Reception w/b 5th June
Date: 9th Jun 2023 @ 4:47pm
A warm welcome back for the final half term of our very first year of school. This week, I have spent time looking back at photos from the Autumn term; it was a reminder of the wonderful journey that we are on together and the astounding progress that the children have made since September. I am so very proud of all of the children and shall cherish these final weeks together.
This week, we have warmly welcomed the wonderful Mrs McAree to our class. The children greeted her with enthusiasm and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with Mrs McAree, showing off what they know! Mrs McAree is already building such lovely relationships with the children and will be a wonderful addition to the team for the remainder of the year. From next week, Mrs Ball will join us in the afternoons. Due to spending lunchtimes together, the Reception children already know and love Mrs Ball. How lucky we are in Reception!
Phonics this week has been evidence of our amazing progress. The children are so very familiar with the routines of the lesson, allowing them to really focus on their reading and writing. They are getting so speedy and are working with such independence – they will certainly be able to ‘hit the ground running’ in Year One. It has also been such a pleasure to read with the children this week. At this stage of the year, the world of reading is beginning to become ‘unlocked’ to the children and the joy that this inspires is a special thing to observe. Our handwriting focus continues, and Mrs North has been working with groups to form capital letters and their corresponding lowercase letters.
In maths, we were most excited to be introduced to a key piece of equipment which is used lots in Year One: a rekenrek. This looks a little bit like an abacus – two rows of 10 beads. On each row, 5 of the beads are red and 5 of the beads are white. This links well with the subitising (speedy spotting) skills which we have established throughout the year. After discussing what we noticed about the rekenrek, we practised moving different quantities of beads. To aid our mathematical fluency, we encourage children to move beads with ‘one push’ i.e. moving 4 beads at once rather than individually sliding across 1, 2, 3, 4. We then spent time focusing on the top row of the rekenrek – 10 beads. We partitioned these beads to represent number bonds of 10 e.g. 3 beads on one side and 7 beads on the other. Later in the week, we returned to the part whole model to represent parts of 10. This week, we began to take away one of the parts to create subtraction number sentences e.g. 10 – 3 = 7. We will continue to practise this skill next week.
This week, an unusual but exciting delivery arrived…an envelope addressed ‘Reception’. Inside, we firstly found a clear cellophane bag with a label, ‘Just what I have been looking for…’ and three tiny things inside. We asked: Where has this come from? Who might have sent this to us? What could it be? What should we do with it? We all had a closer look and made some predictions. The two most popular thoughts were that the bag contained seeds or bug eggs. All children then recorded their prediction in a sentence beginning ‘I think’. The next day, we revealed the other thing contained in the envelope: a letter from a boy called Joe. He told us that these were seeds. He needs our help to create a beautiful garden. The letter had been sent alongside a gardening toolkit, comprised of a watering can, a net, a trowel, a fork, gardening gloves and a plant pot. We used adjectives to describe each object and then wrote our own sentence e.g. ‘In the toolkit is a rusty watering can.’ Finally, we were at last able to read some of our book! We read about Joe and his desire to create a beautiful garden – he planted a seed but nothing happened. At this point, Mrs McAree stopped reading the book! We will not reveal the title, front cover or second part of the story until next week…we can’t wait! Our sentence writing challenge on this day involved looking at one of the illustrations to write an ‘I can see’ sentence. Wow, we have written so many sentences this week! I am ever so proud of the independence and stamina shown by our wonderful class.
On Tuesday afternoon, before completing our art challenge, we looked at some 2D shapes. We explored and named a: circle, triangle, square, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon and octagon. Once a week, we shall expand and revisit our shape knowledge. We then moved on to our artwork, where we were exploring tint and tone. We practised adding white to a colour to make it lighter and adding black to make it darker. Art was also a focus in Forest School this week, as we explored texture by creating rubbings on a variety of natural surfaces.
On Wednesday, an extremely exciting parcel arrived. Inside, we found caterpillars and all of the equipment we will use as we watch them grow. We read ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and discussed the life cycle that we will observe over the next few weeks. We are very much looking forward to watching our Painted Lady butterflies emerge. Below are some links to find out more about how we will look after our butterflies.
- Setting up your Chrysalis Station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Prw99oojY0
- Caring for your Chrysalis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcwOzy72vcM
- Feeding your Butterflies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wup0WdPnDOc
- Releasing your Butterflies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_ImYSNCqBs
In RE this half term, our focus is ‘Creation’. On Thursday afternoon, we listened to the story of creation, the very first story in the Bible. We looked at what happened on each of the 7 days. We then enjoyed singing along to one of Mrs North’s favourite songs: The butterfly song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONur0mpEXwA We thought about all of God’s creatures and the thanks we give to Him for His creations. During provision time, a group of children worked together to create a small world set up to further explore the story of creation.
This afternoon, with Mrs Edwards, our athletics unit began. The children practised: throwing a javelin, sprint races, relay races, standing long jump, throwing bean bags into hoops from a range of distances, obstacle relay races and egg and spoon races. Wow! I am already anticipating an amazing Sports Day.
The children have also engaged beautifully with the provision this week. We have had an ice cream parlour with mint scented playdough; making animals at the junk modelling station; writing messages to post in our post box; mixing bubble mixture and paint to create artwork, and these are only a few highlights!
Whilst it was a truly wonderful week, sadly, the time arrived today to say goodbye to our wonderful Miss Toft. The children had worked together to create a beautiful card for Miss Toft and to record video messages for her. As I’m sure you will agree, Miss Toft has been such an asset to the school and a treasured member of our team. Mrs North and I have absolutely loved working with her and will miss her greatly. Miss Toft has shared her creative talents with us, nurtured the children with her warm, caring manner and has always gone above and beyond with her hard work and dedication. Whilst we are sad to lose her, we also feel so proud of her as she follows her passion and begins a new adventure. We have no doubt that she will be just as amazing in her new career! Thank you Miss Toft, for helping our wonderful children to grow and flourish.
I hope that you all enjoy the beautiful sunshine this weekend whilst staying safe and cool in the heat. Next week promises to be yet another fabulous week of learning; I shall look forward to seeing you all on Monday to get started.
With many thanks and warm wishes,