Teacher: Naomi Rawlinson
TA: Sasha Perrett
Term 5: PE days are Wednesdays. PE kit to be worn to school.
Welcome to the Duckling Class page.
We are the Reception Class for Pensford Primary School and can accommodate up to 15 children within the Reception Year.
Science Week. As part of science week we have all written some 'mini books' about ourselves. These books will be placed in a time capsule and hidden in Dragonfly's cupboard. This time next year a calendar notification will pop up for Miss Cowin and the children will open the capsule and be able to read their mini books to see how much they have changed in a year!
We have also be exploring tunnels in our tough tray and predicting which materials would be best for making tunnels in. The children have had lots of fun making sand and rock tunnels, although the sticks proved a little tricky.
For our last activity we discussed pollution in the sea and the harm that plastic can cause. We demonstrated this using a glass bowl and showing a lovely clean sea, and then what it looks like when oil and plastic has been added.
So ..... sew .... so we had a great child initiated activity sweep over us this week. One child has taken a real interest in an Arts and Crafts book that she found in our reading area. Last week she made a lovely ballerina card and this week spotted a pirate doll. She took it upon herself to trace the pattern from the book and then wistfully told the teacher how much she would love to make a doll. Of course we try to accommodate our children's interests to searched for the resources. By the end of the week, not only had she made a lovely doll, she had inspired most of the class to join in! We have encouraged the children to thread their own needles, pick their choice of felt, independently sew the edges and stuff the dolls. They have then added buttons and small designs to make them personal.
We had a teddy bear's picnic area for the role play area but all changed this week. One of our children has mentioned a love of space and co-incidentally, another parent at school asked if we would like a space ship donated. Well of course we said yes! Out went the picnic area, and in came the space shuttle! The children love it and it's provided lots of opportunity for different children to play together as names are having to be randomly chosen in order for all to have access to it throughout the day. What a treat!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt has been a key story for us this week. We've read the story together, acted it out, and created a landscape for it on top of our tough tray. In maths we have been thinking about numbers beyond 10. Starting at 11 we have already worked our way through to 15. To strengthen the children's understanding of these numbers we've though about them in terms of 10 and 1 makes 11, 10 + 2 = 12 etc. This allows the children to build on there understanding of numbers within 10 (such as 1 and 2) to support their learning of numbers beyond 10.
On Thursday both the Reception class and Year 1 went to a Funs Festival at Chew Valley Secondary School. The children mixed well with all the other school there and really enjoyed the activities on offer, as hosted by Year 9 students.
Weeks 1 & 2
The first two weeks of term flew past - we've had a lot of fun and we are all enjoying being back together this new year. The children have now met our new PPA cover teacher, Mrs Young, and they enjoyed learning the honey pot game. Although our topic is all about bears, many children have naturally gravitated towards playing with castles and dragons. We always follow the children's interests and so have let them take the lead. They have built a castle that now sits on top of the bear den, and many children have made egg-box dragons.
Phonics is now being taught in two groups so that we can both support and extend the children at their own pace. For children who are still struggling to blend, we are concentrating on blend short words with single sounds e.g. 'd-o-g, m-a-p, w-e-t, f-o-x'. For children who are showing more confidence in reading we are learning digraphs and trigraphs. So far we have learnt, 'sh, ch, th, ng, nk, ay, ee'.
Once a week the whole class will read together, working in partners to read aloud a sentence at a time. The children are amazing at this - have a look at their brilliant concentration skills.
It has been a lovely week. The whole school nativity took place on Wednesday at the church and all the children were amazing. We were so pleased to see all of the Duckling children being able to take part in both the afternoon and evening performances.
We will keep this update brief - it's been a lovely end to a lovely term and we wish everybody a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
(HOMEWORK: Please ensure your children have lots of fun during the holidays and come back with some great adventures and stories to tell us.)
We have now learnt all our first set of phonic sounds (a - z) including the digraphs, 'sh, ch, th'. Please help your children continue their amazing learning journey by reading the books in the book bags with them at least 3 times a week. They have also been taught a number of tricky 'red' words including: I; my; you; the; of; so; no; said.
The children have also worked on simple additions and subtractions within 10. They are using an amazing resource - their fingers! Ask them a calculation and see how they fair.
Our formal lessons are not the only important things we do in school as you know, and this week the children have been creating their own obstacle/ stepping stone courses around the playground. They have used anything they can lay their hands on (we've even pinched an old fence panel from the back of the school - shhh - don't tell anyone). All the children have participated at some point and this has been an entirely child-led activity and one that has lasted days and days. One child then found a log and some connected slats to produce a brilliant seesaw. Another then took this to another level by shifting it onto the plank of the pirate ship. There were a few falls, bumps and squashed fingers but our children are very resilient - they just brushed themselves off and got back on!
**Another shout out - for playground resources e.g. tyres/ crates/ planks of wood/ tiles etc. Our children are so creative and we feel - the more basic the equipment, the more advanced the imagination!
The nativity practice has really started and all children have been measured for their outfits. Our version this year is called, 'It's a Party!' and it differs slightly from the traditional story. To help us understand the Christian version of the story the Reverend Denise Calverley came to talk to the class. She showed them the story using some wooden props and read them the nativity. The children listened well and showed a lot of respect to their visitor. On Friday they experienced another story - 'Beasty Baby', at the Tobacco Factory theatre. The production had been described as, a funny and magical shared experience for the whole family, to warm up those cold winter days' and from the laughs we heard, our children agreed. It was a lovely trip, topped off with comments from the ushers who complimented the children saying they were, 'angelic' and 'a treat to have visit the theatre'.
In the class this week we have also been 'wrapping presents'. This has required some careful measuring of paper size and has been a great mathematical provocation. Look out for your present under the tree coming home very soon!
The weather has started to turn and we have noticed that outside is colder and wetter than before. This will not stop us spending as much time as we can outside. Can we therefore please ask that you send your child to school in suitable wet-weather over-clothes so that their time outside. Raincoats and waterproof shoes/ boots are essential.
This week, as well as playing outside, the children were keen to use items from the playground to create their own shelters. A net may not seem like the most obvious option but the children used the net as a surface to build up against. The photo shows the brilliant rain-shelter that at least 9 children clambered into!
It's been an exciting week in school with both Robert Mitchell, high-jumper, joining us for some indoor circuits AND Forest School at Hidden Valley!
The children enjoyed their time with Robert, having raised valuable sponsorship money for GB sports stars and the school. They were amazed when Robert demonstrated his skills by jumping over the piano - talk about hitting the high notes!
Forest School was also a highlight. It was the first time Duckling Class had visited Hidden Valley together and the children had a great time thinking about appropriate clothing for cold weather. The children went on a hunt throughout the forest to find the clothes and then dressed their 'characters' with what they had found. The children worked well in their teams and warmed up after with a lovely cup of hot squash.
The children have been learning the Gingerbread Man story in class and can already retell half of it. We have been learning this through the making of a story-map and giving it actions. Many of the children have been so enthralled with the story, they have made their own story maps to take home!
EVERY child enjoys shouting, 'run run as fast as you can, you can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man' - just ask them!
Wow! The children have come back to school this week and have been impressing us so much in so many ways. They are working and playing together so well, and are so enthusiastic to take part in everything.
This week saw the 100 Year anniversary of Armistice Day on Sunday 11th November 2018. It was lovely to see some of the Reception Children at the local memorial service: even laying some of the poppies that we had made in class on the Memorial Stone.
On another note, we celebrated Diwali on Wednesday 7th and made Dried Fruit Ladoo sweets to take home and share. The children are always keen to find out about other celebrations and traditions, and we enjoy supporting them in this too.
Practising our 'phonics'! Stirring the dried fruit to make ladoo sweets for Diwali.
We made it! The children have had a great first term and the staff have been awed by each and every one of them. This week we were lucky enough to be invited to the Dragonfly party. The Key Stage 1 class had been thinking about the question, 'Who's coming to tea?' for their topic. The answer was …. Duckling Class! We had a great time joining in games and eating the delicious dairy-free cakes they had made. Thank you Dragonfly children, for making our last week lots of fun!
A quick phonics recap for any parents/carers looking to continue the learning at home during the break. The sounds we have learnt so far are.... a, c, d, g, i m, n, o, p, s, t and the tricky words 'the', 'I' and 'of'.
Wow - the children have been in school full time for 7 weeks and there is still another week to go. What a mammoth term this has been for them and yet, they have continued to impress with their positive attitudes and their willingness to embrace everything on offer. This week they joined in two Harvest Assemblies! The children sang a Harvest song at the beginning of each event before returning to the classroom and participating in our first series of Stay and Play sessions. The feedback we received from parents and carers has been very positive and we hope to hold these sessions on a regular termly basis.
The children had also shown an interest in making boats in the craft area. We therefore built upon this interest by providing them with foil and asking them to design and make their own boats. They then tested them to see which design could hold more weight.
Here you can see the children working together to make their designs.
To explore our senses we have made a sensory tough tray this week, whereby the children can scoop with spoons, make noisey rattles, and choose various colourful beads and sparkles for decoration.
The children have also been exploring our playground to work out just what new toys they can make with the different resources outside. (If you think you have some resources for our playgrounds (planks of wood; wheels; rope; pebbles etc - we would be happy to receive it.)
Making a roller from playground resources. Our sensory tough tray.
Well you may have noticed some children coming home smelling of toothpaste (and covered in it). What started out as an experiment, 'Can you paint with toothpaste?', turned into a huge painting project! We love following the children's interests and they were certainly interested in finding out the answer to this question.
And if you didn't know - the answer was yes!
Our toothpaste painting. Adding to the rainbow made from collected items.
We have continued with our Healthy Me theme this week and focused on teethbrushing and drinking water. All the children in our class know that drinking water is important and they’ve all made an effort to drink regularly throughout the day. The children all contributed to a discussion about tooth decay and how regularly we should brush our teeth. We have been given some teeth cleaning packs that include toothpaste and a toothbrush and these have all been sent home.
We have changed our tough tray resources to include lots of blank faces for the children to create with media of their choice. They’ve had lots of fun making funny faces.
We've had lots of fun this week - the children have been making animal houses with cardboard, and creating food from around the world in the craft area.
Pic: Making spaghetti meatballs.
Story books and reading books were sent home this week: books will be changed on either a Monday or Tuesday. The children have also started learning their phonics - we have started with the sounds 'm' 'a' 's'. If you would like to support the learning at home please encourage them to practice writing these sounds on the sheets we send home and in their homework books, and ensure the children are saying the sounds correctly e.g. 'ssssss' not 'suh', and 'mmmm' not 'muh'. If you are not sure on how to support your child's reading and writing at home, please just pop in for a chat.
This week the children will have brought home a 'Homework Book'. Please don't worry - we are not expecting them (or you) to write essays. The activities* include questions like, 'What different numbers do you see around your house?' and encouraging early phonics games such as I Spy. Please bring the books into school on a Thursday, in your child's book bag, so that we can respond to their efforts and encourage their interest in learning. All homework receives a dojo in the form of a smiley face.
Next week we will start to send home story books for you to read to your child at home. The children will choose these themselves and you may find they want you to read the same story again and again and again. This is perfectly normal and great for their development: children learn through repetition. So whilst you may be up to your eyes with poisonous warts and owl ice cream, please persevere as it will be having a positive impact.
*(Please click on the Purple Bar above to see the homework for this term.)
Pic: In the Mud Kitchen.
To say we have had an amazing first week would be an understatement. Our class of 14 new children have settled into the new routines better than anyone could have predicted. Parents will have already seen numerous dojo points being uploaded to their child's accounts for so many good reasons; making people happy; respectful behaviour; working together.
The children have spent a lot of time with their Year 6 buddies and are very confident around the school. From next week parents will drop the children at the classroom door and allow the children to independently come into the classroom. We normally don't try this until Week 3 or 4 but as this group of children are showing such confidence already we are following their lead and moving at their pace.