Self portraits in Caterpillar Class; how artistic!

What an artistic bunch!
For the first blog post I thought it would be nice to introduce everyone to the Caterpillar Class 🐛!  This week the children have been painting their self-portraits for our class display.  We discussed all of the facial features that we would need to include in our portraits, and thought about how we these were the same for everyone, but a little bit different too.  The children explored colour mixing to create the own individual skin tones and hair colour shades.  Feel free to come and look at these in the classroom; the children are very proud of their work and would love to show it off to their families 🙂   If you could leave us a comment as well I am sure the children would love to hear you thoughts about their painting skills. 🎨



Curly’s Weekend News #3

Curly the Caterpillar spent this weekend with Aleena and her family. We had alot of fun visiting Nano and Grandpa’s to wish them farewell as they have gone on a 3 month holiday to Pakistan. We will all miss them 🙁

Aleena and Curly also visited the library and the local park where there was a family fun day event. Aleena and Curly enjoyed their cupcakes and treats.

Thanks for visiting us Curly we had lots of fun. 🙂


Reading ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ together.
What a lot of books there are in the library!
Time for a picnic in the park
A yummy icecream treat
Cupcakes for Curly!

Betty the butterfly #2

Betty the butterfly spent the weekend at Ruqayyah’s house. The weekend started with an adventure to the park where Ruaqayyah and Betty ate ice cream whilst playing on the swings and slides with her sisters.
In the evening, Ruqayyah taught Betty to play the guitar and learnt Ruqayyah’s favourite song.
On Sunday, they both went to Asda to help Riqayyah’s dad with the weekly shopping and even bought some more ice cream.
Betty has had a very fun weekend with Ruqayyah.

Monty’s Voice with Shan the Radio Man

Reception are recording their very own radio show for Monty’s Voice!  We will be presenting one of our favourite stories, treating you to an animal and insect quiz, and talking all about our best trips of the school year.  So far we have done the recording; next week we will be editing, and the grand broadcast is coming up very soon… Watch this space for more updates!  Many thanks to Shan for all of his fabulous help and support!

Meeting Shan and warming up our voices before our recording session.
Practising our Reception Jimgle for Monty’s Voice.
Off to the studio… Headphones and microphones ready!
It was great learning the technical names for all of the equipment; we liked the mixing desk.


Betty the Butterfly #1

Betty butterfly was at the Madihah household over the weekend. Betty had an adventure with Madihah and her older sister.They went to town on the bus to do some shopping. After town Madihah took Betty to her local chip shop to get her some chips, they were delicious with lots of mayonnaise and ketchup. Betty had lots of fun with Madihah over the weekend as they played with all her toys and her new playdough kit.

Curly’s Weekend News #2

Curly the caterpillar came to stay at Iyad’s house. He has been helping Iyad and family in many activities. Curly has helped post wedding invitations, baked a coconut cake, played superheroes and read bedtime stories too.
We have all enjoyed his company very much. Thank You Curly!

Mmmmm coconut cake!
Lovely wedding invites!
Time for some food 🙂
Batmanerpillar to the rescue!

Curly’s weekend news! #1

Our lucky Curly the Caterpillar has gone to spend the weekend at Saaliha’s house!  It looks like he has been having lots of fun going out for food, dressing up and even playing games 🙂  Thank you Saaliha and family for having him to stay!

Welcome to Nanny’s house Curly the Caterpillar!
We played hide and seek together 🙂
Curly’s 1st driving lesson!
Custard cream for Curly 🙂
Yum yum lunch at McDonalds!
Playtime for Curly; what a lovely house!
Cool Curly!



Martineau Garden

To start our new topic “why do ladybirds have spots?” and our new story “the bad-tempered ladybird” we went to Martineau Garden to look for some bugs. Juliett and Caroline helped us to learn about minibeasts and their habitats. We looked for minibeasts in the woodlands under logs and stones and also used nets to find minibeasts in the pond. We had an exciting day!

Curly and Mrs Minhas

Curly the Caterpillar, our new class mascot has had a busy holiday at home with Mrs Minhas! He has had a great day out at Twycross Zoo where he saw some giraffes, a bird and even some penguins! He has helped Mrs Minhas to make the dinner and he has watched some Teletubbies while sharing some milk with Zaccy. What a busy caterpillar! You will all have your chance to take him home over the next few weekends too :). What will he do at your house? ?

Can you spot the giraffes?
Curly helped Mrs Minhas to make paneer for dinner.
Zaccy gave Curly some milk to drink.
Zaccy and Curly watched Teletubbies together.


Reception Blogging and Reading Parent Workshop

Very excited for the parent workshop in Reception tomorrow!  Miss Samad will be taking through new updates to our blog and our Twitter feed, and then parents are invited to explore various reading activities in the three classrooms with their children.

Here are selection of the activities to look forward to… See you there!

Come and write the tiny Phase 3 tricky words.
Order and match the lowercase alphabet to the capitals.
Use sounds and digraphs to build these Phase 3 words using pegs.
Join in with a fun bingo game.
Build and write Phase 3 words using the pebbles and discs.
Build Phase 3 words using the sounds and digraphs on the bottle tops.
Can you write the lower and uppercase alphabet?
Use the tiles to build the words.
Match the caption to the picture.
Cut and stick the pictures to the words. Can you write them as well?
Cut and stick the caption to the correct picture.

Express visit to Ash End Farm

We have had a fabulous day at Ash End Farm for the Express part of our Are Eggs Alive Cornerstones topic!

The weather was great and the children were treated to a falconry talk and animal petting and feeding sessions.  They also held chicks, and found their own eggs, which they have taken home with them to eat.

Tomorrow we will be making posters of our experience at Ash End Farm which we hope to show on the blog too.   Many thanks to all of our parent volunteers today, you made the day go very smoothly 🙂 Here are some photos of the highlights of our trip 🙂

Facing our fears and holding a chick 🙂
We saw a wide range of animals down on the farm.
Everyone enjoyed the animal petting and feeding sessions.

The artists of Reception…

Today we experienced one of the highlights of our year; our class workshop with Montgomery’s Artist In Residence; Andrews Tims.

Andrew decided to link our art work to our recent story of the Little Red Hen, so the children made feathers using a traditional method for felt making.  They had to stretch wool (fleece) , layer it, dampen it, flatten and smooth it, dry and then lastly cut it into the shape of their feather.  That’s quite a lot of instructions to follow!

Look out for our feathery display coming soon around the school.

Engaged in the different stages of felt feather creation.
Feathery masterpieces


Our cake recipe

Over the past few weeks our Maths learning has focused on elements of Shape Space and Measure; looking at time, ordering events, weight and capacity.  We have now moved on to doubling and halving and are going to bring it altogether in our upcoming cupcake baking Hot Task with the Little Red Hen.

To help us with this we have been looking at recipes in our Talk for Writing sessions.  Here are some photos of us story mapping our new cupcake recipe.  We will be writing lists of ingredients, exploring our new time connectives and bringing home copies of the recipe.

Story mapping in action
Key words to support our learning
Communication in Print recipe map
Child’s recipe map


The Yummy Scrummy Mummy!

This week our Little Red Hen story has been innovated with a Mother’s Day twist! We now have the story of the Yummy Scrummy Mummy, complete with a cow, horse and a mouse who don’t want to help her plant her bulbs and pick her flowers.  We have been having a lot of fun with this one!

The children have been drawing and writing about tulips, planting their own bulbs and painting pictures of their own mums.  We will be describing our own mums too; look out for the finished results coming home at the weekend 🙂

Can  you tell the story of the Yummy Scrummy Mummy using the innovated map below?

Our new story.
Child’s innovated story, we add the postits on top of the old story map to reinforce that we are changing the story.
The new Yummy Scrummy Mummy story telling area.
Planting bulbs like in our story.
Working hard thinking about our targets while we describe our mums.
Someone’s Mum is going to love this!
And this 🙂

Little Red Hen Imitation Phase

We are coming towards the imitation phase of our Talk for Writing Little Red Hen story; next week we will innovate it, changing the main events, characters and settings.

The children have been celebrating their learning by writing some fantastic Hot Writes, and exploring the use of technology on the tablets to record their Hot Tells with a voice recorder.  We had a lot of fun listening to them when we played them back!

We hope you enjoy this great retell 🙂

Using actions to support retelling.
These boys really enjoyed this activity; they all retold the story at the same time!

Maths in Action!

Here in Caterpillar class we have been having a really ‘Mathsy’ week so far!

We have been working on creating our own addition and subtraction problems during our Snappy Maths and Basic Skills sessions.  Today the children have spent the afternoon using various maths resources to carry this on, with some great results!

Lots of different construction has also been available this week, to consolidate our previous learning about 2D and 3D shapes.  We have explored the faces and corners of 3D solid shapes, and one child gave the fabulous statement; ” I can stack all of these ones because they have faces,  You can’t stack them on their corners, only their faces”, and then modeled this to his friend.

Our new block and building area still continues to be a big attraction.  We have moved the learning on by changing the loose parts available to access, and asking children to draw and write about their constructions.

Take a look at some of the snapshots of our learning in the photos attached 🙂

Exploring addition using dominoes.
Building and recording number problems.
Exploring different ways of recording addition problems.
Exploring the faces on his cuboid.
“You can stack the cuboid because it has faces. You can’t stack the corners.”
The plan…
The finished result.

Chicktastic times in the Caterpillars!

Over the last few days we have had such a chicktastic time!  The Living Eggs arrived and were placed in the incubator.  They then started to pip and hatch and on Wednesday morning we arrived at school to find that we had 8 new, fluffy little chicks.  We transfered  them over to the brooder and the children gave them their water and chick food.  In the afternoon we all had the opportunity to hold one too!  Some great writing and speaking has come out of the chicks’ guest appearance!

We have also been linking our Maths work to all things Little Red Hen themed.  Hens eat worms and caterpillars so we have been using this to support our work on measures.  We all had a piece of string (worm) and had to compare its length to our friends’ strings using our new length vocabulary.  We also ordered worms and caterpillars for our activity.  This afternoon we will be thinking about height; look out for some corn and wheat ordering photos!

We all held a chick!
Writing thoughts about the chicks.
The chicks generated some super sentences from the children.
We know how to take care of a chick.
We could confidently talk about and order according to length.
Fantastic results on our Maths Working Wall.
Our toolkits and Maths Action photos have really helped us with our measures work.

Spring is in the air…

It really feels like Spring is just around the corner!  Daffodils blossomed in our room today, along with the childrens’ wonderful writing. 🙂

We took advantage of Nursery’s Hens for Hire and went to meet the real life little red hens.  Lots of children held the hens and they inspired lots of high quality speaking and writing this afternoon.

The Caterpillar class is full of very confident and independent children, and is was particularly lovely to see two of the boys working together this afternoon to order numbers 1-20 using our new wooden counters.  Well done boys; great team work!

We hope you enjoy this snapshot of the learning and experiences taking place in our class.

Independent daffodil writing.
Visiting Nursery’s Hens for Hire.
Little red hens #1 and #2.
Fantastic hen writing.
An excellent description..

Great teamwork.

Our visit from the CBSO

Today Reception were lucky enough to have the CBSO pay us a visit and tell us a musical story!  Bryony and Helen retold the story ‘The Way Back Home’ using their violin and cello and Reception joined in as the musical accompaniment.  We used both our voices and instruments and explored pitch and volume.  We even learned to speak a little bit of Martian 👽!

Our Story Square all ready for our special CBSO story time.
Meeting the violin and the cello.
Twinkling through the night sky on the way to space.

Shapes and words

We had lots of fun with our new sound pebbles today; made for us my Mrs Minhas’ sister during the holidays.  Children used them to practise name writing, Tricky Words and also to explore creating Phase 3 words.  Children who would perhaps not have chosen to write suddenly appeared at the table 🙂

Our Spring table also generated some interest today.  The children have enjoyed races with the wind up rabbits and chicks, and today moved to word building with the letter tiles.

3D shape sorting took place in the afternoon and then the children translated this into the new block and building area by describing their creations using mathematical language.

Well done everyone, another  busy day in the Caterpillars.

Busy name writing.
Reading and writing Phase 2 Tricky Words
She read these back to me 🙂
Exploring Phase 2 Tricky Words using letter tiles at the Spring table.

New block area

Inspired to improve our block and building area today… we added some natural objects, mirrors and small world people.  Take a look at one boy’s house with its pebble driveway, and a joint effort Lamborghini house.  Lots of great communication and collaboration coming out of this, well done boys!

New block area with natural objects.
His building, complete with pebble driveway.
Lamborghini house under joint construction.
Completed project.

Little Red Hen Immersion Day

We have had a fabulous first day back after our holidays!  We introduced our new story of the Little Red Hen and the children have really got involved with the story; painting the characters, retelling using the puppets, producing some great Cold Writes and even making and describing their shape hens during our maths.

Here is a sample of the work that has been produced today; we hope that you are as impressed as we are!

Little Red Hen immersion activities
Shape properties hen.
Shape properties hen
Mostly unsupported Cold Write.
Mostly unsupported Cold Write.
Artistic shape exploration.The girls worked together to create this activity and then we talked through the 2D shapes and their properties when finished.

Lots to look forward to…

The classroom is all set up and ready for the children to come back fresh and rested after the holidays!  This half term we will be looking at the traditional tale ‘The Little Red Hen’.  This always proves to be very popular with the children and we are excited to see the improvement in independent writing that this story inspires.  Look out for updates featuring the childrens’ work soon.

Our Cornerstones topic for next half term is ‘Are Eggs Alive’ and a Farm Shop has arrived in our role play area.  Look out for some special guests visiting our room in a few weeks time!  Our Maths work starts with 2D and 3D shapes and then moves on to measure; we are hoping to see some great links to be made in the role play area with this.

Here is a little glance at the environment and some of the activities that the children have to forward to in their first week back.  Enjoy your holidays everyone 🙂

Little Red Hen role play
Down on the farm; first day back writing table… what can you see?
Spring table; build the words with the letter tiles or make a pattern.
Little Red Hen roleplay, Reading Area and building blocks.
Fine motor play
Maths Help Station; count and order the number pegs
Farm Shop role play; very excited for this!

Express ‘Are we there yet?’ – our train ride 🚆🚂🚆

Today was the end point of our ‘Are we there yet?’ Cornerstones topic work.  The children went on a train ride from Small Heath station to Birmingham Moor Street and back again.  Everyone enjoyed the experience and we were especially proud of the children’s behaviour when out in public representing the school 😀.  A big thank you to all of the teachers, teaching assistants and parent volunteers who made this trip come together.  Who knows where our next journey will takes us…





Maths Hot Task Train Tickets

Over this half term we have been working towards buying our tickets for our upcoming train journey.  We have explored the language of size, estimation, more and less and also worked on our subtraction skills .  The children have now successfully purchased their tickets ready to use on our trip.  Congratulations; you have all worked very hard and we hope you enjoy the experience 🙂

ladybirds festive fun

The ladybirds class are really getting in the festive mood, by wrapping presents, making Christmas cards for their mums and dads, and making their Christmas hats for our Nativity show!We were really excited about putting up our Christmas tree! Next week, we will be ready to present our show and are very excited.