It was another busy term, not least because of our Ofsted Inspection. Our inspector arrived unannounced on 25th January, which happened to be during the coldest week of the year! She was suitably impressed (particularly by the children) and has classified us a “Good School”. Click here to download a copy of the report (PDF 875kb).
We started the term by looking at the very popular story “The Tiger who came to tea” and the children had fun acting out the story while also learning how to lay the table! We read about tigers being an endangered species and how it is illegal to kill them for their meat or skins. Ben, whose parents have been to the “Carnivore” a restaurant in Nairobi, asked whether tiger meat is stripy!
The children brought in many African articles including animals and instruments for our display and we read a lovely book called “Rain” by Manya Stojic, which is set in Africa. This provoked a great deal of discussion about rain; how it sounds, looks, smells, tastes and feels. We went outside and measured puddles (any excuse for a paddle!) and made a rain gauge so that we could record the rainfall. We looked at the effect water has on different substances such as sand, flour, corn flour and special sculpting sand. We conducted an experiment to see whether cress would grow with and without water and we were all fascinated by a “Resurrection plant” which miraculously came back to life (it had looked very dead!) when we gave it a little water.
It was not long before the children began to ask what makes rain. So one morning Maggie and I decided to give a visual explanation with the help of some blue cloth, (the sea) netting (water vapour) and a tennis ball (sun). The children were quick to grasp the idea of water vapour rising, forming clouds made up of water droplets and finally falling as rain. We boiled a kettle and demonstrated how water droplets form when steam (water vapour) becomes cold (we held an ice tray above the steam).
The children have greatly enjoyed making rainsticks taking great care to fill their own with rice, lentils or other dried pulses until they sounded just like rain. We borrowed some large African drums and played these with some of our own instruments to some African style music.
During March, we celebrated World Book Day by reading and acting out the story of the Gingerbread Man. We made gingerbread man biscuits to take home with a World Book Day Voucher. We collected coins for Red Nose Day and are grateful to Sasha who donated a huge jarful of coppers. It took Maggie a long, long time to count them all! We are also very grateful to Jane for gathering and preparing baskets full of flowers and foliage so that each child could make a special posy to give to their mother on Mothering Sunday. It was an immensely popular activity with girls and boys alike and the effect each child achieved was beautiful.
Our Easter cards were fun to make, although Archie decided against putting a chick inside his card because it would “get squashed”! The Easter Bunny came and we had a happy Easter egg hunt in the garden, which is looking beautiful with our pansies and daffodils in full bloom.
The summer term is going to be busy and exciting with the introduction of a Mother and Toddler session on Wednesday afternoons and an Open Evening session for new and current parents on Thursday 24th May. We shall also be holding our annual picnic and games for the children in June. Early on in the term, we are hoping to go out for a walk in some nearby bluebell woods. The bluebell season does seem to be rather early this year, so we shall have to be quick!