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Oldmixon Primary School

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Term 3

12th February 2016


For our final week this term, we have enjoyed celebrating many things: Our learning and exploration of the space topic, Chinese New Year whole school celebrations and Shrove Tuesday - Pancake day.


We completed our final space activity by creating individual 'space biscuits' and enjoyed eating them...


The week started by learning all about Chinese New Year, which was on 8th February. The children learnt about the Chinese New Year and the 12 animals from the race and how each year is named after one of the animals. The children made animal masks, tried Chinese food and how to use chopsticks, created Chinese lanterns and coin trees and explored Chinese artifacts: singing bowls, art, musical instruments and how to make a Chinese Dragon dance. 


Creating Chinese Animal masks -




Tasting Chinese Food, using chopsticks -



The children also learnt about the Dragon dance and China -





Chinese craft activities included making Chinese lanterns and Coin trees -



On the Tuesday we celebrated Shrove Tuesday by looking at why we have Pancake day, cutting up pancakes from a whole, into a half then quarters using a knife and fine motor skills (then eating it) and working in teams to take part in some pancake races - 





We have had a really busy and exciting term and are looking forward to next term and building on our learning and practising our new skills, especially using our phonics knowledge to read and write and lots of number activities. Zig and Zag are enjoying their visits to children's houses and are looking forward to visiting more homes over the next term.




5th February 2016


Reception Class this week has seen groups of children working together to put all their newly learnt skills into designing and making space buggies to travel across the moon. There were lots of ideas that had to be negotiated over to create a final design for each buggy, then the group had to agree on the materials and resources to make the buggy, what the buggy needed to do on the moon surface, how the materials needed to be joined together and finally how the buggy would be finished for their desired effect. There were a lot of discussions, measuring, cutting and resource searching. We also looked at different designs of space buggies from over the years and the functions they needed to include.









The children have also been retelling the story of 'Whatever Next' and 'The Man on the Moon'. As well as continuing a focus upon handwriting and correct letter formation, we wrote orders to Bob (the Man on the Moon) so that he could make the sandwiches for children child to have a picnic on the Moon. The children used their phonics knowledge to help to write what sandwich filling they would like and the piece of fruit.


Retelling the story of Whatever Next...



Using scales to exploring balancing and the concept of equal to and not equal to, using 'Moon rocks' and Numicon. We also explored the meaning of heavy, heaviest, light and lightest / lighter than...



Next week we will be celebrating Chinese New Year with the school as well as Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)and completing our 'Space exploration'.   




29th January 2016


We have all been designers, creators and investigators this week. The children investigated how to make a circuit using a battery, crocodile clips, wires and bulbs and then how to make and break the circuit to make the lamp go on and off. This is another skill that  the children have been learning to help them make their space buggies in small groups next week. 






The children have also been designing their own space buggies in preparation for the great build, and have justified why they have made the designs in that form - how many wheels are there? How many astronauts will be travelling in there? How are they going to travel safely? What communication equipment will they need to talk to the space station and ground control?




Next week we are looking forward to putting all their learnt design and making skills together to work as a team and make some fantastic space buggies to go across the moon.


The children had shown a great interest in the different environments of the planets and have compared our planet earth with the hot and cold planets in the solar system - the planet Neptune was the cold planet and after such an interest last week in the ice and frost, we made our own ice blocks and snow and the children explored how it felt and reacted, which created lots of discussion. 






On Thursday we investigated air pressure by making our own 'Rocket Mice'. The children explored how to make a mouse and then send it into orbit to touch the 'sun' hanging in our classroom, by launching it into space using a milk bottle. The children's challenge was to see how they could adjust their mice by using different sized tails and ears as well as different materials used, as well as different sized milk then reach the sun. The children all enjoyed counting down for their rocket launches and got quite competitive to get their own mice to the sun!









The children are really enjoying our Write Dance sessions and this week we have been practising the 'Rocket dance' when we take off, after a countdown and blast into space. They see (and move like) astronauts, stars, galaxies and planets before landing on an ice planet inhabited with penguins! The children have then created drawings using fine motor skills, responding to the music. 




Thank you to those who have already welcomed Zig and Zag home with them - our diary is getting really interesting and the children are enjoying sharing their adventures with the class. We are looking forward to sharing more of Zig and Zag adventures with you all.



22nd January 2016


Reception class has been very busy learning facts about space and the planets our solar system. They have also been busy learning new practical skills using small tools (safely) to hammer and saw wood, in preparation to make space buggies over the next few weeks.




...and hammering...






We have had new visitors to our class - Welcome to Zig and Zag. They are visiting planet earth and will be visiting everyone at home to create a diary of their adventures.


In literacy activities we have been writing captions about Zig and Zag and using our phonic knowledge to help us segment and blend words to help us read and write. In maths, we have been exploring 3d and 2d shapes, their names and their properties, as well as constructing rockets and space stations.





As well as exploring space, the children were very excited with the hard frosts we have had this week. There was great excitement to go out exploring the frozen grass and iced water trays. We will develop the children's interests in this further next week, to gain a greater understanding about water and ice and the differing planet environments.










15th January 2016




We had a very exciting visitor to start off our week of space exploration. Don, from NASA is Bob's friend in a book we have been enjoying called 'Man on the Moon'. Don told us about Space and the jobs Bob does up there, as well as lots of other information about Space. The children listened really well and Don was very complimentary about the way the children had listened and interacted with him. 




We have been learning facts about space and creating our own planets to suspend from our growing galaxy. 

The children have also continued to develop ways to create planets, stars, comets and galaxies...



We have been developing how to use our growing phonic knowledge to create lists of things we would take on a trip to the moon on a rocket, and we have also been spotting real words and nonsense words around the classroom on planets and sight words to rockets. Once found, the children have been segmenting and blending the words to read them out as well as using correct letter formation to write them down too, to create lists.





The children have also been acting out the story of 'Whatever Next', using props. There has been lots of language and retelling, with a few new ideas woven in too!



We have also continued our use of Numicon and number fans. This week we have started to explore '10 frames' and different ways to fill the 10's frame. We pretended it was a bus and set out ten chairs and looked at different ways to fill the bus seats. The children then decided to explore how to work out how many more people we could get on the bus to fill up all the seats - lots of problem solving skills. The children have also shown a great interest in recording the countdown for a rocket to take off - we have used number cards and number tiles to help us do this. 




On Friday we had a really busy and exciting day, which started with watching a performance of 'The Hunchback of Notredame' with the rest of the school. The children joined in with the singing and dancing and really enjoyed the pantomime experience. 




Then, the children that had met the criteria for Friday Banquet were excited to go down to the hall for their first Friday Banquet session - Well done.




Thank you for supporting us to encourage the children to work towards the Friday Banquet criteria. It really helps us and your child's learning to have the children's book bags in school everyday as well as their PE kits.

We look forward to next adventures in Space...




8th January 2016


Term 3 - 3...2...1...Blast Off!!



Welcome to our third term of exciting learning in Reception Class. We started our first day back with a fantastic WOW moment when we entered the Space dome and explored what was in space as well as learn about the stars and some of the stories about their patterns. Every child went into the dome and was able to take part in the exciting activities they did in there and it has all contributed towards the children's interest to explore much further into our Space topic. The children are developing the role play area into a space control and are now beginning to think about what else they would like to learn about space. We have started making planets for the conservatory, so that we can also use our construction skills to create rockets that could take us up into space. 




Within our literacy, the children have started to learn and recall the story of 'Whatever Next'- a Jill Murphy book, who is also our Author of the term. It is a story about Baby bear who wanted to go to the moon, and so he used a cardboard box as his rocket, a sieve for a helmet and a pair of wellies as his moon boots. He goes up, out of the chimney into the night sky to the moon - ask your child what happened next! The children have enjoyed using props to help them recall the events in the story and a set of teddy bear ears has helped each child in turn become the Baby bear on an adventure to the moon and think about how he feels - some children thought he would be happy and excited about going on a moon adventure, others thought baby bear would be sad as there wasn't much to do on the moon and he would be sad to be so far away from his Mummy. The children have also enjoyed exploring our book areas in the classroom, where they are able to get their own fiction and non fiction books linked to space. They are beginning to also tell their own stories and use their growing phonic knowledge to help them start reading words and short sentences in the books.



We have been exploring and extending our knowledge about flat and solid shapes and the children decided to draw make their own flat and solid shaped rockets and draw around the shapes and write the count down from 10. There has been lots of mathematical language beginning to develop from these activities. 





We have enjoyed some outdoor exploration and a couple of the main activities the children have enjoyed and extended were the scooter obstacle course; where the children developed a course of cones that needed weaving carefully in and out of on scooters whilst keeping balance. And an interest in the puddles and rain, and the way the powder paint dissolved into the rain and how it could be changed as they swept it about in long strokes of a brush - all fantastic learning and physical development.




The children have begun to create aliens with space playdough  - some children have named their aliens and even used their phonic knowledge and handwriting skills to label their own creations so that everyone else can see who made it and what their aliens were called. There have also been lots of space pictures using a range of resources and media appearing to decorate our room.






We are very much looking forward to next week, when our space topic will develop further and we might even have a special visitor to the classroom!


*Please remember

Your children are now ready to join in with the School's Friday Banquet and is linked to the Cooperative Trust values. The criteria has been discussed over this week in class and a copy of this is in your letter home today. 


1) To remember your book bag every day.

2) To have a PE kit in school and worn for PE sessions.

3) To wear the correct school uniform every day.

4) To be punctual.

5) To be kind to others.


If you have any questions or concerns, please see a member of the staff team who will be happy to help you.