In the Foundation Stage at St.Josephs, the children are taught to share and care about others reflecting the Catholic values in our mission statement. Our dedicated Early Years team provide a happy, caring and secure learning environment where your child will flourish.
The children were all eager to be back in school for what promises to be an exciting term full of surprises, visitors and magic! This term we will be learning about the people who help us in the community with some festivals and celebrations thrown in for good measure.
We started the term learning about the festival of Diwali. This is a festival of light celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs across the world. The festival celebrates the new year and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. We listened to the story of Rama and Sita, made diva lamps and Drew Rangoli patterns at the door to the class to welcome the new year into out class. We had a lovely Indian banquet with the nursery, trying samosas, bhajis and popadoms with mango chutney.
What a scarily good day we had, the children looked amazing in their costumes and we spent the day concocting spells and potions, counting ghosts, making spiders and spooky bracelets. We had a spooky party with the nursery, we ate pumpkin tangerines, bloody bats, ghostly bites and drank goblin wee !!
We celebrated Bonfire night with by hearing all about the gunpowder plot and the plan to blow up the King and the Houses of Parliament. The children loved finding out about the story of Guy Fawkes and looking at pictures of the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London and Big Ben. We made firework pictures, edible sparklers and sat around the bonfire drinking hot chocolate. The fire service came to school to talk to the children about being safe during bonfire night and showed them their uniform and equipment, perfect for our topic this half term.
The nurse came into class to talk to the children about how to wash their hands. She showed them how easily germs are passed and talked to the children about how important it is to wash their hands thoroughly. She put some special lotion onto the children's hands after they had washed them, which lit up under a special lamp to show the germs and dirt they had missed. We are now expert hand washers!!
The children marked Rememerance Day with respect and reverence. We talked about how soldiers protect us and keep us safe. We found out some information about the two World Wars and looked at photographs from that time. The children found out about the poppies on Flanders Field and how poppy seeds can remain in the soil for 8 years,waiting for the right time to grow. During the war, the poppies couldn't grow on the trampled battlefields and at the end of the war the poppies bloomed beautifully where there had been fighting. We made poppies from playdough and using tissue paper. We used some famous paintings of poppies by Georgia O' Keefe as inspiration for some lovely paintings.
The children were thrilled when the police came to visit us. They talked to the children about their job and all the very different things they do, from investigating and catching robbers to helping children if they are lost or making sure everyone has fun at the football matches.The police brought a police uniform from the Victorian times and the children had to compare the two uniforms, today's and from times gone by. A torch and a gaslamp, a radio and a rattle, a top hat and a helmet. The children then got the chance to dress up in the police uniforms and we went into the police car, turned on the lights and even the siren. It was such a brilliant visit.
We have been learning all about Baptism. Mrs.Ormrod made a little church in the nursery and we joined together with the nursery children to baptise baby Sienna. Loughlan was the priest and the mummy and daddy chose the god parents. We talked about how the parents are bringing the baby to be baptised because they want their baby to be part of Gods family and during baptism the baby is welcomed into the church family . Father Loughlan poured holy water onto the baby's head and made a sign of the cross on her chest with the holy oil of Chrism. He lit the special baptism candle from the Pascal candle and gave it to the parents and godparents as a sign that Jesus is the light of the world.
We began our journey through Advent by making a wreath for our classroom altar. We started with a ring, the circle represents Gods everlasting love for us. We added evergreen leaves, to show how Gods love is never ending. The four candles represent the weeks of advent, each with their own special meaning. The rose coloured candle tells us we are almost through advent and finally the White candle is to be lit on Christmas Day, to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. The children made their own wreaths using paint, tissue paper and playdough.
We have had lots of fun in the lead up to Christmas. The role play area has become a Christmas post office and the children are busy writing and posting letters to Santa and cards to their family and friends. We have a cheeky elf on our class who likes to leave us messages and get up to mischief. He left us the instructions to make snowman soup, after making a chocolate Angel on the table out of the hot chocolate powder. We have been making cards and decorations and completing Christmassy maths activities.
The children did an amazing job of re-telling the story of the birth of baby Jesus. They all said their lines loud and clear and sang at the top of their voices. We were so proud of each and every one of them.
The children had a brilliant time at our Christmas party. We played musical statues and pass the parcel, had some lovely party food and even a surprise special visitor arrived. It was a lovely day.
The children enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner wearing our reindeer hats. They pulled crackers and sang Christmas songs in between eating their delicious dinner and yummy pudding.
The children have made a wonderful start to the new school year. They are already working hard in phonics and maths and learning the new routines we have in Reception.
The children had noticed we had a sunflower growing in our vegetable patch. They were looking in one of the art books and they saw Van Goghs sunflowers, so we used this picture for inspiration and the children created their own sunflower paintings and collages.
We celebrated Roald Dahl day by reading " The Enormous Crocodile". The children loved how sneaky the crocodile was and how he didn't get to eat any of the children in the story as the other jungle animals saved them. We enjoyed making handprint, playdough and collage crocodiles, the children's favourite makes were masks and stretchy crocs.
Thank you to all the parents who attended our reading and phonic workshop. We are excited to start your child's reading and writing journey with St.Josephs and look forward to watching them flourish and become excellent readers and writers.
The Reception children joined in with the Macmillan Coffee morning. We talked about how important nurses are and had a look in some information books to find out more about their job and how they look after sick people and children. The children enjoyed making cakes and biscuits and having a lovely cup of tea.
The children enjoyed finding out about Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. We found out that this is a time of repentance and celebration and the Jewish people make promises for the year ahead. Sweet food is eaten, pomegranates, apples and honey. Special bread called Sholah is also made and shared at family gatherings. We made our own Sholah bread which we shared with the nursery children and we enjoyed apples dipped in honey. The children had a go at making their own Sholah loaves out of playdough and made some of their own new year promises.
We went for a lovely walk in our school woodland area in the beautiful Autumn sunshine. The children took brown paper bags with them to collect any interesting things they might find. There were lots of different coloured leaves and seeds and loads of apples. The children collected their Autumnal finds and brought them back to class. We used them for some maths activities, counting and making number lines, talking about size and making patterns.
The children are working hard in their daily phonics lessons. They are beginning to use their phonic knowledge to spell simple words correctly and are using their knowledge of some tricky words to write little sentences.
Wow, what a response we had to our Breakfast and a book morning. Thank you to everyone who came and made it a success. It was a lovely, relaxed, cosy morning and the children loved sharing their favourite books with their mums and dads, and eating pastries and drinking juice. We love books in Reception, not just storybooks but information and fact books, the stories of real life famous people, books about how we can help the environment, lift the flap books, pop up books and books that make us laugh out loud, the list is endless!!
The children have really enjoyed the lovely Autumn sunshine we have been enjoying. They love to play outside and use the different equipment we have in imaginative ways. We have been developing a bog garden area this half term and the children were so excited to find a family of frogs living in it. A big green one, a medium sized brown one and a little one. They love feeding the birds and looking for bugs. In the mud kitchen they have loved using the herbs and berries from around the garden to make perfumes and potions.
We had a great Gruffalo week. The children have loved emersing themselves in the story, from making the characters out of playdough to painting brilliant pictures of them. They have read stories in the Gruffalo cave and recreated the story in the small world using the brilliant little characters Mrs.Armes made from corks and pipe cleaners. We finished the week and in fact the half term off with a Gruffalo party, eating poisonous warts, roasted fox, scrambled snake, orange eyes and log pile houses and drinking purple prickle juice.