We had some real life rockstars visit us today from the band ‘Rocktopus’! The day started with a whole school assembly where children helped to write a unique sports day anthem. Reception and nursery then had their own songwriting workshop that included movement to music, singing, writing a song and discussions around keeping healthy and being active. We then joined the whole school for an assembly at the end of the day. We performed our song and actions and got to see the songs written by the other year groups. The children were so excited and engaged to be part of the song writing process and had a fantastic day.
We are learning about money this week. The children became customers in our role-play shop and each had their own piggy banks with money in. They had to choose items to buy and work out how much money they needed to give the shopkeeper.
A new maths chilli challenge has been set up for the children to try.
Week beginning 10th June
We have carried on learning about the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The children have been busy retelling the story in a variety of ways, including using the scene in the tuff tray and pretending to climb the beanstalk using the ropes in the outside area. They enjoyed creating their own giant beanstalk and used metre sticks and rulers to measure how tall it was. We estimated the height of the beanstalk they had made and decided that it was almost double the height of Mrs Coen!
In maths we have been learning about sharing and halving. The children had a go at lots of practical sharing and halving activities, including working out what half the number of raisins were by sharing them between two hungry animals. We introduced the concept of sharing frames and the children worked hard to complete them accurately.
Week beginning 3rd June
We have been using a story map to retell the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. The children have been enjoying building beanstalks in the outside area and playing in the role-play castle. The Giant has stolen some of the books from the classroom as he does not have any in the castle. The children have been challenged to write their own books and stories to give to the Giant so that he returns the books!
Some of our provision linked to our new topic of growing and the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
We released the butterflies! The children thought carefully about what the butterflies need to survive and where the best place would be to release them.
The butterflies have started to emerge from their cocoons! Mrs Coen and her family are keeping them safe and feeding them ready for the class to release them on Monday.
Week beginning 20th May
Our caterpillars have spun their cocoons!
As the children often choose to explore in our outside area, we have added some new enhancements. There is now a new small world area, digging section and mud café.
In maths this week we have started thinking about doubling numbers. The children were introduced to a doubling machine which creates the same number of objects again. There were then lots of different activities for the children to explore doubling for themselves. They were challenged to double spots on ladybirds, find double dominoes, make doubles on the funny fingers on the whiteboard and use the play dough to double the objects.
Week beginning 13th May
During our Computing session, the children used the I-pads to draw a caterpillar. They first looked at the caterpillars we have in the classroom and then chose the colour and design they wanted to use.
We have enjoyed learning about mini-beasts. In exploring time the children have been making homes for mini-beasts, weaving spiders’ webs and fishing out plastic mini-beasts with letters on to make words.
Our caterpillars are growing!
Week beginning 6th May
We have started our new topic on lifecycles. Last week we thought about human life cycles and how the children have changed since being a baby. This week we have started learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly and read the story 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. The hungry caterpillar from the story has sent us some of his caterpillar friends so we can learn more about how caterpillars grow and change! Our caterpillars are called Daisy, Rainbow, Curly, Bob and Oscar. The children have already enjoyed lookly closely at our new friends and discussing their observations.
On Tuesday we had an assembly run by the NSPCC. The children met Buddy who is a speech bubble and found out about speaking out and staying safe. Children discussed things that are ok and not ok such as hitting or hurting children’s feelings. The children were also reminded of the message that privates are privates. We discussed children not being looked after properly and bullying. The presenters talked about who the children can talk to at home and at school if they are feeling sad or like something is weighing them down.
Week beginning 29th April
Welcome back! We hope you had a lovely Pesach holiday!
Highlights from exploring time this week have included building dens, playing a cooperative game of snakes and ladders, getting points by throwing beanbags through the poddely and having a go at the new maths ‘chilli challenge’.
After lots of discussion and taking a vote, the class decided that they would like our role-play area to become a Spaceship! We worked together to create it and the children are excited to play inside. We look forward to joining them on some exciting adventures into Space.
Week beginning 8th April
We have been busy getting ready for Pesach this week. The children have been learning the Pesach story, finding out about traditions and singing lots of songs. They took part in a Sedar with other children from their house and we were delighted to welcome grandparents to attend.
We have been thinking about ways to make ten. The children used the Numicon ten pieces and investigated which other two pieces of Numicon fit on top. They also used tens frames and counters in two different colours. Their challenge was to fill up the tens frame in different ways and work out the number sentence to describe what they had done.
Week beginning 1st April
We had a fantastic trip to the Hare Krishna Temple. The children had the opportunity to watch a prayer ceremony, dress in traditional clothing, feed the cows and eat traditional food. We had so much fun and learnt all about another religion.
In circle time this week, we talked about different types of families, the difference between like and love and who the children love.
Week beginning 25th March
In maths we have been learning about taking away using a tens frame. We have thought about ways of recording the number sentences, including using pictures, symbols and writing out the calculation using numbers. The children have also started making up their own addition and subtraction stories.
We have continued with our 'under the sea' topic and have read the poetry book, Commotion in the Ocean. The children have been very good at identifying rhyming words and thinking of their own rhyming strings. They have enjoyed exploring the 'under the sea' activities both inside and outside.
To consolidate their learning about rhyme, the children used the interactive whiteboard to listen to the word and choose the picture that rhymed.
We took our phonics lesson outside today and practised writing digraphs, trigraphs and tricky words.
Week beginning 18th March
We have had a great time celebrating Purim in our Science themed fancy dress!
The children have carried out a variety of experiments this week, including investigating magnets and what materials are magnetic, creating their own rain clouds and exploring colour mixing in a range of ways.
This week is Science week! We read the book Farther by Grahame Baker-Smith, which is about a boy who dreams of flying. He makes lots of wings but does not achieve his dream. Years later his son makes some changes to the wings and manages to fly! Using the book as a prompt, we discussed the children's experience of flight. They talked about going on an aeroplane, a rollercoaster, on a trampoline and even a hot air balloon! We then looked at various flying objects and discussed how they fly. We sorted them into flying objects with wings and without. Tomorrow we are going to think of a different way to sort them, for example living and non-living.
Using what they had discovered about objects that fly, the children designed and made their own models of one of the things we had looked at. They thought carefully about what construction material they would like to use and planned their model on a design sheet. The children then created their designs, adapting their models as they went along. We were so impressed with how much thought the children put into their designs.
Week beginning 11th March
We have been learning the story of Purim and the children worked together to act it out.
This week we have started our topic 'Under The Sea'. We read a story about a mermaid called Sparkle and the children then independently created their own story map and told then re-told the story to the teacher.
Some highlights from exploring time this week include building in our builder's yard in the outside area, creating dens, making words in the sensory tray, writing menus in the pirate kitchen, exploring the 'under the sea' sensory bags and mixing paint to create new colours.
Week beginning 4th March
We have been thinking about being angry and ways of calming down. We discussed mindfulness and different ways of relaxing. We then tried some of these ideas out during the week. This included listening to calming music, visualisations, meditation, focusing on our breathing, mindfulness colouring and yoga.
Our new topic this half term is pirates! This topic was chosen as the children showed an interest in buried treasure and making maps. The children have been very excited to dress up as pirates, climb aboard the pirate ship in the outside area, create their own treasure maps, dig for buried treasure in the sandpit, walk the plank (across the tyres), explore the sensory tuff trays, use large creative materials to create the sea and listen to stories about pirates.
In maths we have introduced the children to number tracks and thought about how to add by counting on. The children used number tracks in the classroom and also enjoyed playing a game where they jumped along a number track in the outside area.
Week beginning 11th February
The children have a continued interest in dinosaurs and this has supported them to develop their creative writing skills. Some children imagined what the different dinosaurs might be saying. Leo H. thought his dinosaur was saying, "I'm hungry, can I have breakfast?" Oliver thought his dinosaur was saying, "Please feed me. I like mud."
As some of the children thought the dinosaurs were hungry, we set up a dinosaur café and the children enjoyed thinking about what the dinosaurs might like to eat. They then wrote their ideas down and created some imaginative menus.
Highlights from exploring time this week include threading ribbons through the new outside weaving frames, balancing water blocks, making homes for dinosaurs out of recycled materials and adding with giant Numicon pieces.
Week beginning 4th February
In maths we have been thinking about measuring length and height. The children have been comparing the size of their feet and shoes and measuring items using cubes and hands. As the children have been very interested in dinosaurs, we set up a dinosaur dig in the outside area and the children have been comparing the lengths of the different dinosaur bones that they discovered. They have also investigated the sizes of different dinosaurs in our dinosaur interest area.
On Tuesday we took part in Safer Internet Day. Safer Internet Day is celebrated globally in February each year to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for chidren and young people. The children worked with other children in their House for an assembly introducing the main themes, took part in a workshop with Streetwise and had a lesson all about the different technology that they use. We will continue to revisit the main points next week. Please visit the links below to find out more.
For Chinese New Year the children used chopsticks to mark make English and Chinese numbers in the tuff tray and found out about China at the interest table.
Week beginning 28th January
The children have been embracing the colder weather this week and have been very excited to explore the snow and ice. With some health and safety pointers, some of the children decided to make their own sledges and slide down the mount.
We were very lucky to have Ben from Watford Football club come to visit us. We learnt about the different roles in football and took part in some teamwork based activities.
We have started a new topic about dinosaurs. The children have been finding out interesting facts about what they ate and how big they were.
The children often enjoy trying to create volcanoes in the sandpit so this week we made a volcano in the tuff tray using sand. We thought about the shape we needed and worked together to create a great volcano!
Some other highlights from exploring time this week:
Thank you for sending in yogurt pots and other plastic containers to help the children explore capacity this week. The children investigated the concepts of full, half full, empty and worked out which containers had the biggest capacity. They also continued to explore the bucket balances and the concept of heavy and light.
Week beginning 21st January
Some highlights from exploring time this week:
In phonics this term we have been revising the sounds taught last term and are starting to learn digraphs (two letters that make one sound) and trigraphs (three letters that make one sound). The children have learnt; 'qu', 'sh', 'ch', 'th', 'ng', 'ai', 'ee', 'igh' and 'oa'. So far this week, we have looked at 'oo' (poo at the zoo) and 'oo' (look at a book). The children have found the 'oo' (poo at the zoo) rhyme very amusing and it is helping them to remember the sound! We worked together to sort words into which 'oo' sound they contain.
Thank you for sending in fruit for our Tu B'shvat Sedar. Rabbi Celia taught the children all about Tu B'shvat and they sang songs whilst she played the guitar. The children enjoyed sampling four different coloured grape juices to represent the four seasons. We talked about the differences between the fruit, for example which fruit needs to be peeled, which have a hard pit and which can be eaten as they are. The children enjoyed sampling the range of fruit and tried some new fruit that they had not eaten before.
We have continued thinking about different occupations. The children have been reflecting on what occupation they might like to have when they are older and have been writing lists of what they would need to do their jobs. They have continued to be inspired by the talk from the Detective Constable and so we have planned further opportunities to build on this interest next week. This week the children have thought about the job of a teacher and have enjoyed making their own staff badges and creating registers.
"I made a teacher badge like yours. Here's my name."
"We're making registers so we can see who's here today."
"It's a school like ours!"
The children are enjoying their new learning environment.
Week beginning 7th January
We have started learning about different occupations and we were very lucky to have a visit from a parent in the class. She is a Detective Constable and spoke to the children about what her job involves. The children got to try on some Police uniforms including a helmet and various Police hats. They even had their fingerprints taken. The children listened well and asked some relevant and interesting questions. Thank you to our special visitor this week.
Our reception classroom is complete and the children have had a great first day exploring their new learning environment.
4th January 2019
Welcome back! The children have come back to school motivated and eager to learn and we are looking forward to a busy term full of exciting learning opportunities. This week, we have recapped the sounds and tricky words covered so far in phonics and introduced the sound 'th'. The children reflected on their holidays and had a chance to do some independent writing. In maths, we thought about counting actions and objects that cannot be moved and started thinking about sensible estimates.
Our new reception classroom is taking shape and we will post pictures shortly. A big part of the project is about ensuring children can make independent choices and are able to apply what they have learnt in adult led sessions to their play.
We look forward to an exciting term ahead.
Mrs Brahams & Mrs Coen
Week beginning 17th December
In their play, the children are pretending to be elephants balancing after we learnt the rhyme ‘One Little Elephant Balancing’, in maths last week. They are working out how many elephants there are each time one more balances on the beam.
The children were inspired by the workshop on ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ and have been acting out the story, taking on the role of the goats and the mean troll.
Week beginning 10th December
The children discovered that the gingerbread men they made last week have escaped! They have been busy searching for clues and making wanted posters. We hope to find them very soon!
Watch the gingerbread men (and women) running away!
They're still running!
The children made wanted posters to help find the missing gingerbread men.
On Tuesday, the children took part in a workshop based on the story of the Billy Goats Gruff. To warm up they played games to use their imagination, for example pretending to walk in a bubble or through melted chocolate. They then thought about the characters in the story and all pretended they were goats and then a big mean troll. They thought about how the characters would move and sound. After that the children got into role and collectively acted out the story. At the end of the workshop the children made goat masks to help them retell the story back in class. The children responded so well to Vivi the workshop facilitator and enjoyed the story building experience.
Week beginning 3rd December
We have started our new story, 'The Gingerbread Man'. We read the story and the children made their own gingerbread men. Watch this space to see what happens to them next week...
We have continued to celebrate Chanukah this week. Every day the class have joined with the older children to take part in a candle lighting. On Monday some Israeli scouts worked with the children on some Chanukah games and activities. The children have continued to explore the Chanukah interest table and have enjoyed the driedel challenge where they see who can spin the driedel for the longest time. The children painted and brought home their clay Chanukiyas. We hope you are enjoying using them.
We enjoy learning in the outside area even when the weather is colder. This week the children were excited to discover that some words and letters had frozen inside some giant blocks of ice. They had to think of different ways to free the letters and their ideas included breaking the ice with various equipment, pouring warm water over the blocks and moving the ice to a warmer place.
Week beginning 26th November
Chanukah learning day
This week in maths we have been thinking about addition. The children have learnt to find the total number of objects in two groups by counting all of them. We have discussed different ways of recording a calculation, including drawing pictures and writing numbers. The children then got the practise adding teddy bears, fingers and spots on dominoes. Some children created their own dominoes and made their own number sentence.
Week beginning 19th November
We have been thinking about the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. We used a story map to read the story all together. The children enjoyed revisiting the story map in exploring time and retelling the story with their friends.
Some children then made their own story maps and pictures in response to the adult led sessions.
The children have enjoyed applying their phonic knowledge to writing and have been completing phoneme frames.
Week beginning 12th November
We are restocking our recycled modelling materials. Please send in your recycling, especially kitchen roll tubes, tissue boxes, cereal packets, yoghurt pots and other small pots. Please ensure anything that you send in has been thoroughly cleaned and contains no food residue.
Please also send in any empty hand soap dispensers as we would like to use these to dispense paint in our creative areas. Thank you.
This week we talked about Remembrance Day. The children were keen to share what they had learnt from attending various parades at the weekend and proudly showed their poppies. The children then made their own poppies, choosing from a range of resources.
"The poppies are to remember the war". - Adam
"It was Poppy Day. It’s when people say thank you to soldiers". - Jayden
"It’s to remember the people who were fighting for us". -Lily
"The people fight in the war. The poppies are to remember". - Jay
"Loads of animals were fighting in the war. The poppies are for the animals". - Raphe
Week beginning 5th November
This week has been anti-bullying week. We enjoyed wearing odd socks to think about how we are all different, like the socks we were wearing but that we respect everybody. We played a parachute game where the children went under the parachute if the teacher called any of the colours in their socks. For anti-bullying week we read lots of stories such as 'The Bad Tempered Ladybird' and 'Topsy and Tim Help a Friend' . We talked about how to be a good friend and what to do if we see someone being unkind. The children made paper chains and joined them together with other children in the class to create long chains that have been hung in the classroom. These chains remind us that we are all friends and that we work better together. On Thursday, we took part in a house activity, where the children in reception worked with children in their house across all year groups to make a short film about respect.
The children were very excited to share their experiences of fireworks at the beginning of the week. We made fireworks pictures inside with glitter and paint, explored fireworks sensory trays, made fireworks splat pictures outside and the children used their imaginations really well and created their own fireworks display with the pom poms.
Thank you to those parents who came to the phonics talk on Tuesday. We hope it was informative. You should have all received an email with the handouts and a list of useful websites.
Week beginning 22nd October
This week has been Black History Week, where children have taken part in a variety of activities. The children joined Atsu and Danny for their African Drumming demonstration, where they explained about traditional African dress and played the drums. The children enjoyed drumming on their knees and were captivated by the demonstration. On Thursday, the children got to try the drums out for themselves!
We learnt about Kente cloth and how it originates from the west African country of Ghana. We got to look at some real Kente cloth and talked about the patterns and colours. The children then created their own Kente cloth using paint, paint sticks or collage materials.
The children have learnt about Mary Seacole and Nelson Mandela. After hearing some key facts about them, the children worked as a class to write a character description.
Week beginning 15th October
A highlight of our outside play this week has been using the mud kitchen. The children made cakes, pies, soup and even magic potions! We talked about ingredients and recipes and encouraged the children to record their recipe through words or pictures.
The class met Mischievous Monkey this week. He likes numbers and his favourite thing is to hide numbers on the number tracks and hundred squares in the classroom! The children have been challenged to work out which numbers Mischievous Monkey has hidden each day.
This week the children enjoyed their first visit to our new library. They chose from a selection of brand new books and we had discussions about favourite stories. Please remember to return the book to school each Monday so that your child can pick a new one.
Week beginning 8th October
In Literacy the children have thoroughly enjoyed learning the story ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ First they listened to the story and then we created a story map of the story. The children have then worked in small groups to use the story map to retell and act out the story. We will be continuing with this story next week and the children will be creating their own story maps.
The children are enjoying playing in the outside area and highlights this week have included performing on the stage and building fabulous models.
Every day the children take part in a daily exercise session. This sometimes involves games or a structured activity outside, or it may be joining in with a guided dance in the classroom. It is always lots of fun!
Week beginning 1st October
To continue our work on the topic ‘All About Me’, the children have brought in baby photos and thought about how they have changed. This will continue next week, so please make sure you send in a photo if you have not done so already.
We have started to reorganise our outdoor learning environment to make sure everything is fully accessible for the children. The children have been helping to organise and arrange all of our resources. For example, some children built a stage in our new music and movement area. We are working hard with the children to teach them to tidy up carefully and look after their learning environment.
As part of our PSHE lessons for this half term we have been talking about who the children can talk to and trust if they have a problem or if something is making them upset. Some children then drew pictures of people they trust.
Week beginning 24th September
We enjoyed eating our lunch in the Succah!
Each week the children take part in a PE lesson with a specialist PE teacher. This week, the children warmed up by moving around the field in different ways. They then played a game where the hoops were boats which could hold up to five people, and the cones were submarines with space for one person. When the ‘sharks’ came along, the children had to quickly get to a boat or submarine, making sure each one contained the correct number of children.
Week beginning 17th September
On a Friday, reception and nursery join together to take part in a Kabalat Shabbat. We sing songs, set the Shabbat table and enjoy some tasty grape juice and challah.
We have started our phonics lessons and the children have learnt the sounds 's', 'a', 't' and 'p'. Each sound has an associated picture to help the children remember it and a rhyme to aid letter formation. For example, the sound 'a' has a picture of an apple. The rhyme is ‘round the apple and down the leaf’. The children have practised writing the letter sounds in lots of different ways and we have started to blend two sounds together to read words, such as ‘at’ and ‘as’.
This week we have been thinking about shapes. We looked closely at some aliens made up of 2D shapes and talked about what we could see. The children then had a go at making their own shape pictures.
We gave the children mirrors and asked them to look carefully at their faces. The children then used paint to create a self-portrait.
Week beginning 3rd September
We have had a busy first week in reception! The children have enjoyed exploring their new classroom and getting to know each other. We have played name games and found out about the new Clore Shalom values and rules, created pictures using stamps, rollers and paints, made models with various construction materials, searched for numbers in the sensory tray, spotted our names, learnt about Rosh Hashanah, sung lots of songs, listened to lots of stories and enjoyed our first Kabalat Shabbat with the nursery children!