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Pine & Elm Class

Pine and Elm Classes are mixed year 1 and Reception classes that follow an Enquiry Based Learning approach. 

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This week we have continued with our enquiry using the focus of 'Whatever Next'.  We have carried out our learning walk and added to the learning that we had been doing last week.  We have added making space aliens using the Ipads, computers and making tables.  We have also added making a nest for owl in the creative loose part area in the classroom and also creating space stations.  This is in the den making areas, the block areas and also in the small block areas.


We have also been using new equipment that baby bear has sent us - a science kit with test tubes and a challenge of full, half full and empty and also a simple circuit electronic kit where we have been attempting to light bulbs, buzzers and helicopters.


A very busy enquiry week!

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Celebrating difference - working with our friends and valuing their ideas and thoughts......


We have been continuing our work on 'Whatever Next' - the story was introduced to the children last week and we have been closely monitoring how they have extended their thinking through the story in the different areas of learning.  This week we started with a learning walk - a walk around the learning environments to see what ways the areas have supported our learning in this story.  The children have then set themselves challenging targets to further develop their thinking through this focus such as:  make a 'zoom to the moon' game in the football area - dribble the ball around the cones and shoot it into the moon (goals) - the children have been scoring in this area - Reception children have been mark making and counting in 1s and the Year 1 children have been using their 10 count to score. 


The mud kitchen will be used to create space food - with the Year 1 children seeing if they can make two different sizes of space food.  The stage area is being used to retell the story and the loose part and community brick areas are to create rockets - Reception will focus on the skills of working together - the Year 1 children will be finding ways to ensure that the structures are safe.  The den making area will be used to create nests for the owl in the story and the water areas used to create a bath time story for baby bear. 


The children are being encouraged to mark make in all areas - some reception children are making signs and the year one children are using it as a basis for writing captions and sentences.


Reception children have been using the story to further develop their comprehension skills in reading and the Year 1 children will be using their understanding of stories to begin to write their own.


A fantastic start - where will the learning lead us next?



A week of explorers


Reception are working on exploring using the story 'Whatever Next'.  They are using the story to investigate where the bear went and what he did.  They will be creating pictures of aliens and food for the alien, along with maps.


Year 1 have started their work on explorers - Christopher Columbus.  They are learning facts about him and how they can support this understanding in their construction areas.



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A very busy week - we are talking about keeping safe during firework night and Halloween. We created firework pictures to start the discussion of keeping safe and what we should do during the different times of the year.  The children have come up with lots of ideas and then looked at how we can ensure that we are safe in our environments.  We talked about using scissors, digging, creating dens and ensuring that all members of the team take responsibility.  The children work very hard on managing their own safety as there are safety spies each day who ensure that the outdoor area is safe to be used.

A very busy end of the half term - an inspiration day to find out all about celebrations.


To find out what we have been doing this week. Follow this link:



A week of investigations for the children in Pine and Elm.


Two different challenges have been set to develop the investigation skills of the classes.


Reception  - investigate parties - using Kipper's Birthday - your challenge is to find out how Kipper celebrates his birthday - what things does he have to do?  What could we create to make our own party?  This will involve writing invitations, cards, creating birthday cakes in the playdough and mud kitchen and also various role play activities.


Year 1 - what can you find out about Florence Nightingale -what was it like to be a nurse in her times?  Is it the same as now?  This will involve writing facts, exploring power points and using various role play situations to develop a deeper understanding.


The children are working well in this new approach and love being investigators - this will continue to be developed over the next term through the Enquiry Based Learning approach and the children will be asked how their investigations will support their next learning.

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We are commencing our work on keeping healthy.  We will be having a visit from a nurse who will work with Year R and Year 1 to discuss ways of keeping healthy and facts about nurses.


Reception are then focussing on the characters in our reading books - we will be reading 'Spots' and discussing the action in the story - what happens at the beginning, in the middle and what happens at the end.  We have also used the five senses book to help us understand how wonderful our bodies are.  We have then taken part in a texture investigation - ask us what we felt!


Year 1 will then be looking at the life of Florence Nightingale.  We will be identifying different facts about her and then using this information in our writing.  We are also beginning to write on lines - it is a bit tricky but we will keep on trying!



Design and Technology Week

We are continuing with our focus text 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear'.


This week we are looking at different ways of making homes for Brown Bear.


Reception have started by creating a class home for the bear.  They have discussed what is needed to be used to join the materials.  Some sellotape was not sticky enough so we used string.  We then found masking tape which we used as well.  We then discussed what Brown Bear would need - windows, a door, a bed, some food, a bath and shower, a toy box - the list was endless.  After working on the main house together we then continued with this focus in our busy learning times.


Year one have been working in their groups using reclaimed materials.  They have discussed how high the walls need to be and what materials would be best to create windows.  They have then worked on strengthening the structure.

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This week we are using Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? As our focus text.  This is then developing how they look at things around them.


Reception are using the text to enable them to focus on looking carefully at their world around them.  We have collected snails and are watching them closely!  We will also be colour mixing and using the expertise of the year 1 children in our role play situations.  We have linked to the Enquiry of 'People who help us' by finding out about Kipper from our new books and creating our own All about me books.



Year 1 are focusing on looking at their local environment - we have been introducing 'bird's eye view' to the children and they have been drawing objects in this way.  They have also been investigating their local environment and are linking this to the overall Enquiry of 'People who help us'.  In the outdoor area the children have used available resources to create a Fish and Chip Shop!  They have been writing menus, lists, creating the shop and working together to ensure that every aspect is covered!  WOW!

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A very informative week!  We have been investigating similarities and differences, continuing from our work on our all about me boxes.  This week we have been looking at appearance.  We have then created our own self portraits for our classroom displays.


Reception - we have been looking at our eye and hair colour, the shape of our faces and the colours that we need.  We have then played guess who - trying to identify who we are thinking of by giving clues as to the hair colour and eye colours.  


Year 1 - we have linked this self portrait work with a study of an artist - Van Gogh.  We have learnt how closely you have to look to get the details correct.  We have mixed the colours for our face colour and then looked in more detail at the features we need to create.  We have seen the whites of our eyes and discussed how we will represent these in our paintings.



A fantastic start to the new academic year!  Well done everyone.


Reception have been finding out about the new routine of their school and sharing their all about me boxes with their friends.  We are all very excited to learn about each other and discuss our likes and dislikes.  We have also had a short physical session which involved us listening very hard to instructions and then having fun!


Year one have been using their all about me boxes as a basis for their writing.  They have been writing labels and then extending these into descriptive sentences.  Again they have loved sharing their likes and interests with their friends and use the boxes as a starting point for paired discussions.


A fantastic start to the new term!