Welcome to Squirrels
The Squirrels class are taught by Mrs Placentino from Monday to Thursday and by Mrs Gardiner on Fridays.
We are supported by Miss Mace.
This term's whole school topic is 'A Night At The Museum'. We will be travelling back in time and turning the school library area into a real life museum! Each Key Stage will be focusing on a different period of time. In Year 1 we will be finding out about dinosaurs. To kick-start the topic we start the term with a visit from the 'Dinosaur dome' where the experts will be telling us all about these amazing creatures; how big they were, when they lived and what they ate. We will ask the children what they already know and what they would like to find out during the topic and follow their interests.
The role-play area will be transformed into a mini museum and cafe. The children will be invited to use their artistic skills to make and draw dinosaurs and write fact cards to fill the museum. A cafe is often a favourite part of a visit to a museum and a great way to include learning about money, addition and subtraction in a meaningful way.
The children will be developing their scientific skills of observation, enquiry and fair-testing when a dinosaur egg is found at school! They will also be finding out what different dinosaurs ate, and classifying them as carnivore, herbivore and omnivore (clue - 'om, nom, nom' they ones that eat everything!)
In Literacy we will be reading many fiction and non-fiction books about dinosaurs. Including a focus on 'Dear Dinosaur' by Chae Strathie. The children will be writing letters, fact-files about dinosaurs, descriptions of the egg we find, labelling body parts and writing a non-chronological report.
In maths we will be measuring and weighing the dinosaur egg we find, and looking into the size of dinosaurs. We will be using comparative language such as big, bigger, biggest to compare types. We will continue to practice counting, place value, addition and subtraction to improve fluency. We will move onto learning about shape, 2D and 3D.
We have phonics lessons daily where the children practice sounds, blending sounds to read words and writing words using the sounds taught. They read daily during these lessons; both words and real books. Please continue to support your child at home by practising sounds and reading daily, ask questions about the book to check their understanding of the story and any new vocabulary. For children who prefer ipads to 'real' books, there are lots of interactive books on Bug Club. Please let me know if you have lost your log-in or would like me to allocate your child more books.
Our topic for term 2 is:
Our second topic this year is 'Fire, Fire'. We will be learning about the Great Fire of London. We will use our story telling skills to hear, map, step and speak to retell the event. We deepen our knowledge of the story by acting it out, do 'hot-seating' where you ask a character from the story lots of questions, then do some writing based around the story. We will then try writing a recount independently. The children will be thinking about how houses have changed since 1666 and the present day, in terms of materials used and design. They will be designing and making their own Tudor style house.
I'm delighted that some of the children have been using their free school log-in to Bug Club to enjoy reading online. It is especially good for reluctant readers who prefer looking at computers to books! If you have lost your log-in please let me know and I can easily print it out again for you. The children read daily at school within their phonics lessons, please support your child by reading with them as often as you can at home too.
In maths we will start the term by focussing on Addition and Subtraction. We will learn about number bonds to 10 and then to 20. By the end of the term we will aim for children to be able to read and write number sentences independently. Ask your child to explain the part-part-whole model to you and how it helps them understand addition!
Squirrel class have P.E. this term on Thursday afternoons, with Mr. Parish from Elite Youth Sports. Please ensure your child has a full P.E. kit including jogging bottoms/leggings for the colder weather. It is really helpful to keep their kit in school every day for the whole term.
Squirrel class have Forest School this term with Mr. Jones. Half the class go for the first 4 weeks of term then the other half go for the remaining 4 weeks of term. Letters detailing which dates your child attends and suggested clothing have gone out. If unsure please just ask.
Our big learning celebration for this term will be our Christmas Nativity Performance of 'Prickly Hay'. Letters regarding costumes and performance dates and times will go out later in the term. Other fun events this term include a trip to the cinema and to the pantomime at The Oxford Playhouse.
Key Dates for term 2:
Wednesday 7th November 2018 – Parent Teacher Interviews
15.15-17.30 in the hall
Thursday 8th November 2018 – Parent Teacher Interviews
1530 – 1930 in the hall
Thursday 15th November 2018 – KS1 Cinema trip
09.30 - 12.00 at Didcot Cineworld
Friday 16th November 2018 – Children in Need, children can wear spotty clothes to school £1 donation
Cake Sale 14.30 in the hall
Monday 19th November - INSET DAY
Thursday 29th November - KS1 trip to Oxford Playhouse to see Dick Whittington pantomime.
Friday 30th November 2018 – Deadline for ticket requests and costumes due in.
Friday 7th December 2018 – Christmas Fayre
15.30-17.30 in the hall
Tuesday 11th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
13.45-14.45 in the hall
Wednesday 12th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
09.30 - 10.30 in the hall
Thursday 13th December 2018 – KS1 Christmas Play
16.00-17.00 in the hall
Friday 14th December 2018 – Christmas Jumper Day
Throughout the school
Our topic for term 1 is:
'Health and Happiness'
Our first topic is 'Health and Happiness'. We will be learning about our bodies and how to keep fit and healthy. We are hoping to organise some visits from health professionals, such as doctors, dentists and health visitors - if you are able to help please let us know! We will be trying out a variety of sports and fitness activities and learning about the calming benefits of mindfullness.
In literacy we focus on a story then draw a quick story map to help remember the sequence. We deepen our knowledge of the story by acting it out, do 'hot-seating' where you ask a character from the story lots of questions, then do some writing based around the story.
In maths we will start the term by focussing on place value. We will learn about number order and the value of each number and how this can be represented using a variety of manipulatives.
The role-play area will be transformed into a Doctor's Surgery. The children can engage in writing for a purpose by writing things such as appointments and prescriptions. They can speak in role by pretending to be the doctor, nurse or patient.
Please ensure that children have a full P.E. kit including jogging bottoms/leggings for the colder weather. It is really helpful to keep their kit in school every day for the whole term.
Squirrels class teacher timetable:
|Monday||Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace||Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace|
Mrs Placentino has subject lead time for maths on alternate Tuesday mornings. She is covered by Mrs. Gardiner, both supported by Miss Mace. In term 2 Squirrels have Forest School with Mr. Jones (half class for 4 weeks each)
|Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace|
|Wednesday||Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace||Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace|
|Thursday||Taught by Mrs Placentino, supported by Miss Mace||
Taught P.E. by specialist P.E. teacher Mr. Parish from Elite Youth Sports.
Taught music by Mrs Kent / handwriting and spelling by Miss Mace.
(whilst KS1 teachers have PPA; planning, preparation and assessment time)
|Friday||Taught by Mrs. Gardiner, supported by Miss Mace||Taught by Mrs Gardiner, supported by Miss Mace|
Key Dates for term 1:
6th September - Term 1 begins
12th September - meet the teacher 3pm
15th October - End of topic 'outcome'. Parents welcome, 2.00 - 3.00
18th October - Halloween disco
19th October - Non-uniform day, donations for Christmas Fayre. Term ends at 3.00
How do we learn?
We are a Year 1 play based classroom. We have daily Literacy, Maths and Phonic lessons. We learn by being independent learners and taking control of our learning when we have exploring time.
Where do I learn?
During exploring time you have access to our Squirrel classroom, the Hedgehog classroom, the creative area and the garden. In each area there are specific activities for you to complete based on our topic.
Who helps us to learn?
Mrs Placentino is our main classroom teacher, she works Monday to Thursday. Our full time classroom teaching assistant is Miss Mace. On a Friday Squirrels are taught by Mrs Gardiner. Mrs Williams and Miss Dye are the teacher and teaching assistant in Hedgehogs. Mrs Axenderrie and Mrs Hammond will also be working with small groups and individual children across KS1.
Learning and teaching
In Squirrels we really encourage reading. This includes reading a class book, but also includes reading library books, comics, newspapers and anything else they enjoy. The most important thing is to encourage a love for reading. Children who enjoy reading are usually better readers and writers. Each child is also given a ‘Bug Club’ login. This enables children to read e-books on the internet.
We also have logins to access ‘My Maths’ which is an online website which has maths challenges linked to your class room topic.
Usernames and passwords have been given out. If you have any problems logging on or you lose your password please let me know.
Other curriculum subjects such as Science, Geography, History, Art, DT, Music and Computing are taught through topic work sometimes during exploring time and sometimes as discreet lessons.
Please ensure your child has a named PE kit in school every day. We suggest they leave them in school for the whole term.
Each fortnight we contribute to the school newsletter, letting you know what we have been doing in class and ways you can support this learning at home.
If you have any questions please feel free to pop in and see Mrs Placentino.