Reception have had a wonderful time at the Wildlife Oasis in Milnthorpe today. We enjoyed learning about some less well-known creatures and their habitats. The first workshop was about conservation and fitted in nicely with our topic about Sir David Attenborough. We learnt about the habitats of stick insects, millipedes and the fascinating leaf insect! All these animals originate from the Amazon Rainforest and we thought about why they were suited to this habitat. A tower of Jenga blocks all being removed at the same time was a great visual representation of what might happen to these animals when the trees in the rainforest are cut down. A second game of Jenga, which involved replacing blocks as well as removing them, showed us how planting a tree for each one that is cut down can help sustainability. We also learnt about everyday products which come from the rainforest and were very surprised at some of them! We then enjoyed getting up close to a blue tongued skink, leaf cutter ants, meerkats and lemurs to name just a few!
Since our residential trip to Patterdale, we have revisited the experience in our geography lessons. While at Patterdale Hall we created a field sketch of the local area to explore the geographical features we could see. We’ve also looked at the area on an OS map, linking the places we have been to regions on the map, and identifying the key features that can be seen in real life and on the paper. Contour lines have also been an area of study, thinking about how these 2d lines show us the shape of the landscape.
All of our work has been presented on a large poster – take a look at some of the brilliant examples below!
At Levens, we have been celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight. Through our key-stage assemblies in recent weeks, we have been learning about the Fairtrade Foundation and what it means for a product to be “Fairtrade”. We’ve found out about the conditions that workers around the world sometime have to endure to produce some of the products we take for granted, including bananas, chocolate and even footballs! However, when we buy a product that has the Fairtrade symbol on it, we know that the producer of that product has been paid fairly for the work they have done.
We also learned about the Fairtrade Premium, which is an extra pot of money which Fairtrade producers can access and spend in their communities on a variety of improvements. In class, we role-played this and put ourselves in the shoes of the Ghanaian cocoa farming community. Different groups had different ‘roles’ within the community and had to decide what to spend the money on.
We found that it was fairly easy to agree how to spend the money in a small group of people with the same job, but incredibly hard to decide when different people had different wants and needs! After debating for a long while we made our decision by democratic vote.
In grey – the decisions we made in a group of people with the same role. In orange – what we changed our mind on when debating with the class!
For our homework, we had a range of activities to choose from, all based on Fair Trade. Some of us have created comics, some posters, some art, but my favourite of all has been the three separate Fairtrade chocolate based recipes which the class has been lucky enough to enjoy! Well done to everyone who has got themselves into the spirit of Fair Trade, and a huge thanks to Pam Martin for all of her help in championing Fair Trade in our school.
What does Geography and History look like in Nursery and Reception? The Early Years Foundation Stage has seven areas of learning, rather than the individual subjects used within the National Curriculum. Communication and Language as well as Personal, Social and Emotional Development underpin all our learning in Class 1, but the key areas of learning related to geography and history are through the area, ‘Understanding the World’.
Throughout the autumn and spring terms, class 1 are busy (as usual) finding out about our world in a range of different contexts both in and outside the classroom. This has included: observing changes and recording data on weather in our work about the seasons of autumn and winter; learning about how animals like hedgehogs and birds adapt to the changing seasons; developing an understanding of significant national events such as Remembrance Day; retelling and sequencing events from different stories.
We enjoy adapting our curriculum in early years to follow the interests of the children too. Our in-depth study on migration began with one pupil’s bird box that had made at home to put in our outdoor area. This inspired further learning around why some birds migrate; what dangers they encounter; and even a trip to Leighton Moss where we spotted some examples of migrating birds.
Choosing where to locate our bird box in our outdoor area was another opportunity for some learning. We discovered that it is best to position our bird box so that it faces North. Deciding on the best location for our bird box involved lots of discussion, problem solving and team work. We also learnt about how to use a compass to find North too! If you want to know anything about migration and how to look after birds in winter time – there are many experts who will be happy to help in Class 1!
EYFS are coming to the end of their super space topic for this half term. We started with the famous story “Whatever Next!” and enjoyed role-playing a journey to space and having a picnic on the moon. Learning about some of the planets was top of Reception’s ‘What I want to learn’ list and after finding out some interesting facts, they then designed their own using a ‘wash’ effect with felt tips and paintbrushes dipped in water. We thought carefully about the colour of our planets and what they were made from – gas, rock or ice. Constellations were also a big hit; we found out that some constellations can only be seen in certain parts of the world and then recreated some famous ones on black card using chalk. We spent two weeks in total creating our own model of the solar system using papier mache and adding details to each planet; lots of sticky fun! We learnt about gravity and watched videos of astronauts on board the International Space Station, finding out that the further away from earth you get, the less gravity there is. We have enjoyed lots of child-led opportunities in provision including puffy moon painting, making craters in moon dough, designing aliens on the light panel and baking cake pops. We definitely have some budding astronauts in the making!
To understand about how mountains are made, how volcanoes erupt or what earthquakes are, we first need to know that the earth has different layers inside. We have been having great fun creating playdough earth models! The middle layer of red is the core, the orange is the mantle and the brown the crust. Land and sea have been added too. We know that the mantle and outer core are made from rock that is so hot that it is liquid and so it really would be impossible to dig a very deep hole and pop out on the other side of the world! We decided to slice our earths in half instead to reveal the hidden layers. Here we are making our playdough worlds…
Flights to another country may be all but a distant memory right now, but Scafell are getting stuck into their new geography topic on Europe with great gusto. For our first homework, we’ve been collecting photographs and mementos from around Europe. We’ve now placed all of these on a world map so that we can see where the different countries are in relation to each other. Take a look at our map below – from Scotland to Slovenia, London to Lanzarote, you can see great examples of both physical and human geographical features.
Thanks to everyone who bought in something for the display. Most original items have been photocopied to keep them safe, so they will be returned soon!