Well the children’s penultimate week at Birk Hill has been another busy one! The children have taken part in a range of sporting activities in school, such as zumba and fencing which they thoroughly enjoyed - especially fencing as they got to dress up in outfits with the faceguards and foam epees!
On Thursday, we made the short trip to Gosforth Astro at Dronfield to take part in the Infant Fun Fest with several other schools. All the children participated with enthusiasm and were a credit to the school with their exemplary attitude and behaviour - the staff were all immensely proud of you!
However, the highlight of the week was the Y2 sleepover! Or maybe just the Y2 ‘over’ as not much sleep was had by many! It was a fun-packed evening: the children played games on the field, before having a picnic tea; a quick run around on the playground and swiftly onto the evening’s main entertainment from a magician who had us all pondering how he did his tricks! His monkey friend could have done with learning a few manners though - ask your child what he got up to!
Following this it was ‘Birk Hill Sleepover 2019’ T-shirt decorating, where children got creative and designed their own patterns and decorations. As things started to wind down for the night, it was time for the cinema experience where we watched a film and had an ice-cream. Finally, it was time for bed… as the children snuggled down for the night we hoped they were thinking about what an amazing time they had had!
The Year 2 children have had a busy and exciting time this week. They started off the week with 2 mornings at Eckington Junior School- they were full of their junior school adventures, telling Birk Hill staff all about what they had done; what was different about the juniors and who they were with in their new classes. It was a fantastic and positive start to their junior school career!
On Wednesday morning, they took part in a ‘Dance Daze’ workshop. They learned lots of cool dance moves and had a thoroughly enjoyable time!
This week has also seen the start of practising for the end of year talent show. Children have chosen what talent they want to perform to the rest of the school and the adults who will be invited. They have come up with some amazingly creative ideas and are practising hard to hone their routines! Please come along and watch on the day!
Finally, the week has ended with a trip to the beautiful country of Italy. The year 2s started this learning about the country of Italy on Thursday when they created some big fact sheets showing what they had found out.
On Friday, we hopped on a plane, cruised through passport control and spent the day sampling traditional Italian food, making Venetian festival masks and recreating the famous landmark of The Leaning Tower of Pisa out of pasta and marshmallows! It was all great fun and the day flew by!
Our highlight of the week was our amazing trip to Cleethorpes on Thursday. All the children in Key Stage 1 came with us on a double-decker coach to have some fun at the beach. They played in the soft sand, making holes and castles, played frisbee and ball games on the harder sand and when the tide started to come in they jumped over the shallow waves.
Part of our visit was to look at the geographical features of a seaside town and the children pointed out lots of differences between Cleethorpes and Eckington!
Many thanks to all the very kind parents who came with us. Without you, our trips wouldn’t be possible!
What an amazing but busy week we have had again!
On Tuesday we did a mini-beast and microhabitat hunt around the school grounds. We found a range of creepy-
crawlies and learned how to correctly roll logs so that nothing gets squashed! Here are a couple of the creatures we found:
On Wednesday, we had an infant agility session which was great fun. It focused on balance and movement. Here we are playing ‘Shark Attack’ and balancing in different ways in hoops.
Thursday brought our amazing woodland adventure! We donned our wellies and trainers and headed to Eckington woods to explore habitats and look at human and physical geography. We saw lots of different examples of both and the children loved seeing the Seldom Seen Engine House and the air raid shelter that are concealed within the woods.
Here we are having a paddle in the River Moss and a mini-beast forage in the leaves.
The children behaved impeccably, as usual, and we all had a fantastic time! Hopefully they can pass on some of their learning when you are next exploring the woods yourselves!
What a week for weather! Unfortunately, this week’s very wet weather has meant that some of the exciting things we had planned have had to be postponed. Fingers crossed for better weather next week so that we can continue our learning about animal habitats on our woodland walk.
Although we have been surrounded by rainwater outside, the Year 2 children have still spent some time investigating how our drinking water is cleaned and made safe for us to drink. We watched a really interesting video clip and then we tried to clean our own dirty water by steps of filtration.
You can see from the photos just how clean the water looked at the end of the process but everyone was very clear that this water was still full of dangerous germs and was definitely not suitable for drinking!
In maths we have been sorting data (information) onto Carroll Diagrams. We made a large class chart and the criteria labels change every day. The children have thoroughly enjoyed moving their picture ticket to its new, correct position each day.
Our week ended with a fabulous assembly to celebrate Fathers’ Day. Once again there were many confident children reading out their thoughts and feelings to a massive audience. Well done Year 2 Chameleons, you make us proud every single day!
What a wonderful water week we have had! The children ‘dived’ into their learning with the usual enthusiasm and enjoyed exploring all that is water!
In English, we learned all about the ‘water cycle’. We found out that water keeps going round and round and were introduced to lots of new words to do with water: evaporation, precipitation and condensation are a few. We were really impressed when we found out that the water we are drinking now could have been drunk by a dinosaur millions of years ago!
Did you know that fresh water is more precious than diamonds and more valuable than gold? This is because there is very little fresh water on Earth and even less that is accessible. Imagine a litre bottle of water representing all the water on Earth- only 1 drop of it would be water that is available for us to drink. This made us this think about how we can conserve water and how we shouldn’t waste it.
We did lots of experiments too! Here we used shaving foam to make cloud and blue food colouring to show how it rains. We also answered the question about ‘Why isn’t rain salty?’ by dissolving some salt in water and letting the sun evaporate the water to leave the salt behind.
We spent time exploring water in groups, and proved once again we are amazing at working as a team.
We have lots of fun investigating water and enjoyed dipping our toes into the new topic!
Another incredible week of fun-filled learning and activity!
This week has seen us make a small introductory start to our transition to the Junior School. We have thought about some of the questions we would like to ask the Year 3 children at the Juniors and we have written these in letters that will be delivered this week. We are hoping for replies soon after the half term break.
Please come and ask us if you have any concerns or questions about the transition but do remember this is still early days!
On Tuesday morning the children were thrilled to have the opportunity to learn some basic cricket skills with Tom from All Stars Cricket. Everyone took part with confidence and learnt, not just about cricket but also about the importance of teamwork, fairplay and perseverance.
We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable break and we look forward to seeing you all back in soon on Monday 3rd June.
This week has been another busy week! In the afternoons, our learning about plants has continued. We looked at the conditions seeds needed in order to grow well, so we planted some cress seeds and gave them different conditions (with and without water and/or sunlight). We were amazed to find out the results because they weren’t what we predicted! From previous leaning, the children thought that plants needed sunlight and water to grow well, so many predicted that it would only be the seeds that had both would grew. However, here are our results:
As you can see the ones in the dark grew too but they were very yellow. This led to a good discussion about what seeds need to grow. Ask your child about what happened when we put the yellow cress plants in the light!
We also had a Zumba workshop session this week, which the children really enjoyed. We learned a combination of moves and put them together to form a short routine! It was hard work, especially on the thighs but we all worked really hard at it.
Some of the children may have mentioned that they have been doing work in special booklets in the mornings this week. These have been the SATs tests that all Year 2 children are required to take (unless disapplied).
The children have been absolutely amazing! They have worked hard, been super-confident and have really shown us here at Birk Hill just how much they have learnt over the past year (or 3!).
We are extremely proud of the incredible ‘have a go’ attitude our children show us day in and day out.
Please give all of your children a fun and relaxing weekend after their brilliant efforts.
A slightly shorter week for the children in school this week following the May Bank Holiday but our children shared lots of exciting news about the things they had been up to over the long weekend.
Lots of barbecues and short visits to the seaside!
We had special visitors in our classroom this week to support our learning. They were very well behaved in their temporary accommodation and all the children were able to get a really close look at them before writing some excellent descriptions. Most children thought that the visitors were frogs but they discovered that in fact they were Fire-bellied Toads.
The children were very excited to learn on Thursday that when the toads were going home, they had escaped from their container and had hidden in Mrs Fairweather’s car!! Luckily, Mrs Fairweather found them a little while later sitting on the driver’s seat. They were quickly caught and returned to their usual home in a large, glass tank.
Every week the children practise their ‘Mixed Maths’ skills. This is where the children consolidate their understanding of how to calculate following the school and national strategies. Most of our children are absolutely brilliant at this now but we could still use a little more parental support with learning 2, 5 and 10 times tables by heart. There are some excellent websites and songs to support this.
Enjoy the weekend and we will see you all back in school on Monday for another exciting week of learning, laughter and love!
Well spring was in the air at the beginning of the week and so we started our learning about plants! After a walk around the school grounds to look at the plant life, where the children amazed the adults with their knowledge of plant names, we went on to plant our own bean seed; we are going to keep a diary of when they start to grow. Watch this space and make sure you have a space in the garden for a bean plant! If you’re lucky, you may get to climb it and find the goose that lays golden eggs!
We also started our new learning theme topic of ‘What’s Out At Sea?’ As you can see, our new role play area is a beach hut and beach area. Here the children can explore the sand, shells, pebbles and read books about the topic. If they are lucky, they get to relax for a few minutes in the deckchair and share a book with Dave the dog.
Sometimes to give us a break between out leaning jobs in the afternoon we get up and move about to ‘Supermovers’! Here we are dancing along to a song about prefixes and suffixes. It takes some concentration to get the moves right and answer the questions that come up! There are several popular ones - ask the children which is their favourite!
What a fun packed and informative week we have had again!
But let’s start with our special, secret visitor who arrived for Golden Time last week - Diva, Mrs Fairweather’s five month old miniature American shepherd puppy, came to visit and what a treat is was (especially for her as she got a few from the children!)
Mrs Fairweather showed them how to play the ‘name game’ with her; how Diva could sit and how her training to be an agility dog was starting. We finished the afternoon by watching a clip showing the agility dogs’ competition from last year’s Crufts - starring our very own superstar Mrs Fairweather! Diva was a real hit and the children really enjoyed meeting her.
On Tuesday, we had a boxercise session. We started off by learning some boxing punches: a jab, an uppercut and a hook. We then put some moves to music, combining punches with foot movements - it got a little tricky at times as you can see!
Next he had us doing some serious exercise - the star jumps, leg changers, jumping jacks and snake curls left us all hot and sweaty (including Mrs Siddall)! We had a thoroughly, if not tiring, session which was enjoyed by all!
On Wednesday, Chris from the Fire and Rescue Service came in to talk to us about fire safety. We learned lots of things about what the Fire and Rescue Service do - who would have thought they even rescue cows that get themselves stuck in mud?
He told us all about the importance of making sure our smoke alarms work and, with the help of a short cartoon, what to do if your smoke alarm goes off. The children all passed Chris’s quiz at the end, showing how much they had learned and how well they had listened. Hopefully, they have all come home and nagged you about testing your smoke alarm and how you need to be careful with matches, lighters and candles.
An extremely creative week for Chameleons this week!
We used paint to create a colour wash seascape background and then used collage to make a boat to ‘sail’ on it.
We took the opportunity this week to use our computing skills and combine it with some art work. We used ‘2 paint a picture’ on Purple Mash to create the art work for these Mother’s Day cards. We added text to them, saved them and then shared our pictures on a virtual display board. The finished articles are amazing - what talented young artists we have!
Chameleons continue to work very hard in the mornings too. The children have been writing more very exciting adventure stories and it has been a pleasure to see just how competent they are now with writing. Ask your children what happened in their story this week. You may be surprised!
As always - please keep up the reading you do at home. It’s such a valuable opportunity for your child.
Massive ‘well done’ to all the children taking part in the reading project!
What another busy week with all the learning that has taken place and parents’ evenings! It was lovely to see so many parents and share the achievements, successes and progress all our Chameleons have made so far this year.
In science this week, we have looked at how animals are adapted to live in certain environment. We found out some interesting facts about Emperor penguins - did you know they have special fat on the soles of their feet that stops them freezing? Ask one of our Chameleons about how they are adapted to toboggan and how they keep out the cold!
In geography, we have been learning about the continent of Antarctica. We were amazed to find out that it is actually a desert because there is very little rain or snow. It is also the coldest, windiest place on Earth, with temperatures dropping as low as -90 degrees centigrade! BRRRR! You’d definitely need your thermals if you visited there! No one actually lives there but scientists and tourists visit during the summer months.
As always, our Chameleons amaze us with their thirst for knowledge and their enquiring questions - it certainly keeps the adults on our toes!
Don’t forget to make an appointment to come and celebrate your child’s achievements with us!
Children have also been learning to mix primary colour paints and explore new colours that can be made by varying the amount of each colour. Do ask your children how they made orange, green and purple.
What a fun-filled, pancake tossing, fencing learning, book reading week we have had! We have been so busy the week has flown by!
Tuesday morning saw our Chameleons learning about Shrove Tuesday and how to make pancakes. You can see the look of amazement on their little faces as Mrs Evans treats them to one of her pancake tossing demonstrations! After all their hard work and excitement they did get to sample one too.
Tuesday afternoon brought a fencing workshop (with foam fencing swords so we were all safe!). The children were taught how to hold the sword; how to stand properly; how to score a point by poking their opponent in the chest; how to keep score in a match and how to block and avoid shots.
The children really enjoyed getting a taster of something a bit different and took part with real enthusiasm.
And to end our busy week, we had World Book Day and what a day of books it was! We read books; wrote about books; used clues to guess the title of traditional stories; took part in a quiz about books and shared our favourite reads. The grand finale for the day was a whole school bedtime read in the hall, where the older and younger children paired up together to share their books. Our Chameleons were amazing and did us proud with the way they looked at the books with, and looked after, the littler ones. To end the day, we all watched and listened to a story together. It really was a brilliant bedtime book bonanza!
How lovely it’s been this week to see all the children back to school feeling refreshed and ready to learn. (The adults too!)
We have a very busy term ahead of us with many exciting opportunities for the children.
This week the children began their learning adventure with telling the time. This is always tricky for the children as we live in a digital age but most children have really made progress with using analogue clock faces. You can really support the children’s learning at home by practising telling the time using a clock.
There are also many websites that will support your child in a fun and age appropriate way.
In English the children have been learning how to write a letter. They have written a letter of apology to The Three Bears from Goldilocks. Some of the excuses they made up for breaking into the bears’ cottage were fabulous!
'I was being chased by a big, mean wolf so I had to escape.'
'I could smell the delicious, steamy porridge and I was starving.'
'I needed the toilet and I didn’t think you would mind.'
We have such creative children in Chameleons Class!
What fun we have had this week! For our learning theme of ‘Amazing Adventurers’, we have been looking at the life of Captain James Cook. As part of our design and technology learning this week, we got creative and made models of Captain Cook’s boat with an anchor that we can move up and down! The children had an amazing time and our finished boats were fabulous!
For Aspirations this week, the children chose to learn about the moon! And what a lot of interesting questions they came up with to answer! We can settle one thing straight away though - sorry folks, even though Wallace and Gromit would like you to believe it, the moon is not made of cheese! It is actually a big lump of volcanic rock that takes 28 days to travel round the Earth. We used the iPads and watched clips to research the answers to our questions and then asked some very in depth and probing questions as a result of what they had found out. Our Chameleons never fail to amaze us with their thirst for knowledge about things and their attitude to learning.
The Chameleons adults wish the children a very well deserved holiday after their hard work this term!
Chameleons Class have been working super hard again this week - from tackling fractions of numbers in maths and some tricky grammar work in English, to learning about Captain James Cook in history and researching questions they had about ‘The Titanic’ in Aspirations - we have not lost a moment of learning time.
In guided reading we looked at a new book from our superhero role play area, about a boy called Eliot who, in true superhero style, turned from a boy who liked to read books and feed his goldfish into a midnight superhero who saved the town from some escaped lions! Grrrr! The children were really engaged in the story and used their fantastic inference and prediction skills to answer lots of questions.
In computing we carried on our work on spreadsheets. We learned how to add colour, text and images and then we created a counting machine. Here’s an example of what we have made:
This week Chameleons Class impressed us all with their incredible assembly. All the children had speaking parts and showed us how beautifully they can read. The children were confident and it was clear just how much they have been learning. Well done, everyone!
Thank you to all our lovely parents who came to support. We know it isn’t always easy with other commitments.
On Thursday, we had a hula hoop workshop with ‘The Hoop Guy’.
We started by learning how to hoop traditionally. It didn’t take long for our fabulous Chameleons to master the basics!
Then he started to teach us some tricks! We tried: hooping while turning round; doing the ally-oop (jumping while hooping); doing criss-cross (jumping and crossing and uncrossing our legs); turning 180 and 360 degrees while hooping; and kneeling and standing up while hooping. We all had a thoroughly enjoyable time!
Some of us showed what we had learned in a special end-of-the-day assembly.
We can’t wait to get the hoops out again and practise our moves!
Welcome back to school Chameleons after your Christmas break. Many children have shared moments from their holiday with us and it seems Father Christmas was extremely generous this year!
It’s lovely to see the children refreshed and ready for learning again.
This week we have focussed on recycling and issues surrounding pollution in our environment. The Year 2 children went on a local investigation walk around the roads near school and recorded all the litter they could see. The children were astonished by just how many empty bottles, packets, cups and tin cans there were. We even spotted broken glass that nobody had bothered to clean up.
Reverend Andy came to visit school in the last week before Christmas to talk to us about the Christmas Story. He read us the Christmas Story - it was written as a poem. Some of the children helped - everyone was keen to get involved!
We found out what the gifts the wise men gave to Jesus were- gold (bling), frankincense (something from the bark from a tree that burns to make a nice smell) and myrrh (a cream that was put on people when they died).
We then had a chance to ask questions about the Christmas Story - some were interesting and very probing! Reverend Andy did a great job of answering them so the children could understand.
On Wednesday afternoon, our Christmas festivities continued with a party afternoon - we also had a visit from the big man himself, Father Christmas! All the children got a new book, which they loved!
As this is the last blog of the year, all that’s left is to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year from all the children and staff who work in Chameleons class!
What a busy couple of weeks! Squeezed in between play rehearsals, trips to the panto and our usual learning, we managed to create our very own Tudor street from 350 years ago! Using cardboard boxes, paper and pens the children worked in pairs to make a Tudor house which they had previously designed. All the hard work paid off to create the amazing street below!
And all the Chameleon’s adults are really proud of the children for their outstanding contribution to the Birk Hill Christmas production - from narrators, to Mary and Joseph, Angel Gabriel, to the choir and soldiers and census takers - all the children were amazing! Here they are celebrating after their final performance!
After a very busy week of learning about Tudor houses, writing riddles and investiagting shapes we were treated to a fabulous morning out at the pantomime in Rotherham.
Here we are ready and very excited to go!
Massive ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful parents and grandparents who came with us. Without you our outings simply wouldn’t be possible.
Some of the children from our school were chosen to go up onto the stage and do the Baby Shark dance. Well done to those very brave children-we were very proud of you.
Chameleons Class may have told you about Chris, our class elf. He has been getting up to some interesting things in our classroom and every morning he leaves us a message or clues so that we know what he’s been up to. Do ask your children why Chris is holding a five pound note and what he did to our snack bananas!
On Tuesday we had a fantastic street dance workshop. We learned a routine and practised it until we were perfect! Here we are looking mean and moody! (That was part of the routine!)
Then, the whole school came into the hall and we did the whole routine together. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time- even Mrs Siddall joined in!
In English we have been learning about the history of fire engines and we are all very happy to be alive now rather than alive in the 1600s! If you would like to see any of our fabulous writing, just ask a teacher and we will proudly show you.
The children have also been testing their skills with times tables. They have been playing an excellent game on the computer and they are realising just how quickly they need to be able to recall their tables. Here is the web site if you would like to practise at home: https://www.timestables.co.uk/rally.html
This week we have travelled back in time to London 1666 to start our learning on The Great Fire of London.
The children came up with lots of fabulous questions they wanted answering about the fire so we wrote letters to Samuel Pepys to see if he could help us. With the help of time travel, we have started to find out the answers and many were surprised that Mr Pepys decided to bury his books, cheese and wine to try and save it from the fire!
We also used the Great Fire of London as inspiration for our PE/Dance, with the children pretending to be bakers and putting movements to music in a sequence to perform to others.
Chameleons Class have been very busy this week with lots of practical activities.
In science they have been investigating which materials would be the best to make a book bag from. They thought about the importance of safety in the dark now that the nights are drawing in and found that some materials were better at reflecting light than others. The baking foil was very good at reflecting light but not very practical for a book bag!
In maths the children have been estimating and measuring using centimetres and metres. Luckily the weather was fine when we went out to measure the playground equipment. The children are developing a deep understanding of teamwork as they work together, and this fits in perfectly with this term’s theme of ‘teamwork’.
This week saw the introduction of our new ‘VIP’ table! Four children, who have shown a fabulous attitude to all aspects of school life, will be chosen each week to experience the full VIP treatment which includes: sitting a special VIP table with gold cover, special pencils and equipment and a badge to show their VIP status. The children (and adults) are all very excited about it!
Also this week, we have been learning about Remembrance Sunday and why we wear poppies. The children in KS1 joined together to create our own Birk Hill poppy cascade, which is displayed on a tree in the playground. We hope it is a fitting tribute to our fallen.
Finally, Thursday saw us travelling to India for the day! In a fun-packed day we made Rangoli patterns; had a game of chor police; tasted Indian food; made Diwali diya pots; had an Indian dance session and created mehndi patterns on paper hands! Wow! What a lot of activities in one amazing day!
This week’s highlight was listening to The Giant Jam Sandwich story online. It was beautifully read by John Vernon Lord and it inspired us to think about making jam sandwiches ourselves. We read, and then wrote fabulous instructions to tell everyone how to make the best jam sandwiches. Here you can see us all making our own sandwiches. No need for Parents and Carers to do this job at home any more. Your children were all fantastic sandwich makers! (And hardly any mess!)
Chameleons Class at their quietest!
Another amazing week in Chameleons Class with some very confident, clear performances in our class assembly on Wednesday. The children really enjoyed sharing their learning with the school and with their adults. Thank you to all the parents for your support in providing colourful chameleon costumes for the children. They looked fabulous! Here are a few snapshots from the assembly for you to share with family and friends.
We have been continuing our learning about electricity this week in science!
Today, we used wires, a battery and a bulb to make a circuit and light the bulb - Chameleons are all bright sparks! We also discussed the importance of being careful around electricity and, that although it is useful, it can be very dangerous.
Our ‘100 Books to Read Before You leave Birk Hill’ reading challenge is proving very popular. Here are some of the class sharing a few books on the list. Thank you for your support at home with this and remember if you don’t have the books, you can always look on YouTube!
Continuing with the reading theme, here are a few children all cosied up and enjoying reading in our class library area - it’s always a popular area to spend some quiet time with a book.
Chameleon Class are ready to go with their great book reading challenge! Well done to all the children who have already ticked off the books they’ve read and brought their folders back into school. We will be reading lots of books in class together and ticking them off as we go.
Many of the books on the list can be viewed on Youtube, often read by great authors or actors, so do have a look at some of those too.
Thank you to all the children for singing so beautifully at our special fundraising coffee morning and thank you to all the parents and carers who gave up their time to come and enjoy the morning with us.
As part of our Harvest celebrations this week, we have had a visit to church for a Harvest service, talked about things we are thankful for in RE, written Harvest poems in English and created some art work from fruit and vegetables, using Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s work as inspiration. They were all amazing! Well done Chameleons!
Can you spot the difference between ours and Arcimboldo’s art work?
Also, the maths challenge responses this week were brilliant. We can see how hard you’ve been working and we are thrilled that so many children are reading at home. It makes a massive difference! As always, thank you for your support!
This week the children in Chameleons have been sharing a book called The Enormous Crocodile. We have read the story and written our own versions of it. The book was written by Roald Dahl and Thursday 13th September was Roald Dahl Day. We celebrated by making some fabulous bookmarks with pictures of The Enormous Crocodile on.
Please feel free to use the bookmark in your child’s school reading book once it has been laminated and sent home.
In maths we have been practising number pairs that make 10 or 20 and some of the children are now able to remember these very confidently. Keep practising at home so that you are fluent.
Remember to look out for the weekly Maths Challenge - this should come home with your child on a Thursday and be returned on Monday. It’s all about trying at Birk Hill so please encourage your child to ‘have a go’ even if they aren’t sure. Parents are most welcome to help their children and school staff are always happy to give out hints and help!
We started looking at electricity this week in science. We discussed how useful electricity can be but also how dangerous it is too.
We kicked our learning off with an investigation about static electricity involving our hair, a balloon and tissue paper!
First, we rubbed the balloon on our hair. This made long hair stand on end!
Next we put the balloon near some small pieces of tissue paper.
As if by magic (but really because of static electricity) the tissue paper stuck to the balloon!
We all had great fun and the children got a balloon to take home to try it out there!