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Spring Term – Scrumdiddlyumptious Topic!
This term, our topic is being spread across the whole term because it is quite a short one and this topic is such an interesting and diverse one too. So far, we have spent the last few weeks with an Art focus on Observational drawing.
We have many more interesting and exciting things to come in this topic, including a trip to Cadbury World in February with Beech Class from Payhembury!
Gym Festival - January 2018
Last Monday, I escorted Woodpeckers to Honiton Community College for a Gym festival. The children, once again, really demonstrated themselves as great representatives of the school with perfect behaviour and keen participation. A group of Year 7, 8 and 9 students led the Year 3 and 4s around a carousel of Gymnastic activities. These ranged from balances, rolls and jumps on floor mats to using larger equipment such as the trampette and the vaulting box to practice jumps onto large crash mats. The children had great fun getting involved in all of the activities and returned to school feeling very enthusiastic. It was lovely to see what they can do and see some children inspired to take up Gymnastics outside of school too. Super job Woodpeckers!
Escot Trip - Dec 2017
As part of our Predator Topic, on Thursday 7th December, Woodpeckers visited Wildwood Escot in Ottery St Mary for the day. This was completely, an outdoor trip and although the weather started out pretty miserable, it quickly turned into glorious sunshine with clear blue skies by the time we had finished our first activity making wooden name badges! We felt incredibly lucky. This lucky streak continued as we went on our first walk through the woods, learning about how to be stealthy and quiet as we headed towards the wolf enclosure. We were prewarned that because we were a fairly large group, we may not see the wolves or only catch a glimpse… However, not only did we see the wolves, many even chose to come right up to the fence to say hello to us and give us their seal of approval. The children couldn’t believe it and nor could the school or Wildwood staff! Some of the wolves even started playing with each other in front of us, which again we were told, was incredibly rare to witness. What beautiful, majestic creatures – an experience that I certainly won’t forget and I think many of the children feel the same. Penelope showed a particular fascination and respect with the wolves and they with her. This was demonstrated by the relaxed behaviour and close eye-contact they were giving her. It was quite special to witness. Our guide told me later that he was not expecting us to see the wolves that morning and credited the children for it. He explained that they had behaved so superbly and had had such a calm and silent approach which ensured that the wolves did not fear us or feel threatened. Great work Woodpeckers!
It was difficult to imagine that anything could top this experience but the next enclosure we visited was the Lynx. Cats can be a little more elusive but after a few moments of looking, we suddenly noticed a small head resting between some logs, looking right at us. A few of us cat lovers, really wanted a cuddle but the keepers felt this may be unwise.
After this, we spent some time at the Pirate ship, where the children got to run around and get muddy whilst enjoying the various play activities. Before heading back for lunch by the fire, the children split into two teams in order to create a new animal that could be camouflaged in the wooded environment we were in. The 1st team, headed up by Mrs Paul, saw them create a creature that was closely linked to a bird and a dinosaur. They discussed the various features that it had to make it a good predator which were, sharp teeth and strong eyesight. The 2nd team, headed up by Tom Anning (an honorary Woodpecker for the day), created a snake like creature. The team split up at first with the boys doing one thing and the girls doing something else. However, they quickly realised that that wasn’t going to work so had a big discussion to sort out a plan and then carried it out. They showed great understanding of the features and adaptations that an animal needed in order to be both an effective predator and well camouflaged.
After lunch, we heading back up to the animals where we delighted to witness some stunning Birds of prey and a very entertaining display from the Otters. They seemed to be enjoying a game of follow the leader which let us see them up close and hear them communicating with each other. As predators go, we had to say they were very cute but really rather smelly!
We completed the day with a great Predator Prey game in the woods which the children (and us school staff) thoroughly enjoyed before heading over to the drop slide. Isabelle, Freddy and Lou-Lou showed a particular love of the drop slide. The rest of us were unfortunately, not so brave.
All in all, this was a superb trip. The staff at Wildwood were great; So welcoming, supportive and interested in facts and stories the children wanted to share. They provided us with a very fun, educational day and sent us away with some very special memories to keep. Thanks Wildwood Escot!