This week has been exciting and busy as we had our Christmas-Themed Share Morning and Afternoon. This was a chance for the children to share some of their learning with their parents, grandparents and carers and enjoy lots of fun activities together. We spent much of the week preparing for the event.
We wanted to make sure that our visitors would have something tasty to eat to give them energy for all the activities; we decided to make some Mince Pies. The two classes formed a 'production line' and worked tirelessly to make almost 200 hundred Mince Pies; an amazing achievement!
Our Mince Pie 'Production Line'
The Finished Product
We had lots of activities related to Christmas which were linked to out different Areas of Learning. For Understanding the World, our Beebots were dressed up in Rudolph, Santa, Snowman and Elf jackets for some races. The children had to figure out how best to program each Beebot so that it would reach the Chequered Flag. As an extension, they then had to program the Beebots to get to the end of the track, turn around and return to the starting line.
Christmas Beebot Races
Using our Expressive Arts and Design skills, we had a go at making our own robin and reindeer-themed Christmas Cards. We combined a range of resources and techniques to arrive at the finished result. We used our thumbs in paint to create the initial image and ten used a felt tip pen to add the details. We used glue to stick on the Googly eyes and then practised our writing skills by adding a Christmas Message.
Thank you to everyone who came to our Share Days and made them so enjoyable.
Some of our other Share Day activities (including preparing Christmas Dinner!)
On Thursday, we were lucky enough to have a real Christmas Lunch. The tables were decorated with candles and we all had a cracker to pull. We really enjoyed our lunch; even the Brussel Sprouts!
We took some of the Bird Feeders we made last week into the woods and found good places to hang them. We talked about why birds need our help at this cold time of year. We discussed how it is harder for them to find food and that other animals can be a threat to them. Bearing this in mind. the children appreciated why it is important to hang the feeders in trees.
The girls are in deep discussion about where best to hang the feeder!
A good place for the feeder.
Week 13 - Beginning 5.12.16
This week we have continued to learn about the Nativity story and the rehearsals for our play have developed the children's understanding of the Christian celebration. The children have shown lots of collaboration whilst practising the play and their performance on Friday was wonderful!
The children have made stain glassed windows to explore the names and properties of 2D shapes. We will make sure we look at the detail of the windows at the local church during our Christmas service on the last day of term.
Now it is Winter we decided to make some bird cake to hang in the EYFS garden to provide food during this colder weather.
Making bird cake
Shape stain glassed windows
Our Wonderful Nativity Play Cast
Week 12 - Beginning 28.11.16
This week we have been learning about the Nativity story and the traditional reason we celebrate Christmas. The children have also been practising our Nativity play, ready to perform it to their families.
We worked hard to make items to sell at the school Christmas fair and raise money for our very special school!
Making shortbread biscuits for the school Christmas Fair
Using paint to make tealight jars for the Christmas Fair
The children have been making advent candles after learning about the true reason we count the
days to Christmas and therefore why we open doors on advent calendars.
We made our own class Advent Calendar
The children have been working really hard to learn how to form cursive letters with loops.
We finished our wonderful display for the Scarecrow's Wedding
Week 11 - Beginning 21.11.16
We started the week by reading the story, 'The Scarecrow's Wedding' by Julia Donaldson. This served as an introduction to our learning all about Weddings, a continuation of our Celebrations Topic. In the story the main characters, two scarecrows called Betty o'Barley and Harry O' Hay are planning the perfect wedding. They make a list to help them remember important things they need for the wedding. As part of our Literacy work, we decided to make our own lists and the children understood that writing can have many different purposes.
We decided to make our own scarecrows. As well as using straw, we thought that using leaves as stuffing would be a good way to get rid of some of the Autumn Leaves from our Outside Area. Although they worked well, we would need to make many more scarecrows to get rid of all of them!
Making the Wedding Cakes
In the book, the guests at the wedding were all animals. We talked about the kind of cake that animals would like to eat and decided carrot cake would be a good choice. They were delicious.
Making our Scarecrow Wedding Scene Display
We decided to make a display of the wedding scene. Using mixed media including straw, old shirts and old jeans, we were able to recreate Betty and Harry.
Ordering Buckets by Capacity
In the story, Harry O' Hay saves the day by putting out a fire with a bucket of water. We gave the children a selection of buckets and asked the question, 'Which bucket would be the best one for putting out the fire?' The children agreed that the best bucket would be the one that could carry the most water. They set about ordering the buckets by figuring out how many jugs of water would fit inside them.
Using a list to find the items
Using a similar list to the one that Harry and Betty made, we searched our woods to see if we could find some of the items. We managed to find some bells, flowers, rings. feathers and shells. As we found each item, the children crossed it off from their lists.
Week 10 - Beginning 14.11.16
This week we continued our topic of Celebrations by concentrating on Birthdays. On Monday, November 14th, it was Prince Charles's Birthday. We talked about who Prince Charles is and that one day he will be the King of the United Kingdom. The children decided to mark the birthday of such an important person by having a party in the Woods. As a result, a lot of our subsequent work involved preparation for the party. Using our literacy skills we wrote Party Invitations and messages for a Birthday Card for Prince Charles. We also created Crowns and decorated them with different shapes. For our cooking activity, we made a birthday cake for Prince Charles decorated with the cross of St George.
Making Prince Charles' Birthday Cake
We decided to decorate the Woods with Bunting. We used the colours red, white and blue as these are the colours of the Union Jack. Some of us had a go at painting the flag on the pieces of bunting.
Making the Bunting
The day of the party was an especially exciting day as it was also 'Pudsey Day'. We all dressed up and raised a lot of money to help Children who are less fortunate than ourselves. There were some excellent costumes.
The time for the party had arrived. The clearing in the woods looked fantastic with the bunting strung between the trees. We started off with some songs and dancing; this was fun but also helped to keep us warm. Then it was time to sample the cake; it was so tasty that there wasn't a single crumb left! After we had eaten, we closed the party by singing the National Anthem.
Happy Birthday Prince Charles!
Enjoying the Cake
Week 9 - Beginning 7.11.16
This week we have been learning about Bonfire Night and why we celebrate it every year on the 5th November. The children were fascinated to learn about Guy Fawkes and his attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament hundreds of years ago! We discussed why fireworks were set off to remember this historic event and the children have been taking part in lots of firework based activities throughout the week.
The children had great fun and were extremely engaged in the paint splatting to create large firework pictures. They listened to firework sounds whilst taking part in small groups. The children also used oil pastels to draw fireworks and then wrote words for how they might sound.
Whilst listening to the sounds of a firework display the children drew pictures of the types of fireworks they thought they could hear and then wrote words to represent the marks they had made.
Making Vegetable Soup
During our cooking session the children helped to make some vegetable soup. We discussed the importance of this kind of food during spells of cold weather and how all of the vegetables help to keep us healthy.
Making Soup in the Mud Kitchen
The children continued their learning from the cooking session and made soup in the mud kitchen. They used super language and wrote their soup on the menu board.
Remembrance Day - Friday 11.11.16
As part of the whole school commitment to remember those who fought in the many wars that have taken place we discussed why the poppy is a special symbol to many people. We also took part in the two minutes silence and the children decided they would like everyone to follow the Grove Primary school ethos to be kind and gentle. We then made some doves, which we hung in the trees during our visit to the woods, as they represent the world symbol for peace.
Week 8 - Beginning 31.10.16
Welcome back to the second half of Autumn Term. This half term our learning will be centred around the Topic of Celebrations. This week we have been learning all about the colourful Hindu Festival of Divali. On Monday the children entered our Learning area to discover welcoming Rangoli patterns. glowing 'Diva' lamps and all the adults dressed in traditional Hindu costumes. Rangoli Patterns are created during Divali to bring good luck by welcoming the goddess Lakshmi into homes. The children decided to have a go at making their own Rangoli Patterns using coloured sand.
We listened to the story of Rama and Sita which is associated with Divali. We were fascinated to hear about the colourful characters including Ravana, a ten-headed demon, and Hanuman, a flying monkey. We heard how Rama was able to rescue Sita from the demon Ravana and finally defeat him. When Rama and Sita returned home, their way was lit with Diva lamps. The children made some of their own Diva lamps. They moulded the shape using clay and then decorated them with brightly coloured paint and glitter.
During Divali Celebrations, people love to eat a wide range of sweets. We decided to make some Coconut Barfis, a tasty and sweet snack made from coconut and condensed milk. The children enjoyed mixing the two ingredients together and then adding different food colourings to make the snack bright and colourful. During the activity. we discussed the health implications of eating too many sweets and agreed that sweet things should only be eaten in moderation, perhaps during special celebrations like Divali.
We carried on the Divali theme during our Woods activity this week. Because of the half-term break, it had been a couple of weeks since our last woods visit. On entering the woods, the children immediately noticed a big change as they took in the vast array of different colours surrounding them. We talked about Autumn and what was happening to the leaves and the children described the yellow, oranges, browns and greens that they could see. Our discussion returned to Divali. We decided to use some of these colours to make a natural Rangoli pattern to bring good luck to all the creatures that live in the woods. The children used sticks to make a circular framework and divided it into four sections. They then sorted the leaves into groups of green, brown and yellow. The fourth section was completed using feathers that were found in the undergrowth.