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!