This morning we took the children on a plane journey to Tanzania... They were all issued with tickets and passports and when they came into the classroom they found it transformed into an airplane. We had a safety announcement and they did up their imaginary seat belts and we were off!
We watched a video of what it's like to take off an land in a plane and when we arrived at our destination we found out all about the animals that we might encounter on the plains of Tanzania and other African countries.
The stories that we will be focusing on to support our topic on Big Beasts this half term are Giraffe's Can't Dance, The Ugly Five, We all Went on Safari and Handa's Surprise. As part of this we will be tasting different exotic fruits, making rain makers, making smoothies and finding out all about the different animals that you find in Africa compared to the UK.
In maths we will be carrying on with adding and subtracting and starting to learn about money, capacity and measuring.
You can support your child's maths learning in lots of ways at home, such as when shopping, cooking, telling the time and when playing with water. These websites also have some games they like playing.
We will carry on with daily phonics and reading. We are now on phase 3 of letters and sounds. This website has some good games you can access for free which we use in school.
Any questions, please talk to us at the end of the day (easier than in the morning) or email . email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Helping the children to become more independent
The children are now much more independent so please say goodbye to them at the door, or in the cloakroom. They are much better at taking their coats off and sorting their things out.
Please could you ensure that your child brings a school book bag to school and leaves it in the book bag boxes in the classroom, not on their pegs. We often need to put letters into their bags and it's much easier to do so if their bags are in the classroom, where they should be.
Most are now able to go to the toilet independently but of course we will still help if there are any toileting accidents. We are running rather low on spare clothing, so please return any your child has come home in.
Helping your child to develop their fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are an essential part of children being able to access the school curriculum and life beyond! Without them children are unable to hold a pen well enough to write or use a pair of scissors to cut! Please continue to help your child to develop their writing skills by asking them to write their own names at every opportunity and encourage them to do lots of colouring in, threading and other 'fiddly' activities such as hammer beads and playdough. Sand is also a fantastic material to help children to develop both gross and fine motor skills - digging in the sand requires a lot of strength and the more fiddly aspects of filling a bucket with a spade really help with their fine motor skills.
The Blending Strips are to help your child practise the skill of segmenting and blending words together. Please encourage your child to say each individual sound and then blend it into a word. It is best if you do this in a random order as children are very good at reciting what they have learnt! Again, when you are confident that your child has mastered the strip, please return it to school and we will move them onto the next one.
Tricky Word Books
The Tricky Word Book is to support your child in learning High Frequency Words and Tricky Words. These are words that they will encounter frequently in a range of texts and words that, no matter how hard you try, just can’t be sounded out! The idea behind these books is that you can support your child in recognising and learning them. We would be grateful if you could practise reading these with your child for short amounts of time, but regularly. When you are confident that they have recognised them 3 times, please return the book. We will check their recall and then move them onto the next set of words.
Reading books and Reading Records
The reading book is for your child to read to you and the reading diary is for you to record how they have got on. Initially they will need a lot of support, but as time goes on and their letter and sound knowledge improves, they will become more independent. When you are reading with them please encourage them to: sound words out; remember tricky words and high frequency words (words that we see all the time and shouldn’t waste our time sounding out e.g. it, is, and); to use picture clues in the book, and to recognise words and sentence patterns that they have seen on previous pages. It is also important that they practice their one-to-one correspondence when they point to the word that they are reading.
School uniform and PE kit
Please ensure that all of your child's clothes are clearly labelled. As I'm sure you can imagine, 4 and 5 year olds can struggle to keep hold of their own things and without a clear name label in them it is difficult for us to return the correct item to the correct child. This is especially true when the children are getting ready for P.E. as all of them are on the carpet at the same time changing their clothes and things can get mixed up!
It is essential that your child has a P.E. kit, consisting of a yellow t-shirt, green shorts and plimsolls. This needs to be kept on their peg ready for when we have our P.E. lessons. These are on Tuesdays and Fridays. P.E. kits should be left on their pegs until the half term holiday.
Thank you for your continuing support - the children have made a great start to their reception year!
Mrs Price, Miss Goddard and Miss Carroll.