Class R: The Turtles (2015-2016)

Class Teacher – Mr Gill

Learning Support Assistant (LSA) – Heather Smith, Julie Perkins, Lucy and Cheryl

Welcome to Class R′s page of our school website. You will be able to find copies of class letters here, suggestions on how to support your child at home, photographs of the fun we have in Class R and useful links to websites to help with your learning.

Class Blog

Friday 7th July 2016
Our story of the week has been 'Noah's Ark' which the children loved! We have built and designed our own own boats and experimented with floating and sinking. The children have also been experimenting with colour mixing using water colours and designing their own rainbows using coloured chalks. We had a visit from a 'Skipper' of a fishing boat called Matt on Tuesday. He talked to us about his job, the dangers he faces, how his boat operates and what sort of fish he catches. We loved his photos and videos. For the rest of the day everyone wanted to be Matt!!! Wednesday saw us become weather reporters and investigate days of the week. We learnt how to predict weather for Matt's fishing trips and made our own forecasts. 
Friday 1st July 2016
Our investigations this week have led us to 'recycling'. The children were so fascinated by our chat about sea pollution last week that we thought we would explore have to save the environment. We explored things we can recycle at school and at home and used our recycling boxes in order to do this. The children wrote lists of things we can recycle and played some lovely sorting games with different materials. On Thursday we received a last minute invite from Brixham College to come to a 'Healthy Living' festival. A school had dropped out and they needed some volunteers! We have a lovely friendship with the college so went over to enjoy their celebrations. We tried Yoga, Thai-Chi and Judo with our instructors. We also learnt about keeping our bodies active and at the end of the afternoon we were able to try some healthy foods. Here are our pictures...  
Tuesday 21st June 2016
As part of our 'Seaside' investigations we were lucky enough to welcome a friend of ours called Paul into the classroom today. Paul is better known as Oliver's daddy and one of his hobbies is diving. He came in this morning dressed in his diving suit and had all of his diving equipment with him. We loved listening to diving stories that he told and found out some facts about diving during the morning. We learnt how to stay safe in the water and what preparations are needed in order to complete a dive. Of course, the rest of the day was spent with most of the children pretending to be scuba-divers! What a fun day...
Friday 10th June 2016
This week we have begun our investigations into the 'seaside'. Our book of the week has been 'Commotion In The Ocean' with the children enjoying using a range of non-fiction texts to find out facts about various sea creatures. We designed our own seahorses, investigated jellyfish and even found out about how divers research the life of a shark. Some of us designed and drew pictures of cages to protect divers when swimming with sharks! Friday was our visit to Forest School where we were busy exploring. Teamwork and imagination were the order of the day as our children initiated so many different games to play. It was lovely for the adults to stand back and watch some of the fun. 
Friday 27th May 2016
This week our investigations have led us towards dinosaurs! We brainstormed what we already knew and things we would like to find out. A visit to the library provided us with some fantastic non-fiction books about dinosaurs. We then used these to find out interesting facts about dinosaurs. We have also made 2D shape dinosaurs as well as draw our favourite dinosaurs with chalk in our outdoor classroom. Our role-play has been very much dinosaur orientated with many of us pretending to be carnivores! A very popular activity was when we were paleontologists on Wednesday. The children discovered some dinosaur bones and investigated where they may have come from. On Thursday we designed our own fossils using dinosaurs and salt-dough. The adults have learnt just as much as the children this week through our investigations which is what learning together should all be about. Enjoy your half-term.
Friday 20th May 2016
Please enjoyed these amazing pictures of the children enjoying our minibeast visit to Forest School. The learning and fun we had on Friday was incredible to be part of.
Friday 13th May 2016
Our book of the week this week has been 'Rumble IN The Jungle'. This is such a fantastic story that has offered us so many learning opportunities. The children loved making shape animals on Monday, investigating 2D shapes. We then extended this by using using our bamboo canes to form shapes outside. A great problem solving activity where the children had to use their thinking skills. We then began our jungle animal investigations by looking at non-fiction books. The children were able to identify their favourite creatures and use the information books to find out interesting facts about the animals. We then wrote the facts down to read to the class. Later in the week our investigations led us to rainforests! We had some lovely class discussions about rainforest conservation and how to help the planet! The children designed their own rainforest using tissue paper and learnt how we can help to protect the world in which we live!
Friday 6th May 2016
Our book of the week has been 'Dear Zoo' this week. We have been enjoying the fabulous weather and have taken the majority of our learning into our outdoor classroom this week. The children have chosen their favourite character from 'Dear Zoo' and written clues about them for their friends to guess who they are. We discussed 'WOW' words beforehand and used these in our descriptions of the animals. The children have also been designing repeated patterns on snakes and using coloured ribbons to initiate their own patterned designs. 
Our favourite activity however seemed to be the artwork we made on Thursday. We looked at a French artist called LeRoy Neiman and investigated some of his pastel designs of animals. We then designed our own impressions of lions with incredible results. The children used pastels to draw colourful lion portraits on sugar paper. We will place the amazing pictures on our wall this week for you all to see.
Friday was spent discussing the benefits of keeping wild animals in zoos. The children loved discussing the benefits and possible pitfalls of keeping wild animals in a zoo. This led us on to investigating Longleat Park and the conservation work that they engage in. The children loved watching Safari videos of Longleat and then spent most of the afternoon role-playing zoo keepers and animal games!!! What a terrific day!
RNLI Assembly - Thursday 28th April
We enjoyed joining Class 1 and Ducklings Pre-School to listen to some RNLI Lifeguards who told us all about beach safety. 
Monday 25th April 2016
Today we had a special visit from 'Animal Man' who brought in a range of beautiful animals with him. We welcomed stick insects, pigeons, daegu, snakes, lizards, Bearded Dragons, cockroaches, guinea pigs and many more to our class. The children loved spending time investigating the creatures and using their senses to explore how the animals felt and what they looked like. Everyone was brave enough to hold, stroke or touch the animals. Some of us even had snakes dangling from our necks!!! Enjoy the pictures...
Friday 18th March 2016
Our investigations this week have led us to the story of 'Goldilocks'. We have designed our own bears using forks to paint with, made bears using 2D shapes and designed some bears to eat for snack using bread, bananas, chocolate spread and chocolate raisins! We were extremely proud of the story maps that we made at the beginning of the week. We then used these to re-tell the story on Friday. The children worked in small groups to draw pictures and sequence the story so that we could re-tell it later in the week. We took videos of ourselves as we read the story. The children loved watching themselves afterwards and reflecting on their work. Next week we will be investigating Easter! Have a lovely weekend.
Tuesday 1st March 2016
What a lovely morning we have had at Brixham Fire Station today! Despite the awful weather, we walked down to meet our fireman friends...Richard, Mike, Josh and Mark at the Fire Station. We were given a fire safety talk and had a question and answer session to begin with. We learnt how to stay safe in the event of a fire nd what to do if we were ever in that position. Mike showed us his firemans clothes and equipement he has to wear when at work. Mr Gill and Heather then tried the clothes on with the help of the children! After a short break we were then given a tour of the firestation and Josh explained what all the gadgets on the fire engine are for. This was really exciting as we were allowed inside the fire engine to explore for ourselves. The best part was still to come though.....! We were then allowed to shoot water from the fire engines hose outside! It was extremely powerful and we had to hold on tight to aim the water. We hope you enjoy these photos of us. We think the look on our faces tells you everything you need to know.
Friday 26th February 2016
I have posted a lovely video today of some child-led learning that has taken place this morning. Jack and the Beanstalk investigations have led to children building their own towers with soft bricks to reach the 'Giant's Castle'!!!! The children then decided to use our tape measures to work out which towers were the tallest and which were the shortest. Enjoy...
Thursday 24th February 2016
Today we enjoyed our first 'Stay and Play' of the year in Class Reception. The sun was shining and the children loved welcoming visitors to our setting. Aunties, dads, mums, grans, sisters and brothers were all enjoying themselves in both our indoor and outdoor classrooms today. A big thank you to everyone that came, the children have been talking about it all day! These sessions will run every Thursday morning if you are free to spend some time with us. Here are some photos of this mornings session... 
Friday 12th February 2016
This week our investigations have led us to exploring the Chinese New Year. This year is the 'Year of the Monkey'! The children have learnt the Chinese New Year story, tasted Chinese food, made glowing lanterns, designed and built Chinese drums, danced to Chinese music and written words in Chinese!!! What an interesting week in our classroom it has been. Exploring another culture is always good fun and gives the children a chance to see life in a different perspective. I was so proud of the beautiful Chinese writing that the children have been attempting this week. We used acrylic paint to write our favourite Chinese animal names. Enjoy the photos...
Tuesday 2nd February 2016
What a fantastic afternoon we have had celebrating our 'Transport' theme with a 'Race Day' in the playground. The children designed their own race tracks and then helped to build the track outside. We had a zebra crossing, traffic lights, speed cameras, an obstacle course, lollipop men, petrol stations and even broken down vehicles! It was wonderful to watch the children enjoy themselves in the sunshine, learning as the afternoon progressed.
Friday 29th January 2016
An important part of any Early Years teaching is to provide an effective and exciting environment that the children can thrive in. Watching the children interact with the provision and scaffold their learning is key to effective teaching. We try and create independent learners who seek out challenges around the classroom, applying the skills we are teaching them in their play. Our children have been extremely enthused by our calculation investigations lately and have enjoyed problem solving addition and subtraction games. The video below is a lovely example of two children applying calculation skills learnt earlier in the day...
Friday 22nd January 2015
This week we have continued our investigations into calculation. We have been adding and subtracting both inside and outside of the classroom. On Friday the weather was so bad we decided to play some take-away games with our wellie boots in the rain!!! It was great fun! We have also learnt the Makaton actions to add to 'Wheels On The Bus' song which the children really enjoyed. Our addition factory is up and running in the classroom...see if your children can show you where it is! The children also designed their own bus biscuits to go with our singing this week. They looked and tasted delicious. Enjoy some photos of the week...
Wednesday 13th January 2016
The children have been busy washing cars in our car park this week! We designed our own instructions to follow and cleaned cars belonging to staff members at school. The weather was cold and a little wet but the children loved the activity and it proved a fantastic way to teach sequencing. Today we have been investigating forces again and measuring the distances travelled by cars that roll down ramps. We altered the gradient on the ramps and predicted what would happen to the cars as they travelled down the ramp. This proved great fun and the children were using lots of fantastic language related to forces and gravity. 
Wednesday 6th January 2016
We spent this morning at Central Garage in Brixham, investigating what happens in a garage. We used our investigation and exploration skills to find out as much as we could. On meeting Nigel who is the manager, we were introduced to cars that were being serviced in the yard. We were lucky enough to explore under vehicles as Nigel raised the cars up on automatic lifts. Oil leaks and brake problems were identified by our 'eagle-eyed' team! Our next mission was to go into the bodywork department. Nigel showed us how dents in cars are repaired, how new doors are fitted and fixed and one our favourite parts was going into the 'car oven'. The cars are sprayed and the paint heated to a high temperature to enable the paint to set. It was quite warm in the oven and very smelly! We watched a mechanic spray some car doors in his overalls and breathing mask. After that, we then changed some car tyres and inflated them using an air pump. This was great fun and Nigel let us take away some weights that belong on the wheel of a car. On the way through the showroom we stopped to meet Trevor who is in charge of valeting cars. His room smelt completely different to the repair yard! The showroom has some old Triumph cars and some modern cars for sale. A thoroughly enjoyable morning was had by everyone!
Monday 4th January 2016
Welcome back from our Christmas break! We hope you all had an enjoyable 2 weeks with your families and are ready for the term ahead. The children decided that they wanted to investigate 'transport' when they returned from Christmas. We will be spending the first few weeks investigating this theme with a lot of practical activities as always planned for the children. If the children have any favourite stories that have a transport/ vehicle theme then please bring them in for 'Show and Tell' and story time. Please see a copy of the letter below that explains some of the activities we will be investigating.
Friday 11th December 2015
Thank you to everyone that came to support us this week when we performed our Christmas Nativity plays. The children really enjoyed themselves and performed amazingly well. It gives us all a chance to see our children grow in confidence and take risks by standing in front of large crowds to perform. We are very proud of our stars and hope that you are too. A day has not gone by without the children asking me to play the Christmas songs so we can all have a sing-a-long together! No doubt they have been serenading you at home as well! 
The end of the week saw us begin a project with college students from Brixham Community College. Year 11 students are studying 'Home Economics' and needed some young and willing volunteers to help with their research. We put ourselves forward today and were interviewed as part of the process. We discussed healthy foods, our favourite dishes, foods from other cultures, etc. After Christmas, we will be visiting the college kitchens and tasting some of their delicious offerings! We hope you enjoy pictures from this week...
Friday 20th November 2015
This week we have been investigating the 'North Pole'. Our role play area has turned into an igloo for eskimos! The children have been exploring freezing and melting water. We were scientists on Thursday as we experimented with how to freeze water. The children decided we needed to put some balloons full of water and cups of water in the freezer overnight. They placed objects inside the cups to see what would happen. We also put a banana, an apple and a pear in the freezer! When we arrived back to school this morning we went to the freezer to see what had happened. All of our water had frozen! The next hour was spent trying to get our objects out of the frozen ice! Some children were tapping the ice with objects, some were bashing it with their feet while others were using the sun! Such a fantastic morning was had by all. Being able to watch the children explore and find their own solutions to problems is amazing to watch. Earlier in the week we had made 'ice-shakes' with bananas, milk and ice.....yummy! Not even the wet weather could stop us in our tracks this week. Hope you enjoy the pictures...
Wednesday 11th November 2015
Our investigations this week have led us to India!This week in India, they are celebrating the 'Festival of Lights' called Diwali. We have been investigating Indian cultures, designing Diwali lanterns and finding out about their celebrations. Our favourite activity so far has been exploring how the festivals use a range of bright colours to mix together to create wonderful patterns. We used powder paints, brushes and water to mix the colours together and make predictions about what would happen. The children loved exploring and being creative. Our school playground is now awash with bright beautiful colours. Later this week we will be tasing foods from India! As you can see from these phots, the children loved the activities!!!
Friday 23rd October 2015
Our 'book of the week' has been 'Stick Man' by Julia Donaldson. The children have loved our activities around the story, especially designing their own 'Stickmen'. The children have been making up their own stories using their 'Stickmen' which was wonderful to watch. We have also been  investigating 'forces' this week and in particular.... 'pushing'. We used water spray bottles to force plastic balls along a race track. The children experimented with different strengths and challenged one another to see who could complete the race course the fastest! Enjoy our findings...     
Friday 16th October 2015
Over the past 2 weeks we have been fortunate enough to have been visited by Joni (Sennen's mum) and Michelle (Thomas' mum). They have both spent an afternoon with us in class teaching us some new skills. Joni brought her artistic skills with her and helped us to make pictures and collage's with leaves and Autumn treasures last week. The children loved exploring how to use different coloured, patterned and shaped leaves to make pictures. This week Michelle helped us to design our own horse designs using a range of different textiles. The children loved exploring the different materials, using their senses and building some beautiful designs. We loved having some 'expert help' and even the adults all learnt some new skills! I hope you enjoy the pictures...
Thursday 1st October
We had the most fantastic day yesterday at Forest School. All the children loved exploring the natural environment and teambuilding together. We were climbing trees, collecting Autumn treasures, supporting each other on the swings and hammocks, building dens, making colourful collages and making our own fun through imaginary play. The children had an amazing time and if the opportunity presents itself we will try to venture down again after half-term. Please enjoy these amazing pictures of your children...
Friday 25th September 2015
Firstly a big thank you to all those that attended our phonics workshop yesterday. There was a lot of information to take in but hopefully over the course of the next few months it will all begin to make sense! Remember....we are always here to help and answer any questions you may have! The children have been enjoying our 'Owl Babies' adventures this week, designing their own owls and developing their artisitic skills. There is so much learning happening all around us that it is a challenge for us adults to keep up with them at the moment! It gives us great pleasure to be able to write that! Here are 2 videos that sequence some independent learning in our outdoor classroom today. This was my favourite part of the day...
Part 2 of video...
Thursday 24th September 2015
Here is the information discussed at todays meeting.
Friday 18th September 2015
Our second week has come to an end today with the children staying for lunch this week. We have enjoyed Wayne the chefs fantastic cooking, with many children having school dinners. Our 'Book of the Week' has been 'Funnybones' and we have been investigating skeletons! The children have designed skeletons from coton buds, pasta and chalk designs... the results were fantastic! Our outdoor classroom is VERY popular with all the children and their imagination engaging with the environment has been amazing to watch. Please remember the 'Parents Phonics Meeting' on Thursday 23rd September at 2.30pm in the hall.  
What a super first week we are having at school with all the children settling in extremely well. Child-initiated play is a vital part of our learning process and the children have been taking ownership of their own learning. These videos illustrate fantastic examples of teamwork, turn-taking and imaginary play. Our friends have built a fishing boat and have designed their own fishing nets and rods! They are sailing on a fishing trip to catch as many fish as they can to sell at the market.....
Can I say a big warm welcome to everyone that has joined our school family this week. It is great to see all children coming into school for the first time with huge smiles, full of enthusiasm and energy. The first few weeks are always very special as the children settle in, so please enjoy the new start your children are making. Our door is always open to parents so please come and see us if you have any concerns. 
Last week you will have received an important letter regarding a parents phonic meeting on Thursday 24th September. Please complete this form and return it to a member of staff this week. We will be investigating 'Ourselves' to begin the Autumn term as we find out about our new friends. Here is a copy of our Newsletter below. Please visit our class page next week to see some photographs and videos of the children busy in their new school...