Saturday, 13 December 2014

Vampires and grumpy shepherds

Fasten yer seatbelts everyone....Christmas has cometh! 

Once again glitter and sparkles of every kind has found it's way to all the four corners of the Sunnyside classroom, dusting floors, surfaces and every scrap of furniture on it's way. 

As Mrs Very Jolly crunched her way across the classroom carpet this morning in order to grab a quick sip of her glitter topped cup of coffee, which was situated atop the glitter coated sink drainer, she knew for sure that Christmas had well and truly descended upon Sunnyside School.

And with the glitter and the sparkles comes the not to be missed Sunnyside School Nativity. However, before said Nativity can be deemed as 'not to be missed', the little learners (and Team) must first weather some serious Nativity rehearsals. 

With a cast of sixty angels, shepherds, innkeepers, sheep, cattle, donkeys, the all important Mary and Joseph (plus their understudies) to herd and direct over the coming days, it will be testing times indeed for everyone involved. As Mrs Crayon tried to console the disgruntled shepherds (disgruntled because wanted to be Christmas vampires), whilst attempting to remove the green pearlescent paint that adorned the face of the poor baby Jesus, she also had to give some thought to his crib which unfortunately appeared to have two missing legs. 
Oh dear! Testing times might just be an understatement. Never mind Mrs Crayon there's always lashings of glittery coffee to steady your nerves!

Mary's Lament

Away in a manger, 
No crib for a bed,
And so we are using 
A milk crate instead.

The stars in the bright sky 
Won't stay on the wall,
Which means the poor shepherds 
See nothing at all.

The cattle are scrapping, 
And so are the sheep.
The angels are crying 
And Joseph's asleep.

I love thee Lord Jesus, 
Tho' you look a mess,
You're covered in playdough 
And wearing a dress.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, 
I ask thee to stay
Don't fall out my arms 
And end up in the hay.

Bless all the dear children 
As they trudge up the aisle,
Pray they don't pick their nose 
But remember to smile.

Away in a manger, 
We're glad you could come,
Now I'm needing a wee 
And I'm missing me Mum.

The innkeeper's screaming, 
And the donkey has fled,
My teachers look peaky,
In fact they've fainted.

"'s just you and me then that hasn't gone to pieces!"



Saturday, 22 November 2014

Plucky pigs and hairy chins

"No, no, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!"

The famous cry of a brave and somewhat indignant little pig refusing to become the dinner of a hungry, opportunist wolf.

Yes, 'The Three Little Pigs' is story of the week for the little Reception learners of Sunnyside School. 

As the current topic is 'traditional tales', the little learners have already enjoyed a week of reading various versions of The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and The Three Bears and 'Little Red Riding Hood. 

It is the nuisance wolf and his devious dealings with the three little pig brothers, and the rather trusting and devoted granddaughter, Little Red Riding Hood, that has particularly captivated the little Sunnysiders.

Inspired by their fascination for this underhanded, house wrecking, granny impersonator, the Team decided to provide the little learners with the opportunity to talk directly to Mr Wolf in a questions and answers session this afternoon.

However, before Mr Wolf's arrival into the classroom, (in the shape of a volunteer and a fabulous furry wolf puppet) the Team wanted to establish whether the little learners had any understanding of what a question is, and how to ask one. So in the course of the morning, while the little learners were busily going about their business, Miss Kind and Mrs Caring set about to find out this information, by chatting with them as they participated in a variety of Three Little Pigs activities. 

"What would you like to ask Mr Wolf when he comes this afternoon?"
asked Miss Kind to a group of little learners colouring and cutting out wolf masks.

"Nanny's picking me up today!" blurted out one little learner, gluing the ear back on his wolf mask.

"It's lovely that Nanny is picking you up poppet," replied Miss Kind, "But that isn't really a question is it? Remember.....a question starts, why, where, who or what," she reminded them.  

Suddenly every hand round the table shot into the air and an excited Miss Kind braced herself in readiness for a barrage of interesting Mr Wolf questions. 

"I've got a new 'Hello Kitty' lunch box!" offered one little learner.

"When it's my birthday, I'm going to be five!" suggested another.

"I was sick in my bed two times.......all on my Superman cover!" proposed a third.

"I was sick in my bed too....Mummy put new covers on and then I was sick again!" volunteered a fourth.

With her head in her hands, a silently weeping Miss Kind suddenly became aware of a little learner standing quietly at her side.

"Hello poppet can you help me out here? she began, "If you were a policeman on the lookout for Mr Wolf and then you bumped straight into him one day......what would you say to him?"

The little learner still at her side, thought for a moment or two, then whispered, "I'd say sorry!"

Keep your chin up Miss Kind.....they'll get it in the end!

Mr Wolf...

...I'm glad that I've bumped into you,
Your capture is long overdue.
Our town is currently bereft,
For we have no pigs or grandmas left.

Whilst you continue to grow thinner,
We know you've nicked 'em for your dinner.
And with all the pigs that you have taken, 
You've robbed this town of all it's bacon.

But what we find most irritating 
Is your constant granny impersonating.
Though you act fierce, we must confess,
You do look silly in a dress!

Now swear you'll quit this thieving spree,
And set our pigs and grandmas free.
And one more thing please if you would...
Stop pestering Red Riding Hood!

"What have you done with my Grandma?......She's s'posed to be picking me up!"

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chestnuts and cartwheels

Believe it or not it is half term. 

Although it doesn't seem the slightest bit possible, the Sunnyside little learners have been attending school for seven whole weeks now. weeks.....and as far as Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Crayon, and Mrs Organised are concerned, those seven weeks have simply flown! 

However, during this time the little Reception learners of Sunnyside School have been busy getting to grips with the rules and routines of the setting, as well as learning how to source and access activities independently, how to play cooperatively with one another, and how to be responsible for all their belongings, especially their clothes when changing for PE. (Yes that o'l chestnut again.)

The perils of PE and the changing of clothes for a PE session, has been well documented in numerous Sunnyside stories over the last couple of years, and it seems this weekly round of loosing and mislaying shorts, tops and plimsolls is set to repeat itself all over again, (much to the dismay and despair of the Sunnyside Team.) 

If you want to see a Sunnyside practitioner openly weeping into their paint stained hands, it will be following the aftermath of changing thirty little learners from their PE kits back into their school uniforms again.

However, despite the monumental, not to mention nerve jangling effort that's required to change little learners for this twice weekly delight, the Team really enjoys seeing them relish their beloved PE sessions!  

There are little Reception learners in the group who take their PE very seriously, and one little learner in particular who takes it so seriously, that as far as she is concerned, every moment is a PE moment! It has been noted that she spends the vast majority of her school day either leaping, hopping or tumbling, and she appears to look every bit as much at home upside down as she does round the right way. Walking anywhere without breaking into a skip or a handstand seems virtually impossible for this little acrobat, and let's face it, why should one walk anywhere when one could leap or hop or even throw in a sneaky cartwheel when no one's looking?

So, it is this budding little gymnast and her preferred means of traversing from A to B that has inspired Mrs Crayon's poetic offering this month.

Over to you Mrs Crayon!


Why walk when you can skip?
Why skip when you can run?
Why run when you can tumble?
Tumbling's so much fun.
Why tumble when you can jump?
Why jump when you can hop?
Why hop when you can twirl so fast
You find it hard to stop?
Why twirl when you can roll?
Why roll when you can swing?
Why swing when you can dangle
From almost anything?
Why dangle when you can bounce?
Why bounce when you can leap?
There's time for one last cartwheel,
Before I go to sleep!

"Tomorrow I shall tumble....then I might skip......I'll definitely do a handstand......then a....."

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Chit-chats and currant buns

The most exciting aspect of a brand new academic year, is the acquisition of a brand new class of Reception learners. The best bit about the acquisition of a brand new class of Reception learners is..............getting to know them!

And this is exactly what the Reception Team at Sunnyside School has been doing these past few weeks - enjoying getting to know each and every little learner in their care. 

As the group becomes more settled in their new surroundings, they begin to exhibit a growing confidence, especially when it comes to participating in new learning experiences. 

There is nothing more enjoyable as far as the Sunnyside Team is concerned, than to sit alongside little learners as they explore the sand or the water tray, or indeed experiment in a junk modelling or painting activity, and to have a good o'l chat in order to learn more about each of them. 

It was Mrs Crayon's turn to support the little learners who'd chosen to have a go at the 'paint a picture of yourself' activity this afternoon. 

Each little learner was given a mirror which allowed them to study the features of their face and decide on their hair, eye, and skin colour before dipping their brushes into the paint pots. 

It was during the gentle ebb and flow of the conversation around the painting table, that Mrs Crayon decided to pose a question to the group regarding eyebrows.
"What are they for?" She asked them, hopeful of an insightful explanation or maybe a fabulously funny little learner quip. But there was no quip, neither was there an explanation, in fact there was no comment at all...not a word...not a whisper....nothing! There was however, a great deal of looking blank and skyward, as if the answer to this somewhat out-there question was scribed across the classroom ceiling. 

Not one to give up easily, Mrs Crayon thought she'd ask the question again. As she did so, a little learner leaned over to her from an adjacent table (where he was busy fashioning five delicious looking currant buns from his blob of fluorescent green playdough) and said, "I know what eyebrows are for!" 

An intrigued Mrs Crayon immediately reached for her post it notes, and with pen poised and breath bated, she awaited the little learner's take on the purpose of the human eyebrow. 

Would he say, she wondered, that scientists aren't entirely sure why humans have kept this bit of hair other than to protect the eyes from moisture and debris? Would he comment that the humble eyebrow is one of the most distinctive and expressive features of the human face, and that with one's eyebrows one can easily communicate one's feelings to other people? Or, would he perhaps observe that eyebrows shape the human face and give definition to one's eyes and forehead? No..... of course not! No, this particular clever little learner blew all of those lah-di-dah theories clean out of the water. 

And so dear reader, you can now discard such long held and popularly believed theories regarding the main functions of the eyebrow, and know that their real purpose is, (and this is true because a little learner said so) "They help you do the chores!!"

Bet you didn't see that one coming!


I'm not coming out to play today,
I've got to stay indoors.
You see I need to show my eyebrows,
How to help me with the chores.
You may think that I am joking,
But you didn't ought smirk,
Because while you're all busy slaving...
I'll let me eyebrows do the work!

"Phew! I'm definitely gonna need me eyebrows to get through this lot!"

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Heartache and chocolate cake

  1. Names on pegs................check
  2. Set up home corner..........check
  3. Sharpen pencils/crayons....check
  4. Fill pencil/crayon pots.......check
  5. Make fresh playdough ......check
  6. Fill water trays.................check
  7. Fill sand trays..................check
  8. Fill junk modelling box......check
  9. Fill paint pots..................check
  10. Sort dressing up..............check

Welcome back everyone! Yes, it's that time again! 

The time when Sunnyside School welcomes yet another brand new crew of little learners into it's Reception Class. They are the Sunnyside Reception learners of 2014-2015. 

The Reception Team comprising of Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Organised, and Mrs Crayon, are all set and ready to greet each little learner today as they begin their school life journey at Sunnyside School.

But whilst the classroom, along with the Reception Team is prepared and ready, and the little learners themselves are as prepared and ready as they're ever going to be, it is the grown ups who love and care for these brave little four-year-old boys and girls, that as a rule, are far from prepared and ready for this momentous occasion.  

And as these grown ups wave goodbye to their little ones this morning, hoping against hope that they're able to contain their fragile emotions until they've departed the school front gate, let's spare a thought for them today. It will be a tough day for them all. There will be tears.... there will be heartache.....there will CAKE..... and lots of it probably! will get easier....... we promise! 

First Day

As you wave goodbye to your little ones,
You can't believe this day has come.
They're only four and starting school,
This can't be right they're far too small.
You tell yourself a little lie,
That you'll be brave and will not cry.
But as you leave the school front gate, 
You start to hyperventilate.
Your tears now flowing refuse to stop,
So you make a dash for the corner shop,
You buy a very naughty cake,
You need the carbs for goodness sake!
You dwell upon your growing fears,
Then fill a bucket with your tears.
You wonder how you'll fill your day,
As you shovel in a Milky Way!
Alarming thoughts enter your head,
So you grab the Mars bar from under your bed,
And then you start to worry who
Will help your little one to poo!
But then you nearly have a fit, 
When you think about their PE kit.
Who will help them to put it on?
Heck!...Where have all the Freddos gone?
Then suddenly.....there's a feeling of impending doom,
For it will be their lunchtime soon.
The thought of that you cannot take,
So you swallow whole a chocolate flake.
By now you know not what to do,
Except watch the clock till half past two.
Your head is feeling twirly swirly,
You calm your nerves with a Curly Wurly.
Now it's time to go, it's almost three,
Your little one will soon be free.
You drain your nineteenth coffee cup,
Then try to do your trousers up!
Your heart starts racing, blood pressure's soaring,
A little voice says..."School's really boring!"
Your heart sinks lower than your shoes,
If you weren't so full you'd blow a fuse!
You feel the need to let off steam 
With apple pie and clotted cream.
But you can't continue in that vein,
Your trousers will not take the strain!
So tomorrow you'll be super cool
When you take your little one to school.
But you know your heart is going to break,
And out will come the chocolate cake! 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Daring Dan thinks he can........

Way, way back in October 2012, the little Sunnyside Reception learners of the day participated in the annual national drawing campaign, The Big Draw. In doing so, they were fortunate enough to be able to work alongside representatives of the extremely clever and creative cooperative Eccleston George Public Artists when they met with them on Whippy Cove's magnificent beach.

Using the beautiful golden sands as their blank canvas, and a variety of specially handcrafted little learner friendly tools, as well as natural finds from the beach itself, everyone had a marvellous morning drawing and creating some brilliant original beach art.

One particular member of the E.G. team who was supporting the little learners that day, was Daring Dan Recycle Man, so called because of his ability to invent and create amazing things from.....well....rubbish, essentially. One of Daring Dan's greatest achievements has to be his enormous wooden tricycle which once he'd finished creating and piecing together, he promptly jumped upon and pedalled off to Spain!

Mrs Crayon became all inspired about Daring Dan Recycle Man and his inventing antics, and this in turn led to the idea of a young aspiring little learner-type inventor which she subsequently wrote about in her poem DARING DAN THINKS He CAN...........FLY. It tells the tale of a young inventor chappie and his desperate attempts to get off the ground despite the continued health risk warnings from his exasperated mother. (Wings and Springs posted November 2012.)

Today, Mrs Crayon is delighted to present to you dear reader, the follow up to said poem. 

So before the new academic year commences and the little Sunnyside learners of 2014-2015 begin their adventure in the Reception Class, let's celebrate once more the genius that is Daring Dan Recycle Man (albeit as he was as a teeny tiny little learner) in his latest daring adventure.

Daring Dan thinks he can...


Daring Dan found a book, 
The kind that tells you how to cook.
But Dan was small and still learning to read,
So he wasn't sure of the things he would need.
He thought and thought, and then he said,
"I'm going to make it up instead,
I don't need to read this book, 
I know exactly how to cook!"

Dan found an apron and a wooden spoon,
He found a bowl with lots of room.
He put in jam,
And slices of ham,
He put in bread,
And chocolate spread.
He tipped in three eggs,
And two chicken legs.
He added sauce... 
Tomato of course.
He threw in red cherries,
And juicy strawberries,
He spooned in custard, 
And multi-grain mustard.
He added more sauce,
Tomato of course. 
Then he built a tower with self raising flour,
He spiced it and iced it for half and hour.
He poured on cornflakes,
And stuck in teacakes.
He grated cheese, 
And sprinkled peas,
And round the edge placed lettuce leaves.

Dan didn't stop there, he added more,
Like beans and spaghetti and crunchy coleslaw.
Dan looked for more food, but there was none,
So he declared his masterpiece was done.

Now...on cooking time Dan wanted to save,
So he crammed it all in the microwave.
He pressed the buttons one, two, three,
It started to cook....then SUDDENLY...
There was a crash, and then a clang,
And then a pop, and then a BANG!!!!!

The door blew open, Dan was petrified,
But then he saw the mess inside!
Custard was here and mustard was there,
His tower of flour was everywhere. 
There was cheese on the ceiling and peas on the floor,
There was ham up the walls and jam on the door.

"Uh-oh!" Sighed Dan, "I'm in trouble now,
I need to clean up but I don't know how!
Which of these liquids and sprays do I need?
They're covered with words that I cannot read.
I know!.....I need to invent a machine I guess,
And one that can deal with this terrible mess!"

 So Dan thought and he thought and he thought a bit more,
And then he remembered the dog from next door. 
"Hurrah!" Cried Dan, "This'll be fun!"
And in less than ten seconds the clean-up was done!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bits and bobs and tumbleweed

As Miss Kind desperately tried to ram one last dust pan load of detritus into the classroom's already overflowing waste bin this afternoon, she took a moment to stand back and survey the stark display boards, the clear glass of the classroom windows, (which incidentally no one has seen since the beginning of last September, prior to them becoming covered in vast amounts of bits and bobs,) and the lengths of string (minus their dingle dangles) hanging from the ceiling and gently swaying in the warm breeze emanating from the open windows. All that was needed now thought she, was for some tumbleweed to come rolling past her, and the sad and sorry scene would be complete. is the end of term! The academic year is done, and the time has come when little learners must move on to the next phase in their educational journey - that of year one. 

The Sunnyside Team have been here before, many many times in fact, but this annual event, still remains as poignant and as emotional as ever. 

While Miss Kind was battling with the waste bin, Mrs Very Jolly and a band of little learner helpers, were busy retrieving all the Blu-tack blobs left behind after the removal of the classroom's mountain of paintings, posters and dingle dangles. 

With their work almost done, and their expanding Blu-tack blob now the size of a tennis ball, Mrs Very Jolly was keen to ask her little helpers how they felt about the prospect of moving to year one.
"The work is really, really hard you know!" Stated one little learner.
"You do really tricky numbers." Said another.
"You don't do fun things in year one.....that's for the little kids." Ironically informed a third little learner.
"And....." Shouted a little learner from the back of the group as he popped a blob of Blu-Tack in his trouser pocket, "The grown ups aren't allowed to help you in year one, you has to do everyfin' by your own!"

Standing at Mrs Very Jolly's side was a little learner intently listening to all this spurious information as he was busily squishing a small blob of Blu-Tack between his fingers.
"What about you poppet..." Mrs Very Jolly asked him, "What are you hoping to learn in year one?"
"Well..."  Pondered the little learner for a moment, still furiously squishing his bit of putty, "I'd like to learn to juggle!" 

"Oh!" Was the response to that from a somewhat crest fallen Mrs Very Jolly, because sadly she is unaware of any juggling year one teachers at Sunnyside School, in fact, she's not aware of any juggling teachers at all!

So, dear reader all that remains is to thank you once again for being a faithful visitor to the SUNNYSIDERS blog.

Sunnysiders will return in September with a brand new crew of little learners, led as usual by the non juggling Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Crayon and Mrs Organised. 

See you then for more fun and learning!

No fun in year one

There's no such thing as fun
When you're learning in year one,
You don't get help, so everything's a struggle.
But the fact is I don't care,
You see I'm only going there,
Because I've heard the grown ups teach you how to juggle!

"When I've mastered the Blu Tack I'm allowed to juggle with real balls!"