The Nursery children quite literally sprung into action at the start of this term! They all fully embraced their spring topic work with beans and sunflowers sprouting on classroom windowsills and tadpoles wiggling in tanks, all of which have caused great excitement and fascination! We hope we have gone some small way towards creating a generation of nature loving children! Nursery have as always made good use of their outdoor environment with a variety of activities taking place. The addition of the mud kitchen in the nursery garden has proved to be extremely popular. Mrs Slade and Mr Gauntlett have been busy in our specialist PE lessons on a Wednesday morning developing the necessary skills the children will require for our Nursery Sports Day...we wonder if the parents will be as well prepared for their races......you have been warned!
Nursery children have also enjoyed some wonderful walks in our local community on a Tuesday afternoon, across the fields at Corsham Court, to the park and the library. In our Thursday morning Humbugs sessions, the children have enjoyed a variety of exciting activities with Mrs Williamson on the theme of mini beasts and animals. Both children and staff are looking forward a fun-filled and busy final half of the last term of the academic year with a wide variety of activities taking place including Sports Day, Graduation and Teddy Bears' Picnic. It always amazes us how far all the children have come in a year, how much they have all developed and achieved and what a very special journey we have all been on together. By the end of this term, our older classes will be well and truly "school ready"!
This term has seen the children entering the prehistoric world and being taken on dinosaur adventures far afield. The children have been fascinated by dinosaurs absorbing every piece of information and then taking it into their own learning within the classroom. In the dinosaur café, the children have been cooking and serving a variety of foods fit for the largest and smallest of dinosaurs, thinking very carefully about if each dinosaur is a carnivore or a herbivore. Mystery entered the classroom when small unidentified seeds appeared. The children planted the seeds and watched as a small plant grew in the classroom. We were all shocked to see a small egg growing on the plant by the end of the week. The children nurtured the egg watching closely each day until the egg finally hatched and out crawled a small baby dinosaur! The dinosaur became the focus of each child watching out for it every day, until one morning it disappeared! Dinosaur hunts around the school at lunch times and playtimes began but sadly the dinosaur could not be found. Then, to everyone’s surprise mysterious footprints of different sizes appeared in the classrooms! The children used their measuring skills to compare the differences in sizes of each footprint, and eventually our baby dinosaur appeared back in the classroom.
Throughout the term the children have been palaeontologists, searching for dinosaur bones, making fossils and creating skeletons of dinosaurs. The children were fascinated by the site of dinosaur poo in the classroom, using their tweezers to investigate what the dinosaur might have eaten! A real highlight of the term.
Our little explorers have been given wonderful opportunities to learn through play and carefully devised learning activities, to develop investigative skills, cooperation and resilience whilst they learn more and more about the world around them.
YEARS 1 AND 2
Year 1 are involved in an exciting topic about minibeasts this term. They have been minibeast explorers, finding out who lives in the garden and are busy growing Painted Lady caterpillars in the classroom, ready to release later on in the term. They have created some scary super-bugs, who are the lead roles in their animation stories that they are looking forward to sharing with their parents at the Year 1 Film Premier in June!
They have spent this term working on developing the garden ready for all the Summer mini-beasts. They have been learning about life cycles and what each minibeasts needs to survive.
At Forest School they have been learning about the importance of collaboration whilst perfecting their shelter building, whilst the zip-wire definitely tested their confidence. No session would be complete without toasting marshmallows on the fire!
Outdoor learning is a wonderful opportunity for children to assume different roles than they might in classroom-based activities. We often marvel at how particular children develop into natural leaders in the outdoor environment, and draw on very different skills to those used in classroom-based learning - it is so wonderful to see their confidence emerging!
Year 2 are fully immersed in the topic ‘Global Gardens’. They are using their natural curiosity to explore this topic in every subject. In English they looked at the Aboriginal tale ‘Rainbow Bird’ and they explored how birds would move through the trees and sky by running around Antonia’s Garden to create as many movement adjectives as they could think of. These adjectives were then used to write their own poems. In Science lessons the children have enjoyed dissecting tulips to discover the different parts of a plant, and they learnt all about different poisonous plants - did you know that every part a yew tree is poisonous except the red berry which surrounds the seed? Year 2 do! In Art they looked at the Rousseau picture ‘Tiger in a Storm’ and used water colours to create their own version of the picture.
The highlight of the topic this half term was their visit to Westonbirt Arboretum. The children (and teachers and parents helpers!) had an enormous amount of fun listening to trees as they suck water up from the soil and as a whole year group they created a giant model of a tree!
YEARS 3 AND 4
What a whirlwind! Flashing by in a series of action-packed enrichment activities and engaged learning, this term has been enjoyable, memorable and highly productive for all Year 5 pupils.
Scientific highlights have included the celebration of children’s science projects in a simply outstanding display at the Science Fair; tasting freeze-dried ‘astronaut’ space food; all ‘cadets’ graduating from Mrs Evans’ legendary Space Academy and a visit from Bath astronomer Simon Holbeche, who taught the children how to calculate return trajectories, using differently sized marbles.
To support the new STEAM curriculum, we took a trip to British Aerospace in Bristol and were delighted to be able to board Concorde! Pleasingly, pupils left a very positive lasting impression as, during the practical session (whereby children created rockets from paper, which they then launched) the workshop’s leader informed us that Rebecca was the ‘first pupil to have EVER correctly identified the pioneering female astronaut Valentina Tereshkova. Another ‘first’ for the Aerospace educational team was the performance of Guy’s rocket, as its clever design led to an incredibly high launch! Indeed, it boldly went where no rocket has gone before and is, and forever will be, firmly lodged at the very top of the hangar!
In class, pupils have enjoyed writing ‘thank-you’ letters to Mrs Mitchell for buying our school the adorable baby bunnies: Warren & Woody. Children have also written their own playscripts, discussion texts, and taken part in ‘The Big Debate!’ which was inspired by the children’s interest in recent current affairs with regard to the Lord Mayor of London’s proposal that fast-food adverts be banned from public transport to minimise children’s exposure to them. Thus, the issue ‘Should Junk food be Banned?’ was posited to the whole of Year 5. Mr Siman chaired the debate brilliantly; all children enjoyed debating this issue and wholeheartedly contributed their points – a culmination of confidence and communication!
Finally, form times are worth a mention here too… being particularly rousing of late! Renditions of ‘Luck be a Lady Tonight’ are regularly sung at the top of children’s voices in readiness for the production of Guys & Dolls in a few short weeks!
What an exciting half term this has been for Year 6! Year 6 began the term by gaining their Level 1 and 2 ‘Bikeability’ awards and it is wonderful to hear that they now feel confident making the journey to school on the road. Following this came a trip to the Lifeskills centre in Bristol. The instructors provided the children with a selection of hazardous situations (including fires and crossing the road) and equipped them with the skills to stay safe and in control. It is always pleasing to hear the words, “That was the best trip EVER!” on the way home.
Mrs Evans and Mr Ruane have continued to develop the children’s scientific and problem solving skills this term and this was clearly evident during the inaugural ‘Years 5 and 6 Science Fair’. The children had clearly gone to great lengths to investigate questions that captured their imaginations and it was a real pleasure listening to how they completed their investigations.