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Junior Blog: 2nd November 2020

Welcome to issue number 19 of Katie Jayne Tutors Junior Blog.

Bang, whizz sizzle, crackle and boom will be the words on everybody’s lips on Friday 5th November. Born in York, back in 1570, Guy Fawkes made his name as the conspirator who failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

During his time in the Army he adopted the Italian version of his name and became known as ‘Guido‘. In 1594 he joined a group of fellow English Catholics, led by Robert Catesby, in a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to kill King James I and his Government. Fawkes was responsible for lighting the fuse to the barrels of gunpowder, which they hid under the Houses of Parliament.

Spoiler alert – Guy was caught before he and his men were able to carry out their plot and so were duly punished. Guy Fawkes is remembered today because of the failed plot.

Take a little trip down history lane and learn some more about this eventful evening all those years ago. Let us know if you find out something new!

We have some sizzling recipes for the night in question (with bangers and mash being at the top of charts of food eaten on November 5th and Parkin Cake being a traditional item that was always eaten historically on Firework night) and a few games to keep you active, but don’t forget to take a look at our regular Outdoor Delights and Educational Activities.

Enjoy the 5th November and enjoy going back to school, the second half of the autumn term is so much fun.

See you next time…



Activities to keep you busy, warm and laughing on November 5th

Collect some sweet wrappers and coloured paper tissue, pieces of string, bottle tops and anything else that you think might create an interesting picture for Firework night. Draw an outline of the Houses of Parliament and then in the sky above the House add your colourful items to create your very own display.

Or how about asking your parents to fill a big bowl of water, placing it outside and then popping a handful of apples into the water, of course they float (do you know why? Take a look at Katie Jayne’s Interesting Facts to find out why) Then take it in turns to bob …the idea is to grab an apple in your teeth, good luck all!

We love making our own Guy Fawkes. All  you need is an old pair of trousers, jumper or tshirt, something to make a head with and of course some feet and hands. Once you have your items, stuff them with newspaper and then add a big face to your Guy. He will be going onto your bonfire so you do not need to make a perfect Guy. Watch him go up in flames when you add him to your 5th November bonfire.

Another favourite of mine is the Touchy Feely Game. Get some old containers, some tinned spaghetti, some flour mixed with water and some jelly. Place each into their own container (don’t forget to take the spaghetti out of the tin… hahaa…) Now make a cardboard lid but place hole in the centre of the lid big enough for someone to get their hand through. Now attach the cardboard lid to the container. The idea of the game is for your guests to put their hand inside the container and guess what is inside.


Introduction to our guest blogger Christian Steinmeier

Christian has loved animals from a very young age and got the families first dog, when he was 4 or 5 years old and still in kindergarten. The golden retriever was called Bosse and he was a good friend for Christian during his childhood. Christian took him literally everywhere and it was fun for him when they were in the woods together with groups of Christian’s friends building tree houses. But mostly Bosse enjoyed bathing behind a dam that the children used to build in a small river down in the fields not far from his hometown.

Christian went on to study Economics in Bielefeld, Germany and got into the field of online marketing. After graduation, he worked as a full-time SEO for different companies. Now Christian is self-employed doing some freelance work and running websites in the German market. Koalapets was born because he wanted to build a new site around a topic that he loved.

Perhaps you wonder why there is “Koala” in the website’s name when it’s about pets in general? It’s not only because koalas are sweet and fluffy. As marsupials koala mothers take care of their babies in a very loving way. That said they never seem to be stressed and are just “chilled” and mindful. As humans, we should develop these qualities when acting with our pets and animals in general. Koalapets can help you achieve this goal by serving information about pet care and good quality products.

Koalapets is for you if:

You love your pet and want to care in the best and most responsible way you can.

You want to focus on moments you are sharing with your pets.

You want equipment advice based on customer experience and not commercial sales pages.

You are environmentally conscious and want to be a good neighbour to the animals in your surroundings.

Why rats make a great first pet

Rats? Yes, really rats! Unfortunately, these small and furry animals have a bad reputation. But those who spend some time to learn about the litter critters will surely know that they can make great first pets.

In contrast to the picture we have of rats from movies and books, they are very clean and friendly pets. You can even litter train them like a cat or dog and that makes cleaning the cage a lot easier and faster.

The first days with a new pet are special and thrilling, not only for the new owner.

It might be, that rats hide in a cozy place they build from soft bedding in their cage. Additionally, they might not be comfortable being held or touched. But usually, this behaviour goes away after a few days when they get used to their new surroundings.

You will even notice, that every rat has its own personality just like us humans. Some rats are shy but adventurous while other ones are bossy and outgoing. It is fun to watch how different personalities react in the same situations.

Most rats even enjoy human companionship so much, that they can’t get enough of it. That is, of course, not for everyone but if you are the type of person who wants to play with pets it might be the right fit.  Rats are so intelligent, that you can even teach them tricks like:

jumping through hoops

coming when called by name

doing a parcours

and much more.

Where the fun is, there is always at least some kind of commitment. Rats need a lot of care compared to their small size. It starts with their craving for attention as mentioned above. They really need to spend one or two hours out of their cage every day. If they can’t get their activity and playtime it is easy for rats to get bored. And if they get bored frequently, rats will start to chew through their cage and get lethargic.

This is the reason, why rats should be kept in pairs of two at a minimum. So they have a buddy of their own species to play with when you are at school or away with your friends and family.

Of course, rat care means not only playing with your pet, the cage has to be cleaned once a week and they need to be served with fresh food and water every day. But you can do every task on your own and your Mom and Dad don’t have to worry or do these things for you. 

Why don’t you take a look at Christian’s website Koala Pets to find out more and to read some interesting facts about other, well-loved pets.

While you are at it…. don’t forget to send us a picture of your pet for our end of year Pets Gallery….info@katiejayne.co.uk


Katie Jayne’s Interesting Facts

Vote for your Katie Jayne Tutor if you feel that they have been a wonderful teacher over the last few months. Tell us why your tutor deserves a prize for being ‘the best’.

Nominate your tutor by Thursday 5th November and they stand a chance of winning the Katie Jayne Tutor Prize for this term.

Oh and by the way, the reason apples float on water is because when objects are less dense than water, they float when put in water while the objects that are denser sink. … This is why an overall low density is created which makes the apple’s density less than that of water.

Thought For The Week

Spice up your ‘Touchy Feely Game’ by adding items like olives, wriggly worm sweets, hard boiled eggs, peeled advocado’s and any other items that you think might make your guests squirm. Have fun and send us some pictures of your escapades.

Regular items...

Cook’s Corner

Parkin Cake the traditional Guy Fawkes recipe


To weigh syrup and treacle it helps to place the opened tins in a pan of barely simmering water for 5 minutes to make them easier to pour.

Then weigh a saucepan on the scales, and weigh the syrup and treacle into it. Now add the butter and the sugar to the saucepan and place it over a gentle heat until the butter has melted – don’t go away and leave it unattended, because for this you don’t want it to boil.

Meanwhile measure the oatmeal, flour and ginger into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, then gradually stir in the warmed syrup mixture till everything is thoroughly blended. Next add the beaten egg and, lastly, the milk. Now pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake near the centre shelf of the oven for 1½ hours.

Then cool the parkin in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out. Don’t worry if it sinks slightly in the middle – this is quite normal.

When it’s completely cold, store in an airtight tin


225g golden syrup

50gms black treacle

110gms block butter

110gms dark brown soft sugar

225gms medium oatmeal

110gms self raising flour

2 level teaspoons ground ginger

pinch of salt

1 large egg, beaten

I tablespoon milk

Pre-heat the oven to 140°C, gas mark 1

Outdoor Delights

What better outdoor activity this month than setting up a small bonfire in your back garden. Your Mum and Dad will be able to help you, if you cannot have a true bonfire, you could use a fire pit or chiminea. Having a bonfire is primeval, this means that early man knew this as his comfort and warmth, so it is instinctive for humans to feel comfortable and relaxed when sitting around a fire.

This week why not get your favourite sausages and cook them over the bonfire with your family? You could add them to a nice warm bun with some onions and ketchup or make some mashed potato for a warming Bonfire Night meal to eat with your family as you sit and watch your fireworks.


Educational Activities

KS1 German

Learn to count in German this week

KS1 French

Learn to count in French this week

KS1 Science

Watch the life cycle of a plant in this short video

KS2 Italian

Celebrating a birthday in Italian


Dan Snow joins archaeologist Professor Martin Biddle in the churchyard of St Wystan’s Church where he made an explosive discovery that will change the way we think about Viking Britain.