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Christmas Celebrations Part 3- A Special Visitor

Everyone got an amazing surprise on Wednesday when Santa came to visit.

We were all a bit confused in the morning when our elf was gone and we just got a note saying that he’d gone to do a special job. Where could he have gone?

Then before the morning was finished we heard some bells and there he was….. SANTA!

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We soon saw where our elves had gone when Santa pulled them out of his sacks! They’d been at the North Pole helping Santa know all our names and getting our presents ready.

There was a present for everyone! We had to be really really sensible and wait to open our presents altogether. It was super hard but everyone did a great job of waiting.

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(There are photos of lots of us here receiving our presents but not everyone even though we all got a present)

It was very exciting to see Santa and talk to him about what he’d been busy doing at the North Pole. Then we had to let him head back to keep on getting ready for Christmas Eve. Thankfully the elves got to stay a school a little longer and it was time for us to open our presents!

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Everyone got a special Christmas book to keep and take home 🙂 One of us was so happy we hugged our book when we first saw it we thought it was so exciting. We’re looking forward to having the stories read to us over the Christmas holidays.

 

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Star Readers!

For the whole of Autumn Term we have been working hard at home with our families to try and read 50 books. We have to give our reading records to the teachers so they can give us stickers on our bookmarks. As its the last week of term it was time so see who had read their 50 books.

Mrs Ainsley came with her special prize trolley to hand out prizes and certificates. Everyone who had read 50 books got a special sticker and certificate. Then there was one super prize winner from the whole of FS2 who got a big prize. The winner was in our class!

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We celebrate reading at home because it is proven that children who read at home make more progress and become better readers overall. Its important to get in a routine with reading and read a mixture of school reading books where your child takes the lead and also story books and information books where you share books with your child.

A huge well done to the children who have got their award this term. Don’t worry if you didn’t we start again after the holidays. 

Parents/ Carers- if you think your child could also have read their 50 books you need to make sure you hand their reading record to a teacher in the morning. If you do so before Friday 21st they could still get their certificate. 

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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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Our First Library Visit

Today was very exciting as we went to visit Manor Top Library for the first time. We all had to be super sensible because it meant going out of school and up past all the busy roads on Manor Top. We had to use the green man to help us cross the road and make sure we stopped at all the kerbs to check for cars.

Here we are walking to the Library…

We were all very excited to see the Library. Some of us had been before but not everyone had.

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When we got into the Library we all took our coats off and found a special mat to sit on. We had to think about our behaviour in the Library and what might be the same and different to being in school. Everyone listened carefully when we knew we had to be quiet. We also remembered to walk around the Library and look after the books putting them back carefully when we’d finished with them.

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Then Miss Parker and the teachers let us look at the books. We had a great time looking for the ones we thought looked the best. We were lucky so many grown ups came with us so they could help read the books with us. Some children found books they’d read before at home or in Nursery, some children found new books which they thought looked interesting for them.

We were sad when it was time to go back to school but we will get to visit again soon. Next time we can hopefully take a book home with us.

A BIG, BIG thank you to all the parents/ carers who came with us to the library 🙂  We love when you come to the Library with us. Look out for the next date in the classroom if you would like to come with us next time. 

What have we been learning? 

  • to cross the roads safely. 
  • to adapt our behaviour to different places and if we meet different people. 
  • to enjoy looking at books for pleasure and looking for our favourites to read. 
  • to spend quiet time looking at books on our own and with friends and grown ups. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • make sure your child has a FREE Library Card so they can bring a book home the next time we go the Library. Ask in class for a form to complete, 
  • visit the Library with your child and look at the books together. 
  • enjoy books together everyday.  A book at bedtime is an important part of your child’s bedtime routine. 
  • talk to your child about staying safe near the roads and make sure you always model good behaviour near the roads because your children will copy what you do, even if you tell them to do differently. 
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A Gingerbread Man Hunt

There was a strange message when we came into school the other Friday morning. We weren’t sure who it was from so we decided to follow the clue and see if we could find out more. First stop was the school library. When we got there we found another clue. We all had to do good listening and see if we could finish the rhymes to help Miss Parker work out where to go next.

After a few clues we’d worked out that it was the Gingerbread Man that had left us the clue and we had to be really quiet so we didn’t let him know we were coming. By the time we had finished we’d been all round the school, including the MUGA outside and past all of our older brother and sisters classrooms upstairs, and met lots of important people, like Mr Sieczkarek and Miss French. Following the clues meant we’d been upstairs and downstairs, inside and out. When we got back to “the room that is best”, we found the Gingerbread Man had left us a special treat to say well done.

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The following week we did lots of learning about the Gingerbread Man. We checked that everyone knew the story and what happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of.  Some children enjoyed retelling the story in their own words. Some children enjoyed trying to write it on a BIG story map like they’d seen Miss Parker do.

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What have we been learning? 

  • Where places and people are in our new school. This is particularly important for the children who came to us from different settings. 
  • The purpose of reading to find out more and help us solve problems. 
  • To remember a familiar story and retell it in a variety of ways. 

How can you continue the learning at home? 

  • Retell the story of the Gingerbread Man and other stories your child is familiar with. 
  • Ask your child to retell stories in pictures and using words. 
  • Point out to your child when you are finding something out by reading or reading for pleasure to help them understand why reading it so important. 
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Escape from the Volcano

Everyone had been talking about volcanos and playing a game called ‘Escape from the Lava’ for ages so we decided we should learn about volcanoes in class.

Miss Parker found a book which told us a bit more about volcanoes. Can you remember what it taught us?

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We also watched a video that lots of us had seen at home. You can watch it again here. Can you tell a grown up how an island grows?

Then we watched some videos of some real volcanoes and found out there were volcanoes erupting right now while we were in school. We thought about how we would feel if there was lava coming towards our homes. Miss Parker told us about when she went to an volcano but thankfully it wasn’t erupting when she was there.

We thought how we would help the people in Hawaii escape after they wrote to us asking for help. We came up with a few suggestions.

There was lots more role play and children wanting to experience what it was like to be near the lava. Outside was a popular place for this and the children loved building bridges and other ways to stay safe. They used our loose parts in all sorts of imaginative ways and even added water to be lava.

 

As the children were so engrossed in making up stories we used this to practise our writing skills. First we had to THINK IT and decide what we wanted to happen in our story. We drew a story map to help us remember it.

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Then we had to SAY IT for each sentence so we could remember what to write. Then we had to WRITE IT. We worked hard to sound out the words and think of the letters we needed to write. Here is the beginning and the middle of the story.

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When we had written it we had to READ IT to see if we’d done a good job. Can you see the ticks and crosses on our writing? We used the sentence hand to make sure we’d remembered everything putting a tick if we had and a cross if we hadn’t. On Wednesday we forgot our capital letter but on Thursdays we remembered them.

BD734A3F-5E04-43F0-A6FB-28007517E124from Sparklebox.co.uk

Do you think you could write the end of the story? You could write it on paper and bring it to school or put it in a comment below or an email.

Our learning about volcanoes went over two weeks because we were all so interested and there was so much to learn and do. We decided we wanted to make a volcano of our own and see if we could make it erupt. It took us all week to make. We started with a bottle and some masking tape.

Then we had to use papier-mâché to build the shape of the volcano. It took a long time because we had to wait for it to dry in between.

 

Everyone enjoyed helping with our volcano which was good because there were still more jobs. Next we had to paint our volcanoes. First we painted the mountain and the grass before we added the lava. We used one of our volcano books to help us think what the volcano should look like.

 

Finally our volcano was ready and it was time to watch it erupt. Miss Parker used bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar to create the lava inside the volcano. Everybody loved it and said it was well worth the wait.

We loved learning about volcanoes.

What have we been learning?

  • To find out about volcanoes using videos and books.
  • To find out where volcanoes are using first hand experiences and technology.
  • To build our own volcano and watch it erupt.
  • To role play what we think it would be like near a volcano which is erupting.
  • To make up stories about volcanoes.
  • To think how to stay safe near volcanoes and send our ideas to Hawaii.

How can you continue the learning?

  • Watch the video above and talk about how the volcanoes grow.
  • Use Google to find videos of real volcanoes and watch the lava flow (Make sure before doing any Google search with children that you have the appropriate safety measures in place)
  • Continue the story above writing it either on paper or typing it.

 

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Our Day at Cannon Hall Farm

We all had a wonderful time on our school trip to Cannon Hall Farm. We looked at the photos when we got back to school and Miss Parker turned it into a book all about our day. We remembered so much about what we’d done and where we’d been. We really did learn lots not only about the farm animals but also about an environment which is very different to Manor Top and near school.

We had such a good day its hard to say what our favourite part of the day was. You’ll have to ask us next time you see us.

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If you would like to find out more information about Cannon Hall Farm you can find out more on their website.

A HUGE thank you to all the grown ups who came with us to help. We couldn’t have gone without you. And a huge thank you to Alison and everyone at Cannon Hall for a wonderful day. The children had a wonderful time 🙂