Reception w/b 24th April
Date: 28th Apr 2023 @ 8:06pm
Good evening everybody and an apology to begin our blog. Once again, there are photographs missing! I know that there should be more photos, particularly of children in Forest School looking at the baby birds. I believe there may have been a bit of an issue copying across from the iPad to the computer but, rest assured, I shall investigate! Hopefully there are plenty of lovely photos to enjoy in the meantime.
We have continued to consolidate and expand our Set 2 sound knowledge within our phonics sessions. Our target continues to be to write our sentences with increasing independence, remembering to use finger spaces, capital letters and full stops whilst using Fred Fingers independently to sound out the words. Miss Toft has enjoyed continuing the red words challenge and it was clear to see that lots of children had been practising and had hence improved their knowledge of red words. Little and often is the perfect approach! Our guided reading groups have continued to impress and some of Mrs North’s handwriters will begin to practise writing their middle names as an extra challenge. I think I shall have to reassess some children at the midpoint of this half term as we are making such accelerated progress which is so lovely to observe. Please do continue to read your child’s book three times before swapping it as well as practising those red words at home.
In our NCETM Mastering Number sessions, the children have been continuing to develop their subitising skills (seeing the quantity without counting) in increasingly complex arrangements. A key focus has been to use our developing understanding of doubles to support subitising skills. The children have also been encouraged to consider when they can subitise and when they might need to use counting as a strategy. Another key focus this week has been the ongoing development of visualising skills – explaining what we see. Dice and ten frames have supported this visualisation and helped us to further consider composition and part-part-whole relations (E.g. 6 is made of 2 and 4, 2 and 4 make 6).
This has linked closely with our Numicon Firm Foundations sessions – doubling and halving. We have been talking about the connection between halving and doubling. We have shared objects between 2 people to help us to find half. Once we spotted, for example, that half of 8 is 4, we connected this to our knowledge that double 4 is 8. As the children noticed – “they are opposites!”
English has been an exciting mixture of things this week. We were most excited to be introduced to our Star in the Jar text map and we enjoyed both using Talk 4 Writing actions and creating some of our own to begin to retell our story: Star in the Jar. We will continue to practise learning the text map until we can fluently retell the story. Our first group task of the week involved rhyming. After matching words that rhyme (e.g. mouse and house, car and star), we were given four starting words (bed, dig, bun, pit). We used these to create our own rhyming strings, including both real and alien words (e.g. bun – sun – fun – zun). This was a little trickier for some children so is a good activity to practise regularly. In the second half of our week, we have started to think about the Coronation of King Charles III. We talked about the letters written and posted last year by Year Two to Queen Elizabeth II. We then had a look at the reply and card that were sent by Buckingham Palace! This inspired us to write letters to King Charles to send our congratulations on his coronation. I am sure the King will be very grateful to receive these lovely letters.
It has been our double Forest School week. We were just delighted to discover a nest of baby birds in Forest School. Mr Simmons wasn’t too sure what the birds were until James was able to recognise and explain that these are baby robins. It seems that James is absolutely right! We all enjoyed having a peek into the nest and were amazed at just how small these chicks were. We have also enjoyed creating nature crowns, inspired by the coronation. It was so interesting to watch how the children chose to arrange their natural decorations and lots of evidence of understanding of pattern and symmetry was observed. Finally, we have been creating models using clay. We love our Forest School!
In our Understanding the World time, we started to explore space. We returned to Google Maps to look at the satellite image of Brereton, zooming out to show Cheshire, then to show England, then to show the United Kingdom and then to show Europe, and then to show the world map. Revisiting this prior knowledge helped us to understand that we live on planet Earth. We compared the map to a globe, realising that the map looks as though the globe were unwrapped and lay flat like wrapping paper. We learnt that our planet is part of a solar system of 8 planets. Our star is the Sun! We referred to non-fiction books, our inflatable solar system display and the following link: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/solar-system/our-solar-system/overview/ . We went on an interactive ‘space journey’ to travel past these planets. We then focused on the moon, reinforcing the idea that the moon is not a planet. We asked: Why does the moon have craters? To find out, we conducted an experiment. We dropped rocks, stones and marbles into the sand tray and noticed that this created craters. The craters on the moon are created when comets and asteroids collide with the surface of the moon, just like our marbles colliding with the sand. The children now have lots of questions about space which we shall endeavour to explore over the half term.
On Tuesday, it was our No Outsiders session for the half term. First, we discussed the word ‘family’ asking: What is a family? Answers included: it means love, they stick together and they take care of you. We then read ‘The Family Book’ by Todd Parr. We talked about the different families in the book and identified which families were like our families. Finally, we drew our own families and talked about the people in our families. We know that all families are different and that’s ok.
Wednesday’s Love Music Trust session with Rex was once again full of fun. We were at last introduced to the song ‘The Minibeast Rave’! Next week, we will enjoy adding instruments to accompany the songs. There have been a few updates about the performance picnic and the date looks like it may have changed from the 9th of June. Please look out for a letter about this once the dates and details are confirmed by the Love Music Trust.
In our RE session, we first spent time talking about the wind. We read a story about two sisters on a windy day and referred to videos of the effects of the wind taken in Forest School last week. We asked: How do you feel in the wind? What is the wind like? Next, I explained that we would be listening to a Bible story which has wind in it. We read the Pentecost story and then watched an animated version. We discussed: What happened to the disciples in the story? We are looking forward to exploring Pentecost and the Holy Spirit in more detail across the half term.
In Collective Worship with Mrs McLean, we have been reflecting on Paul’s description of the body parts working together. In our school community we are all connected by something we have in common, and the photos below show these connections as we shared passing the wool to friends in our own class that we share a connection with, such as sharing the same number of siblings, same favorite hobby/colour /pets/form of transport.
This week’s PE lesson had a rather royal theme! First, the children played ‘Prince and Princesses’ as they moved around the area in a variety of ways. When Mrs Edwards called ‘Prince and Princesses’, the children had to pick up a cone and place it on top of their head like a crown. This helped to develop quick reaction times, negotiation of space and balance. To become ‘Kings and Queens’, the children needed to dribble the ball using their feet to a cone, put their ‘crown on’ and stand with one foot on top of the ball. To continue to develop these dribbling skills, the children had to dribble the ball until Mrs Edwards shouted ‘curtsy or bow’, upon which they stopped their ball and curtsied/bowed. The final activity was called ‘Huntsman’. When Mrs Edwards called ‘huntsman’, the children needed to run and hide by crouching down by a cone, with their ball. What a busy PE lesson this was!
I hope that you all thoroughly enjoy the Bank Holiday. I shall see you all on Wednesday to begin our coronation preparations and celebrations!
With many thanks,