Spring Term 2018
We cannot believe that we are already half way through the year! Since the Foxes and Badgers returned after the Christmas break they have been incredibly busy.
Before the half term holiday, the children were very engaged by our topic, ‘The Great Fire of London’. They discovered that the fire began in Pudding Lane in September 1666. We investigated how the fire spread and how it affected the people of London. It was a surprise to discover that there was no fire brigade then to help put out the fire. The people had to do their best with buckets of water, squirters and fire hooks. To enable the children to visualise how the fire spread we had our own ‘Great Fire of Rowner’. The children made Pudding Lane from boxes, straw and paper. Following a talk on fire safety and with the help of a few fire lighters and a gentle breeze, they saw their Pudding Lane raised to the ground. Once the embers cooled they investigated the ashes. The following day we had a visit from Samuel Pepys (some say he bore a striking resemblance to Mrs Phillips!). He explained to the children what it was like to live through the fire and how he helped in the race to put it out. He also shone some light on why he buried his Parmesan cheese and wine. Mr Pepys was kind enough to leave some of his cheese for the children to taste but he took the wine back home with him! Next it was time for the children to become television news reporters. They took on the roles of various people who were unlucky enough to have experienced the fire and were interviewed for Rowner News. We had a lot of fun watching the news reports. These experiences helped the children to extend their vocabulary and enhance their writing on the subject. Thank you to all of you who supported their child with the fire safety home learning. We celebrated this with the school during our Friday morning Collective Worship when the children had the opportunity to talk about what they had done.
This half term our topic is ‘Animals’. We got off to a great start when Farmer Ian from Longdown Activity Farm visited us with his friends. The children had the opportunity to meet Ruby and Max the donkeys who left us something for the roses! The children did giggle! They were also introduced to the ducks, the hens and the incredibly loud, squealing Kunekune piglets from New Zealand. Some of the children took part in a race against a goat! The goat didn’t win! One of the highlights for the children was when they had the chance to hold a chick. Some were even brave enough to let the chick sit on their head. Thankfully the chick had made sure it was ‘comfortable’ before he was allowed to sit on their heads. Unfortunately, he did this on one of the Foxes’ coats. Again, yet more giggling from the children! (Visit our gallery to see some of the photos)
Animals feature in the book we are reading in Literacy at the moment, Mr. Archimedes’ Bath. This gentleman cannot understand quite why the water in his bath keeps going up and down when he gets in and out of it. He asks his friends Kangaroo, Wombat and Goat to help him to investigate. To help the children to understand how the water moves when solid objects are placed in it, our very own ‘solid object’, Mrs. Phillips, took a bath in the garden and the children watched as the water appeared to become deeper when she got in in. Not having a kangaroo, wombat or goat for friends she had to rely on the good nature of Mrs Jenner to jump in with her. The children came up with some great ideas as to why the water moved!
In Maths the children are receiving an introduction to the idea of multiplication. We have been thinking about repeated addition and creating arrays. Every day we take the opportunity to count in 2s, 5s and 10s. It would be great if you could support your child with this at home. They will be able to show you the dances that go with the counting, courtesy of Jack Hartmann on YouTube. Later this term we will revisit addition, subtraction, time, shape and money.
We are almost at the end of Phase 5 in our phonics teaching. The children are currently learning about verbs, ‘doing words’, and suffixes. We are thinking about the words that end in -ing, -ed, -er and -est. Many thanks to those of you who are helping your child to learn their weekly spellings and who are listening to them read at home. We expect the children to read on at least three separate occasions at home during the week. They are heard reading individually with an adult in school one a week and once or twice during the week in guided reading sessions. If you have any worries about your child please do not hesitate to talk to us on the door. If we are unable to help you there and then we will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet to discuss your concerns.
The children continue to make us feel very proud. We are very excited to see what the rest of the year will bring.