Welcome to Class 1
Autumn Term 2023 Reception
A very warm welcome to the Halwill Primary School family. We have had a really lovely time getting to know the children in Class 1 and we have been super proud of how they have bravely taken on the big challenge of coming into school and facing new experiences and routines.
As your child’s class teachers and key workers, we are keen to receive any feedback you may have which will support your child’s transition to Class 1. Thank you if you returned the questionnaire regarding your child’s interests and feelings (an optional item in the initial ‘Welcome Pack’). If at any time you want to let us know anything extra, or if you have any questions or concerns, do please ask us at school drop off or pick up or arrange a meeting (telephone or face-to-face). Alternatively, you can message us on Class Dojo or contact the admin team in the office who can forward emails to us or arrange meetings. Similarly, you can pop a message in your child’s Reading Record. It is so important that we keep communicating about the needs of your little ones so we can work together to support them.
Later in the term there will be an opportunity to meet formally at a ‘Parent Clinic’. (Afternoon/Evening slots will be available) Relatively soon; Monday 25th September at 2.30pm, we will hold a Parent information session with a primary focus on the Reading and Maths resources that we use but with time for you to ask other questions should you want to. If you cannot make this session (or need another day for the parent clinic for example – yet to be arranged) do please say and we can go through things with you at another time.
September is very much about us all learning how to best support each other. Below are the upcoming themes for the learning activities for this term:
In our daily phonics lessons we are concentrating on learning our initial sounds and the corresponding letters, using the Read Write Inc. systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme. You may find the video on the attached link useful: https://schools.ruthmiskin.com/training/view/Yw8wt21m/ggqJ0jQZ
When learning initial sounds it is important that the children learn ‘pure sounds’ as explained here:
To help your child keep up with the RWI programme, we will record the sound we teach each day in your child’s reading record and a sheet supporting letter formation will be sent home in a reading folder to practice saying, Reading and Writing the sounds. We will also upload Reading support videos as appropriate (see more on Dojo for this). Additional to the formal Phonics programme, we provide many opportunities to develop early Literacy skills through games and the indoor and outdoor enhanced provision. The children will build up to Reading decodable texts, focusing on decoding (sounding out and blending), prosody (reading with expression and intonation) and comprehension skills. This same text will be sent home to practise with the aim of building fluency, confidence and enjoyment. Initially, books have images only, to develop book skills, discussion and vocabulary and to make early experiences of reading pleasurable for the child and adults.
The focus for this term will be to raise the children’s confidence in counting, writing and representing numbers to 5 and beyond in different ways in a range of contexts, using National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathemathics (NCETM), using Numberblock materials, as well as Whiterose materials. Alongside this, we will be investigating measures, looking at shapes and participating in a variety of problem solving activities. Alongside daily whole-class teaching sessions, there will be a range of child-led opportunities to develop mathematical skills through meaningful play during indoor and outdoor continuous provision.
Foundation topics (Understanding the World/Expressive Arts and Design)
During the first half of the term our cross-curricular topic is ‘All About Me’ and ‘Harvest’, moving on to ‘Celebrations and Festivals’ including Diwali and Christmas as well as finding out about ‘People who help us’, and a topic on ‘Light and Dark’ in the second half of the term. Within these topics the children will be able to enjoy a wide variety of inspiring experiences including creating drawings and paintings themselves and their families, and creating artwork using natural materials. Planned activities after half term include learning about different cultures and festivals, creating cultural artwork and dances and engaging in a range of arts, crafts and songs. The highlight of the term is the KS1 Nativity which is always a truly special event.
In our Charanga music lessons, the children will listen to and describe different songs by a range of musicians through the unit ‘Me!’. They will explore and engage in music making and dance using a range of musical instruments, and will sing songs across the curriculum.
In addition to engaging in a range of activities linked to improving physical development through indoor and outdoor continuous provision. There will also be a weekly PE session on a Tuesday with Mr Hayler who will be focusing on developing functional skills. This term the children will also have weekly dance sessions with Mrs Bailey too.
PSHE/Personal, Social and Emotional Development
This is such a crucial part of your child’s education and underpins everything that we do. Through all our activities, every child will have the opportunity to develop their personal, social and emotional skills; leaning how to get on with each other and to have mutual respect and responsibility. We will introduce and explore our school values: building Relationships by being Resilient, Resourceful, Reflective and Respectful as well as our school motto; ‘Aim High, Be Resilient & Take Care of Each Other’. Often, we will have a focus on specific elements of PSED in activities such as circle time and with a programme called SCARF (Coram) using specialised resources and stories. The SCARF theme this term is ‘Relationships’ exploring families and friendships, safe relationships and respecting ourselves and others.
In Reception we ask you to support your child’s learning by helping them practise their letter sounds and by hearing them read 5 x each week. In the early stages of our Reading programme, these ‘reads’ will involve our picture books which require ‘reading’ the pictures and sharing ideas and looking at details together, perhaps using different voices for characters and using lots of descriptive words. A ‘read’ might also be you sharing a story with your child and each of you seeking some of the letters we have covered in class. For example, “who is first to find ‘s’” (making the sound for s). Or writing the sounds and seeing if they can say the sound that the letter is making. Who can win the most letters? Little and often is fine! We want to promote a love of sharing books together and reading together at home.
It is also beneficial to help your child practise correct letter and number formation and to practise counting and recognising numbers to 5 and then 10. Later in the term, we will be introducing the children to ‘Mathseeds’ which is an online programme to support Maths in the Classroom and at home.
We will also have a ‘Home Learning’ Project this term which we will share more with you on Class Dojo in following weeks.
We always love to see the children’s home learning. Each week via Class Dojo we will share what have been doing in Class. We will also use Class Dojo to share additional class messages. Please see below for more information about the EYFS curriculum.
Do look at the weekly newsletter where there are school updates and useful dates.
Again, if you have any worries or questions, please do not hesitate in contacting us.
Many thanks for your support with your child’s learning,
Mrs Cawsey (Class teacher), Mrs Beer (Class teacher), Ms Steward (Teaching Assistant)
Overview of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
What Is the Early Years Foundation Stage?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the stage of education for children from birth to the end of the Reception year. It sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old with the aim that your child will learn and develop well and be kept safe. It is based on the recognition that children learn best through play and active learning and is the same curriculum as in pre-reception settings.
What Will My Child Be Learning?
The EYFS framework outlines seven areas of learning and development and educational programmes. There are three prime areas of learning, which are particularly important for your child’s development and future learning:
*Communication and language
*Personal, social and emotional development
There are four specific areas of learning, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied:
*Understanding the world
*Expressive arts and design
We will consider your child’s needs and interests to plan challenging and enjoyable activities and experiences. You can help us to do this by sharing your observations of your child’s interests at home.
There are also three characteristics of effective teaching and learning:
*Playing and exploring
*Creating and thinking critically
These tell us about how each child learns not what they are learning
Play is essential for children’s development; building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults.
Assessment in the reception year – Baseline
The reception baseline assessment, or RBA is a short, interactive and practical assessment of your child’s early literacy, communication, language and mathematics skills when they begin in school. It will be undertaken with your child’s class teacher and will measure your child’s progress from reception to year 6. The data from the baseline will not be shared with you and will only be accessed by the DFE. The teacher will be able to spend quality 1-1 time with your child, getting to know them and identifying if they need any further support in certain areas. When your child reaches year 6, you will be able to see the progress your child has made throughout their school journey. If you wish to read further on the reception baseline, then you can find a useful parent booklet here;
Assessment in the reception year – EYFS Profile
Your child will work towards the final assessment at the end of the Reception year, using the ELGs (Early Learning Goals). These goals are short statements that teachers assess your child against at the end of the year. Please see below our Class long-term curriculum plan.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to speak to us.
Thank you for your continued support.