Friday 6th December
Well, there is no escape from it now!! Christmas has finally arrived at school and the teachers no longer have anywhere to have their cups of tea!! What will we do?! The staff room has become Santa'a grotto, ready for the Christmas Fayre at the end of the day.
However, we have had a relatively normal week in class- probably the last calm week before Christmas takes over though.
The class enjoyed watching Year 1 (Cherry class) and Year 2 ( Silver Birch class) perform their Nativity dress rehearsal on Monday afternoon- the singing was lovely! The rest of the week has been relatively calm, although we still have some colds and vomiting/diahorrea illness in Oak class, so if your child is unwell, it is important to keep them at home for the required 48 hours from the last bout of sickness please. This stops the virus spreading through the class and school- home is the best place for children who are unwell- the best we can do if your child is not well at school, is to call you and make them as comfortable as possible in the book corner until you arrive.
The children have been working really hard on their reading and pencil skills this week.
Soon, we will be at the end of the alphabet just before the Christmas hols, ready to begin the 'digraphs' (2 letters, one sound) when we return in the new year. The pressure is on to get the children reading the tags with sounds as close to the newly introduce letters as we possibly can. Don't forget that you can use the 'song of sounds' letters to 'read' in reverse (we call this segmenting- its the early stages of spelling) The adult chooses a word from the tag, but doesn't show their child how it looks. The adult gives the child the 3 letters he/she needs and the child has to put them down in the correct order to spell the word. The child then sounds out the word and reads it- then they can find it on the tag to match it with the word they have made. We have been playing this game in class and some children have begun to write the words independently. We have also been practising the letter formation of the letters in our names. Its hugely important that your child is secure with the formation of the letters in their name in particular- the other letters will follow. Bad habits form very early and are more difficult to undo and change.
During our Maths sessions we have been learning about adding on and taking away. We have focused on one more an one less, but children who are able have been using larger numbers during our practical activities. Next week we will be thinking and learning about time. Yesterday, tomorrow and today. First, next and last. Soon , now and after. Perhaps you could use some of those words with your children in the coming days- Christmas is coming and time will be in the forefront of their minds!!
Finally some organisational info;
Please note- Many apologies, but we will NOT be changing reading books on Monday 9th next week as we have a Christian group 'The Bridge' running a workshop with the class during the morning. This means that it is tricky for an adult to leave the class to change books. Please do not put any books into the basket as they will not be returned until the following day.
- We will be collecting in your child's library book on Monday/Thursday next week. Books will be re-issued in the new year. Please return your books to school in bags.
- We will be collecting the class reading books in (to keep safe over the hols) on Thursday 12th. Please do not send in bottles or book bags in to school on Friday 13th- we will have a jug of water available if needed- and then there will be nothing to misplace at the theatre either.
-Don't forget that the visit to the theatre to see the 'Taylor of Gloucester' is coming on Friday 13th and you will need to collect, or make arrangements to collect, your child from the Playhouse after the performance which finishes at 2.30 pm. By the time the children come out of the theatre into the foyer it is usually @2.45 pm, which should allow you plenty of time to get back to school to collect older siblings if need be.
Friday 29th November 2019
The children were very exited to come into school dressed in their Christmas jumpers today. We even had some Christmas socks as well.
Christmas is I'm afraid fast approaching and although the Key Stage 1 Christmas play is next week, our Reception class entertainment is not for another couple of weeks yet. We are busy teaching the children some songs and rhymes in preparation. We will also be sorting costumes ready for them to wear at the Church Service on Thursday 19th December. We are hoping the children will wear these same costumes for their stint in the hall but we have enough costumes to go around so you won't need to worry about providing these for your children this year thank you.
The children are all doing really well with their reading. Thank you for all your hard work at home, it really does give them such a head start and helps to reinforce all that we do with them at school. Please remember that if they need their book changing, it should go in the basket below the notice board each time. We don't often look through their book bags unless it's completely necessary, ie the children go to club or catch the bus.
We have had a couple of cases of sickness and diarrhoea in Oak Class this week. We have had several conversations with the children about being very thorough with hand washing and have been using bacterial handwash before they go for their lunch or before having their snack. Please remember that if your child is poorly, they need to be off school for 48 hours after their last 'bout' of being poorly. Please help us to keep these nasty bugs at bay.
On a more pleasant note, please enjoy the pictures below. The children are changing so fast...they're looking so much more grown up already and have certainly become a lot more independent in the last couple of weeks.
Friday 22nd November
During our circle time next week (Circle time is when Mrs Hayter helps the children to think about Personal, Social and Emotional topics/mental health e.g. how we behave, politeness, how we share, take turns, feel/what to do in certain situations etc) we are going to be talking about things the children are 'good at' at home. This discussion not only helps to boost confidence through familiar activities, it also helps the children to realise that they may have different/the same interests as someone else. It allows the class to talk (at their level) about uniqueness and how being different is not an issue to worry about.
We ask that Parents think about your child's interests at home over the weekend, talk with them about what they think they are 'good at' at home and if at all possible, choose and send in a small photo of them doing it for Tuesday 26th. The group who BRING A LIBRARY BOOK HOME on Tuesday will be doing this circle time on Tuesday and the next group on Thursday. We are going to use the photos on a display in class- please write your child's name on the back.
Please keep in mind that we are not necessarily looking at academic goals here! **Things that your child feels confident in and would like to share with friends and staff in class.
Please could you share on the class fb page if you can, so all our families are aware,
Friday 15th November
Happy Children in Need day!! I am sure that your children will be having a super, excitable day ( NOT wearing uniform to school is ALWAYS exciting!)
This time of year is a good opportunity for reflection and that is why we tend to do our first formal Parents evening at this point. Take a little look at the posters below. We sent them home in the pack before the Summer hols when you came in to the Parents induction evening, when your child was still at their pre-school setting. How prepared was your child to start school? Did you work on those building blocks and steps at home? Do you think the pre-school gave you enough support with them? Has your child achieved them yet? Have you noticed that they are not really 'academic' suggestions, they are mainly related to your child's personal, social, emotional and physical development? That is why it is SO important your child is confident doing those things, before the formal academic learning takes place.
If you are answering 'yes' to the questions above, then your child will be well on their way to settling into the classroom learning at school. They will be coming into class confidently and will be keen to learn whatever we throw at them!!
If you are answering 'no,' or 'not yet', then it is hugely important that you are working on the building blocks at home, in order for your child to spend more time concentrating on their learning in school. Not yet having the pre-school building blocks or steps slows down their learning in the Reception classroom and we have noticed that children who are still working on those blocks/steps during this term, tend to fall behind their peers in the coming months. We all need to feel secure and independent before we can take on new challenges. This was why our half term homework was related to those building blocks, as we had noticed that several children in the class were still unable to successfully do some of them!
Parent Consultations- Tuesday 19th (Mrs T) Wednesday 20th (Mrs W)
During our Parent appointments we will be discussing school readiness, frequency and willingness to read at home, behaviour and friendships. Our meeting is very short, only 10 minutes per family, so please let us know if there is anything specific, or worrying, that you would like to discuss and we can perhaps arrange a specific appointment during the following weeks, after school, which will allow more time to talk about your child's needs.
When you come into school for your Parent's evening appointment to discuss your child's progress, please take a moment to think as to how 'school ready' your child was, or is, approaching Christmas.
Friday 8th November
The children were all brilliant when they had their Flu Sprays this morning. The nurses described it to them as 'a tickle up the nose' so they all went in smiling and came out smiling too. They were suitably chuffed with their stickers and certificates .
The children have been listening to the story book 'Leon and the Place Between'. This has been a whole school theme for our Book Week this week which started with a very exciting Worship on Monday to introduce it. The children enjoyed making up stories based around our book using a concept called 'Helicopter Stories' whereby the children tell the story whilst an adult scribes for them. They came up with some amazing and some whacky ideas! The concept is that the adult writes down EXACTLY what the children tell them, no changes allowed. It's a really useful activity for getting the children's ideas down without the constraints of their writing abilities impeding their thoughts and ideas.
This week also saw 'Outdoor Learning Day' which we tried our best to embrace today. However the weather was so cold that we were a little limited as to how much time we were prepared to spend outside! On this note, please could you ensure the children come to school with suitable coats. Time to put away the rain coats and dig out the warmer, winter ones. They are welcome to bring in hats, scarves and gloves, please just ensure these are all named. We will have a suitable container in the classroom for these to be stored in.
On Tuesday, please could the children come to school wearing odd socks? This is in support of Anti-bullying week. If you would like more information please look at http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/anti-bullying-week/odd-socks-day/odd-socks-day-2019
Our Song of Sounds teaching is progressing well and from next Thursday we will be taking stock of our learning by having an assessment week where we will be looking in detail at what each of the children have learnt (and retained!) to date. It will also allow us to update the tags on the children's book bags. As always your help with the children's learning at home both with reading and sounds is greatly appreciated. It makes such a difference to the children's progress. On that note, we are sending home name writing practise for you and your children to carry out together. Hopefully the sheets will make sense when you see them. It is important that each letter is started and ends in the correct place. Although it is great to see so many children are already having a go at writing their names, we've noticed some are using capitals and/or beginning letters in some strange places! Hopefully we can catch up with you at parent's evening about how they are getting on with this.
We hope you enjoy looking at the photos and videos of their week in Oak Class.
Sunday 3rd November
We are looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow morning and hearing about all the things that you have been doing over the half term holiday.
See you in the morning! Don't forget your book bag and your coat.
It's been another busy week in Oak Class with the happy news that EVERYONE now has homework to take home by way of their reading tasks. Just a reminder please to write in the children's reading records EVERY time you spend time either looking at your child's books, looking at letters or their tag words. It doesn't just have to be when they need their book changing. This helps us to monitor when the children are spending time working with you at home...if it's not often enough we sometimes send home a nagging note!
We are rattling through the children's letter sounds during our Song of Sounds teaching at a rate of knots! We are on letter 'o' already. It really is helpful if you are able to consolidate this knowledge with your children at home as they are so enthusiastic.
PE times for the children are proving a little challenging for some whereby they are spending quite a lot of time on the changing aspect of PE and not so much on the PE lesson itself! Please, if you know your child is finding changing tricky, encourage them to have a go. We appreciate it's often quicker and easier to do it for them but at school we are constantly trying to encourage the children to be independent. We are always on hand to help if they find certain aspects tricky but some children are reluctant to try. It is always helpful to have feedback from parents with regards to their children's capabilities as some children are quick to tell us they 'can't'. We want to be able to tell your children with confidence, "...actually, I know that Mummy/Daddy says you can."
Have a lovely weekend.
Tuesday 8th October
Today we have given all of the class a reading book to bring home.
Each child should have;
**Please ensure your child brings the diary and book, with both sets of tags attached, to school every day
What we expect from home.....
It is important that you establish a reading routine with your child at home and ensure that you are sharing their book/tags ever day. 10 minutes of practise every day is hugely beneficial and we know that children who do this at home progress faster with reading and writing in school that the children who do not do this. Try to choose 10 minutes when your child is not too tired to persevere with their reading practise otherwise reading will become a battleground! Sometimes mornings are better than evenings!
We ask Parents to complete the diary and then sign and return the diary with reading book into our class basket (next to the noticeboard on the red table under the shelter) when you would like a new reading book. If your child is at before school club, then please remind the staff to put your child's book into the basket. If your child comes to school on the bus, then please attach a label or tag to your child's bottle/book bag to remind them to put their book in the basket (& it also lets staff know to check) Please note that we do not check book bags on a daily basis, so if your child's book is not in the basket, then it wont be changed.
What we will do at school....
In addition to our daily classroom phonics teaching, a member of staff will read 1-1 with your child every week. 1 week the member of staff will practise the tag words and the following week we will hear your child read some of their new reading book. If we have enough Parent volunteers they will also read with your child each week.
We will also change your child's reading book as and when you have put it into the basket (& it has been signed)
Your child will receive a new word tag once they can read all of the words confidently on the tag that is attached to their diary.
We will also inform you as to when an assessment is due and will send home a copy of the assessment to enable you to stay up to date with your child's learning and practise the letter sounds with your child that they didn't know.
Please pop in to ask one of the Oak class team if you have any questions or worries...and remember, as we said at the meeting, this is similar to learning another language for your child, so it may take time for them to understand what they need to do!!
Here we are at the end of the children's second week of full time school. They have had a full on week with lots of exciting new things to learn about and take on board.
The teachers have finished the Baseline checks on the children's phonic abilities and will soon be ready to start sending home reading books. We began our formal Song of Sounds lessons on Thursday and the children are loving it! The pace is very rapid and next week we will be covering a, t, p, i and n (we did 's' today).
With the rainy weather, we have practised doing up the zips or buttons on our coats! As you can imagine, if 27 children needed their coats doing up at the start of each playtime, we would struggle to get a break ourselves. Therefore we have been keeping a note of those children who are able to manage this by themselves and giving praise accordingly and encouraging the other children to at least have a go. Please help your child with this endeavour at home too in the coming weeks.
This morning saw our second music lesson of the year with Mrs Parsons in the hall. As last time, the children thoroughly enjoy her specialist teaching. She covers a wide range of elements; singing, dancing, walking in time, movement to a beat and lots more enjoyable games to give the children the very best start to their music making. I sent home flyers in the children's book bags for the Start the Music sessions that Jane also leads at St Edmunds School in Laverstock on a Saturday morning. Both my children have been involved in the Salisbury Area Young Musicians over the years and it really is a terrific organisation. The younger children are emersed in music the better. They are never too young to start!
Just to give you a 'heads up' about a forthcoming date...we would like to take the children to the Salzberg Theatre in Salisbury on Friday 13th December to see The Tailor of Gloucester during the afternoon. It is a school trip we have run for many years and a wonderful experience. A letter will come out nearer the time with more details but we wanted to let you know early in case you think about booking tickets yourselves as a family, or need to make arrangements with friends/family/work, as we ask Parents to collect children from the theatre after the performance. (We will book a coach to take the children to the theatre after lunch, but will not be bringing the children back to school and ask you to collect from the foyer of the playhouse.)
Don't forget it's our school Harvest Festival at St Michael's Church next Thursday. You are most welcome to attend this special service. The service starts at 9.45am and we always aim to leave school at around 9.25am. The children in Oak class will be walking down to the church from school with their Year 6 Buddies. Please can you help to prepare your child for this by talking it through with them to help them remember, just as we will have done at school.
Have a lovely weekend and hopefully we get to see some sunshine!
So, how is everyone feeling? I for one am exhausted! Getting back into the routine of the alarm going off and organising myself (and the family) to get moving, with all the correct gear, in time.....I'm worn out before I even get to work!
I am sure many of the children are feeling similar after their first full week at school.(and Parents!!) With tiredness often comes the grumps, mood swings and temper tantrums...and that's just the adults in the house. No...seriously....we've had a few messages from Parents to say that their child is behaving differently and is less tolerant/ moody/ tearful at home. Remember, you are not alone! It takes a while to get used to the whole school experience and, as with many child-related things, some children take longer than others. The only tip I can give is be consistent with bed times and meal times......tiredness and hungry tummies tends to be a real trigger.
The children have coped exceedingly well at school this week. Only their second full week in school and their first week full time- most have risen to the multiple challenges! A little list below of all the things they have been introduced to this week- obviously it doesn't include all the ongoing social and emotional skills they are developing alongside the other adults and children every day;
The list above gives you some idea of the things the children are being directed to do, but it is not exhaustive and does not include all the things that they do in class during our 'free flow' times. As you can probably see, it is mainly concerned with the rules, routines and behavioural expectations of school. We try to establish a positive attitude to school and the people around your child, before introducing newer learning- we have found that the Reception children learn best when they are happy, settled and behaviour is good. So far the children in Oak class have been responding really well
Lastly a big 'thank you' to all the Parents/ Grandparents, who were able to come to our informal reading meeting on Wednesday. We really appreciate your time and hope that you were able to take away some useful information. If you were unable to attend, then please see the 'Parent Information Autumn' section on the Oak class home page. We have put the phonics info and some reading/writing tips on there for you to read. If the library system is set up for us by next week, then we hope to send a library book home for you to share with your child initially. We will then change it the following week (30th Sept) This gets the children used to carrying something in their bags and into a routine of finding a good time to share a book with you at home each day. Once we have completed the first week of teaching the phonics, then we will gradually send home reading books. Don't worry if your child doesn't have one straight away- it takes a little time to issue 27 children with reading books, tags and change others as they are returned, at the same time. We tend to split the class into small groups and issue books to a group each day and then all children should have their book by the end of that week. Hope that makes sense- please come and ask if you are unsure.
So- have a quiet and relaxing weekend. Catch up with some home life and we will see everyone on Monday morning....bright eyed and bushy tailed!!
September 9th-13th 2019
The children did really well with the added routine of staying for lunch this week. It's a lot of new things to think about, instructions to listen to and decisions to make but they all seemed to take it in their stride. The Year 6 children from Sycamore Class did a sterling job of escorting the children from the hall to the playground after our class had finished eating and there are some lovely bonds forming already between the oldest and youngest members of our school.
The children were pretty tired towards the end of this week. Do speak to one of our Reception class team if any of your children are struggling, particularly with staying all day from next week.
We have a very informal meeting this coming Wednesday (18th) at 2.30pm to inform you about our plans for the year ahead in terms of teaching your children to read. We did give you this date at the induction meeting in July and it has been on the 'Acorn' page through the Summer hols, but we apologise for not reminding you about it since returning to school! If you are unable to attend we will ensure to put any information up on this website so that if you are unable to attend the meeting, you can find out about Phonics and Reading from here.
Thank you so much for allowing us to carry out our Home Visits this year and for making us feel so welcome. It's been a really valuable way of getting to know you all and to see your children in their home settings. In the past, some parents have said that they have found it hard that they don't have an opportunity to discuss their child's morning with us at school every day like at nursery. As you can appreciate with the lowered ratios of teaching staff to parents, this is no longer possible on a daily basis when your children start school but please do catch us if you need to. We're always very happy to talk about your children with you!
So how did the first week go? Were they excited...or did they want to go back to pre-school?
At school, we tend to call this the 'honeymoon period'. Everything is new and exciting- a novelty- so they are normally happy to come in and sometimes may wobble initially- even if they didn't wobble when they went into Nursery or pre-school. Keep persevering, being positive and remember that the wobblers will keep testing your resolve- they check your responses and see if you are being consistent. They also get tired- even if they attended nursery or pre-school daily. There is a lot to take on board- routines, organisation, new rules, people's names, other children, new names, assembly, lining up, lunch time (90 children!) playtimes etc. Think about how you would feel if you had to walk into a new job where you didn't know anyone (at least 27 people who work directly with you and another 180+ who you see every day), didn't know the layout, didn't know the rules, didn't know the boss, every day for a week. It takes a while to settle and its mentally exhausting.
If they are coming into class confidently then enjoy the moment and praise them.
Once the 'honeymoon period' is over, then every day becomes, well everyday. Sometimes even the most confident children wobble. This is NORMAL. It is very rare for a child to be upset all day and we would always talk to you if there were any issues at school. Children are great at pushing our emotional buttons (trust me- I have an 11 year old who started secondary this week) and we, as Parents, have to be consistent, positive and guide our children to find solutions, helping them to understand their emotions.
Its a whole new world at school and it sometimes takes a little while to get used to it.
Monday 9th- Friday 13th September
The class will be attending for the morning and staying for lunch, going home at 1.15 pm.
Please bring your child to school for 9 am- our door opens at 8.50 am. If your child is in class after 9 am they will receive a 'late' mark in the register. The playground gate is shut at 9.10 am so please bring children to the office to be signed in and brought to the classroom by Mrs Hyde (in the office). Please collect your child after lunch- do not come into the playground until all children have vacated it and gone to their classes. Our door will open at 1.10 pm- please collect by 1.15 pm at the latest (or we will be late for our afternoon home visits) Many thanks.
Hot school lunches- Please ensure that you have logged onto the school system and indicated the choices for your child. The teachers do not book the children in for lunch- it is a cashless system that is completed online by Parents and this information is available to the office to pass onto the school kitchen in the morning (so they know what to cook) If your child has dietary requirements/allergies please make sure the office is aware and that you order accordingly. Please make sure that your child knows what to expect for lunch. Talk with them about the choices and get them to help decide. Make sure they know what is for lunch.
Packed lunches- please send a lunch box in with your child that includes a drink and chill pack. The lunch boxes are stored in the Oak class cloakroom on the bottom shelf until lunch time. Please uses boxes and packets that your child can open independently-or you have attached pegs or partially opened for them. Mrs Hayter and I will help the class in the hall, but with 28 children all needing help, your child may have to wait some time. Make sure your child's lunch box, bottle, chill pack and any boxes are all named clearly- this way we can get them back to you if they are misplaced.
You can mix and match hot school lunches and packed lunches if you wish. This helps if there is not an option on that days menu that you know your child will eat- Please make sure that your child knows what they are having when they come to school.
Next week's routine-
9 am- Self registration on arrival- find your name pebble and bring it into class to put in the basket.
9-10.30 am- selection of activities in class and in the garden. Snack and milk at a time of your child's choice.
10.30-10.45 am- break time- going out to play in the playground/field with Year 1 and Year 2
10.50-11.20 a- selection of activities in class and in the garden. Snack and milk at a time of your child's choice.
11.20-11.40 am- Tidy up, wash hands and prepare for lunch.
11.45-12.20 pm- First sittings- Oak class go to lunch first, followed by Year 1 then Year 2. (total of 90 children in the hall) Once the children have finished eating they go out to play in the playground/field with the rest of the school.
12.30-12.55 pm- break time- playing with each other and the rest of the school.
1 pm- line up and go back to class.
1.10-1.15 pm - Parents collect.
What to bring
Your child needs a coat, book bag, hat/cap and a water bottle.
Please ensure everything is labelled clearly with your child’s name.
(We will not be doing PE for 2-3 weeks, so a PE kit is not needed straight away.)
Water bottles- water only please!
(No juice, squash or flavoured waters as they are not good for little teeth and they attract insects such as ants and wasps)
Sun screen- if needed please apply at home before school. We do not provide sun screen at school.
Snacks- Oak class children are provided with a daily snack which is either a piece of unpeeled fruit or vegetable. We never know what will be delivered, so it’s always a surprise!! Our snacks include apples, bananas, pears, strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, peas, cucumbers, raisins or baby sweet corn. We have something different every day. The children can choose 1 item at any point during the day and sit at our snack table to eat it.
We are looking forward to seeing you all again on Monday!