Previous - Spring Term 2017

Taking responsibility

27th March

Thank you to Grace and Ayaan who planned our visit today to the Eton Natural History Museum.  This was a long piece of work over a few weeks which involved deciding on a date good for the children in the school; contacting Mr Fussey, the Curator, after practising the phone calls in class; deciding on the route; and making sure all the children had a road safety discussion beforehand so that all knew the school rules.  

We misjudged a turning on the route there but Grace with great confidence asked a passing policeman and we backtracked.  (Grace is 61/2). 

We had such a lovely afternoon.  Mr Fussey’s enthusiasm, knowledge and ability to share both - shines through.   

Our garden is growing.  Not necessarily the seeds that we are sowing - that is a learning process with quite a bit of help yesterday (26th) from Julie from the gardening section of Homebase, Staines.  She was able to explain ‘why’ some of our efforts have not paid off.  But we are inch by inch expanding our gardening empire with hanging pots, a trough with lattice work for the sweet peas, broad beans, and raspberry cane - and the pear tree that we’re sneaking in, somewhere.  (Can you sneak in a pear tree?)  

The children have decided what they want to take responsibility for - flowers, fruit or veg - and all have been involved in planting herb seeds to take home to tend.  

1st March

Our wormery now has worms!  It took us some time to find them.  This will lead onto more study about what worms contribute just by doing what they do.  This is a big topic in Montessori - how the work of something (including human beings) contributes to the greater whole.  The worms will find their eventual home in our raised bed vegetable patch.

A group of children in the afternoon had a long discussion and planning session about what we can grow as produce in our raised bed - using the book ‘All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet’ and the Organic planner, - as guides.  They worked with our volunteer, Heidi, to think about the location of the raised bed and what might do well there, mapped out where different crops could be sown and made recommendations as to what to grow.  As a result of these discussions, we will supplement the bed with hanging baskets and a trellis for climbers.  

28th February

Today was shopping day for our two 6 1/2 year olds.  It took us a little while to get out as the children had to think about what to take - shopping list (check); map (oops), money (oops); shopping bags (oops again).  The fact that we blew the budget was down to me - for the little cinnamon, ginger and bicarb of soda we needed, I said I’d bring from home (absolutely fine if using spices of best before date Nov 15 is OK to use!) (Big oops from teacher!). The girls did a good job of reading the signs and navigating themselves around quite a big supermarket.  They rehearsed interrupting a shopworker to ask for things they couldn’t find and the staff in Waitrose were very obliging.  

Then it was back to school for well deserved pancakes as a very late mid morning snack.

21st February

Now that some of the children are gaining in maturity,  they are taking on more responsibiilty for their own learning.  Today we had several good examples of this.  

The more confident children have been proactive in writing their worklists.  This is seen as a real progression by the children. 

2 children decided that they want to do more cooking.  SO we established some groundrules together and the children have selected their recipe and written down their shopping list (to a budget) - they need to organise their timeslot for shopping and for cooking - but this will be learning for next week.

2 other children are organising a ‘going out’ to Eton Natural History Museum - a learning in process.  They practised and conducted their phone call - have yet to realise that a route needs to be planned, a timetable organised and all children are in receipt of road safety training before we can go - but that too will come.  It’s such a positive step in the right direction (even if we don’t yet know what direction we are going to have to take when we leave the building!)

The children have been studying rivers

20th February

This afternoon, the children took their research on the world’s longest rivers and re-created them to scale with wool (1km to 1mm).  The Thames looked a bit puny beside the Nile, The Amazon and The Yangtze!

- Using Montessori ‘classified nomenclature’ for parts of a river; identifying 

elements of these for real, with a visit to the nearby section of The Thames;

meeting with the Romney Lock keeper, Matt, to discuss locks and weirs; creating a 

model of a river for themselves: and researching the longest rivers in the World.

IMG 1292

- This is an example of working in a co-operative group to research 

and plan and to practise social skills.  So it incorporates development of executive 

functioning with academic work in maths and geography. 

Examples of recent work in English 

Creating a tangible ‘list’ for use with commas  and  work on the article (21 Feb) 

Highlights from our Autumn Term 

Where children learn how to learn