It may have been a short week but we have been very busy in Ash class!
This week we have focused on the text 'What the Ladybird Heard' by Julia Donaldson in literacy, exploring how messages are passed through whispers, spotting the different animals in the story, and creating Acrostic poems to describe the animals.
In maths we have started to use - (subtraction) in our number sentences within 10, using the Numicon and have a go at writing the number sentences independently.
We have learnt a new skill in art this week, using the circular end of a glue stick to create dot paintings. It took a lot of focus for us to dot enough paint on the glue stick to make a dot and not spread the paint all over the page. Ash class were Persevering Pete's and completed some beautiful pictures, well done everyone.
We also have a special visitor coming every Friday this half term to share music and songs with us.
I wonder if any of you recognise her from our picture?
Ash class had an amazing time joining in with the singing this week, our favourite song is all about a journey on a boat. We have been putting in a lot of effort to learn the song already, and I hope the children will be able to teach you the song very soon
Although it is a short half term it is still action packed with new experiences and learning!
Here is our Curriculum Map for the term explaining our learning focuses, as well as some ideas of how to support learning at home.
We are really looking forward to a lovely half term, and are excited to continue exploring our learning together!
There has been learning and fun agogo in Ash Class this week. The children have continued to make excellent use of the fantastic play house that was built for us by Henrietta and her partner - what wonderful generosity that was.
Speaking of generosity - birthday girl Tina Adams and her partner have spent time creating two more new features for our outdoor area - a wonderful music board covered with interesting things that clang, bog, ting and crash when hit with one of the attached spoons and a fascinating board covered with a layout of pipes and guttering. Its exciting to drop a ball into it and see where it comes out or to pour a jug of water in and make a big sploosh. Thank you so much for these.
We have stashed away a set of car seats and we hope very soon to build our own car so the children can go off on adventures together. HAve you got a couple of sturdy pallets we could have to build it on? We could also use some plywood for this project if you have any half used sheets knocking around that we could take off you.
One wonderful ting that happened this week was the chance to welcome our new Earloy Year Foundation Stage leader Jasmine Pollard to the school. Jasmine is starting with us after Christmas but she was in with the children on Thursday, and will be again next Thursday, to get to know the children, the routines and the way things work at Chagford. Jasmine comes with a wealth of experience and I think she will be a huge asset to the school. This is what she had to say to introduce herself to you all...
Hello! My name is Miss Pollard, and I am very excited to be your new Reception Teacher and Early Years Leader at Chagford Primary School in January! I know we are going to have lots of fun in Reception and Nursery, and I am really looking forward to exploring new activities and learning journeys with each and every one of you. I have been teaching in Reception and Nursery for the past 4 years, and enjoy growing and learning with the children.
I really enjoy learning new skills and recently have started to learn the ukulele, even though it can be tricky, I work hard at keeping a “can-do” attitude and not giving up. Day by day I keep improving a little! I am really looking forward to hearing all the new skills and learning you have been up to this year!
I cannot wait to meet and get to know all of our children, parents and staff, and hope you are excited as I am to begin the new term. I hope you have a lovely end of term and a Merry Christmas. See you in January!
It has been a very busy week in Ash Class with a very strong focus on Stick Man...
We've been retelling the story of stick man, building houses for stick man, making decorations for stick man's birthday party and generally revelling in Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's brilliant story. Get yourselves a copy if you don't already have several in your house.
The children are making SUCH great progress in their phonics, they can confidently recognise larger sets of sounds and are starting to blend and recognise the words they come up with. Monty was one of my stars of the week when he showed me not just his achievement but also his great pride as he read through his RWI bookbag book. Well done Monty!
We have been busy builders in the outdoor area, painters in our creative area, writers, thinkers and singers. It's a busy life in EYFS!
Next week we will be finishing off our work with Stick Man by building him a tree house then moving on to another new text.
Well done to the children for another great week of fun and learning.
Do take a look on Tapestry to see all the wonderful photos of what your child has been up to this week. If you haven't managed to get onto Tapestry yet please tell Elaine in the office - she can help you get on board.
This week ahs been all about 'The Day The Crayons Quit' - if you haven't ever read this brilliant book, by Oliver Jeffers, you should see if you can get it from the library or bite the bullet and get a copy from the bookshop. It's one of Mr Finch's all time favourites. The book gave us lots of jumping off spots for talking, drawing and writing. You should have found a crayon puppet in your child's book bag tonight if it didn't quit and run off to make its way in the world.
Next week the children's learning will be based around Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler. The children will be venturing into the forest school area to make their own 'Stick Man' and making clothes for him. Sounds like a lot of fun.
The children's phonics work is just phenomenal at the moment - I see all the children accurately recognising and writing sounds. I see the majority of children sounding out simple words which gives them enormous satisfaction. I'm very proud to see some children starting to write consonant - vowel - consonant words by working them out themselves. This is a brilliant foundational skill and the fact that some of our children are choosing to do this independently as part of their continuous provision makes me very proud indeed.
We have been having a good old clear out in the Reception Classroom and trying to make the place seem more orderly and purposeful. To me it's feeling miles fresher and calmer already - huge thanks to Tina, Miss Pindard, Chloe Bennet and the others who have pulled a big extra shift to do this work - what a brilliant team. If all goes well there's goig to be something new and exciting in the EYFS area on Monday - I wonder who will be the first to spot it.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone - see you on Monday.
Mr Finch, Miss Pindard and all the team.
"Who will help me sow the corn?" asked the Little Red Hen. "Not I" said the Cat...
This week in Ash Class has been all about The Little Red Hen.
We have been making, drawing, colouring and writing all about where food comes from and how we prepare it and, on Friday, with huge excitement, we baked our own bread. I'm not sure who got more covered in flour - the children or Miss Pindard. Never mind - a huge amount of fun was had by all.
Let us know if you are seeing the content that we are adding to Tapestry - Miss Pindard is keeping that updated and we want to know that it's getting through to you.
here are some photos from our week in Ash Class.
I have my fingers crossed that everything has worked out and that parents have noticed a flood of notifications coming into their in boxes as I know Ms Pindard has been working very hard to get pictures of all the wonderful work the children have been doing this week onto Tapestry.
Please let us know if you aren't sure how to access Tapestry or if you think it's not quite working.
Shauna Pindard joined us on Monday this week and has already shown what a hardworking and thoughtful teacher she is. We are very lucky to have her with us until our new early years coordinator can join us after Christmas.
The children have been engaged in great learning throughout the week - they are rocketing along with their phonics and looking through the comments in childrens reading records today I could see how proud so many parents of children in Ash Class are. The reading is really coming along at a pace.
Children have been thinking about Divali about about the Gun Powder Plot with the topic of Fireworks making a bridge between the two. Children enjoyed decorating biscuits to celebrate Divali - some of the creations looked fairly toothache inducing to me but maybe four year olds see things differently. It was a great way to focus on children's fine motor skills and, as they were busy with rolling pins to flatten out the fondant icing, it was great for their developing hands and wrists too.
There has been a great deal of very colourful painting going on this week too - my best white shirt may never be the same.
It has been such a pleasure for me, as principal to see Miss Pindard taking over the class with great creativity and confidence. Well done Shauna.
We have also welcomed Henrietta Johnston to the class this week. Henrietta has come into the setting with great aplomb and I know she is going to be a great asset to the school. Welcome Henrietta and Shauna.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Finally we have reached the end of the first half term at school – and what a journey it has been! From those very wobbly early days, through the exhaustion (or is that just me?!) to where we find ourselves today. I am amazed and delighted to watch these wonderful children gel as a group, settle into the routines, and start so enthusiastically out on their long learning journey through primary school and beyond. I am very proud of them all, and am sure you must be too.
So, this week we were mostly thinking about animal habitats. We kicked this off last week by venturing out into the Wildlife area to build dens for a ragtag assortment of animals collected from the classroom. It was great fun finding materials, make the shelters watertight and working together with friends to make a construction together.
We then set about learning about the different habitats where animals live, including the desert, the woodland and the polar regions, thinking about shelter and how animals were adapted to their respective environments. We used our new builders tray to explore making habitats of different kinds for various creatures (including dinosaurs!)
We also played a game, matching animals to their habitat using simple descriptions. The children were brilliant at listening and finding the correct environment. It stimulated all sorts of interesting scientific talk.
And we have also made homes for animals, and done some random making, just for making’s sake – which is always fun. Here are a couple of our creations!
It is, of course, my very last week of working with this group of children, and with you as families. I am actually very sad about it: it wouldn’t be so hard if they weren’t such a wonderful class. I have grown very fond of them, and will miss them hugely. They really are an especially lovely group. I do have exciting things to do (work in refugee camps in Greece, early January 2022) but I am going to miss so much about the school, particularly my dear EYFS colleagues and of course the children themselves.
I want to thank you, the parents and carers, for your support, your warmth and your care over the past few weeks. The next teachers are very lucky to be working with you all, families and children alike. I wish you all the very best of luck. I’ll be around Chagford until New Year so will no doubt see many of you out and about, so do come and say hello.
With all the very best wishes for the future, and a lovely, relaxing half term holiday.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Another week down in the EYFS, and another very busy one it has been too!
It has been a dry and sunny one, so we have been outside a fair bit, trying to sort out our outdoor area a little. We were excited to receive a parcel of new bits and bobs from the PTFA (thank you so much everyone!) which will make our play area a bit more colourful and fun. We got some blackboards for outdoor, all weather, extreme drawing….
And some exciting wooden chutes for water and toy car play. This required some assembly, which is a VERY serious business.
We also focussed on using mathematical language to measure things, specifically animals, using the book ‘The Snail and the Whale’ and ‘The Enormous Turnip’ as a stimulus. It was fun making snails from playdough, which we then measured using interlocking bricks. It became quite competitive, I must say!
Staying with the theme of size and measurement, we did some dance and movement based on ‘The Enormous Turnip’ in the hall. I was impressed by the children’s expressive skills and their superb pair work.
And of course we headed up to the church on Wednesday for the Harvest service. It was a delight to be able to head out of school and into the town again, and to sing our favourite harvest songs in such a beautiful building. The Big Robins were brilliant, listening beautifully and singing enthusiastically. It made me very proud. I count myself very fortunate to be able to work with such a wonderful group of children.
This coming week I hope to start sending home some ‘proper’ reading books as well as the usual picture books to share. These will contain words which children can decode using the letter knowledge they have gained so far. Please remember that the most important thing is, still, to enjoy reading together. Children develop at such different rates and in different ways, and some will not be ready yet for this formal skill – but they will always benefit from love of books, and lots of great talk.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone, only one week to go until the holidays!
Lisa, Ed and all the EYFS team
This week in Ash Class, we have mostly been thinking about baby animals, the life cycle of a butterfly, and how baby animals are born. We matched babies to parent animals, and noticed how some don’t look at all like their mothers! It was also fun sorting animals by how they came into the world: those which came from their mothers’ bellies and those which hatched from eggs. Children were surprised to hear that octopuses came from eggs, and that mother octopuses (octopii?) only lay eggs once in their lifetimes.
We really enjoyed reading the old classic ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. Such a wonderful book, full of fun and learning. We have explored counting, the days of the week, and favourite foods as well as the life cycle of a butterfly of course. It was a perfect opportunity to get messy and do some potato printed caterpillars!
And by complete coincidence Bella found a cocoon in her garden and brought it in to school. Freddie then found another inside one of our new tractor tyres!
The hungry caterpillar in the story loved to nibble his way through leaves, so we had fun making holes on leaves with a hole punch, and counting how many holes we had made.
I think that just about covers most of our activity this week! If you have any questions or worries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And most importantly, have a lovely weekend!
From Ms Rowe and the FSU team
Welcome to the class blog for Reception - Ash Class at Chagford Primary School