Welcome to FC’s page, where you will find our termly class news, lots of pictures of things we do and other bits and pieces too.
Harwell Primary School
Happy New Year! The children are settling back into school routines and they are consolidating friendships. It is good to see “teamwork” as they enjoy building models and jigsaws together and are beginning to listen to each other’s views!
Communication and language/literacy
Our theme for term 3 is Traditional Tales. We will be exploring a variety of traditional stories and looking at similarities and differences. Over the next four weeks we will be reading different versions of The Ugly Duckling, The Little Match Girl, The Snow Queen and The Selfish Giant. When the children know the stories well, they will be able to tell them to each other and draw some story maps, which will sequence the story in pictures, before thinking up new adventures for the characters. This develops vocabulary and confidence in speaking and listening. Please look at these stories at home, if you have them or ask to borrow a copy from school.
On a Monday the children talk in pairs and then as a whole group, about the weekend. Please discuss what you’ve done together at home before school so that everyone has something to share. The children then ‘have a go’ at writing and illustrating their news
We will also be encouraging the pupils to develop an understanding of alliteration, where they generate sentences using as many words as possible starting with the same sound. (Otherwise known as Tongue Twisters.) This would be good to practise at home.
The adults in FC, will be joining pupils in their play in order to extend their language and vocabulary, by asking open-ended questions. They will also be encouraged to problem-solve and to work things out for themselves.
Favourite nursery rhymes will continue to be shared as well as new ones being learned. One way you can support your child at home IS by reading to them and to encourage them to join in with repetitive phrases such as “Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man.”
Many of the children are able to recognise some sounds and letter names. This term we will be revising phase 2 sounds and then start to learn the sounds in phase 3. The reason they are taught in a set order is to help the children to see how the letters can fit together to make simple 2 and 3 letter words, e.g. at, sat, pat, tap, sap. You may notice your child is talking like a robot as they have been taught to segment the cvc (consonant/vowel/consonant) words and to blend the letters, two very important skills to master.
A variety of activities including using whiteboards and magnetic letters, as well as using groups of artefacts all beginning with the same sound demonstrate that “a” is not only for apple and will be used to develop phonic understanding. It would be very helpful if you could look at alphabet books at home together (a variety are available to borrow from the classroom) and play simple alphabet games such as ‘I spy’.
Learning the correct formation for each letter is very important at this stage of a child’s writing development, as bad habits are difficult to break later. (If you would like a copy of the letter formation sheet, please ask a member of the FC team.) It is also important for pupils to achieve a comfortable pencil grip and to accommodate this, a wide range of writing implements including pencils, crayons, felt pens; chalks and paints will be made available to them. White boards and paper are available for practicing on. Any independent writing attempts either at home or at school will be celebrated so please encourage your children by asking them to help with lists, birthday cards, thank you letters, etc.
When models are made at school, either, using junk materials or construction toys, pupils will be encouraged to write what the model is and their name on a label.
It is lovely to see that a few families are enjoying the story sacks. Please continue to borrow them, as they are a valuable resource for you to share with your child at home.
Looking at big books together is a valuable opportunity for children to become familiar with the layout of books and they can begin to predict, discuss and share ideas about the characters, settings and storylines.
There are also a number of books in zip wallets in the cloakroom that you can borrow, to read and share with your child at home. Please sign these out in the green book as and when you wish. There are also alphabet books and first readers to borrow in the same way.
The library van visits every 4 weeks and should be at school on Thursday 30th January. It is delightful to see the excitement on the children’s faces as they climb on the bus and choose their books and then to share the pleasure of their choice to each other, once back in the classroom. .
Book time will continue on a Friday morning and Maths time will be on a Monday morning 8.40-8.55. Do join us if you can.
Understanding the World
We also begin a mini topic on winter. We will be exploring water in its solid state as ice and discussing the ways we can speed up or slow down the melting process. We are currently reading winter stories and we will be looking at information books about penguins, polar bears, seals and other animals and birds that live in a cold climate. Do send in any winter stories you may have at home for us to read and enjoy.
Pupils will be exploring number through songs, games and imaginative play. They will be involved in sorting and counting games, and practical activities including weighing, measuring and pattern making They will explore shape and space, both inside and outside the classroom. They will also be beginning to add and subtract in practical ways and trying to explain how they have arrived at an answer. Our second hand shop has been a great success and the children have been enjoying pricing toys brought in from home and exchanging them for another.
As part of the morning routine, the pupils discuss the day, date and month and look at the daily timetable.
Physical Development / Expressive Arts and Design
Circle time/ Music will be on a Tuesday morning when expression and creativity will be explored, and Physical Education is on a Thursday morning when gross motor skills will be developed using small and large apparatus. The pupils will be considering safety issues when using the apparatus. Both lessons take place in the hall and each child will need a T-shirt and shorts in a drawstring bag, which can remain on their pegs all week. Please ensure that all clothes and shoes are named as children often forget what they have put on in the morning and clothes easily become muddled up after P.E.
Singing will continue with Mr Herrington (our music specialist), on a Wednesday morning in the hall.
Pupils will be experimenting with colour and texture to create their own pictures and they will help with wall displays. Also, using simple tools and techniques they will learn how to join materials to create their own models. There will also be opportunities to investigate friction at a simple level by exploring pushes and pulls using a variety of objects.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
The ‘Leaders of the Week’ will be identified on a Friday and when your child is leader of the week they can bring in anything of special interest, which they would like to talk about to the rest of the class, such as: things they have grown, postcards/photos from special trips, visits, holidays, etc. Children are encouraged not to bring things from home unless it is their turn to be ‘Leader of the Week’.
Do continue to send in ‘Wow’ sheets so that we can carry on celebrating individual achievements that take place out of school.
During Circle Time and Assemblies, pupils will learn about values and relationships.
Please inform the office daily, if your child is absent from school.
Each child needs to have a named water bottle in school filled with water.
School dinners are available at £2.00 each. Please send dinner money in advance in a named envelope on a Monday, stating the days that dinners are required.
Parent teacher interviews will take place during the first two weeks after half term. More details to follow.
As there are now four members of the Foundation Stage Team we feel it is important that we all have an overview of the pupils. If you have any concerns about your child please feel free to discuss the matter with any one of us.
Staffing for the week is as follows –
Monday – Mrs Goodall and Mrs. Stanton
Tuesday – Mrs Goodall and Mrs. Stanton (Mrs. Curtis – Tuesday mornings 8.50-10.20)
Wednesday – Mrs Goodall and Mrs. Stanton
Thursday – Ms. Miller and Mrs Talbot (Mrs. Curtis – alternate Thursday afternoons)
Friday – Ms. Miller and Mrs Talbot
If anyone has an hour or two to spare to help support in the classroom you would be most welcome and we would be very grateful. We are looking forward to a happy and productive term.
Best wishes from the Foundation Class Team.