Mr Newton visited us today to show us what beekeeping is all about. We looked at some of the safety equipment that they wear and tried on the gloves and hat. It was fascinating to watch the bees at work in their hive! Mr Newton then kindly answered the questions we had (all 30 of them!). We had the chance to feel and smell real honeycomb and finished off the visit by tasting some set honey and runny honey. The runny honey was the most popular choice! It really was a fantastic afternoon, thank you Mr Newton!
Today the children continued with their bee artwork. Having practised using the pastels and chalks, they took all of the 'best' parts of their trial work and really thought about the shape and colours of the final bee. They used line, shape and light and dark colours to outline the wings and body, before adding the detail such as the stripes and legs. The finished products were un-BEE-lievable! You can see a few examples of the end results in the photos. They will also be on display outside our classroom after half term!
During our visit to Rye Meads, the children focussed on land habitat and pond habitats. In the morning we explored the different land micro-habitats, including logs, bushes, grasses and soil. We found lots of different minibeasts (which we now know are scientifically called invertebrates!) and discussed what made them suited to their habitat. We explored different features of the animals and the ability to camouflage to their surroundings. In the afternoon we spent some time looking at the pond minibeasts. By using a net we were able to scoop out insects from the water and identify them using a chart. It was amazing to see just how many different living things were inside one small area of water! It was fun reflecting on the minibeasts we had found and acting out their movements. What a fun-packed day we had!
This afternoon, Beech class have been looking at artwork that needs to be completed in stages, also called layering. We thought about which insect is important in our natural world and decided the bee plays a vital role. This also links with our planting, as the children chose seeds which are pollinators and attract the attention of bees! Today we began by creating the background for our artwork. This involved using templates, cutting paper and printing a pattern using bubble wrap. We chose hexagon shapes to represent the honeycomb pattern! We talked about why bees would use this shape, and came up with the idea that it is because hexagons fit together well and make the most of the space they have. Once we had created the background for our artwork, we practised drawing a bee using our observation skills of bee photos. This meant trying really hard not to make our bee look like a cartoon, but to keep it looking realistic and thinking about shape and proportions. Watch this space for the finished products!
Today Beech class explored different habitats to find things that are living, have never lived and have once lived. We looked in the wildlife area, the pond area and the quiet garden. We discussed that a wooden bench would have once lived as part of a tree, and that stones and concrete have never lived. We also thought about us having an impact upon living things, for example if we pick a leaf from a tree or a flower from the ground we are stopping it from being a living thing. Can you spot any living things in our photos?
During the Easter church service this morning, some of the children in Beech class were invited to read out a prayer. These prayers were written by the children following our class R.E lessons and discussions about why Easter matters to Christians. This was a very proud and special moment!
Beech class have been learning about the Easter story and looking at the key parts in the story such as Palm Sunday, Last Supper and the resurrection. For their home learning, the children made beautiful Easter gardens to show the part of the story when Jesus had disappeared from the tomb. There were such a great variety of ideas and it was brilliant to be able to share them with parents too.
Beech Class visited the 'Life Bus' today. Nancy talked to us about eating healthily, how our body works, being safe with medication and our feelings and emotions. We also met Harold (the giraffe!) who invited us to a special party with his friends! What a great afternoon!
To celebrate the end of our topic, Beech Class held an 'African Day'. The children (and adults!) dressed in brightly coloured and patterned clothes and spent the day discussing all that we had found out so far. We had an African themed arts and craft afternoon where the children made pasta and paper necklaces, crafted mud huts and made collages of the African animals we have learned about along the way! The children had the opportunity to explore some traditional wire toys and look at beautifully printed materials. There was even a Maasai headrest to test out! It was a fantastic day and will help us to remember our 'The World is a Big Place' topic well! Thank you to all of the parents who made such an effort with the outfits and to make this a special day for Beech Class.
Today we celebrated Chinese New Year in Beech Class. We were lucky enough to have a visit from Mrs He who told us some fantastic stories. We listened to interesting information about the fortune envelopes, traditional family meals with dumplings and the dancing dragons and lions! One of the children even asked why we use chopsticks, which led to a fantastic legend being told. During the afternoon the children made dragon puppets and wrote some of their own wishes to hang on the wishing tree (or branch!). We thought about how this celebration was similar and different from our New Year's Eve celebrations. What a wonderful afternoon we had!
Today, Andy (from Legends Tennis Centre) came to visit and taught us some exciting new skills. During the tennis session we thought about balancing, changing direction, co-ordination and team work. This was a fun and valuable experience and Beech Class loved it!
To tie in with our new topic, 'The World is a Big Place', we have started to look at traditional African myths, including Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories'. The two books we have read together are 'The Elephant's Child' and 'How the Leopard Got His Spots'. The children then worked in groups to act out the stories in front of the rest of the class. We thought about expression and how the characters might be feeling at different parts of the story. Super acting Year 2!
KS1 performed their first production of 'A Midwife Crisis' today. The children shared this magical Christmas story (with a twist!) through singing, dancing and acting. They worked so hard to remember their lines and positions and really did shine bright on the stage for both the school and the parents watching. A very big well done to both year 1 and 2 for their fantastic efforts!
Today, Beech Class imagined what it would be like for Rapunzel to enter the forest for the first time after being locked in the tower for so long. The children moved around the wildlife area, carefully looking for interesting objects. They then used their experiences to think of some fantastic adjectives. Here are some examples;
Rustling leaves on the damp ground.
Squelching mud slipping under my feet.
Shimmering sunlight beaming through the treetops.
Great vocabulary Beech Class!
Today we had the pleasure of a visit from Mrs Pettengell who talked to us about the Hindu celebration of Diwali. We sometimes refer to this as the festival of light! We found out about the story of Rama and Sita and looked at some of the fantastic outfits that are traditionally worn on these occasions. It was fun passing around some special artefacts and asking some questions to further our knowledge of this special time too!
Today, Beech Class gathered outdoors and set fire to the Tudor houses they had made during our topic. It was great fun to watch the fire spreading through the 'thatched rooves' and 'wooden beams', just like it would have done on Pudding Lane back in 1666!
At Wodson Park today the children had the opportunity to learn and improve on their physical development skills. They took part in activities using techniques such as jumping, throwing and balancing. These are skills the children have been able to bring back to school and incorporate into their weekly P.E sessions.
After identifying the features of a Tudor house, the children planned, built and evaluated their own house using cardboard boxes. They included thatched rooves, wooden beams and tall chimneys. See if you can spot the features on the models when you look through the photographs!
Today the children had fun creating masks of the characters in The Gunpowder Plot. They then acted out the story of Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes planning to blow up the Houses of Parliament...with King James I in it! But Guy Fawkes got caught in the act by a guard and the plan was ruined. King James I was safe again! It was lovely to see the children getting into character and using different voices too. What a great way to 'Remember, Remember the Fifth of November'!
2017-2018 Academic Year
Beech class shared their learning from the last term in their class assembly. This covered the 'Hall of Fame' topic and our more recent topic of 'Gardener's World'. The children made a human timeline of famous people from the past, using their historical chronology skills, and they also performed a fantastic song called 'Friendships' using different vocal parts and chime bars. Well done Beech class! You have grown so much this year!
Today, Beech Class visited Lee Valley Park to experience a Habitat Discovery Day. We searched for minibeasts in a range of land habitats, such as in long grass, gravel paths, in trees and under logs. We used classification keys to help us to identify the different minibeasts that we had caught, but we had to look really carefully as some of the bugs were very similar! We found lots of different creatures, including spiders, ants and beetles. We even found a very impressive looking toad and a couple of smooth newts which were amazing to see up close! In the afternoon we had the opportunity to do some pond dipping. We used a small platform to get close to the edge before gliding our net through the water, in the hope of catching some minibeasts. It was great fun and we saw some water snails, leaches, blood worms, water boatmen and many other exciting creatures that live in the water. We thought about placing the minibeasts in separate pots, as we didn't want the predators eating the prey! This was a truly amazing opportunity for the children and they learnt so much. What a fantastic day we had!
We joined in with the whole school today and spent lots of time outdoors. We practised our fine motor skills and learnt how to do yarn wrapping using wool and sticks. The sticks looked incredible and some even had imaginative stories behind them too! In the afternoon we used the wildlife area as inspiration for art. We chose a wild flower and studied it closely using a magnifying glass. After observing the flower for a short while, we were able to draw a very detailed picture. The finished artwork looked amazing!
This afternoon we visited Wodson Park. This was a great opportunity to build on and extend our agility skills since the last visit. This mainly included throwing, balancing and skipping. It was great to have the sun out and shining on us too!
In our history lesson today, we were exploring what life would be like if we were blind or partially sighted. We had some special glasses to help us find out what it would really be like. This made us think about the other senses we would need to use instead. We found that touch was extremely useful in finding our way around and could also be a way to support the blind to read. Louis Braille created an amazing language for the blind and was of course named after himself! Braille is very tricky to read. We found this out when we tried to read some sentences before writing our own. It was a challenge but also very fun!
Today we had a 'Famous People Parade' with lots of significant faces from the past. We saw Cleopatra, Florence Nightingale, Albert Einstein and Henry VIII just to name a few! The red carpet was rolled out and the famous faces strutted down the catwalk showing off their fantastic outfits whilst telling interesting facts about themselves. This was an amazing entry point to our 'Hall of Fame' topic. Have a look at the photographs. How many famous faces do you recognise?
Some children from Beech class were given the chance to participate in a science morning at a local school, where they were able to explore all things flight! They met a real pilot and enjoyed working with him and asking lots of questions. During the day there were challenges to complete and build. There was also a task where the whole group had to build a flying machine, and guess what...the group won first prize! Well done!
To finish off our 'Survival' topic, we had a whole outdoor day. During the day we looked at and thought about animals laying eggs and where the safest places might be - this reminded us of when we were in Oak class and a very brave duck laid its eggs in a dark, narrow gap in the wooden boat in the garden! We also played some tracking and survival games to improve our listening and team building skills. We started off the afternoon around the campfire, which was an amazing experience. Mrs Richards taught us how to build the perfect fire by creating an A-frame and building it up with dry twigs and leaves. The children then had a go at making their own, and they were fantastic! To finish off the day we looked at how this fire would be our main way of eating and cooking, and we tried some delicious drop scones (a bit like pancakes!).
In R.E the children have been learning about the Easter story. They were challenged to use their imaginations to create their own Easter garden. They really did rise to the challenge! The gardens looked so beautiful and the children were extremely proud of themselves. They really enjoyed displaying them at the end of the day for all to see!
Year 2 took part in the sponsored run to raise money and awareness for the Sport Relief charity. They were challenged to run 1/2 a mile (4 laps of the field) but once they got started, most of the children didn't want to stop and completed over a mile! The motivation and enthusiasm was incredible and the children all did such a brilliant job!
Today we had a visit from Nancy and the Life Bus. We found out lots about feelings and parts of the body. There were some great discussions and this was an amazing opportunity for the children. The highlight was definitely meeting Harold the giraffe!
Beech class had written some fantastic myths which they chose to share with Poplar class during our Onesie-Upon-A-Time afternoon, to support reading for pleasure across the school.
Beech class were very proud of themselves today! They were very excited to share all of their hard work and learning with the school and their parents. The children remembered all of their speaking parts and brought their loud voices along too! Well done Beech class!
Today the children had lots of fun exploring with colour. They even painted their own colour wheels to demonstrate their mixing skills. The best part was experimenting with white and black paints to create shades and tints.
Beech class showed off their amazing dance skills in the style of Gerald (from the book 'Giraffes Can't Dance'). We had lots of fun building dance sequences to African music too!
During the month of November, Beech class have been really excited about the Readathon. We had written such fantastic stories in English, so what better idea could we have had than to share them with Oak class!
In English we have been looking at Traditional Tales. One story that we focused on was 'Rapunzel'. To help us think about how Rapunzel felt when she escaped from the tower into the forest, we went to explore the wildlife area, where we wrote down lots of beautiful descriptive phrases.
In history, we have been learning all about the Wright brothers and the first aeroplane flight. To find out just how difficult it must have been for the Wright brothers, we decided to plan, make and test our very own paper aeroplanes!
We were invited to Wodson Park for a Sports Festival along with other schools in Hertford and Ware. This was a fantastic opportunity for the children to develop their gross motor skills and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves too!
2016-2017 Academic Year
Wednesday 1st February 2017
Before we left school the children were asked what they were looking forward to on our visit to Mill Green. The Museum had a few votes, making bread caused a stir, but the prospect of a packed lunch got the most votes ! Once back, they were very excited and said it had been the best day EVER !!
The class were split into three groups who rotated around learning about the Mill, spending time in the Museum and finally making bread. It really was a great visit and they were engrossed in the process of how bread is made from, "The bunch of flowers which weren't flowers because it was wheat!"
Week beginning 23rd January 2017
This week has been all about money ! We have been counting in 2s, 5s and 10s to help us make up amounts needed and on Friday we used all our learning in a carousel of activities. The language and problem solving skills used were fantastic on each table.
In our topic work we are learning about the continents and oceans which make up our world. We started by plotting our families on a world map - what a wonderfully diverse bunch we are!
We have learned how to read maps and have created our own spaces. We have also been learning about Kenya. We have compared our day at school with a child in rural Kenya. The children came up with some very thoughtful responses when noting the similarities and differences in their days.
We will finish the topic with some art work around the Big 5! Ask your child if they can name them all, and if any are endangered species?
In RE we are exploring 'Who Is God?'
We listened to the parable about the Lost Son today and discussed how each person felt in the story. Year 2 acted the story out in small groups - I think we have a few Oscar potentials! They acted the story with emotion and thought.
We decided God is like the Father in the story. He forgives us when we say we are sorry.
A & E at Beech Hospital
On Wednesday 25th May Beech Class turned into an A&E department to celebrate the end of our Survival topic. Children's illnesses and injuries were dealt with in the appropriate departments - the waiting room, triage, investigations and consultations, with an x-ray booth helping decisions! A HUGE thank you to our Nurse, Ms Forbes, who taught the children about the process, as well as how to feel for and find each other's pulse and how to use a stethoscope! It was a fantastic day. The children all deserved Oscars for their performances and I was pleased to see them the next morning without their face-painted injuries, which looked very realistic.
Pentecost at St Mary's Church
On Wednesday afternoon we walked to the church for a 'Pentecost Experience'. The children were met with a drink and a biscuit before learning about Pentecost through interesting and thoughtful activities. This class are amazing and embraced this tricky concept with their usual enthusiasm, questioning, opinions and delight! Thank you to everyone who organised & presented the different stations.
Wodson Park - 16th May
On Monday afternoon we went to Wodson Park for the Multiskills Festival. We had great fun trying out new activities and our competitiveness shone through! We finished with a lap of the 400m track and went home hot and happy.
The Easter Story
Friday 18th March 2016
Today Mrs Lumsden and I were delighted to spend the day teaching the children the Easter story.
We began the day talking about Easter and looked at Christian and non-Christian symbols of the Easter celebration. We then mixed, kneaded and baked bread and hot cross buns.
After break we learned a song and looked in more detail at the Easter story. The story inspired our water colour painting as we all had a section of the story to illustrate.
The bread was ready for our discussions of the Last Supper – we studied the Leonardo de Vinci painting of the Last Supper. We sat as the disciples did and shared bread and wine (blackcurrant) together, discussing how Jesus and his disciples would have felt.
Your children heard Bible verses for each stage of the story and we finished the day by writing our own prayers, which they displayed on our cross.
We hope your children are able to tell you about their day and that you will read the Easter Story with them - and let them amaze you with their thoughts and knowledge about Easter.
Welcome to Beech - Year 2!
We have had a busy, fun, learning filled half term working on our topic, 'The World is a Big Place'. What imaginations your children have! We are currently in Zimbabwe, comparing their lives and country to ours here, in the UK. One of the fun things we have done is painted african animals, using watercolour paints in the 'Tingatinga' style (not strictly Zimbabwean, but ....)
Our visit to St Josephs in the Park
We had such a fun morning! The children were enthralled by the author, Rob Biddulph, who showed them how to draw the characters in his story before reading, 'GRRRRR' and 'Blown Away'. He answered questions posed by the children and was just lovely with them, spending time talking to them whilst signing their books. They loved the visit. Unsurprisingly, their 'GRRRRRRRR' trumpets registered over 10 on the 'Growl-o-meter'!!