We had a very important visitor in Reception this week:
Much to the children’s delight, we had the most fantastic visit from PC Mclean yesterday morning (5.2.18)... In line with our topic “A Day in the Life Of” we were fortunate enough to have an hour with this “Everyday Superhero” and the children were in absolute awe of him. He sat and spoke to them about his main role as a Policeman and all of his daily responsibilities. The children were then given the opportunity to ask any questions they had - which I am sure you can imagine were very cute and innocent. Finally they got the amazing opportunity to have a little dress up in various “real life Policeman things”
A massive shoutout goes to our very own Mrs Mclean who helped organise this all for us and of course to Mr Mclean too.
One of the most adorable moments was when one of our little people was overheard saying: “I just can’t wait til when I am a Policeman and then I can wear my hat ALLLLL DAY LONG and even when I’m sleeping” Too cute!
New Phase 3 Flashcards and Reading/Writing home learning:
You will notice that the children have been sent home with a new set of "Letter Stack" Phase 3 flashcards If possible, please could you cut them out and staple them (in order, see below) together and practice them every evening/morning with your child to aid them with letter retention.
We have also inserted a pack of various letter formation and writing activities for you to work through with your little one. Please do no more than 1 page per day as a supplement to their HFW/TW recognition and remind your child about using their cursive handwriting (entry stroke and exit stroke) techniques. I have noticed in their Guided Writing lessons, that many of them are resorting to simply printing their letters and this is not the Handwriting of choice at Edlesborough School. Although it may seem easier for them to print their letters now, in the long run it is a lot more complicated to introduce cursive at a later stage in their school career so please assist where you can.
As I have mentioned before, I do not believe in sending home rigorous home learning tasks at such a young age, but as we start to transition our children into Year 1 expectations (final term) we will be sending home weekly homework for you to complete with your child. For now it will be reading and writing practice
Many thanks and have a wonderful half term with your precious children!
Spring 1, Weeks 2-5: (WC:15.01.18 - 02.2.18)
Our learning at school over the past few weeks has been fantastic, our days are busy and jam-packed.
In Maths we have been practicing our 1 more and 1 less and our 2D and 3D shape recognition and the properties thereof. We have most recently been exploring Measurement and have had the most fantastic time focusing on length. We've been on a "Stick hunt" where each child had to find 5 sticks and we then spent time ordering them from shortest to longest. We have also completed many 'Table Time' activities during our "Active Learning" sessions where we have worked in our Animal groups playing length games and recording our findings.
In Phonics we are now well into Phase 3 which is a great deal trickier than Phase 2 due to the sounds being largely Digraph based. Again, we make our learning fun and we play lots of games to help enable the children to retain what is taught during our daily Phonics and handwriting lessons. Most of them are doing fabulously but there are a few that are finding these sounds a challenge to retain, so please ensure that you are revising with them at least three times a week; as I always say to the little ones, "Practice makes perfect"
Our Topic this half term "A Day in the Life Of" has been a brilliantly successful one which has resulted in some awesome independent writing and imaginative stories by the little ones. Our focus over the last 2 weeks has changed from "People Who Help Us" to "Fictional Superheroes" and as I am sure you can imagine, the boys especially have THOROUGHLY enjoyed this part.
A little plea to all of you, if you have any dress up clothes that your children are bored of or are rarely played with anymore, please do not throw them out, send them this way as we are going to be continuing our learning next half term with another fantastically imaginative topic - "Once Upon A Time", that will revolve around role-play and dress-up. Our current stock isn't the greatest and role-play in Reception is such a crucial part of the children's learning. I am also interested in creating a "PROP BOX" which will have items like hats, glasses, goggles, scarves, shoes, gloves etc inside, so if you have any interesting items that are no longer of any use please feel free to send in to us.
This week we are learning about Internet Safety and the children have created the most gorgeous little "Cyber Superheroes" today that will be going on display in the Cyber Cafe later on this week. We watched a little Internet Safety clip by CEOP for KS1 children (Ages 5-7) where we meet "Cyber Sid" and learn all about the dangers of giving out our personal information to strangers. If you have time to chat to your little person about the dangers out there that would be a great bit of supplementary learning and recap as some of them were a little bit confused.
Thanks as always for the love and support that you give to benefit your child's learning
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE
Out goes 2017, in comes 2018
Week 1, Spring 1: (WC: 4.1.18 and 8.1.18)
Welcome back everyone, we hope you all had the most fabulous 'Festive Season' with your loved ones, many thanks to one and all for the very kind and thoughtful gifts that myself, Ms Varley and Mrs Celine received, they were very much appreciated.
We've started the year full of fantastic learning already. The children waltzed straight back into their learning space and hit the ground running.
We have already heard some fantastic reading, noticed an improvement in number writing and letter writing and worked with all the children who spent time selecting a specific skill with which they want to improve in the next few months.
With the New Year comes new focus and target setting. We are also going to be setting up learning challenges for the children to attempt each week which will really home in on the children's Growth Mindset and willingness to persevere at a task even if they are not successful at first.
As you are all now aware, morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up is set to change soon. Parents are asked to encourage the children to be independent and to have belief in themselves - they have done so exceptionally well thus far so I am confident that this too will be a fairly simple progression. Obviously we do have some that are that much more delicate and sensitive so with that in mind we will ensure that they feel safe and secure as quickly as possible. You'll all be amazed at how READY they actually are for this. For now, Ms Varley will meet and greet at the entrance gate to Reception each morning and will guide the children towards the classroom area where I will be waiting to welcome them each day. They will hang up their bags and coats and will then enter the classroom to begin their learning day.
If I could ask that you refrain from chatting too intensely to Ms Varley at the gate as she will have her hands full and the children are her primary focus, we also don't want to have a back log of parents and children as a result. Ms Varley will have a clipboard on which to write any brief message you may have (with regards to school and your child only) and she will then pass those on to me once the gates have been shut.
Just a gentle reminder that you are able to speak with me, the class teacher at any time that I am available and you are more than welcome to email me or to call the office to arrange a meeting at any time - I will always make time for my parents so please do not hesitate to make contact regardless of how big or small you may thing the query is.
Our first Topic of the New Year is "A Day in the Life Of..." Our first 3/4 weeks focus is on "People Who Help Us", we will then move onto "Fictional Superheroes" and then finally onto FairyTale/Traditional Tale "Heroes"...
If any of you are interested in coming in to chat to the children about what you do for a living and are happy to give a brief but informative synopsis of "A Day in the Life Of"... your occupation, you will be most welcome. We are well aware of the talent amongst our parents so we will gladly accept visits from those "Nurses, Carpenters, Teachers, Scientists, Farmers" The children will be enormously excited to have you be part of their learning.
Lastly, we are really aiming to bridge the gap between School and Home and our "Partnership with Parents" is really a massive focus of ours this year. So... With that in mind we are opening our classroom to any of you who enjoy a good story telling session. These will be held first thing at 9am every Monday and Friday. We had Mrs Briggs in on Friday and she was absolutely fantastic with the children. Thank-you Mrs Briggs for taking the time out to be part of your little boys learning - Harry was absolutely delighted to have you in telling his class one of his favorite stories. Please just let one of us know which time and day you are willing to come in and read on and we will sort out slots for you.
Thanks so much for your commitment to your children's education - let's all continue to "MAKE THEIR LEARNING MEMORABLE"...
Weeks 6 and 7 in Reception: (WC: 04.12and WC: 11.12.17)
Phew! I missed last weeks update, THAT's how busy we have been in Reception of late
Any Teacher or Teachers Assistant will know that along with the Christmas Period being THE BEST time in a school. it is also most definitely the BUSIEST and the children are the most excitable little darlings ever - therefore any department can often come across as appearing a little CRAZY
We had the most fantastic dress rehearsals and performances of our Key Stage 1 Nativity called Prickly Hay. I must confess to you all how very proud I was to stand there watching these gorgeous little people giving it their very best. They looked and sounded simply fantastic and I was simply beaming - to think that they have only been in Reception and part of the school for just gone 12 weeks and their confidence and ability to stand/sit in front of and perform as well as they did already was just amazing.
We have been so busy in the classroom with our learning and the application of our learning too. Each child has been working on creating their very own Christmas card, Calendar, Decoration and Chalk Candle Pots to bring home on their last day of term.
I have spent the past week assessing the children's Phonics and Reading abilities and I must just say, they did absolutely brilliantly - again, I am beyond proud of their hard work and effort as well as all of the support you wonderful parents have given to both me and to your children.
I am sure you are all well aware of the visitor we have had in class each day - he arrived on the 1st of December with a letter filled with glitter and sparkles and an important message for the Reception children directly from Santa himself - his name is JOLLY and he has brought with him some very funny antics and hiding places. Jolly has also selected various children each day as per Santa's orders, who received an important message from the big man himself in the form of a little card. I hope they have been sharing these experiences with you.
We went to the most amazing Pantomime performance of "Sleeping Beauty" last Thursday and for the children's very first school trip, they were phenomenally well behaved, sensible and respectful. The show was fabulous, but true to Panto style was quite loud and a little frightening in parts, so apologies for any stress or strain that may have resulted. They were all VERY excited and chatty about it afterwards, even the little ones who were scared.
The end of our first FULL TERM is now approaching and WHAT A SUCCESSFUL and WONDERFUL Term 1 it has been. Thanks so much to all of you for comitting to your children's success and for helping be part of an amazing Reception Team.
We hope you all have the most fabulous Christmas break together.
Lots of love,
Mrs Maujean, Ms Varley and Mrs Celine
Week 5 in Reception: (WC: 27.11.17)
What! A! Week!
My goodness, talk about filling every single minute up with Nativity/Christmas and Dobby Donkey excitement! We were all kept well and truly BUSY!
As you all know this was our last full week of Nativity practice and practice we did! It is all coming together so fantastically and the children are all little superstars! Mums, be sure to bring along some Kleenex to the performance you attend...
We have had so many parents offer their assistance to us which is enormously helpful given our exceptionally busy schedules at this time of year. Mrs Badham created the most fabulous horse and cow headbands; Mrs Gray has been an enormous help with our reading system and spent an immense amount of time sorting out the books into groups and creating an electronic list of book and band titles which has been a huge help and Mrs Rimmer and Mrs Hattle have so kindly assisted by taking home and sorting out the children's brand new handwriting books which will start to be used in the New Year, so a massive THANK-YOU goes out to them all for being such a huge help to us!!
In Maths this week our focus was on tallying and creating a “Class Birthday Graph”... We’ve spent lots of time going through the months of the year, how many there are, what months the children were born in and on what dates. We are in the process of making a personalized "Class Birthday Chart" for us to keep track of everyone's special day.
In Phonics we continued to revise the letter sounds "l, h, b, f". We practiced letter formation daily during our handwriting sessions (ask your child about their 'Magic Mats' and how they use them) as well as caption writing and simple sentences - BUSY BEE's!
Our writing focus this week was geared around our stunning 'Snowman' creations and the children were encouraged to use their brilliant brains to come up with something they'd like to write about their Snowman. Their writing was fantastic, so much so that certain children who really made a big effort were taken to the acting Headteacher, Mrs Peel, to show her how their abilities are improving. She was blown away and ever so pleased. Well done my little darlings
Finally, with all of your help we managed to throw the most FANTASTIC birthday celebration (in line with our "Let's Celebrate" topic) for our Class Take-Home Toy, Dobby Donkey! We really try hard to make our learning in Reception memorable, and this most certainly will be. Throughout the week the children were encouraged to make party invitations to Dobby's party as well as Happy Birthday cards for their furry friend. Independent Writing is a big focus in Reception and the children's efforts are really celebrated whenever they produce work independently so focus's such as the party really motivate the children to do so.
Thanks as always for all of the input you give to your childrens learning, it is so evident in their approach to school life and their attitude in general.
Week 4 in Reception: (WC:20.11.2017)
Time sure is flying now that the Festive Season is upon us.
This week we have spent a great deal of time rehearsing for our gorgeous Nativity "Prickly Hay". I must add that the Reception children have been absolutely beautifully behaved when doing our whole Key Stage rehearsals in the hall and on the stage, so much so that Mrs McClean has awarded them several house points for beautiful singing, sitting and performing in general. Well done Reception.
Much time was spent creating the new Reception Display board which this time had to be based upon a Winter themed storybook. We chose to do "The Snowman" by Hossein Amini and the children all worked incredibly hard creatively in order to create their very own depiction of the Snowman. I was blown away by the effort put in by each child, they truly are MASTERPIECES!
In Maths this week we continued our focus on number formation and basic addition. The children are really starting to understand the concept of simple adding and are thoroughly enjoying the various number games we have been playing. Next week we will be doing some "Cookie Crisp Cereal addition" which they are all looking very forward to.
In Phonics we have moved onto Letters and Sounds Set 5 (h, f, b, l) and each of their letter stacks were updated too - please continue to recap with your child each evening or morning before school as it's making such a big difference to their progress in Phonics and writing.
Mrs Celine and Ms Varley along with some fabulous parent helpers had a final "Forest School Party" on Tuesday and I am told that it went tremendously well with the roasting of marshmallows in "Neverland" and the playing of games and loads of exciting exploration. Many thanks to those parents who made the time and effort to come in and assist the Teaching Assistants - they so appreciate your support and input, as do the children and I.
In our current Topic sessions "Let's Celebrate" our focus is now on our dear little donkey friend, Dobby's 5th birthday, which falls on Thursday the 30th of November 2017. We are spending our Literacy "Book Time" creating and writing an invitation for Dobby's 5th birthday party which will be on Friday the 2nd of December during "Golden Time". I will put up a couple of sign up sheets on the door leading into Reception for you to choose what you would like your child to contribute to the party.
As always I'd like to end off by saying a huge thank-you to all my current Reception parents. We really feel so proud to be part of your beautiful children's learning journey and feel that we are making such great progress due to our strong partnership with you parents. Thank you to all of those that are so willing to help in any way, it's greatly appreciated and I cannot over emphasize the importance of a strong partnership between school and home which I really feel we are getting so right this year
Please be sure to keep an eye out for those Nativity tickets - you are going to be beyond proud of your little angels - boy do they SHINE!!
Week 3 in Reception: (WC: 13.11.2017)
We had a fabulous, fun-filled week of learning in Reception this week.
The focus was largely on anti-bullying due to it being "Anti-bullying Week" and we had lots of very interesting circle time discussions on what the children perceived bullying to be. We read the story "The Ugly Duckling" and chatted about the behavior of various characters in the story who weren't very kind to the little duck who was different.
In Maths we continued to practice our simple addition (adding numbers below 10) and we spent much time learning what the various symbols are called and what a sum is. We worked in our Table-Time groups to practice addition using counters and writing out a number problem. The children thoroughly enjoyed doing their sums. The number writing is really starting to improve so please keep on practicing at home.
In Literacy we spent much time writing words that described the Fireworks/Bonfire evenings they attended a week ago. We then added their speech bubbles to their firework paintings. I am thrilled with the level of writing that is beginning to emerge from the children, they really are starting to apply all the sounds that they are learning in Phonics and are at the beginning stages of writing some fantastic, phonetically plausible captions and sentences.
Phonics is going tremendously well and the children are like total little sponges, absorbing every single letter and sound, their actions and their rhymes. I did a little "Phonics revision quiz" on Friday and for the most part they did really fabulously.
Again, I must thank you all for the fantastic input you are giving to your children's home learning - it really does show and make the world of difference to the progress they make.
A few reminders and requests:
* Please ensure your little darling is well equipped for the cold, they really enjoy their outdoor learning and need to be warm when outside.
* We are still on the lookout for more empty jam/glass jars for a little Christmas creation we want to do with the children.
* Mrs Celine is on the lookout for: old cutlery, balls of string, firewood.
* We are on the lookout for any large wooden pallets as one of our wonderful parents has very kindly offered to design an amazing new mud-kitchen for our fabulous Reception.
Week 2 in Reception: (WC: 06.11.17)
What a week it’s been in Reception and a much welcomed return by me. It was so wonderful to see all my gorgeous Receptioners so elated to have me back. I heard loads of stories and answered many questions, but am thrilled to be back in “working order”. A massive thanks again to my very dedicated team - Mrs Celine and Ms Varley really did remarkably well together, reflecting the importance of “Team Work” in our EYFS setting.
This week we had two Parents Evenings which I hope you all found most useful in gaining some much needed insight to your child's current approach to school life in general. These were very well attended so thank you for making the time and effort for your child. If you were unable to attend your meeting, please try to reschedule a time and day for a very quick 10 minute feedback - it's always so important to touch base with each other and keep our line of communication strong.
In line with our latest Topic, "Let's Celebrate" we had lots of reflecting this week. The children returned to school after various Bonfire and Fireworks nights that they attended over last weekend and were bursting at the seams with excitement when sharing their news. We also spent much time focusing on Remembrance Day and we discussed the reason why we celebrate it and who it is in memory of. We then had a lot of fun with our Expressive Arts and spent time painting poppies and making poppies out of red cupcake holders. The children also made the most fantastic fireworks display pictures with marbles and marbling ink. Feel free to pop into the classroom in the morning to have a look at our growing displays.
During our Maths lessons this week we have focused on our counting up to twenty, number writing to 10 (many are still unable to do this proficiently so practise will make perfect) and 1 more, 1 less. I am very pleased to say that most are able to understand the concept of 1 more, 1 less, so next week we will move onto simple addition and the meaning of various Math terminologies such as plus, adding, add 1, minus, take away, less 1, equal to etc. It would be great if you could recap this at home a few times during the week and show how we/you use Math in everyday situations all the time - it always makes learning that much more relevant to these little ones when they can apply their learning to real life examples.
In Literacy we used the incredible potions that the children made for homework last week (well done Mums, Dads, Grandparents for the amazing input) to form the first "spoken part" of a recorded Literacy observation. We noted how the children were in terms of confidence, speaking in front of a large group, how they were able to express themselves etc... Photo's were taken of each child and have been printed and stuck into their Literacy books for next weeks part of the observation which will involve them describing their potion, what ingredients were used and what it does. The children will be assisted where necessary but for the most part we will be seeing how they are able to access the 15 sounds, tricky words and various high frequency words they now know. As I mentioned to many of you when I saw you at the parents meetings, they are equipped with everything they need during "Book Time" tasks - sound mats, TW mats, HFW mats etc... Some are already learning how to form and write basic sentences which is phenomenal and so rewarding for me
In Phonics this week we did loads of letter sounds recapping, sounding out, blending letters together and TW recognition. We have learnt our very first DIGRAPH which is "Two letters that make one sound" which is "ck". We also learnt the new phonemes 'e' and 'u'... These new letters will be added to their letter stacks so please ensure that these are in their reading folders this week.
Our Role-Play areas have now changed into a "Post Office" (this has been brought indoors) and a Home Corner Kitchen and Laundry area (outdoors). With the run up to Christmas we will be paying a lot of attention to the children doing some 'independent writing' with "Letters to Santa", "Christmas Lists", letters to the "Class Elf" who should be making his first appearance on the 1st of December - IF the children behave well (as the naughty elf only visits GOOD children)....
Lots of enormously exciting moments of learning and teachable moments on the horizon. As always, we ask that if you happen to have spare, or don't mind assisting us in building up any extra Christmas goodies like: wrapping paper, christmas tags, cards, lights, decorations, tinsel, fake snow etc, please don't hesitate to contribute. Our final role-play areas will be "Santa's Workshop" and a "Winter Wonderland" so the more resources we have, the better.
Week 1 in Reception: (WC: 30.10.2017)
Phew, what a busy week after a lovely half term break! The children were all very keen to share their experiences with us and we heard about some wonderful costumes, pumpkin carvings, day trips and holidays! We were all very sad to find our lovely Mrs Maujean was involved in an unfortunate accident and still slightly under the weather, but are really looking forward to sharing our news with her on Monday.
This week, we have started to think about our new topic of Celebrations and in particular Halloween and Bonfire night. These have given us some lovely opportunities in Expressive Art & Design and Understanding the World as we draw and interpret our experiences and expectations. We have also discussed how we can keep ourselves safe when out and about after dark and around roads. All the children were able to discuss their own experiences and explain why they enjoy these special times.
Each day this week we have practised our letter sounds and thought about where we hear these in words that we have learnt so far. The children are becoming so confident in hearing and recognising their letters and these skills are so important with early readers. As you read with your child this weekend, can they show you our target letters and recognise all their letters in the letter stack that will be added to their reading folders?
In Forest School we continued exploring 'Neverland' and used natural resources to make pictures of hedgehogs and pumpkins.
Wednesday was "Onesie day" and the children looked fantastic in their outfits whilst raising money for Junior Type 1 Diabetes. We went to assembly where we learnt more about the condition with the whole school as well about Rememberance Sunday.
In Numeracy this week we have been representing numbers with cotton reels and thinking about comparison and making 'more' or 'fewer'. The children worked well reading and interpreting number boards and sequencing to check their work together, demonstrating great concentration and team work skills.
This week we have also thought about our ICT skills and have been learning how to use a mouse pad as we play games on laptops, a tricky concept as we are all so used to using touch screens!
Our Growth Mindset Champion this week was Jan - he has returned to School eager to learn and undertakes every challenge with enthusiasm. Our Values Champion this week is Evie - she has demonstrated our terms value of Understanding as she recognises and understands the feelings of others, always trying hard to support her friends. Well done to you both!
We hope you all have a safe and happy weekend with lots of Fireworks fun!
Week Six in Reception: (WC: 16.10.2017)
Our final week before half term was very busy and full of extra special learning and sharing.
In Literacy we spent a final week reflecting on what the children have learnt about themselves and each other, bringing our final first topic of "This is Me" to a close. I am sure if you ask your little one to perform the song that we learnt in relation to this topic "It's Good to be ME!" they will gladly do so. We continued to explore the "Rainbow Fish" story and the children enjoyed choosing their favourite characters and creating artworks of them.
In Phonics we moved onto Set 3 of Phase Two and learnt the phonemes: g, o, c, k. They really are doing fabulously in this area and most children are now quite confident in identifying and sounding out these first 12 sounds. They are also doing awesomely with blending various sounds together so we are very pleased.
Maths this week was really enjoyable because the children were able to access the iPads and go on a very exciting "Shape Walk". We started off as a whole class where we walked and identified various 2D shapes as a large group. I then asked the children to pair up and then in their pairs they were told to walk around the named areas and look carefully for one of the following 2D shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, oval, star, heart. Once they had each found a shape they had to come and get the iPad from myself or Ms Varley and then go and use the iPad to take a picture of their shape. They did this with absolute zest and ease. After every child had had a turn, we went inside and connected the iPad to the smart board where each child had to 'claim' their picture and explain what shape they had found. This ended up being the most fantastic lesson! We also continued with our 2D shape pictures - each child has now created one and pictures will follow soon.
We had our second visit to the school Library and we are now able to walk in silence and follow the Library rules by sitting quietly and waiting for each of our groups to be called. Each group then returns their old books and moves onto the 'new book selection shelves' where they are able to independently select the book that they want to bring home. Please note that we need to have their school library books in their book-bags every Thursday in order for them to be changed. No book = no change.
Finally, as a class we were asked to create a beautiful card for the lovely Mrs Hollinshead as she will now be going on Maternity leave in preparation for the birth of her second child. I must be quite honest when I say (bias aside ) that Receptions booklet-card was absolutely incredible Each of the children were given a little square of coloured paper and asked to draw a picture of a pregnant Mrs Hollinshead - well, the pictures that resulted were just too special for words. They also each did a white handprint with paint and we stuck a picture of each of them in the palm of each hand with their names on - so I am sure Mrs Hollinshead will remember each and every little angel as a result
This brings our very first half-term together to an end. I have had the most amazing six weeks getting to know each and every one of these little darlings better and I know that Ms Varley and Mrs Celine feel the same way too. The learning from this enormously capable and intelligent bunch has already exceeded my expectations and we are all having the best time together. I hope you all have an incredible half term and we'll see you back, bright-eyed and bushy tailed after this week off.
Week Five in Reception: (WC: 09.10.2017)
Each week is getting busier and busier in Reception and the children are simply flourishing. How we adore seeing their excited faces each morning and hearing all of their imaginative and expressive stories about the trips they've been on, various family members (this is a favourite), weekend shenanigans and anything else that pops into their head (literally) This is what we LOVE about Reception - the sweet innocence and joy that is still a firm part of these little peoples make up.
In Literacy this week we kept our main Topic 'This is Me' in mind but focused predominantly on the 'Harvest' theme. We discussed the meaning of Harvest and why we celebrate it each year. We also spent much time focusing on the importance of food in our daily lives and also on how lucky each and every one of us is to have a loving family, clothes, food and shelter. The children really enjoyed practising their song "Cauliflowers Fluffy" for the Harvest assembly (I am sure you did too) and it has to be said that they absolutely SHONE in their final performance - little SUPER-STARS As Mrs Hollinshead quite rightly pointed out, we forget that these little ones have only been at "BIG school" for 5 and a bit weeks and they just got up and performed in front of the whole school as if it was the simplest task in the world. We cannot wait for our Nativity performance so you can all attend and really see them shine.
In Maths we worked on developing our existing knowledge of 2D shapes, their names, properties and where we find them in everyday life. We will continue with this strand next week. Some of the children were amazingly creative and attempted to make their very own 'Shapes Picture' where they were challenged to try and make a picture using only 2D shapes. I was very impressed with the outcome of this relatively 'independent' task. We will continue with this activity next week in order to get every Reception child to make one. We will also be going on a "Shape Walk" around the school where the children will work in small groups and be encouraged to hunt for various shapes that they know. Fun learning times in Reception!
Our Phonics is progressing amazingly well and most of us are now confident with the letter sounds: s, a, t, p, i, n, m, d! The children thoroughly enjoy this area of learning and look so forward to "Wordy Birdy's" funny phonetic stories and antics. We practise using our magic fingers and sound buttons when sounding out new words and our blending is progressing very well too. Some children have moved onto blending and writing CVC (consonant vowel consonant) words which is absolutely fantastic and far above what is currently expected so to those children - WELL DONE! Next weeks letter sounds will be: g, o, c, k. There are now over 50 decodable words that the children can practise writing using the letter sound that they now know.
Guided/Individual reading is really going well and the children's reading skills are improving every week so thank you parents for your assistance and input at home. Our focus at the minute is to try and increase the number of times we are able to hear the children read per week. As I am sure you can well imagine, with only two Adults (most of the time) in our Early Years setting, where we have to work with and monitor the children during Adult-Led learning activities as well as in "Active Learning" time, it is simply not possible for me to listen to each child individually more than once a week. Ms Varley and Mrs Celine will however also start assisting in this area so that each week every child is read with at least twice - once by me and once by a TA.
The children are really enjoying the expressive and creative side to Reception too and are continuously painting, crafting, drawing and junk-modelling. The playdough has been out this week and some incredible creations resulted - the children are always very eager to share their thoughts and ideas with us. Fabulous "Harvest" fruits and vegetables were drawn by Mrs Celine for each child and then painted superbly by the children - they were then cut out and worn by the children in our assembly.
As I have mentioned previously, we now have a "Gardening Club" full of avid little nature lovers and budding gardener. We really want to teach them about the importance of looking after this area properly. Learning in abundance occurs outdoors in the EYFS so we want to pay a lot of attention to our "Great Outdoors" environment this year. We will value any ideas or contributions from our Reception parents and children so please feel free to share anything you may have in mind.
Finally, our current role-play area which has been turned into a "Doctor's Surgery" has been such a hit with most of Reception. So many adorable and fantastically sensible conversations have been overheard by us and the children have really embraced their roles with such seriousness and enthusiasm. The Nurses, Doctors and Patients as well as the budding Receptionists have really taken on their roles with rigor and they have really shown us how well they can work together independently.
I say again, this year-group is SIMPLY THE BEST
Week Four in Reception: (WC: 2.10.2017)
This week has been an immensely busy one for the Reception children and teachers. Here are some of the amazing learning tasks and adventures we have had.
In Phonics we moved onto Set Two of our Letters and Sounds programme: i, n, m, d... The children are doing a really fantastic job of retaining the letter sounds, rhymes and actions. Some are even beginning to write various cvc words independently so I am enormously proud of the learning that’s taking place, and so soon.
In Literacy our “This Is Me” topic has continued and this week the children were asked to paint and talk about a member in their family that means the most to them. They then had to explain and give their reason why. We got some very innocent and sweet responses. We also delved deeper into what makes a good friend and how we can be a great friend to someone.
A big focus in this year group is teaching the children how to manage their feelings and emotions so that whenever a situation arises where someone might upset another or make a wrong choice we are constantly referring back to our “Golden Rules” and the Edlesborough behaviour card system. Fortunately they really seem to be having a positive effect on the generally excellent behaviour in Reception.
In Maths we had great fun learning all about 'Weight'. We had different types of balance scales out all week and used various items in order to help us explore the concept of heavy and light. The children nailed it and really enjoyed our sessions which involved fun games, conker weighing and estimating what they thought would be heavier and what may be lighter. We used items such as feathers, conkers, counters, leaves, compare bears and even added some fluffy toys to the mix.
On Fridays we have our baking/cooking/making tasks where a small group of children are selected to make and create something tasty with Ms Varley. This week it was "Cheese Puffs" and they were encouraged to use their measuring brains to weigh and divide up grated cheese equally. They also had to work together as a team to roll out the pastry, finally they used cookie cutters to cut out the dough shapes. Every week a new group of children is chosen, so rest assured, all of the little darlings will have their turn several times this year.
Our Class “Take home toy” Dobby Donkey has already been on some fantastic adventures with some of our children who we felt most deserved some time with this special and much loved little donkey. They have come back after the weekend and shared the most sweet little stories about their time with Dobby which are so lovely to hear. Watching their excitement and sharing the joy with them is such a wonderful activity. They really do treasure their time with him.
We will soon be introducing something called our “Magic Moments” which will be held every Friday afternoon just before "Golden Time". These moments will be similar to what we used to call “Show and Tell” and we will make a permanent display board on which we will post pictures of the children in question during focused learning throughout the week and finally their MAGIC MOMENT presentation. This is going to start after Half Term so more information will follow shortly.
During our Active Learning (child initiated learning) time we have started a little “Gardening Club” where the children who are really interested in gardening get actively involved in decision making tasks revolving around digging, planting and exploring their findings in the garden area. We will always welcome things like potting soil, watering cans, seeds, vegetables etc. that will help us improve our outdoor area. We are going to spend a large amount of time learning about the importance of looking after the plants and vegetables that we grow as the children thoroughly enjoy their outdoor learning.
Next Friday we are having our very first school celebration performance in the form of "Harvest Assembly". I am sure many of you have heard the children singing our song, "Cauliflowers Fluffy". If you could help us by practising this with them it would be enormously helpful. They are going to be so lovely.
Finally, thanks so much to those of you who have sent in some extra boxes of tissue and hand wash, your help with this is greatly appreciated. As I mentioned to the children, germs certainly do enjoy bothering this young group of learners so the cleaner we keep ourselves whilst at school the better.
Please Remember the following:
* It is starting to get very chilly so please dress your child accordingly. Tights for the girls and warm, labelled coats for everyone.
* For 'Forest School' we need the children to have a spare set of leggings/trousers (in case there are any muddy accidents) and Wellies.
Week Three in Reception: (WC: 25.09.2017)
This week was immensely busy and full of learning fun. I think it is quite safe to say that the children are now well into full time school routines. The learning taking place is a joy to behold and like the little sponges that four and five year old's are, they are just soaking up all the new information being taught and revised.
In Topic this week we continued to focus on 'Our Feelings' and read a few of the Mr Men stories to supplement the teaching and learning. We also spent time chatting about "Our Families" and the children absolutely love walking past our "Family Wall" display and pointing out their families or explaining to each other about those special moments that have happened in their little lives.
In Literacy our book focus was 'Elmer the patchwork Elephant' and we had some wonderful conversations about the fact that each one of us is unique and that being different is okay. The children adored working together as a team to create the most AMAZING and HUGE 'patchwork' Elmer creation that is now up on display in our classrooms Creative Area - please pop in to have a look. We have also been practising name writing daily and the children have been encouraged to label every piece of work, so for those that aren't yet able to write their names, it won't be long at all until they are.
Maths was full of number writing practice, matching numbers to the correct quantities and ordering numbers 1-10 correctly. Great fun was had outdoors working on their number writing with chalk and paints. Please continue to work with your little ones as and when you are able to, especially with their number writing and recognition.
The children loved going out on a hunt for natural objects with Mrs Celine and Ms Varley during "Forest School" time at the beginning of the week. They were working in small groups and were then asked to work together to make their own creation out of the objects found, again linked to our "This is Me" topic.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO SEND IN:
* A pair of labelled Wellies for your child to use during Outdoor Learning time and Forest School
* A warm coat as it is starting to get quite chillsome outside
* Any recyclables that can be used in our junk modelling area
* Empty jam jars or any other glass jars
Week Two in Reception: (WC: 18.09.2017)
Another really successful week in Reception was had by all. We've now become very used to our learning spaces and the importance of looking after the classroom resources. We have also become even more aware of behaviour expectations and are now familiar with the Edlesborough 'Happy face and card system'. I am sure many of you have already heard ALL about what happens of their listening ears are faulty
In Topic we have continued with our 'This is Me' theme and the children have had the greatest of time sharing their bags with the rest of the class. We have also focused a lot on 'feelings' and our weekly book focus revolved around the 'Mr Happy', 'Mr Sad' and 'Mr Mean' books. When questioned about these characters the answers from some were really quite meaningful and impressive.
Phonics was off to a great start and we introduced the phonemes 's, a. t, p'. The children thoroughly enjoyed Wordy Birdy's phoneme related stories as well as all the new cursive writing rhymes. Please spend time each day making your children aware of the sounds around them as well as encouraging them to identify words that begin with the letter sounds we focus on during the week.
In Literacy we did our very first "writing" activity which involved the children drawing a picture of their family members; they then had to label/explain what they had drawn. We have focused a lot on name writing and have also continued with completing the on-entry/baseline assessments.
Magic Maths has been fun and throughout the week we prepared many activities focused on 1:1 correspondence, number recognition 1-10, number writing 1-10 and counting 1-20. Much Maths is also done during our daily calendar which is completed every morning and taking the register every morning and afternoon. Self-registration will be a big number focus and will start this week.
In Music we have learnt two lovely songs: "Big Red Combine Harvester" and "1,2,3 It's Good to be ME!" I'm sure if you ask your little one to sing these to you they will with much zest as they certainly do so in class.
All in all we have had another week full of fantastic learning fun.
Keep up the enthusiasm my little darlings
A few reminders and requests:
* Please send in any recyclables in the form of cereal boxes, egg carton, juice bottles, yogurt containers, kitchen towel rolls etc. so that we can really get our junk modelling area under way.
* Please could you send in any empty jam jars for a future 'Christmas project' we have planned.
* A box of tissues and a bottle of hand wash/sanitiser always comes in very handy in this year group so if you are able to send these in whenever possible that would be greatly appreciated.
* Please could you send in a pair of name labelled wellies to leave at school as we are now really enjoying our outdoor learning environment and want to equip the children according to the weather conditions.
Week One: Settling into school: (WC: 11.09.2017)
The Reception children did an absolutely fabulous job with settling into the rules and routines of 'big school' this week. We had very few tears and mostly very excited and eager little people. School dinners in the main school hall went off without a hitch and here too, the Reception children coped with surprising ease. Mrs Maujean is beyond proud of the efforts each and every child (and their parents) have put in to making this week such a success. Keep it up everyone
Sharing of their 'This is ME' bags:
The children are really enjoying this little 'get to know you' activity and we have been delighted to see how confident they are with getting up and speaking in front of their peers.
Thanks must go to their parents who quite clearly enjoyed assisting with the decorating of bags and filling out of their "All About Me" booklets.
Well done Reception, what an awesome start to the year!