Saturday, 6 September 2008

Back to school!!!!

Class two began with the introduction of new class teacher, Donna-Marie. We came back last Friday and already a week has flown. I was out weeding the school grounds, when i saw the kids coming out, first thing to do their skipping. Then later on during the week, they went black berrying. Because Donna was new, i didn't want to impose - so it was only at the end of the first week, that we decided that it would be fine to take pictures and get them up on the net. So here are the first shots from the year. I apologise that we didn't get too many of the kids, but i think we'll get that done in the coming week.

What would the school be without flowers? Here the children drew flowers they collected from the garden. As always that link between the external and personal is made from the very start. And of course that peachy colour is the colour of class two, the emergence from the pinky rosy colours of kindergarten and class one.

Our nature table with the blackberry fairy looking after the blackberries they collected.

A clearer shot of the table. Draped in the colours of autumn.

Ruth and Lara spent a few goodly hours getting the class room ready. In her pregnant state and with child by her side, Lara and Ruth, respectively, painted the whole class and scrubbed and polished the floor. We had a little picnic to celebrate on Thursday and the final touch was the picture of St Francis and the birds, which is the main picture for class two. It captures the lessons which the saint and animals have to teach us - from the saints and the animals we learn about ethics and morality, but in a non-dogmatic manner. It also reinforces the connection the child has with te spiritual and the world around them, which is a continuation with the fairies and gnomes and nature spirits of last year.

Here she is, Donna - her efforts have been greatly appreciated by the children, teachers and parents alike. On the left side is the drawing of St Michael, for Michalmas. And on the right a poem about the wind and autumn. We look forward to the challenges of this year!

Already this week, they read and discussed the fox and the sour grapes from Aesop's fables. Donna gave them a background on who Aesop was and there were several hours devoted to the discussion of the story, the traits of foxes and what the children thought themselves about its behaviour. I forgot to say that the main lesson was English this week.

As part of the main lesson they worked on a poem called blackberry time. Here's Oisin's work on that.

That's Iseult's

Here's the poem they copied from the board about autumn and St Michael.

To see how far they had come with their sums since she wasn't there last year, Donna set them a little exercise. Images and aesthetics ae extremely important, especially when it comes to maths!!! Donna said that there was great enthusiasm when she showed them the board with the beanstalk picture on it. And in fact there has been so much enthusiasm for homework - which they asked for themselves - that she is giving them six words a week to learn. Isn't that sweet?

Finally, the school being what it is, has required some fine tuning over the week in weeding and pruning. I've been working along side Liz the new gardening teacher, kindly paid for by the Children in Need. She has wrought wonders with the place. From the veg patch which had to be abandoned due to the art portacabin falling in, she has salvaged not only these vegetables, but with the assistance of the older kids and Luke, the Grounds and Woodwork teacher and Nathan's dad, the entire garden and some.

Here she is with the flowers she found there...

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