Saturday, June 30, 2007


Well, I’ve got a memory like a sieve. I forgot to send home the PE kits but, never mind because Sport’s Day is cancelled for this week and has been rescheduled for 17th July. For the purpose of those people who have to book time off, there is no reserve date, so if the heavens open our athletes will have to keep training until next year.

The children may have been a little unsettled last week due to the organisation around the new intake children. However, they all managed very well and the Year ½ teachers said they were very impressed with them. Well done to all the children. Our second group will visit on Thursday and Friday afternoon of this week.

The children had a great time on Friday at our ‘barbie’ and we had great fun dodging the rain whilst cooking the sausages. What a great way to end a fantastic week. As part of our week learning about Australia, and aboriginal art the children have produced some stunning art work which will be displayed in school. We still have a little to do though so most of our creative development work will be linked to this.

So what else are we learning?

Communication, Language and Literacy
By the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to write a series of sentences linked to pictures, retelling a familiar story;
SHOULD be able to write a sentence with a capital letter and full stop;
MUST be able to think of a sentence to match a picture and write it with support.

In order to achieve these objectives, the children will be using the sequenced pictures from Jack and the Beanstalk they did last week. The pictures are in little books for the children to write in. It is hoped that this will be used to give their next teacher an indication of their writing skills, so that they get off to a flying start in Year 1.

As always, high frequency words and phonic activities are going on in class but your support at home is crucial. Here are some good websites that may be of use to you this week: - for lovely pictures of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.

You can also look back at previous blogs for other websites used for phonics and spelling.

Mathematical Development

By the end of this week, the children:
COULD be able to read and make half past and o’clock;
SHOULD be able to read and make o’clock;
COULD be able to read o’clock.

What time is it Mr Wolf? Yes, we will be using this story to teach the children how to read the time. We will initially start with o’clock and see how far we get. As the staff have just learned to read the time in Spanish, we are going to endeavour to teach the Spanish at the same time. We’ll let you know how we get on…or your child may be able to tell you and that way you’ll know if we have succeeded.

These are some websites you may wish to use but nothing beats using a real clock. You can get one for a few pounds in some shops in town, and one famous Scandinavian store situated in Warrington!
A pug-in is needed for the above two sites. Here is the link: - this is good for moving the clock hands.

Physical Development
The children will be working on their scissor skills, ensuring that they can cut carefully along the times. They will be cutting leaves to make a beanstalk picture.

In PE the children will continue to develop their linking of movements from the previous week. They will be applying their skills to the use of the apparatus.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The children will be continuing to learn about the different conditions for growing and how plants and animals are living things and need certain things to grow. The children will be planning and investigating for themselves.

In ICT, the children will be using their mouse skills to draw a picture of their favourite animal.

This will be used next week to write a sentence about it.

Here I Am
We will continue to look at Judaism this week, as we did not quite get to it last week. Miss McGinty has loaned us some fantastic resources and we do need to do them justice! I am sure Mrs Latham will be able to knock up some Jewish food also.

As part of their physical development the children will be making Menorah’s.

Can you believe it???? I’ve managed to get another ‘grow your own beanstalk kit’ off Ebay! I did this last year and the children were truly inspired in their writing. The children will be told that I have got the kit and it will be delivered this week. What do they expect they will find? Water? Beans? Soil? You must be joking! Not in our Foundation Stage! What they will find is: black paper, a pot, glitter, a tin of baked beans and some instructions. I will leave your child to tell you what happens. Let’s hope it’s a good as last year.

And finally…
The end of year report! On Friday, you will receive your child’s report along with the name of their next teacher. The reports do contain some necessary jargon but fear not, all will be explained at the parents’ evening. If you have not already done so, please send in the dates and times you would like and I’ll do my best to accommodate you. Please be aware that Thursday from 4pm is no longer available, as all times have been swiftly taken.

Have a lovely week. Only three more weeks until the end of term…and one more until the minibeast hunt. Aaaghh!!!

Take care

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxxxx

Saturday, June 23, 2007

G'Day Sport!


This week we are having a multicultural week in school. Each phase team is taking a different culture to work on and completing rich tasks. Due to the fact that we have covered some cultures already, through Chinese New Year and Divali, we have decided to look at Australia and in particular the Aborigines. We have some exciting tasks for the children to do, all with a creative aspect of course.

In their handwriting book bags, the children will have a copy of the symbols that the aborigines use in their art to represent different features of their culture. You may want to help your child develop their understanding of these by decorating a boomerang shape at home.

The children will be creating aboriginal designs on cotton using a wax resist effect and fabric dyes. This is a media that the children haven’t used yet and the effects are striking.

Rain makers
The children will be working in teams to make their own rain maker and decorate it with aboriginal designs.

Aboriginal Art
The children will be working in a team to also create a large piece of art linked to the rainbow serpent.

Hands, feet and boomerangs!
The children will create a large piece of art work using stencils of feet, hands and boomerangs. They will learn some new skills and use new materials to them. The overall effect should be fabulous.

On the painting tables, the children will have the opportunity to explore their understanding of aboriginal art.

If you want to have a look at the types of things we are doing these websites should be of use to you.

We are going to attempt to learn an aboriginal song. If you click on the website - you will see the song we are learning. It is called ‘Badjarri’. Click beside the title and it will play the song. I’ve had a go and ended up in fits of laughter so imagine what we will be like doing it in class. Have a go yourself. Needless to say, if you want to learn it and help your child your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Miss Robinson has been a darling. She visited Australia not too long ago and has loaned us many of her artefacts to share with the children. This includes a digeridoo! The challenge for the week will be to get a sound out of it!

Golden Time
Oh, you can’t do about Australia and not have a ‘barbie’. Golden time may be at a different time this week, as it will all depend on the weather. Our resident ‘Shelia’, Mrs Latham, will be cooking up a treat. Can’t wait.

Here I Am
All schools must complete a week on a different faith as part of the Here I Am topic. Therefore, we will be taking the opportunity to look at Judaism. - this one is the best I think.

The domestics
This week, we also see the arrival of our new intake children for September. I bet you can’t believe that it is a year ago since our children were having the same experience. I am sure that the children will be made to feel welcome and it usually makes us realise just how much our class have grown.

PE kits will be sent home on Friday for washing before Sport’s Day. Please check that your child’s pumps fit. If you don’t get it sent out to you at the end of the day on Friday, then please ask for it, as one year we forgot and I ended up washing and ironing 45 t-shirts. Believe me, myself and the ironing board is not my first choice of household chores!!

Have a great week and please pray for sunshine.

Best wishes
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On your marks, get set, go!

Week beginning 18th June 2007

Once again I was being dangerously optimistic, or should I say unrealistic regarding the amount of work I planned for last week? Needless to say we gave it a go yet did not manage to have Fifi's package delivered. I'm sure it will this week.

Just a few things before I forget. On Friday, we will be having an Operation Sports Day! This is when we check the children's PE kits and if their pumps fit. We do seem to have a bit of a mystery on our hands, as a one-legged monster (who likes PE) seems to be taking one PE pump out of people's bags. Friday we will have an amnesty on all pumps!

You will also be recieving a letter regarding parents' evening times after the school reports have been sent out. As many of you are new to the school, I always hold a short parent interview with you to explain the report, the jargon and the implications for the future. This is a lovely way to end the school year. As always, please be as flexible with the choices you make for the days and times to allow me to accommodate most preferences. On the day you receive your child's report, the name of your child's next teacher will be given also. Please be assured that decisions regarding class organisation are not taken lightly. We love your children nearly as much as you do and want the very best for them. All I can say is 'trust us'.

Communication, Language and Literacy
This week we are reviewing our work on traditional stories. We are going to begin this week with Jack and the Beanstalk. Traditional stories are fantastic and I am sure you remember them being read to you as a child. Sadly, more and more children are not having experience of these stories early on in their lives. Therefore, we are on a mission! You could support your child by reading as many traditional stories as possible with them. The stories do have common themes: the triump of good over evil/bad, a goodie and a baddie, the significance of the number 3, in the original versions(not disney) Cinderella goes to the ball three times. When sharing the stories with your child perhaps you could talk about these features. The children will be sequencing pictures of the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, matching captions to the pictures to support their reading, and some children will be retelling the story using the pictures as a guide both orally and in their writing. Drama will feature strongly over the next few weeks as the traditional stories often lead to some amusing role-plays, with most children wanting to be the baddie!

If you would like to have a look at some traditional stories on the internet, try the following websites: However, nothing can beat a visit to the local library.

Last week's websites on phonics and high frequency words are still needed. So keep on surfing!

Mathematical Development
We are taking the opportunity to complete our final assessments on the Foundation Stage profile before sending the scores into the Authority. The children have done amazingly well and we would just like to just check those last few points. Therefore, this week, we will be looking at problem solving. For example:
If two people get on a bus and three more get on. How many are on the bus now?
If there are ten jelly babies and I eat eight. How many are left?
How can I share ten sweets fairly between two children?

We will also be checking on the children's understanding of comparative langauge, longer, shorter, heavier and lighter etc.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
The children will be completing a number of review tasks linked to the topics that have already been taught. This is to enable us to collect more evidence of the children's attainment in this area of learning before submitting the results to the Local Education Authourity. We will be mainly focusing on exploring differences and similarities between materials and living things, identifying likes and dislikes about the natural environment, asking questions about why things happen and how things work, and identifying uses of technology in everyday life as well as learning how to programme an electronic toy. Sounds fab!!

Creative Development
You may have noticed but this is my favourite area of learning! This week the children will be making the animal masks they created last week. I can't wait as some of the designs are spectacular.

Physical Development
We will be preparing for Sports day this week. The children perform a running race, a balancing race and an egg and spoon race. We have a great time! The children will need a sunhat, suncream and a drinks bottle for their own protection and safety. For all those competetive fathers out there, there will be a parent's race so get down to david lloyd. You may just have time!

Just in case you may need to book off work, or you have misplaced the holiday list, the Sports day for the infants is on Tuesday 3rd July in the afternoon. If it should rain on this day then it will the next day at the same time.

Short (like me) and sweet (erm...) this week!

Take care and I'll see you soon

Best wishes Jayne Narraway x

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What did Jasper find at the top of his beanstalk?

Welcome back to our final half term! Let’s make this the best yet! Mmm…may be a very tough challenge but hey, we’ll give it a go!

This half term our topic is ‘LIVING THINGS’. Aaaghhhhh!!! It will soon be the dreaded minibeast hunt where we all have to be as brave as Mrs Latham, who actually let a snail slither across her palm leaving a slimy trail last year. Let’s hope she washed her hands, as she will be baking this week.

So here goes with this week’s learning.

Here I Am

This week, we continue with our topic on ‘Freedom and Responsibility’.
The children will review their learning on:
RECOGNISE the need to take turns;
REFLECT on what happens when children don’t take turns;
RESPECT – appreciate taking turns is an important rule.

They will then RELATE this to learning about a rule that Jesus gave – to love one another. This fits in nicely with the children developing their understanding of our school mission statement ‘To Love and Serve as Jesus shows us’.

Communication, Language and Literacy
The text that will review and further develop the children’s learning regarding plant growth and conditions for growing shall be Jasper’s Beanstalk. This is a lovely book, with the ending leaving the children’s imagination to extend the story, as he climbs the beanstalk in search for giants. The main focus for the text is to develop the children’s story telling skills, in preparation for them writing their own story towards the end of the half term. Therefore, by the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to write a series of sentences that contain a connective, a full stop and capital letters;
SHOULD be able to use a capital letter and a full stop in their writing;
MUST be able to sequence the story and tell a friend about what is happening.

In addition to this, the children will be working on their individual reading targets. Through the reading of the text, the children will be developing the skills of using the illustrations and, sounding out and blending sounds together to support their word identification. A new skill will be taught this week. This is the strategy of covering the unknown word in a sentence, reading on and seeing what would make sense within the context of the sentence. This is a very hard strategy and does take some time to master.

As always the high frequency words help the children to scaffold their reading, and daily practice of these words are vital. Hence the class target of learning five new high frequency words in one week. - a great website for those reception high frequency words. - a good website for learning the year 1 and 2 words. - a challenge for those avid readers. - lovely!

The children have amazed us this year with their phonological development. This week, some children will have the remaining letter sounds or names they need to recognise. By the end of this week, the children:

COULD spell and read words containing the double consonants ll, ss, ck, ff and zz;
SHOULD be able to spell and read three and four letter words;
MUST be able to identify at least five new letter sounds and names.

The following websites may be of use to you. Some of them are new ones so please take a look. - this is a game that all the family can play. There is a need to print off the bingo cards and then press the button. A word will be formed for the children to blend the sounds together and then match. I love it!! - this is great for the spelling of 3 and 4 letter words. You need to give your child a word and then ask them to click on the ladybirds and their corresponding flower. Great!! One I will definitely be using in class. - this is fantastic website which allows the children to develop their sentence construction. - another great that allows the children to develop their blending skills. - for those children who have a few letter names and sounds to learn. - a blending game. - the old chestnut! - any of the games on this page are great! - this is a great website for those children working on sentence writing who are not yet familiar with the capital letters and what they look like.

Mathematical Development

This week you will have details of the remaining numbers your child needs to learn stuck in their diaries.

We begin this half term with a revisit to the topic of addition. Our assessments at the end of last half term indicated that the children have a real understanding of addition. Some children are even working beyond the Early Learning Goals, and automatically counting on from the biggest number when asked what the total of 4 + 6 is. We obviously want to continue this great understanding. Therefore, by the end of this week, the children:

COULD be able to find out different ways in which a total can be made.
SHOULD be able to add two numbers together, developing their ability to count on from the larger number;
MUST be able to combine two sets of objects and find the total.

In order to help your child to achieve the COULD objective. Have a go at this.
You will need:
Ten sweets – with wrappers on to avoid stickiness.
A pot
Ask your child to count how many sweets there are altogether. Please remind them to line them up to ensure reliable counting. Then place some in the pot. How many in the pot? How many out of the pot? How many altogether? Record this as a sum e.g 3 + 7 = 10. See how many ways they can find to make 10. There are 11 altogether.

Here are a ‘few’ websites to help also. - this is a fantastic website that will help the children to count on from the larger number to make a total of ten. The children must look at the number on the pipe at the top and then see how many more are needed to make the total ten. They then select the pipe and attach it by clicking and dragging. If they make a total of ten, then more water is poured into the well, saving the whale, who shouts ‘I’m free!’ A touch of the Mr Humphries from Are you being served? I think. - one you have just got to have a go at. I was laughing my head off! Although this looks at number bonds beyond a total of ten, the children can use the strategy of counting on from the larger number to work out the answer. Go on give it a go! - this is an extension of the one above and provides a challenge. The children must work out the missing number to make the total. - great! The children must choose two numbers that add up to a total of ten. You’ve got to get it wrong at least once just to see what happens!?! - to extend the children’s learning of more and less with larger numbers; - another for more and less

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

As we begin our topic on Living Things, the children will compare the habitats of different animals, their similarities and differences. You may wish to support your child by visiting the local library and looking at books linked to animals. By the ed of the week the children will be able to describe the differences and similarities between two animals, with reference to the number of legs, patterns etc;

Creative Development

The children will be transferring their knowledge and understanding in the above area of learning by the designing of their very own animal mask. The children will select an animal they wish to make a mask for and then design it. They will need to decide on the materials and tools they will need in preparation for the next week, when they will make their masks.

In addition to this, the children will be focusing on their role-play and imaginative play with the use of the sand tray, the water tray and the small world table, which will have different animals from the different habitats.

Physical Development

The children have done amazingly well in their physical development skills this year, which is a credit to Mrs Latham. So much so, that I have had to plan for activities this week, which enable the children to exceed the requirements of the Foundation Stage curriculum. The aim of the next two weeks is to enable the children to link a sequence of movements together which they can practice and refine before demonstrating it to another child. They will be involved in self-evaluation of their movements as well as the evaluation of their peers. I can’t believe they are working at this level. Although, the team did set the target of achieving beyond the early learning Goals in physical development this year.

Hopefully, our fine motor skills activity of sewing sea life animals will come to an end this week. The children have loved doing them and they are fantastic!

Mantle of the Expert

This week, the children will receive a package from Fifi of Fifi and the Flowertots. She has a problem in that she can’t remember what a plant needs to grow. She can’t remember if they need water, sunlight or both. She asks the problem-solvers to find out what happens under the different conditions. Throughout the afternoon, the children will split into teams to provide information to go back to Fifi. She will send text messages, emails and make phone calls to me with various problems along the way. Let’s see what happens!!!

And the domestics…
This week is a somewhat jumbled week as we go and visit the new intake children in their settings prior to their visit to us later in the month. I can’t believe we are at this time of year again. Although there is a feeling of anticipation of getting to know our new children, it saddens me to think that there are only 6 weeks left with this class! Mrs Higgins will be carrying out the visits to the nurseries and the main bulk of the visits are on Tuesday, so please bear with us, as it is book-changing day. If anyone can spare half an hour on the Tuesday morning to help change reading books, that would be fantastic!!

And the sun!! Although it is lovely to have sunshine, the children's safety and protection is our main priority. outdoor play is an entitlement of your child in the Foundation Stage. please ensure, your child has suncream and a sun hat in school. Please label them clearly. thanksxx

Believe it or not, this blog has taken me three hours and nine minutes to do, and it is now complete!! Needless to say, the time playing on the new website caused many delays. I must discipline myself!

Welcome back!

Take care

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxxxx