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Bennerley Fields School

Nurture. Support. Aspire. Achieve.


Welcome to Derwent Class. We are part of the Willow Department where we put great emphasis on nurture and sensory needs. Everyone has a wealth of experience to support the pupils varying needs in class.


We always start our day with a form of exercise to get us ready for some great learning throughout the day, this is often a dance routine or sensory circuit activity. Our classes are lively and interactive and full of discussion to help support language, communication and social interaction. We also use Lego Therapy in class to support speech & language, social skills and fine motor skills. We have a great outdoor learning programme, which covers gardening, exercise and Forest School activities during the year.


During 2023-2024 we will be covering a range of topics which support holistic, enriching and thought-provoking learning experiences, all linked to acquiring relevant knowledge and skills:


Autumn 1 – Dinosaur Planet (History Focus)


Autumn 2 – Winter Wonderland (Geography Focus)


Spring 1 –  Marvellous Machines (D&T Focus)


Spring 2 –  Towers, Tunnels and Turrets (History Focus)


Summer 1 – Ready Steady Grow (Science Focus)


Summer 2 – Animal Safari (Geography Focus)


Sitting alongside topic work and core subjects, we spend time outside of the classroom during our ‘Beyond Bennerley’ sessions. This term we will be visiting Bennerley Viaduct for a sensory walk. We will be going into the local community to visit shops, cafes and the library to support pupils to gain independent living skills outside of the home. Later in the year pupils will develop their life skills in the home by participating in activities such as how to wash clothes, use an iron and vacuum cleaner.


Important information: 

PE is on a Tuesday morning.

We will be doing Forest School in the summer term; we will let you know about kit for this separately.

We will send you updates about your child throughout the week using our class email. If you need to contact us, we check email before and after the school day. If you need to report anything urgent please use the main school email address or phone the office.


17th April - Our First Forest School Session 🌳

On Wednesday Derwent enjoyed their first forest school session of the year. It was a rather messy but such good fun to explore the area. We found a frog, multiple newts, stirred the 'chocolate river' and played in the mud kitchen. We also made our first Enterprise project for the marketplace event which will be held in later this term. 

27th March - Tunnel Experience πŸ§™πŸ§š

Derwent enjoyed their tunnel experience linked to the class text 'The Tunnel' by Anthony Browne. Everyone made a prediction what might be at the end of the tunnel and got a individual surprise. There were witches, goblins and fairies! 🧚 πŸ§™ 

21st March - Making a catapult

On Thursday, Derwent learnt about all about catapults in science before making our own. Everyone worked really well as a team to work out, what to stick and where. We then tested it outside with scrunched up paper. 

18th March - A walk along Bennerley Viaduct πŸš‚

On Monday, Derwent and Shipley walked along the canal to the Bennerley Viaduct. We had a talk from a local historian about the history of the viaduct and looked for other man made landmarks we could see. 

14th March - Building bridges and castles 🏰

On Thursday we had a fun day full of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) activities linked to our topic. In the morning we designed and built bridges then in the afternoon we constructed junk model castles. 

11th March - Bolsover Castle 🏰

Derwent and Shipley had a great time exploring Bolsover Castle for their topic Towers, Tunnels and Turrets 🏰 

8th March - World Book Day 2024 πŸ“š

7th March - Aerozone and Aeropark Trip

Derwent and all the students in Stage Two enjoyed a day out at the Aeropark and Aerozone near East Midlands Airport on Thursday. We got to experience what it is like at an airport and see a selection of aeroplanes. We were lucky enough to even go inside some of them.

6th March - Building Bridges Workshop

On Wednesday we had Kate from the Bennerley Viaduct talking to us about bridges and judging our own that we built in small groups. 

1st March - Medieval music and dancing 🏰

In Derwent class, we listened and played along to Medieval music. We identified and sorted medieval and modern instruments. Then in the second part of the lesson, we tried some Medieval dancing in some costumes. Everyone loved it! 

27th February - Towers, Tunnels and Turrets 🏰

Wow, what a start to the new term.  In Derwent our new topic is Towers, Tunnels and Turrets and yesterday everyone loved playing with the castle and figurines. In English we had great fun we listening and re-enacting the story of Rapunzel. 

14th February - STEM workshops

Derwent enjoyed making catapults in their STEM workshop with Graeme from the Museum of Making. 

8th February - Christian and Jewish weddings πŸ’’πŸ•

On Wednesday afternoon Derwent and Shipley went up to Christ church in Cotmanhay for a wedding! Reverend Dawn taught us all about them and we were able to reenact one.  We had a bride, groom, lots of page boys, a best man and someone to give the bride away. 

The following morning we continued RE day by first looking at Rachel’s own wedding photographs before learning about customs in both Christian and Jewish weddings, where they take place and who’s involved. 

1st February - The History of Flight βœˆοΈπŸš€

In topic lessons we have been learning about The Wright Brothers and the history of flight. We learnt about the first hot air balloon, space shuttle and aeroplanes. We all enjoyed pretending to be aeroplanes!

24th January - Pendulum Art

We thoroughly enjoyed our outdoor learning session which linked to both Art and Science. We filled a  plastic cup with paint and pushed/ pulled it to create a unique piece of Art. 

24th January - A Kahoot Quiz about our class text

On Wednesday, we all enjoyed taking part in a Kahoot quiz to test our knowledge on the class text, Mrs Armitage on Wheels. 

19th January - Sequencing Mrs Armitage on Wheels πŸ›ž

In Derwent class we really enjoy outdoor learning. On Friday Joanne ‘lost’ the pages from Mrs Armitage on Wheels so we all headed outside to find them. Together we put them back in order. 

15th January - Cars over the years πŸš— πŸš™

Our topic is Marvellous Machines and we have been learning about cars through the years. As a group everyone was able to order the cars and later completed a worksheet about the differences between the first automobiles and modern day cars. 

11th January - Exploring forces outside πŸ›΄

In Science we are learning about forces. For our first lesson on the term we explored forces outside using scooters, trampolines, swings and other play equipment. 

We’ve had a lovely festive week in Derwent class filled with many fun activities. We have been enjoying opening our science themed advent calendar each day in December and on our last week of term Santa visited, we watched the staff pantomime and wore Christmas jumpers. 

13th December - Inuit Life

During our topic lessons, we have been learning about the Arctic and Antarctic. This afternoon we completed a carousel of activities to learn about how Inuit people live, what animals live in the polar regions and even went on Google earth to look at Lapland. Everyone especially enjoyed exploring the fake snow! 

12th December - The Big Freeze!

Enjoying your new class text - The Big Freeze by Pippa Curnick. 

1st December - The Snowman

We went to Derby to experience a live orchestra playing along with The Snowman. We were lucky enough to meet the Snowman too! 

28th November - Snow Bears πŸ»β„οΈ

This week we have been enjoying our new class text called Snow Bears πŸ»β„οΈ 
First we listened to a sensory story and in Wednesday’s lesson, we collected pictures from our outdoor area then, as a class, put them in chronological order. 

In our half termly RE day we learnt about what can we learn from sacred books. We enjoyed a sensory story amongst other activities to recall the main events of Joseph’s story including his colourful coat, his dreams and his journey to Egypt. 

15th November - Exploring with our senses.

We’ve started off our new topic ‘Winter Wonderland’ by reading The Gruffalo’s Child and drawing our own winter wonderland settings. In today’s English lesson we were writing about our settings and as a starter, explored a range of interesting objects using our five senses. 

5th / 17th October - Creative Topic Afternoons

We love having a creative afternoon in Derwent class. Recently on a Thursday afternoon we have been sculpting dinosaurs and creating fossils using clay. Then the following week, we painted our creations and made dinosaur sock puppets. 

Derwent first visited the amazing adventure playground at Wollaton and practised their turn taking and play skills. Then we trekked up to the house and headed to the exhibitions. We saw at a giant skeleton of a dinosaur hanging from the ceiling and there were some fascinating artefacts, great interactive screens and puzzles to explore. 


3rd October - Dinosaur Guest πŸ¦–

We welcomed Rex the Tyrannosaurus Rex into Derwent class and had the opportunity to ask him questions as part of our Dinosaur Planet topic. 

27th September - Reptile Visit 🐒🐍🦎

Derwent class had the opportunity to meet a variety of reptiles including stick insects, snakes, lizards and a tortoise. We were able look, touch and even hold them. What an incredible experience for everyone. Thank you to CJPets4U for visiting!

18th - 22nd September - Our 5 for 50 Challenges πŸ•ΊπŸΌπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ»

In Derwent we completed five challenges across the week as Steve was running the five ultra marathons. Our challenges included a danceathon, bouncathon, sponserd walk along Bennerley viaduct, Sports Day and circuit training. We’ve had a great time!