Reception w/b 13th November
Date: 17th Nov 2023 @ 3:54pm
It was lovely to see all children ending the week with big smiles and feeling proud of all they have achieved – yet another busy week draws to a close. The festive season always arrives early in Reception, due to our approaching Nativity. We are aware that this wonderful time also brings changes to routines so, to reduce change for the children, we will try to mimic our usual timetable as closely as possible. At the moment, this means singing and practising our lines in some of our usual carpet times, keeping the ‘flow’ of our day the same and ensuring that the children have plenty of quality provision time. This does mean a slightly reduced frequency of literacy and maths carpet sessions for the next couple of weeks but please rest assured that we are planning for plenty of purposeful, targeted literacy and maths activities, opportunities and interactions in the provision. We know how very important it is that our wonderfully creative, inquisitive Reception children have lots of time for joyful play!
Our phonics sessions shall continue, undisturbed, and the children continue to enjoy working in their groups. We now know almost all of our single letter sounds and all phonics teachers are pleased with the retention of sounds that we are seeing and the progress with blending. Thank you so much for your support with this at home; we enjoy reading all of your comments in the diaries about practising sounds and reading. In addition to the importance of sound recognition and blending, we continue to spend lots of time focusing on handwriting as it is so important that children learn to form letters correctly from the start. The children have applied this beautiful letter formation as they continue to practise writing their names – Mrs McAree and I have been very impressed!
Our maths activities and games have allowed opportunities for consolidating and demonstrating our subitising, counting and numeral recognition skills.
Our literacy sessions this week have had a focus on retelling the Juniper Jupiter story, with the aid of a text map and Makaton signs. The children know this story ever so well. Our writing challenge has therefore been to innovate the story, choosing a new superhero to be the main character. We shall be recording this in an ‘I am’ sentence e.g. ‘I am Batman.’ ‘I am Ice Girl.’ As part of this learning, we recapped our red word ‘I’ and reinforced the necessity of finger spaces in a sentence. We then learnt a new feature of a sentence – a full stop. We discovered that a full stop comes at the end of a sentence to show that it is finished. We joked that it stops the letters escaping from the sentence! We shall continue to reinforce these concepts over the coming weeks.
Much of our learning this week has been inspired by Diwali, ‘the festival of light’. We learnt that Diwali is celebrated by Hindus all around the world and can fall either in October or November. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. As part of the celebrations, Hindus retell the Diwali legends, one of which tells how Rama rescues Sita from the evil demon king Ravana. We have read and listened to several retellings of this legend. We learnt that Hindus celebrate Diwali in lots of different ways, including: cleaning and tidying the home, wearing new clothes, lighting lamps called diyas (or divas), creating rangoli patterns, visiting the temple, having a festive family feast, exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits), and huge firework displays. In the provision, we have created our own rangoli patterns with: chalk outside the Reception area, coloured rice in trays, paint, playdough and loose parts, Numicon and 2D shapes. We have also explored Mehndi, detailed patterns that are sometimes painted onto a person's hands or feet using henna during festivals and celebrations. We used black pen to design our patterns and have also used brown paint in piping bags as part of our exploration of how henna is applied. In Forest School, we used nature to create rangoli patterns and clay to create our own diya lamps. Once these were dry, we decorated them. Throughout the week, we have listened to Hindu legends, read stories (such as ‘Dipal’s Diwali), listened to Diwali music, explored non-fiction books and looked carefully at photographs. The children have been so engaged with this learning and have asked wonderful questions. You may enjoy sharing some of these links at home:
This week, it was Reception’s turn to visit St Oswald’s Church. Reverend Sandi introduced us to a church service, including listening to prayers, singing the children’s creed, and learning some new songs. We loved listening to these songs and are keen to learn them in school. We were very lucky with the weather and all enjoyed our journey to and from church. We spotted several signs of autumn and, excitingly, the nearby cows were very intrigued, leaning over the hedge to say ‘hello’ to us! We finished our journey by walking through the park, with a quick challenge to find our favourite autumn leaf. Well done Reception, you were all superstars! Thank you so much to any parents and who came along; it was lovely to see everybody.
Another significant element of our week has been our continuing Nativity preparations. We have just loved learning all of these songs and I shall share the lyrics with you so that children are able to practise at home. From Monday, we hope to go into the hall and practise on the stage together. We ask that you please continue to support your child with learning their lines at home. If you have any concerns about this, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We have learnt so very many new signs as we sing and sign our way through our Nativity. Alongside Nativity specific signs, we are picking up several signs that we can use often, such as ‘look’, ‘sit down’, ‘listen’, ‘don’t know’, ‘hungry’, ‘night’. The children really are amazing us – superb signers! A particular sign to note this week is ‘light’ – important in a Nativity context but especially as part of our Diwali celebrations, the festival of light. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_LqtNswoys
A week filled with joy! I have no doubt that another wonderful week beckons and I hope that your weekend is restful and pleasant.
With huge thanks for your continued support,