HAPPY NEW YEAR...sort of...Year 2 Term 1 Week 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR...Scholastically speaking.  Have you missed me?  Have you been wondering where I've been?  What I've been up to?  No?  I didn't think so, but anyways here we are. 

So.  We've got a few new changes to talk about for this year.  Last year ended on a high note with things growing in Grasshoppers class allotment, namely tomatoes (some of which turned red by themselves in the summer sun), pumpkins (the size of bowling balls....and BIGGER.) and radishes.  But sadly because we weren't there to sort them out a few have gone to seed but there should be some more updates from them next week.  Now admittedly I was going to do a highlight of the week but I've left my photos elsewhere and so I'll have to do that on Monday.  Or sometime around then.  But I'll let you know what went down. 

FOREST SCHOOL! We've started Forest School...well sort of...we're sorting out the paperwork for it to get qualified for FOREST SCHOOL (imagine an echo) and we're going to run two programmes alongside one another, because we can.  And you can't stop us.  So there.  This is something that takes place in Outdoor Learning but is very different to Outdoor Learning style approach.  Sort of.  Some of the things you've seen us get up to out here will be done in Forest School but its a longer session, where the ethos is "child led, child initiated learning through play"...if you want to know a bit more you can look up the Forest School Association webpage (Forest School Association) and it talks there about the principles of Forest School and the outcomes and aims it wants to achieve.  Very big, but very exciting.  

In other news I've got a friend who has come out to help me in Outdoor Learning from among our august body of professionals.  She'll introduce herself in good time I'm sure.  Suffice to say we've expanded Outdoor Learning to hold 32 sessions a week (which for a school of 27 classes is quite the achievement) and so that means a lot more lessons, a lot of natural exposure for the children and a whole load more fun.  

We've had quite a lot going on this week and a lot of the classes have had their first full week with Outdoor Learning in, and for some of our children it was a chance to see what we do in Outdoor Learning.  So what did we do?  Well: Grasshoppers came out and searched for viking shields - interestingly I learnt this week that "viking" has links to the nordic word for "pirate" which kinda makes sense when you think about what they got up to in their spare time.  Squirrels can to have a look around our Outdoor Learning area as we had some new friends move up from Craig Hall (our sister site if you didn't know) and they loved having a look around at Outdoor Learning and The Big Field.  Sycamore class came out for building a den for the cave baby, and you should've seen the size of them too.  The brances they used were massive.  Perfect for building.  

Tuesday saw Cedar come out and compare big and small using brances and twigs to help distinguish between sizes and help with understanding.  Oak wanted to gather their timber (sticks and twigs) for their house for their building at a later date and we helped the children understand the difference between a good sized stick and one that will crush a house if used inappropriately (no children were harmed let me assure you.)  Ladybirds had their first session searching for different types of animals, plants, trees and comparing the differences they saw, while Ash class came to see what they could find in various different areas of Outdoor Learning.  

Wednesday is a bit of an office day for me but I still have a visit from Poplar class who came and built a cracking den with their children, that stood up and everything.  It has sparked further ideas which I'm hoping to work on this week...perhaps next week certainly.   I'll let you know when I know more.  

Thursday saw Willow come and do some maths work in Outdoor Learning using "numicon" where the children had to take a numicon piece and search throughout Outdoor Learning to find the matching number, which was very enjoyable and the children really engaged with the activity.  Hazel felt that they too should have a cave of their own for the cave baby (just incase he fancied a change of scenery) and so off they went to build one (which they did) and were able to see it standing up on its own...well...sort of.  They created a "lean-to".  But they all got involved looking for various brances, twigs, sticks and leaves to add to it.  Finally Hedgehogs came out and had a bit of an multi activity session, which included making a cake out of trees, sticks, leaves and dirt.  Very sensory.  Fun.  

Friday wouldn't be the same without Butterflies coming out and starting off the morning.  If memory serves they used to do the same in the very first term that we started doing Outdoor Learning.  So they got Viking hats, shields, swords and pretended to be vikings while searching for viking shields in and around the Big Field (THE BIG FIELD - again, echo.)  

Dragonflies and Owls came to get sticks for various projects they're wanting to work on, and I've been informed that both Owls and Badgers want to start doing their class allotment for the year, so we'll be excited to get that going.  Farmers market 2019.  You just watch.  

So that's it for the first week, there's going to be a lot going on again, and I'm going to try and keep Outdoor Learning tidy, but I make no promises.  I know what I'm like.  

Here's to Butternut squashes, cucumbers and tomatoes being grown....though probably more like next year.  Its the wrong season for it.  

 

See you in a bit. 

 

 

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Swinton

Springwood Primary School (Years 1 – 6)

Barton Road

Swinton

Manchester

M27 5LP

Tel: 0161 778 0022

Craig Hall

Springwood Primary School

Preston Avenue

Irlam

Manchester

M44 5XB

Tel: 0161 921 2170