W/E 26th June

In Reception we have enjoyed being outside morning, noon and night! We were delighted to wave to the Year 2 bubble on Monday morning and enjoyed seeing the familiar faces, but we have been really very busy with our dinosaurs again.  This week, we have brought dinosaur faces to life using an app called Morfo.  We made a dinosaur face using materials from the woods and then recorded its ROARRR!  We have also had great fun working like Billy Bee to create a dinosaur world. We needed to think about what Dinosaurs needed to live and the children were very resourceful creating their worlds using materials that they found around them.  Of course, all dinosaur worlds have Volcanoes and all volcanoes erupt. The children mixed baking soda and vinegar and we watched the lava roll down the sides of the jars, catching unsuspecting dinosaurs in its path.  On Thursday the grounds were alive once again with all the Prep School and we enjoyed an ice lolly in the glorious sun followed by our picnic in the grounds. We are very lucky! 

The penultimate week of the term has been particularly adventurous in Year 1! We started the week by hosting our own mini sports day.  All the Year 1s took part and enjoyed the different events. We spent the morning outside and made it into a special occasion as we know how much the children love taking part in Sports day. The children have been learning more about bees and created bee art using paper mosaics and finger painting. We have been discussing famous explorers from across the world and throughout history; the children had a great debate about Christopher Columbus. They then had to think about what they would discover and where they would go if they were explorers.

W/E 19th June

We have had another dinotastic week. We have focused on fossils, learning about Mary Anning who found fossils on the beach.  We have made up for the fact that we couldn’t do our seaside trip by making our own salt dough fossils. It was great fun making our own socially distanced dough, which meant we had to measure out the right amounts of flour and salt and water. Quite a challenge!  We have made some lovely fossils. We have also looked at real fossils. We learnt what a Palaeontologist does and then had a chance to be one. We worked like Billy Bee, digging up the bones and then passing them on to be washed and cleaned, before they made it to the lab where our scientists were waiting to piece them together.  We even tried excavating chocolate chips from a cookie with a toothpick. It was tricky!  We have done lots of painting of our dinosaurs and of our daddies, being careful not to mix up the two! As well as this, Mrs Parkin and Mrs Garwood made us sit and complete standard assessments in Maths and English. We have worked jolly hard! 

Year 1 have had a brilliant week exploring Mini-beasts. We started the week by using specimen collectors to discover the bugs we could find around Vinehall.  During our morning walk in the woods, the children decided to make a den that could withstand the approaching storms. In art the children used watercolour as the next medium for our art project; we look forward to sharing these with you next week.

On Thursday Mrs Bennett brought in a wasp nest that was 54cm long and had a bird’s nest in it. We enjoyed taking Jigsaw Jack out to the Oak trees for our PSHE session. The children found this amazing and we learnt about the purpose of wasps and why they are interesting. Outside on the hill, Madame Austen sang French songs to us so we could join in, as Mrs Bennett still needs to practise!

W/E 12th June

Reception have had a busy week. We discovered some Dinosaur eggs in the woods last week. Mrs Dino wrote a letter and we wrote back reassuring her that we would look after her eggs. Reception have taken great care of the eggs and we are hoping that they will hatch today! In the meantime we have been swotting up on our dino facts so that we are able to look after the baby dinosaurs when they hatch. Are they carnivores or herbivores? A very important question!

We have spent lots of time outside, discovering the wonderful Vinehall grounds. We took our pastels outside on Wednesday and drew each of our friends looking closely at them.  We are continuing with our number work and playing lots of phonics games outside.

W/E 5th June 

Reception have all embraced our new socially distanced way of living. We have found ways to celebrate Rupert and Jonty’s birthdays, singing super loud so that the birthday boys could hear (and that they wouldn’t forget to share the cake!) We have enjoyed being outside in the glorious weather. We spent the first two days catching up with our friends, spending time collecting, sanding, painting and varnishing rainbow sticks, getting used to new lunchtime routines, playing and, of course, washing our hands. We visited Mrs Powis and her chickens and have watched chicks hatching out of their eggs whilst thinking about the life cycle of a chicken. We have now started on our dinosaur topic, brainstorming what we already know (which is quite a lot) and we are looking forward to sharing our adventures next week.  We have also started our ‘Maths No Problem’ books with which we will transition into Year 1 – so we are doing proper work too!

Year 1 have had a wonderful return to school and are in incredibly high spirits.  They have dived back into our activities with great enthusiasm. The children enjoyed taking the gazebo over to the large oak tree and setting up for the morning; the beautiful grounds lend themselves to our outdoor adventure topic and exploring the world of Beatrix Potter.

The children have created their own character in the style of Beatrix Potter for our English project this term. While the children were laying under the tree we heard the story of the woodland princess who helped the woodland creatures and plants, so the animals created her a crown out of natural materials. The children created their own crowns using the natural materials we could find on the floor. We then looked at botanical drawings to create our own from flowers we could find around the school grounds.

The children had fun playing pine cone cricket on the fields and using up some of their unlimited energy!


W/E 22nd May

In Reception this week we have seen lots of great frog life cycles. Taking advantage of the glorious weather, some of the children have gone pond dipping. Many have found and seen tadpoles and dragonflies. Others have spotted minibeasts in their gardens. We are starting to see some great information projects coming in.

Some super work on double facts – we have been making paperchains and playing lots of games to help us remember them quickly. The children have been so engaged with their calls and online programme, it really is very easy to forget that they are only 4 or 5 years old. Well done to everyone; Mrs P and Mrs G are very proud of you.


W/E 15th May

Reception children have enjoyed finding out more about minibeasts and making beautiful fact mobiles. Some of them are busy setting up tumble traps in their gardens and we are waiting very excitedly to see what falls in. They have been finding out which numbers are friends of 10. We have heard of great family skittle games. We have even managed to hear some of the children read, thanks to Active Learn. We are all learning together!

In English this week, Year 1 have been exploring Animal poetry. They have been creating rhyming pairs using descriptive language.

Throughout our topic work this week we have been discovering more about plants, including using herbs in recipes, looking at plant structure and then making a 3D version. The children then used the growth of a seed to create an expressive dance.

Many of the children have created Big Cat quizzes after learning more about them; do you know how far lions can jump?


W/E 8th May

This week, Reception have been estimating.  They have been guessing how much Lego they have and how many drops could fit on a spoon.  The have been starting to count in two’s, hopefully helping with the washing pairing up their socks.  We have shared the book Jasper’s Beanstalk and they have been helping Jasper to plant his bean by writing him some instructions on a Pinwheel. There has been lots of evidence of vegetable soup making and we are hoping to see some sunflowers start to sprout soon, in beautifully decorated pots.  We are so proud of all the children who have been carrying on with their phonic sounds and reading their books. Well done!


W/E 13th March

In Reception we have had a crafty week doing lots of secret things for Mother’s Day and Easter preparations. We have had a focus on one less and subtraction vocabulary this week and incorporated lots of fun maths games. The highlight came on Thursday when the Wolf delivered a letter to Mrs Stenton (we were unfortunately not there as we were out on our Woodland Learning session) however, it turns out that the Wolf loved Florence’s currant bun and feels so happy that we made friends with him. We have started reading Jack and the Beanstalk and we are concentrating on structuring sentences with ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ prompts.

Year 1 have been like Terry Tortoise this week with their adaptations of Handa’s Surprise.  All the children took the original stories and used narrative therapy to plan their own versions. The children have thought of original setting and animals to make their story unique. We have continued to explore healthy foods and have designed snack bars that we are going to make next week. Multiplication has been our theme for maths and exploring groups and rows; the children enjoyed using counters to develop understanding.

Year 2 went out to investigate why a huge tree came down in the Vinehall grounds this week. We found out it wasn’t just the wind, but the trunk of the tree was actually rotten.

W/E 6th March

The highlight of the week in Reception was of course World Book Day. The children loved telling their friends who they were and we all enjoyed sharing lots of stories with the class and with the whole of Pre-Prep. A big thank you to all the parents who put such an effort in to creating such imaginative costumes and hairstyles! We spent the start of the week weighing out all the ingredients for some currant buns. All the ingredients balanced one egg so we measured and worked together to mix the ingredients. Today we are searching for Granny in the woods and so we are hoping that the cards and the buns make her feel a lot better. We will look for signs of the wolf but hopefully he will be far away! The Battle Fire Brigade came to Pre Prep at the start of the week and we learnt a lot from Ben the Fireman and his team who let us squirt water from the hose. We sat in the cab of the fire engine. Lots of children were like Cassie Cat and asked curious questions.

Year 1 have had a very busy week and have tried many new things just like Maisie Monkey. We started our new topic book this week which is Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Browne. The children tried all of the fruit from Handa’s surprise and created adjective bubbles to help us use them when we are describing the fruits, so they had to draw upon all of their senses. Last week they created a snap game using animals and their babies, so this week we went to Nursery and Kindergarten to teach them our games. Thursday was the highlight of the children’s week; we started the day by hearing a story from a shark with gleaming white teeth! We discussed our favourite books and characters and then shared books with the whole of Pre-Prep in the afternoon.

W/E 28th February

Reception came back refreshed after the half term break, which was just as well since we have had a deliciously energetic week!  We started with pancake races in the sports hall, with lots of parents coming to watch, and finished with a Pre-Prep Bake-off.  Mrs Garwood’s class created a magnificent spring sheep, complete with lambs, ably helped by Mrs Fuselgang; and Mrs Parkin’s class had a master class in baking with Mrs Gilsenan, who made chocolate brownies with us, which were as healthy as they could possibly be!  We all enjoyed our cooking, with an added focus on handwashing and hygiene, especially at this time.  We have continued with positional language work in maths and are continuing to gather up our phonic sounds.  The children are making links between the sounds they learn and the letters they write, which is wonderful to see.  We listened to Red Riding Hood in French and during our Understanding the World session we investigated waterproof materials that we could make for Red Riding Hood’s Hood.  More Red Riding Hood fun next week!

Year 1 have had a fantastic week back after half term.  The highlight of the week was sharing our Pre-Prep Bake off with everyone.  The children thoroughly enjoyed finding recipes and voting on the things they would like to make, finally deciding on Moon Cakes and Mini Calzone.  The children have been exploring number word problems in maths which has been quite tricky but they have all acted like Terry Tortoise and continued to try throughout.  Year 1 have begun to explore different farm animals and were able to tell us many things about farms.

W/E 14th February

The highlight of the week in Reception was our Three Billy Goats Gruff performance to Year 6, who are also looking at fairy tales. They came and shared some of their favourite fairy tales with us and it was lovely to see the big children working so supportively with our Reception children. Much of the week was spent preparing for our performance. We all worked like Billy Bee to write the invitation to Year 6 and Heidi and Albert were really brave and stood up and explained to the Year 6s what we were doing. Today we have loved raising money for Charity and wearing our Onesies and PJs. It made sharing stories with Year 6 very cosy. We started to explore positional language in maths and will continue to do so after the half term. We have had a lovely time in ball skills with all the obstacle course set out. With Valentine’s Day and a power cut on Monday, that is all we managed to fit in!

Year 1 have had a fantastic end to our Pirate topic! We have been exploring oceans this week through seascapes and animal research. The children started by using hand painting to create coral, then sponges to paint the sea and finally pastels to create our animals. Year 1 enjoyed visiting Year 3 on Wednesday to play their magnet games. They were all great fun and Year 1 remembered lots of things that the Year 3s had told them. To celebrate the end of our stories we took them down the corridor to share them with Reception; all of the children were extremely proud.

W/E 7th February

This week Reception have had a wonderful drama experience with Mrs Alderson. She gave us a masterclass in Troll behaviour and how to walk and talk like three different Billy Goat Gruff characters. The children really enjoyed it and were very involved. Mrs Parkin and Mrs Garwood learnt something too! We are preparing to share our performances with the Year 6 children who have also been studying Fairytales. Madame Austen came and told us all about her goats in French and we have learnt how goats’ cheese is made and we even tasted some. We are continuing to practise adding two numbers together. We found our “Brave” on Pirate day and enjoyed a wonderful assembly with Captain Payne who asked us all to find the brave in each other. We have had a wonderful week sharing the fantastic Three Little Pigs’ houses. We are thinking of moving in to them as they are all so well built!

Ooh Argh! Year 1 have had such a fantastic week; the highlight of our week was dressing up as pirates and sharing our topic with the rest of Pre-Prep.  The children even wrote letters to the rest of Pre-Prep inviting them to the special day.  Mrs Payne helped the children ‘find their brave’ in assembly and encouraged the children to be like Maisie Monkey!  The children were all extremely excited to start the second book in maths; they have been exploring numbers to 40 and splitting them into tens and ones.  On Friday we found a letter from Captain Jill Sparrow and although she could not make our Pirate Party we sent her lots of photos.

As part of their science topic on forces, Year 2 have been working hard making their own vehicles from wood and card. They investigated different ways to make axles, testing out and evaluating their designs and they also worked with each other, like Billy Bee, to solve problems. They talked to the children in Year 1 about how they constructed their vehicles.

W/E 31st January

Reception completed their first ever school trip this week. We had a wonderful time taking the train to Hastings library, despite the weather. We bought our ticket from Maggie at Robertsbridge, who showed us around the ticket office before we got on the train. At Hastings we walked down to the library, where Elaine met us and read us lots of stories and showed us how to check out our books using the self-service machine. On the way back to school, one of the train drivers told us a little about driving a train. Lots of Cassie Cat questions were asked before arriving back in Robertsbridge. We had a lovely day and the children all behaved impeccably. Thank you to all the helpers and to all those who we met who made our day so great and informative.

We have spent the rest of the week making junk vehicles and writing a Reception retelling of The Three Little Pigs. In maths we are exploring addition by partitioning numbers and we have been introduced to Rupert the Sheep who helps us write short and straight letters. In cooking we have made a vegetable train and then enjoyed the dips with all the fresh vegetables.

Year 1 have taken advantage of the weather this week! We have been waiting to test our recycled pirate boats and finally got the chance to try them out on the pond. The children made predictions on the floating capabilities and what they think might be a problem with their boat. The wind took the children’s boats out to the middle of the pond and they showed great potential; unfortunately the wind was too strong for one which sank. Afterwards we evaluated our ships based on something the children felt went really well and something they could improve. Captain Jill must have sneaked into Pre-Prep this week as she took our letters and replaced them with bits of treasure! Our giant pirates have begun to take shape and will be soon be ready to sail on the pirate boat. On Tuesday we were invited to Year 2 and travelled back to 1854 to a hospital where we met two very famous women: Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. The Year 2s told us all about the two famous nurses in the Crimean War.

Children in Year 2 were delighted to receive certificates for their stories in the Young Writers’ Competition. They will see their work published in a Young Writers’ Anthology, which will be available in March. Well done Year 2; we are very proud of you.

W/E 24th January

Land ahoy! Our pirate ship set sail through Pre-Prep this week for all to share. The Year 1s have enjoyed explaining the different parts of the ship to the other children.  Year 1 wrote their letters to Captain Jill Sparrow, then hung them above our pirate ship so that Captain Jill could find them.  We have continued to explore Pirate stories by reading ‘Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs’ by Giles Andreae and Russel Ayto. We have begun planning our own pirate adventures to meet some unsavoury characters! We investigated the properties of different materials using our senses; every sense apart from sight. We were blindfolded and had to guess our object and its material using our other senses. A satellite image of the school provided a great opportunity to create our own treasure maps and paths to find the treasure around school.

Some of the Prep School children came to visit us on Thursday to share their love of music with the Pre-Prep. This was such a wonderful opportunity for the children to hear and see different instruments; Zuriel played the ‘cello beautifully;  Mary proudly played her trumpet and the children found the sound of Gryff on the tuba particularly memorable. Pre-Prep are always finding new ways to explore music. Nursery and Kindergarten have been trying out a range of different instruments and enjoyed using the chime bars. They used singing and movement to bring their dragon to life. Chinese New Year continued into Reception, where the children built their own drums to try traditional Chinese drumming.  Year 1 have been playing the ocarinas for the last couple of weeks, which they have really enjoyed, and they were treated to a solo performance from George on his ‘cello. Year 2 have continued to discover how to play a range of instruments, including trying the violin. Individual music lessons have spread throughout Pre-Prep from Reception upwards and we enjoy sharing the musical talent that fills Pre-Prep.

W/E 17th January

Well what a week it has been in Reception. We started the week with a crime scene. Someone had pushed all our Humpties off the wall that we had built!  We all wrote down our ideas of who it may have been and it was wonderful hearing all the children’s theories. This was part of a wider opportunity to share many childhood nursery rhymes and fairy tales. We are working on rhyme and have explored trying to change the Humpty’s rhyme using our own rhyming words. It was very hard. We did finally work out who had pushed Humpty off the wall – it was Mrs Stenton! She had accidentally knocked Humpty whilst getting into the loft with the ladder. So, no crime was committed in the end! We had a great Woodland learning session, where we explored different materials. We worked in groups to wrap up Humpty in protective clothing and throw him off the wall. They all did really well – Humpty only had a very small crack!  In maths, we have been working on mastering our numbers up to ten, ordering and sequencing.  The week ended with a nursery rhyme party in the hall, with lots of games and fabulous fancy dress costumes. The Muffin Man helped us make muffins and we finished our Swedish drinks from last term.

Year 1 have had a busy week.  We have worked like Billy Bee to create our Pirate ship in the corridor outside the Year 1 classroom.  We looked at features of boats and then used our research to create our boat.  The ocean was made by focusing on a tonal pallet and using scrunching and ripping to create texture.  On Thursday we received a postcard form Captain Jill Sparrow and the children decided we needed to write letters back to ask our question; we hung them above our pirate ship in bottles to see if they would be taken.  We finished the week by dyeing our pirate flags in preparation for assembly next week; we used twisting and elastic bands to add different patterns.

W/E 10th January

The Reception children have all settled back into the class routines like they have never been away. We have spent the first three days enjoying nursery rhymes and the benefits that these simple rhymes bring to help with communication and language. We have been looking at money and using coins in our role play areas of the bakery and train station.   We experienced full winter weather during woodland learning, finding it rather hard to look for winter treasures in the wind and the rain, but we enjoyed the puddles and squelchy mud.  We have done lots of gym and ball skills to keep us fit, starting 2020 as we mean to go on!  Today we have been building a wall for Humpty Dumpty to balance our eggs on.  We have had to work like Cassie Cat, experimenting how to make our Humpty balance by attaching legs to it. Let’s hope they don’t all fall down on Monday!

Ooooh Arghhhh! Captain Jill Sparrow visited Year 1 on Wednesday after we found her wandering in the playground, lost and without her ship. The children were keen to find out more about her and had many excellent Cassie Cat questions. Captain Jill read us ‘The Night Pirates’ by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright; the children never thought that adult pirates might be scared of children! The children suggested we make a map for Captain Jill so that she could visit us again. In our French lesson Madame Austin brought the children in a New Year treat; they explored the tradition of the Galette de Rois. Lucas was the lucky one who found the king in his slice, so he got to wear the crown.

Year 2 have been on a Zog hunt out in the woods and, although we didn’t find Zog himself, we found an egg left by Zog’s mum. She left a letter to ask us to look after the egg as it contains Zog’s little sister!

W/E 13th December

The time has flown by in Year 1 this term.  The children have finished this term with great enthusiasm. It has been like Santa’s workshop in our classroom and the children are feeling very festive. We have created cards, calendars, decorations and much more! The children are all ready for a well-earned break and we are looking forward to returning in the New Year with our topic of Pirates … Arghhhh!

All our Reception Superheroes have come to the end of their first term in real Superhero style. The children spent time, designing their wrapping paper and wrapping their donated, pre-loved gifts before we became a living breathing Santa’s sleigh to take them to Mrs Sassone; she will complete our mission of donating them to children who aren’t as lucky as we all are, in Hastings. We have spent time focusing on the importance of giving.  The children have loved giving their friends cards all week and we did our shopping in the Secrets Room (thank you FOV – it was wonderful again this year!) trying to think about what our relations would like rather than buying what we liked!  We have been busy little elves, enjoying our Christmas party in true Elf Style. We have been designing and making gingerbread men, working together just like Billy Bee. All in all it has been a really busy term and the children have done so well settling in to the rigours of a Vinehall Reception Life – we couldn’t be prouder of them all. Happy Christmas!

W/E 6th December

The elf has arrived in Reception! He flies back each day with lists for Santa and reports of good behaviour. We now have a stable complete with life-sized Mary and Joseph, animals and a star on a zip wire. We are waiting for electricity! We have had lots of discussions and ideas from the children about what we should do with our pre-loved presents. They all agreed we need to wrap them, so we have designed wrapping paper and have wrapped them ready to give. We have been busy making cards and gifts for home (shhhh! It’s a secret). Now that the weather has been so cold and beautiful we decided to make pine cone bird feeders and have chosen places to hang them. The Vinehall birds will be very happy. We have started to measure Christmas crackers and elves, comparing lengths. Obviously from looking at our class trees you can tell we have had a lot of interesting ideas from the children. We have put baubles on our trees, but there was a catch. The baubles had letters on them and children had to first make a cvc word. Lots of wonderful sounding out going on. A great week!

The penultimate week of the Christmas term has been full of laughter in Year 1. The children have been exploring the different types of expression and intonation they can use in their voice when speaking. They then chose appropriate voices for their puppet characters; then they performed their shadow puppet shows to the rest of Pre-Prep and they were brilliant. We read ‘Orion and the Dark’ written by Emma Yarlett to explore fears and the children all created their own versions of the dark. The book is in Year 1 if you would like to read it! We finished the week off by exploring day and night and how the sun affects countries across the world. The children had mixed views on the idea of a hot and sunny Christmas.

In STEM club we ventured outside as the sun was setting; we focussed on risk taking and how we can support each other when someone needs our help. The children jumped off logs and rolled down hills, but the main thing they wanted to do was use the torches to find our way back to Pre-Prep. During our time in the woods, we carried on our arch building from last week. The children used natural materials to build an arch and then had to climb through; one of the groups tried to use mud as a form of mortar.

Year 2 have been concentrating on the rainforests this week, amongst other things. The children created fantastic models of the forests which you can see in the corridor display. We watched the 90 second animation ‘There’s  a Rang Tan in My Bedroom’ which the really affected the children and they wanted to take action against use of palm oil, so they have started by writing a letter to Chef Matt to ask if he will make our Vinehall kitchen palm oil-free. We will let you know what he says!

W/E 29th November

It has been all about the play this week in Pre-Prep! We have been rehearsing so hard and the hard work paid off on Wednesday when we had our dress rehearsal which we performed to Nursery and Kindergarten. All went smoothly and so we were ready for our performances for the parent and grandparents. We hope you all enjoyed it as we think our children did absolutely brilliantly!

Reception have been busy exploring the nativity story. We were surprised to realise that there weren’t actual lollipops and teddy bears in the story of Jesus. We have had lots of fun dressing up and acting out the story, using our imaginations. We have also started to think about how we can make our classrooms more festive. We have turned the shed into a stable and the role play castle into an icy home. However, most of our time has been spent getting our costumes and face paint ready for our nativity play which the children are performing to their parents. We were so proud of them on Thursday, speaking with loud voices and even singing solos when they are still only four years old!

Year 1 have had a busy and exciting week. The children have worked hard to write their adapted versions of the Three Little Pigs and turn them into shadow puppet shows. On Thursday, Mrs Bennett brought her flute and fife in and the children had a go at playing. It is still in the classroom for the children to explore.

W/E 22nd November

Another busy week for Reception, full of Superheroes. Evil Pea set us lots of challenges in maths; we had to unlock the padlocks, re-do the candles on the vegetable’s cupcakes, finish off the autumn hunt and make numbers out of Playdough. We made the most of the lovely Autumn weather and walked around the school grounds finding hundreds of brightly coloured mushrooms and toadstools. We have scrubbed some vegetables and chopped them to make delicious vegetable soup. We have been introduced to Bee-bots and programmed simple instructions to make them move. Of course we have been singing and acting in preparation for the Nativity next week.

Year 1 started the week by exploring different objects and materials to see if light could pass through them. To continue our theme of light, we explored the festival of Diwali. The children created rangoli patterns using chalk and beans; they then built their own lanterns to add to the story. In English the children have been creating scripts for the three little pigs and have begun to make their shadow puppets. In science we carried out tests on a range of materials to see if light could be shone through them; we tried to use tricky words, such as transparent, translucent and opaque.

This Tuesday Year 2 went to Temper Temper, chocolate makers in Tonbridge. We had a fantastic day making chocolate treats for our families using milk, dark and white chocolate. We also learnt lots of interesting facts about chocolate, like how cocoa beans grow and that you can get natural ruby coloured chocolate.

W/E 15th November

In Reception we started the week with Poppies and we finished the week with our Guy that we have made for Robertsbridge Bonfire Night this weekend.  We’ve had lots of fun in between with our Supertato stories. We have been setting Evil Pea elaborate traps and have thought of our own Supertato adventure to complete our books. We had to set the scenes and then we used the iPad to zoom in and out and take the picture we wanted to illustrate our book. We then had to plan what the naughty Evil Pea had got up to. He strapped aubergines to whiteboards, trapped peppers in bamboo cages and we even found a sweet potato in some jelly. Supertato to the rescue! We have also been getting crafty with Autumn leaves, using watercolours, looking closely at the beautiful colours. In Maths we are exploring the number 5 inside out; we have been eating biscuits and throwing painted beans. We have been busy practising the songs for our Nativity and are looking forward to getting our costumes next week.

Year 1 started the week by going for an Autumn walk. We explored leaf colour and types. It was such a glorious morning that it became the perfect opportunity for a bit of leaf pile jumping. We took the leaves we collected inside to look at the colour and detail. In art we have been exploring fireworks and have created multi-textured rockets; we also tried different techniques using chalk to draw a firework display. The children have continued to enjoy exploring light and dark and this week our focus was on shadows and how they change size. Odd Socks Day gave the children a fantastic opportunity to talk about what makes them different to other children and there was a great sense of community and kindness throughout Pre-Prep. On Friday we cooked sticky gingerbread bites for these cold Autumn nights and the children explored the spices and tried to determine what they were.

Year 2 have been making movies this week! They made all their own props and used iMovie to make a film of  ‘The Owl and The Pussycat’, a poem by Edward Lear. They worked in small groups and edited their films, recording the poem in different ways.

W/E 8th November

Year 1 have had a fantastic return to school this week. We started the week by learning about trolls. We read ‘Grumbug’ by Adam Stower and created our own trolls; we shared these with Adam when he came to visit us. We also explored the school grounds looking for toadstools which are in abundance at the moment. The children were amazed by the variety of different toadstools that we managed to find. We had a visit from Year 2 on Tuesday; they read their books to us that they made last term based on ‘The Crow’s Tail’; the children all enjoyed hearing Year 2’s stories and finding out how they made their books. To top off Book Week we created cupcakes and thought about what the Grumbug might like to eat based on the cakes from the book.

For Book Week Year 2 enjoyed sharing the stories they wrote last term with children in both Year 1 and Reception. They read confidently, showing the children their illustrations and explaining how they made their books. They also loved meeting the author Adam Stower and asking him questions about his book ‘King Coo’.

W/E 18th October

Who can believe we are already at the end of the first half of this busy term! It has been a jam-packed, fun-filled few weeks and the children have definitely earned their break!

This week in Reception we have enjoyed the rain. Our waterproofs were soaked, our white socks were black, our uniform was muddy and so were our faces! Luckily they have all gone home in a big squelchy bag for half term! We have spent lots of time co-operating with each other, working together like Billy Bee doing junk modelling, playing phonic games and working in the woods with some autumn art. We have been focusing on ‘one more’ in maths. We have been practising to write our names and label our Super Hero Me!

Year 1 have had a fun filled end to the first half term. The children bumped into the Nursery and Kindergarten children in the woods which was a lovely surprise! After recording our green man interviews the children explored the woods with Nursery and Kindergarten. The children have continued to develop their subtraction skills and have been using their understanding to solve number stories. The children were so excited to perform their maraca dance to the rest of Pre-Prep. They were fantastic and had a lot of fun!

Year 2 enjoyed making a fire in the woods, which was quite a feat considering all the rain we have been having! They collected twigs and then we all toasted marshmallows as an end of term treat.

W/E 11th October

This week Pre-Prep have been working like Billy Bee to empty the sand pit ready for fresh sand. The children used gloves and spades to empty the sand into the tractor which they all enjoyed. Many of the children also helped Mrs Winn and Miss Sander with gardening to create an area for trucks and mud construction.

Superworm is in Reception! We read the book and have made potions so that we can help Superworm who has been captured by the Wizard Lizard. We used smelly herbs and spiky plants from the garden to make our potion extra potent. We then all worked together like Billy Bee to make our own Reception Superworm. We made him super long and super strong. We had to work out how to join our worm segments so that he didn’t fall apart. We chose between masking tape, paper fasteners, stapler, needle and thread or rubber bands. We then had to really co-operate to get him back to class in one piece! Mrs Fulford taught us a lovely song about the Harvest and we sang to our Grandparents in the Harvest Festival. We then had a lovely session of ball skills in the sun with all the visitors watching.

Year 1 have been investigating the tale of the Green Man this week. We went down to the woods to listen to the tale and then created our own green man faces on the trees. We used mud, leaves and sticks to create the faces. The children then made ‘wanted’ posters using adjectives to find the green man. In Maths, the children investigated the number 10 and found countless ways to make 10 adding the numbers 2, 3 and 4.

This week in Year 2 we investigated solids, liquids and gases and made a chemical reaction using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to blow a balloon up. In history we read parts of the diary of Samuel Pepys and his account of the Fire of London, all written in code with a quill pen.

W/E 4th October

Year 1 have been travelling to Puerto Rico in their learning journey this week as they chose to explore maracas. This had started as a science lesson investigating noise, but the children soon took the idea and expanded it. They watched a school in Brazil do a maraca dance and asked if we could have a go. In English the children have been creating Acrostic poems in order to enter the young writer poetry competition. On Wednesday the children enjoyed No Pens Day and applied their mental maths skills using addition snakes and ladders, the magic cauldron and dominoes.

Year 2 made bread rolls this week to investigate how yeast makes bread rise. We had to work very hard to knead the bread to make the dough stretchy.  We also had a great time on Wednesday on No Pens Day. We filmed a news report about the Great Fire of London and presented it to Year 1.

In STEM club Year 2 chose to explore the planets this week, with the aim of creating 3D versions of the planets. The children had to discuss how we could make the planets to scale. After watching a video comparing the size of the planets and stars the children were truly amazed by the size of the sun.

W/E 27th September

In Reception it has been another week of work for our Superheroes! All the children have been busy finding out about the people who help us. We have had some lovely ideas about who the children consider their Superheroes to be. We went to visit our very own Super Sister Kate, who told us all about how she looks after the children who feel sick. Quite a few of us felt poorly after that so that we all could go and try the magic biscuits!! We have not let the rain get in the way of our learning – we have spent lots of time doing listening activities and following instructions. We are getting rather good at this now. We have learnt about Harriet the cow who is very tall and tried to hold our pencil correctly all week. We also managed to dig for treasure in the mud on Thursday – sorry about the dirty clothes for the weekend!

Year 1 started their week by exploring food from different countries and we found out that lots of our favourite foods are from all over the world!

The highlight of our week was bug hunting in the little woods. The children used specimen collectors to find bugs whilst keeping them safe. As it had been raining there was a plethora of bugs to find and the children all had lots of fun digging through leaf piles and turning over logs.

To finish the week we made pizza wraps as many of the children were surprised to learn that pizza originates in Italy!

Year 2 have been learning all about the plague of 1665 and we acted in roles to get some historical understanding about what it might have been like to live in London at the time. Great acting skills too!

In STEM Club Year 2 made the most of the windy weather by building kites. The children designed and built their kites using everyday materials. We researched kite shapes and styles to begin with and then the children started building. They took their kites outside and the wind lifted them with ease. Although all of the flags were slightly different shapes and sizes they were all successful apart from a few string detachments!

W/E 20th September

Reception have been enjoying the lovely sunny weather outside. We have loved Woodland Learning this week and have collected lots of natural materials for our classrooms. We have started our phonic lanyards which have caused great excitement, especially as now we can all make a word with our letters. We have been exploring numbers to 10, making towers and playing ‘Beat Me’ with the sand timer. We have generally been total Superheroes!

Year 1 have been engaged and enthusiastic this week with our activities. We worked hard to finish our Kitchen Disco stories and many of you were written into the children’s stories to join in the disco. In Maths we have been exploring number bond diagrams and counting on. In outdoor learning this week the children listened to a story about a little girl who helped the woodland creatures and created a woodland crown based on the story. To finish the week the children used herbs from our garden to infuse their home made Playdough.

We made the most of the sunshine in STEM Club, heading down to the woods. The children were challenged to make a mini den, perfectly formed with a replica fire. The children put the skills they learnt last year about den-building into practice using pyramid and prism based shapes. They used leaves to cover the roofs and the lovely autumnal colours were perfect as flames for the fire.

W/E 13th September

The first full week of Reception has been completed for all our Superheroes. We have had an action-packed week. We did our first French lesson, music, gym and ball skills and not forgetting swimming! We made hedgehogs in the woodland learning area and have looked at our names and how to write them. In number work we sang songs, counted and played lots of games concentrating on numbers to 10.

Year 1 have had a fantastic start to the year and the children have been dancing their way into our topic. We started the week exploring the school grounds: from the pond to finding the best hill down which to roll. Our Kitchen Disco has been in full swing and the children enjoyed creating fruits to be the DJs at their disco. The wonderful vegetable garden has been used lots this week and we have picked a range of vegetables to use in our cooking. We made courgette crisps with vegetable soup!

The children are always excited to come back to STEM club and the Year 2s put their enthusiasm into tower building this week. However, there is always a challenge to be had in STEM, so the children had to build a tower on which they could stand. We discussed the fact that some of the towers were hollow and some were solid and whether or not that made a difference.

W/C 6th September

Pre-Prep has been buzzing with excitement in this short first week back. We have loved hearing all the stories of your summer holidays and watching the children throw themselves enthusiastically into their new class settings. We are so pleased to welcome so many new families and are thrilled to see how well the new children are already settling in. The Michaelmas Term is such an action packed term, full of fun and with so many exciting things to get involved in, and we hope you all enjoy following our news over the coming weeks.