Get ready for the Burley Woodhead Skipathon

The Burley Woodhead Skipathon in aid of the NSPCC will help you get active and and join together with the whole school community for a day of non-stop skipping fun.

Whether you have never skipped before or are ready to take your skipping to the next level, our day of skipping will have something for you. Each class will take a turn with the skipping ropes so that there will be a group of people skipping from the first bell until the end of the day.

To help you prepare for the day, here is a selection of videos. Will you learn to do the double dutch with your friends or try the snake shake? Check out these videos to see what you could do on skipathon day.

Games for EYFS and little skippers

Double Dutch skipping with a brain game twist

A youtube playlist showing you different types of skipping technique

More videos showcasing skipping tricks for you to try

Junior Tom Daley at Burley Woodhead!

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Imogen was recently recommended for a diving club. It all started when Year 5 went for their weekly swimming sessions on Monday. In this particular class, they were practicing their diving skills. At first, Imogen was a little bit unsure, however she persevered and carried on and now she has joined the club.

What is also very impressive about this story is that Imogen is already part of lots of clubs after school, but she decided to take up diving anyway.

Well done! Keep going with your diving and don’t be put off by the odd belly flop!

Btomdaleysemipa_2307517by Bethan

GMS and girls football

Girls Football team

The Y5 and 6 girl’s football team personified what it is to have a Growth Mindset on Friday night. In appalling conditions, they came back to overhaul a 2:0 halftime deficit to win the second half 4 goals to 1 to end up winning the game 4:3.

The half time team talk involved some excellent tactical advice from coach Brodaty which was followed to the letter by the brave and courageous girls in the team.

Their heads never dropped, and they grew in stature as the second half progressed. Well done girls! Win, lose or draw, a ‘Growth Mindset’ will always earn you the result you have worked for!

Can you do Cat’s Cradle YET?

Our final assembly of the half term had us all thinking about the power of the word ‘YET’.

In Monday assembly we had the official launch of the Burley Woodhead Cat’s Cradle Challenge. A group of children came to the front in assembly to demonstrate that they could NOT do the Cat’s Cradle YET.

You can guess what happened next. Having studied the videos in the YET pages and gathered up the necessary pieces of string, the children spent the week turning themselves into Cat’s Cradle experts. From being complete novices who could not do it YET on Monday, groups of children could be seen collaborating with one another throughout the school. Experts were popping up all over the place! Some children even taught themselves how to do solo Cat’s Cradle!!!!

Growth Mindset – Week 6 – Yet from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.


Clearly, the word YET is a very powerful one. With dedication, commitment, determination, feedback and collaboration you can learn anything!

Feedback, Honeybees and Dragonflies


This week we have been thinking all about feedback and how it is important if we are going to learn and improve. In assembly we watched Austin’s Butterfly, before Chloe and Louis sketched a Honey Bee ‘live’ infront of the entire school. They were then given feedback by the audience, linked to the shape, size and pattern of their sketches.

Over the course of the week, the children have been using their feedback skills to help one another improve their sketching.

Here are a couple of examples:

Obviously, feedback can be sought and given for all sorts of things that go on in school. Hopefully the children have learned that by giving feedback and being able to receive it, they can become better learners and make improvements to everything they do.

Growth Mindset – Week 5 – Feedback from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.

Marvellous Mistakes

This week our Growth Mindset journey has taken us into the realm of making mistakes. Mistakes are crucial to learning anything new. The mistakes that we make and the way in which we learn from them is what drives our learning forward. If learning is too easy, we do not stretch ourselves; this means that we are not grappling with new ideas and developing our understanding. Mistakes should be an inevitable part of new learning.

In assembly we talked about the learning pit and what the journey towards learning anything actually looks like.

Learning Pit


We then read The Most Magnificent Thing before discussing what being in the learning pit feels like.


Learning Pit 2

By the end of the week, classes across school had come up with songs, poems raps and mottoes all about making marvellous mistakes.

Check out some of them below.

Growth Mindset – Week 4 – Mistakes from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.



The Burley and Woodhead Hula Hooping Challenge

This week we our Growth Mindset journey has been all about setting targets and challenging ourselves. To improve at anything you have to have the motivation to succeed. To help with this process, setting goals and having a target to aim for is incredibly important. If you challenge yourself, you may not be completely successful, but in trying to reach your goal you will have made improvements in your learning. You will also begin to learn that the road to success is all about hard work, and determination and effort. If you challenge yourself and try your best, you can be happy with the outcome, whether you reached your target or not.

Our assembly on Monday we read the story of Mirette on the High Wire.

Image result for mirette on the high wire


The main attraction however,  featured the amazing and inspirational hula hooping tricks of our very own Mr Tillotson. He put on an incredible hula hooping show to inspire and amaze us. He has been practicing his hula hooping for five years, and at the peak of his learning he was practising for 1 hour each day. He had a coach and mentor to give him advice and feedback on how he was doing and help him learn new tricks. Not only did hula hooping keep him fit, it gave him a challenge and a series of stepping stones to keep on improving.


During the assembly, staff volunteered to take the hula hooping challenge and see how they could improve over the course of the week. Of course, the children were inspired by Mr Tillotson; the hula hoops came out for each playtime and all over the playground, children could be found swinging the hoops around their bodies, arms, legs, necks and hands.

Friday assembly provided the children with an opportunity to share what skills they had developed over the course of the week and discuss the challenges they had set for themselves.

This type of challenge is not exclusive to hula hooping. In our spelling work across school, the children are taking a blond test at the start of the week and challenging themselves to get an improved score by the end of the week. This progress score tells the children a lot about how focussed effort can lead to progress. It also encourages the children to set themselves targets with their learning.

Here is a super video of Y6’s Growth Mindset journey

Growth Mindset – Week 3 – Challenge and the Learning Pit from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.

Brain Hats, Myelin, Neural Pathways and Your Fantastic Elastic Brain

In our second week of whole school assemblies, we have been  getting to grips to what happens to your brain when you learn new things.

In assembly we watched two videos from the Brainology pages before two willing volunteers took part in a memory game. With a little bit of brain training and a super duper brain hat, they were able to improve their scores in remembering a list of random items from 3 or 4 out of 10 to 10 out of 10! Quite impressive.

Back in classrooms the children have been making brain hats and neurons and reflecting upon the neural pathways that they have cultivated so far in their lives. They have also spent time discussing how to build and strengthen neural pathways to embed their  learning.

Growth Mindset – Week 2 – Brainology from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.




What makes a Great Learner?

Y3 Learning BehavioursAcross school this week the children have been discussing what makes a great learner.

We are constantly referring to the learning behaviours that we are looking for inside our classrooms. Our reward systems and the way in which we feedback to children are based on these learning habits.

Take a look at the ideas from children in Year 1, 2 and Year 3.




Assembly 1: The Snorgh, The Sailor and getting into your ‘Stretch Zone’

Growth Mindset Assembly Learning Leaves Assembly 1 stretch zone

Ice Skating

Have you ever been ice skating? It can be scary, intimidating and make you fearful. It can also be exciting and exhilarating and above all fun! Amazing things can happen when you let go of the the side of the ice rink or penguin you have been using for support and take your first wobbly steps onto the ice. Very soon you learn how to hold and balance your weight and move yourself forward. Before long, your confidence is growing and you are skating independently.

Stretch Zone

Learning can be a lot like this. It takes courage and determination to get out of your comfort zone and into your stretch or learning zone. As learners we need to be courageous and willing to get into our stretch zones. As teachers, we need to ensure that we are planning tasks that take the children into their stretch zones while making sure that they feel safe and do not end up in their panic zones!

In our assembly this week we talked all about our stretch or learning zones. We played a game where the teachers were asked to put themselves on the ‘Matrix of Confidence’ for a whole range of different tasks. It is always interesting how different things take people into their stretch zone. While presenting an episode of Blue Peter would be a stretch for most people, Mrs Whitaker was truly in her comfort zone with the thought of this experience. The children loved watching their teachers thinking about different tasks and how they can take you out of your comfort zone.

After this we listened to a story called the Snorgh and the Sailor. In the story, a grumpy Snorgh who spends his whole life at home in his comfort zone has a chance meeting with an excitable sailor. As a result of the meeting, the Snorgh ends up really getting out of his comfort zone and taking an incredible adventure.

Snorgh and the Sailor

Across school the children have been reflecting on their learning and talking about when they have been in their stretch zones and how it has made them feel.

Several classes have already put together stretch zone presentations and displays to remind the children that learning new things is a stretch and a challenge.

 Here is what Year 1 are going to be using to track how their learning makes them feel on ‘Stretch Zone Street.’


This video from Y6 charts their journey into their stretch zone this week.

Y6 Growth Mindset – Week 1 – Stretch Zone from Burley and Woodhead CE Primary on Vimeo.

Stretch zone displays in Y2 and Y3



Our song for encouraging one another to get into our stretch zone is Try Everything  by Shakira from the Disney movie Zootopia.