I cannot believe we have now reached the last week of term 1. The children have astounded us with their independence, resilience and 'have a go' approach. Well done little Hippos and well done and thank you to you all for supporting what we feel has been an incredibly smooth transition. The children are officially exhausted now so we prescribe lots of rest and fun with family and friends this half term.
This week we have a Maths open morning across the school on Wednesday. Parents are invited to peruse the school whilst Maths is taught across the key stages and EYFS. After you've dropped off your child, you are invited to have coffee in the hall, and then at 9.15-10.15 you are invited to see the wonderful mathematical things happening across the school. At 10.15 you are then welcome to attend the 'Maths' themed collective worship in the hall with the children (Hippos do not attend this collective worship) To be part of this, you need to sign up at the office.
Friday: It is the PTFA organised non-school uniform day; chocolate donations please for the tombola at the Christmas fete. Additionally, Hippos class and their buddies are treated to a Magician show to celebrate the special bonds forming between the children.
Christmas Cards: Please note a change...I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that the children's Christmas Card designs would come home to you for you to look at, and then should be returned back to school for us to send off to the card company. This has now changed. Instead, children will complete their designs and we will send off designs straight to the company to 'scan'. You will then be provided with the details to see what the complete design will look like online before placing an order (should you wish too). So, in short, the original card design will not be sent home to you before half term!
This week we will consolidate all of our learning so far; children will participate in a carousel of activities each day based around a theme that we have covered this term.
Monday: Knowledge of number to 10 and beyond
Wednesday: Repeating patterns
Thursday: Number knowledge to 20, including subitising, counting in a set, matching number of objects to written numerals
Friday: Days of the week and positional language
Phonics and Literacy
The children have now learnt the sounds: s, a, t, p, i, n, c, k, e, h, r, m, d, g, o, u, i and f and we have started to talk about how we can put some of these sounds together to make words such as 'sat'. Children identified quickly that if we replaced the sound 's' with 'p' we had a new word 'pat'. When we put sounds together to make a word we call it blending and we use our 'phoneme fingers' to show how many sounds there are in each word - so if we were to say the word 'sat' we would say each sound and put up a finger at a time to correspond with each sound...we then repeat and speed up the process so the children can hear the sounds blend together.
Children are now regularly using the phoneme frames included in last weeks 'weekly learning' alongside the sound mats that I sent home last week to aid letter recognition.
This weeks sounds:
b - Pretend to hit a ball with a bat and say b, b, b, b.
ai - Cup hand over ear and say ai, ai, ai.
j - Pretend to wobble on a plate and say j, j, j.
oa - Bring hand over mouth as if something terrible has happened and say oh!
Two letters that make one sound are called 'digraphs' and I do teach the children that terminology.
Literacy focus: This week we will use the characters and setting that we previously worked on to write a story. Children will act out their story ideas and record them in the form of a simple story map. Children will then 'have a go' at writing a story. Please remember at this stage, children are largely mark-making and recording some of the sounds they hear in words (as opposed to complete words). We may expect to see anywhere between 3 and 10 attempts at word writing on a page, so when we talk about 'writing a story', we celebrate the attempts children make to help them feel a real sense of achievement.
Reading: Group reading started last week. Please may I remind you that at this stage, most children will not be reading complete words. They may identify some sounds within a word, they may even sound out each letter in a word but blend them altogether to go on to say something completely different! This is the learning process and it can be quite frustrating for parents at times. Do not feel pressured to read all of the books we provide you if your child is not enjoying them. Equally, feel free to re-read a book. If you feel your child is reading a book because they've memorised the story, this is also all part and parcel of the learning to read process.
This week we will devote a session to Personal, Social, Emotional development. Whilst this is happening naturally within the learning environment, we sometimes teach focused sessions to help the children move through the different stages of holistic development.
For this session, we will focus on friendships and including others. We will have a 'circle time' where we will discuss who our friends are and why we like them. We will look at pictures of happy children and discuss what they are happy and the qualities required of being a good friend. We will then look at some pictures of sad children and discuss why they might be feeling that way. We will compare the two bodies and talk about how we can always make sure the children of Hippos class are happy children. We will produce a 'friendship wreath' using the children's handprints- a visual aid that we can refer to if we ever feel like we don't have any friends. We will use 'The Rainbow Fish' story to support this.
Expressive Art & Design
To tie in with our PSED session the children will draw and paint 'friendship fish' to give to another child in the class. We will work closely with the children to choose a child that they don't necessarily play with all of the time. The fish will come complete with a friendship message on the back 'I like you because...' These fish will then go on display in the class so the children know they can always go to their fish if they ever have a low moment.
To celebrate our progression with friendships, we will use some hall time to dance and move to Toy Story's 'You've got a friend in me' and work on creating some dance moves.
Dates for your Diary
Friday 20th October (new amended date) 2pm: Hippos children, along with their Year 6 buddies are treated to a Magic show in the school hall, this is funded by the PTFA and is to celebrate the special bonds already forming between the children.
Friday 20th October: Non school uniform day (donations of chocolate for PTFA Christmas tombola)
Friday 20th October: Last day of term 1.
Thursday 2nd Nov - School Disco (Povisional Date)
Friday 3rd Nov - Non school uniform day (PTFA hook a bag donation)
Tuesday 14th and Thurs 16th Nov - Parents Evening
Saturday 25th Nov - Christmas Bazaar
Tuesday 28th Nov - Flu Vaccination
Tuesday 12th Dec - Dress Rehearsal Yr R, Yr1 and Yr2 Christmas Nativity
Wednesday 13th Dec - Children's Christmas lunch
Thursday 14th Dec - Yr R, Yr1 and Yr2 Christmas Nativity
Friday 15th Dec - Yr R, Yr1 and Yr2 Christmas Nativity
Monday 18th Dec - Whole School to Pantomime, Tonbridge
Tuesday 19th Dec - Yr R, Yr 1 and Yr 2 Christmas Party
Wednesday 20th Dec - Christmas Service at St Marys and last day of term.
Please note: more detail will be sent out closer to each date where relevant.