Welcome To Our New Website!

Elm 1

Welcome to Elm 1!
2023 - 2024
Miss Aston - Class Teacher

Mrs Mills/Mrs Whitlock/Mrs Bradford/Mrs Stubbs - Teaching Assistants

Summer 1
Rio de Vida
Spring 2
After looking at Paul Klee’s ‘Castle and Sun’, we created our own paintings. We were only given the primary colours - red, blue and yellow. We mixed colours together to make the secondary colours green, orange and purple.
Today we made a delicious pasta salad. We used the bridge and claw techniques to carefully chop the courgettes, peppers and tomatoes. Some of us have decided that we would like to be chefs when we grow up! Bon appetite!
Spring 1
No Place Like Home
We have been practising different types of roll in our gymnastics lessons. We have now perfected a log roll, a pencil roll, an egg roll and a teddy bear roll.
As part of our geography learning we followed our maps and went for a walk around our local area. We passed lots of houses and a couple of shops. We noticed that the hill was not as steep as when we walked to the library and abbey in the Autumn term and we did not have to cross the river.
After last term's Autumn walk, today we went on a Winter walk to support our science learning about seasonal change. We saw lots of differences. These included: bare trees - the leaves had fallen off and there was no fruit in our orchard, lots of frost on the ground and tables and it was very cold!
Autumn 2
School Days
What a lovely morning we spent at Polesworth Abbey. After listening to the Christmas story we paid our taxes, visited baby Jesus in the stable, then dressed up and retold the Christmas story again but this time, we were the actors!
During our Autumn now press play experience we learned about the weather, hibernating animals, what happens to some trees during Autumn and the Autumn tradition of pumpkin carving.
Today Elm class stepped back in time to Victorian times. It was very different to the Birchwood that we know and love! We practised the 3Rs, completed an exercise drill, played some Victorian games and looked at lots of interesting Victorian artefacts.
Autumn 1
Everyday Materials
What a fun afternoon Elm 1 had today visiting our local library.  On our walk there we completed two road traffic surveys in both a quiet and busy location. After all choosing a book to take home we enjoyed a story before walking back to school. 
We enjoyed making pitta pockets today in the food technology room. We then chose a filling and ate them whilst listening to the story of ‘The Little Red Hen’ which helped us to understand where flour comes from.

'That was so fun! Can we make them again tomorrow?' Scarlett.
In small groups we looked closely at a range of objects and grouped them according to the materials from which they were made.
Elm 1 enjoyed the first Forest Schools session of the year. We had great fun discovering a new mud kitchen, woodland castle and fairy village. We also hunted for mini beasts in the mini beast hotel, collected sticks for the new wood store and had fun on the woodland swing.
Welcome to Acorn and Chestnut!
2022 - 2023
Mrs Smith/Miss Lowe - Class Teachers
Mrs Hooper/Mrs Sullivan/Mrs Winsloe-Warder - Teaching Assistants
Summer 2
Mad About Minibeasts
We had the most amazing day out with the animals at Ash End House Children's Farm.  We got to stroke a bearded dragon, geckos, cows, sheep, goats, chicks and ducklings to name but a few.  The most fun we had was feeding the cheeky goats and Ozzy the duck.  We also enjoyed exploring the play areas with our friends.  It was a fantastic end to a wonderful year.
Acorn class have really enjoyed their outdoor learning experiences this half term. They have learned about minibeasts and their habitats, building a bug hotel and spotting minibeasts. We have explored the area and certainly enjoyed the forest swing and roasted marshmallows.
How lucky we are to have such great experiences in school.
We started this half term with a three week talk for writing unit based around the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.  The children have fully immersed themselves in this learning and not only have they written their own fantastic retelling of the story, but they have also created giants out of construction kits, castle and beanstalks from junk modelling, and found out about plant lifecycles, amongst other things.  Use the QR code to take a look at some of our learning.
Our other theme for this half term is ‘Mad about Minibeasts!’  We have begun this learning with some Science, our mission being to discover more about worms.  We have set up a wormery in our classroom to help us do this.  Come back soon to find out more about what we have discovered about worms and our other minibeast friends.
Summer 1
The Sights and Sounds of Africa

There has been much excitement in Reception this half term when we had some special visitors.  On Tuesday 9th May, the children came into school and were surprised to find there had been a special egg delivery.  To their delight, by the end of the day all the eggs had hatched and seven chicks were happily getting used to their new surroundings.  They have had the most enjoyable time watching the chicks grow, learning how to care for them and most importantly having a few cuddles.

We have been exploring the story ‘Anna Hibiscus’ Song’.  Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa.  We discover that in part of the story, Anna’s Aunties are pounding yams.  We wanted to find out more about yams, so Mrs Robilliard took a trip to an African supermarket (in England) to buy some yams.  We were surprised at how big and heavy they were!  After exploring the yams with our senses of sight and touch, we tried cooking them so that we could also discover what they smelt and tasted like too.  You can tell by the photographs that some of us liked the taste and some of us didn’t.

Summer 1 will involve transporting children to the continent of Africa where they will be immersed in the vivid colours of artists, traditional food and even regional African dances. They will discover a variety of landscapes by scanning QR codes to access informational videos. With beautifully rich literacy texts such as Anna Hibiscus' story and Handa's Surprise, the children will get to compare their own daily life to that of children across the world.

Animals and all their wonder will also be explored, allowing the children to become familiar with animals we may only see on TV and in books.  The sights and sounds of Africa really will be the most amazing adventure for all our reception children!

Spring 2
Dinosaur Stomp
Fostering and nurturing a love of reading, books and the magic of literature is a core principle at Birchwood School. Acorn and Chestnut class were extremely fortunate that teachers didn't want to celebrate just world book day, but engaged in a whole week of celebrating stories, rhymes and books. Children were invited to bring their favourite stories in, dress up, revisit old texts we have engaged in and create their very own puppets for their theatre along with many more fantastic activities. Here are some of the magical moments from this week. What a bunch of budding literary legends in the making.
This half term the children in Acorn and Chestnut class have been exploring our new theme 'Dinosaur Stomp'! It has been a mix of anticipation and excitement as the children were welcomed back to school with mysterious foot proints that led to a huge unexplained, abandoned egg. Since then, the children have been looking after it and keeping it warm. Predictions have been made as to whether it will hatch into a snake, lizard, dinosaur or even if it just contains chocolate.
As you can see from the photos the children are fully invested and engaged in this topic.
Spring 1
Winter Wonderland
We had great fun when we went to the Snowdome to experience real snow. 

We played around in the snow, slid and spun down the snow slide, climbed and played in the treehouse and threw just a few snowballs at each other and the teachers!


This half term the children have been on an adventure. An adventure through the story of We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. We use talk for writing to help embed both the story and actions of this adventure over the course of a few weeks. This week we concluded our magnificent adventure by actually going on a bear hunt. With the wonders of Green Screen here are the children in reception retelling this story
We have been learning about the story ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’.  In the story the characters encounter lots of obstacles on their journey to the bear’s cave.  We went on our own sensory bare foot walk to try and get an idea about what the family might have experienced.

We really enjoyed learning about how people prepare for and celebrate Chinese New Year.  We listened to the story of ‘The Great Race’, a story of the Chinese Zodiac.  The Jade Emperor named a year in the zodiac after each animal that took part in the race.  The children thought the rat was very cheeky as he got a ride on the ox to get to the other side, then jumped over the ox's head and won the race.                   

Our other learning included; role playing getting ready for Chinese New Year, picking things up with chopsticks, painting and making dragons and trying Chinese food.  We even made a giant dragon’s head that we used to try out some dragon dancing.


Brrrr! It may be Winter, but that hasn’t stopped us investigating water and ice to make our own ice lollies – yum!  We talked about how to make them and what would happen to the water. 

'We need to pour water into a mould and then put it in the freezer to make it solid ice,' Lexi.

'The fridge won’t be cold enough to turn the water into ice,' Paige.

'Put water in the freezer so it goes solid and turns into ice.  It’s really cold in the freezer,' Riley. 

'We need water because water makes ice.  If you put it in the freezer it will turn into ice because the freezer is colder than the fridge.  When ice melts it turns into a liquid,' Autumn.


We have come back to school in 2023 ready for our learning and excited to be diving into our next theme Winter Wonderland. Within this theme we will expand our children’s understanding of the world they live in and the wonders that it hides. The children will travel by text and the brilliance of their imaginations to the Polar Regions of the globe, finding out and comparing their landscapes and the animals to those local to the UK. We will explore the qualities of snow, and ice. We will also look at features of the season of winter including the changing weather. Here are some photos of the amazing learning the children across reception have encountered so far:
Autumn 2
Why Do Squirrels Hide Their Nuts?
We are very proud of all the children in Acorn and Chestnut class for doing such a fabulous job of learning all the songs and lines for their Nativity play.  The end performance was amazing.  Well done everyone!
Today we had the pleasure of inviting the local Reverend into school to talk to the Reception children about the Christian Faith, her job and how the birth of Jesus is important. The children asked questions, saw props and even sang Nativity songs.
On Tuesday 29th November Acorn class went on an adventure to the woodland area of school. It was a very misty afternoon, but we were all wrapped up and braved the cold. We sat around the fire circle and heard about the awful disaster that had struck over the weekend. The Little People who live in the grounds of the school, who are tiny and not taller than your thumb. Well, the storm hit and destroyed all of their homes! Acorn class set to work rebuilding their homes to make sure the Little People were safe.
After this we sat around the fire, retold the story of Stickman and practiced how to stay safe in the woods around an open fire. At the end of the session, we all respectfully said goodbye to the fire whilst thanking it for its warmth, the fun they had had, the stories and nature.
After learning the story ‘Pumpkin Soup’ by Helen Cooper using Talk for Writing, we had the opportunity to go into the Food Tech Room and make our own. We discussed the recipe used in the story and the steps taken and compared it to the recipe we used at school.  We got to taste the soup and most of us loved it.
We love exploring maths in many ways and this week we explored games with numbers up to 5. We worked as teams and threw bean bags into the hoops to see how many landed in the hoop and how many missed. This helped us to organise our sentence structures for combining amounts.
Later in the week we all went on a number hunt inside and outside of the school building. We were amazed at how many numbers can be found. Have a look at all our wonderful learning!
Acorn class really enjoyed their first forest school session.  We went on a walk to look for signs of Autumn and talked about the colours of Autumn while on the look out for Autumn treasures.  We found different coloured leaves, twigs, acorns and berries.  We put all our Autumn objects into a cup to make an Autumn potion.
Autumn has arrived in Acorn and Chestnut class.
Here you can see the reception children exploring the learning provision inside and outside. With many celebrations such as Halloween and Bonfire Night already being seen, you can see our children immersed in their learning. Autumn is Mrs Smith and Mrs Robilliard's favourite season with all the beautiful colours and crafts.
Autumn 1
We All Belong Here!
We had a great time celebrating National Poetry Day on Thursday 6th October.  Everyone looked fantastic dressed up as adjectives.  There was a fabulous range including sparkly, intelligent, old, camouflaged, gloomy and angelic.  We also enjoyed watching Year 2 perform the poem 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat' to us.  We then performed the rhyme 'One, Two Buckle My Shoe' for them.
Tuesday 4th October was a busy day in Reception.  We spent the first part of the morning listening to poems from the visiting poet Ash Dickinson, who then helped us to write a class poem.  We then spent some of the morning looking at some exciting educational apps on the iPads with Mr Bailey.
We had some very special visitors into school on Friday 14th October as our teddy bears joined us for a teddy bears picnic.  We retold the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears that we have been learning, sang teddy bear songs, played games and made our own banana sandwiches to eat.  Yummy!
On Thursday 22nd September local Fire Fighters came into school to talk to the reception children about the importance of their role. The children got to practice asking questions about their job and the risks they take, and also got to try on some of their amazing kit.
Starting school is both exciting and nerve wracking for not just the children but for their grown ups at home. Here are some of the photos of their first few days and weeks at school. They have been learning new routines, school rules, making friends and exploring their new learning environments. These precious moments will stay in the children's minds for quite some time and definitely in their teachers. We have been building, painting, sculpting, roleplaying, riding bikes and climbing on the trim trail.