Mrs Cracknell Monday-Thursday
and Mrs Breeze on Friday
Assisted by Mrs Rawson
In 2016 we gave all our classes new names. Our Foundation Stage class is now called Finch, previously known as Acorns.
Finch Class Term 3&4 2017
Terms 3&4 have been busy and exciting in Finch class! At the start of term 3, we began looking at alternative ways to write and recognise vowel diagraphs ai (a-e ay), ee (ea) etc. Many of the children have now started to use this new skill to write words and simple sentences are now able to read simple words and sentences too.
Term 3 began with a whole school focus called Take 1 Picture and we joined Barn Owl & Robin classes by looking at The Golden Fish by Paul Klee.
The children learnt about the life of this artist and they created their own golden fish art work. The children also created art using other media such as clay and tissue. The combined artwork looked very striking and we were able to add some of our pieces to the Take 1 Picture gallery that we “opened” for parents/carers and friends to visit.
Paul Klee’s picture enabled us to go on to explore the theme Under the Sea and the children learnt about the creatures and lifeforms that live under or close to the seas around the world. Our role play area was transformed into an undersea world and the children thought about what it would be like to work on a submarine or as deep sea explorers.
The children are often asked what they would like to explore as part of their learning and in term 4 we explored our world and space which they found fascinating. The start of the focus began with us finding out about our own localities and where we live. We wrote about familiar features near our homes and we plotted our names on a big map of the local area.
We went on to broaden our focus and found out about animals and features of the wider world, including places that we may have visited on holiday. In science explorations, the children investigated life cycles and materials and used their understanding to make and write about their learning.
The latter part of term 4 was spent exploring space and the children learnt about the planets, the sun and how the Earth rotates to give us night and day. We watched clips on line of astronauts in space and talked about gravity and the lack of this in space. We watched some interesting and amusing clips of toothpaste and water droplets floating around inside the space station and astronauts trying to catch them!
We rounded off term 4 with a short focus about Easter and the children learnt the importance of this religious festival for many people around the world. We listened to stories, took part in egg rolling and made Easter treats to share. Yummy!!
A very busy time indeed in Finch class and the children were very ready for their well-earned Easter holiday!
We’re looking forward to the summer terms and our topics about animals/dinosaurs, rainforests, scientists growth and journeys! J
Finch Class Term 1&2 2016
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 and the end of term Halloween disco! 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. 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 rhyming short story which was great fun! 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 went on to learn about WW1 and poppy day and we tried to find out if any of our families had relatives who had fought in this world war. 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 leaf and then combined them to make a lovely display.
The last two weeks of term were busy with our Christmas play performances of A Miracle in Town which we performed with the 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 Sleeping Beauty was a real treat and we capped off the end of term 2 with our class party and lots of fun with a guest magician! The children were excited about Christmas and looking forward to a well-deserved rest. Well done Finches!
Acorn Class Terms 5 & 6 2016
At the start of term 5 we explored the topic of opposites and focused at the start on the opposite of hot and cold. We turned the role play area into an igloo and the children explored the idea of being an explorer like Shackleton who journeyed to the South Pole. We filled the water tray with ice cubes and the children added polar creatures to play with. We also found out what happens to ice when it begins to warm up and the children were fascinated to watch the ice melt and make predictions about the time it might take to turn to water. We then froze the water into cubes again so the children could see that some changes can be reversed. We even tried this with chocolate but the children realised that it was not possible to reverse the change that happens when you boil an egg!!
We then continued the idea of being an explorer through the opposites topic and explored the big and small opposite. We know that all children love dinosaurs so we incorporated them and the class painted a huge T’Rex which became the focal point of our class display. The children wrote lots of facts about dinosaurs and we even made our own erupting volcano which the class loved!
Term 6 was all about travelling and encouraging the children to think about different ways they travel and the journeys that they make. This is a particularly good time of year to think about travel as so many of the children begin to talk about holidays they are going to soon take with their families.
We transformed our role play area into a pirate ship and linked this to travel on the sea and across the oceans. This linked really well to our previous topic about Brazil as we were able to remind the children about how they might travel to there if they wanted to visit or even go to the 2016 Olympics!
The children made maps, telescopes and wrote lots of information about pirates, imagining what it might have been like to be a pirate travelling on the sea. We also explored growth and watched broad bean and cress seeds grow. The children made bread rolls and then filled them with egg and their own grown cress. Everyone agreed they tasted yummy!
In term 6 Acorn class were introduced to forest school at South Moreton and enjoyed several weeks of activities in the grounds of the forest school area. It was wonderful to watch the children work together as a team and to explore activities such as tree climbing and den building. Great fun!!
In the last week of term, the whole school visited the Cotswold Wildlife Park on an extremely hot day! We saw many animals during the day but lots were also hiding away due to the heat. Acorns had lots of fun though and enjoyed being away from the classroom environment for the day.
It has been a fantastic year in Acorn class and the children are ready and well prepared for year 1. We wish everyone a wonderful summer break.
We will return in September with our new class name, Finch Class. Watch this space!