Welcome to Hedgehog Class Blog

This is the page that you can visit to keep updated on the children's learning. Make sure you come back each week to see the learning opportunities that the children have been taking part in.

Summer Week 4

Minibeast Hunt

This week, the children thought about all the creatures that live in the garden. They found out about insects and wrote amazing facts about them and even learnt a song to remember their characteristics. On Friday we went to Forest School for a minibeast hunt. The children were expert hunters and found snails, slugs, caterpillars, worms, crane fly and even centipedes. A big thank you to all our parent helpers who supported us today - and to the sunshine that for once stayed out for our visit!

Summer Week 3

In the Garden

This week the children were challenged to write instructions for planting a bean so that other children would be able to plant one too. They used their best ‘bossy’ voices to rehearse each step before writing which really helped them to remember what they had done.

Franklin’s grandad kindly donated some seedlings this week for the children to watch as they grow. We used the internet to look up each plants name – which he had written carefully on a label - so that we could see what they will look like when they have grown. On Friday, the children planted more seeds, choosing whether to plant flowers or vegetables for the Reception garden. They will care for these over the coming weeks before planting them out - the challenge will be how to keep the squirrels from digging them up. Thea decided that we will have to make a scarecrow or rather a scare-squirrel! 

We were also lucky to have one of the school governors, Mr Wilton, spend time with us to do some woodwork. The children learnt how to use hammers safely to hammer nails into wood and remove them if they went in wonky. He will join us again soon to teach the children some more woodworking skills.

Summer Week 2

In the Garden

This week the children were asked to think about what they would like to learn about during our new topic ‘In the Garden.’ They shared the things that they do in their gardens and what they can see in them. We then decided to start by finding out more about how plants grow. We investigated seeds and used magnifiers to look closely at them, noting the colours, shapes and textures. The children then made observational drawings of them and thought about which ones they would like to plant in our Reception garden.

We also read the story 'Jasper's Beanstalk' and talked about all the different things Jasper did to help his bean to grow. The children then used their writing skills to create their own versions of the story, which we made into books to share in the reading area. They also planted beans of their own which they will bring home once they have germinated. 

Later in the week we started an investigation to grow a mini pineapple by leaving the head of a pineapple in water so that roots will form. The children really  enjoyed eating the rest of the pineapple as an extra snack!

In maths, the children have been learning about numbers beyond ten and how they are represented using numerals and other visual representations including tens frames, Numicon pieces and towers of cubes. They played games using their addition and subtractions skills and were challenged to find missing numbers, both on a number line and when the numbers were shown pictorially.  

Summer Week 1

Welcome Back!

What a lovely start to the Summer term...warm days, happy children and not a chicken pox spot in sight! It was great to see all the children back in school and eager to learn.

We started the week by finding out about the Queen who celebrated her 96th birthday this week and how she is also having a special celebration later in the year for her Platinum Jubilee. The children enjoyed creating their own designs to be printed on mugs and tea towels to celebrate this special event.

We also learnt the story of St George and found out how some families celebrate St George’s Day in England. The children took turns to act out the story using the small world knights and dragons, and used their developing cutting skills to make a moving knight.

 

Spring Week 12

Easter

This week we have been learning all about Easter. We went to the local church and met Reverend Colin, who told us the Easter story and answered our questions about Jesus and why we celebrate Easter. He also taught us some Easter songs and challenged the children to find all the crosses that were in the church. We saw them on the windows, doors, cushions and on special pictures, as well as on books and carvings. We had a great time and learnt so much! 

In maths we have been learning about time. We talked about large units of time: years, months, weeks and days and then smaller units such as minutes and seconds. The children tried out several challenges to see what they could achieve in 1 minute or in 30 seconds, and recorded their own scores. 

Spring Week 11

From Seed to Sandwich

It has been such a busy week! On Monday we found that the cress seeds had grown into tiny trees - perfect for making sandwiches. The children talked about what they would need to do to make a sandwich for themselves and together made a set of instructions. They then followed the steps to make their own sandwich, spreading and cutting for themselves. We all enjoyed a picnic on the grass afterwards and polished off the sandwiches in super quick time!

In maths, we have been making complex patterns using colours, shapes and other objects. We blew Mrs Leviton's socks off with all the different patterns that we made, inside and outside. 

Spring Week 10

British Science Week

It has been Science Week this week with the theme of GROWTH. The children planted some cress seeds and watched over the week to see the changes that happened as the seeds germinated and grew. We are hoping to make some delicious cress sandwiches next week once the plants have fully grown. We also set up an investigation to see which of five different seeds would grow first in a Glove Greenhouse.

In maths, the children have been exploring and investigating the properties of 3D shapes: cube, cuboid, cone, cylinder and triangular prism. The children enjoyed the challenge of finding out which shape would roll using a ramp. They were keen to find ways to move those which didn't move on their own by applying a force - either by pushing or by using another 3D shape. More science in action!

 

Spring Week 9

The Spider and the Fly

This week we have been developing our writing skills by creating sentences to describe the Spider and his parlour, from the poem 'The Spider and the Fly' that we have been reading since World Book Day last week. We found out lots of facts about spiders to help us with our ideas and went on a web hunt so that we could see and feel for ourselves what a web is like. We have also made spider models and painted spider pictures. 

We have also made the most of the fine weather and enjoyed playing lots of games outside - we even opened the sand pit!

Spring Week 8

Lost and Found

After reading the story ‘Lost and Found’, we thought about how boats travel. The children investigated different objects that float and sink and then used this knowledge to attempt the Boat Making Challenge – to design and build a boat that would float with a boy and a penguin inside it!

Spring Week 7

Forest School

After two last minute cancellations, this Friday we finally went to Forest School! The children were challenged to make a musical instrument either by threading beads onto a 'Y' shape stick, finding two matching sticks to make claves or to find different objects to go in a bottle to make a shaker. They all rose to the challenge and played their instruments as we sang their favourite songs at the end of the session. 

Spring Week 6

Freezing and Melting

This week the children faced a freezing challenge...some slow moving polar bears were trapped in the ice! They talked about the best way to free them and decided which way would be best. "We need really hot water!" ...would that be safe? Are we allowed to have really hot water? "We could put them in the sun." "We could bash them and break the ice." ... Would that damage the polar bears? Is it safe to bash ice? "We could use salt." "We could use rice."  Then protecting their eyes with googles and armed with spoons, salt, and other items to try, the children set about the task. 

Spring Week 5

Chinese New Year

This week we have been finding out about the celebration of Chinese New Year. The children have enjoyed making lots of decorations, writing Chinese characters to say good luck, and learning about how each year got its animal name. We read the story of 'The Great Race' which decided the order of the animals. The children acted out this story using puppets and soft toys, taking turns to be Jade Emperor and the different animals. 

Spring Week 4

Arctic Adventures

This week we continued to find out more about the Arctic. The children investigated how the Arctic animals keep warm by making a ‘Blubber Glove’ using vegetable fat and plastic bags, and putting their hands in icy cold water. They were amazed that the hand in the glove stayed warm whilst their other hand was freezing! We also learnt about the Inuit people who live in the Arctic and talked about what was the same and what was different about their homes, clothes, food and hobbies. We used different construction sets to make igloos, which the Inuit make to stay in when they are travelling. We also made Inuksuk, which are stone stacks and towers which are used to share the location of important places, such as good fishing grounds or the way to a village. The children showed great resilience as they had to make their chosen stones balance.

In maths, we have been investigating weight and capacity. The children enjoyed weighing different objects using the balance scales and using the language heavier than or lighter than to share what they had discovered.

Spring Week 3

The Amazing Arctic

This week we used the internet to find out where the coldest places are in the world. The children decided that we needed to go to the North Pole and so we dropped down onto the map to have a closer look at what it was like there. We compared the Arctic to Takeley, talking about what was the same and what was different. The children were surprised to see that there weren’t any trees! We also watched some short films about the animals that live in the Arctic and listened carefully to find out the facts. The children chose their favourite animal to write about to share what they had learnt with their friends. They also made their own Arctic environments for the small world animals, adding their own 'fishing ponds' so that they could get some food. 

In maths, we have been investigating ways of making numbers to five using two or three smaller numbers. The children were keen to take on the challenge and enjoyed sharing what they had found out with Mrs Barron.

The children kept a close eye on our bird feeders this week too and were happy to see we did get a visitor, even if it wasn't what we expected!

Spring Week 2

It's Cold Outside!

This week we started our theme ‘It’s Cold Outside’ by talking with the children about what they would like to find out about. They were all keen to learn more about animals, cold places around the world and experiment with ice! So we began by looking at what winter is like for us here in the UK and how different animals adapt to survive the cold weather, which led to us learning some new vocabulary: hibernate, migrate and adapt. On Wednesday, we made some 'bird cake' to help the birds in the garden find more food. The children mixed lard, seed and raisins to make an energy-packed meal for them. So far, we have not seen any birds eating it but we hope, if we stay quiet near the window, we will spot some next week. 

In maths, we have consolidating our understanding of numbers to five, using the words ‘more’ and ‘fewer’. The children played hoopla and kept score making tallies and then found the winner by working out who had scored the most. The children also played the card game that they played with you in our Sneak a Peek sessions last term – this time using cards showing amounts to five.

Spring Week 1

Happy New Year!

This week we have been thinking about the new year and made our New Year Resolutions. The children thought carefully about what they could get even better at doing for themselves or others. Many of them have resolved to get better at riding their bikes without stabilisers – you will have to let us know how they get on!

 In maths, we have been learning about rectangles. Did you know that squares are a special kind of rectangle? The children have enjoyed finding squares and rectangles in the environment and were amazed at how often they appeared. They have also been making pictures of their own using the shapes and explaining the properties of the shapes that they have used.  

On Friday, the children enjoyed their first Mini-Movers session with the Sports Coach, Kate and all received a sticker for their great listening. 

Autumn Week 13

Christmas is Coming!

 This week we have been learning about Christmas. The children have enjoyed sharing their blossoming writing skills as they labelled scenes from the Nativity story. They made their own salt dough to make Christmas decorations which they will decorate next week once the dough has hardened. 

In maths, we have been finding different ways to make four and five, using counters and cubes. We continued to develop our balance and coordination skills in PE and learnt to control beanbags using the hockey sticks.

Autumn Week 12

Zoom to the Moon!

After reading the next part of ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark’ where Plop the owl meets an astronomer, the children decided that they would like to visit the moon. We read another story, ‘Whatever Next’ about a bear who travelled to the moon before bedtime, and went on our own adventures in the role play area. The children have been busy making rockets from recycled materials and construction sets. They also wrote their own lists of things that they would take for a picnic on the moon. We watched a video clip of the moon landing in 1969 and found out what the surface of the moon was like by looking closely at the footprints that Neil Armstrong left behind.

 

Autumn Week 11

This week we read the next part of ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark’ and thought about our own happy memories and about what we enjoy doing in the dark. The children drew some fantastic pictures and used the sounds that they know to label them.

In maths we have been learning all about circles and triangles and explaining how we know they are that shape. We enjoyed singing lots of shape songs and making shape pictures and patterns after looking at the artworks of Kandinsky. We have also been learning to describe the position of different objects using words such as behind, between, in front, under and in. We had a lot of fun playing hide and seek with the bears and making obstacle courses outside. 

Autumn Week 10

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark

This week we started to read the story ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark.’ We found out about owls and other nocturnal animals and drew pictures and wrote facts about them.

In maths we have been finding all possible ways to make two and three, and finding one more or one less than each amount.

We enjoyed completing the balance and coordination challenges in PE this week. 

On Friday we enjoyed dressing up to raise money for Children in Need. We had lots of Pudsey themed activities in class. We particularly enjoyed finding out how many bears  we could rescue from the water beads outside. We also made Pudsey masks and moving puppets. 

Autumn Week 9

Leaf Man

This week we have been searching for signs of Autumn. We made a mind map of everything that we knew about Autumn and then went on a Welly Walk to see what we could find. We collected hundreds of leaves in many different shades of brown, red, orange and yellow. We found sycamore leaves, hawthorn leaves and beech leaves. We also found a huge crop of crab apples, hawthorn berries and some really huge mushrooms. We read the story ‘Leaf Man’ and then used our collection to make leaf men of our own.

Autumn Week 8

Diwali 

This week we have been finding out all about the Hindu festival of Diwali. We found out how Diwali is celebrated and how similar some of the activities are to those we do to celebrate our birthdays, Christmas and even Halloween. We explored clay to make our own diva lamps and made coconut barfi sweets to share with you at home. We also made Rangoli patterns with different media, tried some Bhangra dancing and took on roles to retell the story of Rama and Sita. 

In maths we have been learning to make repeated patterns using two colours, shapes or objects. Some of us even challenged ourselves to make our pattern as long as we could or go around in a circle!

 

Autumn Week 7

Windmills and Bread Making

This week we continued our learning linked to the story ‘The Little Red Hen.’ We found out about windmills and how they were used in the past to make flour. We compared them to the enormous factories that make flour today and thought about what was the same and what was different. We made some windmills of our own and took them outside to see if we could make them turn in the wind.

On Tuesday we made our own bread – just like the Little Red Hen. Luckily, we were all keen to help unlike the bull, cat and rat in the story. We looked carefully at the recipe to find out what we needed and counted out each cup of flour. We all helped to mix and knead the dough and were amazed at the beautiful loaf that emerged from the oven.

Autumn Week 6

Forest School

Today we had our first trip to Forest School. We had lots of fun exploring the forest area and looking for the objects on our treasure hunt sheet. We collected some objects in our bags but were careful not to pick anything that was still growing. 

A big THANK YOU to all of the parents and grandparents that helped out this morning. 

Autumn Week 6

The Little Red Hen

This week we have been learning the story of ‘The Little Red Hen.’ We practised telling the story together and learnt some actions. We even dressed up as the characters and told the story with our friends. We all know the story really well, so ask us to tell it for you at home.

In maths we have been sorting objects by looking for something that is the same about them. We started with buttons and sorted by colour, shape, size and number of holes. We then moved on to different objects, such as vehicles, animals and foods. We thought very carefully about how we sorted these out: wheels/ no wheels, four legs/ not four legs, things that can fly/ things that cannot fly. On Thursday we developed this even further and came up with amazing reasons for our sorting: “These are extinct and these aren’t.” “These animals live underwater and these don’t.” “These animals are pets and these are not pets.” It was great to hear the children’s thinking and they enjoyed finding new ways to sort that we had never heard before!

.

Autumn Week 5

 This week we have been learning about Harvest Time. We watched some films that showed us how different vegetables were harvested, such as cabbages and beans and then found out where different vegetables grew; under the ground, on top of the ground or on a stalk. We were really amazed at how large the combine harvester was and spent a long-time drawing pictures of them and different fruits and vegetables. We read the story ‘Oliver’s Vegetables’ and looked closely at all of the vegetables he found. We used magnifiers to have a really close look and drew pictures of them, including some tiny details. On Friday we tasted some different vegetables: peas, beetroot, spinach, carrots and rhubarb. We tried each one even if we had never eaten it before. We then voted for our favourite and made a chart to show the results. 

Autumn Week 4

This week we have been practising our listening skills, we have been playing lots of listening games, identifying rhyming words and initial sounds in words. We have enjoyed hearing lots of stories with rhyming words, such as ‘Oi Frog’ and ‘Shark in the Park.’

We have also been thinking about the different shapes that we can see around us. We have found lots of squares, circles and triangles and are beginning to say exactly where they are using positional language, such as ‘on top’, ‘under’, and ‘next to’.

We finished our portrait paintings this week too, mixing all the colours we needed for ourselves. Can you work out who we are from the pictures? 

As one child commented: "It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be creationed." I couldn't agree more.

Autumn Week 3

Colour Mixing

This week we have been experimenting with colour mixing. We read the story ‘Mouse Paint’ and found out that new colours can be made by mixing two or three colours together. We had lots of fun mixing paint with our hands and with marbles. We can now make orange, purple, green, brown, pink, grey and different shades of blue. We have also started to paint portraits of ourselves. We had to mix the paint to make our skin colour which was a bit tricky!  We are looking forward to painting our features when the paint dries. Look out for our gallery next week.  

.

Autumn Week 2

Trim Trail Training

This week we were able to use our brand new trim trail. We had lots of fun climbing, balancing and crawling over, under and through the different sections. 

Autumn Week 1

Our First Week

 

We have all made a brilliant start to our Reception year. This week we have been learning lots of new things. Here are just a few of them!

We have been learning...

the names of our teachers and new friends, how to wait our turn for a toy or resource, where the toilets are, a special song for washing our hands, where to put our bags and water bottles, how to walk in a line with others and not turn into a puddle of hedgehogs, how to tidy up the toys, a song to help us stop and listen, where to find pencils and paper, how to put on the painting aprons, how to make the pump on the water tray work - and squirt the water up in the air(!), where to put our shoes when we change into our wellies, how to build the tallest tower with the wooden bricks, how to make disgusting potions in the outdoor kitchen, how to throw a ball into the highest hoop, how to put our paintings and sticky pictures on the drying rack, how to thread the laces to make a picture on the pattern boards, how to balance the coloured pebbles to copy the picture on the card, how to put our lunch tray away after we have eaten our dinner... no wonder we are so tired!