Since returning to school after the half term break, the children have helped to transform our role play corner into a vets! Previously, the children had been very vocal about their wish to take care of animals during our 'God's world' topic; now, from a ladybird with a broken wing to a dog with a tummy ache, the vets in Reception M are on standby to offer their services!
Talk to your child at home about either your own pet or a pet that belongs to a relative, family friend or neighbour. Encourage your child to think about the following questions:
Children have been keeping an eye on the world around them and looking out for signs of autumn. They understand that the weather and the environment changes as we move through the year, and that autumn sees the world getting colder - marking the transition from summer to winter. To fully immerse themselves in the nature all around them, the children went on an 'Autumn Walk' both at school and at home. As well as using their eyes to spot changes, they also tuned into the sounds of autumn, such as the wind moving through the trees and the leaves crunching underneath their own feet!
After gathering many autumnal items (such as conkers, leaves and acorns), the children put them to great use, using them to count, represent numbers, weigh, compare and order. They certainly are busy bees!
This week, the children enjoyed going on a musical instrument hunt with their partner. They worked as a team to follow their clue card and locate their instrument as quickly as possible. Children then explored which musical instruments suited different pieces of music. They decided, after exploration and group discussion, that the triangle and the glockenspiel suited ‘Twinkle, Twinkle’, the drum and wooden rhythm sticks suited the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’, the cymbals suited ‘Mission Impossible’ and the maracas suited our ‘Samba Mega Mix’.
Listen to the music again at home and see if you can find objects at home which can be turned into musical instruments e.g. an empty sweet tin as a drum or rice in a plastic bottle as a maraca!
Just before school finished for half term, the children spent some time learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali. They were interested to learn about the traditional preparations made in the week before, such as spring cleaning and the creation of colourful Rangoli patterns outside the home to welcome guests.
As Diwali is the festival of lights, children worked in teams to create their own diva lamps and enjoyed lighting these during our reading of the story of ‘Ramayana’ (The story of Diwali)
On the final day of school, we had a Diwali party. Children made patterned paper chains and rangoli patterns to decorate our classroom. There was Indian food to taste and we even made our own traditional Indian sweets and edible sparklers!
As October is not only National Poetry month, but also Black History month, children across the school chose a poet of Black African heritage and spent time learning about their life and career, as well as enjoying their wonderful poems!
In Reception, children looked at the work of Grace Nichols and chose a one of her food poems ‘Sugarcake Bubble to learn off by heart. As they picked it up so quickly, we decided to write two additional verses of our own: the first described making porridge from oats and the second spoke of making a ‘hot and hearty’ vegetable soup. To bring our poem to life, the children had great fun writing recipes together and heading to our Early Years kitchen to make their very own porridge, vegetable soup and sugarcake!
To further celebrate National Poetry Month we were more than excited to welcome local poet and published author Elayne Ogbeta to school. Elayne visited every class from Reception to Year 6 to share her wonderful poetry. As well as performing her own poems, Elayne was delighted to listen to the children recite their own poem!
Phonics plays a crucial role in early reading and writing. Every day, children take part in a small group session tailored to their current needs. During ‘Leading my learning time’ children have a go at our many phonic challenges to try and apply what they have learnt.
It is important that children produce 'pure' sounds when blending sounds to read or when segmenting a word into sounds to spell. An example of a 'pure' sound is to say 'sssss' like a snake, rather than 'suh'.
To help children remember the 'pure' sounds at home, try singing the jolly phonics songs from the video below.
As soon as children enter the Reception classroom every morning, they put their finger muscles to the test. By engaging in lots of fine motor and hand strengthen activities, the children prepare their hands for gripping a writing pencil correctly and using it with increasing control and precision.
Strengthening hand muscles ahead of writing is extremely important. Children use their hand and finger muscles, as well as their cross body coordination and posture, to help ensure that they move the pencil with increasing control when writing. Once children are able to hold the pencil securely using the grip pictured below, they are introduced to the correct way to form each letter of the alphabet. It is important to form each letter using a specific sequence of movements, and not to just imitate the shape and appearance. For example, the letter o must be formed in an anti-clockwise direction and the letter b must travel down, then back up to the middle and around to the base of the line. For a demonstration of each letter, please see the video below.
(Children need to concentrate on the correct formation of lowercase letters before becoming more familiar with uppercase.)
Children are doing extremely well remembering the sequence of days in the week and gaining confidence recalling the sequence of months in the year. Use the songs below to continue practicing at home!
Try to regularly tell your child what day it is. Tell them what day it was yesterday and ask them if they can remember what they did (make sure your child speaks correctly in the past tense (e.g. I ran around at the park, not I ‘runned’ around at the park’). Tell them which day it will be tomorrow and ask them what they think will happen or what they think that they will do.
If your child is very confident, try to catch them out with quick-fire questions. For example:
· What day is after Tuesday?
· What day is before Friday?
· Which days are school days?
· How many days are at the weekend?
· What is the first month of the year?
· What is the last month of the year?
· In which month do we celebrate Christmas?
· In which month is your birthday?
Every day in Reception is a busy one! Take a look at our daily timetable, which is designed to enable all children to enjoy and achieve. It allows maximum opportunities for children to develop and gain confidence in all areas of our Early Years curriculum.