Hello and welcome to the Explorers Unit at our school!
We have two bases called Giraffe and Zebra Base and a great outdoor space. We can use all of these areas throughout the day. This really helps us with our learning as we get to explore a range of activities that are based around our interests.
The grown-ups work in all of the areas which is great because it means that we get to spend time with all of them.
The teachers are:
Mrs Fran Park and Miss Beth Holmes
We also have lots of Teaching Assistants, they are:
Mrs Julie Bettesworth
Mrs Tracey Laraway
Mrs Jo Beresford
We have lots of different things that we need to learn about. We learn phonics to help us to become amazing readers and writers using a Read, Write Inc. scheme. Parents and carers you will learn more about this during our workshop sessions. Our teachers are always there at the end of the day if you have any queries.
When we learn mathematics skills we have lots of fun exploring different objects, learning new vocabulary and finding ways to record. Again, our teachers will run a workshop to help parents and carers to understand the way we learn.
We have lots of exciting new themes this year and you can find out more by clicking on the curriculm tab. We have also planned some days for grown-ups to come and join us for some fun activities and to experience our amazing time at school.
Science Week in the Explorers’ Unit
This week we have been doing lots of science experiments. We have closely observed the changes we can see, hear, feel and smell. We added bicarbonate of soda to vinegar and watched it fizz and bubble, we made giant bubbles, we added raisins to lemonade and watched them float up and sink down, we saw coloured water travel up kitchen roll and discussed what happened to jelly cubes when we added hot water. We also took part in a chemical reactions workshop run by Mini Professors where we were able to make a solution that cleaned pennies and saw what happened when mints were added to cola.
Some of Explorers’ Forest School Learning
We are very lucky to have Mrs Laraway who is a trained Forest School leader. Every Wednesday Mrs Laraway and Mrs Bettesworth take a small group of us to explore the forest on the school field. Here are some of the things that we have done so far…
We made mud pies, soup and cakes. We made dens. We have used identification packs to spot different fungi.
Christmas in the Explorers Unit
We have had a very busy couple of weeks!
We have performed our first school nativity called ‘What a Star’. Our performance was all about a star who could not shine very brightly but with some help and determination she was able to lead everyone to the stable to see Jesus. We were amazing performers and sang brilliantly.
Our parents came to school for an afternoon to join us in making some Christmas crafts.
We had our Christmas party. We ate some party snacks, played some games and Father Christmas came to say hello.
Our Visit From Zoo Lab
We were visited by some animals from Zoo Lab. We saw and touched a beautiful snake and a soft, fluffy mouse.
We talked about their similarities and differences.
“It’s smooth. It goes sssss, we know s! (snake) He’s got red eyes! He’s so cute! He’s so fluffy too.”
“He’s got fluff not scales.”
“He has a shorter tail but the snake is longer.”
“The mouse doesn’t eat meat, it eats fruit. The snake eats meat. They (mice) walk, the snake slithers.”
We also met a tarantula and a cockroach but we didn’t touch them.
“She eats flies! Their bones are on the outside.”
Awe and Wonder Week
This week we have taken part in lots of different activities.
On Monday and Wednesday we had a visit from Chatterminds. We talked about how different emotional feelings felt in our bodies and practised using our breathing to help calm us down.
We had a yoga lesson from Yogadoo. We practised different animal yoga moves and then used them in a song.
We visited the ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ to explore a variety of objects and think about what they might be.
“Look it’s got patterns on the bottom, it might be a fossil. It’s rather heavy, it tickles my thumb.”
“It goes up and down.”
“Mines got crystals in it cause you can see it sparkling. It’s very heavy.”
The Explorers’ Visit to Westonbirt Arboretum
We had a fantastic first school trip to the arboretum. We went hunting for the Gruffalo and on the way; we collected leaves of all different shapes and sizes.
We found out that molehills are actually traps that the moles make to catch worms and trees that are green all year round are called evergreen trees. We sorted the leaves we had collected by size, colour and type and then made our own repeating patterns.
After lots of searching, we finally found the Gruffalo and other characters from the story.
We were very excited to find this ginormous tree trunk on our way back to the education centre.
Our guides read us the story of ‘Leaf Man’ and we used the leaves we had collected to make our own leaf pictures.
You can see from the displays in our classrooms the variety of topics we cover. As the year progresses, the displays change. By July, you will be able to see the whole range of subjects we have covered. Our Working walls help us learn – the content builds as the term progresses.
You are welcome to come in and meet us all and see the lovely work that we do!
Work and Displays