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St Andrew's C of E Primary School

Otter Class News (Reception Year)

Welcome to the Summer Term in Otter Class

25th May 2022

Queen's Jubilee Art Competition

We have been working with the rest of the school on an art exhibition for St Andrew's Church. Today we had special visitors from the Parish Council to judge our amazing art work and award prizes.

 

Apryl from Otter class was our fabulous winner for all her hard work and enthusiasm working alongside her peers to create our entry. We made collages of the Queen's profile and backed them to look like a postage stamp. Apryl received a commemorative first day coin, sweets and a set of mini jubilee wooden characters. All of the children were rewarded with a commemorative coin, sweets and one mini wooden character.

17th May 2022

On Tuesday year 1 Otters went to Colne Valley Railway with Robin class and our friends in Badger class at St Giles. We had a fabulous day learning about trains and their history. We had a ride on a diesel train and were able to stand in the driver's cab and learn about the various instruments. The children climbed the steps into the signal box and to learn about the signals and how they ensure safety along the line. They watched short videos explaining how a steam engine worked before they saw a 'water stop' where the engine's filler tank replenishes it's water with 5,000 gallons! 

 

The children saw the Victorian post box and found out how it shows that it is from the reign of Queen Victoria. From here they boarded a static mail train and tried their hand at sorting the post. This we discovered was a very dangerous job as the mail drops and collections were carried out whilst the train was moving at 80 mph! The workers needed to count to 5 having passed under a specific bridge for the post bags to the safely and accurately picked up and dropped off.

 

The children enjoyed visiting the museum and looking for clues to solve a problem. They also enjoyed visiting the model railway, having lunch on a train and a ride on the miniature railway. A great day out. The children were so well behaved - they carried out all of the safety instructions without being reminded. Well done to all of the children.

5th May 2022

Noticing plants growing

Our assemblies have been about noticing the changes in our environment. Otters have been around our garden and noticed that our seedlings are growing well, our sunflowers are poking tiny shoots through the compost and flowers are blooming in the flower beds.

 

Around the field children noticed daisies on the field and dandelions in the hedgerows. Harrison found a beautiful one in our class garden and couldn't resist blowing the seed heads - fabulous. We watched the seed heads move like tiny parachutes in the breeze!

 

Phonics

This week Little Otters have enjoyed learning their phonics outdoors in the gazebo. They then played a game to practise their high frequency words before writing them on the playground using chalk. This really helped retracing their handwriting strokes.

29th April 2022

The year 1s in Otter class enjoyed a fabulous visit to Hatfield Forest with Robin class. They were joined by Badger class at St Giles' School. They bonded really well and carried out their activities and play as though they were all in the same class! Well done year 1s.

 

First Otters were greeted by a group of ducks which wondered if we had any food to offer them! The first activity we carried out was den building before we had lunch. At this point the ducks flocked around us. After lunch we used 'fortune tellers' to sound out forest words, follow a direction and count steps. Some children chose to fill their collecting bags with natural finds and others climbed trees or continued to be creative with sticks. 

 

We had an amazing day.

22nd April 2022

Preparing to celebrate 

EARTDAY

In The Garden

Otter Class have enjoyed their first week back in school after the Easter break. They began by sowing sunflower seeds and planting up the wild flower seedlings that they sowed from seed last term. It was a great opportunity to introduce our Science learning for this term - PLANTS. They needed to ensure that the plants and seeds had light and water.

The children all designed their own seed packets. The challenge was to think about a new flower or fruit they could create before designing the cover including a unique name for their creation! You can see their seed packets later!

Exploring, investigating and comparing

The  children spent quality time outside looking at the EARTH beneath our feet - mud! They enjoyed feeling, comparing and investigating the properties of dry mud compared to wet mud! Great fun and a great opportunity to develop their language skills. The Year 1 children have been learning more about adjectives this week so found this activity very useful.

EARTH DAY activities

We discussed ways that we can look after our EARTH. The Year 1 children wrote their ideas and added them to our poster. They drew around their hands and cut them out to indicate how our hands play an important part in this care.

 

The Little Otters ripped pieces of blue and green tissue, remembering their learning from last term - green represented the land and blue the ocean and made 'suncatchers'. We can't wait for the sun to shine through our windows so that we can enjoy them more!

Happy Easter 

to everyone

Welcome to the Spring Term in Otter Class

1st April 2022

 

Easter Egg Hunt

On Friday morning Otters had a fabulous time going on an Easter egg hunt on Baker's Field. On arrival they found that the Easter bunny had hidden eggs all around the wood even on the trees! First they had to collect as many eggs as they could find before counting them and trading their collection in for a chocolate egg! The children enjoyed eating the eggs before having a second treat - it began to snow!

Happy Easter!

Easter crosses

We all made Easter cards showing the cross. The year 1s made theirs by smudging oil pastels from a template onto their card before washing it over with water colours. The Little Otters used paint and finger painted theirs, smudging around the cross. The pictures were absolutely amazing. We shared these in our Easter assembly.

Friendship Web

Otters had fun thinking about friendships this week when we created a 'friendship web'. They threw a ball of wool across the circle and said kind things to the person who received it. The children were really proud of the lovely words which were said about them.

Sowing and Growing

This week we all potted up our chilli seedlings ready to take home before Easter.  The year 1s assembled the mini greenhouse by following the instructions;  they were then able to put the wild flower seedings in which the children had previously sown.

Mother's Day

We can now share with you our fabulous sewing which we did for Mother's Day. The year 1s carefully sewed around a heart shape and added beads. The Little Otters sewed their mat by adding beads as they sewed in and out of their fabric. The edges of the fabric was frayed which finished off their mats beautifully.

 

We do hope that all of our mums enjoyed receiving their personalised mats.

24th March 2022

Little Otters Visit to Boydells Dairy Farm

Little Otters had an mazing time on Monday when we visited Boydells Farm. We were met by farmer Kylie who showed us all of the animals. We milked Mootilda the cow, stroked some of the other cows, fed  the goats, llamas and alpacas.  They stoked the donkeys, and ponies and were able to touch and stroke the turkey, the goose and other fowl. The children bottle fed some lambs and were able to hold guinea-pigs and rabbits. It was a great day, the children were fabulous and the weather was really lovely too!

Design and Technology

In DT we have been looking at frame structures. First they looked at a variety of different bridges before sketching one. Year 1s then built bridges to carry cars and people over a river. The children thought this was a fairly easy challenge but throughout they needed to evaluate and adapt their structure for stability and strength. Great work engineers!!

11th March 2022

Spreading joy to our neighbours

This week in assembly we have been thinking about Lent and about a gift we could give to others. After a class discussion it was decided that we would make cards and deliver them to the local community. The children wrote a message inside:

 

We are spreading joy to our neighbours.

Remember there is still a wonderful world out there.

Best wishes from Otter Class.

 

We then went out and hand delivered our cards. We were so pleased to receive a card in return, later in the day, thanking us for our lovely thought. This spread joy amongst the children and put a smile on all of our faces. Thank you.

 

UPDATE: Thank you so much to all those fabulous neighbours who live near our school. You all put smiles on our children's faces with the cards, emails, bags of sweets and biscuits which you sent in for them. Thank you smiley

This week we have read the story of Superworm.  In Maths Otter class have been learning about measuring. They had a great time searching very carefully for worms and placing them on the measure chart. They compared the length of two worms and began to have an insight into measuring. Little Otters moved on to measuring large objects with metre sticks whilst the year 1s measured in centimetres. On Thursday the year 1s used the computers to support their learning about measuring.

We followed instructions to make our own wormery which we added to our class one. The year 1s wrote the instructions while the Little Otters sequenced the pictures.

3rd March 2022

World Book Day

For World Book Day we read 'Aliens Love Underpants'. We made an alien like the one in the book and then designed underpants for it.

Otters created spaceships  from paper plates and then inserted their photo into them. They also made aliens by using pipettes to drop paint onto paper and then using a straw they 'blew' the paint across the paper. Having cut the aliens out googly eyes were added. Such fun!!

More alien fun

A large 3D alien was made from boxes, foam, yoghurt bottles and tin cans. He was dressed in a pair of underpants. The children had great fun building him a spaceship outside. Inside Otters enjoyed making up their own stories on the tuff spot using a rocket ship, aliens, craters, jewels and rocks. 

Dressing up as our favourite book character

In RE we have been learning about Lent. Lent lasts for 40 days and was when Jesus wandered through the desert. We discussed what  it might have been like. The children decided that it would be very quiet and Jesus would have had lots of time to think. The Year 1s wrote how they could be a better person.

During our Ash Wednesday service conducted by Reverend Kate some of the children read their thoughts out. Well done to you all.

24th February 2022

Before half term we read the story of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown; the children enjoyed it so much that we all made our own Flat Stanley which we took home for the holiday. The children recorded their adventures with Flat Stanley. He went to many places including Ickworth House, local parks, Colchester Zoo, Cornwall, our own homes, out for tea and as far away as America. The children loved the project and thank you to all the parents who contacted me to say what a wonderful time they all had with Flat Stanley. We have enjoyed sharing all your photos and adventures with the class.

Flat Stanley Returns

Year 1 Otters have started writing about their adventures.

Little Otters have been learning all about pairs. They put socks in the washing machine, sorted them and hung them on the washing line in pairs. Afterwards each pair was ironed. Well done Little Otters, lots of  life learning went on there too! They also sorted then cut and stuck paper socks in pairs into their books. Great work Little Otters.

3rd February 2022

Chinese New Year

Otter Class have been celebrating Chinese New Year. Mrs McCallum set up a fabulous small world play area outside where the children retold the story of how each year was named after an animal. After a bit of practise they were able to put the animals in the right order! The children wrote numbers to 10 in Chinese and wrote how old they were using the right symbols.

 

Chinese fans were made having first decorated them with Chinese writing - the children found it quite strange that the writing was written downwards and not across the page! Coloured beads were threaded on dragon heads, red and gold petals created patterns and designs in the mirror box, rice and paintbrushes for writing. They also did some great Chinese writing on banners to hang outside.

26th January 2022

Big Garden Bird Watch

This week we have been preparing for the Big Garden Bird Watch. First the Otters created a bird hide which they reminded the adults that we needed to collect sticks to put on the top of the tarpaulin to hide it! The children then made binoculars from foam and recycled Christmas wrapping tubes adding wool so they could hang them around their necks. They made bird feeders by following the instructions themselves. They had such fun hiding away, watching for and identifying the birds which visited. Mrs Everard visited the bird hide - they children had to remind her to be quiet or the birds would be frightened away! Well done Otters, great work.

Bird Activities

Two Little Dickie Birds

Still image for this video

20th January 2022

On Monday Robin class joined Otter class for their Forest School session. They had a great morning building dens, identifying leaves and whittling. Although it was a cold day, the hot chocolate whilst sitting around the log circle was warmly welcomed.

What are Otter class grateful for?

This week's assembly began with what we are grateful for. Using each of the letters in turn Otter class, Mrs McCallum and I began to think of things that we are grateful for. We had some fabulous ideas from the children, they were incredible. We began to put our ideas together - this is just the beginning!

7th January 2022

Welcome back to school and to a brand new year. The children all settled quickly and have been so excited to share all the wonderful things that Santa brought them! The year 1s wrote a thank you letter to Santa whilst the reception children drew a picture of what they had.

Letters to Santa

Andy Warhol Pop Art

Last term we began looking at portrait art. One famous artist who is well known for this is Andy Warhol, who is a modern American pop artist. We used his style and experimented with colour to create portraits of ourselves. They are now completed!

Welcome to the Autumn term in Otter Class

25th November 2021

Little Red Riding Hood

This week we have started learning about the traditional tale of Little Red Riding Hood. We began by drawing a story map of the story. The children were very proud of their maps. Well done to everyone. Fabulous work both early years and year 1s.

Last Friday was Children in Need. Inspired by our story of Pudsey Bear's Fund Raiser the children wanted  the outdoor role play area to become a bakery. They rolled, twisted, cut and squashed playdough into cup cakes and cookies which they carefully decorated with gems, button and beads. Never ending fun, language development, turn-taking and fine motor development!

18th November 2021

This week Otters were thinking about the importance of being kind to each other and what it means to be a good friend. Outdoors they designed and created a FRIEND SHIP. They worked as a team to build it and paint it before having an amazing time playing in it together.

All Aboard!  All were welcome to sail away to an imaginary land together. Great teamwork and great friendships Otters!

11th November 2021

Remembrance Day

This week we made poppies for Remembrance Day. The children painted large pebbles green before sponge printing red poppies on them. They used cotton wool buds to create black centres. Mrs McCallum kindly outlined our poppies with a black pen which really brought our poppies to life. They look amazing.

 

At the beginning of our day we watched beautiful a short animated film which helped explain  Remembrance Day which we then discussed. Later after our Remembrance service with Reverend Gill we made poppy pictures by ripping paper. More fabulous work Otters, well done. It was certainly a day to remember.

Firework pictures

Otter Class were very excited creating their  firework pictures last week. They dipped split cardboard tubes into paint before printing onto black paper. The results are fabulous. 

 

The year ones also made magic firework pictures. Using crayons they drew all kinds of fireworks from spinning wheels to whirls to stars. However they were horrified when I asked them to paint over their work with black paint! It was great to see their smiles, eyebrows raised and 'wows' as the wax resisted the paint and their firework pictures came to life. Great work Otters. 

Forest School

We had a great day at Forest School. First we found a tree to hug and listen to the sounds in the wood. We heard birds singing, leaves rustling and even a twig cracking. Using leaves which we collected, the children used a hole puncher to put holes in the leaves which they then threaded with wool in autumn colours. Otter class love bug hunting, so they looked for bugs and identified them using identification charts before returning them to their natural environment. 

4th November 2021

One Small Change

Since starting back to school in September Otter Class have been thinking about what they can do to help save the planet. After Mrs Nichols assembly on Monday we were challenged to think of how we could make 'one small change'. Otters wanted to save water which  was a fabulous way for us to discuss ways that water is wasted! Together we thought about water waste in the classroom especially when we wash our hands as often the taps are left running! The year 1s designed posters to help get this message across; these are displayed by our sinks to remind us to only put the tap on when we are ready to wash the soap off our hands and then to turn the tap straight off! It also made us think about how many paper towels we really needed to dry our hand with!! 

     

Moon walking

In the outdoor garden the children have been moon walking! Stompers became moon boots which they all enjoyed walking on, but the walk became more challenging when they needed to wear a space helmet too! Great fun but they found it quite tricky trying to balance a helmet, balance on the stompers AND walk!

Design and Technology skills

Otter class enjoy making models from both construction kits and from junk materials. In order to make models it is important that the children  realise that there are different ways to join materials together and one method doesn't necessarily join every material!  Last week we discussed methods of joining - the children hadn't realised there were more ways to join than just using glue and sticky tape, even though different joining materials are available for them to use freely during model making! They enjoyed an afternoon of experimenting with different methods of fixing different materials together. 

Design and technology in early years

Early years were set the challenge to build a model from sand. They found that it was easier to use a traditional bucket than a measuring cylinder or a yoghurt pot! It was more difficult to use a long handled spade than one with a shorter handle! The sand was dry and having filled their bucket, they carefully patted the sand down and then upturned their bucket - unfortunately their model collapsed and the children were rather disappointed. 

The children had to work out what went wrong! Soon one child realised that she made sandcastles at the beach and that the sand was wet. So they poured water into the sand and mixed it together. The bucket was once again filled, the sand patted down and when turned over created their sand model, to an overwhelming cheer! 

7th October 2021

Windy Days

On Wednesday we decided to make the most of the wind so the children made kites with Mrs McCallum. First they had to fold the card, fasten it together and hole punch it before threading their own piece of string through. The children had a great time flying them during playtimes whilst challenging themselves to see who could keep their kite air borne the longest! Great fun Otters!

We are all unique

In our assemblies this week have been think about how each of us are unique, we are all special. In class we read the story 'I'm Special, I'm Me!' The year 1s had templates of half of a person on a piece of paper. They had the task to fold the paper in half and carefully cut out around the image - they were amazed to see how they had created a person. Next they talked with their friends to find out how special their friend thought they were before they used those words to write on their cut-out. We have some fabulously kind, careful, friendly children in Otter Class.

30th September 2021

Music Magic

Otter class have had an amazing week learning new rhymes and moving in response to music. Outside they were able to tap out simple repeated rhythms that we have been doing indoors. Using percussion instruments and upturned saucepans they created their own and explored how sounds changed depending upon the pan or beater they were using. Absolutely brilliant!

Recorders

Still image for this video

In music lessons with Mr Munson the year 1s are learning to play the recorder. They thoroughly enjoyed sharing their first masterpiece with me entitled 'STRICTLY B'. Wow, that was amazing year 1. Well done!

That certainly scored a 10 from me!

23rd September 2021

 

Otter class have been learning about what is out in space. They were all amazed at the pictures we saw of the different planets - all different in size and colour. Later, we thoroughly enjoyed creating our own. We chose our own colours of paint, poured them into the salad spinner and spun them around! When the spinner stopped and the lid was removed the results were incredible. The children were thrilled with their brilliant creations!

Reach for the Stars

We have been learning about Neil Armstrong, he reached for the stars and became the first person to walk on the moon. We thought about what our ambitions were and wrote them in a star. Here you can see how we reached for the stars dressed as astronauts and setting off on our journey.

Kind Hearts

Assemblies this week have been about hard and soft hearts. Soft hearts show kindness whereas hard hearts do not. Otters have had very kind hearts this week. Each time we showed a kind heart it was written on a heart post-it note and put on a larger heart for everyone to see! Well done Otters I am so proud of all the kind things you have done and said this week!

16th September 2021

Whatever Next?

This week we began our learning with the story 'Whatever Next?' by Jill Murphy. In it Baby Bear visits the moon in his rocket which he found under the stairs (a box), a space helmet he found on the draining board (a colander) and his space boots which he found on the mat by the door (wellies). The children enjoyed acting out the story with their props during the week. The year 1s wrote lists of what they would take with them to the moon. Great work everyone!

Space Station

With our role play area open the children dressed as astronauts and 'whooshed' into space. They took turns in the control centre and with writing a daily log. Our astronauts were very careful to put everything away at the end of each mission in case it mysteriously floated away! Next week look out for more photos when they have been transmitted to earth.

Unicorn School

This week part of the outdoor area was turned into a Unicorn School. Here the children explained to the unicorn children (My Little Ponies) how to listen and stand still so that they could learn how to become 'unicorns'. The children showed them how to line up and follow each other carefully. In another area the children made a papier mache unicorn which they thoroughly enjoyed making, painting and putting the final touches too. Well done Otters, a great week!

9th September 2021

This week Otter class began learning about the wonderful world which we live in. We watched David Attenborough's BBC film titled 'What a Wonderful World' with the song of the same name sung by Louis Armstrong. This inspired the year 1s to think about what they found special in the world before writing new words to the song. 

What a Wonderful World

Frozen Animals

Outside the children found some of the animals they had been talking about frozen in blocks of ice. They investigated how they could release them back into the world. There were lots of great ideas!

Fun in the Sun

3rd September 2021

On Thursday the children arrived smartly dressed and proud to be Year 1s. They were smiling, full of joy and keen to tell us all about their holiday! We decided to capture the moment, so they wrote and drew their favourite moment which you can read about in the photos below.

After lunch we welcomed the early years children who arrived looking very grown up in their new school uniform and super shiny shoes. They had a great afternoon playing indoors and out whilst they familiarised themselves with their new environment. 

A fabulous start to an exciting term. Well done to you all!

My Favourite Holiday Memory

Welcome to the Summer Term

 

19th July 2021

Today we took the water colours to Baker's Field. We carefully observed the wild flowers before choosing one to paint. They were all totally absorbed in their artwork, paying particular attention to colours and sizes. The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity - the final results were stunning. Fabulous art work Otters, well done.

15th July 2021

This week we had our Sports Day. The children were led out by William who was voted as the Otter Class captain. William held our Sports rings depicting each of the classes. The children were so enthusiastic and performed their absolute best. A super afternoon with great teamwork, determination and lots of cheer. Well done Otters, you were amazing!

8th July 2021

 

Euro 2020

 

This weekend is Euro 2020 final at Wembley. The children painted England flags for bunting around our garden and coloured in flags to wave, which they attached to pulp straws themselves.  I am sure the England team will be really motivated by their enthusiasm!

Designs for medals

This week Otter class designed their own sports medals. The medals displayed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, they had pictures of sports persons with their arms in the air celebrating as well as stars and trophies. They are looking forward to a sports weekend and their own sports day. Great work Otters! 

1st July 2021

In our assemblies this week we have been thinking about 'moving on'. Things change over time; we thought about starting points earlier in the year and how we  tried something new, had new experiences and with time, love and care have moved on with our learning. To demonstrate this we watched the lifecycle of a butterfly watching how life began with the egg, out came the caterpillar, which turned into a chrysalis and then developed as a beautiful butterfly. This week we have all tried something new, something that we couldn't do YET!  We were inspired to create beautiful butterflies using paint and as we were learning about half and halving this fitted into our maths.  It was a great opportunity to revisit symmetry so we used 2D shaped to create symmetrical patterns too.

17th June 2021

Forest School

Before our Forest School session began we listened to the story of The Magic Ring. The story teller was on a quest to find the ring and asked for our help. On Baker's Field we searched for the ring and amazingly Leo found it. Well done Leo - such careful looking! In order to keep the ring safe the children decided to make dens where the ring could be put. The children had such fun building the dens from sticks, ropes and tarpaulins. Many skills were developed because the supporting ropes were too low or too loose so they had to problem solve! Great work every one. The Otters had such fun using their imagination. It was fabulous to receive so many emails from parents commenting on the great time their children had, and how much their child had enjoyed the session. Thank you, they were very much appreciated.

If you would like to hear the story, click on the link below and then scroll down - you may need to adjust the volume!

Water lilies

In Art the children have been learning about the artist Claude Monet. They have been looking at his famous painting of water lilies and went on to create their own. The water lilies look extremely effective around the fantasy castle which they constructed earlier in the term. Great work!

Natural crushed flower prints

The children worked outdoors with Mrs McCallum to collect their own choice of flowers, petals and leaves from our class garden. They placed each one carefully between which fabric and crushed them to release the dye in the petals and leaves and yet retain their shapes. The work is amazing, well done to you all. 

10th June 2021

This week summer has finally arrived. The weather has been glorious and what better way to learn than outside and with water! We investigated how we could make our own bubbles using washing up liquid and water. It soon became clear that the children found they needed something with a hole in the middle. They used their imagination to find items around the garden and classroom what they could use. They found hoops, plastic egg tray holders, construction kits, tennis rackets and even the finger holes in a pair of scissors! The children experimented to see if they could make different shaped and sizes of bubbles. Waving a tennis racket in the air made loads of bubbles; it was fun seeing how the sunshine made rainbows in the bubbles.

Harvesting our salad crop

This week we harvested our crop of radishes which we had grown from seed and carefully looked after. Everyone harvested their own, removed the leaves and root and washed it. We were delighted at how many children tried them who hadn't tried radishes before - some liked the taste, others did not. A bowl of radishes was then picked and taken to Mrs Park in the kitchen for her to prepare for the salad trolley for lunchtime.

27th May 2021

Forest School

We have been reading the story of Stick Man so on our visit to Forest School the children decorated crowns with sticks. Some children just used sticks, some decorated theirs with leaves and some added blossom. Our crowns soon became May garlands! The children then took them home at the end of the day - it was great to see that one little girl added more flowers from her garden. Fabulous!

St Andrew's Dance Off

We like to include the children in our planning for the following week. One of the activities the children wanted was to have a dance show. Here one contender is getting her score from our panel of judges!

Fine motor activity

One of our fine motor activities this week was busy every day. The children used tongs to lift fish and shells out of water into a collecting dish - they needed to count a specific number into the dish depending upon the numbers inside, which changed every day!  The tricky part was not to drop them - well done to you all, very few fish and shells escaped the tongs!

This week Otters completed a workout which included lunges, squats and jumps with the PE coach Joe Wicks. They thoroughly enjoyed their 27 minute workout!  All of the children tried hard to keep up and were not prepared to give up! Well done to you all for your enthusiasm and energy.

20th May 2021

The Royal Family

This week Otters have completed their learning about Queen Elizabeth 11 with creating portraits of the royal family. They took great care to study each photograph before they began their sketches. Some of the children also sketched and coloured Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Some great artwork, well done!

St Andrew's Church and Reverend Gill

On Thursday afternoon Reverend Gill came into our classroom to talk to us. After our visit to St Andrew's Church we had many questions which we wanted to ask. She answered some of them and took others back so that the church warden could answer them more fully. We were really pleased when she told us that we can now have a look inside the church and we all look forward to this happening.

Stickman

This week we have also been working with sticks and have our own 'stickman' which we have been using on our 'forest floor' tuff spot. In DT we coloured and carefully cut out parts of  'stickman' from card, which we then assembled using split pins. It was great fun making them move their arms and legs!

13th May 2021

We were pleased to see the sunshine this week as much of our learning has taken place outdoors.

Our very own Enchanted Wood

On Monday we had our second Forest School session where we found many signs of spring including blossom beginning on the fruit trees. This linked really well with our 'Mindfulness' activity to notice and enjoy the beauty in nature.  As we are reading The Enchanted Wood the children began to make their own enchanted wood by finding a thin but strong stick and collecting different sized, shaped and colour of leaves which they threaded on. These we put into the ground and created a special area.

In RE we have been learning about special places so on Wednesday morning we walked across the fields to St Andrew's Church to learn more about it. It was an incredible visit because the children have also been learning about 'Materials' in Science. They were able to identify new and old bricks, the use of stone, flint and wood. They recognised patterns and shields in the windows as well as the windows being of different shapes. We looked at the War Memorial and talked about the names of the soldiers from the village who lost their lives in the second world war, noticing that there were several from the same family. The children noticed that tombs were above the ground and graves below ground, recognising that some were 'very' old because they were broken. They also were keen to explain how they knew a grave was old or not! Well done Otters, a great mornings observation and learning.

Shades of green

In art we have been learning about the painter Henri Rousseau and studied his painting 'In the jungle'. We learned about shades and tones of  colour (green). Whilst walking across the fields we recognised this in our beautiful landscape.

6th May 2021

Gruffalo Crumble

 

 

The story of the Enchanted Wood has led us to reading other favourite, magical stories which take place in a wood. We really enjoyed reading The Gruffalo, which has helped us with rhyming words and sequencing stories. The children can now recite it almost word by word which is amazing. We ended the week making the mouse's favourite food which was 'Gruffalo Crumble' - the children loved crushing his bones (digestive biscuits) and adding his orange eyes (chopped apricots), the poisonous wart at the end of his nose (green smarties), black tongue (raisins) and the prickles from his back (purple jelly tots) all mixed together with his brown fur (milk chocolate). Wonderful ... and it tasted GOOD!!

Castle construction

Our castles have continued being constructed. The mediaeval castle now has stone brickwork whilst the fantasy castle is a wonderful shade of mauve. Having painted them the children are beginning to add the finishing touches - flags, chains, jewels and flowers!

'Gone with the wind!'

What fun we had playing in the wind on Tuesday. We took streamers out and ran around the field with them letting them trail behind us. We even made our own by securing vertical blinds on short sticks. A great afternoon!

29th April 2021

At the start of the term we began reading 'The Enchanted Wood' by Enid Blyton. Even though the story is in the form of a paperback book with no pictures the children have been mesmerised by it. They are following the adventures of Joe, Beth and Frannie as they find and then climb up a gigantic magical tree in the wood which is at the bottom of their garden. 

 

We discussed what they might find at the top of the tree and linked it to what Jack found at the top of the beanstalk when he climbed up it. The Otter children were full of ideas and enthusiasm! They decided that there may be a castle so we decided we would make both a mediaeval and a fantasy castle. This gave us the opportunity to talk about it's construction and materials which links in with our science. These photographs show the early stages of their castles using junk material and then being covered with papier mache.  

Constructing our castles

Fantasy small world play

 

 

On Monday we had our first Forest School session of the term and what a fabulous morning it turned out to be. First the children hugged a tree whilst they listened carefully to the sounds they could hear around them. Mrs Brown, one of our Governors accompanied us and was able to identify the sound of the blackbird. We then used our eyes to look at the environment around us; we saw bird's nests, the clouds slowly forming shapes in the sky and new growth on the trees. As we walked around the wood the children made a journey stick by finding 4 natural objects which they thought were special. They put into twine before hanging them on the trees to decorate our wood to celebrate how special it is. After our our fruit snack they enjoyed searching for bugs, identifying them before putting them carefully back.

 

 

22nd April 2021

What a great week Otter Class have had. As Thursday was Earth Day we embraced it the entire week by becoming more aware of our environment.

In our outdoor classroom the children became scientists. Mrs McCallum set up a Science Lab with microscope, magnifying glasses, sorting trays, balances, (oversized) scientists glasses and identification charts. Each day the children focused on one of their five senses. They observed different objects  ranging from leaves, twigs and flowers. They sorted shells, fruit, bark and flowers - each time being able to take a closer look at them. The Science Lab gave them the opportunity to identify objects which were magnetic or not, weighing using the balances and to investigate colour mixing. The children had fun trying to identify different smells too; these ranged from drinking chocolate to cucumber to mint toothpaste! 

Well done Otters a truly great week!

15th April 2021

All of Otter class have settled back into school and have been so eager to learn! We are learning about 'Materials' so we began by discussing and sorting a wide variety of objects. The children enjoyed matching  them to the the correct material, noticing that some objects were actually made up from two or more materials. Afterwards they became scientists and had to go and find objects themselves which were made of specific materials; as it was a sunny day they investigated outdoors first.

 

 

Investigating everyday materials

PE

PE

This week in PE Otters focused on jogging and controlling their movements when they heard a signal. We began by warming up our bodies with gentle movements - bending the knees, gentle arm punches,  elbows meeting opposite knees  and so on. We began to learn about changing speeds when jogging. It was great fun; we all enjoyed it before finishing by lying down, stretching our arms and legs and controlling our breathing. 

Hula Hoops

This week there was lots of enthusiasm to try something new. Here one Little Otter perseveres with hula-hooping. Keep going, you are nearly there!

Hula Hooping

Still image for this video

Welcome to the Spring Term (after lockdown)

 

 

26th March 2021

This week Otter Class have been celebrating the end of term with gardening, crafts and other Easter activities. We made Easter crowns from painted paper plates on which we cut out and glued paper eggs and flowers. Some were then left plain while others were decorated with coloured tissue and shiny paper.

Easter Crowns

Easter egg hunt

We walked to the woods where we discovered that the Easter bunny had been and left 'hundreds' of eggs for us to find. They were scattered amongst the trees, on the branches, on the ground and poked into crevices; we worked in pairs to hunt for them! After finding them all we returned to the log circle and counted them up before finding that the Easter bunny had left us all a chocolate egg! We enjoyed eating our egg in the sunshine.

Sowing seeds

We sowed some bean and tomato seeds which we then took home to watch what happens when they germinate and begin to grow. A perfect way to symbolise new life at Eastertime.

19th March 2021

This week Otters have been focusing on their artistic skills. First we looked at a daffodil and learned about the various parts before they sketched one. Later in the week Otters used water colours and a fine brush to paint their daffodil - they are amazing. Have a look at the photographs and see for yourself. When finished and mounted he children did not believe it was their work, they thought it looked like they were painted by Fox class!

Water colour daffodils

Maths Learning

Maths

The year 1 Otters have been working with numbers to 50 and have been consolidating their learning of the 100square this week. Here they are working on putting together the 100square as a jigsaw puzzle. They all found that it was trickier than they first thought because they had to use their understanding of number to piece it together.

 

The Little Otters have been working on recognising and naming 3D shapes. They have learned about faces and that they are the same as the 2D shapes they already know, edges and corners. Little Otters matched pictures of 3D shapes to their names.

Well being

Well being

We also managed to find time to think about ourselves and our friends. With Mrs McCallum we took time to relax and engage with nature. Outside the children took deep breathes and listened to the sounds around them. Inside Mrs Halls read a story called The Invisible String by Patrice Karst which helped the children understand that we are all connected to those that we love even though we may be apart. As they passed a ball of wool around they thought about the story, caring for each other and how they are connected.

 

 

 

Otter Class have had a great first week back in school and are all delighted to welcome two new Little Otters to our class. 

 

This week the children have really enjoyed being back with their friends again. It has been lovely to see their friendships flourish as they chatted, laughed and played together - the lovely sunshine meant that we could start the week outdoors. 

Otters have used their phonics and learned about the oceans...

They have been finding out about a famous landmark....  and making their own...

They jetted off to the continent of Australia and found out about the animals which live there....

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