This half term, the children in Willow Class have been looking at different stories. We have read and completed activities around two stories in particular, one traditional and one modern: Aliens Love Underpants and Hansel and Gretel.

The children enjoyed sharing their favourite stories with other children in the class during circle time. We talked about which authors we liked – Julia Donaldson was a firm favourite!

The children enjoyed imaginative play through their role play area, which had been turned into a space ship and the gingerbread house. The small world area was turned into a puppet theatre. We went on imaginary journeys and used role-play to retell and make up our own versions of stories.


The children created their own aliens and gingerbread houses using junk modelling. We made pretend sweeties and baked and decorated gingerbread men for the gingerbread house.

We solved practical addition and subtraction problems linked to the stories. We designed underpants using repeating patterns. The children also learned the names and some properties of 3D shapes, and used them to build their own gingerbread house like the one in Hansel and Gretel.

As part of our Hansel and Gretel story, we programmed Beebots to navigate their way through the forest to reach the gingerbread house. After reading Aliens Love Underpants, we used the internet and non-fiction books to find out all about Space. We also talked about the importance of ‘Stranger Danger’ and what to do if we get lost in relation to the story of Hansel and Gretel.

Artists with Portal Digital

This half term, the children in Willow Class have been Digital Developers for Portal Digital boss, Olive Stein. The children looked very smart in their work clothes with their ID badges. Every week, we checked our emails to receive our tasks from Olive. Our first job was to sort objects that are digital and not digital. We talked about what the word ‘digital’ means and then found some objects in Willow Pod to sort.

Digital developers enjoyed playing in the Imagination Station that had been changed into an Art Gallery. We recorded a news report for Olive all about it’s opening. The workers loved using money to serve customers in the gift shop and café, and tried their hand at sketching, using ICT to draw self portraits and painting.

As part of our Artists topic, we used non-fiction books and the internet to find out about the famous artists Vincent van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci. Olive arranged for us to interview Leonardo, who had come through a time machine! Together, we thought of some questions to ask him and we recorded our interview for Portal Digital. We also filmed a documentary full of facts about Vincent van Gogh. These videos can be viewed at the Portal Digital website:

We loved learning all about the life of Leonardo da Vinci. We found out information about Italy and had a go at cooking our own pasta and pizzas! They were delicious and everyone tried something healthy!

Throughout our topic, we experimented with different ways of creating art. We used watercolours to colour in famous pieces of art and food colouring to paint snow. We used sunflower seeds and different materials to make our own sunflower art like Vincent van Gogh. We also used pastels, oil pastels and ICT to create self-portraits as well as plasticine to create models.

Our final task for Olive was to make our own flying machine, like Leonardo da Vinci’s. We practised cutting wood with saws and joining wood using nails and hammers. We had to be very careful and listen carefully to keep us safe! Our flying machine was fantastic!

Whitehouse Farm Winter Wonderland

Willow Class had such a fantastic day at The Winter Wonderland at Whitehouse Farm. We went on the bus and when we got there, we were met by an elf who showed us around the farm.

First, we visited the Nativity Stable, where there were hay bales to sit on and llamas and cows all around us! We acted out the Nativity, with Courtney as Mary and Kaylem as Joseph. Mary even rode on a real donkey, led by Joseph! We ended our play by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

After that, we fed some donkeys, goats and ponies and visited the pigs, deer and wallabies. Then it was time to visit Santa’s grotto. It was such a magical place! First, we each wrote our letters to Santa, telling him our names, age and writing what we would like for Christmas. Then, we posted our letters and went into Santa’s room. He told us all about his magic and gave us each a lolly and some magic reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve (this makes the reindeer fly)! Then it was time for lunch.

After lunch, we had a ride on the Tractor Trailer that had been turned into a sleigh! It was so fun and very bumpy!

Next, we went into the petting barn where we held fluffy rabbits, rats, a lizard and even some cockroaches! Before home time, we enjoyed some time playing in the soft play. Then it was back onto the bus (lots of children were so tired they fell asleep!)

Everyone was so well behaved, it was an absolute pleasure to take them out of school. Mr Sutherland came with us on the trip and he was so proud of all of the children.



IMG_1137.JPGThis half term, we have been scientists working for the world-famous, Professor Crankpot! He is always forgetting things (his memory loss has been caused by too many experiments that have gone wrong) and so he asked us to help him find out all about materials. We learned all about what scientists do and where they work.

We enjoyed playing in our role-play area which had been transformed into Science LabW, where we  became scientists. In Science LabW, carried out colour experiments; using pipettes and test tubes to mix different coloured water to see what colours they make. As part of our jobs as scientists, Professor Crankpot also asked us to do some estimating and measuring in LabW.

Crankpot also asked us to help him sort rubbish at the ‘Bedlington Station Recylcing Centre’ into pots labelled metal, plastic, card and paper, fabric and wood. We made a video explaining how we knew each object was which material, using lots of descriptive words. We also had fun exploring different types of messy materials (mud, cornflour and water and different coloured spaghetti) and wrote down words to describe how they felt.

We made artwork using natural materials that we found outside and made paper chains to decorate the classroom. In the model-making area, we chose appropriate materials to collage different pictures.

We received a letter from Professor Crankpot asking for our help with counting. Because his brain is all muddled up, he couldn’t count the things he needed for his experiment. We did careful counting, saying one number per object while touch counting and we put the objects in a line to make sure we didn’t miss any out. LabW Scientists also had lots of fun using Professor Crankpot’s Adding Machine! We then investigated liquids and capacity. We talked about which test tubes were full, nearly full, half full, nearly empty or empty and followed Crankpot’s instructions to make a secret potion.

As a class, we carried out two experiments (Coke and Mentos and The Rainbow Jar). Before the experiment, Mrs Stanley asked the children what they think will happen. We talked about how scientists guess what will happen before they do experiments too, and their guesses are called ‘predictions’. The children came up with some really good predictions and they loved watching Mrs Stanley carry out the experiments! After the experiments, we talked about who’s predictions were most accurate.


Me, my friends and my family

This half term, Willow class have settled into full time education. We have been practicing writing our names in different ways, we have learned how to keep ourselves healthy, and we have talked about our families and how we are all different. We have tried very hard to follow Willow Class Rules and our listening skills have improved so much! We also started getting dressed and undressed for PE independently. We have enjoyed cooking scones and using our senses to describe them, before giving them to a friend to eat.


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