Spring Term 2 2021
Hello and welcome back! We are very excited to all be back together after the recent school closures, to meet up with friends again and to explore and learn together. We would also like to welcome our new children and families and look forward to working together to enable the children to have a fantastic start to their journey with us.
This half term our topic is ‘Into the Woods’. We are looking forward to exploring the onsite woodland, searching for signs of Spring and to learn about different stories that are set in woodland, such as ‘The Gruffalo’.
Our Prayer Table
The children have worked together to add a purple cloth to our prayer table. Purple represents sorrow and suffering, as we remember the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus walked through the desert (Lent).
St Joseph’s Day
To celebrate St Joseph’s Day, we visited our prayer garden and discussed what we already knew about St Joseph. We looked at the statue and noticed the tools that he was holding, we found out that he was a carpenter and what this job entails. The children then sensibly passed around some pictures and ornaments of St Joseph, before Mrs Gray shared some special words and a prayer with us all. Back in the classroom, the children enjoyed colouring in pictures of St Joseph and adding the ornaments of him to the prayer table.
We have shared a story from our Bible, that explained that Jesus went to a festival with his 12 disciples. They found a donkey and Jesus rode it into Jerusalem. There were lots of people on the streets and they were very excited to see Jesus. They waved palms at him and shouted “Hosanna in the highest!” Hosanna is a word that means “God save us!” We remember this festival on Palm Sunday. Mrs Gray showed us a palm leaf. We also looked at one that had been made into a cross too before then making our own palm leaves using a paper template.
Sorrow and Joy
This half term we will be learning about sorrow and joy.
We started by asking what the words ‘sorrow’ and ‘joy’ meant. Izzy suggested that ‘sad’ was another word for sorrow and Jacob suggested that ‘happy’ was another word for joy. The children discovered that two of our toys had fallen out and were feeling sad. We discussed what might have happened and then what they could do to put things right, these are some of the children’s suggestions-
“They can share a train.”
“They could share and then hug.”
“They could say sorry.”
We then discussed what we could do in school if we are feeling sad or if we think that we have hurt somebody else’s feelings. We reminded ourselves of the class rules.
We shared the story of Dan who owed money to the King. The King said that Dan did not have to pay, however we then learned that Dan had shouted at one of his friends who owed him money. The King had been kind and Dan could have been too. The children decided that the best thing for Dan to do would be to say sorry to his friend. We know that if we say sorry, we should try and change our actions in future. We then talked about how we can say sorry in the classroom and at home too.
We shared the story of Zacchaeus and found out that he had done things that he was sorry for and that Jesus helped him to see that. The children then looked at some medals and found out that people can get a medal when they do something brave. We talked about how it can be hard to say sorry, however we must be brave. The children then made their own medals and talked about some of the things that they are sorry for and what they will try to change. Here are some of their thoughts-
“When I do not help my brother.”
“When I hurt someone.”
“When I do not tidy up.”
Little Red Riding Hood
The children have really enjoyed listening to and discussing the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story. We went to the woods one day and found a red cloak, a basket and the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story. We wondered if she had dropped it all on her way to Grandma’s house! We read the story and then discovered a message asking for our help, as all of Grandma’s food from the basket had blown away! The children had lots of fun finding all of the plastic food in the woodland.
The children also enjoyed sequencing the story. Some of the children wanted to use this to support them in retelling the story to the whole class.
The children have been working really hard at writing their names or the first letter in their name, to support them in identifying their own work at the end of the session. We are all really proud of them.
During our topic of ‘Into the Woods’, we have also been sharing the story of ‘The Gruffalo’. The children have been discussing the characters, the setting and the main events, comparing them to those in ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. They have acted out the story in the small world area as well as explored painting and drawing their favourite characters from the story.
The children are really enjoying learning about rhyming words. They have been singing lots of nursery rhymes, enjoyed matching pictures of rhyming words and identifying the rhyming words in stories.
The children have been busy playing lots of games to help them to hear the initial sound in a word. We have shared a different sound every week, thinking of words that start with that sound, matching pictures by their initial sound and joining in with activities such as ‘Silly Soup’.
This half term, the children have been busy recognising numerals, touch counting and comparing groups of objects. The provision areas have had lots of fun activities to encourage children to use these skills, such as making a ‘Gruffalo Crumble’ with a specific amount of objects in the home corner and flicking pompoms into wooden ‘nets’. The children shouted out which numbered ‘net’ they reached and some children had a go at writing down their scores.
The children had a go at painting six trees as this was one of our numbers of the week.
Some children have also had a go at ordering or forming numerals to 10 and beyond and then counting out the correct amount of stickers to add to each numeral. This was a bit tricky however the children persevered with handling the small stickers.
We have been exploring making different arrangements with shapes in Foundation Stage 1. The children have really enjoyed using the Numicon, matching it to templates, rotating and flipping the pieces to fit into a specific place and counting the holes to work out the value.
During our PE sessions with Mrs Powell, the children have been playing lots of different listening games as well as practised rolling and catching a ball. They have been balancing on one leg and moved in different ways such as an elephant.
In class the children are really enjoying our dough discos. Every child has their own pot of dough and they join in with songs and actions, such as by squeezing, patting, pinching and poking the dough.
We are continuing to support the children in holding scissors correctly and to use them with control and accuracy. This half term we have been cutting up straws to make ‘sticks’ for a new home for the ‘Gruffalo’. We have also been cutting out characters from our favourite stories and ordering them by size, as well cutting out palm leaves for Palm Sunday.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This half term the children have been settling back into Foundation 1, they have developed new friendships, settled back into our routines and have enjoyed playing and learning alongside one another again.
We have started each day with a wellbeing check-in, asking the children how they are feeling and discussing with them anything they may be worried about or feel upset about.
Our RE topic of ‘Sorrow and Joy’ has helped the children to understand that sometimes we do things that may upset others and that by saying that we are sorry, we can forgive one another and learn for next time.
The children have been trying hard to take turns and to share the resources, to use good manners and to follow our class rules.
It has been wonderful to see our Foundation 1 family back together and we are very proud of all of the children.
Expressive Arts and Design
The children have been mixing their own colours this half term. Using the primary colours red, yellow and blue, they had the opportunity to mix the colours together to make brown for the ‘Gruffalo’, purple for his prickles and orange for his eyes. The children were taught how to put the paintbrush into the water, then onto a sponge, into the powder paint and then into the palette. They all did a fantastic job!
Creating models and designs
The children have also been busy creating their favourite characters from cardboard and plastic, as well as drawing them. They have explored which resources are better for joining pieces together and they have looked carefully at the colours and shapes that they could use.
We have introduced play dough back into Foundation 1 this half term. The children know to wash their hands before and after using the dough and to access it in small groups to help to keep everybody safe. The best part has been making our own dough! The children have carefully measured out the ingredients, using vocabulary such as ‘full’ and ‘overflowing’. They took it in turns to mix the dry ingredients together and described how the mixture looked and felt. We then added the water and watched the mixture turn into dough as we continued to mix it. The children discussed what to do when the dough was too wet and after adding a sprinkling of flour, the first batch of dough was ready!
Understanding the World
This half term the children have been learning all about the signs of spring. We visited our onsite woodland with clipboards, each one with pictures of flowers, buds and shoots on. The children ticked off the pictures as they discovered the items in the woods and on the playing field. The children then had the opportunity to draw their favourite sign of spring, lots of children chose to draw the flowers that they could see.
We then shared our story ‘The Gruffalo’ and the children noticed that there were holes in the trees just like the treetop house that the owl has in the story. We discussed the size of an owl and realised that the holes in the trees were too small. We then looked around for a log pile house for the snake and found one. So we looked for an underground house for the fox and noticed holes that were large enough for a fox to fit into. The children were very excited to discover these. We continued to compare our environment with the setting in the story and noticed that we did not have a lake or stream.
Representing the signs of spring through art work
The children had the opportunity to look more closely at one of the signs of spring that we found, the daffodil. The children selected the correct coloured chalk and worked hard to create the shape of a daffodil, before then using their finger to blend the colours together.
Growing our own apple trees
During our snack time one day, one of the children noticed that apples had pips. We talked about these being seeds and collected some in a small pot. We asked the children how we could try to grow the seeds and we decided to plant them in a container and water them regularly. The children each had a turn at planting one of the seeds. We know that plants need sunlight to grow so chose to place them on the windowsill. After a few weeks we already have some shoots! Our next job is to plant them into separate pots and have a look at the roots.