Finches Class 

Welcome to Finches class!  Finches is taught by Mrs Smith with assistance from Mrs Pepper and Mrs Sutton.

In Reception and Key Stage 1 all children learn phonics in line with the Jolly Phonics scheme.

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Term 5

Term 5 was busy in Finch class and the children have made great progress in all
areas! At the end of term 4, Finch class were asked what topics they would like to
explore next. Many suggestions were put forward by the children, including
endangered animals, why things happen and history. We decided to call our topic
history and link as many things as possible to it.
We began by learning about Florence Nightingale as an important person from history.
The children listened to stories about Florence and her life and we watched a short
BBC drama film showing Florence’s work with the wounded soldiers. Our role play area
became a field hospital and the children pretended to be nurses and wounded

We then followed this mini topic with a focus on endangered animals and the children
familiarised themselves with a very long list of animals that are endangered and
critically endangered, such as the orangutan, the blue fin tuna, the artic wolf and
the tiger. The children looked at lots of pictures of these creatures and then chose
one to write about, saying why the creature is endangered and what we can do to
help it survive.

Many of the children remembered hearing about endangered rhinos during our Africa
topic when a visitor came to school to talk to us. We then learnt that the very last
northern white male rhino had died and that this creature is now extinct. This helped
the children to understand how fragile the lives are of many animals across the planet
and that it is really important that we try to protect as many as possible.
The final mini topic was all about famous pirates from history and the children really
enjoyed hearing about Captain Morgan, Blackbeard and even girl pirates such as Ann
Bonney. The children thought about other people they had learnt about from the
past, such as Guy Fawkes and we compared the lives and events of all these people to
help us understand what it might have been like to live hundreds of years ago. The
role play area became a pirate ship and the children enjoyed pretending to be pirates
on our own pirate ship The Fiery Finch !!

The children’s writing was linked to our theme, with the children writing for example
a message in a bottle and a list of jobs a pirate might have to do, such as swab the
deck, fire the cannons and steal treasure! The children thoroughly enjoyed the topics
this term and they produced lovely work which can be seen on displays and in their
books. Well done Finch class!!

The children deserve their well-earned rest and we look forward to the whole school
topic Puppets at the start of term 6.

Terms 3 & 4

Term 3 was busy and exciting in Finch class! As part of the whole school focus, Finch class learnt about Africa in term 3 and we found out lots of interesting facts about this wonderful continent. We looked at lots of books with an African theme, such as Handa’s Surprise, and wrote some lovely pieces based on our observations.

We linked together as many curriculum areas as possible including our weekly cookery activity, where for example we made an African fruit salad using all the fruits from Handa’s Surprise. We all tried the different fruits, some familiar such as tangerines and bananas and some less well known such as guava and passion fruit.

The term ended with a fantastic African assembly to which we invited families and friends. South Moreton School were very fortunate to have visiting African artists who spent time with Finch class teaching us songs, dance and drumming. This was fantastic fun and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

At the end of term 3, we asked the children what they would like their next topic to be about. We gathered together all their ideas and put them together under the heading Superheroes! At the start of term 4, we talked about what a hero is and where we might see them. The Winter Olympics was in the second week when we returned so the children watched many events, including the gold winning Skeleton run by Lizzy Yarnold. We talked about sporting heroes and then every day heroes like nurses, doctors and firemen. We were really lucky to be able to see a fire engine at school when pre-school and Finch class were visited by a fire tender from Didcot fire station. The children had great fun using the hose to knock over a cone!!

We then talked about heroes closer to home and the children identified special family members who were superheroes to them. We read several stories such as My Dad is a Superhero and then we wrote to our family members explaining why they were superheroes to us.

We created a superhero den and the children had lots of fun dressing up in superhero costumes. We thought about superhero masks and the children designed and made their own masks which we have hung in the classroom. We think they look great!

As we approached the end of term 4, we had a special science week in school and Finch class had lots of fun exploring different weathers and materials. The children experimented with fabrics to make a waterproof coat for teddy and we investigated ice and water. We were also very lucky to be able to handle several creatures when Zoo Lab came to visit. The children were able to touch or look at snakes, hissing cockroaches, geckos and spiders to name just a few. Many of the children overcame fears and touched creatures that they thought were scary (including the staff!) and we learnt a lot about habitats and life cycles.

We talked about the Easter festival and the reason it is special for many people across the world and we listened to the Easter story. We made our own Easter cards in which we wrote messages for our family and friends. We finished term 4 with our annual egg rolling event and Conrad and Mrs Cracknell were both lucky to win the Finch class/teacher eggs respectively! Very “eggs..citing!”

We also said goodbye and thanks to Mrs Sheppard who worked with South Moreton School as interim head over terms 3&4. We look forward to welcoming Mrs Sánchez on 16th April as our new head teacher. The children worked very hard across terms 3&4 and we were all ready for a well-deserved Easter break.


Finch Class Term 1&2 2017

Term 1 has been busy and exciting in Finch class!  At the start of term 1, the children got off to a flying start by learning a new phonetic sound each day resulting in the children having learnt approximately 24 new sounds by the end of term 1. Many of the children have started to use this new skill to write simple words and some are now able to read simple words and sentences.

At the start of the first term, the children shared information about themselves and their families and the things that make them unique. We took photographs of the children and they then wrote something about themselves. This was added to the photographs and we made this into a lovely classroom display and linked this to how we like to learn in Finch class.

We also talked about autumn and the seasonal changes we can see around the school. The children talked about the farmers working in the fields and the crops and other foods gathered in. The children learnt that harvest is a special festival that is celebrated by people all around the world. We linked harvest time to The Little Red Hen story which the children learnt by heart and really enjoyed reciting whenever we read the story together. We created a story board display of the story and the children were able to retell The Little Red Hen from looking at their paintings. This technique is linked to Talk for Writing and we will continue to develop this over the course of the academic year.

As we approached the end of term 1 we were excited to think about Halloween and pumpkins. We listened to lots of stories featuring pumpkins including one called Pumpkin Soup. We hollowed out our own pumpkin and made pumpkin soup which we all tried. Most of Finch class decided it was yummy and would like to try it again!!

At the start of Term 2 we shared lots of books about Winnie the Witch and we even had a go at writing our own Winnie the Witch spell words which we added to the big display cauldron! Bonfire night was a fantastic way to learn about Guy Fawkes and the bonfire plot. Finch class learnt that Guy Fawkes and the plotters hid 64 barrels of gunpowder under the house of parliament and that if it had exploded, King James would have been killed.            

We then went on to learn about WW1 and poppy day and we talked about what it means to remember something or someone after which the children each wrote a memory. We made each memory into a poppy leaves and then combined them to make a lovely display.

We learnt about the festival of Diwali and listened to the well-known story Rama and the Demon King. The children made their own diva lamps and created rangoli patterns all of which added to an eye catching Diwali display. In cookery the children made and tried coconut sweet treats which are widely shared during the Diwali festival period. All the children agreed these were yummy! 

The last few weeks of term were busy with our Christmas play performances of Born in a Barn which we performed with Barn Owl and Robin classes. Families and friends thoroughly enjoyed the play and thought Finch class did extremely well to learn 8 new songs!

Our annual trip to the Watermill Theatre to see The Borrowers was a real treat and we capped off the end of term 2 with our class party and lots of fun! The children were excited about Christmas and looking forward to a well-deserved rest. Well done Finches!