February fun …

Hello Chestnuts and welcome back. We hope you and your families have had a lovely time together. Lots of celebrations have been going on – Valentine’s Day 💌 Chinese New Year 🇨🇳 🐉 and Shrove Tuesday 🥞. Did you see any of these whilst you’ve been out and about last week? Or did you have any food tastes linked to these festivals?

Sharing with you the going’s on in our class this week …

Tombs, treasures and temples – yo ho ho!

Handling artefacts brought back from an Egyptian getaway this half term. Thank you Maria’s parents – it is very kind of you to take the time in looking and getting things for our topic.

Attention Autism fun – understanding and constructing numbers on different ways.

Exploring numbers – how many different ways can you represent your number?

Fine motor skills and letter formation practice.

Exploring beat and rhythm in music, and enjoying making different sounds with our choice of instruments.

We also enjoyed using the boomwhackers in music to keep the beat. You could practise keeping the beat at home by clapping as the ball bounces on the block.

You are loved 🥰

Chestnuts have been thinking about the ones they love and care about. This week we have been exploring items linked to Valentine’s Day. We felt, described and handled flowers and hearts.

Here we are making pink strawberry delight then afterwards we added a red heart jelly sweet in the middle.

Some of visited Morrisons in Aldridge this week to buy our ingredients for our tasting session.

Continuing to have fun on our new trikes. We are doing really well with wearing a helmet. This week we also celebrated Chinese New Year in school. Our celebrations began with a visit from a group of children from Rushall Primary School who performed a wonderful dragon dance for us.

We felt inspired to create our own dragon masks and learn a dragon dance that we could perform too.

We used our fine motor skills to cut and stick to create paper Chinese lanterns.

We made delicious Chinese biscuits…

and enjoyed them as part of a delicious Chinese feast. We tried noodles, rice and sweet and sour sauce. The chopsticks were tricky to use! We ended our feast by opening fortune cookies to see what the new year will bring.

During our music session we enjoyed a different experience of dragon dancing and continued to work on our composition with the British National Opera.

As part of our ongoing internet safety sessions we have been sharing the story Webster‘s manners and thinking about the right time to use a screen and when we should pay attention to other things in our lives.

Funny mummies this week ..

Chestnuts have had great fun practising wrapping things up. We then each worked with wire to bend it into an outline of a body. We experienced playing with bandages and wrapping them round our fingers before winding the dressing around our model.

Bending wire into a body shape for our mummy wrapping

Writing on papyrus and sandpaper textures.

Woohoo! Look our new bikes in Key Stage 3 – we practised putting on our helmets, getting on the bikes and carts and loved using the big playground in small groups to see how we got on. We love them 🚲 🛴😊

Fun fun fun …

Our community visit this week was to Morrisons in Aldridge. We bought bananas, chocolate biscuits and ice cream for our cooking session this week – I wonder what it will be… 🧋

We had a very active time visiting the forest and the field this week, making the most of the nice weather to climb, run and play football.

Enjoying a shape themed attention autism session in maths.

Early morning fine motor skills activities.

We also started thinking about Chinese New Year this week. We enjoyed sharing the story of how the years got their animal names.

Investigating noodles and using chopsticks.

Making spring rolls – investigating vegetables and spices, new tastes and textures and practising our rolling skills.

Dragon dancing, playing the gong and creating music together.

Digging 🔎 the Ancient Egyptian topic 🏜️

We loved discovering treasures in sand and had a good look at artefacts with our searching binoculars…

Using shapes to build temples and tombs and pyramid shaped structures.

Feeling papyrus and writing on sandpaper. We looked at what our names looked like written in Egyptian hieroglyphs. We then tried flatbread for Egyptian food tasting.

A community visit to Morrisons to collect a few items for our Egyptian topic – mmm what can we do with lots of rolls of toilet paper?

Copy cat fun for our relationship building activities linked to our Stormbreak programme.

Investigating beat and listening to and copying our friends in music.

Investigating shape in maths. We are finding out all about circles and triangles.

Working together to make a delicious end of the week treat.

We are feeling great …

Our topic hook this half term is Ancient Egyptians’ for our Temples, Tombs and Treasures focus.

We will be learning about history and the treasures that archaeologists find and how these tell us about the past. We began by looking and searching for items hidden in sand. we also enjoyed a magic bucket and played with a robotic scarab beetle.

We have heard words such as archaeologist, sieve, treasure, trowel, brush, dig, excavate, evidence, artefact and treasure. Some of us enjoyed dressing up as a pirate 🏴‍☠️

This week we have thought about our feelings and emotions through ‘The Colour Monster’. We thought about facial expressions, signing the feeling, scenarios or things that would cause us to feel this way. We experienced and explored a variety of resources and stimuli to use to talk about how we feel.

Communication and Language sessions. Here we are engaging in a bucket activity for Attention Autism – we love the suspense and surprise of what is going to appear. Others in the group worked on phonic sounds.

Early morning fun as we sort out all our belongings and greet our friends.

Fun fun fun with sensory play 😊

Happy New Year Chestnuts 🌰

We hope you’ve all had a wonderful couple of weeks with your families. Welcome back to the Spring Term, we were all smiling as we came in on Tuesday and enjoyed seeing our school friends again 😊

We began the week coming together as a class. We talked about friendship for our PSHE work and what makes a good friend. We talked about how we could be good friends and why our friends are good to us. As a starter activity we collected a sweet and gave it away to a friend in class then had one ourselves if we wanted to. We then enjoyed a session from our Stormbreak programme called ‘Copycats’ in which we build relationships, play reciprocal games and improve our self-esteem and confidence. We each chose a movement for the group to copy. It was great fun and made us smile a lot.

A relaxation session to end the day – vibration toys, materials, liquid times, fans, scrubs and massage lotion all to psychedelic visuals and calming music – bliss 😊

We enjoyed exploring during our first forest session of the new year. We looked at the changes that have happened since we last visited – it is a lot colder and the trees have lost all of their leave. It is winter!

We continued thinking about winter in class – enjoying a winter themed sensory tray and learning some Makaton signs that we might need to use in winter.

We also practised scooping and enjoying a cold and icy treat.

Developing our fine motor, handwriting and letter recognition skills.

Our maths focus this week was finding ‘one more’ and ‘one less’.

During our music session, Bev introduced us to a project we will be completing with the English National Opera. We are all composers in Chestnut Class!

🌟 Wishing all our Chestnuts and Families a Very Merry Christmas 🎄

Sharing with you a few festive photos from this week …

Choosing the colours of paint we wanted to use and using a pipettes to squeeze paint into a salad spinner. We then closed the lid and pressed the top to watch it spin around – we created colourful bauble decorations.

Cold, chilly ice play with Christmas items frozen inside … brrrr 🥶

Christmas pass the parcel

Having a fantastic time at the Lichfield Garrick – lights, costumes, fireworks, calamity – a mixture for lots of festive fun

A visit from the man himself – Father Christmas!

Thank you to all of the adults that came and joined us for our Christmas Sing and Sign along on Thursday. We were lucky enough to be joined by the mayor of Walsall, Councillor Towe, who was very impressed by the children’s singing, signing and wonderful behaviour.

Christmas party time – dancing, ballon fun and tasty food.

Thank you for all of your support this term, and wising you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Team Chestnut 🎄🎄🎄

⏰ Christmas countdown 📆

Pelsall Village Christmas Story-time session

Making a pasta angel and a conifer tree decoration to take home

Twirling whirling fun and time with our letter aA bag

Finishing off our Hanukkah work with potato cutting for potato latkes, making a pretzel, marshmallow and banana Menorah and drawing the Star of David in foam on blue card like the 🇮🇱 flag.

Christmas craft – salt dough decorations and hats for Christmas dinner day.

Music with Bev – exploring rhythm and tempo while enjoying songs about Hanukkah and Christmas.

Maths – focusing on representing numbers in different ways.

Wearing our hats and all ready to enjoy our Christmas dinner.

We’re looking forward to being joined by friends and family for our Christmas Sing and Sign along next week. Here is one of our favourites for you ready to practice and join in with.

Experiencing advent …

Wow it’s that time of year again 🌟 – we are seeing lots of lights, glitter, colour, tinsel, trees and chocolates all around us in shops, houses and school 🎄 🎅 ✨ Do you have an advent calendar? Chocolate for breakfast?

This week Chestnuts have started getting a little bit into the festive spirit. We have seen Christmas trees springing up around school 🎄 😊

We have also started our work on the Jewish festival Hanukkah. We heard about the oil and the servant candle miraculously lasting 8 days instead of 1 and that the Star of David has 6 points. Here we are making our own stars.

Half of Chestnut Class visited the Lichfield Garrick on Tuesday to watch this year’s pantomime – oh yes we did! You did yourselves proud – a wonderful time was had by all and staff – such a special experience.

We had a fantastic time at our swimming session this week. Our focus was on remembering the the rules that keep us safe in and around the pool and entering and exiting the pool safely.

During our music session with Bev we learned some songs ready for our sing along in a few weeks time. We hope lots of our family members will be able to come and join us.

Our fine motor skills session was tasty this week. As well as our usual dough disco and writing tasks, we developed our fine motor skills by pinching and spreading to make Rudolph biscuits.

Our maths focus this week has been representing numbers to 3 in lots of different ways.

Keeping safe …

Chestnuts started the week keeping all their belongings safe. As they come into school they look after their drink and snacks by putting them into the drinks caddy and their individual drawers. Each of us then put our diaries into a box and our coats and bags into our lockers for safe keeping. We then put our portrait picture onto the ‘I’m here’ Chestnut leaf so that we all know who is in the room.

Here are the second group visiting Tesco in Brownhills. We had a list of food items to find, carry and buy for Beth for cooking this week. We enjoyed looking at the toy aisle and found pizzas, sausage rolls and crisps that weren’t on our list but we will remember where they are for future wishes!

Practising our fine motor skills 😀

Problem solving and PSHE work – if you share one sweet you will receive two! Did we think to give one over first or did we eat it? 😂

Reading, identifying or looking at symbols about doctors, nurses, hospitals, hurting, plasters, bandages, appointments, checkups. Using plasters to show we care and wanting to make things better

Wet play fun

Trying out different printing and rollering techniques then printing with shapes on our building Picasso images for our project.

The season and weather are changing and it is definitely getting colder. In our attention Autism session this week we investigated some of the things associated with winter.

Using our senses to explore the taste, smell and texture of lemons and using our skills to make a delicious lemon cheesecake.

Our maths focus this week has been number. How many ways can you think of to represent the number 1?

We are still working to develop our dance skills in PE and had a wonderful time dancing in the gym to our favourite songs.