Bendish Lane, Whitwell, Hitchin, Hertfordshire. SG4 8HX

01438 871241

St Paul's Walden

Primary School

News and Photos from The Willows

Keeping warm in Winter

This week we have been reading One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth. The children were initially shown clues as to what the story would be, and they predicted what they thought would happen in the book. After some interesting and insightful ideas, they then heard how Percy the Park Keeper helped his animal friends keep warm in his hut on a wintry, snowy night. The children listened to the story and picked out all the 'cold' words, as well as listing some of the animals in the book, by listening and blending the sounds in each word. The children also made their own story books based on the text and were able to retell the story. They sorted through a pile of hats, scarves and gloves, and as well as having fun trying them all on, they labelled their own drawings of them.

It was enthusiastically agreed that the best way to keep warm on a cold day was to have some hot chocolate, so we all took a visit down to Percy's hut and enjoyed a hot drink. Luckily, there were some biscuits to dip in, too, which seemed to appeal to everyone!

"Yum yum yum yum so tasty!" Nyasha.

"I had about 6 cups of hot chocolate (they were just top-ups! - Mrs Foster)  "and just loved it!" Matthew. On comparing drinking hot chocolate outdoors to indoors: "It turns colder because outside is cold."

"You can dip your biscuits in the hot chocolate." Hayden

Preparations for Christmas

Willows children all wrote a Christmas card this week, remembering to sign their name before sealing their envelope. They each had to listen out for and recognise their own address so that they could attach the appropriate label to their envelope. They then went to our make-shift post office and paid for their second class stamp. The most exciting part of writing letters and cards, though, is actually posting them. We all braved the cold rain and walked into the village to the post office, where each child patiently waited their turn at the post-box. Having previously watched a video about the journey of a letter, the children knew that it would take a couple of days for the cards to be sorted and delivered to the correct addresses. Hopefully there will be lots of surprised and happy parents as the envelopes start dropping onto the mats. 


Getting very Christmassy!

Our Developing Writing

Although we have been so busy these past couple of weeks rehearsing and performing our first class assembly and the Nativity, we have still found time to practise lots of writing and mark making. After hearing the story of the Gingerbread Man, the children were eager to draw scenes from the story, explaining what was happening in their picture. They also sounded out the word 'man' and had a go at writing it independently with a lot of success. Aside from this, they got the chance to weigh some ingredients to make their own salt dough gingerbread men, which they have painted and decorated so that they can be used for a Christmas decoration. 

We have also been learning about rhyming words, and the children are starting to spot the words which sound the same in poems and songs. Although the Cat in the Hat has proved a good favourite and helpful for hearing these rhymes, the most impressive rhyming words that one of the children recited was 'fertiliser' and 'wiser' - well done Joshua!

Festivals and Fireworks

This week the Willows class have learned about Diwali, and how it is celebrated. They all made their own Diva lamp from clay, and had a go at Bollywood dancing after watching a video of children during the Diwali celebrations. 

The children talked about Fireworks night, and not only impressed the teachers with their safety tips, but came up with a long list of words to describe the fireworks that they'd seen, including,  "Whizz, crackle, whistle, bang, bombing, golden, sparkle." 

To create their own unique firework paintings, one of the techniques used was to blow down straws to move the paint across the paper to make explosive shapes. Children added small amounts of glitter to make them even more realistic. 

These photos also show the class all doing the Conga after a casual comment from one of the children. Now all the children should be able to teach you how to do-do-do this fun dance!

Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins

This week the children have been very busy working on the book 'Rosie's Walk' by Pat Hutchins. It was read to them initially without the pictures, so they heard about how Rosie the hen walked around the farm. Then they were shown the book, and as it was read a second time, they realised that there was a lot more going on in the story that they couldn't tell from the text alone!

Each child then sat and made a story map, so that they could tell the story in their own words.  If you don't already know this story, ask your child to tell it to you, as they are now experts.

They also chose to paint either a hen or a fox, and they very carefully decided which colours they would need, which they then mixed themselves before painting their wonderful pictures.

Oliver's Vegetables by Vivian French

The children discovered some vegetables hidden in the soil this week. They decided to wash the dirt off them so that they could be eaten, and they asked if they could cook the potatoes. We decided that we would make chips after reading our class book 'Oliver's Vegetables' by Vivian French, but the class also wanted to try some mashed potato too. The children were shown how to peel and cut the potatoes safely, but the best bit of course was the eating! Delicious!

They have been learning how by eating fruit and vegetables they can stay healthy, and they have also discussed other ways that they can look after themselves, including keeping clean and brushing their teeth as well as tidying up toys from the floor so as not to trip over.

First Week in the Willows

The newest members of our school community have a lovely bright classroom, with lots of areas to explore

First Week in the Willows

Sometimes they figure things out on their own...

Number Treasure Hunt

To help with the children's skills when subitising (recognising small amounts without having to count them), they all took part in a hunt around the room, finding cards with different quantities of objects. The children eventually were successful in finding all images, and worked together to ensure that all the pictures matched up to the correct number. 

Phonics So Far

The class have also been working extremely hard on their phonics. They have been learning how to read and write various letters, and some children are producing very neatly written short words of which they are very proud.

And Maths too...

They have also been investigating numbers, and this week they practised putting 1 to 5 in the correct order. The children also now know that by adding 4 and 1 fingers, you get 5, and the same if you add 3 and 2 fingers

Our first class visitor

We had a visit from a firefighter who showed us the equipment that he has to wear when he attends a fire. The children all discussed the dangers in different scenarios that were presented to them, including how to keep safe in the car or walking on the road. The children were a great audience and really enjoyed the visit. They were able to talk about lots of things that that they learned:

'The boots – they have stripes they glow up in the dark' - Henry

'A helmet – you wear it to keep safe' - Thomas

'Hat – it was a fireman’s hat and it had a visor bit over' - Matthew

'They use big scissors so they can cut doors off if people are stuck in the cars' - Joshua

First Week in the Willows

 They also learn and play outdoors

First Week in the Willows

And sometimes they work together with Mrs Foster