Schools Ryde In Bloom is back!
After our success last year, we have been invited to take part again in this event. This year Tesco are supporting schools by providing guidance, seeds and compost to kick start our campaign to be the best we can be at growing our own fruit and vegetables.
As always in the Cosy Coop, we don't hang around and entered a competition with Innocent (the smoothie makers) to take part in the GIY (Grow it Yourself) scheme. Only a few schools would be selected to receive a goody box to grow your own peas, cress and tomatoes. As we were one of the first schools to respond, we bagged a box!
Now for the science bit
We have learned a lot about soil... Not the most interesting subject for most, but vital for making sure your produce is tip top. We planted cress and pea seeds in sand, rich soil and compost. As it turns out, most of them grew, but the rich soil was the first to germinate the seeds. Each child was responsible for their own pots so we could see that some children watered their plants more than others, showing that plants will die if they are either over watered or under watered.
We had a brilliant opportunity of visiting our local dairy farm to see how farms work and how important it is to look after the animals that provide us with meat, milk, cheese, butter, cream and ice-cream!
Another lovely sunny day, we started our trip in the mini-bus to the farm. Lots of questions were asked about cows, tractors and of course... THE SMELL!!
We were met by Chris Griffin (a Teacher in her past life), who runs the schools educational side of the family farm business. Briddlesford have approximately 150 Guernsey cows. We first visited the baby calves that are kept near the cafe so visitors can pet them. When they are strong enough they will join the nursery herd later on. The children learned about the difference between hay and straw. Hay being dried sweet grass that the calves can eat and the straw which is dried wheat which is used as bedding to keep them warm.
We then moved into the farm shop which sells the produce not only from the farm itself but from other local businesses across the Island.
Chris showed us a book that has recently been written by the Chef James Martin who has mentioned the farm and it's award winning cheese. In the book is one of the prize cows who's number ends in 362 and it was our mission to spot her. Chris told us that all of their cows are named after flowers such as Bluebell and Buttercup.
Next we had a look at the winter food storing bays. In one side silage (pickled grass) is kept to give the cows lots of nutrients in the cold winter days and in the other half is maze (sweet corn) which provides energy and essential vitamins.
THE TRACTOR!!! What everyone was waiting for, the chance to have a sit behind the wheel was a big favourite. Lots of big grins for the camera. We then met the two farm dogs Skylark and Spot. Sky (for short) is Spots mum and although they are sheep dogs, they are very good around the farm herding the cows.
Moving on through the farm we met the latest baby calves. They are kept in the main barn so that they can still feed from their Mum's. They need to have the first milk called colostrum which is rich in antibodies to help keep the calves healthy and strong.
The moment we had all been waiting for was to watch the cows being milked. James (Head Farmer) met us and showed us how it was important to clean the udder and check for mastitis which is an infection in the udder which can block the teat and stop milk flow. This is done by hand milking each teat first before applying the machine to milk the cows.
We had an amazing afternoon and were treated to a lovely cup of Briddlesford milk to be on our way with, back to school.
Briddlesford farm offers a Welly Wednesday experience, so if you are stuck for a day out during half-term holidays, get your wellies on and visit the cows.
This years birdwatch took place on Monday 28th January. It was the perfect day for some bird watching and we had already been learning about the types of birds we could possibly spot.
We started off by encouraging them to feed near our classroom a couple of weeks before the date so we could spy on them from the window.
We now have a pair of resident Robins who visit on a daily basis and a Chaffinch which we have never seen before.
Black Headed Gulls 20 Chaffinch 3
Black Birds 7 Goldfinch 2
Blue Tits 3 Great Tit 2
Carrion Crows 8 Green Finch 2
Herring Gull 2 Jackdaw 2
Pied Wagtail 1 Robin 3
We have had great fun in our last week. We made some festive stained glass cookies. See below for the recipe:
1.5 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence or syrup
2 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp water
1 bag of fruity boiled sweets
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Add the butter, vanilla, flour, baking powder, sugar to a bowl and rub together
to make a breadcrumb consistency.
3. Add the egg and water and bind together to make a dough.
4. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. Roll out until 4mm thick.
6. Break sweets into halves using a toffee hammer or something heavy.
7. Cut into shapes and pop 1/2 sweet into cut out hold and pop onto a lined tray
(use baking paper).
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes on 180 degrees.
9. Cool on a wire rack.
10. Decorate if you want to with edible glitter or icing.
Hallow'een in the Cosy Coop
Ryde In Bloom
Congratulations to our fantastic group who earned their certificate at the prize giving awards at the Royal Esplanade Hotel.
School's In Bloom - The Finished Product!
Well here it is, our lovely garden! Not quite all in bloom yet but a pretty sight to see. It's been a long hot and parched summer so far and the war with slugs and lack of rain lead to a few plant casualties, but that's the fun of the challenge. The representative from Tesco's was suitably impressed with the children's hard work, they are willing to help us out next year!
We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer, stay safe and we look forward to sharing our fun in the new school year.
Schools In Bloom!
This summer term we have had the opportunity to enter the Schools In Bloom competition. The themed guidance was 'diversity' and the symbol was a rainbow.
We got our heads together to see what we could come up with and decided that we would show the diversity of different containers that you could grow plants in. We were so lucky to be donated old school teapots and boilers, school trays, school PE bag, sink! And a pair of gardening boots.
We thought we could take this one step further and plant some vegetables and fruit to show that they also flower and can look very pretty. Our rainbow slant was to paint an old pallet and turn it into a colourful planter with rainbow painted plant pots. A massive thanks goes to one of our parents who came along and helped with the planting and was so generous in buying us extra seeds and bulbs, watering cans and lovely ornaments to make it look really special.
We have had so much fun doing this and will be judged by Ryde Town Council next Wednesday 11th July so wish us luck!!!
Hope you enjoy looking through our pictures, the finished garden will be up next week so remember to come back and take a look.
Cats Protection League Visit -March 2018
As our Purrfect Skills Programme is based around our two cat characters Mimi and Jasper, we thought it would be nice to actually go and visit the cats at the Cats Protection League.
Mandy the lovely School Co-ordinator made us feel very welcome and we started the visit by going to see some of the furry residents. They have a traffic light system which shows if a cat is Angry, Scared or Happy. Mandy explained how important it is to respect that not all cats are the same and we have to treat them as individuals. She showed the group how the cats body language can indicate how they are feeling. This linked in nicely with the work that we have been doing in our sessions around our own feelings and facial expressions we use to show others how we might be feeling.
We met Max, a beautiful black and white cat who had his claws crossed that he would be going to his forever home that week. He was a little unsure of coming into the room to meet the children but still braved it to the door.
After a squash and a few yummy biscuits, it was time to walk back to school with our huge goody bag that the centre gave us full of fun activities. We have been invited back in the summer to take a picnic and hopefully (if they have some) get the chance to see some kittens!
FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS - March 2018
Every day we give the children a chance to discuss their feelings and emotions to help them express themselves more clearly.
We focus on the main words used for feelings such as sad, happy,angry, surprised and afraid. We then think of other words that can also describe the same feeling but at different levels. So for example, when a child expresses they are angry they could be feeling it in many different ways such as:
Teaching your children the right words to express their feelings helps them to become more expressive, confident and understand their feelings.
We have made some feelings fingers this week which was great fun. The children will be using them in school to talk about their feelings.
Following on from last weeks bird watch, we thought we would have some fun by making bird feeders to encourage more birds to visit our school and at home. Scroll further down to see the pictures
It's so much fun and easy to do, you can make these at home as long as you have permission to do so first.
Here is what you need:
Fir cones (as many as you like)
1 block of lard - start by using half
300g wild bird seed
String or twine
Pair of safety scissors (or ask an adult to do the cutting)
Cut your piece of string approximately 30cm long and tie it to the top of the fir cone.
Cut the lard (using a butter knife ask an adult) block in half, pour in the seed and currants and using your hands, get stuck in and squish it all together!
When all the ingredients are mixed evenly, start pushing the mixture into the spaces of the fir cone until it is completely covered.
Find a suitable place to hang your feeder so you can watch the birds feed and cats can't pounce on them.
This week in our busy Beehive we have been learning about our native birds by identifying them using our RSPB poster. We made finger puppets, learnt about Crossbills and took part in the RSPB Birdwatch 2018.
We wandered down to our wild area with our clipboards and used our observation and listening skills to find out what birds frequently visited our school site.
In 1 hour we saw:
3 Blackbirds 1 Robin
15 Black headed gulls 5 Starlings
1 Blue Tit 9 Goldfinches
10 Carrion Crows 10 Woodpigeons 5 Ferral Pigeons
When we finished collecting all our data, we entered it onto the RSPB website and sent it off to be counted as part of the National research on bird activity in Britain.