Pioneers’ Class Blog

Actual Snow

Everything had to stop on Thursday when the snow started to fall. We could do nothing but put our coats on and get out and see how it felt. There was great excitement,a lot of squealing and a lot of questions were posed:

Why is my hat wet?

Why do my hands hurt?

Can we make snow angels?

Why is this snow full of sand? (asked whilst filling a bucket with snow from the ground)

Getting Out and About

On Tuesday we were invited back to visit the Community Centre across the road. They had heard that we were reading Chocolate Cake and learning all about Chocolate so they prepared a fantastic activity for us. Sprinkles,melted chocolate,cocktail sticks and marshmallows. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing. Pioneer Class were fabulous and their kindness filled my heart. Once the sweets had been made we all played musical statues. When we returned to school some faces needed a wipe to get rid of any evidence.


Magnificent Buns

After reading Chocolate Cake we took the chance to create some decorated buns to play with in our Chocolate Shop. We also wrote labels to go with them.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Our theme for the term is Chocolate and we have chosen the most wonderful poem by Micheal Rosen as our starting point and inspiration. We have a Chocolate Shop and we have been creating bags of sweets and writing labels. We have made little chocolate buns,written shopping lists and worked on writing the verbs from the recipe. Please do pop in and admire the wonderful independent writing on our walls.


Christmas is Coming

(17th December)

Before the Christmas Party we got busy decorating the trees in the classroom. This was a real treat. We also had a delivery of a lifesize calf for our stable. Daisy is a popular addition to the class and I think she may hang around for a while.

The party was wonderful and pictures are on the Latest News page.

Parachute Games

(13th December 2018)

Today’s PE was really fun. We had a go at the party games that will be played on Monday at our Christmas party and then we got the parachute out for  a quick upper body work out. Once we got the hang of following instructions and moving at the same time,we got on really well.

Straw and Order-Our Nativity

The Nativity Play in Church was so much fun. Pioneers loved being little star. They played their part really well and most of our wands survived the first performance. Take a look on the Latest News page to see some more pictures.

Take a Look at Latest News Page for pictures of the Christmas Fair.

Fun at the Community Centre

(5th December)

We were very happy to be invited to the Community Centre across from school to enjoy the company of some of the older residents from the village. We were very well looked after:everyone had a gingerbreadman and there were a selection of tubes of icing and sprinkles. Once we had decorated and eaten our biscuits we were ready for a game of Christmas Bingo. Tilly was the winner and enjoyed shouting “Bingo”. Our final game was a bit of fun with Mr Grason. He got to wear some inflatable reindeer antlers while the children threw rings at him. And we did manage a bit of singing too. Hopefully we will be invited back in the new year.

Preparing For Christmas

(4rd December)

We put together our own Advent Wreath in the classroom. We used foliage collected from our forest. We discussed deciduous and evergreen trees. We filled five little pots with sand for the candles. In assembly the next day we brought our Wreath to show it to the whole school. We discussed the symbolism of each-love,hope,peace and joy .We discussed making a Compassion Advent Calendar filled with acts of kindness rather than cholcolate. The Leaders helped by writing our ideas-one for each school day leading up to Christmas to be read in Collective Worship.


Planting for the Future

(28th November)

Our session in the forest had a real sense of purpose this week. A huge number of trees have been delivered for us to plant. Before we went out we looked at the structure of a tree and discussed evergreen and deciduous trees. We looked at leaf types. We discussed the need for a stake to support the tree and the plastic tubing to protect it. Everyone helped to carry the things we needed. Mrs McGill led the digging . We stayed out for half of the morning but it was jolly cold and noses were running.

Full to the Brim and Soggy Sleeves.

(26th November)

The water tray and accompanying pouring and filling tray was busy all day. The water dispenser was a highlight and the children became quite skilled in their use of the tap. They used a variety of jugs,bottles,funnels and clear 3D shapes to play around with capacity.Some children experimented with floating and sinking. Others worked out that it took a bit of effort to submerge a beaker in a bucket. During the week  we will learn to use  the vocabulary related to capacity,to record our understanding and to begin to estimate how many cups a bottle may hold. Hopefully we will keep the floor dry. If anyone happens to have another dispenser sitting in their cupboard after a summer barbecue,it would be very useful and gratefully received.

Happy Learning

A Letter About Sleights C Of E School

(21st November 2018)

Alongside our work in the Post Office we have been writing letters and finding out about the postal system. Together we have written a letter to the editor of the Whitby Gazette to let him now just how special our school is. Very soon Sleights School will be 50 Years Old and we think that it would be nice to celebrate with an article in the Gazette.Our thoughts are up on the wall in the classroom. Come in and read them. Perhaps you could add some thoughts of your own. There will be paper ready!

You Got A Friend In Me

16th November 2018

This week we have been exploring what makes a good friend. We talked about this theme and drew and painted together. The children had some very beautiful things to say about their friends and being a friend. The pictures are now on the wall in the classroom. You will be able to see them at Parent’s Evening next week.

You Can Count on Us

12th November 2018

We have been using a variety of stuff to help us visualise what number looks like. We have used numicon to make number bonds to 10,to draw around and to fill the hundred square. We have used Duplo and lego tiles to make addition sums. The Pioneers posed proudly with their calculations. The tables are set with maths stuff in the morning so do pop in and have a look if you want to see adding in action.

Happy Mathematics



Early Morning Learning Frenzy

(7th November 2018)

The first 15 minutes of the day are always full of energy and really intense “doing”. We are now in a routine and the children are all confident and comfortable to explore and to learn. At times it is possible to stand back and observe the wonderful joy of learning and this morning was one of those mornings.

Happy Learning


Maths in the Forest

Today was magnificent. After our Guided Reading in the classroom and a bit of handwriting,we got our kit on and went out. Although it was a bit windy around the classroom,it was just beautiful down in the forest. The children were asked to do some comparisons. Each child had two pieces of string-one long,one short. Their job was to find items and make comparisons. We rehearsed the sentences using the phrase”is longer than” or “is shorter than” and “is the same length as”. They all worked very well together. We ate snack in the shelter and enjoyed some more sunshine. A truly lovely morning.


Queues at the Post Office

5th November 2018

We have started this half term with a focus on letters and letter writing. A Post Office area is set up in the classroom and due to popularity it has already been extended. Some great pieces of writing have already appeared. Thanks to Archie’s family,we have a post box ready to be painted. Parcels need to be weighed and envelopes measured. Documents will need to be stamped but I haven’t set out the black ink pad yet. We shall build up to that. Today we looked at the journey of a letter,talking about addresses,stamps and Royal Mail. A table is also set out in the sheltered area so the writing could continue.Our focus texts are The Jolly Postman and Flat Stanley. Pop in and have a look.


After The Storm (Noah-Not Percy)

25th October 2018

After reading Percy the Park Keeper “After the Storm” we took a little look at Noah’s Ark. Many of the children are very keen on the plastic animals and this gave them another aspect to explore in their play. We have painted rainbows,discussing first the colour selection in every rainbow. This painting was done on a small scale and with fine brushes. This took some skill to plan how big to make the various arcs. The children drew pairs of animals and discussed the features of each. We also discussed who would eat who. The photography doesn’t really do justice to the animal drawings so please pop in to see them and have a look at our rainbows too.


Unicorns in the Forest

(23rd October 2018)

This week,I am most grateful for these stones painted for us by one of our families. Mrs McGill and I had fun hiding the stones in the forest for the children to find. We took photographs to make a treasure hunt for the Pioneers. It is much easier to hide the stones than it was to find them again. One swish of the autumn leaves and it made the hunt just a little harder. Well done Pioneers. You showed great perseverance and helped each other with this task. Only one more out there still to find!


Dressing-Up Fun

(23rd October 2018)

This week I have added a selection of dressing up clothes. The noise level has increased dramatically as everyone tried out their new roles. Some became quite loud when under the cover of a large hat and sunglasses. Some were moved to dance and I heard some spectacular singing too.

Visiting the Leaders

(18th October 2018)

On Thursday after PE we were invited in to join the older children to help with creating some leaves to add to the new art work in the hall. Although it was a bit daunting at first, they made us feel very welcome. We worked together and you will be able to see the leaves in place very soon.

Getting Excited about Writing

(19th October 2018)

Early morning writing is exciting to watch. We all have writing books to write in whenever we feel the need. If they want to then they are welcome to take them home to write in too. Together we are working on letter shapes and the progress is incredible. Come in and have a look in the morning if you have time.

Happy Writing

Percy The Park Keeper

(19th October 2018)

Our work this week has centred on the Percy the Park Keeper story After the Storm. We retold the story in the classroom,played with the animals and took them to the forest to build their homes. High quality discussion took place about where the animals lived,what they ate and when they came out to feed.  The children have been particularly interested in birds of prey and how they hunt and feed. This interest will lead next the work next week. We will explore”Who’s Eating Who?” in our forest.


Planting Herbs

(10th October)

When the weather allows,we have been eating snack in the garden shelter. We have been gifted some new herbs and Mrs McGill took groups of Pioneers to get them into the soil on this fine sunny day. Please let us know if you have any spare herbs that we could add to our raised beds in this beautiful little garden.

For Every Cup and Plateful,May We Be Truly Grateful

We enjoyed our pumpkin soup in the outdoor shelter. Mrs McGill brought the soup in the hollowed out pumpkin for us to share. The children commented on the flavours that they could pick out. Some were not too sure but everyone gave it a try.

Happy Eating


(10th October 2018)

It was all hands on deck to get our pumpkin soup made today and have it ready for snacktime. Mrs McGill was working at great speed with all the little helpers. They were able to name the spices we added. Great technique was observed when the stock cube was crumbled. This had obviously been done before. The vegetables were all prepared and in the pot before assembly ensuring that the finished dish was ready to serve for elevensees. Happy Cooking!

Pumpkin Soup

(8th October 2018)

After the interest in vegetables from last week,we have continued on the theme of Our Yorkshire:Harvest. The classroom was set with a number of areas to work in: a tidy teepee with a collection of woodland animals;a large collection of conkers and bowls and a selection of pumpkins and props to tell a story. A selection of autumnal paint colours and rollers were available for experimentation.Within minutes of the children’s arrival everything  had changed.The pumpkins were all transported in a variety of ways to a preferred location and the conkers also disappeared. More paint was being added to the printing trays.Wonderful learning was taking place.

Later in the day,we read the story of Pumpkin Soup and got stuck in to some really excellent role play. There was some great mathematical language too when comparing the weight of the pumpkins. We discussed how pumpkins grow and described the texture of the surface.

Really happy learning.


Enjoying  Tasty Snack

(5th October 2018)

On Thursday we had a visit from Mrs Taylor who helped us make bread for the whole school. After Harvest we got to eat some. Everyone had a go at spreading their own bread bun and helping themselves to jam. At times there may have been more jam than bread.

Just One Finger

(5th October 2018)

The weather was wet and misty and everyone was feeling quite tired after our Harvest Festival. We needed some paint to keep us going. After a short play in the rain everyone had a bit of a go at colour mixing and moving the paint around. I selected autumn colours to compliment our cabbages and pumpkins. Everyone worked with purpose,exploring what happened when the colours mixed and finding different ways to move the paint around. Some people stayed on and enjoyed the paint for a longer period. The children could also experiment with finger painting on the interactive white board. Others enjoyed washing the brushes.Please come into the classroom to see this painting for yourself. Happy Friday.

Mud Glorious Mud

(4th October 2018)

The Mud Kitchen has been moved and has been a popular location for learning this week. I have overheard lots of fantastic vocabulary around making potions and soups. Lots of negotiating has been going on over sharing the space and the resources. We have been estimating,counting and comparing and discussing weight and capacity. The kitchen is stocked with fir cones,sticks,conkers and fresh herbs. 

A Whole Lot of Writing Going On

(2nd October 2018)

Today was School Photographs Day and this is always a bit stressful. Lots of the learning in a reception classroom can be a little messy .There was no dough and paint this morning,only pen and paper. It was a real treat to see lots of writing happening around our classroom-inside and out. Both letters and numbers were in evidence.There are clipboards at all the locations and selected writing materials. The class are getting very good at looking after our resources, making sure lids are put on our lovely new felt tip pens.  Today I also introduced a new big whiteboard and the children made full use of this. I would like them to write their name or draw a picture on this when they come in in the morning,as a form of self registration. There is a program on the interactive whiteboard and everyone is getting the hang of using this. And then there’s good old chalk,inside and out.

Please use Tapestry to send us your pictures of any writing you are doing at home.

Happy Writing


A Visit To Our Church

(1st October 2018)

We walked together through the village to our Church. As we walked we talked about the road signs,the house numbers and the numbers on the telegraph poles. Everyone recognised the sign for the Fish and Chip Shop. We also noticed the moon. Everyone was very sensible as we made our way up the hill. 

Before leaving school,we had discussed the things to look out for in the church: the symbol of the cross;the font and the difference in the way sound would travel. We discussed the shape of the building although this was difficult to see due to scaffolding and cladding supporting the ongoing building work.

The Vicar (Mrs Vicar) talked us through the different aspects of the building and we had a little rehearsal of our song for Harvest Festival on Friday.

As we were leaving we looked at the Lightning Rod which used to be on the top of the church. This will lead to further discussion in the classroom.

A good time was had by all.

Happy Learning

Make it Count

Every day there are a wide range of opportunities to count in Pioneer Class. Numicon (the coloured stuff with the holes) is the most popular. This week they have been counting and recording with whiteboards and stickers and clipboards. This week we have also had a chat about time and money. Clock jigsaws and the shop till, with real money, have been a part of our play.


It’s All Going On Outside

Lots of learning happens in our outdoor area. It changes rapidly and is always full of purpose and activity. Learning which started in the classroom moves with the children to the new resources outside. After balancing and jumping in the hall, the children used the big building to create a more complex set of obstacles. Clipboards are there to let writers write. And,due to it’s popularity, the Mud and Water Kitchen has moved to a new more central location.

Forest Faces

Our trip to the forest this week was beautiful. We established some rules and some boundaries and got to work. We have been exploring emotions and how these may look on out faces. We continued this work in the forest. Each child had a cup to collect resources and followed instructions on what to collect. We used playdough and our forest finds and enjoyed the sunshine.


Happy Harvest-Making Apple Crumble

(28th September 2018)

Over the past few days, we collected apples from the tree and discussed their various states of decomposition. We made two piles of apples-one for the crumble and one for composting. Mrs McGill helped the children to make the crumble. After our trip to the forest we enjoyed our tasty creation on the Garden Shelter. We actually made enough for two days.

Happy Writing! (18th September 2018)

We have loved exploring different opportunities for writing in Pioneers Class. In particular, we have enjoyed using huge pieces of paper and crayons to experiment and make big movements. We were really impressed with the circles we drew and the different sizes that we could make. Happy Writing!