Foundation Blog

Welcome to the blog for our foundation classes. The year group blogs are a great communication tool. Teachers will be posting news, photographs, details of homework, examples of work, and anything they wish to share with their pupils and parents. Please speak to your class teacher if you have any question, feedback or concerns.

Mrs Barwin

Blue Class Teacher

Miss Lewis

Red Class Teacher

Mrs Reed

Additional Teaching Support

Mrs Haynes

Additional Teaching Support

Our children usually start school, aged 4, into the Foundation Stage Classes. We believe that they should have a slow and steady start to school so that they can become confident in their surroundings and their teachers, feel safe and supported by the routines and valued as individuals to learn and grow in every way. The children enjoy their learning which follows the guidance in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We offer the children a wide range of stimulating and enriched experiences, both indoors and outdoors, so they can develop their skills in an interesting context.

Road, Rail, and Water Safety Week

This week we have been thinking about Road, Rail and Water Safety in Assembly. The children can explain to you the learning that has taken place. For road safety, we thought about how we must stop, look, listen and look again. For rail safety, the children learnt about level crossings and how to stay safe on a platform. For water safety, we thought about how to keep safe in and near water. A strong message throughout the week was that by roads, rail or water, the children should be with an adult.

The children might be able to sing the catchy songs to you.  Copy and paste the link into your search engine.

Road safety – https://youtu.be/aKQ5FdyMFFI

Please discuss these topics with your child, see what they can remember!

Have a lovely weekend.

 

We’re in the Newspaper!

Our successful visits to Orchard Care Home have been mentioned in the Herts Ad.

Here is the article:

Youngsters help beat loneliness by visiting St Albans care home

PUBLISHED: 21:00 30 December 2017

Reception pupils at Cunningham Hill Infant School have been going to The Orchard Care Home since October. Picture: Clare Barwin

St Albans youngsters are working to beat loneliness this Christmas-time by visiting residents in a local care home.

Reception pupils at Cunningham Hill Infant School have been going to The Orchard Care Home since October. Picture: Clare Barwin

Reception pupils at Cunningham Hill Infant School have been going to The Orchard Care Home since October, performing a song for the elderly people and inviting them to join in and play instruments.

Activity coordinator at the home Mitch Puscuta said: “We live in a segregated society where the young and old generation don’t have a real opportunity to interact with each other. We are now living in an era where children do not have access to their grandparents like they used to, so I really think we should do all we can to mediate this interaction between these two age groups, as it brings meaning, new energy, joy and enthusiasm to each others’ lives.”

A resident of the care home added: “I forgot about my age when I am in the company of these children. They bring joy in our care home”.

Bird Watching with our Visitor

Today, Ollie’s Grandad came in to talk to Red Class about his interest in bird watching. He explained how birds travel to get warm and that they eat a range of foods such as seeds, insects and berries. He also showed us his equipment for watching birds such as binoculars, a dark coat so the birds can’t see you and a telescope. We listened to bird songs and looked at features of different birds, such as feather colours, distinctive spots, and type and size of their beak. We looked at the size of different birds and how some are big and some are much smaller.

Red Class then asked questions, which Ollie’s Grandad answered for us such as

Sylvie – Why are they called birds? Why do birds have tails and we don’t?

Danny explained “it’s how they was born”

Phoebe – How can birds fly for so long? How can bird peck?

Finn – Which birds have you spotted?

Umar – How do birds glide?

Neve – Why do birds eat worms?

Hannah and Vihaan – Why do birds fly?

Louis – Why is birds different? They have different things on them?

Ollie – Why do birds eat seeds? Why do they have a beak? Why do they sing?

Rhys – Do some birds have spots?

Seb explained that blackbirds and crows have different coloured beaks so you can tell the difference.

After discussing bird songs, Lin suggested “if the daddy bird does sing, mummy bird will know where he is”

Thank you to Ollie’s Grandad or giving up his time to come and talk to us.

Red and Blue Bird Feeders

This week Red and Blue have been making bird feeders. They rolled a mixture of fat and flour in seeds, made them into a ball and then hung them in the trees for the birds. We discussed how the fat in the mixture is to help keep the birds warm and the seeds are a treat.

We discussed where the best places for the food would be. They understood that if the food was on the floor, cats and foxes could get to it before the birds or scare them off.

The children watched clips of birds pecking at the ground to see how in the winter the ground is hard so it would be difficult to get worms. We then explained this is why we make feeders to help ensure the birds have food.

The children made bird hides and binoculars in class to enable them to see the birds, some children drew the birds they had seen and labelled them. Some children used Purple Mash to colour in a bird and then clicked and dragged to move labels around, or typed their own.

See if your child can use the software on Purple Mash on birds at home.

Music – Djembe Drums

Red and Blue Class had a great music lesson today, learning how to play the djembe drums.  The children learnt how to tap out their name, copy a simple pattern and play loudly or quietly as instructed.

We are learning some Winter songs and continuing to develop our warm up songs ready to sing at the Care Home.

Icy play – safely!

This morning the children were very excited to go outside to investigate the snow and ice.  We discussed keeping safe and walking, in case there was black ice.  Some of the boys asked to sweep the snow away, so we found spades and brooms and left them to it!  They took turns and shared, scraped the snow to one place and even put cones around a really icy patch.

Some of the children noticed that the water had turned to ice in the tuff tray, they broke it up and carried it by hand or on their spades to the pile of snow.  We added boats to the tuff tray and talked about icebergs!

What a lot of fun, even if the adults feet were frozen!

 

Collaborative Learning in Red and Blue

This week, Red and Blue class have been learning collaboratively with their partners. This encourages the children to learn with somebody who they may not have during their independent learning and show confidence to speak to them.

Some children attempted a puzzle with their partners, having to communicate about where pieces may go which encouraged their partner to listen to their ideas and follow their instructions. Some pairs used the box to explain what the puzzle should look like.

Other pairs played a game where they needed to take turns such as Bingo or a shopping game. This meant they had to wait until their partner had finished their go before they started, showing patience.

 

Eco Ambassadors first meeting

Today, the Eco Ambassadors met with Mrs Barwin and Miss Lewis.

They discussed the impact we had during Switch Off Fortnight and how they had encouraged their peers to

  • turn off the lights as they leave a room
  • use 1 paper towel as they wash their hands
  • turn off the taps after washing their hands

Some ambassadors had even reminded their parents!

Today’s meeting focussed on recycling. We checked each classroom had a paper recycling box. Red, Blue and Purple did and now Gold, Silver and Green do thanks to the ambassadors reminding them.

The ambassadors said they will check the boxes and when they are full will ask an adult to take them to the bins.

The ambassadors next role is to discuss with their class how we can be more eco friendly, they will share ideas at our next meeting.

Thank you to our ambassadors.

Our very own Superheroes

Our learning this week was based around the story of Traction Man.  The children had to draw Traction Man, describe him and retell the story using the story sack table.  We asked the children to bring in their favourite Super Hero toy from home today.  This morning they dressed up as Superheroes, saving the world and spinning their webs.  This afternoon, they talked about their favourite hero, why they liked them and then had to tell us something they are good at.

It’s been a great week, with lots of descriptive language, role playing and celebrating what we are good at.

       

Press Release for local papers re links with our local care home

Hi

We have been working with Mitch from Orchard Care Home to produce a press release for our local newspapers.  Here is a full version, however a shorter version has been submitted to hopefully appear in The Review and Advertiser.

We are so pleased how well it’s going and hope to continue into the new year, going once a week.

Yesterday Miss Lewis took some of your food donations, they were incredibly well received, so thank you again.

Have a lovely weekend

Mrs Barwin and Miss Lewis

Pupils from Cunningham Hill Infant School have been working with a local care home to take part in an initiative to promote wellbeing and reduce loneliness. For the past month, 10 Reception children have visited Orchard Care Home. Initially, they sang to the Residents and have since invited them to play instruments as they sung and join in with colouring activities.

The children have thoroughly enjoyed their visits, starting to make links with the residents that regularly attend.

The Staff from the School are looking forward to taking their Christmas celebrations to the Care Home and continuing with the exciting project in the new year.

Mitch Puscuta, the activity coordinator at the home, said: “We live in a segregated society where the young and old generation don’t have a real opportunity to interact with each other. We are now living in an era where children do not have access to their grandparents like they used to, so I really think we should do all we can to mediate this interaction between these two age groups.

Here, at The Orchard Nursing Home, we really feel how that this intergenerational interaction brings meaning, new energy, joy and enthusiasm to each others’ lives. These kind of intergenerational activities make the elderly feel valued as individuals who still possess lifelong skills, rather than just being passive recipients of care.

After one of the activities with the children, one of my residents said, with tears in her eyes: “I forgot about my age when I am in the company of these children. They bring joy in our care home”.

But this was not just about helping the elderly, I strongly believe that the children enjoyed the increased attention too, and had more opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills. These interactions increase their confidence and promote friendships.

Elderly and children, past and future, I think we are all living in the same time and the best way to enrich our present experience is to build a bridge between generations.

I want to say a big thank you to the management of Cunningham Hill Infant School, to the parents who offer their support and special thanks to Clare Barwin who made all this possible. “

 

 

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