Nursery Revel In Their Own Little Winter Wonderland
Snow is always guaranteed to cause great excitement in the Nursery and this week was no exception. Our very youngest children couldn’t wait to put on their waterproofs and boots and venture out into the garden to play in the winter wonderland created by the midweek covering. They soon discovered that the snow was the perfect consistency for making snowmen and they enthusiastically worked together to roll balls of snow, shouting with excitement as they got bigger and bigger. Once they had built their snowmen, the children enjoyed exploring the effect of using paint on the snow as they decorated their creations and made patterns on the ground. Back in the classroom, the children spent time this week exploring the traditional story of The Three Little Pigs. The Nursery children listened to the story, acted it out and spent time using story stones and props to retell it with their friends. The resourceful children used straw, sticks and building blocks to make different homes for toy animals and followed up by using their imaginations to create imaginary homes in the shapes of little dens out in the garden. Through these activities the children have been developing their understanding of story structures and expanding their storytelling language.
Sam Forster, Head of Early Years
Caring Reception Hatch A Plan To Look After Ducklings
This week has been a particularly special one for our Reception children. On Monday, our friend, Farmer John delivered a letter asking us to take care of a very important package while he went on holiday… five duckling eggs! The excited children didn’t need asking twice and they set about their task with real enthusiasm and zeal. The curious young learners asked questions and made careful observations, all the while waiting for tiny cracks to appear in the eggshells and they didn’t have too long to wait as the first fluffy arrival hatched on Thursday. Keen to document these key events, the children decided to begin their own duckling diaries, making links in their learning, applying their phonic knowledge to their writing, and being resourceful in the selection of things they could use to help them. The children voted to name the ducklings and the first three hatchlings were duly named Steve, Rose and Timmy. It was a wonderful exercise as it gave the children the opportunity to tally scores and practice their counting skills. The joy of new life seen in spring is a time for real hope and new beginnings, and with the warmer weather (hopefully) coming and Easter fast approaching, it certainly is an exciting time.
Rosie Snagge, Reception Class Teacher
Year 1 In Their Element As They Go From Fire To Ice
Year 1 have been working hard on connectives in literacy this week by learning how to join sentences together using words such as ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘so’. They collaborated successfully in small groups to connect sentences about the Great Fire of London before taking the opportunity to write some of their own. In stark contrast to the Great Fire, Year 1 found themselves ankle deep in the ‘great snow’ as the school grounds were transformed into a magical winter wonderland after heavy snowfall in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The excited children certainly took full advantage, laughing and shrieking with joy as they played with their friends while throwing snowballs, making snow angels and snowmen and sledging on the golf course. Even the teachers got involved in the sledging races and it’s certainly fair to say that some proved they really do have quite the competitive streak!
Rachael Berry, Year 1 Class Teacher
Year 2 Open Their Hearts And Minds To Cultural Diversity
Year 2 have been exploring cultural diversity in their PSHE lessons this week. According to UNESCO, “three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability, and development”. Given the fact that there is evidence that Year 2 children are aware of global events featured in the news, the thoughtful pupils discussed the importance of recognising, respecting and celebrating each other’s backgrounds. The overwhelming result of the discussion was that if we were all the same, then life would be much less interesting. Year 2 found that having friends with unique cultural backgrounds leads to a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life. The children demonstrated a real sense of passion as they confidently and proudly expressed where they were born, where their parents and grandparents were born, languages they could speak, and what languages were spoken at home. They also told their peers about the traditional and modern music and dance that they enjoyed from around the globe. The volume went up a notch further as the eager children discussed their favourite foods and where in the world they had experienced them. Once again, there was immense enthusiasm as they shared where they had enjoyed travelling to in the world and which countries they would like to visit in the future and why. This uplifting, enjoyable and rewarding experience left the children feeling that they knew each other even better than before and that they gained a real appreciation and respect for each other’s unique cultural heritage.
Shirley Jervis, Year 2 Class Teacher
Boomwhacker Instrumental In Year 3’s Musical Odyssey
This term in music, Year 3 have been focusing on orchestral instruments; from learning the four ‘families’ and which instruments belong to them to seeing them played live in the classroom. The children have had the chance to find out not just what the instruments look and sound like but also how they make their sound. Having enjoyed a demonstration on clarinet last week, the children got to see and hear the trumpet this week. The main body of the instrument and a spare mouthpiece were passed around for a closer look and the children had to suggest how they thought a sound was produced. Suggestions ranged from “put the whole mouthpiece into your mouth” to “sing into it” before the correct answer of buzzing (blowing a raspberry) into the mouthpiece was suggested. Many children in Year 3 already have instrumental lessons and, as they prepare to move into Year 4, they are being encouraged to think about taking up an orchestral instrument. Performing as part of a larger ensemble is not only fantastic for musical skills like sight reading but also for more transferrable skills such as concentration and – as with all music – making friends. Therefore, in addition to learning about the orchestra, we have been performing as a class ‘boomwhacker’ band every week. Everyone has a different note and they play their boomwhacker when their note is highlighted on the board. Year 3’s repertoire includes hits such as The Blue Danube and The Lion Sleeps Tonight. While the group may not be the London Symphony Orchestra just yet, everyone is enjoying being part of the team and learning one of the school’s core values – collaboration.
Jessica Harman, Year 3 Music Teacher