News and Photos from The Willows
Watch this space 29th November
The excited Willows children were delighted to find a spaceship in their classroom this week, complete with moon rock that Mrs Foster had recently collected from the moon. Using this spacecraft as well as constructing their own, they have been flying to the moon and exploring other planets, learning facts about our solar system, such as how the eight planets travel around the sun. They have also learnt about how there is less gravity on the moon which means you could jump a lot higher, and have seen that no gravity at all in space means that everything just floats around. They watched a clip of the original moon landing from 1969, and found out that Mrs Constable watched the whole thing when she was a little girl, in our very own school hall! Amazing!
Children In Need 13th November
Despite those sleepy Willows children turning up in their pyjamas to school on Friday, they were energised as they joined in Joe Wicks' 24 hour PE challenge, which he was doing to raise money for Children in Need.
The Journey by Aaron Becker 8th November
This term we have started looking at a book which is also being studied by the other classes. It's called 'Journey' and it is a picture book with no written words. The children have looked through it and watched it with a musical soundtrack and have really got to know the story about the girl going on a magical journey. They each chose a favourite feature from the book and have written it down with their own illustration, carefully observing the correct shapes and colours needed.
Outdoor Learning 8th November
We are so lucky to have our Willows garden, and the children have been making good use of this recently. We are continuing to develop this space and have recently added a new mud kitchen for the children to explore a range of textures to mix and measure, estimate and compare as well as demonstrate some excellent cleaning techniques (Mrs Foster is very happy about that!) ... and so much more. Collaborative working means that water can be transported down the garden through a series of pipes and guttering, reinforcing the weak spots and resolving problems together through discussion and compromise. A little bit of den building, digging, mini-beast spotting, running, tree-climbing, stirring, potion making, friendship-making... the children do not even realise that this is a huge part of their learning; as far as they are concerned they are just having fun! This is definitely a great way to learn.
Handa's Surprise 12th October
The children have been recreating a favourite book recently - Handa's Surpise. They each know the story very well, so were able to make their own version of the book, after choosing what shape they want the actual book to be. A selection of fruit and animal-shaped books were swiftly made so the children could then recite each page to be scribed, finishing off with their own unique drawings. The books are on display, but can easily be taken down when someone wants to read through their own, along with some animal masks that have also been made and displayed.
The class found two baskets of fruit which were the same fruits from the book. They investigated the texture and shape of these fruits, then sampled them during snack time, but not before they acted out the entire book with the fruit as props.
Super Subitisers! 2nd October
The children from Willows class have become Super Subitisers this week. This means that they are starting to recognise numbers of objects without having to count them each time. They have been practising with dice games, dominos, cards and other objects which they are lining up or rearranging into different patterns yet realising that the amounts haven't changed.
The classroom has also been buzzing with paper construction - so many children have been making hats, masks, kites and other items with handles, with the most impressive structure being a paper house complete with roof, door, window and a little paper occupant. The children have free access to the paper, string and sticky tape and all seem to be inspiring each other to keep creating new items. They have also taken to independently displaying their own work on the wall and writing area arch, so there is plenty to see in the classroom.
Music, PE and other activities 18th September
Willows class have started both their music and PE lessons this week. They met Mr Street, the music teacher, who took their lesson in the Willows garden, and they impressed him as they listened carefully and responded to the different speeds and rhythms of the drum as he played. PE with Mr Fox encouraged them to think about the differences between throwing and rolling, and working in pairs, they improved their accuracy as they rolled the balls to their specific targets.
Alongside their investigative and independent play and learning, they have all started their phonics sessions, and not only can they recognise the letters 'a' and 'm', but they have been practising writing their first sentence. (see photos).
The children have enjoyed water based play, including making some rather delicious-looking soups in the mud garden, and worms, interesting stones and chalk have been discovered whilst digging outside in the sunshine.
Settling In 8th September
The new Willows children have already settled into their life at St Paul's Walden School. They have been busy exploring their new classroom and outdoor areas, investigating the range of resources and equipment available. The new outdoor Writing Shed has proved very popular, and already there have been some impressive pictures and writing produced. There have been some interesting constructions with the large wooden blocks and planks, and evidence of children working together not only on making their creations, but working out how to fit them back together when tidying them away. New friendships are already forming, as well as the children becoming more confident when chatting to each other and their new teachers.