Spring 2 - Officially Spring!
During the first week of our Spring topic, we found frogspawn in our school pond! What a way to introduce Spring and new life and this kick-started our learning as the children began to come back into school after the lockdown. We split the topic into different focusses for each week:
Week 1 was all about fairtrade and the foods we grow, some of which have to start in springtime.
Week 2 was the start of March and therefore St David’s day. We looked at our heritage and the lovely location of Wales, including its symbolic daffodils and sheep/lambs, examples of new life found mostly during springtime
Week 3 was Mother’s Day and so we focussed on flowers, the usual gifts we give to our Mums - we labelled flowers and made our own flowery crafts
Week 4 was officially Spring, which gave us time to look at bugs and animals and new life and get out and about developing our forest school area and bug hotel. We also looked more in-depth at life cycles as our class tadpoles developed. Along with tadpoles, we had some caterpillars which we watched grow into butterflies, and so we were able to compare the life cycles of frogs and caterpillars as well chicks and flowers too
Week 5 was Easter and so we focussed on the Easter story and spring symbols including crosses and flowers. We also retold the Easter story through Minecraft!
Our next topic is Number Rhumba, and so we are going to continue with some more Spring activities, focussing on number such as heights and weights (of things like flowers and soil), amounts and estimating (seeds and flowers) but also money - how we could sell fruit and vegetables and make a profit after buying seeds and soil etc
Spring 1 - Princesses, Castles, Knights and Dragons
This theme had huge potential to be a very immersive topic... until school was forced to shut due to the pandemic. While this couldn’t be helped, it meant a lot of our learning was moved online, and so trips to castles and opportunities to dress up and role play as knights and dragons were moved from our classroom to our living rooms.
Although home-schooling can be very difficult and an unknown experience for a lot of our children, Seesaw meant we could communicate with the children while they weren't in school, it was accessible for all the children in our setting and it was an easy way to share work to the children and then mark it when they had completed it.
As mentioned, working from home can be hard, so the activities set alongside our usual maths and literacy were ones which allowed families to have a go and learn together.
Foxglove class were challenged to:
build castles and catapults out of junk,
make castles on Minecraft,
find out about dragons through reading comprehensions and films,
research what it took to be a knight including things how strong you would need to be to carry the armour, how old you could be a knight, why we even had knights, and how to rescue a princess!
and use our "Knight Quest" skills to go for a walk and find a castle
Did you know, there are over 600 castles in Wales; more per square mile than anywhere else in Europe! (Admittedly about 500 of them have virtually disappeared into hilltops leaving nothing more than mounds, ditches etc. but there are still some in Cardiff that we could get to, keeping within lockdown restrictions!)
Autumn 2 - Let’s Celebrate
In the run-up to Christmas, we decided to celebrate as much as we could – birthdays we had missed during the Lockdown, being back at school (the parents celebrated that more than the children I think!), Bonfire Night, Remembrance Day, Diwali, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas.
We spent a lot of this topic ‘hands-on’ to enhance our learning and help us celebrate. We noticed that light was a key feature in celebrations so:
- we made water bombs and filmed them in slow motion to replicate the explosion of fireworks at bonfire night and Diwali
- we made Remembrance lamps and poppy wreaths and took these to the Cenotaph in Llandaff to lay them,
- we looked at old war artefacts including lamps and candles and the differences,
- we made Diya lamps from clay as used in the story of Rama and Sita and
- we looked at electrical circuits and made our own in Science.
This led us nicely on to Christmas, and although we couldn’t produce our own show this year, we made lots of nice crafts in school to take home!
One morning, we looked out the window and saw a Fox sat on the playground. This got us thinking about Foxes – where do they live? What do they look like? What do they eat?
We decided to do a piece of work to learn about Foxes. This became a child-led topic – their questions and ideas became the basis for our learning and activities.
We read the story Fantastic Mr Fox and based our literacy lessons around this, writing character profiles and book reviews. Someone then said they’d seen the movie Fantastic Mr Fox, which led us on to comparing and contrasting the book to the film, and as part of our Film Club, we looked at how it was made – stop-motion animation. We had a little go at making our own stop motion films, and realised it takes a long, long time!
We also made a fox out of paper mache (missing his tail like Mr Fox), and decorated the reading corner like the Foxes den, complete with a shovel coming through the ceiling!
Autumn Term 1 - ‘All About Me’
We explored our physical body by looking at what we look like in our faces and our bodies and skeletons. We then talked about our similarities and differences, and this ‘compare and contrast’ became a focus for the topic as we explored what we like and dislike, our emotions and how we are all the same but we are also all so different. Across the curriculum, we looked at similarities and differences in things such as where we live (Geography), our heights and sizes (Maths) and who we have in our family (Personal and Social Development)
As Foxglove class are the oldest in the school, we also looked at our independent life skills such as getting dressed, personal hygiene, cooking our own breakfast and staying safe, fit and well. This allowed us to talk about healthy eating and staying safe, both online and out and about and looking after ourselves.
WELCOME TO FOXGLOVE CLASS!
Teacher: Mr Toby Ashmore
Teaching Assistants: Mrs Amanda Dean, Mrs Sue Beynon
We are very lucky in Foxglove class to have a lovely new classroom with access to an outdoor area for us to investigate. Every day we will be exploring all areas of learning and experience through focussed activities, group circle times and exploring all areas in our classroom and beginning to learn to work independently. We will be focussing on following classroom rules and school routines, developing our independence and communication skills which in turn will help us develop our confidence to share our own ideas and continue to build on making positive relationships with others.
In the Autumn term we are looking at the topic 'All About Me' and having lots of fun looking at ourselves, the parts of our bodies and our faces. We will explore lots of activities using our senses and share information about things we like, dislike using lots of digital technology.
We will look at how the weather and plants have changed with the seasons as Summer changed to Autumn and then to Winter.