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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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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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Beautiful Butterflies

A few weeks ago now we decided that we would like some caterpillars in our classroom. We all knew they would turn into butterflies and were excited to see how it happened.

We were all happy the day the caterpillars arrived and were surprised at how small they were. It was fun to see them wriggling about-especially when they went up the top and walked upside down.

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The caterpillars grew quickly. We decided we wanted to do some learning about them so read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and learnt to tell the story ourselves without reading the book.

Can you remember how to tell the story?

Then we learnt some information about caterpillar and butterflies using non-fiction books and information from the computer. We had to think carefully whether or not we trusted the information from the computer as we know you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.

We continued to watch our caterpillars until they got really big and fat. Then they were ready to build their cocoons.

We put them in their special butterfly house ready for when they hatched. It took nearly a week but then we had butterflies. We all enjoyed making our own videos of the butterflies using the iPad. (Miss Parker has taken some screenshots to show you)

After we’d kept our butterflies for a few days it was time to let them go.  Because we went to the Secret Garden before we just knew it would be the perfect to place to let the butterflies go so off we went. We were proved right when on our way up there we saw a different butterfly. It was brown with yellow spots.

Can you find it in the photograph?

We were very lucky when we managed to get a photograph of one of our butterflies flying away. It came straight in front of the camera on the iPad!

After we’d let all the butterflies go we spotted one waiting on the logs so went to say goodbye on the way back to the classroom.

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Weve been talking about the environment this week because it’s Environment Week in school. We thought about how we could make the Secret Garden a better environment for butterflies so decided to scatter some wild flower seeds for the butterflies to get nectar from.

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What have we been learning?

About the life cycle of Caterpillars and Butterflies.
To retell a known story using story language.
To think of as many words to describe taste as possible.
To try new foods we might not have had before.
To look for patterns in stories and the environment around us.
To look after animals who need us to be careful and considerate.
To write our ideas in sentences.

How can you continue the learning at home?

Look for butterflies in your garden. What do they look like? Can you find out which species of butterfly they are?
Can you explain the life cycle to a grown up? For an extra challenge can you draw or write about the Butterfly Life Cycle.
Can you remember the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and tell it to a grown up? Remember to use the special story language we used in school.

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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?
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We Love Forest Schools

We had a fantastic time on Monday morning when we had our first Forest Schools session. Matt and Sarah came from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust to help us.

First we played a warm up game called Winter Dragons. We had to work hard to keep moving and rescue our friends who had been frozen by the dragons.

Then we got to go into the Secret Garden. We were excited to go into the Secret Garden because we’d loved it when we went for the Great Bug Hunt with Miss Oades. Thankfully it was a bit drier when we went today.

When we got to the Secret Garden we played a game called Ninja where we had to sneak up on each other and steal the nature treasure. It meant we had to be super quiet and use our listening ears to find out when the Ninja was coming for the treasure. It also meant we could hear lots of other sounds all around us. Can you remember anything that you heard in the Secret Garden? 

Our next game was called Woolly Worms. For this game to had to use our observation skills and look really carefully to see if we could spot the ‘worms’. Some of them were much easier to find than others. Some of us had to look for a little while to see them while others of us saw them straight away!

Matt and Sarah then told us it was time for a Bug Hunt. We had some special equipment to help us catch the bugs that we found. We talked about if it would different or the same as last time we went in the rain. It was amazing how many different little creatures we managed to find. Would you believe that we found snails, butterflies, grasshoppers, ladybirds, spiders, moths, beetles and lots of different flies and bugs? Can you tell someone about your favourite one? 

This photograph at the bottom has a baby ladybird in it and pupa which the baby ladybird uses to turn into a ladybird. This is the same as when the caterpillar spins its cocoon and turns into a butterfly. 

We were able to look at them in the special containers and we spent a long time looking at and talking about them all. Everyone was very excited to look for different creatures and we looked for nearly an hour without stopping!

After that it was time to let the creatures go and we started another fun activity. Matt and Sarah gave us special sticky strips of paper and we could go and collect whatever we wanted to stick our paper. We looked for special shaped leaves, colours which interested us and other interesting objects such as feathers. Can you see what is on our special papers? 

Finally Matt had a challenge or two for us. He sent us off to find the skinniest thing we could find. Then we had to find the softest thing we could and the most inserting shape leaf we could find.

We LOVE Forest Schools and can’t wait to go again next week!

What have we been learning? 

  • About the creatures which live in our Secret Garden.
  • To treat creatures with care and respect.
  • To talk about things which we find. 
  • To listen carefully to the sounds we can hear. 
  • To look carefully to make sure we see everything. 
  • To look for objects which interest us and talk to our friend about them. 
  • To learn and use words which describe objects, such as skinniest

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit the park and look for creatures there. 
  • Make a sticky strip (using double sided tape) and look for interesting objects to add to it. 
  • Play I-Spy to make people look carefully for different objects.