Well done to Owls Class for a very successful year! We would like to wish you a very enjoyable and relaxing Summer holiday. Please come back to school safe and sound in September and don't forget to do a bit of reading every day and bring back your holiday diary for Miss Dodd! Mrs Kerr and Mrs Hammond would like to say thank you for all your help and support this year and for all the lovely cards and gifts we have received this week. Mrs Kerr would like to say goodbye as she is leaving on Friday. She has had a fantastic time at Birches Green Infants School and will be taking many happy memories of some very special times and people with her.
97% attendance or more for Summer Term 1 - well done!
Forest School 4th June
Our new group of Year 1 children were very pleased to be visiting Plants Brook again and were curious to see the changes over the seasons, especially as for some their last visit had been in winter time.
The trees are looking wonderful. We tried to identify as many as we could by using their leaf shape to help us. Lots of careful and close observation followed.
Choosing our favourite leaf we then made a print onto material.
To engage the children in our new topic, the first thing we did was take a look around the school grounds to find a tree they wanted to "befriend". We gave the tree a hug, took some bark rubbings, looked at it closely to examine the bark and leaves then took some leaves back to class to see if we could identify the tree. We then made books with information about our tree and diagrams to show the main parts.
Giving our tree a hug!
Making bark rubbings.
We went to visit Rookery Park in order for the children to see what kind of natural items can be found around trees. We took collecting bags with us to keep our "treasures" safe. This activity generated lots of useful discussion about the environment, and we will be using what we found in sorting activities, making observational drawings and collages and printing with leaves. We would like to say thank you to the parent helpers who came with us-we could not have managed without you!
Arriving at the park.
A beautiful leaf!
A twisty twig!
Looking closely at the ground.
Too big to carry back!
It got darker under the trees.
A very full collecting bag!
Fun in the playgound afterwards!
Business Enterprise Award
Meeting Mr Ellery from the Gambian nursery.
Meeting the judges.
Our hardworking team!
Invasion Games- Core Task Summer 2
Throwing: how far and accurate?
Practising our aim.
Attacking and defending a hoop.
Choosing a good position.
Organising our teams.
Forest School 22nd May
Owls have really impressed Sarah with their team work, enthusiasm and learning this half term! Thank you Owls for doing your very best.
Our last turn at Plants Brook meant another chance to show off our climbing....and sliding skills, as we tackled the steep slope again. Piper Lee felt so proud getting to the top.
We made a special cookie to remember the beautiful sights at Plants Brook, by using a bow saw to cut a slice from a log.
Look at what we can do!
We designed spacecraft that we thought would be suitable for the first commercial flight to Mars. First of all the children drew and labelled a design which had to include some form of spinning mechanism. After that, they built their spacecraft using a mixture of junk materials and classroom resources. The children then evaluated their designs to see if they could make any improvements. To link with Literacy, the children made posters including good descriptions of their spacecraft with short, catchy sentences to advertise them.
Making our Spacecraft
Making a template for a spinner.
Using a split pin to make it spin.
Helping each other with assembly.
Some eye-catching adverts.
Forest School 14th May
Even the pouring rain didn't stop the childrens' enthusiasm today. The whole group made us feel very proud of their learning about camouflage,their effort and attitude. Great work Owls!
We pretended to be a cuckoo and a blue tit. The sneaky cuckoo lays its eggs in nests belonging to other birds. So our challenge, as a cuckoo, was to get our pretend egg into the blue tits' nest, without the blue tit hearing us. We all had to be quiet!
Along came a cuckoo.
Sarah made the challenge even harder for the cuckoos by laying more sticks in front of the blue tit.
Trying a different way.
We learnt more about how important camouflage is in nature by searching for different coloured wool hidden in the trees.
To engage the children in their new topic "Moon Zoom", there was a space ship crash on our patio this morning! An alien had been forced to make a landing, and we found all sorts of strange things left behind from the space ship! We came up with all sorts of interesting describing words to explain what we had found, and how we felt about such a strange thing happening. We also handled all sorts of different materials and described their properties, and speculated what they could have been used for on the spaceship.
A space ship crash landing!
Wow! Look at those strange footprints!
Look, slimy space goo!
What has landed?
We found lots of strange things.
Screws and shiny metal panels.
What could these bolts do?
Where might this star have been?
Forest School 30th April
"What's over there Sarah?" "Can we go and have a look?" Owls were very interested to find out about different parts of Plants Brook last week, so as promised Sarah took us on an adventure to explore these parts.
We played I spy with my little eye as we walked along the new path. Some of them were very tricky to guess.
Our favourite part along the path was a slope, or as one child described it, ' the steep cliff' because we got to climb it and some of us even slid back down it!
Go for it!
Sarah's top tip.
No stopping us now!
A well deserved drink with a favourite story.
Meet the Parents!
It was an exciting lunchtime on Monday 20th April when Year One parents came to have lunch with their children at school. The children loved being able to have a chat with their mums and dads at lunchtime and parents had an opportunity to try a selection of foods prepared in the school kitchen. It was a super social occasion, and a trip down memory lane for the grown ups- one mum had been looking forward to pink custard! Thank you for your support, we look forward to seeing you at our class assembly!
Well done! 97% attendance or more in Spring term 2.
Our Class Assembly
Eight planets in the Solar System.
A bright shining sun!
The moon is not a planet!
Jupiter has a big red spot.
Mars is a red planet.
Owls' Business Enterprise Week.
Owls are launching their business enterprise week beginning April 27th. We are calling our company Space Team. We are selling "Flying Saucers" sweets, as we thought this was a good link to our topic "Moon Zoom", and we think our product will appeal to the children in our school because we are designing the packaging ourselves with lots of brightly coloured aliens, rockets, spaceships etc.
The cost is 30p for 5, 50p for 10 and they are on sale during morning playtimes and after school.
Please support us!
St. George's Day- Our English Country Dance
Business Enterprise Week
We pitched our sales to classes.
We prepared our wares to sell.
We counted our goods carefully.
Choosing an attractive bag.
Which do I want?
How much is that?
How much change is that?
Ready to sell-form a queue!
More of our sales team!
Forest School 23rd April
We're often welcomed by a robin when we arrive and today our feathered friend was singing away so sweetly and very loudly!
We said a quick 'hello' to Matthew, one of the park rangers, who works really hard in taking care of Plantsbrook for all of us to enjoy.
Sarah's challenge was to construct a habitat for either a minibeast or a pond creature, using natural materials only of course.
The children were able to make their own choice of working in groups or individually and by the end of the session lots of interesting habitats had been created.
Making a strong foundation.
Leaves to wriggle under.
Woodlice will love this bark.
A habitat for earthworms.
We feel proud!
A new habitat for a newt.
Forest School 16th April
What lives in the water in a lake? Using pond dipping nets, trays and identification charts off we set.
Owls impressed us with their great observational skills and we discovered water scorpions, water snails, backswimmers, mayfly larvae and even a newt!
Forest School 26th March
Spring is here! The meadow looked a little different today as there were more trees with blossom blooming and the birds were singing away merrily.
We made our way down a new path along a different pond, on the hunt for minibeasts. Owls thought the best places to look would be under logs, stones, leaves and sticks.
With patience and great care we found earthworms, woodlice, slugs, millipedes, ants and snails.
Forest School 19th March
Finally it was our turn to go to Plants Brook Nature Reserve. We impressed our teachers by getting ready speedily and were very sensible on the minibus. Off we set with a mixture of excitement and curiousity.
The sun shone and Sarah led us on a discovery walk to see what natural wonders we could spy around us.
Here's what we spotted.
Male and female swans.
What shall I choose?
Mini pine cones.
The wonders of nature.
Attendance certificates Spring Term 1
Well done! 97% attendance or more achieved!
We visited the Health Caravan where we learned about all the jobs different foods do for our bodies. We met Harold the giraffe and helped him to prepare a healthy lunchbox to take to school. We had fun finding out about the jobs body parts do which are inside our bodies. We learned what happens to food inside our bodies once we have eaten it.
Inside the Health Caravan
Acting out where food goes in our bodies.
Caring for baby animal puppets.
Look at my baby animal!
Inside our amazing bodies.
We met two very friendly and helpful ladies from Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid who helped us to understand there are always people we can talk to if we ever have a problem or feel scared and lonely. We played games, took part in role play as well thinking about all the qualities which make a good friend.
Working with Women's Aid
Bhavna helped this group......
....and Tanika helped us to think about friends.
The Black Country Museum
Our topic "Memory Box" has a strong historical flavour, so to engage the children in a way which brought the past to life, we went to the Black Country Museum. The children were fantastically well behaved, the sun shone, and a good time was had by all! We visited all sorts of different homes from Victorian times to the Forties, and we even visited a school from 1912 and took part in a lesson using slates and chalk. sir was very strict! thank you very much to the parents who accompanied us, we couldn't have done it without you!
School in 1912
Writing with chalk on a slate.
Lining up-boys' line, girls' line.
A very strict teacher!
School in 1912
Cooking over the fire.
Drying the washing.
Using a heavy flat iron.
Back to World War 2
Listening to the wireless.
Meet the air warden!
This house was made of cast iron!
Paws, claws and whiskers! We met the Animal Man.
A very pale hedgehog! Meet Herbie.
Speckle the barn owl.
We gently stroked her.
Bubbles the guinea pig.
We groomed her carefully.
Dora the explorer-a racoon!
Dora loves a hug too!
Charlie Chinchilla with the softest fur.
Moving like animals!
Warm up- pathways writing our names.
Pathways round the hall-using space.
Adding a shape.
Main activities-slow heavy elephants!
Hold that elephant shape!
A bouncing kangeroo!
Bounce around the room kangeroos!
Cool down-gentle stretches.
We are creating our own dances all about birds. We have completed a core task so our teachers are able to see what we are able to do, and we can learn what we need to do next to develop our movements. We decided which bird we were going to be, and decided upon a good starting position. Next, we created a flight with a rest for the bird half way through. After that , we showed how the bird would look when it was asleep for our finishing position.
Start-about to fly!
We are in flight!
Holding a bird shape.
Attendance Autumn 2
Well done! You achieved 97% attendance or more!
The first group at Forest Schools finished this week on Thursday 15th January. All the children were very sad this was their last visit. We had an exciting game of "Hide and Seek" in the meadow, then after a much-needed hot chocolate, the children sawed a piece of a tree trunk to make a "cookie". They were able to decorate their cookie to remind them of something which was special to them at Forest Schools. It was great to see the children working well together in an outdoor environment and being so sensible when following instructions. Even on a cold day, it need not to be detrimental to enjoying and learning about the Great Outdoors!
Learning to saw wood.
Designing our "cookies"!
Goodbye Forest Schools and thank you!
Parent week at Birches Green.
Adrians's Dad told us about being a Youth Worker.
Acting out a counselling session.
A reward certificate for our visitor!
We have now completed our Bird Dances and our core tasks show how much progress we have made! From working on individual dances, we have created dances where we have included partner work and group work. We have included the five basic elements of dance: travel, jump, gesture, turn and stillness. Our dances began in a bird shape. we thought about where our bird might live: in water, up a tree, or maybe in a hedgerow. Our flights included awareness of space as we glided, flapped and fluttered around the hall. When we met other birds, we held a bird shaped gesture for a count of three seconds. Next we met as a group and held our bird shapes, then we flew away from our group one at a time ("canon"). we flew again, then met our groups to show a final resting position.
Starting position-a bird ready for flight.
Meet and greet!
Group work: our shapes and "canon".
Our final positions
Our Design Technology project this half term has been to make animal enclosures-thank you for sending junk materials into school to help us build them! The children worked in pairs and groups and produced work of a high standard. Their challenge was to design and make an enclosure which would keep their chosen animal happy, helpful and safe. This involved some research on the Internet and in books to find out how their chosen animal would live in the wild. During the production stage, the children practised techniques of cutting, joining, assembling and decorating. They also learned how working co operatively sometimes makes a task easier and more enjoyable!
Making our animal enclosures
Our finished enclosures
Preparing our party food!
A very special visitor!
Pass the parcel.
A fantastic feast!
Today we walked around a different pool collecting natural things to make Christmas wreaths. It was a long way and some of us felt our legs had worked hard.
We used bendy willow, ivy, leaves and pine cones to make our wreaths.
'Waking' up the willow to make it bendier.
Twisting and tying into a strong circle.
Bronze oak leaves.
What a collection of wreaths.
A very special visitor! Santa at the Winter Fayre.
Today we learnt that swallows migrate from Great Britain to Africa as it is too cold for them to survive the winter here.
Ask your child to name some of the places they fly over and how long the journey might take.
We worked as a team, just as real swallows do, playing stepping stones. This helped us to learn why it is important to co-operate and communicate with each other.
Our swallows ready to fly to Africa.
1, 2, 3 and fly!
Taking turns to see how far each swallow can fly.
Winter is here, so today we wanted to find out how animals survive through winter.
Kane said people can wear hats and gloves to keep warm. Aliya said we could eat soup. Kian said we could put the radiator on. What do animals do?
We pretended to be squirrels and played a game to find our hidden store of acorns,just like real squirrels do in winter.
Then we worked in pairs to make a waterproof, windproof cosy shelter for an animal to hibernate in.
Grey squirrel ready for action.
Working as a team.
Checking the shelter is cosy.
A few more leaves will help.
Preparing our role play area.
Painting the Emerald City
Beginning to add detail.
Making collage buildings.
Our finished Land of Oz!
The witch's castle
Our finished backdrop.
Spells and potions!
We read the recipe carefully.
That looks an interesting mixture!
We had to measure standard units.
We had to check the quantity.
We had to pour carefully.
Making spells and potions was an aspect of topic work which led itself very usefully to lots of cross curricular links. In Numeracy, we were measuring the ingredients of our potions using litres and millilitres and comparing the quantities. We had to work co -operatively in a group or with a partner.
In Literacy, we wrote instructions and considered the quantities of each ingredient in our potions. Some of us made the ingredients out of dough to add to our potions which improved our fine motor skills. We performed a dance to show how we made our potions, which was a good way to introduce imperative verbs such as "chop", "pour", "mix", "stir" and "grate".
We were very excited going to Plants Brook Nature Reserve for the first time.
Sarah explained the rules to help keep us safe.
Then we explored the park, hunting for autumn leaves and identifying the trees they come from.
What is a boy duck called?
A peaceful spot to watch the ducks.
Pretending to play a violin.
How many leaves have we found?
Which one is the oak leaf?
Attendance Certificates Autumn 1
Well done! You achieved 97% attendance or more!
Sorting Materials- part of our new Science topic
We used the set rings to sort.
We tried to find two ways.
Can you guess the criteria?
We collected objects to tally by colour.
Creating a tally chart with the tallying.
Identifying and counting numbers up to 48.
Identifying and counting numbers to 10.
When completing mathematical challenges, children in Year One will be encouraged to work independently. At this age, children still need lots of practical tasks, particularly when completing mathematical tasks. When counting, it provides a visual reminder of what the quantity of a number looks like. Using a number lione to count with is another practical tool.
Some of us can choose numbers to add mentally.
Some of us use apparatus to add.
Board games help our maths skills.
Creative dinosaur topic work
Tanks to the rescue!
More fierce dinosaurs!
We would like to thank all the parents who attended our IMPACT workshop. It was great to meet you all and share part of our learning journey in Year One with you. We hope you enjoyed the activities- the children seemed to have a lot of fun! It really helps the children to get their writing skills off to a good start with support from home which links with our activities in the class room. We are looking forward to sharing the children's books at school when they have completed their stories.
Our IMPACT workshop.
We sorted muddled up sentences.
We shared story books.
We got busy with drawing and scissors!
Our bear puppets.
More puppets for role play!
A scary water dwelling dino!
Stripes help me to hide!
We can fly!
I have flippers!
Challenge-to make a repeating pattern!
We made our pattern and drew it.
We made 2 colour patterns.
Carnival Time! A visit from Ace dance group.
A bit of freestyle.
Ready to jump.
Wiggle those hips!
We would like to thank parents for supporting their children following the IMPACT workshop. Some super Goldilocks storybooks have been returned to school, and the quality of the work has been great! It has been clear that the resources from the pack have been used to extend the children's use of vocabulary, sentence openers and connectives. We have really enjoyed sharing the books with the children and hope you have found the experience rewarding too.