Upper Pre-Primary - Ms Mia

Transport

Hi everyone, welcome to the Upper pre-primary update. The children have enjoyed their new unit on transport while also enjoying the beautiful season of Autumn. After making their own recycled nature bags, we went on a little adventure nature walk. The children collected leaves of every colour, looked for mushrooms and kept their eyes open for a squirrel. We look forward to returning in the new year! I love the leaf print paintings they made with our collection of leaves.

To kick start our unit on transport, the children had a wonderful round trip on a tram, a bus, and a train. They had to be very responsible looking after themselves and their cuddly toy! The children have been busy learning about many different forms of transport, they have divided transport vehicles into three groups – land, air, and water. They have learnt about transport long ago and how it was different! The children all agreed they would be afraid to go on a ‘penny farthing’! Aya very kindly brought her ‘modern’ bike to school and the children learnt the names of the different parts of a bike. The children have been busy drawing vehicles, making transport books, crafting all kinds of vehicles using boxes and different recycled materials. There have also been super Lego transport inventions. They worked together to make a large Belgian bus, the number 70, which we rode on during our entry point! They had lots of fun playing in it, taking turns to be the driver, the bus conductor, or passengers. The ‘bus’ led to lots of creativity, imaginative play and co-operation – wonderful skills to develop. It was a cold Autumn Day when we headed out to do a ‘car survey’. However, this did not stop the children from having so much fun, counting the different coloured cars that passed the school. They had their clipboards with them to record their findings. During our study of boats, the children made little boats, did a floating and sinking experiment and learnt about the Titanic. The children were very proud and excited to bring their own bike or scooter to school for our exit point. They had to follow a special route together, keeping safe and following the rules of the road. They had to watch out carefully and not crash into their friend. No sooner had we finished transport when the children got busy making Christmas things – exciting! And preparing their Christmas song for you! I hope you like the Christmas present, Christmas tree decoration and card they made for you!

Besides all this creative work and learning through our unit the children have been busy working on their language and numeracy skills. It is a pleasure to see so many children enjoying reading!

Wishing you all very happy holidays, enjoy the time with your children and see you all in the New Year!

I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank and good-bye to Artemis. Her Erasmus internship is coming to an end, and she will return to Greece. We will miss her but she plans to come back and visit!

Happy New Year everyone!

 Ms. Mia

 

 

 

All about me

Hello all, welcome to our lovely Upper Pre-Primary class blog. It has only been two months since we returned to school but there has already been such a buzz of activity and learning going on. The children have settled into their new class well and even though, quite a few children have no English they have already begun forming good friendships and are having fun together. We are the ‘owl class’, and as a result the children made beautiful owls, to display on the front of our classroom. We have also done a small study on owls; the children were eager to find out more about these interesting birds. They were very excited to dissect an owl pellet and find many bones, hair, and feathers that the owl had thrown up. I was super proud of them when they shared their knowledge of owls with the rest of the school during assembly.

Our first IPC unit was ‘All about me’. What a great way to get to know each other! Our fun ‘entry point’ got us off to a good start. The children came to school wearing their favourite clothes with their favourite toy and shared their favourite snack together. Since then, we have been learning where each child comes from. They have been painting flags and making globes of the continents of the world. The children also made posters with pictures and captions of the things they like and the things that make them happy. They also made beautiful self portraits which are on display outside our classroom. Great work from all the children. We talked about how each child is different and unique, to celebrate this the children painted their individual handprints to make different animals They look beautiful! Our latest big study was all about the inside of our body. The children have been very interested and curious to learn about the different parts of our body and the different functions of each part. They enjoyed working with our model of a body and helping to colour a large body picture (the outline of Yoni’s body) with all its parts. Some children have even gone further and made their own inside of the body diagrams. I think we have a few future doctors in our hands! The children had lots of fun running very fast so they could hear their heart beating faster!

To celebrate our learning, for our exit point, we played some fun games using our wonderful senses. The children used their sense of touch while feeling in a bag and guessing what was inside. They also felt inside a bag of buttons, they had to feel and touch the buttons carefully to find the matching pairs. They explored their sense of taste by tasting sweet, salt, sour and bitter tastes. There was lots of fun and lots of squeals especially when tasting the sour lemon. They also put their sense of hearing to work by listening to different sounds and matching the similar sounds.

Besides our unit work the children have also been busy with phonics, reading, writing and numeracy work. All the children are following at their own pace and making good progress. Well done everyone!

This week is all about Halloween! The children are making crafts, singing songs, and decorating our class for the Halloween party. We are looking forward to a fun morning! I wish you all a wonderful Autumn holiday with your children. See you when we return!

Ms. Mia

 

 

 

Plants and Flowers and Up and Away!

The school year has come to an end, but what a truly amazing year we have had in Upper Pre-Primary. The children have grown so much, in many ways and became a real little class family. We have shared so many special moments together. Since our last blog about ‘Animals’ we have had two more units - ‘Plants and Flowers’ and ‘Up and Away’.

During our ‘Plants and Flowers ‘study we created our very own special garden in the classroom. The children took care of the plants and enjoyed sitting in the garden to talk and read books about nature. It was a very cosy place indeed! The children planted many seeds and watched their plants grow. They drew and painted flowers, learnt about the needs of a plant, learnt about pollination and like real scientists they each did a flower dissection. We read the story of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and the children had lots of fun, taking turns acting out the story.

We started off our unit ‘Up and Away’ with a super ‘entry point’ – a trip to Australia – involving a flight, a safari, and a sleepover! There was so much preparation – making the plane, passports, boarding passes and learning about Australia. The children were so excited to bring their little suitcases, with their pyjamas to school! It really felt like we had gone on a journey together that day! During the unit, the children had fun playing in the aeroplane, taking turns to be the pilots, flight attendants and passengers!

The children have been super creative making all sorts of ‘up and away’ objects. They also made kites and learnt all about hot air balloons. As the children made so many beautiful things, we decided to make a museum and invite the other classes to visit. What a proud moment for all the children! During our study, the children were also very curious to learn about space, rockets, and the solar system. They loved laying out the planets in their correct order on our black space mat! There has been lots of songs about space, but their favourite song was ‘Up, up, up’. They are constantly singing in the class as they work! So lovely to hear! For our exit point, we ended with a big ‘bubble event’ which we celebrated with Lower Pre-Primary.

We also enjoyed a wonderful sports day with Lower Pre-Primary with all kinds of races and a little picnic.

The children love learning about nature and bringing all sorts of insects to the class. Due to their interest in ladybirds. they made beautiful life cycle charts of the ladybird. We have also had the amazing opportunity this year to have tadpoles in our class and watch them develop into little frogs. But what was so amazing to see was how our little caterpillar friend changed into a cocoon and then after three weeks watching him in his cocoon, last Friday he emerged as a beautiful moth. It was incredible, he could hardly fly in the beginning and stayed for a long time crawling along Andrew, who stayed very still.

The last days of school were celebrated with the Wacky Olympics. The children participated in all the events and had lots of fun. I was very proud of them.

Unfortunately, the school year has come to an end, and we have to say good-bye to Sally, Luigi, Giulia and Marco who are leaving Belgium and to Inigo, Kezhen, Suzumi, Andrew, Alek and Daksh who are going to Primary and to Mr. Romain who is leaving! We will really miss them in Upper Pre-Primary, but we will never forget them. Have a wonderful summer everyone and I look forward to seeing Stan,Yoni, Alba, Hargun, Aya and Bruno in September.

Love Ms. Mia

 

 

 

All about animals!

First and foremost a big welcome to Alek and Seo Hu who have joined our class since our last blog! After making lovely firework pictures, to start the new year, we got stuck into a very knowledge rich unit on animals. For our ‘entry point’ the children made animal masks and then while wearing their masks they completed various activities to be considered ‘real animals’. Escaping from Mr. Romain, our fast and fierce ‘Jaguar’ was quite a challenge but a lot of fun! Our focus at the beginning of the unit was on the ‘Rainforest’. The children learnt about rainforests and where in the world they were situated. As Luigi is in our class, their favourite rainforest was the Amazon rainforest of South America. They learnt about the different layers in the rainforest – the forest floor, the understory, the canopy and the emergent layer and the different animals that live in each layer. They drew beautiful pictures to represent these layers. The pictures are amazing and show good understanding. We also created our own rainforest in the classroom, where the children loved to play with our collection of soft animals. Their favourite bird from the rainforest was the toucan. They were delighted to take home the lovely colourful toucans they made.

The children were very curious to learn about the different animal groups and their characteristics – fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. They enjoyed sorting animal pictures into their appropriate group. It was lovely to observe children doing this work, thinking, and going through questions in their head before laying the card in the correct group. We talked about the birds in wintertime and made some little bird feeders with pinecones which we hung in the trees in the garden. Thanks Alba, for bringing the seeds!

The children learnt that different animals live in different parts of the world. They painted a large map of the continents of the world together and stuck pictures of animals in their appropriate home. Great co-operative work! 

The children have been drawing and painting animals and some children even made their own ‘animal books’ which they proudly read to their friends. For our ‘exit point’ (tomorrow) we will make ourselves super cosy with our cuddly animals and watch an animal movie together!

Besides all this work on ‘animals’ the children have been working hard in all other areas of the curriculum and are making wonderful progress. It is a joy to come to school every day and share their enthusiasm. Unfortunately, we are very sad to say goodbye to Aura, who has her last day on Friday. She will be truly missed by the whole school.

Have a lovely holiday next week everyone! But first, our carnival party!

Enjoy the pictures! They are a great way to capture and share with you all the learning that happens in upper pre-primary!

 

 

  

 

Houses and Homes

What a wonderful time we have been having in Upper Pre-Primary. The children have all settled into the class and have become great friends. There is a constant buzz of activity in the class with the children driven by excitement to learn more. In September we had a little mini project on apples. The children learnt about the parts of a tree and drew beautiful apple trees. With the yummy apples Alba brought to school, we made delicious apple crumble.

Our first IPC unit of work this year has been ‘Houses and Homes’. So much learning and activities have happened in the class surrounding this topic. We kicked off with a super ‘entry point’. The children had to go on a little hunt, around the school to find six envelopes. Each envelope contained a challenge the children had to complete before finding out where to search for the next envelope. In the final envelope the children found the ‘magic key’ which opened a room that contained different materials from which they could build houses. The search for the envelopes brought them to Ms. Jenny’s class, the music room, the lunchroom, Ms. Ellen’s office, the sports hall and then a little locked room in the sports hall. They were so happy to find the key and unlock the door! The children had to work together in groups to build their houses. Wonderful!

During the unit we looked at the children’s own homes, but we also learnt about different types of houses around the world – mud houses, stilt houses, log cabins, barges, igloos, tepees, bungalows, apartment buildings. We learnt about the continents of the world and looked on the map to find where you would find specific houses. We also looked at some famous buildings like the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel tower. We had interesting discussions about houses long ago, how they were different and how they did not have electricity. The children also learnt about how the first people made their homes in caves. They enjoyed learning about their lives and made their own caves from clay. They also painted beautiful cave paintings. The children designed their own house with a box, deciding where to put the windows and doors and what colour to paint it. During the unit they have had lots of fun playing with these houses. They also painted their own street called ’Rainbow street’ with beautiful unique houses. To get inspiration for making and drawing houses we went on a walk in our neighbourhood. We even passed by Spandan and Aura’s houses to say hi to the Mums. We had lots of fun comparing houses and reading house numbers.

The children loved the story of the ‘Three little pigs’ so we decided to make the three houses-the house of straw, the house of sticks and the house of bricks. The children all had turns at acting out the story. They were super happy to do the show for Lower Pre-Primary!

To end our unit on ‘Houses and Homes we had a quiz. The children were very excited to take part in their first quiz and answer all the questions. It was a wonderful way to celebrate their learning. I hope you were all very happy with the surprise letter, the children sent you in the post!

Besides all the work on houses and homes the children have made great progress in their language and numeracy work.

Both Celia and I were very, very proud of the children when they performed their poems at the school assembly. They all participated, were composed, and did their best.

Well done to all the children for a great first half term! They are now all very excited getting ready for Halloween! They have been singing songs and making crafts!

Have a lovely holiday everyone!

Love Ms. Mia

 

 

 

All about Clothes!

Hello everyone! First, I would like to welcome Sebastian, Ganesh and Miss Katerina to our class, they have all settled in wonderfully and have immediately become a part of our little school family.

To start the year off the children painted explosive firework paintings and wrote some very thoughtful new year’s resolutions. I hope they’ve been keeping them!

Following this we have had a very interesting, creative and knowledge rich study on ‘Clothes’. For our ‘entry point’  the children came to school dressed in their traditional clothes or clothes with the colours from their flag. We had a fun parade and enjoyed visiting the primary classes where the children had to guess our nationality!

To get interested in clothes and design each child made their own cut out doll which they dressed in clothes and material of their choice. This involved lots of patience cutting the material and then gluing it correctly on the body. The finished dolls looked lovely, some unusual pattern combinations but all unique and very personal!

The children learnt about clothes from different countries and learnt lots of new vocabulary – kimono, kilt, clogs, sarong, lederhosen. They tried on different clothes accessories. Thank you, Sebastian for bringing the sarong from Kenya for the children to try on.

The children loved the story of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. As a group work together, we painted a giant Emperor. He looked very royal!  We enjoyed reading several different versions of the story. Following this the children were inspired to act it out. They knew the story so well they needed little direction, volunteering lots of ideas and choosing their costumes. It was a wonderful activity and great fun!  The older children also drew pictures and wrote sentences to tell the story. Each child took a different part of the story to write about. From this story the children learnt about weaving. We looked at pictures of different looms and saw how material and carpets could be woven. We had a little mini loom in the class which the children could practice on. They also managed very well weaving with paper. The results were beautiful.

Following this work a big part of our study was about where clothes come from. At the beginning of the unit the children had little knowledge about where clothes come from and how they are made (‘from the shop’ was their main answer!).  They were very curious and interested to find out more. They learnt that their fleece jumper is made from plastic bottles, that cotton comes from the cotton plant, that linen comes from the flax plant, that silk comes from the silk moth. The made lovely life cycles of the silk moth. They have been investigating the labels on their clothes to check what they are made of. They discovered that most of their clothes are made of 100% cotton! I was very proud of the children at our last assembly as they presented all their learning about clothes to the whole school. They drew and painted pictures which they held to show while they spoke. They were very informative and spoke with loud voices. Super work!

Throughout our unit we have also celebrated special days – blue day, odd sock day, funky hat day. On the funky hat day, we turned our class into a ‘hat factory’ - the children were free to go as crazy as they wanted! We had some pretty nice results!

For our exit point we had a very special visit from the Police. They showed us their uniforms and talked about their work. They were very kind and answered the many questions the children had prepared. The children were very lucky, they tried on a police jacket and got to sit in a police car.

To completely end our unit on clothes we will celebrate on Friday with a carnival party. Happy holidays everyone! See you soon! Love Ms. Mia

 

 

Food Glorious Food!

What a busy time we have been having the past two months! So much learning and so much fun! The days don’t seem to be long enough! We have celebrated Autumn with a beautiful nature walk. The children made ‘nature bags’ to collect all the treasures they found. As we walked around the children observed many kinds of mushrooms growing. This led to a very interesting study of mushrooms back at school. On our nature walk we also had the amazing luck of coming across some beehives. A very friendly beekeeper gave us some explanations about the bees. We even had to keep back a little as we saw the bees exiting and entering their hives. There was one little bee that was very weak, so the children gave him some little flowers to suck out the nectar. What an amazing experience! Our study of nature didn’t end there we also did a special study on the oak tree that grows in our garden at school.

The children have become real ‘food specialists’ after our unit on food. It all began after our lovely entry point – a trip together to a vegetarian restaurant in Ghent. What made it so special was being able to go in the kitchen and choose their own food. Inspired by this we set up a restaurant in our classroom which the children called ‘The Red Moon’. Great place to eat! The children wrote their own menus, learnt how to keep their restaurant tidy and set the tables nicely. They even made a little fireplace where you could melt marshmallows!

The children are now very aware that fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and we should eat five portions a day! We made delicious fruit salad together! They learnt that fruit grows on trees and vegetables are different parts of a plant. They were curious to taste cinnamon and to learn it comes from the bark of the tree! They also enjoyed making and tasting ginger tea which comes from the root of the plant! They had to take care of their own plant when they planted cress seeds. The children also learnt about the different food groups. Now when they go for lunch instead of telling what food they have, they say, ‘look Miss Mia I have carbohydrates and protein!’. The children have loved preparing food at school especially squeezing oranges and lemons! During our study on carbohydrates they made ‘Irish bread’. I was so glad they loved it! As part of our study on food we read lots of food related stories. The loved the story of ‘The Enormous Turnip’ and had lots of fun acting it out!  The children have also been very artistic, they especially loved making their ‘Arcimboldo’ inspired pictures!

To end a wonderful unit on ‘Food’ we set up a hot dog stand and the children made and ate yummy ‘hot dogs’.

Besides all this work the children have been enjoying their jolly phonics work and learning to read. Exciting times in UPP! We also celebrated Laura’s fifth birthday. Congratulations Laura!

Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye to Ms. Laura this week. We will all miss her very much but wish her lots of happiness in her return to Spain.

Wishing you all very happy holidays with your family and see you in the new year! I hope you like the Christmas surprise your child made for you!

Love Ms. Mia

 

 

Family and Friends

What a fun time we have been having in upper pre-primary. The days have been filled enjoying our ‘Family and Friends’ unit. The children were so proud of their family photos they brought to school. They each presented them during circle time and gave some information about who was in them. The next big work was drawing and painting their family portraits. As you can see from the display outside the classroom, they look amazing.

The children have been learning about the continents of the world, which continent they come from and of course the famous continents song which you all have heard! The older children have been busy making globes of the world while the younger children coloured maps.

We have been looking at animal families and the names of their babies. The children have enjoyed matching pictures of the animal mothers with their babies. They have been very curious to know more and have been asking the names of many different young animals. Laura was curious to know what a baby mammoth was called and Constantin ‘a baby mouse’! Great learning together!

To end our unit the children had lots of fun preparing for the exit point. First, they had to write the invitation, then make a little present for their Mum, then prepare the yummy snacks to eat. The children were very happy to invite all the Mums to meet our ‘class family’ and share our learning. They decided they wanted to act like real waiters and waitresses and take the drink orders. For this the children had to practice writing the appropriate letter sound for each drink! I think they all did a super job looking after their Mums. They were very proud to sing to them and recite their poems. Well done everyone!

This month the children have also learnt about our second personal goal ‘resilience’. They are indeed showing lots of resilience completing their work. They encourage each other never to give up!

We have had exciting times in UPP. The children are enjoying learning their letter sounds and some have even started reading little words. There is a great buzz of learning and enthusiasm in the air!

This week has been all about Halloween - making Halloween books, colouring pictures, making pumpkins, making bats, making spiders, writing spells, singing songs and learning poems! We ended with a wonderful ‘Halloween Party’. Thank you for all the yummy snacks!

Finally, I would like to congratulate Anan on his fifth birthday.

I wish you all a lovely holiday with your children and look forward to seeing you in November.

Ms. Mia

 

 

Welcome back to school!

What a wonderful start to the new school year we have had in upper pre-primary. The children are becoming a real little family! They are enjoying working and playing together and are all eager to learn. During these first few weeks the children have been getting to know their new class and new classroom routines. The children have learnt our first personal value ‘respect’. They are learning to take care of toys and other classroom material and to respect each other and the people around them.

We began the school year by doing some lovely activities with the other upper pre-primary class (Mr. Michael’s class). We played games in the garden and had a fun trip to a playground near the school.

Already this year we have done a small study on owls. The children have learnt facts about owls, made a lovely owl craft, coloured owls, learnt a poem about an owl but the most exciting part of our study was dissecting a real owl pellet. The children were like scientists as they discovered the feathers and bones in the pellet. Don’t forget to ask your child more about this!

Our first IPC unit this year is all about ‘family and friends’. We started with a lovely ‘entry point’. Each child brought something from his own house to create our special classroom home. Thank you everyone for all the items you brought. The children decided where each item should go. In doing so they created a bedroom, a living room and a kitchen. The children are having lots of fun playing together co-operatively in this cosy area. Through playing they think of things they need. They decided to make a television with some remote controls for the living room. Next week the plan is to make a washing machine!

We have already had our first family meal together! The children carefully chopped apples to make delicious apple sauce.

The ‘family and friends’ unit is definitely off to a great start. The children have been painting their flags and discussing where their family comes from. More information about this learning will come in the next blog!

To take care of our classroom each child has a different responsibility each week, for example cleaning the tables, keeping the bookshelf in order, line leader etc. The children are being very responsible and taking their jobs seriously. Well done everybody!

All the children in the class are very interested in learning their letter sounds. The older children have almost completed their first Jolly Phonics book and the younger children are busy making their special sound book.

The children are also busy counting and practising writing numbers. We will be starting our Mathemagic workbooks next week.

As you can see, we are having a great time in upper pre-primary with lots of fun, love and learning!

Finally, congratulations to Marceau whose fifth birthday we celebrated this month at school.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Miss Mia