Celebrating The Chinese New Year recently was thoroughly enjoyed by both the Squirrels and Kits.They particularly liked learning to move to the rhythm of traditional Chinese music as we performed the Lion Dance.
Listening to the traditional tale that inspired the Chinese zodiac, in which animals raced across the river in the hope of winning and having the New Year named after them, led to conversations, amongst the Squirrels, about their characters and personality traits. Discussing the “Year of the Pig”, inspired further conversation about the Chinese culture and the different languages spoken by the teachers and pupils. During focus time we used mandarins to explore estimation and refined our fine motor skills whilst making Chinese lanterns and concertina dragons. This was an enormous success and we extended the activityinto this week. However,the highlight of the week was performing the traditional “Lion Dance”, taking turns to wear the Chinese Lion Mask.
The Great Paper Caper was the focus of The Squirrels’ learning this week. They absolutely loved the story and learning new vocabulary such as “prosecutor” and “judge”. They particularly enjoyed being mini detectives,solving the mystery of the wood cutter.In our literacy focus time, the children chopped down phoneme trees and matched the sounds and letters to a range of objects and characters illustrated in our story.Making and flying paper aeroplanes, similar to those in “The Great Paper Caper”, helped us to understand forces. It also introduced the children to verbs such as thrust and propel.Finallywe looked at subtraction duringMaths,the children calculated how many trees were still standing once the Paper Caper had cut a few down.
Our Kits produced some wonderful collages and fans inspired by Chinese culture. There was a focus on the colour gold which is particularly prevalent throughout the festivities. During focus time we used cotton buds and paint to replicate Mandarin scripture, recapped our counting skills whilst making paperclip dragons,honed our cutting skills as we made Chinese lanterns and concentrated hard on our chopping technique when preparing stir fried rice - which we thoroughly enjoyed!
This week’s topic, “ Little Red Riding Hood”, enthused the children as they reenacted the story in Drama, recalled and sequenced illustrations during our Literacy lesson and recapped positional language whilst describing to each other where Red Riding Hood and the Wolf were hiding.Everyone worked really hard during Artcreatinga “deep, dark forest” scene. They thoughtfully arranged sticks, scrunched tissue paper, added cardboard tree trunks and bottle tops tocreate their masterpieces.We concluded the week with a cookery lesson when we made sweet potato cookies.
Imaginary and small world continues with gusto. The Oaktree Shoe shop has been incredibly busy and exceeded the expected sales as have the outdoor Sand and Mud kitchens.Playing “families” is a popular theme amongst the Kits. It is wonderful to watch them draw on their experiences and family traditions to extend their games.
Today’s outing to the Polka Theatre was enjoyed by all and, as always, the Squirrels and Kits were impeccably behaved.