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Term 1 Newsletter- Sparrows Class
I would just like to thank you all very much, for your much appreciated and very kind support and patience, as the children settle in to their new school environment. We have had a wonderful few days. During the mornings, your children have been learning the foundation skills they need in order to feel happy and safe at school, before they really get stuck in to their learning! The children have all been fantastic at remembering their daily routines, expected behaviour throughout the school, rewards and sanctions, songs and songs- including those of which support their understanding of good sitting, lining up and remembering the order of the days of the week. We have also been slowly introducing basic Makaton signing. This is particularly beneficial in supporting those with communication and language difficulties and also, our pupils that have English as an additional language. As our class is an inclusive environment, these signs will be taught to all pupils in the class- I am sure your child would rather enjoy showing you ones they can remember already!
Show and Tell
As part of our daily routine, three afternoons a week, we shall hold short Show and Tell sessions in the afternoons, following lunchtimes. Please ensure your child does not bring in a soft toy for this, as we find that on occasion, they will be taken outside and may get lost or damaged. We would encourage children therefore, to bring in something of personal significance, or something of which may be related to our termly topic, for example, a picture they have drawn at home, or something they have made. To avoid spending too much time on the carpet, Show and Tell will be limited to three children per day, therefore please beware that your child’s object may not be shown on the day it is brought in. If you feel you would like these items to be returned home on the same day, please let us know, by writing in your child’s communication book/ diary?
Reading Books and Bookmarks
School reading books have now been issued and will be changed every Monday on a weekly basis. A book mark has been given to every child, of which shows some pictures that we hope you find useful that serve as reading prompts, when sharing your book with your child. All children will begin sharing with you, a Lilac Levelled book to begin with, which will only have pictures. At this stage of their reading development, pictures have been proven to be extremely valuable, when helping a child to read or follow a story and its structure. Please therefore encourage your children to talk to you about the pictures they can see, and to use the pictures as clues to tell you about what they think might be happening in the story? We have already discussed what the picture on the front of a book might tell us and what the title is. This will be reiterated during every story time held daily in class. It is also beneficial (and fun!) to be as interactive as possible, when sharing book- making faces, doing actions, imitating noises and voices of characters for example, will help to encourage your children to develop their love of reading and book sharing.
As part of our whole school approach in supporting good behaviour, we have a yellow thinking chair, which stays in our Feelings and Behaviour area of the classroom. The thinking chair is used once verbal prompts have been given to a child but not been responded to. Whilst on the thinking chair, the three minute sand timer is turned over as physical and visual prompt, so that the child knows when they are able to move back to the activity they were taking part in. When the three minutes Is up, an adult will hold a quick discussion with the child to check they understand the reason they have been sitting on the thinking chair and to clarify how they could make sure they do not have to sit on the chair again. We find this strategy to work very well, with excellent results in their future behaviour.
As an additional and fantastic way of instilling excellent and positive behaviour within Luddenham School, children will be handed green tokens when an adult member of staff identifies particularly good behaviour. Behaviour rewarded may be anything from walking nicely and quietly in the corridor or transitioning in to classroom, to kind gestures made to their peers, excellent work and good sp listening skills. When handed a token, the child puts it in a coloured pot, dependent on the coloured house team they are in. To help the child remember what team they are part of, there will be a colour- coded list displayed in the classroom which the children wi;; use as a visual prompt. All children have now been provided with their P.E t-shirts, which co-ordinate with their house colour. Once the children have received a certain number of green tokens, they will receive a treat- the more tokens they get… the bigger the treat!
The six termly topics this academic year will be as follows;
TERM 1- All About me
TERM 2- Festivals and Celebrations
TERM 3- People Who Help Us
TERM 4- Dinosaurs
TERM 5- Our Environment and Living Things
TERM 6- Under the Sea
In our current topic, we will be asking children to share certain aspects of their life with the class, such as the people they live with, pets, hobbies, and clubs and to support number skills- their age, ages of siblings, the number on their front door or the name of their house. If you have any photos of these subjects, please would you kindly send them into school with your child, with their name clearly written on the back, as this will enable us to ensure they are returned safely and to the correct child? These will be used in activities such as Circle Time and will also help with getting to know their new friends in their class.
All children in Reception Class have now been provided with a blue plastic water bottle, giving your child instant access to a drink that they are able to go to independently in class, if and when they require it. We would therefore ask that children are not sent in with their own water bottles from home please.
As the colder and wetter weather is fast upon us, we will still be taking our learning with the children, outside- come rain, wind or shine! We would request that to ensure the children are not inside at any pint with soggy feet or wet clothing that they could in the near future, be sent to school with a little waterproof mac and a spare pair of wellington boots. There is absolutely no rush in doing so, however, the sooner the better before the clouds open as we fast approach the chilly and wet season!
Please would you ensure that all items of clothing are clearly named, as we have several that aren't at the moment and we would like to ensure that all clothing returns to the correct children,
Once again, many kind thanks for all of your support, as we get the wonderful Sparrows Class children happily settled and ready to learn in their new fantastic school! If you have any concerns or queries that you feel you would rather speak to a member of staff about in person, please would you kindly wait to speak to one of us in the library, once all children have been safely handed to their adults when going home? This is to ensure that all children are accounted for and are sent home with the correct person whilst adhering to our safeguarding procedures. Thank you for your kind cooperation and understanding.
(Reception Class Teacher)