Only the very brave could visit RAH last week because what a scary place it turned out to be! Mrs Hynes, who happens to be very hard to scare, brought in one of her favourite books, Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, and she read it to her class by pumpkin light. The children then enjoyed a whole week of skeleton themed activities and, by the looks of it, they learnt a huge amount, and had lots of fun, too.

The first scary thing was learning how to read those scary body part words. Looking at the initial phonemes really helped, but not with hand and head, of course, where the children had to take their courage in both hands and sound out the entire word. Later in the week, bones were used to help the children read all kinds of CVC words. Some children even had a go at writing the names of the different skeleton animals from Funnybones, thinking very carefully and trying to record in sequence all the phonemes they could hear.

Every day the children learnt one or two of the scientific names for bones, including skull, ribs, spine and pelvis. Logan was excited to discover that, when he breathed in at home, he could actually see his ribs. Pippa amazed Mrs Hynes by managing to find out the names of two bones in her leg, the tibia and the fibula. That left the terrifying problem of how to fit the bones together so they don’t end up looking all muddled like the characters in Funnybones. Luckily, Mrs Hynes knew an action song called Dem Bones and, with the help of a dancing skeleton on the interactive whiteboard, the children learnt how our bones are connected.

Everyone in RAH is working hard to improve their cutting skills, trying their best to cut accurately along a line. With a bit of help to cut out the eyes, they made scary masks, and even Mrs Hynes had to hide in the cupboard when she saw them all together. Later, some children made stick puppets and used them to retell the story by themselves. The children also had a go at drawing a scary skeleton picture on black paper. Could they remember to include all the bones they had learnt?

As you know, learning in Reception is all about having fun, and clever Mrs Hynes soon had the children counting out sets of bones. Then they put two sets of bones together to find out how many they had in total. Before they even realised it, they were doing addition. It was also very interesting to compare the lengths of the different bones in our body, using words like long, longest, short, shortest and the same.

At the end of the week, everyone reflected on what they had most enjoyed.

“I liked the story because they were frightening each other,” said Mabel.

“I liked the bit when the dog broke in pieces,” added Hugo.

“I liked it because it was funny!” said Daniel.

“And it’s called FUNNYBONES!” laughed Logan.

And, by the way, just in case you think it is now safe to visit RAH, you should know that they have now set up a Scary Skeleton School in the role play area, to help investigate bones further, so enter if you dare!