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Welcome to Caterpillar class!

Welcome to Caterpillar Class!

Welcome to the Caterpillar Class!

We are a lively, fun loving, and affectionate group of 8 Early Years pupils who enjoy being busy and learning new things. We comprise of 4 girls and 4 boys.

We are supported by 4 members of  staff, 2 teachers and 2 teaching assistants.

Our teachers use Dojo's to communicate on a daily basis between home and school. If you have any questions you can message them on do and they will reply at the earliest opportunity.

We learn using a variety of resources and props  including a multi sensory approach when learning. Our teachers and TAs use ASC friendly strategies such as Social Stories, TEACCH and Attention Autism to enrich and support the teaching of our Curriculum.

We will often come home looking pretty messy as we are a group of sensory learners! Our teachers come up with the most exciting (and often unusual lessons) but this means we can't help but give them our attention!

In Caterpillar class we use total communication strategies including: 

  • Objects cues and objects of reference
  • Sign, pictures, PECs, visual timetable, symbols and real objects
  • Communication aids, and technology help us to access learning and respond to the world around us.

Each half term we will focus and learn about different topics within our subjects. 

 

Keep checking back to see pictures of all the amazing things we are doing here in The Rowan Tree.

We are very proud of the progress we are making and I'm sure you will be too!

 

Love the Caterpillars!

Summer Topic 2

 

This half term our topic will be: 'Can we explore anything else?' focusing on dinosaurs.

 

Literacy: Caterpillars are introduced to a Phonics sound every Monday morning, this letter and sound is reinforced throughout the week during 1:1 shared reading time and continuous provision activities.  The new sounds we will be learning this half term are 'ch', 'qu' 'x' and 'ng'.

In Literacy this half term, the books we will read will start with '10 Little Dinosaurs'. All pupils will be encouraged and given the oppotunity to mark make / write using a variety of media. Caterpillars will be encouraged to use objects,  pictures, symbols and story mats to interact and  take part in our story sessions. Pupils will be given the opportunity to share a book with an adult 1:1 at least 3 times a week. 

 

Mathematics: Pupils will explore and learn about heavy and light, big and small, height counting and colour.  Caterpillars will  continue to participate in Doh Gym sessions. They will take part in small group and 1:1 maths box activities. Maths will feature heavily in our continuous provision activities. 

 

Communication and LanguagePupils are given the opportunity to explore the props, puppets and story mats that support the story. They are encouraged to look at the words and repeat the frequent words used in the story. Pupils will be encouraged to press a switch to support their communication. Caterpillars take part in at least 2 Attention Autism sessions each week to develop their joint attention and turn taking skills. During these sessions they will build on language linked to our topic, story or mathematics work.

Role Play - pupils are given the opportunity to dress up as their favourite explorer, pupils will be encouraged to dress as explorers equipped with binoculars and magnifying glasses. They will follow the dinosaur footprints, explore the dinosaur eggs and be given the opportunity to explore a variety of dinosaur figures and foliage including rocks, wood and leaves. 

Caterpillars will be encouraged to join in with songs and rhymes, these will be associated to our topic or story. They will be encouraged to engage in frequent 1:1 Intensive Interaction.

 

P.S.H.E: Children will be learning to take turns and share equipment /toys. Caterpillars will be encouraged to hang their own coats up and to carry their own bags to and from school.  They will be encouraged to tidy up after snack, lunch and play activities.  This half term we will introduce trying new foods and this will be linked to herbivores and carnivores.                                                       

Caterpillars are encouraged to follow a visual timetable and to listen to auditory clues (songs) that are associated with the next activity e.eg. Tidy up song / are you hungry song? 

 

Physical Development: Physical development opportunities will include digging in sand and outdoor RAP visits - these are great for gross motor development. Caterpillars will take part in Dinosaur dancing, catching games, chase and preparation for sports day. 

There will be opportunities for lots of fine motor practice - sensory mark making, finding fossils in the sand using tweezers and small brushes and feeding dinosaurs.

 

Expressive Arts and Design: Caterpillars will be making dinosaur fossils with salt doh, making paper mache eggs and making a volcanic eruption. 

 

Understanding The World: We will be looking at the weather, den building, volcanoes. This will be extended our own ECO schools - we will be exploring recycling (litter picking), planting, animal habitats and generally looking at ways that we can protect our planet. Caterpillars will also be exploring hatching dinosaur eggs (frozen eggs) and finding ways to melt the ice to get the baby dino out.

 

Cookery: We will be making dinosaur shaped pizza, dinosaur footprint biscuits and bread bones.

 

As always keep checking back here too see how we are getting on with our learning journey.

We followed instructions to make dinosaur shaped biscuits. We made choices using colour symbols and of course we enjoyed eating them for snack!

Volcano Valley - explore if you dare!

Squishy dinosaur feet! In stage 3 of Attention Autism we took it in turns with our friends to squirt shaving foam into dinosaur Crocs shoes and push our feet inside to make all the foam squirt out of the holes!

We have been learning some lovely new words that we are trying hard to repeat - 'lava', 'volcano' and 'erupt'. We filled and emptied containers of lava sand and poured it on top of the volcano watching it erupt and flow now the the sides, Watch out dinosaurs below!

Phonics - all about 'qu'. We practiced our pincer grip feeding the quetzalcoatlus quavers using tweezers, explored items in our tap, tap, tap bag containing the 'qu' sounds and matched them to their photographs. We used a quill and inkwell to write the grapheme 'qu' and make marks independently.

Using dinosaur cutters in swamp slime - it's yukky and we love it!

"We're going on a dino hunt"... we went searching for dinosaur footprints in the big playground, looking at the numbers on them and making a collection. We split into 2 teams - team Stega-rowan-tree (with Wendy as their leader) and team Caterpillar-saurus (with Sue as their leader)! The numbers were added up and the team with the lowest total will sacrifice their leader during 'splattersaurus' in next Thursdays attention Autism session!!

We loved exploring this sensory tray finding dinosaurs and matching them to their jelly counterpart. Then we got to eat the jellies. Bonus!

We used soapy water, sponges and a hosepipe to wash the bikes and scooters. The caterpillar car wash was a huge success!

We were all so engaged during our 'fizzy egg hatching' attention autism bucket! We look at an adult triceratops, stegosaurus and tyrannosaurus rex then hatched the bicarb eggs using vinegar and pipettes to find the matching young dinosaur species. We all waited patiently watching our friends until it was our turn. We are super turn takers!

Today we started learning about dinosaurs and we LOVE it! Dinosaur prints in slime, a dinosaur sensory tray feeding herbivores basil and mint and we printed with paint and window wipers to make a dinosaur marsh backdrop for our prehistoric small word area.

Summer Topic 1

 

This half term our topic will be 'Can we explore it?' and we are focusing on ‘The Farm’

 

Literacy: Caterpillars are introduced to a Phonics sound every Monday morning, this letter and sound is reinforced throughout the week during 1:1 shared reading time and continuous provision activities. Our sounds for this half term are j, v, th, w, y, z. We spend the final week recapping the sounds we have learnt.

In Literacy this half term we will read will start by reading 'The Very Busy Spider’ focusing on farm animals and the sounds they make. Children will interact with talking tiles to hear/say the different animal sounds and be encouraged to mark make / write using a variety of media. They will be encouraged to use objects, pictures, symbols and story mats to interact and retell the story. 

Mathematics: Caterpillars will explore and learn about number, colour, shape, big / small, heavy / light and will participate in ‘Dough Disco’ sessions. 

Children will take part in small group and 1:1 maths box activities. Maths will feature heavily in our continuous provision activities as well as our stories and will have links with our ‘Farm’ topic.

Communication and LanguageChildren are given the opportunity to explore sensory trays, props, puppets and story mats that support the story. They are encouraged to look at the words and repeat frequent words used in the story. They will take part in twice weekly Attention Autism sessions linked to our topic to support the development of their joint attention and emerging understanding and use of key words.

Role Play - pupils are given the opportunity to dress up as farm animals/explore animal puppets and will take part in sensory role play activities such as milking the cow, sheering the sheep and feeding chickens.

Caterpillars will be encouraged to join in with songs and rhymes, these will be linked to our topic or story. Children will be encouraged to engage in a lot of 1:1 Intensive Interaction.

P.S.H.E: We will set up many learning opportunities encouraging children to take turns and share equipment /toys. Caterpillars will be encouraged to hang their own coats up and to carry their own bags to and from school.  They will be encouraged to tidy up after snack, lunch and an activity. 

Children are encouraged to follow a visual timetable and to listen to auditory clues (songs) that are associated with the next activity e.g. our 'lets tidy up' song and  'are you hungry' song? 

Physical Development: In PE we will be focusing farm related activities such as herding sheep and horse racing. We will also explore the story ‘Over on the Farm’ and children will be encouraged to follow the actions such as stretching, jumping and leaping like specific animals.

Caterpillars will engage in lots of fine motor practice - using small lego, using tweezers to make collections and threading. Our dough disco sessions are great for strengthening those fingers too!

Expressive Arts and Design: At the beginning of our topic we will work together as a class to create a farmyard scene for our role play area. We will go on to make different farm yard animals using different materials and artistic techniques and add these to our display.

Understanding The World: We will be looking at the weather, den building, healthy and unhealthy foods. This will be extended into starting our own ECO schools - we will be exploring recycling and in Caterpillars class we will be recycling old unused crayons to create new vibrant rainbow crayons!

Cookery: Caterpillars will be making sheep cupcakes using marshmallows, chocolate mud with mini piglets in and many more farmyard treats!

 

As always keep an eye on this page for updates of some of the fantastic things we have learnt!

 

We had a fantastic time celebrating the Platinum Jubilee. We opened the celebrations with a Jubilee themed bucket, made our own crowns and finished the week with a wonderful garden party!

Phonics - all about 'z'. We loved feeding the zoo animals oats and corn kernels. We drew the stripes on buzzzzzzzy bees, zips on the big white board and made zig zags in four.

Our artist of the month is Wassily Kandinsky. In assembly we used paint sticks to make our own Kandinsky designs and then chose different coloured paints and the salad spinner to make beautiful art work in class.

We have loved exploring the farm activities around class. We printed on bubble wrap using corn cobs to make corn art.

We have been learning about different fruit and vegetables farmers grow in their fields. We looked at tractors and the marks they make when they leave muddy tracks. We dug up and tasted different types of food grown in this country on farms.

In P.E we used our super duper hand eye coordination skills to round up the escapee sheep (balloons) using fly swats and return them to their pen in the farmers field (bucket)

Phonics - v - can there be a more exciting way to learn about a sound than to watch a volcano erupting? Or a vehicle valet? We don't think so!

We took part in a sponsored walk to raise money for The Red Cross working to support the people of the Ukraine. Thank you so much to all our families and friends who helped fund raise for this cause. We think you are all wonderful xx

Phonics - all about 'j'. We made jam sandwiches and poured or own juice to drink out of an open top cup. We enjoyed tasting jammy dodgers and exploring the bubble gum scented jelly tray!

In caterpillar class we are constantly making marks and practicing our writing skills. We think we are playing and having fun but we are actually developing our pre-writing skills. Look at us 'playing' in the muddy pig tray - we are observing the marks we make in the gloop as we do it and linking what we see to the movements we make. Cool hey?!

We were so good at playing 'what am I?' with different farm animals. We listened to the clues and explored the resources that linked with each animal to correctly guess the mystery Farm animal

Spring Topic 2

 

This half term our topic will be 'Can anyone be a superhero?'

 

Literacy: Caterpillars are introduced to a Phonics sound every Monday morning, this letter and sound is reinforced throughout the week during 1:1 shared reading time and continuous provision activities. Our sounds for this half term are e, l, h, sh and r. We spend the final week recapping the sounds we have learnt.

In Literacy this half term we will read will start by reading 'Ten Little Superheroes', a book with a mathematical cross curricular link. We will then move on to books celebrating real life heroes - key workers and of course or Caterpillars as heroic friends to their class mates! Children will be encouraged to mark make / write using a variety of media. They will be encouraged to use objects, pictures, symbols and story mats to interact and retell the story. 

Mathematics: Caterpillars will explore and learn about Number, colour, shape, big / small, heavy / light and will participate in Doh Gym sessions. 

Children will take part in small group and 1:1 maths box activities. Maths will feature heavily in our continuous provision activities as well as our stories.

Communication and Language: Children are given the opportunity to explore sensory trays, props, puppets and story mats that support the story. They are encouraged to look at the words and repeat frequent words used in the story. They will take part in twice weekly Attention Autism sessions linked to our topic to support the development of their joint attention and emerging understanding and use of key words.

Role Play - pupils are given the opportunity to dress up as their favourite super hero, this includes key workers e.g. nurses, doctors, paramedics etc..

Caterpillars will be encouraged to join in with songs and rhymes, these will be linked to our topic or story. Children will be encouraged to engage in a lot of 1:1 Intensive Interaction.

P.S.H.E: We will set up many learning opportunities encouraging children to take turns and share equipment /toys. Caterpillars will be encouraged to hang their own coats up and to carry their own bags to and from school.  They will be encouraged to tidy up after snack, lunch and an activity. 

Children are encouraged to follow a visual timetable and to listen to auditory clues (songs) that are associated with the next activity e.g. our 'lets tidy up' song and  'are you hungry' song? 

Physical Development: Children will continue their fortnightly visits to the Climbing Hangar to practice their climbing skills and channel their inner Spiderman!  They will also be balancing on benches and completing superhero themed circuit work.

Caterpillars will engage in lots of fine motor practice - using small lego, using tweezers to make collections and threading. Our dough disco sessions are great for strengthening those fingers too!

Expressive Arts and Design: At the beginning of our topic we will work together as a class to create a superhero city skyline to decorate our 'Superhero Headquarters' role play area. We will go on to make superhero masks and shields and to design our own capes!

Understanding The World: We will be looking at people who help us in our community. This will be extended into starting our own ECO schools - we will be exploring recycling, planting, and generally looking at ways that we can protect our planet.

Cookery: Caterpillars will be making some hulk jelly! We will explore chopping fruits to make smoothies and kebabs, treats that will give us the superhero strength we need to save the world!!

 

As always keep an eye on this page for updates of some of the fantastic things we have learnt!

We did a great job making hot cross buns in cookery. We looked at, smelt and tasted a hot cross bun so we understood what we were making and then got our bake on to make our own. Delicious! .

We did a super job decorating our eggs for the egg hunt. Our teachers hid them outside and we had to find our own egg and take it to the office where we exchanged it for a chocolate egg. We had to use so many different skills during this lesson and we thought we were just having fun!

Look at our AMAZING Easter bonnets! Haven't we done a fantastic job working with our families?! We proudly paraded them on both the Rowan Park and Rowan Tree catwalks.

The Rowan Tree Egg Rolling Championships 2022!

Our trip to the park- practising our road safety skills when walking to and from the park. We explored all the equipment and had a fantastic time. On the way back we stopped at the shop and each chose a treat and paid the shopkeeper. Well done Caterpillars absolute superstars!

Phonics - Learning all about 'h'. We loved exploring frozen hands, Harley Quinn's hair, making a horse neigh using a switch, tasting honey, mark making in hippo gloop sensory trays, Hulk jelly trays and enjoying a Haribo or two for our hard work!

We explored figures and dressed up as the Incredible Hulk. We then used our super strength like the Hulk to pull apart jelly cubes and worked together to make green Hulk jelly.

We absolutely loved dressing up in our favourite superhero costumes and visiting the Rowan Adventure Park (RAP) We put our super skills into practise running, sliding, swinging, climbing and problem solving. We took a pit stop to refuel before setting off again. Avengers assemble!

Colour Sorting- strengthening our pincer grip using tweezers to tweeze the people into the correct colour houses and save the neighbourhood!

World Book Day- Royal Caterpillar's looking fabulous!

Phonics - Learning about 'e'. We loved making scrambled egg and watching how the egg changed in the microwave! We wrote our name/ initial on an envelope, found our photograph and posted it too. Who knew learning about 'e' could be so much fun?!

We worked together as a group to create a city skyline for our new Superhero Headquarters role play area. As you can see we were highly engaged and even after a little break some of us returned to do some more. Team work makes the dream work!

After an egg themed bucket session we followed instructions to make our own fried egg prints. Don't you think they look *cracking* :)

We have been learning about different superheroes and their powers. We chose a costume of the superhero we wanted to role play as and loved getting into character! I think we need to order more mirrors for class!

Superhero themed Attention Autism bucket session. Look at how we we are sitting and focusing as SJ taught us how Spiderman uses his webs (silly string) and Thor uses his mallet to splat bad guys! We learnt how Superman flies using a balloon filled with glitter and watched as it zoomed across the room!

We used shaving foam and florescent paint to create a marbled art effect. We placed superhero words including 'kapow!' 'wham!' 'bam!' 'smash!' on top to make day glow words to use in our Superhero HQ.

During PE our hall was invaded by bad guys! No problem for the super Caterpillars! We used our Hulk strength to lift tyres and roll them knocking the bad guys over, our Flash super speed to run and catch them and our Spidey senses to aim our bean bag webs to trap them! All in a days work for the Super Caterpillars!!

Story - 'Ten Little Superheroes'. We love sharing the first of our Superhero stories together with sensory props. Our favourites had to be the bubble gun for the lazer gun and and the smoke bomb (a balloon filled with flour and blown up which when released a poof of 'smoke' went EVERYWHERE!) If you wonder why some days we come home looking a little messy this is why! We don't just read our books, we live them!

Caterpillar Friends! Look at us playing alongside each other and together. We have been learning how to share resources and take turns when engaging with our friends. Our teachers are very proud of us!

After a week of fighting bad guys we enjoyed a spa and splash afternoon to wind down and reflect on all our hard work and achievements.

Phonics - learning all about 'l'. Writing the letter 'l' in lentil trays and exploring items beginning with l using all of our senses including lemons, strawberry laces, liquorice and a a roaring lion.

Pancake Day! We made choices between big and small pancakes and pans, practiced flipping pancakes and chose our toppings. A yummy start to Lent!

Ten Little Superheroes story continued...

We have been learning to recognise and sort different colours in maths.

We explored different accessories superheroes might use. Captain America's shield was one of our favourites so we used our painting skills to create our own replica shields. Don't they look fantastic?!

Spring Topic 1

 

This half term our topic will be "How does that building stay up?"

We will be exploring a variety of different materials from wood, brick, straw, feathers, straws etc. We will use a variety of materials to build and make things from to test the material's durability. 

Literacy: Caterpillars are introduced to a Phonics sound every Monday morning. This letter and sound is reinforced throughout the week during 1:1 shared reading time and continuous provision activities. Our letter sounds for this half term are c, k, u, b and f. 

In Literacy the books we will read will start with 'The Three Little Pigs' - pupils will be encouraged to mark make / write with a variety of media. They will use pictures, symbols, story mats and objects from the story to interact with and use to retell the story. They will be given opportunities to explore sensory trays linked to literacy sessions including taste safe sensory trays with cheese, twiglets and chocolate blocks to represent straw, sticks and bricks. 

Mathematics: Pupils will explore and learn about Shape, Colour, Pattern, Big and Small, Heavy and Light, Number and dough disco. They will engage in whole class, small group and 1:1 maths box activities. Maths also features heavily in our continuous provision enhancements. 

Communication and Language: Pupils are given the opportunity to explore props and puppets that support the story.

Role Play - pupils are given the opportunity to explore 3 little pigs, wolf puppet,  straw, sticks and bricks .

Children will be encouraged to join in with songs and rhymes in their own way that are associated with this topic /story. We spend a lot of time engaging with our pupils through intensive interaction. 

P.S.H.E: Children will be encouraged to take turns and share equipment and toys. All children will be encouraged to tidy up after an activity and learn to recognise our song signifier for tidying up. Children will continue to be encouraged to explore new tastes and food textures during snack, dinner and in lessons and will practise drinking from an open top cup. 

Physical Development: Pupils will engage in activities including digging in sand, building using large bricks, practicing using tools and transporting bricks on our trikes/ scooters from one side of the playground to the other to the 'building site'.

There will be many opportunities for fine motor practice including using small Lego, tweezers to collect straws or twigs and dough disco sessions.

Expressive Arts and Design: The children will make houses out of lolly sticks, print with bricks, make large scale houses outside using paint and collage materials.and design their own buildings using junk modelling.

Understanding The WorldWe will look at photographs and pictures of unusual buildings from around the World.

We will look at homes for different animals. We will be going out on the bus to experience first hand some of the wonderful buildings we have in our city.

Cookery: We will be making chocolate Rice Krispie blocks and Jelly ice cube blocks. We will be making and using ice cubes to build an igloo and we will also make delicious rice cake pigs!

 

Building with different sized blocks

Phonics - learning all about 'c'. After exploring items in our phonics bag beginning with 'c' we worked on our cutting skills to cut up cake and cucumber to go with our cup of coffee! Look at how engaged we are! Costa Coffee baristas have nothing on us!

All about 'c' continued - making salt dough cactuses after a fun dough disco session!

We had lots of fun (and nibbles!) building houses for the three little pigs with weetabix and shredded wheat. That big bad wolf just kept huffing and puffing and blowing them down though! There was only one thing for it - we had to make a strong house of bricks. Caterpillars to the rescue!!

In cookery we used milk and white chocolate to make rice crispie bricks. Who says construction can't be tasty too?!

When they had hardened we did, of course, build with them!

We love exploring sensory trays. They provide a concrete reference for new vocabulary whilst capturing our interest and developing our fine motor skills. We have so much fun 'playing' we don't even realise we are learning!!

Phonics - All about 'k'. Today we looked at the letter, said the sound and enjoyed kiwi fruit, kitkats, a purring kitten and putting the kettle on.

This little piggy went to market...

'I see me' looking at our reflections and expressions

Using paint rollers and collage materials to decorate the houses of The Three Little Pigs. 60 minute makeover Caterpillar style!

In cookery we made pig faces using pink creamed cheese, rice cakes, strawberries, blueberries, banana and a strawberry lace smile.

After a building themed Attention Autism session learning about drills, hammers, trowels and their purposes we had a go at building using a trowel and mortar (shaving foam)

Taste safe sensory trays - grated cheese for straw (and cheese strings for an added bit of fine motor practise), Twiglets for sticks and chocolate blocks for bricks. Sometimes trying and even tolerating new tastes and textures isn't easy for us so our teachers provide lots of opportunities for us to explore food in a fun and unthreatening way.

We went for a walk to look at buildings and features in our local area. When we returned we enjoyed a relaxing foot spa to rejuvenate our tired feet.

Building with play dough and lolly pop sticks, wooden blocks and foam. Our building skills have developed so much!

Building with wafers and runny icing. Yummy!

After learning about igloos we set about building our own igloo dens!

After building igloos we explored ice blocks and then watched the effects as we painted on ice. It was so cool!

We loved exploring all of the Chinese artifacts and learning about Chinese New Year. Gung Hei Fat Choi!