Firstly, I would like to welcome back all of the children and parents. We hope you have had a lovely summer. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say that if your little one has been a touch emotional on starting school, then that is completely normal and nothing to worry about. As you’ll have noticed, some things have changed, including us becoming, “The Early Years Hub,” working closely with the Nursery class, their teacher Miss Ryder and her team, Mrs Moore and Miss Dobson. We are hoping this will support the transition from Nursery to Reception for the children who previously attended our Nursery.
For the Reception families joining us this term, I’d like to start with a very big and warm welcome, and to remind you that myself (Miss Fowler) and my team (Mrs Wood and Miss Coleman) are always on hand if you have any worries about your little one and how they are settling in. So far, everyone has been making great progress and been building lovely friendships in our Early Years Hub.
This term’s learning: This term will focus primarily on settling in, establishing relationships, getting used to rules and routines, and becoming confident in the new environment. Most learning will centre around the prime areas of learning in the early years, as we work out each child’s strengths and areas for development.
Physical Development- Health and Self Care: We will be enhancing our snack area to provide enticing opportunities for the children to use different equipment and try different foods, as well as providing exciting talking points. The children will still have the option of the free fruit, as provided by the local authority, but I think this is a valuable opportunity for children to explore their own preferences, whilst learning about the importance of a varied diet, to support your own teaching at home. These may include crackers and cream cheese, learning about spreading and being sensible with cutlery, or houmous and crudités, talking about different kinds of vegetables with different tastes and textures. We use snack time as a real teaching opportunity, facilitated by our staff. Last year in Nursery the children loved preparing their own snack, with a little adult guidance, and talking about what they liked and didn’t like.
- What can you do to help?
Due to the obvious cost that this enhancement occurs, we ask for a half-termly contribution of £5 to provide a wide and varied range of weekly options, so that children can develop their independence and openness towards foods.
Literacy- Reading and Writing: The children have now started Guided Reading. On Monday each week they will receive a new guided reading book. Initially these books will have no words. Please encourage your child to retell the story using their own words. You can support your child by asking questions about the characters, what is happening in the story, what the characters may be saying and how they may be feeling. We will be focusing on writing our first and last name. The children have gotten into the routine of coming into school in the morning, finding their whiteboard, pen and name card and practicing writing their name. We have already seen a big improvement in just one week in how well the children can write their names!
Letters and Sounds: This half term we will be focusing on oral segmenting and blending. This entails encouraging the children to hear and say the sounds in words through interactive games. Children who are ready will begin Phase 2 Letters and Sounds. This means the children will be introduced to letters and the sounds they make. They will then practice reading and writing words using these sounds. Those children who may not yet be ready for this will focus on orally hearing the initial sounds in words and alliteration.
Mathematics: Our focus this half term will be reciting numbers 1 to 20 in order, using 1-1 counting strategies, recognising numbers 1-20 and matching numerals and quantities correctly. We have also been thinking about how old we are and learning when our birthday is.
Topic: As we get to know the children, our topic is based around ourselves. We have enjoyed finding out about the children, who is in their family, where they live, who their friends are and what they enjoy doing. We will continue this topic for the next few weeks before moving onto the topic of Celebrations and Festivals. We will cover Harvest, Eid, Diwali and Christmas. Exploring Festivals around the world encourages children to think about other cultures, communities and traditions other than their own.
Religious Education: As we begin the school year we will cover the topic ‘I am Special’. We encourage the children to think about what makes them special, what makes other people special and recognise that although we may be different we are all God’s family and we are all special. As Harvest draws closer we will begin to think about what Harvest is and how some people in some countries may not be as fortunate as we are. We will be supporting charities in raising money to help those in need.
Keywords (Homework): Children will receive 3 keywords per week. They need to learn to recognise these words from sight. We will check children’s keywords on a Friday afternoon. If the children can recognise these words they will then receive another 3 words. Please focus on reading the keywords first. Once the children have learnt to recognise and read all ten sets of words they will then move on to writing them.
Reading (Homework): Please read with your child for at least 5-10 minutes daily.
Class Bear: Over the next couple of weeks we will be introducing a class bear. The bear will be sent home with children who have impressed the staff team over the week with either their manners, attitude to learning, resilience or have been a positive role model to others, amongst other things. If your child is lucky enough to take the class bear home, please encourage them to record in the class book what they have done with the bear. To begin with please encourage your child to draw a picture of what they may have done with the bear. You may want to write underneath what your child has drawn. Alternatively you could put photographs in the class book. Please ensure the class bear is returned the next day as this will prevent other children taking him/her home (we will let the children decide on a name).