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. Yes......seven 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?

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!




Eyebrows

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! 

However....it 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...

COOK!


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.

Yes....it 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 1. 

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 1.
"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 self!"

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 1 teachers at Sunnyside School, in fact, she's not aware of any juggling teachers full stop!

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

You're banned from having 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!"


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Porridge oats and Pigeons








Dried pasta, porridge oats, uncooked rice, squidgy playdough!

No, not the ingredients to a somewhat suspect light supper, but four firm favourite ingredients for a spot of sensory exploration among the little Reception learners at Sunnyside School.

Little learners everywhere will naturally gravitate toward sensory activities. These can include: sand, water, dough, shaving foam, gloop, compost, jelly, paint, pasta, rice, oats, shells, stones and seaweed. 

Apart from contributing to brain and fine motor development in crucial ways, being presented with the opportunity to cover oneself in jelly whilst participating in a sensory activity, is just too good an opportunity to miss for most little learners! 

In the last few days the little Sunnysiders have enjoyed exploring the dried pasta, rice and porridge oats provided in the Tuff Tray outside. It has sparked some wonderful tea shop role play as well as the creation of a variety of delightful and unusual little learner recipes! 

As the little learners transport the dried ingredients all round the garden during their role play games, a large proportion of pasta, rice and oats has travelled to all the four corners of the garden and everywhere else in between! 

Whilst this makes for a tricky clean up operation (try sweeping a ton of oats and rice out of the grass at the end of a busy day) it has greatly benefited the resident Wood Pigeon in the garden, who has taken full of advantage of all the spillages by conducting his own clean up operation after the little learners have returned to the classroom. 

Subsequently, said Pigeon has become a very large Pigeon indeed, and it was Mrs Crayon who observed him this morning (after he'd eaten a breakfast of dried pasta and playdough) furiously flapping about the garden in an attempt to get airborne. In spite of all his efforts, the poor exhausted chap only managed a few brief moments in the air before crashing into the garden's cherry tree, sending a cloud of leaves, feathers and cherries to an altitude significantly higher than he was able to reach . 

After a good o'l chuckle to herself, the cogs and wheels inside Mrs Crayon's head started to whir, as a pigeon-type rhyme began to formulate in her mind. So, when she got home that night she penned the following.



THE PIGEON IN OUR GARDEN


The pigeon in our garden (although gentle, calm and quiet,)
Has grown to huge proportions from a most unhealthy diet.
He eats up all the pasta that's fallen to the ground,
All the porridge oats, the grains of rice, and any playdough that he's found.

That pigeon's in our garden eating non-stop every day,
And now he's so enormous that he cannot fly away!
He flaps about this way and that, his efforts all in vain,
 It would appear his pigeon wings just cannot take the strain.

The pigeon in our garden (once so gentle calm and quiet)
Is feeling mighty grumpy since we've put him on a diet.
We sweep up all the pasta that's fallen to the ground,
All the porridge oats, the grains of rice, till nothing can be found!

Yet that pigeon keeps on searching as he waddles on his feet,
He doesn't seem to understand there's nothing left to eat.
Now the Pigeon in our garden just mopes about and cries,
But he's showing signs of shrinking to a normal Pigeon size!


"It's just peas for you Mr Pigeon for the foreseeable!"

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Handbags and bell-bottoms







The end is nigh! The finishing line is in sight! Journey's end is all but complete!

Which ever way you care to express it, the academic year is drawing to a close, and the little Reception Sunnyside learners will soon be heading off to pastures new. 

However, before they leave the Reception class to continue their educational journey into Year 1, the Reception Team comprising of, Mrs Jolly, Mrs Very Jolly, Miss Kind, Mrs Caring, Mrs Crayon and Mrs Organised, have planned lots more exciting learning opportunities for the little learners to enjoy in the remaining few weeks of the summer term.

It is also in these last few weeks that The Team tends to reflect and take stock and begin to fully appreciate just how far the little learners have come since they took their first tentative steps into Sunnyside School's Reception class way back in September. Those once reticent little learners have developed into independent and confident individuals, eager to try out new things and to share their newly acquired knowledge and understanding with anyone who'll listen. 

And it is listening to the little learners that the Team enjoys most of all. Armed with clipboards and pens, team members can be seen all over the setting, listening to little learners and gathering important information that will ultimately help to determine their progress and plan their next steps. 

This afternoon, Mrs Caring positioned herself (for a spot of listening) close to the cut and stick table where a group of six little learners were busy making laptops, handbags, robots, rockets, kites, and a in one particular case, a bunkbed for Sleeping Beauty.


As they snipped and trimmed, taped and tied, folded and glued, this group of little makers chatted to one another about all manner things, leaping seamlessly from one topic to another at breakneck speed for the entire afternoon.

Despite the flames that billowed from her Biro, Mrs Caring did her utmost to accurately note down the little learners' flow of entertaining chit-chat. Luckily for her, she's never quite forgotten the abbreviated symbolic writing method of shorthand, that she learned way back in the days of Raleigh Shopper bicycles and denim bell-bottoms, that helped her to complete this task.

Well done Mrs Caring, lets now enjoy all your hard efforts. 

Picture the scene. Six little learners, some seated, some standing around a large table completely covered with a variety of junk and collage materials. The classroom is quiet and free of other little learners allowing Mrs Caring to hear the six little makers' conversation in detail. 

So here is just a small extract of that conversation.


Little learner 1 "I'm making a handbag!"

L.l 2  "Mine's not a handbag, mine's a bag for my laptop."

L.l 3  (wearing a sun hat) "Well do you know? I'm wearing my delicate sun hat. I got it at Egypt and do you know, I went fishing at Egypt but I couldn't catch some fish 'cause they were too quick for me.......they were turbo fish!"           
L.l 4  "There's no need to shout!"

L.l 5  "If you shout, it hurts your feelings!"                 
                                     
L.l 4  "And your elbow!"

L.l 5  "No! Not your elbow!" 

L.l 3  "If you shout more loud than me, then that's dinosaur shouting!"                  
L.l 6  "Some dogs are allergic to cats, I'm allergic to dinosaurs and roses!"

L.l 1   "I'm going to be a mum when I'm forty four...that's okay isn't it?"

L.l 2  "Well my Mum's really clever, she can hang things and fold things!"  

L.l 5  "Well my Mum's really clever 'cause she can use tweezers!"

L.l 3  "In Benidorm tweezers cost one hundred, but in this world they cost fifty!"

L.l 2  "I've been to Butlin's!

L.l 6  "I've been to Butlin's too!"                                      

L.l 4  "And I have!"

L.l 6  "I never saw you there!"

L.l 2  "Well, I'm going on holiday in a rocket to look at planets!"

L.l 5  "If you tell lies that's naughty. If you're naughty you go to kids' jail. You don't go in a police car, you go in a white cart and they have toilets and I heard on TV they have comfy beds!"

(stunned silence)

L.l 3  "Why did the shoe cross the road?"

L.l 4  "Because it was magic!"

L.l 3  "Nope.......Because it had a foot in it!"

(raucous laughter) 


Guess what Mrs Crayon did when she read the longhand version of Mrs Caring's observation?






Pass the felt pens please


As we're cutting this and taping that,
We take our time and have a chat. 
And chat we do about everything, 
When we stick with glue and tie with string.
There's our clever mums to talk about,
Who fold things up and hang things out.
There's dogs with curious allergies,
Can you pass the felt pens please?
There's our feelings to discuss and share.
I need scissors, have you got a pair?
There's fancy holidays abroad.
I can't cut this bit of chord!
There's dinosaurs and growing flowers,
Two topics we'll discuss for hours.
On having kids we will debate,
Like.....is forty four a bit too late?
There's our ailments and our remedies,
Not to mention all our injuries.
There's fashion and the current trend.
Me Sellotape has lost it's end!
We'll share the jokes that make us laugh.
This stupid thing won't fold in half!
Now hurry up it's half past two,
It's time to pack away the glue,
The scissors and the Sellotape,
The string, the felt pens and the crepe. 
We've made our laptops, bags and kites,
 We've also put the world to rights. 
The day is done, and we are gone
But our words of wisdom linger on!



Tah-Dah!......A fine afternoon's work!