Blog week ending25th September

*Thank you for remembering PE kits this week. Remember PE takes place on Fridays and we would be grateful if the children are sent to school in jogging bottoms/leggings, trainers and PE t-shirt under their usual school jumper.

The weeks are just flying by and we are nearly at the end of September! We are all now seasoned pros in Pear class - we know where we go at break time, we are gaining independence accessing provision in the classroom and we are eating our dinners happily in the dinner hall.

Our Read Write Inc focus sounds this week are d,i and t. This week was very entertaining as we had an extra visitor in the classroom alongside Sally sounds - her sister Sandy Sounds! The children are really enjoying learning the sounds and thinking up words that begin with these sounds but practising the formation of these sounds at home is key. I have attached the sounds of the week below for you to practise at home. Remember to encourage your child to say the rhyme as they form the letter.

In our number work this week we have focused on number three and number four. We read the story The Three Billy Goats gruff and ordered the size of each of the goats.  We also used Duplo to build bridges for the Billy Goats and estimated how many bricks we had used .

We enjoyed finding all of the representations of three in our classroom ; there are three thinking hats, Mrs Horne-Smith had three stars on her earring and Mrs Vicky was using three different coloured highlighter pens. We have started to use the number mats and order numbers from one to five, selecting the correct focus number and using careful counting to select the different objects to make up that number.

When it came to number four we realised that this number came after three but before five. We talked about matching pairs and used our hanging skills on Mrs Horne-Smith's washing line to sort her smelly socks into the correct pair. We realised through careful counting that four is made up of two pairs of 2!

This week with it being International Peace Day on Monday, we have been working with the enquiry question: how will this action make me feel? We were all very excited because Ricky the mischief puppet came to visit us. He isn't very good at listening, doesn't take turns very well, cannot wait patiently and does not use kind hands and words.  We have sorted through our understanding of what the words peace and fair mean in our own classroom context and used this new found vocabulary to explore scenarios in our classroom. The children decided they could teach Ricky how to behave as his behaviour did not make for a peaceful classroom. Working in groups they discussed ‘is it fair if?’ What should you do if? How can you be a good friend, how can you share kindness?’ Unfortunately, more work may need to be done, as Ricky still does not seem to be following instructions - he keeps finding his way out of the cupboard and back into our classroom!

We watched the video of the story: 'The Invisible Bucket of Kindness', following on from 'The Invisible String' last week and we have hung our own bucket in the classroom where we will share kind words/pictures or thoughts with our friends in Pear class. We have decided that peace in the world is very similar to peace in Pear class – we all have to be more kind and if we share it is fair!

Alongside International Peace Day, it has also been European Languages Week. Our focus was Northumbrian and Yorkshire dialect. The children were shocked to hear that we have a Yorkshire and a Northumbrian adult in our classroom! Mrs Vicky and I shared our lingo with the children and we worked on greeting each other in either a Northumbrian or Yorkshire way whilst doing the register - there are some budding Yorkhire accents in here and you may have been greeted with 'alreet hinny?' this evening!

We investigated where both Northumberland and Yorkshire were using a map of Britain as well as looking at where Britain is in Europe. The children enjoyed learning about the customs and traditions that are popular in the different regions. I shared my region's love of Yorkshire tea and the children excitingly produced and tasted their own Yorkshire puddings. Mrs Vicky shared the pipes of Northumberland and we attempted to produce the best Northumbrian sausages using play dough and herbs –it was barri!

As we are in the very early stages of reception, some of us are not quite physically ready for writing. The muscles in children’s hands form at different rates so it is very important we build these up with fine motor activities. We have started letter and number formation but at this stage we do not correct grip for some children as they just do not have the strength in their shoulder muscles so we therefore also work on their gross motor skills and encourage as much mark making as possible. This week we have been completing lots of fine motor and gross motor activities such as threading, cutting, play dough, posting , jumping, skipping and balancing! We have also created crafty name labels to hang around the classroom and our challenge as we learn our RWI sounds each week, is to guess who's name it is, as we may recognise our own names at this point in reception, but we do not know our friend's names in print.

PE was a fun session of balancing, skipping, hopping and games where we worked up a sweat and listened to our heartbeats. We realised that the faster we moved, the faster our hearts were beating and the more we exercised, the warmer we got!

* Well done to Amara Heathcote who is this weeks star of the week :

For trying hard all week to master forming the letters in her name!


*This year in reception we are trying to foster a sense of independence amongst the children. Please could you have a weekend focus on the children putting on their own coats and shoes independently and if your child can already do this, mastering the zip or buttons. 

It has also been brought to my attention that some children do not appear to be drinking very much at school. We do have a drink with snack in the morning (water or milk) and the children are given a  glass of water with their lunch. The drinks are available to the children all day and we do try to encourage them to drink as much as possible but as I am sure you will understand, you can lead a donkey to water...!

I hope you all have a very relaxing weekend and look forward to seeing you all next week.

Laurie Horne-Smith

Magic maths!
Working our fingers with fine motor!
Playing peacefully with Ricky and each other!
European languages day - Yorkshire and Northumbrian!