Reception w/b 12th June
Date: 16th Jun 2023 @ 4:58pm
What a beautifully warm and sunny week we have all enjoyed! The heat has certainly not slowed Reception down; we have been busy bees. The children are rising to the challenge of each structured input and activity and are accessing the provision with such purpose and creativity. A joy to observe!
The children’s sound knowledge and sentence skills are progressing wonderfully; please refer to the Dojo message for information about the sounds your child has read this week. Red words are progressing equally as well and the tracking sheets shall be stuck in on Monday – not quite enough time today with the gift room! Whilst handwriting continues to be a focus, we are seeing far fewer errors in formation. Please do continue to practise curly caterpillar letters (e.g. a, s, d, g, o, q) and capital letters as these areas are where we find the most errors. Guided reading groups are a pleasure as ever and I shall be completing some early assessments soon to account for some accelerated progress.
In maths, we continued to investigate subtraction calculations with a focus on bonds of 10 (e.g. 10 – 4 = 6 or 10 – 8 = 2). Within the first half of the week, we used tens frames to practise this skill. We popped 10 objects onto the tens frame and then subtracted an amount, by taking some objects away. Once secure with this concept, we recorded our number sentences. Our next strategy involved Numicon. As we couldn’t ‘take away’ parts of the Numicon, we needed to cover some up. We started with a 10 shape and chose another shape to lay on top e.g. for 10 – 7, we lay a 7 shape on top of 10. This helped us to see that there was a gap of 3 so 10 – 7 = 3. For the final challenge of the week, children were given a selection of subtractions, using bonds of 10. They self-selected their strategy to solve these calculations, choosing from: Numicon, tens frames, part whole models, rekenreks and recalled facts. Mrs McAree, Mrs North and I were ever so impressed with our excellent mathematicians.
Excitement about this half term’s focus text has not wavered in the slightest; children have been so engaged within English lessons this week. On Monday, we looked at illustrations of the main character, Joe, noticing that he was reading a book, imagining creatures, watering the seed etc. We used information from these illustrations to help us to describe Joe and recorded this description in a sentence. For example ‘Joe is patient and does not give up.’ or ‘Joe loves reading books and he has a wild imagination.’ On Wednesday, we enjoyed the chance to ‘hot seat’ Joe, a role taken on wonderfully by Ronnie-Jai and Bee, using a gardening glove and watering can as a costume signifier. Other children asked ‘Joe’ some excellent questions, including: Why do you like gardening so much? What type of plant are you hoping to grow? What is the city like that you live in? How did you feel when the seed didn’t grow? As Joe was so disappointed that nothing had happened so far, we decided to each write him a card to cheer him up. On Thursday, we were at last able to reveal the title of our text…The Extraordinary Gardener. We read and enjoyed the whole story, in a shady spot outside, the perfect setting for a story all about gardening. The subsequent challenge involved creating rhyming strings e.g. can – man – ban – fan, pot – got – hot – spot. A few children found this rather tricky so we shall have a rhyming focus over the next few weeks. Any opportunities to expose children to rhyme at home would be very beneficial.
On Monday afternoon, before completing our art challenge, we recapped our 2D shape knowledge. We used the shapes to create patterns, including AB (e.g. circle, triangle, circle, triangle, circle…), ABB (e.g. hexagon, square, square, hexagon, square, square…) and ABC (e.g. rectangle, triangle, square, rectangle, triangle, square…). We then revealed our artist of the half term: Claude Monet. We looked at his series: Water Lilies. This series will inspire much of our work this half term. As an introduction, children experimented with oil pastels and water colours to recreate some of the lily pads. They used oil pastel for the lily pads and then washed over the top with water colours to create the pond.
This week, we enjoyed our final No Outsiders session of the year. Our book was ‘The Perfect Fit’ by Naomi Jones and James Jones as we asked: How do I fit in? In this story, Triangle doesn’t feel like she fits with the other shapes e.g. she can’t roll like a circle or stack like a square. She eventually finds other triangles and enjoys playing games together. Whilst it is great fun to play with shapes who are exactly the same, she realises that she misses the games she played with the other shapes, such as balancing the seesaw for the rectangles. By the end of the story, all of the shapes have fun playing and working together. We followed this up with some role play – the children chose a shape and explained why they felt left out; Jonah gave a beautiful explanation. The other children then explained to the shape why they are important and the ways in which they fit in. By the end, Jonah’s shape certainly no longer felt like an outsider! Finally, in provision time, children drew pictures using each of the different shapes and showing how each of the shapes can join in.
In RE, we continued to explore the Creation story. As the photos show, we enjoyed using props and costumes with Mrs McAree to understand what God created on each day. Our Creation inspired song of the week was ‘Who put the colours in the rainbow?’ – another childhood favourite! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9GsKFIaRo0
In Forest School, we started to create frames in preparation for weaving activities next week. Mrs Edwards sensibly decided not to have an athletics session this afternoon as it was just so hot!
Perhaps most excitingly, our caterpillars have continued to grow. Due to the warm temperatures, they have grown at an accelerated rate. We have enjoyed discovering more facts about the caterpillars, such as that their poo that we see in the pots is called ‘frass’ or that they spin webs, a bit like a spider. This is to help the caterpillars stay attached to leaves and not get blown away; they can even use the thread to draw leaves around themselves to stay hidden from predators. We can see these webs in the pot. As I left school, a couple of the caterpillars had started to hang from the lid in a ’J’ position, a sign that they are ready for the next stage of their life cycle. We may return on Monday to find some chrysalises! I am hoping that we will have some slower developing caterpillars so that we can observe this process.
As you may have seen in my email, next week is National School Sports Week. Therefore, each lunchtime/playtime next week, we hope to introduce and play a different sport with children, such as French cricket, rounders and netball. Additionally, EYFS and Key Stage 1 will be off timetable on Wednesday (21st) morning to complete a carousel of sports run by EYFS and Key Stage 1 staff. We hope this will be a wonderful opportunity to apply skills we have acquired throughout the year as well as being an introduction to some new sports. With all of this sport happening next week, we would suggest that all children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 wear PE kit to school every day next week so they are sport ready.
Just a reminder our fun swimming session will take place next Friday (23rd). As Mrs Wood’s email has already explained, on swimming days, children should come dressed in their PE kit wearing their swimming costume / shorts underneath and bring a towel, a swimming cap (which can be purchased from the school office), and goggles (if required).
If you have any concerns or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the team.
I hope that you all have a lovely weekend. I shall look forward to seeing all of the children on Monday…I wonder if chrysalises will await them?
With many thanks,