This week the children brought home a learning pack developed by Herts for Learning.
The packs include fun activities and ideas for parents/carers to enjoy with their child. The activity ideas, alongside the time you spend with your child, will help develop many skills your child needs to prepare them for the next step in their education.
Today, with much excitement, the children received a library sticker specially created to link in with the Time to Read book, The Runaway Pea, which your child brought home a couple of weeks ago. You will find a leaflet inside your child’s book bag promoting the benefits of using the library. All Hertfordshire libraries, except the smaller community libraries, are now open.
Below is a short video produced by Hertfordshire Library Service providing tips on how you can help your child develop a love of reading.
Now that the children have settled into Reception, I plan to hold a ‘curriculum information’ session after half term to provide you with more information on what you child will be learning over this next academic year. This session will be via Zoom – more details to follow.
Many thanks for supporting your children and helping them to settle into Reception.
In our English lessons this week, we have been planning to write a story based on another character’s point of view. Instead of seeing things from the princess’ point of view, we will be writing it from the dragon’s perspective of the story, The Paper Bag Princess.
In Maths this week, we used our learning of formal column addition to support us with subtraction. We have also learned a couple of tricky mental methods to support us with this more formal method
In PE this week, we have developing our shooting skills by playing dribbling and shooting relay games. We also played ‘hot seat’, where players had to take it in turns to shoot and score a goal. If they didn’t score, they entered the hot seat. If the player after them scored a goal, the player in the hot seat was out!
In our History lesson last week, we focused on what Stone Age people ate and their way of life. We turned into archaeologists and studied some poo (Miss Battams had made by hand), dissecting to see if it would reveal clues to Stone Age people’s eating and living habits. It was a great lesson, if not a little yucky!
Have a restful weekend and I look forward to seeing parents next week for parents evening.
Over the past week, children in Year 4 have been competing with students across the county in the SumDog maths competition. After taking an early lead, a coordinated effort on the part of the class secured the ‘Daily Winner’ certificate on Tuesday. Each day, we eagerly tracked our progress on the leaderboard, but were dismayed to see the chance of victory ebbing away. By home time on Thursday, it seemed that everything was lost and that there was no way of closing the gap with the leaders: we would have to settle to for a still respectable fifth place. This made the news that greeted us on Friday morning all the more sweeter: it became clear that the phenomenal effort put in by some children on Thursday evening had not only swept us to back in to the lead, but that we had finished the competition 38 points clear of our nearest rival. Year Four were the SumDog World Champions*, with nine children placing in the top fifty and Eva achieving an amazing third place. It was only the need for social distancing that stopped her classmates from carrying her should-high on a celebratory lap of the playground. Well done, Year 4. You have done yourself proud!
You can download your winners’ certificate from the links below:
What a fantastic week we’ve had. The children did extremely well learning the new routine and we truly enjoyed our time together.
This week we’ve been talking about Autumn. Thank you for all the interesting autumnal items and objects that you have brought in. We have looked, felt and smelled all the objects. We have found out what tree grows acorns, conkers and pine cones.
Our art table was as busy as always and the children explored autumnal colours, leaf cutting and sticking and so much more.
We also practised cutting skills by decorating autumn trees on the writing table.
One of the favourite activities this week was scooping out a pumpkin and then planting the seeds. Everyone is waiting for them to grow and we also make sure the compost is moist every day. The children had some brilliant ideas:
The seeds will grow big and tall.
We can make pumpkin pie when they grow.
The pumpkin is big and orange, the seeds are tiny.
On our playdough table we made mini pumpkins and pumpkin lollies and we ‘baked’ pumpkin pie. We used real pumpkin seeds to put inside the pumpkin.
Letters and sounds:
This week we rescued the bear by using our quiet and loud voices. We also practised our listening skills by trying to ‘hear’ different musical instruments. Well done nursery!
The children went on a bear hunt too. We’ve been reading the story this week and everyone truly enjoyed walking through the thick oozy mud, through the deep cold river, through the snowstorm. We talked about patterns in the story and everyone did really well retelling the key events and describing the characters. To support children’s learning we had a lovely sensory tray and we played ‘We are going on a bear hunt’ board game.
During the autumn term, our learning in RE will follow three themes. In the second of our themes, Called, we reflect on our different experiences of being welcomed into new situations and groups, recognising the importance of welcome, of feeling comfortable with new situations and belonging to new groups.
Christians believe that everyone is invited to share in the life and work of God through Baptism. The Bible recounts God’s invitations to people to share in his life and work: among them Moses, Samuel, the prophets, Mary and the apostles.
“Through Baptism, men and women are incorporated into Christ. They are formed into God’s people and they obtain the forgiveness of all their sins. They become a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. Hence they are called and are indeed children of God. Signed with the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation, Christians more perfectly become the image of their Lord and are filled with the Holy Spirit. They bear witness to him before all the world and eagerly work for the building up of the body of Christ.” (General Introduction to the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults)
This topic is rooted in an understanding of the sacrament of confirmation. Through this topic, children will use a developing religious vocabulary to give reasons for the actions and symbols used during this sacrament. Children will also come to understand what is meant by the following key vocabulary through this topic: chosen, response, Sacrament of Confirmation, oil of Chrism, mitre, crozier, sponsor, catechist, bishop, Holy Spirit, witness, anointing, Holy Trinity, enkindle, called.
Home learning in RE
During this topic, we will learn about the lives of people who have answered the call to follow Christ.
For your home learning, I would like you to find out about someone who has done something remarkable for someone else (within the local community or the wider world) and use what you find to make a poster about their life. Take your time and take pride in this work to bring in to school on Wednesday, 11th November 2020.
Prayer and Reflection
Almighty and eternal God, you keep together those you have united. Look kindly on all who follow Jesus your Son. We are all consecrated to you by our common baptism; make us one in the fullness of faith and keep us one in the fellowship of love.
In our English lessons, we have enjoyed looking more closely at the Paper Bag Princess. We have been looking closely at sentence structure, focusing on coordinating conjunctions and multi clause sentences, using sentences from the story to support us.
Even though Maths has been tricky this week, we have relished the challenge. We have been focusing on using the column method for addition and using regrouping to ‘carry over’ ones to the tens column, and tens to the hundreds column.
In our Science lesson this week, we worked in groups to create a simple magnetic game. We used craft materials such as cereal boxes and tissue paper to make a ‘go fish’ style game. We also used paper clips in some of the hand cut fish to attract to the magnet, secured at the end of our homemade rods, to pull up the fish. We look forward to playing each other’s ‘go fish’ games when they are finished.
We also voted for our school council representatives this week too. Well done to everyone who bravely shared their speeches with us. A big congratulations to Isabella, Jessica and Alex for being our voted Year 3 reps.
Have a restful weekend and don’t forget to check our Google classroom for this week’s homework.
Today I collected your child’s Letters and Sounds book. I will collect the books every Thursday and return them on Friday with our new Letters and Sounds learning and sounds added.
I hope you are finding the books useful at home. This week we have started using magnetic letters to begin to read and spell simple words eg. as, it, is, an, at, map, pat, tap, tip, pip, sat, sit. All words that use the sounds we have learnt so far. Thank you for all your support helping your child learn to read at home, I was so impressed at the children’s progress.
For those children who may already be aware of our new sounds, please concentrate on learning to form the letter using the school cursive script. We call it our ‘whoosh’ writing. Details are in the Letters and Sounds book. This will really support your child’s future writing skills.
If your child is not quite ready to hold a pen and write yet, concentrate on lots of hand/ finger skills to develop the small muscles in your child’s hands and fingers. For example, cooking, gardening, getting dressed/undressed (especially buttons) or doing up their coat zip.
The Phonics Play website has some fantastic phonics games. Whilst there is a subscription charge, this is currently being halved and some games are free. Reception children are currently working on Phase 2 so just click on the Phase 2 games.
Precautionary note: Remember e-safety supervision. St. Adrian’s website includes a useful e-safety advice link.
Here is another game we have played in class today. You may wish to have a go at home.
Lay out a selection of familiar objects with names that contain three sounds (e.g. bus, pig, pen, cup, dog).
Check your child can recognise each object.
Ask your child to listen carefully while you sound talk the name of one of the objects, leaving a short gap between each sound eg. b-u-s
Help your child to put the sounds together and say the word and identify the object.
Once your child can confidently listen to your ‘sound talking’ and blend the sounds together, perhaps your child may like to have a go at ‘sound talking’ each object. This will help your child learn to spell words using their knowledge of phonics.
I am currently organising my routine to set a weekly ‘changing reading books’ day. Next week I will change the reading books and words strips on Monday. Books and other reading materials will then be changed on Tuesdays. Please do let me know if you feel your child needs new books at any other time. However, ensure you read each book with your child at least three times before requesting a new book This will help build confidence, fluency and comprehension. Spend 10 minutes each day if possible, frequent and short is best.
Our RE topic for the next four weeks is based around the theme of Waiting.
We will be considering the big question:
We shall be exploring gifts, given and received, are a sign and expression of love. The children will learn that Advent is a time when we appreciate the love in our lives and prepare to celebrate love becoming a reality in the person of Jesus. Christians at Christmas celebrate the gift of Jesus, given by God as a sign and expression of God’s love. Giving and receiving reflects the truth that all life is given by God and life is given meaning through the gift of Jesus.
We shall be focuses on the following scriptures:
Luke 1: 26-31, Luke 1: 39-45, Luke 2: 1-7, Luke 2: 8-20
Some of the children were fascinated by insects we discovered in the garden. This generated many enquiries about all the different types of bugs, what they eat, where they live etc. The children played with our ‘big bug’ set and we used a bug chart to find out the name of each bug. This was a good opportunity for the children to make comparisons and look at differences and similarities.
We have been exploring many messy play opportunities such as ‘gloop’ (cornflour, water and food colouring). This inspired the children’s inquisitive minds and they decided to add bubbly water and recreate a volcano. Watch this space for more scientific experiments!
Our creativity table has been very popular and the children have been learning many basic techniques such as joining, sticking and decorating. We have been encouraging the children to plan with a purpose in mind. Treasure boxes being a popular choice this week.
Today the children experienced a fun rainy day. We used powder paints and washing up liquid in the puddles to mix bubbly colours. A good opportunity to develop the children’s fine motor skills (small muscles in hands and fingers). Not to mention the finger skills required when changing into dry clothes.
May I take this opportunity to remind parents to send in a pair of named wellington boots that we can keep at school.