Autumn Term 2017

Designers and Climbers
24th November 2017

The Pioneers have been demonstrating some great design skills and thinking how to use natural materials as tools for digging and making catapults to guard their dens.

Several children decided to develop their tree climbing skills. By communicating throughout we assessed if it was a suitable area with no hidden dangers beneath and could we climb and descend safely.

The structures we had built looked much sturdier and allowed us the opportunity to test them by swinging on them.

We developed our communication again, discussing ideas and allocating roles and partnerships. We also reinforced our safe handling techniques for carrying, lifting and lowering large branches.


Rock and Roll Stars

17th November 2017

This week the children started their own bands, singing songs from the charts and from our upcoming Christmas production. They were very entertaining and put on quite a show.

The mystery of the Mud Monsters continued to develop as some even stranger footprints were found. The team decided to group together to make a trap to capture any mud monsters that come out at night.

After some successful spell casting and broomstick training, the doors to the wizard school sadly closed this week. Who knows if or when it will reopen?

Fireworks, Mysteries and Magic

10th November 2017

Having reflected on our learning from last week, the children set off with new plans for their outdoor learning.

As we recently celebrated Bonfire Night, children were keen to make models of firework displays… but how to light them? The children asked for flint and steel and some tinder but not before they found a clear area and water supply.

Our constructors continued to develop their ice cream parlours and their army bases and made some fantastic progress. However, when gathering resources, our boat building crew became side-tracked by some mystery footprints and so they will now be opening their own Mystery Mud Monster Detective Agency next week.

The golf course transformed into cricket oval as the course designer wanted to design a game that could include more people.

There was magic in the air as children opened their own spell school, complete with wand training and broomstick lessons.

Team Games
20th October 2017

Today we all ventured out into the field to take part in some team challenges. Each one was designed to promote effective team work and clear communication. The tasks were impossible without it!! As the children reflected on their successes, the other children listened. When they heard something that reflected one of our characters, children started to make the appropriate animal sounds. It made for a fun and noisy reflection!

Gorillas with Butterfly Wings
6th October 2017

This week we were introduced to 7 animals that helped us to talk about our approaches to learning. There was:

  • The Caterpillar- he grows and develops his thinking and attitudes.

  • The Gorilla – he likes to create and try out new ideas.

  • The Owl – he likes to hover overhead and reflect on his learning.

  • The Bee – he likes to work with others and communicates well within a team.

  • The Tortoise – he never gives up when things get tough.

  • The Spider – he connects lots of ideas together and sees what is similar, different or transferrable.

When completing team activities, we had a Learning Investigator who watched our interactions and took notes to see which approaches to learning were taking place.

Asking Abel
8th September 2017
When introduced to Abel, the main character from our story, we asked him questions that led to even more questions!!  We wanted to know how Abel knew he was in a beech tree and also, why he didn't just build a raft to escape.  So, this afternoon, we made our own leaf spotters to help us identify the different trees in our school grounds.  We also had time to make some rafts, which we tested with some success.
Foxes and Lions
24th November 2017

With just a little flicker of light, the children became hooked on the idea that they were not alone in the willow maze this afternoon. The children believe they found a foxes den. We started to think about ways to describe the fox without saying what it was and decided to use our imaginative language for some creative fox poetry next week.

The ground outside was blanketed with beautiful autumnal colours. Children began creating some amazing artwork, including a lovely leaf lion. This has inspired other children to become artists next week, using the natural colours and the beauty of our outdoor environment.

Developing our Ideas
10th November 2017

This week the Pioneers have thought about what they achieved last week, they all decided to improve their inventions and creations, some were made stronger with bigger sticks or extra mud to hold them together.

Some developed their mud pies to mud fortresses. Others began to make catapults. We worked on our team spirit and began to think of others.

We talked about where to find resources and how it was important to not take from other peoples work.

Thankful for the Trees
3rd November 2017
Today we began a new outdoor project called ‘Thankful for the Trees’. We discussed how trees have a big role to play in our forest based learning and made individual plans involving the exploration of trees that we shall follow as our journey of learning. Our plans led us to think about whether we were being investigators, creators, constructors or imaginers (or all 4!). The children then worked independently or in self-regulated groups to begin working towards their goals.
Tying it all up
13th October 2017
Today we recapped the learning characteristics introduced last week. We were given the challenge of following instructions to tie knots. As we completed the challenge, we turned up our Mind Microphones. We did this so that our partner could hear our thinking processes and make comments about which learning strategies we had used.

Having mastered some knot tying skills, we were challenged to put them to good use. There were lots of creative ideas on show, such as Fairy Ford Castle, tiny washing lines and even a full size swing.

When we reflected at the end of the session, children were asked to discuss the processes that got them to their current position. As they did so, the others listened and gave feedback on what animals their response had represented.

Leaves and Pulleys
22nd September 2017
This week we combined our knot tying work with our understanding of forces.  We made pulley systems to pass information about different leaves backwards and forwards. This allowed us to match and classify different leaf types.  It was a tough task and one that we could only complete if we worked together.
Making Magnets
15th September 2017
As part of their survival topic, Pioneers used their knowledge of magnets and the Earth’s magnetic field to make their own compasses. They used them to orienteer in the outdoor area and find hidden symbols.