The Wonder Of Winter
Head’s topic of the month
Starting this month, Highfield Head Suzannah Cryer and Brookham Head Sophie Baber will take it in turns to share a monthly reflection on key topics and themes that are central to school life. This month Suzannah talks about pastoral care.
Nursery Children Cool As Ice Exploring The Big Freeze
In the Nursery, we always try to take advantage of whatever the weather throws at us to find learning opportunities, and this week’s cold snap was no exception. Suitably dressed against the elements, the children enjoyed exploring the properties of ice that was frozen in the garden trays, buckets and puddles. They enthusiastically liberated toy animals that had become trapped in the ice by using tools to chip away at it or pouring on warm water, and there was lots of discussion about what made water change its state. The children also enjoyed learning about some of the ways in which animals prepare for and survive cold weather and were keen to make bird feeders using pine cones, lard and seeds. The feeders are now hanging proudly in the Nursery garden to feed our feathered friends. The cold weather theme also inspired some creative art work, with the children painting snow scenes, creating winter collages, and making snowflakes in the craft area. All we need now is some real snow!
Sam Forster, Head of Early Years
Reception School Their Parents In The Joys Of Forest School
Inviting visitors to join us in school is always a real treat. On Monday, the excited Reception children, warm and cosy in their wet-weather gear, eagerly awaited the arrival of their mums (and some dads) for a special trip to Forest School. Having greeted them with enthusiastic hugs, the children shared how important it was for them to stretch their relating learning muscles by listening to instructions before lining up ready to head towards the woods. As there has been lots of forestry work taking place, the children felt it was important to remind their visitors and each other of the Forest School rules. Using their previous knowledge of how to whittle, sticks were sharpened and topped with a tasty marshmallow which was roasted over the roaring campfire. In preparation for the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch at the end of January, the keen young learners were set the challenge of making a natural bird feeder out of seeds, lard and pine cones, which required the children to work collaboratively with their mums and dads. Once complete, the children needed to attach the fiddly string to their creation, which required perseverance to achieve the end goal. Now, all the children are looking forward to seeing which birds visit their new feeders.
Georgie Hunter, Head of Reception
Year 1 In Their Element With Fire And Ice
The Year 1 children this week revelled in their frosty environment as they were joined by Year 2 for a magical visit to Forest School. Wrapped in their hats, scarves and gloves, the children had so much fun whittling sticks and toasting marshmallows over the campfire. And when their little fingers and toes started getting cold, the children tucked into some delicious hot chocolate to warm up. They also had the chance to explore our wonderful woodland; finding some huge chunks of ice that had formed from puddles. Back in the classroom, in maths, the children worked on place values involving numbers up to 20 and found easier ways to count numbers using groups of 10. Busy Year 1 explored all sorts of resources to help them with their counting, including dienes, tens frames, and bead strings.
Rachael Berry, Year 1 Class Teacher
One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Year 2…
Inspired by their visit to the South Downs Planetarium, Year 2 have immersed themselves in more astral learning. The young stargazers discovered that a moon is a celestial object that orbits a planet and that Earth has one moon whereas the mighty planet Jupiter has four major moons and many small ones. The would-be astronomers also found that Earth’s moon is one of the biggest moons within our solar system compared to the planet it orbits. Building on what they learned at the planetarium in Chichester, Year 2 constructed astronomical sentences to describe the moon, using a range of conjunctions to extend them. The children had plenty of opportunity to reflect on their work and make improvements and the results were out of this world. Continuing the space theme, the children worked together and used their mathematical skills to work out the relative sizes of the planets as they created their very own solar system. Not only that, Year 2 got to sample some real astronaut food; foods that have had almost 98% of their water removed to preserve them for long periods in space. The chocolate ice cream went down particularly well with most of our future astronauts. For others, space strawberries will be the food of choice on their next mission.
Charlie Millsom, Head of Year 2
Year 3 Book In For Spring Term Elections
The new term marks the opportunity for the Year 3 children to put themselves forward as contenders for the Spring Term House Captains’ roles. Those children who chose to stand for election had prepared well-thought-out pledge speeches which they gave to their respective houses. The added element of organising playground games during break offers the Years 3 children a chance to demonstrate their relating learning skills by listening to each other, showing empathy and understanding, while also recognising the importance of helping their contemporaries and those further down the school. Moreover, the occasion allowed the children to develop their presentation skills, speaking audibly and fluently in front of a large audience. After a close-run contest, there was a chance to take on other leadership roles such as the class Eco Warrior, School Council member or Reading Ambassador. These opportunities not only play an important part in empowering the children to plan and lead whole-school events but also allow them to develop key life skills.
Henrietta Platt, Head of Year 3