Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's nearly time for the real FUN to begin!

Hi there!
Firstly, look at what some of our children did last week when we were assessing their understanding of shapes.

How amazing are they? They are inspired by the artist Wassily Kandinsky. WOW!! That's all I can say! Soon our classroom will be decorated with one by every child.

A very warm welcome to our last set of parents whose children started last week. The children are really doing very well getting used to the routines of the school day. There is so much to remember! Later in the blog is some information for you in particular.

This is the final week of assessments before the FUN begins! We are brimming with ideas of what to do with the children. However, the personalisation of the curriculum is vital to the children’s learning. Therefore, stuck in your child’s diary on Friday was a simple questionnaire asking for information about your child in order for us to build a unique curriculum to suit our children. Please complete it over the weekend so we can start to plan for the rest of this half term. Thanks in anticipation of your support.

You may have noticed the hectic morning start we have. This can be very unsettling to the children, particularly when we have so many adults in the classroom in the morning. Once your child has sat on the carpet, please could we ask for a swift exit from the classroom, as we need to get the other classes in school by 8.45am. If your child is now very grown up, and some are doing this already, then do feel free to let them in on their own. There are five members of staff to sort them out and the children do need to do everything for themselves in the morning.

Could I also remind you that ALL snacks need to be labelled. Even fruit. How children know that the label free banana in the snack basket is not theirs I shall never know but it’s a sixth sense they must possess. Believe me…children will not eat their snack if their name is not written on it!

As the weather gets colder please ensure that your child always has their coat in school. The outdoors is an extension of our classroom and the children will next week be able to free flow from inside and outside.

I have also noticed that the navy school coats are somewhat lacking in a place to place the children’s name tags. It is taking about 10 minutes of playtime to sort this out. Please, please, please could we ask that you label them very clearly? One suggestion would be to get a small keyring to attach to the zip so your child can identify their own.

Having trouble teaching your child how to do their tie? Click on the comments link at the bottom of last week’s blog and thanks to Mrs Roche we have a tried and tested rhyme which I too will be using!! Anyone who does have tried and tested methods of helping their child with ANYTHING please feel free to make a comment too.

Here’s Looking at You
We had a great time on Friday recapping over the different parts of the face and drawing self portraits. Once again the children laughed their little heads off at the song I taught them particularly when we got to the tongue. See if they can remember it! We will be working more on faces but through different media this week. We will be looking at collage and everyday items. If you have any nuts, washers, bolts, screws, nails, coils, springs etc that you can donate we would be grateful beneficiaries. I could divulge what we will be doing with them but you’ll just have to wait and see!
Remember to check out this great website because on Monday we begin out journey of learning how to read and write!

Harvest Festival
Each year we volunteer to do the display for the hall to celebrate the Harvest. The children will be doing some leaf printing and some observational work on berries and leaves. Perhaps you could collect any conkers, pine cones or branches with berries on for us to use and explore. Thanks.

NEW STARTERS 18th September

Welcome to our very own blogspot! This will be updated every weekend for you to find out information about what your child will be doing in school from Monday to Friday, as well as great websites to keep your child occupied whilst learning too. Please make sure that you check it at least once a week as additional information can be posted on here as well.

We have already begun to assess your children since they walked through the door. The children are not even aware we are doing it as we have such a strong play based curriculum. Basically, your child’s first week in school is used to settle them in to the routines and ensure they feel safe and secure. In addition to this, we work with the children to find out what they are able to do. This then enables us to plan for exciting learning experiences which are relevant and challenging to what the children need.

Below are some dates for your diary but then if you scroll down on the blog you will get information about what your child will be doing this coming week in class.

Dates for your diary!

We will be holding our annual celebration for St Vincent’s Day (27th September). On Friday 26th September, the children are asked to come into school in their own clothes in return for a donation of tinned and packaged food to be made up into hampers for St Joseph’s Welfare Centre.

Our Harvest Festival Mass will be celebrated in the school hall on 30th September at 9.10am. Parents are welcome to attend.

Our Induction Evening for the Foundation Stage will be held at 6.30pm on 14th October. This meeting will include vital information about how we teach your child, organisation of their learning as well as a chance to meet other parents and the staff. Due to the nature of the induction evening we ask that children do not attend. Thanks.

Snacks are available for purchase from the cook in the morning. Toast is 22p, milk is 16p and fruit juice is 22p. if your child would like to purchase these then please ensure their money is in a labelled purse or wallet. Please can I take this opportunity to remind parents that St Vincent’s is a healthy school and hope you will support us in this by providing your child with a healthy snack each day. Thanks. Each afternoon the children receive a piece of fruit as part of the Free Fruit for Schools Initiative.

On Monday your child will receive their reading diary, six words to learn and a book to share with you. The reading book will be changed on a Monday and a Thursday. Please could we ask that you make a comment in the diary each time you read with your child?

Research states that boys learn to read more easily when they are taught by their dad’s.

So…what else is on for this week?

Getting to know you, getting to learn all about you…
Can’t you tell I’m a fan of the musicals? Don’t you just love The King and I? This week the children will play lots of games that will encourage them to learn each others names.

Time to start getting physical
On Friday we will attempt our very first PE lesson. This is an occasion that causes amusement amongst many of the staff. I can’t understand why. Perhaps trousers on back to front, shoes without socks and shoes on the wrong feet are a give away? On a more serious note, PE times are often the most unsettling of experiences for children when they start school so please be assured that anxiety about PE is common (even for me).

I therefore send an SOS out to you as parents. Please try to make your child as independent as possible when dressing and undressing. As a parent of a four year old I know how tempting it can be to fasten a few buttons, put on the odd sock or tuck in the shirt. As part of their learning and development, children in the Foundation Stage need to dress and undress themselves independently. Aaghh…TIES!! Don’t worry we do the children’s ties and top buttons for them.

We are aware of the delay in PE shorts at the school shop so feel free to send in an alternative for now.

Click, click, clickety, click!
Not only are we doing PE this week, but we are venturing into ‘The Land of the Giants’ (the juniors) to work on the computers in the ICT suite. The children will be working on developing their mouse skills by clicking and dragging. Here are some great websites you can use to support your child. The use of these websites and the computer in general will help your child as we use the computers a lot in school.

The Domestics
Please could you ensure that your child has their book bag everyday, in addition to a water bottle and a snack, both of which will need labelling. TOP TIP!! Why not print off labels on the computer to stick on snacks?

Finally, if you have any questions then please feel free to pop in and see any member of the team.

Have a great week!

Jayne Narraway and the Foundation Stage Team xxx

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