This week the children have been grouped into their new phonics groups based on their Phonics Assessments at the end of last term. We were all very impressed with the great progress the children are making in phonics and beginning to see lots of evidence of this being used to support their writing. As before, each group will have a different phonics sound that they will practice each day so please be sure to ask your child what sound they have learned daily and challenge them to write it in a sentence!
Last term we spent time looking at a range of Traditional Tales including Goldilocks and the three bears, The Gingerbread Man and The Three Little Pigs. The children loved hearing different versions of the tales and talking about how they have changed over time. We concluded our topic by creating our own version of Little Red Riding Hood with a twist. The children have become amazing little authors and have taken great pride in the books they have created. We also made some beautiful cards for Mothering Sunday and were thrilled that our special adults enjoyed them. It took a lot of concentration and fine motor skills to create them and they were very proud of the final result.
Half Term 4 was very exciting and busy for us, besides the ongoing preparation for the Year 4 & 5 Spring Production of ‘Treasure Island’, we attended the ‘Online Safety Roadshow’ at the Civic Hall in Blackshots, celebrated Commonwealth Day & Holi (Festival of colours). In Mathematics we learned about fractions and how to apply our knowledge to solve worded problems. During our English lessons we explored the features of play scripts and how to write clear precise instructions in order to create a paper aeroplane, which was the focus of Science Week.
Finally, on the 27th & 28th March we performed ‘Treasure Island’ to our parents; the dedication and commitment over the last term resulted in successful (according to the fabulous comments of parents) performances.
Here are some quotes to illustrate the pupils' perspective:
'All the actors went through a stage of being nervous and scared; remembering your lines, speaking with a loud and clear voice whilst performing the right action at the appropriate time. I was proud of myself as I am not usually someone who speaks in front of lots of people.'
'All the dancers had been practising their dances and making sure they were perfect on the day. I felt really nervous about it because I did not want to get it wrong.'
'We had lots of rehearsals to practise all the lyrics, which was sometimes boring, but it was worth it. We enjoyed performing it to the rest of the school and especially to our parents. It was fun and most people enjoyed wearing the costumes.'
Last term, Year 2 started their topic about space and began learning about the solar system that we live in. In English we were learning how to effectively describe characters and settings in a story. This was in preparation for writing our own stories about space.
In Maths we have been learning to divide by 2, 5 10 and 3. We have looked at both dividing numbers and shapes and sharing them into equal parts. We have looked at what the term equal means and how it is applied to both numbers and shapes in Maths. In our afternoon lessons we have been learning about our solar systems and the planets within it.
Science capital is a concept that can help us to understand why some young people participate in post-16 science and others do not. In particular, it helps shed light on why particular social groups remain underrepresented and why many young people do not see science careers as being ‘for me’.
There are many different ways we can develop science capital in children. Some of this happens at school through the different opportunities the children have in their learning. In addition, supporting a love of science at home will also support the development of science capital.
At ETPS, the children have the opportunity to attend different visits or welcome a visitor into school to support their science knowledge and understanding and to inspire the children to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects further. These include engineer career talks with year 6, a guide dog visitor in year 1 and year 2’s visit to the zoo.
We learnt all about the Hindu festival of Holi recently and also reflected back on some of our activities this year related to other religions. For example, we prepared for the Christmas Production back in the autumn term, learning lines and practising to make sure the songs were sung with clarity and volume. Our production told the story of the baby Jesus and the special events that happened around the time of his birth. The production plays an important role in our learning. The new skills that we were learning and developing helped us to support our application for the Arts Award.
Still focused on the traditions of Christmas, we spent time discussing advent and what this means to Christians. We discussed the meaning of the four different candles of advent and wrote our own advent promise before attending at the advent assembly.
Reception also thoroughly enjoyed the creativity and fun around at Christmas time and reported, "What an exciting time to be at school! In this run on to Christmas we have had so much fun getting into the Christmas spirit. We have created some beautiful Christmas cards for our families as well as a range of crafts to help develop our fine motor and creative skills. All of the children have spoken about what they are looking forward to at Christmas time"
Paul said, “I’m looking forward to having yummy food”
Callum smiled, “I will get lots of presents”
Isabella glowed, “My house looks nice with lots of colours”
I like playing outside. My favourite thing is going on the slide. I love phonics. I love the letters that we learn. We've just been playing games to learn to spell. We’ve been helping Goldilocks make the right choices by making some new porridge for Baby Bear because Goldilocks ate all of Baby Bear’s porridge and she broke his chair. In maths times, we’ve been measuring, seeing how long I’ve been building cubes, standing on one leg, hopping and writing my name. We learned all about Mother’s Day and I tried to cut out some flowers for mummy. I love her because she gives me 3 kisses and 3 cuddles and sometimes she gives me some more.
Grammar is everywhere, there’s no getting away from it! Help your child embed their understanding with these ideas:
Last week in English, we wrote a set of instructions on how to wash a mythical creature. We needed to think carefully about how to stay safe from the dangerous body parts but also make sure the reader was told exactly what to do. After we had planned our instructions using a storyboard, we drafted them before editing and improving them with our partner. Once we had a perfect version of our instructions we best copied them in our neatest handwriting to go on the Wow! working wall.
At the end of last week, Hindus around the world celebrated Holi so we have been finding out why. We learnt that it is the festival of colour and is to remember good overcoming evil. During this festival Hindus throw coloured powder at each other so we used Andy Warhol’s Pop Art style to create our own images. We drew a self-portrait and then coloured it in very bright colours.
In History we listened to a piece of music related to the Romans. We thought about what it reminded us of and how it made us feel. We then used our pictures and symbols to create a mosaic using tiny squares of coloured paper.
In computing, we have been researching the Commonwealth as it was recently was Commonwealth Day. We made a Word document of the interesting facts we had found out and inserted an image from a website by using the copy and paste tools.
A big thank you to all classes still participating in the Daily Mile even though there have been some limitations with the ongoing building works. The route may have changed slightly but the children are still smiling. Well Done.
A range of clubs have been available for the children to participate in. Many children are attending at least one club with a large group attending more than one club. Various children across the whole school have been working with Mrs Smith in the outdoor garden zone to plant vegetables and discuss their importance.
As part of being a Healthy School, we encourage children to eat healthily at both break time and lunch time. We have been monitoring what the children are bringing to eat at snack time and have noticed some children are bringing crisps, chocolate and sweets. These are not healthy snacks.
‘Children in England are eating an extra 2, 800 sugar cubes in a year, which is more than the recommended guidelines. Half the sugar in our children’s diet comes from sugary drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes, pudding and sugary breakfast cereals’ (NHS Change 4 Life)
The ‘Change 4 Life’ section of the NHS website has lots of ideas for swapping sugary foods for healthier ones - www.nhs.uk/change4life
Lots of children already cycle or ride scooters to school but as ‘The Big Pedal’ is back - beginning Monday 25th March - for two weeks, we will be encouraging children even more to cycle, scoot or roller skate all or part of the way to school. Class teachers will monitor and record the results. These are then gathered into a database where the school has a chance of winning prizes. Help us sustain our push for healthier lifestyles and win some prizes!