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Fledglings Summer 2016

Week 7

Please click here for the gallery of photos for Horner's Mill.

Week 6

This week’s bridge challenge was to use just newspaper and tape to create a bridge to support the toy car. The ultimate success would be to make a self-supporting bridge (not using furniture or other items as part of the structure), but whilst a design was decided on for this, it proved too unstable in practice.  Using furniture, we had some success with a variety of designs.






In Cookery we wondered how pirates would make coconut cupcakes. 

“They can go to an island to get the coconut – off a tree!”

“They need to shake the milk to make butter – put it in a jam jar and shake it really hard and it will turn into butter!”

“They can take flour with them.  It won’t go rotten.”

“Take a chicken for eggs!”


We used desiccated coconut in the recipe but had a look at a fresh one.

“Has it got wood on it?”

Some thought the ‘milk’ would look like cows milk and others thought it would look like water.

“It is like water!...But it tastes funny!”

Before we cracked it open we predicted what colour it would be inside.  Some thought pink, others thought yellow.  They were surprised when it was white.

“Like the dry stuff we used in the cakes!”

They weren’t keen on the taste of the fresh coconut but loved the cakes!”





In Nifty Numbers we looked at maps and directions, including north, south , east and west.

“I’m going to get one of these (compasses) when I’m older so if I need to go to Tenbury, I will know the way.”

We made trails and labelled them with directional cards to help someone complete it.


In the story of The Troll, the troll is fed up eating fish but the pirates love it!  We investigated some real fish.

“Are they dead?”

“Yes, ‘cos if fish come out of water, they die.”

“I’ve found his bones…They hold your skin in place and so you can move about.”

“We might find the whole skeleton of a fish!”

“We’ve found his tongue and his teeth – tiny teeth!”

“This is its brain – it was in his head.”

“Shall we cut his heart out? ...I’ve got it!”

“That means his blood has stopped pumping now.”

“The blood goes in his heart and then out again.”





Week 5

We had a treat this week when the Animal Man brought in lots of strange and exciting creatures for us to see.  The children particularly loved the long snake and the baby barn owl!








Role play: the story of the troll is based on the story of The 3 Billy Goats gruff so we re-enacted it.  The children practised in groups inside with their different voices then put on a ‘show’ for each other outside using masks.  The children had to listen for their cue and all of them remembered what to say!  Our narrator embellished the story with great panache.



Carefully painting our boats models.




On Thursday we went to the Early Years Music Festival at the Chantry High School.  The theme this year was ‘Shiver me Timbers’ so we all had great fun dressing up as pirates and mermaids and singing pirate songs.




Week 4

Working on our boat models.


Investigation:  How to save Pirate Egg from smashing when he walks the plank.

The children started off very simply with a carpet tile, but soon their discussions led them to be far more protective.  They made the distance from the plank to the floor less by stacking up carpet tiles, but then worried he might roll off the stack and smash on the floor.  An idea was hit upon to make soft barriers to stop this from happening.  We tested various versions and they all worked – Pirate Egg was still intact.





But what about falling into real water?  The first few tries were fine with no damage, but finally Pirate Egg cracked – and the children were secretly rather pleased!



This week we wanted to make some Pirate Grog but we couldn’t see the numbers on the measuring jugs very well so we made our own by writing ‘full’, ‘half’ and ‘quarter’ on them (the children remembered that you have to cut a half in half to make a quarter).


Grog was made by pirates to stop the ‘yucky, slimy water’ from tasting so bad by adding alcohol.  We substituted other ingredients and wrote some labels.


Then we carefully measured out the ingredients:

Yucky, slimy water (lemonade): ½ jug

Rum (raspberry juice): ¼ jug

Wine (apple juice): ¼ jug

Beer (orange juice): ¼ jug



We mixed the ingredients in a blender.

“Pirates didn’t have electricity on the ship…Maybe they used a spoon.”

“They didn’t have many shops to buy stuff in.”


We poured the grog into our measuring jug and it was “a little bit less than full.”

Then we poured it into the blue jug.

“It’s not full anymore.”

“Because that jug is taller than that one.”

“If I met some good pirates, I would say, “Try this grog!”



Making clocks



A building challenge:  can you make a bridge to support a toy car using just lolly sticks, wool and tape?

This proved as much a test of engineering as perseverance and team work!

It took a good deal of trial and error and the children were encouraged to look at each other’s’ to see which aspects worked well and try to emulate or improve on them.  After much effort and to the children’s delight, most of the bridges stood up to the car test!


“Oh!  It’s not safe.”

“Can you just hold that under please?”

“I’m going to look to see how they did it.”

“We’re taping on the handrails.”



“This is the post to tie the string to get to the other side.”

“The string’s too wide – we need to make it narrower.”

“We stuck ours together to make one big bridge so if it falls the car won’t fall in the water.”

“I wouldn’t like to walk across – not when I’m this age.  When I’m older, I will do it.  It looks scary!”




Week 3

Some findings from the traps we set last week.



Solve it!  How many parrots at 3p each can you buy for 21p?


After last week’s discussion about the lack of fresh food aboard a pirate ship and the ensuing conversation about butter, we decided to make some.  We started off with one ingredient (double cream) and ended up with two (buttermilk and butter)!  It was very tasty!




Making pirate ships with oranges and jelly!




We made the pulp into juice, then drank it!



The Troll in the story goes fishing, which was the inspiration for our role play.  First the children set about working out how to make fishing rods, then set off on a fishing trip!




Playing with symmetry.



Art Attack

Some children were keen to continue printing with bubble wrap, others made star fish with Cheerios for suckers!




Lots of activities with Beebots.



Water play:

Hand prints


Small world play: can we get the whale to whoosh down the spiral?



Will the fish come out the top if we fill the container with water?


Water power – a new version of ‘Walk the Plank’!


Block Play – the challenge was to build a build to span the river (blue fabric).  Some used traditional building blocks.



“Is this Ok to walk across?   Hmmm… I’m not sure…I know – the teddies can go across!”



Others used Weetabix.

It took a while to work out a method but then – success!



But what if the fabric had really been water?

The children were really not sure -  “The water might push the bridge over.”  “It would float away.”

So we tested it!






Week 2

On Monday the Eagles organised a Sports Morning for Fledglings and Robins classes.  It was exhausting but great fun!




Inspired by the troll in our story, we set some traps to see if we could catch any bugs.  There was great excitement the next day when we went to check.  Unfortunately it had rained heavily overnight and there were no bugs in sight.  “I think I didn’t put my pot in deep enough – the top was higher than the soil.”



In Cookery the children made ship’s biscuits (oat cakes) just like pirates would have had.

We talked about fresh food on a ship and how it would go rotten.

“But if we brought raisins, they would turn into grapes!”

“Why don’t they just go on (appliances online) for a fridge?”

None of the children could believe there would have been no internet!

“Go to a shop.”

Another discussion followed about the lack of electricity a long time ago and on ships.

But the pirates could have butter because they could keep a cow on board.

“The milk would stay in the cow and it won’t even get rotten!”

“They could ask the farmer for some grass seeds and grow a patch of grass for it to eat.”

“You would have to eat the butter quick or it will go warm.”

“Warmer and warmer by the sun – or it will be all yucky and greasy.”

We talked about the kind of foods that the pirates could take – sacks of flour, oats and a little bit of sugar because it was very expensive – but none of this must get wet!

A windmill was spotted on our bag of flour.

“The things go round and the corn goes in a little hole and the spinners crush the corn.  They open the corn and it turns into flour.”

“I went to a place that had a water pool – the thing was spinning around and we went down the steps and we touched the flour.  It was plain flour.”



Role play: Pirate Ships complete with ship’s biscuits!



Printing fish with bubble wrap.



Such concentration this week in Art Attack!




Week 1

For this half term we are thinking about pirates and started off by reading 


We wondered what we already knew about pirates…

“They find treasure…they fight with swords…they love gold…they walk the plank in case they are naughty…they have canon balls…they ship is made of wood…they have a map so they can find treasure…they have to guard their map…they use telescopes to look for treasure islands…they drive the ship with a big spinning wheel…”

The children were quickly inspired by the map in the story and set off to make maps to lead Pirate Rabbit to the treasure box they had hidden in the woods.




Solve it – How many sticks to you need to make a certain number of triangles if the triangles are joined?



Water Play – Pirates and their fishy friends.

A waterfall with a rock pool – at first the water just kept seeping away, but after it was lined with foil and the foil carefully positioned, it worked!



In the afternoon we joined the rest of the school for sports with our French visitors.  Please see the French Connection tab on our website for photos.


For Block Play and Role Play this week  the children gave us no choice – it had to be pirates and their ships!   We discussed pirate vocabulary such as rigging, plank and bosun and the children soon got in to role making pirate ships and accessories and building their very own ships! 



         Walk the plank!                            Creating the sails                     Blowing in ship along!



                 Finding ways to make the steering wheel



                                                        Hmmm...which way to the treasure?




Week 7

Art Attack this week saw the children experimenting with paint and shaving foam to create prints of animal patterns.





The pet homes are finally finished - complete with accessories inside!




The challenge this week in Water Play was to create a waterfall using just tin foil.


The water kept sliding off the edges of the foil so we tried folding the edges up and that worked well.

A waterfall that ran from one pool to the next.


Maybe the table needs to be on a slope...?


                           This one sounded just like rain!             Look!  No hands!                               


A waterfall with an added spiral and brick pool.




Week 6


                                                      Fresh and tinned pineapple.


                                      Which sized balls can be moved using just a straw?


                                                          Drawing shadows


                                                     Tubes and funnels in the sand.


                                       How heavy a load can a Beebot pull?



Making fruit jellies

We began by estimating how many strawberries there were – 12.  We counted to check and there were 14.  We had to share them between the 2 groups.  “I know that double 7 is 14 so we can have 7 each.”


We sliced them in half.  “I know how to cut them in quarters…You have to cut them in half and then in half again.”

 “Cut them that way and that way – like a +”

“Exactly like an ‘add’.”


We shared the raspberries.

“Give one to each one.  If there’s more, you can give one to them and one to them again.”

“There’s going to be 3 in each pot.”

“They’ve all got 3 but there’s one left.”

“Maybe we could chop it up…”



We needed hot water but we didn’t have a kettle.

“I know – the hot tap.”

But that wasn’t hot enough.

“Get a pan!”  We put it on the heat.

 “It’s making a boiling noise.”

“It’s making bubbles.”

“It’s a circle then the air goes out and it pops.”

“Oh!  It’s the bubbles that’s making the noise.”


Why do we need hot water?

“To make the pan hot.”

“To melt the jelly.”

It was tricky to break the jelly because…

“It’s so squishy.”

“It’s so thick.”

“It’s so strong.”

“It’s a big chunk – a diamond.”

“Square – no, it’s a cube.”

“I saw 6 (cubes) there and I saw the other one in your hand so that makes odd.”

“If there’s one pointing out it’s odd.”

“If we put one there it would be not odd.”


Prediction – what will happen to the jelly cubes?

“They’ll melt, I think…They will go flat.”

“They’ll go big.”

“I think they might change colour.”

“They’ll melt…They go down littler and littler until they vanish.”

“That’s an interesting word.”

“Is it an adjective?”

We decided it was a verb.

“It’s doing something.”

“The water’s turning red…the water hasn’t got a colour.  It’s see-through.  If you add a colour it changes to that colour…There’s more water in now than there was before.”

“It’s because the jelly is melting.”

“I think the jelly must have water in it.”


We poured the liquid jelly onto the fruit.

“All the fruit is floating – they’re on the top.”

“The water’s pushing them up.”


“Put them in the fridge so they can turn to jelly.  The fridge is very cold and it makes the jelly all wobbly.”



The inspiration for Art Attack this week was animal masks…rabbits, lions, birds, cats, leopards and even a crocodile.



A challenge:  Can you make a watering hole for a lion using just sand and water?



Once the children had worked out how to keep the water in, the next challenge was to make it as deep as possible.






Week 5

 The children have shown a keen interest in our story of Handa set in Africa so this week we looked at another Kenyan story – Mama Panya’s Pancakes and had a go at making them in Cookery.



The recipe unusually has nutmeg and chilli in it, which proved an interesting talking point.  The children were fascinated to see the difference between a fresh and a dried chilli and how the seeds inside were the same as in the ready-bought jar!



As we have been thinking about verbs lately we focussed, as we cooked, on the actions needed to make the pancakes.


                Tipping                                          Pouring                                       Sprinkling






Inspiration for Art Attack today was animal patterns.  The children tried various tools and techniques with some great results!  No paint brushes allowed!






Our walk to the bluebell wood was lovely.  We matched signs of spring to our Spring Spotter Guide and found 13 of them.







                                                                               Excitement at finding a ladybird



In Block Play the children have suddenly become keen to build upwards and managed to make a whole wall and doorway to separate the Vet’s from the rest of the classroom!





 Our mini Pet Houses are really beginning to take shape now.



Week 4

The Pet Shop is still proving popular!



This week, as we have been reading ,  we went on safari.  We built tents, assembled seating, saw a monkey up a tree and cooked some dinner.  Pegs apparently make great tongs or chopsticks!






Water play

Filling containers with bubbles.         Can I catch the boat as it slides down the guttering?



Positional and ordinal language – “Put your hand under mine…Mine’s on top …Your’s is third…”


An invented game of  “No Stepping On The Crosses.”


Trial and error to adapt a watering can.



Fascination over a rescued bug.


New uses for paintbrushes…

Cleaning windows.                               The Boot Cleaning Shop – soon everyone wanted a go!


Too many customers?  Use a sponge instead!


Making our pet homes – joining card with holes and string.





Week 3

Once the animals started pushing Mr Gumpy’s car, it went very slowly up the hill.  Could the children work out how to make a ball go slowly – but not stop – as it rolled along the guttering?



Solve it!

Which numbers can you arrange in a rectangle shape?

The children noticed the pattern of odd and even numbers as we marked them off on the board.



Monkey loves bananas so we made him some banana bread.  The children recorded the ingredients and method as we went.

Using a whisk, a fork and a masher.


 “A spoon hasn’t got wires.  That has loads of wires.”

“The whisk’s got holes in to get the water out of the egg.”

“Juice is coming out from inside the egg.”

“The wires break the egg.”

“The eggs might be hiding the honey.”

“I know! – it’s because the eggs and the honey are the same colour!”    

 “The bananas are going slimey.”

“The fork’s not working.”

“The masher is easier – ‘cos it mashed it quicker…The flat thing is better than the fork.  The fork is pointy…The masher squashes it.”

“The honey has gone.”

“The honey has turned into yellow because of the yolk.”

“It’s liquid.”

“It doesn’t look liquid ‘cos liquid is blue.”

“Liquid comes out of cows.”

“Solid and liquid – solid is hard and gold and shiny.  Liquid is always you can’t feel it…It feels like you can drink it.”

Double 6!


Later the children had to ‘pay’ for some cake with an odd number.


Making a zoo.


The guttering was still fascinating the children this week.

Bubble mixture slowly disappearing into the sponge.

A foam river.  “When water hits something, it changes direction.”


A wheelbarrow to water plants.



Can you get all the way to the end of the path without spilling the water?




Can you transfer it and get it all back to the start?



 Who can get back with the most water left?



Making matchbox beds for a stone pet.






Week 2

Cookery – The Gingerbread Man had a bit of a problem.  His rabbit is poorly and he’s had to go to the vet’s.  His ears have flopped down, his whiskers have drooped, his teeth are yellow and he doesn’t know why.

He’s been feeding him sausages, bacon, sweets, cakes, chocolate…

“They’re not allowed to have all that stuff!”

“They eat carrots.”

“Maybe he’s given him the wrong food.”

“You should give him carrots and proper rabbit food.”

“They need to drink water.”

“Your rabbit needs to eat lots of different vegetables.”

The children made some coleslaw as rabbits like the vegetables and the Gingerbread Man – and people! – like it with mayonnaise.

We needed half a cabbage.





As we have been talking about adjectives, the children sorted the ingredients out and wrote labels.



We needed 6 spoonfuls of yoghurt so we kept count on our fingers as children added it to the bowl.



Solve it!

Is it true that the number of sides of a shape is always the same as the number of corners? - Yes! unless it's a circle!


True or false - The older you are, the taller you are. (The children were quite cross when they found out this was false as you can tell by their faces!)


The Pet Grooming Salon





Making plastic bag fish tanks.  What was the mystery ingredient?

“It’s all gooey.”

“It makes your hand wet.”

“It’s jelly because jelly is all hard and wobbly and stiff and it won’t come out.”

“It’s sticky, so it can’t be water.”


We added it to the bag with some food colouring and had fun mixing it together, then added bits and pieces to represent seaweed and fish.  Some children even added a sandy bottom layer and some stones.



Town Planning!


Experimenting with flow with the guttering.






Week 1

Our new topic is Animals and we began by reading the story of Mr Gumpy who goes for a ride in his car with lots of different animals. 

This inspired us to set up a vet’s surgery and, after watching a very useful video, the children soon got to grips with treating the animals.



“So what’s wrong with your animal?”

“He broke all his legs.”


“He tripped over rocks everyday.”

“Well you have to get some tablets – yellow and blue tablets for 20 years.”

An appointment was made.

“My owl’s wing’s hurt.”

“I can see little bugs in his ear.  He needs a blood test.

“You need that (syringe).  The injection is for a blood test.”

“Three pets have temperatures – 40!  They need to stay at the vets.”

“My cat has to stay in hospital.  It has to have lots of food and medicine all in one go.”


As we have been talking about question marks, the children wrote some useful questions to ask in the role play area.

Mr Gumpy’s car gets stuck in the mud and the animals all have to push.  What else needs a push to work?  We went over to the park to investigate the equipment.  Some needed pushing, some needed pulling and some needed pushing and pulling.





Solve it!  How many different ways could the 3 pets sit on the 3 chairs in the waiting room?



How many ways to divide 6 carrots between 2 animals?


Art Attack.



“It’s light yellow – like ice cream!”

“It’s starting to go a little bit different.  I can see green lines…In fact it is green!  I know, it could be grass… It’s not the grass that grows in your garden.  It’s the deep grass that grows in the field.”

“Shall I make the flowers in your grass?”

“Ok.  I’ll do the stalks.”

“I’m putting in all the colours and it makes rainbow colours when I stamp it.”

“It’s a super doper Hoover.  Well, that bit hoovers.  That bit tickles and that bit goes to the end and that bit chucks all the rubbish in the bin.”


Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!



We discovered today that a wet  sponge would stick on a window without glue!


Pet homes for the animals.