Reception w/b 17th April
Date: 23rd Apr 2023 @ 8:56pm
A warm welcome back to the summer term. Lighter mornings, sunny skies and warmer temperatures are on their way and we have thoroughly enjoyed some blue skies and sunshine this week.
We ‘hit the ground running’ with our phonics and were all delighted with how well the children had retained their sounds. Therefore, this half term shall see a real focus on our Set 2 sound knowledge and the application of these sounds within words and sentences. Please do continue to watch the videos and practise these sounds/words at home. Writing sentences based on a picture has continued, both as a morning settling activity and a guided reading extension task. There are some lovely sentences photographed below. Miss Toft and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to read with each new reading group after our latest assessments. It is so wonderful to see the joy and pride that reading with increasing independence, fluency and confidence inspires in the children. We were also delighted to see all of your comments about fantastic reading over the Easter break. Well done Reception! Alongside Mrs North’s handwriting groups, she also assessed each child’s ability to write their name independently. We love to see this progress from baseline, to Christmas, to Easter and are already looking forward to the final name writing assessment at the end of the year. Our final reading/phonics news is that this week saw the launch of our red words challenge. Please see my latest Dojo message for more information.
In our NCETM Mastering Number sessions, we have continued to engage with the counting principles. This week, we have focused on counting verbally beyond 20 (as far as we can!) as well as counting objects of up to 20 (e.g. counting 16 buttons). We have noticed and practised key differences in the number names e.g. between ‘teen’ and ‘-ty’ numbers. In our Numicon Firm Foundations sessions, we have consolidated our understanding and application of subtraction. The children could confidently verbalise and record subtraction number sentences – super work Reception mathematicians!
We were most excited to reveal our Summer 1 focus text…Star in the Jar by Sam Hay. This is a beautiful book and it was such a pleasure to listen to the children’s thoughts about the story. We have enjoyed exploring other books illustrated by Sarah Massini and books about stars and space. We talked about the vocabulary in the story, particularly focusing on: treasure, tickly, glittery, special, loved, shinier, ‘even litterbin treasure’, ‘something extra special’ and ‘as the day turned to night’. After discussing the meaning of each word/phrase, we practised orally using them in a sentence. We have also been describing the star, both when it looks sad in the jar and when it is returned to the sky. We have really thought about using more adventurous language to describe i.e., instead of ‘sad’, we used words like glum, heartbroken, drooped and lonely. Finally, we used some of this language in sentences e.g., The star shimmers in the sky like a diamond. We are very much looking forward to beginning to use a text map to retell the story. This is one of our favourite stages of the progression of our English units and it shall begin on Monday.
Our first Forest School session of the term was dedicated to exploring seasonal change. As the happy faces on the photos show, this was a beautiful session in the sunshine. We enjoyed looking for minibeasts, as we found eggs under plant pots and burrowing (miner) bees. Mr Simmons explained how these bees hibernate underground throughout the winter months. They use their mouths to almost chew through the dirt to create a hole and a burrow. We spotted several of these holes, as well as some burrowing/miner bees flying low to the ground…signs of warmer weather to come! We were also intrigued by the alder trees and their cones. There were several alder beetles on these trees which were happy to crawl over our hands. Mr Simmons explained that these beetles are iridescent and we shall see their numbers increase as we head into summer. Another exciting addition to forest school was a giant hole/imprint in the ground. We have several theories, ranging from a giant’s footstep to a crater from a comet! The children just loved exploring their natural environment as they created daisy chains, prayed in the sunshine and discovered wildlife.
You may have noticed a new addition to our summer timetable – weekly Wednesday music sessions. Excitingly, we are taking part in the Love Music Trust’s music project: Adventures with Rex. Adventures with Rex is a six-week project where children develop their early musicianship skills through a variety of songs and musical games. For six consecutive weeks, a specialist teacher will visit us to deliver a 45-minute session teaching the songs and percussion activities. There is also an opportunity to take part in a mass picnic and celebration concert for parents on the 9th June at Marlfields Primary School, Congleton. The Love Music Trust shall send more information and timings for this event by the end of the term. We just loved our first session! The children were so engaged and picked up the routines and songs ever so quickly. We are a particularly musical class and the teacher was ever so impressed! I am already looking forward to next week’s session.
In our understanding the world time, we have been thinking about special celebrations. First, we found out about Eid, a Muslim festival which comes at the end of the month of Ramadan. We learned that, during Ramadan, some grown-ups who are Muslims do not eat or drink anything, including water, during the day while the sun shines. This is called fasting. Eid Al-Fitr is the festival after the fasting during the month of Ramadan. ‘Eid Mubarak’ is a greeting often used during the festival. It means ‘Have a blessed Eid!’ We explored how Eid is celebrated. The following video was a particularly helpful source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/watch/lets-celebrate-eid . Books about Eid were added to the home corner and children enjoyed cleaning, decorating and preparing food for Eid. We have also been using piping bags to create our own Mehndi patterns.
Another special celebration takes place this week…St George’s Day. St. George’s Day is celebrated in England every year on 23rd April. Saint George is the patron saint of England. The flag of England is called the St. George’s Cross. We read the story of St. George and the dragon and, throughout the week, have been retelling the story using the small world castle. We have also been creating our own shields with the St. George’s Cross using junk modelling resources. Finally, we have referred to the following videos to understand how St. George’s Day is celebrated: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/watch/lets-celebrate-st-georges-day . https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000vdr7/my-first-festivals-series-2-5-st-georges-day .
In addition to a PSED and CLL focused circle time, Mrs Edwards launched our new PE unit: Enjoy a Ball. The focus of this week’s session was: How do I get past the chef? The ‘chef’ stands in the middle and children had to try to get past them. We all had a bib to tuck in as a tail which were different colours to represent different fruits in a smoothie; the chef had to try and pull out the tails. To make it trickier, we then added a ball into the mix as the children dribbled the ball past the chef. We needed to use our dodging skills.
The final surprise of the week involved some very special visitors…two lambs! The children absolutely delighted in stroking, holding and finding out about these beautiful lambs. They asked some excellent questions which were answered expertly by Arthur from Year 1. We found out that the female lambs had a tag on each ear, whereas the male lambs only had one tag. The numbers painted on their wool match the numbers on the corresponding ewe – their mummies! Arthur also told us that the colour of the paint shows how many lambs the ewe had – one or two. Photos to follow as Mrs McLean has these!
What a wonderful week we had to launch our summer term – we started as we mean to go on!
With many thanks,