Perranporth class is now an amalgamation of Gunnislake and Delaware year 5 pupils. We are a relatively small class of 19 children tucked away up on the Gunnislake hillside. We have our own building with year 6 just across the playground and all the support of our neighbouring school at Delaware.
Our Perranporth pupils have had another busy week of baking and enjoying the outdoors even though storm Christoph tried to keep us in! Some have set personal challenges such as reading an entire 167 page book in a day, making cakes and cookies for the family and exploring the flood-drenched woods! However, the greatest challenge for many was to learn The Charleston - a fast-paced, quirky 1920s dance.
Our class will also be performing for Songfest 21 in a virtual concert in March and have begun practicing our first song this week - I'm Still Singing. For the next 6 weeks, we will be practicing the eight songs which have been specially chosen for the event.
In literacy, we have continued our research into life in the trenches for a WW1 soldier and also life as a nurse in a field hospital. The diaries and letters produced reflect the maturity and interest the children developed whilst learning about the horrors these men and women witnessed. We focussed on using prepositional phrases and expanded noun phrases.
The topic of multiplication and division continued in maths with the main focus being division using the bus stop method (otherwise known as short division) as well as the 4 and 12 times tables.
The dedication and enthusiasm of the children has once again shown through this week as we continue to navigate the issues and restrictions that Covid throughs at us. Our children are showing just how resilient and adaptable they can be!
All around me, I see fearful, wounded men screaming in agony, fighting to stay alive. Seeing them makes me feel heartbroken but for each and every soldier we patch up and send away, my heart begins to heal. My first task of the day was to assist a doctor in charge of the dire, gruesome Trench Foot amputation of Captain Smith. Trench Foot is the most repulsive, disgusting foot condition we have to treat.
A young, dashing, noble soldier rushed into the overloaded, narrow ward to alert us that a bomb had descended upon the frontline trench causing the deaths of many and the wounds of more. He said we should brace ourselves for the traumatising intensity of the rest of the day.
Starving, exhausted and stressed, I continue to comfort the wounded and change their blood-soaked, itchy bandages. All we have at night is faint light so we can barely see a thing. It’s hard to operate on people when we are faced with the depressing, discomforting, damaged reality of this war.
The shiny polished toes of my sensible nurse’s shoes peeped out from under my long, starched, white skirt. Before the shrieking, daily, dawn chorus had even begun, it was my shift on the ward at the field hospital. My weary, care-worn heart sank when I observed the row upon row of dying and wounded soldiers in despair and terrible physical suffering. My brief and rudimentary training had not prepared me for the scale of seriousness and suffering. Under the trembling, white sheet, a young figure of a man cried out for me as he saw me pass by.
Sentences to describe a day in the field hospital (using prepositional phrases) by Daisie
Every hour, an ailing soldier would breathe his last breath. Every time a soldier had surgery, I ran and started hiding so I could cry. The putrid smell of death goes into your lungs and lives there. Whenever you had a drink, you fight the nightmares running through your head.
I arrived in France not too long ago, full of enthusiasm and the hope of adventure. It all seems so long ago. The vivid shock of war initiates you numbing the senses. Our fearless boys went over the top last night. We could hear the hollow screams in the distance, like a ghost coming back to haunt us. A tidal wave of casualties soon poured in. Moans of agony and despair filled the ward. Some will never see their loved ones again, which pains me. Others will be relieved the horror of the trenches is over. For those men, at least they will go home for which I am glad.
It was an early morning when I was awoken by a large bang. There was screaming and shouting, whistles blowing and soldiers running up and down the trenches. I jumped onto my feet as the first attack of the day started. My hands were freezing as I picked up my rifle. My sergeant shouted for us to bare arms. The smell of Cordite was everywhere. When the battle came to an end, we prepared our positions for the next battle.
The bottom of the trenches was filled with freezing ice and water. We huddled in small groups to keep warm. If we were lucky, we got tea and food. I was ordered by my sergeant to help the stretcher bearers to help take the wounded and dead to the field hospital. When I returned to the trench, I could see across No Man’s Land. There were large craters, trees stripped of leaves and bark. There were dead soldiers and dead horses slumped across barbed wire. We knew that when darkness fell, we would have to go into No Man’s Land to retrieve our dead. When we came under attack, we took a direct hit to the trench. Wood, mud, freezing water and ice cascaded down upon us. Life was bleak.
A Day in the Trenches (using expanded noun and prepositional phrases) by Dex
I hate the trenches. I have been fighting this war for 3 years by now. I saw my best friend get blown to nothing but bloody chunks of blood and bone right before my blood-red eyes. But now, I sit in the mud pondering what the world has in store for me. I have decided not to get close to anybody, so I am friends with a rat who I named Corporal Corpse-Eater. I feed him scraps of bully beef and dry biscuits from my rations. There are lots of rats here. They feed on anything they can sink their foul, yellow teeth into. Yesterday, it was hailing. Every time I got up, I heard the faint sound of crunching over the sound of shells and gunfire.
For our PE this week, Perranporth class have been learning The Charleston. This dance was made very popular during the 1920s and was ground-breaking for it's time. Its fast-paced, comical moves were occasionally controversial but it helped to lift people's spirits after the devastation of WW1.
The swinging leg and big arm movements, together with the need for quick thinking coordination, makes it a tricky dance to master; however, the dance also allows the dancer to add their own unique movements.
This enthusiastic Perranporth pupil dressed up to add more authenticity to his performance and did a great job adding in his own twists!
Fighting in the trenches is not what I thought it would be. It’s not why I joined the military. The trenches in which fellow soldiers and I reside smell putrid. The thick sent of blood and rotting bodies fills the already dirty air. I never did imagine that I would experience noise like that. It is no joke out there, men are killed right in front of me.
It was December, the weather was colder than it was yesterday. My feet were numb and my hands were just as bad. Many rats were running around my feet as bombs and gun shots were going off and many bodies around me. Barbed wire cuts through my skin when I am fighting.
I was scared to death in wet, cold climates, wondering if this is my last hour. The thought of family was driving me on. I can hear the screams of my fellow fighters as they perish around me. The snow has begun to fall, I’m freezing, my feet are as cold as ice! I can feel the Trench Foot rolling in. In this dark, desolate place, the only light is the bombs falling from the sky and the fire all around. The frontline trenches are like Hell! My ears constantly ring from the bombs and shooting all around.
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All Bridge Schools are now closed. Delaware will provide a 'Hub service' for Gunnislake children who are children of key workers and vulnerable groups.
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