New Year, New Learning

What a fantastic month we have had, January days might be short but we packed so much in to them.

Early in the month we took delivery of the shipment of new materials we bought using the wonderful donations we received from our fundraising event at the end of last year. Our students really love their Montessori materials and it is fantastic that with the generous support of our parents we can continue to revitalise the stock of hands on learning opportunities we have to hand. These new materials can extend learning in an area giving the child further opportunity to develop a skill or ability or inspire a child to question, discover and internalise their learning more than they would from work sheets or books alone.

This time we got some really remarkable pieces, including a delightful continent box, to help the children discover the animals and continents of the world and the truly spectacular Timeline of Evolution which charts the stages and milestones in the evolution of life on the planet. This piece of material has in itself sparked so much debate, research, reading, experiments and conversations in the senior class.

Senior Class - examining angles

The materials in a Montessori environment are the true “instructor” of the students, and this is very evident in the Timeline of Evolution. Watching the children pour over it, finding facts and heading off to the PCs, iPads and well-stocked library to investigate further was wonderful. Hearing them come up with ideas about why some stage of evolution happened before the next, where certain traits or animals or events occurred is really remarkable. It is this self-directed learning that embeds itself in the work ethic of the children as they mature as learners. The confidence it gives them as learners capable of taking charge of their own interests and questions, this is the real and long lasting effect of Montessori education for our children.

Community in action - Snack Cafe, decisions decisions.

Of course having children who are simply self-motivated to learn is not the only outcome of the Montessori method. Children are very social and take so much from their environment and interactions. We want to ensure the children are compassionate and considerate of those around them. Children who grow into thoughtful and community minded individuals. With this in mid we love to see our Snack café develop as a central part of the afternoons activities. Practicing social graces, manners, helpfulness, conversation and listening skills. It is inspiring for us as adults in the environment to see the children naturally displaying all of the above and more. The older children relish their role, taking care of the needs of the younger children and the younger children model their behaviours on the example of their elders. Healthy eating is another cornerstone of Hedley Park and from the general policies on lunches and snacks to all the food we provide, allowing and encouraging children to widen their horizons and introduce their palates to new tastes and textures helping them to become the dietary norm for children is paramount to us.

Nursery Class - independent working

So what have we been doing in class? As usual we start with the youngest group of learners in the school, the Nursery class. What a vibrant and loving group they are, constantly moving, hugging, chatting, laughing these young students pack a lot into their day. This month they have really been enjoying their Mandarin class, of course the 2-4 age group are in the midst of their natural sensitive period for language. They absorb new words, sounds, intonations and tones faster at this period than at any other time in their life. We don’t want to waste this wonderful natural drive so we ensure the Nursery class is a treasure trove of languages. From French songs, to Irish poems, stories and rhymes in English and their wonderful Mandarin class the Nursery children soak it all up.

The Nursery children are also in their sensitive period for movement, as any parent will tell you, they never stop going!

Nursery Class - busy returning work to the shelves

This sensitive period is not just about the need for movement but the refinement of movement. Strengthening muscles both gross and fine. From the big movements of carrying a chair or the largest block of the broad stairs, to the finest movements involved in holding a pencil or using a scissors the children are constantly making the neurological pathways that will be required for the rest of their lives. The Montessori environment is rich in occasions for movement, in fact we don’t just allow movement but expect and encourage it. Children move around the room selecting, setting up, doing and returning their work, they can walk around the classroom observing others, go to the library, to the home corner, to the shelves, freedom of movement is observed in all aspects of the day and it satisfies this deep unconscious need for the child to refine their movements in order to control their bodies.

If the Nursery class is a hive of activity then the Junior class is a bustling and vibrant pod of dedicated learners. Movement isn’t just the domain of the younger students. Our junior class students are very active, from Tuesday ballet to Friday Sport, daily activities in the park (weather permitting) we love to get active.

Prep School - Sports

Sport is a weekly highlight; the youngest in our class stay with Sinead in school and enjoy music and rhythm exercises every Friday morning. The older students in the class along with the senior class pupils get their kit bags and head off with George (our bus driver), Ashley, Aoife and Katie to a local sport centre. Here in their spacious setting we can really move our bodies. Lots of individual and team games, gymnastics, muscle control and coordination exercises are enjoyed by all.

Junior Class - Asia writing samples

In the junior class this month we have been on an Asian adventure. We explored the continent of Asia and used it as the inspiration for all our projects, from writing samples, to art, geography to culture we have been on an odyssey of learning. It is a timely study as we are preparing for another great Hedley Park tradition, our Chinese New Year celebration and feast! 2015 is the year of the Goat, and we will make sure it is “Ram” packed with learning and fun!

The junior class aren’t the only ones to prepare for the year of the Goat. The senior class are past masters at calligraphy by now having enjoyed many many lessons in Mandarin, Chinese Culture and Calligraphy, we even have our own wolf hair brushes and inkstones. The senior students have been preparing a team project on the Chinese new Year and are looking forward to sowing off their hard work on the big day.

Senior Class - Chinese Calligraphy

Another project the senior students got “stuck into” this month, was inspired by the Evolution Timeline it was a study on the development of the backbone in animals. We began this study with a dissection of the fish. As younger students we all worked with the parts of the fish puzzle and its control sheet.

Senior Class - labelling the parts of the fish

We have often used the labels on the puzzle pieces so we are all familiar with the terminology, but a real fish is a wonderful extension of this. It was fascinating to label all the parts and then begin the search for a physical example of the backbone itself. Talk about enthralled by the topic, the students were captivated and very eager to lend a hand… or four to the proceedings. It was heartening for us a teachers to see the flame of knowledge burn bright in our students, a flame that is never far from this particular group but magical when it blazes en-masse.

So with that we will leave you, and will be back soon to update you on all our special projects, Chinese New Year and of course Valentines Day. My how fast the months pass when you are as busy and happy as we all are!

Please enjoy the photo gallery of our months work.

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Spring Catchup: Open Day, Art Exhibition & Hatchlings.

Senior Class: Flat Stanley Display

Senior Class: Flat Stanley Display

Spring term has flown by and we are almost into the Summer term! What an exciting and action packed time we’ve had. New arrivals, Lifecycles, Open Day, Art Exhibition, Lego Trip, so much learning, fun and friendship.

Enjoying the fluffy new arrival

Enjoying the fluffy new arrival

 

Where to begin? We left you last with the news that we had received some eggs and a hatchery. We can tell you that we witnessed two chicks emerge from their shells and they were proudly named Niall and Zayn (there really was only “One Direction” we could go after that) it was fantastic to witness the chicks’ hatch and observe them get stronger day by day. They seemed to enjoy their custom made home in our classroom. Once they were big enough they went back to join their flock but we really delighted in having them in the class with us and we all learned so much from their time with us.

 

Daisy's egg hatched

Daisy’s egg hatched

 

Another new arrival was from our school mascot Daisy Duck who found a little companion Diddle, hatched from an egg filled with little chocolate treats! What a lovely surprise for us all.

Senior Class: The Art of the Brick trip

Senior Class: The Art of the Brick trip

The senior class had a wonderful trip to the Art of the Brick in the Ambassador. We love Lego, it is one of our favourite free play toys, it has so much to offer from design and imagination to cooperative play and cognitive skills Lego is one of the primary “go to” play resources. The exhibition featured many 3D models made from Lego and amazing artwork reproduced with the iconic plastic bricks. It gave us lots of inspiration to do something really amazing with our Lego bricks back at school.

Speaking of art we were getting pretty creative ourselves. Working hard all month on canvas, each child had created a work of art of their own. Subjects, colour scheme, and media all chosen by the individual child we worked on our beautiful creations with the aim of an exhibition for our parent and family community to enjoy.

Welcoming our guests to the Art Exhibition

Welcoming our guests to the Art Exhibition

On the 16th April we were ready to receive our guests, with the senior class putting their years of grace and courtesy lessons to good use and took it upon themselves to act as silver service hosts of the event.  Bedecked accordingly they circulated amongst the parents and friends offering canapés and drinks, ensuring a good time was had by all. The exhibition itself was a sell out and we raised €1300 for new equipment to further assist in our learning.

 

 

 

Flat Stanley goes viral!

Flat Stanley goes viral!

On the topic of interactions with the wider community, the senior class also embarked on one of our favourite projects, Flat Stanley! We have such a wonderful culturally diverse senior class it seemed to be the perfect way for everyone to share a little more of their background and family connections worldwide by sending Flat Stanley on his travels to report back to us all. This year we had the happy coincidence of benefitting from some of our schoolmates that have left us to continue their studies in other countries and still keep in touch with their Hedley Park friends.

Flat Stanley, never one to be left behind the times also took some virtual travels as suggested by one of out teachers Aoife, and went on an internet tour of our wonderful Facebook followers. He was shared 30 times and visited New Zealand, Jordan, various cities in the USA & Canada, had a mini tour of the UK & Ireland, before heading to Germany & the Netherlands.

 

Of course that wasn’t the only project on display at our Open Day, each year we think we’ve seen the most amazing projects and work from the children, who really relish creating wonderful and unique pieces to highlight their learning over the past month, but this Open Day the students surpassed all plans and came up with some really wonderful projects and pieces to show to the Hedley community.

Reception Class: Practical Life Shelves

Reception Class: Practical Life Shelves

 

Starting with the youngest in our Reception class, it is here that the work is at its most concrete, the children love to work with the practical life an sensorial pieces, their shelves filled with wonderful activities to inspire and motivate them to work on elementary movements vital to later learning and expression. The polishing and folding work area has been expanded, young children love to be more involved in their own care, cleaning, folding, tidying and keeping things in their environment in order helps children to find their place and value in the group, whether at home or in school.

Reception Class: Polishing & Folding work.

Reception Class: Polishing & Folding work.

The skills learned in practical life activities assist the child to refine their movements and logic enabling them to successfully complete tasks around the home and class, thereby increasing the child’s self esteem and concentration.  Role Play, another popular area in the classroom, is a fantastic tool for expression, the listening skills, the verbal reasoning, imagination and turn taking are all vital elements in building social skills and verbal capacity needed to make successful relationships.

Reception Class: South America Continent Display

Reception Class: South America Continent Display

Our youngest learners also took on a study of the continent of South America, using their natural interest in chocolate (who doesn’t like chocolate) as a key to their learning, they found out about the continent and its people. Using pictures as discussion starters and stories of the animals, foods and people in the continent the children get a sense of the region that they will build on year upon year as they continue to study each continent in more detail as their interests change and grow.

Identity and belonging are natural cornerstones of the Montessori approach, each child innately discovering their natural abilities and finding their space as equals in the group. A wonderful activity for the children was on display, “Guess Who?” the children brought in a photo of themselves as new babies which they could discuss and figure out which picture matched which child. It gives the children an opportunity to discuss their families and histories with each other, bringing mementoes of their family into the school setting makes the daily transitions from home to school natural.

 

Reception Class: Guess Who Display

Reception Class: Guess Who Display

The Junior class had their own transition project, “My week with Bunny” saw the children spend a week with the class mascot, recording the process with photos and writing on their display posters. The children could then present the bunny posters to their classmates, sharing the story of their week and what happens in their family time through the activities of bunny’s visit.

 

Junior Class: Bringing Bunny Home Display

Junior Class: Bringing Bunny Home Display

The students in the junior class are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to using the amazing

Junior Class: We Love Our Work

Junior Class: We Love Our Work

selection of Montessori materials they have at their disposal. They get immense pleasure from the concrete learning that comes from working with the materials. Practical life, sensorial, maths and language are all used daily, alongside the culture subjects of history and geography. The learning that comes from the materials can often be hard to explain to those who are not in the class to witness the concentration and skills building daily as there is no “product” at the end of the session, so our teachers Aoife & Sinead decided to record the junior class love of Montessori materials in a photo collage.

 

Junior Class: Butterfly Habitat

Junior Class: Butterfly Habitat

Our most exciting project has been our Butterfly lifecycle, it has been fascinating to watch the evolution from larvae to caterpillars, cocoons to butterfly. We have been so drawn to the mini beast area, so it has been an amazing experience to see the changes daily, as the caterpillars grow bigger, climbing to the top of the jar to begin their metamorphosis from cocoon to butterfly. A project, which combines science and history, observation and prediction, recording and wonder. We really have been so inspired.

 

Senior Class: Ecosystem Display

Senior Class: Ecosystem Display

Not to be outdone the Seniors had a remarkable line up of learning achievements and outcomes on display. We discussed our Flat Stanley project earlier, but another major project combining some of what Montessori referred to as the Great Lessons. The importance of the Sun, and from it a study of the water cycle and the growth of plants and the delicate balances at work in our own ecosystem. This was an action research project, the learners in the senior class were inspired to reproduce a model of our ecosystem they discovered on their research. Using recycled lemonade bottles they built a perfect working example of how a natural ecosystem can be self-maintaining. Anyone visiting on the day was treated to a wonderful guided tour of the ecosystem and its operation. Thankfully we captured a later presentation of the same information to the children in the junior class. Enjoy!

 With so much done we will leave you now, but as the summer term beckons we know we will have much to report, tennis, sports days and school trips are all on the cards this term. Where will we get the energy!

 

Here is our slideshow of images.

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Royalty, Arrivals, Saints & Chess-players!

What a time we’ve had!

At the end of January we celebrated Chinese New Year. We welcomed the year of the horse with great ceremony and fun!

Our Chinese Feast

Our Chinese Feast

A royal court was held with an Emperor and Empress in attendance, there was an entry procession and then the feasting began. We have been learning lots about Chinese history and culture in our weekly Mandarin lessons with Evan so we all knew the correct way to greet our royal visitors.

We tucked into a great menu of delights and everyone tried something new and tasty. Community meals are a great time for children to model good food choices and correct table manners to their peers. We are always delighted to see our children striving to try new foods and share the pleasant experience with their school.

Baby Max

Baby Max

Soon after our celebrations came a sad day when we said “good luck” to our lovely teacher Katie, as she spent her last day with us for a while. We are pleased to report she has since given birth to the gorgeous Maximilian. We are delighted to welcome Claudio and Katie’s beautiful son to the Hedley family!

So lets talk about the work we’ve been doing!

Our Solar System Planetarium!

Our Solar System Planetarium!

The senior class have been super busy! They finished off their planetarium in the skylight of their classroom, it was a wonderful art and science feat and was enjoyed by all. Getting sticky and messy with art is always a hit no matter how old you are!

Our projects were on display this month too, we all had a chance to make a presentation (which was videoed on the ipads, and which we are making available for parents) The public speaking experience is very important in this age group, teaching others in the community what we have learned, increases self esteem and confidence in our own ability as learners. Positive feedback and support from the learning community makes learning an exciting experience, these affirmative seeds planted within our students stay with them through their learning lifetime.

Chess Club!

Chess Club!

Using our Interactive White Board.

Using our Interactive White Board.

Lots of new experiences came our way in the senior class, we began our Chess Club, led by our chess master we have all been learning the pieces and plays and soon we will be champions ourselves. Chess is a fantastic training for strategic thinking and logical decision making skills which will stand us good stead. Also its great fun and everyone is enjoying pushing themselves to learn more and practice at break times.

Another addition to the classroom has been our interactive whiteboard and new class pc. It’s lots of fun, and we are adding elements of it to much of our independent study. From the touchscreen writing, hands on fraction manipulatives to complement our Montessori materials, to the fascination of Google maps and street view. We have wandered the boulevards of Paris and the Pyramids of Giza.

Tir na NOg

Tir na NOg

In the Junior class the children have been working hard on their mythology, history and folklore of Ireland. Tir na Nog being our anchor tale for the season that is in it. Folklore and Fairytale are a super way for our young learners to learn sequencing and memory skills. Hearing stories and repeating the sequence is an excellent early history and math skill. Of course we have also been getting stuck into group and individual art on the story and we think you will agree they are fantastic to look at.

Spring has most certainly sprung in the Junior class with our talk of snowdrops, buttercups, spring lambs, cuckoos, and frogs! It’s a riot of spring colours. Personally I love the personal art interpretations of a buttercup and using wonderful art techniques individual to each child.

In the Nursery class we have been getting ready for St Patrick’s Day by making leprechauns and talking about what to see in the parade. We often try out our own parading skills at break time and you can be sure everyone joins in!

Little Leprechauns in a row!

Little Leprechauns in a row!

Our story board featured the Dinosaur who lost his roar. We love books and stories in the nursery class which is good as Lisa

Story Board: The dinosaur who lost his roar

Story Board: The dinosaur who lost his roar

and Magna love books too and we get so many fantastic stories in the class. We have read lots in our exploration of the polar regions, and our vocabulary is really expanding with all the new words and phrases we hear. Exposure to a wide vocabulary is of utmost importance at this stage and our teachers are so aware of this. Stories, poems, songs and new words introduced daily really concrete our natural inclination towards acquiring new language skills.

World Book Day - Willy Wonka

World Book Day – Willy Wonka

Of course the love of books and stories only grows in Hedley Park, which is why we loved our celebrations for World Book Day. We had a whimsical day as everyone came dressed as his or her favourite character from a story or book they had read. We had a great book sale on the day too, so we could find a new character to inspire and delight us further. Book day is a wonderful family experience as all our parents come in that morning and we have some uninterrupted enjoyment of all the lovely books on display.

St Patrick’s Day also brought another fun family occasion as we went on out walk led by

St Patrick!

St Patrick!

our own St Patrick in Merrion Square, this year we were hunting our old friend Larry the Leprechaun who had been up to his old tricks and leaving a big green mess all over the school. (You can see for yourself in the slideshow below) We went to find him and send him on his way home, but only after he paid for the mess he made in yummy gold chocolate coins!

So you can see that we have been very busy indeed, thankfully we also had our midterm break in there too, so we have had some rest. But one of the most exciting events is still to come, it has been rumoured that we may be getting a hatchery in the Senior classroom. Our very own Hedley Chicks!  The Senior class have been busy learning about the life cycle and care of chicks so that they can be prepared for our new arrivals. We can not wait to tell you all about them next time!

Thanks for reading and be sure to share our new with friends and family.

Lots of love, the students and staff of Hedley Park.

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Adventures in Space and lots more besides!

We certainly took the new year to new heights!

2014 got off to a great start this January in Hedley Park, we went to the other side of the world, explored deepest space, went back to the land of the dinosaurs, and took a trip to meet the best young science minds in Ireland.

The Nursery class visited Australia

The Nursery class visited Australia

Starting in the nursery class we took on the wild and wonderful continent of Australia. The colour coded continents are so helpful for the children to associate the images, artefacts, plants and animals to that continent.  We enjoyed making our own koalas, and kangaroos, and painting our Australia. We also sang songs and examined all the wonderful artefacts Lisa and Magna brought in,

Another great trip the nursery class took was to the land before time. We love dinosaurs, they are our

Hands up! We love dinosaurs.

Hands up! We love dinosaurs.

super cool top thing to play with. So we created a fantastic display complete with volcano, with lava hands and dinosaur group.  Taking our interest in dinosaurs further our teachers helped us to recognise that dinosaur begins with the sound d. In Montessori classrooms we teach the children the sounds each letter makes rather than its name, this helps the child later on to begin to build words by working out each sound.

We are growing so fast in the nursery our teachers wanted to celebrate that fact, each day we change and learn new things. It’s great to see our friends each day and find all the wonderful things to do in our class.

Blossoming in the Nursery Class.

Blossoming in the Nursery Class.

Thankfully at the end of the day there is always a story to help us wind down.

Nursery class Story Board

Nursery class Story Board

Helping children to love reading is a real passion in Hedley and we have so many wonderful books and opportunities to enjoy a story on our own, in a small group or all together. One of our favourite stories recently was Town Mouse and Country Mouse.

In the Junior class we also went on a trip to the continent of Australia. We really enjoyed looking at all the photos of Australia at this time of year. Imagine they have their christmas dinner on the beach, and right now they are preparing to go back to school after their summer holidays. That just blew us away.

Australia board in the Junior Class

Australia board in the Junior Class

We have been so lucky to get a lovely new teacher, we were very happy to welcome Sinead to the school. She is helping us while our lovely Katie is away on maternity leave. We cant wait to meet your baby Katie but relax knowing that we are in good hands with Sinead and of course Aoife 🙂

The foundations of good handwriting which begin by tracing the sandpaper sounds in the

K for Koala

K for Koala

nursery class are perfected in the junior class. We enjoy practicing our sound writing and we are very proud of our K’s and P’s , Kangaroos, Koalas and Platypus were our inspiration. The final stop on our tour of Australia was a study of silhouette and horizon. We think you’ll agree they are magical.

Last but not least our Senior class  went on quite the tour, starting with a trip to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition on the 9th of January. We love the young scientist, its such an inspiration to meet all the older children and their projects alongside professional scientists all of whom had amazing things to show us.

This is how we roll!

This is how we roll!

Circular tessellation.

Circular tessellation.

This inspired us to take on some experiments of our own, from physics to geometry. We hypothesised, predicted, observed and recorded many different ideas. Lots of work on materials and shapes help us discover how the world works, and what the properties of each matter are.

Working on our literacy and creativity we enjoyed writing about “If I lived in a Snowglobe”.  This fun imaginative exercise really got us thinking and you can see the results were captivating. Some of them are displayed for you to admire.

Of course if you are a parent or relative of someone in the senior class you will have heard all about our adventures in space. We have spent wonderful times comparing and contrasting planet properties, sizes, shapes, temperatures. How light travels through space, in particular how the light of our sun creates night and day on earth.

I’m sure you’ll agree we’ve been busy and the month isn’t even over yet! This week we are celebrating The Year of the Horse. We will have a traditional Chinese feast on Thursday after our last Mandarin class of the year of the snake. We will even have royalty visiting, with a special appearance of an Emperor and Empress. Come back soon to see how much fun we had.

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Gong Hei Fat Choi and Thank you!

Land of the Midnight Sun

Land of the Midnight Sun

It’s February already! Where does the time go? Well we can tell you the first half of the term may have passed in a flash but we squeezed so much work and fun into the first 6 weeks of the year.

More new materials

More new materials

Where to begin! Firstly we’d really like to thank everyone who came to our coffee morning last term, the funds you generously raised contributed to the purchase of our new materials.

Replacements for materials that have been loved so much we needed to get new ones and many advanced and new materials to extend our learning.

Even more new materials

Even more new materials

Some of our new materials

Some of our new materials

Everyone is so excited about the new work., students and teachers alike. It’s wonderful to hear the children exclaim, “I cant wait to start my work” or “I love this school so much” as they do every morning. Over hearing one young student tell his classmate “I’ve told my mother a million times I love Hedley Park” as he counts to a million with the new maths materials is so heart-warming. We are so lucky to have the wonderful students, parents and staff to make up the place that is Hedley Park.

Looking back at the work we have done in the last month, it is almost overwhelming when you see it all together. Over the course of the month the children work at new group projects and that work is displayed in their classrooms, this is only the tip of the iceberg. They also work on individual pieces in their own books and much shelf work, which does not create “display” but leaves the student with a lasting love of independent learning and self-discovery.

Parts of the river display

Parts of the river display

Our senior class have been working on not one but two group projects this month. The first was on the topic of rivers; they created a wonderful 3D wall display on the parts of the river and are creating individual booklets on other land and water formations.

Pin pushing our landforms

Pin pushing our landforms

 

Carefully pin poking each land and water form out, illustrating, labelling and gluing into their booklets. Exploration with the land and water form materials really serve to concrete this in the minds of our students.

 

The careful use of these materials brings a wonderful moment of zen amidst the buzz and hubbub of an active classroom.

A moment of zen

A moment of zen

The second group project was in preparation for our favourite annual event , Chinese New Year. Everyone chose an aspect of Chinese history, which they researched and summarised in their best penmanship.

Our Display.

Our Display.

Creativity to the fore each student made his or her own Terracotta Warrior and Lai See for good luck! They even got to use authentic wolf hair brushes to decorate their Lai See with calligraphy during Mandarin class with Evan.

Our Lai See

Our Lai See

I love how each year the celebrations and project work reflects the individual interests of the children in the class, this year a wonderful Lego Great Wall was built! It being the year of the snake we had representations of the serpent in cake and in majestic art form.

Year of the Snake Cake

Year of the Snake Cake

Of course on the final school day before the celebrations we all gathered for a Chinese banquet as guests of the senior class. It was lovely to share food and wish each other Gong Hei Fat Choi!

Chinese Buffet - Eating together

Chinese Buffet – Eating together

The senior class also presented their individual animal projects to the junior class. Each student chose an animal that interested them and researched using ipad apps, the internet and the many many books available in the school library. Interesting facts are written out in their best handwriting and photos printed and compiled to create a beautiful display.

Our Animal Projects

Our Animal Projects

Each student then presents to their peers and the junior class and answers questions after the presentation. The confidence gained by the students in such presentations is undeniable, and for those who are seniors in the class you can see the benefit of such presentations in their research and public speaking abilities. Essential experience for self-study and self-reliance as they approach secondary school.

Working with grammar symbols

Working with grammar symbols

Language arts are a very popular study subject at the moment in the Senior class and among the new materials the grammar symbols are being put through their paces in an almost never-ending cycle. From student to student the learning is being inspired and promoted, it is enchanting to see them work on something and then teach their classmates their findings. It really is peer learning at its best.

Geographical study is also au current at the moment with jigsaw maps and flags being pored over in great detail. Whether alone or in company the thirst for more information is being quenched in the senior class.

Working with the whole world

Working with the whole world

The junior class have also been hard at work with their group projects. January has seen them working on dairy foods and the cow, a project that incorporated, language, numeracy, science, culture and lots of fun. They studied the phonogram “ow” with the word cow, they identified and categorised food products in dairy and non dairy, they studied the parts of the cow and created handwriting samples on many delicious dairy products.

Parts of the cow

Parts of the cow

They also studied “the land of the midnight sun” in their geographic and cultural exploration of the arctic. A fantastic “frieze” of the vocabulary and iconry of the frozen continent, hung over their large map and individual continent plates.

Arctic Map and images

Arctic Map and images

Inspired by our new jigsaw parts of the penguin the junior class have created a large parts of the penguin display and individual ones that they are rightly very proud of.

Do you like my penguin

Do you like my penguin

Love was all around in the run up to Valentine’s day, love for their practical life work, love for their parents, love for each other and love for the new materials that are inspiring them to keep asking “can I take more work off the shelf”. As a teacher in such a class it is a joy to see the children motivate each other and themselves, find joy in learning and joy in sharing their learning.

Loving to work together

Loving to work together

Europe Display

Europe Display

Last but by no means least our tiny learners in the reception class who have conducted a tour of the continent of Europe. In their educational travels they have spent time studying Picasso’s abstract art pieces, and tried their hand creating their own. They also continued their study of the beautiful French language, and made a magnificent Tour Eiffel. While they made colourful “escargots” I’m not sure tasting them would have been as popular, that said our adventurous reception class are always open to new tastes!

Spring Display

Spring Display

With the change of season to Spring the reception class have created a vibrant display of all things spring, including gorgeous hand print ducks and ducklings, richly coloured springtime flowers and very cute cows.

Our reception class love literature, nothing is more enjoyable than reading a book together or exploring our library alone. With that in mind they chose two current favourites Jungle Book and Giraffes Cant Dance.

Giraffes Can't Dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance

The free painted giraffes are adorable I think you’ll agree and the emotions of the giraffes throughout the story as depicted by the students is a perfect conversation point at circle time or even at home to help our youngsters label the emotions that they feel through out the day.

Finally don’t forget to ask about the poem of the month, “Pitter Pater Raindrops” and I’m sure you will be entertained by the rendition at the dinner table or in the car!

As usual there are just so many photographs of our beautiful work that we can’t fit them all in the text, so here is a gallery so you don’t miss out on any. Enjoy!

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