Parents, you will have seen the fascilitated play ideas posters that have been on our playground since before Christmas. (If not, take a look at the side of the PE shed and the fence around the top playground). In conjunction with our Sports Leaders we have chosen a new set of games that the adults and older children will be helping the younger children to play during break and lunchtimes. This wonderful aspect of our school is a joy to see as different age groups mix together and enjoy playing games. Take a look at the ideas here: https://sway.cloud.microsoft/veu6fIls326JdxDg?ref=Link Do these bring back fond memories? Maybe you could play these at home with friends and family members.
Even though this half term has been a short one Squirrel's have not slowed down their enthusiasm for learning,
We have been reading the book 'Whatever Next' by Jill Murphy in our Literacy lessons. Whilst reading this book we talked about journeys and what journeys we have been on in our lives. From the book we explored space and learnt about Gravity. We had lots of fun pretending we were floating around in space with no gravity.
A very exciting visit to the Discovery Dome taught us all about the moon and stars. It was fascinating to be able to see the moon up close. When we returned to class we had lots of fun creating our own star pictures with paint.
As we read 'Whatever Next' again, we made predictions about what Baby Bear might do next after he had a bath at the end of the story. We also created story maps and acted out the story before we began to re-write the story.
From reading the book we decided to build our own rockets. We carefully planned and created designs for our rockets and then used various materials to build them as we followed our designs. After we had made our models we talked about what we liked and what we would like to be better. It was lots of fun and we were very proud of our creating skills.
In our Maths learning we have been busy exploring the numbers 6, 7 and 8. We have discovered the different compositions of these numbers as well as exploring 1 more and 1 less than these numbers.
Also, in our Maths learning we have talked about different ways to measure. We have re-visited our understanding of mass and used scales to talk about heavier and lighter objects. We also learnt new words to describe capacity and filling containers to be nearly full or nearly empty. As we explored time, we learnt the song 'Days of the week', we then discussed what activities we do on different days of the week. The children were keen to share that they have swimming lessons on certain days of the week and one child told us that on Sunday he goes to Church.
Another book we explored was 'The Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. Using our role-play food, we discussed which foods are healthy and which are not healthy. The children were very knowledgeable and were able to easily sort the foods and could talk about which foods had lots of vitamins and which foods might have a lot of sugar. Afterwards, we painted some food pictures, like Eric Carle and made some fantastic labels to explain which foods we had painted.
During the cold weather, Squirrels' had lots of fun exploring the frost left on the ground and finding ice in our environment to look at and feel. Some children made ice pictures as we sprinkled craft materials into some water and then left the containers outside overnight. Some children shared their knowledge of knowing that the water needed to freeze to make ice and that meant it had to get very cold. We learnt that we call this the temperature. We understood that it would be very cold outside overnight, which would then create our ice pictures. The next day, we then explained that the ice would melt back into water as the temperature became warmer in the daytime.
Next half term, hopefully we will say goodbye to the cold weather and hello to warmer, sunnier days which we can explore.
It is amazing to think that the children in Squirrels' class have now completed their 1st term in school! They have been amazing learners, soaking up endless amounts of knowledge.
This half-term we have continued to learn our Set 2 sounds and have become experts at reading words containing these sounds. We are very proud that we can now call ourselves readers! The children are also becoming expert writers, putting all of their phonic knowledge to use to show how we can communicate through writing.
In Maths we have explored lots of different words to describe size as well as learning about patterns and 2d shapes. We have had lots of fun exploring numbers to 5 also and can tell you lots of different ways we can make 5 with smaller numbers.
Squirrels were thrilled to have Amelia, a Mummy to a member of our class come and talk to us about Finland as we explored different countries around the world. Amelia was born in Finland, so she could tell us lots of information. We were very excited when she told us that in Finland their PE lessons are ice skating on sheets of ice on the school field! Amelia also taught us how to count to 5 in Finnish as well as some songs.
As Christmas time in school crept ever nearer, we started to practice for our Nativity Tableau at St Margaret's church.
On Friday 8th December, Key Stage 2 were thrilled to visit St Margaret's Church to watch Squirrels class bring the nativity story to life through songs, rhyme and action.
The older children were so impressed they gave the children a standing ovation at the end.
As evening fell, excited children from Squirrels' class arrived at St Margaret's church to perform once again for their families. The children were all amazing. They sang and told rhymes with fantastic confidence as they processed down the middle of the church to tell the story of Jesus's birth.
A very big thank you to the older siblings of our younger children who helped to narrate the story for us also.
We have also welcomed Mrs Awford to our Early Years Team. She has spent this last week getting to know the children and is already impressed with what fantastic learners they are!
When we return after Christmas, we will be excited to hear all about the children's Christmas experiences. We will continue to learn more phonic sounds and look forward to learning lots of new information as we explore our topic of 'Whatever Next'!
We are delighted to share with you the 2023-24 trips and enrichment programme on this Sway link (https://sway.office.com/zdCan1CGYcbMUck0?ref=Link). The school team have been busy securing the best coach prices as well as several grants to cover or reduce costs where possible. We are delighted to have such a fabulous range of visits which will explicitly compliment learning in history, geography, DT, PSHE, RE and science.
We do recognise that asking for any contribution can feel like a lot and would like to take this opportunity to advise that if you are eligible for pupil premium funding, we will be able to cover the costs of all day visits and visitors for you. If you think you might be eligible, please apply online at https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/schools-and-colleges/free-school-meals/
As always, there is the opportunity to pay for the year or to pay per visit. You will receive a reminder ahead of visits about payment options. We are currently swapping from ScoPay to Arbor for payments, so you will not see all trips on your ScoPay account. Details of Arbor will be sent to you next half-term and everything will be available via a single app which should make life easier for you all.
What a start to the year! This year the Reception children have arrived and settled as though they were born to this life. We have a large number of younger siblings in the class and this has helped those less familiar settle in more quickly!
We have also welcomed Miss Hill to our Early Years team and she is thrilled to be working with such an engaged and excited group of pupils!
We have explored the uniqueness of ourselves as well the comfort and security of belonging, to family, to school and the community, and we will explore this further next term when we visit the church and perform our Christmas story amongst our school friends who will provide a fabulous concert – Diary date – 8th December!
We have been working on our Phonics and writing, as well as our maths and we already thinking about ourselves as active learners. Well done Squirrels!
Please find below a few photos to show what we have been learning and the enrichments we have experienced already this year. Zoolab was a real high!
Next term we will be finding out about upcoming events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas, and exploring some of the, not too gory, past associated with them. We will find out more about our nocturnal friends and explore what life is like for them.
Communication is key so if there is any aspect of school life that you would like to discuss, please get in touch.
You will receive a half termly letter outlining the learning for the half term ahead as well as weekly newsletters which share details of the week in school with you.