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Well, I think we can agree that we picked the perfect week for learning about Polar animals! As the thick ice refused to budge all week, we’ve reluctantly been stuck indoors for most of the week due to safety concerns, but the children did get chance to explore the ice and frost too! There were tuff trays set up with figures of animals that live in the Arctic and Antarctic for the children to explore. The children generally had a great time engaging with the ice and seeing how it had frozen in different shapes. Some children took up the challenge of building ice towers and counting how high they could build them, while others set up water in different places to see how it froze (or didn’t freeze) overnight.
The children loved looking at the images from the polar regions, especially photos that had been shared of Jaxson’s own trip to Lapland, Finland in the Arctic north. Jaxson was able to give us first hand reports of the extreme temperatures and very short daylight hours of the Arctic in winter time, which the children found fascinating. We also got to see some of the animals that live in the Arctic as Jaxson had rides with reindeer and sled-dogs.
We shared information on some other animals that live in the Polar regions and thought about what attributes we may share. Many children agreed that they were as adaptable as an Arctic Fox and as attentive as a Polar Bear mother. On Monday, all the children took on another drawing challenge as they followed along with a tutorial to draw a very lovable Penguin. Also this week, many children chose to create a wintery Polar Bear picture inspired by one of our stories this week, Michael Morpurgo’s The Rainbow Bear.
Another popular Polar-themed activity was our mysterious Ice Tunnel which has materialised in the middle of the classroom over the weekend. To gain entry to the tunnel, the children were encouraged to write a sentence asking permission. If successful, the children would be given the torch and a nice woolly hat to keep warm, and in they went to explore the mysteries within. Once safely out the other side, the children were then challenged to speak or write about what animals they had seen inside.
Our Phonics sessions this week have introduced the phonemes, ‘x’ ‘y’ and ‘z/zz’. The children have been working so hard at practising these sounds in reading and writing tasks and we’ve been so impressed by the work produced. Everyone particularly enjoyed the activity using the grapheme ‘y’, where they were challenged to try five different foods and decided if they were ‘yuck’ or ‘yum’!
In Maths this week, we’ve focused on the numbers 6, 7 and 8. The children have explored these numbers in depth, looking at different ways to compose and decompose them into their constituent parts and how to carefully count using a range of strategies.
On Tuesday this week, the children enjoyed their regular Art, DT and Music sessions with Mrs Ledda, Mr Joy and Mrs Durrant. Some fabulous baking went on with Mr Joy as part of the Cooking and Nutrition strand of DT and a grand batch of biscuits were delivered for the children to enjoy at the end of the day!
Wednesday brought our regular Reading Buddies time, with the children of Class 9 mixing with Reception to tell stories, share books and talk about reading together. It has been lovely to see the interactions between Reception and the older children, and we know that Class 9 look forward now to their weekly dose of our little darlings.
Our Cookridge Pet of the week this week was the guinea pigs, so we had a visit in class from our very own Percy and Marshmallow. Prior to the guinea pigs arriving, we had watched an information video all about these popular pets so the children have learned some fascinating facts (but probably only remember that they sometimes eat their own poop!). The children were then given time to observe and pet Percy and Marshmallow in our classroom – and very sensible they all were too!
Here’s hoping the temperatures increase next week, but regardless the children will able to bask in the warmth of Tropical World’s balmy habitats as we are visiting on Tuesday to get a closer look at the animals. If you are yet to give permission for this trip, please see the form on the school website and complete it before Tuesday 23rd January. Thank you to all those that made a contribution to transportation costs (brilliantly, Tropical World offer free visits for school groups!).
Have a great weekend!
The Reception Team