Foundation Stage Weekly Newsletter
Puffins and Penguins Weekly Newsletter, 19th November 2021
Celebrations and Festivals
This week we continued our learning on celebrations and festivals. We started talking about Christmas and discussing the question ‘Why is Christmas important to Christians?’. We talked about celebrating the birth of Jesus, and we read the nativity story from a children’s Bible. Religious Education is an essential component of a broad and balanced curriculum. It is a focal point in the curriculum for work on spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and British Values. It enables the growth of religious literacy, essential for life in modern Britain and the wider world.
Hopefully the children have come home singing some of the nativity songs as we began practising this week. They are excited about recording their very own nativity to share with you. The children will be involved in the scenery, costumes, production and editing of the movie. It is a great opportunity for the children to take ownership and collaborate on a project. They have enjoyed learning the songs, and we have put some of them on Seesaw for the children to practise at home. We will be assigning roles for the nativity next week and will communicate this to you in due course.
Our school value focus this half term is Responsibility. We introduced the children to Responsibility Rex, our school value dinosaur. The children took part in a carousel of activities to discuss and learn about the different responsibilities they have in school and at home. We were very impressed with their ideas and understanding of responsibility.
They visited the rabbits and guinea pigs, learning about our responsibilities to care for the school animals. The children discussed their responsibilities around the school and at home.
In Maths this week we have been using the vocabulary More, Less and Fewer. The children have been comparing quantities and talking to their partners, saying for example, ‘There are more raisins on the green plate’, ‘There are fewer raisins on the red plate’.
We then explored the concept of 1 more. The children made towers to compare quantities and check they had 1 more. We made up stories about zoo animals to help the children explain their mathematical thinking. We have put an activity on Seesaw for your child to try at home to explore the concept of 1 more. It is a fun activity; all you will need is a box and some teddies!
Choosing learning time is an important part of our curriculum. This is a special time when children can explore and rehearse skills they have learnt. It promotes independence and supports children to be reflective and make decisions about their own learning.
In choosing learning this week we introduced some new areas of learning. One of new areas is ‘Transient Art’. This is the creative experience of placing open-ended resources together on a surface. As part of the transient art children will explore shape, space, pattern, positioning, colour, texture and overlapping. Materials are not fixed to a surface with glue or tape but can be moved and placed in different positions to fit the children’s changing creative ideas. Some children want to use the materials to create a picture of something or a place that is familiar. Others will be interested in exploring how the material can be placed together. This form of creative play is great for exploring mathematical possibilities such as shape and pattern and it also provides rich opportunities for supporting language development. Here are some of the children’s creations (if you are reading this on the school app you will need to view the images on the school website).
In the woods this week the children were challenged to find Autumn colours. They had to find something brown, orange, and yellow. Some of the children made wonderful patterns with the natural objects. We took some of the leaves back to the classroom and the children made leaf rubbings so they could have a closer look at the patterns on the leaves.
Special Story Time
We are always looking for new ways to share our love of reading with the children. This week we started our daily ‘You Choose’ Special Story Time. This is 10 minutes dedicated to reading for pleasure. Reading aloud provides opportunities for increased language exposure. We will read a selection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
During the 10 minutes, we have three books being read to the children in different areas of the learning environment. Many of these books are from our core text selection and the children can choose which story they would like to go and listen to.
We offer the same three books across the week and each day they get to choose. They could listen to the same book as the day before or choose a different one. We will keep revisiting these core texts so children can familiarize themselves and eventually be able to retell them independently.
We have assigned a special activity on Seesaw this week titled, ‘Recommend a book to your friends’. We would like the children to send us an image of themselves holding a book that they would like to recommend to their friends. They can tell us what they enjoy about the book and why they think their friends would like it. We will then include one or two of these recommendations each week in the newsletter. It would be wonderful to make this an ongoing feature of the newsletter, but we need your continued support to make it happen. We look forward to seeing their recommendations.
- Check your book bag or Seesaw for this week’s phonic activity.
- Enjoy listening to the story ‘Whatever Next’ on Seesaw.
- Enjoy sharing this week’s library book with your grown-up.
- Practise singing the nativity songs assigned on Seesaw.
- Enjoy the maths activity on Seesaw learning about 1 more.
- Thank you to everyone who completed the transition questionnaire. Thank you for your comments, we will respond to them shortly.
- If your child brings home a RWI phonics book, please can you ensure that the books are returned each Friday so that we can give your child a new book.
From Mrs Bastin, Mrs Clague, and the Foundation Stage Team