Friday 25th March 2022

This week we said ‘goodbye’ to our fluffy friends and welcomed instead 10 very hungry caterpillars and some tadpoles! We look forward to seeing how they change over the next couple of weeks…

We’ve spent a great deal of time outdoors this week, working on our gross motor skills using the ropes, bikes and scooters. We also decided during PE time to get out in the sunshine and play some tennis instead of staying indoors for gymnastics We learnt how to hold and position a tennis racket and how to balance and bounce a ball safely. We’ve been delighted to now have access to these things during our Discovery time now that we can use them safely.

Our garden, with lots of help from the children, continues to grow and develop with lots more plants added. We enjoyed smelling the flowers and herbs which we hope will entice minibeasts and pollinators to our garden (mint, lavender, curry plant and strawberries). The children were very surprised to see that over the weekend, the frame of a greenhouse had sprung up in the Bug Area! Mr Aquilina, husband of Mrs Aquilina, very kindly built it for us and it is our intention to clad the frame with recycled 2litre bottles, e.g. coke/lemonade. If you have any standard 2 litre bottles that you are able to bring in (with the bottoms cut off ideally) we would be very grateful, thank you. We hope to start this process next week.

Thank you to our two parent-volunteers who have been in reading with the children this week (Mrs Watson and Mrs Walker).

Next week, is Diversity Week and we look forward to teaching the children about faiths other than Christianity.

In Maths this week we have been looking at four-sided shapes; specifically the similarities and differences between squares and rectangles. We have also been practising using the language of ‘more than’ and ‘fewer than’. Note, ‘fewer than’ is used similarly to ‘less than’ but for quantities of countable amounts. For example, pens and sweet are countable, whereas, water and sand are not countable. We would say, ‘you have fewer pens than I do’ but ‘you have less sand than I do’. Please ask a teacher if you would like to discuss this further to clarify.

Have a lovely weekend in the sunshine, everyone! See you on Monday…

The Year R Team

PS – If you could please take a moment to name all uniform over the weekend, it would make our home-times a lot simpler. Thanks in advance.

Friday 11th March 2022

Our eggciting learning continued this week when a variety of eggs appeared in our Curiousity Cube. Whose eggs do you think they are?!

Our text driver this week was called ‘How to Grow a Dinosaur’ and we enjoyed spotting clues and then putting some pictures in the right order to retell the story. So many of the children wowed us with the writing to match the pictures this week. We are so proud of them for applying the sounds we have learnt to their writing.

In Maths we have been looking at 6 being 1 more than 5 and 7 being 2 more than 5 on a Hungarian number frame. We did this alongside the nursery rhyme 5 little men in a flying saucer to see what would happen if 1 more man joined… then another.

In phonics we have been continuing to apply our phase 2 and phase 3 sounds to reading and writing. Starting next week most of the children will be continuing to learn the rest of the phase 3 sounds.

The children also took part in a jungle drama workshop on Wednesday where they learnt banana language and resucued Snow the leopard from the silly crocodile!

In their book bag today the children have come home with a Super Six envelope. Inside this envelope are 6 words. These words need to be learnt by the children by sight to help them with their reading fluency. Words on greeen card can be sounded out but we would like your child to learn them by sight. Red words are tricky words that cannot be sounded out. We will then check them regularly at school and once they have managed to confidently recognise and read the word by sight 3 times, they will be given a new word or words. Please support your child in learning these words at home. These words must come to and from school inside this envelope every day as we are unable to support your child in learning them if they are not in their book bag.

To end the week, some chicken eggs arrived and are currently in an incubator to hatch next week! We will tell you more about it once they have hatched…

We hope you have a lovely weekend and look forward to seeing you next week.

The Year R team

Friday 4th March 2022

What a busy week! On Tuesday, we celebrated Shrove Tuesday with a pancake race! We got into teams and cheered each other on. On Wednesday, we joined a beautiful service in the hall, led by Mr Crozier to mark Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent. The children really impressed Mr Crozier with their quiet sitting and thoughtful answers to his questions.

This week in Phonics, we have been continuing practising the sounds we have learnt so far and applying them to reading and writing.
Please continue to read your child’s phonics book daily and speak to you child’s class teacher if you are having any difficulty doing this.

This week we made an exciting discovery of some eggs in our outdoor area. At first we were not sure what they were or where they came from so we kept them warm and safe in the classroom. Surprisingly on Wednesday they hatched and we are now looking after 2 tiny baby Dinosaurs! We had to do some research to find out what type of dinosaurs they are- Starfish class have a stegosaurus and seahorse class have a triceratops. We will be continuing to learn about Dinosaurs next week.

In Maths we have been thinking about the composition of the number 5 and singing 5 little specked frogs noting that there are 5 frogs altogether but some are in the water and some on the log. e.g. 3 in the water leaves 2 on the log as 3 and 2 make 5.

We were very impressed with the effort made for World book day and it was a delight to see the children in their costumes. Thank you for your support with this. We read the story Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, about a boy who wants to be a mermaid and at the end of the story joins a mermaid parade. We then made our own parade accessories and went singing and dancing in a procession around the school!

Have a super weekend and we look forward to seeing you all again on Monday!

The Year R Team

Friday 21st January 2022

This week in Year R, like most other weeks, has been very busy! On Tuesday, we had a beautiful liturgy with Miss Heath from Oaklands which Father Jeremy and Mr Cunningham also attended. We began by thinking about what makes each and every one of us special and unique. The children created beautiful stars to illustrate their strengths which have hopefully made it home. We particularly enjoyed accompanying Miss Heath on the guitar, singing ‘This Little Light of Mine’.

Unfortunately this week, Mrs Lavery’s birthday present was “stolen from the middle area” – shock, horror! We had to section off the area in order to look for clues; a search which then extended into the outdoor area. We heard wonderful theories, linking the scratches to the red paint. My personal favourite was that it was a chicken with red feathers who stole the present and hopped over the fence! We really developed our understanding of the words ‘unusual’ and ‘unexpected’ in a practical way and some children chose to record the evidence found in writing too.

Please continue to practise all phonics sounds, paying particular attention to the digraphs (two letters making one sound, for example, ch/sh/th) which many children will need to spend longer recognising and applying. It is common at this early stage of exposure to digraphs for children to read them separately and blend an alien (not real) word, for example, f-i-s-h instead of f-i-sh. You could encourage them to get their ‘digraph spotting binoculars’ on if they’re struggling with this.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to be making changes to the Phonics groups and how we allocate books. Please be aware that a few children may bring home a book which they have already recently had. Unfortunately this is unavoidable but equally, it is not a bad thing either. We would encourage you to reread the book, paying more attention to comprehending what’s really happening, rather than just the sounding out of words. You can find a ‘Comprehension’ section in the back of the Big Cat books. If you’d like more variety, a range of e-books has now been allocated to all pupils, via the Collins website. Please let us know if you are unable to access this.

We have noticed that a number of children are finding number recognition difficult in school. Whilst their counting and representation of amounts is improving greatly, it would be really beneficial to spot and name numbers when out and about (up to 10, and beyond if your child can).

Have a super weekend everyone. Stay safe and see you on Monday!

Mrs Atkins, Mrs Lockwood-Peck and the whole Year R Team.

Using our supersenses of touch and sight to find hidden objects.

This Little Light of Mine

Autumn 2, Week 6

Our final week with the children has been an utter delight. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are certain that they have too! From proudly remarking that they do indeed like brussel sprouts, to booing the baddie at the panto performance and making beautiful Christmas crafts, their behaviour has been impeccable and we are so proud of them. The children were even able to sit and watch a 45 minute Christmas Carol concert performed by Key Stage 2 in the playground.

Topping the proud stakes was when the children gave Mrs Knight “goosebumps” by performing the following two poems. Ask them to perform the poems to you over Christmas for a real treat! Snowman poem. Snowflake poem.

Unfortunately, due to several highly frustrating technical issues, the nativity film has not yet been completed. Mrs Atkins will continue working to get this to you ASAP. Apologies for the delay.

We have been overwhelmed by your generousity and thank you all sincerely for all your kind gifts, cards and words. Thank you. We wish you all a wonderful, restful Christmas with your loved ones. Take care and stay warm and safe all. We look forward to seeing everyone again on Tuesday 4th January 2022.

The Year R Team

Autumn 2, Week 6

What a week we’ve had in Year R! We are in full Christmas mode here… We’ve enjoyed reading the Jolly Christmas Postman and have been inspired to set up our own Post Office which has proven very popular. The children have enjoyed writing cards and envelopes, sticking on stamps and posting them in our class postbox. On a side note, thank you to those who have brought in Christmas cards, they’ve been posted into our other postbox (separate from the role play one!) and are awaiting delivery to the children. A highlight for some children was finding a postman’s bag and high-vis jacket so they could empty the now full-up postbox and deliver the wonders inside. The children have also loved wrapping up some ‘presents’ using Christmas wrapping paper and selotape. Some children have found this tricky and we would encourage you to allow them to practise their cutting skills at home, as we do in school.

This week culminated in Christmas Jumper day which was a roaring success! Thank you to you all for your contributions to our Love Christmas campaign to provide ‘movie night’ supplies to families in need. This is an important element of our Catholic Social Teaching at St Peter’s. In addition, both classes were able to fill their marble jars and so on Friday afternoon everybody was rewarded with their own movie and popcorn experience.

Thank you also for your patience with getting the children’s nativity costumes back to you. We have now filmed the nativity (after a failed, real-time recording!) and will set to editing that ready for sending out. We have seen a great improvement in some children’s ability to get themselves dressed and undressed but please continue to encourage this at home – particularly with buttons and zips.

For those of you who had asked about sharing the songs, a pdf of lyrics is attached but unfortunately due to licensing rules, we cannot share the mp3 files.

Wishing you all a wonderful, although no doubt busy, weekend. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone back for Christmas dinners (Monday), a pantomime performance (Wednesday), Christmas crafts and lots of fun for our final week!

Please note, that in order to allow KS2 to enjoy their Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, the school-provided lunch for our children will be a cold packed lunch. We will be eating in the classroom and having a Christmas Picnic. This may affect your plans for dinner/tea for your child.

Remember, next Friday is an INSET day so the children’s final day will be Thursday 17th.

Stay safe and warm,

The Reception Team

Autumn 2 Week 5- Nativity

We are so proud of the children this week doing the nativity in front of their grown-ups – they all looked amazing and sung so well.

This week was also exciting as the children wrote letters to Father Christmas and we went in small groups to post them in the nearest post box. On the walk to the post box we spoke about road safety and sung a few Christmas songs too!

Autumn 2 Week 4

This week we have some very exciting news to share…. Mrs Conlon’s baby has arrived!! Gorgeous little Reuben arrived a few weeks early but both mum, dad and baby are doing extremely well. I’m sure you join us all in celebrating this wonderful news.

Year R have been very busy practising for the Nativity ready for our dress rehearsal and performance to parents next week!

If your child has been given a speaking part, please ensure you  practise over the weekend your child’s lines with them at home to help them have as much confidence as possible as some children are still unsure of their words.

We also enjoyed the story ‘How to catch a star’ and lots of activities linked to it including learning the sing ‘catch a falling star by Perry Como.

They were also really engaged in our volcano experiment!

Phonics-

With Phonics this week we have been applying our phase 2 sounds to segmenting and writing words to label pictures and some children have begun to write simple captions. We have also been focusing on blending words and sentences to read.

Please continue to read daily with your child for around 10 minutes. Ensure the are using their pointy reading finger to follow the words as they are reading as this helps them embed that we read and write from left to right.

Maths-

We have been continuing to practise our subitising skills where we don’t count the amount we see the amount. you could play games at home with a dice as this really helps children to recognise the amount of dots and no longer need to count them.

We hope you have a wonderful weekend- it’s going to be a cold and windy one so wrap up warm and keep practising  with your child to do up coat zips independently!

From The Early Years Teachers

Autumn 2 Week 3

This week the children have been listening to The Nativity Play story by Nick Butterworth. It has been a great link to get them excited as we have begun practising for our very own nativity play!

If your child has been given a speaking part, please ensure you regularly practise your child’s lines with them at home to help them have as much confidence as possible when speaking aloud to the audience on the days of the performances.

The children have also enjoyed focusing on kindness for anti bullying week. They were given opportunities to think and talk about what it means to be kind and how could show that in discovery time with their friends.

Phonics-

This week some of the children have begun practising their phase 3 sounds as well embedding their phase 2 sounds. Some of these sounds they have learnt this week are j, v, w, x. It is important to not only practise the new sounds given each week but also to continue to go over all the previous sounds they have learnt so they continue to embed and remember them.

Please continue to read daily with your child for around 10 minutes. Ensure you discuss new vocabulary that may arise and help them to understand the meaning of it and how to use it in a variety of different sentences.

Maths-

The children have been focusing on learning the number 6. They have been recognising the number 6 in a variety of activities and games as well as counting out objects up to 6. The children need to be able to understand the position of numbers on a number line so please encourage them to think about what is one more and one less than a given number.

We hope you have a lovely weekend.

Remember to upload any great learning your child does to Tapestry for us to see what they are engaging with at home.

From the Early Years Team

Handa’s Surprise!

This week the children have really enjoyed focusing on the story called Handa’s Surprise. The children have been retelling the story and using descriptive language to talk about the different fruits.

This week the children have learnt the final sounds within phase 2. The sounds they have learnt this week are ff, l, ll, s. Now they have learnt all of their phase 2 sounds, please encourage your child to make their own CVC words (three letter words) using their flash cards. They need to sound them out and then blend to read them. Can they challenge themselves to write their own words?