Mrs Harrington, Miss Radcliffe and Mrs Tasker welcome you to
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All about Orang-utans
Our topic this term in English is all about Orang-utans. We will be looking at a non fiction ebook to help us with a new task we have. Mrs Harrington received this video from someone called Ellie James. She has asked for our help. Ellie James would like a pet but she doesn’t want an ordinary pet. She would like a pet orang-utan. However, her mum said no! She has asked us to find out lots of facts about the mammal so we can help her to convince her Mum that it is a good idea. We don’t think it’s a good idea either so we have a plan. We are going to find out lots of facts which we hope will persuade her not to get one as a pet. Wish us luck! We will keep you updated.
As we start becoming orang-utan experts, we have made some of our own orang-utans to dangle from the ceiling in our classroom.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us all!
On the last day of term, we enjoyed watching the pantomime on our board. It was just like being in a theatre. We made our own props to join in with the pantomime. We also learnt the songs beforehand so we could sing along.
In the afternoon, we had a Christmas party! We played circle games, musical status and had an snowball and spoon race.
The Woodpeckers enjoyed their Christmas dinner! They all wore their Christmas hats and pulled their Christmas crackers. They shared their jokes and sang along to Christmas music.
Melting Snowmen Biscuits
As a Christmas treat, we decorated some biscuits! The Woodpeckers had a rich tea biscuit and added white icing. They stuck their snowman onto the icing then decorated with different sprinkles. They used black icing to add extra details. Then for the best part- eating them! They were delicious.
The Woodpeckers made their own Christingle in the last week of term ready for our Christingle service. We spoke about what each material represents on the Christingle. The Woodpeckers were very good at remembering these facts.
What do you think of our salt dough decorations? We think they look lovely. The Woodpeckers could choose a stocking, tree or snowman for their decoration. They then chose their own paint and materials to add to them. They have been hanging on our class Christmas tree.
Christmas jumper day
We have been making Christmas cards for our loved ones. Each child chose three baubles to colour in themselves. These were stuck on the front of the card where they wrote a lovely message. Each child added ribbon and snow flakes to their backgrounds.
Our class nativity
This year, our class nativity was called ‘It’s a party!’. This play follows the traditional Christmas story but focuses on a party the angels are organising to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Everyone is invited from the shepherds, the wisemen and Mary and Joseph, of course! The Woodpeckers were brilliant at rehearsing their lines and all had lovely costumes. We performed it on the stage in the hall and it was filmed for our loved ones to watch. The Woodpeckers did themselves proud and were a brilliant cast - Well done to them all!
In computing, we have been learning about algorithms. This was a new word to the Woodpeckers but they grasped a good understanding quickly. We started our learning by having the children direct Mrs Harrington to the fire door. They were good at using the correct terminology and making sure they said their right amount of steps. They then practised in pairs.
The children then had a go at controlling their partner by drawing arrows and clicking them. For the last part of the unit, we got the iPads out. The Woodpeckers went on an internet safety game called 'Interland'. This requires the players to move the character whilst answering internet safety questions. They really enjoyed this. We even have a rap to sing about algorithms:
What do we need to do?
How will we do it?
The Woodpeckers have finished their swimming lessons for the year. They have all made brilliant progress and learned new skills. They also enjoyed their lessons too. Our last session was a 'Fun Swim'. They were allowed to get lots of the swimming equipment out to play games with. They can't wait to go swimming again next year.
With it being the start of Advent, Mrs Scott and Clarissa explained what Advent is during their assemblies with us. We have two Advent calendars in our classroom. Our first Advent calendar requires one child a day to move the snowman's carrot nose to the correct date.
Our second Advent calendar is interactive. Behind each door is an instruction on how to perform a Christmas related action using British sign language. The Woodpeckers have really enjoyed learning a new language and have been remembering the actions perfectly. We rehearse them all everyday.
We also have a very mischievous elf in the classroom!
Our wonderful Christmas window display
This term, our Jigsaw topic is celebrating difference. This unit focuses on highlighting our similarities and differences to others. We will be celebrating that we are all different and that’s okay. We have spoken about what can be the same between people e.g hair colour, hobbies, where we live, number of siblings etc. We discussed that it would be boring if we were all the same so we do have differences from others e.g our families, our eye colour, what we like to wear etc. A discussion in one of the lessons was ‘Which duvet cover can you have?’ There was a blue one with footballs on or a pink one with princesses. The children were asked whether they had to be a boy to choose the football duvet and a girl to choose the princess one. The Woodpeckers decided that you can have which every duvet you would like.
You will see our work from this unit on our display. The Woodpeckers had to pair up to make a shield together. On the shield, they had to write two things that are the same between them and two things that are different. The Woodpeckers worked really well together and were kind.
Christmas is coming...
We know it’s only November, but with our nativity play to rehearse for and December just around the corner, we have started to prepare Christmas decorations for our classroom. We absolutely loved making a Christmas window display last year so we want to do the same again this year. Mrs Tasker has been very busy cutting out stencils, tissue paper and preparing sticky back plastic for us. The display will have a stain glass window effect with a Christmas theme and lights. The stencils are all prepared so keep an eye out for our wonderful display!
eSafety: I am kind and responsible.
Our eSafety focus this Autumn term is talking about how to be kind and responsible. This works out brilliantly as we are talking about kindness in our current enquiry. When the Woodpeckers were asked what kindness and responsibility mean, they had very detailed answers. We started this unit by reading a story about Smartie the penguin. The story is about a penguin who gets a tablet for his birthday. He is very happy about this but a few problems arise. The Woodpeckers had to decide whether Smartie should sort his computer problems himself or go to an adult. Every time the Woodpeckers had to decide on a solution, they always said go straight to an adult. We even learned a new song to remember what to do if any computer problems arise:
Before you tap and click...
You need to stop and think...
and TELL someone!
We have also made our own computer rules for the classroom. Again, the Woodpeckers had great ideas. These are beautifully displayed in our classroom for all to see.
We discussed how to behave on our devices, especially when talking to our friends on them. Just because you aren’t with your friends, it doesn’t mean we can be unkind. The Woodpeckers were very understanding of this and even added it to our class rules. We played the emoji game to talk about the different emotions. This was great fun!
Oscar the dog comes to visit
We had an exciting visitor at our door this week - Oscar the dog! The Woodpeckers have heard lots about Oscar (Mrs Harrington’s dog) and even talk about him in our book corner but they met him in person for the first time. The Woodpeckers were very gentle and calm around Oscar which he really enjoyed. Oscar enjoyed his cuddles and being stroked. Some children couldn’t believe how soft he was! The funny part was when Oscar met the toy Oscar. He is scared of his toy at home but he very much loved the Woodpecker’s toy. He tried to take it home with him! The Woodpeckers loved having him and Oscar loved being here too. We hope to have him back again soon!
We have been talking about Remembrance and what Remembrance Day represents. We all attended the school’s remembrance service with Clarissa. She explained to the children why we talk about Remembrance Day and she paid respect to the soldiers from Coleford who lost their lives in World War One and World War Two. We stayed still and silent for one minute to remember those who lost their lives. We did this again on the 11/11 at 11am. We all said a prayer too. A wreath was laid down on our behalf.
Many of the Woodpeckers have been paying their respect and donating to the poppy appeal charity by wearing a poppy or a related poppy item. They have also contributed to our Remembrance window display. Mrs Tasker prepared their stain glass poppy shapes for them and they decorated them with either tissue paper, glitter or sequins. You will see these displayed now. Don’t they look lovely? You may wonder why some of the poppies are purple. That is because they represent any animals that were killed during the world wars. The Woodpeckers made beautiful stain glass poppies which they are really proud of. We hope you enjoy looking at them.
What could my classroom be made of?
Building our own reading corners
For the final part of our enquiry, the Woodpeckers had to group up and make their own reading corners. They had a variety of scrap materials to choose from and they could use part of our school building to help support their structures. They worked brilliantly in their teams and each group had their own unique style.
The Woodpeckers had to explain why they used certain materials by using the new vocabulary we have been learning. Here are the finished projects!
This was a fun activity which the Woodpeckers didn’t want to end. So we read some books in our new and exciting reading areas.
Our new book corner
You might remember before our first lockdown, the school took part in a sponsored silence. This was ran by the PTA to raise money for new books for the school. Everyone did amazingly and raised so much money! This has allowed us to make our book corners more welcoming and filled with exciting new books. We have nice new cushions and beanbags in our area along with a toy version of Oscar the dog (Mrs Harrington’s dog). The Woodpeckers enjoy reading to him!
We have also bought some new chapter books, books about disabilities and books that talk about different religions and ethnicities.
We have placed our 40 book challenge in our new area. For every 4 books read, the children move up to the next level. There is currently a competition for the Woodpeckers to catch up with Mrs Harrington. She has read 30 books so far. They are catching up quickly!
A new activity in our book corner is our book recommendation board. The Woodpeckers can choose a book they enjoy from the book corner and write their reasons why they like it. Then children can see these displayed and can read the books too if they want to. Here are some of the books the children have chosen already.
What could my classroom be made of?
One of our enquiry lessons consisted of taking a learning walk around our local area. Our aim was to identify materials and compare new and old buildings together. Mrs Allen joined us as she knows lots of history about Coleford. She was telling us what some of the current houses used to be used for. Mrs Tasker also knew her stuff. It was very interesting indeed! It was good to see the differences between modern and old buildings.
We spotted lots of materials in real life. Here are some of the ones identified.
Here are some of the buildings we spoke about the History of and how their materials are similar/dissimilar.
In another enquiry lesson, we spoke about how materials are created. We used the terminology ‘natural’ or ‘man-made’. The Woodpeckers organised the materials in to two groups. They were brilliant at this.
Another word we added to our vocabulary was ‘malleable’. We learnt that if a material can change shape, then it is malleable. The Woodpeckers held our materials and tried to stretch, squeeze, twist and bend them. They then explained whether they were malleable or not. The Woodpeckers had good discussions as some materials could do some things but not others. They also explained that some materials can change shapes at different temperatures.
Where is Beegu?
We still haven’t been able to find Beegu! We spoke about the reasons why she might still be hiding from us and what we could do to help. Beegu left us a message with her parents address attached:
So we decided to write a letter to Beegu’s parents to tell them where she is and where to find her. We delivered the letter to Mrs Allen in the front office to post for us. Hopefully we get a reply soon.
This term, Mrs James has been teaching us RE. Our topic this term is learning about the Judaism religion. The Woodpeckers have been learning about the Torah and what it contains. They have also looked at what a synagogue is and what happens there. They have been talking about Shabbat and why it is observed in Judaism. The Woodpeckers even got to eat some bread!
What could my classroom be made of?
Our enquiry this term is looking at what could our classroom be made of? We are becoming scientists and gaining experience as engineers, historians and artists. We started our enquiry by writing down as many materials as we could. Green house group named the most!
We then went for a walk around school to try and find these materials. We wrote down what we observed. We noticed that the climbing frame is made out of wood, the climbing bars are made out of metal, the peace garden contains rock and stone, the windows are made out of glass etc.
Beegu is back!
We had a huge surprise in the play ground today! As we went for a run around the track, some Woodpeckers caught site of an unusual object. As we got closer, we discovered a silver, space ship looking object on the field! It is not usually there.
We all gathered around the spaceship and made a plan of what we should do. We shared our predictions. We realised that it must have landed between break and snack as no one witnessed it at play time. We discovered a letter underneath the spaceship. We now know that Beegu the alien has returned to our school. Her spaceship crashed on Earth again and she only want to return to us for help because we were so helpful last time.
Suddenly, we noticed something yellow at the top of the playground. Everyone ran to look at it. Unfortunately, it was just a yellow PE cone.
We protected the spaceship with the tyres outside.
Mrs Harrington ran inside with Aubrey and Billy so that she could carry the spaceship inside. We wanted to put it somewhere safe. It was very heavy and everyone helped to protect Mrs Harrington.
We eventually got back inside and placed the spaceship safely in our classroom. We spoke to the spaceship to tell Beegu that it is safe to come out if she wants to. We don’t know where she is so we made posters and put them up all around school. For now, we have put take around the classroom to protect the ship and will keep an eye out for her.
The ‘Peace Garden’ Grand Opening
This Friday was the grand opening of the school’s Peace Garden. We prepared our pebbles and our class letter to the future children of our school for this occasion. Special guests were invited to this event, such as governors, the parish council and businesses who donated us the materials.
We walked down to the playground as a class carrying our pebbles. Mrs Scott prepared a speech to thank everyone who made it possible to have our new garden. We gave all of these wonderful people a big round of applause. The ribbon was cut to officially open the garden for us.
The next part of the ceremony was to place our items in the time capsule we are burying. This is in aid of our school turning 50 years old. We hope that the children here in 50 years time will open our capsule and learn about what life was like in our time. Mrs Shepard placed a picture of the wooded heart made by the whole school, a mask, our school mug and our school tea towel in the container.
It was then each class’ turn to put their items in the capsule. Every class put a letter in which spoke about what life is like for us plus they had questions for the future pupils to think about. Then we could choose another item to place in. We decided to place a Bishop Henderson pencil in there to show them what we use to write. Teelah and Toby were our representatives for our items.
After all the classes contributed their items, we placed our pebbles in the garden.
Bringing our friendship biscuits to life
The Woodpeckers wrote recipes on how to make a friendship biscuit. As they did so well with their writing, we actually had a go at creating our friendship biscuits to go with our recipes. We used a standard rich tea biscuit and decorated them with icing. The children then got to choose 3 different types of sprinkles. They could choose chocolate, rainbow stars, big sprinkles, little sprinkles, hearts, balls and more stars! The chocolate and rainbow star sprinkles were the most popular.
Then for the best bit - eating them!
Pebbles for the school ‘Peace Garden ‘
You might have heard that we have a new area in our school playground. It has been created as a calm and peaceful area to sit in and it’s right next to the pond. To make the area look colourful and inviting, Mrs Scott provided us with some pebbles to decorate using paints. Firstly, we painted our pebbles all over in a pastel colour of our choice.
Our theme for our peace pebbles was rainbows. Each woodpecker selected seven colours and created their very own rainbow.
What makes a good friend?
Over the past 2 weeks, we have been focusing on what community means. In particular, we have been talking about how to be a good friend in our community. Firstly, we have read several stories in the classroom talking about what makes a good friend and what to do if someone is upset. Beegu has been a favourite book of ours.
We then wrote recipes on how to create a friendship biscuit which contains all the things we would like in a best friends. The Woodpeckers were creative with their thinking to link personal attributes and personality to common steps when making biscuits. For example, instead of ‘mixing flour in a bowl’, we said ‘mixing hugs in a bowl.’
We wrote our recipes out neatly which are displayed around the school.
Our first week as Woodpeckers
We enjoyed our first week back. On the first day, we said our hellos and wrote about our summer holidays. We also made our jigsaw puzzles and made a birthday card each. Now, whenever it is someone’s birthday, they will get a card from their class.
We enjoyed our first PE lessons and did some lovely art activities. We made butterfly wings which will be displayed around the classroom with a photo of us attached. You might see them dangling down from the ceiling from our window.