Welcome back and a happy new year to you all.
I am really looking forward to this term as we embark on our topics of Castles and Dinosaurs. Learning in Squirrel class continues to be fun and will take place both inside and outside the classroom. As winter has arrived and the weather has turned colder, it is important that all children have a warm coat, wellington boots, hats and gloves in school every day.
There will be an emphasis on counting to 50 and number recognition and ordering to 20 and beyond this term. We will also be counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. The children will be introduced to simple addition within 10 and will be encouraged to use their mathematical knowledge to solve simple problems.
Throughout the term we will also focus on measurement and shape.
The main emphasis this term will be on reading and writing keywords and simple sentences. The children will continue to have a daily phonic session in which they will learn the Phase 3 digraphs (ai, ee, igh, oa, oo etc).
We will continue to share books and read poems related to our topics. Children will be encouraged to join in, predict endings and talk about the characters and settings. Children will also be taught how to find information in non-fiction books and on the computer.
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
In the first half of the term we will be learning about castles and all aspects of castle life. The children will be re-enacting the Battle of Hastings. In the second half of the term the children will be finding out about fossils, the work of palaeontologists, types of dinosaurs, why they died out, as well as many other dinosaur facts. They will also be encouraged to ask questions about what they discover in order to learn more. We will end the term with a trip to The Dinosaur Park.
The children will continue to have daily access to the computer and cd player.
They will have a weekly German session with Mrs Ward using Hocus and Locus, two friendly dinosaurs who will teach the children to speak German through story telling.
We are aiming for some form of physical activity everyday including The Daily Mile. There will be a weekly planned P.E. lesson as well as daily access to the outdoor area and hall. Emphasis will be on multi skills, ball skills and dance.
Fine motor control continues to be a priority and children will be involved in lots of cutting, threading and pencil control activities. We will be spending time each week looking at correct letter formation and sheets will be sent home for the children to practise on.
This continues to be a key area of learning. Having settled into school the children will be working on maintaining concentration, listening skills, having an awareness of their own needs and views and those of others. We will work specifically on getting along and sorting out arguments and disagreements.
Creative Development will be based around our topic work. This will include designing and making shields and castles using a variety of media and materials. We will be making salt dough dinosaurs, silhouette pictures, dinosaur skeletons using pasta, cotton buds and cardboard tubes. In music the children will be exploring sound patterns, rhythms and how sounds can be changed.
Please check that your child has a top, shorts, jogging bottoms and plimsolls in their bag each week. ALL ITEMS OF CLOTHING NEED TO BE CLEARLY LABELLED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME - including plimsolls and trainers!
Thank you to everyone who gave in their 50ps last term. These enabled me to buy bread, milk, butter, milkshake powder, art resources, baking ingredients and consumable equipment for the outdoor area. The cost this term is £5.50. This money will enable me to buy exciting resources for the children, including ‘fossil’ digging sets, plaster of Paris and salt dough ingredients for model making and finally, food for a medieval banquet and Chinese New Year.
Now that the children are able to read some words and sentences independently I have grouped them into guided reading groups. This means that your child will now be heard read in a small group every other week. This will allow more discussion and questioning about the text. Sounds and keywords will continue to be checked each week and new ones given when appropriate. The more tricky words your child knows, the more fluent they will become. It is really important that you sign your child’s purple book every time you read with them. This helps me to identify children who may need additional support. These children will then be heard read individually at least once a week.
All children will have the opportunity to visit the school library on a Thursday this term and will be able to take out one book a week. A new book can only be taken if the old one is returned and signed back in.
Show and Tell
This continues to be a very valuable speaking and listening activity. As the children are all confident at speaking in a familiar group, only objects of interest or models that the children have made (no toys) can now be brought in. Please ensure that your child only brings in one object on their designated day and that they know what they are going to say about it. Children will be rewarded with house points for interesting or unusual objects and facts related to our topics.
New additions to Squirrel Class
From half term we will have two new members of Squirrel Class: Henson the bear and Misty the maths monkey. They will each take it in turns to spend a couple of nights with the children.
The idea is that Henson joins in with your child’s normal evening activities and then they (not you) write about what he has done in his diary. The aim of this is to get your child writing independently using correct letter formation and some punctuation. It doesn’t matter if words are spelt incorrectly, just as long as they have attempted to sound them out themselves. The diary must be written in pencil. Misty loves maths and the idea is that your child will involve him in a maths activity/game at home and you will record it in his diary. The children should take a photograph or draw a picture to go with both pieces of writing. Henson, Misty and their diaries must be brought into school on the designated day ready for another child to take them home.
Early Morning and Stay and Play Sessions (maths)
Remember that on a Tuesday morning you are welcome to come into the classroom at 8.45 to work alongside and support your child with a range of activities and games. I will be around for you to talk to if you have any concerns or worries about your child. Please ensure that you leave by 9.20 am.
The next Stay and Play session will take place on Tuesday 30th January from 9.00 – 10.00. You will get a chance to see a teacher led session before supporting your child in a number of maths activities. Some of the activities will take place outside, so please wear warm clothing. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible.
Thank you for your continuing support.
Mrs Newbery and Mrs Pigg