Week beginning 16th November
This week we will be learning LOTS! Please see below;
PSHE- Our circle time will be all about what your children think they are good at when they are in school...and why! You can help your child at home by encouraging them to explain their answers to your questions and why they chose those specific answers.
Physical Development- During our PE we will be continuing our movements to music and Autumn themed dancing. We are all still working on our pencil control in class and are doing this through colouring, pencil control patterns, chalking, painting and letter writing. You can help your child at home by getting them involved in drawing, colouring, painting, playdough and any cutting activities. These help to strengthen little hands and prepare them for the writing tasks in the coming terms.
Communication & language- This week we are taking aprt in World Nursery Rhyme week and will be practicing 1 new rhyme each day.
M- The wheels on the bus
T- 5 little speckled frogs
W- Hickory dickory dock
Th- Old MacDonald had a farm
F- Miss Polly had a dolly
We are also learning the letter sounds /m/d/g/o/ and singing the song of sounds with actions.
You can help your child at home by singing the song of sounds and completing the seesaw reading homework activities each day.
Maths- We are looking at and learning about triangles and circles. We need to know their names, be able to sort them into groups, what they look like and be able to tell each other how many sides or corners they have. We are also using the language and vocabulary related to prepositions. You can help your child at home by spotting circles and triangles in the environment and play games with toys to ensure that they know in front, behind, beside, on top and underneath.
Literacy- We will be hearing the first group practice their letter sounds 1-1 and will send them home with a reading book. You can help your child at home by practicing their sounds and blending every day. A little and often. The children will also be working on their hand writing- we start with the ladder letters- please see the Parent info section for sheets you can print at home to support this.
Understanding the world- In technology we will be continuing to teach the children how to use a drawing app on our i-pads. Within the Science element of Understanding the World, we are looking at nocturnal animals and why some are nocturnal and others are diurnal!
Creative- We will be looking at some Kandinsky paintings and getting arty with shapes, using them to create our own versions of the 'circles in circle' or 'stained in triangle' artworks.
Week beginning 2nd November 2020
What a lovely week it has been! The children have returned to school smiley and happy and we are all genuinly very pleased to still be able to come to work during Lockdown 2!
The children have all remembered the routines we've established in Oak Class. We have been practising doing zips up on our coats due to the weather being so much colder. We only currently have 7 children who aren't able to do their coats up yet which is really amazing...a record year. However what has warmed our hearts this week is seeing other children trying to help them, completely off their own backs with no adults prompting them...just lovely.
The chidren had their Flu 'puffs' this morning. They were all little superstars and had a wonderful time having their 'tickles up their noses'. The stickers and certificates at the end of it were very well received!
Mrs Parsons took the whole class for our 3 weekly Start the Music session this morning...from a distance...from behind a visor! The children are really amazing because they barely bat an eyelid at this sort of thing and seem to treat all the precautions in school as perfectly normal. Thank goodness. Mrs Parsons taught the children some chants and rhymes (still no singing allowed unless it's spontaneous??), they practised keeping a beat with some egg shakers and then she introduced them to her Cello and played musical statues to her songs. The class as a whole have really good self-control and a lot was needed in our lesson this morning!
We have had an emphasis on the children learning to write their names this week. I have sent all the children home with a sheet that should help you when practising at home together. We don't need these back thank you but do keep practising and hopefully we will see improvements in class as the weeks go by. Thank you for your support with this. Working with children one to one in class is really lovely and so worthwhile but as you can probably imagine, quite difficult to find opportunities with every child each day.
This week has concluded with a focus on Bonfires and Fireworks, leaves, parts of plants and the beginning of Phase 2 of our Song of Sounds programme. It was so lovely today to hear some of the children 'spontaneously' singing the Song of Sounds song. Some of you have obviously been practising this at home so well done.
Just a reminder about bringing library books back to school every Friday please. If they don't come back, we won't be allocating new ones the following Monday. Thanks.
Have a lovely weekend and let's hope for some more sunny days next week!
We have had lots of enquiries about when we will be starting PE....well, it starts next week!!
When we do PE in Oak class, we split the group to enable us to work in smaller groups. This way the staff can give the children more attention when teaching. It also helps the staff keep our PE sessions safer, especially when the children are first learning to respond to instructions and develop their listening and attention skills.
We therefore have 2 PE days. Mrs T on Wednesday and Mrs W on Thursday this term. (The children who are not doing PE on that particular day will be taking part in a circle time activity during the session with Mrs J.)
****Now, have you installed the SeeSaw app on your phone/tablet yet and logged in? We sent home a QR code and instructions at the end of term in your child’s bag. If you haven’t done this yet, then do it ASAP please.
This is where you will find out if your child will be in the Wednesday...or Thursday PE group. Children need to come dressed for PE on their specific day please. (No changing at school due to Covid guidelines)
PE clothing- for the coming season we would advise our yellow sports t shirt with the school jumper on top. We also recommend jogging bottoms rather than shorts. Trainers are appropriate for the children- velcro please. No laces unless your child can tie them independently. Although we plan to be in the hall this term, the school has to remain well ventilated and so it may not be that warm as the weather changes- a vest or base layer of underwear may be advised as the weather gets colder.
Week beginning 12th October
Wow!! Can you believe that Oak class have completed their first term at school?!
The children are settling in really well and are finding their feet and place amongst the 29, mainly four year olds. (We have only two 5 year olds so far!) Thank you for your continued support with manners, practising putting on coats and shoes, as well as sharing stories with your children. We would also like to thank everyone who has sent in wellies for their child- our class carpet (where the children sit regularly for registration and whole class teaching times) is also appreciating the cleaner, non muddy shoes. If you haven’t sent in welly boots we would ask that you do so after the half term holiday- the weather is only going to become wetter and perhaps snowy in the coming months- welly boots allow your child to play out whatever the weather. If you would like your child to wear waterproof trousers, please do send some in. A drawstring bag (PE bag?) is ideal, but please make sure the trousers are named, and a name label is attached to the outside of the bag. Please encourage your child to practise putting on/taking off their waterproof trousers during the holiday. It’s not much fun at playtime if most of it is spent putting on waterproofs!
The children are still learning each other’s (& the staff) names. They sometimes choose the same children to play with, but many are starting to explore other relationships and will play in small groups. They will frequently get the names of their new friends muddled! At playtime we have noticed that some children are playing quite roughly. This is normal in the Reception year, it happens with every new Reception class and is a way for some groups to test the school/class and each other’s boundaries. Don’t be alarmed if the children tell of chasing, pushing games, or behaviour from others that they didn’t like- there is always one of the Oak Class team on duty during outdoor playtime to intervene and support those who need help to sort out challenging social situations. We are encouraging the children to ask an adult for help if needed, but we are also teaching the children to stand up to each other verbally and tell another child how they feel if they are being annoyed, or bothered by them. Phrases such as, ‘Stop. I don’t like it’, or ‘No, I’m sorry but I don’t want to play that’, or ‘Please leave me alone, you're annoying me’ are useful for your child to learn and empower them to deal with a social situation themselves. It’s much better to be able to use words to encourage others to act appropriately, rather than becoming physical.
Finally, a few things to practise in the holiday.
We are sending home a small paper bag with each child to enable them to collect 5 (get them to count and check!) different Autumn things. 2 rules- things have to fit in the bag and they mustn’t be alive when they go in!! Please return the bag with your Autumn collection to school with your child after the hols.
Please practise zipping, studding or buttoning up coats with your child. They should be able to put on their own coats by now and should be trying to do it up themselves.
Look on the Parents info section of this web page and find the ‘Song of sounds’. Please get your child to practise singing along with it at home. We are still not allowed to sing in school (Covid guidelines) so to prepare your child for our phonics teaching after the holidays, it would put them at an advantage if they already know the song.
Week Ending 9th October
The children are really starting to settle into Oak Class now. We have all been thrilled and very relieved that on the whole, they come in so happily. There are still some children that don't know one anothers names and so next week we will be playing some more games to ensure that we are calling one another by name rather than "that boy" and "that girl". I've even been called "teacher" by a couple of children in class rather than by my name but managed to resist the tempatation to reply, "Yes child?" We'll get there in the end. Taking the register formally in the afternoons helps with this. We address the children with, "Good Afternoon (child's name)" to which they reply, "Good afternoon Mrs Woodfine/Mrs Truckle." They often get our names mixed up but Mrs Truckle and I are quite used to having our names muddled!
We hope the children have enjoyed looking at their library books with you. We collected them all in today so that we can quarantine them over the weekend before sending home new ones on Monday. If you didn't remember to bring them back today, please remember on Monday so that we can issue new ones.
The children have been using their listening ears this week to decipher initial letter sounds in words. It's a tricky skill that usually we would expect most children to have mastered by the time they start school...and most of them have however we have noticed that some children were struggling this week. If you think this may be your child, playing simple games such as 'I spy' or 'find me an object that begins with...' will help us at school enormously too. If you feel your child is ready to, recognising the final sounds in words is the next step...
The children have had a lot of fun in Maths by making repeating patterns. There are displays of their work in the classroom and library and it's such a shame that you parents aren't able to access the inside of school at the moment. The children will eventually bring their work home to you so rest assured you won't miss out!
We've talked about the celebration of Harvest too this week and what it entails. We would normally be going to St Michael's Church as a whole school for a lovely traditional Harvest Festival Service but sadly this won't take place this year. We heard the story of The Little Red Hen as it ties in so nicely with Harvest and when thinking about ways we can help one another.
Unfortunately, Miss Purchase was tied up this afternoon and so unable to come around to present the end of week Achievement Certificate in our class. It's sitting in her office and she has promised she will be making an appearance on Monday.
Have a lovely weekend and we look forward to seeing you all next week for our last week of term!
Mrs W, Mrs T and Mrs J
Week beginning 5th October
Well, last week went really well!
The class are beginning to settle into the routines and are finding their feet. They are exploring the classroom, garden and are also spending more time with each other, leading to minor tiffs and arguments as they test the boundaries in school and with each other. We are finding that several children are having to 'relearn' how to share and take turns with each other-perhaps a result of spending less time in their pre-school setting/socialising with other children, due to lock-down? And many children in the class are not using words (e.g. can I play? can I use that please? I would like that please) and are resorting to taking things from others without asking first, or are making cross noises and disgruntled shouts if something goes wrong. We are also hearing a lot of 'I want' and 'give it to me'!!!
So, we will be working on manners, turn taking and using words instead of noises/actions in class over the next two weeks leading up to half term. It is important that you also reinforce this at home too, as it will only become second nature for your child if you are encouraging them to say please/thank-you, asking for things politely (please can I have that-please can I play with that now) and reminding your child to use their words appropriately. It can be hard going, I know, but the long term benefits are huge and for our class community to work well in the coming months, it is hugely important, both for you, the class and ultimately your child. We have noticed that rude, pushy, bossy children often find it hard to make friends and secure relationships. (the other children find them unpredictable and don't enjoy their company when playing...or partner/group working in the future)
A huge thank you to everyone who has sent in waterproof coats and wellies with their children! Your child's ability to put on/zip up their coat has been truly tested this week- again, please do this at home as well. And shoes. Your child should be able to take off and put on their shoes themselves. They will still get them muddled, but should know how to undo the strap (or buckle) how to put feet in and straighten the 'tongue' and how to tighten the strap again. Children who have 'velcro' straps should be doing this by themselves. Also please make sure they are labelled with your child's first name- when there are 29 pairs in the cloakroom and your child has to find theirs, it is a distinct advantage if they can see a name!! I totally understand that when you are in a rush to leave, it is much easier to dress your child, but ultimately you are not doing them...or you... any favours. Start earlier and encourage independence.
This coming week we are working on our personal and social skills, but we are also thinking about the world around us. The children will be sharing what they know with Mrs Jacobs through an exploration of the school grounds- do they know about the seasons? What happens to the weather in those seasons? Do they know the season we are in? What happens to the leaves? Do they know the names of any birds/flowers/plants/trees? Do they use some descriptive words/vocabulary, such as bumpy/ smooth/ rough/ silky/ ridged/ etc. Is your child able to use their senses and chat about the world around them in a descriptive way?
-Maths, we are looking at pattern and thinking about how to continue a repeating pattern using a variety of objects.
-Phonics, we are using our listening skills to hear the sounds in spoken words and think about what sound can be heard at the beginning and end of a simple 3 letter word (e.g. h-a-t)
-Literacy and Mark Making, we are going to be thinking about the story 'The Little Red Hen' as this ties in nicely with our Autumn and Harvest theme.
One last item-
In case of our class 'bubble' being closed due to a positive test, or your child having to be at home due to another family member waiting for a test result, I would like to direct you to the 'home learning' star on the previous web page. ( This is not work for an ill or sick child- if they are ill then they just need to concentrate on recovery.) If you have your child at home and they are perfectly well, then please use the daily lessons on the 'home learning' star. They are there to support your child, you and ensure your child has not fallen behind their peers when they do return to school. We also use an app called 'SeeSaw', which will allow you to take a photo/upload work that you have completed with your child whilst in isolation and allow your child to continue to get feedback from staff on the work that they are doing. We will be sending home an internet link to your child's Seesaw account shortly- please keep it safe. Hopefully we will never have to use this option, but in these unpredictable times it is best to be prepared!
Week beginning 21st September
A couple of little reminders;
The class will be staying for lunch this week, followed by a playtime outside alongside year 1 & 2. If you have not booked a school lunch online, please do so, or provide a home packed lunch for your child. If you are sending in a home packed lunch, please ensure that packets and boxes are easy for your child to open independently. In the current climate the adults in school are trying to stay safe and handle as little as they can from beyond the school community. Perhaps opening packets, cracking the top of a banana, or using a peg to secure a bag would help your child’s independence skills.
The less complicated a lunch is to open, the sooner it can be eaten!!
Due to the recent warmer weather, we have noticed several children are not able to undo the buttons on their cardigans, or take off/put on their jumpers independently. It is important that you practise these skills at home with your child to enable them to dress/ undress when they become too hot/cold at school. Please make sure your child’s clothing is not so tight that they are unable to get their arms out of a jumper, or a zip/button undone on their trousers/shorts when they need the loo! These home learning goals that you will need to encourage your child to do when they dress for school and undress after school. It does take longer sometimes, but it is worth the extra effort now, before the weather gets much chillier.
During phone conversations last week we had a few enquiries regarding hot lunches. The kitchen are putting together a plan as to how this could be managed, but due to y2-y6 classes currently eating at their desks in their rooms, it is not imminent. We will update you if anything changes. However, in preparation we would advise you to work with your child on developing their use of cutlery, being able to handle a knife & fork correctly and using them to cut simple food items such as roast potatoes and sausages. This will stand the children in good stead when hot meals return to the menu again.
This week’s timings are-
Drop off between 8.50-9am (no later than 9.10 am please)
Pick up at 1.15pm (please do not come earlier as we will not send the children out of class until the playing field and playground areas are clear of children after lunch- many thanks)
Week beginning 14th September
All the children have settled into the new routines of the week brilliantly. It's been so lovely to see them coming in through the gate, ready and happy to be getting on with their jobs...putting their book bags away, putting their water bottles in the tray, finding their names, putting coats and names on their pegs and finally, washing their hands before getting on with their play activities. It's really amazing that they are all confidently remembering everything they need to do. They have all come into class so happy to be in school and it's been a real delight to see. Long may the happy faces and smiles continue.
It's been a real pleasure to catch up with so many parents on the phone this week. We hope we've been able to fill you in about what your child is like in the classroom setting, how they have been interacting with their new friends and us adults and hopefully you've had any questions answered. Do remember that if there is anything you'd like to know, do email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. We understand it's not as easy as it used to be to catch us in the morning or at pick up time to ask any questions as you don't want to 'hold up the queue'.
Here are just a few reminders for the forthcoming weeks...
Looking further ahead, on Friday October 2nd, we are lucky enough to have Mrs Parsons coming into school for Music Lessons. These sessions are called 'Start the Music'. You do not need to send anything in for this, it is just to let you know in advance and if your child is a child who rarely shares with you what they have been doing, this might be something you'd like to ask them about! Mrs Parsons has worked with our school for many years now, teaching music to the Reception children but also teaching string instruments to children when they get into the older classes. She will be delivering Start the Music roughly every 3 weeks. (She also teaches the same programme at Wyvern St Edmunds Secondary School on a Saturday morning as part of the SAYM group (Salisbury Area Young Musicians. If this is something you'd like to know more about, please ask and I can pass on Mrs Parson's contact details).
As your children begin to settle further into school life, we will begin to teach the children Phonics and Reading through a programme called Song of Sounds. It is vital that you are also a big part of this teaching; consolidating what the children have learnt with us in class, with you at home. In order to fill you in about what form this takes and what the programme entails, Mrs Truckle and I intend to provide you with these details via a presentation on the class page of our website. More details of this to follow.
Wishing you all a happy and safe weekend and we look forward to seeing you all next week.
The Oak Class Team.
Week beginning 7.9.20
Its so lovely to see the children in uniform every day, coming in through the gate on their own already!!
We have added an extra job to do on entry- please can you encourage your child to find their own name and bring it in with them? We have ever such a lot of names beginning with ‘E’ this year- it’s important your child can pick out their name. This week it is easier as your child is only searching through up to 15 names. Next week they will be one of 29 and the names will move into the garden area (as our little red table isn’t big enough,) If your child is struggling to pick out their name, then please practise at home too, with you family names. It’s important that your child recognises their own name as they will find it hard to have ownership of their belongings such as their bag, jumper or coat and ultimately will find it hard to learn to write it, if they do not know how it looks from memory. Please practise at home.
This week is all about learning to do things for ourselves, meeting new friends, building on the routines we know and playtime. We are also observing the children’s physical development, paying particular attention to their ability to run, jump, kick a ball, use scissors to cut accurately and whether they have a dominant left, or right hand.
Playtime- we will be taking the children out onto the field/playground this week for a playtime. Playtime lasts 15-20 mins and usually happens twice a day alongside Key stage 1. However, under the new Covid guidelines the children in each class are not allowed to mix and have contact and so (as you might have noticed) our field and playground are ‘zoned’ into play areas.
Monday/Tuesday- we will go and have a look around the different play zones with the Oak class adults, to see what we can do and what the rules are.
Wednesday/Thursday/Friday- the children will get a chance to play in a different zone each day, whilst being supervised by the Oak class adults.
If your child has an older brother or sister in year 1/2/3, then please can you help us by explaining at home that it is fine to wave and say hi at playtime, but at the moment we can’t leave our class bubble or line to give our brothers and sisters hugs 😥 the children will have to save them up for home time. It’s also important that the older children in your family don’t encourage your Reception child to come to them and have hugs, or hug them over the garden fence when they pass, during the school day. It’s so very hard, but at the moment we have to try to keep everyone in each bubble apart, whilst at school.
Snacks and milk- we will be starting snacks and milk this week. If your child is under the age of 5 then he/she is eligible for free school milk. However, we can only give it to the children if you have completed the online registration form. You can find this at www.coolmilk.com. We then get a weekly list of children who can have free milk. If your child is not having milk then they have free access to their water bottle.
We have a ‘rolling’ snack table and the children can have their snack at any time during the free choice sessions of the day.. The snacks are bagged and the bags are named to enable your child to find their own snack without handling everyone’s. The free fruit & veg scheme provides free healthy snacks for all infant age children in school. We don’t always know what they will send, but I do know that we are having raisins on Wednesday and bananas on Thursday this week. If you would prefer to send a snack from home daily instead, this is also fine, as long as the snack is either whole fruit or vegetables. Please do not send in bars or fruit strings. And please remember that there should be no nuts as well.
Its going to to be a busy week- don’t be surprised if your children begin to show signs of grumpiness, tearfulness and tiredness toward the end of the week. This is totally normal when they first begin daily school in Reception!
This week’s timings-
Morning group drop off between 8.45-9.10 am. Pick up at 11.50 am please.
Afternoon group drop off at 1.10pm. Pick up between 2.45-3 pm please.
Week beginning 1.9.20
Welcome to Oak class!!
This week the children are having the induction week that we would normally have had, in different circumstances, in July. We are welcoming the children into class for a short time in small groups, so that they become familiar with their new classroom, Covid-safe routines, different adults and get to know their classmates too. It also allows the adults, who work with your children, time to get to know them and meet many of our new Parents for the first time.
This week we will be familiarising the children with the different classroom activities, behaviour expectations and general day to day routines such as hand washing & independent toileting. Hopefully by the end of this week the children should know where their drink bottle goes, where their coat peg is, where a painting or drawing is put once finished and the routine for going to the loo and where the toilet is! They will also be getting to know their peers and starting to come together in their group, before we become a whole class.
We would like the children to come in through the gate as independently as possible, but if your child is a bit wobbly coming in on their own then please let the adult know and you are more than welcome to come into the garden area for a short time, to help them settle. Unfortunately, due to Covid safe rules, we cannot welcome parents into the building at this time.
Please send your child into school prepared for the weather. A water bottle is a necessity, as during the current circumstances we are not using the water fountains. Our drink and snack table is in the garden- please do not send squash or juice in the bottle. Our school policy encourages water only, as this is healthier for little teeth, plus sticky squash or juice attracts insects, such as wasps, to your child’s bottle or face.
A hat or cap is also useful and a waterproof coat can be hung on their peg in case it rains. Please ensure everything is labelled with your child’s first name, so that they can recognise it.
This week to help the children separate for longer periods of time, we will be reading the story of ‘The invisible string’.(see photo below) The story talks about an invisible string that connects us all with love and even although your special person may be a long way away, they are still connected to you with some invisible string, all the way to your heart. If you tug on the string, the person who has the other end will know.
Each child will come home with a little wooden heart ornament after their first visit. Please can you put this somewhere to help your child remember the story of ‘The invisible string’ and to remind them that even although the person that they love is not at school with them, their invisible string keeps them connected.
Two other stories that the children may hear will be 'Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home' and 'Everybody Worries'. They may talk about this when they get home from their visits...if not, ask them. They may remember!
Lastly, this week is all about settling into school and being happy. If you or your child has any worries or concerns, please ask or tell us so we can help.