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Year R Squirrels

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Team Squirrel - Mrs Browne 

Please note:

PE days are Thursdays: please come into school in PE kit. Children must have shorts and long trousers/leggings.

Forest school is on Friday: please come into school in PE kit. Children must have a long sleeved top and trousers (even in warm weathers). Forest school kits must have named wellington boots and waterproofs in a forest school bag, which can stay in school. Children must have a warm coat on cold, windy days! A rain mac is not warm enough.

An extra pair of thick socks would also be welcome to avoid cold feet.

Library day is Wednesday: please return your library books on this day to choose a new one. 

Reading wallets need to be in school every day.

 

Week thirty one – FARM TRIP!

This week has been an exciting one as it was the week of our farm trip! To prepare ourselves we have been busy writing, drawing maps of the farm, counting farm animals and labelling and matching the animals to the correct words.

With the sun shining, we have been out with the water tray, which the children are loving! They are pouring, filling, splashing, measuring, cleaning and constructing tubes to make a hose. I have seen great team work, thinking skills and communication skills throughout their time playing.

In maths, we are finding one more and one less than a given number. We have used number lines, dice and our fingers to support us in finding one more and one less.

Squirrel’s trip to the Farm!

We had the best time visiting the Snow’s farm. We walked super safely crossing the roads and walking along the path. We visited lots of lambs, some of which were only born last night! Then, met with Mr Snow to talk about keeping the lambs healthy and how they are fed. Next, we got to feed the lambs some milk from a bottle and spend time stoking them in our very own Squirrel Pen!

The rain never stopped us living the dream of (pretending) to drive the tractor and quad bike. Mr Snow then showed us a variety of poo! We had to guess whose poo it was and the children got everyone correct! Who knew Team Squirrels were such poo experts!

Thank you so much to the Snows for another wonderful trip! We always come away with lots of information and even more love for the lambs.

 

Week thirty – Past and present

This week we have gone back in time and talked about the past. We discussed what the word meant and what things we have done in the past. Then, we recapped our previous learning from The King’s Crown to discuss the word monarchy and what it means. To support our topic, we read the book ‘The Dinosaur that Pooped the Past’, and remembered what things were said that were from the past. 

Here is how we remember the words past, present and future (with the great help of hand gestures!)

Past – it has already happened

Present – what is happening now

Future – it has not happened yet

To support our topic, we have drawn and labelled things which were in the past and the present. For example, the children used to go to nursery and now they are at school; the children used to be babies and now they are children. We also created a timeline of the monarchy, adding pictures of who was the King or Queen in the past, who is the current King or Queen and who will be our future King or Queen.

For our exploration station, we had different artefacts and the children used post-it notes to write down what they thought each artefact was. We also had chat mats where we looked at different objects such as telephones, computers and toys and compared how they looked in the past to how they look now. Mrs Rawlings came down at the end of the week to share what each artefact was and what it was used for. 

Maths:

In maths, we are recapping shape. I was super impressed to see the children remembering the language of 2D and 3D shapes. This week, we are looking at how many sides each shape has. See if your child can remember how many sides a circle has and why?

Phonics:

In phonics, we are working hard to practise our phase 4 sounds. We need to remember to break down the words slowly to hear each sound when completing independent writing tasks.

Forest School:

We created clay animals and painted them! They looked incredible. The children were extremely proud of their efforts and couldn’t wait to take them home. You are welcome! 

 

Next week: WE GO TO THE FARM!

Please remember to bring your child into school in PE kit (Wednesday 22nd May) and have a sun hat and/or coat depending on the weather.

 

Week twenty nine – Where our food comes from

This week links beautifully to last week when we were looking at where different countries are around the world.

First, we talked about where they think our food comes from… their answer was, “the shops!” So we thought we had better have a deeper look into how our food gets to the shops. A big thank you for all your food packaging labels! We went through all of them and found certain patterns and common countries growing the same fruits and vegetables. We noticed many potatoes and carrots were grown in the UK and pasta and breadsticks were made in Italy! 

See if your child can remember where milk, eggs and bread comes from?

We looked at how different fruits and vegetables grow, where they grow and why they grow there. We learnt that oranges, mangos, pineapples and bananas grow in hot countries, whereas carrots, apples, parsnips and potatoes grow here in the UK where it is cold and hot. The children were challenged to write a non-fiction book about a fruit or vegetable, sharing facts about how they grow, where they grow and what they grow on. Some of the children even linked which animals live in certain countries from our previous topic. I was very impressed!

Finally, we looked at an artist called Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who painted fruit and vegetables to make portraits. This got us inspired to create our own portraits using real fruit and to paint our own versions. Later in the week, we went to the ICT suite to create different fruit faces which were sent home to you on Thursday. The children were very proud of them and wanted to take them home. I was amazed to see all the children typing their names independently and controlling the mouse to change colours and paint the fruit! Go Team!

An extra bit of home learning if you wish:

Hometown Events (who organise the Petersfield Festivals) want to provide more ways for young people to get involved with festivities, so have invited Langrish School to participate in a drawing competition to celebrate the upcoming Petersfield Spring Festival (25th-27th May 2024). This year, the festival features two themes around which the drawing prompts will be based: Dinosaur Day (Sunday 26th) and Princess Day (Monday 27th).

The plan:

  • This competition is open to anyone of primary school age (4-11 years old).
  • Downloadable colouring page featuring blank templates and instructions for each drawing challenge are attached to this email

  • Completed drawings can be dropped off at Little Leaf Play Café, who are kindly sponsoring this competition. Entries must be handed in before 2pm on Saturday 25th May when the café closes. Little Leaf is kindly offering a 25% discount on a hot drink for each sheet handed in.
  • 3 winners will receive a free family ticket to the South Downs Show worth £32. More information about this event is here: https://www.southdownsshow.com/. The winners will be announced on the main stage of the Petersfield Spring Festival around 3pm.

We hope this provides a new and creative way for them to get involved with Petersfield events and participate in the community.

Here is a link to the festival page, where the downloads are available if you scroll below the music lineup and themed day explanations. https://www.petersfieldfest.com/petersfieldspringfestival

 

Week twenty eight – The world around us

Topic:

This week we have been exploring the world around us by looking at different continents and comparing it to where we live. This linked back brilliantly to our topic on animals when we looked at size, climates and biomes of each continent. I was very impressed with what the children remembered using key vocabulary such as Oceania, Asia, jungle, rainforest, dry climate, desert, cold temperatures.

To support our topic we read the book 'I am here! Where are you?' It is a great book as it shows us how big the world is compared to where we live in it. It talks about houses, streets, towns, counties, countries, continents, the world, the universe and the solar system!

We used Digimap to find different countries we have visited or have heard of around the world. A huge thank you to Jude, who had kept his recent trip very quiet visiting China and Japan! What an experience. Jude shared that the aeroplane journey took 3 hours from Japan to China. We looked at the photos talking again about the climate, biomes and clues to support this such as clothing or the environment being snow or sand. A huge thank you to Ellie, Tilly, Ashley, Charlie, Kit, Austin, Finn, Chester, Toby, Rupert, Billy and Imogen, who also brought holiday photos in! They really helped to bring our learning to life by seeing real photos of different places around the world.

To support our topic in phonics, we have written postcards, designed our own maps and visited the local travel agents, where the children were busy booking holidays, taking phone calls and at their leisure browsing through different travel brochures.

Maths:

In maths, we are exploring equal distributions. We are reflecting back to our odd and even learning and using it to help us share bears equally into different groups.  

Play to learn:

The children are really enjoying the mark making area to create many things using paper, hole punches, string, scissors and staplers. The children have made eye patches, lightsabers, books and even bandages for their arms! 

Next week:

We are learning about where our food comes from and I need your help! Can you save all your packaging which tells you where it was grown and bring it in to us on Tuesday morning!  You will mostly find it on fruit and vegetable packaging. Thank you. 

 

Week twenty seven – Animals

Topic:

This week we have been learning about different animals and where they live around the world. We looked at the seven continents and which animals live where. We talked about biomes, climate, habitats and how the animals survive within each of these key themes. Looking at the seven continents, we noticed that Asia looked the biggest compared to Europe and North and South America. The children also noticed that the closer to the top and bottom of the Earth, the colder the climate is. They also noticed the animals have thicker fur, camouflage in snowy environments and show ways to survive in freezing temperatures.

To support our topic we have been writing about our favourite animals, looking at the globe, atlas and world maps of where different animals live and working together to play the game ‘where animals live’.

Phonics:

We are working hard with our phase 4 sounds by ensuring we read and write these sounds and hear them in different words. When we read a word together, we have been highlighting where the phase 3 and phase 4 sounds are to ensure all children can see it. A challenge for home this weekend… Can you find different signs or banners around different environments or around Petersfield town to find the phase 3 or/and phase 4 sounds in different words?

Maths:

We are looking at ordering and sequencing. We have been ordering numbers from smallest to biggest and biggest to smallest and even sequencing how to make pizzas and our wake-up routine. The children have been brilliant at recapping money this week by counting the pennies and matching them to a price tag.

Forest school:

Forest school is in full swing this term as the children have begun to whittle. The children learnt the safety rules and found their own stick to whittle and decorate with coloured ribbons. They loved it and cannot wait to do it again next week!

Next week:

We are learning about the world around us. If you have any holiday pictures from different places around the world which you have visited, it would be great for the children to see the different climates, environments and clothing being worn (the children do not have to have been on the holiday or in the photos.) Please can you put the name of the country you visited on the back if it is not obvious! Thank you :) 

Small reminder:

Please can we ensure all jumpers and cardigans are clearly named as I have many in the classroom with no name. Do come to see me at pick up if you are missing one. Thank you.

Week twenty six - Life cycles

Topic

This week we learnt about life cycles. We learnt that a life cycle means stages of life. We looked at a variety of life cycles, such as hens, humans, frogs, butterfly, flower and mouse. We discussed where we were in our life cycle and luckily they didn't say Mrs Browne was in the elderly stage!! To support our learning, we completed life cycle puzzles, put pictures in their cycle order, created a symmetrical butterfly using paints and labelled a life cycle of our choosing. We looked at many books, focussing on non-fiction (see if your child can remember what non-fiction means).

Maths

In maths, we are looking at money. First, Mrs Browne asked what money is and what it is used for. Here are some of their thoughts:

"Money has different coins with numbers on them."

"We can buy food, toys and clothes with them." 

"Some people have lots of money and some people do not."

We talked about and explored the different coins and what they are worth. We looked at tricky misconceptions such as, the size of the coin does not tell you if the value is smaller or bigger and that just counting how many coins there are, does not tell you the total value. As the week has past, we looked at ways to make different totals, such as 8p and 10p. Then we looked at what coins we could use to make that total and in how many different ways.

Phonics

I have to say, I am very impressed with how brilliant the children's reading is and the recognition of their phase 3 sounds! Those Easter eggs did wonders over the holidays! Keep it up! We are now beginning to introduce phase 4 sounds which are quick beginning or ending sounds. They are not learning any new sounds, but are now having to focus on hearing all the sounds in the words they hear, having a focus on the phase 4 sounds. 

 

Week twenty five - HAPPY EASTER!

We have had a restful week this week recapping on all our previous learning. We have been adding, subtracting, practising our skills using a mouse on the computer, making obstacle courses on our bikes, using control and balance with the PE equipment and finding out more about Easter. Oh, and not forgetting our Easter eggs!

After such a brilliant Spring term, I am extremely proud of all the children's achievements. They have all come so far since September and we still have so much more to explore and do!  I am super excited for the Summer term with hopefully some more sunshine and warmth! Have a fabulous Easter break. Eat lots of chocolate, have many adventures, relax and have fun with one another.

Keep being wonderful Squirrels!

See you in two weeks. Mrs Browne x

Week twenty four – Egg as a new life

Topic:

This week we looked at a variety of eggs. There was a chicken egg, a decorated egg and an Easter egg. We talked about the similarities and differences of each egg and talked about the purpose of each egg. Here is what the children said:

The Easter egg is chocolate and the chicken eggs are runny inside.

The chicken egg can be cooked into different things, like an omelette, scrambled egg and fried egg.

You can get chicken eggs at the supermarket all the time, but not Easter eggs.

They are the same shape, just different sizes.

We had a discussion about what an egg symbolises and that not everybody celebrates Easter. It is those of the Christian faith who celebrate Easter.

Phonics:

We have been busy with our phase 3 assessments this week. I am extremely proud and happy listening to the children tell me the phase 3 sounds and tricky words! Well done for all your support at home. It cannot be done without you! There are messages in some of your reading records sharing the sounds and tricky words they need to work on.

Apart from our assessments, we have completed some free writing with a variety of prompt photos. The children have been writing about fire engines, spring, the jungle and the arctic! They have also explored our flower shop by making our own bouquets and the important job of running the shop! Then finally, we played some phase three games to help us remember our sounds and tricky words, taking turns and playing fairly with rules.

 

Maths:

After a brilliant two weeks of super adding, we are now on subtraction. We learnt other words for subtraction, like minus and take away. We now know that when we add, the total gets bigger and when we subtract, the total gets smaller. We had a go at different subtraction sums and used the compare bears to show our working out. With subtraction there is an important rule when writing our own number sentences… The biggest number must go first when we take away!

 

To support our learning, we have used the multilink, bears and numicon to show our understanding of subtraction and some children have even used numbers! The children are getting much quicker at recalling number bonds to 10 using their hands or by adding quickly what they need. To support our topic and previous learning in maths, we created patterned eggs using shape, colour and pictures.

Here is a snippet of our PE lesson with Mr James - we were playing Robin Hood. See if your child can explain the rules of the game!

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Week twenty three – Spring observations

Topic:

This week we began by reflecting on all four seasons, remembering what we already know. We remembered there were four seasons, each one different from the other. We then compared the different seasons on weather, temperature, clothing and especially the environment!

Here is what we remember and said:

Autumn –

The leaves fall down from the trees because they are dying.

The leaves change colour.

Its dark outside.

The weather is cold and wet!

Spring –

It's warmer outside but still very rainy.

Sometimes we have a rainbow because the rain and sun are out together!

It’s light outside now when I wake up in the morning!

Baby animals are born!

Frogs have tadpoles.

Flowers grow.

Daffodils come out.

Summer –

It’s really hot!

We must wear t-shirts and shorts to cool down.

We go to the beach and play in our swimming costumes.

When its summer here its winter in Australia.

There are green trees everywhere.

We protect ourselves with sunglasses so the sun doesn’t hurt our eyes.

We must wear sun cream too.

Winter –

It's freezing and sometimes can snow.

We wear lots of clothes, like coats and scarfs.

It’s dark outside.

To support our topic we did some daffodil printing and used different spring pictures to give us inspiration about what to write. Using the Lego we have made our own spring life models. We made trees, ponds, sheep and even a red bill bird. They were brilliant!

Our role play this week was a garden centre. There were children planting flowers, organising the shop, running the tills and ordering plants on the telephone. Two of the independent activities was to cut and stick a flower in the correct order and to write a list of things you would find in a garden centre.

Phonics:

We are still recapping our phase 3 sounds. We are reading different words and finding the phase 3 sound within the words. We have also matched the word to pictures. Mrs Browne has been rather sneaky and even added some phase 4 sounds in there too. Luckily, we were quick to realise what she was up to!

Maths:

We are on our final week of adding. We have been writing our own number sentences and making sure it makes sense and the symbols are the right way round. Also, we have been completing different numicon number sentences and domino number sentences.

 

Next week: we will be understanding ‘Egg as a new life’, which is part of our World Faith and Philosophy curriculum. We will look at different eggs (chicken, decorated and turtle) and understand the Christian meaning behind Easter eggs.

 

Week twenty two – World book day and poems!

Topic:

This week we focused on writing our own poems about either a cat, dog, goat or fox. We learnt that a poem is a piece of writing in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by particular attention to diction (sometimes involving rhyme), rhythm, and imagery. So, with the poems we write we wanted to add rhyme.

Our first job was to find words which rhyme with cat, dog, goat or fox. We compiled a list and made sure we knew what all the words meant. For example, ‘bog’ or ‘float’. Next, we looked at how to make a rhyming sentence and ensuring it made sense, and of course rhymed!

I wanted to leave the children independently to create and write their own poems and I am so glad I did as they are amazing…

 

Maths:

We have started addition. We have started looking at different words which mean the same thing, such as adding, addition, add and plus. We learnt that when we add it means the total gets bigger. We started adding counters, then objects, then used the numbers to make a number sentence.

A challenge set was to use to use only two numicon to make 10. We learnt that this is called number bonds. The children took this challenge on brilliantly. Using their great knowledge of shape, pattern and counting skills they were able to complete the challenge. The children could tell me the number bonds to ten using number sentences and by showing me the numicon.

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Phonics:

During our recap of phase 3 and a sneaky start on phase 4 sounds we have been sentence building to support our writing. We are ensuring we hear all sounds in words we want to write and use the word mats to find the sounds we need. I have been hearing from the children that they are practising their sounds at home, so thank you all for your continued support!

World Book Day Workshop – Wild West

We had a great time heading to the Wild West with thanks to Perform. We had to follow different commands, ride our horses and travel far and wide to head to the desert, where apparently, there were lots of chocolate cake.

PE:

We were super lucky to have Mr James take us out outside for some multi-skills fun! We had to skip, jump, hop and run as fast as we could, ensuring we had enough space and were aware of our surroundings.

Week twenty one – A place called home

This week is all about the geography of where we live and comparing it to how others live around the world. We found a sense of self and belonging in the world around us and found out where we actually live in place of the world. A big thank you to those who sent pictures of the front of your house. We were able to compare similarities and differences such as windows and doors, garages and cars, and colour of houses to what style of house they are (bungalow, semi-detached, terrace or detached). Next, we talked about who lives in our homes (including our beloved pets!) We learnt that we all live in different houses with different people and animals.

We read a brilliant book called ‘A Place Called Home’ which shared how other people live in different continents around the world. We looked at boat houses, mud houses, houses on stilts, wooden cabins and town houses and apartments in busy cities.

Our job was to look at our houses and carefully draw them ensuring they had all the details on such as plants and trees, the right number of windows and the correct shapes of the roof and chimney.

The next day, we looked at another brilliant book called ‘My Map Book’. It shows maps of different things such as a map of the road, a map of a bedroom and even a map of someones heart, sharing who is in their heart. We used our memory to draw and label a map of our bedroom, thinking of where our windows are, where the door sits and where our bed and toys go. We even had to think about what our curtains or duvet looked like, if we had a rug on the floor or if we had wardrobes or cupboards.

In maths, we were looking at pattern. We talked about where we see pattern and then discussed repeating patterns. We made repeating patterns with shape, colour and size. Mrs Browne even put us in a repeating pattern of jumpers, no jumpers and boy, girl, boy, girl. We created our own fingerprint patterns, used the peg boards, Duplo and compare bears to help us create repeating patterns independently.

We have finally finished all our phase 3 sounds! However, we are not done ensuring we remember the sounds and use them within our reading and writing. Please can you support your child at home to use the phase 3 word mats and go through all the sounds. You even have my permission to really test them to cover up the picture and then ask them to say the sound!

Week twenty 19.2.24 - Welcome back! Let’s talk healthy bodies and eating well.

This week the children have been busy “fixing” babies and each other in the doctors’ surgery. Even Mrs Browne had a broken leg or eye a few times this week. However, everything was taken care of and monitored using a clipboard and bandage!

This week we talked about how to keep our bodies healthy. We learnt there are 5 things:

  1. Exercise
  2. Good rest and sleep
  3. Feeling good in our mind and when we don’t talk to someone we trust
  4. Eat a balanced diet
  5. Take care of our personal hygiene.

 

We looked at each one in depth and created posters on how to keep healthy, drew and labelled healthy eating plates and drew around a dinosaur or animal and labelled their body parts.

We discussed our special organs inside our body and looked at how they work and what they do for us.

Using a big traffic light, we debated and ordered different foods to show which are healthy, not healthy or foods we can have a little bit of. It was a great conversation talking about different meats and where they come from, also butter and cheese.

In maths, we are looking at one more and one less, using the language and understanding number and their order. We used dice to roll a number and find one more and one less than that number. Numberlines were our best friend this week as they supported us to find the number one less or one more. 

Don’t forget! PE is on Tuesday next week instead of Thursday!

Also, if you haven’t already, please send a picture of the front of your house for our topic next week! I need it by Monday morning at the latest! Many thanks to those who have done this already!

 

Week nineteen – Chinese New Year

I always enjoy teaching the children about Chinese New Year. The children come away excited, share experiences of eating Chinese food, finding out where China is in the world and even where China Town is in London. Here is what we have found out…

China has a population of 1.3 billion people.

In the north of China, it has lots of mountains and is covered in snow and in the south of China, it is hot and covered in jungles.

China’s main language is Mandarin.

Their lucky colour is red.

People clean their homes to sweep away bad spirits and decorate their homes with lanterns and banners with messages on them.

People dance with dragons on the streets.

We have been busy writing numbers in Chinese using black paint, role playing in the Chinese restaurant, making lanterns and creating our own dancing dragons and writing about what we know about Chinese New Year.

For our PE lesson, we listened and followed Justin Fletcher who guided us to sweep our homes clean, hang lanterns around our homes and dance like Chinese dragons to a variety of music. The children showed great movement and skills when responding to the music.

In maths, we have been learning about odd and even numbers. We now know that if a number cannot make complete pairs it is an odd number and if it can make complete pairs it is an even number. We have found a pattern using number lines and created our own by colouring in odd and even numbers. 

Safer internet day!

We read a story called 'Buddy the Dogs internet safety story'. It shared how the internet can be great fun but can also be dangerous. Ben got a new tablet for his birthday but things kept popping up and messages kept appearing. Luckily, he had Buddy the dog to help him make good decisions on what to do. It gave us top tips to help us keep safe online. It was amazing how much the children knew already about the internet, so remember to ensure all child settings are on your devices! 

Take one artist, two pictures week

This year we looked at two pictures from Monet. The first one called 'Water Lilies' and the other one called 'Lady with Umbrella'. Team Squirrels focus was colour so we came up with the idea to re-create the paintings in bright and bold colours. In forest school we brought the picture 'Water Lilies' to life by using natural resources. The children really enjoyed doing this and were very proud of their work.

Have a wonderful half-term and see you in a week, where we are learning about our bodies and healthy eating!

 

Week eighteen - The King's Crown

What a truly fabulous but extremely busy week! Our classroom and outdoor space transformed into a castle with Kings and Queens everywhere and the school hall turned into the 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 worn 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 feathers in the school! We watched some clips of the King’s coronation and understood the meaning behind coronation. The children loved watching the horses, the King’s soldiers, seeing people dressed up cheering with union jack flags, the carriages and of course the moment the King’s crown is put on his head. 

Next our 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. We also looked at photos of different landmarks in London then drew our favourite one. The children’s representations of the landmarks are very impressive! Looking at the Tower of London we noticed there were guards stood outside all the time and understood why they need to be there using key words 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 look after the 7 ravens who are very important. Ask your children why the ravens are extremely important to the King and the Tower of London… We used this opportunity to write about the ravens, sharing what their job is and about their individual personalities.

Finally, we had our banquet! The children had been busy preparing for it by icing their cakes, decorating their plate filled with all things royal and British and then dressing up as King’s and Queen’s. We had the best time and the children loved eating their cake BEFORE lunch!

Go team Squirrels!

Next week we will be learning about Chinese New Year!

Week seventeen - Waves of Wellbeing

We have done things a bit differently this week. It is our PSHE unit called Waves of Wellbeing. It is a brilliant time to learn about sea creatures who do something special to adapt to their surroundings, keep safe or support others.

We looked at 4 different sea creatures and watched a video on each one explaining what they do and how they do it well. This allows us to think about how we can do things when times get tricky and what we could do better to look after ourselves and each other.

Here are the sea creatures we looked at:

Think before you react – pufferfish

Working as a team – pilot fish

Coping with change – hermit crab

Keeping calm – seahorse

Ask your child if they can remember each sea creatures’ story and tell you ways they can reflect on their behaviours.

I have seen children putting their thoughts into action. I have seen children talking to one another about their worries or opinions and if something has frustrated someone, they found a calm space to cool down rather than reacting. Also, as this week has been a little bit different in routine, all the children are coping with the changes and adapting brilliantly to what they need to do. I am extremely proud of them reflecting on their behaviours and making Squirrel class a calm, safe space for everyone! Go Team!

In phonics, our sounds this week were ‘ch’, ‘sh’, ‘th’ and ‘ng’. Reading with the children this week, I can hear them already spotting the digraphs and saying them immediately. Also, we have been playing a game where we have to read words with our new sounds in, then finding out if they are real or fake words.

In maths, we have explored doubling and estimation. We have learnt that estimating is making a ‘good guess’ without counting them immediately. We have been estimating with a variety of jars and writing our answers on a chart. We then count them to see how good our estimating skills are. For doubling, we have learnt that whatever number we have to double we add the same number. We have used dominoes and butterflies to double numbers. The children were brilliant at this!

 

Next week: It is our topic the King’s Crown! We will be decorating cakes to eat at our banquet, making crowns fit for a King or Queen and decorating plates with all things British and Royal… It is all very exciting!  Any questions or worries do come see me! Also don’t forget PE kit on Wednesday instead of Thursday! 😊

 

Week sixteen – Under the sea and precious water

This week has been wonderful. I have seen some brilliant independent writing, working together to make numbers in different ways, using brilliant language when describing weight and using the scales to make it balance with a variety of different weights and objects.

For our under the sea theme, we learnt about what lives under the sea and joined two divers who explored the beautiful surroundings. We learnt facts about different sea creatures such as seahorses and the blue whale and found out each of our favourites.

We talked about why water is important and what we use it for. We talked about if the water was to run out what would happen to our planet, us and animals. We learnt that water is crucial to life and important to everyone and everything, not just us humans. 

Our phonics sounds this week are y, z, zz and qu. We are learning that two letters make one sound which is called a digraph. The children are all working extremely hard to remember their sounds and learn new ones every day. Can I ask if your child is writing independently at home, please can they not write in capital letters unless it is at the beginning of a sentence. Also, when you see them writing their names the only capital letter should be at the beginning. It is a tricky task to un-teach it!

In PE, we are learning to balance and use our core muscles. Last week, we used the floor mats to complete sequences and work together in pairs to attempt the added challenge or to check we were doing it right. This week we used some apparatus such as benches to complete our sequences on. The children did great listening, showed great partnership and followed instructions well.

The children in Squirrel class and KS1 had a great time with David Tricks and his Road Safety Magic show. He taught the children how to keep safe on the road. Using a mixture of magic and comedy he taught the children how to stop, look, listen and think before crossing the road. He talked about the different road crossings, the importance of wearing a helmet when on a bicycle and the importance of wearing something bright at night to be seen. This reinforces the important messages which we as a school cover throughout the year. 

 

Week fifteen - Winter observations

This week has been filled with love, energy and time! The children have worked extremely hard, taken pride in their work and challenged themselves independently. In phonics, we have started our phase 3 sounds (j, v, w and x), we have been reading and writing words which have those sounds in and looked in a variety of books to find more words with those sounds in them too. 

Our topic this week was winter observations. We reflected back on autumn and remembered there are 4 seasons in a year and discussed each one, learning which season is our favourite and what special event takes place. We watched a variety of videos all linked to winter and talked about what people were doing, wearing and comparing it to other seasons. There were videos of people skiing, sledging, clearing the driveway, log fires and snowball fights! Finally, we travelled around the globe to see if everyone was currently in the winter season. We talked about Australia and Antarctica.

In maths, we have been learning about height. We have used key vocabulary such as tall, taller than, tallest, short, shorter than, shortest, long, longer than and longest. We have also measured ourselves in cm using a measurer (just like at the doctors!), compared different heights and categorised height using animals, objects around the room and numbers.

Forest school was a beautiful chilly morning exploring ice and frost. Mrs S hid some arctic animals in ice which the children had to use tools for to get them out. 

Next week our topic is under the sea, and we will be asking the question, 'why is water so precious?'

 

Week fourteen - Christmas!!!! 

What a fantastic week full of Christmas love and cheer. Our Nativity was brilliant! I am so proud of all the children, they were true angels and stars! Thank you all for your lovely gifts and kind words. Myself and Miss Rhodes wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fabulous new year. See you in January for another new term and I will of course keep you updated on baby news... 

Thank you to you all for your hard work, supporting your children with their reading at home and for always joining in with our weekly topics when tasks are set. Rest, eat and enjoy being together over the Christmas break.

Week thirteen – celebrating birthdays!

This week is a nice lead into why people celebrate Christmas. We talked about when our birthdays are and why we celebrate birthdays. We looked at how other countries celebrate birthdays and we found out that in Mexico they have pinata’s, in some parts of Canada they smear butter on their noses to wipe away any bad luck and in Brazil, they pull on a person’s ear, one tug for each year... How very interesting! This then led to talking about babies and how it feels to have a new baby. Luckily, we had Miss Rhodes to talk about how she is feeling now and soon going to feel once her baby is born. Also, how her friends and family will celebrate a new baby being born. Finally, we talked about Christmas and why it is celebrated, and like birthdays, not everyone celebrates Christmas. We looked at the nativity scene, discussed who the people were and read the story of the birth of Jesus. We then looked at Google Earth to see how far Mary and Joseph walked from Nazereth to Bethlehem. We talked about the environment and its surroundings, then the children asked to see how far Bethlehem was to England. 

To support our topic on birthdays we have set up a party/ celebration table with birthday cards, streamers and gift tags which the children have loved. Also, we made a list of foods we would want to eat at a birthday party, created flowers and used play dough to make different amounts of candles for cakes.

Next week is a busy one full of Christmas fun, Nativity and pantomimes! Horrayyy!

Please can we have all library books back so we can replenish the library stock for the new year. Thank you :) New books will be given in the New Year. 

 

Week twelve – We all have feelings!

It has been a lovely week of learning more about each other, thinking about things that make us happy, sad, things we are scared of and what makes us angry. We looked at a variety of people with different emotions and discussed how they could be feeling and why they might be feeling that way. It was a chance for us all to reflect on things which make us feel a certain way.

To support our topic of, ‘we all have feelings’, we drew things which make us happy and labelled them. We also took photos of our friends showing different emotions, then we had to guess which emotion it was. Our school role play was a school this week and it has been great fun watching them pretend to be teachers and taking a lead role within their play. (I have to say, we have had some rather bossy teachers… Not sure where they are learning that from?)

In maths, we have been counting objects from a larger group. We have used shape to support this by counting how many triangles, squares, hexagons and rectangles there were from a larger group, then recording our answers. We have also sorted 2D and 3D shapes from a larger group and naturally used key vocabulary such as flat and solid to describe the shape. Then we identified which shape it was by saying cube, cone, cylinder or pentagon, triangle, hexagon.  

Cultural afternoon - Switzerland

We had a lovely afternoon especially having a visitor from year 6 who shared his Mum's heritage from Switzerland. We chose Switzerland as our focus country because one of Team Squirrels was born there and it allowed us to see a different country compared to England where we live. We looked at the weather, environment, the Swiss flag and found where Switzerland is on the globe and by using Digimaps! We looked at the best form of transport to get to Switzerland from England and found that going by plane would be the quickest way as Switzerland is in the middle of other countries, surrounded by land. Therefore travelling by boat would not be practical.

 

Week eleven - Autumn!

This week we have been learning about autumn. We learnt there are 4 seasons, that autumn takes place between September, October and November here in the UK. We talked about the weather in autumn and what we are now wearing when we go outside. The children noticed it was getting darker in the mornings and in the evenings sooner. We have learnt key vocabulary such as hibernation, migration and harvest.

Within our activities we have been writing about autumn scenes and describing what we can see. As a team, we have created an autumn scene using autumnal colours on a large piece of paper and the children have loved exploring the exploration table and books so thank you for all your autumn finds over the weekend.

Forest school was a wonderful time where we finally cut open the pumpkin, explored inside and found other autumn things such as acorns, leaves and moss and made patterns with them.

In maths, we have been using language such as how many and total. We have been counting a variety of objects and writing number for a purpose, then saying how many and what the total is.

 

Week ten - We are all different and Diwali celebrations

This week has been a week full of discussion and reading. We have read books which celebrate difference, such as, 'We are all Different', 'The great big book of Families', 'What happened to you?', and 'All are Welcome'. Each book has allowed us to share our differences with one another and discuss what it would be like if we all looked the same and liked the same things. And don't worry, the children even told us what makes you different too... such as who has a birth mark and where and who has too much hair or even no hair at all! 

For our topic, we have created faces and people with play dough, we discussed their character and shared what their interests would be and things they would be good at and why. We have also learnt new key vocabulary, such as freckles, birthmark, hobby and unique. It was great to see everyone wearing their odd socks Monday in aid of Anti Bullying Week! We enjoyed creating our own odd socks or copying the odd socks we already had on! 

In maths, we have learnt about 2D shapes. We have been counting the sides of each shape, finding hidden shapes within the environment and making pictures using different 2D shapes. We have also dipped into 3D shape, explaining that they are solid shapes compared to 2D shapes which are flat. Using the clixi, we have made a variety of 3D shapes such as a cube, a pyramid and a cuboid, which has definitely supported our fine motor skills!

Diwali

To celebrate difference, we learnt about the festival of light, Diwali. We shared how not everyone celebrates this festival but is celebrated across the world by Hindu people. We looked at how they celebrate it and their reasons why. We created our own rangoli patterns using coloured sand and listened to music they would enjoy dancing to. 

Next week:

Our topic is Autumn observations. We would love for you to go on an adventure to find something linked to autumn or when out and about, to find something you have never seen before or something unusual. Bring all your findings in Monday morning for our exploration table where we look at what we have found and will finally cut that huge pumpkin open! 

 

Week nine - Minibeasts

The children have loved learning about minibeasts, finding out different facts about their favourite ones. Our top minibeasts were caterpillars, spiders and butterflies. Did you know that ants do not have ears? They feel and 'hear' the vibrations in the ground with their feet. See if your child can remember any minibeasts facts!

To support our topic, we obviously had to go find as many minibeasts as we could in Forest School! We used our bug boxes and magnified glasses to support us in looking. We remembered that some minibeasts like dark, damp places with soil - like worms! We found so many worms of all sizes. 

In phonics, our sounds this week were 'i', 'n', 'm' and 'd'. We are doing brilliantly writing the sounds and making up CVC words with all our learnt sounds so far. I have had the pleasure this week in hearing all the children read and it is wonderful to hear the children beginning to recognise tricky words 'no', 'go' and 'the'. We are learning that the tricky word 'I' has two sounds. When reading books together, we see the tricky word 'I' at the beginning of sentences. I say, if the 'I' is on its own, it is the letter name 'I' (pronounced eye) and if it is together with another letter, it makes the phonetic sound 'i' (for ink). 

Within our focused activities we have been playing 'I spy and count' with bugs, writing about our favourite minibeast and using play dough to create a minibeast microhabitat to match our minibeasts. 

Thursday 16th November is Children in Need day where we will be dressing up in spots or our pyjamas. There will be no PE this day so the more spots and pyjamas the merrier! No need to bring in PE kits. 

 

Week eight - "Happy, take your reading wallet home week! Horaayyyy!"

I have never seen children more excited to have a new part of the routine added to their day... Taking their reading wallets home every day and bringing them back every day! The children have told me all the great reading being done at home, whether it be reading one page a night or even the whole book! Some really positive interactions at home with reading - well done parents! Just a little reminder when reading the books to talk about the story and characters, what they liked about the book or did not like about the book? This then begins to show their understanding of what they are reading and why they are reading, and not just sounding it out. 

It has been a brilliant week here at Squirrel HQ! The children are happy and working hard! Our topic is all about me and my family. Thank you for the family photos (it has taken us all week to go through them), they were perfect! The children have taken so much pride in talking about their family and also showing an understanding of how their family is different to others.  To support our topic, the children have drawn self portraits using mirrors to ensure they draw every detail on their face. Next, we created our home using lolly sticks and labelled who lives in our house, pets included! They were all fabulous!

In maths, we have been working on our number formation and counting objects, actions and sounds. We made a sequence of actions for a friend to follow. Here is an example of a sequence: 3 claps, 2 jumps and 8 arm stretches. Could you make up some sequences at home? Are they counting with one to one correspondence? 

Next week our topic is minibeasts, and we ask, 'why are people wearing poppies?' Over the weekend can you go on a minibeast hunt and find out the best places to find them? Do they like dry places or wet places? Are they at the beach or in the woods?

 

Week seven - Our last letter/s a day/week! t, u, v, w, x, y, z

The children have all really engaged with our letter a day! I can already hear children trying to blend simple words and writing them beautifully! Over half term, try to find road signs, posters, advertising to ask them if they recognise any letters or can attempt to sound it out and read it (maybe with words up to 3 letters!) As part of our learning, we play I spy where we draw the pictures we can see which start with the sound we are working on. The children really enjoy this and love talking to one another about what they can find. 

In maths, we have been working on our number formation and counting up to 10. We are working hard to count with a one to one correspondence. Over half term, get them to help you count the fruit in the fruit bowl or the tins of baked beans in the cupboard. Get them counting for a purpose.

This term, the children have loved getting creative by making books, drawing pictures of their favourite things, making puppets and making masks. I have seen some brilliant coordination and skill when using scissors and using hole punches, staplers and cello tape for a purpose.

After half term, remember to bring in your labelled family photos for our first topic of the term. Also, many children are not bringing in or wearing shorts for our PE lesson on Thursday. This stops them using the apparatus and therefore not able to access the full lesson. Please can we ensure all children have shorts for a Thursday.  

Have a wonderful and restful half term! Love Mrs Browne x

 

Week six - Letters o, p, q, r, s which involved owls, Queen's crowns and rockets!

It is always a joy to watch the children grow and adapt to their new school routine. They now find their own resources, work extremely hard on their creations and show willingness and their ideas. I am also listening to brilliant conversations with one another. 

We have worked on our cutting skills this week by cutting out 2D owls and following a step by step guide. Also, we have taught the children how to use the cellotape, masking tape and hole punch to create puppets independently.  Who knew a bunch of stickers and a crown would keep the children busy and engaged for over 40 minutes!! They loved picking stickers and adding them to create a very unique crown. 

Library book day is always a joy to watch. I love seeing which books they pick each week. I have noticed some children pick the same author or style of book and tell me how much they are enjoying those books. Many love choosing a different dinosaur non fiction book each week and come back telling me new information they learnt from reading the book. Others children have chosen classic traditional tales or the 'You Choose' books. 

After half term, we begin our weekly topics! Our first topic is 'all about me and my family'. We would love you to bring in named photos of your families which can include people, pets who live in your house and extended family such as Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. We will be showing them to the class on Monday 30th October for the week, so please bring them in a named envelope before then. 

 

Week five – Letters j, k, l, m, n, PE and Forest school!

What a busy week we have had… We have followed instructions step by step to make and of course eat a jam sandwich. All of which were consumed in around 3 minutes as an afternoon treat! We made jellyfish which all grown ups have commented on as they walk into team Squirrel’s HQ, made and flew kites, created a perfect lunchbox, played musical instruments and created music in small groups and made nests in forest school on a beautiful autumn morning.

PE

In PE, the children are copying then creating a dance routine linked to the stories ‘Room on the Broom’ and ‘The Snail and the Whale’. The children are working in pairs to make a sequence, showing it to the class then suggest support to each other to improve their sequence.

Forest school

Forest school has been truly magical each week. The children love the freedom, space, weather and the natural world around them. They have enjoyed hunting for bugs, climbing trees, making dens and finding and collecting natural things around the forest floor. The mud kitchen has been busy with mud pies, mud ice creams and sticky hot chocolates!

Week four – Letters e,f,g,h,i

It has been a busy week here in Squirrel HQ! We are learning each other’s names, finding out each other’s likes and favourite things and working as a team. We are still hearing about children’s adventures with their bear so if you have not brought yours in yet, please do. The children love seeing and hearing about each other’s holidays and adventures.

This week we have been role-playing with elephants, finding out about the earth we live in, making and copying flags, printing with flowers, still life drawing, designing a garden, hand printing and ice hunting in forest school.

We are working together as a class to practice writing our sounds and sounding out CVC words such as got, hat, fun, ten. We are doing brilliantly! I am very proud of all my Squirrels.

Reminder: Please, please, please can you label all uniform especially jumpers and cardigans and PE hoodies. We hand out all jumpers and cardigans with names on and have many unnamed jumpers and cardigans in the classroom so if you are missing one, please come see me.

 

Week 3 - Letter a day a - d

This week we have started some unofficial secret undercover learning! We are doing a ‘Letter a day’ where we learn the letter name and sound. We find different words which have the letter in them (especially our names!) then read some CVC words together as a class and have a word of the day.

Our words this week have been:

A – admire

B – brave

C – curious

D – dangerous

We discussed what the words mean and try and use it within our day to one another. We had some very sweet comments…

“I admire my Mum because helps me all the time.”

“We can be brave when we fall over and get back up again.”

“I am curious about bugs!”

“Dangerous means when you don’t touch something because it will hurt you like fire.”

We have done some lovely activities linked to our letters such as animal masks, bugs small world, block play, counting, caterpillar making and large construction outside, cutting skills and dinosaur drawing.

Few things:

Monday 25th September will be the reading challenge assembly! If any of your children have a certificate please bring it in Monday for a group photo. 

For the weekend - have a practise at allowing your child to put on their own coat! Can they do it on their own? Here is a link for top tips! 3 Simple Ways for Children to Put Coats On - Preschool Inspirations 

 

Week two

It has been a great second week in Team Squirrel HQ. We have enjoyed many counting games and songs (some even up to 20!) and introduced them to new resources such as numicon, dice, number cards and multi-link. With those resources, we are using them for a purpose to either find a quantity, total amount or to create shapes and patterns. 

The children have been showing off their skills by finding their name with the magnetic letters and attempting to write it. We have enjoyed creating music and rhythm with different sounds and creating obstacle courses with the cones and bikes. 

For our second week at school, I am extremely impressed by how brilliantly the children are coming into school, completing their morning jobs, having lunch in the hall and remembering and following their new routine. Every day there is something new to learn and they all seem to take it in their stride. 

Please note, if you have any questions, concerns or to share how your child is settling into school, do come and see me at the door, at the end of the school day. I will happily speak to you once all children have been picked up by their grown up. 

 

Welcome Team Squirrels!

What a fabulous first week! I am so proud of how brilliantly you have started school. We had happy and excited faces who couldn't wait to share their adventures over the summer holidays. We have been learning where to hang our bags, where to put our water bottles and how to choose our lunch independently. Here is a little collage of what we have been doing so far...

Few things: 

  • Please ensure all clothing, bags and water bottles are labelled, especially jumpers. 
  • No toys from home are to be brought into school (except school bears). 
  • Hair needs to be tied up.
  • Forest school kits to be in next week.
  • Earings must be taken out on PE days. We are not allowed to take earings out for children and they cannot be taped unless they have been pierced within the last 4 weeks.

Have a restful weekend ready for a full week of school. Yippeeee! Love Mrs Browne and Miss Rhodes

Useful Websites:

Home Learning Activities Folder - OneDrive

Hungry Little Minds

Cosmic kids

Child line calm zone

BBC bitesize

Oxford owl

Phonics play

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