These past seven weeks have flown by and we have come to the end of our topic ‘Build it Brick by Brick’. The children have changed and progressed significantly since the first days in school early in September. From arriving as curious and interested members of their classes they have now become confident owners of their learning spaces and fully rehearsed in school routines. Children can frequently be heard reminding their teachers what comes next on the timetable and where an item belongs in their classroom. In our Dame Bradbury’s Reception class the children were even pretending to be the teachers and were role playing a Read Write Inc lesson!
The children have adapted to the Covid requirements with their usual mix of energy and enthusiasm, washing their hands with great gusto throughout the school day, ticking their hand washing charts and remembering that they must stay in their bubble. From dealing with soggy wet jumpers after a hand washing session and answering questions such as ‘why can’t we see our bubbles?’, the teachers and key workers have brilliantly balanced giving the children an enjoyable and inspiring start to their school year alongside ensuring our Early Years community stays safe. I would like to thank the staff for their efforts and thank you as parents for continuing to support the school with our Covid procedures.
Topic Launch Day
The launch day early in the term signalled the beginning of the children’s discovery and exploration of buildings and the process of building.
We kicked off the topic with a fabulous launch day, the children in Kindergarten and Reception came in dressed up as builders, skilled workers, buildings or materials, the variety was wonderful to see. We engaged in a range of activities including; making igloos using sugar cubes and building using a variety of construction materials. The activities stimulated great discussion about buildings from around the world and animal homes, to name a few.
Build it Brick by Brick
The Madingley Kindergarten children took the lead in their learning and decided that they really wanted to build a castle. So after thinking through their ideas they constructed an enormous box castle. The end result provided some wonderful role play opportunities!
Our Reception classes really embraced pretending to be real builders and were so excited when they got to use ‘real’ tools. They learnt how to use them safely and all showed a real sense of achievement when they managed to hammer the nail all the way into the wood.
A real highlight of the term has been the way that the children have worked so well in collaboration with the others in their bubble. The children quickly learnt that “a builder can’t complete the job alone, it’s much easier as a team” and as a result created some amazing structures together!
An exciting part of the children’s week is their Forest School session with Mr Hannaway or Miss Tanner, our Forest School leaders.
Forest School News from Mr Hannaway
This half term the children have experienced the transition between Summer and Autumn first hand. We have been lucky enough to have beautiful sunny, Autumnal Forest School mornings watching the leaves turn from green to a gorgeous shade of orange, brown and yellow. However our sessions haven't always been dry and both Kindergarten and Reception have had very wet but exciting sessions, using water from puddles to make the slide faster and to make witches potions.
We have hunted for conkers, both in and out of their spiky shells and even witnessed them falling off the horse chestnut trees. Some of the children have learnt how to safely use a palm drill, hammer, trowel and spade and use them appropriately to achieve a specific outcome whilst testing our gross motor control on homemade swings and low rope courses. We have explored the flora and fauna on our site at Dame Bradbury's finding lots of winged maple seeds from numerous field maple trees and exploring why they're shaped like wings and which other trees have Samaras too. Our curiosity made us ask lots of questions about why are there so many Daddy Longs Legs at the moment? And is a Crane Fly the same insect? We look forward to our winter sessions next half term, hopefully we will get to experience frost and snow.
Forest School News from Miss Tanner
Forest School sessions should be about taking risks and exploring nature. To do this in a safe way there has to be some agreed rules and our Salisbury Villas classes have been learning about the stick rule, finding sticks no longer than our arm, and what to do when the Forest School leader says ‘1, 2, 3... look at me’ Our Madingley children have found a place to practice their tree climbing skills and an apple tree. The Madingley Reception class decided to collect the apples as a prop for their imaginative play.
I do hope that all of our Early Years families have the opportunity to explore outdoors during the half term break and I look forward to welcoming you back for our new topic ‘Sounds Amazing’.
Mrs Sarah Holyoake
Head of Early Years
Technology Acceptable Use Policy
The Foundation has moved to a combined Technology Acceptable Use Policy for all pupils aged 3 and above. There are otherwise no significant changes to the policy. The policy can be accessed through our website.