On 23rd September, the whole school gathered in St. John’s Church to say goodbye to Mrs Vicar (Reverend Veronica Carolan). Reverend Veronica begins her retirement after many years of faithful service and the school was so pleased to be able to mark this special occasion. The school shared songs, poems, readings and their heartfelt thoughts on Mrs Vicar. See the gallery for a snapshot of the service.
Sharing wonderful books happens all over the place in our classroom. Baskets of selected texts are all over the place to dip into and relax. There is a big box of books that the children can pick from to take home and share. Special books are often highlighted by the Pioneers as favourites.
Each day we read two books and then discuss which is the best. Initially I placed two baskets for the children to chose one book or the other but they made it clear that they needed to be able to place a vote for liking both books. Democracy! We now have three baskets.
It is so beautiful to see children sitting together and by themselves looking at books. Some have been spotted reading to each other. Others have been pretending to be the teacher and sitting in my chair reading to their friends,modelling my behavior. If you listen carefully you can often hear the words from the text that they have committed to memory. We are so well supported by lovely reading volunteers who offer their time to sit and read and chat about books. The Pioneers are always keen to chat about their stories.
Next week we will visit the library to extend our book choices
The last lot of sandwiched were fine but not really big enough so we tried to upscale. The rolling pins were big and heavy and very nice to roll. We needed quite a lot of jam and a fair spread of butter. The children were very good with the tools,using a spatula and some big spoons,a knife and a fish slice.
The finish product was enjoyed on the steps of Explorers Classroom. It was so nice that the children chose to sit together to eat.
No wasps attended.
One of the children said that their favourite book was The Giant Jam Sandwich. After reading it we decided that it would be a good idea to make our own one. No wasps were invited. Fingers were sticky. Lots of discussions followed about size and shape and comparisons were made. Some liked lots of jam while others opted for less. Lots of talk and lots of learning. We made a story map to help us remember what we did.
Building with big and small bricks and other random items is very popular with the Pioneers. Through this construction work we have been discussing the names of 2D and 3D shapes,using positional language and learning to play in a small space with our friends. This takes a lot of skill. The children have found ways to solve problems,building chairs for themselves and for their toys. The team work has been fantastic. Some children have built towers and then compared their height with the height of the tower. Others have experimented with balancing and given consideration to the size and the shape of the surfaces they are using.
Such purposeful learning.
So much discovery and learning goes on outside. We have so many different little corners and open spaces to explore. The apple tree is dropping apples and they have been used to fly through some pipe pieces. Others have explored the floating and sinking of natural materials-apples,leaves and sand mainly. The big building materials are always popular and the Pioneers have been creating homes and towers and some complex slides. Turn taking and following rules are always useful skills to work on and a big group sorted out there own game of searching for hidden items. This was beautiful to watch. Digging continues in one small corner and I am told that it does wonders for upper body strength and developing muscles and flexibility in the wrists and arms-all good for developing writing…and it makes a mess.
Every Monday after school ,families are invited to stay and play and get to know what goes on in Pioneer Class. Each week different activities will be set out. This week we tried a bit of painting and played around with Numicon. The Russian Dolls are a big hit. It was very lovely to have time to chat and play together.
To l.aunch our new topic, we started with art. What a fantastic day. All the children have used pastels and danced on paper to “I like to move it,move it” Mark making was a full body work out. We went to the forest and collected a selection of green things. On our return to the classroom we printed with plungers and mashers,whisks and cogs. It was clear that everyone was focussed and had a plan. Please pop in to see more photographs of the process.
Pioneers children are Reception aged (four or five years old). Children enjoy a range of creative and engaging play based activities, as well as formal inputs, to support their development and growth. Children in Pioneers are taught by Mrs Hann and Mr Grason. The children are supported by Mrs Ellis, Mrs Hansell and Mrs McGill.
Children’s progress and activities are recorded in their own Learning Journeys. These act as a summary of the journey children embark upon during their time in Reception and demonstrate the progress and success that has been achieved, as well as the next steps that may need to be taken.
Tapestry Learning Journal
A key aspect of the learning journey in Early Years is sharing information and progress with families. We use an online learning journal called Tapestry to profile the children's learning. Each family has their own account to see children's progress. Please speak to a member of staff about this for more information.