Orchard Infant School

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Please note that Orchard Infant School is open as usual on Monday 4th July, it is only Orchard Junior School who have an inset day.


Welcome to the Cherries class page!


This page will help explain some of the awesome learning taking place in our class!

Well, we have had the sun shining brightly this week in Pippins, and the children have really enjoyed being outside in their learning gardens as well as in the school grounds. 

During phonics, the children have continued to explore the digraphs and trigraphs previously taught, and are really beginning to apply these into their reading and writing. 

During their focused writing this week, the children have explored settings again, taking time to think about great describing words. It’s amazing to stop and look back at just how far they have come from September and I know the teachers are extremely proud! 

During maths, the children have been exploring their numbers to 20, ordering numbers independently and even starting to work out missing numbers. We have had a big focus on the ‘teen’ numbers as well, and recognising them on sight. 

It has been lots of fun listening and responding to the ‘big bear funk’ song during our expressive art and design sessions and the children were moving their bodies in so many different ways to find the beat! We look forward to learning all the words to that song over the coming weeks. 

We have continued to explore our project, asking and answering some of our questions, 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the family members who attended our first stay and share session. Coming together so that you can enjoy a snippet of what your child gets up to at school is something we feel is incredibly important, and it was magical to see you all together…finally!

Wow! What a fantastic week we have had coming back from our Easter break.

We were very keen to tell each other just how many eggs we found (and ate) over the holiday, shared the places we had been and the people we saw, and eagerly wrote sentences and drew pictures to share with our friends. 

We began our Plants project, thinking of questions we wanted to answer, and finding out what plants need to help them grow healthily. We also informed Mrs Gallimore which plants we would like to try growing, watermelon was a very popular choice! We cannot wait to sow our seeds and begin to care for the plants and watch them grow.


In maths we began to explore subtraction, taking away  items from ten frames, We also explored teen numbers and spent some time thinking about the number patterns from 0 to 20.


On Friday we took part in the Singalongathon and were very proud of ourselves when singing ‘Any Dream Will Do’ which we had all been practising at every spare moment both in and out of school. A video of our song is available to watch on Google Classroom. We sat beautifully and enjoyed all of the other classes songs and especially enjoyed the Teacher’s efforts singing ‘Sweet Child of mine’. 


We have continued to work on our character descriptions this week in writing, focusing on including adjectives in our writing.


During phonics sessions, teachers have been recapping the phase 3 sounds, and looking at the different skills, decoding, blending to read, recognising sounds in words and sentences as well as applying them into writing.

In maths we have been introduced to the concept of subtraction, and have been taking away objects and counting how many were left. We have been continuing to recognise that numbers are made up of different parts, using our 10 frame. We have also been exploring the teen numbers and looking for patterns.


In discussion times, we have been thinking about our projects and had fun generating questions that we are looking forward to answering over the next few weeks.


During our resilience and PSED this week, we have been introduced to our multiple intelligences. This week, the children have looked at ‘body smart’ and ‘word smart’.

The children made everyone so proud on Friday when the took part in the whole school singathon! They have been practising tirelessly to learn their songs, and we are excited to be able to share these on Google classroom for you to see.

What a truly amazing week and end to the Spring term we've had.
This last week has had an RE theme to it, as we celebrate New Life and New Beginnings and learn how different people celebrate these things. We learned how Christians celebrate Easter and why Easter is so important to them. We also learned about how New Life and New Beginnings are all around us at the moment, as we move into the season of Spring and all the new plants are growing and the baby animals are being born. What a remarkable time of year.


We had a special visitor from St Andrews Church in Dibden Purlieu. Serena took us on a virtual tour of the church, told us about why Christians celebrate Easter, and spoke about the Season of Spring. We then had a wonderful day of drawing pastel pictures of Spring flowers, making Spring or Easter cards to give to someone special and learning about what Easter looks like in different countries.


Our writing this week has linked into our RE theme too. We had to describe the setting of where a cross was in a field of wonderful Spring flowers. The children came up with some fantastic sentences about the flowers, the cross, the sky and the weather.


We had been recapping what we have learned in Maths over the last half term this week, too. We've revisited shapes, one more/less than a number, recognising numerals, adding two numbers together amongst other things. We've been amazing mathematicians.


Over the last few weeks we've been focussing on interdependence, which means working together (not to be confused with independence!). We've worked together to build a raft out of straws or lolly sticks, played team-based games and created posters together all about being a good friend. We have some true masters of interdependence in year R!


Thank you to each and every one of you and your children for such an incredible half term! We hope you have a well-deserved rest and lovely Spring break from school, and we'll see you in two weeks!

What a brilliant week we have had!

All of the children have come back from half term refreshed and ready to learn. 

We have begun our projects with the Cherries exploring the solar system and learning about orbits and where the Sun goes at night.
We continued to focus on the sounds 'nk', 'oo' (as in book), 'oo' (as in moon) and 'ar' this week. We've been spotting the sounds in texts, blending them in buried treasure games, thinking of words that have those sounds in them and playing games like ‘roll and read’ with these sounds. We have also been applying our phonics knowledge, writing the questions we want to answer in our class projects!

In Maths, we have been investigating the numbers nine and ten in lots of different ways. We have been challenging each other to make the highest tower with ten blocks, playing skittles with the scores spoken as number sentences, ordering towers to ten and answering questions about the composition of our different towers to ten, “Four red blocks and 6 green blocks makes 10 altogether”. It's been super fun and we have again blown our teachers' socks off with our amazing mathematical skills.

Finally, we were all very excited to come into school dressed as our favourite book character for World Book Day. After a funny assembly where the adults couldn’t decide which was the very best book, we shared a few of our favourite stories and congratulated our extreme readers!

What a fantastic start we have had to our community weeks in the early years! We have opened our doors, and  been overwhelmed by the wonderful visitors that have come in to speak to us about their jobs in the community. So far we have learned about a wide range of different jobs, so please do ask your children about the different people who have come in.

Some of our children took a trip to Muir House, and spent time talking with the residents about their lives, and their favourite things about being part of the Dibden Purlieu community. They were an absolute credit to you as parents and to our school, and I’ve had a lovely email thanking the children for brightening up the days of the residents.

In writing this week, the children have been writing postcards of kindness, which we are going to be sending to a nursing home in Hedge End, to brighten up their week, and celebrate Valentine’s Day.

In maths we have continue to explore the numbers 7, 8 and 9 and looked at different ways of composing the number in different parts.

We have been exploring some important songs which will be shared at our grandparents tea party next week, as well as drawing pictures of ourselves and our postcards of kindness.

The children have spent time exploring what it’s like to be a good friend, and understanding that just because someone  might not want to play with you at that moment it doesn’t mean they’re not your friend, and equally, if you choose not to play with someone, that is okay too. We will be continuing this thread throughout the rest of the Spring term, but we are keeping our eyes out for children demonstrating such lovely, kind, friendly behaviours, and they are being rewarded through our class dojo points.

The children have had an extremely busy week. In writing they have been designing and writing their own invitations for our community tea party. The children had lots of fun designing the front cover, and are excited to send them home next week.

This week in maths, we have been exploring the numbers six, seven and eight. The children have been spending a lot of time subitising the different representations of these numbers, looking at the composition of the numbers, and understanding that these numbers can be made up of more than one part. They have confidently been showing this on a 10 frame and verbally telling us the number sentence. They have been true mathematicians!

As part of their expressive art and design this week the children have been working hard on decorating their clay figures that they made last week. They have concentrated on the attention to detail and really tried to bring their plans to life, we have been extremely proud of them!

The last two days of this week, we have had religious education days, and the children have had a focus on Hinduism, and in particular the celebration of Janmashtami. We related this to the skill of remembering, and the children confidently and happily shared their pictures of their grandparents and thought about times in their lives that they remember key events or key people. As part of this religious celebration, the children have found out about the God Krishna, and spent time painting pictures, making decorations, and taking part in different celebration games that you might celebrate at any point at either weddings, parties or gatherings. The children have been extremely respectful these past few days, and have taken time to as question and have shown a real interest in understanding how the religion of Hinduism celebrates what is important to them.

It has been an extremely busy week but yet again the children have risen to every challenge! 

Our young scientists, artists, authors, mathematicians and superstars have been learning so much this week!

We have learned that hedgehogs spikes are actually a mutation of hair that they use to protect themselves from predators like badgers and foxes. Hedgehogs predate slugs and other invertebrates like worms. We have found out that they are lactose intolerant so we should not feed them milk!

We had an exciting letter arrive in the classroom; Vicki the Vet  had lost her medical bag filled with supplies. 
The Cherries jumped at the opportunity to help out our friend and discussed the ways we could help them. We settled on creating 'Lost' posters, so that they could put them up to inform people the items were missing. We really do have some fantastic helpers in the Cherries!

In Maths, we've been exploring the numbers 6, 7 and 8. We explored the different ways in which these numbers could be represented (objects, fingers, numerals etc.) by going on number hunts around the room, exploring the dominoes to see if we add both sides together they make 6, 7 or 8, playing snap with our friends to see if we can match different representations for the same number, picking up a card and counting out the corresponding number. It's been fantastic fun and we have blown our teachers' socks off with our incredible mathematical skills.

We continued to focus on the sounds 'sh', 'ch', 'ng' and 'th' this week. We've been spotting the sounds in books, writing them down, thinking of words that have those sounds in them and playing games like bingo or buried treasure with these sounds.

We travelled to a far off planet in PE this week. We're not sure where in the universe we are, but we do know that there may be aliens on the planet so we have to hide in craters. When we're not hiding we're practicing the different ways of moving on the planet. It's a lot trickier than just walking on the Earth - we have to jump everywhere! First from two feet to two feet, then two feet to one foot (some of us even experimented with hopping!). It was so much fun blasting off in our rocket to this incredible planet and we hope to come back again soon.

We revisited our blue colour monster this week. We used a lot of amazing language to explain how he was feeling - sad, unhappy, lonely, hurt, poorly, to name just a few. We explored what makes us feel like the blue colour monster and discussed if there was anything we could do to overcome this.

We also spoke about sharing this week. We spoke to our Chatter Chum about what sharing is and why it's important we share. The children had a lot of lovely ideas about this and it provoked a lot of conversations within the classes - well done Year R!

Last, but certainly not least, we explored a world map this week. We were really interested in what the 'blue bits' were and what the 'green bits' were and what we might find in those areas. Again, the children were incredible at discussing this and were asking SO much questions about the map.

Phew, it certainly has been a busy but wonderful week!

The children have all been thoroughly engaged in their learning about their projects this week and have learned some super facts. I wonder if they can share some facts with you?

In maths this week, the children have been exploring weight and capacity. It's been a buzz of excitement as they used the balance scales to explore the different weights of objects, using language like 'heavier', 'lighter' and 'balanced' to explain the changes they saw on the scales. We also answered the question, "if it's bigger, does it mean it's heavier?". We tried lots of different objects and found that the answer was no! We were all amazed! We've also been exploring capacity. We've made playdough using cups and exploring what a "full cup" looks like and what a "half cup" looks like. In the water tray we've have measuring cylinders, jugs and other containers to experiment with. The children have been using 'full', 'almost full', 'half full', 'half empty', 'almost empty' and 'empty' to describe how full their containers were! It's been so fun being maths investigators this week.

We've learned some more digraphs (two letters put together to make one sound) this week! Ch, sh, th and ng. We've been on sound hunts, thinking of words that contain these digraphs, spotting these sounds in our books, writing them down and even playing some fun games that include these sounds, like bingo!

In Cherries this week we watched a video all about young orangutans who are in jungle school! In this video clip they were having snack time - just like we do! - and were learning how to crack coconuts.

It was really interesting and we learned lots of fun facts from the videos. We then chose our favourite fact and wrote it down in our writing task. We've focussed on finger spaces and full stops within our sentence writing this week, and Year R have blown their teachers socks off with this!

In expressive arts and design, we've decided to make our favourite animal out of clay! Before we do this we have to plan and design our ideas for the models. We researched our ideas in books before using our flower maps to design three potential models. We then chose the one we would like to make before writing a list of what we'll need to use to create it.


What a truly remarkable week!
All of the children and adults have been getting thoroughly stuck into their class projects this week.
In the Cherries, they have been exploring mammals! They couldn't believe that a whale was actually a mammal and they've had some wonderful conversations surrounding this.

Amongst all of this excitement, the Year R classes have been looking at the term 'equal' in maths by looking at two different representations of the same number, exploring the number sentences for each of the representations and then exploring how, as it's the same, it's equal! And how if they didn't have two of the same amount, they wouldn't be equal.

We've learned more sounds this week - qu, x, y, z and zz. We've been blown away by Year R's enthusiasm and eagerness to participate and learn within phonics this year!

Mrs Needham turned to Year R for help as she needed some new books for the library. She asked if the Apples, Cherries and Pears could help her by making a class book about their project which could then be displayed in our school library. The children were SO excited to become authors they set straight to work by writing facts about their animals.

We've continued our monkeying around in PE with lots of fun exercises - moving slowly like sloths, prancing like gazelles and leaping like tree frogs!

In expressive arts and design, we've been looking at different textures when creating artwork. It's been fantastic fun creating different leaves, animals and sea creatures with different resources. We've used bubble wrap, flour, rice, salt, lentils, all sorts! It was a lot of mess and a lot of fun!
We also listened to pieces of music inspired by our project, and used lots of different instruments to recreate the same or to put music to different videos, which was great fun.

Happy New Year everyone!
We all hope you have all had a well-deserved break over the last couple of weeks. We are blown away with how the children have come back refreshed and eager to learn!

We started our class projects this week, when a mysterious parcel arrived for us. 
The Cherries Class received a package containing a hippo, duck, caterpillar, a panda, books all about animals, and a diy globe, which interested the children as they had decided to learn all about animals in their project, "My Family and Other Animals!".

The children came up with some fantastic questions about their projects, including, ‘What is inside a seagulls wing?’ and ‘Do giraffes make a noise?’

In PE this week we went deep into the Jungle, exploring our movements by becoming different jungle animals such as elephants, monkeys, parrots, snakes and tigers. As we were flying over the trees as parrots we spotted some fruit trees. Suddenly half the class became the fruit trees whilst the other half were naughty monkeys trying to steal the fruit off the trees. 

We've looked at the concept of 'one more' and 'one less' in Maths this week. The children were reading a numeral and putting the corresponding amount of animals back on the farm. They then explored what one more and one less of each amount would look like by adding or removing one at a time. 

We've also listened to the song 'We Are Family' by Sister Sledge, moving our bodies in different ways to the beat, such as clapping, waving our arms or stamping our feet. 
We've also explored making different dances up as though we were different animals and sea creatures. 

Finally as it’s been so cold we have found lots of ice in our learning  garden, we were intrigued by the different shapes and thicknesses of the ice! 

Well, what a busy week it has been in early years! The children have been so wonderful at practising their Christmas production, they have been working really hard on their listening skills, learning their songs and dances and even had fun performing to year 2 today!


The children have been writing lists for Father Christmas and labelling pictures, as well as making cards for our friends!!!


In maths we have been exploring different shapes with 4 sides such as rectangles and squares and thinking about their properties.


We have thought about our day, and the different routines we have, with a particular focus on ordering them and sorting them into day time and night time activities such as having dinner, going to bed or brushing teeth.


We have spent time looking at pictures about how different people in different countries celebrate Christmas, thinking about whether or not this is similar to the way Christians would celebrate.


The children have been decorating the classrooms with paper chains and home-made decorations, and it’s starting to look fantastic.


We cannot believe where the time has gone, and look forward to a fun filled week next week.

This week has been very exciting as we have been introduced to our year group ‘long project’, which we are going to be involved in. Each class will be collecting information about the weather on a particular day each week, so that we can start to analyse and talk about the weather across the months and seasons.


It has been a very special week as we have been introduced to ‘Remembrance Day’, and the importance of spending time remembering not only the people and animals who fought in wars in the past, but also taking time to reflect about the service men and women who are still being extremely brave and dedicated now to help our world become a better place. The children have been listening to stories, watching videos and having class discussions to help their understanding. We talked about the significance of ‘poppies’ and how they grew on ‘Flanders Field’, and the children then created their own poppies representing both people and animals. We have been blown away with how sensitively the children have engaged with ‘Remembrance’


In maths, we have been exploring different ways of making numbers, and beginning to recognise that a number can be made up of more than one part. The children have been using numicon as well as different objects around the room to help them to show this.


In writing, the children have been working hard on hearing the initial sounds in words, and were beginning to write these independently in a ‘Remembrance’ themed poster. They have been spending time working on their pencil grips and letter formation.


In expressive art and design, we have been listening to ‘Roll Alabama’ by Bellowhead, which was an alternative piece of music, that the children enjoyed finding the pulse of. The children also learned a new action song called ‘it’s not difficult’, which they listened to carefully and copied the instructional actions.


During our reading, we have continued to be sound detectives, spotting individual phonemes and tricky words. The children are getting used to working in a small group, having their own book, and have been enjoying exploring pictures and beginning to read words.


The colour monster made another appearance this week, and he was coloured ‘green’. This meant that the children explored the feeling of calm and what things helped them to feel this way. They had fun using musical instruments to represent calmness and also had opportunities to compare their own interpretations with those feelings of anger, happiness, sadness and fear.


What a week!

Welcome back to all of our wonderful children. It has been so great to hear about all the fun they got up to over the half term holidays.


The children have spent time telling their friends and chatter chums all about their break from school, and thinking about what questions they could ask to find out a little bit more!


In maths this week, we have been introduced to the numerals of 0,1,2 and 3, with a focus on representing the numbers. The children have been finding the right number of objects to match to number cards, looking at pictures with different numbers of objects and trying to match them to a numeral and, they have been brilliant at moving in different ways too.


Poor Mr Weston our Caretaker, came back to find some items missing from his cupboard, so he put some posters up around the school, and the class decided to make a list to help him, so they set off around the school on a hunt. They have been using their sound mats to help them recognise the graphemes, and listening for the sounds in words, they have been very busy, and Mr Weston was blown away by their kindness!


In phonics and guided reading this week, the children were introduced to something called a digraph! They have found out that this is when you have two letters which make one sound, and they have been busy hunting for sounds in books and become digraph detectives! They have learned some more new sounds, and have not stopped blowing us away with the amount of words they know that start with those sounds.


The children have been excited to explore our woodland area, so this week, they went on a leaf hunt and when they bought them back, they decided to place the leaves in different ways to create different types of animals. They were brilliant at thinking about what shapes and colour leaves they needed, and showed true resilience.

We were also very lucky, because many of the children kindly bought in some different ‘autumnal’ objects that they found on their travels over half term, and the children were incredible at comparing the pumpkins, fir cones, conkers and helicopters along with the sensational variety of leaves! Its been a week of investigating!

The children were introduced to the song ‘ Our House’ by Madness and encouraged to move in a way that they felt appropriate – again they were confident to compare this song with that of last weeks ‘ The Carpenters’, and even found the pulse!


Its been so lovely to have everyone back together, lets see what next week has in store…

During phonics this week, we have been introduced to our next 5 sounds, g,o,c,k,n, and have enjoyed playing different games to help us learn them. We have been working hard to form our letters using paint, chalk, salt and pencils of course!


In maths this week, we have been comparing different lengths, capacity and weights, and the children have been introduced to language such as longer, shorter, higher, lower, heavier, lighter, empty and full. We have had lots of fun doing our new maths carousel of activities, and applying what we have been learning. 

We have continued to practise our number formation as well as counting and singing to help us with the order of numbers. 


The colour monster has appeared again this week, and we have been talking about the 'blue' monster who feels sad. The children have spent time thinking about what makes them sad, and why this might be. We then compared this to last weeks feeling of happy.


We have continued to look at people in our community who help us, and have had fun finding out about NHS workers and firefighters.


During the week, we have been exploring the pulse/beat to Pharrel Williams 'Happy', and we learned the song 1,2,3,4,5 so that we could explore rhythm. What a week!

We’ve had so much fun this week! In literacy, we have made trumpets and elephant ears to use on listening walks, as well as learning the first 5 sounds in our phonics.


In the mornings we are being extremely independent, coming in, putting our book bags away, hanging up our coats up and starting our ‘morning jobs’. We have also been waking our bodies up by dancing to ‘wake up, shake up’, which helps us to get ready to learn.


In maths, we have been looking at similarities and differences of things in our environment, and the children have overwhelmed us with how much they have continued this in their ‘Busy Bee’ time. Alongside this, we have continued with our counting through songs, actions and stories.


In personal, social and emotional development, we have been focusing on the emotion of happiness which is the ‘yellow monster’ in the ‘Colour Monster’ book. We talked about times when we felt happy, explored different words with the same meaning, and drew things that made us happy.


The class were introduced to Mrs Needham our school librarian who showed the children around the library and read them a story.

We began joining the rest of the school in singing assembly this week, and have begun to learn the song ‘Consider Yourself’ from Oliver.

Wow what another fantastic week we have had! This week we have used our listening skills to identify different instruments and sounds. We have been exploring salt, flour and paint, using our fingers to write our name for our class teachers. We have been spending time listening stories about the school rules. We have enjoyed sharing our ‘All about me’ books with our friends and showing different members of our family and what they enjoy, and can’t wait to see what’s in store next week!

Our first week in school...

Well what can we say…? The children have completely blown our socks again off this week, coming into school so well. We have had lots of fun getting to know Lola the leopard, who has been popping up in our class circle times to help us with our listening skills. We have also been enjoying getting to know the other children in the class and who is important to them, sharing the ‘all about me’ books, and playing together in the learning gardens. What a wonderful week!

What a Wonderful Start to the Year!

Thank you to all the children and their families for welcoming us into their homes during the home visits.

The children came in for their final Stay and Play session with us before they begin their school journey at Orchard Infant School officially. We were overwhelmed with how wonderfully the children came into school and we had such a wonderful time seeing you all again, playing with you, exploring our classrooms and getting to know our new friends in the year group!