How time flies! We are starting the second half of the summer term already and as always it is going to be a busy and exciting one!
Miss Gore will carry on teaching the literacy lessons and Mrs Cartwright will carry out the maths lessons. Our PPA time will continue to be on a two week cycle, so every other Friday morning Mrs Findley will be teaching our class.
Our new topic for this half term is Lions, Tigers and Bears! We will focus on a range of fiction and non-fiction books that are about different elements of our topic. In our topic we will be looking at habitats and facts about lions, tigers and bears. We will also be looking at endangered animals and the reasons why they are under threat. Towards the end of the topic we will be writing our own safari stories and learning performance poems linked to our topic.
Some of the children in the class will be continuing their work on consolidating phase 3. The rest of the class will be completing work on phase 4 within our phonics lessons and then move onto phase 5.
During this half term in literacy we will be looking at both fiction and non-fiction books and the features of these books.
We will have a guided reading session on Mondays where we will have a look at fiction and non-fiction books, have a go at reading games featuring the phase 3 sounds/ phase 4 two syllable words, and also have a look at a book in a group where we will carry out some simple reading comprehension (answering questions on the text and picking out key information). On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we will be having our writing sessions. During these sessions we will be carrying out writing our own versions of stories, fact files, instructions, lists and poems.
To support your children with their writing it would be helpful if you could practice writing sentences, captions and two syllable words at home that contain the phase 3 sounds, which can be found on your child’s reading key ring.
During this half term the children will be continuing their work on number recognition and counting skills. The children will also be learning about doubling and halving, sharing and how to record calculations. Towards the end of the half term the children will be recapping addition, subtraction, time and shape.
To support your child with their maths work it would be helpful to identify numbers found in the environment and encourage them to help with daily activities involving number, such as counting and identifying o’clock times.
Please ensure that your child’s indoor and outdoor PE kit is in school on Tuesday and Thursday. It is important for the children to wear the correct kit during PE for their own safety and comfort. Indoor kit should include; the children’s coloured house t-shirt, shorts and pumps. Outdoor kit should include the above and/or a tracksuit top, bottoms and trainers. We will be preparing for sports day in our outdoor PE sessions and indoor sessions will be dance based.
Reminder- If your child is bringing any sunglasses or sun hats into school, then please ensure that they are clearly labelled with your child’s name. As for sun cream, please ensure that you apply all day protection before bringing your child to school. We encourage you to send your child in a loose fitting long sleeved top i.e. white shirt.
Tree of achievements
The tree outside of the classroom filled up beautifully last half term with achievements, thank you to those people who contributed to the tree; it is lovely to see what your children have achieved outside of school. Please don’t forget to continue to add to the tree as the achievements help to inform us with assessments on your child’s progress.
Last but not least…
If anyone has any spare animal soft or plastic toys to donate to our “Zoo” outdoor role play area, we would be very grateful.
We are also extending our water play outside. We will be setting team work challenges that will involve the children moving the water from out of the water tray in some way. In order to keep feet dry, we are asking that children bring wellington boots in so that they can play in this area. We are providing each child with their own drawstring bag that will be located on their peg to keep their wellington boots in and maybe a spare pair of socks (as we have a limited supply in school). We do have some boots in school that your child can borrow for the half term if they have not got their own, but there are limited amount of sizes. Please let us know if you need some.
Thank you for your on-going support.
Miss Gore and Mrs Cartwright
Where has time gone? We are starting the first half of the summer term already and it is going to be a busy one!
As you may already know, Mrs de Villiers is now on maternity leave and we have a new member of the team. We welcome Mrs Cartwright to our class and she will be teaching on Thursday and Friday, which means that Miss Gore is now teaching on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. For the remainder of the academic year Miss Gore will be carrying out the literacy lessons and Mrs Cartwright will be carrying out the maths lessons. Our PPA time will now be on a two week cycle, so every other Friday morning Mrs Findley will be teaching our class.
Our new topic for this half term is Let it Grow! Our focus author for the term is Eric Carle (author of books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Bad Tempered Ladybird). We will also be looking at non-fiction books that are about different elements of our topic. In our topic we will be looking at how plants grow and how to plant and look after a seed. We will also be looking at life cycles of various animals including a butterfly and we will be having our own caterpillars in school so we can see first-hand the changes they go through. Towards the end of the topic we will be looking at what we need as humans to grow and what things help us to grow up healthy. We are also going to take a look at what we can do now that we couldn’t do as a baby. So if you are happy to allow your child to bring in a picture of themselves as a baby, then we would love to see them and use them as part of a display. All pictures will be returned to you when we change our display. Although it may be obvious who the picture is of, please write names on any that are brought in.
As part of our topic we have linked with Dobbies garden centre and they have kindly invited us to visit them for the morning on the 22nd of April. We will be walking to the centre and when we arrive we will be having a look at how berries grow and planting some beans to take back to school. The garden centre has generously provided us with this experience free of charge. As part of the experience the children will have the opportunity to try a variety of vegetables, so they have asked for a list of children with any allergies or any special dietary requirements. If your child has any of these, then please inform Miss Gore or Mrs Cartwright as soon as possible. It may be better if this information is written down and specific so that we ensure needs are covered.
We are also in the process of arranging a visit to the Tropical Butterfly House in Sheffield. Please keep an eye out for further information on this in your child’s book bag.
Some of the children in the class will be continuing their work on consolidating phase 3. The rest of the class will be continuing our work on phase 4 within our phonics lessons. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, this phase has no new sounds; it just recaps the sounds from phase 3 and how to use them in polysyllabic (2 syllable words). Once we have finished phase 4, the children will be moving onto phase 5. Further information will be sent out about this phase closer to the time of starting it.
During this half term in literacy we will be looking at both fiction and non-fiction books and the features of these books. As mentioned before, our focus author for the half term is Eric Carle. If you have any books at home by this author and would like to bring them in then please do.
We will be continuing to follow the same format of lessons that Mrs de Villiers introduced into our class. We will have a guided reading session on Mondays where we will have a look at fiction and non-fiction books, have a go at reading games featuring the phase 3 sounds/ phase 4 two syllable words, and also have a look at a book in a group where we will carry out some simple reading comprehension (answering questions on the text and picking out key information). On Tuesdays and Wednesdays we will be having our writing sessions. During these sessions we will be carrying out writing on seeds, lifecycles, labelling plants and changing parts of a story.
To support your children with their writing it would be helpful if you could practice writing sentences and captions at home using words that contain the phase 3 sounds, which can be found on your child’s reading key ring.
During this half term the children will be continuing their work on number recognition and counting skills. The children will also be recapping addition and learning about time by looking at the language associated to it, sequencing events and measuring it in simple ways. Towards the end of the half term the children will be having a look at subtraction and will be carrying out this practically using various resources. They will also have a look at the language associated with subtraction and will learn the different ways it can be referred to.
Please ensure that your child’s indoor and outdoor PE kit is in school on Tuesday and Thursday. It is important for the children to wear the correct kit during PE for their own safety and comfort. Indoor kit should include; the children’s coloured house t-shirt, shorts and pumps. Outdoor kit should include the above and/or a tracksuit top, bottoms and trainers.
As we are now heading towards the summer months we will hopefully be seeing more of the sun (fingers crossed). If your child is bringing any sunglasses or sun hats into school, then please ensure that they are clearly labelled with your child’s name. As for sun cream, please ensure that you apply all day protection before bringing your child to school. We encourage you to send your child in a loose fitting long sleeved top i.e. white shirt.
Tree of achievements
The tree outside of the classroom looked very bare last half term, but thank you to those people who contributed to the tree, it was lovely to see what your children had achieved outside of school. Please don’t forget to add to the tree as the achievements helps to inform us with assessments on your child’s progress.
Last but not least…
If anyone has any spare gardening equipment such as pots, sweeping brushes or artificial plants to donate to our outdoor role play area (which is turning into a garden centre) for the children to ‘sell’, we would be very grateful.
Because the assembly at the end of last term ran over, we did not have time to listen to the Robins carry out their show and tell session. So it will be their turn the first Friday back.
Thank you for your on-going support.
Miss Gore and Mrs Cartwright
We got off to a chilly start to the New Year. However the weather didn’t stop us from exploring the snow as we brought the outdoors in! We had fun playing in the snow and building different snow people. When it turned icy and too slippery to play out, we carefully carried buckets of snow inside. We used it in our small world area to create a wintery landscape; we sculpted mini snowmen, investigated chopping it and observed it melting. It was great fun!
We enjoyed our mini topic on the story book: Handa’s Surprise. First we drew and painted pictures of the fruit from the story. Then we used masks to retell the story and we wrote about how the animals took the fruit from Handa’s basket. Finally, we cut up and enjoyed tasting avocado, mango and pineapple, then created a pictogram to show our favourite fruit.
“Kung hei fat choi” ….. Happy New Year!
Chinese New Year is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. This year was the year of the goat and we had fun celebrating the special day on Thursday, February 19. During the morning we made our own fans and door creations. We also worked together in groups to build our own large dragon puppet and then wrote about it to describe it. In the afternoon, we cooked Chinese food and then created a Chinese restaurant where some children served the food and the Jasmine tea. Just before home time we held our own dragon dance to ward off the evil spirits and danced to the beat of the drum! We found out so much about how the Chinese New Year is celebrated.
During our recent topic: Up, Up & Away, we were busy outdoors working together as a team to construct a huge rocket out of what we could find. We even decorated it and flew to the moon, just like teddy in Whatever Next! Also, we brought in lots of empty boxes and recycled the junk to make our very own rocket models. Can you spot them around the classroom?
As part of our RE work we went to visit the local church. We met Father Steve and had a look around the church. He played the organ for us and rang the church bells. Father Steve spoke to us about the stain glass windows and the alter that is inside the church. He talked about the font and what that is used for.
Time is speeding by and we are now on the run up to Easter already! We have an exciting half term coming up.
For the first week of the half term we will be looking at the celebration of Chinese New Year. The children will be looking at the story behind the celebration, traditions surrounding it and the food that is traditionally eaten at this time. For the rest of the half term our topic will be; Up, Up and Away! We will be focusing on stories that involve space and air travel, such as the story ‘Whatever Next by Jill Murphy and ‘Red Rockets and Jelly Rainbows’ by Sue Heap. During this topic we will look at different modes of air travel. The children will be looking at space travel and they will have a go at designing and making their own rocket. We will also attempt (fingers crossed) to launch our own rocket into space! Aeroplanes will also feature in our topic, as well as hot air balloons and we will have a look at how they work. Towards the end of the term we will look at Easter and the celebrations surrounding that time.
Some of the class has now finished phase 3 and are starting on phase 4. In this phase the children will not learn any new sounds, but they will be learning how to use the sounds to write CVCC words and polysyllabic words (words with more than one syllable) such as farmyard. Some of the class will be recapping the phase 3 sounds to help to consolidate their learning.
Please feel free to change your child’s book as often as you feel you need to. The bookshelf is no longer outside our classroom but is just up the corridor near the main door. Please ensure that you swap your child’s book with one of the same colour.
In our Literacy sessions on a Wednesday & Thursday, the children will continue applying their learning from our daily Letters & Sounds sessions. They should become more confident at using sound mats in order for them to apply Phase 3 and independently write more complex words and sentences. The children will retell and write about Teddy’s journey in Whatever Next, by Jill Murphy, and will create a fact file about an Alien they have created out of play dough. We will also begin looking at Non-Fiction writing and how we can use these books to help us find out information about things we are interested in. The children will work collectively to create a class information book about transport that flies. They will also be writing captions for their rockets they have made, look out for these on our construction display in the corridor in a few week’s time!
We will be focusing on the shape, space and measure side of maths. We will be looking at 3D shapes and the concept of 3D shapes being solid and 2D shapes being flat. We will also be looking at the features of 3D shape and the mathematical language associated with it, such as the faces on the shape and the vertices (corners). We will also be looking at weight and capacity through activities such as baking and comparing weights. The children will also be working on pattern, such as number patterns, shape patterns and repeating colour patterns. For ideas on how to support your child’s learning in maths during this half term, please refer to the homework sheet given out before the holidays or come and ask, we are happy to help.
Number work will still be a focus during our maths session as it is something that underpins all operations. Each lesson will have a number based starter, such as a number recognition game or a counting exercise. Please continue to work on your child’s number skills at home.
Within the next couple of weeks we will be reviewing your children’s targets that we introduced into their reading diaries last half term, ready for parents evening. If you would like to add any comments from yourself, your child or the both of you, then please feel free to do this within the next week.
A few further pieces of information:
Lost property and un-named clothing
We have gathered quite a collection of lost property items in the tub outside of the classroom; please check there if your child has misplaced any items as this will soon be emptied. Whilst getting changed before and after PE it can get very time consuming trying to match clothes to their owners without names in. Please ensure that you label ALL items of your child’s clothing and PE kit clearly with their name.
This half term we are very lucky to have a PE coach coming into school to carry out some FUNdamental sessions with the children. These sessions will focus on the ABC’s of the children’s physical development (Agility, Balance and Co-ordination). The coach will be coming in on a Tuesday afternoon and will be using the school hall for the session. Please ensure that your child’s indoor PE kit is in school on a Tuesday and Wednesday. It is important for the children to wear the correct kit during PE for their own safety and comfort. Indoor kit should include; the children’s coloured house t-shirt, shorts and pumps.
Website and Orbit
Thank you for your patience regarding photographs being added to the school website. Due to the new permission slips being introduced we have had to wait on the outcome of these before we are able to publish any online. We are all good to go now, so keep an eye out on the website to see what we have been up to.
After many teething problems and technical difficulties, we have decided that unfortunately, we will not be using Orbit this year. We were hoping to use it so that you could add any achievements and comments to your child’s online profile. Instead, we encourage you to use the tree of achievements outside our classroom to inform us of anything that your child has achieved. If you would like to bring in any photographs of what your child has been up to place on the tree then please feel free.
Last but not least…
A reminder that toys from home should not be coming to school. Starting from the second Friday of the term (the 27th), we will be carrying out show and tell in the afternoon. We have grouped the children and we will display these on our classroom door. Every Monday we will display a poster to let you know which group is having their turn that week. If your child had done something very special (like competed in a dance or football competition) and it is not their turn on the Friday, then we will endeavour to fit them in during the week so that they can share their achievement with the class. Medals and trophies can also be brought into share with the school during our Special Mentions assembly each Friday.
Thank you for your on-going support and we look forward to seeing you at parents evening.
Miss Gore and Mrs de Villiers
Happy New Year, we hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas break. This half term our topic is called ‘Our Village’. Through different activities and local walks, the children will begin to think about what makes Barlborough a special place to go to school or to live. We will also begin to compare our locality with those overseas. Our role-play area is a sweet shop, which will become a fruit shop later on in the term.
English (Communication, Language & Literacy)
During our Guided Reading & Writing sessions, we will be reading and doing related activities based on the stories: I Went To The Zoopermarket by Nick Sharrat, On my way home from school by Jill Murphy, Handa’s Surprise by Eileen Brown and We all went on safari, a Tanzanian counting journey by Laurie Krebs. During our focus group sessions we will be applying our learning from Phase 2/3 letters & sounds to write words, sentences and our first story. We will begin the term by recapping our Letters & Sounds work by reading and writing silly questions based on the dinosaur game below, you can select a level appropriate to your child’s ability. Start with Level 1 CVC words and progress when they are confident:
http://www.ictgames.com/tellAtRex_v3.html or type into Google: tell a t rex
Please see Mrs de Villiers if you require any guidance with supporting your child at home with their writing.
Money will be a big focus this term. Our role play shop will provide an opportunity for children to pay for items and calculate change. This will help the children to prepare them for our visit to the local shop where they will be responsible for taking a small amount of money, deciding what to buy and looking after the change, which are basic skills in money management. In our guided group sessions, we will begin with coin recognition, count pennies and if ready progress to 2p coins and look at simple addition by calculating the cost of buying 2 items. Please see Miss Gore if you require any guidance with supporting your child at home with their maths.
Most children are now on the pink book band as well as having their key rings & sticker charts. Your child will be listened to 2/3 times a week and we will try to change the pink books as often as possible. If you would like to change their books, there is a basket inside our classroom or in the book stand just outside the door.
This term, we won’t be focusing on a specific author but will be focusing on stories from other cultures. Your child is welcome to bring any books from home in to share with the class, please ensure they are clearly labelled.
Assessment & Orbit
After a lot of teething problems and technical issues, we have begun using the Orbit website to record some of our observations and assessments of each child. We are eager for you to share with us any achievements or special activities from home. It would be great if you could provide us with an email address so we can contact you to join us on Orbit. We will contact you when we have invited you so you can join us on Orbit on your computers, tablets or phones. If you have limited internet access, please continue to use the leaves for our Tree of Achievement in the corridor.
We'll be in touch shortly with your details. If you have any questions please contact the school office on 01246 810381.
A few further bits of information:
Our outdoor PE lesson is on a Monday afternoon and our indoor PE is on a Wednesday afternoon. Please can you ensure your child has their P.E kit in school on these days and that they are not wearing any jewellery, children also need to remove ear studs (should your child have recently had their ears pierced you must send them to school with earrings taped up on these days.) Please provide long trousers and a jumper for our outdoor sessions as well as their t-shirt, shorts & plimsolls for indoor PE. Again, please ensure all items are labelled with your child’s name.
Please catch us in the morning or after school if we can help you with anything else.
Mrs de Villiers and Miss Gore
Time has flown by and we are now on the run up to Christmas! Keep an eye out for key events and dates during this busy period.
During the previous half term the children were busy exploring their classroom and
outdoor environment. Unfortunately, we found that there were issues with the water
tray outside and several children became very wet. It was decided that it will not be
available for them to play in until we get new waterproof aprons. The outdoor area
is well used by the children and they will have the opportunity to access it in most
weather conditions (unless it is seen as unsafe, such as icy/slippery conditions), so
please ensure that they have a warm, waterproof coat. You are welcome to provide your child with wellington boots to use and these can be stored on the ledge under their peg.
Please ensure that all of your child’s clothing is clearly labelled with their name,
including all PE items, coats and wellington boots. This will help to ensure that any lost items are returned to the correct person and avoid any confusion during dressing/undressing for PE.
Please download the full newsletter with this terms topic information here:
Welcome to Class RVG! We hope this letter will help you to learn a little more about our daily and weekly routines and about our curriculum.
In the morning, the children will still need help in placing their items in the correct place until they gain more independence:
Our topic for this half term is ‘All About Me’. In reception, topics are quite open ended and act more as a stimulus for role play and for adult initiated activities. However, we aren’t confined to our topics and are keen to incorporate as many of your children’s interests into our learning, which will help them to engage and become enthusiastic about their learning.
Every half term each class focuses on an author or a genre of writing. This half term, our author is Lauren Child. We like to read as many books by this author as possible. If your child would like to bring in a book by her to share with the class at story time, please ensure you put their name in it. We are specifically focusing on the Charlie & Lola stories this half term and are creating a family photo display. If you have a photo of your child with their family, please could they bring it into school. We will hand them back at the end of the topic.
Every week in English, we will have a guided reading session which will be followed up by a guided writing session. We will also have a daily Letters and Sounds session, where all of the children will be starting on Phase 2. Starting next Friday, we will send home a weekly information sheet to let you know what letters your child has practised writing and the phonemes (sounds) they make. It would be very beneficial if you could support your child practising this at home to reinforce the learning. Letters and Sounds is an important part of our day and we understand for some parents, it is a new concept and different to how you were taught to read at school. To help you become more familiar with this and to help you feel confident when supporting your child at home, we will be holding an open evening on Wednesday 1st October at 3:30pm. At the meeting, we will go through pronunciation of the phonemes (sounds), the stages your child will learn and when and any materials or internet resources that are available.
During the next few weeks, we will begin sending home letter and word cards for your child to practise reading. Once your child is confident reading a certain number of words, your child will be placed on our school reading scheme and they will begin to take books home to read. At this age, reading is a crucial part of children’s learning so it would be most helpful if you could hear your child read at home as often as possible. Your child will have a Reading Diary for you to date and sign each time you hear them read. You can also use the diary for any informal messages you have to pass on. Please be aware every child is different and they all progress at different rates. However, if you have any concerns over your child’s reading development, please see one of us. In the meantime, please continue to read to your child as much as possible. Look out for the Library Box that we will be setting up over the next week. It will be placed on the table near the read Post boxes in the morning and you are welcome to take a book home to share with your child. There is a clipboard in the box so please sign the book out and in when your return it.
During this half term, we will be focusing on number recognition (0-10 to begin with progressing to 0-20 if/when your child is ready) and counting. Counting underpins all operations and the more we practise, the better we get. If possible, count with your child as much as possible at home. Children can count anything! Pennies, buttons, pasta, trees, cars, building bricks, apples – encourage them to count things wherever they are. To help with number recognition, look out for numbers when you’re are out and about. If you have access to the internet, here is a good website that has lots of links to counting games:
A few further bits of information:
We hope you have found this letter informative and we look forward to meeting you over the next few weeks. If you have any questions about any of the above or any other queries please do not hesitate in speaking to one of us, after school is usually less hectic than at the start of the day whilst we are settling in the children.
Mrs de Villiers and Miss Gore