Summer Term 2022
We would like to share with you this term's Curriculum Letter which lets you know about the topics we will hope to cover over the coming weeks
Curriculum letter Summer Term 2022
Curriculum Overview Summer Term 1 2022
It's amazing how many ways you can find to be creative. The children love to show us what they have made, from Robbie's necklace made out of plastic chain links to Michael's model of Hatfield House. Atticus made a cardboard box model of a person and lots of foam bricks were used to build walls and enclosures in the playground.
Louis copied and made a dinosaur whilst Jaxon worked his way through colouring flags. Samanvitha, King-David and Lena were very busy using the magnetic blocks to make their models and Anaya and Serenna really enjoyed creating their lion stick puppets. In the home corner Lois, Zayan and Robbie worked with Mrs Cooper using the stretchy playdough.
All the time, minds are working, thinking, designing, modifying and conversation is happening, discussing, chatting, explaining and sharing.
Number work and Counting
We have been busy this week and the class have really enjoyed taking part in lots of different activities. On Tuesday we did lots of counting. The children came to the front of the class and we counted up to 15. We used 10 boys and added on 5 girls. It was great fun learning how to add, we even had to teach Mrs Badger how to count correctly as she kept getting the numbers muddled up!! We then watched Number Blocks, this week it was number 15.
Forest School and More Construction
This week our story in class was Little Red and the very Hungry Lion. This was a version of Little Red Riding Hood but it had a bit of a twist and it was based in Africa. The children loved listening to the funny story and then we watched it being read with animated pictures. In the story Little Red wants to visit her Aunty who is ill at home but the very Hungry Lion wants to eat her and Aunty. Little Red tricks the Hungry Lion and the outcome is very funny.
We then went into the Forest School and the children were set a task to build a den for the Lion to live in. They were shown how to carry large logs, branches and bits of wood to make sure that they were safe at all times. As you can see the results were very good and the children were very proud of what they had made by themselves.
There has been an awful lot of building work going on this week both inside and outside the classroom. The children have been really busy using their imaginations and design skills to create and build some amazing towers and models. As they work conversations occur and questions arise. 'Will it fall down?', 'How can it be made bigger?', 'Will it balance?'
Very often the children listen to what is being taught or read in class and then they use their new knowledge to create models. This week Alexander listened to the story about Noah building an Ark and then he went outside and built his own Ark. He also built and areoplane and a drone.
Missy the Therapy Dog
We are very lucky at St Philip Howard to have a therapy dog who comes to visit the different year groups, her name is Missy. This week Missy came to visit the Foundation Stage playground.
A Therapy Dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort and to support all ages of people often in settings such as hospitals, retirement homes, schools and hospices etc.
The children were delighted to see her and were shown how to stroke her gently and were allowed to take her for a walk around the playground.
Outside Fun and Learning
Even though the weather wasn't the warmest on some days this week we had lots of fun outside. We made a pirate ship, built water channels, played together in the house and made mud to use in the mud kitchen. We practised our throwing skills using bean bags against tin cans and we made cars out of tyres. Along the way we learnt about sharing, taking turns, being creative, team work, designing, gravity, propulsion, forces and how materials change but most of all we had lots of fun.
This week the children have really enjoyed learning about animals around the world. They were introduced to the topic on Monday as we shared the story Dear Zoo together, looking at the animals and talking about what they looked like and why they wouldn't make a suitable pet.
In our maths lesson this week we looked at a giraffe, an anaconda snake, an elephant and a blue whale. We wanted to see how long they all were and so we went into the playground and measured out how long they are using a metre ruler and a click wheel. The children then had to lie down along the length of each animal. We were all amazed when we realised that the Blue Whale was so long that it would reach from one side of the playground right across to the other and it took all the children and Mrs Badger to fill up the space.
Spring Term 2022
We would like to share with you this Term's Curriculum Letter which will give an idea of the different areas taught in Nursery and the topics we will be covering.
Curriculum Letter Spring Term 2022
The Enjoyment of Forest School
During the past two terms we have enjoyed our Monday mornings up in Forest School where the children have learnt many new skills and have developed their independence.
We have learnt how to stay safe and about how to care for the natural world around us. The children have delighted in watching the seasons change as the trees turn from bare branches to being covered in leaf buds and blossom. Our little Robin friend, who was once the only bird in the forest is now joined by other birds and even by some parakeets and we have been listening to their birdcall.
This week we took some magnifying glasses and binoculars so that we could have a closer look at signs of Spring. We also had to find one long and one short thin twig so that we could make Easter crosses.
A Sunny Week Inside and Out
Well we really enjoyed some glorious sunshine this week and it meant that we could spend some quality time outside.
We also spoke about Spring coming and Mothers Day on Sunday. We asked the children what they would like to give their mummys and we had some lovely replies. 'A rainbow, a heart, mummy would like a car, a spiderman toy, special mummy chocolates' We hope that our lovely mummys do get treated on Sunday and that the sunshine continues.
Good-Bye and Good Luck
Sadly we had to say goodbye to Tehila and her family on Friday. They are moving to Norwich. I am sure that you would like to join with us to wish them all lots of luck in their new home, school and work. Tehila has been a good friend to many and has always come to school with a beautiful smile.
A Busy Week
As well as it being Science Week we have been busy in the classroom building, making, designing, listening and enjoying the activities. For some children it was their first time at trying something by themselves and succeeding. We encourage the children to 'have a go' to 'try to do it by yourself'. Sometimes this is met with resistance but it always ends up with a lot of positive praise and usually a very big smile. 'Well done you did it yourself'.
We did a bit of Measuring Today
In class this week we were talking about size. How tall are you? How tall is your friend? Can you find something as tall as you?
Mrs Badger measured all the children in the class by using some ribbon which was held on the top of their heads and measured down to their toes. Each child was then able to use this piece of ribbon to measure with. We went outside to see what they could find. They measured each other and they even measured Mrs Badger and Miss Freestone. Who was the tallest? The children really enjoyed hunting out in the playground to try to find something as tall as they were. At the end of the day they were able to take their piece of ribbon home to carry on measuring.
This week saw the start of Science Week and the children took part in a Science workshop in the hall with Fab Science. They were shown a touch of magic and introduced to the first properties of air pressure using ping pong balls and a hair drier. As the air from the hair drier rises and gravity pushes downwards the ping pong ball floats in the air. They also tried to add another ping pong ball into the flow of air. Then they had the excitement of watching how a leaf blower could produce enough air to hold up a beach ball. The next experiment involved seeing how water pressure can make a ping pong ball stick to the top of a bottle filled with water, even when it is turned upside down! The children were amazed and no one got wet!! Science is magic!!
Our Future Designers and Engineers
There's been a lot going on inside the classroom and outside this week from our future designers and engineers. The children are 'playing' but whilst they play they talk, they share ideas, they plan, they design, they get busy and then they stop and they change things, they re-plan, they re-design and then they get busy again. Isn't this what designers, engineers, mechanics, architects, industrial designers, interior designers do? As we watch we see them play but as they play their minds are constantly busy, developing what they are doing and how they are going to achieve it.
There was a lot going on this week and all of it was amazing.
There's a Rainbow in the Hall
On Tuesday we celebrated Mardi Gras by dressing up in purple, green and yellow. In class we had made masks using half a paper plate and some feathers. We joined in with a parade in the big playground which was great fun but it was a wet, drizzly day so we decided to have another parade and to dance in the hall with all our friends the next day. We put on our masks and had streamers on our hands to wave as we danced to Carnival music. Some of the school office staff came to watch as we danced around the hall, out through one door and in through the other.
There's a Rainbow in the Forest
This week in Forest School we looked for a rainbow. We didn't find the usual colours of a rainbow but we were all amazed at how many different colours we could find. The children were each given a small paint swatch card with a different shade of green, orange, yellow, or brown and they had to try and find the exact same shade from what they could see in the forest. Some of the colours were quite difficult to find and others were quite easy. The activity proved to be lots of fun, take a look at some of our photos.
Today we made Rainbows
The children were amazed! We told them that we would make rainbows in the classroom, they didn't believe us. How many ways can you make a rainbow without it being in the sky?
We danced, making rainbows with our scarves, we drew rainbows using rainbow colours, we used powder paint to make rainbows on the floor but the most exciting experiment was done using Skittles and hot water. Could we really make rainbows? Yes we did!!!!!.
Role Play in the Early Years Classroom
Role play is how children make sense of the world, acting out experiences, ideas or stories.
Albert Einstein said 'Imagination, which is at the heart of children's role play is more important than knowledge - knowledge is limited, imagination embraces the entire world'.
In Snowflakes we have created a new home corner and this week we opened it up for the children to use. A home corner can provide real, everyday vocabulary that children can get hold of and use in a relaxed way. For some children it is the place they feel most comfortable. It was wonderful to see how the children enjoyed being in the new area and they interacted in positive ways with their friends. Being able to take part in these kinds of activities provides an invaluable means for children to consolidate their understanding of knowledge and skills through meaningful experiences.
National Storybook Day
This week we asked the children to bring in their favourite storybook from home to share with us in the class and it was amazing how many different books we had brought in. The children were so excited about sharing them and we asked lots of questions to find out exactly why they liked their book so much.
Mrs Badger shared one of her favourite books - Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. It is her favourite because she likes animals and she thinks that the dogs all have such funny names.
Mrs Makowicz comes from Poland and she shared a polish story with the children which we all agreed was quite difficult for most of us to understand even with all the hand gestures and facial expressions. It was lovely to see some of our Polish children react to what they understood.
Which book is your favourite?
Outside and Inside
Our outside classroom is changing and the children have been helping to make new areas in which to discover, imagine, create and play and all the time they are communicating, interacting, sharing, taking turns and learning how to negotiate. They are making new friends and learning how to look after each other as well as the equipment and apparatus.
Our inside classroom continues to provide stimulation to help develop little minds. It encourages independence and resilience as the children try out things for themselves and get positive praise along the way for each attempt no matter how small.
Trying New Things
It's always a bit scary when things are new or if something has changed. We have had new friends to join us in Snowflakes as the afternoon children from Raindrops come to share our classroom both inside and out. The Trim Trail was a new adventure for some. Zayan had his new glasses to wear and different food to try. New games were learnt in the playground, Abraham trying to catch the ball, Luke and Diego rolling their hoops down the slope and all the time new ideas are tried out as the children play and learn.
Children grow and develop new skills by 'having a go' or 'trying it out' and once they realise that they 'can do it' the task become easier and much more fun.
24th- 28th January
Our playground has seen lots of change over the past few weeks and the children have really enjoyed being able to use the whole area in which to create games, work in the sand, play with the hoops and balls and to use their imaginations as they create their own small world activities. Children learn by watching, listening, observing and then copying. All the time they are watching what we, as the adults in their world, are doing, they are thinking about how they can then copy those roles, actions or behaviours. Here you can see some lovely examples of the children creating their own role play, copying what adults do, being the Firemen, working in the construction site, building the houses, making the walls.
24th January 2022
Forest School- Cave Baby
This week in class we shared the story Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson. We spoke about how cave dwellers lived in caves and would draw pictures on the walls using mud, to communicate with each other. We looked at different cave paintings and really enjoyed listening to the story.
Cave Baby wanted to draw but his Mum was cross when he drew across her paintings using bright colours. One night, whilst he was asleep a large woolly mammoth comes to take him on a journey through the night to find a big brown bear. Cave Baby finds out that the big brown bear isn't scary but actually wants him to paint in his cave.
We then went in to the Forest to make our own cave paintings but first we had to make the paint. We used mud to put in our pots and sticks and paint brushes to paint with. It was lots of fun. When the paintings were dry we cut them out and put them in our dinosaur cave.
The children are really enjoying learning about Dinosaurs and they have been taking part in lots of different activities in the classroom. They have enjoyed dinosaur puzzles, dinosaur shape and colour games as well as listening to dinosaur stories. They found out that some books told stories and you could look in other books to find out information about the dinosaurs. They made cave paintings to go in the dinosaur cave and built bridges and pathways for the dinosaurs to walk along.
Working and Playing Outside
In Snowflakes we love to be outside and it is so good for us to be able to use and develop our gross and fine motor skills.
By pulling, stretching, squeezing, holding, carrying and using different materials and equipment we are helping to develop the muscles in our hands and fingers which are so important to be able to hold pencils, pens, crayons and paint brushes for mark making. We are developing our fine (small) motor skills.
When we run, skip, jump, balance and move our bodies we are developing our gross (big) motor skills which also helps to build our spatial awareness and coordination. We are learning where are bodies are in relation to obstacles around us.
Happy New Year
A new year and a new topic to start us off in Snowflakes. It was great to see the children coming back into class with smiles on their faces keen to join in with activities and see their friends again.
This term we are learning all about Dinosaurs and the children were very excited as we took a journey through the classroom and out into the hall where we found some most amazing dinosaurs. The children were able to walk around them and find the ones that we had been learning about in class. They pointed out their favourite ones and told us what they knew about them.
And so we come to the end of our first term in Snowflakes and I am sure you will agree that it has been a full, busy and very happy term.
We would like to wish all the Snowflake Families a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
The children loved wearing their Christmas jumpers to school on Wednesday and we all sat together so that we could see them all. Each child told us about their jumper and we took some photos to share with you, we hope you enjoy seeing their smiling faces as much as we have.
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.
Goodbye to Dike
On Friday we said goodbye to one of our Snowflakes friends, as Dike was moving house away from Hatfield with his family and going to a new school.
Dike has been at St Philip Howard since last year and he has always come in to the classroom with a big smile. We will all miss him and I am sure that you join with me in wishing him and his family lots of good luck in their new home.
Nov- Dec 2021
Christmas is heading our way very quickly and the children have been helping to decorate the classroom. There has been lots of glitter, sequins and stars. Of course there also has to be lots of dressing up too and a lot of dancing.
Counting, recognising numbers, learning names of shapes and understanding size are all important skills within the maths curriculum. Throughout their play the children are continuously using these skills to find out more about the world around them. We are constantly asking questions:
- How big is it?
- What shape is it?
- How many are there?
- Can you count them all?
As we work we count everything around us - how may steps it takes to get to Forest School, how many pieces of apple we need for snack time, how many children have come to school.
During our Nursery Rhyme week the children made walls for Humpty Dumpty to sit on, they then counted the number of bricks they used and tried to find things to balance on top. How high were the walls? Is it as tall as you?
Learning to count can happen anywhere and it is a skill you can learn at home so easily, counting the stairs as you go up to bed, counting how many fish fingers you are going to have for your dinner, counting cars on the walk to school. Can you recognise the numbers on the doors of houses out on the street? Do you know your house number?
15th -19th November
Working inside the classroom
The children are able to choose which activities they take part in and they are encouraged to complete the activity and to tidy it away when they have finished. The adults are there to guide, to question and to support when needed. These lovely photographs show how the class are developing their writing skills and learning about counting in lots of different ways. We can also see some amazing design skills as blocks are used in different ways to make models and for developing fine motor skills for those mark making activities.
This week the children caught leaves in the playground and then used then for printing on a very large roll of paper. They had great fun on the trim trail using their gross motor skills to help them to balance, climb and swing.
There was even time for a story with Mr Bykar.
8th -12th November
The children have been very busy both in the classroom and outside. As the weeks go by they are developing stronger social skills, learning how to interact with each other, how to share, take turns and become more independent in choosing what equipment they need for each task they do.
Here are some lovely photos of the children in action this week.
Physical development is vital in children's all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives.
Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies as well as social and emotional well being.
Through our PE sessions we aim to encourage:
- the ability to negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others
- being able to demonstrate strength, balance and co-ordination when playing
- moving energetically, by running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
This week the children were using the space in the hall and we each had a coloured scarf which we could use to pretend to be fireworks. The children danced to Katy Perry's song Fireworks and moved in time with the music, making big circles in the air and throwing and catching their scarves.
We then had some time on the Trim Trail where we could really use all our gross motor skills to balance, climb, swing and jump.
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.