Autumn Term 2020
Hello - we know these are strange times but we want to wish you and your children a very warm welcome to the Robins’ class! Throughout the year your children will be developing their skills and knowledge in the seven areas of learning listed below and through a range of different topics.
After our initial settling period we will be beginning this half-term’s topic, ‘Bears’. Throughout the topic we will be planning lots of exciting and practical experiences to help your children learn in a stimulating and fun way.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We are aware that most children have spent a considerably long time away from nursery and school and for that reason we will be focusing on ensuring children are settled and happy at school. We will also be constantly encouraging your children to develop their confidence and resilience by supporting them to try out new activities and reassuring them not to worry if things don’t always go to plan!
We are also reinforcing the importance of following routines and rules so that they can get along with other children and adults and feel happy and secure at school. Through the stories that we read we will also be teaching the children how to talk about their own and other people’s emotions.
Communication and Language
As well as introducing new vocabulary to the children we will be teaching them how to listen attentively to others and to express their own ideas clearly and in full sentences. We will encourage your children to listen to stories and ask questions about them. You will also have the opportunity to do this using your child’s reading book. To help develop your child’s language skills, please encourage your children to speak in full sentences at home – don’t just accept one-word answers!
As well as having a weekly PE lesson (to start later this term) all the children have daily access to our newly refurbished outdoor learning area, where they can explore and practise different ways of travelling safely and with control. Also, all the children take part in Dough Gym and Funky Fingers sessions where we target the development of their fine motor skills to the accompaniment of lively music. We encourage the children to become increasingly independent in undressing and dressing themselves for PE, putting on their own coats, aprons etc.
Please support us in this by encouraging your child to have a go at it by themselves at home and when they arrive at and leave school. It pays off in the end!
All the children will take part in a daily phonics lesson where, to begin with, we will be recapping and focusing on distinguishing between different sounds, rhyme and recognising sounds in spoken words – also known as oral blending. We will then move on to learn about the different letters and sounds as well as what they look like and how to recognise them. They will then begin to combine those sounds to help them to read and spell simple words.
We will also introduce them to the main characters in our Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme. The children are already familiar with the Oxford Reading Tree characters (Kipper, etc) and are enjoying sharing e-books and real books which tell stories about the family.
We will also be sharing a range of bear-themed stories with the children, encouraging them to join in with us while we are reading, talk about the stories with understanding and take part in early reading and writing activities. Some of the stories we will be enjoying include ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘Where’s My Teddy?’
We are teaching the children how to count real objects carefully, saying one number name for each object as they touch it then saying how many there are in a group. They are also learning to use the language of ‘more/fewer’ and ‘most/fewest’ to order sets of objects.
As the children build models with small and large construction equipment (eg a new chair for Baby Bear) we will be encouraging them to compare objects by size and talk about the shapes they are using, encouraging them to use vocabulary such as ‘straight/curved, long/short, circle/square, etc. The children will also been finding out about capacity when comparing how much porridge each of the three bears’ bowls would hold!
Understanding the World
As the children learn about the people in Kipper’s family (in the Oxford Reading stories) they will also begin to talk about the people in their own families and learn that not all families are the same. Also, through investigation of objects from the natural world, linked in particular to Autumn and Harvest Festival, the children will have opportunities to develop their curiosity and observational skills.
Expressive Arts and Design
Where do we begin?! Amongst many other things your children will be colour mixing, printing, weaving, making music, singing and dancing!
How can you help at home?
At this early stage we will be mainly be sending home picture books without sentences so initially you will be encouraging your child to use the pictures to tell a story and asking them questions to help them understand what is happening. Sharing a book or listening to your child read four times or more a week earns a smiley face and then a Bronze reading badge.
Your child will bring their reading book home in a clear, named bag. They will also have a Reading Record book; this is a really important book for us all to let each other know how your child is progressing with their reading at home and at school. Please write a brief comment and sign the book at home every time your child has read with you.
Your child will bring these books home at the end of every day. Please encourage your children to look after them and return them to school each day. We will read with every child throughout the week and change their books when they are ready for a new one.
We will start sending homework activities home in a couple of weeks’ time. The children all have their own homework book that can travel to and from school in the purple bags.
Please help your child with his or her homework; it gives them a chance to practise and revise what they have been learning at school throughout the week. The activities won’t take long to complete and hopefully your child will enjoy showing you what they have been learning. Please encourage them to complete the homework as independently as possible although of course they will need a little explanation and lots of praise!
Homework will come home every Friday. Please return it every Monday.
Please make sure your child has a PE kit in school. Every item (including both pumps) must be clearly labelled with your child’s name and kept in a named bag. PE kits will stay at school until the end of every half-term, when you can take them home to wash them.
Keeping in Touch
We know it is going to be different over the coming weeks as we all adjust to the school life. We have several ways that you can keep in touch whilst we are unable to speak to you at length during drop off and collection times (although we look forward to having many conversations with you in the future!)
Here are some of the ways you can still be involved with school.
And of course you can always telephone the school office with any questions or queries