Week of May 15th in Reception

What a lovely week. We had Science Week and National Outdoor Learning Day on Thursday.

We kicked off science week asking the children what they thought science was all about. They blew us away. We introduced a song that covered gravity, hibernation, migration, metamorphosis, evaporation. Many of which the children have / are experiencing through their everyday play. Here is the link to the song on You Tube from The Learning Station.

  1. Joshua knows all about gravity.

  2. Most children could explain evaporation, they just didn’t know the proper scientific term.

  3. Most children knew about hibernation. Migration was a new term to many.

  4. Metamorphosis – We are learning about this ‘in the moment’ with our class caterpillars.

Science Week photos:

Gloop: The children were exploring two type of gloop, making it,  then observing how it changed and what it felt like using their senses. They explored transporting it, putting it through funnels and sieves, trying to pick it up with their hands or utensils and trying to form it into shapes, just to see what would happen.  We heard some lovely language, describing how it felt, looked and behaved in their hands.

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Bubbles: Talking about how bubbles are made of trapped air, the colours the children can see, their shape, size and chasing them to try and pop them are all valuable learning opportunities. I sent a recipe home that we used for science week, it’s well worth it! Would love some pics if you are successful making even bigger bubbles.

STEM Challenge: The children (and many of the parents!) loved the STEM challenge. The children used toothpicks and sweets to build 3D shapes. We are taking a closer look at 3D shapes next week. Could you make a better one at home?

Child led learning at its best: How much water is needed to be added to make the perfect sandcastle? What is happening to the water when it is poured on the sand?

Jump Rope: What goes up must come down!!!

George P was amazing, gold medalist in the making. Think we’ll try double dutch next week…

Sorry, but my photos really don’t do the children justice, didn’t manage to capture many mid flight.

Imaginative Play:  Mrs. Kimber and I managed to salvage some car seats and bumbers from the Car Body Repair Shop in Breakspeare Rd (Thanks Issy!). They were so popular with the children, lots of lovely language and imaginative play. At risk of turning the garden into a salvage yard we love open ended resources like these. We’d love a steering wheel or three!

  More construction:

 

Next Week: We are looking at 3D shapes. Take a look at your environment, can the children spot any 3D structures, cone, cube, sphere etc.

We are collecting interesting shaped boxes. There are some hexagonal chocolate boxes if you fancy treating yourself (just in the interests of your child’s 3D education of course!).

  1. What shape is the football?

  2. What shape is a toblerone?

  3. What shape is a Swiss Roll cake?

  4. What shape is a Battenburg cake?

On Wednesday  Miss Boby and I are out of class for part fo the day each  as we have an internal moderation which is a statutory requirement, but we are on site.

Mrs. Quinn.

Week of May 10th

On Tuesday I attended a fantastic conference about getting children moving. The lovely Jan White, author of Every Child A Mover presented on

  • Physical movement is an innate need for children
  • Physical movement helps neurons in the brain communicate  which in turn leads to academic success.
  • Good learning involves physical movement.
  • The body and mind is one system, thought is action internalised

When looking at the need for movement and the ways children need to move she really brought it home to all adults in the room with a check list – do you remember doing this…. does your child do this…?

  • Trying to swing so high, you aim to go right over the swing frame.
  • Lying your tummy on a swing seat, swing forwards and back.
  • Lying on your tummy on the swing, twisting the swing in one direction then lifting your feet to let it turn all the way back.
  • Hold your parents hands, climb up their body with your feet, then turn over.
  • Being held by your parent, one arm, one ankle and flying round like an aeroplane.
  • Hanging upside down on monkey bars.
  • Log rolls down a hill.
  • Sitting on a metal bar, one leg over, go forwards, swing all way round back to the top.
  • Swinging on a rope.
  • Your mum or dad lie on their back, legs up in the air and you balanced on their feet, arms out stretched.
  • Spin round and round, arms out stretched until you almost fall down.
  • Wheel-barrow races with a friend.
  • Handstands against a wall.
  • Try to stand on one leg, then try with your eyes closed.

Chidren need to do all these things to develop their sense of balance, spatial awareness, upper body and core strength so they can support their body for the increasingly long periods of time they are expected to sit and write, which isn’t fully developed until age 7.

HOMEWORK: Over the next few weeks, make a real effort to ensure your kids are outside and moving, learning to assess risk, take risks,  experience spinning, turning, rolling, jumping, pushing, pulling, hanging, stretching etc. I’d love to see photos. This week I returned to nursery with a renewed commitment to auditing our outside area –  across Early Years, to ensure children are physically challenged daily.

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That said, for those of you joining us in reception class next September, there is a huge challenge ahead to get the outside area ‘child ready.’  As Head of Early Years, I am working wih Miss Turffrey to develop the outdoor curriculum. We are a task force  of two at the moment but we are hoping that lots of you can volunteer your time, skills and creativeness to develop the Early Years area in Reception. Don’t be shy, I have a job with your name on it…

First off, the children of our lovely Mrs. Kimber have donated their outdoor trampoline. I intend to dig a large hole and put it in the ground. I need to work fast before they change their mind! Could you give a few hours to help? I also want to create a tyre mountain (thanks for the tyres Mrs Lomas) and also simply a huge mound of earth – can you imagine the fun pushing that large blue barrel to the top then letting it go, or doing log rolls to the bottom, racing your friends. There are also swings to put up, a mud kitchen to build, a garden area to be ripped out and re-landscaped. We need shelves outdoors for resources, a water area built and I would like to turn one of the sheds into a sand pit as it is so hugely popular in nursery. A letter went out this week asking for your help. Please get in touch asap.

 

A few more photos:

Next Week: We are continuing to plant seeds and care for the garden. Did your cress grow? The children have also been looking for bugs so they are going to look at insects more closely. I will be making sensory bottles as an adult led activity as part of Science Week.

Keep reading your Teddy words if your child shows that they are ready and interested.

I am also focusing on oral counting this week.  How high can your child count securely?

 

Mrs. Quinn

 

Understanding the World

Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

By the end of Early Years children will develop their understanding of:

  • People and communities: children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
  • The world: children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.
  • Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

How can you help?

  • Get out and about in all weathers! Talk about what is happening in the world all around you. Notice traffic, street signs, changes in the seasons.
  • Compare old and new things with your child. Give them an awareness that ‘in the olden times’ people did not have washing machines, vacuum cleaners, televisions!
  • Give your child a sense of your family and relations.
  • Explain that life is very different for people in different parts of the world.  The weather is different, lifestyles are different, homes are different, not everyone has a meal to eat at the end of a day.
  • Develop in your child a respect for different cultures and religions. Explain that our world is a wonderful place to live because everyone has the right to follow their own beliefs and way of life.
  • Develop problem solving skills in your child. It is often quicker and easier to do things for them but your child will not grow into an independent person if they don’t learn to solve problems, try things out for themselves, make mistakes and learn to persevere.
  • If you have a computer, laptop, iPad allow your child to play appropriate games, but also allow them to operate simple equipment (hand mixers, electric toothbrushes, CD players) under your watchful eye.