Friday, October 06, 2006

Weekly update 9th October 2006

Weekly update

Last week was a great week!

Firstly, can we say a BIG thank you for all your kind donations for our Harvest Festival. I am sure that they will all be greatly received. May I also that all those parents who religiously make a comment in their children's diary. I also appreciate how many letters and bits of information you are receiving home each week. Believe me it does start to slow down from now on.

Last week, we had our trainers coming in to do some 'on-the-job' training with myself and the team. The approach is called Mantle of the Expert. If you would like to find out more please go to

Mantle of the Week
We are going to 'have a go' this week at doing a mini-mantle. The children are going to explore how colours are mixed. They are to be problem solvers for the client, 'Mad Professor Patrick' aka Mrs Latham! I will act as the agent, asking questions and developing the children's thinking. He is going to have a problem! His life work on colour mixing has been burned to a cinder! He knows that he discovered how to make green, orange, purple, brown, pink and grey but he has lost his precious note book with how he did it. Can they solve the problem because he has to share his findings pretty soon. The children will have to come up with their own way of solving the problem. PLEASE do not give your children the answers. There is far more satisfaction and self-esteem built in the feeling that they have solved the problem themselves.

So what's going on this week?

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Your child will have two PE lessons a week where they need to get changed into their PE kits. At the moment it is taking the children a very long time to get changed for PE and back changed again, resulting in only twenty minutes per session for actual physical activity. Independence in dressing and undressing scores very highly on the Foundation Stage Profile, a document which your child's attainment is measured against. Therefore, please could you continue to help your child to get dressed themselves. Activities in the home such as baking, using play dough, building with Lego and other fiddly toys will support your child with their fine motor skills if they are finding buttons difficult.

Communication, Language and Literacy
Last week the children started on developing their ideas for helping Humpty Dumpty to learn about spiders. therefore, this week the children will continue to learn about non-fiction books and their features in preparation for making their own big book for Humpty. In order to support this, you may wish to take a trip to the local library and search for books on spiders or other books of interest. The key things for the children to understand are that non-fiction books have:
  • photographs
  • diagrams with labels
  • headings at the top of the page
  • captions which explain the photograph
  • contain information about things that are real

As always we will be continuing to support your child with their identification of the letter sounds and names. As with last week, we will be working on the following letter names and corresponding sounds - Aa, Ss, Mm, Tt, Gg, Oo, Pp and Cc. The best website is for these as the games use the letter names and the letter sounds together.

Some of the children in the class are hearing the initial sounds in words now. If your child can do this then I would suggest the following websites in order to extend their learning - - select initial sounds

Mathematical Development

In this area of the curriculum the children will be working on shapes. The children who know the shape names, circle, square, rectangle and triangle will extend their knowledge by learning about the properties of the shapes. This means talking about the number of sides, corners and whether it has curved or straight sides. You will receive an information sheet detailing the vocabulary we wish to develop on Monday along with your child's handwriting homework.

The following websites may be of use to your child. I will be using some of them in my input and as activities to support their learning. - select pattern, shape reveal and street shapes. - the properties are given and the children must guess the shape. - colour in pictures made of shapes, making pictures with shapes and making patterns with shapes. - shape matching.

This next one I just love! I couldn't stop laughing. By the way it has nothing to do with shape, just counting.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

The children will continue to find out about spiders throughout the week. They will also investigate waterproofing as Incy Wincy has categorically stated that he will NOT visit if it is raining. (With the weather we are having what hope do we have?) Anyway, the children must find out about waterproof materials and then come up with a shelter to protect Incy from the rain on his travels from the spout to Humpty's House. They must then make the shelter and test out.

In the computer suite the children will continue to develop their mouse skills. they will be using the following website so any help would be great!

They will also be learning how to program a programmable toy (dressed as Incy) to travel up the spout. See - it all fits together!

Creative Development

The children will learn about the famous artist Wassily Kandinsky and our work in Mathematical Development will inspire our art work. The children will also complete their paper plate spiders and start to make their Harvest frames. In addition to this the children will be learning a song for our Harvest festival. The children will investigate how sounds are made with different percussion instruments.

Induction Evening - this is a chance for you to learn in more detail about your child's learning whilst they are in the Foundation Stage. We will be providing you with details of the types of activities you can play at home to support your child with their learning, as well as sharing with you the different practices we employ in the classroom. Please be prepared to take part. You will laugh and have fun, and make new friends I am sure. You will hopefully see the supported, exciting and structured way in which your child will learn.

Kinetic Science Show - as apart of our endeavour to develop links within the community, we are joining with our neighbouring school, Penketh South, for a Science Show. This will take place on Wednesday. Thankyou to all who have made a voluntary contribution to the shows. I am sure we will enjoy them.

Goodness me, this blog gets longer each week!

Finally, a letter has gone out to you about parents' evening. Please complete the form at the bottom and return it to school as soon as possible. Handwriting homework will go out each Monday with your child's library book. Please return them both in the wallet provided on Friday to allow for marking of homework and new homework to be set.

Have a great week yourselves!

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team

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