Saturday, 28 March 2015

Jolly jaunts and raisins

Did you know that the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London, popularly known as Beefeaters, not only eat beef, they eat chicken as well? Did you also know that the current British Monarch is actually called 'Queen Vic-Livia' and not Queen Elizabeth at all? Are you aware that Queen 'Vic-Livia' sits quietly in her bedroom each day because she is forbidden to speak to anyone.......ever? 

These pearls of royal wisdom were revealed by the Reception learners of Sunnyside School today. 

Yes, Sunnyside School has gone all royal by launching headlong into an exciting 'Kings and Queens' topic as part of a whole school learning experience. So to get things started, small groups of Reception learners participated in a brainstorming activity about the current British Royal family. It was during said brainstorming activity that the little learners delivered a whole range of fascinating if not quirky royal insights.

As well as conveying the favourite nosh of a Beefeater, the Reception learners also divulged details of the Queen's own rather specialised dietary preferences, the truth about her favourite mode of transport, the arrangements regarding the storage of her jewels, what her crown is made of, who it is that guards her castle, and the official name of her faithful and fearless husband.

The Sunnyside Team are therefore delighted to share with you these hitherto unknown royal facts via the rhyming couplets of Sunnyside team member, Mrs Crayon. amazed, be very amazed!

About the Queen...

She's married to Prince Charming,
Her crown is made of ice,
She's not allowed to speak a word,
Which can't be very nice.

Her jewels sit in a cupboard
Under lock and key,
She eats raisins for her breakfast
And bananas for her tea.

Prince Charming guards the castle
Armed with his trustee 'spike',
Whilst Her Royal Highness
Tours round London on her bike!

"One could pedal twice round London after a bowl of one's raisins!"

Monday, 16 February 2015

Chicken wings and camel pants

Pants, pants, pants, pants, pants! 

It doesn't matter how many times you say it or how often, little learners everywhere will laugh out loud the moment they hear the word pants! 

For some reason little learners find pants funny. They like to talk about pants and they especially love to read stories all about pants. They even like to show you their pants when they're especially proud of them! So it goes without saying that when Mrs Very Jolly told the little Sunnyside learners that 'Aliens love underpants' was story of the week this week, they responded with their usual outburst of raucous laughter as well as cries of "Ooh! Mrs Very Jolly said pants!"

This fascination with all things pants subsequently lead to the reading of other stories about pants this week, (yes are there are quite a few) and it was while Mrs Very Jolly was sharing the book 'Pantsby Giles Andreae with the group, that the focus suddenly switched from pants to........camels!

One of the many hilarious pictures by Nick Sharratt features a camel sporting a pair of pants on his humps. It was while the little learners were rolling around in hysterics at this delightful vision, that Mrs Very Jolly posed the question to them all of what a camel might store inside his humps. After she did so, the classroom fell uncharacteristically silent for what seemed an age as the now fully recovered little learners considered their answers. It was a huge relief to Mrs Very Jolly when eventually a lone hand tentatively rose skyward.

"Ooh! do you know poppet what a camel might store in his humps?" an excited Mrs Very Jolly asked the plucky little learner in question. Mrs Very Jolly felt sure the answer she was going to hear to this camel conundrum was going to be water (a common misconception among little learners,) so she was rather baffled to say the least when this particular little learner said........'acorns'! 

As she tried unsuccessfully to stifle a fit of her own giggles upon hearing this completely original and slightly out there suggestion, Mrs Very Jolly was then treated to a barrage of other suggestions from the rest of the group which included, Jaffa Cakes, chicken wings, apple crumble, bananas, popcorn, spaghetti hoops, ice cream and fish fingers. 

Whilst Mrs Very Jolly felt truly enlightened (if not a little hungry) by these camel revelations, Mrs Crayon on the other hand felt truly inspired and could instantly feel a camel poem coming on!  

Let's celebrate the camel

Let's celebrate the camel and his two amazing humps,
In one he keeps his acorns, in the other sugar lumps.
There's room inside for chicken wings, for popcorn, and for cake,
If you're going on a picnic it's a camel you should take. 

When you're longing of an ice cream, the camel will provide,
He's got so many flavours, you will struggle to decide.
If you ever fancy sausages with gravy and some mash,
The camel's got it all, and he won't even want your cash.

So when next you see a camel and his two amazing humps,
You'll know those things upon his back are more than just two bumps.
You may think they're holding water, but there're hiding so much more,
Which makes the clever camel.....Mother Nature's superstore! 

"Mum says do you do prawn balls?"

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Soggy tights and butter mounds

As the doors to Sunnyside School were flung wide this morning, thirty red-cheek, windswept little learners blew straight in. 

Along with the howling gales that had swept them through the classroom door, an ill-timed deluge of rain had also managed to soak each and every one of them right through to their skin. Within minutes dripping wet trousers, skirts and tights were whipped off and hung from every surface in the Reception classroom in order to dry. Following a swift change into their P.E. kits, those undeterred little learners immediately leaped into their activities with their usual gusto and excitement.

Sadly, gusto and excitement had bypassed one particular little learner at snack time today when she took part in a sandwich making activity. It was Miss Caring who noted the decidedly irritated little learner struggling to spread a gigantic mound of butter on her scarcely visible slice of bread. After a few moments of observing her tutting and muttering, Miss Caring seated herself next to the demoralized little learner and asked, "Can I help you poppet?" 
"Yes please," replied the little learner casting aside her knife and slumping down in her chair. 

Miss Caring took the greasy knife and began to scrape away the copious amounts of butter on the little learner's plate, and just as she was thinking she could finally detect some remnants of bread lurking beneath, the fed up little learner sat bolt upright and blurted out for all and sundry to hear, "Anyway, when I'm King, I'm not doing anything.....I'm just going to sit down all day!" 

As a rather startled, yet smiling Miss Kind found a fresh slice of bread for the self-proclaimed heir apparent, she thought to herself that's it's probably never too soon to settle on a career ever ambitious it may be.

When I'm King

Yes it's true I tut and mutter,
When I'm trying to spread me butter,
I get in such a pickle on my own.
So when I become a king, 
I'm not doing anything,
I'll bark orders from the comfort of me throne.

When I am 'Your Majesty'

Everyone will wait on me,
Then you'll never hear me tut or moan again.
The only words I'll utter, 
Will be 'fetch me bread and butter,'
I will be the archetypal royal pain! 

"Off with them crusts.....or heads will roll!"


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 they 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, Miss Kind and Mrs Caring set about to find out this information by chatting with little learners 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, "Say you were a policeman, and on the lookout for Mr Wolf, and then you happened to bump 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 P.E. (Yes that o'l chestnut again.)

The perils of P.E. and the changing of clothes for a P.E. 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 P.E. 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 P.E. sessions!  

There are little Reception learners in the group who take their P.E. very seriously, and one little learner in particular who takes it so seriously, that as far as she is concerned, every moment is a P.E. 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!"