Welcome back to Reception - Class 1!
Spring Term 2020
‘SPACE’, DINOSAURS and CHINESE NEW YEAR’
We hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas holiday with family and friends and that your children are ready for the new term ahead! Last term was an exciting one for your children that saw them take part in many performances of our Christmas Play, sing in our Carol Service and even meet Father Christmas!
This term we are going to explore mini themes of Space, Chinese New Year and Dinosaurs through carefully planned activities that cover both the Prime and Specific Areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. A space ship has even managed to land in the classroom for your children to explore on their return.
We will be sharing a wide range of relevant books and ‘key texts’ such as ‘Whatever Next’ to plan for a wide range of adult-led activities as well as providing continuous provision for the children to explore, discover and play; extending their learning and curiosity further. For more information please look up our Termly Overview Pamphlet (link - after photographs) of our curriculum planning for all areas of the Foundation Stage together with ideas that you can share with your child at home to support them with their learning.
‘AIMING HIGH’ IN THE CURRICULUM
We will moving on to Phase 3 of our phonics program which introduces them to 25 new sounds (for example vowel digraphs ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, ow, oi, ear, air, ure), together with some new tricky and common high frequency words. They will continue to be encouraged to hold their pencil using the correct grip and shown how to form their letters paying attention to keeping them a consistent size.
We will also support their development of fluent reading by continuing to focus on their skills of blending and segmenting using the sounds they have learnt to decode new words as well as learning letter names using an alphabet song. We will also focus in whole class reading on skills for developing inference (predicting, clarifiying, questioning, summarising), such as 'how a character might be feeling or why a character may have carried out a particular action'?
We provide a variety of reading opportunities every day in school and would appreciate your continued support reading with your child as often as possible. This can be through hearing your child read the books we send home, using and sharing books from the library or reading stories to them at home.
Please note that we aim to change your child's home reading book twice a week.
Our aim is to provide your child with a deep conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts and to build a sense of enjoyment, awe and wonder for the subject. With the support of the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) we are using their educational videos to introduce number. There will also be an emphasis on understanding the ‘counting principles’ as a foundation to early calculation. Information on the ‘counting principles’ was shared during our Phonics and Mathematics Parent Workshop last term and the booklet can be found under ‘Parents Information’ on our website.
Please use the link below to explore related activities and games that will support your child with their understanding.
LEARNING JOURNEY RECORD
We aim to capture as much of your child's learning as possible through photographs which will share with you, as they not only provide a record of your child's learning, but they are a fantastic memory of your how your child spends their time in school. Some of these will be part of their Learning Journey Record, along with other evidence from school and home. Please feel free to share the Learning Journey Book with your child.
We will also be sending home records of our observations of your child in school and would appreciate your comments.
WOW cards are available to celebrate the steps your child has made in their learning at home and we love to hear and share them with the class.
We have Dance and Yoga on a Tuesday afternoon and P.E. and French on Thursday afternoons. Please can children have their P.E. kits with them on these days. We have a tray for drinks in the classroom and encourage children to drink water often. We have been pleased to note that their drinks bottles contain only water and that the children have adapted well to refilling these from the resources in school.
Research has shown that Homework teaches children vital skills such as the developing independence, resilience and self-discipline. It also encourages children to take initiative and responsibility for completing a task. In Class 1, in addition to reading with your child, they will receive some Phonics and Mathematics activities for you to support your child’s learning development at home. This will allow you to have an active role in your child's education and help you to evaluate your child's progress in partnership with the school.
TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER
‘Cultural Capital’ in Class 1 starts from a position of celebrating our unique children. We aim to help and support them to build the confidence and communication skills that they need to speak up for themselves and to grasp the opportunities that await them. In addition, we appreciate and celebrate the cultural environment of our school in a rural setting in the South West of England but also plan for other experiences by celebrating festivals from other religions to teach them about tolerance and diversity, preparing them to be future citizens of England.
Through our ‘awe and wonder - big question’ every week we aim to provide opportunities for them to explore and expand on key themes and ideas that will enhance the knowledge that they need to be educated citizens in the 21st Century.
Our class bear is called Bobby and he will visit your home one weekend and returned Monday ready to share his amazing experiences with the rest of the class. Show and Tell bags are also handed out on a Wednesday for our ‘Show and Tell’ session on a Thursday.
If your child is receiving additional support for their learning outside of their lessons, they will bring home an 'Outline of Support' slip which will explain to you the area they are having support with and what their focus/target is, together with suggested activities you can do at home to help them. Many children receive additional support at different times throughout their school lives and this is nothing to be worried about. We are giving them an extra boost to help them and any extra you can do at home will aid that. However, if you are concerned or would like further clarification, please do not hesitate in making an appointment to see me. We are always happy to meet parents to discuss their child's well-being or learning.
The children's happiness is of upmost importance to us; we want every child in our class to feel safe, happy and secure. If there are ever any worries, questions or concerns, please do make an appointment to see us or call the office to speak to us. We will always work with you to ensure your child's happiness and well being.
If you have any queries please don't hesitate to come and talk to us either at the beginning or end of the day, or if you think you would like a longer appointment, please ring the office to arrange.
Mrs Michelle Batstone (Class Teacher) Mrs Laura Beer (Class Teacher)
Victoria Evans (Teaching Assistant – Thursday Mornings only)
'Fast forward nine months and the fruits of our work, Numberblocks, is now being broadcast on the BBC’s CBeebies channel. There are 30 five-minute programmes - one every weekday morning for six weeks - which gradually build deep understanding of the numbers between one to five, with an element of mathematics being integral to each episode, and not just an add on. Here are some of the ways in which we tried to embed mathematical rigour into the characters and the stories:
- There is a mapped curriculum running across the programmes, giving attention to detail and ensuring good coverage of early mathematical concepts. One episode for example addresses the key principles of counting as highlighted by Gelman and Gallistel (1979)
- Each character is made of the relevant number of blocks, e.g. three is made from three blocks. This structure means that they can transform into other numbers (as actual numbers do). For example the characters 3 and 2 can combine to create the character 5
- The “part whole” structure where numbers can be split (partitioned) into other numbers is exposed. The character five can separate into two and three, or four and one, for example. This structure is very strong in both the Shanghai and Singapore textbooks and many teachers in England are now realising the benefits for pupils of stressing this structure. Those that have been doing so - with Maths Hubs programme projects over the last couple of years - report that this is now having a significant impact on KS1. The Numberblocks use the structure of splitting and combining to solve problems - for example 1 and 2 combine to reach the apples on a tree
- There is variation in the way a number sentence is represented, sometimes with the equals symbol at the start, and sometimes at the end (strong in Shanghai textbooks). This develops children’s fluency and flexibility in recognising number relationships
- Images and abstract number sentences are always presented together to help children connect the concrete and the abstract (very important in mastery)
- Songs and rhymes provide repeated sentences to talk about the maths and repetition to embed learning
- Precise and accurate mathematics vocabulary is used
- Connections are made between concepts, for example addition and subtraction.
Working with talented animators and creative storytellers and songwriters has been a privilege for me, and all the more so because they took the maths in every episode seriously.
I’m sure that children watching the series will benefit enormously, and I’d encourage teachers to consider taking a look at these programmes and considering how they might use them as a resource to support teaching.
Debbie Morgan is Director of Primary Mathematics at the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM)