We had a fantastic final talent show today - what a treat for me on my last day at Woodford. Our May girls did a great job rapping and singing and really deserved a place in the final. I would like to thank all the May parents for the wonderful gifts I was presented with this morning. I was so touched and I feel honoured to have taught your children this year. The Mays have been a wonderful class and a credit to you all. I am so proud of their achievements and of the effort they have put in. I hope you all have a wonderful Summer with your families and that we get the sunshine back soon. Take care and be safe x
What a great sports day we had showing you all our P.E. skills. I was so proud of all the Mays for their sportsmanship and willingness to try their best. With practise, the children have really improved in their ability to throw accurately and I was impressed with how far some of them threw the javelins. This afternoon we reflected on things which make us happy such as being with our family and friends, playing with pets, visiting places like parks and zoos, bouncing on trampolines and bouncy castles and going on sleepovers! We also learned about road safety and role played driving along roads, using zebra crossings and crossing safely with school crossing patrol people.
Today we wrote about some of the things we enjoyed in healthy week and we had a great time learning some golf games. We learned that the sand on a golf course is called a bunker, the grass is a green and that you can score a birdie or a bogie. The children held a putter and aimed at lots of targets to score points. Later we made healthy cereal bars using oats, fruit and different seeds. We made them hard by putting them in the freezer then cut them into bars and ate them.
We have been busy today trying some new activities. First we did cheerleading and used the pompons, stretching and bending to learn two cheers and make up one of our own. Watch the videos to see how we did. We also tried Cosmic Yoga where we listened to stories and did lots of stretching, balancing and bending actions. We had our 100 points class treat at the park after break and the children enjoyed using the park equipment. After lunch we learned about animals and their babies, finding out the correct baby names like cub, calf and foal. The children matched animals and babies to make their own book. Then we went for a walk to three different areas thinking about mindfulness. The children concentrated on how the ground felt beneath their feet, listened to sounds around them and really noticed what it was like in each place.
Today we found out which was our favourite fruit. We chose from apples, bananas, pears, kiwi, strawberries and grapes. For May class, strawberries were the most popular choice followed closely by apples. We used 2 simple 2 count on the computer to show our results in a graph.
Later we used Sunshine Sam bear to help us remember what we can do to protect ourselves from the sun. The children made their own Sam pictures, carefully sticking on a hat, T shirt and sunglasses and giving him some suncream and a parasol.
We have had a great start to healthy week having fun in the hall on the obstacle course. We used the high climbing frame, benches, trestles, balancing beam together with some hoops, balls and cones. We moved along the benches in different ways using different parts of our bodies.
The Mays listened to some relaxing music and they learned different massage movements which they tried out on each other's backs and arms. They learned to tap their fingers gently like rain, use their palms and fingers in a circular motion to make a butterfly, gently scrape their finger tips for the bear claw, use their thumb and finger to push up and down making roads and to push their two fingers apart like stretching playdough. They decided that they liked the bear claws and butterfly movements best of all. Ask your child to give you a massage and see which you like best.
We had an energetic zumba session in the afternoon having fun and learning lots of dance moves with Kathy.
Next week is Healthy Week. We will be doing a whole range of exciting activities. Children can wear sports clothes all week (t-shirt, shorts/leggings/trousers and trainers). Please make sure children have a sun hat, drink bottle and sun cream applied before school.
I'll send home p.e. bags midweek and on Friday children should come to school in their school P.E. kit ready for our FS/KS1 sports day. (After sports day you will not need to send P.E. kits back. They can stay at home until September.)
Here is Mays timetable
|Monday||Settling time - Morning activity||
in KS1 hall
|Tuesday||Settling time - Morning activity||
pictogram - ICT
Sports Day practise
|Wednesday||Settling time - Morning activity||
SRE - Animals and their babies
|Thursday||Settling time - Morning activity||
|Friday||Settling time - Morning activity||
5 fingers - what makes us happy
The Mays had a lovely transition day today meeting their new Holly class teachers - Mrs Beresford and Mrs Jenkins in their new classroom. The children made birthday cards to be given to each child when they turn six and they drew self-portraits labelled with words describing themselves. They spent time getting to know their teachers and the classroom environment and returned to May classroom looking forward to being in Year 1.
Last week we had 3 CAP workshops. Sam and Jenny taught us that we all have rights. We learnt about our right to feel Safe, we talked about who makes us feel safe and what to do if we don't feel safe. We learnt about our right to feel Strong in our bodies through healthy eating and exercise and in our minds and emotions. We learnt about our right to feel Free to live our lives feeling happy and having fun.
We learnt 3 actions for our rights. Can you show your family our actions?
In session 1 Sam and Jenny showed us different role plays where children were being unkind and hurting others feelings and stopping them from feeling safe, strong and free. We talked about how we could handle those situations. We practised saying "No, stop I don't like it when you do that." We talked about how if we aren't feeling strong we could ask a friend to help us with that.
In session 2 we watched a puppet show where a lady came into our space bubble. We learnt that if that happens and we don't know the person we should take several steps back so that we feel safe and so that we can run if we need to. We learnt about the safety yell that we can do if we need help. The children remembered all the ways we can escape if someone does try to keep hold of us. "Wriggle, pull hair, scratch, kick, hit and yell." Sam and Jenny told us it was important we only do these if we are in danger and don't feel safe.
In session 3 we learnt that we have the right to feel safe, strong and free even with people we know. We watched more roleplays and talked about how we can say "No, stop I don't like it" to grown ups we know if we aren't feeling safe. We also learnt that if someone tells us to keep a secret and that makes us feel unsafe and scared we don't have to keep the secret. We talked about what adults in our lives we feel safe with and could talk to if we didn't feel safe, strong and free. We watched a roleplay where a child talked to Mrs Downes when they didn't feel safe.
We learnt a lot from Sam and Jenny and we will keep talking about and practising our 3 rights.
We had a great time in Global week learning all about Ireland and Northern Ireland. The children enjoyed listening to Irish music and tried making their own Celtic harps. They also learnt a song about Five Little Leprechauns and made up an Irish dance which you can see in the video. This week we also made our own shamrock people, Irish flags, Union flags and collaged some shamrocks with different textured materials. The children learned about famous landmarks and chose one to make their own postcards to invite people to visit Ireland. We had a go at playing an Irish playground game throwing beanbags at a target called Target Toss. Everyone enjoyed making their own Irish soda bread and thought it was delicious! We would like to thank parents for their donations this week, for helping with the Global homework and for coming in to work with the children on some of their craft activities.
This week we are looking at objects and predicting if they will float or sink. We will be trying this on the computer and in our water trays.
This week we are exploring different materials or see which is the best for different situations.
Can you change the surface of the ramp and see what happens to the car?
The Mays have had fun exploring ice and watching what happens when they added salt or warm water to different sized ice blocks. They played with animals living in icy environments and handled ice at different stages of melting. Some children made their own 'cement', mixing sand and water and building a wall using foam blocks with 'cement' to stick them together.
We were so lucky that our 'Painted Lady' butterflies hatched just a few days before the holiday. They popped out so quickly over two days and after their wings had dried out we were able to let them fly away on the last day of term. Look at their beautiful colours! We think our caterpillars grew into butterflies before those in the Oaks and Elms because ours were near the hot water pipes.
We had so much fun on our messy fun day!
This half term we have been practising moving in different ways in time to music. We have moved like the different minibeasts and created our own dances.
Thank you to all the Parents who came to Parents evenings this week. It was great to be able to share all the progress the children have made since starting Foundation and they were very excited to get the chance to share their books with you.
Some parents asked about resources to help support learning at home. Here are just a few that might interest you.
Tricky Words – Here is a fun game that lets you match them first then move on to finding them just from the sound of the words. They're on a bus, train and plane which then drive/fly off when you complete them.
Phase 2 (Autumn term words)
Phase 3 (Spring term words - These will be coming home as homework next week)
Phase 4 (Summer term words - We'll learn these next term)
Reading - Here is a website called 'Teach your monster to read'. It's engaging and interactive and includes a monster avatar. It does letter sounds then blending words, tricky words and sentences. The website is free. There is also an app that you normally have to pay for but that is free until Sunday 26th on google play store, amazon and apple app stores.
We use this game in class to practise our blending skills called Buried Treasure. It lets children practise reading real words and blending 'alien nonsense words' in a fun game.
On the school website there are a selection of other games linked to our learning that you might find helpful or just fun!
We have reached 100 points and earned our class treat. We've decided to have a messy fun day probably on the last day of term. We're just finalising the details and then a letter will come home with all the details.
May class had a wonderful time at Pennywell today. First we held the piglets and some of them squealed really noisily. Then we collected eggs from the hens and looked at the different types of hens and roosters. Some of them had funny hairstyles. Next we milked a goat called Lily. She kept knocking her food bucket over and trying to escape! After lunch we petted the rabbits, guinea pigs and tortoise. We also saw a rat with a long tail. Then we fed the lambs who were very hungry. They all tried to push each other out of the way to get to the bottles. Finally we fed the deer and had a ride on the train which was great fun. Well done to everyone for behaving sensibly and being gentle with the animals and a big thank you to those who helped.
This week the May class had lots of fun learning all about minibeasts as part of our Circle of Life topic. We even went on a minibeast hunt! The children enjoyed looking in the grass and under pots and logs to find different minibeasts. We found lots of woodlice, some snails and even a few worms. In class, we learnt some minibeast songs and some of the Mays had a go at writing about our minibeast hunt.
We also had an exciting addition to our class this week- our very own caterpillars! Each day the May children have checked on our caterpillars to see how much they have grown and we are waiting to see if they are ready to go into their cocoon and turn into butterflies.
The children looked amazing dressed in their wonderful character costumes on World Book day. They enjoyed reading their own books when the bell rang for everyone to stop what they were doing and get out their books. Thank you to parents for helping children with their costumes and a big thanks to those who were able to come in and read to small groups at the end of the day.
The Mays learned about the custom of Shrove Tuesday and how we celebrate by making pancakes. They had great fun choosing a topping for their pancake and even more fun eating it!
This week we have started a new topic - The Circle of Life! We have started to talk about and look at how plants grow and change. We planted our own sunflowers and cress and we're watching how they grow.
This week we learnt about Chinese New Year in Foundation. The children had a fantastic time learning to count and sing in Chinese, as well as learning about how Chinese New Year is celebrated. In their free choice time, the children had a go at making Chinese dragons and masks, as well as writing their own Chinese New Year cards and our class names in Chinese! We also looked at traditional Chinese ribbon dances and had a go at making up our own.
The Mays have worked so hard this half term and we are really proud of how far they have come with their learning. We hope you have a relaxing week off and look forward to seeing all the children refreshed on the 20th.
We hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you for all the homework that has been sent in. It's clear the children have been doing lots of learning during the holiday.
For the first 2 weeks of term we have started our new 'Bears' topic with some Bear Hunting! We read 'We're going on a bear hunt' by Michael Rosen and then one morning we saw something strange in our garden!
The children had lots of ideas about what could have made the footprints and thought maybe we should follow them! This started our own bear hunt.
We followed them across the playground, down the hill, up the path and into the forest!
We searched through the woods and found lots of little bears and in a little den a giant bear!
We had so much fun!
This week used the bear hunt as inspiration to write our own 'hunt' stories. The children had lots of ideas including toy hunts, dinosaur, lion, crocodile, monkey and unicorn hunts and many more!
If you were hunting what would you look for?
This week have had lots of fun! We decorated our own hats for our party and made bags to bring home all our Christmas surprises. At the party we played games and had lots of food! Thanks for all the donations for the party. We had a great time and I was very impressed with what good sports the Mays were!
We had a super carol afternoon wearing our Christmas jumpers and we enjoyed performing Donkey Plodding again from our Wriggly Nativity.
To finish off our term we had a visit from a magician for a super show!!
The Mays have all brought home Christmas bags with things they have made, treats and cards from the staff as well as some Christmas homework so they can practise the things they've learnt this term.
Mrs Turner and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and will see you in the New Year!!
Wow Mays! You have been amazing this week. You sang your hearts out, spoke your lines and danced your dances so brilliantly. We are so proud of you and all the enthusiasm, confidence and joy you put into each performance!
This week we had our class treat. All the children have worked together to earn 100 class points! They earned them by collaborating as a class to do tasks together like line up quietly, listen and be ready to learn, sing their Nativity songs confidently and more. The children voted on their own suggestions for a treat and chose a Cinema afternoon! They had fun watching a film with popcorn and their drinks.
Costumes - Thanks to all the parents who sent in costumes for our Nativity. If you haven't sent one in yet we have the Herald visiting for photos on Tuesday so if we could please have them in by then that would be fantastic. If you're having trouble finding a costume just let us know and we'll see what we can sort out for you.
Party - There is a food list for our class party on the 13th in each classroom. We will be putting them out for people to sign up for an item to bring. If they're not out feel free to remind us! :)
Nativity - We're really looking forward to showing you what we have been working on next week!!
Today we will be sending home costume letters for the Nativity. These letters will let you know your child's part in the Nativity and what sort of costume they will need. If your child has been given a speaking part, they will also be bringing their lines home with them today. We would be grateful if you could help your child to learn these lines- they have also been given the line before theirs to help them to learn their cue. Some children will be dancers and they will be learning their dance in the coming weeks.
This week we have started a new topic - Celebrations. We will be looking at different celebrations from different religions and cultures and talking about what is the same or different from how we celebrate with our families.
This week we talked about birthdays and how we celebrate birthdays in school and at home. We spotted that a birthday party is happening in the home corner!
We also talked about the Hindu celebration of Divali. It's a festival of light. We made our own diva lights and learnt a Divali song.
Here are all the children in Foundation singing ...
This week across the school we have had inter-class competitions in each year group. For Foundation this was a Wake and Shake dance off to a cowboy dance we have learnt. All three classes participated and the class with the best participation won. We Won! Great job Mays.
This week the children had their first fire drill. They were all amazing! The class were very quiet and sensible while we left the building and they followed all of the instructions given to them by the adults. They now know exactly what to do if they hear a fire alarm. Well done May class!
This week the children have also enjoyed experimenting with our new waterway. They have used their critical thinking skills to plan and experiment with where to put different pipes and tubes. They have had a lot of fun using the pipes to tip the see-saw guttering to different sides.
We read a story called 'On my way home' about Claire who hurt her knee and met lots of imaginary characters on her way home. The children made their own puppets to tell the story and some made up their own characters for the story.
The Mays have had a great time settling in and learning our school routines over the last few weeks. They are getting much better at our 'Woodford walking' and sitting and listening on the carpet. This week we have been talking about how it is fun to make lots of new friends and the children are continuing to learn each other's names. They have enjoyed trying out lots of different activities inside and out including role play, painting, construction and water play.
We learned about the festival of Sukkot which is celebrated by Jewish people and visited the forest school to collect leaves and sticks to make a sukkah in class. A sukkah is a type of temporary shelter built from natural materials like branches, twigs and leaves. It has three sides and you can see the stars through the roof. Jewish people made these when they journeyed to a new land long ago and they now make them as part of their celebrations.
Welcome new Mays! It has been great getting to know you and starting to learn together. We will be sharing more about our learning here soon!
Well done to our fantastic Woodford's Got Talent winner. We are so proud of you!!
Well done to all the talented Mays who auditioned for Woodford's Got Talent this year. We had some super singing, dancing, football, skipping and magic skills, story tellers and artists.
The children learned about keeping safe on the roads when the Plymouth Road safety officer came to visit. She brought some things to show where the safe places are to cross the road and the children learned some actions to help them to remember to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK. Then we went to the forest to make some magic potions. We mixed up leaves, twigs, mud and stones with water to make a smelly mixture! After that we had a play, learning to balance on the climbing equipment.
Today we listened to some relaxing music and did some massage on each other's backs and arms. We learned to do different gentle movements - rain - light finger taps, butterflies - moving palms in circular motion, bear claw - gentle scrape with finger tips, roads - using thumb and finger to push up or down in a line and playdough - pushing 2 fingers apart in a stretchy way. Maybe you could ask your child for a massage! The children were very gentle. We also learned about healthy eating today and sorted food into fruit and vegetables to eat every day, foods that are good for us to eat lots of the time and those we need to keep for treats because they have a lot of sugar, salt or fat in them. After that the Mays had great fun making their own healthy roll or wrap for lunch followed by an assortment of fruit.
May class have had fun trying some new activities like golf, goalball, cheerleading and yoga. They also had a chance to explore the climbing equipment in the hall and use the balance bikes in the playground. Here are lots of photos so they can tell you all about it.
Today we learned about keeping safe in the sun and Sam the bear helped us remember to slip on a T shirt, slap on a hat and slop on the suncream to stop us getting sunburn. Then we had fun getting active using the Wii to dance to some Disney songs. After play we had a great time learning some Taekwon-Do moves. First we did some stretches to warm up, then we had to hit the cushion with the palm of our hands, duck, kick the cushion, then jump. It was good fun. Your child should have some information in case they would like to join a club to take up this sport.
*The Faith Centre had to cancel Hindu dance, instead we're going to use the climbing equipment in the hall. I'm sure the children will be really excited by this as they often ask about it!
*Cooking - we are going to be preparing our own lunch. We will be making our own rolls or wraps with different fillings and salad items. We also be making our own fruit salad desserts.
On Monday we had a treat. Matti who is a BMX champion, came to show us his amazing moves. He did lots of tricks and even got Mrs Jones to join in! Matti said if you are interested in learning these types of tricks, join a BMX club and keep practising but don't try to do them at home.
On Tuesday May class found out that they will soon be Year 1 Holly class. Their teachers will be Mrs Barnfield and Mrs Berisford and their teaching assistant is Miss Perkins. Everyone was very excited when they visited their new classroom and met their teachers. May class lined up in the playground outside their new Holly class so that they know where to meet their teachers on the first day back in September. This week they have all written super letters to their new teachers telling them a little about themselves. I am so proud of their writing and I know they are ready for Year 1 learning.
Just as Tim Peake returns to Earth the children are off to space. In the May classroom we have our own space station and the children have been pretending to be astronauts exploring up in space. Everyone has made strange aliens for the astronauts to study and they are keeping a log book to record what they see.
We have a fairyland in the May classroom and the children wrote letters to invite some fairies to come and stay. They told the fairies they could have their own house with a little door and some children asked for girl fairies and some asked for boy fairies. Orla asked for a royal fairy! On Thursday some fairies and elves arrived and everyone was very excited. They seem to move around when we are not looking. The children have had fun rearranging fairyland for the fairies to play in.
This term we have started a new topic called 'Let's Pretend'. We're using our imagination to help us to explore different settings like under the sea and space! Today in ICT we will be using our imagination to create our own aliens.
Can you click on the link and then scroll down until you find Lecky's alien friends.
We have had an exciting 'Global' week learning about Ireland. The children found out about the Irish flag and what its colours of green, white and orange mean. They listened to an Irish storyteller and learned about the 'lurikeen' or leprechaun. It is said that if you manage to catch one it will lead you to the gold at the end of a rainbow so some children made traps to try to catch our own lurikeen. The traps were amazing and the children hid gold coins inside to entice the lurikeen in but unfortunately they were too clever and magical for us and disappeared with our gold! Some children made their own rainbows and some made shamrocks which are the national symbol of Ireland. We watched some wonderful Irish Riverdance and made u p our own dance which you can see in the video. We also mixed and baked our own Irish soda bread which was delicious. On Friday we shared our learning with the Year 1 and 2 classes and learned about Wales and Scotland from them.
After half term May class will be visiting the library on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays. Please read your child's book with them and help them to remember to bring it on Tuesday to change it. Children love to choose their own books and we really appreciate you sharing their library books with them.
I hope you all have a safe and happy half term holiday and that the sun keeps shining for us all.
We had some amazing wigs on Wednesday in aid of CLIC. Thank you for your donations and the children looked great as you can see.
We have had fun finding out about bubbles. We made our own bubble wands in different shapes and found out that the bubbles were still round even if the wand was a triangle. Then Mrs Hancock made us some 3-D frames and we blew some cubes and pyramids.
This week we are investigating floating and sinking. Have a look at these objects - do you think they will float or sink?
This afternoon we will be using water to test objects around the class.
This week we are experimenting with different materials.
Many thanks to all the parents / carers who supported their children in riding their bikes or scooters to school for the 'Big Pedal' this week. Hopefully this will have shown your children that it is fun to ride to school instead of walking or traveling by car and maybe they can do this on a more regular basis. All the children had a turn on Ryan's obstacle course on Tuesday afternoon so here are some pictures. If children did not have a bike or scooter they were able to run the course instead.
*Wednesday is now our new library day. If children want to change their library book could they please bring it in on a Wednesday.*
This week we are looking at water and ice and how we can change them. In ICT we are going to be using a game to show how you can heat and cool different things and see how they change.
As part of our 'I wonder...' topic this week we are investigating light and dark. In Literacy we have been talking about light sources.
Can you find the light sources in this activity?
This week we have also been talking about nocturnal creatures. Can you find the animals which come out at night?
It is great to have everyone back after the Easter break and we had some little visitors to welcome us. Our caterpillars turned into butterflies and hatched during the holiday and you can see a short video of one emerging from its cocoon along with some photographs of the beautiful butterflies before we released them. They were fed on homemade nectar made from sugary water until we let them fly away to make themselves at home in their natural environment.
Our new topic is 'I wonder..' and we will be asking lots of questions and experimenting to find our own answers.
Today in ICT we are looking at how to look after a dog. Look at the dog and see what behaviour he is showing, predict what you think he might need. Try your idea and see if you are right.
It was very exciting today because one of the Oak's caterpillars has changed into a butterfly. It has beautiful wings. Our caterpillars will probably hatch soon during the holidays so we will take photographs.
Have a lovely Easter holiday.
In maths today we have been learning about pattern. For ICT we used an Easter egg decorating game to see if we could decorate an egg with a repeating pattern.
Can you recognise and complete these patterns -
Class treat photos coming soon!
Our caterpillars have been eating and eating and they grew long and fat. This week they spun their cocoons and attached themselves to the paper at the top of the tub. Very carefully we have lifted them into our butterfly net where, hopefully, they should finish their transformation into beautiful butterflies. This may happen during the Easter holidays so we will take photos and maybe video to share with you when we return.
May class brought their teddies to school on Tuesday and we went to the field and play area as it was such a sunny day. Everyone had fun playing football or using the PE equipment and balancing on the wooden climbing equipment. We ate our picnics with our teddies on the grass and noticed that one or two bees and butterflies are starting to appear. Well done Mays for achieving your 100 class points so we could enjoy this treat!
We had a wonderful day at Pennywell on Thursday and the sun shone all day. The children were able to see so many different animals and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. First we all had a turn at milking Primrose the goat. Some of the milk had to be thrown away because Primrose pooed in the bucket which was very funny! Next we looked at some little animals including rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and a rat. We sat in circles and had to stop the animals escaping. The mice were very tickly on our hands. We also stroked a hedgehog and looked at how a chicken has a different beak to a duck. Then we cuddled some cute baby piglets. Next we fed some goats and learned to hold our hands out flat so the goats could lick the food from our hands. We stroked the horses and alpacas and looked at the little Shetland ponies. After lunch some children helped our guide Julia to mix up some milk to feed the lambs and goats. They drank the milk very quickly from the bottles. Then it was time for a train ride and we saw the beautiful deer who also ate food from our hands. Finally we looked at lots of different types of chicken and peeped inside their hen houses to see if they had laid any eggs. Altogether we collected 22 eggs and Julia broke one so we could see the yolk inside. She told us how the hen sits on her egg for 21 days to keep it warm if she wants to grow a chick. Thank you to all the parents who helped us as we could not take the children on these valuable trips without you. The children behaved very well and I hope you will see how much they enjoyed the experience when you look at the photos below.
We have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly and we have our own caterpillars growing in a pot. They were so tiny we could only just see them but look at them now!
Look at how our beans are getting on. They are growing really tall and have lots of leaves. The children are enjoying looking at them and measuring or comparing them. Yellow group have the tallest bean at the moment. I wonder if this will change.
In ICT today we are looking at farm animals ahead of our trip to Pennywell.
We were very lucky on Thursday when one of our families brought in some snakes, lizards and a tortoise to show the children. Everyone had a close look and found out how snakes shed their skins when they grow. We learned that some of the creatures eat mealworms and Tiny the tortoise ate leaves. We compared the length of the ball python to Miss Riggs and found out it will grow much longer than her when it is fully grown.
Well done to everyone who entered the homework competition and produced such amazing posters, models, pictures and potions. They were all fantastic as you can see from the photographs. The winning entry for May class was for 'George's Marvelous Medicine' complete with photographs of the medicine being made, a list of ingredients and three jars of truly awful looking medicine. I was very pleased that the warnings on the jar told me not to drink it! Although none of the May class entries won the overall prize, our winner and a runner up from each group will be choosing a prize from the treasure box on Monday.
On Monday, May class went to Katie's garden to hunt for mini-beasts. We looked in the grass, on the tree, under the leaves, in the flower pots and under the storage shed. Everyone was very excited when we caught some creatures to look at in our viewing pots. The children learned that they should be very gentle with the mini-beasts and they made sure that all the creatures were set free back in their environment before we returned to class. Throughout the week, the children have been making their own mini-beasts and using the science investigation station with magnifying glasses to look closely at model mini-beasts.
This week each group in May class planted a bean. The class learned how seeds need to be planted in soil and given water and light to help them grow. Everyone helped to add soil to a pot and cover the bean seed. After watering the seeds, all the pots were stood by the window and the children will watch to see how they grow. We are wondering if they will all grow at the same time or which group's bean will grow first. I wonder how tall they grow before Easter. Can you look out for seeds at home?
We have been learning about Chinese New Year and the children listened to a story explaining how the Chinese name their years after animals who had a race swimming across a river. The first twelve animals to swim across the river each had a year named after them and this year is the year of the monkey. We found out how Chinese people celebrate with lanterns and parades of dragon dancing. The children watched videos of dragon dancing and they made hats, lanterns, masks and dragons. They learned that the hats were like 3-D cones. Lots of children enjoyed dressing up in Chinese costumes and inventing their own dragon and ribbon dances.
This week in ICT we began to learn about animation and how we can use pictures to tell a story. We drew a picture then changed it slightly each time.
Our stories were about a bear eating his porridge and each picture showed how he had eaten a little more porridge until it was all gone.
Unfortunately uploading all the pictures using the websites photo section prevents the animated gifs from showing you the animation but you can see the first picture the Mays drew and Miss Riggs will think about if there is a different way to make them work.
In our classroom we have a police role play and on Tuesday we were very lucky to have a visit from Orla's mum who is a real police officer. She came in wearing her uniform and showed us all the things she carries with her to do her job. We saw her radio, handcuffs, baton, leg restraints and her special vest that holds all these things. It is very heavy. Some children tried on her hat which is also quite heavy. We heard how police officers help people stay safe and how they have to write things down so they don't forget important information. Many thanks to Orla's mum for an exciting afternoon.
May class have been having fun exploring with porridge oats this week. We have our own new playdough making station and have learned how to mix oats, flour and water to make oaty dough to play with. You use a middle sized bowl of porridge oats, a small bowl of flour (half the size of the middle sized bowl), a small bowl of water and pour them all into a big bowl. You mix it with a spoon then roll it in a sprinkle of flour. In the sand tray there has been dry porridge oats to mix and pour into different containers.
On Thursday we made real porridge in the staff room and tasted it - mmmm. Everyone had a turn at pouring or mixing.
This week we are reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears. In ICT we are making our own scenes from the story.
This week we continued our Bear Hunt story by using musical instruments to add sound effects to our Bear Hunt. Last week we listened to all kinds of instruments and decided which instrument sounded like the different parts of the story.
It has been great to welcome all the children back after the Christmas holiday. I hope you all had a lovely break. Well done to all those who have been practising their tricky words over the holiday. If your child does not know them all yet please keep practising and we will continually revise them in school too.
This week we had a problem on Wednesday - all our class bears went missing! As Orla said "Mrs Downes it's a mystery". Luckily we have a new police role play in our classroom and Mrs Jones phoned PC Go-Faster to ask for help. PC Go-Faster explained that she would need lots of manpower to find the missing bears and we would need to look for clues like finger prints and footprints. Luckily all the foundation children agreed to help in the search and some of the Oaks and Elms remembered they had noticed paw prints on the path leading from their door. We put on our coats and wellies and set off to follow the footprints which looked very much like a bear's. Had Joey, Chocolate and Branston Bear run away or had they been taken? The paw prints led us on our very own 'Bear Hunt' just like the one we had read about in our class story on Monday. We had to go down windy paths, across muddy grass, past noisy builders, up steep steps, through creaky gates, under high arches and into the dark woods where the children found lots of little bears all over the woods. Joey bear was eventually found safe and sound halfway up a tree and in a den the children found a giant bear! We brought him back to the Elms class where there is a bear cave and now the children can have a bear hunt in the classroom.
We look forward to welcoming you into class on Wednesday afternoon so that your child can show you their learning journey and talk to you about their learning this term.
I hope you were all able to see one of our nativity performances last week. The children worked so hard to learn all the songs, dances and words. Thank you so much for your support with the provision of fantastic costumes and helping your children learn their lines. We are really proud of their confidence and their behaviour throughout the four days and we appreciate the many emails, cards and personal messages expressing your enjoyment of the performances.
Santa's workshop has arrived in May class and the children are having fun being elves and writing lists, designing presents and creating wrapping paper to wrap the toys for Santa's sack. Rudolph is on hand to pull the sleigh! I hope you've all sent your letters off to Santa ready for Christmas Eve.
The children have also been busy making decorations for the classroom.
They have cut snowflakes and made some great Rudolphs.
Most children are remembering the names of some 2-D shapes now and starting to talk about them using words like 'corner', straight side and curved. We have begun to introduce some 3-D shapes and everyone is trying very hard to get their tongues around tricky names like 'sphere'. The children had fun finding out how the 3-D shapes have 'faces' and playing with them to see which ones roll or can stack when they build.
We also talked about time and how we sequence events through the day. Some children drew lovely maps to show their daily timetable and others enjoyed using sand-timers to measure what they could do in one minute or more.
At the end of the month we found out about money and used pennies to buy things in our toy shop. The children learned that if you want to buy two toys you need to count up all the pennies for both toys to see how much altogether.
"Look, my plum is a sphere."
"4p and 3p is 7p altogether."
We learned about the Hindu celebration of Diwali and how people use Diva lamps and fireworks in their special festival. We were lucky to have Mrs Bhattacharya come in to show us a powerpoint and she lent us some beautiful clothes to wear in our role play. The children pretended they were celebrating Diwali and made cards and coloured rangoli patterns to decorate the inside and outside of the home.
We have had a busy week enjoying lots of stories throughout book week. Everyone loved the Claire Freedman books about underpants. I hope you watch out if your pants disappear from the line! The children talked about what is the same and different in the stories and compared the underpants. They could see lots of different patterns on the story pants but were not so sure about what was the same. We had a demonstration from Megan who wore some pants on the outside of her trousers so we could see that all pants have the same holes for our legs and body with some elastic so they don't fall down. Thanks Megan you did a great job. Later in the week we had some Year 5 children visiting to read stories to groups in the class. Everyone listened well and enjoyed the stories - Thanks Year 5, you were amazing! On Friday Dennis the Menace (or was it Mr Owen??) came to read a story to the May class while Mrs Downes went to Year 5. All the class looked wonderful dressed in their favourite book character costumes. Well done to Esme who won the class prize and thank you to parents/carers for helping the children look so great.
Our new role play continues our theme of 'Same but different' as we have a hairdresser salon. We were lucky to have a real hairdresser come in to show us how she changes people's hairstyles. Miss Riggs looked very different with her plait and clips and we found out how to make hair spiky too. The children learned to be very gentle when brushing and styling hair and that we would not use scissors as we were not proper hairdressers like Nikki. Our salon is very popular and you might have to wait if you would like an appointment.
This week we wrote caption sentences linked to the story we read last week. We chose an animal to meet on the way home. Everyone did so well listening for the initial phoneme in words and having a go at writing the correct letter shape. In Maths we have been ordering numbers.
Our starting school photo was in the Plympton, Plymstock & Ivybridge News free paper on 9th October. We didn't get told so I'm sorry we couldn't pre-warn you. If you haven't seen it or didn't get a copy you can access their digital archive here. I also managed to download just the page with our children and you can download that here. This week we listened to a story called 'On my way home' by Jill Murphy. We made a story map to help us learn the story and some children had a go at their own story maps. There were lots of characters in the story and we made puppets of these. Some children made a plan of their puppet before they made it. We have been using the recycling station to make lots of models. We are learning to use scissors and join materials with tape and glue. We also went for a short walk along the streets around our school and lots of children spotted letters and numbers in the environment on doors, drains and car registration plates. In Maths we learned about one more and made cakes with one more cherry on top.
We've had a couple of questions lately that I'm sure other parents might be interested in too so I thought I'd share them. I've created a new page at the top for info & dates to share information that might otherwise get lost here. You can check it now for info on the following -
Starting school photo - when will it be out?
Birthdays - Can we send in sweets or cake to share?Christmas Nativity - Will there be one? When is it?
Disco - When, where, how, will you be there?
This week we learned about sukkahs. These are shelters that Jewish people made during their long journey to find new homes in a new land long ago. We went to the forest to find leaves for our sukkahs. Everyone followed the rules about boundaries and sitting in our log circle. We heard lots of birds and noticed how the leaves were changing colour and falling off the trees. The children were very excited when they found a shelter that looked like a sukkah. Back in class lots of children made a sukkah from card and stuck the leaves on the roof. May class also used the library to choose their own books. They were very respectful.
In phonics we have begun to learn the letters c, s, and a. We forgot to mention in the presentation that we are learning the letter name alongside the phoneme (sound) to try and help the children link them. Some parents have been asking about the sayings we use to help children form the letters.
c - over the rainbow, around and stop
s - over the rainbow, around, don't stop - go back the other way
a - over the rainbow, around and stop, up back down and flick
We've updated our helping at home page with the sayings we use.
The children have been exploring activities linked to the sounds we've learnt including making their own sound books, creating playdough letters and writing in a variety of ways.
In maths we have been estimating groups of objects and checking by counting. Some of the girls used the number mats to create their own hopscotch game!
Thank you for the great turn out at the parents presentations today. We hope you found it helpful. If you were unable to attend we will be sending copies of the handouts to you shortly.
We have uploaded the presentations and handouts to the letters page and you can find links below.
Thank you all for support with a lovely first week. We've loved beginning to get to know the children and look forward to teaching them this year. We've loved welcoming some of you into the classrooms after school and we know the children have been excited to show you around. If you haven't come in yet for a look around, feel free to drop in any day when you collect your child.
Next week we will be continuing to observe their friendships and interactions before deciding on the final classes. You will know on the 25th September which class and teacher your child will have. In Foundation children engage in a lot of free-flow activities where they have access to all 3 rooms, teachers, outside areas and all the children in their year group.
Meeting the teacher
You will then be able to sign up to meet your child's teacher and discuss how your child is settling in. You can bring your child to this meeting if you choose.
Next week we will send out a letter about a Presentation Evening where we will share information about how we teach phonics, mathematics and about our school behaviour system. This will provisionally be Tuesday 29th September 5.30pm - 6.30pm. We would ask you to kindly not bring children to this meeting.
Next week the children will have their first lunch with us on Friday 25th September. That day they will need to be collected at 1pm instead of 12 noon. There will be a letter with more information coming out tomorrow.
We do our best to make sure everyone gets copies of any letters however occasionally children take the letters back out of their bags before they leave the classroom. Any letters we send out will also be placed on the letters page of the website.
We hope this information is helpful but do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.