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Looking for Dinosaurs in the Secret Garden

We had been talking about habitats for our dinosaur and where he might have gone. Someone had the idea to go and look in the Secret Garden so off we went…..

On our way up there we spotted a different habitat. I wonder if there is a bird living in there?

Once in the Secret Garden we played a quick game of Where Are  You? to make sure everyone was listening, concentrating and comfortable in the new space.

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And then we had a look for some signs of life in the Secret Garden.

We found a trail in the grass, we wondered whether that was where our dinosaur had pushed through the grass. We also found a few feathers but we decided they were from the birds not the dinosaur. We also found a big muddy patch where we looked to see if we could find any more footprints. Sadly there weren’t any but it made us think about footprints.

Miss Parker showed us some different animal footprints. After we’d thought about which animal our footprint came from, we had to find a friend who had the same footprint on their card.

They we had to think of a way to record our footprint but we hadn’t taken any pencils. Miss Parker showed us how to use Mud Paint to draw our footprints.

Sadly we didn’t find a dinosaur in the Secret Garden but we did learn more about habitats and signs to look for if we’re looking for any creatures.

When we got back to class we thought about creating a different habitat. Can you tell who it is for? Which creature would like to live here?

What have we been learning? 

  • Where creatures live and why they choose to live there. 
  • Which signs to look for when searching for creatures in the Secret Garden. 
  • Different ways to record our ideas when there are no pencils. 

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit a wood or the park. Can you find any signs of creatures there? What do you think might live there. 
  • Make some mud paint in your garden and use sticks to paint. What can you do a picture of?
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Celebrating Bonfire Night

On our first day back at school everyone was very excited about Bonfire Night and all the fireworks we’d seen the night before. We did lots of talking about the different fireworks that we’d seen. Miss Parker and the other teachers noticed we used the word BANG! a lot but found it hard to use different words to describe what we saw and heard. We spent a lot of the week looking carefully at fireworks and even being fireworks in PE so we could develop our vocabulary and use many more words to talk about them. By the end of the week we’d got much better and we’re using a variety of different words.

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We even had a go at writing in our Floor Book ourselves. We’ve been working really hard to do more writing and mark making by ourselves and by writing in the Floor Book we get to see the value of our efforts. It’ll be great to be able to look back and see how much progress we’ve made during the year as well.

Can you remember any of the exciting words we learnt to talk about the fireworks? 

It was very exciting one day because we got to do some Forest Schools with Miss Deighton and go to a real fire. We learnt how to stay safe near the fire and also got to enjoy marshmallows that we toasted on the fire ourselves. We also watched the sparklers with Mrs Murch and enjoyed hot chocolate. It gave us another chance to think of all the exciting words we could think of to describe what we saw, heard and tasted.

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Did you enjoy going to the Bonfire? Tell a grown up what it felt like. 

In Maths we decided to make fireworks from 2-D shapes. This helped us to think of different ways to describe the firework shapes we saw. Look at some of the amazing creations we made…

We had to make sure we could talk about the properties of the shapes as well as know their names.

Can you remember anything about the different shapes? 

We had a wonderful Bonfire Night Week at school 🙂 A big thank you to Miss Deighton for helping us with the Forest School Fire.

What have we been learning? 

  • to think of interesting and exciting words to describe fireworks. 
  • to stay safe near fires and also about the way the heat from fire will melt objects. 
  • to describe the properties of 2D shapes and use them to make pictures and representations. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Encourage your child to use new and interesting words. For example, don’t let them refer to every big object as just big. Talk about huge, enormous and massive as well and decide which is best. 
  • Encourage children to manage risk, such as being near a fire, and teach them how to make themselves safe. 
  • Look for 2D shapes around your house and do a 2D shape Hunt. Can your child tell you how many sides or corners the shape has? 
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Forest Schools 4

For our last Forest Schools session we had a special surprise……. Miss Deighton came to join us and we had a session with FIRE! We had to ask Miss Deighton to come along as she’s had the special training for using the fire pit. She explained to us all about how to stay safe next to the fire and what we needed to do to make sure we got our marshmallow toasted just right.

It was very exciting to do the fire session and everyone was very sensible and listened carefully to everything Miss Deighton, Mrs Murch and Miss Deakin had to tell them.

While we were waiting for our turn at the fire and to toast marshmallows we went back up to the Secret Garden for one last time in Onyx Class. (We’ll be able to go again next year once we’re Topaz Class in Y1) There was a special job to do in the Secret Garden but only after we’d played 1-2-3 Where Are You? again. We had to make a special nature crown using any natural materials we found in the Secret Garden. There were so many to choose although we had to make sure they’d stick to the crown! Anything too big just fell off.

It was another great Forest Schools session. A big thank you to Miss Deighton for helping us stay safe near the fire and making sure there were marshmallows for everyone 🙂

What have we been learning? 

  • To listen to instructions. 
  • To stay safe in a new situation. 
  • To try new things. 
  • To look for natural objects which we like and say why. 
  • To create a crown of our favourite objects. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Support your child to try new things- this could be climbing a bit higher on the climbing frame, visiting a new place or trying a new food. 
  • Look for natural materials like before and make your own nature crowns. 
  • Use the natural materials to make a repeating pattern on your crown. 

 

 

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Forest Schools 3

For our 3rd Forest School session we headed back to the Secret Garden. Everyone in Onyx Class loves the Secret Garden!

We started our session by playing the game 1-2-3 Where Are You? The children are getting really good at it now and some children managed to hide for a really long time. C91CDBBE-13A7-479E-84DC-5F52682E2153

We’d  heard there might be some goblins and fairies in the Secret Garden so went for a closer look. There were a couple in the trees which made us decide we would like to make some our own. Miss Parker showed us how to make the clay stick to the tree and use natural materials we found to create the features of the goblins. Some of us decided to make our goblin with a friend and some of us decided to make our own.

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Don’t our goblins look fabulous? Can you see the alien goblin covered in tentacles? Which one do you think it is?

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We left our goblins in the Secret Garden to help look after it while we were back down at school. Maybe you’ll see them if you go up there soon.

We had one last job to do before we went back to the classroom. Miss Parker asked us to find some long natural materials which we could use for weaving. Some children found really long sticks so we decided to take them back and see if we could make a weaving wigwam.

 

We also made some smaller weaving frames which you can find in our classrooms.

We have loved another session in the Secret Garden for Forest Schools.

What have we been learning? 

  • To listen to our friends and maintain our attention on a game. 
  • To use our imaginations to create new goblin creatures. 
  • To explore the properties of natural materials. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Talk about different creatures that you might find in a Garden. Make up some stories about what the creatures do when you’re not there. 
  • Look for natural materials in your gardens or at the park. 
  • Make your own weaving frames and weave the natural materials to create art, like this…. 

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Forest Schools 2

We were all very excited when we knew it was time to go back to the Secret Garden for Forest Schools. We started off with a game of 1-2-3 Where are You? It has quickly become one of our favourite games.

Then we started our first activity. Miss Parker told us about some footprints which had been spotted in the Secret Garden. It was our job to go and find as many as we could. When we found them we had to sort them out and find out from the posters which animal they belonged to.

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Once we had found all the footprints we got busy with our second activity. Miss Parker asked us all to draw a picture of some of the footprints we had found. The only problem was we had no pencils or paint. The only thing we had was some cups and a bottle of water. Can you remember what we did?

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We made mud paint! We had to find sticks to help us paint our pictures instead of a paintbrush.

Our final job was to go and find as many items as we could for a special picture when we got back to the classroom. We picked up anything which was flat and that we thought was interesting.

Here is our finished picture…….

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It looks amazing in the sunshine. Come to our classroom to see it on the window.

What have we been learning?

  • To listen during games.
  • To look carefully and be observant in the Secret Garden.
  • To sort and match animal footprints.
  • To use sticks to do mark making with mud.
  • To look at different objects which interest us and talk about why we like them.

How can can you continue the learning at home?

  •  Visit the park or look in you garden and try to find objects which interest you. Can you use them to make a picture?
  • Use sticks and other objects to to do mark making with mud.

 

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Forest Schools 1

Onyx Class had a wonderful time at our first Forest Schools session. We’ve been up to the Secret Garden a couple of times recently ( see this post and this post) and couldn’t wait to get back.

When we first got there we played game called 1-2-3 Where Are You? It was hard to listen to where our friends were hiding and then go and find them.  Then we all closed our eyes and listened. It was a very windy day so it was interesting to hear what we would listen to that was different to when we’d been before.

We did an activity where we looked closely at the trees. We sat under the trees and watched what was happening above our heads in the wind.

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After that we all found a tree that we would like to get to know better and used our senses to find out more. We felt the tree and listened to it, then we smelt it to see if it smelt of anything.

We all our found our favourite tree and did a bark rubbing to explore the texture of the bark further. We had to work well together as a partnership to make sure the paper didn’t fly away in the wind!

Before we went back to the classroom everyone was allowed to go on one more explore of the Secret Garden to find a special object each. We decided to take them back to the outdoor environment to do one last special job.

Miss Hukin helped use when we got back to our outdoor environment to make our special objects into a mobile. Have you seen it hanging in the Mud Kitchen?

What we have been learning:

  • To use our senses to explore the world around us.
  • About our local environment and how to look after nature.
  • About how to keep ourselves safe.
  • To find out more about trees. 
  • To talk about a windy day. 

How can you continue the learning? 

  • Visit your local green areas and talk about what you can hear, see, smell and touch.
  • Collect come objects of your own and make a mobile for your garden at home. 
  • Look at different trees on your way to school and in your garden. What is special about them? 
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A Big Bug Hunt

We’ve been doing lots of learning about bugs recently linked to getting caterpillars in our classroom and our thinking about The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Miss Parker told us we were going to go to the Secret Garden to see if we could find some more bugs. Most of us had never been to the Secret Garden before and weren’t sure where it was. Jonathan thought we’d have to leave school and was very excited to find out it was in our school grounds.

First we listened to what we could hear in the Secret Garden. We closed our eyes and listened and then played a game where we had to listen really carefully. There were lots of birds singing. We looked hard to see where they were hiding but lots of them were hiding.

After that it was time to go looking for bugs. We had to be very quiet so we didn’t scare them away. We took special containers with us and magnifying glasses so we could collect the bugs that we found.

We found lots of bugs and even managed to find some really tiny ones. We talked about what we’d seen and compared our experiences. Miss Parker and Miss Deakin were really pleased by how we used our observation skills to not only find the bugs but then to notice details about them.

We can’t wait to go in the Secret Garden again and have asked Miss Parker if we can go again really soon!

What have we been learning?

  • About the creatures which live in our Secret Garden.
  • To treat creatures with care and respect.
  • To talk about the things we find.
  • To listen carefully listen to the sounds we can hear.
  • To look for objects which interest us and talk to our friends about them.

How can you continue the learning at home?

  • Visit the park and look for creatures there.
  • Play i- spy to make people look carefully for different objects.
  • Close your eyes and listen for all the sounds you can hear. What can you hear?