Welcome to The Early Years
Welcome back to all of our Kingfishers and Woodpeckers as we begin an exciting new term. .
The children have settled back into school life fantastically this term and are really impressing us with their attitudes to learning. Active learning starts from the minute the children enter the classrooms in the mornings, with morning activities planned to target the development of specific skills. If your child is happy to enter the classroom on their own we would like to encourage them to do so independently to minimise disruption to the rest of class as they begin their learning.
At Nightingale Primary School the children learn about letters and the sounds they make through the Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. The children enjoy daily group phonics sessions where they learn sounds and the letters that are used to represent them, apply this knowledge to reading words and practice hearing the individual sounds within words for writing. Underpinning the ability to read and write are two very important skills that we work very hard to develop, these are:
Blending - The process of blending individual sounds together to hear a whole word.
Segmenting - Breaking down a word into its individual sounds.
These skills can be practiced orally through games such as I spy or Simon Says where words are segmented and blended.
In addition to phonic skills the children learn ‘red words’ which are words that cannot be sounded out and instead need to be read by sight. You can support this learning at home by regularly practicing your child’s word lists (found in your child’s reading diary) at home.
In addition to our daily phonics sessions, the children are read with weekly in a small guided reading group. During these sessions with the class teacher, the children work to develop reading skills, such as decoding the text and making predictions about what might happen. High quality, focus texts often drive our learning and provide opportunities to explore new and interesting vocabulary. Story sharing forms an important part of our provision, as do our fantastic parent reading helpers.
Reading is proven to have a huge impact on academic achievement, we urge all parents to make time at home to read with and to your children as often as possible. Reading diaries can be used to make notes of the reading that has happened at home and enable the class teachers and parents to communicate about the child’s targets and achievements.
What are we learning?
PSED, Communication and Language, Reading and Writing
In the spring term we will be focussing on developing and refining the children’s ability to communicate clearly and cooperatively with adults and peers. We will focus on active listening skills, encouraging the children to think carefully about what they have heard and to respond appropriately. We will work on questioning skills and the ability to stick to theme of conversation even if it was instigated by someone else.
The children will be exposed to a wide variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. We will discuss the features of each genre and attempt to replicate some of them in our own writing and explore the meaning of new words.
The children will take part in weekly guided reading sessions, alongside individual reading, where they will be taught reading skills such as decoding the text, making predictions about the story; exploring the characters, story structure and plot. The children will be guided in developing their writing skills; we will be introducing sentence writing and teaching the children to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to make phonetically plausible attempts at words and learning to spell some irregular words from memory.
In maths this term we will be building on the children’s knowledge of numbers from 1-10 by adding and subtracting two single digit numbers. The children will have opportunities to explore a variety of methods using concrete objects, number tracks, fingers, pictures and written numbers. The children will also learn to recognise numbers to 20, match them to sets of objects, and actions. We will practice counting 20 objects and learning to quickly find the number that is one more or less than a given number to 20.
This term we will also be learning about a variety of measures, including money, 2d and 3d shape, length and height. We also learn about time, focussing on sequencing events throughout a day or week and measuring short periods of time in a variety of ways.
In addition to the children's weekly PE sessions focussing on dance and gymnastics, the children will have access to a range of activities to support both gross and fine motor development, and daily access to our outdoor classroom. We will be providing lots of opportunities for the development of children’s fine motor skills and pencil control to support writing.
Understanding the World & Expressive Arts and Design
This Term the children will be supported in refining their existing design skills; adults will work with children to encourage planning, evaluation and the ability to make adaptations to their work. The children have daily access to a variety of art materials and painting supplies where they can explore, changing texture and combing resources and techniques to achieve different effects.
Music and singing will form an important part of our weekly activities and will also be accessible to the children during their child-initiated learning, alongside opportunities for imaginary and role play.
The children will explore change and features of the natural environment through growing and farming experiences. The children will be supported in identifying similarities and differences between features of their own immediate environment and other environments. We will learn about the similarities and differences that make us unique through opportunities to share and explore the lives and cultures of the children in our classes.
ICT resources will be used to record and to explore control software.
We are very fortunate at Nightingale to have access to the fantastic resource that is Tapestry. Tapestry is an online resource for the Early Years which allows us to compile individual online learning journals for the children; it forms an integral part of our observation, assessment and analysis which ensures children are appropriately challenged and supported to progress in their learning. In addition to this Tapestry allows parents the opportunity to view their child's learning journals from their own computer or smart phone; keeping you up-to-date with your child's weekly learning. Parents are also able to upload their own observations of learning and achievements that happen outside of school which can then form a part of our assessments. If you need any help to interact with Tapestry, please talk to your child's class teacher who will be happy to help you.
Parent helpers are a valued resource in school and we are always very keen to utilise reading helpers to support the children. In addition to this we would love for our parents to get involved with other aspects of the children's learning in school. This year we will be introducing our 'Get Involved' boards which are located on the Early Years classroom windows. We will use these to 'advertise' weekly for one off helper vacancies, giving parents who are unable to commit to a regular session the opportunity to come in and be a part of our school day. Vacancies will vary and may include coming in to help with a cooking activity, some gardening, a maths activity or ball games outdoors. We would also love to hear if you have a particular skill or interest which you feel may benefit the children.
PE days - Both classes have PE on Tuesdays. It can be helpful to ensure your child is wearing clothes that they can take off and put on by themselves on PE days.
Library days -Both classes visit the school library in small groups throughout the week. Please ensure that your child's library book is in their book bag, at school to enable them to change it weekly.
Drink bottles - Classroom drink bottles should only contain water.
Wellies and waterproofs - We like to take our learning outside whatever the weather, including weekly woodland learning sessions. If possible please supply named wellies and waterproofs to remain in school.
‘What to Expect When’ A parent’s guide to the EYFS