It is lovely to see the children back in school after the holidays. They all look very smart in their uniforms and seem to have grown considerably during the six weeks!! We have had a good start to the new term and the children seem to be quickly settling into the routines. We have an exciting term ahead in Derwent Class. Outlined below is a summary of the learning that will be taking place between now and Christmas.
Our topic for the first half term is Will You Read Me a Story? Through this topic the subjects in the curriculum will be taught. Each week the learning will be based on a different traditional tale. The children will find out what happens when we plant ‘magic’ beans in the school garden and they will make wanted posters to help find the wicked queen who delivered the poisoned apples! They will write instructions for decorating a biscuit for a sugar candy cottage and wear a crown when they are the ruler for a day and make their own rule! The children will look at different character types, and decide whether our favourite characters are ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies’ and they’ll create story maps to retell familiar tales. They will listen to and discuss The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig to inspire them to write alternative versions of other fairy stories. The children will have the opportunity to play imaginatively with story boxes, model castles and small world characters and use different materials and shapes to build castles and bridges. Reading ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ will encourage them to be busy elves and decorate the shoes in their workshop. Using their mathematical skills they will count the buttons on gingerbread men, and estimate how many beans Jack has got! A visit to Malton library is planned for the children to find out how books are sorted, categorised and checked in and out. Then will have stories read to them as well as the opportunity to take part in creative activities and to take out a book from the library to read at home.
Our science investigations will lead the children to test materials to make a bed for a princess, through which she cannot feel a pea!! To make houses in the leafy glade that will keep our little pigs safe, dry and warm and to see which solutions will make the disappearing gingerbread dissolve the quickest. During the ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ‘The Enormous Turnip’ activities they will plant seeds and learn how to care for them. The children will also look closely at sugar mice, jelly, apples and eggs to notice the changes to them over time.
Creative activities will include painting story characters, building a castle or palace from re-cycled materials and making crowns and tiaras for a royal party! Singing nursery rhymes and songs linked to our topic and making their own musical accompaniment will be a regular part of their classroom routine.
During the second half term the topic will be Why Do Squirrels Hide Their Nuts? Into the woods we will go therefore to observe and experience the enchanting autumnal environment, collecting autumn treasures as we crunch through piles of fallen leaves. Back in the classroom, the children will sort their treasures into different categories, create land art, and dry and flatten leaves to decorate. They will learn about woodland animals and migration and discuss the features that allow animals to survive through winter. In English lessons, the children’s learning will be based around these autumnal stories; ‘The Busy Little Squirrel’ by Nancy Tafuri, ‘Squirrels Busy Day’ by Lucy Barnard and ‘Bear Snores On’ by Karma Wilson. In mathematics, they’ll thread and count conkers and dried fruit and collect and order sticks of different lengths. Creative work will include rolling up their sleeves to make a clay owl or hedgehog, autumn-scented play dough, a delicious harvest soup and ‘squirrel muffins’ for our forest friends. Outside once more for science the children will notice the changes that occur in flora, fauna, temperature and weather as the season changes from autumn to winter.
In addition to the English and Maths work that they will cover through their topic work this term, the children will have regular practise of the basic skills. Guided reading will take place in our class daily, so that each child will have the opportunity to practise reading and develop their comprehension skills three times a week. Phonics is taught daily in small groups, each with a member of staff, giving each child the opportunity to revise, learn new sounds and practise using them with a group of children who are working in the same phonic phase.
In maths the children will initially be concentrating on developing their knowledge of place value by practising counting forwards and backwards, writing and reading numbers in numerals and words ordering numbers and matching numbers to amounts. They will have the opportunity to recognise both 2d and 3d shapes and to identify some of their properties. The children will then practise addition and subtraction in which they will use a range of methods to support their fluency and then solve problems using objects and diagrams. They will have opportunities to measure and weigh and record lengths and heights and to investigate capacity using a range of containers.
In RE this half term the children will be learning about stories that are special. They will listen to stories from the Bible that are special to Christians and they will learn about the Qur’an and why some stories are special to Muslims. After half term the children will be learning why Sukkot is a special time for Jews and why the Hindus celebrate Diwali. This will lead into the Christians very special time of Christmas and the children will begin their festive activities to celebrate!
P.E. – The children will be working outside, whenever possible, learning to master basic movements such as running, jumping, throwing, catching, balance, agility and co-ordination. They will participate in team games and perform dances. As the weather turns more inclement, the children will develop their dance and gymnastic skills in the school hall.
P.E. will be on a Monday and Tuesday; your child will need suitable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities.
In computing the children will develop word processing skills by learning how to alter font size and colour and to save and retrieve documents from their folder. They will use iPads to practise phonics games and a painting programme to create pictures. They will also begin to learn ways to stay safe on the internet.
PSHE – Our theme for this half term is ‘Me and My Relationships’ which focuses on developing children's skills of empathy, self-awareness and social skills. In November the work will be based around the anti- bullying theme followed by learning about ‘Keeping Myself Safe.’
If at any time you are anxious or have any questions, please come into class to see me and I will be happy to help.
Mrs Rosemary Laverack