Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hello and welcome to the start of our official curriculum in the Foundation Stage. How excited are we?

Before I start I’d just let you know that we have had two replies from our balloon sending exercise. One got as far as Great Sankey and landed in the back garden of a child in Year 4 at our school. The other got as far as Petworth in West Sussex. Let’s hope we have a few others.

This week we will continue with the theme of ‘Who am I?’ However, with the circusology workshop on Friday there has to be a clown theme to the week. Therefore the majority of activities will be based around a circus theme.

The children will learn how to balance on the mini stilts, throw and catch balls (juggling), create a simple clown puppet with moveable joints and have the opportunity to create their very own clown hat. As the year moves on, you will also notice that food plays a very important part in our week. Mrs Latham will be making clown themed cakes with the children. Yum Yum!

However, the key question of the week will be:
What do I look like?
This is how the children will discover the answer to the question.

The children will be looking very closely at their faces using safety mirrors. They will identify the different features of the face and what their purpose is. They will communicate their understanding of the different features of their faces by drawing self portraits using a range of media. For example, they will paint, draw, chalk and create collages of their faces on paper plates. The children will also be encouraged to create faces using the play dough. You may wish to do some of these activities with your child, as drawing is fundamental to writing. - This website can be used to enable your child to develop their computer skills whilst learning about the position of the parts of the face. - This website allows your child to create a face with the different features.

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

COULD be able to continue a rhyming string;
SHOULD be able to identify the rhyming words in a poem, rhyme or story;

MUST be able to join in with a simple rhyme.

The children will achieve these targets by looking at tradition nursery rhymes. You may wish to check out these websites to support your child. Please remind them to join in with the actions too. - a good website for listening to rhymes - this site helps the children to match rhyming words but you will need to sit with them to read them out.

In addition to the work on rhymes we will also be developing the children’s letter recognition and ability to hear the sounds at the beginning of words. Here are some great websites that are well worth a visit. - The children are to try to hear the initial sounds in words. - Look at the letter shown and then select the picture that begins with that letter. - This is an amazing website focusing on the initial sounds. Hours of fun why you do your ironing I think! - The children love this. I had it on in class last week and they are so good at using it. - the children are to focus on the initial sounds of the picture shown and then identify a picture with the same initial sound. - a good website for getting the children to identify the letters of the alphabet.

Mathematical Development
By the end of the week, the children:
COULD be able to count up to 20 objects reliably;
SHOULD be able to count 10 objects reliably;
MUST be able to count 6 objects reliably.

Counting reliably is vital to all mathematical activities in the Foundation Stage. We teach the children a little phrase to help them remember the rules for counting.
This means that the children LINE the objects up and TOUCH each one as they COUNT them. The children must remember to give each object a number. Here are some good websites to support counting and also help number recognition. - select the more counting picture with the jar of frogs. - This is such a cute website. The children can select the numbers they wish to work with and then select the number of sweets to feed the teddy as identified by the number given. - This is one of my personal favourites! I remember the first time I ever saw it and couldn’t stop laughing. - I really like this one as it helps to develop mouse skills as well as counting skills. - A simple but effective website. - Click on the pictures to make them colour. - On this website the children must identify the numbers on the leaves and then drag the ladybirds with matching number of spots. They can count the number of leaves on a stem and match the number to it or, order numbered snails and ladybirds. - this game works on ordering the numbers. - collect the acorns in number order. - The children must count the number of pieces of fruit and then click on the matching number. - Click on the link Down on the Farm and follow the instructions. - This one is good. Count the items on the peacocks feathers and drag them to the number. - All the fun of the fair with this one! - This websites needs the children to use the arrow keys on the keyboard. You can select the numbers the children are unsure of and work on them. - another great game for developing the children’s number recognition. - For those children with number recognition beyond 10. This is a great game for them! Count the barrels in the water and then type in the number. Let’s see if you can sink the ship.

We did attempt PE last week and were really pleased with the children. They listened to instructions well and we had a fantastic time. Please continue to help your child to become independent with their buttons. This is a skill the children MUST achieve for the Foundation Stage profile.

Just a quick note also for parents of children who wear ear rings. We do discourage the wearing of jewellery but if your child has their ears pierced please ensure that they are taken out on Mondays and Wednesdays for Health and Safety reasons. Thanks.

Here I Am
The children will learn to:
That the children recognise a home and a family
That the children reflect on their homes and families and what they do together.
That the children appreciate all that families do together.
As part of our topic please could you provide a family photograph for your child to talk about. Please do not send in a treasured one that cost a fortune. This will be for in their books so you will get it back at the end of the school year. Please inform us if there are any circumstances regarding your family which need to be dealt with sensitively. Thanks.

And finally… the domestics of the week.
On Wednesday we will be having our Harvest festival. Many thanks to you all for your generous contribution. This also coincides with the celebration of St Vincent’s Day.
Thursday and Friday we will be having our circusology days. Our class will be doing their workshop on Friday when they will be dressed as clowns! The competition is also on for the Harvest model making. These need to be brought in on Friday also. I have contacted the warrington Guardian who have said they will come and cover the event so watch out for any of our little stars.

Well, it’s great to finally be together at last. Here’s to a fantastic and successful year!

Best wishes
Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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