Our theme of the term has been “Houses and homes”, which is a topic that has allowed our children to express and talk more about their families and homes both here in France and/or the one of our origin. Due to us learning in an international environment, this has offered us a learning opportunity to understand that our classmates have different backgrounds. We have talked about houses and homes all over the world, and about the fact that all living beings, people but also animals, have a home. We have discussed the importance of homes but also materials that houses and homes are made out of. This term has also been special also because it has involved waiting for Christmas, which is a special time of the year for both children and adults. We have been taking part in stories and sing songs about Christmas and their characters and practising for a Christmas play that engages all children to take part in by singing and dancing. Not only that, children have also been involved in making the prompts for the show!
Our houses, our homes
The theme this term is ”houses and homes”. The children have been reading the story about the three little pigs, and along with that they have been discussing different houses across the world. The children have been reflecting over their own home (is it large/tall/short? Is it an apartment building or a house?). We have been looking at pictures of different types of houses in the world. There are still people elsewhere in the world who live in houses that are made out of sticks or straw whereas us here at Forest are lucky enough to live in houses that are strong, just as the house out of bricks, which even the wolf could not blow down with all huffing and puffing in the world! The children have been discussing the importance of homes and taking part of the discussion with Maple class. It keeps us safe from the cold and the rain, and it gives us a place to spend time and hang out!
Here, little Chestnuts are painting their own homes out of chosen house samples using finger paints. Below is also the little ones making the three little houses for the story “Three little pigs”.
The children got to take part in play dough activity of Maple class, while reviewing the parts of the faces with the story three little pigs!
Story based imaginary forest play
The children listened to the story “Three little pigs” and participated in reconstructing the story by trying to find and build houses for the pigs out of straw, sticks and “bricks”. This was a good opportunity to build on our imaginative play skills linked to nature while learning new vocabulary and seeking to sequence the story. The children also helped build a large house out of “bricks” together with Maple class, a house that is so strong that the strongest wind wouldn´t take it down. The children kept building the tree house over a longer period of time, evaluating It´s strength and observing how long it would sustain! The children were also exciting exploring the other wood houses built in the forest by the older classes over the past months. The children also utilised the forest tree houses while playing out the story “Hansel and Gretel”!
Forest play, forest play!
This term we did lots of games in the forest. The children practiced throwing, catching and kicking a ball. They did different obstacle course activities, running and jumping, tug of war… They also kept practicing their climbing and balancing skills!
Caring for the horse
The children did a little trip through the orchard to go visit a beautiful, gentle, white horse named Gringo. They got to roll up their sleeves helping to care for him! They would help shovel up after the horse, pull and push the trolley and take turns petting the horse.
DIWALI festival of lights clay activity
The children got to take part in making clay candle holders together with Maple class this term. They got a piece of clay to model with at first for play purposes, and then they shaped the piece into a candle holder. They decorated it with beautiful beads!
Christmas play and rehearsals
Children all participated by dancing and singing in the Christmas play held on 4.12.2021. Our little chestnuts and willows got to be little sheep and participate in the songs “Hey ewe” and “Something´s going on”.
The children have made several 2D houses this term, out of shapes, with paints and using different textures. This time they got to make tiny 3D gingerbread houses and take them home for Christmas! They participated in the process by squeezing and manipulating the dough to make it softer for rolling. Like playdough! Then they got to use their strength to roll it flat with a rolling pin. Finally, children helped make the shapes of the house by using cookie cutters. Eating the cookies that did not meet the requirements was great, too. 😉 Teachers helped to glue the house pieces together (this, to avoid from the kids getting burns from melted sugar!), and the children got to decorate their houses as they pleased as well as participate in wrapping them up, eg. lacing. Great fun it was!
Christmas preparations, arts and crafts
Children made nice little Christmas cards to go along with the ginger bread house gifts. They made Christmas ornaments eg. miniature Christmas trees to hang in the real tree at home. They painted the sticks, then assembled them into a shape of triangles and decorated with beautiful gems. They got to participate in decorating the canteen Christmas tree and to take part in listening to the stories of the Gingerbread man and the Snowman. They also practiced the song “Snowflake” and listened to the song “Walking in the air”. Great way to get into the Christmas spirit!
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas everyone!!