We had planned to explore Diwali with the children last week to coincide with the festival, but unfortunately our extended half-term pushed our planning back a bit.
However, this gave us the benefit of seeing some pictures from some of our children’s celebrations. It also gave us an opportunity to talk about all the fireworks we heard over the weekend and what they were for.
RW loved learning about the story of Rama and Sita (and especially the celebrations that greeted their return). To celebrate ourselves, we made diya lamps, Diwali cards, and even learned a dance routine from Mrs Ajith!
Mrs Ajith brought in some clothes for us to try on too. They were very fancy!
Inspired by the Diwali legend, Mrs Johnston worked with some children to create some of their own stories. This bunch constructed train tracks and tales:
Our value this fortnight is peace. We certainly wish that everyone has a peaceful weekend. See you on Monday!
This week we explored the book, Pumpkin Soup: a story where 3 friends work together to create the most delicious meal. But to get there they needed to help and support each other. Not only did the book help us to draw further emotions for our worry monster to gobble up, it also sparked a curiosity in the class to investigate the details in things (in particular – and perhaps without coincidence – a well curated class pumpkin patch):
After all that work, it was only fair that our very own Mrs Willis donned a pinny and prepped us some pumpkin soup. The recipe? Something similar – but perhaps with less fur and fewer feathers – to:
Our value this week has been love. Some children loved the pumpkin soup, but more typically our conversations about love turned to family, friends, pets and even school!
Miss Bramham has started taking groups out in Forest School sessions and this week the children explored the woods and made leaf rubbings.
Mr Mercer returned this week, bringing sunshine and smiles. We were all glad to join him for a sing song.
Back with a bang: making firework explosion body shapes
What a welcome back to school! It was lovely to see everyone again this week after a very unusual half term holiday. Unfortunately some children and staff are still isolating, so we haven’t been able to welcome everyone back yet, but we look forward to seeing you soon!
For everyone who has been able to return to school: thank you so much for all your hard work this week. You have been – typically – brilliant.
We reviewed all our letter sounds this week. The children had fun learning the differences (and similarities) between the ‘th’, ‘f’, and ‘v’ sounds.
We returned to last half term’s focus on pattern – and explored animal patterns. Reading The Hare and the Tortoise helped us to explore the shapes found on a tortoise shell, and we tried to make our own shells using different shapes. The book taught us a lot about resilience and we spoke about what it means to take things slow and steady. It was very calming!
We also read about Worry Monsters and were introduced to our own class monster called Nibbler. Nibbler eats up all our worries and helps to make us feel better.
Lastly, but by no means leastly, we met Mr Mercer from Artforms Leeds who brought in his ukulele and gave us a wonderful schooling in socially distanced singing.
There’s only one way to leave you this week – a good goodbye:
I hope you’re well and have been able to find some time to rest and relax over half term. What a strange introduction to school holidays! Welcome back – in some form – to school and learning!
This post suggests activities you can introduce to your child. We understand that everyone will be juggling lots of responsibilities and your time will be stretched, so please treat these ideas as suggestions to help support home learning.
Whilst the main suggestions are to do with phonics (and understanding letter sounds) and maths, we want to encourage other vital aspects of early learning too. In particular, there are socio-emotional things we can think about:
The importance of listening – and how we can pay attention to what’s happening around us;
Developing confidence in articulating our thoughts and feelings (and learning how to identify feelings in ourselves and others.
Resources that may be useful over the next two days:
A phone / tablet / computer (access to youtube!)
Paper, pens, pencils
Building blocks / similar toys
Today – are you listening?? – we would like you to introduce the ‘sh’ sound.
An example lesson is here . Hopefully your child will be familiar with the format of the lesson!
We’ve attached a handwriting sheet that you could print / copy (if printing isn’t possible). Make the sound fun – try and draw the characters. Is a horse really saying “shhhh” to a hissing snake??
So far, we’ve taught all the single letter sounds (a reminder of the sounds, and not letter names, can be found here).
When you’re talking about the sh sound, you could think about words that might include the new sound (fish, shell, shop, shed, ship) and draw these things – encourage your child to try and write the words, or the ‘sh’.
Another challenge could be to say the sounds in each word individually (f-i-sh), and then encourage your child to blend them into the word (or vice-versa). Help on how to blend can be found here
A good example of finding the sound in real life can be demonstrated by, naturally, a puppet called Geraldine (here).
If your child is blending words, a game that you can play at home can be found here. This can be played with lots of different words. Ask your child how many sounds they can hear in each word – they might show you Fred Fingers to count along with the sounds!
Counting – whether up (1, 2, 3) or down (3, 2, 1) is important to develop our fluency. Counting up to 20 and down from 10 is a good place to start.
You could introduce songs too (there’s a good selection here).
We really want to help young children develop a deep understanding of numbers up to 10. Can you challenge them to find a particular number of something you’ve got in the house.
If, for example, you have Lego and they bring back 10 pieces: could they sort them (size, colour). Ask how many are in each group?
Write down all the numbers from 1-10. Which numeral matches the total number in a collection of objects?
This week RW found what could be their class tree in the big playground. However, the surprise might come next year when the tree we pointed and waved to swaps with another one in close proximity…
At Allerton, each reception class is given a class tree to observe throughout the year – seeing the tree change with the seasons. With great anticipation, RW were allotted a tree that – legend has it – attracts the most hardworking moth caterpillars. In spring, the moths cover the tree in a fantastic web. We can’t wait to see a caterpillar-wrapped tree. (Mr Woolley just hopes its the one he boldly suggested everyone point to this week.)
On firmer footing, Reception created a superb conker run in the Early Years playground. Children joined in to create their own course and rules.
We also had a Gruffalo number hunt outside. Well done everyone for finding which characters were showing us certain numbers. The staff (along with the chickens and guinea pigs) are all slightly concerned there’s been no recent sighting of snake though…
Inside, we continued writing about the Gruffalo and drawing wonderful pictures inspired by the story. In our maths work we explored repeating patterns and how to make them:
What a week! What a half term! Happy holidays everybody!!
It was such a shame we were unable to have our trip to Skelton Grange, but by strange coincidence, rumours a Gruffalo was stomping and chomping its way through the school woods had gathered momentum over the last few weeks.
We needed to investigate.
Donning wellies, waterproofs and surprisingly resilient paper bags, we headed across the playground in search of Autumnal treats. But the main concern of our intrepid explorers was, of course, “will we find a Gruffalo?”
Unfortunately: what happens on a Gruffalo hunt stays on a Gruffalo hunt. You will, however, be as reassured to learn – as our attendance officer was – everyone made it back safe and sound.
Whilst waiting for the feeling of our fingertips to return, we continued learning about careful counting. But this week we could use conkers, pine cones, leaves and twigs scavenged from our expeditions out.
In love with the Gruffalo – we drew pictures of the characters, created story maps and owl ice cream. Some of us tread the RW boards and acted out versions of the story; others began annotating their pictures with animal names.
Suffice to say, a teacher found a class – and the class was good!
This week RW have built on our love of books and started our class story time box; a place where we can keep our favourite stories (and be introduced to new ones!). We’ve loved reading Little Rabbit Foo Foo, and Jasper’s Beanstalk has helped us to imagine giant lands on different days of the week.
Our class library has also opened. Children get to choose a new book every Thursday and keep it until Monday; taking it home and sharing the story with loved ones. Remember to bring the bookbag in every day though: it’s a good school habit to get into!
We’ve loved running in and out of the ever-changing weather we’ve had this week. Cloud spotting through the painted glass ceiling of our ice-cream shack has been a really popular, peaceful activity.
When the sun was shining, we all enjoyed an outdoor sing-song with our very own Taylor Swift, Mrs Connelly: watch out Glasto 2021!
Other favourite things we’ve been up to this week have included careful counting – of duplo or dolls and bean bag games:
…learning how to make shapes with paper in the modelling area:
…exploring the letters in our names:
And being kind to others. Whether that’s helping Mr Woolley welcome everybody to school in the morning, donating dinosaurs, or serving our snack:
This week in RW we have been spending a lot of time talking about what it takes to be a kind friend. Everyone’s been enjoying how it feels to be considerate of other people and sharing in play: there’s more fun when you share it!
Over the summer the children prepared an “all about me” box to bring in to school. At circle times we’ve been enjoying seeing what’s inside everyone’s box. We’re a creative lot in RW! We’ve also taken self-portraits showing off what’s in our boxes. It’s been great to discover what everyone loves – and friendships have been formed over a shared love of (quite frequently) dinosaurs.
As a side note to all involved – RW have also enjoyed the return of hot dinners! Thank you to the kitchen team and everyone who helps out at lunch time, it’s really appreciated
Remember our song: Please and thank you Please and thank you We must say We must say When we ask for something When we ask for something Every day Every day