Welcome to Term 5 and Mrs Stirling and I hope that you had an enjoyable and (hopefully) restful Easter break.
This term is a fairly short but very busy one,
not least because of our preparations for the SATs tests in the fourth week.
Our aim is for the whole process to be as stress-free as possible, by making sure that the children are familiar and comfortable with the style and expectations of the different types of questions they will meet and know how to use the skills and knowledge that they have worked so hard on all year. We have already made a start with practice questions and papers and I can report that so far it is all going well, with some children even telling me they 'love' doing it!
** It's REALLY IMPORTANT to say that we only expect the children to do their best.
We recognise that they are so much more than their results in a test
and we value what each of them brings to the school.
Some fun and 'wonder' stuff:
Our new Whole School Topic is 'Carnival' which actually spans Terms 5 & 6. In KS1 we are starting close to home by drawing on the children's understanding and experiences of celebrations and partiesto plan and hold and an Ugly Bug Ball!
As well as being a great Outcome event at the end of term, this means that in science we can explore the crazy local insect world with bug hunts and pond dipping. Mrs Stirling's egg-citing (!) Easter present to the class this year is a little pot of caterpillars - so we are also raising our very own butterflies. Thinking about survival - we will plant butterfly and bee friendly flowers to provide food and shelter.
In PE we'll think about ways that insects move and create bee-dances; in Art/D&T we will be observing, drawing, painting, and making colourful bugs; and in music we'll learn The Ugly Bug Ball song. The songwriter's message in 'Ugly Bug Ball' is that everyone deserves love, so that will be one focus of PSHE.
Next term, we'll go on to learn about carnivals around the world.
English and Maths:
Measurement (including time), properties of 2d and 3d shapes and data will all be covered this term, along with recapping our calculating skills for addition and subtraction, multiplication and division.
We'll start English with a final persuasive writing task and recap our grammar and punctuation skills.
READING: It's hard to believe but these little Owlets will soon be Year 3s! The more confidently and fluently they can read, the easier they will find it in ALL lessons in KS2. Please keep hearing them read aloud (whether it's books, magazines, information on packets, game instructions or recipes, please keep hearing them read aloud, read with them, and talk about what you read. BUG CLUB is still available free online to each child - their login is in their Reading Record.
SPELLING: Being able to spell the Year 1 and 2 'tricky words' by heart means one less thing for children to think about when they are writing. It is also one of the end of Key Stage government targets. Our quest to smash this continues; Please practice at home as often as possible to help us achieve it. The list is in the centre of the Reading Record.
As always, PE will be on Thursday afternoons. BUT we may also start practicing for sports day, so please ensure full summer PE kit is left in school for the whole term.
Starting on Thursday 23rd May we will have weekly swimming sessions at Didcot Wave. Water confidence is such a vital safety skill but I know some children worry. Please help me reassure them that the lessons will be fun and will build their confidence and skills. They will work from whatever level they are at and no-one is ever made to do something they are scared to do.
Swim kit is:
swimming costume/trunks/swim shorts
swim hat (essential)
Optional goggles (please send a letter to say you wish them to wear their goggles).
Children can change at the pool OR come to school with their costume under their uniform. However, if they do this please make sure they have underwear to change into!
Finally, please keep nurturing your sunflowers and encouraging your children to measure them, draw them and photograph them. We are are looking forward to sharing their progress and comparing them to sunflowers we grow at school.
Thank you, as always, for your support, understanding and enthusiasm.
Mrs Jarman and Mrs Stirling
Happy New Year to our Owlets and families and welcome back to Term 3.
We are starting this term with a real WOW-event as a giant, inflatable science dome arrives to show us dinosaurs in 3D! Our whole-school topic is Night at the Museum and we have added ...with dinosaurs as that's our focus. This obviously covers history, but also geography, science and English. We are hoping to visit a museum later in the term if possible and design our own new species of prehistoric creature!
In English this term we are beginning with a bit of creative, descriptive writing about a robin flying back home after winter. If it's as good as the Christmas stories that the children wrote you will be very impressed! Then we are moving on to writing letters, museum labels and non-chronological reports - about dinosaurs of course!
Calculation is a main focus of Term 3 in maths. As well as continuing to work on mental recall and use of addition and subtraction facts we will be learning new, more efficient ways to calculate sums, working with money and solving one and two-step word problems.
Who eats who is one of our main concerns in science, as we look at carnivores, herbivores and omnivores and ask what animals need to survive. We will be looking around us and considering what is living, has lived or has never been alive and briefly going under the skin to investigate skeletons.
History will not just be about dinosaurs; the children will also discover the amazing Mary Anning who, when she was not much older than they are now, became a famous fossil hunter who uncovered a whole dinosaur in Dorset.
As usual PE will be on Thursday afternoons. It's quite distressing for the children if they haven't got their kit and we don't have lots of spares. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD HAS WARM PE KIT IN SCHOOL EVERY WEEK. We recommend leaving it at school for the whole term - it doesn't get too smelly and it means you don't have to think about it again.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Thank you to everyone who did some or all of our Christmas Reading Challenge. From feedback so far it seems to have been fun and it will definitely have supported your child's reading progress. Mrs Stirling and I are blown away by the effort and enthusiasm the children have given to reading so far this year and their new skills and confidence are showing in every part of their learning.
NEW YEAR RESOLUTION
If you didn't get around to the challenge at Christmas, make it a New Year's resolution to hear your child read and share stories with them at least 3 times a week this term. It is a real investment in their future school success. AND don't forget Bug Club online is a good alternative for reading sometimes.
Welcome back to our second term... already!
We were so proud of the way the children settled in last term and worked so hard. It's a huge jump from the less formal learning in Year 1 and they did really well. This term is going to be busy but exciting. Our topic is The Fire of London. As well as learning the story, we will write diaries like Samuel Pepys and think about changes in homes and fire-fighting since 1666.
Please can the children bring in a smallish cereal box by week 3, to make their own Tudor house. Unfortunately, they won't be able to bring the houses home, as we will (safely) recreate our own Fire of London. However, we'll make sure you have a chance to admire them first.
Owls Class has Forest School this term with Mr Jones and Mrs Stirling. Although the class has been split into two groups that will go on alternate weeks, it is a good idea to leave as much of their Forest School kit at school as possible, particularly wellies which are also useful for playing in the KS1 garden. If you need to check the dates your child is doing Forest School, it is displayed on our classroom window.
Parents' Evenings are on November 7th and 8th and I look forward to sharing your child's progress and achievements in Owls' Class so far. Please don't forget to sign up.
Of course, we also have the KS1 Christmas play this term. A letter with your child's part in the play and any costume needed will be sent home very soon.
In English this term, we are focusing on descriptive writing, beginning with shape poems about bonfire night and moving on to diaries about The Fire of London. Our goal will be to paint pictures in our readers' heads with the words we choose.
We are also continuing to learn the Year 1 and 2 'tricky' words by heart. It is important for fluency in writing that the children master these words before the end of KS1. I will hand out the list of words at Parents' Evening in case you have a chance to practice at home.
I'm delighted that some of the children have been using their free school log-in to Bug Club (details in their reading record) to enjoy reading online. It is especially good for reluctant readers who prefer looking at computers to books! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the more children practice reading at home, the quicker their progress will be in reading. The better they can read, the more progress they will make in all subjects at school. Please support us in
This term our class owl, Squishy Hawkins, will begin to travel home with the children at weekends for some adventures. The children need to write diary entries of their days with Squishy and draw pictures or include photos. The entries will then be added to a book of Squishy's trips that the children really enjoy looking at in class.
Finally, we have trips to the cinema in Didcot and the Pantomime at Oxford Playhouse to look forward to. Our feet will barely touch the ground! It goes without saying that it will be fun but very tiring, and your support in making sure that the children get plenty of sleep is much appreciated.
Below is a table of the regular teaching pattern in Owls Class in Term 2. As you will see, I am in class most days (unless I have to attend a meeting or course) apart from alternate Tuesday mornings and each Thursday afternoon. Mrs G is Mrs Gardiner who is a familiar face for the children, along with Mrs Stirling who supports her.
|Wed||Mrs J||Mrs J|
|Fri||Mrs J||Mrs J|
Thank you for your support this year so far.
Welcome everyone to Robin and Owls Classes! We have an exciting term ahead.
Here is some information to get you started:
Moving on up:
Moving from mainly play-based learning in Year 1 to more formal lessons in Year 2 is a big step for the children and we try to make it as painless as possible.
Until Christmas, Year 2 will have two breaks each day - each morning and afternoon. They will stay in the relative quiet of the Year 2 garden area and classrooms, rather than the main playground. Fruit will be provided, just as in Year 1, so they don’t need snack money. Please send them with a labelled water bottle each day.
When children arrive in the morning, please help them to become as independent as possible about hanging up their coat and bag and coming in to class. When they arrive, we will greet them and start them on a morning activity at their table or on the carpet. They should be in class by 8.40am, ready for the register.
With so much to learn this year, it’s important not to fall behind, so please try to make sure the children are in school each day, on time and with the correct equipment. Regular attendance makes a massive difference to progress and attainment.
Our first topic
This term is a whole-school topic called Health and Happiness. The children will take part in different fitness activities and monitor their progress as the term progresses. We will also send home different ‘Keep Fit’ games to play. We will look at basic movement and skills in PE and the importance of diet and exercise to humans in Science. We are interested in the children’s own experiences of health and fitness so please let us know of any sporting achievements so we can celebrate together!
Reading for success
All children will read to an adult in school at least once a week. They will also be reading with a partner each day in phonics for decoding, while Guided Reading activities will boost comprehension. However, nothing boosts a child's progress in reading more than reading to a grown up at home.
Book bands: We use Oxford Reading Tree scheme books are colour coded into reading bands. Children progress through the colours as they show that they can both read and understand the texts. Each time they move up a band we’ll write it in their Reading Record. You can choose the books together from our reading trolley in the cloakroom area. Please stick to the correct reading band.
In Maths this term we will be concentrating on ‘Place Value’ and begin looking at ‘Addition and Subtraction’.
When learning about Place Value we will learn to:
· Count in steps of 2, 3 and 5 from 0 and in tens from any number, forward and backward.
· Recognise the place value of each digit in a two digit number (tens, ones)
· Identify, represent and estimate numbers to 100 using different representations including the number line.
· Compare and order numbers from 0 up to 100; use <, > and = signs.
· Read and write numbers to at least 100 in numerals and words.
· Use place value and number facts to solve problems.
In ‘Addition and Subtraction’ we will learn to:
· Recall and use addition and subtraction facts to 20 fluently, and derive and use related facts up to 100.
· Show that the addition of two numbers can be done in any order (commutative) and subtraction of one number from another cannot.
· Add and subtract numbers using concrete objects, pictorial representations, and mentally, including: a two digit number and ones; a two digit number and tens; two two digit numbers; adding three one digit numbers.
· Recognise and use the inverse relationship between addition and subtraction and use this to check calculations and solve missing number problems.
· Solve problems with addition and subtraction: using concrete objects and pictorial representations, including those involving numbers, quantities and measures; applying their increasing knowledge of mental and written methods.
In English, our writing focus will be super sentences. We will learn how to:
· Recognise different types of sentence (statement, question, command, exclamation)
· Use correct sentence punctuation.
· Think, say, then write a series of sentences.
· Re-read sentences to check that they make sense.
We’ll apply our knowledge in different writing genres:
· To start, we will write acrostic poems. Look out for these on display on our walls.
· Next, we will practise being ordered and bossy to write instruction (command) sentences!
· Then, we’ll use storytelling to learn and retell a traditional tale, looking at the style of language and structure.
· We will compare it with an alternative version that has a ‘Health and Happiness’ twist.
· Finally, we’ll use what we’ve learned to write our own topical ‘twisted’ tale to make a class book.
· Sentence type, construction and punctuation.
· Recap nouns, verbs, adjectives (adverbs)
· Past and present tense verbs.
English spelling is sometimes tricky. But, good spelling makes a good first impression so many times in adult life, whether you're applying for a job, writing a report or even just emailing.
In primary school, good spelling is still an important part of Key Stage 2 SATs. Feeling confident about spelling can also boost children’s writing to a higher level, encouraging them to use more adventurous, exciting vocabulary.
To help Willowcroft children get to grips with spelling rules, we have introduced a new spelling programme from Year 2-6, with at least three 15-minute sessions a week and regular assessments.
How you can help your child fast-track to fantastic spelling:
· Ensure they learn and practise any spelling homework.
· Check out the Year 1 and 2 words that children should know by the end of KS1; it’s in the front of the Reading Record booklets. As they show in their daily reading and writing that they can read and spell these words, they will be able to colour in part of their personal spelling hive. For every 10 words they colour in they will get a reward.
Please ensure your child has a full PE kit in school at all times as not having the correct clothes can cause distress. We recommend leaving PE kit on their peg until half-term, especially as our topic will include lots of physical activities.
Full kit for autumn and winter includes white or house-colour t-shirt, PE shorts, jogging bottoms, plimsolls and/or trainers. A sweatshirt will be useful for colder days. Please label everything!
Year 2 children have the opportunity to learn swimming at The Wave for a number of sessions. This will take place in either a spring or summer term. To reassure you, the children are assessed in the first session and ability grouped to make sure they can progress in their own time.
Dates for your diary
Wednesday 12th September – Meet the teacher
1500 in your child’s classroom
Friday 28th September 2018 – PTA Cake Sale
1430 in the hall
Monday 15th October 2018 – Health and Happiness Celebration
1400 – 1500pm in your child’s classroom
Tuesday 16th October 2018 – Bedtime Stories
4.30 - 6.00pm throughout the school
Thursday 18th October 2018 – Halloween School Disco
1545 – 1800 in the school hall
Friday 19th October 2018 – Non-uniform Day
Throughout the school
Wednesday 7th November 2018 – Parent Teacher Interviews
1530-1730 in the hall
Thursday 8th November 2018 – Parent Teacher Interviews
1530 – 1930 in the hall
Thursday 15th November 2018 – KS1 Cinema trip
0930 at Didcot Cineworld
Friday 16th November 2018 – Children in Need Cake Sale
1430 in the hall
Friday 16th November 2018 – Requests taken for tickets for KS1 Play
Friday 30th November 2018 – Deadline for ticket requests
Friday 7th December 2018 – Christmas Fayre
1530-1730 in the hall
Tuesday 11th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
1345-1445 in the hall
Wednesday 12th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
0930 - 1030 in the hall
Thursday 13th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
1600-1700 in the hall
Friday 14th December 2018 – Christmas Jumper Day
Throughout the school