As part of their topic about farm animals the children have enjoyed making and designing their own milkshakes, it was interesting to see which ingredients they mixed together. Some children wanted to try and make a gravy milkshake!
On Tuesday FSN went to Bucklebury Farm and despite a wet start to the day luckily the children had a dry afternoon. The children were not phased by the rain and had a great time exploring the farm and splashing in the puddles. They went on an adventure around the farm and it was wonderful to see the children overcoming their fears when feeding the animals. The children were very careful when holding the guinea pigs and stroking the rabbits, it was lovely to see their kind and gentle attitude towards handling animals. The children enjoyed going on a tractor ride to see and feed the red deer, the children were fascinated to learn about how they grow new horns every year. When asked about their favourite part most children commented about going on a minibus or playing on the equipment. It was a busy day for the children filled with lots of fun and excitement, which was followed by a quiet minibus ride home with most of the children fast asleep. Miss Rolfe and Miss Norman would like to thank Mrs Zelenka and Mrs Hancock for their help on the day. FSR are very excited about their trip to Bucklebury farm next week and are asking every day “When are we going to the farm?”
The children have continued to practise their physical skills in preparation for sports day and we look forward to seeing you there next Wednesday. It is very going to be a very busy week next week as we are approaching the end of term so please make sure your child gets lots of sleep and rest this weekend.
On Tuesday the Foundation Stage children participated in Art day and explored the work of Jackson Pollock. They were fascinated to learn how he became famous and enjoyed looking at examples of his ‘drip paintings’ and ‘movement Art’ which inspired the children’s creativity when making their own masterpieces using paint, spoons, cocktail sticks, quills, match sticks and straws. After lunch the children looked around other children’s artwork and learnt about different painting styles. The children went to an assembly where Miss Ford read a story about fish and the importance of everybody being unique, leading on from this the children painted a fish onto a pebble, which will be used to create a path in the reflective garden.
On Wednesday afternoon the children participated in their first sports day practise and we were delighted to see their enjoyment and team spirit when participating in the events. The main challenge for the children was to stay in their line when running their races! The children’s physical skills have developed well this year and this was evident when they carried out each of the events, some of which included shuttle relays, beanbag throw and obstacle course.
During the week we have been talking about farm animals and their babies in preparation for our trip to Bucklebury Farm.
A reminder of upcoming events for FS children:
- 11th July 2017 FSN trip to Bucklebury Farm (Please ensure children wear their PE on the trip)
- 17th July 2017 Move up morning
- 18th July 2017 FSR trip to Bucklebury Farm (Please ensure children wear their PE on the trip)
- 19th July 2017 FS & KS1 Sports Day (am) – Children to come into school wearing house coloured t-shirt with PE shorts, socks and trainers
- 25th July Last day of term (school ends at 1:15pm)
Gentle reminder: Please ensure your child has a water bottle and sun hat in school every day until the end of term. Please apply sun cream before bringing your child to school.
We have continued our ‘Under the Sea’ theme this week and the children have learnt about water pollution. We have been thinking about ways to save our environment during talks about recycling and some children chose to create their own eco-saving posters, which will be put on display in the classrooms as reminder to the children.
The children have developed their understanding of place value (tens and ones) and addition. We have also been ordering numbers from smallest to largest and largest to smallest.
During English the children have explored different types of writing linked to the under the sea theme, such as writing a list for going snorkelling, writing about a snorkelling adventure, thinking of descriptive words and putting them into sentences, writing rhyming sentences and writing captions.
On Thursday Miss Norman brought in her pet tortoise ‘Fluffy’ and the children enjoyed watching her move around the classroom and asked some fantastic questions about reptiles. After snack time some children were very engaged and excited when they were given the opportunity to touch and feed Fluffy.
Sports Day preparations have begun and the children have shown their competitive steak when racing against their peers, next week we will be practising the bean bag throw and obstacle course. Please ensure your child has their PE kit in school from Monday ready for Sports Day practises.
The children took responsibility for organising a new outdoor area this week when the builders arrived to start building a new magical classroom ready for September.
They have enjoyed lots of water play in the sun and have been busy making water slides with pieces of guttering. On Monday afternoon the children were visited by PC Townsend, who talked about all of the things a policeman has to wear and explained what each piece of equipment was used for. The children were amazed to see a real police car in the school car park and covered their ears as they listened to the loud sirens.
On Wednesday the children participated in Languages Day and explored different activities within their country teams. Some activities included Spanish singing, visiting the café to taste food from around the world, sign language, learning about parts of the body in French and learning how to count in Spanish.
The topic of under the sea has continued this week and the children have been creatively making animals and have enjoyed learning more about sea life. We have been watching videos about animals under the sea filmed by David Attenborough. The children have made their own under the sea area in FSR and have been enjoying travelling around the ocean in a submarine.
When the Foundation Stage children came into school on Monday they had a surprise waiting for them…. some of the butterflies had come out of their cocoons!! They enjoyed watching the butterflies flying around the butterfly net and looked carefully at the parts of the butterfly. We have been recapping the life cycle of a butterfly during class discussions and on Wednesday afternoon the children were excited about releasing their butterflies back into the wild and watching them fly away.
The children have dived into the deep blue sea with their new topic this week, where they have learnt about animals which live in the ocean. They have been actively making a new hall display to showcase their creative and writing skills, whilst also sharing some animal facts. It has been wonderful to see the children going on their own underwater adventures and dressing up as mermaids in the outdoor area.
During recent weeks, the children have shown increasing confidence to write sentences independently and are developing their understanding of using capital letters, finger spaces and full stops. This week the children have been writing about sharks, dolphins, jellyfish, octopus and clown fish.
During Maths this week the children have been continuing repeating patterns, halving groups of objects, following directional clues to move around a treasure map and developing their understanding of addition using dominoes. It would be fantastic to hear that the children have carried out their own research about sea animals using non-fiction books and the internet.
It was lovely to see the Foundation Stage children’s enthusiasm as they rushed back into school to see how their caterpillars had changed. They were amazed to see that the caterpillars are now in their cocoons and are watching every day, hoping to see some butterflies emerging soon. After being shrunk with some magical ‘shrinking spray’ the mini-foundation stage children went on an adventure around the school grounds, through the eyes of a mini-beast. When they returned to the classroom the children were amazed to see their mini-me pictures displayed on the interactive whiteboard and this provided much excitement and inspired the children’s writing.
During ICT this week the children were set the challenge of using a school iPad to take a photo, some children showed their confidence to take their own selfies (some examples of these can be seen below)!
Within maths this week the children have been recapping their knowledge of finding one more/one less than a given number up to 20, practising writing their numbers as far as they can and have engaged in problem solving activities.
It has been lovely to see that so many children have completed their half term home learning challenges with such detail and creativity, we have been amazed with the mini-beast models they have brought into school.
Thank you for your continued support, it is always a delight to see the children engaging in their learning at home.
Please find below some dates for your diary, from now until the end of term.
Dates for the Diary – June 2017 (PDF)
|Dates for the diary
|Monday 5th June
|Tuesday 6th – 12th June
||Book Fair Week
|Thursday 8th June
||School Photographer / Class Photos
|Saturday 17th June
||Self Help Day – 9.30am – 2.00pm
|Monday 19th June
||Year 6 – Rookesbury Park Residential – All week
|Tuesday 20th June
||Year 3-5 Forest Walk – 1.00pm
|Wednesday 21st June
Language Day – Whole School
Transition Meeting for New Foundation Stage – 6.00pm – 7.00pm
|Monday 26th June
||PTA AGM – 7.30pm
|Wednesday 28th June
||Wokingham Secondary School Transition Day
|Saturday 1st July
||Self Help Day – 9.30am – 2.00pm
|Wednesday 5th July
||Year 5 Fishbowl Day @ Bulmershe
|Friday 7th July
||1/2J – Class Assembly
|Monday 10th July
||Year 5/6 Production Dress Rehearsal
|Tuesday 11th July
||Year 5/6 Production
|Wednesday 12th July
||Year 5/6 Production
|Friday 14th July
||Year 6 Forest Walk – 1.00pm
|Saturday 15th July
||Self Help Day – 9.30am – 2.00pm
|Monday 17th July
||Moving up Morning
|Tuesday 18th July
||Year 6 Leavers Disco – 7.00pm-9.00pm
|Wednesday 19th July
||FS/KS1 Sports Days – 9.00am – 12.00pm
|Thursday 20th July
||KS2 Sports Day – All Day
|Friday 21st July
||PTA School Disco – 6.30pm – 9.00pm
|Tuesday 25th July
||End of Term – 1.15pm
This week started with great excitement when the postman delivered some caterpillars for the Foundation Stage children. They have enthusiastically observed how the caterpillars have changed this week and were been surprised at how quickly the caterpillars have been growing and changing each day. The children are looking forward to seeing how the caterpillars will change and grow while the teachers’ look after them during the half term holiday. The children have created their own caterpillar feeding pots in the making area and are caring for them each and every day.
During the week some children attended a trial session for Balanceability where they practised riding a bike without pedals, showing increasing control of their body whilst also developing their balance skills.
In Maths the children have been learning about halving and the importance of sharing objects/ shapes into two equal groups, they were engaged in their learning when faced with a real-life challenge of sharing a box of raisins equally with a partner. The children were only allowed to eat their raisins once an adult had checked their halving skills, this proved to be a fantastic incentive for accurate counting and halving. It would lovely to see the children halving food at home e.g. smarties.
During our English lessons this week the children have been focusing on writing simple sentences about different minibeasts.
Please look out for the half-term learning challenge in your child’s book bag, which includes some information about how to support your child to write sentences at home.
The children have thoroughly enjoyed learning about mini-beasts and their habitats this week. We are excited about starting up our own butterfly farm, the butterfly net has arrived and the eggs are on their way! We will watch the eggs turn into caterpillars and then hope to see some butterflies hatching out of their cocoons after half term.
The children went on a mini-beast hunt in the school grounds and then continued this in the outdoor area during their independent learning, it was fantastic to hear the children’s screams of excitement when they found mini-beasts.
The children have been busy preparing a vegetable planter ready to plant our seeds on Friday, hoping the weather holds out until the seeds are in. It was lovely to see the children exploring the world around them and finding mini-beasts all around them. We will be continuing the topic of mini-beasts next week and it would be excellent to see the children writing sentences and making their own mini-beast fact books at home.
During Maths this week we have been talking about capacity and the vocabulary of full, empty, half full, quarter full, three quarters full, nearly full and nearly empty. We have looked at doubling ladybird spots and made a mini-beast bar graph.
The children have been very busy showing their creativity through making and painting their own versions of their favourite mini-beast. The theme of mini-beasts continued during our ICT lesson and the children used 2Simple 2Publish to draw a mini-beast and then write sentences underneath.
Tip for home: Make a bug hotel in your garden and see which mini-beasts come to visit.
This week the Foundation Stage children have been learning about different cultures, beliefs and traditions. We talked about places of worship and festivals/ celebrations. The children listened to two parents talking about their religion and their beliefs. We would like to say a massive thank you to Fatima and Eli’s mums for giving up their time to talk to the children. We have been discussing the importance of respecting others and developing an understanding of how we are different from each other.
During Maths the children have recapped their understanding of finding one more and one less than a given number up to 20, coin recognition and making amounts using coins. The children enjoyed being given positional clues to draw a shape picture and then they had to give a partner positional instructions to create a picture/ pattern. We have been learning about estimating and the children were able to identify whether their estimate was more or less than the actual amount of objects.
The children were amazing during their first swimming lessons this week and it was fantastic to see so many happy, smiling children who are showing increasing confidence in the water.
Lastly the children have been reading words and identifying the ones which rhyme and then they were asked to think of their own words to rhyme with a given word e.g. cat.
Please find below links to the Curriculum News for Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.
We have continued our journey into space this week and the children were fascinated to find out about our solar system.
- We have been learning about the planets, the moon and the sun through looking at facts on the computer and in non-fiction books.
- The children learnt about how the earth orbits the sun and how we are always spinning but they cannot feel it.
- This has inspired some independent writing about ‘if an alien came to visit our planet’ and the children have been exploring the moon using shaving foam, glitter, moon rocks and alien lego figures.
- We have watched a video about a real astronaut… Tim Peake and learnt about what life is like in space.
- We talked about how our planet Earth is different to being in space and developed a basic understanding of gravity.
On Tuesday the children were visited by a road ranger called Lewis who taught the children all about how to keep safe near roads and how to cross the road safely.
- The children learnt four key words and actions to help them when crossing the road (hand, stop, look and listen).
- They listened to a story about road safety and met Lewis’ friend.
During Maths this week the children have demonstrated their understanding of addition using counting objects and number lines. They have recapped their previous knowledge of place value and what 2-digit numbers mean/ represent and looked at time (days of the week, months of the year, seasons, hours, minutes, seconds, time related vocabulary e.g. yesterday/ tomorrow).
Top Tip for the week:
When practising addition with your child at home here are some ideas:
- Ask your child to create an addition using single digits (e.g. 5+2=) or write an addition for them to complete.
- Using objects: Ask your child to count out the amount of objects for the first number and put them in a group, then ask your child to count out objects for the second number and put this in a different group. Push the groups of objects together and count how many to find the answer.
- Using a number line: Alternatively if using a number line, circle the first number in the number sentence, jump on the amount for the second number and then circle the number you land on/ the answer. We hope to see the children doing lots of adding at home to consolidate their learning and develop their mathematical understanding further (see picture example).
This week we have launched our mission into space through the story of Whatever Next! Your children may well wish to follow baby bears idea of making a rocket out of a box, moon boots using wellington boots or a space helmet using a colander to go on their own space adventure at home. Our junk modelling supplies are starting to run low due to the children being keen to make their own jet packs or space rockets, any junk modelling materials would be gratefully received (please ensure these are nut free).
During Maths we have discussed the concept of halving and started to make the link between halving and doubling as opposites. When introducing halving the staff emphasized half being when objects are split into two equal groups/ parts.
We have been very impressed with all the children’s Easter holiday challenge work that has brought in this week and very much look forward to a busy term of learning and fun.
The children have started to talk about Easter this week and listened to a story about Easter traditions. They showed great excitement when using beebots for the first time and input directions for the beebot to follow, using mathematical language.
During Maths this week the children have continued to develop their understanding of addition and subtraction. Some children have been applying this during their independent learning, which has been fantastic to see!
We have been busy making a surprise for our mummies and nanny’s, we hope you like it.
The children were excited about watching the Year 3/4 dress rehearsal of ‘The adventures of Super Stan’.
We have been writing about who is special to us and why as part of our golden book writing and it has been wonderful to see the children progressing with their writing abilities. They are starting to apply their phonic knowledge when making phonetically plausible spelling attempts and writing simple sentences. E.g. “My mummy hugs me.”
We ended the week with great excitement celebrating Red Nose Day, the children watched short videos about why we raise money for Red Nose Day and how fortunate they are.
Thank you so much to all who have pledged support to our Running for Kit campaign, we have currently raised £85 online (21% of our target).
Don’t forget the event takes place next Thursday (30 March).
You can donate online at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/beechwoodprimaryschool
Following on from the last blog, I said I would talk about funding in schools in layman’s terms and not try to bluff parents with educational jargon. Right now the topic of underfunding is all over the news and more so on social media as heads and parents join the throng to protest to their MP about budget cuts.
Schools are public sector service industries and although we are small businesses we are largely reliant upon taxes. We are a non -profit making organisation and until the Government funds schools properly and in a fair way we are going to see:
- a shortage of teachers,
- schools unable to sustain present work force resulting in redundancies,
- schools with growing budget deficits making recruitment hard,
- schools short of leaders to mentor new recruits to the profession
To put it bluntly until this country improves the image/ profile of our teachers then we can’t recruit enough quality. Teachers in India, South Korea, Japan , Singapore and Thailand all enjoy huge respect from their parents and the public. Their teachers are much more valued in their culture. We need to make the job more attractive along with other Key workers such as Doctors, Nurses, Policemen and women, to our own young British talent. Recruiting from abroad is not a long term strategy nor is it fair to rob other countries. This country needs to have teachers to produce Doctors, Engineers, and Computer analysts and we need to grow our own.
Next week I’ll be talking about “the road crossings” which Wokingham are planning to cut. I have written to the press and Wokingham and expressed my dismay.
Bye for now Gordon Davies
On Thursday 30 March 2017 all Key Stage 2 Children will be taking part in our sponsored Running for Kit event.
We are raising money to purchase new sports tops for the children to wear when competing in sports events and also money for the outside play equipment.
The children will be running laps around the school field (30 minutes) for which they can be sponsored, each child will be given a card and upon completing a lap will receive a stamp on their card.
Please download a sponsorship form here [Running for Kit – Sponsored Event], please persuade friends and family to support. Children can be sponsored per lap or for a one off amount.
We have also set up a Just Giving page: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/beechwoodprimaryschool friends and family can make donations easily on-line.
We thank you for your support on this event.
In Foundation Stage this week we have used the story Why I love my mummy to talk about the special people in our lives and what they do for us. During ICT the children developed their ability to use a keyboard when type sentences, whilst referring to an a-z letter strip containing both upper and lower case letters for support. It was fantastic to see the children persevering when searching for a letter on the keyboard. We also talked about the ‘enter’ ‘delete’ and ‘space bar’ keys.
This week’s Maths began with a recap of o’clock and telling the time, which led into sequencing events into time order. Following this the children explored heavier and lighter when measuring the weight of different classroom objects. They predicted how many cubes an object would weigh and then accurately measured how many cubes they would need to make the scales balance with the classroom object. To end the week the children recapped their prior learning about coins and recognising coin values, they built on this knowledge when making amounts using coins, adding two priced objects and calculating change from 10p.
Next week the children will be exploring place value and understanding how two-digit numbers (1-30) are split into tens and ones. It would be wonderful to hear ways in which the children have explored numbers in the local environment (e.g. numbers on clocks, buses, road signs) at home.
We’ve teamed up with University of Reading to offer our parents a free study and a chance to win £250. If you’re interested in helping your child become more active and healthy, click here: http://www.uoropen.org/LabGroups/Snuggs/.