News and Photos from The Willows
For information about our curriculum, please visit our Reception class's Termly Curriculum Information page here
Woodland Crowns 5th May
Today in our outdoor session, the children made their own woodland crowns by finding flowers, leaves and other natural objects. They declared themselves rulers of the forest - among which there was King of Flowers, King of Sticks, Queen of Everything and King of Spring.
Forest School 21st April 2021
Willows class have started new Forest School style sessions which will take place every other week. For the first session, they collected sticks and other natural objects with their partners, then created stick people or animals, binding them together with pipe cleaners. Some were brought inside to display, but some were not meant to be permanent and were left out in the garden. Amongst the stick people made, there was a monster alien with a dorsal fin, a fairy, a fly with leaf wings and a man so big that the children could lay in his tummy.
Scientists all week 12th March 2021
Willows have been dipping into science this week, and have been planting beans, inventing monster recipes and purifying water. That's a lot for the first week back!! Along with their investigations, they have also been observing how the frog-spawn in the classroom has been growing and changing before our very eyes all week!
Book Covers 4th March 2021
For World Book Day this year, Willows children had a go at recreating some popular book covers. Have a look below to see if you can recognise them all.
Willows have Bean Busy 20th January 2021
At home, the Willows children have been thinking about the traditional tale Jack and the Beanstalk. They have focused on the giant's rhyme and picked out all the high frequency (or 'red' or 'tricky' words) in the rhyme itself. They also thought up more ways to deal with Jack instead of grinding his bones to make their bread and came up with some very interesting ideas.
They were invited to choose an activity to either paint or make something related to the story. Below you can see pictures of Cameron's castle that his Daddy helped him make, following Cameron's own plans. There's also a fabulous painting by Konrad showing the beanstalk and the castle, and you can also see the proud designer/maker of a rather grand Duplo version of the story.
Whilst in Lockdown...
Bella and Finn have been busy building themselves a new house.
One Snowy Night - Winter Play 15th December
Willows children have been working so hard for these past couple of weeks for their end of term play. They performed an adaptation of 'One Snowy Night' by Nick Butterworth. The final production was recorded with a link sent to the parents, as of course it was not possible to invite families into the school this year. Each child learnt their lines and all the words to the four songs, and we are extremely proud of them all. Their costumes looked fabulous, thanks to all the parents, and the children's enthusiasm and enjoyment were evident as they watched the final film and sang along all the way through.
Christingles in the Classroom 14th December
The children learnt all about Christingles and what each part represented before having a go at making their own. They had to follow instructions to thread the sweets onto the sticks before inserting them into the orange and wrapping the red tape around the middle. Once they had finished, they impressed all the staff by taking great care as they held their candles absolutely still as they were lit. It was a very moving moment and I think they were very proud to have been a part of it.
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.