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Elm Class is our Key Stage One class, catering for children aged 5-7.  The class has two teachers: Mrs Morris and Mrs Shobbrook plus our Teaching Assistant Ms Morgan.

During the snowy weather in March, Elm class wrote to Ben Saunders with some questions about his Arctic expeditions. Ben is one of the world’s leading polar explorers and kindly answered our many questions

Below are Elm Classes' questions to Ben Saunders about his Arctic expeditions.

Did you feel cold on your journey?  Not really. I have the best clothing there is to stay warm and I make sure that all of my skin is covered. When the sun is out, I actually get pretty hot as I'm moving the whole time and working hard. 

Did you find it hard walking through the snow?  I walk on skis which makes it easier, but the surface conditions were very difficult this year - the snow was either soft and slushy or covered in sastrugi (hard ice ridges formed by the wind). 

How do you pull your sledge up mountains? I don't climb actual mountains, however I did have to drag my sled up a steep ridge called the Wujek Ridge. This was steep enough that I had to ferry the load in my sled in shuttles as my sled was too heavy to drag in one go. 

Did you find it hard in the howling wind? The wind is probably the most difficult thing to deal with - it makes the cold even colder (wind chill) and there is also the danger of my tent being blown away by the wind when I am putting it up every evening. Without my tent, I would not last long. 

How did you survive on the ice?  By eating and drinking at regular intervals, keeping my equipment in good repair and looking after myself. 

What kind of food do you like? I like all food! and I have to eat a lot when on expedition. When in Antarctica, I had dehydrated meals in the evening and I would eat a high calorie snack 6 times during the day - every 90 minutes.

Are your journeys exciting? They are tough trips, but there are also exciting moments, like when I realise I am perhaps the remotest person on the planet.  

Do you fit all of your belongings on the sledge?Yes, everything I need for two months on the ic

cURRICULUM WEB term 4 2018

Elm Class at Wakehurst Place(1)

Elm class visiting Wakehurst Place March 2018

Chris Riddell

The author Chris Riddell talking to Elm Class

Our topic based English curriculum. Here we are showing a role play about ‘Mr Wolf’s pancakes’.


Morning lessons are mainly dedicated to learning the skills needed to develop reading, writing and maths – Literacy and Numeracy.  Focused phonics sessions are also taught.  Most of our work in the afternoons is linked to our topics for the term and encompass all the elements of the key stage one curriculum.



Making gingerbread men as part of Friendship week

Problem solving during maths morning



Elm Class have explored a variety of learning topics since September.  We have: travelled from Pole to Pole, delved back into history to learn about the Great Fire of London and explored our school grounds for our minibeast topic called Wriggle and Craw.l. Our pupil orientated approach means that we have planned our topics geared to our pupil's interests. 

Meal worms

Exploring meal worms during a science lesson.

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