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 (Monday to Thursday) and Miss Kiss on Fridays. We are supported by two fantastic Teaching Assistants; Mrs Peach and Miss Woodley. We are very friendly and invite you to pop in for a chat if you have any queries or concerns - the classroom door is open from 8.30am everyday and we will be available to speak to you before class starts at 8:40am. There is also time at the end of the day or if you would like a longer meeting please speak to Mrs Placentino, Miss Kiss or the office to arrange.
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).
People Who Help Us
This term's topic is 'People who help us'. As we return to school, we will be thinking about the people in our community that help us. We will be learning about the role of lots of different professions. We start the term by looking at the role of the postal worker. We will be asking questions about where they work, what they do and how. We will then explore the roles of the police, the fire service, vets, doctors and paramedics and dentists.
We will continue to have daily phonics sessions where the children learn about letters and sounds and how to blend to read and segment to spell. We have daily maths inputs and group work. The children have enjoyed watching 'Numberblocks' episodes and learning about counting, subitising (being able to recognise how many items there are without counting) composition of number (e.g. the composition of 5 could be 2 + 3 or 1 + 4 or 0 + 5), and cardinal number (how many are in a set). We read stories to the children and discuss things such as characters, settings and plot and also the meanings of words. The children also read to us, which might include making up a story for a wordless book, or using their developing phonic knowledge to blend sounds to read words.
Please support your child's learning by reading with them as often as possible, practise reading the sounds and 'tricky words' that have been sent home. Please remember to record in their 'Reading Record Book' and ensure this comes into school each day in their book bag. I check the Reading Record books once a week and if your child has read three times or more they receive a ticket for the prize pot, a sticker and a dojo point. At the end of the term I pick out three tickets at random from the 'prize-pot' and these children win a prize too.
To support their maths learning practise counting forwards and backwards (this lends itself to future subtraction work). Count things such as pencils that you can touch and move as you count, but also claps and jumps. Ask your child 'how many?' 'how did you know?' 'if I give you one more how many would you have?', 'If I took 1 away how many would you have left?'. Play dice games that require the child to look at the dots on the die and recognise the amount, sometimes without counting them (this is called 'subitising') and then to move their counter the correct amount of spaces.
Monday 24th February - Term 4 starts
Thursday 5th March - World Book Day & Nick Cope Performance!
Friday 3rd April - 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.
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.
Weather appropriate clothing - Please make sure that your child has a waterproof coat and wellies in school. Wellies are needed for Forest School but are also very useful for the KS1 garden in the wet weather!
Forest School Sessions:
Forest School is every Wednesday morning on a 4 week cycle, lead by Mr Jones.
Please ensure that your child has a vest/T-shirt, long-sleeved top, hoodie/fleece/thick jumper, thick socks, trousers, wellies, hat/scarf/gloves.
This term's topic is 'Traditional Tales'. Over the term the children will hear the stories 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears', 'The Enormous Turnip', 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff', 'The Three Little Pigs'and 'The Gingerbread Man'. We will be doing writing based around the stories, such as 'What did Jack see at the top of the beanstalk?', character descriptions and 'Wanted' posters for the big, bad wolf! We will be planting 'magic beans' and making predictions as to what they might grow into, we will be building castles from the different construction sets.
Forest School - Please refer to your child's individual letter for their dates. If unsure please just ask.
Dates for Term 3
Term 3 begins - Monday 6th January 2020
Term 3 ends - Friday 14th February 2020
Monday 11th November - Individual School Photographs
Tuesday 10th December -Adventures of Pinocchio! @ Cornerstone, Didcot 1:00PM
Wednesday 11th December- Frogs & Dragonflies Nativity 1:45PM
Friday 13th December - Christmas Fayre
Wednesday 18th December - School Christmas Dinner
Thursday 19th December - End of Term 1:00PM Finish
This term, we will be learning about celebrations that take place in our own community and in the wider world. We will discover the different ways we celebrate – and the many different things those celebrations can be about! Starting with bonfire night, we will create our own firework pictures and rockets and learn about being keeping safe around fireworks. We will then learn about why we celebrate Remembrance Day and make our own poppies. We will also explore celebrations in other cultures such as Diwali and finally Christmas which we will celebrate by performing our own Nativity to our families. Alongside all of this, we will be continuing on with our daily Phonics, Maths and Guided Reading.
Topic: All about me!
Our first topic is 'All about 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.
Dates for your diary:
Wednesday 4th September - Term 1 begins
Forest School Timetable:
Please check class window for updates to timetable. Individual letters will be sent out in due course with your child's Forest School dates on.
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.