Mindful Of Our Mental Health
Nursery Build Solid Learning Foundations
There has been huge excitement in the Nursery this week as work has started on the new extension. The children arrived at school on Monday to find an area in front of Woodlands fenced off but, luckily for them, they have a prime viewing spot from inside the Woodlands classroom. The children were delighted to be able to watch the action as diggers arrived and the builders started to clear the ground. Unsurprisingly, the Nursery was soon full of enthusiastic mini builders, dressed in appropriate safety gear of high-vis jackets and hard hats, with tools at the ready. In the garden, inspired by what they had seen, the children dug foundations of their own in the sandpit and used wheelbarrows to transport sand and buckets to collect water, working together on their own building projects. In music with Mr Moo, the building theme continued as the children learnt the words to the song The Wise Man Builds His House Upon The Rock, complete with timely actions. The start of the new build this week has provide a wonderful stimulus to fire the children’s imagination and develop new language, as well as an ideal opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of the world. Undoubtedly, as the project progresses, it is going to continue to offer a host of exciting learning opportunities for the youngest members of the Brookham community.
Sam Forster, Head of Nursery
Reception Children Ponder What Makes Them Happy
This week, the Reception children have all been considering their mental health and discussing what it is that makes them happy and keeps them healthy and motivated in life. In Reception, it was agreed that great friends, a positive attitude and being active all contributed significantly to the quality of all our lives which, in turn, motivates us to be our very best and enjoy life to the full. In Brookham, the children definitely lead a very active life and have busy days at school. They enjoy a range of sports each week and several sessions at Forest School that allow the development of gross and fine motor skills, social confidence and emotional resilience to persevere with the challenges they face; be it jumping into the pool or dribbling a hockey ball on both sides of their body. Their self-belief and confidence to persevere aids them in attempting challenges, all the while enthusiastically supporting each other. At Forest School, a highlight this week was seeing a robin fly in right next to the children’s mud kitchen looking for food in their freshly-dug areas, a fantastic example of the wonderful grounds that we all enjoy. In line with the rest of the school, the children thoroughly enjoyed planting cress seeds that they will eagerly nurture in anticipation of their imminent growth. This planting project sparked interesting conversations regarding the start of spring and and how things that are sown now can be enjoyed during the summer months, such as fruit and vegetables. The children also discussed the importance of a balanced diet and how it’s important to be mindful of the environment while producing food. The Reception children had fantastic, mature and considered discussions. We really do reap what we sew in life; we continue to persevere with a positive mind set, aspiring to be our very best.
Rebecca Lane, Reception Class Teacher
Mindful Year 1 Find Collaboration Bears Fruit
To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, the Year 1 team have been working and growing together in more ways than one. During an interesting walk-and-talk session, we discussed as a group, both children and adults, how it’s just as important to look after our minds as it is our bodies. We also considered how best to support our friends in a time of need. We also thought about what makes us feel calm and shared exciting events that we are looking forward to. As a visual comparison, the children planted cress and are now looking forward to watching it grow over the coming weeks, making links to their own growth and development, while in PSHE – Personal, Social, Health and Economic education – we have been thinking about our dreams and goals, thinking about the things we are already good at and setting new achievable goals to work towards. Meanwhile, the key skill of collaboration was alive and well during science this week when the children worked in pairs to guide one another blindfolded through an obstacle course. The children’s sense of hearing and touch was put firmly to the test as their sight option was taken away, so communication was key in navigating the challenging course. Year 1 also exercised their brains this week during an exciting remote workshop with poet Joe Coelho, who taught the children about different types of poems, including riddles, Shakespearean sonnets and rhyming poems, and where to look for inspiration for their own writing.
Kerri Wilkes, Year 1 Teacher
Poetry Workshop Inspires Year 2 Riddlers
Year 2 were revved up and enthused by poet Joseph Coelho this week after an inspiring workshop which led to them to writing their own riddles. With similes flowing and an abundance of adjectives, the children enjoyed using their resourceful learning muscle. Imaginations ran wild, resulting in the creation of vivid poems entitled ‘What am I?’, which generated an enigmatic guessing game. The children benefitted from being able to play with language and sentence structure. This not only helped to enhance creativity but also enabled them to find new ways to communicate, developing confidence and competence with their speaking and listening skills. As part of Children’s Mental Health Week, the children could stretch their relating learning power further with a ‘walk and talk’ activity. It was wonderful to witness the fervent conversations going on as they wandered around the grounds, listening intently to one another with smiles aplenty. Growing together emotionally is an essential part of school life; knowing who is there to support us when things get tough was highlighted as a way to help us to continue to grow and flourish.
Henrietta Platt, Year 2 Teacher
Year 3 Prove They Are Made Of The ‘Write’ Stuff
It has been another busy and exciting week in Year 3 as we rocketed into half-term. The week started with a poetry workshop with poet Joseph Coelho. The children were inspired by his reading and his simple tips for getting started on writing poems. They learned how to read poetry aloud to maximise its effect on the listener, lots about how to write poetry for themselves, and how to put twists into traditional tales to make them original and fun. They were fascinated to learn that a poem can be just one word, with a cleverly written title. The children also got involved in Internet Safety Week, learning all about how to stay safe online. Teaching this important skill is designed to help the children find their way safely around the internet, giving them top tips on what they can do to protect themselves and what potential dangers to look out for. These range from keeping their personal details safe to not opening e-mails when they don’t know the sender. In PSHE, the children stayed mindful during their learning, which tied in perfectly as the school marked Children’s Mental Health Week. At Brookham, we are all well and truly spoiled for opportunities to convene with nature, and that is just what the children have been doing in their lessons all week. Walking with friends and watching the world go by is the most marvellous activity and all of the children enjoyed their nature walks enormously, noticing the first signs of spring along the way. It was a lovely way to end a productive first half of the Spring Term.
Stephanie Turner, Year 3 Teacher