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Fledglings Autumn Term 2016

Week 6

Today we went on a farm visit and reenacted the nativity story with real animals!







Week 5

Our recipe this week was Maraq, an Israeli soup.

We looked at the difference between a potato and a sweet potato.

“One is sausage shaped and one is oval.”

“That’s very crinkly and that one is not.”

We chopped them in half and were amazed by the colours.”

“One is pink and one is yellow.”

Next we chopped the onions.  “The spice and the sweat gets in your eyes and it makes tears.”

Then we needed to dissolve the stock cube by pouring boiling water on it.

“Does dissolve mean boiling?  …Or does it mean cooking?”

“The stock cube’s gone into little bits.”

“Soon you won’t see the bits either.”

When we opened the tin of beans, they were in water.

“Get the sieve.”

“It’ll make them into little bits.”

“No, it will catch them.”




We wondered if Israeli people needed soup to keep themselves warm.  As we have been comparing the temperatures of Clifton and Israel every morning, the children remembered that Israel, so far, has been much warmer than Clifton.  So now we are wondering if it ever gets cold in Israel?!


Art Attack



Building Santa's house



Measuring with non-standard units



Making stars for the scenery of our nativity play.




Week 4

Shining Star Biscuits

Why do we make star shapes at Christmas?

“Because Santa comes at night-time and there’s stars at night.”

“Stars help Santa to see well.”

“Because they are on our Christmas tree.”

"The shepherds followed the star.”

“To Jesus and Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.”

“The star’s to lead the shepherds to Baby Jesus.”


We looked at the ‘window’ in the biscuit in the picture and wondered how to make it.

Could we use plastic? “No, you’d be sick.”

Jam? “Maybe if you put jam in the oven, it might go hard.”

“I think it’s made of broccoli ends.”

“Maybe it’s icing sugar.”


We read a bit more of the recipe and it said to use boiled sweets.


The sweets needed to be broken up, but how would we do that?  Could we tread on them?


Could we roll them with a rolling pin?


Could we bash them?



“The plastic bag stops the sweets from going all over the place.”

“I’ve got so strong muscles – they’re going red.”

“My daddy’s got knobbly muscles…You know your blood goes everywhere to your head and your hand.  If you’re breathing fast, your blood goes round.”

What will happen to the sweets in the oven?

“The oven will make them stick together.”

“They’re going to dry up.”



We started some Christmas sewing.

Quiet reading




Week 3

This week we made Israeli latkes.

We began by comparing the 2 different flours.

“That one’s yellow!”

“I wonder where the yellow comes from?...Eggs?”

“The yellow flour doesn’t feel the same…It’s crusty.”

“The white flour is soft.”

“Maybe the yellow one is Israel flour.”

“Maybe you went to a Israel shop.”


Next we needed to grate the potatoes.

“It will go into little pieces.”



We tried with a manual grater but the children then thought the machine would be quicker, so we compared the times.  With the machine it took just 5 seconds, with the manual grater it took 75 seconds and we were still only half-way through!

We put the potato in a bag and squeezed.


“Potato juice!”

“’Cos the potatoes grow with water.”

“Maybe it’s from the sea?”

“Or a pond?”

We wondered how water got into other plants.

“You water them and it drains into the soil.”

“Maybe some gets up to the roots.”


“The potato is drier now.”



 Art Attack



Plans to make snowmen and have started the process – let’s hope it works!




Week 2

 Firework art!


Today we wondered why we have Christmas – but nobody really seemed to know…

“We need to get presents.”

“Santa’s here and he’s watching you and if you’re naughty, you go on the naughty list.”

“Daddy writes a list of the things I want.”

“Santa’s got elves and they’re invisible and they can watch you at school and see if you’re good or not.”

“You have to sleep very nicely.”


So we read the Nativity story for the first time to get a better idea.


As our focus on India was so successful last half term, this half term we will be thinking about Israel and how it is the same or different to where we live.


Today we made Israeli Crescent Moon biscuits.

We talked about the different shapes of the moon – full, half and crescents.

“I saw a crescent moon at the fireworks.”

“I saw a crescent moon when I was coming back from Layla’s party.”

Why is it that shape?

“Maybe someone has eaten a bit.”

“How did they get there/”

“From a rocket station.”

“The moon just grows like that.”

“Sometimes it grows half and sometimes it grows full.”

“It’s like a ‘C’.


 “The butter’s not hard anymore…because of the sugar.”

“Maybe the sugar made it stretchy and holey.”

“Mixing it makes it soft.”

“It looks like playdough and ice cream mixed up.”


But we don’t want it soft…

“Find some hard stuff.”


“The pot’s nearly full.”

“That was quick…because it’s the small one.  The big one will take hours to fill.”

“We had vanilla with our owl ice cream.”


 We put our crescent moon biscuits on the tray.

“They look like croissants.”

“It’s a bit crowded – like London…We need to put some on another tray.”

Why do they need more space?

“In the oven they will get bigger…they will touch each other.  Then they will be snakes, not crescent shapes.”


We needed to coat the hot biscuits in a cinnamon sugar mix.

“Is it a spice from Israel?”

“It might say in a book.”

“Or the ipad.”


“I can taste the spice, but it’s nice.”

Look inside – it’s soft.”

“It’s hard on the outside and soft on the inside.”

“It tastes like pastry.”

“I can taste the butter.”



The children tried out an assortment of characters in role play today.

“Will you marry me?”

“I don’t know yet… I don’t even love you.”

“Well, you can think about it later.”


“Hello, Skeleton.  Nice to meet you! Ahaa! – A pirate ship!”


“We’re off to Africa... There’s a shark!”

“Pretend that the dolls were sharks.”

One of the children swam to an island.

“Oh no!  She’s drowned.  My magic can make her alive again…

Abracadabra!  Make a zoo!

Make them come alive,


But she didn’t come alive.

“She needs to stay on the ship…She needs to stay here.”

“I’m a doctor…Give her a blanket.  She needs a sling and some medicine.”

“There’s a massive wave coming and there’s a shark on it.”

“Hold tight!”


Challenge: to make the darkest place possible.

The children started off making several dark places…


“It’s getting darker.  Can we have a torch to see…I’m investigating…”

“I can still see the toys inside.  We need to make it darker.  Put more toys on top, then it’ll be dark.” - But it wasn't.

“I’m just checking if there’s a monster in there.”

“I’ve checked and it is dark in there.”

Then decided it would be fun to make one big one that they could all fit in.

“We can put the chairs next to this one to make it bigger, then we can all get in.  They’ll be room for 100.”

“I’ll put these pegs on so the walls don’t fall down.”

 There was lots of teamwork and cooperation but soon thoughts turned to creature comforts…

“I’ve got a good idea – this could be the chimney.”

 “The pegs are buttons so the smoke can come out the chimney and make the house warm.”

“Let’s make some breakfast to eat inside.  Oh!  I wanted that bowl…We could share it, couldn’t we?”

“Let’s go to sleep everyone.  Turn off the torches.  Good night!”




Week 1

Investigation – decaying sunflowers

“Mine’s rotten.”

“Mine’s rotten too.”

“Mine’s rotten three.”



“Sticks can be spoons!”

“It’s like saying ‘open wide’ at the dentist.”

“I found white inside the seeds.”

“What’s inside the white bit? … Nothing – just white.”

“I think there’s a mushroom inside…It’s so easy to cut…It’s all soft.”


 “Urgh!  This bit’s all slimy.”

“Sunflowers smell like mint.”

“Sunflowers need lots of water, then they can grow…they used to be like the photo but now they’re died.”

 “Thistles have prickles to stop animals eating them.”

“Thorns protect berries from the birds.”

 “Can I put some water in?... It’s not going muddy (with the stick stirrer).  Can I have a proper spoon?”

“The water’s making the seeds go soggy.”

 “My seeds are floating…now some are sinking… Ooh!  It feels all yucky and slimy now.”

“I think a slug eated a hole in this leaf.”

“When I push down, the water goes up.”



“Is that your instructions for the food?  The menu, I mean.”

“No, the letter.”

It starts with a ‘r’.



“Those are scalers.”

“To weigh how high the food is.”

“To see how much you’ve got.”


Measuring spoons: “That’s small, that’s medium, that’s big and that’s really big.”

“That’s why if you need a tiny food or a big food.  If the note says it, you have to get a tiny, middle or big.”

How could we make 4 pieces of dough?

“I know, we could chop it in the middle and then into quarters – half a half.”

“Yes!  Now there’s 4!”



The flours were different.  “This one is darker.”

“It might be Indian flour.”


Is olive oil like water?

“It comes from bees.”

“It’s more golden.”

“You get some water and some honey in it and a bit of pear and it turns out like that.”

“It’s a bit sticky…It’s a bit like honey… Water goes a bit fast.”

“The oil will make the flour sticky.”

“We need to mix it and put it in the oven.”

“It’s like hard dough.”


 We kneaded the dough.

“Mine is feeling stretchy.”

“When you stretch it, it feels like it’s going to break but it doesn’t.”


 We wondered what the new tool was for…

 “Patting”, “Mixing”, “Rolling”.

Which rolling pin was the Indian one?”

“That one, because Indian people love different colours.”

We compared our normal rolling pin with the chapatti roller.

“It’s not the same length.”

 “Both have got handles.”

“That one has a slope.”


“Look at my chapatti!  It’s the same thin as hers.”



Was the Indian bread going to be like the bread we usually eat?

“It’s going to be flat.”

“A different colour.”

“Our bread’s kind of soft.”

“And you can put your finger in it.”

“It’s squashy.”


Role play:  the children started off in the Indian jungle but the play soon turned to Indian villages.

“I want food, but there’s no food in the jungle – but there’s blackberries to pick.”

“I picked the food off the trees…oranges  I’ve got toast too…There are no shops.  I travelled so far – 15 hours.  It was in France.  I went on an aeroplane…I look after animals – crocodiles and tigers and I even look after an eagle bird.  I have to have special gloves.  If they fight me, I just say ‘calm down’ and they do.”

“I’m an Indian builder.  I’m making a house for a giant Indian rabbit.  This grass is something for him to munch on in his house – it’s underground.”

“This is an Indian house.  It’s got a so colourful carpet.”

The children decided to call their village ‘Achumien’.

“Or we could call it ‘Chapatti Village’!"



As it has been Diwali this week we compared it to our own Fireworks night.  We learn that during Diwali, people decorate their floors with pictures of lotus flowers and other patterns...


so we had a go on the playground with chalk.

“They’ll come and say, ‘Look at these Indian patterns – I won’t step on these!’”




Later we made Diwali tea light holders with empty milk containers and autumn leaves.


 They looked beautiful lit up in the darkened classroom.



 Our version of The Gruffalo!



Our Gruffalo models are finally finished.





Week 7

Rain had got into one of the sand trays.  The children loved investigating what happens when you mix dry sand and wet.


“When you put sand in water, it’s so soggy.”

“Dry sand is so soft.  Wet sand is a bit soft and a bit hard.”

“The sand is getting warm because of the sun.”

“What will it turn into if it’s dry sand and wet sand together?...Oh!  It’s got drier.”

“The wet sand is squashier.”

“The water maked it sticky.”

We tried to squeeze water out of the wet sand.  “There’s no water – it just breaks….The water soaked into it.”


Cookery:  Chana Masala (chickpea curry)

“We don’t make curry – we just buy it.”

“I actually made curry when I was camping – chicken and rice.”

We grated the ginger – “It’s gone all mushy.”


Where does ginger come from?

The children decided it was not a seed, or a flower, or a tree, or petals, or leaves.  We needed a clue…  ‘It rhymes with boots...’


We used our muscles to squeeze the juice out of the lemon.  “Yes!  I just saw a drip!”

“It’s tricky to squeeze them.”

“I put my fingers inside.”

“That’s the best way.”

“I know! – Use a lemon squeezer.  Push it and turn it at the same time.”


We compared Indian food to British food.

“Indian food is much more spicier.”

“Indian people eat curry for breakfast!”


Where do spices come from?



But where do the shop people get them from?


We looked at some cumin seeds…

“They’re seeds!”

“They come from flowers!”




“Chana masala sounds like something we’ve never eaten before.  If Indian people are talking we can’t understand what they are saying.”

“But if we ask the computer, we will know!”

We found out that Indian people call chick peas ‘chana’.

“We say ‘chick peas’ and they say ‘chana’ – that’s different!”


Later we made some chai tea to have with our curry.



“It smells like ginger.”

“There’s ginger in our curry.”


“My tongue’s spicy – can I have a drink of water?”

“I can’t taste the tomatoes.”

“The beans are very yummy.”

“The flat bead is all different – ours is all big.”

“You mean ‘high’…It only feels like the crust of our bread.”


Water play:

"I'm the zoo keeper."

“I need to wash the elephants trunks…I’ll do the baby ones first…Your trunk is so dirty…These are big elephants – they will take ages.”





Junk modelling




Forest School

“I’ve made a telescope…I can see the trees.”


“I can see trees – autumn trees cos they’ve got some yellow on.”

“I can see Mrs Watson!”

“Can I have a look?”

“Can I?”

“I can see stars and planets and the Earth.”


“There’s a woodlouse.  Don’t kill them…they’re special…they’re nice.  I can’t count the legs ‘cos they’re so tiny…I think there’s 4.”


“I’m making a house for a mouse…let me see if that’s right ‘cos I’m not sure…Yes, it is!”




“This is a canon slide to shoot the Gruffalo but it’s taller than the Gruffalo so he won’t see it when the fox shoots it.”


“We’re going round the swamp…the crocodile might get my stick – it’ll drown.”


“It’s easier with a stick.”

“I don’t need a stick ‘cos when I do a wobbly I just put my arms out.”

“But we are old ladies.  Old ladies fall over that’s why they’re old.”


Block Play – great determination to balance the blocks, despite a lot of attempts. 



We are still working hard on our Gruffalo models.

“The sponge makes little patterns.  It’s like a sprinkle pattern…the paintbrush is best.  I like the stripy pattern it makes.”

“I want to make a different sort of green…It’s very dark.  Can I have some white? … Now it’s army tank green…  I’ve made 3 different sorts of green.”

“I would like to make it a different brown.  I would like it lighter…yellow is super-light like the sun…Now the brown is a bit lighter… I’ll put some white in…Now it’s turned hazel.”

“Oh!  I forgot to do his horns…If I cut these out they would be perfect.  This could be the right horn and this could be the left one…  Oh!  They keep falling off – I think I need to use tape…I want to make knobbly knees…I think we need black and red to make brown.  Let’s just give it a try.  If it doesn’t work, we’ll try another colour.”

It didn’t work so we asked a friend.

“You need a bit of sun and a bit of white.”

“It worked!”




Week 6

Today we watched a video about pendulum painting and had a go.  We tried with sand, pens and paint but it wasn’t very successful. 

“Maybe we need a different pot…”

“Maybe the paint isn’t runny.”

“I think the sand can’t get out the hole…we could make it bigger.”





The children have been very keen to make owl ice cream, so we did – except we used bananas instead of owls!

We needed just 3 ingredients:  frozen bananas, double cream and vanilla essesnce.

“What’s that?... Maybe it’s medicine.”

“It smells strong.”

“It smells like butterscotch syrup.”

“It’s vanillagar.”


 “The bananas and all cold and frozen… They’ve been in the fridge.”

“It’s freezing.  Really cold.  Feel them!”

“They’ve been in the freezer cos the box is cold.”

“If you squash bananas, they go squash… Cold bananas won’t be squashed.”



What will happen to them in the blender?

“It will go all crumbly.”

“It will be gone.”

“It will make ice cream.”

“It will grind them up into little pieces…the blades are sharp.”



Whipping the cream:

“When we holded it, it was like very wobbly.”

“It’s stuck.”

“It’s hard.”



We made a label for the ice cream “So you know what you’ve done.”



Role play:  Today the children pretended to be jungle explorers.

“There’s tigers in the jungle… It’s so dark I need googles…I’m going back out of the jungle…I need my kit of knives…”

“I’ve found a spider – a poisonous spider….Oh no!  It’s crawling up my hand – I need a lid!”



 “I can see now.  The goggles are so the water doesn’t sting my eyes – the water from the swamp.”

“I’m trying to find everything, but I can’t because they’re so tiny.  They’re so fast.  I want to find a tiny poisonous frog.”

“I live under a tree.  I want fish.  I’m going to the swamp to catch fish.


Forest School:

The children made animal homes like in the story of The Gruffalo – a tree top house, a log pile house and a house for a mouse (“I’ve put a stone on top of the roof to stop it blowing away in the wind.”… “He can use this bit as a slide!”…  “I’m putting the walls on.”…  “This is a look-out – he can see the owl!”)



Later the children enjoyed balancing around the circle of logs (“Don’t fall in the swamp!”) and making different lengths of see-saw.


We enjoyed watching a very hairy caterpillar crawl along – just like the children in P.E.!


Art Attack – the children explored ways of decorating pasta.



Water Play


“Mine’s up to number 1…now it’s up to number 2.”

“This is too heavy – I’ll tip a bit out.”

“We could make a swamp (we’ve been learning about crocodiles in India) – we need mud and clean water.”


“We’re making a fabluyus river!”

“I’m pretending to be an Indian girl and making the river.”  The children made up songs as they worked – “Let’s get some more water, more water…”

“Where are we going to find some mud?”

“The molehill!”


“The mud’s really sloppy and poppy.”

“It’s a great swamp – grassy water, grassy mud, grassy water, grassy mud…”

“I’ll check it’s the right temperature – yep – it is the right temperature.”

“This one’s a chocolate swamp.”


Gruffalo models:

One of the children spotted the colour mixing chart on the wall so we used it to help mix brown paint.  We decided to mix red and yellow first – “It is turning orange” – then we added blue to make brown.  One tried mixing in more yellow to make it lighter, another thought they would try white – the children noticed that the browns were now different.



The models are quite large so there was much debate as to the best way to cover them in paint.

“I’m using a roller…’cos it’s like Funky Fingers.  Funky Fingers is healthy for your fingers…the roller’s easier ‘cos this bit’s a bit long… Paint brushes are slow and rollers are quicker.”

“I’m going to use a sponge…No, it’s too slow – I need a brush.”

“I’m using 2 brushes – it’s quicker than one.”

“It’s too tricky with the roller to paint the arms – I need my brush.”

“I need a brush to go round his prickles ‘cos the roller goes up them (instead of around them).”

“I used a roller after the paintbrush…it’s different.  When you go over the paint with the roller the pattern is spotty – like a Meer cat I think.”





Week 5


“Are those Indian ingredients?”

“Can we dress up in Indian clothes to ‘vestigate them?”


“The garlic’s got paper on! ...It’s making me cry by looking at it.”

“It hurts my eyes too.”

“It doesn’t hurt mine.  My mummy says I have special eyes.”

“It’s crushing all the skin off.”


 “The rice is hard.”

“You need to cook it in the oven for a hundred years to make it soft.”


 “I’m making curry.  It smells really strong…My daddy likes spicy food – he eats it all the time.”

Mine smells of garlic.”

“Mine smells really stinky.”

“Can I smell yours?”

“Mine smells lovely.”

“That one smells really strong.”

“That looks like a curry with sauce.”

 “The naan has gone all squishy and blobby.”


“How much does this weigh?... It weighs 9.”

“Please can I weigh mine?”

“The scales say 6  200….Her’s says 100 – mine is heavier.”


This week we have been looking at animals that live in India (tiger, crocodile, eagle owl, peacock, snake) and have had a go at drawing them.


"I'm being really careful doing mine."


The Gruffalo has terrible teeth so we made some in Cookery.  This was a good opportunity to think about shapes, particularly triangles and rectangles.

“This has 3 sides and that one’s got 4 sides.”


“We could make a house with them.”

“We live in the rectangle.”

“A rectangle is wider than a square.”

“There’s an attic in there – in the triangle.”

“You have to push really hard then it will make a little line…”

“So you know where to snip.”

“I’m gonna use all my strength now.”

“If you push really hard, you can peel it a bit.”




We smelt the mint before we snipped it.


“I have mint in curry.  Daddy made Indian food last night.”

“The shapes are all soft and floppy.”

“I think they will go white and hard in the oven.”

“I think they will change colour – go golden.”

“They will be puffy and fat.”



The children enjoyed eating the Gruffalo teeth.

 "Oh!  They're hard and crispy."


“It’s still the same shapes – a rectangle and a triangle.”

“The wrap just curled round – now it snaps.”

“The Gruffalo’s teeth stick out…Mine are straight and his are curved.”


 We watched a video and had a chat about teeth cleaning before having a go.


“They can fall out when you don’t brush them.”

“You need to brush your teeth twice a day.  Night and morning.  They are sharp and hard.”

“So you can chew.”

“Teeth fall out and big ones grow.  Do you know what baby teeth are called – milky teeth.”

“Teeth grow out of gum.”

“Babies don’t have any teeth.”

“They were hiding under our gums.”

“The germs are scared of the toothpaste!”

“Clean the top and bottom and the sides.”

“You have to brush ‘cos their might be chocolate in your teeth.”

“Teeth can have germs in and you brush your teeth for a million times for 2 minutes or 5 minutes.”

“In between your teeth there’s some ingredients of cake sometimes.  That’s why you have the coloured toothpaste.”

“Teeth can have holes in them.  So basically, if you don’t brush your teeth, they get holes in them.”

“The dentist has to fix them.”

“Maybe he just glues them.”

“I’ve got 12 teeth.”

“I’ve got 25.”


Water Play:  we watched a video of Indian women doing their laundry in the river, which inspired the children to do their own. 

“I’m wringing this out…My mummy and daddy do this when I go swimming.”


“We need to make a river… We need the buckets…”


“It’s not flowing the right way…”


Making a house for a Gruffalo

“How about we have 2 doors, ‘cos in my house we have 2 doors.”

“Would you like a builder hat, then you won’t hurt your head.”



“There’s definitely room for a Gruffalo in ours!”

“Can you help me out this roof on?”


We're still working on our Gruffalo models.


"I can't use that - it's too hard and black."

"Oh dear!  That's too long...I'll have to snip."

"Why is my Gruffalo not standing up?... Maybe his knee is too knobbly... See!  It keeps falling...Maybe the Gruffalo is too heavy for his legs...maybe he just wants to cuddle me!"

"I was just thinking."

"I was wondering why it was all quiet."

"I was just thinking where to put my wool - on his tummy!"

"I think at night.  I think about my Gruffalo - about his purple prickles...It'll be finished when it's got everything it needs - can I check my plan?"





Week 4

Our Gruffalo models are coming along!


Funky Fingers! (Building core strength)



This week we investigated wheat biscuits.


“It smells like breakfast.”

“Yeah!  Like Weetabix.”

“Mine’s snapped – it made a crackling sound.”

“It makes crumbles.”

How could we stick it back together?


“No! – It would taste horrid!”

We tried anyway, but it wasn’t successful.

Soon we added some water.


“It’s turning browner.”

“Mine feels soft now.”

“Mine is still crusty.”

“Mine’s all squishy and plump.”

“The water’s stuck it all back together without glue!”


“Shall we make Gruffalo crumble?”

“I’m making porridge.”

“Do you want a turn of this?”

“Yes please.”

“You can have this in a minute…”

“But it is in a minute – you said a minute 4 minutes ago!”


“It’s sticky – I need to make it drier…I need another one to make this lot drier.”

“Can I feel yours?...Eeugh!”

“I’m going to make a ball – look at it stick!”

“I made a ball!  Finally!  I made a ball!”

"it's not easy to snip."


“We could use this as glue!”

“I’m putting my gluey glue in my warm glue and it makes it all harder.”

 We put our hands in – “It’s so so so soft!”



“It won’t come through – it needs to be sloppier.”

“I’m pouring – it made a ploppy sound.”

 “It’s really heavy – that one isn’t ‘cos it’s all sloppy.”

“I love ‘vestigatin’!”


Making snakes - just like in The Gruffalo

“You know, when you roll it, the pastry gets bigger and thinner.”



Is whisking the same as stirring?

“Yes, you go round and round real fast….Sometimes the egg jumps up.”




Later the children chose Indian names, dressed in Indian clothes and we sat on the floor - just like Indians - to eat our 'snakes'.

“Why don’t they use knives and forks?”

 “I like sitting on the carpet to eat.”



A walk across the fields.







When we got back we estimated how many conkers were in our collection, then checked by counting.  There were 165!



Art Attack – mixing colours and paying attention to details.



“Let’s pretend we’re Indian girls.”

I’m not so I don’t know what you’re saying.”

“Say Namaste.  That means ‘hello’.”

“Pretend I’m French cos my Daddy’s Mummy lives in France.”

“Then you have to say ‘Bonjour’.”


 Indian dancing.

“I look like a pretty Indian people.”



We looked at a photo of Indian people carrying containers on their heads.

“It will hurt their heads.”

“Is it a flowerpot?...With soil and seeds to grow flowers?”

“It’s got blackberries in.”

“Or strawberries.”

“I think it’s got water in.”

Why do they need to collect water?

“They have nothing to drink…They get water from dirty rivers.. It will give them tummy aches.”


We tried carrying buckets of water on our heads during water play, then had another look at the photo.

“Their pots are heavier than ours.”

“And they’re only holding on with one hand.”

“And they’ve got pretty dresses on – we’ve got our uniforms.”

Could you walk a long way with the bucket of water on your head?  “No!...We would spill it…it would be too heavy.”


Week 3

This week we investigated what happens when you mix cornflour with water – it makes a liquid that is also a solid!  The children were fascinated.



“It’s squeaky – I can hear it squeak.

“I can feel it squeak!”

“It’s like milk.”

“It feels gluey.”

“It’s a little bit runny and a little bit hard…it’s slow.”

“It’s bumpy and lumpy.”

“Oh it’s gone hard – feel it!  The spoon is stuck.”

“I’ve got worms.”

“I’ve got raindrops.”

“It’s all escaping.”

“If you push your finger in really hard it makes a mark.”

“Let’s play catch the blob!...Pass it round before it melts…Quick!  It’s melting!”

“Mine’s gone hard.”

“Mine’s gone super-hard.”

“Can I feel it?... Oh!  Too late.  It’s gone runny again.”

“It’s a volcano – it’s called lava.”


Funky Fingers





Today we had the Nifty Numbers shop.  In order for the children to become really familiar with the number shapes we used them instead of money to buy craft materials for a collage.

 Some children even bought multiple items.




Gruffalos apparently like Roasted Fox but we didn’t think we could make that in cookery, so we made roast potatoes instead.  “Let’s pretend the potatoes are roasted fox!”

“Potatoes come from the ground.”

“From a potato plant.”

“From a farm.”

“68689 – that’s the number of potatoes on a farm.”

We found a knobbly potato – just like the Gruffalo’s knees!


We carefully peeled the potatoes using our Gruffalo claws.  “The peeler’s got sharp bits – use claws on the end of the potato because the peeler won’t cut your skin off.”


“’Roasted’ means ‘cook’.

“It means put it in the oven.”

We could see the oil bubbling.  “That means it’s hot.”

We chatted about the steam.”

“It comes from hotness.”

“It isn’t smoke.”

“Smoke comes out of fires and it comes out of trains’ funnels.”

“The water gets hot from the kettle.  The electrics make it work.”


Having lunch in an underground house – just like in the Gruffalo story!”

“It will be dark…and scary… and muddy…and dangerous – there might be Gruffalos!...I can hear footprints!”

We closed the blinds and turned the lights off.  (Unfortunately this meant the photos weren’t very good!)  “Can you turn the lights on really darkerer, ‘cos I like it really dark.”

We laid the table.

“I have grown-up cutwuree at home now.”

There were guests – Princess Mole (x3!), Mr Mole, Baby Fox, Mother Mole, Mr Fox, Mrs Princess Rabbit and Queen Mole.

The roasted 'fox' with gravy was delicious.


After ' lunch' the children decided to make their own underground house.


“Come on, moles, make it bigger – we need more clips…There’s no more room…We’ll have to make it even bigger.”

“Can you hold this while I get the clips?”

“I’ll get the clips – don’t worry!”

“Thank you, Mrs Fox.”

“Mrs Fox, you did say I could have a sleepover today.”

“Of course you can!”

“Mrs Fox, to be honest we can’t find anywhere to live.”

“We have to make more room!”


Whole School Art Day:

“I liked doing the flags ‘cos I liked doing it with my sister.”

“It was a bit tricky to paint on the fabric.”

“I liked all of it.”

“And me!”

“And me!”



To practise using positional language, we washed paint off the furniture in the sunshine.  It was also a good physical activity and an opportunity to talk about how  it isup to everyone to help look after the place where we live.

“There’s a bit of green next to the blue...and there's red below the green."

“I’m scrubbing the underneath.”

“The back’s done – now I’m doing the front.”

“Can I put it upside down?”

“This side is really dirty.”




Enjoying books together.






Week 2

Our physical movement focus this week is twisting and turning.




This afternoon we investigated broad beans.


“They smell like the compost bin.”

We prised them open and made a discovery…

“It’s soft like a blanket.”

“Or a pillow.”

“Or a kitten – kittens are soft.”

“It looks like something to wash your baby with.”

“This bean’s snuggled up in his bed.”

“I’ve taken the skin off – I’m peeling it.”

“There’s juice inside!”

“It’s like an egg with the top off.”

“The skins look like little cracked eggs.”

“You know some people’s skins are different – some people’s skin are hard and some people’s skins are soft and some people’s skin looks brown.”


On Tuesday we were going to make Gruffalo Crumble but Morrisons had run out of Gruffalos, so we used apples instead! 

The children remembered that if there wasn’t any of something, we call it ‘zero’.

We used our fingertips to rub the butter into the flour…



“The butter’s disappeared!”

“It’s in the flour.”

“It’s all crumbled up.”

…then we stirred in the sugar.

 “Sugar makes your teeth bad.”

“I brush my teeth every day.  You brush the sugar off.”

We concluded that we should only eat a little bit of sugar and just as a treat.


We used Gruffalo claws to hold the apples while we were slicing them to help keep our fingers safe. 

“I don’t like apple crumble.”

“Just try it and see if you do like it.”

“OK, I’ll try it cos I might like it.”


A game of balance – can you pass the toy continuously underneath and around your body?


Outside art.


Cookery role play

The children set up a café for their apple crumble.  They took orders, checked their customers were happy and had a go at paying with the number shapes. 



“Would you like something to drink?...I’d like some of that wine.”

"Oh my goodness, customers! We are running out of wine. You'll have to have something different tomorrow."

Waitress checking on customers: “Is everything OK?”

“It’s lovely.  All of it is lovely.  Can I have some more please?”

“I’m putting the drink on the table – just pass it round.”

“Are we in England?”

“Yes, but some people live in other countries.  Do you know, in Germany they say ‘bitte’ for ‘please’and ‘danke’ for ‘thank you’.

“In America they speak our language but with a different sound.”

“Why do people have a different language?”


Forest School – We thought maybe we could make Gruffalo crumble outside…


“Maybe the grass could be the sprinkles.”

“This is Grass Crumble with Molehill Mud!”

“Mud Crumble anyone?”

“I’m making Snake Pie – it’s got kids in!”

“This is Fox Ice cream – I’m going to put the owl and the fox and the snake in.”

“My pie keeps coming apart – I need soggy mud…this is going to dry perfectly.”

“Watch out for the thorns!”

“I’ve nearly finished – just the corner to do.”

“I can see a worm.  Look at him!  He’s just a baby…because he’s so tiny.”


Nifty Numbers


Water Play

There was lots of cooperation


“It’s not working very well – we need to try this watering can…Oh no!  That doesn’t work…use this one again.”


“Shall we pretend this is a hot tub?”


“We’re elephants aren’t we?”




Block Play – who could build the tallest tower?




A few towers had the wobbles but the children were undeterred.

“Very gently put that one on and then I’ll stand on a chair and put this one on.”



“Oh dear!  Let’s make a different one.”


Negotiation –

“I want to build a safari park now.”

“But we’re building a tower…why don’t we build a safari park and a tower?”

“I’ve got a good idea – we could build a safari park and build it up really high.”


Later the towers changed into the longest road!



We’ve started our Gruffalo models!




Another week over!




Week 1

The children have settled in really well and were very excited about their first Cookery session.

We began by talking about hand washing.


 “You don’t need germs.  They bounce around on your hands.”

“The germs might get in our sandwiches…I can hear the germs squeaking!”

“The germs might hop off your hands and onto your food.”

Why do we need soap?

 “So they can slide off.”

“If the germs are in our tummies, it makes you have a tummy ache.”


Then we set about making Pinwheel sandwiches with soft cheese, lettuce and chives.

We rolled out the bread and it looked really funny  -  not the same at all.

“One is skinny and one is fat.”

“That one is taller.”

“No. Fatter.”

“Yes, it’s fatter.”

The children noticed that is was easier to spread the cheese if the knife was flat on the bread, so they all had a go.


“If you hold the knife straight, it takes the cheese off!”

“It looks like a (roll of) carpet!”


Once the children had sliced the sandwiches, they wrote name labels to help them remember which ones were theirs.




Fun in the sandpit and the water tray.




The children have enjoyed exploring Funky Finger activities, which are to help strengthen their arm, hand and finger muscles ready for fabulous writing!  They have shown great perseverance too!




Our very first Art Attack and Block Play sessions.




On Friday we drew plans for our first design and technology project – the Gruffalo, from the book of the same title.



A great first week, but by the end we were all exhausted!