Welcome to Snowflakes
This is the class page for the Nursery class at St Philip Howard Primary School and we would like to welcome all the new children and those children who are coming back to join us from last year.
We have had a very busy, fun filled first few days and the children are all settling into the routines of the classroom.
The first few days of starting any class can be daunting, with new friends to make, new names to learn and leaving parents at the door. We have had some tears and that is always expected, but once the children have become engaged in an activity they have soon forgotten why they were so upset and we have had lots of laughter, conversation and activity.
Here are some photographs we would like to share of the start of the new term.
Expressive Art and Design
Encouraging children to express themselves through art and design is an important part of the Early Years curriculum. If a child finds it difficult to communicate, whether it is because they have speech difficulties or speak a different language they will often find that they can express themselves through what they create or make. As Early Years teachers we are there to guide and talk with the children as they work, asking questions about what they are making and why they have chosen the materials for their activity. Then we can take this further by asking how they could modify or change the design to make it look different.
The class have really enjoyed designing and making their houses for the three little pigs using a variety of different materials. Of course they then had to be tested to make sure that the wolf couldn't blow them down.
The Three Little Pigs in Forest School
This week our story about the three little pigs really inspired the children in our Forest School session. We went into the woods to make some houses. The children could go off to find different materials with which to make their own houses for the wolf to blow down.
It was great to observe them choosing the materials they wanted and how they decided to work together to make the houses.
We had a house made from sticks which were laid down on the ground. Another house was built from lots of sticks placed in the form of a roof at a slant. Some of the children found a den which had previously been made by some of the older children in the school and they decided to add to it to make it bigger. At the end of the session some crates and a very large root of a bush were found to build the walls and make a roof.
We didn't see the wolf but we were sure that he couldn't blow our houses down.
Run Run As Fast As You Can You Can't Catch Me I'm The Gingerbread Man!!!!
It has been a week of new experiences. The children have really enjoyed listening to the story of the Gingerbread Man and they even got to make up their own version using picture slides on the Interactive Board.
We also had a great time learning about how ginger is grown and where it comes from. Mrs Badger then showed the class a piece of root ginger. We smelt it, touched it and even got to eat some of it. There were quite a few strange faces as the small pieces were tasted. Words such as 'peppery', 'hot', 'like a potato' and 'yuk' were used.
At snack time ginger tea was served and it was great to see that some children really liked the taste and asked for more. We also shared some ginger biscuits together.
In the classroom we made gingerbread men out of salt dough, using rolling pins to roll out the dough and cookie cutters to press down hard to make the shapes.
In Forest School we took our buckets, spades, spoons and cookie cutters to make gingerbread men in the mud and then we ran and ran like the gingerbread man, hoping that the fox wouldn't eat us.
4th - 8th October
Working Together Developing Social Skills
In the Early Years Curriculum emphasis is put on encouraging the children to interact with each other in positive ways, helping each other and being able to communicate together.
We help the children by showing them how they can interact with those around them, often working in small groups, which means that they have to take turns at an activity or wait patiently until it is their turn.
We will also ask older children to help the younger ones, encouraging them to help and guide whilst passing on their skills.
This week the children have enjoyed using the instruments for small group music sessions and joining in with action songs on the carpet with Mrs Gajjar. We also split the children into two groups so that they could take turns in drawing around each other in the playground.
20th - 24th September
Playing and Learning Inside and Outside.
Again this week we have been lucky enough to be in the classroom and outside as well, sometimes just about dodging the showers.
The children have started to learn the phonic songs and have been really good at bringing in things from home to put in the sound box.
We have also looked at shapes and tried to find them within our environment.
Along the way they have been learning about each other and how to work together, developing their communication skills.
Busy in the Classroom
In Snowflakes we encourage the children to be independent learners, where they can choose, decide, create, make and communicate their ideas. As adults we are there to guide, help, encourage and question, to find out what we can about each and every child. Each child will learn in a different way and each child will be taken on a different educational journey. Along the way we want to have fun, to laugh, to enjoy and to encourage happy contented children who will want to find out more and to learn.
Enjoy seeing lots of busy times in the classroom and we think you will agree there are lots of very happy faces.
Why Forest School?
So what is so important about children experiencing Forest School? We are so incredibly lucky at St Philip Howard to be able to use the wooded area behind the school and the children have already enjoyed two sessions exploring the area and learning the rules to keep us all safe.
Being outside, whatever the weather is so important:
- It helps to build self-esteem and confidence
- It teaches children how to co-operate and communicate with their peers
- It creates an understanding of the importance of taking care of the environment
- It nurtures empathy and a sense of connection to nature
- Children become inspired by the world around them
- It helps to build a positive attitude to learning and motivation.
The children are allowed to test their limits in the natural world which helps to build problem solving skills, independence and resilience as they try things out for themselves guided and observed by the adults around them.
We have been blessed with some wonderful September sunshine this week and although the mornings are a bit chilly we have still been able to get out everyday into the playground to make use of lots of water activities. The children have really enjoyed experimenting with containers, pipes and slopes as well as finding some dinosaurs frozen in ice!!!!!
All these activities are an important part of their learning and they help to develop their communication skills as the children talk to each other and discuss what they are going to do. Problem solving comes into play as they decide the best course of action. Sharing, turn taking and sometimes just being able to step back and watch are also important skills to learn. The children are constantly learning through their own experiences as they take part.
Learning About Ourselves and Making New Friends
We have had so much fun this week learning about who we are and making new friends. It has been a busy week and the children are doing really well, remembering classroom rules, finding out where things are and how to tidy them away, taking part in their first Forest School trip and joining in with PE with Miss Bunnage in the school hall.
We have been talking about our bodies and faces, seeing how we are all different, working on activities both inside the classroom and in the playground. Along the way the adults role is to gently encourage the children to make their own choices and to solve problems independently. Communication is also very important and so we talk with the children, helping them to develop their vocabulary and encouraging them to use their words wherever possible.