CIS School Cambridge
A diverse and enriching educational experience


Footprints From the Past

Friday, 20 January, 2017

What's in the mysterious package?



Coral and Caribbean classes have begun their topic 'Footprints from the Past.' The children will be learning about what the Earth was like many millions of years ago, and central to this will be the study of dinosaurs and how they lived. To introduce the topic, a special box 'arrived', seemingly from the Natural History Museum. Some very mysterious egg-shaped objects were inside. The children were very excited about these, and there was a lot of discussion as to what they could be. Most, though, agreed eventually that they did seem like dinosaur eggs! The children then carefully prised the 'eggs' apart with special tools, and discovered a dinosaur inside each one. They sketched and wrote about the dinosaur that was inside the egg, and the discussion and questions about dinosaurs that followed prompted a great deal of possible learning opportunities, that we shall be taking up in the following weeks. (Mr Orwin)

Spatially Aware

Friday, 25 November, 2016

Trip to the Science Museum


Coral and Caribbean Class had a wonderful trip to the Science Museum last Monday.

Their topic for the term is ‘Space’, and the children had a truly eye-opening experience at one of the leading museums in the world.

They saw life-sized replicas of rockets and capsules, experienced going to the moon in the Discovery Motion Theatre, and learned all about what life is like for astronauts in space through the Destination Space workshop. 

There were plenty of other fascinating things for them to discover and explore, and overall it was a superb way to consolidate their learning this term. (Mr Orwin)

Infants are Shaping Up

Monday, 10 October, 2016

Exploring 3D shapes

We asked the children if they could build their dream house using 3D shapes. During the course of our reflection time, we noticed that no one in the class had used a sphere in their house. Why was this? The children all agreed is was not possible to use a sphere in a tower design (“It’s too roly poly!,” “It doesn’t have any flat sides!,” “It won’t balance.”). After this conversation, we issued a challenge to the class: let’s see if anyone can build a tower using ALL of the different 3D shapes.

The children discovered that indeed it was possible to build a house using a sphere (“You have to put it at the top because nothing else will balance on it.”) and the children had many interesting reflections about strategies for using all the shapes, how the properties of the shapes affected the planning process, and how the children were inspired by their friends’ ideas.  Miss Ransome

Take One Picture

Friday, 27 May, 2016

More news on the 'Roman Triumph'




The Primary School has taken part in the ‘Take One Picture’ week - a countrywide scheme for primary schools organised by The National Gallery.  Each year, the Gallery focuses on one painting from its collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms.  The picture is used as a stimulus for developing imaginative work in various ways.  National Gallery Education will display a selection of finished pieces of work in the annual exhibition.

This year the painting is ‘A Roman Triumph’ by Peter Paul Rubens, painted circa 1630.  Amazing classwork has been revolving around the study of this painting.  Children looked at patterns, habitats, drama, architecture, and they have been using different materials such as mud rock, wire, paper mache.  The work was then displayed during the parents evening. (Mrs Gibbard)

A Triumph in Painting

Friday, 20 May, 2016

Seahorses celebrate Arts Week


This week in Seahorses we have been celebrating Arts Week.  As a whole school we have all looked at Peter Paul Ruben’s painting ‘A Roman Triumph’ c1630.  The painting depicts a victory march in honour of a Roman general’s military success.

Initially, the children were introduced to the picture by working in a group to put a jigsaw together.  The children looked at the painting and talked about their ideas.  We quickly picked up that it was a celebration, and we noticed the fruit and animals in the painting.  We also noticed the use of instruments.  We thought about what kind of music might be played and then we listened to fanfare music.

Afterwards we went outside and tried to recreate fanfare music using various instruments.

We wove a large tapestry and baskets, filling them with fruit.

We created necklaces, bracelets and cuffs to wear during a Roman triumph.

Another aspect of the painting that we noticed was the fruit, so next we did still life drawings of fruit using oil pastels and black paper.  Then we painted a picture of a basket of fruit using watercolours. (Miss Ransome)

Enraptured by Beautiful Birds

Friday, 13 May, 2016

Infants are amazed by birds of prey from the Raptor Foundation


Monday saw the visit of the Raptor Foundation for Caribbean, Coral and Caspian classes, as part of their learning on ‘living things’ this term.  We have been studying predators, and the sight of the beautiful owls and hawks elicited gasps of amazement from many of the children. 

It was a rare opportunity to see these beautiful birds up close, and the talk given by their handler, Sarah, was equally fascinating.  Did you know that you can tell when an owl goes out hunting by the colour of its eyes?  Yellow eyes mean the owl will hunt in the daytime, black eyes mean night hunting.  Orange eyes are for ‘crepuscular’ hunters, meaning those that search for their food at twilight or dawn.  The children were enthralled and thoroughly enjoyed the follow-up activity, searching for clues for what the owls eat by dissecting the regurgitated pellets.

Finally, in beautiful sunshine, the whole school was treated to a flying display by the birds.  A perfect ending to a wonderful morning. (Mr Orwin)

Anyone For Tea?

Friday, 06 May, 2016

Forest School adventures for Coral Class

This week in Forest School, Coral class was set a task to forage and help make nettle tea.  

We thought about the forest and camp fire rules and then set off with our partners to search and identify true nettles.

Some children opted for wearing a glove during the picking of stems.  If anyone was stung, we gave them plenty of sympathy and some forest medicine from a plant we called ‘sticky weed’.  We regrouped and took it in turn to empty our ‘bounty’.  Most of our collection was perfect.  The nettles were then heated in a large pot, and we thought that they smelt like potatoes!  Once carefully sitting around the campfire, we were able to taste the very yummy tea.

We liked the cooking theme so much that, next time, Miss James has suggested we might try our hand at making campfire bread!  Will it be nettle flavoured? (Mrs Bailey)

'Astronaut Academy'

Friday, 06 May, 2016

Seahorses train to become astronauts as part of their Space theme


In the Seahorses ‘Astronaut Academy’ we have been busy exploring the different ways we can move and travel.  We have learnt how to land safely from jumping off objects.  We have tried 'moon-walking' with big feet and have balanced along different beams.

In the 'Astronaut Academy' we have also been been practising our throwing, catching and target skills. (Miss Ransome)

Zoo Trip

Wednesday, 23 March, 2016

The children in Foundation Stage thoroughly enjoyed their day trip to Linton Zoo

The children in Foundation Stage thoroughly enjoyed their day trip to Linton Zoo.  The weather was lovely and the children had an interesting talk from the Zoo Keepers.  They showed them an Australian Blue Tongue Lizard, Guinea pig and a tortoise.  The children were able to touch the animals.  At lunchtime we had a lovely picnic followed by a much-anticipated play on the big playground.  Afterwards we had a look at some more animals and all returned, happy but tired, to school. 

 The children were very well behaved all day and everyone had a great time.

 Thank you to everyone who came.

Painting The Dream

Friday, 11 March, 2016

Nursery Seahorses’ children have had a fascinating time learning about a Dutch artist called Vincent Van Gogh.

Van Gogh inspires young artists at Cherry Hinton Hall

Nursery Seahorses’ children have had a fascinating time learning about a Dutch artist called Vincent Van Gogh.

The children began by hearing about Van Gogh’s life story. They learnt lots of interesting facts about his life. Next, Seahorses really enjoyed looking at lots of different pictures that Van Gogh painted. They all noticed his amazing use of colour and his distinctive ‘broken brush’ stoke technique, which he used to create movement and atmosphere in his paintings.

Then our children really focused their attention on one of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings called ‘Starry Night.’ It was then time for our Seahorses to paint their own ‘Starry Night’ picture, in the style of Van Gogh. So they started their composition by painting a blue colour background. Next they used a stencil and pastels to create the final piece of ‘The Starry Night’. Our children's paintings all look so good, you cannot tell the difference between Van Gogh’s and ours!