Blog - 29th November

We have had such a great week with lots of fabulous learning, play and getting along with each other.

  Towards the end of last week the children wrote their letters to Santa. On Monday half of the class braced the weather and went on a local visit to the post office to post our letters! All children thoroughly enjoyed the trip out of school and we were very impressed with the behaviour of everyone! Prior to the trip we discussed road safety and we told the children our expectations of them and they complied very well - we all had such a lovely time! The children who didn't go down to the post office will be going on Monday 2nd (next week.)

 Owl Babies has been our focus story for the week and this has been the stimulus for more night time discussion, some work on nocturnal animals and lots of creativity.  The children have really enjoyed painting owls and using our fine motor skills to make owls and nests out of playdough, making detailed drawings of an owls using oil pastels and learning many facts. We learnt that they eat small birds, frogs and rabbits to name a few. We also learnt that owls don’t have teeth, most children found this amusing and very unusual! So they use their small, sharp beak to tear up their food and swallow it whole. The children really have discovered a wealth of nocturnal animals that can be found in the environment close by to them. 

  We’ve been getting a little bit philosophical this week and our big question within our sustained shared thinking was, “is it ok that mummy owl left her babies on their own?”  Well, this was the start of a great discussion!  Most thought it was absolutely not ok but then some changed their minds as we explored the idea that there may be a different set of rules for animals than for humans.  Some chatted about the fact that it’s ok that our mummies leave us at school because we’re safe with the grownups who look after us there. 

 Wow!  Lots of Reception children had a go at hearing and writing down the dominant sounds in the owl names, Sarah, Percy and Bill.  Maybe you could have a go at writing the dominant sounds of characters in your favourite books over the weekend.

  In our number work this week Miss Whitlow has been super proud of us as we have practically added two single digit numbers together (numbers up to 10)! We've also been practising how to write down number stories. Please spend time with your child creating your own numebr problems. You could have two groups of buttons or two groups of sweeties to help you practise addition calculations. As we become more confident writing our mathematical calculations it's important that we form all numbers correctly too - practising this lots at home will support your child when writing numbers independently in school. 

 In the latter part of the week, we have been following on from our work on nocturnal animals and have been looking at the differences in night and day. The children enjoyed thinking about why we have night time - we found the UK on the globe and spun the globe to show how as the Earth spins on its axis, it moves away from the Sun and as a result we have darkness, we can see the moon and it is night time. We considered how at this same time, somewhere else in the world is in darkness and it is therefore night time.  We discussed the differences in day time and night time and thought about what activities we do during the day and that for us as we are not nocturnal, we are not very active at night time as we are fast asleep!

Mrs Horne-Smith then told us about her friend Zog, who is from the planet Zogtoon. We decided that this planet probably wasn't like Earth and probably didn't have night and day as he asked us to tell him all about the differences. We created a class brainstorm in groups so we could make it easier to explain to Zog so he could go back and tell his friends on Planet Zogtoon.  If you ask your child, they will be able to tell you all about why we have darkness and how the moon and the sun are different.

In our literacy work we read 'Day Monkey, Night monkey,'  a story about two friends, one monkey who is nocturnal and one that is active during the day. The book explores friendships and the fear of night time that some children have. Following on from our successful sustained thinking on Owl babies earlier in the week, we posed the big question: 'Would you rather be a day monkey or a night monkey: which is more fun?' The children really engaged with this class discussion and many children decided that they would prefer to be a day monkey as they are afraid of the dark and they wouldn't be able to see what they were doing. Others argued that like day monkey, they would discover that things just look different in the dark and that they would get to see lots of different animals to daytime and that as a monkey, it might be safer to sleep during the day to hide from predators. 

 It's that time of year when we're talking all things Christmas Nativity! You should now know what your child is in our school play, with an idea of a costume. If you haven't received this letter (we've noticed that some children still don't have bookbags) please ask one of us and we can give you this information. We’ve also been in the hall a few times this week to practise for our school play. The children are really enjoying learning all the different songs and going up on the big stage when it’s their time to act!

 As the weather has turned much colder this week, we like it if the children zip / button their coats up before going outside to play. Lots of children struggle with doing their own coat up so please this weekend can you allow your child to have a practice at doing their own coat up!
Thank you for your continuous support. 
Miss Whitlow, Mrs Horne-Smith and the Pear Class Team