Dear Parents and Pupils,
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the break. I was so proud of the children performing in the Nativity, they did so well and sang their hearts out!
The Spring Term is now well underway and some Nursery children are extending their hours, many staying for full days, and we have welcomed Arthur in to Nursery and are possibly expecting a few more children to join us during the Spring Term!
For the children in Reception and Year One, I will be consolidating the progress your child has made and now expect even more of them! If your child is in Reception or Year 1 then they will have brought home their completed phonics workbooks. I thought it would be useful for you to see how we approach phonics and that you may wish to revisit the workbooks to consolidate learning so far. With regards to reading books sent home, the guidance from government is that children should have fully decodable reading books that match the sounds already taught and mastered, and that the books children bring home should be easily read. It makes sense that the books the children are reading match the sounds taught and the phonics workbook they are working at. Reception have just started workbook 3, so their reading books should have a number 1 or 2 sticker on them, Year One are working on workbook 7 so their reading books will most likely have numbers 4 – 6 on the front dependent on individual ability.
If any parent is willing or available to come into school to hear children read or help with activities please do let me know, it doesn’t have to be every week or on the same day, we are quite flexible!
Reading and Writing skills.
The Nursery children will continue to enjoy stories, practise rhyme and listen for initial sounds and begin to look for them in our learning environment.
We will be continuing handwriting practice. For the Reception children, this will incorporate large scale letter formation using writing wands or ribbons, making letter shapes in sand trays, paint or water and the more traditional practice of correctly forming the letters on paper. The children are beginning to write their own sentences, something we very much encourage. Let your child sound out each word, identify the number of sounds, and encourage them to write the sounds that match their spoken words. Please do not correct spelling mistakes at this stage as this will discourage them from wanting to write.
Year 1 children will continue with taught handwriting and daily handwriting practise. We are really focussing on correct letter formation. Once we have written a sentence, I want the children to carefully read that sentence, checking for correct punctuation, and to look carefully at each word and check that it is spelt correctly. This is something we do every day in school and they are getting quite good at it!
Our whole class theme is Cold and Hot Places
During the first half term we will be focussing on cold places, primarily the North and South Poles, finding out about the weather and conditions and the animals we might find there! Then we will look at hot places, focussing on the continent of Africa. We are very much committed to reintroducing Forest School activities which will take place once a week, usually on a morning. Please ensure that your child has waterproof/spare trousers, a warm coat and wellies in school at all times for these and other exciting outdoor learning opportunities.
As a guide, this term we will be learning about;
History. Role models – Scott of the Antarctic.
Geography. Weather around the world, investigating hot and cold places.
Design and Technology. Textiles and weaving, working with clay and cooking.
Art. Warm and cool colours. African and Antarctic scenes.
PSHE. Our topics will be Feelings and Emotions, Valuing difference, Tolerance and Respect. We shall also be taking part in Fairtrade Fortnight.
Computing. E – posters. Researching, saving, word processing and producing an ECard.
Science. Green plants. Identifying; seeds and bulbs and growing plants.
Labelling a simple flowering plant and Investigating what helps a plant to grow well.
PE. We will focus on multi skills, team games and throwing and catching, football and cricket.
Music. We will learn new songs, add actions and keep rhythm, and perform using simple percussion instruments.
RE. An introduction to Islam and looking at how Christians celebrate Easter?
We also have an exciting day booked for January 25th when we will take the children in class one who attend school on a Wednesday, to the Tyne Theatre to see ‘The Smartest Giant’, more details to follow in a separate letter.
Homework and Reading.
All children have a reading book, which I aim to change every day. We really value your comments and would ask that when you share a book with your child that you write a comment in the reading records for us. Ideally, I would like for the children to share their book with an adult every night, this should take no longer than 5 or 10 minutes. To encourage any reluctant readers, why not read the book to your child first and then ask your child to read it to you? This strategy helps to build confidence and a shared love of books.
The Year 1 children are well into the routine of weekly homework and spellings to learn. You will notice that the level of challenge in the homework will increase. Reception will now have a few spellings to learn each week!
Class One will have Football/Multi-skills with Rowan each Friday afternoon and cricket with Fraser on Wednesday. Please ensure that your child has suitable warm outdoor PE kit and trainers in school.
We are holding a face-to-face Parents’ Afternoon/Evening on January 30th. Details of the arrangements and how to book an appointment will be sent out shortly.
We try to keep parents as fully informed about school, visits and anything extra happening in school via school letters.
Mrs Evans, Miss Simpson and I are always available for a chat at the start or the end of any day and we would urge you to come in and see us at your earliest convenience should you have any concerns, or questions about what is happening at school.
I would like to thank everyone for their support during this first term, the Christmas gifts and kind messages sent in cards were very much appreciated. I am sure that the Spring Term will be just as much fun for the children and the staff!