Term 4 March 2019
Skills being developed.
🌿 Fine motor skills
Class 4 have been learning about Italy this half term and we continued this theme during our outdoor sessions by encouraging the children to make Italian inspired mosaics.
As ever with our sessions, the focus is placed on the process rather than the outcome; what they learn through actually taking part in an activity, rather than ‘marking’ the end product.
They used an old CD case as the frame for their creation and were encouraged to take inspiration from Italy and patterns from nature, but what they designed was up to them.
Some exceptional creativity and focus was displayed, from designing and laying out of their designs to setting them. However, it was also interesting to see some children struggling to come up with their own ideas and repeatedly asking for help to decide which medium to use. It was as if they were frightened of ‘failing’ in some way or of not be comfortable with the idea of finding something difficult so giving up before they had really given it a go. These children were encouraged to just ‘play with it and see what was created’ and were reminded that with art, there can be no ‘wrong’.
Some children also had enough time to use clay to sculpt with and again were very inventive with what they made.
Working outside on these types of projects brings its own challenges and this is really helpful in developing perseverance and the ability to just get on with things, even if the environment may not be ‘perfect’. If we all waited for circumstances to be ‘perfect’ in life, we would miss out on so many wonderful experiences.
Term 3 February 2019
We have been looking at the water cycle this half term. We were blessed with the weather and could watch the water cycle taking place when we were in our poly tunnel. It was cold enough for us to see our breath and also the condensation on the roof of the poly tunnel and when we knocked it the condensation fell on our heads - precipitation!
We had a question and answer game of water cycle terms and processes. Some of these questions were quite tricky but the children managed to get them right in the end.
We made our own water cycle in a plastic bag that the children could take home, attach to a warm window and see the water cycle in action.
They also made a water cycle bracelet to help them remember the different points in the process.
Term 2 November 2018
The extremely wet weather prevented us doing this terms outdoor learning outside. We were looking at states of matter and had planned to melt chocolate on the fire and also investigate ice melting. However, doing the experiments inside meant that the children could actually be more involved than it would have been possible at the fire side.
We did manage to have a little time outside pretending to be atoms. The children stood inside a temperature rope ring and demonstrated how the atoms reacted to changes in temperature.
We took 4 ice cubes and put them in different environments to see which would melt quickest, the children’s predictions were interesting.
When melting the chocolate, the children put a lot of thought into how to make the test fair and consistent. As often happens in life, they learned more because of the things that didn’t go as planned. Once the official experiment was over, we carried on the theme by playing the ‘After Eight’ challenge (other waifer thin mints are also available!) It might have looked as though we were just melting chocolate on our faces but we were in fact looking at the processes and forces involved, heat and kinetic energy and gravity. Science is such fun!
Term 1 September 2018
We have visited our local nature reserve, Stanley Marsh, during our outdoor learning sessions this half term. We had two fantastic sessions with the ranger, Sue. Together we saw a huge variety of flora, saw lots of wild birds and found evidence of other wildlife. The children learned about the blight of Himalayan Balsam and are on a mission to rid our area of this beautiful but invasive plant. They will be creating a visitors guide to the Marsh using the information they gleaned and the photographs they took during the visits.
Term 5 2018
We took part in the sun awareness campaign,’Wrap, Splat, Hat! We had great fun thinking about which sort of hat would best protect us from the sun then got to choose our favourite to wear for the rest of the session.
We were given some stick on UV sensors so we could see how strong the suns rays were, it was very interesting to see the sticker changing colour to remind us to put more sun cream on or get out of the sun.
We were challenged to work together to make a rope bridge to get across the crocodile infested grass; working together and listening to each other can be difficult at times, as can tieing knots. Learning how to manage frustration and complete a task when facing difficulties is a very useful skill set to have. The children did well.
We also had some site maintainance to do and everyone worked well despite the heat.
Term 4. 2018
Class 4’s current topic is the Vikings. We had great fun doing all things Viking; making shields and swords, writing our names in runes, being given new Viking or Anglo Saxon names and learning about their meanings. We threw javelins, which is what Viking children would have done when they were playing as this would have helped to prepare them to be warriors. We had thrilling Viking verses Anglo Saxon Capture the Flag sieges. ‘Alfred the Great’s’ army and the ‘Viking army’ of Chief Guthrum showed excellent tactical skill, physical ability, resilience and perseverance. Anyone watching us may have thought that we were ‘just messing about on the field’ but the skills the children were developing are many and varied. How blessed are we to be able to learn in such an interesting way.
For our outdoor sessions this half term class 4 had the task of planting the bulbs that we received from Bulbs4Kids. This is a company based in the Netherlands that provides bulbs, trowels and information booklets to children. Through this activity we were learning about:
As is generally the case with outdoor learning, the children extended their learning themselves when, after they had planted the bulbs, they started an archeological dig! They were so excited about the 'treasures' they found and thought about the possible ages and origins of their finds. Some children chose to come back to the site after their lunch to carry on with their work.
Class 4 spent some time trying to find out what we share our school with. We played, "What's my animal?" and learned the names of some different groups of animals.
We then explored our school grounds with different eyes; rather than running around playing, we looked carefully at what other life forms we share our school with, we were quite surprised at the number and variety.