Summer Term Activities
What an amazing outdoor term the summer of 2016 was! We had so many enrichment days: Small Schools Week, with den-building, outdoor nature collages, Crime Scene Investigation Day, with follow-up drama and mystery story writing; road safety activities with the GIST lorry and Lincolnshire County Council; orienteering, complete with heavy rain to make it a realistic British summer experience; birds of prey presentations and dissections of owl pellets, and Sports Day, of course. All extra special to me in my last term as class teacher...
Visit to Norfolk Lavender Animal Gardens
15th June 2016
We had a fantastic visit to Norfolk Lavender Animal Gardens as part of our Minibeasts and More topic (the More part!). We were made very welcome by Leanne Wattam and her team, who showed us around and gave us information about the animals in the enclosures, as well as supervised handling sessions. Another great day out! Thank you to all the volunteers who accompanied us.
Visit to Abbey Farm and Frampton Marsh
Thursday 28th April
Armed with hats, coats and wellies, we descended on Abbey Farm on an unseasonably cold day, but received a warm welcome! We were visiting the farm again in connection with our current topic, Minibeasts.
Farm owner Jo Nelstropp gave us an informative talk about the farm and its crops, then took us outside for tree identification and mini beast collection. We also had a ride on the trailer pulled by Farmer Will's tractor!
Then it was back on the coach again en route for our second destination, Frampton Marsh, a local RSPB conservation area outside Kirton. We braced ourselves for a blowy picnic, and then had a brisk walk along one of the paths around the marsh, visiting two hides along the way.
My proudest moment of the day was when two volunteers at the Visitor Centre at Frampton commented on the children's excellent behaviour.
Summer Term 1
RE Enrichment Day with Sunita
Yesterday, we had a special guest in school to tell us about her religion, Hinduism. Sunita brought in several suitcases containing saris, traditional Indian clothes, bindis, bangles, and tikkas for us to dress up in, and a collection of religious objects to display upon a shrine, which she erected in the hall during assembly. Sunita also brought in some dandiyas, which are wooden stick-like instruments, for us to use in our Bollywood dances.
We enjoyed Sunita`s storytelling and mask-making activity at the end of the morning. In the afternoon, Sunita showed Oak Class how to make rangoli patterns with chalks, and talked to them about their perceptions of Indian culture.
Come back, Sunita! We had a fabulous time, and learnt in the best way: by doing!
We had a fabulous day yesterday when Alex from EnrichedIT brought his Lego NXT robots in for us to programme! In groups of three, we had to programme our robot by learning how to use algorithms, how to code, and how to debug when things went wrong. It was all very exciting, culminating with Robot Wars in the playground!
Spring Term 2
This term we are continuing with our Rise of the Robots topic, and are going to have a special Robots Day in school, courtesy of EnrichedIT on Monday 14th March (more information to follow).
We are looking at poetry in our English lessons; fractions, time and the four operations in maths; Hinduism in RE, and an interesting combination of robots with doughnuts, looking at the artist Eric Joyner's work in art. The Year 2s are also busy getting ready for SATS in May. So a busy and exciting term ahead, with many opportunities to develop our skills.
As a class, we are working on three particular areas this term: increased independence in our own learning, recognising that how we learn is as important as what we learn; trying really hard with spellings, using our knowledge of phonics and spelling patterns to help us, and mastering those times tables!
We worked hard over last term putting together our shadow puppet plays, as part of our science work on light and shadows. This was a long, cross-curricular project for the children, who had to perform a shadow puppet play for Willow class. This involved the Chestnut children organising themselves into good working teams; deciding on a story which would engage the younger children; designing the puppets, using suitable materials, so that just the silhouette would make the characters identifiable; allocating roles to children within the group, drawing, making the puppets, writing a play script, deciding who would do the voices and who would be puppeteers for the performance. So quite a demanding task, but one to which the children responded magnificently! We finally performed our shows to Willow this week.
On Friday 12th February, the school took part in the Big Schools' Birdwatch, run by the RSPB, which invites participating schools to carry out a survey of the kinds of birds which they see over an hour.
In Chestnut Class, we made preparations for the event, making tasty treats for the birds, and creating a hide from which to view our feathered visitors, by covering the windows overlooking the field with black sugar paper. We cut out peep holes to see the birds!
Children from all classes could take part, with the proviso that they kept quiet! Those not actively birdwatching engaged in creative bird-themed activities.
Our results have contributed to the national RSPB survey. The most popular birds were blackbirds and starlings (5 apiece), followed by magpies, jackdaws and robins (all 3), although we also saw 2 house sparrows, a collared dove, 2 great tits, one song thrush and one rook, a grand total of 26 birds over the hour!
Many thanks to Niall and Toby for their help throughout the morning.
This term sees our new topic Rise of the Robots, for which we are reading Ted Hughes' classic, The Iron Man, and learning how to use similes and noun phrases, as well as adjectives, to make our creative writing more exciting. For the second half of the Spring term, we will be looking at poetry and the use of imagery.
We are working hard in maths, focussing on calculating the basic operations of addition and subtraction, and getting to grips with our multiplication tables, including division facts, for the 2, 3, 5 and 10 times tables first, before we move onto the rest! We are also working hard to apply this knowledge in real-life contexts.
in Science, we are learning about Light and Shadows (the science curriculum has been updated to reflect the demands of the new National Curriculum of 2014) and are carrying out lots of experiments to develop our scientific thinking.
In computing, we are learning how to send emails, and are accessing our own school email accounts, and practising sending each other messages. Coding is also on the curriculum, and this will largely be achieved through our use of Scratch.
In art and DT, the robot theme will be running through our creative work, and we are already assembling our robots, which have been designed and constructed by teams as part of our PSHE curriculum.
In RE, we are learning about Hinduism, and the festival of Rakhi, which celebrates siblings.
Chestnut Class is seeing big changes this year, as Mrs Gibbin has moved in from Willow! Mrs Gibbin will be supported by teaching assistants Mrs Clarke, and Mrs Kember. This term there will be 29 children in the class, a mix of Year 2s, Year 3s and Year 4s. Quite a change for Mrs Gibbin, so watch this space!
Our topic is Our Locality, and we are looking forward to learning lots about the history, geography and wildlife of Lincolnshire and of our local towns and villages. We will study whatever aspects the children are particularly interested in.
in English, we will be practising our key skills in spelling, handwriting, and grammar, as well as enjoying texts, such as Where To? , which will take us on a journey around the world!
Likewise, in mathematics, we will be consolidating our number facts and times tables, as well as moving on in our learning.
Looks like we have an exciting time ahead!
(By the way, Mrs Hazlehurst has moved into Willow this term, so interesting times all around!)
Looking back over our first term together, there have been quite a few memories.
We have enjoyed learning about Our Locality, looking at the county of Lincolnshire, painting our favourite places, and writing about somewhere we know well. We have also been researching aspects of Spalding, such as the Pumpkin Festival, and finding out which trees grow in our school grounds and gardens. This linked in with our Science topic, Rocks and Soils, which really grabbed the children`s interest!
We also visited our local church of St Gilbert and St Hugh, where we had great fun exploring the church, and asking Reverend Walters questions, before we got to ring the bell!
Adrian Hall took us orienteering in the school grounds, which tested our teamwork as well as our geographical skills. We also enjoyed a visit from the Happy Puzzle Company.
Mrs Kember has done baking with groups over the term, and we have made Lincolnshire delicacies, such as sausage rolls, pumpkin cupcakes, and pancakes.
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