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Orchard Primary

& Pre-School

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Orchard Primary & Pre-School

"Small enough to care, Big enough to inspire"

Understanding the World

Autumn 2021

Winter Wonderland

This week in our Muddy Monday session, we have been learning all about the signs of winter and the changes that are occurring in nature.

 

To help continue your child's learning, and to do some outdoor exploring at home, try these winter-themed ideas:

 

Winter Walk

Explore your garden or a park with your child to search for signs of winter. Can your child identify a deciduous tree and an evergreen tree? Can any wildlife be seen? If there has been a frost, encourage your child to explore the patterns and textures of frozen leaves. If there has been snow, look out for animal and  bird tracks.

 

Winter A to Z

Encourage your child to observe the changes that occur in the natural world during winter. Whenever you are outside, try to find something that begins with each letter of the alphabet. For example, A for acorn, B for bark, C for conker, etc. This will improve their observation skills as well as practising letter sounds.

Wonderful Webs

This week, in our Muddy Monday session, we have been learning all about spiders, about how they make a web and why we should look after them.

 

To help continue your child's learning and to do some outdoor exploring at home, try these spider-themed ideas:

 

Spider Web Walk

Explore your garden or a park with your child to look for spider webs. Can you find a spider building its web or repairing a damaged web? You might see a spider catching its prey. You could keep a photo record of how the web changes over time.

 

Spider Hotel

Create a place in which spiders and other insects can shelter during the colder months. You can make a simple spider hotel in your garden using logs, sticks and old bricks. Keep checking your "hotel" to see who has moved in!

Migration Magic

This week, in our Muddy Monday session, we have been learning all about bird migration.

 

To help continue your child’s learning, and to do some outdoor exploring at home, try these ideas themed around bird migration:

 

Save the Swifts

Swifts visit the UK in May, June and July to breed and raise their young before returning to Africa. The number of swifts in the UK has decreased by over 50% since 1995, largely due to the loss of derelict buildings in which they nest. You can help by putting up a nest box designed specifically for swifts, or by logging swift sightings for the RSPB.

 

Migration Watch

There are many places to see migrating birds. You might like to visit your local Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Wildlife Trust Reserve or RSPB Nature Reserve to spot wildfowl and other species arriving here in autumn. Talk to your child about the starting points around the world for these migrations and about why the birds have made such epic journeys.

Secret Squirrels

This week, in our Muddy Monday session, we have been learning all about squirrels - about where they live, what they eat and how we can help to protect the endangered red squirrel.

 

To help continue your child’s learning, and to do some outdoor exploring at home, try these squirrel-themed ideas:

 

Squirrel Walk

Go on a walk to a park or a woodland to look for squirrels. You might also see some squirrel nests which are called dreys. Dreys look like messy, leafy bird nests and are found high up in the forks of trees. If you find nibbled pinecones beneath a tree, it is a good sign that a squirrel lives there!

 

Squirrel Feeder

Feeding red squirrels is encouraged. Make a squirrel feeder with an entry hole suitable for the size of the smaller red squirrel only - this is so that the larger grey squirrels cannot steal the food. Place the feeder somewhere there is a quick escape route from predators such as cats i.e. high up in a  tree or close to a high wall. Red squirrels enjoy hazelnuts, sweet chestnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, apples, carrots, and cuttlefish bones.

Food is scarce in the spring and summer so feeding a small amount is helpful but remember not to overfeed squirrels as it is important that they still look for natural food sources. Regularly clean and disinfect the feeder to prevent disease and always remove any uneaten food before refilling.

Bonfire Night

This week in your child’s Muddy Monday session, they have looked for signs of autumn and have learnt how to keep wildlife safe on Bonfire Night. They have retold the story of Bonfire Night and created a piece of outdoor art using natural materials.

 

To help continue your child’s learning, and to do some outdoor exploring at home, try some of these nature-loving ideas:

 

Leaf Art

Collect some autumn leaves which have fallen to the ground. Create a piece of outdoor art with them, letting your child’s imagination run free.

 

Animal Hideouts

Create safe spaces in an outdoor area for animals to hide out as the weather turns cooler. This could be a pile of leaves and twigs for insects or rocks, stones and old roof tiles for frogs, toads, and newts.

 

Acorn Pets

Collect acorns and turn them into imaginary pets using any material you like. You could stick cotton wool and twigs to your acorn to make a sheep!

 

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