Together We Learn
Rain Fails To Dampen The Spirits Of Nursery Children
The weather this week has been unpredictable to say the least, but it failed to dampen the Nursery children’s enthusiasm for taking their learning outside. Linked to their story of the week, the excellent Room on the Broom, the children have had immense fun exploring different herbs and spices (some of which they have grown themselves) as they mixed magic witches potions in the garden. Suitably dressed for even the heaviest cloudburst, the children used the full water butts in the garden to investigate water using buckets, jugs and water shoots, testing different materials and objects to see if they float or sink and developing their understanding of capacity. Gathered rainwater was used to explore colour mixing, using powder paint and food colouring to create different effects. And, last but not least, this week’s downpours provided some excellent opportunities for one of the Nursery children’s favourite activities – jumping in puddles!
Sam Forster, Head of Early Years
Reception Box Clever As Their Senses Go Into Overdrive
In their child-initiated learning area, Reception’s eager learners delved into the task of exploring mysterious objects within sensory boxes. The children discovered a multitude of curious textures, weights, smells and noises within the boxes, which really got them thinking about using descriptive language to describe what may have been hidden inside. The children were thrilled as they squelched their hands into jelly and felt their noses tingle at the smell of lemon juice. Cheers of excitement and laughter filled the air, which even encouraged one or two adults to have a go! This fun activity linked beautifully with Reception’s literacy lessons where the children have been working hard on supporting their writing by adding adjectives to describe objects that they would need to take on a bear hunt – a topic we have been thinking about this term. At the same time, a fabulous new Reception cake shop opened which allowed the children to role play owning a shop and collaborate to correctly count the change needed to buy various items.
Hannah Feery, Reception Class Teacher
Year 1 Revel In Pilot Ollie’s Flights Of Fancy
Year 1 listened intently this week during the flying visit of pilot and author Rob Johnson. The children were all ears as they heard about the exciting travel adventures of Pilot Ollie and Pilot Polly in Rome, where they explored the colossal Colosseum, discovered perfect pizzas, and tasted gigantic gelatos! The children then tried their hand at being authors themselves; writing a non-fiction book which included many of the facts that they had learned from the brilliant Jasper and his expert team of firefighters the previous week. The children were quick to include illustrations, captions and labels in their booklets and they are looking forward to sharing their creative ideas with the Reception children when the stories are complete. Year 1 also focused on anti-bullying week in PSHE and discussed what bullying is and underlined what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what is not. The children came up with brilliant slogans such as ‘stop bullying, just be kind!’ and ‘bullies are not the boss!’ to drive home the anti-bullying message. The week culminated with computing, where the children had their first taste of coding. They did really well issuing a set of instructions to their learning partners in order to negotiate a course, picking things up and putting them down along the way.
Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 1
Meaningful Artwork Born Out Of Year 2’s Palm-Oil Exploration
The children have this week continued their voyage of discovery into the importance of using products which contain sustainable ingredients. Their investigations found that a number of common products contain palm oil, with oil-palm plantations taking the place of the Asian rainforests. These incredible forests are home to a number of wonderful and special creatures, not least orangutans, and the next step saw the children find out everything they could about these rare wild animals. Year 2 used their impressive fact-finding skills to produce some spectacular artwork related to the topic; highlighting and creating awareness and vital importance of looking after our fragile eco-systems. The children sketched, used oil pastels and watercolours to produce some sensational and stunning artwork. Away from the rainforest, the children focused on being reflective courtesy of Ron Berger’s ‘Model of Excellence’ and found that making mistakes was a fundamental part of the learning process and came as a result of critiquing work. Peers offering kind, specific and helpful suggestions allows for multiple drafts and revisions to improve the final outcome of any piece of work. And a powerful message for parents and pupils from Mr Berger is that often we can settle for lower-quality work because we underestimate the capacity children have to create great work. A bit of time, support and clarity allows all learners the opportunity to create much more than we can possibly imagine.
Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Ponder Conflict And How To Solve It
This week, children in Year 3 have been discussing and celebrating differences in their personal, social, health and economic classes. Focusing on respecting diversity and cultural understanding, pupils learned about the ‘solve it’ technique when resolving conflicts. And they put their new-found knowledge into practice by recreating scenarios where conflict had occurred and methodically worked through several key steps to find a solution. This learning has really empowered the children to demonstrate sensitivity and empathy toward others, as well as nurturing tolerance and respect. Additionally, the boys in Year 3 had the opportunity to develop their personal and social skills through outdoor learning. Visiting Forest School, the boys learnt how to measure a tree’s circumference and record the information accurately. While the boys were busy in the woods, the girls were involved in some wonderful netball matches at home to Amesbury, where they continue to improve both the skillful and competitive elements of their game. To cap off a busy and rewarding week, Year 3 showed their ever-growing confidence and maturity by reading and performing to Year 4 in the sports hall at Highfield. Well done, Year 3!
Robert Grech, Year 3 Class Teacher