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
Hello again everyone.
Here is your weekly bulletin from the wonderful EYFS at Chagford, where we have had a full, fun if rather soggy week. We have experienced our first ‘wet play’ after a few days of rain, but have also managed to bolt outdoors in the brief moments when the sun shines through.
The children are doing brilliantly: continuing to settle in well, and feel more comfortable with the routines and the environment. Most have a little more stamina, though I’m sure you find they are still very tired by the end of the week! We have been joined this week by a couple of new children, two Little Robins and a Big Robin: we are delighted to welcome you to our class and our school.
Continuing our thinking about all things Pets, we have displayed our paintings in the corridor, and have been further discussing how to take care of pets, including exotic ones. We also ‘Monkey Puzzle’ by Julia Donaldson, thinking about animal babies and how some of them do not look at all like their parents (think butterflies and caterpillars) We painted symmetrical butterflies which are now bringing a gorgeous splash of colour to our classroom. In maths, we worked on counting accurately and recognising the digits 1 to 10, playing various games to practise this skill. In out phonics work we have continued to learn new sounds and revisit ones already learned, with the emphasis on learning to recognise the sound rather than to write the letters, which is still quite a tricky thing for many children. Here is a photo of the words we have thought of which use the letters we’ve learned already. Can you think of anymore?
The children have rather enjoyed the story of the Gingerbread Man, which we stumbled across in our literary explorations last week. Such was their enthusiasm that I thought we should make some actual Gingerbread Men – so that is what we did. Cooking with a large number of young children is certainly a challenge, but we did it! And it is full of such great learning as well as being fun and ultimately filling J Here are some lovely photos of the proceedings.
I hope these make it home intact on Friday afternoon, and taste even more delicious than they look!?
Oh, and a little ask….please could children bring in (or parents email to me) a photo of themselves with their pet(s)? I’d love to do a show and tell with these, and maybe make another class display. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to send me a picture – I can print it out at school.
Many thanks for your continued support, and have a lovely weekend.
All the very best
Welcome to the class blog for Reception - Ash Class at Chagford Primary School