Monday 25th February
Good morning everyone!!
Isn't it a breezy one? Hopefully everyone is keeping warm and dry, either inside or out and making the most of the last day of the hols! I'm currently planning the learning for this term (Mrs T here) and hoping the weather improves as the weeks roll on until Easter.
Now, how are you getting on with the reading? And the phonics? I know that whilst I was away Mrs Woodfine & Mrs Hayter completed the assessments and set the half term homework for you & your child to work on the 'wobbly bits' in their phonics. I've had a look at the assessments & look forward to finding out how you all are getting on!!
Tomorrow is also going to be cold (& Wednesday) so please ensure your child comes with nice warm clothes for the playground. If you would like to leave a hat & gloves at school on their peg, that is fine. Just make sure the items are named, in a named bag and that your child knows that they are there!! (Please don't put them in book bags- we can't fit them into the box if the bags are too full and the velcro always pops, throwing everything everywhere!) We often have more than one child with the same hat/scarf/gloves and it can be a traumatic time if they think someone else has their 'stuff'. Its also hard to track things down in other classes if they go 'walkabout' without a name.
Tomorrow...Tuesday.... alarm is going off....back to school....... and its my PE group day!! So if your child's birthday falls between April and August they are in my group and will be doing PE with me tomorrow morning. Don't forget their PE kit! Due to the weather still being a tad wet, we will be continuing our formal PE lessons in the school hall for the rest of this term. However, we will no longer be doing dance, but will be working with the class on gym skills. They will need shorts & a t-shirt. (we do gym in bare feet) If its chilly in the hall they put a school jumper on top. Soooo that means.... the older group (birthdays Sept-April) will be going to the library with Mrs Hayter tomorrow to change their books.
And yes, I am back again. Its been a challenging couple of months so far and its not quite finished with me yet. Thank you so much everyone for your kind words and thoughts- Mrs Woodfine & Mrs Hayter have been keeping me up to date with everything- I am really looking forward to seeing all of your children tomorrow and getting back to a bit of normality in the classroom again! (or as normal as it can be in an Early Years classroom!)
Enjoy the rest of the day!! See you in the morning, bright eyed and bushy tailed!
Friday 7th February 2020
Coughs, Colds and Runny Noses - Well I'm sure all the children and you parents will be relieved that it's Friday! There have been so many coughs and colds in Oak class over the past couple of weeks that you'll all be pleased of the weekend to have a bit of time to rest. In class (as I'm sure you've been doing at home too) we have been encouraging the children to cough with their hands or preferably a tissue over their mouths and to wash their hands after coughing and blowing their noses. We've never got through quite so many tissues and I dread to think what the school water bill is like at this time of the year! We've had lots of sore noses and lips too. Lots of children have been bringing in chapsticks to apply. This is fine but if you are able to put names on, this would be really helpful. I've asked the children to keep these in their pockets ideally or on my desk if they wish but they shouldn't really be walking around the classroom with them in their hands as they are causing quite a distraction. One last thing, we did have an incident of 2 little girls applying each other's! We spoke about this but please reiterate for us, thank you.
Individual Reading Books - Changing your children's reading books, sometimes on a daily basis is quite a task and it is wonderful to see so much reading going on at home. Occasionally, your child will come home with a book that they have read before. Whilst this is not ideal, please can we ask that you simply re-read the book with your child and by all means, make a note of this in the record book so that we know. It's often beneficial to read books more than once and it won't do your readers any harm! Looking back through record books for nearly 30 children to see if they have had a book before, does take a long time each day and sometimes we don't always get it right so please bear with us particularly at this busy time of the year. Thank you.
PSHE photos - From reading a whole book by themselves to mastering the art of a slide tackle, hopefully your little lovelies have been practising their individual targets over the last couple of weeks. If possible, please could they come in with a photo of them practising (and achieving?) their targets next week to share with their friends as part of our Circle Time lesson. Thank you.
Assessments - we are continually assessing your children on a day to day basis but at certain points throughout the year we are required to carry out more formal assessments, particularly in Phonics and Maths. This coming week we will endevour to complete the next Song of Sounds assessments and Maths assessments showing us their knowledge to date. Therefore, staff will not be hearing your children read or carrying out their Tag activities with them this week. I am really hoping that we will get both of these assessments complete ready to send home the results for you to help 'plug' any gaps over the half term holiday. As you can appreciate, these will need to be carried out on a one to one basis and are fairly time consuming so please bear with us if we don't quite manage it! Mrs Truckle has already offered to collate these assessments for me from home. Which bring me onto...
Mrs Truckle - I have been passing on all your good wishes to Mrs Truckle who I have had contact with most days! She is very grateful for all your thoughts and has asked me to say Thank You. She is recovering well, is missing all your children desperately and is very much looking forward to seeing children and parents after the half term holiday.
School Reports - The other teachers in the school will be spending their half term holiday writing their children's mid-year school reports. In Oak Class, we complete school reports at the end of the year to tie in with when we have to send off our end of year formal assessments to Wiltshire Council. Just thought I'd mention...if you have older children in the school you might be left wondering where your youngest child's report has got to otherwise!
Have a lovely weekend and try not to get blown away in the storm!
The Oak Class Team x
Monday 27th January
We have set some PSHE homework for this week and next week. Please see the 'Homework' section on the Oak class web page and the letter in your child's book bag today.
Friday 24th January
Hi everyone!! Happy Chinese New Year!! ( AND Happy Burns night tomorrow too!)
It's been a much better week, weather-wise in school. Many thanks for sending in your child with lovely snuggly hats, gloves and coats- it can be pretty chilly on our playground and field- the class really appreciated their gloves in particular! Keep up the independence skills at home with dressing, zipping and cutting food- I promise you, although it seems so time consuming now, the time you spend working on these personal skills with your child will be worth it in the coming couple of years!! It also teaches your child perseverance- which is a skill they will need to develop throughout their education!
Understanding the world/Expressive Arts and design; This week in class we have been continuing our learning about celebrations around the world and finding out a little more about Chinese New Year. Within the 'Science' part of our learning, we have carried out experiments to see what happens when we combine vinegar and bicarbonate of soda with ice...the effects were pretty dramatic! We made a list of all the words to describe what we saw and thought about why it happened. See photos below.
Our guided creativity this week has involved clay. Ms Purchase took groups of children to make small 'pinch' pots on Wednesday.Not only is this a useful creative skill, it is also great to help strengthen the muscles in a child's hand that are needed for writing and cutting.
In Maths; We have continued to consolidate your child's number knowledge and have been working on their counting and conserving skills (conserving is when you say a number and you can move the objects around- without adding or taking any away- and your child doesn't need to count them every time...they still understand it is the same number that they had originally- ie the final number they said when they counted the objects) We need to do a little more of this next week, particularly with counting 9/10 objects, as several children are not conserving and have to count EVERY time. We will be assessing your child's number knowledge from 0-10 just before the half term holiday. This will include counting the correct number of objects, recognising all of the numerals to 10 (random order), reciting the count aloud from 0-10 and also from 10-0, conserving a number of objects between 0-10 and putting the numerals in order from 0-10. The assessment is done informally, in and out of class and does not involve your child writing anything down. The written numbers are not what is important to us here- it is the understanding and thinking that your child has so far, that we want to find out. We want them to tell us verbally, use the correct number names and understand other mathematical terms that we use in class, such as more/less/fewer and add/altogether. The adult assessing will write. We want to make sure that your child is not falling behind their peers in their mathematical learning at this stage. We will let you know how your child gets on with the assessment in time for the half term break.
Literacy; Song of sounds; We have been learning igh/ow (as in snow)/oo this week and have begun to apply our sound knowledge by reading simple words and sentences that include those sounds. Don't forget there are several decodable PDF books in the Parent info section on the Oak class web-page if you would like some extra phonics practise at home.In handwriting we have continued to work on the formation of the 'caterpillar family' letters with the class. Please take a look at the Parent info section if you are unsure as to what this is. I put some guidance into that section last week for you about letter families. Most children should be forming the 'ladder and robot 'letters correctly at this stage. If your child is not doing this- particularly in their name- please practise with them at home. Many of the children are now ready to start 'proper writing'! We have developed this skill this week by writing a sentence about our book, 'Cuddly Dudley'. Do pop into class to see if you have time. It's truly amazing to see how far they have come in such a short space of time and we've managed this through a combined school/home effort so thank you for all you are doing to support your children.
Friday 17th January
What a wet, soggy week!!
The children have found this week quite a challenge at school, as they haven't been able to get outside into the playground as much as we usually do. On Tuesday afternoon we decided to bite the bullet and get out in the rain- we're fairly hardy at Winterbourne- but Tuesday was proving to be just too much and too heavy. The children (and Mrs Hayter!) braved the weather, went out to the field and jogged around the track in the rain. It was miserable, but it was just what the class needed- some fresh air....albeit a bit damp!
Our theme this term is 'Welcome Winter' and we have begun the learning related to the topic.
This is what we have been learning across the curriculum this week;
Maths; The children have been consolidating their numbers 0-10 and have begun learning the number bonds to 5. These are 0+5/1+4/2+3/3+2/4+1/5+0. The children need to be able to recall these verbally- they do not need to be able to write them down, but do need to learn them, memorise them and be able to show what they mean e.g. by holding up the correct number of fingers on each hand.
Literacy; We have now learned ch/sh/th/ng (during our Song of Sounds sessions in class) and this week we have been teaching the class ay & ee. We have added the new phoneme tags to the children's reading diaries for you to practise at home. We teach the children that these are, '2 letters, one sound', but the 'proper' name for them is digraphs (2 letters) and trigraphs (3 letters)
Handwriting- we are continuing to teach the formation of the 'curly caterpillar family' of letters. It is important that your child forms their letters correctly, especially in their name. I have added some handwriting guidance to the 'Parent info' section of the Oak page to support your home learning. The majority of Oak should be able to write their first names independently at this stage in the year. Please continue to practise this at home if your child is unable to write their name.
PE; the class are enjoying taking part in our dance sessions in the hall. We will continue with this until the weather shows some improvement!! This week we were pretending to be different creatures that live in snowy habitats.
Understanding the world/Expressive Arts & Design; These areas are closely tied into our theme. The class have been learning about ice, melting and freezing, what happens to water when the temperature drops and using descriptive vocabulary during discussion. They also printed snowmen pictures and explored what happens when (pretend) snow is dropped on coloured tissue squares. RE; Our whole school theme this term is 'Courage' and our daily Worship has asked the children to consider being brave and face their fears or worries. In class we have been continuing to learn about the celebration of New Year around the world and began to find out about how Chinese families celebrate New Year. We heard the story of how the years got their names, acted it out and watched the 'Let's celebrate' episode about how some children celebrate Chinese New year (on Cbeebies). We will be continuing this learning into next week.
The weather next week is forecast to be cold, rather than wet, so please ensure your child comes to school with appropriate clothing and has practised putting items, such as gloves on, independently at home. Please, please encourage your child to be independent when dressing/undressing and eating (e.g. cutting up sausages) even if it is quicker and easier for you to do it yourself!! If you do it, then you are not helping your child to develop and learn the personal skills that they should be able to do at this age.. Allow extra time for your child to dress, or eat meals and reward them if they do things for themselves. There are still children in Oak who are unable to put on/take off their own shirt, jumper or trousers, zip up their own coats or put on their own socks. This term we expect the majority of the children to be able to do all of the above without adult help, or at least make an attempt to try. The adults at school will support and encourage the children, but will not do it for them. Many thanks.
Monday 13th January
Several of the children are moving on quickly through our book boxes and perhaps finding that one book at home over the weekend isn't enough? If you would like your child to have more reading practise, then I have attached some PDF files into the 'Parent information' section on the first Oak class page. The reading PDF's are from a US site, (and Free!!) so can have some Americanisms in there (e.g. mom instead of mum) but this will give you the opportunity to talk about how the English language can vary, dependant on location! These PDF books are purely for practise and consolidating your child's decoding skills- we do not read them in class and they are not stories written for bedtime or storytelling.
The PDF's progress in development order;
Unit 6- stories about Kit- sounding out and blending 4/5 letter words using known phonemes. All children in Oak should be able to read this set.
Unit 7- stories about Seth- sounding out and blending 4/5 letter words using known phonemes. Introduces ng/ch/sh/th. Most children should be able to read this set.
Unit 8-stories about Sam-sounding out and blending 4/5 letter words using known phonemes. Introduces a range of 'tricky' words and punctuation. Many children who are secure in their 'tricky' words should be able to read this set.
I hope that you find these PDF books useful.
Friday January 10th 2020
This week has seen the start of our new topic, 'Welcome Winter'. We have already begun playing with ice (and eating it in some cases!) and thinking of all the words we can use to decribe what ice feels like. This term will have a heavy focus on improving the children's vocabulary. We will have a 'word of the day' where we can investigate new words and their meanings and try to see if we can think of words that mean the same or similar to our word of the day. One of our words this week was....'precarious'. Please continue to explore new and unfamiliar words with your children at home. It's sometimes easy to ussume that children know what certain words mean when they've not had experience of them before. Maybe you could have a different word of the day at home too.
Have a lovely weekend.
Sunday 5th January 2020
Happy New year!!
Just a little note to say 'Thank you' from Kate, Bridget and myself, for all your kind wishes and generous Christmas gifts. I can't believe that Christmas is all over! We hope that you have all had a lovely time with your families.
Monday-We are back to school with a bump tomorrow morning- a shock for everyone! But we are looking forward to catching up with the children and hearing all their lovely Christmas news. Please feel free to bring your child into the cloakroom and help them to hang up their bags and coats- if you think they will be fine without you, then please feel free to send them in at the gate as normal. If your child has anything new...e.g. water bottles, bags, lunchboxes, coats, hats or gloves, please ensure they are labelled clearly with your child's name.
Tuesday- is PE day. Mrs Woodfine and Mrs T have swapped groups, so if your child did PE on a Thursday last term before Christmas, they will now do it on a Tuesday...and vica-versa. This also applies to library book change- if your child chose a new library book on a Tuesday before Christmas, they will now do it on a Thursday.
We look forward to seeing everyone again in the morning!