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Phonics in FS2

We have started daily Phonics sessions with the children.

We have started teaching the children the sounds that the letters make so they are able to recognise them both in books and around every environment they go in. We will also expect them to start using them in their own writing.

This video will help you know the exact sounds which each letter makes. It is important that these pure sounds are used. Listen in particular to n, l and m.

We use the Jolly Phonics actions to support the children while they are learning the sounds each letter makes. We sing the song and do the action to make it easier for the children to remember them.

 

When we teach the letters and their sounds we teach them in an order which makes it easier to make words. First the children will learn s, a, t, p, i, n. Then they learn m, d, o, c, k, ck, e, u, r, h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss. These are all the letters and sounds they will learn in Phase 2.

Although it is important for the children to know the sounds the letters make it is also just as important for the children to be able to blend sounds together to make words. This means when you say to them the sounds they are able to make them into the word. At first the children will do this when they just hear the sounds. Children are expected to to be able to do this when they start Reception (FS2). As they get more confident with the letters they are expected to be able to read the letters themselves and blend them into words.

Examples of this:

c– a– t  is cat                  s–a–t  is sat

p–i–n  is pin                    g–o–t  is got

We also teach the children to read alien words which they are able to blend but make no sense.

Examples of these are:

s–e–c is sec                    h–i–b  is hib

d– u–p  is dup               l– e– c  is lec

Once the children are able to read words with Phase 2 sounds and also sound out to spell them we move onto Phase 3 letters and sounds, which include vowel digraphs (two letters, one sound). Children should be secure in reading and writing with Phase 3 sounds at the end of Reception (FS2)

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Picture taken from www.twinkl.co.uk

What can you do to help the learning at home?

  • Complete the Phonics homework each week. This will tell you which letters and sounds the children have been learning that week. 
  • Play the games on www.phonicsplay.co.uk which will help your child with their phonics skills. Good games to practise blending are Buried Treasure, Obb and Bob and Dragon’s Den. 
  • Look for letters everywhere and see if your child knows which sound they make. If you see words with the sounds they have learnt ask your child to help you read it. You can do this when you’re reading school reading books but also sometimes in other books you read together. Your child won’t be able to read the whole book but they can begin to help you. 

Please ask in school if you would like more help or there is anything you’re not sure about. We’re happy to help 🙂 

 

 

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Eid Mubarak

Throughout the month of Ramadan we had been thinking about the Islamic celebration of Eid and why Muslims celebrate Ramadan. We had a Ramadan Advent calendar and used it to count down. We learnt that we had to wait for the new moon.

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While we were opening our calendar it started a discussion about Ramadan and  Eid. Some of our friends in Onyx class are Muslims and celebrate at their houses. They shared what they knew with us all. Everyone was interested to know what happened.

Zane’s mum, Sara, came to speak to us. She also works at our school so lots of us know her. She told us about some of the decorations of their house and what they eat to break their fast every morning. Did you know during Ramadan grown up Muslims are not allowed to eat when the sun is up? it is called a fast. This is help them think about people who do not have lots of the things they need, like lots of food.

Sara sent us an email to show us some picture of these things.

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We wrote a reply to Sara using our class email account.

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Once we arrived back at school after the Spring Bank break we knew some children in our class would need a day off school. This is because Eid was finally here. We decided we would like to have a celebration all together so we planned for a party with the rest of Foundation Stage and Key Stage One.

We decided to bake biscuits for our party. We made them in the shapes of stars and made sure we made enough to share with all our friends.

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Zane’s big brother came to show us the special prayer mat and how it is used for praying. We were all very interested to find out what happened.

And then it was the day of our celebration. We started the day with a workshop for our parents and carers. It was wonderful to see so many of our families stay and make Ramadan and Eid crafts with us.

In the afternoon we all gathered in the main hall together. We were allowed to bring our party clothes to get changed into. Everyone had a wonderful time dancing to traditional music and enjoying the special foods.

Everyone LOVED our special Eid celebrations 🙂

What have we been learning?

  • That different religions have different celebrations.
  • About some of the special things that Muslims do at Ramadan and Eid.
  • About how we are the same and different as our friends.

How can can you continue the learning at home?

  • Talk to your child about the different things that your family celebrate.
  • Talk about how we are the same and different to each other.
  • Look on the CBeebies programme Lets Celebrate and find out more. Click here to watch the videos. 
  • Go to the Library and find some books about Islam, Ramadan and Eid. 51FF059B-FE57-41B4-83F0-50B6791E322C

 

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Global Citizenship Week 2019- TASC

Following on from our Environment Week it was Global Citizenship Week in school. We wanted to continue our learning about Wall-e and what was good about our environment. However, we also needed to think about the things that we wanted compared to the things that need.

At first we all knew what we wanted but it was hard to think about what we might really need. We went on a walk around school to look for the different things we needed and wanted. Children commented on these as we walked round. We were starting to understand that although we wanted and liked toys and sweets we did not need them. We took lots of photos of the things we found and when we got back to the classroom sorted them out.

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We decided that the things we needed kept us safe and alive. The things that we wanted might keep us happier but we didn’t need them.

To make us think about this a little bit more we returned to our thinking about Wall-e and when all the humans left Planet Earth. We thought about what we would take to a new planet with us if we had to leave Planet Earth.

We used the TASC wheel to work in groups and create something to show what we would take with us. Can you remember what we created?

A rainbow- because we need sun and rain on our new planet and when you get sunshine and rain you get a rainbow!

A garden- because we need plants to survive. They help us breathe good air and make food for us.

A tree- because the tree takes the bad things out the air and puts good air back.

A map-to show our new planet and what we would take with us.

An exercise bike- because we need to do lots of exercise to keep us fit and healthy (We talked about the humans in Wall-e who had got lazy and fat)

You can see all of our learning in the Floor Book.

What have we been learning? 

  • The difference between want and need. 
  • What keeps us safe in school and at home. 
  • What we could take to our new planet. 

How can can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Talk about things at home that you need and want. 
  • Go for a walk round your house and talk about what keeps you safe. 
  • Make something else you would take to a new planet that you might need. 
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Environment Week 2019- Wall-E

BDABE960-D692-4189-B95F-81360F98E9510B3A15C3-1CBD-4A6B-B3DA-A586B6703F47During Environment Week we decided to use Wall-E to help us learn about the sort of environment we would like to live in. We thought that Earth in the future was messy and dirty and not very nice. We also learnt how important  plants were.

We decided to plant some beans to add some more plants to our environment. There were some other seeds as well and we talked about which one would grow fastest if we put them in a race.

Look what happened to the bean only a week later!

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We also talked about 3-D shape a lot during the week as Miss Parker set us a challenge to build our own Wall-E but only once we could talk about the shapes we needed to make him.

Doesn’t he look wonderful? He even has a flap on the front so he can open it and put the rubbish inside. You might be able to spot some kids from Garnet class there was well who came to help us.

We also worked with our friends from Nursery outside to create a giant Wall-E. He was bigger than we were!

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Our parents and carers made lots of comments on our learning about Wall-E during Environment Week.

What have we been learning? 

  • About what our environment is and what we would like it to look like. 
  • About the importance of plants and why we need them in our environment.
  • About 3-D shapes and how to describe them using the correct words- edge, vertices and faces. 

How you can continue the learning at home! 

  • Collect some boxes and junk modelling- can you make a model of Wall-E or a different robot? 
  • Look for 3-D shapes in your home and think about why it is a good shape for that job, for example, why don’t we have a sphere for a TV? 
  • Tlak  ajot what you like in your home environment and what you don’t like. Make sure you keep it tidy like Wall-E did! 
  • Look at the plants in your garden. Which plants do you have? Could you add any more! 

 

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Looking for Dinosaurs in the Secret Garden

We had been talking about habitats for our dinosaur and where he might have gone. Someone had the idea to go and look in the Secret Garden so off we went…..

On our way up there we spotted a different habitat. I wonder if there is a bird living in there?

Once in the Secret Garden we played a quick game of Where Are  You? to make sure everyone was listening, concentrating and comfortable in the new space.

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And then we had a look for some signs of life in the Secret Garden.

We found a trail in the grass, we wondered whether that was where our dinosaur had pushed through the grass. We also found a few feathers but we decided they were from the birds not the dinosaur. We also found a big muddy patch where we looked to see if we could find any more footprints. Sadly there weren’t any but it made us think about footprints.

Miss Parker showed us some different animal footprints. After we’d thought about which animal our footprint came from, we had to find a friend who had the same footprint on their card.

They we had to think of a way to record our footprint but we hadn’t taken any pencils. Miss Parker showed us how to use Mud Paint to draw our footprints.

Sadly we didn’t find a dinosaur in the Secret Garden but we did learn more about habitats and signs to look for if we’re looking for any creatures.

When we got back to class we thought about creating a different habitat. Can you tell who it is for? Which creature would like to live here?

What have we been learning? 

  • Where creatures live and why they choose to live there. 
  • Which signs to look for when searching for creatures in the Secret Garden. 
  • Different ways to record our ideas when there are no pencils. 

How you can continue the learning at home? 

  • Visit a wood or the park. Can you find any signs of creatures there? What do you think might live there. 
  • Make some mud paint in your garden and use sticks to paint. What can you do a picture of?
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A Dinosaur Came to Visit

Once we had the footprints in our classroom we had a new clue as to what had left the egg in our classroom. It generated many conversations and there was all of a sudden a lot of talk about dinosaurs.

We decided to set up the camera overnight and see if there were any visitors to our classroom. You will not believe what we saw!

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There was a dinosaur in our classroom! He walked all over the table and did a BIG roar before he left again. It made us believe we had been right when we said there was a dinosaur in the egg. Some children quickly got to work and started making a trap to try and capture the dinosaur. They thought about a fake egg to trick the dinosaur into coming and having a look, a rope to trip him up and some water to pour on his head once he was trapped. There was lots of cooperative thinking to solve their problem.

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Then Miss Deakin came back from setting up the Outdoor Are and told us she’d seen another footprint. We went to have a look. It was so much bigger than the ones in the classroom. We measured to see how long it was.

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Everyone was amazed to see how much bigger than our feet the dinosaur footprint was. We decided to measure it in some different ways.

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We then used this information to measure some smaller footprints of our own and smaller measuring units. We worked with a partner to choose a unit to measure with and then measure the footprint. We made sure we followed the same rules.

And then…..

We did a wonderful job making our dinosaur a shoe. Can you imagine how big the show shop would need to be if this is just one shoe?!?

Our parents and carers made some comments in our Floor Book. We love knowing what the children are talking about at home and which learning they are sharing.

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What have we been learning? 

  • to measure in different ways using a variety of different non-standard objects, such as cubes, bottle tops, whiteboard pens. 
  • to meet challenges and solve problems, such as how do we make a shoe for the dinosaur and how do we capture a dinosaur.

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Collect some objects at home, such as pennies, bottle tops, forks and so long as they are all the same size use them to measure some bigger objects in your house, like the table. 
  • Use footsteps to measure some of your garden. How long is the path? How wide is your doorway? 
  • allow your child to help you solve simple problems in the home, such as we have 5 people in our house and they want 2 biscuits each? How many do we need altogether? 
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A Strange Egg

So we had a strange egg in our classroom, but what could it be? We had lots of suggestions about what it could possibly be. Some children thought it was a giant chocolate egg (Miss Parker wishes it had have been! ;-)) but then we got a note which made us change our mind…..

The Easter Bunny told us it was going to hatch. That meant something was alive in there. We decided we had better learn about eggs and find out which creatures came from eggs. Some children wrote signs saying to stay away from our egg and make sure it stayed safe.

We spent the week investigating eggs and then there was a development. The egg disappeared and there were footprints. Where had it gone?

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Chocolatey Easter Fun

We had a very busy week back in school. It was strange as we came back to school and it had still not been Easter. Everyone was very excited waiting for their Easter Eggs. We decided we would like to learn about chocolate because we all love chocolate so much!

We tasted different sorts of chocolate and made a graph to find out our favourites. The dark chocolate was not very popular at all. Can remember your favourite?

We made some chocolates of our own deciding which ingredients we would like to make the best chocolate in the world. There were some different ingredients to choose from so we could design our chocolate to take home. We melted the chocolate- thinking about how you melt chocolate- before we made the chocolate. Then we had to wrap our chocolates just like the ones in the shop.

 

Then on Thursday we found a note and the Easter eggs Miss Parker had bought us were gone 😦 We did not know where they were. However there was a note with a clue so we decided to follow it and see where we went. Every time we found a clue it told us to go somewhere else and follow the chicks. We went all over school and our hunt took us outside, the staffroom, the main hall before going back to our classroom. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we got back. There were our eggs but there was also a giant egg as well. We did not know what it was but there were lots of ideas about what it could be.

 

We loved our Easter Egg Hunt and we were excited to find the giant egg in our classroom.

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Come back soon to see what happens next.

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Buns Galore

Onyx class are lucky enough to be able to use the Bun Making Station as well during Learning Time. This is when we open up both classrooms and children get to choose where they do their learning. We love being able to follow the recipe ourselves to make the buns. The children are learning so much about Maths when they are making buns among lots of other things. They just see they are having fun though. This is when we believe the best learning takes place.

The recipe is taken from Anna Ephgrave’s books about learning in Foundation Stage.

Remember to remind the children how important it is to wash your hands first. You can’t bake a bun at school until your hands are washed!

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We have introduced a Bun Making Station in Garnet Class. The children were given a recipe and were shown how to read it. Then they were encouraged to make buns independently.

Can you remember what you need to do?

What does balance mean? What does it look like?

Can you remember the ingredients you need?

We needed to place an egg on one side of the scales then measure out flour, sugar and butter. We needed to make sure each ingredient balanced with the egg, once we had all the ingredients in the bowl a grown up placed the mixture in a special cooker.

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Cannon Hall Farm 2019

Yesterday was our visit to Cannon Hall Farm. We all had a wonderful day. It was fabulous to get to visit a real farm and meet all the animals. We learnt lots about them all.

First we had to get on the coach to go to Cannon Hall. We went past Manor Top and all of the places we see all the time. Can you remember what we saw? We talked about all of the things we could see and how busy it was.

Then we went on the motorway because Cannon Hall is not in Sheffield and the motorway is the best way to get there fast. We talked about the different vehicles we went past, the places we saw and also that all the houses had started to disappear. We got very excited when we saw the brown signs which told us which way to go.

We noticed as we got closer and closer to Cannon Hall there were lots more fields and still not many houses. It looked very different to Manor Top and where our houses are.

We were all very excited to arrive at Cannon Hall Farm. We had a drink and some snack to make sure were ready to go and explore the farm and meet all the animals.

And then it was time to go and explore. We had to go to the meerkats to wait for Charlotte who showed us round the farm. She is a farmer. As we went to find the first animals some children thought it was a little bit smelly! First we went to see the pigs and piglets in the Farrowing Barn.

Next we went to the next barn and we found cows and calves. There were also some goats and horses. Can you remember which ones are which? 

Everyone was very excited when we got to the next barn as we were allowed to feed the animals. We had to hold it very carefully so we didn’t drop it and then put it in the special chutes to get the food to the animals. We then had to remember to keep our hands away from our mouths and eyes.

We then had a very special treat and we got to meet Caramel the Guinea Pig. Everybody was asked if they wanted to stroke Caramel and everybody said yes. Even the children who were a little unsure at first. Again we then had to remember not to put our fingers near our eyes or mouth until we’d washed them.

Then we went to wash our hands. We made sure we used soap and washed them really carefully to get rid of all the germs from the food and Caramel.

It was nearly dinnertime but first we went for a walk around the farm and to watch the sheep racing. We went to see if any lambs had been born yet. There were lots of pregnant ewes in the Roundhouse but not many lambs yet. Can you spot the lamb we did see?

The sheep racing was lots of fun. Everyone got a ticket which told them which colour sheep they wanted to win. We were amazed when the sheep were able to jump over the jumps! They looked really high.

And then it was time for dinner! Everyone was really hungry after our busy morning.

In the afternoon we popped to see the animals in the Reptile house.

And then it was the part of the day we’d all been waiting for…….. THE ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND!!!!!!!

We all loved the Adventure Playground and were a little bit sad when we had to come down and get on the bus back to school.

There were lots of tired children on the bus and some of them even fell asleep. We were soon back to school though and were ready for hometime.

Everyone had a wonderful day. A big thank you to everyone who helped us and came along on the visit.

If you would like to visit Cannon Hall Farm yourself every child was given a 3 for 2 voucher to bring home. We have a couple spare if you didn’t get on. You can find out more about Cannon Hall Farm on the their website here.