Year R Squirrels
Team Squirrel - Mrs Browne and Miss Rhodes
Please wear PE kits on Thursdays and Fridays!
PE is on a Thursday (don't forget your shorts!) and Forest School is on a Friday.
Week commencing: 25.5.2023 Fairy tales
This week has been all about fairy tales. We have read lots of stories and also had books brought in from home by the children. A classic story that brought back a lot of childhood memories for Mrs Browne and Miss Rhodes was ‘Burglar Bill’ so thank you, Ivy for bringing that one in!
We have had a great week designing, writing and creating our own characters and describing the characteristics of that character. We had fairies, talking castles, ogres, turtles and eagles. I was super impressed by all the children’s creativity and thought process behind bringing their characters to life. On Wednesday, we got everything out of the art cupboard to create the characters we drew and had written about. It was a great team effort and the children were supporting and helping one another to ensure all the characters were what they wanted them to be.
After half term it is the week of our class assembly! We have been practising every day and it is looking great. The children are very excited to share their learning with you. Please keep practising their lines when you can throughout half term because it has helped them during our practise runs. (Also ensuring they use a nice loud voice.) :)
Week commencing 19.5.2023 WE WENT TO THE FARM!!!
We had the BEST morning at the farm! We walked brilliantly together on the pavement and crossed the roads safely to get to the farm. We even had a big lorry beep at us and wave 'Hello!'. Once at the farm we saw so many sheep and lambs. Mrs Snow told us there was over 1000 altogether this year. Mr Snow then told us about how they feed the lambs ensuring they get everything they need to survive. We learnt that lambs need to feed as soon as they are born to ensure they have the goodness they need. If they do not feed off their Mums, then they have to be tube fed to get the food inside them quickly. We also got to explore the shed where we saw lambs with their Mum, lambs under lights to keep them warm and a cheeky chicken who kept running away from us... I wonder why!?
Next, we fed the lambs some milk using a bottle with Mrs Snow. We also stroked and cuddled them too. After such busy work we washed our hands and had some snack! With our belly's full, we went on the tractor and quad bike. They were enormous and great fun! While we were busy on the machinery, Mr Snow headed off for an emergency on the farm. He raced off on his quad bike (with no children attached to it) and brought back a sheep who was about to give birth. We were extremely lucky enough to watch the lamb be born in the shed. We stayed extra quiet to make sure that Mum felt safe and comfortable and watched Mr Snow help deliver the lamb safely. After Team Squirrels became midwives, we were asked to name the new lamb. After a vote back at school, the vote went on the name 'Summer' because it was a beautiful summers' day on the farm!
Our final job of the morning was to examine animal poo! We had to guess which animal it came from. There was so many different sized poo but the children were expert poo inspectors and guessed the correct poo to the animal! There was cow, donkey, sheep, horse, rabbit and guinea pig.
What a busy but brilliant day! The children were exhausted when we arrived back at school but still had big smiles on their faces.
Welcome to the world Summer and thank you again to Mr and Mrs Snow!
Week commencing 12.5.2023 Where our food comes from
This has been a great week! It's one of my favourites… We had a brilliant discussion about where we buy our food and how it gets to the supermarkets. We took a look at all the different labelled fruits and vegetable packaging, talked about climates and why different fruit and vegetables are grown in different countries.
Did you know it takes 3 weeks for bananas to make it from tree to our supermarkets? Ask your children to tell you the bananas’ journey.
We made our own non-fiction book about what we have learnt about where our food comes from. We had information books on bananas, apples, root vegetables and strawberries.
We looked at the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who created portraits out of fruit and vegetable and thought we would give it a go! Here are a few examples…
It has been great hearing the children talking like geographers using words like continent, Europe, Africa, climate, humid, rain forest, tropical and imported, all to describe different places and weathers of countries where our fruit and vegetables come from.
Next week: At the farm! We are off to the Farm and we couldn’t be more excited!
One last thing… Scripts will be coming home so you can help your child practise their line for our class assembly. Please can they come back to school each day so we can practise here too! Thank you.
Week commencing 5.5.2023 The world around us
It has been a brilliant week full of postcard writing, map designing and booking holidays with limitless money! What a life it has been in Team Squirrels HQ. A big thank you to Frank’s Mum for enhancing our travel agents role play by providing us with holiday brochures and currencies from around the world. The children have loved using them to plan and book their holidays.
Here are a few of our postcards to our loved ones.
We designed our own maps. Some children did a map of their house, others did a map of their road, journey to school or a map of the world. I was so impressed with how brilliant they all were and completed so independently.
We are busy practising for sports day! We have been working as a team, becoming very competitive and determined to win for our house colours.
In maths, we have been working in small groups with Mrs Browne to equally count out a given number into groups of 2, 3 and 4. Many of the children could visualise or estimate how many was needed in each group before we did it together. I was very impressed!
Next week: Where our food comes from - another brilliant topic which allows us to explore the world, its different climates and where the foods we eat, comes from... BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! Can you bring in all empty packets of fruit and vegetables which share the location it was grown (it tends to be on fresh fruit and veg packets). Thank you!
Week commencing 28.4.2023 Animals
The children have been full of life learning about animals this week. They have been taking on their learning independently and in groups to role play being different animals in the wild. They have been in Africa, Australia, in the woods in England and under the sea. We have also learnt different facts about some of their favourite animals.
To support our learning the children have written about their favourite animal, sharing why it is their favourite and a fact they know about it. Also, we have used a large map of the world to plot where the animals live. We looked at climate, environments and habitats of different animals and suggested why some animals live in some countries and not others.
In maths, we are learning about sequencing and ordering of numbers. I was flabbergasted that the children can sequence in twos and tens and odd and even numbers. We found missing numbers in sequences and could order numbers small smallest to biggest number.
In music with Miss Lee, we are using the glockenspiels to follow a rhythm. They are doing brilliantly knowing when to hit the correct key and the correct time of the beat.
Next week: we are learning about the world around us! This is one of Mrs Browne’s favourite topics. There will even be a travel agents role play so come on in and book your holidays early before they sell out!
Week commencing 21.4.2023 Life Cycles
Welcome back Team Squirrels! The children were so excited to be back and share all their adventures over the Easter break. We had big smiles on Monday morning which of course made Mrs Browne feel all lovely inside.
This week we have some new visitors in the classroom who will be sticking around for some time… It took a while for the children to notice as they were far too busy telling each other all about their holidays.
After being told about our wriggly visitors the children were very excited and began observing them through magnified glasses, naming them and leaning about them through books and sequence cards.
We looked at the life cycle of a frog, butterfly, hen, plant and tortoise.
To consolidate our learning, we completed diagrams of the different life cycles and labelled them with the correct vocabulary. We also completed a writing piece to share our knowledge of life cycles. The children could choose what they wanted to write about whether it be a fact about the life cycle or step by step guide to what will happen.
Money money money!
In maths the children were introduced to money. We looked at the different coins and their value and talked about the size of the coins and how to add or subtract the coins. Some children brought in money from different countries from around the world. The children were fascinated that different countries use different money to us here in the United Kingdom. It was explained that it was called currency.
We have started phase 4 in our phonics programme now which is going extremely well. The children are able to write key words independently, reflect back to previous sounds taught and use them within their sentences.
At home, keep practising the phase 2 and 3 sound mats as it will support their reading to become more fluent and give them the confidence to want to read more.
Next week we will be learning all about animals! We will be looking at where they live around the world, their habitats and their survival skills.
Week commencing 31.3.2023 Easter fun and revisiting previous learning
This week has been a week of consolidating our previous learning. We created timelines of what has happened in the past, present and what they want to happen in the future. They were all brilliant and very different. There were some timelines on our sunflower seed we have planted, the children as babies, children then what they want to be when they grow up and others sharing their place of education - nursery, Langrish school then secondary school.
Thinking about the past we have written sentences about a picture, which was taken at Easter time in the ‘olden days’. Children reflected on their clothes, the objects around them and the colour of the picture itself.
Some of the children were very interested in how people used to write with a quill rather than a pen. The children just had to test this out for themselves! Their response: "It takes a long time to do anything because the ink ran out too quickly!" This stemmed a conversation into how things have advanced and changed as time goes by.
After understanding the reason Easter is celebrated by Christian people, we couldn't go away without writing Easter cards to our loved ones, decorating our Easter tree or making chicks and bunnies with 2D shapes!
After Easter…. We will be looking at life cycles and fingers crossed some VIC’s will be arriving at Mrs Browne’s house ready for the first Monday back after the holidays.
Over the Easter holidays… please have a wonderful time together as a family! Find signs, posters and notices for the children to attempt to read and understand. Keep them busy learning new skills such as hopping, skipping or finally taking those stabilisers off their bikes, ahhh! I cannot wait to hear all about it!
Week commencing 24.3.2023 Egg as a new life
We looked at a variety of eggs, there was an ostrich egg, duck egg and chicken egg. There was also Easter eggs and decorated eggs. We looked at the similarities and differences of all the eggs and here is what the children said…
Rosa said, “One of the bird eggs looks like a stone.”
Rayan said, “Some have extra eggs inside and in coloured foil and the others do not.”
James said, “The chicken egg is soft and the chocolate egg has a pattern on it.”
Sophie, “They are the same shape.”
We discussed what an egg is and where they come from. We also talked about the meaning of Easter eggs and what eggs symbolise to Christian people.
In maths, we are beginning our unit on subtraction. The children have already got a good idea thinking of the opposite of addition. Take away means the total will be less and addition means the total will be bigger. We learnt that there is one important rule in subtraction which is that the biggest number must go first!
To support our learning for subtraction, we have used the skittles to make our own number sentences and used the computer to play a subtraction and addition game.
The end of last week:
We had a beautiful morning on Friday. There was a free choice of riding on the bikes, playing on the field or playing with the play dough inside. I had the BEST time spending quality time with all the children chatting about anything and everything. We made bug hotels on the field, created stick fires and climbed trees.
Well done to all you super typers over the weekend! Pip typed a great story and shared it with us, others were able to write their names and some even typed sentences!
Week commencing 17.3.2023 Spring Observations
This week we looked deeper into the seasons finding out when it becomes spring, summer, autumn or winter. We talked about daylights saving time and when that takes place in the year. When talking about spring, the children understood what makes spring time, looking at new life, habitats, the environment and the things changing around us locally.
The children could tell me all about their adventures over the weekend finding things all to do with spring.
Tommy said he found snowdrops and crocuses.
Jack said he saw daffodils and lambs.
Isaac shared that he lived near a sheep farm and will expect to see many lambs very soon.
Annabelle shared that she saw blossom growing on the trees.
The children have completed some brilliant spring observation writing about what they could see when looking at a picture. I am extremely proud of the children’s independent writing. They used the sound board if they needed it and described what they could see in detail.
Using Lego and 2D shapes, we created all things linked to spring. The children made lambs, flowers, bees and trees. They were brilliant! Our role play this week was a garden centre. The children loved using the till, being a caretaker and looking after the grounds and being customers to buy the things they need for their garden and homes.
In maths, we are consolidating our learning about adding. We have been learning to write number sentences ensuring our numbers are the correct way round and our symbols are in the right place. We have been working in pairs to share our number sentences and then working out each other’s.
For science week we took the opportunity to find out how a seed grows. We did an experiment to plant a seed and see how long it takes to grow. We will measure each other’s stalks to see whose grows the fastest. The children followed the instructions in order, to plant their own sunflower seed.
Next week: We will look at 'egg as a new life'. It is part of our World Faith and Philosophy unit. We will look at different eggs and find out what they mean or represent, to different people.
Home learning: Can you challenge your children to find and type their name using a keyboard on the computer? Can they make other words such as Mum or Dad?
Week commencing 10.3.2023 A place called home.
It has been a fascinating week learning about where we live, how we live and where and how other people live around the world. We used Google Earth and an atlas to find different continents and countries from around the world, then investigated at where and how different families live in Brazil, USA, China, Sweden and Kenya. It led to brilliant discussions about climate, race, wealth and how different people value different things.
To start our topic off we looked at pictures of our own houses and looked at similarities and differences about them. We noticed they all were made of bricks, had windows and doors and then looked at differences such as size, environment around it and their shape. We used key vocabulary such as detached, semi-detached, bungalow and terrace house. We then talked about where our houses are using key vocabulary such as town and village. Using our photographs, we drew the front of our houses adding key features such as trees, garages, porches and driveways.
Next, we read a beautiful book called, ‘A Place Called Home’. It shared beautiful pictures of houses from around the world. There were mud huts, wooden houses, apartments, houses on stilts that protect them from forest creatures and river rises, houseboats and even ‘dugout’ homes in a town called Coober Pedy in Australia.
Another great book was called, ‘My Map Book’. It shared drawings of someone’s life through maps. They drew a treasure map, a map of their bedroom, a map of their family, a map of their face and a map of their day. Using inspiration from this book we drew a bird’s eye view of the children’s bedroom and labelled it.
Finally, we continued to look at different countries from around the world and talk about what countries we have been to and which countries are near to the United Kingdom.
In Maths, we started to look at adding. We talked about the different words which mean to add such as plus, add and addition. We used Lego to build some number sentences and work out the total. We also used numicon to add many together and learnt what a calculator was for. It turns out they were not mobile phones left in the maths area after all! To consolidate our learning on patterns, we used lolly sticks to create given shapes and patterns. Some were very tricky!
Next week is spring observations. Go on an adventure this weekend, can you find anything to show signs of spring?
Week commencing 3.3.2023 World book day and writing poems!
This week has been brilliant! We have been rhyming and making our own poems linked to an animal of their choosing. They could choose a dog, fox, cat or goat. We worked together as a class to find everything that rhymed with those words. We read some brilliant stories to support us with our poems, such as, ‘Oi Frog’ and ‘Oi Cat’. We have also read some traditional tales and stories from the library which the children have chosen.
Phonics sounds this week are: ‘ear’, ‘air’ and ‘ure’. Keep practising all phase 3 sounds using the activities in your reading record and the sound mat. It is tricky to recognise digraphs and trigraphs to begin with because they are very used to reading single sounds in words.
In maths, we are looking at pattern. We have made repeating patterns and created our own patterns on the animals for our poems. We have found so many patterns around the classroom, school and outside environment. Can they find different patterns at home?
World book day fun!
Next week is our first geography topic - a place called home. Please can you bring in a photo or email the school office a photo of your house. In your photo can it include the whole front side of your house. Thank you!
Week commencing 24.2.2023 Our bodies and healthy eating
This week we have been learning how to keep our bodies healthy and happy! We learnt there are 5 important things which help us to do this…
- Exercise and keep active
- Sleep well
- Have a positive mindset
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a good variety of foods
We discussed each one individually and gave examples of how we can do it.
Harper said: “If we do not sleep we feel tired and grumpy the next day.”
Rory said: “You need to drink lots of water and milk, milk is really good for you too.”
When talking about healthy foods we learnt key words such as carbohydrate, protein and dairy products and put a range of foods into the correct categories. We then created a healthy plate and labelled the foods we had drawn. Next, we created posters to show everyone how to keep our bodies healthy.
Our role play area this week was a doctors’ surgery, which has been extremely busy with patients needing many check-ups and procedures to make their bodies feel better.
Lucky for us, we had Mrs Lawry with us this week for an afternoon so we used her expertise to explore the musical instruments in the music room to create pattern and rhythm.
Phonics sounds this week were ‘ur’, ‘ow’, ‘oi’ and ‘er’. Can your child tell you any words with those sounds in?
In maths, we have learnt about odd and even numbers. We found the pattern and learnt why some numbers are odd and others are even. It made us reflect on our previous learning of ‘to find half of a given number equally’. The children have enjoyed finding 3-digit numbers to find out if it’s an odd or even number using the trick of focusing on the last number. We have also used the numicon to add odd and even numbers together and finding out if the total number is an odd or even number.
Erin said: “Look! 5 and 5 are odd numbers but add them together and its 10. 10 is an even number.”
Next week is World Book Day so we are making a week of it to explore different authors, stories, fiction and non-fiction books along with some classic traditional tales. We will also be creating our own poems.
Don't forget to dress up Friday 3rd March!
Week commencing 10.2.2023 The King’s Crown and our Banquet!
What a truly fabulous but extremely busy week. Our classroom turned into a castle, there was Kings, Queens and Princesses everywhere and the school hall turned into a grand dining hall for our banquet.
Our week started with the question, ‘Why do we wear hats?’ We discussed weather, protection, safety and uniform. We looked at a variety of hats that people wear for all those things, plus hats for religion, culture and pleasure. Next our question was, ‘What is a crown and who wears one?’ We discussed what it means to wear a crown, understanding it is a symbol of power and monarchy. Of course, this was our opportunity to make our own crowns with all the jewels and glitter in the school! We dipped into the Queen's coronation and shared what it meant. Thanks to the Disney film 'Frozen', the children had a pretty good idea already about what it meant! We then talked about the King's coronation coming up in May.
Our next question was, ‘What are the crown jewels and why are they kept in a castle?’ We looked at a map of London and found where the Tower of London was. Looking at photos, we noticed there were guards outside the Tower of London all the time and understood why the guards needed to be there, using keywords like, precious, wealthy, rich, robber, burglar and jewellery within our conversations.
We read the story, ‘Paddington at the Tower’ which told us about the ravens who also guard the tower. The children loved watching a video of the Raven Master at the tower looking after the 7 ravens who are very important! Ask your child why the ravens are extremely important to the Tower of London and what some of their names are. We used this opportunity to write about the ravens, sharing what their job is and about their individual personalities.
Finally, we had a tour of all the London Landmarks, sharing our own experiences of London and what we did there. We drew our favourite landmarks from a London taxi to number 10 Downing Street! They were brilliant!
The children had been busy preparing for the banquet by making cakes and decorating biscuits. We also designed our plate with everything we had been learning about. The banquet was a wonderful event! We all had the BEST time eating, chatting and also dancing to royal music as Kings, Queens and Princesses.
Thank you Squirrels for a memorable and brilliant week!
P.S our phonics sounds this week were: oo (short sound), oo (long sound), ar and or. Yes we even had time for phonics! :)
Week commencing 3.2.2023 Waves of wellbeing
It has been a calm, relaxed and positive week here in team squirrels. We have focused on a story a day, where we learn about a different sea creature. We find out how they adapt to changes, think before they react, work as a team, keep calm and step out of their comfort zone.
Can your children link the theme, to the sea creature and explain their stories?
Think before you react.
Working as part of a team.
Coping with changes.
Stepping out of your comfort zone.
To step out of our comfort zone we tried a variety of fruits which are not so common. There were lemons, limes, pomegranate, lychee and pineapple. We each had a chart to share if we liked the fruit or not after stepping out of our comfort zone to try it. Even Mrs Browne was feeling nervous as she is a little bit fussy with food!! Well done team squirrel for stepping out of your comfort zone and encouraging others to try too.
Our phonic sounds this week were: ‘ai’, ‘ee’, ‘igh’ and ‘oa’. We have used the ipads this week to work in pairs to complete different literacy games to support our phase 3 sounds. Our role play area has become a safe haven for children to hide away looking at books about feelings and sea creatures and to explore different behaviours and putting them in categories of right or wrong actions. We then discuss how we can make a wrong action into a right one.
In maths, we have focused on 'more and fewer'. Can you use this language around the house or when out and about?
- I have 3 plates, Dad has 2. Who has more? Who has fewer?
- Who has fewer toys, you or your sister/brother? (only if it doesn't start an argument between them!)
To extend can you get them to explain why? How do you know?
Challenge for home:
In your reading records are mini learning tools for you to complete. Try having a go at one, once a week to enhance your child’s reading skills and comprehension. Also, in the back is a bronze certificate which the children have all completed. There is also a target to focus on for this term.
Next week we become Kings and Queens... How exciting! :)
Please find attached at the bottom of the page the maths workshop slides and the phonics phase 3 mat.
Week commencing 27.1.23 Under the sea and precious water
This week has been a learning tool for all of us… including me! Here are a few things we have found out:
Crabs have 10 legs.
Starfish have no blood or brain.
Octopuses can change colour and so can seahorses.
There are more oceans than land on earth.
A stingray has no bones in its body.
The children have loved exploring all things under the sea! We have written facts about what we have learnt and remembered.
We also talked about how water is precious. We looked into how we use it and why. Then thought about what would happen if there was no water on earth.
In maths, we have been learning about estimation. We found out it was having a good guess at an amount instead of counting. We played a few games in pairs and in small groups to help us with our estimation skills and recorded our answers on a chart.
In our water tray, we created a beautiful under the sea scene with all the different sea creatures and used a magnetic fishing rod to catch narwhals, then made a habitat for them. We also individually created a boat using a variety of resources which were then tested out in the water to see if it would float or sink. We discussed the materials used and learnt a new word 'capsized' to describe when the boat fell side ways in the water.
Maths parent workshop 2:40pm Thursday 2nd February.
Baking cakes and decorating a biscuit will take place Monday 6th and Tuesday 7th February.
Dress up as a King or Queen for the banquet is Wednesday 8th February.
Week commencing 20.1.2023: Chinese New Year
This week has been full of colour (especially red), dragons and rice!
We have been extremely busy learning about how people celebrate Chinese New Year. We first talked about where China is and compared it to the UK. Did you know China has the biggest population in the world with 1.2 billion people living there…?
Here is what we found out…
Isaac – I was born in the year of the dog.
Tommy – Red is their lucky colour so I am using red on my lantern.
Ashton – I have drawn all the animals from the calendar. There are 12 of them.
Hannah – I have drawn the pictures they use for numbers. Zero was the hardest to draw.
Erin – I love the dragons. They dance around with them.
Lena – Here is my drawing of a Chinese dragon. The people hold poles to help the dragon move.
We read the story of the zodiac calendar and tried to remember the order of the animals. The children couldn’t believe what the rat did to the cat! See if they can remember the order.
In PE we created a dance just like they did in the Chinese New Year parades across the world. We listened to the music and made a routine.
In maths we learnt about doubles. I was very impressed. Sophie could tell me that double means two of the same. We used numicon, dots, dominoes then numbers to find double.
Next week is under the sea and water. This is part of our World Faith and Philosophy unit. We will be finding out why water is so precious, what animals live under the sea, their habitats and way of life.
Week commencing 13.1.2023: Recycling
We have learnt so much this week about recycling... I don’t even know where to begin!!
We discussed how we recycle at home and at school and talked about where it goes and why it is good to recycle. We read some brilliant books called ‘What a Waste’ and ‘Somebody Swallowed Stanley’ which shared the danger of rubbish in our oceans and environment.
The children have been busy in our recycling centre sorting the rubbish and objects into their different bins. We also made posters to spread the word to people about the dangers of rubbish and use of plastics. I have to say how impressed I was by everyone’s posters. The children each drew something significant to recycling and was able to explain their drawings with such confidence. We even had some sentences in there too. Well done Team Squirrel!
As you will know the children have made something spectacular out of junk modelling resources. This is to help the planet by re-using different materials for a good purpose…. YOU ARE WELCOME! 😊
In phonics, we have learnt the sounds ‘j’, ‘v’, ‘w’, and ‘x’. We have been writing words which start with each of those sounds and been playing ‘I spy’ to find pictures which start with a certain sound. An example of 'I spy' is below... To challenge ourselves we have been writing the words rather than drawing the pictures.
In maths, we are learning weight. We have been finding things that are heavier, lighter or balanced. The children have loved exploring weight using water and pipets and different resources from around the classroom with the weighing scales.
The Police came to see us!
We had a visit from two policemen who told us about what they do as a job..... Unfortunately to Squirrels dismay, it wasn't just about catching the 'baddies'. The children were all a bit starstruck but asked some brilliant questions about police dogs, how they help people and about the equipment they carry with them. We even got to go in their car!!
Coming home with you are the phase 2, 3 and 4 tricky words. Please keep practising them and remember they need to see and know the words in books (bedtime, library and their school reading books) and out and about in the environment rather than just remembering them on the tricky word rocket. This will embed their learning as they can transfer their tricky word knowledge when reading with you at home and at school.
Next week is all about Chinese New Year! We will explore the celebration and find out many facts about how people celebrate it.
Week commencing 6.01.2023 Happy new year! We have been scientists investigating Winter…
Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I have been hearing EVERYTHING the children got for Christmas. Well done Santa, 10 house points to you!
This week we are investigating the season of winter. We reflected back to autumn and compared it to winter. We talked about the weather, the dark nights and mornings, the environment around us and suitable clothes to wear.
To support our learning we labelled different clothing, using our phonics to work out what each word said. Our role play area is a beautiful winter wonderland where the children have loved throwing snowballs at each other and making snowmen (with cotton wool!)
In maths, we have been exploring height. We are using key vocabulary such as short, tall, shortest, tallest, equal and average height. We measured ourselves and worked out who was the tallest and shortest in our class. See if the children can remember who was who! We have been measuring with our hands, multi link and in cm.
We have been doing gymnastics and made our own sequence together as a class then made one up individually.
Next week we are learning about recycling. Over the weekend go on an adventure to find out a way of recycling. This could be with your recycling bin, bottle banks or charity shops.
Some top tips to support those pesky tricky words...
- Keep going over those tricky word flash cards and rockets.
- When reading can they find those tricky words within a sentence?
- When out and about search the environment/ posters/ signs for tricky words.
- Tricky words may look different in different text. For example The, the.
- When reading a bedtime story, as soon as they hear a tricky word can they put their hands on their head? Can they recall the tricky word they heard? Can they write them down on a post it note?
Week commencing 16.12.2022 MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Dearest Squirrels and lovely parents.
What a fantastic first term we have had. All your wonderful children have been brilliant and already grown so much in confidence, resilience and independence. I am so proud of all they have achieved and look forward to next term already!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous new year. Relax, eat loads and spend time with loved ones as you all deserve it!
Thank you for your continuous support.
Lots of love,
Mrs Browne and Miss Rhodes xx
Week commencing 9.12.2022 Celebrating birth!
This week we understood what birthdays are and why some people celebrate them. We discussed what we do on peoples’ birthdays and how we may celebrate them… There was lots of talk of cake! We then looked at key vocabulary and there meanings. They were:
All this, links beautifully to our Nativity next week! The children now what we are singing about…
Our phonics sounds this week are: ss, ff, ll, and l. We have now finished phase 2 and after Christmas we will move onto phase 3.
Our role play has been busy with children wrapping presents for one another, writing Christmas and birthday cards and making cakes for a party!
In maths, we have been writing numbers for a purpose so we used play dough to make a given number of candles for different sized cakes. Also, we went on a number hunt around the school to find as many numbers as we could. We found clocks, signs and information posters all with numbers on. The biggest number we found was on a height chart which was 135!
Week commencing 2.12.2022 ‘We all have feelings’
This week we have talked about different emotions and feelings. We shared the feelings that we knew and looked at different faces expressing such emotion and also shared when we have ever felt that feeling.
We looked at feelings such as happy, sad, scared, angry and come up with different words to describe the same feeling. The children came up with frustrated, dangerous, excited, upset, cross and filled with joy. I thought these were brilliant words!
After sharing when we have felt all those emotions, we talked about how to best deal with them.
Isaac said, ‘If you’re feeling angry or cross you can take yourself away for a minute to calm down.’
Rayan said, ‘We are all unique and sometimes do things differently.’
Ashton said, ‘When I am happy, I try to make my other friends happy because it’s a nice thing to do.’
Lena said, ‘I love hugs when I am feeling sad.’
Mrs Browne said, ‘When I’m feeling sad, scared or angry I talk to someone I love and trust to share my feelings. This can help me to calm down to find a solution to a problem I may be having.’
Lucas said, ‘You can count to 10 and breathe if you’re feeling mad. This can calm you down too.’
In phonics, we have been writing about what makes us happy. We have also created our own worry monsters by giving them a feeling. Some did a sick monster, a scared monster and others did a happy monster. We then wrote a word down to describe that feeling using our phonic knowledge and the sound board for support.
For our guided reading this week, we read then re-enacted the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The children chose a character to play and worked together to act out the story. We filmed each group and watched it back, which the children loved! The children were all brilliant at re-telling the story, remembering what to say and acting as their character with confidence and sass!
In Maths, we have learnt to count from a larger group. Mrs Browne kept being very silly and kept counting incorrectly, she wasn’t doing it one at a time! Luckily Team Squirrel were there to help and tell Mrs Browne what she was doing wrong and how to do it properly.
To support our learning of counting from a larger group, we threaded a given number of beads, used a given number of paper clips to attach them to a lolly stick and used tweezers to count out bears into the correct pots. All super fine motor skills taking place here at Squirrel HQ!
This week we had Kirsten in from Cats Protection. She told us how to look after cats and what cats love best. She read us a story about Luna who wanted a cat because she loved them so much, but had to do some important jobs before the cat could come home.
As you know the children came home with masks and a puzzle book. To support Cats Protection and say thank you we want to donate cat food, new cat toys and bags of cat litter to support them in such difficult times. Please send in your donations to the foyer where there will be a box labelled 'Cat Protection Donations'. Please can we have all donations received by Friday 9th December. Thank you in advance.
Next week is celebrating birth. We will look at birthdays, why birthdays are celebrated and think about the question, 'Do all people celebrate birthdays?' We will then look into why Christians celebrate Jesus’s birthday and what it means to them.
Thursday 15th December is Christmas jumper day. Please wear your Christmas jumpers on top of your school uniform.
Friday 16th December is our Christmas party day. Children can wear party clothes to school but please ensure they wear sensible shoes for the playground and don't forget your coat.
Week commencing 25.11.2022 Autumn observations
It has been a wet and windy week learning about Autumn. We have looked at what Autumn means; what things are celebrated in the Autumn time and what animals we may see around being busy. We have learnt lots of new vocabulary such as migrate, hibernation, autumnal and seasons and used them within our conversations to one another.
We have explored and discussed our topic table which is filled with beautiful natural resources found by the children over the weekend on their autumnal walk. We learnt about what they are and where they have come from and used torches and magnified glasses to look in more depth at the patterns and features of the different leaves and moss.
Working as a team, the children created their own autumn scene thinking about what they have seen previously when exploring the outdoors and new things they have learnt about autumn. We had brilliant drawings of scarecrows, harvest and different animals going into hibernation.
Unfortunately, due to extreme winds over the past 3 weeks (plus a pyjama day), we have been unable to attend our forest school sessions due to the safety of the children, myself and Miss Rhodes. Fingers crossed we will have less extreme weather and be able to head back out there as soon as we can! There is no better way to find out about Autumn than to be out there experiencing it for ourselves!
We managed to get out on a beautiful sunny Friday morning! We explored the forest floor, searched for worms, climbed trees and Mrs Browne even got her saw out!!
Phonics sounds this week are; ck (our first of many digraphs!), e, u and r. I have to say how proud I am of all the children’s writing skills. They take everything I throw at them on board. We are slowly beginning to write sentences and using our tricky words too.
Some sentences we have been writing are:
I like ducks.
I go up to the eggs.
The rat run.
In maths, we are using key vocabulary such as ‘total’ and ‘how many’. We are talking about what total means and what we need to do to get there. To do this we are counting all sorts of things such as claps, sounds, jumps and adding numbers to find out the total or how many are all together.
Next week is, ‘we all have feelings’. We will be looking at different emotions and explore when we have felt such emotions and what we can do to support each emotion. There will be many books to support our learning and also lots of speaking and listening.
Week commencing 18.11.2022 We are all different!
This week has been about wearing odd socks on Monday and our pyjamas Friday! What a strange week it has been but all for a good cause!
On Monday we had a whole school assembly where Mrs Wright told us why we were wearing odd socks and showed us a video of Andy and the Odd Socks singing a song telling us how to be kind for anti-bullying week. However, it isn’t just for anti-bullying week!
In squirrel class we explored how we can be more kind to one another and explored different ways to help and support each other. We even finger painted our own odd socks – which all looked fabulous by the way!
A massive thank you for all the baby photos! They were amazing to see. We shared how the features on our faces have stayed the same, it is our bodies that have changed. I played a trick on Miss Rhodes and made her match the baby photo to the children. I was very impressed by how well she did recognise you all as tiny babies, some being only 2 weeks old! We talked about how we are all different and unique which is a great thing. We shared our favourite colour, activity and noticed most children said different things.
We read a brilliant story called ‘What happened to you’ by James Catchpole and Karen George – see if your child can retell you what happened in the story.
Phonics sounds this week are g, o, c, k. We are doing such a great job at writing the sounds, using the working wall independently to find the sounds and writing simple CVC words such as get, off, cat, kit.
In maths, we are all about shape! We have learnt the names of different 2D shapes and counted how many sides they have. We learnt that 2D shapes are flat and 3D shapes are solid. We found different objects around the classroom and outside to match the different shapes.
At the weekend can you support your child’s learning of shapes to find different everyday objects to match a circle, square, rectangle, triangle, pentagon, hexagon, sphere, cuboid, cylinder and cube.
We looked at the festival of light, Diwali which is celebrated by Hindu's. We explored how they celebrate and why. We created our own rangoli patterns using coloured sand and made lanterns.
Next week is Autumn observations and we need your help! Can you go on a lovely autumn walk or out in your garden to find different natural things so we can put them on our exploration table. You might find a beautiful red leaf or some bark. You might be super lucky and find an egg shell from a birds nest!
Week commencing 11.11.2022 Minibeasts
I think it may have been the children’s BEST week so far… We learnt about all things minibeasts…
Did you know:
- A minibeast means a small animal with no backbone.
- There are over 25,000 different types of minibeasts!
- Butterflies taste with their feet.
- Ladybirds squirt a poisonous liquid when they are threatened.
- The ‘horns’ of a male stag beetle cannot close, they are more like deer antlers and they use them for fighting.
- The biggest minibeast is a stag beetle. The biggest one was 8.5cm!
- Male bees have no sting and male mosquitoes don’t bite.
- Some scorpions can go without food for a whole year.
So many facts and interesting information learnt! We used books, the Internet and prior knowledge to find out all our interesting facts! We’ve got some super minibeasts experts in Team Squirrel!
Our sounds this week are i, n, m, d. To support our writing, we used word mats to write down our favourite minibeasts then draw them. I was very impressed with all the children as they completed this challenge independently and their handwriting was beautiful! They knew to write from left to right and to write the word together in order.
Maths has been all about recognising numbers. We have been counting bugs and writing the total down, ordering numbers 0 – 10 and used the threading resources to make caterpillars. We have also used the clay this week to create our own minibeasts. There were snails, wood louse, spiders, dragon flies and even scorpions.
Perform came to see us!
"We had a visit from a witch called Merlin. She had a black cat and made us cast a spell. There was also a dragon who left a chocolate cake and we may have accidently ate it! He was not a happy dragon!" Team Squirrel's recap of Perform visiting.
Next week is all about ‘being different’. If you have one to hand, on Monday, could you bring in a named baby photo please. We would like to compare them with each other’s and share how different we looked then to now.
Week commencing 4.11.2022 Welcome back Team Squirrels!
It has been a busy week back at school… New routines within the classroom, new groups and new ways of learning! Even after all this change, the Squirrels have taken it all in their stride and now understand the ways of the classroom. Phew!
Please can I remind you that for PE day on Thursday, can children have shorts in their bag or under their trousers so we can access all the equipment in the hall. Thank you!
This week’s topic is ‘All about me’. We drew self-portraits and used mirrors to capture all aspects of our faces such as freckles and teeth. We drew and labelled who lived in our house and built our houses using lolly sticks. Then we talked about our favourite things to do and what activities we were interested in. All the children said something different like swimming, football, going to the farm, being brave, horse riding and learning new facts about dinosaurs.
In phonics, we have focused on hearing different sounds in words and finding out if it is at the beginning, middle or end of a word. We worked in pairs to draw around each other's bodies then filled in the body parts such as hair, eyes, fingers and toes. Then we created faces using the natural resources around us, had a guided reading session with Mrs Browne and matched pictures to initial sounds. What a team!
In maths, we are learning to count up to 10 using actions. We have ensured we are counting with one to one correspondence, counting pictures and created an action sequence for a friend to complete. It could be to do 3 claps, 5 star jumps and 10 hops.
Next week our topic is all about minibeasts! On Friday, we will talk about remembrance with a key question of, ‘Why do people wear poppies?’ We will talk about what remembrance means and what the poppies symbolise. We will then create our own poppies using our cuttings skills, split pins and follow a picture step-by-step guide.
Week commencing 21.10.2022 Our final week of letter a day! t, u, v, w, x, y, z
There were a lot of sounds to get through this week…
T is for time, we carefully listened to how many times Mrs Browne said the word ‘time’… Turns out we use time a lot in our day! lunchtime, story time, play time, PE time and so many more. We created beautiful autumnal trees by printing leaves using lovely earthy colours.
U is for umbrella, we talked about our clothes and what and why we wear clothes on different occasions and for different weathers. The squirrels challenge was to create a waterproof umbrella. We noticed the waterproof fabrics felt more slippery and plastic.
V is for volcano! We played I spy where we had to find the 'v' pictures amongst other pictures. There was vet, volcano, violin and vest to find.
W is for water and there was a lot of it outside from the rain! We created watches, kept an eye on the weather and turned into witches and wizards!
X is for x – ray. We used string on black paper to create our own skeletons.
Y is for yacht. We used the junk modelling and natural resources around us to make boats (yachts) to see if they could float in the water tray. Then, if they didn’t float, discuss why and what needs to change for next time.
Z is for zebra pattern. We made different patterns using zebra prints with tissue paper, card, pipe cleaners and paint.
What an extremely busy week! Now time for a big half-term rest. I am incredibly proud of how brilliant all the children have been. They have settled in well and have tackled school like a duck to water! I know they are all tired (and rightly so!), they have worked so, so hard. A huge well done and I look forward to the next term.
Please note the new PE day on the top of this page.
Week commencing 14.10.2022 o, p, q, r, s
This week started off brilliantly for Mrs Browne as she was given TWO pieces of cake which was easily eaten all by Monday afternoon so thank you Flo and Ashton! Anyway, back to the learning….
O is for October, octopus, otter and octagon. We painted pictures of our choice using just the colour orange. There were pumpkins, octopus, sunset skies and an orange grasshopper (who knew?) We explored clocks by looking at the times o’clock and played ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf’ to support that learning. Then things got rather messy and busy as we created our own owls using 2D shapes.
P is for penguin, parsnip, pickle and Pip! For ‘P’ we made long paper chains, learnt how to draw a penguin step by step and made potions in the water area. In the library, we found all the Percy Park Keeper books and read them together in the cosy book area. We also used the colour purple to create a collage or textures using paint, fabric and paper.
Q is for Queen, quick, quiz and question. Our challenge was to ask as many questions as we could to each other to find out more about one another. We found out who has pets at home, what the children’s favourite things to do are and questioned how people were feeling. We created our own crown using the natural resources in the forest. Introduced half and quarter and found half and quarter of different objects.
R is for race, road and rockets! We made our own rockets with different 2D shapes, looked at our reflections in the mirror, made rainbows and checks our bins to ensure we were recycling our paper. We talked about if people recycle at home and how they do it. Also looked at the different ways we can recycle things such as upcycling objects and furniture, recycling clothes and our cardboards and paper.
S is for sunshine, shapes and sand. We made sandcastles in the sand, drew around our shadows on the playground and made snakes by cutting along a curvy line to create a twisty snake. In forest school we created our own stickmen and stick ladies along with their stick family members. They looked brilliant, we even had some stick dogs!
Next week is our final week for our letter of the day. Start reflecting at home at the different sounds and letters they can see and hear in the beginning of words. Also, see if they can hear any other sounds in the words. Ask questions like ‘what can you hear at the end of the word?’ or ‘what can you hear in the middle of the word?’ When reading a bedtime story, can they help you read a simple word like cat, dog or jet. Try sounding it out to them so they can blend the word together. For example, s-a-t sat and j-u-m-p jump.
Week commencing 7.10.2022 j, k, l, m, n
We are halfway through our letter of the day! This week is j, k, l, m, n. To support the children with their early reading we have sounded out simple CVC words with the previous sounds in them. For example: kid, jet, cod, bad, egg, fix. See if you can find CVC words around the environment or find bigger words and see if they can recognise the sounds, tell you what the word starts with and if they can hear other sounds in the word.
J is for juggling, jigsaw and jellyfish! The children were busy making jellyfish and creating their own jigsaw puzzles which we laminated and let the children complete each others puzzles.
K is for kites! We made some beautiful kites then flew them around the playground.
L is for lunch, light and Langrish! The children drew their favourite lunches on a lunchbox, there was lots of fruit, sandwiches and even ice lollies!
M is for the moon, mud and maps! We were busy using black paper and chalks to create our own moon pictures. They really stood out and everyone commented on how ‘out of this world’ they looked.
N is for nuts, nose and number. We painted numbers 0 – 10 and displayed them in our classroom to use them when we need to count or add.
Week commencing 30.9.2022 e, f, g, h, i
Another week of letter of the day and we are loving it! This week is e, f, g, h and i.
Ee is for elephant, egg, excellent and Erin! We found it tricky to find many words which start with ‘e’ and make the ‘e’ for egg sound. We noticed that the letter ‘e’ was in the middle of words like Ned. Our word of the day was exhausted. We shared that it was a feeling, when we could feel exhausted and what it feels like.
For Ee we had an exploration table which was all about England. We coloured in the flag, had pictures of King Charles, Big Ben and maps of England and the United Kingdom. We talked about what we knew about England and what was around our country. We also decorated eggs, had a family of elephants out in our role play area and played with the PE equipment and made our own obstacle course.
For Ff we again struggled to find many words which start with ‘f’. There was fabulous, fluff, flower, fox and four. Our word of the day was ‘five’ and we talked about what five meant. We shared that some of us are five now or that they will be on their next birthday and also found five objects to count out. We did some still drawings of some flowers in a vase and then some printing with the flower heads.
For Gg our word of the day was grateful and we all shared what we are grateful for. For ‘g’ we got the football goals out to score goals and practise our aim. We played with the giraffes, gorillas and got the goats out on the farm. We designed our own gardens which included flowers, play parks, swimming pools and lots of trampolines!
For Hh our word was helpful. Our aim for the day was to all be extremely helpful and it worked!! We got messy making hand prints which looked brilliant and listened and felt our hearts beating. We also played hopscotch, made hedgehogs using sticks in forest school and played in the home role play area. We talked about how to be healthy and how we can stay healthy then did some printing with vegetables.
For Ii our word of the day was innocent. We shared what the word meant and how we would use it in a sentence. We got rather chilly for Ii as we explored the ice which had different objects inside of it. We built igloos with blocks, explored insects in forest school and explored the musical instruments.
A little thought...
A school day is extremely busy for all our Squirrels. Please understand they will be tired and some may be a bit challenging at home. Let me reassure you, it will get easier for you and them! We are still in a new routine, learning new things all the time which means are brains are extremely active and always thinking. We are just busy being 4 and 5 year olds!
Week commencing 23.9.22 Letter of the day a – d
This week has been BRILLIANT! The sun was shining most days, and we have been busy listening and saying sounds a – d and hearing words with the sounds in. All the children have been very focused and ready to learn and explore new activites.
Tuesday was all about the letter a. Our word of the day was ‘admire’. We talked about what it meant and tried to use it in our day. Mrs Browne admired many of the children for their tidying up skills and their hard work and dedication to not give up!
Wednesday was all about the letter b. Our word of the day was ‘brave’ and we talked about when we have been brave and again tried to use it in our day. We found many words which start with b such as bugs, blocks, babies so we took advantage and printed bugs with paint, made sand bug pictures, built many things with the blocks and looked after the babies.
Thursday was all about the letter c. Our word of the day was ‘curious’. We found out we are all curious learners who always want to know more. Mrs Browne was curious to find out who could use the word curious in their learning. We made caterpillar number chains with paint, made tunnels and roads for the cars and played a musical tune with the chimes.
Friday was all about the letter d. There was only one thing on all the children’s mind…. DINOSAURS! Of course, we had to have the dinosaurs out! Our word of the day was ‘dangerous’. We discussed how it would be dangerous for us if dinosaurs were still living today as we would be very tasty to them. We also talked about what things are dangerous and why such as road safety, stranger danger and when on the computers or tablets.
Forest school was a beautiful chilly morning! The children loved the mud kitchen, running around playing hide and seek, finding bugs and making forest crowns with the natural resources around them.
Next week we will be focusing on the letters e -i. This weekend can you find words, signs or pictures which start with the letters a, b, c or d?
Week commencing 12.9.2022
If you completed the Summer Reading Challenge please bring in the certificate and medal for Friday's celebration assembly.
This week we have been brilliant figuring out and doing our new routine. We had PE with Mr James Monday afternoon where we went on the field to play team games. Mr James was super impressed by how much all the children followed instructions and joined in with the games. The children come back with happy and hot faces from all the exercise.
On Tuesday we began music. We danced the afternoon away to 'Kool and the Gang', ‘Celebration’, then talked about what instruments we could hear in the music, how it made us feel and what the song was about. Next, we followed the beat to a different piece of music. To do this we clapped, jumped, nodded our heads and marched like soldiers. It was a fast rhythm so we worked hard to listen and keep up with it.
The children have loved going to the library and choosing a book to take home. Don’t forget to bring them back each Thursday to change it for a new one.
Next week we start our letter a day to support children once they begin their phonics. The letters we are looking at are ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, and ‘d’.
Things to remember:
- Please ensure children have a coat to school every day, even if it's not raining or cold, as we are outside all the time.
- Children must have all their hair up and away from their faces.
- Forest school kit includes waterproofs and wellies. Please name them.
- For PE on Mondays please ensure shorts are in their bags for when using the hall for gymnastics.
- School jumpers need to be named as they are all the same!
- Library books will begin Thursday afternoons. Children will be able to take a book of their choosing to share with you at home. Please can they be retuned each Thursday, so we can swap it for a new book.
- PE and Forest school will start Friday 17th September.
Team Squirrel have taken school in their stride! I am so proud of them all and already know it is going to be a great year! Strong relationships are already building and I have seen some confident, chatty and caring children.
Next week is all about routine and feeling safe and secure at school. We will also start our baseline assessments which is required to be completed by the Government. Once the assessment is complete I will phone you to let you know about how your child has coped with the assessment and how they are settling into school life. (Please do not panic! The baseline assessment is maths and communication and language activities. It's really, a lovely one to one time with me playing with bears and looking at pictures! They will not know it's an assessment so no need to warn them of anything.)
Our learning this week:
Home Learning Activities Folder - OneDrive