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Willow Class Blog 2017

Week 3

This week we have been preparing for and enjoying Nanny's 80th birthday. ( Nanny is one of our class puppets)

We used Purple Mash, an online educational website, to make birthday cards for Nanny. The children's computer skills are showing great improvement.

We thought about the sort of birthday cake Nanny would like and all worked on our own designs. We then combined many of the ideas to make a spectacular four tier pink and purple show stopping cake!

 

 

In groups the children worked together to make presents for Nanny; a repeating pattern necklace, a stunning bracelet, a floral hat and a super handbag. These were all presented to Nanny on her birthday party.

  

 

 

 

 

Friday was also 'Children In Need' and a music day in school, so much excitement in one day!

Each class learnt a song and performed to the school. There will hopefully be a clip of us singing our song to follow shortly.

We also spent time investigating a range of instruments and listened to a wide range of music.

We are working very hard on learning new sounds in Phonics and are beginning to read and write simple sentences- details to follow next week!

 

 

Week 2

 It's been another busy week filled with special events! This week we have been finding out about Guy Fawkes Day. We learnt all about Guy Fawkes and why we have bonfires and fireworks today.

We had great fun with our bonfire and burning the guy we made. We were all very sensible with our sparklers and talked about keeping safe with fireworks and around the fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday was community day in school. We were all finding out about different jobs and careers. We had many visitors in school to talk to us about their jobs. We all really enjoyed our visit from a fire fighter at Gatwick Airport. The children had some great questions for him to find out all about his training and job.

 

 

 

 

 

Each class also decided to investigate a different profession. The vote came down to train driver or astronaut and astronaut was the winner.

We had great fun finding out about life on the space station and how the astronauts do everyday things like wash their hair and sleep. We tried out some astronaut training activities to improve our hand/eye co-ordination.

 

On Friday we walked to St Helen's church for the year 6 Remembrance day service. We had learnt all about the significance of the poppy in class. It was a an informative and entertaining assembly and we had many comments on how well everybody behaved, well done again Willow Class!

 

Next week we are looking at birthdays. Nanny, one of our class puppets is going to be 80 next week! Of course we will be having a party for her.

 

 

Term 2

This term the children have chosen their topic to be " Celebrations"- they are very excited about all the parties and food that will be involved!

 

This week we began by looking at Diwali. We learnt about how and why it is celebrated.

We had great fun with the Diwali dancing, hope you enjoyed the videos!

We made our own diva lamps using the hot glue gun which the children are getting very confident using safely.

 

 

We looked at Mendhi patterns and worked on our own patterns.

 

In maths this week we have been investigating weight and looking at heavy and light. We have been using balances to order two items by weight and using the vocabulary of heavy and light.

In The Glade we worked in teams to make our own balances and used them to compare natural objects we found. In the class we made our own balances using a range of equipment.

 

 

 

This week we learn how to use the Beebot's- programmable robots. We learnt how to send them the desired distance forwards and backwards.

 

 

 

In Phonics the children have been working hard on blending and segmenting the sounds we have learnt so far. This week we have learnt about tricky words- words that can not be sounded out easily, eg no, go, to, the, into, I. Each child will have a tricky word bookmark sent home in their reading books next week. It would be great if you could practise reading these each time they read their reading books.

 

In The Glade this week we have been learning how to use palm drills safely. The children have been making their own necklaces.

 

  

 

 

 

Term 1

Welcome to Willow Class!

We have spent the week letting the children getting familiar with the classroom and school and getting to know them. We work hard on independence and they are all beginning to remember where their trays and pegs are and look after their own belongings.

The children are all placed in a colour group. These groups are used for organising activities, sitting at home time and most importantly to them at the moment into which colour box their very popular water bottles are kept!

 

Our timetable is on the class page and we follow it roughly but as you can imagine with a class of 4 year olds nothing is set in stone!  We join Year 1 and 2 on the playground for morning play and lunch time playtime. We do not have an afternoon play time as we are either in our outside classroom or our wildlife area The Glade. We do not attend collective worship yet but will attend suitable assemblies throughout the year. We will join the school in St Helen's church was special events throughout the year.

 

This week we have been talking about we are all different and special in our own ways. We have been talking about feelings and what makes us happy and sad.

We all made our own collage faces for a class display, looking carefully at the position , size and colour of our facial features.

 

We looked at pictures of Willow trees and talked about the different parts of the tree. The children enjoyed painting pictures of Willow trees and many adults passing through our class commented on the care they were taking and the impressive results.

Three children that worked extremely hard on their paintings were Lily, Jack and Amelia and they all went to show Mrs Jarvis. Mrs Jarvis loves to hear about hard work and anybody sent to share their work is rewarded with a highly prized sticker and get to write their name in the special book. At the end of each term one of the names is drawn out of a hat for a prize.

 

 

We have explored the field, enjoying  some catching and throwing practise, a go on the trim trail and a welly walk! Next week we will explore more of the school with first visits to the ICT suite, The Glade, and using the hall for PE and Drama. It seems a very big and confusing building when you are 4.

The empty classroom next to ours, is used for group work, meetings and clubs. It is called The Pond and we use the toilets in here at playtime and when getting ready for lunch so please don't be concerned when your child insists they go to toilet in the pond!

 

I have been asked about the baseline assessments as there has been stories about it in the news. Please be assured we do not use any formal testing on your child this term. Our assessments are all based on play based observations, discussions and activities. This ensures we have a good understanding of your child's abilities, strengths and areas for development to base our planning on. You will be invited in towards the end of the term to share your child's Learning Journey with them, this contains a record of such observations.

 

Next week we will be talking about our houses and looking at houses in stories.

 

Week 2

This week we have been thinking about houses. We talked about our own houses and the colour of the doors and roof etc. We made our first visit to the ICT suite to use Purple Mash, a website we subscribe to. We used a colouring program to draw our own houses. The computers in school are controlled by mice which was a real challenge for the children!

 

We made houses with different shapes. This helped me judge the children's awareness and knowledge of shape to aid initial assessments and future planning.

 

  

 

  

 

We have been looking at different houses in stories this week. We shared the story of "The Three Little Pigs" and in The Glade on Friday we made our own pig stick houses.

      

 

      

 

We also shared the story of " Hansel and Gretel" and designed our own candy houses using Purple Mash and drawing.

 

This week in Phonics we have been working on hearing the differences between environmental, instrumental and animal sounds in preparation for learning letter sounds which will start next week.

 

We have great fun in PE this week. Everybody had a good try at changing into their PE kits and we didn't lose too many clothes! We looked at the effect of exercise on our bodies and the importance of warming up before exercising. We worked on our throwing and catching skills with beanbags. The children really enjoyed the visit from the 100 metre runner Reuben Arthur on Monday. They completed their exercises and listened really well to how Reuben stays fit and healthy. Please return your sponsor forms and money as soon as possible. The money is shared between ourselves and British athletics, both very good causes!

 

 

On the weekly timetable you may have noticed on a Thursday afternoon it has PPA. This is my allocated non-contact time for preparation, planning and assessment. I am out of the class and Mrs Fitzpatrick and Mrs Luscombe lead the learning.

 

We have had a very busy, fun filled week and the children have settled amazingly!

We do spend part of everyday in our outside learning areas including our fenced area, the field and The Glade. The weather never stops us and itself provides so many starting points for discussion and learning. Some of the time is planned learning activities and some will be the children's own choice of learning. We have waterproof clothing for all the children and umbrella's just for fun!

 

Week 4.

Another busy week!

The children were very excited to begin learning sounds in Phonics sessions this week. We have learnt the name, sound and Jolly Phonics action for the letters t and I. We have practised saying and recognising them through a range of games, songs, interactive resources and video clips. We have practised the cursive formation in a range of ways including in the sand, shaving foam. tracing, large scale chalks and on rolls of paper outside.

 

 

 

 

 

We practised the correct size and positioning on the line using individual dry wipe boards.

 

In maths we have been ordering objects by size and using the vocabulary tall, tallest, long, longest, short and shortest.

In The Glade we ordered sticks and described their size using this vocabulary.

  

 

In the class we made towers of brick using unifix bricks and had great fun making playdough worms that were longer and shorter.

 

 

 

This week we have been talking about our families and the children made a collage member of their family.

 

 

We were also busy in The Glade renewing our Reflective area- a quiet area where the children can just enjoy the peace or say a little prayer. We had decorated CDs to hang in the trees and painted stones to define the boundary. They were very pleased with the results.

 

 

We also worked on the mini-beast hotel. Counting bundles of 10 sticks and tying them with string together with pine cones we collected from the field.

 

Next week we will be working on our Fairy Garden, which took quite a battering last year! Any garden ornaments suitable would be greatly appreciated. Bring them along to the Fairy Tea Party next Friday and help your child decide the best spot for them. Many Thanks!

 

This was just some of our week! I hope its clearer that your children aren't playing with Lego and dressing up all day, even though there is always time for that! Play is a vital element of their early learning and something we will continue throughout the whole year.

 

Week 4

We have spent the week preparing for our fairy tea party. The children have had great fun making fairy puppets, fairy peg dolls and magic wands. These craft activities give opportunities to teach and practise a wide range of skills including combining and joining materials, explaining their reasons for material choices and fine motor skills. As the children work on their projects we discuss these with the children, developing their understanding and questioning skills, we also make observations which help inform our future planning and assess the children's abilities. These observations are recorded in their learning journeys which you will be invited into share at the end of term.

 

Concentration winding wool for magic wands

 

  

 

Casting spells in The Glade

 

 

 

Fairy peg dolls

 

 

 

Of course the food was the most popular part of the week. We discussed what the fairies would like to eat and of course it must be fairy sized.

 

We counted fairy biscuits.

 

 

We made fairy fruit jelly.

 

 

 

We used the microwave to make popcorn

 

 

And of course we made fairy cakes.

 

 

 

All these food activities gave us the opportunity to discuss food hygiene, healthy eating and keeping safe using electricity and hot cooking equipment.

 

In phonics this week we have been practising recognising and writing the sounds we have learnt and a few new ones. We have been working on blending the sounds together to make small words using a range of practical equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter formation in fairy dust was a bit hit!

 

 

 

Next week we will be learning about Harvest and celebrating at the church where Year 3 will be performing a Harvest assembly.

 

 
 
Week 5                                                                        
This week we have been finding out about Harvest in our own country and countries around the world. We explored a wide range of vegetables and made some delicious Harvest soup.
 
We made two batches, one using an electric soup maker and one in a pan on the hob. This provided lots of opportunities for discussion about healthy eating, food hygiene and keeping safe around electricity and hot cooking areas. The children were taught how to use knives safely to chop all the vegetables.

 

We had great fun printing with all the different vegetables.

 

We shared the story of 'The Enormous Turnip' and acted out the story. We then worked together to make our own paper maiche turnips.

 We also looked closely at real turnips and produced some really great drawings of them.

 

In Phonics we have learnt the sounds and names of the letters, a, t, p

,i and n. We have been playing games and working hard on activities practising blending and segmenting these sounds to read and write small words.

This week we used the listening pegs. The children listen to the recorded words and match them to the correct card. When they have finished they take a photo of the activity to go in their learning journey. This is something they will very soon be doing independently for activities they complete during their own learning time.

 

 

The class enjoyed joining the rest of the school for the Harvest celebrations at the church and everybody commented on their great behaviour, well done Willow Class.

We also worked hard on a Harvest display for the church which some of you may have seen.

 

In The Glade this week we were thinking about the importance of looking after our environment and the hazards of litter to the wildlife.

We used the litter pickers to clear away any dangerous plastic.

 

 

 

 

   

 

      

 

 
 
 

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