The children in Class One got off to a busy start this week, enjoying an apple-filled Monday as part of our wassailing celebrations! The first item on our agenda required them to take their places at the table to begin the all-important task of apple tasting. The children sampled a wide variety of apples, as well as other apple produce including apple juice, applesauce and dried apple goods! Lots of discussion ensued where the children debated the flavour, texture, juice-factor and crunch of each of the varieties, before taking a vote on their favourite type of apple. Reception pupils even made pictograms in maths following this investigation! Children in the Foundation Stage had the opportunity to investigate apple-scented play dough, inventing all sorts of apple delights, as well as developing their fine motor skills, using their pincer skills to bob for apples with kitchen tongs! They also enjoyed the opportunity to print and paint using apples! Meanwhile, Key Stage One children were asked to ‘describe an apple’ based upon the 5 senses, they impressed with their precise choice of exciting adjectives and poetic phrasing.
Having investigated this traditional folk ceremony, the children learned wassailing songs and rhymes and even had a go at writing their own. A wassail king and queen were chosen and the children, together with parents and staff, processed down to the orchard to sing and recite their rhymes to “wake up” the apple trees and bid them bring forth a good harvest. Following ancient tradition, the children made a loud noise with instruments, pots and pans and the king and queen of the Wassail placed toast, soaked with the “wassail cup” in the branches of the trees. Everyone then returned to school to partake of a Wassail feast of warm spiced apple juice (the ‘Wassail cup’), apple pies and apple cakes. This formed a slightly early part of Class 2’s late Spring term project about “Devon Cultures”.