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Mrs.Doult’s Blog

Welcome to the Summer term!

This term our theme is 'I am a nature detective.' The Nest, Nursery and Reception children will be exploring the natural world. They will be noticing not only changes in the weather and plants and trees, but will also be observing insects.

All the children will have the opportunity to work with the Arthog Outreach team. They will be leading family sessions with the Nursery and Nest children at Squirrel School and taking small Reception groups to the Limekiln Woods. Please watch this space for photos of those sessions over the next three weeks.


Week: 25.03.19

We have been very busy over the last few weeks! As part of our 'I'm an inventor' focus this term, we have been designing and creating engineering projects. After lots of hard work, we have worked through our ideas, thinking, making, testing.

Some of our designs have been entered into a national competition. The Leaders Award is an engineering competition open to everyone from 3 years to 19 years old. Short Woodies love a challenge. At The Nest, Emma planned an electronic bird scarer called Tiggely. Zayaan in the Nursery, with the help of his friends, designed a portable bridge to take to Squirrel School. He was worried that the Troll would be underneath the bridge over the stream, but thought that a bridge Nursery could take with them, it would be safe.

Harry in Class 1, worked with his team to think of a Super Water Sucker that would help get clean water out of the stream, without getting your feet wet. Class 2 and 3 were worried about the birds, having observed them at their bird watching stations. Class 2 worked with Oliwia to create a Worm Charmer, a singing robot that created vibrations in the ground, enticing out the worms for the birds. Over in Class 3, Oscar was concerned that not all the birds were getting food, worrying that foxes or other animals may be eating everything. He came up with an amazing idea too. He imagined a bird feeder operated by a laser.

We have very clever children in Early Years and we are very proud of them. They will probably be designers of the future, creating things we can't even imagine! A big well done to all the Early Years children for helping in the process.



Emma, Nest Engineer

Zayaan, Nursery Engineer

Harry, Class 1 Engineer

Olivia, Class 2 Engineer

Oscar, Class 3 Engineer

Week 11.03.19 to 18.03.19


Across these two weeks, we have been busy exploring our scientific ideas. We were visited by Leanne Mee, from the STEM Workshop. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. She talked to us about Marine Engineering. We designed our own boats, thinking about materials, weight and design.


Week: 11.02.19 'The Villains' week

The whole school is working on a special project this week. We are all reading ‘Inside The Villains’ by Clotilde Perrin. Each key stage has focused on a different storybook villain. The Reception children explored the Big Bad Wolf, the Nursery children have been sharing their ideas about the Troll.

Design and Technology Workshops 

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it to the Reception Design and Technology workshops this week and for supporting children whose parents were unable to attend.

We needed to mend the Big Bad Wolf's broken heart, to make him feel kind and happy again. The children painted fantastic wolves and parents and grandparents did an amazing job of helping the children to create a simple circuit to light up the wolf's heart. The results were brilliant.

We could see how much adults and children enjoyed working together, as our photos demonstrate!

Exploring The Heart.

What does a heart really look like? We drew pictures.

After, our class teachers dissected a sheep’s heart. It was so interesting. We talked about what a heart does, and how it works. Alfie told us that our heart is like an engine and there are holes in it for the blood to come out to your body. He said that if there was no blood, the heart wouldn’t beat. The children learnt how important the heart is. Ayesha told us that her heart has been checked by a doctor, using a stethoscope. We thought about keeping our hearts healthy as we did our daily mile and noticed they felt like ‘clapping hands’ when we exercised. 

Here are our before we knew what a heart looked like pictures and after. The paintings show how much knowledge we now have about the heart. 

What is love? 

We have talked about love. What is it? We needed to tell the Wolf so that we can help him feel it. Here are out thoughts.


Maqbool, ‘When you love people it makes them happy.’

’When somebody dies and you miss them, but you still love them and they still love you.’    Riley

Noori, ‘ when you love someone else it makes you feel nice.’ 

‘Love is when we kiss our Mummy and Daddy. It makes me a bit happy. If they go away from me I feel a bit sad.’   Yoseph

Oliwia ‘My Mummy loves me, she cooks chicken and rice.’

’ Love is a kiss. My Mummy kisses me and I feel happy and proud.’    Oakley

Ashton, ‘ My Mummy says I love you so much, I can’t even tell you.’

The Troll

The Nursery and Nest children have been thinking about a storybook villain, The Troll.

They created a 3 layer character to show inside his body, and out.

The Morning Nursery 

His ‘pink’ underneath layer shows his tummy, inside are the Three Billy Goats and feathers which tickle and ‘makes snot come out of his nose.’ He has three hearts, ‘but he can’t love.’ The thoughts in his brain include feeling angry and wanting to eat the goats, deciding to put fruit in his trolley to be healthy and how he can scare somebody in the woods.


The green body skin layer shows a spider in his belly button, mouldy teeth and smelly breath with spiders also in his mouth. He has orange eyes, a monobrow, warts on his nose and snot. There is a fish in the Troll’s mouth which he caught in the stream at Squirrel School. Umaima said that the Troll will need a bag to put his make-up in and a pan to cook his fish.


Posters were made to warn people about the Troll.

The children described the Troll, ‘He has stinky toenails, likes to tell jokes and reads books, he is scared of the Gruffalo and sleeps in a bed on the water.’

04.02.19  Engineers at work at Squirrel School

Our Reception children have continued to look at  flow and movement. Class 2 have enjoyed watching the birds 'dance' to attract the worms. They have also looked at how water flows, using gloop and water flow through pipes and down ramps. Class 1 explored the flow of the water in the stream. They made boats, but noticed that they only moved in one direction. Alfie wanted to make a cable car so that the boats could be taken back down stream, something the class are looking forward to building next week. Maqbool noticed that as the boats were launched down the ramps, they  splashed and ripples were created and bubbles formed. The children further investigated this back in class.

The Nursery children have continued to enjoy sharing the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. They have been retelling the story in the puppet theatre and talking about what the Troll looks like, describing him and making play dough faces.

The Nursery children wanted to protect the little billy goats from the Troll as they crossed the bridge. They tested different materials, to see which one would be quietest to use on a bridge.

They also read The Three Billy Goats Fluff and decided to make soft shoes for their hooves so that the Troll wouldn't hear them coming. Finally at Squirrel School, everyone thought that if they made their own bridge across the stream for the billy goats, the Troll wouldn't be underneath it!

What brilliant ideas!

Week 28.01.19  Let it snow!

The Nursery Nest children were very excited this week. They were exploring the meadow when it started to snow. The snowflakes  fell slowly, everyone watched the snow fall to see where it landed. It was so cold, but afterwards, it was hot chocolate all round!

Week: 21.01.19

It was lovely to see so many families joining us for Maths mornings and family story time after the holiday.

If you would like to join your child for these sessions they run weekly;

Monday 9.00 to 9.30 for Maths morning

Friday    2.35 to 3.00 for family story time.



This week, we have been reading, Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty.

Rosie is shy and loves to make gadgets and gizmos. She is sad when adults laugh at her inventions, but her Aunty shows her that when things go wrong, she can learn from it and try again. Rosie perseveres, just like Short Woodies!

This week, we were sent some very interesting machines from the Recycling Centre. They very kindly donated electrical equipment that our Reception engineers were able to take apart. We were amazed by what we found inside!

We are preparing to enter a national engineering competition- so watch this space for our ideas!

Congratulations, Smartie Readers

Mrs. Harris has awarded Alfie, Class 1, Martha, Class 2 and Uzair, Class 3 with a special Smarty Badge this week. This is awarded to children who share their reading book at home,  at least 3-4 times every week. They have made amazing progress because they practise at home as well as school. If you would like to be awarded with this special badge, get reading!

Welcome Back to the Spring Term!

Our topic this term is 'I Am An Inventor'. We are going to be finding out how things are made, and how we can make things too. We will be exploring a range of materials and using our imaginations to create, design and engineer. We are reading some exciting stories, this week,  'The Great Paper Caper' by Oliver Jeffers. The story tells of a bear who cuts down trees to make paper. The animals in the story make 'planes with it. We made paper aeroplanes, getting really competitive about the best designs. Class One asked their parents to help them make one at home too.

See if you can have a go at making a plane.


Instructions to make a paper plane- have a go at home!

 Week 10.12.18

The Reception Christmas Movie

Is That You, Santa Claus?


Has anyone seen Santa? We are beginning to wonder where he is and what he might be doing.  

Follow the link to the video resource centre to watch our Christmas film. 

Our Family Christmas Celebrations- The Nativities

A very big thank you to all our families who were able to join us this week for the Nativities. We celebrated around the campfire in Reception, with songs followed by hot chocolate and cookies. The Nurseries and Nest children had special visitors to help them tell the story of Christmas! The animals from the mobile farm came. Brackett the donkey, Rambo the sheep and Norman the turkey, as well as hens and two rats. We had a wonderful time and we hope all our families and friends did too.




Classes 1, 2 and 3 Christmas around the Campfire

The morning and afternoon Nurseries and the Nest meet their Nativity co stars.

Week: 03.12.18

The Nest children had so much fun in PE this week! They went to the sports hall with CK. They worked on their ball skills, throwing, catching and kicking. Deshawn shot a basket! What a talent. 

The Nest and Nursery children were so excited- the Christmas trees arrived! Everyone was keen to get decorating straight away.

The Nest children decorate their tree

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The morning Nursery children decorate their tree

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Week 26.11.18    Swedish teachers visit

This week, we enjoyed a visit by teachers from Sweden. They spent time in our classrooms and joined in with our activities. We have been busy making gingerbread biscuits for the Christmas trees. We sent a small tree to Christ Church for their special tree displays over Christmas.

Making Gingerbread decorations for the Christmas trees

Week: 19.11.18.  The Queen’s Trees

This term, we were excited to receive trees from the Woodland Trust, as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project. The aim is to plant as many trees as possible and Short Woodies were up for the challenge of helping. Toby is the Early Years Eco Warrior and he joined children from across school to help them plant. The trees are now in Forest School and we will check on them regularly to ensure they are growing well.

Toby, Eco Warrior, helps to plant the Queen’s trees.

Week12.11.18  Squirrel School visitors-

We were joined by student teachers from the Netherlands and our Early Years governor, Chris Marsh.

The student teachers and Chris saw children in Class One busy at Squirrel School, preparing a healthy soup for Red Riding Hood’s granny, to help her get better. Others were using woodwork tools to create a trap, to try and catch the wolf. Some brave children made clay signs in the woods, to warn people of the danger of possibly meeting the wolf in there. The children talked about their activities and really impressed everyone.  


Little Red Riding Hood.   Detectives

This week, We have enjoyed sharing the story of Little Red Riding Hood. He heard that she might be in the Squirrel School woods, so we went to investigate. Class 2 and class 3 detectives bravely explored. They found lots of clues! Walking through the meadow, they found little strands of red fabric which they thought had come from Red Riding Hood's cloak. Over the bridge and into the woods, Little Red's dress was discovered, along with her basket and cloak. After that, Granny's glasses, knitting needles and nightcap. We hoped they were ok.

Into the woods. Class 2 detectives.

Dean loved reading Little Red Riding Hood- especially the part with the big bad wolf!

Children In Need Day

Thank you to everyone for supporting this fantastic charity today. The children looked great in their spots and had lots of fun. 

05.11.18 Bonfires and Fireworks

This week we were very excited about bonfire night. We went to Squirrel School and learned how to be safe around fire. We built bonfire piles carefully with logs. We also found out how to use a steel and flint with our class teacher, so that we could create a spark to get a campfire going. We will be making campfires at Squirrel School throughout the year, to cook on and keep us warm on chilly days.

We enjoyed our science investigation this week. We made fireworks in a jar! We explored water, oil and food colouring and discovered that as the oil sat on top of the water, it allowed the colours to drop through and bounce back up. It looked just like fireworks! You could try this at home too. You just need water, cooking oil and food colouring.


Using a steel and flint to create a fire spark.

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We worked persistently.

Learning about bonfires and campfires

Diwali - The festival of light 

This week is very special for one of our Reception friends who is Hindu and celebrates Diwali. We wanted to find out  about it. We listened to a story about Rama and Sita. You can read it here.

Once upon a time there was a great warrior, Prince Rama, who had a beautiful wife named Sita.

There was also a terrible demon king, Ravana. He had twenty arms and ten heads, and was feared throughout the land. He wanted to make Sita his wife, and one day he kidnapped her and took her away in his chariot. Clever Sita left a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow.

Rama followed the trail of glittering jewellery until he met the monkey king, Hanuman, who became his friend and agreed to help find Sita. Messages were sent to all the monkeys in the world, and through them to all the bears, who set out to find Sita.

After a very long search, Hanuman found Sita imprisoned on an island. Rama's army of monkeys and bears couldn't reach the island, so they began to build a bridge. Soon all the animals of the world, large and small, came to help. When the bridge was built, they rushed across it and fought a mighty battle.

When Rama killed the evil Ravana with a magic arrow, the whole world rejoiced. Rama and Sita began their long journey back to their land, and everybody lit oil lamps to guide them on their way and welcome them back.

Ever since, people light lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.

We made Diwali lamps called Divas. We explored light, using the overhead projector, coloured perspex and candles. We retold the story of Rama and Sita with small world forests and characters.

Families often celebrate Diwali with fireworks. We also recently enjoyed fireworks on bonfire night. As the days get shorter and there are fewer daylight hours- light takes on a special magic.



We made poppies to remember soldiers we fought to keep us safe and free.

Week 22.10.18  Halloween 

This week, our community support officer, Lynne, came in to talk to us about Halloween. She chatted about trick or treating and gave us some tips!

Make sure you only go out with an adult, and stay with them.

Don't talk to strangers.

Wear something bright, like a glow band, so that cars can see you in the dark.

Make sure you are polite, walk carefully up paths, make sure you don't run across gardens, people are caring for their plants.

If someone has a special poster in their window saying, 'No trick or treat,' please don't visit that house. An elderly or disabled person may live there.

Top tip: CSO Lynne said that the Community support officers and police will be out and about. Say hello, they may have treats in their cars!

We had the best time at the Halloween disco!

Congratulations to Oakley, for best costume, a fantastic batman and also to Henry class 3, for winning a prize for best dancer. A big ‘thank you’ to the PTA for organising this for us!


Week: 15.10.18 Feelings

The Promise Tree 

This week we added our own copper leaves to the Short Wood promise tree. We gathered around with the whole school to sing ‘Power in me’. During our first term in school we have been learning what it means to have friends and be kind, try our best and feel happy. Everyone now understands what it means to be a true Short Woody. We will all continue to remember what the leaves mean throughout the year. Pop across to your class pages to see the photos!

Story telling: Hansel and Gretel

We have been reading  the story of Hansel and Gretel. The characters all have their own story to tell, and we see so many different feelings. 

Gretel: She’s the sister, she has beautiful brown hair. She’s feeling sad because of the witch. Gretel go’d in the oven but she was magic and tricked the witch and pushed her in the oven first. 


Hansel: He is the brother. He’s a sad boy because they left him in the woods. The witch locks him up and feeds him because she will eat him.


Dad: He left the children. His face is sad and he has tears. He has a scratch on his nose and he has a hammer to kill the witch. He’s so naughty to leave the children, he’s older.




Hansel and Gretel

The Witches dance

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The Witches danced and cast their spells

08.10.18 What happens when we eat?

This week we had some questions. 

What happens to food when you put it in your mouth? What is taste? Does all food feel the same inside your mouth? What do we like/ not like? Why?

There were so many ideas and thoughts about this.

Toby said: Bite, chew, open your mouth up and down. Then the food goes down your throat. Crunch it eight times them swallow.

Ashton: When you swallow you push the food down.

Maqbool: Bite with your teeth, they go up and down. Your teeth are strong. They crunch food up and make it little.


Eating. What happens to the food?

Yosef told us: An orange has lots of cells and  it attaches its cells to our body. When I eat the toast it is going to be soft like slime, squishy.

Riley: My gums were telling me the taste.

Avin: The food falls down my neck.

Kyle: It's going into my blood I think.

Eshaal: My tongue told my  yoghurt was strawberry.

Betsy: The end of your mouth pushes the food into your tummy, then to your legs and then out of your bottom.

Week 01.10.18- What's inside?

Our Reception scientists have been very busy investigating this week. We wanted to explore what's inside pumpkins. What resilience and great use of tools! Everyone cut, sliced and hacked away at those tough pumpkins until we got inside them. It was very exciting to discover slimy fibrous strands and lots of seeds. Then we recorded our discoveries by painting what we saw.

That got us wondering - what's inside our bodies? We drew out our ideas. Next week, we will be finding out how our teeth break down food. We will also be tasting and thinking about the different textures of the food we eat.

Scientists exploring pumpkins

Recording what we noticed about pumpkins

What's inside our bodies?

These are some of our ideas...

Martha H: A body. It has blood all around. Bones everywhere! A brain in your head.

Alina: A tummy, a face talking. Fingers and legs.

Ehman: Blood inside our bodies. If you cut your hand and get a plaster you're better.

Archie: Our body has got bones. Lots of bones, right in our tummy and you feel them in your arms.

Maizey: A brain, like calm brain in your head. You can bleed  all over you when you scratch. Blood is everywhere. There's a heartbeat.

Maqbool: Brain's in the head, it thinks. A heart, it helps him breathe and keep him alive. It makes a boom boom sound. Eat fish and rice to be healthy. Blood is just in all the time.

Mia: Bones everywhere, they are hard.


What's inside our bodies?

Week 8-13 October is Libraries week

This is a nation wide celebration of libraries. The theme this year is wellbeing. Libraries across the country will be showing how they are bringing people and communities together.

At Short Wood we would like to bring our school community together for special story times in our school library. This week, Mr. Shaw will read on Monday, Mrs. Doult on Tuesday and Mrs. Sergeant on Thursday.

We look forward to seeing you there! 

Man on the Moon

Week: 24.09.18 

Preparing for harvest.

Another busy week in Reception. We have been  preparing for the harvest flower festival at Christ Church this weekend. A shed was built, flowers arranged and the church decorated! It looks beautiful. We hope you are able to visit, the church will be open this Saturday and Sunday.

Preparations for the Christ Church harvest flower festival

Please remember to bring in your PE kit.

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Wyatt has made a film to help you remember what you need. You can leave your kit at school.
Please remember to name everything.

Week: 17.09.18

The Mosque

The Reception children walked to the Regent Street Mosque this week. We went with some of the year 6 children. It was a beautiful sunny day and we saw lots of interesting things along the way.

When we got there, we took off our shoes and sat on a big red carpet. We found out about Hajj and how Eid is celebrated. Back at school, the children drew maps of the journey and wrote about the experience.

A map of our journey to the mosque.

This is Maqbool's map.

'We lined up in a long line. We held hands with the big children.We went past the balloon sun, a little road, two trees and lots and lots and lots and lots of bushes. We saw two people doing their flowers. We went past some red, yellow and green traffic lights. I saw two butterflies and a snail. The snail was going to mosque too!'


The outside and inside of the mosque.

Riley wrote about his visit to the mosque.

Riley wrote, ‘I am at the mosque. I sat on the carpet’. He used lots of letter sounds and after sharing his work with Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Butele, recieved two very special stickers! Well done Riley.

First two weeks in school and nursery.

The children have settled in so well! They have been out and about, walking around the school grounds. They noticed that the apples were ready to pick. The Nest children collected Crab Apples at Squirrel School and the Nursery and Reception children picked apples from the trees by the poly tunnel.

The children washed, peeled and sliced their apples to make delicious crumbles. They decided how to prepare the apples and how to add the crumble mixture. Everyone enjoyed tasting their baking.

 The Nest children are now getting ready to make Crab Apple jam.

The Reception children wrote about their experiences and created beautiful art work.

Picking The Apples

Making Apple Crumble

The Nest children made Crab Apple jelly.

Drawing Around The Apples. Taking A Line For A Walk.

Reception Apple Art Gallery

Reception classes 2018-2019

Family Transition Evening

In July we had a wonderful evening with our new families. We shared the activities we do in school and everyone  joined in with sports, art, maths and forest school. It was great to spend time with everyone and we are really looking forward to seeing you in September!


Overall School: 95%

Aiming High;Growing Dreams