Knowledge Is Power
Nursery Children Get Busy As The Autumn Winds Blow
On a wet and windy autumnal Monday morning, the Nursery children noticed that so many of the surrounding trees were shedding their colourful leaves; the big gusts of wind blowing them all over our lovely garden and the surrounding grounds. This sparked lots of discussion among the children about the change in the seasons and what happens to the environment around us; everything from the beautiful vibrant colours of the leaves before they fall and the mahogany conkers to the easily identifiable sweet chestnuts in their ‘furry’ shells that had already fallen to the floor for us to explore and find. They collected a wealth of leaves, conkers, acorns and acorn ‘hats’ to produce a ‘Leaf Man’ creation in honour of our book of the week. We discussed the vibrant autumn colours – not least the brilliant reds, oranges, pinks and browns – and the children enjoyed mixing paint to make new colours to match the snazzy pumpkins we have in Nursery and the leaves the children found during their nature walks. The Nursery children have also been celebrating the harvest this week, culminating in a heart-warming rendition of the Big Red Combine Harvester song during a lovely service in the chapel. And our harvest theme wasn’t finished there as the eager children got busy in the kitchen baking bread; kneading, rolling and twisting the dough to create a beautiful harvest loaf to mop up the autumn squash soup that we lovingly prepared.
Kerry Chapman, Nursery Class Teacher
Happy Reception Proud Of Their Pumpkin Potions
With the half-term break looming large, our wonderful Reception children have been hands on during a very busy week. With excited chatter in the air surrounding Halloween, we knew it was time to practice our magical mixing skills while making some brilliant pumpkin potions. After listening to the lovely story of Room On The Broom and knowing the recipe for the very best potions, the children set to work. They worked in small groups to first dig out all the extra pumpkin flesh and seeds that they didn’t want in their potions. Getting busy, they made their magical potions by adding lots of ingredients such as shaving foam, food colouring, water and anything else they could find and mixed it all together with glee. And they collaborated to good effect while exploring the shared area for the best utensils to mix the ingredients. Roars of laughter and squeals of delight filled the air as the children experimented with their newly-acquired resources. Back in the classroom, the children have been busy consolidating their numbers up to five, and they have certainly impressed us all with their sharp subitising skills and recalling of number facts.
Hannah Feery, Reception Class Teacher
Year 1 Prove To Be Seasoned Poetry Performers
Performance poetry week is an important and central pillar of our literacy curriculum. This week, Year 1 explored this concept with real enthusiasm. They had the opportunity to explore a wide range of quality poems and chose one, Autumn Days, to learn off by heart to perform as part of a super harvest assembly. We discussed how techniques can be used to enhance performance, such as intonation, tone, tempo and volume to help develop meaning for an audience. The children also spent time creating their own verses and playing around with the language. Between performance practice, Year 1 did some serious brainstorming of adjectives to describe autumn leaves; carefully creating leaf rubbings and finding as many different types of leaves around our school site and naming the tree they came from. After all of the preparation, the children’s performance was a triumph and our audience loved the actions we linked to key aspects of the poem. Well done, Year 1!
Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 1
Year 2 Explorers In The Habit Of Finding Habitats
Year 2 have taken full advantage of the spectacular autumn weather and our expansive grounds by taking the curriculum outside of the classroom. Initially using drama to engage and excite, the children ‘transformed’ into animals and insects the size of a pen lid. They then had to consider the type of habitats that they would need to enable them to survive. Having developed a unique sense of empathy with their invented or real creatures, the assignment became much more meaningful. Like discerning first-time buyers, they established whether their proposed habitat provided sufficient heat, ventilation (air) shelter, light, food, water and, just as importantly, protection from predators. The children considered a variety of habitats and were delighted to uncover and observe myriad insects. And they noted how some of these creatures had adapted to their particular habitats. In fact, some were so well camouflaged that we almost missed them. Some favoured the dampness between rotting pieces of wood and some had cleverly located their habitat within a food source – such as the Year 2 compost bin! Next day, the young explorers took another exciting trip out of the classroom to discover what habitats they could find in our wonderful woodland. The children then honed their collaboration skills to construct tepee shelters. They gathered their own materials – such as dead branches – and cleverly created their very own human habitats, under the watchful eye of Mr Millsom.
Shirley Jervis, Year 2 Class Teacher
Collaboration Key As Year 3 End Half Term On A High
With the harvest festival service and half term fast approaching, collaboration has been the buzzword for Year 3. The children have positively feasted on working together to learn and perform the poem The Chilly Chilli, by Joseph Coelho. With a focus on homophones, the poem has enabled the children to develop their understanding and knowledge of the different spellings while embedding a firm grasp of the contrasting meanings. Speaking competently and coherently, the children took great pleasure in performing the poem to the rest of the school, a performance which also included homophonic signs that the children have created collaboratively in class this week. Year 3’s relating learning power has also been stretched in other areas across the curriculum; through the creation of a ‘class charter’ and learning how to solve complex word problems in maths. Furthermore, away from the classroom, Year 3’s increased ability to apply principles suitable for attacking and defending on the football pitches and netball courts is evident in our weekly matches, which is a result of their enjoyment in communicating, collaborating and competing with others.
Robert Grech, Year 3 Class Teacher