Thursday, December 14, 2006

Navidad Feliz

Weekly update for week beginning 18th December 2006

Can you believe it? Your child has now done a full term in school and what a term it has been! the children are all fully settled now and the speed of progress the children are making is fantastic. May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your part in the partnership between home and school. Your child's progress is evident of the hard work yourselves and the school put in.

We had a fabulous time at the cathedral and Mr Barker was full of praise and admiration for the children. We even got to have our photograph took infront of the nativity scene. I have placed the photograph on the desktop of the Interactive Whiteboard if you want to have a look at it.

This week is only short but nevertheless action packed with seasonal activities. On Monday, the children will have a some-what normal afternoon (if it is at all possible to call the foundation Stage 'normal) which will be followed by their Christmas Party and a visit from Father Christmas himself! No expense spared for our little treasures! We would like to thank Mrs Lockett who works with us on a Thursday and a Friday for trudging around the shops for gifts for the children. The children do not have to be in their school uniform for this day and can come donned in the latest fashion, hair gel, etc. PS Don't forget their dancing shoes!

Tuesday morning the children will be practising for the Christmas carol service which is being led by the 'giants' of our school - the Year 5/6 children. Our class will be singing Rat-a-tat-tat, Horrid Herod and Away in a manger with the rest of Key Stage 1. Although space is very limited, you are welcome to attend the carol service on Wednesday morning (as long as you join in with the singing!)

Wednesday is obviously the carol service and the children have a lovely day. The children are allowed to bring in a toy to play with. We do encourage the children to bring in a toy that the can share with a friend e.g a card game, Buckaroo, Hungry Hippos, etc (I love those!!) They are finally treated to a pantomime performed in the school hall by our parents. We all have a great laugh! Last year I had to do a 'bush-tucker trial' involving jelly and creepy-crawlies. The children love it (and secretly so do the staff). All in all, the children go out on a high and are ready to drive you mental over the Christmas holidays. Ha ha ha!!! Please don't worry for I too have a three year old excited to the point of explosion to contend with over the Christmas break.

In addition to this, we will be completing our assessments of the children. WOW!!! is the word that comes to mind so far as we collate our information. Please remember to check out your child's diary for information on the letter names, sounds and numbers they need to work on as well as any other additional information we may need to pass on.

After lulling you into a false sense of security, I have found a series of websites which you can use to give your child a 'taster' of what is in store for the New Year. These should keep them busy over the holidays. - develops letter recognition and keyboard awareness - love it!! - remember to keep those high frequency words going. - type in your own spellings to learn - look at the picture then blend the sounds together to read the words and click on the matching one. Remember to use pure sounds. - fnd the number that matches the one under Bill's feathers - snakes and ladders for one and two players - ordering random numbers - ordering random numbers - hearing the initial and final sounds in words and matching the letter symbol - number recognition game - a little festive counting - using the initial letter to identify words

And for some Christmas fun... Christmas resources from Northumberland Grid for Learning. hilarious!! the penguin will write your message in the snow - perhaps you could write the high frequency words. play the reindeer noses!! reindeer band a to z of Christmas book

The children have also been working extremely hard on their Christmas gifts for you and you will eventually get to see them this week.

Thats all folks!

Have a fantastic Christmas and an amazing New Year.

Mmmmm...what will we be up to in 2007?????

Take care

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Weekly update week beginning 11th December 2006

Hi there!

Didn't they do well? The children really did us proud in the Christmas Production last week. It just shows how much their confidence has developed in such a short space of time. many thanks for the lovely costumes. I am sure that you saw how they added 'sparkle' to the performance. Now the week of the production is over we have more festive treats in store.

Monday - the whole school will be going to the Gatheway Theatre to watch 'The Wizard of Oz'. Please remember to be in school for 8.15am for an early registration.
Tuesday - In the afternoon we shall be going to Liverpool Catherdral for the carol service. Please note that the children will be returning late from this. You can collect your child in the normal way from the classroom door at about 4pm. The children may take a small gift for a child less fortunate than themselves to present at the altar whilst we are there. We are very lucky to be going to the catherdral. It is a magical experience for the children.

But what about the rest of the week?

This week is dedicated to assessment and review of the the learning the children have experienced since the start of this half term. It is a time when we stand back in amazement at the swift progress the children have made and set challenging targets for the Spring Term. Therefore, any of the websites from previous blogs can be used to review the children's learning. At the beginning of the final week, you will receive an update on your child's progress.

Mathematical Development
We will be looking at shape, pattern, number recognition, counting and finding one more/less than a given number.

For pattern making, the children:
MUST be able to continue a repeating pattern
SHOULD be able to create a two colour repeating pattern
COULD be able to create a repeating pattern with up to four colours.

For shape the children:
MUST be able to name a circle, square, rectangle and triangle
SHOULD be able to talk about how many sides and corners each shape has
COULD be able to describe the properties of a 2d shape.

For counting, the children:
MUST be able to count 6 objects reliably
SHOULD be able to count10 objects reliably
COULD be able to count 20 objects reliably

For one more/less, the children:
MUST be able to practically find one more and one less than up to 6 objects
SHOULD be able to practically find one more and one less than up to 10 objects
COULD be able to mentally find one more and one less than a given number up to 10.

For number recognition, this information will be given to you via your child's reading diary.

Communication, Language and Literacy
We will be assessing the children on their understanding and ability to rhyme.

The children:
MUST be able to recognise rhyming words in familiar contexts
SHOULD be able to match rhyming pairs
COULD be able to continue a rhyming string.

The children's high frequency words and spellings will be updated also. In addition to this, the children's letter sound and name recognition will be updated and reported to you. Some children will be assessed for the next level in their reading.

Other areas of the curriculum
The children are busily creating their Christmas gifts for you and this week they will be making a party hat for their Christmas dinner. We will be continuing with our Advent tasks and the story of the birth of Jesus. The role play area has been changed to the stable in bethlehem ready for the children to re-enact the story. Much of this week will be devoted to the Christmas story.

Did the tree get its decorations?
Yes, Timmy Tree did get some decorations made for him. One little girl wrote a letter back to the tree. I wonder if she will get a reply?!?

That's all for this week. Relatively short but sweet!

Take care

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Shining Stars and Shimmering Snowflakes!

Weekly update week beginning 4th December 2006

Navidad Feliz (Spanish for Happy Christmas)

Tis' the season to be jolly tralalalala - lalalala...Yes, in my book it is officially Christmas now we are in the twelth month of the year! Wow! What a start the the month we have with a long awaited Christmas Production 'A Christmas Rose'. Many thanks to you all for making sure the costumes were in on time and Mrs Johnson for coming in and checking them and fitting the tinsel to size. I am sure you are looking forward to the performances as much as the children are eager to strut their stuff. However, even the most talented and well-seasoned performers suffer from fatigue after a week of being on the stage. Please expect your child to be tired this week, and it is for this reason that we will not be expecting them to complete their handwriting homework this week.

Here I Am, Knowledge and Understanding of the World and Communication, Language and Literacy
This week we will be combining the children's learning in these three areas. The children will use a text which tells the Christmas Story. Throughout the week, the children will learn about the build up to the birth of Jesus, the angel's visit to Mary and the shepherds, etc. The class target for this week is to share the Christmas Story with your child. Whilst reading our text, the children will learn about the use of the pictures in conjunction with the initial letters in supporting their word identification.

As always we will be developing the children's letter recognition and we are amazed at the progress the children are making in this area of the curriculum. I don't think we have ever moved so swiftly through them. Many thanks for all your support in helping your child at home. Once the children do know them, they will spread their wings and fly!

Mathematical Development
I love this week's topic - pattern making (only because it means more paint, glitter and sequins). Many of the children entered school being able to copy a repeating pattern. Therefore we will be concentrating on developing their ability to continue and create their own repeating pattern. The websites below will be used in class to teach your child and I am more than happy for you to use them at home. - this site can just be used to review the children's ability to copy a pattern. - the children are asked to make patterns with 2d shapes, colours and pictures. - this is an extension of the above one with the children making patterns with 3d shapes.
If your child can do the above and create their own repeating pattern with at least three different colours then the next website will provide a challenge for them. It is actually a Year1 activity! - the children have to solve problems involving patterns. -(with all the letters in this url address I'll be amazed if this link works!) - click on 'simple repeating patterns' under the 'materials' heading on the right hand side.

You can also practice pattern making using the cutlery - knife, fork, spoon etc as well as socks, pencils, blocks etc.

Creative Development
This week is the week when we blitz our Christmas decoration making. The children will be making their very own Christmas baubles, so be sure to leave a space right in the middle of your tree for it. They will also be making a table decoration fit to don even the most decadent of tables as well as making their Christmas cards. You may have noticed that we have gone a little multi-lingual this year. As a school we are trying to develop Spanish as our modern foreign language, and so do not be surprised if your child comes out with the odd phrase or two and the insert of your Christmas card can't be understood! Unfortunately for us the children are picking it up faster than we are!

Musically, the children will be adding musical accompaniment to the song Little Donkey. Mrs Bishop has been working with the infant children to learn Away in a manger and Rat-a-tat-tat for the production. They sound fantastic so many thanks to her. This may be the next song for the children to learn.

Physical Development
Get those scissors out and start making some snowflakes. If you'd like to do one on the computer try out this website: - move the scissors around until the centre turns from red to green and then click. Create the outline by doing this of the shape you want to cut out and then you can see the finished product. My neice loved this one! If you want to be really clever though there is a website that has some great 3d snowflakes. I make one with Olivia, my niece of 6years, and it wasn't too stressful.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Many thanks to you for persevering with the children in getting changed on their own. We can see a real improvement. Please carry on though. I'm smiling as I type this, as I know we face the task of getting twenty-two boys into tights this week!

As part of the children learning about their own culture, they will be completing Advent tasks. each window on the calendar has a task for them to do. Last Friday the children had to say thank you every time in spanish. This type of activity will also allow the children to maintain their high standard of discipline and care for one another.

So what is the surprise for the children this week?
A letter will be hanging from our bare Christmas Tree. BOO HOO! The tree is sad and asks that the children make it some decorations and in return it has left a surprise for the children in the box under the tree. It says they can only open the box on Friday after they have done their performances and its Big Brother will be watching them in the hall (aka the Christmas Tree in the school hall).

Can you believe it? I've finished!

Enjoy the week

Best wishes

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team x