Welcome to Dragonflies Class Page
At Willowcroft Community School Foundation Stage we are proud of our caring, creative and happy environment where all individuals are valued equally and encouraged to achieve their full potential.
This year Dragonflies Class are being taught by Mrs Placentino (4 days a week) and Mrs Peach, our Associative teacher, 1 day a week. We are supported by two fantastic Teaching Assistants; Mrs Russel and Miss Krason.
There will be regular updates/photographs on this page and also on 'Class Dojo' so that you can see what we have been getting up to during the week, as well as important information for parents and reminders of any key dates coming up this term. There are also useful links to help with your child's learning at home (scroll down to bottom of page).
Mrs Kate Placentino
Topic: Traditional Tales
Our topic this term is 'Traditional Tales'. Each week we will introduce a new story, sharing the text via books, The interactive white board (IWB) and songs/rhymes. We will be looking at the characters within, the homes they lived in, the morals of the story and the lay out and sequence of a traditional fairy tale. Our focus texts will be 'Jack and the Beanstalk', ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears', 'The Enormous Turnip', 'The Three Little Pigs', 'The Gingerbread Man', 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'. There will be a crime scene set later in the term, and a visitor with a surprising story to tell...! To support your child's learning we will read the children a variety of pieces of the same story to compare & contrast. During the topic there will be some fantastic opportunities to retell stories using story boards, story maps and puppets, explore materials used to build homes and use engineering skills to build structures like bridges in the construction area and develop imagination in the role play area.
Monday 4th January - Term 3 starts Monday 22nd February - Term 4 starts
Wednesday 10th February - Individual Pupil Photographs Wednesday 24th March - NCMP Height/Weight Measures
Friday 12th February - Last day of term/Half Term Wednesday 31st March - End of Term 4
This term, we will be learning about festivals and celebrations that take place in our own community and in the wider world. Many children will have seen and heard fireworks exploding in the sky, so we start with asking why? We then look into the origins of Bonfire Night, telling a simplified version of 'The Gunpowder Plot'. We will create our own firework pictures and rockets and learn about being keeping safe around fireworks.
We will then learn about Remembrance Day and make our own poppies. We will also find out about other celebrations such as Diwali and find out how Hindu families celebrate this special time. Then, in December we will learn about Christmas and how some families celebrate it.
Alongside all of this, we will be continuing on with our daily Phonics, Literacy, Maths and Guided Reading.
Wednesday 11th November - Individual School Photographs
Wednesday 16th December - School Christmas Dinner
Friday 18th December - End of Term 1:00PM Finish
All children should bring their book bag back into school every day as we use these in our Guided Reading lessons as well as with one-to-one reading. It is important that the children read regularly at home as well as at school, recording their efforts in their Reading Records, to be checked in class. This encourages the children to be more independent and organise their belongings, as well as transport letters and homework back and forth without them being lost or damaged. (NB - We are still waiting for the children's individual reading record books to be delivered, unfortunately there is a delay due to Covid).
Children should also have a bag on their pegs with spare clothing in case of accidents or needing to change for any reason. This MUST be in school at all times. Due to the current pandemic we request that the bag stays on their peg all term, rather than going between home and school daily. Please provide a carrier bag inside their bag so that if they have been changed we can send home the wet clothing.
Weather appropriate clothing - Please make sure that your child has a waterproof coat and wellies in school. For hot, sunny days they will need a named sun-hat and please apply sun-cream before school.
PE - In reception the children have daily access to the large garden area and have opportunities to run, skip, jump, climb and dance. We have climbing and balancing equipment and balls, bats and targets to practise throwing, catching and aiming skills. So, every day is a PE day! Once the children settle into reception in September we will also have the opportunity to take them up on to the big field to play games and teach specific skills. Our day will be Mondays, so on Mondays the children should come to school wearing their PE kit. If the field is wet I would suggest trainers rather than fabric pumps and as the weather gets colder, jogging bottoms would be more suitable than shorts. We will spend the first couple of weeks getting the children settled into their classrooms and our garden area and then will inform parents via ClassDojo when we intend to start using the field on Mondays.
Uniform information (including PE Kit) - This is found by clicking on 'Key Information' (top bar) then on 'Uniform' in drop-down box.
Water bottles - please provide your child with a water-bottle. Many children have the same design of bottle, so please ensure it is clearly named.
Who do I inform if my child is ill/needs to self-isolate? The school office. They will inform me.
Will work be provided for my child if they are self-isolating? Yes. Work will be sent via GoogleClassroom or Classdojo.
My child has an appointment during the school day, what do I do? Inform the school office about the time of the appointment and what time you will need to collect your child. They will let the teacher know when to bring the child to the reception area for collection. It is useful to remind the class teacher at drop-off time too.
We have moved house, who do I inform to update records? The school office.
SchoolGrid - Please choose your child's school lunch on school grid. If you need support with logging in please contact the school office.
Google Classroom - Login information: Please go to classroom.google.com
Use the classcode of jwrqazs then log your child in.
Their login is their first name and first letter of their surname then @willowcroft.oxon.sch.uk and their password is their name and date of birth, so for example
Fred Bloggs DOB: 12th January 2016
If the system asks you to change the password please use the following format - first name class name 20
If you have tried the above and still encounter problems then please send me a message via ClassDojo and I will pass this on to the administrator.
For further information about Coronavirus and the changes that school has implemented, please click on 'News and Events' on the top bar then click on 'Corona Virus information' in the drop-down menu.
Topic: Marvellous Me!
Our first topic is 'Marvellous me!' which is a great way for finding out about the children's likes and dislikes and about their families, friends and pets at the beginning of the school year. The children will be developing their skills and confidence in speaking and listening when talking about themselves and listening to their friends. We will be modelling to the children how to politely take turns in conversations, which is a tricky skill to acquire when you are 4 and have a lot to say! As the term progresses, the children will have daily phonics lessons and also take part in guided reading activities. They will be listening and responding to stories such as 'Once there were giants', 'Funnybones' and 'Titch'. In maths we will be watching 'Numberblocks' and practising counting and number recognition. We will be singing lots of number rhymes and making links between numerals and amounts of items. To link with the topic we will be comparing hair and eye colour and talking about height using the correct mathematical vocabulary 'taller' and 'shorter'. The children will be using their different senses to explore the outside environment and talk about the natural environment and the seasons. We will be getting creative in the art area, painting pictures of ourselves and our families. We will be making pictures of skeletons, using the book 'Funnybones' to inspire us. We have a role-play area inside and a stage outside where the children have the opportunity to dress up and act out stories, make music and dance! The children will be developing their fine motor skills through playing with playdough and construction toys, and we have well-stocked writing areas with pens, pencils and fun items like stamps and stencils to encourage the children to draw and write. In the garden area, the children will be developing their gross motor skills by running and jumping, negotiating space, playing on the bicycles and scooters and practising their throwing and catching skills with large and small balls.
Thursday 3rd September - Term 1 starts (staggered start 11:30AM finish)
Friday 4th September (staggered start 1:00PM finish)
Friday 23rd October - End of Term 1
Tuesday 3rd November - Term 2 starts
Friday 18th December - End of Term 2
Due to the current pandemic we are having staggered drop-off and pick-up times and places to support social distancing. The school day for Dragonflies (and Frogs) will be 8.40. Drop your child off at the hall (go through the playground) and pick-up from the same place at 2.55pm. If you have other children with different drop-off times I'm afraid you will have to queue again as we are unable to take siblings as it would affect our adult:child ratios and also mix 'bubbles'.
The Early Years Curriculum (EYFS)
The Reception class provides a broad and balanced curriculum which embraces the seven areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. In Reception we focus on the development of the individual child and, during your child’s time in Dragonflies class, he or she will experience a great variety of activities based on these seven areas of learning through structured activities and carefully planned play:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design
Our Indoor Environment
The indoor curriculum provides a stimulating learning environment and opportunities for the children to experience a quiet reading corner, interactive whiteboard, role play area, writing area, construction area, creative area, maths area and an understanding the world area. There is a wide range of resources available to the children.
Our Outdoor Environment
The outdoor environment mirrors the indoor learning environment within Reception and it is used daily within the daily routine. Children will be able to access resources to develop the seven areas of learning. Outdoor learning is key to developing children’s independence, physical development and to offer exploration and investigation opportunities.
How can I check my child’s progress?
Mrs Placentino will assess your child regularly using the Foundation Stage Profile which enables us to track your child’s development. Continual assessment is carried out on every pupil through observations, annotation of work, questioning and monitoring reading. In addition to this, each week we will have 3 'focus children', they are a particular focus for all the staff and the observations and assessments that are made and photographs that are taken are added to their 'Learning Journey'. The following week parents are invited in to talk about your child progress (like a parents evening). This will happen 3 times throughout the year.
A Safe and Secure Place to Learn: Clear boundaries and rules are explored with the children so they understand why they are in place promoting confidence and security. ‘If a child feels security and love they can be happy. If a child is happy they can learn’. Willowcroft EYFS staff 2015.
The Adults: The staff are facilitators for learning, where adults and children learn alongside each other. Adults listen to children and work together. We do this through Sustained Shared Thinking.
Parents as Partners: We understand the importance of parents in their role as prime educators and work with parents to build on home experiences to help facilitate learning. We hold information/teaching session so that parents can understand our strategies and policies.
Forest School: A wealth of outdoor learning opportunities. A choice for every child to play, explore and make sense of the world around them.