Welcome to Class 1
A trip to the Botanical Gardens
We spent a wonderful day at the Botanical Gardens in Leicester. Our morning workshop was all about being a waste buster. We learned what different items were made of and then followed a map around the gardens to find different items that we needed to collect. Each item was by the plant that it came from so, for example, we found apple seeds by the apple tree, orange juice cartons near the orange tree and t shirts near the cotton plant. When we got back, we had to sort the objects to be recycled. After having a picnic in the gardens, we learned about the Green Man, collected different shaped and coloured leaves and sticks and made masks. We then hid in the trees, camouflaged by our masks. It was a fabulous day with lots of sunshine too!
A visit to Warner Woods - Meadow Day
Class One had a lovely morning visiting Warner Woods (if not rather hot) as part of National Meadow Day. The children were very imaginative when pretending to be different mini beasts in a meadow. We were especially impressed with the children acting like thunder bugs (attaching to each other) and spiders (even having 8 legs!). We were also poo detectives and found fox, hare and dog poo. We heard lots of crickets but unfortunately couldn't catch one. We tried cloud watching which was tricky as it was a beautiful blue sky. Instead we saw the moon and an aeroplane. Finally when we got back to school, we had a lovely cold ice lolly to cool ourselves down.
Children in Class One have been learning about ‘real life heroes’. They had the opportunity to dress up as a superhero: From Spiderman to Florence Nightingale we had some amazing costumes. During the day, Early Years participated in Superman themed Dough Disco, drew themselves as a superhero and participated in superhero themed story telling and story acting. Years 1 and 2 made stick puppets to tell their own superhero stories and made a silhouette picture of themselves as a superhero at night in the city. All the children trained like a Jedi and tried a new experiment to bend water!
A visit from a physiotherapist
We found out about the job of a physiotherapist when Mrs Clapham visited us. She showed us some of her equipment that she uses, such as a hammer to test the nerves in your knee and a tool that checks how far you can bend your knee. We tried out the blue elastic she uses for exercises with patients and saw the bed that she uses when she massages people’s backs.
The police come to visit
We really enjoyed a visit from the police. They showed us some of the things they wear and carry with them. We got to talk to the control room through the community police officer’s radio. We even got to go inside a police car and see what it was like. It was great fun to have the lights flashing and the sirens blaring! It was such a fun morning.
Making potato salad
We used the potatoes from the class potato competition to make two types of potato salad. Our first one had radishes, celery and chives with the potatoes. Our second one had spring onions, lemon juice and cumin seeds. We washed and prepared the vegetables and herbs and learned how to hold the knife correctly, as well how to have the best grip on what we were cutting. We observed how the potatoes changed as they cooked and tried our hand at squeezing lemons. We liked the taste and wished we could eat more!
A visit from Mrs Moore, an anaesthetist.
We found out about the important job that Mrs Moore does to help people who go to hospital for an operation. She showed us what she wears and explained why. She told us how she prepares a patient, usually children, for surgery and what information she needs. We looked at the equipment she had brought, heard a heartbeat on the machine, saw the mask used to put people to sleep and saw what a heart looks like. Miss Berry was the prepared for surgery with a cannula in her hand to give her anaesthetic, medicines and water if she needs it. Miss Oatey got dressed to do the operation, making sure that she didn’t touch anything once she’d scrubbed her hands and arms. We learned so much from Mrs Moore and she really does a great job!
Looking after the eggs
We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to see how an incubator works. Last week, we put 10 duck eggs into the incubator. We have a rota, each day, for turning the eggs and checking the temperature inside. Today, 8 days after the eggs went into the incubator, we looked at the eggs with a torch in a dark space to see whether we could see any life inside. We were looking for any signs of veins. Around Thursday 5th July, the ducklings will, hopefully, tap open their shells and make an appearance into the big world!
International Dough Disco Week!
On Monday children made their own dough from a variety of ingredients to create their own unique dough! They will bring a ball of dough home on Friday ready for International Dough Day on Saturday.
On Tuesday the focus finger was ‘baby small’ and we also discussed World Environment Day and how we can protect nature and Planet Earth.
On Wednesday it was national yo-yo day! Peter Pointer wanted to challenge the children to learn to yo-yo. We also got to take a yo-yo home to carry on practising.
On Thursday our focus finger was ‘Ruby Ring’ for exercises to music.
Dough Disco Party Day
On Friday it was pre-international dough disco day party. Early Years came to school in their own sparkly clothes and we had a dough disco party.
The Humungous Carrot
Early years created their own story following on from The Enormous Turnip. As a group they decided on The Humungous carrot! Using their character figures and creating props, we filmed their stories.
In music this term, we have been using technology to create our own compositions. We used our voices to create sound effects of things we might hear as we travelled through the countryside on the train. In groups, we recorded these sound effects using the microphone, operating the record and playback functions and ensuring that everyone worked together to record effectively. We then downloaded our soundtracks onto the computer and played it back, whilst we became the train travelling along. It meant that we could have lots of sounds all at once. Some of us even started to consider the volume of some of the sounds and how long they should last.
Learning from a farmer in Scotland
We used Skype to talk to a farmer in Scotland. He told us all about his farm. He keeps cows and sells his milk to Muller, who make the yogurts. He sent us some photos of his cows, his farm buildings, his dog, who helps him on the farm, and even his cat who is in charge of rodent control. We found out that he gets up very early every day. We were able to ask him some questions about his farm too. It was a great experience.
Early Years children were scientists again today. Our challenge was to make the longest bubble snake using the bottle blower (we did wipe the bottle after each turn!).
This activity introduces the concept of solid, liquid and gas in a familiar way. It encourages children to think about how the water changes during the activity.
A visit to Manor Farm in Thrussington
We went to Manor Farm to find out how they make their yogurts. They have 300 cows which are each milked twice a day. Many of them have already given birth to calves. One calf had been born last night but it was already on its feet! We learned that female calves are called heifers and males are called bull calves. We watched the cows being milked and making their way back to the field and found out how they use the milk to make the yogurt. The huge walk-in fridges were freezing! We got to taste some of the delicious yogurt. It was thick and creamy and tasted amazing!
In dance this half term we been looking at the life cycle of a frog and creating a dance for each part of the life cycle. We twirled slowly as the frogspawn hatched, darted quickly like tadpoles and kicked and jumped as frogs. The children thought very carefully about their movements and performed super dances!! Well done Class 1!
Life in and around a castle
This morning we experienced life during castle times with Lady Jane, Sir John (the knight) and Charlotte (the cook). First we had a go at building our own castle using wattle and daub, and then worked in groups to make a stone castle, looking at the size and layout of the stones. We found out about the foods that the rich and poor ate at the banquet and we made our own sugar decorations for the table as sugar was so expensive then so it wasn’t to be eaten! Learning how to fight like Sir John, the knight, was so much fun! We had to follow his commands: “Form a line” “shield wall” “weapons high” “slow advance” We experienced what it was like for a child in a castle and the toys they would have had (or not had). We finished the morning with a medieval dance.
For our investigation today Miss Berry challenged Early Years to build a strong tower using only jelly babies, cocktail sticks and sugar cubes. We worked in pairs and had some amazing results! The tallest tower was 39cm!
Wake up, shake up!
To get our bodies moving and our brains alert and ready to learn each morning, we do the wake up dance to music. We really enjoy it.
Christmas at Forest School
Oh what a Christmassy morning we had at forest school! We made star decorations by threading the ribbon through the numbered holes. We made Christmas trees from pine cones and enjoyed our hot chocolate and biscuits. It was really icy at first but as it started to melt, we had great fun getting very muddy in the digging area! Some of us pretended to be Rudolph and Santa’s sleigh, flying around forest school delivering presents. It was a magical morning which ended with the story ‘Santa Selfie’ and we created our own Santa selfies!
Early Years Movement for Learning
EYFS children were scientists again today. We filled a plastic bag up with water and sealed it. We then thought what would happen if Miss Berry pushed sharp pencils through the bag. Some of us thought the water would come flowing out. Others thought the bag would pop and the water explode out! Miss Berry pushed 4 pencils through the bag and the water stayed in the bag! Magic! Well no it’s not magic because the bag doesn’t burst because the plastic stretches, rather than tears, as the pencils are pushed through it. We all guessed right that the water would come flooding out as soon as the pencils were taken out.
Mr Kear came into school to tell us about his job as a builder. He brought in lots of tools and equipment that he uses to build a house. We learned about why bricks are deeper these days than they were a long time ago and found out that mortar is made of sand, water and cement. He showed us how to spread mortar between the bricks and use a special tool to make sure that it does not spill out of the sides. He showed us how to use the spirit level to make the bricks flat and even or plumb (vertically). He told us to remember Mrs Kear’s favourite crumble to help us with the word ‘plumb’! We learned a lot and it was great to see, first-hand, how you build.
Year 1 and 2 children have been looking at what we need to make a sentence and how we can improve a sentence to make it more interesting. We started off with a simple sentence and then talked about what words we could add to it. We learned about the word ‘adjective’ and ‘adverb’. We even tried to extend the sentence with a conjunction. We made an amazing sentence but the sentence was so long we couldn’t fit all in the photo!
The ducklings hatch out
After 4 weeks, the day has finally arrived for the ducklings to hatch out. We have been delighted that 5 ducklings have hatched. We are now enjoying them out of the big incubator and under the heat lamp, watching them grow their first feathers and become more adventurous. We have had a chance to hold them and soon they will go to their new home, grow bigger and stronger and eventually learning to swim on the river.
Call the midwives
Mrs Blair and Mrs Martin came to talk to us about their job as a midwife. We learned that a baby stays inside the mother for 40 weeks and gets food from the placenta. We saw how the baby grows and got to feel a pretend tummy to see if we could work out where the baby’s head and legs were. We listened to Andrew’s heartbeat just like a midwife listens to the baby’s heartbeat and found out that babies have a faster heartbeat than anyone else.
The Hungry Caterpillar
Early years have been participating in weekly dance sessions with Mrs Jaggard. Each week the dances are based a story. This week the theme was The Hungry Caterpillar. The children started the session with a warm ups where they had to follow every move the person in front it. They were very focused and followed each other carefully. The children then had to pretend to be the tiny caterpillar slithering along the floor. They then took it in turns to either be a fruit (strawberry, plum or pear) or the caterpillar going through the fruit as they ate it. Again the children showed excellent control and coordination and also respect for each other. Finally they went into their cocoons and emerged as a beautiful butterfly! They slowly and softly expanded their wings and fluttered around the room. Well done beautiful movement.
An ex-army officer to visit
Mr Rees came in to talk to us about his job as an ex-army officer. He told us about living in a tent, the dangers of his job and the creatures he encountered. We saw his uniform and badges and learned how he used to parachute out of an aeroplane.
The Lady of the Lamp visits Class One
We had a visit from Florence Nightingale. She told us all about her life, showed us her lamp and her medicine case. We sorted objects from her life into those that would have been used for cleaning, cooking and nursing and tried our hand at grinding spices, using a pestle and mortar, to make medicines. We even made pills using the pill machine. We dressed up as soldiers and nurses and re-enacted Florence’s role in the hospital.
The Life of Florence Nightingale
We have really enjoyed learning about Florence Nightingale and why she is remembered today as being such a hero. We re-enacted Florence Nightingale’s life. Who can spot the deliberate mistake? Watch and listen carefully.
Chicks to visit
Mrs Kear brought in her chicks and told us all about their life so far. We watched a film clip showing how they hatched out of their egg and began their life. She told us about some of them being kept underneath a heat lamp to help them become stronger because the mother has so many chicks she finds it hard to keep them all warm.
A visit from Peter’s lambs
4 lambs came to visit Class One today. We found out how old the lambs are, what they are fed and when and where they live. We learned about their breed and about what will happen to them as they get older. We loved stroking them and feeding them milk from a bottle.
Spring time at Forest School
We spent a lovely spring morning at forest school, even the weather was spring like! We enjoyed getting messy, mixing bird seed and lard to make bird feeders to hang in our garden. We explored forest school and used our imagination in many different ways, working really well in groups and pairs. Some of us set up our own nature club, building an activity and feeding area for squirrels and other small creatures that might visit. We all made our own Easter bunny from a pine cone and had to search for something fluffy for its tail! We transformed the digging area into a representation of the Easter story, binding sticks to make crosses, building a fence and even making Jesus and the guards and a table for the Last Supper! Miss Oatey and Miss Berry were very impressed with how engaged we all were in our activities and how well we worked together.
Prepare for battle!
We went into battle to re-enact the Battle of Hastings. Harold from Norway’s army first fought against King Harold of England’s army in the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Then, feeling tired, they heard of the invasion of William from France and immediately made their way to the south of England. Unfortunately they could not defeat William and his army and William was declared king and became known as William the Conqueror.
We have been thinking about prayer and what we might want to pray for, including saying thank you for things, asking for God's help and being thoughtful. Early Years took turns to say their own prayer whilst Year 1 and 2 wrote their own prayers.
Rhythm and Pulse
In music this term we have been learning about pulse and rhythm and how these are different. We marched in time to the pulse of different pieces of music. We then made our own musical patterns using the words ‘spider’ and ‘snail’. We took it in turns to be conductors in our grouping and then joined together to create our own whole class piece of music using our rhythms.
First we filled a glass jar half-way with cream. We put the lid on and started shaking. It was hard work and took us over two days to do it! When the sloshing sound stopped, we removed the lid and checked for whipped cream! We popped the lid back on and continued to shake until the mixture separated into buttermilk and butter. We removed the butter and rinsed it and then it was time to try it. We tried the butter on crackers. It was delicious.
Boom Boom Shake the Alphabet
Early Years children have been busy learning their letter names as well as their sounds. We use Mr Mc's alphabet video to help us remember the letter names. We have great fun singing and dancing along as we learn.
Celebrating our first topic of the year
We invited all the parents in to see what we had been learning about this half term in our topic about buildings and homes. We talked about types of houses and buildings, what they are made of, the job of a builder, what homes were like inside a long time ago and about animal homes. We shared some of the answers to the questions we had asked at the start of the topic too.
Foundation Stage were scientists again this week and were investigating the viscosity (thickness) of liquids. A few weeks ago we had a race with different liquids and found out that liquid soap and syrup were the slowest liquid and water was the fastest. This helped us this week when we conducted the marble drop. We predicted that the marble would travel fast through water because the liquid is “runny”. We predicted that the marble would travel slowly or not at all through the syrup and tomato sauce because the liquid is “thick and sticky”.
Year 1 listened to a fire safety talk given by the Fire and Rescue Service. Year 1 learned how to keep safe, what the Fire and Rescue Service do.
Important facts for us to remember are:
1. Matches and lighters are dangerous.
2. Never play with matches.
3. If there is smoke, crawl low and shout.
4. Stop, drop and roll!
Foundation Stage children were amazed again this week when we made raisins dance! We experimented and predicted what we thought would happen putting a handful of raisins into water and then lemonade. We predicted correctly that the raisins would sink in the water. We then poured the lemonade into the glass and noticed the bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass (the bubbles are carbon dioxide gas released from the liquid). We thought it was very funny when the raisins started to jump up and down in the glass. This is because raisins are denser than the liquid in the lemonade, so initially they sink to the bottom of the glass. The carbonated soft drink releases carbon dioxide bubbles. When these bubbles stick to the rough surface of a raisin, the raisin is lifted because of the increase in buoyancy. When the raisin reaches the surface, the bubbles pop, and the carbon dioxide gas escapes into the air. This causes the raisin to lose buoyancy and sink. This rising and sinking of the raisins continues until most of the carbon dioxide has escaped, and the lemonade goes flat. The children noticed the raisins stopped dancing when the bubbles stopped in the lemonade. Some scientists in the making!
Helping the homeless
Following on from our topic last term of ‘our world’, Class One invited in two visitors from the Charity ‘The Bridge’ in Leicester. They spoke about the work of the charity in helping homeless people in the local area. The children then presented them with their donations of items to help homeless people who are currently living on the street. These donations included food, clothing and sleeping bags.
Writing to the Queen
Early Years have been busy this week writing letters and drawing pictures to the Queen ready for our new topic next term.
We have learnt all about the journey of a letter after it gets posted in a post box. We even walked to the post box in the village to post our letter. We then visited the shop so Mrs Moore could buy some stamps.
Year 1 and 2 children have made their own version of the story Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field. They had great fun thinking about words that would rhyme and using expression to sound like the cat and the frog.
Over the past 5 weeks the children in Class 1 have worked really hard to create and perform their ‘Handa’s Surprise’ dance. They have used mime and dance to pretend to be children in Africa and to be monkeys and elephants! Well done Class 1!
We have been finding out about the Hindu festival of Diwali. We listened to the story of Rama and Sita which is an important story for Hindus. We then made Diwali cards, created diva lamps and tried making Mendhi patterns by drawing around our hand and creating patterns on it. We also found out what a Rangoli pattern is and how and why it is made and tried to create our own. We talked about the lights being turned on in Leicester too and realised that it is a festival celebrated very close to home.
To begin this science experiment with Foundation Stage children we first explored what might happen. For this, I asked the children to make predictions of what they thought would happen when the skittles were covered with water. We had a variety of answers and the children were excited to test out their theories. We placed skittles around the edge of a white plate and covered them with water. We then watched what happened. Within a matter of minutes, our Skittles had dissolved into a beautiful and bright display.
A happy start to the new school year
Reception children have settled quickly into school life and are enjoying all the activities on offer. They are already showing how independent they are with selecting their own activities and resources. They have shown how well they can sit to listen to a story.
Here they have painted a picture of themselves.