Home Page

18th Onwards: Kingsbury - The swan is our logo.

Dear Parents/carers,

 The previous two topics seem to have gone well with lots of families choosing what they preferred to do from the menu of activities. For the next two weeks we are basing our topic around Swan Lake. With our logo being a swan it seemed relevant and enables everyone to get a bit of experience of ballet and classical music. So we start with the story and link into a few other stories too so lots of reading and English opportunities and chances for drama and puppets again. There are opportunities to find out more about the composer Tchaikovsky and you could go down the geography route of his home country too. There is also the works of Degas the artist who painted ballerinas. For those who like science there are ideas around wildlife starting with swans. There are also lots of fun and interesting craft activities to meet the interests of all.


Swan lake is an old fairy tale with a wizard turning a girl into a swan and a prince being tricked. Tchaikovsky a famous Russian composer wrote music for this and it was used as a ballet. 


Swan Lake was first performed on March 4, 1877 and was regarded as a failure. Critics dismissed Tchaikovsky's music as too noisy. Dancers disliked the fast-paced score. It wasn't until after Tchaikovsky's death that French choreographer, Marius Petipa, revived the iconic ballet. Like so many successful artists the success came much later but Tchaikovsky didn’t let this put him off. He was resilient.


To begin with watch this little bit of the balletThen read the story below.


If you enjoyed that there are two versions of the full ballet you could watch below.

Children performing Swan Lake  or


Adults performing Swan Lake





Always phonics or grammar

Always encourage reading maybe you can  recommend a good book you have read to your classmates


The story of swan lake.  


Swan Lake tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse.

Swan Lake: Act I

It is a beautiful Spring day and Prince Siegfried arrives in the palace courtyards and celebrates his birthday with townspeople and other royalty. During the party, his mother gives him crossbow and tells him that because he is of age now, must get married. Then he takes his new crossbow and goes to the woods with his hunting buddies.

Swan Lake: Act 2

Prince Siegfried finds himself a quiet spot in the forest by an enchanted lake, Swan Lake. While Siegfried watches, he sees the most beautiful swan of all, it’s the queen of the swans. As dusk falls, the swan turns into the most beautiful young woman he has ever seen. Her name is Odette, the Swan Queen. She tells the prince that an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, has turned her and the other girls into swans and that the lake was formed by the tears of their parents’ who miss them so much. Von Rothbart is part black owl and part evil sorcerer.

She tells him that the only way the spell could be broken is if a noble prince pledges his dieing love to her. The Prince, about to confess his love for her, is quickly interrupted by the evil sorcerer Von Rothbart. He takes Odette from Prince Siegfried and commands all of the swan maidens to leave.

Swan Lake: Act 3

The next day is Prince Siegfried’s big birthday party. It’s a huge ball where princes and princesses from all over the land come to celebrate his birthday. Many beautiful princesses come to the party hoping that the Prince will choose them to be his new wife. Although the princesses are lovely, he cannot stop thinking about Odette, the Swan Queen. His mother the Queen commands him to choose a bride, but he cannot. Then something terrible happens. While he is dancing, the evil Von Rothbart arrives and brings his daughter, Odile to the party. He has cast a spell on Odile to make her look just like Odette. The prince instantly falls for this mysterious woman in black, as he dances with her. Oh, no, he thinks she is the Swan maiden from the lake…. He is falling for the wrong girl! It’s a trick…The Prince is being tricked by the evil sorcerer.

Little does he know, the real Odette is watching him from a window. The prince soon confesses his love to wrong girl, thinking that she is Odette. To Odette’s horror, she flies away into the night. Prince Siegfried sees the real Odette flying from the window and realizes he made a terrible mistake. Von Rothbart tells the prince the truth that this is his daughter Odile. Prince Siegfried quickly leaves the party and chases after Odette in hopes that he can make things right again.

Swan Lake: Act 4

Odette flew back to the lake and joined the rest of the girl swans. She is so sad. Prince Siegfried arrives during a terrible storm and searches for his deal Odette. He looks all through the flock of swans until he finally finds her.

He explains to Odette that the evil Von Rothbart tricked him and she forgives him. The strength of true love prevails and Odette and all the swan maidens are human again are free to go back to their loving families. Odette and Seigfired can now marry and live happily ever after.


You can read the story here Swan lake reader


Re tell the story in some format – What will you choose? Make a picture book for younger children, draw a comic strip, write a playscript for puppets, write a story.


Another story with a swan at its heart is Hans Christian Andersons story The Ugly duckling.


Can you act out this story? Puppets and masks below 


There are lots of other English bits linked into the other subjects below.




Listen carefully to the music and see if you can hear the part in the music when the instruments are playing loudly ("Forte") or quietly ("Piano"), or fast ("Presto") and slow ("Largo"). 

Also fun is listening for the different instruments.

Watch and listen here


Here you can hear the famous oboe solo from swan lake


Or here we have the flute


Waltz for flute, violin and cello-


The dying swan

The swan is also represented in another piece of music Saint-Saëns is the composer of a ‘Grand zoological fantasy’ with 14 movements, each representing a different creature – it is scored for cello and two pianos. Carnival of animals in its complete form can be heard here.


 Saint-Saëns: The Swan. The most well known piece from Carnival of the Animals (1886) –While the lyrical cello line evokes a serenely gliding swan, swirling semi-quaver motifs in the piano parts seem to represent the swan’s busy feet beneath the water.



Carnival of animals shadow puppets just for fun.



 Buddha and injured swan   - Find out about the story and think about how and why we should care for all animals.                                                   


 There are so many different ways to make a swan. Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a gallery of all the different swans created.

These links take you to the sites of the picture below starting from top left and working left to right across  the rows.

First swan               Second Swan              Third Swan


Fourth Swan            Fifth Swan                 Sixth Swan


pine cone swan            floral collage  ballerina            Ballerina cut outs 


Gift box                           difficult origami swan              sock swan

Could you make a box costume like this? Sorry no instructions.


Cookery : 

swan cookies 

swan choux buns



Have a go at drawing  a swan, there are several videos showing how below. Which gives best results?

How to draw a swan

How to draw a swan

How to draw a swan more difficult design


Degas was a famous artist who specialised in painting and sculpting ballerinas. 

Find out more and create a fact file

.Degas factsMore Here and even more information here on Youtube


Now have a look at the different art activities linked to Degas below and see what you can do.

Degas ballerinas

How to draw a ballerina

Ballerina paper chain  template attached below

Ballerina sculpture

Foil sculptures

Degas using chalk

Using lolly sticks

Degas colouring page to print


Henri Matisse was a French artist who also created some paintings of dancers (see below).  What words would you use to describe each artist's rendering of dancers? Compare and contrast them using your observations of colors, style, composition, etc.


Last time we learnt to zentangle a feather now try doing a whole swan. I have attached a large copy of this,  one to print and continue colouring but why not draw your own?  


Hand print swan picture, one here and one below.



Photography- lets see how many people can take pictures of swans when out and about in the village. Remember to not get too close particularly at this time of year when nesting and caring for young they can be aggressive when they feel threatened.





Wildlife site  lots of fabulous wildlife activities, I love the cameras at different places. You can also send her pictures of birds you see, how about some swans being sent in


Swan facts create fact files, maybe with flaps and quizzes.

More facts and more.


Did you know there were different types of swans? Create a page showing how to identify them

We did quite a bit of shadow work earlier this year why not try to Make a swan shadow




  • Ballet dancers must be in excellent physical shape. They are very conscious of their diet and nutrition, as well as the importance of keeping physically fit. Ballet takes a lot of energy, hard work and practice! Let's learn about fitness and nutrition...


  • Keeping fit with exercise is the other piece to the healthy body puzzle. Explore places to learn more about keeping fit: is a great website with tons to explore related to fitness for kids!




Tchaikovsky was born in Russia. Have a look at a map and see where that is. 


When we learn about swans in the science section we learn that some swans migrate from one country to another on very long journeys to be in warmer climates. 

There are different types of swans Two species of swan come to the UK each winter: whooper swans migrate from Iceland and Bewick's swans make the journey from Siberia, Russia.  Can you show these journeys on the world map?




Joe Wickes or how about Go Noodle

Ballet dancers train for hours a day and there have been many studies testing the fitness of professional dancers against other athletes and each time the dancers come out on top as a result of the training they do.



Basic ballet  Find out more about ballet can you create an instruction leaflet? Maybe you can try out some ballet steps- we would love to see some short videos.

Ballet lessons


Keep practising your french or try a bit of Russian

swan Lake Lac des cygnes 


When l’abeille (the bee) was young, it was une larve    

When l’âne (the donkey) was young, it was un ânon

When un canard (a duck) was young, it was a caneton (or a canette!)

When un chat (a cat) was young, it was un chaton

When un cheval (a horse) was young, it was a poulain

When la chèvre (goat) was young, it was a chevreau  

When un chien (a dog) was young, it was a chiot

When le cochon (pig) was young, it was a porcelet

When le corbeau (crow) was young, it was un corbillat

When le cygne (swan) was young, it was a cygneau  

When le dauphin (dolphin) was young, it was a delphineau

When le mouton (sheep) was young, it was un agneau

When l’oiseau (bird) was young, it was a oiselet

When la poule (chicken) was young, it was a poussin

When le rat was young, it was a raton


ongoing set via google classrooms and or Dojo plus TTRS Numbots



Facts Tchaikovsky


Write a fact file about Tchaikovsky? 



Pavlova facts     Pavlova

Find out about Pavlova and create a report. Maybe you can research some other famous ballet dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev,  A book read aloud , Margot Fonteyn (you can see Nureyev and Fonteyn together in swan lake here Misty Copeland, Firebird a book about Misty read aloud or Darcy Bussell. 



Click on the swan to change her into Odette.


Change the swan in the day time to a Princess at night time.


Make Odette dance or a robot!


I have also included the user guide for 2Create a Story. 


1.I the Ugly duckling we find the cygnet being judged by others because he doesn’t fit in. What would it be like to feel like this? If someone arrived in your class at school and looked different how would you treat them?


Think about the  crows tale, it was also about how outward appearance is not important but rather your inside, your actions that count. Just as the cygnet (Ugly ducking was treated badly the crow believed others only liked him because he was beautiful and sang well)


2. Also in swan lake watch this clip and think about what the little girl says at the end is it true?



3. Ballet is for girls. Discuss or debate this view with someone in your house  


Billy Elliot is a film and musical. Billy grew up in a Northern Town in an era when gender roles were very defined. Billy went boxing but one day got involved in the girls ballet class, his dad found out and dragged him out this is part of the argument they have. He is banned from ballet.



Another good question to debate- Are ballet dancers as fit or fitter than other sports people? Maybe you need to research what training they have to do.