Croeso i dysgu yn yr awyr agored
Welcome to Outdoor Learning
Ein hathrawon ydy / Our teachers are :
Mr Gunning and Miss Davies
Exciting finds in our wildlife pond!
Reception class had a very successful pond dipping session this week when they found a male palmate newt. Later in the week Year 2 found a dragonfly larva. Our pond is teeming with life and the range of species is a great indicator of the health of the pond.
Barn Owl boxes
Year 4 are going to be making barn owl boxes as part of their outdoor learning lessons. Using wood kindly donated by Wickes and plans recommended by the Barn Owl Trust they hope to be able to make two boxes which can be sited in the local area to help these lovely birds whose traditional nesting sites are under threat.
Reception class have been practising their counting and number bonds whilst collecting 'eggs' in their garden. Our hens had made a surprise visit to the garden and had made lots of lovely nests and the children had fun being farmers, shopkeepers and customers whilst reinforcing some of the maths skills they had been learning in class.
Remember our frog? We were delighted to discover frogspawn on a visit with Reception to the pond in February. Other creatures have been out and about including mayfly nymphs and a water boatman and our plants are springing into life too.
Reception class have been learning about hedgehogs this term and have been collecting twigs to make their very own spiky friend for which they then found a suitable nest in which it could hibernate!
Year 4 have taken their studies a step further by making hedgehog footprint tunnels. Using oily paint and dog food as bait we have had success in previous years at capturing hedgehog footprints as they come to feed. It may be a little cold for them now but we will have another go in the spring!
A sprout is not just for Christmas ...
Year 2 have been doing a spot of seasonal cooking in an attempt to jazz up the humble, and often detested, Brussels sprout. Having harvested a nice collection from our African garden the pupils washed and prepared the sprouts by removing the outer leaves and stalks (and the odd visitor!) before they were fried with garlic and cumin and a dash of nutmeg. Whilst some could still not be persuaded to try this festive vegetable there were several converts who are now prepared to say they LOVE SPROUTS!!
Pupils in years 4 & 5 have been hard at work marking paths, clearing grass and sowing seed in our meadow. Autumn maintenance is essential for a good diversity of plants and wildlife in the summer.
Our chicks are now fully grown and two have started laying - one, very small eggs and the other, double yolkers! Our older birds have been moulting so may look a little straggly at the moment. Poor old Bailey, the cockerel, has lost all his lovely, long tail feathers but he will soon be back to his original splendor. The coop has had a thorough clean ready for the holidays and they are all enjoying their new rain shelter.
We have begun winter preparations in our apiary. Both hives have good stores of honey to keep the bees well fed during the colder months and the second hive (our swarm caught earlier in the year) has been given some extra sugar syrup. Earlier this month we entered the local Honey Show where we won third prize for our honey and former pupil and newly qualified Junior Beekeeper, Peter Harries, won first prize and a trophy for his model bee hive.
When the weather is too cold to inspect the hives our young beekeepers keep themselves busy by processing wax collected during the year, constructing frames ready for next year's harvest and learning some of the theory of beekeeping.
Our wildlife pond is now stocked with plants which will provide a haven for various creatures over the winter. We have spotted our first frog - not in the pond but in the adjacent meadow. It appeared to be a pregnant female so we are looking forward to frogspawn in the spring.
Outdoor fun at Parents' Evening
Pupils and their families had an opportunity to enjoy some outdoor activities this week when they attended Parent's Evening. Some had a go at making apple juice using a traditional press whilst others enjoyed toasting marshmallows around the campfire. These were just a taste of the wide variety of outdoor activities our pupils get to experience. If you have not already picked up a copy of our leaflet "52 Things to do Outside Whilst at Llanishen Fach" please ask for one at reception.