WELCOME TO WOODLANDS
We are two Reception/Year 1 classes: Hedgehogs and Dormice. Our teachers are: Mrs Anna Tomasik, Miss Olivia Gerrard and Mrs Sally Smith.
Summer 1 Class News
What a super summer term we have had so far!
The children in Woodlands have learnt a lot about sustainability and our beautiful world. We have learnt about electric cars and how they are less damaging to the environment. We were surprised to hear (or not!) the sound of the electric engine. This gave us a chance to discuss road safety, and how important it is to look as well as listen, as we might not always hear a car coming.
The children learnt about 'green' energy and used water to move a water wheel in their play. We have also been very good at recycling and reducing the use of precious resources. We loved reading "Who swallowed Stanley?" and "George saves the world by lunchtime".
We have been focusing on team work and creativity this half term. The children used a variety of media and materials to create zoos and stables, and places from Buckingham Palace to Bangladesh! The children worked together and showed us they can now solve any disagreements, listen to each other and act on advice from their peers and teachers.
As historians, the EYFS children learnt about Queen Elizabeth. They arranged photos of the Queen from when she was a little girl to now - using the knowledge of how humans grow from our previous learning. Year 1s found out lots about two famous explorers: Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong. They compared their achievements and listened to a witness - Mrs Keates, who watched the moon landing on television at our school when she was a little girl!
As scientists, EYFS children continued to explore the seasons during our weekly welly walks. We observed changing areas of our local park - every week something new appears! This half term, we spotted ducklings and cygnets as well as a plethora of flowers. Year 1 children commenced their new topic on materials and carried out some experiments to explore the metals (that can be shiny or dull) and to find out how heat can change materials.
As creators, EYFS children made crowns, flags and boats using recycled materials on our tinkering table. This developed into huge houses made from cardboard boxes! The children also explored printing to consolidate their learning about patterns in maths. Year 1 children learnt about joining fabrics in DT - we will be making a pirate puppet soon!
Our literacy text this half term was a very useful one: we learnt how to persuade. Year 1s successfully persuaded Miss Tomasik to have a picnic and a play in the park on the last day of term. Reception children wrote a letter to the Head teacher asking for a school pet. We are waiting for a reply, Miss Joyce :-)
Reception children truly amazed us with their use of new vocabulary learnt from our persuasion text. 'You look stunning today, Miss Gerrard,' or 'This is a breath-taking view' - are just a few of the phrases we heard they using.
Spring 2 Class News
In Woodlands, the excitement rocketed when we went to visit the planetarium in school. The children enjoyed the whole experience, mostly the unusual acoustics of the dome - as well as the visual representations of our solar system.
The children have been practising their writing quite a lot recently, inspired by our reading unit based on non-fiction books. We are hoping to publish a book all about spring (as we now know a lot about seasonal changes). Each child wrote a page of their interest; information about the weather, things we see in spring and new life beginning to happen. Our aim is for each child to be able to write a short sentence with gaps between the words (finger spaces) by the end of EYFS. A lot of practice at school and at home will be beneficial - please continue to support your children at home.
The children are getting quicker and more proficient at making number bonds to 10. They are using mathematical vocabulary such as 'more than' and 'less than' to compare numbers. This week, we started to learn about 3D shapes and to describe them using vocabulary such as faces, vertices and edges.
Year 1s in Woodlands have been working hard on their independent version of the instructions. Some wrote about how to grow a vegetable but some chose a magic bean as their theme. Their sentence work is improving - we will be learning a lot more grammar next half term, paying attention to the word classes (verbs, nouns and adjectives) and using the correct punctuation.
We have finished our topic on plants in science this week, with an assessment that showed clearly what we had learnt about parts of the plant and its functions, the growing cycle and what seeds need to germinate. The children have impressed us with the knowledge they have retained.
Woodlands Plant Sale will take place in the first week after half term. If you have any plants that you wish to donate, please bring them to us after Easter.
Thank you for all your support and have a lovely break.
Spring 1 Class News
This spring we have had a lot of fun! The children have progressed hugely in their reading, writing and maths. Their handwriting and ability to record is improving with practice, and we all seem to have learnt how to persevere when tasks become harder.
As writers, we have completed innovations to our first text, 'The Sheep and The Goat', and learnt how to describe goodies and baddies in stories.
We have also started our new poetry unit - we will be writing a colour poem.
As mathematicians, we have been exploring the composition of the numbers 7 and 8. We also combined two groups to see what the total was - we call this adding. The children enjoyed their lessons with the teacher and then showed us their understanding in their play.
Our role-play corner was very popular - it transformed from a space ship into a police station and now a hairdressers!
The children negotiated, organised and explained so they could play agreeably together. Great interpersonal and language skills have been practised.
The children at Woodlands were visited on Monday by the police officer Chandler Hallet. Chandler told the children about his job and how to become a police officer. The children had lots of questions about fast police vehicles and chasing baddies. Chandler also told them about his job helping people and making sure everyone in Wellington feels safe. He will be back soon to read the children a story. Thank you for visiting!
Autumn 2 Class News
The children have really enjoyed the nativity performance, becoming more confident as the rehearsals continued. The singing and acting was marvellous and we can't wait to put the recording together for you all to watch at home.
Our welly walk took us to town, where we looked for the signs of Christmas celebrations. We spotted lights, wreaths, decorated trees and signs asking Santa to 'stop here' - but the most incredible surprise awaited us at St John's Church! We saw many angels lining the path to the church. Some children wanted to return in the evening to see the display illuminated.
In Maths, we have been exploring 2D shapes - we learnt that combining two squares will give us a rectangle and that a diamond is called a rhombus.
Year 1 children have worked super hard on their new text - the non-chronological report on Rudolph! We found out about the role of a title and subheadings in a non-fiction text. In maths, we have been finding a difference between two numbers using a variety of strategies: finding a part in a 'part-whole' diagram, jumping on a number line or using our fingers to count on. In geography, the children have been learning about the four points on the compass and how to draw an accurate map. Lots of hard work, Year 1s, well done!
As part of our key stage one topic, 'Animals Including Humans', the children enjoyed a visit from 'Animals 2u', where they had the opportunity to handle and find out about a variety of animals. This inspirational visit helped to reinforce the key scientific knowledge the children have been learning this half term.
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy the break and see you in January :-)
Our Woodlands children did an amazing job rehearsing and performing their nativity. We hope you enjoy it:
Autumn 1 Class News
In Woodlands, we have been innovating the story 'Stuck in the mud'. In reception we have loved using the post-it notes to introduce our characters and were great at re-telling the new tale. In year 1 we have started writing our stories and are proud of our finished pieces!
In maths in reception, we have explored the idea of 'same' and 'different', comparing a variety of objects (some of which we collected on our 'Welly Walk'). We have also started to sort objects according to a chosen criterion e.g. shape or size. Sid the Snake has been helping the children to measure length - we discovered two and a half boys are just as long as Sid.
In Year 1, we have been learning what number is one more/less than a number given.
We have started using sand timers to help us take turns and build our patience. They seem to be working very well at helping us to get on.
This half term, we have been introduced to the story of 'The Colour Monster'. We will be talking lots more about our emotions and how to recognise them in ourselves and others. The colours in the story correspond to the colours of the 'Zones of Regulation', which the whole school uses to support our understanding of emotions and how to manage them.
Class News Summer Term 2021
The EYFS outdoor area at Beech Grove has been undergoing small but exciting changes. The children and the staff have been working tirelessly to create more natural spaces, where communication, team work and imagination can flourish. Our goal was to spend as little as possible and to use natural/recycled materials where possible.This required a lot of leg work but the effects are astounding! The parents/grandparents, local Wellington Seed & Plant Swap Facebook group and Transition Town Wellington (TTW) have been extremely helpful and generous. So far, a Woodland Hideout, Dinosaur World in tyres and a Bee Diner flower bed have been created, in addition to our wonderful mud kitchen. The children planted up the Bee Diner using seeds donated by TTW during our nature study of bees. We are hoping the recycled horticultural fleece (also donated by TTW) will keep our seeds warm and spark germination so bees can have a snack in our garden. Recycled tyres were filled with peat-free compost and planted up with herbs donated by members of staff. Now, when the dinosaurs roam the land, a lovely scent of mint and thyme fills the air.
The Woodland Hideout has been a wonderful new addition - the unused area behind the shed is now extremely lively, with 'beans cooked over the fire', shanties sung after dinner and musical instruments sounding a wonderful tune. We still have big plans - a loose parts (shells, conkers, sticks, bricks, reels) maths area is being prepared as we speak. We are gathering logs and willow to create more interesting spaces and hoping to make a bug hotel soon. We are also thinking of planting up a few plain stretches of grass so we are on the look out for plants/planters as well as wooden cable reels that can be turned into small tables. This week the children will be selling plants they have been growing from seed for the last six weeks. We are hoping to raise enough funds to buy a sturdy wooden picnic bench to encourage 'chatty times' and writing outdoors. If the funds stretch further, we would like to buy a set of wooden planters so the children can grow (and eat!) their own food.
The children at Woodlands celebrated National Bee Day today. We learnt about pollination and how important bees are for our lives (it is not just about honey!).The children explored the beeswax provided by a Wellington beekeeper and painted hexagonal honeycomb pictures using a bubble wrap printing technique. Mrs Smith filmed a wonderful clip of her husband's bee hives and she brought in the beekeeping suit for us to look at.We had a special delivery from Transition Town Wellington; bags of bee-friendly seeds to plant up dinner for our very important friends - the bees. We worked as a team to dig and rake the soil, build a cage to remind us where the seeds are planted, and finally to scatter the seeds. Fingers crossed we will have a wildlife meadow ready in no time! Thank you all who helped us to have such a wonderful day!
Class News Spring Term 2021
The children are in awe of the fossils and bones they’ve discovered in our investigation station. They observed and noticed a lot of detail in the rabbit skeleton, the three get and ram’s skulls and the ammonites. They used their observations to create fantastic bits of art work for our display.
In the Woodlands unit, the joy of learning couldn't be any more evident! The children have returned eager to learn, play and interact with their friends and us teachers (who have been missing the hustle and bustle of a full classroom!).
The mud kitchen has been a huge hit with everyone - we have had pancakes, pies, soups and snacks cooked for us this week! The children are wearing school waterproofs and wellies to access the muddy restaurant. Thank you for being so understanding about the pesky mud on the school uniforms - the children are certainly making memories here!
This week we focussed on reminding the children how to navigate the complicated web of human interactions - we talked about kind words, kind hands, turn taking and sharing. We are very impressed with how the children have settled back in and how they are getting so proficient at solving their own social misunderstandings.
We have introduced the Zones of Regulations to help us see how the children are feeling, and to help them express this. In a simple view: we have four zones - Red (angry, overexcited), Yellow (worried, excited), Green (calm, ready to learn), and Blue (tired, sad). Over the course of this half term, we will be helping the children to identify which zone they might be in, and help them to regulate their feelings accordingly - acknowledging that all feelings are good as they are letting us know what is happening around us. For example, someone might be feeling angry because something unfair has happened.
We are still working on settings in stories, using The Gingerbread Man as a model text. Soon, the children will be changing the story to let the biscuit free, running across the icebergs and deserts. We are starting our literacy books as well, so any help you can give us at home with writing words, lists, captions and sentences, would be highly appreciated.
Please help the children revise the first set of special friends - sh, ch, th, nk and ng as a lot of the children seem to be a little confused at times with those sounds. Lots of oral blending as well, please (you say ch-a-t, the child 'guesses' the word and says 'chat')
In Maths, we are continuing to learn all about the number to ten but also to say the numbers in order reliably to 20 and beyond. Please could you do a lot of counting with the children at home, making sure their pronunciation of teen numbers is correct i.e. that there is definitely a 'teen' at the end, and not 'ty'.
Finally, a great thank you to all of you home schooling teachers for the great work you have done since January. Now that the baton is back in our hands, we can do all that is possible to make the remainder of your child's time in Reception as meaningful, purposeful and fun as possible. Thank you.
Class News Autumn Term 2020
The Children in Dorhogs (or Hedgemice) followed Lydia Monks, the famous children’s illustrator in a drawing class of Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len from What the Ladybird heard on holiday story by Julia Donaldson. Look at our art!
ALL ABOUT OWLS
The children in Woodland unit were visited today by the world-famous explorer and writer, Professor Know-It-All. The professor has heard about the nature study the children complete every week and as he's an expert on owls. He visited the children to promote his new information text All About Owls.
The children were inspired and spent the afternoon doing observational drawing of a barn owl. They also learnt a new art technique - collage - and applied it to create beautiful posters for our display.
Our children have had a wonderful time with seasonal produce this week. They carved, chopped and diced pumpkins and then followed a recipe to make the most delicious pumpkin soup!
Just another day of fun in our Woodland Early Years Unit
We are delighted to share with you our EYFS policy and philosophy. Please click here to view.