Term 6 July 2019
We seem to be working our way through the elements in our outdoor sessions. This time we explored water. In our ‘gratitude circle’, that we always start our sessions with, lots of the children were grateful that they have clean water. They were grateful that we have enough water in this country, that we can even play with it sometimes, because, for so many people in the world, water is too precious to spill even a drop. We are very fortunate indeed to live in this country.
We explored water by:
- adding washing up liquid to it to make bubble snakes,
- making water courses to transport water and have boat’ races,
- adding herbs and rose petals to it to make perfume and potions,
- using it to paint with and see how quickly the hot air evaporated the water marks
- playing with frozen water and trying to melt water balls with salt water and heat to get the treasure inside
- making environmentally friendly origami paper water bombs - and using them!
- Oo, and when you’re playing with water in the summer, sometimes you just have to chill out in a hammock.
As ever, there were so many learning opportunities in ‘playing’ in this way, from science to problem solving, teamwork, being creative, persistence and having lots of fun outside. We are blessed indeed.
Term 5 April 2019
Class 2 are learning about the Great Fire of London this half term and so we linked this to our outdoor session.
The children made Tudor style houses with which to recreate Pudding Lane where the Great Fire started. They filled them with materials such as wood and straw that would have been in the real houses, making them even more flammable. They learned about the 'Fire Triangle', fire safety and different ways fires can be extinguished. We made a human chain, as they might have done in the past, to transport water to the fire; it was hard, heavy work and not very effective.
When the fire was started, we tried to save some of the houses but the fire spread too quickly and all was lost.
We spent a long time discussing the importance of being absolutely sure that fires are completely out before leaving them and the possibility of 'reignition'. We decided that charcoal was the original face paint and did a little body art!
Term 4 March 2019
Keep Britain Tidy’s Big School clean is almost upon us so class 2 have spent some time thinking about the impact of litter on our world. They were very knowledgeable about the impact of litter on wildlife. We spoke about what we do with our waste and talked about recycling, reusing things and reducing the amount of waste we produce. Some children have challenged themselves to try and keep the same reusable water bottle until they leave our school. They also thought about bringing a snack that they had made at home like flapjack or cheesey bread sticks, rather than something in a non-biodegradable wrapper. Happy baking everyone! We spoke of landfill sites and how we might run out of space if we don’t reduce the amount of rubbish going in it and decided to build our own. The children searched our grounds to find a piece of biodegradable and non biodegradable litter, then dug a hole and put them in. We will dig them back up next year and see what, if anything, has gone. While we were digging we found a couple of pieces of pottery that Edward thought was probably from around the time of the war when he believes the school field was part of a farm.
Term 3 January 2019
Class 2 have taken inspiration from the RSPB's annual Big Bird Watch. Getting involved with events like this helps the children develop many things including :
🌿Connecting with nature 🌿 Using observation skills 🌿Patience 🌿Species recognition
🌿Environmental impact and responsibility.
They looked closely at the amazing engineering involved in nest building and tried to make something similar. They thought about: the size of the nest relative to the bird that they thought would live in it, the best place for it to built considering weather conditions and predators. The children didn’t think that it would be safe for birds to nest on the ground in this area because foxes could eat them, but they were interested to learn that there are ground nesting birds in some areas where there are fewer or no natural predators.
We found some beautiful nature treasures when we were out and hung up some fat balls that had been made in Breakfast Club to feed the hungry birds. Our birthday girl wore a sparkly ice crown until it gently melted in the sunshine. Lovely times.
Term 2 November 2018
For our outdoor sessions this half term, Class 2 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:
- connecting with nature
- bulbs, their different parts and what they need to grow
- being active
- maths - measuring and estimating depth
- using tools safely
Term 1 September 2018
Lovely Leaves, Fascinating Fungus and Pretty Patterns. There are so many beautiful things to discover and explore outside. The children donned waterproof trousers and wellies so that the rain wouldn’t “stop play”. We went over the rules that we need to keep us all safe outside and then they were off. The children were very excited with what they found and took lots of photographs. As ever with outdoor learning, the children developed the adult initiated ideas and demonstrated fabulous creativity, problem solving, focus and engagement. They really are inspiring,
Term 5 May 2018
The rain has stopped and we have started planting, yeah! The children did a stirling job of planting out some trees that had been waiting patiently in pots around the school site. We planted a Royal Oak and wondered how big it will be when they leave Stanley Grove.
At the beginning of the session we played a cooperation game. The children stood holding hands in a circle and they had to work together to get a hoop all the way around the circle without letting go of their hands. When they had worked out how to do it, we tried it again in silence so they had to use different skills to work together and they thought about which way was the most effective.
It was fascinating to see how the children interacted with each other and they were able to explain what had gone well and why, and what they had to do as a group to make things even better.
Term 4 March 2018
The focus for this years National Waste Week is food waste. We had a Food Waste Fact Hunt and found out some startling things. Did you know that in the U.K. families throw away about £700 worth of food every year! Also, it is believed that there will be more plastic (by weight) than fish in the sea by 2050.
We talked about what we could do to help this problem and then did a litter pick round our school. The children sorted it out into biodegradable waste that could be composted, recycleable waste that should be put in the recycling bin and litter that will end up in a land fill site. They then created their own landfill site so they can see first hand what will happen over time. We will dig it up next year to see what has happened to the things we put into it.
Class 2 took inspiration from the RSPB annual Big Bird Watch and looked at birds.
The title of our session was, "What do we share our school with?"
We started with a time of quiet so we could listen carefully to what we could hear around us and take a moment to be grateful for the wonderful world we live in.
We played a game called "What's my animal." We had to think about how we could describe them and thought about how to classify different creatures; birds, mammals, fish, insects, spiders and reptiles. We had to think about what they eat, if they are awake in the day or night and where they live to help us guess them. This introduced words like herbivore and nocturnal, who knew playing games could be so educational!
We explored the site and shared interesting things we found.