

Yoga 2


Family Learning – Computer Course

We had an amazing turnout for the Computers for Parents course on the last two Wednesdays – it’s obviously a popular subject! Parents were put through their paces to see what they already knew about creating Word documents and accessing the internet to find out about the weather forecast. There will be lots more to learn in the next 8 weeks – watch this space for news about how the group is getting on!







Year 3/4 Cooking with Justine

We are delighted to welcome Justine (Kitchen Coach) back to Pakeman. For the rest of this year she will be cooking with groups of Year 3/4 children on Wednesday afternoons. Orange class were first up and this week it was the turn of Pink class. They had an amazing time mixing, chopping and cooking for a feast of fajitas and garlic bread. Here’s the recipe for garlic bread, which the children may like to try making at home.

Garlic Bread

Serves 4

60g butter, softened
2 garlic cloves, crushed
A large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 part-baked white baguette (about 150g)


Put the butter in a bowl, add the garlic and parsley and mix well. Spoon the butter out onto a sheet of cling film and roll up to make a sausage-shaped log. Chill for 10 mins.

2. Heat oven to 200°C. Slice the baguette into about 12 slices but not all the way through, leaving the base intact to hold it together.

3. Remove the cling film from the butter and thinly slice on a chopping board. Press the butter slices between the slices of bread.

4. Wrap the baguette in foil, place on a tray and bake for 5–6 mins, then peel back the foil. Cook for a further 4–5 mins to crisp up.



Spring Half-term Playschemes

For information about all the playschemes in Islington during the Spring half-term holiday, please click here.

EAL Course for EAL coordinators/practitioners & class teachers

Do you need some practical solutions for supporting children new to the English language or improving their proficiency? If so, we can help ….

Click here for information about our EAL course.   There are two dates available for this one-day course, on Monday 6th February 2017 and Monday 6th March 2017. Alternatively, please contact Layla Rafferty by telephone on 020 7607 2575 or by email at courses@pakeman.islington.sch.uk

Pupil Premium Courses, Reviews, Consultancy & INSET

Do you need independent help/advice with your Pupil Premium funding and provision? If so, we can help ….

Click here for information about:

Pupil Premium Course – places are available on Tuesday 21st February 2017

Pupil Premium Reviews

Pupil Premium Consultancy and INSET Training

Alternatively, please contact Layla Rafferty by telephone on 020 7607 2575 or by email at courses@pakeman.islington.sch.uk

Art Crew visit the Tower of London

On Tuesday 10th January, the Pakeman Art Crew went to the Tower of London to extend their knowledge of this year’s project on the story of Father John Gerard.

John Gerard was an English Jesuit priest, operating covertly in England during the Elizabethan period when the Catholic Church was under persecution. His most famous exploit was that with help from other members of the Catholic underground, Gerard, along with John Arden, escaped on a rope strung across the Tower moat during the night of 4 October 1597. Despite his hands still being sore from the torture he had been subjected to, he succeeded in climbing down. He even arranged for his jailer, with whom he had become friendly, to escape as he knew he would be held responsible for the jailbreak.

The story of John Gerard’s escape was explained to the children by a lady impersonating the jailer’s wife. It was very engaging and exciting and the art crew are now starting their projects! Look out for how these progress in the next few weeks.



Celebration cooking

This week, as part of our topic on Celebrations, Year 1 and 2 children have been cooking. Since we have been reading ‘The runaway wok’, we concentrated on the Chinese New Year celebration and made stir fry. The children discussed how to follow instructions, then cut up the vegetables, cooked them in a wok and tasted them as a class. As one of the children said, ‘It was delicious!’


Teddy bear, teddy bear…

Nursery News

To encourage the children to talk about their home experiences we will be sending a teddy bear and a diary home. Each child will have a turn to take the bear home over a weekend, record his experiences using photos and a written record. Children will then have an opportunity to share what happened with the class!

The bear will be taken home once a week by one child… please bear (ha!) with us as we make our way through the long class list. We will ensure that every child has a turn. There will be examples and an explanation to give you an idea of the kind of things you could record in the diary. We would love to hear all about your family celebrations, museum, park and weekend trips.

We look forward to hearing about all your bear related adventures!



Nursery reading mornings… Updated!

Happy new year to all our parents and carers! And a warm welcome back.

We are been very excited to welcome new children to the nursery this half-term, after they have made the transition from their time in the 2 year old centre. Due to the settling in period we will stop our weekly ‘Stay and read’ sessions until further notice. However we will be inviting all parents and carers to two morning sessions to take part in the learning this half-term. The dates are to be confirmed… stay tuned!



Park Habitat

This half term, years 1 and 2 have been learning about habitats. They have discussed which animals live in the desert, the ocean, the forest, the park and the rainforest. In groups, they talked about how it would feel to live there, what the weather would be like and what the animals might eat.

During their lessons in the Lab, the children drew their own habitats. After that, they went to visit the park to discover who they were home to. They found worms, spiders, birds (and feathers) and woodlice. Try to explore the park with your children and they will show you what we found!

Phonics boosters

Since the beginning of November 2016, children in year 1 have been attending boosters to develop their phonics skills. They are currently focusing on phase 3 and 4 of letters and sounds, blending and segmenting. They work with real words and alien words which they need to be able to sound out and blend even though some of the words don’t make sense.

See below one of the games we play to get better at phonics!


Reading Domain Detectives

Eight of our year 6 children have become Reading Domain Detectives! They have been analysing the meaning of some of the reading objectives (domains) such as inference, comprehension, information retrieval, comparing texts and prediction. They have then matched questions from previous SATs papers to the correct domain and ranked which domains they find easiest and hardest.

During the year the detectives will work as a group and with the rest of their class to focus on reading, to develop a love of reading for pleasure and an understanding of how to answer test questions effectively. They will also be recommending their favourite books from the Islington Reading Road Map to other children.

Look out for interesting book reviews!


Year 1/2 Bring a parent to school

On Monday 12th December, parents and carers of children in years 1 and 2 came to school to learn with their children. As they have been learning about the environment in Science, they discussed different habitats and what animals might live in the different habitats. The children and their parents/carers made pandas, sharks, tigers, jaguars, elephants and crabs using paint and paper plates. Look at our fantastic art work below!


Science in Year 3/4

In Science Year 3/4 have been learning about sound. Orange class had a lot of fun making their own musical instruments and learned a lot from experimenting with how to change pitch.

Dec 2016 1


Maths Challenge

Years 4 and Year 5 have entered the  Count Us Primary Challenge, which is orgnaised by the Mayor’s Fund for London at City Hall. In Monday’s task Orange class had to collaborate in groups using Pentominoe pieces to make different size squares and rectangles. All the pupils showed perseverance and resilience in working to find the solution.


Erasmus Trip to Sweden

Last week Finola, Sue, Colleen, Emma and Helen travelled to Stockholm in Sweden to take part in the second leg of our mobility education research project funded by Erasmus+. We had a fantastic time and all found the experience inspirational, bringing back with us knowledge of a different European education system and ideas that we can apply for the benefit of our children at Pakeman School.

We travelled to the Jarfalla Kommun just outside of Stockholm and had the opportunity to learn about and discuss the similarities and differences between two educational systems in Sweden and the UK. The exchange of experiences, educational philosophies and pedagogies really ignited our imaginations. Whilst we were particularly looking at how Swedish schools support more able pupils we were struck by the levels of independence and autonomy of all the children, their approach to the curriculum and the structural organisation of the schools. We had an amazing experience and look forward to feeding back to teachers and pupils, as well as more widely to other schools.

We undertook a range of activities:

  • Staff exchange in the participating schools
  • Work placement in schools
  • Exchange of experiences
  • Exchange of pedagogical ideas

Over the course of the week we visited:

  • Jarfalla Kommun where we met with Mrs Margareta Odstam (Director of Education) who informed us about the structure of the education system in Sweden and in the Jarfalla Kommun in particular. We also met with Mrs Lise-Lotte Eriksson, an advanced skills teacher who gave a presentation on “How to challenge talented pupils”.
  • Sandvikskolan, a primary school in Jafarlla Kommun, where we worked with Mrs Ingela Svanberg-Walker (Deputy Head), collaborating on “How to work with talented children”. We observed an English lesson for ten year olds and were able to discuss with the class teacher the challenges of stretching more able pupils.
  • Skalbyskolan, a large primary school on the outskirts of Barkaby, where we met Mrs Malin Hallgren- Keller (Head) and Mr Andreas Carlsson (Deputy Head). We had a very extensive tour of the school and looked at the differences between the English primary curriculum and the Swedish curriculum. We were struck by the independence and autonomy of the pupils in lessons such as woodwork and needlework. We also focused on the all-day provision provided and the structure of the school day.
  • Soderhojdens Forskolor, a preschool in a diverse district of Soderhojdens, where we undertook a job shadowing activity after being given a very informative presentation by the staff and Mrs Barbro Eriksson (Headteacher). We discussed the pedagogical reasons for not starting formal education until children are seven years old and the similarities between the Swedish system and the British Early Years curriculum.
  • Kolarangskolan, where we were able to talk with and observe student teachers in their first year of training and compare their experiences in meeting the needs of more able pupils to the training model in the UK. We were impressed with the level of spoken English that their primary pupils displayed and above all the high levels of independence, autonomy and respect that the children had for each other.

Each of the schools faced different challenges and were in very different settings. However, what shone through was the commitment to allow all children to work and develop at their own pace and that more able pupils worked in this context. We were impressed with the amount of independent work that children undertook and their self-direction. We engaged in detailed discussions with our Swedish hosts and were impressed with their honest and open approach.

On returning to Pakeman we highlighted areas for our own development, as well as whole school actions.

  • To develop the playground to promote more independent play and find opportunities to extend outdoor learning. We were very impressed with the outdoor provision and the sense of freedom that the children have in Sweden.
  • To develop a broader arts/crafts curriculum that allows pupils to challenge themselves in a more creative way and develop complex skills independently.
  • To develop longer independent projects for pupils to undertake that cover cross curricula themes and allow more able pupils to stretch themselves academically.

During the course of the week we were all struck by the open and friendly reception we received from our hosts. Every single person we talked to was very honest in their appraisal of the Swedish education system and the challenges they face. They were very keen to find out about and understand the British system and discuss work practices in the UK. We visited a range of cultural attractions in Stockholm which the schools visited regularly, including the Vasa Museum, which houses the Vasa, a vessel which sank in Stockholm harbour in 1628. The Vasa Museum offers a unique insight into early 17th- century Sweden. All of the staff who travelled to Sweden commented on how useful the experience has been, not only being able to explore the education system of another country but also to have time to reflect on their own practice.

Orange Class Assembly

Year 3 and 4 have been studying the topic ‘Gateways to The World’. During their assembly Orange class took off on ‘Pakeman Airways Flight 777’ to many destinations around the world and learnt that travel is a great way to understand the world around them.


Year 3/4 Caves

Year 3/4 have been making caves as a homework project for their ‘Stone Age’ topic. Their creations were absolutely fantastic as you can see below. Well done to all the children!


Reading Challenge

Year 5/6 have made a fantastic start to the Islington reading road map. There are sixty titles to choose from and some children are already on their second book! Sue said ‘I am really impressed with the children’s level of enthusiasm and commitment. Keep reading!’


Ice Skating

On Monday, Steve, Tay, Laura W, Sara, Rebecca, Maria, Valerie and Erin took 60 KS2 children ice skating at the outdoor rink at Somerset House. The children really enjoyed being on the ice. The venue is open for ice skating until the beginning of January if you would like to go there. Thank you to Joanna, the project event manager at Somerset House for organising this visit for Pakeman children.

Table Tennis

As a way of encouraging more girls to take part in sport Errol is running a table tennis club for girls at lunchtime on Mondays. This week Blue class had an opportunity to play and all the girls in KS2 will be offered the chance to take part during the rest of this term.

1 - 2016

Street Dance

Estelle’s Street Dance Club delighted the whole school and their parents at last Friday’s assembly to highlight their amazing moves!!! They danced to Justin Bieber’s ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Remember the Time to rapturous cheering and applause. Estelle said ‘the children are very talented and worked really hard to perfect their performance. I’m very proud of them!’ Well done to all the children in the club and thank you to Estelle for choreographing the routines and providing this highly popular club.



During the recent Level 1 Bikeability course for new riders the children learned to control and master their bikes in the playground. The children on the more advanced level 2 course gained real experience of riding on the road, learning how to pass parked vehicles and developing an understanding of the Highway Code.

Well done to all the children who successfully completed the Bikeability courses at Level 1 and 2. They all did very well, showing excellent control of their bikes They were presented with their certificates at a special assembly last Friday.

Dec 2016

Free family cycling lessons
If you visit
(Tel: 020 7527 7636) you can book free family cycling lessons, which will improve how you ride as a family group. You will be taught how to:
Ride safely in traffic
Deal with junctions
Find local routes that you are comfortable cycling together

Bedtime Reading for Years 1/2

On Tuesday evening, Years 1 and 2 put on their pyjamas and snuggled up for some bedtime reading! The hall was decorated with fairy lights and the atmosphere was warm and cosy as the parents and children reclined on beanbags and cushions to read together. There was an amazing turnout and everyone who was there — children, parents and staff — really enjoyed themselves, reading lots of stories. To make the evening even more fun there was hot chocolate with cream for everyone to enjoy!

A big thank you to Emma and the KS1 team who put on the event in order to encourage and promote reading at home for pleasure. It was great to see the children enjoying reading and being read to in the lovely, cosy environment created in the Middle Hall, and to see the parents/carers having a great time too. Don’t worry if you missed out this time as the Key Stage 1 team will be arranging another bedtime reading session next term!

Young Leaders

Our young science leaders are doing a fantastic job in the Lab. Every lunchtime, overseen by Madeline, they organise and run science-based activities at drop-in sessions that the children from years 1-6 can join in with if they want. Well done to Fatima, Yunus, Kai, Siham and Hamza (Blue Class); Adaeze, Maimuna, Bailey, Zara, Mosab, Ashley and Fabian (Red Class); and Jaden-Lee, Rehan, Suereya and Yasmin (Brown Class).

Science leaders 1


Year 3/4 Nature Walk

Year 3 and 4 went on a nature walk at Gillespie Park at the end of last week. The children had to find a number of items and then make nature pictures with the different, leaves, branches and seeds they collected.


Bedtime Reading for Years 1/2

Bedtime Reading for Years 1/2
On Tuesday evening, Years 1 and 2 put on their pyjamas and snuggled up for some bedtime reading! The hall was decorated with fairy lights and the atmosphere was warm and cosy as the parents and children reclined on beanbags and cushions to read together.
There was an amazing turnout and everyone who was there — children, parents and staff — really enjoyed themselves, reading lots of stories. To make the evening even more fun there was hot chocolate with cream for everyone to enjoy!
A big thank you to Emma and the KS1 team who put on the event in order to encourage and promote reading at home for pleasure. It was great to see the children enjoying reading and being read to in the lovely, cosy environment created in the Middle Hall, and to see the parents/carers having a great time too. Don’t worry if you missed out this time as the Key Stage 1 team will be arranging another bedtime reading session next term!

Science Crew Investigation

On Tuesday 22nd November, the Science Crew took part in another lunchtime investigation, this time to find out how to make lava lamps. They tested water mixed with oil and food colouring. The children discussed the density of water and oil and why oil floats above the water. What do you think you would need to add to the mixture to make the coloured water move around like a lava lamp?

Radio Interview with Judith Weir

Last year Pakeman’s science crew took part in the Minerva Scientifica project, which brings women scientists and composers together to develop music exploring science. Recently, extending this project, Hamza and Mert interviewed Judith Weir, one of the composers involved in the project. The boys did a fantastic job—Hamza on the radio controls and Mert conducting the interview. The interview can be found in the radio section of our website.

Interview with Judith Weir

Investigating the environment

Year 1 and 2 children have been busy carrying out science investigations. As part of their new topic, ‘Our environment’, Years 1 and 2 have been looking closely at their local area. They have been discussing different types of trees and leaves. As it is autumn, they went to Kinlock Park and picked up lots of leaves, including from maple, oak and beech trees. They then took these back to school and classified them.



A group of Year 5 and 6 children have spent a very exciting couple of days in the lovely seaside town of Aldeburgh. They went fishing for crabs off a pontoon and caught many, which they later released back into the sea. They ate fish and chips on the beach, cooked a meal of pasta and tomato sauce followed by apple crumble, visited a gorgeous tea shop where they had hot chocolate, browsed in the local bookshop, saw the local sculpture of a scallop and had a walk in the countryside. Thank you so much to Nicky, Ann and Emma for giving the children such a wonderful time.


New Year 5/6 Guided Reading Books

Recently, Year 5/6 took part in interactive workshops on Shakespeare’s The Tempest followed by a trip to the theatre to see The Tempest. performed on stage. The children will further extend their knowledge of Shakespeare’s works through our new sets of guided reading books, which include Tales from Shakespeare. We have other new and inspiring titles on our library shelves too, including Oliver Twist, Les Miserables and Archie’s War.


Pakeman and Mount Carmel

Our Year 3/4 children were invited to take part in a variety of sports at the Sobell Centre last week with Year 11 girls from Mount Carmel school who are part of a leadership programme. Everyone really enjoyed the activities and it was very beneficial for our children to have an opportunity to work with these older children. There will be further chances this year for various year groups to take part in initiatives like this.



Pakeman Pound

We had an amazing 190 children who earned their Pakeman Pound with 100% attendance during Autumn 1. Fantastic! All the children enjoyed choosing a couple of gifts from the amazing table of goodies. Yellow class were the overall winners with 22 pupils achieving 100% attendance. Remember, everyone gets a chance to earn the Pakeman Pound again with 100% attendance from 31st October. Well done to all those children (and their parents/carers) who achieved 100% attendance last half term. We hope to see many more achieving this in Autumn 2.



Playcentre have been having great fun making little versions of themselves using wool, felt and card. Can you recognise who they are?

Arts & crafts

Family Learning

The Learning Through Play course is certainly living up to its name! Last Wednesday they made sparkly playdough and played a few games which helped them to get to know each other. They also learnt how many other skills can be brought into a simple game – such as taking turns, reading, writing, counting and communicating with each other. Future weeks include learning to make a puppet and creating a storybook.



Pakeman’s Musical Performance

Throughout the summer term, children from years 1 to 6 worked towards creating a musical performance. Here is a video of their final piece. Enjoy!

Sugars in foods

To learn about healthy living in more detail, Year 1 and 2 children went into the science lab and compared amount of sugars in different foods. They looked at different food packets and used the Sugar Smart app to scan the bar codes. They then recorded their results and decided which foods they would have to keep healthy.

What leaves did you find?

As part of our new topic ‘Our environment’, we have been looking closely at our local area. We have been discussing different types of trees and leaves. As it is Autumn, we went to Kinlock park and picked up lots of different leaves: Maple, oak and beech leaves.

We brought them back into the classroom and classified them. Look at us working!


Problem solving in Year 2

As part of their maths learning about numbers, Year 2s have been writing their own word problems. They have discussed inverse operations and mathematical key words to use when writing their own word problems. Let’s see if you can solve their word problems!


Halloween Cinema Night

On Tuesday 8th November, Pakeman hosted the yearly Halloween cinema night during which parents and children enjoyed popcorn and watched a film as a family. Children and parents described the event as a cosy evening that brought families together. Thank you to all who attended.

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Fire-bellied toads…

We are very excited to welcome some new pets to the nursery this week… two beautiful fire-bellied toads! They are vivid green with black spots and orange stomachs. Mostly they can be found swimming together, hiding or eating live crickets! The children have been enthusiastically watching them and discussing what they have observed. Encouraging children to talk about the things they have observed, begin to ask questions and to develop inquisitiveness about animals is an excellent way to support the development of understanding the world

A huge thanks to Tessa (Sureyya’s mum in Gold Class) for lending us the frogs and helping us to take care of them.

Please feel free to pop into the nursery if you would like to have a look at them.




First Rate Debate

This week saw the first ‘Debate Mate’ workshop of the year and it went down a storm! Twenty lucky Year 5 and 6 children were chosen to take part in the workshops to improve their speech and debating skills. ‘Debate Mate’ will take place every Wednesday after school with two university students helping the children. They will also take part in a number of competitions throughout the year against other schools in the borough.

Last Friday they attended the official ‘Debate Mate’ launch in Westminster where they had the opportunity to watch a live debate between National champions. The motion (subject) of the debate was, ‘Children should be paid £20 a week to go to school.’ Both sides presented their points well and it was a close result. In the end the motion was defeated.IMAG2548 (1)

Poets at Pakeman

This week we have embarked upon an amazing new six-week poetry challenge…all the children in Brown, Red and Blue class will be composing a poem a week as part of the FutureZone Poetry Competition. Every week we will find out about a new poet, study one of their poems, and get inspired to write their own. They can then post them onto the FutureZone blog.

At the end of the series of lessons, Michael Walsh – who leads this course across schools in the borough – will be coming into school to award prizes to the most talented poets being entered into the final competition. Last year, one of our children won a £10 book token from Waterstones.


Black History Month musical: Lost in the Stars

On Wednesday 19th October, children from year 3 and 4 were invited to watch a South African musical called ‘Lost in the Stars’, an opera musical by Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill, based on the novel ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’ set in South Africa. The children learnt about Apartheid and discussed how different things are now.

Chasing the News!

Every Tuesday before school a group of Year 6 newshounds meet for a newspaper club with Layla. While having breakfast, Ami, Ashleigh, Hosna and Shannay join in activities based on the current news spreading across the world. In week 1 the girls matched headlines to stories. In week 2 they wrote headlines for stories and then compared these with the actual newspaper headlines. This week they collaboratively wrote this article for the newsletter and then each wrote a separate story for the headline ‘Smile Battle’ taken from this week’s First News, a children’s newspaper. What kind of story would you write for this headline? If you want to read the actual news story, then read this week’s ‘First News’, which is in the library! Ami, Ashleigh, Hosna and Shannay said: ‘We all enjoy reading the headlines, learning about what’s going on and it’s a fun way to improve our reading and writing’.



Black History Month

We had a truly fantastic celebration of Black History Month on Monday after school. Huge thanks to Emma, Sara, Angela, Amal, Karima, members of the PTA and all the classes and kitchen staff for cooking. Thank you to everyone who brought food and all those who came along and enjoyed the amazing spread of food, and the vibrant music and conversation. On Wednesday the children were treated to a Caribbean menu of Jerk Chicken, Caribbean Fish, Vegetable Curry with rice and peas, steamed carrots and sweetcorn and a pudding of pineapple upside down cake, which they all thoroughly enjoyed.

Let’s Code—Making Robots with Flashing Antennae!

Brown Class were totally focused and absorbed yesterday in a high-tech lesson in the Lab. Working in pairs they were tasked with finding a way of producing light for a bulb using cables on raspberry pis to make flashing antennae for their robots. All the pairs successfully completed the task and in the process they demonstrated fantastic teamwork skills, cooperating with each other to achieve the required outcome. They showed attention to detail, strong problem solving skills and reasoning skills, as well as resilience and perseverence. Well done Brown Class!

Travelling through the body!

Last week, Yellow class got transported into the human body of their friend! To link to our topic ‘Ourselves’, they have been learning about healthy eating and used ‘Now Press Play’ to experience digestion and the effects of food on the body. They travelled through the oesophagus down to the stomach, sometimes having to float through very smelly areas! During the journey, they had to make food choices to maintain energy. They had to choose fruit and vegetables over quick energy spikes from sugars.



Scientist in Residence

We are delighted to let you know that we have appointed a scientist in residence, Chris Mills, who will be teaching science every Monday and Tuesday in the Lab. Already, the children have been putting their practical enquiry skills to the test with Chris. Years 1 and 2 are learning about Healthy Living and have been investigating the foods and drinks that will help to keep their hearts healthy. They were very quick to point out that healthy eating is achieved by a balanced diet! Years 3 and 4 are learning about magnetism and investigated magnetic fields using iron filings. In years 5 and 6 the children are learning about forces, and created their own investigation using paper aeroplanes. They concluded that the outcome of their investigation was affected by four different forces: thrust, weight, lift and air resistance

Shakespeare Workshops

This week the three Year 5/6 classes took part in an amazing afternoon workshop with the Young Shakespeare Company, led by a fantastic actor called Liz. Each class got a chance to recreate the whole of The Tempest, with children acting out some of the lead roles including Prospero, Caliban, Miranda and Sycorax.

Liz really helped bring the story to life, and now all the children have an excellent understanding of the text – which is great, because they are going to see The Tempest performed live at the Milfield Theatre on the 8th November! They are all now massively excited about this, and the teachers can’t wait either…

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Nursery parents and carers we invite you to…

… our weekly ‘stay and read’ session!

All parents/carers of Nursery children are invited to join us every Friday from 9.00 – 10.00 am in the Nursery classroom for our weekly ‘stay and read’ session. There will be lots of lovely books and fun props available to enhance and deepen the experience of reading stories with young children. We will also show you how to use the props and make stories exciting with a group story session.

Get involved and let’s make stories special together!


Celebrating science in school

As part of a celebration of science in primary schools, Pakeman’s Lab is  being featured on the Ogden Trust’s website.  Click here to see what they have to say about us!

Oct 2016 1




PE this term

This term the children are doing a variety of activities in PE.

  • EYFS are learning ball skills
  • KS1 are doing net and ball games—throwing, catching and balancing
  • KS2 are doing the same as KS1 but with the addition of invasion games (basketball, netball and football).

Tay is very impressed with the progress all the children are making. They are working hard and their skills and teamwork are improving quickly.

PE1 - Oct 2016

Young Leaders Appointed

This year’s young leaders have been appointed after submitting very impressive applications for the different positions—playground leaders, French leaders, science leaders, library monitors, stair monitors, lunch hall leaders and PE leaders. Well done to all the successful applicants. You will be able to spot them around the school and recognise who they are by the yellow sashes that they wear.

Already, staff and visitors are noticing the difference these young leaders are making around the school and it is a really fantastic programme for the children to take part in as they will gain confidence and improve on a number of key skills, such as communication, negotiation, organisation, time management and teamwork. They will also receive an accreditation for following the programme.

10 October 2016

Finola and teachers’ Erasmus Visit to Sweden 28 Nov to 4 Dec


At the end of November Finola and four other staff members will be travelling to Sweden to undertake the second stage of our really exciting research project funded by Erasmus+ . Our Pakeman team will be investigating how the education system works in Sweden and particularly the ways they support their more able children. This will benefit our school and the children in several ways. As well as developing a greater awareness of another European education system, the team will be looking for new and exciting ideas for our classroom practice, so that we can use a more varied range of strategies to support our pupils. We intend to share our findings within the school and more widely and also to create opportunities for Pakeman children to communicate with Swedish children through collaborative projects, pen pals, Skype, etwinning etc.

Two further trips to Portugal and Spain will follow in the new year.

Once again we would like to thank the European Erasmus+ programme and the British Council for making this project possible.


Programming professionals

This week Years 5 and 6 have had their first taste of an amazing new six-week technology module. They have been learning how to build and program their own circuit board through special Raspberry Pi laptops. They had to use various components including an LED, cables and resistors, while using Scratch programming skills to write their own code.

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Magic Road Safety Show

On Wednesday 5th October, Years 1 and 2 watched and participated in a magic road safety show. The show was a combination of magic tricks and very important messages about crossing the road in a safe place, how to cross the road and walking to school. The children had actions to go with each important message such as: STOP (demonstrated below), LOOK and LISTEN.


Reception Phonics Workshop

Thank you to those parents who attended this morning’s phonics workshop. Having an understanding of how phonics is taught is key in being able to support your child with reading and writing at home.

Click here for links to the websites and resources  talked about in the workshop.

You can also download a list of the ‘tricky words’ taught within phase 2 and phase 3 here.

Please also keep an eye out for future parent workshops and don’t hesitate to ask if there is anything else you would like to see covered in one of our workshops or coffee mornings!

Half-term playschemes – October 2016

For information about all the playschemes in Islington during half term, from  24th-28th October, please click here.

French start for Year 3

Since September, Year 3s have been learning how to speak French. They have learnt numbers and colours so far. Last week we played games to practise our conversational French using numbers to 10 with dominoes and colours whilst playing ‘Les petits chevaux’.

Try to quiz the year 3s and see how much they have learnt so far!

Lichtenstein art work

During our art day on Thursday 29th September, Green class made portraits in the style of Lichtenstein. After discussing and looking at Lichtenstein’s pop art and examples of his portraits, the children used dots and lines to draw self portraits.

Can you recognise whose work is above?



One of our school priorities is to continue improving attainment in reading. The learning environment is important, as it is one way of demonstrating the value we place on books and reading. We are also working at encouraging children to read for pleasure. There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a book. Here are seem examples from our learning environment and some reading activities that took place today.

Help with secondary school applications

Please remember to join us for our Year 6 transition meeting on Wed 5th October at 3.45pm. We are also offering year 6 parents/carers the opportunity to complete online secondary school applications at a drop-in session on Thursday 13th October from 9am-11.30am. There will be access to laptops and help for everyone to fill in the application form online.  Please make sure that you bring the information and documents required, which include proof of address and council tax number.

An Exciting Morning at Pakeman

What a range of exciting activities happen on one morning at Pakeman! Whether it’s a stay and read session, phonics, drama and dance, 1:1 maths tuition, interventions,  learning French or a class assembly celebrating everything that’s been going on in class,  there is always so much to see. Below are a few photos from our learning walk this morning…….what a fantastic Friday!

Maths in Year 3-4

This week in maths, Year 3/4 have been looking at place value. The pupils have been using their place value knowledge to add, subtract and use their problem solving and reasoning skills in real life contexts. Why not ask the pupils what strategies they can use?



We offer a range of after-school clubs for children in years 1-6.  Among other things, there are opportunities to take part in sports, music, dance and art. Please click here for the after-school clubs timetable for September.

If you would like information about any of the clubs, or to apply for places, please contact Layla in the office.

Guitar Club



Orange class swimming

This term Orange class are going swimming. Please make sure your child has their swimming costume, swimming hat and towel every Thursday so they can take advantage of the opportunity to learn this essential. In their first lesson 11 children swam 5 metres in the main pool. The other children learned about health and safety and started gaining confidence in the pool. A special mention to Abdillahi who excelled in the pool.


Science in Years 3 and 4

Years 3 and 4 have had a great start to the year. Last week we kicked off our science topic in our amazing new Science lab. The children were very excited investigating materials and identifying which are magnetic and which are non-magnetic.  They also completed a fun workshop on electricity.

EYFS Reading Morning…

On Friday EYFS held a reading morning, inviting parents and carers to spend the morning in school, taking part in a range reading activities.

We had lots of support from parents and carers with almost everybody attending and the feedback was very positive!

We will be holding these regularly so please look out for events. If you missed it and would like a copy of the information handouts that were given out on the day please see your child’s teacher.

Take a look at some of the photos below…


This year, one of our school priorities is to further raise standards in reading.

There is no doubt that pupils who read well are more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications and enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career. Those who struggle will find themselves at a constant disadvantage.

Did you know…..?

  • Young people who enjoy reading very much are nearly five times as likely to read above the expected level for their age compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all.
  • In addition to improving academic achievement, reading for pleasure can result in an increased breadth of vocabulary, pleasure in reading later in life, a better understanding of other cultures, better general knowledge and even, ‘a greater insight into human nature’.
  • Unfortunately, more than a fifth of young people (22%) rarely or never read in their own time.
  • More than half (54%) prefer watching TV to reading.
  • Nearly a fifth (17%) would be embarrassed if their friends saw them reading.

In developing our reading action plan, we have used  a range of research, guidance and advice in order to make our provision even better.

We thought it might be useful to share  some of the documents that we have used.

Reading: the next steps

A Practical Guide to Reading for Pleasure

Reading by 6 (Ofsted)

Excellence in English

Narrowing the Gap (OUP)

Children and Young People’s Reading Today

Guidance from Michael Rosen: A Book-Loving School 

Building an Outstanding reading School

The Power of Reading Report

Developing Comprehension Through Guided Reading

Reading Connects

What Works for Struggling Readers

Boys’ Reading Commission












Amazing Grace role play

In Literacy this half term, we are focusing on the story ‘Amazing Grace’. We have been acting out different parts of the story and have written some excellent descriptions using adjectives for feelings. In our acting we focused on  the part where Grace’s classmates told her she shouldn’t audition for the part of Peter Pan in the school play. Then we worked in groups to act out the scene where Grace talks about her feelings with Ma and Nana. Next week we are reading ‘Grace and family’ where Grace travels to Gambia to meet her dad.

Exciting Science Workshops

This week, Year 5/6 took part in some really interesting science workshops in our brand new science lab. Dr Francis, a visiting scientist, taught the children about forces and they carried out a variety of practical experiments. The children used Force meters to measure different forces using magnets and Velcro. They learned how to measure forces in Newtons (named after Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered the effects of gravity). At the end of the workshop the children got to see the effects of mixing vinegar and baking powder to cause a chemical reaction, which went off with a bang! All of the children look forward to having their weekly science lessons in the new lab and having the opportunity to use state of the art equipment.



Pakeman Warhol

To link with our ‘All about me’ topic, children in years 1 and 2 have been sketching self portraits. They have used Andy Warhol’s work as an inspiration. The children explained that they had to draw 4 portraits which looked the same and change background colours in each one.



School Performance 2015-2016

Our school performance has continued to improve rapidly and consistently over the past 4 years.

2 Year Old Provision

ITERS Score (Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale) Score takes into account: Space and Furnishings, Personal Care Routines, Listening and Talking, Activities, Interaction and Program Structure.

Practice and provision scored very highly on the ITERS audit, scoring 6.6. A scoring of 5 would demonstrate good practice.

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Pupils achieving GLD (Good Level of Development): 64% (Last year’s national average: 65%)

The percentage of children achieving a good level of development has continued to improve.

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Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

Outcomes of the phonics screening have continued to improve and the teaching of phonics is now highly effective. Cumulative results have improved by 16% over the past 3 years and by the end of year 2 is in line with national.

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Year 2 Phonics/End of Key Stage “Total”:

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Key Stage 1 / Year 2 – Attainment Summary:

Outcomes at the end of KS1 have also continued to improve.

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Key Stage 2 / Year 6 – Progress Score:

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  • The proportion of children who made more than expected progress was well above the national figures in all 3 subjects
  • 2016 KS2 results place the school within the top 25% of schools nationally in reading and maths and in the top 5% for writing

Key Stage 2 / Year 6 – SATS Results:

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  • For the previous 4 years (2012-15) attainment for all subjects has been in line with national
  • In 2016 results, whilst the combined score was below the national due to reading results, attainment for maths and writing was above national. Our data and evidence would suggest that this was due not only to performance on the day in reading but to specific contextual factors.
  • Disaggregated data shows that attainment in reading is broadly in line with national.


Young Leaders

Thank you to all our young leaders who have done fantastic work this year. They have grown significantly in confidence and improved their ability to lead in a range of different activities. Among other things, they help make sure children move safely around the school, especially on the stairs, they organise books in the library, lead warm up and warm down in PE lessons and make sure children have someone to play with at break times. Well done to all of them!

Applications will be sent out in September for the children to apply for a range of different roles as young leaders. As well as new applicants, those who are currently young leaders will need to reapply. We hope to see lots of children taking part in this great scheme that gives them leadership experience.

July 2016

Sports Day

We had an outstanding Sports Day last Wednesday, with the whole school taking part in the action. While Nursery—Year 6 showed their sporting skills at the Market Road pitches, our 2-year-olds took part in the action in the football pitch at school! There were lots of memorable achievements and happy faces among the children who had an absolutely wonderful day. Even the rain that fell mid-afternoon didn’t dampen their spirits and any of the finals that were rained off were completed on Friday. Well done to all of the children who took part so enthusiastically and congratulations to the winners. Thank you to Tay and Emma for organising such a great event.

Year 5/6 Prom

There was great excitement on Thursday evening when our Year 5/6 children arrived looking very stylish to celebrate their time at Pakeman at the annual Prom. Our DJ for the night was Errol, who played a great mix of music , there was a soft drinks fountain, lots of food and lollies and having a good time was the order of the night. There were also lovely red and white balloons, which the children released into the sky late in the evening. Everyone had a fantastic time at what was a night to remember! Many thanks to Emma for organising such a fantastic party for the children and also the Year 6 team and PTA for their support.

Reception Graduation

On Friday, our Reception children wowed their parents/carers with a fantastic Graduation assembly. The children were very impressive in their mortars and gave an outstanding presentation of their assembly. Thank you to the Early Years Team for preparing the children so well and to all the parents/carers who came along to support the children so enthusiastically. There were no dry eyes in the house!! The children have done so well during the year and will move confidently up to Year 1.


Guitar Club

Matt has been taking guitar club every Wednesday after school and the children are enjoying learning how to play so much. Matt will be back in September with Guitar and possibly some other exciting music clubs.


Flute Concert

Last Thursday five talented flautists from Purple and Orange classes (Khadja, Mia, Jadon, Warren and Multazim) played with pupils from nine other schools at the Music First end of year concert at the beautiful LSO St Lukes. The children wowed the audience with two ensemble pieces on flute, as well as two choir pieces composed for the occasion with lyrics written by the pupils.


Summer Fair

We had an absolutely fabulous Summer Fair, despite the rain! Well done and a huge thank you to Emma, the PTA parents/carers and staff who helped set up the fair and ensure that it ran smoothly. Tay and Ilyas even managed to have a successful barbeque despite the rain! Everyone had a really great time. There were lots of fun activities and stalls, including face painting, decorating mugs, guess the number, choose a lolly, lucky dip, duck fishing and lots of lovely food. There was also an opportunity for the children to play a range of musical instruments, which they loved.





Bring a Parent

The children have been studying the active planet. One thing they have looked at are natural disasters. So, for Bring a Parent day, Pink class looked specifically at the eruption of a volcano and how it affects people living in volcanic areas. They used clay to make a model of a volcano and then painted their model. They then created a village around it using plasticine, making models of people, animals, vehicles, vegetation and houses. They used bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and food colouring to create a volcanic eruption. The children predicted which side of the volcano it would be the safest to live on and which side it would be the most dangerous to live on. The activity was enjoyed by both children and parents. The parents loved being involved and experiencing first hand some of what their children are learning at school.
Thank you to all the parents/carers who have come into their children’s classes for ‘Bring a Parent to School’ in the past couple of weeks. We’ve enjoyed these events so much.

Choir at the Union Chapel

On Monday 27th June, the Pakeman Choir took part in Pure Voices 2016. They sang three assemble pieces including a song from Macedonia and performed their own piece at the end. This year, the choir chose to perform ‘Can’t stop the feeling’ by Justin Timberlake. They were praised for their confidence, their singing skills and their dance moves. Well done to Sara and to the choir children for such a brilliant performance.

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KS1 Bring a parent to school

On Tuesday 28th June, parents and carers of Year 1 and 2 children came to join us for a morning of Science. As the children have been learning about plants this half term, we made ‘Grass Heads’. The children used tights and filled them with grass seeds and soil. They discussed what the seeds would need to grow and created faces from their tights. Below are examples of what the ‘Grass Heads’ look like.

Thank you to all the adults who came to help.


Flute and recorder concert

On Monday 20th June, Years 3 and 4 performed for the rest of the school. They have been learning how to play the flute and recorder all year. They showed great confidence and skills in music. Well done to them all and thank you for such an enjoyable concert.


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KS1 to Kidzania

Imagine a 75,000 sq.ft. child-sized city where children are in charge! That is what Kidzania is! Have your children ever dreamt of becoming a pilot, a firefighter, or the next award-winning singer? On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we watched the excitement on the faces of Gold, Yellow and Green classes as they tried out more than 60 real life role-play activities, including in the bank, on stage and fighting crime on the streets as a police officer! Each role-play experience taught them essential life skills, including financial literacy, teamwork and independence. They had an amazing time and demonstrated that they are able to adapt to all tasks and jobs! Well done!

The Lab Opening

The fabulous new Science Lab has been launched with a series of exciting events this week. On Monday, Sophy from UCL delivered brilliant workshops on Volcanoes to four classes in The Lab, followed by workshops on Rocks and Minerals the next day. Huge thanks to Sophy for helping to make it such an inspirational launch. Wednesday saw the arrival of Safari Pete at Pakeman, along with several of his friends – including a barn owl, snake, millipede, meerkat, scorpion, monitor lizard, and even a very hungry, child-eating crocodile…luckily, only mouse was on the menu! Lots of brave children got to handle some of these incredible creatures, and the whole school learnt an important lesson about the need to conserve such beautiful animals in the wild. Later on in The Lab, two classes made models of human brains using pink playdough. Many thanks to Stem ambassador Jayanthiny for leading these sessions. Finally, amazing workshops for every Key Stage 2 class on sound took place on Friday with Maria from the Crick Institute. Thank you Maria—the children loved these fun and informative sessions. All in all, it has been an amazing first week for our spectacular new building – we look forward to many more fun ways to learn all about science in this new space that we are lucky enough to have. Hopefully, we will be inspiring the children, and creating some brilliant scientists for the future!

Kensington Palace Art Project

Emma has been working on an extended Time Explorers Art/DT challenge project with a cross-phase group of Year 1-6 more able artists. We are absolutely delighted to report that our Pakeman team has been awarded the ‘Inspired by Kensington Palace’ Prize! Well done and congratulations to Emma and the Art crew! The team was divided into four groups and you can see below some of the absolutely amazing work that they produced – there’s a short written piece and photographs for each group.

Group 1: Fashion (Year 1-6)
The children visited the ‘Fashion Rules Restyled’ exhibition. Looking at Queen Victoria’s dark coloured dresses they made links between her life and her clothes. They sketched their own Victorian dresses and made 3D models of them using modelling clay, wire and tissue paper.

Group 1.1 Group 1.2 Group 1.3 Group 1.4 Group 1.5

Group 2: Games Queen Victoria played when she was a child, particularly dominoes (Year 2)
The children were inspired by the dog dominoes displayed in the palace and learnt how to play them when they returned to school. They made their own sketches of dogs and copied them onto tiles, decorating them with borders using their study of patterns.

Group 2.1 Group 2.2 Group 2.3 Group 2.4 Group 2.5 Group 2.6 Group 2.7

Group 3: The building and gardens of Kensington Palace (Year 5 and 6)
The children were fascinated by the number of windows the palace has. They sketched parts of the building and then split into 2 subgroups. One focused on the garden and the other one on the building’s façade. The garden group made a wire/pipe cleaner model of the garden and the façade group used tiles to recreate the façade.

Group 3.1 Group 3.2 Group 3.3 Group 3.4 Group 3.5

Group 4: Focus on cars and carriages in Victorian times (Year 3 and 4)
The children discussed Queen Victoria not having any friends as a child, leading on to them talking about her getting out of the house. They decided as a result to focus on transport by carriage. They drew carriages on black and cut them out precisely, then made wheels and torches from pipe cleaners on either side of the carriage.

Group 4.1 Group 4.2 Group 4.3 Group 4.4

The children had the most incredible experience taking part in this project. They gained significant historical knowledge, as well as research, debating and decision making skills. They had an amazing visit to Kensington Palace, where they admired the building and learned about the history of Queen Victoria through role play. They gained fine motor skills making the models and learned how to record their observations and to use a range of materials to design and create their models. Finally, they significantly improved their ability to work in teams.

Year 1/2 Mini Olympics

Last week, some of our Year 1/2 children took part in a Mini Olympics event at William Tyndale Primary School, competing against other Islington primary schools. The events included long distance and short distance running, long jump and javelin. Well done to the Pakeman Team—Dante, Harlem, Ashari, Rahima, Alexis, Ethan, Olsi and Imaan, who were the overall winners of the day’s events.




Summer Holiday Playschemes

For information about all the Summer holiday playschemes in Islington, please click here.

Erasmus Trip to Norway!

Last week, Lynne, Ben, Harry, Rebecca and Layla travelled to the Island of Stord and Bergen in Norway for the first stage of our mobility education research project funded by Erasmus+. The trip was amazing, going far beyond our expectations – see the gallery of photographs below!

We learned a lot about the Norwegian education system and saw for ourselves how it meets the needs of all children, including those who are more able. We were particularly struck by the holistic approach to the children’s education. We are always looking for ways to make Pakeman even better than it already is, and we have returned from this enlightening trip with some really interesting, innovative and exciting ideas and strategies to vary and extend learning opportunities and experiences for our children.

Our programme included visiting:

  • Stord Kommune Radhus for a meeting with Mariann Hilt (Director of Education) and three educational advisors, Trude Aamot, Hege Mehammer and Jan Enerstvedt. They provided us with in-depth information about how education is structured and delivered to children in Norway.
  • Stord’s teacher training college, HSH, where Toralf Tveit (Principal) explained what teacher education involves in Norway. Toralf showed us around the extensive college and took us to the attached Fus (nursery school) where we chatted to staff about nursery education and saw the children at play and enjoying their lunch!
  • Tjodnalio primary school, where Sigrid Rosseland (Headteacher) explained how education is delivered in her primary school. Sigrid showed us around the school where the children were working collaboratively across year groups on a 2-week art, music and dance project to celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary, which we were privileged and hugely excited to attend last Wednesday evening. The children were fantastic! And we saw both incredible and inclusive work by their teachers and support staff! It was a wonderful occasion.
  • Sagvag primary school, where Lars Bakka (Headteacher) showed us around his school and explained how children are taught there, including the use of breakout rooms for the more able children. We also saw children involved in outdoor learning and play.
  • Nordbygdo lower secondary school, where Pal Rosseth (Headteacher) and Kristine Vikanes (Deputy Head) gave us an introduction to education at their school and then showed us around, with the help of some of the teenagers who are school council members – they were incredible young people: confident, vibrant yet composed, polite and articulate in English. Again, we saw children in this school working collaboratively across age groups.

We learned so much of interest during our visits to the above educational sites, but the main points we have taken from our experiences in the schools are the significant learning benefits:

  • For all children when they undertake mixed age group project work, as seen in practice at Tjodnalio and Nordbygdo Schools.
  • For all children when they have opportunities for outdoor learning, as seen in all the school settings, including the nursery. Among other things, at Nordbygdo we accompanied the children crabbing.
  • For more able children when they are stretched through extension work in the form of independent learning, as practised at Sagvag School.

We would like to warmly thank everyone at the above institutions and schools who made us so welcome and enabled us to fulfil the objectives of our visit and we would particularly like to express our immense gratitude to Pal Rosseth who organised the various elements of the course programme and ensured that our time in Stord was perfect in every way. We made some really special friends in Norway and we hope to welcome them to Pakeman in the future, and also to return to Stord ourselves. Many thanks also to Erasmus+ for funding this educational trip from which we have gained so much professionally.

As well as some new approaches to teaching and learning that will follow our trip to Norway, Pakeman children will soon begin to communicate with Norwegian children. Last, but not least, we also had the opportunity to visit various cultural attractions that schools in Stord and Bergen use to support and enhance their curricula. We saw some absolutely magnificent sights – mountains, fjords, bridges, gorgeous houses and historical buildings in Stord and Bergen – and we did a very challenging escape room activity that we intend to adapt for our more able children to really stretch them!

At next week’s staff meeting we will be sharing what we have learned with Pakeman staff and we will also share our findings at the next Futurezone meeting of 17 primary and secondary schools in Islington.

We hope that you will enjoy looking at the photographs in the gallery below that offer a taste of the amazing landscape, people and education of Norway!

Trip to Aldeburgh

Eight very excited Year 5 children accompanied by Ann, Emma and Nicky travelled from Liverpool Street via Ipswich to Saxmundham in Suffolk for an exciting overnight stay in Aldeburgh. The children had a great time on the jetty catching crabs, which were later released safely en masse and they all made it back to sea. They then had a walk along the beach front and the children had a great time looking for shells and walking in the sea. They also had an amazing fish and chip lunch. On the second day they visited the Thorpeness Meare and went boating in Netherland. A very tired but satisfied group of children and adults then returned to Liverpool Street where they were met by their parents.

Phonics Screening

Well done to Year 1 who completed their phonics screening last week. They did their very best and we are really, really proud of them. Huge thanks to parents/carers and all the staff who have worked with them during the year. The learning goes on, and they are having a very special day out in June to celebrate all their hard work at Kidzania.

Recorder Rebels

On Tuesday 7th of June, Year 3s went to the Union Chapel in Islington to perform with 10 other schools from Islington. The children have been practising their recorders since September. The children performed their rendition of Mamma Mia by Abba. Watch the video to see their amazing performance. Thank you to all the parents and carers who came to watch. And also, thank you to Colleen, Taya, Rebecca, Faye and Hana who took care of the children during the day.


Captain Pugwash

Our topic focus for this half term is pirates so we have started reading a new book called ‘Captain Pugwash’. Year 1 and 2 have been performing the story of Captain Pugwash in literacy. The children took on the roles of Captain Pugwash, Tom and Cut-Throat Jake. They focused on  speaking clearly when using the speech from the book and on acting as if they were pirates.

Click here to watch Captain Pugwash – Down the hatch.


Comparing texts

In year 1 and 2, we have been looking at features of different texts. We looked at stories set at the seaside, beach or around pirate islands and we compared them to information texts about rock-pools, holidays and facts about the beach. We realised that they are written very differently using different types of language and different structures. Look at us work!

All our research will help us to write our information booklets about beaches next week.



Lynne and teachers’ Erasmus Visit to Norway 11th to 17th June


Next week, Lynne and four other staff members will be travelling to Norway  to undertake the first stage of the really exciting research project funded by Erasmus+ that we informed you about back in October.  Our Pakeman team will be investigating how the education system works in Norway and particularly the ways that they support their more able children.  This will benefit our school and the children in several ways. As well as developing a greater awareness of another European education system, the team will be looking for new and exciting ideas for our classroom practice, so that we can use a more varied  range of strategies to support our pupils. We intend to share our findings within the school and more widely and also to create opportunities for Pakeman children to communicate with Norwegian children through collaborative projects, pen pals, Skype, etwinning etc.

Three further trips to Sweden, Portugal and Spain will follow in the next academic year.

Once again we would like to thank the European Erasmus+ programme and the British Council for making this project possible.




Well done to Year 2 who completed their SATs this week. They did their very best and we are really, really proud of them. Huge thanks to parents/carers and all the staff who have worked with them during the year. The learning goes on, and they are having a very special day out in June to celebrate all their hard work at Kidzania.  There will be lots of other exciting things happening during the last half term of Year 2, not least the opening of The Lab!


Mini Tennis Tournament

As you know, this term, Marcus has been teaching the Year 3/4 children tennis during one of their weekly PE lessons. The four best players were chosen to take part in a mini tennis tournament at Islington’s Market Road Tennis Centre on Wednesday. Deniz, Fardowsa, Mia and Abdulrahman gave everything they had to the games and came second in their group. A special mention to Deniz who won 3 of the 4 games he played. Considering the short time the children have been learning to play tennis, their performance was outstanding. Well done to all of them.

Tennis 1

Year 5/6 Cricket

Last Friday some of our year 5/6 boys took part in a cricket competition against all the other Islington primary schools. They did brilliantly, reaching the semi-finals with some fantastic performances. Good luck to the girls whose turn it is today.

Cricket 1

Blue Class visit Wagamama

Blue Class visited the pan-Asian restaurant, Wagamama, in Islington on Tuesday where they were welcomed by Sebastian and met the ‘front of house’ team: Allen, Davide and Mara, plus master chef Diara. After washing their hands, the class taste-tested some interesting foods, including pickled bamboo, edamame beans and samphire, and took it in turns to send orders to the kitchen from a handheld tablet. They also saw juices being produced in a powerful machine that crunches whole apples and carrots.

To round off their exciting morning, the children were invited to share a tasty vegetarian noodle snack and practised using chopsticks to eat it. Thank you to the lovely staff at Wagamama for giving the children a really great experience.

wagamama 2


We are very excited to be putting together a series of Top Tips to help you to help your children.  We hope that you will find these very useful.

The first two sets of Top Tips are for Building Children’s Resilience and Improving Reading.  Top Tips for other areas will follow later, but please let Layla in the office know if there are any specific topics that you would like us to cover.

Please click on the following links:

Top Tips for Building Children’s Resilience

Top Tips for Improving Reading

Top Tips for Broadening Horizons

Top Tips for Maths

Top Tips for Aiming High



Open Days

We are having 3 open days for parents/carers of children starting Reception in September 2017. We’d love you to join us for one of these events. If you would like to come along please call the school office on 020 7607 2575.

The dates and times of these events are:

Wednesday 19th October 2016            9.30am-10.30am

Wednesday 16th November 2016        9.30am-10.30am

Wednesday 7th December 2016          2.00pm-3.00pm


Rocket Science

Brown Class are working on an exciting science experiment this term. They are growing rocket plants from 100 seeds that spent six months on the International Space Station, alongside 100 seeds that stayed on Earth. Using their knowledge of what plants need to grow, Brown Class’s space biologists are making sure conditions stay identical for both test groups. They will be carefully recording key information about the plants, e.g. height, number of leaves, etc. The ‘Rocket Science’ study is a collaboration between the Royal Horticultural Society and the UK and European Space Agencies, working with schools like Pakeman. Brown Class’s data will be pooled with statistics from over 8,000 other schools to help scientists find out more about how to grow food in space. We are looking forward to hearing from our ‘Rocket Science’ monitors about how their research is going. Here are some of them tending to the seeds.


Testing Separation Methods   

Last Wednesday, thirty Year 5 children were welcomed at Arts and Media School, Islington, by science teacher, Rob Knapp and science technician Abbie. Starting off the afternoon, everyone enjoyed a game of ‘Mr. Knapp says’ that required the children to listen to precise instructions. After reviewing laboratory safety measures and putting on safety glasses, five teams – each named after a famous scientist – conducted scientific experiments exploring different methods of separating a variety of materials.
They learned that Newton used distillation to separate ethanol from water. Einstein used filtration to extract salt from sand. Hawkins employed magnetism to remove iron filings mixed with salt and with water. Marie Curie applied evaporation, boiling off water to leave behind copper sulphate. Darwin separated coloured inks using chromatography.
The five teams were successful in proving their methods worked. Not only did they learn a great deal, they thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and gave high ratings for the activities.



One of the new sports that we have been learning at Pakeman is basketball and last week some Year 4-6 children had a chance to try out their skills at the Sobell Centre with lots of other Islington primary schools. Tay said that they played very well and it was great to see them enjoying the experience of playing on a full-size court.

2-year-old centre—Learning about the life cycle

Using the story of The Hungry Caterpillar as the foundation for their learning, Cheryl, Zara, Louise, Faye and Tamkin have been adopting a multimodal teaching approach to teach our 2-year-old centre children about the life cycle of a caterpillar. They have made caterpillars through block play, made symmetrical butterflies using paints, moulded caterpillars and butterflies using playdough and completed fruit puzzles. The 2 year olds’ learning was extended to growing plants in the garden and they even had live caterpillars in the centre so the children could experience the real thing!

Year 3/4 visit the Aquatic Centre

On Wednesday 30 children from Years 3 and 4 visited the aquatic centre in the Olympic village to see the Diving World Championships. It is an amazing venue, designed by the world famous architect, Zaha Hadid, who sadly passed away recently. The children really enjoyed the day. One of them said ‘This pool is amazing—I’d love to do diving here!’



Well done to Year 6 who completed their SATs this week. They all did their absolute best and we are hugely proud of them. Many thanks to parents/carers and all the staff and volunteers who have worked with them during the year. The learning goes on, but Year 6 had a well deserved break yesterday afternoon and can now look forward to the annual Year 6 trip to Thorpe Park and lots of other exciting things during their last term at Pakeman. Here are some of them enjoying building a salt water powered car and motorbike with Lynne and Emma yesterday for the lab!



Letter to Year 6 Parents/Carers

Below is a copy of the letter that Lynne sent home to Year 6 parents/carers today.


10th May 2016
Dear Parents/Carers of our wonderful Year 6 children

I know we haven’t yet reached the end of the SATs week, and there are still two days of testing to go, but I just wanted to tell you that over the past couple of days I have become even more impressed by your children than I already was. Even when they have found tasks difficult they have approached them with a ‘can do’ attitude and shown all the characteristics of being great learners.

They have demonstrated fantastic attitudes to learning, persistence, resilience, determination to succeed and a willingness to always have a go. Throughout this year they have shown a tremendous work ethic. I have seen how committed they are to fulfilling their potential through their attendance at boosters, Saturday School, Easter School and the work they have done at school and home. In addition, they take responsibility for their own learning and seek support when they need it in order to get better and better.

I’d like to finish by saying thank you to parents/carers for your amazing children. They have made me exceptionally proud and I know that you must be incredibly proud of them too.

There are two days of SATs left, so let’s keep their confidence high and tell them just how wonderful they are!

Best wishes


Lynne Gavin


Playschemes (Nursery and Reception to age 12)

For information about Highbury Roundhouse’s playscheme for children aged 3, 4 and 5 years click here.

For information about Highbury Roundhouse’s playscheme for children aged 4 (Reception) to 12 years click here.

Maths Challenge

On Thursday, 28th of April, Rosie, Ryan and Mert traveled with Vicky and Khadija to City Hall to take part in the cross London Maths challenge.  The three children have been working hard with Khadija to practise the different challenges that they had to try.  The children enjoyed competing against other schools.  The day was very exciting and they look forward to competing again next year.

What time is it?

In Year 1/2, children have been learning how to tell the time. They have been using clocks to help them.

Please use the links below to practise at home:

Bang on time

Stop the clock




Mr Grinling’s inventions

On Friday 6th May, Year 1 and 2 children made inventions to stop the seagulls from stealing Mr Grinling’s lunch from the basket. They used facts from the text and presented or wrote explanations to go with their contraption.

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!

Last week, Year 3 and 4 had an extravaganza of chocolate to finish off their topic of Chocolate.  Derek from Chocolate by Design.  He discussed how chocolate is made, where it comes from and the science of making chocolate.  In the afternoon, the children had the opportunity to take part in a chocolate pizza making competition.  All children were then able to take some chocolate home and share it with their families.  The children enjoyed the day very much and thank Derek for coming to share his knowledge of chocolate with them.



Summer half-term playschemes

For information about all the playschemes in Islington during the Summer half term (from Tuesday 31st May – Friday 3rd June), please click here.

Music Magic

Every Thursday and Friday Lisa teaches music, working on a variety of projects—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Beatles material, sign language, percussion and developing performance skills throughout the school. On Thursdays, the children take part in a music assembly and it is wonderful to hear every child taking part and giving very powerful and moving performances of different genres of music. Following auditions, about 80 children in KS1 and KS2 are taking part in a new and very inspirational ‘No Limits’ project. Lisa, supported by Vicky, Angela and Maria, runs a session with the group for 40 minutes every Friday afternoon in the Bottom Hall. Together, they are developing harmonies, staging and a professional choral sound. The project is still at an early stage, so we will report further on it later this term, but there will be a chance for parents to see and hear the children performing.


Careers Conference

On Monday, Emma and Nicky took eight Year 5 children to Islington and Camden’s Careers Conference at the British Library. They had the opportunity to meet 15 adults employed in different jobs. In the ‘Scriberia’ workshop, they practised drawing skills and storyboarding with two professional illustrators. In the afternoon, they became forensic scientists, solving crimes using microscopes, UV lights and clues. In the course of the day, they met digital game designers, software developers, choreographers, composers, writers, editors, research analysts, arts educators and many more.

The children started the day unsure about future careers and left with numerous ideas!



Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch Animations

This week, children in Key Stage 1 have been making animations of their focus story. They made the setting with the sea, the cliff, the little cottage and the lighthouse. After the painted background, children made a moving seagull, boat and basket which they animated using Ipads.

Click on the link below to see one of our animations.



Caterpillar watch!

As you may have heard we have some visitors in the Early Years! The children in nursery and reception are looking after caterpillars and they are growing very quickly.

This is how small they were when they arrived last Tuesday:

small caterpillars

And this is how big they are just 6 days later!

big caterpillars

It won’t be long before they form a chrysalis so watch this space and we’ll keep you updated!

Caterpillar sock competition!

Children in the Early Years are invited to enter our competition to make the most imaginative and wacky caterpillar using a sock!

A prize will be awarded to a child in each class (Nursery, Silver and Crimson classes).

Entries for the competition are due on Friday 29th of April 2016.

Please give your entry to a member of staff in your child’s class.

How to make a sock caterpillar
1. Stuff a sock with newspaper, tissue or cotton wool and tie a rubber band/piece of string round the end. Section the sock using string/rubber bands to create the caterpillar’s body.
2. Add eyes, antennae, legs and details using a variety of materials! Good luck!


On Wednesday, 20th of April, Year 3 and 4 had a visit from Poppy Pickard.  Poppy is a volunteer for Traidcraft, which is a charity that promotes fair pay for farmers around the world.  The children learnt about how fairtrade products ensure that the correct amount of money goes to the correct people.  All of Year 3 and 4 enjoyed the talk and thanked Poppy for sharing her news with us.




The Lighthouse Keeper’s lunch

As part of their topic work, year 1 and 2 have illustrated each page of the story they are working on this half term. The story is about a lighthouse keeper who lives in a little white cottage on the side of a cliff . Every day, his wife sends him his lunch but it doesn’t always reach him! Click here to watch the story and find out why!

IMG_2638 IMG_1698 (1)

Picnic at the Seaside

On Monday 19th April, Year 1/2 had a picnic at the seaside! To fully understand their new topic, the children brought in beach towels, beach hats and sunglasses to dress up for their pretend picnic at the seaside. They played with buckets and spades and enjoyed fun beach games. IMG_2621 IMG_2619


Lighthouse Art

In literacy year 1/2  have been reading ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’ by Ronda Armitage . In art, the children designed their own lighthouses. They thought carefully about which colours mix well together and made sure they had a bright light at the top.



SHINE: Seeing Stars!

Last term, SHINE’s focus was on space. At the end of the term, we had a day out at the Royal Observatory and planetarium in Greenwich. We caught a boat along the river and learnt about the history of the Thames. At Greenwich, we ate lunch near the meridian line, where time begins! The children then demonstrated their knowledge about the planets as we watched the amazing Meet the Neighbours show at the planetarium. What a fantastic way to conclude our space topic!

Pupil Premium Courses, Reviews, Consultancy and INSET

Do you need independent help/advice with your Pupil Premium funding and provision?  If so, we can help ….

Click here for information about:

  • Pupil Premium Course – places are available on Monday 23rd May 2016, Thursday 9th June 2016 or Friday 1st July 2016
  • Pupil Premium Reviews
  • Pupil Premium Consultancy and INSET Training

Alternatively, please contact Layla Rafferty by telephone on 020 7607 2575 or by email at pupilpremium@pakeman.islington.sch.uk

Farming Day in the Media!

Our Farming Day on 21st March was covered by both television channels and newspapers.   If you click on the links below you can see, hear and read what they had to say about the day in the media.



BBC Newsround – click here

London Live News – click here



Islington Gazette – click here

NFU CMYRU – click here

Farming UK – click here


Summer Menu 2016

Please click here for a copy of the menu for the Summer Term.   If you would like a paper copy of the menu, please ask Estelle or Layla in the school office.

2016 SATs Tests – Information for Parents/Carers

For information about the SATs tests that Years 2 and 6 will take in May 2016, please click here.   A copy of this booklet for parents/carers has been sent home with the children in these year groups. Please read it carefully as it contains the test dates for the different subjects and other useful information.

INSET Day – Monday 11th April 2016

Please note that Monday 11th April 2016 will be an INSET Day. This means that the children will return to school after the Easter  holiday on Tuesday 12th April 2016.

Please note that holidays are not authorised during term time and could result in a penalty charge.



This half term as part of the topic ‘outdoors and adventure’ the children have been learning about orienteering. They have learned that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and to indelibly imprint the four main points of the compass on their minds they have memorised the mnemonic ‘Naughty Elephants Squirt Water’!!!

Orienteering 1

Easter Egg Fun

There was great excitement, with lots of clapping and cheering today when we had our annual Easter egg raffle assembly. Thank you to everyone who contributed Easter eggs and bought raffle tickets, and to Nicky who made special Pakeman jumpers for the two Easter bunnies in the raffle. We hope the winners enjoy their eggs!!


Cross Country

Well done to all the children who took part in the Islington cross country competition yesterday. It was a great day. They had lunch on the green followed by the races. A special mention to Fardowsa (Orange Class) who excelled in her race, winning a silver medal.

Breakfast Club Competition

Well done to the winners of Breakfast Club’s Easter egg decorating competition. They are George (Blue), Anya (Purple) and Majka (Crimson). They each won an Easter egg for their fantastic designs.

Easter Egg Competition 1


Farming Day at Pakeman

Everyone had a wonderful time during Monday’s farming day when 16 farmers came to our school all the way from Wales, bringing with them a real tractor that we had in the playground, live chicks and hens, and models of a Friesian and a Jersey cow. Living in the inner city, outdoor experiences and adventure are really important for the children and learning about farming in a fun hands-on way was really special for them.

All the children met the farmers at a special assembly and learned about what farmers do every day, what they wear and the tools they use. This was followed by different workshops around the school. While the younger children took turns to sit in the tractor, others dressed up in farmers’ clothes and built small scarecrows.

The biggest hit of the day with the children was having the chicks and hens in the classrooms. One of the children said: ‘I loved holding one of the chicks’. They also learned about where the hens are kept on farms and how they are made comfortable and kept happy, as well as the uses made of their feathers and eggs.

In the dairy farming session, they learnt where milk comes from and how butter is made. The classes that did the workshop also tasted cheese and milked the model cows. There was a chance to talk about sheep, and a wool spinning demonstration was followed by a fun exercise making wool pompoms.

The classes also learned about the different kinds of cereals grown and the foods they are in. The farmers brought a little mill with them to grind the grain and make flour, and the children were very excited to make and eat pancakes with the flour, eggs and milk. One child said: ‘it was so much fun making pancakes. They tasted really good.’ Finally, some children learned about how vegetables grow and they planted seeds that they can watch grow in the coming weeks.

Thank you so much to all the farmers, for giving the children such an outstanding experience. It was amazing!!! And huge thanks to Emma who used her brilliant organisation skills to the full. Emma said: ‘The children loved farming day and learnt so much about where their food comes from. They particularly enjoyed sitting in the red tractor, which was parked in the playground.’

Travelling back in time to the year 1666!

Throughout the week, children in year 1 and 2 have been time travelling. They embarked on an adventure to the year 1666 and explored the city of London at the time of the Great Fire of London, starting in a small house on Pudding Lane. The cat, Max, was lost during the fire and as the children searched for him, they met lots of people – including Samuel Pepys, the baker Thomas Farriner, the Lord Mayor of London and even King Charles. Look out for our next adventure!

Easter Cinema Night

On Tuesday 15th March, Pakeman hosted an Easter cinema night during which parents and children enjoyed Easter cakes and watched a film as a family. Children and parents described the event as a cosy evening that brought families together. Thank you to all who attended.


Minerva Scientifica ‘The Franklin Effect’ Event

Our Science Crew gave a confident performance on Friday when they took to the stage at Arts and Media School for the flagship British Science Week Minerva Scientifica ‘The Franklin Effect’ event. In collaboration with Creative Islington the project was produced by electric voice theatre in partnership with Arts & Media School Islington and the Museum of Life Sciences, King’s College London, with funding from Arts Council England. As part of the cross-curricular science and music project our children visited the Museum of Life Sciences a couple of weeks ago, and they also wrote their own song for the stage production, called ‘Animal Sounds’.

Emma said: ‘It has been great working with Frances, Penny, David, Julian and Herbie on the project and well done to all our children who did so well on the stage’. At the end of the event the children had the opportunity to ask a panel of composers and King’s College scientists questions, including ‘what is the purpose of science?’ which elicited the answer: ‘to explain the world honestly’.

Free cycling courses for children during the Easter Holidays

Islington Council have a full programme of free cycling courses for children during the Easter holidays:
Beginners (age 5-12) – for children who can’t yet ride without stabilisers
Bikeability Level 1 (age 5-9) – teaches bike control skills off road
Bikeability Level 2 (age 9-12) – get the skills to ride safely on road
The courses will be run at four different venues in N19, N1 and NW3. For full details and to book please click here.

Bikeability 4





Easter Holidays Playschemes

For information about all the Easter Holiday Playschemes in Islington, please click here.

Museum of London trip

On Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd March, year 1 and 2 children went to the Museum of London. They used artefacts and iPads to create animated pictures of the great fire of London. They discussed how objects can help to learn about an event in history and handled artefacts such as fire helmets, candle sticks, cooking pots, horse shoes and fire buckets.

After the workshop, the children explored the ‘War, Plague and Fire’ exhibition and watched a reconstruction video of the Great fire using models of London.


Year 3/4 Visits to Religious Buildings

Year 3/4 children are currently studying different places of worship as part of their RE topic. In the next few weeks they will be visiting a church, a mosque, a synagogue and a temple. They have enjoyed exploring this topic and sharing their own experiences of their religions.



The Olympic Sport of Fencing comes to Pakeman

As part of our programme to give the children the opportunity to try new sports, Jed from Fighting Fit Fencing has been giving KS2 an introduction to the Olympic sport of fencing for the past two weeks. The children have really enjoyed experiencing this fun, exciting and dynamic sport. It is great for both boys and girls to learn fencing as it improves their fitness and concentration.

As Orange class were on a trip they didn’t get a turn. However, Jed has kindly offered to give a free session to these children at the fencing school based in Mount Carmel School if their parents/carers either call him on 07832 241215 or email admin@fightingfitfencing.com.



Year 5 Chatterbooks group meet the Duchess of Cornwall

Our Year 5 Chatterbooks group, accompanied by Sue and Maria, were invited to meet the Duchess of Cornwall at Islington Central Library last week when she visited to read to the children and hear about their reading club and the books they are reading. John Calcott (Head of Islington Education Library Service) said, ‘Everyone mentioned how well the children behaved and how knowledgeable they were about the books they had read’.

Chatterbooks 2


Little Puppet Theatre

This half-term the children in Early Years are learning about Traditional Tales. Last week they visited the Little Angel Puppet Theatre to watch ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ and loved seeing the bright, colourful puppets come to life on stage! The room was filled with excited gasps and giggles, especially when Rumpelstiltskin had a tantrum and began spinning around the stage throwing ribbons and streamers behind him! After the show the children met some of the puppets and the very talented puppeteers who performed the story.

Theatre 1


World Book Day

Last Thursday  we celebrated the joy and value of books and reading through World Book Day. A week before the event, the children were given the homework task of putting together an outfit for a book character, which they wore to school for the event.  In addition, as part of their homework, the KS2 children wrote profiles for their characters. The children were so excited to come to school dressed as their favourite characters and it was fantastic to see them celebrate World Book Day with such enthusiasm, showing their love of reading.

Every child was given a £1 voucher, to buy a special £1 World Book Day book, or to redeem against the price of a different book. The £1 books are available from most good bookshops.  The vouchers are valid until 23rd March. On the back of the tokens you will find full details about how to redeem the vouchers and also of an exciting competition that the children can enter!



Great Fire of London timelines

As part of their learning about the Great Fire of London, year 1 and 2 children have made timelines of the events throughout the week starting on Sunday 2nd September 1666. They used pictured and text to organise their events. time line

time line 2

Fantastic Homework

During February half term, Louie in Gold class researched his topic for the next half term. He produced a fantastic model of the Great Fire of London with some brilliant information. He presented his project to the class and we are very proud of his work. Well done!

louie 1louie 2

Great Fire of London models

On Tuesday 23rd February, children in key stage 1 made models of the Great Fire of London. They learnt about the materials used to build houses in 1666 and why the fire spread so quickly. They also discussed what started the fire and what people did what the fire took over London.

Science Crew’s visit to the Museum of Life Sciences

On Friday 26th February, 25 children from Year 4 to Year 6 visited the Museum of Life Sciences. They have been learning about DNA and the life of Rosalind Franklin. They discussed the structure of DNA. The three scientists who worked with the children introduced them to the concept of atoms and rotational symmetry in DNA.

They also focused on understanding sound, how it travels and the different sounds animals make. They did an experiment on sound travelling using salt and a tuning fork, and they looked at a range of stuffed animals and how they make their sounds. The children then created pieces of music linked to the sounds various animals make and different pitches.

Thank you to the scientists and to Minerva Scientifica for organising a fantastic day full of science challenges and cross-curricular music.

Kensington Palace Art Project

On Wednesday 24th February, 20 children from Years 1 and 6 went to Kensington Palace as part of their art project. They have been learning about different aspects of Queen Victoria’s life. At the Palace, the children met Queen Victoria’s Governess, Baroness Lehzen! She read extracts from Victoria’s diary and talked about her childhood. The children also visited the gardens and walked around the fashion exhibition looking at dresses belonging to Princess Diana and Princess Margaret.

It was an absolute treat to feel like a Victorian for the morning!

Young Leaders—Stair Monitors

Well done to Jaden-Lee. Anna and Fabian in Orange Class, and Mosab and Lara in Brown Class for doing an excellent job as stair monitors. They ensure that children keep to the staircase safety rules, which are ‘keep tight to the right, keep walking, no talking’. They give regular feedback to Tay who says ‘I’m really proud of how well our stair monitors perform their role’ .


Street Dance Assembly

Estelle’s Street Dance Club children put on an outstanding assembly on the last Friday of half term, dancing to Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it off’ and Silento’s ‘Watch-me-whip-nae-nae’. It was a high-energy, exciting display and it was really fantastic to see the children who were watching the performance getting involved in singing and moving along with the dancers on the stage. A huge well done to Estelle and all the children.


Circus posters

Throughout the last 5 weeks, year 1/2 have been making circus posters. Some focused on particular acts such as clowns or trapeze artists and some advertised circuses coming to the local area. The children used paint, sketching and some of them were inspired by the work of Marc Chagall.


Investigation with the Science Crew

On Thursday 11th February, the Science Crew took part in another lunchtime investigation, this time to find out the best mixture to make eggs float!

They tested water mixed in turn with sugar, squash, oil and salt. The children made their test fair by only changing the mixture. They kept the same size egg, the same amount of liquid, the same environment and the same cups.

Which of these mixtures do you think is best for an egg to float?

Click here to find out how it works.


Circus skills workshop

On Tuesday 9th February, all year 1/2 children spent the morning with five circus artists from the National Centre for Circus Arts. They were juggling scarves, balancing feathers on the palm of their hands. twirling ribbons and making human pyramids! It was great to see the children enjoy themselves and apply the knowledge they had learnt throughout the half term. Thank you to the artists who supported us when practising our circus skills!

Yellow class assembly

On Friday 29th January, Yellow class turned Pakeman into a circus in their class assemly! They performed as if they were all different types of performers found at the circus: tightrope walkers, trapeze artists, lion tamers and clowns. The children also sang a song called ‘The marvellous men and their flying machines’. They demonstrated great confidence and showed excellent knowledge about their topic this half term. Well done!

Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday it was Safer Internet Day 2016. We talked about how to stay safe when using technology and the internet. There is also a poster competition to teach people how to protect themselves when they are using computers. There will be prizes for the winning poster from KS2 and KS1 . Why not design a poster during the half-term holiday? The competition closes on Monday 22nd February and the children should take their entries to Ben in Green Class.

Safer internet




Maths was in the spotlight on Wednesday when the exciting Mathathon competition took to the stage in the Bottom Hall. All the classes from Reception up to Year 6 took part and they all gave each other encouragement and cheered loudly for the winners. Well done to everyone who took part, both for your performance and for being so supportive to your peers.

Congratulations to the winners: Reception: Joshua (Silver), Year 1: Yunis S. (Yellow), Year 2: Zakariya (Green), Year 3: Adam (Purple), Year 4: Zahid (Orange), Year 5: Hamza (Brown) and Abdulrahman (Red), Year 6: Sami (Red) and Rahima (Blue).


Playground Leaders

We have a strong team of playground leaders in years 3-6 who do a great job of solving problems in the playground, making sure children have someone to play with, organising games and activities and helping children to follow the “It’s Good to be Green” rules.


Playcentre— Valentine’s Day Activity

Playcentre have been showing their creative skills off this week, making some beautiful items for Valentine’s Day, as you can see in the photographs.

If you would like your child to attend playcentre or breakfast club, please complete an out of school provision registration form, which you can obtain from the office.


Year 5/6 Science Museum Trip

Last week our Year 5/6 classes joined 400,000 other children around the world for a ‘Cosmic Classroom’ lesson about science in space, presented by Tim Peake from the International Space Station (ISS). Building on this fantastic lesson, this on Monday, Blue, Red and Brown classes explored space at the Science Museum. They saw some amazing space vehicles, such as the Apollo 10 module, a Black Arrow satellite launcher and the Mars exploration robot, Beagle 2. Some of the group even tried performing tasks wearing an astronaut’s gloves, which they found pretty tricky!. After lunch, the children visited the ‘Cosmonauts’ exhibition to study the ‘Space Race’ between Russia and the USA. This race put the first dog, man and woman into space and the first man on the moon. More recently, it led to international cooperation on the ISS. The exhibition included early spacecraft, special spacesuits, and videos of cosmonauts training for take-off. Following a ‘Space Race’ quiz, the three classes learnt some very interesting facts, eg that British astronaut Helen Sharman lost 2 litres of sweat flying to the Mir space station! Thank you to the Year 5/6 team, Anna and Joanne.

Science Museum

Haka Dance Off

Yesterday saw the culmination of the children’s work in PE this half term during which they have been learning the Haka. They all really enjoyed this topic and impressed us by putting on a fantastic display of their skills in assembly. Tay said, ‘all the classes did exceptionally well’. The winners were Green Class, Orange Class and Brown Class.1


Tag Rugby

Yesterday our Year 5/6 Tag Rugby Team took part in the annual Islington Tag Rugby competition against all Islington primary schools. They did exceptionally well, reaching the semi-finals. Well done to everyone.



Music in the Air

Year 3 children have been learning how to play the recorder this year and they are becoming better and better. Have a look at this video where the children sing, dance and play to Abba’s hit song Mamma Mia!

Half-term holiday playschemes

For information about all the playschemes in Islington during half term, from 15th-19th February,  click here!

Cosmic Cafe

Kathy’s Year 6 literacy group – Hanaan, Nawal, Heyma and Samuel supported by Alice and Kathy, plus Sotiris and Omar supported by Siobhan and Adam, cooked and served lunch in the Lodge for Pakeman Staff. The menu consisted of 3 main dishes: coconut curry with fragrant rice, poppadoms and salad; Meze consisting of falafel, mucver, baba ganoush, ajvar, olives, dolmades, pide and salad; and the third dish was spicy veggie burger with chips and salad. The proceeds of over £110 are going to Crisis, a homeless charity. The pupils chose this charity and will be learning more about it. The children involved planned, shopped and prepared everything and then, after doing heaps of washing up and cleaning they sat down to enjoy their well deserved lunch.

Pakeman Phonics Video!!

Children in Early  Years and KS1 have produced a great video of all the sounds required to develop their knowledge of phonics from Early Years to Year 3.  Each phase has a different set of sounds that the children are learning depending on their age or stage of learning.

You can access the video in the Curriculum and Ethos section of the website under English or if you click here it will take you there, and just scroll down the page to ‘phonics’ where the videos are!   We hope you will find these useful when supporting your child at home and that you will use them often.



Reception reading morning!

In the Early Years we have been very excited about getting parents more involved in their children’s learning at school. Last week the children in Reception invited their parents to school for a ‘reading morning’. We read a book as a class and then parents spent time reading to their children and their friends.

The children had a lovely time and the feedback from parents was very positive. Thank you for coming and making it a successful morning! Encouraging your children to appreciate the importance of reading is invaluable to their learning.

Click here for a list of links to help you support your child’s reading at home.

To continue the fun, Nursery will be holding a ‘model making workshop’ for parents on Tuesday 2nd February. If you have any recycled materials or containers that you can donate to the nursery for the event it would be greatly appreciated.


P1050391 P1050389 P1050388 P1050387 P1030509 P1030508 P1030506 P1030504 P1030500 P1030499 P1030496 P1030492 P1030491 P1030490 P1030483


KS1 reading and writing workshop for parents/carers

On Monday Emma held a workshop for parents/carers of KS1 children about expectations and how to help children reach them. Emphasis was given to the importance of children reading regularly at home. Emma provided a very useful booklet about questions parents can ask their children when reading with them.  Click here for a copy of the booklet.





Shakespeare comes to Pakeman

Year 3 and 4 had a visit from the Young Shakespeare Company today to perform A Midsummer Nights Dream.  The children enjoyed the story and the acting.  Below are a few pictures from their morning.


Blast off!

This term our theme at SHINE is ‘Space’. The children are learning all about the planets, researching how astronauts survive in space and will be planning their own space missions. They are also designing their own mission badges, as worn by astronauts when they launch into space. We look forward to seeing the finished products…

Sky Skills Studios with Brown class

On Monday 11th January, Brown class went to Sky Studios in Osterley. They had discussed ‘the benefits of cultural diversity in the UK’ in class, and at Sky Studios they created and filmed their own news report about cultural diversity and the advantages of speaking another language. The children had the opportunity to visit the studios, record their own reports, and act as cameramen, editors and producers throughout the day. They also acted as news reporters, headteachers, eye witnesses and reporters at the scene in front of the camera. The children showed great talent and can now consider reporting as a career for the future! Below are the pictures showing their work in the studios.

Green Class Assembly

On Friday 15th January, Green class treated the school to a great assembly. They took us to the circus! They talked about their favourite acts and the history of the circus. The costumes, the acting, the singing and the confidence of the children were excellent throughout the assembly. The children sang ‘Join the Circus’ from the musical Barnum. Well done to all of Green class!

Purple Class Swimming Lessons

This term it is the turn of Purple Class to go swimming and they have been really looking forward to it. Swimming is a very important life skill to learn, so please make sure your child can take part each week by having their full swimming kit with them each Thursday. Swimming has many benefits. Most importantly, knowing how to swim reduces the risk of ever drowning. It builds whole body strength by providing a full body workout and it is also a sport that they can go on to enjoy throughout their lives, as both young and old can do it!

Well done to Ryan who is making exceptional progress in swimming.

New Pupil Premium Course Date – 18th March 2016

Pakeman was named “National Primary School of the Year” in the first Pupil Premium Awards in 2013, for raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils. Since then we have run a number of very successful one-day Pupil Premium courses for Headteachers, Deputy and Assistant Heads, Pupil Premium Coordinators, Teachers, School Business Managers, Governors and other interested professionals. The next Pupil Premium course at our school is on Friday 18th March 2016. Please click here for details about the course and reviews we offer, and how to book places.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Layla on 020 7607 2575.

Poetry Club

Every Wednesday after school, Poetry Club, a small group of Year 5/6 children, is taken by Anna who has been doing some exciting work around poetry with them.

Abeda, Anri, Etia, Lara, Siham and Tara have been writing, reading and recording poems that they have written in the club. Soon you will be able to listen to some of the poems they have written and to interviews with the poets in the ‘Radio’ section of the website. The children enjoyed recording some of their Haiku (short, Japanese-style, poems about nature) and shared a poem that they wrote as a team about the colour Green. If you like riddles, try and solve the ‘Mystery Poem’ displayed in the Library Pod where they meet after school on Wednesdays!


French animation

For the past couple of weeks, children in year 5/6 have been making animations of ‘La chenille qui fait des trous’ (The Very Hungry Caterpillar). They read the story, watched model animations, researched the new vocabulary they will need and made the character and food from the story using saltdough. This week they have been preparing the photos and clips for the last part of their trailer.

Watch out for the trailers next week!

couverture 2

Circus book

During the Christmas holiday, Emily and Natalie decided to prepare for their new topic. With support from their mum, Emily and Natalie made books about the circus, its origins, circus acts  and famous circuses around the world. They used information from the internet and drew pictures to illustrate their beautiful and informative books. Well done Emily and Natalie!

Year 1/2 Circus Skills Topic

On Thursday, KS1 had a circus afternoon to introduce their new topic, ‘The Circus is Coming to Town’. During the Christmas holiday, the children had been given the task of putting together a circus outfit to wear, and also to practise a circus skill that they could show to their class. Thank you and well done to everyone! The children wore a variety of different costumes—there were clowns, jugglers, ringmasters and lots more, and they put on a fantastic performance of their skills. They will be practising these and more skills in the course of this half-term’s topic work.

Sky Skills Studios with Red class

On Tuesday 5th January, Red class went to Sky Studios in Osterley. They had discussed ‘the legal age for voting in the UK’ in class, and at Sky Studios they created and filmed their own news report about lowering the voting age. The children had the opportunity to visit the studios, record their own reports, and act as cameramen, editors and producers throughout the day. They also acted as news reporters, prime ministers, eye witnesses and reporters at the scene in front of the camera. The children showed great talent and can now consider reporting as a career for the future! Below is the report that Red Class created and pictures showing their work in the studios.

Sky Skills Studio

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Year 3 and 4 have a very exciting topic this term…Chocolate!  And they started off the new term with an exciting taste test.  Children were blindfolded and given three types of chocolate, milk, dark and white, to try.  The children were very excited about trying the chocolate and describing the feel of it.  However, as you can tell by some of the pictures, not all the chocolate was popular!

Early Years Nativity

Early Years put on a fantastic Nativity assembly this morning for their parents/carers to enjoy. They were absolutely wonderful—singing beautifully and putting on a great show. Thank you so much to our Early Years Team for their hard work in getting the children ready for the limelight! Joe Cooper from the Islington Tribune kindly took the last four photographs in the gallery below.

Quiz – Christmas carols and songs

Below are initial letters of Christmas carols and Christmas songs where each letter represents one word of the song title, e.g. WTK = We Three Kings. Can you work them out? Enjoy!!!!
Click here for the answers.


1. A F T R O G

2. A I A M

3. D D M O H

4. G R Y M G

5. G K W

6. H T H A S

7. I S T S

8. I T B M W

9. I C U A M C

10. J T T W

11. O C A Y F

12. O H N

13. O L T O B

14. O I R D C

15. S A T W S

16. S N

17. T F N

18. T H A T I

19. T L D B

20. W S W T F B N


1. A I W F C

2. D T K I C

3. F T S

4. H Y A M L C

5. I S M K S C

6. J B

7. L I S L I S L I S

8. M B C

9. M A W

10. R A T C T

11. R T R N R

12. S C I C T T

13. S R

14. T T D O C

15. W W Y A M C

16. W I A W W



Pakeman Pounds

On Wednesday, all 153 children in the school who had 100% attendance between the beginning of this half term and yesterday were super excited to enter our Pakeman Pound store where they were given a Pakeman Pound, which they could exchange for two items from the shop. There was much discussion and there were huge smiles as they made their choices from the array of lovely items available. Well done to all these children and their parents/carers for ensuring they had perfect attendance.

The next attendance period started from yesterday (Thursday 16th December) and will run to the end of the first half term of the Spring term in February 2016. If your child has 100% attendance in this period they will get to enjoy the experience of choosing two items from our amazing Pakeman Pounds store!

Aladdin comes to Pakeman!

We have had the most wonderful day here at Pakeman as all our children took to the stage to put on two fantastic performances of Aladdin for parents/carers, governors, volunteers and others. There were dramatic acting performances, amazing singing and lots of dance moves too. It was a joy to see the children excelling in the limelight and the audience gave rave reviews, saying the show was ‘fabulous’, ‘exciting’ and ‘every bit as good as the West End’!

Well done to everyone for giving their very best – the children for showcasing their talents so wonderfully and all the staff who gave so much of their time and put such amazing effort into ensuring the show would be enjoyed by everyone.We would particularly like to mention:

Sara – who did an outstanding job of casting the play and making sure that the characters knew their lines and acted them splendidly. She also worked really hard with the choir, who sang beautifully

Lisa – who did a fantastic job rehearsing all the songs with the classes, incorporating some really memorable dance routines to accompany them – who can forget the top hats and canes?

Valerie, Kathy and Maria – who produced stunning costumes

Angela – who worked on the scenes and props

Ilyas and Tay – for their stage management and being runners

Steve – for ensuring that the Bottom Hall was properly set up to accommodate the audience and for organising the lights and magic smoke machine

Emma – for making the programmes

Finally, thank you so much to everyone who came to see Aladdin for so warmly appreciating the children’s performances and cheering them so loudly!

A Million Miles Away – Pink Class

One Jump – Orange Class

Friend Like Me Blue Class

Somebody’s Got Your Back Brown Class

Prince Ali – Red Class

Kiss the Girl – Yellow and Green Class


SHINE: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

“In we go, then! But do be careful, my dear children! Don’t lose your heads! Don’t get overexcited! Keep very calm!”
Fortunately, we managed to keep calm at SHINE this term despite having Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as our exciting theme. The children read the book and used this as the basis for their own writing, drama and discussions. We also managed to fit in a chocolate workshop, watched the film and designed book covers. We finished the term with a visit to watch the magnificent musical production at the theatre.


Christmas Fair

The Bottom Hall was buzzing on Wednesday afternoon as our Pakeman families enjoyed the Christmas Fair. Santa made an extended appearance in the grotto and handed out presents to all the children who visited! There were other fun activities too, like Spin A Prize, and lots of treats, games and toys for everyone. It was great to see two of our parents who have their own businesses running stalls—Marlana selling lots of different toys, like Disney, and Andreia selling handmade accessories, including hairbands, earrings and bracelets. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we’d like to say huge thanks to Emma and the amazing members of the PTA for working so hard to make this such a fantastic event.

Anti-bullying week poster competition

As part of our anti-bullying week activities in November the children had the opportunity to take part in a poster competition. Thank you to everyone who took part. In the gallery below you can see the winning entries and the winners themselves with their prizes. Each of them received a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book appropriate for their reading level. Well done to all of them for producing fantastic artwork that puts across the anti-bullying message very clearly and dynamically.

Investigation with the Science Crew

On Wednesday 2nd December, the Science Crew took part in a lunchtime investigation!

They found out which liquid is best to make raisins dance. They tested vinegar, water, Sprite, diet lemonade, orange squash mixed with sugar or baking soda. The children made their test fair by only changing the liquid. They kept the same number of raisins, the same amount of liquid, the same environment and the same cups.

Which liquid do you think would be best for raisins to dance?

Click here to find out how it works.


Once a week a group of Year 5 children get together with Sue for their Chatterbooks club where they read and talk about the books they have been reading. The genre of the books changes every two weeks and they all have different titles, so the conversation is lively and engaging! The club also involves art activities and the members keep a reading log, which is kept in the special book bag they received.




Our netball team have taken part in the Islington Primary Schools girls’ netball championship. They gave their very best, playing exceptionally well, and they really enjoyed the experience.



Science Workshops

Orange Class have taken part in the National Grid Science Festival. They did some exciting hands-on science experiments and activities, such as making a roller coaster to demonstrate forces and learning how to build circuits. They learned a great deal and had a lot of fun in the process.

Open Morning – Wed 9th December

We are having an open morning on Wednesday 9th December from 9.30-10.30am, for parents/carers of children starting Reception in September 2016. We’d love you to join us for this event. If you would like to come along please call the school office on 020 7607 2575.




INSET Day – Monday 4th January

Please note that Monday 4th January 2016 will be an INSET Day. This means that the children will return to school after the Christmas holiday on Tuesday 5th January 2016.

Please note that holidays are not authorised during term time and could result in a penalty charge.


What’s going on in our 2+ Centre?

We are delighted to announce that the 2+ centre is almost full. There are only 3 more places left. The aim this term is to welcome and settle the children and their families into the setting. The first aspect that the Early Years Curriculum focuses on is Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The plan is to provide a secure base for the children, drawing on the key-person relationship and developing  a familiar and enabling environment. ​This will be promoted by creating warm and positive relationships, and fostering a sense of belonging in partnership with parents/carers.

Cheryl, Louise and Zara have successfully settled in all the children and they are starting to feel confident and ready to explore further in terms of their learning and development.

We would like to thank our parents for all their help and support in making the centre’s first term and the children’s transitions very smooth and effective.


Young Leaders Training

“A good coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are” Ara Parasheghian
This week the Year 5/6 children took part in some training to become peer tutors, learning coaching skills to enable them to help and support other people. They took part in a range of role play activities to identify the skills that a coach or tutor may need, such as building rapport, active listening and effective questioning. They talked about how coaching is used in  many different fields and that coaches do not necessarily have to be the experts . “Usain Bolt’s coach does not have to run faster than him!”. In pairs they tried out the LEAP method, which involved one of the pair supporting their partner to set their own goals and plan actions to reach them.
L – Looking ahead – How would you like it to be?
E – Exploring reality – What is it like right now?
A- Analysing possibilities – What could you do to get better?
P- Planning action- What will you do to get better?
The children really enjoyed the sessions and are looking forward to putting their new skills into practice in the near future.  A big thank you to Neil Harris from Coaching for Progress who came down from Bristol to deliver their training and to Lynne, Tay, Sue and Harry for supporting them.

Higher order thinking in Years 1 and 2

In literacy this week, year 1 and 2 children have been developing their higher order thinking. The lesson was based on a story called ‘This is not my hat’ and the activity developed the pupils’ understanding of narrative sequencing focusing on characterisation of the fish. The children also had to decide who they thought was the ‘bad’ character in the story. Who would you pick? The big fish? The little fish? The crab? Why do you think that? Is it ever right to steal? Was it stolen or was it his?

Click here to read the story.

Click here to watch the story.


Tiger Art

On Monday 23rd November, year 1 and 2 children looked at a famous painting by H.Rousseau called ‘Tiger in a tropical storm’. To build on their close observational drawing from the previous week, the children created a background using a variety of media and looked at ways of creating a foreground. Below are some of their pieces of artwork.

Ice Skating at Somerset House

On Tuesday, 52 very excited children in Years 3-6 set off for Somerset House for a morning of ice skating. There was lots of laughter as they took to the ice and tried to find their feet!! But, as the session progressed, and some minor bumps along the way, they became highly proficient getting around on their skates. Everyone had a wonderful time, and rounding off this lovely trip, the children and staff had lunch in the beautiful surroundings of Somerset House. Thank you to Emma, Tay, Sara, Rob, Taya, Rebecca, Charlotte and Glen for taking the children.

Cricket Match at Lords Cricket Ground

Following Pakeman’s victory in Islington’s recent cricket competition, our cricket team were delighted to be invited to play at Lords Cricket Ground. It was an amazing experience for the 10 children from Blue Class, who comprised the team, to play at the world’s most famous cricket ground. They all had a fantastic time and gave their best performances, so well done to everyone and thank you to Michael and Tay for taking them.

Gingerbread man show!

As part of their literacy lessons, year 1 and 2 children have been learning about the gingerbread man. They have acted, discussed and written the story. On Tuesday 17th November, as the children were about to start writing alternative endings, Ethan (Year 2) brought in three amazing wooden spoon puppets of the main characters in the story. Using the puppets, he acted out the story in front of Yellow class! What a brilliant creative idea!


Double Club

On Wednesday, Double Club played in the Arsenal Hub League against Montem and Sacred Heart schools and won both matches convincingly. Here you can see George celebrating his first goal!

Arsenal Hub 4

At the end of each game (pictured below) the teams talk about fair play, good sportsmanship and how important team spirit is.

The children really enjoy playing on this state-of-the-art pitch.

Thank you to Arsenal for hosting this competition.

Arsenal Hub 3

School Council

The School Council is formed by two children from each class who meet each half term to discuss matters that concern the children. At their recent meeting, chaired by Jaiden and overseen by Finola, the representatives brought three topics to the table, based on discussions they had with their classes. Lots of interesting issues were raised. For example, the children suggested putting a recycling bin in each class, painting each class door the colour of the class name, and there were several playground suggestions too. These matters will now be considered by the leadership team to decide which of them are feasible to put into practice. The results will then be fed back to the school council at their next meeting. Well done to all the class representatives who are doing a great job!

School Council November 2015

Street Dance

Estelle has started a really exciting street dance club on Wednesdays after school. She is teaching the children dance routines to up-to-date R&B music. Once the children have got two dance routines down perfectly, they will be putting on a street dance assembly for their parents/carers to come and watch in the new year. We’ll keep you posted! Estelle said, ‘we have some really talented dancers and all the children are working hard to learn the routines. Well done to all of them for their dedication.’ Thank you to Estelle who is doing a fantastic job.1

Interview with Simon

Thank you so much to Simon, one of our school governors, who kindly came into school to be interviewed by Akram and Fatima, with Hazel helping out. Simon is an actor and his interviewers asked him lots of questions. Simon gave tips about preparing for a performance, and talked about the differences between performing on stage and on television. You will soon be able to listen to the interview in the radio section of our school website. Well done to Akram and Fatima for doing a really great job. Simon Interview

Matchbox Challenge

We gave the children a challenge that was both great fun and got them thinking! Just before the half-term holiday we gave each child a craft matchbox. The idea was that during the holiday they would decorate the boxes and fill them with as many different items as they could.  No item could be duplicated and there were rules about things that could and could not be included.

Thank you so much to all the children who entered the competition. The effort they put into decorating their boxes and collecting items for them was just wonderful. Well done to everyone! There were four prizes for each key stage and all the winners were announced in assembly and presented with their prizes.

EYFS winning entries KS1 winners KS2 winning entries Special creative prize winning entry


Children in Need

Huge thanks to everyone who supported our Children in Need activities last week. Altogether we raised the absolutely brilliant sum of £1,112.12.

The excitement was palpable as the Great British Bakeoff got underway with a personal good luck video message from Mary Berry herself. Then, it was the turn of the judges – Sue, Glenda, Lee and Nicky- to taste the cakes made by the classes as all the staff and children watched in their pyjamas. There was lots of cheering and it was a wonderful atmosphere.

After hard deliberation and consultation about each of the cakes, Pink class came third with an Oreo cheesecake, Purple came second with a Very Berry Cheesecake and Brown Class were victorious with an Eton Mess.

After school, we had a brilliant fair with activities including face painting, a lucky dip and a tombola. There was lots of delicious food too and everyone had a great time.

On Monday the Children in Need activities were rounded off with a very exciting raffle ticket draw.

The Power of Critique

Since the beginning of November 2015, year 1 and 2 children have been learning about amazing animals. Following their visit to the zoo and their focus on the story of the Gingerbread man, they have developed an understanding of animals in different habitats.

As an art focus, the children used the power of critique to develop the quality of their art work. They drafted a first attempt at drawing a penguin, a monkey or a camel, then received constructive feedback from their peers and created 3 other drawings, ending with a more detailed scientific drawing of a baby emperor penguin, a white headed capuchin or a dromedary.

Peer critique enabled the children to finish with a higher quality piece of work.​ Have a look below to see what the power of critique can do.

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 21.21.52 Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 21.22.03 Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 21.22.12


Peace Blog

We have put a new peace blog in the Year 5/6 blogs and we would love everyone to add their messages of peace to this. You can do this by clicking here.

At Pakeman School our children, families and staff come from all over the world, and have a wide range of religions, cultures, languages and beliefs. We pride ourselves on the inclusiveness and togetherness of our school community, which is based on respecting and celebrating our differences.

Some of the principles we adopt are:

  • showing respect for every individual
  • promoting non-violence and peace
  • encouraging and supporting mutual understanding and cooperation
  • providing all our children with equal opportunities to learn
  • caring for our whole community

We would love the world to reflect the kind of community spirit and values that we have established here at Pakeman.

  • What values would you like to see throughout the world and why?
  • Or, what is your message of peace?

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New times tables games

This week we are installing new links to ‘Times Tables Rockstars’ for each child.

Look out for your username and password in your child’s reading folder!

Click here to start practising!

Times tables Rockstars is a fun and exciting way for your child to learn their times tables.


Science Workshops

On Tuesday, Year 3 and 4 had a visit from Joe who works at University College London.  Joe is an expert scientist who focuses on the habitats of animals around the world.  The children discussed different habitats and what the animal would need to survive in that climate.  Joe also brought in different samples of animal skeletons.  The children enjoyed the day very much.


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Angel Shed Theatre

On Friday, November 13th, Year 3 and 4 had a visit from Angel Shed Theatre.  This is a small theatre based in Angel that has different events happening through the school year.  The children were taught songs from Oliver and performed as a class with guidance from expert actors.  The children enjoyed it and were singing the songs when they went home.

Go to the Angel Shed website for more information.  http://www.angelshedtheatre.org.uk/

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Zoo trip: Amazing Animals

Year 1 and 2 had a marvellous day out at London Zoo. They saw all sorts of animals including penguins, monkeys and tigers. They thought about how the different enclosures are designed to be as similar to the animals’ natural habitats as possible. During the workshops, the children explored how animals are classified according to their different coverings such as fur, feathers or scales.

Pakeman Pounds

Last week we celebrated the achievement of all the children who had 100% attendance during the first half term. The children were incredibly excited when they were each given a Pakeman Pound with which they could buy 2 items from the Pakeman shop stocked a variety of items, like pens, rubbers, booklets, toy cars, bubbles and glow-in-the-dark sticks. We will be repeating our Pakeman Pound Shop to reward 100% attenders each term during the year and we hope that even more children will get the chance to enjoy this experience. All the research shows that children who attend school regularly do much better academically

Double Club at the Arsenal Hub

Double Club were invited to an exciting session at Arsenal’s brand new hub to take part in a football competition with other Islington schools. Our children had a fantastic time playing on the state-of-the-art pitch, winning the competition, and Gunnersaurus even joined in the fun!

Arsenal Hub


2-year old Centre Now Open

We are absolutely thrilled to let everyone know that our 2-year-old Centre is now open and filling up fast with children who are being gradually settled in. Thank you to Steve who successfully oversaw the building project and to the 2-year-old team, Cheryl, Louise and Zara, for working extremely hard to make the space so lovely for the children. A big thank you too to Islington local authority for supporting us to create this amazing addition to our school.

Cinema Trip

Year 3 and 4 have been very lucky to have the opportunity to see two films this week.  One was Penguins of Madagascar and the other movie was Dolphin Tales 2.  The children enjoyed seeing the films which link to their current topic of Living Things.




As part of our topic on ‘Festivals & Food’ we are learning about the Hindu festival Diwali. It’s an exciting festival full of interesting customs. This week we are:

  • using clay to make diva lamps
  • designing colourful rangoli patterns using a range of materials
  • exploring mehndi designs
  • cooking yummy food!

We are also learning the story of Rama and Sita. You can find an animated version of the story here.

Year 5 and 6 cinema trip!

On Wednesday 11th November year 5/6 will be watching the film “Believe” as part of the INTO FILM festival at the Odeon Holloway. The film is about a young, gifted football player who gets into trouble for a petty crime and is brought to the attention of former Manchester United coach Matt Busby, who comes out of retirement to help the boy and his teammates. We are all looking forward to watching the movie!


Shakespeare Theatre Trip

On Wednesday 4th November all pupils from year Five and Six went to the theatre to see The Young Shakespeare Company’s production of Romeo and Juliette. They were all very excited to be travelling by coach to the Millfield Theatre and they enjoyed the production, which included some fantastic performances by the cast. The children particularly enjoyed the way the production incorporated modern pop songs which supported their understanding of the script. A big thank you to all the staff who supervised the trip!

Romeo and Juliet

Halloween Cinema Night

On Tuesday 3rd November, Pakeman hosted a Halloween Cinema night where parents and children enjoyed popcorn and watched a movie as a family. Children and parents came in costumes and described the event as a party with a community feel. Thank you to all who attended.

Shaun the Sheep screening

As part of National Schools Film Week, on Thursday 5th November, Year 1 and 2 children went to the cinema to watch Shaun the Sheep.

The film was about a sheep called Shaun, who decided to take the day off and have some fun. A mix up with the farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead Shaun and the flock to the Big City and it was up to them to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.



Autumn Sensory trip

On Monday 19th October, Year 1 and 2 children went to the Ecology centre in Gillespie park. They participated in a workshop about seasons and senses.

As part of the workshops, they had a discussion about nature followed by a walk through the woods where they were asked to collect various plants, leaves, berries, stones and twigs. All children and adults then sat together to listen to the sounds they could hear in the woods. After that, they made a home for an animal that lives in the forest using only items from the nature around them. To end the workshop they played a game blindfolded and returned to the ecology centre for a story about animals who live in the woods.

All children thoroughly enjoyed the trip and had the opportunity to talk about what they had learnt during the half term.

Cooking using our senses!

During the week beginning Monday 19th October, children in year 1 and 2 were cooking.

They used their senses to make muffins. They used their touch when mixing the ingredients together in bowls. They used their sight when checking if the mixture was ready. They heard the oven beep when cooking time was up! The children smelt the muffins when they had cooked for 20 minutes. They used their taste at the end of the lesson to eat them!


Travelling to Ancient Egypt

Children in Year 3 and 4 have been learning about Ancient Egypt and had the opportunity to use headphones to travel to Ancient Egypt.  Children pretended that they were a scribe who had to help the pharaohs.  The classes enjoyed the trip and look forward to another experience abroad.

An Outstanding Review of the School

We are delighted to report the hugely positive outcome of the school review commissioned by Lynne that was carried out last week.  Click here to read what the review team had to say about the school.

Thank you so much to all the parents/carers who completed the review survey, which reflect the findings of the review team. Click here for the results of the parent/carer survey.

In addition, 100% of staff who completed a questionnaire, stated that they are proud to be a member of staff at Pakeman School. We will continue to work in the very best interests of the children in our care and to do our very best to ensure that they receive the best possible education to enable all of them to reach their full potential and make successful transitions to secondary school when they leave us.

African Story Telling

As part of our Black History Month celebrations, all children took part in storytelling this week. We had a special visitor who told the children a story from Africa. To help Chris tell the story, the children had to sing, dance and do acrobatics. Have a look below at our amazing spinning plates!

Texture collages

To summarise their work on senses, children in year 1 and 2 have been using art. As a focus on touch, they made collages using different textures and materials. Some children chose to use plastic, metal, foam, sponge and cotton whilst others used vocabulary such as smooth, rough, shiny and matt to describe their materials. They created interesting pieces of art to touch which are now displayed in their classes.

Seasons Now Press Play

This week, Years 1 and 2 have explored seasons through an educational resource that uses sound, story and movement to engage all children. They have been using Now Press Play. During the story, children travelled through the land of the four seasons to rescue the seasons clock. Along the way, children met animals from different habitats who helped them to solve their mystery!

Senses picture collage

In computing, year 1 and 2 children have been using the Pic Collage program to create collages for different senses. Depending on which sense they were focusing on, the children chose pictures from the internet  and pasted them in their collages. They used pictures of noses, eyes, mouths, ears and hands to link to each sense. Below are pictures of the computing work the children created.

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String phones

This week, years 1 and 2 have been investigating sound. To explore sound vibrations, the children made string phones. They used cups and string and practised using them in the playground. The children thought scientifically and investigated which materials would make the best string phone.

Science DNA Project

On Tuesday 13th October, 25 young leaders joined the ‘Science Crew’! Four creative scientists came to introduce us to women scientists in Britain. We discussed their achievements and sang and voice recorded their names and discoveries. The group of children involved in the project will focus specifically on a study of DNA in future workshops which will lead to a visit to the Museum of Life Sciences.

Egg news!

For the last two weeks, children in years 1 and 2 have been looking after their three eggs. They did a fantastic job and took care of them throughout every day. A couple of the eggs got injured in the playground but were very quickly repaired!

All three eggs have now flown to space to explore their senses on another planet.

Hopefully we will see them very soon.


Celebrate Mistakes!!!!

This week Lynne did an assembly about making mistakes. She talked a time when she made a cake for a friend and it all went wrong.

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She explained to the children how she had felt.

  • I am rubbish at cooking.
  • My friend is much better than me.
  • I am embarrassed about my cake.
  • I am not cooking anymore.
  • I am not telling anyone I made a mistake.

Lynne explained that after thinking about her mistake, she decided she would try again and that she would tell her friend about the mistake she had made. After getting some feedback on how to improve the cake, she made another one. She showed the children the result of her next attempt.

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Children can be very worried about making mistakes and this attitude can stop them from trying and can make them give up easily. Some children don’t like to get things wrong as it can make them feel silly in front of others.

At Pakeman, we encourage children to make mistakes. Mistakes are good opportunities to learn and to make improvements. When we were younger and learned to ride a bike, we accepted that we would probably fall off as that was just part of the process. The same is true about making mistakes in the classroom.

Attitudes are really important when it comes to learning. They have to learn to be resilient and be able to bounce back when things get tricky,


Children need to be willing to:

  • Try something tricky
  • Try again if it goes wrong
  • Change the way they do things
  • Work thoughtfully

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The more children make mistakes and work through them, the faster the progress they make. You can help your child by talking about mistakes in a positive way, by sharing your own mistakes and by helping them to see the improvements that they have made through trying again…like Lynne did with her cakes!

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Governors’ Day

We really appreciate our governors who work closely with Lynne and the senior leadership team to ensure that the school delivers a high quality education to the children. We were therefore delighted to welcome them into school on Tuesday for governors’ day during which they saw the school at work, enjoyed chatting to the children during lunch, and spent time meeting Lynne and other members of staff, as well as having a governors’ meeting.

Parent Governors

We are looking for two new parent governors and would love you to consider this opportunity. It’s a great way to get involved in your children’s school, to contribute the viewpoint of parents/carers, to help set the policies, aims and objectives of the school and to monitor its progress. We would welcome your contribution in terms of the experience and strengths you would bring, to help make Pakeman an even better school than it already is. Being a parent governor won’t consume a great deal of time—just three meetings a year and a willingness to visit the school in your capacity as a governor. So if you are interested, please see Layla in the office (Mon-Fri 10.30am-6pm).


Red Class Assembly

Last Friday, Red Class put on an assembly all about creativity. They showed how painting, writing and music are all different aspects of human creativity and forms of self-expression. The children performed a catchy song, choreographed their own movements and spoke clearly and audibly throughout the assembly. Thank you to the parents/carers who came along. They really enjoyed what was an excellent performance by Red Class.


Steel Drums come to Pakeman!

On Tuesday Justin Richardson came into our morning assembly to launch Black History Month (BHM) at Pakeman. After discussing with the children what BHM is and what it celebrates, Justin played the steel pans. The children joined in, clapping along with the music and there was a great feeling of happiness during the celebratory assembly. Next week the BHM events will continue with African storytelling.


Numicon in Years 1/2

In years 1 and 2, the children have all been learning about number bonds, progressing from number bonds to 5, to combinations of numbers to 10 and 20. Numicon is a multi-sensory mathematics teaching programme that enables children to visualise this concept. Once they understand the concept visually, they record their work using numbers in an operation. We will be offering Numicon training for parents/carers soon at school.

Sports Grant Funding

We are committed to ensuring the best possible sports provision.

Please click here for more information on our spending for 2016-17.

Please click here for more information on our spending for 2015-16.

Please click here for more information on our spending for 2014-15.

Please click here for more information on our spending for 2013-14.

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Exciting Professional Development Opportunity for Pakeman Teachers


We are absolutely delighted to inform you that we have made a successful bid for Erasmus+ funding to undertake a mobility project that will involve 20 members of our staff travelling in four groups of five to four European countries respectively, which are Norway, Sweden, Portugal and Spain. Each visit will last five days and they will take place over a period of two years.

The aims of this project are for our staff to:
Develop a greater awareness of international education systems
Be motivated and stimulated to try out new and exciting ideas and classroom practice
Use a more varied and effective range of strategies to support pupils
Be more confident about sharing good practice within the school and more widely
Gain the confidence to support others in adopting new practices
Create opportunities for Pakeman children to communicate with their European counterparts through collaborative projects, pen pals, Skype, etwinning etc.

We would like to formally thank the European Erasmus+ programme and the British Council for making this project possible.


Young Leaders

After careful consideration of all the applications submitted for positions as young leaders, we held a special assembly at which Tay announced the children who have been appointed. You can see them all in the photograph below. They will have their first training session next week and all the young leaders will be working towards SSAT accreditation. Congratulations to everyone who was appointed and well done to everyone who applied. The standard of applications was very high. We look forward to hearing about what you are doing as part of your roles during the year.

Young leaders 2015

Rugby Triumph

Last Wednesday our Year 5/6 rugby team took part in the Islington Primary World Cup Festival at Whittington Park, to coincide with the Rugby World Cup that is presently being hosted by England. We are so proud of our team as they put on an absolutely amazing performance (in the rain!) during what was our first PE competition of the year. They won the completion coming away with a lovely cup and a gold medal each. Well done to all the team and to Tay for coaching them. Here they are with their certificates which were presented to them at a special celebratory assembly.

Rugby 1

School Games Mark

We are delighted that Pakeman School has been awarded the Silver School Games Mark for our outstanding achievement in sports. Inspired by the Olympics and the achievements of GB’s athletes, we have been giving physical education a higher profile at Pakeman. We have introduced new sports and placed a strong emphasis on the importance of healthy lifestyles, incorporating healthy eating and regular physical activity. This has resulted in our children achieving great things in sports competitions, winning a high percentage of the events we have entered. As our PE coordinator, Tay has done fantastic work on raising the quality of our physical education, which has directly led to us achieving this Quality Mark, so many thanks to him.


Egyptian Hieroglyphics

Year 3 and 4 have been learning how to use Egyptian hieroglyphics.

They have been researching how the Egyptians used hieroglyphics.

The Egyptian writing called hieroglyphics used pictures to represent different objects, actions, sound or ideas.

These are the hieroglyphics that are used to represent some letter sounds.  Have a good at writing your own messages.


New joiners to Years 1 and 2!

On Friday 25th September, there were three new joiners to years 1 and 2. The new joiners are eggs! They are called David, Rock and Toby. The children in key stage 1 are learning about looking after each other and are starting with looking after an egg! The egg will need a home, a bed and food. He will learn during the lessons, go out to play and have lunch with his class.

Look out for what happens to the eggs next week!


Now Press Play

Children at Pakeman Primary School have been using a  new piece of ICT equipment. Now>press>play is an educational resource that uses sound, story and movement, to immerse children in the world of their topic. Through a series of active and stimulating lessons, now>press>play captures children’s interest and accelerates their learning. Below are examples of our children immersed in a story about climate change.

Counting on and back

Year 3 and 4 were using a practical method to counting on in groups of 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.  They walked around in a circle chanting the numbers.  The children enjoyed the session and felt that it helped them remember which numbers they need to say next.  Practical activities for maths are very helpful for children when learning new skills.  Try it at home.

Primary Science Quality Mark

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Pakeman School has been awarded the Silver Primary Science Quality Mark. This is a reflection of the fantastic work that Rob is doing in the school as our science coordinator and shows the value placed on science as a subject, with the children having ongoing opportunities to work scientifically through investigations, questions and science workshops. We have great plans for science teaching and hope to be reporting more exciting news soon.

Sorting rocks 1



Running Club

Some of our children showed a lot of promise in last year’s cross country event. So we now have a brand new running club every Thursday after school for a small group of children to enable them to train for this event.

In addition, Tay will soon be conducting bleep tests during PE lessons with all the classes from Year 3 to Year 6 to identify the fittest children in these year groups and they will also be able to participate in the cross country.

Cross country 2



Senses entry point!

On Tuesday 8th September, Year 1 and 2 children had a sensory afternoon. For the entry point to their new topic, they explored the five senses. They took part in a carousel of activities where they tasted different flavoured waters (some very tasty, some not!), listened to and answered questions in a sound quiz , guessed what was in the feely bag, voted for their favourite smells, looked carefully at optical illusions and read books about senses. They enjoyed the activities very much and now know about their senses.

Digital Art Club

We have a new group of children in Digital Art Club this term and they got off to a great start last week making digital portraits.


Applications for Young Leaders

Application forms for young leaders will be handed out next week. This is a fantastic opportunity for children in Years 3-6 to take on positions of responsibility in the school and to wear a yellow sash to denote their position. There will be opportunities for them to apply to be lunch hall leaders, club leaders, sports l eaders, library monitors, stair monitors and playground leaders. Here are last year’s fantastic group of young leaders.

Young leaders



Our Year 3 and 4 children will be swimming this year. During Autumn term Orange Class are taking to the pool. After Christmas, it will be the turn of Purple class and in the Summer term it will be Pink class. Orange Class had their first session yesterday and they had a great time. Some of the children made such a good start that they have already graduated to the big pool. There will be opportunities later in the year for the best swimmers to take part in galas against other schools.

We would love to have a strong swimming team, so if any YEAR 5/6 children are members of a swimming club, please speak to Tay.

Orange Class - Sept 2015


Letters for some of our after-school clubs were sent home with the children this week. If you have applied for a place in a club you will receive a text message if your child is allocated a place in it. Where there are more applicants than places a waiting list will be kept for children who aren’t initially allocated places. When places later become available, you will be contacted to let you know if your child can start.

The first club to start was Danny’s lunchtime table tennis club for 12 children. Every child from Year 1 to 6 will get a chance to take part in this club during the coming weeks as the classes are rotated.

Lunchtime Table Tennis - Sept 2015

Breakfast club survey

Breakfast club carried out a survey at the end of the summer term to find out what the children attending think of our provision. The purpose of this was to identify areas where we are doing particularly well and if there are any ways in which we can make the club even better for the children.

In response to being asked what they think of breakfast club, 74% said ‘I like it a lot’ and 26% said ‘it is ok’. None of the children said that they don’t like it. The staff are pleased with these results and will be working hard to improve this result. The children identified four things that they like best about the club, which are seeing their friends, making, colouring and creating, the food provided and the staff, while the things they like least are that there is too little time for activities, and that it can get loud and noisy. The staff will be working with the children to encourage them to abide by the club rules and give them confidence to speak to an adult if they are unhappy about anything. Most importantly, 100% of the children said they feel safe in breakfast club. One of the really positive aspects of children attending breakfast club is the opportunity it provides for them to mix with children in different year groups as this benefits all the children. So, it was very pleasing to learn from the results that 64% of children have made new friends. To make sure even more children expand their friendships, the team will be holding a “friendship week” and encouraging them to buddy up. We will also remind all our breakfast club children to be kind and polite, to listen and to make the most of what the club offers.

Already this term, Breakfast club have introduced a timetable of different activities each day to ensure that the children start off their day both with a nutritious breakfast and a range of activities.

Breakfast Club Survey

Pakeman’s new centre for two-year-olds

We are really excited to report that we will soon be opening a new centre for two-year-olds at Pakeman School.   The building work is progressing well and we hope that the new provision will open in October 2015.

Eligible children are entitled to a FREE part-time place, beginning the term after the child’s 2nd birthday.  At Pakeman we will offering morning or afternoon sessions, 15 hours a week.

The places are funded by the government.  You may be eligible for a place if your child turns 2 on or before 31st August 2015 and one or more of the following criteria apply:

  • You receive Income Support
  • You receive Working Tax Credit and you earn no more than £16,190 a year
  • You receive Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA)
  • You receive Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • You receive support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • You receive the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Your child receives Disability Living Allowance
  • Your child has special educational needs and/or a disability
  • Your child has been adopted from local authority care
  • Your child has left care through special guardianship or an adoption or residence order

If  you think you might be eligible please click here to complete the eligibility check form online.

If your child turns 2 between 1st September and 31st December 2015 you may be eligible for your child to start in January 2016.

Once you receive a letter or email from the council confirming that you are eligible, you can put your child’s name down for a place at Pakeman Primary School.

Children will receive high-quality education and be cared for by qualified staff in a warm and nurturing environment that is just right for two-year-olds.

Please note: all children who attend the school as two-year-olds will be guaranteed a part-time place in the school’s nursery class from the term after their 3rd birthday. However, there is not a guarantee of a Reception class place at the school. All families need to apply separately for a Reception place through the Islington admissions process.

If  you have any questions about the free early learning scheme, please click here or contact Islington Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or click here for their website.

Aiming Higher – Project Funding Sought

At Pakeman School we are never complacent and are always looking for ways to improve our provision for children. We work hard to ensure that everything we do is of high quality and we are always looking out for ways to improve our provision. Budget constraints mean that doing some of the things we know will really benefit our children requires us to seek additional funding.
We have two exciting projects that we are currently looking to provide. Can you, or anyone you know, help us to fund:

Project Number 1 – Lights, Camera, Action!!! Bringing the West End to Pakeman (click here for information)


Project Number 2 – A Helping Hand – Art Therapists in Pakeman School (click here for information)?

If you would like further information, have any ideas, or would like to visit us, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Layla on 020 7607 2575, or email her at lrafferty@pakeman.islington.sch.uk


Latest SATs Results and school priorities for 2015-16

I am extremely delighted to be able to tell you that our children have once again achieved some super results this year. There is an overall increasing trend in results across the school and some significant improvement has been made since we were last inspected in 2011.

In year 6, children have attained above national expectations at L4+ as a result of the excellent progress they have made.

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Results at KS1 have improved and children and have made excellent progress.

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Over the past 5 years there is an increasing trend in results and there has been significant improvement since we were last inspected in 2011 as shown below.

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We are not complacent and we are constantly working to improve the school further by ensuring high quality learning takes place so that children reach their full potential. To that end we have set some key improvement priorities for the coming year.

1. Refine phonics provision and develop ways to accelerate progress

2. Raise expectations and levels of challenge to match high demand of new National Curriculum, particularly in writing

3. Develop robust and reliable system of assessment without levels

4. Embed new national curriculum and align it to assessment process

5. Develop high quality 2+ provision

Click here for our School Improvement Plan Overview Priorities.

Thank you so much for your continued support. We look forward to working together over the coming year to make Pakeman the “best it can be”.


On Thursday 16th July, Years 1 and 2 performed their Annie show to their parents/carers. The children sang with amazing confidence and looked like they were in the West End! A huge amount of performing, acting and singing talent was demonstrated on the day! Well done to the soloists and the rest of the children who accompanied them brilliantly.

Trip to the Garden Classroom

Years 1 and 2 visited King Henry’s Walk Garden, a wonderful secret garden in the middle of the city. We planted our own beans, cooked delicious bean soup and acted out the story of Jack and the magic beanstalk with a real magic beanstalk! They thoroughly enjoyed the day and so did the teachers!


Yellow and Green classes have been learning all about flowers as part of their topic. In art, they have been learning all about the artist Van Gogh who is very famous for painting sunflowers. The children painted their own unique versions of sunflowers. They worked very hard on shading, mixing colours and using their paintbrushes to create texture. They even signed their paintings just like Van Gogh! Have a look at the beautiful end products! Well done, they look lovely!

Refugee Week

As part of this year’s Refugee Week Celebrations children in Years 1-4 took part in an Islington Council refugee art competition.

Tim Spafford of the School Improvement Service said that the judging panel ‘found the Yr1/2/3 pictures really interesting‘. He particularly mentioned the ‘clear messages and narratives woven into their art work’. They really liked Yr 4’s ‘very colourful and striking posters’, which they said conveyed ‘such good understanding of the impact of refugee experiences, together with the reasons for their flight and exile’.

Pakeman’s  artists received a special commendation and a certificate for the school.  Well done to all the children who took part—your artwork is stunning!  Thank you to Colleen for organising our entry to the competition.



Cambridge University Visit

Twelve very excited Year 5/6 children set out on Monday in the school minibus, with Lynne, Hana and Sue, for a visit to Cambridge University. It was organised by Helen at Ambler School, and so our children were joined by children from Ambler, which was really nice for everyone.

Cambridge University was founded in 1209, and that means it is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and it is the world’s fourth-oldest surviving university. The purpose of the visit was to give the children, selected for their outstanding classwork, a taster of what it would be like for them to attend such a prestigious university when they finish school. They were given a tour of King’s College and Corpus Christi College and attended a classics lesson during which they saw copies of many treasured statues from around the world.  They learnt that the university covers a total of 57 subjects at degree level and it was very interesting to hear that at the time the university was founded in 1209, the arrangement of the buildings was based on the notion that learning best occurs by nourishing the mind, body and spirit, represented respectively by the library, refectory and chapel.

This lovely day out ended with watching punting by the river.  A big thank you to Helen for organising this amazing visit and to Lynne, Hana and Sue for accompanying the children.

Sports Day 2015

The sun shone for our Shine on Saturday children when they had their sports day last Saturday. Well done to all the children. There were some excellent performances and everyone put in so much effort. Thank you to Tay, who organised the different events and to Hannah and all the Shine staff for giving the children such a great day.

Shine Sports Day


Digital Art

The children in Digital Art Club have been getting creative in the last couple of weeks, producing some gorgeous summer flowers.  Aren’t they fantastic?  Thank you to Aisha for enabling the children to enjoy these activities in her club

British Library Visit

Last Wednesday, Hana, Vicky, Sofiya and Nicky took 30 Year 4-6 children to visit the British Library to see the Magna Carta exhibition. The exhibition is to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the creation of the Magna Carta, which is a document produced between the barons and King John because the barons were not happy with the way King John was running the country at the time. The Magna Carta gave the barons rights and responsibilities within the country and it has since formed the basis of many declarations of independence around the world, making it a hugely important historical document. The British Library staff complimented our school, stating that the children were the best and most engaged group of children that they have ever hosted. The children asked really interesting and pertinent questions and were a credit to their families and the school.

British Library


Arsenal visit Pakeman with the FA Cup

To celebrate the outstanding sporting achievements of Pakeman School, especially of our football team, who have gone unbeaten in two consecutive seasons, winning the Futurezone Football League both years, and also being awarded the Islington Primary School Sports Team of the Year award, Tay, our sports coordinator organised a special treat for everyone. On Friday, Arsenal representatives came to the school with the FA Cup Trophy!!  How cool is that? The children were thrilled.


Summer Fair 2015

The school was absolutely buzzing on Wednesday afternoon to the sounds of excited children at our annual summer fair, with attractions, including spin a prize, face painting, a bouncy castle, hook a duck, throwing wet sponges at teachers, Arsenal penalty shootout, test your strength, helium balloons, yo-yos and fantastic food, including a barbecue, veggie food stand, fruit kebabs, cupcakes, sweets and drinks.  It was a great afternoon.  Huge thanks to Emma and the PTA for organising the event and working so hard to make it a success.  Thank you too, to Kathy, Tay and all the staff who ran stalls and made sure everyone had fun.

Gold Class Assembly

On Friday 3rd July, it was Gold class’ assembly. The children had been learning about flowers and insects in their topic lessons this half term. In the assembly, they started by singing ‘I love the flowers, I love the daffodils’ in a round. It took a lot of practice to keep two singing parts going at the same time but they sang brilliantly on the day! After the song, the children re-told the story of Jack and the Beanstalk using actions, in the style of Pie Corbett. With the support of the teacher, the children had personalised the story and made it their own. The assembly closed with a marvellous rendition of Three Little Birds by Bob Marley accompanied by Erin and Tom on the guitar. Gold class wowed the audience with their choreography. Well done Gold Class!

Yellow class assembly

On Friday 26th June, it was Yellow class’ assembly. The children had been learning all about flowers and mini beasts. Amin shrunk down to miniature size to explore a beautiful imaginary garden! Yellow class taught everyone about different flowers, what flowers need to live and grow, how new flowers are made and mini beasts’ different habitats. All of the children performed wonderfully and their confidence was excellent! Well done Yellow class!

Super Car Competition

Last week in Silver class, we had a competition to design a new ‘Super Car’.  The children were very excited and couldn’t wait to get started on their amazing designs.  The children independently drew a picture of their super car and then wrote a description detailing what the car could do.  The competition was tough but Emma made a decision to award two winners.  Well done Arian and Nizar for your fantastic effort and brilliant designs. Here is their excellent work! IMG_0779 IMG_0781 IMG_0788 FullSizeRender   IMG_0785 IMG_0783

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Year 5/6 Enterprise Project

The Bottom Hall was full of marketplace stalls on Thursday for the culmination of the Enterprise Project (otherwise known as the ‘fiver challenge’) that Year 5 and 6  have been working on for the last couple of weeks as part of a Young Enterprise programme designed to help the children develop the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in work and life.

After learning about the objectives of the project, Red and Blue classes were divided into groups to form their own businesses. Each group carried out market research in the school and then decided based on the results which products/services they would sell. They also decided on names for their businesses. The children made posters to advertise their businesses and also radio advertisements.  To listen to the advertisements click here and then scroll down to the radio adverts, which you can listen to in turn.   Also, click here to read what each group had to say about their business.

On Thursday, each child was presented with a certificate by Mike Anderson, the link person from Young Enterprise UK, at a special awards ceremony. Our other visitors were: Lynsey Sharp, the Ambassador for Virgin Money; Tara Bell, a Young Enterprises trainer;  Margaret Ambrose, Head of Public Affairs and Public Relations at Young Enterprise UK; Miranda McHugh, Public Affairs and Public Relations Officer  at Young Enterprise, and Jo Barnett, ‎Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving and Director of Virgin Money Social Enterprise.  They arrived to find the Bottom Hall buzzing with sales activity as our young entrepreneurs got to work selling their products and services.  They all said that the children did brilliantly and that they thoroughly enjoyed seeing them so involved and enjoying the business of selling at the fiver trade fair.

We would like to congratulate the children for their fantastic work and to thank the Blue and Red Class teams, and also Emma, Sue, Erin, Louise, Sara, Ilyas, Kathy and Anna who did such fantastic work with the children.

Digismart – Sheila Hancock visits Pakeman

During the course of the year Sue, Vicky and Maria have been working with a group of Year 5/6 children on a technology-based literacy programme called Digismart. On Monday 18th May they were joined by Sheila Hancock, who is the patron of Digismart, and three of the Digismart team. The children were given a choice of two topics—bullying and homelessness/poverty to work on. They had to do some research on their subject choice and work on a presentation of ways they could think of to change these issues for the better if they were king or queen for a day. Sheila Hancock helped some of the children and then listened to their presentations, giving them expert advice on how to maximise the impact both of what they said and how they said it. It was a great experiencer for the children and we would like to thank Sheila Hancock, the Digismart team, Sue, Vicky and Maria for this really great lesson. We are also very excited that Sheila Hancock has arranged to come back in the Autumn term for a further session and also to be interviewed on our Pakeman radio station!

Radio interview with Danae Eleni

We were delighted to welcome back Danae Eleni, the opera singer who gave such a fantastic assembly here a few weeks ago. She came in on Tuesday to give an interview, including singing, on Pakeman Radio. You will be able to listen to this soon when it is uploaded onto our school website. Thank you to Danae for being a great interviewee, to George for conducting the interview and to both Laura and Hazel for their help, which is much appreciated.

Radio interview - Danae Eleni - 23 June 2015

Talent Show

Wednesday afternoon was alive with excitement as some of Pakeman’s talented children and teachers took to the stage. All the finalists did brilliantly. The winners were:
EYFS: Alexis
KS1: 3 Stars Magic/The Cools
KS2: Dark Magicians/Terminators
Soloists: Shannay, Renelle & Fahemo.
Staff: Tom & Harrry
A huge thank you to Hana for working so hard to make the competition a success; to Julianne, Bailey and Tara for having the idea in the first place and for their contributions, and to our judges—Lynne, Rebecca and Lee. Everyone had a fantastic wholly entertaining afternoon!

Year 5/6 Prom

Year 5/6 had a very exciting night last Thursday when they came to the Summer Prom to celebrate their time at Pakeman. It was lovely to see them all coming together for the party. Emma did a fantastic job of organising the event.  Many thanks to her and the members of the PTA who put on a beautiful spread of food. We would also like to thank Tracy for the lovely balloons and Errol for DJing and ensuring a fantastic party atmosphere.

Fiver challenge

Blue and Red Classes have been taking part in a fantastic project to learn about enterprise. They have been working together in teams to develop their profit making ideas. Here are some photos of the big day when ideas became reality.

Learning Walk

On Thursday morning Hana and four of our governors, Nicky, Althea, Lucy and Laura did a learning walk, which involved going into different classes to see the learning going on and chatting to the children about what they were doing. The governors really felt they benefited from this experience, with one of them remarking how enlightening it was to see the progression of the children from Nursery to Year 6.

Kenwood House — Writing through Art

Year 3 and 4 were very excited to visit Kenwood House last week. They showed great interest in the paintings and were especially interested to see them because they had studied these and others by the artists who had painted them (Van Dyck and Vermeer) in class and now they were seeing the real thing, which was quite a revelation! They asked lots of questions and listened very attentively to Michael Walsh and the Kenwood House staff, who we would like to thank as the children gained a great deal from the visit. Thank you too, to the Year 3/4 team and the parents/carers who accompanied them. A great day was had by all.


Recorder Rebels

Just look at our lovely Year 3s up there on the stage at the Union Chapel for the Recorder Rebels concert, every single one of them giving it their all on Monday evening!!! The audience said how well they played, so many thanks to Julia, who has performed the impressive feat of turning Year 3 into proper musicians in less than 3 terms. Well done to all the children and thank you to Colleen, Rebecca, Hana and Shane for taking them to the venue.

Recorder Rebels 2015

New Annual Inter-school Football Competition

We have started a brand new inter-school football competition, which will be held every year in the summer term between Pakeman and Montem schools. Pakeman won the first of these tournaments, with a 5-0 win. Well done to all the team who played exceptionally well. After the match Harry was awarded not just goal of the match, but goal of the year!!

Goal of the season (2015)

Playcentre enjoy an afternoon at the Sobell

Thank you so much to the Sobell Centre for giving us the use of their new astroturf pitches on Tuesday. Playcentre played a variety of games and had a wonderful time. There is an ice skating trip planned and we hope to have lots more exciting activities at the Sobell Centre for playcentre in the near future.

PC - 17 June 2015 - 1

School Journey 2015

In the second week of June 17 children from years 5 and 6 went on Pakeman’s annual school journey to Margaret Macmillan House in Kent. Throughout the week the children participated in a range of different indoor and outdoor activities. These varied from sports and teamwork to model making. The children competed against each other in archery and listened out for the loudest, most piercing scream among themselves and the staff as they individually careered down the zip wire! Lee was the winner by a mile!!!! They also relaxed by the camp fire, playing charades, and the boys and girls enjoyed sharing separate rooms and chatting until they fell asleep. It was a fantastic week and the group behaved impeccably. This was a great opportunity for the children to work together as a team, to make new friends and look after each other. Emma commented that ‘all the children were exceptionally supportive and encouraging to each other during challenging tasks, which was great to see’. We are very proud that the centre praised Pakeman’s children for being the tidiest group they had ever had to stay and they remarked on their lovely manners too.

A massive thank you to Emma, Lorna and Lee for doing such a great job looking after the children for the week, and many thanks to Steve and Kevin (a council driver) for driving the school buses both there and back.

Green Class Assembly

On Friday 20th June, Green class treated the school to a great assembly. They acted out the story of ‘Superworm’. Superworm is a hero who helped other mini-beasts around him. The costumes, the acting, the singing and the confidence of the children were excellent throughout the assembly. The children sang an extract from ‘Hero’ to link to the story and a song called ‘Inchworm’ which combined the children’s knowledge of maths and mini-beasts. Well done!


Sports Day

The whole school set out for Finsbury Park in a very excited manner this morning to take part in our annual Summer Sports Day.  And what a great day it was, with the children giving their all in the different events! Lots of parents were there to cheer the children on with the staff, and everyone had a truly fantastic time. A big thank you to Tay for organising such a great day for everyone. The pictures below capture the spirit and fun of the day.

The Top 50 Children’s Books

The top 50 books that children should read before they are 16 have been voted, in a survey of 2,000 parents, as:

  1. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  2. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
  4. Winnie The Pooh – A.A.Milne
  5. Black Beauty – Anna Sewell
  6. James and The Giant Peach – Roald Dahl
  7. The BFG Roald Dahl
  8. A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
  9. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
  12. Matilda – Roald Dahl
  13. The Railway Children – E. Nesbit
  14. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  15. Five on a Treasure Island – Enid Blyton
  16. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  17. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  18. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  19. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
  20. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  21. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  22. The Hobbit – J.R.Tolkien
  23. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
  24. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  25. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ – Sue Townsend
  26. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  27. The Cat in the Hat – Dr Seuss
  28. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson-Burnett
  29. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  30. The Twits – Roald Dahl
  31. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  32. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  33. Anne of Green Gables – L.M.Montgomery
  34. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
  35. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss
  36. The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
  37. Bambi – Felix Selten
  38. Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce
  39. Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  40. Funny Bones – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  41. Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  42. Carrie’s War – Nina Bawden
  43. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
  44. The Magician’s Nephew – C.S. Lewis
  45. The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
  46. The Story of Doctor Dolittle – Hugh Lofting
  47. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
  48. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
  49. Curious George – H.A. Ray
  50. Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet and Allan Ahlberg




Football League

Pakeman are still reigning supreme at the top of the Futurezone League, with a massive 28 points to date. Can anyone catch up with us? It doesn’t look likely!!! Come on Pakeman!

Football League - May 2015

Purple Class—Cooking with Justine

It’s Purple Class’s turn to have cooking with Justine for the next few weeks and this week they made pizzas. They enjoyed it so much—even if they got themselves covered in flour!


Radio Interview with former pupil, Amy, a Journalist with the Islington Tribune

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Amy when she came in to school on Tuesday for an interview on our school radio. Amy spoke about her memories of being a pupil at Pakeman and said the school seems a lot smaller to her now than it did when she attended here! She also explained how she became a newspaper reporter. Well done to Melat for her skilful interviewing technique and Joshua for operating the radio equipment with ease! Many thanks to Hazel and Aisha who have been training the children to use the radio station and working behind the scenes when these interviews happen. Click here to hear the interview with Amy.

Sophy—back in school for an interview on our School Radio

We were absolutely delighted to welcome Sophy, who ran science workshops at Pakeman during science week, back into school for an interview on our school radio. Clay operated the equipment and Joshua conducted the interview, under the watchful eye of Hazel, one of our volunteers who is doing a lot of work with the children on the radio station. Click here to hear the interview – it’s brilliant!

Among other things Sophy provided lots of interesting information about the fossils that she brought in that you can see in the photographs below.

The fossil Sophy is holding is a rare trace fossil that Sophy found. It shows the traces of sea creatures as they burrowed into sand millions of years ago.

In the picture of three fossils (which are also shown individually):

  • The fossil at the front on the right is the oldest. It is a tribolite and is 450 million years old, with the fossilised remains of the hard parts of the creature – the head, body and tail
  • The fossil at the front on the left is an ammonite and it is 200 million years old
  • The fossil at the back is of a snail shell and it is extremely heavy.  It fell out of a rock at Walton-on-the-Naze and Sophy found it herself!

This is very exciting because the whole school is visiting Walton-on-the Naze in July for our annual whole school trip!  Do you think we might find some fossils ourselves?


Tower of London – Knights and castles workshop

On Friday 22nd May, Years 1 and 2 visited the Tower of London to consolidate their learning about knights and castles. The children were transported back in time to the year 1306 and became knights for the day as they learnt how to joust, ride a horse and dance like a knight! They also looked around the castle and saw suits of armours worn by famous kings, swords used by real knights and coins used in England hundreds of years ago. The children enjoyed searching around the castle and spotting the moat, the portcullis and of course the ravens, who were there to keep an eye on everyone! It was a fantastic day and the children enjoyed every minute! A big thank you to all the parents that came along to help and a huge thank you to Nicky for organising the trip.

Pond dipping at the Ecology centre

On Monday 11th May 2015, Green class went pond dipping at Gillespie Park Ecology centre. They found lots of different mini-beasts as well as newts and tadpoles. Some children held a newt in their hands to see how it would react outside water. After the pond dipping, Green class went to the Ecology centre classroom to draw and paint giant frogs and tadpoles.


Mini-beast Art

Children in Years 1 and 2 have been learning about mini-beasts. They have made their own mini-beasts in Art using different materials. The children’s work has been put up on display as seen below. Some of the children used papier mache to create 3D mini-beasts and others used symmetry and paint to make butterflies.


Writing through Art

Year 3 and 4 are taking part in a writing project where they are looking at different paintings and analysing them.  Each week a different painting and artist are looked at and a debate takes place to decided on how to improve a painting, what they like about the painting or where the best place to live in the painting is.  Children have really enjoyed making their points and discussing them with each other.

Futurezone Football League – 5 May 2015

Before Tuesday’s matches Pakeman’s team were riding high at the top of the table with 22 points, and their position was further consolidated this week when our fabulous team won every match they played. Horia, Naheema, Tia, Harry, Zeynel, Eljot, Dji Dji, Rahime and Ruwaan played exceptionally well, beating Ambler 9-1 and Yerbury 4-2.

Thank you to Steve for taking and collecting the children in the school minibus and to Tay for coaching the team and accompanying them to all their matches.

Football 2 - 5 May 2015

Finals of the Diving World Series

A couple of months ago Tay entered a Healthy Schools competition and he won! The prize was tickets to the Finals of the Diving World Series at the Olympic Park in Stratford. Eight Year 5 children, randomly selected from the best behaved children in that year group, were treated to a day out to watch the synchronised diving finals. They had an absolutely wonderful time. Thank you to Ilyas and Lily who went with the children and to Steve who drove them there and collected them afterwards.

Photo 1

Math-A-Thon for Years 1 and 2

On Wednesday 6th May, Pakeman children participated in the yearly Pakeman Math-A-Thon! Four champions from each year group were selected through games, cooking (using scales and measuring) and maths interactive games in the morning, and competed against each other in the afternoon. They were asked one question at a time and were eliminated gradually, until Mohammed in Year 1 and Ryan in Year 2 were awarded the Math-A-Thon key stage 1 champions title! Well done, you both showed excellent maths problem solving skills.


Pakeman Oscar Winner!

On Friday 1st May, Muad, from Gold Class, was awarded a Pakeman Oscar! He has had an outstanding week. He worked consistently and to the best of his ability during all lessons and behaved very well. Well done Muad!mms_20150507_092008   mms_20150506_214339


Leading Lights workshop

Recently, Green class were selected to take part in a workshop called ‘Leading Lights’. Two artists came to work with our children to design a mosaic which is going to be placed under Finsbury Park bridge. Children worked with patterns and colours to create their excellent and creative pieces of art.

Year 5 have a fantastic day of sport at the Sobell Centre

On Monday Year 5 had a sports-filled day that was specially arranged as part of a new partnership between Pakeman School and the Sobell Centre. Many thanks to Tay, Alexis, the service manager, and Craig, the general manager, at the Sobell, for organising this treat for the children. The children were greatly excited at the prospect of taking part in four different activities — indoor athletics and ice skating in the morning, followed by football and basketball in the afternoon — with the support of various coaching staff at the Sobell. Jade and Charlotte were hugely encouraging to the children during ice skating, taking the time to explain the basics before they got onto the ice and then they gave one-to-one attention to children who were struggling and encouraged the more confident skaters to peer mentor the others. Indoor athletics was led by Bob and Lamia who began by dividing the group for circuit training. Once the children were properly warmed up they provided encouragement while they took part in a series of races and relays which really tested their endurance! The children played football with Alex, starting off with warming up exercises. They were then divided into teams for an exciting game of football, with many goals and heroic saves! Alex promoted good teamwork throughout to ensure that all the children got plenty of time on the ball. Finally, in basketball, Bob ensured that everyone knew the rules and then he worked with the children on techniques for passing, shooting and movement around the court. Three teams were then created for a round-robin mini-tournament. Year 5 had an absolutely amazing time and when they were leaving they kept asking when they could repeat the experience! We would like to thank all the above-mentioned Sobell staff for giving the children such a brilliant action-packed and fun-filled day, and also Rob, Harry, Maria, Valerie, Ilyas and Lily for accompanying and supervising the children. The Sobell centre offers a range of different activities for children and adults. Click here for more information. We are very much looking forward to an ongoing partnership with the Sobell Centre and to being able to give our children more of these kinds of experiences.

Young Leaders

We are very proud of our Young Leaders who are doing an exceptional job in all the different roles they are filling—as playground leaders, stair monitors, dinner hall leaders, library monitors, French leaders, PE leaders and lunchtime club leaders.

Here is one of our young leaders, Tia, who is a highly effective playground leader. She is always helpful to her peers and makes sure that they follow the playground rules and play happily together. In addition, she is responsive to needs, whether it is a member of staff asking her to help with something or assisting children with games.

April 2015

May Half-term Play Schemes 2015

There are lots of May half-term play schemes on in Islington. Please click here for a full list of  what’s on.

Futurezone Football League

The good news is that we are still 14 points clear at the top of the table with 9 matches left to go. It’s going to be hard, but Tay says there is great talent in the team and we have a good chance of lifting the trophy again this year!! Come on Pakeman!

Football - April 2015

PE Lessons

After a great half-term before Easter of orienteering in PE lessons, this half-term the topic is athletics. The first sport is running and the children have been practising techniques, including starting and finishing effectively, optimal positioning of arms and head, correct breathing and how to pace themselves during races.

PE - April 2015

Table Tennis Club

We have a fantastic T3 table tennis table and we would really like to expand our table tennis club, which Tay runs every Thursday after school for children in Years 4-6. If you would like your child to have a place in this club, which is great for fitness, and improves both speed and hand-eye coordination, please contact Layla in the office.

Table Tennis - April 2015

Cooking with Justine

We are absolutely delighted to welcome Justine back to school. Every Tuesday this term she will be taking two alternating groups of children from Orange Class for cookery lessons. Both groups made chocolate chip cookies during their first lesson and in the next two lessons they will make homemade pizzas and cupcakes.

The idea is to get the children excited by learning about food, where various ingredients come from, handling and cooking different ingredients and trying new flavours and foods. In addition, they are learning a variety of different skills, including weighing, chopping, mixing, following recipes and safety rules in the kitchen, as well as tidying away and washing up.

The children will take home the recipe they make each week and it would be great if they could practise making these recipes at home too as this will consolidate what they are learning at school and help them to become even more skilled and confident handling and cooking food. The children said, ‘it was great fun and we learned a lot today about cooking’. They were greatly surprised to discover that a tomato is actually a fruit, not a vegetable because it has seeds! Can you think of anything else that we usually think of as a vegetable that is actually a fruit?


Cooking with Justine


International Food Evening

Everyone had the most wonderful evening on Wednesday 22nd  April at our annual International Food Evening. The Bottom Hall was buzzing with conversation and laughter as everyone enjoyed the amazing array of food.

The generosity and efforts of all those who contributed to this amazing event are greatly appreciated and it was just fantastic to see all those who came along relaxed and enjoying themselves. A huge thank you to the PTA and everyone who brought along food dishes to share.

Magic Beans!

This week Silver and Crimson class have been planting their own magic beans to see if they can grow a beanstalk.  The children have been learning all about how plants grow and how they need look after them.  They are very excited to see how their beans change! Watch this space to discover more exciting news on our beanstalks and other vegetables in the garden.IMG_0642 IMG_0644 IMG_0647 IMG_0646

Mini-beast Hunt

On Friday 17th April, Year 1/2 children travelled to Highgate Woods to find mini–beasts. They found lots of insects under logs, up trees and on the ground. They were equipped with magnifying glasses and bug catching pots to help them discuss the insects in detail. Throughout the day, children were learning new insect names and what they look like. Thank you to all the parents who accompanied us.

Science Investigators

This week, Year 3 and 4 had a visit from Sophy, a geologist, from University College London.  The children explored volcanoes, rocks and earthquakes in interactive activities.  They really enjoyed taking part in the activities and learnt a lot.  The school thanks Sophy for sharing her knowledge and expertise.

Debate Mate Cup

On Monday, 23rd March, 8 Year 6 children travelled to central London to take part in the final of the Debate Mate challenge.
The children arrived at London School of Economics with 1000 other students from all across the city.  The team took part in three debates and they won two of them.  They worked very well and supported each other.  The children also watched some experienced teachers and mentors debate against each other.  Well done to all the children who took part.


Science Week Workshops

We were delighted to welcome Sophy Crosby, a geology teacher who works for UCL Museums Department and her own project called Geo-FUN (www.geo-fun.co.uk) into school this week. Sophy ran a series of exciting earth science workshops for the children. The hands-on workshops focused on different areas of geology.

Pink class learned about volcanoes. This included an introduction to volcanoes, examining specialist maps and igenous rocks and they even got to construct SAFE volcanic eruptions.

Purple class focused on rocks and minerals. They were introduced to the Earth and its composition, as well as how we use its resources. There were lots of interactive activities, including handling lots of geological specimens.

Orange class’s session was all about earthquakes.  The first part was about plate tectonics, followed by earthquakes and why they occur.  They reconstructed the movement that occurs at different plate boundaries using cake and slinkies (coils of wire).

In KS1, Yellow and Green classes had an introduction to fossils. They had a hands-on experience handling specimens, they did some drama and made fantastic creatures with modelling clay.

Sophy said: ‘the children have been fantastic—inquisitive, well-behaved, enthusiastic and a pleasure to work with’. Thank you so much to Sophy for giving the children such a great learning experience and also to Rob, our Science Coordinator for organising the science week activities.

EYFS Bring a Parent to School Day

On Monday 23rd March EYFS parents were invited to come and spend the morning at school and join in with the fun!

Some of the activities parents took part in included Easter crafts, healthy breakfast ideas and looking at minibeasts.

Take a look at the photo gallery below…

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Bring a Parent to School

On Tuesday, the 17th of March, Year 3 and 4 invited their parents to take part in an exciting Science lesson about gases.  Parents and children had to make predictions about what materials will float in sparkling and still water.  They had lentils, macaroni and raisins.  In the end, parents and children created ‘Dancing raisins.’  After working in the class, the groups went outside and used Mentos sweets to make a volcano eruption of diet coke.  Everyone had a fantastic time.

If you didn’t get a chance to try it out, here are the instructions to do it at home.



What is Shine – Video

Castle creations

On Wednesday 18th March, 40 parents from Year 1 and 2 came to enjoy a morning of creative fun. Children in Key stage 1 were making castles using different materials: some were using spaghetti and marshmallows and others used card to create 3D castles. Parents and children enjoyed the session.

Parents said: ‘Bring a parent to school was fantastic’. ‘It was great to spend some time with my child in class’ and even said ‘It was sticky, it was messy and that’s what made it so much fun!’.

Debate Mate Challenge

Year 5 and 6 have been taking part in Debate Mate.  This is a club that gives children the skills to get a point across verbally and confidently.  They have had a fantastic time discussing different points of view.  On Wednesday, March 11th, 12 children traveled to William Tyndale School and discussed the issue if children should be paid to go to school.  What is your opinion?

50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4

The National Trust have produced a list of activities titled ’50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4!   We think this is a fantastic and really exciting idea and we are going to adapt it for our children here at Pakeman.  The idea is that we will produce our own Pakeman list of 50 things for our children to do by the time they are 11 3/4 and these will be activities that we think all children should have that are linked to experiences in our community and life in the inner city.

To put this list together we would like parents/carers, staff, governors, volunteers and children to make suggestions about activities they think should be included in this list.  So please click here for the blog where you can do this.   We will then put all your suggestions to a committee who will decide on the Pakeman List of 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4!


National Trust 4



EYFS Picnic!

The sun was out on Friday so the Early Years children decided to make the most of it and get together for a little picnic.

We had lots of little treats and were having a great time until the wind decided to come and blow all our popcorn away!

Year 1/2 love reading

On Thursday 5th March, Pakeman Primary School celebrated World Book Day. Year 1/2 children dressed up as book characters and talked about reading throughout the day. They used the radio station to record their own versions of ‘Hector and the Big Bad Knight’. They also described their favourite book characters in topic.

Easter Egg Raffle

One of the highlights of the year here at Pakeman is our annual Easter Egg Raffle, which always produces unparalleled excitement among the children at the assembly where the raffle draw takes place and the Easter Eggs are given to the winners. As the children enjoy this event so much, if you can, please donate an Easter Egg or Eggs. They can be large or small, but the more Eggs we have the more exciting it will be for the children.

Please bring any donations you can make to the office. Raffle tickets costing £1 for 5 will be available from Monday 9th March from the school office.


Easter Eggs

Union Chapel Recorder Club Performance

On Monday 2nd March, 5 children from Pakeman School performed as part of the Little Flautistis recorder group in the regional finals of the Music for Youth Contest that they entered into having won a competition held last July. The children were fantastic, performing with confidence and enjoyment. They played their own piece of music that they had composed called ‘Wednesday’. The judges praised their musical performance, use of layers, body percussion and the soloist.  Watch out for the results in next week’s newsletter! Well done to Sabirah, Rosie, Mert, Warren and Solomon for their brilliant performance!

Recorder 1 - Union Chapel 2 March 15

World Book Day

Yesterday, we had a wonderful World Book Day, which is marked in over 100 countries around the world to celebrate authors, illustrators, books and, most importantly, reading. The main aim of this event is to encourage children to explore the very great pleasures of books and reading. In addition, all the children will receive a £1 book voucher. There were some fantastic costumes among the children of their favourite book characters, and, as you can see, a Willy Wonka lookalike turned up to teach Red Class in none other than Elton John’s shoes (yes, really)!!!



Last term in PE KS1 and KS2 learned about health and fitness and pushing their bodies to their own personal limits. We worked on muscular strength and endurance, speed, flexibility and general fitness.

This term they have started to learn about orienteering. Orienteering is a family of sports that require navigational skills using a map and compass to navigate from point to point. We used the mnemonic ‘never eat soggy wheat’ to memorise the compass points. Molly in Brown Class taught us ‘naughty elephants squirt water’ and Tay and Danny made one up, joking: ‘never ever support West (Ham)’! Can you think of any new mnemonic phrases that would work? How about Layla’s contribution – noisy elves want something?


Contributing to the Olympic Legacy

This week Tay has modified our school house system. Until now we have had four houses, each of which was named after a famous 2012 Olympian and the children in Key Stages 1 and 2 were all allocated to one of these houses. This week’s change sees two of the houses being named after famous 2012 Olympians and two of them after famous 2012 Paralympians, as follows:

Blue Mo Farah
Green Usain Bolt
Red Ade Adepitan
Yellow Ellie Simmonds

Tay and Danny have given all houses/teams homework this week to find out as much as possible about each athlete. The winning house, which will be the house that finds out the most and the best information, will receive 10 points.

Sports houses


Castle puppet theatre

Gold class children have transformed into puppeteers. This week they made puppets and acted out the story of ‘Hector and the big bad knight’. They retold the story using character’s voices and transported the rest of year 1 and 2 to the village of Spottybottom. The book is about a very naughty knight who meets his match in Hector, the tiniest boy in the village. Even the knight’s scary dragon can’t frighten Hector off. What do you think will happen next?


Castle building

Yellow class children have transformed into time detectives and have been sent to Medieval times! As part of their art and DT lessons, the children have been making 3D castles. They used card to create the background and the different levels, and then cut out towers for the 3D effect.

Life in a medieval castle would have been extremely organised but also very cold! If you were a knight or a princess for one day, which castle would you like to live in?

Shield protection!

As part of our new topic ‘Time detectives’, we have been talking about knights and castles. To start our creative approach to our learning, children in green class have been making shields. They discussed that shields are made from a broad piece of metal or another suitable material, held by straps or have a handle attached on one side. They are used by knights as a protection.

We need your help!

We are starting an art project to make the school more colourful, especially the playground. We need knitters and crocheters to make and donate colourful pieces of knitting (square or rectangular) approximately 10-20cm wide and at least 30cm long. These will then be used to wrap around the tree trunks and branches in the playground, so the brighter they are the better. If you can’t knit or crochet we’d appreciate any wool you can donate. This can be either balls of wool or unwanted knitted scarves. Please hand any knitted/crocheted contributions or donations of wool to Layla in the office.

The other idea we are putting into practice involves all the children designing and painting a flower of their choice in school. These will then be put together to produce a beautiful brightly coloured wall mural for the playground.

If there are any experts out there reading this who are interested in helping us with this project, please call Layla on 020 7607 2575 for more information.

Tree decorations

Guitar Club

Six children in Years 4-6 have been learning Guitar with Tom since December and they are all making excellent progress learning different chords and putting them together to play some basic pieces of music. The children are all enthusiastic and making really positive contributions to the club. Well done to all of them! Hosna in Orange class said, ‘I really enjoy Guitar Club because we learn a lot and I like the music we play. It’s a lot of fun’.

Guitar Club - 25 Feb 15

Cake Sale for Solar Aid Charity

600 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, which means they don’t have proper lighting. Many of these people use homemade kerosene lamps, which are not only a poor source of light, they give off toxic (poisonous) smoke which pollutes the air inside people’s houses.

Solar lights offer a fantastic means of overcoming this problem. They sit outside in the daytime, absorbing energy from the sun and at night they are taken inside and give off light. People save money on kerosene, candles and batteries. Children can study and read at home in the evenings and there are health benefits because there is less pollution in people’s homes. Already, around 1.5 million lights have been sold in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal and Uganda.

On Thursday, we had a cake sale in aid of this amazing charity and raised the fantastic sum of £120. Since each light costs £3, this means we can buy 40 lights!! A huge thank you to Nicky who baked over 200 cakes and then sold them with the help of Horia, Mohamed, Mariam, Luke, Chinniel and Zeynel who all did a fantastic job.

Studying by solar power

Arsenal Football Competition

On Monday morning Pakeman took part in the annual Arsenal football competition at Market Road. Well done to our Year 5/6 team of boys and girls who played really well and reached the semi-finals. As you can see they were very happy to meet Arsenal’s genuine dino-mascot, Gunnersaurus!

Football tournament - 23 Feb 15 (1)

Naming Competition

Having classroom animals has significant benefits. For example, observing and caring for them gives children a sense of responsibility and respect for life, as well as helping them develop sensitivity and an awareness of the feelings and needs of others, both animals and humans, as they can see directly how their actions and behaviour affect the animals.
The children are really excited that we now have two guinea pigs (absolutely no relation to pigs!) which have spent time in Orange Class and are now in the Nursery. A big thank you to Tessa, Sureyya’s mum, who helped us get these animals. Vicky and Julie, who are looking after the guinea pigs would like the children to suggest complementary names for them (eg. Bill and Ben). If you have any good ideas please write the two names on a piece of paper and give it to Layla in the office by Friday 6th March.


Guinea pigs

Year 3/4 Talent

Year 3 and 4 children get to show off their sporting and musical talents on Monday afternoons.  They take part in recorder, flute and football lessons.

The children are becoming very skilled at all three activities.  The teachers are noticing that the children are playing football more like a team, getting a lovely sound coming out of their flutes and playing from memory in recorders.

Well done to all the children.  We look forward to seeing and hearing more from you.



China Town Trip

On Friday 13th February, Year 1 and 2 classes went on a fantastic trip to China Town. Key Stage 1 children had been learning about celebrations and Chinese New Year as part of their topic this half term and wanted to sample some Chinese traditions. They took a walk around London’s China Town and spotted lots of brightly coloured lanterns, dragons and even saw some lions! They went food tasting in a Chinese restaurant and ate dumplings, spring rolls and some tasty vegetables. After some brief training, they ate their food using chopsticks! Back at school, each child opened their own fortune cookie. All of the children were very well behaved and had a brilliant time. Kung hei fat choi!

Bedtime Reading

Thank you to the Year 1/2 Team for all their hard work on the bedtime reading event on Tuesday evening at which children, parents and staff donned their pyjamas and settled down on rugs, beanbags and cushions with warm hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows, for some bedtime reading in the warm glow of the fairy lights decorating the hall. It was wonderful to see the children enjoying themselves so much, reading stories in English and their home languages. The event was organised to continue encouraging and promoting reading at home for pleasure, an activity that is so important for all children.

Reading with your child, for as little as 10 minutes every day, makes a really big difference! Your child’s class teacher will be very happy to give you advice or tips for reading at home, if you would like.

Enjoying a bedtime story!

Playcentre Fun!

This week in playcentre the younger children have had great fun experimenting with homemade playdough, which they made with Jackie. They then produced some lovely shapes and patterns.

The children have also enjoyed making Valentine’s biscuits and they have done research on the iPads for pancake recipes for Pancake Day. Based on these the children wrote their own recipes which they made at playcentre under the expert eye of Vicky, and then sat down to enjoy eating them with a variety of toppings!

Creative play with homemade playdough 1 - 10 Feb 2015

Pakeman on air!

We are absolutely delighted that our first radio broadcasts are now on the school website. Why not have a listen?

Ever contemplated becoming an architect? Then listen to our interview with John Buck, the architect who designed our beautiful school lodge.

Ever wondered what school might be like in another country? Find out from our Norwegian visitors.

Looking for a good read? Then Elif might have just the book for you!

Coming soon ……a mini play and an interview with Maisha who recently won a poetry competition.

Click here to have a listen.

If you have any ideas for more radio broadcasts, just let us know.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 17.02.43

Double Club

Every Wednesday Tay runs Double Club after school for over 20 Year 5/6 boys and girls and we currently have a waiting list. We will soon be allocating places, so if you would like your child to join, please let Layla know in the office. There are two parts to each session: (1) maths or literacy activities related to football and (2) general training, tactics practice and a game of football. This week there was a very exciting game in which there were two players of the match: Maciej who scored a hat trick and Eljot who displayed some tactical genius.

Double Club - 4 Feb 2015

Norwegian visitors

We were delighted to welcome 15 teachers from Norway who visited us on Wednesday to find out about what life is like for teachers and children at Pakeman. In discussions with Lynne, Hana and Emma they learned about how the education system works and the learning that goes on in our school, and they also went on a tour of the school. They particularly enjoyed spending time in the classrooms and hearing from the children about what they were doing, and they remarked what an ‘inspirational experience’ it was to see the school at work. After lunch, two of our visitors were interviewed and you will soon be able to hear what they had to say in the radio section of our website.

Norwegian visitors - 4 Feb 2015

Debate Mate Competition

Every week, Peter and Karmel from Debate Mate come into Pakeman to work with Year 5/6 children on their debating skills. You can see the children below at one of these sessions preparing for a practice debate. This is a great way for the children to gain confidence speaking, forming and articulating reasoned arguments, and improving their interpersonal skills and higher order thinking. Many thanks to Peter and Karmel for their excellent work.

This week 12 of these children took part in the first Debate Mate challenge at William Tyndale School. One of the debates was ‘Should boxing be banned?’ and the other was ‘Should parents have detention if their child gets into trouble at school?’. Well done to all the children, particularly the team that won one of the rounds in the second debate — Elif-Sue, Shayma, Marcus, Sakariye, Hayaam and Aaron — who argued against this motion.

Debate Mate Competition - 4 Feb 2015

Breakfast Week!

Breakfast Club have been celebrating Magic Breakfast’s ‘Breakfast Week’ with a special menu, including fresh fruit, yoghurt, beans on toast, cereal, as well as toast and bagels with a choice of butter, honey, jam and cheese. There has been lots of fun to boot, including opportunities for art and crafts. Thank you to the Breakfast Club team—Janet, Jackie, Julie—and Lee, who has been helping out, for providing nutritious breakfasts and fun for the children every weekday morning.

Breakfast Week

Weather Assembly

Many thanks to Laura Gilchrist, Senior Operational Meteorologist at the BBC Weather Centre for joining us on Tuesday and presenting a really interesting assembly about the weather. We learned, for example, about the biggest ever hailstones. Did you know that the hailstone with the largest circumference fell in Aurora, USA on the 22nd June 2003 and measured 47.6 cm; the hailstone with the largest diameter fell in Vivian, USA on the 23rd July 2010 and measured 20cm; and the heaviest ever hailstone fell in Gopalganj, Bangladesh on the 14th April 1986 and weighed 1.02kg?

Laura Gilchrist

Cross Country Running

Last Friday 61 KS2 children took part in the Finsbury Park Cross Country Running Event. Well done to everyone, as they all tried their very hardest. Tay has handed out certificates to all the Pakeman competitors.

Cross Country - 23 Jan 2015




Well done to all the children in Purple class who are making exceptionally good progress during their swimming lessons this term. Ellie, Tara, Andreea, Anna and Jaden-Lee have already progressed to the big pool, so a special mention for them. Tay is on the lookout for exceptional swimmers and if we have enough strong swimmers we may be able to enter competitions later in the year.

Swimming - 22 Jan 2015

Pakeman Radio and Poet of the Year

Elif and Maisha (Blue Class) have been taking part in a radio project, recording the poems they’ve been writing in class. Elif and Maisha said, ‘we really enjoy working on the radio station with Hazel (one of our volunteer readers). We have developed lots of skills and we would like to thank Hazel for her hard work’.  Last term the Yr 5/6 children took part in the Futurezone poetry competition. Well done to the six children whose poems were shortlisted: Maisha, Arthur, Ashraf, Najma, Chinniel and Harry, and congratulations to Maisha who has been named Pakeman Poet of the Year, for her entry ‘Winter’s Spell’, winning an iPod shuffle as her prize. The entrants’ poems have been published in a book that is now in the Year 5/6 classes. Here’s Maisha being interviewed by Elif and her amazing poem.

Radio interview - 28 Jan 2015


Winter’s spell

The night is jet black,
The midnight stars glinting beyond,
The cold air gradually touches you,
As it creeps into your bones,
Winter’s spell has bound me,

Naked trees shiver in the cold,
As the wind nips at their branches,
Mist floats freely around the houses,
Winter’s spell has bound me,

A blanket of snow covered summer’s soul,
The moonlit path is no longer full,
The cold has clutched my bones,
With its numb fingers,
Winter’s spell has bound me.

By Mashia Haanee


Transport for London visits Pakeman

This week Alex from TfL visited Year 6. He came to tell us about safety on buses and the London Underground. We learnt important information about where it’s appropriate to stand on the bus, and where to wait on the pavement at the bus stops: don’t stand next to the door! Don’t stand on the upper deck! Don’t distract the driver!

He also told us about the discounts you get using a Young Person’s Travel Card – you save a lot of money!

We learnt too about respecting and obeying the rules of TfL in order to ensure everyone’s safety whilst travelling around London.


Rap Battle Royale!

The main stage in the school hall was the venue for an amazing rap-off between Blue, Red and Brown classes last Friday.

Inspired by Floodland, our book in Literacy, the kids were split into gangs – Horses, Cats, Snakes, Wolves, Eels and more – and wrote rhyming, rhythmic rap lyrics about life and the rules on their island.

Having written the words, it was all about performance now…DJ Sara laid down some beats, and three gangs at a time took to the stage to battle it out! There were some great moves (Luke!) and powerful voices (special shout out to Marcus!) as well as superb teamwork and harmony.

Gangs from every class won at least one battle, but in the end it was all about having fun and gettin’ dowwwn!






Gold Class Assembly

On Friday 30th January, Gold class did a great assembly. As part of their ‘Celebrations’ topic, the children focused on Carnival. They showed the audience some excellent dance moves and brilliant rhythm! They told us all about carnival festivities, spoke, danced and sang with great confidence. They were also wearing beautiful masks that they had made at home with their families. Well done Gold Class.


Dino News!

It’s been a busy week in Year 3/4 again! In maths we have become masters of the grid method for multiplication and in science we have been identifying different types of animal skeletons. In P4C and PSHCE we have been learning all about friendship and what it means to be a good friend to someone.

Through our topic, ‘Footprints from the Past’, we have also created some fantastic information leaflets all about deadly dinosaurs!

Here are some examples!

WP_20150130_006 WP_20150130_007 WP_20150130_002

Third Space Learning

Every Friday a number of Year 6 children participate in individualised maths workshops called Third Space Learning. Maths tutors from India tailor the workshops to meet each individual child’s needs. The tutors support the children’s learning through questions and answers. Hayaam (Blue Class) said, “They help us when we are stuck and this helps to build our confidence.”


Debate Mate Competition

One Wednesday 4th February, two teams of Year 6 children will compete in a Debate Mate Competition against other Islington primary schools at William Tyndale School.   The proposition is ‘This house believes that boxing should be banned’.  We wish all our Pakeman debaters the best of luck.  We’re expecting great things!



Lynne visits Downing Street

Here’s Lynne after attending a children’s performance she was invited to as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival at Number 11 Downing Street. Lynne said: ’What an excellent project this is. I think it’s a fantastic way of spending Pupil Premium money. We certainly intend to join the project’.

Lynne - Downing Street 26 Jan 2015

Rosie the rat!

The nursery had a very exciting visit last week…

Sureyya and her mum very kindly brought their pet rat Rosie in to meet us.

We had so much fun playing with her, thank you Sureyya!


Yellow Class Assembly

On Friday 23rd January, Yellow class did a brilliant assembly. They took us on a journey around the world to celebrate and explore different festivities. Aliens, who had landed on planet Earth, needed to be advised by Earthlings about where to go to celebrate. They travelled to China, Brazil, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Their confidence and singing made everyone in the hall dance and smile. Well done Yellow Class.

Deadly Dinosaurs

This week in Year 3/4 we have been using the iPads to research information about our new topic ‘Dinosaurs’. We have found out lots of interesting facts about the different types of dinosaurs that roamed the earth millions of years ago, the types of food they ate and the habitats they lived in. Next week we are going to use our research to write leaflets all about dinosaurs. We look forward to showing you some examples!dinosaurs-wallpaper-4(1)

The Great Pakeman Bake-off

Wednesday 21st January was Farming Day at Pakeman! Years 5 and 6 learnt all about how wheat is sown in autumn, then collected in summer using huge combine harvesters. They then got the chance to make their own bread using flour (made from the wheat!), yeast, water and salt, learning how to knead the dough until it was ready to bake. The next day they enjoyed the fruits of their labours – lovely warm loaves fresh from the oven! Tasty!


Farming Day

On Wednesday we were given a taste of the countryside when 15 real-life farmers travelled from Wales to join us at Pakeman for the day in order to teach pupils about the work they do on farms and where our food comes from. The children were incredibly excited to have the opportunity to milk cows (wooden ones, of course!!) and were fascinated to learn about the process of getting the milk from cows to our supermarket shelves. They also learned about the products of which milk is an ingredient, including butter, cream, and cheese, which they tasted. In addition to dairy farming, the children learned about arable farming, discovering how crops are harvested and the machinery used to farm wheat, including combine harvesters and tractors, and they played on toy models of the latter. To their absolute delight Years 1 and 2 made milkshakes, while the older children ground wheat into flour and made bread. Adding to the wonderful day, the farmers brought a couple of live chickens with them, and the children were hugely excited by the novelty of having these animals in the playground and being able to touch them. We would like to thank the wonderful farmers who were so generous with their time and made the day so special for all of us! Thank you to all of the staff for their contributions to the day, and especially to Emma and Nicky for ensuring it was a great success. Finally, we hope you saw the ITV London news report of the event.


Our Special Guest

On Tuesday 20th January, we had a very special guest in Years 1/2. Zoe’s mum came in to school to answer questions about Chinese New Year. The children had prepared a range of questions about preparations for this occasion, the festivities that take place, and the history of Chinese New Year celebrations. Thank you very much to our guest for answering all our questions and being very clear with her explanations.  The children had a wonderful time and learned a lot.

Green Class Assembly

On Friday 16th January, Green Class did a brilliant assembly on Chinese New Year, celebrations and their new year’s resolution. They acted out and explained the story of how the years got their names. They also sang a great song called ‘We are the Earth’. Well done for your confidence Green class!



Celebrations: Our new topic

In Years 1/2, we have been learning about celebrations around the world.

This week, we focused on Chinese New Year. We made Chinese lanterns using card and wool. During Art Week, we also created our own fireworks painting.


Primary Sports Hall Athletics

On Wednesday a group of children from years 5/6 took part in an inter-school athletics competition at the Sobell Centre. Well done to Eljot, Luke, Zeynel, Rahime, Maisha, Akram, Ashraf, Chinniel, Charmaine, Stevie, Joshua, Tia, Bryan and Muna who all made an outstanding effort in all the events they participated in. Among the results were first place in the 6-lap boys’ relay, 2nd place in the 2-lap boys’ relay and 3rd place in the girls’ obstacle course.

Sobell - Wed 14 Jan 15

Arsenal Coaching

We are very fortunate to have Arsenal coaches coming into school twice a week to work on physical skills with the children in Years 3-6 and teach them about health and well-being.

Arsenal  Coaches yr 3-4 - 12 Jan 15 (1)

Digital Art Club

This week we have a new and exciting addition to our after-school clubs. Aisha and Vicky have started a Digital Art Club for Years 3-5. In their first session yesterday they designed their own individual retro (2-D scroller) games, like the original Space Invaders game (if anyone is old enough to remember that!). All the children had a great time working on this activity and next week they will focus on digital Andy Warhol style pop art portraits of themselves. There are also exciting plans to work on a project that will run over a number of weeks too. This will take the form of a stop-motion animation of a poem, which the children will learn to edit, so it is important for the children to attend every week to take full advantage of the activities that will be happening. Keep an eye on the ‘Other Learning’ part of the website. There is an ‘Extended School’ section here where we will post more about this club soon.

Digital Art - 15 Jan 15



Curriculum Evenings

This week we have had curriculum meetings for the parents/carers of all year groups in the school at which information was given about what the children are learning this term and how they will be assessed towards the end of the year. Information was also shared about how to help children at home. It was great to see lots of parents/carers at these events. Curriculum letters are also being sent home. If you have any questions then please make an arrangement to see the team leader of your child’s year group.


Football League

Pakeman are riding high, 12 points clear at the top of the Football league, with a dramatic match this week against Montem. Having been 1-0 down, in the dying seconds we scored an equaliser. Tay was very proud of the team’s performance, particularly because they were one player down, with Eljot stepping in and doing a fantastic job in goal.

image (12)


There has been a huge increase in the number of children coming into school on time this term. We are really pleased with this and thank you for you co-operation. Lateness was a big problem last term with as many as 24 children late for school on some days. This has now reduced to zero late children on the best days. This means all the children are in school on time ready to learn. We appreciate your support with this as it is making a huge difference to all of the children’s learning.


Art Week

This week was Art week and we would like to say a very special thank you to Stephanie, our Art coordinator, and to Nicky who organised for several outstanding Art experts to do various activities with the children, as well as helping with all of them. Thank you to everyone who came in to school and gave the children such amazing experiences.A planned exhibition of the children’s art work will happen later in the term.

Year 5/6 Trip to the Tate Modern

As part of Art Week,Years 5 and 6 visited the Tate Modern on Tuesday. The children explored, discussed and experienced Modern Art first-hand. They saw paintings by artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. The children sketched their favourite pieces and discussed why they liked them, what the images reminded them of and how they made them feel. They then used their sketchbooks to inspire them to create their own pieces of abstract art. This was a fantastic trip for the children as it sparked lively discussions on what art actually is.

Art Assembly

We were delighted to welcome art historian Nick Reese to give our first assembly of 2015. He showed some paintings by Giuseppe Archimboldo who lived and worked in Milan about 500 years ago. Nick explained about this artist’s novel approach to the creation of portrait heads made entirely of representations of objects, like fruit and vegetables, arranged to form the likeness of the portrait subject. Thank you to Nick for giving the children such an interesting assembly.


Mary Cook is a well-known local watercolour artist. Working with Blue Class, she explained that in watercolour painting the colours “float” on water. The children experimented with colours representing a sunset. They observed Mary at work and then had a turn themselves at painting a whole lemon and a cut lemon, using delicate colours to show darker and lighter areas.

Portrait Drawing and Art through the Ages

John Keane joined Brown Class for a session of portrait drawing and art buyer Alex Donaldson joined Red Class for a practical workshop on art through the ages, from cave paintings through to pop art. The children had a fantastic time experimenting with different art genres and produced some lovely pieces of work.

Sock Puppets

On Thursday it was the turn of Reception to try a different art form when Nicky, Sue, Anna and Jackie made sock puppets with the children in Crimson and Silver classes. Using different materials, including wool for hair and felt for eyes, the children used various skills to produce some really lovely puppets.


Ice Skating at Broadgate

As a treat, on Wednesday, a group of 30 children from Years 4-6 who had the highest points for good behaviour during the Autumn term were taken ice skating at Broadgate. There was lots of fun and laughter as they made their way around the rink and a wonderful time was had by all. There will be more incentives like this during the year and we look forward to seeing other children achieving top positions for behaviour so they can be similarly rewarded.



Year 3/4 are  taking part in squash sessions every week. This is a great sport for all-round fitness, increasing strength and fitness, coordination, agility and flexibility, as well as building hand-eye coordination.

Squash  yr 3-4 - 12 Jan 15

Class Parties

We would like to say another big thank you to say to Santa who was very busy yesterday afternoon visiting every class in Pakeman during their class parties to give them all a present. With lots to eat and drink and games to play everyone had an absolutely wonderful time. Thank you to all the parents/carers who brought in treats for the children to enjoy.


Christmas Show at Manor Gardens Library

On Thursday, the children in Yellow and Green classes were very excited when they went to Manor Gardens Library to see a theatre show staged by actors from the Court Theatre. As you can see the show had a Christmas pantomime theme, so there was lots of slapstick and humour. There were also opportunities for the children to get involved and they did so with lots of energy and enthusiasm.

Manor Gardens

Breakfast Club Card Design Competition

Breakfast Club have been having a lot of fun with their Christmas card competition, and the winner is Amin (Yellow Class). Here he is with his winning entry and prize. Well done to all the children who took part for their fantastic artwork, and congratulations to Amin!

Amin 2

Biscuit Decorating Competition

Last Thursday the ten biscuit decorating competition winners recreated their designs on real biscuits in the lodge. They had a great time, shared ideas and demonstrated strong artistic talents!

Biscuit decorating 5

Young Leaders

A big thank you to our young leaders who did an exceptional job during the rehearsals and performances of the Christmas show to ensure that all the classes accessed and left the stage in a safe and orderly manner!!


Young leaders - Lion King


Christmas Jumper / Wear Red Day

On Friday 12th December we had great fun when staff and children came to school wearing Christmas jumpers, or dressed in red. We raised £134.60 for Save the Children. Thank you to everyone who contributed.




Bikeability Success

Many congratulations to the following children who were successful at Level 1 Bikeability: Tara, Fouz, Fahad, Ruwaan, Adam, Zaid, Syed, Etia, Rehan, Zara, Yusuf, Rose, Ellie, Lauren, Indiyana, Fardousa and Ashleigh. In addition, Muchahit gained his level 2 Bikeability certificate. Well done to everyone. They were all awarded their certificates at Friday’s assembly.

Bikeability - certificates

Nursery and Reception Nativity

Parents/carers attending the Nativity this morning were blown away by the performance of their children. It was such a lovely occasion, with all the children taking part and putting on a magnificent show. We would like to thank all the Nursery and Reception staff for their hard work in making sure the children were ready for this event.

Christmas Dinner

On Wednesday Glenda and the kitchen staff cooked an amazing Christmas lunch of turkey, roast potatoes, carrots, peas and broccoli, with a special vegetarian option of quiche. This was followed by chocolate cake and ice cream. No wonder the staff joined the children for the feast!!  Thank you so much to Glenda and the kitchen staff for their brilliant work.


Lion King Extravaganza

On Tuesday the school came alive to the sound of music and theatrical performance when all the Pakeman children took to the stage and put on two amazing shows of the Lion King for parents/carers, governors, volunteers and others at the school. Well done to everyone for their fantastic efforts—every child gave 100%, as did all the staff, to whom we would like to say a huge thank you for the countless hours they put into ensuring that this event was both exciting and successful. The cast were absolutely brilliant and we would particularly like to mention Sara for casting the play and spending endless hours on rehearsals with the children who had acting roles; Lisa for rehearsing the songs with all the classes and creating amazing routines to accompany them; Kathy, Valerie and Lilly for making such stunning costumes and masks, and applying professional make-up; Kathy and Sara for making the scenery; Steve for ensuring that the Hall was properly equipped for the performances; Hana for her Powerpoint presentation; Emma for making the programmes; Lynne for taking beautiful photographs for the newsletter and website; Ilyas for stage management and Tay for organising the runners. Everyone involved was fantastic and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the shows.


Volunteers / Phonics Workshop

Ashlie has run a series of phonics workshops this term. On Wednesday it was the turn of our volunteer readers and Hilary, our librarian. It was fantastic to see so many of our volunteers together, enjoying both the training and a lovely lunch brought in by a number of the volunteers. Many thanks to Ashlie for doing this training and to all those who provided the lunch. We would also like to express our enormous gratitude to all our volunteers for the amazing contributions they make to the progress of the children they work with.



Football results

On Friday our football team played two league matches against Gillespie and Drayton Park Schools. Our team—Zeynel, Rahime, Harry, Ejot, Luke, Dji Dji, Horia, Sabrina and Jolie—played brilliantly, notching up two wins. The score against Gillespie School was 1-0, with Zeynel scoring the winning goal and after a thrilling match against Drayton Park School, we won 4-2, with the goals scored by Zeynel (2) Dji Dji and Eljot. Well done to all our players.



Peer Mentoring

We have a new peer mentoring scheme, involving a group of Year 6 children who are mentoring some year 3 children in developing their Maths skills. There are significant benefits for both the mentors and learners. Lynne said: ‘This is a great opportunity for the mentors to extend their own learning while using their knowledge and skills to help other children. It is really fantastic to see all those involved both benefiting from and enjoying this scheme’.


Christmas Fair

We had an absolutely fantastic Christmas Fair yesterday after school. There was a brilliant turnout of parents/carers and their children and a great time was had by all. Among the exciting attractions were Santa’s grotto, Test your Strength, Tin Alley, Face Painting, Tombola, Health Checks, Candy Floss, Lollies and Biscuit Decorating. In addition, we surprised the children by entering them all into a prize draw for a bag of presents. The winners were Lee (Green Class) and Heidi (Orange Class).  Well done to them!

We would like to say a very special thank you to Emma who has worked tirelessly and so happily to ensure the Christmas Fair was a success and to the amazing parents in the PTA who did so much to help both in the run-up to the event and at the Fair itself.  We are extremely grateful to all of them. There is another very special person who deserves an Oscar and that is Father Christmas for taking time out of his busy schedule at this time of the year to give our children a special treat by appearing here at Pakeman!!



Pakeman Children officially open new Co-operative Food Store

We were very excited that Pakeman children were chosen to help officially open a new Co-operative food store in North Road yesterday. Thank you to Arta, Nicky and Lubna who accompanied 6 children from Yellow class—Poppy, Khadija, Chukwuma, Kakariya, Farida and Layan—to perform this task. Many thanks to the Co-op staff who welcomed our delegation warmly, and for giving each of the children a goody bag.


Christmas Performance

We are all eagerly anticipating our exciting Christmas performance of the Lion King for which preparations continue apace. Sara has been busy putting the cast through their paces, and here you can see Valerie and Kathy designing and making the costumes and masks. We can’t wait to see it all come together.

Lion King wardrobe

Nursery Book Look and Stay ‘n’ Play Events

Last Tuesday the nursery opened their doors for parents and carers to look at their children’s profile books, where drawings, paintings and photographs of learning are kept. All those who came along were very proud of the progress their children are making! Then, on Thursday morning parents and carers were invited to join nursery for a Stay ‘n’ Play session. They enjoyed exploring polar animals frozen in ice, playing Christmas bingo and making Christmas tree decorations with their children. This was followed by a story session. Thank you to all the parents/carers who came along to these events. Having you there made these events very special for the children.


nursery 1 Nursery 2

London Transport Museum

This week Years 3/4 went on a trip to the London Transport Museum. They had a fantastic time and the children saw lots of different types of transport throughout history, including trains, buses and even a horse and carriage. They were able to climb into the vehicles and it felt as if they were really moving and they even had a go at driving an underground train! After their visit to the museum they were lucky enough to go to the ‘Build a Bear workshop’ in Covent Garden to create a new class bear. Purple class called their bear Sandy and they put 27 hearts into it (one for each child on the trip!)


London Transport Museum 1

Coffee Morning

On Tuesday we hosted a coffee morning for 15 elderly local residents. Joining them were Sam and Courtney from Emmanuel Church and Cesar from Emmanuel Court, who invited our guests. We provided the Lodge as the venue and Layla made the cakes, so it was a wonderful collaborative event. Many thanks to Nicky, Sue, Finola, Hana and Tay for their help, and a very special mention and thank you to our young leaders: Nahema, Tia, Ikram, Jawad, Clay, Maisha, Elif-Sue, Mariam, Chinniel and Niveen who helped make our guests feel so welcome by chatting to them and making sure they had plenty of tea/coffee, cake and biscuits. We hope to run more of these kind of events in the future as this one was enjoyed by all those involved.

Coffee morning

Rehearsals for Lion King

Rehearsals are underway for our Christmas production of Lion King. The classes are practising their songs during music lessons and children with speaking parts are rehearsing on Monday and Thursday afternoons after lunch, and on Tuesdays from 3.30-5pm. Thank you to Sara for working with the performers.

Lionking rehearsals



Year 3/4 PE

Year 3/4 have been having a lot of fun doing gymnastics in PE. Not only does this sport have physical benefits, such as improving overall fitness, strength, balance, flexibility and coordination, it also has advantages like improving mental focus and concentration, and in the photograph below, you can see the children enjoying a team building exercise as they plan a gymnastic performance for their class.

Team talk

Macbeth Workshops

On Tuesday 25th November Year 3/4 took part in a Macbeth workshop. It was a fantastic production of a classic Shakespeare play. All of the children were able to take part in the play themselves, including creating a scary storm and re-enacting the final battle scene where Macbeth got killed. The actors were very engaging, helped explain the story and played lots of different characters, including the terrifying witches!


Young Leaders

This week we are highlighting the amazing job being done by our dedicated Young Leaders, Lara, Ellie, Amino and Sotiris, who are our stair monitors. They are checking that children are walking (not running) up and down the stairs and that they are following the other Pakeman safety rules for the stairs, which are ‘Keep tight to the right—no talking—be a good role model’. Well done to all of you for doing such an amazing job and being brilliant role models for your peers.

Young leaders


UG: Boy Genius of the Stone Age

Pink Class did a brilliant assembly on light and shadow. They made a shadow puppet video based on their literacy book, ‘The Stone Age Boy’. They also sang a great song called ‘My Shadow’. Have a look at their video here.


Take Over Day at the Tower of London


On Friday 21st November, 7 pupils from Orange Class took part in the final part of the Tower of London Project. The children were given the job of journalists and they had the opportunity to interview the volunteers who are helping to take down the poppies at the Tower of London.  Pakeman children worked with a group of students from a secondary school and asked the important question, Why is it important to remember the war? 

Click on the Tower of London website to learn more about what the children did.


This week years 3 and 4 have had the opportunity to develop their cycling skills under the expert tuition of the Bikeability Team. After checking their bikes to see that they are roadworthy, the team put them through their paces to find out what they could do and what they needed to learn.

They were joined by some important visitors:

  • Michael Dugher MP – Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
  • Cllr Claudia Webbe – Executive Member for Environment
  • Joe Fortune – Mr Dugher’s staff
  • Jonathan Fertig – Mr Dugher’s staff
  • Matt Rhodes – Islington Labour Group Research Officer
  • David Shannon – Cycling officer, Islington Council

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Children’s Christmas Card Competition

Why not get drawing and enter our competition to design a Christmas card?


The theme is: Christmas or Winter.

  • All entries must be original flat art work and must be on white A4 paper.
  • They can be hand drawn or computer generated.
  • There will be one winning entry and one runner up chosen from every year group.
  • Winning entries will be reproduced and used as the School Christmas Card and will be on sale at The Christmas Fair.
  • Please ensure that your name, age and class is written IN PENCIL on the back of your entry.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Designs must be done independently by children Entries need to be handed in by Friday November 28th.



Design tips

  1. Decide on the format of your card. Will it be portrait or landscape?
  2. When planning the design, it’s important to catch the viewers’ attention at first glance – Make your card as striking as possible!
  3. What are the key points that you want to include?
  4. Does the card show your message clearly?
  5. Does it look attractive?
  6. Have you used a good writing or font size, so that people can read it clearly?
  7. Is everything spelt correctly?
  8. Avoid using writing / fonts in all capital letters. Upper & lower case is more legible for the reader!
  9. Remember you can use drawings or patterns to add interest.
  10. Avoid using too many colours. 3 or 4 main colours maximum are recommended.
  11. You may want to add a border to frame you art work.




Breakfast Club Children in Need Competition

Breakfast Club ran a competition for Children in Need. The children had to design their own Pudsey and Blush Bear. It was very hard to choose the winners because all of the entries were very good, but in the end, the winners were Maciej, George and Jaiden. Well done to everyone.

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Children in Need

We had a wonderful day last Friday for Children in Need. The children were very excited to dress up as superheroes and they wore some great costumes. A huge thank you to Julie for her dedication and hard work throughout the week organising and selling tickets for the raffle, as well as running the cake sale.

Many thanks to all those who made and donated cakes, including Kathy and Tom, who together with Ambia, Niyaz and Sanchino (Blue Class) and Samuel (Brown Class) baked Pudsey cupcakes for the sale. Altogether we raised £515.49 for this fantastic charity.

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Success in Football League

The new football season got underway when our Year 5/6 team went to IAMS for their first league matches on Friday 7th November and what a great performance they put on, beating Montem 6-0, Gillespie 4-1 and Drayton Park 3-0.

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Luke scored 6 goals, Zeynel scored 5, and Eljot and Dji Dji scored 1 each.

Pakeman won the League last year and before last week’s match got underway, some of the children who were part of our winning team, that is Omar, Abdulwahab and Idrissa (who now attend IAMS secondary school), were presented with the Cup for winning the tournament.

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This term children in years 3 and 4 are learning about the world around them and different modes of transport. Here are some of the fantastic models that they produced for homework.

What Does Shine Mean to You?


Last week, I asked students what SHINE means to them. Here are their thoughts, which I think explain why it is so special…

SHINE is a happy place,

A positive place,

A place to help people,

To make friends,

A wonderful place and fun.

SHINE means so much to me,

It means I will try my best.

SHINE is a place where children can be free to express themselves,

Where I can get better.

SHINE means good things,

I like the trips and having fun.

SHINE is a good place,

A place to learn more than you would at school,

A way to learn even more,

To learn and get better at something,

And a place to have fun.

SHINE is a nice place,

It’s like home,

SHINE is a safe, fun place where you can learn and have fun.

It’s amazing,

It’s helpful,

It’s my education,

SHINE is a lot of fun.

SHINE means a lot,

It has changed my life,

SHINE is everything to me.


Futurezone Poetry Project

Years 5 and 6 have been taking part in a collaborative poetry project. The children study a poem a week for 5 weeks in class and share their ideas and thoughts on a blog with each other and pupils from other schools.

At the end of the course they are able to enter a poetry competition. Every pupil who enters will have their work published. Each school will have its own Poet of the Year while one student will become the FutureZone poet Laureate of the Year.

They have looked at a range of poems  including William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow, John Mc Crae’s  “In Flanders Fields”, Emily Bronte’s “Spellbound” and Langston Hughes “Mother to Son”.

Here are some of their poems:

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Why Should We Remember?

This term Orange Class have been working with the Tower of London on a project about Remembrance. Over the past 6 weeks, Orange Class have been learning about the importance of remembering the sacrifices soldiers make for their countries and worked on an animation video. Their work culminated on Tuesday when they visited the Tower of London to see the premiere of their Remembrance film.

The children were so excited to see the finished product and to share it with parents, and children from another school. Also we were only one of two schools in the country allowed into the moat with the poppies.

Each child was presented with a certificate for their hard work and accomplishments by the chief Yeoman of the Guard (commonly known as Beefeaters).


Last week, 6 pupils from the class connected virtually with a Canadian classroom in Hamilton, Ontario. The pupils collaborated and explored three essential questions around Remembrance Day – Why should we remember? Why is 100 years significant? How do you want to remember?

Click here to see the national assembly on Remembrance watched by thousands of pupils from other schools which was broadcast live from the Tower of London. It featured poems, music and interviews and Pakeman’s collaboration by Skype with children in Canada. We are really proud to have taken part in such an significant and moving event.

Children in Orange Class also produced an excellent animation reminding us why we should remember.



African Storytelling

Years 1/2 had a lovely treat today when Emma, a storyteller from Freshwater Theatre came into school to tell stories from Ghana, including Anansi ones.

The children had a chance to sing, dance and dress up and they had an absolutely amazing time. Do you know any Anansi stories?

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Brain Pleasers

Our Year 6 children had a very special ‘Aim Higher’ session in the Lodge to boost their creativity, memories and confidence as they embark on their SATs year. Led by Karim from Illumine, who was hugely engaging and charismatic, they first learnt to create their own stories (the more surreal the better) to recall lists of words, and the order of historical eras (stone age to Romans).

Then Karim’s narrative tour through an imaginary house helped everyone memorise the European countries and the children made up tales using number-related images to help remember key dates. Such seemingly simple—yet brilliantly fun and creative—tricks meant everyone score far higher on the memory tests by the end of the session, compared to the beginning of it.

The number shape system used to create stories to remember dates and long numbers.

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Thank you so much to Karim.

Young Leaders

Following a fantastic response from the children to our advertisement for young leaders to fill roles ranging from library monitors to sports leaders, Finola, Emma and Tay conducted the selection process. They were hugely impressed with the quality of the children’s applications and would like to thank everyone who completed one. After careful consideration, here are the children who have been appointed to a range of leadership roles across the school.

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Thank You Trip to the Sobell

On Tuesday and Friday years 3, 4, 5 and 6 attended the Sobell Centre as a reward for helping pupils at Mount Carmel Secondary School achieve their leadership qualification.

They had the opportunity to take part in several different sports, including trampolining, ice skating, volleyball, basketball and badminton.

Arthur (Purple class) said ‘the best thing was learning the rules of basketball’ and Sami (Purple class) said ‘It was fantastic. We had such a great time.’ Many thanks to the Sobell Centre for facilitating this enjoyable event for the children.

Excellent Results


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We are extremely pleased to share with you the excellent results our children have achieved in 2014. These results reflect the work we do throughout the school to ensure all children leave Pakeman ready for secondary school and beyond. A huge well done to all of our children, staff and parents for this achievement. We’re really proud of you – well done!

Click here for more information.



Leading Sport

Tay is our Sports & Children as Leaders Coordinator. One of his priorities is to increase the number and range of opportunities the children have for physical activities and different sports both during school time and in after-school clubs.

Every week each class has a PE lesson with their teacher and another one with Tay and Danny, our PE specialist. The children play football, dodgeball, table tennis, netball, kwik cricket and have athletics, and in Years 3, 4 and 6 they go swimming.


During the year, several classes will also spend time doing activities at the Sobell Centre. There will be lots of exciting sports tournaments too, so Tay will be keeping an eye on who the rising sports stars are among the children!

Macbeth Workshops

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Brown, Red and Blue classes had a brilliant time on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons respectively when Liz from the Young Shakespeare Company came in to run 2-hour interactive Macbeth workshops with these classes.

The children were fully involved in the sessions, which explored the plot and characters in the play.

After half term the three classes will have the opportunity to go to the theatre to see a live performance of Macbeth, with interactive elements.

Macbeth workshop



Pupil Voice

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On Tuesday a group of students were interviewed about what they think about lunches and the playground. They were asked questions about what they like about the food, what they like doing in the playground, if they enjoy playing outside, and anything they would like to change about school. The children gave very positive answers and they were all very excited about having the new toilets. The children commented on how much they like school dinners, especially the fish and chips, chicken and rice, and the puddings! The children also enjoy playtimes, especially playing football and cricket in the playground.

Wishes for playtime

A few girls said that they would like a cricket day just for girls. Other children asked if there could be other equipment in the playground, for example to play golf, as well as some books and art supplies. What we have done about this: Tay has said that from now on there be girls only cricket on Fridays from 1pm. Also, whiteboards, pens and chalk will be available in the playground. Finally, there will be a box of books available for the children to read during playtimes and lunchtimes.

Wishes for lunches

The children said that sometimes the cake and custard runs out and they would like there to be enough for everyone. What we have done about this: In recognition of the importance of cake and custard, Ann and Glenda have said that from now on there should be enough cake and custard available for all the children!!

Clean Air Project

On Friday 12th September, Helen Young, an ex-English weather forecaster and television presenter, introduced the Clean Air Project in school during a very interesting assembly. The children greatly enjoyed learning all about different types of pollution, the reasons for pollution in London and what we can do to reduce this problem and save the planet.

For more information about air pollution levels in your area, go online to www.airtext.info or for text alerts – text airtext to 78070.

Clean Air

Visiting Teachers from Norway

We were really happy to host a visit by a group of 18 Norwegian teachers to see how we work at Pakeman School. They said they were ‘impressed and inspired’ with the ‘great work’ we are doing here and it was wonderful to show them around the school and share our teaching and learning experiences.


Norwegian Visit

African Dance Workshops

As part of our celebrations for Black History Month, Lydia Olet, an African dance teacher from Kenya came in to school on Monday. Years 5 and 6 learned a dance called Isikuti, usually performed to celebrate weddings, births and harvest time, which is based on ‘pick and throw’ movements. Years 3 and 4 learned a harvest farm dance, while Years 1 and 2 learned a dance from Ghana called kpanlog that is done by children when they play, especially at school. The children had a fantastic time learning the movements and then performing the dance to music.

African Dance

On Tuesday Steven Kasamba a dance teacher from Uganda joined us to teach Ugandan harvest dances, involving a mixture of dance movements, to Nursery, Reception and Years 3/4. The children then put the dance movements to music provided live by Steven on a djembe, which is a type of drum, and an adungu, which is 10 stringed instrument.. The children had an absolutely brilliant time.

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African dance mix

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Bedtime Reading Evening

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On Tuesday evening, Years 1 and 2 put on their pyjamas and snuggled up for some bedtime reading! The hall was decorated with fairy lights and the atmosphere was warm and cosy as the parents and children reclined on beanbags and cushions to read together.

There was an amazing turnout and everyone who was there — children, parents and staff — really enjoyed themselves, reading lots of stories, in English and their home languages. To make the evening even more fun there was hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows available for everyone to enjoy!

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The event was put on by Key Stage 1 staff in order to encourage and promote reading at home for pleasure. Reading and enjoying books is so important for all children, no matter what their age. Making time to read with your child, for as little as 10 minutes every day, makes a huge difference! If you would like any advice or tips for reading at home, please see your child’s class teacher.

It was great to see the children enjoying reading and being read to in the lovely, cosy environment created in the Middle Hall, and to see the parents/carers having a great time too. Don’t worry if you missed out this time as the Key Stage 1 team will be arranging another bedtime reading session later in the term!

A huge thank you to Ashlie for organising this fantastic event, and to Emma, Stephanie and Taya for all their help in making it such a success.

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Purple Class Assembly

On Friday 19th September, Purple Class staged the first class assembly of the school year, presenting the book they are studying in class, called Gregory Cool, the story of a boy who goes to visit his family in Trinidad and Tobago. The children performed the story, shared their knowledge of Tobago, discussed traditions from their own cultures and sang a football song from Tobago. Everyone enjoyed the assembly and ended up dancing along to the son

Gregory Cool

iPad/Technology Club

On Tuesday Lee ran the first session of his new after-school iPad/Technology Club with a group of children from Years 3-6. Lee has really exciting plans for the club, and you can get a taste of what these are by turning to p.2 of this newsletter.

Ipad Club

Orange Class visit to the Tower of London

Orange Class are incredibly lucky, as they have been chosen out of all the classes in all the schools in London to take part in a special project commemorating the start of World War 1 in 1914. The children will be working with an artist to create a design that will be used during the November 11th ceremony at the Tower of London.

On the 23rd of September, the children visited the Tower to find out a bit more about what life was like for soldiers at the Tower during World War 1. The children met an ‘officer’ who explained the process of changing from the role of banker to soldier during the war. After looking at pictures and artefacts, the children visited the poppy installation. The poppy is a symbol of World War 1, as despite the fighting in Europe, the poppies continued to grow. The whole day was a very special experience, greatly enjoyed by all the children.

Tower Of London Orange

Years 1 and 2 Road Safety Show

Safety Assembly

On Monday Years 1/2 were treated to a very special show by Allan’s Magic Events during which they learned the important STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK lesson about crossing roads safely. The children absolutely loved the show and demonstrated throughout that they grasped the important message of the lesson. They listened carefully, laughed a lot and got fully involved in singing and answering all the questions. The adults loved it too! A big thank you to our visitors for putting on such a marvellous show.

Blue Class Assembly

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As part of their topic, The Bold and the Brave, Blue class have travelled back in time to learn about Ancient Greece.

Last Friday they performed an assembly on the history of democracy which started during this period in 510 BC. From this point we travelled to 1215 when King John signed the Magna Carta and then on to the Suffragette movement and women gaining the right to vote in 1918. The children then explained the meaning of modern democracy and the importance of voting. We finished our assembly with ‘Something Inside So Strong’ by Labi Siffre.

Thank you to all the parents/carers who came along to enjoy the assembly with us.

Blue Class Assmebly

Urban Living

We are doing a topic on Urban Living. We have looked at different urban artists, including graffiti artists and we took a fantastic trip on an open top bus and it didn’t rain!!!!

london open top bus tour

We investigated different urban music groups, such as Stomp and had a great drumming workshop.



Getting to Know You

Children at Shine come form 5 different schools. At the beginning of the year we like to run a bonding session so children can get to know one another and make friends. This year children were set the task of making the highest marshmallow tower. Deigns were brilliant and great fun was had by all!!!



Nursery do some cooking!

Nursery had a special visitor, Daryl Charles, who used to be a pupil at Pakeman Primary School. After leaving secondary school Daryl was trained as a chef by Jamie Oliver and he now works as a chef at Jumeirah, a five-star hotel in Knightsbridge. He kindly came in to Pakeman’s Nursery to do some cooking with the children. It was great to see Daryl and the children all had a great time making caterpillar sandwiches to celebrate the end of this term’s minibeast topic.

The children learned how to butter bread and construct the caterpillars out of buttered bread, cucumber and tomato, which they then took home to enjoy with their families. Thank you so much to Daryl, and to Julie for arranging this fantastic introduction to the joys of cooking to our budding Nursery chefs!


Living Eggs

Reception and Nursery have had a very exciting week since the arrival of our very own hen eggs. Since then 7 baby chicks have hatched, and we were lucky enough to actually see one of them hatch, as it happened. “The chick hatched!” said Hayden in amazement. “He came out!” said Harun in wonderment. This is an absolutely amazing first-hand experience for children to learn about the world around them and the life cycle of living things. We will also be using this experience as an exciting stimulus for literacy in the classroom.

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Life Cycle Topic

As part of their life cycle topic Nursery and Reception welcomed some new visitors to the classroom in the form of caterpillars.

Can you see how surprised the very hungry caterpillar looks to see the real deal in front of him?

Early years have been watching how the caterpillars change as they grow and are very excited that they will turn into butterflies and that they will be able to watch this happen.


Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

The sun shone for Pakeman on Wednesday when most of the school landed in Walton-on-the-Naze for our annual special school trip. The holiday spirit was fantastic and the children loved playing in the sand, building sandcastles, collecting shells, paddling in the water and best of all throwing water at all the teachers. Yahye in Yellow Class said ‘I loved the sea!’ and Multazim in Yellow Class added ‘It was marvellous! I loved collecting seashells and making sandcastles. It was the best trip ever!’ All the staff, parents and children who went on the trip were in agreement with this.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


On Wednesday afternoon, 100 excited Pakeman children and adults boarded the 91 bus to Covent Garden to watch the theatre production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. After four months of waiting, the day had finally arrived and it was certainly worth the wait! All the children and the adults who accompanied them, absolutely loved the production and were amazed at how well the book came alive. The costumes, the music and the props added to the spectacular story of Charlie. There were lots of different favourite characters, but without exception, everyone agreed that Charlie was amazing. Years 3 and 4 recommend the show to everyone and hope that you can go see it. We would like to thank everyone who helped to raise money for the trip. We would not have been able to do it without everyone’s help and support.

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Winners of the Islington Futurezone Football League

Congratulations to the Pakeman Football Team (Luke, Amaal, Ilwad, Ella, Idrissa, Serkan, Abdulwahab, Farhan, Zeynel, Denis Omar and Romario) who were undefeated throughout the year and were crowned the champions of the Islington Futurezone Football League.

The team was awarded a cup on which the school’s name will be engraved and that we will keep for a year, and all the players received individual medals. Special thanks to Tay, the team’s coach and manager for doing such a fantastic job.



Table Tennis Club

Amazing news for all our budding sports stars! We have a new T3 table tennis table and not surprisingly most of us have never seen anything like it as Pakeman is the first school in London to buy one. How lucky are we? Tay runs our after-school table tennis club and it was decided to get one of these amazing tables after seeing none other than Mr Barack Obama playing on one when he visited the UK in 2011. Tay said ‘Table Tennis Club is brilliant because this new table adds an exciting twist to the game and it is enabling us to have more children in the club too’. Some of the children had a chance to try it out playing against the staff and they loved it.

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