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Endearing Elephants

Easter Fun

We had so much fun exploring Easter Traditions this year. We were chefs and made some Easter nests then we bounced our socks off with the sponsored Bunny Hop and then used even more of our energy in an egg and spoon race!
We topped off the fun by searching high and low for little eggs in the school garden in our very own egg hunt!
It was lovely to hear about how the children celebrate your own traditions.
Have a lovely break and see you for the start of the Summer Term!

Summer 2 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,
I can’t believe that we are starting our final half term of the year, where has the time gone?
This final half term our topic will be ‘Minibeast Madness’ where we will be exploring creepy crawlies. We will be learning about habitats and going on welly walks to see if we can spot some. We will also be seeing how creatures change during life cycles, and even will be experiencing this first hand by observing caterpillars growing and changing before releasing them into the wild.
Obviously this half term is going to be very busy as we have Rio Week coming up, sports day and the transitions weeks where children will be able to get used to their new class and teacher. This can be a little unsettling for the children; however we will do lots of circle times to try and make this as smooth as possible for both them and also you. If you have any questions about this then please don’t hesitate to ask.
Phonics
The majority of the class is continuing with Phase 5 this half term, where more alternative sounds for sounds already learnt are introduced. Please refer to the mat sent home recently for more information about this as well as to help your child consolidate these.
Literacy
Our main focus in Literacy this half term will be looking at non-fiction books one again, however we will concentrate on exploring and using the language included in such books. The children will continue to use the ‘talk 4 writing’ methods of boxing up and adding actions to help the children internalise this new vocabulary.
We will be continuing to encourage children to write sentences independently and have a focus on handwriting to get letters clearly formed ready for their next school year.
Maths
We will be learning about money and time at the start of this half term, before moving into recap work where we will return to areas in which children may need a little consolidation in. In regard to money, we will be exploring coins and learning to recognise them by their shape, size and colour rather than just the number included on them. We will then be moving into learning about the value of some of these coins. I have arranged for us to take a trip to the local shop to explore price tags and practice using money in return for an item to really bring the learning to life.
When looking at time we will begin with learning the days of the week and moths of the year, before using different methods to measure time such as stop watches, sand timers and then clocks.
In order to help your children at home here are a number of ideas you could do;
• Ask children to sort a pile of coins into 1ps, 2ps 5ps etc to help them learn the properties of the money.
• Set up a pretend shop.
• Allow them to hand over coins when in shops and look at price tags when you are out.
• Put coins in a bag, ask children to close their eyes and choose one and then they have to tell you what it is. You could then have a turn and get it wrong so they have to correct you.
• Look at arrows on a clock.
• Time how long it takes for your child to do things for example get dressed or how many star jumps they could do in a minute (or tidy their room!!)
PE
Please ensure that your child has appropriate summer kit as it is getting warmer as I don’t want children to overheat in tracksuits. This will also be needed for sports day, including appropriate footwear for grass.
Warmer Weather
Children have continual access to the outside area so please ensure that sun cream is applied daily and that your child brings a named hat to school. If children do not have sun cream on, I will have to limit their outdoor time to ensure they are safe.
School Trip
I am very excited about the school trip to The Butterfly House on 25th July and have already received lots of slips back. Please ensure they are returned swiftly, with payment of £14.10 as soon as possible in order for me to begin organising the day.

Other information
I am looking to source some toy pushchairs or cars if anyone knows of someone who is getting rid of any.
I have also seen a recent idea of a ‘literacy shed’ which I would love to try and recreate in our own outside area and wondered if you could keep your eyes peeled for anyone who may be getting rid of, or could even build something like this

Thank you for your on-going support.
Miss Jolly

Summer 2 Topic Webs: Mini-beast Madness!

Click to find out more about the exciting things we will be learning this term:

Summer 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,
I am amazed that this is the beginning of the last full term of the school Year, it has flown by. This half term our topic is ‘Commotion in the Ocean.’ We will be becoming deep sea divers to explore the magical depths of the ocean and learn about some animals who live here. We look forward to sharing all of our learning with you at our Celebration assembly on 26th May.

Literacy
We will start by looking at rhyming words in stories and poetry before moving on to using the talk 4 writing method to explore ‘The Whale Song’ where the children will learn about settings. Here we will be looking at describing the settings used in the story before moving on to creating our own magical sea sceneries. In the final weeks we will then move onto exploring at non-fiction texts to gain information and facts from these. We will be learning about the features of these books (for example contents and index pages) and will be creating our very own pages to create a class book.
The children will be working towards writing one or more full sentences this half term, this including finger spaces, capital letters and full stops, any practice you can get in at home to build their confidence in doing this independently would be fantastic.

Phonics
We are just finishing off Phase 4 of Letters and sounds and will be moving on to Phase 5 when I feel the children are ready. Here they will learn some alternate ways of writing some sounds for example if we take the sound ai (rain) this can also be written as a (race) ay (delay) etc. I will provide more information about this when we reach this stage.

Reading
The children’s confidence and love of reading seems to have grown greatly last term. Many children are sight reading most of the high frequency and tricky words now and quickly notice repeated words in books. I have had a number of parents telling me that they have displayed these words around the house so that children constantly see them. This is a fantastic way to develop their sight reading. Please practice reading their books as many times as you can throughout the week and continue to ask the children questions about what has happened in the text or to predict what events may happen next, who might they meet next, what do you think you could change the title of the book to? This will continue to develop their language comprehension skills.

Maths
This half term we are focusing on Shape, Space and Measure again, however we will be introducing length, height, capacity and weight. The children will be working towards being able to use language associated to all of these things competently (for example length- long/short, height-tall/small, capacity- full/empty/cupful’s and weight-heavy/light) We will be using many methods to explore how we measure these things. There are lots of ways you could practice this at home too. For example when weighing out ingredients ask your child to help and discuss grams, when in the bath see how much water different containers hold or use a tape measure to measure the size of their favourite toys.
We will be continuing to order numbers to 20 and beyond, say one more than/one less than a number, and complete simple operations during starters.

Other Information

  • PE will now be Wednesdays and Friday . Here we will be learning how to use coordinated skills during tennis skills during our outside PE sessions. We will then be doing write dance and yoga as our indoor PE. 
  • As the weather is getting warmer we advise that the children bring in named summer hats and have sun cream applied before school as and when needed. 
  • A reminder that the playground equipment should not be used before or after school, only during play times. 

Any questions, we are always happy to help,
Miss Jolly and Mrs Attia

Summer 1 Topic Web: Commotion In The Ocean

Click to find out more about the exciting things we will be learning this term:

Spring 2 Newsletter

Dear Parents/carers, 

I hope you had a lovely break and are ready for another busy half term in the run up to Easter. The children developed such a fantastic attitude to their learning last half term and have really developed their critical thinking skills and curiosity in independent exploration. It has been fascinating to go with their unique ideas and interests as they try to make sense of things!

In Spring 2 our topic is SuperKids, where we will continue with a superhero theme, this time focusing on fictional texts and use ‘Talk 4 Writing’ to explore characters in stories. As you have seen, there has been a superhero invasion in our classroom! It appears that evil superhero Professor Slime is trying to recruit other baddies, so we will be unite and learn how to be goodies to defeat him!

We will be looking at all of the characteristics that these superheroes need as well as the unique features they can poses so that the Children can create their own superhero identity. We will then put together our costumes and superpowers to come together for a fashion show which you will be invited to. More details on this will follow in a few weeks.

Towards the end of the term we will also look at Easter and the celebrations surrounding this time. The children will explore the Easter story and take part in some familiar customs such as making chocolate nests, decorating Easter eggs and going on an egg hunt.

Phonics
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 as some of the trigraphs ( 3 letter sounds eg ‘igh’) are a little difficult to remember.

Reading Books
The children’s confidence in reading has grown considerably last half term with many of them now sight reading common words as well as those that are tricky, and also happily segmenting unfamiliar words.  Reading books will continue to be changed on a Monday as it allows enough time to revisit the text a number of times to build the children’s comprehension skills as well as their reading.

I have had a number of parents concerned that their child is a little reluctant to read at home. This is very common however it is vital that you try to entice them to do so to continue their development and try to create a love of reading. There are many ways you can do this without them knowing, for example get them to choose a reading buddy. This is a toy which is only allowed to come out if the child reads to that toy, then they can play with it for a short while afterwards. Encourage them to read to their pets, siblings or even a group of teddies. Try asking them to read each page in a funny voice. You could even act out the pages when their have read it.  The more fun, energetic and discrete you make it, the more they will want to do!

Literacy
In our Literacy lessons, the children will continue applying their learning from our daily Letters & Sounds sessions and will use these skills for the weekly independent writing task and adult led activities such as using dazzling describing words to describe characters, write letters to superheroes and create a cunning name for their heroes.

The children have grown in confidence greatly with their writing and are enthusiastic about doing it to a high standard. It is lovely to see them beaming with pride when they have completed it and remembered all of the key features such as capital letters and finger spaces. It is vital that pre-cursive written in consistently used at school and at home as it will make it easier when them come to join their writing in Year 1, rather than having to revisit new pencil positioning, which way you move the pencil (clockwise or anti clockwise) on top of all the other factors children have to consider when writing!

Maths
We will be focusing on the number again this half term, this time exploring problem solving. This will look at adding totals, subtracting, doubling and halving. They will also continue to look at ordering numbers to 20 or beyond as well as one more than and one less.

If you would like to help your children develop such skills at home, here are a few ideas to try;

  • Sharing out food between you and your child, showing them that you must both have the same. Start by counting out your starting total and then  giving “one for you and one for me” until you have equal amounts before reinforcing that half of your starting number is what you have in your pile.

  • Double the spots on a ladybird’s wing, emphasising that when we double it has to be the same number on each side before they want to be friends and counted together.

  • Doubling the total number of their favourite food!

  • Looking at and drawing the symbols for add, subtract and equals.

  • There is also a fantastic and catchy song here to sing; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik_-OAgzD-8

Targets
The children have targets for both maths and literacy to help them understand what they need to do to get even better at writing or maths. These are displayed on the magic at maths wall and clouds hanging by the phonics wall. These are something we refer to lots in the class and are visual aids to help them remember what they are trying to achieve. They are no way used to measure where the children are academically, but just as a tool to develop their independence when learning and as a next step.

A few further pieces of information:

PE Kits
There are many unnamed items floating around that we can’t re-unite with their owner. This also makes it difficult for children to keep hold of their own, named kits, as others just assume that it is theirs and pick it up as they are not reminded to check before.  Unfortunately we do not have the time to check 30 kits every Monday and Friday so invite you to look in your child’s bag whenever possible to check nothing is missing.

Parent Helpers
It has been lovely to have Mrs Wilson give up so much of her time to come and read with the children twice a week this half term so we would like to say a big thank you to her. We also look forward to having Mrs Slater also help us after half term.

I look forward to seeing you all at Parents evening but if you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your continued support,

Miss Jolly and Mrs Attia

 

Topic Web Spring 2: SuperKids!

Click to find out more about the exciting things we will be learning this term:

Chinese New Year

We had so much fun celebrating Chinese New Year.
We had a very busy day taking part in lots of activities to explore the customs and traditions of this celebration. We made lanterns, cherry blossom art, practiced Chinese writing on bookmarks, made monkey banana pops and tried to read Chinese numerals.
We also had a Chinese feast, tasting many different foods such as rice noodles, egg fried rice and Chinese vegetables.
And that was just the morning! In the afternoon we continued the celebrations by becoming a dragon, dancing to traditional music before having fun playing games such as 'chopstick challenge' and 'pin the tail on the dragon!'.
It really brought the learning to life and it was lovely to see so many of the children enthusiastically telling their parents and careers all about it when collected from school that day. 

Fun at the multiplication morning

Thank you so much to all that attended the Multiplication Morning.  It was lovely to see so many of you interested in learning methods and strategies we use in Reception to teach number and shape.  I enjoyed seeing lots of you get stuck in (even with the messier activities) and hope you learned lots.

If you have any questions about what you saw then please don't hesitate to ask.

Spring 1 2016: Letter home

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the break. I can’t wait to hear all about all of the wonderful things the children have been up to. I think you will agree that the run up to Christmas was very exciting for them at school, with Christmas dinner, our party and the fair. I was also extremely proud of their involvement in the Nativity. They worked so hard learning their dances and sung beautifully throughout.

 This half term our topic is “Superheroes are real.” Here the children will explore lots of different occupations and discover their roles in helping us. We will split the topic into areas such as People who help us; at home, at school, stay healthy, get food and keep safe. In the final week of this topic we will then look at what the children would like to be when they grow up! This will be celebrated with a “When I grow up” dress up day where the children will be invited to dress up as the occupation they would like to do when they grow up.  I am also very excited to be inviting various visitors to the school to discuss how they help us.

English (Communication, Language & Literacy)
We will be exploring non-fiction texts this half-term and will be discussing how these differ from picture books and some of their key features. The children will be encouraged to use full sentences when writing and break their flow of speech into words. We will be looking for them to use capital letters, finger spaces and full stops, so any support at home with this would be very useful.  The children will be given a range of opportunities to utilise these skills this half term in activities such as creating posters to promote helpfulness at school or writing about what a doctor might need in their bag.  The children will also be completing a weekly independent writing activity to further develop their confidence to form sentences and words using their own knowledge as some of the children have become extremely reliable on adult presence when writing, and are reluctant to have a go, but are very capable writers. We have tried this out last term and it has been extremely successful and the progress made already has been amazing.

Our ‘amazing author’ this half term is Clair Hibbert.

Phonics
We are well into Phase 3 now with children continuing to pick up new digraphs (2 letters which make one sound eg ai as in r/ai/n ) very quickly. This half term we will carry on with this phase of Letters and Sounds, however will now begin to introduce trigraphs, (3 letters which make 1 sound eg igh as in t/ight/t) new tricky and HFW and also encourage the blending and segmenting of CVCC words (as in frog). It is vital that children practice their reading and writing at home as well as school as it consolidates their understanding and also heightens their confidence. Also please may I express the importance of letting the children use their robot talk to isolate each sound in a word independently, and not being given a word to copy as this makes them reluctant to have a go on their own and hinders their progress. I can often tell which children are reliant on their parents for this when it comes to writing in school. Please can I also encourage the use of cursive letters in all writing otherwise it will confuse children in the future if they are swapping.  

It has been lovely to see how many children who have been trying the ‘Teach your monsters to read’ game to develop phonic awareness and practice reading skills.

Maths
Shape will be our focus this half term where the children will be looking at repeating patterns first, before moving into identifying 2d and 3d shapes and their properties. Although main teaching and activities will have this focus, we will still incorporate daily number starters and focus on this in Friday maths lessons to ensure the children’s number sense continues to develop. To support your child in this area you could begin to look at shapes in the environment and allow them to play and construct with various shaped items to make images and models to develop their understanding of tessellation and edges.  Please note I will be using the term ‘rectangle’ and not oblong, due to recent studies suggesting this is the correct name for this shape! 

Orbit
It has been lovely to share children’s achievements with you at home using the orbit app and I enjoy getting a chance to see what your children are up to at home and how they are using skills learnt at school. If you have not already signed up to use this service, please give me your email address and I will add you to the system.

A few further bits of information:

  • We will now have outdoor PE on Monday afternoons as the children will be taking part in street dance coaching with Rich on Fridays. Please ensure that children have suitable outdoor kit as still some children are having to go out in freezing conditions in shorts and a t-shirt and on a few occasions I have had to stop the class from doing PE due to it just being too cold for those with inappropriate kit.
  • Forest School will continue on Fridays. We do suggest that a pair of wellies are kept at school for this as we have a limited number of spares and can’t keep cleaning muddy school shoes.
  • Although home learning activities are not compulsory, I have seen a huge difference in the development in those who regularly complete these. Please try to spend a little time with your child to complete these weekly as it dies have a huge impact on their handwriting, knowledge and understanding.
  • Finally I would like to say a big thank you to Mrs Jones for helping make the costumes for the nativity play. They looked great and finished off the outfits nicely. Also thank you to Mrs Currie-Smith who has been helping out on Fridays with Forest School, no matter the weather! If you would like to help out in the class then please let me know, we are always happy to have extra hands.

If you have any questions about anything in this letter then please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to another fun filled half term.
Miss Jolly

Spring 1 Topic Web: Superheroes Are Real

Click to find out more about the exciting things we will be learning this term:

Nursery visit

We were so excited to have some special visitors in our class this week. Some staff from Treetops, Boots and Fairytales nurseries came to see how we were getting on at school.

We showed them our classroom, our favourite activities and some of the things we have learnt to do at school. Thank you for coming to see us.

Pictures for our gallery!

Class letter Autumn 2

Dear Parents/Carers,
Thank you so much to all of those that attended the Family Tea party the last week of term. This was a huge success and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We appreciate you feedback on such events and ask those who came to fill in a short evaluation form situated by the tree display outside the classroom.

Autumn term 2 is upon us, as in the run up to Christmas so many celebratory events and activities will be taking place. Information regarding these will be handed out in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for these in your child’s book bags.   

Topic
This half term we will be looking at Traditional Tales. We will be focusing on exploring the language included in these books, character roles and beginning to learn how we can be authors to and change elements of a story. We will also be learning about celebrations and family traditions such as Diwali, Firework night and Christmas.

Phonics
The class have received phonics exceptionally well and surprise me every day with the words they are reading and writing. Due to their hard work, we will be finishing Phase 2 in the first week back and then move onto Phase 3 where more sounds will be introduced as well as high frequency words(HFW) and common exception words (Tricky words.) New bookmarks will be coming home with your child. If you could attach these to the others on your reading log then this would be great.

I have found some lovely songs on Youtube that could help your child learn their HFW and Tricky words.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaqI5-0d-MM

Literacy
During our Literacy lessons we will be encouraging children to use their phonic knowledge to independently segment to spell words to write captions and sentences. They are all capable to do this with some support and encouragement which is amazing due to only attending school for 7 weeks. These tasks will be linked to out topic works, with a focus on a new traditional tale every week. When children are writing at home please remember to encourage our cursive writing and also try not to write out what they need to write as this makes it very difficult to build their independence and can be extremely detrimental for the child’s progression in writing and their confidence to do so.
Our Amazing Author this term is Steve Smallman.

Maths
For this half term we will continue to focus on number work. This includes recognising numerals to 20, counting accurately and matching totals to a number, adding 1 more than to a number, estimating totals with realistic answers. We will also be introducing combining groups to find the total (simple addition) and then recording this using the plus symbol. Finally in week 7 we will be beginning to look at simple patterns, ready to lead us to shape in the Spring term.  Any additional number learning at home will benefit your child’s number sense. Your children have really enjoyed some of the number songs I have introduced so I have included links to these below.

Frozen number song- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j51BcRlWhEQ
Song to 100- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0dJWfQHF8Y

Please remember to check out the Magic at Maths wall to keep up to date with the targets for your children this term.

Home Learning
In order to help children develop their understanding of topics and skills introduced at school we will now introduce a weekly home learning task which will consolidate what has been learnt at school and also encourage independent learning. These will consist of a writing based activity and a maths related one. These are designed to take 10 minutes each and although not compulsory it has been proven that those children who do complete such tasks are more likely to reach their targets. Please note that these are for your child to complete and although there may be less tears and tantrums or be quicker if you complete it, it will not have any benefits for your child’s understanding. Your child may need a little support when completing it, particularly to know what to do and we encourage adults to give their input if children are struggling or getting things incorrect. This will be handed out every Monday with those returned marked. Any questions on this please do not hesitate to ask.

Outdoor Area
I have spent time this half term re-designing the outdoor area to maximise learning opportunities as we come into the wetter months! I am looking to continue expanding the provision throughout the term as would like to ask if you have any of the following that will really help develop the children’s learning.

  • Jerry cans
  • Watering cans
  • Re-fillable spray bottles
  • Water butt
  • Tyres (of any size, a prize will go to anyone who can get hold of a tractor tyre!)
  • Bike/ wheel barrow wheels
  • Tubing/pipes
  • Carpet roll tubes
  • Carpet tiles/lino tiles
  • Hose pipe
  • Wooden planks/ boards (please ensure no rough edges)
  • Tape measures, spirit levels, spades (any construction based tools)

I would also be interested in any wooden or outdoor specific shelving units!

As the outdoor area is accessible all day it would be recommended to keep waterproof clothing at school and wellington boots. Please ensure that these are clearly named. If you have any you could donate we would greatly appreciate these.

Dragon
We are pleased to announce that the PTA granted us the funds to purchase the Bearded Dragon.  After looking around for the perfect one, we have actually bought a Rankin Dragon. These are very similar to Bearded Dragons, however they are slightly smaller and are a little prettier! This addition to the school brings with it many learning opportunities for the children and has been received with excitement by the whole school. We are looking to put on a fundraising event soon to raise money for some additional costs that we were unaware of! We will let you know when this is in the next few weeks. At this time we are unable to identify the sex of the Dragon as it is too young.

We would like to thank the PTA’s support with this and also staff from Dobbies who have guided Mrs Attia and I along the way, particularly Alex and Andi who came to school to set up the Vivarium and educate the class about the Dragon.

PTA
The PTA are recruiting and desperately need some of the wonderful Mummy’s and Daddy’s from Reception to join. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know other parents from the school, plan and organise events and help with school improvements.  If you require any more information about this or are interested in joining, please talk to the office staff who will inform you of the next steps.

Name Change
As some of you may be aware I am getting married in the  Christmas holidays, however I will be keeping my name for the rest of the school year so there is no confusion with the children or myself!

Forest School
After having such a great time on an autumn walk to explore our senses, I have decided to incorporate forest school into the curriculum. This will lead by Mrs Findley and packed full of opportunities for the children to explore changes over the seasons, use natural materials in creative ways and become aware of their local surroundings. This will happen on a Friday so please ensure all children have a pair of wellington boots at school on these days.

Additional information

  • As the weather is now turning colder, it would be useful if your child could have long trousers and a jumper for our outdoor sessions as well as their t-shirt, shorts and plimsolls for indoor PE. Please continue to encourage independent dressing and undressing at home.
  • Many of you have been reading with your children on a regular basis and it is evident of this at school. Thank you so much for supporting your children with this and keep up the amazing work!
  • It has been lovely to see all of the leaves documenting the children’s achievements at home, if you need any more leaves please help yourself to these in the pocket hanging on the tree.
  • Many children have been bringing in toys from home. Please only bring them on your child’s allocated show and tell day as we do not want any tears when they go missing or get broken.
  • Any reply slips or notes in book bags may get missed as we sometimes do not get the opportunity to check them. With this in mind, please hand all slips to the class teacher. If your child is being brought to school by an out of school club or child minder, please pass the slip to them so that they can hand it to us.
  • I am planning on holding a premier of our stop frame animation that we are doing this term where the children will be able to dress up in posh clothes, walk the red carpet and share their achievements with their families. More information about this will be coming soon.

I look forward to seeing you all at parents evening which you will hear more about in the upcoming weeks.

Yours Sincerely,
Miss Jolly and Mrs Attia

Topic web Autumn 2: Traditional tales

Click to download our topic web to see all the exciting things we will be learning this term:

Class letter

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I can’t believe that we are nearing the end of the first half term already, it feels like we have only just started.

All the children seem to have settled in well and are now enjoying taking part in adult led learning activities where they are consolidating skills taught during whole class learning opportunities.  They have been extremely busy this half term, discovering what makes them special, how families differ, different homes people live in and this week it is all about being healthy.

Phonics
We are now on set 4 of our phonemes. The children are picking these up well, but any additional practice in reading and writing these will aid their progression further. Please note that we do expect every child to be writing using the pre-cursive font.

Reading
It is lovely to see the children’s reading skills developing and many of the children in Rj have read their first words and now will not stop blending! It is vital to encourage your children to read the books sent home, either to an adult, sibling or even a teddy! Many of you have asked about the torches used in Rainbow reading so please find attached a link as I highly encourage using these at home to encourage reading also. 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/8xColor-Party-Bright-Finger-Lights/dp/B00EP4XQ6C/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1444805018&sr=8-2&keywords=finger+torches

Bake Sale
Thank you for all those involved in making our Bake Sale a success, we managed to raise £58 for the Make a Wish foundation. We are still accepting donations if you would like to contribute.

Reminder
Please ensure all uniforms and PE kits are named. We still have lots that is not and it makes it very tricky to return it without a name.

We look forward to seeing lots of you at the Family Tea Party next week,

Miss Jolly and Mrs Attia

Autumn 1 newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am thrilled to welcome both you and the children to RJ and hope that this newsletter gives you some insight into your child’s day as I am sure the majority of information gained from them is what they had for lunch or the common “I don’t know” response!

Morning Routine
In order to help your children settle down quickly in the morning as well as begin to gain independence there are a number of tasks  we ask your child to do every morning. They may need a little support at first however by the end of this half term should be performing these independently.

  • When entering the cloak room please encourage your children to find and recognise their name, this will help them learn the letters that make it up and therefore distinguish it from others in other contexts such as on book bags, PE bags and cardigans/ jumpers.
  • Upon entering the classroom, please put water bottles in the green trays which are located in the ‘Snack Area.’ This allows them continuous access to water throughout the day. Please note it is only water that is acceptable in school.
  • After the book bags are placed in the boxes located near the whiteboard. Girls are to be placed in red and boys yellow. This just makes it a little easier for us to find those we need sometimes!
  • Once all of the above are complete the children will then take part in activities set up on the tables in the classroom. These alter daily to allow children to explore activities they may not necessarily choose to conduct throughout the day and also consolidate vital skills needed to enhance their learning.  The topics are as followed;
    • Monday - Name Writing/ Handwriting (When phonics starts) 
    • Tuesday - Jigsaws and group games
    • Wednesday - Maths and number 
    • Thursday - Rainbow reading
    • Friday - Cutting skills

Topic
Our topic for this half term is ‘All About Me’ where the children will explore lots of different and unique ways which make them special, this can be from their original features or their interests. This will then lead onto learning about families and how they differ and as the term continues they will discover our amazing human body, super senses and how to stay healthy.

Phonics
We will begin Phase 2 of letters and sounds the week beginning 21/09/14. Here the children will be introduced to a different sound each day and learn the necessary skills needed to begin to blend to read and segment to spell. I will be conducting a Phonics and Maths Home Learning Support Workshop for you to attend to help you understand how to apply similar techniques we use at school at home. This will be on 22nd September at 4.30- 5.15pm. This timing is to reduce the number of children that attend to help you get your head around it a little bit! If you plan on attending please fill in the signing sheet which will be put up on my door towards the end of this week.  Phonics is a little hard to understand at first, especially initial sounds as you are used to saying letter names, however Oxford Owl have a fantastic section on their website which demonstrates the pronunciation of each.

http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/phonics-made-easy

Reading
Every half term we celebrate an ‘Amazing Author’ where we explore lots of their books and use these as a link to our topics and Literacy objectives. This half term we are looking at Liz Pichon.

As we begin Phonics it is important that your child discovers the sounds they hear and see at school in various contexts, we will therefore be sending home a school reading scheme book that you can share with your child. At this age, reading is a crucial part of children’s learning so it would be helpful if you could hear your child read at home as often as possible and ask them questions about the story to develop their comprehension skills. I will send home an information leaflet about this along with your child’s first book for some guidance. 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.

A lovely website that we will be using this half term is Teach Your Monster To Read; http://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/

Maths
During this half term, we will be focusing on number recognition with numerals to 10 and beyond and counting objects and actions. With number recognition we encourage children to explore the shapes of numbers and the different lines which make each up. This allows them to distinguish them from one another and will encourage them to begin to record numerals with their own representations. When you are out and about see how many different numbers you can see on doors, shop windows, price tickets or number plates. This will help children with the development with this. 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 and everything, shoes, claps, carrots or jumps!  – encourage them to count things wherever they are and if possible begin to integrate matching the total counted to a numeral for development of number sense and understanding.  Some great games can be found on this website; www.maths-games.org/counting-games.html

Family Tea Party
As a celebration of completing our first topic at school and also to celebrate our unique families, Reception will be hosting a family tea party on Tuesday 20th October  at 2.15pm. Here you will be invited to take part in activities set up around the class room and outdoor area to give you some special time with your child. If you are unable to make it then please don’t hesitate to invite Grandparents, Aunties or Uncles.

Email Address
We are currently in the process of setting up an online learning journal which allows you to see what your child is up to at school as well as input ‘wow’ moments your child has at home for us to see. To link you to your child please complete the form below with your email address which will then send you information about the next steps and how to access your child’s journal. Please ensure you do not share any information from your child’s journal on social media sites as there may be references and photos of other children due to group work.

Bake Sale
After talking about the concept of a jumble sale after a child explaining that they had seen one on Peppa pig and selling toys to give money to poor people, RJ got extremely excited by this and asked if they could sell something to sell to make money to do the same. We are therefore going to be getting messy this week and cooking up some treats to sell on Thursday afternoon after school. We will then be donating any money raised to The Make A Wish Foundation.

A few further bits of information:

  • Our P.E lessons will be on Monday and Friday afternoons. Please can you ensure your child has their P.E kit in school on these days and that they are not wearing any jewellery (should your child have recently had their ears pierced you must send them to school with earrings taped up on these days.) As the weather turns colder it would be useful if your child could have long trousers and a jumper for our outdoor sessions as well as their t-shirt, shorts & plimsolls for indoor PE.
  • Please look out for First Aid letters which children will be given at home time. This gives you information about what minor injury your child received and how/when.
  • Each term, our class newsletter is available to read on the school website.
  • We are always looking to collect recyclable materials to use to make models. If you have any that you could donate, please ensure it is clean and place it in the junk modelling box at the creative table.
  • We are always looking to have adult helpers involved in our school. If you would like to help out in our class as well as other year groups, please let me know and I will pass your information on to Miss Towndrow.
  • It is important that your child begins to develop their independence in order to undergo day to day school life confidently. With this in mind we ask you to support your child in practicing certain skills at home such as getting dressed and undressed, taking their jumper off and putting it on, recognising their name, putting their coats on and tidying away what they have been using before moving on to something else!
  • It is recommended that a pair of named wellies are kept on each child’s peg for outdoor learning as it moves into Autumn as we will be out come rain or shine!
  • Please ensure all clothes (including PE kits) are named as things will go missing and we are always eager to reunite it with its owner.

 If you have any questions about any of the above or any other queries please do not hesitate in speaking to Mrs Attia or I, we are always happy to help.
Thank you,

Miss Jolly and Mrs Attia.