Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sing a song of Harvest

After four days of hectic baking activities, there was just enough time to squeeze in two more this morning. Miss Kind and Mrs Jolly were in charge of icing sixty fairy cakes with the little learners, whilst Mrs Caring and Mrs Crayon rustled up a batch of delicious rock cakes aided by lots of very willing little helpers. The little learners have thoroughly enjoyed their week of weighing, sieving, pouring, mixing, melting and baking. They now refer to the recipe book as the "cooking instructions," the food as the "ingredients" and they can identify and name all the cooking utensils correctly. They have counted, predicted, talked about their own cooking experiences, retold the story of "The Gingerbread Man" from memory and drawn and painted some wonderful gingerbread man pictures. 

You can look, but you can't touch!

Just before lunch Mrs Very Jolly called the children to the carpet for some whole group time to talk about people who help us. On the Smart board the little learners looked at pictures of people in the community who help us like, doctors, dentists, vets, lifeguards, teachers, etc. The little learners were invited to come and stand up at the front of the group to talk about their experiences of someone who has helped them. After hearing some lovely stories about very helpful mummies and daddies, one little learner put his hand up to speak to the group about something that happened whilst on the beach at Whippy Cove. He told the group how some naughty boys had thrown water bombs at him. "How sad." remarked Mrs Very Jolly. "Did someone come to help you?" she asked. Thinking he was going to say that a policeman, a lifeguard, or even a traffic warden came to his rescue, he said. "No, I ran after them and kicked them in the peanuts!"
"Oh!" said Mrs Very Jolly rather shocked and stunned. "Lets move on shall we." Mrs Very Jolly managed to remain calm and composed for a few minutes, until she made the fatal mistake of clapping eyes on Mrs Crayon who had been taking notes on all the little learners comments, but was now bent double over the sink with a lot of water coming out of her eyes!!! Poor Mrs Very Jolly, that was it for her unfortunately, her own tears immediately began to flow. Luckily there was a box of tissues close by, which she hastily grabbed to cry into!

The only drawing Mrs Crayon is prepared to do in order to illustrate this charming story is this.......

What a wonderful afternoon! The parents and carers filled the hall at sunnyside School. They chatted, mingled and consumed iced fairy cakes, delicious rock cakes and all manner of ginger less men. Just before home time the little learners lined up in front of them all to sing their harvest songs. Mrs Very Jolly mentioned the Christmas word to the parents and carers, just to prime them for a future fun filled afternoon of tea and mince pies and a Christmas sing a long.

There's always one!


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Meddling fairies and superheroes

 The team took a deep breath this morning and put on their brave trousers in readiness for changing the whole class of little learners into their P.E. kits, for their first P.E. session in the hall. Twenty five minutes later the deed was done and there was just enough time before lunch to do ten minutes P.E. As the weeks progress and as the little learners become more independent and self reliant, the time taken to change clothes reduces dramatically, allowing far more time to do some actual P.E. One thing that never seems to change though, is the amount of time the grown ups spend sorting out the muddled up uniforms.  Nobody seems to know how the little learners uniforms get from one P.E. bag into another all by themselves. How is it that shoes and socks get up unaided and walk about for a bit? Some never come back, others end up down the back of radiators, or buried deep in the Lego box. It's a complete mystery to the team. The little learners say it's the P.E. fairies who cause such havoc. The team are not convinced, although Mrs Crayon would love to see a P.E. fairy. Mrs Crayon would love to see any kind of fairy because Mrs Crayon just loves fairies. When she has time she sits at her art table at her home in Appleville and paints pictures of fairies. So, keep your eyes peeled Mrs Crayon!

Lets do shirts first, then we'll move on to trousers!

Hilarious moment number 2

During afternoon play outside, two little learners came dashing past Miss Kind at top speed. "Slow down boys!" called Miss Kind. "You're going to fall and hurt yourselves." The two little learners immediately stopped and one of them said to her. "Sorry Miss Kind, we're playing Batman and Robert!" Thinking she must of misheard the little learner, Miss Kind said. " I'm sorry, you're playing Batman and who?" "Batman and Robert." repeated the little learner. "I'm Batman and he's Robert."

This is one of Mrs Crayon's fairy paintings, scanned in three sections....

The Cider Fairies

Monday, 24 September 2012

Gingerbread and pears

"Gather Up A Box Of Pears." This can only be a line from a harvest song.
Yes! Harvest has come to Sunnyside School. This week there will be lots of harvest inspired activities for the little learners to enjoy. The week will end with an afternoon of tea and cake and a harvest sing along for the parents and carers. However, afternoon tea and cakes do not get made by themselves. So, the little learners will be sieving, mixing, stirring, icing and baking all week to make cakes for the tea party on Friday. During these baking activities the team will be introducing mathematical concepts such as weight, measure and quantity when they are talking to the little learners. They will also draw their  attention to the initial sounds of the equipment and the ingredients they are using and relating them to the sounds they have already learnt. The focus story this week is "The Gingerbread Man", so the team and the little learners will be looking at and talking about the story in detail. A great deal of learning can be gained from cooking activities and what's more, cooking with little learners is such fun!
Today Mrs Caring and Mrs Crayon made gingerbread men with the little learners. Actually that's not strictly true. Their gingerbread men were in fact ginger free. So, they were ginger less men! The ginger less men came out of the oven more or less in tact, but it's just as well they didn't  have the desire to run away because some of them came out of the oven with shrivelled legs and worse still, some came out with legs completely missing! Oh well, the team are confident this will not affect their taste. They will still be yummy!   

Run, run as fast as you can,
You can't catch me I'm the Ginger less man!

"Gather up a box of pears" is one of the harvest songs the little learners will be singing for the parents and carers on Friday. They have learnt the song very quickly and sing it beautifully. However, instead of singing "gather up a box of wheat" on the last verse, the little learners sing "gather up a box of weeds." The team love the little learners version and find themselves "gathering up weeds" too!   

What shall we do with them now?

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tambourines and troublesome trousers

Today the little learners had a jolly good go at practising their listening skills when they came together on the carpet for a focused activity. Little learners at this stage of their development need lots and lots of practice when it comes to listening. They are already champions at raising their hand to speak when they are part of a whole group activity, they just haven't quite mastered the art of waiting for their turn to do so. Consequently, there is a magnificent show of eager raised hands, but it is accompanied by a deafening din of shouting out! It is therefore essential that the Sunnyside team provide plenty of opportunities for the little learners to improve their ability to listen, not only to the grown ups in the setting, but also to each other.
The activity today to help the little learners perfect this important skill, involved them playing a sound lotto game. Mrs Very Jolly hid behind a screen and shook, banged and jingled percussion instruments, (not all at once) then the little learners had to match the sound with the corresponding picture card in front of them. The little learners thoroughly enjoyed this game (almost as much as Mrs Very Jolly) and many of them continued with it during their independent play which followed this activity. 

Take it away Mrs Very Jolly

One of the biggest concerns for parents and carers when their little ones begin school for the first time, is the business of the toilet! The usual worries are, who will help if they get into difficulty? And can they go when ever they want to? Some little learners have their own concerns about using the toilets in school and will sometimes do anything to avoid using them. Love them or hate them, the grown ups in the setting are always there to support and assist. 
Today, a little learner was spotted by Mrs Crayon walking back into the classroom looking very put out. When she inquired if he was alright,he took a deep breath and said. "Well.... One, I've been for a wee. Two, I can't do my zip up. Three, I can't do my button up. Four, I'm fed up with my trousers!"
Well who wouldn't be in that situation. Well done to that little learner for telling it like it is!!!

Oh, for an elasticated waistband!


Monday, 17 September 2012

Tall dads and baby pigs

The Sunnyside team are never more happy than when they are engaging in conversation with the little learners in the class.

One of the activities today (with the focus on discussion) involved the little learners drawing the people (and/or animals) who share their home.
The little learners were given an outline drawing of a house, with windows in which they could draw the members of their family. Working in small groups and alongside a grown up, the little learners were encouraged to talk about their home and family as they drew.
Mrs Caring enjoyed a wonderful and very informative conversation with a little learner in her group. He told her that his Daddy was "Very, very, very tall and very, very, very old." When Mrs Caring asked exactly how old his Daddy was, the little learner said, "Twenty." He went on to describe his Daddy as having,"Long, long arms, long, long legs and great big hands." The Reception team will definitely recognise this particular Daddy when they see him!

Mrs Organised had an equally fascinating conversation with a little learner, who wanted to tell her all about his pets. He began by telling her that he had a cat, a dog, a rabbit, a guinea pig and a polar bear, although the polar bear sadly "died a hundred years ago." Just when Mrs Organised thought that was the sum total of the little learners pets, he added the following. "A baby giraffe, an elephant, chicks, frogs, camels, cockroaches, lots and lots of cockroaches, gooses, squirrels, ants, baby pigs, lions, tigers, snakes, a parrot, a leopard, a wolf, foxes, and a hedgehog."
"Goodness me!" remarked Mrs Organised. "How do you manage to fit all those animals in your house?"
"No! no! no!" exclaimed the little learner, as if Mrs Organised had asked the most daft question ever. "I live in an animal centre."
He went on to tell her that he drives an animal train and takes all his pets including the dead polar bear, (which is in a cage and tied to the back of the train) on mini trips around Whippy Cove.
Where else other than in a Reception class would you hear such a magnificent and imaginative story? Unless of course it's not a story and it's all true!!!
He doesn't do much!


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Hilarious moment number 1

The Reception team at Sunnyside absolutely love the job they do. It is fun, challenging and very, very rewarding. It is also punctuated with hilariously funny moments. Here is today's hilariously funny moment.

The little learners were all playing outside in the sunshine. Mrs very Jolly and Mrs Crayon were exchanging ideas about an interactive display they want to create in order to further develop the writing area. Something in the conversation they were having made Mrs Very Jolly and Mrs Crayon laugh so much that Mrs Crayon cried real tears. Upon seeing Mrs Crayon mopping up her tears with the ends of her sleeves, a little learner appeared and handed Mrs Crayon a paper towel. As Mrs Crayon bent down to thank the little learner for his thoughtfulness, she noticed the paper towel was soaking wet. "Oh dear!" said Mrs Crayon to the concerned little learner. "Have you been crying too?"
"Oh no" said the little learner. "I wiped the bikes down with it!" His perfect reply set poor Mrs Crayon off again.

Today the grown ups took the opportunity to talk to the little learners in turn about what they hope to do in school, what their particular interests are, what their favourite toy is, their favourite food, who their friends are and so on. This is not idle chit chat. All this information will go on to help inform the planning for this half term's topic which is "All about me."
During one conversation a little learner told Miss Kind that she liked cars, train track, robots, dinosaurs and Transformers. As Miss Kind was busily writing all this information down on a post it note, the little learner suddenly disappeared off to the outside area to play. Whilst Miss Kind was in conversation with another little learner, the first little learner made a big entrance back into the classroom jumping on one leg shouting at the top of her voice. "Oh and don't forget I like to hop!" Priceless.

"Don't forget I like to hop!"

Monday, 10 September 2012

First Day (for parents and carers)

 *** FIRST DAY ***

As you wave goodbye to your little one,
you can't believe this day has come.
They're only four they're much too small,
it can't be right they're starting school.
You tell yourself a little lie,
that you'll be brave and will not cry.
But before you've reached the school front gate,
the tears have come and it's too late.
They keep on flowing and do not stop,
so you make a dash for the corner shop.
You buy the biggest naughty cake,
you need the carbs for goodness sake.
With your umpteen worries and countless fears,
you fill a bucket with your tears.
 As you shovel in a Milkyway,
you wonder how you'll fill your day.
Alarming thoughts swirl round your head,
so you grab the Chrunchie under your bed.
And then you start to wonder who
will help your little one to poo!
But then you nearly have a fit,
when you think about their P.E. kit.
Who will help them to put it on?
Heck! where have all the Mars bars gone?
Then suddenly.....a feeling of impending doom,
it will be their lunchtime soon.
The thought of that you cannot take,
so you swallow whole a chocolate flake.
By now you know not what to do,
except watch the clock until half past two.
With your head now feeling twirly swirly,
you calm your nerves with a CurlyWurly.
You drain your nineteenth coffee cup.
then try to do your trousers up.
It's time to leave, it's nearly three,
your little one will soon be free!
Your heart is pounding, blood pressure's soaring,
then you hear the words, "School's really boring!"
Your heart sinks right down to your shoes,
if you weren't so full you'd blow a fuse!
All that worry and heartache,
all that chocolate and all that cake
and all your little one can say,
is that they've had a boring day.
You feel deflated and almost cry,
oh! for a slab of apple pie.
But you can't go through that stress again,
your trousers will not take the strain.
So, tomorrow you'll be really cool,
when you take your little one to school.
But... deep down you know your heart will ache
and out will come the chocolate cake!!!

The sun shone brightly on Whippy Cove today. It shone particularly brightly on Sunnyside School, on this the very first day for the little Reception learners. As they were welcomed in, there were no tears whatsoever from the little learners and their parents and carers managed to hold back theirs until they reached the front gate. No doubt they were all heading for the corner shop and a naughty cake! The little learners however were heading towards a fun filled day making new friends and trying out new things.

After the initial settling in bit where the little learners could choose to play at the activities set up inside and out, they were called back to the carpet for the register. This is the ideal time to expose the little learners to some of the reception rules and routines in order to keep them safe within the setting. Wherever possible the little learners are encouraged to be part of the rule making process. so, when Mrs Very Jolly asked the group if they could think of something they could do in the classroom to help keep them safe,one suggestion that came back was puzzles and colouring! Eventually after much rephrasing of questions and steering of conversations (and when the little learners had run out of calm, quiet activities to suggest) they came up with some brilliant class rules. These rules will be displayed in their classroom and added to as the little learners come up with more. And they always do come up with more! More than anyone could ever imagine!!

 Another important thing to do on a little learners first day is to take them on a tour of their new school. Fortunately Sunnyside is a little school, but it's still a tremendous amount for any little learner to take in. Is it any wonder then, that after the hearing and making of rules,finding their way around school, making new friends, having snack, having lunch, trying out new activities, listening to stories and singing songs do these little learners go home exhausted. A far from boring day. And this is just the first day!
Ahh! The perfect class.

Sunday, 9 September 2012


In the heart of a little seaside town called Whippy Cove, sits a little school called Sunnyside. In the little school called Sunnyside there are lots of boys and girls called little learners. For some of these little learners this week is going to be their very first time ever in school. It might be that some of these little learners are feeling anxious about this important event in their lives, whilst others may be feeling confident and excited. One thing is guaranteed though, a wonderful, fun and busy year awaits them all.
So lets join these little learners right at the beginning of their school life journey and find out what it is to be a little learner at Sunnyside School.
Over the coming weeks and months we are going to see how a busy Reception class operates. We will find out how the littlest learners in school actually learn and we will see just how much fun all the grown ups have at Sunnyside being part of that important learning process.

But first we really need to meet the happy team who support the learning in the reception year at Sunnyside.

 Mrs Jolly

Mrs Very Jolly

Mrs Crayon

Miss Kind and Mrs Caring

Mrs Organised

So welcome to you all from the SUNNYSIDERS of Whippy Cove!