Reception: RSH (Rainbow Star), RAL (Rainbow Moon), RJC (Rainbow Sun)
Welcome to Reception
Fatigue is hitting hard! It is a long term, an exciting term from start to finish and a lot of other, non-school stuff going on term. (Thank goodness we did have those part time weeks; can you imagine how hard it would be now and the next month if we hadn't!) Let's hope Covid doesn't hit us over the next 4 weeks- hand washing, hand washing, hand washing!
We are really enjoying practising for our nativity play. We have done most of the songs (although government guidelines have meant that we have had to cut out a couple) and now know our roles. We aim to film the drama and songs separately and edit into a reasonably presentable video- but Spielbergs we are not!
The other excitement this week has been our new library. The children have spent some time in it, had a story read to them, browsed the shelves and enjoyed going to the 'librarian' to get their book pretend-scanned and the title written on their personal library card. Research says that children who are read to every night with a quality text become fluent readers more quickly than those who don't. Books to be returned on Mondays please.
Next week we move on from Diwali to more information about astronauts- Tim Peake, Armstrong etc here we come!
Have a lovely weekend. Look out for the gibbous moons.
RAINBOWS RULE THE SCHOOL!
Last week Rainbow Sun were the top Doodlers and this week it is Rainbow Star! It is based on how many stars each class earns and the proportion of streaks. Keep going Rainbows your maths will show a difference!
Have you been moon-spotting? Did you know that next week is National Astronomy Week (of course it is!) and there is a fab resource that you could access at home if interested:
I like the look of visiting mars! Check it out at: https://astronomyweek.org.uk
We have been checking all the children's rapid recall of all the sounds we've taught so far so we can see which ones are not sticking as well as others. We will send home a list to keep you informed and so you can help support with those trickier ones at home.
Our first assembly was exciting! We watched Mrs Fenby on our screen and could see some of the other classes as we heard who was the Value Champion for each YR, Y1 and Y2 class this week. We clapped when it was the Rainbows' turn (it was funny to hear the applause from the other 2 classrooms as well!). I wonder who will shine as the child who goes Over and Above in terms of being Ready, Respectful and Safe next?
I hope our new system with the home reading books is more effective for you (and us!) using the zippy wallets not only to protect the expensive books but also to encourage daily reading. We are currently trying to find the hours to create our own Rainbows Library in our corridor area thanks to Miss House's inspired idea. We aim to allow each child to choose to borrow one book each Friday to be returned on Monday. They will have their own library card for us to write down their book (ultimately they will be doing the writing!). Hopefully your child will enjoy the process and sharing the book with you and will become a lifelong reading fan. Look out for this library book maybe as soon as next Friday.
Here are some questions to ask your Rainbow about our learning this week:
- Who lives in Ten Town?
- What moon was it last night?
- How do you know it is autumn?
- 'l' at the beginning of a word can sometimes sound different to when it is at the end of the word - can you spot the difference?
- Can you sing our 'j' and 'l' songs?
- Can you remember the start of our All I Want For Christmas dance?
- Can you do a forward roll?
Friday 6th November
The first week of a new half term is brill! Not too tired, eager to be with friends, loving a new topic, books, numbers, sounds...
I wonder if the gibbous moon will give way to a half moon tonight? The excitement when we went outside to play yesterday and there was the moon still visible and we could identify it as a gibbous moon! Next will be Venus and the Plough!!!
As you may have heard, we have started learning our nativity songs. Our big dance number is the first one up. We are hoping to film the children doing the nativity and cut and paste the singing bits in (we have guidelines about how/how much/where/when/how close etc etc we can do singing in our YR classrooms). We will then - hopefully- add some photos in and around of practices to make an entertaining watch for you! We are still working out the details (there are so many!) but we will ask a small amount and then give you the download link. We may be able to produce the odd cd although this is very time-consuming for staff when we want to spend all our time focusing on your child and their learning. We'll see what we can do. You won't need to provide costumes (although if you prefer to send one in, that would be most welcome); some children are narrators and can bring their own smart clothes. We will let you know all the character/costume details in a week or 2.
Raffle tickets went home today to sell/buy. We are already existing on a skeleton MPA (Muscliff Parent Association) and to not have any fund-raising is a blow to the school. Last year we used some money from the MPA to buy the new choosing books you are currently reading as well as a new mud kitchen that gets played with at least 3x a day.
Until next week then, take care and stay safe (and spot the moon phases!)
Monday 26th Oct
WELL DONE RAINBOW SUN- you are the Doodlers of the week across the school! That means that you have earned more stars and have more consistent streaks than any other class- in the whole school!
There are some (short) videos on our Teams (Files) that demonstrate how you can make the most of the book(s) we are sending home. I cannot upload them to this page unfortunately (at the moment). Note how long I spend on the basics, how much I focus on the importance of where to place the child's finger and how I model how to read (My Turn, Your Turn).
Thank you for returning the books on a Friday and keeping them as pristine as possible.
Space is our new topic and we love it! We will talk about different stages of the moon, all the different planets, gravity... We have a lovely space song that we sing which is incredibly calming we find (we'll post the link) and we read lots of space-related books. But first is showing off our home-made rockets! We will decorate our corridor space with them and appreciate your support and efforts- thank you.
This half term
So much has happened in 7 weeks! Remembering back to when we first met you, as well as those all-important part time weeks seems so long ago! The children are now gaining a lot of confidence with each other and the routine; so much learning is going on every single day. And boy they are tired! They don't want to rest but it comes out in behaviour, (over) sensitivity and general clumsiness, but we know how tiring it is growing our brains every day - just wait until December!
We thank you for your support in getting them to school on time and picking them up before 3pm, reading to and with them (and getting into the habit of ticking that reading record), remembering to provide water bottle and snack pots, coat etc every day- you have also 'started school' and we appreciate your full co-operation, really we do.
Next half term
A big focus on them learning to write their name independently and fully cursive; more sounds and lots of reading; maths - Part, part, whole; we have a document to share with you to show you our plans...watch this space.
And a decision on nativity!
Have a lovely half term break and we'll see you on Monday 2nd 8.40-8.55 / 2.50-3pm.
October Half Term Project
Trying to speed dry one star of the day teddy!
Coming this week - how to be a Doodler!
Doodle maths passwords and username + how to get yourself started with Doodle Maths app will be sent as a paper copy home in book bags this week. The idea is, like reading, to do 10mins every night rather than an hour once a week.
We're pretty tired, some shattered; our hands are red raw sore with washing them so much and our wellies pretty muddy after this week. Oh! You wanted to hear about the children not the Rainbow adults!
The timetable is becoming well embedded now and stamina- at least for the morning - is improving as they are used to the routine but their brains are growing and this takes energy and focus so tiredness is expected.
This week we have learnt 3 new sounds: m d g- how they look, how they sound (most of the time although we have also considered other ways they sound eg George is a /j/ not a /g/), how they are written in cursive vs print and capitals and words that contain them. We continue to teach blending as the starting point to reading and your homework over the weekend should help a lot with that. Mrs H is just about to prepare a video to help you support us with their blending and that homework so watch this space!
Thank you for sending in the Muscliff Mice. Doesn't our corridor look nice!
We also thank you for your Birthday Books that you have bought for your classes. We are really loving them and the birthday person seems so proud when we read them. They will be special classroom additions and much more long lasting and beneficial than birthday sweets! So special that Mrs H received a book specifically to donate when it was her birthday this week!
Thank you. Have a great weekend.
Birthday book donations
Friday 2nd October
Do you remember us saying that we will be going out even if there is a bit of rain? Well today is one of those days that we make good on that promise! Thank you for helping us out by bringing wellies; they offer some protection towards socks and trousers. Such fun splish-splosh-splashing-going on a Bear Hunt style!
We are pleased with how their first full-time week has gone and this is very much due to having those part-time weeks to establish routines and expectations. We have started daily Guided/Quiet reading: our focus is two-fold: a). 3 groups to stay at a given table (not of their choice) and do the fine-motor control job, sharing resources and not letting voice go beyond a whisper. b) T and TA to have a group revising their recognition of taught sounds/ learning what a finger space is. That is going really well. Next week's step forward is to change the groups so that we still use their house team groups but we also have a reading/writing group using the names of our books this half term. These groups are predominately mixed ability with the focus on maximising learning behaviours and progress.
Here is what the afternoons look like as they are different to the am/pm timetable of the part time weeks:
- 12.45 in from outside lunchtime play. Toilet/Wash hands.
- Relax kids
- Afternoon fruit/veg snack and water break- going to the shopkeeper (* of the day) to ask for some snack and paying at the till. Story. Toilet/wash hands
- Quick input - could be counting, taking turns, how to be ready for learning, how to ask a question so that the answer is yes etc etc
- Let's Explore - inside and outside.
- Tidy up. Toilet/wash hands.
- Story and star of the day.
- Hometime routine
Basically we do not stop! And they're brilliant!
You are also amazing and have adapted beautifully to our expectations - thank you. We are socially distancing beautifully and getting great at not hanging around at drop off or pick up. Thank you. Please help us out a bit more by not getting to our gate before 8.40am so that our queue is not hindering the Y4,5,6 children/parents and carers as they need the space until 8.45.
Teachers are using this weekend to get prepared for forthcoming Parent Consultations. You will receive an email on Monday telling you how to book an appointment. This year we will be offering the 10minute appointment on Teams. The meeting consists of us giving you a little insight on how your Rainbow is adapting to school life, what you can do to help and answer any questions you have. All in 10mins!!! So have any questions and your tech ready!
Right, time to go and check Elmer resources for next week's learning. And maybe dry out my trousers and hair a bit!
You can bring your own lunch for your child or you can order one of Chef Kev's
No nuts, eggs, chocolate bars. Named lunchbox.
Chef Kev's lunch
Each day the teacher will give them up to 3 options of sandwich/crackers. Menus are available to view near the classroom door.
There is no need to bring an empty lunchbox.
You will need to provide:
- water bottle and (small) snack pot as usual for morning snack time. The water bottle will be used at lunch as well.
The children will have their own lunchtime supervisor (usually the same one in each Rainbow class) who will help them open things, encourage them to eat and generally be wonderful. They have about 20-25 mins to eat their lunch. Please be realistic about how much they can eat in this time! They will then wash their hands/go to the toilet again and have about 20mins playtime (outside).
As much as possible in that first week your child's teacher will be around at lunchtime and will be able to 'mop up' the stragglers until they get more into the routine. We also have one of our TAs who will be outside with them so they can help with First Aid and The Toilet Trips!
"It's only Reception. They just play."
"What do they even learn this term?!"
"It won't hurt to miss a day or two."
In just a couple of hours each day this week we have been teaching:
- how to show respect by giving eye contact and 'Good morning ...' as they come in and in the register.
- how to organise their belongings so they can independently access them when they need to
- how to put their coat/jumper on without adult support
- how to read and write 3 sounds
- the difference between cursive, print and capital of those 3 sounds
- how to spot those 3 sounds in words
- how to hear those sounds in words
- how to say those sounds accurately
- how to hold a pencil ready for full pinch n prop
- how to use a clipboard safely and respectfully
- 5 stories off by heart which will lead to being one of their groups soon
- how to sit at a table for 10 mins and do an activity of our choice not theirs
- how to 'wonderful walk' around school
- how to wash their hands thoroughly
- how to use at least 10 different outside areas for their physical development- what they can do there, how they can access it safely, how to share the area, what to say and do when they slip or fall over, how to wait for someone else to move off...
- how to use at least 20 different kinds of toys
- how to ask to go to the toilet and when to ask
- follow at least 2 instructions at one time
- how to get used to more than 1 teacher/TA
- what everyone's name is
- how to tidy up- where to put stuff
- how to wait until everyone is ready before we start our snack
- how to wait generally!
And there's the really big stuff that can take a lot longer:
- to not shout out or interrupt the teacher or someone else who is talking
- how to cope with not being star of the day in an appropriate way (hiding your own disappointment )
- how to resolve conflicts
- how to stand up for yourself but still be kind and respectful
- what 'Ready, Respectful, Safe' is at school
- how to be aspiring, kind, curious, resilient, responsible
So these part time weeks have been incredibly valuable - your child is now ready for full time school and having to share the adults with double the children. Fatigue will hit them - they have to do a lot in 2 hours so imagine how much they are thinking about when they are in all day! Tummy aches and tears may happen in your house over the next 4 weeks - growing your brain as much as they have to every single day is exhausting! But, hey, that's Reception .
Friday 25th Sept
Part-time weeks - done! Rock on full time! We are as ready as we can be; we have upped the ante and over this week we have been adding to our timetable. We are now doing phonics every day and we have started our Quiet Reading sessions. These consist of the children in 5 groups. 1 group reads with the teacher, 1 practises phonics with the TA and the other 3 sit at tables and play a fine motor skills game (eg threading, putting small pompoms on pictures using large tweezers (children variety of course!), using pegs, manipulating pasta etc). These groups rotate over the week.
So little by little the timetable will change over the year until they are ready for Year 1, but I'm getting ahead of myself, back to the Rainbows...
We will be giving you a Reading Log next week (Tuesday/Wednesday) to complete to get into the habit of sharing a book with your child every night. We will also send home one or two books every week. More information about what you can do with 2 books every night is coming soon in the video folder!
Our Curriculum Meeting will also give you more information about life at school so please re-read the email that we sent out a couple of weeks ago which tells you how to go about accessing the Teams link.
One request please: from now on the car park is closed to parents. The only exception is for pick up from the office due to appointments or illness. The Broadway Lane gate is partially left open to aid the safety of our pedestrians and our staggered collection times. Also the one-person drop off/pick up also still applies.
Thank you for your mask-wearing and just as appreciated is your patience as we endeavour to match so many adults to children. We thought we were getting it with one adult picking up and then other adults got involved and then the subtle disguise (thanks Covid) has really got us stumped! Monday - 30 children - will add another dimension of challenge so thanks for helping us out and just telling us not testing us. You're fab!
Have a lovely weekend and let's have fine weather next week please.
The Rainbow Gang
Friday 18th Sept
So that's their first week in school done! To us, it feels as if they've always been here. Our endpoint for the week was to establish the basic routines, learn preliminary behaviour strategies (ask them about Hand Up For Silence & Super 6) and to feel comfortable in the environment. Sorted!
We have had a go in our 3 outdoor zones: water and construction area, mud kitchen and gardening zone and our secret garden. There are still plenty of bits we have not shown them yet eg hoops and balls, trikes, painting, obstacle course etc but we have lots of time! The children are also really enjoying the big playground - the tyres and wooden equipment seem to be firm favourites already although who knew that picking acorns could be so much fun! We are now using them for counting, peeling (fine motor control), PSE (personal, social education) - Mrs Graham has drawn different faces on them to show emotions and speaking (how are these acorns different from each other?).
There will be ups and downs along the way - at some point over every school year (that's life, right?!) and building stamina and resilience will take patience and perseverance from all of us but what a positive start we've had this week!
Thank you to so many of you already having activated your Tapestry account. We hope you have liked the photos and observations we have managed to upload so far. Teachers tend to do this job at a weekend so a weekly check might be advisable.
So now it's time to swap the timetable and see how much we can achieve in week 2. Remember we still need:
- daily snack pot and water bottle
- book bag (no rucksacks or lunch boxes please)
- social distancing and prompt exiting
Have a lovely weekend.
Tuesday 15th September
Weather forecast looks great for this week! Suncream on before school and leave wellies for later in the week please (less 'stuff' to deal with tomorrow!).
Friday 11th September
What a lovely week we have all had meeting you! You must feel proud of your Rainbow for being courageous enough to do a job with the TA while we talked! Those suns, stars, moons will be up somewhere in the classroom on Monday for them to spot their own - the space is theirs already!
Thank you for being lovely yourselves; it can be an emotional time giving us your very precious baby but I hope having some time with us in the environment has reassured you and perhaps excited you about the next chapter of learning.
Here are a few housekeeping bits:
- We can only permit one person to drop off/pick up (sorry! We've looked at ways around the Government's guidance and we just can't.)
- Drop off at the large green gates that you came in this week. Please maintain 2m social distancing at all times.
- A TA will be on the gates and others will be in the playground escorting to the right classroom. Teachers will be at the doors welcoming and helping inside.
- Collect from the classroom outside door. The TA/T will bring your child to you. Bear with us while we learn to memorise so many adults and attach them to a child! Please maintain 2m social distancing at all times.
- Exit the playground from the other green gate close to the bike shed. Please maintain 2m social distancing at all times.
- Your child will need every day: book bag, snack pot, water bottle, pencil case, waterproof jacket.
- If your child has a toilet accident, please wash and return the school property uniform (particularly the pants. Teachers spend a small fortune of their own money on these!) within a week or so.
Watch this space for some photos of the star of the day bears coming soon! Each class has 3 this year so that each bear and book/bag can be washed/stored for at least 48 hours before being touched again. (Feel free to wash the bear yourself at home.) We just had to find a way to have our stars! We will give the bears out at the end of each morning session, you have them for one night and you will need to return them the next morning 8.45-9. There are instructions inside each bear's book.
Here's to a fantastic year of awe, wonder, reading, writing, maths, problem-solving, personal growth and maturity and lots and lots of enjoyment.
See you on Monday 8.45-9 or 12.45.
The Rainbow Gang
Monday 7th September
A few things from today's meetings so far:
- Lunches: we are still not allowed to do hot lunches. You can choose Chef Kev's packed lunch or bring your own (no egg, nuts, Nutella, chocolate bars).
Week 21st September: part time (swap shift)
mornings 8.45-9am staggered entry-11.30
afternoons 12.45-2.45-3pm (staggered exit)
Week 28th September : full time
8.45-9.00 - 2.45-3pm staggered drop off and pick up
- Entry: big green gate- drop off here.
- Exit: enter playground, go to your Rainbow door and wait for your child to be handed to you; exit via the far green gate.
Friday 4th Sept
Well we're ready for you! We've been working hard to get as much as possible in place for these coming few weeks. We hope you like the new video!
The office has said that there have been quite a few enquiries from you about the part time starts so below is the list of morning/afternoon children for you to check. We will give you more information during your 20minute meeting next week of course.
Why teaching your child to read is so important...
Getting to those froggy legs